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Trivia / Aqua Teen Hunger Force

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  • Adored by the Network: It had the courtesy of being a Long Runner for almost 15 years, spawning 139 episodes and 11 seasons during its run with numerous different title changes. ATHF would frequently occupy spots on the daily schedule and, before Rick and Morty, was considered to be the highest-viewed original series. The series also holds the distinction as being the only Adult Swim show to be adapted into a theatrical movie. Unfortunately, this got played in reverse around the 11th season. That being said though, the show does still receive frequent reruns, and if it gets taken off, you can guarantee the Aqua Teens will be back on the schedule at some point.
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  • As Himself: In The Movie, legendary drummer Neil Peart voices himself.
  • Banned Episode: There was an episode entitled "Boston", which was originally intended as the first episode of the series' fifth season and produced as its creators' response to the Boston bomb scare that [adult swim] caused on January 31, 2007 (with the city itself being a big target of the episode). However, Adult Swim pulled it to avoid further controversy surrounding the events of the bomb scare. The episode has never aired, and has never been released to the public.
    • A partially finished cut ended up leaking onto YouTube in January of 2015. The original video was taken down, but copies of the episodes can be found around the Internet.
    • The episode "Shake Like Me" was pulled from HBO Max in the wake of George Floyd's murder and the ensuing "Black Lives Matter" protests against police brutality, making the racial humor of the episode seem a little too inappropriate. In September 2020, it was officially banned for good by [adult swim]. However, it remains available on DVD.
  • Contest Winner Cameo: Adult Swim had a contest for the role of Carl in the live action episode. One of the participants was a girl...who actually wasn't too bad in her impression.
  • Creator Killer: After a fashion. After the Boston Bomb Scare (see below), Cartoon Network CEO Jim Samples was forced to step down. He was replaced by Stu Snyder, who was in turn replaced by Christina Miller.
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  • Cross-Dressing Voices: One episode has The Kids in the Hall alum Scott Thompson guest-voicing exotic dancer (and inept city employee) Dusty Gozongas (credited under the pseudonym of "Veronica Billingsley").
  • Descended Creator
    • Both creators play both regular and one-shot characters: Dave Willis plays Meatwad, Carl and Ignignokt; Matt Maiellaro plays Irr and The Ghost of Christmas Past.
    • The show's entire crew sing on the chorus for the theme song.
  • Development Hell: A second film titled "Death Fighter" has been discussed, but almost nothing has been heard of any production (it doesn't help that [adult swim] keeps saying it "isn't happening"). Dave Willis hinted at a mid-2015 release, though after the series was cancelled, it's more than likely been canned.
  • Early-Bird Release:
    • The first four episodes from season six were released on the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume Six DVD on December 16, 2008, months prior to their official television debuts.
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    • The series finale, "The Greatest Story Ever Told", was quietly released online on August 26, 2015 as a hidden Easter Egg on the Adult Swim website, before airing on TV on August 30.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Shake's stilted speech pattern was the result of the directors feeding Dana Snyder his dialogue one line or even a few words at a time instead of having him read directly off a page.
  • Flip-Flop of God: Master Shake's insides: some say he's pistachio flavored, Dana Synder likes to think it's rotten vanilla. In the Space Ghost episode, it's chocolate.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: Err's lines are never written in script, but improvised.
  • Image Source: This show provides the page image for:
  • Lying Creator: In May 2010 at Dragon Con, it was confirmed that Dr. Weird and Steve would be returning as series regulars for season 8 (Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1). However, they only appeared in one episode, and were never seen again (outside of a silent cameo in the final season's opening sequence).
  • Milestone Celebration: 100.
  • Out of Holiday Episode: In the season 1 episode "Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future", the titular character breaks into Carl's home claiming he's the Ghost of Christmas Past and comes to show Carl what Christmas was like for him in 1968. Carl reminds the Ghost that it's not Christmas at all, but in fact February. Hilariously enough, the episode actually aired four days after Christmas.
  • Screwed by the Network: Dave Willis confirms the cancellation of the series was not a decision on their part, and happened rather abruptly.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Creator Dave Willis voices both Meatwad and Carl, who interact very frequently. Also, any episode featuring the Mooninites will usually feature Ignignokt (also voiced by Willis) interacting with either or both of them.
    • Dr. Weird and Steve are both voiced by Clay Martin Croker.
  • The Cast Showoff: Dave Willis plays in a rock band and often describes himself as 'frustrated musician' and also praises Matt Maiellaro's rocking skills aswell. So whenever we have a scene of some character playing guitar, it's not difficult to guess where the music came from.
  • Torch the Franchise and Run: The ultimate finale kills two of the three leads and Carl moves out later. With the Distant Finale epilogue, a revival seems unlikely.
    • ...at least until the honest-to-Gee-Whiz secret episode "The Greatest Story Ever told" was released online only three days later, which offered a different finale where the events of the previous one are overwritten and the show ends on a meta joke. If it weren't for the fact that the final episode was in 2015, it'd be easy to be confused about whether the show's actually over.
  • Unfinished Episode: The banned episode "Boston", which was intended to open the 5th season, was rejected by [adult swim] from being able to air before the creators could finish it, leaving portions of the episode not fully animated.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: A lot of technology and references in the show place it rather heavily in the early 2000s. Though interestingly, the technology remained the same as the show went on, rather than be updated like with most long-running series.
  • Viral Marketing: What the Mooninites were supposed to be in Real Life.
  • What Could Have Been
    • The Mooninites were originally going to be be the ghosts of Atari games buried underneath the house in reference to the infamous Atari landfill. For that matter, they were also going to make more appearances in the seasons following The Movie, but the showrunners couldn't figure out what to do with them.
    • "X is forbidden!" was originally gonna be Shake's catchphrase. He would say anything that Meatwad does is forbidden.
    • Frylock was originally going to be a sort of wizard who'd say magic words to use his powers, which would explain some of his unique abilities such as his eye lasers and levitation.
    • The unaired original cut of the pilot shows Dr. Weird having other associates besides Steve (hence "gentlemen").
    • Also, the pilot's original cut had Carl say to the Aqua Teens "It'll be real funny when I crack you with a pipe". The line ended up being used in Sealab 2021.
    • The cold opens for season 3 depicting a feud between the Plutonians and Mooninites were originally part of a ten-minute pilot for a spinoff called Spacecataz.
    • There were plans for a sequel to The Movie titled "Death Fighter", but the idea remained in Development Hell before being scrapped altogether, reportedly due to budget concerns.
    • The concept art for the series had the characters in various design stages and character elements
      • Shake had the most changes, he initially had a nose, actual arms and hands, regular eyes that weren't connected to his lid. Shake also had a utility belt at one point and could propel himself with his straw. He also originally had feet that changed from suction cups, to straws and regular feet with shoes.
      • Frylock went through moderate changes, He originally had legs made of fries and arms coming from his side. His beard was originally cloudlike, and would act as legs. He originally also had freezing breath and could shoot ammo from his fries. At one point, he was going to walk by turning himself upside down and using his fries as tentacles. The crew found it too disturbing.
      • Meatwad's design barely changed. He originally had bigger eyes with irises and pupils. Meatwad was originally going to shapeshift into more objects, including a man, a mailbox, even Jerry the Mouse. He could also grow arms and legs at will.
      • It's likely due to the show's low budget from Cartoon Network and the series change in plot that a lot of these elements were dropped.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Schoolly D wrote the theme song in the back of the limo driving him to the recording session.
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