"The world's first animated reality show."note Oddly enough, there would be a second.
A Comedy Central cartoon that ran for three seasons (2004-2007), Drawn Together is a Reality Show parody, the concept being that eight cartoon characters from different genres are forced to live under one roof. A notable mark of the show is how each character manages to be both a parody of a specific style of animation and a parody of the stock characters usually put together in Reality Shows. The show is one of the more polarizing ones to come along in recent years; it draws some ferocious hate for its reliance on gross-out humor and Black Comedy, but it also has an extremely loyal fanbase.Following the show's television run, a Direct-to-DVDmovie was released in which the gang discovers their show has been canceled and attempt to get back on the air.
This show provides examples of:
Absentee Actor: In "Captain Hero's Marriage Pact," Toot and Clara (both voiced by Tara Strong) are virtually absent from the entire episode until the last few minutes. This could be due to Strong dedicating the majority of her time voicing Unusually Flexible Girl in that episode. The writers quickly Lampshade this:
Clara: Have you noticed we haven't been getting any screen time this week? Toot: Well, uh, duh! That's because we've been in the basement all week making this awesome potato gun!
While trying to fill out a Mad Lib to find the Mad Libber, Spanky insists that at least one blank needs to be "penis." Sure enough, the villain turns out to be hatching his scheme from the top of the "Penis Tower."
Accidental Misnaming: In the third season and the movie, Foxxy had a bizarre tendency to call her housemates and even herself by the wrong name. Lampshaded by Toot in the episode "Breakfast Food Killer".
Foxxy: Tooky, can't you just be happy for Mapplethorpe? (referring to Wooldoor) Toot: Why don't you assholes believe me? (to Foxxy) And why don't you know any of our names?
Activist Fundamentalist Antics: Princess Clara is prone to this. At one point, she wishes Xandir and his new boyfriend live happily ever after... until God throws them both in the fiery pits of Hell, of course.
Amazing Freaking Grace: Plays in the background pretty much any time a character delivers a moral of some sort.
Ambiguously Jewish: Quite a lot of them, mainly Hero. Also, Toot has a Jewish surname, but she's never explicitly stated to be Jewish — only very vaguely hinted. Wooldoor is heavily implied to be Jewish, but he's explicitly stated as being Christian in some episodes; blame Negative Continuity.
Maybe he's an ambiguous Jew for Jesus?
Toot was also reciting the Mourner's Kaddish in one episode — a Jewish rite.
Spanky Ham is a strange case. In a third season episode, he all but proclaims himself to be a Jew when he chides Franken Berry (formerly Frankenstein) for turning his back on his heritage, stating "Assimilation is our people's greatest enemy". In the first season, Spanky was explicitly stated as being a convert to Islam... so he's either a Jew (due either to Negative Continuity or a Retcon) or a former Jew, which in the latter case, would make his speech very ironic indeed.
The creators themselves are Jewish, as is Tara Strong (Clara and Toot).
Anatomically Impossible Sex: It happened a few times. One such involved a female cow and Captain Hero saying "I always dreamed of meeting a woman with six penises!"
Then again, this being Hero, he was probably just mistaking udders for penises.
Arch-Enemy: Hero and Xandir each have one. Xandir's is Lord Slashstab, a pastiche of Venger from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, while Hero's arch nemesis is a bizarre villain called Scroto whose entire villainous gambit consists of coming up with new ways to trick Captain Hero into washing his privates...
Foxxy Love has had so many of her children taken away from her, she considers the woman from Child Services to be her arch nemesis.
Well, she has admitted to putting Foxxy's children in horrible foster homes.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The warning label on the movie's DVD cover reads as follows: "Warning: This program is recommended for mature audiences only. It contains adult language, situations, nudity, and awkwardness."
Lampshaded by Wooldoor in Season 3: "Now, my show can entertain kids, annoy adults, and funny third thing!"
Art Evolution: Averted with The Movie. It's animated in Adobe Flash and it's very noticeable. Inverted with the series — with each successive season, the quality of the animation gets poorer. The series is also a rare instance of this happening to the sound, as well as the graphics: Toot's voice was at first deliberately made to sound like the low quality, scratchy audio recordings of the 1920's cartoons she represents, but the effect was abandoned after the first episode.
The Artifact: The fact that the series is supposed to be a reality show became less and less important and stopped being mentioned at all midway through season two.
