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Western Animation / Freakazoid!

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Super-teen extrordinaire!
Freakazoid, Freakazoid!
Runs around in underwear!
Freakazoid, Freakazoid!
Rescues Washington, D.C.
Freakazoid, Freakazoid!
Unless something better's on TV!
Freakazoid, Freakazoid!
His brain's overloading, it has a chocolate coating!
Textbook case for Sigmund Freud!
Freakazoid, Freakazoid!
— The theme song

Freakazoid! is a parody of the Superhero show, produced by the people who brought you Batman: The Animated Series and the creators of Animaniacs, Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Animation. It follows the adventures of Freakazoid, an entity created by the addition of all the information on the Internet note  to a mild mannered computer nerd, along with weird energy based powers and a goofy sense of humor.

It parodied, lampshaded, or subverted every trope of superheroics at the time, and can be described as "an anthropomorphic fusion of 4chan, TV Tropes, and I Can Haz Cheezburger, years before any of those things existed."

In almost every adventure, Freakazoid would encounter his deadpan policeman buddy, Sgt. Mike Cosgrove, who would offer to take him to some bizarre unrelated event or activity. ("Hey, Freakazoid! Wanna go out for a mint?" "DO I!") Freak would then drop the adventure, often mid-peril, and go off to some place fun. He'd resume it shortly thereafter, as if nothing had happened.

The voice cast included Paul Rugg as the main character, Edward Asner as Cosgrove, and David Warner as Freakazoid's arch-nemesis, The Lobe.

Created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini during the Renaissance Age of Warner Bros Animation, Freakazoid! was initially conceived as an action adventure show (with a bit of comedy). At the insistence of Steven Spielberg, it was re-tooled into a pure comedy, at which point Timm, realizing that he wasn't suited for something so unabashedly goofy, stepped aside note  and was replaced by Tom Ruegger as principal showrunner. Although the show attracted a loyal following, the demographic it delivered was older than what Kids' WB was aiming for (the show was marketed towards young children, who, not surprisingly, didn't quite understand the show's often arcane sense of humor). After a series of baffling time slot changes failed to improve ratings, the show was canceled after just two seasons. Despite this, the show later aired on Cartoon Network and has a cult following.

The series is currently available in its entirety on DVD. Tom Ruegger has expressed an interest in rebooting the show. A crossover episode of Teen Titans Go!, aptly titled "Huggbees", sees The Lobe teaming up with the Teen Titans' foe The Brain (not that one), and the Titans subsequently enlist Freakazoid's help to stop the two. Rugg reprised his role as Freakazoid, along with David Warner, Ed Asner (in one of their last roles before their respective deaths), and even Joe Leahy's participation!

Freakazoid! provides examples of:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Spacious enough to accommodate for Cobra Queen's giant snakes.
  • The Ace:
    • Greg, the production assistant. Able to rescue the heroes with more than enough time to pick up their mail.
    • Parodied with The Huntsman, who is set up as the most competent hero in the show—that is, until crime completely clears up in his city, leaving him with nothing to do. This ultimately winds up having an obvious effect on Huntsman's self-esteem. It was suggested that crime was in a lull in his city because of the Huntsman's Ace qualities, i.e., he caught/drove off all the criminals. That, or, as he theorizes, Freakazoid's been stealing his, er, business.
  • Achilles' Heel: Freakazoid’s weaknesses are graphite bars charged with negative ions (something of a subversion, as this is rather hard to come by), and "poo gas". However, as Gutiérrez points out, "No one likes poo gas."
    • As well as cranapple (allergic) and Fanboy's discussions. (The latter goes for just about anybody, really.)
  • Affably Evil: Several villains refuse to stoop to insults or rude behavior.
  • Airplane Arms: Freakazoid does this in the opening, as well as at various times throughout the series.
  • Alliterative Name: The Douglas Family (Dexter, Duncan, Debbie and Douglas. Yes. Douglas Douglas.)
  • All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Cave Guy. Although he's surprisingly erudite and articulate.
  • Alter Kocker: The Pope, of all people, in "Mo-Ron".
  • Animated Actors: Happens several times during the series, especially the first two episodes.
  • Animation Bump: "The Chip" two-parter, "Next Time Phone Ahead" and "House of Freakazoid" animated by Animal Ya, Studio Junio and Tama. Animal Ya also did the opening.
  • The Announcer: Joe Leahy, who is also an Interactive Narrator.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Freaka-clone committed tax evasion, mail fraud, and impersonating a shriner.
  • Artistic License – Geography: An in character example in "Freakazoid is History". The next line?
    Freakazoid: Of course, it all adds up! I've somehow landed in Norway!
  • Artistic License – History: In "Freakazoid is History," Freakazoid prevents World War II from happening by diverting a group of Japanese planes that were targeting Pearl Harbor. In reality, World War II had already been going on for two years, with Pearl Harbor being the incident that resulted in The United States finally entering the war.
  • Art Shift: Toby Danger, especially its opening sequence, mirroring the style of 1960's action cartoons to go with its nature as an Affectionate Parody of Jonny Quest.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Fan Boy. Well… He certainly tries.
  • Aside Glance: Freakazoid when Gutiérrez tries to use Kryptonite to weaken him.
  • Badass Boast: Vorn the Unspeakable hands these out like candy.
  • Badass Normal:
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Parodied in "The Freakazoid", Joe gets to act in the episode and doesn't do a good job (at first).
    Joe: [sounding stilted] Oh no, Freakazoid. What are we going to do?
    Freakazoid: We are gonna get you some acting lessons, mister!
  • Bankruptcy Barrel: The theme song shows several characters wearing barrels to the lyric "If not, we'll be unemployed".
  • Batter Up!: Norm Abram did this. Freakazoid was the bat.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Gutiérrez doesn't like being called a weenie.
    • Freakazoid does not like Jeepers. Probably because Jeepers is the only unfunny villain on the show — he's just very creepy.
    • Also, DO NOT ask Freakazoid if he wants to see something strange and mystical. Especially if you're Jeepers.
  • Big Bad: Freakazoid's most recurrent nemesis was The Lobe, who generally worked alone (or with his henchmen, Medulla and Oblongata), but occasionally served as a leader to the other villains in their collaborative attempts to outdo Freakazoid. Also Armando Gutiérrez, a nastier but more rarely seen villain with an important role in Freakazoid's backstory.
  • Big Brother Bully: Duncan. Dexter can only get back at him through Freakazoid, and "The Blue Guy" makes time repeatedly to do just that.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Freakazoid snaps out of his fugue in S1E9 "Two Against Freak" when he finds out his friends are in danger.
  • Big Finale Crowd Song: e final episode ended with the entire cast singing "We'll Meet Again."
  • Big "NO!": Freakazoid's answer when Jeepers ask him if he wants to "see something strange and mystical", followed by a furious (if nonsensical rant).
  • Bilingual Bonus: TONS.
    • Conversational Norwegian with Freakazoid!
    • Frenching with Freakazoid!
      Freakazoid: Qui a coupé le fromage? Qui… A coupé… Le fromage? Who cut the cheese? Who cut… The cheese?
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    • Steven Spielberg (voiced by Frank Welker) would occasionally make appearances as being completely clueless as to what the show's production team is trying to achieve when it was really him who was encouraging the show's anarchic sense of humor. Frank Welker also gave Spielberg a stammer that made him seem much more indecisive.
    • There would occasionally be humorous jabs at the powers that be at Warner Bros. such as by having a limousine full of studio executives coming up alongside a chase scene to tell Freakazoid that they'd prefer if he used the Freakmobile for the scene in order to promote the toy.
    • Freakazoid once ranted that the WB could have put his show on prime time (since it was attracting an older demographic than originally intended) but that network executives were too stubborn to listen to such a good idea.
  • Body Uploading: The titular character came to be because a regular kid accidentally discovered a precise sequence of characters that, when entered into his keyboard, sucked him into the internet and transformed him into a superhero.
