[[quoteright:270:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/270px-image-avenueqlogo_1663.png]]
''[[caption-width-right:270:Welcome to Avenue Q!]]''

->''Except for death and paying taxes, everything in life is only for now!''

Multiple-Tony Award-winning musical about a group of friends in a UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity neighborhood trying to live out their dreams, despite such mundane obstacles as trying to hold a job. The show is loosely based on and inspired by ''Series/SesameStreet'', though it handles adult themes such as sex, drinking and pornography. Much of the humor is crude and the language is quite foul, and there is one on-stage depiction of puppet sex, so despite appearing to be a children's show, it is very definitely for mature audiences.

At least one song from the show, "{{The Internet is for Porn}}", has become incredibly popular on the web after being used for a number of user-produced videos.

All of the characters except for Brian, Christmas Eve, and Gary are puppets. The singers are on stage, dressed in black, and although the audience is supposed to ignore their presence, they tend to act along with their characters. The puppets are supposed to represent humans, although the two monsters (Kate and Trekkie) are treated as a separate race, just like white, black, etc., and are distinguishable by the fact they're plush, while the other puppets are slightly fuzzy felt.

Now has a developing [[Characters/{{AvenueQ}} character sheet]].
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!!The main characters of the show are:
* Princeton - A recent college graduate DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife
* Kate Monster - A kindergarten teaching assistant
* Rod - An investment banker; parody of Bert
* Nicky - A slacker and Rod's roommate; parody of Ernie
* Trekkie Monster - Cookie Monster, except obsessed with porn instead of cookies
* Brian - An unemployed aspiring comedian
* Christmas Eve - Japanese therapist with no clients and Brian's fiancée/wife
* Gary Coleman - FormerChildStar turned superintendent ([[CrosscastRole usually played by a woman]])
* [[MeaningfulName Mrs. Thistletwat]] - Kate's domineering and bitchy boss
* [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Lucy The Slut]] - Exotic dancer and singer at the local bar
* The Bad Idea Bears - [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Two bears who encourage people to do naughty things]]

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!This show provides examples of:

* ActingForTwo: Rod and Princeton are played, or at least always voiced, by the same actor. Same goes for Trekkie Monster and Nicky, and Kate and Lucy the Slut, and every show has one ''very busy'' supporting puppeteer.
* AnAesop: What you get with "Sesame Street for adults." But on the other hand, they're ''good'' Aesops.
* AffectionateParody: The creators of the show have an admiring attitude towards Creator/JimHenson's works (and a number of them actually worked for Henson, to the point that they had to convince them not to sue over the similarities to ''Series/SesameStreet'').
** They were thrilled when Jane Henson (Jim Henson's widow) saw the show and loved it.
* TheAggressiveDrugDealer: The Bad Idea Bears, but with sex and alcohol
* AllGermansAreNazis: And I quote,
--> '''Nicky''': Schadenfreude, huh? What's that, some kind of Nazi word?
--> '''Gary''': Yup. It's German for 'happiness of the misfortune of others.'
--> '''Nicky''': 'Happiness of the misfortune of others?' That ''is'' German.
* AllJustADream: [[spoiler:Rod finding out that Nicky is in love with him, too.]]
* AllMusicalsAreAdaptations: Averted.
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation
* AnimatedActors: Fairly ambiguous; just like the actual Muppets, the characters often appear in amusing interviews, videos and other events where they interact with the crowd and talk about their experiences on the show, though it's unclear whether they're treating the play as a play or as an actual series of events.
* AsianSpeekeeEngrish: Christmas Eve, with an extra helping of JapaneseRanguage.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Christmas Eve.
* AssShove: In "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Making Love)":
-->'''Princeton''': [gasp] You can't put your finger ''there!'' [gasp] '''''PUT YOUR FINGER THERE!'''''
* BadGirlSong: "Special".
* BettyAndVeronica: Kate Monster and Lucy were the Betty and Veronica respectively, to Princeton's Archie.
* BigApplesauce: The show takes place in an outer borough of New York City. They call attention to it in the song "There is Life Outside Your Apartment."
* BikiniBar: The Around the Clock Cafe?
* BittersweetEnding: Princeton realizes he may never find out what his purpose is, and he may not even have one, and that every good thing in life is only temporary. But at the same time all the bad things in life are only temporary too, and instead of worrying about the future, it's best to just enjoy what you have for now.
* BlackComedyRape: In the Concert version of "The More You Ruv Someone" Kate is replaced by a chorus which at one point blurts out "Stab Him, Rape Him!".
