"The opening credits sequence basically tells you: you are the chicken, forced to watch this shit."Warning: This series may ruin your childhood.A Stop Motion series on [adult swim], from Williams Street Productions. Created by Seth Green (the voice of Chris on Family Guy, beside Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Evil's son from Austin Powers) and Matt Senreich (editor of Toyfare, a magazine for action figure collectors), the show features a rapid-fire series of stop-motion shorts (inspired by Toyfare's Twisted Toyfare Theatre comics), ranging in length from a few seconds to several minutes long. The comedy in these shorts tends to vary wildly between Black Comedy, pop-culture parody and satire, out-and-out surrealism, or some combination of the three.Most sketches involve "mashups", a collision of two pop-cultural items (one innocent, and the other "mature") degenerating into chaos, like Mario and Luigi travelling to Vice City, Beavis and Butt-Head joining the Teen Titans, the team from Scooby-Doo encountering Jason Voorhees, or The Smurfs doing their version of Se7en.
— Michael Ian Black
This series features examples of:
- Absurdly Long Limousine: In an episode parodying Richie Rich, Richie states he drives a hybrid. Half monster truck, half limousine, that is. It has a mileage of three meters on a full tank.
- Acid-Trip Dimension: A blatant parody of Yellow Submarine complete with an entire skit and an Art Shift that doesn't use dolls! It's even lampshaded by Ringo, who states that he was on acid after using the hole in his pocket to stop the glove from destroying the submarine.
- Action Insurance Gag: In one episode, the producers of a theatrical play version of The Avengers watch as a full costume rehearsal goes wrong when the giant mechanical Hulk goes haywire and the actors all get injured. The producers look on in horror for a moment.Producer 1: Uhh... We're insured, right?
Producer 2: Soup to nuts!
[both light up Molotov cocktails to add to the destruction and run]
- Adam and Eve Plot: After Fraggle Rock is destroyed, the core five fraggles are the only ones left; once they find a safe spot, they turn their attention to re-population. Mokey and Red are not pleased.
- Adam Westing: Many of the skits poking fun at celebrities are voiced by the actual person.
- Affably Evil:
- Bossk in the Star Wars parodies comes off as a classy, well-mannered gentleman who takes off his boots when visiting the imperials, equips them again while the other bounty hunters rush for the hunt and takes out a tavern brawl while wearing a suit.Bossk: Manners are their own reward, gentlemen!
- While Palpatine is for the most part portrayed as Faux Affably Evil, there are times where he shows genuine camaraderie and/or appreciation with a select few individuals. This is demonstrated especially in his interactions with his barber Alphonso, in which he outright calls the guy a lifesaver for coming up with the idea of Bounty Hunters after Vader failed to capture the Rebels. He is also seen joking around with Mas Amedda and another high-ranking Imperial Officer about his battle with Yoda, and there is no evidence to suggest any underlying malice in either of the two examples.
- Bossk in the Star Wars parodies comes off as a classy, well-mannered gentleman who takes off his boots when visiting the imperials, equips them again while the other bounty hunters rush for the hunt and takes out a tavern brawl while wearing a suit.
- All Men Are Perverts: This trope occasionally shows up. In The Bionic Woman sketch, The Six Million Dollar Man uses a life-threatening injury as an opportunity to give her breast implants, built-in knee pads, and an automatic hand jerking feature. Another example is a parody of the Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal trope where Gadget swaps our her coverall for a skimpy jacket causing the other Rescue Rangers to masturbate uncontrollably.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Spoofed during the DC Comics special. The audience is reminded that an alien squirrel Green Lantern named B'Dg, a douchebag with no fashion sense named Firestorm, and Mr. Banjo actually exist, all while the show mocks them right in front of their faces. Firestorm doesn't take to kindly to it.
- Anal Probing:
- Inverted when a group of flannel-wearing, toothless rednecks in a pickup truck abduct an alien from his home planet. Then later, in a simultaneous parody of this trope and Deliverance, the hicks gleefully surround the alien, bent over and tied to a tree stump, and bluntly announce how they're going to perform "scientific experiments" in his backside.
- Another sketch has an alien (that has just participated in a kidnapping of a human for — apparently — experimentation) lament the PR problem they have, and wonder how the false anal probing rumor got started (turns out one of the other aliens is a sick, sick bastard).
- And I Must Scream:
- The actual state of the Robot Chicken character until the 100th episode.
- Do you know where Rubix goes when you jumble his colors? A dark, cold neververse!
- Darth Vader being haunted by the ghost of an adoring Jar Jar Binks for all eternity.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: The citizens of Pastryville celebrate Bitch Pudding's supposed death by volcano with a "The Bitch Is Dead" festival, complete with Toss- and Whack-a-Bitch carnival games, a Bitch Pudding-shaped piñata, and volcano-fried Bitch Pudding on a stick.
- Animation Bump: The animation became much more elaborate and expressive for Season 5. It gained another bump for Season 6, when the series switched animation teams from Shadowmachine to Seth Green's own Stoopid Buddy Studios.
- Art Shift: Though the vast majority of sketches are in Claymation, the show occasionally dips into live action, animation, puppets, and even Synchro-Vox.
- As You Know: There are plenty of sketches where the (often) lead character from a franchise will either introduce themselves or be introduced by another character already on screen. This is especially true of cult or lesser known franchises.
- Ascended Meme: "Mo-Larr, Eternian Dentist" was so popular that Mattel created a figure of him as a convention exclusive. It includes, amongst other things, his drill and a Skeletor figure with a missing tooth.
- Ass Shove: During a prostrate exam."Take it easy, OK, Doc?"
"You got it, Sal!" [winds up and jams his fist inside]
- Asshole Victim:
- Uncle Owen, for mocking Anakin while he was cradling the corpse of his mother.Beru: You know what, Owen? You really are an asshole.
- The chicken gets his revenge on the Mad Scientist in the new theme song.
- Uncle Owen, for mocking Anakin while he was cradling the corpse of his mother.
- Assimilation Backfire: The Borg attempt to assimilate Captain Jake of the Enterprise night crew, but his beer-filled blood and love of partying instead corrupt the collective.
- A-Team Firing: Invoked in one of the G.I. Joe shorts. A soldier hits three perfect shots, two to the center body, and the third to the head. The Joe was shocked by the shooting, saying, "If you shoot like that, your enemy could end up dead!." It later bites the Joe in the ass when a suicide bomber isn't scared off with the missed bullets.
- Atomic F-Bomb: Palpatine closes out the third Star Wars special with a bleeped-out Slow No version of one of these:Palpatine: Well, if you want some final words of wisdom, here it is. (Turns to the camera while Flipping the Bird as the second Death Star explodes) Fuuuck yooouuuu!'
- Attending Your Own Funeral: Green Arrow in the second DC Comics Special, being shown after Batman goes on a rant about how Death is Cheap when it comes to Superheroes. Batman was at his funeral giving a eulogy, when he stopped and assured the audience that the whole death thing in the comic book world is total bullshit, and that given a, most likely, short period of time, Green Arrow will be back, and then we cut to the audience applauding Batman for his speech, along with Green Arrow, who, all of a sudden, shows up at the funeral as one of the mourners, much to Ice's surprise.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Invoked by the ThunderCats.Panthro: You FORGOT the Sword of Omens!?
Lion-O: I'm a cat, Panthro. I get distracted easily.
Panthro: So am I, but you don't see me— (hears a crow fly overhead) BIRD BIRD BIRD BIRD BIRD!
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Apparently, the Doc can hold his own against the Chicken, who wiped the floor with every other character that had a recurring appearance on the show.
- Bait and Switch: In "I Know What the Bratz Did Last Summer," the Bratz (accidentailly) kill Barbie by running her over, and are soon hunted down and killed one-by-one by a shadowy figure in a pink trench coat. We're led to believe that it's Barbie, either Back from the Dead or Not Quite Dead in the first place, but it's actually Draculaura from Monster High.
- Balls of Steel: In a short titled "Ode to the Nut-shot", we see two instances of this, one straight and one played with; in one case, a lumberjack repeatedly punches himself in the nuts to no effect, and in another, one robot kicks another in the groin, at which the victim simply stands there and shrugs.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy:
- Providing the quote for the image on the page itself:Ken: I'm sorry, this never happened to me before.
Barbie: NOT HAVING A PENIS NEVER HAPPENED TO YOU BEFORE!?
- This is lampshaded in the Fight Club parody where Ken and all of Barbie's other boyfriends over the years let out all their frustration over how Barbie always got the attention."Rule #4 of the Fight Club: Hitting in the groin is allowed, because, let's face it: we're all pretty much smooth down there."
- Providing the quote for the image on the page itself:
- Bilingual Bonus: Corey Haim's shirt in "Federated Resources" says ばか ("baka"), which is Japanese for "idiot".
- Black and White Morality: Santa Clause gets a song that lampshades that nobody can be purely naughty or nice. It leaves him doing some soul searching after realizing how much life sucks and how most naughty children are only so because their lives suck.
