Western Animation: Freakazoid!
Jeepers: "Hehehe... Do you want to see something strange and mystical?"
: "NO!! Get out of here with that watch, lay off the poor beavers, will ya?! SHEEZE! You're a creep! Go away, we were having a good time until you showed up, Jeepers! ARGH! Go have some coffee with cream, or something! Because I'll tell
you something! This is a happy place!"
is a parody of the Superhero
show, produced by the people who brought you Batman: The Animated Series
, and the creators of Animaniacs
, Steven Spielberg
and Warner Bros.
Animation. It follows the adventures of Freakazoid, an entity created by the addition of all the information on the Internet note
to a mild-mannered computer nerd, along with weird energy-based powers and a goofy sense of humor. It parodied, lampshaded, or subverted every trope of superheroics at the time
describes him as "an anthropomorphic fusion of 4chan, TV Tropes, and I Can Haz Cheezburger years before any of those things existed."
Almost every adventure, Freakazoid would encounter his deadpan policeman buddy, Sgt. Mike Cosgrove, who would offer to take him to some unrelated event or activity ("Hey, Freakazoid! Wanna go out for a mint?" "DO I!") Freak would then drop the adventure, often mid-peril, and go off to someplace fun. He'd resume it shortly thereafter, as if nothing had happened
The excellent voice cast included Paul Rugg
as the main character, and Ed Asner
Created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini
during the Renaissance Age of Warner Bros Animation, Freakazoid!
was initially conceived as an action-adventure show (with a bit of comedy,) but at the insistence of Spielberg
, it was re-tooled into a pure comedy
, at which point Timm, realizing that he wasn't suited for something so unabashedly goofy, stepped aside note
and was replaced by Tom Ruegger
as principal showrunner. Although the show attracted a loyal following, the demographic it delivered was older than what Kids' WB was aiming for
(the show was marketed toward young children, who not surprisingly didn't quite understand the show's often arcane sense of humor.) After a series of baffling time-slot changes
failed to improve ratings, the show was canceled after just two seasons
. Despite this, the show later aired on Cartoon Network
, and has a cult following
The series is currently available in its entirety on DVD.
This show provides examples of:
- The Ace: Greg, the production assistant. Able to rescue the heroes with more than enough time to pick up their mail.
- Parodied with The Huntsman, who is set up as the most competent hero in the show, that is, until crime completely clears up in his city leaving him with nothing to do. This ultimately winds up having an obvious affect on Huntsman's self-esteem. It was suggested that crime was in a lull in his city because of the Huntsman's Ace qualities, i.e. he caught/drove off all the criminals. That, or, as he theorizes, Freakazoid's been stealing his, er, business.
- Achilles' Heel: Freakazoid’s weakness is graphite bars charged with negative ions (something of a subversion, as this is rather hard to come by,) also "poo gas." However, as Gutiérrez points out, "No one likes poo gas."
- As well as cranapple (allergic,) and Fanboy's discussions.
- The latter goes for just about anybody, really.
- Affably Evil: Several villains refuse to stoop to insults or rude behaviour.
- Airplane Arms: Freakazoid does this in the opening, as well as at various times throughout the series.
- Alliterative Name: The Douglas Family (Dexter, Duncan, Debbie and Douglas. Yes. Douglas Douglas.)
- All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Cave Guy. Although he's surprisingly erudite and articulate.
- Alter Kocker: The Pope, of all people.
- Animated Actors: Happens several times during the series, especially the first two episodes.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Freaka-clone committed tax evasion, mail fraud, and impersonating a shriner.
- Artistic License – Geography: An in character example. First read the quote above under Hula and Luaus. The next line?
: Of course, it all adds up! I've somehow landed in Norway
- Artistic License – History: In "Freakazoid is History," Freakazoid prevents World War II from happening by diverting a group of Japanese planes that were targeting Pearl Harbor. In reality, World War II had already been going on for two years, with Pearl Harbor being the incident that resulted in The United States finally entering the war.
- Art Shift: Toby Danger, especially its opening sequence.
- Ascended Fanboy: Fan Boy. Well... He certainly tries.
- As You Know
- Auction of Evil: Parodied.
- Badass Normal: Norm Abram, of all people, kicking just as much ass as Freakazoid. Not that Freakazoid minded.
- Cosgrove: It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter what you're doing. When Cosgrove points and tells you to cut it out, you cut it the hell out. Yes, even the Warner Brothers and their sister Dot, in a comic book crossover.
- Bad Bad Acting: Parodied in "The Freakazoid," Joe gets to act in the episode and doesn't do a good job (at first.)
Joe: (sounding stilted) Oh no, Freakazoid. What are we going to do?
Freakazoid: We are gonna get you some acting lessons, mister!
- Bankruptcy Barrel: "So, stay tuned to this station. If not we'll be unemployed."
- Batter Up: Norm Abram did this. Freakazoid was the bat.
- Berserk Button: Gutiérrez doesn't like being called a weenie.
- Freakazoid does not like Jeepers. Probably because Jeepers is the only unfunny villain on the show — he's just very creepy.
- Also, DO NOT ask Freakazoid if he wants to see something strange and mystical. Especially if you're Jeepers.
- Big Bad: Freakazoid's most recurrent nemesis was The Lobe, who generally worked alone (or with his henchmen, Medulla and Oblongata), but occasionally served as a leader to the other villains in their collaborative attempts to outdo Freakazoid. Also Armando Gutiérrez, a nastier but more rarely seen villain with an important role in Freakazoid's backstory.
