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Series / Tanked

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From left to right: Heather King, Wayde King, Agnes Wilczynski, Irwin "The General" Raymer, and Brett Raymer.

Tanked is a Reality Television series on Animal Planet. It follows the operations of Las Vegas-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing, owned by brothers-in-law Brett Raymer and Wayde King. ATM bills itself as the world's largest manufacturer of customized aquarium installations. In addition, Wayde's wife/Brett's sister Heather is the company's accountant and Heather and Brett's father Irwin Raymer (also known as "The General") is the office manager.

Other regulars include Shop Manager Robert "Robbie Redneck" Christlieb and sales coordinator Agnes Wilczynski.

The show ran for fifteen seasons in syndication and continues to air in reruns.


Tropes present in this show:

  • Beyond the Impossible: At one point the guys have to come up with a way to put fire in a tank. They pull it offnote . It's also frequently pointed out that if the guys have never built a tank of a particular design then it's very likely that no one has before now.
  • Big Fancy House: A lot of the clients have these, which isn't surprising considering they have the money to blow on massive custom-built acrylic tanks and all the trimmings.
    • Wayde has one as well, and the audience occasionally gets glimpses inside it in a few episodes.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Brett can come up with ideas for tanks all day long, but don't expect him to be much help in actually building them unless he can benefit from it or a crisis requires extra manpower to resolve. Frequently lampshaded by Wayde.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite all the office shenanigans, ATM is one of the top aquarium makers on the planet for a reason.
  • Advertisement:
  • Butt-Monkey: Frankie, one of the junior members of the ATM staff, is often subjected to this. As Brett and Wayde put it, it's part of being the "lowest man on the totem pole" there.
  • Call-Back: Heather and Agnes have a tank built between Brett and Wayde's offices in the new ATM building with miniatures of some of the tanks built in previous episodes inside it.
  • Christmas Episode: One episode has the ATM crew commissioned to build a tank made to look like a giant snow globe, with the staff giving Secret Santa gifts to each other.
  • Clip Show: Tanked: Nuclear Family, a special episode showing the history of ATM and its core staff, as well as clips and behind the scenes of previous episodes.
  • Cool Car: Several classic or vintage cars have been converted into unique, custom aquariums.
  • Creepy Cockroach: Brett used some hissing cockroaches to prank Heather and Agnes - not once, but twice!
  • Crossover:
    • Wayde, Brett, and Heather have appeared on episodes of another Animal Planet series, America's Cutest Cat, as well as its sister program America's Cutest Dog.
    • One episode had Paul Bedard and Jimmy Riffle from Gator Boys make an appearance when Brett and Wayde needed advice on how to house alligators in a tank.
  • Do Not Try This at Home: In one episode, the guys attempt to reenact the infamous shopping cart stunt from Jackass, a warning appearing on the screen beforehand telling viewers not to try it themselves. Predictably, someone (in this case Frankie) gets hurt.
  • Exact Words: In one episode, Brett is tasked with arranging a sixteenth birthday party for his daughter. Things nearly go awry when he tells the party planner that the event is for his "little princess" - and she mistakenly thinks his daughter is still in elementary school. Fortunately, Heather is able to intervene.
  • Family Business: ATM is run by brothers-in-law Wayde King and Brett Raymer, as well as Brett's sister Heather (Wayde's wife) and Brett and Heather's father, Irwin 'The General' Raymer.
  • Fangirl:
    • Agnes had this reaction when she got to meet the members of KISS.
    • Wayde responded similarly when he got to build a tank for (and meet) Betty White.
  • Fiery Redhead: Heather often plays to this, being quick to speak her mind if she disagrees with something.
  • The Glomp: Larry Caputo was so excited about the koi pond built in addition to the Long Island Medium tank that he literally did this to Wade during the unveiling.
  • Gonna Need More X: Comedian Tracy Morgan commissioned ATM to build a Jaws-inspired shark tank, Brett adding a motion-activated speaker that said "you're gonna need a bigger tank" whenever someone set it off.
  • Groin Attack: As payback for a prank played on them by the cast of Jackass, Brett and Wayde had a faux beer keg added to the tank built for the show's executive producer; when someone attempts to use it, it triggers a boxing glove on a robotic arm that comes out aiming for the victim's unmentionables.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • The music store tank episode reveals that Brett took cello lessons when he was in junior high school, and isn't too shabby at it even after all these years.
