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Western Animation: Time Squad

Larry 3000: Hello, we're the Time Squad. Our mission is simple:
to enforce the past to protect our future.
Buck: And making history fun!
Otto: You mean making fun of history! (Larry smacks him) OOW!
Larry 3000: Quiet, Otto!

— A Cartoon Network promo for the show

Imagine that as time continues into the future, the past starts to unravel, with various points in history coming out all wrong: Abraham Lincoln leaves his presidency to pull pranks, Eli Whitney invents flesh-eating robots instead of the cotton gin, Winston Churchill becomes a nudist, Ludwig van Beethoven becomes a professional wrestler, Edgar Allan Poe writes cheerful children's stories, Amelia Earhart is too afraid of germs to become the first female pilot, Al Capone uses circus clowns to run his crime syndicate, and so on.

Enter Time Squad , who travel through time making sure that the past stays right on track. The show follows one section of Time Squad: Buck Tuddrussel, who likes to shoot first and forget the questions, Larry 3000, an uppity, effeminate, snarky robot who originally worked with kings, senators, and diplomats, and Otto, an orphaned history buff picked up along the way who assists with his knowledge of the past. "Enforcing the past to protect our future."

Unless you count Otto's exposition, this show doesn't even try to be historically accurate. In fact, the basic premise revolves around the inaccuracies. And yet, most of their "successes" often leave behind many more inaccuracies...

The show premiered on Cartoon Network in June 2001 and was cancelled in November 2003. It reran for a time in 2004 and 2005 (strangely, yet, given its content, appropriately, after Adult Swim's weeknight line-up before they extended it by an hour and had it end at 6:00 a.m. Eastern standard time), but the show has now all but disappeared from the airwaves. Cartoon Network did air clips of select episodes on their website as part of the channel's 20th birthday in October 2012, but that was a "limited time only" deal.

Now has a Character Sheet, a Ho Yay page, and now a Recap page.


Contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Amelia Earhart toward Tuddrussel in "Love at First Flight." This is a somewhat unusual example—Tuddrussel and Amelia Earhart get along well until she declares her desire to marry him.
  • The Ace: Implied to be the case with JT Laser and Lance 9 Trillion.
  • Abraham Lincoln: As a prankster after getting sick of everyone praising him for being honest and good. Also has a guest spot when Buffalo Bill claims that the reason he won the presidency was because he had mind control powers.
  • Albert Einstein The Used Car Salesman
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Ax-Crazy Virtual George Washington from the "Houdini Whodunit?" cold opening.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Literally. Freud is the only psychologist who appears in canon. On a more tangentially related note, the series is obviously influenced by Freudian theory, given the constant sexual imagery and the trio representing the Id, the Ego, and the Superego.
    • Freud himself psychoanalyzes the trio near the end of his episode.
  • Ambiguous Clone Ending: The end of "Day of the Larrys."
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Attila the Hun.
  • Anachronism Stew: In one episode ("Kubla Khan't") Otto lampshades this. "I didn't know comic books even existed back then."
    • Not to mention how Khan managed to find the materials to construct the laser rifle from the schematics in the magazine that Tuddrussel had on him
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Buck and Larry's hug after their fight in "Hate and Let Hate" which can be inferred as Vitriolic Best Buds or a romantic relationship
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: A slight variation seeing that it's paired with Hilariously Abusive Childhood, and that Tuddrussel acts more like an uncle or a brother and rarely shows any sort of "paternal" emotions for Otto (outside of saying "That's my boy!" during the birthday party sequence in "Love at First Flight"). At the beginning of the episode "Father Figure of Our Country", Tuddrussel tries to bond with Otto by teaching him how to play baseball, ride a bike, and fish. This goes about as well as you'd expect, disastrous. At the end of the scene Otto is completely battered and bandaged up because of Tuddrussel's blind negligence.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Edward Teach may have become a nature loving activist, but hes still Blackbeard, the most brutal pirate to ever grace the seven seas. Do NOT push him over the edge — especially when it comes to animals and/or the environment. Also, Tuddrussel ripping up meek comic book collector Kublai Khan's mint condition first issue of the Feng Shui Twins results in him launching his conquest across Eurasia, just to find a replacement, as well as putting Tuddrussel on death row.
  • Big Damn Heroes: John Hancock and Samuel Adams in the episode "Betty Ross Lets Her Freak Flag Fly", when they arrive just in time to pump George Washington s hippie-fied army full of coffee and ready to take on the British just when Time Squad themselves had given up on the mission.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Tuddrussel, Larry, and Otto, respectively. In "The Clownfather," they are mistaken for a trio of gangsters who have similar builds.
