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Web Animation / Club Penguin Shutdown

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"Once, the center of communication and friend making. Now, a dead zone, dangerous to the unwitting scavenger."

Club Penguin Shutdown is an animated web series created by people at Near Human Intelligence, which focuses on the online video game Club Penguin weeks after its real-life shutdown in early 2017. To sum the world up now? A terrible place to live. Violent attacks happen often, one wrong move will get you killed, and if you're not fast enough... Game over.

The series currently has one season of 14 episodes aired throughout mid-2017 to early 2018, with a second season currently being uploaded as of mid-2018, as well as a handful of irregular shorts and specials.

The videos of it can currently be found on Near Human Intelligence's YouTube channel. A playlist of all episodes in the series can be found here, and a full compilation of all Season 1 episodes (named "Club Penguin Shutdown - The Movie") can be viewed here. In addition, the teaser to the second season can be viewed here.


Club Penguin Shutdown provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The game's snowball function has been transformed into in-universe firearms from the penguins channeling their extreme stress into their throw, which are used in inter-gang conflicts and similar instances. A gunshot sound usually plays whenever a penguin throws a snowball.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The Penguins in the Purple Republic don't seem to be nearly as malicious nor obnoxious as they were in the actual game. Well... at least some of them do, and said few actually join Lil_Jeffy's side, which causes some serious problems when they reunite with the other members in "The Reunion". However, on the other side you have...
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The Tuba Gang were originally a peaceful social club on the main game; here they're a very powerful and very dangerous gang that evokes fear to almost all the penguins, even among the Cannibal. It takes an accidental massacre by Lil_Jeffy to put an end to this, turning the leader into a joke among the other remaining penguins which begins his mass hatred of Lil_Jeffy. However, during The Chase (episode 14), the leader also says that they "were the ones protecting the island," so maybe they're not all that bad in their view.
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    • Rockhopper ends up being the gang leader above the Tuba Gang, along with Aunt Arctic and Rookie, although what he does suggests that he's the big leader of it.
    • Numerous other gangs also seem to have fallen under this, as shown in "The Leaders", although most of them have been killed off as a result of a gang war that erupted between then and the beginning of the second season.
  • After the End: The series is set after Club Penguin's shutdown, which caused massive societal collapse.
  • Anyone Can Die: The series makes it very clear that this is the case. At least 80% of the named characters have died throughout the series, most rather quickly after their debut.
  • April Fools Episode: The non-canon episode "The Reason", where Disney restores Club Penguin, bans the Tuba Gang Leader for swearing, and turns the Pizza Parlor into a veggie store. They revealed it to be a prank when the episode ended, although one announcement in the Discord server shows that Lil_Jeffy isn't all that forgiving about it.note 
  • Audience Participation: The creators of the series use ideas based on what people have written in comments, and showcase them in an aftershow mini-series known as Club Penguin Shutdown: The Aftermath.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The Coffee Shop seems to have been turned into one, with the narrator saying it's the hangout for mercenaries and bounty hunters. It's also the place that we see Big_Jeff (a bounty hunter himself) enter first.
  • Becoming the Mask:
    • Lil_Jeffy first attempts this in "The Leaders" by confronting the gang leaders at their meeting in the Night Club. He ends up becoming their laughing stock until he ¡accidentally kills one of them, silencing everyone. Lil_Jeffy's reaction to this suggests that he's becoming a braver, more confident penguin.
    • Lil_Jeffy does become the mask in the following episode, "The Chase", where he pounces on the Tuba Gang leader to save the Agent, and later takes his now-busted tuba.
  • Big Bad: In Season 1, the leader of the Tuba Gang, the rest of which was wiped out in a series of accidents caused by Lil_Jeffy in "The Crack".
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: This happens in "The Gathering", as a whole bunch of Penguins on various sides end up fighting each other over Lil_Jeffy before Big_Jeff breaks it up by leaving with Lil_Jeffy tied on the sled. Then again, it could be because they claimed that they were all his to take.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A collaborative effort between the Orange Puffle and the Cannibal saves Lil_Jeffy from the Tuba Gang Leader in "The Chase".
