Western Animation / Gary the Rat


"Gary Andrews was a successful Wall Street attorney. He had money, prestige and power. But in winning the rat race, Gary had gone too far."
— The narrator, at the start of every episode.

"No! * beat* 'Gary the rat'... Shit."
— Gary, at the start of every episode. (Except when he occasionally ends with, "This just sucks.")

Gary the Rat (2003) was an adult-oriented, animated television series created by Mark & Robb Cullen. It starred Kelsey Grammer as an Amoral Attorney named Gary Andrews who, one day, discovered that his ruthless tactics have earned him a Karmic Transformation he's now a 6-foot-tall anthropomorphic rat, who must struggle to keep his job at the Harrison, Camille, Beckett & Weiss law firm, while simultaneously warding off local exterminator Johnny Bugz, who is hellbent on killing him. The series lasted one season of 13 episodes on Spike TV and was introduced to the world as a small series of webisodes.

Tropes used in this series:

  • Affectionate Parody: "This is Not a Pipe", of the film Philadelphia.
  • Amoral Attorney: Guess who.
  • Animal Talk: Since his transformation, Gary can talk to rodents.
  • Art Evolution: Between the webisodes and the series proper.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Gary.
  • The Baroness: Gary's ex-girlfriend and fellow attorney, Caroline Swanson.
  • Cartoon Cheese: Typically used straight, but it's more often presented in cubes than the classic wedge.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Introduces every episode.
  • Class Reunion: "The Reunion", natch.
  • Coming-Out Story: Mr. Harrison's son Scott subverts this; Scott believes that his father already knows and disapproves of the lifestyle, but it turns out that Mr. Harrison was clueless the whole time and hates Scott only for being a "no-good slacker deadbeat".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gary, par excellence.
  • Digital Distribution: Now available on the iTunes and Zune stores. Also the webisodes.
  • Downer Ending: It's heavily implied that Gary manages to regain his humanity by trying to stop Johnny from being executed, but is killed when the bomb goes off.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Except for Gary.
  • Harmless Villain: Johnny Bugz, although he's not so harmless to people that aren't Gary.
  • Interspecies Romance: Johnny has... very strong feelings for his cat, Boots. Boots doesn't seem to reciprocate.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: He's a Harvard graduate, of course.
  • Jerk Ass: Everyone.
  • Kill 'em All: Everybody important dies in the final episode, thanks to Johnny's explosive... Well, okay, one person survives, but exactly who it is isn't shown before the credits roll. And it's not clear if they survived at all.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Gary's Limited Wardrobe consists of a large collection of Armani and Valentino suits.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Gary dies trying to save Bugz, despite being able to not be punished for any bad deed he commits.
  • No Indoor Voice: Mr. Harrison.
  • Only Six Faces: Bud and all of his relatives/acquaintances. Points for their names usually being a variation of "Bud", to boot.
  • Phrase Catcher: Gary is a "rat bastard".
  • Rich Bitch: A rare male example in Truman Pinksdale.
  • Running Gag
    • Gary's newfound love of gourmet cheeses, oversized mouse and hamster toys, and rolling around in garbage.
    • Gary having unsettlingly frank phone conversations with his mother.
    • Bud confusing Gary for a large dog and subsequently being offered $5 to kill himself.
  • Slasher Smile: "... So if you even try to evict me, I will litigate you all into ANNIHILATION!"
  • Speed Sex: One of the episode intros has Gary dreaming of meeting a cute girl who is interested in him on the basis that rats are able to climax multiple times. He actually manages to do so right there in her presence. The newly-woken-up Gary laments that he needs to stop taking Viagra.
  • Status Quo Is God: If anything happens in an episode that threatens to change Gary's life or social standing (a love interest, a chance of promotion, etc.), expect for the source to either be killed in a freak accident or quickly forgotten about. Or both.
  • The Stoner: Bud; doubles as The Ditz.
  • Tail Slap: Gary's tail is very powerful. Someone accidentally ran over it with a shopping cart except the cart flipped over and slipped all its contents. When he actually directs it at someone, it's gonna hurt.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A six-foot-tall rat-man? It never inspires much more than bemused surprise at best, mild disgust at worst. Same goes for Boots behaving like a human occasionally.
  • You Dirty Rat: Guess who.