Platypus Comix: Articles
The articles at Platypus Comix boast so many tropes that they now have their own page.
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- Caption Humor: Articles that rely on this include those included in "The Ancient Lost Art of 'TV Guide' Advertising", "Things You Can't Ever Have" (found in the Interactive Entertainment Celebration Section), and "What's Powell's Throws Out" (found in the Oregon Survival Guide).
- Deadpan Snarker: Peter Paltridge.
- End of Episode Silliness: Most of the articles hosted at Platypus Comix itself end with two links: one that leads back to the home page, and one that varies on each article, leading to a page that has either an adequate or nonexistent relation to the article's subject. Articles written on Peter's Toon Zone blog bear neither links.
- MST: Every now and then, Peter will do a humorous summary of a So Bad, It's Good or completely awful movie. Also played to the letter in his review of St. Helens.
- Narm: Invoked in articles featuring commercials from the 1970s and '80s.
- Shout-Out/Reference Overdosed: See ShoutOut.Platypus Comix.
History Channel Department
Peter Paltridge records the history of stuff.
- Chickification: Discussed in "Superman's Hall of Super-Shame!" The "Stepford Lois" section laments how The Fifties eliminated Lois Lane's strong-willed personality to make her a Damsel in Distress who dreamed only of marrying Superman.
- Dork Age: Peter claims in "The Boxcar Children (with colorful commentary)" that The Boxcar Children became less exciting after Gertrude Chandler Warner made the children grow up, and that he appreciated her successors de-aging them.
- Grandfather Paradox: In "Why I Don't Want to Travel Back in Time", Peter theorizes that if Marty McFly from Back to the Future had indeed failed to make his parents fall in love, he would cease to exist, and therefore never prevent his parents' meeting in the first place, which means they would get married and give birth to Marty, who would eventually go back in time and make himself cease to exist...
- Hilarious in Hindsight: When reviewing a TV special about Bugs Bunny's 50th birthday in "Dr. Ruth and Chuck Norris: Together At Last", Peter notices Raven-Symoné wishing a happy birthday to Mickey Mouse and Donald Ducknote , even though this special aired several years before Raven started appearing in Disney Channel movies and shows.
- I Warned You: In "Superman's Hall of Super-Shame!," Peter comments, "The Superman concept is bizarre in nature, and it's certainly resulted in a lot of bizarre literature. (Scroll down the page to see Superman as a tree.)" After the reader sees that cover◊, he quips, "Told ya."
- Kids Are Cruel: "Kellogg Middle School: The Happiest Place on Earth" epitomizes this trope completely. As such, it's one of the darker articles on the site.
- Phlebotinum Induced Stupidity: "Magazine Alley" warns that Highlights For Children can cause this if you read it too often.
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Discussed in "Superman's Hall of Super-Shame!", using Superman and Doom as examples. They both launched new genres in their respective mediums (Superman the superhero comic, Doom the first person shooter video game), and both became perceived as quaint by fans of later entries in those genres.
- So Bad, It's Good: What Peter says about George Schlatters Comedy Club and DC Follies in "On Beyond Yeller!"
- Start My Own: Peter recalls in "The Boxcar Children (with colorful commentary)" that while he enjoyed reading about the Boxcar Children embark on adventures without adult supervision, he found the writing style so condescending, he wrote his own series of Boxcar Children comics.
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: In "The Boxcar Children (with colorful commentary)", Peter designates The Deserted Library Mystery as his favorite Boxcar Children book, since it had more life-threatening stakes than any before or after it.Unlike any other book in the series, this had real danger and suspense; [the villain] could have killed them at any time and came close once. So, naturally, this never happened again. The editor must have been furious: "You can't put actual peril in a novel for children; they might get entertained and therefore corrupted!" All future books would deal with the likes of stolen paintings and soft sabotage.
Interactive Entertainment Celebration Section
Peter Paltridge muses about video games and video game memorabilia.
- Follow the Leader: "Exclusive Next-Gen Preview Special" foresees a video game market overrun with First Person Shooters and Third Person Shooters. Of the ten games announced, only two buck the trend.note What do you mean "whatever happened to platformers"? What are you, a female gamer? No one wants you around anymore! Get back in the kitchen! Video games are strictly a MAN'S medium! RARRR! Bite head off bat!
- Game Mod: "So You Want a New Mario Game, Do You?" is about Super Mario World ROM hacks.
- Left Hanging:
- At the end of "So You Want a New Mario Game, Do You?", Peter says that "there are even more hacks for NES titles" and to "Stay tuned for more showcases soon". This was in 2005 — he never made a follow up article.
- "The Twilight Princess Diaries" documents Peter's progress in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but only up until the first time Link turns into a wolf.
- Shaggy Dog Story: One of the entries in "Big Fat History Of The Arcade: Volume One" details Peter's struggles to find a home copy of Roadblasters after a local pizzeria replaced their arcade cabinet with a different game. Finally, his stepfather ordered him the game from Yahoo against all odds, but the pizzeria brought back their Roadblasters game the following week.
- So Bad, It's Good: How Peter describes Chaos CompleXX in "So You Want a New Mario Game, Do You?"
Things You Can't Ever Have
- Misaimed Marketing: In the "Summer 2013 edition", he questions the use of Cloud from Final Fantasy VII in a Pepsi ad:If there's any match made in heaven, it's Pepsi and a video game based on themes of corporate greed and destruction, right?
- Running Gag: The Summer 2011 edition had a picture of a Wii autographed by eight actors from Glee. Peter lamented, "...but no Jane Lynch." He later repeated this phrase for other autographed objects featured.
- Tough Act to Follow: Peter worries at the end of the Summer 2014 edition that none of the future installments will share anything as impressive as the one chosen to close that page-Michael Thommason selling over 11,000 video games for $750,250.00.That's it; TYCEH has jumped the shark. Anything we show from this point will pale in comparison to this. It's impossible to go any higher
Peter Paltridge writes all about famous people
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Lampshaded in "Walt Disney: One Man's Nightmare." The TV special Peter reviewed in that article came out in 1981, and had Michael Landon as a host. In one of the segments promoting EPCOT Center, concept art for an airplane capable of space travel appears, and Landon says, "Hope I'm still around," unaware he would die only 10 years later.
