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Western Animation: Detention

"As long as we're in school, we're gonna get in trouble!"
The theme song, Detention

Detention (1999-2000) is one of the shortest-lived cartoons to ever come out of Warner Bros. Animation. Not only did it last for just 13 episodes, it wasn't a Spin-Off to an earlier production, nor was it ever picked up for cable reruns. And to add insult to injury, it's been accused of ripping off Disney's Recess. In the end, though, it's still pretty dang memorable.

The show centers on a group of preteen students at Benedict Arnold Middle School who engage in all sorts of wacky hijinks during their everyday lives; but try as they may, they simply cannot avoid being put in detention by the end of the school day. There, they are kept under the strict supervision of Eugenia P. Kisskillya, a former Marine Corps sergeant who is also the school's gym teacher.

Not to be confused with the 2011 horror/comedy of the same name.

The kids the show focuses on include:


This show contains examples of:

  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Dawson's Creek, a fellow show on The WB, gets parodied along with the network itself in one episode.
  • Can't Get In Trouble For Nuthin': Shelley Kelley, despite the fact that she spends an entire episode trying.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Jim.
  • Daddy Didn't Show: The focus of one episode. Emmitt waits excitedly, all day, for his dad to show up and hang out with him for the day. He never shows up.
  • Dark Horse Victory: The twins get disqualified from the spelling bee in "The Man With the Golden Brain".
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Kisskillya. She even calls the students "soldiers" or "privates".
  • Duck!: In "Too Good to be Truant", Shareena and Shelley, skipping school, go to the mall. Shareena yells "Duck!" when she sees her mother at a clothing store and Shelley takes it to mean the store sells ducks.
  • Egg Sitting: The "babies" are water balloons that cry at random — permanently if the parent doesn't switch it off in time. Shelley's the only one keen on the project, while most of the guys goof off or play recklessly with their babies. The girls fight back by adding enough water to double the size before handing the babies back. Shareena in particular had to watch the baby all weekend so Emmitt could go camping with his dad, but Mr. Roswell never showed. As a result, Emmitt isn't up for getting into mayhem with the other guys, who all wind up dropping their balloons, forcing three of the four families to do the project over.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Shareena dreads having to go on a solo tour of Washington D.C. with Miss Kisskillyanote . She's pleasantly surprised when Kisskillya turns out to be a fun and engaging guide.
    Miss Kisskillya: Well, you can't judge an officer by her stripes.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Kisskillya, believe it or not. When the kids find a cave used by previous detention classes, we see an Evolution Line of her going from svelte and attractive, to...Kisskillya.
  • Karma Houdini: In "Too Good to Be Truant", when Shareena and Shelley are caught playing truant, Kisskillya assumes that Shelley didn't do this voluntarily and only punishes Shareena (well, her and all the other kids besides Shelley, because they were "holding back information"). Contrary to what you would expect in a kids' show, Shelley never admits her guilt, because she doesn't want to ruin her perfect attendance record.
  • Meaningful Name: The surname of the student who believes aliens are real is Roswell.
  • Poke the Poodle: In a decision to assert their free will, the gang sets a bet on who can stay out of detention the longest. Shelley gets in on the bet via the goal of doing something bad enough that she gets sent to detention. Unfortunately, her ideas of rule-breaking are skipping extra quickly in the halls and chewing gum. Kisskillya doesn't even notice.
  • Quicksand Sucks
  • Shout-Out: Shelley quotes Sally Brown's outburst from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown after waiting for an alien on the school roof with Emmitt during the school dance. (Ironically, Warner Bros. now owns the video rights to the Peanuts cartoons.)
    • Actor Allusion: While her VA wasn't Sally, she was Lucy.
    • Duncan Bubble is named after the Duncan yo-yo company.
  • Spelling Bee: In one episode, six of the kids aim to win a Get Out of Detention Free card. Shareena practices with morbid words, Shelley learns cheerful words, and the twins one-up each other with long words. During the bee, Shareena and Shelley fail to spell words from each other's practice books, Duncan's yo-yo string snaps trying to pronounce one letter too many, the twins get double-disqualified when one of them interrupts the other's spelling of "rivalry," and Gug wins by spelling a word that he heard the twins spell during practice.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Shareena's pet pig was thought to be male until "he" gave birth to a litter of piglets.