Home Movies is an Animated Show that began on UPN, then moved to [adult swim]. The show was a spiritual successor to Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, which used the same "SquiggleVision" (at least in the first season), the same "retroscripting" style of dialog, and much of the same cast. The main character was Brendon Small, and the series was created and written by Brendon Small. As you probably already guessed, it's more or less a highly fictionalized autobiography in cartoon format. Brendon is a young aspiring filmmaker, with his cast members usually being his friends Melissa and Jason, and occasionally his mom Paula who moonlights as a creative writing teacher at a local community college (in between firings from same said college). When not at home making films, the show centers around the three kids at school and their interactions with Brendon's homeroom teacher Mr. Lynch and Brendon's soccer coach, John "The Jerk" McGuirk.This occasionally surrealist, most other times quite hilarious, Slice of LifeSitcom originally aired on UPN during midseason 1999 and was canceled after a limited airing. Adult Swim picked it up when said programming block was just starting, and its popularity there was enough to order a full three more seasons.After Home Movies ended, Brendon Small went on to create Metalocalypse and do voice work for several other [adult swim] series.Definitely not to be confused with Home Movie.
Absentee Actor: Coach McGuirk is conspicuously missing from "Brendon Gets Rabies", even though H. Jon Benjamin is still in the episode voicing Jason and the veterinarian.
Absurdly Sharp Blade: Coach McGuirk buys some swords from an infomercial. He plans on returning them (since he doesn't actually have the money to buy them), but tries them out anyway. He ends up slicing the drink dispenser and the bench it's sitting on in half. Accidentally.
Abuse Is Okay When It's Female on Male: Brendon is trying to stop an older kid from beating him up, and gets him to turn placid and mellowed out. Melissa, who was harboring a crush on the guy, angrily beats up Brendon for changing him.
Anachronism Stew: An in-universe example in their film Starboy. It's clear that Brendan needs to study history better.
Another one is his Medieval Faire play "King Arthur and Robin Hood".
"Moylin has a phone! Burn him!"
Animation Bump: The animation was always really limited in the first season, due to the squigglevision. While the show retained much of its limited animation when it switched to Flash, there were instances of more elaborate character animation that became more commonplace as the series progressed. An example is seen in "Hiatus" during the jazz fighters sequence.
Beware the Nice Ones: Melissa is the moral center of the group but as seen in "Shore Leave", "Renaissance" and "Curses", she is not one to be crossed.
Break the Cutie: A lot of fun is had with McGuirk yelling at Melissa to the point of tears. Usually written well enough that these exchanges are more funny than unpleasant.
Brick Joke: While Brendon and the band were writing music for Starboy, the latter suggested that the Captain of Outer Space be his real brother, but Brendon. Fast forward three episodes later, where the movie actually debuts, and during a conversation between the two space heroes
Captain Of Outer Space: Right you are, my brother. *Beat* My actual brother.
Chekhov's Gun: Melissa's mostly ignored rant concerning her allergy to kiwis and how, should she ingest a single one, someone must stick her with an Epi-pen. When lo and behold she eats some kiwi pie, the Epi-pen is near at hand. Averted when the pie turns out to be harmless key lime, and Junior, who has no allergic reaction to speak of, is accidentally stuck instead.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Melissa towards her Dad as she refuses to let him date and when he starts seeing a woman in his poetry writing class (well, making out in the back of a classroom because he doesn't want to stand up to Melissa, but same difference) Melissa's response to smelling this woman on him is to stay at Brendon's and ignore her father's attempts to reconcile until Brendon forges a diary entry for Eric.
Comic Book Time: The main characters are eight years old for the entire four-year run.
Control Freak: Brendon due to being a director. At one point Dwanye actually requested him to help make a musical based on Franz Kafka. You think Brendon would be honored by this, especially coming from the guy who does the music for his movies. Nope, Brendon at first dismissive of the whole idea since he didn't write it. He temporarily quits halfway through when he doesn't get his way. And even when done, he trying to convince Dwanye to use a very lame part of a movie he was making for the final cut.
There's also "Your Cheating Heart" where everyone (Jason, Melissa, Coach Mcguirk, Brendon's Dad, Brendon's golf instructor, and Brendon's mom) tell him that just taking his film and making it run backwards is a bad idea, but he just ignore thems, and "Storm Warning" where Jason and Melissa eventually decide that they would rather make the movie within a movie in the mocukmentary their making. Brendon ends up finishing the film himself.
Subverted with "Heart Smashers". While Jason and Melissa enjoy the changes to Brendon's film made by Fenton, whose changes involve taking out most of the script (despite the fact Fenton had read the script before taking the role and was permited to make any changes), and constantly puts the film behind schedule. It is only when Brendon turns production over to Melissa and Jason do they realize what Brendon had to deal with.
Couch McGuirk:(accidentally broke his pen) ''Oh, DA— !!
Cuteness Proximity: Mr. Lynch, if a cat is nearby. The time Lynch dressed up like a cat for Halloween, his fondness ventured increasingly into genuine oddness, as he began (apparently helplessly) acting more and more like a cat as the episode progressed; one suspects we'd have witnessed extreme creepiness if the show had lasted another five minutes.
The Danza: All cast and characters except Jason, because Jon Benjamin already plays John McGuirk, with Paula becoming a later exception (her UPN run being voiced by Paula Poundstone, her Adult Swim run being voiced by Janine Ditullo).
Disappeared Dad: Brendon's father. In Brendon's Choice, Brendon comes to grips with the fact he never sees his father. However, his father calls after Brendon gets (briefly) mentioned on the news. The episode ends with Brendon picking up the phone after a long hesitation and saying, "Hello". Credits Roll.