Until The Movie, when the show's cancellation became the focus of the entire plot.
Art Shift: Each character is animated in a style appropriate to their origin. For instance, Clara is drawn in a Disneyesque style, Foxxy is drawn like a Hanna-Barbera character, etc.
Author Avatar: The Jew Producer. The writers of the show are both Jewish. Unique in that he's deliberately created to be utterly despicable.
Ax-Crazy: The mall policeman in the episode "The Lemon-AIDS Walk". At first it seems very relaxed, but suddenly shows its extremely violent when he threatens to kill a civilian woman pointing a gun if Wooldoor refused to throw some candy. When Wooldoor is captured, the policeman killed the women anyway just for the pleasure.
Also, Captain Hero. In the above-mentioned episode Hero (under the influence of excessive steroids) is told that steroids can provoke fits of rage. This single comment causes him to go ballistic, "show [them] fits of rage" and murder the entire house.
Black Best Friend: Subverted on the show, as while Foxxy and Clara are sometimes depicted as friends, more often Foxxy's attitude toward Clara runs the gamut from genuine dislike to exasperated ambivalence. Played straight in real life, as Tara Strong and Cree Summer have been best friends for over twenty-five years, even growing up together.
Also Foxxy upon discovering the housemates have deserted the Suicide Hotline.
Combining Mecha: Episode three of Season one, "Gay Bash", reveals that Asians can do this.
Comically Missing the Point: Captain Hero is a master at this. To cite one of many examples, in one episode, an immigrant family from Greece moves in next door. When Captain Hero hears the word "Greeks", he assumes it's a fraternity and immediately rushes over to their house and tries to become a pledge... which he keeps at long after the reality of the situation has become abundantly clear. He is even explicitly told the truth at multiple points and refuses to believe it.
"The Lemon-AIDS Walk" is the best one. He becomes convinced that the AIDS walk is a sporting event, not a charity marathon, and decides to "Do more walking and have more AIDS" than anyone else. He then gets hooked on steroids so he can win the AIDS walk, goes mad and lives with Popeye for a while until Popeye dies of AIDS from using contaminated needles, and then enters the AIDS walk... and wins by killing all the other people taking part. So not a single dollar is actually raised for it because no one but Hero actually finished it. And then he steals the AIDS quilt thinking it's his trophy.
Comic Role Play: When Xandir runs away, the housemates roleplay the experiences of a young naive teenager moving to the big city and becoming a prostitute. While played horribly to-life, the comedy comes when the housemates keep acting out their abusive, sexual roleplay when Xandir isn't even there.
Coming-Out Story: With Xandir, both played straight (in Gay Bash, when coming out to the house) and parodied (in ''A Very Special Drawn Together After School Special, when coming out to his parents).
Cousin Oliver: Parodied with the character of Strawberry Sweetcake.
Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: Xandir's whole "Never ending quest to save his girlfriend until he realized he was gay and switched to a never ending quest to save his boyfriend" thing was really only important for the first three episodes of the first season. But any media outlet that described the show acted like it was an important part of his character.
Same deal with Clara's Octopussoir. It's mentioned in exactly two episodes, yet articles on the show speak of it like it's a vital part of her character.
Cruel Twist Ending: Most episodes get this kind of ending, but being a black comedy, obviously played for laughs. But special mention for this certainly deserves the ending of "Little Orphan Hero". In it, Captain Hero destroyed his home planet in revenge and raped his own parents. Even for many endings are played for laughs, often becomes in Dude, Not Funny!.
Denied Parody: Wooldoor's incredibly elaborate masturbation ritual was thought by many fans to be a parody of SpongeBob SquarePants's technique for producing bubbles underwater. However, the show's executive producer denied any reference to SpongeBob, stating that Wooldoor's masturbation was done the way it was in order to appease network censors; it couldn't in any way resemble real masturbation.
Deus Sex Machina: In one episode, Ling-Ling and his "Permanent Battle Partner", Ni-pul enjoyed their battle sequences like sex, until it becomes too stale to enjoy. Ling-Ling's partner suggests to make things more interesting by actually, as Ling-Ling would put it, "dipping his noodle in her duck sauce"...
Disney Creatures of the Farce: Clara's ability to conjure up animals when she sings is parodied often, most memorably when Spanky and Wooldoor survive a "food ban" by hunting said small animals.
