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Video Game / Pico

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Pico's taking over.
Pico is a Web Animation-slash-Web Games series started by Newgrounds creator Tom Fulp. The series revolves around the characters Pico, Nene and Darnell as they get involved in particularly violent situations. The characters first appeared on the site in 1999 with several short games and movies:
  • Darnell Plays With Fire: Darnell goes overboard when teaching viewers about his favorite thing in the world: fire!
  • Nene Interactive Suicide: Nene learns that popularity isn't all it's cracked up to be when she wakes up with herpes, and must choose how to end her life.
  • Pico's School: A point-and-click Adventure Game/shooter inspired by the Columbine massacre. When a bunch of goth/punk/neo-Nazi kids go postal and turn the school into a battlefield, it's up to Pico to save the day by mowing down anything that moves (including Innocent Bystanders if you want) to teach them a lesson about true non-conformity.
    • Pico's School: Love Conquers All: An updated version of the game made for April Fools' Day 2021 (later uploaded to its own page and christened an Alternate Universe). In this version, Pico talks down Cassandra from her initial plans to murder everyone by showing her that people aren't as bad as she thinks.
  • Pico vs. Bear: Pico has been entrusted to take down Big Brown Bary, a Depraved Kids' Show Host with a sordid past and his equally fucked-up co-stars.
  • Pico vs. Überkids: A trio of cloned "genetically perfect" Überkids challenge Pico, Nene, and Darnell in the game of their choice to prove their superiority. The game: Rock–Paper–Scissors Roulette!
    • Pico Roulette: Online multiplayer remake of the game made for Pico Day 2007. Servers shut down around Pico Day 2013.
  • Resident Pico: A shooter game made for Pico Day 2006. Nene warns Pico about hoard of zombies coming their way, so now it's up to him to put an end to the sudden outbreak.

As the series got more popular, it eventually became the work of people all over Newgrounds, with more flashes being added by various Newgrounders. Over the years, Pico became the Series Mascot of Newgrounds alongside other famous characters such as Alien Hominid, The Clock Crew, and the Tankmen, and even gained an Evil Counterpart Spin-Off series in the form of Piconjo (an extremly pale Pico with a BFS and a dong the size of a tree, resulting in 99% of his apparitions culminating in a penis joke or something related), described by Newgrounds itself as the Wario to Pico's Mario. Pico was also used in the ratings bar for much of the site's early years until he was eventually replaced by a Tankman.

Pico, Piconjo, and Pico's best friends Darnell (a black Pyromaniac and Mad Bomber kid) and Nene (a suicidal Asian girl with quite an addiction to blades and a comical tendency to catch herpes due to her loose morals, who is often portrayed as Pico's Love Interest) are only the main characters of the whole Picoverse. However, Tom Fulp doesn't make Pico shorts as often anymore. A sequel called Pico 2 was infamously in Development Hell for years, with only some level designs appearing to the public. The status of this game has been unknown for years, although it seems that Tom doesn't like answering questions about it. The unfinished demo of the game was made available for Newgrounds Supporters on Pico Day 2014. The gameplay footage can be viewed here.

In late 2020, Pico was added as an opponent (and potential future playable character) in Friday Night Funkin', prompting a new round of interest in Pico and his previous games. Here, he's portrayed as a mercenary hired by Daddy Dearest to kill the Boyfriend, who he has a personal history with. Tropes related to that version of Pico can be found on the game's Characters page.

In 2006, a Newgrounds user suggested an idea for a "Pico Day", based off the Clock Days that had started earlier. Every year on April 30th (Tom Fulp's birthday) the Portal is filled with submissions based after the Pico characters, which makes up the majority of Pico works today.

Pico movies and games can be viewed here. You can read more about him on the Newgrounds Wiki here or on the Pico Wiki here.

This series provides examples of:

  • Achievement System: The updated version of Pico's School adds in seven "Medals" to unlock, one for finishing the game and another for triggering Easter Eggs.
