Web Animation: Klay World

What did the robot... say to the centipede?

Klay World is a series of stop-motion claymation videos by Robert Benfer (AKA Knox). They showcase a group of clay people (usually blue, but other colors aren't uncommon) and their antics atop the table that is their world. It's generally regarded as the codifier of internet claymation comedy, and most subsequent similar works tend to follow the same pattern.

There's usually at least one death per episode. At most, it numbers in the tens. Some of the earlier ones were pretty graphic, giving the Klaymen internal organs that spilled out when they got ripped in half. The later ones toned it down a notch, but you still shouldn't watch if you're really squeamish.

Has a straight-to-DVD film.

This series provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The Rodent, which was intended to be a follow-up to Off The Table.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal / Xtreme Kool Letterz: Spelling "clay" with a K comes from Benfer's old pseudonym "Knox" and the series's original title: "Knox's Klay World". Any time a C word is in a title, it will usually be spelled with a K instead. (Ex: "Klay Kamping", "Mystery Kar") Benfer's website and YouTube channel were originally named "Knox's
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Double subverted with the aliens in Off The Table. Initially, they appear to wish to make diplomatic relations with the citizens of Klayworld as they had done in the past with other Klay people. However, after realizing that the citizens of Klayworld are morons, they decide to kill them all so that they can reconstruct them into something better. And it's implied that they have done so before in the past.
  • Anyone Can Die, and how.
    • Indeed, in the finale, All Gone, it changes from Anyone Can Die, to Everyone DOES die. Except for Chip, that is, who vows to rebuild Klay World as Clay World, as soon as he gets a new arm
  • Amusing Injuries: All the time!
    • Subverted in "All Gone".
  • Art Evolution: Benfer's original animations from 2003 had crudely made characters, were shot with a cheap webcam, and were recorded with a cheap microphone. As his videos became more and more popular, he invested more time and money into better equipment and his clay sculpting skills greatly improved.
  • The Artifact: Robert Benfer almost never refers to himself by his old pseudonym (Knox) anymore and prefers using his real name. His old website "Knox's Korner" was replaced with "The Benfer" his YouTube channel kept the name "KnoxsKorner1" up until the finale was released. Now it's been replaced with his name "Robert Benfer"
  • Author Avatar: A few examples.
    • Dr. Bob is one of Robert Benfer's earliest characters, going as far back as 2003, when he started the series. He has also appeared in more videos than any other character. Made more obvious in the finale, during which Dr. Bob reveals that he created all of the other Klaymen and loved getting them into situations that would lead them to their deaths, much to his amusement. After retiring from being a doctor, he decides to set up a "grand finale" (his exact words) and watch everyone die so that Klay World can end.
    • Leon is Robert Benfer's middle name. Leon has a dog named Chu while Robert's dog's name was Chula.
    • Knox was portrayed in clay form in "Marrie Ecksmus."
  • Avengers Assemble: The 2003 videos were essentially a build-up toward the "Klay World" 6-part miniseries, which involved making a Dream Team out of previously introduced characters: Dr. Bob, Chris, Henry, Hulky, Jacob, Leon's Dog, Michael, Newspaper Monster, Red Shirt Guy, The Robot, The Tree Hand Thing, and the Yellow Seed.
  • Back for the Finale: Dr. Bob, Henry, Chip Brown, Rick, Pick, Vince, the Armless Guy, Long Arm Guy (who is revealed to be named Chester), and Marvin.
  • Berserk Button: Don't take the Newspaper Monster's newspaper.
  • Big Bad: In KlayWorld: Off The Table, King Womp is this.
    • In the six-part series "Knox's Klay World", this role is played by a "monster" ( portrayed by a Xenomorph action figure). In a fun bit of fourth-wall breakage, a Klayman explains exactly why the Monster is such a problem:
      Klayman 1: Wait, why is this a problem? Klay people die all the time.

