Western Animation / My Gym Partner's a Monkey

"You think your school's a zoo? My gym partner's a MONKEY!"

A Cartoon Network animated series created by the husband-and-wife team of Timothy and Julie McNally Cahill (who would later go on to produce Littlest Pet Shop (2012)) that aired from 2005 to 2008. The show lasted four 13-episode seasons that came and went very quickly (hence the short run in years) and got two hour-long specials; a made-for-TV movie, "The Big Field Trip" and a musical special aptly named "Animal School Musical".

Due to a clerical error involving a misspelled last name, a middle-school aged human named Adam Lyon is sent to attend Charles Darwin Middle School: a school for talking zoo animals. Rather than fix this problem, he befriends an animal named Jake Spidermonkey and deals with the obvious problems of being a human in an environment made solely for animals.

Although it was generally received positively by critics (according to the other wiki), its Internet reception is more mixed. Some say it was one of CN's worst shows, others believe it was So Okay, It's Average, while still others say it was one of CN's most underrated.

This series provides examples of:

  • Adorkable: Several characters can qualify but Ingrid Giraffe and Rufus Hyena stand out.
  • All Just a Dream: "Notorious Windsor Gorilla", which also transitions to a Dream Within a Dream in the end.
  • Alien Animals: Rick Platypus.
  • All Animals Are Domesticated: Charles Darwin Middle School only allows animals that are trained to act like civilized humans. Ironically, they don't have any dogs, cats, or other animals that are generally domesticated, and only wild animals. To them, the idea of an undomesticated wild animal is even more terrifying than what humans perceive it as, with them being horrified of bunny rabbits, that haven't been tamed.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Jake. He gets jealous when Adam doesn't want to be his partner to the school dance, and he expresses glee when he receives "straight rainbows" on his report card.
  • Animal Jingoism: Here, the animals are sentient and speak and are humanoid (mostly) but the snake kid still fights with the mongoose kid.
    • They were playing tag.
    • There was also a commercial bumper on Cartoon Network for a while where Adam walked past a lion, whose locker was banging and making noises from within. Adam amiably asks "Whatcha got in there?". The lion replies "Lunch." Adam is understandably creeped out.
  • Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag: Jake generally acts like a human, but when he's overjoyed, infuriated, terrified, or feeling any other strong emotion, he tends to screech and jump around the room like an actual monkey.
  • Animation Bump: The original pilot had more fluidity in animation, while the series lessened it a tiny bit. Then, by mid-season 2, it became slightly stiffer resembling The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, and Dexter's Laboratory.
  • Animorphism - In "Inoculation Day", Adam is turned into a monkey.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Pricipal Pixiefrog
  • Art Evolution: The characters looked a bit rounder in the first season, then became sharper and UPA-styled by mid-season 2.
  • Artistic License Biology: Pixie frogs are the second largest species of frog in the world, but not only is Principal Pixiefrog a subject of jokes about how small he is, he's portrayed as significantly smaller than even characters he should realistically be similar in size to or even dwarf, like Dickie Sugarjumper.
    • Jake is a Spider monkey, yet looks just like a cartoony chimpanzee with a tail in its butt. He even utters the quintessential chimpanzee Stock Sound Effects.
      • Even more jarring, one short had him getting his school photo taken with Adam. When both check the album, Jake appears as a realistic capuchin monkey!
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Bull's weak point is his nose, the nerdy crocodile is beating him up after he ask a question & Pixiefrog is getting sued.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: When the animals all see shiny doorknobs, they get hypnotized and very distracted when they say "Pretty Pretty! Shiny Shiny!"
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Principal Pixie Frog, believe it or not. While trying to boost Mr. Hornbill's (Who is a rhino) confidence to help him woo Mrs. Tusk, they have him wrestle Pixie Frog. Pixie Frog whoops. His. Ass.
  • Ax-Crazy: Principal Pixiefrog, though he never wielded an ax in any of the episodes, has a level of psychopathy very similar to Needles Kane.
