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Recap / Rockos Modern Life S 2 E 10 Hair Licked Gutter Balls

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The tenth episode of the second season of Rocko's Modern Life.

Hair Licked

As part of his status as Kind Of A-Lot-O' Comics' Employee of the Month, Rocko will have his photo taken for the newspaper. The trouble is, his hair becomes an uncontrollable mess.

Gutter Balls

Once a promising young bowler, Ed Bighead is now reduced to coaching a women's auxiliary bowling team (consisting of Ed's wife, Bev; Heffer's mom, Virginia; and the Southern-accented pig lady from "Popcorn Pandemonium"). When the other team for an upcoming tournament announces that they've become monks (and Virginia adds that if their team doesn't play an opponent, then no one wins and the tournament will be canceled until next year), Ed rounds up Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt to be the competing team, which gives Ed flashbacks of how he ruined his pro bowling career.

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"Hair Licked" provides examples of:

  • Bad Boss: Mr. Smitty. While he rewards Rocko for fixing the copier by making him Kind Of A-Lot-O' Comics' Employee of the Month, even going as far as giving Rocko his picture in the newspaper, it's clear that he did this so he doesn't have to give Rocko a raise in pay.
  • Bad Hair Day: Rocko suffers one, right on the day that he is supposed to have his picture taken for the newspaper as part of his status as Kind Of A-Lot-O' Comics' Employee of the Month.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: After Rocko fixes the copier at the beginning of the episode, to get out of giving him a raise in pay, Mr. Smitty decides to make Rocko Employee of the Month, telling him it's better than a raise, as he gets his picture in the newspaper. After he says this, he yells at Rocko to get back to work.
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  • Barbershop Episode: In this episode, Rocko is chosen as Kind Of A-Lot-O' Comics' Employee of the Month, and is about to have his picture taken for the newspaper. Unfortunately, his hair becomes an uncontrollable mess. Heffer tries to give Rocko a haircut, but his haircut is terrible, so he takes Rocko to the Chameleon Brothers' barbershop so Chuck and Leon can give him a better haircut.
  • Brown Bag Mask: Rocko has to wear one after Heffer gives him a terrible haircut and takes him to the Chameleon Brothers' hair stylist shop. It's also spoofed when Heffer initially looks at the results of his haircut attempt, and when offering to make a mask for Rocko he asks like a grocer, "Paper or plastic?" Rocko should be grateful Heffer didn't just go with the plastic bag.
  • Cheek Copy: Heffer pushes Rocko's face against the copier to give him a good photo for the newspaper. Even though it wasn't the prettiest picture and everyone mocked it, Rocko liked it anyway.
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  • Deadpan Snarker: When Rocko fixes the copier at the beginning of this episode, Mr. Smitty says, "Oh, goody. What would I do without you, boy?" in a negative tone.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Chuck and Leon are normally naked and nobody comments on it. In this episode, they dip into this territory by wearing purple shirts.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Heffer. While he is lazy and selfish, he's shown to really come through for Rocko in times of duress. If he's the one who ends up messing something up for Rocko, he'll make up for it without question, albeit in unorthodox ways, and this episode is one of the best examples that signifies this trope for him. He's responsible for messing up Rocko's hair (albeit unintentionally since he's not the best barber) and his picture at Filburt's (his butt bumped into the fan trying to pick up a cookie), but he was also the one who helped Rocko get a better haircut by the Chameleon Brothers and a picture for the newspaper thanks to pushing Rocko's face on the copier. It wasn't the prettiest picture and everyone mocked it, but Rocko liked it anyway.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Filburt has a job as a fashion photographer in this episode, and Chuck and Leon have jobs as hairdressers.
  • Shout-Out: This episode's title card parodies the poster for the original production of Hair, complete with a Pat Irwin arrangement of "Aquarius".

