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Series / Pixelface

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"This is The Console. Pixelface Games now loading..."
Set in the imagined world inside a games console, Pixelface is a CBBC sitcom spin-off from the sketch show Sorry, I've Got No Head. The show follows the on-and-off-screen lives of a group of computer game characters, each from a different genre. There's Aethelwynne, a questing elf; Claireparker, a zombie battling waitress; Rex Dynamo, a marsupial hybrid who collects apples; Sgt. Riley, a space marine; Lady Alexia Alderton, a glamorous legend hunter; and Kiki Nova, an incredibly upbeat and enthusiastic dance star. Pixelface shows the characters waiting to play their game and reacting when their console is invaded by the likes of an evil bug or a Premiership football team.

Pixelface contains examples of:

  • Accidental Athlete: In "Rex on the Bench", Rex becomes the mascot for a football team, and is forced to make a penalty shootout. Alexia is able to get him to score the winning goal by telling him not to break the goals as, every time he is told not break something, he immediately does.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: This is Alexia's occupation in her own game.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Used by the entire main cast when the zombies from Claireparker's game invade the console. Of course, the vents weren't designed to take that much weight and everyone ends up crashing through the ceiling.
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: Subverted. In "The Game's Up", Rex is deliberately slowing down his performance as he approaches the final level of his game. QM tells him a story about a character who did not want his game to end, so started deliberately screwing up, and eventually the player gave up playing the game because he couldn't finish it, and the character became a quartermaster in a console. When Rex goes "You were that character!", QM responds indignantly (and seemingly genuinely surprised) and says he is talking about a quartermaster in another console who is a total loser.
  • Ash Face: Aethelwynne after he turns on his electric lyre in "Rock Star".
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Athelwynne plays up his Large Ham tendencies in his cut scenes, even adding extra syllables to words to stretch out his screen time. Clairparker, on the other hand, says everything in a bored monotone and reads the stage directions out loud.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Alexia can run through her action/adventure game Legend Hunter without even breaking a sweat. When Rex once has to run a level for her, he returns considerably beaten up. Averted with Claireparker who is permanently dishevelled because of her role as the star of a survival horror game, although she does veer into Unkempt Beauty.
  • Beauty to Beast: In "The Ugly Truth", a magical beauty cream transforms Alexia into a yeti.
  • Bizarro Universe: In one episode, Riley exits the game from the wrong port and finds himself in a different console where Alexia is an Extreme Doormat, Aethelwynne is a Jerk Jock, Rex is an Insufferable Genius, Claireparker is The Pigpen and Kiki is... a large, hairy man.
  • Briar Patching: It's established that if you tell Rex not to do something, he'll accidentally do exactly what you told him not to do. When he has to make a crucial kick in a football game, his friends sneak in to cheer him on and tell him not to break the goal, which he does.
  • Brown Note: Romford claims he can play a tone that will cause someone to wet themselves.
  • Cleavage Window: Alexia's outfit.
  • Clip Show: "HAL". An incomplete update causes the Console to go insane. As she torments the characters, she keeps playing clips from her "archive" to illustrate her points.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Rex.
  • Companion Cube: In "Out of Sight", a glitch in the system renders Claireparker unable to be detected by the rest of the occupants of the console. Starting to crack up, she begins talking to the rubber duck she picked up in the last session of her game.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: This is the result when Kiki performs a makeover on Alexia and Claireparker while they are asleep in "Two Aethelwynnes".
  • Crash Course Landing: Kiki gets trapped in a flight simulator game and has to be talked through the landing procedure by Rex. However, being the Cloud Cuckoolander, Rex is only able to do so after first constructing a mock-up of the flight controls made entirely of fruit.
  • The Dead Can Dance: In "Bored to Undeath", the characters end up luring the zombies out of the console by running them through Kiki's dance training routine, then have Aethelwynne lead them Pied Piper-style with a portable stereo as they dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller".
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: Happens when Kiki has illegally eaten one on the power-up fruits from Rex's game and turned into a giant. Rex sees her and comments that there is something different about her: her hair is glossier. A few seconds later, he realises that she is also six times her normal size.
