Western Animation / The Three Friends And Jerry
The Three Friends and Jerry (1998-1999) is an animated television series, created by Magnus Carlsson and co-produced by two production companies. One Swedish, the other British.
Life is not easy at age 10. And Jerry can attest it.
Jerry is the new kid that has come to school. Doing his best to somehow fit in the society before his eyes, he tries to join the so-called "three friends" (Frank, Eric and Thomas), who don't feel like wanting to have him alongside them. The guys themselves try their hardest to attract girls, so they're not without hardships either. When you're unpopular enough to be rejected by a group that is already unpopular for the rest, you know things will only get worse from here.
The series is a production with roots in Sweden and the United Kingdom, debuting on Nickelodeon
in Latin America and was part of FOX Family Channel's "The Basement" block (a block of cartoons that came on around the time that most kids would be out of school, back in the days when free-to-air TV and basic cable channels that weren't like Toon Disney or Cartoon Networknote
had animation blocks on during weekday afternoons). Sadly, it was, in a way, too ahead of its time. The show was criticized for its child-unfriendly content, including sexual references, illegal and morally questionable actions that children might see as fun to imitate, and offensive language (one episode had the kids get in trouble for swearing). It only aired for one year in America and only spawned 39 episodes.
Urgently needs Wiki Magic
The Three Friends and Jerry contains examples of:
- Amusing Injuries: Several people, but mostly the Three Friends and Jerry.
- Asian Buck Teeth: Mimmi.
- Blatant Lies: Jerry has a habit of telling these often in order to try to sound cool. Most people don't buy it but sometimes humor him just to watch him fail to live up to them.
- Butt-Monkey: Jerry Up to 11, the Three Friends can be this as well but mostly Frank when he deserves it.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: One episode had Jerry having had an unusually miserable time as of late, and he is met with his guardian angel who explains that due to Celestial Bureaucracy, he's been having an unbalanced amount of bad luck, which should begin to turn around soon. However, all the good things that happen to him over the course of the next day ends up having unpleasant consequences after his good luck was cancelled when the angel got Jerry mixed up with another Jerry. The next time the angel shows up, explaining that he was right the first time and both Jerrys was supposed to have additional good luck after all, Jerry tells to take a hike or he'll "rip your wings off!".
- Cool Old Guy: The Three Friends and Jerry quickly come to the opinion that Mr. Burtwhistle is this, due to his background as a retired chemical engineer and his hobby of collecting unexploded bombs.
- The Dreaded: Jerry's father, the P.E. teacher, is this for many kids at the school. Even his son Jerry. Especially his son Jerry.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: The P.E. Teacher invokes the spirit of this trope whenever he's training a kid... or punishing them with exercise for something they did wrong.
- Downer Ending: Things get pretty bad for the Three Friends and Jerry at the end of many episodes.
- British Teeth: Mostly averted, but Frank, the teacher, and Vicious Oscar all play this straight.
- Everyone Has Standards: Jerry is awkward and has a hard time fitting in with others and making friends. When he and his family moved to a new neighborhood due to his father's new job, Jerry meets and befriends a group of kids. They look similar to the kids back in town only they are much, much nicer and far easier to get along with, to the point of being unchallenging. Jerry finds the whole experience very strange and when they start to move back to town, Jerry can only mutter "weirdos" to himself.
- Expy: Frank is the only thing close to this series' version of Eric Cartman.
- Fat Bastard: Mimi's father is a rich, materialistic jerk and is also very stout.
- Follow the Leader: Many fans believe this show is what happens when you mix South Park with Ed Eddn Eddy and Beavis and Butthead.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Jerry is this among the Three Friends for... uncertain reasons.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lots of it. A lot of people who remember this show even have said how perverted it was for a kids' show (and was the reason why the show didn't last in America). The worst part about this is, at one point, when the show was available On Demand, it was shown on PBS Kids Sprout (home to safe, inoffensive kids' shows, some of which have educational value). And one of the episodes that were on demand on that channel was the one where Frank goes catatonic when he sees Tony's girlfriend changing in front of him. Also, HIT Entertainment still distributes the show outside Scandinavia and Germany (according to the mirror of an old HIT's website), despite having decayed into the preschool program producer and distributor.
- Good Shepherd: The vicar genuinely cares about his community and wants to do good for others. Unfortunately for him, things usually don't go according to plan.
- Gonk: Most of the adults of the series are this but GOOD LORD Vicious Oscar and Jerry's father take the cake!
- I Was Quite a Looker: Vicious Oscar was once a very attractive and respected member of the community. It's never revealed how he hit rock bottom.
- Jerkass: Anybody who is not the vicar or Jerry's mother.
- Jerk Jock: Jerry's father, the gym coach of the local school, is a loud, obnoxious jerk both to his students and his son.
- Kids Are Cruel: And manipulative, perverted and greedy. The show's frank depiction of kids (and some adults) acting this way led to a lot of parents in America complaining that the show was inappropriate for children.
- Kissing Cousins: It's established that Linda is Frank's cousin and, for some reason, he has a crush on her.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: It's right there on the title. Lampshaded in a short segment where Jerry asks "why can't it be "The Four Friends"? I'm a friend!" Only for Thomas to reply, "Just be glad your name is in the title!" To which Jerry protests, "But why single me out like that?"
- Never Bare Headed: Thomas never takes off his green baseball cap and when he does the camera is arranged so you never see what's under his cap.
- Not Now, Kiddo: Mimi is often the victim of this trope by his father.
- Not So Different: One episode ended with the Three Friends and Jerry getting into a fist fight, complete with a Big Ball of Violence. The Girls walk away, criticizing them for being so uncool and immature, but soon they get into an argument, which quickly devolves into their own Big Ball of Violence.
- In a more general sense, The Girls are often just as bad, if not even worse, than The Three Friends. They are often portrayed as very shallow, manipulative, and will be enamored, then repulsed, by the Three Friends for very petty reasons, often contradicting what they themselves said earlier in an episode.
- Sadist Show
- The Scapegoat: Jerry is always blamed for any misfortune that befalls the Three Friends, whether he really is at fault or not.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Jerry's father's rants are equal parts verbose and Angrish.
- Teens Are Monsters: Tony, the local thug, who makes life miserable for the Three Friends and Jerry.
- Values Dissonance: This show passes for a kids show back in Europe, where there is less prudishness on sexual and rather crude humor. In America, people were wondering how it got on TV in the first place.