A weird, crude, and often completely random original series from Williams Street, Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2000 - 2015) is a show on Cartoon Network's [adult swim] lineup which has nothing to do with water (save their neighbor's pool and the occasional beach trip), teenagers, or whatever a "hunger force" is, and instead covers the adventures of three amateur detectives/superheroes (only for the first few episodes, though - the rest of the series has them reduced to bums; this is commented on at least twice later in the series) living in New Jersey. The Aqua Teens originated as one-off characters in a formerly unmade episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast (also a Williams Street production), but were eventually given their own show — with changes to their appearances and personalities.
The eponymous "heroes" are Master Shake (Dana Snyder), a lazy, insulting, anthropomorphic milkshake who is the self-proclaimed leader of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force; Meatwad (Dave Willis), a dim-but-lovable blob of raw meat who is frequently bamboozled, teased, and/or tortured by Master Shake; and Frylock (Carey Means), an intelligent box of french fries who is the extremely competent and halfway-morally-decent member of the force (except during his own moments of amoral behavior).
Their "adventures" are usually limited to making each other's lives hell or doing the same to their next-door neighbor Carl Brutananadilewski (also Willis) - a fat, bald, slovenly Joe Average - by borrowing his stuff or swimming in his backyard pool without permission. The Aqua Teens occasionally have run-ins with bizarre monsters or aliens who turn out to be more obnoxious than they are evil. The best examples are two sets of recurring nuisances: The Mooninites (Ignignokt and Err), two aliens from the moon with an uncanny resemblance to sprites from an Atari 2600 game, an unshakable belief that they are superior to everyone else, and a predilection for tobacco, alcohol, petty larceny, and flipping people the bird; and the Plutonians (Emory and Oglethorpe), two spiny, cone-shaped aliens with designs on world domination and nowhere near enough competence or common sense to pull it off.
As noted above, the show is notable for a heavy dose of slapstick, surrealism, lots of Stuff Blowing Up, the Aqua Teens' belongings being destroyed (often through explosions), and stream-of-silliness dialogue. ("Ever since my son was... never conceived because I never had consensual sex without money involved, I've looked at you as a... a thing I could live next door to, in accordance with state law. [...] Whoa, let's not put people on the spot here! WHO ARE YOU TAKING TO THAT FRIGGIN' SUPER BOWL?!")
For the first two seasons, the show featured teasers starring Dr. Weird (voiced by Clay Martin Croker), a Mad Scientist living in an abandoned New Jersey insane asylum (along with his long-suffering assistant, Steve (also voiced by Croker)), who may or may not have had a hand in creating the Aqua Teens (fans have long speculated over the meaning of a picture, seen in Frylock's room on occasion, that shows Frylock with a much younger Dr. Weird). While the earliest episodes of the series showed Dr. Weird revealing his latest invention (only for it to escape and cause mayhem for the Aqua Teens), later teasers had nothing to do with the episode that followed (compare the creation of Mothmonsterman to Dr. Weird ripping his own brain out over Steve not bringing him lunch...with the brain demanding fries and firing lasers at Steve immediately afterward). In the third season, the Dr. Weird clips were replaced with "Spacecataz", a failed pilot (split up into multiple parts) that followed the story of an escalating prank war between the Plutonians and the Mooninites (the full, uncut pilot is an extra on one of the DVD sets for the show). Episodes in the following seasons had no opening clips, with the exception of a cold opening being used in the Season 8 premiere as a one-off gag.
After the seventh season, the series changed its name while the producers said they planned to reboot the series from the ground up and revisit the notion of the characters being detectives. As you might expect, the show didn't change squat: in each successive season past the seventh, the show received a new title and opening/closing sequence, but remained otherwise unchanged in terms of content. The name changes are as follows:
- Season 8 (2011): Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1
- Season 9 (2012): Aqua Something You Know Whatever
- Season 10 (2013): Aqua TV Show Show
- Season 11 (2015): Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever
In April 27th, 2015, Adult Swim announced that the eleventh season of the series, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forevernote , would ultimately be the final one, echoing the official word of series co-creator Dave Willis, who had confirmed the news just a short while earlier.
The show also had a movie, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters, which (loosely) explored the origins of the Aqua Teens amidst the typical insanity of the Aqua Teens' misadventures. It "premiered" days before its theatrical release (yes, it had an actual theatrical release) on Adult Swim as an April Fool's gag: while the first couple of minutes played in full, the network quickly shrunk the video down to an unwatchable size and put its inaudible audio track on the rarely-used SAP channel while making frequent notices of said premiere during the regularly scheduled programming (i.e., reruns of Futurama and Family Guy on the network) with ads that took up 3/4 of the screen.
Six years after the series' cancellation, [adult swim] revealed that a sequel to Movie Film For Theaters (as well as films for other network powerhouses Metalocalypse and The Venture Bros.) will be released for home video and broadcast in the near-future. There will also be a Spin-Off series, Aquadonk Side Pieces, starring Aqua Teen's Rogues Gallery, that will premiere on [adult swim]'s digital platforms.
There is also a golf game based on the series released on the PlayStation 2, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am, in which you alternate between hitting the golf ball (or, occasionally, Meatwad) towards the hole, racing a golf cart against frat aliens, and killing a variety of frankly insane opponents (ranging from robotic turkeys to mummies) with everything from golf clubs to swords to chainsaws to an electric guitar.
Carl also does a "Stone Cold Lock of the Century... Of the Week" during the NFL season.
'Cuz we are the Aqua Teens, make the homies say say 'Ho!' and the girlies wanna trope!:
- 65-Episode Cartoon: Parodied on their 100th episode, as it meant they would be make tons of money from syndication if they could avoid a monster that eats characters that hit this milestone. Since each episode is only twelve minutes, though, it takes two episodes to count as a single episode toward the syndication cutoff, meaning it would take at least another hundred episodes to reach the cutoff.
- Aborted Arc: The "Spacecataz" shorts were intended to be the first of a three-part miniseries, but the plans for it were cut short before the other two could be made. The full-length short was cut up for use as the third season's cold openings, but the season ended before they could get to the ending (though it's available in full on the volume 4 DVD).
- Absentee Actor:
- Out of the show's 139 episodes, Carl was absent in only 20 of them.note
- The Aqua Teens themselves are absent in "Robots Everywhere" and "Sirens", with the in-universe explanation being that their landlord Markula has them trapped inside the Mojave Desert until they pay their rent, which Frylock refuses to do until Markula fixes their gas leak. The former episode is a downplayed case in that Frylock and Shake can be heard at one point, but they never physically appear onscreen.
- "Spacecadeuce" is notable for being the only episode in the entire series to not feature neither Carl or the Aqua Teens at all, with the episode instead focusing entirely on the Mooninites and the Plutonians.
- Activist Fundamentalist Antics: In "Knapsack!", a pair of helicopters from a local church group try to stop an amateur porn shoot involving Meatwad by releasing flyers for him and the others to read. One of them ends up killing Shake, Frylock, Meatwad, Carl, Jubilee, and her friends with a missile for no apparent reason.
- Actually Pretty Funny: In "Total Re-Carl", Frylock ordered a crate of spare body parts to reconstruct Carl's body. Meatwad gets into the crate and comes out covered in eyes, claiming he's Sean Cassidy.Shake: What the hell are you talking about!
Meatwad: Well, he was a Hardy Boy, and they were private eyes... plus, he had like ten eyes in his head...
Shake: (beat) Okay, I'll give it to you.
- Adaptation Distillation: The change in personalities from their initial Space Ghost Coast to Coast one shot, starting with Frylock being some sort of weird manboy that fit Meatwad better, and Meatwad being less idiotic (and a lot more depressed). Oh, and the voices. Can't forget the voices. (SG!Frylock had Err's voice, while SG!Shake had Ignignokt's voice and sounded very suave and sophisticated.) Also: ATHF!Frylock traded in his limbs—which looked like crinkle-cut french fries—for a goatee.
- Adolf Hitlarious: The plot of "Der Inflatable Fuhrer", in which Adolf Hitler is reincarnated as a talking balloon.
- Aliens and Monsters: Most of the characters consist of either monsters of some sort (such as the titular Aqua Teens) or aliens (such as the Mooninites and Plutonians).
- Aliens Steal Cable: The Plutonians do this literally. They use the Fargate to run a cable cord into the Aqua Teens' basement, where they attach a cable splitter to the Aqua Teens' cable line.
- All for Nothing: In "Super Bowl", Meatwad finds a pair of tickets to the Super Bowl in a bag of nachos, and Shake and Carl spend the entire episode both trying to convince Meatwad to take one of them with him. He eventually decides to take neither of them, opting instead to take Boxy Brown (who appears for the first time in this episode). Then it's revealed that not only did Meatwad forget his tickets, but he didn't even go to the Super Bowl and went to a farm instead. Shake is absolutely beside himself with anger, since he became an obese blob with multiple health problems from eating literally hundreds of nachos trying to find more tickets for no reason.Frylock: Well, there's really no telling where you've been now, is there?Meatwad: Yep! Super Bowls are fun! We got bragging rights this year! Number one! Number one!Shake: Oh, oh! Who's number one?Meatwad: ...I don't know.Shake: You don't know. Because you went to a f***ing farm, you f***ing imbecile! Get back here! You cost me my one chance! I GOT F***ING DIABETES AND CANCER BECAUSE OF YOU!
- All Just a Dream: "Super Birthday Snake" and "Global Grilling." The former was just a computer simulation, while the latter was mostly just Shake daydreaming.
- All Men Are Perverts. Yes. Yes they are. Especially Carl, who's obsessed with porn and strippers.
- All Trolls Are Different: In the final episode of Aqua Something You Know Whatever, trolls must spend time perched anally onto a person's head for survival purposes.
- American Accents:
- Although the action takes place in New Jersey, Meatwad has a mangled Southern accent for some reason. Carl understandably has a Joisey-ish accent.
- Also Frylock sounds black, as pointed out by Master Shake once. "Come on dawg, you're into this. You're black. You sound black. [pause] Where are you from?"
- Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The jewel on Frylock's back. As well as the jewel on the underside of Shake, and the jewel (formerly) inside of Meatwad. Without it, brain power and chances of survivability cease to be.
- Amusing Injuries:
- Shake attempts to get out of military recruitment by shooting himself. Not only does this not work, even though his entire head was blown away, in the next scene his mangled head is attached to his neck by band-aids.
- Carl has this happen to him a lot. Him getting shredded by Frylock's eco-friendly toilet is just one of many examples.
- Anal Probing: Frylock indirectly offered an interesting theory as to why aliens may do this. When dealing with a Puppeteer Parasite alien that was controlling Shake, Frylock said it probably recycles its waste (it didn't). Therefore, one reason for anal probing may be that aliens lack anuses and are curious as to their purpose.
- And I Must Scream
- The Broodwich sends you to to a hellish dimension where a guy will attempt to chop you to pieces with a giant axe. Oh, and the guy trying to make you eat it is really irritating. Probably more so than the prospect of getting chopped to pieces.
- Though some people spend their whole lives training to go to a dimension with H. Jon Benjamin.
- In "Total Re-Carl", Carl is shredded alive and reduced to a disembodied but still living head. He initially becomes suicidal but then wants to kill Frylock.
- The fate Carl and Frylock receive in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" the show's true Grand Finale. Where they have been sent to prison and are forced to serve a life sentence there, though they can never officially serve one due to both of them becoming immortal. Which means that they can never, ever leave prison.
- The Broodwich sends you to to a hellish dimension where a guy will attempt to chop you to pieces with a giant axe. Oh, and the guy trying to make you eat it is really irritating. Probably more so than the prospect of getting chopped to pieces.
- Animated Shock Comedy: While the show always had moments of crude humor, Season 4 really amped up the violence and vulgarity.
- Animate Inanimate Object: All three main characters — and sometimes Dr. Weird's various body parts.
- Animesque: The season 11 opening is basically a parody of anime intros.