- Needs More Love: Peter interviewed Chad "CR" Rocco because he thinks Familiar Faces doesn't get as many fans as it deserves, and decided to give CR a chance to publicize himself.It's a very fascinating series, and both it and Chad deserve more exposure than they currently get. Or at least more exposure than THE ANNOYING ORANGE gets."
- Not So Different: While "Walt Disney: One Man's Nightmare" makes it clear that Peter didn't find a lot to enjoy about the biased Walt Disney Biopic One Man's Dream, he did admit appreciating the shot of Walt's original business card as a reminder of how his career started out as humble as that of any aspiring cartoonist.This guy started out just like me. Maybe 15 years after I'm gone I'll have a multinational corporation kissing my dead feet and claiming I had magic powers and spending 800 mil on bringing buildings I quickly sketched out into reality. If you laugh, you're no better than Carl Reiner.
- We Interrupt This Program: His copy of the One Man's Dream TV special was interrupted at one point by breaking news from CBS. It reports on Poland being under martial law, but Peter found the special so insufferable by this point, he initially welcomes it as something interesting.Wait a minute, am I supposed to be enjoying this tragedy? This dull special has warped my mind.
Peter Paltridge reviews movies and TV shows, and occasionally delves into obscure facets of screen history.
- Badass Decay: "Fall of a Movie Monster" discusses how scary cinematic villains gradually become less scary due to media overexposure, using the Xenomorph from Alien as an example.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Referenced in the review of The Hudsucker Proxy.
- Celebrity Resemblance: "Proto-Stars" describes the then-current Wendy's spokesgirl as, "a beautiful actress with vaguely Wendy-ish Lupa hair".
- Designated Love Interest: "Love is Hard" discusses some examples, such as Mary Jane from the Spider-Man Trilogy, and Lana Lang from Smallville.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Name-dropped in "Love is Hard", when Peter admits that some fictional characters take so long to develop, their personalities in their first appearances can greatly differ from those they end up settling on later.
- Irony: Two of the channels listed in "Cable Networks That Never Made It" still exist, but have undergone Network Decay since they began. MTV's inclusion was Played for Laughs ever since Peter first wrote the article, but he has admitted that he didn't learn about CBN's transformation into ABC Family until after the article's publication.
- Needs More Love: The review of The Hudsucker Proxy begins with Peter lamenting on how few of his readers even heard of that movie.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: Peter has acknowledged "Failed TV Pilots," a recap of an ABC special about failed TV pilots, as a negated moment:Unfortunately, after [a LOST promo] the tape ran out and I didn't get the last quarter of the program. And it's a real shame...If I had been able to give you the full scoop on that one pilot about the midget private eye in Las Vegas, that would have pushed this page into "Greatest Page On The Entire Site" territory.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- Proto-Stars" contains some commercials featuring actors who would each later get a memorable role in a famous movie or TV show. "
- "Submitted For Your Consideration..." makes the following note about a Malcolm in the Middle videotape with a case promoting Bryan Cranston's pre-Breaking Bad performance as Malcolm's father:An oldie from the days of VHS, this one's a classic. A videotape promoting Malcolm in the Middle and spotlighting Bryan Cranston in what is sure to be the defining role of his career — wimpy, whimpering Hal.
- Sequel Hook: Probably unintentional at the time, but "Jack Valenti's Movie Ratings System" ends with Peter concluding, "Movie makers think the system is too strict and parental activist groups think it is too lenient, and no matter what happens, they always will. I have to wonder...does the Canadian Ratings Board have to put up with this?" Years later, he would learn that Canada actually has more than one movie ratings board, including one (the British Columbia Film Classification Office) that attached a silhouette of a cougar to movies that the MPAA would rate "R". Cue a tribute to The Restricted Cougar.
- Spiritual Antithesis: Peter considers Loser to be this towards American Pie.
- Strangled by the Red String: "Love is Hard" showcases some fictional romances that audiences found unbelievable, because the writers decided to pair the couples before determining if they had proper chemistry.
- Time Marches On:
- Peter originally wrote his article on Betty Toons as being the most obscure cartoon he could possibly review, unaware that it is actually a spinoff of Yo soy Betty, la fea. Once Ugly Betty got some recognition, the article was revised in 2006 in light of the source material.An "Ugly Betty" cartoon. Yes, such a thing exists and this being 2004, I taped it not knowing what it was.
- "Submitted For Your Consideration..." noted that the Grand Finale of How I Met Your Mother would air soon, and that it remained to be seen whether or not the show would end on a high note. After the finale aired, Peter updated the page to summarize the general reaction.
- Peter originally wrote his article on Betty Toons as being the most obscure cartoon he could possibly review, unaware that it is actually a spinoff of Yo soy Betty, la fea. Once Ugly Betty got some recognition, the article was revised in 2006 in light of the source material.
- Trailers Always Spoil: In his review of The Hudsucker Proxy, he chastises Warner Bros. revealing Norville's big idea on the DVD cover.
- Understatement: Peter admits in "The Platypus Comix Almanac of Special Houseguests" that he "implied once or twice" that he likes Winnie Goodwin from Free Spirit. By the time this almanac came out, Peter had already inserted Winnie into one comic each from Electric Wonderland and Keiki, wrote about Free Spirit twice for the Dark TV Vault (see below), and even kicked off a series of Free Spirit Fan Web Comics.
- Vanilla Edition: The review of The Hudsucker Proxy acknowledges a complete lack of bonus features on the DVD, so Peter links to a Hudsucker-themed excerpt of Entertainment Tonight as compensation.
- Widget Series: What Peter says of Betty Toons.The basic plot isn't that hard to piece together, but when things get weird, they get Weird with a capital W.
