, or Crayon Shin-chan
, is a long running
Japanese anime and manga series created by the late
Yoshito Usui. It follows the misadventures of Shinnosuke "Shin" Nohara and his family and friends.
Among several dubs into English (most of which were either attempts at making it a children's show or attempts at making it a mildly risque animated sitcom in the same vein as The Simpsons
) is a considerably more profane Gag Dub
produced by Funimation
that aired on [adult swim]
; as it deliberately deviates from the original both in tone and plot, examples specific to it are listed in a separate section. Now on Hulu
(though rated TV-MA, so you'll need an account to watch it).
This series features examples of:
- Accidental Kiss: It happened with Shin-chan and Georgie/Kazama of all people!
- Shin-chan often kissed someone when he's sleeping, with reaction ranging from total disgust, to remark that he's a good kisser for a kid.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Misae/Mitsy has two sisters named Masae and Musae.
- Affectionate Parody: The story tales arcs of the manga and the movies.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Vitello dub uses this, making it seem more kid friendly than it really is, but not shying away from showing Shin-Chan's naked buttocks.
- Art Evolution: The series has undergone a noticeable change in character designs since the comic started in 1992. The art shift is extremely noticeable in the dub, where they don't run episodes in any particular production order. Rather, for the sake of the Gag Dub, they just looked through numerous episodes and chose ones they wanted to work with. Even for episodes that are aired in the order relating to the storylines (such as the Apartment or Kendo story arcs), a more primitive design comes back once in a while.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The Italian dub often changes the names of some characters with Japanese-sounding names which are actually Italian descriptions of their job, attitude or appearance. For example, once a fat guy was called "Namasa Dekili" ("Una massa di chili", "A big mass of kilos")
- Author Avatar: Yoshito Usui has not one, not two, but three of them! First is mangaka Usuto Yoshii, who always has the misfortune of being bugged by Shin-chan, often resulting in delays is his manga publications. Second is a one shot character called Toyo Ishiuto who was once bugged by Shin-chan, but it inspired her to write the Show Within a Show Enpitsu Shin-chan ("Pencil Shin-chan"). Third doubles also as a Creator Cameo in the fifth movie where Usui himself appears as a young man who likes to sing karaoke, and near the end of the movie ends up being punched in the face by an angry Hiro. Ouch.
- Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: Subverted in the manga which has a series of AU short stories where the titular character grows up and becomes a cab driver. One of his lady passengers disappears mid-ride, leaving only a puddle of cold water on the seat. Much to said the ghost/passenger's exasperation, instead of realizing that she is a ghost, he just becomes angry that the passenger ran off without paying and peed on the seat.
- Big Damn Movie: While your usual Crayon Shin-chan episode is about Shin's Wacky Hijinks, either in his hometown of Kasukabe, or parodying a fairytale or sci-fi, the movies take a step further with Shin saving the world from outlandish villains, with the help of his family or his friends, while still managing to keep the wacky spirit of the TV series.
- Do Big Damn Games count too?
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: All the male Noharas.
- Book Dumb: Yonro, who just can't seem to get into college.
- Bowdlerise: A lot of international versions did tone this down to make it more child- and family-friendly.
- A Boy and His X: Shin-chan and Whitey/Shiro.
- Brother-Sister Incest: In an episode, Hima becomes infatuated by a handsome package delivery man. When Shin arrives, Hima snaps, thinking he's the delivery man, and goes after her brother to forcefully steal a kiss from him! Shin's (and Hima's, after realizing who she was kissing) reaction? PRICELESS!
- Another episode has them taking a bath together, and he mentions that "he'll get naked with her", disturbing Mitzi. Later, he starts showing unusual concern for the size of her breasts when she's older, disturbing Mitzi even further.
- Casanova Wannabe: All the male Noharas.
- Catch Phrase:
Shin: ZO-SAN! ZO-SAN! (When doing the elephant dance)
Shin: BURI BURI! BURI BURI! (ASS DANCE! ASS DANCE!)