  • The Ditz: Kiki Nova
  • D.I.Y. Disaster: Romford's attempt to 'upgrade' the kettle somehow results in the toaster launching Projectile Toast at Alexia.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Kiki becomes the gym teacher version of this when she starts teaching the other characters aerobics in "Bling My Droid".
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Quartermaster, a.k.a. QM.
  • Exact Words: Although the guides to each character's games are available to read, it's against the rules for one to read the guide to their game, but Claireparker points out that there's nothing against someone reading the guide to someone else's game.
  • Expy: Each character seems to be an expy of several well known video game characters:
  • Fading Away: In ''Out of Sight", a lightning storm in the real world has a disastrous effect on Claireparker, when everyone in the console seems to forget she even exists. It will take all her skill and ingenuity to make herself memorable before she disappears forever.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: In "Mega Gino", the famous gaming character Mega Gino visits the console and everyone is excited to meet him and take part in his well known Mini Games. However, Claireparker finds out that he is not as good at gaming as he makes out, and she soon finds herself having to try and outwit him.
  • Fall of the House of Cards: In "Bored to Undeath", the characters are sitting around bored because no one has played the console for 48 hours. Alexia is building a house of cards, which gets demolished by Sgt. Riley as he attempts to squeeze past her.
  • Fictional Video Game: The show is set inside a game console known as The Console, with video game characters from the dancing game Groove Academy 2, the action-adventure game Legend Hunter, the zombie battling game Return to Zombie City, the animal-themed apple collecting game Rex Dynamo, the alien shooting game Sentient Force, and the questing game Sword of the Ancients. Several other fictional video games appear in individual episodes. According to the now-defunct online playable versions, the console's platform is a "Gaming Station".
  • Fire Means Chaos: In "Alexia's Dinner", Alexia sets up a scenario to allow Rex to practice making small talk to some crash test dummies. When she returns a few minute later, the room is trashed and everything is on fire. Rex's only explanation is that things "got out of hand".
  • Flat Character: Kiki's entire backstory book amounts to a tiny pamphlet that reads "Kiki loves to dance". This actually works in her favor when Tetris blocks start filling up the Console's memory and she starts to offload the cast based on how complicated their backstories are, which leaves her last. This gives her enough time to find out how to play Tetris and remove the blocks. After that, her backstory book was updated with a much larger and nicer description.
  • Forced Transformation: Alexia is transformed into a yeti by a magical beauty cream in "The Ugly Truth".
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Happens to Aethelwynne and Sgt. Riley as the result of an accident involving a plasma ball and the transporter in "Body Swap".
  • Genius Ditz: Rex can adapt to any situation, as long as it's fruit-themed. When a rented flight simulator game goes awry, Rex has the cockpit control recreated with a board of fruit and gives instructions on how to land the plane.
  • The Ghost: 'The Boy' who actually owns and plays the games.
  • Glitch Episode: In "Hal", a regular console upgrade gets interrupted and the console comes alive and decides that she wants to be a gaming character as well, with her own costume and special move, and holds the regular characters hostage in an attempt to make it happen.
  • God Guise: In "High Spirits", the angry ghost of a pharaoh mistakes Rex for an Egyptian god after Romford falls out of the ceiling and gets stuck on his head.
  • Grey Goo: In "You're History", Alexia receives a gift from her Russian uncle: a red jigsaw block. But the block starts multiplying, and soon the console is overrun with coloured shapes falling out of the air. And these shapes are replicating by 'eating' the console's memory. If they consume all of it, everything in the console, including the player characters, will be wiped out.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: In "Reset", Claireparker causes this by using a literal Reset Button in an attempt to create 'the perfect day'.
  • Hands Go Down: In "Saving Private Romford", Claireparker has just finished using a blackboard to explain her plan to fix Romford and asks if there are any questions:
    Rex: Why is Romford so small?
    (Claireparker looks at the blackboard and then back at Rex)
    Claireparker: It's a drawing, Rex. Any other questions?
    (Rex's hand goes up)
    Claireparker: They're all drawings, Rex.
    (Rex's hand goes down)
  • Hat of Power: In "The Game's Up", QM comes up with a hat of invisibility that renders the wearer invisible. The drawback is that the hat itself remains visible.
