Western Animation / Gravedale High

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gravedale.jpg

Well it's just like any other high school
You've got the same problems in your head
except their lockers are coffins
And the teachers...
Are the undead
Theme song

This short-lived Hanna-Barbera cartoon premiered in 1990 on NBC, with the full title of Rick Moranis in Gravedale High, featuring teacher Max Schneider (as the title suggests, played by Rick Moranis) as the sole human teacher in an All-Ghouls School, teaching a class of misfit students who, according to the headmistress, otherwise would have been booted out from the school (despite none of them showing any outrageously bad or different behavior, aside from maybe being lazy and distracted).

His class includes a greaser vampire, nerdy werewolf, fat mummy, surfer fishboy, valley girl gorgon and other stereotypical teenager versions (and adult, for the teachers) of classic horror movie monsters.

Many of the 13 episodes featured some sort of problem caused by immature or stupid actions of a student and were usually solved by teamwork or some other Aesop-heavy answer.


This show provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Frankentyke's bro Big Frankie. The minute he shows up on campus, all the faculty can't stop gushing over what a good student he was, and all the girls can't keep their claws off of him.
  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: Inspector Nitpicker from "Save Our School" had an odd habit of giving abbreviations for every single thing he talked about, subsequently clarifying what each abbreviation stood for. For example, when Max Schneider accuses him of being bribed by the Empress, he retorts that the accusation is a B.S.L., or "big stupid lie".
  • The Alleged Steed: In "Frankenjockey", a race horse named Hoover, who has never won a single race, escapes and befriends Frankentyke, who is annoyed at first, but warms up to him. However, when Max calls a hotline and reports Hoover's escape, Liverpool (Hoover's trainer)'s, true colors are shown, and the bet is that if Hoover wins the race, he's set free. Unfortunately, Hoover and Frankentyke lose by mugging in the photo finish, but Sid points out that the rival horse switched jockeys, which means Hoover wins in the end.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Duzer is implied to have a crush on Vinnie Stoker, but she vehemently denies this.
  • Alpha Bitch: Duzer tends to be the most snooty and obnoxious of the students.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Frankentyke thinks his dad is one, and builds a substitute father in his place. It turns out this is because Frankentyke's "dad" is the mad scientist who made him, and thus a human, who aren't looked on too highly in the monster community.
  • And a Diet Coke: A fat guy orders a lot of snacks with a diet coke at a movie theater that Duzer was working at in "The Dress-Up Mess-Up".
  • Animals Hate Him: Frankentyke feels the same way, but in one episode, a horse takes a liking to him, but that's because Frankentyke's hair is made of horse hair.
  • Attractive Zombie: Blanche, the Goth Southern Belle Zombie student, is clearly an example. Downplayed, since she retains some of the trademark "monster zombie" traits (such as green skin).
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Reggie. Especially during the climax of "Monster on Trial", where he points out how physics play in driving.
  • Badass Finger Snap: Vinnie often snaps both fingers to activate his bat wings so he can fly.
  • Beach Episode: "Do The Rad Thing" had some scenes at a beach and featured the cast wearing swimsuits. The kids end up in their suits in quite a few other episodes too, though.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Cleofatra is attractive enough to land a monster celebrity. Frankentyke's older brother Big Frankie also finds her attractive.
  • Big Eater:
    • Gill, especially if pizza is involved.
    • Cleofatra also has a voracious appetite.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Frankentyke is the smallest of the students and tends to be a troublesome brat.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Vinnie has occasionally showed that he does have the intelligence and charisma to get good grades like Reggie or do extraordinary things, like rallying Gravedale High against a Corrupt Corporate Executive in "Save Our School". It's just that he dislikes putting in the actual effort.
  • The Bully: Nardo the Gargoyle sometimes picks on Reggie.
  • Butt-Monkey: Busby the fly kid. Most of the time, he says "Help me!" as he is getting attacked by someone.
  • Catchphrase: Duzer often says "Get a life!" or asks a rhetorical question ending with "Or what?"
  • Celeb Crush: Cleofatra has one on werewolf actor Billy Headstone from the soap opera "Trudy and the Beast".
  • Celebrity Toons: The cartoon gives top billing to Rick Moranis, who voices Max Schneider. It so happens that Schneider looks a lot like Moranis.
  • Class Trip: Taken almost anytime or anywhere when plot demands.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Max Schneider. Headmistress Crone states in "The Grave Intruder" that some female monsters have a thing for human men.
  • Cool Big Bro: Frankentyke certainly thinks that his older brother Big Frankie is the bee's knees. Given Big Frankie's reputation, his little brother's opinion on him isn't unjustified.
