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Western Animation: Clarence
From former Adventure Time storyboard artist and recent CalArts grad Skyler Page comes this Cartoon Network original about the Slice of Life antics of a bunch of elementary school-aged kids from the suburbs of Aberdale, focusing mainly on the chubby, perpetually optimistic and endearingly naďve Clarence, as well as his two best friends, neurotic Jeff and mischief-maker Sumo.

The series marks an interesting change of pace for the network - who as of late have gained a reputation for its surreal, fantastical and visually top-notch programming - by adding a show that's closer to the real world, drawing its humour from the quirky personalities of its three main leads and the situations they get into in and outside school hours. Page's aim was to create a show that had a realistic portrayal of childhood, achieving this by basing it on that of he and his crew's own experiences.

Reaction to the show was initially very glowing, with the first episode becoming CN's most watched series premiere for an animated show, until word sprang up on the web that Skyler Page had sexually harassed female staff members during work hours, and was eventually dismissed from the studio for these actions alongside his bipolar disorder causing a literal Creator Breakdown during the week of the event. This caused a massive uproar in both the fanbase and animation community as a whole, which left the future of the show, as well as Page's career in animation, initially uncertain (although CN has stated the rest of Season One will air as planned while they sort out the mess, and will continue without Page's involvement).


This show provides examples of:

  • Adorkable: Jeff and Breehn.
  • Adults Are Useless: Invoked in "Man of the House". Sumo stops Jeff from calling an adult because he doesn't trust adults.
  • Animation Bump: The intro is more fluid and better detailed shading than the rest of the show.
  • Anything Can Be Music: In "Honk", the children compose a symphony out of squeeze horns.
  • Art Shift: Happens briefly during Clarence's nightmare sequence in "Clarence's Millions", as a homage to Little Nemo in Slumberland.
    • It happens again in "Jeff's New Toy" when Clarence is trying to explain to Jeff how he broke his action figure.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Sumo apparently finds Clarence this in 'Clarence Gets a Girlfriend', when Clarence tries on a bikini. Specifically, he stares at him intently and asks him to do a pose.
  • Bad Date: In "Clarence's Gets a Girlfriend", hilariously so, but it gets resolved at the end when they decide to just be friends and hang out.
  • Badass Bookworm: Jeff, in "Fun Dungeon Face Off". He may be a scrawny nerd, but he has mad skills when he's angry.
  • Bait and Switch: In A Pretty Great Day With a Girl, Clarence leads Amy into thinking he's going to pee on Belson and his comrades but it turns out he was spraying them with a water bottle.
  • Better as Friends: Clarence and Ashley.
  • Banana Peel: Clarence purposely slips on one in Lost in the Supermarket.
  • Berserk Button: Jeff really doesn't like it when someone eats his fries.
    • And don't break his toys.
  • Big Fancy House: Breehin's house, at least from the inside.
  • Bigger Is Better: The erratic.
    Clarence: It's a monster rock that eats other rocks.
  • Blatant Lies: Clarence's story about what happened to Jeff's toy.
  • Blind Mistake: In "Puddle Eyes", Clarence gets dried mud over his eyes, and his attempts to feel his way around leads to many of these.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to Clarence very briefly in "Dinner Party" when he touches fiberglass, stinging his hand. He quickly gets over it after Jeff washes it off.
  • Broken Treasure: Jeff's toy in Jeff's New Toy.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Everyone, even the background characters, look distinct from each other.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Clarence of course. Sumo comes close second. And heck, even Jeff shows shades of this sometimes.
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: Spoofed in "Rise and Shine" when Clarence comes face to face with a mountain lion.
  • Competition Coupon Madness: As soon as Mary drops her coupons, a bunch of frenzied shoppers swarm over them.
  • Comic Trio: Clarence, Jeff and Sumo.
  • Costume Test Montage: Clarence has one in order to get ready for his date in 'Clarence Gets a Girlfriend'.
  • Cringe Comedy: Clarence often says or does embarrassing things in public, but like any young kid is far too immature to even notice.
  • Day in the Limelight: "Slumber Party" is one for Kimby, Courtlin and Malessica.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • "The most peculiar peculiarities," in "Clarence's Million's.
    • "Breakfast is part of a nutritious breakfast" from the opening title card of "Rise and Shine"
  • Disappeared Dad: Clarence's dad.
