For Max, an unwilling resident of the camp, it seems far more like a prison than a summer camp, and the only thing that keeps him going is the idea of escape. He is quickly joined by two new kids, Neil (who thought he was going to science camp), and Nikki, a self-described "agent of chaos". They are supervised by David, the overly cheery head counselor who seems oblivious to the fact that the camp is a run-down craphole, and his far more cynical assistant Gwen.
The first season premiered in June 2016, with each following season premiering every June since. There have also been a number of Halloween and Christmas episodes that have aired between seasons.
Camp Camp contains examples of:
- Achievements in Ignorance: The Flower Scouts became drug kingpins without realizing it. They also end up in Cabo in their attempts to win a trip to Cabo.
- Actor Allusion:
- Cameron Campbell misnames Gwen a couple of times, referring to her as "Grace" and "Gretchen". Lee Eddy, who voices Gwen, had roles in Gretchen as a character named Wolf, and as a skanky blonde in Fall To Grace.
- James Willems, who plays Dolph, is a member of Funhaus, who are the subject of a running gag for Achievement Hunter that their logo resembles a swastika.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: The Camp Campbell alliteration is taken to the extreme with the Season 3 episode 7 title, "Cameron Campbell the Camp Campbell Camper".
- Adult Fear: While exchanging spooky stories, Max freaks out Gwen by asking her to contemplate the job market she'll enter once Camp Campbell shuts down.
- Near the end of the episode "Mind Freakers" Neil almost asphyxiates Nikki by shoving a bunch of scarves (and a live rabbit!) down her throat. The other kids are horrified by this and don't know what to do as Nikki starts foaming out the mouth as she seemed to be on the verge of death. Meanwhile, David and Gwen are distracted watching Bob Ross on television to notice what is happening.
- According to Campbell, the camp already lost at least one kid.
- Jasper died before the events of the story.
- Ered tries to prove she's still cool by trying to do the coolest thing possible: racing down Campbell's half-pipe. It was considered too dangerous even for X Games and the knockoff Y Games, it's so high that David and Gwen are afraid to even climb to the top, and her ankle is broken, so she can't steer or even balance properly. It's treated like a suicide attempt. Thank goodness Nerris was around to talk her out of it.Nurf: "Look at her! She's suddenly terrified of her own mortality!"
Nerris: "Are you sure you want to go through with this?"
Ered: "Obviously not! But I've tried everything else. None of it worked."
- Nikki accidentally poisons herself, and the kids deliberately try to hide it from the adults because they fear retaliation.
- Aerith and Bob: Out of the campers, the main trio are Max, Neil, and Nikki. Then there are the rest of the campers, Harrison, Dolph, Nerris, Ered (short for Meredith), Nurf, Preston, and Space Kid.
- As of Season 2 Episode 12, Nurfs real name is revealed to be Gaylord Nurfington, and Space Kids real name is Neil Armstrong Jr., named after his great-grandfather.
- Alliterative Name: Cameron Campbell's Camp Campbell.
- We later learn that Ered's full name is Meredith Miller.
- All Periods Are PMS:
- Towards the end of Episode 2, after witnessing the Quartermaster ride into view on the squirrel king's throne, Gwen grumbles that she "needs more Midol" before walking off.
- Nikki's first period has all the hallmarks: horrible cramps, weird food cravings, and rapid mood swings. Viewers can probably pick up what's actually happening even before she mentions the bleeding.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Cameron Campbell claims he's won in the season three finale, Gwen's reply is simply to ask "Won what, exactly?" Campbell tries to reply, but quickly realizes he doesn't have anything worth winning, hammered in by Max's single line The Reason You Suck speech.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Romeo & Juliet II: Love Resurrected", when Max steals David's phone, his searches include "how to blow up a summer camp", "super murder plot", and "what do boobies look like".
- Ascended Extra: In season 4, Cameron Campbell becomes a much more regular character.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: David and Max, especially Max.
- Bad "Bad Acting": Any time Preston puts on a play, expect the actors to be very amateurish.
- Badass Gay: Ered's cool gay dads are also badass FBI agents.
- Big Ball of Violence: In "Romeo and Juliet II: Love Resurrected", Tabii gets into one with Bonquesha, who is at least twice her size.
- Big Brother Mentor: What David tries to be with Max. He finally succeeds by the Season 2 finale, even if it's only briefly and they resume their usual relationship afterwards.
- Black Comedy: A lot. for example in "Eggs Benefits" after Harrison makes their egg disappear, he tries to show Nerris that it was perfectly fine and hidden in her hat...Harrison: (looks inside Nerris' hat; awkwardly puts it back on Nerris' head) Okay, don't be mad...
Nerris: (egg gushes down head) EGGOLAS!
- Bland-Name Product:
- "Backdoor Boss" for "Undercover Boss" in "Cameron Campbell the Camp Campbell Camper"
- "Dark Reflections" for Black Mirror in "Arrival of the Torso Takers"
- Boring, but Practical: In "Gwen Gets a Job", the Wood Scouts are having a hard time figuring out how they can beat the Flower Scouts' cookie sales with their popcorn sale in the next month. Gwen, looking for something Max lost in exchange for telling them how to beat the Flower Scouts, simply tells them to just move the popcorn sale up a month early. "Cookin' Cookies" reveals that it paid off, with the Wood Scouts having sold 99% of their supply by the time the Flower Scouts' sale started.
- Bread Milk Eggs Squick: The rapid-fire segment of the Camp Camp Theme contains several normal camping activities... and a few abnormal ones like bomb defusal.
- Break the Cutie: David, several times over.
- In "The Order of the Sparrow", after several cracks in his cheery demeanor ("[The prize is] a BONFIRE!" and later "No, it's an ANCIENT STAFF!") he is finally pushed to his breaking point and acknowledges that Max is right... nobody else cares about Camp Campbell. So that's why he'll never stop trying, before somebody fucking has to.