Nene Sakurada: You're not my usual mom!
- Chew Toy: Happiness Bunny, Georgie
- Child Prodigy: Whenever an episode revolves around him, Boo is often implied to be this.
- In everybody eyes (particularly with the mothers) , Hazama is seen as this.
- To say nothing of Shin Chan himself. In almost every sport based chapters, he usually performs something that a child of his age is not capable of, causing several amount of people to surround him, praising his performance, or asking him to teach them.
- In many What If? Time Skip chapters, both Himawari and Shin Chan are always depicted as The Ace.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Boo takes the cake, though Shin intentionally becomes one to annoy his friends.
- Comic-Book Time: They never age. Shin-chan has gone from being an eighties kid, then a nineties kid, and currently 2000s kid. According to a 2010 episode, which it itself is out of canon by now, he was born 12 years after the manga started.
- Comic Trio: Shin thinks Ryuko, Ogin and Mary (the Crimson Scorpions of Saitama) are this. Hilarity Ensues!
- Cross Over: A ten-minute short has Shin meet the cast of Kamen Rider Den-O (early in its run; Urataros hadn't even appeared yet!) and becoming Kamen Rider Shin-O in order to help save his mother from an Imagin.
- Darker and Edgier: The movies in general, as they typically throw the Nohara family into a trying situation, and then mix in a liberal amount of Adult Fear and Fridge Horror. The 18th movie, for example, shows that not terribly long after the present day, a meteor strike wipes out Tokyo as well as a large part of Japan and severely affects the climate, forcing surviving future inhabitants to constantly wear cold-weather clothing when outdoors.
- The Ditz: Boo
- Averted in the original, where he's the smartest one in the Kasukabe Defense Force.
- Dub Name Change: Nearly the whole cast had their names changed, between both the Vitello/Phuuz dubs and the one by FUNimation. Oddly, both the dubs gave Misae similar name changes, to "Mitsy"/"Mitzi".
- Some of the Vitello dub names tried to reference the original names or sound similar to them: Kazuma became "Cosmo", Nene became "Nini", etc.
- The One Peace Books translation of the manga mostly keeps the names unchanged, except for Misae->Mitzi.
- Everybody Knew Already: In some episodes, Hazama's liking of Cute P (a Magical Girl show) is already well known by the kids, even when he sometimes tries to hide it.
- Everyone Has Standards: The "Extremely Realistic Tea Party" which Nene forces the gang to play. It is one of the things that manages to scare Shin Chan into obeying.
- Expy: Action Kamen/Action Bastard, who parodies Tokusatsu heroes generally, but is a mix of Kamen Rider and Ultraman.
- Face of a Thug: Principal Ench, whose face convinces everyone (adults and children alike) that he is a Yakuza. He uses this on occasion.
- Fake Crossover: With Kamen Rider Fourze.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: If it has Shin-chan in it, then it's inevitable.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: With Shin and Mitzi in "Trading Faces".
- Friendly Rivalry: Miss Anderson and Miss Ume, it mellows out in the later seasons
- From the Mouths of Babes: And Shin knows he is saying the darnedest things.
- Future Badass: Every main character in the 18th movie Super-Dimension! The Storm Called My Bride... eventually, but only Future!Shin-chan and Future!Bou-chan start out this way. Future!Himawari, of all people, despite being referred to as a civil servant, grew up to become a cop.
- Get It Over With: Happiness Bunny wishes for death, but alas, it was not meant to be.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The writers for the English dub identify this as existing in the original Japanese version in the commentary for an episode involving Action Bastard and a vibrating "back massager." Specifically, the part where Lollipop shows up with it and seems to have trouble walking. And then uses it on Action Kamen's groin.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: Glasses here has the ability to change personalities, it shows in Miss Katz and once on Masao (when he took Principal Ench's glasses by accident}
- Good Father: Hiro.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Shin Nohara. And when he shows it, awwwwwww!
- High School A.U.