- Big Brother Bully: Duncan. Dexter can only get back at him through Freakazoid, and "The Blue Guy" makes time repeatedly to do just that.
- Big Damn Heroes: Freakazoid snaps out of his fugue in S1E9 "Two Against Freak" when he finds out his friends are in danger.
- Bilingual Bonus: TONS.
- Frenching with Freakazoid!
Freakazoid: "Qui a coupé le fromage? Qui... A coupé... Le fromage? Who cut the cheese? Who cut... The cheese?"
- Bill Clinton: Given that Freakazoid took place in DC during his administration, it's unsurprising that he (and his wife) made a couple appearances. (Actually, Hillary made more, if you count Deadpan changing her features to look like her once.)
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Steven Spielberg (voiced by Frank Welker) would occasionally make appearances as being completely clueless as to what the show's production team is trying to achieve when it was really him who was encouraging the show's anarchic sense of humor. Frank Welker also gave Spielberg a stammer that made him seem much more indecisive.
- There would occasionally be humorous jabs at the powers that be at Warner Bros. such as by having a limousine full of studio executives coming up alongside a chase scene to tell Freakazoid that they'd prefer if he used the Freakmobile for the scene in order to promote the toy.
- Bowdlerise: A minor character named Mo-Ron later had his name changed to Bo-Ron, due to the network censors concerns that the use of "moron" was too offensive. It did allow the writers to make him come from Baronis in a shout out to Baroni's: The restaurant where they got the pizza for the recording sessions.
- Bragging Theme Tune: Parodying the likes of Spider-Man.
- Brick Joke: In "The Island of Dr. Mystico," Leonard Martin, while doing a TV review on said episode, mentions to viewers to watch out for Emmitt Nervend in a walk-on role as a salty dance hall chanteuse. Five minutes into the show, guess who shows up out of nowhere?
- One on the border of this and Continuity Nod: In Cobra Queen's first appearance, Freakazoid recommends that she liven up her sewer lair with Japanese paper lanterns; she remarks that it is a good idea. When her lair appears again near the end of the second season, she has indeed added Japanese paper lanterns (and is annoyed that Cave Guy doesn't comment on them.)
- Brown Note / Cool and Unusual Punishment: In "The Chip," Gutiérrez tortures Dexter's family by binding them and forcing them to watch Marty Ingels clips.
- In "Hot Rods From Heck," Freakazoid subdues one of the titular hot rods by exposing it to a television launched from the Freakmobile. It airs "7 Hours of Tony Danza," which causes the car to explode almost instantly.
- When Cosgrove asked why Freakazoid didn't go after Gutiérrez in "Hero Boy," Freakazoid notes that he's getting what he deserves: Forced to listen to the singing gas station attendants still in the Freakmobile.
- After defeating the security minister and his aide in "Mission:Freakazoid," Freakazoid ties them to a tree and leaves them to their fate: The mime they tortured appeared. And he brought friends.
Anton: They will entertain us with cute pantomime until we perish!
- Not torture per se, but in "Freak-A-Panel," Freakazoid defeats Cave Guy by dressing up and talking to him in Klingon.
Oh my, you've created a language based on a TV series?
That's not right!
- Brought to You by the Letter "F"
- Bumbling Dad: Mr. Douglas, Dexter and Duncan's Dad.
- Butt Monkey: Professor Jones
- By the Power of Grayskull!: "AWWWWW, Freak Out!"
- Call Back: Pops up occasionally:
- Roddy claimed to be Dexter's driving instructor in The Chip Part One, which was recalled by Dexter's dad in House of Freakazoid and by Dexter's mom in Mission: Freakazoid.
- The Lobe complains that falling for a really long time was almost as stupid as the Handman episode.
- In "Virtual Freak", Steff tells the Lobe she remembers that he tied her to a rocket, which he did back in season 1's "Relax-O Vision."
- In an early episode, Freakazoid suggests that Cobra Queen's sewer-based lair is drab and poorly lit, and suggests she dress it up with some Japanese paper lanterns. When we see her lair again in Season 2, she's done just that.
- The Cameo: Pinky and the Brain in "Freakazoid is History" after Freakazoid changes history. Brain is president of the United States, while Pinky is piloting Air Force One.
Valenti: (I)f the movie's rated NC-17, that means kids can't get in; only adults can get in. Mom doesn't want to see adult movies, but Grandpa was in the army and he's not bothered very much so he decides to stay, along with Sgt. Scruffy, who's just a dumb dog anyway. I hope that explains it. Now, back to the cartoon!
- In FanBoy's first appearance, he chases off a terrified George Takei from a comic shop. Later on at a convention, Freakazoid tries to ward him off by offering him "your very own Harlan Ellison!" who had just happened to be nearby. And Mark Hamill shows up not two seconds later.***
- Takei's voice was impersonated and Ellison had no lines, but Hamill is a cameo in his own right. He was available to appear because he was already voicing a character for another WB Animation show.
- Caps Lock, Num Lock, Missiles Lock: One episode of had ex-Corrupt Corporate Executive Gutierrez sitting at a desk. On this desk were only two buttons, "Summon Jocko" and "Vaporize World".
- Captain Ersatz: Freakazoid is noticeably similar to the comic book character Madman, which the creator has more or less acknowledged.