- Anti-Hero: And even then, that's stretching it; Master Shake is one of the most vile, lazy, obnoxious "heroes" to ever walk the face of the Earth... and he's supposedly team leader. You won't find him leading anything, that's for sure. Meatwad means well, but is too stupid to be of any use. Carl is a gross, misogynistic slacker who verbally abuses everyone and drives an alternate self into suicide after talking him into abandoning his family. Even Frylock gets his asshole on at times.
- Anti-Villain: Most of the "villains" are more obnoxious than evil, especially the Mooninites. Or just really stupid... or both. The only villains that were actually threatening in any way, shape or form only managed to be considered so either due to dumb luck or by being uncharacteristically brutal in their methods... and even then, that didn't save them from being stupid/obnoxious.
- Anthropomorphic Food: The main cast.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Broodwich is made with "wheat harvested in Hell's half-acre, baked by Beelzebub, slathered with mayonnaise from the evil eggs of a powerful dark chicken, beaten into sauce by the hands of a one-eyed madman, cheese boiled from the rancid teat of a three-headed fanged cow, layered with 666 separate meats from an animal which has maggots for blood..." and Dijon mustard. Also, there's no bacon on it.
- Art Evolution: Subtle, but as the series ages, more frames of animation are given to the characters. Additionally, the animation itself, the character models and backgrounds become much more smoother and detailed.
- Artistic License Military: "The Marines" has Meatwad enlist himself and Shake to, well, the Marines. However, judging from their uniforms and the aircraft carrier they're stationed at, Shake and Meatwad appear to have actually joined the Navy instead. Additionally, Meatwad at one point tries to exclaim the Army battle cry "Hooah" (pronouncing it as "Hoo-hah") when the Marines' actually "Oorah." As it later turns out that Meatwad is not even sure if they actually did join the Marines, plus this is Meatwad we're talking about here, this may have been intentional.
- Art Shift:
- During "The Broodwich," whenever Shake would eat the eponymous sandwich, he would get sent to another dimension which is animated in a trippy, deranged, even simpler art style.
- Also during "Episode 100" when the show turns into a Scooby-Doo parody. It's lampshaded and mocked to Hell and back.
- As well as during The Movie's opening credits and the fight between Dr Weird and Frylock.
- The majority of "Rocket Horse and Jet Chicken" is the titular story and is animated rather badly and with crayons since Meatwad made the book.
- Ascended Meme: Shake saying Boosh in "Rabbot Redux."
- As Himself: George Lowe makes frequent cameos in the show, usually under different aliases or without being referred to by name. "Antenna", however, has him explicitly playing himself.
- Asshole Victim: Master Shake. Inverted with Carl, as some of his Jerkass behaviour can arguably be traced to self-awareness of his Butt-Monkey/Chew Toy status due to living next door to sentient fast food.[After reading Shake's suicide letter detailing his plan to mess with Meatwad.]
Carl: Fryman, I am so sorry that uhh... I can't press charges here.
Frylock: Yeah, me too.
- Ass Pull: In "100", Shake invoked it by name on Frylock's random 100-related ramblings.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- Mooninite attacks, which supposedly will disintegrate anyone and anything, move at a rate of an inch per minute. And can get swatted away. The only person they successfully attacked was Carl (he was knocked unconscious), and in the end, all it apparently did was teleport him to the Moon.
- The eHelmet from "eDork". It's a helmet that's also a cellphone and can get a wide variety of pretty cool upgrades (from photo plugins to giant pianos that can be attached to the battery pack). However, this all makes the eHelmet extremely heavy, to the point where Master Shake couldn't even move.
- Author Appeal: Both creators of the show are musicians, no wonder there is so many cameos by different rock singers and performers, music-related dialogue and references, they deserve their own page. The same, but for a lesser extent, applies to sci-fi and B-movies.
- See Literal-Minded.
- The series finale actually wasn't; the real series finale was the following weekend. Digital guides even claimed the series' first episode "Rabbot" would be aired in order to hide it.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Steve. Poor, poor Steve..
- Berserk Button
- Turkotron supposedly goes crazy when people touch his socks and toothbrushes, which he claims are laser-guided weapons.
- Boxy Brown being called... anything.Boxy Brown: I'm just a WHAT, bitch?
- As Shake learned the hard way, do NOT call Rudy the Giant Baby a "big, gay baby"... even if the occupants of the island he resides on agree with him.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Meatwad is abused by Shake a great deal, but will occasionally rebel - usually with disturbing results, as seen in "Super Model" and the endings of "Total Re-Carl" and "Carl".
- Hand Banana. He's loyal to the Aqua Teens, knows CPR, and can bake. Then he rapes Carl."Tonight... You!"
- Willie Nelson, the very polite monster living in the attic comes down asking if he has mail. The Aqua Teens believe they can get along pretty well until he tears Carl's arms off without provocation and proceeds to drink his blood. At least he was thoughtful enough to say 'oh sorry guys, do you want some juice?' and offering some to the others.
- Beware the Silly Ones: The Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past From the Future is normally a rather goofy robot that goes off on tangents that make very little to no sense at all as they go on. However the movie shows him as being perfectly capable of being a threat if he wants to be one.
- Big Damn Movie: The plot involves the trio trying to save the world from an ancient evil exercise machine. Not only do they and the rest of the cast get distracted, but the entire plot blurs into a whirligig of Ass Pull plot twists, with only Meatwad still caring in the end. In the DVD version, there is a second movie, the one not for theaters. There it is revealed to be: Meatwad, playing with toys. Which includes the Burrito mom. Also there is a milkshake. Also, Doctor Weird lives in the house, and Frylock is in drag. It is implied ALL Aqua Teen stuff maybe Meatwad playing with his toys, and making it up. Which, makes sense, in a disturbing fashion..
- Bigger Is Better in Bed:
- Carl (after admitting that he isn't particularly well-hung earlier in the episode) uses the shrinking/enlarging ray in "Unremarkable Voyage" on his...well, guess:Carl: Hello, ladies. I'd like you to meet my little friend there...Goliath. We had to order special elastic pants for him on the Internet.
Carl: Ah, they're harmless. If they get near ya, hit em with the shampoo.
- Also deconstructed - now he can't move, and giant crab lice are leaping off his tree-sized dick.
- Subverted in the case of Meatwad, who was stated to have a huge "dick". That is, Meatwad turning into Dick Nixon. Ol' Tricky Dick. Who looks just like Wayne Gretzky. And is easily mistaken for (read: is actually) Samurai Abe Lincoln.
- Carl (after admitting that he isn't particularly well-hung earlier in the episode) uses the shrinking/enlarging ray in "Unremarkable Voyage" on his...well, guess:
- Bittersweet Ending: The series ends with Master Shake and Frylock dying horrible deaths (as usual), but Meatwad gets married and has a family of his own. Or at least this is how it seemed at first. Only three days after the "finale" aired, a second finale titled "The Greatest Story Ever Told" was released on Adult Swim's website which overwrote the previous finale and instead ends with a very Aqua Teen styled joke.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Against Boost Mobile. See Take That!.
- "Interfection" is practically one long Take That! directed at Turner's (and therefore Williams Street's) then-sister company AOL (when the episode was first released, the parent company was called AOL Time Warner), including references to "Instant Pestering", billing plans that can't be cancelled, and a riff on AOL's slogan at the time ("It's no wonder I'M NUMBER ONE!")
- Meatwad: Standards and Practices?
- Black Comedy: The various gruesome ways characters on the show have died.
- Black Comedy Rape
- Carl's victimization by the title character of "Handbanana."Carl: See, you don't know what rape is like. For years, I thought it was funny. Oh, yeah, rape. It's so funny. Until you been raped.
- "All I know is... 'ball', and 'good'... and rape."
- And again in the 100 episode with the Velma Expy.Number 100: Well...can I at least take her into the woods, rape her, and behead her, possibly not even in that order?!
- It's later mocked when it turns out the entire episode turned out to be a pitch by Shake's voice actor, Dana Snyder. The Williams Street producers are not amused with the line.
- Carl's victimization by the title character of "Handbanana."
- Bland-Name Product: In The Movie, one of the snack food musicians is a box of "Ice Caps" (the theater candy Sno Caps).
- Blatant Lies:
- Shake is very fond of telling these, even when it is of no profit for him to do so.
- Meatwad has told his fair share in his occasional attempts at revenge on Shake.
- A rare example of Frylock blatantly lying occurred in "Super Birthday Snake," when Frylock repeatedly denies killing Shake, Meatwad, and Carl, despite that they have come back as zombies and are "living" proof that he did kill them. The episode "Fry Legs" has Frylock lying all over the place.
- The final season is called "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever", and the theme song mentions how they'll never get cancelled.
- There have been three episodes advertising themselves as "The Last One": "The Last One", the "Last Last One Forever And Ever", and "The Last One Forever and Ever (For Real This Time) (We Fucking Mean It)". None of them have been the last episode. To be fair, "The Last One" was just meant to be the Season 2 finale and was originally titled "The Last Fucking One For 2003", and the creators actually did intend "Last Last One Forever And Ever" to be the Grand Finale until the series was renewed. The third one, however, was succeeded a week later by the actual final episode, so the creators were clearly trolling with that one.
- None of the show's intro sequences have ever portrayed the show accurately.
- Blaxploitation Parody: Boxy Brown, complete with afro, mustache, and disco theme song.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Starting with Season 4, the show ups the violence considerably, with characters dying in gruesome over-the-top ways.
- Body Horror: Too many instances to count.Dr. Weird: I have genetically spliced the double helix of a fried pork chop with that of my roommate, Randall!
Dr. Weird: Hell yes, "whoa"! Come here, Randall...(lifts up porkchop-Randall)AND PAY YOUR HALF OF THE UTILITIES!!!Dr. Weird: My ass has finally decided to eat my hand! *crack* IT HUNGERS! For more...
- Another episode:Dr. Weird's arse: "GENTLEMEN, I AM DR. BUTTOCKS! Gentlemennnnn... WHERE ARE YOUUUUU..."
- Yet another episode, Dr. Weird's giant floating cannibalistic head.
- Basically, almost every idea Dr. Weird comes up with involving other people...and himself, considering that he tried expanding his body with barbecue sauce at one point.
- The entirety of "Total Re-Carl," the various new "bodies" Carl gets after getting annihilated via an experimental toilet, including a deceased elderly black man, one made entirely out of eyeballs, and a remote controlled dump truck.Carl: "Which button sorta turns me to the lawyer, and makes me sue the hell out of you?!"
- The one with the Egyptian magical T-shirt where Meatwad brings Santa Claus over and he gets set on fire, resulting in all of his flesh being destroyed, and he uses elf-crafted soccer ball fabric for skin instead.
- The episode where the Aqua Teens go on vacation where Carl and Shake get their own skin ripped off.
- "Super Hero", Shake makes the "brilliant" idea of dumping toxic acid on himself thinking it will grant him the power of rain. Part of his body melts and dissolves and a green-like organ emerges from him, by the end of the episode he's turned into a puddle.
- Another episode:
- Bottle Episode: Given the slightly Minimalist Cast and Limited Animation, the show is mostly comprised of these kinds of episodes.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:This is your left, that's your left
This is your left, that's your left!
This is your right, that's your right
This is your right, you're gonna die!
- From the 100th episode:100 Kisses from the angels on my tummy.
100 Kisses from my Mommy when I'm crummy.
100 sins leave you dead within!
100 nails that pierce your skin!
- From the 100th episode:
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The episode "Gee Whiz". Special props go towards the ending (after Carl explodes, emitting a rainbow as opposed to blood - all thanks to Ted Nugent's flaming arrow)Frylock: "Well, I'm sure glad that it wasn't blood (turns to camera and gives a shit-eating grin), or I would have been offended out of my mother*HONK*ing [unintelligible].
Shake: (while looking at the screen and Flipping the Bird)'' Me too, you mother*HORN* *clink* suck!
George Lowe voiceover: (as a giant check mark comes across the screen) ACCEPTABLE!.
- Also the ending to the true finale of the series, with the trio and Carl watching the end of the episode on TV and lamenting over its unimpressive end-all.
