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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, and Fire Eyes.


Tropes used:

  • 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 and 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.
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 avoid it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Teenage Mutant Samurai Wombats: A child fights bad guys alongside a group of anthropomorphic insects.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the second season the regular goopmandos are joined by new heroes twice, but both disappear between episodes.