Western Animation: Squidbillies
"My dreams are all dead and buried.
Sometimes I wish the Sun would just explode.
When God comes and calls me to his kingdom,
I'll take all ya sons-a'-bitches when I go."
In the hills of Georgia live a family of hillbillies. They're also squids. These squidbillies drink, make meth, mud-bog, and destroy property. The characters are:
- Early Cuyler, an extremely violent and drunk redneck. His hat always changes between shows, usually saying something like "Booty Hunter", "Sonny Lied!", or "Guns Don't Kill People, I Do". He has gone to prison and is often scolded by the sheriff for making pinecone moonshine or holding up the convenience store. He was made CEO of the Corrupt Corporate Executive's company to act as a scapegoat.
- Rusty Cuyler, Early's son. He is more na´ve and morally centered, but is also dumb and gullible. He is a "Well Done, Son!" Guy.
- Granny Cuyler, the feeble and senile mother of Early and Lil (maybe their granny or great granny, it's unclear the exact relation). She often sees visions of squid-Jesus.
- Lil, who runs a meth operation/beauty salon. Not quite a common character.
- The Sheriff, who is a nice guy that usually just complains about crimes happening in the area. Dies fairly often (like most of the characters), but is replaced by another sheriff from a sheriff clone farm. Unlike the Cuylers, he's human(ish).
- Dan Halen, the Corrupt Corporate Executive and owner of Dan Halen Industries. His company appears to make sheetrock, but really dabbles in violent mutant corn, corrosive body spray, baby death traps, and foreign arms sales. Dan is a (usually) naked, pear-shaped blob of flesh with long red hair; good luck assigning a species to him. Revealed in an episode focused on him to have existed throughout the history of mankind in the exact same form, and to have been a part of many terrible events. Including the German Nazi Party.
The show is one of the more controversial series to air on [adult swim]
; the pilot debuted on April Fools' Day
2004, to horrible reviews (in the show's defense, the premiere was a rough cut - "rough cut" here meaning that some portions were not even fully animated). However, when the series was officially premiered in October 2005, the series slowly but surely found its niche.It now has something of a cult following and is one of Adult Swim's
Do Not Touch The Tropes!
- Abusive Parents: Early has knifed and shot Rusty a few times, among other things.
- Early's own father was abusive and neglectful, and the only time he'd spend time with his son would be to play catch...with BB pellets.
- Accidental Hero: Played straight and Lampshaded by Dan Halen, when he and the interviewer are going through his history. Among horrid atrocities in history that Dan Halen is seen taking part of, there is one image that shows him heroically fighting a dragon on a pegasus. He then claims that it was just an accident.
- The Alcoholic: Early Cuyler is rarely without his homemade pine cone "party liquor".
Early: Damn don't time fly when you're drunk as hell!
- Artistic License: Aside from them being squids on land, in one episode Early and Granny drown in the lake. They're squids so they should be able to breathe underwater or at the least swim.
- Art Shift: An extreme one in "Drone to the Bone" during the drone battling montage
- Ass Shove: After unwisely pissing off a former wrestler, Early ends up getting his ass kicked and Granny shoved up there as well.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The mutated corn crop that Dan Halen produced ends up developing a consciousness and soon kills Dan Halen and takes over Dougal County as a eco-terrorist, forcing everyone to spend their days sorting bottles to be recycled. Early, unsuccessfully attempts a revolution against it, as he is forced by the corn to use solar energy.
- Awesome McCoolname: Dan Halen, Hershel Walker Cuyler Them Dogs Is Hell Don't They, Russell Jesse James Kenny the gambler Rogers #3 the intimidator Dale Earnhardt America's Number 1 Cuyler.
- Ax-Crazy: Early. In 'Ga-Ga-Ghost' he even says the only reason he doesn't kill everything in sight is because he wants to go to heaven.
- Berserk Button: Early Cuyler is basically a control board with every button being a berserk button. It's basically best to stay away from him, as it's impossible to predict what's going to set him off.
- Black Comedy: Most of Dan Halen's products. See above.