  • Ambiguously Human:
    • Cassandra, considering what she turns into in her final battle with Pico. Judging from other Tom Fulp games, such as Samurai Asshole, Cassandra has something to do with an alien species called Penilians.
      • Some other works featuring or mentioning Cassandra have her as just human, with the transformation attributed to artificial means if acknowledged, thus averting this.
    • In Pico's Cousin 2, Hanzo is revealed to be a Cyborg after the events of Pico's School. This justifies how Hanzo is still alive in the game, even though they were decapitated by Pico.
    • In the few games where the Ghettobots appear, it's hinted that they may actually be robots when they are killed. The same goes for the Überkids.
    • There's also Convict from Pico vs. Convict, a criminal who gained the ability to shapeshift after getting struck by lightning. However, judging by his red eyes, the skull on his head, and his shapeshifting powers, it's ambiguous as to what he is, exactly.
  • Anti-Hero: Pico can sit somewhere between the pragmatic and unscrupulous types. In Friday Night Funkin', he is a hired assassin who is tasked with killing Boyfriend, but ultimately spares him in Week 3 and saves both him and Girlfriend from Tankman's assault during Week 7. This also goes for his friends Nene (repeatedly implied to be promiscious) and Darnell (shown as a Pyromaniac).
  • April Fools' Day:
    • In 2013, a fake Pico's School 2 game was uploaded by Clatform. At first it seems normal, but then you click on a weapon and it explodes on your face.
    • In 2021, Pico's School was replaced by an alternate version that was generally Lighter and Softer. Instead of Cassandra and her goons killing everyone, Pico befriends her and the other goths by sharing the same taste in music and shows her that people aren't as bad as she assumed (revealing more about the other bosses' personalities in the process). It also crosses over with Friday Night Funkin' - when Cassandra expresses concern over the prevalence of homophobia in the world, Pico introduces Boyfriend as his... well, boyfriend. While the game reverted back to normal the day after, the altered version was reuploaded with the subtitle Love Conquers All.
      Author's Notes: "This is the Love Conquers All edition of Pico's School; a re-telling of the original story in a split reality where one small decision changes the course of events. This game replaced the original Pico's School on April 1st, 2021 but now they both exist together as alternate timelines."
  • Artifact Title: Pico Day, to an extent. It originally started as an event, focused entirely on Pico's universe, but as a time went on, it became a celebration of everything Newgrounds. Lampshaded on the main page of Pico Day 2016, where it's said that the event could easily be renamed into Newgrounds Day, but the old name stuck.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Nene Interactive Suicide has the option to let Nene drink a carton of milk... after saying that she's lactose intolerant, and throws up blood before her head explodes. In reality, the consequences of a lactose intolerant person drinking milk are unpleasant, but not deadly.
  • Ate His Gun: All of the main characters involved in Pico vs. Überkids and Pico Roulette put the gun in their mouth after losing a round of Rock-Paper-Scissors Roulette. Pico's so sure of himself that he pulls the trigger twice.
  • Axes at School: Pico's School was inspired by the Columbine massacre, and begins with a Goth kid named Casandra shooting up... well, Pico's school.
  • All There in the Manual:
  • Animated Shock Comedy: Oh, yeah — swearing, guns, shit, dicks, explosions, and much more. Newgrounds was a treasure trove of adolescent irreverence back in the day, and Pico sat firmly at the center.
  • Black Comedy: Oh so much. Whether it be Pico, a school-aged person, firing an AK-47 assault rifle in Pico's School, or Darnell listening with glee as people burn alive in Darnell Plays with Fire, this is all Played for Laughs in the Pico universe.
  • Break the Cutie: In the span of mere seconds, Pico, at the very beginning of Pico's School seemed to be nice, popular, and decently respected by his teachers. After Casandra and the Goth Kids start wreaking havoc, Pico can range from merciful or downright nasty to his opponents, and by the time the Ghettobots enter the school, he has zero mercy for them.