  • Dream Within a Dream: Clarence's nightmare in "Clarence's Millions".
  • Epic Fail: In "Jeff's New Toy" Clarence only has to play with Jeff's toy for a few seconds before he breaks it.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Averted, but referenced in "Rise and Shine" when Clarence is shown a man with a missing pinkie and he says "Cool, cartoon hands!"
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The laser tag battle in "Money Broom Wizard".
  • Funny Background Event: In "Fun Dungeon Face Off", when Mary (Clarence's mom) is talking to Sammy (Shawn's mom), you can see Jeff and Clarence in the background begin to have their sword fight over a french fry box.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Very blatantly too. In the second episode. Clarence and Amy are looking up pictures of an erratic, and Clarence being the Cloud Cuckoo Lander, is fascinated by it. His reaction is much further than a TV-PG rating should allow. Not to mention that he soon says he has to pee from it. Along with what erratic is one tongue slip away from.
    • From "Dinner Party":
    Jeff: We can go explore Breehn's bedroom.
    Sumo: Or Breehn's parents' bedroom.
    • From "Dollar Hunt":
    Clarence: You're a cute little Dickins, aren't you? (referring to a piece of salami he made)
  • Going to See the Elephant: In "Pretty Great Day With A Girl", Amy and Clarence go in search of an erratic.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Clarence's dirty hands in "Fun Dungeon Face Off", as seen from Jeff's point of view.
  • Happily Married: Breehin's parents, it seems.
  • Hartman Hips: Almost the entire cast falls under this, but most notably are Mary and Ms. Baker.
  • Hilarity In Zoos: In the episode ''Zoo, Clarence and Belson are made 'seat buddies' and have to go through the zoo together and eventually get locked inside after hours, while Clarence inadvertently annoys him the whole while.
  • "Home Alone" Antics: In "Man Of The House". When Chad comes home early, the boys have to disarm the traps before he gets hurt.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "Clarence Gets a Girlfriend" just as Jeff is saying what a nice guy he is he ignores a girl asking him to hold a door open for her and lets it slam into her.
  • Idiot Houdini: Clarence and Sumo regularly commit crimes without realizing it and get no punishment. Semi-justified because they're children and they probably don't know any better.
  • I'll Kill You!: Jeff to Clarence in "Fun Dungeon Face Off".
    Jeff: I'm gonna kill you, Clarence!
  • Ironic Echo Cut: In "Fun Dungeon Face Off".
    Mary: All the kids love Clarence.
    Jeff: I'm gonna kill you, Clarence!
  • I've Got an X and I'm Not Afraid to Use It: In "Honk," "I've got a horn and I'm not afraid to use it!"
  • Jeopardy! Intelligence Test: Jeff is seen doing this in the first episode.
  • Laugh Track: In "Man Of The House", canned laughter follows Clarence's punny comments on the booby traps being set. However, the last one ("Pasta la vista, baby") is met with groans instead.
  • Locked in a Room: In the episode Zoo, Clarence and Belson get locked inside the zoo their class went to for a field trip after-hours.
  • Medium Blending: The Title Cards are photographs of real props.
    • Clarence's explanation of how Jeff's toy got broken in "Jeff's New Toy" is done in cut-out puppets.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The Show Within a Show Supreme Court Extreme.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: In "Man of the House", Jeff dodges a bunch of thrown stuff, but loses it when a baseball gently touches him.
  • Mistaken Species: When Clarence sees a mountain lion, he shouts "Oh, no! A bear!"
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The whole premise of the show, while still keeping it in the realm of possibility.
  • Mundane Solution: When Sumo suggests simply taking away Clarence's horn in "Honk", while Jeff acts like he's holding a loaded gun.
  • Mistaken For Romance: In "Pretty Great Day With A Girl" Belson and his friends think Clarence and Amy are hanging out because they're a couple when really they're just hanging out as friends.
    • In "Clarence Gets a Girlfriend" Ashley's friends assume Clarence likes her just because he talked to her.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted as a general rule. Jeff makes it no secret that he wants to kill Clarence for taking his fries.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The "Fun Dungeon" has obviously not been inspected lately. How else could Clarence and Jeff get on top of it so easily? It can be said that the whole "Fun Dungeon" is a parody of such play areas such as at McDonald's and Chuck E. Cheese's.
