"Comedy, or at least the kind of comedy I like, are the ones that make you feel a bit uncomfortable and then hit you with a great joke."
—Creator Thurop Van Orman
From the mind of Mark "Thurop" Van Orman comes a whale-of-a-tale about a young boy who dreams of adventure, a washed-up pirate and a whale. Flapjack is an orphan raised by a motherly whale named Bubbie. One day, they rescue a pirate named Captain K'nuckles who regales Flapjack with tales of a mystical place called Candied Island, a land that he's spent much of his life searching for. Enamored by this, and much to the chagrin of Bubbie, Flapjack decides to help him on this quest for Candied Island and dreams of being a great adventurer like K'nuckles.And that just barely touches the surface of this Cartoon Network animated series set in the messed-up port town of Storm-Along Harbor. 50% Nightmare Fuel, 25% freaky facial expressions and another 25% of unsettling humor, there's only one way to describe it: "seriously weird."The show debuted in January, 2008. The series finale aired unadvertised on August 31, 2010 (so, essentially, only people subscribed to Orman on Deviant art were even told it was happening.) The finale featured a live-action segment with Thurop as K'nuckles and his son as Flapjack, with the trio deciding they will find a new place to live, and finally leaving Storm-Along for good. It's worthing pointing out that once the show had reached the ends of its run, many of its' key writers and storyboard artists had packed up and went on to create a few other shows that have been heavily acclaimed, including Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Gravity Falls.The series returned as a part of Cartoon Network's 20th anniversary via Cartoon Planet.
Anti Role Model: Captain K'nuckles doesn't always have Flapjack's best interests in mind and is frequently selfish. Flapjack looks up to him anyway, and K'nuckles does view Flapjack as his best (and only) friend.
Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering??: Happens in "Low Tidings", although K'nuckles response to the question ("That Scoops Pennington is a hack?") does at least follow logically from what had gone before. Flapjack was actually suggesting that they take the place of the two sick actors in the Low Tide Day pageant.
Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Wishing Not so Well", K'nuckles wishes to be left alone and is immediately finds himself in a Stormalong that contains no other people. It doesn't work out so well for him.
Stormalong Harbor is a bigger community than it looks from the outside. It even has a slum and an upper-class quarter. In any case, it seems unlikely that it really has a population of no more than one hundred, as one of the episodes suggest.
Can't Live Without You: Once all of Stormalong was infected by the Plague, K'nuckles goes off to find Flapjack living on Plague Island and tells him this. Flapjack thinks of this as being a Living Emotional Crutch when K'nuckles told him that they couldn't live without him, but then he tells him that they literally cant live without him. Flapjack's blood contained the antidote.
Continuity Nod: It's safe to assume that if either of the Inventors show up, there's a continuity nod or two. An example is the Grand Flying Contraption, it was destroyed at the end of "Several Leagues Above The Sea", but in "The Return of Sally Syrup", the Inventor's Brother has been working on a new and improved version.
Convection Schmonvection: In "Off With His Hat", the anthropologist falls into an active volcano, but is fine because she lands on a floating chunk of rock. She then then gets erupted out of the volcano.
Cool Ship: Flapjack calls Bubbie "the fastest ship in the sea", despite, you know, Bubbie being a whale.
Every one of Bubbie and K'nuckles' arguments sound suspiciously Like an Old Married Couple. Then there's the obsession with 'candy', and especially K'nuckles stash of Maple Syrup, which adds a whole new layer to their relationship.
Bubbie and K'nuckles' Like an Old Married Couple relationship is really, really played up in "Come Home, Cap'n". Lampshaded by Thomas Hatch during his song, when while pretending to be Flapjack, he calls them a husband and a wife. Cue Capt'n's and Bubbie's hilarious 'wut' faces.
The entirety of "K'nuckles and his Hilarious Problem" and his candy addiction. When you get to the point where you have scenes of K'nuckles chugging a bottle of maple syrup, stumbling, slurring, and finally falling down the stairs, they're not even trying to be subtle anymore.
Lady Nickelbottom has an enormous "beauty" mark on the top of her head, which, in her conversation with Flapjack (who was standing in for Doctor Barber), is implied to be a tumor that is possibly malignant.
K'nuckles' termites in "What's Eatin' Ya Cap'm?".
The whole "get foreigners oil" thing.
The very literal cathouse, where sailors go to spend time with the cats.
One of the larger ones was when, after being chased by a barber they thought was trying to kill them, K'nuckles says "Whew! I thought you were going to kill us! Now... do you have anywhere I can swab my poop deck?" Yes, they got a joke about K'nuckles shitting himselfpast the radar.
Dr. Barber and sweepers: "Oh no he did nooooooooot!"
The Character Eight Armed Willy wears an eyepatch, so an alternate nickname for him is One Eyed Willy.
After Flapjack states that Bubbie could beat any ship in a race, a sailor says "That whale couldn't beat my legless mermaid!"
Dramatic Wind: The Real Adventurer's hair, which flows even inside Bubbie's mouth. It only stops flowing when Flapjack rejects him.
