Undergrads was a short-lived animated series from 2001, made for MTV. Like other MTV cartoons, such as Daria and Beavis And Butthead, it was adult-oriented and contained very mature content. Only 13 episodes were produced, and the show ended on a cliffhanger.The show is about four lifelong friends and their experiences during their first year at college. Nitz, the protagonist, is an Everyman who constantly lets college life stress him out. Cal, his roommate, is a Dumb BlondeDitz with an inexplicably rich sex life.Rocko is part of a fraternity and is obsessed with girls, booze, and Wacky Fratboy Hijinx, to the annoyance of his frat mates. The fourth, Gimpy (called G-Prime by his peers), is a tech geek who attends an MIT-like university and develops a personal cult due to his hacking prowess. He stays connected to the others mainly via the internet, though they all still live in the same city.At the start of the year, two major people are introduced to the audience: Jessie, a hip, punk-ish girl who befriends Nitz and helps him learn the ropes (and later develops a crush on him), and Kimmy, a beautiful drama student with whom Nitz is smitten (and has been since high school). There are other recurring characters as well, including Rocko's frat "friends," Nitz and Cal's hippie-like Residential Assistant The Douggler, Jessie's friends (Brody, a film student with an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture and old movies, Krueger, a profanity-spewing chain smoker, and Dan, a geek who just laughs), Kimmy's (unbeknownst to her, gay) friend Mark, and Gimpy's minions.Although the show is set in college, the characters are almost never shown in class; episodes mainly focus on other aspects of campus life, like dealing with roommates, fitting in with groups, attending mixers, getting student loans, and figuring out what to do in life. Oh, and girls and booze, naturally.
Hell, in one episode Nitz to Jessie. That's right, they both manage to have unrequited love towards each other. Why she never bothered to reciprocate (or have mixed feelings) about this when he was openly crushing on her wasn't explained.
It could be that Jessie's earlier rejection of Nitz was meant to show that she knew he wasn't really into her because he liked her, but because he had accidentally seen her naked.
When Nitz initially proposes they go out (and then 'get in the same bed'), Jessie doesn't flat-out reject him - all she says is that she can't because she has a previous commitment that night to work on a project with her classmates. If Nitz hadn't subsequently made a big show of asking Jessie out in public, disrupting her plans and embarrassing her, she might well have reciprocated.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Played with in the show. Nitz at first had no real concern about being a virgin until he saw the girl of his dreams buying a heap of condoms and such. He then attempts to be a Celibate Hero, but when that didn't work he decided to try and become a manly Casanova Wannabe persona. Then he realized it doesn't actually matter that much and stopped worrying about it.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After Gimpy's antics cause some explosions in his dormitory, his RA does a quick inspection of his room with the following observations:
RA: "Thirty plugs going into one socket, broken windows, severe water damage and...an illegal hot plate!"
Author Appeal: The Thompson Twins song "Hold Me Now" shows up a few times in the background in an instrumental version. It's also Gimpy's go-to karaoke song.
Betty and Veronica: Played with to a more complex level. Kimmy is nice like Betty, but her concept is "The Unattainable Girl" like a Veronica, while Jessie is more cynical and mean like Veronica, but is the "pal" like a Betty.
Bitter Sweet Ending: Gimpy's first love is She-Prime, a girl online. At the end of the episode it revealed that their dorm rooms are located right next to each other. And neither of them ever found out.
The entire series ended on this note. Kimmy and Nitz got together. Things work out well for the other three, and the only thing that went wrong was that Jessie and Nitz aren't on easy terms now.
Brick Joke: About halfway through "Virgins," Rocko eats a banana without realizing that it had a condom on it. Toward the end of the episode, he coughs it up after being on the receiving end of a Groin Attack.
Bros Before Hoes: Nitz is often accused of violating this rule by putting his infatuation over Kimmy above his friends.
Buffy Speak: Mump: "I'm just to absorb all of your ill will like some kind of ill will absorbing...absorber?"
Butt Monkey: Cal - In one episode, Rocko tries to start a college rivalry with State U by beating up Cal after he becomes their mascot... A manatee. However, this doesn't have the desired effect, as nobody really liked the mascot anyway so they just start cheering Cal getting his ass kicked. Lampshaded at the end of the episode, when the characters remark on what they've learned...
Rocko: "I shouldn't beat Cal up because he's the mascot... I should beat Cal up because he's Cal."
Camp Straight: Cal is fond of wearing short-shorts and singing, and speaks with a high pitched lisp, but he is an absurdly unstoppable lady's man.
Chick Magnet: Cal. Women flock to him without him even trying.
Cliff Hanger: On the last day of first year, Nitz and Kimmy have a drunken makeout session and afterwards, Jessie chews Nitz out for not realizing she's been in love with him the whole year, and then... the show ends. Forever.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Parker Walsh and Justin Taylor are always addressed as "Nitz" and "Gimpy", respectively. By pretty much everyone.
Finding out their real names is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it detail that you'd easily forget they even have a different name. Nitz is even written on his financial aid cheques and the birthday cake sent by his mom.
Face Palm: Nitz has been waiting for Kimmy to show up at a party. When she calls, Cal answers and tells her she doesn't have to show up because there are plenty of other pretty ladies there. Cue Face Palm, first by Nitz, then by everyone else at the party.
Fan Disservice: Toward the end of "Traditions," Gimpy strips naked to remove the evidence on his clothes that he had gone outside to prank the RA. When she goes into his room to confront him, she is notably squicked at his appearance.