- Henpecked Husband: Hiro is Mitzi's bitch, natch.
- Hilarity Ensues
- Hit Flash: Everytime Shin (and sometimes Hiro) gets smacked by Mitzi, the hit is censored and replaced with a giant "POW!" flash and accompanying sound effect.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Most every Japanese episode title ends with "...zo".
- Informed Attractiveness: "Hottie" Nonako, who doesn't look that much different from the other women in the series (although she's the only "good-looking" girl who amused by Shin's antics instead of disgusted by it.
- INVERTED by Shincha's mom. She's supposed to look unattractive, having wrinkles and fat tummy, and yet she drawn as normal looking woman.
- Kaiju: The main plot element of The Movie Legend of Buri Buri, 3 Minutes Charge is the family becoming super heroes and capturing Kaiju ranging from A blue minotaur in wrestling Tights to a giant parrotfish.
- Killed Off for Real: In the manga, Miss Ume's boyfriend, Tokurou.
- Lipstick Mark: It turns out it was the baby.
- Long Runner: It's still running, both the manga (albeit under a separate title since shortly after the original author died), and anime.
- Looming Silhouette of Rage: Usually Mitzi.
- Love Triangle: Maso has a crush on Ai, who has a crush on Shin.
- May-December Romance: Bitzi develops a crush on grandpa Gin.
- The Men in Black: Kuroiso (Mr. K), Ai-chan's bodyguard. Guess what the 'Kuro' part means. Also, Mr. K, Get it?
- Mistaken for Gay: Happens to Kazuma quite often.
- Mouthy Kid: Shin, so much. He upholds Children Are Innocent, though.
- Naked People Are Funny: The "Elephant Dance"!
- Nervous Wreck: Georgie
- One of the Boys: Played with in that Nene always hangs around with the boys, but also always makes them play house with her.
- One Steve Limit: There are several homonym characters throughout the show:
- Fumie is either: The female model that Shin-chan likes to watch in her magazines, or the name of Keiko's (Misae's friend) niece who babysat Shin a couple of times. The coincidence has been brought up the first time she appeared.
- Hitoshi is either: One of the bullies from kindergarten; or the name of Keiko's baby child.
- Ogin is either: The teenage member of Saitama's Crimson Scorpions; or the barefoot kunoichi agent from special episode 6.
- Atsuko is either: the weather newslady who Shin-chan likes to watch on TV; or Atsuko Kutsuzoko (Summer in the Funimation dub) from Falling Apartments.
- Shinobu is either: The college student who has the misfortune of being fired from every part time job because of Shin-chan; or Shinobu Kandadori, Nanako's college friend.
- Panda-ing to the Audience: Episode 67.
- Parental Bonus: The Vitello dub aired on Fox Kids in the UK was full of these.
- Parent Service: Mitzi "secretly" lusts after various Bishōnen characters in Action Bastard.
- One episode even revolved around Mitzi's secret admiration for a new show called Super Biker Ryuu and its title character. At the end, a newspaper had the following news: "Super Biker Ryuu, a favorite among housewives!" (On the [adult swim] version, the headline was, "Desperate Women, Pitiful Lives.")
- Bit of truth in television. Live-action superhero shows like Kamen Rider and Ultraman now hire extremely good-looking male actors to play the male characters to appeal to the mother fan-base. The kids watch for the action and the mothers watch for the male actors.
- Picky Eater: Shin hates green bell peppers. Hazama hates broccoli, and Penny hates small corn.
- Playing with Fire: The Flamer, who has what are at one point described as "mutant fire powers."
- Plot Tailored to the Party: The 17th movie, "Howl! Kasukabe Wild Kingdom", has Shin-chan's friends turned into animal versions of themselves, and they discover that their new forms give them an edge in battle (Rabbits can hear well and kick like mofos', Armadillos can bounce around very effectively, and bats can apparently scream good)... But Kazama-kun is turned into a Penguin, and is therefore useless for the entire battle. Until a crapton of water nearly drowns his friends, at which point he shows that penguins are quite fast underwater, leaving a vortex the size of a 747 in his wake.
