Western Animation: Eek! The Cat
Eek! The Cat
is a American/Canadian animated series, created by Savage Steve Holland and Bill Kopp, that ran from September 12, 1992, to August 8, 1997 on Fox Kids
. It was retitled Eek! Stravaganza
The series mainly revolves around an optimistic
purple housecat named Eek, whose motto is "it never hurts to help". This generally turns out to be untrue, as this attitude generally gets him into trouble, from which much of the humor of the show is derived. Other characters include Eek's human family, with whom he cannot communicate via spoken language; Sharky the Sharkdog, who is mainly irritated by Eek's oblivious enthusiasm for everything and chases him at the drop of a hat; and Eek's girlfriend, Annabelle, a rather big cat who Eek loves and Sharky protects.
The show later added two different segments: The Terrible Thunderlizards
, which focused on a trio of dinosaurs trying to destroy a pair of oblivious cavemen, Bill and Scooter, while also fighting an evil tribe of skeletal dinosaurs called the Thugasaurs, and Klutter
, which was about a bunch of neighborhood kids and their living pile of junk and clothing (Klutter
was produced by Film Roman
, with some of the creative team from The Critic
behind it (including David Silverman as the boy's dad); as opposed to Eek!
, which were produced by Nelvana
This series contains examples of:
- The Ahnold: Doc Tari of The Terrible Thunderlizards.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Eek has purple fur, his girlfriend Annabelle has pink fur, and Sharky is gray.
- Amazonian Beauty: Platinum
- Amusing Injuries
- And Now For Something Completely Different: One of the very last episodes focused entirely on Sharky. Eek had almost no speaking parts.
- Analogy Backfire: Eek tries to cheer some people up by saying they're like a nearby campfire, but the campfire is going out.
- Angry Guard Dog: Sharky the sharkdog, Eek's nemesis. It's a literal shark/dog hybrid.
- Animated Actors: In one episode, Eek discovers his girlfriend is voiced by a burly, overweight tattooed man, and himself by a little old lady.
- Art Evolution: By the final season, humans were drawn much more realistically (the exceptions being the human characters who were introduced in the earlier seasons and retained their more-cartoony design).
- Attention Whore: Annabelle had moments of this. Especially in "HawaiiEek 5-0".
- The Beatles: Eek, with a small squid on his head, boards a train and enters a berth where the Beatles see him.
John: Who's that?
Paul: Oh, that's me grandfather.
George: That's not yer grandfather. It's a cat with a squid on 'is 'ead!
- Big Bad: Zoltar essentially serves as one for the Eek segments: constantly trying to destroy the Earth (often using Annabelle as a tool), only to be foiled by Eek and crew. However, he was only a recurring threat and wasn't seen much. The Thunderlizards, meanwhile, had the Thugasaur's leader Thugo.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Eek sees Annabelle as this the few times he actually notices her size (the rest of the time, he's genuinely confused when people tell him she's fat).
- Big Eater: The reason for Annabelle's weight isn't exactly kept secret, though it doesn't come up more than once an episode, on average.
- Bilingual Bonus: If the French tape she's listening to in episode 103 is anything to go by - the mom's language lesson tapes have her supposedly learning nonsensical expressions in a given language that have no relation to the even more nonsensical English translation the tape provides for what she just mispronounced (e.g. French - "Much my hat" - English - "the rats have eaten the car")
- Black Bead Eyes: Some human characters, especially JB.
- Butt Monkey: Eek himself.
- Sharky in the later episodes
- And Bill in the TTL segments.
- Captain Ersatz: The Squishy Bears.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Thugo, the leader of the skeletal Thugasaurs, prides himself on being an exemplary villain. He's constantly hatching up evil schemes to destroy the Dinosaurs, dresses in a black hood, and does the Evil Laugh every other episode.
- The Cassandra: Piggy the Penguin. Given how he's based off the Lord of the Flies character of the same name, it's definitely appropriate.
- Cast as a Mask: Zoltar (Brad Garret) in two different episodes. The first time, Eek Vs. The Flying Saucers, his disguised voice was provided by Jaid Barrymore (Drew's Mom). The second time, Eekscalibur, his disguised voice was provided by Cam Clarke.
