Western Animation: Bump in the Night

Bump in the Night was a Stop Motion animated series, lasting from September, 1994 to December, 1995. It covers the adventures of Mr. Bumpy (Jim Cummings), a small green monster living under the bed of a 10 year old boy, and his friends Squishington (Rob Paulsen), a blue monster that lives in the bathroom's toilet tank, and Miss Molly Coddle (former Saturday Night Live cast member Gail Matthius), the comfort doll who belongs to the boy's sister.

The development of the series began as a series of bumpers for ABC's Saturday morning lineup in 1993, possibly, the reason he's called Mr. Bumpy is because he was originally used as a character for bumpers. The series lasted for two seasons, and concluded with a 90 minute long Christmas Special. The format of a usual episode included two cartoons and a "Karaoke Cafe" segment where the characters sung a song about the episodes' lesson.

Bump in the Night provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The Germ Girl from "Adventures in Microbia" is initially this to Squishington, but Squishy ends up loving her back by the end of the episode.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Destructo.
  • Artificial Limbs: Molly Coddle has these, in a way, given her owner's tendency to tear her apart and requiring repairs on a regular basis. A more straight example would be Juaquin the Earthworm from "Twas the Night Before Bumpy", who wants a set of robotic hands to remedy his lack of arms. He gets them.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Phil Silverfish, who has no Jewish characteristics besides a heavy Yiddish accent. Later, it becomes not-so-ambiguous as he gets the only Hanukkah-themed song in the Christmas special, where he sings about his turbo-powered dreidel.
  • Anvil on Head: The humor is there, though bowling balls and safes are more often used than actual anvils.
  • Bi the Way: Odiferous J. Stench from "Love Stinks" appears to be this, as he falls for Molly Coddle because she smells after being covered in garbage and later refocuses his affection on Mr. Bumpy and after that falls in love with the Closet Monster at the end of the episode.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Destructo and the Closet Monster are both threats to Mr. Bumpy and his friends, but they seldom work together and have different methods - Destructo only harms those that break the rules and the Closet Monster is just a mindless beast. There were also some episodes where Bumpy and friends were menaced by alien duo Sleemoth and Gloog, who tried to conquer Earth in each of their appearances.
  • Big Eater/Extreme Omnivore: Bumpy. He can eat literally anything, and most often eats something implausible for comedic effect. He's known for randomly eating some inocuous object in some scenes, and in an episode where he's forced to hide from the closet monster, he eats an entire emergency stockpile of socks within seconds.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In "Made in Japan", Squishington is unable to understand Turbo Totrenoid, who only speaks Japanese... until he realizes there are subtitles.
  • The Bus Came Back: Little Robot in the episode "Made In Japan II".
  • Call Back: Oh so many. Every character in the first season gets at least one re-appearance in season 2. The cast of the entire run of the show appears as audience members in the karaoke segments. Also, every character gets a small part in the Christmas special as part of Molly's Christmas pageant. Possibly this was as a result of the need to re-use puppets for budget reasons.
  • Cephalothorax: Mr. Bumpy and the Living Bread from "Night of the Living Breath" are both examples of this.
  • Child Hater: Bumpy is one, specifically hating babies, but changes his tune in both "Baby Snail" and "Baby Jail." When it comes to older children, he seems to be pretty much okay with them.
  • Christmas Episode: An hour-long Christmas special entitled "Twas the Night Before Bumpy" was made at the end of the series' run.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: The episodes "Made in Japan" and "Made in Japan II" feature a cute toy robot shipped from Japan, who speaks Japanese and doubles in size not unlike a Transformer.
  • Depending on the Writer: It varies in every episode whether Squishington is more intelligent (or at least has more common sense) than Mr. Bumpy or if he is dumber than Bumpy. For example, Squishington is depicted as the brighter of the pair in "Sock it to Me" and "Better Homes and Garbage", both of which have him trying to get Mr. Bumpy to stop making shortsighted decisions, whereas "Danger: Unexploded Squishington" has him getting himself into trouble because he failed to listen to Bumpy's warnings about eating in the dark.
