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[[quoteright:349:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stressedericdvdart_92679.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:349:[[{{Understatement}} Life can be stressful, sometimes.]]]]
->''"Eric, relax"''.

Think modern life is stressful? Well, just be thankful that you're not Eric Feeble, the perpetually struggling forty-something and unfortunate star of this short-lived British animated series, and arguably one of the darkest shows ever made in this category. The series lasted for 13 episodes, broadcast in two seasons. The first season was broadcast in 1997, the second in 1999. The first series (but ''not'' the second) was co-produced by Creator/KlaskyCsupo.

Eric is a divorced father of two. He is the primary caregiver for both of his kids. Which is a stressful duty. Brian, Eric's son, seems to have a learning disability. He is 9 to 10-years-old, but has already flunked classes for three years. He doesn't speak at all, wanders aimlessly, and has a tendency to place random items into his mouth. Claire, Eric's daughter, is notably frail. She is 6-years-old and her immune system is hypersensitive. She has allergic reactions to just about everything, and has to eat special regulation food. Which doesn't stop her from craving for regular food. Maria, their Portuguese au-pair, is alcoholic. His ex-wife Liz currently lives with another man, and tries to rediscover herself through following NewAge ideas. Which doesn't prevent her from incessantly calling Eric when she feels like it.

The work environment of Eric isn't much better. His office is sandwiched between the janitor's closet and the men's toilets. Paul Power, his boss, is a very demanding individual. Never satisfied with Eric's work, Mr. Power has demoted him in previous occasions. And is always ready to press him further. Eric still has a personal secretary, Alison Scabie. Unfortunately for him, she provides no actual help. She treats the office line as her personal phone, speaking constantly with her friends. Leaving Eric saddled with her work as well as his own.