  • Bowdlerise: A minor character named Mo-Ron later had his name changed to Bo-Ron, due to the network censors concerns that the use of "moron" was too offensive. This was lampshaded in a later episode by Lord Bravery, who addressed him by both names, albeit in an indecisive manner. It did allow the writers to make him come from Baronis in a shout out to Baroni's: The restaurant where they got the pizza for the recording sessions.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: Parodying the likes of Spider-Man.
  • Brick Joke: In "The Island of Dr. Mystico," Leonard Maltin, while doing a TV review on said episode, mentions to viewers to watch out for Emmitt Nervend in a walk-on role as a salty dance hall chanteuse. Five minutes into the show, guess who shows up out of nowhere?
    • One on the border of this and Continuity Nod: In Cobra Queen's first appearance, Freakazoid recommends that she liven up her sewer lair with Japanese paper lanterns; she remarks that it is a good idea. When her lair appears again near the end of the second season, she has indeed added Japanese paper lanterns (and is annoyed that Cave Guy doesn't comment on them.)
  • Brief Accent Imitation: After Mo-ron tells everyone a meteor is heading for Earth, Freakazoid imitates Lawrence Welk saying goodbye at the end of the episode.
  • Bringing Running Shoes to a Car Chase: In one episode, Freakazoid is chasing on foot after the Lobe, who's escaping in a limousine. Freakazoid manages to catch up to the limousine and get into a ramming duel with it before the writing staff bulls up beside him in another limousine and suggests that he should use the Freakmobile.
  • Brown Note / Cool and Unusual Punishment: In "The Chip," Gutierrez tortures Dexter's family by binding them and forcing them to watch Marty Ingels clips.
    • In "Hot Rods From Heck", Freakazoid subdues one of the titular hot rods by exposing it to a television launched from the Freakmobile. It airs "7 Hours of Tony Danza," which causes the car to explode almost instantly.
    • When Cosgrove asked why Freakazoid didn't go after Gutiérrez in "Hero Boy," Freakazoid notes that he's getting what he deserves: Forced to listen to the singing gas station attendants still in the Freakmobile.
    • After defeating the security minister and his aide in "Mission:Freakazoid," Freakazoid ties them to a tree and leaves them to their fate: The mime they tortured appeared. And he brought friends.
      Anton: They will entertain us with cute pantomime until we perish!
    • Not torture per se, but in "Freak-A-Panel", Freakazoid defeats Cave Guy by dressing up and talking to him in Klingon.
      Cave Guy: Oh my, you've created a language based on a TV series? That's not right!
  • Brought to You by the Letter "F": Freakazoid's costume has an F and an exclamation point on the chest.
  • Bumbling Dad: Mr. Douglas, Dexter and Duncan's Dad. He turns a blind eye to Duncan bullying Dexter and is often completely oblivious of the existence of Freakazoid or the havoc Dexter gets involved with.
  • Butt-Monkey: Professor Jones often gets humiliated for comedic purposes.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Dexter Douglas turns into Freakazoid by saying "AWWWWW, Freak Out!" Conversely, Freakazoid changes back to his alter ego by saying "Freak in".
  • Call-Back: Pops up occasionally:
    • Roddy claimed to be Dexter's driving instructor in "The Chip Part One", which was recalled by Dexter's dad in "House of Freakazoid" and by Dexter's mom in "Mission: Freakazoid".
    • In "Virtual Freak", the Lobe complains that falling for a really long time was almost as stupid as the Handman episode. Steph also tells the Lobe she remembers that he tied her to a rocket, which he did back in season 1's "Relax-O Vision".
    • In an early episode, Freakazoid suggests that Cobra Queen's sewer-based lair is drab and poorly lit, and suggests she dress it up with some Japanese paper lanterns. When we see her lair again in Season 2, she's done just that.
    • In "The Cloud" Freakazoid repeatedly bursts into tears whenever he thinks about the removal of the boat ride from Disneyland. Later on in "Statuesque," Professor Heiney states Freakazoid hasn't been this upset since they got rid of the boat ride from Disneyland, causing Freak to start sobbing about it again.
  • The Cameo:
    • Pinky and the Brain in "Freakazoid is History" after Freakazoid changes history. Brain is president of the United States, while Pinky is piloting Air Force One.
    • The Brain appears once more in "The Freakazoid, alongside Wakko, and ends up in an argument with Wakko and Freakazoid about which one of them are Steven Spielberg's favorite. Steven has no idea who any of them are, as it turns out.note 
    • The Warner Brothers and their sister Dot made several different cameos.
    • In one episode, MPAA President Jack Valenti (and his cheeks!) explains the various movie ratings:
      Valenti: (I)f the movie's rated NC-17, that means kids can't get in; only adults can get in. Mom doesn't want to see adult movies, but Grandpa was in the army and he's not bothered very much so he decides to stay, along with Sgt. Scruffy, who's just a dumb dog anyway. I hope that explains it. Now, back to the cartoon!
    • In FanBoy's first appearance, he chases off a terrified George Takei from a comic shop. Later on at a convention, Freakazoid tries to ward him off by offering him "your very own Harlan Ellison!" who had just happened to be nearby. And Mark Hamill shows up not two seconds later. Takei's voice was impersonated and Ellison had no lines, but Hamill is a cameo in his own right. He was available to appear because he was already voicing a character for another WB Animation show.
  • Caps Lock, Num Lock, Missiles Lock: The episode "Hero Boy" had ex-Corrupt Corporate Executive Gutierrez sitting at a desk. On this desk were only two buttons, "Summon Jocko" and "Vaporize World".
  • Captain Ersatz: Freakazoid is noticeably similar to the comic book character Madman, which the creator has more or less acknowledged. He also has many similarities to DC comics The Creeper, which was one of the original ideas for the show.
  • Casting Gag: Scott Menville starred in the show's Jonny Quest parody, Toby Danger. Menville had starred in an actual revival of JQ back in the 80's. They also got Don Messick, the VO for Dr. Quest in the 60s, to voice Dr. Vernon Danger.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Cosgrove commonly says "Hey, you. Cut it out." Everyone he says this to follows his orders without question.
    • Gutierrez often says "Laugh with Me!!" to his minions.
    • Whenever Freakazoid realizes something to his detriment, he says "Aw, nutbunnies!"
    • The Huntsman says "Darn the luck! Darn!" whenever he finds out he is not needed or is late.
    • The irascible Roddy Macstew often shouts "CRUD!"
  • Chain of Deals: Lord Bravery finds out that a bakery has the rights to his name. In return for the rights to his name, the bakery wants the rights of something else's name. And so it goes on. Subverted in the end when the last business everyone asks to change the name of refuses to change the name of his establishment into something else on the grounds that it is his actual name. As a result, the episode ends with him forced to go by the name of Lord Smoked Meats and Fishes.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the first Freakazoid segment ever produced, "Dance of Doom", the character of Waylon Jeepers is introduced and then quickly forgotten about. Much later, in the second season, he would be reintroduced and become the focus of his own episode.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • "In Arms' Way" technically counts because it takes place while Freakazoid is engaging in last-minute Christmas shopping.
    • "The Chip Parts I and II" takes place during the Christmas holiday.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Cosgrove, Breaking the Fourth Wall and telling the kids to clap for Freakazoid. The Public Domain audience doesn't react at first.
    Cosgrove: Throw in some 'Huggbees' too! Huggbees! Huggbees!
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Freakazoid. A lot of his actions and dialogue are really bizarre.
  • Clownification: Freakazoid is investigating a strange cloud in the Alps that transforms people into clown zombies. It turns out to be the work of Freakazoid's old nemesis the Lobe, whose plan is to have his clown minions go door-to-door assimilating the populace. Freakazoid criticizes the plan as being lazy and poorly thought-out and the Lobe tearfully apologizes and goes home. However, this was a bluff on Freakazoid's part, as he thought the plan was utterly brilliant.
  • The Comically Serious: Cosgrove's MO, and the entire reason he's so well loved by the fans.