* {{Blackface}}: WordOfGod says that the Hungarian localized version replaced Gary Coleman with MichaelJackson to avert this trope. This way, the character could be played by a white actor and still be considered African-American.
* {{Bridezilla}}: In a more literal sense than usual.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: "Give us your money" to audience. The performance has random monsters running throughout the audience with hats. (The money that they collect is donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.)
** In the UK at least this leads to some LampshadeHanging when one of them (usually Brian) comments that British money is no good in New York.
*** When the touring production went to Manchester, they receive a weekend for two in Liverpool, and comment on how "that isn't worth anything!"
** During "The Internet Is For Porn" Trekkie will pull an AsideGlance or point to [[AllMenArePerverts some poor guy in the front row]].
* BrokenAesop: "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist". The message is that [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin everyone's a little bit racist,]] but the way that it's presented makes it look like it's okay to be an asshole, because everyone does it. For example, when Kate, Princeton, and Gary laugh at Christmas Eve's accent in front of Brian, and then tell him to "come off it," when he defends her, they aren't being racist, they're just being assholes.
* ButLiquorIsQuicker
* {{Catchphrase}} the Bad Idea Bears;
--> Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
* ComedicSociopathy: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "Schadenfreude",]] which is German for "happiness at the misfortune of others".
* ComingOutStory
* ContentWarnings: e.g. "PARENTAL ADVISORY: 60% adult situations and 40% foam rubber".
** "Parental Advisory Sticker: You know where you can stick it".
** "Parental Advisory: Full Puppet Nudity"
* CrapsackWorld: Subverted. Avenue Q is actually a ''really'' bad place to live, but everyone makes the best of it.
* CrosscastRole: Gary Coleman is frequently played by a woman.
* CutAndPasteTranslation: Sorta [[ZigZaggingTrope zig-zagged]] by the German translation: The lines referring to the Germans as Nazis were removed ([[CaptainObvious a German audience would've been quite miffed by such jokes]]), but the line about a "vegetarian being told, he just ate chicken" was replaced with a "Muslima being told, she just ate pork" (most likely for the sake of rhyme) and the words of the song weren't less dirty than in the English original.
** The German translation of the song "The Internet Is for Porn" is even a tad dirtier than the original (also most likely for the sake of rhyme).
* CutSong: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrn_mQt48Wk Tear It Up and Throw It Away]]," which was cut late in the off-Broadway rehearsals. Kate gets a jury duty summons, but Nicky tells her to...[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin tear it up and throw it away]].
* CuteMonsterGirl: Kate (though she's a monster in name only...well, she is a bit fuzzy).
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Series/SesameStreet'', of all things.
* ADateWithRosiePalms
-->'''Guys:''' The Internet is for porn!
-->'''Princeton:''' Sorry, Kate!
-->'''Guys:''' The Internet is for porn!
-->'''Princeton:''' I masturbate!
-->'''Trekkie Monster:''' All these guys unzip their flies for porn, porn, porn!
* DefenestrateAndBerate: Variation; Kate throws a penny off the Empire State Building[[spoiler:, nearly killing Lucy,]] when she is StoodUp.
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: [sung] "I don't know how I know - but I'm gonna find my purpose! I don't know where I'm gonna ''look,'' but I'm gonna find my purpose!"
* DeusExMachina: Trekkie's secret savings.
* DoppelgangerReplacementLoveInterest: [[spoiler: Ricky, as a muscular gay replacement for Nicky.]]
* DrinkOrder: "Long Island iced tea" variety.
* DrivenToSuicide: Princeton and an unnamed extra. ([[spoiler: Neither goes through with it.]])
** There was also one for Rod near the end, in that Christmas Eve is explaining to everybody that she has her first client, and mentions that it's Rod. Then we hear what sounds like a gunshot. It was only the cork to a bottle of champagne coming off that Rod opened however.
** The look on Christmas Eve's face is HILARIOUS!
* EducationalSong: Parodied in "The Internet Is for Porn".
* {{Engrish}}: Christmas Eve
* EroticDream: "Fantasies Come True".
* EvolvingMusic: "For Now" was originally written with the line "[[UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush George Bush]] is only for now". When this [[ForegoneConclusion inevitably came true]], the lyric began to be replaced with several other things over its various runs, usually tied to current events.
** "George Bush ''was'' only for now."
** In the London production of the show, George Bush's name was replaced with Gordon Brown sometime in 2009. (Two nights after he lost the 2010 election, this line prompted a standing ovation.)
