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Western Animation / Chop Socky Chooks

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Left to right: Chuckie Chan, K.O. Joe and Chick P.

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:

  • A Dog Named "Cat": Chick P's full name is Chickadee, despite her being a chicken.
  • Afro Asskicker: K.O. Joe is a martial-arts expert with this signature style. His comb also doubles as a grappling hook.
  • 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.
  • Ass Kicks You: The Iron-Butt Monks use their metal rear-ends to attack people.
  • 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: Dr. Wasabi. He's the ruler of Wasabi World and he's always making new plans to get even richer and more powerful in the most underhanded ways possible. Including but not limited to: sending people to the moon to force them to mine moon rocks, harvesting peoples' fear from their nightmares, stealing everyone's good karma on Christmas, and feeding people extracted fat from liposuction patients.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Kobura briefly took over the mall in "Snake in the Class".
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Bubba lets out a massive "SHUSH!" in order to silence the cheering crowd in "Now You Coliseum, Now You Don't".
  • Blatant Lies: In "Snake in the Class", Dr. Wasabi claimed he always knew who the Chop Socky Chooks really were.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: At one point, Doctor Wasabi tries to decide on which deadly trap to use.
    Dr. Wasabi: Shark pit...secret catapult...secret shark catapult...
  • The Brute: Bubba is Dr. Wasabi's right hand man, and what he lacks in brains he makes up for in brawn.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: Happens to Chuckie 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.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Chuckie Chan thinks he's a lot better with the ladies than he actually is.
  • Catchphrase: K.O. Joe has one: "Sweet Easter!"
  • City of Adventure: Wasabi World is a mall the size of a city, and there's many layers to it, including ones that haven't seen the light of day in years.
  • 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.
  • Demonic Possession: In the episode "Big Bad Bubba!," Dr. Wasabi accidentally releases a demon that possesses Bubba, causing him to go on a rampage eating everything he can find.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul"/That Man Is Dead: Kobura hates it when someone (especially Chuckie Chan) calls him Kobi.
  • The Dragon: Bubba is Dr. Wasabi's bumbling sidekick.
  • 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.
  • Egopolis: Dr. Wasabi named his city-sized mall "Wasabi World."
  • 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.
    • Junior Chook Cho has these as well.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: The pattern on Deadeye's catsuit invokes this, though they're not real eyes.
    • Played straight with the lard monster in the episode "Do You Want Thighs With That?", as it has eyes on its hands and feet.
  • Fartillery: A variant occurs when Dr. Wasabi invents a laser cannon powered by his butt. The same episode, "Return the Other Cheek," introduces the Iron-Butt monks, who have a deadly attack that's basically an energy blast from their butts, the inspiration for Dr. Wasabi's invention.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Chuckie Chan is the Ego, as he believes in an honorable fight, and he tries to keep the others from straying too far.
    • K.O. Joe is the Id, as he's very confident and bold, but with anger issues.
    • Chick P is the Superego, as she's got a strong moral compass and a knack for mechanics.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animals: Most of the main characters are. The main trio are chickens in martial-arts uniforms, Wasabi is a piranha in a scientist's outfit, and Bubba is a gorilla in a suit.
  • Godlike Gamer: "Game Over Chooks!" has Chuckie Chan's student Ume being revealed as one, possessing unbeatable scores on arcade games. Her skill is so great that she gains the attention of Wasabi, who wishes to steal her gaming skills so he can use them in real life against the Chooks.
  • 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 sauce on 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.
    But does not the minnow risk sharp teeth to sleep on the tiger's tongue?
    It is said when the mighty lion roars, you must put head in mouth to check for toothache!
  • 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.
    • Oni/Deadeye also does not resemble a viper.
  • 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?
  • Joke of the Butt: Basically the entire episode "Return The Other Cheek." The MacGuffin even looks like a butt!