Dark TV Vault/The Island of Misfit Christmas Specials
Peter Paltridge reviews some short-lived TV shows and rare TV specials.
- Anti-Shipping Goggles: Peter objects to Winnie and Thomas from Free Spirit becoming a couple, due to Thomas having a blander personality than any of the other main characters.I just can't support it. Sticking the best character in the series and the worst character in the series together is a terrible idea.
- Bad Bad Acting: In Peter's coverage of the Free Spirit Halloween special, he admits that his first article about the show didn't include any clips of the now-most famous cast member, Alyson Hannigan, because he didn't think she'd want people to see how unprofessionally she acted back then. However, since the Halloween special marks the only time the sitcom gave Hannigan's character A Day in the Limelight, he shares some footage of her anyway. Afterward, he tries to imitate her as best as he can through typing."Winnie! This is GREAT!" You have to wonder at several points what kind of medication fog she was under.
- Crazy Awesome: The Free Spirit review praises Magical Nanny/Blithe Spirit Winnie Goodwin's unwillingness to enforce limitations on her magical abilities.
- '80s Hair: Peter takes time in his article about the Free Spirit Halloween special to admire Winnie's unruly hairstyle:I even loved her character design, which is an odd thing to say about a real person — but I'm referring to her bird's nest of a hairstyle, which is your only visual clue that something is off about her, but not enough to raise suspicion. And the thing is......given eighties fashion, I'm not sure if that was intentional or not. Winnie really picked the right era to hide on Earth in.
- Later, he comments that the breeze from broomstick-flying caused Winnie's and Jessie's hair to look "..even more 80's than before."
- I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Peter admitted that he expected to find Free Spirit as lame as most ABC sitcoms from The Eighties, but Winnie Goodwin enchanted him so strongly, he plowed through all the episodes he received just to see more of her. After he finished, he even decided to write some comics about Winnie and her friends.
- Late to the Punchline: Peter confesses in his article about the Free Spirit episode "Blast From the Past" that he had to let the humor of the line, "I'll call you on the broom phone." sink in.And I thought, what a lame joke! He just took the word "phone" and added "broom" to it? .....then I realized, he meant "car phone." This was back when if you wanted to call somebody in a car, you had to own a phone fully installed into the car itself. This kind of thing was seen as a luxury for big businessmen — if you mentioned you had a car phone, everyone was instantly impressed, because it meant you were doing well. Winnie's dad must be living in a better house now than the one we saw in the flashback.
- Name's the Same: Peter points out in his review of the Free Spirit episode "Blast From the Past" that Winnie's fiancee, Kevin, has the same first name as the main character of The Wonder Years, who also had a Love Interest named Winnie.Did they name him Kevin to make a sly Wonder Years reference? It took me a long time to put the two names together and realize that.
- Nerds Are Virgins: When discussing the Free Spirit Halloween special, the sight of Winnie using her witchcraft to perform stage magic prompts Peter to recount which comic marked the debut of Zatanna's father, Zatara the Magician ("...Action Comics #1, right after Superman."), since the two of them also used that shtick. He then offhandedly admits that he doesn't have a girlfriend yet.
- Product Displacement: Discussed in "Blast From the Past", after Peter points out a R-Type arcade cabinet with its logo altered to read, R-TY.I love how putting electrical tape over one letter in a logo effectively dodges copyright.
- Seasonal Rot: Referenced in the first Free Spirit article, saying the disappearance of the show without giving any closure robs us of "The really weak final season after Winnie and Thomas have gotten married, Alyson Hannigan has left the series, and an annoying little child has been adopted".
- Special Effect Failure:
- "Platypus Comix Covers The 1981 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!" includes footage of two Days of Our Lives cast members botching a lip-synced musical performance.
- Spiritual Successor: Peter wrote a few for X-Entertainment's recaps of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
- Super Bowl Special: Peter explains in "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1994" that he watches the Super Bowl live mostly to watch all of the commercials, and eventually decided to write annual articles covering ads shown during a past game.
- Take That, Audience!:
- Originally, reading the Free Spirit review on Internet Explorer caused this message to pop up in spots where readers with different browsers would find HTML5-encoded clips:If you're reading this instead of seeing a video, why are you still using Internet Explorer?
- The message disappeared after Peter allowed readers to choose whether to use HTML5 or Adobe Flash to watch the clips.
- "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1994 begins with Peter calling his readers, "an audience of geeks," for not expressing excitement for the Super Bowl.
- Originally, reading the Free Spirit review on Internet Explorer caused this message to pop up in spots where readers with different browsers would find HTML5-encoded clips:
- What Were They Selling Again?: Peter comments in "Super Bowl Past-Blast: 1994" that he only remembers an ad for the 1994 Isuzu Rodeo just for the "Gut-Be-Gone" the man in the commercial recieves for his birthday.
- Zeerust: Regarding an ad in "The 1980 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" for Bell Laboratories:We're then shown a glimpse of the future, in which a woman hits some keys on a giant computer board and two monitors display simple data graphs. In her own home??? It'll never happen. I mean, it still hasn't....
Stupid Kid Show Area
Peter Paltridge helps you learn about the past of children's pop culture, mostly cartoons from the 1980s and '90s.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Peter recalls in "Cinderella Gets Weird" that he realized Cinderella III: A Twist in Time would prove funnier than he expected once he saw how exactly Lady Tremaine and Drizella reacted when Anastasia showed them the magic wand she stole.Lady Tremaine: A stick......
Drizella: Ooo! Let's beat her with it!
- Better by a Different Name: "Braver" makes the Adventures of the Gummi Bears episode "Girl's Knight Out" seem like a proto-Brave, albeit with a more courageous and rational Tomboy Princess in the form of Princess Calla.
- Bile Fascination: "Cinderella Gets Weird" admits that some people might only enjoy Cinderella III: A Twist in Time for this, although Peter found quite a few genuinely good qualities as well.