- Black Comedy: The series is LOADED with it! If you watch this show long enough, it WILL ruin your childhood. There's even a playlist for it for those who want to streamline the process.
- Blah Blah Blah: In the "Villain Car Pool" skit, Lex Luthor says he should have taken the teleporter instead of getting stuck in traffic. Mumm-Ra says this as he's heard Lex say it a million times before.
- Body Surf: Quantum Leap is parodied when Sam leaps into the body of a woman doing a sex tape. "Ziggy says you have to work the shaft!"
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: At Granny Grahamcrackers' funeral, Raspberry Parfait recalls how she knit Black Cherry Pie's favorite scarf, fixed Fudge Turnover's leaky roof (while he watched Tango and Cash on Netflix), and drove Buttermilk Biscuits all the way to the big city to get an abort—er, her tonsils out.
- Breast Expansion: In the "No Need For Glomer" sketch (based on the animated version of Punky Brewster), where Punky asked an abused Glomer to make her boobs bigger except Glomer kept going to the point where it was absolute Body Horror. This actually happened to Soleil Moon-Frye. She developed breasts so huge she had to have breast reduction surgery.
- Brick Joke:
- The Season 3 Christmas Episode was The Robot Chicken Half-Assed Christmas Special. The Season 4 Christmas Special is The Robot Chicken Full-Assed Christmas Special.
- The joke mentioned under Too Soon? it came back to bite Owen and Beru in a big way.Stormtrooper: Oh, and I have a message from Lord Vader. He says - "You may now laugh about the 'Little Orphan Ani' joke."
- The season 4 premiere opened with Seth & Matt being attacked by Joss Whedon and Ron Moore, believing Seth to be respectively a werewolf (as he was on Buffy) and a Cylon. The last sketch of the episode is "Just the Good Parts", which ends on a segment dedicated to Galactica - basically every major character nonchalantly announcing themselves to be a Cylon. Including Seth Green, who confusedly states "uh, I'm-I'm a Cylon," and then immediately gets his head blown off by Ron Moore.
- Bring My Brown Pants: When the Keebler Tree is being attacked by Cookie Monster:Keebler Soldier #1: I didn't sign up for this! I just wanted to make cookies!
Keebler Soldier #2: I'm making cookies in my pants right now!
- Brutal Honesty: When it's Bitch Pudding's turn to give a speech at Granny Grahamcrackers' funeral, she remembers Granny's smiles, her sugar cookies...and also her chronic farting problem, gambling addiction, and habit of Going Commando.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Linus wants so badly to see the Great Pumpkin that he conducts a Satanic ritual to summon him. He sees him, alright...
- Palpatine's trip to the Death Star included a throwaway gag where a surfboard is shown on the luggage conveyer belt (a reference to the "Beachtrooper" in the Lego Star Wars games.) In the last skit of the Star Wars special, where Palpatine is falling to his death, he passes the Beachtrooper (who he'd also told earlier to "Go fuck yourself!") dressed in his usual bathing suit and Stormtrooper helmet on a balcony within the Death Star, drinking from a coconut. When the Emperor falls past him, he says hello again, to which the Emperor yet again yells for him to go fuck himself.
- In Death Star Orientation a Private Perkins is shown as an example of someone who Vader thinks he killed, but just goes around with a false beard and glasses. In Jar Jar Returns, Vader gives orders to the same Perkins, not realizing that he's supposed to be dead.
- Captive Audience: The chicken in the opening credits.
- Catch-Phrase:Fidel Castro: I love doing that!
Bitch Puddin: Blam! You just got a taste of the Bitch Puddin'!
- Chew-Out Fake-Out: In "Bring a Sidekick To Work Day", The Flash reprimands Kid Flash for stripping Wonder Woman in public, then whispers "Superspeed high-five!"
- Chunky Salsa Rule: A skit with a tabletop RPG subverts this trope. A werewolf is reduced to goo by a gatling gun and cremated. His ashes are snorted and subsequently shat out. He's still alive because it wasn't a silver bullet.
- Clucking Funny: One sketch was a version of "Law & Order"... with chickens.
- Cluster Bleep-Bomb:
- In the Bitch Pudding Special, Bitch Pudding lets out a long string of F bombs as she rolls down the side of a volcano. Almost every time she bounced, she swore, finally ending with one long, drawn out "FUUUUUCK!" at the end. The entire sequence is 23 seconds long! (If you listen closely, you can hear some of the echos between the bleeps.)
- Also previously done in a sketch where Mumm-Ra pulls a Mrs. Doubtfire, only for his bandages to get caught on the stuffed body of Snarf (long story), gets unraveled, and BLEEPs up a storm.
- Cluster F-Bomb: During the FUCK Rogers skit and when Dick Cheney got his hands on the prototype Iron Man armor.Dick Cheney: Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! [continues ad nauseam]
- Cold Sniper: Fumbles in one of the G.I. Joe sketches.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Rambo recalls all the terrible punishments he suffered through while he was locked up by the enemy. Tortures include having Twilight read to him, being forced to play E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, being forced to listen to Rick Astley, and engaging in dance numbers, among others.
- Companion Cube: Wilson the Volleyball ends up getting washed away from Chuck Noland, and soon finds himself being passed around a series of other people, each of whom act like he's a real person. He is.
- Contest Winner Cameo: In-Universe. Robot Chicken once held a contest to win a PlayStation 3 in between seasons. At the start of the next season, the winner of the contest got stabbed to death by Seth Green.
- Couch Gag Vanity Plate: The Stoopid Monkey at the end of every episode until Season 5.
- Creator Cameo: Happens with a lot of the show's personnel during the Season 2 finale. They get killed. And then return as zombies.
- Creator's Pet: Parodied in-universe. One sketch featured the producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation figuring out how to get people to like Wesley Crusher, after the fans paid for a billboard threatening to ass rape Wil Wheaton if they didn't kill Wesley. The producers decide to add in an annoying alien character, ala Great Gazoo, called "Snirkles", so Wesley would look better in comparison (although one writer suggested they try to make Wesley a better character...and is promptly fired). The episode airs, and all Snirkles does is play a "space banjo song". The fans change the billboard to read "Kill Wesley. Keep Snirkles". Wil Wheaton, after seeing the skit, said he would've loved to voice Wesley if they'd asked him.
- Credits Gag: The most common end credits gag is on the fourth-to-last screen, which always includes something flattering or positive written next to "Sarah Gellar" and "Mila Kunis" and something humorous written next to another crew member. This is an example from the episode "Maurice Was Caught":Amazing: Sarah Gellar
Great: Mila Kunis
Ew...: Andrew Racho
Buffy Summers: Sarah Gellar
- Many of them are similarly silly:
Meg Griffin: Mila Kunis
Matt Peake: Matt Peake
Girl: Sarah Gellar
- One of the crueler variations from "The Ramblings of Maurice":
Girl: Mila Kunis
Cup: Andrew Racho
- A complete list of the "special credits" is on the Robot Chicken wiki. Additionally, the "original dialogue mixer" is always credited as Kate "Superkate" Slepicka.
- Crippling the Competition: Sinestro (accidentally) cuts off both of Green Lantern's hands. Green Lantern counters by finding someplace else to wear his ring.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Kevin McAllister undergoes one when the traps he invented to keep out burglars backfire horribly on him.
- Cue the Flying Pigs: One sketch has a girl ask her mom if her curfew can be midnight. Her mom says, "When pigs fly". The girl was prepared and has a pig attached to a rocket shoot into the sky. The mom then agrees her new curfew is midnight.
- Curbstomp Battle:
- "The World's Most One-Sided Fist Fights Caught On Film"
- The Season 5 finale, the Robot Chicken kills nearly every single character with ridiculous ease, the one exception being Bitch Pudding.
- Deadpan Snarker: They tend to pop up in sketches to hang a lampshade on the movie/series being parodied. Especially popular is Emperor Palpatine in their Star Wars parodies.
- Death by Gluttony: When Cookie Monster attacks the Keebler Tree, the elves defeat him by pouring more and more cookies into his open mouth until his stomach explodes.
- Death is Cheap: Mocked in the second DC comics special.
- Decapitated Army: Lampshaded at the end of the 2nd Star Wars special. It doesn't matter how many thousands of ships the Empire has, the Rebels just blew up the 2nd Death Star AND killed the Emperor, which means the Rebels won and the Empire is no more —all delivered in the same matter-of-fact way a twelve year old would use to explain the rules of a game of tag.
- Deconstructor Fleet: Everything cute and cuddly gets deconstructed and/or subverted. No exceptions.
- Depraved Kids' Show Host: Several, especially the host of Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego, who turns into one immediately after being dumped by his girlfriend while in the middle of the show.
- Determinator: Max Rebo don't never miss no gig.