His dad does however come back into his life in season 2, albeit bringing his annoying fiance and later wife with him.
The Dividual: Walter and Perry have nearly identical personalities.
Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Brendon's attempt at making an educational film telling kids not to put marbles in their nose predictably backfires.
It backfires to such an epic degree that even Mr. Lynch, Jason and Paula all stick marbles up their nose.
Early-Installment Weirdness / Characterization Marches On: The UPN episodes had McGuirk as an occasional character (Even missing episode 4), Jason being basically a gross out comedy generator, and Brendon as a more average every kid. But the worst of it is Paula, who is voiced by Paula Poundstone who portrays her as a more stereotypical single parent who's always on the phone with her friend, while later episodes establish she has no social life. But all of this changed by the time they got to [adult swim].
Express Lane Limit: In "Brendon's Choice", McGuirk gets irritated that the man in front of him has more than ten items. This escalates to the guy punching McGuirk in the face.
Hanging Judge: Brendon had been riding his bike on the wrong side of the road, and he was struck by a car, head-on, and then forced to go to court for said riding on the wrong side of the road. The judge showed no sympathy toward Brendon who was on trial over said accident, when Brendon was nearly killed.
Happy Ending: According to the newspaper in Improving Your Life with Improv, Eddie, a sickly child from season 2, is revealed to have been cured in Season 3.
Arguably for Brendon too, since the entire show is roughly autobiographical, and Brendon Small grew up to create two ridiculously popular shows as well as appear in many other shows for Adult Swim.
Heel Realization: Brendon is absolutely dumbfounded when he watches his film's dailies in Improving Your Life Through Improv and realizes what a jerk he was being behind the scenes.
HeterosexualLife Partners: Walter and Perry, although an episode where they wanted to see Fenton's naked mom made them come across more as straight, or at least bi.
Hidden Depths: Shannon is a lot more complex than most schoolyard bullies.
Hypocritical Humor: Paula tells Brendon not to swear, because it will make his vocabulary "turn to shit". McGuirk takes it a step further, telling Brendon that cursing is a sign of ignorance, just before launching into an expletive-laden tirade at a referee.
Kill 'em All: Subverted in the final episode. After putting together a powerful industrial sized grill, Coach McGuirk tries to get it started by turning the gas up to the point that is blowing at him with the force of an industrial strength fan. As the grill finally ignites, an explosion covers the screen and then fades to black. Then fades back in to everyone who was near the grill in a car with nothing more than a few burn marks. The scene then goes to the events listed under Tear Jerker
Knock Knock Joke: Perhaps the most epic knock-knock joke ever, while Linda gives birth to her baby:
Brendon:(shouting angrily) No, you know what?! Knock-knock!
Brendon: FUCK YOU!
An earlier example, from "It Was Supposed To Be Funny":
McGuirk: Then thereís nice-funny, like maybe a little light sarcasm or a clever twist or a knock-knock joke. I like those. You like those? Brendon: Um... McGuirk: Knock-knock. Brendon: Huh. McGuirk: Brendon. Knock-knock. Iím doing a knock-knock joke. Knock-knock. Brendon: Uh, hello. McGuirk: What do you mean, "hello"? You say, "Who's there?", Brendon. Do you know a knock-knock joke? Brendon: Yeah, uh... McGuirk: I say "knock-knock" you say, "Who's there?" Brendon: Yeah, right. Iím not a big fan of... McGuirk: You know what? Do it. Knock-knock. Brendon: Who's there? McGuirk: No, wait a minute, you say knock-knock. Brendon: I don't... knock-knock. McGuirk: Whoís there? Brendon: ...I don't know. McGuirk: I don't know who? Brendon: I don't know, I hate this joke. McGuirk: That's not funny. Itís got to be a pun or something. You know what? Forget it.
Large Ham: Brendon tells Jason to be this repeatedly in one of his movies. Jason becomes such a Ham that he yells incoherently & pulls some hair out of his wig.
Also Brendon when he was faking being sick, and in that same episode, McGuirk when he got liquored up on his date with the school nurse.
And the Blonde Waitress in Psyco Delicate, as well as Brendon's grandmother.
Laughing Mad: Andrew and Linda are stressed out during their wedding. So Andrew ends up making a joke about them getting divorced in the future. They both end up laughing hysterically in such a way where it's obviously not because of the joke itself, but the possibility of divorce and a stressful marriage.
Oh Crap: Lynch utters this when he realizes he left the intercom on in the 4th season premiere.
The Other Darrin: Paula. Played by Paula Poundstone in the first 5 episodes (the ones that aired on UPN). Then, when the show was Un-Cancelled and put on Cartoon Network, she was played by Janine Ditullio for the remainder of the series.
And let us not forget, "Curses" where Paula sanitizes Brendon's raunchy sex comedy to an insane degree. Going so far as to telling him not to say 'Dam' even though he's referring to the actual Hoover Dam.
Snark Bait: In universe example for the three kids was the "scared straight" program were they all thought the prisoners were trying too hard and the whole situation was ridiculous.
Special Guest: One episode has the kids going to a performing arts camp, where their junior counselors, Michael and Miguel, are voiced by two guys John.
Mitch Hedberg was in several episodes, too, and helped write the ones he was in because he liked the show so much.
Student Teacher Romance: In "Method Acting", Paula tries to have a one-to-one talk with a student that turns into a makeout session. Paula seems pretty ashamed of it because of how unprofessional it is, especially when she's talking to Brendon at the diner table. However, it's subverted when it's revealed he makeouts with everyone.
Stepford Smiler: Melissa. Just watch the finale where she puts her ending to a movie they never finished.