A Comedy Central animated series that premiered March 17, 2010.Take New York City, add every horrifying beast, sci-fi freak, and fantasy fairy you or anyone else can think of, shake thoroughly, and you've got Ugly Americans.The show is set in an Alternate Universe version of New York City where all supernatural creatures exist and have integrated with humanity. Mark Lilly is a new employee at New York's Department of Integration (the "Token Bleeding Heart"), whose job is to help immigrants fit in with American society as well as help monsters fit in human society in general. Unfortunately for Mark, his co-worker Leonard is a drunk wizard, his demonic boss Twayne couldn't care less, and he is at odds with the head of the law enforcement division Frank, who would rather see them all deported. Rounding out the cast is Mark's other succubus boss Callie, who he is having a sorta relationship with, and Mark's lazy zombie roommate Randall.Sadly, the show ended after two seasons due to lukewarm ratings. The network tried to find outside financing for it, but that fell through. The producers are looking into other options for keeping the universe alive, including making it into a graphic novel series (which, considering the aethestic, would be appropriate).
This animated series provides examples of:
Actor Allusion: Michael-Leon Wooley, the voice of Twayne, once provided the voice for Audry II, the man eating plant from Little Shop Of Horrors on Broadway. In the episode Little Ship of Horrors there is a species of plant people resembling Audrey II running a flower shop. Wooley provided the voice of the shop owner.
Which seems to have done a 180, as Randall offers his assistance (complete with fanfare) as a "Rebound Artist" when Mark becomes enchanted for another woman.
Along with Bi the Way (drilling a hole in their shower to watch Callie and Mark have sex and then telling Mark he's got a nice piece, talking about how they could beat off together; all hetero-acceptable, but still...), most tropers didn't think those tropes could be combined.
However this could have simply been Hypocritical Humor. As he stated he didn't want things to get uncomfortable, only to say that after.
A single line from "Treegasm" solidified Randall's status - "...and that's how my crabs got chlamydia. Oh, and recently my dick fell off. I don't know how I forgot that little chestnut!" Cue the Treeture deciding he wants to be monogamous after all.
However, Randall has nothing on (the late) Councilman Sammy Fitzpatrick, who groped Twayne openly, and got a dolphin-woman pregnant with his love child.
Bastard Boyfriend: Inverted. Mark is a pretty decent guy while Callie is seriously abusive. Kinda inevitable given that she's literally the spawn of Satan. She's working on not being like that though.
Played straight with his first girlfriend, who he dumped in the hospital due to the fact she was allergic to his favorite food. And she was in the hospital simply because she forced herself to eat said egg for him.
Batman Gambit: In "Hell for the Holidays", Mark creates a clone of himself, and relies on a quick betrayal by Twayne in their fight to the death to avoid its discovery.
And in "Wail Street" Mark takes care of his organ-crushing soul problem, gets Callie's father to stop trying to steal his massive soul, gets a few thousand dollars richer and manages to keep his soul by buying stock in a competing demonic company, devaluing his soul through a night of debauchery, selling his soul when it is so small that Callie's father just tosses it out, and digging through medical waste for a few hours until he found it again.
Big "NO!": The Brain uses one of these in "Kong of Queens" when social services gets shut down temporarily. Given what becomes of the group, it is entirely justified.
Used again in the same episode when Randall gets cut in half by a passing bus, the sudden traumatic injury wasn't what brought it on, it was the fact that the bus was headed to Jersey City.
When Mark tells the guys that Callie sleeps around, Croatian Man's response is "IS NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
Bilingual Bonus: Mark and Randall's apartment is next door to a restaurant named 魚男寿司 ("fish-man sushi").
Bleep Dammit: Played straight and subverted in the same line in "Trolling for Terror", where it's explained that good reality TV has the three Fs: "fighting, f[bleep]," and the mysterious "fi[bleep]". Another non-humorous example in the same episode is Leonard referring to h[bleep]jobs.