- Brick Joke: In one opening, Steve impersonates Dr. Weird, shouting "Fill me with BBQ sauce because I'm dumb as hell!" A few episodes later, Dr. Weird actually does inflate himself with BBQ sauce.
- Subverted in "Wi-Tri". A minute or so after the Gilligan Cut mentioned below:Meatwad: "I have a plan. You know Carl, that guy next door? We go over there...use his toilet!"
- In the episode where Frylock builds a supercomputer, Shake activates the first prototype prematurely and it bounces away to parts unknown. The second prototype travels back in time and is found by a caveman whose first thought on seeing it is "All right! Free egg." At the very end of the episode, the Mooninites find the first computer, and Ignignokt points out the "free egg."
- Subverted in "Wi-Tri". A minute or so after the Gilligan Cut mentioned below:
- Broken Aesop: Pretty much every damn episode ever. Example:
- Frylock invests in a new plasma TV...Meatwad: "I thought you said TV was bad!"
Frylock: "It is... but we fu(bleep)ing need it!"
- Meatwad's speech on individuality and equality... which is then punctuated with "if you're a Sasquatch, the rules are different."
- Frylock invests in a new plasma TV...
- Bumbling Sidekick: Meatwad and Master Shake.
- Butt-Monkey: Carl has it as bad as Kenny McCormick.
- The Cameo:
- Glenn Danzig as himself in the first season finale. Hilariously, his animated counterpart is drawn to be a lot taller than Danzig actually is (ATHF!Danzig appears to be about 5'10 at the very least; the real Danzig is 5'4).
- Zakk Wylde as himself for "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary".
- Cameo (the band) and Mastodon (as the food band in the beginning) in The Movie.
- Andrew W.K. - as himself.
- George Lowe, in multiple episodes as himself, or as other characters.
- Canada, Eh?: In the episode "The Marines", Frylock goes to Canada in lieu of joining the Marines with Master Shake and Meatwad, and ends up captive in a barn with "CANADA" painted on it, with, oddly enough, a Saw reference.
- Captain Ersatz: The debt collector after Shake. He's pretty much a talking Predator.
- Cargo Ship: Dr. Weird with a lawnmower. Dr. Weird: Gentlemen...BEHOLD! I have made love to this machine! And now, upon retrospect, I ask, WHY?!
- Batman Can Breathe in Space:
- In "Mayhem of the Mooninites," Carl gets transported to the moon, but he doesn't seem to have any problem breathing.
- Neither does Frylock, apparently.
- "Gentlemen... BEHOLD!" for Dr. Weird.
- "X is forbidden" was originally supposed to be Shake's catchphrase, but it never really caught on. Same with "Dracula called and he's comin' tonight!!" (or any variation on that), however that lasted longer than the "X is forbidden" one, dying out somewhere in the first/second season.
- "Tonight!" is a favorite of Carl.
- "Tonight...you." for Hand Banana.
- THOUSANDS of years ago... for the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past (always accompanied by smoke, which is referred to as "smooth and menthol-y" by Err).
- The Chew Toy: Carl is either this or a Butt-Monkey, depending on your point of view.Carl: I don't know if I believe in God, but... I think he must hate me.
- Christmas Episode:
- "Mail-order Bride," which mainly revolves around Shake and Carl fighting over a Chechnyan mail-order bride as a Christmas present to themselves.Meatwad: *pretending to wake up after mistaking Carl and Shake trying to break into the former's house for Santa* "Shoot, that was a good sleep that I had!" [beat] "WHERE ARE THE DAMN PRESENTS?!"
- "Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future," despite the episode itself taking place during the month of February.
- "T-Shirt of the Living Dead" could be called one as well, as it involves the team helping Santa deliver presents ( after accidentally summoning him and burning him alive). Though it should be noted that this episode didn't take place during Christmas time either, as it is stated to be "in the middle of *jingle bells*ing July" and only cut to Christmastime at the end of the episode.
- "A Public Enemy Christmas". For once, it actually takes place on Christmas. It also involves identity theft. And Eel Diarrhea for some reason.Shake: (stomach rumbles) "OOOHH! What did I eat in Chuck D's dumpster?!!" (eels explode out of his ass, killing him)
- "Mail-order Bride," which mainly revolves around Shake and Carl fighting over a Chechnyan mail-order bride as a Christmas present to themselves.
- Clone Degeneration:
Frylock: "Ah, we should have cloned twenties. Jackson wouldn't have given a shit."
- In "The Cloning", the television that Frylock clones turns evil, due to the molecular structure breaking down as a result of cloning too many TVs. Later in the episode, the Aqua Teens end up making George Washington out of dollar bills... who then gets shot in the face. Repeatedly.
- An earlier episode spoofs the trope with a physically mutated and clearly failed clone of Shake. Not only are the clone's attempts to pass himself off as the original pathetically obvious, he also turns out to be much kinder and more rational than Shake, and Shake's friends actually like him better than the Jerkass original.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Master Shake, Meatwad, the Mooninites, the Plutonians, the Cybernetic Ghost... pretty much every character except for Frylock and maybe Carl.
- The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: In the episode "Super Trivia", Shake makes a passing mention that Villain of the Week Wayne "the Brain" McClane, will never get any sex with his immensely giant head/brain. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that this was actually Wayne's motive from the beginning, using his powerful brain to create the bar where the Aqua Teens have been attempting to beat him in a trivia contest just so he could get women.
- Cluster D Bomb: Dickesode. In some airings (and in the bumper for the original airing for the episode), there was a counter to show how many times the word "dick" was said.
- Cluster F-Bomb:
- Played for Laughs in "Gee Whiz." (skip to 05:32)Meatwad: Whoa...boy I apologize. My hormones are going nuts! Now please.. if you would... Get the (elephant trumpeting) out of my way. I mean how many times do I have to gotta (fire alarm) write "ice cream" on this (rubber ducky squeak) list before someone gets his (horse neigh) in gear and brings home some (owl hoot) ice cream? Maybe I should get a STEAK KNIFE, and etch it in your mother(plunger thrust) forehead! HOW HARD CAN IT (squeaky toy) BE? ICE-MOTHER(drum hit)-CREAM! I guess that's the price I pay for living with two (dial tone) MORONS!
Shake: ...What happened to courtesy? Did it just... disappear?
- In Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future:Danzig: "Listen to me as hard as you f***ing can. The fucking robot came with the f***ing house and now he's fucking gone. If you see that mother—"
Shake: Yeah...uh, we'll tell him that.
Danzig: You f***ing better. If I find out he's over here I'm gonna be eating my cereal from the bottom of your f***ing skull. Verständlich?
- In a rare occurrence for him, Frylock dropped an almost disturbingly prolonged...everything-bomb when calling out the eponymous alien in Allen, Part 2. Click here for the uncensored DVD version.
- In the originally aired version and DVD release of Total Re-Carl, this lovely little paragraph can be seen on Fylock's computer when he has Carl's head hooked up to it: "Oh man, I swear to fucking God, Fry-man. I'm so fucking pissed right now. Oh, and by the way, I hope you enjoy your own shit, because I'm about to rip your motherfucking throat out, and shove it up straight up your ass, so that you have to fart to fucking breathe, fucker."
- Played for Laughs in "Gee Whiz." (skip to 05:32)
- Colon Cancer: Lampshaded. The Movie was called Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters. The soundtrack added "...Colon The Soundtrack," and the video release added "...Colon For DVD" to that, in all cases spelling out the word "colon."
- Color Me Black: In "Shake Like Me", Shake turns black when a black construction worker that was irradiated from dumping toxic waste near the Aqua Teens' house bites him.
- Comically Missing the Point:
- In "Juggalo", Carl calls out Shake's lie about being offered the role of Thor by saying that Shake isn't Greek.
- Dr. Weird finds an adhesive bandage in his banana pudding and asks for it to be removed, but when Steve says he can probably get it for free, Weird assumes he means the bandage, and not the pudding.
- Companion Cube: Meatwad's "dolls," Vanessa (an apple), Dewey (a toilet paper tube), and to a lesser extent, Boxy Brown (a box - but don't let him catch you hearing that). The latter is actually sentient.
- Continuity Cavalcade: "The Last Fucking One of 2003" has all of their previous Villains trying to kill them but instead arguing and dying for the entire episode. In the Scooby-Doo parody in "100", Dr. Weird, Handbanana, billywitchdoctor.com, & Willie Nelson are briefly seen in the haunted house. The Movie features many of the the "villains" making returns, with several having roles as prominent as the Aqua Teens themselves, and some of them in "blink and you'll miss it" cameos.
- Continuity Nod:
- In "The Last Fucking One", the brownie monsters end up adopting a highway, and call the villain group "CLICK CLICK CLICK...." This results in a sign with "This highway adopted by CLICK CLICK CLICK..." This sign is later seen in the Boost Mobile parody episode.
- The Power Puff Mall still has a Rabbot-shaped hole in its wall from the first episode.
- When Carl is selling the Aqua Teens' house to a couple, he warns them about the attic and brings up the fact that the Aqua Teens have no bathroom. Apparently, the pile of clothes they were using rotted through the floor, and they continued to use it, however they left pizza around it to cover up the smell.
- The first episode of the show's rename, Allen, featured a small appearance by Randall. And he's still spliced with that pork chop.
- The new name of the show, and location change to Seattle are nods to the episode "100".
- In the movie, when the Insanoflex destroys the Aqua Teens' roof, Willie Nelson can be seen crawling out, after being locked in the attic.
- Willie is also seen in the final episode's last minute or so, walking out of the Aqua Teens' house some years after Meatwad has married and brought the kids over briefly to show them where he grew up. He actually looks a bit sad as he walks out of shot.
- Also in the movie, Balloonenstein can be seen in the clouds (blink and you'll miss it) when the shot pans up to the Plutonians after Frylock calls the number on the Insaneoflex "website".
- Control Freak: Frylock and Shake. The former is usually more grounded in reality; the latter is a leader in name only, however he still acts as if he's in control of everything.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Too many instances to count, especially for Carl and Master Shake.
- Cyberspace: Involved an Internet "Wwwyzzerdd" (pronounced "w-w-w-w-izard-d") causing thousands of pop-up windows to materialize in the real world, filling the ATHF's house to the point where they couldn't even find each other.
- Darker and Edgier: The humor from season 4 onwards got considerably more morbid and obscene compared to the first three seasons.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mainly Frylock and Carl. Meatwad in his more lucid moments, and even then, unintentionally.
- Shake and Meatwad have their moments too, albeit more rarely than Frylock or Carl.
- Death Is Cheap: Barring the Negative Continuity of this show, don't expect any of the main characters to stay dead if they die, even in the same episode. "Party All The Time" has Shake dying from from swallowing a scorpion, only to return later in the episode perfectly fine.
- Definite Article Title: Most of the second half of season 2 (ie most of volume 3) has the episode titles start with "The", and one of the last is just "The".
- Delicious Distraction: "The Broodwich" and "Lasagna".
- Dick Nixon: Meatwad thinks he's Abraham Lincoln. Or, Wayne Gretzky.
- Demonic Dummy: "Dummy Love" revolves around the Aqua Teens receiving a ventriloquist dummy only capable of saying "Kill" and frequently brandishing weapons. Ultimately subverted when it turns out that the dummy, as creepy as it is, is actually harmless (aside from appearing with some random severed fingers in one scene,) and ends up getting into a gay relationship with another "killer dummy" that Carl was given.
- Denser and Wackier: While the show was always weird, each season got progressively more sillier and surreal as the show went on.
- Destination Defenestration: In "Muscles", Shake's living, aggressive muscles offer a pool-player who was trying to talk his way out of any mishap a "free trip" home ("please don't") and throw him through the bar's front window, followed with two more people, then a few more up through the roof...
- Devoured by the Horde:
- In Season 8 "Vampirus", Frylock tests to see if Master Shake's blood is the cure for the vampire-inducing virus when vampire zombies have taken over the city. When Frylock tests the cure on Carl, a lot of vampire bats starts biting Carl proving that Shake's blood isn't the cure. When Shake tries to splash the cure on Carl, the vampire bats transform into vampire zombies and they start tearing Carl apart to the point where we can see his skeleton.
