YMMV: The Boondocks

  • Adaptation Displacement: The original comic strip was displaced by the animated television series. It doesn't help that the overall tone and subject matter are very different, with the comics being more mundane, while the show is more outlandish.
  • Acceptable Targets: The show regularly takes shots at right-wing politics, but occasionally left-wing politics as well. And it also makes use of N-Word Privileges to satirize African-American culture, if not American culture as a whole.
  • Anvilicious: The comic strip was a vehicle for Aaron McGruder's political views, though fortunately there was enough self-deprecating humor to balance it out. The show has distinct political overtones as well, but is more subtle about them... usually.
    • Every single mention of BET, up to and including outright saying that they are evil.
    • "Freedomland" (which ironically, was part of the fourth season that didn't have McGruder as executive producer) makes no attempt to hide its "Middle class is slavery and the rich are keeping the poor and middle-class down" message.
  • Author Avatar: Some fans accuse Huey of being this (especially in the cartoon), although McGruder denies this and has stated that he doesn't share most of Huey's political beliefs.
  • Base Breaker
    • Uncle Ruckus is either the most awesome character in the series or a one-note character that has overstayed his welcome. "The Color Ruckus" has partially redeemed him in the eyes of the people who thinks he's one-note.
    • Same goes double for Colonel H. Stinkmeaner.
  • Broken Base
    • Was this show a worthy adaptation of the comic or not? If it wasn't, was it because it went too far in its satire (like what happened with Chappelle's Show) or did it play things too safe?
    • The base has splintered again over season four, partly because Aaron McGruder was not involved in its production in any way. Detractors say that the show's characters were too exaggerated and the sharp satire was starting to wane while fans say that, while the season was terrible and [adult swim]'s treatment of it is a classic case of Screwed by the Network, there were some enjoyable episodes.
  • Better on DVD: The DVDs are uncut, don't have the offensive language bleeped out, and include the four episodes ("The Hunger Strike", "The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show", "The Story of Jimmy Rebel", and "Pause") that have been banned from [adult swim] reruns and (American) Netflix. note 
  • Crazy Awesome: There are several contenders: Bushido Brown, Ed Wuncler III and Gin Rummy, and Riley's (unnamed) art teacher from the first season all have qualities of the trope.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Uncle Ruckus does this every time he talks about black people. As an African American white supremacist with a severe case of Gonk (due to child abuse from his racist father), his very existence crosses the line about 3 times. Speaking crosses it a 4th time.
    • A Pimp Named Slickback does this every time he talks, period.
    • The entirety of the Catcher Freeman episode.
    • Luna's tragic background plunges straight through domestic abuse into the sort of absymal Woobie background one would expect of a Mary Sue: Bitch! This chicken is cold!!"
    • Then there is the Booty Warrior's Establishing Character Moment scene at the start of "Date With The Booty Warrior".
    • This song by Thugnificent.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Michael Caesar in the comic strip. Sadly, he was omitted from the cartoon because McGruder couldn't find the right voice actor.
    • Tom Dubois.
    • Cindy McPhearson.
    • Ed III and Gin Rummy.
    • Colonel Stinkmeaner.
    • A Pimp Named Slickback.
    • Grandmaster Bushido Brown.
    • Ming from "The Red Ball". Even though she was a one-shot antagonist, quite a lot of fans noticed her.
  • Fanon Discontinuity and Old Shame: Most viewers (and [adult swim]) like to pretend that there was never a season four of the show and that the series ended with the season three episode "It's Goin' Down." This, however, doesn't apply to the Netflix version or the complete series DVD, which have all four seasons.
    • [adult swim] and the American feed of Netflix also like to pretend that they never aired "Pause" or "The Story of Jimmy Rebel," even though, much like season four, it is readily available on other media (namely, the complete series DVD and Canada's Netflix feed).
  • Foe Yay: Huey and Ming in "The Red Ball".
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Winston Jerome jokes about him being gay have strayed into this territory after Tyler Perry confessed that he was molested in his childhood.
  • Growing the Beard: The show doesn't really come into its own until season two (season one was pretty much middle-of-the-road. There were people who liked it and people who hated it), at which point the art and animation quality receive a considerable boost and the idiosyncrasies of the characters and oddball supporting cast members come into the limelight.
