Western Animation: I Am Weasel
You don't need pants for the victory dance Cause Baboon's better than Weasel. I. R. Baboon, big star of cartoon "I AM WEASEL!" I. R. Baboon reigns king in his mind He's just as good as the weasely kind But 'round any corner he's likely to find "I am Weasel! I am Weasel! I... AM... WEASEL!"
— Show's theme song
This cartoon was originally a bunch of shorts in Cow and Chicken
. Later on, it became a self-contained Spin-Off
. 79 episodes were released between 1997 and 2000, some of which were packaged with the Cow and Chicken
episodes. When both shows ended and were put in reruns, they became their own separate shows, including frequent character crossovers.
The show centered around a polite, hypercompetent, socially savvy weasel named I.M. Weasel in his daily life attending to many people's needs. Weasel is incredibly accomplished in countless fields, including medicine, law, politics, music, science, and more. And behind him is his frenemy, the extremely dim-witted I.R. Baboon, who is jealous of Weasel's talents and is constantly plotting to ruin him. Weasel is aware of this, but remains pals with Baboon anyway, possibly because he realizes Baboon is far too stupid to pose any real threat. After the first series of episodes, The Red Guy from Cow and Chicken
also joined the main cast.
Consult the Cow and Chicken
page for a recap of I.M. Weasel
episodes (and give it some much-needed wiki magic, as there are a lot of episode summaries not listed).
This show provides examples of:
- The Ace: I.M. Weasel (more noticeable in the early seasons), bordering on God-Mode Sue.
- Broken Ace: Later episodes start to show some dents in Weasel, he often shares the Butt Monkey role with Baboon, and gains a more neurotic and ego driven attitude as a result of being several times more intelligent (and usually far more considerate) than everyone else around him.
- Animated Actors: "I Am Cliched", essentially a Take That on old cartoon tropes.
- Anvil on Head: Mercilessly parodied in "I Am Cliched" (see Animated Actors above). Weasel and Baboon get hit by an anvil, a piano, five more anvils, an elephant, a whale, and a kitchen sink. It eventually becomes the running gag for this episode, where every scene ended with someone getting an anvil dropped on their head. (and one safe)
- Artistic License – Geology: Somewhat averted, surprisingly. In one episode, there's a massive hole that I.R. plugs up, destroying the world, because it's a "Ground Level Volcano." This is actually similar to how real-life super-volcanoes work, such as the one under Yellowstone National Park- there are no mountains formed by them, but instead a massive magma bubble builds up underground, and, since it's "Plugged Up," when it erupts it does incredible amounts of damage. In fact, one that erupted 75,000 years ago at Toba in Indonesia, nearly wiped out the human race. However, there is no "Hole," for one to erupt out of, and while the eruption would be devastating, it would certainly not destroy the entire Earth.
- Big Eater: Lullabelle is shown to be this in the ice fishing episode.
- Breakout Character - Full series spun off from Cow and Chicken
- Butt Monkey: I.R. Baboon (more noticeable in the early seasons). Quite literally, too. Weasel would also develop his fair share of bad luck in later episodes as well (Thus toning down his "Mr. Perfect" character).
- Charlie Adler: I.R. Baboon and The Red Guy
- Characterization Marches On: I.R. Baboon was much more overtly antagonistic towards Weasel in the earlier seasons, usually trying to (unsuccessfully) upstage or sabotage him. Once the Red Guy was transplanted from Cow and Chicken, Baboon and Weasel started gravitating towards Vitriolic Best Buds.
- Word of God is that they are best friends, they just act like enemies.
- Christmas Episode: "Happy Baboon Holidays" from Season 1, and "I.R.'s First Bike" from Season 5.
- Apparently, Cartoon Network counts "Dessert Island" from Season 3 too... probably because of the Gingerbread Men tribe, who carry candy canes like staffs.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Baboon hates it when Weasel saves him, because he knows that's only going to make Weasel even more beloved by the public.
- Crapsack World: Often the show's universe appears to almost equally brainless as Baboon, with Weasel usually playing the Only Sane Man.
- Criminal Doppelgänger: In the first issue of DC's Cartoon Cartoons comic books, Who Are Baboon features a doppelganger of I.R. who is an evil bank robber named U.R.; in-universe, they are difficult to tell apart, however U.R. is distinguishable from I.R. with his green shirt that read "U.R." and his curly hair.
