Western Animation: Evil Con Carne

Left to right: Hector Con Carne (and Boskov), Major Doctor Ghastly, and General Skarr

Our world is filled with incredible beauty
And that is why I feel it's my duty
To send armies of troops to invade the coastline
To crush, and destroy... until it's all mine!
Hector Con Carne

Evil Con Carne was a short-lived animated series created for Cartoon Network by Maxwell Atoms. It premiered in 2001 as one of the two cartoons that formed a part of the Three Shorts series Grim & Evil, the other being The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy . After the split that gave each of these cartoons their own half-hour slots, however, Billy and Mandy went on to have many more seasons whereas Evil Con Carne was soon cancelled, even though it never lost its edge.

Set in an Alternate History where the League of Nations was never disbanded and peace and harmony is the norm among the countries of the world, the plot concerns the misdeeds of Villain Protagonist Hector Con Carne, a billionaire Hispanic arms smuggler reduced to Brain in a Jar status after an assassination attempt destroyed his mansion along with most of his body. Rescued by Major Doctor Ghastly, a perky female Mad Scientist who had fallen in love with him, and implanted into the body of a Russian circus bear named Boskov, Hector now reigns over an arch-criminal organization named Evil Con Carne, which combats the League of Nations' forces in a grandiose attempt to conquer the Earth. The cast also features the sadistic General Skarr, a competent military strategist and Hector's second-in-command, who constantly tries to kill Hector and seize ECC's reins for himself.


