Squiddles was a Merchandise-Driven Saturday Morning Cartoon. It ran on Cartoon Network from 2000 to 2004. The show had a Troubled Production, with the show creators wanting to make it darker while executives insisted on keeping it saccharine. This led to many Getting Crap Past the Radar moments and hints of darker content. In 2010, the show got a movie: The Day the Unicorns Couldn't Play. The movie fueled a Broken Base due to its Darker and Edgier content.
The titular characters are a society of playful, multicolored squids (see Artistic License Biology below). The Squiddles had to avoid being captured by the series antagonist Skipper Plumpthroat although other antagonist would appear. The Point of View are actually Billy and his sister Violet, two kids who befriend the Squiddles. They are aided by the Bowman, an adult who knows about the oceans and the Squiddles.
Squiddles exists only in the Homestuck universe, where several characters are fans.
Squiddles includes examples of:
- Action Girl: Violet is this since she often helps save the day.
- A Day in the Limelight: This was the show's favorite tactic in dealing with the large cast.
- All There in the Manual: Several characters were never named in the show. However, they were named in supplementary materials.
- Ascended Fanon: It was often theorized Plumpthroat and the Bowman were brothers. This is confirmed in The Movie.
- Artistic License Biology: The Squiddles are described as being squids. However, they resemble octopuses both in shape and the fact they only have eight tentacles.
- Big Bad: Although Plumpthroat was the most recurring villain, Brineswallow was the one actually in charge.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Movie end with Plumpthroat and Brineswallow finally defeated. However, they have managed to kill most of the unicorns.
- The Dragon: Plumpthroat was the most recurring antagonist but was taking orders of Brineswallow.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Bowman is only referred to by his job title. Word of God is that his name is Howard.
- Forced into Evil: Plumpthroat started to work for Brineswallow to pay his debts.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: There several instances of this. The most glaring is the two Squiddles in bed smoking because it is in the freaking opening theme.
- Grumpy Bear: Grouchy Squiddle, the one off villain from Terror of the Deep, is like this often bordering on Straw Nihilist.
- Hidden Elf Village: The Squiddles' underwater village was hidden and only a handful of characters knew where it was. Plumpthroat often tried (but failed) to find it.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Plumpthroat would often dip into this not helped by his massive Villain Decay over the series. This is averted in The Movie where Plumpthroat is a much more serious threat.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: There were 48 Squiddles. As a result, many of them were Demoted to Extra after their episode introduction.
- Married to the Job: Plumpthroat constantly boasts about how much he loves his job and is implied to very lonely.
- Mr. Exposition: Bowman, being the oldest of the protagonists, would often fulfill this role.
- No Sense of Personal Space: The Squiddles love to hug people. Unfortunately, this has earned them a reputation of Memetic Molester in real life.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: The Mermen were portrayed as humanoids with pale purple scales and gills where their ears should be. They also eat Squiddles.
- Power of Friendship: One of the recurring themes of the series.
- The Spock: Smarty Squiddle
- Talk Like a Pirate: Skipper Plumpthroat and his crew often talked like this.
- Unicorn: Unicorns were recurring supporting characters. They could magic via their horns. The unicorns would use their magic to play with and help the Squiddles. Plumpthroat later most of them so he can use their magic against the Squiddles.
- Villain Decay: Plumthroat was originally portrayed as a serious threat. However as the series when on, he became more and more of an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. This is horribly subverted in The Movie.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: The Squiddles lack Tertiary Sexual Characteristics so discerning gender can be tricky. Also, Brineswallow is a woman, but is often mistaken for a man.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Some of the one-off villains were like this. These include the Shark King, Medusa and the Mermen
- Villain Song: Catchyegrabber and Plumbthroat Gives Chase both of which are sung by Plumpthroat
- "Weird Al" Effect: The series is more well known for its appearance in Homestuck than the actual series itself.