  • Company Cross References: In the first episode, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot show up and sing a song called "Freakzoid and Friends" to the tune of the Animaniacs theme song.
  • Compelling Voice: Cosgrove's ability to get almost anyone to "Cut it out". Everyone he tells to "cut it out" will always do as he says without question.
  • Continuity Nod: When Freakazoid encounters Cobra Queen in the episode, "Sewer or Later", he suggests to her that she put up Japanese lanterns to help liven up her lair. The following season, when she teams up with Cave Guy in "Two Against Freak", she seems to have taken Freakazoid's advice.
  • Contrived Clumsiness: Arms Akimbo runs an "Oops insurance" racket, "accidentally" knocking things over with his elbows until the owners give in. The damage gets more and more ridiculous with each scene, until we see Stock Footage of a nuclear explosion, followed by Akimbo saying "Oops!"
  • Contrived Coincidence: A flaw in the pinnacle chip would cause a user connected to the internet that types a specific series of key strokes followed by delete to be sucked into the internet. Dexter gets this chip for Christmas, installs it to his computer and connects to the internet, then his cat starts playing on the keyboard, happening to type out the exact sequence, and Dexter's reaction to seeing his screen filled with gibberish, is of course to try and delete it.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Gutierrez once tortured Dexter's family by forcing them to watch the best of comedian Marty Ingles. Roddy not only called him a sick monster because of it, but we're shown Dexter's parents and brother screaming in abject horror as the video begins.
  • Cool Car:
    • Cosgrove's cop car. It follows Freakazoid from D.C. to Switzerland.
    • The Freakmobile itself, what with the double-wide rear wheels, two supercharged engines and all the gadgets. It certainly IS Toyetic.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Armando Gutierrez, the first and most deadly villain that Freakazoid faces.
  • Creator Provincialism: In one episode Freakazoid finds himself traveling back in time. He winds up stopping the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and declares that he prevented World War II, despite the fact that the attack only catalyzed the US entrance into the war, which had been going on for a couple years already by that point.
  • Credits Gag:
    • "And Weena Mercator as The Hopping Woman." Almost but not quite Once per Episode.
    • How many times Emmitt Nervend appeared in the episode.
  • Crossover: With Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain during a brief scene in "The Freakazoid".
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Freakazoid may act like the biggest goofball in existence, which he actually is, but as any villain can attest, if he wants to take you down, he'll do it…driving you insane the whole while.
  • Crunchtastic: Or so people thought…
  • Cthulhumanoid: "I am Vorn the Unspeakable. I am the enemy of the enemy of he who summons me. And you are?"
  • Cuteness Proximity: Foamy the Freakadog's effect on Freakazoid. Of course, Foamy is rabid and doesn't like Freakazoid anyway…
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: In his return episode, we find out that Jeepers has a closet full of gold beavers because of the watch he used in the first episode. Apparently there's not much call for gold beavers, despite them being made of gold.
  • Cyberspace: Where Freakazoid was created.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Freakazoid, whenever he encounters someone dumber than him.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Quite a lot of superhero tropes are parodied and subverted on the show.
  • Dedication: An episode began with one normal dedication, one to a group of scientists, and one to Mrs. Ashley Huggbees, "because we like saying the word, 'Huggbees.' Go ahead. Try it. Huggbees.".
  • Demoted to Extra: During the second season, the show switched from a Three Shorts format to doing full 30-minute stories. The recurring supporting segments were left out, but the characters remained in the opening titles. (The Huntsman did make a cameo appearance in "The Freakazoid," though.) Lampshaded in "Freak-A-Panel," where the Huntsman, Lord Bravery, Fanboy, and Mo-Ron ("or is it Bo-Ron?") confront Freakazoid over being fired. They're then shown washing the Freakmobile.
    Freakazoid: Well, at least they're still on the payroll.
    • Dexter Douglas himself and the rest of the family are also absent from most of the second season.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In "The Freakazoid", Freakazoid realizes the superhero code he's been following is false when he notices the Lobe Industries copyright note at the code book. When confronted about this, the Lobe admits he shouldn't have put it there.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Freakazette, whose only appearance is a cameo in "Freakazoid and Friends", would have been this if she'd ever actually appeared.
  • Downer Ending: "A Matter of Love" ends with Cosgrove's girlfriend Mary Beth turning out to be a monster and disintegrating to dust after he breaks up with her.
  • Dramatic Pause: Subverted.
    • Also lampshaded with: "We interrupt this program to increase dramatic tension."
  • Dull Surprise: Deliberately invoked by the producers with Cosgrove. Ed Asner originally came in and recorded a nuanced performance, but the producers realized that it would be funnier if Cosgrove spoke in a monotone and didn't really react to what was going on. They asked Asner to subsequently read his lines in a flat and slightly stilted manner and try not to act.
  • Dynamic Akimbo: Parodied to an extreme with Arms Akimbo, whose arms are permanantly in this position due to his work as a model. One might well wonder how he manages to dress himself.
  • Easter Egg: Emmitt Nervend's sole purpose is to make random cameos throughout every episode.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Guitierrez apparently has a button on his desk that can do this, although it's never explained how it's supposed to work.
  • End-of-Series Awareness: Once an Episode in the opening, and again in the "Freakazoid and Friends" song.
  • Episode Title Card: Every episode has a card of the episode's title complete with an image and credits for the episode's writer and director.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: "Frenching With Freakazoid" has Freakazoid teach the audience how to say "Who cut the cheese?" in French. note 
  • Evil Laugh:
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Freakazoid explains his Achilles' Heel to Gutierrez when asked. He even helps build a cage to contain himself.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Played straight and parodied. It starts out telling us all about the character, but once that's out of the way it just starts telling us random things.
    "Floyd the Barber cuts his hair! Freakazoid! Chimpanzee!"
  • Expy:
  • Eyepatch of Power: Guitierrez. Quite ironic, as he has two good eyes.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Cosgrove, though you wouldn't think about it at first glance. There have been three instances where his eyes were open though, in "The Cloud", "The Wrath of Gutierrez," and "The Island of Dr. Mystico".
  • Faceplanting into Food: Upon being drugged by Dr. Mystico, Freakazoid, Cosgrove, and Lobe all pass out face first into the casserole the doctor set out for them.
  • Failure Hero: Hero Boy, whose strategy for fighting the giant Monster of the Week is always to just fly up and pound ineffectually on their foot until they brush him off.
  • Fake Rabies: Subverted by Foamy, who really is rabid but Freakazoid doesn't seem to notice.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Semi-averted in "The Chip", where Guitierrez's security guards carry rifles that do actually fire bullets (indicated by the noises and visible ejected casings). However, the rifles have odd, quasi-futuristic designs (which could be justified by Apex Microchips being a high-tech company), and the only time they're actually fired is into the ceiling when Freakazoid breaks his restraints and knocks both the guards back. That's pretty much it for firearms; Cosgrove is never seen with one (though he's such a good cop, he may not need one), and the other villains generally don't use firearms (excepting Kid Carrion, who carries a realistic pair of revolvers, though he wasn't ever shown firing them).
  • Fast as Lightning: The titular character literally turns into lightning while using his super speed.
  • Faux Horrific: The scariest thing in the world would be if they gave Sinbad another TV show.
    • What if you reached for something, and it wasn't there... because it turned into wood?
  • Fan Convention: Fan Boy's natural habitat.
  • Faux Adventure Story: The show is all about this; it parodies and deconstructs the classical superhero story cliches, and stories often go in unexpected and anticlimactic directions. A particularly notable example is the Huntsman: each episode with him starts with an action-packed intro, but then it turns out that he's not needed because there's no crime in the city.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Cave Guy is profoundly disturbed to hear someone speaking Klingon.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Freakazoid can move at the speed of electricity as the plot demands, along with a bit of fourth wall manipulation. How does he normally get around? Sticks his hands up over his head and makes "whoosh"ing noises. Why? Rule of Funny.
    • Also inverted in one episode, where he spends around 10 seconds trying to fly until he's reminded that that isn't one of his powers.