- Deus Angst Machina: Parodied in the "Randy's Halloween" sketch, where Randy is given the Pink Power Ranger for a Halloween costume, and a frilly women's hand-bag to hold his candy. The humiliation only begins there, when the school bully abducts him (thinking she's a girl) and drives off to parts unknown. His friends think that he's going to rape "her". The bully just wanted someone to listen to his problems that led him to turn the way he did. Eventually a police officer shows up, the bully finds out who Randy is, and Randy is told that his mom died in a house fire just before killing his dog, and all she left behind was a note saying how she never loved him.
- Disproportionate Retribution:
- Sonic the Hedgehog starts off his last life in Green Hill Zone by speeding through a 35 MPH zone with no rings on him. The police lay down a spike strip to kill him.Officer 1: Uhh, couldn't we have just pulled him over and given him a ticket?
Officer 2: Heheh, we could have, but we didn't.
- "Fumbles" the sniper quits The Joes, joins Cobra, and kills all but one of his former squadmates because they gave him an embarrassing nickname and proceed to mock him mercilessly over it. Cobra ends up giving him an even worse name, but giving Cobra's ignorant sincerity to it, "Fumbles" didn't really care.Duke: You motherfucker! You killed everything I loved! Take me too! TAKE ME TOO!!!
Fumbles: No... no, you'll live with it.
- One sketch has Batman and Robin bullying, tormenting, and murdering a group of kids for singing the "Batman smells" song. This is all just a story being told by the music teacher for shutting up the kids singing it during rehearsal. Which also counts as this trope as well.
- Cobra Commander executes a guy for making oral sex jokes about him at his roast. But then, he is a bad guy.
- The other citizens of Pastryville trying to kill Bitch Pudding for being a bitch. She's mean, but she previously never did anything to warrant getting killed.
- One sketch involves three cowboys holding down their buddy and sticking him with a branding iron that says "jew lover". All because he bought a jar of picante sauce in New York City.
- Sonic the Hedgehog starts off his last life in Green Hill Zone by speeding through a 35 MPH zone with no rings on him. The police lay down a spike strip to kill him.
- Distracted from Death:
- In the Peanuts sketch where Linus summons the Great Pumpkin, the Pumpkin kills the entire Peanuts crew until just Charlie Brown and Lucy are left. Charlie Brown is talking to Lucy at her "psychiatrist" stand, and briefly looks away while talking. During that moment, the Great Pumpkin kills and eats Lucy.
- Inverted with Smokey the bear, who murdered a baby. Despite placing a baby in a furnace, the judge only gave him "7 million hours of community service" as opposed to the Death Sentence or Life Imprisonment.
- The Dog Bites Back: The Robot Chicken gets his revenge on the Mad Scientist by doing the exact same punishment to him that he suffered through for the first 5 seasons.
- Don't Explain the Joke: In "Horror Movie Big Brother".Freddy Krueger: If Ghostface got voted out, take it from Freddy, that would be a dream come true. You get it? A dream? I kill people in their nightmares, man, it's what I do, it's my thing.
- A parody of Airwolf in "Caffeine-Induced Aneurysm" ends with the message "F***ING GOOGLE IT".
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: The beliefs at work behind this are played totally, unironically straight in one skit where it shows a victory screen for Street Fighter II where Ryu just defeated Chun Li and she's acting like a stereotypical battered spouse making excuses for why her "partner" beat her, while Ryu suddenly realizes with horror that he's "severely beaten a woman".
- Driven to Suicide: Shows up all over the place, from Dora the Explorer jumping off the roof at her quinceanera (after admitting "I've never been able to hear you" to the audience) to Lionel Richie shooting himself after the media reminded the entire world that Nicole Richie, currently in the midst of a prison escape with Paris Hilton, is his daughter.
- Dumbass DJ: Dr. Ryan Stone accidentally calls a couple of these while trying to reach NASA. They annoy her so quickly that she just ends it all by jumping into the vacuum of space.
- Easily Forgiven: Brought up during the "Smurfatar" sketch, by one irate Smurf towards Gargamel.Smurf: People! He beat Clumsy to death with a pipe!
- Enemy Mine: The Scientist and the Robot Chicken join forces in the Season 7 finale to put a stop to the Scientist's son, who took Presidents Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama hostage.
- Everyone Went to School Together: One skit involves Michael Bay meeting with Hasbro executives to discuss Transformers 5. One of his ideas involves Optimus Prime having met all the Autobots and Decepticons in high school in spite of years of continuity.
- Evil Counterpart: Dark Meat, an evil version of the Robot Chicken, who was built by the Scientist's evil son.
- Evolving Credits: Season 6's opening involves the Robot Chicken strapping the Mad Scientist to the bench, turning him into a robot, and making HIM suffer what the chicken was forced to go through for the first 5 seasons.
- Exact Words: In a sketch involving Ted Turner running around dressed as Captain Planet and screaming his name at the top of his lungs, he holds a Corrupt Corporate Executive out a window and says he'll let him go if he signs a pledge to not pollute anymore. He does so, and Ted makes good on his word. By letting him go while he's still hanging out the window.
- Excrement Statement: This is how a man in one skit announces his resignation.Boss: So this is your two weeks, then? [man pisses directly in his face] I see.
- Executive Meddling: Defied In-Universe. Steven Spielberg knows that Hollywood only wants him to make remakes for movies these days, but he's convinced that making movies is still what he should be doing anyway. He decides to make the mother of all remakes by combining pretty much every movie he ever directed into a remake of Saving Private Ryan.
- Explosive Decompression: Little Orphan Annie is given Mars for her sweet sixteen party, and upon visiting it, trips and loses her space suit helmet. Guess what happens next?
- Eye Poke: In one Star Trek spoof, Spock tries to knock out Scotty with a Vulcan nerve pinch. When that doesn't work, he goes for the eye poke.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: A woman walks into a pharmacy with a face hugger attached to her face and asks for a Morning-After pill.
- Face–Heel Turn: Aquaman joins the Legion of Doom after being mistreated for so long. The only reason he was able to join was because he knew the codes to get into the Justice League's headquarters.
- The Faceless: Master Chief ends up screwing up one of his missions because he's too obsessed with the fact that his face is hidden behind his helmet. Even though nobody even cares what he looks like, he keeps bringing up the issue that his face is too important to show anyone.
- Fair-Weather Mentor: Palpatine to Vader, whose growing incompetence causes him to resent and belittle his supposed apprentice.
- Faking the Dead: Wile E. Coyote becomes suicidally depressed after failing to catch the Roadrunner so many times, so he tapes a bag around his head and suffocates to death. At his funeral, he knocks down a trompe l'oeil of a casket, revealing that he faked his death, and fries the mourning Roadrunner at point blank with a flamethrower.
- Family-Friendly Firearms: The G.I. Joes mock the US military for loading actual bullets into their guns instead of lasers and for training soldiers to shoot to kill their targets instead of "harmlessly herding them back to the enemy line." A taste of real combat in Afghanistan quickly proves their own downfall. And Cobra's as well immediately afterward.
- Fantastic Racism: When a salt shaker introduced her new boyfriend to her family, they were all shocked to learn he was pepper.
- Faux Affably Evil: While Emperor Palpatine is humanized by his amusing and vulnerable reactions to the various setbacks his Empire experiences during the Original Trilogy, he still does terrible evil and relishes in his own wickedness.
- Favors for the Sexy: The A-Team won't help an obese and homely young woman rescue her kidnapped father, they reject her because of her appearance and she runs away sobbing. Then comes a blonde, shapely beauty with a similar story, the A Team gladly offer their help.
- Five Stages of Grief: One of the more famous sketches, where a giraffe is trapped in quicksand and goes through all five stages until reaching acceptance...when he hits the bottom of the quicksand. With his neck still above ground.
- Flaming Emblem: One skit mocked the scene in Daredevil where he forms his iconic symbol with fire from a lit cigarette. In the skit, he visits the site hours earlier just so he can meticulously set up his "flaming Ds".
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Most depictions throughout the show look like this. According to a Season 5 sketch it's possible for people in heaven to die and go to super heaven, which is Fluffy Cloud Heaven with more rainbows, fireworks, motorcycles, and electric guitars.
- Foe Yay:
- A Star Wars sketch has some very unambiguous such from Boba Fett for Han Solo.
- Superman decides that he suddenly has the ability to induce short-term memory loss by kissing Lois in order to make her forget that Clark Kent is Superman. Lois questions how he just suddenly has this ability, but he snaps back that he's Superman and that's just the way it works. Why should he stop there though? He uses his new "ability" to start making out with ALL of his villains. Luthor, Brainiac, Darkseid... all of them. And then they show up at the Fortress of Solitude with flowers.
- Follow the Leader: Inspired a whole slew of web-based sketch comedy shows revolving around Rapid-Fire Comedy and extremely short sketches. Even those that aren't necessarily directly inspired by it still pay homage to the series by sticking TV static in-between their sketches.
- For the Evulz: The Mad Scientist, made especially clear the way he taunts Robot Chicken by kidnapping his wife.
