So the gist of The Oblongs is this: There's the eponymous family living in the extremely poor half of the town - in this case, the Valley portion of Hill Valley - where the air is toxic and the land befoulednote This is the phrasing used verbatim by Mr. Klimer in the first episode. There's Bob, the father, who has no arms or legs yet somehow hops his limbless torso around from place to place, handle things with his mouth, and drives a car; Marie Kay "Pickles" Oblong, the alcoholic, chain-smoking mother with a huge beehive wig who used to live in the Hills; Biff and Chip, the oldest and Siamese twin brothers; Milo, their heavily medicated little brother with a myriad of mental and social illnesses; and Beth, the youngest and only daughter, who is possibly the most "normal" of the family despite the large pinkish tumor growing out of her head.The series covers the family's day to day lives, e.g. Bob working at Globocide, Milo, Biff and Chip getting mocked by the popular people, and Pickles stumbling in and out of intoxication and the occasional lusting over of her husband.This show was originally part of The WB's crop of shows back when the WB first started out and modeled itself after The Fox Network (which explains the Married... with Children-esque sitcom, Unhappily Ever After). This show, along with Mission Hill and Baby Blues were also a part of the second wave of animated adult sitcoms dueling withThe Simpsons (and then-newcomers Family Guy, South Park, and Futurama). This show (and the other two) failed (mostly due to Executive Meddling and low ratings), but have since attained cult classic status, thanks to [adult swim] airing the episodes and the entire series being released on DVD (though Mission Hill was edited to remove the copyrighted music on its soundtrack and Baby Blues hasn't been released on DVD).Series creator Angus Oblong hated the final version and claims show runner Jace Richdale and the rest of the writers froze him out of his own show. Despite this, he agreed to appear on the DVD release, albeit with his face obscured and his voice digitally altered for reasons known only to Oblong himself. On said DVD, Oblong claimed that while he actually thought the finished show was "OK", he had such little involvement that he would prefer people say that it was "based on his work" than "his show." Whether this is true or he was just being nice was anyone's guess.The Oblongs was loosely based on characters from Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children by Angus Oblong.
Abhorrent Admirer: Helga on "Milo, Interrupted"note The episode where Milo secretly takes care of Helga after Helga reveals that she's been abandoned by her parents and Hill Valley hires a Bible-thumping old lady named Mrs. Hubbard to act as the town's Moral Guardian following a minor act of vandalism.
Ambiguously Gay: Biff, until Milo just went ahead and pointed it out: "You're a latent homosexual!"
More like Bi, as Biff does show an interest in women on multiple occasions.
Ditto for bullies Jared and Blaine. Again, it's Milo who says what everyone's thinking: "Everyone says you have sex with each other!"
Audience Murmurs: Subverted in "Heroine Addict": Pickles keeps saying things that cause the audience to gasp. However, it's revealed that the gasps are actually coming from Milo's friend, Mikey, who has asthma.
Balls of Steel: Painfully subverted when Mayor Bledsoe, whilst doing a number of macho exercises, dares Mr. Klimer to hit him in the testicles with his golf club. Once the blow is made, the mayor stands perfectly still before saying, in an even voice, "That hurts more than I thought it would."
Also the source of some marital strife in "Please Be Genital", where Bob gets his wedding-tackle stomped on by a stripper, keeping him from having sex for 2 weeks. He and Pickles had done the deed every night and morning for their 18 years of marriage.
And Pamela Segall Adlon, who voiced Milo (using the voice she would later use for Otto Osworth on Cartoon Network's short-lived series, Time Squad).
Deadpan Snarker: Pickles owns this trope (particularly when she's dealing with her old friend, Pristine, who hates her for marrying Bob and giving up her life of being rich, pretty, and popular). Milo has his moments too. Creepy Susie does it in her own morbid way.
Another SNL cast member who does voice work on this show is Laraine Newman (the female member from the original 1970's cast who wasn't a Weekend Update anchor like Jane Curtin or a crowd-pleasing Genki Girl like the dearly departed Gilda Radner). Newman voices Mrs. Hubbard (an old, white Bible thumper who was hired to crack down on juvenile delinquency as seen in "Milo, Interrupted") and the school nurse (or as Jawless Peggy calls her, "a godless butcher without a shred of legitimate medical training.")
I'm a Humanitarian: Helga's parents were forced to eat the other passengers of their plane after it crashed and the food ran out. Her mom even made Helga a necklace from their teeth. Helga gets noticeably freaked out when her dad mentions she "looks good enough to eat".
Though, in "Disfigured Debbie," one of the Debbies got shredded up in the thresher after beating Milo in student council elections. She did get what she deserved (even though she later got plastic surgery to fix her face, returned to her circle of friends, and learned nothing from the experience).
Another episode has a Debbie mauled by a bear during a nature hike through the city.
Missing Episode: Because of how badly the WB handled the show, "Misfit Love," "Helga Interrupted," "Bucketheads," and "Disfigured Debbie" were the only episodes that aired. It wouldn't be until [adult swim] picked up the show that the rest of the series would air (unless you live in Canada or have the DVD version).
Screwed by the Network: Canceled in its original run after five episodes on the WB. Attempts to keep it alive failed, though all 13 episodes eventually aired on [adult swim], and a revival is said to be in the works.
Although one episode had one of them competing in a wrestling tournament one-armed while another was bandaged up from injuries he incurred earlier in the episode (remember, they're conjoined...)
Take That: Mayor Johnny "The Mayor" Bledsoe, a dig at pro-wrestlers-turned-elected-officials.
A few subtle ones are done toward The Simpsons (the scene in "Heroine Addict" with the family getting their picture taken at the mall has them dressed as The Simpsons [with Pickles as Marge, Biff and Chip as Homer, Bob as Maggie, Milo as Bart, and Beth as Lisa) and the WB frog (the scene in "Flush, Flush Sweet Helga" where Helga sees a spider advancing on a frog in a top hat that's trapped in a spider web).
Toxic, Inc.: Globocide is one. Their legitimate products are poisonous with the nasty byproducts thereof, including the chemical spill mentioned in the theme tune, being responsible for the deformities of the people down in the Valley.
This is to such a degree that, in the episode where Milo makes his energy drink, Mr. Klimer and the other executives need to have it explained that they can't keep selling it as-is because morphine's a controlled substance.
Vengeful Vending Machine: Plumbing issues leave the entire city save the Oblongs' house without water. In order to cut down on bathroom lines, a hundred-dollar cash slot is installed on the door. When Bob's boss tries to use it and his bill is rejected, another character quips "the great equalizer".
Vomit Discretion Shot: In "Disfigured Debbie" when the kids walk in on the disfigured Debbie making herself puke after binging on candy.
You Are the New Trend: The family's lack of funds force Milo to go to school on a rainy day wearing a bucket on his head and a trash bag as a raincoat. The hill kids make fun of him, until the Fonzie stand in says he likes his bucket. Milo shows up at school the next day to find all of the hill kids wearing buckets and accusing him of copying them. The rest of the plot focuses on his mother helping him stay one step ahead of them.