In an early episode of Dinosaurs, the mating dance was basically a dance to impress a mate. Later in the series, it was used to imply the actual mating. So, in the earlier episode, when Earl was practising the mating dance right in front of the Baby—what was he trying to pull?
It's just a dance. It's like a woman asking "how does my makeup look?" or "are my seams straight?"
Oh yeah? So why is Robbie so embarrassed later on when they catch him practicing the mating dance alone in his room?
It's not sex, it's an erection. In public around a girl he likes. Baby is simply to young to understand what it is, so it's not a concern
For the same reason that many American teenagers will be embarrassed if you catch them preening before a mirror or practicing how to ask someone out on a date: being caught doing the Mating Dance made it clear he was thinking about sex at an age when even the most harmless sexual impulse is considered humiliating.
...No, sorry, the message is still too mixed for the whole "dancing for the Baby" thing to sit well with me. Robbie suddenly and *involuntarily* kicking into the dance in front of his classmates — something he sees as unbearably humiliating — and Fran's sex ed lesson consisting of showing people a chart of the mating-dance steps (something the class finds shocking and disgusting) and the "mating dance injuries" filmstrip, a clear parody of old military films about STDs... yeah. It's pretty clear at this point that the mating dance is the show's stand-in for either sex itself or for getting an erection.
This troper thought that it was supposed to be masturbation at some points (Robbie doing it in bed, for instance).
It's supposed to be a cultural thing, rather than physical. You're not supposed to recognize the dance, but rather the shame it brings. That said, it's boners. What the hell Earl?
I'm not sure, but didn't Earl specifically tell Fran that this particular dance wasn't the mating dance, but simply a dance he made up to amuse the Baby?
Yes but he was lying.
This troper's interpretation: The Mating Dance is a way for a male to show off sexual prowess. The baby dance, on the other hand, was a way to show off parenting abilities. The entire point was that Fran was no longer judging her husband by his ability to bring her to orgasm, but rather by his ability to help her raise their children (for example: soothing a baby to sleep).
I suspect it would be akin for a dad to do pelvic thrusts ala Ace Ventura in front of a baby. The gesture is usually sexual but here it's for comedy.
It's the mating dance, but it's still a dance, it isn't actually mating.
That episode about throwing senior citizens in the tar pits or something. This is supposedly an ancient thing that everyone does. But Earl's wife and kids don't want him to do it, so he just doesn't. Wasn't even that hard to convince him. No one even seems to care. Is he really the only dinosaur in Pangaea who's afraid of upsetting his wife and kids by killing a beloved grandparent?
It was probably a metaphor for putting an aged parent in a nursing home.
It doesn't seem to be about upsetting the wife and children — the Baby's too young to understand, Charlene couldn't care less and Fran at first has no problem with it. It's Robbie, who throughout the show is always the dinosaur who challenges the old traditions and thinks outside the box (something most dinosaurs aren't very good at) who opposes the concept of "Hurling Day," eventually getting his mother in on the same line of thought.
There's also the fact that the episode presents "Hurling Day" as something that the senior dinosaurs are actually looking forward to since it means they'll be reunited with all the loved ones who went before them — and for most of the episode, Ethyl wants to be thrown into the tar pit, tries to talk Robbie out of rescuing her... and only changes her mind at the last moment when she realizes that staying alive means she'll get to make Earl's life miserable a while longer. So it's not that Earl is the only dinosaur in Pangaea who's afraid of upsetting his wife and kids by killing a beloved grandparent — it's that Ethyl is the only dinosaur in Pangea who hates her son-in-law so much that she's willing to put off her own eternal happiness just so she can watch him suffer for a bit longer.
In one of the episodes, Earl nearly destroys the world and Baby asks him if they're all dead yet. However, in the series finale, everyone's very concerned and worried about having to explain to Baby that they (including Baby) are all about to die a very, very cold and unpleasant death, even invoking the Never Say "Die" trope by skirting around that word. Was the earlier episode just for laughs or what?
I assume that in the last episode (haven't seen the first one you mentioned), Earl nearly but not completely destroyed the world, whereas in the series finale, he very much caused the future extinction of the planet by his reckless actions and decisions. Throughout the episode, his family (his kids and wife) were pretty much telling him how he shouldn't do this or that, but with a evil boss barking at him and his own stubborn nature, Earl goes ahead and orders them to spray all the plants with an untested chemical which kills all plant life, and then drops bombs in volcanoes, causing huge clouds to form, blocking out the sun and causing a ice age. I think they were having difficulty telling Baby that yes they will all die, and no we aren't going to move or come back...
In the first episode mentioned, it was Robbie that was accused of causing the end of the world (because he didn't perform the howling ritual, and that apparently caused the moon to disappear). And yes, it was completely played for laughs. The finale is the complete opposite of what happened in that episode (although both briefly have a Corrupt Corporate Executive trying to profit off the apocalyptic craze).
The "Terrible Two's" episode why couldn't they just spank the little terror?
They were probably too scared of what he'd do in retaliation. He was portrayed as being possessed by an evil spirit.
At the end of Hurling Day, after Ethyl decides she doesn't want to be hurled anymore, Fran asks Earl how much longer Ethyl could live, to which Earl replies, "nobody has ever died of being old". But then in The Last Temptation of Ethyl, Ethyl clearly knows that she could die from old age.