- Forced to Watch: The chicken in the opening for Seasons 1 through 5. As of Season 6, the Mad Scientist takes the chicken's place.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- The episode "Suck It" includes "If You Are Reading This You Are Too Close = Crappy Bumper Sticker / Robot Chicken Hearts You for Paying Attention to Details" and "The Puppet Dept. Is the Land of Cute Girls / Matt Has Cool Toys / Fasolo Is the Man of the People but Tom Root Is My Hero" during the Six Million Peso Man sketch.
- Season 3 opener "Werewolf vs. Unicorn" has descriptions for each of the cast members shot during the Season 2 Kill 'em All finale on their tombstones.
- Gambit Roulette: The InuYasha sketch, where a father goes FAR out of his way to make his daughter hate Inuyasha so that he can watch football, which is on at the same time, in peace.
- Genius Bruiser:
- The Mad Scientist. Where after Robot Chicken storms the castle and slaughters everyone in his path, the Scientist is able to block all of Chicken's attacks with no effort.
- Faker for He-Man. He only acts stupid for the sake of the show, but is both physically stronger and more intellectual than He-Man behind the camera.
- Genre Savvy: The Nerd usually knows the source material of whatever the hell is happening to him. Sometimes it doesn't always go as planned, but he knows well enough.
Nerd: Let me just get that for you. [opens the door]
- When he finds the Pool of the Drowned Girl, he imagines how awesome his life will be to have the same "curse" that Ranma has. It didn't turn out as well as he hoped.
- When he dreamed he was in The Wizard of Oz, his knowledge of his companions allowed them to defeat all the flying monkeys.
- When he dreamed he was riding around in Knight Rider, he complains how much it sucks that he got stuck with the remake version. Even his own dreams had limitations though, but he was able to get what he wanted eventually.
- When his Christmas was stolen, he soon realizes that the thief had to be the Grinch. He was annoyed to learn it was the Jim Carrey version instead of the cartoon version, but the Grinch says that it doesn't really matter since a Grinch is a Grinch. In response, the Nerd pushes him off a cliff and kills him.
- And in his crowning moment of genre savviness, in "The Rescue" he's the second to last character to face the chicken during his bloody invasion of the castle... and promptly gets out of his way.
- When the TARDIS and the Doctor show up, he acknowledges that he's never seen the show, but feels he's absorbed enough information about it through nerd osmosis. Being a companion isn't as fun as he expected it to be. He wasn't impressed with the TARDIS being Bigger on the Inside because Snoopy did it first with his dog house. He thinks that the locations that they travel to are sound stages, and solves the problem of the Doctor's greatest enemy by effortlessly knocking over a Dalek.
- Genre Throwback: Surprisingly yes. Introducing Dr. Ball, M.D., perfectly in the style of typical 1970's television show openings. Disco music, funky text graphics and everything. Co-Starring Larry Elsworth as Sam.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Possibly the most gratuitous example is one sketch that says vulgar words that would not be allowed on TV......in the form of a catchy song about homonyms.
- Godwin's Law: Gargamel invokes this upon himself after he is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for racial crimes against The Smurfs. He tries to clarify in his defense that all he was trying to do was completely wipe out and eradicate every last Smurf off the face of the Earth. The judge points out that he just gave the textbook definition of "Genocide".Gargamel: Oh... soooo... me and Hitler, huh?
- Gone Horribly Right:
- In a sketch in "Crushed By A Steamroller On My 53rd Birthday", some scientists decide to bring back a dinosaur, similar to the movie Jurassic Park. Disturbingly enough, the dinosaur is the Totally Radical Robbie Sinclair from Dinosaurs. The scientist's horrified reaction is to shoot him in the head and destroy all of the equipment and research to make sure that never happens ever again.
- Linus is fed up with the Great Pumpkin never appearing on Halloween, so he attempts to summon him by drawing a pentagram, lighting some candles and sacrificing a chicken. The Great Pumpkin appears...cue the Gory Discretion Shot.
- Gratuitous English: The show's name came from a dish on the menu of a West Hollywood Chinese restaurant the show's creators ate at.
- Gratuitous Japanese: The MacGuffin that Goku gets from Ms. Claus in "A Very DBZ Christmas" is called the Tenkaichi Budokai.
- Groin Attack: Or "Nut Shot" as they like to call it. There's a song about it. This includes a literal one in which a squirrel knocks over a bunch of acorns. Some of the many other examples are listed here.
Daenerys: (runs outside the tent) I think I broke his dick!
- In the Nerd's dream about Game of Thrones, he's conscripted into service as a handmaiden to Daenerys Targaryen and gives her sex advice, and...well...
The Nerd: You broke his dick?
Khal Drogo: (subtitled) She broke my dick!
The Nerd: You broke his dick?
Daenerys: I broke his dick!
Khal Drogo: She broke my dick!
The Nerd: You broke his dick?
Daenerys: I broke his dick!
Khal Drogo: She broke my dick!
Daenerys: I did everything you said!
The Nerd: ...OK, full disclosure, I don't know how sex works.
(Khal Drogo chases him, screaming angrily)
- Grossout Show: If it's not being offensive or bloody, it's usually being this. Major examples being the "Cat and Booger" and the "Captain Jack Fantasy" sketch.
- "Nice wang!" *squeek squeek squeek* "Nice poodle!" *squeek squeek squeek* "Nice pretzel!"
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: The inversion from the Death Star prison scene is taken Up to Eleven in one sketch. Han keeps coming up with more and more elaborate excuses, only for the guard on the other side to keep reaching out to check Han's story each time. It gets to the point where he even manages to get Darth Vader on the line to see if there really is a reactor down in the prison (there isn't.)
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Gadget from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers decides to alter her wardrobe a little, turning her jumpsuit into nothing more than an enticing jacket that barely covers up her breasts, leaving her entire (featureless) bottom exposed. Dale and Monterrey Jack both find excuses to run off and masturbate, while Chip tries to remain the voice of reason and tell her that she's not even wearing any pants. Gadget points out the Double Standard presented by this trope, but before long, Chip finds himself unable to hide his sexual arousal and also runs off. Gadget asks Zipper what's going on with all of them, but he's just sitting in the corner masturbating as well.
- Hands Go Down:
- This sketch involving Saved by the Bell and Saw: the cast can escape if they press a button that will torture Screech. They refuse to do so, until they are told they will receive free Corvettes. When Belding explains that it was just a trust exercise, the cast beats up Screech and end up in detention.Slater: So we really don't get Corvettes?
Belding: No. Are there any other questions?
[hands go up]
Belding: Are there any other questions not pertaining to Corvettes?
[hands go down]
- Another great example is a sketch where a school teacher asks if anyone knows the answer to a question. A boy in the front row raises his hand. The teacher freaks out and screams and yells at the kids while flinging away his desk and making death threats. The kid then slowly lowers his hand.
- This sketch involving Saved by the Bell and Saw: the cast can escape if they press a button that will torture Screech. They refuse to do so, until they are told they will receive free Corvettes. When Belding explains that it was just a trust exercise, the cast beats up Screech and end up in detention.
- Has Two Thumbs and...: In the Star Wars special, Lando Calrissian tries to lighten the mood during the dinner with the rebels and Darth Vader with the quip: "Who has two thumbs and betrayed his friends? THIS GUY! *beat* Too Soon?"
- Heads or Tails?: Two-Face determines EVERYTHING he does with the flip of a coin. Flip a coin, go to the bathroom. Flip a coin, walk into the stall. Flip a coin, sit down. Flip a coin, release his bowels. Flip a coin, DON'T WIPE. Flip a coin, DON'T FLUSH.
- Hellish Horse: "My Little Pony, Apocalypse Pony! Punish mankind for their sins!"
- High-Altitude Interrogation: One sketch revolving around Ted Turner becoming Captain Planet sees him smash through the window of a corporate office while two executives are contemplating dumping polluted waste in the Grand Canyon. Turner then proceeds to hold one of the two men out the window until he agrees to sign a clause agreeing to not dump waste in the Grand Canyon at which point Ted Turner would agree to let the guy go.
- Hilarious Outtakes: Spoofed in recurring sketches over the first few seasons.
- Hipster: While not specifically called as such, one woman who claims to be a vegetarian, refuses to eat a burger even though she knows that by not doing so, she is dooming the entire human race to be conquered by the Bovine uprising in the future. The only man who can convince her to change her mind stops everyone in the middle of a gunfight to confront her issues with it, revealing that she only chooses to claim herself as a vegetarian because she feels that it makes her different enough, and as such, superior to others just so she could have something for herself. She eventually gives in and eats the burger, thus saving humanity's future.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: Several examples; see the trope page for details.
- Holy Ground: In a Highlander parody , Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff have to call off their fight when Hilary mentions that The GAP is holy ground. They later attack each other elsewhere.
- Hope Spot: In the Bitch Pudding Special, the villagers escape the burning church only to find a vengeful Bitch Pudding waiting outside for them with a minigun. Cue the massacre.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: Done in a therapy session.