- He also has many similarities to DC comics The Creeper, which was one of the original ideas for the show.
- Catchphrase: "Freak out!"
- "Hey, you. Cut it out."
- "Laugh with Me!"
- "Aw, nutbunnies!"
- "Darn the luck! Darn!"
- Chain of Deals: Lord Bravery finds out that a bakery has the rights to his name. In return for the rights to his name, the bakery wants the rights of something else's name. And so it goes on.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In the first Freakazoid segment ever produced, "Dance of Doom", the character of Waylon Jeepers is introduced and then quickly forgotten about. Much later, in the second season, he would be reintroduced and become the focus of his own episode.
- Christmas Episode (of sorts): "In Arms' Way".
- "The Chip Parts I and II" takes place during the Christmas holiday.
- City of Weirdos: The creepy, giggling Weylon Jeepers and Vorn the Unspeakable are able to blend in perfectly in Venice Beach.
Freakazoid: "A couple of weirdos like Jeepers and Vorn should be pretty easy to spot around here!"
Cosgrove: "I don't think so."
(shot of the various hippies and weirdos living in Venice Beach)
Freakazoid: "Good point. Am I overdressed?"
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Cosgrove, Breaking the Fourth Wall and telling the kids to clap for Freakazoid. The Public Domain audience doesn't react at first.
Cosgrove: "Throw in some 'Huggbees' too! Huggbees! Huggbees!"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Freakazoid. A lot of his actions and dialogue are really bizarre.
- The Comically Serious: Cosgrove's MO, and the entire reason he's so well loved by the fans. Jeepers too.
- Compelling Voice: Cosgrove's ability to get almost anyone to "Cut it out".
- Contrived Clumsiness: Arms Akimbo runs an "Oops insurance" racket, "accidentally" knocking things over with his elbows until the owners give in. The damage gets more and more ridiculous with each scene, until we see Stock Footage of a nuclear explosion, followed by Akimbo saying "Oops!"
- Cool Car: Cosgrove's cop car. It follows Freakazoid from D.C. to Switzerland.
- Also, the Freakmobile itself, what with the double-wide rear wheels, two supercharged engines and all the gadgets. It certainly IS Toyetic.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Armando Guitierrez, the first and arguably most deadly villain that Freakazoid faces.
- Creator Provincialism: In one episode Freakazoid finds himself traveling back in time. He winds up stopping the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and declares that he prevented World War II, despite the fact that the attack only catalyzed the US entrance into the war, which had been going on for a couple years already by that point.
- Credits Gag: "And Weena Mercator as The Hopping Woman." Almost but not quite Once per Episode.
- How many times Emmitt Nervend appeared in the episode.
- Crossover: With Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain in this clip.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Freakazoid may act like the biggest goofball in existence, which he actually is, but as any villain can attest, if he wants to take you down, he'll do it....driving you insane the whole while.
- Crunchtastic: Or so people thought...
- Cthulhumanoid: "I am Vorn the Unspeakable. I am the enemy of the enemy of he who summons me. And you are?"
- Cuteness Proximity: Foamy the Freakadog's effect on Freakazoid. Of course, Foamy is rabid and doesn't like Freakazoid anyway...
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: In his return episode, we find out that Jeepers has a closet full of gold beavers because of the watch he used in the first episode. Apparently there's not much call for gold beavers, despite them being made of gold.
- Cyberspace: Where Freakazoid was created.
- DCAU: While not explicitly part of the DCAU, it is done using a similar animation and character design style. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini even created the characters and drew up the basic designs (except for Dexter; their "Dex" was a much more handsome teen).
- Deadpan Snarker: Freakazoid,whenever he encounters someone dumber than him.
- Deconstructor Fleet
- Dedication: An episode began with one normal dedication, one to a group of scientists, and one to Mrs. Ashley Huggbees, "because we like saying the word, 'Huggbees.' Go ahead. Try it. Huggbees."
- Demoted to Extra: During the second season, the show switched from a Three Shorts format to doing full 30-minute stories. The recurring supporting segments were left out, but the characters remained in the opening titles. (The Huntsman did make a cameo appearance in "The Freakazoid," though.) Lampshaded in "Freak-A-Panel," where the Huntsman, Lord Bravery, Fanboy, and Mo-Ron ("or is it Bo-Ron?") confront Freakazoid over being fired. They're then shown washing the Freakmobile.
Freakazoid: Well, at least they're still on the payroll.
- Dexter Douglas himself and the rest of the family are also absent from most of the second season.
- Distaff Counterpart: Freakazette, whose only appearance is a cameo in "Freakazoid and Friends", would have been this if she'd ever actually appeared.
- Dramatic Pause: Subverted.
- Also lampshaded with: "We interrupt this program to increase dramatic tension."
- Dull Surprise: Deliberately invoked by the producers with Cosgrove. Ed Asner originally came in and recorded a nuanced performance, but the producers realized that it would be funnier if Cosgrove spoke in a monotone and didn't really react to what was going on. They asked Asner to subsequently read his lines in a flat and slightly stilted manner and try not to act.
- Easter Egg: Emmitt Nervand.
- End of Series Awareness: Once an Episode in the opening, and again in the "Freakazoid and Friends" song.
- Episode Title Card
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: "Frenching With Freakazoid"
- Evil Laugh: Aside from the standard use of it, Cobra Queen and Cave Guy enjoy having a good Evil Laugh over dinner.
