Edd: Do you feel hot?
Ed: Nah, I'm half-baked.
Three friends, one name, and barely a clue amongst them: that's the premise behind Cartoon Network's Ed, Edd n Eddy, a show about the misadventures of some not-so-ordinary kids in an ordinary suburban cul-de-sac.
Ed is a lovable lug who possesses superhuman strength, subhuman intellect, and an odd obsession with chickens; he also enjoys drinking gravy and the odd spot of buttered toast, with a strict diet of b-movies sandwiched in-between. Edd, better known as "Double D" to the neighborhood, is a nerdy Neat Freak who collects insects, labels everything in his room, and communicates with his ever-busy parents via sticky notes. Rounding out the trio is Eddy, a smug yet slightly-incompetent con artist who manipulates his enemies (and friends, in many cases) to do his bidding without remorse.
In most episodes, the titular trio run scams to trick the other kids of the cul-de-sac into giving up their hard-earned allowances in the name of purchasing comically-oversized jawbreakers (the holy grail of candies, of course). As a result of their schemes, the Eds frequently run afoul of the other kids in the neighborhood — and things rarely go well for the three. The Eds also have to deal with a trio of teen bullies, the Kanker Sisters, who want nothing more than to make the Eds their husbands and either use them as objects for affection or to boss around and do their chores (a fate to which the Eds sternly object).
The show was created by Danny Antonucci, a Canadian animator specialising in Deranged Animation who, after a career producing adult orientated fare, decided to pitch a kid's show whilst (supposedly) on a dare from a colleague. It was produced through Antonucci's studio a.k.a. Cartoons in Vancouver, making it Cartoon Network's first International Co Production, as well as their first show (and one of only a handful of Cartoon Cartoons) not to be produced in-house at Hanna-Barbera. Antonucci oversaw the direction of every episode himself.
No characters outside the core twelve appear (thirteen if you count Plank),note though they are frequently mentioned. This was especially silly once the Eds and their friends were shown going to school in the final season; even though it was supposed to be swarming with teachers and other students, we never see anyone apart from the characters (unless in exceptional conditions, where they are still Faceless Masses). Much of the humor is character/situation-driven and based on the absurdity of the situations that the kids find themselves in. With a healthy mix of slapstick, wordplay, and surrealism, Ed Edd n Eddy became the channel's longest-running series in terms of years on-air as a singular seriesnote Considering it was the last of the Cartoon Cartoons to end, the era of those shows ended with it.
Of note, it is one of the last shows of The Renaissance Age of Animation and the last animated show in the West to eventually make the transition from cel animation to digital ink-and-paint,note the series ran from January 1999 to November 2009 for a total of 65 half-hours and four specials before getting an epic sendoff with the Grand Finale TV Movie Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show.
The show also spawned some video games (Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Mis-Edventures and Ed, Edd n Eddy: Scam of the Century), the trio were NPCs in the Cartoon Network MMORPG FusionFall, and the Eds would later appear in the IDW Crisis Crossover comic book event Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War.
Since 2021, the series is available for streaming on HBO Max.
BUTTERED TROPES! ...er, Ed Edd n Eddy contains a hefty number of tropes, so we had to split 'em up:
Edd: And it only took 130 episodes, 4 specials, and a movie, Eddy.