  • Herr Doktor: In Claireparker's game Return to Zombie City, her stepfather is a scientist with a German accent. She remarks that it should come as a surprise to no one that he was the one responsible for releasing the zombie virus.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Aethelwynne is constantly shown as this, and most of the cast appears to suffer from this in "Rock Star".
  • I Am Not Weasel: A Running Gag is that visitors to the console, such as Alexia's parents, keeping thinking that Rex is somebody's pet; usually mistaking him for some kind of dog.
  • I Call Her "Vera": Sgt. Riley's laser is named 'Mary Jane'.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: In one episode, Kiki gets tired of being the only character without any special abilities and steals Sgt. Riley's next upgrade. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Impairment Shot: When a glass of orange squash gets poured into Romford in "Rock Star", there is a shot of the three girls from his POV with the screen twisting and distorting.
  • Implausible Deniability: When Claireparker asks Rex if he's tearing out pictures of apples from a book and eating them again, Rex answers "No!" through a mouthful of paper.
  • Impossible Pickle Jar: When Alexia and Sgt. Reilly have a contest about who is tougher, one of the challenges is opening the old jars of applesauce Rex keeps in the fridge. They both manage to do so, and then quickly regret it as they smell the jars.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: Mega Gino's Mega Jump Power Star in "The Ugly Truth".
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: In "Two Aethelwynnes", Alexia and Clairpearker get away from Kiki from by announcing that they "Have to do some extra that other room...with the thing".
  • Invisibility Cloak: The QM invents a hat that renders the wearer invisible. The hat itself, however, is not.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Sgt. Riley uses his plasmatronic laser for all kinds of mundane tasks, such as opening a carton of milk.
  • Lampshade Wearing: Alexia wears a lampshade on her head while attempting to 'vanish' in "Fool's Gold". Claireparker is not fooled, but some of the other inhabitants of the Console are.
  • Large Ham: Aethelwynne, who overplays every scene of his video game, and even adds extra syllables to words to draw out the length of his cut scenes.
  • Left the Background Music On: In "The Problems of Dr. Nigari", Kiki is tending to the dying plant Stephen Badgeworth and sad music swells in the background as she tells him she cannot save him. She then turns around and asks Romford if he's playing sad music. Romford admits he is and stops.
  • Lethal Chef: Aethelwynne. In "The Game's Up", Aethelwynne promises to prepare some elven delicacies as a treat for Rex's going away party. Sgt. Riely's gift to Rex is a promise to Rex that he'll eat Rex's portion for him.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Stephen Badgeworth in "The Problems of Dr. Nigiri".
  • Metaphorgotten: In "The Problems of Dr. Nigari", Kiki says that taking an exam is exactly like dancing because it's all about "planning ahead, knowing your next move, and wearing a spangly leotard".
  • Michael Jackson's Thriller Parody: In "Bored to Undeath", the console is overrun by zombies from Claireparker's survival horror game. The characters finally manage to get rid of them by running them through Kiki's dance training program and then having Aethelwynne led them back to their game Pied Piper style, carrying a boombox playing Michael Jackson's "Thriller". The zombies, of course, are doing the zombie dance.
  • Minus World: After Alexia and Claireparker fall off a mountain in the former's game, they end up in a black void which also contains a character from Aethelwynne's game somehow. According to Romford, it's a weird area that's part game and part Console, and brings all three of them back by cutting the power briefly.
  • Mirror Universe: In one episode, Riley exits the game from the wrong port and finds himself in a different console where Alexia is an Extreme Doormat, Aethelwynne is a Jerk Jock, Rex is an Insufferable Genius, Claireparker is The Pigpen and Kiki is... a large, hairy man.
  • Mistaken for Dog: At least two sets of visitors to the console (Uthelwynne in "Two Aethelwynnes" and Alexia's parents in "Alexia's Dinner") have assumed Rex is a dog, despite him talking to them.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: In "Bored to Undeath", the gang are able to tame the zombies that escape from Claireparker's game by using Kiki's dance training program and a personal stereo playing Michael Jackson's "Thriller".
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Romford gets one in "HAL":
    "Appealing as that sounds, I'm going to have go with saving my friends. And Aethelwynne."