  • Bad Impressionists: Windsor dressed as a human
  • Balloon Belly: Subverted. Adam has the food court sell human food and all the animals quickly get addicted. Instead of the usual cartoon result, the animals gained more permanent weight. At the end of the episode they were shown jogging, trying to burn it off.
    • Though played straight in so far that it was gone by the next episode. Still a bit of a subversion, though.
  • Bears are Bad News: (Episode Titled,) The Spiffies
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: Many episodes include jokes like this.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Adam deliberately takes off the Spiffies' (nerds) glasses to avoid detection of a killer mob, as they were killing off the smart people (literally) and were under the assumption that anyone with glasses is smart (despite the fact that there at least two people in the killer mob who wore glasses). In their blind state, the Spiffies' were wondering around helplessly, pretending to be so dumb they can't tell where they're going (well, it worked).
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Subverted. Bull Sharkowski has to wear headgear that's essentially reverse-SCUBA ear (gill) muffs.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens constantly, yet done so naturally you wouldn't notice until you thought about it.
    "Maybe you'll get a show on Cartoon Network!"
  • But Not Too Foreign: Kerry has Indonesian blood.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Adam!
    Adam: Whoever said humans and monkeys share the same genes is an idiot.
  • Cardboard Pal" "Sick Day"
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Again, Pricipal Pixiefrog
  • Catch-Phrase: Euripedes Sharkowski "(insert compliment; followed by insult) your face. Thank you!"
  • Chaotic Stupid: Adam attacking Nerdy Crocodile, not letting anyone get his wish & upsetting Windsor
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Why animals wearing no clothes themselves find it funny is unknown.
  • The Chew Toy: Adam (More than Once).
  • Cute and Psycho: Lola Llama in "Save the Drama for Your Llama". Lola befriended Ingrid Giraffe but in truth she had no interest in being her friend. By Windsor's explanation, Lola was attempting an aggressive pack assimilation by targeting the weakest member. As Lola slowly began to steal Ingrid's identity, she became more and more crazed about wanting to keep it.
  • Cute Approaches Camera: Enacted by a nature documentarian's pet kitten.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Ingrid. Having such a really long neck doesn't help.
  • Cute Is Evil: The subject of one episode, when Adam gets hosed by a group of cute miniature animals.
  • Cute Mute: Horace the ferret.
  • Delinquent: Larry Raccoon, a minor character, is the only student in history to be expelled from CDMS.
    • The Mole: As a result, he tries to reenter the school, disguised as a panda.
  • Dean Bitterman: Pricipal Pixiefrog.
  • Depending on the Writer: Henry Armadillo is either a Jerkass or a Woobie.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: "Lie, Cheetah, Steal": Coach Gill keeps gushing over her new assistant, Mr. Cheetah, via internal monologue, and other characters keep overhearing her "voiceover".
  • Different in Every Episode: The sign outside Charles Darwin Middle School.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Jake shunning Adam for almost an entire episode due to him saying that Bull Sharkowsci had "Gone ape on him". In the monkey world "Going ape" is supposed to be a compliment, unlike in the human world where it means "Go crazy". Adam gets Jake back at the end of the episode when he finds out what Jake was upset about and is very angry at him.
  • The Ditz: Nerdy Crocidile
  • Does This Remind Youof Anything: There is the human school and the animal school...and the animal school doesn't really teach much.
  • Deus ex Machina: "Robo Frog 3000": Because when any middle school faculty is confronted by the school board with robots ready to destroy them, you always keep a wizard in your trunk just in case. Right?
    • Subverted. The school board had their own robot wizard, so it didn't save them at all. But the robots couldn't leave the school cause they were powered by the school walls, saving Adam and Jake from being chased further.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Adam Lyon, more notable in the episode "Notorious Windsor Gorilla"
  • The Eeyore: Windsor Gorilla
  • Erudite Stoner: Slips Python. Dude, can you please pass me the bong?
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Duh.
  • Evil Teacher: Pricipal Pixiefrog (and proud of it)
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Guess which class Adam meets Jake for the first time?
