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Literature / The Bum Trilogy

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A grossout/Toilet Humor-themed series of children's novels, called the Butt Trilogy in America, written by Australian author Andy Griffiths, also known for the Just...! series.

There are three books in the series, with the first one being released in 2001 and the last coming out in 2005. They are:

  1. The Day My Bum Went Psychonote 
  2. Zombie Bums from Uranusnote 
  3. Bumageddon: The Final Pongflict note 

These books tell the story of Zack Freeman, a 12-year-old boy whose bum detaches itself from his body and runs off every night. When he goes off to get his bum back like always, he discovers something alarming — all of the bums in the world, not just his own, are sentient, autonomous beings. And what's more they are hatching a nefarious scheme to overthrow humanity under the leadership of his own bum, as well as that of a gigantic, evil bum known as the Great White Bum and his henchbums, The Prince and Maurice. To foil this plot, Zack must seek Silas Sterne and his daughter Eleanor, the legendary leaders of a team of "bum hunters" known as the B-Team who wear prosthetic bums and constantly battle the machinations of bumkind.

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And while that basically summarizes the plot of the first book, Zack becomes a cadet in the B-Team in the following books. From there, the plot really gets crazy (well even moreso than the first book ever was) as Zack discovers that his parents and his grandmother are in fact bum hunters secretly working for the B-Team, Earth faces an invasion of evil undead bums from outer space, time-travelling shenanigans with ferocious prehistoric dinosaur bums ensue, armageddon arrives in the form of giant bums crapping on everything, and Zack discovers he is The Chosen One with a central role in the strange yet epic battle between humanity and their bums.

Yeah, these books are weird... and insane.

A loose Animated Adaptation of the books called The Day My Butt Went Psycho! was released in 2013, produced by Canada's Nelvana and Studio Moshi in Australia. Interestingly, this makes it the second cartoon adaptation of Griffiths' work, the first being What's with Andy? in 2001.

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Tropes that apply to this series:

  • Action Girl: Eleanor, as well as the Smacker, are the chief female bum hunters of the series, and some of the best in the world.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: In the second book, the Mutant Maggot Lord asks to stay behind and hold off the maggots, he's eaten. He get's better, sort of.
  • Badass Crew: The B-Team, an organization consisting of the world's greatest warriors against the evil machinations of the bums led by the legendary Silas Sterne and his Action Girl scientist daughter Eleanor.
  • Big Bad: The Great White Bum, whose quest to destroy humanity is the catalyst and primary driving point of the battle between humans and bums.
  • Cosmic Retcon: How the series ends, everyone is living a now relatively normal life, Ned Smelly is now Ed Kelly, and the only Butts alive are Zack's and Eleanor's.
  • Cycle of Revenge: In the third book. After the Great White Bum kills all of his friends and family, a mix up in a time machine sends Zack back to the beginning of life. He finds the infant Great White Bum and tries to kill him, succeeding in killing his family, but the butt escapes. The Great White Bum reveals that that is why he started his quest for vengeance.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: All the cast bar Eleanor, Zack, Zack's bum, and Ned, are killed at the start of the third book by a "brown glob".
  • Gross-Out Show: Starting from the premise which is about humankind battling sentient butts and constantly pushing the envelope with toilet humor, booty mutilation, moving into vomit and mutant maggot monsters.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Zack's bum goes from being his chief enemy in the first book to his closest ally in the second and third books.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: The Prince and Maurice appear in all three books, surviving the encounter with the protagonists in book one, assisting them in Book 2, and turning to the Great White Bum's side in the finale, presumably because they were out of options.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Of the Toilet Humor variety, obviously.
  • Joke of the Butt: Bums are occasionally used as a source of humour.
  • Market-Based Title: "Bum" is not a widely used slang term in North America, so for the series' release over there, they were edited so that all instances of "bum", including the title, were replaced with "butt". This unfortunately meant that a lot of puns didn't work as well in that version (for example, "nuclear bums" become "nuclear butts", even though it works better with "bum" as a pun on "bomb").
  • Missing Mom: Eleanor's mother (Silas' wife) was killed by the Great White Bum many years ago.
  • The Mole: The Kisser turns out to be this for the B-Team at the end of the first book.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero and Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: As revealed in the third book. The War and all of it's victims? It's all the Great White Bum's and Zack's fault, with Zack being the catalyst. See Cycle of Revenge
  • Never Mess with Granny: Zack's Grandma, who herself is a retired bum hunter.
  • Odd Organ Up Top: People's butts are planning to invoke this by taking over the world with a huge, worldwide fart by building up a massive quantity of methane gas in the "Bumcano." When the Bumcano blows, all humans will be rendered unconscious, then the bums will seize their chance and switch places with their heads.
  • Staying Alive: The Kisser. He's survived a mutation, being eaten, and turning into barf, then losing an arm. Being wiped up and dropped into a volcano probably did him in.
  • Villainous Crush: The Great White Bum develops a crush on Robobum in the third book.
  • When She Smiles: The first time Zack sees Eleanor laugh in the first book, he has to admit to himself that she looks pretty.

Alternative Title(s): The Day My Butt Went Psycho, The Day My Bum Went Psycho, Bum Trilogy, Zombie Bums From Uranus, Zombie Butts From Uranus, Bumageddon The Final Pongflict, Butt Wars The Final Conflict

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