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 2006 to 2008.
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.
This series provides examples of:
- Adorkable: Several characters can qualify but Ingrid Giraffe and Rufus Hyena stand out.
- Absurdity Ascendant:
- All Just a Dream: "Notorious Windsor Gorilla", which also transitions to a Dream Within a Dream in the end.
- 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."
- Ambiguously Gay: Jake.
- Apathetic Teacher: Pricipal Pixiefrog
- 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 chimpanzee with a tail in its butt.
- 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: Pricipal Pixiefrog, though he never wheeled an ax in any of the episodes, his level of being a psychopath is 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!
- 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 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.
- The Danza: Student counselor Mandrill's first name is Maurice, as in VA Maurice Lamarche.
- 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.
- Deranged Animation
- 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".
- 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?
- Expository Theme Tune: See plot summary.
- Expy: Keep a look out for a human version of Mr. Hornbill when Adam temporarily goes back to his old school.
- Fat Idiot: Adam, The Preitties and Bear in a red shirt.
- Fake Brit: Tom Kenny as Dickie Sugarjumper.
- In-episode example: When everyone at CDMS are forced to wear school uniforms, everyone, except Dickie (who is British of course), Adam and Principal Pixiefrog, started speaking in obviously fake British accents.
- Speaking of Tom Kenny, David Coppertrout also qualifies.
- Five-Man Band
- Fire-Breathing Diner: In "Have a Joyous Little Animas", eating a plate of wasabi causes Adam to breathe fire through his nose.
- Which ends up saving the day, strangely enough.
- Fish out of Water: Series premise. Seen literately a few times.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: Principal Pixiefrog's number one fear.
- Geeks: The Spiffies.
- Genius Bruiser: Windsor the gorilla.
- Genki Girl: Lupe Toucan.
- Gentle Giant: Windsor again.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Rhino Pie
- In "Flesh Fur Fantasy" Winsor had students draw nude pics of him (in his "human" suit)
- In "Middle School Musical" Adam gets hit in his "Lower stomach area" when its pretty clear where the ball actually hit him. And later on in the same special when Ingrid starts forcefully kissing Henry Armadillo dressed as Adam he say he is feeling funny in his lower stomach area.
- There's one right in the opening sequence! "Going to this school is a pain in the- ADAM! What? I was going to say 'neck.' Oh, that's OK then."
- Groin Attack: In the "Middle school musical" special, Adam gets hit in the groin with a dodgeball.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Jake gaining a "Mustache" inexplicably gives him 1337 skills with nunchucks, but Adam counters this by challenging him to a round of fisticuffs. Subverted in that neither of them actually knows what comes next.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Lupe.
- Grossout Show: Surprisingly, one of the better ones.
- Hands Go Down
Mr. Hornbill: (explaining an assignment involving eggs) Any questions?
[a girl Badger happily raises her hand.]
Mr. Hornbill: No, Lacey, you may not eat the eggs.
[Her hand goes down after turning her smile into a frown.]
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Adam and Jake, Windsor and Slips, Ingrid and Lupe...
- Hippie Teacher: Mr. Mandrill.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Principal Pixiefrog
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Henry. OOOOOOOHHHHHHH...(glass cracks) I'M A FRIENDLY ARMADIILLLOOOOO....
- The Hyena: Rufus, an actual hyena.
- Hypocritical Humor: The hall monitor episode mentioned on Shaggy Dog Story.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes
- Idiot Hero: Adam
- 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?
- 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.
- Inherently Funny Words: CAMERRRRRRROOOOOOOON! COSTA RRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIICA!
- Jerkass: Nerdy Crocidile
- 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.
- 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".
- The Napoleon: Adam & Pixiefrog
- Never Say "Die": Subverted.
- 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
- "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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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..."
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.
- Sudden School Uniform
- Surreal Humor & Toilet Humor
- Surrounded by Idiots
- 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.
- Talking to Him/Herself: Another Cartoon Network series that tries to save their budget.
- Did you know that Ingrid and Lupe are both voiced by Grey Delisle?
- And both Slips and Windsor are voiced by Rick Gomez?
- Not to mention that Maurice Lamarche voiced most of the male CDMS faculty.
- That Was Not A Dream: See Not Wearing Pants
- Terrible Trio: The Preitties (though they appeared nice).
- The TV Movie: The 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.
- He was probably using his tail...
- Who's on First?: The episode "Pants in Space" had Principal Pixiefrog talk with a Japanese scientist whose name happened to be pronounced "I didn't", which led a brief moment of confusion when Pixiefrog asked what he said his name was again.
- Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: Adam & Jake celebrating Bull's "going away" party.
- World of Funny Animals: More like a school of Funny Animals.
- Yandere: Ingrid Giraffe
- Yellow Sash of Power: Hall Monitor Sasquatch
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: Animas Carol to be exact.
- And again, this time full-out, in "Thanksgiving Carol".
- You Mean Xmas: In the animal world, it's "Animas".
- And its in June.
- And it's got something to do with excretory functions.