- Precocious Crush:
- Shin-chan for Nanako Ōhara. While Shin usually goes after girls who are older than he, Nanako is special to him.
- In episode 225c, a high school student sent a love letter to Ms. Matsuzaka/Ms. Katz, and later after finding out that he needs to get better grades at school, and that he already has a female friend, the teacher asks the kindergarten principal and Sihn-chan to pose as her husband and child respectively in front of him to set him back on track.
- Rich Bitch: Ai
- Retail Riot: Mitzy often finds herself beating the crap out of other women just to get her hands on anything on sale. One time, it was over bulk-packaged eggs. Most of them ended up smashed on the ground during the chaos.
- Running Gag: Several, including:
- Mitzi giving a strike in Shin-chan's head whenever he misbehaves. Sometimes other characters do this him, as well.
- Shin-chan making fun of his mom's breast size or her big butt.
- Shin-chan driving Penny's mom crazy, with Penny crying "You're not my usual mom!" Other times she goes to the bathroom to punch a stuffed bunny, a behavior that even carried over to Penny.
- Shin-chan's Ass Dance and Elephant Dance.
- Ms. Yoshinaga (Ms. Anderson)'s rivalry with Ms. Matsuzaka (Ms. Katz).
- Principal Ench being mistaken for a boss of the Yakuza.
- Significant Anagram: In the second movie, Shin-chan meets a prince who is identical to him. His name: Sunnokeshi (anagram of Shinnosuke).
- Slice of Life: When it's not about Shinnosuke's antics, then it's this.
- Shotacon: Parodied in an extended spoof of sports based "High School" shows. Shin only wishes the women he met had this fetish.
- Shout-Out: Lots, considering the long run of the series. For example, Penny has a crush on a student called Kazuo. She daydreams about him and accidentally calls Kazuo to Maso/Masao. Kazuo and Masao...
- Souvenir Land: In Episode 138-C, where Shin-chan and family go to Action Land. They take a picture with Mimitchi Mouse, and they wait in a long line for the roller coaster while Shin and Misae are distracted by an Action Kamen parade.
- Spaghetti Kiss: One episode has a drunk Miss Katz seeing Shin has a handsome grown man through her beer goggles and trying to do this with him, only with pocky.
- Three Shorts
- Three-Teacher School: Temporarily bumped to four during The Flamer's arc. When it was revealed he would be fired, the kids lampshaded the fact that Miss Katz rarely appears to teach them and suggested firing her in Flamer's place.
- Toilet Humor: Sometimes Shin's dialog is just "Farty poop fart fart" or something like that.
- Okay everybody, who wants to poo? We do!
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Nene, from a normal girl to a Hair-Trigger Temper bully that forces the gang to play "extremely realistic tea party" with her in a normal day.
- True Companions: The Kasukabe Defense Organization, consisting of Shin and friends.
- Unmoving Plaid: Principal Ench's pants. The English dub added some in-jokes.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Shin-chan and Georgie. Shin loves to tease him, and Georgie wants to get away from Shin when he does, but deep down, they're the closest friends and do care for each other. Penny and Ai just as well.
- Wham Episode: Volume 47. Miss Ume falling into depression and became suicidal after her boyfriend died from a terrorist bombing attack on an Africa excavation trip. Made more tragic as he was planning to propose to her when he returned.
- Wham Line: Fighting his final foe, and having completed two separate power-ups, Kantam Robo declares that he's "sick and tired of powering up just to continue a bloodbath"note , then basically self-destructs with his wife to destroy President Gilgiros.
- Why Did It Have To Be Happiness Bunny?: The Flamer is afraid of rabbits, but was able to overcome it with Shin's help.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: The gang from the Kasukabe Defense Organization except for Georgie.