- Black Comedy Cannibalism: While hiding in a shelter from the Y2K, without food, Early deep-fried and planned to eat a distant relative who happened to be visiting.
- Black Comedy Rape: When showing Rusty how to be a man, Early rapes Krystal in her sleep. He gets arrested, but of course, is freed instantly after.
- Bloody Hilarious: Notably one of Adult Swim's gorier shows.
- Body Horror: Dan Halen's genetically engineered chickens in "Wing Nut", Granny's plastic surgery in "Breast Implants"
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: After a Rusty explains all the crap that Early has put his family through warranting an apology, in a very long montage, Early claims that he barely remembers the occurrences and labels them as random isolated incidents, despite Granny's claims that Early had them do practice runs of some of them.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Thankfully averted when Early tries to have his way with a passed out Lil, after much sexual frustration, only stopping due to the criticization of Granny and Early. Not that it matters because right after Early leaves Granny decides to do the exact same thing.
- Butt Monkey: Granny Cuyler and the Sheriff, but just about everyone else could qualify at times, too.
- Iron Butt Monkey: Granny Cuyler once had her skeleton ripped out of her after pulling Early's truck-boat-truck up a mountain (don't ask why a squid would even have a skeleton in the first place) and was (sort of) back to normal in the very next scene (see Snapback for more) It should be known that this is not the only instance of abuse Granny suffers in the series.
- Similarly, the Sheriff is Made of Plasticine, but you'd be surprised how well he survives losing his organs, losing his head, getting savagely beat up, etc. But it may be because he's a genetically engineered plant man who is constantly replaced by the next ripest Sheriff of the crop.
- Captain Ersatz: Tom Treebow, Helmsman trophy winner, and quarterback of the Crocodiles of the Peninsular State just below Georgia.
- Caught Up in the Rapture: Squid-Jesus accidentally turns on the Rapture and everyone starts floating up to heaven. Dan Halen, not to be left behind, takes a rocket pack and flies up to heaven to cut in line. Heaven apparently has a limit to how many people can get in, because Dan was the last person allowed in, leaving the Sheriff to go back down. Meanwhile, the Reverend is still down on Earth, lamenting about not being chosen.
"Why did he reject me?! THEY EVEN TOOK THE MEXICANS FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!! They can't even pray in English!"
- Cephalothorax: Both Dan Halen and the Reverend.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Tom Treebow, full stop.
Rusty: So, Jesus is here with us right now?
Yes, he's right there... he's wearing an invisibility cloak. Just like the Predator
Sheriff: (beat) What Tom is trying to say...
Tom Treebow: Watch out Jesus he's got a laser!
- Coming-of-Age Story: A very warped one for Rusty.
- Complexity Addiction: Dan Halen's plots are usually far more complex than the end goal justifies, such as using a massive clone army to rig the vote to revoke Dougal County's dry Sunday status, making the whole city blind so as to win a softball game, or building a copy of the Large Hadron Collider to open a black hole for the sole purpose of disposal of a dead hooker.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Dan Halen in spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds. When his "Baby Hammock" product is described by parents as a baby death trap, he sues the parents for infringing on his copyright for a product called the "Baby Death Trap."
- When Dan releases a cloud of flesh melting body spray over Dougal County, he disregards the Sheriff's pleas to stop. He only relents when he realizes that he's giving it away for free and not making a penny out of it
- Couch Gag: Around Season 3 or 4, nearly every episode opens with a remix of the shows 6 theme songs.
- Crapsack World: Dougal County. A town where being attacked by criminally insane squids, haunted by fire-ant ghosts, and disemboweled by giant health-obsessed amphibians is just another day.
- Deal with the Devil: Rusty does this to acquire mad face-melting shredding guitar skills.
- And in order to get back at Rusty, so does Early.
- Dead Baby Humor: In the pilot, where Dan Halen's baby hammock ends up in the death of numerous babies. He also sells a "Baby Death Trap" being a hazardous electrified stuffed animal.
- Another episode features Dan Halen threatening the town to upgrade to the next level cable system or he'll drop a baby from the top of his building. In his defense, the baby was Chinese.
