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A live action comedy series on [adult swim].
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The show follows the day to day routine of Gary, a damned soul working in Hell. As it turns out, Hell is a cubicle farm type setting, where maiming and torturing are just another part of the job. And on top of everything, Gary is inept at his job, so Satan often punishes him by episode's end.


Tropes featured in this show:

  • Affably Evil: Benji is a swell, amiable guy. He's also in Hell for being a pedophilic cannibal, may have molested Gary when he was a child, and is generally the most twisted soul on the show.
  • Bad Boss: Satan will often assign his employees impossible tasks (or at least ones that physically, emotionally or psychologically exhausts them) as a means of torturing the souls in his domain or sow some form of chaos and misery on Earth. If you fail at whatever task you have been assigned to, Satan will punish you through some horrifying fashion, usually involving physical torture. If you somehow accomplish whatever task he assigns you, he will give you a "reward", which basically amounts to some sort of torture with an ironic twist to whatever he promised to reward you with. Even if you did nothing to provoke him in any way he will inflict some bizarre fate onto you.
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  • Being Evil Sucks: Everyone is tortured in Hell, demons are just sinners tasked to corrupt and torture other souls.
  • Bloody Hilarious
  • Butt-Monkey: Everyone main character at some point, especially Gary. Even Satan is one occasionally, both the real one and the lesser demon who's been calling himself Satan the whole series.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: How Hell is usually depicted as being run as a business which deals in trying to gain new souls or just spread general corruption and chaos.
    • Heaven is much the same, just with a lot less chaos and corruption and a lot more golf. At least, 'til Claude through Gary succeeds in blowing it up.
  • Continuity Nod: When forced to eat fruit from the Tree Of Knowledge (Specifically the moldy fruit, filled with useless trivia) Gary remembers Satan isn't the Satan.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Gary suffers one at the end of every episode. As does the the unlucky soul he usually has to torment.
    • Claude surprisingly get this in the sixth episode. Though it's not a punishment so much as a "reward".
    • Season Three gives us some good ones. Gary's coworker Ted, an eco-terrorist with a love of sea life, has his job changed from general torture to cutting the snouts off of living dolphins and watching them die after he delivers a Bat Guano bomb to Satan. In another, Gary and Troy are given a twenty minute timeline to come up with a new way to torture the souls of radical Jihadists (they fail, naturally), and one episode involves Satan calling in a torture coach to inspire the men to be more creative with their tortures.
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  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Devil, naturally.
  • Deal with the Devil: The first episode deals with a baseball player who made one of these. Other episodes have this as a theme.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: While not at the forefront, it is apparent that Satan is not as cool as he thinks he is. One episode in Season Two reveals that he used to be a roadie and diehard fan of a Black Metal band. Itt turns out that the band considered him annoying and pathetic, and treated him as a slave for their own amusement. This is justified in Season Three when it is revealed that "Satan" isn't actually in charge of Hell, just Hell's Misc. Division, a division so useless that it is about to be "rolled into" (i.e. flooded in vile, inescapable sludge by) the far more successful Treachery division. As it turns out, Satan isn't his name, or even his job title, he's just been pretending it was (and pretending that his domain was the limit of Hell) to make himself feel more important.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The original short, which involved a seminar and attempting to escape from a one-way trip to Hell, bears almost no resemblance to the series.
    • Season 1 is this, with a lot more screentime devoted to their doings on Earth. Later episodes don't even leave Hell usually. Not to mention Satan missing his signature beard.
  • Easy Road to Hell:
    • Season 3 reveals not believing in Jesus equals instant damnation on Earth. That includes people born before Jesus (like cavemen) and people who have never heard of him (like extraterrestrial visitors).
    • Continues on with a list of instant damnable offenses. Everything from tiny tattoos, to marital blowjobs send you straight down. And according to Claude, Walt Whitman is there solely for being gay. It's at least possible that the tiny tattoo one was a lie, as the person who received one is nowhere to be seen, and the other had just committed suicide. Strangely enough, cannibalism isn't a damnable offense since the Bible does not technically condemn it, devout Catholic and unrepentant cannibal Ignatius Coverdale in "Trial by Gary" successfully filing an appeal and getting transferred to Heaven.
      • In "Trial by Gary", it is argued that Ignatius Coverdale's only sin was that he ate meat on a Friday. Everyone from Satan to Gary points out that this has long-since expired as a sin, implying that it is possible for the criteria for damnation to change.
  • Eco-Terrorist: Gary's co-worker Ted is revealed to have been a mail-bombing eco-terrorist back when he was alive.
  • Exact Words:
    • Satan tells everyone that he's giving some positive reinforcement by having a water cooler brought in. Whoever gets the most souls in one day gets "as much water as they can take-err drink". Sure enough, Claude wins at the end of the day, and gets all the water he can take.
      Satan: "Do you know what waterboarding is?"