    • Season 4, which was somewhat rough without Aaron Mcgruder, starts to do this with "Freedom Ride or Die", where the quality takes an uptick, and cements it with "Grandad Dates a Kardashian" and "Freedomland." Sadly, due to budget cuts, the show was canceled before season four could really show that it wasn't the point that the show Jumped the Shark and now the only place to find season four is on DVD and Netflix, since [adult swim] refuses to air those episodes.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In "Let's Nab Oprah", when Ed and Rummy mentioned that they were once in the US Army special forces, Riley quips that they should've been in the Special Olympics because of their stupidity. Ironically in the last episode "The New Black", Robert and Rollo lie that Riley is mentally disabled, and force him to participate in the Special Youth Olympics.
  • He Really Can Act: Adam West, best known nowadays as a complete caricature of his former self, uses his over-the-top campiness to great effect to create a hilariously loathsome character.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This strip, thanks to the show.
    • Huey's claim that "Jesus was black", due to McGruder's new show Black Jesus.
    • In "Wingmen", Granddad is revealed to have been a Tuskegee Airman, and his former best friend was a cocky and reckless pilot nicknamed Moe "Guns". Aaron McGruder would later go on to write the screenplay for the Tuskegee Airmen movie Red Tails, which also featured a cocky and reckless pilot as one of the characters (another was nicknamed "Ray Gun").
    • Remember Robert's tale from "The Story of Catcher Freeman"? Anyone who has also seen Django Unchained will find it to be strikingly similar. And considering the number of times the word "nigger" is used, it would be no surprise if Tarantino did take inspiration from The Boondocks.
    • In "The Hunger Strike", BET starts producing animated shows, and an employee is shown to be reading a Black Panther comic, which became funny when BET developed their own adaptation.
    • Tom Dubois is not supposed to be Barack Obama. True, Tom is a light-skinned black, highly liberal attorney who strongly wants to make a difference in the world, even though he often gets screwed over by others, but the character was developed way before Obama became a national figure. McGruder apparently noticed this and took full advantage of it in "It's A Black President, Huey Freeman":
  • Ho Yay:
    • Ed Wuncler III and Gin Rummy. This was once lampshaded by Riley.
    • Uncle Ruckus and Jimmy Rebel.
      • Look at how hurt Grandad acts when Ruckus starts hanging out with Jimmy Rebel. They bicker like an old married couple as it is.
  • Idiot Plot: Purposely done in the "Nigga Moment" tetralogy, although the plot was based on the characters being ignorant rather than just stupid.
  • Iron Woobie: Huey during the course of "The Passion Of Uncle Ruckus" and "It's a Black President, Huey Freeman". He also counts in general considering the fact that his parents and grandmother are all dead, his grandfather constantly ignores him, his brother is constantly getting into trouble, and he is Surrounded by Idiots.
    • Uncle Ruckus' brothers, Darryl and Darrell who also suffered under their father and grandmother, albeit mentioning that Uncle Ruckus got it the worst, seem to be the most well-adjusted of the family. They also recognize the abuse their own father experienced, and realize while it doesn't really excuse some of his actions, take comfort in the belief that in some twisted way, he was raising them to realize the harshness of the world.
  • Jerkass Woobie
    • Riley has his moments of this, especially in "Riley Wuz Here" and "Smokin' With Cigarettes".
    • Gangstalicious in "The Story Of Gangstalicious Part 2".
    • Luna has suffered every type of abuse possible, and just as she makes a Heel-Face Turn for tormenting the Freemans, her friend Nicole unintentionally convinces her to blow herself up with the same grenade she threatened to use earlier when she was with Tom and Robert (who were tied up at the time).
    • Uncle Ruckus in "The Color Ruckus".
      • Mister Ruckus himself, considering the abuse he suffered.
  • Love to Hate: Many of the antagonists are very loathsome, yet also hilarious.
    • Uncle Ruckus. Unless you're genuinely racist like he is.
    • Colonel Stinkmeaner as well.
    • Ed Wuncler I (see the next entry below).
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ed Wuncler I, that despicable evil genius.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
    • "I sent that bitch a smiley face. Bitches love smiley faces."
    • "NIGGA DID I JUST CATCH YOU DOIN' X?!!"
    • "Did you just offer me... cheese?"
    • "WHAT'S GOOD, NYUKKA?"
  • Memetic Sex Goddess
    • Sarah Dubois.