- Cross Over: One episode in the final season had Weasel and Baboon returning to school, and they are placed in Cow and Chicken's class.
- The Devil Is a Loser: If he's not running some aimless fraudulent business, Red Guy will sometimes be the damsel in distress Weasel and Baboon need to protect.
- The Ditz: Baboon.
- Drop-In Character: Loulabelle the nurse, Weasel's main squeeze, at the beginning of Season Two... however, see Put on a Bus below...
- Dumbass Has a Point: Baboon in a "A Troo Storee":
- Baboon's point is later proven when Weasel, not wanting to be the only smart person in a world of idiots, read the book and it didn't make him any less intelligent. It was just everybody else was already that stupid.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Seen at the end of "The Hole," complete with various objects flying from the explosion such as buildings, cars, even a pork butt on a plate!
- Emergency Cargo Dump: Parodied in "I.M. Bush Pilot." After delivering hundreds of babies in midflight, the sudden additional passengers weigh the plane down, causing Weasel to lose altitude, so Baboon works to lighten the plane; he throws out Red Guy (who was the stewardess), various crates of cargo, a two-ton man named Tom, and even tries chopping the tail of the plane off. In the end, however, Weasel manages to make an emergency landing in the very lake he was flying his passengers to.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: The episode "I.R. Pixie Fairy" as part of "Uncle Breezybum's Storybook Corner."
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: The brain-switching episode.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: Weasel and Baboon in "I Am Vampire". Too bad the local vampire hunter Van Smellsing (the Red Guy) is convinced that all vampires are evil monsters.
- Furry Reminder: Weasel's love for eggs, which is partial Truth in Television. Weasels don't actually suck the yolks from eggs, but they do love them.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The show is cut from the same cloth as its parent show, Cow and Chicken, but it's not as heavy on dubious content as the former show. That doesn't mean that dubious content doesn't crop up from time to time. You still have The Red Guy being on this show and still having punny names referring to his lower nudity ("Cleo-Pantless," "Uncle Breezybum," etc), I.M. Weasel's parting words to his girlfriend in "I.R. Pixie Fairy" after being blasted with fairy dust ("Now that I'm a fairy, I must leave you."), and this line from "This Bridge Not Weasel Bridge"
Bridge Worker: I'll get to see my wife and kids! I've never even seen my little Johnny, he was born two years after I took this job!
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Though Baboon and Weasel were usually at odds, there were episodes where they were comrades. By the end of the show's run they are more or less Vitriolic Best Buds.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Baboon's entire motivation is to show up Weasel at something. But he's so dumb and self-centered that it never works out.
- Happy Dance: Baboon, which originally was The Red Guy's on the Cow and Chicken pilot, "No Smoking."
- Hello, Nurse!: Loulabelle - Weasel's assistant.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Weasel plays this role in episodes like "Baboon Man and Weasel Boy" or "I.R. Robin Hood" where he is the assistent to Baboon's (of course) Idiot Hero.
- I Am Not Weasel: the Trope Namer, sort of.
- I Am the Noun
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Most episodes were named I Am/I Are____________ (whatever applied to Weasel or Baboon for that episode).
- I Just Want to Be Special: I.R. Baboon, if not also trying to one-up Weasel.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: I.R. Baboon in the third season episode "The Hole", when he plugs up a large hole that turns out to be a "ground-level volcano". The resulting build-up of pressure causes an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
- IM Weasel also counts. In one episode, he cried so hard he flooded the Earth with his tears by accident.
- Mind Screw: In one episode Both Weasel, Baboon and the Red Guy believe they are the last people on Earth, after finding all the streets deserted. It later turns out that everyone is just home, watching I Am Weasel on television. The very same episode in fact. One shot even shows weasel standing in front of the television that shows him standing in front of a television that shows him standing in front of a television that shows him standing in front of a television... you get the picture.
- Another episode called "Dessert Island" has Weasel and Baboon wake up on an island where everything is made of candy, and is inhabited by a tribe of gingerbread men. It later turns out the island is actually an ice cream sundae. And it's about to get eaten.
- Monkeys on a Typewriter: Who are insulted when Weasel tries to pay them in bananas.
- Mountain of Food: Weasel and Baboon land on a dessert island.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Baboon and Weasel in a ping pong tournament. With electric guitars!
