Ruby Gloom (2006-2008) is a Canadian Animated Show originally created as a tie-in with a line of stationery. Despite the melancholy feel of said stationery, the show is fairly upbeat; in fact, it's a prime example of the Perky Goth mentality.Two seasons, a combined 40 episodes, were released, although at somewhat hectic intervals across different regions.This show contains examples of:
Misery is always hit by lightning, only to say "ouch" and come back ten seconds later in best shape.
Inverted in one episode, where Misery isn't hurt at all—the other characters are getting hurt instead.
Ruby gets her own taste of pain in "Disaster Becomes You" when she has Misery's bad luck and in "I'll Be Home for Misery" when Misery's cousin Mayhem gives her a strong handshake. Though the "I'll Be Home for Misery" example turns out to be part of a dream.
Animated Actors: Some of the wraparound sketches ("Ruby's Blooper Reel") portray the characters as these, although unlike many examples of this trope, their personalities don't seem to change much when out-of-character.
Bait and Switch: In "Skull in the Family" after Ma sees Iris and yells "Evil eye!" for a second Iris appears to be offended, but then she starts thinking that "Evil Eye" is supposed to be some kind of staring game.
Balloon Belly: In "Broken Records" Iris has one when trying to break the record for eating the most of Gloomsville's stinkiest cheese; gorgonlimburgerazola. It disappears as soon as she gives up.
Mr. Buns apparently acquired one when he went on vacation to France and stocked up on the local quisine.
Also, that comment about Misery's family having a high lead content in their blood? It's the reason they're able to return from outer space in the episode Out Of This World. Though that time she claimed it was iron rather than lead, which actually makes more sense in both cases.
Bubble Pipe: Whoever's playing the role of Detective Danger in the Detective Danger game often has one, along with the usual hat.
Centipede's Dilemma: Throughout the second half of "Lucky Me" Ruby asks Skull Boy questions that he answers perfectly without thinking when up to that point he'd had trouble with even the simplest questions after losing his lucky charm. Skull Boy falls apart once this is actually pointed out to him.
Ruby does something similar for Venus in "Venus de Gloomsville," encouraging her to just relax or have fun with her writing.
In the career day skit, Frank and Len were doing guitar riffs corresponding to different careers, but choked when they got to 'guitar player'.
Scaredy was doing surprisingly well as Frank and Len's drummer until Ruby and Skull Boy pointed out how confident and unafraid he was behind the kit, which caused him to become timid and nervous all over again.
Cheerful Child: The triplets Myopic, Malice and Misbegotten from "I'll Be Home for Misery", which is odd considering they come from a family of Eeyores.
Dark Is Not Evil: Intentionally exemplifies this trope. Ruby's friends include a two-headed Frankenstein's Monster, an animate skeleton, a banshee, a cyclops, a black cat, a bat, a ghost, a venus flytrap, a doll and three ravens. Despite being traditionally being monstrous or "dark", all are decidedly not evil, and very friendly, if a bit eccentric.
Decade Dissonance: The show takes place in an odd timeline in regard to technology. The gang has an old timey radio and no television, yet Frank and Len have modern musical instruments.
And, oddly, their amp seems to be coal powered.
Ruby has a portable music player... which is a tiny phonograph that she listens to with earbuds.
Skull Boy: A horseshoe. Poe: Well that shouldn't be hard to spot. Skull Boy: A seahorse horseshoe. Others: Ohhhhhh. Skull Boy: For a baby seahorse. Others: Ohhhh... Skull Boy: A baby miniature seahorse. Others: Oh.
Ruby and Iris have this exchange in "Broken Records":
Ruby: How about this one, Iris? The record for balancing cantaloupes. Iris: That's easy. Ruby: While on a unicycle. Iris: No problem. Ruby: On a tightrope. Ruby: And whistling Mozart. Ruby: In a tornado.
Establishing Character Moment: The first episode gives introductory scenes to most of the cast. The best one may be Misery's, where a few sentences into an already gloomy conversation, she puts the always-optimistic Ruby at a temporary loss for words by describing her own genetic predisposition toward being struck by lightning.
Two seconds later, Ruby further establishes her own character by changing the subject and managing to lift her spirits a little anyway.
Glass-Shattering Sound: Misery sings beautifully when asleep, but if she tries to sing when awake, this is usually the result. Iris' attempt at breaking the record for "highest-pitched shriek" in "Broken Records" has the same effect.
