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YMMV: The Boondocks
  • Acceptable Targets: The show regularly takes shots at the political far right, and also makes use of N-Word Privileges to satirize African American celebrities and culture - the hypermasculinity of hip-hop culture and how the idea of an openly gay male rapper would shake that, Tyler Perry plays, Bill Cosby, and so on.
  • Anvilicious: The comic strip was a vehicle for the political views of McGruder, 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.
    • "Freedomland" on the other hand makes no attempt to hide its "middle class is slavery" message.
  • Base Breaker
    • Uncle Ruckus. He's viewed as either the most awesome character in the series or an Overly Long Gag that has over stayed his welcome. "The Color Ruckus" has partially redeemed him in the eyes of the latter.
    • Same goes double for Colonel H. Stinkmeaner.
    • Granddad, due to Season 4's focus on him.
  • Broken Base
    • Whether the show is a worthy adaptation of the comic, whether the show's use of more extreme language and situations works well as a satire (a similar issue as the one Chappelle's Show suffered), whether the show captures McGruder's style better than the comic, and whether the show should be seen as a positive African American production - as well as whether those who see it as negative are perceiving it correctly. Not quite as militant as some other broken bases, but it's still noticeable.
    • Reception is also somewhat split over when and where the series was at its best/worst - mostly between those who think the series improved its stride and found its unique style of humor after the first season while also vastly improving itself visually (see Growing the Beard below), and those who think despite being better animated the writing began to suffer after as early as the first season and that the series lost some of its trademark symbolism and characterization. Likewise, there's a minor debate over whether the emphasis on the various characters was handled well and caused them to be more distinctive and endearing, or whether it was handled poorly and caused them to become too exaggerated and flanderized.
    • There are those even among the show's fandom who consider the Martin Luther King episode to have overstepped the boundaries of good taste.
    • Over whether Season 4 is worth watching or not since Aaron McGruder is not involved in its production in any way. Considering it upped the Flanderization of the characters, already a major sticking point to some fans, this likewise broke up the base even more.
  • Crazy Awesome: Riley's art teacher, a soft-spoken blond man with an afro, who quietly encourages Riley to tag houses. Also, he doesn't really like the police very much and, if you can believe it, is voiced by Rob Paulsen.
    • Also Bushido Brown.
    • Ed Wuncler the Third and Gin Rummy.
  • 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.
    • 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:
    • Caesar in the comic strip. Sadly, he was omitted from the cartoon because McGruder thought they couldn't find the right voice actor.
    • A Pimp Named Slickback and Stinkmeaner in the cartoon.
    • Tom Dubois
    • Grandmaster Bushido Brown
    • Ed, Rummy, and Cindy.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Season 4, due to the things mentioned in Seasonal Rot below.
  • Foe Yay: Huey and Ming in "The Red Ball".
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Winston Jerome jokes about him being gay have strayed into Unfortunate Implications 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" Which give focus to Huey and Riley, provide rather well done satire, both of which had been missing.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Tom Dubois is not supposed to be Barack Obama. Yes, he is a successful, light-skinned black, highly liberal attorney with a bit of a nerdy loser side, and looks an awful lot like Obama. But the character was developed way before Obama became a national figure. McGruder apparently noticed this and took full advantage of it.
    • This strip, thanks to the show.
    • In "Wingmen," Granddad is revealed to have been a Tuskegee Airman and his best friend was a cocky and reckless pilot nickamed Moe "Guns." Aaron McGruder would later go on to write the screenplay for the Tuskegee Airmen biopic Red Tails, which also featured a cocky and reckless pilot as one of the characters(another was nicknamed "Ray Gun").
    • In "Hunger Strike" (one of two Banned Episodes) the BET starts producing animated shows and an employee is shown to be reading a Black Panther comic, both of those became funny when BET developed their own version of Black Panther.
    • One of the female extras in the "Homies Over Hos" music video looks like a slightly older version of Korra.
  • Ho Yay:
    • 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.
    • Ed Wuncler III and Gin Rummy.
  • 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 has to deal with the reality that he will probably outlive his grandfather and be responsible for looking out for his younger brother Riley all on his own.
    • 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
    • Uncle Ruckus in "The Color Ruckus".
    • Mister Ruckus himself, considering the abuse he suffered.
    • Gangstalicious in "The Story Of Gangstalicious, Part 2"
    • Riley has his moments of this, especially in "Riley Wuz Hear" and "Smoking With Cigarettes".
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ed Wuncler Sr., that despicable genius.