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Compared to the original Club Penguin by a lot.
    • In general, any scene involving the Cannibal is this, considering what he does is... well, fairly self-explanatory.
    • In the YouTube video for "The Hunter", the NHI intro has the brain don the Cannibal's mask instead of its regular nose glasses... only for the screen to flicker as a chainsaw starts up, with the brain shortly then being sliced in half.
  • Body Horror: There's quite a lot of it in this series, especially with the Hybrid Sea Monster.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • Several members of the Cove Crew and RPF get this in the gangs' shootout in "The Sale".
    • In "The Reunion", the Survivor Boy gets a snowball thrown right in the face by a Purple Republic member.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: This happened with Lil_Jeffy two times in Season 1; first when he saw the gang war building up in "The Sale", and second in "The Leaders", where he proceed to defecate in terror when he met all of the gang leaders on Penguin Island, much to their disappointment over witnessing the truth behind his reputation as The Dreaded. Still, it escalated into situation where everyone died from his mishaps, which keeps his reputation living on.
  • Canon Immigrant: Rockhopper, Rookie and Aunt Artic, who debut at the end of "The Chase". Rockhopper becomes a major character from Season 2 onwards.
  • Catchphrase: The narrator says his upon the end of a scene when he sees anything immensely crazy happens.
    "Now that... was freaking nuts."
  • Chase Scene: In "The Race", the fight started in the previous episode continues when Big_Jeff escapes with Lil_Jeffy and the Boss Lady says to go after him, starting a chase between the numerous fightning factions down the mountain below the Ski Hill.
  • Crapsack World: The Club Penguin after the shutdown has been harsh for penguins as their society collapsed without any support from outside. The closest thing to society is multiple Gang of Hats who controlled drugs, food, and even Penguins that were unfortunate enough to be Made a Slave. In addition, the lack of food has forced many survivors to eat puffles, Puffle Food, and even other Penguins.
  • Create Your Own Villain:
    • Lil_Jeffy accidentally had the blue penguin in "The Gang" killed when he fell into the minecart as the Tuba Gang Leader had him executed to send a message that he shouldn't be messed with, making his sister want to avenge him in "The Girl".
    • Not long later in the next episode, "The Crack", Lil_Jeffy causes a cave-in with the minecart that wipes out most of the Tuba Gang, with their leader being the Sole Survivor and turning into the Big Bad of Season 1.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: It wouldn't be a stretch to say that at least one of these happens every few episodes.
    • The blue penguin in "The Gang" gets beaten to death by three Tuba Gang members, and is then nailed to a tree with the words "TUBA GANG" written in his blood.
    • This later happens to his sister in "The Girl", who tries to kill Lil_Jeffy as revenge, only to be pushed into the inferno she was building by the Cannibal and burn alive before dying in an explosion from the Pizza Parlor's oven.
    • After the Tuba Gang Leader finds the Red Thugs eating the remainder of his stuff in "The Consequences", he proceeds to burn one of them alive, drowning him soon after, and then beats the second one into a quivering pulp against the minecart.
    • Numerous gang leaders gather at the Dance Club in the first season's thirteenth episode, appropriately titled "The Leaders", only to meet their demises. The first one dies from falling on his blade after slipping on Lil_Jeffy's poop, the second and third are killed by pieces from the explosion of shooting gallery, and finally, all but two of them die horribly from inhaling poisonous fumes from an overloaded generator.
    • The very first episode of the second season doesn't cut slack; a former Club Penguin moderator gets thrown off a cliff by Rockhopper's crew!
    • The Tuba Gang Leader was brought in by the Cannibal at the end of "The Chase", but "The Reunion" is when we actually see his death, and it's not really pleasant.
    • The former leader of the gang that now follows Rockhopper gets burnt alive from the inside with hot sauce in "The Wasteland".
  • Darker and Edgier: Being set After the End helps the series' setting.
  • Dark Reprise: If you listen closely to the theme inside the Pizza Parlor in the very first episode, it's actually a distorted version of the normal theme to it in the actual game.note  The same happens to the other building themes.
