The Cyanide & Happiness Show is a web series based off the daily webcomic, Cyanide & Happiness. Since 2010, animated shorts based on the comic have been produced, gradually increasing in production quality until 2014, when the first season of a weekly ten-to-fifteen-minute series was announced and successfully Kickstarted, reaching three times its goal of $250,000. As a stretch goal, for the entire year of 2014 shorts were produced on a weekly basis (excluding weeks in which full episodes were released). Each episode of the series tends to have one of two main sketches that take up most of the run time, and a few shorter sketches that act as interludes between them.
The first season of the show began airing on November 13th, 2014, yet due to a contract following the release of the second season, the long-form series is no longer available on YouTube. You can watch all three seasons on VRV. However, the shorts are still available and can be viewed here.
The Cyanide & Happiness Show provides examples of:
- Ambiguously Gay: In "Rudy It's a Bitch Ass Life", Rudy's son is seen with his kid and another man visiting Rudy's death bed.
- Artistic License Gun Safety: Used for comedic effect in the "Star-Spangled Bastard" sketch; at the end of the sketch, the titular hero uses a handgun to shoot out his bedroom light (the bullet then ricochets and hits Eagle).
- Ax-Crazy: The grave digger and the fire fighters in "Opposite Day".
- Big Bad Duumvirate: both pain tech and Wesley meadows in the third season.
- Black Comedy:
- Brick Joke: In Episode 2, the pirate from the Buttshark sketch returns at the end of the episode, once again ordering two whiskies.
- Brain Transplant: The surgeon who performed one for Mr. Mackiemapparently didn't consider that when replaced his brain with somebody elses, he wasn't saving the life of his patient as much as he was reviving the idiot who killed himself in a suicidal stunt....which he uses his new chance at life to do again.
- Corrupt Politician: Jimmy Williams is equal parts this and inept. He should be in prison for life never mind running for office. How bad is he? His opponents campaign ad campaign is two minutes of pure slander about him that Jimmy actually approves of being a hundred percent true. He's so terrible that even he didn't vote for himself, is shocked when he wins, and shames everyone who helped him into office by bluntly stating they screwed up, and whatever things he does to ruin the country, they basically asked for it.
- Cosmic Plaything: Sad Larry. Everything about him.
- Couch Gag: The whiteboard during the opening of every episode. Doubles as a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
- Credits Gag: "Waiting for the Bus, Pt. 2" is a short video followd by extremely long credits that mention the most unnecessary things, including "Not Starring Miley Cyrus", "Baby Shaker Louise Woodward", "Awful Music Red Hot Chilli Peppers", "Please by: Our Book", etc.
- Darker and Edgier: The third season of the long-form series is one giant storyline involving a world takeover conspiracy by an evil Mega-Corp which culminates in Humanity's Wake.
- Death by Gluttony: The future version of the kid in "Too Much History" dies from "too much privilege" after eating more than a dozen Christmas turkeys by himself. Even his past self watching the vision questions why his future self would need to eat so much turkey.
- Death by Racism: The white people aboard the bus in the past segment of "Too Much History" insisted that the black man sitting in the front move to the back, despite the fact he was in the front because he was the driver, causing the bus to crash.
- Deconstructive Parody: "The World's Greatest Detective" is one for Murder on the Orient Express. After the detective correctly reveals that everyone in the train killed the victim together, making them all accomplices, he asks them to politely turn themselves in when they get to the station. Instead, the other passengers murder him and pass it off as a suicide. In the original novel, however, Poirot goes along with the murder plan and agrees to keep secret, agreeing that the murder victim deserved it.
- Driven to Suicide: The intro to each episode has a man who appears to electrocute himself to death. Also happens in the depressing episode.
- Eagleland: Parodied with the gun-loving American hero, the "Star-Spangled Bastard", in the main sketch of Episode 4.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In Aeris, Sephiroth is disgusted at Cloud using Phoenix Downs on Aeris while she's still impaled on his sword, outright calling him "sick" and telling him to let her die in peace. Keep in mind, he's the one who killed her in the first place.