  • For the Funnyz: Forget the cage made out of wacky electrons. This is Freakazoid's real weakness.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Inverted, the world is a better place because of Freakazoid changing things in the Past. Well, maybe not completely better… The Brain is the President of the United States.
    • Though on the other hand, that last part might be better. Brain's motivation for ruling the world is depicted out of a wanting to make it better, so perhaps he's why it's better. That still doesn't explain how half the things resulted from preventing the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
  • Friendly Enemy: Freakazoid and The Lobe... sometimes.
    • The Lobe bought Freakazoid a present. He opened it slowly, the suspense building… It was a food dehydrator, to make the "perfect beef jerky".
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Mary Beth offers to share immortality with Cosgrove (at the expense of Freakazoid's life). He's seen pondering while a chorus sings 'What will Cosgrove do?' before he tells them to cut it out and turns her down.
  • Freudian Excuse: For Freakazoid, according to the theme song. Apparently, his insanity is a result of Dexter Douglas having all the information on the Internet beamed into his head.
  • Funny Character, Boring Actor: In-universe. When Cobra Queen asks Steph why she dates Freakazoid when he seems so stupid, Steph explains he's only like that on TV and is kinda normal off-camera.
  • Fun Personified: The title character is a jokester who loves fooling around when he isn't fighting crime.
  • Gag Series: The show has quite a lot of jokes, mainly due to the different segments of the first season and Freakazoid being downright insane.
  • Gainax Ending: Parodied in "Next Time Phone Ahead", where Dexter is eaten by an alien monster and "The End" appears on-screen. The scene then cuts to Steven Spielberg, who questions the writers over this. The writers admit they did it so they could end the episode early and air Animaniacs reruns instead.
  • Genius Bruiser: Cave Guy is incredibly strong, but also surprisingly erudite for a caveman.
  • Genius Ditz: Freakazoid, despite being… well, Freakazoid, has apparently sustained his alter ego's ability with computers as well as all the other information on the Internet.
  • Genre Savvy: Freakazoid: "If I know my cartoons - and I do! - I'll be back later on to rescue you from something really horrible!"
  • Gilligan Cut: Lampshaded, subverted, and at one point specifically requested, though Freakazoid references its usage from F Troop rather than Gilligan's Island.
    Candle Jack: I love that bit.
  • The Glomp: Mo-Ron does this to Freakazoid. It isn't pretty.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: In one episode, Freakazoid runs into the Lobe while both of them are Christmas shopping. Instead of fighting each other as usual, they each excitedly try to guess what they're getting for each other.
    • The same episode shows a flashback, where the heroes and villains have an annual baseball game.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: CRUD!
    • There ought to be a counter for how often the Huntsman says 'darn'.
    • Let's not forget: "Aww…nut bunnies!"
  • Grand Finale: The crew knew that they wouldn't be coming back for a third season so they put together "Normadeus", an episode where Freakazoid has to face his entire rogue's gallery. It even included a guest appearance from Norm Abrams, who Paul Rugg always wanted to be on the show but didn't know if it would be possible. It ended with Freakazoid thanking the audience for watching and the entire cast singing a rendition of Vera Lynne's We'll Meet Again to a full house (and the viewer) at the Hollywood Bowl, complete with fireworks. It's an oddly poignant end to such a wacky show. It was such a special occasion that the producers got every regular and guest actor they could and squeezed them into a tiny booth to record the song before celebrating with pizza.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Silly French, Spanish, and German sentences are spoken during the lead-in to "The Chip".
    Joe Leahy: And now...
    French Announcer: Et maintenant…
    Spanish Announcer: Y ahora…
    German Announcer: Und jetzt…
    Leahy: Our feature presentation.
    French Announcer: Et voici mon ami, Gils.note 
    Spanish Announcer: Mi mosca es muy fea.note 
    German Announcer: Es gibt Hachenfleisch in mein Hosen.note 
  • Happy Place: The Freak-A-Zone, where Freakazoid hangs out when Dexter's in charge.
  • Hair-Trigger Sound Effect: Bleeding over heavily into real life, the villain Candle Jack would kidnap people who mentioned him. In this instance, the silence itself would be the accompanying effect.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Roddy Macstew is quite irascible.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Cosgrove's ability to make ANYBODY immediately stop fighting and behave themselves, from common burglars to supervillain mooks. This might not sound too awesome since as a damn good police officer he can command authority…until you find out that he is the only person to have ever made the Warner siblings sit down and behave. This should be impossible because the premise of their own show was them constantly escaping and misbehaving.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Jeepers tries to turn Freakazoid into stone, Steph pushes him out of the way and becomes stone instead. She gets better.
  • Heroic Vow: Why Freakazoid couldn't go after the Lobe even though it turned out fake later on:
    "Much as it pains me, I have to honor the Lobe's request, the same as everyone else's… Cause it's in the codebook, okay? Cause superheroes always keep their word no matter what, okay?"
  • Herr Doktor: Dr. Günther Hunter Hanker (talks with a German accept, in the German dub, he talks with a vaguely Southern German/mildly Swiss German accent), who denies the existence of Candle Jack, only to be abducted, too, since he said his name.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Freakazoid fights some demon ninjas in the "Relax-O-Vision" episode. None of them are seen using stealth in any way.
  • The Hit Flash: Subverted.
  • Homage: To everything and anything. Of note is the rewriting of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" to "You're A Meanie, Nasty Lobe".
  • Hula and Luaus: "Waves, Hula Girls!, Pineapples, Hula Girls!, Surfboards, Hula Girls!, Hula Girls!, Hula Girls!"
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "Two Against Freak", Roddy MacStew decides he's been awful hard on Freakazoid lately and chooses to stop getting mad at him. Not long after he makes this decision, he yells at a camera man to go away.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Parodying the famous Batman (1966) transitions — sometimes they used Freakazoid's chest symbol zooming in and out, other times his face going "whoooOOAAaaaa…" as he gets zoomed in and out would appear. In one case, Freakazoid's head zooms in smiling, then hit the screen, causing a sound and him to be frowning when he zoomed back out. Another time, it was frowning both ways after Freakazoid received bad news.
  • I Fell for Hours: Happens to Freakazoid and the Lobe in "Virtual Freak", much to the Lobe's annoyance.
  • The Igor: Guiterrez's assistant Jocko in "Hero Boy", who is short and only says "Eeeeee".
  • I Lied: Guiterrez lies to Roddy about sparing Dexter's family if he gives him the sequence of keys necessary to activate the Pinnacle chip's flaw in "The Chip".
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: The Lobe has very low self-esteem, to the point that Freakazoid ruined his plan in "The Cloud" by merely insulting it, resulting in the villain breaking into tears and repeatedly apologizing for coming up with such an ill-conceived plan.
  • Infodump: Fanboy rambles on about Walt Disney Pictures' financially disastrous 80s run in SciFi movies, to the point where Freakazoid begs to be locked up in Internet Prison to escape.
  • Inherently Funny Words: HUGGBEES!
    • Also, "Poo gas"
      Cosgrove: What do they call poo gas in Scotland?
      Roddy: Crud vapors.
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • Cosgrove and Guitierrez both look like the men who voice them, Ed Asner and Ricardo Montalbán, respectively.
    • As does Joe Leahy, the announcer (who essentially plays himself).
    • Plus H.A. Futterman (Ben Stein), the man who explains Relax-o-Vision.
    • And Jonathan Harris, which is repeatedly Lampshaded. "Weren't you on a show with a robot?"
    • Professor Beasthead was voiced by, and looked a lot like, actor John Rhys-Davies in the "Tomb of Invisibo" episode.
    • Dr. Mystico looks like a heavier-set version of Tim Curry.
  • In Medias Res: Six episodes were produced and aired before the one about Freakazoid's origin.
  • Insult Backfire:
    • From Mission: Freakazoid
      Janos Ivnovels: Only America could produce idiots of your caliber.
      Freakazoid: That's because we make lots of things better than other people!
