Western Animation / The Trap Door
Don't you open that Trap Door! note
"Somewhere in the dark and nasty regions — where nobody goes — stands an ancient castle. Deep within this dank and uninviting place lives Berk
('ullo!), overworked servant of The Thing Upstairs.
(BEEEERK! FEED ME!
) But that's nothing compared to the horrors that lurk... beneath the Trap Door. For there is always something down there, in the dark, waiting to come out..."
Don't you open that Trap Door — you're a fool if you dare! Stay away from that Trap Door, 'cause there's something down there!
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. All the characters were voiced by comedian Willie Rushton
The show's creators, CMTB Animation and Queensgate Productions, later made Stoppit and Tidyup
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!'
- Beware the Nice Ones: Although Rog is generally considered to be one of the nicest and most easygoing characters, he can descend into this if pushed far enough, as seen in Junk Food —
Berk: As for you, Turnip-Bonce...
Berk: ...landed me right in the Worm Stew! You and me are going back downstairs. (starts pushing Rog, as he looks on confusedly without budging) Come on! Back down the Trap... (slaps his stomach) ...DOOR!
- Amusingly in this case though, it was also subverted in a way — given that immediately afterwards, Rog went over and cheerily waved to Berk from the window, and then spoke to the audience about how much he liked him.
Rog: Hmmm... (walks over to the window and waves down to Berk) yoo hoo!
Berk: Don't you "yoo hoo" me, you overgrown puce pea-brain! Look at the state of me...! (cut off by Rog speaking, but he can still be faintly heard ranting in the background)
Rog: (turns to the camera) I like Berk. He's my friend!
Berk: — I HATE YOU!
- Played more straight when Rog helps deal with any of the monsters from the trap door. Especially so in "Scunge", where he uses the same trick on Bubo after he starts heckling them:
Rog: Berk doesn't like you... (nonchalantly smacks Bubo into the open trap door) ...That was fun.
- 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.
- Bottle Episode: Almost every episode takes place fully in the castle of The Thing Upstairs, mostly within Berk's kitchen, where the trap door resides — ironically, only a couple actually show what's inside it.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of the episode "Don't Open That Trap Door", Berk wonders if they'll play the song they heard on the radio (the show's theme song) again. Cue the end credits, which plays that exact song.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: This was often used for when the characters were in a dark place — like Berk hiding in the room with the mirror to get away from the Big Red Angry Thing in Breakfast Time.
- 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.
- Combat Tentacles: Some of the monsters, like whatever's attached to those orange ones in the first episode. Fortunately for those ones at least, they prove susceptible to bonking.
- 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 Surprisenote instead. The thing congratulated him on the texture.
- Cousin Oliver: Drutt had babies that became regular characters.
- Covered in Gunge: Several of the monsters would either throw handfuls of the stuff around, or explode in showers of yellow goo.
- Creepy Basement: The trope the series is built around. Whatever is below the trap door is seriously creepy and it is full of monsters.
- 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.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: At the end of the first season Berk decides he's finally had it with monsters always escaping into his kitchen and 'Im Upstairs yelling at him all the time and leaves. But then the credits finish and he's back.
- 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.
- Giant Spider: One of the recurring monsters from the trap door. Drut also morphed into one in "Nasty Stuff".
- 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. Not that actually closing it does much to keep the beasties down below.
- 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. Until the credits finish.
- 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.
- Sense Freak: When a monster from the trap door transforms Boni into a goat-like creature, Boni spends the remainder of the episode running around in his new body and trying to show it off to Berk and Drutt.
- Shout-Out: The Thing, after eating his breakfast in "Breakfast Time", declares "Parts of that were excellent!" This is a reference to the Curate's Egg cartoon.
- Spoof Aesop: "If you've got a problem, stuff a worm in it."
- 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.