  • Neat Freak: Claireparker.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: In "Rock Star", Romford has a glass of orange squash poured into his CPU and runs through several non-sequiturs before shutting down.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Referenced by Rex in "Mrs Dynamo's Son":
    Oh no! Is this a dream? Am I going to have to sit an exam with no pants on in a moment?
    • Made extra funny by the fact that in the UK, 'pants' refers to 'underwear'.
  • Only Sane Man: This usually Claireparker's role (although she does have her own moments of madness, like "Reset").
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Dr. Nigiri sets one of these as the final barrier on his plan to takeover the console in "The Problems of Dr. Nigiri". It falls to Sgt. Riley - as the only one not brainwashed - to attempt to solve it.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Romford's hard reset function involves picking him up and dropping him.
  • Power-Up Food: Rex's game has various fruits that act as power-up foods. The only time we see them used in the show, Kiki steals one during one of her I Just Want to Be Special moments and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Projectile Toast: See D.I.Y. Disaster above.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Claireparker rehearsing for her cut scene.
  • Ret-Gone: In "Out of Sight", a lightning storm in the real world has a disastrous effect on Claireparker, when everyone in the console seems to forget she even exists. It takes all her skill and ingenuity to make herself memorable before she disappears forever.
  • Robot Buddy: Romford
  • Rushed Inverted Reading: Rex does it in "Mrs Dynamo's Son". He tries to act casual after hiding his mother in the sofa, but is reading his comic upside down.
  • Severely Specialized Store: In one episode, the other characters enter Claireparker's game to do some shopping at the mall. Riley and Romford are respectively looking for sausages and a remote control. They find everything they are after at a store called 'Sausages n' Remote Controls'.
  • Shown Their Work: Tetris blocks filling up the console's memory? That's a thing; it's called a memory leak. An interrupted system update screwing everything up? Boy HOWDY is that a thing.
  • Sleeping Dummy: Rex makes one of his mother in "Mrs Dynamo's Son".
  • Space Marine: Sgt. Riley
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Claireparker demonstrates she is an expert at this during "Fool's Gold".
  • Stylish Protection Gear: Alexia has an aerobics outfit that exactly matches her normal Spy Catsuit.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: The series as a whole ends with Rex Dynamo finally finishing loading after the console's reboot... which took place 14 weeks ago. This means that everybody else is gone, leaving only Rex.
  • Teleporter Accident: In "Body Swap", an accident involving the transporter and a plasma ball results in Aethelwynne and Sgt. Riley experiencing a "Freaky Friday" Flip.
  • This Is My Side: In "High Spirits", Alexia splits the console in half, with her on one side and everyone else on the other.
  • Town Girls: The bubbly ditzy Kiki (femme), aristocratic Action Girl Alexia (neither), and the grungy zombie killer Claireparker (butch).
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Rex really loves apples.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Claireparker is usually dressed in grungy clothes with messy hair and dirt on her face, as she is the player character in the survival horror game Return to Zombie City. She still holds her own against the aristocratic Alexia and Girly Girl Kiki.
  • The Voice: The Console
  • Well-Intentioned Replacement: Happens twice in "The Ugly Truth". Aethelwynne, Kiki and Claireparker attempt to bake a new Mega Jump Power Star to replace the one they ate and end up creating a star that causes extreme flatulence. Riley promises to repair Alexia's dress that he accidentally ripped, and creates an hideous dress out of scraps of cloth he finds in his game.
  • Who's on First?: Done when Alexia is solving a crossword:
    Alexia: I'm stuck on this last clue. Four letters, starts W A. 'A unit of power'.
    Claireparker: Watt.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Riley is afraid of dogs.
  • Wire Dilemma: In "Saving Private Romford", Romford's self-destruct protocol has been activated and is counting down to an electronic pulse that will wipe out all the data in the console. Clairparker comes up with a plan that amounts to 'pull out a random cog and hope that it stops things'. She pulls out a cog and the countdown speeds up. The other characters scream at her to put it back.
  • With Catlike Tread: After Alexia destroys Claireparker's favourite shirt, Kiki loans Claireparker one of her outfits. After Claireparker wears it in her game, she discovers it very hard to hide from zombies when your outfit literally lights up and glows in the dark.