    • From "And Fanboy Is His Name"
      Freakazoid: You really have no life, do you?
      FanBoy: [proudly] No, sir!
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Freakazoid and Cosgrove are the best of friends. The former is a teenager and the latter is at least in his 50's.
  • Internal Reveal: Played for Laughs in “Mission: Freakazoid”. Cosgrove accidentally lets slip Freakazoid’s Secret Identity in front of Steff, much to his irritation.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifter: In one episode, an electric jolt made transforming back to Dexter impossible. Instead, he turned into Oprah Winfrey, Alan "Skipper" Hale, Judge Lance Ito, and Louis Armstrong (Just in time for The Lobe's big musical number)
  • Jerk Jock: Duncan spends a lot of his time bodybuilding and constantly bullies his brother Dexter.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Freakazoid is this for Norm Abram, of all people.
    "Cosgrove, he's a normal, regular guy just like everyone—NORM ABRAM! I'M TOUCHING NORM ABRAM! I'M HUGGING NORM ABRAM! I'M HOLDING NORM ABRAM ABOVE MY HEAD!"
  • Kryptonite Factor: Gutierrez tries out several common weaknesses on Freakazoid. His actual Kryptonite Factor is humorously specific and obscure.
    Freakazoid: Dumb, dumb, dumb! Never tell the villain how to trap you in a cage!
    Gutierrez: You probably shouldn't have helped us build it, either.
    Freakazoid: I know! Dumb!
  • Large Ham: The title character. And Gutierrez. And the Lobe. And Dr. Mystico.
  • Large-Ham Announcer: A given when you have an awesome announcer.
  • Laugh with Me!: The Trope Namer. See the entry for Evil Laugh on this page.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Parodied in "Dance of Doom", with Batman. According to Joe the announcer, he could easily stop Cave Guy, "but he's on another network".
  • Legion of Doom: Some occasions have Freakazoid fight a whole bunch of his enemies at once. One of the most notable instances is in the show's final episode "Normadeus", where the episode ends with a brawl against the Lobe, Cave Guy, Longhorn, Candle Jack, Guittierez, and Invisibo.
  • Leitmotif: Freakazoid, of course, typically the first seven notes of his theme song. Cave Guy and Cobra Queen have them as well, both of which are trumpet based. The full version of the former can be heard in "Two Against Freak" as he heads to Cobra Queen's lair, after which it segues into the latter.
  • Lemony Narrator: Most jarring when he actually has an appearance in the show.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Such as create a portal to the past.
  • Limited Animation: During the Toby Danger sketch. No surprise, since it was a parody of Jonny Quest (and Hanna-Barbera in general).
  • Literal Metaphor: When Freakazoid said he brought his partnership with Foamy to "an end," he turns and we see Foamy angrily biting Freakazoid on his rear end.
  • Living Prop: Emmitt Nervend, who never says a word or changes expression, rarely does anything except stand there, and only exists as a Running Gag.
  • Loony Fan: Fan Boy just can't leave any of his "heroes" alone, up to and including George Takei. Played for Laughs, of course; he's more ceaselessly annoying than dangerous.
  • Loud of War: In one episode, Freakazoid is given the choice of being sentenced to 30 days in prison or 30 minutes of having to listen to Fan Boy talk about TRON. He chooses the former. Unfortunately, Fanboy is his cellmate.
    Fanboy: Hey I was just talking to Harlan on the Internet, and I told him I hadn’t seen a good cyberspace scene like this since TRON. Which is ‘’not’’ the film that broke the bank at Disney in 1983, as some believe. No, TRON came out in ’82, 3 years after Disney’s The Black Hole, which was movie lands equivalent to the Hindenburg! What a disaster! And the robots! They made R2-D2 look like Lawrence Olivier…
    Freakazoid: Lock me up and throw away the key! [Freakazoid is locked in his cell and sighs a breath of relief.] Ah! Sweet peace.
    [offscreen] Fanboy: So anyway…
    [in horror, Freakazoid turns and sees Fanboy in the corner of the cell!]
    Fanboy: …back to 1983 at Disney. Their big film that bombed in 1983 wasn’t TRON, it was Something Wicked This Way Comes, which is actually pretty fun, but it comes across too soft. And it lost a fortune! Anyway, that brought about the arrival of Eisner and Katzenberg…
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Steph prefers Freakazoid to Dexter.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Gutierrez, who gets a phone line installed so he can connect to the Internet.
  • Male Gaze: "Have I got time for another 'gawking at the girls through binoculars' gag? I like those. Hula girls!"
  • Manchild: Duncan Douglas may only be a teenager, but he already shows signs of an arrested adolescence. In fact, his mother speculates he's probably going to be still living with them in his forties, being immature and lifting weights. He seems happily on board with this plan.
  • Man in a Kilt: Roddy MacStew wears one, being Scottish.
  • Manly Tears: When Freakazoid reads Roddy's goodbye email at the end of "The Chip". "That made water come out my eyes."
    • During the music number finale, Roddy Macstew, and later Douglas Douglas, burst into tears and flee the stage in an emotional fit.
  • Magic Floppy Disk: A VHS tape, and Dexter's brain.
  • Medium Awareness The entire show is all sorts of this. Hell, in the "Candle Jack" episode alone, he not only gets captured because, as he explains, he was attempting to mimic a gag from F Troop, but after he's tied up, he stops the episode mid-scene to talk about how excited he is to work with the actors on today's show.
    • He doesn't just stop the episode, he walks right out of his bonds in the middle of it, only to go right back in when he's finished.
  • Medium Blending: Used live-action clips from classic Fifties TV/movies in some episodes, and in the title sequence.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Parodied with the Freakmobile). The show's writers actually ask Freakazoid to use the Freakmobile in a chase scene.
    • Toyetic: The term was popularized by being defined onscreen during this sequence.
  • Monster Clown: One of the Lobe's plans entails turning people into zombie clowns with a mysterious cloud to try and take over the world.
    Lobe: The perfect plan! Everyone loves a clown! There's a knock on the door, it's a clown! You let it in. The next thing you know, they've taken over for me!
    • Freakazoid claims it's a stupid idea, only to agree that it was a brilliant idea when the Lobe's out of earshot.
  • Mouth Flaps: Parodied with the lip-sinking scene in "Sewer or Later".
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • Freakzoid in-universe has women throwing themselves at him. Naturally he also has audience fangirls.
    • In "Relax-O-Vision" more than two hundred swooning women lined up for his kissing booth at a carnival. Make of that what you will.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Parodied and a Running Gag, where Cosgrove will interrupt whatever Freakazoid's up to to invite him to something far more mundane.
    Freakazoid: Nothing will stand in my way!
    Cosgrove: Hey, Freakazoid, wanna go out for a mint?
    Freakazoid: Okay.
  • Mr. Exposition: Roddy MacStew is not happy about it.
    "I feel like Obi-Wan cruddy Kenobi!"
  • My Brain Is Big: The Lobe's brain isn't just big, it's his whole head aside from his eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Cobra Queen and Longhorn are pretty good; as for Candle Jack, well, he is rather tenacious.
  • Nature Hero: The Huntsman has parts of his costume resembling leaves and at one point is seen wrestling a bear.
  • Nonsense Classification: In "Next Time, Phone Ahead", Freakazoid tells Bo-ron that the four basic food groups are ice cream, candy, cakes, and very large cakes.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever Jeepers and Vorn did to the lady in the apartment above him. All we know is, "it was like having to watch Waterworld for a month!"
  • No One Could Survive That!: Roddy MacStew, after explaining the flaws of Apex's latest computer chip and saying that this potential weapon of mass destruction was only known to him, was promptly pushed off the roof of the building by the Corrupt Corporate Executive. It is Christmas Eve, after all, and goodness forbid they make a recall the day after that!
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • The Huntsman and Lord Bravery, who were quite blatantly modelled upon Charlton Heston and John Cleese, respectively.
    • The "And now you know... the rest of the episode" guy is never named but clearly Paul Harvey.