- Catch Phrase: "It never hurts to help!" and "Kumbaya!"
- Also, "Oh gosh, it hurts!!" and "Get 'em off! GET 'EM OFF!!"
- "...Holly, Acorn, Steven Jr, Gunther, and my wife Suuuuusan."
- From Bill of the "Thunderlizards": "When will the hurting stop..?"
- Bill also occasionally has "Are you happy now, Scooter? Are you happy now?"
- "THUNDERLIZARDS RULE!!"
- "Why is it always me?! Why is it always me?!"
- Cats Are Mean: If this site had such a thing as a Most Triumphant Aversion, Eek would be it for this trope. He is extremely kind to everyone, even those who are actively trying to mangle him.
- Cats Have Nine Lives: In at least one episode Eek is shown to have a tally card for his nine lives.
- Character Development: Sharky. In Season 1, he's your standard mean dog. Starting in Season 2, the writers slowly give him more depth until he becomes one of the most sympathetic and interesting characters in the series. He keeps his mean-streak, but he eventually gets to the point where he pretty much won't show it unless provoked.
- Chick Magnet:
- For some reason, Eek constantly has a plethora of gorgeous babes making it known that they want him. Eek however always makes sure to tell them that he already has a girlfriend, which is sweet in his devotion but disturbing for the girls who can't believe he'd prefer someone like Annabelle over them. One tries to kill her, since if she can't have Eek, no one will.
- Pierre seems more popular with the little girls than the other Squishy Bears, maybe because Everything Sounds Sexier in French.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Annabelle doesn't take kindly to other girls trying to steal her boyfriend.
- The Comically Serious: Bill the Caveman in the Terrible Thunderlizards shorts.
- Cowardly Lion: Eek. This trope must be the reason for his name.
- Cross Over: The end of "Eek Space 9" had Mulder and Scully from The X-Files (also a Fox series) showing up having witness a flying saucer plough right into their FBI building, which makes Scully "believe". For added hilarity, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson voice themselves.
- Averted for all the segments in the show proper: Unlike Garfield & Friends, Eek and the Thunderlizards only encountered each other during the intro for Eek! Stravaganza, and never actually crossed-over into each other's segments; Klutter didn't last long enough for them to even be part of the main intro, instead getting its' own.
- Deadpan Snarker: Bill.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Sasha from season one. In her first scene, she proudly proclaims that she has a heart of ice and proceeds to pop some poor kid's balloon. When she meets Eek, his kidness (and apparent sex appeal) manage to melt that so-called icy heart.
- Dem Bones: The Thugasaurs.
- Depending on the Writer: Most of the time, Eek is the only one who finds Annabelle attractive, but other times the world treats her as if she's a radiant beauty.
- The Devil Is a Loser: Fido in Eek Goes To The Hotspot
- Dynamite Candle: Eek's owners keep dynamite next to their candles and it almost causes an explosion during a blackout. Fortunately, the lights come back when the mother is about to light a stick of dynamite. She remains oblivious to what she was about to do.
- Elvis Has Left the Planet / Elvis Lives: One episode involving alien abduction featured a brief shot of Elvis amongst the specimens. Another one speculates that he had a shrink-ray-related accident some years ago.
- The latter involving him having Easy Amnesia, regaining his memory and then getting abducted by aliens.
- Also, a slightly more subtle gag from the Halloween Episode, when Eek befriends a group of ghosts. At the end when the ghosts are leaving to return to the spirit world, Eek bids them goodbye and asks, "Say 'Hi' to Elvis for me." Cue all of the ghosts muttering in confusion as none of them have ever met or heard of Elvis.
- Enemy Mine: Occasionally Eek and Sharky have worked together for one reason or another.
- One episode of the Thunderlizards revealed why they were in jail before being tapped as expendable agents to wipe out humanity: during a mission, they were stranded in hostile terrain and ended up working with a Thugasaur to survive and escape. Though they succeeded, General Galapagos spotted them with the Thugasaur and had them arrested, falsely accused of treason, and thrown into prison until the series proper began.