- In the series "finale" of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Master Shake performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Meatwad from the clams so he can get Frylock a new jewel by getting himself devoured by the clams.
- Didn't Think This Through:
- In "Total Re-Carl", after Frylock's previous attempts at giving Carl a new body fail, his third attempt is giving Carl a robot suit armed with lasers and missiles. However, by that point, Carl is seriously pissed off to the point where, during the second attempt that involved giving Carl a body literally made of eyeballs, he tries to kill Frylock. Even Shake called Frylock out on this.Frylock: I give you, the ultimate in military hardware. Complete with laser cannon, indestructible titanium exoskeleton, and motion activated plasma pulse rifles.
Shake: And you're gonna plug him in!?
Frylock: ... You're right. Damn, what the hell was I thinking?
- In "Dicke-sode", Frylock removes Carl's dick so that he wouldn't have to worry about it being removed. Then realizes just how stupid his plan was.
- In "Total Re-Carl", after Frylock's previous attempts at giving Carl a new body fail, his third attempt is giving Carl a robot suit armed with lasers and missiles. However, by that point, Carl is seriously pissed off to the point where, during the second attempt that involved giving Carl a body literally made of eyeballs, he tries to kill Frylock. Even Shake called Frylock out on this.
- Distant Finale: The last moments of the series cover Meatwad, years later, starting his new life with his new family.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Handbanana acts like this, so everyone will think Carl's just being nuts when he starts accusing Handbanana of rape. Barring his pastry mastery and knowledge of CPR, which the Aqua Teens still pitch off, thanks to those traits being written into their dog-making software. They only believe him when they see Handbanana and Spaghetti raping Carl...and then Shake starts jacking off (or whatever sentient cups without genitalia do) to it.
- The Dog Bites Back: Neither Meatwad, Frylock, or Carl have a problem with letting Shake get hurt or killed, considering just how much of a jerk he is to them (Meatwad especially).
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening song for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever was sung by all three main actors, in part because it was the last season.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Oglethorpe prank calls the Mooninites in the "Spacecataz" shorts. In a rare instance of success, he pulls off the joke itself flawlessly and immediately botches the explanation while still talking to them.Oglethrope: Hello, I'm looking for a Mr. Hunt, first name Mike. Get it? Michael Hunt!
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Steve mocks Dr. Weird in one opening, unaware that the Mexican janitor is trying to tell him that Dr. Weird's experiment actually succeeded for once. Dr. Weird's giant, disembodied head proceeds to bite off Steve's head...and causing Steve's body to fall forward, where the blood gushing from his neck explodes on contact with said janitor.
- It's also not a good idea to call Rudy the giant baby a "big gay baby", as seen in the season 7 episode "Eggball"
- Downer Ending: Subverted with the finale. Despite Master Shake and Frylock dead and Carl's disappearance, Meatwad sheds the Manchild image, and gets a job which he is competent at, strikes up a romance resulting in having children and showing them his old house and then taking them out to dinner.
- Driven to Suicide: In the "Multiple Meats" episode, Shake chops Meatwad up into smaller and smaller pieces until he can't take it anymore, then asks Frylock to help kill them all. Frylock gets them all to start singing "Three Millions Bottles of Beer on the Wall" and tells Shake he's on his own before leaving. The Meatwad pieces spend the next 27 years singing the song, during which time Shake puts his own eyes out and chops his ears off. When they finally finish singing it, they decide to start singing again, prompting Shake to finally shoot himself.
- Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe example: When Shake's VA, Dana Snyder, tries to pitch the 100 episode to the Williams Street animators, Nick Weidenfeld brings up the "Can I rape her and behead her? Possibly not in that order." joke (see Black Comedy Rape) in a tone like a "No. Just... No" Reaction.
- Ear Worm: In "MC Pee Pants," Carl explains how it works, taken Up to Eleven:Carl: "Which one of you guys has been playing "I Like Candy" for a frickin' week?"Frylock: "It was your other neighbors-"Shake: "Meatwad."Carl: "Y'know what? At this point, it doesn't matter! 'Cause it keeps runnin' inside my head and it won't leave unless I blow it out - with a bullet!"
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- For one thing, at the start of the series they were apparently some kind of private investigation agency. Much of the characterization, but especially Frylock, is noticeably different.
- There also used to be a Jive Turkey Lemony Narrator voiced by Schoolly D.
- For the first two seasons, curse words were censored with the standard bleep. Afterwards, they were replaced with random sound effects (most prominently fart noises).
- There's also the Dr. Weird intros; they only appeared in the first two seasons, but the intros themselves also demonstrate this trope as for the first few episodes, Dr. Weird's actions actually affected the plot. Before long, the major defining characteristic of Dr. Weird's scenes became that nothing he did ever had any effect on the plot and was completely forgotten about the second the actual episode started.
- Speaking of which, there was also the Spacecataz intros during season 3; those intros instead revolved around the Plutonians and Mooninites going at each others' throats (with the Mooninites often getting the last laugh). Like the Dr. Weird intros, they had no affect on the overall plot of the actual episode and was completely forgotten afterwards.
- The Eeyore: Happy Time Harry in "Dumber Dolls" takes this to absurdly dark extremes.Happy Time Harry: "You know, sometimes... I like to take this knife and just... cut myself. See how hard I can do it before I just... pass out, y'know?"
- Epic Rocking: Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary, an epic "happy birthday" song featuring guitar by Zakk Wylde and Geddy Lee (actually Matt Maiellaro) providing lead vocals.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Or more like Shake does. He and Meatwad are shocked that Frylock has taken a job that entails putting poison gas in children's birthday balloons. Frylock is quick to scoff at Shake's sudden possession of a moral compass.Shake "See? it's unethical, it's immoral, I have standards"
- He also seemed genuinely horrified when Meatwad implied that he was molested by a security guard in "Star Studded Christmas Spectacular Starring Rhon Geremi".
- While not as extreme as the other cases, he found the concept behind the stand in the mall food court Frylock gets them a job at (grinding down meat to liquid and selling it as a drink) to be disgusting, even questioning if it's okay to not take the bones out first.
- Evil Tastes Good: The Broodwich, a sandwich that takes people to hell anytime someone takes a bite of it. Shake does it repeatedly throughout the episode of the same name.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Dr. Weird's Favorite Restaurant. No really, that's the restaurant's name.
- Exposition Already Covered: In Season 7 "Kangarilla and the Magic Tarantula", the trio meets a ghost who tells them he's from Smiley Junction. When Frylock asks him if he meant Three-Arm Junction, Meatwad asks what it is and then Frylock explains the history of Smiley Junction. When Frylock finishes, the disappointed ghost tells him that was his story and he was going to tell it.
- What everyone other than Master Shake does to his eyeball in "Unremarkable Voyage".
- Carl eventually has a whole body made of eyeballs. Moving or standing causes him considerable pain.
- In one episode, Master Shake and Meatwad decide to play indoor baseball with raw chickens (!), and they contract an absolutely horrifying case of conjunctivitis that gets progressively worse as the episode wears on.
- One of the Dr. Weird openings had Dr. Weird transform Steve's eyeballs into spider creatures. He screams in agony throughout the whole process.Dr. Weird: SHUT THE *beep* UP, STEVE! YOU'RE SCARING THEM!
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong:
- Moth Monster Man may not be an alien, per se, but he laid all those eggs in Carl somehow.
- In the first episode of Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 Shake is "effed in the face" by an alien bug in a freezer tube. For nine years. And the bug itself looks like a wing-wong...
- Face Palm: Carl usually reacts this way to the Aqua Teens' stupidity.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Carl at the very end of "The Dressing" where he's confronted by a huge flock of Turkatrons aiming laser socks (yeah...) at him.
- "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: "Unremarkable Voyage", which gets sidetracked after Shake keeps hijacking the shrinking ray for his own purposes. Frylock, Meatwad, and Carl eventually get back by going into Shake's brain and forcing him to beat himself to death.
- Feet of Clay: Most of the "villains" aren't as vicious as they seem though still disturbing. But the Plutonians... well, Frylock said it himself: "You guys couldn't take over a damn bowl of jello!"Emory: What, is that like an important place or something?
- Fist Pump: Carl pumps his fist whenever he shouts "Tonight!"
- Flanderization: Shakes laziness, ego, and delusional view of the world were upped as the series went on. The first season had him as the only Aqua Teen to try to get things done in spite of his own laziness and, while he did have a big ego, much of it seemed to stem from him viewing being a detective as a serious job even if he often jumped to conclusions, while later seasons have him as a lazy bum who lounges around the house and refuses to do even the most minor of tasks, believes in things that are utterly nonsensical even by the standards of the series, and cant go a second without bragging about non-existent achievements.
- Flipping the Bird:
- The Mooninites (most especially Ignignokt) love to do this, typically after Frylock sends them running back to the Moon. In their first appearance, they try to get the ever-gullible Meatwad to do it, despite him lacking opposable digits of any kind.
- The equally digit-less Plutonians attempt to do this during the Spacecataz shorts, to little success.
- "I hope he can see this, Err, because I'm doing it as hard as I've ever done it before."
- Master Shake in several of the later episodes.
- Meatwad actually manages to do this in one episode, transforming into a giant fist and then raising and lowering the middle finger while near a busy highway.
- Carl flips the bird with both middle fingers during his "little brother's" soccer game in Aqua Something You Know Whatever.
- Fratbro: The "Frat Aliens" (Donkey Puncher and Skeeter), who are aliens that behave like stereotypical fratboys, except From Space. Their very names are lewd sexual terms ("Donkey Punch" means to punch someone in the back of the head during doggystyle coitus, and "Skeet" means to ejaculate on someone).
- Gainax Ending: The Movie, once the comically-numerous plot twists start appearing.
- In "The Greatest Story Ever Told " (The actual ending of the series) all the events of the episode turn out to be a TV show the main characters are watching.
- Gargle Blaster: Sort of. Frylock makes beverages made of mustard, vinegar, and oyster sauce for Meatwad, hoping he'd vomit up a microchip. The first one failing, Frylock makes another, adding his own urine. Unfortunately, Master Shake grabs it, chugs it, and promptly vomits.
- Gay Guy Dies First: Shake's short-lived roommate Dirtfoot gets quickly literally buried.
- Gigantic Gulp:
- In the notorious "Dickesode" episode, Shake gets a soda from Wongburger that's literally the same size as him. He claims he needs that much soda on a daily basis.
- Shake himself probably counts as one. He is a six foot tall milkshake after all!
- Gilligan Cut
- As Carl is mutating into a giant clown:Frylock: Hang on Carl, I'll be right back. Dont worry, I know what I'm doing.
Frylock: [outside with Shake and Meatwad] I have no frickin' idea what I'm doing!
- In Wi-Tri, early in the episode, Shake and Meatwad are trying to get Frylock out of his room. They consider contacting him by phone and ponder who has one:Master Shake: "Who has a phone? Hmmmm..."
[Cuts to Carl who's having a conversation with his mother on the phone. After a short while, it cuts back to Shake and Meatwad]
Master Shake: "Nah, I guess no-one. No-one owns a phone."
- As Carl is mutating into a giant clown:
- Gone Horribly RightDr. Weird: (triumphant) "Yes! It worked! I am one can short of a six-pack!" or "Yeaaaahahahaha!! Take it to the BANK, DADDY!!"
- Good Fortune from God: Parodied and Lampshaded to hell and back in "Gee Wiz." When Meatwad believes he is pregnant through, um, divine intervention, the gang throws him a baby shower. Carl, naturally, is skeptical and readily tells them so:Carl: Look, your baby wants a car, make him yank out a freakin' Lamborghini out of midair!Meatwad: I'm afraid that would be a vulgar display of his power.
- Great Offscreen War: The Lunar War was mentioned by Ignignokt, who's Uncle Cliff was a veteran of, in "Remooned".
- HA HA HANo: Carl does this a lot.
- "Heheheheheh...yeah, we're not doing that."