    • Cave Guy was a take-off of Jim Backus, specifically echoing Thurston Howell III.
    • Invisibo seems to be channeling Vincent Price.
    • The voice of Candle Jack is based off Jack Palance.
    • Lonnie Tallbutt is obviously modeled after Lon Chaney Jr., specifically his role as Larry Talbot in the original Universal Wolf Man film and its sequels.
  • No Fourth Wall: Used straight… and subverted.
    • When the show had a baffling 6AM timeslot, Freakazoid ended one episode with telling kids to go wake up their parents and ask for breakfast.
  • Official Couple:
    • Freakazoid/Steph. Oddly, Dexter/Steph, though named in the 'Freakazoid and Friends' song, does not apply as Steph doesn't find out about Freakazoid's secret identity until later.
    • Cave Guy and Cobra Queen hook up during the second season.
  • Off Like a Shot: Freakazoid does a pose like he's ready to hit something whenever he starts speeding off.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: "Relax-O-Vision" is basically a long series of these, since the Relax-O-Vision cuts away from the scenes of Freakazoid pummeling the bad guys and beating up the man who thought of Relax-O-Vision in the first place.
  • Offscreen Reality Warp: Most of the action cut off by Relax-o-Vision in the episode of the same name isn't too hard to imagine, but Freakazoid defeating Lobe is blatantly nonsensical: Lobe laughs as Steph is tied to a launching rocket, cut away, then cut back to Lobe in Steph's place, which he fails to notice until he's on-screen.
  • Old Shame: In-universe with Professor Jones, who doesn't want to hear anything about "that show with the robot." note 
  • Old Superhero: "Legends Who Lunch" has a bunch of elderly superheroes telling each other jokes, with one called the Krimson Kvetch telling a story about how he fought the Brown Fog.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Played for Laughs. One episode opens with the recurring villain Armando Gutierez playing an organ with the stereotypical opening followed by the variation of Pop Goes The Weasel. For more fun, this sequence is a Shout-Out to The Abominable Dr. Phibes opening.
  • Only Sane Man: Well, compared to the rest of his family, Dexter is this.
  • Origins Episode: The two-parter episode "The Chip" explains how Dexter Douglas first became Freakazoid.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Cosgrove once realized that a rampaging Freakazoid was a clone when Cosgrove asked him to the Yakov Smirnoff film festival... and he said no. When he declares this at an emergency press conference, the clone is instantly discredited.
    • CLONE!!
    • Said clone was never apprehended or anything, it was just never seen again and was presumably no longer a threat once it was proven as such.
  • Overly-Long Gag: See Spit Take, below.
    • Also, one episode spends half its length parodying the entire title number of Hello, Dolly! as "Bonjour, Lobey", even going so far as to setting up a major plot point that allows Freakazoid to transform into Louis Armstrong at the appropriate moment.
    • Also the Hand-man segment from Season 1, which could have ended about six different times before it finally does; half the commentary for this segment consists of the writers arguing whether this is a good thing.
    • Also:
      Lobe: Freakazoid! Why do we keep falling for so long in this episode?
      Freakazoid: Because it's funny!
      Lobe: No it's not! It's stupid!
  • Parody: Of the superhero genre, but other shorts delved into other areas of parody as well. "Toby Danger in Doomsday Bet", the third short of the second episode, parodied the poor writing, hammy, over-the-top acting, nonsensical Techno Babble and choppy animation of action cartoons from The Dark Age of Animation like Jonny Quest. The fourth and final short of the very first episode, called "Hand Man", featured a surprise crossover with the Warner Brothers (and sister} from Animaniacs performing a theme song that had similar-sounding lyrics and tune to their own, but tailored in a way that not only fit the Freakazoid! universe, but also seemed to gleefully mock the original tune.
  • Parody Assistance: The Toby Danger sketch, an Affectionate Parody of Jonny Quest, had the titular character voiced by Scott Menville (who played the titular character in The New Adventures of Jonny Quest), the pastiche of Benton Quest voiced by Benton Quest's original voice actor Don Messick and the "Race" Bannon stand-in voiced by Granville Van Dusen, who voiced "Race" Bannon in The New Adventures of Jonny Quest, Jonny's Golden Quest, Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects and Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures.
  • Perpetual Expression: Emmitt Nervend's Unsmile.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Huntsman is not happy about being a superhero who never manages to do any crime-fighting in his own segments.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: The Toby Danger sequences; perhaps they came a decade too early.
  • Postmodernism: And how. Over the course of its two seasons, this show found every way possible to riff on the superhero genre, with little to no regard for the fourth wall.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Dexter has normal-length and cut, light brown hair. When he turns into Freakazoid it grows into a large crown of long, black Anime Hair, with white lightning-shaped stripes in it.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Implied in "Next Time, Phone Ahead" when Freakazoid demonstrates to Mo-Ron (or Bo-Ron, as he is renamed in the episode) that eating carrots gives you X-ray vision. Freakazoid and Bo-Ron are only shown using their newfound X-ray vision to see the bone structure of their hands, but Steph briefly appears in the background before looking worried and then running away before they have a chance to use their X-ray vision to see through her clothes.
  • Psychic Static: Freakazoid avoids having his personality fed to Guitierrez's second clone of him in "Hero Boy" by thinking about his favorite show Hero Boy. As a result, the machine creates a bunch of evil Hero Boy clones that fail miserably in besting Freakazoid instead of an improved Freakazoid clone.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Freakazoid himself. He has a childlike playful personality and is also a downright lunatic who enjoys subjecting his enemies to slapstick injuries.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Lord Bravery's theme song is sung to the tune of "A British Tar" from H.M.S. Pinafore.
  • Put on a Bus: Ingmar the Mute Butler for Season 2 (in favor of Professor Jones).
    • Every character associated with Toby Danger as well.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Freakazoid and Cosgrove. In the episode 'Two Against Freak', Roddy is also a Red Oni to Cosgrove's Blue. They're even, albeit unintentionally, wearing the right colors.
  • Red Shirt: Expendable Lad, though he only appeared once before retiring with a bruised clavicle
  • Relax-o-Vision: The Trope Namer. The episode "Relax-O-Vision" had scenes of violence edited by being replaced with footage of fish set to "Theme from a Summer Place".
    • It also featured a variation with Scream-O-Vision, whereupon anything remotely scary, from Candle Jack to kissing and was followed up by the word "Scream" and a small sound clip of people doing just that.
  • Remembered Too Late: After the alien Mo-Ron bothers us for a while claiming he has a important message for all mankind, but he doesn't seem to know anything. Then he shows up at the end of the episode to let us know he remembers - a giant comet is about to hit Earth. Freakazoid says, "Now he tells us." And the meteor does hit.
  • Ride the Lightning: Freakazoid speeds by as a lightning bolt.
  • Rogues Gallery: Freakazoid's consists of The Lobe, Candle Jack, Cave Guy, Cobra Queen, Longhorn, Deadpan and Arms Akimbo. Actually this gallery appears as a group before each villain does individually, in fact, in the first episode a couple of villains (Eye of Newt and Booger Beast) are mentioned and seen among the group for the first and last time. Also, in the first season, Kid Carrion (a skull-faced, cowboy zombie whose character is never developed) appears various times with the group. Armando Gutierrez plays a large role in three Season 1 episodes and returns in Season 2, though only appears alongside the other villains in the finale. In the second season, Waylon Jeepers and a new villain named Vorn join the crowd, along with Invisibo and his swinging theme song.
    • Booger Beast actually appears in the pre-credits sequence of a later episode.
  • Running Gag: Quite a few.
    Cosgrove: Hey, Freakazoid. Wanna go to the (insert odd place name here)?
    Freakazoid: Do I?!?!
    • From "Dexter's Date":
      Dexter's Mom: [from the car] Have a good time now!
      • From the same episode:
        Lobe's Henchman: That is one happy man.
    • From "The Island of Dr. Mystico":
      Steph: That was quite a jolt, Freak!