- Bill and Scooter will occasionally help out the Thunderlizards when they aren't being hunted down by them, such as the time they helped to save the President's daughter.
- Epunymous Title
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Most of the episode titles are parodies of famous movie titles with the Eek's name somehow worked into them.
- Oddly, the episode titles sometimes have NOTHING to do with the episode itself. Despite being named after Mystic Pizza, MystEek Pizza has nothing in common with the movie (indeed, even the pizza that kicks the plot off loses relevance after the first five minutes).
- Exposed Animal Bellybutton
- Expy: Eek looks ridiculously similar to Garfield, as some would say. The main difference between him and the pasta-loving cat is Eek is far kinder and more idealistic- and purple.
- Given that the three Terrible Thunderlizards are already a group of falsly accused special forces, it's not hard to guess who Mr T Rex is supposed to be, even before he starts dropping the word 'Fool' twice per sentence.
- Fat Cat / Fat Idiot: Eek.
- Follow the Leader: To Garfield and Friends, which it was pretty good at following.
- Freudian Excuse: Sharky attempts one in "Shark Doggy Dog."
- Furry Confusion: Eek is a pet cat, and lives with a human family. Anabelle however has her own house and her own pet dog. The two witch cats wear clothes and have their own castle.
- Furry Ear Dissonance: Eek has ears that are shaped like golf clubs.
- Gag Series
- The Ghost: Annabelle's owner is only heard in her debut episode after she's unloaded from her cat carrier saying "Welcome to your new home, Annabelle". The owner afterwards is rarely, if ever mentioned, leaving some to believe that she's an intelligent animal that owns her own home. At the very least, a later episode confirms that she is Sharky's actual owner, so it's very possible that she was retconned into one.
- Golem: Klutter, a living pile of clothes and mess that featured in it's own segment during the last season of the show.
- Gonk: Eek's human family, as well as some other humans.
- Grand Finale: "The Island of Dr. Meow". Has almost every regular character in it. Eek is implied to have married Annabelle and become President (Annabelle is the First Lady). Subverted due to 1. the episode being about Sharky, not Eek (who barely appears in it at all), and 2. It not being the actual final episode. Seriously though, this would have been the logical place to end it.
- An earlier episode from the same season, "MystEEK Pizza", had a good number of appearances by the various mauve shirts of the series (including Zoltar and Elvis) and was sort of a final curtain call for them.
- Grumpy Bear: Pierre of the Squishy Bearz.
- Hairof Gold Heartof Gold: Scooter is a perfectly nice, friendly guy, even if he does unintentionally cause harm to those around him (notably Bill).
- Hartman Hips: Andrea Heap from Klutter.
- Hidden Depths: Sharky after the writers moved him beyond just being the mean dog.
- Hot Scientist: During a Sci-Fi parody, Elmo must choose between the plan of an Einstein-looking super-genius, or the plan of the Bambi twins, who had gotten a B+ in physics.
- Hot Librarian: From Klutter: Andrea Heap, hot library employee. (Plus, voiced by Kathy Ireland.)
- I'm a Humanitarian: Technical example: Annabelle is made the queen of some bizarre-looking savages on an island out in the middle of nowhere. Problem was that, "In order for the queen to become a goddess, she must be cooked and then eaten by the king."
- Impossible Hourglass Figure: Alice from "Fatal Eektraction."
- Incredible Shrinking Man: Bill gets shrunk at the end of "The Yawn of Man".
- Instrumental Theme Tune: Eek! The Cat (the only word in the tune is "Eek!"), as well as Klutter.
- Interspecies Romance: Besides the number of human and extraterrestrial women (plus one giant female insect) who have thrown themselves at Eek, Sharky is implied to have a crush on Annabelle in one episode. Plus, there's Sharky's long-standing crush on the human woman, Platinum, from his favorite show, Patriotic Warriors.
- Inventional Wisdom: Why in the nine hells would a rocket built to go to Jupiter have a switch that allows one to set the course for either Jupiter or the Sun?