  • Nightmare Sequence: "Clarence's Millions" has this in the middle of the episode.
    • Also in "Honk", when Clarence realizes he has a problem with honking his horn all the time.
  • Pooled Funds: Clarence dreams of swimming in Clarence Bucks in "Clarence's Millions".
  • Punny Name: The judges of Supreme Court Squad Extreme have names that pun on current members of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Radish Cure: In "Honk", Jeff tries to cure Clarence of his obsession with horns by having the other kids honk horns at him. It backfires, as not only does it encourage Clarence more, the other kids start enjoying it too, until the teachers confiscate them all.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The end credits song is "Good Habits (and Bad)" by Saba Lou.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sumo gives one to both Jeff and Clarence in "Jeff's New Toy", telling Jeff not to be so uptight, and Clarence not to mess with other people's stuff.
  • Rich Bitch: Both of Breehn's parents, who spend the entire episode of 'The Dinner Party' showing off their house, condenscendingly shut down Mary when she tries to start a conversation, and are more worried about the damage done to their house than the fact that several children could've been hurt, one of them being their own son.
  • Show Within a Show: Cartoon sci-fi legal procedural Supreme Court Extreme, supporting a toyline.
  • Shout-Out: The episode "Lost in the Supermarket" shares its name with a song by The Clash.
    • "Clarence's Millions" opens with Clarence's class reading A Melancholic Tale of the Qurky Quirkerson Siblings.
    • During the same episode, Clarence's Nightmare Sequence begins with him imagining himself to be Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money pit, only filled with Clarence Dollars instead of gold coins. A remixed version of the DuckTales theme song even plays in the background!
    • The same dream ends with an homage to Little Nemo In Slumberland.
    • At the end of "Clarence's Millions", there is a trading card game that parodies Pokémon
    • Also in "Clarence's Millions" there's a T. rex toy that is reminiscent of the Jurassic Park toy lineups, complete with a wound.
    • Clarence's friends Jeff and Sumo, look like Steve from Minecraft and Gollum from Lord of the Rings respectively.
      • Belson not only looks like Bert; his personality is like Bert's, but tinged with Jerk Ass.
      • In "Money Broom Wizard," the trio embark on a LOTR-style quest with clear character roles: Clarence as Gandalf, Jeff as Legolas, and Sumo as "Sumo-wise" (although his resemblance to Gollum is exploited at the beginning when he crawls on all fours).
    • When Clarence and Jeff start dueling with foam guards on top of the Fun Dungeon in "Fun Dungeon Face Off," the music imitates Duel of the Fates.
    • Clarence appears to be watching a Marx Brothers movie in "Honk".
    • In "Zoo", a pastiche of the The Beach Boys plays when Ms. Baker mentions her dream of moving out to California.
    • "Dollar Hunt", one of Clarence's flashbacks is him in Chad's much-to-big-for-a-little-boy jacket, pretending to be David Byrne.
    • When Clarence tries to talk down the mountain lion in "Rise and Shine", a pastiche of Erasure's "Always" (AKA the theme from Robot Unicorn Attack) starts playing, with puma-appropriate lyrics.
  • Spiritual Successor: Many people see this show as one for Rugrats, or as a far less malicious Ed, Edd n Eddy.
  • Spit Take: Jeff has one when Clarence reveals he has a new girlfriend in Clarence Gets a Girlfriend.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: The Pizza Swamp fits this trope to a tee. It's complete with "Big Betty", "The Money Broom" and a game where you swat seals with a giant mallet. its basically a carbon-copy of the real place.... But it's not!.
  • Surprise Creepy: "Rise and Shine" has Clarence encounter a mountain lion in his backyard.
  • Sweetheart Sipping: In "Clarence Gets a Girlfriend", a nervous Clarence sees a picture of a couple sipping from the same milkshake and tries the same with Ashley, but just ends up making a mess.
  • Synchro-Vox: The principal of Clarence's school.
  • The Unintelligible: Sumo seems to be this to everyone except Clarence and possibly Jeff.
  • Well Intentioned Replacement: The fake toy box Clarence makes in "Jeff's New Toy".
  • You No Take Candle: Blaide in "Dollar Hunt" speaks like this. He seems to be a lost foreigner trying to find a bus stop to get home.
    • However, Blaide is shown to be in Clarence's class, as seen in "Zoo"
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