- Hollywood Nerd: The Nerd, as well as "Gyrorobo" the LARPer and Go-bots fanboy.
- I Approved This Message: Parodied: "My name is George W. Bush and I approve this message: Tacos rule!"
- I Do Not Drink Wine: Dracula is kind of a mood-killer at parties.
- I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!:
- The nerd fantasizes about what he'll do with the Most Common Super Power before he jumps into the "Spring Of Drowned Girl" from Ranma ˝. Naturally things don't work out the way he expected.
- Also in the "Narnia" sketch, the Nerd has doubts when the White Witch asks him to kill the Jesus-allegory lion. She sighs, then flashes him, causing him to hypnotically pledge to do whatever she wants.
- I Want My Jetpack: Directly addressed in-universe in a Season 4 sketch. Apparently, the prototype jetpacks would keep catastrophically malfunctioning, so the world's scientists gave up on jetpacks and moved on to making iPods smaller. Which also blew up.
- An Ice Person: Mister Freeze, Captain Cold, Icicle, and Chillblaine all each decide to rob the same museum at once, though nobody told any of the others and Captain Cold forgot Chillblaine existed ("You and America, buddy"). Before Ice has a chance to stop them all with her amazing freeze powers, the museum collapses in on itself after Icicle notices that all four of them demolished a lot of load-bearing walls in the process.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The titles of Season 1 episodes are rejected titles for the show. The titles of the first half of Season 4's episodes form a letter written by someone trapped in a DVD factory who's missing his thumbs:Help me. I'm trapped in a DVD factory. They took my thumbs. Two weeks without food. Tell my mom I love her, but not in that way. Love, Maurice PS: Yes, in that way.
- And the titles of the second half form the DVD factory's response:Dear Consumer: We are a humble factory. Maurice was caught unionizing our labor. President Hu forbids it. Due to constraints of time and budget, the ramblings of Maurice cannot be erased, so sorry. Please do not notify our contractors, especially the animal Keith Crawford.
- Season 5's episode titles seem to be mashup of two completely different films that have nothing to do with the episode, one known for being really good, the other known for being awful, leading to titles like Catch Me If You Kangaroo Jack, Schindler's Bucket List, and Saving Private Gigli.
- Season 6 (for the most part) seems to be named after ways to die (i.e., "Executed by the State", "Punctured Jugular", etc.) Which ends with "In Bed with Loved Ones", revealing it to be a Trauma Conga Line.
- And the titles of the second half form the DVD factory's response:
- Inconvenient Summons:
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Darth Vader, who constantly fails to capture the Rebels, gets relentlessly bullied by the Emperor, and even lacks the ability to Force Choke people.
- Jerk Ass: The Hyena, labeled as "Nature's Asshole", who laughs at other people's misfortunes, such as a drowning hippo. Taken Up to Eleven when he frames a lion for domestic abuse, and then starts hitting on his traumatized wife.
- Joker Immunity: Subverted with the Trope Namer. In a sketch the Joker lampshades the trope and then Batman testifies against him in court, and the Joker gets the death penalty. During execution by electric chair his head explodes.
- Karmic Death: The Mad Scientist is crushed underneath the television sets he forced the chicken to watch after one of his hands is strapped to the Robot Chicken's torture chair.
- Kick the Dog: Dora does this to Swiper when he's freezing to death and she gives him an unloaded pistol.Swiper: You bitch.
- Lampshaded the Obscure Reference: Spoofed the ending to Sleepaway Camp. The director of Sleepaway Camp was amazed that anyone would decide to spoof the movie, or even remembered that it even existed.
- Laser-Guided Karma:
- The Robot Chicken gets his revenge on the Mad Scientist in the Season 6 opening credits by taking the scientist's body and tossing him onto a table, turning him into a robot, strapping him to the chair, and forcing him to watch the show, just as RC had been forced to do for the first 5 seasons.
- The Billy Joel parody, which turns "Pianoman" Up to Eleven from a humblebrag to an unhinged psychotic rant. Billy gets his comeuppance later when one of the bar patrons he's taunting stabs him to death—and then receives everything he's ever dreamed of.MAN: POETIC JUSTICE!!!
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Mafia-installed union reps are brutally killed... by Bob the Builder and crew.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: First off, the show itself has created and established a wide cast of characters who are frequently used for sketches. Almost all of them show up during the Roaring Rampage of Rescue scene in the 100th episode. More than that, this trope is exaggerated in a spoof of Ocean's Eleven, where a team is assembled for The Caper consisting of so many random celebrities that it takes over a minute to prattle off all the names in quick succession.
- Logic Bomb: A pair of robots planning to kill a human want him to finish going to the bathroom first. He tells them that he can't go if he knows they're going to kill him. A logic paradox kicks in and they explode. Later on, Robin Hood realizes that by robbing from the rich and giving to the poor makes the poor rich, which means he has to rob from them and make them poor again, only to give them riches again. The robots explode again.
- Long Title: The 2014 Christmas episode is called "The Robot Chicken Lots of Holidays but Don't Worry Christmas is Still in There Too so Pull the Stick Out of Your Ass Fox News Special."
- Low Speedchase:
- The baby Terminator and Terminator Puppy battle one out on a toddler sized fire-truck toy.
- Snail Cop with a megaphone: "YOUUUU ARE GOIIIIIINGGGG TOOOOOO FAAAAAAAAAASST! PULLLLLLLL OVVEERRRRRR IMMMEDIATELEEEEEEEEEEEEY!"
- Mauve Shirt: Gary the stormtrooper is given enough characterization that he survives though the entirety of episodes 4 - 6. He avoids Darth Vader's wrath after confessing that it was "Bring Your Daughter To Work" day, and he loves his daughter.
- May the Farce Be with You: The Robot Chicken Star Wars specials.
- Meaningful Name: The Mad Scientist seen in the intro is named Fritz Huhnmörder. His last name means "Chicken Killer" in German.
- Medium Blending:
Roadblock: Did we just kill a kid? I mean, Yo Joe, but I think that was a kid.
- The 100th episode has Yogi Bear stealing another picnic basket, but the park ranger stops him by transforming into a live action 5 man Super Sentai-esque team. It was a proposal to bring Yogi Bear into Japan. The Japanese execs were not pleased.
- The "updated" release of 2001: A Space Odyssey simply involves a naked live action porn star jumping around and pretending she's part of the movie.
- One skit involves the G.I. Joe team taking down the kid who was torturing and injuring them. They shot him in the back with the aid of a tank, but Roadblock voices his concern.
- Metaphorically True: In the second Star Wars special, Obi-wan's claim that what he said was true "From a certain point of view" becomes the refrain of a musical number for Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda as they explain themselves to Luke.
- Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Parody: All the writers are "killed" at the end of season 2, at the start of season 3, one survived. The network renewed the show, causing the others to come back as zombies. He manages to keep them from eating him while his cell phone ringtone plays "Thriller" causing the zombies to dance instead, until he can give them jobs, causing them to lose interest in eating him.
- Mob-Boss Suit Fitting: This spoof of Star Wars has Emperor Palpatine flipping out at Darth Vader over the phone for losing the Millennium Falcon, only for Alphonso the barber to cheerfully suggest hiring a bounty hunter.Palpatine: (Hangs up) I just want to sit in a hot bath and cry!Alphonso: You're looking for some guys? What about a bounty hunter? You know, a guy who looks for a guy for money! My sister's dating one!Palpatine: Alphonso, you're a lifesaver!!!
- Most Writers Are Male: Go ahead and compare the amount of Transformers, G.I. Joe, ThunderCats, Masters of the Universe, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sketches to the amount of My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, Barbie, Jem, and Care Bears sketches.
- Motor Mouth: Micro-Machines Man shows off the product... and tosses in some info about his life.
- Multiboobage: In "Kramer vs. Showgirls", an Enterprise crewmember is enticed by the description of alien women with ten breasts apiece.
- Mundane Utility: When Blanka's cellphone runs out of energy in the middle of a business call, he charges it up with his own electricity.
- My Future Self and Me: A parody of Star Trek, where Old Spock meets Young Spock, and tells him of certain future events that would help him avoid certain injuries and other minor inconveniences. Other Spocks from the future show up to warn Spock about other things that will happen, including one Spock who had a sex change. (Old Spock changed back because he didn't like it, though not without consequences). When Spock asks why all these Spocks are showing up, it's revealed that this is the only point in time when they could all meet up to give Ancient Spock a surprise 2000th birthday. He nearly dies from a heart attack.
- My Little Panzer: A kid playing with his Bop-It is quite surprised to learn that he transformed it into a sniper rifle. The toy insisted on him loading the gun with the bullets supplied inside the box, had him memorize a target that he was assigned to kill, and goaded the kid into pulling the trigger. At the trial, the kid testified against the toy and sent him to prison, where he was immediately raped.