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sharky really isn't such a bad guy...
- Killer Rabbit: Eek's family finds a cute little bunny on their doorstep and adopt it. Little do they know that it plans to murder them all once Eek's out of the way...
- Large Ham:
- Annabelle. Whenever she is extremely happy, she cries out "Let heaven and nature sing!"
- JB, Bill, and any other character voiced by Charlie Adler.
- Leitmotif: Eek, Annabelle, and Sharky each have one, and each leitmotif was given variations based on whatever genre a particular episode was spoofing.
- Everyone in the Terrible Thunderlizards segments. The Thunderlizards get a sort of rock leitmotif, the cavemen get a happy little jazz piano theme, and Babs gets her own romantic Casio theme.
- Klutter had his own as well, based on his reggae-style theme.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Kinda-sorta example: Static electricity is what somehow brought Klutter to life.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Parodied with Elmo's little brother Timmy. As the seasons go by, these conditions that Timmy needs to get treated for get progressively sillier. At one point Elmo is trying to fund the therapy Timmy needs to recover from the psychologically traumatic experience of seeing Rush Limbaugh's butt.
- Logo Joke: In "The Great Eekscape", Nelvana's polar bear logo makes a cameo on the prison's wall. And in "Eek's Sneek Peek", the Fox Kids logo is shown as the HQ for that network, while outside Nelvana's frost-covered studios, a polar bear is seen roaring similarly to their lgo- the bear then tries to eat the moose animators.
- Lovable Coward: Eek.
- Luke Nounverber: Leek Bottomsitter.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Babs and Bill.
- Meganekko: Andrea Heap from the Klutter shorts.
- Mind Screw: The ending of "Fatal Eektraction."
- Minion with an F in Evil: Biff is the second-in-command of the Thugasaurs, and clearly not cut out for villainy. He'd much rather be picking flowers and hanging out with his comrades than participating in the various evil plans of his boss Thugo.
- Morality Pet: Annabelle is this to Sharky.
- The Moving Experience: In the pilot, Eek finds out, to his dismay, that his new girlfriend is moving again. After being sad for a short time, he turns the letter over to read "P.S. I'm moving across the street."
- Musical Episode: "Quadrapedia"
- Ms. Fanservice: Various attractive girls have popped up throughout the series.
- Nervous Wreck: Eek and Mittens.
- Nice Guy: Eek.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Constantly.
- No Indoor Voice: JB.
- No One Gets Left Behind: In a "Thunderlizards" segment, the titular dinosaurs grudgingly remembered this rule when an obnoxious parody/cameo of Mr. T got dragged away by a carnivorous plant. Then one asked, "We don't have to go too fast, do we?," and they smiled and moseyed.
- Subverted in an episode where Eek, Annabelle and two ape astronauts escape from aliens and land safely on Earth. Eek's the only one that got stuck on the moon, hoping someone will come for him, saying "People won't leave me all alone in the cold darkness of space. Would they?".
- Odd Name Out: Hey kids! Get ready for those swell Squishy Bearz: Puffy, Cozy, Wuz Wuz, and...Pierre!
- Once per Episode: 1) Eek will proclaim that it never hurts to help. 2) It will then hurt. A lot.
- Only Sane Man:
- Sharky, for the most part.
- Pierre is this in the Show Within a Show, The Squishy Bears Rainbow of Enchantment Fun Minute.
- Vanna from "Klutter".
- Papa Wolf: Sharky is normally an Angry Guard Dog in general, but he gets REALLY mad if Annabelle is threatened.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In one episode, celebrities the Squishy Bearz are framed for robbery by rats wearing these.
- Parental Bonus: Frequent:
- Parody Episode: Besides its usual plots, the show had several episodes like this, including a parody of Apocalypse Now, Star Trek, Jaws, and The Exorcist.
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Eek really, really, really loves planet Earth in general.
- Phrase Catcher: Every time Eek shows someone a picture of Annabelle.
A person: She's really... fat.
Eek: [genuinely puzzled] Really?
- Piggy the penguin is also this. "Shut up, Piggy!"