- Clueless Aesop: The review of Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams points out some hypocrisy behind the creators of Disney's cheap and pandering direct-to-video sequels making shorts that try to teach little girls not to take the easy way out of their tasks.
- Forced Meme: Errors in Corporate Judgement included several failed attempts for entertainment materials to appear relevant to late '80s-early '90s children. Among them, a Magic Eye puzzle using "Froggy" as a synonym for "awesome." Peter subsequently decided to close the article by declaring "Froggy" official slang for his website.
- Mary Sue: When Peter reviews Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams in "When Disney Magic Goes Wrong: The New Adventures of Aurora and Jasmine", he becomes aggravated at how Aurora has gone from a princess with literally no personality, to a princess with no fatal flaws. He deems her Enchanted Tale uneventful as a result, except for the final act.
- Popularity Polynomial: " Can Batman survive without Scooby-Doo?" comments that during the '90s, Spider-Man had become less popular than Batman, who had Batman: The Animated Series to bolster his popularity. However, Batman & Robin eventually killed Bats' reputation, while Spidey regained fame through Sam Raimi's movies.
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel: "Cinderella Gets Weird" uses Cinderella III: A Twist in Time as an example.It's so tonally off, but truth be known, I would rather watch this than the original movie, and more people out there than you think probably agree with me. Cinderella is an action heroine, the Prince is a swashbuckling stuperstuntman, the villain is supremely all-powerful. Stuff is CONSTANTLY happening.
- Time Marches On: "Why you may never see some of your favorite childhood shows on DVD" originally included The Real Ghostbusters among the shows whose fans needed to Keep Circulating the Tapes. After Time Life went and released all the episodes on DVD, Nicktoons and ReBoot took its spot on the list. Later, Shout! Factory managed to release DVDs of those, so they got removed from Paltridge's article, later replaced by KaBlam!.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Discussed in "Five Best 'Aladdin' Episodes", when four Aladdin: The Series episodes with Dark Magical Girl Sadira share a slot.
- Wrongfully Attributed: "Cinderella Gets Weird" ends with Peter concluding that Cinderella III "...is incredibly unfaithful to the tone of the original film and even blasphemous to it in places, 'but don't you see, that's what makes it so grand.'" He quickly realizes afterward that quote didn't come from Cinderella, but rather, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
- Actually Pretty Funny: In "Kids WB Yourself!-The Last Day", Peter finds Skunk Fu! mostly unimpressive, but singles out one joke as genuinely funny."Phew! Glad I caught you before you got to the top of Devil's Peak!" says Skunk—then the camera pulls back to reveal that's exactly where they are. This did get a chuckle out of me, I'll admit.
- Clueless Aesop: Parodied in "Kids WB Yourself!-The Last Day". Peter brings up an episode of Will And Dewitt called "Small Potatoes". Instead of actually describing the episode, however, he instead gives a plot summary of RoboCop (1987), with Will in place of Alex Murphy.From this, I learned to share.
- A Dog Named Dog: Peter pokes fun at Skunk Fu's use of this trope, saying the ninja monkeys featured in the episode are most likely all named "Monkey".
- Mind Screw: His opinion of the Magi-Nation cartoon, as stated in "Kids WB Yourself!-The Last Day"Then a talking bathtub appears and says "We must aerate the Power Noodles, Patrick!" Then everyone dances the Funky Chicken until the sun turns into cheese and Gene Simmons discovers his secret power to fly.
- Stacy's Mom: In "Kids WB Yourself!-The Last Day", he repeatedly cites the mother in Will And Dewitt as an example.
The Full Experience
- Actually Pretty Funny: The Jabberjaw review makes the series seem dull and unoriginal, until Jabberjaw tries to distract a villain by donning a Paper-Thin Disguise of an exotic dancer.
- Catch Phrase: Ever since the third installment, Peter has begun each article by putting the show into historic context, then pointing out today, one could enjoy the episodes on DVD. Then, he segues into the rest of the article with, "That's all well and good. But it's not the FULL EXPERIENCE..."
- Early Installment Weirdness: The series consists of reviews of the first episodes of Saturday morning cartoons from the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, accompanied by videos of some of the commercials and bumpers that played during the cartoon's premiere. The first article recaps the day Pokémon began airing on Kids' WB!, but Peter decided not to review the episodenote because the series seemed Strictly Formula. Also note that article has three pages, while others (such as the Beetlejuice review) only have one.
- For even more weirdness, the original version of the Pokémon installment only had one video. The rest of the commercials simply got written descriptions and pictures.
- Fanon Discontinuity: Peter has confessed that for him, Beetlejuice begins and ends with the cartoon. He didn't see the movie Beetlejuice until after he saw the show. When he did, he felt disappointed that, among other things, Beetlejuice was a seldom-appearing villain instead of the star, and that he and Lydia were enemies instead of friends.
- I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Peter begins the installment about The Spooktacular New Adventures Of Caspernote by calling Casper the Friendly Ghost unfunny and uninteresting. Consequently, he avoided watching this show, until he learned that it shared two writers with Animaniacs-Sheri Stoner and Deanna Oliver. He ended up calling the episodes he saw of Spooktacular New Adventures the funniest and least boring Casper cartoons he ever saw.
- Late to the Punchline: Peter admits in the Beetlejuice review that he didn't notice Beetlejuice and Lydia blowing snakes instead of noisemakers until after he took a screenshot of the scene.
- Misaimed Marketing: Peter closes the Animaniacs article by wondering why his local Fox Kids station showed a commercial for a wine-tasting event during each episode from the first season.
- Oddball in the Series: The second installment, covering the premiere of The Pink Panther Show, was written on Peter's Toon Zone blog instead of at his website. Unfortunately, this inadvertently led to the videos ceasing to work after a site update.
- Take That: From the page about Animaniacs:Those cheesy Power Rangers could go jump in a lake; Animaniacs was 1993 to me.
Educational Rockin' Fun Zone
Peter Paltridge educates on subjects not covered in school.