      Klayman 2: Yeah, but... Y'know how, when the animation's over and the replay button pops up, the dying usually stops? Well, the thing about the Monster is, he keeps on killing after the animation's over.
      • A helpful "KILLING DURING ANIMATION: GOOD/KILLING AFTER ANIMATION: BAD" diagram even pops onscreen.
    • In the finale All Gone, it is Doctor Bob of all klaypeople. He reveals to Chip that he was the first klayperson, and the creator of Klay World, but now that he has become bored of watching Klaypeople dying and rebuilding them, he decides to incite one last brawl among the klaypeople, but not rebuild or repair them after it is over, essentially destroying Klay World.
  • Big Damn Movie: Klay World: Off the Table
  • Bland-Name Product: Ko-Ko Kola.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: There isn't much in the way of "morals" in this world, but apparently doing a dance known as "The Funky Chicken" in public warrants the death penalty.
  • Body Horror: There's an extended ending to "Trapper" which reveals that the unseen thing that bit the surviving Klayman's hand off at the beginning was a hot dog, and his arm has now also transformed into one that seems to act independently and possibly gain control over his body.
    • The entirety of DISEASE more or less fits this trope, but special mention goes to the hotdog vendor - who literally becomes a ball of mangled bloody flesh.
  • Calvin Ball: The game in "Best Klay Sport" called Tennis. The only thing tennis related in the game is that one player uses a racquet, the rest of the game seems to be a cross between baseball and archery.
  • The Cameo: The characters from "The Camcorder" appear briefly in the 6-part "Klay World" miniseries from 2003.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Possibly the case with all of the videos made in 2003. Benfer does not see the need to release them on DVD with any of the later Klay World episodes, possibly due to what he described as "crappy quality."
    • Even though Dr. Bob is killed by an alien in a 2003 video,he appears alive and well in a 2004 video, during which he makes no reference to being killed. His initial appearance was in 2003's "Dr. Bob," and his 2004 appearance is titled "Dr. Bob Saves the Day" instead of "Dr. Bob 2." Subsequent installments are titled "Dr. Bob Saves the Day 2" and "Dr. Bob Saves the Day 3."
    • Klay World: Off The Table makes it seem as though Klaymen have never encountered aliens, despite the events of 2003's "Knox's Klay World" miniseries.
    • In 2011, Benfer made a video called "Henry's Shotgun," which has the same title of a 2003 video instead of being called "Henry's Shotgun 2." YMMV on whether or not it is meant to be a remake since they have differences, but Henry appears alive and well despite being killed by an alien in a 2003 video, although that took place after he died in his first appearance, so he could have been put back together, which has been established as something possible to do with Klaymen.
    • The finale, "All Gone," has no archive clips of any 2003 videos.
    • Possibly averted with 2004's "The Sale," which includes the Newspaper Monster.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Murderer, Grenade Gregory, and The Trapper don't seem to have much justification for their crimes, although it's implied that they don't know any better.
  • Continuity Cameo: Hot dogs and salads.
  • Continuity Nod: A Red and a Green Clayman appear in a later episode, mentioning that they are the only two left, which leads to several flashbacks to scenes from previous episodes of Red and Green Claymen being killed.
    • The series finale, All Gone, has references to older Klay World episodes as well as the movie.
      • Not to mention that in addition to all the cameos, it is revealed or at least implied that Dr. Bob was behind several calamities, which include casually handing out guns to Henry, the murderer, trigger happy cops, the crooks involved with the bank robbery; setting up the pancake mines, somehow contaminating the tainted beverages in "Poison Juice", and the spontaneous explosion at the end of "A Nice Day" (because he didn't want things to start getting normal).
  • Creepy Cute: It's hard to decide if those talking hot dogs are adorable or terrifying.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Related to the Murderer, who is a recurring plot element (plot?!) in a few later animations. In this video, three Klaymen use the murderer's Catch Phrase ("I'm a murderer!" said in a delighted tone) to identify him. Then they shoot him.
  • Darker and Edgier: All Gone
  • Deadly Doctor: Dr. Bob tries to help, but his remedies are often less-than effective.
  • Deconstruction: Involves Dr. Bob, the Author Avatar.
    • "Dr. Bob Saves the Day 3," which ends with Dr. Bob quitting his profession, could be seen as Benfer's commentary on his plan to retire from making Klay World.
    • In the finale, "All Gone," Bob has grown bored of killing and rebuilding Klaymen and sets up a "grand finale" so that everyone can kill each other but be dead for good since he no longer wants to rebuild them.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Though you don't normally see a potential "Happy Ending", there are several cases where one of the Klayman involved manages to survive the episode, only for something to come out of nowhere and kill him just before it ends. In older episodes this role was often filled by the Murderer (who would show up out of nowhere and shoot everybody on screen). Later you get episodes like "Jetpack" where everything seems fine until the giant Klayman shows up and kills everyone while the scene is fading out.
