Chop Socky Chooks was a short-lived British-Canadian All-CGI Cartoon produced by Aardman Animations and Decode Entertainment (now part of WildBrain). A spoof of martial arts movies, the series aired on Teletoon and Cartoon Network from March to September of 2008, running for a total of 26 episodes. over a single season
The show focused on three martial artists named Chick P., K.O. Joe, and Chuckie Chan, who all live and work in a city-sized shopping mall called Wasabi World, which is owned by an evil little piranha named Dr. Wasabi. The trio protect the citizens of Wasabi World from Dr. Wasabi's various machinations, which usually involves have to use their kung fu skills to battle Dr. Wasabi's ninja chimps and his massive but dimwitted gorilla henchman Bubba.
...Oh, and did we mention our heroes are fighting chickens?
Yeah, this was an odd little show. And if you're wondering about the name, "chop socky" is a slang term used by film buffs for schlocky, low-budget Hong Kong martial arts movies made between the 60s and the 80s (aka the kinds of movies the show is inspired by), while "chook", which is a little-known Australian/New Zealander word for "chicken" (which the characters are highly stylized CGI-cartoon versions of). Basically, it's a weird way of saying "kung-fu chickens".
Incidentally, this was actually Aardman's second co-production with Decode, having previously created Planet Sketch with them. Aardman would later add a third show to their slate of co-productions with Canada in the form of Counterfeit Cat, although this one was done with Atomic Cartoons. Both shows, incidentally, also aired on Teletoon in Canada.
Tropes the show includes:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: In "Snake in the Class" after the Chooks' cover is blown Chuckie is mobbed by a group of women once they know he's a wanted fugitive.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Chuckie Chan and several supporting characters.
- Berserk Button: Do NOT mock Chick P's father, especially to her face. Dead-Eye learns the hard way. If she wasn't Chick P's childhood friend, Chick P might actually have killed her.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Kobura briefly took over in "Snake in the Class".
- Big "SHUT UP!": Bubba bellows "QUIET!" in order to silence the cheering crowd in "Now You Coliseum, Now You Don't".
- Blatant Lies: In "Snakes in the Class", Dr. Wasabi claimed he always knew who the Chop Socky Chooks really were.
- Blinding Bangs: Oni/Deadeye. When she's Oni they cover her Mad Eye, but when she's Deadeye they cover her normal eye.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: At one point, Doctor Wasabi tries to decide on which deadly trap to use."Shark pit...secret catapult...secret shark catapult..."
- By Wall That Is Holey: Happens to Chucky and Joe when they are trapped in Wasabi's Dream World and the giant mechanical duck Mr Quackers knocks a building over on top of them.
- Catchphrase: K.O. Joe has one: "Sweet Easter!"
- Comically Missing the Point: At the end of "The Mark of the Bantam" Bantam strongly implies that Joe is his son, but Joe remains oblivious and wonders who this son he referred to is.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Dr. Wasabi is a tycoon who's very proud of his greedy, dishonest business practices, in addition to being a megalomaniacal villain.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Dead-Eye goes too far and mocks Chick P's father for signing his property over to Doctor Wasabi, and gloats that she herself is responsible, to Chick P's face. Chick P proceeds to angrily beat Dead-Eye in mere SECONDS!
- Darker and Edgier: Bantam, after disappearing for a while.
- Lighter and Softer: Bantam, before his disappearance.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul"/That Man Is Dead: Kobura hates it when someone (especially Chuckie Chan) calls him Kobi.
- Dumb Muscle: Bubba is a typical strong but dim-witted lackey.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In the first episode, Chuckie Chan has a psychic vision when his students are in danger. In later episodes, he never has this ability to see events happening elsewhere.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Chick P is outraged when she learns Oni was the one who hypnotized her father into giving Dr. Wasabi the land to create Wasabi World.
- Evil Former Friend: Oni and Chick P were best friends when they were kids, then Oni turned to the dark side and became Dead-Eye.
- Eyes Always Shut: Chuckie Chan, but that's just his pupils, he still has eyelids. And Cho.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: The pattern on Deadeye's catsuit invokes this, though they're not real eyes.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Siren is revealed to be a horrible singer, but Dr. Wasabi and Chuckie Chan can't hear it.
- I Ate WHAT?!: In "Do You Want Thighs With That?", the Chooks are horrified and disgusted when they find out the secret ingredient in Dr. Wasabi's burgers is actually fat removed from liposuction patients.
- Ice-Cream Koan: Chuckie Chan's specialty, except he exaggerates the trope to the point of Word Salad Philosophy, the point of this aspect of his character being to parody koans in general.Child, you must learn that the turtle does not backstroke in the cornfield.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Near the end of the series, the heroes finally have Wasabi right where they want him, they are just about to defeat him once and for all, until Chuckie enforces this trope on them. (Though this was more to preserve Status Quo)
- Informed Species:
- The main trio are chickens. Only Chuckie, with his weird hair thing, even slightly resembles one.
- Similarly, Wasabi looks more like an actual dollop of wasabi than any sort of live, intact fish.
- Ironic Echo: In "Snake in the Class", combined with Captain Obvious:Chick P: Looks like someone blew our cover.
K.O. Joe: No, you think?
K.O. Joe: I knew it! It was [Kobura] who blabbed our secret identities!
Chick P: No, you think?
