Western Animation: Robotomy

Take the robotic idea of a New York Times Bestselling Children's Book author, add the creative juices of some the geniuses behind Superjail, and make it fit for primetime. What you get is Robotomy, a show about two teenage robots (Thrasher and Blastus) and their attempts to get through high school. Taking place on a robot planet called Insanus, the cast of characters include a Sadist Teacher, a homicidal Spoiled Brat, and a bi-polar Lethal Joke Character. Something is destroyed every other second, and some of the jokes make you wonder if the series would have been better off on [adult swim].

Only lasted one season (which only had ten ELEVEN MINUTE episodes) because of high production costs and a lack of foreign investment to balance it out. The show now has somewhat of a cult following, and had an unsuccessful Facebook campaign to save the show.

It aired on Cartoon Network. (Specifically, right after MAD on Monday nights, since you wouldn't know if we didn't tell you.)

The show did reappear on the short-lived revival of Cartoon Planet between 2012 and 2013 and the entire series was on Netflix until early 2015. On Janaury 9, 2015, the series premiered on the Canadian version of Cartoon Network (not Teletoon; a Cartoon Network feed that's available in Canada).

Watch the teaser.

This show provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: At the beginning of "El Presidente": "I'm starting to think that giving a student body president unchecked power is a bad idea!"
  • Always Save the Girl: In the episode "Bling Thing" Thrasher and Blastus go to Maimy and she is getting attacked by a giant robot that Thrasher tamed, but when losing control of the beast it kills Megawatt.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The short cartoon showing how plants are dangerous showed a tulip ripping a robot child apart, one tree attacking four robots, another robot eating a dog that was urinating on him, and the Gore-Ax adding at the end of the film, "That tree stole a dog's identity and ruined his credit!"
  • Bears Are Bad News: The credits of the penultimate episode show how the robots establishing a new Insanus on a planet inhabited by Care Bears went. It didn't end well.
  • Berserk Button: Quite a few of them.
    • While the Sunshine class is known for not liking violence, don't tell them their performance of Mamma Mia! has been canceled.
    • From "El Presidente": Don't take Blastus's pudding cup.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The whole show. Keep in mind, though, that they are robots that don't bleed (though they do leak coolant), so it's sorta justified.
  • Brain Bleach / Squick: The class's reaction to Dreadnot doing his stretching exercises while the class takes their No Child Left Benign exams.
  • Child Hater: The Tickle-Me-Psycho doll, whose Catch Phrase is "I can't stand kids!" as said with the screechy, grating voice of Gilbert Gottfried.
  • Comedic Sociopathy
  • Crapsack World Gone Mad: Planet Insanus
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Weenus.
  • Closer To Insanus: Thrasher seems to have a little more sense than his best friend Blastus.
  • Combat Tentacles: Frenemy had these.
  • Lighter and Softer: This was darker and edgier compared to the other shows airing on Cartoon Network at the time, but this show was a more- or less-toned-down version of Superjail. It had the gratuitous violence and chaotic, trippy animation, but it's robots getting killed and pummelled, not humans, so there's no need for censorship issues over bloodletting, gruesome, imitable violence, and death. However, during production, the crew had to constantly be reminded that the show was airing in primetime, and warned them not to go too much into [adult swim] content. It didn't stop them from trying.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist and Anyone Can Die: A variation; almost all the robots, including the main characters, get destroyed constantly... but are fixed or rebuilt with no harm done a few minutes later.
  • Deranged Animation: The show's director is the co-creator of Superjail (Christy Karacas), so expect a lot of excessive violence and chaotic sequences that make you wonder if drugs, manic depression, a bad case of attention-deficit disorder, or any combination of the three were involved.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Sunshine class are a class of robots with "faulty psycho chips" who "get their own bus" and are exempt from taking standardized tests in school. I don't see any parallels between this and a special-ed class, do you? And it gets worse when Mrs. Crunshine reveals that her mission is to dispose of non-violent robots who burden society with their feelings by shooting them all into the sun.