  • I'm a Humanitarian, a lobster version. 2 lobsters are sitting at a table in a tank in a restaurant.
    Boy lobster: Oh, it is so nice to get out of the house after 97 years.
    Girl lobster: Oh, you take me to the nicest places.
    Boy lobster: Waiter, I'll have the lobster.
    Girl lobster (as she is lifted out of the tank by the waiter): Nathan, how could you?
  • Intellectual Animal: Windsor.
  • Inept Aptitude Test: Adam, the only human attending a school full of animals, takes a career aptitude test and become depressed when the results indicated his career would be "zoo animal"; the principal later reveals that the tests aren't graded and everyone is given the result of "zoo animal" as that's what they all want anyway.
  • Interspecies Romance: Ingrid's romantic crush on Adam is seen as weird by many adult fans of the show, who look a bit too far in depth to the show's content.
  • Invisible Parents: Adam's parents are never fully seen on screen. Whenever, they need to appear, either it's only their voice, heard off screen, or an arm is seen coming out from just off screen or behind a wall.
  • Jerkass: Nerdy Crocidile
    • Principal Pixiefrog also
  • Jive Turkey: In "Grub Drive", Principal Pixiefrog tries to convince students to participate in the Annual School Sales Drive by rapping. The students' reactions are priceless.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Adam Lyon comes dangerously close to crossing the Moral Event Horizon in The Hyena And The Mighty. First, he talks behind Rufus Hyena's back, insulting him and making him cry. When Windsor explains that Rufus may die because hyenas need to laugh to live, Adam clearly doesn't give a damn about Rufus saying "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya". Jake convinces Adam to help Rufus stop crying. They try visiting the principal, counselor and nurse with no help. Finally, Adam snaps and threatens Rufus with physical violence if he doesn't stop crying even though Adam himself MADE Rufus cry in the first place. It's a GOOD thing Adam gets hit with Karma in the end.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude:
    • Euripedes Sharkowski. Yes, despite the mustache and masculine voice. And the way the students talked about her, Adam (and likely the viewers) were shocked to discover that Euripedes was a girl.
    • Slips Python's older sister, complete with deep voice.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Done a few times over the course of the series. One particular example coming from the result of a Deus ex Machina:
  • Large Ham: Jake Spidermonkey.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Welcome to CDMS, Adam.
  • Living Crashpad: After Jake Spidermonkey gains a huge amount of weight, he falls through the floor, but later calls up to Adam that "Principal Pixiefrog broke my fall!"
  • Meaningful Name: Adam's given name, which is also the name of the first man, created by God. And, since he's quite probably the first human to set foot in Charles Darwin Middle...
  • Medium Awareness: Several characters, most notably Principal Pixiefrog, seem to know that they are characters in a cartoon.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: At the beginning of "Animal School Musical", Adam and Jake take two breaks from their Big Ball of Violence to skip together and play chess.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: At one point, Jake meets a female monkey interchange student who is said to come from Costa Rica. Spider monkeys, like other New World monkeys, are known only from the American continent.
  • The Musical: With the characters getting the idea from an expy of High School Musical, no less.
  • Musical Episode: Aptly titled "Animal School Musical".
  • The Music Meister: The magical fish David Coppertrout casts a spell casts a spell that transforms the school into a musical in "Animal School Musical".
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: In "The Big Field Trip", Adam played his piccolo, which made the animals fall asleep.
    Adam: Huh, I guess music does soothe the savage beast.
  • The Napoleon: Adam and Pixiefrog.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Nerdy Crocodile.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Virgil "Bull" Sharkowski should be renamed into Michael "Bull" Tysonowski. Seriously.
    • There is an episode where Adam and Jake visited the Neverland Ranch because Bubbles, Michael Jackson's pet monkey, is Jake's cousin. Their names are changed to avoid being sued.
  • No Indoor Voice: Principal Pixiefrog
  • Noodle Incident: In the comics, whatever Jake did last year at Bull Sharkowski's birthday party that Bull holds as a reason not to invite Jake for the next parties resulted on the pool having to be steam-cleaned.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: In "The Hyena and the Mighty", Adam had a dream that he came to school in his underpants. Jake informed him that it wasn't a dream.