- Evil Tastes Good
- Excited Show Title!
- Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Freakazoid explains his Achilles' Heel to Gutierrez when asked. He even helps build a cage to contain himself.
- Expository Theme Tune
- The character of Professor Jones, voiced by Jonathan Harris, is essentially an animated version of Dr. Smith, Harris's character from Lost in Space. The show lampshaded this heavily in his debut episode by having at least 3 different characters asking him if he was on "that show with the robot". This was one of the reasons he was hired.
- Lonny Talbut, who looked and acted exactly like Larry Talbot, the wolf man.
- Eyepatch of Power: Guitierrez. Quite ironic, as he has two good eyes.
- Eyes Always Shut: Cosgrove, though you wouldn't think about it at first glance. There have been three instances where his eyes were open though, in "The Cloud", "The Wrath of Gutierrez," and "The Island of Dr. Mystico".
- Failure Hero: Hero Boy, whose strategy for fighting the giant Monster of the Week is always to just fly up and pound ineffectually on their foot until they brush him off.
- Fake Rabies: Subverted by Foamy, who really is rabid but Freakazoid doesn't seem to notice.
- Faux Horrific: The scariest thing in the world would be if they gave Sinbad another TV show.
- What if you reached for something, and it wasn't there... because it turned into wood?
- Fan Convention: Fan Boy's natural habitat.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Cave Guy is profoundly distrubed to hear someone speaking Klingon.
- Forgot About His Powers: Freakazoid can move at the speed of electricity as the plot demands, along with a bit of fourth wall manipulation. How does he normally get around? Sticks his hands up over his head and makes "whoosh"ing noises. Why? Rule of Funny.
- For the Funnyz: Forget the cage made out of wacky electrons. This is Freakazoid's real weakness.
- For Want of a Nail: Inverted, the world is a better place because of Freakazoid changing things in the Past. Well, maybe not completely better... The Brain is the President of the United States.
- Though on the other hand, that last part might be better. Brain's motivation for ruling the world is depicted out of a wanting to make it better, so perhaps he's why it's better. That still doesn't explain how half the things resulted from preventing the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
- Friendly Enemy: Freakazoid and The Lobe... sometimes.
- The Lobe bought Freakazoid a present. He opened it slowly, the suspense building... It was a food dehydrator, to make the "perfect beef jerky".
- Friend or Idol Decision: Mary Beth offers to share immortality with Cosgrove (at the expense of Freakazoid's life). He's seen pondering while a chorus sings 'What will Cosgrove do?' before he tells them to cut it out and turns her down.
- Freudian Excuse: For Freakazoid, according to the theme song.
- Fun Personified: The title character.
- Gag Series
- Gainax Ending: Parodied in "Next Time Phone Ahead," where Dexter is eaten by an alien monster and "The End" appears on-screen. The scene then cuts to Steven Spielberg, who questions the writers over this. The writers admit they did it so they could end the episode early and air Animaniacs reruns instead.
- Genius Bruiser: Cave Guy.
- Genius Ditz: Freakazoid, despite being... well, Freakazoid, has apparently sustained his alter ego's ability with computers.
- As well as all the other information on the Internet.
- Genre Savvy: Freakazoid: "If I know my cartoons - and I do! - I'll be back later on to rescue you from something really horrible!"
- Gilligan Cut: Lampshaded, subverted, and at one point specifically requested.
Candle Jack: I love that bit.
- The Glomp: Mo-Ron does this to Freakazoid. It isn't pretty.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: In one episode, Freakazoid runs into the Lobe while both of them are Christmas shopping. Instead of fighting each other as usual, they each excitedly try to guess what they're getting for each other.
- The same episode shows a flashback, where the heroes and villains have an annual baseball game.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: CRUD!
- There ought to be a counter for how often the Huntsman says 'darn'.
- Let's not forget: "Aww...nut bunnies!"
- Grand Finale: The crew knew that they wouldn't be coming back for a third season so they put together "Normadeus", an episode where Freakazoid has to face his entire rogue's gallery. It even included a guest appearance from Norm Abrams, who Paul Rugg always wanted to be on the show but didn't know if it would be possible. It ended with Freakazoid thanking the audience for watching and the entire cast singing a rendition of Vera Lynne's We'll Meet Again to a full house (and the viewer) at the Hollywood Bowl, complete with fireworks. It's an oddly poignant end to such a wacky show. It was such a special occasion that the producers got every regular and guest actor they could and squeezed them into a tiny booth to record the song before celebrating with pizza.
- Happy Place: The Freak-A-Zone, where Freakazoid hangs out when Dexter's in charge.
- Hair Trigger Sound Effect: Bleeding over heavily into real life, the villain Candle Jack would kidnap people who mentioned him. In this instance, the silence itself would be the accompanying effect.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Roddy.
- Harlan Ellison: Has a cameo when Freakazoid spots him in a comic convention and uses him as a bargaining chip with Fan Boy:
"How about your very own Harlan Ellison?!"
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Cosgrove's ability to make ANYBODY immediately stop fighting and behave themselves, from common burglars to supervillain mooks. This might not sound too awesome since as a damn good police officer he can command authority...until you find out that he is the only person to have ever made the Warner siblings sit down and behave◊. This should be impossible because the premise of their own show was them constantly escaping and misbehaving. %%Please don't remove the previous sentence. Otherwise the wick is nothing but a superlative. %%
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: The Hopping Woman, who often is announced in the opening credits but is never seen or heard.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When Jeepers tries to turn Freakazoid into stone, Steff pushes him out of the way and becomes stone instead. She gets better.