- "Heheheheh, that's funny. Go ahead and hand me the phone so I can call the police."
- Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Averted with Carl. In a flashback to Christmas 1968, we see Carl as a young boy and his hair is already receding.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Meatwad somehow produced half human, half meatball children with his human wife in the finale.
- Helium Speech: Justified when both Frylock, Carl and Meatwad are shrunk down to a small portion of their size.
- Heroes Gone Fishing: Initially played straight. When the Aqua Teens were portrayed as superheroes, the series originally focused on their misadventures. Subverted by the second season, at which point they don't really do anything heroic. This is lampshaded at least twice in the series.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Everything Ol' Drippy did for Master Shake. (It wasn't appreciated, though).
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: The three may qualify, but the main culprit is Master Shake. Constantly abusing his roommate Meatwad, racing and destroying Carl's car, and generally committing all sorts of mayhem and remaining indifferent of his atrocities.
- High-Pressure BloodDr. Weird: Gentlemen, chop off my head with such velocity that my blood will rocket through my neck and propel my lifeless body all the way to Phoenix!
Steve: Wow. Aheh... Eh, what's in Phoenix?
Dr. Weird: Why it's your momma, Steve! Get the axe!
- Homage: The Broodwich dimension is a tribute to the cult short "Rejected".
- Hostile Terraforming: Oglethorpe and Emory tried to do this in the episode "Universal Remonster".
- Humans Are Morons: The Mooninites believe that they are superior to Earth in every possible way; however, the logic and reasoning they use to enforce their position is very, VERY flawed. Truth be told, they're probably dumber than all life on Earth—human, food product, or otherwise.
- I Lied: Dr. Weird and the second time with the killer corn: "IT'S NOT DIFFERENT AT ALL, IS IT STEVE?!! HAHAHAHA!!"
- Implausible Deniability: Master Shake lives and breathes this.
- Incessant Music Madness: In the episode, "Multiple Meats", Shake splits Meatwad into several dozen pieces - each of which survives and becomes a mini-Meatwad. Frylock gets them to sing "Three Million Bottles of Beer on the Wall" (and then leaves), driving Shake insane and causing him to cut his (non-existent) ears off and eventually commit suicide.
- Informed Profession: In the beginning the trio were detectives. Lampshaded at least twice since then.
- Insane Troll Logic
- When wanting Frylock to grow Shake some "medicinal" marijuana, Frylock says no. Shake then responds with this little gem of logic: "I won't tell on you, we're roomies man! But if you don't grow it... I'm gonna tell on you!"
- Also, when a cashier at a convenience store refuses to cash a check for Shake, he shouts "Well I'm gonna sneak into your country, and do this job there, AND THEN NOT CASH ANY OF YOUR FREAKIN' CHECKS! How will you like that?! You won't! BECAUSE YOU'LL BE HERE!"
- Made even funnier by the fact that the cashier was American.
- From "The Shaving", while trying to provoke Willie Nelson (not that one), Shake hangs this little gem of a lampshade:No! Let's get down to it! What I say is very baffling!
- He then follows it up with a good minute or so of baffling pseudo-homophobic insults in Willie's direction. Willie's response is simple confusion.
- Instantly Proven Wrong: When Meatwad tells Frylock that something is wrong with their newest cloned TV, Frylock denies it until he immediately sees said TV gushing blood.
- Instrument of Murder: Ignignokt and Err had the Foreigner Belt, a guitar-shaped belt that causes damage effects according to Foreigner lyrics.
- Insufficiently Advanced Alien: The Mooninites and Plutonians, being the harmless villains that they are.
- It Came from the Fridge: "Ol' Drippy", a sentient fungal being that arose from Shake having left the kitchen in a messy state for so long.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
Shake: Do you know how much that duck cost!? HIGHER THAN YOU CAN COUNT!Frylock: I'm sorry to say this, but Shake is right, Meatwad. Charity is one thing. But this is getting way out of hand. I mean, WE don't have anything to eat now!
- In the episode "Super Sir Loin", Meatwad takes all the food in the house and sends it off to a rapper named Sir Loin, who is actually MC Pee Pants, who's returned from Hell again, including a duck à l'orange that Shake was going to eat. Shake, of course, is not happy about that, and Frylock actually agrees with him.
- In the episode Robositter, Shake and Frylock get jobs at Slurp-a-Lunch, a restaurant in the mall that serves liquified meat. After accidentally sampling some of the product, Shake is the one who questions his place of employment:
- Joker Jury: Happens when Shake is called into Tree Court for dumping a huge vat of grease in the woods, then burning down a tree. Even his defense attorney is a shrub, who immediately squeals "GUILTY! GUILTY! MY CLIENT'S PLEA IS GUILTY!."
- Juggalo: In the episode "Juggalo". Features an appearance by Insane Clown Posse themselves.
- Karma Houdini:
- Frylock in "Total Re-Carl", though granted, as Frylock did try to keep Carl alive. As a matter of fact, Master Shake is the one KILLED in that episode in spite of being completely innocent of the central conflict and doing nothing in particular to deserve it.
- Master Shake in "Reedickyoulus" manages not only to get away with killing both HIS AND MEATWAD'S cats, but he also killed all their other pets the same way. Granted they do come back as zombies thanks to Carl's radioactive poop and manage to zombify him, though he doesn't see it as a punishment, rather he remains completely indifferent to his situation. The only thing really different about him other than the obvious zombifying is he develops a craving for brains and gay zombie sex. Plus he's virtually immortal, especially since here Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain doesn't work. Frylock ends up giving Shake exactly what he wants to get rid of him, a gay zombie ape party bus.
- Kick the Dog
Shake: Do the math! You had one, now you have none!
- "Super Birthday Snake" opens with Shake getting Meatwad a snake instead of the bunny he wanted. One thing leads to another, and the snake eats both Meatwad and Shake, then Frylock accidentally kills them when he blows the snake up in an attempt to free them. After this, whatever morality Frylock possessed goes out the window, and he gets some hookers, throws a loud party, and stabs Carl through the heart when he comes over the next morning to ask about the noise, simply because Carl pissed him off.
- The most infamous example would have to be in "Reedickyoulus", where Shake casually murders innocent kittens solely to traumatize Meatwad.
- In "Fry Legs", Frylock not only kills the boyfriend of a woman he's been crushing on, but also does so in front of said woman, and continues to hit on her as if it was nothing.
- In "Larry Miller Hair System", a salesman tries to sell Carl a toupee and shows him a simulation of what his life would be like if he had hair; The simulation Carl is a slim and handsome Christian, married with kids, and leads a happy, but boring and sexless life. Naturally, the real Carl is not thrilled about any of this, believing his simulation self "sold out", and after the salesman runs off to feed his gambling addiction, he starts giving the simulation Carl (who can hear the real Carl) advice that completely ruins his life; he gets fired from his job, his wife takes the kids and leaves him, and after being ordered by the real Carl to get rid of the only dignity he has left by shaving his hair off, he blows his brains out with a shotgun.
- In "Storage Zeebles", Carl, upon discovering a Sugar Bowl in the storage unit he purchased, takes all of the land's resources and bulldozes everything else, all out of sheer greed. Even when the natives' king is begging Carl to stop, he makes it abundantly clear that he gives absolutely zero fucks if they all starve and die. Which makes seeing the Night Wolf rip out his scrotum all the sweeter.
- Kill 'Em All: "She-Creature" is the first episode to feature all 4 main characters dying.
- "Knapsack!" Is the second episode to feature all 4 main characters dying.
- Both "The Last One" and "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (the last episode of the series) engage in mass executions of old villains from the show. The ones who die in the former never appear again (with the exception of MC Pee Pants, who's entire schtick is dying and reincarnating between episodes anyway,) and by end of the latter the only survivors (aside from a small handful of one-off characters) are Rabbot, Dr. Wongburger and Dr. Weird.
- Killer Bear Hug: After one of Frylock's inventions destroys Carl's body, one of Frylock's attempts to fix the problem is to build Carl a body made entirely from eyeballs (it was the only organic matter he could get). Enraged and horrified at himself, Carl painfully waddles to Frylock and tries to suffocate him in a hug.Carl: Give me a hug, Fryman!
Frylock: It's a little tight!
Carl: I'm gonna hug the breath right out of you!
- Kudzu Plot
- Parodied in the movie. The plot is extremely complicated, involving the revelation of how the Aqua Teens came into being, the fate of Chicken Bittle, what the hell Dr. Weird's deal is, the secret conspiracy of the Insano-Flex, and whether Frylock is a lesbian in a man's body in the body of a box of fries, but by the end, no one cares because of the insanely complicated plot.
- And by "no one" we mean the characters. A giant burrito claiming to be the Aqua Teens mom shows up for the first time ever out of nowhere at the very end of the movie and Meatwad is the only one even remotely excited about it.
- Large Ham
- Dr. Weird. Aside from being plain loud, his intonation is all over the place.
- The Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future: "Thousands of years ago..." His variations for other holidays, as well.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The immoral actions Shake performs eventually come to bite him in the ass.
- Leg Cling: Parodied in the poster for The Movie.
- Leitmotif: Disco music plays whenever Boxy speaks.
- Limited Animation: To the point that on the rare occasion when Carl is given a proper walking animation, it looks out of place. Most of the time, Shake bobs back and forth, Frylock floats, Meatwad rolls, and for Carl usually they just zoom into the top part of his body as it moves across the screen.
- Literally Shattered Lives
- Carl in "The Clowning."
- Also happens to Dr. Weird in a cold-open:Dr. Weird: Gentlemen, BEHOLD!! My time-space contin-(freezes mid-sentence)
Steve: WHAT!!(beat) Uh, Dr. Weird?
(Steve touches the frozen Dr. Weird, tipping him over and shattering him into a thousand pieces)
Steve: See ya, later! Have a good weekend!
- Literal-Minded: Meta-example. Pressing "Play All" on the season 4 DVD literally plays all the episodes on the disc simultaneously.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: What Carl and Frylock come to believe in the true series finale.
- Long Bus Trip: On an Eye Catch that aired before the debut episode of "Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1", the creators told [adult swim] that the episode would be the last time that Dr. Weird and Steve would ever appear on the show.
- Loser Protagonist: The Aqua Teens and Carl: perpetually poor, unemployed, starving, unlucky in love, and generally unlucky in life.
- Luke, You Are My Father:
- Ezekial shows up at Shake's doorstep claiming to be his son. It's revealed later in the episode that Ezekial isn't his son, and is actually much, much older than Shake.
- "I'm four-thousand years old!"
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Weird. Many of his "experiments" are just flat-out insane bullshit that usually serve no purpose but utter chaos.
- Made of Explodium
- Pretty much anything, especially when Master Shake throws it to the ground.
- Eventually justified when it's revealed that everything in the house has been destroyed and cloned so many times that the slightest contact destabilizes the molecular structure and causes it to explode.
- Made of Iron: In the movie, Carl survives having nearly every muscle in his body removed with a large hunting knife. In the same movie, Dr. Weird survives shotgun-style blasts to the chest from Frylock and being literally cut in half a short time later. He seemed rather nonchalant about the whole affair.
- Made of Plasticine: The Universal Remonster.Oglethorpe: You could poke him with a pillow and kill him.
- The Mafia: In "Working Stiffs", Carl hires Shake and Meatwad as hitmen to kill the leader of one. Shake and Meatwad, being who they are, fail the mission and leads the mafia to Carl's house, killing him.
- Mail-Order Bride: Carl and Shake try to share one.
- Man on Fire: Meatwad summons Santa Claus to the house with a powerful T-shirt. He then summons a fire-breathing Easter egg named Eggzilla that sets Santa ablaze. Thankfully, Frylock was able to save his life.
- Media Watchdog: The entire episode "G-Wiz" is a huge Lampshade Hanging and Take That! at these people.
- Medium Blending: The live-action episode.
- Metaphorgotten: This remark from Meatwad regarding his sudden inexplicable "pregnancy" in "Gee Whiz":Meatwad: It was an immaculate convection...oven. And it done got a bun in it!