  • Memetic Mutation
    • "I sent that bitch a smiley face. Bitches love smiley faces."
    • "NIGGA DID I JUST CATCH YOU DOIN' X?!!"
  • Memetic Sex Goddess
    • Sara Dubois. Helps that she's the most moe-looking woman in the entire show.
    • Ebony Brown, also In-Universe where even Uncle Ruckus falls for her.
  • 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.
    • When Ed Wuncler Sr. getting his grandson and his best friend to set bombs in a 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.
    • 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".
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • Seasonal Rot: Some people feel season 4 isn't as good as the first 3 seasons. This is largely due to the fact that Aaron McGruder no longer works on the show, several characters Voice Actors leaving the show (like Ed the 3rd, Gin Rummy, and Thugnificent) causing them to be omitted entirely, Ruckus getting flanderized to the point where he isn't funny anymore, the increased focus on Grandad and the season having an overarching plot (The Freemans being in debt due to Grandad falling for an obvious internet scam) rather than standalone stories. The worst part? The arc is ultimately never resolved (to an average viewer, but still disappointing nonetheless). The season's final episode is about Riley who first pisses off the LGBT community, and then the mentally disabled. It and so far the Series ultimately ends with a photo of Riley running from an angry mob of mentally disabled people that he personally pissed off. Fans have declared Fanon Discontinuity on this season because of the rot.
    • Actually, if you look at the production order, the episode orders make more sense. However, the episode order was poorly executed. The Production Orders of the episodes are all messed up. The very first episode production order-wise is "Good Times", where the arc starts, and the last episode according to production order is "Early Bird Special", where Granddad becomes a prostitute and ultimately gets a girlfriend who helps pay off his debt, but it ends in a Status Quo Is God ending, where Uncle Ruckus screws up the relationship. The debt is ultimately resolved though, but the episode before that production order-wise is Freedomland.
    • Look closely at the production orders.
  • 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 that apathy to your lot in life is a self-fulfilling prophecy and about how society is allegedly structured to disadvantage members of certain groups, usually focusing on the black community, but occasionally others.
    • Martin Luther King's speech. 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! ...and STOP THE DAMN DANCING! ACT LIKE YOU'VE GOT SOME GOD DAMN SENSE, PEOPLE! DAMN! Done playin' around here...
    • "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 this ongoing recession.
  • Shipping: Many people think that Huey/Jazmine and Riley/Cindy would make great couples.
  • 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 song is sourced from Jabba's theme from Star Wars.
    • Sgt. Gudda's "Crank That Artichoke" is pretty clearly meant to be a take-off of "Crank That" by Soulja Boy.
  • 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.
  • Tear Jerker: Ruckus' origins. Lampshaded by the Freeman family's reactions.
    • The end of "Riley Wuz Hear", which is actually an in-universe example as well.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: While both the show and the strip have always been critically acclaimed, there are numerous shifts that have caused division in the fanbase.
    • Although the strip didn't become widely known until it started regularly doing political commentary, there are some fans who feel that the shift to politics was detrimental to the strip. Those fans feel that originally, the appeal of the strip was it's large cast of characters and most of the humor was derived from their interactions. They say that when the strip changed, the cast was reduced to just Huey and Caesar, and a lot of the strips boiled down to just Huey watching the news.
    • The differences between the strip and the show cause arguments due to the social commentary being more indirect and not as frequent, along with several changes to the personalities of the characters.
    • Finally, some fans hold the first season higher than the rest of the series, due to the show becoming Denser and Wackier, the social commentary taking a backseat to more general plots, and Huey being Demoted to Extra and losing a lot of his passion in general.
    • Some people have been this way about season 4 since Aaron McGruder no longer works on the show, not to mention the shift in focus being on Granddad.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Huey is Huey Newton on lithium.
  • Too Cool to Live: Bushido Brown
  • Toy Ship
    • Jazmine/Huey. Subverted in that Huey doesn't know or care. This may be one of the few childish traits that Huey has, and possibly justified considering that Huey's only 10 years old. In the cartoon, there is much subtler teasing, but the relationship is less childish.
    • Also Riley/Cindy though to a lesser extent than Jazmine/Huey.
  • Unfortunate Implications: While much of the show is intended as to disparage modern black culture for its negative attitudes and disinterest in bettering one's condition, to some the show can come off as disparaging black people - for example, the concept of the "Nigga Moment".
  • 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.
    • Luna has suffered every type of abuse possible, and just as she makes 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).
    • 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.


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