[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/showposter_348.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:I see you at UCI.]]
->''"Well, there's somethin' I been meaning to tell you,\\
'bout the college on the edge of the town:\\
No one should ever go there,\\
You know it's bad, bad, bad \\
It gets worse every school year \\
But man, the freakin' teachers are rad..."''

Creator/BradNeely's ''China, IL'' started as a 4-part series of 3-minute shorts that aired on Creator/AdultSwim in 2008, combining his long-running characters of The WebAnimation/ProfessorBrothers ([[StraightManAndWiseGuy Frank and Steve]]) and WebAnimation/BabyCakes. In 2011, Neely was given a 6-episode first season that further expands the universe (and adds some unexpected celebrity voices like [[FullHouse Dave Coulier]] and HulkHogan as [[BadAss The Dean]]). Tonally, the show is similar to other Adult Swim fare like ''WesternAnimation/SuperJail'', but with Brad Neely's [[CrossesTheLineTwice trademark]] [[FreezeFrameBonus humor]].

The series mostly follows the Professor Brothers, Frank and Steve Smith; their TA, [[OnlySaneWoman Pony Merks]]; and perennial student/confidant/drinking buddy Mark "[[TheBigGuy Baby]]" [[CloudCuckooLander Cakes]], as they try to survive day-to-day life at "the worst school in America". Stories revolve around them dealing with their students, the [[TestosteronePoisoning impossibly macho]] Dean, the [[HolierThanThou Strawman Christian]] Mayor... oh, and [[CampGay gay]] [[OurGhostsAreDifferent ghosts]], [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy time-traveling ex-presidents]], and a [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever colossal]], [[BreadEggsMilkSquick murderous baby]]. Hilarity Ensues.

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!!This show provides examples of:
* AscendedExtra: Students play a bigger role in season 2 though they're not the same students in season 1.
* AerithAndBob: The four main characters are Baby Cakes, Pony Merks, and...Frank and Steve Smith.
** The Super Deluxe shorts and the pilot episode reveal Baby Cakes' real name is Mark Cakes.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation ''(in-universe)'': "Total Validation" has Steve state the protagonist of "[[Film/ToyStory3 Toy Movie 3]]" is completely insane, with an unnatural attachment to his toys.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Pony. She has to inform everyone that she's Mexican.
* AndThisIsFor: Frank goes ballistic on the Dean during the Season 1 finale.
-->'''Frank''': This is for the black kid! ''*slap*'' This is for [[KavorkaMan Cakes']] hot students! ''*slap*'' And this- ''*cocks gun*'' -is for '''[[ButtMonkey me]]'''!
* ArtEvolution: Well, yeah. The original shorts were just a series of still images with Neely providing voice-overs. The series is fully animated.
* BerserkButton: Frank seems to have quite a few. In fact, this seems to be his default reaction to most situations.
** For Steve it's music by "The Beach Boys".
* BrotherSisterIncest: Barely avoided. [[spoiler: Baby Cakes almost nails his hippie sister, Mattie.]]
* ButtMonkey: Frank.
* CampGay: Professor Harold, voiced by a gloriously [[LargeHam hammy]] Jason Alexander.
* CallBack: "Dean vs. Mayor" and "Baby Boom" have FreezeFrameBonus jokes about the disappearance of Jackie Lather (the host of the kids' talent show from the first episode).
* CaptainErsatz: [[ToyStory3 Toy Movie 3]] anybody?
* CloudCuckooLander: Baby Cakes, though somewhat less so than in the Super Deluxe shorts.
* DarkSkinnedBlonde: The Dean's wife.
* DisproportionateRetribution\KarmaHoudini: In "Prank Week" Baby Cakes kidnaps 5 people and makes everyone think a serial killer on the loose but when the truth comes out he gets a celebration due to everyone misinterpreting it as a huge prank since it was [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Prank Week]].
* DirtyOldWoman: Sammy Davis, another member of the History department faculty.
* ExpectingSomeoneTaller: The Dean expected The Governor to be a giant dude, like himself. Turns out he's a miniature, [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Penguin like]] guy.
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero: Steve
** TheLancer: Frank
** TheBigGuy: Baby Cakes
** TheSmartGuy / TheChick: Pony
* FreezeFrameBonus: Like the shorts that appeared on Website/YouTube and Super Deluxe - this trope is practically a Brad Neely staple.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: See Freeze Frame Bonus.
* FutureImperfect: Apart from [[OnlySaneMan Pony]], the history department of UCI is comically misinformed about their historical facts.
* {{Gainaxing}}: Pony's breasts bounce with considerable detail in the opening.
* GentleGiant: Baby Cakes.
* GodwinsLawOfTimeTravel: In the first episode, UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan and Steve travel back in time and completely change the course of man, including having UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler circumcised and giving him a Jewish upbringing. When they return to the future, Hitler is leading a Jewish version of the Nazi party in overtaking the world.
* HalfHourComedy: The second season is a half-hour long instead of 11 minutes. The show's frenetic pacing is slowed down somewhat, while the characters are explored a little more.
* LargeAndInCharge: The Dean, and The Mayor.
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: It's stated by Pony that Steve needs someone to look down on as she finds out firsthand due becoming the 'new Frank' since the actual Frank was banished.
* IWasQuiteALooker: Sammy used to look ''exactly'' like Pony when she was younger. And [[GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave continued to look like her]] until she turned 80. Then she became...Sammy.
* LargeHam: The Dean and the Mayor, though [[WorldOfHam most of the cast counts in one way or another.]]
* [[BigBrotherInstinct Little Brother Instinct]]: When Steve gets shot during the Dean's List challenge, Frank goes from weak and whiny, to a {{Rambo}}esque asskicker.
* LevitatingLotusPosition: Steve and Ronald Reagan do this after being in stopped time for the equivalent of 100 years.
* MadScientist: Prof. Leonard Cakes (Baby Cakes' father), and most of the "Super Science" department at UCI.
* NotSoImaginaryFriend: Dream Reamer.
* PaperThinDisguise: Baby Cakes + [[Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves Robin Hood wig]] = Kevin Costner. Obviously.
* PhotoDoodleRecognition: Subverted, when Baby Cakes [[ItMakesSenseInContext kidnaps five professors, among them is his dad, because he thinks they're witches and wizards]] and locks them in his basement, the news reports their disappearances and people are lead to believe a serial killer is loose among the college. When the police releases a sketch of the suspect which is basically a face of a generic hairless person, [[CloudCuckooLander Baby Cakes]] fails to realize that's him and thinks a wizard is killing the people that looks like his prisoners. He is lead to believe it was Steve after setting a square bottle on the wanted poster that leaves a stain on the eye of the face which inspires Baby Cakes to draw a pair of glasses and hair on the side.
* PowerWalk: Baby Cakes, Frank, Steve, and Pony during the opening credits.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: God himself admits this when he comes back to Earth as a surfer dude. He states that when he wrote the original ten commandments, he was just winging it and "No rape" really should have been on the list.
* RobotMe: The faculty resorts to building robot versions of themselves to avoid teaching the students. Which leads inevitably to...
* ScrewYourself: Steve asks who else is f--ing their robot and every hand goes up. But it ends badly when the robots become clingy, jealous, pony-killers.
** No, not '''that''' Pony. Just a regular small horse.
* ShaggyDogStory: In one episode the Dean learns of rising college tuition costs, and decides that he won't be outdone by other colleges and raises China Il's tuition to $500,000 and lowers the professors salaries to minimum wage. Baby Cakes is the only one brave enough to call the Dean out on this and when he's ignored he takes inspiration from Kevin Coster's ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'' and begins stealing the expensive things being purchased by the Dean and gives them to the students and faculty under the guise of Kevin Costner. While this enrages the Dean to the point where he puts a $500,000 reward on Kevin Costner's head, Baby Cake's actions have virtually no effect on helping the cash-strapped students and teachers. The Dean eventually catches Baby Cakes and attempts to hang him until Pony shows up with the real Kevin Costner and collect the reward to pay for her own tuition. So in conclusion, all of Baby Cakes' actions solved absolutely nothing and the Dean's ludicrous rules are still in effect.
* ShipperOnDeck: The entire town of China is convinced that Pony and Steve either are together or should be together.
* ShoutOut: To ''Theater/{{Hamlet}}'', of all things. When executing a 90-year old mass-murdering giant, always remember: the traditional method is to pour acid into its ears.
* SomethingSomethingLeonardBernstein: Baby Cakes can only get through "Should all acquaintances be forgot" before he devolves into literally singing "BlahBlahBlah".
* SourOutsideSadInside: Frank is implied to be this out of resentment for Steve.
* StereotypeFlip: Pony is a girl of Mexican descent who knows absolutely nothing about Mexico except stereotypes she's seen.
* StoutStrength: Baby Cakes is a huge, misshapen lump of manchild and immensely strong. He frees Pony and Steve from the Mayor's punishment by pulling the stocks apart with his bare hands.
* SuddenlyVoiced: Many of the secondary characters from the YouTube shorts.
* TheQuisling: Frank, after the Mayor takes over the campus.
* ThirdPersonPerson: The Mayor.
* TookALevelInDumbass: The Dean he went from CrazyAwesome in season 1 to ManChild in season 2.
* RefugeInAudacity
* VerbalTic: Mayor likes to end his sentences with amen, amen.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: There are a few hints of this between Steve and Pony, most notably her offering to marry him right then (and his never actually turning her down) when she finds out about the premarital sex ban when the Mayor takes over the school.
** And ''something'' went on between her and his robot double. From the sound of it, it wasn't impressive.
** Eventually, the entire school starts egging the two of them on to hurry up already and admit they love each other. [[JustFriends Neither Steve nor Pony are happy with this situation]], as every man and woman they try to sleep with is telling them the two of them ought to be together instead; eventually, Steve tries to set Pony on fire just to make people stop saying they were in love.
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