- In "Cameron Campbell the Camp Campbell Camper", when he discovers that Cameron Campbell is trying to pin the blame on him and his worship of Campbell as his hero was completely misplaced.
- Brick Joke:
- In "Parents' Day", when all the kids are called together for the aforementioned day, when the kids complain that they didn't know it would be that day, Gwen mentions that she and David even put up flyers this time to make sure the kids were aware of it. A callback to "Camporee" when Neil complained that they should have put up flyers to make them aware of said Camporee.
- Similarly, from "Parents' Day", when announced what day it is, Nikki's first guess is Christmas, and not the titular day. Cut to "A Camp Camp Christmas, or Whatever", when talking about the 'most magical holiday of all', she proclaims it Parents' Day when she actually meant Christmas. Then makes a comment that she always gets the two confused.
- Again from "Parents Day", after getting kicked off the stage while having sex behind a prop, Candy casually remarks to Carl that he should get himself tested for "Quartersister". The same STD which Quartersister herself proclaimed that they named after her in her namesake episode.
- "Something Fishy" has David hoping to find an unique bird at Camp Lilac. It shows up in the very last scene, just as he isn't looking.
- Call-Back: The "FUCK THE POLICE" rock Max launches at the beginning of Episode 2 shows up on the island in Episode 5.
- The brochures in the bar in episode 8 include Camp Campbell, of course, but also the Wood Scouts and Flower Scouts seen in Episode 3.
- In the Halloween special, Max and Nikki reference a certain scene from the Season 2 finale: "Man, this cold is spreading faster than your mom's legs on Parents' Day!" "If not faster!"
- The classified section of the newspaper in the first episode of season 2 has a job listing for Lester's 'Lectronic, looking for a 'boy genius'. Looks like they never forgot how good Neil was in episode 8.
- When David, Max, and Nikki discuss ghosts after David sees Jasper in Dial M for Jasper, Space Kid mentions that a ghost helped him find a dog once. In the Halloween Special, Jasper helps Space Kid find the laboratory, but Space Kid thinks he's talking about a Labrador.
- The theremin music that plays at the start of Dial M for Jasper is the same 'theme song' that Nikki made for the ghost hunting expedition in Episode 5.
- Canis Latinicus: Max's spell in the Romeo and Juliet II play: "Latinus speakinus, revive dead Julietus"
- Cerebus Retcon: In the first episode, Max spouts that parents only sign up their kids for summer camp because they don't care and don't want do deal with them. Naturally, no one takes this seriously until "Parents Day", when Gwen takes a look at his file and discovers that Max's parents didn't sign him up for any camp. They really did just want him gone.
- Chekhov's Volcano: The volcano outside of camp, Sleepy Peak Peak, was first seen in the background of Nerris' challenge during "Camporee", and preventing it's impending eruption becomes the plot of "Quest to Sleepy Peak Peak". It finally blows at the end of the episode.
- Christmas Episode: After Season 2 ended, a Christmas special titled "A Camp Camp Christmas, or Whatever" was released. It still takes place in the summer, but after it starts snowing, the cast decides to pretend that it's the holiday season.
- Chromatic Arrangement: The Flower Scouts follow a red/blue/yellow scheme, with their eyes and hair colors matching their assigned color. Except for Eren's heterochromia, where the eye covered by her hair is gold like Tabii's.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: During the first season, additional campers can occasionally be seen in background scenes, and in "David Gets Hard", a camper named Scotty, present for "visual comedy camp", makes a brief appearance as if he has always been at the camp. By the end of the first season, the main campers introduced in the first episode appear to be camp's entire roster.
- Nikki mentions "poor Scotty" in passing in "The Candy Kingpin", implying that he met with a gruesome fate off-screen.
- Church of Happyology: Daniel's cult includes an explanation that negative emotions come from space radiation left over from an ancient war by Zeemug and the Galactic Confederacy.
- Cliffhanger: The episode City Survival ends with Gwen revealing that Camp Campbell has just been sold.
- Cloning Blues: When Nurf duplicates himself through a 3D printer. They take over the camp through their bullying, although the original Nurf has some hangups over this evolution.
- Comedic Sociopathy: There's huge amounts of needless violence in this show, much of it directed towards David. Examples from the first episode alone include David being run over by the bus (twice!), David being bitten by Nikki, David being assaulted by a guitar-wielding Gwen and Space Kid being used as a Human Shield.
- Comically Missing the Point: "Oh, come on Gwen! Look at the bright side: Max made not one, not three, but two new friends today!"
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Cameron Campbell, if the fact that he's on the run from the authorities is any indication.
- Country Matters: Neil calls the girls at Flower Scout summer camp "some ignorant fucking cunts".
- Creative Closing Credits: The credits for Space Camp Was a Hoax feature Space Kid's head photoshopped over that of Buzz Aldrin's moon landing footage in the background. He shows up at the end of the season as Space Kid's Honorary Uncle, and he isn't very happy about it.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Inverted. In "Camporee", Gwen gets the campers to model Camp Campbell's challenges after their "niche talents and ridiculously specific skillsets", because they have no chemistry in regards to working together at all. It ends up bringing in their victory.
- Cruel Twist Ending: In "Night of the Living Ill" Space Kid saves the camp of their cold induced zombie sickness by giving them penicillin. However, its revealed he was infected just as the last of the drug was consumed. Subverted, by the fact that this is only a cruel twist for Space Kid, as his suit prevents him from infecting anyone else and that's the only thing anyone really cares about.
- Curse Cut Short:
- David interrupts Max telling him to eat a dick in the first episode.
- Nikki, whenever she swears. She finally says a minor swear in Season 3, crying, "It's not [Ered's] time, dammit!"