- Heroic Vow: Why Freakazoid couldn't go after the Lobe even though it turned out fake later on:
"Much as it pains me, I have to honor the Lobe's request, the same as everyone else's... Cause it's in the codebook, okay? Cause superheroes always keep their word no matter what, okay?"
- Herr Doktor: Dr. Günther Hunter Hanker (talks with a German accept, in the German dub, he talks with a vaguely Southern German/mildly Swiss German accent), who denies the existence of Candle Jack, only to be abducted, too, since he said his name.
- Highly-Visible Ninja
- The Hit Flash: Subverted.
- Homage: To everything and anything. Of note is the rewriting of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" to "You're A Meanie, Nasty Lobe".
- Hula and Luaus: "Waves, Hula Girls!, Pineapples, Hula Girls!, Surfboards, Hula Girls!, Hula Girls!, Hula Girls!"
- Hypocritical Humor
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: Subverted
- I Fell for Hours: Much to the Lobe's annoyance.
- The Igor: Jocko
- I Lied: Guiterrez to Roddy
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: The Lobe
- Inherently Funny Words: HUGGBEES!
Cosgrove: What do they call poo gas in Scotland?
Roddy: Crud vapors.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Cosgrove and Guitierrez both look like the men who voice them, Ed Asner and Ricardo Montalban, respectively.
- As do Dr. Mystico and Joe Leahy, the announcer (who essentially plays himself).
- Plus H.A. Futterman (Ben Stein), the man who explains Relax-o-Vision.
- And Jonathan Harris, which is repeatedly Lampshaded. "Weren't you on a show with a robot?"
- Professor Beasthead was voiced by, and looked a lot like, actor John Rhys-Davies in the "Tomb of Invisibo" episode.
- In Medias Res: Five episodes were produced and aired before the one about Freakazoid's origin.
- Insult Backfire: From Mission: Freakazoid;
Janos Ivnovels: Only America could produce idiot of your calibre.
Freakazoid: That's because we make lots of things better than other people!
Freakazoid: You really have no life, do you?
FanBoy: [proudly] No, sir!
- Intergenerational Friendship: Freakazoid and Cosgrove.
- Involuntary Shapeshifter: In one episode, an electric jolt made transforming back to Dexter impossible. Instead, he turned into Oprah Winfrey, Alan "Skipper" Hale, Judge Lance Ito, and Louis Armstrong (Just in time for The Lobe's big musical number)
- Jerk Jock: Duncan
- Kryptonite Factor: Gutierrez tries out several common weaknesses on Freakazoid. His actual Kryptonite Factor is humorously specific and obscure.
Freakazoid: "Dumb, dumb, dumb! Never tell the villain how to trap you in a cage!"
Gutierrez: "You probably shouldn't have helped us build it, either."
Freakazoid: "I know! Dumb!"
- Large Ham: The title character. And Gutierrez.
- Large Ham Announcer: A given when you have an awesome announcer.
- Laugh with Me: The Trope Namer. See the entry for Evil Laugh on this page.'
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Parodied in "Dance of Doom," with Batman. According to Joe the announcer, he could easily stop Cave Guy, "but he's on another network."
- Leitmotif: Freakazoid, of course, typically the first seven notes of his theme song. Cave Guy and Cobra Queen have them as well, both of which are trumpet based. The full version of the former can be heard in "Two Against Freak" as he heads to Cobra Queen's lair, after which it segues into the latter.
- Lemony Narrator: Most jarring when he actually has an appearance in the show.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Such as create a portal to the past.
- Limited Animation: During the Toby Danger sketch. No surprise, since it was a parody of Jonny Quest (and Hanna Barbera in general).
- Living Prop: Emmitt Nervend, who never says a word or changes expression, rarely does anything except stand there, and only exists as a Running Gag.
- Loony Fan: Fan Boy.
- Loud of War: In one episode, Freakazoid is given the choice of being sentenced to 30 days in prison or 30 minutes of having to listen to Fan Boy talk about Tron. He chooses the former. Unfortunately, Fanboy is his cellmate.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Steph prefers Freakazoid to Dexter.
- Luxury Prison Suite: Gutierrez, who gets a phone line installed so he can connect to the Internet.
- Male Gaze: "Have I got time for another 'gawking at the girls through binoculars' gag? I like those. Hula girls!"
- Man in a Kilt: Roddy MacStew.
- Manly Tears: "That made water come out my eyes."
- Magic Floppy Disk: A VHS tape, and Dexter's brain.
- Medium Awareness The entire show is all sorts of this. Hell, in the "Candle Jack" episode alone, he not only gets captured because, as he explains, he was attempting to mimic a gag from F Troop, but after he's tied up, he stops the episode mid-scene to talk about how excited he is to work with the actors on today's show.
- He doesn't just stop the episode, he walks right out of his bonds in the middle of it, only to go right back in when he's finished.
- Medium Blending: Used live-action clips from classic Fifties TV/movies in some episodes, and in the title sequence.
- Merchandise-Driven: Parodied with the Freakmobile). The show's writers actually ask Freakazoid to use the Freakmobile in a chase scene.
- Toyetic: The term was popularized by being defined onscreen during this sequence.
- Mickey Mousing: Subverted.