  • Black Comedy: On "The Clownfather," Larry and Tuddrussell fight each other over who gets to entertain kids at a party. Tuddrussell wows the kids by balancing a piano on his nose. Larry throws down a banana peel and Tuddrussell slips on it. The two almost get into a pie fight until a panicked mom finds her son crushed by a piano and the mobsters (including the Time Squad, who joined Al Capone's gang because Capone mistook them for three gangsters who look like them) bail before the cops can come.
    • The many times Otto has been beaten up or abandoned — both when he lived in the orphanage and when Larry and Tuddrussell "adopt" him.
    • From Napoleon The Conquered its implied that Josephines general incompetence is what led to Napoleons crushing defeat at Waterloo, despite showing prowess at fighting minutes before.
  • Book Ends: The series premiere "Eli Whitney's Flesh-Eating Mistake" began with Tuddrussell and Larry appearing in Otto's bedroom and taking him away from the orphanage. The series finale "Orphan Substitute" ended with Otto reuniting with Tuddrussell and Larry after Otto gets taken back to the orphanage.
  • Brain Bleach: Referenced in this line from "The Prime Minister Has No Clothes":
    Tuddrussel: A 300-pound man skinny-dipping with a robot. That is just not right.
    Otto: I gotta wash my eyes!
  • Brick Joke, Overly-Long Gag, and Leave the Camera Running: "Killing Time," where after the Time Squad guide Copernicus to be an astronomer instead of a farmer, the trio spends the rest of the episode waiting around for Larry to restart his time travel software so they can go home. Just as the Time Squad zap back to the satellite, Copernicus runs back and yells, "Wait! I forgot to ask! What is the sun?".
  • Buffy Speak: Eli Whitney's first name for his famous invention that separates the cotton seeds from the fibers? The "COTTON-SEED-SEPARATOR THINGY!"
  • Butterfly of Doom: "Planet of the Flies" was about this trope.
  • The Cameo: While Tuddrussell and Larry are trying to find another Child Prodigy orphan on the series finale "Orphan Substitute," one of them is...Dexter (voiced by Candi Milo, not Christine Cavanaugh), who points out he's not an orphan.
  • Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them/Like an Old Married Couple: Tuddrussell and Larry
  • The Cape / Incorruptible Pure Pureness: George Washington is the only historical figure whose depiction hasn't been warped (though he came close on "Father Figure of Our Country, when he wanted to quit being the first U.S. President and be an actual father).
    • He did appear as a crazed lunatic in "Houdini Whodunit?," but he was part of a training simulation.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Abraham Lincoln, or "Dishonest Abe".
  • Cast of Snowflakes
  • Children Raise You: Otto often resorts to being the parent to Tuddrussel and Larry, who can act like bickering siblings (or, in a lot of cases, husband and wife). Even Dr. Freud makes a comment on the dysfunctional relationship, saying that the poor kid is slowly being robbed of his childhood and will be traumatized by this in his adult life (this, by the way, is all Played for Laughs).
    • But while Larry and Tuddrussell have a lot of problems, they still manage to give Otto a better life than he would have had in the twenty-first century (when he was in the orphanage and kept getting harassed by the other kids and forced to do chores by Sister Thornly).
  • The Chosen Many: For many of the early episodes, it seems that Buck, Larry and Otto are the only Time Squad unit, until we are introduced to at least two featuring the same "Officer-Robot" dynamic (one with Tuddrussell's ex-wife and Larry's rival, the XJ-5 and another with J.T. Laser and The Lance 9 Trillion, whom Buck and Larry idolize). Lampshaded when Otto asks in "Kubla Khan't"-
    Otto:"You mean we're not the only Time Squad?"
    Larry "You don't think one Time Squad could handle all of history, do you?"
  • Close Enough Timeline: This happens frequently in the show.
    • Like in the episode featuring the Trojan horse, the Greek army had tried sending a wooden horse filled with candy, a wooden giraffe filled with chocolate solders, and finally in an effort to please the Time Squad's wishes for real solders to be sent to the King of Troy, the Greek army sends in a wooden solder filled with wild horses. The wild horses end up murdering people and effectively destroy the city of Troy. Otto comments that this outcome isn't exactly what's supposed to happen in the history books, with Tuddrussel to retort with, "ah, close enough."