  • Camping a Crapper: In the men's bathroom, if you open the first stall, you'll find a guy sitting on the toilet asking you to shut the door. Keep talking to him, and he'll get angry, accuse you of having a scat fetish, and throw his poop at you to get you to leave. (This gets you the achievement "Scat Man" if you stick through it long enough.) Of course, you can always just shoot him.
  • Character Title: Nene Interactive Suicide is simply titled Nene in game.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: In Pico's School, one can find a medicinal herb in a locker that is colored slightly differently than the other ones next to it.
  • Crossover Punchline: As part of Pico's School: Love Conquers All, Boyfriend from Friday Night Funkin' appears as Pico's significant other.
  • Dating Sim: Pico Sim Date and its two sequels. It is... very different than Pico's normal offerings, with Pico on a Timed Mission to get with Nene in order to save their Kid from the Future.
  • Depending on the Artist: There seems to be almost no consistent design for Pico and his friends, due to the simplistic designs of the characters. To put an example: Nene's light pink legwear is often drawn as pants, tights, or stockings.
  • Distant Finale: For the sake of reference, one of the non-Fulp works, Pico Sim Date <3 has Hun-Ni, the daughter of Doki and Nabi from There she is!! as one of the potential girls Pico can date.
  • Driven to Suicide: Nene's appearance in Nene Interactive Suicide speaks for itself, and her second appearance has her begging for Pico to kill her. Usually her attitude is Played for Black Comedy. Pico himself also came close to this in Pico's Return and Averts this in Pico Epilogue, decidedly not played for comedy.
  • Drugs Are Good: The one healing item you get is a "medicinal herb" that's pretty clearly a cannabis spliff.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Darnell Plays with Fire, the earliest of the Pico series, seemed to establish that Darnell at least lived somewhere in Des Moines, Iowa. Other installments in the series establish the trio as living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first three installments also increase in interactivity: Darnell is simply just an animation, Nene has you actually click on environmental pieces, and Pico's School is designed to be a movie with sparse interactive segments.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: Shooting Cassandra's One-Winged Angel form in her eyes doesn't hurt her, but it does interrupt her Eye Beam attack.
  • Fan Remake: Two exist, both of them each done by different authors. One for the original Pico's School and one for Pico vs. Bear, with the latter including voice acting and an exclusive boss battle against Boyfriend.
  • Free-Fall Fight: In the second half of Pico Blast, Hansel blows up the train-yard, sending him and Pico high-up in the sky. Pico then must gun him down, dodging many of its attacks mid-air.
  • Golden Ending: In Pico vs. Überkids, it is possible to get a perfect sweep with none of the main trio dying. The ending is the same as if player won two out of three rounds, however.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Alucard, one of the bosses in Pico's School, is a psychic who throws dead bodies of classmates at you.
  • The Grim Reaper: In Pico vs. Überkids, if the trigger on the revolver in Rock Paper Scissors Roulette is pulled five times without going off, the next contestant to lose the Rock Paper Scissors match will have the Reaper standing over them, signifying that they are doomed.
  • Groin Attack: Cassandra's weak point in her monstrous form is her spontaneously grown penis, which you need to shoot until she dies.
  • Growing Up Sucks: The occasional flashes that depict Pico in adulthood tend to depict him as a depressed, jaded shell of his former self, such as Pico Epilogue.
  • Harem Genre: Some shorts, most notably in Pico's Cat Fight, which has Nene, Cassanda, and Darnell all vying for Pico's attention. Some Piconjo shorts also play this for laughs, usually depicting Piconjo as the successful jock protagonist and his haters as either members of his harem, or as losers jealous of his success.
  • Hope Spot:
    • If you don't plan on choosing a suicide option for Nene in Nene Interactive Suicide, you would choose the seemingly innocuous milk carton near her bed. Upon selecting it, Nene helpfully informs the player that she's severely lactose intolerant and downs the carton in one go. She loses her head seconds later.
    • A more tragic version plays when you select the razor blade. Nene cuts herself and doesn't immediately die from blood loss, but as she's contemplating this, she hears her mother worriedly knock on her door. It turns out that she's just going off to visit her grandmother and thinks Nene's spray painting her walls again, and promises her that she'll be fine for a few hours alone.