  • Disney Death: Occurs in "Journey to the Center of the Lungfish". Captain Jetlag at first seems to die when he allows Bumpy, Squishington, and Molly to escape while he goes down the lungfish's intestine, but he ends up being spat out by the lungfish unharmed at the end of the episode.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Destructette, Destructo's girlfriend introduced in the Christmas special.
  • Downer Ending: Happens at least twice:
    • "Love's Labor Bumped" ends with Mr. Bumpy getting beaten up by Destructo and Molly Coddle.
    • "Bump and Roll" ends with the Cute Dolls hurling Bumpy and Squishy into the sun.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The three main characters were used in the commercial bumpers for ABC's Saturday morning line-up a year before a show was created for them.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Sleemoth and Gloog always try to invade Earth when they appear, but they always get beaten easily by Bumpy and his friends.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Closet Monster, which is a living pile of clothes, would be this from the characters' point of view.
  • Episode Title Card: Played straight with the episodes, but averted with the Karaoke Cafe segments, as the song titles are only given in the end credits.
  • Expository Theme Song: "I'm a wild green guy livin' under the bed, I'll gobble up a sock before you turn your head..."
  • The Faceless: We never see the faces of the family of four that lives in the house the series takes place, even when Bumpy and friends directly interact with them.
    • In a more literal sense, there was also an episode where Squishington lost his face after scrubbing it with the bathroom towel.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Molly Coddle attempted to make the Closet Monster docile in "Comforting the Uncomfortable".
  • Fountain of Youth: Mr. Bumpy ends up turning into a baby after some babies force him into drinking baby formula in "Baby Jail".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In "I Got Needs", after encountering a trio of rhyming Vikings, Squishington asks them if they "knew the one about the man from Nantucket".
    • There were also some occasions where Mr. Bumpy would use the word "bump" as an expletive.
    • On "Dr. Coddle, MD," The first thing Squishington says when he wakes up from being given mouth-to-mouth by Molly Coddle: "Doctor Molly, Not here...there are people watching."
    • In "Party Poopers", Squishington appears to grab his crotch in the middle of some wild dancing, then becomes shy and says "I hope nobody saw me..." Also, Sexophone plays while Molly removes the dress the Cute Dolls gave her. Granted, she was wearing her normal attire underneath, but the scene could not have been any less risque.
    • In "In the Bowl of the Squishy Prince", Mr. Bumpy resorts to disguising himself as a princess so that he can kiss Squishington so that he's convinced that he is a prince. As if the crossdressing isn't enough, when Squishington rescues "Princess Bumpelina" from the Closet Monster, he slaps Bumpy on the butt right before finding out who he really is.
    • "Comfort Schmumfort" has Squishington scream "I have Elvis' love child" when he panics at seeing the return of Sleemoth and Gloog.
  • The Ghost: Santa Claus is mentioned several times in the Christmas special, but he never actually appears.
  • Grandfather Paradox: Happens in "Gum Trouble", where Mr. Bumpy's attempt to steal chewing gum from his own stomach causes a temporal loop that could destroy the world.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Destructo and the Closet Monster decide to take a break from tormenting Mr. Bumpy and relax with him at the Karaoke Cafe in the episode "Long, Long Day." In addition, the aliens Sleemoth and Gloog, the Living Bread, and the Germs from "Adventures in Microbia" frequently make cameos at the Karaoke Cafe even though they are established villains.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Mr. Bumpy has two shoulder devils goad him into taking all of Santa's presents for himself in "Twas the Night Before Bumpy".
  • Hero Antagonist: Destructo often takes this role, as he is obsessed with order and justice and often antagonizes Mr. Bumpy for breaking the rules.