Brain Food: Randall repeatedly mentions eating his brain, and even has an incredibly elaborate plan to do so. For now he is subsisting on artificial flesh made out of tofu (and rat ovaries.) On top of that, whenever he goes out to eat, he carries a "zombie ziploc", just in case he can't get any good brains.
Breast Expansion: Also happens to Callie when she comes into contact with a demon baby.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Basically everyone except Mark. Callie seems relatively normal most of the time, but even outside of the occasional demonic outburst she still keeps odd traits about her. For example, her maternal impulses for the demon baby were less caused by a desire to have children than to raise future soldiers for Satan's army.
Leonard seems to be a useless drunk but is apparently the only one who knows how to work Power Point.
Callie: Oh Mark... so innocent. It just makes me want to *demonically*corrupt your soul and drag it through the bowels of Hell!
Though, if anything, Mark is the one influencing Callie to be a better person for his sake.
Season two ended the hints that Mark and Callie's relationship was caused by a higher power to play out that mark just might be more corrupt than Callie.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Callie vs Randall. Too bad, really; it could've been so awesome...
Dark Is Not Evil: Subverted in that many of the more supernatural creature characters do some pretty despicable or creepy things, yet in the same breath the show allows you to sympathize with them as they sometimes are actually trying to do the right thing.
Deadpan Snarker: Usually Mark and Leonard, but most of the cast is pretty apathetic like that.
Disappeared Dad: Both Mark and Twayne suffered this. Mark's has been "stuck in traffic" since he was five, and Twayne's father left after seeing Twayne kill and eat his siblings in the crib. One of the few instances where this trope is actually justified, really.
Homosexuality: In "Blob Gets Job", Randall's dad is a gun nut with a hatred of zombies. Mark unwittingly "outs" Randall to his parents, but much fun is had by all when his dad realizes he can use him for target practice (and Randall doesn't mind as long as he doesn't get shot in the head).
The Holocaust: "So, You Want to Be a Vampire?" draws parallels between Jews and vampires, who are more disliked for "controlling all the blood banks" than for sucking blood. The vamps are still recovering from a tragedy in the 40s when they were nearly wiped out by Van Helsing (who wrote an autobiography entitled "Mein Vampf"). Vampires even have Jewish-style weddings.
Also, a vampire street vendor shows up in several episodes selling knishes.
White Flight: Callie's father's plan to increase the creature-to-human ratio in New York.
Pregnancy: In "Wail Street", Randall panics about Mark's condition (who goes to the hospital due to mysterious abdominal pains and sudden weight gain) as if he's an expecting father.
First season mid-finale: All of Mark's work has helped bring the apocalypse closer.
First season finale: Albert the Man Bird will be forever shunned by his species, lacking anyway to communicate with them, and his Fathers dying breath was used to disown him.
Down on the Farm: For some reason, in "Treegasm", Wichita, Kansas is depicted as a farm.
Early-Installment Weirdness: Twain's Alpha Male personality in the first few episodes is a harsh juxtaposition with his later, more effeminate personality that grows stronger each episode.
Even weirder Callie's father respected him and wanted him to be with Callie compare that to later episode "Callie and Her Sister" where it's stated if it weren't for the debt between their families Twain wouldn't be allowed in 100 feet of Callie and apparently that's a generous amount.
Callie: Well, not for you. Kind of a gray area for demons.
The End of Days is a religious belief for demons. Apparently they've tried many times in the past, and it's always turned out horribly (The portal to hell actually led to a Sandals resort), and every year they host a pre-enactment.
However, underneath it is "Old Hell", which plays this trope straight.
Apparently it's due to Yamaguchi enterprises buying Hell in the 2000s.
Flanderization: In the first appearance of a man bird, he says "Suck my balls!" after crapping on a guy. When an entire episode dedicated to man birds rolls around, their entire language is limited to different inflections of that phrase and their culture revolves around being an asshole.
Debatable. It could be that the man-bird was apologizing for crapping on the guy (when you gotta go, you gotta go) in his language, the only language any man-bird speaks. The guy, not being a man-bird interpreter, would have taken the phrase at face value and thought the man-bird really was telling him to suck his balls.