  • Only Sane Man: Usually Adam.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In-episode example: Slips accidentally talks normally, before going back to Brit Speak when in uniform.
  • Opening Shout-Out: Happens in "The Notorious Windsor Gorilla" with the credits re-done as My Gym Partner's a Gorilla and featuring Windsor instead of Jake.
  • Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females: Jake wears only a shirt and hat, but in "Gorilla My Dreams", his [[Opposite-Sex Clone]] was introduced, wearing a dress, skirt, bow, and shoes.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-Universe: In the episode where Jake is sent to a school of plants. He starts believing the plants are ganging up on him. A couple of plants looks as though one is whispering to the other.
  • Parental Abandonment: Adam seems to have parents, but they don't seem to object to him attending middle school with the animal kingdom.
    • And when they DID make an appearance and were asked that question (since they are allergic to animals and were wearing full hazmat suits), the viewer is unable to understand their answer. It's also worthy to note that the same episode had Adam's friends think he lives alone and that he killed his parents.
    • Adam's father also appeared in another episode where they were having a party at a Chuckie Cheese like establishment though you only see him buried in a ball pit with his arm sticking out.
  • Potty Emergency: Adam in Bathroom Break.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Windsor collects cut-glass animal figurines.
  • Right Behind Me: "Robo Frog 3000", and probably elsewhere.
  • Running Gag: In the episode "The Ivy League" when everybody drops their coffee mugs whenever something even MODERATELY surprising happens.
    • There's also Principal Pixiefrog's ongoing fear that "we could get sued!"
    • And you can expect to hear the word "zuh?" uttered whenever someone is shocked or confused on this show.
  • Sadist Show: Ordinary kid Adam Lyon tries to survive a Sucky School where everyone is a Jerkass or The Ditz or both. He fails constantly.
  • Sanity Slippage: Here and there it's been shown that Adam is slowly losing his mind, one episode starts with him staring blankly at nothing with a goofy look on his face (Never explained) another has him literally go feral acting like a dog, supposedly from spending too much time around animals. Though it's averted, later explained simply "Because he's a boy" with the other human girls at a party asking Karri how she trained her's to be so well behaved, compared to their dates who were acting even more feral.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Adam discovers this natural defensive mechanism when the entire school wants to eat him. His high pitched girlish shriek causes everyone to run away.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The episode where Adam and Jake joining the hall monitors. It turns out that the force is TOTALLY corrupt, useless and tries to get rid of Adam when he tries to stop the corruption. So Adam goes and tries to get rid of their Dirtnuts by bribing the truck driver not to get rid of them to stop them from being corrupt. However, the force has Dirtarts and then Adam is blamed for the corruption, since the bribe was caught on video so the force gets away scot free.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty.
    • Mr. Hornbill teaches the kids that rubbing mud on yourself will prevent predators from being able to see you. The camera shows a cartoon Predator sitting in a desk, who says, "It's true."
    • Samurai Jack had a cameo once, as a Cloudcuckoolander doctor who wants others to try his delicious blueberry pie.
    • From the same episode, Adam, after been hit on the head by a piece of concrete, became Joey Mack.
    • There's an episode where it ends with a spoof of the intro from The Love Boat.
    • Principal Pixiefrog resembles and sounds like actor Hans Conreid. Miss Loon sounds like Katharine Hepburn, a Shout Out to On Golden Pond, in which she played a woman who loved to hear the sounds of the loons calling across the lake.
    • During the infamous "I'm A Friendly Armadillo" episode, the judges of the school talent show are positioned in the same order as the ones from American Idol.
      • Cyrus Q Hornbill (Randy Jackson, the neutral one.)
      • Miss Chameleon (Paula Abdul, the nice one.}
      • Coach Gills (Simon Cowell, the mean and honest one.)
    • When Adam temporarily took over Coach Gills' job for the day, he found a very valuable item on her desk, an autographed picture of Brian Doyle-Murray (her VA).