- Monster Clown: One of the Lobe's plans entails turning people into zombie clowns with a mysterious cloud to try and take over the world.
Lobe: The perfect plan! Everyone loves a clown! There's a knock on the door, it's a clown! You let it in. The next thing you know, they've taken over for me!
- Freakazoid claims it's a stupid idea, only to agree that it was a brilliant idea when the Lobe's out of earshot.
- Mouth Flaps: Parodied with the lip-sinking scene.
- Mr. Fanservice: Freakzoid in-universe has women throwing themselves at him. Naturally he also has audience fangirls.
- In "Relax-O-Vision" more than two hundred swooning women lined up for his kissing booth at a carnival. Make of that what you will.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Parodied and a Running Gag, where Cosgrove will interrupt whatever Freakazoid's up to to invite him to something far more mundane.
Freakazoid: Nothing will stand in my way!
Cosgrove: Hey, Freakazoid, wanna go out for a mint?
- Mr. Exposition: Roddy MacStew is not happy about it.
- My Brain Is Big: The Lobe.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Cobra Queen and Longhorn are pretty good; as for Candle Jack, well, he is rather tenacious.
- Nature Hero: The Huntsman.
- The Nineties
- Noodle Incident: Whatever Jeepers and Vorn did to the lady in the apartment above him. All we know is, "it was like having to watch Waterworld for a month!"
- No One Could Survive That: Roddy MacStew, after explaining the flaws of Apex's latest computer chip and saying that this potential weapon of mass destruction was only known to him, was promptly pushed off the roof of the building by the Corrupt Corporate Executive. It is Christmas Eve, after all, and goodness forbid they make a recall the day after that!
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Huntsman and Lord Bravery, who were quite blatantly modelled upon Charlton Heston and John Cleese, respectively.
- The "And now you know... the rest of the episode" guy is never named but clearly Paul Harvey.
- Cave Guy was a take-off of Jim Backus, specifically echoing Thurston Howell III.
- No Fourth Wall: Used straight... and subverted.
- Official Couple: Freakazoid/Steff. Oddly, Dexter/Steff, though named in the 'Freakazoid and Friends' song, does not apply as Steff doesn't find out about Freakazoid's secret identity until later.
- Cave Guy and Cobra Queen hook up during the second season.
- Off Like a Shot
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: "Relax-O-Vision" is basically a long series of these.
- Old Shame: In-universe with Professor Jones, who doesn't want to hear anything about "that show with the robot." note
- Old Superhero: "Legends Who Lunch."
- Only Sane Man: Well, compared to the rest of his family, Dexter is this.
- Out-of-Character Alert: Cosgrove once realized that a rampaging Freakazoid was a clone when Cosgrove asked him to the Yakov Smirnoff film festival... and he said no. When he declares this at an emergency press conference, the clone is instantly discredited.
- Overly Long Gag: See Spit Take, below.
- Parody: Of the superhero genre, but other shorts delved into other areas of parody as well. "Toby Danger In The Doomsdau Bet", the third short of the second episode, parodied the poor writing, hammy, over-the-top acting, nonsensical Techno Babble and choppy animation of action cartoons from The Dark Age of Animation like Jonny Quest. The fourth and final short of the very first episode, called "Hand Man", featured a surprise crossover with the Warner Brothers (and sister} from Animaniacs performing a theme song that had similar-sounding lyrics and tune to their own, but tailored in a way that not only fit the Freakazoid! universe, but also seemed to gleefully mock the original tune.
- Perpetual Expression: Emmitt Nervend's Unsmile.
- Phlegmings: Foamy the Freakadog.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Huntsman is not happy about being a superhero who never manages to do any crime-fighting in his own segments.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: The Toby Danger sequences; perhaps they came a decade too early.
- Post Modernism: And how.
- Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Dexter has normal-length and cut, light brown hair. When he turns into Freakazoid it grows into a large crown of long, black Anime Hair, with white ligthing-shaped stripes in it.
- Psychic Static: Freakazoid, to avoid having his personality fed to his clone.
- Psychopathic Man Child: Freakazoid himself.
- Put on a Bus: Ingmar the Mute Butler for Season 2 (in favor of Professor Jones)
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Freakazoid and Cosgrove. In the episode 'Two Against Freak', Roddy is also a Red Oni to Cosgrove's Blue. They're even, albeit unintentionally, wearing the right colors.
- Red Shirt: Expendable Lad, though he only appeared once before retiring with a bruised clavicle
- Relax-o-Vision: The Trope Namer.
- It also featured a variation with Scream-O-Vision, whereupon anything remotely scary, from Candle Jack to kissing and was followed up by the word "Scream" and a small sound clip of people doing just that.
- The Renaissance Age of Animation
- Ride The Lightning
- Rogues Gallery: Freakazoid's consists of The Lobe, Candle Jack, Cave Guy, Cobra Queen, Longhorn, Deadpan and Arms Akimbo. Actually this gallery appears as a group before each villain does individually, in fact, in the first episode a couple of villains (Eye of Newt and Booger Beast) are mentioned and seen among the group for the first and last time. Also, in the first season, Kid Carrion (a skull-faced, cowboy zombie whose character is never developed) appears various times with the group. Armando Gutierrez plays a large role in three Season 1 episodes and returns in Season 2, though only appears alongside the other villains in the finale. In the second season, Waylon Jeepers and a new villain named Vorn join the crowd, along with Invisibo and his swinging theme song.