- Minimalistic Cover Art: The DVD covers of the second, fourth, fifth, and sixth volumes.
- Moment Killer: Overlaps with the Title Drop belowCarl: Truly they were...an Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Shake is driving a moving truck away from their old house...but he's not moving very far or very fast and there's a horrible grinding sound.)
Carl: YOUR EMERGENCY BRAKE IS ON!
Shake: Don't tell me how to drive, jackass!
- The sample of Shake's voice in the end credits ("Dancing is forbidden," spoken in the first episode) has been variously captioned and subtitled - even on the DVDs - as "dancing is forbidden," "dancing is stupid," "dance finger puppets," or "Danzig is morbidity."
- That last one is Hilariousin Hindsight, as the real Glenn Danzig appears in one episode to buy Carl's haunted and elf blood-soaked house.
- Mood Whiplash: Oddly enough, the episode where Frylock gets cancer. Even the whiplash parts are Played for Laughs themselves.
- More Dakka: Carl pulls this on a pair of robots who have been testing him (in more ways than one) and who are about to kill him. He tells them that he has a test for them: Count the bullets.15,943. Do more! MORE! They're like vitamins to us.
- Motor Mouth: George Lowe just can't seem to shut up during his cameo.
- The Movie: Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters.
- Mr. Seahorse: Meatwad somehow gets pregnant in "Gee Whiz" after randomly saying that he is pregnant in middle of a non-sequitur and attributes it to Gee Whiz himself. After an ultrasound by Frylock, it turns out the belly bump is filled with enough spider eggs to fill up the entire house when they hatch due to a spider laying its eggs in Meatwad.
- Mundane Utility: The Plutonians using a
StargateFargate to steal the Aqua Teens' cable.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: How Shake begins his suicide note in Video Ouija:''Friends, relations, whatever the hell Meatwad is..."
- My God, What Have I Done?: Frylock's exact words in "Super Birthday Snake" after trying to free Shake & Meatwad after it ate them. He attempts to cut open the snake with his laser vision but ends up just blowing them all to gooey bits. One wonders why he didn't just use his fry-knife, which he uses later to dice up Carl, but maybe one shouldn't try to apply logic to this cartoon...
- Mythology Gag: George Lowe is frequently referred to, both in-universe and out, as "Mr. Beefy", referencing a line from Space Ghost Coast to Coast where Space Ghost refers to himself as such (which was taken from some non-scripted rambling from George which the writers decided to throw in.)
- New Job as the Plot Demands: The recurring character Terry has different jobs every time he appears; the only thing the jobs have in common are that they are all very illegal. His connection to Carl keeps changing, too; he's either someone Carl knew from high school, his cousin or someone in the mob Carl owes money to.
- Negative Continuity: This trope allows them to get away with, say, Frylock refusing to move back even after the others beg him to in the episode "The". There's also Shake's frequent deaths and Carl getting repeatedly mutilated/mauled/killed. Occasional callbacks are made just for laughs, and recurring character M.C. Pee Pants' whole gag is that he doesn't benefit from a Snap Back and everything that happens to him sticks.
- Season 11 takes this Up to Eleven where every single episode (excluding "Brain Fairy".) ends with at least one main character dying.
- New Season, New Name: To Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, in a sort of parody of this. And now the new season, "Aqua Something You Know Whatever". And now the newest season, "Aqua TV Show Show". And now the final season, "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever".
- Nice Guy: Frylock, though he has his moments.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between:
- Nice Meatwad; he does have his moments of being shady now and then, but Meatwad is generally the nicest and most innocent one of the Aqua Teens.
- Mean Master Shake; a lazy, selfish jerkass from beginning to end who likes to abuse Meatwad for none other than his own amusement.
- In-Between Frylock; typically portrayed as the Only Sane Man of the Aqua Teens, Frylock also can be pretty bitter and apathetic on several occasions.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Rabbot is so durable that by the final episode he's one of the few survivors of the ATHF's Rogues Gallery as every other villain that appeared in the episode is gunned down by police.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: "Lasagna" features a parody of the Sham-Wow guy, including his pointed hairstyle and earpiece microphone. He works for the Scam-Wow company.
- Averted with Boost Mobile. Tellingly, it's one giant Take That! at the company.
- No Ending: Episodes frequently end abruptly and with little or no closure.
- No Indoor Voice: Dr. Weird.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Master Shake tries to commit suicide to mess with Meatwad by taking sleeping pills, dropping a toaster into Carl's pool, which is filled with piranhas, and adding a hose attatched to the exhaust of Carl's car.
- No Respect Guy: Frylock.
- "No Talking or Phones" Warning: In The Movie. Performed by Mastodon.
- Not So Above It All: Frylock, when given the chance can prove to be just as bad as his peers. He even got some pretty harsh stares from Shake and Meatwad after killing off MC Pee Pants. (He got better. Kind of.)Frylock: Look, he was never gonna make it in the outside world. He was brutally insane. Besides, he was an eight-foot spider wearing a diaper!
Master Shake: Who am I talking to? Because I don't KNOW you.
- Oh, Crap!: Shake's reaction after a replacement body for seriously-pissed-off Carl is a giant mecha suit bristling with advanced weaponry:
- One Neighbor Neighborhood: Carl seems to be the only neighbor the ATHF have. There are plenty of other houses visible in their Cut-and-Paste Suburb in the occasional aerial view, but if there are other people in the area, they never show up. Might be justified, since the ATHF probably brought down property values simply by being there (and Carl implies in "Love Mummy" that the previous tenants were even weirder). Even when the Aqua Teens' landlord Markula kidnaps them and buries them in the Mohave Desert, the house ends up being rented to even crazier tenants who continue to torment Carl.
- Only Sane Man
- FRYLOCK. And even he has his occasional bouts of insanity.
- Carl may fit a bit better, and he's still pretty eccentric.
- Ol' Drippy is portrayed as the nicest, most sane character in the show.
- Major Shake manages some pretty normal conversations with Frylock during his episode.
- Willie Nelson seems like one initially until he turns out to be a serial killer.
- Once an Episode: Explosions.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The Chess Dragon,
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Who wants to blow up the moon. Turns out to be a shaved wookiee who's also a werewolf... that apparently beams to a Star Trek ship.
- Overly Long Gag: Multiple:
- "Super Birthday Snake": The zombies of Shake, Meatwad, and Carl saying Frylock killed them, and Frylock denying it. Repeat variations of this for about a minute, as they gradually shift from respectively a zombie-like drone and anguished denial to mild annoyance. The Deleted Scenes section of the DVD release reveals that it was originally supposed to be even longer (granted by only 1 or 2 extra lines from Carl).
- Adult Swim's flash game, Aqua Teen Hunger Force's Worst Game Ever. A side-scroller with only one direction key and long stretches of nothing, interrupted by a harmless obstacle to jump over. The teleport key moves Shake all the way back to the beginning, and Alt-F4... probably does your sanity a favor.
- Overly Polite Pals: In the episode, "Multiple Meats", Shake splits Meatwad in half with a sword. The two Meatwad halves survive, and pull an Alphonse and Gaston Routine going into the front door of the house - that apparently lasts for several seasons (as we see sun, rain, leaves and snow fall while they continue "after you"-ing each other), driving both Shake and Frylock crazy.
- Paper-Thin Disguise:
- Subverted with Major Shake, the Plutonian's "replicant" replacement for Master Shake. He only looks somewhat like Shake, but in a show this weird, you expect that everyone would just go along with it. Not so much: Frylock and Meatwad aren't fooled for a second.
- Averted in Super Hero - Meatwad immediately makes "The Drizzle" as Shake, despite "The Drizzle" being in silhouette in the posters - posters that depict a cup-shaped superhero. Another obvious clue - Shake is shilling "The Drizzle" and the gist of it all fits with his typical insanity.
- Paying in Coins: Carl tried to pay for a hooker's services with a giant jar of pennies, since there was nothing saying he couldn't. He gets knocked out a moment later by the Phlebotinum of the episode. The hooker leaves, dragging the jar of pennies with her. In the penultimate episode, he gives Shake 20 dollars in Susan B. Anthony coins to pay for a hooker because he loves the irony of paying for a sex act with a feminist icon.
- Perpetual Frowner: Frylock and sometimes Carl.
- Power of Rock:
- The Belt of Foreigner.
- In the movie Neil Peart's Drum Solo of Life.
- In the game, overlapping with Musical Assassin, the Red Electric Guitar. Which you get in a course made entirely of cake.
- In an intro:Dr. Weird: Gentlemen, behold! Are you ready to rock?
Steve: I- I'm ready to rock.
Dr. Weird: Then I'm gonna blow your hair to the back of this auditorium! 1-2-3-4! [Plays rock song]
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: After a few episodes, the detective premise was dropped in favor of the cast just plain dicking around for fifteen minutes. Reportedly, the only reason they had jobs in the first place was because an executive thought episodes would be too hard to write otherwise.
- Product Placement: "Boost Mobile." Subverted because the entire episode mocks the company and their service. It probably still improved the company's sales.
- Quarter Hour Short: As funny as fans say it is, most people would agree fifteen minutes is enough per episode.
- Random Events Plot: The show absolutely revels in deliberately making as little sense as possible or only making sense in the context of the given episode. "T-Shirt of The Living Dead" (which begins with Meatwad making wishes on a magic t-shirt and ends with the Hunger Force Subbing for Santa after accidentally burning his entire body and melting his skin off) is just one example!
- Reality Ensues:
- In "Super Hero," Shake attempts to give himself superpowers by exposing himself to radiation. He instead ends up getting radiation poisoning, with his condition worsening as the episode progresses.
- In "Super Bowl", Shake gorges himself on nachos while trying to find tickets to the Super Bowl, and ends up overweight with acne, diabetes, and cancer. Frylock even points that Shake doesn't need to eat the nachos and can just pour the bags out to look for the tickets. Shake being Shake, though...
- In "Chicken and Beans," Shake, jealous that Meatwad's song got so popular to the point where it made him famous, decides to make his own version of the song. He ends up getting sued for copyright infringement.
- In "She Creature", Carl loses a bet to a couple mobsters and in exchange for not castrating him, he lets them use the creature living in his absolutely filthy pool to dispose of dead bodies. After Frylock sanitizes the pool and stuns the mobsters with his eye beams, Carl tells him to finish them off, only for Frylock to point out how bad an idea that is; they know who Carl is and where he lives, and he still owes them money. And even if Frylock does kill them, their boss will just send more people after Carl. That's why it's called a "mob".
- In "The Greatest Story Ever Told", the Mooninites finally try to use their painfully-slow Quad Laser in an actual gunfight, and are immediately gunned down.
- Reality Warper: Although it's limits weren't really tested, Meatwad became one when wearing Osiris' T-Shirt, and by extension so would anyone else.
- Recurring Extra: George Lowe usually appears, as himself, a couple of times a season in various minor roles. He's been a wedding DJ, a police officer, and the host of video explaining the role of Standards and Practices.
- Retraux: The "Aqua Unit Patrol Squad" opening seen in One Hundred, a throwback to Hanna-Barbera cartoons in general and the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! opening in particular.
- Reused Character Design: Or rather, mechanical design, as the Plutonian's ship is taken from Uglor, the main villain of Space Stars, who used the ship to menace Space Ghost and The Herculoids.
- Rogues Gallery: The Aqua Teens have quite a few mainstay "villains" including The Mooninites and the Plutonians.
- Ruder and Cruder:
- ATHF's TV series had its early seasons use mild to moderate profanity, but the later seasons use stronger language. It's bleeped, of course, given that it originally aired on basic cable, but context makes it clear enough what they're trying to say.
- As you might expect, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters uses even more profanity than its televised source material, but it goes all in on hard profanity, sexual slang, and even a homophobic slur or two.
- Rule of Three: Three roommates.
- Also in The Movie opening credits (and by extension similar [adult swim] bumpers) are parodied as first a shot of the Williams Street logo appears with ominous sounding music, both fade out. A few seconds later the same music and background fade in with "Presents" written in the middle, and these fade out. A few seconds later the same thing happens with "This Movie" written on it, which gets yanked off after only five seconds.