- My Little Phony: The Parody Commercial sketch advertising My Little Pony: Apocalypse Ponies, a toyline modeled after the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Peter Parker's spider sense ends up tingling just for the most mundane of reasons, including trying to tell him his cereal's milk was spoiled, that he was about to step into a water puddle, and he was suffering from erectile dysfunction. A doctor later revealed that it was a brain tumor that was causing it, which as it turned out couldn't be removed without killing him.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: If the Mad Scientist hadn't equipped the Chicken with so many cybernetic weapons, he wouldnt have been able to escape, much less kill his former captor. Heck, the opening even shows the Mad Scientist finding the chicken dead on the road. He'd still be dead if the Mad Scientist hadn't revived him in the first place.
- No Ending: Some sketches simply end without exactly providing a payoff.
- No Endor Holocaust: Averted with the titular theory in the DVD of the second Star Wars special.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Popeye to Wimpy when he didn't pay him on Tuesday for his hamburger.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: In one of the Star Wars skits, the heroes are forced to eat dinner with Darth Vader and Boba Fett after Lando betrays them. The atmosphere at the meal is tense at best.
- No-Sell: Bitch Pudding is completely immune to a ghost's attempts to haunt her house, eventually insulting him so much that he leaves.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Lampshaded in "Smurfatar" over the distinct lack of nipples on Smurfette when Garglesmurf sees her bathing."I don't know what you're censoring. Smurfs don't have nipples... Not arousing."
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Martian Manhunter's invisible sidekick, "Martian Boyhunter".
- Oblivious Janitor Cut: Made into a Running Gag in the Star Wars specials.
- Oblivious Mockery: Combined with Actually, I Am Him in the DC Comics special—Sinestro draws "Leonard Snart" for the Legion of Doom's Secret Santa, thinks he's the mailroom clerk with body odor, and starts expostulating about it.Captain Cold: [standing behind him with the name-drawing hat] I'm Leonard Snart!
- Off the Chart: There's a quick take of a boardroom with a chart like this, going off the bottom, and a guy with a pointer panicking: "What did I tell you? This is bad!!!"
- Older Than They Look: Twilight's Edward tells Bella that's he's really 109 years old, despite how young he looks. Bella soon finds out that he acts like a typical old person, including driving 30 miles under the speed limit with your right blinker on, and being completely behind the times when it comes to knowing how modern society works.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: In a short parodying Final Fantasy VII, the main characters run a fast food restaurant. When Sephiroth enters the room, his theme is parodied with the chanting being "Hamburger! Hamburger!"
- The Other Darrin: The Harry Potter film series' having to recast Dumbledore was parodied in the "Pubertus" sketch, where Dumbledore is suddenly a young, hip black man.Harry: Who are you?
Dumbledore: Aw, Harry, it's me! Dumbledo'!
Harry: But Dumbledore isn't-
Dumbledore: Listen, I'm a different actor in every movie!
- Overly Long Gag:
- Once the second season started, the show switched from "machine-gun comedy" to "drag the jokes out as long as humanly possible".
- "Fridge Smell" starts off with Paul and John from The Green Mile literally walking the Green mile. For the entire episode, it shows them walking an entire mile in a small box while the rest of the episode played out.
- Darth Vader's "I've altered the deal, pray I don't alter it any further".
- Overwhelming Exception: The show parodied Franklin Roosevelt's famous "All we have to fear is Fear Itself" speech, where people keep popping up and adding their own fears and phobias to the list. By the end of the gag, it's quite a Long List indeed.
- Parental Favoritism: Odin's parenting is most inequitable. In this skit, he even says "I love my son Thor and not my son Loki" to Loki's face.
- Parody Magic Spell: Frequent in this Harry Potter parody. When Snape tries to seduce Hermione in his "magical jacuzzi", he calls it forth with the spell, "Barry Whiteus, candlelightus, girl-exciteus!" She dispels his lecherous advance with the counterspell, "Pedophilius repelus!"
- Papa Wolf: The neighbor in this Grinch spoof. If you steal his kid's iPad, he will pray to the spirit of vengeance to come out of hell and rip your guts out with a spear.
- The Peeping Tom: Ben Tennyson gets a spy-glass for his 14th birthday. His "real" present was the ability to peep at the naked girl showering next door.
- Perpetual Smiler: The scientist never stops smiling, even when about to be killed by falling televisions.
- Pin-Pulling Teeth: One skit averted it. The soldiers are thrown the pin; we briefly hear "You idio-" before the shack the soldiers were firing at explodes.
- Place Worse Than Death: When the Care Bears ethnically cleanse Care-A-Lot of the Carebear Cousins, the great Cloud Keeper in the Sky turns the place into New Jersey. New Jersey's governor is rather proud of his state's history.
- Pluto Is Expendable:
- A scientist gets mad with power and starts coming up with many other ridiculous theories.
- And also, when Earth asks Pluto if he feels he's been rehabilitated, he just faces everything with a grin and says, "This room must be huge!"
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis: The Nerd recognizes the TARDIS and jumps at the chance to become the Doctor's companion, despite openly saying that he's never seen the show, yet feels he's absorbed enough knowledge about it through nerd osmosis.
- Positive Discrimination: Discussed in the "12 Angry Little People" sketch.Black Juror: Yeah, then the five-oh plant the DNA evidence, you can't trust the po-lice! One time a po-lice take my shoe shine box, beat me with it! My lawdy! ... What? Every black man on the TV gots to be a positive role model?
- Power Perversion Potential: When the nerd becomes the new Green Lantern member, Kilowog teaches him that his powers are limited only by his imagination. He summons Selena Gomez to start slapping Kilowog, so he summons a girl in return. Cue the summoning of lawn chairs by both of them while using the rings to start making both girls strip and make out with each other.
- Pulled From Your Day Off: One episode had a Final Fantasy VII parody set at a fast food joint. Sephiroth the manager arrives, complete with Ominous Latin Chanting, and tells Cloud that he needs to come in on Saturday, but Cloud has Lakers tickets! In the ensuing battle, Sephiroth hits Cloud with the Unpaid Overtime attack and Cloud levels the restaurant with a meteor.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: A recurring sketch parodying This! Is! Sparta!, starting with "This. Isn't. FUNNY!!", regarding Two and a Half Men. The episode also featured Leonidas shouting at other people in this manner, usually kicking them afterward for no reason. The kick was averted when he shouted "This... is... SCRUMPTIOUS!" when having dinner with his family.
- Pungeon Master: The Crypt Keeper is frustrated that the role of "spooky franchise full of puns" has been taken by Monster High.
- Quarter Hour Short: Normal episodes of the show run 11 minutes, though specials are sometimes 22 and the third Star Wars special is 44 minutes long.
- Rapid-Fire Comedy: No sketch in the show (originally) lasted longer than two or three minutes, and many of them were just a few seconds long. Case in point: one sketch of a kung-fu Benjamin Franklin. The entire sketch.Benjamin: "HA! HIYAH! For America!"
- Read the Freaking Manual: In Street Fighter II, Ryu specifically wrote a manual for all the characters, giving detailed schedules of which character was to fight who. Ryu's fighting Sagat, who gives every excuse he can to claim he never got the manual right in front of Ryu. Guile calls up and complains about how E. Honda's stage is a men's bathhouse, and he doesn't want to see everyone's sushi rolls hanging out. Ken complains about how his opponent was 20 minutes late. He thought he was fighting E. Honda, but Ryu corrects him by saying he's fighting a Honda. Ken ends up finding the joy in destroying a car anyway. M. Bison somehow found his way into Q*bert, though he has no problems with casually punching out the titular character.
- Reality Ensues:
- A woman wants her husband to ravish her like Captain Jack Sparrow...and he proceeds to (in his smarmiest Jack Sparrow voice) explain the actual hazards of being a seafaring pirate in the time of the Black Pearl. Needless to say, the wife finds herself extremely turned off soon after."Captain Jack": I've been brushing me teeth for 30 years with rum and seawater. [smiles and displays a mouth full of nastiness] Give us a kiss!
- G.I. Joe is recruited by the US government to train forces in Afghanistan in counter-terrorism tactics. It turns out that their anti-Cobra tactics are completely useless in real-world combat and all of the Joes are quickly massacred. On the other hand, a group of SEALs, using their real-world training, is successfully able to defeat Cobra.
- A woman wants her husband to ravish her like Captain Jack Sparrow...and he proceeds to (in his smarmiest Jack Sparrow voice) explain the actual hazards of being a seafaring pirate in the time of the Black Pearl. Needless to say, the wife finds herself extremely turned off soon after.
- Reality Warper: When the crew of the show is trying to find a way to get their show Un-Canceled, they find that Seth MacFarlane is capable of changing reality by way of Family Guy style Flashback Twists. As an example:Seth: Robot Chicken? I haven't heard about that show since it got renewed.
Executive: Robot Chicken's renewed. [stamp]
- They can't convince him to "Offhandedly refer to the time we all ended world hunger", though, probably because he hadn't heard a more stupid idea since "Scooby Jew".
