Western Animation / Tripping the Rift

Left to right: T'Nuk, Gus, Chode, Six, Whip

Tripping The Rift is a computer-animated sci-fi parody created by Chris Moeller and Chuck Austen (of "The Draco" infamy) in 1998 as a short film released on the Internet. The film gained popularity, especially after being shown on the Sci Fi Channel, and was made into a television series in 2004.

This show provides examples of:

  • All-CGI Cartoon
  • Ambiguously Gay: Gus. In Season One, at least. Season Two, however...
  • Art Evolution: Season 3 looks a bit more realistic and the animation more natural than the previous two.
  • Beauty Contest: "Miss Galaxy 5000".
  • Big Bad: Darph Bobo.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Also covers Cool Uncle, Evil Uncle, and Honorary Uncle since Whip and Chode refer to each other as nephew and uncle (with Six as Team Mom, T'nuk as the bitter spinster aunt, Gus as the Camp Gay cousin, and the ship itself as a sarcastic family friend).
  • Bigger Than Jesus: In the episode "Cool Whip", Whip becomes an instant celebrity on a planet where the king proclaims him "Bigger than Jesus" but not The Beatles. Though he learns that he is going to be hunted and mounted.
  • Black Comedy Rape: The pilot contained an unpleasant anecdote about the history between Chode and Darph Bobo:
    Six: Where do you know this guy from?
    Chode: Oh, well yeah, he and I were in prison together a while back...
    Gus: Don't tell me. Judging by his size, I'd say you were the bitch, am I right?
    Chode: (Sheepishly)Yeah.
  • Blood Sport: Mutilation Ball
  • Brainwashed: Six in "Power to the Peephole", where she gets reprogrammed by Candidate George Goodfella and turned into his brainless sex slave.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In "Skankenstein", when Chode decries the episode being in black & white being due to animation budget cuts. Happens a few other times during the third season as well.
  • Catch Phrase
  • Class Reunion
  • Couch Gag: The different phrases shouted by Spaceship Bob during the opening credits.
  • Crapsack World: The general setting is that known space is politically divided between two superpowers: the Confederation (led by Humans, and a parody of the Federation from Star Trek) and the Dark Clown Empire (a parody of the Galactic Empire from Star Wars). The Dark Clown Empire is a totalitarian, tyrannical police state, led by the evil Darph Bobo. In contrast, the Confederation is technically a democratic society, but in practice, is dominated by mega-corporations and bloated bureaucracies. Ultimately, both superpowers end up exploiting and restricting their inhabitants, albeit in different ways. The value placed on life is so commercialized in the Confederation that clearly sentient robots and androids are reduced to essentially slave-status. The Dark Clown Empire practices actual slavery, and while the Confederation does not, most of its inhabitants (including the Human ones) are openly described as living in wage slavery. The only place that anyone can truly be free is in the border region between the two superpowers, which is directly controlled by neither. This borderland is known as "the Rift", hence those outlaws (like the main characters) on the fringes of society who cling to their freedom by moving back and forth around the Confederation/Dark Clown Empire border to evade detection are said to be "Tripping the Rift".
  • Cross Dresser: Chode dresses like a hooker in "Nature vs. Nurture" to hide from peasants with Torches and Pitchforks.
  • Decapitation Presentation: In "God Is Our Co-Pilot", Six beheads T'Nuk.
  • The Empire
  • Ethical Slut: Six is this when she's not being Shameless Fanservice Girl. Although she's a sexbot at the core, she's possibly the most ethical and considerate member of the cast and tries to convince Chode to be morally upright from time to time. She's also a staunch adherent to women's rights and dislikes women being treated as tools for sex.
  • Expospeak Gag:
    Chode: What the hell you been fixin' in these past two days?
    Gus: The trans-digital freon converter.
    Chode: And what's that for?
    Gus: It makes ice cubes.
  • Expy: Darph Bobo is an Expy of Darth Vader
    • Darph Bobo's Clown Troopers are Expy's of the Stormtroopers while the name is a play on clone troopers
    • Gus is an Expy of C-3PO. To really nail it in, his vacuum cleaner in the opening looks like R2-D2.
    • The Confederation are Expys of Star Trek, complete with SEVERAL Expys of Captain Kirk at various stages of his career. You can also see Spock at the bar in one episode, failing at doing the Vulcan neck grip.
  • Fanservice: Six.
    • T'Nuk is entirely convinced that she is this as well. The rest of the crew disagrees, Chode especially who constantly voices his opinion on the matter.
      • She's considered one to the inhabitants of Planet Kubrick.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot - the season 2 episode, "Honey, I Shrunk the Crew"
  • The Federation
  • Fiery Redhead: The 50-foot giantess from "Creaturepalooza".
  • Five-Man Band
  • Flanderization - A little bit with Six, but the biggest example here, is Gus. He went from being a not-exceptionally-masculine bot with some ambiguously gay tendencies to his stereotypically gay characteristics being the sole definition of his character, kinda like the Larry 3000 on Time Squad, only not as toned down, since Tripping The Rift isn't a children's cartoon.