  • Defector from Decadence: Several members of The Purple Republic defect to Lil_Jeffy's side after they've had enough of the Tuba Leader's destructive ways, and because they want to get back at him for killing their leader and taking over. Unfortunately, this also causes some major problems by the time the survivors reunite with the rest of the Purple Republic.
  • Disney Acid Sequence:
    • In "The Crack", Lil_Jeffy eats the substance in the minecart, which happens to be some sort of drug. He goes through a drug trip as a result.
    • By the time of "The Alliance", the Red Thugs later use the substance as kindling and experience the same thing as Lil_Jeffy, albeit for a much longer time. During it, they also forcefully feed their red puffle it, which makes it high and also brings another sequence as it effectively shoots itself into a wall of rocks.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "The Sale", a black puffle seen in the previous episode gets back at one of the Dock survivors (who were responsible for killing and eating many puffles) by smashing his face into the ground.
  • Dog Food Diet: A few penguins (most notably the Agent in the underground pool) have been eating pet food, such as Puffle-O's, in order to survive.
  • The Dreaded:
    • The Tuba Gang were this at the beginning of the series before most of them died in "The Crack". Nobody wanted to mess with them, not even the cannibal.
    • Over the course of the series, Lil_Jeffy's actions and their consequences have resulted in him being feared by most penguins on the island.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • The Agent almost kills himself twice. First, when he decides to break the windows in the sewers to drown himself, but stops to save Lil_Jeffy as soon as he sees him drowning. Then, after he sees the bodies from the war over the minecart, he almost decides to throw a snowball at his head, but tells himself to get a hold of himself.
    • Even in his brain-damaged state, the poor guy still has a breakdown and would have likely tried to kill himself if it wasn't for the flappy "penguin" slapping him unconscious in The Wasteland (Season 2, episode 3).
  • Eat the Dog: Some penguins such as the Cove Crew have resorted to eating puffles as a source of sustenance. Needless to say, the surviving puffles aren't pleased by this, and the narrator even calls them out on this.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Hybrid Sea Monster that debuts in Halloween is definitely this; it's made entirely out of dead penguins! Its body and limbs are made out of eyeless penguin corpses, its eyes are are the eyes from said courses except clustered together and its teeth are the remaining beaks from the corpses, and it also seeks to eat penguins! To say that's not disturbing for a Penguin (or a viewer) would be a bit of an understatement.
  • Fearless Fool: The narrator says many times that Lil_Jeffy isn't very intelligent, and he does a LOT of stupid things throughout the series.
  • Feathered Fiend: Pretty much every penguin except for Lil_Jeffy.
  • Foreshadowing: In "I try to play Club Penguin after it shut down. Do not attempt this.", when Undefined first logs into the Halloween-themed Club Penguin server, they go to the Snow Forts area, wherein a coffin with Undefined's name highlighted on it can be seen at the far right. This hints at Undefined's character being killed at the end of the special.
  • For Want of a Nail: Most of the series' events wouldn't have likely transpired if it wasn't for Lil_Jeffy's empty stomach.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Between "The Alliance" and "The Fall", the Purple Mutineer and a handful of other Purple Republic members plot to join Lil_Jeffy's side when the Tuba Gang Leader seeks to get Lil_Jeffy with help of the Strangers. Unfortunately, this does cause problems with the Mutineer by the time he reunites with the rest of the group...
  • Hive Mind:
    • The Hybrid Sea Monster is made out of the corpses of a bunch of drowned penguins.
    • The wrinkly green (and later purple) penguin is also revealed to be several puffles hiding inside a gutted penguin.
  • Hope Spot: Trying to list all of them would be very time consuming, but to put it simply, if you think Club Penguin island is going to get better with each installment, you'd be horribly wrong.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: In Halloween, a ringing bell as part of the Halloween party appears and upon being thrown out of the Puffle Hotel, it travels into reality, falls into the sewers and activates a machine in the now flooded underground pool which... well, let's just say the results aren't pretty.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: The Cannibal, although whether or not there's more cannibalistic penguins has yet to be shown.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Aside from the first one ("What's Left of Club Penguin?"), every regular episode of the series has a title that consists of "The" followed by a single word ("The Gang", "The Fall", "The Reunion", etc.).