- Chuck Norris Facts: Of course.
- Clueless Aesop: At least some of the stories Peter features in "Emails Your Mother Reads" boast some.
- Older Is Better: Before listing his favorite Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition DVD or Blu-Ray box sets, Peter begins "The Five Best Sets Ever" by noting that old DVDs often have better picture quality and more bonus features than he might get if he streamed those movies and shows instead.
- A chance exists that this trope doesn't apply 100%; he says these qualities of streaming media could bring people back to the "primitive lifestyle" of VHS.
- Or So I Heard: In the Platypus Comix Subculture Guide:Contrary to popular belief, a fursuit isn't created for dry-humping, as they are much too cumbersome for that (...I know this because I heard about it, all right?).
- Self-Deprecation: Again from the Platypus Comix Subculture Guide:The only sight sadder than an Internet Video Reviewer is that of a Web cartoonist.
- Serious Business:
- The public service announcements in "ABC PSA Insanity!" warn children about such dangers as chewing food too quickly, or drowning food in condiments. Peter admits finding them trivial in comparison to drugs, which PSAs from his childhood warned him about most often, but evidently ABC thought otherwise before the War on Drugs.
- "The Top 5 Most Annoying Christmas Carols" gives some pretty extreme examples of how continued overexposure of the top choice, "The Christmas Shoes", could ruin people's lives.
Surfin' The Web Section
Peter Paltridge gives a sample of what he does on the Internet aside from making comics and articles.
- Stylistic Suck: Like several of the amateurish articles RetroJunk features, "Retrojunk's Greatest Article Ever" contains plenty of bad spelling and grammar. Also, its attempts at Fanservice fail since many of the "Top Ten Hottest Cartoon Women Ever" have inadequate pictures, the top two choices are male, and the # 1 choice is not a cartoon character.
- Technology Marches On: "The Future of Tomorrow...Tuh-Day!" takes a humorous look at the excitement the public experienced during 41 years' worth of advancements made to the Internet.
Peter Paltridge lets you get inside his head.
Things To Do When You're Bored Division/The Ancient Lost Art of TV Guide Advertising
Peter Paltridge has gathered a random selection of things to do when you're bored.
- Off Model: It Came from the Public Domain shows several eerily Off Model cartoon characters made to dodge copyrights.
- Call Back: Part 2 of the ABC Afterschool Special ad gallery references one of the oldest specials when Peter jokingly remarks that the 100th special, The Gift of Amazing Grace, could have benefited from Timer the Cheese Guy exploring Tempest Bledsoe's brain.
Maybe I should start a comic series based on this one Laverne and Shirley episode? ....You know, I think I will. Look for it January 2015!
- In Fall 1982, after Peter explains that a show he discovered in TV Guide inspired him to create a comic series based on it, he asked, "Could it happen again? What in this new batch of scans could potentially be resurrected THIS time?" He immediately dismisses the first advertised show, Tuckers Witch. This wasn't brought up again until a scan advertising the Laverne and Shirley episode "The Mummy's Bride" appears.
- Couch Gag: Volumes 11 onward each use a different font for the volume numbers in their respective introductions.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: In response to a Ryan's Hope ad in "Spring 1980/Pink Lady and Jeff" featuring Delia getting carried off by a gorilla:It's my sincere hope that this isn't some kind of weird metaphor and that there was an actual giant gorilla on this soap opera.
- Follow the Leader: When showing ads for Fish Police and Capitol Critters:The early years of success surrounding The Simpsons led to some bizarre greenlights the like of which we'll never see again...the kind that said, "I'm an executive in his fifties who has no idea why a grown person would watch a cartoon, but whatever, just put Saturday Morning material on prime time." CBS did that literally with "Toon Nite" in the spring of 1991. For a brief period of time, their Tuesday evenings were filled with Bugs Bunny specials and Ninja Turtle episodes. It attracted me at least, but probably not many thirtysomethings.
- Genre Savvy: In Fall 1982, when Peter mentions Pandamonium, he posts a YouTube video of its opening sequence, because "I can't describe [the show] as well as it can describe itself". He then describes the show anyway "Just in case that video disappears like I know it will".
- Hilarious In Flashback:Not sure what this is. Something about a cheerleader? I'm sure there's something about it in a couple places on the Internet. I think there was a 1992 film by the same name, and then the guy who wrote it didn't like how it turned out and made it as a series instead.....who knows how it'll go. Maybe the geeks will get into it?
- Harsher in Hindsight: Lampshaded:
- One of the pictures in "Spring 1984" promotes a Love Boat episode, in which several Miss America winners gather to honor the then-newest Miss America, Vanessa Williams. Peter subsequently asks, "Why do I get the feeling this episode was going to live in infamy for a while?"note
- The Neil Goldschmidt quote in one of the TV special ads included in "1988 Writer's Strike" mentions giving teens "special attention." Below the ad, Peter comments, "...Neil Goldschmidt really meant it..."note
- In Name Only: "Winter 1992" comments that the animated series Fish Police had almost nothing in common with the comic of the same name. Peter theorizes that after Hanna-Barbera finished coming up with the concept for the show, they found out It's Been Done by an independent cartoonist, and subsequently paid him to use the title so that he wouldn't sue them for using a similar premise.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: "V-The Final Battle" ends with some intriguing advertisements for various movies playing that year-Ghostbusters, Gremlins, and It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown.
- Mistaken for Gay: "Spring 1980/Pink Lady and Jeff" includes a link to a website containing further information about Pink Lady And Jeff, but marks it as NSFW on the grounds that no working man would want the other employees to see him visit a website with so much pink.
- Mood Whiplash: Happens in the installment about ABC Afterschool Specials, as ABC's fluffy children's specials give way to Darker and Edgier, teen-oriented stories.
- Older than You Think: " 1988 Writer's Strike" includes a cover promoting a 1988 TV movie of the novel The Bourne Identity, prompting Peter to remark, "Everything's a remake these days."