- When Jermy is dressed as a bundle of sticks, Max tries calling him a homophobic slur that originally referred to a bundle of sticks, but everyone jumps on him before he can get more than 2 letters out. Turns into a Brick Joke when at the end of the episode when Nikki goes "...ohh, I get it, he was a fa-" before it hard-cuts to the credits.
- A Day in the Limelight: All of the non-main campers, as well as the Quartermaster, Gwen, and the Flower Scouts, have at least one episode that primarily focuses on them and, for most part, their interactions with the main three.
- Ered has "Camp Cool Kidz" and "Ered Gets Her Cool Back".
- Dolph has "Reigny Day", "The Candy Kingpin", and "New Adventure!".
- Preston has "Romeo & Juliet II: Love Resurrected" and "Preston Goodplay's Good Play".
- Nurf has "David Gets Hard" and "Attack of the Nurfs".
- Harrison has "Mind Freakers", "Quest to Sleepy Peak Peak", and "The Quarter Moon Convergence".
- Nerris shares "Quest to Sleepy Peak Peak", "Ered Gets Her Cool Back", and "New Adventure!" with Harrison, Ered, and Dolph, respectively.
- Quartermaster has "Quartermaster Appreciation Day" and "The Quarter Moon Convergence".
- Gwen has "Gwen Gets a Job", "Something Fishy", and "Party Pooper".
- David has "The Forest".
- Cameron Campbell has "Panicked Room".
- Space Kid has "Space Camp was a Hoax".
- The Flower Scouts have "Cookin' Cookies" and "Fashion Victims".
- The Wood Scouts have "Operation: Charlie Tango Foxtrot".
- Deep-Immersion Gaming: Season 2, Episode 3 is about Neil, Nikki, Nerris, and Harrison going on a quest to stop dark forces from making a volcano erupt. The ending reveals that this "quest" was just them playing pretend.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: All of the Flower Scouts are stuck with very strict gender roles; they think girls should only be concerned with looks and boys, while guys should be rugged and manly. This also serves as the reason why they ran Nikki out of the group. Neil goes so far as to call them "ignorant, fucking cunts" before storming out.
- Discriminate and Switch: The bartender in town doesn't serve people like Max...because he's a kid who can't drink yet.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Nikki drinks poison, and Neil begs everyone to stop the counselors from finding out, because he'd be arrested. The adults solve the problem quickly, and prevent Nikki from dying. Sounds like an underage drinker being barred from getting help because no one wants to get in trouble...
- Double Standard: Violence, Child on Adult: The violent assault of adults, usually David, is always played for comedic effect and the children don't get in trouble for it.
- Drinking the Kool-Aid: Daniel, after brainwashing all the campers, intends to sacrifice them by... well, take a guess. He ends up drinking it by accident due to being too caught in his Villain Song.
- Dysfunction Junction:
- The main trio seem to have messed up home lives. Max outright states his parents left him at camp so they wouldn't have to deal with them, Nikki offhandedly says that her mom regularly lies to her, and Neil planned on lying to his divorced father about his time at camp so his mother will try to buy back his love. Nurf, another one of the campers, claims that society made him a monster because he was suspended after he chewed a pop-tart into the shape of a gun and comes from a broken home, with his mother being in jail.
- The owner and camp director is of dubious moral character to put it lightly, as he spends the first two seasons constantly on the run for offences bad enough for being shot on sight to be a reasonable response, and his summer home includes a lab full of sickening experiments and a torture sex dungeon. David, though he's not obfuscating his stupidity or relentless optimism, outright admits to Max that he often pretends that things are better than they really are. Gwen appears to have had all her spirit crushed out of her by the weight of the world and regularly chokes down anxiety medication. And the Quartermaster is... um, well, it says a lot when "being the bad guy from every horror movie ever" is the most normal thing about him.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- David with his first dialogue exposes how cheerful and optimistic he is no matter how mundane the situation is. In fact, once an episode there is a moment dedicated to reminding the audience how overly cheerful and optimistic David is.David: Can you believe it Max? We're getting not ONE, not THREE, but TWO new campers today!
- David and Gwen are both summed up pretty much perfectly with their first dialogue together (even if Gwen is not talking to David).David: Good morning, Gwen!
- Five seconds into Nikki and Neil's arrival at camp, Nikki bites David's hand to 'assert dominance' and Neil timidly asks if they're at science camp.
- When the camp counselors are talking about the variety of their curriculum, each of the other campers are shown, and it explains exactly what they're all there for and what their shtick is. Furthermore, in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, the camper struck by Nerris' "lightning bolt" is Harrison, establishing their rivalry.
- David with his first dialogue exposes how cheerful and optimistic he is no matter how mundane the situation is. In fact, once an episode there is a moment dedicated to reminding the audience how overly cheerful and optimistic David is.
- Establishing Series Moment: The first shot of the series shows a cute bunny hopping across the screen, only to be swooped up by an eagle. This quickly sets the tone for the rest of the show.
- Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Done for parody in Episode 4 when they start 'partying'.
- Expository Theme Tune: The ending credits of every episode feature a unique rap song about the events of the episode.
- Expy: Mexican drug lord Guzman is essentially Cortez from The Leet World. Eddy Rivas even said his only direction for the voice was to do Cortez again.
- Frame-Up: In episode 7, Max swipes David's phone and searches for some stuff that nearly gets David arrested by the feds. Namely, "How to blow up a summer camp", "Super murder plot", and "What do boobies look like?"
- Foil: David and Gwen act as foils for one another: She's pretty down to earth, he's got his head in the clouds. Neil and Nikki also serve as one to each other, where Neil is generally shy and dweebish but is prone to pretty severe Breaking Speeches when he gets his dander up, while Nikki is boisterous and wears her heart on her sleeve but has some hinted at familial and social issues due to her personality and outlook on life.
- The Wood Scouts and Flower Scouts serve as this for each other: the former are a group of military-esque boy scouts who gangpress new members, while the latter are a group of stereotypical girly girls who kicked Nikki out for being too tomboyish. Also, while the Wood Scouts seem to fail at getting what they want in most episodes despite their planning, the Flower Scouts managed to become the leaders of a drug cartel mainly through Achievements in Ignorance. Oh, and they both each have a member with an eyepatch (Snake and Tabii, respectively).
- In "Journey to Spooky Island", Jasper speaks almost entirely in dated references, primarily to 90's things. He vanishes at the end of the episode, presumably a ghost. It's confirmed in Season 3 that Jasper did indeed die on Spooky Island. Also, at no point during the episode do you see Jasper casting a shadow.
- In season 2, David shows a surprising amount of emotional maturity twice, first by coolly accepting that as heartbroken as he is that Bonquisha broke up with him the relationship wasn't working for her and he wants the best for her (although he undermines it by attacking her boyfriend afterwards), and second by supporting Gwen finding other work outside Camp Campbell even if he'll miss her. In the season finale, he realizes that the play is just making Max upset, and so he ditches it to go get him some pizza, telling him that even if the camp makes himself happy, it doesn't work for everyone, and he cares more about Max being happy than following the camp rules.
- Despite what you might expect, most of the campers' parenting styles in "Eggs Benefits" do not foreshadow their parents' personalities in the season 2 finale, with one notable exception: Max pointedly does not care about the egg at all.
- When David freaks out about the mention of ghosts and death in Dial M for Jasper, it appears that he's still panicking over seeing Jasper's ghost. But one of the first things he says to Max hints that he doesn't know that Jasper is dead.David': Have you ever been visited by a vision of a childhood version of one of your friends?
- During the flashbacks, Jasper admonishes David's worship of Cameron Campbell, as he seems like the kind of person that would set David up to take a fall. At the end of the episode, it turns out that Campbell plans to get out of Super Guantanamo by framing David for his crimes.
- In "Ered Gets Her Cool Back", Neil's algorithm suggests future adventures are a Scooby-Doo like mystery, a love quadrangle, and an accidental wiretap confession. These descriptions can apply to episodes 5, 6 and 7 of the season respectively. Max lampshades that they sound "oddly specific".
- The poor food budget in "Candy Kingpin" hints at the camp fundraiser not working out as well as implied.
- "After Hours" has David spot a squirrel that looks strangely like him. This leads up to the plot of "Squirrel Camp".
- Funny Background Event: Though it's a rare audio version, the theme song of "Quartermaster Appreciation Day" has background, barely discernible audio of Quartermaster and Quartersister screaming at each other under the music.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Sometimes, such as David's Tinder profile having the lyrics of the theme song, and the stuff in the Quartermaster store (for instance, books such as Encyclopedia Satanica, Shave the Cat!, and Speaking Calmly By Alex Jones).
- Fun with Subtitles: The official Youtube subtitles often include commentary and creative descriptions of actions.
- Gilligan Cut: The climax of the escape in episode 1.Max: Take a look at this face, for it's the last time you'll see it! [Cut to David picking up the kids from the cops after they wrecked the bus.]
- Green Aesop: The holiday special breaks the fourth wall at the end to discuss climate change, as it turns out that's the reason why it started snowing at a summer camp.
- Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: A variant, in that it's through skills he likely learned at Camp Campbell that Max torments David and attempts various escapes.
- Halloween Episode: After Season 2, a Halloween special titled "Night of the Living Ill" was released. It doesn't take place on Halloween, but still has the elements of one, including a zombie-esque outbreak and a return to Spooky Island.
- Following Season 3, another special called "Arrival of the Torso Takers" was released. In it, David starts acting weird and Max is convinced something is up after watching a scary TV show.
- Haunted House: Cameron Campbell's Old Summer Home in "Journey to Spooky Island," complete with a Mad Scientist Laboratory, a Torture Cellar (which scares the hell out of Nikki), and a Sex Dungeon being used by the Quartermaster and several other old people, which manages to be the only thing that can make Max scream.
- In the Halloween special, we also learn of a wine cellar, "The Art of the Steal", more of Quartermaster's odd private tendencies, and more questionable things of Campbell's. Go figure.
- Headphones Equal Isolation: Ered, when she's first introduced in the background, is completely ignoring the chaos in the mess hall while listening to music on her headphones.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In "Cult Camp", Max willingly gets himself brainwashed in order to convince David that Daniel will replace him.
- Hero of Another Story: "Cookin' Cookies" ends with the Gang crashing a biplane into the Flower Scouts camp. Nikki's at the controls while Max and Neil are carrying various historic artifacts. No explanation is ever given outside of Max angrily remarking he told Nikki to "pull up".
- Hero Worship: David considers Cameron Campbell to be a man among men; the truth is that his boss is on the lam from the federal government for reasons too numerous to list.
- Hidden Depths: Nurf the bully has proven to be astonishingly self-aware and understanding of the circumstances that turned him into a bully in the first place, especially in "David Gets Hard" where he gives this speech:Nurf: Assuming I've always been bad is pretty narrow-minded of you, David. Did it ever occur to you that maybe I'm just a product of a judgmental, overprotective society? I mean, you chew one pop-tart into the shape of a gun and BAM! In-school suspension! Suddenly you're labelled a Problem Child: You're not like the other kids; you're bad. So then you get sent to a place where other kids perpetuate the same negative mentality, making you worse so that by the time you return to normal school life, you actually are bad, thus continuing the endless cycle of crime and punishment until all that's left is a little boy. A little boy who only believes he can be what the world tells him he is: A loser. A lost cause. A bully.
- Of course, he stabs David through the hand immediately after finishing this, so it's unclear how much is legitimate and how much is just fucking with people.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Parodied in "Journey to Spooky Island", when the trio discovers that the weird stuff going on in Spooky Island is actually a group of old people having wild sex. Jasper says that maybe real life is scarier than any monster, before vanishing into thin air.