- Booger Beast actually appears in the pre-credits sequence of a later episode.
- Running Gag: Quite a few.
Cosgrove: "Hey, Freakazoid. Wanna go to the (insert odd place name here)?"
Freakazoid: "Do I?!?!"
: (from the car) Have a good time now!
Lobe's Henchman: That is one happy man.
- Such repetition of certain quotes pretty much became a Once an Episode thing, especially during the second season.
- From "The Island of Dr. Mystico":
Steph: That was quite a jolt, Freak!
- Science Hero: Toby Danger, seeing as he is an Captain Ersatz of Jonny Quest.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Professor Jones.
- Secondary Character Title: Not the series as a whole, but the episode Heroboy.
- Secret Keeper: Roddy for Dexter/Freakazoid. "Mission: Freakazoid" established that Cosgrove also knew. (He just didn't know it was a secret from Steff and subsequently blew it.)
- Series Continuity Error: "Dance of Doom" (the first episode) established Dexter's age as sixteen, but "The Chip Part One" (Freakazoid's origin story) had it as seventeen.
- Also, Mr. Chubbikins, typically orange, was white in the series finale.
- Shaggy Frog Story: Done hilariously, of course.
"I saw this once on an after-school special. Mary and Sally, best friends! They did absolutely everything together. Then one day, Mary fell in with the wrong crowd. And Mary didn't have time for Sally anymore. Sally would say, 'Wanna go play a game or pretend we're kitties?' and Mary would say 'Uh-uh, I'm in with the wrong crowd.' Sally was so sad she ran home, climbed up a tree and started eating cookies. A ton of cookies. She got huge, HUGE, HUGE, HUGE!...got any cookies, Mike?"
- Shout-Out: To The Andy Griffith Show in the theme song, among others.
- In "And Fan Boy Was His Name", Mike rings the cash register, saying he's giving angels their wings.
- In "Freak-a-Panel," after Joe gives him attitude, Freakazoid threatens to replace him with the announcer from Earthworm Jim.
- The time travel episode features an opening for a fake show called Quantum Freak which also features allusions to films like The Graduate & The Defiant Ones.
- In "Dance Of Doom," Freakazoid segued to a proceeding scene by shouting "PULL DE STREENG!" a la Bela Lugosi in Glen or Glenda?. The cast added on the DVD commentary that it was actually inspired by watching Ed Wood.
- Freakazoid's costume was based on an early costume worn by Madman. The creator of Madman was never given credit, however.
- "The Cloud"'s opening few scenes are from The Crawling Eye - which was also seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- The "AWWWW, Freak out!" Dexter shouts to change is taken from the disco song "Le Freak" by Chic.
- Hero Boy to the 60's American dub of Astro Boy.
- Show Within a Show: "Hero Boy", an Astro Boy parody that's Freakazoid's favorite cartoon, and "Real Life Police", a COPS parody Cosgrove participates in.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: No, Jeepers, Freakazoid does not want to see something strange and mystical. He wants you to go away, leave the beavers alone, have a cup of coffee with cream or something and stop being creepy.
- Sidekick: FanBoy, Expendable Lad, Foamy the Freakadog, and many others.
- Sigmund Freud: Name-checked by the Expository Theme Tune.
- Speak of the Devil: In his debut episode, Candle Jack abducts anyone who says his name.
- Special Effect Failure: Parodied.
Joe: The special effects aren't very scary. Please pretend they are. Thank you.
- The scene is then shown with obvious wires holding up Invisibo's floating scepter and a device throwing Dexter to simulate an invisible man throwing him.
Joe: We've succeeded in embarrassing the network into giving us more special effects money! Thank you for pretending! You can stop now.
- Special Guest: MPAA president Jack Valenti, Actor Mark Hamill, and TV Carpentry Show host Norm Abram all appear as themselves in various episodes.
- Spinning Paper: Played straight, but probably subverted somewhere knowing what we're dealing with.
- Spit Take: Turned into an Overly Long Gag when Fanboy surprises Freakazoid and he spits out far more papaya juice than could possibly be in his mouth or his cup, over the course of about a dozen individual spits.
- Sssssnake Talk: Cobra Queen. Cave Guy likes it.
Cobra Queen: Tell me more about my eyesssssssssss.
Cave Guy: I love the way you say 'eyes'!
- Standard Snippet
- Stepford Smiler: Dexter's mother, Debbie Douglas, smiles continually, no matter what's going on around her or what she's saying. Most likely a Type B, but Type C is hinted at, particularly in commentaries.
- Stock Footage
- The Day The Music Lied: The Huntsman marches into the police station, ready to fight crime, his theme song blaring loudly away. Turns out it's always a false alarm, leaving the Huntsman with nothing to do.
- The Stoic: Cosgrove. Taken to an extreme in an episode in which Freakazoid and Cosgrove are trapped in a virtual reality game. Freakazoid, looking for a way out, repeatedly finds himself in very long falls back to where they started, and Cosgrove nonchalantly stands completely silent until he lands.
- Straw Fan: Fanboy, though he isn't so much a parody of Freakazoid fans as comic book/sci-fi fans in general.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: Subverted by Mo-Ron and others.
- Superhero: Yes, subverted.
- Take Our Word for It: What Jeepers and Vorn did to the lady upstairs.
Neighbor: It was awful! Awful! JUST AWFUL!
