Western Animation: Fish Hooks
Conroy: It says here that "Fish Hooks is one of the most original, inventive animated series on television".
: Yeah, but this is the first to have fish
in school! Thats totally original!
is a cartoon on Disney Channel
, created by Noah Z. Jones (whose other claim to fame is Almost Naked Animals
) and produced by Alex Hirsh (whose other claim to fame is Gravity Falls
also on Disney Channel). The show deals with three fish: Milo, his brother Oscar, and their "overly dramatic" friend Bea, as they attend school in an aquarium at a pet store. The series chronicles their daily lives
as they deal with various things, such as friendships, dating, and sports, as well as typical t(w)een issues
such as giant lobster attacks and field trips to the hamster cages.
Started in 2010, after four years and three seasons, the series closed out on April 4th, 2014.
Fish Hooks provides examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Clamantha to Oscar, Randy to Bea.
- Adorkable: The three main characters and Angela.
- A Day In The Lime Light:
- "Chicks Dig Vampires" and "Glass Man Standing" focuses on Albert's relationship with Esmargot.
- "Jocktopizza" is told in Jocktopus's point of view, with barely any involvement from the main cast until the end.
- Advertised Extra: Piranhica, despite even appearing in promotional artwork, has had a grand total of seven lines through out season 1. One of them being a part of background noise.
- All Just a Dream: "Pool Party Panic". The second and third act surrounds around Milo trying to wake up, or at least prove to his friends that everything is a dream and that they're all fishes in real life.
- Alpha Bitch: Pirahnica, Jocktopus's girlfriend.
- Clamanda, Clamantha's rival from the episode "We've Got Fish Spirit".
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Shellsea, who is good friends with Milo, Bea, and Oscar.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Oscar. He's really smart, can't understand, or act, in some social interactions, and in one episode, he can't seem to understand jokes, or visual gags, so Milo has to teach to fake how to laugh.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Bea Goldfishberg. There's also Oscar's Jewfro.
- Bea is a more explicit example since she has parents who sport Jewfros.
- And You Were There: Oscar hits his head and wakes up in a fantasy kingdom populated by fish that look like people he knows. He thinks it's all a dream, but Milo and Bea find him and tell him he was just moved to another fish tank. Turns out a lot of fish look alike.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: While Bea is giving her valedictorian speech, she realizes that she actually does love Oscar, and announces it to the whole school.
- Animals Not to Scale: Keep in mind these guys are normal-sized fish that live in a pet store aquarium... and yet it seems like they have a whole town inside it.
- Another Dimension: The main trio go through two of these as they chase a walking fish tank in "Pool Party Panic". They also change as they go through them into:
- Anthropomorphic Food: in the penultimate dimension before arriving at the titular pool party.
- Bouncing Battler: in the final dimension before the pool party. Only Milo is shown to use this method though.
- Anti-Humor: Despite the show having punny character names such as "Clamantha" and "Jocktopus," any reference to the fish-world equivalent of a real-world locale simply has the word "Fish" attached to it rather than a fish-related pun, such as "Fish Broadway" or "Fish Austin, Texas."
- An extreme use of this is "Fish Ancient Greece". Not "Ancient Fish Greece".
- Semi-justified as there are other species around the pet shop, a point brought up in "Hooray for Hamsterwood".
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
- Berserk Button: If you happen to be a Jerkass, don't even touch Bea. Oscar will be very pissed.
- Bigfoot Sasquatchand Yeti: The Yeti Lobster.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Shellsea's human version in Party Pool Panic.
- Butt Monkey: Oscar, Albert Glass, and Mr. Baldwin.
- Casanova Wannabe: Randy Pincherson, though he only targets Bea.
- The Cast Showoff: Fish School Musical has Chelsea Kane show off her singing voice.
- Cats Are Mean: The orange cat in the pet shop.
- Chekhov's Gun: In "Dollars and Fish", Milo gets a loan from Randy Pincherson and spends it on a diamond-encrusted motorcycle. After getting his pay from a job, he realizes that his job alone won't get him the money he needs sooner when Milo's boss points out said motorcycle.
- Christmas Episode: "Merry Fishmas, Milo"
- Continuity Nod:
- In "Fail Fish", Kevin brings up two events that happened in "Doggonit!" and "Fish Out of Water".
- During "Riding in Cars with Fish", Oscar comes across a wanted poster of Milo, which referenced events that went down in "Pamela Hamster Returns".
- Couch Gag: Each episode opens with an exterior shot of the pet shop with a sign that says "Bud's Pets And [Insert Plot Relevant Service or Product Here]".