Eric has an additional reason to feel like a failure. He compares himself to neighbor Ray Perfect, a man who seems to have the perfect family and a great career. Eric finds himself needing the assistance of Doc, his family doctor, who is ready to provide with plenty of medication. Too bad said medication has nothing to do with his stress.
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!!Tropes featured include:
* TheAce: Eric's next-door neighbors, the Perfect family.
%%* TheAlcoholic: Maria.
%%* BeehiveHairdo: Mrs. Perfect.
* BigEater: Brian will eat almost everything from [=VHSes=] to [[ComedicSociopath people's hair]].
* BitchInSheepsClothing: The Perfects! Oh boy, the Perfects!
* BritishBrevity: The show lasted for 13 episodes.
* ButtMonkey: '''Eric'''. [[UpToEleven Oh dear God.]]
* CatchPhrase:
** Eric: MARIA!!!, GET A MOVE ON!, ALISON! WILL YOU SHUT UP?
** Maria: Oh, go, please!
** Mrs. Wilson: Morning\Afternoon\Evening, Mr. Eric. Just\Still off to the post. Sometimes it's Nearly there! (especially at night) In you go, you little monkey!
** Liz: THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE SPLIT UP, ERIC!!!
** Alison: I'm busy!
** Mr. Perfect: I will AWAY!!!
** Mrs. Perfect: Ah, Eric!, Hello, Eric. How art thou?
** P.P. bribing Mr. Perfect's job: Catch you later, hero!
** Doc: Relaaaaaaaaaaaaax.
%%* ChickMagnet: Doc.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: The cleaning lady at Eric's work throws out all his work at the end of each day while singing "La la la-la laaah, stick it in the bin!"
* CrossPoppingVeins: Eric gets them several times an episode. At the end, they get so bad that they grab him by his throat! Lampshaded in "Pony" when Claire's diary says that she is too scared to ask Eric, because of his stess vein.
* CulturalTranslation: Yes, Creator/TheBBC have broadcast ''WesternAnimation/DinoBabies'', ''WesternAnimation/LittleBear'', and ''ComicBook/BuckyOHareAndTheToadWars'' with the American voices still intact, but Stressed Eric? The cartoon was made by Creator/KlaskyCsupo (creators of ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys''), but it was the BBC that chose the voice acting for the characters and the setting in it!
** Although when the first season was shown in the US, Eric was revoiced by Hank Azaria (all the other voices remained). Also, production went to a different company for its second season. (Which has never been repeated on British television.)
%%* DeliberatelyCuteChild: Claire.
%%* TheDitz: Brian.
* DoorToDoorEpisode: In the first 1999 episode, Liz does this to create a fanbase for the hedgehogs. Everyone refuses.
%%* ElmuhFuddSyndwome: Claire again.
%%* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Doc.
* ExpressLaneLimit: One episode has three such lanes: "Less than ten items but more than four", "less than four items but more than one", and "one item or less" (which the Eric promptly uses to checkout ''one'' potato.)
%%* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: Every single damn time.
%%* FunnyForeigner: Maria to an extent.
%%* GirlishPigtails: Claire.
%%* GranolaGirl: Liz.
* HypocriticalHumour: Liz will often call Eric selfish when he tries to ask her for a favour. See ItsAllAboutMe.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: This is another member of the One Word Episode Title club (see also ''Lou Grant,'' ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', ''Series/TheSecretCircle'', ''Series/{{Revenge}}'', ''Series/RosieAndJim'', and ''Series/TotsTV'').
* IllGirl:
** Claire is allegic to virtually ''everything''.
** Claire's friend Julie is allergic to even more things, [[UpToEleven including air]]. Her mother says she feels stupid giving birth to a daughter more allergic than Claire.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Liz, who refuses to take any time out of her schedule to help Eric with the kids.
%%* {{Jerkass}}: Pretty much everyone who isn't a Feeble.
%%* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Maria to an extent.
* KafkaKomedy: Eric Feeble can't catch a break. Ever.
* LighterAndSofter: While both seasons feature bad luck for Eric Feeble, the second season isn't so relentlessly oppressive towards its main character.
* MeaningfulName: The Feebles and the Perfects.
* NotQuiteDead: In Pony, Eric comes home to see that Brian's hair is alight after he eats a chemistry set, but later in the episode, he's alive and well, because you don't have to kill anyone off forever in fiction!
* OncePerEpisode / RunningGag: The old lady's green letter dropping into the sewer.
** Eric's head vein choking him by episode's end.
* OutOfOrder: "Au Pair" was supposed to be the finale, but instead aired as the second to last episode.
%%* ParodySue: The Perfects.
%%* SadistShow: Probably the animated king of this trope.
* SameLanguageDub: For US airings, Eric's lines were dubbed over by Creator/HankAzaria, making Eric an American living in Britain.
%%* SassySecretary: Allison.
* SeriouslyScruffy: Plays this trope for laughs with Eric. As he gets more stressed, the vein on his temple throbs [[OncePerEpisode until it eventually bursts out and strangles him]]. Naturally, his environment tends to be rather cluttered, too.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Maria, on the one occasion she makes an effort.
* ShipTease: In "Au Pair" it's hinted Eric and the newly rehabilitated Maria may become an item... shortly before they're killed.
%%* StereoFibbing: Occurs in "Drool".
* StrictlyFormula: The first season was very much this: Eric is faced with a looming deadline (typically work-related), tries to meet it, but the whole world prevents him from doing so. The second season was ''far'' less formulaic. However, both seasons still ended each episode with Eric's head vein choking him by the episode's end (an exception is "Au Pair", which ends with a rival maid pointing her tank at Eric and the family, and the four screaming).
* SubvertedCatchphrase: In one episode, Eric has rats in his house and asks Doc what he should do. Instead of telling Eric to relax (like he usually does), Doc says to panic.
* SuicideAsComedy: In "Pony" an entry in Claire's diary implied she was going to die, because she's never going to get a pony.
%%* TheTalk: Eric gives one in "Au Pair".
* TheyKilledKennyAgain: Eric dies of stress at the end of every episode. Save Au pair.
%%* TheVoiceless: Brian.
* VomitDiscretionShot: In the first opening when Eric finds Maria hungover.
* YankTheDogsChain: An incredibly dark example to boot.
** Really any time things seem to be going well for Eric you can expect it not to last long.
** "Au Pair" ends with Maria finally getting her act together, only for her and the rest of the family to be killed by one of the failed auditionees for her job.
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