Good Angel, Bad Angel: The two appear to Boo Boo in "Shaken, Not Scared" (with one of the Mr. Whites playing the role of the "good" angel), but rather than encouraging him to do good or bad, they tell him to "haunt" and "prank", respectively.
Gosh Hornet: Misery and Malady both get attacked by bees and, despite the swelling, don't seem too bothered.
Gossip Evolution: The ending skit for "Disaster Becomes You" is based around this.
Happy Rain: In keeping with the show's Perky Goth aesthetic, the sky is perpetually overcast and the characters generally enjoy showers and thunderstorms. When Misery takes a trip and the sun comes out, things go downhill very quickly, and everyone's glad to see Misery (and the bad weather) return.
Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Ruby and Iris sing in off-key, off-rhythm shouts that, although still not totally realistic, are not as overdone as some examples of this trope. Misery (while awake) does sing in the top-of-her-lungs, randomly-pitched shrieking wail that exemplifies this trope, but it's justified, as she appears to actually be a banshee.
Except in "Hair-Less", when Misery drops the shrieking and sings just fine, awake.
Identity Amnesia: Skull Boy gets this via the usual method in "Forget Me Not". Frank and Len, being somewhat Genre Savvy, get the idea to hit him on the head a second time early on, but it's not until the end of the episode that they finally get around to it, by which time Skull Boy has regained most of his memory on his own.
I'm Good: Iris says this all the time whenever her boundless energy and recklessness gets the better of her. Also, yet again, Misery's deadpan "Ow"s whenever something happens to her.
It's Been Done: Venus struggles with this during "Venus de Gloomsville."
It Was Here, I Swear: Skull Boy trying to introduce the guys to the Skeletunes in "Skull Boys Don't Cry". The first two times they stay hidden to mess with him as a joke, but they do show up the third time.
It Was with You All Along: In "Hair-less" Skull Boy leaves to find where he belongs, only to realise at the end he sees Ruby and all their other friends as his family.
Poe: ...The bats will not harm you, I told them, "Let pass!" The ghouls are a problem, best watch your... [Edgar and Allen stop playing and give him a surprised look] Poe: ...em... bottom...
Late to the Punchline: In "Broken Records" when Iris tells a joke and it bombs, Ruby starts laughing after about a minute, saying she just got it. It's not made clear whether she really was late to the punchline or she was just trying to humor Iris.
Light Is Not Good: In an episode when Misery goes away the dark clouds covering the sky of their home place instantly disappear; while the main characters are delighted at first then the sun's rays increase the temperature drastically and everyone tries to get Misery home.
Like an Old Married Couple: When Skull Boy temporarily moved in with Poe they started acting like a couple on the verge of divorce, complete with Ruby acting like a marriage counselor.
Literal Metaphor: "Science Fair or Foul" has Misery literally catching lightning in a bottle.
Living Toys: Mr. Buns is a strange example. The other characters treat him as if he's alive, and he seems to do things when he's not on-screen... but whenever he's on-screen, he's just a lifeless sock-bunny. In the most extreme case, he's fencing with Poe from just off-screen, only for the sword to drop the moment he's visible in the frame.
Many people think that Ruby Gloom herself is, in fact, a Living Doll. This is supported by her hobby of sewing, pure white skin, and the stitches around her eyes.
Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Misery, after a fashion. Though she's incredibly gloomy and pessimistic, most of her instances of happiness and laughter come from being with her friends.
Madness Mantra: Whenever Misery's relatives visit, she often ends up repeating "Family visits are always fun!" while giving herself some blunt force trauma to the head.
Mad Scientist: Mr. Mummbles sure ACTS like one, except he has a few differences from the stereotype: his project is a funpark, and he seems to be Scottish.
Skull Boy adopts this persona when building his robot in "Science Fair or Foul", complete with the usual accent and shouting, "IT'S ALIVE!".
Minimalist Cast: The bulk of episodes generally only feature the main cast. The exceptions usually either become recurring characters in their own right or are related to Misery.
Mirror-Cracking Ugly: Misery has cracked mirrors, as well as other things made of glass, just by looking at them.
Misapplied Phlebotinum: In "Science Fair or Foul" Skull Boy builds a robot dad to help him make a science project. If Skull Boy was able to build a working robot he could have just made that his project.