  • Gag Boobs: Spamela Anderslut, a rather savage parody of Pamela Anderson, from the planet Titius Maximus. Her breasts are so big that she actually needs a specialized device just to carry them around. They even end up leading her downfall: just as she was about to win the "Miss Galaxy 5000" pageant, T'Nuk purposefully kicks her device out of the way, causing Spamela to fall and injure herself under the weight off her own breasts.
  • Girls Behind Bars: "Six, Lies and Videotape".
  • God - from the series premiere "God is Our Copilot" and the season 2 episode, "Chode's Near-Death Experience".
  • God Is Evil - Well... a grade-A Jerkass at any rate.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks - To Chode at least. They don't want him in Heaven and Hell, so they each try to get him to go to the opposite side. To be fair, it's Chode we are talking about..
  • Gray and Black Morality: And barely that.
  • The Greys
  • Gainaxing: ANY female with a noticeable chest (which is pretty much every female on the show), but Six is the one who is noticed the most.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Surprise, surprise; Six.
  • Henpecked Husband: Darph Bobo and Commander Adam. So much so that they'd rather fight a war with each other than spend time at home with their wives.
  • Het Is Ew: One episode had a planet with this as its hat.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Six. She is the only one to truly care about whether people live or die in a setting where life is pretty much cheap.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Whip in "Cool Whip"
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Six, Babette and really just about any female character that's supposed to be attractive is drawn with large breasts, equally wide hips and a waist that looks nowhere wide enough to be in between the two former.
  • Insult to Rocks: This little exchange between Chode and T'Nuk
    Chode: She's not a cow.
    T'Nuk: Thank you, Chode.
    Chode: Cows have a quiet dignity and serve a purpose.
    T'Nuk: Jackass!
    Chode: Let's not drag your mother into this.
  • Jury of the Damned: "The Devil and a Guy named Webster".
  • Kangaroo Court: In "The Sidewalk Soiler", Chode is put on trial for littering (the penalty for guilty litterbugs being death). Though the judge belongs to the planet's native species, each member of the jury is an actual kangaroo.
  • Lighter and Softer: Only slightly. The original pilot contained nudity, whereas the series has only come close.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: A variation of it. The crew encounter a crooked stripper named Haffa Dozen, whom Six was modeled after. Six wasn't created as a fantasy girl by nerds as Gus always assumed.
  • Meaningful Name: The confederation captain's son apparently has a future in Law Enforcement.
  • Meaningful Sdrawkcab Name: T'nuk Layor.
  • Mind over Matter: Darph Bobo in 'Chode & Bobo's High School Reunion' which is parodying Carrie.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Six is literally made of this trope.
  • The Monolith: "2001 Space Idiocies".
  • Monster Clown: Darph Bobo and everyone else in the Clown Federation.
  • Mooks: Clown Troopers.
  • Near-Death Experience: Chode's Near Death Experience
  • Not So Different: Chode and Philbrick.
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted, but awkward looking during the first two seasons.
  • The Nudifier: Chode apparently has one handy for Six, and makes use of it when she tries to make a (Conservatively dressed) statement at the Miss Galaxy 5000 pageant.
  • Prince and Pauper: "Nature vs. Nurture".
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Darph Bobo when he's really annoyed.
  • Religious Robot: The robots justify their belief in God by stating:
    Gus: If we didn't believe in God, we'd have to worship the engineering dweebs who designed us
    Six: And frankly, the God I pray to doesn't need acne medicine and chronically masturbate.
  • Reset Button: Lampshaded by Chode at the end of The Need For Greed.
  • Ret Gone
  • Reunion Revenge
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Six in spades. Though she doesn't age, she DOES need to breathe.
  • Roswell That Ends Well
  • Sapient Ship: The space ship was both sapient and afraid of wide open spaces...
  • Satan
  • Sexbot: Six.
    • And this will give you an idea of the caliber of the crew on this ship: She doubles as the ship's science officer, because she's STILL the most intelligent and best educated member of the crew, INCLUDING the ship's built-in AI.
  • Shout-Out: To EVERYTHING.
  • Show Some Leg
  • The Slacker: Whip.
  • Stealth Pun: Six (of One, "half a dozen of the other")
  • Stripperiffic: Pretty much anything Six wears.
  • Take That: "Did anyone care that they canceled Enterprise?"
  • Team Mom: Six tends to fall into this, being the only member of the crew with any sense of responsibility or compassion.
  • Thank the Maker
  • Too Dumb to Live: Doesn't the Jupiter 42 have a shuttle craft? So when you're conscripted to find the commander of the Confederation and have 24 hours until an earwig eats your brain (think Escape from New York), wouldn't it be a good idea to USE THAT to find who you're looking for, rather than waste all your time wandering around on the surface of a planet infested with dangerous B-movie monsters?
  • Transparent Closet: Gus.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Chode is in an active relationship with Six. Basically, a short, fat, purple, multi-eyed alien, manages to get with an incredibly hot space-babe. Though this could be zigzagged as he seems to be very handsome for his species.
  • Universal Universe Time
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Chode.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: "Chode's Near Death Experience"

Alternative Title(s): Tripping The Rift