Somehow they've managed to show Randall's (admittedly not very detailed) zombie penis twice and still only get a TV-14 rating.
What about an entire episode dedicated to literal cock fighting? Granted they were just the sheaths, but still.
"Soulsucker" has a vagina on full display. Apparently it gets a pass by virtue of being built into a demonic puzzle box.
Similarly, Callie's third hole when she's in her soulless demon form where it looks a lot more like a vagina than her regular form where it's merely a slit with a beam of light on the inside.
And Mark sticks his entire arm in it. The show got away with something most mainstream porn movies aren't allowed to show!
In the cockfighting episode, when Callie is in the bathtub, you can see part of her nipples for a moment. Lampshaded by one of the demons a second later.
Godiva Hair: Callie temporarily gets this after her PMS in "Treegasm".
Gonna Need More X: Twayne, faced with having to have public sex with Lilith (Callie's sister), looks at her fully demonic form and utters "I think I'm gonna need a bigger Mating Bone" while said bone goes limp. Fluffers are promptly called in.
Hey, It's That Voice!: Natasha Leggero, the voice of Callie, was a 2010 Last Comic Standing judge, while Randall's VA Kurt Metzger was a contestant (and even won best joke of the season). Both also later ended up on Comedy Central's 2010 Hot List.
After her sex change in "Mark Loves Dick", Callie's voice changes into H. Jon Benjamin.
At least three Saturday Night Live cast members have done voicework on this show: Kate McKinnon (who appeared on the show before she joined SNL), Bill Hader, and Kristen Wiig.
Homoerotic Dream: Mark has had a few involving Grimes and Twayne, as demonstrated in "Soulsucker."
Human Resources: Very benign example. New York gets most of its electricity from the energy of the annual gay pride parade.
Hypno Trinket: The ring of powers that Mark finds in Leonord's desk. Along with giving Mark Compelling Voice powers, it also causes Mark to begin to act like a stereotypical medieval ages knight, and fall in love with the Grotesque form of Leonard's arranged wife.
I Have a Family: Spoofed when Randall joins a zombie cult, and the initiation requires him to kill a human. The intended victim begs for mercy, claiming to have a wife and mistress.
I Have This Friend: When Mark announces the class will be watching a video on sexuality, Erik (the robot) says he has a friend who doesn't have reproductive organs, and asks if he has to watch it, too. Mark tells him he can tell his "friend" that the video is for everyone. Subverted, as Erik then turns to Doug (Koala man) and says, "Sorry, buddy."
I'll Take Two Beers Too: In "Trolling for Terror", Leonard pours himself and a troll he's coaching one shot each but angrily snatches and drinks the troll's.
I Love the Dead: Inversion in Randall's squicktacular fantasies of eating Mark, as well as the fact that he is, technically speaking, a corpse who bangs Anything That Moves.
And judging from the bizarre masturbation implements he keeps taking to Mark's room when he's at work, many things that don't move as well.
Initiation Ceremony: The Man Club (whose members include basically every male cast member) gives Leonard a hell of a hazing. This is all kept secret from founding member Mark, who decreed there would be no hazing.
It Will Never Catch On: Grimes was kicked out of Earth, Wind and Fire because no one else in the group thought that his rapping would ever take off.
Jive Turkey: Twayne is super psyched about his new Palm Pilot.
Joisey: Randall's birthplace, which is full of "Townie" (ie Romero-style) Zombies.
Just for Pun: Manbirds engage in cockfighting in the most literal sense imaginable.
Like Parent, Like Spouse: When Callie is temporarily enamored with Twayne in "Kong of Queens", Twayne rips off a chauffeur's arms in anger. Callie is visibly turned on and mentions that her dad ripped off limbs the same way. Callie makes her "daddy complex" explicit in "Soulsucker."
Looks Like Orlok: In "So, You Want to Be a Vampire?", Blake's father is obviously intended as an Expy of Orlok.
The Masochism Tango: And again another example of Mark and Callie's relationship, although it is rather one-sided, as Mark is relatively indifferent and Callie is a succubus who flips between hot and cold in seconds.
