Class of 3000 is an Emmy Award-winning American animated comedy series that aired on Cartoon Network from 2006 to 2008. The series was created and executive produced by musician André "3000" Benjamin of the hip-hop group OutKast, who also voiced one of the main characters. The show was also co-created and developed by Thomas W. Lynch (The Secret World of Alex Mack) and Patric M. Verrone (Futurama).
The show follows Sunny Bridges (voiced by André 3000 himself), a world famous jazz and blues superstar. However, he has become disillusioned with celebrity life, ultimately resulting in him quitting during a concert in Japan. He plans to retire, moving back to his hometown of Atlanta, where the local Westley School of Performing Arts is at risk of shutting down its music program. Li'l D, self-proclaimed number one fan of Sunny's, discovers that he's back in town and, through some persistence, manages to re-ignite Sunny's love for music. Meeting the rest of Li'l D's friends which make up the music class (Madison, Tamika, Eddie, Philly Phil, Kim, and Kam), Sunny agrees to become their music teacher on the condition they keep the job fun for him.
The series premiered on November 3, 2006 as a one-hour special preceded by musical performances starring Chris Brown and Andre 3000. While the series was well-received, being one of the most popular series on the network during its run, budgetary issuesnote and the Writers Guild of America strike of 2007-2008note , resulted in the show's second season being its last. The final episode aired during a music-themed marathon in May 2008. The show's head writer was Meghan McCarthy, who went on to become story editor and showrunner for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
This show provides examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: BROC from "Big Robot on Campus" was originally designed to help Philly Phil become cool, before turning into a jerk himself and tried to sabotage Sunny's celebration for Westley's 101st Anniversary. It's revealed that BROC faked being evil so that Philly could stop him and become popular.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese ending theme is called "Funky Teacher" by SEAMO.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: When characters are shown as just masses.
- Amusing Injuries: In a rare aversion of its type, this show rarely shows them.
- Art Evolution: In Season 1, it's not uncommon for characters to be Off-Model. Season 2 fixes this problem and uses more contrasting colors.
- Art Shift: Every episode has a musical sequence where the art style changes in varying ways from psychedelic to live action to puppetry.
- Another one came during the episode "The Hunt for Red Blobtober", when the kids are being chased, it somehow turns into Pac-Man.
- Big Ball of Violence: Happens almost every time Kim and Kam get into a physical fight in "Westley Side Story."
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: These seem to be on almost every non-main character.
- Downplayed with Philly Phil, Eddie and Sunny, who have thicker eyebrows than the other main characters, but nowhere near the extent of most of the side characters.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: Eddie, Philly Phil, and Kam, respectively.
- Book Dumb: Sunny's students show great dealings with their music...but they all vary on school work and such.
- Brick Joke: Radios For Rabbits and the hobbit in "Home". And that's just the first episode.
- Bully and Wimp Pairing: Tamika and Eddie.
- Butt-Monkey: Let's just say each of the main cast is this at one point.
- But Kam's just a wee bit more vulnerable...
- Call to Agriculture: Sunny took up farming after he quits being a teacher due to Kim replacing the teachers with celebrities, which attracted a lot of unwanted attention that made him leave the music industry in the first place. Although in the end, the kids were able to convince the said celebrities to take up farming, so Sunny and the old teachers can return.
- Celebrity Toons: Created by and starring Andre 3000.
- Christmas Episode: "The Class of 3000 Christmas Special"
- Class Trip
- Coincidental Accidental Disguise: The episode, "The Hunt for Red Blobtober", where the gang mistook Sunny for a pirate. The items were: sunglasses half-off (as in, only one lens), him wearing a blouse but the hanger became a hook in a sleeve, and Bianca accidentally writing 'Sunny Blidges' on the grain of rice thus making him say, 'R! R I say! R!'...then the parrot came and lampshaded the whole thing with, "Sunny's a pirate, do the math."
- Completely Missing the Point: Madison could very well be the queen of this.
- Also Bianca Moon, the hippie who owns the new age store.
- Continuity Nod:
- Momo the gorilla appears in a cameo in "Tamika and the Beast," an entire season after his first appearance.
- Near the start of "Am I Blue?", Sunny references "Peanuts! Get yer Peanuts!", "Funky Monkey", and "Hunt for Red Blobtober."
- Curse Cut Short: Phil does this to himself in the pilot.
- Cut Short: Two seasons, 28 episodes total and quietly went under afterwards with not even a series finale. A crying shame as it's obvious the Network wanted it to go further but too many factors just wouldn't let it.
- A Day in the Limelight: Quite a few of the Season 2 episodes do this.
- Deal with the Devil: Not really the devil, but a record company executive who fills the role rather well. Although at one point he started to refer to himself as the devil, but stopped himself.
