Western Animation: Frisky Dingo
"Yes, you'd better gasp collectively!"An [adult swim] cartoon series which ran from 2006 to 2008, Frisky Dingo almost runs on Continuity Porn and Brick Jokes, whilst being a Deconstruction of the superhero genre: pitting the villainous-yet-incompetent Killface as an Anti-Villain Protagonist against the arguably-more-sociopathic Crews as an Anti-Hero.The supervillain Killface dreams of blasting the planet Earth into the Sun. He just has one small problem: he wants to announce his intentions to the world and show the masses the doomsday engine ("The Annihilatrix") that will bring about their doom. Since he doesn't have the technology to hijack the airwaves, let alone the money to purchase airtime to announce his scheme, he's pretty much screwed. All he can afford is a batch of promotional postcards (with poor grammar).On the opposite end of the spectrum, we find Xander Crews, a spoiled sociopath who parades around as a super-suited superhero named "Awesome X". After Awesome X executes his last remaining arch-nemesis, Crews family adviser Stan pressures Xander to retire from the superhero game and finally start running the family business. (After all, if Awesome X and his support team of "Xtacles" have no more villains to fight, how will they sell Awesome X action figures?) After getting his hands on one of Killface's postcards, however, Xander sees the perfect way to keep Awesome X (as well as the toy line) alive—and the perfect way to keep the Xtacles from getting fired and going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.Season 2 deals with the fallout of the Annihilatrix being activated at the end of the previous season. Thanks to the melted couplings, the Annihilatrix malfunctions and pushes the Earth just barely away from the sun, curing Global Warming in the process. For this, Killface receives worldwide acclaim and decides to enlist the help of a woman named Dottie Bunch - “the Kingmaker” - to help him run for president. Meanwhile, Xander Crews has been living on the streets ever since he lost (then immediately regained) his entire twenty-billion-dollar fortune. Hearing from Killface’s documentary team that the latter is running for president, Xander decides to follow suit. This reshapes the show for a lengthy presidential election arc, which every surviving character and subplot from the first season gets involved in.A spinoff series set after the second was planned, named “The Xtacles”. The show was cancelled after two episodes, which involved the Xtacles, now travelling aimlessly following Xander leaving Earth in Killface’s spaceship at the end of Season 2, (barely) following orders from the new president of the United States, Stan.While the staff planned a third season, the absence of a renewal contract from [Adult Swim] and the time spent on the only two episodes of The Xtacles left the show permanently shelved.After Frisky Dingo's cancellation, the animation studio behind it (70/30 Studios) shut down—but that turned out for the best, as the creative team behind the show eventually produced a hit show about a super-spy with sociopathic tendencies that has run six seasons and counting.It airs in the land of the dingo on SBS2.
We can't ever go back to Arizona—but we can look at the tropes from Frisky Dingo:
- Catch Phrase: There are a huge amount of catch-phrases and Share-Phrases for all the characters, most of which also count as Brick Jokes or Running Gags.
- Boosh and/or Ka-kow! (yes it counts as it's own meta-catchphrase this way.)
- What are we doing?
- Didn't see that one coming...
- Called it!
- I f*ckin' love Chinatown!
- Aw, man, I hate Chinatown!
- I wanna teabag Chinatown!
- ... The town
- ...made headlines today, but not the good kind like you want.
- Well, not with that attitude!
- Not with any attitude!
- Way to go, [X]!
- I hate this country.
- I love this country. You people don't care!
- My God a missile we've been hit!
- You don't have to be crappy.
- We'll always have Vegas!
- I like to call it "Lost Wages."
- Doin' really great.
- Son of a Whore!
- Don't you... Don't... That was our last bowl!
- What's this slideshow... everybody's doin?
- What the hell, damn guy?!?
- God... ...dammit!
- We can't ever go back to Arizona!
- Aw! We were supposed to get pickles!
- Apparently it's been here the whole time.
- Wait... damn, I had something.
- Like to have a thought balloon over that guy's head.
- Is that ant poison? No, that's a great plan.
- Oh, they just want to win. Ladybugs.
- (Disappointed penguin sound)
- I ... think that's hydraulic fluid.