- Cowboy Episode: Cattlefish, Ho!.
- Creator Cameo: Bud, the photorealistic pet shop owner, is modeled after storyboard artist Sherm Cohen.
- The toy "Tickle-Me Carl" is also based off of C.H. Greenblatt, one of the directors/writers/storyboard artists of the show.
- Noah Z. Jones plays Bea's father, and Maxwell Atoms plays Razor and Bo Gregory.
- Credits Gag: The Snake and Mouse's commentary.
- Crush Filter: Oscar sees Bea this way.
- Cute Little Fangs: The Snake.
- She still has them as a human at the end of Pool Party Panic, though It's not that notable
- Description Cut: One in the first episode.
Oscar: Uh oh, she's losing it again, Milo.
Milo: Is she bro, is she?
- Disguised in Drag: Milo and Oscar dress as girls to get into Bea's all-girl slumber party. No one was fooled.
- Distaff Counterpart: Shiloh to Milo.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Milo and Bea's reaction to Oscar's blogging, and in the same episode, Oscar's attempt at flushing himself down a toilet.
Bea: Listen to me, whatever is troubling you, you'll make it through.
- Don't Explain the Joke: "I'm a claaaam!"
- Drugs Are Bad: "Big Fish" can be viewed as a "don't do steroids" episode.
- Dub Name Change: Justified, as most of the fishes have punny names. The Latin American Spanish dub of "Pool Party Panic" even has the characters using the "normal" version of names. (Ex. Shellsea —> Ostrencia —> Hortencia; Clamantha —> Almejandra —> Alejandra, etc.)
- Dumb Muscle: Jocktopus. In "Happy Birthfish, Jocktopus" he doesn't even know what money is.
- Everyone Can See It: Near the beginning of "Pool Party Panic", human!Milo mentions how obvious Oscar's crush on Bea was in his dream. Human!Bea calls her fish self stupid as human!Oscar is beside her, distressed.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence: For a show on the Disney Channel, this show uses an incredible amount of violence, ranging from characters being eaten onscreen to a scene where Clamantha is thrown out the window by Jocktopus where a car runs her over, to a scene at the end of "Dropsy!" where a sick fish's face peels off and the muscle can be seen in detail.
- Fat and Skinny:
- Feather Fingers: The entire cast. Oddly, they change from normal fins to "hand" fins when needed.
- Tailfin Walking: The entire cast, again. Oddly, their tailfins are designed nothing like those of real fish or legs and feet.
- Feud Episode: Fish Talent Show. An incident involving Clamantha's face and Shellsea's foot causes causes them to fight. At one point, the whole school gets involved.
- I Have This Friend: Subverted in the episode of the same name. When Shellsea uses the trope name and describes her friend like she would describe herself, her friends assume she's talking about herself when she's really talking about her Spear Counterpart friend.
- Interspecies Romance:
- The brief romance between Pamela Hamster, a hamster, and Milo, a fish.
- The one-sided romance between Clamantha and Oscar counts, since clams technically aren't fish.
- Also the one-sided romance between Randy, a crab, and Bea, a fish.
- Mr. Baldwin, the pregnant seahorse teacher mentioned previously, is revealed to have a "mega crush" on Ms. Lips, a squid. For a long time, he is too scared to approach her until his secret gets out. Later, they started dating officially.
- Albert Glass, a glass fish, and Esmargot, a snail, are dating.
- Koi (don't need to say anything here) starts a relationship with another boy in school, who is of a different species of fish.
- Finberly had a failed phone-romance with a ferret named Cody, and is distressed about being dumped for several episodes.
- Piranhica, an piranha, and Jocktopus, an octopus. Several episodes revolve around them having relationship issues .
- It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: Everyone except Oscar keeps pronouncing Angela's name wrong, despite her correcting them every time. It's pronounced "Angel-ah".
- Ironic Echo: In "Principal Bea".
: That's it! How is this school supposed to function without some form of authority? If I don't get the perfect education, I won't go the perfect college, and I won't meet the perfect guy, and I won't have the perfect life AND NO ONE IS GOING TO BE HAPPY IF THAT HAPPENS!
Fishington: If you were to step down as principal, my secret would be exposed. This school would be in chaos! And no one is going to be happy if that happens.
- Jerk Jock: "JOCKTOPUS WILL BE PUNCHING YOU NOW!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: At the end of "Fish School Musical", after showing some Hidden Depths, Jocktopus goes right back to bullying.