The box set includes drinking game rules for a select group of episodes.
The male characters also have a drinking game of "take a drink of whenever something gay happens on Drawn Together." This ends up with Xandir dead as a result of a murderous rampage on Ling-Ling's part.
Wooldoor, so it seems, in the beginning of the second season. Later, he reveals that he was taking his "afternoon noose nap", and the people who buried him thought he was dead.
In a second season episode, after losing a game of Not-It to get Toot pregnant, Ling-Ling commits Seppuku.
Drugs Are Bad: Or drinking in this case. After a drinking game (mentioned above) which results in Ling-Ling killing Xandir and more importantly, the guys running out of beer, Hero, Spanky, and Wooldoor go out to get more. They then run over a homeless guy "because they were drinking and driving" as Wooldoor said. He continuously says this for the first half of the episode before Hero punches him.
There's also that time "Ling Ling OD'd... somehow" on his birthday.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Live Action Cow", "Live Action Squirrel With Big Balls", the list goes on, I mean really. Oh, and live action squirrel with big balls, fights live action cow, and I'll give you a hint about live action squirrel with big balls, it involves big balls.
Exiled to the Couch: After Captain Hero stands up Xandir at the mall, Xandir that night orders Hero to sleep on the couch — despite the fact that the two sleep in separate beds.
Expy: Each of the house members are supposed to be one, and many more of other cartoon characters show up throughout the series.
Captain Hero is an expy of masculine superheroes, most notably Superman.
Toot: So fine! If I can't be the sex symbol, then I definitely be the bitch!
Forgot I Could Fly: If Captain Hero could use his powers properly, the majority of plots would be resolved within five minutes. Of course, expecting Captain Hero to not be an idiot is like expecting your dog to mow the lawn.
When Spanky catches a computer virus and needs to be rushed to the hospital, Hero starts calling for an ambulance before actually remembering that he can fly...only to fly off through the roof, leaving Spanky behind.
Forgotten Fallen Friend: Captain Hero enters the AIDS walk after witnessing his friend Popeye dying of AIDS by using contaminated needles. He manages to "win" the competition (actually killing all the other participants) and after having taken the prize he sees Popeye's face in the sky. He doesn't even recognize him!
In a sense, during the role-playing session, Xandir forgets his promise to Chocolandra Love as soon as she's dead.
Four-Fingered Hands: In keeping with the characters' various animation styles, the more realistically drawn human characters — Hero, Foxxy, Clara, and Xandir — have five fingers on each hand, but the more "cartoony" characters, Toot and Wooldoor, only have four.
Funny Foreigner: Ling-Ling is a stereotype of Asian people, including mangling pronunciations of the few English words he speaks, talking primarily in Foreign-Sounding Gibberish, having stereotypical Asian sexual fetishes, and so on.
Good Times Montage: A literal parody, in "Breakfast Food Killers". Whenever Toot mentioned "I'll always remember the good times..." it cuts to a short montage of previous footage with the theme from Good Times playing. It also features all the characters sporting Afros.
Hollywood Homely:invoked Parodied. Foxxy and Clara both have perfect bodies; Toot is only slightly pudgy, yet is treated as if she's as big as a whale. Unfortunately, the show tends to undermine this by actually drawing her fat and gross for a cheap joke now and again.
Then there was the scene in season one where Spanky, Hero, and Wooldoor all took turns playing spin the bottle with each other, culminating in a three-person mouth orgy.
The bottle points to Wooldoor: "WHEE!!" Captain Hero: "Hey! If you're going to be gay about this, you can't play!" He proceeds to kiss him.
I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: In the final episode, The Jew Producer runs offstage in despair to commit suicide. He somehow manages to accidentally shoot dead at least three stage hands, after each time screaming "No! I shot another stage hand! Why do things like this keep happening to me! I can't take it anymore!" and then trying again, each time getting even more disparaged. He finally succeeds.
I Love the Dead: Captain Hero really has a thing for dead bodies. Season Three is packed to the brim with jokes about how much he loves them, and in The Movie, he carries a girl's corpse around for the entire movie, calling her his girlfriend, "Molly".
I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: In "Breakfast Food Killer", the murdered cereal mascot Quackers gives Toot four of the five golden UPC codes before he dies, imploring her to find the fifth so they can bring down the evil cereal empire.
