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Recap / HTF - Happy Trails

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Don't distract the bus driver...
"Keep your promises!"
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Airdate: October 20, 2001

"Happy Trails" is the twenty seventh episode of the first (internet) season of Happy Tree Friends. It was going to be the final episode of the show had Mondo not ask for more episodes.

A school bus carrying a group of friends is traveling along. All is well until Petunia, who drank too much cherry juice, suddenly needs to go. She begins to ask Lumpy, only for him to chastise her for bothering him. The bus hits a small rock, causing one of the windows to close down on Cuddles, cutting him off. It also causes Mime to choke on his peanut. He fails to wake up the napping Sniffles, who is wearing headphones. He asks Lumpy for help instead, but Lumpy chastises him too, leaving him to die. Petunia, in a frantic, suddenly points to the front, showing that the bus is heading towards a winding path with no guardrails. This scares both Petunia and Lumpy, the latter jumping into the former's arms, while Petunia herself ends up urinating in the bus. The bus hits another bump (The Cursed Idol), causing Petunia to lose balance and get impaled on the bus's gear lever, which Lumpy tries to control but fails. The bus then ends up driving off a cliff. "To be continued..."

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"Happy Trails" contains the following:

  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Lumpy's antlers.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Subverted by accident. To reiterate, this was originally going to be the final episode of the show. The creators were surprised when they were asked to create more episodes, so they did just that. In fact, the very next episode immediately resolves the cliffhanger.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Petunia urinates herself while she and Lumpy brace for impact.
  • The Cameo: The Cursed Idol serves as the second bump on the road that leads the friends to their demise.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with the bus driving off the cliff.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Cuddles gets sliced in half by the bus's window.
    • Petunia gets impaled on the bus's gear lever.
  • Faceless Masses: Non-main characters shown in the background are rendered as this, though in some shots certain main characters end up as these too.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: A ton.
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    • Petunia drinking several juice boxes.
    • Cuddles sticking his body out of the window.
    • Mime eating peanuts.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Cuddles's death.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Petunia's death.
  • Meaningful Name: "Happy trails" is an expression of goodwill to someone who is leaving. Would be fitting if this was the actual final episode of the show.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Lumpy is a bus driver this time around.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Petunia distracting Lumpy from the road is what ultimately starts the chain reaction of chaos at the bus.
  • Off-Model:
    • Toothy lacks his tail for the whole episode, including when he gets thrown out from the bus.
    • For some reason, Cuddles's soles are depicted in the form of pink paw pads, something he does not have anywhere else (normally blank like the rest of the main cast).
  • Potty Emergency: Petunia has to use the bathroom for most of the episode.
  • Running Gag: Even when he is screaming in terror, Handy retains his grumpy eyes.
  • Special Edition Title: After the show's title card is shown, the theme song is changed into a more intense music as the logo gets crushed by rocks carved in the shape of the "SEASON FINALE" text, with the falling leaf being blown to the episode's title card.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": One of the writers, Paul Allan, is credited in this episode as Paul Allen.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Mime lets out a noise when he is choking in this episode.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The friends are singing the show's theme at the beginning of the episode.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Cuddles, Petunia, Mime, Mole, and Toothy die. The others would be left with an unknown fate had Mondo not request more HTF episodes.
  • Toilet Humor: The only time in the show to show urine.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Toothy has a much higher-pitched voice than usual when he is giggling in this episode.
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