    • Such repetition of certain quotes pretty much became a Once an Episode thing, especially during the second season.
  • Science Hero: Toby Danger, seeing as he is an Captain Ersatz of Jonny Quest.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Professor Jones.
  • Secondary Character Title: Not the series as a whole, but the episode Heroboy.
  • Secret-Keeper: Roddy for Dexter/Freakazoid. "Mission: Freakazoid" established that Cosgrove also knew. (He just didn't know it was a secret from Steph and subsequently blew it.)
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • "Virtual Freak" pokes a little fun at an earlier episode.
      The Lobe: Freakazoid, why is it taking us so long to fall?
      Freakazoid: 'Cause it's funny!
      The Lobe: No, it's not! It's just stupid! It's as dumb as that Handman episode!
    • Also done in the "Freakazoid and Friends" musical number, which parodies the theme song to Animaniacs. The lyrics mention, among other things, that the show is very dumb and that it isn't doing very good in the ratings.
  • Series Continuity Error: "Dance of Doom" (the first episode) established Dexter's age as sixteen, but "The Chip Part One" (Freakazoid's origin story) had it as seventeen.
    • Also, Mr. Chubbikins, typically orange, was white in the series finale.
  • "Shaggy Frog" Story: Done hilariously in "A Matter of Love".
    "I saw this once on an after-school special. Mary and Sally, best friends! They did absolutely everything together. Then one day, Mary fell in with the wrong crowd. And Mary didn't have time for Sally anymore. Sally would say, 'Wanna go play a game or pretend we're kitties?' and Mary would say 'Uh-uh, I'm in with the wrong crowd.' Sally was so sad she ran home, climbed up a tree and started eating cookies. A ton of cookies. She got huge, HUGE, HUGE, HUGE! any cookies, Mike?"
  • She Who Must Not Be Seen: The Hopping Woman, who often is announced in the opening credits but is never seen nor heard.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To The Andy Griffith Show in the theme song, among others.
    • In "And Fan Boy Was His Name", Mike rings the cash register, saying he's giving angels their wings.
    • In "Freak-a-Panel," after Joe gives him attitude, Freakazoid threatens to replace him with the announcer from Earthworm Jim. (That wouldn't be tough- Jeff Bennett was already voicing Lord Bravery, The Huntsman and Candle Jack.)
    • The time travel episode features an opening for a fake show called Quantum Freak which also features allusions to films like The Graduate & The Defiant Ones.
    • In "Dance Of Doom," Freakazoid segued to a proceeding scene by shouting "PULL DE STREENG!" a la Bela Lugosi in Glen or Glenda. The cast added on the DVD commentary that it was actually inspired by watching Ed Wood.
    • Freakazoid's costume was based on an early costume worn by Madman. The creator of Madman was never given credit, however.
    • "The Cloud"'s opening few scenes are from The Crawling Eye - which was also seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
    • The "AWWWW, Freak out!" Dexter shouts to change is taken from the disco song "Le Freak" by Chic.
    • Hero Boy to the 60's American dub of Astro Boy.
    • Bo-Ron (formerly Mo-Ron)'s home planet, Boronies, was named for a local Italian eatery where the crew would order pizza for recording sessions.
    • In "Hot Rods from Heck", when we go to the Freakalair, the Mad Zeppelin can be seen (although the logo is altered to read "RAD"- which is odd, considering it and this show were both Time Warner properties).
    • In "The Wrath of Guitierrez", Freakzoid picks up a bowl in a virtual reality video game, and triumphantly exclaims, "A bowl! I got a bowl, good for me!". Possibly a reference to the similar messages that appear when the player picks up an item in The Legend of Zelda.
  • Show Within a Show: "Hero Boy", an Astro Boy parody that's Freakazoid's favorite cartoon, and "Real Life Police", a COPS parody Cosgrove participates in.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: No, Jeepers, Freakazoid does not want to see something strange and mystical. He wants you to go away, leave the beavers alone, have a cup of coffee with cream or something and stop being creepy.
  • Sidekick: FanBoy, Expendable Lad, Foamy the Freakadog, and many others.
  • Snake Charmer: Freakazoid puts on a turban and plays a flute to force Cobra Queen's 2 snakes into a paddy wagon after she was defeated.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: The villains attempt a singalong of "Polly Wolly Doodle", but only The Lobe actually knows the lyrics after the first two lines.
    Oh I went down South for to see my Sal, singing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day... [uncertain mumbling] ...singing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day!
  • Speak of the Devil: In his debut episode, Candle Jack abducts anyone who says his name.
  • Special Effect Failure: Parodied in "Invisibo". invoked
    Joe: The special effects aren't very scary. Please pretend they are. Thank you.
    • The scene is then shown with obvious wires holding up Invisibo's floating scepter and a device throwing Dexter to simulate an invisible man throwing him.
      Joe: We've succeeded in embarrassing the network into giving us more special effects money! Thank you for pretending! You can stop now.
  • Special Guest: MPAA president Jack Valenti, Actor Mark Hamill, and TV Carpentry Show host Norm Abram all appear as themselves in various episodes.
  • Spinning Paper: Played straight, but probably subverted somewhere knowing what we're dealing with.
  • Spit Take: Turned into an Overly-Long Gag when Fanboy surprises Freakazoid and he spits out far more papaya juice than could possibly be in his mouth or his cup, over the course of about a dozen individual spits.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Cobra Queen. Cave Guy likes it.
    Cobra Queen: Tell me more about my eyesssssssssss.
    Cave Guy: I love the way you say 'eyes'!
  • Standard Snippet: Most notably, the episode "Relax-O-Vision." The whole bit is that every time something violent or upsetting is about to happen, the show will immediately cut away to more peaceful things, like goldfish, an ocean, or a butterfly lingering on some flowers. Every single time, it's accompanied by "Theme From 'A Summer Place'" by Percy Faith & His Orchestra, a longtime easy listening standard.
  • Stepford Smiler: Dexter's mother, Debbie Douglas, smiles continually, no matter what's going on around her or what she's saying. Most likely a Type B, but Type C is hinted at, particularly in commentaries.
  • Stock Footage: Several gags involve cutting to live-action stock footage.
  • The Day the Music Lied: The Huntsman marches into the police station, ready to fight crime, his theme song blaring loudly away. Turns out it's always a false alarm, leaving the Huntsman with nothing to do.
  • The Stoic: Cosgrove. Taken to an extreme in an episode in which Freakazoid and Cosgrove are trapped in a virtual reality game. Freakazoid, looking for a way out, repeatedly finds himself in very long falls back to where they started, and Cosgrove nonchalantly stands completely silent until he lands.
  • Straw Fan: Fanboy, though he isn't so much a parody of Freakazoid fans as comic book/sci-fi fans in general.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: Subverted by Mo-Ron and others. Mo-Ron, as his name implies, is an idiot, while another group of aliens visited Earth only to ask for the name of Barbie's younger sister.
  • Superhero: Freakazoid, though the episode "The Chip" establishes that he's mainly in it to impress the girls.
  • Take Our Word for It: What Jeepers and Vorn did to the lady upstairs.
    Neighbor: It was awful! Awful! JUST AWFUL!
    Freakazoid: Could you be more specific?
    Neighbor: It was like having to watch Waterworld for a month!
  • Take That!:
    • "The scariest thing in the world would be if they gave Sinbad another TV show!''"
    • After averting Pearl Harbor, Freakazoid sees how he's changed things and first is Sharon Stone in Macbeth: "She's good. She's really good! Sharon Stone can act!"
    • "Diane Sawyer acts sincere, but she's really faking it".
    • The episode "Lawn Gnomes" is a parody of the first episode of Disney's Gargoyles, with brave and honorable castle grotesques replaced with cowardly and amoral garden gnomes. Another episode has Freakazoid sitting on a high rise grotesque made to look like Goliath. Not-Goliath is explaining the long and complicated story of his people and would not stop until he was offered a Pez Dispenser.