- In the episode Lerm, it's also revealed that Early likes to commit vehicular homicide as a hobby. One of them he hits was holding a baby which flies off the side of the vehicle. It likely did not survive.
- Deep South: The main setting of the show
- Demoted to Extra: Lil, as she was featured somewhat prominently in the early episodes, but now makes pretty much only one major appearance per season.
- Deranged Animation
- Different in Every Episode: Early's hats.
- The opening theme, on occasion
- Disproportionate Retribution: During a class reunion, Sheriff blows Dan Halen's brains out for all the times he bullied him in high school.
- Anytime Early wants revenge for something, it's likely that it'll be a miniscule offense, such as beating the hell out of a radio host to for talking down to him.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The show started out with a bit of a satire take on the Southern life, but soon discarded the concept and decided to keep things batshit insane.
- Satan, in episode 25, is a cool and malicious being with a darkly-comedic streak; in episode 9 (his debut) he's a motormouthed, probably drug-addled schizoid who constantly swears, such words being dubbed over with words like "sweet potatoes" and "favorite".
- The malformed Sheriff clone Denny starts out by shooting in the head anyone not melted by Dan Halen's body spray cloud and whittling down his own arm into a toothpick, but by the musical episode has become a Hypercompetent Sidekick who correctly identifies the raw uranium "yellow cake" and deduces Al-Quaeda's terrorist plan
- The show having a narrator. He eventually vanished from the show.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Ultimate Party Platter chickens from "Wing Nut". They are essentially chickens genetically engineered to the point where their entire body consists of nothing but their wings, they naturally excrete hot sauce from their pores, their bowls burst with Bleu Cheese, and their limbs are made from celery sticks. And yes, they are breathing and alive.
- And, if Dan Halen is to be believed, they defecate their own "To Go" box.
- Dan Halen is revealed to be this in "Pile M for Murder" where it is strongly implied that he is a demon. It's enough to give you a three weeks worth supply of nightmares. Seriously, take a look◊
- Enhance Button: Parodied in "Terminus Trouble" when Early tries enhancing the video of him beating up an Atlanta Braves player...which is impossible on a VCR...and in general.
- Everything Is Better With Explosions: Oh boy, do the writers believe it. There are enough explosions to make Michael Bay jealous.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods
- Fan Disservice: Seeing Krystal in a bikini is a great method to traumatizing your enemies.
- Faux Documentary: The Documentary over the Appalachian Mud Squid, which predictably doesn't go well for the host, and even worse for the cameraman who is killed in the process.
- Another one is shown for Dan Halen's multiple business ventures/horrid deeds.
- For the Evulz: Not so much Dan Halen's motives (he's more into greed), as it is his standard operating procedure, cramming as much unnecessary pain and suffering as he can into every business venture.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: In one episode, Early sues an amusement park for the death of Granny, despite that it was none other than his fault, and she was not actually dead.
- "Get out of Jail Free" Card: To a ridiculous and irrational extent with Sheriff, constantly releasing Early to the point where he may as well not be taken to jail at all.
- Gigantic Gulp: Krystal is rarely without one, though as fat as she is it's hardly a shocker.
- Gorn: A fair amount but not nearly as much as other [adult swim] shows such as Metalocalypse or Super Jail.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Rusty uses Granny for this when the Cuylers are fighting Early for a ration of meat when they were hiding in a shelter from the Y2K.
- Grossout Show: Taken Up to Eleven in "Young, Dumb, and Full of Gums"
- Half-Human Hybrid: Rusty. He's the son of Early and gigantic ladybeast Krystal.
- Some clearer examples would be Macho Man Randy Cuyler, the son of Rusty and Tammi, and both of Derwood's kids.
- Hammerspace: Early uses it constantly, although it takes the form of his body cavity.
- In-Joke: Some fans of the show have stated that some of the jokes make much more sense if you were raised in the south.
- Juggalo: Parodied in "Clowny Freaks".
- Karma Houdini: Early Cuyler is frequently locked up in jail for his violent behavior, only to be let go by the Sheriff. Really, the Sheriff always seems to do this to everyone he 'arrests'.
- And that's saying nothing about all of the terrible things Dan Halen has gotten away with.
- Lemony Narrator: "Fifteen years ago, the world was a much different place. The Berlin wall had just crumbled. I thought I could handle cocaine. I really did. I lost everything."
- Leeroy Jenkins: Early pulls this in "Flight of the Deep Fried Pine Booby," complete with shouting his own name.
- Limited Animation: Much like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, note the characters only have one walking animation. It's mostly noticeable with the Sheriff, whose legs don't actually move, only his feet rotate in 90░ arcs while his body moves in a direction.
- Lottery Of Doom: What the Tricky Two lottery ends up being. Naturally, after Early finds out what he 'wins' (he gets to be pulled apart by two monster trucks), he gives his 'prize' to Granny. The trucks fail to tear Granny apart, they just stretch her to hell and back.
- May Contain Evil: Dan Halen's products.
- Mega Corp.: Dan Halen Sheetrock International.
Narrator: "That large building over there is Dan Halen Sheetrock; they specialize in Sheetrock, Sheetrock mud, Sheetrock screws, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, global mass media, third world covert military operations and, THE BABY HAMMOCK!"
- Mr. Seahorse: In "Butt Trouble" Rusty ends up giving birth to an egg, which results in Early, thinking that Rusty has gotten too feminine needs to man up. Later, Early lays one as well and shows over protection for it. In the end it's revealed that it happened because the Cuylers had recently been drinking an unhealthy amount of mercury. Which also resulted in the eggs hatching thousands of vampire squids.
- Morton's Fork: When Early wars against air force drones intruding on his "land" (it was actually a target practice field that Early and Granny had barged into thinking it was a new neighborhood) he threatens them that if they don't surrender, he'd detonate a bomb strapped to Granny. And if they don't, she still blows up.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: When Krystal wins the lottery, Dan Halen begins courting her to mooch off the lottery money. Early doesn't take it too well, and tries to kill Dan Halen. Unfortunately he ends up killing a Mexican disguised as Dan Halen, who was also trying to mooch off the lottery money.
- Musical Episode: "America: Why I Love Her".
- Negative Continuity: How many times has the world exploded in this series?
- Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers for 'Gun of a Son' portray the episode revolving around Early shooting Rusty but in the actual episode Early quickly blames it on his grandson and is hardly mentioned until the end of the episode, the rest of the episode revolves around Early finding a new weapon to use since he broke his sawed-off shotgun.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: The hippies that appear in "Earth Worst", who try to keep Dan Halen from building an amusement park over the forest. Knowing Dan Halen, things don't go well for them.
- Only Sane Man: Rusty Cuyler, to an extent.
- Out of Focus: Lil' spends most of seasons 2&3 face down in her own vomit. It's revealed she's secretly running a pot growing operation in the basement through a hole in the floor.
- Parental Favoritism: After Li'l accidentally births a large breed of baby squids, one of them appears to imitate Early, thus resulting in Early favoring him much over Rusty, or the other babies whom he tried to drown. The fact that the child left Early to be continuously run over by a nearly mile long train and stealing his hat, didn't deter Early from dubbing him as "The Good One".
- Plot Immunity: Apparently, only the main characters are capable of using the excessive Snap Back. For example, in "Thou Shall Not Drill" a series of events leads to the awakening of a monster known as the Red Whiskered Shalemander. It eats Granny, and disembowels P. Nut, who was introduced in that episode. Of course Granny lived to the next episode but P. Nut didn't. The Cuylers also had a moment of silence on the night of his death but apparently couldn't care less about their "deceased" grandmother. So it may be implied that they are aware of their immortality.
- Police Are Useless: The Sheriff, who literally lets the prisoners waltz out of jail through revolving doors. In another instance he witnesses a crippled kid get run over by a truck (the driver doesn't even bother to stop before or after running over him) and rather than get in his car and chase down the vehicular homicidal maniac, he just complains that now the junior football season is moot and returns to his ballet class.