- Stay gold, pony boy!
- Me too!
- Ambiguous Disorder: Nearl Crews, a.k.a. the Local Retarded Wino Guy, until he is somehow cured by the Xtacles with brain chemicals they traded a pair of sneakers for.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Taqu'il's lawyer, who tries to explain away the Ballocaust album cover."Aren't you Jewish?""Who's to say?"
- Anyone Can Die: The show doesn't shy away from killing off formerly main characters. See Character Death for a complete list.
- Aside Glance: "Dammit, we only have 11 minutes! beat ...for this part of the kidnapping.
- Birth/Death Juxtaposition: In "Cody Gains a Namesake", Cody 2 is born second before Antagone dies (at the hands of Cody 2).
- Body Sushi: Torpedo Vegas has a model in his office he uses for this.
- Boom, Headshot: Many characters die this way, including Nearl, Phil and Dottie.
- Brick Joke:
Xtacle: Like, fifty times, I said that.
- During Season 1, Watley tells Killface that he should "establish some boundaries" in regards to parenting Simon. At the end of the season, Xander attributes his activating the Annihilatrix to his dead parents never having establishing boundaries. Comes back again in Season 2, when after Wendell watches Cody 2 eat Antagone's head, he grabs his belt and yells that they're going to establish some boundaries before taming him.
- At the end of "XPO", Killface tries to cheer up his group (now covered in ants) by asking "now, who's for Denny's?" Later on, in a flashback to Xander's childhood, Xander's parents say this to him to distract him from the fact that they just sent his twin brother to the "monkey hospital" (a mental ward).
- One of the Deceptacles, while displaying gifts they bought for Antagone's pregnancy, shows off a onesie he bought for the child, reading "here comes trouble". Two episodes later, when Cody 2 rampages through the city, one of the Xtacles pulls it back out saying that they're "gonna need a bigger onesie".
- Chain of CorrectionsX-tacle #1: So...who's read Flowers for Algernon?X-tacle #2: Oooh, about the kid with all the chains, and the goggles, and at the end he gets killed with a shotgun?Xtacles #2, #3, #4: Boosh!X-tacle #1: That's "Harrison Bergeron."Xtacles #2, #3, #4: Hollywood Squares!X-tacle #1: That's Tom Bergeron.X-tacle #2: Brother of Menelaus!X-tacle #1: Dammit, that's Agamemnon!
- Character Death: Over the course of the series, Nearl Crews, Phillip Mazzone, Kevin the wizard roleplayer, Darcelle Jones, Dottie Bunch, Ronnie the Slavic Xtacle, Baby Lamont, Sinn, Arthur Wately, Grace Ryan/Antagone, Taqu'il and Cody 2 all die.
- Character Name Alias: Xander hides his identity from a blinded Killface by calling himself Barnaby Jones. Killface does get the reference, but still believes him.
- City with No Name: A running gag is that the setting of the show is ambiguous, with all characters, even documentarians and newscasters referring to their city as "the town".
- Cliffhanger: The first season ends on a huge cliffhanger: Simon activates the Annihilatrix, seemingly dooming the entire world in the process.
- Continuity Porn: Much of the show's humour involves meticulously bringing back and referencing every joke, character and event from previous episodes.
- Convection Schmonvection: The Annihilatrix, despite being a giant thruster powerful enough to move the entire planet, apparently is just fine to stand right underneath as it's being activated.
- Crimefighting with Cash: Awesome X and the Xtacles; Xander Crews' being unable to pay the Xtacles (and his plan to fire them) sets much of the plot of Season 1 in motion.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: During one of the in-show interviews, Simon starts masturbating just off camera, apparently out of sheer spite.
- Dead Guy Puppet: Killface kidnaps several PR execs to force them to help making his public announcements. When one angers him, he shoots him with a heavy caliber gun, blowing him in half...then picks up the torso-half, thrusts his hand all the way inside him until his hand is behind the corpse's jaw, and starts sarcastically "playing" him literally like a ventriloquist's dummy...for an extended period of time...in front of his twin brother who is begging him to stop.