    • In "And Fanboy Was His Name," Freakazoid is going through a comic convention looking for something he could give to Fanboy to get him to go away, and offers him an autographed photograph of Stan Lee. Fanboy doesn't know who that is (Freakazoid doesn't either).
    • In "Nerdator," an alien hunter is kidnapping all the nerds in the world by zapping them away to his lab. When one of said "nerds" is Steven Spielberg, we get this line from Freakazoid:
      "At least now we don't have to listen to any more of those DreamWorks stories. Whew!"
    • DreamWorks gets another one when Lord Bravery is told he can't use his name because a bakery registered it first. It seems DreamWorks isn't well-known enough in England to the point if the trademark officer remember that name's taken as well without checking it first.
    • In part three of "The Chip," Armando Gutierrez threatens Dexter's family with "The Best of Marty Ingels" to get him to give him the code to become a freakazoid.
  • Taking the Bullet: Non-fatal version, Steph pushes Freakazoid out of the way of Jeepers's Medusa watch, getting turned into stone.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Freakazoid defeats Cobra Queen by subjecting her Snake Talk to a tongue twister. Afterward, he says: "I wonder why that worked?"
    • Also, Cosgrove can do this to anybody in the show.
  • The Teaser: Many episodes featured a scene before the opening credits.
  • Telephone Teleport: There was an episode where the eponymous character traveled through a power line. Helped that he supposedly had the power of the entire Internet, which at the time the show was made was connected by phone modems.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: By sheer virtue of calling himself a superhero, Freakazoid gets called in to handle matters of national and international security that he has no training for. Even personally flying a plane full of dangerous inmates to France despite the fact that he isn't a pilot (to make matters worse, his flight crew consists Cosgrove, the Professor, and Steph, who's a civilian and a teenager)
  • There Was a Door: In "Dexter's Date," Freakazoid crashes through a wall full of TV monitors while trying to stop the Lobe. The Lobe immediately scolds him for causing the damage and not using the door instead.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Directly invoked by Dr. Mystico. "They called me mad, insane, Wendell!"
  • Three Shorts: The format used in the first season; in the second season, the show switched to doing full 30 minute stories.
  • Throw a Barrel at It: Trope Namer shows up in the short, "Toby Danger in Doomsday Bet".
  • Too Dumb to Live: When Gutierrez wants to know Freakazoid's weakness:
    Gutierrez: Oh, we're wasting time. What is your weakness?
    Freakazoid: Well...
    [quick cut to Freakazoid in a cage]
    Freakazoid: (to self) Dumb, dumb, dumb! Never tell the villian how to trap you in a cage!
    Gutierrez: You probably shouldn't have helped us build it, either.
    Freakazoid: I know. Dumb!
    • In one episode he gets arrested on this charge by the Idiotic Police.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Freakazoid learns telekinesis. At first he fails utterly and only manages to hit himself in the head with a brick. When he gets angry though, he subconsciously masters the technique and effortlessly thrashes Cave Guy and Cobra Queen in battle. He doesn't use the ability in later episodes, though there were only two episodes left.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: As the second season progresses, Steph seems to become more of a ditz than she was before.
  • Totally Radical: The assistant in "Virtual Freak".
  • The Un-Favourite: Dexter has shades of this, given that he was yelled at for blowing raspberries, yet Duncan could punch him a lot with little consequence.
  • The Unintelligible: Jocko. "Eeeeeeeeee!" Is all he ever says.
    • Dr. Henry Kissinger speaks in a low mumble.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The creepy, giggling Weylon Jeepers and Vorn the Unspeakable are able to blend in perfectly in Venice Beach.
    Freakazoid: A couple of weirdos like Jeepers and Vorn should be pretty easy to spot around here!
    Cosgrove: I don't think so.
    [shot of the various hippies and weirdos living in Venice Beach]
    Freakazoid: Good point. Am I overdressed?
  • Up, Up and Away!: Subverted, as Freakazoid doesn't fly.
  • Uranus Is Showing : During Episode 2, we are greeted to a spaceship zipping through space. Then out of nowhere, Freakazoid pops up, points at a planet, and gleefully states "That's Uranus!"
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: It is pretty much impossible for any single person to catch every reference and allusion, as some can get exceptionally obscure (such as showcasing Venice Beach regulars circa 1995). Thankfully the show is funny enough that you don't need to get even half of them to enjoy it.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Gutierrez and Mary Beth are fairly humorous, the former moreso, but a lot of the time they are very threatening. Armondo also had traits of this in early episodes, before Villain Decay set in.
  • Villain of Another Story: "Dance of Doom", which features the Cave Guy as the Monster of the Week, includes a really bizarre scene that involves Waylon Jeepers turning two beavers into gold with his magic watch, and has absolutely no relevance to the plot. At the end of the episode, when the Cave Guy is defeated, Jeepers tries to approach Freakazoid, but Freakazoid plainly tells him to shut up and mind his own business (see the page quote). Later on, Jeepers gets his own episode as the villain.
  • Villain Song: "Bonjour, Lobey" in "Dexter's Date," a blatant parody of "Hello, Dolly". In fact, the lyrics actually fit perfectly to the version of the song from the 1969 film version.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The Lobe does this literally in "In Arms Way" and "Virtual Freak," doing last minute Christmas shopping in the former and buying a new hat in the latter. "Dexter's Date" also has him go to the same restaurant Dexter and Steph are at their date, where he is on friendly terms with the waiters and even engages in a song and dance number wth them.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: The Lobe gets one in the episode "The Freakazoid" that parodies "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and plays during his montage of committing various crimes and atrocities after he's tricked Freakazoid into leaving him alone just because he asked him to do so on his birthday.
  • Villain Team-Up: Happens between Cave Guy and Cobra Queen in "Two Against Freak".
  • Visual Pun: At one point after a particularly badly animated sequence, Freakazoid cuts in and tells the animators to "watch the lipsynch." Cut to a giant pair of lips, sinking into the ocean.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The one shot villain Deadpan, who tried to impersonate Freakazoid in her single appearance before the real Freakazoid unknowingly pointed her out.
  • Werewolves Are Dogs: In "House Of Freakazoid", Freakazoid talks to Lonnie Tallbutt in werewolf form as though he were a dog. Pretty much Averted with werewolf Lonnie's actual characterization, which is essentially the same as the werewolf in The Wolf Man (1941).
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: One episode ends with Freak, Cosgrove, and Steph watching Babeheart, about "a cute little pig who slaughters the English" Invoked.
    Steph: This sure is a gory movie.
    Cosgrove: Yeah, but that's one mighty cute pig.
    Freakazoid: I hope he recieves some kind of cute pig award.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never did find out who killed Sir Jeffry.
    • Invisibo is not shown battling Freakazoid and Norm with the other villains during the climax of Normadeus. He also is absent at the finale.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: To The Crawling Eye, of all things. The kid's demographic that the show was marketed to probably didn't get the joke, but the kids' parents (or the kids themselves 10 years later) who were fans of early episodes of MST3K did.
    • Subverted pretty regularly, though. While shows like Animaniacs commit to their parodies once started, Freakazoid bails on them the second it'd be funnier to do something else. For example The Freakazoid and Normadeus, where the parody they're doing last only for the first scene of the cartoon in question.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: A rare example of this being applied to a hero. While Dexter Douglas' alter ego is a powerful hero, he is also a downright lunatic.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: In “The Chip Part 2”, Gutiérrez tells Roddy and Dexter that he’ll let them and the latter’s family go if Roddy gives him the code to activate the Pinnacle Chip’s flaw. But as soon as Roddy does, Gutiérrez orders his men to eliminate them and the Douglas family, which leads to this.
    Roddy: But you said-!
    Gutiérrez: I Lied.

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Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Steven Spielberg Presents Freakazoid


Let's watch the lip-sync okay?

In "Sewer or Later", after a bit of badly-synced animation, it cuts to Freakazoid saying "Oy, let's watch the lip-sync, okay?" and then we cut to a clip of a disembodied pair of lips sinking into the ocean.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / VisualPun

Media sources: