Set several decades later, the cartoon business has changed much since the 1940s. There's been a recent string of murders involving computer-generated characters (called "digi's") lately, so Roger and his wife Jessica try to find out who's behind it all. Helping them out is an old friend's grandson, a perennially broke young Private Detective named Freddie Valiant.
The Merry Go Round Broke Down features various cameos and references, ranging from video game characters to edutainment cartoon characters.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Freddie loves Film Noir and sticks with the aesthetic because it's what's expected of a private eye. The upshot of this is that Roger discovers him in a diner wearing a trenchcoat (in 80-degree weather), a fedora and sunglasses.
- Crossover Couple:
- There's a heavily implied something between Cinderella and Snow White.
- Jane Jetson ran off with Shipwreck after GI Joe became a hit.
- Daffy Duck and Lois Lane gets teased.
- Driven to Suicide: Instead of becoming a digi, Christopher Robin opted to dip himself.
- Fantastic Racism: There's a lot of racism against toons from humans. There's also racism from toons towards digis, digis towards toons, and toons towards digis-who-were-originally-toons.
- Fantastic Slurs: "Digi" was originally a slur for CG toons created by traditionally-animated ones, but it's also used neutrally.
- Gender Bender Angst: For some reason, Simon accidentally went through a transformation when he switched to CGI. He still identifies as male, but it's also mentioned that he has the "wrong parts" (and he's pregnant). Simon's horrified and embarrassed, but his girlfriend offers to raise the kids with him anyway.
- Groin Attack: It's implied that Jeanette bit Alvin in the groin.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Batman, Robin, Superman, and Lois have a foursome in a phone booth.
- Mama Bear: When Alvin threatens to hurt Simon, Jeanette attacks him in order to save her unborn kids.
- Minority Police Officer: Goofy is the only toon amongst his group in the police.
- Mistaken for Murderer: After Lara is deleted, Jessica is the first suspect because it's known that they hated each other.
- Mr. Seahorse: As a side-effect of being made digi, Simon somehow ended up pregnant
- Painful Transformation: Turning from a toon to a digi is painful, even after the transformation.
- The Primadonna: Lara Croft is treated as a hotshot star who complains when Jessica gives her the wrong coffee.
- Secret Relationship: There's one implied between Cinderella and Snow White. Snow calls Cinderella by the Affectionate Nickname "Cindear". It might be not-so-secret after Charming leaked a video online.
- Shout-Out: On top of the various film, gaming, and cartoon jokes, there's a music reference. Aurora tells Jessica to "Go ask Alice", referencing the Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit". In the same line, Aurora also mentions Jasmine smoking hookah, like the caterpillar in the song.
- The Stoner: Alice, Jasmine, the Caterpillar, Shaggy, Scooby, and Rainbow Brite like to smoke together.
- Troubled Production: At the start of the fic, Tomb Raider has a troubled production involving the script being rewritten at least fifteen times.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Jessica isn't read her rights by the police because, as a toon, she has no rights.