    • And once in an effort to get Paul Revere to make his historic ride to warn the colonists that the British were coming, they had Sigmund Freud hypnotize him into thinking he was a horse and forced the Austrian shrink to ride Paul like a horse and warn the Americans himself.
  • Commercials Always Lie: Some commercials portray Otto as a hyperactive curious kid who'll more likely screw the missions of Tuddrussel and Larry. In the actual show, Otto is the Only Sane Man who had to deal with the wacky antics of his two friends-cum-"foster parents".
  • Comedic Sociopathy: With Amusing Injuries, Tuddrussel and Otto enjoy playing games like "Super Extreme Spy Tag" where the object of the game seems to be to try to murder the opponent player. Tuddrussel has attempted to club Otto to death and smash him with a washing machine, only to be disappointed that he crushed Larry with said object. He did succeed in getting Otto with hit with a bookcase though. And Otto in turn enjoys spraying shaving cream into Tuddrussel's eyes and laughs at his misery.
    • This type of violent pranking is also done while working on missions, and unsurprisingly some historical figures get into it. Such as the time when Tuddrussel teaches Abraham Lincoln about atomic wedgies and the President proceeds to give one to an old lady who then blindly goes onto a busy street and gets trampled by a horse. Abe and Tuddrussel look on, proceed to laugh, and then high five each other.
  • Compressed Vice: Larry being a Moral Guardian in "Child's Play", which seems particularly bizarre given how much violence and sexuality the show had put in, far beyond the things Larry objects to.
    • Larry's obsession with "minimal interference" in "Planet of the Flies", even though the whole plot of the show is about a kid who he and Tuddrussel took out of his time period to help them on their missions.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Buffalo Bill of all people, who is too busy writing his own conspiracy newsletter to found the Pony Express. He's eventually talked into it by Otto who points out that he can circulate the newsletter along with everyone elses mail if he starts the postal system.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: Try not to think about the exact "mechanics" of it, but this was all but explicitly stated to be the cause behind Larry's sudden, over-the-top good mood at the beginning of "Ex Marks the Spot" note . Otto even calls him out on it and the Freudian symbolism of the food involved (the gravy being pumped into the turkey and a lone cherry sinking into the gravy-smothered turkey) seems to speak volumes of why Larry is such in a good mood.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: This show lived and breathed on this trope, thanks to the seemingly constant flashes of Ho Yay, Ambiguously Gay behavior, and moments of Freud Was Right. Examples:
    • In "Larry Upgrade," Tuddrussell and Larry argue like a married couple (but not before sending Otto out to play).
    • Then, there's the "break-up" between Lewis and Clark on "Lewis and Clark and Larry," along with Clark getting jealous that Lewis "went exploring" with Larry.
    • "Ex Marks the Spot," from the literal take on Food Porn to Larry declaring that Tuddrussel is sleeping on the sofa (even though Tuddrussel did nothing to deserve it).
    • A rare example that has nothing to do with the homosexual undertone of the show occurs in "Child's Play," where Shakespeare gets into creative differences between his agent (who wants him to do kids' plays for merchandise) and Larry (who acts as a Moral Guardian and keeps objecting to the plays' content). Considering how short-lived "Time Squad" was, one has to wonder if this wasn't Dave Wasson (the show creator) speaking out against the creative output of his show or if this was merely a satire on the mediocre quality of current kids' TV programming and movies due to greed and Political Correctness Gone Mad.
    • Another non-homosexual example: the two times Larry has acted drunk (in "Eli Whitney's Flesh-Eating Mistake," where his Non Sequitur Thud after being beaten by angry townspeople is "I'm okay to drive. Just help me to the car." and in "Pasteur Packs O'Punch where Larry experiences wild mood swings after being electrocuted, where he drunkenly tells Tuddrussell that he loves him, offers to drive despite being in no condition to operate anything, telling off Otto with a slurred, "Hey, don't tell me what to do!", and embarrassing himself at a party by standing on a table and declaring himself, "The Queen of France").
      • In a similar vein, on the first episode "Eli Whitney's Flesh-Eating Mistake," there was Fantastic Racism in the form of the townspeople who were attacked by Eli Whitney's flesh-eating robots attacking Larry because he may be a flesh-eating robot and Tuddrussell taking offense to being called a "robot lover" (though the rampant, mostly one-sided Ho Yay begs to differ). However, the whole scenario could be taken another way, because Tuddrussel only takes offense ("Hey! You watch who you're calling 'robot lover'!") when a townsperson labels Otto as a 'robot lover' ("This must be some kind of flesh eating robot lover trick!") right after Otto explains that Larry doesn't have any teeth. Tuddrussel having taken offence to someone other than himself being labeled as such can vaguely be interpreted as pure jealousy.