"Gutter Balls" provides examples of:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: When Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt compete against the Gutter Gals, they're assigned to lane #13. Filburt is nervous, saying that the number 13 is very unlucky, but Heffer assures him that the only unlucky ones will be the Gutter Gals.
  • Bad Boss: Ed is shown to be an abusive bowling team manager for the Gutter Gals. After shouting at Virginia for being a terrible bowler ("YOU BOWL LIKE A WIMP!!"), Virginia leaves in mid-tournament and goes home, and teammates Tammy and Bev follow suit. Leaving Ed with no bowlers left and an attempt to cheat by disguising himself as Bev (the tournament disallows substituting players in, including the non-bowling team captain), which doesn't work.
  • Be the Ball: When Ed tries to sabotage Rocko's chances of winning by giving him a balloon filled with helium that looks like a bowling ball, the balloon pops and Rocko lands on him, launching him into the pins and giving him a strike. Ed then goes through the bowling ball chute, shaped like a ball.
  • Bowling for Ratings: Ed is the captain of the Gutter Gals, a bowling team consisting of Bev, Virginia Wolfe, and Tammy the Pig. When the opposing team forfeits and he discovers that there can't be a tournament without an opposing team, he hires Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt to take their places.
  • Competition Freak: While Bev, Virginia, and Tammy just want to have fun at the bowling tournament, Ed is insistent on winning the trophy by any means.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: When Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt catch up to the Gutter Gals, Ed tries to sabotage their chances of winning. He gives Rocko a balloon filled with helium that looks like a bowling ball, which causes Rocko to fly up, but the balloon pops and Rocko lands on him, launching him into the pins and giving him a strike. Next, he puts oil on the soles of Heffer's shoes, which result in Heffer sliding into his mouth, causing him to choke. Filburt gives Ed the Heimlich maneuver, resulting in Ed spitting Heffer out at the pins, giving Heffer another strike.
  • Disguised in Drag: When Bev, Virginia, and Tammy leave due to Ed's abusive treatment of them, Ed decides to play the final frame by himself, but since the tournament doesn't allow substituting players in, including the non-bowling team captain, he disguises himself as Bev. His plan is foiled when the real Bev comes back to pick up her purse.
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: Due to the tournament disallowing substituting players, Ed disguises himself as Bev to win the bowling tournament after the real Bev, Virginia, and Tammy leave. He wins the bowling tournament, but he gets disqualified when the real Bev returns to pick up her purse, and Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt win the tournament by default.
  • Epic Fail: In Ed's flashback of his last bowling tournament, his last ball demolishes the bowling alley without the pins falling over. At all. When he only needed one pin to win. To top all things off, his ball (or what looks like his ball) rolls in and lightly touches Ed on the leg, causing him to turn into bowling pins and then fall apart.
  • Last-Second Showoff: Ed was this in the flashback, as he deliberately strike out on the second-to-last ball. Confident that he'll make the final strike.
  • Mama Bear: When Heffer gets angry at Ed for insulting Virginia, Ed yells at Heffer and calls him chubby. Virginia tells Ed, "Don't you insult my boy, you big galoot!"
  • Momma's Boy: Ed is desperate to have his team win a bowling trophy, which gets increasingly unlikely because of Rocko and friends being unexpectedly good and Virginia Wolfe being completely awful. It gets to the point where Ed insults Virginia. When Heffer overhears this, he gets angry at Ed.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: After Ed's abusive behavior causes Bev, Virginia, and Tammy to leave, Ed disguises himself as Bev, since the tournament doesn't allow substitute players. Ed uses a mop for Bev's hair, and the clerk points out that Bev had red hair. Ed as Bev tells him, "So I got my hair done!"
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Ed's abusive treatment of Virginia (and to a lesser extent, Heffer) is what causes her to leave, with Bev and Tammy following suit. Since the tournament doesn't allow substitute players, including the non-playing team captain, Ed disguises himself as Bev for the final frame, but his plan is foiled when the real Bev returns to collect her purse.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Thanks to Ed's bowling team being disqualified, Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt win the bowling trophy by default. Being the nice guy that he is, Rocko gives Ed some words of reassurance and offers to display the trophy in his window so that Ed can look at it whenever he wants.
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