- Really Gets Around: Captain Kirk learns that he has Class-3 Space Herpes, and needs to go tell everyone he's slept with in the last 5 years that they may have been infected. In the end though, Kirk wonders who gave him the disease in the firstplace. Afterward, a tribble tells him that they need to talk.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Dark Meat, the Evil Counterpart to the Robot Chicken, has red feathers and black robotic enhancements.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning:Kid: "Mommy, there's a monster in my closet!"
Mom: "I know...."
- Red Shirt: A Red Shirt gets his revenge upon Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Uhura. The Enterprise blows up because Kirk traded all the dilithium crystals for holographic pornography, and there was only enough energy left to transport an away team. Toby the red shirt points out that he has to go because you just gotta have a red shirt. After the others realize that they may have to resort to cannibalism to survive, on behalf of all the red shirts who died before him, he's proud to announce he was the only one who brought a gun.
- Reference Overdosed: Pretty much the point of the series.
- Relax-o-Vision: A woman imagines herself dancing with a pony from My Little Pony, only to be snapped back to reality to find a prostitute who's delaying having sex with a donkey. She does the deed, but the viewers go back to seeing flowers being thrown against her face.
- The Reveal: The audience in front of the blond, Stepford Smiler Bloopers host? There's not a single person in the seats; just monstrous disembodied voices, laughing and taunting him.
- Road Sign Reversal: In the spoof of The Cannonball Run, Sherriff Rosco P. Coltrane does this to trick "them Duke Boys" as an homage to The Dukes of Hazzard. Unlike the original this causes them to have a fatal accident.
- Roaring Rampage of Rescue: In the 100th episode, the Robot Chicken finally escapes. The Mad Scientist wasn't pleased about this, so he kidnapped the chicken's wife and forced her to start watching the show in the same manner that he did for the last 5 years. On his way up through the castle, he fights nearly every character who had ever shown up in the series (killing off most of them in the process) before finally confronting the Mad Scientist himself.
- Running Gag: Several.
- The Humping Robot.
- The show getting cancelled at the end of each season, and then renewed at the start of the following season.
- BACK FROM THE DEAD, ASSHOLES!
- During the end credits, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mila Kunis, and Shannon Gold get quite a few interesting roles, such as Arah-say Eller-gay, Ila-may Unis-kay, and Pig Latin Translator, respectively. It varies between episodes.
- When Snoop Dogg makes the scene.Snoop: Hey y'all, snibbity diggity! [gets mauled]
- WHAT A TWEEST!
- People receiving a "Shark BJ" in Season 8.
- All throughout the DC Comics special:
- Lex Luthor keeps getting smacked in the head with a dodgeball.
- Batman lampshades the Rule of Three after Bane sneaks up behind him and breaks his back for a fourth time.RULE OF THREE, ASSHOLE, NOT RULE OF FOUR!
- Two-Face decides EVERYTHING he does in life with the flip of a coin. Flip a coin, punch himself out.
- Superman kissing villains to make them forget why they're villains.
- "BLAM! You all get a taste of the Bitch Pudding!"
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: When the Archie characters are dying off in the style of the "Final Destination" movies, Veronica pays the Grim Reaper a million dollars in exchange for not killing her, and he accepts.
- Secret Santa: The Legion of Doom holds one in the DC Comics special. Luthor has to make a rule against exploding toys, and Toyman complains that he's being persecuted.
- Self-Deprecation: Co-Head Writer Doug Goldstein likes to put himself down in a few of the sketches.
- Series Fauxnale: Every season actually ends in this manner. Season 5's actually takes the cake, with the Robot Chicken escaping and killing nearly every reoccurring character in the series.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: In the Season 5 finale the Robot Chicken reveals his bionic arm is capable of forming whatever weapon he wants: sword, hammer, fist, etc.
- Shout-Out: Maybe not the most affectionate ones, sure...
- The most affectionate, probably, being the end credits music, a chorus of chickens singing "The Gonk" from Dawn of the Dead (1978) soundtrack. The Star Wars specials have the chicken chorus singing the film series' standard end credits theme.
- "The Rescue" took The Oner from Tony Jaa's Tom Yum Goong, and had one of the two recurring nerds lampshade this fact in the middle of the chicken's rampage.
- A reporter in "Junk in the Trunk" is named Jerry Poppendaddi, after the similarly named ska band Cherry Poppin' Daddies.
- Shrunk in the Wash: In the "Big Horror Movie Brother" segment, Ghostface pisses off Freddy by shrinking his iconic sweater.Freddy: YOU FOOL! The label CLEARLY says permanent press!
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: The message of the "Revised Lessons of Dr. Seuss", where in The Lorax learns that morals are lame and ultimately it's better just to sell out.
- Sir Verb-a-Lot: One skit actually features Sir Mix-A-Lot as a member of King Arthur's court. He's the one who suggests the concept of the Round Table, via the song "Table Be Round" (a parody of "Baby Got Back").
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
- Smug Super: Superman. Robot Chicken takes Super Dickery to a whole new level.
- Space Opera: The page image is one of the most brilliant parodies of this.
- Spin-Off: The Stoopid Monkey videos seen here could be counted as a spin off.
- Staging an Intervention:
- Stealth Pun: In one skit, Woody smothers a brain-damaged Buzz with a pillow after Andy uses him as a makeshift bong. What a buzzkill.
- Stop Motion: Animated using a mix of action figures and claymation.
- Storyboarding The Apocalypse How: If you give a mouse a cookie, the world ends in nuclear holocaust. And that's why Mommy had to stab Daddy.
- Story-Breaker Team-Up: All the time and played for laughs. The Mario Brothers in Vice City, and Yoshi in Raccoon City.
- Stylistic Suck: The Mrs. McNally's Third Graders Present sketches.
- Sugar Apocalypse: Among other examples, the Care Bears decide that to save their ratings, they must kill all of the Care Bear cousins in an act of genocide. Not even Don Cheadle offering to put all the cousins in a hotel could stop them. And, to punish the Care Bears for genocide, the Cloud Keeper turns Care-a-Lot into Hell on Earth."Mmm, that's good rainbow."
- "My Little Pony, Apocalypse Pony! Punish mankind for their sins!"
- Summon Bigger Fish: Charlie Brown defeats The Great Pumpkin by siccing The Kite-Eating Tree on it.
- Suspect Existence Failure: Unnecessarily lampshaded just before the end of "Michael Jackson vs. Michael Jackson" sketch.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: Invoked.
- Lampshaded in a sketch about Libertarians from an episode in Season 4. During multiple election years, they chose similar-but-not-copyrighted versions of popular songs such as "We Are The Victors Of The Globe" instead of "We Are The Champions" by Queen and "We Are Close In Group" instead of "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge. They ended up getting sued for copyright violations anyway.
- Earlier on, it was used TWICE...and for the SAME REASON both times—and it was even mentioned in the commentary. Used for a Season 1 sketch about Voltron getting served, where the aired version used a similar version of the DMX song "Get It On The Floor" (which the crew even made lyrics for) for the dance-off, which was apparently so similar to the actual song that it THEN had to be dubbed over with a generic production song (that they recorded MORE new lyrics for) for the DVD. One of the behind-the-scenes extras even shows a couple of seconds of Seth and another crew member recording "WHAT? WHOA!" for the original version of the dance-off theme.
- Also, "Playing With A Car" ("Playing With The Boys") from Season 1 (and the Season 2 DVD menu) when the valets joyride KITT instead of parking it.
- "Let's Have a Party" ("Let's Get It Started") from Season 4 (and the DVD menu) during Castle Greyskull's dance party where Faker goes in place of real He-Man.
- In a crossover of Super Mario Bros. and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, they used takeoffs of the music from both games.
- Synchro-Vox: One of the Star Wars episodes spoof's Conan O'Brien's use of this.
- Take That!: What the show more or less revolves around.
- There's a pretty epic one against the comedian Gallagher. He gets his niece a Teddy Ruxpin doll, and goes to put a tape of his comedy performance into it. The doll comes to life, tries to fight him off, and eventually commits suicide rather than do it. Gallagher then comments that they'll just have to listen to the performance on the family's stereo, at which point his 5 year old niece tries to commit suicide too! And it's one of the highest rated videos on Robot Chicken's site.
- Following in MAD's footsteps, not even Robot Chicken can resist making fun of The Annoying Orange. In this case, showing what each of The Avengers weapons do in their spare time, with Thor's hammer being exceptionally annoying.
- Though if anyone is gonna be portrayed as a moronic drunk mess of a idiot by the Robot Chicken guys, it will ALWAYS be Lindsay Lohan, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Not even Lohan's family was safe in one sketch.