    • "Daddio DaVinci" (season one, episode three) had Otto opening Larry's gear box on his chest and Larry covering himself in the same way a woman would if her breasts were exposed.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Despite that none of them are related to each other, the writers have made them out like a family (albeit one with a lot of problems). Freud even said that the trio were like this in "The Island of Dr. Freud."
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Unsurprisingly, George Patton, who in this timeline is running a small flower shop that he's running like a boot camp and treats his employees like new recruits.
  • Erotic Eating: In the opening of "Ex Marks the Spot," Larry gives a gravy-drowned turkey to Tuddrussel, who eats it on the couch. The camera cuts away from Tuddrussel, but we hear him devour the turkey voraciously, suggestively splattering gravy on the wall and on Larry, who moans when the gravy lands on him.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Tuddrussel's reaction to J.T. Laser is groupie-like and borderline orgasmic (as is Larry's to the Lance Nine Trillion, but that goes without saying).
  • Exiled to the Couch: Larry told Tuddrussel that "Tonight, [he was] sleeping on the sofa!" when he thought that Tuddrussel and his ex-Sheila were getting back together. It Makes Sense in Context. No prior episode — unless you count the part on "Old Timers' Squad" where Larry's, Tuddrussel's, and Otto's older selves are shown in the same bed — ever established that Buck and Larry shared a bed, so the line indicated that their relationship had become, er, closer (see the Fridge Brilliance tab on this page for an alternate interpretation of this scene).
  • Fag Hag: Cleopatra is implied to be one, considering that the Larry 3000 only likes her for her fashion sense and her plans to turn the pyramids into a mall.
  • Four-Fingered Hands
  • Funny Background Event: In "Larry Upgrade," when Buck and Larry are about to start an argument, they tell Otto to go play outside, too angry to remember they live in a space station. While the two are arguing, you can see Otto drifting in space outside a window and having the time of his life.
  • Food Porn: Taken rather literally — the show had a lot of suggestively-shaped food: phallic (lots of long French baguettes, sausages, bananas, etc), vagina-esque [inner and outer] (pies [none of which were cherry], the turkey Larry stuffed with gravy in "Ex Marks the Spot," Larry's muffins in "A Sandwich by Any Other Name," the ice cream tacos on "Forget the Alamo"), testicular (grapes, nuts, olives), or semen-like (whipped cream, gravy, Cheez Whiz)
  • Foot Popping: Larry (who else?) does this when hugging Tuddrussel in "Hate and Let Hate."
  • George Washington - appeared on "Betsy Ross Flies Her Freak Flag" and "Father Figure of Our Country."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Like most of Cartoon Network's in-house programming back in the days of the Cartoon Cartoons, this show played fast and loose with Standards and Practices (even before Regular Show and Adventure Time did the same), and, what's more, it was done in excess. Other shows are content to just wing one past the radar at least once or twice an episode, but this show did a consistent job of getting away with:
    • References to homosexuality, a lot of which centered around the Larry 3000 and made up a sizable chunk of what got past (the Ho Yay page will fill in any and all details)
    • Drug humor (season one's "Eli Whitney's Flesh-Eating Mistake" and season two's "Pasteur Packs O'Punch" had Larry acting drunk and both of those times, the "drunken" Larry has muttered something about wanting to drive or being okay to drive despite being under the influence [and the obvious fact that the Time Squad doesn't have a car]; in "Betsy Ross Flies Her Freak Flag," Betsy Ross and George Washington's army all have red-rimmed eyes and act like stoners. On top of that, there was a strange, white cloud around the "Magical Farm Place Farm" and they gave Tuddrussel some of their special brownies).
    • Lines of dialogue that come off as rather...risque.
    • Some light racial/ethnic stereotyping (Larry saying the orphans looked cute with their "black faces" [which they got from mining coal] in "Orphan Substitute"; Atilla the Hun portrayed as a Mort Goldman-esque Jewish stereotype in "A Thrilla at Atilla's") note .
    • Even a couple of the titles were iffy, particularly "To Hail With Caesar" (try affecting a Southern accent and saying it out loud) and "Big Al's Big Secret" (which comes from watching too much South Park).
