Whenever my life gets me so down, I know I can go down To where the music and the fun never ends! As long as the music keeps playin', you know what I'm sayin', You know that I can find a friend... At the Roundhouse!
All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": The Trope Namer is spoofed in season 2 with a sketch called The Crying Game: The Early Years. It's about a baby boy in the infirmary talking about a baby girl that he was attracted to. Until the nurse came to change her diaper, and we find out that she's actually a boy (played by castmember Seymour Green).
American Gothic Couple: In the gang violence episode, John and Shawn stick their heads into a cutout of this painting and muse about social progress.
Mark: "Someone must have taped that bow to his head by mistake! I was making passes at a GUY!!!"
Bait and Switch: The season 3 premiere about equality parodied the Energizer commercials' use of this trope, with two separate bits of the dad watching a "Curtain Rod Stewart" concert on Empty V and a commercial for "Crack Flags" (a spray for when you have a bug up your butt). Both instances, they would be interrupted by the mom waxing Straw Feminist phrases like "Why can't the post office send fe-mail? And mailmen should be called 'person-persons'!"
Still going. Nothing outlasts the Feminizer. She keeps going, and going... and going.
The episode also features a string of Parody Commercials for non-existent Christmas Specials, including "How David Lynch Stole Christmas" ("You're a weird one, Mister Lynch.") and "Shirley McClane's 'It's A Wonderful Afterlife'".
The sports episode of season one also uses this gag, the "Sheebok Pump" training bra, to attract guys. After one of the balloons on the bra accidentally gets popped, Julene "grows" a new one, to which an astonished Ivan goes, "Wow, I wonder if they make one for guys, too!"
There was one memorable quote in the beauty pageant episode:
John: "Don't get mad, get Pest-Off!"
This quote from the song "Airbrain" from the beauty pageant episode:
The guys: "Brains are great until we find organs of another kind."
The talent show episode from season 3 contains this quote:
"If you can't get the girl, you can always play your own instrument."
Among other things, the show managed to avert the No Periods, Period trope in the feminism episode, combined with All Periods Are PMS. This was confined to a single sketch, a Parody Commercial for "Cramprin", a medication that gives guys the cramps. John and Ivan are just gullible enough to mistake it for candy, and leave the sketch all emotional.
Micki: Because if you're gonna have cramps...
Shawn: Why not make them suffer too?
Natalie: Cramprin is available at the AF-PMS Mini-Mart, open 24 hours a day, closed 7 days a month.
Here We Go Again: One episode revolved around the dad acting like Elvis Presley after getting hit by a flying videotape. By the end of the episode the mom was able to revert him back by hitting him on the head. At first it looks like he's back to normal, until, to the family's bewilderment, he starts acting like Marilyn Monroe!
"I Am" Song: "We're A Family", "TV Head", "Be Popular", "Bark Baby Bark", "Defender Of The Universe", "I'm A Bully" and "Stage Mother".
No Fourth Wall: At least once per episode during the entire show's run, but the final episode completely destroys whatever this show had left of its fourth wall.
Ivan: "Cancelled shows, graduation, terminated? Either this is a really convoluted show about endings or we're-"
David N.: "Cancelled! Hello, you didn't get the memo?"
Ocular Gushers: Natalie Nucci's "Sally Blubbers" character, at least in her first appearance (during the pilot).
Paper-Thin Disguise: Subverted, at one point in the episode where Ivan plans to fake his parents' divorce, the dad comes up to their front door holding a moustache up to his face and speaking in a fake Italian accent. Ivan recognizes him right away, because, in his own words, "most normal men don't come to the door in an easy chair."
The natural disaster episode had David N., Natalie, Mark and Lisa singing a parody of The Beverly Hillbillies theme song explaining what was happening to the family at the moment ("Well after the commercial break the folks were still alright / but the house had slid for miles in the middle of the night"). At the beginning of act 3, John gets fed up with their singing:
John: I know the Supreme Court said we had a right to parody, but enough is enough!
I can cook your food, and I can sew a stitch Don't you cross me up, cause I can be a... difficult person to get along with.
Happens again in the Christmas special - the mom is reading a Christmas card for atheists, which reads: "You're a firm non-believer, but time will soon tell / Cause you'll soon change your mind when you're dead and in H-E-double-two-hicks."
"Beans, beans, good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you... (Beat) like them!"
The Green Aesop episode had Seymour and Alfred rapping about the environment. At one point during the segment, Alfred goes:
''Recycle all your papers, all your can and all your grass And if you don't believe me, you can kiss my... Yeah, you get the picture, peace!
Take That: At pretty much everything. If it was part of pop culture at the time the episode was written, odds are, it got mocked.
That Reminds Me of a Song: In the self-image episode, Amy backs out of a scheduled appearance on Empty V due to her stress over how she looked causing her to break out in hives. John remarks to the Empty V host that she's "probably off singing about what she learned from this experience." That song, "Just A Dream", has little to do with the events of the episode.note Which is understandable, as it wasn't specifically written for the show, but by Madonna (!) and Pat Leonard for the former, who never recorded it (this was pointed out by Shawn after Amy finished singing)
The second episode of season 4 had one with Elvises. (The B Story of that episode involved the dad acting like Elvis after getting hit by a VHS.)
The trouble episode had one about Wayne's World addicts, entitled Wayne's World Anonymous Youth (W.W.A.Y.)
Lisa: My name is Sheila.
Guys: Party on, Sheila!
Lisa: And if I were president, I'd be...
Guys: Babe-raham Lincoln! Shwing!
The self-image episode did this as well, as Amy attends one of these for people with low self-esteem. Turns into a subversion, as everyone else in the group realizes that they're better off than her because she had hives all over her body.
They even did one of these about cheerleading addiction, which the instructor is also revealed to have by the end of the sketch.
There were also episodes about environmentalism, natural disasters, conflict, divorce, feminism, self-image, justice, intolerance, and war. While they weren't as blunt about it as the gang violence episode, there was no shortage on comedy and they all got the message across nicely.