- Popularity Polynomial: "Bicentennial", written in 2008, comments on the then-current domination of live-action over animation in popular children's television by pointing out that live-action shows dominate the ads for children's television in 1976, suggesting that "history is cyclical". Indeed, just as the '80s brought an abundance of new children's cartoons, so would the 2010s a few years after that article's publication. Part of "Winter 1992" recalls how animation went from becoming popular enough to get its own network, to almost disappearing from that channel in favor of live-action programming, to becoming a large draw for it once again.
- Quote Mine: In reference to an ad in "Dallas" for CBS' miniseries Master of the Game:TV Guide reviewed it as "a masterpiece of incoherence and bad acting," which was undoubtedly edited in the network promos to read as "A masterpiece! —TV Guide."
- Retroactive Recognition: When discussing an ad in "V-The Final Battle" for The Duck Factory, Peter points out that the man making goofy faces looks familiar-it's Jim Carrey.
- Self Plagiarism: The ABC Afterschool Special gallery calls Summer Switch, "...the one that teaches you not to plagiarize!", since the plot sounds nearly identical to that of Freaky Friday. Plus, the books that inspired Freaky Friday and Summer Switch both have the same author, Mary Rodgers.
- Something Completely Different: "Parents' Guide to Kids TV" does not show any retro ads. Instead, it comments on how the Moral Guardians writing the children's television previews sometimes had overly strict standards, and also incorrectly predicted which shows would become successes and which ones would never catch on.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: After "Spring 1980-Pink Lady and Jeff" features an ad for The Stockard Channing Show, starring Stockard Channing as an undercover TV reporter, Peter wonders why such shows as Pepper Dennis and Anchorwoman couldn't mine all the comedic and dramatic potential that could arise from a reporter on a gimmicky news program hunting down criminals.
- This Is Going To Suck: "Fall 1982" ends with a two-page ad for a sitcom from The Eighties. The first consists almost entirely of "Ha!"'s written in Dom Casual and urging you to turn the page to find out what's so funny, making Peter comment, "Whenever I see something like this, I groan. There's no way what's on the other side of the page is anything but a painfully unfunny, rightfully forgotten show---" The second page reveals the ad as a Cheers promo, eliciting the response, "---well, I think I'll shut up now."
- Unusual Chapter Numbers:
- Volumes 8 and 9, which contain slideshows of ABC Afterschool Special ads, have a drawing of a computer mouse instead of a number at the start, possibly to reference how much more clicking the reader has to do compared to previous volumes.
- Volume 10, a slideshow of ads for the first two seasons of The Simpsons, begins with the awesome smiley replacing the number 10.
- "Parents' Guide to Kids' TV" does not have a number at all.
- Viral Marketing: "V-The Final Battle" shows how NBC used this during May 1984 sweeps to promote the second V miniseries.
- Waxing Lyrical: Peter quotes a song by The Police in "1988 Writer's Strike", after an ad for 14 Going on 30.EEEEEEEE-WWWWW!!! Magically aging yourself 16 years does not make this any less creepy! In fact, turning yourself into Alan Thicke in the process makes it even creepier! Don't stand so! Don't stand so! Don't stand so close to me!
- Wolverine Publicity: Discussed in the Simpsons slideshow, regarding episodes promoted with ads that make Bart Simpson appear to have a larger role than he actually does.
- The first ad in "V-The Final Battle" features a special promoting EPCOT Center by featuring then-developing technologies that could revolutionize the future. Peter points out that among the seven predictions listed in the ad, three or four of them had failed to come true by the time EPCOT turned 25.
- "Spring 1980/Pink Lady And Jeff" kicks off with a wildly exaggerated description of how the Intellivision could change the TV-viewing experience.
The Section Only I Will Care About Reading
Peter Paltridge will share a few details about his life, his interests, and Platypus Comix history to those who care.
- Cynical Mentor: "My Ocarina of Time Walkthrough" plays this for laughs as Peter tries to give tips on winning The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time to someone with a habit of saying stupid things.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: "Tour My Christmas Tree" declares "the greatest tree ornament in all existence" one that Peter made of a construction paper tree with, "Oh, Yeah!" written in glitter. Peter claims that he could make anything better by writing,"Oh Yeah!" on it with glitter.
- From Bad to Worse: Why I Couldn't Update This Week! details a week in which Peter had to stay in a cheap hotel during his house's remodeling, then got sick. Fortunately, it has a Throw the Dog a Bone ending.
- Homage: The Section Only I Will Care About Reading resembles John Kricfalusi's blog. It also includes a link to the blog, so visitors could compare them.
- I Warned You: In "My Ocarina of Time Walkthrough," Peter calls the Great Fairy, "an ugly barely-dressed Tammy Faye-thing". Later, the player encounters her, prompting this exchange:Eww...why isn't this game rated T?
Hey, I warned you about that fairy...
- Long List: This list of every comic series Peter has ever made.
- The list of every comic Peter made and posted online also has a rather daunting length, since it even mentions stories no longer included in the Platypus Comix archives.
- No Ending: "My Ocarina of Time Walkthrough" only goes up to Link receiving the Zora Tunic.
- Self-Deprecation: When asked in "My Ocarina of Time Walkthrough" why he decided to write a walkthrough that no one might use, Peter answers, "Because it's fun. I'm also crazy."
- Stealth Insult: When the player in "My Ocarina of Time Walkthrough" exclaims that he/she can't think of someone more annoying than Navi, Peter says he knows someone worse, but doesn't say who.
- Take That: From "My Ocarina of Time Walkthrough":Nintendo Power said there was a hole in the maze that I could drop down, and battle two Wolfos inside for money! I can’t find it...
This is why you can’t believe everything you read in Nintendo Power...remember, they described the Gamecube’s memory capacity as “Fatter than Jennifer Villarreal!”Why do people complain about Final Fantasy games having too much cinema if this game has about the same amount?