  • Interpretative Character: While the Troubling Unchildlike Behavior is the norm, everything else tends to vary. Pico and the gang have gone from being good friends to grimly hunting each other down for no discernible reason. Even Cassandra is been shown as on apparently good terms with Pico before.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Pico Epsilon, an alternate version of Pico Epilogue, shows Pico about to go through with offing himself until armored Überkids go all Saiyan Saga on his friends.
  • Karmic Death: Darnell, in his first appearance, Darnell Plays With Fire, after setting many fires, is crushed and burned alive by the flaming wreckage of a plane he watched explode.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Before Pico's final confrontation with Casandra, he tells her that she has alternative outlets for her violent rampage, such as making music or making a "crazy website that lets you kill pop-icons".
  • Lighter and Softer: Love Conquers All deliberately goes against the edgy vibe of the original Pico's School. Every character acts much more understanding and polite, which is made most obvious with Pico talking to and empathizing with the personal problems the antagonists have, which led them to join Cassandra's group.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Darnell claims to have five years left to live in his campaign for school president, though many fan flashes and even Love Conquers All indicate that it's just a lie.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Pico vs. Überkids has this in its Rock–Paper–Scissors and Russian Roulette hybrid. Something of a Justified Trope; the point of the story is that inherent superiority can't compensate for bad luck, and Pico is implied to have chosen the event because he knows this is the only way to defeat the Überkids.
  • Mascot Fighter: Pico, Nene, Piconjo, and even Convict appear in Newgrounds Rumble. Guess Darnell is just boned.
  • Mind over Matter: Alucard, the first boss of Pico's School, uses telekinesis to throw dead bodies and debris at you, as well as deflect your bullets. When you defeat him, he pulls a bunch of chairs and desks around himself in a final attempt to protect himself.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: In the original flashes, vacant "Little Orphan Annie eyes" were a stylistic choice for all young characters, as all adults are shown with normal eyes, and even then kids are implied to have irises as well (for example, one can see Nene's when she expresses shock). Some fan-made works have this trait as a carryover.
  • Mood Whiplash: While most of the deaths in Nene Interactive Suicide are quick and/or comedic, choosing to slit Nene's wrists results in the longest of any of the cutscenes with zero humor. She realizes that wrist cutting suicides take way longer than TV deaths would portray it, has a conversation with her mother who mistook the sound of Nene's High-Pressure Blood for her spray painting the walls again, and the sequence ends with Nene fretting about her mother discovering she ruined her room with her blood. She also doesn't die at the end of that sequence.
  • More Dakka: Pico's specialty when dealing with his enemies is firing many rounds of ammunition with whatever weapon he's holding.
  • Negative Continuity: Most of the Pico games and movies have Pico, Nene and Darnell getting killed, only to get better in the next flash.
  • Ninja: Hanzo, the second boss in Pico's School, is a ninja with a katana and night-vision goggles who you fight in a darkened women's bathroom.
  • No Antagonist: Pico vs. Überkids can hardly say it has a villain role, as the Überkids were only brought to Pico's school to be tested on and otherwise weren't actively malicious to Pico and friends outside of mocking them if they win - in fact it was Pico who suggested the life-or-death rock-paper-scissors match. Of course, they do develop a meaner streak in non-Fulp flashes.
  • One-Winged Angel: At the end of Pico's School, Pico battles Cassandra, who turns into a giant hermaphrodite alien monster. Who you then have to deliver the ultimate Groin Attack to.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: The characters' Vague Ages mostly depend on what is necessary for the setting, such as Pico Sim Date making them teens, and Friday Night Funkin' making Pico a young adult, implied to be around the same age as the 19-year-old Boyfriend. Justified with both examples, as they take place years after the original Pico series.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Pico tells Cyclops that he distinctly remembers him going through a "G-squad" phase before he became a goth and then a punk, implying that he's always been a trend-chasing poser. Notably, Cyclops doesn't care about being lectured for his trend hopping as much as he does being lectured by a kid with what he feels has terrible taste in music.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Pico calls the Goth Kids out on their general hypocrisy twice in Pico's School.