- Human Shield: When the Feds begin firing at Cameron Campbell, he grabs the Space Kid camper to block the bullets. Thankfully, the boy's helmet deflected the shots.
- Informed Flaw: It's repeatedly brought up that Camp Campbell is underfunded, but aside from quick gags (the science camp part has wooden beakers for example), this doesn't really show up as the staff and campers are seen to have whatever resources they need on hand for activities.
- This may be justified as the camp being underfunded but the characters using their own personal resources for whatever.
- Season 3 averts this following Campbell's arrest in the Season 2 finale. The first episode shows that money has quickly run out and there's an urgent need to raise funds. The penultimate episode of the season shows that the camp had to be sold because there are no other options left.
- Irony: Max scoffs at David's suggestion that he make friends with the new campers. Yet, at the end of the episode that's exactly what happens.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others:
- Cameron Campbell complaining about the influences of Video Games, The Internet, and The Affordable Care Act making kids not interested in summer camp.
- The theme song mentions catching "fish, bugs, bears, and honeybees".
- The four "Foreign Exchange Campers" hail from Russia, Thailand, North Korea... and Kentucky.
- Literal Metaphor: When a storm hits the camp, a dog and a cat fall to the ground with the first downpour, and one more of each as it continues.
- Long List: The tacked on additional activities in the in-universe camp ad.
- The show's theme song ends on one, partially based on the list from the above ad. (and David's Tinder profile has said list as his interests!)
- Lost Aesop: David attempts to explain why he mocked Jermy Fartz for his stick costume, only to give up and walk away while flustered.
- Luminescent Blush: Used as an indicator that Neil is now crushing on Erin and Snake is crushing on Tabii.
- Magic Realism: Downplayed, but there's an animal paradise with a squirrel king that the Quartermaster kills, ghosts on Spooky Island, Harrison seems to have actual magic powers, and the characters are turned into zombies in the Halloween special. Basically, if you can make a good joke out of it, it exists.
- Miss Conception: Tabii at the Flower Scout camp thinks that you can get pregnant if a guy pees in you. Apparently her sister told her.
- Mistaken for Dying: "Nikki's Last Day on Earth" is all about Nikki and the rest of the campers (sans Max) believing that she's dying from drinking one of Neil's untested experimental tonics, but thanks to some Foreshadowing, one can tell early on that she's just having her period.
- Mundane Solution: In "Gwen Gets a Job", Gwen offers to help the Wood Scouts with beating the Flower Scouts in sales, a problem that the Wood Scouts have been having for decades, in exchange for the location of Max's teddy bear. Her solution: Move the sale a month ahead of when the Flower Scout cookie sales begin, thus undercutting the demand for cookies with popcorn. By "Cookin' Cookies", they have sold 99% of their popcorn supplies.
- Musicalis Interruptus: David's attempts to sing the theme song in the first episode are repeatedly cut short by Gwen's objections. When he finally does get to sing due to Gwen's suffering a nervous breakdown, he doesn't even get through the first verse before Gwen bluntly informs him that Max, Neil and Nikki have run off. The next time he pulls out a guitar, she grabs it out of his hands and beats him with it until it breaks.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: Cameron Campbell can never seem to remember Gwen's name, continually calling her by other names that start with G.
- Does it to the Flower Scouts later, and while there could be the excuse that he barely knows them, he gets the names of the boys of the Woodscouts just fine.
- Mythology Gag: The big black woman (Bonquisha) who thinks that David (in reality Max) was chatting with on Tinder was most likely a reference to the story of the big black stripper that the gang set on Miles during a trip to a strip club.
- Nazi Gold: As shown in Episode 4, it's among the possessions in Cameron Campbell's safe, along with jewels and money.
- Ninja Log: Max leaves a knitted effigy of himself behind during his first escape attempt. He leaves dummies of all three of them when he tries to escape again with Nikki and Neil.
- Negative Continuity: Played with. On one hand, the status quo generally returns by the next episode. On the other hand, the show has its fair share of Call Backs, Call Forwards, and Continuity Nods, and some things do carry over (for example, Jermy is shown to be part of the Wood Scouts after he's taken by them, and Tabii is wearing an eyepatch after getting herself stabbed in the eye).
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Dolph's entire schtick is an endless string of Adolf Hitler references. Nikki even points it out at the end of "Reigny Days". Of course, the references can usually be interpreted another way, but it's very clearly intended to be a reference.
- Noodle Incident: David's dialog with the sheriff at the end of the first episode indicates that visiting the camp is a regular event.
- The Quartermaster having a hook in place of one of his hands. It apparently has something to do with "the Jews" but not much else is elaborated upon.
- One year prior to the events episode 6, something terrible happened involving a camper named Chuckie. Although, technically, according to David, he did survive... physically.
- No Periods, Period: Averted! In a season 1 episode, Gwen misses out on the plot because she's on hers (though it's not outright named in the episode), and in season 3, Nikki ends up getting her first onethough at first she thinks she's dying due to drinking one of Neil's untested tonics.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Lampshaded by Max in the second Halloween special, when the reveal that David was acting strange because he was actually Daniel in disguise wasn't nearly as bad as what he could come up with, namely, being replaced by a torso-eating alien.
- Not So Different: Season 3 has several episodes that show the similarities between Max and Cameron Campbell.
- In "Cameron Campbell the Camp Campbell Camper" Cameron says Max reminds him of himself when he was younger since they are both manipulators and liars. Max pays it no attention though because Campbell called him "rough around the edges" and tricks him into confessing his crimes.
- In "The Candy Kingpin" Dolph realizes how similar Max and Campbell are after he has a talk with Campbell and realizes Max was just using him for his candy. He warns Max about what will happen to him unless he changes, but Max doesn't understand the comparison Dolph uses.