** Or in Australia, "Tony Abbott is only for now." (He's the Federal Opposition Leader, and hilariously nuts.)
** One of the most recent US showings went with "FoxNews is only for now."
** GlennBeck is also a common replacement for George Bush in recent US showings.
** In the California regional showing, it's "Prop 8 is only for now".
*** Similarly, in North Carolina it's "Amendment One is only for now".
** During the mid-2009 off-Broadway run: "Swine Flu is only for now"
** Mid-2010: "BP is only for now".
** The UK tour (Late 2010) had: "Lib Dems are only for now.", referencing the unpopular move of the Liberal Democrats to form a coalition with their near polar opposites in Parliament, the Conservative Party.
** The final performance on London's West End (Oct 2010): "''This show'' is only for now".
*** It also appeared in the recent Singapore tour.
** The UK tour (Feb 2011) is using: "{{Jedward}} is only for now."
** And the 2012 UK tour had "JustinBieber".
*** Same for New York as of late March 2014.
** In a Columbus, OH showing, it was replaced with "John Kasich is only for now", referencing the Ohio governor who had recently made the unpopular decision to turn down stimulus money meant to build up a rail travel system.
** A Chicago production in 2012 had "Chick-fil-A is only for now" (Chick-fil-A is a Christian fast-food chain that revealed it gives money to anti-gay charities, which got it a huge boost from conservatives and a banning in Chicago. A few months later they claimed they wouldn't donate to anti-gay charities any more)
** In one Boston University production (November 2012) it's been changed to "TWINKIES!" (It also changed the Empire State Building to the Prudential Center, as well as many other local/school-specific references.
** In March of 2013, it was changed to "UsefulNotes/ThePope!"
** In a Toronto production 2013, it was "Rob Ford!"
** In late June and July 2013, it was "DOMA!"
** Christmas Eve's line in "It Sucks to Be Me" about working in a Korean deli is sometimes changed to a Chinese restaurant.
** In "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist", the line about stupid Poles in the Broadway production was changed to French assholes in the West End production.
* ExpositoryThemeTune
* {{Expy}}: Trekkie, Nicky and Rod for Cookie Monster, Ernie and Bert respectively. Although Kate's design slightly resembles Elmo or Grover, she doesn't parody any specific ''Sesame'' character.
** She sounds like and somewhat resembled Prairie Dawn.
** Princeton isn't any specific character's Expy either, but his design resembles Guy Smiley.
* ExtranormalInstitute: Monsterssori School.
* TheFaceOfTheSun: Show opens with a ''Sesame Street''-like video of the sun shining and smiling ("''The sun is shining, it's a lovely day''") until clouds marked with various companies appear ("''But you've got lots of bills to pay!''").
* FantasticRacism: 'Monsters' sometimes face mild discrimination - with their only biological difference being fur as opposed to... cloth... covering their bodies.
** Well, Kate is pretty much a fuzzy human, but Trekkie looks like he stepped out of a sexually frustrated version of ''Film/WhereTheWildThingsAre''.
** Lampshaded by "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist".
* GayConservative: Rod, the closeted Republican investment banker.
* {{Gayngst}}: Ditto.
* GirlfriendInCanada: Rod once again - literally. "Her name is Alberta, she lives in Vancouver..."
* GoingCommando: Brian's song "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today".
* GoodAngelBadAngel: The Bad Idea Bears, although as the name suggests they're both Bad Angels.
* GoodFeelsGood: The central message of "The Money Song".
* HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday: "My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada".
** Also, "If You Were Gay". "Because you see, if it were me, I would feel free to say that I am gay [[NotThatTheresAnythingWrongWithThat (but I'm not gay)]]."
* HenpeckedHusband: Brian.
* HomoeroticDream: [[spoiler:Rod dreaming about Nicky confessing his love for him is what prompts Rod to finally accept that he is definitely gay and that he's in love with Nicky.]]
* HypocriticalHumor: Christmas Eve does not seem to have a positive opinion of the Jews ("They have all the money!"). Guess what kind of wedding she has later.
** Then again, considering Christmas Eve is probably marrying a Jewish man (Brian) it's very likely she said that stuff about Jews as payback for Brian's accidental use of the racist "Oriental" slur to describe her.
*** And then you realize that Brian just lost his job and in "It Sucks To Be Me" she was complaining that they can't pay their bills...
* IAmSong: "It Sucks to Be Me"
* IgnoringBySinging: Rod tries using "la la la" when Nickie tries to discuss homosexuality with him in the "If You Were Gay" number.
* IHaveThisFriend: Rod uses this one on Christmas Eve, trying to decide whether to come out.
* TheImmodestOrgasm: "You Can be as Loud as the Hell you Want (When You're Making Love)".