  • Human Popsicle: Mr. Bumpy's Auntie Matta from the episode of the same name gives this as her reason for why she never saw her nephew in a while, saying that she got caught in an avalanche during the Gold Rush and thawed out by the time of the episode.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In "Story Problems", the boy claims to be good at spelling and then misspells "dead" as "D-E-D".
    • Molly Coddle admonishes Mr. Bumpy for trying to use a baseball bat indoors because someone could get hurt in "Beauty and the Bump", but she ends up accidentally hurting people anyway because screams of pain can be heard after she tosses the bat away.
  • "I Want" Song: There are two Karaoke Cafe songs that follow this. "Gotta Have It" is about Mr. Bumpy describing how greedy he is, while "Comfort Schmumfort" initially has Molly sing about how she wants a break from being a comfort doll until finding out that she just can't bear to go without helping injured people.
  • Identity Amnesia: This technically happens to Destructo in the episode "Destructo's Flipside" after his batteries are knocked out and mistakenly put back in reverse. He does not forget who he is, but he ends up forgetting his obsession with law and order, believes that he is meant to make people happy, and is a lot nicer to Mr. Bumpy than he usually is.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Bumpy has one in the episode "Baby Snail." There's a minor resemblance.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mr. Bumpy can be greedy and selfish at times, but he always shows remorse when his actions cause harm to his friends and wishes for them to be happy. One episode even had him trying to find a bunny to cheer up a sick Squishington and is so upset by his repeated failures to acquire one that he tries to get himself eaten by the Closet Monster even as Squishington tells him that it's okay he let him down.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Closet Monster. While he is capable of providing some comical moments, his presence in the show generally makes things darker as he often tries to eat Mr. Bumpy and his friends.
  • Knight Templar: Destructo, who goes to extreme lengths to keep everyone from breaking the rules.
  • Large Ham: It is rare for Mr. Bumpy to say anything without shouting at the top of his lungs.
  • Living Toys: Molly Coddle, Destructo, and the Cute Dolls all qualify.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Aside from the main cast of Mr. Bumpy, Squishington, and Molly Coddle, there's also Destructo, the Closet Monster, the Cute Dolls, Germ Girl, aliens Sleemoth and Gloog, Little Robot, Phil Silverfish, Odiferous J. Stench, etc.
  • Look Behind You: Mr. Bumpy occasionally does this, telling Destructo that he sees Molly's Comet in "Long, Long Day" and claiming to see a polka dot monkey in "Not a Leg to Stand On."
  • Lovable Coward: Squishington. He even gets a Karaoke song about how to tell monsters to go away and don't come back.
  • Mattress Tag Gag: When Squishington needs a tissue in the "Destructo's Flipside" episode, Bumpy is loath to give up one from his collection and instead grabs a mattress tag. Right after Squishington blows his nose, Destructo busts them.
    Destructo: Red alert! Red alert! You'll pay dearly for this heinous crime.
  • Medium Awareness: Bumpy often expresses how he knows he's in a cartoon.
    • Goes into No Fourth Wall territory in "Night of the Living Bread," when Bumpy finds out the show's started after hearing the title card's music cue.
  • Medium Blending: The show combines stop-motion animation (most of the characters) with live action footage (the house and the family who live in it alongside the main characters) and even early computer graphics (all of the 2D animation).
  • Mundane Solution: In "Comforting the Uncomfortable" Bumpy and Squishy bring a stop to the Closet Monster (who's made entirely out of dirty clothing) by spraying him with starch.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Bumpy is ruled by greed. Greed over what? That changes from episode to episode.
  • Neat Freak: Squishington. Wouldn't you love to have a little blue monster keeping your toilet neat?
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In "When the Music Starts", Mr. Bumpy asks Squishington if he is still mad about the time he put broccoli in his underwear.
    • "Made in Japan II" has Molly Coddle bring up that the last time Mr. Bumpy served as a tour guide, it led to a fly fishing controversy.