- Quarter Hour Short
- Reading Is Cool Aesop: Subverted at the end of "The Liar, The Bitch, and the Bored Rube" where the book fair host reveals that most famous authors are actually illiterate and just type random crap, adding a space bar when a word looks to long.
- Really 700 Years Old: Dan Halen is really 20,000 years old and have been behind countless acts of evil, like helping Hitler, causing the Black Death, killing dozens in the French Revolution and nailing Jesus to the cross.
- He also single handedly killed the dinosaurs.
- Running Gag: Early has a different hat in every episode.
- Refuge in Audacity: Dan Halen somehow gets away with being shown to be an avid animal abuser, an enslaver of small unclothed children, and the runner of a camp where teens are dumped into a volcano all on live-television.
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: Early's Weapon of Choice.
- Scenery Porn: Believe it or not, though the character designs may be intentionally rough, the backgrounds are actually quite stylistic and admirable.
- Shout-Out: The title of episode 25, "Mephistopholes Traveled Below To A Southern State Whose State Motto Is 'Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation'", is another way of saying the name of the Charlie Daniels Band song "The Devil Went Down To Georgia".
- Tom Treebow of the Crocodiles of the University of the Peninsular State, Just Below Georgia.
- That's in addition to other references to Southeastern Conference football, such as the credits scene where Early and T-Pain record a rap with the lyrics "I like driving in my truck / Auburn sucks!"
- Snapback: Episodes often end with everyone dying.
- Characters will be horrifically injured and then back to normal in the same scene.
- Self-Deprecation: One episode ends with Granny and Squid Jesus turning on the television and the television displays the credits. Granny then turns it off stating that nobody cares who they are.
- Slippery Slope Fallacy: Early is strongly opposed to gay marriage, and constantly said that marrying paint cans would be next. Then, to prove a stupid point, he went and married a paint can. And a vacuum cleaner, and a bear. A male bear.
- Sound Effect Bleep: Cussing is censored with everything from squeaks, bleeps, and gun cocking noises.
- Space Jews: "I'm against nitrogen. It was brought here on planes by space jews!"
- Status Quo Is God: No matter what, the Cuylers can never get away from their life of poverty. Examples include winning the lottery, only for it to be a coupon to be torn apart by monster trucks, or getting an insurance check, only for Early to split it equally by tearing it into three, thinking that's how a check works.
- Stylistic Suck: The crappy artwork is used to convey the Crapsack World along with how pathetic and stupid people tend to be.
- Super Toughness: In spite of whatever physical abuse they take, the Cuylers usually can't be completely destroyed by anything shy of a nuke, and sometimes not even that.
Dan Halen: The creature is elastic. I hadn't counted on that.
- There Are No Therapists: "I'm not a therapist. I'm... The Rapist. It's right there on the door. Look, everybody makes this mistake."
- Title Drop: In 'Drone to the bone' Early drops the title in a Awesome Music moment. Strangely, this is actually the first time in eight seasons that the title had been used in show other than by the narrator.
- It also should be noticed that the show started out with a title drop of the name of the first episode, "This Show is called Squidbillies".
- Too Dumb to Live: The Sheriff, often literally. Good thing he has several hundred replacement bodies.
- Training from Hell: This seems to be Early's only way to teach Rusty anything.
- Vanity Plate: The end of an episode will always end with the Williams Street Skull Logo.
- Villain Protagonist: Early.
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Rusty is commonly shown to be more straight-minded than his insane father.
- White Sheep: Early's civilized cousin, Durwood. also Dr. Bug.
- Would Hit a Girl: Early has no reserves about taking his anger out on Lil or Granny.
- Would Hurt a Child: Early is shown to be perfectly willing to drown a sack full of his nephews and nieces due to not being able to take care of them.
- Yandere: Early is this for Krystal, Seriously.
"I love you... *draws knife* I'MMA KILL YOU, BITCH!!!"
- Your Head A Splode: Happens to Lil when the Cuylers are working for Dan Halen and she complains about not having a smoking break.
- It also happens to Granny during a fight with air force drones, where Early straps a bomb to her throat and threatens to blow her up if they don't surrender. Or if they don't. And he expectedly goes through with it.