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Western Animation: The Brothers Grunt

Did you know that animator Danny Antonucci (the same creator of Ed, Edd n Eddy and the character Lupo the Butcher) made a show for MTV? If not, here's the background of it.

During The Renaissance Age of Animation, animation was enjoying new life as being entertainment for kids (with shows like Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures) and teens/adults (The Simpsons and Ren and Stimpy, as well as Cartoon Network airing classic theatrical cartoon shorts and 30-minute animated shows from the Golden Age of television). However, MTV's Beavis And Butthead was coming under fire for being a bad influence on children after a mom who lived in a trailer accused the show of driving her son to burn down their home (even though the mom didn't have cable TV) and another kid got in trouble for crushing an infant with a bowling ball he dropped off a bridge. MTV decided to temporarily cancel Beavis and Butthead to make necessary changes to the content. While that was happening, MTV went scrambling for a replacement show. This was that show, much to the horror and embarrassment of MTV and its fans.

The Brothers Grunt (1994-1995) was about the leader of the grunts, Perry, who had escaped. His five brothers (Frank, Dean, Bing, Sammy and Bernie) have to find him or else the brotherhood of the grunts will fall. It's a Cult Classic to fans of Danny Antonucci. After this show ended, Danny would later be famous for Cartoon Network's Ed, Edd n Eddy. As of 2012, the show has not appeared on VHS or DVD. However, there is a fan movement to help support the idea of releasing the show onto DVD.

The Brothers Grunt provides these tropes:

  • Attraction to Outliers: Sammy is attracted to lamps. After his rivalry with a shipwrecked man over a lamp ends badly, he's shown in the bathtub with two other lamps.
    Lamp 1: All right, pally, come on, pay up. Let's go.
    Lamp 2: Yeah, we got another man waiting for us uptown.
  • Big Eater: In "Scrub me Sammy", the big fat lady who rescues Sammy fits this trope. After wolfing down a case full of rations, she eats the case, then eats a nearby oar.
  • The Cameo: Beavis and Butt-Head.
  • Celibate Hero: Sammy's infatuation with a lamp notwithstanding, the Grunts are celibate. In a flashback, the Poobah urges the Grunts to shun romance.
    Poobah: Ah, love! The joining of hearts! The exchanging of gifts and fluids! It is not for our kind, brothers. Love is a temptress, a succubus intent on shopping for furniture. Deny love, my boys, or suffer the ultimate fate: Sunday with the in-laws!
  • The Chosen Zero: After Perry is revealed as the Chosen One, he flees the monastery, placing the future of the Grunt brotherhood in peril.
  • Crappy Carnival: In "If I Could Grunt to the Animals", Dean visits Uncle Stumpy's Animal Park, which includes fly-ridden snacks, a sickly old lion, and wild slugs. The "monkey" is actually a kid in a monkey suit, and the man-eating alligator is actually a puppet. Government agents later shut the park down.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The grunts appeared in an ad for MTV before the show was made; that ad can be seen here.
  • Deranged Animation: This is an understatement.
  • Drink Order: Grunts adore martinis. After Perry's coronation, the assembled Grunts drink a martini toast to their new leader. During the celebrations that follow, the Poobah chugs martinis as fast as Ringo can mix them.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Gruntus Poobah tells the audience that in ancient times, the Grunts were persecuted by those who did not understand their ways.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: In "To Hell With Bing", Bing plummets into a fiery Hell, where damned souls are tormented in a giant bowl of soup and eaten by a red monster.
    Soul: I know what I did was wrong, but they were so pretty!
  • Folk Hero: Kevin, a legendary Grunt who grew to manhood on the back of the Primus Gruntus Maximus. Kevin built the monastery that the Grunts now call home.
  • Garden of Evil: In "To Hell With Bing", Bing finds himself in a field of flowers that savagely attack him. The field pulls back to reveal a hellish landscape.
  • Grossout Show
  • The Grotesque: Every Grunt without exception.
  • High Priest: The Poobah presides over Grunt rites and celebrations.
  • I Ate WHAT?: In "Make Mine a Grunt", a barmaid unwittingly pours Frank into a glass, which an oblivious patron drinks. When the patron relieves himself in the restroom, he's horrified when Frank comes out.
    • In "Smells Like Dean Spirit", the Frenchman is initially horrified when he learns that the water Dean gave him is actually Dean's sweat. It's so delicious that the Frenchman drinks it anyway.
  • In the Hood: In "The Ceremony", all Grunts wear hooded robes except for the Poobah and the initiates.
  • Initiation Ceremony: All initiates into the Brotherhood of the Grunt go through an initiation rite presided over by the Poobah. Initiates are anointed with the Salve of Roid to protect them from sins of the flesh, the Water of Brut to protect them from embarassing situations and social faux pas, and the Tablet of Retsin to keep their breath fresh. Finally, the Poobah rubs each initiate's head with a duck, and if the duck flies away, it signifies that the Chosen One has been found.
  • Interspecies Adoption: In "The Ugly Gruntling", Sammy hatches out of an egg and is taught about chicken life by his hen "mother", much to the horror of the other chickens.
  • The Jeeves: Ringo, the Gruntus Poobah's manservant. Ringo is a small human who wears a turban, carries Poobah everywhere, and quietly makes him martinis.
  • Magical Foreign Words: Grunts usually communicate through grunting, and strange things happen when they use English. By uttering "corn", Tony stopped a vicious argument between a military man and a hippie, made friendship blossom between a woman and a purse-snatcher, and caused a depressed cowboy to abort a suicide attempt. However, when he growls "potato" at a pro-corn rally, the crowd erupts in rage.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Always.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: The Primus Gruntus Maximus, the progenitor of the Grunt race. It's a colossal being that floats in the sky and pops baby Grunts out of its back.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The person who is singing the song's intro is impersonating Tom Jones. Danny originally wanted Tom Jones to sing the song's intro, but that didn't happen.
  • The Olympics: In "Grunt Games", the Grunt society holds its own Olympics, featuring wedgie-wrestling, necktie-tying, synchronized swimming in melted cheese, martini relays, and hurling gigantic olives onto gigantic sandwiches.
  • One-Gender Race: The Grunts appear to be all male. They are born from a single parent called Primus Gruntus Maximus.
  • The Pig Pen: In "The Ugly Gruntling", Sammy is sucked into dairy equipment and ejected in the shape of a cheese block. An oblivious cheese packer wraps him in paper and leaves him on a shelf to age, after which he emits a vile odor. The odor causes two farmers' eyes to water uncontrollably and induces a seizure in a woman at the fair.
  • Police Brutality: Police arrest a potato farmer and set his potato harvest on fire when cornmania sweeps the nation in "Cream Style".
    • In "Make Mine a Grunt", police officers fire tear gas into a karaoke bar and proceed to beat Frank senseless.
    Cop: Tell him what he's won, Sarge!
    Sarge: You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, we have the right to kick you in the face, hit you with bags full of oranges, and pummel you with telephone books. You have the right to an attorney, one who couldn't get a real job, so they're forced to handle state charity cases.
  • Rescue Arc: Subverted. When government agents arrest Uncle Stumpy and shut down his animal park, they mistake Dean for an abused animal. An oblivious Dean is shipped off to a zoo.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: In the middle of certain episodes this will happen. A random music video will play that fits with the episode, and the grunts would appear either doing random things or walking by the singers (who cannot see them).
  • Refusal of the Call: Perry flees from the monastery after being named as the Chosen One. In "The Ceremony", Perry is shown hurling his red cape and hot water bottle headpiece off a cliff in disgust.
  • Shout-Out: The main characters' names are nods to famous singers from the 1960s: Frank, Tony, Bing, Dean, Sammy and Perry.
  • Sliding Scale of Beauty: The Grunts fall into Level XIII. They're ashen white, veiny, and twitchy, with bulging yellow eyes.
    • Inverted in that the Grunts see themselves as normal and humans as hideous. During the celebrations that followed Perry's coronation, two Grunts are shown staring at a "freak show". The "freak" is a normal-looking man in a suit.
  • The Storyteller: The Poobah shares stories of the brothers' adventures and Grunt legends with the audience.
  • Speaking Simlish: The grunts follow this by making grunt sounds, although at times they only said a few words only once. Averted with the Gruntus Poobah, who speaks articulately.
  • Staring Contest: Sammy wins a staring contest with a rival in "Requiem for a Sammy". In a flashback, we learn that the Poobah trained Sammy to excel at staring.
  • Thirsty Desert: Dean gives water (actually, his own sweat) to a Frenchman lost in the desert in "Smells Like Dean Spirit".
  • Too Important to Walk: Poobah is carried everywhere by his servant, Ringo.
  • Trouser Space: The brothers spontaneously pull objects, usually food, out of their boxers.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: When not wearing robes for special rites, all Grunts walk around shirtless in their underwear.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Tony masquerades as an old woman in the beginning of "Cream Style".