Least Rhymable Word: There's a first season episode that has Foxxy give the cast a "sex ed" talk as if she were a Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher and the rest of the cast (obligingly) act like kindergartners. She rhymes "pee pee" with "teepee", but when she gets to vagina, she calls it a "gigi", which in her words "rhymes with puppy...but not very well."
Long Title: The episode "Wooldoor Sockbat's Giggle-Wiggle Funny Tickle Non-Traditional Progressive Multicultural Roundtable!" A bit of trivia: the Italian dubbing goes the opposite way and bluntly renames the episode "Gay Terminator", after the featured villain.
Let's not forget the limbless undercover sting unit in "Little Orphan Hero" called the "Special Tactical Operations Unit To Catch People Who Set Up Suicide Hotlines Because Of A Reality Show Challenge And Then Didn't Follow Through On Them So They Cause The People Who Needed Them To Take Their Own Lives And Then They Change Their Minds When They Realize Not All People Should Be Forced To Live So They Try To Assist Someone In Euthanasia". Or the STOUTCPWSUSHBOARSCATDFTOTSTCTPWNTTTTMWTRNAPSBFTLSTTTASIE for short.
Lyrical Dissonance: In one episode, Foxxy sings a song called "Crashy Smashy Die Die Die." The song describes a horrible car accident that killed her bandmates, but it is musically upbeat and catchy.
Manipulative Editing: The show's producer openly admits that he does this, and he persists with it despite the housemates' objections.
Lampshaded by Foxxy Love: "Goddamn white producers and their goddamn white flashes. They can edit us to make us say whatever they want. My  taint  is  made  out  of  bacon. [shakes fist] STOP IT! Now where was I? Oh yeah... My taint? 100% pure bacon, y'all."
Manufacturing Victims: Season three's "Toot Goes Bollywood" has Foxxy going into therapy for her nymphomania. The psychiatrist, Wooldoor, implants a false memory of childhood sexual abuse, and this false memory takes over her life. Ruining her life, making her end up in jail, and make her murder a lot of innocent people - in that order.
Wooldoor: We can't all keep dying and then coming back to life the next episode IT'S TOTALLY ILLOGICAL!
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Clara's character was partly inspired by Julie from The Real World: New Orleans, the show's first Mormon housemate, known for her unenlightened views based on her sheltered upbringing (though she learned as she went along and had made a complete turnaround by the time she appeared in a later crossover series).
By the same token, Spanky was originally based on Puck from The Real World: San Francisco, although this characterization was pretty much gone by the end of the first season.
Only Sane Man: Foxxy was this at the beginning of the series, though by the end, it was Spanky more often than not. In fact, Wooldoor even lampshades this in the series, when he asks Foxxy for her advice on one occasion because she's "The only one in the house who isn't completely retarded."
Parental Incest: Clara's father seems to be sexually attracted to her, and Clara is so naive, she equates this with paternal love. Foxxy also has an unhealthy fixation on her own father ( Uncle Ben, of rice fame), who went to get cigarettes over 20 years ago and never came back.
Pinball Protagonist: Xandir in most episodes which focus on him, particularly the afterschool special.
Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Captain Hero, upon thwarting the supervillain "Two Hands" (actually just Xandir in disguisenote Captain Hero wanted to prove to his mother that he was a competent superhero, so he had Xandir dress up and attack her, just so he could save her.):
I have a new name for you, Two Hands! [punches him in the stomach and rips out his intestines] "Semi Colon"!
Pretty in Mink: Captain Hero buys a fur-trimmed coat after winning a bet with Spanky that he could get Clara's cousin Bleh to sleep with him. Later in the episode, Bleh is shown wearing an identical coat, having made a similar bet with one of her friends.
Princess Classic: After her rebellious phase, Clara turns into a parody of this.
Rearrange the Song: The final episode featured many of the show's songs being performed in radically different arrangements from their previous renditions. The show also rearranged its own theme song on occasion to suit the needs of certain episodes.
The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: The show's final episode was a network-mandated on-the-cheap clip show that both the fans and the show people were dissatisfied with. The series' proper resolution came in the form of a direct-to-DVD movie.
Royal Crown: Although her outfit is relatively modest by princess standards, Clara is almost never without her tiara.
Rhetorical Question Blunder: A variant happens with Toot in "Alzheimer's That Ends Well," when her happy/excited "Oooh, what's this?" questions are mistaken for genuine confusion, causing the rest of the gang to put her in a nursing home.
