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[[caption-width-right:350:This is Korgoth... when he found out that Creator/AdultSwim [[ExecutiveMeddling had cancelled his show]].]]

-> ''"The great cities have risen and fallen. Civilization's grip on Mankind has grown weak and arthritic. Dark forces seek to renew forgotten covenants, and primordial beasts reclaim the wilderness. Out of the frozen north, a man emerges! A man of a barbaric age, whose merciless savagery may be the only key to his survival! They call him... KOR-GOTH!!!"''

A classic example of WhatCouldHaveBeen, ''Korgoth of Barbaria'' is a pilot that falls somewhere between being a parody and deconstruction of the BarbarianHero, (especially Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian) with a lot of BlackComedy thrown in. The result didn't just cross over the line, [[CrossesTheLineTwice it continually played hopscotch going back and forth over it]].

The story takes place long AfterTheEnd, in a world where magic, demons and mutants are mixed with [[ScavengerWorld the remnants of technology and precious little civilization]]. Korgoth appears to be stereotypical dim, brutal and violent DumbMuscle from the [[GrimUpNorth frozen north]], (although there are hints that he's smarter than he looks, well, at least sometimes) whose [[CombatPragmatist direct and ruthless fighting style]] and extensive world experience makes him a perfect survivor in this CrapsackWorld.

The show begins with a group of mooks looking for Korgoth, and having been informed that he will be visiting a certain tavern as he passes through town, they head there. They attempt to approach him, but a combination of misunderstanding and the leader of the group being a massive jerkass results in Korgoth killing most of them before they manage to convince him to hear their master's offer of employment. Their boss turns out to be Gogmagog, a criminal kingpin Korgoth has had a falling out with after their partnership went bad in the past. Gogmagog wants the Golden Goblin, an ancient figure of mystery, which has long been in keeping of a wizard called Specules. Specules seems to have abruptly vanished and left his tower unprotected, leaving Gogmagog to believe the wizard is dead and the Goblin is ripe for the taking, as long as Gogmagog can beat any other interested parties to it.

Korgoth (who doesn't trust Gogmagog and makes it a general rule to not mess with wizards) is about to refuse and leave when Gogmagog reveals Korgoth's portion of the food they just shared contained a deadly parasite and [[PoisonAndCureGambit only Gogmagog can supply the antidote]]. Now Korgoth has no choice but to make the long, dangerous journey to the tower of Specules, during which he will have to face many strange and lethal dangers... and then there's the tower itself.

Although the pilot was heavily hyped by Creator/CartoonNetwork as part of its Creator/AdultSwim lineup and received a positive response from the fans, the network played an extended WillTheyOrWontThey game about whether they were going to pick up the show, and eventually despite many rumors flying that the show was going to become a full time series, the project died a quiet death. On November 2, 2013, ''Korgoth of Barbaria'' was aired on [adult swim]'s revived Creator/{{Toonami}} block as Daylight Savings Time filler, along with ''WesternAnimation/KingStarKing'' and ''Kick-Heart''.

The show was ultimately never fully aired due to the quality of its animation and the associated cost, one staffer predicting the show would ultimately cost around a third of the [adult swim]'s budget. Despite excitement both in [adult swim] and in its viewer base, the money was seen as better spent elsewhere, and the show was never aired outside of its pilot. It would take another decade before creator Aaron Springer would eventually get a series of his own picked up, the more child-friendly Disney cartoon ''WesternAnimation/BillyDilleysSuperDuperSubterraneanSummer'', which features a Korgoth {{Expy}} called Zartran.

If you've never seen it, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPXHI2h-K-M here's a short scene to get you started]]. Just keep in mind that it's not exactly the sort of thing you'd want to be caught watching at most workplaces.

!!This pilot contains examples of:

* AffectionateParody: Of Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian and similar SwordAndSorcery narratives.
* AfterTheEnd: It takes place after a massive war that destroys civilization and causes humanity to descend into anarchic savagery. Not much has changed since.
* AntiHero: Korgoth is a violent BarbarianHero[=/=]mercenary for hire who shows few, if any, real signs of morality. He is kept from being a VillainProtagonist mostly because he's willing to leave others alone if they do the same to him, and because he's living in a CrapsackWorld full of violent monsters and vicious madmen.
%%* AnyoneCanDie
* AnArmAndALeg: Several of the mooks who attack Korgoth in the bar suffer this fate. One gets his arm pulled out of his socket and then beaten with it, another gets half his leg cut off with a huge ax.
* AnAxeToGrind: He swings it with the speed a man his size would get swinging a wiffle ball bat.
* BaitAndSwitch: There's a cover charge to get a new bar sign and fix the spelling error on it. When asked what the error is, we look at the sign for "The Whore's Nipple Bar & ''Grille''". Turns out the name of the bar is supposed to be "The Dragon's Kneecap".
* BarBrawl: The most famous part of the episode is a brawl that results between Korgoth and Gogmagog's mooks when the mooks irritate Korgoth into violence.
* BarbarianHero: Korgoth is one, although he's pretty light on the "hero" part. It could even be argued that it's something of a deconstruction, as Korgoth shows what such a figure would be like, including that he's almost completely lacking in anything approaching social graces or scruples.
* BerserkButton: Korgoth only gets truly angry twice in the short: when [[MookLieutenant Hargon]] ("hook hand guy") knocks his drink to the floor in the beginning, and when Specules [[spoiler: accidentally kills Orala]].
* BewareTheQuietOnes: Korgoth doesn't waste words, and since getting him in a fight results in him turning into a walking tide of death and destruction, you should definitely be afraid of him.
* BillBillJunkBill: The first thing Specules does after getting back to his tower after his vacation is to pick up the letters off the floor: "What's this now? Bills, bills..."
%%* BlackAndGrayMorality: Gray? There was gray?
* BlackComedy: Mostly by way of BloodyHilarious. Case in point: Korgoth killing a small deer in the opening titles using only his teeth.
* BlobMonster: Specules' gum monster.
* BloodyHilarious: Lots of gore-filled gags, such as a severed arm hitting the exact right button on the jukebox to queue up some HeavyMetal, then the adjacent bar patron giving a thumbs-up.
* BodySurf: [[spoiler: Specules manages to escape Korgoth by magically transferring his head onto Orala's body after having accidentally exploded ''her'' head when she interrupted his fight with Korgoth.]]
* ButtMonkey: Stink. He is constantly shouted at by Hargon the MookLieutenant, and when the mooks roll dice to see who has to do an unpleasant task, the paper shows that the only possible results are "Stink" or "roll again".
* ChasteHero: Very averted. When the girl he saves starts flirting with him, Korgoth promptly takes her into the bushes and starts having sex there only a few feet away from Gogmagog's mooks.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: Korgoth, ostensibly a normal human, takes on monsters and [[ZergRush a ton of Mooks]] and wins every time.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Specules has one in mind for Korgoth: being eaten alive by a monster made entirely of (used) chewing gum. However, Korgoth is too badass for it to work.
* CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon: A GiantMook tries to do this threat to Korgoth. Korgoth is less than impressed.
-->"YOU! You will regret what you have done this day! I will make you regret ever being born! You're going to regret you ever left you mother's womb, where it was warm, and safe, and wet! I'm going to show you pain you never knew existed, you're going to see a whole new ''spectrum'' of pain! Like a ''RAINBOW!'' But! THIS rainbow is not just like any other rainbow, it's--"
** Ironically enough, the reciter of this threat promptly suffers a CruelAndUnusualDeath by getting half the skin of his body torn off, alcohol thrown into the open wound, and then ''[[KillItWithFire set on fire]]''.
*** This entire scene CrossesTheLineTwice, because after each action, the guy screams and the shots cut around to other people in the bar also screaming at the horror (some of whom have already suffered horribly at Korgoth's hands). EACH TIME.
* DamselInDistress: Orala, chained to a tree ([[WhenTreesAttack monster]]).
* DepravedBisexual: Gogmagog's semi-flirtatious interactions with Korgoth.
* DirtyOldMan: Specules seems to take inordinate pleasure in watching his gum monster forcibly French-kiss Korgoth.