- In the season finale "Camp Corp" Max finally realizes this for himself when Campbell unknowingly does a Meaningful Echo, screaming to Mr. and Mrs. Campwell that he "did just fine before he met them and was fine when they were gone," the exact same thing Neil said to describe Max when Max denied being friends with him and Nikki. This makes Max realize his friendship with Neil and Nikki is important to him and he doesn't want to end up like Campbell.
- Not Quite Dead: Daniel in the second Halloween special.
- Once a Season: Certain aspects tend to be repeated each season.
- One episode will be mainly focused on the other camps at Lake Lilac, one for each.
- One episode will focus on the Quartermaster, as well as him being Ambiguously Human.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Both Max and David in the season 1 finale, Max finally breaks David causing David to show how sad and depressed about his life he really is. Upon finally breaking David, Max actually feels bad, breaks his cynical persona, and repairs the damage he's done because he realizes he's either pushing David to suicide or mass murder.
- In the season 2 premier, "Cult Camp", David finally realizes that cult leader Daniel is a threat after a brainwashed Max declares his love for him.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Cameron Campbell attempts to be one of the campers by dressing like an 8-year-old. Only Nurf and Nikki seem to be genuinely fooled by the disguise.
- Parental Neglect: Max claims the only reason he's at Camp Campbell is because his parents didn't want to deal with him for the summer. Though considering his attitude, it's not that surprising. Played much more seriously in the Season 2 finale.
- Neil is planning to invoke this trope by running home to his dad and telling him that his mother sent him to an abusive summer camp in order to get his mother to try and buy back his love.
- Patter Song: While the whole opening certainly counts, the Long List that ends the second verse is very notable. (there's a reason Miles Luna gets annoyed when asked to sing it...):David: We've got:
search and rescue
training that'll save you from a heart attack
keeping up with rhyming
it's Camp Camp!
- Pet the Dog: After spending the entire first season trying, and finally succeeding, in breaking David, Max realizes how much he actually cares and tries on their behalf. Remorseful, he gets the whole camp to finally put half an effort into trying for his benefit.
- Pint-Sized Kid: Ten-year-old Max barely comes up to twenty-something-year-old David's knees. Nurf and Preston, the tallest of the kids, only come up to his waist.
- Precision F-Strike:
David: That's why I'll never stop trying... Because somebody fucking has to.
- In "The Order of the Sparrow", David drops one after Max pushes him to the brink to show him how no one cares about the camp as much as he tries.
Space Kid: What the fuck did you just say to me?
- Cameron Campbell drops a single "Fuck" when the parents arrive in "Parent's Day", signalling the start of a very long Villainous Breakdown.
- Space Kid swears for the first time in "Foreign Exchange Campers" when Vera insults the American space program.
- Produce Pelting: In the first episode, Nurf throws tomatoes at some of the kids on stage. Preston's "Romeo And Juliet II" play also leads to this.
- Prophecies Are Always Right: At the start of Season 2 Episode 3, the Quartermaster tells of a prophecy that dark forces within Sleepy Peak Peak will cause it to erupt, and someone with a magical spirit has to rebalance the magic sealing the evil. Everyone thinks it's a joke or the ravings of a crazy old man. The volcano erupts at the end of the episode.Quartermaster: Hmph. End times.
- "Rashomon"-Style: "Operation Charlie Tango Foxtrot", in which the Wood Scouts are found tied to the Camp Campbell flagpole and take turns telling David how they got there.
- Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Space Kid in Preston's play.
- Reality Ensues:
- Max and co. manage to successfully hijack the bus and escape from David and Gwen, only to be caught shortly thereafter when they crash the bus because none of them actually know how to drive. Max also mentions that his prepubescent legs can barely reach the pedals, which only made them crash faster.
- Losing Jermy to the Wood Scouts ends up getting Cameron Campbell into more more trouble with Ered's dads when Jermy's parents show up in the season two finale and Gwen has to give them the news.
- The Quartermaster tells of a prophecy in which Sleepy Peak Peak would erupt if the dark forces within it aren't rebalanced by someone with a magical spirit. Neil, Harrison, Nikki, and Nerris all set out to stop it. Or not, as they were just playing pretend. As Neil points out, they're just kids. You can't expect them to hike up a volcano by themselves.
- Campbell being arrested seems to be no big deal, as David and Gwen can run the camp without him. However, his imprisonment gets his assets frozen, meaning the camp has no funding. The first episode of season 3 involves raising money to pay their bills. And even the fundraiser in that episode isn't enough to keep the camp running indefinitely. The camp is sold in the second to last episode, and it can only run under its own ownership because Max is exploiting Camp Corp.
- As Campbell finds out, one act of repentance does not a reformed person make; changing who you are and trying to be a better person can be a long process that takes active effort on your part.
- Red Herring:
- Viewers were expecting that the campers' parenting styles in "Eggs Benefits" mirrored their own home lives, but in most cases it appears to be quite the opposite.
- While Neil is a Hover Parent, Neil's dad just wants to connect with him.
- Nikki panics about not having a plan for her egg's future, while it's clear her mother cares more about her own future.
- While Nurf claims he comes from a broken home and terrifies his egg into running away, it's clear he and his mother have a very close relationship even though she's in prison and she tries to be better for her son.
- Preston's parenting is overshadowed by Nurf's Domestic Abuse, but it appears he was raised alone by his gentle, elderly grandmother.
- Nerris wants her egg to grow up to be a dungeon master like her; while her dad supports and shares her interest in LARPing, he defers to her uninitiated mother's more responsible style of parenting.
- Harrison is proud to teach his egg to be a magician, while both of his parents are terrified of his powers.
- Dolph wants his egg (shared with Ered) to be "the coolest artist-slash-pro skater who ever lived" and responds well to his egg's fashion sense. His own father wishes he had more "manly" interests than art.
