("The Line") is a series of Italian shorts created by Osvaldo Cavandoli that aired from 1969 to 1986. American viewers may recognize it from The Great Space Coaster
. It focuses on a stick figure man known as Mr. Linea, who is subjected to antics either by his animator or by his own doings.
La Linea provides examples of:
- Bilingual Bonus: Although Mr. Linea constantly speaks gibberish, occasionally an Italian or English word will slip in.
- Black Comedy Rape: Eros Linea has an elephant suck on Mr. Linea's nose with its trunk, and later he is raped by the devil and inflated into a balloon.
- Butt Monkey: The entire premise of nearly every short is Mr. Linea being tormented by his surroundings and even directly by Cavandoli himself sometimes.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Most of the shorts end with these.
- Hotter and Sexier: The special episodes La Sexilina and Eros Linea.
- Jerk Ass: Mr. Linea often gets into trouble due to bullying other people and animals. In some cases where he's romantically involved, he ditches his love interest if he's found someone more attractive or if she had children with him.
- Product Placement: The series originally began as commercials for Lagostina cookware, with the products advertised at the end of each episode. Mr. Linea has also been in ads for the now-defunct Kaupthing Bank and Ford C-MAX hybrid cars.
- Signature Laugh: Mr. Linea's "Pffffffft HA HA HA HA HA HA".
- Speaking Simlish: This was done so the shorts could be broadcast throughout Europe without dubbing.
- Talking to Himself: All the characters in the shorts are voiced by Carlo Bonomi, with the exception of La Sexilinea, where an uncredited voice actress voiced the female characters.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Episode 224 has Mr. Linea using a flute to befriend animals and fight off a hunter. It ends with him happily walking away with the animals while playing the flute once more.