    • According to Rob Paulsen's Talking Toons podcast with Mark Hamill, Pamela Adlon was notorious for cursing during her recordings for Otto (so much so that Paulsen and Hamill had to tell her to cool it whenever a tour came in), so even behind-the-scenes, the show wasn't squeaky-clean.
  • Forgot I Had A Phaser: Tuddrussell's exact words in the pilot episode, after recovering from a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to blow all the enemy robots away.
  • The Ghost: Senator Fiskmeyer, the last government official the Larry 3000 worked with before being assigned to the Time Squad. Outside of being mentioned by Larry in "Dishonest Abe," "Robin and Stealing With Mr. Hood," and "Feud For Thought," Fiskmeyer hasn't actually been seen.
  • Going Native: Both Tuddrussel and Larry are EXTREMELY prone to this, as soon as they identify with a historical inaccuracy in the slightest, they'll happily abandon their mission and join up with the madness, and leave Otto to straighten things out.
  • Godiva Hair: Subverted with the legend herself on "If It's Wright, It's Wrong." Larry shows Otto some past videos of Buck trying to arrest historical figures, one of which is Lady Godiva riding naked on her horse. Rather than use her impossibly long hair to cover her nudity (as it was depicted as being a realistic shoulder-length), Godiva's nudity was covered with black censor bars.
  • Gone Horribly Right: When the Time Squad successfully (and inadvertently) return Edgar Allen Poe to his original manic-depressive (emphasis on "depressive") self, they feel bad about it and leave without saying a word.
    • This actually happens quite a few times, while most of the people Time Squad helps have simply gotten sidetracked or are missing some inspiration of idea that will put them on the right path, several historical characters dont WANT to take on the tasks that history dictates for them and are actively trying to avoid it, and its up to the Time Squad to force them to do it to prevent history from getting screwed up. Most noteable with Poe, but also with Plato, who has become a health nut and has to be physically threatened to become a philospher instead, Blackbeard, who prefers saving the environment over piracy, and Montezuma, who wants to be a stand up comedian. Some are visibly disheartened by being forced into a role they dont want.
  • Gun Porn: Parodied. Tuddrussel's magazine in "Kubla Khan't" appears to be literal pornography with guns instead of nude pictures.
  • Henpecked Husband: Napoleon in "Napoleon the Conquered." Lampshaded by Tuddrussell, who, after hearing Napoleon get yelled at by his wife, snickers, "Man, that guy is whipped!" (just before Josephine pokes her head out the door and Tuddrussell Screams Like a Little Girl)
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Lewis and Clark. Probably
    • Same thing with Larry and Tuddrussell (right down to the dubious-sounding "probably").
  • Face-Heel Turn: Alfred Nobel decided to give out a price for biggest evil instead of a Peace Price, and formed a Legion of Doom consisting of Black Bart, Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, Rasputin and Mrs O'Leary's Cow.
  • Historical In-Joke
  • History's Crime Wave: An episode featured a team of historical bad guys, including Black Bart and Lizzie Borden.
  • Hypno Fool: Alternate-history Sigmund Freud enjoys making his patients act like barnyard animals.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Tuddrussell to his ex-wife and her robot in "Nobel Peace Surprise".
    "Aw, come on. Does the solution to every problem have to involve violence with you two?" (everyone stares at him) "What?"
    • Another one from Tuddrussel in "Planet of the Flies" after Larry scolds him for smearing barbecue sauce all over the Declaration of Independence.
      "(Obnoxious Burp) Well pardon me for having good hygiene!"
    • In "Blackbeard, Warm Heart," Otto, Tuddrussell, and Blackbeard's crew lament over being called "lily-livers," "buttercups," and the dreaded S-word ( sissies). The Larry 3000 comments that he's been called a "sissy" his whole life and the slights against the crew's masculinity shouldn't get to them. There are three things that don't exactly inspire confidence in that little pep talk: 1) Larry slightly lisps when he says, "sissy," 2) Larry is saying this while sleeping in an all-pink and lace bottom bunk, and 3) It's Larry saying this. The same Larry who wore a pink bandanna as a scarf earlier in the episode that featured this part.
    • Speaking of Larry and Hypocritical Humor, there's most of the episode, "Child's Play," in which Larry acts like a Moral Guardian (and shatters the fourth wall by pointing out that Tuddrussell's catchphrases "Go time!" and "Get some!" are inappropriate for children and making two speeches about how people have lost their sense of morality) and even gets involved in censoring Shakespeare's plays — and also reveals that he reads novels by Jackie Collins, which aren't exactly what you would call "child-friendly."