Monster of the Week: A standard plot is one of New York's non-human citizens joining Mark's group, only to cease being their problem by the end of the episode (through death, imprisonment, or occasionally even successful integration).
Name's the Same: Frank Grimes shares a name with a certain unfortunate one-shot everyman, though this could simply be because David M. Stern, one of this series' developers, used to write for The Simpsons.
Negative Continuity: Blown-off limbs reappearing five minutes later, Mark's Callie-inflicted wounds healing overnight, etc.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Hell for the Holidays", Mark discovers the clone of himself that Callie is making, and reveals it to her father, who promptly destroys it. It is a shame that that clone was meant to save him from a fight to the death with Twayne.
Thanks to Frank Grimes having absolutely no sense of how far is too far when it comes to pranks, the next time the serial killing actor gets out of jail he will try murdering everyone at the DOI for real just like he did in the prank on Mark.
No Periods, Period: Averted. Not just by Callie's "painful mortal shedding", but also one scene in Randall and Mark's kitchen has a calendar with her actual period marked out on it. It runs for two weeks...
Noodle Incident: In the finale Leonard's hologram form visits Mark to notify him of his new jobs: Fish Gutter, Knife-Wielding Spray Paint Addict, and an overweight Vietnamese demigod, with no explanation to how he got into those positions.
Leonard: Yea... I found out that I really need structure.
In Treegasm, Leonard explains that the gay pride parade keeps the power grid running.
One-Gender Race: Martin, and other two-headed worm creatures, are all direct descendants of Mitch, the first of his(their?) kind.
One-Winged Angel: All demons seem to have a bigger, more horrific form. However, Callie has to remove her human soul to access it, while Lilith, Callie's also half-human sister, simply rips her skin off. It may be that demons have different forms for different contexts.
Only Sane Employee: Following the layoffs in "Pilot", Mark is the only one left who actually cares about the department. Too bad he's a spineless wimp.
This is somewhat deconstructed in the later episodes, where his well-meaning morality means very little with supernatural creatures.
Our Demons Are Different: Red/pink skin with horns. Varying in degrees of evil, but are mostly just apathetic towards humans. They do practice barbaric traditions with their own kind, such as eating their young. They also have bizarre anatomy, such as lactating fire when in heat, giving birth through the top of their skull, being full of live snakes, and males that grow a giant barbed "mating bone" out of their sternum to correspond with the female "three-hole", a big suggestively-shaped glowing portal they can open on their abdomen.
Our Monsters Are Weird: You have your regular monsters like vampires and werewolves, followed by minor variants like Cyclopses that shoot acid out ot their eyes, you have your more creative things like a sentient (Canadian) brain with one eye, and then you have land whales.
Our Souls Are Different: They're small, somewhat watery glowing balls that can be physically handled, even by Muggles. Human men and women are blue and pink, respectively while Callie the half-demon has a golden soul. There reside within the body between the navel and lower intestine in an organ called the pooch and can apparently grow with good deeds to the point of crushing other organs. Hell runs a stock market-esque "soul exchange".
Our Werewolves Are Different: They retain their intelligence (but do gain a love of chasing cats), and the transformation can regenerate missing limbs. They also seem to remain permanently in wolf form instead of changing back and forth.
Our Zombies Are Different: Apparently they retain full intelligence, but are still rotting and have cravings for flesh and brains. Mark's roommate Randall Skeffington is just one example.
Poke the Poodle: Callie deliberately incites this while in a competition for who can be the most evil in order the become the ruler of hell, a job she doesn't want. She makes it seem that her idea of evil is taking a soda can from the "recycled" bin to the regular trash bin.
"Callie and Her Sister" includes plenty of The Omen references, especially a remake of the scene where Damien runs his mother off a staircase landing with his Big Wheel, along with a woman shouting to Callie that "It's all for you, Callie! It's all for you!"
Possibly to the 1976 parody film Murder By Death - several of the names are similar (Twain/Twayne, Miss Skeffington/Randall Skeffington, Marcel/Mark).
