Western Animation / 12 oz. Mouse

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12oz-Mouse-Fitz.png

"Okay now, funny thing is, I have these weird flashes, like I've been somewhere before. Like I've been ripped from somewhere for reasons I don't understand. Does anyone else pick that up? That understanding of rippedness?"

12 oz. Mouse (sometimes abbreviated as ozmo) is a 21-episode animated series that ran on [adult swim] from 2005-2007. It was the brainchild and pet project of Aqua Teen Hunger Force co-creator Matt Maiellaro.

The show's narrative centers around Mouse Fitzgerald ("Fitz"), a green, beer-swilling, chaotic neutral mouse who lives in a violent, nihilistic town apparently made out of cardboard. Fitz takes on a series of oddjobs for Shark, a non-anthropomorphic blue shark, and botches each one spectacularly through his propensity for drinking and his inability to focus on the simplest of tasks. As the series progresses, Fitz has flashbacks of a lost previous life, including a wife and daughter he didn't know he had. As he attempts to put together his forgotten past, he runs afoul of several of the town's more bizarre citizens, including a giant eyeball, a one-handed corndog farmer, and a wealthy square. Everyone knows something, but they're not telling, and most of them have their own problems.

Though ozmo is remarkable for its moody story, its brilliant soundtrack, and its breathy, melodramatic voice acting, the series is mostly remembered for its abject visual austerity. Most of the characters are rendered in simple line drawings (hand-drawn by Maiellaro) and the backgrounds are rarely more detailed than that; Maiellaro joked that he pitched the series by telling the network, "This will cost about five dollars and will take some of the paper sitting in the copier." If you've ever seen the show, it's not too hard to believe him.


"I've got a lot on my mind and a lot of tropes in my hand."