  • Idiot Ball: Samuel Morse, despite having already created the telegraph, is using it to send "funny sounds" to his girlfriend across town, and instead introduces yelling at the top of his lungs out the window as his "revolutionary new communcations system". Time Squad is visibly frustrated at the sheer idiocy of the man.
  • Inventor of the Mundane: Time Squad had plenty of these. Whether the inventors actually got around to inventing their mundane inventions was completely subject to plot convenience.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: When it doesn't run on Ho Yay, Getting Crap Past the Radar, Does This Remind You of Anything?, Hypocritical Humor, and Freud Was Right.
  • Jerk Ass: Louis Pasteur is portrayed as this, showing no redeemable features whatsoever and generally acts like a stuck up asshole. Even Otto, historical fanboy extraordinaire, cant stand the guy.
  • Job Title
  • Karma Houdini: Sister Thornley, the vividly abusive owner of the Orphanage of Fear where Otto used to live, is never punished for her crimes.
  • Left the Background Music On: Larry in "Floundering Fathers". When Otto voices the first verses of the Declaration of Independence, patriotic music plays in the background, which is later revealed to be Larry using his chest as a radio.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Granted, Larry doesn't wear clothes (but if he does they're always different and it's usually a costume — and even then, it's often Stripperiffic drag) and Otto will sometimes be seen in PJs or occasionally in period costume, but Buck is never seen without his uniform. Ever. He'll wear things over it but the uniform can always be distinctly seen — even in the shower, as seen in "Larry Upgrade."
  • Man Hug: Averted in "Hate and Let Hate"—Tuddrussel and Larry reunite with a perfectly ordinary, tender hug.
  • Mona Lisa Smile: On the show, the coy, mysterious smile was because Mona Lisa had bad teeth when she gave a big smile.
  • Mobster Clown: In "The Clownfather," Al Capone forces a group of clowns to take over his crimninal empire while he and his gang take over the clown entertainment business.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Larry speaking French while trying to reason with Napoleon in "Napoleon the Conquered" apparently didn't work, as the three are then sentenced to die by guillotine. In "Out with the In Crowd," H.M. Stanley (the explorer known for the memetic quote, "Dr. Livingston, I presume?") tries to get the jungle natives to stop attacking him, but whatever he said translates to "My name is Silly Suzy and I am wearing rubber underpants."
  • My Little Phony: An episode has a cute looking pony with hearts for a Cutie Mark attacking Buck.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Despite Tuddrussels size and strength, he's gotten his ass kicked several times, ranging from experienced Soldiers like General Patton and Joan Of Arc, to Florence Nightingale!
  • Naked People Are Funny: The entire plot for "The Prime Minister Has No Clothes"
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Napoleons wife Josephine beats the crap out of him, Tudrussel, Otto, Larry and the entire French army.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Where Otto lived before Larry and Tuddrussell "adopted" him.
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: Unusual version of time travel. Alternate timelines dont exist, and time actively decays as it moves along through space and has to be maintained.
  • Parental Bonus: Everything mentioned in Ho Yay, Freud Was Right, Does This Remind You of Anything?, Genius Bonus, and Getting Crap Past the Radar, along with a significant number of Shout Outs.
  • Parody Episode: The season one episode "Larry Upgrade" seems to be a parody of The Stepford Wives, but with a happier resolution than in the book or movie.
    • "White House Weirdness" is a full-episode parody of Scooby-Doo
  • Pec Flex: Tuddrussell. With those muscles, who wouldn't?
  • Personality Swap: Buck and Larry enter one by accidentally switching their usual areas of habitation and going native in "Hate and Let Hate." Worth noting because this wasn't done as the usual Freaky Friday switch in which some magical or scientific third party switches Larry's and Tuddrussell's personalities into each other's bodies.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Played straight with Sheila and her robot the [XJ5], even if fans tend to think that's more than platonic from [XJ5]'s side. Also played with Larry and Tuddrussel, it's also played straight, though with the heavy aura of Ho Yay around the friendship, this is debatable.
  • Plot What Plot: "Day of the Larrys" and "Ex Marks the Spot" seem to exist just so Dave Wasson and his animation crew can piss off the censors with as much Ho Yay as possible and remove the pesky "ambiguous" from Larry's "Ambiguously Gay" description (Not That There's Anything Wrong with That). "Ex Marks The Spot" at least had a historical mission (no matter how thin and easily-resolved it was) to pad things out; "Day of the Larrys"...didn't — and the writers don't seem to mind.