- My God, What Have I Done?: After being convinced Weasel has swiped his family for the Christmas celebrations, Baboon bitterly sneaks into his house and sabotages the festivities. He arrives back at his house, suddenly realizing the cruelty of his actions and bursts into tears.
I.R.Baboon: *sobs* I.R. bad person....I.R PERSON BAADDD!!!
- Naked People Are Funny: I.R Baboon and his big red butt. The very first line of the theme song calls attention to it.
- Nice Guy: IM Weasel
- Niche Network: The Airplane Channel.
- At the end of a Wright Brothers documentary, the brothers decide to toast with a root beer float, after which the channel inexplicably becomes the Root Beet Float Channel.
- The Wright Bros. episode also had an unknown channel where a horse punches a cowboy, The Cat Shaving Network, and The Grandma Channel.
- Nurse with Good Intentions: Loulabelle herself.
- Parody Sue: In early episodes, Weasel played The Ace rather genuinely. As the seasons progress, however, he becomes a more pretentious Small Name, Big Ego that suffers due to living in a world of fools.
- Piano Drop: Parodied in "I Am Cliched" (see Anvil on Head above).
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Weasel's name declaration, though subverted in that the punctuation is actually his initials (I.M. Weasel).
- Punishment Box: In episode "I Stand Corrected", Weasel and Baboon are sent to a correctional institute that utilizes one of those boxes. Jailkeeper Red Guy doesn't seem to understand how they work considering he only locks himself inside them.
- Put on a Bus: After appearing regularly throughout Season Two, and in the Season Three premiere, Loulabelle was written off the show, after Cartoon Network complained that she was a dumb blonde stereotype.
- Cartoon Network also didn't like the character Jolly Roger for reasons David Feiss (the show creator) doesn't understand, but thinks it's because Jolly Roger made fun of people with speech impediments while Cartoon Network claimed it was because he was too similar to The Red Guy.
- Real Song Theme Tune: Sort of. The melody is similar to the nursery rhyme Pop Goes The Weasel.
- The Rival: Baboon in earlier seasons. Toned down in later episodes.
- Rules Of The Road: In the opening credits, Weasel's driving a convertible with a hot blonde. But he passes a road sign that reads "LOGO". He leaps out of the car in the direction the sign indicates, and jumps into the logo for the show.
- Satan: The Red Guy.
- Shrunken Organ: Weasel and Baboon get in an accident which causes their brains to fall out. Weasel has a huge brain and Baboon has a tiny brain, both disproportionate to their respective head. Understandably, the doctors get them mixed up.
- Take That: "I Am Cliched" is pretty much a slam on Tiny Toon Adventures.
- Doubly funny when you realize Red and Baboon are both voiced by Buster Bunny.
- In the episode "I Am My Lifetime", Weasel is a resident at the Olde Cartoon Stars Retirement Home, where one of the residents is Johnny Quest, and Weasel even mentions he's an, "Angry, retired teenager". Later still, when Baboon leaves the Trailer for Old Cartoon Sidekicks to sneak back into the Olde Cartoon Stars Retirement Home (and apparently this wasn't the first time he did so), he throws him out by saying, "Beat it, Old Original Version of Johnny Quest!"
- Transplant: The Red Guy.
- Theme Tune Cameo: In "I.R. Music Man", Red Guy not only plays Baboon's leitmotif on his theremin, but he also plays and sings the theme song as well, with only slightly altered lyrics:
Red Guy: You don't need pants for the victory dance/Baboon is better than Weasel/I.R. Baboon big star of cartoon/EXPLODE goes the Weasel! I.R. Baboon reigns king in his mind/he's just as good as the weasely kind/but 'round every corner, he's likely to find... EXPLODE goes the Weasel!
- Too Dumb to Live: Baboon's brain is as small as his ego is large, so when he inevitably screws something up, Weasel has to bail him out.
- Universal-Adaptor Cast: Weasel and Baboon could be vikings, gladiators, cavemen, vampires, worker bees...
- Unreliable Narrator: The show once did a strange origin story for both I.M Weasel and I.R. Baboon (Baboon is a no-talent comedian and Weasel is a country singer who often comes to Baboon's rescue). It had an unidentified narrator with a somewhat deep Southern accent. At the end of the story, his voice drastically changes and he's revealed to be Jolly Roger, who of course made it all up.
- Weasel Mascot: Take a guess.
- Wicked Weasel: averted with I.M. Weasel