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Recap / Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" E2 "Ren Seeks Help"

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The real Mickey Mouse wouldn't hurt a fly... or rather, perhaps, a frog.
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"Ren Seeks Help" is the second episode of The Ren & Stimpy Show: Adult Party Cartoon.

Ren did something so horrible to Stimpy, it left Stimpy in hysterical grief and Ren in guilt. To atone for this, Ren seeks out a therapist to control his violent urges once and for all.

After wandering past a dreary cityscape, Ren eventually comes across the office of Dr. Mr. Horse, who agrees to listen to his problems. And that's when Ren goes into detail about his disturbing childhood, where he describes the unspeakable pain he experienced being spanked at birth, which he took out on innocent animals. His most notable victim was a frog, who was violated, blown up, ground up by a tricycle wheel, and electrocuted. By a car battery. Upon learning that the frog wanted to be put out of his misery, Ren decided to force him to continue living instead.

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Ren then shares with Mr. Horse his relationship with Stimpy, talking about how they first met. He then goes on to reveal what exactly he did to Stimpy, which is never revealed to the audience. This horrifies Mr. Horse so much that he proceeds to assault Ren, causing Ren to go berserk. He beats Mr. Horse, and bites off the hand of one of the asylum workers trying to capture him. After Ren is hauled away, the frog from Ren's childhood visits the bloody scene, and shoots himself with Mr. Horse's gun which turns out to be a 'BANG' gun that impales him, leaving him in even more agony.

(cue "That's All Folks" spoof and credits)

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Examples:

  • All Animals Are Dogs: Zig-Zagged. After a violent brawl with Mr. Horse, Ren starts to be 0% himself and 100% more vicious. No surprise; he is a dog.
  • Ate His Gun: The frog tries kill himself by doing this, but only manages to leave himself in even worse agony than before.
  • Ax-Crazy: Ren, obviously.
  • Backstory Horror: Ren's childhood is perhaps the darkest moment in the entire series.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: The episode goes into painstaking detail to describe the many horrific ways Ren tortured animals as a child to justify its portrayal of Ren as a cruel, abusive sociopath.
  • Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: The episode has an extended flashback of a young Ren torturing a frog in grotesque ways: first shoving firecrackers up its butt, then running it over with his tricycle, then hooking it up to a car battery, then mutilating it with a chainsaw. After all that, Ren refuses to kill the frog, and we see that the frog is still alive 10-20 years later, living in horrible agony.
  • Black Comedy Burst: The show was no stranger to Black Comedy, as seen with Ren's mental breakdowns. This episode takes his instability and sadism to horrific extremes.
  • Break the Cutie: An offscreen moment for Stimpy.
  • Bullying a Dragon: After hearing all the horrible things he's capable of, Mr. Horse really should have known what would happen when picking a fight with Ren.
  • Butt-Monkey: The frog, of course.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: What's so funny about this episode? Absolutely nothing.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What Ren did to various animals, especially that poor frog.
  • Crazy-Prepared: For no reason (nobody called during the fight and nobody yelled at a chihuahua beating a horse to death), two asylum workers come in to take Ren away.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Ren gives this to Mr. Horse via a gun.
  • Cruel Mercy: Ren refusing to kill the frog.
  • Darker and Edgier: The darkest episode of any part of the Ren & Stimpy franchise, as the details above and below can attest to.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Ren explains that his desire to inflict pain on others came from a moment where he felt an "unspeakable pain", that being getting spanked by the midwife when he was born.
  • Domestic Abuse:
    • Implied with Ren's parents. And it's a rare case of reciprocal abuse in fiction too—Mrs. Hoek screams at and hits her husband for giving their son a gun (right before handing him a chainsaw) and later Mr. Hoek slaps her in the face for showing concern over Ren. It's implied that this is a common occurrence in the Hoek household.
    • Despite Ren inexplicably denying being an item with Stimpy in this episode, their relationship feels more like it here than it ever has before. Just listen to Ren recounting their first meeting.
      Ren: Then I met Stimpy. What a silly idiot. Why, I remember the first time I slapped Stimpy. He hardly even felt it. So I hit him harder...and harder...BUT HE WOULDN'T GO DOWN!
  • Downer Beginning: Stimpy is in agony on what Ren did to him...the chihuahua even finds it that horrible! While the former continues to wallow uncontrollably, the latter takes a long, restful journey to seek psychologal help.
  • Downer Ending: After Mr. Horse finds out what Ren did to Stimpy, he beats him up. Ren completely loses it and retaliates by pistol-whipping him to death before being carted off by asylum workers, presumably to be locked up in a mental institution. The frog shows up and tries to kill himself with Mr. Horse's gun, only to be impaled on a bang flag (which still doesn't kill him) and be left in worse agony than ever. And to top it all off, Stimpy's still back at home, likely still bawling over what Ren did to him, whilst simultaneously waiting for his best friend to come back, not knowing that he's being hauled away..
  • Enfant Terrible: Ren started to mutilate animals ever since infancy.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even a sociopath like Ren found what he said to Stimpy utterly deplorable.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Mr. Horse is beaten to death by Ren.
  • Foreshadowing
    • When Ren first enters Mr. Horse's office, Mr. Horse tells him that he can sit down and talk if he wants to. At first, it sounds like the kind of language psychiatrists use to let their patients know that they're there to help themselves, not do what others are telling them to do. As it turns out, he's saying this because he genuinely doesn't know why Ren is there.
    • Mr. Horse points out that Ren should be "locked away from normal, decent people". Not long enough and—true to Mr. Horse's words—two asylum workers come in to take Ren away.
  • Freudian Couch
  • Furry Reminder:
    Ren: What kind of a psychologist are you!?
    Mr. Horse: PSYCHOLOGIST!? Are you nuts!? I'M A HORSE!
  • Gut Punch: Ren is revealed to have done something irredeemable. Mr. Horse is killed in a brutal fashion. This is only the second episode of Adult Party Cartoon, and it serves to tell the audience this isn't the Ren and Stimpy they knew from The '90s.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Ren's dad is about to give his son a gun, Ren's mom swipes it out of Ren's hand, insisting that he's too young to be using guns. Then she hands him a chainsaw.
  • I Hate Past Me: Averted. Ren surprisingly does not seem to regret all of the atrocities he has done throughout his childhood, despite apparently having felt horrible for mistreating Stimpy. In fact, he's pretty much looking at the flashbacks quite fondly.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Ren plays this trope disturbingly straight.
  • Made of Iron: Deconstructed; the frog that Ren tortures goes through several things that should have killed him several times over. The deconstruction comes from the fact that before it's even over he wants to die.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: A frog dreams of being killed.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ren after he said something apparently bad to Stimpy.
  • Nightmare Face: Ren makes a scary one when the asylum workers confront him after he beats Mr. Horse.
  • No-Dialogue Episode: Occurs after Mr. Horse beats up Ren.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Ren delivers a nasty one to Mr. Horse in the climax.
  • No Name Given: The frog, despite being an important character in the episode.
  • Noodle Incident: This sets up the plot, as Ren apparently said something incredibly horrible to Stimpy. He whispers the event to Mr. Horse, which gets him shouting at Ren and calling him a psycho.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Mr. Horse has always been The Stoic and a Deadpan Snarker, and keeps that attitude for most of the episode, even when Ren is describing the horrific acts of his childhood. It isn't until when Ren whispers to Mr. Horse about what he did to Stimpy that causes Mr. Horse to flip out and start beating the crap out of Ren.
    • In both versions of the show, Stimpy is extremely forgiving toward Ren and often blissfully oblivious to the fact that Ren's treatment of him is abusive. Here, whatever Ren did to him was apparently so horrible, that Stimpy flat out calls him a monster.
  • Pistol Whip: Ren beats Mr. Horse to death this way. Also serves as a bit of Foreshadowing, since Ren's mom bonks Ren's dad on the head with his pistol upon being handed to Ren to finish off the frog.
  • Precision F-Strike: Mr. Horse shouts this when he chews out Ren near the end. The TV version has a car horn censoring the word.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mr. Horse gives one to Ren after he reveals to him what he did to Stimpy. Ren counters that with one of his own.
    Mr. Horse: You need to be locked, away from decent, NORMAL people! What kind of a lunatic are you? You just walk up to strangers on the street and tell them "Hey, Mister, you want to hear some sick stories of my sick, twisted youth"!?
    Ren: I don't understand! I came to you for help! I bared my soul to you! I told you all my darkest secrets! And now you tell me I'm crazy? What kind of psychologist are you!?
  • Sadist: Taken Up to Eleven with Ren here.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • In "Sven Höek," Ren states that he and the titular character were born from the same litter (despite being cousins), and even shows a picture of them as newborns. In this episode, Ren is shown to be an only child, and his newborn self looks very different from in the photograph in "Sven Höek."
    • In addition, Ren says that Stimpy is "just a friend", despite the two being a gay couple in Adult Party Cartoon. Both of these errors are most likely due to the episode being written in 1991.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Stimpy is only present for the first ten minutes of the episode and he's clearly not in the mood to be funny. The rest of this extremely dark episode goes on without him.
  • The Shrink: Mr. Horse. Subverted in that he's not actually a shrink. He's a horse.
  • The Sociopath: Ren. His Comedic Sociopathy is actually deconstructed here.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Much of the torture Ren inflicts on animals is set to some pretty cheery music.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Weekend Pussy Hunt, another psychodrama by John K. where the only joke appears to be that cartoon characters are acting out an ugly, dramatic Film Noir story which gets uglier and uglier as it goes along.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: For once, Stimpy feels this about the way Ren treats him.
  • Truth in Television: Torturing small animals is often considered to be the first sign of psychopathy.
  • The Un-Reveal: The plot is built off of Ren seeking help after doing something horrendous to Stimpy. Guess what is never revealed?
  • That's All, Folks!: Parodied at the very end. After the dark and morbid ending, a parody of the Looney Tunes signoff appears with Ren, Stimpy, Mr. Horse, the frog, and the asylum worker (still with his hand bitten off) inside the circles.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The camera never cuts away when Ren's mother vomited.
  • Wham Line:
    Ren: (after Mr. Horse calls him crazy) I don't understand! I came to you for help! I bared my soul to you! I told you all my darkest secrets! And now you tell me I'm crazy? What kind of psychologist are you!?
    Mr. Horse: Psychologist!? Are you nuts!? I'M A HORSE!
  • You Monster!: Stimpy shouts this at Ren after he said something horrible to him.
  • Zany Cartoon: The intent of this episode was to deconstruct this trope, as the zany cartoon character in question, Ren, goes to therapy and reveals the horrific things he has done in his childhood. References to various classic characters and gags are strewn throughout the episode, juxtaposed with incredibly grotesque and violent imagery so that their comedic impact is replaced with sheer horror.
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