- The Pollyanna: Eek himself, despite his perpetual Butt Monkey status.
- Scooter as well, though he isn't nearly as unlucky.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: Subverted to a degree, both the Thunderlizards and Klutter did get to be their own shows briefly before being reincorporated into Eek!Stravangaza (and for a few episodes at the end of the fourth season, replaced Eek! entirely in the show)
- Prison Episode: "The Great Eekscape".
- Rerouted From Heaven: An episode has Eek dying and winding up in the Celestial Bureaucracy. This shouldn't have happened in the first place, because Eek hadn't used up all nine of his lives yet. Then, a damned soul asks Eek to hold his rap sheet while he "goes to the bathroom", so Eek winds up getting sent to Hell in his place. However, Eek is so optimistic that the torments of Hell don't affect him at all, and he succeeds at all the Sisyphean tasks the Devil sets for him.
- Rule of Three: In "Eek vs. the Flying Saucers":
Mother: (to whining child) Stop it, stop it, STOP IT!
- Running Gag:
Random character: Your girlfriend's... fat.
Eek: (looks at her photo, confused) Really?
- Eek will always accidentally destroy Sharky's doghouse.
- Screams Likea Little Girl: Bill the Caveman, thanks to Charlie Adler's amazing vocal range.
- Shout-Out / Long List: Eek usually receives a character's compliment and then talks by mentioning random names and titles non-stop, i.e. in the episode "Eek vs. the Flying Saucers", when he meets Zoltar at the alien starship, looking pretty sad:
- Simpleton Voice: Wuz Wuz.
- The So-Called Coward: Elmo the elk.
- Southern Belle: Annabelle. She even gets a Gorgeous Period Dress at the end of her debut episode.
- Sphere Eyes
- Spoiled Brat: Wendy Elizabeth and JB.
- Take That: Took a few jabs at Rush Limbaugh over the years, but, with one exception in the final season, not over his politics.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Happens every time Eek gets an Amusing Injury.
- Those Two Guys: Piggy the Penguin and his nameless companion.
- Time for Plan B: Four criminals stole a statue while disguised as the Squishy Bearz but had no plan for what to do after that. Since they had no Plan B and couldn't come up with any, they decided to do Plan A backwards: take the statue back with the statue being disguised.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Eek and Annabelle.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Despite all the crap he deals with, Eek usually ends up somewhat happy.
- Token Good Teammate: Piggy to the other penguins.
- Too Dumb to Live: The reason the Thunderlizards were sent to wipe out humanity was because mankind is so stupid they were a threat to all other life. In the final "Thunderlizards" episode, they mistake a freeze ray that was developed by the Dinosaur military that the Thunderlizards misplaced for a camera and accidentally caused the ice age that wiped out the Dinosaurs while trying to take a picture with it.
- Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: In an episode where he dies and goes to hell (don't worry, he gets better), Eek is just too damn cheery for eternal torment to phaze him.
- Totally Radical: Bo Diddly Squat might as well be some sort of misplaced Ninja Turtle.
- Trademark Favorite Food: The giants slugs apparently like to have Bill in their mouths. At one point, there's even a class of this.
- Trading Bars for Stripes: The Thunderlizards.
- Two Shorts: Starting with the second season. The first season only had half-hour episodes.
- The Unintelligible: Sharky, as he only "talks" using dog noises. Sometimes, his "dialogue" is translated into English subtitles, just for humorous purposes.
- Unintentional Period Piece: One episode has a joke based on the idea that there's nothing on television on Sunday except golf.
- Vacation Episode: One "Thunderlizards" segment was about Bill and Scooter actually inventing the concept of a vacation.
- Verbal Tic: Scooter says "okay" A LOT.
Eek: Gee, I sure say "gee" a lot.
- Mittens always says "man".
- Villain Song
- Whole Episode Flashback: "The Whining Pirates of Tortuga", about a younger Eek's life with pirates.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Eek is really afraid of bugs.
- Widget Series
- Wild Take
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Ryan Heap from "Klutter" (though sometimes he was mistakenly colored blonde).