Foreshadowing: Jessie opens up the beginning of the last episode with this saying: "The 'Walk of Shame' is particularly prevalent during Screw Week, that unique time of the year when the collegian finally put the moves on their close friend of the opposite sex before summer break." She doesn't get a chance to "put the moves on" Nitz, but she does effectively reveal her feelings for him...after he irreparably screws up everything between them .
The Fool: Cal, again. Everything always turns out the best for him, except the episode "Identity Crisis" that ends with him forgotten and stuck in a tree in the middle of winter.
Generation Xerox: In the grand tradition of animation, Gimpy's parents both have his trademark weird eyes, and his dad looks pretty much like an older version of him in a slightly-more realistic style.
The Generic Guy: Nitz is an in-universe example of this. He manages to make many friends over the first semester, but after winter, no one on campus even remembers him.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: In Rivalries, there's a guy in the crowd during the final showdown wearing a shirt that says 'Tuck Fech'. (The episode is about the competitiveness between Tekerson Tech and State U...)
Gibberish of Love: Whenever he talks to Kimmy, most of what Nitz tries to say will come out as "Bluh."
Hikikomori: Gimpy, natch. He'll go to extreme lengths to avoid leaving his room, going so far as to send Mump poorly disguised as him to his home on Christmas vacation.
In "Identity Crisis," Nitz gets fed up with his status as the Generic Guy on campus and isolates himself in his room. Subsequently, he becomes more popular at that point as legends begin to build up around the mysterious "Room Guy."
I Am Spartacus: Parodied: When the RA asks who has been pulling pranks around campus, all Gimpy's minions stand up and claim to be the man responsible. In a supreme act of Comically Missing the Point, Gimpy gets angry with them, assuming they are all trying to mooch in on his fame. One of said minions even specifically says "I am Spartacus!"
Incoming Ham: Gimpy usually pops up on Nitz's computer on his webcam saying "Did someone just say my name?" On some episodes it works, in others it doesn't.
Initiation Ceremony: Subverted with Rocko's fraternity. The college banned embarrassing hazing rituals, so they just have a get-together party. Rocko refuses to believe there is no hazing, believing it all to be a Secret Test of Character, so he goes out and does several bizarre, humiliating acts in the name of his frat.
Limited Wardrobe: Pretty much everyone. Nitz however favors the "closet full of the same outfit" version of the trope, as shown in the last episode when Cal gives out his clothes to girls after sleeping with them.
Jessie: Have you been walking around blindfolded again?
Nitz: Uh, not since "the incident".
Nonstandard Character Design: Some characters look more realistically drawn, such as Rocko, Kimmy, and Nitz. Others look much more cartoony, like Mump, Cal, and Gimpy, who almost seems like he's from a different show entirely. Several characters have giant heads (Nitz, Gimpy, Kimmy), while others are more-or-less realistically-proportioned (most background characters).
Reality Subtext / Write Who You Know: All of the characters are based on the creator and his best friends and people he met in college. In fact Jessie is voiced by the actual woman she's based on.
Redundant Romance Attempt: During the mid-season episode where Nitz has feelings for Jessie, his attempts to woo the girl who already has feelings for him go poorly because he's trying so hard.
Refuge in Audacity: In "Virgins," Nitz's genuine attempts to seduce Kimmy in the health center are so over-the-top that she thinks he's auditioning as a date rape actor.
The Resenter: As the series goes on, Jessie grows increasingly more spiteful toward Kimmy as a result of Nitz's continual obsession with her, and becomes much less subtle about her frustration when talking to him.
Transparent Closet: Mark, a drama student whom Kimmy carries a torch for. It's obvious to everyone that he's gay...except for Kimmy and Nitz.
Unknown Rival: Rocko effectively becomes this for State U as a whole in "Rivalries," when he tries to start a rivalry between his school and the State U. It doesn't work because his college doesn't even have an athletics department and everyone finds his antics more amusing than offensive.
Unrequited Love Switcheroo: For almost every episode of the series, Jessie has a crush on Nitz. For one mid-season episode, he has feelings for her and she doesn't reciprocate.
Though that was mostly because his way of approach was completely wrong.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Rocko and Cal are a Type 1. Rocko absolutely cannot stand Cal, and never hesitates to abuse him, verbally and physically. Cal, however, is oblivious to his outright hostility, and still considers Rocko his friend despite it all.
Weight Woe: In one episode Nitz plans to join in on a annual streaking event held at the college, only to be horrified when he realizes he's gained the freshman fifteen. He begins to frantically work out to lose the weight in time, but winds up streaking anyway since it's too dark for anyone to see his slightly pudgy build.
We Want Our Jerk Back: In one episode, the disciplinary RC at Tekerson Tech (Gimpy's school) is removed from the picture after her introduction to Cal. Chaos ensues amongst the students and soon Gimpy decides that they need the RC back.
What the Hell, Hero?: Nitz gets this frequently — usually because he was ignoring his friends to chase Kimmy. Jessie gives him one of these frequently (and literally at least once), and the rest of his gang also mock him for bailing on them.
Mump calls Gimpy out on his making of fake IDs that would allow for underage students to drink illegally.
Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The colleges the characters go to give no indication for the location, such as the delightfully impossible "State University"
Gimpy in the first episode thinks that he and Rocko won't be able to continue being friends because frat boys and nerds can never get along. He then tries to sabotage Rocko's attempts to get into the fraternity by sending his nerd pals in...who actually get along very well with the guys thanks to their tech know-how.