    • Ebony Brown provides a hilarious Hello, Nurse! in-universe version: even Uncle Ruckus falls for her.
  • Minority Show Ghetto: A notable aversion, as the show proved to be quite a success with audiences, appealing beyond just the obvious black demographic.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The show as a whole can be considered this. A lot of people are unaware that The Boondocks is a satire.
    • There are actually people that view Uncle Ruckus as being in the right.
    • Don't even get started on the Youtube comments of the episode featuring Jimmy Rebel.
    • More apparent when you look at Riley's fanbase. Most of his fans don't realize that he is a parody of them - a wannabe hip-hop star.
  • Moe: Jazmine.
  • Mondegreen: Lampshaded in "Bitches To Rags".
    Thugnificent: Y'all send me stupid fuckin' messages online, but won't pay for my damn song? I hate y'all niggas, man. Hey, hey, Thugnificent, is it "Booty butt cheeks" or "Move them butt cheeks"? Nigga, who gives a fuck, it's a song about butt cheeks!
  • Moral Event Horizon
    • Lamilton's not exactly a child you want to babysit, but he crosses the line when he outright threatens to shoot Riley simply because he doesn't want to hang out with him.
    • Ed Wuncler Sr. crosses it when he gets his grandson and his best friend to set bombs in a populated building just to kill ONE man for the sole purpose of money, despite being rich enough to have connections to the president.
    • Uncle Ruckus trying to reinstate slavery. And succeeding with the Freeman family on the episodes "Good Times" and "Freedomland".
    • Eddie Jr. crosses it on "Freedomland" when he tries to chop Huey's foot off with an axe, showing himself to be just if not even more vile then Ed sr.
  • Never Live It Down: Granddad will never be allowed to forget about killing Stinkmeaner, neither by his crew nor the man himself. Averted with the law.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • The implied fight between Huey and Uncle Ruckus at the end of "... Or Die Trying".
    • There was also an unseen fight between Huey, Riley, Butch, and four other boys at the beginning of "A Date With The Booty Warrior".
  • One-Scene Wonder: Even bit characters in this series tend to be rather colorful, to say the least. A good example is Maybelline from "Wingmen", who only appears for about a minute but it ends up being one of the funniest minutes of the show. There's also the Hustler Preacher, who's only appeared in "Return of the King" and "Riley Wuz Here".
  • Painful Rhyme: "DOOM comes like a vacuum! 'Cuz death sucks and smells like a raccoon, or a baboon!"
  • Poe's Law: As a satirical comedy, The Boondocks has come under fire for its sense of humor, and it has been accused of being racist against both black and white people. It doesn't help that while the show's creator has a low opinion of a lot of African-American media for indulging in Uncle Tomfoolery, The Boondocks itself frequently uses black stereotypes for jokes.
  • The Scrappy: Uncle Ruckus. Viewers who didn't find his racist antics to be funny anymore considered him to be very annoying.
    • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Many Uncle Ruckus-centered episodes didn't do much to develop his character outside of "comic relief bigot". "The Color Ruckus" changed that.
    • Take That, Scrappy!: When Ruckus' dad gives him a scathing speech about his origins, his personality, his entire being, some people felt sorry for him, many others cheered. Ruckus later returns the favor to his dad in the climax.
  • Seasonal Rot: Most fans believe that Season 4 is the worst of the lot. Aside from the show's creator not being involved, several voice actors had to be replaced, a lot of side characters were missing, and many felt that the new plots and humor had weakened greatly.
    • Some have even argued that this started as early as Season 2, which, while it still had some memorable episodes, relied much more on nonspecific gags and less creative plots, all this in spite of the two years it took to create.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: Especially if you get all the inside jokes. Also, the fact that the season 3 premiere got over a million viewers.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: As that page mentions, the entire series exists largely to drop the anvils on the black community: 1. Apathy to your lot in life is a self-fulfilling prophecy; 2. Society is allegedly structured to disadvantage members of certain groups, usually focusing on the black community, but occasionally others.
    • Martin Luther King's speech decrying the fact that the freedoms he fought so hard for are being taken for granted, even wasted, by the people on whose behalf he fought. Cartoon Network released an official statement in defense of it, in fact.
    "We think Aaron McGruder came up with a thought-provoking way of not only showing Dr. King's bravery but also of reminding us of what he stood and fought for, and why even today, it is important for all of us to remember that and to continue to take action."