- Kamehame Hadouken: For some unexplained reason, Chuckie Chan is able to produce a green Energy Ball version of this trope.
- Lampshade Hanging: A young Kobi gets bitten by cobras in "Kobura Strikes!". When he gains snake-like properties because of it, we get this:Chuckie Chan: The cobra venom turned his mind as black as his heart. Luckily for me, it also deadened [Kobi's] reflex.
Kobi: I hate you...I dessssspise you!
Chuckie Chan: And given him a lisp. Apparently snake venom can do that.
- Magic Skirt: There's a noticeable example in "Now You Coliseum, Now You Don't," when Chick P hangs upside-down for several minutes straight. Funnily enough, the episode repeatedly showed that she's wearing athletic shorts under the skirt, so the trope is unnecessary in this case but suits the quirky tone of the show.
- Maniac Monkeys: Dr. Wasabi's ninja chimps.
- Meaningful Name: Bantam is an anagram of Batman
- Mobile Fishbowl: Dr. Wasabi is a tiny shark who travels around in an astronaut-style suit filled with water. Siren Sung also appears in a literal instance of this trope in "His Master's Choice".
- Mouthy Bird: The main trio are chickens with beaks that look like human lips, making it difficult to identify them as chickens.
- No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Chuckie Chan in "Snake in the Class"."Ladies, please! One at a time!"
- Nobody Touches the Hair: K.O. Joe doesn't like anyone messing with his 'fro.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Professor Shericon's voice is an impersonation of Jimmy Stewart.
- Offstage Villainy: In the earlier episodes of the series, all of Wasabi's schemes revolve around trying to dispose of the heroes, who are not established as having actually done anything to earn his ire in the first place. It's only in later episodes where Wasabi starts concocting schemes whose end goal is something other than the removal of his pre-existing heroic nemeses.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Siren Sung from "His Master's Choice" is stated to be a mermaid but is a full anthropomorphic fish.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: No one can tell who the Chooks are despite their disguises only consisting of a different set of clothes.
- In "Snake in the Class" it's explained they're relative nobodies and hardly anyone knows them in their regular civilian lives.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: While Kobura's anger is directed entirely on Chucky, who was a fellow student, while Kobura is giving his big speech and walks away their sensei tells Chucky he's heard a few of these before.
- Revenge: Kobura wants revenge on Chuckie Chan for making him look bad in front of their sensei, getting bitten by cobras, and banished forever.
- Rule of Cool: Presumably why the protagonists use martial arts in particular to fight evil.
- Same Language Dub: Chuckie's voice was replaced for American airings because his original voice was thought to be offensive.
- Save the Villain: In "The Mark of the Bantam" the Chooks have to save Wasabi from Bantam because he has jumped off the slippery slope and is trying to kill him.
- Secret Identity: Chick P (Chickadee Pao), K.O. Joe (J.J.), and Chuckie Chan (Sensei Chan)
- Small, Secluded World: The show never ventures outside of the same specific city-sized mall. Occasionally the action might wander to the outer walls and immediate parking lot of the structure, but the world past that might as well not even exist.
- Sssssnake Talk: As a result of being bitten by cobras, Kobura hisses his S's. Funny enough, when he hypnotized all of Wasabi World to destroy the Chooks, he made a point to make everyone stop.Kobura: And you will stop slurring your S's!Hypnotized citizens: Okie dokie.
- Sue Donym: The Chooks' aliases are very similar to their real names.
- That Man Is Dead: When Oni/Dead-Eye flees at the end of "If Looks Can Kill", Joe asks Chick P if they should chase after her, prompting Chick P to invoke this trope.Chick P: No, let her go...Oni doesn't exist anymore. Wasabi saw to that a long time ago.
- Ungrateful Bastards: Some punks throwing vegetables at K.O. Joe in "Snake in the Class".Chuckie Chan: We cannot endanger innocent bystanders.
K.O. Joe: (gotten hit by a vegetable) Yeah, well some of them ain't all that innocent.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Oni/Deadeye, before Wasabi led her down the dark path.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Despite his vicious personality, Wasabi cares about keeping the public's respect. A significant example of this occurs in "Now You Coliseum, Now You Don't," when Wasabi has an opportunity to kill the Chooks, but he spares their lives to avoid displeasing the public.
- "Wanted!" Poster: The Chooks share one. Their pictures intentionally depict them with unflattering facial expressions.
- We Used to Be Friends: Chick P and Oni were best friends until Oni became Deadeye. It was revealed in "If Looks Can Kill" that she used her hypnotic powers to get Chick P's dad to sell his property to Dr. Wasabi.
- We Want Our Idiot Back!: In "Planet of the Bubba", a freak accident in space causes a satellite TV chip to get lodged in Bubba's head, making him a super genius who leaves even Chick P. and Wasabi in the dust. The latter finds it great at first, until Bubba decides that he would be a better ruler than his boss, locking Wasabi up in jail with everyone else. The Chooks and Wasabi then form an alliance in an attempt to return Bubba back to his idiotic self. They manage to do so using the TV remote for Wasabi's TV to switch the channel giving Bubba his intelligence to shows that instead lower it back to normal.
- Whole Plot Reference: "Now You Coliseum, Now You Don't" is one to Rollerball.
- Wrench Wench: Chick P is a janitor and can often be seen carrying a wrench in her civilian life.