Western Animation: The Trap Door
The Trap Door was a British Claymation
show that first aired in 1984. The show was set in a Haunted Castle
owned by an unseen creature known only as 'The Thing Upstairs'. The main character was this creature's servant, a blue blob named Berk, who lived in the castle's lower floors and did his master's bidding, such as tidying up and cooking his various disgusting meals. Living with Berk is his pet spider-like bug named Drutt, and a snarky talking skull named Boni who is constantly annoyed, mostly due to being unable to move on his own power.
The titular trapdoor is a big wooden trap door in the castle's lower floors leading to a massive underground cave system full of monsters. At least once an episode the trap door would open up and release a monster for Berk and his friends to deal with as it causes chaos around the castle. Typically they manage to get rid of the monster by the end of the episode, but they have befriended one, a big dim-witted red monster named Rogg, who regularly pops out of the trap door to visit.
Provides Examples Of:
- All Just a Dream: 'Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite' and 'Moany Boni'
- Battle Discretion Shot: More often than not, violence occurs in another room, complete with Screen Shake.
- Bedsheet Ghost: Berk gets haunted by loads of these in 'Boo!'
- Bolivian Army Ending: The last episode of the series has the Big Red Thing, one of the nastiest creatures to come through the trap door, jump out and attack Berk and his friends only for the show to cut out
- By the Lights of Their Eyes
- Catch Phrase: "Oh Globbits!"
- Cat Scare: Done with Drutt in the middle of a chase scene.
- Chew Toy: Boni. "I think I feel a headache coming on". Berk gets it pretty bad at times as well.
- The Comically Serious: Boni, though usually much more level headed (no pun intended) than Berk, is very neurotic and occasionally prone to bursts of childish excitement.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Berk often cooks with such ingredients as live worms, bugs, eyeballs and other gross things. Justified, since he's cooking for a monster. Taken to extremes in the first episode when a yellow monster emerges from the trap door and eats Berk's carefully prepared dinner. Berk improvises and serves Yellow Monster Surprise instead. The thing congratulated him on the texture.
- Cousin Oliver: Drutt had babies that became regular characters.
- Crossdressing Voices: Drutt... maybe.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: A good few of the monsters actually find out the hard way not to mess with Berk. Rogg also deals with some rather swiftly.
- In the episode "The Midnight Snack" he actually won a 4-on-1 fight. Pretty impressive
- Deadpan Snarker: Boni. Berk, too, at times.
- Defanged Horrors: Some monsters, like Rogg, can be quite nice.
- Dem Bones: Boni
- Deranged Animation
- The Ditz: Rogg.
Berk: You got any bright ideas, then?
Rogg: Well, you could um... er... don't know.
- Berk leans lightly into one at times. He has moments of inspiration, but is a fairly careless guy.
- Dramatic Thunder: Once per Episode.
- Early-Bird Cameo: A few monsters, such as The Splund, cameo in the episode "Don't Open That Trap Door", before getting their own spotlight episode.
- Eldritch Abomination: 'Im Upstairs is implied to be this.
- Extra Eyes: Some of the trap door monsters. 'Im Upstairs, too, from what we hear. They even come out.
- Eye Spy: The Thing's eyes still function when they're detached.
- Faux Affably Evil: The Splund. He cheerfully threatens to eat Boni and Drut and laughing maniacally.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Drutt. See Sdrawkcab Name below.
- "Berk" is cockney for a female body part and he repeatedly expresses a fondness for bonking things.
- It's also a same for a silly person. Seems apt.
- Grotesque Cute: A cute little monster opens his mouth to reveal rows of jagged fangs.
- Grumpy Bear: Boni.
- Guarding The Trap Door: Even though Berk often leaves it ajar.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Rogg, in the final episode. He gets better.
- It's Always Spring: Or It's Always a Dark Stormy Night.
- Jerk Ass: Bubo.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Berk, for as much as he complains and snarks at them, he does care about Boni and Drut.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: Rogg is one of the friendlier creatures to come out of the trap door. It may come from the fact he is a complete ditz.
- Meaningful Name: Berk is British slang for a stupid, often easy to manipulate person.
- Monster of the Week: LOTS of this.
- Musical Episode: An entire episode was dedicated to an extended version of the theme tune. Aptly named Don't You Open That Trap Door, which is the first lyric of the theme song.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Subverted in Don't You Open That Trap Door, Bert turns on the radio, leading nearly every monster from the series to pop up and run rampant in the kitchen. They scurry back in when I'm Upstairs bellows about the noise.
- Nightmare Sequence: 'Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite'
- No Fourth Wall: Berk often addresses the kids directly. Boni sometimes explains what's going on at an episode's beginning, 'Allo 'Allo! style.
- Once per Episode: The Trap Door unleashes a fearsome monster.
- Only Sane Man: Boni.
- Power Trio:
- Pardon My Klingon: 'Globbits!' 'Great Grumfuttoks Tusks!'
- Recurring Character: Rogg, Bubo, the Big Red Thing
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Berk, in the Season 1 Finale.
- Screwy Squirrel: A fair few of the monsters from the trap door are more trouble makers or pranksters than outright menaces. Bubo is perhaps the most notable.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Drutt. More commonly spelled Drut. Turd.
- Spoof Aesop: "If you've got a problem, stuff a worm in it."
- Talking to Himself: All the voices are done by the late Willie Rushton.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Rogg.
- The Ditz: Rogg
- The Smurfette Principle: Drutt.
- The Stinger: In both season finales to undo any changes they have done.
- The Voice: 'Im Upstairs
- This Is Going To Suck: Boni can tell instantly there will be trouble whenever the Trap Door is left open.
- íThree Amigos!: They finally fit this in Series 2, Episode... 8?
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Some of the horrors Berk and the others meet are treated in a light-hearted manner. Though granted they do deal with them on a very regular basis.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Berk and Boni. Berk also ends up one to the obliviously friendly Rogg, though seems to lighten up by Season Two.
- Your Tomcat Is Pregnant / Mr. Seahorse: Drutt has babies. They still refer to him/her with male pronouns.