- Depraved Bisexual: Val
- The Dog Bites Back:
- After Xander is pronounced dead, Stan takes over his business and secret identity, and tries to get him kidnapped.
- After suffering enough abuse, Valerie makes it her goal to assassinate Killface.
- After Killface fires her, Sinn becomes Hooper and takes control of the Xtacles/Deceptacles.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Killface would just love to do this for real, but his inability to purchase a "media buy" handcuffs him. Sinn pulls it off in Season 2, with it implied that she secretly had the funds all along to buy TV time to announce her plans.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Mr. Ford has a habit of doing this with his Double Entendres.
- Dude, Not Ironic: When Xander winds up homeless, the documentarian says it's ironic how he's now living in cardboard boxes produced by the company he used to own. Xander says that's not what irony means, while the documentarian replies that's exactly what irony means.
- Doomsday Device: The Annihilatrix
- The Dragon: Sinn to Killface, Stan to Xander
- Egocentric Team Naming: Awesome X and the X-ticles, a team of well-funded badass normals. They Fight Crime.
- Embarrassing First Name: For Killface:Xander: [laughing] Evelyn!?Killface: It's a man's name!
- Even Evil Has Standards: Stan, on the issue of exploiting Simon's homosexuality as a means to discredit Killface as a presidential candidate.
- Evil Chancellor: Stan
- Evil Twin: Nearl, a mentally deficient homeless person picked up by the Xtacles and injected with "brain chemical," turns out to be Xander Crews' long-lost twin brother, who vows revenge...before being shot through the head by Ronnie.
- Exposed Extraterrestrials: Killface doesn't wear any clothes and few people seem to mind. Played With at the last moment of the series, when Killface's family, dressed royally, comes to Earth on their spaceship. His mother gets mad at his lack of clothes.Torpedo Vegas: Well, he doesn't have a penis! Or, at least, none that I can see.Xander Crews: Yeah, what's with that?
- Eye Scream: Killface's eyes are burnt formic acid, and Xander's are shot out at point blank.
- The Faceless: The Xtacles. Averted in the spinoff series.
- Foreshadowing: The Season 1 finale has Killface note that Simon is becoming a liability. At the end of the episode, he activates the Annihilatrix, presumably dooming the world in the process.
- Gag Penis: MASTER CYLINDER!
- I Have No Son: Xander's parents, in a flashback, tell him that Nearl is dead to them as he is driven away.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Xander Crews.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Killer Mike as Taqu'il
- Hollywood Cyborg: Sinn
- Hot Scoop: Grace Ryan
- Humiliation Conga: Xander's year of being homeless in between seasons one and two
- Identity Impersonator: When Xander is presumed dead after being taken hostage by his own Xtacles, Stan takes up his secret identity and steals his fortune (and his control over the Xtacles).
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Killface.
- In Season 1, Xander, forced into slave labour with Killface, ends up replacing the heads of Awesome-X action figures with Stan's face, unaware of what he is doing due to his blindness.
- Discussed.Documentarian: Wow. Well, that's sort of ironic.
Xander: How's that?
Documentarian: 'Cause uhh, that you used to own the company that made the refrigerator that came in the cardboard box that you live in now.
Xander: I'm not real sure that's what irony is.
Documentarian: It's actually kinda exactly what it is.
- Jerkass: Pretty much the entire cast. But especially Xander.
- Kick the Dog: Almost every character is a pretty despicable human being (or whatever Killface is), as noted above.
- Kill 'em All: By the end of the series, the only major characters left alive are Xander, Killface, Simon, Stan, Valerie and Wendell and the only minor characters confirmed to be alive are Mr. Ford and Simone.
- Last Episode New Character: Killface's mother and race.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Apparently a company called Ret-Con makes a living by handwaving continuity the show no longer cares about. Antagone vanishes thanks to Grace taking Ret-Con brand ant poison pills and Ret-Con Construction rebuilds the Annihilatrix after it gets taken apart for scrap.
- Leitmotif: Should Killface get angry enough to simply glower in silence at someone, a simple choral track will play.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: One appears as Killface attempts to sort out his insurance in "Emergency Room".Killface: You would not believe the day I'm having.
