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Western Animation / Crashbox

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In the late 90's, HBO broadcast an Edutainment Show from Canada called Crashbox. The show was a bunch of skits held together by the game console (the titular Crashbox). Most of the skits were in Stop Motion (with a few exceptions). The show lasted for 2 years and 2 seasons, totaling 39 episodes. It is still shown on HBO Family in reruns.

This series provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Jumpin' Johnny Jumble of Radio Scramble.
  • Always Identical Twins: Paige and Sage.
  • And I Must Scream: Captain Bones is cursed to sail the seven seas forever, even after his body has rotted away. And he'll tell ya', he's bored stiff. The only thing that saves him from going stark-raving mad is making up math puzzles using nothing but his own bones.
  • Animals Hate Him: Eddie Bull will always get eaten by the resident of whatever cage he's standing next to. According to them, it's because he's just so damn delicious.
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  • Animate Body Parts: The ears of "Ear We Are".
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The whole point of Distraction News.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Eddie Bull, where all animals eat their prey by shrinking them whole and carrying them through in one piece. Or maybe it's just Eddie that who that happens to, the show isn't clear.
  • Artsy Beret: Sketch Pad, whose segment revolves around, well, sketching pictures on his sketch pad, has one.
  • Art Shift: While some of the games are of stop motion, Sketch Pad, Like Totally Paige and Sage, Ear We Are, Haunted House Party, Mug Shots, Lens McCracken, Revolting Slob, and Word Shake have their own styles.
  • Badass Longcoat: Lens presumably has one of these; one hangs outside his office along with a fedora.
  • Beatnik: Sketch Pad, ya dig?
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Haunted House Party is set outside of a haunted house.
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  • Butt-Monkey: He's pretty chipper in spite of it, but Eddie Bull's simply too appetizing for animals to resist. The poor fella gets eaten and (presumably) spat back out every episode.
  • Character Title: Some of the segments: Eddie Bull, Lens McCracken, Paige and Sage, Sketch Pad, Captain Bones, Revolting Slob...
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Some of the segments vanished in Season 2. Somewhat Justified in that the characters never interact anyway, meaning it'd be impossible to acknowledge their disappearances.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: The whole premise of "Mug Shots". The criminals who state a fact correctly have a solid alibi and go home free. The ones who mess up are guilty.
  • Cool Teacher: Professor Rocket from Psycho Math.
  • Darker and Edgier: In comparison to other edutainment shows. Being on HBO, a premium service, meant they could get away with a lot more.
  • Dem Bones: Cptn. Bones, which he uses to create Math Puzzles.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Something of a Running Gag with Lens McCracken; he loves naming his cases "Case of the Broken Teapot Case" and the like.
  • Deranged Animation
  • Disco Dan: Jumpin' Johnny Jumble, radio host of KBOX, of Radio Scramble. Possibly 1950s Rock & Roll.
  • Eaten Alive: Eddie Bull, and his game, run around this.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Professor Rocket from Psycho Math.
  • Every Episode Ending: All the Revolting Slob segments end with one word related to explosions or mortality being described and the Slob blowing up. The announcer then says, "No slobs were harmed in the making of this program."
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Almost all of the games have names that are part of the game.
  • Fat Slob: The Revolting Slob. Slob's in his name, but he is also fat.
  • Framing Device: The actual Crashbox is a Framing Device for the games.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The criminals' descriptions under their photos in "Mug Shots" are hardly ever straightforward.
  • Gasshole: The Revolting Slob.
  • Ghost Pirate: Captain Bones.
  • Gratuitous French: The French Chef in Word Shake.
  • Great Detective: Verity from Mug Shots and Lens McCracken from the game with the same name view themselves as this.
    • They each might be considered a Defective Detective, particularly Lens because his close-ups are so obnoxious. Verity is less so, but really, if a grown woman can't figure out that, say, "influenza" is not a flower, she's been hitting the police station sludge too hard.
  • Grossout Show: To a small extent. Most parts of the show are tame, but there's still some cheap humor obviously geared to boys. Especially apparent in "Revolting Slob" and the title "Poop or Scoop".
  • Has Two Thumbs and...: In Haunted House Party, you're given clues to guess which famous person is at the party. In Dirty Pictures, you're given clues to guess whose painting is being cleaned.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Lens McCracken makes heavy use of this when solving his cases. Once he figures out what his photos are of, he'll figure out something zany and farfetched as to how they relate to the crime at hand.
    Lens: I should have known it from the start. It seems that our client got caught in the classic mushroom-manhole cover-toothbrush scam.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: And a very spooky one at that. Subverted in Eddie Bull's segment, which opens with a little song about how he's just so edible.
  • Made of Explodium: The Revolting Slob always gets blown up at the end of each segment.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Rocket is strongly implied to be not entirely there.
  • Meaningful Name: Captain Bones, Eddie Bull, The Revolting Slob, Lens McCracken, Verity, The Riddle Snake, and Dora Smarmy.
  • Mindscrew: The distractions of the game Distraction News.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Captain Bones is a Pirate, and a Skeleton!
  • No-Dialogue Episode: Dirty Pictures as a whole is one for Crashbox.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Okay, what kind of zoo would let a person named Eddie Bull get swallowed by animals of any kind? Even animals possibly smaller than him might not be able to eat him at all. Also the entire box in general, which might look a bit crowded with all the metallic machinery.
  • Nose Nuggets: In one of the Revolting Slob skits, the Slob "sneezes into his hand and dines on the contents"
  • Not in Front of the Kid: Julius Caesar references it in a Haunted House Party sketch. The butler asks if he can take Julius' toga; the response is, "You do and we'll be rated."
  • Once per Episode: Every episode, no matter how the segments fall, the power will always go out in the Crashbox, and the operator with have to restart the system. This also happens before the first segment.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Jumpin' Johnny Jumble's "other staff" which he dresses up as to do the sports and weather segments on KBOX. He often forgets which voice he's supposed to talk in.
  • Pungeon Master:
  • Punny Name: Eddie Bull specifically.
  • Puzzle Game: Captain Bones (Who's literally nothing but Bones) uses his bones to make Math Puzzles.
  • Riddle Me This: The Riddle Snake game is this.
  • Rogues Gallery: Parodied with the outrageous criminals Verity interrogates in "Mug Shots".
  • Running Gag: In every episode of "Revolting Slob", Revolting Slob always explodes at the end of the segment.
  • Shout-Out: The "Ten Seconds" game seems a bit similar to the game show Catch Phrase, in that they both relay on animated, rebus-style word puzzles.
  • Squiggle Vision: Sketch Pad.
  • Stop Motion
  • Swallowed Whole: This happens to Eddie Bull all the time. He's used to it by now.
  • Talking with Signs: How the man in Dirty Pictures administers his hints.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Captain Bones, of course.
  • Third-Person Person: Professor Rocket occasionally lapses into this.
Professor Rocket: Professor Rocket is exhausted and his head keeps exploding. But that doesn't mean I won't be back, because I love you!
  • To Serve Man: The animals of the Walla Walla, Washington Zoo always go after Eddie Bull - even the herbivores. Apparently he's just that appetizing.
  • Uncle Tom Foolery: Captain Bob, of the Jamaican variety.
  • Valley Girl: The game host of Paige and Sage.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: "It's time for Crashbox Rewind, where we flash back through the show and remind you how smart you really are!"
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Jumpin' Johnny Jumble's persona for reporting the weather is April Showers, which is just Johnny with a wig speaking in a falsetto voice.
  • Widget Series: A rare edutainment variant.


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