  • Only One Name: Squishington. It is never consistent whether it's his first name or last name, either, as he refers to himself as Squishington A. Peabody in "Sock it to Me", while Mr. Bumpy gives his friend's full name as F. Lee Squishington in "Love's Labor Bumped."
  • Overly Long Name: The earthworm Juaquin Gusanito Sin Manos from the Christmas special.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Mr. Bumpy has used a few of these before. He once messed with Destructo by disguising himself as Molly Coddle (who Destructo had a crush on at the time). On another occasion, Bumpy tried to avoid being punished for allegedly stealing Molly's feet by disguising himself as Squishington's "Cousin Bela".
  • Parental Bonus:
    • In the episode "Party Pooper", Squishington sings the phrase "Who's that knocking at my door?" to the exact same tune the phrase is sung in the drinking song "Barnacle Bill the Sailor".
    • When Destructo starts to beat up Mr. Bumpy in "Not a Peep", Mr. Bumpy quotes the Simon and Garfunkel song The Sound of Silence by saying "Hello, darkness, my old friend."
  • Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: Mr. Bumpy attempts to do this to cheer up a sick Squishington in "Hocus Dopus". When he fails, he nearly lets himself get eaten by the Cloest Monster until Squishington deliberately puts a bunny slipper into the hat and asks Bumpy to try the trick one more time.
  • Pun-Based Title: Quite a lot of them, one example being the episode "Cold Turkey", which is about a turkey from the refrigerator coming to life.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Mr. Bumpy is implied to be this in "Auntie Matta", considering that he last saw his Auntie Matta during the Gold Rush.
  • Recycled Title: "Comfort Schmumfort" is used as the title for both a regular episode and a Karaoke Cafe song.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: change "Red" to "Green" and you have Bumpy and Squishy.
    • In one of the karaoke segments, they even appear together in a yin-yang.
  • Reluctant Monster: Mr. Bumpy hears about a monster under the bed that is freaking his boy out, and resolves to deal with it. After an investigation, Squishington deduces that the monster is in fact Mr. Bumpy, and his late-night, hard-partying ways are scaring the boy awake. Mr. Bumpy is upset by this, since he loves his boy, since he's the primary source of the cool stuff he has and the dirty socks he eats.
  • Reset Button Ending: Despite learning a lesson in about every episode, Bumpy always goes back to being, greedy, selfish and impulsive by the start of the next episode.
  • Rule of Cool: Often evoked by Bumpy in order to rationalize any of the, quite frequently, absurd things he does.
  • Running Gag: The episode "Beauty and the Bump" has the running gag of Mr. Bumpy trying to solve his problems by using a baseball bat only for one of the other characters to yell at him because doing so is unsafe. This especially gets ludicrous in his dream sequence when he answers the troll's riddle "Why can't a vampire get a date?", as Mr. Bumpy's answer is merely a pun on the word "bat" (Because he has bat breath) as opposed to using a bat to hit things.
  • Schmuck Bait: The closet monster repeatedly uses dirty socks to bait Mr. Bumpy into his range and eat him. He always falls for it by pulling off a narrow escape.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The episode "Journey to the Center of the Lungfish" has Bumpy, Molly, and Squishy end up inside a lungfish, which admittedly doesn't appear often in cartoons.
  • Shout-Out: The episode "Night of the Living Bread", whose title is a Shout-Out to Night of the Living Dead. At the end of the episode, they list a number of sequels, all of which are bread-based puns on other horror film titles. There were also many other nods in the series, such as Bumpy referencing Mortal Kombat in one episode.
    • There was also a particular love of Alice Cooper's "School's Out" song. It was used in two episodes and a Karaoke segment.
  • Stable Time Loop: "A Sneeze in Time", where Bumpy learns to travel back in time by sneezing, runs into multiple time clones of himself, but finds he can't undo the nasty thing he said to Squishy.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: This is parodied with Squishington and Germ Girl from "Adventures in Microbia". Germ Girl has a one-sided crush on Squishington even though she is a germ and Squishy is a neat freak. However, Squishington eventually returns her affections and both of them are very sad to have to leave one another at the end of the episode.