  • Pursue the Dream Job: Many episodes involve a historical figure changing to another field of work - such as Beethoven becoming a pro-wrestler or Albert Einstein a used car salesman - and it's up to the Squad to get them back in track and keep the timeline stable.
  • The Rashomon: Otto, Buck and Larry all have very different ideas when it comes to what happened with the Mongol army. Over a series of flashbacks we see were their stories converge and diverge only to find that Otto was the only correct and non-biased one... but wasn't used for the mission report because Otto technically isn't an official Time Squad member.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: If the show wasn't doing jokes about how Ambiguously Gay the Larry 3000 is, then it's doing jokes about how seemingly macho men have unmanly hobbies and interests. To wit:
    • "Tea Time for Time Squad" had the Sons of Liberty having an actual tea party instead of throwing the taxed tea into the harbor (which they ended up doing after Otto offers coffee to everyone).
    • "Every Poe Has A Silver Lining" had Edgar Allan Poe as a cheerful children's writer who decorated everything in pastels (and even wore a pastel purple suit that looked more like something teenaged boys from the '70s and '80s would wear to senior prom).
    • "Floral Patton": General Patton running a florist shop, though his Drill Sergeant Nasty personality didn't change.
    • "Forget The Alamo": Tuddrussel is shocked to find that his ancestor, Jeremiah Tuddrussel, is a party planner instead of one of the fighters of the Alamo.
    • "Hate and Let Hate": Tuddrussel teaches himself how to cook with Larry's books after accidentally sequestering himself on Larry's side of the satellite.
    • "Blackbeard Warm Heart" and "Repeat Offender": Bloodthirsty pirate Blackbeard (real name: Edward Teach) is an environmentalist and animal lover.
  • Refuge in Audacity: As mentioned in the Karma Houdini entry, Sister Thornly regularly abuses and uses her orphans as cheap labor (doing everything from harvesting sugar canes to mining coal to cleaning the windows of the Empire State Building) and even had them pack government cheese on a bus during a trip to Washington, D.C. (which is densely packed with all manner of security officers) without getting caught. In fact, she's never punished for what she's done. Whether it's because Police Are Useless or her status as a nun lets her get away with such atrocities is up for debate.
  • Regular Caller: The History Instability Alarm. "Cabin Fever" explored what would happen if their Regular Caller was decommissioned.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Beethoven is shown to be an incredibly macho, muscular guy who happens to love and excel at classical Music.
  • Rich Bitch: Cleopatra.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: Historical figures are often shown with different jobs.
  • Rule of Funny
  • Sarcastic Confession: Tuddrussel denying that he brought home Ivan the Terrible to keep as a pet in "Ivan the Untrainable."
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Larry and Tuddrussel. In season one, it was played straight; in season two, it was exaggerated.
  • Shout-Out: to The Benny Hill Show (in "The Prime Minister Has No Clothes"), Planet of the Apes (in "Planet of the Flies"), The Day Of The Locust (in "Day of the Larrys"), Scooby-Doo (in "White House Weirdness"), The Shining (in "Cabin Fever"), The Stepford Wives (in "Larry Upgrade"), and even the 1960s Batman series (in "Houdini Whodunit").
    • A scene in "Planet of the Flies" had Larry meet his other self in a time paradox. As one of the Larrys gestures towards the other;
      Larry 1: Ugh! Am I really that fat?
      Larry 2: How RUDE! (and promptly gives him a tight slap on the cheek)
      E-3PO: E chu ta.
      C-3PO: How rude!
    • Larry's line; "The calla lilies are in bloom again," in "Floral Patton" is a Signature Line by Katharine Hepburn from her role in Stage Door which is accompanied by one of the most memorable monologues in film.
    • In "Big Al's Big Secret", the pig that finished off Larry's disguise as a Texan farmer was mentioned as being named "Zeek". Dave Wasson (Time Squad's creator) himself owns a pet pig named 'Zeek'.
    • A single shot in "Out with the In Crowd" contains five different Shout Outs. When Larry adoringly asks for the Lance Nine Trillion's autograph, he holds up an autograph pad signed by HAL 9000, C-3PO, RoboCop, Mr. Roboto (from the Styx song of the same name) and Robby.
    • The entirety of the episode "Billy the Baby" was a shout out and homage to the animation direction of Tex Avery, and to the Spaghetti Western director Sergio Leone note , where we get the Clint Eastwood expy as The Man With No Name breaking the forth wall like this was a Droopy cartoon.