    • The first time, if you select "Go eat dick" in the confrontation with Cyclops.
      Pico: Go eat dick, Cyclops. No one is impressed by you teen angst. I seem to remember you being a big Pearl Jam fan. (Cyclops has an ! reaction) But then you were runnin' with the G-Squad for a while. Now you're a punk. What the fuck? Pick a trend & stick with it.
    • In the final confrontation with the Big Bad.
      Pico: Society sucks, but you don't have to kill your classmates to stand out. Try making the music instead of just listening to it. Better yet, make a crazy website that lets you kill pop-icons. It doesn't matter anyway. You have failed the test of life, and I will take you all on if I must!
  • Refuge in Audacity: From Nene committing suicide in numerous over-the-top ways, to Pico stopping a school shooting by grabbing a gun and dealing with the shooter himself, everything that would be concerning in Real Life is instead a normal day for Pico and crew.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: The "Rock Paper Scissors Roulette" game that Pico and crew play with the Überkids in Pico vs. Überkids. As the name suggests, it's a fusion of rock-paper-scissors and Russian roulette, with the loser of the rock-paper-scissors match having to try their luck with the revolver. The now-discontinued 2007 game Pico Roulette was an updated version with online multiplayer and extra characters if you had a registered Newgrounds account.
  • Russian Roulette: In Pico vs. Überkids, Pico plays a variant where the loser of a Rock–Paper–Scissors match has to play Russian Roulette.
  • School Setting Simulation: Pico's School revolves around fighting back against a school shooting.
  • Seppuku: Nene Interactive Suicide has Nene decide to kill herself that day so she can "die with honor" after getting herpes.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of Pico's School, Pico sees some kids from the ghetto coming to class, and gets out his gun. In Pico's Unloaded, after killing all the Überkids, Pico sees the ghettobots again and prepares to fight.
  • Series Mascot: Although the Tankmen adorn Newgrounds' logo, one doesn't have to look too far to find a certain redheaded, gun-toting kid in green.
  • Shared Universe: Pico tends to be depicted alongside the Tankmen, Alien Hominid, and other Newgrounds originals.
  • Shout-Out:
    • As Cassandra starts her rampage, she screams out "Kein mehrheit für die mitleid!" just before she starts shooting people. The name of the band KMFDM, which the Columbine killers were fans of, was originally an acronym for that phrase. For bonus points, the opening riff of "Godlike" played during this scene in the original version (though it's since been replaced).
    • The first boss fight is against a black-clad goth kid with supernatural powers named Alucard.
    • The healing item you find is a "medicinal herb" just like in Resident Evil. Except while the green herbs in that game, despite all the cannabis jokes from Western players due to invoked Values Dissonance, were based on traditional Japanese medicine, the herb here is pretty bluntly weed, with Pico shown smoking it and getting blazed when you use it.
    • The achievement you get for blowing up the furnace during the Final Boss is called "Bruckheimer".
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Two from the Goths to Pico's "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • Cyclops says that even if his tastes in music are inconsistent, he, unlike Pico, has never been a fan of "techno shit," and then shoots Pico.
    • Cassandra says that she doesn't "give a shit about this society crap", and she's been using her fellow goths in her plan, before shooting the two remaining goths and going One-Winged Angel.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Darnell Plays with Fire ends with the lesson that you shouldn't mess around with dangerous activities, or God will take umbrage with you.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Because of Pico talking down Cassandra, all of the characters that were killed by her in Pico's School survive in Love Conquers All, including the teacher in the beginning.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Cassandra hints at being this, declaring that she doesn't care about the "society crap," and is using the goths as part of a separate plan.
  • Stylistic Suck: Piconjo Jam 21, made to celebrate user Piconjo's return and the inauguration of Piconjo Day, features well done animation alongside bizarre and poorly-animated segments. Most apparent in user Piconjo's second segment, which starts as a high effort and well-animated short only for it to "crash" and return to the low-effort MS Paint style slideshow animation of the first.