  • Stock Footage: Not a single episode doesn't use footage from another. Hell, some even use footage from episodes that don't air until later, which makes it confusing as to what was done first in the show's production.
  • Subbing for Santa: Mr. Bumpy accidentally does this, stealing Santa's bag of presents and inadvertently dropping the gifts down everyone's chimneys. He even puts a Santa hat on before he leaves.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Most obviously evoked by Bumpy in "Baby Snail," where he curses the fact he's saddled with a dumb baby in the most cooing and loving way possible.
  • Take That: In one episode, Squishington loses his face. While drawing a new face as a temporary replacement, Mr. Bumpy says to him that if he makes one small mistake, he'll look like Ross Perot. Incidentally, the replacement face drawn is a simple smiley face.
  • Team Mom: Molly, as a comfort doll, gets a lot of her enjoyment out of comforting the various inhabitants of the room.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: In "Farewell, 2 Arms" Molly goes mad with power and replaces all her parts. Soon Squishington finds Molly's original parts and puts them back together, bringing back the normal Molly. So in the end there are two dolls that both have Molly's mind at the same time.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: "Auntie Matta" introduces Mr. Bumpy's Auntie Matta, who comes over to visit, but her presence proves a major inconvenience because she likes nothing better than to scare everyone and stays at the house for months. She eventually is made to leave when Bumpy scares her by introducing her to television.
  • Think of the Censors:
    • In "Adventures in Microbia," when Squishington gets kissed by Germ Girl, Bumpy blocks them from the viewers' eyes and says, "Hey, you can't do that on TV."
    • In "Beauty and the Bump", Mr. Bumpy asks Knight!Destructo if he has anything more network-friendly after being shown a selection of sharp, bladed weapons.
  • Title Drop:
    • In the episode "Not of This Boy's Room", Mr. Bumpy at one point actually says "Not of this boy's room".
    • "Comforting the Uncomfortable" has the yellow bunny say the title of the episode when he explains to Bumpy and Squishington that Molly intends to comfort the Closet Monster.
    • Molly gives one in the episode "Comfort Schmumfort" when she gets ready to rescue Bumpy and Squishington from Sleemoth and Gloog.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Molly Coddle in "Comfort Schmumfort". After she is ridiculed by Sleemoth and Gloog when they capture Mr. Bumpy and Squishington, she trains herself to become stronger and single-handedly comes to Bumpy and Squishy's rescue.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Molly goes through this in "Twas the Night Before Bumpy" when she gets fed up with everyone else ridiculing her even when she tells them that she is put in charge of the pageant. Fortunately, she eventually sees the error of her ways and she is forgiven for her actions.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Socks for Mr Bumpy.
  • Unusual Euphemism: As said earlier in Getting Crap Past the Radar, Mr. Bumpy occasionally uses the word "bump" for profanity, most commonly in the phrase "Bump this!"
  • Urban Legend: in Bumpy's world, the ones aimed at kids are always true. You shouldn't eat cherries and milk together, swinging over the bar will turn you inside-out, bread always lands peanut-butter side down, oh and there's a monster both under your bed and in your closet.
  • Villain Song:
    • Destructo gets "I'm Bigger Than You" in one of the Karaoke Cafe segments.
    • The alien duo Sleemoth and Gloog get a Villain Song of their own called "Invaders", which they sing in the episode "It Sang from Beyond the Stars".
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Averted. According to the address seen on Squishington's email in the episode "Made in Japan II", the show takes place in San Fransisco, California.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: "Danger: Unexploded Squishington" has Squishington accidentally eat a bomb while snacking at night. As a result, he hears a ticking sound coming from inside him for most of the short.
  • Wild Take: A staple of the show, especially from Bumpy.

Alternative Title(s):

Bump In The Night