    • The episode "White House Weirdness" is a homage to the original Scooby-Doo series, complete with a similar plot (the ghosts of former Presidents apparently haunting the White House turns out to be a plot by William Howard Taft to run unopposed in the 1912 elections), the iconic music from the original Scooby-Doo cartoon, and even a scene with a chase through the Scooby Doo Doors.
    • "Look out! He's got a board! And it's got a nail in it!"
  • Spiritual Successor: The whole show is a 21st century spin on Peabody's Improbable History, which featured a similar plot, with things in the past being twisted, and the characters going back in time to set things right, or close to it. Also Otto looks and acts a bit like Sherman, and interestingly enough have a similar backstory- both were orphans living in abusive homes before being "adopted."
  • Squee: Tuddrussell and Larry fawning over JT Laser and the Lance 9 Trillion on "Out With the In Crowd" — and adding more points to Time Squad's Ho Yay Count.
  • That's What She Said: The phrase itself wasn't said on the show, but one line from "Nobel Peace Surprise" might as well as have that phrase tagged at the end of it. When the XJ5 shows off his footprint detector, Larry scoffs, "It's not the size of the equipment. It's how you use it."
    • Tuddrussel makes it into this trope too with his line in "Horse of Horrors". While reading a magazine "Burgers and You", he exclaims; "Man! Will you look at the size of those buns! Mm-mm!"
  • This Is My Side: Used on the episode "Hate and Let Hate," only Tuddrussell and Larry end up on each other's sides (Tuddrussell is on the side with the kitchen and Larry is on the side where Tuddrussell's gun room/gym is), leading to a Personality Swap.
  • Three Man Band
  • Three Plus Two: When Sheila Sternwell and XJ5 join the party as the Action Girl and the Fifth Ranger in "Nobel Peace Surprise."
  • Three Shorts: Played straight with the seventh episode of season one, which included "If It's Wright, It's Wrong," a fake recruitment ad for the Time Squad, and another short called "Killing Time"; averted with the rest of the series, which only have two shorts.
  • Through His Stomach / Your Favorite: The beginning of "Ex Marks the Spot," complete with a Freudian gravy-pouring sequence.
  • Time Police
  • Time-Space Continuum Of Ham
  • Time Travel
  • Trojan Horse: Full of candy, no less.
    • And then a giraffe full of chocolate, and then a soldier full of horses ...
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: The beginning of "Houdini Whodunit" where The Time Squad are tied up and stuck in their flaming satellite with an evil George Washington.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Most of the historical figures they visit take the idea of a Time Police visiting them to make sure they behave according to history with surprising indifference. The main issue tends to lie in getting them to do what theyre supposed to be doing. The only ones who tend to be really shocked or scared of the trios appearance are civilian bystanders.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Despite their complete incompetence at their job before they enlisted the help of a 21st century 8-year old, Tuddrussel and Larry are never fired or even reprimanded. Presumably they make themselves look better in their reports, but you'd think theyd have a supervisor or something who'd notice the wildly inaccurate timeline errors they tend to leave behind, even with Otto to help them.
  • Visual Innuendo: Lots of it, mostly centered on food (the "gravy-filling" scene from "Ex Marks the Spot" comes to mind) and Tuddrussel's phasers. See Freud Was Right and Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • Wayback Trip: Lampshaded in a commercial for the show where the characters watch Peabody's Improbable History on a computer screen. The resemblance between Otto and Sherman is pointed out, to which Larry responds, "Ugh, we did not copy their show!"
  • Weirdness Magnet: The guys often have to deal with some pretty bizarre people and situations, from giant fly people to evil My Little Ponies, and having their satellite turned into a resort for robots, it's never a dull day while on the job apparently.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: "Day of the Larrys" had a robot disco — which included a Larry clone suggestively dressed as a cowboy.
  • Winston Churchill: As a nudist on "The Prime Minister Has No Clothes."
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Otto, but at the same time he's just a normal kid in abnormal circumstances.
  • Working with the Ex: Occasionally other Time Squad units join in to help the trio. One of these squads consists of Buck Tuddrussel's ex-wife Sheila Sternwell. While Buck is good-natured towards his ex, Sheila seems to hold nothing but enmity for him (then again, he is an idiot).
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The writers had the habit of constantly misplacing years with people from history.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Shakespeare speaks in this dialect. His agent, by contrast, sounds like Phil Silvers.

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alternative title(s): Time Squad
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