** Except for [[JapaneseRanguage Christmas Eve]], [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments who angrily reminds her fiancé that it's not a race.]]
* IncompatibleOrientation: Rod's crush on Nicky, who, despite what fan girls want to believe, isn't gay.
** Further played with [[spoiler:and semi-subverted when Nicky introduces Rod to ''Ricky'', a gay guy identical to the Nicky save for his clothes.]]
* InformedJudaism: If Rod and Ricky's wedding photos are any indicator, it would seem Rod is Jewish.
** Christmas Eve and Brian may qualify considering what kind of wedding they had.
* InterchangeableAsianCultures: Averted by Christmas Eve in the song "It Sucks to Be Me" where her being Japanese prevents her from getting a job at a [[EvolvingMusic Korean deli or Chinese restaurant]]. However it's sometimes invoked through casting: some of the actress' playing the part have been of a different race, for instance the London production had a Filipina in the role at one time.
* TheInternetIsForPorn: The song is the [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]].
** Worth mentioning twice, simply because [[ItWasHisSled it's so tied to the show now.]]
* InterruptedSuicide: ''"I'm gonna jump!" "Don't do it!" "Okay!"''
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: Inverted, Lucy to Princeton:
--> '''Lucy:''' [I don't need] some well-hung, baby-face kid, who leeches from his parents and can't get his act together!
--> '''Princeton:''' Wait... I think I heard a compliment in there!
* IWantSong: "[[DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife Purpose]]".
* JustJokingJustification: One song tries to use this for ethnic jokes.
* {{Landlord}}: Gary
* LargeHam: Trekkie's loud abrasive personality is very conducive to awesome hamminess.
** Gary falls into this on occasion.
* LarynxDissonance: Averted. Gary is played by a woman, but the part is written for an alto (low female) voice, to match the real Gary Coleman's high voice.
* LyricalDissonance: The lyrics almost never match the tone of the music, particularly because the music sounds like it is straight out of ''Series/SesameStreet'', while the lyrics would feel at home on The JerrySpringer Show
* ManlyGay: Ricky, who sports plaid vests and wife beaters, has huge muscles, and has PermaStubble.
* MasterOfTheMixedMessage: Princeton toward Kate Monster. Epitomized in the song "Mix Tape"
* [[spoiler:MaybeEverAfter]]: [[spoiler:By the end of the show, Kate and Princeton have decided to try being a couple again by taking their relationship one day at a time.]]
* MeaningfulName: A video screen reveals that Lucy's name is actually Slut, Lucy The.
* MenCantKeepHouse: [[spoiler:As Nicky is straight and Rod a closeted gay, they're naturally messy and obsessively clean respectively.]]
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: Eve loses Kate (and the audience) during "The More You Ruv Someone":
-->'''Christmas Eve''': Love!
-->'''Kate Monster''': ''Love!''
-->'''Christmas''': And hate!
-->'''Kate''': ''And hate!''
-->'''Christmas''': They like two brothers!
-->'''Kate''': ''Brothers!''
-->'''Christmas''': Who go on a date!
-->'''Kate''': ''Who''... [[DoubleTake what?]]
* MiseryPoker: The appropriately-named "It Sucks to Be Me".
* MistakenForRacist: Subverted; Princeton is briefly, before most of the cast decides that "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist".
* {{Muppet}}: All the characters except Brian, Christmas Eve and Gary.
* TheMusical
* MyGirlIsNotASlut: Subverted, nay, annihilated by Lucy The Slut.
** Both figuratively and literally. (See Meaningful Name.)
* NearDeathExperience
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Insistently averted: "I'm Gary Coleman, from TV's ''DiffrentStrokes'' / I made a lot of money that got stolen by my folks!" (In the original Broadway production, and most subsequent American shows, Gary Coleman is played by a woman. For the London production, who [[EaglelandOsmosis might not know the show]], Gary Coleman is played by a man.)
** Even more insistently averted in the Israeli production, which replaces Coleman's character entirely with local actress Michal Yanai, then '''[[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome actually got Michal Yanai to play the role]]'''
* NostalgiaFilter: The entire point of the song "I Wish I Could Go Back to College."
* NotThatTheresAnythingWrongWithThat: "If You Were Gay".
* OddFriendship: Rod and Nicky fit this trope right down to the "[[NeatFreak neat guy]] and [[TrashOfTheTitans slob]]" archetype.
-->'''Rod''': You leave your clothes out! You put your feet on my chair!\\
'''Nicky''': Oh yeah?! Yo do such anal things ''like ironing your underwear!''
* PhraseCatcher: Gary comments on how tiring it is to hear his character's catchphrase said to him.
