Puppets Who Kill
was a Canadian-produced Black Comedy
series that centered on the lives of four puppets who had been sent to a halfway house run by the cynic Dan Barlow as a last ditch effort to rehabilitate them as every other effort had failed.
The puppets themselves were:
- Rocko the Dog, who after suppressing his very child-unfriendly personality snapped on set;
- Cuddles, a comfort doll whose consistent curbing of his own desires ended up with him shooting people with a rifle from a roof;
- Buttons the Bear, a sex maniac who had a good life until his private deeds were released to the public and he was fired.
- Bill the Dummy, a psychopath who had 56 partners die in tragic "accidents" with a constant smile and a taste for meat.
The show tended to balance itself on the edge of a knife, often crossing the line more than twice
and happily embracing the darkly humorous tone inherent in a show about living puppets who regularly break the law.
This series provides examples of:
- Ax-Crazy: Bill, Rocko sometimes.
- Berserk Button: Do not call Cuddles a rooster. Just don't.
- Black and Gray Morality: Almost everyone is a jerk in some way, and often deserve the horrible things that happen to them.
- Black Comedy
- Brain in a Jar: CBC has a whole room filled with them.
- Brainwashedand Crazy: Cuddles on more than one time.
- Butt Monkey: Cuddles and Dan share the title.
- The Casanova: Buttons.
- The Chessmaster: Dan
- Deadpan Snarker: Dan, Rocko and Bill.
- Demonic Dummy: All the main characters except Dan.
- Embarrassing Nickname: "Poopy pants". Bill
- Escalating War: It ended with an exploding toilet.
- Faux Affably Evil: Bill and Rocko.
- Girl on Girl Is Hot: Buttons' reaction to being saved moments from a Psycho Lesbian and her girlfriend moments before his death is one of disappointment, because it meant he would miss the lesbian make-up sex.
- I Love the Dead: The plot of the final episode is Buttons' ghost stealing Dan's girlfriend by being a better lay.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Just one of Bill's many wonderful traits.
- Kavorka Man: Dan.
- Kitsch Collection: Bill collects testicles.
- Large Ham: Most of the minor characters and Buttons.
- Laughably Evil: Buttons.
- Mr. Vice Guy: Dan means well, but is mainly interested in the halfway house's funding and his own job, even willing to look the other way when the puppets commit crimes.
- Psycho Lesbian: Buttons is nearly killed by one for having sex with her girlfriend, who only slept with him in the first place because seeing her act psychotically jealous turned her on.
- Serial Killer: Bill.
- Sign of the Apocalypse
- Slasher Smile: Bill's default expression.
- Sociopathic Hero: Bill, in spades. He's the smartest among the cast, and is often the one who saves them from their problems. Too bad his solutions usually involve cannibalism and violence.
- Threat Backfire: One episode had Bill being ransomed by some mafia types, who threaten to send him back piece by piece; when the others refuse to cooperate, they do just that, cutting Bill up and sending the bits back to the halfway house. After all the pieces are returned, the thugs' threat proves worthless as Bill is a puppet, and all they have to do is stitch him back together again.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Cuddles.
- Villain Protagonist