- Running Gag
- Anything thrown will explode (usually if Master Shake does it), and no one says anything about it. A very subtle acknowledgment comes in the form of Meatwad backing away in shock from cloned money as it explodes after floating to the ground after being lightly tossed.
- It was acknowledged again in "The Clowning" after Shake tried to throw a toilet brush on Carl's front yard but lands on their own yard. The Aqua Teen back away in shock when it exploded after a few seconds.
- They somewhat try to address this by saying the use of the cloner causes the objects in their home to be so unstable. Lord knows why they even bothered.
- It started happening after The Drizzle, where Shake rolls around in radioactive waste. Any variations where other characters throw things and they explode (if that even happens) are later in the series and a play on Master Shake's 'ability.'
- At one point, Shake knocks over the reclining chair in the living room, which then explodes as it falls onto their game console, which then explodes aswell, taking the TV it was plugged into with it.
- Satan: Shown punishing MC Pee Pants' various incarnations for failing him.
- Saved by the Platform Below: Subverted in an episode when Shake falls off a cliff and manages to grab a flimsy tree branch, which then breaks before anyone can help.
- Schizo Tech: Meatwad has oddly advanced games for his Atari 2600. Most notably, they are all fully voice acted, and often have gameplay that would not be workable even today.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Shake and Frylock have done this. Steve too, to Dr. Weird:Steve: (after orders to behead Dr. Weird, reads) "Await further instructions from talking hole in neck." (looks at Weird's corpse, tosses paper away) Uhhh, Screw that.
- Played for Laughs. The evil doctor Doctor Weird tells his assistant that he's decided to lose weight. "All sugars, gone. MANUALLY!" Pull back to reveal everything below his knees is now just a skeleton, as he promptly pulls out a chainsaw and begins cutting away at more of himself.
- Other instances include: removing his head, twice, once on his own and once via his assistant Steve; injecting himself with gallons of BBQ sauce and only realizing it's a bad idea about a second and a half before he explodes; doing something that turned himself into a giant head that spat laser beams; and various other things that can't even be explained as being done "For Science!!"Dr. Weird: Gentlemen, BEHOLD! I have made love to this machine! [Points to a lawn mower.] And now, upon retrospect, I ask why?
Steve: I'm sure someone thinks that's pretty neat. So, uh, you do that for science? Or...
Dr. Weird: NO! It was free! And she was drunk, she didn't know what she was doing [Lawn mower cracks in two, revealing some sort of robot mower hybrid.] My METAL BOY!
- Master Shake tries to give himself a penis extension after Carl's cousin Terry refuses to. He just tapes a wiffle bat to his lower regions.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Happens to the titular character from Ol' Drippy. Drippy tells Shake to eat him as it's the only cure for Shake's illness. It's quickly revealed that Drippy is suggesting this because half of his composition is penicillin. When Frylock points out that they have penicillin in the bathroom Drippy stops and tells him to get that instead, but Shake, liking how Drippy tastes and wanting to traumatize Meatwad opts to continue eating Drippy. Drippy being an Extreme Doormat is unable to say no.
- Sentimental Music Cue: Parodied from time to time.Meatwad: Listen to me, Randy. It doesn't matter what you look like on the outside. Whether you're white, or black or sasquatch, even. As long as you follow your dream no matter how crazy or against the law it is. Except for sasquatch, if you're a sasquatch, the rules are different.
- Series Fauxnale: Several Including The Last One Forever and Ever (For real this time) (We Fucking Mean It).
- Sex Sells: Attending a gathering with an ulterior motive (of selling condos to the attendees) they had been assured would be "shizzle", Carl and Master Shake recall a flier with "slot machines, and women in bikinis getting out of pools, smiling, like, real suggesting something".
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Almost all episodes amount to this to take advantage of [adult swim]'s 10-minute episode format.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Ignignokt's uncle Cliff.Err: Is he alright?
Ignignokt: Cliff hasn't been "alright" since the Lunar War.
- The Powerpuff Mall that was featured in the first short, "Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins", shows up a few times. Craig McCracken returned the favor by putting ATHF on a TV screen in The Movie.
- The Fargate from "Universal Remonster."
- And now it looks like Oglethorpe actually did rip off somebody, or somebody ripped him off.
- From "Kidney Car":Carl (to Meatwad): Hold on there, Jeff Gordon, I am keeping the graphics.
- "iAmaPod" is basically a weird remake of Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers.
- "Juggalo" features an angel that flies using repulsor beams.
- "The Creditor" is an obvious spoof of Predator.
- The creature in Shake's cryotube at the end of "Allen, Part 1" is clearly the facehugger from Alien...but with a pompadour...and the voice of Steven Wright...
- Shrunk in the Wash: In "T-Shirt of the Living Dead", Shake throws the titular shirt in the washing machine with a full bottle of bleach and in hot water, but Frylock reads the hieroglyphs on the shirt's tag saying that it should only be washed in cold water, so it comes out shrunk and only Meatwad can wear it. Unlike Shake, he manages to get its powers working.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Carl, who usually gets the short end of the stick. Although he's less anyone's arch-nemesis as it is that Shake is simply a colossal asshole to everyone all the time, and Carl simply is tired of terrible things happening to him whenever the Aqua Teens get involved.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Until Rick and Morty came along, Aqua Teen Hunger Force was probably the cartoon where the cynicism was most prominent.
- Small Name, Big Ego: The Mooninites, especially Err.
- Smoking Is Cool: As Err says, "We smoke as we shoot the bird!"
- The Smurfette Principle: The show's cast is 99.9% male. None of the very few female characters are ever named, and the few that don't end up dead by the end of the episode typically kill the entire main cast themselves.
- Snap Back: Many episodes end with Carl and/or at least one of the Aqua Teens (especially Shake) being killed or mutilated.
- Averted when the Aqua Teens are stolen by a giant spider in the Sahara. Carl tries to sell the house several times, with disastrous results, but played straight: the house's new inhabitants disappear by the next episode, for Carl to get harassed again.
- Played for laughs in the actual final episode, aired after the Series Fauxnale that ended in Shake's death from being devoured by clams, Frylock's death after his jewel runs out of power, and Meatwad moving out of the house, getting married, having kids, and returning to visit the house decades later in a Distant Finale. The episode after starts with Shake and Meatwad watching Shake's death by clams from the last episode on TV.Shake: Ah, look at me photobombing these clams. That was some weekend, huh?
Meatwad: Yep. Good times.
Shake: Yep. That was last weekend.
- The final episode (which ends with Shake and the show's entire Rogues Gallery getting gunned down by police, Frylock and Carl gaining immortality and then going to prison for life, and another, 35-year Distant Finale) plays it for laughs a second time when it's revealed the whole episode was being watched by the main trio and Carl on TV as they complain that this is the real finale.
- Something Completely Different
- Sound-Effect Bleep: The actual [BLEEP] sound was used extensively during the earlier seasons. Nowadays, it's mostly a fart sound, or an effect relevant to the episode. The season 3 episode "Gee Whiz" is one of the earlier episodes, as seen when Meatwad flips out.
- Space Whale Aesop:
- "Global Grilling." Don't buy a grill that increases global warming or else monster men made of boogers will enslave the survivors.
- It's a bad idea to use Frylock's cloning machine to clone money or the printed George Washington will come to life. Except that Frylock spoofs/breaks it seconds after killing Print!Washington by commenting that they should've cloned 20's instead.Jackson wouldn't have given a shit.
- El Spanish "-o": Shake does it in "Remooned", when he thinks a convenience store clerk is Mexican. "Get back there-o and cash-o the check-o, amigo."
- Spinoff (Type 3): One episode featured the Bible Fruits, a trio of religious fruits who, despite their generally cheery disposition, are still battling a few "personal demons" of their own. Later, a series of shorts came out called Soul Quest Overdrive, which was basically the Bible Fruits morphed into sports equipment and with a Scottish soccer ball added for the hell of it.
- Spirit Advisor: Bart Oates appears as one for Carl and later Shake.
- Sports Dad: In the episode, "Ezekiel", Shake forces his son Ezekiel to play basketball and tennis in an attempt to make him a sports star, constantly berating him when Ezekiel shows no talent or interest in it, and tries to commit suicide to make him feel guilty. When he finds out Ezekiel is so skilled in chess that he beat the Chess Dragon, Shake shows pride in him and plans on taking him to the Olympic committee. (Shake's not very smart and doesn't know chess isn't an Olympic sport anymore.) That's when Frylock tells him not only is Ezekiel not his son, he's actually older than Shake.[Ezekiel] is going to be a professional basketball star because that is what his father demands of him.
- Stealth Insult: In "Freedom Cobra", Shake claims that every woman who isn't interested in him is a lesbian. Meatwad replies, "So basically, all women are lesbians?"
- Stock Footage: Earlier episodes make liberal use of scenes from old Hanna-Barbera cartoons (as per usual for Williams Street productions). For example, the exterior shots for the Dr. Weird segments come from two different Jonny Quest episodes created 30 years apart. Meanwhile, the cityscape BG seen in every episode, the street seen in "Rabbot", the black hole in "Balloonenstein", and the passing helicopter in "The Cubing" were recycled from SWAT Kats.
- The Stoic: Frylock
- The Stoner: "Moonajuana" had the Mooninites come off as this by claiming to have taken many hits of the titular drug.note They convince Master Shake, Meatwad, and Carl into using it with predictable results.
- Story Arc: Uncharacteristically for the show, it actually did play around with having a brief Arc for a few episodes. It involved the Aqua Teens' previously unintroduced landlord Markula, a gas leak, military spiders, and the Mojave Desert.
- Straight Man: Frylock. And he's not perfect either, even using his clone machine to duplicate money (to his defense, it was after Shake started doing it, and he would have used at lest some of the money to end world hunger... by starting a chain of family-style restaurants).
- Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Shake and his failed replicant refer to ordinary pipes are "amazing spage-age tubes".
- Stuff Blowing Up: As mentioned above.
- Stupid Crooks
- The Mooninites once stole their uncle's welfare check so they can cash it on Earth and go on a shopping spree... except the welfare check was actually a payment bill for home care and it emits radiation when it's overdue, which happened two months previously. Plus, they kept trying to cash it at a convenience store, even after the clerk clarified that such stores don't cash checks. And to truly show how stupid they were, on the way down to Earth, Err kept telling Ignignokt that the check was bill, but Err thought Ignignokt knew something about the bill he didn't know.Ignignokt: Why are we trying to cash a bill, Err?!
Err: On the way down I kept saying that this is a bill. Just figured you knew something I didn't.
Ignignokt: I did know something I didn't. But it wasn't that.
- That same episode begins with Igignokt spray-painting graffiti on a school, which Err quickly points out is just a rock.
- Their first appearance saw them stealing whole assortments of electronics equipment. They also encouraged Meatwad to swallow an entire rack of DVDs, believing he could then walk out of the store with it; Meatwad couldn't do this and tried to carry it instead, which sees him immediately trip the store's alarms while the Mooninites take the opportunity to escape.
- Emory and Oglethorpe attempt to defeat the Aqua Teens by replacing Shake with a replicate that fools no one, then videoconference with it while the others are in the room, watching.Frylock: Did they not see me sitting here?
Major Shake: No, I'm sure they did. It'll come to them later.
Oglethorpe: OH DAMN IT!
- The Mooninites once stole their uncle's welfare check so they can cash it on Earth and go on a shopping spree... except the welfare check was actually a payment bill for home care and it emits radiation when it's overdue, which happened two months previously. Plus, they kept trying to cash it at a convenience store, even after the clerk clarified that such stores don't cash checks. And to truly show how stupid they were, on the way down to Earth, Err kept telling Ignignokt that the check was bill, but Err thought Ignignokt knew something about the bill he didn't know.
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix: The ending theme includes the line "Dancing is forbidden" from the first episode.
- Suck E. Cheese's
- Pizza Potamus, in "MC Pee Pants" and "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary".