- If the viewers choose to Vote in Jimmy Williams as president, as bad as he is he will be shocked that the people chose to vote in someone as terrible as himself into office. Even telling the audience that they made a stupid decision and whatever he does now, they asked for it.
- First Rule of the Yard: Subverted in "Prison", where a new prisoner plans to beat up the biggest, meanest looking guy around to gain respect. He lands a series of sucker punches on a huge, heavily tattooed man... and finds out that the guy he attacked is the most beloved and nicest man in the prison. All the other prisoners promptly attack the new guy in outrage.
- For the Evulz:
- The grinning man in "Seriously" completely ruins a man's life, stealing his parking spot and dinner table when he and his wife try to have their anniversary, then stealing the man's wife and assets in court, and even goes as far as to fake his own death to trick the man into killing himself. All with that same shit-eating grin glued to his face the whole time.
- It seems to be a family trait, since all his relatives at the funeral share the same look, with one going as far as to steal the tears off another's face.
- Freudian Excuse: The "Let's Get Fucked Up Grandma" sketch (of the "Christmas Episode") reveals through childhood pictures that the reason the teenager is being so ruthlessly frat-boyish to his grandma is because she did the same thing to him when he was a baby. Also doubles as The Dog Bites Back and Laser-Guided Karma.
- Handicapped Badass: Suzy in the Gym Class short. And how.
- Here We Go Again!: The ending of Episode 2.Pirate: Aye, 'tis a sad story. But aye've got a sadder one! Two whiskies!
- Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Discussed and parodied in "Too Much Time".Narrator: Wait just a second, there! You were conceived in a Volkswagen. And Volkswagens were created in World War II. So if you go back and kill Hitler, how would the Volkswagen exist? And if there are no Volkswagen, where were you conceived? And if you were never conceived, then who killed Hitler?
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Season Too, while being the show's second season, is named after the degree of intensity, and all of the episodes are titled to go with that idea.
- Infomercial: Parodied in the opening of Episode 4 with Not Doing That!
- Innocent Bigot: White Knight doesn't seem to understand that he's being racist by arresting only black people.
- Interactive Narrator: The narrator's exchange with The Arsenist in "Too Many Superheros".The Arsenist: Do the title card thing.
Narrator: I don't want to.
The Arsenist: Dooo iiiiit!
- Non-Indicative Name: The episode names for the first season have absolutely nothing to do with the contents of each episode, save for "The Depressing Episode". The latter two seasons would avert this trope. Most notably, "The Christmas Episode" not only has nothing even remotely holiday-related, it also came out on January 22nd.
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: The Tolerator. "Are you making fun of the lazy Mexicans? That's racist."
- Reduced to Dust: In "Granddpa's Storytime", this happens to Grandpa's storybook and then himself.
- Running Gag:
- The "Most Ancient Joke in the Book" sequences in Episodes 4-6, featuring a team of scientists travelling back in time in search of the titular jokes. Turns out it's a knock-knock joke.
- Episode 6 has its own with a group of firefighters bursting into seemingly innocuous places and putting out things like candles in an over-the-top manner. The punchline is that they're psychics and are predicting fires before they happen.
- Episode 5 seems to have an obsession with hot dogs.
- Episode 11 repeatedly features a court jester trying what should be humanly impossible feats to entertain his king. He gets executed the third time around.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The '60s Narrator in "Too Many Superheros" quits after watching Wonder Percent brutally murder white collar criminals.
- Shout-Out: To everything from Clifford the Big Red Dog to The Iron Giant to Captain Planet.
- Take That!: The first skit of Episode 11 is this to the concept of homeschooling and also most likely straw feminists.
- Tears of Blood: One of the guys in the curse support group has this whenever he becomes sad.
- They Just Don't Get It: The husband in "Dirty Dealings" loves to eat nothing but hotdogs. Nothing. But. Hotdogs. When his wife says she wants something different. He honestly thinks she means she wants mustard on her Hotdogs instead of ketchup.
- Young and in Charge: "The Delivery" Up to Eleven, President Baby.