- Adaptation Expansion: Many of the backstories for certain characters have been greatly changed and expanded to be more comedic. Most notably is principal Enzo, who in the original is by all accounts just really a nice guy with a run-of-the-mill background. Principal Ench on the other hand...
- Black Comedy: Among many examples, the frequent mention of Penny's sister Caitlin in the Gag Dub who "Lives in the lake now..."
Mitzi: (to Shin) You know, if we were in China right now, you'd be in a dumpster.
- Brawn Hilda: Nanako's German roommate Griselda. She claims her muscle mass was mostly a result of the rhinoceros hormones.
- Break the Haughty: Georgie in season three, when the economy wipes out his family's fortune. In particular, episode 66.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The dub likes to do this now and then. One episode is even titled "Stop Referencing The Show!"
- The two year Development Hell is mentioned seconds into episode 53.
- Episode 8 of Season 1 has Shin holding up a "The End" sign while thanking the audience for watching after he blew up the Nohara house.
- Black Comedy Rape:
- Miss Polly is almost always constantly horny. She goes so far as to do research on other adults ("I don't mind if it's small. It's actually better for anal"), and it's implied that she rapes Principal Ench in numerous kinky ways, gets it on with a very willing Mr. K, and tries to get both Miss Katz and Miss Anderson in on the action. Miss Katz realizes her life sucks so much that she eventually submits to the idea of just letting Polly do whatever she wants with her.
- It's also often suggested that Penny's mom is often raped by her husband.
- Casting Gag: In the dub, Jerry Jewell, best known as Jimmy Kudo from Case Closed, was cast as Happiness Bunny because both roles are entire voiceovers without any Mouth Flaps to worry about.
- Christmas Cake: Miss Katz's love life eventually gets the best of her as she realizes how alone she really is. After learning how much Penny's abusive father reflects her life, she states that Penny is the only person she knows who's life sucks worse than hers.
- She was once forced to buy a literal family-sized Christmas Cake to keep appearances.
- Crazy Awesome: In-universe, Kenta really IS crazy, but he's a good Kendo instructor because of it.
- Crazy Homeless People: Kenta, the crazy Kendo instructor, who was abandoned at an orphanage by his father when he was young. He really is a lunatic who feels his ultimate purpose in life is to find Dildor, the Chosen One destined to defeat the evil Slutteress. He's convinced that Shin is Dildor, and persuades him to learn Kendo. Shin decides to go with it just for the entertainment, but actually learns and becomes rather well trained in the process.
- His father has been living just down the street from Kenta's "Dojo of Destiny (A.K.A. Leet)" for his entire life.
- Delivery Stork: When playing house with Shin, Ai declares to Penny that she's pregnant. "Shin and I French-kissed and then the stork came down and knocked me up!"
- Domestic Abuse/Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Mr. Milfer is constantly stated to be a drunk who beats Penny and Mrs. Milfer all the time. Once he stops drinkings, he becomes a much nicer person, but they're so used to it that actually miss it, because Penny thinks that's how he's supposed to act while Mrs. Milfer misses the incredibly violent sex they always had.
- Dub Name Change: Applied a bit differently than most other foreigns dubs of the show, as instead of the whole cast getting western names there are general three different categories (with a few examples):
- Characters with no name change: Ai, Yonro, Nanako
- Characters who have the shortened version of their original name treated as their full name: Shinnosuke->Shin, Hiroshi->Hiro, Himawari->Hima
- Characters with entirely different names: Toru Kazuma->Georgie Prescott, Nene Sakurada->Penny Milfer, Enzo->Bernoulli Ench. These examples are often done because the character's backgrounds, nationality included, are entirely different which crosses this trope over with Race Lift. Pretty much the entire cast was Japanese in the original version, but Ench is half-Peruvian, half-Roma while Georgie is stated to be an American living in Japan because his dad is a diplomat.
- End of Series Awareness: The final episode of season 3 starts right away in "The Bitzi Saga Conclusion: Alternate Ending", when Mitzi starts talking back to the Lemony Narrator. All of this happens while the episode keeps rolling.