* DisposableWoman: [[spoiler:Orala gets her head blown off by Specules' EyeBeams, which gets Korgoth incredibly pissed.]]
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Every woman in the show is shown to be barefoot.
* EvilSorcerer: Specules, though everything he does in the show is a reaction to having his home invaded by a bunch of thugs covered in bird shit.
* EyeBeams: How Specules manifests some of his magical powers, such as MindControl.
* EyeScream: Korgoth shoves a lit candelabra into Specules' eyes.
* {{Fanservice}}: The few women characters who appear are attractive and skimpily dressed. Aside from when Specules' gum monster takes on a female form, that is...
* FauxAffablyEvil: Korgoth's "employer" Gogmagog. Imagine a smarmy used car salesman or lawyer going on a charm offensive, and you have Gogmagog's dinner with Korgoth (well, until the poisoning anyway) in a nutshell.
* FetchQuest: The job that Gogmagog has for Korgoth.
* FlayingAlive: What Korgoth does to interrupt the GiantMook's CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon spiel.
* FreudianSlip: The Wizard Specules lets one out when he finds surprise in Korgoth's seemingly absent-minded theft of his [[MacGuffin Golden Statue.]].
-->"Congratulations. Of all the imbeciles I have ever been forced to come in contact with, ''you'', a dung-coated vagabond, have managed to arouse me--''I mean,'' arouse my ire, far more than any other!"
* FunbagAirbag: One of the guys attacking Korgoth gets flung across the room, lands right in the barmaid's cleavage, and doesn't move for the rest of the fight.
** Unless one counts what sure looks like vigorous motorboating in the process of screaming sympathetically for the aforementioned GiantMook.
*** To top it all off, aside from clear initial surprise upon his 'landing', she just sort of stands there leaning against the counter in mild bemusement, even as he screams/motorboats.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: A portrait of a man with what appears to be [[GagPenis an enormous member]] can briefly be seen in the tavern.
* GiantFlyer: Monstrous pigeons, which Korgoth and Gogmagog's henchmen use to reach Specules' lair.
* GiantMook: The mook who made the ill-fated CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon was one. He was considerably taller than even Korgoth, and had more muscles than the rest of the mooks put together. Not that it helped him at all.
* GoGoEnslavement: Gogmagog is a fan of it, he keeps a bikini-clad chick in a cage.
* {{Gorn}}: People frequently die in messy, cruel, and bloody ways.
%%* GroinAttack: A lot.
* GrumpyOldMan: Specules' portrayal is part this, part EvilSorceror, and part DirtyOldMan. His entrance in the short is him shuffling in through the door of his tower, barely able to carry his two small suitcases, an annoyed grimace on his face, muttering to himself, "God-darned arthritis!..." Then of course he sees all the intruders and makes with the MindControl EyeBeams.
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: One of Gogmagog's men gets bitten in half by a giant bird, (see TooDumbToLive) and another gets sliced in half from head to stomach thanks to Korgoth and a giant ax.
* HeroicComedicSociopath: Korgoth has no compunctions about reducing anyone who wrongs him in any manner to a bloody pulp.
* HeroicWillpower: Korgoth is able to resist Specules' MindControl EyeBeams.
* HighCollarOfDoom: Worn by Specules. In fact, it's practically the only thing he's wearing.
* HookHand: In place of the MookLieutenant's left hand.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: Played for laughs, as it's the fat and wimpy Gogmagog doing it, and he's even more naked than the girl he's menacing.
* KarmaHoudini: Gogmagog wisely makes sure to escape just as he is finally giving Korgoth the cure from his PoisonAndCureGambit, meaning he never suffers any comeuppance.
* KilledMidSentence: What Korgoth does when he's not impressed by a CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon threat.
** Actually, he doesn't die for quite awhile after the sentence is interrupted. Considering what Korgoth does to interrupt, this is extremely disturbing.
* MacGuffin: The Golden Goblin of the Fourth Age. [[spoiler: Turns out it's some sort of figurine that plays tinny music and dances, like a cheap gift one would buy from a low-end retail store, making it a MockGuffin as well.]]
* MadeOfPlasticine: Anyone and anything that tries to fight Korgoth.
* MagicAntidote: Parodied and subverted when Gogmagog gives Korgoth the cure he promised to give him for completing his mission. Korgoth complains that he doesn't feel anything, and Gogmagog explains that he'll have to take the cure for months, but he prepared a huge pile for Korgoth free of charge.
* MaleGaze: Used as a gag when Hargon, a.k.a Hook Hand Guy, arrives at the inn with the rest of the mooks. The camera scans the room from his point of view, passing by a serving wench, then immediately pans back to focus on her ass.