Because they need an excuse to slam Square. A more accurate reason to bash them would be Final Fantasy 8, or the fact that the next FF will be online and they think that type of game counts as another number in the series...
- Terrified of Germs: "Why I Couldn't Update This Week" depicts Peter as this, at least when staying in an old hotel room.
Thing Where The Totally Rad Videos Go
Peter Paltridge posts some rare and interesting videos, including plenty of music videos.
- Amazon Chaser: In "The Top 10 Best Videos from MTV'S First Day", regarding his rules for what makes a good song in his opinion:#5: I really, really, really, really like it when a woman sings about how she's going to kick my butt. And number 5 is 90% of Pat Benatar's repertoire, so it's no wonder.
- Big "WHAT?!": Peter's reaction when the biggest song on the 1984 edition of MTV's Year End Countdown turned out not to be "Thriller" by Michael Jackson, as he anticipated, but "Missing You" by John Waite instead. It's so big, it's imprinted on a screenshot of◊ Van Halen (whose song, "Jump", made it in at #2).
- Blatant Lies: He claims that the videos in "The Ads of the Star Wars Holiday Special" look blurry and distorted because he "applied a special filter" to protect readers from the cheesiness of The Seventies.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: One part of "Starship HBO" warns that if the HBO logo has aliens inside, they might want to subject people who enter their ship to a Sex and the City marathon, which he calls, "...worse than an Anal Probe."
- Incredibly Lame Fun: Peter claims in "The Ads of the Star Wars Holiday Special" that if Kenner still sold the Trailtracker during his childhood, he and each of his friends would have wanted one. He even wishes to buy one now. All this amazement for a toy truck that traces lines drawn with a crayon.
- Lyrics/Video Mismatch: On Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time":I'd always thought 'Time After Time' was a beautiful song about a couple looking forward to their future together. But according to Cyndi, it's about that one time she was living in a tin trailer hugging a plastic dog and watching old Bette Davis movies. Oh Cyndi, you're so unusual!
- Network Decay: Discussed in "MTV's Top 20 Videos of 1984" as part of an conversation he imagines having with a cable man in the present day.
- Significant Anagram: "The Ads of the Star Wars Holiday Special" has two, both of which involve spelling a word backwards (riffing on the TOBOR commercial saying that TOBOR is ROBOT spelled backwards):HSUBL is BLUSH spelled backwards!
There were a TON of undergarment ads during the Star Wars Holiday Special. And by TON I mean NOT. Because NOT is TON spelled backwards.
- Take That:
#12 is Billy Idol with "Why did people ever think I was cool?"
- From the 1984 MTV article:
- Take That, Audience!: Played for Laughs in "Cynical Ad Campaigns of the 90's.
- Think of the Children!: Regarding the Sheer Indulgence pantyhose commercial in "The Ads of the Star Wars Holiday Special":I would say they should have thought of the multitudes of children watching that night, but the part with the Wookiee watching the erotic video had already aired, and that was WAY more traumatizing.
- Totally Radical: Mentioned in the section's title.
- We're Still Relevant, Dammit: Discussed in these pages:
Bloom County County
Before the publication of the book series The Bloom County Library, Peter Paltridge took it upon himself to keep his favorite newspaper comic available to enjoy.
- Homage: The layout of the Bloom County archive page resembles one of the strip's recurring splash panels.
- Take That: In Opus's Married Life in the Year 2007, Peter explains that unlike how Opus's dream about 2007 depicted it, the ozone layer is slowly but surely recovering thanks to CFCs being globally banned.You might have not heard about this. Al Gore doesn't care about mentioning environmental crises that are going WELL.
Peter Paltridge has interviewed Jon McClenahan, Tom Ruegger (twice), Rich Arons, and Howard Scott Warshaw.
Lair of Alternate Projects/For Portlanders Only
Peter Paltridge takes you to see his other endeavors. The biggest is For Portlanders Only, a selection of advertisements, newspaper scans, and other emphemera pertaining to his hometown of Portland, Oregon.
- Needs More Love: How Peter feels about truly interesting side characters in this article, citing Abby Scuito, Paris Geller, Luanne Platter, Anna Wu, Temari, Toph, and Parker (whom the article focuses on) as examples.
- Orphaned Series: "For Portlanders Only" has not updated since 2010, and Warner Bros. Club (a division of Toon Zone, an animation site to which Paltridge is an occasional contributor) has not updated since 2008.
- Shown Their Work: In "Lux Sux!", he admits that the producers of Life Unexpected were completely accurate in their portrayal of his hometown of Portland, Oregon. However, he feels that the show fails in almost literally every other aspect.
What Powell's Throws Out
- Accidental Innuendo: In Part Six, Peter shows a SpongeBob SquarePants story from an anthology book written by first graders:Book: "This party is cool. I like Sponge Bob's party. I like Sponge Bob's juice," said Patrick.
Peter: Any other website would have leapt at the chance to point out what Patrick said, but I don't work blue.
- Continuity Lockout: He experiences this in Part Six with ElfQuest, saying that his troubles with fantasy tropes as a whole (elaborated below) prevent him from understanding a single sentence of the work.
- Fan Disillusionment: Part Two expresses his disllusionment with reading as a whole:When I was a small kid, I read books all the time. I would go to the library about every other day, come out with several juvenile fiction tomes, and read each one within an hour. I read a book about a kid who has to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days for $50. The writing was pure off-the-wall anarchy, and I loved it (read it again, it's even better when you're grown up). I read a book about a school that is thirty stories tall and full of weird kids, clever wordplay and living dead rats — it's still my favorite book of all time. I read a book about a kid with unusual talents who united a racially divided town and spent a summer with a poor old illiterate man. It was better than chocolate. But as I got older, books aimed at my age level started getting less imaginative, less humorous, and less fun.[…]Reading books became a chore, not an enjoyment. And when I finally graduated and had the free will to stop, I quit 'em cold turkey. These days, I look at the rack of books for adults and feel massive boredom. They take themselves too seriously, are way way more wordy than they need to be, and are sorted by machine. If you want a crime drama, you go to the Crime Drama section and pick from 6,500 Crime Dramas with very similar covers and very similar plots. If you want a Murder Mystery Starring a Psychic Dwarf, you go to the Psychic Dwarf Murder Mysteries Section and choose from 7,352 of those. It feels so...cold.