- The episode in question is called "The Devil and Li'l D", and it was implied he was the Devil throughout the entire episode (using blue demons that can replace their heads when they're chopped off as henchmen, belching fire, using zombies as a 'research and marketing' division, etc...)
- Deliberately Monochrome: "Richer Shade of Blue" is done entirely in all blue.
- Deranged Animation: At its worst. The "We Want Your Soul" video sticks out.
- Disappeared Dad: In the pilot episode, Madison points out that Li'l D never met his father.
- Doorstopper: The required extra credit material of Westley's first year history class is a massive book.
- Dreadful Musician: Li'l D in regards to playing the fiddle.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Excluding the animation quality...
- Every song up until the Season 1 finale had vocals.
- Most of Season 1 lacked the extra animations in the credits from Season 2.
- Philly Phil in the pilot was actually somewhat of a wiseass.
- From "Peanuts! Get Yer Peanuts!" up to "The Devil and Li'l D", Eddie does not hit on Tamika even once, despite doing so in the pilot. They become a regular occurrence from "Brotha From the Third Rock" on.
- Epunymous Title
- Fanservice: Sunny and Leela Lopez in swimsuits.
- Maybe the kids in their swimsuits as well. Except for Kam.
- Even Nerds Have Standards: The science kids from the new school Philly Phil transferred to looks down on his friends for being "music geeks".
- Fell Off the Back of a Truck: "Where did you get a rocket?"
- Fiction 500: Eddie is so rich he has five fingers on each hand instead of four.
- Five-Man Band
- Five-Token Band: Li'l D and Tamika are African American, Kim and Kam are of Asian descent, Madison is Greek-Italian, Eddie has Swiss heritage, and Phil's heritage is unknown.
- Gem-Encrusted: Eddie has a diamond-encrusted gold clarinet.
- Girl Posse
- Hands Go Down:Sunny: Who can tell me what the key to winning a regional music competition is?
(hands go up)
Sunny: And don't say 'musical ability'.
(all hands go down except Tamika and Madison)
Sunny: Or wedgies.
(Tamika's hand goes down)
Sunny: Or dolphins.
(Madison's hand goes down)
- Hartman Hips: Multiple older female characters have this.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog
- Idea Bulb: When Li'l D gets the idea to show the other kids where Sunny supposedly lives, one of these appears. It's revealed to be an actual lightbulb.
- Indy Escape / Indy Hat Roll: The Raiders of the Lost Ark was parodied in "Eddie's Money", with Sunny Bridges as Indy. The boulder is just one of the hazards involved in accessing what turns out to be the world's most inconveniently located gift store (turns out they do most of their business online). Also during the excursion, Sunny grabs his hat with his feet for a few extra style points.
- Inexplicably Awesome: Sunny Bridges
- Instrument of Murder: In "Funky Monkey", Tamika uses her harp as a bow to fire a drumstick at Li'l D.
- Leitmotif: Most characters, when they need to be showcased, have their associated instrument playing in the background.
- The Load: Averted. None of the kids are presented as being this.
- Louis Cypher: Big D in "The Devil and Li'l D".
- Love Triangle: "Love is in the Hair...Net"
- The Men in Black: The S.U.A.M.A. (Shut Up and Move Along) agents from "Brotha from the Third Rock".
- The Millennium Age of Animation
- The Mockbuster: Cheddar Man was peddling these in "The Hunt for the Red Blobtober", all starring himself. He was last seen working on a mockbuster for The Wizard of Oz.Cheddar Man (as the Wicked Witch): I'm evaporating, evaporating! What a hood, what a hood!
(He changes costumes within the same take.)
Cheddar Man (now as Dorothy): There's no place like my crib! There's no place like my crib! There's no place like my crib!
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Sunny, Tamika, and to a lesser extent Philly Phil, are typically shown as fairly strong despite not having visual muscles. Tamika might have some though.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Christmas Special has Li'l D nearly ruining Christmas by stuffing a ton of cookies in Santa's sleigh as an attempt to get on Santa's nice list. Causing Santa and Sunny to be stranded in the middle of the tundra as the sled can barely hold the two of them and their gear.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Madison, Tamika, and Kim, respectively. Downplayed in Tamika's case, as she's merely a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Noodle People: Sunny and Phil, compared to most of the other characters.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Although the kids are all but stated to be in the 12-13 age range and Eddie's birthday is celebrated in one episode, they consistently still look young, even when they're implied to be a bit older in the Christmas Episode.
- Older Than They Look: Aside from Philly Phil, who does look like an actual (if tall) 13-year-old, none of the kids look old enough to be attending middle school.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Eddie and Philly Phil's full names, Edward and Phillip, respectively, are almost never used. Possibly the case with Kim and Kam, too.
- Only Child Syndrome: Every kid except the twins Kim and Kam is implied to be an only child. Likely confirmed with Eddie.
- Ow, My Body Part!: See Running Gag below.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Kim is associated with pink, while her twin brother Kam is associated with blue.