* ManlyTears: Korgoth briefly gets these when Orala is killed near the end of the episode, complete with leather crinkling sound.
* MeaningfulName: Many names are puns or references.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: "I've dated girls uglier than you for breakfast!"
* {{Mooks}}: Gogmagog has a lot of these guys working for him and he sends them to fetch Korgoth for a job, but Korgoth far outclasses even the strongest.
* MookLieutenant: The hook handed guy.
* NeckLift: Korgoth to Gogmagog, when he finds out Gogmagog tricked him into eating poisoned food.
* NoNameGiven: Both the hook hand guy (Hargon) and the girl tied to a tree (Orala) are never named in the show. Also, only two of Gogmagog's men are called by name: [[ButtMonkey Stink]], and [[GiantMook Scrotus]].
* NoSell: Korgoth has this reaction to someone putting an axe through his shoulder. [[LodgedBladeRecycling He just rips it out and uses it against its previous wielder.]]
* OhMyGods: "Hairy balls of the gods!"
* PoisonAndCureGambit: Korgoth flat out refuses to go up against [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes a wizard]] before Gogmagog pulls this on him.
* PsychicAssistedSuicide: The dark wizard Specules uses his MindControlEyes to make one RedShirt jump to his death.
* ReactiveContinuousScream: During the bar fight.
* ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated: The dark wizard Specules is annoyed when he finds a bunch of thieves in his castle looting the place on the assumption that he was dead. Turns out, he was just taking a cruise holiday.
* RescueSex: Orala rewards Korgoth with sex after he saves her from a [[WhenTreesAttack man-eating tree-monster]]. Hargon tries to boast of his own [[BlatantLies "bravery"]] to get a similar reward, but they ignore him.
* RevealShot: When Korgoth and Gogmagog's mooks climb down to the pigeons, it's only obvious that the birds are [[GiantFlyer giant-sized]] (they looked small from a higher vantage point) with a sudden camera reveal.
* ShoutOut: The intro shows Korgoth's lover turning into a monster mid-session, referencing ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian''. Also The Golden Goblin from before is actually an obscure reference to one of Robert E. Howard's works, "The Black Stone" (1931) which had a single line mentioning a "Golden Goblin Press"
* TheStoic: Korgoth is normally pretty calm despite how violent he can be. Just don't [[BerserkButton mess with his alcohol or his]] GirlOfTheWeek.
%%* StuffedIntoTheFridge: [[spoiler:Orala.]]
* TalkToTheFist: A classic and hysterically funny (in a very dark way) case happens when Korgoth decides he's heard enough of the GiantMook trying to threaten him.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Korgoth tends to do this. See what he does to interrupt the CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon speech above.
* TestosteronePoisoning: If it were a little less over the top it would have been right at home as part of ''WesternAnimation/HeavyMetal''.
* TooDumbToLive:
** Korgoth's Lizard Mount eats a strange, apple like fruit and promptly explodes. Korgoth and the {{Mooks}} traveling with him promptly drop the exploding fruit, but one shrugs and eats it anyway. [[MadeOfExplodium Guess What Happens.]]
** One of the {{Mooks}} claims to know how to get the giant pigeons to give them a lift:
-->'''Mook:''' HEY, you big dumb bird! Look at me! I-*is bitten in half* AAHHHHHHH!
** Orala. [[spoiler: She interrupts Korgoth and Specules in the middle of their death battle wondering if Korgoth ever had sex in someone else's kitchen.]]
* WeAreTeamCannonFodder: Pretty much everyone who's not Korgoth will will die horribly, with few exceptions. [[JustifiedTrope Granted, he's Korgoth of Barbaria and they're Gogmagog's random mooks.]]
* WeHaveReserves: Gogmagog specifically tells Korgoth he'll send his best men with him... and some of the [[RedShirt less strong ones]], for [[ForTheEvulz the sake of amusement]].
* WhenTreesAttack: ...they get turned into firewood by Korgoth.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Korgoth doesn't like magic or magicians.
-->'''Korgoth:''' I despise all weavers of the black arts. Speaking of which, could you pass the gravy?
* WorldOfBuxom: All of the damsels who appear in the show are quite busty.
* WretchedHive: The town where the story begins. Just about every effort to make it and the people living there seem wretched, shady, and unsavory is made.
* YouAllMeetInAnInn: Gogmagog's mooks go to a specific inn due to having heard that Korgoth will be drinking there... and then most of them [[SubvertedTrope promptly die in said inn]].
* YourHeadAsplode: [[spoiler: Happens to Orala when she walks in on Specules using his MindControl EyeBeams on Korgoth, who was resisting with HeroicWillpower.]]