Out-of-Character Moment: In "Ruby Cubed" Iris and Misery childishly and kind of cruelly tease Skull Boy about being the romantic male lead. While it's arguable if that's out of character for Iris, it's definitely out of character for Misery.
Parental Bonus: Poe quips in "Missing Buns", "If the button fits, you must acquits!" How many kids would get that?
People Puppets: Iris does this with Ruby, Skull Boy and Scaredy Bat in the Pulling Strings short, making them dance around. They get their own back by making her a puppet and make her do... nothing. For Iris, this is unbearable.
Perky Goth: Ruby fits this trope perfectly, being bright, cheerful and friendly in every situation. The only thing that can get her down is bright colors. The strange thing is that the merchandise on which the show was based kind of gave Ruby a very melancholic feel, but whatever.
Everyone in this show is a Perky Goth to an extent.
Plague of Good Fortune: Every Friday the 13th, everyone in Misery's family has extraordinarily good luck and their normally extraordinarily bad luck is spread to those around them.
Misery has so much good luck to make up for that she even gains Fertile Feet.
Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Three have happened over the course of the show. They include Ruby and Iris in "Broken Records", Skull Boy and Poe in "Gloomates", and Frank and Len in "Frank and Len: Unplugged".
Series Continuity Error: In "Forget Me Not" when Skull Boy regains his memory, among the clips from past episodes is one of the ruined Gloomsville World's Fairs from "Deja Vu Again" even though he shouldn't remember that.
Spoof Aesop: From "Shaken not Scared": Pranking is bad, but haunting is okay.
Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Poe-ranoia" when Poe comes up with a name for the mysterious new neighbor it just happens to be his real name; Mr. Mummbles. Though for all we know Poe could have been one M off.
Trrrilling Rrrs: Mr. Mummbles, Scaredy, Poe…even Skull Boy gets in on the act at one point.
Tropaholics Anonymous: Much to his horror, Boo Boo gets sent to group therapy in "Shaken, Not Scared" in order to overcome his addiction to pranking. His fellow attendees include a troll who doesn't want to live under bridges, and a Headless Horseman who'd rather use his pumpkin cranium as a basketball.
Vague Age: Pretty much everyone. Ruby is six years old and Iris may be the same age, If not older, and Boo Boo is also a kid. Skull Boy, Misery, Frank and Len are all obviously teenagers. Scaredy Bat is also an adult, despite his cowardice. Poe is the oldest. Mr. Buns and Venus are both the youngest since they were both created. It is unclear how old Doom Kitty is.
Weird Moon: The moon is alive. Other than singing the theme song, it has no additional dialogue.
Although it did giggle in one episode.
What Happened to the Mouse?: In "Last Train to Gloomsville: Part 1" the engineer falls off the train. We never find out what became of him.
In "Yam Ween" we see Iris got Misery's name in the draw, but we don't see what she got her.
With Catlike Tread: Iris in "Yam Ween" when attempting to peak at the presents and seeing the chime she thought she broke was still broken.
"AHH! I mean... Ahh...IT'S STILL BROKEN!"
Wraparound Background: Parodically lampshaded during the episode "Name that Toon". As Skull Boy leads Scaredy Bat past the backdrop sheets of his cartoon, he says he'll try to avoid Repeat Pans, another name for this trope, and Scaredy Bat agrees that they invariably look cheesy. This entire sequence is shot in front of a Wraparound Background, made particularly obvious as the same two distinctive backdrop sheets are repeated over and over.
Lampshaded again in "Last Train to Gloomsville" when Frank and Len admire the scenery outside the train. "Cool house! Nice boulder! Cool rickshaw! Cool house! Nice boulder! ... Rickshaw..."
Frank: Does anything about this seem strange to you? Len: No. Frank: Me neither.
Write Who You Know: Occurs in-universe in "Name That Toon", where Skull Boy makes all the characters in his animated film blatant stand-ins for everyone in the mansion, including himself as an Author Avatar. He also wants everybody to voice their animated counterparts, but ends up with awkward situations like Misery wanting to voice the Captain Ersatz of Iris and vice-versa.
You Mean Xmas: Instead of Christmas (or Halloween) they celebrate Yam Ween.
Your Makeup Is Running: Just as every member of Misery's family has tears permanently running down their face, Mildew and Morose's makeup is permanently running.
Your Mind Makes It Real: In one episode Misery thinks she got a cold from a sick bunny and starts experiencing very real symptoms. Once she learns the bunny never had a cold her symptoms immediately vanish.