  • Cool Teacher: Max Schneider, in spite of being a human, has the utmost respect of his class.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In "Save Our School", a hotel owner who calls herself The Empress wants to put a chain of her hotel where the school is, and even hires a health inspector in order to condemn it so she can have it torn down.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Duzer, Blanche, and especially Cleofatra all fit this trope.
  • Dean Bitterman: More or less subverted, as Headmistress Crone is still quite lenient and pretty encouraging both to students and teachers.
  • Death by Gluttony: In "Goodbye Gravedale", the students get rid of their substitute teacher Mr. Gross by tricking him into overeating until he explodes.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: In "Frankenjockey", Liverpool at one point calls Frankentyke a "bugger", which is considered a very rude term in Britain.
  • Elvis Impersonator: Sid spends the entirety of "Night of the Living Dad" impersonating Elvis Presley.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: In "Fear of Flying", Vinnie says to his psychiatrist that he's "batty" over his mother.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Gill isn't above eating dead bugs or basketballs.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The monsters usually refer to non-monsters as "human dweebs." Though it could just be due to the fact that non-monsters have their own biases towards them.
    • Coach Cadaver defines this trope, as he constantly has a chip on his shoulder regarding Max Schneider being the only human teacher in Gravedale High.
  • Fish out of Water: Averted as Max has little to no trouble fitting in or teaching.
  • Fish People: Gill is basically the Gill-Man as a Surfer Dude.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Frankentyke and his brother Big Frankie are both Frankenstein monsters.
  • Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire: Vinnie is a vampire and is just as nice as the other monster students.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: "Monster on Trial" has Miss Fresno falsely sue Max Schneider for injuring her when all he and Reggie did was lightly bump into her car. She ends up arrested for fraud when she tries to make a similar suit against Judge Killjoy.
  • Fur Against Fang: Averted with vampire Vinnie and werewolf Reggie, who are best friends.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Cleofatra has pigtails in case it's hard to tell that she's a girl.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Duzer, who might crack mirrors but is otherwise depicted as being attractive. In "Cleo's Pen Pal" Cleofatra even sends a picture of Duzer to her celebrity crush instead of one of herself, figuring it'll make a better impression.
  • Greaser Delinquents: Vinnie, who is a vampire version of Fonzie.
  • Head Desk: In "Monster on Trial", Max does this when the judge declares him guilty in favor of old lady Fresno, who faked whiplash after Reggie accidentally bumps into her while taking Driver's Ed.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: In "Fear of Flying", Vinnie gets a pretty bad one after being struck by lightning while retrieving Reggie's science project, and has trouble trying to fly again. Made worse by the fact that he was challenged to a flying match called "Fly or Splat" against Jerk Jock gargoyle Nardo at 3:00 PM.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Vinnie is never seen without his black leather jacket.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Frankentyke and Gill Waterman are shown to be very close friends.
  • Ill Girl: It is revealed in "Long Day's Gurney into Night" that Blanche died in a hospital, which is why she's a zombie.
    Blanche: The last time I was in a hospital, I died. Rally, I did.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Gill makes this mistake in "Night of the Living Dad" after he lets it slip that Marty isn't Frankentyke's real dad.
    Gill: I'm not telling you about the monster dad Frankentyke made because he was ashamed of his real dad.
  • Impossible Insurance: In "Monster by Trial", Max Schneider is denied insurance because his policy doesn't cover his car being driven by werewolves.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Max is basically Rick, but with red hair.
  • Invisibility: Sid is an invisible teenager.
  • Invisible Streaker: Sid is invisible and wears everything except pants.
  • Ironic Fear: After he was struck by lightning while flying in "Fear of Flying", Vinnie developed a fear of heights.
  • It Runs in the Family: In "Night of the Living Dad", Sid takes after both of his parents, and not just in invisibility. Subverted with Frankentyke, who was created by a human scientist.
  • It's All My Fault: Reggie keeps saying this throughout "Monster on Trial".
  • Jerk Jock:
    • Nardo the gargoyle follows the character archetype of the jock who's mean to the other students.
    • Gravedale's entire football team may qualify as jerk jocks, too.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most of the teenage monsters are a bit rude, but ultimately aren't bad people and are capable of doing nice things for others. Frankentyke and Duzer are the most prominent examples.
  • Late for School: Vinnie flies in late for class in most episodes.
  • Lethal Chef: The cafeteria chef is named Sal Monella. At the very least, Max Schneider doesn't find his food appetizing.
  • Meaningful Name: Miss Dirge's name is based on the word "dirge", which is a sad and mournful song.
    • Cleofatra, considering she's a Big Eater.
    • Often borders on Punny Name since most things (and people) in Gravedale have macabre and death-based names, like Coach Cadaver (a cadaver is a dead body).