    • While on vacation in Panama City, Florida, Redneck scores the crew a commission from a restaurant. Over the course of the build, the team learns that when he's on vacation, Redneck dresses in collared shirts and khakis, braids his beard, enjoys fine dining, and prefers to be called "Robert." The end of the episode also reveals him to be a golfer.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Wayde and Heather, partly because Heather is so small that she makes Wayde appear even larger by comparison.
  • Like Brother and Sister: According to her official biography on the Animal Planet website, both Wayde and Brett see Agnes as an honorary little sister.
  • Long Runner: Fifteen seasons before completion.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Out of gratitude for the shark tank ATM made for him, Tracy Morgan named his pet octopus 'Bwaydette' - a feminine portmanteau of Brett and Wayde.
    • At the unveiling of the Egyptian Shaq tank, Shaq named one of the groupers in it 'Braydeneck', a combination of Brett, Wayde, and Redneck.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • In one episode, Brett accidentally drops the decorative glass from an antique pinball machine, which shatters when it hits the shop floor, nearly ruining the whole project.
    • In another episode, Brett tries to spin a cello while playing it during the music store tank install, only for him to lose control of it and the neck of the cello snapping in half when it hits the ground.
      Brett: I now own a cello.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In one episode, a pair of thieves break into the lot of ATM and steal a VW Bus that was to be converted into a tank for Gabriel Iglesias. Turns out the thieves actually did them a favor, as the bus they originally bought was the wrong model year.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Wayde is usually the one rolling his eyes at Brett's ideas getting ahead of what they can feasibly do; but during the Dunkin' Donuts tank build, it was Brett who balked when Wayde suggested a donut shaped tank.
    • Another episode had Brett react skeptically when Heather suggested the idea of making the popcorn-maker tank actually be able to pop popcorn.
  • Overly Long Name: The reef triggerfish, one of the fish picked for the Jackass tank, is the state fish of Hawaii and its Hawaiian name is this. Brett tried to say it, but couldn't pronounce it. For the record, the name is "Humuhumunukunukuāpua'a", which means "fish that grunts like a pig".
    • He gets stumped by it again during the volcano tank build.
      • He finally got it right when revealing the Shane Victorino tank.
  • Overprotective Dad: In one episode, Wayde does not take it well when his elder daughter is asked out on a date. He convinces the kids to have their date at the museum where he's installing a tank so he can be nearby, but the camera shows him spying on the pair throughout the entire event.
  • Pie in the Face:
    • Brett and Wayde do this to Heather and Agnes at the end of one episode as payback for a prank the girls had pulled on them earlier.
    • Another episode had Agnes shove The General's face into a cake.
  • Playing Sick: Wayde suspects Brett of this in one episode when he all but collapses from heat stroke. However, the doctor has to give Brett an injection, and Brett - who is terrified of needles - doesn't complain in the slightest, which persuades Wayde that he's really not well.
  • Pop-Up Trivia: Tanked: Unfiltered consists of reruns of past episodes with this trope applied to them, with commentary from the cast.
  • The Prankster: Almost the whole staff of ATM have pranked each other at one time or another during the show, but Brett and Wayde do so the most, to the point of having it down to a science.
  • Product Placement: Numerous examples throughout the series:
    • One episode had Little Caesar's Pizza commission ATM to build a tank for a children's hospital, with the restaurant's pizza and bread sticks featuring prominently during the episode.
    • In another episode, the General treated Brett and Wayde to lunch at Dairy Queen. Another episode had the whole team sitting around the meeting table eating DQ food, with Heather specifically raving about her pumpkin pie Blizzard.
    • Another episode had ATM commissioned to build a tank for Dunkin' Donuts.
    • ATM was also shown building a combination freshwater/saltwater tank and terrarium for the corporate office of Petco, and visited a Petco store to select animals for it.
    • One episode had The General use FedEx's One Rate shipping to solve a logistics issue.
    • Another episode had ATM building a tank for an Applebee's restaurant at Coney Island in New York.
    • One episode had Wayde give Brett some Ice Breakers breath mints when they were about to meet a client and Brett had eaten garlic-heavy food for lunch.
    • One episode had ATM converting a Toyota Highlander into a tank on wheels, said tank having Spongebob Squarepants theming inside it.
      • Brett, Heather, and Wayde have appeared in several Toyota car commercials.