- Tempting Fate: In the second Star Wars special, referred to by name. Emperor Palpatine has arrived on the Death Star and is having a crappy day. He turns to a nearby Red Guard and says, "Wanna see me tempt fate? Could this day get any worse?" No points for guessing what happens later.Palpatine: I did it ironically so I think I'm safe.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
- One skit involving GI Joe has Snow Job getting rejected for missions for not only wanting to go to places where skis wouldn't work, but also for wearing bright white, making him a very shootable target.
- Averted with the Trope Namer where despite having a series of rescues in the ocean, Superman still rejects the idea of letting Aquaman tag along since he could still handle the situation fine without him.
- 30 Minutes, or It's Free!: Astronauts on the Space Station call a pizza place with this policy in order to get unlimited free pizza for the guys at NASA.
- Those Two Guys: Tom Root and Doug Goldstein, who appear in a few sketches once in a while.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill:
- After Batman beats The Joker literally to within one punch of his life, Joker mentions that if Batman doesn't kill him, he'll just break out of jail and keep on killing. Batman contemplates this conundrum and persuades the Gotham legal system to give him the death penalty instead. Commissioner Gordon chooses to not use the sponge during his electrocution.
- Parodied when the Nerd ends up in Arrow. After determining that this is the season 2-4 Arrow with this rule, he tries to go for crippling shots only to constantly shoot people in the eye. He succeeds in hitting the leg, only for the man to bleed to death due to being hit in the femoral artery.
- Throw the Pin: Seen from the outside; two G.I.s sitting in a foxhole with a bunker in the background. One is hit on the helmet with a pin, looks at it quizzically, and a shout of "You idiot—" then the bunker explodes.
- Time-Compression Montage: Played with in a sketch that featured a Jamaican superhero named Montage, whose power was to dilate time by invoking montages. His archenemy is End Credits Man.
- Too Kinky to Torture:
- Too Soon:
Owen: Comedy... It's just tragedy plus time, man.
- In-universe example: Owen makes a joke about "little orphan Ani" while Anakin Skywalker is holding his dead mother's body. Ouch.
Anakin: NO TIME HAS PASSED! I'm holding her dead body in my arms!
- Invoked by Lando after trying to joke about how he betrayed the good guys to the Empire; see the Has Two Thumbs and... entry.
- Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth:
- Boba Fett and the other guy he was with both got spit out of the Sarlacc beast because it just couldn't take their annoying activities anymore.Sarlacc: "Umm, hey guys, I don't mean to be a prick, but... you guys gotta get the fuck out." [belches them out]
- In a different skit, Bitch Pudding's house is invaded by a ghost. Instead of being scared, she curses it out and trash-talks its parents until it agrees to leave town.
- Boba Fett and the other guy he was with both got spit out of the Sarlacc beast because it just couldn't take their annoying activities anymore.
- Toyota Tripwire: A businessman does this on a passing motorcyclist. Why should the cyclist be able to move between the cars while he's stuck in traffic?
- Transformation Sequence: Sailor Moon's transformation sequence provokes an obvious physical reaction in her opponent, much to their mutual embarrassment, and going a long way towards explaining why the monsters she fought were Always Female.Sailor Moon: Should we still fight? Because I don't really want to anymore.
- Trojan Horse: The Legion of Doom tries this on the Justice League. It doesn't work out well for either side.
- Trolling Translator: In a Star Wars parody, Evazan does this for Ponda Baba's innocent question to Luke Skywalker. (The two are architects, according to the skit.)
- Turn Your Head and Cough:Doctor: Okay, turn your head and cough... It's just as I had suspected; you let a stranger grab your balls.
- Un-Canceled: A running joke. Every season finale they get canceled, and the next season they get "uncancelled". One wonders when this trick is going to backfire. Discarded in the 100th episode in favor of a bloody lampshading the show's Adored by the Network status.
- Unfortunate Names: Lando tells Boba Fett that while the Slave I is a pretty neat ride, he's not crazy on the name.
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: A producer for one of Justin Bieber's music videos exclaimed how big a hit this singer will be. She's a teenage lesbian who's open about it in her music and videos! There's nothing the public won't like about this! Then a stage hand tells him the truth.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: Played With. The Doctor is standing on the first base of a baseball diamond. After a few seconds, he just asks "Do you get it?!"
- Villains Out Shopping: Loves this trope. Famous examples are the obvious "Villains in Traffic" and "Darth Vader Calls" skits, both of which are frequently considered a Crowning Moment of Funny by many people.Emperor Palpatine: "What the hell is an aluminum falcon?!"
- "The Villain Sucks" Song: In the Bitch Pudding special, the villagers sing a hymn about her supposed death after celebrating all day with a "The Bitch Is Dead" festival."She made our lives a living hell / So nasty and so mean / And when Bitch Pudding hit the lava / You should have heard her scream!"
- The Voiceless: The Mad Scientist never talks.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Happens quite frequently.
- Vorpal Pillow: In a skit parodying Toy Story 3, Woody has to smother Buzz to death with a pillow after Andy used Buzz as a bong, burning out the insides of his head.
- Wanting Is Better Than Having: After a flood wipes out the Smurf's village, Gargamel finally achieves his goal of eating them. As it turns out, they taste really bad. He throws the food out, and orders Chinese.
- We Are as Mayflies: The characters from A Bug's Life cannot get any sleep because the Mayflies themselves are partying, having sex, giving birth, going through a midlife crisis as husband and wife, and finally dying in the span of three hours. Just when they think they can finally get a moment's rest, the eggs hatch and it starts all over again.
- Weapon of Choice: Seth Green's is the Bat'leth.
- We Will Meet Again: Promptly turned into a Sedgwick Speech with two bullets to the head during a G.I. Joe skit where the US military gets involved.
- Weird Aside: From the cliffhanger of the Enter the Fat One sketch: "Will Joey win the tournament? Will he avenge his former band mates? Does this look infected to you? Find out next time, on Enter the Fat One!"
- Wham Episode: "Fight Club Paradise", mainly because it's the only season by far to end with the series not getting canceled.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Aquaman from Superfriends awkwardly makes his way to a board meeting at the BP oil company (even after nearly spraining his ankle when the secretary tripped him) in order to send the CEO to jail for all the sea life they killed with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The CEO tells him that he can't go to jail because the court case was already settled and BP paid a fine. He asked if Aquaman was going to kick his ass, to which Aquaman responded that he wasn't really planning that. The CEO tried to sincerely but sarcastically insisted they were sorry, and Aquaman returned home. The sea life didn't take the news that well, so they beat him up and killed him.
- Where Da White Women At?: A black scientist programs his Afrobot to say this.
- Whip It Good: In the Castlevania sketch, two werewolf servants and Dracula mock Simon Belmont's weapon of choice. They proceed to get the piss whipped out of them.
- White Glove Test: In the "Bitch Pudding" sketch, Bitch Pudding does this.
- Who's Laughing Now?: It's "Fumbles"... it was always "Fumbles"...
- World of Ham: Boy howdy. This show is filled to the brim with it, since many of the sketches tend to be notorious for overdramatic reactions to the slightest of actions.
- Worthy Opponent: The only person who can match the Robot Chicken's power is Bitch Pudding.
- Wrestler in All of Us/Professional Wrestling:
- In a Season 1 episode (guest-starring Conan O'Brien), there was a wrestling sketch (the Historical Wrestling Federation), featuring Benjamin Franklin and Gandhi in a tag team match against the Wright Brothers. Noted for using ACTUAL Jakks Pacific WWE figures (instead of the standard figures) for the 4 wrestlers (though their original heads were indeed replaced); the 2 commentators (voiced by Seth, doing his cheesiest impersonation of a color commentator and Conan as the driest play-by-play historian you could imagine) were regular figures.
- A Season 2 episode guest-starring Hulk Hogan featured the sketch Hogan's Heroes, where the gang was replaced by (more Jakks Pacific figures, this time from the "WWE Legends" line) Hulk Hogan and his fellow pro wrestlers "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (voiced by Piper himself), "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart, The Iron Sheik, and Randy "Macho Man" Savage.
- Also, since every standard Robot Chicken action figure is animated in stop-motion, and any aerial shots are on wires, many of the close-range combat stunts you see are usually a wrestling-type maneuver.
- You Just Had to Say It: In the second "Star Wars" special, Emperor Palpatine has a terrible day when he visits the Death Star. He says things couldn't possibly get any worse. Cut to a couple hours later and we see the "Return of the Jedi" scene of Darth Vader throwing him over the balcony.
- You Keep Using That Word: (dork voice) Technically speaking, the eponymous fowl is actually a cyborg and not a robot, technically speaking.
- You Must Be This Tall to Ride: Subverted and lampshaded in the sketch, "Attack of the Giant Midget". A midget, turned into a giant by a Mad Scientist, goes on a rampage through an amusement park. It comes to a "you must be this tall" sign, then pauses a moment to let the irony sink in before continuing on its rampage.
- Your Mom: Robot Chicken isn't above doing these every now and then. One notable example is a pull-and-say children's toy."The cow says "MOOOOOOOO"."
"Your mom says "Wabglwgaw" because my cock's in her mouth."