  • Driven to Suicide: Hotdog Job features a hapless hotdog vendor whose hotdogs are so bad, it causes the two claymen who try them to jump off a cliff in despair.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • See Art Evolution up above.
      • There were yellow Klaymen and humans in the 2003 videos.
    • The first video, "Yellow Seed," has a green Klayman instead of the now iconic blue Klaymen.
    • The table looks a bit different in the 2003 videos, and some videos took place primarily on the floor instead of the table.
    • The 2003 videos featured a lot of copyrighted music, including songs by AC/DC, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, and Christina Aguilara. Early 2004 videos had music from Fatboy Slim and The Presidents of the United States of America.
  • Every Body Lives: There's one or two episodes out of the couple hundred where no one dies.
    • Played with in one episode which centered on a Klayman doing a dance known as the "Funky Chicken" in public before being unexpectedly arrested. There are none of the gruesome deaths you would typically see in a Klay World episode, but in the last few seconds the officer states that the Klayman he just arrested is getting the death penalty.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Rock Cutting Machine: "The Machine that cuts rocks for no reason."
  • Face-Heel Turn: Dr. Bob in the series finale. Rick also makes one in the movie. Finally, Marv turns against Pick, Rick and Chip after they escape, since he would like the idea of being the last klayman alive.
  • Fantastic Racism: ... Well, sort of. There was a two-part animation involving the green and red Klaymen trying to join the blues' Klay City (which apparently exists, never being spoken of before or since) and getting excluded violently.
  • Gorn
  • Grand Finale: All Gone. And how.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Dr.Bob and Pick it is later revealed in All Gone that Dr.Bob actually hated Pick since the beginning
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Trapper gets killed by one of his own traps. Grenade Gregory is blown up by his own grenades. And the Murderer is... murdered.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The Trapper tries to get someone to stand on a big X because "X is only a one letter word." It very nearly works.
  • Kill 'em All: In Klay World: Off the Table, 95% of the cast dies. In All Gone, the series finale, Chip is the only Klayman left.
  • Killedofffor Real: In the movie, Mr. Black, Smiling Gary, the Aliens, one of the Caveman, a News Anchor, and the ax guy. (Marv, the long-armed guy, Vince, the armless guy, and Rick were killed in the movie, but reappeared in the series.)
    • Everyone in All Gone, except for Chip, who is the only survivor. Although it is very likely he revives everyone.
  • Lethal Chef: The Hot Dog Vendor's hot dogs are so bad that his customers keep committing suicide upon eating them just to get the horrible taste out of their mouths. It gets even worse later on when he accidentally causes his hot dogs to come to life and start attacking people, though according to "All Gone" Dr. Bob may have had a role in it.
  • Made of Plasticine: Played straight since the characters are made of clay.
    • And according to the finale, not many klaypeople actully realise that they are made of clay.
  • Mouse World: Klayworld is actually just a table in some guy's bedroom. Every now and then a human hand shows up, so there are humans. And The Movie was entirely about them leaving the table and exploring the outside.
  • The Nameless: This is the case with most of the characters.
    • Played straight with the Long Arms Guy and then subverted in the finale when Chip acknowledges that he never got his name, which is revealed to be "Chester."
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer for Off the Table had a few songs that didn't actually appear in the film. The scene where Mr. Black threatens to run Chip over with the truck had him talking in his regular voice but in the actual film he talks in a very angry and high-pitched voice in that scene.
  • Noodle Implements: There's a few episodes that open with Klaymen playing really strange games which we're left to imagine the rules of. A good example would be the "game" where three Klaymen each throw a different colored block on the ground and the spectators all bet on which one will win. Apparently red somehow "won" even though all three blocks remained stationary after being tossed.
    • "Funny Sticks" apparently involves shoving pointy sticks into someone's body, but apparently there's a way the person being stabbed can win. Also we never do find out where the apples come in.
  • Planetville: Klayworld is actually just a table in a guy's bedroom. Their idea of space travel is simply visiting other tables in other houses. It doesn't work out too well.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The first video to feature Dr. Bob is just called "Dr. Bob." The next video mainly centered on him is called "Dr. Bob Saves the Day." The next video focusing on him is "Stomache Ache," which is later followed by "Dr. Bob Saves the Day 2" and Dr. Bob Saves the Day 3."
  • Offscreen Inertia: Taken to an extreme in some of the last episodes before "All Gone" when a failed bank robbery somehow results in a two-person Mexican Stand Off between a police officer and one of the robbers. Several of the episodes following this one showed both Klaymen still in the same position. "All Gone" revealed that both of them eventually starved to death.
  • Only Sane Man: Chip, in Off the Table, is one of the first Klaymen to be introduced who isn't mind-numbingly stupid or a complete sociopath (He's still whiny and irrational at times though). He frequently laments the idiocy of the other Klaymen.