  • Kamehame Hadouken: For some unexplained reason, Chuckie Chan is able to produce a green Energy Ball version of this trope.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": K.O. Joe is a huge fan of the Bantam.
  • 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.
  • Laughably Evil: Dr. Wasabi's schemes are over the top to a ridiculous degree.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Wasabi is a smart man who knows how to make machines that will cause as much misery as possible.
  • 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.
  • Manly Tears: Lampshaded at the end of "The Lamest Show on Earth."
    Chick P: What's the matter, Joe? Got sawdust in your eye?
    K.O. Joe: What? A guy can't cry?
  • May Contain Evil: The hot new toy of the Christmas season is a robot pet that steals your good karma and sends it to Dr. Wasabi.
  • Meaningful Name: Bantam is an anagram of Batman
  • Mobile Fishbowl: Dr. Wasabi is a piranha 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.
  • The Napoleon: Dr. Wasabi is shorter than the main trio, but he more than makes up for his short stature with his attitude.
  • 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.
  • Not Worth Killing: The Chooks let Dr. Wasabi live so they can set a good example for Bantam.
  • Obligatory Joke: In the episode "The Chooks Of Hazard," the chooks have to deactivate a nuclear bomb/electric razor hybrid. Once it's turned off, K.O. Joe has this to say:
    K.O. Joe: Now that's what I call a close shave. [beat] Well, somebody had to say it!
  • 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.
  • One-Episode Fear: In the episode "In Your Dreams," K.O Joe is revealed to be afraid of jellybeans after having one stuck up his nose as a kid. This fear is never brought up before or again.
  • 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.
  • Peek A Bangs: Oni/Deadeye. When she's Oni they cover her Mad Eye, but when she's Deadeye they cover her normal eye.
  • Power Trio: Chick P, Chuckie Chan, and K.O Joe are the heroes that defend Wasabi World from crooks and ne'er-do-wells.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: While Kobura's anger is directed entirely on Chuckie, who was a fellow student, while Kobura is giving his big speech and walks away their sensei tells Chuckie 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.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Kobi/Kobura turned to the dark side after being bitten by cobras.
  • Rule of Cool: Presumably why the protagonists use martial arts in particular to fight evil.
  • Rump Roast: Invoked by the Iron-Butt monks, who trained themselves by dunking their backsides into sand, hot rocks, and molten lava.
  • 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)
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stable Time Loop: In the episode "Chop Socky Whoops," Dr. Wasabi goes back in time to prevent the Chop Socky Chooks from forming, but his intervention causes them to meet anyway. He's even responsible for their group's name when he gives them his good old "I'll get you next time you Chop-Socky Chooks" — the trio have no clue what he's talking about, but agree it has a nice ring to it.
  • Status Quo Is God: In the episode "Snake in the Class," the Chooks' secret identities are revealed by Kobura. Once he's been defeated, the Chooks use his giant hypnotizer statue to erase everyone's memories of their identities, restoring order to Wasabi World.
  • 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.
  • Tagalong Kids: The Junior Chooks Cho, Raco, and Stroose occasionally help the main trio with their plans.
  • 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.
  • íThree Amigos!: The Chop Socky Chooks consists of two men (K.O Joe and Chuckie Chan) and one female (Chick P).
  • Time Travel: In the episode "Chop Socky Whoops," Dr. Wasabi invents a time machine to prevent the Chooks from ever meeting. Naturally, it fails.
  • 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.
  • Wacky Racing: The episode "The Chooks of Hazard" has the chooks participating in a scavenger hunt race.
  • "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.
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: In one episode, Dr. Wasabi's latest money-making scheme is to open a liposuction clinic that gives clients complementary burgers made with the fat that they just had sucked out of them. He falls into one of the liposuction machines himself and his brain gets sucked out, leaving him with the intelligence of an infant.
  • 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.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Cho dresses exactly like one.


Chop Socky Chooks

Bubba crashes cleanly through a wall.

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