: Boy, this show's been swearing more this season. That's either a sign that the Supes support it.. o-or don't care about it! Hey Zach! We're not getting canceled, are we!? ADR Director Zach Bolton
: Nah, they got like 600 of these in Japan. We'll be doing this for years!
- The rest of the episode just shatters what remains of the 4th wall with nothing but talk of whether Shin-Chan as a series will be cancelled or renewed for a 4th season. Numerous call-backs to previous characters, plot lines, and numerous Take Thats, Shout Outs, and parodies all over the place.
- Fiction 500: Ai's family is often mentioned to do many decadent and insanely illegal things with their money, including making children fight to the death for entertainment and feeding their dog steaks made from orphans.
- Foregone Conclusion: In a flashback episode when Shin was a baby, Hiro was in a happy marriage with Mitzi and expected to reach the top of the corporate ladder by the time Shin was in kindergarten. It's a little sad to see how his life spiraled downward.
- The Four Chords of Pop: Present in the ED.
- Furry Fandom: At least in the gag dub, Mr. K. is a (closet?) furry.
- Gag Dub: Probably one of the more extreme examples out there: dialogue, characters, and even the plots of most episodes are entirely rewritten in ways that subvert the originals and adds a tremendous amount of profane humor. The order and continuity of episodes isn't even the same, as the writers pick and choose a small numbers of episodes of the show from whenever in it's long-running history they want.
- The Glasses Come Off: When Miss Polly's are knocked off in episode 57, her personality does a 180!
- Gold Digger: After her boyfriend dies, Nanako tries to gold-dig off a rich man which she is not aware is a vampire that wants to reincarnate his dead lover into her body.
- Gosh Darnit To Heck: Kenta, the crazy Kendo instructor from The Dildor Saga storyline doesn't like saying the more notorious swear words.
"Instead of the F word, you should say Flarp."
- Guilty Pleasure: In-Universe, Georgie's favorite show is the "Princess Heiressz" show, intended for little girls. He always tries to hide the fact that he likes it though.
- Similarly, he's a secret fan of Action Bastard, despite his overt contempt for it.
- House Wife: According to a bonus web interview, the fact that the Noharas don't quite make enough money for Mitzi to live comfortably as a housewife is the main origin of Mitzi's unusual behavior.
- Intrepid Reporter: Mitzi's sister Bitzi claims to be a photographer who ended up getting mixed up with the affairs of third-world hell holes like Africa and Burma. Because of it, she got addicted to drugs and is now trying to kick her habit. She was especially fond of Brown-Brown, which is mixing Cocaine with gunpowder...
- Killed Off for Real: Hottie Nanako mentions that her boyfriend was fatally mauled.
- Left the Background Music On: With this show, it gets lampshaded now and again.
Hiro: Well, this inspirational music tells me we made it through the storm.
- Love Hurts: In one episode, Penny sinks into a deep depression because her dad was taking anger management courses and no longer inflicted injuries on his family. Penny thinks it meant he stopped loving her, because she's never known otherwise.
- Manipulative Bastard: Shin has a way with toying with people's emotions. Quite often, the only reason people stick around him is because they'd feel horrible if they didn't. His meddling is intentional, and sometimes he just says the right audaciously stupid thing to make others worry about him because they know he can't be trusted. It's almost a form of coercion, and he's aware of what he's doing. For example, in one episode, Miss Katz has to walk Shin home because his parents weren't home and couldn't pick him up from school. Miss Katz wanted to leave because she had other things to tend to, but Shin manipulated her to stay.
Shin: Are you just going to leave me all alone?
Miss Katz: Sorry, but I have to get going to my date.
Shin: But what will the Press think when they see you walking away right before the fire?
Miss Katz: GOD-DAMN YOU, SHIN!
- Mistaken for Gay: Maso... sort of. Much like Tobias Funke, Maso's dialogue is basically an endless stream of unintentional, homoerotic innuendo, but he shows interest in at least one girl and thus may be bisexual or just Camp Straight.