Killface: Cover your mouth.
- That Man Is Dead: Antagone says this about Grace Ryan.
- Medium Awareness: When asked why he shot and killed Nearl, Ronnie replies that the plot was complicated enough as it was.Ronnie: It's complicated enough without all this Evil Twin bullshit!
- The Most Dangerous Game: Discussed in Season 2, when Xander talks about his grey-market safaris.Documentarian: Is that a panda bear?
Xander: Yep, the most dangerous game.
Documentarian: Man! Man is the most dangerous game!
Xander: Well, tell that to a mommy panda protecting her cubs!
- Motivational Kiss: At one point near the end, Stan and Taqu'il are dangling from a ledge, and Taqu'il uses a grappling hook concealed in his belt to lift them to safety. Before he does, Stan (referencing the use of this trope in Star Wars) gives him a quick kiss and says "For luck." Taqu'il is not amused, and activates the grappling hook with nothing more than a cold look.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Counting Xander as the villain in this example, he activates the Annihilatrix at the end of season one, intent on killing himself and taking the entire world with him. When season two begins, it's revealed that instead of launching the Earth into the Sun like it was supposed to, it instead nudged the Earth three feet away from it, thus curing global warming (which Killface took credit for.)
- Nixon Mask: One of the X-tacles wears one.X-tacle in Nixon Mask: Hey guys, look. I opened Communist China to the West!X-tacle 2: Put that back.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- Mitzi and Verl from "Pimp My Revenue" are very thin pastiches of Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin, respectively.
- Carter Hawkins bears resemblance, both physically and politically, to Glenn Beck.
- No Name Given: Many members of the cast (Val, Sinn, Taqu'il, Stan) are not given last names, and some are not given names at all, such as the members of Grace Ryan's news crew, or the documentarian from the presidential campaign arc.
- Possibly subverted in the last case. In "The Debate, Part 1", a letter from the CIA neither confirming nor denying Wendell's story of being on loan from them is addressed to a "Mr. E. Wallace", possibly the name of the documentarian.
- Noodle Incident:
- The reason why Simon and Killface had to leave Arizona is constantly teased in season one; it's implied that the incident involved illegal bunny-knife fights, which Simon was involved in.
- In "Meet Antagone", Killface alludes to some terrible thing happening at the mall.Killface: And once again, this mall is my Waterloo.
- No Party Given: Averted, Killface is democratic and Xander is republican.
- Number of the Beast: Killface's insurance policy number is 666666666666. And has been unpaid for six months.
- Odd Couple: Xander (as Barnaby Jones) and Killface in Season 1, with an episode even named "The Odd Couple".
- On the Next: "News of a Kidnapping" includes this, after ending with Grace Ryan hanging from the Annihilatrix by a microphone cord:Cameraman: Oh God, please fall...
Next time, on Frisky Dingo...
Killface: Oh my God, she fell.
- Operation Blank:
- In "XPO", Xander calls the mission to lure Killface to Vegas using a fax machine and a fake inventor's expo, the prize for which is twelve billion dollars, and get him to sign the release forms on his action figure, "Operation: Snooperfax". In the same episode, Phil nicknames the mission to sabotage their opponent in the competition, Wately, dressed as nuns, "Operation: Bad Habbit".
- Much to Killface's shock, Wendell names the mission to raise funds for the campaign by selling drugs he got Cody to give him from prison, "Operation: Meth Nazis".
- The two episodes of "The Xtacles" were given the titles "Operation: Mountain Punch" and "Operation: Murderous Conclusions" respectively, the latter actually given a Title Drop after A.L.E.X. tells the Xtacles not to jump to any murderous conclusions.
- The Plot Reaper
- President Evil: Both Xander and Killface attempt to be this in the second season, but Mr. Ford becomes this in the end.
- Previously On
- Product Placement:
- Killface mentions the Rooms To Go furniture store chain in his original Annihilatrix threat.
- Ruthlessly mocked with the "Scion tC" gag.
- Also, Haggar Pants sponsors the Xander Crews/Killface Presidential Debate at the Haggar Pants Arena...which has a giant pair of pants attached to the roof.
- Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...:Killface (To Antagone): Well let me tell you this. (Punching her gut) Punch punch punch punch punch...really, nothing?
- Putting on the Reich: Taqu'il's Ballocaust album cover, showing him wearing a Commissar Cap with the SS logo, holding a chain leash locked to a shaved-head girl in a bikini made of the same striped material as the concentration camp victims wore. He's called out on this In-Universe for being unbelievably offensive.
- Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Constantly averted. Characters stutter, talk over each other, and sometimes even lose their train of thought.
- Riches to Rags: Xander at the beginning of season 2; he's gone from the head of a company with billions of dollars to living in a refrigerator box.
- Running Gag: Scores of them, including Killface's ringtone, Killface's lack of insurance, wearing a tallboy as a thong, the Half 'n' Half, people who are supposed to get pickles, being picky about counting to three, establishing boundaries, Xander randomly asking "What are we doing?", Simon pushing bowls of cereal off tables, referring to the city where everything takes place as "town", Darcel Jones of Team Jaguar and how she's always more professional than Grace Ryan...
- Sadist Show
- Sadistic Choice: Adult Swim's treatment of of the show, as far tricking fans into thinking that the show's third season was dependent on their rejecting outright The Xtacles spin-off, all the while having already officially canceled Frisky Dingo with no chance of bringing the show back.
- While the Xtacles are holding Xander Crews ransom for delayed back pay (utterly unaware that he is also their boss), and being refused by Stan who wanted Crews dead anyway:Xtacle: So, you want it in the face (Jabs Crews in the face with his gun) or...Crews: No! No! Not my handsome face!Xtacle: Awww, I'm just playing. You don't get to pick. (Cocks gun)
- While the Xtacles are holding Xander Crews ransom for delayed back pay (utterly unaware that he is also their boss), and being refused by Stan who wanted Crews dead anyway:
- Series Fauxnale: Despite the title, "Penultimate Fighting" plays itself off to be the season finale, wrapping up many loose plot threads and finishing off the "Barnaby Jones" story arc that was present throughout the second half of the season. The iTunes description goes along with this, rhetorically asking if this is the end. Of course, the plot continues into the season's real finale, "Thrust Issues".
- Suddenly Sexuality: Subverted; Simon turns out to be gay midway through season two but ultimately it's revealed that he was faking being gay in order to try and derail his father's presidential campaign.
Simon: [mumbling]Killface: Oh, you don't even know if you're gay or not.Xander: Snip snap!Killface: Snip snap indeed!
- At least, that's what he claimed. It doesn't really make sense, since it was his coming out that stopped Killface from being a religious fundamentalist, which was alienating all his constituents.
- Shaggy Dog Story: The entire Presidential campaign arc. By the end of it, it's revealed that because Killface wasn't born in the US, and Xander is too young, neither of them are eligible for the presidency. In the end, Mr. Ford ends up taking the presidency.
- Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Robert Guillaume is uncredited as the voice of Mr. Ford
- Shout-Out: Often subtle and used for one-off jokes. A prime example would be the poster of Raquel Welch (with Xander's face poorly Photoshopped on), kept by Ronnie in the X-Calibur's holding cell which hides the escape hole behind it just like The Shawshank Redemption.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Antagone is this to Grace Ryan.
- Sweet on Polly Oliver: The Xticles and Awesome-X love Sinn-as-Hooper's perfect ass and breasts but apparently think she's a man.
- Take That / Genius Bonus: At one point Nerl exclaims "Thank you Ronald Reagan! Your legacy is intact." The Reagan Administration's policies regarding funding and privatization of mental institutions are considered by some to have added many mentally-ill and mentally-disabled persons to the homeless population.
- Talking to Himself: Killface and Xander Crews are both voiced by Adam Reed, as is Wendall Stamps and Ronnie.
- Temporary Blindness: Midway through season 1, Killface is blinded by Antagone's formic acid, and later Xander too is blinded when Killface accidentally shoots him, but they are both cured when Old Spice gives them new eyes.
- Title Drop: "Frisky Dingo" is the override code for the Annihilatrix.