- Ered throws her egg into dangerous stunts, while her own parents are FBI agents who express concern over a dangerous animal eating at the table with the children and arrest Cameron Campbell when he proves neglectful of the campers' safety.
- Gwen notices some financial irregularities in Camp Corp, implying some Corrupt Corporate Executives at work. The Campwells at least are actually genuinely kind people.
- Viewers were expecting that the campers' parenting styles in "Eggs Benefits" mirrored their own home lives, but in most cases it appears to be quite the opposite.
- Released to Elsewhere: It turns out that David isn't even aware that Jasper is dead, as he was told that his parents came and picked him up from the camp.
- Revenge by Proxy: The second Halloween Special has Daniel trying to get revenge on David by attempting to kill Max while David is Forced to Watch.
- Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: Max builds a ridiculously complex contraption to operate a catapult. Max states that the contraption was supposed to kill David, but the final shot hit Larry the Hamster instead.
- Running Gag: A lot!
- David getting injured in the most outrageous of ways, and he Screams Like a Little Girl while suffering.
- People forgetting Gwen's name and instead calls her other names that start with the letter "G".
- Thunder and lightning crashing down from the sky every time a character mentions Spooky Island.
- Nikki being an ingenue and saying sound effects out loud ("Bark bark bark bark!", "Gasp!").
- Campers appearing behind either of the counselors' legs out of thin air.
- Saving the Orphanage: Season 3 opens with David and Gwen needing to come up with money to keep Camp Camp running after Cameron Campbell had all his assets frozen following his arrest, since he was the only one barely keeping the camp afloat.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: There aren't any evil ghosts, demons, or aliens on Spooky Island. The Quartermaster holds weird sex parties, and lied about them to keep the kids away. However, there is a Friendly Ghost.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: David. And under the right circumstances, Max.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: When the campers are supposed to take care of platypus eggs until they hatch, Nurf decides that his and Preston's egg shouldn't have to live in a broken family like he did. His idea of making sure Preston properly fills his parental role is beating him into submission, in a way that's played just like domestic abuse. This results in the egg running away from its "parents".
- Sequel Hook: Season 3 ends with Cameron Campbell being brought to the camp to serve out his community service, suggesting that season 4 might focus more on his redemption arc.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: In "Eggs Benefits", all of the campers sans Max try their best to care for the platypus eggs they found. But they're almost totally unsupervised throughout all of this and everyone except Nikki breaks theirs. Everyone is in awe when it hatches... then the baby platypus is eaten by its own mother.Max: Fucking waste of a Saturday.
- In the opening, the fish that David shows to the camera is a Magikarp.
- Speaking of the opening, how can you hear the line "There's endless possibilities" and not immediately think of Sonic Unleashed?
- In Episode 3, there is a a donut-shaped sign that says "Donut Caboose". Do you ever wonder why it's here?
- Another Red vs. Blue reference comes in Season 3, when Preston playing Nikki dies mumbling "Hurrk... bleagh!"
- Episode 5 features a bit with two mice in a cage, one with an enlarged brain and one with a pinky finger for a head.
- Cyber-Romeo's revival is Darth Vader's birth in Revenge of the Sith.
- Cameron Campbell, like Max Bialystock, has a special lodger for the IRS.
- Episode 8 has numerous references to Firefly, The Brave Little Toaster and most notably Back to the Future
- Episode 9 reveals that Gwen has a thing for Doctor Who:Max: THERE'S NO TIME TRAVELLING DOCTOR COMING TO SAVE YOU, GWEN!
Gwen: I just want to have his British babies!
- Episode 10 has a couple:
- David and Daniel's musical battle in "Cult Camp" can remind one of "Devil Went Down to Georgia".
- The title of season 2 episode 5, "Jasper Dies at the End", is a reference to John Dies at the End
- In "Gwen Gets a Job", she doesn't realize the camp is being attacked by being distracted with Terrace House.
- "Cookin' Cookies" has Heisenberg being slapped and moments reminiscent of Scarface and A Clockwork Orange.
- "A Camp Camp Christmas, or Whatever":
- "Something Fishy" is a parody of The Shape of Water, down to a poster and a summary that just changes a few words out of the IMDB synopsis.
- "The Quarter-Moon Convergence" (S4E5) features mobile shrubbery and mysterious meteors that disintegrate when touched. Hmmm...
- Significant Wardrobe Shift: Nikki undergoes one during Episode 8. First her hairdo gets replaced with Girlish Pigtails, then her overalls get replaced by a dress with a flower on the front, both during scene switches. Her outfit reverts to normal in a matter of seconds at the end of the episode.
- Signs of Disrepair: The Camp Campbell sign has sustained damage to the "bell" part.
- Society Marches On: In-Universe. David's Order of the Sparrow shtick was implied to be perfectly fine when he was a kid, but everyone now finds it racist toward Native Americans.
- Spoof Aesop:
- Episode 4 where Neil says that the main lesson is "Never try to change anything, because someone more powerful than you will always get in the way and keep you down."
- Episode 5 has one about how there are some things in life more horrifying than ghosts or monsters, namely old people having sick pervy sex.
- Episode 9: When you see kids acting out, sometimes the best response is to hit them.
- Episode 11: "Never work together!" or "One skilled individual will trump teamwork by unskilled individuals."
- Season 2, Episode 10: As long as your heart is in the right place, it's okay if you fib a little.
- Strange Salute: The Camp Campbell salute uses the same finger configuration as the shocker.
- Stealth Pun: In "Bonjour Bonquisha", Tabii gets a fork in her left eye after trying to attack someone, making her "Tabii with one eye".
- Nikki's full name is Nicolette, which is just one letter off from Nicorette, a product to help people stop smoking. Smoking during pregnancy is dangerous to the baby and mother. Considering her personality, it seems entirely likely that Nikki's mother might have quit smoking because of a pregnancy, and then named the resulting daughter after that. Her mom's eventual appearance even involves Smoking Hot Sex...