Freakazoid: Could you be more specific?
: It was like having to watch Waterworld
for a month!
- Take That: "The scariest thing in the world would be if they gave Sinbad another TV show!''"
- After averting Pearl Harbor, Freakazoid sees how he's changed things and first is Sharon Stone in Macbeth: "She's good. She's good. She's real good. Sharon Stone can act!"
- Same episode also shows how the world is a better place: "No Chevy Chase movies" and "Rush Limbaugh is a bleeding-heart liberal!"
- In "Freak-A-Panel", Tom Minton (creator of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries and supposed physical inspiration for the Brain) is shown holding a sign that reads "Yogi Bear is a robot."
- "Diane Sawyer acts sincere, but she's really faking it."
- The episode "Lawn Gnomes" is a parody of the first episode of Disney's Gargoyles, with brave and honorable castle grotesques replaced with cowardly and amoral garden gnomes. Another episode has Freakazoid sitting on a high-rise grotesque made to look like Goliath. Not-Goliath is explaining the long and complicated story of his people and would not stop until he was offered a Pez Dispenser.
- In And Fanboy Was His Name, Freakazoid is going through a comic convention looking for something he could give to Fanboy to get him to go away, and offeres him an autographed photograph of Stan Lee. Fanboy doesn't know who that is. (Freakazoid doesn't either.)
- Taking the Bullet: Non-fatal version, Steff pushes Freakazoid out of the way of Jeepers's Medusa watch, getting turned into stone.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Freakazoid defeats Cobra Queen by subjecting her Snake Talk to a tongue-twister. Afterward, he says, "I wonder why that worked?"
- Also, Cosgrove can do this to anybody in the show.
- The Teaser: Many episodes featured a scene before the opening credits.
- Telephone Teleport: There was a episode where the eponymous character traveled through a power line. Helped that he supposedly had the power of the entire Internet, which at the time the show was made was connected by phone modems.
- There Was a Door: In "Dexter's Date", Freakazoid crashes through a wall full of TV monitors while trying to stop the Lobe. The Lobe immediately scolds him for causing the damage and not using the door instead.
- They Called Me Mad!: Directly invoked by Dr. Mystico. "They called me mad, insane, Wendell!"
- Three Shorts: The format used in the first season; in the second season, the show switched to doing full 30-minute stories.
- Throw a Barrel at It: Trope Namer shows up in short "Toby Danger in Doomsday Bet".
- Too Dumb to Live: When Guitierrez wants to know Freakazoid's weakness.
Guitierrez: Oh, we're wasting time. What is your weakness?
(quick cut to Freakazoid in a cage)
Freakazoid: (to self) Dumb, dumb, dumb! Never tell the villian how to trap you in a cage!
Guitierrez: You probably shouldn't have helped us build it, either.
Freakazoid: I know. Dumb!
- In one episode he gets arrested on this charge by the Idiotic Police.
- Took a Level in Badass: Freakazoid learns telekinesis. At first he fails utterly and only manages to hit himself in the head with a brick. When he gets angry though, he subconsciously masters the technique and effortlessly thrashes Cave Guy and Cobra Queen in battle. He doesn't use the ability in later episodes, though there were only two episodes left.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: As the second season progresses, Steph seems to become more of a ditz than she was before.
- Totally Radical: The assistant in 'Virtual Freak'.
- The Unfavourite: Dexter has shades of this, given that he was yelled at for blowing raspberries, yet Duncan could punch him a lot with little consequence.
- The Unintelligible: Jocko. "Eeeeeeeeee!"
- Up, Up and Away!: Subverted, as Freakazoid doesn't fly.
- Uranus Is Showing : During episode 2, we are greeted to a spaceship zipping through space. Then out of nowhere, Freakazoid pops up, points at a planet, and gleefully states "That's Uranus!"
- Viewers Are Geniuses: It is pretty much impossible for any single person to catch every reference and allusion, as some can get exceptionally obscure (such as showcasing Venice Beach regulars circa 1995). Thankfully the show is funny enough that you don't need to get even half of them to enjoy it.
- Villain Song: "Bonjour, Lobey" in "Dexter's Date", a blatant parody of "Hello, Dolly!".
- Villains Out Shopping: The Lobe in "In Arms Way" and "Virtual Freak".
- Villain Team-Up: Happens in "Relax-O-Vision" and "Two Against Freak".
- Voluntary Shapeshifting
- What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: One episode ends with Freak, Cosgrove and Steph watching Babeheart, about "a cute little pig who slaughters the English"
Steph: This sure is a gory movie.
Cosgrove: Yeah, but that's one mighty cute pig.
Freakazoid: I hope he recieves some kind of cute pig award.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never did find out who killed Sir Jeffry.
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?
- Whole Plot Reference: To The Crawling Eye, of all things. The kid's demographic that the show was marketed to probably didn't get the joke, but the kids' parents (or the kids themselves 10 years later) who were fans of early episodes of MST3K did.
- Subverted pretty regularly, though. While shows like Animaniacs commit to their parodies once started, Freakazoid bails on them the second it'd be funnier to do something else. For example The Freakazoid and Normadeus, where the parody they're doing last only for the first scene of the cartoon in question.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: A rare example of this being applied to a hero.
- You Said You Would Let Them Go: The show is so Genre Savvy that Roddy can't even get half of the sentence out of his mouth before receiving the I Lied, as though they're just going through the motions.