The schoolgirl in the Tokyo slide during Treegasm is Tsukasa.
The funeral home shown in Kill Mark Kill is called Scrimm's. Angus Scrimm played the evil funeral director in the Phantasm films.
The same episode features Mark using a sleeping bag that has Pinkie Pie on it.
In Pilot, Aldramach Maggotbone's wife is a Daemonette. Figures.
The opening of "Mummy Dearest" has a Tomb Raider that starts looking more like Lara Croft the more dangers she faces.
In "Little Ship of Horrors", Dren from Splice is seen abroad the ship, and in the audience of Leonard's performance.
Shown Their Work: Admiral Maggotbone's first name is Aldramach, a play on Adramelech, a pagan god co-opted as a demon by Judeo-Christian mythology.
Single Tear: Doug (Koala Man) is prone to these. Beware single demon tears...they set things on fire.
In "Hell for the Holidays", Mark sheds one of these over the death of the clone he raised. It turned what could have been perceived as a very callous act by Mark (even with his survival on the line) into a reminder of how much he really does care.
Though that might be more of "I'm proud that he managed to learn to say 'Wait, what?'" rather than mourning his demise.
Spanner in the Works: What Mark pulls off in Wail Street after being extorted into selling his soul, the largest one in the Western Hemisphere. After agreeing to the deal, he sinned his ass off in order to screw over Callie's dad and retain his Soul.
Theme Naming: Twayne and his siblings all have normal human names that begin with 'W', then with a 'T' added to it.
There Can Be Only One: How Leonard resurrects after Mark accidentally kills him. Not originally how it was supposed to work, but it still gets the desired result. Well, aside from the Vicodin addiction.
This Is Going To Suck: Randall quotes the trope when he finds out Mark accidentally outed him as a zombie to his parents.
Randall: (sees his father in the living room loading a shotgun, dressed in army fatigues) Yeah, that's dad shootin' gun. This is going to SUCK!
Toilet Humor: From zombies eating brains and demons eating zombies, to bird-headed people shitting on your shoulder and telling you that you can suck their balls.
Too Kinky to Torture: Sorta. When Callie has Mark's clone take over his life, one scene opens up with her tied to a rack and him holding a bullwhip, and she literally states "The other Mark never offered to torture me!" Then it just gets subverted in that she's too mentally distracted to enjoy it, giving out the most monotone, forced moans ever heard even as he's stripping her with the whip.
Trademark Favorite Food: Mark's love of eggs is actually mentioned very rarely, but it's pretty extreme. He even subscribes to a magazine that's just about eggs.
Randal's craving for human flesh could be seen as a form of this, many of his jokes revolve around eating and/or dismembering people. Apart from his sexual escapades, the deisre to eat people is his most noted characteristic.
Tsundere: Callie, who flips back and forth, as she's half-human. Unfortunately, she's also half-demon.
Callie: You're lucky I don't turn your dick into a bag of marshmallows right now!
Fishman: I would like to see that, actually.
The Virus: "Mad Larry Disease" converts the infected into Larry King, and is caused by a King taking a combination of Plavix, Adderall, and Viagra.
Van Helsing Hate Crime: Van Helsing is referred to as a "psycho" by a vampire, and Grimes is a fan (even has the lunchbox).
Apparently, Van Helsing wrote a book entitled "Mein Vampf", an obvious reference to Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf".
Vetinari Job Security: As useless and extraneous as Twayne may appear to be at the DOI, his absence from his post causes Mark to bring the whole of New York to the brink of nuclear annihilation on top of a full-scale interspecies civil war. Twayne fixes the whole mess in five minutes with a birthday cake.
What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: In "Wet Hot Demonic Summer", we see that many wizards have normal jobs and powers relating to them. For example, the Wizard of Air is an air-traffic controller but also gets to fly around on broomsticks. Leonard is the Wizard of Social Services, and his power is... being a lazy alcoholic bureaucrat. His apprentice Lionel is not keen on this.