* PimpedOutDress: Christmas Eve wears the most tricked out Tokyo-techno wedding dress ever, covered in bright flashing lights.
* {{Retool}}: The show was initially designed to be a TV show on ComedyCentral. But when that fell through they said "well if we can't put this on TV, why not put it on Broadway?"
* RogerRabbitEffect: Nobody bats an eyelash at puppets and humans interacting (though a team-up with the cast of ''FiddlerOnTheRoof'' for Broadway Cares explored the idea in greater depth.)
** In fact, the characters seem to think the difference between monster puppets and human puppets is more striking than between human puppets and human... humans.
** The audience can easily be lulled into ignoring the actors onstage who are controlling the puppets. This can be jarring when the cast comes out for the curtain-call at the end ''without'' the puppets in their hands. ("Who's ''that'' guy?")
** However, in various in-character interviews and events, the characters seem to be aware that humans and puppets are different (they sometimes reveal themselves as AnimatedActors). One video featuring Rod even treats puppets as a separate race, with him calling himself "the first Republican Puppet-American".
* SadistTeacher: Kate's boss, who actually lampshades this herself:
--->"Crabby old bitches are the backbone of this country!"
* SelfDeprecation: "It Sucks to Be Me".
* SeeYouInHell
-->'''Mrs. Thistletwat''': You're gonna burn in Hell!\\
'''Kate Monster''': WELL, I'LL SEE YOU THERE!''
* ShoutOut: One of the "good songs" mentioned in "Mix Tape" is "Moving Right Along" from ''TheMuppetMovie''.
** In "Purpose": [[Theatre/WestSideStory "Could it be/Yes it could/Something's coming/Something good!"]]
* SlapSlapKiss: Explained lovingly in Christmas Eve's song, "The More You [[JapaneseRanguage Ruv]] Someone (The More You Want To Kill Them)".
* SlobsVersusSnobs: On an interpersonal level -- Rod versus Nicky, best friends and roommates.
* SoUnfunnyItsFunny: Pretty much what makes the "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today" song memorable.
* SpeciesSurname: Kate and Trekkie Monster (who are '''not''' related).
* StoodUp
* StraightGay: Rod nearly qualifies. Although his fashion sense is dull, his politics are conservative, and his job is in investment banking, his voice and mannerisms (he also loves musical theater) [[TransparentCloset give away his orientation to everyone who meets him]].
* SubvertedKidsShow: A possible subversion, ironically enough, as one of the creators noted "We're not subverting Series/SesameStreet- Sesame Street ''itself'' is subversive!"
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Lampshaded when Nicky decides to help Rod get a boyfriend who is exactly his type. He finds a guy named Ricky who is ''exactly'' like Nicky. Rod is pleased.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: "My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada".
** Overlaps with BlatantLies.
* TakeAThirdOption: In "It Sucks to Be Me":
--> '''Kate''': Whose life sucks more, mine or Brian's?\\
'''Rod and Nicky''': OURS!
* TakeThat: In "It Sucks to Be Me", the chorus involves Brian, Kate, Rod and Nicky all singing about how dreadful their lives are; cue Gary Coleman talking about his life, ''and everyone agrees that his life sucks the worst.''
-->'''[Alt. Chorus]'''\\
'''All''': It sucks to be '''you'''.\\
'''Kate''': You win.\\
'''All''': It sucks to be '''you'''.\\
'''Brian''': ''I feel better now.''
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: The Bad Idea Bears
* TheThreeCertaintiesInLife: According to the song "For Now", "Except for death and paying taxes everything in life is only for now.'
* TransparentCloset: Rod's transparent closet is more like a mime in his glass box:
--> '''Rod:''' ...an afternoon alone with my favorite book: "Broadway Musicals of the 1940s"
* {{Trekkie}}: In early drafts Trekkie monster was this - that got changed due to potential copyright issues, but the name remains.
* {{Tsundere}}: Christmas Eve, especially in her (mostly) solo song "The More You Ruv Someone (The More You Want To Kill Them)"
* TwoferTokenMinority: After Christmas Eve marries Brian, she is now a Jewish Japanese woman, or as fans put it "a kung fu Jew"
* UnexplainedRecovery: After being hit in the head by a coin [[spoiler: Lucy's head falls off (twice) on the way to the hospital (off stage) but she survives]] and becomes an Evangelical Christian, similarly at the end of the show it's revealed that [[spoiler: The Bad Idea Bears]] have become Scientologists.
* TheVamp: Lucy the Slut.
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: The musical takes place in an unidentified "outer-outer borough" of New York City.
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