- Produce Pelting: Performances at Westley deemed "not fantastic" are open to this. But only school-sanctioned rotten produce is allowed after the last Fall Showcase.
- Puni Plush: No straight lines are allowed on the characters
- The Psycho Rangers: The band met Sunny's old school rival who has a class that's pretty much Evil Twin versions of them.
- Running Gag: An item thrown out of view at any given time tends to cause the off-screen response of "Ow, my eye!" right after a crash. A related item meeting the same fate will cause the same person to call out "Ow, my other eye!" right after a crash.
- Safety Worst: "Safety Last" shows Eddie's parents locking him in a tower in order to protect him.
- Schizo Tech: Despite the show being set in "the year two thousand-something" according to Li'l D, old-school bells are still used at Westley, and everyone still uses 90's-style technology.
- School Play: Basically the plot of the episode "Safety Last".
- Secret Shop: "Eddie's Money" had a gift shop where you had to pass through an Indiana Jones style Death Course in order to enter. It turns out they did most of their business online.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Li'l D is the Manly Man to the rest of his male classmate's Sensitive Guy.
- Ship Tease:
- Although it was known that Eddie liked Tamika from the start, the Christmas Episode hints that the reverse may also be true.
- Although Kim did express distaste at being paired with Philly Phil in "Nothin' To It But To Do It", "Take a Hike!" implies that she may have started to like him.
- Sunny and Leela Lopez kiss in the Stinger of "Two to Tango". That entire episode pretty much provides shipping material, including an actual breakup.
- Kim and Madison are pretty close for being just friends...
- Li'l D and Madison have some Ship Tease in some episodes.
- Leela Lopez dressed like Marge Simpson in "Love is in the Hair...Net".
- Philly Phil's yellow jumpsuit is reminiscent of April O'Neil from The '80s. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- There's a couple album covers of famous musicians which are filtered to make posters in Sunny's classroom. One of them is Beatles for Sale.
- During a montage showing the world's reaction to Sunny quitting, we see an Oprah Winfrey look-alike, complete with a reference to the infamous "Everybody gets a free car" moment from her talk show.
- Both Godzilla and Mothra show up fighting by Atlanta's skyling in a few establishing shots of an episode.
- The entire plot line of "The Devil and Li'l D" is lifted from the song "The Devil Went Down To Georgia", where someone (in this case, Sunny) duels the devil in a fiddling contest.
- On Eddie's $1,000 dollar bill in "Eddie's Money" and Philly Phil's score on the video game he's playing in "Brotha from the Third Rock", the number 4815162342 is seen.
- Madison doing the Carlton Dance in the music video "Philly Phil Come Home".
- "Funky Monkey" has a Homage to Donkey Kong with Li'l D climbing up a construction site, even Sunny gives him a giant mallet to knock away any barrels.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Kim is fun-loving and modern, while Kam is serious and old-fashioned.
- Stylistic Suck: The "Banana Zoo" video takes a few visual cues from older cartoons.
- Tasty Gold: Philly Phil tests a piece of "gold" this way in the episode "Funky Monkey".Philly Phil:"That explains the creamy caramel fillin'."
- Team Dad: Sunny.
- Token Rich Student: Eddie is the son of the head of Cola Cola's Earth Divison. His supply of money is seemingly endless, which is helpful for writing off any big expenses that the class might face during their adventures. Comparatively, his classmates all seem to be of middle class.
- Tongue on the Flagpole: Madison gets her tongue stuck on an ice sculpture at Eddie's birthday. Twice.
- Totem Pole Trench: Done to pose as an alien in "Brotha from the Third Rock".
- Town Girls: Tamika (Butch), Kim (Neither), and Madison (Femme).
- True Companions: The kids and Sunny.
- Uncle Pennybags: Both Sunny and Eddie.
- Unrequited Love: Eddie to Tamika.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Almost anything unusual at Westley is treated this way. This ranges from people getting their heads stuck in record players to giant squid attacks.Luna: "From the flames of tradition, I stab at thee!"
(He is promptly dragged off-screen by a giant squid.)
Philly Phil: "Yep. Boring."
- Use Your Head: Philly Phil is used as a human battering ram in the episode "Too Cool for School".
- Vague Age: Averted for the main seven kids, who are all in the 12-13 range. Played straight for the adult characters.
- Villain Song: Despite being a musical show, this is actually surprisingly rare. However, Big D gets a rather epic one called "All We Want Is Your Soul".
- Vocal Evolution:
- Kam's voice in the earlier episodes is less raspy and slightly higher, as opposed to the lower, slightly raspy one in later episodes.
- Philly Phil's voice in the earliest episodes is higher and faster, and has a slight Philadelphia accent to it. Late Season 1 nixes his accent, in addition to being a borderline Simpleton Voice. Season 2 goes for a compromise between the two.