  • I'll Kill You!: The girl (whose brother was killed because of both Lil_Jeffy and the Tuba Gang) says this before she's burned to death.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One of the factions in the fight over getting Lil_Jeffy (who are only fighting due to trespassing and aren't interested in the general goal) between "The Gathering" and "The Chase" own a sled rig with a ram consisting of several automatic spikes that impale any penguin who comes into contact with them. Several penguins are killed with it in "The Chase", including the Boss Guy.
  • Jump Scare:
    • An In-Universe example is when the Hybrid Sea Monster pops out of the ground of the Forest in "The Chase".
    • Simultaneously played straight and In-Universe with Rockhopper in "The Hunter".
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Both leaders of the RPF and the Cove Crew get this treatment during the shootout in "The Sale".
  • Kill It with Fire: In "The Girl", the Pigtailed Girl Penguin attempts to kill Lil_Jeffy in this way, only for it to turn around on her when The Cannibal pushes her into the oil pit she had placed.
  • Klingon Promotion: The Tuba Leader was this to the Purple Republic after no-one bothered to take the leader's place.
  • The Lancer: In the "Alliance", the leader of the Strangers becomes this to the Tuba Gang Leader after three members of his gang were killed by The Agent at the Puffle Hotel in the previous episode.
  • Living MacGuffin: Lil_Jeffy eventually becomes one to most other penguins after getting his reputation as The Dreaded. It gets to the point that it leads to a fight between several factions over him throughout "The Gathering" and "The Chase".
  • MacGuffin: In Season 1, the Minecart full of a questionable substance that Lil_Jeffy accidentally stole from the Tuba Gang, which was then responsible for wiping out two gangs in a matter of seconds. It later falls in the hands of the Red Thugs, who use the substance as kindling. This gets their puffle and themselves killed, the latter case by the Tuba Gang Leader.
  • Misblamed: An In-Universe example. In "The Gang", Lil_Jeffy falls into the minecart upon getting scared by the Tuba Gang entering the Mine Shack, causing the minecart to be gone from the gang's view. The other three penguins in the Mine Shack are then blamed by the Gang for it.
  • Mushroom Samba:
    • In "The Crack", Lil_Jeffy suffers from this upon eating the mysterious substance (presumably hallucinogenic mushrooms) from the minecart. As a result, when he leaves the minecart, he unwittingly eats cooked puffles (which appeared as a fish burger in his hallucinations) from the Cove Crew (whom he saw as beach girls). Needless to say, he was very disgusted by the cooked puffles when his mind got back to normal.
    • This later happens to the Red Thugs by the time of "The Alliance", who use the substance as kindling for their fire and food for their red puffle. The puffle ends up killing itself during its samba, using a cannon and firing it towards a blocked-off wall, destroying it, which in turn causes the water from the now-flooded Underground Pool to slowly flood the place.
  • Not Quite Dead: The Agent was presumed to have died when the Purple Mutineer attempted to Mercy Kill him in "The Consequences", but the final scene of "The Passage" reveals he's actually alive, albeit with major brain damage. He can still recall all the deaths he believes he caused in "The Wasteland", and talked fairly normally during said panic attack, so it may not be a major case.
  • Nuke 'em: According to the Season 2 teaser, it's implied that a nuclear snowball is planning to be dropped on the island.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: At the beginning of the first special episode (Halloween), presumably one of the game servers tries to activate the Halloween party... but it doesn't really work out quite that well as the Plaza constantly flickers back and forth rapidly to the now commended Club Penguin and the Halloween party alongside with glitchy sounds being played until Lil_Jeffy throws a bell out of the door to stop it.
  • Red Shirt: Most (if not all) of the ocean blue penguins end up as this; there's the penguin in the first episode (beaten by the Red Thugs), one in the second episode (beaten to death and nailed to a tree), the first victim of the HybridSeaMonster, and the leader of Team Blue (also one of the first gang leaders killed).
  • Red Shirt Army: The Strangers. All but a handful of them are still alive after the raid to the Puffle Hotel that happened between "The Fall" and "The Consequences".
