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Western Animation / Creepy Crawlers

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Chris and the Goop-Mandos (season 1)

Creepy Crawlers was an animated series by Saban Entertainment that ran from 1994 to 1995. It was loosely based on a toy line that revolved around molding plastic into insects. The show was about a boy named Chris Carter. He spends his days working in a magic shop run by Professor Googenrime, an old magician who wishes to gain true magic powers to get back at the magicians that laughed at him. Chris experiments with a Magic Maker to help with business, but Googengrime's ritual empowers it and it accidentally creates insectoid heroes called the Goop-Mandos (Hocus Locust, Tick-Trick-Tick, and Volt Jolt). Googengrime, however, takes the Magic Maker and uses it to create horrible creatures called Crime Grimes. Chris teams up with the Goop-Mandos to foil Googengrime's schemes in every episode. During the course of the show, a few other Goop-Mandos joined: Sting Ring, Commantis, T-4 (for one episode), and Fire Eyes.

Tropes used:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Relatively speaking, but the little pet creature who lived under T-3's shoulder armor was made much cuter for the show, as opposed to the ugly green ball with a disconcerting smile seen on his toy.
  • The Alleged Car: Chris's brother Todd has one, though he sees it as more than that despite looking like a bunch of Tinkertoys welded together. the Goopmandos manage to turn it into a Cool Car with some of the slime.
  • All for Nothing: The first season ends with the Goopmandos defeating Googengrime's entire army of monsters. A disguised Googengrime himself takes them off Chris's hands, and the season ends on him declaring the battle's just beginning. The heroes accomplished nothing.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Several of the Crime Grimes were huge. There was also one occasion where Googengrime himself became gigantic after being exposed to the goop used to create the Goop-Mandoes and the Crime Grimes.
  • Alliterative Name: Chris Carter.
  • Alliterative Title: Creepy Crawlers.
  • Bad Impressionists: Hocus Locust's comedic schtick was doing cheesy impressions of famous characters, even Beavis.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Almost literally, with one of the recurring monsters being the Bat Out of Smell, whose power was superhuman halitosis.
  • Beard of Evil: Googengrime's toy was depicted with one, but it didn't make it into his design for the show.
  • Big Bad: Professor Googengrime, the evil magician who makes the various Monsters of the Week.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Befitting the title, almost all the heroes and monsters were giant insects.
  • The Big Guy: T-3, who's super-strong but lacks a little intellectually.
  • Blob Monster: The Glob, a giant semi-sentient ball of green slime, fought in Commantis' debut episode.
  • Body Horror: In one episode, Chris is slowly transformed into a Crime Grime due to accidental exposure to a chemical. The transformation hits just as he and Sammy are going out to a dance together.
  • Butt-Monkey: Chris Carter. While the Goop-Mandos are well-meaning, they tend to cause a lot of trouble for him (they stole his brother's car and ate his homework, to name but two).
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Sammy joins the cast, one of her constant contributions is distracting Chris's idiot brother while the Goopmandos steal and soup up his car to use as transport.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In the first season finale Chris uses a special super-goop to temporarily supercharge the Goopmandos enough to take on Googengrime's whole army of Crime Grime. Somewhat ironically in the first episode of the second season something similar happens but the power-up from that turns out to be permanent.
  • Fire/Ice Duo: The second season sees the villains create the monster Ice Scream, who freezes the town by yelling and creating ice. Chris saves the day by putting a bunch of hot stuff in the magic maker and creating a new Goopmando with heat vision, Fire Eyes.
  • Freudian Excuse: Professor Googengrime wanted to get back at the magicians that laughed at him when he botched a magic trick.
  • Girl Next Door: Sammy is this. Chris is smitten with her when she first moves in, and the two are all but dating as the show goes on. It helps that she's a genuinely brave and valuable ally.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Commantis originally was on Googengrime's side, but later joined the Goop-Mandoes.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Googengrime used it to take control of Hocus in one episode.
  • Hour of Power: The Goop-mandos' powers came from a bulb full of slime in their stomachs. When it had all dripped to the bottom, they were powerless and had to hang upside down and let it drip to the top again to get their powers back. It became less of a problem as the series played out and they presumably learned to plan around it.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Googengrime can hypnotize people with his magic monocle.
  • Implied Love Interest: Chris and Sammy never outright state they're a couple, but they enjoy spending time together, have gone out on dates, and went to at least one school dance together.
  • Laughably Evil: Googengrime and Spooky Goopy are played pretty comically for the main villains of their show. Generally it's only their Monsters of the Week who are presented as any kind of serious threat.
  • Maker of Monsters: Professor Googengrime uses the Magic Maker to create the Crime-Grimes that help him in his schemes, usually using a recipe held by his assistant to get the type of monster he needs. Notable in that the same machine was also responsible for the creation of the heroic Goop-Mandos, but Googengrime stole it from the hero.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Creepy Crawlers is an unusual example. On the one hand, the show is an advertisement for the Creepy Crawlers Thingmaker (the show's "Magic Maker" IS the Thingmaker), but on the other hand, the show had its own action figure line, with no connection to the actual toy. Some of the toys came with a mold for the oven to make accessories for the figures.
  • Monster of the Week: Most episodes were about Googengrime coming up with a plan that revolved around the powers of a monster he created, although the show wasn't adverse to reusing the same monsters in new plans either.
  • Shout-Out: Being made by Saban, sometimes there were references to Power Rangers or VR Troopers.
    • Tony Pope as Professor Googenrime doing a pretty convincing impression of Hans Conried's Captain Hook.
  • Sixth Ranger: Two. The team starts out with three members, then later episodes add Sting Ring, and then Commantis.
  • Slime, Snails, and Mutant Tails: Both the show and toyline tried to appeal to kids who were fans of this.
  • Spell My Name with an S: In the action figure line based on the show, Googengrime's name was spelled "Guggengrime".
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Sammy hates being underestimated simply because she's a girl. In one episode, she grumbles about being the only one actually being able to do anything against the threat of the week, but still gets no respect because "(she's) a girl."
  • Strong, but Unskilled: T-4, who's stronger than his "big brother" T-3, but lacks his combat experience, which lets the original hold his own their fight.
  • Teenage Mutant Samurai Wombats: A child fights bad guys alongside a group of anthropomorphic insects.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: There was only one known wave of action figures. None of the characters from the second season, or the powered-up versions of the Goop-mandos from it, ever hit shelves.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the second season the regular Goop-mandos are joined by T-4, but he disappears after his debut episode.
  • When the Planets Align: Chris' oven gets the power to create monsters when it's zapped by a magical alignment of stars and planets in the first episode.