- Wong Burger's. One out of every three customers will get their dicks ripped out. It doesn't get much suckier than that.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Frylock - see Straight Man.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Dr. Wongburger is one for MC Pee Pants.
- Take That!:
- Boost Mobile once had Master Shake dressed in ghetto bling for [adult swim] eyecatches on Comcast On-Demand... and then there was an episode dedicated to mocking Boost Mobile, killing some irritating sentient cellphones from said company, and Master Shake getting killed by the overdemanding cellphones. Interestingly, the actual company's service is never mocked (which is probably why they could get away with it).
- "Where you at, dog?"
- "Now we're too damn cheap to receive it. You want to watch Futurama, you go the hell over to Carl Central. He didn't even want it, until we started to watch it."
- In "Working Stiffs":Meatwad: I could buy all the cable TV I want.
Carl: Wait, you're out of your mind? You pay money... for cable.
Carl, Master Shake, & Meatwad: (to the audience) You're stupid.
- In "The Granite Family" Time Warner says he wants to reboot the titular show and sell the rights to "this fox", said fox then saying Homer Simpson's "woo hoo!" catchphrase. This is a reference to when the rights to The Flintstones were nearly sold off to FOX in the early 2010s, with Seth Macfarlane of Family Guy fame planning to head a reboot of the series (said plans were later cancelled about a year after the episode aired).
- Take That Me:
- In "Jumpy George", a woman leaving her kids with Meatwad says: "They're allowed to watch half an hour of television, and only cartoons. Which means no Cartoon Network."
- In "The Granite Family", they meet a time traveler who warns people about things. His name is "Time Warner". Essentially they get mad at him for being a copyright Nazi and not letting them do anything related to time-travel related because he owns all the movies in which they travel through time, and for not letting them do anything related to The Granite Family/The Flintstones.
- Tastes Like Feet: The aforementioned Gargle Blaster in "Unremarkable Voyage." Shake's response after vomiting:Master Shake: My teeth feel gritty, and I'm gonna lie down.
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Shake manages to create a tape of him rambling on randomly (including listing a soup recipe) that predicts to the second when Carl (who is listening to the room the tape player is in via microphone) starts suspecting something isn't right. What's even more impressive is that he somehow manages to do this days/weeks/months in advance, seeing how he is dead before the tape is even started. The tape even knew how he'd be killed, since the tape continues on perfectly from the shots that kill him.
- Teenage Mutant Samurai Wombats: Spoofs the concept, although the reason that they're talking food items is never explained. And they don't actually fight crime.
- The Something Force: Uh..
- Theme Tune Roll Call
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In "Video Ouija", Shake commits suicide by downing a bunch of sleeping pills, sucking on a hose of carbon monoxide, and throwing himself into Carl's pool, which he filled with piranhas and plugged-in toaster ovens.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Everyone, but especially Shake and especially Carl. In Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, Frylock dies more regularly.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!
- Frylock: "You're liquefied, bitch!"
- I just a WHAT, bitch?
- HE PEED ON ME, BITCH!
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: "My name's Dan from Grim Reaper Gutters. I won't leave until I make a sale."
- Title Colon The Adaptation: Parodied with the movie.
- Title Drop:
- "Truly, they were... an Aqua Teen Hunger Force."
- Made all the funnier by the fact that even at this late point in the series, the name still doesn't have any actual meaning...just like the show.
- In the penultimate episode and Series Fauxnale, Shake shouts the the show's final re-title before being killed by giant clams.
- This Loser Is You: Carl
- Throw the Dog a Bone: At the end of "Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future", Carl manages to turn his luck around with his house, which is cursed to forever spew blood from every part of the house that's supposed to have water, by selling it to a rich, morbid, satanic musician for a million dollars.
- To Hell and Back: Happens to Shake in "Juggalo". Multiple times.
- Token Black Friend
- Boxy Brown... sort of. There are lines drawn between him being the only 'black' character.Meatwad: Frylock, I'm friends with a toilet paper tube, an apple, and a box. I'm crazy in the head.
Boxy Brown: Well! You gonna diss me, boy, diss me to my face!
Meatwad: Boxy, please, don't take it like that—
Boxy Brown: Well how am I supposed to take it, then?
- Frylock, maybe.Shake: You're black, right? You sound black... where are you from?
- Hilariously, Shake turns into one after an accident, and, as a consequence, turns far less assholish. Frylock changes him back because even he found it too weird.
- Boxy Brown... sort of. There are lines drawn between him being the only 'black' character.
- Token Human: Carl
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Ol' Drippy. Drippy, Drippy, Drippy... He's nothing but polite and helpful to the Aqua Teens and Carl. He's also probably the nicest character in the entire series' run, and that's saying something. When Shake gets sick from being out in the rain, Drippy allows him to eat part of his body to feel better, since it's mostly penicillin, but is left in a weakened state. Later, when Shake goes to get a pamphlet out of the street, Drippy sees a truck coming and pushes Shake out of the way. Of course, Shake is so distracted by the pamphlet that he doesn't realize what happened, and doesn't even care that Drippy is dead.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Frylock, occasionally. Mostly justified - it's usually against Master Shake, who's taken a bigger level of Jerkass than could be matched by anyone else on the show. Yes, even the Mooninites aren't as big of assholes as he is.
- And of course, aforementioned ultimate Jerkass Master Shake just gets worse as the series goes along. He was an inconsiderate douche who does the dumbest of things with no thought for others in season one alone, but by season two his response to Carl accidentally shooting himself in the foot due to Shake trespassing was to turn up the volume on Carl's TV and whine about his complaining.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In "Shake Like Me" Master Shake is noticeably nicer and less cruel when he's black.
- Trailer Spoof: The trailer for The Movie went so far to identify itself as Spider-Man 2 in the text crawl while the narrator read the correct name.
- Unrelated Effects: Anything thrown to the ground explodes. It's occasionally lampshaded, but usually ignored.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Master Shake or Carl, depending on the episode.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Some of the show's funniest moments rely on the characters being completely nonchalant about the insanity going on around them.
- Unwinnable Training Simulation: Parodied in "Super Birthday Snake," where the entire episode is revealed to be a simulation given to Meatwad by Frylock to see whether or not he's capable of raising a pet rabbit... and then that is revealed to be a simulation given to Frylock by Meatwad, after which Meatwad says Frylock needs to listen when Meatwad tells him what to do.Meatwad: Frylock, please. That was a computer simulation program, and it proved to me that you don't know what I like and what I like to do, and that is to tell you what to do, and you need to listen to what I say because I'm gonna eat your brains!
- Vague Age: The Aqua Teens, themselves. Shake describes himself as "thirty, or forty years old" note , and Meatwad has been identified as an actual child on more than one occasion. In any case, Word of God says Dr. Weird is their creator, so they must be around the same ages. Probably.
- Vandalism Backfire: Master Shake puts a cat in the microwave. Meatwad and Shake stare at each other, and through sticky notes, talk to one another. Shake, being the idiot he is, forgets that he already microwaved Meatwad's kitten, and Meatwad has to remind him that it was his own.Shake: Mr. Sparkles!!! *boom*
- Verbal Tic: Carl has a tendency to say "freakin'" or "friggin'" a lot.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: One [adult swim] bump shows a fan asking whether Meatwad is a guy or girl. [adult swim]: "Um, guy? Duh? Who could be confused by this?"
- Villain Protagonist: Shake is either this, or a plain Nominal Hero; the Plutonians and Mooninites in the failed "Spacecataz" pilot, and its sequel, "Spacecadeuce".
- Villain Team-Up: The Mooninities attempt to bring together all the villains the Aqua Teens faced in "The Last One". Their incompetence has all of them arguing, killing each other, and finally running when Frylock shoots them with his eye beams.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting
- Meatwad. It's suggested that the only shapes Meatwad can take are the two he exhibits in the title sequence of every episode: a hotdog and an igloo. Although in the pilot episode, he was also able to take the form of a "meat bridge," and during his brief time as a circus attraction, he managed to take on the shape of a Samurai Lincoln (which he insisted was supposed to be Wayne Gretzky) after repeatedly shifting back and forth between the hotdog and igloo forms was starting to get old.
- In the movie, he can also shift into a large building. He never changed into it before because no one asked.
- He can also change into a fist and flip people the bird.
- One episode had Meatwad change into a tornado with accompanying winds, which implies his shapeshifting abilities are far more powerful than Meatwad's mind (and the animation budget) allow for.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Up to Eleven in "Unremarkable Voyage", when Shake drinks a vile concoction made for Meatwad so he'll puke up a computer chip. The first shot lasts for over ten seconds, while the second involves Shake getting drenched in his own vomit due to him lying down.
- Wasn't That Fun?: Quipped by Carl after returning from another dimension with gigantic hands.Carl: Well, that was fun. I'm gonna take a nap now, and then I think I'm gonna call, uh, some hospitals.
- Webisode: "Carl's Stone Cold Lock Of The Century Of The Week" during the NFL season.
- Weirdness Magnet: The Aqua Teens' house attracts aliens, robots, vampires, a polite onion-spider who feeds on human blood, weirdos who had a mummy in the crawl space, giant humanoid roaches, sirens, grim reaper salesmen, homeless people, and the Aqua Teens.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Allen is a subversion. He's only doing it because he's a "Well Done, Son!" Guy.
- Wham Episode: "Last Dance for Napkin Lad", in which Shake and Frylock are killed by Meatwad. Also, all three of them plus Carl and the titular Napkin Lad are shown to be top-secret assassins working a complex double-cross on each other. It ends on the ominous note of Meatwad assuring that he WILL see Carl later.
- When Trees Attack: The stupid, imbecilic trees in "Revenge of the Trees".
- Who Even Needs a Brain?: Jingle toy or not, Meatwad is not seriously affected without his. The only side effect is an increased tendency to forget what he's doing and shout "Do what now?!" whenever someone tries to give him instructions.
- The same also occurs with Steve in the very same episode. The only problems it causes for him is that he's no longer able to read.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: In contrast to Fryman and Carl, Christopher Lambert hates being immortal, having seen and done almost everything and finding everything "boring" as a result.
- Widget Series: IN AMERICA.
- Wipe: Lampshaded in The Movie: "Staaaaaaaaaaarrrr....wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiipe..."
- With Friends Like These...: Frylock's and Meatwad's relationship with Shake fits this to a T.
- Witch Doctor: Billywitchdoctor.com, hired by Frylock to resurrect Shake. He expresses problems doing anything bigger than a chicken, however. Or, for that matter, anything that isn't a chicken.
- Word Salad Title: [adult swim] actually lampshades this on their website:"First of all, they're not teens. Secondly, there's no water involved. The whole Hunger Force thing? That's probably misleading too."
- World of Snark: There are very few characters in the show that aren't snarky.
- Would Hurt a Child: If one considers Meatwad a child, then Shake definitely counts as this. Even some of his more apathetic moments have shades of this:Shake: I should not walk, so a child may live. [Beat] THAT'S WHAT IT DOES!
Frylock: Get up!
- Yank the Dog's Chain: At the beginning of "Robots Everywhere", Carl is showing the Aqua Teen's vacant house to a couple of prospective renters, who are normal humans. Then a couple of insane robots vaporize the couple and invade.
- You Have Got To Be Friggin' Kiddin' Me: Uttered by Carl after coming face to face with the army of Turkitrons in "The Dressing".
- Your Head Asplode:
- "Kidney Car" ends with Carl's head exploding for no reason.Meatwad: Why'd he do that?
Shake: Why wouldn't he?
- Happens several times in "Gee Whiz" due to shotgun blasts and Ted Nugent's arrow in Carl's shoulder. However, because of Standards and Practices, they gush out pretty rainbows instead of blood.
- "Kidney Car" ends with Carl's head exploding for no reason.
- Zombie Apocalypse: In "The Clowning", the Aqua Teens' house 67 years in the future is shown under attack by zombies who are being held back by a laser turret system.
- Master Shake:...C'mon, really?Carl: So that's it, that's how they end it, this trope page...Frylock: Yeah, I guess so.Meatwad: We still got a few words left. Let's do a joke, let's do like, a joke or something-