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YMMV: Moral Orel
  • Acceptable Targets: White, conservative, Middle American fundamentalist Christians. It's like an orgy of target acceptability — but when the whole point is to deconstruct these targets, it makes a little more sense.
    • In fairness, Orel himself qualifies as the above, as does Christina — and Reverend Putty's love for his daughter shows that he's not to be considered a strawman. For that matter, Clay Puppington — for all his monstrous actions — had such a thoroughly miserable life that he literally doesn't know how good he could have it if he just tried.
    • In light of that, let's be specific and go for white, conservative, hypocritical Middle American fundamentalist Christians.
      • And while the show pokes fun at some of the hypocrisy of said Fundamentalist, it actually goes out of it's way to show the positive side of faith as well.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: When Clay refuses to reconcile with his father, is he really being childish, or became too bitter over the years? Or both?
  • Angst? What Angst?: Orel takes getting shot surprisingly well. Sure, he starts spiting his father, but he's as sweet as ever to everyone else.
  • Anvilicious: This is not done in regards to Christianity itself, surprisingly enough; the show is actually more of a critique of those who don't practice what they preach.
    • Many episodes provide dark parodies of this trope, thanks to Clay's "study" speeches.
  • Asspull: The ending, though this is mostly due to executive meddling denying the writers their chance to wrap things up properly.
  • Ear Worm: "Turn the Other Cheek" will never leave you.
    • And let's not forget "I Hate You Jesus". Especially in universe.
  • Freud Was Right: "Nesting" reveals that Clay has a lot of... interesting womb-related fantasies.
  • He Really Can Act: Scott Adsit, William Salyers, and Britta Phillips all really show off their acting skills once things get serious in season 3. Special mention to Clay and Nurse Bendy's breakdowns in "Sacrifice" and "Alone".
  • Ho Yay: Daniel and Clay. That is all.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The episode synopses on repeatedly refer to Orel as "Moral".
    • Funnily enough? So did Doughy once during Orel's movie.
    • Dino has admitted this is one of his pet peeves, saying "You don't call Dennis "Menace."
  • Magnificent Bastard: Clay, in some respects. He is the mayor of Moralton, and he manipulates Shapey using reverse psychology and Doughy by using his want for a parental figure. Note that his drunk persona may or may not count.
  • Moe: Little Orel from "Beforel Orel"
  • Moral Event Horizon: In "Nature", Clay is pushed over the Moral Event Horizon and then some; he shoots Orel in the leg, ruins Orel's lucky shirt to make a tourniquet, drinks the medical alcohol which could have prevented infection, and then falls into a drunken coma for nearly twenty-four hours only to wake up, disavow all responsibility for shooting Orel (since he doesn't remember doing it), then care only about the possibility of Orel having killed a big bear (which Orel denies doing, if only to spite his father). While the writers do try and bring him back over the line in Season 3 with flashback episodes showing how Bloberta tricked him into marrying him/turned him into a drunk by giving him his first drink as well as his emotionally abusive childhood they completely negate any regained sympathy in the final two episodes, with Clay telling Orel that he was happy that he shot his own son flaunting "Honor thy mother and father" as a way to emotionally break Orel's spirit and in his final scene, cursing out Coach Stopframe for believing Orel's stories about Clay's cruelty and being more concerned about keeping Stopframe rejecting him than he is about how he's fucked up Orel's life.
    • Amazingly, Coach Stopframe's taking Orel to a Satanic ritual to use the boy as a Virgin Sacrifice somehow does not manage to be this. Perhaps it's because Daniel seems ashamed of what he's doing, and eventually steps out of it. (Or because the Satanists are so goofy.)
  • Name's the Same: Many people think Orel is named after American Methodist-Pentecostal televangelist Oral Roberts. Word of God says it's not, even had to change the spelling for Orel.
  • Signature Scene: Clay shooting Orel in the leg in "Nature: Part 2," the precise moment when the show turned from dark to pitch black.
  • Squick: The close-up of Ms. Censordoll sucking down "under-fried, extra-slithery" eggs.
    • Also Clay's "dream" sequence showing his Oedipus Complex; it's so digusting that it becomes Nightmare Fuel.
    • Reverend Putty being romantically interested in his daughter (before he knew), Doctor Potterswheel's fetish for wounds and diseases, the closeups of eggs being laid...
  • Strawman Has a Point: Typically Orel's father's arguments for why his actions were wrong are examples of Completely Missing the Point, highlighting something completely harmless while ignoring some much larger harm Orel had done. The episode "Loyalty" is an exception. While he still ignores Orel beating gays, he does have a legitimate point that Orel should not ignore his other friends in the name of mindless devotion to one.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Season 3 is considered by numerous critics and fans to be a masterpiece of animation. It's also unfathomably bleak and depressing, more so than anything Adult Swim had ever produced before (or since).
  • The Woobie: Orel, Florence, Nurse Bendy, young Clay...really, damn near everyone in Moralton falls into this category at one point or another.
    • Iron Woobie: Considering everything he's gone through, the fact that the ending shows Orel to be a loving father and husband proves him to be one of these.
    • Jerkass Woobie: Adult Clay. There is a distinction. Bloberta as well; there's no denying the woman is one shit pile of a person, what with neglecting her own children and driven her husband to drink, but no sane human being would want her life.
    • Stoic Woobie: Ms. Sculptham, when you find out about her past.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Blatantly obvious when Orel agrees to give up his dog. He's to be taken to the Calvary Hill Hospital to be put down. On the way, he's thrown a stick which looks suspiciously cross-like, which he carries all the way there.
    • However, the dog was very clearly meant to be a reference to Christ's second-coming, but since Jesus in the form of a non-human would undoubtedly be considered blasphemous by the citizens of Moralton...

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