    • There is one episode where The Spiffies are modeled after The Mafia, with ringleader Phinnius Porpoise doing a very good impression of Don Vito. They even call him "The Finfather".
    • One episode has Bull Sharkowsci dress and dance like Napoleon Dynamite.
    • "The Big Field Trip" contained multiple references to Lord of the Flies and Yogi Bear.
    • In "A Whole Zoo World", when Adam tries to capture Jake while jumping off a waterfall, he shouts, "PREZENKOWSKI!" A reference to executive in charge of production for Cartoon Network, Jeff Prezenkowski.
  • Silent Snarker: Possibly, Vice Coach Horace Ferret.
  • Sit On The Camera:
    • "Chew on This" at the end with Principal Pixiefrog "You've made you're point".
    • "The Butt of the Jake" happens in the beginning and a few more times
  • Species Surname: Used almost constantly.
    • In fact, Adam Lyon was sent to CDMS because his name was misspelled "Lion" in a file.
  • Spit Take: When Jake creates a routine using his bottom and tail (creating a puppet of sorts), he causes the whole student body to laugh resulting in much milk being spurted out, half the time it was in Adam's face.
  • The Spock: Windsor.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Principal Pixiefrog appears in every episode. In "Butt of the Jake", he forced himself into the story, despite having nothing to do with the plot.
    Pixiefrog: Save your pity, Lyon. I just came here for some screen time.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The Possum Girl
  • Stranger in a Strange School: The main premise, but taken to self-parody levels for an episode where Jake (whose last name is typo'd as "Spiderplant") is taken to a school for plants for an episode.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: "Bull Shark, Porcupine, I don't know what, going to this school's a pain in the..."
    Jake: ADAM!
    Adam: What? I was gonna say "neck".
    Jake: Oh... that's okay then.
    • And Jake's inability to rhyme becomes a running joke in "Animal School Musical", even getting its own song.
  • Stealth Pun: In the episode Law and Odor, one of the hall monitors is a lizard.
  • Talking Animal: Nearly everyone on the show except Adam.
  • Terrible Trio: The Preitties (though they appeared nice).
  • The TV Movie: The Big Field Trip.
  • Token Human: Adam, to his classmates.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: "The Citronella Solution" where it is even Lamp Shaded:
    "But torches and pitchforks are a cartoon riot tradition!"
  • Transformation Trauma: There's an episode where Slips comes to school feeling rather ill which leads everyone to believe that he has a horrible disease called the... "Eccch!" and the students start feeling weird (an ox student's fur starts coming out, a bear student gets really hungry and so on), at the end of the episode Principal Pixifrog calls an assembly- at this assembly he shows a video called "It's Only Natural" which is about changes animals go through, everyone is relieved to find out that it's not a disease going around, but then Slips shreds his skin and says..."It's only natural? Phew! I'm not a freak!" and throws his old skin off- the old skin lands on Principal Pixiefrog who then states..."No you're not" and then Slips 'sneezes all over him, Principal Pixiefrog exclaims in a very disgusted way "Yuck, that snake's got a cold! Germ alert, germ alert!".
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Bull, Pixiefrog & Nerdy Crocodile
  • Wild Child: The Possum Girl posed as one to get closer to Adam
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: This show plays with this trope endlessly. The staff includes a warthog, a chameleon, a goldfish, a baboon, a pixie frog and an elephant, all of whom have personalities that vary wildly with their appearances; the snake is friendly, helpful and a member of the main cast (one notable episode had him apparently fighting with a mongoose, only to be revealed that they were just playing tag); the (spider) monkey is the resident Jerkass; and the human, instead of being a bastard, is just trying to survive amongst the insanity. The shark, however, is the school bully, but like most bullies in recent fiction he's a coward who hides his insecurities behind violence.
  • Who Is Driving?: "Slips, if you're here, then who's flying the plane?"
    • Fridge Logic/Horror kicks in when you start to wonder how Slips, who has no limbs, was flying the plane in the first place.

Alternative Title(s): My Gym Partners A Monkey