- Faux Horrific: When discussing From a Buick 8 in Part Two:
- Mind Screw: Peter declares Wezens die je toch nooit zietnote from Part Four "The Weirdest Book of All Time".
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Peter's disgust in Part Six with the drawing style of some 2004 Cricket comics makes him (and King Leonidas from 300) exclaim, "This! Is! Zoot!"
- Sincerity Mode: In a part that we won't link to from here, Peter admits that he recently bought a Webcomic Print Collection, but didn't find it funny at all. However, he refuses to refer to the comic or its author by name, to lessen the chances of him getting his feelings hurt.
- Strictly Formula: From Part Six:Through the thousands of books I've now sorted, I've noticed a popular trend among the fiction variety. Most mass paperback novels I've run across have the following things in common: 1) They're part of a series (even though I never find any other book in said "series"); 2) They have a female protagonist; 3) Said female protagonist is a massive Mary Sue with an attitude who wields weapons, fires off karate kicks, and has every lead male fall for her instantly; 3) They contain supernatural elements, usually garden-variety cliches dressed up by calling them different names. For example, if there are fairies, they won't call them fairies, they'll call them "Fae." At the very least, they'll spell "magic" with a K; 4) They all (without exception, they ALL) have a subtitle like "A Kit Gunwielder Mystery!" or "A Sasha Spunkmeyer Adventure!"
- Take That: In Part One, he boasts that he could find a way to make a FernGully: The Last Rainforest book seem marketable in 2010. Cue a crude alteration of the cover to include Avatar characters.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In Part Two, he mentions how he dislikes fantasy novels because "they often get so bogged down in their own world they forget how to relate to the real one, where I am, trying to understand it." He points out that Worldweavers: Spellspam actually has a good premise (about e-mail spam that has magical powers), but that a third of the way through, it gets bogged down in the fantasy tropes that he hates so much.
- Unintentional Period Piece: In Part Six, regarding some books about designing a website in The Nineties:They're not complete rubbish, though....now they serve as historical documents. To me, they were worth keeping as nostalgic picture books. You can't find this kind of web anymore.
"Other People's Cartoons" Area/Worst Comix Ever!
Peter Paltridge shares his favorite and least favorite comic strips and comic books.
- Actually Pretty Funny: "World's Most Baffling Garfield Strips" ends with Peter clarifying that even though a number of Garfield strips rose too many unanswered questions, he still loves the older strips and Garfield and Friends.
- Awesome Art: "My Favorite Comic Book Covers" contains some examples.
- Crazy Awesome: In his opinion, the title character of Nemi.
- Interpretative Character: "Sabrinas Through Time" and its sequel showcase various incarnations that Sabrina the Teenage Witch went through in both print and TV, including a supernatural troublemaker, a magical do-gooder, and an Animesque fantasy heroine.I have a theory that she's the only other living survivor of the planet Galifrey, because every time Sabrina is killed off, she mutates into another Sabrina and keeps going in a different manner.
- Ironic Nickname: At the end of the first part of "Who is Archie Comics' Most Obscure Character?", he claims Marvelous Maureen has one.They never clarify what she did to deserve the title "Marvelous."
- It Gets Better: Peter says that the first year of U.S. Acres wasn't very good since it relies too much on exposition, and the attempts at spontaneous jokes usually fall flat. He goes on to say that the strip gets funnier when the Debut Queue is over and done with, reaching its zenith by U.S. Acres Runs Amuck: The Fourth Book.
- I Warned You: Peter opens his article on U.S. Acres Runs Amuck by saying, "I'm going to have to warn you ahead of time not to be eating or drinking anything while viewing what you're about to read." After another paragraph elaborating how funny U.S. Acres is at this point, strips from the book are shown uninterrupted by commentary.What'd I tell ya?
- Needs More Love: Peter wishes that more Americans would read Nemi. He tried to give her some more exposure by reviewing the third and fourth Nemi books. Unfortunately, this might have made Platypus Comix more popular among people who ship Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Invoked on Peter's behalf when he decided to celebrate Spider-Man's 50th anniversary with a review of Spidey's newspaper comic. The storyline he reviewed made Peter and MJ pawns in Loki's scheme to take over Asgard, but with less drama and epicness than Peter hoped.
- Time Marches On: Peter originally made a series of articles on U.S. Acres since at the time, an archive of its strips were nonexistant. The official Garfield website now features an archive of the strip, which led to the article losing much of its relevance. However, it still has little value left — the Garfield site removed a caption box from the October 13, 1986 strip that encouraged kids to mail drawings to Jim Davis, the final five strips are not archived (the strip rolls back to the 1987 strips on April 15), leaving out the culmination of the End of Series Awareness strips, and the collection books are long out of print, leaving the article one of the few places to see the covers.
- Actually Pretty Funny: The review of some American Pokémon comics deems most of the strips moronic and unfaithful to the franchise. However, it also comments that one strip starring Misty and Psyduck would actually have made an amusing gag for the anime.
- Bears Are Bad News: In the installment reviewing Bears in Love, Peter deemed the comic even less funny than Garfield, Hägar the Horrible, The Family Circus, and Marmaduke.
- Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: One part of this review of the Pokémon comic chastises the cartoonist for drawing Starmie shooting water from its jewel. note
- Viewers Are Morons: The Action Files Part One: Picture Not So Perfect begins with a tutorial explaining the concepts of word balloons and text boxes, and ends with a glossary defining such words as "accident", "photograph", and "future".Are they serious? They're serious. I read my first comic book at age four and it wasn't too difficult to discern how they operated. If you have this much trouble with a comic book, then you probably also need instructions on how to make a peanut butter sandwich.
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