    • In the finale, Chip is the sole survivor after everything finally ends and Klay World is destroyed (Read: The table is flipped over), and vows to rebuild Klayworld as the smarter and less violent Clayworld.
  • Police Are Useless: One officer did nothing as a Klayman was being kidnapped because he was entranced by a shoe. The police are also frequently shown as trigger-happy and irate.
  • Put on a Bus: Green and red klaymen were often seen accompanying the iconic blue klaymen in the 2004 and early 2005 episodes. They are very rare now with the exception of a few appearances in recent episodes.
    • The last green and red klaymen were Killed Off for Real in Green and Red.
    • Early episodes from 2003 had yellow klaymen and humans that have not been seen in any episodes since. Since it has almost been ten years since the last time an episode featuring them was created; this may be a case of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
    • This trope can also apply to a few recurring characters from the early series that had more than one appearance in separate episodes that have not re appeared anytime recently. (Ex: The Newspaper Monster, Peter the Pickle, the Boogie Monster, etc.)
  • Shaped Like Itself: The official currency in Klay World is "moneys".
  • Shout-Out:
    • The recurring time traveling character is named Dr. Brown.
    • In "Bungee Jumping Time" the klayman that falls in love with the bungee jumper says several lines from Titanic (1997).
    "I will never let go... this is where we first met... don't say your good-bye's... you're gonna die an old lady!"
  • Smurfette Principle: The Klaymen were considered pretty much a Single Gender Species, and explained why all the manly voiced characters would randomly fall in love with each other and have romances. Until the movie introduced a female klayman. Meaning that there is such thing as girl Klaymen, it's just that it's also a Cast Full of Gay.
    • In one episode, there's a manly-voiced Klayman named 'Melissa'. So it might be that most female Klaymen just don't look/sound much different than males.
  • Skewed Priorities: In the first installment of the "Dr. Bob Saves the Day" trilogy, a Klayman voices his desire to go play Halo... while his friend is in an operation after choking on baloney literally right in front of him.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In the episode "Klay Kamping", two different Klaymen figure out the humor in a joke. "What did the robot say to the centipede? Stop being a centipede." Apparently, it's funny because the robot "ain't got no arms."
  • Super Drowning Skills: In the episode "Glass of Water" several Klaymen drown in a small puddle from a spilled glass of water in a matter of seconds.
    • And then they suffocate under a wet rag barely any bigger than their face after actively sitting down and putting it over their face.
  • The Danza: Dr. Bob is voiced by Robert Benfer.
  • The Movie: Klay World: Off The Table tells of what happens when the clay men decide to go off the table.
  • The Remake: YMMV in regards to the 2011 video "Henry's Shotgun," which may be viewed as a remake of the 2003 video of the same name. However, a character in the later video who fills the role of Rick from the original is renamed Daniel, so this could actually be a continuation with a similar situation since it's not a shot-for-shot remake.
    • Development Hell: Benfer announced around 2006-07 that he was going to release a remake. This was written in the original's Newgrounds description and even hinted that it would be released in December of that year. It took four years for one to finally be made and during that time there was the occasional comment on his Youtube channel, Myspace, or Newgrounds pages asking "Where's the Henry's Shotgun remake?"
  • Too Dumb to Live: Pretty much all of the Klay People are stupid enough to qualify for some form of ridiculous death. See the Glass of Water example above. There are relatively smarter Klaymen mixed in, though. But overall, if the Table is a planet, then Too Dumb To Live is its hat.
  • Unexplained Recovery: A couple of characters are examples, though their recoveries could be explained by the fact that Klaymen can be rebuilt, which is mentioned in the movie Klay World: Off The Table and the finale "All Gone."
    • The first is Henry, who is impaled through the torso with his own shotgun at the end of the 2003 video "Henry's Shotgun." He later appears alive and well in "Knox's Klay World," a 6-part miniseries. That is, until he is cut in half by an alien.
      • If the 2011 "Henry's Shotgun" video is not perceived as a remake, then this could also count as an example, as he is seen alive and well.
    • At the end of the "Klay World" miniseries from 2003, Dr. Bob is Squashed Flat by the alien. He appears alive and well in 2004's "Dr. Bob Saves the Day."
  • When Trees Attack: "Tree Hand Thing".
  • Woobie Destroyerof Worlds: Klayton. When he is killed, the scientist's monologue and the music that plays makes you feel slightly sorry for him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: King Womp kills his last remaining henchman after he realizes that he is incapable of killing any of the klaymen.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Hulky says this word-for-word before somebody takes him up on the challenge. Averted in that he actually gets smaller, weaker, and perhaps stupider when he gets mad. Oh, and green. Played straight later on when he gets really mad, turns huge and smashes everything. Oh, and he turned yellow, too.

It's funny, 'cause the robot ain't have no arms.