  • Product Displacement: In a curious case of this particular trope, more often than not, the Acrylic Tank Manufacturing logo's underlying text usually gets blurred out. This is usually the case with the outside shots of the ATM workshop, or people's printed company t-shirts.
  • Punny Name: As payback for taking Céline Dion tickets as payment for a tank, the guys hand The General a Long List of people from whom he needs to collect money. The names are obviously fake and the only one who doesn't get it is The General himself.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Brett cannot stand being near snakes.
  • Sand In My Eyes:
    • Brett teases Wayde about getting "choked up" when making a toast during the party celebrating ATM's new building, Wayde replying that he had "allergies".
    • Another time, Heather comments about The General getting emotional when recalling memories he had of the Coney Island amusement park during a visit, with The General playing the trope laser straight.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: One episode had a baseball game between ATM and another company that helps out with their builds. The other company pulled this trope when they found out ATM had brought in Shane Victorino from the Boston Red Sox as a ringer.
  • Shout-Out: The ATM office has a sculpture of a shark in the parking lot that resembles Bruce from Finding Nemo.
  • Side Bet: The office once started a pool to see how long it would take Wayde to notice that Heather had gotten braces. Answer: two days.
    • Another involved The General losing a bet and having to dress up like a member of KISS, complete with platform heels and makeup. It's hinted he enjoyed it more than he was willing to admit.
  • Snowball Fight: One episode had the ATM staff holding one inside the shop, using snow made out of finely-crushed ice.
  • Special Guest: The show has had several celebrity clients:
    • KISS
    • Tracy Morgan (twice)
    • Bart Scott of the New York Jets
    • Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat
    • Shane Victorino of the Boston Red Sox
    • NASCAR driver Ryan Newman
    • Neil Patrick Harris
    • The producer and almost the entire cast of Jackass
    • Jimmy Riffle and Paul Bedard from Gator Boys as mentioned in the Cross Over entry above.
    • Shaquille O'Neal (twice)
    • Theresa Caputo and her husband Larry from Long Island Medium.
    • Mario Lopez
    • Illusionist Seth Grabel
    • Wilmer Valderrama from That '70s Show
    • Jeff Dunham
    • Gabriel Iglesias
    • David Hasselhoff
    • Howie Mandell
    • Penn & Teller (Penn later made a solo appearance in a separate episode)
    • Bill Engvall
    • Betty White
    • Dwight Howard of the Houston Rocketsnote 
  • Stag Party: The male staff of ATM threw one for Wayde the night before he renewed his vows with Heather for their 15th wedding anniversary. Redneck provided moonshine, and hilarity ensued. Almost everyone wound up with raging hangovers the next day.
  • Surprise Party: The rest of the ATM staff throw one for Brett and Wayde to celebrate ATM moving into a new, larger building.
  • Tanks, but No Tanks: One episode had the team build an aquarium made to resemble a life-size World War II tank for an Airsoft shop.
  • Team Pet: There are several parrots and cockatoos that live in the shop, and Wayde has a pet cat named Tiger in his office.
  • Teeth Flying: One episode saw Redneck get a tooth knocked out when he got hit in the mouth with a soda bottle he and Agnes were fighting over.
  • Themed Wedding: The cast once constructed a slot-machine aquarium for a couple's gambling themed wedding note  in Las Vegas.
  • Threatening Shark: Several tanks have had sharks in them; while they're usually not much of a problem, Heather found herself having an unnervingly close encounter when she had to get into a tank with several sharks in order to add several decorative pieces to a tank, because she was the only one small enough to do the job. She was not happy, but managed to get the guys back later by arranging for them to undergo a dive in a tank with even larger sharks without their knowledge.
    • Another episode had Brett and Wayde go diving in a shark tank again, this time with Tracy Morgan accompanying them.
    • The ATM logo is the letters of company's acronym styled to look like a shark.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In one episode, Brett was suffering from food poisoning during an install, and suddenly bolts outside. Next shot shows him bent over after having thrown up in the grass.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: As noted above, Brett is terrified of snakes. Wayde likes to razz him about it occasionally. When they were commissioned to make a snake tank for Dwight Howard, he spent most of the episode being incredibly uncomfortable.
  • You Are Fat: Anywhere between 50 and 75% of the insults Brett directs at Wayde are of this sort.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Part of the "Low man on the totem pole" treatment Frankie gets on a regular basis. It's also occasionally pulled on other members of the staff, to either get them out of the way or get back at them for an earlier slight.