- Too Dumb to Live: The Xtacles are heavily armed, easily manipulated and distracted, are extremely stupid, and die in spades.
- Aww, Fat Mike too?
- Trailers Always Spoil: The iTunes description for "News of a Kidnapping" spoils G Race falling from the Annihilatrix into barrels full of super-intelligent, radioactive-waste-covered ants, which doesn't happen until the very end of the episode.
- Transparent Closet: Xander. His obsession with Fred Dryer and his 1980s TV show "Hunter," complete with mural of him in his bedroom that he stares at rather than screwing his hot girlfriend (who he is constantly avoiding).
- Took A Level In Bad Ass: Val, who went from Killface's hostage who watched Killface savagely murder/desecrate the corpses of her boyfriend AND said boyfriend's twin and being traumatized by Killface striking her/threatening more violence, to a bad-ass manipulator/villainess.
- The Unintelligible:
- Simon. I dare you to be able to tell what he's saying (without Killface's help).
- Stan's clones. HARRUMPH!
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Taken Up to Eleven - not merely are the supposed "hero" and "villain" unsympathetic, but just TRY finding a genuinely sympathetic character in the show. Even the characters who seem innocent ultimately become jerks.
- Except for Baby Lamont. And arguably Watley and Taquil (The latter would even sacrifice himself, albeit only to simply be eaten alive).
- What Could Have Been: Originally the show would have been about the Xtacles with Killface as the big bad and Xander and his wife (who ended up becoming Grace Ryan) only making occasional appearances. When the title was changed from "Whisky Tango" to "Frisky Dingo", the plan was to have "Frisky Dingo" be an insulting nickname for the team (who would still be called Whisky Tango).
- Also of note: Had the show not been cruelly cancelled like it was, the first half of season three would have taken Xander and Killface to Killface's homeworld, where we would learn that Killface was the spoiled rotten prince of his people and explored him acting like a grown up spoiled brat towards his people....
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?
- They're probably somewhere near Seattle. When driving to Vegas Killface says "16 hours in the car..." A mile marker with different cities on it seems to indicate they are driving south to Vegas. Assuming a 70-75 mph speed limit you end up somewhere in the vicinity of Washington state/northern Oregon
- Although the freeway map on GPS screens, and certain street names correspond with Atlanta, where the show was produced (and home of Adult Swim).
- Killface mentions Rooms To Go, a furniture store chain based in the Southern US, in his original Annihilatrix ultimatum.
- The logo for "Live with Mitzi and Verl" has a silhouette of the Downtown Atlanta skyline in the background.
- The Haggar Pants Arena is the Georgia Dome with a giant pair of pants attached to its roof.
- Who's Laughing Now?: Stan after he takes control of Xander's company, and his secret identity:Stan: Who's laughing now, Crews? Who's laughing now? Hahaha! ...Me. I am laughing.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Mr. Ford. This culminates in him being President of the United States.Mr. Ford: Yeah, my ass is everywhere.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Said word for word by an Xtacle to Ronnie in "Flowers for Nearl".
- Word Salad Title: The title Frisky Dingo was originally supposed to be a mangled insult nickname Killface had for Xander's team (called Whiskey Tango), but the creators eventually handwaved it into the series by making it the launch code for the Annihilatrix.
- The name was originally going to be "Whiskey Tango", military alphabet shorthand for "What The...?" but someone else already had the name.
- "Whiskey Tango" is usually a euphemism for "White Trash."
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After successfully tricking Stan into thinking they had kidnapped Xander Crews, Ronnie kills Nearl to prevent the plot from becoming any more complicated.
- Your Head Asplode: Late in Season 1, Stan, impersonating Awesome X, rigs the Xtacles' helmets with explosive charges so that they can be detonated with a remote control. Each hour they fail to kidnap Xander Crews, he will blow up another head. Also happens once again even after they convince Stan that they have captured Xander Crews.Why are our heads still blowing up?!
That's on me, guys. Sat on the remote.
We should put that in a cabinet...
President Taqu'il: Boosh!
Vice President Stan: And/or Ka-Kow!
Vice President Stan: And/or Ka-Kow!