Even the Guys Want Him: Tee Hee Tummy Tums. He's so beautiful that a crowd of men form around him and throw money at him just to see his face.
"PLEASE!! Lemme see yo' face!"
Eldritch Location: The area of the ocean that lies West of Stormalong, which is said to lead to the edge of the world. Just uttering the word "West" there summons sea monsters, and while the horrifying visions Knuckles and Flapjack have are brought on by drinking sea water, there seems to be *something* abnormal with the area.
Family Unfriendly Death: In No Syrup For Old Flapjacks a stack of rotting pancakes gains sentience and proceeds to knock out King Hotcakes hard enough to break his neck, and according to Flapjack is now the new ruler of Maple Syrup Island. Yes, this is one screwed up show.
Fan Disservice: Multiple occasions. Special mention goes to K'nuckles kissing the Dock Hag's foot.
For Science!: Doctor Barber regularly preforms surgery for no reason. This surgery could be necessary, dangerous and almost always turns out bad.
Friend or Idol Decision: A variation. In "Flapjack Goes To Party", he must choose between hiding his true identity and shunning his "family" to win the approval of his peers or admit that he is that "weirdo Flapjack" and forever be an outcast...he chooses option B obviously.
Gainax Ending: Instead of finally ending the show with the three making it to Candied Island, they get turned into Real Life instead.Huh?
Getting Hot in Here: Flapjack and K'nuckles climb a mountain and assume it's going to be hot at the top because it's closer to the sun, so they do this. Of course, they were wrong about the top of the mountain being hot....
G-Rated Drug: The show makes more sense when you replace candy with alcohol. Hell, with they way they use it, the candy probably is a symbol for weed/anything that gets you high. That leaves Candy Island to be a very special place.
Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Doctor Barber is usually on the side of Flapjack and K'Nuckles, and often helps them. This doesn't mean that he is above preforming grotesque experiments or generally being creepy, however.
"Goods news sir, you got the plague..."
Historical In-Joke: In one episode Flapjack and K'nuckles fall prey to a bar with trapdoors in the floor, through which over-candied sailors would be spirited away and enslaved. Anyone familiar with the local lore of Portland, Oregon will recognize the Shanghai Tunnels in this episode; in fact, the only real difference is that in real life they used alcohol (also, more people insist that with the Shanghai Tunnels, it really happened).
Human Popsicle: This happens when Flapjack and K'nuckles go hiking in the mountains.
An episode with the "Stormalong Harbor Pun-off" consisted of a huge string of these.
When K'nuckles and Flapjack had to can fish as part of community service, Flapjack said: "Yes we CAN! It'll be just like shooting fish in CAN! Nice work if you CAN get it. So CAN it, you loose CAN-non!"
If you were a treasure chest, you would LIE at the bottom of the ocean! You would LIE in a LIEGHTHOUSE full of LIEONS and LIEMA BEANS!
Hypocritical Humor: Bubbie, frequently. She'll give k'Nuckles no end of grief for not being a good role model and later she does EXACTLY what she berated K'Nuckles for. Flapjack calls her on it frequently, too.
Impossible Task: In the episode "Willy", Flapjack bets a man that he can capture Eight Armed Willy or he will never say"adventure" again. Willy has the reputation of killing everybody he meets, so it seems that Flapjack is doomed. Being the main character, Flapjack of course succeeds, with the help of K'nuckles and the Stormalong Writer's Guild.
Innocent Inaccurate: A particularly odd case; a plague rat drastically oversimplifies the effects of the plague... possibly because its brain is too small to fully comprehend them.
I Take Offence to That Last One: Peppermint Larry refuses to extend credit to Flapjack and Cap'n K'nuckles because "Everybody knows you don't have any money!" K'nuckles indignantly replies "Stop lyin'! Not everyone knows that."
It Will Never Catch On: In "Fastest Man Alive", Flapjack and K'nuckles go to the under-sea inventor seeking help in escaping the constable on the bicycle. Flapjack proposes a bicycle with three wheels called a "tricycle", and the inventor proposes methods of transportation he invented that never became popular, such as the "automobile", the "heliocopter" (helicopter), and the "rocket". K'nuckles rejects all of these ideas.
In "Careful What You Fish For", K'nuckles and Flapjack catch a fish which they attmpt to eat. the fish begs for its life claiming, amongst other things, that it has a girlfriend
Literal-Minded: When Captain K'nuckles is standing in line to register a boat and, after drinking an excessive amount of water, needs to go to the bathroom. He asks the man in front of him to hold his spot while he goes to the bathroom. The man cuts a hole in the ground and holds it.
Lost Him in a Card Game: Subverted. K'nuckles bets Flapjack in a card game, but actually wins. But still, Flapjack is insulted enough that he leaves to become a banker.
K'nuckles: "What d'ya got?"
Player:"Pair of TWOS!!!"
K'nuckles: (shows hand) "Pair of threes."
(Player runs off crying)
Subverted again (but in another sense played straight), in that K'nuckles win's somebody else's kid sidekick in that card game
Love Triangle: It's implied at the end of Lovebugs that K'nucklesmay have a thing for Candy Wife. It gets payoff in Candy Cassanova, when K'nuckles runs away with Candy Wife so he can marry her.