  • Sucky School: Fulp's version of the main school is not a fun place to be. Even considering the Goth Punks' rampage, Mr. Flacit does zero background checks for the apparently dangerous Ghettobots, the corpses of the shooting victims are still in a trash can outside six months later, and in his second appearance he allows a Russian Roulette game in order to help gather research for the Human Genome Project.
  • Super-Deformed: See Teens Are Short and Vague Age below.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In Nene Interactive Suicide, the titular character wakes up with herpes. Considering her loose morals, as well as presumably not using any protection, it was only a matter of time before Nene caught an STD.
    • There's also the option to slit Nene's wrists. If she does so, she finds out that dying that way takes longer than it does in fiction, to the point that she doesn't die onscreen.
  • Take Our Word for It: The opening of Pico's School cuts to a black screen after Cassandra shoots the teacher, with a message that reads:
    Your computer is unable to process the immense amount of blood flying around the screen at this time. The genocide will be over in just a moment. Thank you.
  • Take That!:
    • Aside from the obvious in Pico vs. Bear, the kitchen of Bary's house has other beloved ursine children's figures tied up and victimized. The bound Brother and Sister Bear, along with the corpse of Yogi Bear and the severed head of Winnie the Pooh, are all prominently featured.
    • Original flashes based around Piconjo exaggerate this to the point where it's harder to find ones that aren't this trope. His character was created for a supposedly shared account as a targeted trolling attack against some of the more well known Newgrounds users at the time, with Legendary Frog, David Firth and Strawberry Clock among few others as the most common targets of these works.
  • Teens Are Short: All the major characters in Pico's School are high school seniors who were designed this way by Tom Fulp due to how poorly drawn his art is, which was confirmed by Fulp himself.
  • ˇThree Amigos!: Pico, Nene, and Darnell... usually. While they are commonly portrayed as friends, there is more than one fan flash that has the three pit against each other in a battle to the death.
  • Time-Limit Boss:
    • Unlike the other bosses in Pico's School, Hanzo's attacks can't be avoided. You'll have to gun him down before he kills you.
    • Bary in Pico vs. Bear will gradually destroy the shrubs you need to use for cover. Once they're gone, there's nothing stopping him from ventilating you.
  • Token Trio: Pico, Nene and Darnell play this straight, with Asian female Nene being the usual Twofer Token Minority.
  • Toilet Humour: The series is full of it: a lone guy in the bathrooms in School throwing his turds at you, and the Überkids taking a dump if you lose in vs. Überkids.
  • Traintop Battle: The first half of Pico Blast is Pico fighting a Humongous Mecha from atop a moving train.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Part of what made Pico and the gang so famous is that they are far too young to be doing just about everything they do. In Pico's case, that includes using weapons and smoking pot. It is especially egregious in Nene's case, who is willing to partake in sexual acts.
  • Vague Age: Also another product of Depending on the Writer, Pico and the gang are school-aged, but they have been depicted anywhere between high school and elementary school. Pico vs. Bear implies that Pico is young enough to be a fan of Bear in the Big Blue House.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • In Pico's School, you have to actively pull the trigger to kill Alucard, Cyclops, Nene, or the guy in the bathroom, though Alucard and Cyclops arguably had it coming.
    • In the demo for Pico 2, Pico can be played as a friendly kid, as a hot-tempered Jerkass, or as surprisingly educated. There is also the option to give a homeless man money (though he admits to just using it to buy alcohol), berate him, or flat out shoot him until he dies.
    • In Pico's Cousin, there is similarly the option to play Otis as mild-mannered or as an impulsive jerk. That being said, being a jerk often has consequences such as being shot by the candy store owner if the player insults him or attempts to steal his candy rather than buying it.
  • Villainous Crush: In Pico's School, Cyclops tells Pico that Cassandra has a crush on him, hence him not being killed with the rest of his classmates when her gang attacked. Perhaps best demonstrated by Pico's Cat Fight.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: