Video Game / Stay Tooned!

Stay Tooned is a 1996 video game by Funnybone Interactive and published by Sierra. One night while you're channel surfing, an eclectic collection of cartoon characters escape from your TV thanks to your remote, which they promptly take from you. It is your goal to collect the keys needed enter the other rooms of the apartment complex you live in in search of the remote, which is the only thing that can send the toons back to Toonland.

It is notable for being a particularly random video game, with many, many cutscenes.

Stay Troped!:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Katrina to Fiddle and Schmooze to Pixel.
  • Arc Words: At the beginning of the game, while your character is channel surfing, some of the shorts end with the phrase "red button", alluding to the red button on your remote you need to press to start the game proper.
  • Author Avatar/Creator Cameo: Ben Howard, the game's programmer, makes various appearances in the game and even gives you some advice at the beginning while you're channel surfing. Unsurprisingly, the toons stop him from revealing too much.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal
  • Blue Boy Pink Girl: Chisel and Pixel.
  • Butt-Monkey: Fiddle. Being cartoon characters, he also qualifies as an Iron Butt Monkey.
  • The Cameo/Promoted to Playable: Dr. Pickles would later appear as one of the racers in Eat My Dust, a racing game made by Funnybone.
  • Downer Ending: At the end, all the cartoons get back in the TV...but just as they transport back into Toonland, Chisel grabs you and takes you along with the others, and you remain trapped in Toonland as a cartoon for all eternity.
  • Drunk on Milk: Schmooze gets himself a little wasted while waiting for Pixel at his rooftop picnic. When she finally shows up, it turns out he was drinking apple juice.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Not trying to kill you per se, but there are several toons that enjoy causing mischief with you as the intended target. Frank at least gives you a heads-up about it at the beginning.
  • Foreshadowing: Mrs. Findley's Image Song contains a shot of her meatloaf with sparks flying out of it. This is a major clue as to where the missing remote is.
  • First-Person Shooter: Zapping the toons near the end of the game.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Pixel and Chisel's duet.
    Pixel: I'm the smartest toon, my brain is unsurpassed; and if you don't believe me, I'll kick you in the...
    Chisel: Ask me what I like to do! *chuckles* I like to play some tricks on you!
  • Interface Screw: One of the antics Pixel and Chisel get into at your expense involves them stealing your mouse cursor. Other pranks include fake error messages, pies "hitting" your computer screen, and MANY more.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Medium Blending: The city in the opening is CG, but once the Toons break out of your TV, the whole building shifts into hand-drawn cartoon graphics. A live-action person is seen in the hallway during the shift as well. Toonland at the end of the game is also CG, and so are a few objects in some side animations throughout the game.
    • A few rooms also flaunt 3D technology, and the game box shipped with two pairs of 3D glasses.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: Used in the Mortal Kombat parody Kartoon Kombat.
    Announcer: Tai Chi Chisel! Versus! Kung Fu Frank! *evil laugh*
  • Mad Scientist/Herr Doktor: Dr. Pickles.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Not only does Killtron have four arms, but he's got a different weapon in each one.
  • No Fourth Wall: The game loves to exploit this trope, with the toons often tricking you into believing you've crashed the game, interacting with your cursor, and Ben Howard appearing in random places.
  • NPC Roadblock: There are several characters (who are chosen at random) who will block you from reaching the fifth floor and entering Mrs. Findley's room respectively until you do something for them.
  • Packaged as Other Medium: The game's package is designed to look like a cereal box, complete with blurbs such as "Unsweetened Multi-Game Experience!" and "Provides NO Essential Vitamins & Minerals".
  • Plot Device: The remote is the only thing that can get the toons back into the television set. Naturally, it's hidden well, although there are quite a few hints that can help the player find it.
  • Police Are Useless: Calling the police department is fruitless as they are either constantly distracted or just lazy. The only thing that is remotely important to them involves donuts.
  • Shell Game: Schmooze might pop up in the hallways and tell you that he's hidden a key under one of the shells in this typical game. He's lying. It's actually under his hat.
  • Shout-Out: Stay Tooned is full of them. The channel surfing portion at the beginning has Whinefeld, Frauds and Shlepardy, the latter of which is played later on.
    • One of the minigames is Kartoon Kombat, a comedic parody of Mortal Kombat. The playable characters are even dressed like the Kombatants; Tai Chi Chisel is Scorpion, Shaolin Skoops is Liu Kang, Kung Fu Frank is Raiden and Peking Pixel is Sub-Zero.
    • "Killtron! Magic Death Robot" is a spoof of Voltron. "POORLY DUBBED WITH HARD TO READ ENGLISH SUBTITLES".
    • The Beatles get a cameo after you solve the Simon-head minigame, much to the toons' surprise.
    • Minigames that have high scores will occasionally include one score left by someone named Graham.
    • The view of the Enterprise in the future room also bears a slight resemblance to the SCS Eureka from Space Quest V.
    • A few of the stuffed animals seen in the carnival room are recolors of characters seen in Funnybone's Puddle Books series, specifically Ricky Fazzooly from A Day at the Beach with the Fazzooly Family and the titular Lie from The Lie.
    • The room housing the blueprint activity is a slightly modified version of the train station from Funnybone's 3D Jungle Train.
  • Shmuck Bait: Located in the casino room is a slot machine labeled "WIN THE REMOTE" that Pixel and Chisel comment as "the perfect hiding spot" for the remote. Ultimately subverted due to the fact you actually can win the remote from it, but the chances of it happening are slim-to-none.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool
    • Both Frank and Mrs. Findley are usually seen smoking a cigar. Needless to say, neither are the prettiest things to look at.
    • Pixel and Chisel will occasionally offer you one out in the hallway, which ends up being an Exploding Cigar.
  • Something Completely Different: Stay Tooned is one of two games made by Funnybone that isn't considered educational in the slightest, compared to the rest of their library. The other game is a 3D racing game called Eat My Dust.
  • Taking You with Me: At the very end, just as the cartoons are all back in the TV, Chisel grabs you and takes you back to Toonland with the rest of them.
  • The Unfought: Despite appearing when you first enter the room, Killtron doesn't fight you in Kartoon Kombat, instead dancing and blowing himself up for no reason.
  • Token Good Teammate: Fiddle. He's the only toon that's technically on your side when it comes to finding the remote, occasionally leaving encouraging messages and even a few hints near the apartment's floor plan.
  • Unrequited Love: Schmooze can never get Pixel to like him even though he's smitten with her.
  • Villain Song: All of the five major toons have musical numbers dedicated to them. Of note is that Scoops has an amazing singing voice, but he only seems inclined to sing to the player and not anyone else.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Fiddle is revealed to have a baritone voice in the end credits, the complete opposite of his voice throughout the rest of the game.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never explained what happens to the toons that are not required for the player to zap back inside the television set, although it's possible that that they were zapped into the television set as well offscreen.