    • Huey calling out the Common Nonsense Jury in "The Trial of R. Kelly".
      Huey: "What the hell is wrong with you people?! Every famous nigga that gets arrested is not Nelson Mandela! Yes, the government conspires to put a lot of innocent black men in jail on fallacious charges, but R. Kelly is not one of those men. We all know the nigga can sing, but what happened to standards?! What happened to bare minimums?! You a fan of R.Kelly? You wanna help R. Kelly? Then get some counseling for R. Kelly! Introduce him to some older women! Hide his camcorder! But don't pretend like the man is a hero!" (Beat) "...and stop the damn dancing! Act like you got some God damn sense, people!"
    • "The Itis".
      Huey: Granddad, look what you did to the community.
      Granddad: It's not that bad.
      Huey: Not that bad? This place used to sit between a coffee shop and a day spa. Now there's a liquor store and a damn Foot Locker. This food is destructive.
      Granddad: This food is your culture!
      Huey: Then the culture is destructive!
    • "Freedomland", while noted under Anvilicious for its lack of subtlety, is rather poignant during the recession.
  • Shipping: Many people think that Huey/Jazmine and Riley/Cindy would make great couples. Even though canonically, there has never been any romance between the kids.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song
    • Gangstalicious' freestyle in "Thank You for Not Snitching" is this for MF DOOM's "Rap Snitch Knishes."
    • And "Homies Over Hoes" sounds a lot like D4L's "Laffy Taffy."
    • Uncle Ruckus' theme tune is sourced from Jabba's theme from Star Wars.
    • Sgt. Gutter's "Crank That Artichoke" is pretty clearly meant to be a take-off of "Crank That" by Soulja Boy.
  • Tear Jerker: Has its own page.
    • Ruckus' origins. Lampshaded by the Freeman family's reactions.
    • The end of "Riley Wuz Hear", which is actually an in-universe example as well.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Huey Freeman is Huey Newton as a child on lithium.
  • Too Cool to Live: Bushido Brown.
  • Tough Act to Follow: While Seasons 3 and 2 are still well-liked among fans, Season 1 is generally considered to be the most consistently good. Many even claim that it "spoiled" the later seasons by being too good.
  • What an Idiot: Grandad in "Good Times", who keeps taking Ed Wuncler, Jr.'s deals among other things to try and pay back his debt, when it actually drives him further into it.
  • Win the Crowd: Subverted; the season two episodes involving BET were supposed to be this to angry fans who were pissed off at the tonal change in adapting the strip to animation, but Adult Swim pussied out and banned them.
  • The Woobie:
    • Jazmine, especially in "The Block is Hot".
    • This runs in the family, as her father Tom also frequently qualifies for this.
    • Leonard, poor guy works non-stop at Wendy's to pay for Thugnificent's mansion.
  • Woolseyism: For obvious reasons, most of the humor was adapted in many foreign-dubbed versions:
    • The Mexican Spanish dub has a weird approach on this: While they avoided the Animation Age Ghetto by keeping the original profanity intact (and sometimes even adding extra profanity), on the other hand and due to an unexpected limitation of the Spanish language, the slur Nigger is translated as Negro (literally "Black" as both "Black color" or "Black people"). Normally the word Negro is not an insult by default in Mexico and many Spanish-speaking countries (though "negro" was once used in America as an adjective for black people and it was Fair for Its Day, but now it's not), and it's only an insult when you add an adjective on it. It's not the same saying in Spanish "Eres un Negro" (You're a Black guy) than saying "Eres un Maldito Negro" (You're a Damn Black guy) which is the closest thing to saying Nigger in Spanish. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it doesn't.
    • The Japanese dub, on the other hand, avoids this, out for necessity, since many of the American slang and ethnic slurs used in the original English version remains untranslated from English, causing sometimes many characters to speak normally in Japanese and dropping N-Bombs in English. Basically, the Japanese dub is the inverted version of many Western fansubs and some dubs regarding keeping many of the original terminology untranslated.
  • X Meets Y: As the laconic states, this show is what happens when you mix the sociopolitical satire of South Park (but make it more like the actual Boondocks comic strip, which is centered on African-American culture and issues in the modern day) with Samurai Champloo's art and animation style and add (most of) the characters from The Boondocks comic strips.