Western Animation / Aaagh! It's the Mr. Hell Show!

Before the days of Robot Chicken, there was the Mr. Hell Show. A 2001 animated British sketch comedy based on a character from a line of greeting cards by Hugh MacLeod. The show tends towards a middleground in terms of connectivity between the sketches, with occasional links provided by interjections from the show's title character, a scheming, unscrupulous and rather out-of-touch-with-humanity devil known as Mr. Hell. The sketches themselves provide parodies of various aspects of culture without providing direct references all the time, with occasional recurring sketches.

Has become a Cult Classic after a long-delayed DVD release, having only lasted 13 episodes.

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Aaagh! Oh, god! It's the examples list!

  • Art Shift: The background elements are changed to a more line-based "engraving" style during "Diary of a Victorian Lady Detective".
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Mr. Hell's default outfit.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The 'Golden Baby' skits combine this with Deus ex Machina to produce positive results from negative situations, including what could have been a prison rape joke.
  • Berserk Button:
    • If anything even vaguely reminds Serge the seal about the murder of his parents, expect him to go on a psychotic shooting rampage.
    • Serge killing ]Santa Claus was enough to finally tip Pepito over the edge in the Hellathon episode.
  • Big Bad: Without a doubt, Mr. Hell. In the final episode, it's revealed that he killed Serge's parents
  • Black Comedy
  • Bland-Name Product: One pub is advertising "Giddiness".
  • Break the Cutie: The "Hellathon" episode was dedicated to trying to make Pepito turn from a Wide-Eyed Idealist into someone who sees that Humans Are Bastards. It works.
  • Catch-Phrase: Serge, whenever his Berserk Button is pushed, screams, "It was YOU!"
    • "But alas, it is 1888, and I am but a woman who..."'
  • Deconstructive Parody: "Diary of a Victorian Lady Detective" is this to novels of that very ilk, with particular emphasis on the era's attitude towards women.
  • Evil Brit: Mr. Hell
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: The episode "From Here to Paternity" reveals that Mr. Hell has an illegitimate child with a female angel.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Serge the seal of death.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: The main plot in one of the episodes ends this way because Mr. Hell says so.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: One particular teacher refers to the title character as "Mr. (beat) Heck".
  • Guns Akimbo: Serge whenever he goes on a killing spree.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Remember how the above Berserk Button example said that Serge is very quick to accuse and go an a subsequent Roaring Rampage of Revenge if anyone so much as slightly resembles the hooded figure who killed his parents? It didn't use the word vaguely lightly.
  • Hammerspace: Best not to ask where Serge keeps all his firearms...
  • Hypocritical Humor: A cold opening has Mr Hell in disguise trying to trick the viewer into giving money for a charity to fight "This Terrible Disease". A sentient bacteria tears off his disguise and utters the Title Drop, only for Hell to utter in disgust, "You people really are the lowest form of life!" Well, morally speaking, Mr. Hell ...
  • Kick the Dog: The "Hellathon" episode was full of examples. As well as a Shoot the Dog (by drowning it) ...
  • Large Ham: Serge's French accent.
  • Literal-Minded: When Mr. Hell says, "You kids have touched my heart" at one point, the people he was talking to literally were. Through a hatch in his suit, no less.
  • Lucky Rabbit's Foot: Serge's sidekick, Lucky is a rabbit foot keyring.
  • Male Gaze: Dorian Gray's arse is perfect enough to cause this.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Oh, Mr. Hell, maliciously. In separate episodes he coerces a broke, jobless man into downing exotic drinks he can't pay for, and a temporary girlfriend into giving him money for strippers, under the guise of buying flowers for his 'grandmother'.
  • Odd Couple: The premise of the 'Tough Cop' sketches in the Hellathon episode. The tough cop is the constant, his partners are changed for every sketch.
  • Overused Running Gag: After many attempts to talk about reincarnation, Josh briefly disappears after The Reveal that he didn't really want to talk about reincarnation after all.
  • Pixellation: Mr. Hell's genitals get blurred out in one episode.
  • Pun: "Henry VIII...there was a guy who knew how to get good head!"
  • Reincarnation: "Hi, my name's Josh, and I'd like to talk to you about reincarnation..." (dies horrible death).
  • Recursive Reality: One particular episode has Mr. Hell's musings focussed on the (Heavily fictionalised for Rule of Funny) history of animation...within the context of the very animated show he resides in.
  • Recycled In Space: "The Photocopy of Dorian Gray's Arse"
  • Rimshot: This exchange:
    Queen Elizabeth II: (Reading Mr. Hell's business card) The Right Honorable Sir Frankly Mint O.B.E. and Bar. (To Mr. Hell) What's the bar for?
    Mr. Hell: Gathering dust, apparently. (Rimshot)
  • Running Gag: "Hi, my name's Josh, and I'd like to talk to you about reincarnation..."
  • Same Face, Different Name: When dealing with other people, Mr. Hell sometimes identifies himself by a different name, despite still looking like a giant red devil.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The Victorian Lady Detective at one point dies in childbirth midway through solving a case.
  • Show Within a Show: This trope is how certain sketches are linked together.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Invoked with Mr. Hell, awarding sets of school prizes to himself and thinking he can get elected president of the US by way of a comparatively immature-sounding campaign speech.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: A giant squid which soliloquises on its mysteriousness before capping it off with a colloquialism about boredom and loneliness.
    • Mr. Hell manages to get the entire royal family singing a drinking song, accents and all.
  • Tempting Fate: Josh, continuing to talk about reincarnation is just opening you up to repeating the process.
  • Title Drop: The sketch at the start of every episode cues in the title sequence with someone title-dropping the series.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "What the field-marshal is going on here?"
  • Values Dissonance: Invoked in "Diary of a Victorian Lady Detective". In fact, using this trope to deconstruct actual Victorian female detective novels is the entire premise of these sketches. For example, her dress blows upwards slightly during a heated chase scene, and a nearby vicar and a bishop arrest the title character for indecent exposure on those grounds (which, in those days, amounted showing an ankle).
  • Waxing Lyrical: Pepito mostly talks using nothing but song lyrics ... at least until he snaps and goes on a killing rampage.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: After a round of increasingly questionable sexual exchanges during the tail end of one episode, a female character calls out this trope, then accuses "a gang of spotty boy virgins hiding their latent sexuality by sniggering at girlies!"