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The Salesman: Welcome to parrot-dise!

A ginger orphan named Cooper meets an elderly shut-in named Madame Trinkett, who invites him into her home. Cooper is then trapped inside her basement where he discovers that the mad elder has also imprisoned several other orphans and a questionably insane vacuum salesman, all of them also being ginger. As Cooper learns to adjust his life to the "playhouse", Cooper learns quite a lot about the history of Madame Trinkett, The Salesman, and even himself, all while trying to somehow escape the basement.

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  • Affably Evil: Madame Trinkett, despite being a serial kidnapper, treats all of her captors nicely and is still the all typical Cool Old Lady. Most notably when Cooper finds out that she gives all of the orphans 3-course steak dinners everyday and even leaves the basement door open for them when leaving to search for her husband.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The Parrots in the basement.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The fate of the orphans at the end of the series. The door is closed leaving them trapped in the basement. However, there are still many ways they can still escape and the Distant Prologue has Vanessa already outside the basement. Meaning that the orphans might've been able to finally get their freedom.
  • Animal Motifs: Parrots for Madame Trinkett.
  • Arc Words: "Don't miss me, madame."
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  • Ax-Crazy: The Salesman.
  • Back for the Finale: Nearly every character returns in some form in the finale.
  • Berserk Button: Cooper doesn't like it when someone calls him a different name.
    • Do not interrupt The Salesman when he's in the middle of speaking. Cooper learned that the hard way.
  • Big Bad: Though Madame Trinkett seems to be this, The Salesman is ultimately the real one. However, he doesn’t act as an antagonist until the final few episodes.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Leaning very heavily on bitter. Cooper and the orphans are left trapped in the basement by the remaining bird, Madame Trinkett is left on an island, and the couple were never able to adopt Cooper. On the other hand, the Salesman undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and sees Cooper as a true friend now with the implication that he has gotten at least some of his sanity back. There's also a heavy implication that regardless if the door is closed in the basement, the orphans will eventually get their freedom either through escaping or the police officers finally solving the missing children case. This is supported by the somewhat Mind Screw-y Distant Prologue.
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  • Black Comedy: Much of the show's comedy. The final few episodes in particular.
  • Bookends
    • The finale's beginning song ends with a close up of Vanessa's eyes closing and the final shot of Cooper is also a close up of his eyes closing.
    • The first and last song in the series starts with:
      "It's easy to get down in the basement."
  • Breather Episode: It's a Ginger Christmas, Cooper. The only episode that is completely self-contained.
  • Body Horror: The "Parrotsites".
  • Butt-Monkey: Nothing ever works out for poor Cooper.
  • Central Theme: Insanity seems to be this. Much of the show's plot stems from characters undergoing a Sanity Slippage. Many adult characters throughout the show also seem to suffer from a variation of insanity and so far, only the Salesman (given his Heel–Face Turn) has shown any signs of improvement.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The heir of the Parrot King.
  • Closed Circle: Cooper, The Salesman, and the other orphans spend 99% of the show within Madame Trinkett's basement.
  • Color Motif: The show mainly stays at a black and white scale barring a few exceptions. Orange seems to be the recurring motif.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Most of the show is this, likely to emphasize the Crapsack World the main characters are in.
  • Distant Prologue: The final episode starts off 23 years later with Vanessa working at a Hell Hotel, when all the orphans had already (possibly) escaped the basement.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Lost Love either refers to Madame Trinkett's dead husband and her way of coping it or Cooper's crush on Vanessa being immediately shut away.
  • Driven to Suicide: The Hell Hotel in the Distant Prologue seems to make everyone suicidal. Maybe.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: After Cooper tells his plan to dig underground to escape, The Salesman starts referring to him as "Scooper" for the rest of the series. One of Cooper's biggest pet peeves.
  • Extra-Long Episode: Most episodes clock in around three-to-five minutes. The Grand Finale? Twenty-two minutes.
  • Extreme Doormat: Cooper has no spine and ultimately does whatever anyone wants him to do. This changes in the finale.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Salesman. He's friendly and fun when things are running smoothly, but the minute things stop going his way it's becomes clear he couldn't care less about the orphans, or their safety.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Over the course of the show, The Salesman is slowly revealed to be this by everyone. The only reason why no one besides Cooper vocalizes it is due to:
    • A) He's the only adult in the basement, thus making him The Leader.