Rogues Gallery: Hero's consists of Scroto; the Koala Bear Rapist; the Gigantic Midget; the Mad Libber (and his henchman, Quadriple-Jack); the Mad Felcher; and the most confused supervillain of all: Senor Eskimo Goldberg ("What the hell am I?!").
Scooby-Dooby Doors: Parodied in the La La La La Labia video. They even show you how they work!
Screwed by the Network: Comedy Central's screening schedule was erratic, to say the least. The show would often be off the schedule for months; many viewers assumed it was cancelled long before it actually was.
Lampshaded by the plot of the direct-to-DVD sequel, obviously.
Self-Deprecation: Seasons Two and Three are especially rife with jokes about how bad the show is, especially one episode in season 2 where the housemates fight back against an Entertainment Weekly article writer who graded their show an "F" [which happened in real life]. Entertainment Weekly, of course, got wind of the episode and branded that one with an "F" as well.
Short Run In Peru: The second half of Season Three, delayed by Comedy Central for almost a year, was broadcast in Latin America two weeks before the US.
Smurfing: In "Captain Girl". As you know, all nonce words (or in this case, holes in the riddle text of the Mad Libber, which has the same effect) default to "male genital" if noun and "having sex" if verb. Guess what happens when there are more holes than words in the text. (Averted again when finally some sanity sets in and the holes are filled with more sensible choices:)
Spanky Ham: But there should be at least one penis in the text!
The Sociopath: This is a series FULL of sociopaths. Even to get a real kick out of that everyone are this, excluding Foxxy, Xandir, and Wooldoor.
Spanky Ham is the perfect example. Lack of Empathy, deceives or puts people in horrible situations for their own convenience, is unpleasant, obnoxious, sadistic, greedy and manipulative.
Captain Hero is not far behind either. He is a frequent lack of empathy, not afraid to do heinous acts, has a problem of childhood, even raped his own parents.
Stairs Are Faster: A ridiculously exaggerated example. Events in the episode have left Captain Hero a quadriplegic. At one point he has to ascend a ludicrously long flight of stairs in his wheelchair. Just a moment after he finally reaches the top, his housemates arrive by elevator.
Start My Own: Captain Hero decides to start his own fraternity after being rejected by what be believes is a fraternity next door. The fact that it's not a fraternity at all but merely a family of Greek immigrants never occurs to him.
You can't be funny unless you're also relentlessly preachy.
Take That, Critics!: After Entertainment Weekly gave the show an F, the show devoted an entire episode to lashing out at them over it, but sort of zig-zagged with it. They mocked the reviewer, but admitted the criticism was fair, regardless of that. EW still gave them another F for that one.
Added to that, Spanky on the person who reviewed the show: "No wonder! You're a Jewish conservative pro-life born-again overweight Asian homophobic lesbian broad who cuts herself! YOU'RE NOT OUR TARGET AUDIENCE!"
Toad Licking: In "The Other Cousin", Xandir, Toot, and Wooldoor discover that Ling-Ling secretes a hallucinogen whenever he is disappointed. After directly referencing the similarity to toads, they proceed to lick the life out of him.
Lampshaded in "The Lemon-AIDS Walk", where the separate plots are Hero training for an AIDS walk and Wooldoor getting caught stealing from the mall. Wooldoor is leaving the mall security office when Hero, having joined the Mall Walkers, shoves him aside, shouting, "Out of the way, subplot. Main story coming through!"
Also lampshaded in "A Tale of Two Cows", when Toot, who is away in her own plot that week, materializes out of nowhere to comment on the ridiculousness of the main plot.
Foxxy: It turned out that the princess didn't know a damn thing about sex. How does she get guys to pay her rent?
Vocal Evolution: Clara's voice got deeper and less chirpy over the course of the series, while the opposite happened to Foxxy and Toot. Spanky's voice got gruffer, to the point of becoming distinguishable from Adam Carolla's natural speaking voice.
You Need to Get Laid: Toot; she's generally considered far too unpleasant to ever have sex with. She's even challenged to find some as one plot. She gets the entire Indian sub-continent to have sex with her, because they thought she was a sacred talking cow.
Despite this, she seems to have had sex with Xandir, Captain Hero, and Clara, as well as threesomes with Foxxy and Spanky, and Ling-Ling and a Mexican hooker.