- Season 3, Episode 10 is titled Operation: Charlie Tango Foxtrot. The NATO alphabet for the letters C, T, and F... Capture the Flag.
- The Stinger: Episode 10 of Season 2 has a brief one. Space Kid looks up at the moon, happy that he got to live his dream, when he comes to a realization:Space Kid: Now What?
- Stylistic Suck: The preview aired just before the premiere was presented as an ad for the camp, taking an already low-quality 15-year-old ad, and adding obvious overdubs, and the list of activities goes from the original text (featuring classic camp activities) to a second part with completely different formatting and glaring spelling errors.
- Summer Campy: The camp is set up next to an active volcano, the nearby wildlife is sentient and vicious, all of the facilities are run down, and the vast majority of the campers and staff are maladjusted at best.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial:
- Max makes one when David asks him a perfectly innocent question. David seems completely oblivious to his response, though.David: Wait a sec, what are you even doing out here?
Max: Well it's definitely not because the bus only comes in from the city to drop off and pick up campers and so far seems to be my only reasonable method of escaping this fuckin' nightmare of a camp. Definitely not that.
David: Hey... language.
- We get another one from Cameron Campbell a little later, again directed at David.Campbell: Well I'm certainly not hiding out from any authorities, if that's what you're thinking!
- Max makes one when David asks him a perfectly innocent question. David seems completely oblivious to his response, though.
- Take That!: There's a diagram of Nurf on the blackboard in Episode 9. In this diagram his fists are labelled "Chris Browns".
- Take That, Audience!:
- In "Anti-Social Network", Neil's chat bot rolls its eyes at listening to people "shipping each other's baes" and says the pain of dealing with the morons at camp made it sentient. The thought of doing it for an entire summer is enough to make it delete itself.
- In "Bonjour, Bonquisha", a trash can is labeled "Shipping Community Trash", and the episode itself revolves around the campers trying to use every romantic cliche imaginable to bring David and Bonquisha back together. It doesn't work and the Aesop of letting things go is undermined by David's decision to beat up Bonquisha's new boyfriend out of jealousy and spite.
- Team Pet: The second episode revolves around a search for one of these after Max accidentally launches the original one, Larry the Hamster (XI, according to the plaque on his cage) across the lake. The eventual replacement ends up being a wild platypus that Neil and Nikki find in a bear's cave. For a brief moment, Larry returns from across the lake before the platypus eats him whole.
- Title Drop: In the very first episode, courtesy of Nikki:Nikki: So, what? It's just some sort of Camp Camp?
Cameron: Well, I mean, I wouldn't exactly call it out like that, but yes!
- The Camp Campbell sign has also either been neglected or deliberately vandalized to read "Camp Camp"
- Two Decades Behind: The camp still shows an introductory video on LaserDisc (or at least they did, until David dropped and broke it).
- Jasper constantly uses slang and makes pop cultural references that are two decades behind because he's the ghost of a kid who probably died in the late Eighties/early Nineties
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Happens in episode 6 when David makes Dolph camp counselor for the day. His "reign" over the camp draws many parallels to the Nazi regime (what with Dolph being portrayed as a young version of Adolf Hitler), although much of it is downplayed since he is still a child.
- Unabashed B-Movie Fan: In "Nikki's Last Day on Earth", Gwen wants to show the kids Horror Death Camp, a slasher that's even Rated Z.
- Unexplained Recovery: It is not explained how Max escaped the Wood Scouts camp in between Episodes 3 and 4.
- Valley Girl: The Flower Scouts are all characterized this way, vocal affectation and all.
- Villain Song: The amazing duet "Better Than You" sung by David and Daniel.
- Vocal Evolution: While most of the voices have been pretty consistent since day one, Max's voice is noticeably more understated in the earlier episodes.
- Weather Dissonance: In the Christmas special, it starts snowing out of nowhere in the middle of summer. Gwen chalks this up to climate change and ends the episode with an Aesop about it.
- Webcomic Time: The series began in 2016, and appears to take place around that time frame, but the Christmas Special, a Season 2 episode, references Fidget Spinners (a predominantly 2017 fad), while Season 3 throws a few shots toward Trump's presidency. None of the cast have aged significantly, and it seems to be the same summer vacation as when the series started.
- Wham Episode: In "City Survival" after a meeting, Gwen reveals that the camp had been sold.
- Wham Shot:
- Jasper vanishing at the end of "Journey to Spooky Island".
- Played for laughs: as Nikki sinks into lava while screaming in pain in "Quest to Sleepy Peak Peak", Max suddenly walks up next to her, asking what is going on.
- Max's sign-up form in "Parents' Day." It has no activity on it.
- Of the Internal Reveal variety, when Max sees a photo of Jasper and a young David.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Quartermaster calls out David and Gwen for stealing his hook hand, he points out that they stole and hid an amputee's prosthetic to make money.Gwen: Oh, wow. When you phrase it like that it really does sound fucking awful...
- World of Ham: Practically everyone at the camp is over-the-top quirky, particularly David, Nikki, Quartermaster, and Cameron Campbell.
- World of Snark: Everyone who doesn't qualify for the quirkiness above is prone to deliver cruel zings (Max, Neil, Gwen, Ered).
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: In "The Fun-Raiser", Nikki dug holes on the campgrounds in an attempt to find buried treasure. Sadly, all she could find were oil pools.
- Would Hurt a Child: In "Jasper Dies at the End", Campbell silently prepares to literally stab David in the back when they both think that they just saw Jasper die. Thankfully for David, Jasper survived.David: He's dead. He's dead and we witnessed it.
Campbell: We didn't witness anything, and we'll testify to that...
- Would Hit a Girl: Quartermaster beats the shit out of Gwen just as hard as he does David when he learns they were the ones who stole his hook hand.