  • Meganekko: Cleofatra is a girl with glasses.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: In "Monster on Trial", Miss Fresno is approached by a lawyer claiming that whiplash is his middle name.
  • Mirror-Cracking Ugly: Duzer manages to break her mirror just by looking at it in "Long Day's Gurney Into Night" since she is a Gorgon, but to the audience, she isn't drawn to look really ugly aesthetically.
  • Monster Mash: The very premise of the show is that it's about a human teacher who works at a school for monsters, his own class consisting of a vampire, a werewolf, a mummy, a zombie, a gorgon, an invisible kid, a Frankenstein monster, a Surfer Dude gill-man, and a Peter Lorre-esque boy.
  • No Yay: In-universe; in "The Grave Intruder", Headmistress Crone reveals that she has a crush on Max Schneider, who is understandably disturbed by the prospect of them being a couple.
  • Odd Friendship: Vinnie and Reggie (see Fur Against Fang), as well as Frankentyke and Gill.
  • Off-Model: This is a Hanna-Barbera series from the 80's and 90's after all. And especially bad in "Frankenjockey", where Hoover the horse switches between white (his actual color) and brown.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Reggie appears to be the kind of werewolf who doesn't have a human form.
  • Perky Goth: Blanche is dressed in all black, but a romantic Southern Belle
  • Petting Zoo People: Three of the students at Gravedale High happen to be anthropomorphic animals who look human from the neck down. They are a dog boy named Dog-Faced Boy, an elephant boy named Elephant Boy, and a pig girl named Suey.
  • Playing Cyrano: A variation in "Cleo's Pen Pal", where Cleofatra asks Duzer to pose as her on a date with werewolf actor Billy Headstone, who Cleo has a crush on.
  • Punny Name: Cleofatra the fat mummy girl, Seymour the cyclops, etc...
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel: Vinnie, who (aside from his best friend, Reggie) is probably the nicest and most level-headed of the class.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Gross and Miss Burns in "Goodbye Gravedale" prove to be considerably harsher and meaner than Max Schneider. The latter even attempts to make the class take twelve tests in the same day.
  • School Newspaper News Hound: The episode "The Grave Intruder" had Duzer take over the school newspaper and use it to spread fabricated stories that resulted in a lot of trouble at the school, such as Dog-Faced Boy having rabies and Coach Cadaver having a human brain.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In "Night of the Living Dad", after Marty is revealed to not be Frankentyke's real father, but a fake one made to try and hide the fact that his dad was human, Marty decides to immediately leave before he can face repercussions for impersonating Frankentyke's dad.
  • Seductive Mummy: Averted with Cleofatra: she's actually a fatty nerdy girl, unlike other female students like Blanch (an Attractive Zombie) and Duzer (a Gorgeous Gorgon). Yet in one episode Cleo does manage to seduce a Vincent-like monster celebrity.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Reggie tends to use big words, being the brainiest of Max Schneider's class.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sleepy Head: Vinnie, due to being a vampire.
  • Soap Within a Show: "Trudy and the Beast", a parody of Beauty and the Beast (1987). Somewhat amusingly the star's shown to be a heartthrob among both monster and human girls even though that's not a mask, considering some of the things that Ron Perlman's gotten up to since then.
  • Stout Strength: Despite looking out of shape Cleo has no problem throwing muscular bouncers out of her way if need be.
  • Southern Belle: Blanche speaks in a Southern accent.
  • Spinning Paper: The episode "Monster Gumbo" features a montage of newspapers spinning into view and featuring headlines indicating how well Blanche's Monster Gumbo is selling.
  • Surfer Dude: Gill has a fondness for surfing and even addresses others as "dude".
  • Token Human: Max Schneider is the only human main character in a show that takes place at a school for monsters.
  • The Tonsillitis Episode: Sid the Invisible Kid ends up having his tonsils removed in "Long Days' Gurney Into Night".
  • True Companions: The monster students are all rather close.
  • Unfortunate Names: Cleofatra? Really?
  • Valley Girl: Duzer, to the point that "The Dress-Up Mess-Up" had her prioritize buying a new dress over chipping in with the other student's efforts of giving Schneider dinner reservations at a fancy French restaurant for his birthday.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Hey yo, Vinnie has one! That's cool.
    • Frankentyke also has one, man!
    • Reggie's "Mr. Schneider, sir". The tic was even written down in one episode.
  • Wacky Homeroom: All the students have different personality traits and quirks that create a comical dynamic.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Gravedale High, as well as Gravedale itself, is supposedly located in an American cemetery, but its exact locations are unknown.
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: In "The Grave Intruder", Coach Cadaver at one point removes his own brain and is able to function without it.
  • X-Ray Sparks: "He Ain't Scary, He's My Brother" ended with Frankentyke and his brother Big Frankie having their skeletons made visible after being struck by lightning.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/GravedaleHigh?from=Main.GravedaleHigh