  • The Alcoholic: Fitz's defining trait. In fact, the only merchandise produced for the show aside from the DVD was a drinking flask engraved with his image.
    • The other characters get in their share of boozing, too.
  • Alternate Reality Game: Sort of, in a very limited way. One episode ended with a numeric code, and a hint to its decoding was provided on the [adult swim] forums. The fan who decoded it won $5 in loose change, some swag, and a note from RBM. Maiellaro also posted a riddle to the forums in 2007, which was never officially solved.
  • Amateur Cast: The "cast" is made up of the creator, the producers, a musician and people who worked for the animation studio.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Rectangular Businessman once referred to himself as a woman. Rhoda, who looks and speaks like a male, is sometimes called a "her". The Man/Woman can switch genders at will.
  • Anti-Hero: Fitz and Skillet have no problem robbing banks, killing off Red Shirts, and then getting drunk as their reward. But at least they aren't trying to destroy/control the whole world.
  • Back from the Dead: Skillet in the series finale. And depending on how you see the ending, everyone else who died on the show.
  • Bigger Bad:
    • The Shadowy Figure, who's the only person Rectangular Businessman answers to.
    • Amalockh. After he's released, even Shark and Rectangular Businessman realize that they can't control him and become worried.
  • Breather Episode:
    • "Star Wars VII", which is all about Rectangular Businessman trying to buy a harmonica and Shark trying to get his car started.
    • And "Auraphull", of course.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Due to the bizarre nature of the show's world, you'll probably have trouble telling whether someone is being a Talkative Loon or is actually giving real background info. This is compounded by the cast being frequently attacked by "anti-language gas".
  • Cool Car: Fitz's taxi appears to be a yellow jet with no wings.
  • Cool Ship: Shark's ship appears to be a giant flying metal shark.
  • Cute but Cacophonic: Skillet's single frame of animation is adorable, but he speaks in loud squealing noises.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Every single conversation from every character in this whole show counts.
  • The City: Played straight in the first two seasons, averted in the Internet episode.
  • Dumb Is Good: Contrast the protagonists, especially the stoner policeman, with the far more (relatively) intelligent villains, RBM and Shark.
  • Eternal Recurrence: It's heavily implied that the town is stuck in a loop that has gone through at least one iteration. Liquor even tells Roostre that's he's "too close to resetting everything".
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Letters in the background of Shark's party spell out the messages, "Roostre knows", "Shark is an asshole", and "Skillet is key".
  • Gainax Ending / No Ending: On one hand, the antagonists are killed off and the heroes leave the city behind. On the other hand, the show offers no answers about Fitz's past and a number of other plot threads are left dangling. The DVD release is labeled as "Vol. 1", so [adult swim] could've intended to continue the series past the one internet-only episode. (That doesn't seem likely nowadays, though.)
  • Government Conspiracy, maybe.
  • Guns and Gunplay Tropes: Too many to list here. To say the least, each character carries a signature gun and uses it with little or no provocation.
  • Magical Realism of a particularly bleak and nihilistic kind.
  • Mind Screw: All over the place. There are two attitudes toward this show: the fans who love it, and the people who literally don't even think it has a plot. At all. They don't mean it as a pejorative—they literally aren't aware of the actual plot.
  • The Movie: Sort of—the show's DVD release edits all the show's episodes together into a single "movie".
  • No Indoor Voice: Golden Joe. He's like "a human P.A. machine".
  • No Name Given: Some characters are never really given names. The cop is finally called "Peanut" (one of the most common fan nicknames) in the last episode. The annoying woman in the green sweater is never named, until her transformation, after which Word of God called her "Robogirl".
  • No-One Could Survive That: Rectangular Businessman supposedly dies in an exploding building in the first episode. Later on, he comes back, with the explanation that he's "too rich to die."
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Archeus "speaks" through subtitles, accompanied by the sound of a twinkling piano. When she introduces herself to Fitz, he tries several different pronunciations of "Archeus", none of which seem to please her.
  • Oh Crap!: Rhoda when he accidentally calls Shark instead of Fitz, thus signing his own death warrant.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Shark becomes one after his Villainous Breakdown. He unleashes all his evil robots into the city and sits back and watches as they all tear the city apart, killing anything in sight.
  • Ontological Mystery: The show's main story is Fitz realizing that he's in one. He starts having flashbacks to an earlier life, starts noticing that people are hiding things, and realizes that he doesn't even remember ever moving to the town. The story develops into his quest to find the answers to his past.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Shortly after Skillet dies near the end of the series, Peanut Cop says "That's not funny at all..." without even smiling or snickering once, which is something he can't go five words without doing.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Averted. "The magnitude of my wealth goes beyond any wall... of China".
  • Right on the Tick: The frozen clock.
  • Scary Black Man: Halfway through the series, Shark announces, "I'm black now", and starts blowing up everything.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "Meat Warrior", Peanut Cop and Liquor accidentally run over a baby carriage that had harmless beer bottles in it. Sound familiar?
    • At the end of "Eighteen", Shark has a Villainous Breakdown and demands that Rectangular Businessman activates all the tie-bots and hovervacs to assist him in taking down Fitz, his friends, and Amalockh. The way he shouts out EVERYONE!!! is very similar to how Stansfield said it in The Professional.
  • Smug Snake: Shark. He tries to be as smart and witty as RBM, but he clearly isn't, and RBM knows it.
  • Stopped Clock: One that's an antagonist, to boot.
  • The Stinger: A few episodes end with one; sadly, they're not in the DVD release.
  • Surreal Humor / Surreal Horror intentionally toes the line between the two.
  • Stylistic Self-Parody: "I don't have any eyes."
    • A subtle one occurs when a deadly tiebot attaches itself to Fitz's chest. He can't reach it because his arms don't bend.
  • Stylistic Suck: It's not known if it's true or not, but [adult swim] constantly jokes that this show basically came about as a challenge to see if it was possible to create a television show while completely wasted; they still frequently and proudly refer to it when using examples of the crappiest artwork in the world.
  • Take That: Some have theorized that this show is a parody (affectionate or otherwise) of The Big O.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The episode summaries given to cable providers were completely unrelated to the episodes. In fact, they were the summaries from episodes of Good Times, with the characters' names changed.
  • Verbal Tic: The Eye usual-eye speaks b-eye emphas-eye-zing the "eye" sound in ever-eye word he can.
    • And then a few he c-eye-n't.
      • No. You can't do that.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Shark finally becomes fed up with everything in "Eighteen" and tells RBM to unleash their entire army all at once.
    Shark: Get me everyone.
    RBM: What do you mean by 'everyone'? You want the tie-bots, or the hovervacs?
    Shark: EVERYONE!!!
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Shark and RBM always insult each other at every turn. And yet, they continue to work together in their evil schemes.
  • Wham Episode: The Season 1 finale. Rhoda is sliced in half by Rectangular Businessman, Fitz is drugged and falls into a trap room, Skillet gets shot with a tranquilizer dart and is later captured, and the Eye has his leg chopped off by the Hand and passes out in his own pool of blood.
  • Wham Line:
    • In "Spharktasm", when Rhoda realizes that he called the wrong person.
    Shark: "This is Rhoda, isn't it?"
    • And again in "Enjoy The Arm".
    Eye: Someone sounds mad back there.
    Evil!Eye: [grows an arm, takes out a gun, and points it at the Eye] Yes. Someone does.
  • Zen Survivor: In the internet-only episode.


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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/TwelveOunceMouse