Tropes:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Doctor Courage keeps getting his older son Rick's name wrong.
    Rick: It's RIIIIIIIIIIIICCKKK!!!!!
  • Action Girl: Major Doctor Ghastly, Kablammity Jane.
  • Affectionate Parody: The song at the end of the Musical Episode seems to be at least partially based on Afroman's "Because I Got High".
  • Alternate History: The League of Nations has not disbanded, there is peace and harmony among the nations of the Earth, and Abraham Lincoln is still president. The show takes place in the 21st century, but it has a sort of 1960s chic to it.
  • Animate Body Parts: Hector's Brain and Stomach are both able to speak. And despite their jars flashing when they do, they still are able to speak without them. Oh, and the stomach has a mind of its own.
  • Arch-Enemy: Hector and Cod Commando, to each other.
  • Art Evolution: The drawing style in the last few episodes became greatly more colorfully detailed and less flat looking, likely to look more different from Billy and Mandy.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Seriously averted with Boskov—while he may not be "harmless," he's likely the least dangerous character on the show.
  • Big Eater / Extreme Omnivore: Boskov and Hector's stomach.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Con Carne" is Spanish for "with meat".
  • Blah Blah Blah: Cod Commando speaks entirely like this.
  • Blank White Eyes: General Skarr, who is blind in one eye.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Subverted; as Cod Commando attempts to teach a group of primary-school children how to cross the street, he's instantly run over by a passing car. Cut to a surprisingly gory scene of him in a bloody mess on the road...right before he sits up, winks at the audience and gives the thumbs-up sign.
  • Brain in a Jar: Hector, post-explosion.
  • Brainy Brunette: Major Dr. Ghastly.
  • Butt Monkey: General Skarr (and how).
  • The Cameo: Hector and Boskov appeared in the Billy and Mandy episode "Duck!" as one of the people the ghost duck got thrown in jail. Doubles as a nice little gem relating to the two shows splitting apart:
    Hector: I'm not even on this stupid show anymore!
  • Canon Immigrant: After Evil Con Carne was cancelled, General Skarr became a recurring character in Billy and Mandy. Canonically, after Evil Con Carne (the organization) was abolished, he decided to go straight and get himself a house in the suburbs... the one right next to Billy's, much to his chagrin.
  • Call to Agriculture: What Skarr does in Billy and Mandy. In fact, when Hector restored Evil Con Carne (the organization) and hired Skarr back, Skarr's obsession with his garden turned him against Hector when the Evil Con Carne forces damaged it.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: It's called Evil Con Carne.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In the pilot, Hector orders Doctor Ghasty to create a mechanical body so he'll no longer need to use Boskov. Ghasty tries to convince Hector to give Boskov another chance by showing him the skills Boskov developed during his time as a circus bear. Hector sees no use for them but they later become what enables Boskov to save Hector's life.
  • Colliding Criminal Conspiracies: This trope was the reason Hector decided to start the League of Destruction.
  • Crossover: Three times with Billy and Mandy.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Hector con Carne is a Brain in a Jar (and stomach, in a separate jar) set atop a bear. He's a possible parody of Brain from Doom Patrol.
  • The Ditz: Ghastly (in the "genius" sense) and Boskov.
  • Don't Tell Mama: Hector's blind mother doesn't know he's the head of a terrorist organization trying to take over the world and he wants to make sure she remains ignorant of that fact. Subverted in that she only pretended she didn't know.
  • Dumb Muscle: Boskov and Estroy's two sons.
  • Enemy Mine: Hector and Cod Commando had a situation like this once.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Hector is so terrified of disappointing his elderly mother, all these years he's been pretending to be an oral surgeon as opposed to an international arch-criminal. Apparently, his mother never watches the news, because Hector's charade works for far longer than it should, even when his mom visits his lair.
    • Averted with Skarr, who hates his mother.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Hector versus Estroy. Also, when Hector decided to reunite the world's villains to form a League of Destruction, the league destroyed itself because nobody would accept anybody else as leader.
  • Expy: Doctor Courage and his sons, Max and Rick, are obvious parodies of the main gang from Johnny Quest.
    • Also, Hector's "neighbor" Estroy, an equally obvious parody of Destro from G.I. Joe.
    • Not to mention that General Skarr is an obvious homage to Herr Starr of Preacher, with a uniform that looks a lot like Fearless Leader from Rocky and Bullwinkle.
  • The Faceless: Hector's face, pre-explosion, is never shown; even old photos of him cut off at the neck. However, we do see that he was a very tall and very well-muscled man with flowing black hair tied back in a ponytail.
  • Genius Bruiser: Hector (pre-explosion) and Destructicus.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar
  • Hartman Hips: Major Doctor Ghastly.
  • Hero Antagonist: Cod Commando. (Clearly a case of Good Is Not Nice, however, seeing as he's the reason Hector's body was destroyed.) Of course, a lot of antagonists on the show are just as villainous as Hector.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: One of Hector's plans to take over the world consists on taking over a kids' show called "Everybody Loves Uncle Bob".
  • Humongous Mecha: Hector's short-lived B-1000 Suit.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Destructicus Con Carne, a good guy.
    Ghastly: So what do you think? He's not too bad, is he?
    Hector: That's just it! He's not bad at all!
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Hector Con Carne and General Skarr.
  • I Was Quite The Looker: Hector was an undeniable Hunk back when he had a body, embodying the Latin Lover stereotype through and through.
  • Kid from the Future: Destructicus Con Carne, son of Hector and Ghastly.
  • Latin Lover: Hector before losing his body.
  • Legion of Doom: Hector once decided to unite all villains and form the "League of Destruction". The villains argued among themselves about who'd be the leader. By the time The Hero arrived at the Headquarters to stop them, the League of Destruction had lived up to the name by destroying itself.
  • Leitmotif
  • Made of Iron: Hector is regularly removed from his tank and acts perfectly fine despite having no life support. General Skarr is also prone to large amounts of punishment.
  • Musical Episode: "The Pie Who Loved Me" (see page quote)
  • Mad Scientist: Major Doctor Ghastly.
  • Meaningful Name: True with Scarr (who does have a scar) but not with Ghastly (who doesn't seem very ghastly at all).
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Major Doctor Ghastly.
  • Noodle Incident: Hector once conquered Canada but this was never seen onscreen. It was just mentioned when Hector tried to convince the other villains to accept him as the leader of the League of Destruction. Estroy asked who cared about Canada.
  • Oblivious to Love: Hector on Ghastly's feelings for him.
  • Only Sane Woman: Major Dr. Ghastly.
  • Organ Autonomy: Hector's stomach has a mind of its own.
  • Otaku: Hector adores Japanese culture.
  • Overly Long Gag: In episode 10 (Tiptoe Through the Tulips, Part 2), Hector is out of his jar crawling in a corridor, when a mess call gets his entire army of minions marching over him.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Estroy once disguised a bomb as a Skarr-like girl to get back at Hector. Skarr fell for it despite Hector and Ghastly having pointed out the fuse. Skarr was the only one who fell for the disguise.
  • Perky Female Minion: Major Doctor Ghastly.
  • Power of Love: Think a villain can't use this? In "The Pie that Loved Me", apparently they can, as the plan involves pies that have love as the "secret ingredient". (The plan doesn't work, but Ghastly still tried.)
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Major Dr Ghastly wears one.
  • Punch Clock Hero: Cod Commando and the guys at SPORK. The soldiers trying to capture Hector in the pilot are a bigger example. They interrupt a battle because it's lunch break and it gives Ghasty enough time to build a mechanical body that allows Hector to defeat them once they come back from lunch break.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Everyone at Evil Con Carne except Hector.
  • The Rival: Estroy, Hector's fellow evil genius.
  • Screwed by the Network: Lampshaded in-universe by General Skarr in Billy and Mandy; while explaining to Billy why he's no longer a general in an evil organization, he mentions that the network executives bought out Evil Con Carne so they'd have less competition in their plans to conquer the world.
  • Supervillain Lair: As you might expect from a world-conquering supervillain brain, he has one. Just you might not be expecting it to be called Bunny Island and no, it's not ironic.
  • The Starscream: Skarr seems to think he'd be a better leader of Evil Con Carne than Hector, and in several episodes has tried to take over. However, in one episode, when Hector was incapacitated and Skarr took over in the mean time, he was completely useless. Seriously - he needed an instruction manual to figure out how to get the soldiers to stand to attention.
    • You have to remember, though, that this is more than Hector ever convinced those same soldiers to do. In an instant they knew perfect Drill and Ceremony, when seconds before they were useless.
    • Skarr managed to take over when Hector replaced the mooks with dreadbots and Skarr reprogrammed them to be loyal to him. It was a short-lived victory, as Skarr-bot followed his "father's" example and re-reprogrammed the dreadbots. Skarr was proud of him, however.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Hector's soldiers apparently can't even aim a weapon straight. Once when one of Evil Con Carne's airships is attacked, a guy is shooting holes in the deck.
  • Terrible Trio: Hector, Ghastly, and Skarr.
  • Token Good Teammate: Major Dr. Ghastly. She's not really interested in taking over the world. She really only seems interested in inventing things and getting close to Hector.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Boskov.
  • Tuckerization: In an obscure interview, Maxwell Atoms mentioned that he'd caricatured his friends as ECC foot soldiers.
  • The Unfavorite: Rick. In the end, he tried to drive the boat to win his dad's appreciation to escape the villains. Only to have all of them (the villains included) end up stranded on a desert island. Doctor Courage berates Rick for getting them stranded, while Rick just sits there skulking.
  • Villain Protagonist: Hector Con Carne.
  • Word Salad Title / Gratuitous Spanish: "Con Carne" means "with meat", which makes it sound like "evil" is the main ingredient in an entree. Perhaps Evil Tastes Good?
    • It could also be translated, "Evil with flesh."