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Recap / HTF - Stealing the Spotlight

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Lights out for them.
"Always look on the bright side of life!"
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Airdate: November 9, 2003

"Stealing the Spotlight" is the twenty third episode of the second (internet) season of Happy Tree Friends. This episode pretty much marks show's very first TV special, featured in a collection called Happy Tree Friends Winter Break.

Lumpy enters one-sided competition with Pop on who has the better Christmas decorations after noticing the latter setting up his own decorations with the help of Cub. As for the father-son duo, Pop has just climbed down his ladder and is about to move it somewhere else when he accidentally smacks Cub into the snow with it, causing one of his teeth to fall out. Pop tries to place it back by himself to no avail. He ends up deciding to use his hammer to, well, hammer the tooth back, with unsettling results, though Cub is happy. Back at Lumpy's place, the moose is carrying a ball of Christmas lights when Nutty happens to jitter by from his usual sugar rush. The squirrel notices the lights, mistakes them as sweets, and proceeds to eat them. This causes his organs to get pulled out when Lumpy tugs and forcefully pulls the lights. Meanwhile, Pop is hammering some nails on the roof to tie the lights around, not noticing that the bucket containing the nails is sliding down the roof until it finally falls. By the time Pop looks down, the bucket has landed on Cub's head, with the result too horrific to be seen. Pop now spends his time trying to remove all the nails stuck on Cub. He soon finds one nail that refuses to budge. Hammering it back in only makes things worse, but there is nothing else he can do to remove it anyway. After all that trouble, Pop takes Cub outside where the former plugs the electricity in to turn on all his Christmas lights. The decoration manages to wow Giggles and Petunia who happen to pass by, as well as Lumpy. Bothered by this, he decides to do something that he feels can surpass Pop's work. The result is an unholy abomination consisting of various light-generating objects stacked on top of his trailer, including a lighthouse. Lumpy puts his goggles on before turning on his decoration. The night is suddenly filled with light, as if it is daytime. Of course, the excess intense light leads to fatal results: Giggles catches fire, Pop is boiled to death, Cub explodes, and Toothy and the rest of the critters end up vaporized. The light is so deadly it even generates a moon-destroying beam. After the showcase, the burned Lumpy takes off his goggles, revealing that even his eyes fall victim to his own lights. Mole, who even managed to shield his blind eyes earlier, gives Lumpy's decoration a (flaming) thumbs-up.

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"Stealing the Spotlight" contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Unintentionally. Pop does a hilariously terrible job on treating Cub’s wounds.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Lumpy's antlers.
  • Asshole Victim: Considering what Pop did to Cub throughout this episode, his death is sort of deserved.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Somehow, Lumpy's lights were so bright that even Mole had to shield his eyes from it.
  • Butt-Monkey: Cub, who is constant victim of Pop's negligence.
  • The Cameo: Truffles can be found hiding in two separate instances in the BlurB! version.
  • Caption Humor: One of the few episodes with a BlurB! version.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death
    • Nutty has his organs and intestines forcibly shoved out of his mouth.
    • Pop's head boils from the heat of Lumpy's light.
    • Toothy instantly disintegrates from the extreme heat.
  • Detonation Moon: Lumpy’s lights were strong enough to fire a laser into the moon, blowing it up.
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  • Downer Ending: Lumpy’s lights become too strong causing the deaths of several innocent people.
  • Easter Egg: One of the BlurB! episodes to feature binary codes, courtesy of the Comedy Robot.
  • Eye Scream: Lumpy’s eyes pop like a bubble when he turns on his lights.
  • Faceless Masses: The panicking background victims who end up vaporized.
  • Human Pincushion: Cub's head, meet nails.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A BlurB! caption points out the scene where Lumpy walks backwards into his trailer with the door closing without him interacting with it.
    Hey who shut that door?
  • Limited Sound Effects: Cub's giggle is reused from "Rink Hijinks".
  • Made of Iron: Lumpy and Mole are within ground zero of the former’s lights but manage to get off without dying. Meanwhile, characters like Toothy completely disintegrate by sheer exposure of the light.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Lumpy still dons his goofy smile even after his eyes pop from the light.
  • Man on Fire: Giggles and Cub during Lumpy's showcase.
  • Meaningful Name: The episode's title refers to attention-grabbing, which is Lumpy's goal in this episode.
  • Mythology Gag: Two of the BlurB! captions mention Team Lammy and Team Truffles, a reference to the show's "Vote or Die" event months ago.
  • No Body Left Behind: Pretty much everyone who died by disintegration.
  • Off-Model:
    • When Giggles and Petunia are seen from behind, their ear holes are visible.
    • When Giggles and Petunia approach Pop and Cub's house, the fence they're standing next to is shown to have separated, pointed boards, but in the next shot, the fence boards are together and rounded.
    • The tip of Petunia's tail suddenly disappears when the camera focuses on Lumpy after the pan.
    • Shifty's hat appears to possess additional ears after it falls off his head, giving him four ears in total (two on head, two on hat).
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Pretty much every time Pop accidentally injures Cub.
    • A massive version of this happens during Lumpy's fatal showcase.
  • Product Placement: A Running Gag from the BlurB!. Features mentions of various (fake) products based on certain scenes in this episode.
  • Running Gag:
  • Self-Deprecation: The caption below is placed over Pop's horrified reaction, to represent the audience.
    What do you really think about this blatant repurposing of old content?
  • Shout-Out:
    • Cub's head injury is a reference to Pinhead from Hellraiser.
    • One early BlurB! caption.
    MC Hammer first appeared around 1961
    • One of the BlurB! captions, during the moon destruction scene.
    Planet explosion taken from the 1978 "Superman" film.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Giggles, Toothy, Cub, Pop, and Nutty.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Lumpy and Mole.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Cub loses one of his teeth from having his head smacked from behind by Pop's ladder.
  • Uncertain Doom: The fates of Flaky, Petunia, Sniffles, Lifty, and Shifty. We don’t see them dying — but they’re most certainly killed by the Christmas lights.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Cub suddenly has his tooth injury gone later in the episode.
  • Unknown Rival: Lumpy is this to Pop and Cub.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Cub's death.
  • Your Size May Vary: As Petunia and Giggles approach Pop's house, the fence is as high as their heads. In the very next shot, however, the fence only comes up to their chests.
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