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Western Animation / Carl˛

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I'm stuck with myself again
My clone is my new best friend
Carl Squared
— The show's Expository Theme Tune

Ever wondered how life would be if you had a clone of yourself? Why not ask this Canadian cartoon for examples?

Carl Crashman is a lazy 14-year-old who is good at only one thing: slacking. One day, he had a rough day and he was tired of doing things he hated all the time. While blogging on the Internet, he complained about his life. Hearing his request for a clone, an online cloning company sent Carl an exact clone of himself in a box. Carl named him Carl Squared or simply C2. Even if C2 looked like him, talked like him, and walked like him, C2 was more ambitious, hard working and charming, much to Carl's advantage. Since C2 arrived, Carl has been relaxing a lot more. However, C2 really always does something opposite to what Carl wants. Carl decided to keep C2 a secret from everyone else, except his best friend, Jamie James.

Produced by Portfolio Entertainment, the series originally lasted for 52 episodes over three seasons (2005–07) on Teletoon (which also commissioned and aired Portfolio's previous show Roboroach). A fourth season was made in 2008, but only aired in 2010–11, leaving the show with a total of 65 episodes.

The show provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Lorna constantly hits on Carl. C2, however, doesn't mind Lorna at all.
  • Achilles' Power Cord: One episode has the protagonists being chased by a doctor wielding a power drill. He chases them across the street and the power cord reaches its limit and pulls the plug out of the outlet. The doctor laments about not spending a few extra bucks to purchase the cordless version of the drill.
  • Alliterative Family: Siblings: Carl and Chloe Crashman.
  • Alliterative Name:
  • Always Someone Better: Cousin Brittney is a better goth than Chloe. Chloe has to fight very hard not to give her the satisfaction.
  • Alternate Timeline: C2 drops an olive into a time machine and changes the timeline into a Bizarro Universe. It turns out to be All Just a Dream.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: After Carl's garage burns down, the two hobos manage to replace it overnight. Turns out he was a famous jazz musician who decided to ride the rails and do anonymous good deeds as he goes.
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: Buccaneer Burger and its pirate-themed uniforms.
  • Burger Fool: Buccaneer Burger, the pirate-themed burger restaurant.
  • Clark Kenting: Carl is somehow able to pass off as a stranger by just wearing a simple disguise whenever he has to be with C2 together in public.
  • The Ditz: Both Carls fit this to a degree.
  • Ditzy Genius: C2 enjoys studying, but is pretty naive.
  • Dragged into Drag: C2 in his Carlotta disguise.
  • Egg Sitting: Done with sophisticated robot babies, including a microchip that records how well the students do at "parenting". Carl accidentally decapitates his.
  • Expository Theme Tune
  • Extremely Overdue Library Book: In "Carl's Techno-Jinx", Carl is banned from the library (by a Scary Librarian) for a massively overdue book about puberty.
  • Genius Ditz: Carl is Book Dumb but street smart.
  • Goth: Chloe embraces the style and attitude. Her boyfriend also dresses in goth style, but is more of a Perky Goth.
  • Granola Girl: Skye is always trying to save the planet or fight for women's rights. Carl usually views things the other way, but would agree to help Skye merely to get close to her.
  • Groupie Brigade: Carl (and C2) acquire one after Carl appears on a TV talent show in "Spotlight on Carl".
  • Growling Gut: C2 gets a nasty case of this when he eats his machine-made bread loaf in "Take Your Clone To Work Day".
    C2: (groans) My tummy's never made that noise before!
  • I've Got an X, and I'm Not Afraid to Use It!: A security guard trying to get Carl and Jamie to stop playing a video game demo at an electronics store uses this line, with the item being a walkie talkie.
  • Jar Potty: Used as a Brick Joke in one episode. C2 starts off in the luggage, begging for use of a washroom. Carl gives him a cup to use, since he couldn't confess to his family that he had a clone just yet. Near the end of the episode, Carl is the one who ends up in the suitcase, and drinks "some nasty soda C2 left".
  • Limited Wardrobe: Kind of important, or Carl and his clone would have been outed much sooner. The first season has different outfits from the later ones, though.
  • Literal-Minded: C2 all the way.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: C2 contains 5% DNA from Carl's dog Rex.
  • Perky Goth: Chloe's boyfriend, Damien. One of the few male examples of this trope.
  • Perpetual Smiler: C2 is constantly in a state of goofy happiness.
  • Poster Patchup: After a falling tree punches a hole in the wall of his bedroom, Carl tells his parents he can just throw a poster over it to avoid having to sleep in the living room with his sister while repairs are completed.
  • Punny Name: Carl's girlfriend, Skye Blue.
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse: In "Clone Scene Investigation", Carl claims that C2 is his identical cousin.
  • Raised in a Lab: To some extent, C2. While a lot of his immature and socially ignorant behavior is attributed to his being younger than he looks, some of his nerdier behavior like a love of school can be related back to the set of triplet doctors who raised him. The opening theme song shows that he thinks a bowtie is acceptable for a teenagers' yearbook photo; when we finally meet "the lab guys", they do in fact all wear bowties.
  • Repetitive Name: Carl's best friend, Jamie James.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr Agar, Carl’s homeroom teacher. He detests Carl and always tries to look for a reason to get him into trouble. Whenever Carl doesn’t fail on a test or he successfully passes an assignment, Mr. Agar always accuses Carl of cheating. He also had Carl’s sister, Chloe, as a student (which might be a possible explanation as to why he dislikes Carl). He expressed (various times) his irritation and dislike of the Crashman bloodline.
  • Scary Librarian: Miss Dickens from the episode "Carl's Techno-Jinx". She crash tackles and handcuffs offenders, puts Carl's library card through a blender and drinks it, and C2 is convinced that she put a curse on him.
  • Secret-Keeper: Jamie James is the only person to know about C2. Skye also becomes one in the Grand Finale.
  • Shout-Out: In "Clone Scene Investigation," Lorna catches Carl and C2 together. To make certain the secret doesn't get out, Carl says he has an identical cousin. Lorna replies that it seems a little too 60's sitcom-ish.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Carl and Chloe. Carl is "the poster boy for slackers everywhere". Chloe is an angry goth who hates anything sweet.
  • The Slacker: Carl, in contrast to his clone C2.
  • Slogan-Yelling Megaphone Guy: Skye is helping Carl protest about... something and a megaphone is used.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Skye is Carl’s vegetarian girlfriend who has a dream to save nature itself. She always makes fundraisers for stray animals and tries to raise awareness of nature, which Carl is not interested in. She is also an expert of protesting.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Lorna often spies on Carl. She comes very close to learning about the clone secret several times because of this.
  • The Talk: Carl's parents decide to give him the talk at the end of "Carl's Techno-Jinx", complete with helpful educational video.
  • Toilet Humour: In "Take Your Clone To Work Day", C2 turns into a Lethal Chef when making a bread loaf, eats the entire said bread loaf, and ends up having to run to the bathroom.
  • Was It All a Lie?: In the Grand Finale, after learning of the existence of C2, Skye wonders this about her relationship with Carl, since C2 stood in for him several times during it.
  • Which Me?:
    "When face to face, I met myself at the door."


Video Example(s):


Carl Squared

In this opening song, Carl explains how he inadvertently caused the creation of C2, and now lives with a clone of himself.

How well does it match the trope?

4 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ExpositoryThemeTune

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