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Literature / Planet Tad

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Planet Tad is a parody of the typical sort of blog written by a confused teenage boy. It has been a regular feature of MAD magazine since 2005 and in 2012 was released as a book by the same name. The book contains a years worth of entries, though not one for every day of the year. A number of the entries are content that previously appeared in MAD. The series is written by Tim Carvell, head-writer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the book release received an endorsement from Jon Stewart himself, as well as Stephen Colbert and Tom Angleberger, author of the Origami Yoda books.

In 2014, a sequel, Return to Planet Tad, was released, containing another year's worth of entries.

Compare Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Planet Tad features examples of:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Sophie, To Tad
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: Tad tries to shave his off and ends up shaving off his entire eyebrows.
  • Bland-Name Product: Plenty of real products are mentioned within the series, but there's also a sequence about Tad wanting a "GamePort XL."
  • A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: At the end of Return to Planet Tad, Tad and his sister Sophie learn that their family will soon become this, with a new baby boy on the way. Neither is very enthused at first, but Tad begins to warm to the idea after learning that he will be a role model for his little brother, someone who can teach him right from wrong (he and his father agree that they can't count on Sophie for that) and that he'll be getting his own room.
  • Censorship by Spelling: In Return to Planet Tad, Tad agrees to dress up as his high school's mascot, a shark, only to learn that he has to dance to complicated routines taught to him by the school cheerleaders. When he fails miserably during rehearsals, one of them comments "I can't believe he's this A-W-F-U-L," leading him to state "I can understand when you spell words out."
  • Child Prodigy: Tad's little sister, Sophie, is this. In Return to Planet Tad, he says that he thinks one day he'll end up working for her.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Tad hopes that when his sister grows up, she uses her powers for good and not evil.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tad
  • Dead Pet Sketch: Sophie gets a pet hamster named Mr. Squeakers, though Tad says that "He and I know his name is Thunderclaw." After Tad and his friend Chuck lose Thunderclaw, they replace him with another hamster. It works, but then the original Thunderclaw is found lifeless when Tad's mom pours herself some Rice Krispies.
  • Egg Sitting: Tad has to do this with one his classmates for health class. Tad hardboils the egg.
  • Forced Meme: Tad tries to make "gruntled" into a word, but it doesn't work.
  • Last-Minute Baby Naming: Tad's parents can't agree on whether to call the baby "Kenneth" or "Steven," so he remains nameless when they bring him home, until Tad suggests "Kevin" as a compromise. Tad's glad this is accepted, since his other suggestion was going to be "Stenneth."
  • Let's Meet the Meat: In one sequence, Tad gets a summer job dressing up as a hot dog to promote a restaurant. As customers enter, Tad whispers "You're eating my babies."
  • MST3K Mantra: invoked Tad clearly doesn't believe in it and a large portion of his blog consists of pointing out things in media that he feels don't make sense.
  • Nobody Poops: Tad rents a DVD set of season one 24 and asks the age-old question of fans: "When do the characters go to the bathroom?" He actually manages to come up with the correct answer as given by the producers, which is during the minutes between acts.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: While Return to Planet Tad isn't an example, the title page has "Revenge of, "Beneath the," "Beyond the," "Attack of the," "Escape from" and "Son of" above the title, each of them crossed out.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Mocked by Tad in regard to Hannah Montana, who can't believe there's a whole show about a group of people who can't realize that Hannah Montana is just Miley Cyrus in a wig
  • Pirates: The Mascot of Tad's middle school, Lakeville
  • Playing Sick: Tad is forced into becoming a slave to his sister's demands after she catches him at this. Tad finally caves in and admits the truth to his parents, who feel he's already been punished enough - they knew all along and let Sophie's torture be his punishment.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: One of Tad's classmates, Ben Irvin, manages to avoid being cast for a play that nobody in the school wants to be in by doing this during his audition.
  • School Play
    • In the original Planet Tad book, Tad is forced to help his sister Sophie prepare for her role in the school play of Hansel & Gretel, then ends up playing Hansel because he knows all the lines when the kid who was supposed to play the role had the stomach flu, in exchange for a The Lord of the Rings trilogy extended edition DVD boxset.
    • In Return to Planet Tad, Tad is forced to participating one in order to raise a bad grade, but ends up not being able to perform when he himself gets sick.
  • Secret Santa: Tad's class participates in one of these, with Tad as a secret Santa to a girl that he likes. It bombs badly when he chooses chocolate as his gift and she thinks that her Santa is trying to make her fat.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Not so much a conversation as Seinfeldian observations regularly offered up by Tad
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: In Return to Planet Tad, Tad's mother gives him her old cell phone as a birthday gift. She and his father forbid him from calls other than from or to them, but don't specifically forbid the use of text messaging. He soon starts text messaging like crazy and also uses the phone to update his online blog. It transpires that the phone did not come with a text message plan and when his parents are hit with a $127.40 bill (20 cents times 637 text messages), they forbid him from doing anything with it other than talking to them on it and also require that his ringtone be "I'm a Little Teapot."
  • Straw Vegetarian: Sophie, until her family needles her about it so much that she starts eating meat again
  • The Unfavorite: Tad and his Mom are unfavorites of Tad's Grandma Judy (the mother of Tad's father)
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Tad believes that goldfish have a seven-second memory and must spend their lives going "Oh my God, I'm drowning! No, wait, I have gills."
  • You, Get Me Coffee: When Tad goes to his father's workplace during Take Your Child to Work Day, he is forced into this by the son of his father's boss.