    • The "tonic" (a gross yellow slime that comes from a pipe down by the playground, smells and tastes like gasoline and feet, comes in jars, has pacifiers in it, and causes such lovely side effects as tremors, childhood memory loss, terror daydreams, hacking cough, loss of limb control, and slime leaking from the eyes) that the janitor gives Thrasher and Blastus so they can be mutilation ball stars is exactly like steroids or any other performance-enhancing drug (though there is no Drugs Are Bad moral to be learned from this, besides a quick one from Tacklebot about how "Real alpha dogs don't need to drink stuff that comes out of a pipe at the playground).
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Apparently, Insanus explodes daily (for one reason or another), to the point that all of the robots merely get on a spaceship and drive to a new one.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Much like Time Squad, this show made Cartoon Network's already semi-reliable radar its bitch despite a short run. To list all of the offenses would take all day. To put it bluntly, watching this show will make you wonder why the infamously short-lived Joey To The World caused problems with Cartoon Network, but this got greenlit for 10 episodes...and the fact that the censors didn't seem to notice or care (most likely the latter, since this show came around the time that Cartoon Network was bringing back original animated programming and wanted to appeal to the older audiences) that the people they got to do Robotomy are the same ones behind the hyper-violent, hyper-gory, extremely tripped-out [adult swim] show Superjail!.
  • Happily Married: Thrasher's parents.
  • Here We Go Again: The end of "Frenemy"
  • Hopeless Suitor: Thrasher to Maimy.
  • Love Martyr: Even though Maimy rejects Thrasher and uses weapons on him Thrasher still loves her regardless.
  • The Ludovico Technique: After they find Thrasher helping out a plant, his friends and Gore-Ax use this technique to brainwash him into hating plants but since they cannot find the right video (the one they initially used was a Twilight parody that the Gore-Ax called "[the movie] that makes you stupid"), they use one about "talking trains" instead.
    Thrasher: I'm a steam train and a really useful engine.
  • Mood-Swinger: Weenus. Justified in that he has a faulty psycho-chip. He was one of the members of the Sunshine Class in "No Child Left Benign," meaning that, by Insanus' standards, he's mentally-challenged.
  • My Little Panzer: Tickle Me Psycho. The jingle lampshades this:
    Oh, Tickle Me Psycho is big and bad
    He'll maul your mom and eat your dad
    He's not your friend
    He's a furry foe
    His name is Tickle Me Psycho!
  • Recycled In Space: It's Superjail...WITH ROBOTS!
  • Rescue Romance: Thrasher saves Maimy and they have a small moment until the giant monster falls on top of her.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Subverted; the robots act similar to most human teenagers...when they're not destroying each other, getting pummelled into scrap metal, and blowing everything up.
  • Sadist Show
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Dreadnot does not live up to his name. He tortures and sometimes destroys his students to make sure they are ultra-violent drones.
  • Smoke Out: Chief Suckerpunch smokes out after he explains Jockstrap Island but keeps coming back to respond to comments then smoke out again until he only creates a small puff.
    Suckerpunch : Just great, I ran out of magic smoke!
  • Stuff Blowing Up: All too frequent.
  • Sweetie Graffiti: Thrasher's locker.
  • Take That: "Frenemy" is a merciless parody of Facebook, Twitter, and social networking sites in general.
    • On "No Child Left Benign," Blastus tells Thrasher that books are dangerous because his grandmother died from reading. The book she read before she died was about teenaged vampires.
    • The Twilight Take Thats continue in another episode, where Thrasher is forced to watch a movie that shows the danger of plants. Instead, we get a robot version of Twilight and this line:
    Gore-Ax: No, no, no, no. This isn't the movie that makes you hate plants; it's the one that makes you stupid!
    • This is then proceeded with another Take That, when Thrasher is forced to watch a video about talking trains. It ends up getting Thrasher thrown into a mental asylum.
  • Temporal Paradox: Occurs in the first episode. Thrasher and Blastus end up having to destroy their past selves in order to protect the "space-time containment".
  • íThree Amigos!: Thrasher, Blastus, and Weenus.
  • The Teaser: Even though an average episode is only 10 to 11 minutes long, this show does have cold openings.
  • This Is Wrong on So Many Levels: A variant on "No Child Left Benign": After Blastus vomits up the books he stuffs in his mouth and eats his own puke, Thrasher says, "Well, this is all kinds of wrong."
  • Widget Series
  • X Meets Y: Futurama meets Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?, Superjail, and every "two losers in high school try to be like the cool kids" TV show (or film) ever.