Mad Doctor: Take a guess. Here's a hint: he provides the page quote.
Madness Mantra: In "Fastest Man Alive", K'nuckles goes crazy after being constantly arrested by a constable on a bicycle. He curls up in a ball, impersonating the bike's bell: going "Ching. Ching. Ching".
Mama Bear: Well, more like a Mama Whale, but still ...
Nerf Arm: One weapon is a giant nerf pointing hand, with which one pokes people. In one fight, the "hand" was pulled off of its handle, only to reveal an actual sword. Despite this, the party holding the sword declared himself to be defenseless and jumped off the whale/ship.
But more importantly, the show seems to consciously avoid using the word "slave". And this is significant, since Flapjack and K'nuckles have been forced into slavery on at least three different occasions so far.
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The episode "Over the Moon" had Flapjack and Captain K'Nuckles see and nearly touch Candied Island...but since it wasn't the Grand Finale, the moon's gravitational pull grabbed them back and they were forced to watch the sugar-coated island float off into the distance. At least Flap was able to taste it...
Opening Shout-Out: In "Two Old Men and A Lock Box", when Richard and Michard start to explain how they came to be in their current predicament, we are treated to new version of the opening credits and theme song that identifies Richard and Michard as the K'nuckles and Flapjack of their generation.
The Power of Love: It gives Flapjack the power to play billiards perfectly. When playing against Peppermint Larry, Flapjack actually causes every single pool ball to fly straight up through the ceiling and orbit around the moon in a figure eight before falling back down into the pool table holes. IN ONE SHOT. To make the whole scene complete; there's even a Carmina Burana-like chorus playing as the BGM.
Prehensile Hair: The fish head and hair monsters made by Dr Barber in "Fish Heads".
Raised by Wolves: Flapjack was raised by Bubbie, an intelligent, talking whale, who loves him dearly. Bubbie is kinder, smarter, and more moral than basically every human on the show. And yet she thinks that Stormalong Harbor is a safer place for Flapjack to live than Candied Island — the rationalization being that it's better to live in a stable populated place than risk life and limb to find Candied Island, even if the stable place is Stormalong.
Saying the word "west" tends to summon very weird and eldritch creepies.
"French fry? You want french fry?"
Screwed by the Network: Flapjack seemed to quickly vanish out of Cartoon Network's focus midway through the second season, by the time Adventure Time came out, it had all but replaced the show. Giving it a quiet unceremonious finale. At least they cared enough to give them a series finale, right?
Stealth Pun: Miss Leading. The fact that she is a teacher, plus the way her name sounds when spoken aloud...
Stylistic Suck: Most of the original songs are sung off-tempo and off-key, with awkward lyrics. The general consensus is that they are awesome.
Super Cop: Parodied/deconstructed with the constable who invented the bicycle, which allowed him to easily pursue and capture criminals, in "Fastest Man Alive". He ended up only chasing and arresting Flapjack and K'nuckles, which he did at every opportunity, even when they weren't doing anything wrong, making their lives miserable and becoming the not-so heroic Hero Antagonist for that episode.
Take That: The episode "Panfake" was a poke at a Disney cartoon that was being made (that was cancelled as soon as Cartoon Network found out), which was a ripoff of the series premise. The name of said cartoon? Poopdeck.
The Beard: Flapjack for K'nuckles... literally, as in, he disguised himself as K'nuckle's beard so he wouldn't be ashamed of himself. This is odd, because one episode implies that K'nuckles' odd blue coloration is, in fact, a weapons-grade case of Perma Stubble...which may itself be false.
The Reveal: Several. Including the best one ever: Blood gnats.
Too Dumb to Live: Very nearly literally true with K'Nuckles when he eats the last remaining fruit in Stormalong Harbor, and an angry, scurvy-induced mob threatens to carve him up to retrieve the fruit.
True Meaning Of Christmas: Subverted in "Low Tidings" — K'Nuckles learns the "better to give than to receive" Aesop...but it's made moot when Poseidon states that everyone can get gifts now, no matter whether they've been good or bad. You know, just like in Real Life.
Weird Moon: They had an entire EPISODE that centered around this trope.
Whole Plot Reference: The Highlandlubber is an extended parody/deconstruction of Highlander, presenting it's Ramirez expy as an escapee from Stormalong's Insane Asylum thinking he's immortal and jumping into a volcano to prove it
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: In "Sally Syrup Returns" Sally tries to beat a pirate in a fight by acting helpless and saying "You wouldn't hit a girl, would ya?" but after he backs down and she starts kicking his butt, he grabs her and holds her at arm's length. Flapjack tries the same trick on a different pirate, but it turns out to be a woman and she kicks his butt.
Write Who You Know: When Peppermint Larry starts putting on puppet shows, they revolve around "Pancake" and "Captain K'neecaps" and how lame they are.
You Mean Xmas: Low Tides Day. The episode was titled "Low Tidings". Remember "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen"? The end of the episode has the holiday changed significantly to more resemble Christmas... sort of.