  • Safe Zone Hope Spot: There's supposedly one near the Ski Hill... although as revealed in "The Reward", it's been completely frozen over, and those penguins in the Ski Lodge? Well... let's just say their appearances aren't as they seem.
  • Scare Chord: One is played when one of the Purple Republic members is about to fire a snowball at the Survivor Girl and Boy.
  • Scenery Gorn: The amount of detail put into making the place look desolate and destroyed is honestly pretty great.
  • Shrouded in Myth: How other penguins see Lil_Jeffy compared to how he actually is couldn't be more different.
  • Silent Protagonist: Lil_Jeffy, except for saying out emoticons, doesn't speak throughout the series.
  • Something Else Also Rises: The Tuba Gang Leader has the Girl Penguin With Bow blow on his tuba, which he very much enjoys.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Whenever a character swears, the swear words are bleeped out by bubble sounds.
  • Special Guest: A variant of this is featured in "The Wasteland", where a penguin known only as The Freak debuts in a show where he burns the Nachos Leader from the inside out. He was actually created by one of the users over on the Discord server before being hired by NHI.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: This happens to the Pizza Parlor in "The Girl" when the Pigtailed Girl Penguin tries to kill Lil_Jeffy, only for the Cannibal to push her into her own oil pit, getting her burnt alive as the oil can she used rolls directly to the furnace. When the flames hit the hot sauce container above it... well, you can guess what happened.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: The island was so welcoming and friendly back then...
  • Surprise Creepy:
    • While the series has its moments, let's just say that the formation of... whatever that thing is in Halloween may be pretty offputting to some viewers.
    • The floppy skinned green (and later purple) "penguin" (really just a bunch of puffles controlling it) that debuts in The Strangers (episode 7) can also be this. Even the narrator is horrified to see it until Lil_Jeffy and the "penguin" wave out to them to tell them that it's friendly.
      "Screw the paper, Lil_Jeffy! That thing is disgusting!"
    • Even the first episode of Season 2 has this right from the very beginning, as the NHI brain that appears in the intro gets cut right in half by a chainsaw.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The Agent's head injury reducing him to a babbling, helpless mess is disturbingly accurate to what injuries of similar nature can do to a person in real life.
    "I got your nose! Honk Honk! *giggling* ... Need-eaaaaaaat! Bel-ly..." ("The Leaders")
    "Little... Jeef? Little Jeef!! Little Jeef! Little Jeef!" ("The Chase")
  • Toilet Humour: Lil_Jeffy craps himself in fear twice. The second time ends up saving his life in "The Leaders" when he confronts the gang leaders in a meeting at the Night Club.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Lil_Jeffy does this early on in Season 2, as he becomes willing to let any of his allies for dead in order to get what he wants. Granted, most of the time when he does so, his allies tend to not be in shape to be useful for him.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Lil_Jeffy really likes pizza. Unfortunately, he can't find any throughout the series.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: There's one in the Plaza.
  • Trash Talk: When all the confronting factions of Penguins in "The Gathering" try to claim Lil_Jeffy is theirs and insult each other, you can likely tell that one heck of a battle is going to happen.
  • Try Not to Die: The lone survivors on the island have to do this, but it's far easier said than done considering that almost everything is trying to kill them.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The narrator didn't seem to be paying attention to what happened at the Clothes Shop at the end of "The Girl", where the Tuba Gang Leader kills the leader of the Purple Republic and takes over, setting the scene for the next 6 episodes.
  • Updated Re-release: Shortly after the airing of the Season 1 finale, "The Chase", all of the season's episodes (including the special "Halloween", which wasn't numbered within the season) were re-released with a number of changes under a compilation titled "Club Penguin Shutdown - The Movie", which also features Closing Credits.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Lil_Jeffy gets two of these:
    • In "What's Left of Club Penguin?", he pukes shortly after seeing a penguin being cooked in the Pizza Parlor's oven.
    • Subverted in "The Crack", where he almost vomits upon learning he ate puffles once his drug trip ends.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: the Gang leaders in "The Leaders", some of them don't even get any lines before they're killed.
  • Wham Line: There are a handful of them in the series:
    • In "The Chase", we get this comment that could put a new perspective on the Tuba Gang Leader.
      Tuba Gang Leader: You really have no idea what you've done. The Tuba Gang... We were the ones protecting the island. And you've killed us all. When THEY get here and THEY don't get the stuff... Everyone will pay... You screwed us all, LIL-JEFFY!
    • Rockhopper has his own in "The Hunter", when he gets other penguins to throw a hapless one (whom he says is a former moderator) down a cliff to land in jagged rocks.
      Rockhopper: I'm not here for you to be fixing mistakes. You made the mistake in the first place! That leaves the mistake fixing to me... ...One would think a former moderator would be able to keep things under control... ...this ought to send them a pretty clear message.
    • In "The Reunion", the other remaining members of the Purple Republic don't seem to take the Mutineer very well, and what they say can make you wonder if it was a good idea for him to even do a Heel–Face Turn.
      Purple Republic member: Oh, I don't know, but you sure were able to betray your own people now, weren't you? This is what's left of our family and it's all your fault! (the Ex-Purple Republic member tries to speak up, mentioning that "we are the Purple Republic", only to get slapped before continuing) Don't you dare say the name! You're not worthy of it.
    • In the same episode, that Purple Republic member... well, it's mentioned below although here's what they said (and done):
      Purple Republic member: Ah, it does appear that we do indeed have a problem then. Lucky for you, I'm good at solving problems. (they proceed to shoot the survivor boy right in the head as he then drops right down to the ground and bleeds) Problem solved!
    • In "The Wasteland", The Agent shows that, even after being brain-damaged, still recalls all the deaths caused by the EPF, and goes into a frenzy when he sees a bunch of dead penguins in the Dock, which leads to the Floppy Green Penguin knocking him unconscious.
      The Agent: ...Lil...Jeef...? Jeef! Jeeef. Jee... [he turns around and sees all the dead penguins in the dock] Jee... Jee... [he starts violently shaking] Why doesn't this end?! WHY DOESN'T IT EVER END?! I'm sorry. I'M SO SORRY! I'M SO SORRY! [he trips over his broken leg] AHHHHH!! My leg! AHHHHH MULLET! It hurts! This is it... This is what I deserve at last. I have caused so much death. So much! I'M SO SORRY! [gets slapped unconscious by the Floppy Green Penguin]
    • In "The Reward", when Lil_Jeffy gets into the Lodge Attic, one of the "penguins" (loosely, considering it's a mutant) nears Lil_Jeffy and says the following. It's probably a warning for things to come of what he was going to get himself into.
      Mutant Penguin: " have....[the] chance... ESCAPE!"
  • Wham Shot: Much like Wham Lines, there are a handful of Wham Shots every now and then.
    • The shot of the mascots and their army about to wreck havoc on the island in the Season 1 finale.
    • Rockhopper gets the gang members that joined him to throw a moderator off a cliff in "The Hunter". This shows that he's definitely not messing around.
    • In "The Reunion", the same Purple Republic member as mentioned above corners both the survivor girl and boy and lets the latter free. The girl tries to escape, and the Purple Republic member says that there's a problem and that he's good at solving them. He then proceeds to shoot the survivor boy in the head with a snowball, sending the survivor girl to tears as he says that the problem is "solved".
    • Rockhopper gets yet another in "The Wasteland", where he literally gets an assistant to burn the former leader of his new members inside out via injecting hot sauce into his body.
    • In "The Reward":
      • It's revealed that the Ski Village is very far from its claimed Safe Zone Hope Spot status, as it looks like it's been through numerous harsh snowstorms. The Ski Lodge's inhabitants aren't that pretty either; between some horrifying mutants and penguins that seem friendly enough but end up to be lying jerks who use Lil_Jeffy and his pizza craving to do just about anything to their advantage, it's not much that's out of place in the series.
      • The Cannibal recalls his previous experiences with Lil_Jeffy and co., and saves a penguin from being assumingly sacrificed.
  • You Monster!: The narrator occasionally calls out some of the penguins for their bad actions if he sees them.