    • B) He's The Dreaded and won't hesitate on hurting the orphans. Everyone only follows him out of fear, not genuine loyalty.
      • This is demonstrated perfectly in the finale, where Cooper finally stands up against The Salesman and all the orphans quickly change sides to the former.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Vacuum Salesman during the Grand Finale. Courtesy of Cooper's kindness.
  • Hell Hotel: The hotel that Vanessa works at in the Distant Prologue.
  • History Repeats Itself: Several scenes throughout the Grand Finale show that certain events are happening again.
  • In-Series Nickname: Cooper is given the nickname "Scooper" by the Salesman, much to his annoyance. The Salesman seems to consider "The Lady Killer" a decent nickname in Lil' Mitts Come Home! despite it's meaning calling him a literal lady killer.
  • Ironic Echo
    Don't miss me, Madame.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hank and Carole. Despite being quite rude and a little crazy, they want nothing more than to adopt Cooper/Lil' Mitts and will go to great length to find him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Madame Trinkett, after imprisoning several gingers inside her basement for several years, is ultimately left stranded in an island with no hope of escape.
    • The Vacuum Salesman's father has undergone a serious Sanity Slippage and is also stranded on the very same island after selling his only son for money.
    • The Vacuum Salesman himself. He spent most of his life killing innocent people with his vacuums but is then made a prisoner by Madame Trinkett inside her basement where he then went through a huge Sanity Slippage after being trapped in their for several years with only her screeching parrots to keep him company.
  • Left Hanging: Initially, the show ended with Cooper being forced into one of the parrot cages after killing a king parrot. This led to many viewers believing that the show had ended on the ultimate Downer Ending. Then, five years later, the true Grand Finale was uploaded.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Lost Love gives focus to the characters that aren't trapped in the basement.
  • Musical Episode: Living Life Underground, It's a Ginger Christmas, Cooper, Saltrot's Shanty, Circle, and Trial of the Cooper.
  • No Name Given: The Vacuum Salesman. Lampshaded by Cooper in the finale.
  • Noodle Incident: The Salesman recalls "The Battle of the Parrots and the Crows", but doesn't elaborate on any details other than that the aftermath left the original basement in bad shape.
  • Only Sane Man: Cooper and, to a lesser extent, Vanessa.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Downplayed, but the Carlos T. Nice orphanage, where Cooper and presumably the rest of the orphans in the basement originated, is hardly empathetic to the orphans, treating them like workers at best, and products at worst, all of which is played for laughs.
  • Out of Focus: Downplayed with Cooper. He is somewhat less significant in the later half of the series due to the show focusing more on the supporting characters' backstories. Thankfully rectified in the last two episodes.
  • Precision F-Strike: Cooper, the usual Nice Guy who is never angry does one on The Salesman in the final episode.
    Cooper: You fucking psycho!
  • Rage Breaking Point: Cooper reaches this towards The Salesman's taunting and insults during the finale.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Salesman's eyes have a tendency to turn red when he's angry or committing a "sacrifice."
  • Save the Villain: Cooper does this to The Salesman by convincing him to leave the basement during the finale, causing his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Second Episode Introduction: The Salesman and the imprisoned gingers make their formal debut in the second episode.
  • Splash of Color: The orange hair of the gingers and the parrots are the only colored things on a mostly black-and-white show.
    • The final minute of the last song in the show is entirely in color.
  • Surreal Humor: Much of the show's comedy stems from the sheer oddness of their world and animation style.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: The Salesman has grown to love living inside the basement and has convinced the other orphans too. Cooper...not so much.
    • The orphans and eventually even The Salesman become disillusioned thanks to Cooper's reasoning.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Saltrot's Shanty, The Roots of Coincidence, and Circle. Consecutively.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After reforming the Vacuum Salesman, winning the heart of his crush, and finally find a way out of the basement, Cooper's only chance of escape is ruined when the last bird inside slams the door shut. However, the Distant Prologue implies that they do eventually escape.
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