- Initially implied to be the case with Ken Nakatomi and Bernie Ota, a pair of detectives, who rent an apartment near the Noharas' as part of an investigation and claim to be a gay couple to cover up in the episode "Stakeout of the Closet". Subverted, because about halfway through their first appearance it becomes increasingly obvious that they both are gay and in denial. In a later episode, their Inner Monologue reveals that they both secretly love each other. They reappear in the third season, both aware of and completely open their feeling for each other.
- Mushroom Samba: When Shin ends up eating a 'shroom, his parents have no idea that that's even tripping out because everything he says is perfectly within his realm of imagination anyway.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Shin-chan does this to Georgie, much to his annoyance. Even one time, Shin-chan entered Georgie's bathroom, while he was still using it!
"Don't forget to wipe your ass!"
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis: Georgie's response in "Yaz-Manian Devil" is to invoke this trope.
Shin: You know, it's not polite to spell when some of us can't count.
Geogrie: I was abbreviating!
Shin: And how do you know Yaz's name anyway?
Georgie: Uhh... cultural osmosis?
- Rated M for Manly: The Manly Dance of Trust (which honestly isn't all that manly).
Shin and Hiro: To be a man you must have honor! Honor and a peeeeeniiiiiiis!
- Running Gagged: Penny's dad was VERY abusive. However, one late season 2 episode has her dad going to therapy and becoming a good father. It takes her an episode to realize not all Love Hurts. Even after a 2+ years break, the writers seemed to have kept this.
- The Smurfette Principle: Penny lampshades her status as the Smurfette of the show in the final episode of season 3 by directly referencing this trope; she stops worrying about the character potentially being introduced to get the show renewed overshadowing when it turns out said character is male, thus her role as "the Smurfette" is secure.
- Strawman Political: Georgie is a straw conservative played to a ridiculous extreme, being unable to go more than a few sentences without thanking Reagan or calling someone a communist/socialist. He's even part of a "Very Young Republicans" club.
- Subverted Kids Show
- Small Reference Pools: In an interview on the [adult swim] website the writers talked about how they went out of their way to avert this trope.
- Tastes Like Purple: When Principal Ench gets hit in the head by a dodgeball, he remarks that he can smell colors.
- Theme Tune Cameo: In the Gag Dub, the characters frequently hum along to the background music of the scene. In a couple episodes, they outright sing the ending theme.
- Third-Person Person: Ai starts talking this way once she reappears in the third season. Amusingly, this is slightly obscured by the fact that her name is homophonic with the pronoun "I", leading to odd sentences that sound like something along the lines of "I is taking a walk."
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Miss Polly waited in line at a donut shop to get a "Kream-splosion". If she didn't get one, she'd relapse into her sex craze and everyone would suffer. The customer in front of her bought the last one, and she feared the worst, but the store restocked them. She wanted to buy them all, but every other woman standing in line protested.
- Too Dumb to Live: Boo's mental faculties are frequently shown to be potentially, directly lethal. In "The High School Years" episodes when Boo gets knocked out during a boxing match from one punch to the head and he just stands there and doesn't move. The announcer declares "Victory by Technical Manslaughter" for his opponent. Boo continues to show up for the rest of the episode, but they insist that Boo is a ghost (he's not). In other episodes, Shin suggests that Boo tends to stare up at the rain with his mouth open, and that he thinks he earns points in dodgeball by just standing there and letting everyone peg him with the ball.
- Un-Cancelled: Two years after not being renewed for TV broadcast, a third season was made specifically for online broadcast and DVD release. Several jokes are made regarding the "two-year summer vacation".
- We Want Our Jerk Back: Played with rather viciously as Mrs. Milfer and Penny both sorely wish their husband/father was a violent alcoholic because they missed the physical abuse. Mrs. Mifler at least realizes there's something wrong with her (and she's seek therapy if she could afford it) but Penny continues trying to find someone who will beat her up.