    • A young man who takes a tour of Hell asks to be returned to Earth... and gets teleported to China.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Pretty much the point of the show as Gary can't do anything right. Of course it does not help that Satan often pushes his "employees" into these situations just so he could torture them.
    • Though not to say it doesn't work in Gary's favor sometime as in the sixth episode where his usual bumbling actually avoids one of Satan's punishments.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Fire and lava, right next to cubicles and desks.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: One episode involves the demons getting an orientation for being this, with a training video and work strategy included. Typical for the trope, they do this against angels, who they're not allowed to talk to.
  • Grossout Show: On occasion.
  • Horned Humanoid: Wouldn't be demons without horns. And just to prove how big a chump he is, Gary's are off center and one points downwards.
  • Humanshifting: Demons can disguise themselves as humans by wearing an article of their clothing such as a shirt or in one case an oxygen tank.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Claude, Gary's intern, is far better at his job than Gary is.
  • Klingon Promotion: How the upper echelons of Hell work. Kill the leader of one circle, it becomes yours. This even extends to being Satan. Off the current Satan, and the killer is the new ruler of Hell.
  • Loser Protagonist: Gary both when he was a human and as a demon.
  • Mad Bomber: It turns out that Gary's coworker Ted was actually a marginally successful (though barely literate) mail-bombing ecoterrorist when he was alive.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Claude as the series goes on, constantly gives Gary false information to get him out of the way so he can climb the corporate ladder. He later engineers a plot to blow up Heaven using Gary as an unwitting mole, which succeeds!
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Gary just fails at his job due to the fact he can't even do the most basic evil actions.
  • Mr. Seahorse: In "Three Demons and a Demon Baby", Gary accidentally gets impregnated with Satan's spawn.
  • Multiple Head Case: Cerberus is sapient and capable of talking here; the middle head is a vocal anti-semite, the head to the left has a british accent and the head to the right is a ditzy runt.
  • Not So Above It All: Claude cries in the beginning of the pilot the "I'm not supposed to be here!" By the middle of the episode, though, Claude not only begins competing with, but flat out proves to be a far better demon than Gary.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Gary's Summon Word: Summonword.
  • Planet of Hats: Outside of the Miscellaneous division, the rest of Hell is divided by which sin was greatest, with those within punished accordingly. Gluttony is filled with Fat Bastards who are forced to devour their own excrement, Treachery is filled with Manipulative Bastards who are constantly betraying and killing each other off for the slightest gain, etc. It seems that Miscellaneous only gets out of this by being, well, Miscellaneous.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: Claude as the series goes on.
  • Reality Ensues: In Krampus Nacht, Gary and Claude get the Krampus out of retirement to kidnap naughty children on Christmas again. When the Krampus kidnaps a child (Gary's nephew) in what is now the modern times, he gets arrested and charged with kidnapping a child, forcing Gary and Claude to put the Krampus back in his home or else he could get convicted and spend the remainder of his life in prison.
  • Shout-Out: The series is titled after a song by The Stooges.
  • The Sleepless: A joke played on new arrivals. They're handed sleeping material, and told to find their bunk. The joke being that there are none, and sleep never comes. Ever.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep
  • Take Our Word for It: Gary mentions that he is raped repeatedly by Satan and demons, as well as tortured in other ways mentioned in passing; presumably this applies to the other demons as well.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: A modest handful of episodes end relatively well for Gary. "Lee" in season 3 actually has Gary get a girlfriend that Satan doesn't mind him having sex with at work. At the end of the episode, they're still together, though she cheated on him at least once.
  • Troll: The Devil, who loves to hide his punishment under the guise of being a reward, or otherwise pleasant. One example in the Exact Words entry above. Another one is when he insisted that Gary "take a break" the break room turns out to be a the size of a locker, and filled with wildly spinning saw blades.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Hilariously subverted. In "Torture", Troy comes up with the perfect torture for Gary, using a spell to disguise himself as a tortured soul who tries to help Gary get to the root of his emotional torment, which turns out to be his abusive father, then engineers a torture that combines his greatest childhood fear with his greatest childhood trauma (locking him in a car while a cheap ripoff of Jigsaw torments him from outside. Unfortunately for Troy, Gary, now being an adult, quickly starts the car and drives away. He then meets his father, reconciles, and goes on a fishing trip with him that makes up for all the bad days. Fortunately for Satan, this now means he can use Troy's worst fear against him: being one-upped by Gary.
  • You Cloned Hitler!: The season 3 finale revolves around Josef Mengele attempting this. The result is a multi-limbed, barely functioning abomination. And ultimately pointless, cause the actual Hitler is already in Hell.

 
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Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell

Dustin Diamond (of "Saved By The Bell" fame) dies and winds up in Hell where he has to star in a sitcom as Screech for all of eternity.

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