- Karma Houdini: Randy Pincherson in the Christmas Episode. He admits out loud that he was only doing the job for money, he treated kids like crap all day, and he even tried to quit before his job was done. Unfortunately, when Bea snapped and tried to get the Santa costume off of him, she got fired after Randy made it seem like it was her fault. He never gets his comeuppance.
- Large Ham:
- George Takei's bird
- Mr. Mussels. He is a drama teacher, after all.
- Line-of-Sight Name: How Oscar came up with Doris Flores Gorgeous, by altering the words "door" and "floor" and adding an adjective that was also an attractive character trait.
- Meaningful Name:
- An oscar is a popular species of aquarium fish.
- Bo Gregory is a pun on the Beaugregory fish
- Medium Blending: Most of the fish are drawn in regular cartoon-y style, but their setting and anything outside the tanks are portrayed in a photorealistic style.
- Milestone Celebration: With "Camp Camp", the series officially reaches 100 episodes.
- Mr. Seahorse: A literal example with one of their teachers, Mr. Baldwin. Lampshaded, even. And he apparently has the Longest Pregnancy Ever, which got a brief lampshade during "Koi Story". The births happen in "Labor of Love".
- Mixand Match Critters: The monster Oscar plays in "Hare and Back Again" has the head of a lion, the body of a spider and snakes for legs.
- Mouse World: The characters are fish-sized and reside in an aquarium.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Mascotastrophe", Milo reveals the fact that he and Oscar are both the school mascot. Because of this, the geckos use this to their advantage and kidnap Oscar so the fishes' basketball team would lose.
- No Cartoon Fish: Inverted; the fish cast are cartoony, but the rest of the world is photorealistic.
- Non-Mammalian Hair: A lot of fish have hair, like Oscar's afro or Clamantha's ponytail, but others either end up having their dorsal fins act like hair, like Milo and Shellsea, or none at all.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries:
- On many occasions, some fish have been shown to have nipples. A small number female characters have breasts.
- In one episode, Oscar disguised himself as an adult woman and even included fake breasts in the mix.
- Noodle Incident: A handful of them come up in "Fail Fish". How did a can of non-stick spray nearly kill Milo, Oscar, Bea, and apparently Albert Glass?
- How did the gang end up in a tank full of jellyfish?
- What happened while the gang decided to go for a swim in the pet shop's toilet?
- What happened in 1986 that caused Mr. Baldwin to never laugh or go out on a Friday night ever again? And while we're at it, how did he get knocked up?
- No Sympathy: In "Science Fair Detective Mystery" Oscar wins the science fair, but gets his ribbon taken away when his project is stolen even though he already won.
- Not So Different: When the gang finds out that Clamantha has a Stalker Shrine of Oscar, he isn't as creeped out as his friends because Oscar has a similar shrine of Bea in his locker.
- Not What It Looks Like: Subverted when Clamantha is caught making out with Oscar's laptop.
- Official Couple:
- Jocktopus and Piranhica
- Milo and Pamela Hamster in "Hooray for Hamsterwood". They broke up sometime before "Bea Dates Milo", though.
- Albert and Esmargot as of "Chicks Dig Vampires"
- Mr. Baldwin and Ms. Lips as of "Fish Lips Sink Ships".
- Oscar and Bea in the series finale.
- Pac-Man Fever: Oscar's video games.
- Parents for a Day: Mr. Baldwin's class is assigned his litter of children (two students to a baby) so he can get a week off.
- Perky Goth: Oscar, when he was one.
- Pop-Star Composer: Former Jellyfish frontman Andy Sturmer scores some of the episodes.
- Punny Name: Quite a few. For example, Clamantha (guess what she is), Jocktopus, Finberley, Shellsea, Piranhica and several others, with possibly more to come.
- Recurring Extra: At the end credits, there is a snake and a mouse who usually give commentary on what's happened in the last episode (or the episode it was paired with, it depends on which one Disney Channel aired). The snake wants to join the fish in their tanks, while the mouse is all right with being in a small terrarium with the snake.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The geckos are heartless jerkasses that enjoy seeing a fish suffocate without water. Only the snake is an exception to the general abhorrence.
- Satellite Character: All of Angela's appearances revolve around her being Oscar's girlfriend.
- Her season 3 appearences revolve around her being Jumbo's girlfriend.
- Santa Claus: Or in this show's case, Fish Santa Claus.
- Series Continuity Error: Run, Oscar, Run, an episode that deals with the possibility of Oscar ruining his perfect attendance record, contradicts a major plot point in The Tale of Sir Oscar Fish, Oscar being tanks away during school.
- To Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros.; one episode has Oscar liken himself to a plumber, Bea to a princess, and their dilemma to a gorilla in a tank top throwing barrels at them.
- "Hooray for Hamsterwood" has Milo saying that Pamela Hamster is the finest hamster actress of their generation, immediately followed by Pamela (on the TV show) saying, "Science class is so random!"
- During "Two Clams in Love", Oscar accidentally paints himself blue while trying to run away from Clamantha; the next shot we see depicts Clamantha chasing Oscar in a Pac-Man-like fashion. She even stops to eat a cherry.
- "Pamela Hamster Returns" mentions Hamster School Musical and Hamsters of Hamsterly Place.
- "Just One of The Fish" has Oscar making the "Oh, Crap" face.
- "Adventures in Fish Sitting" has Ms. Lips' cat escaping the house when Bea was asked to look after him. So she disguises Milo as the cat. Following are three Garfield references.
Ms. Lips': Haha! You can talk now!
Milo: Uhh, yeah. Hey, can you make me some lasagna?
- Also, in one episode, there was a brief homage/reference to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
- The ep "Pool Party Panic" could be a reference to Equestria Girls
- One episode had Milo call Oscar "Sticker Star".
- During the chase at the end of "Brothers of a Feather", the shot of Bird-Mom twisting into the narrow gap is framed exactly like the Millennium Falcon doing the same thing in The Empire Strikes Back.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Bea is shown to have green eyes in "Oscar is a Playa".
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: During a gaming session in "Two Clams in Love", Oscar told Milo to hit the B button on his controller. Instead, he hit Bea.
- There was a string of episodes where Clamantha fell victim to this.
- Finberley, especially during the second season.
- Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: "Fishing for Compliments: The Albert Glass Story"
- Species Surname: Milo the Fish and Oscar the Fish.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is it spelled "Piranhica" or "Pirahnica"? It's been spelled both ways on title cards.
- Stalker with a Crush: Clamantha
Clamantha: Love the new 'do, Oscar!
Oscar: It's not a new 'do. Combs just stick to me and never let go.
Clamantha: I'll be your comb...
- Stealth Pun: The main hamster actress for Secret Teen Witch Hamster is played by a girl named Sabrina.
- Stepford Smiler: Miss Lips is Type A. In a few occasions, we see her suddenly frowning or secretly bawling.
- Suicide as Comedy / Interrupted Suicide: See the Does This Remind You of Anything? entry above.
- Take That: The Hamster Channel can be seen as a parody of the kidcoms of Disney Channel. Right down to the laugh track.
- Temporary Love Interest: Played Up to Eleven with Bea's boyfriends in "Doris Flores Gorgeous". She wasn't replacing her boyfriends rapidly because she's promiscuous, but rather because she thinks that's what high school girls are supposed to do.
- There Are No Adults: Milo and Oscar were explicitly said to have had no parents in Season 3, but an "Aunt Ida" is mentioned during Season 1. Only a handful of the cast have had at least one adult relative shown.
- Third-Option Love Interest: Angela, to Oscar.
- Those Two Guys:
- Albert Glass and Jumbo Shrimp, also Milo and Oscar from the show's perspective.
- Shelsea and Clamantha are a gender-inverted version.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Milo sure does love his apples.
- Trailers Always Spoil:
- A promo for the special episode, "We've Got Fish Spirit", already spoils a good chunk of the episode: Bea being able to compete in the cheer off.
- The promos for "Just One of The Fish" implied that Bea would end up competing on the football team and that she was a completely different person from a student that had a strong resemblance to her.
- The promos for "Principal Bea" spoiled Nurse Fishington's Robotic Reveal.
- "Fish Prom" promos didn't explicitly show it, but viewers could easily tell that Angela and Oscar get in a fight and Bea ends up dancing with Oscar.
- Before the last act of "Labor of Love", Disney showed a promo for the next episode about Baldwin having his class take care of his newborn babies, and that was before Mr. Baldwin gave birth to them. So much for continuity.
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: Jocktopus is given money on his birthday and thinks it's just worthless paper. His girlfriend Piranhica knows what money is, but intentionally keeps him in the dark so she can keep it for herself.
- Would Hit a Girl: Jocktopus.
- He actually tosses Clamantha out a window (and onto a car) during "Fish Floaters".
- And was about to beat up Bea in one episode until Oscar stopped him.
- Yandere: In the episode "Fishing for Compliments: The Albert Glass Story", Bea becomes obsessed with Albert Glass because he doesn't like him.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Milo's fins look like it.
- He actually has blue hair as a human in "Pool Party Panic".
- You Mean X Mas: Fishmas, of course.