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Western Animation / Freaky Stories

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Freaky Stories is a Canadian television series. It is an animated show about urban legends, hosted by two animatronic puppets, Larry de Bug, a cockroach, and his gooey sidekick, Maurice the maggot, in Ted's Diner - a 1940s-style diner setting staffed by Rosie the waitress (who is heard but never seen).

The series, described as "a Twilight Zone for kids," centers on the kind of myths and legends that are told as scary campfire or bedtime stories. Every episode always starts with and finishes with the phrase: "This is a true story, and it happened to friend of a friend of mine." And by the words of Larry, "Just because they never happened, doesn't mean they ain't true." Animation styles and musical scoring varied within each half-hour episode, incorporating 20 different looks in the first season alone. The short stories and changing styles were specifically designed to keep viewers' attention spans.

Unmarked spoilers ahead.


This is a true trope. It happened to a friend of a friend of mine:

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  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: The plot of "Sweet Dreams". It's brought about by a boy named Jordon eating macaroni and cheese, a chili burger loaded with onions, a strawberry float, and and week old sweet and sour kimchi.
  • Age Without Youth: One story was about a wealthy businessman who wanted to live forever out of fear his estate would be inherited by someone who'd squander it all. Not only did his immortality cost him his wealth (he hoped to build another one - never happened), but he forgot about the trope.
  • Art Shift: The show did not have a set animation style; instead, the stories cycled through a couple of different styles, some more cartoony than other depending on the story.
  • Beware Of Hitch Hiking Ghosts:
    • A man picks up a hitchhiking girl on the road; she disappears during the drive but leaves her jacket. The man goes to her house to return the jacket, but is greeted by a woman saying the girl died several years ago, wearing that same jacket.
    • Another episode (one actually set 20 Minutes into the Future, complete with hover cars) had the teenaged hitchhiker turn out to be a (non-evil) old hag.
  • Bowdlerise: Some of the shorts inspired in horror urban legends tone down the violence and make the main characters survive. Other shorts omit or tone down adult themes from the original legends.
  • Buried Alive: One episode involved a man who was deathly afraid of being buried alive, a fact his wife learned when he had a panic attack from the rice being thrown at their wedding. She promises him that if he died, she'd install a hot line phone that linked directly to the house, where she would wait for a year so he can call her to get him out if he's still alive. The rest of the plot involves her actually going through with this promise after her husband dies suddenly. Her friends finally convince her to go out for the evening on the 365th day. Just after she leaves, the phone rings.
  • The Calls Are Coming from Inside the House: A story involves a babysitter repeatedly getting mysterious calls from a voice that asks "Have you checked the children?" that she eventually traces and then freaks out to find they are coming from a second line in the house. While the narration never confirms it, the visuals strongly imply it is just the kids playing a prank.
  • Dead Pet Sketch: An airport crew went through a lot to find a replacement for a dog believed to have died during flight, unaware that it was already dead.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The protagonist of one story is only referred to as "Tuesday At Two", because the narrator is a hair stylist and he knows the protagonist because she comes in for an appointment every Tuesday, at 2.
  • Eyeless Face: Maurice.
  • Familial Cannibalism Surprise: One story involved a man who came to America to find his fortune, and upon doing so, would dote gifts to his relatives back in their native country village. Eventually, a jar with what was assumed a brown spice came, along with a letter that was, unfortunately, ate by a stray goat before anyone could read it. The family and even neighbors enjoyed the spice, until another package, containing an urn, explained that said relative died and wanted his remains to rest back in the family home. Needless to say, the village was both horrified and disgusted that they accidentally ate the remains of said beloved man.
  • Gasshole: Maurice the Maggot was continually farting. At one point he gets the "Maggot Flu", which is like the normal flu, except you also fart whenever you sneeze. That said, Larry the Cockroach was able to beat him at a fart-off.
    • One story revolves around a nerdy girl who scores herself a date, but is so busy arranging everything perfectly via her computer that she has nothing to eat but some nasty old chili left in the back of the fridge. Needless to say, the episode ends with her letting a monstrously foul fart during a brief moment that her date was outside of the car... and discovering, too late, that he had brought along his parents to meet her, and they were in the back of the car when she let it out.
    • Another story revolves around a polite young boy whose parents want him to be on his best behavior when visiting his great aunt so they can inherit her fortune. The biggest problem comes when he has to keep eating baked beans, which were his least favorite food, with his great aunt constantly giving him more no matter how much he finishes or hides them. This ultimately causes him to let out a huge fart he could no longer contain, but his great aunt was overjoyed because her late husband would fart as his way of thanking her for the food, and took it as the biggest compliment she had ever gotten. Giving him the entire fortune as his reward.
  • Genre Mashup: The stories featuring Joe The Traveling Salesman are a mix of sci-fi, and noir drama.
  • Gross-Out Show: Some of the stories revolve around disgusting revelations, particularly of the I Ate WHAT?! variety. One comparatively tame example involves a delivery boy who eats all of the peanuts at an old woman's home and, when he apologises, she waves it off, explaining that with her bad teeth all she can do is suck the chocolate off them.
  • Harassing Phone Call: One story involves a babysitter constantly being called and asked "Have you checked the children?". She loses it when she finds out the calls are coming from a second line in the house, but it's strongly implied that it was the children making the calls.
  • Hook Hand: The classic urban legend 'The Hook' was done as a Musical Episode.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Almost Once an Episode. Examples include a cheapskate siphoning from the wrong tank of an RV, a couple finding a corpse in their wine barrel, and an escaped convict blindly looting the contents of a fridge, which turned out to be storing things like medical waste. One story had a man visiting an elderly woman's house, and ate a jar of peanuts when she left the room, after he apologized she responded with:
    "That's alright, with teeth like mine, all I can do is suck the chocolate off of them."
  • Immortality Seeker: A wealthy old man spends his entire fortune in the search for immortality He got it, but forgot to specify he also wanted to stop aging.
  • Inflating Body Gag: One of the stories is about a pageant contestant who, in a desperate attempt to stay thin, takes black market diet pills. However, the pills come with a warning label saying not to drink anything with them. After going days or possibly even weeks without drinking a drop, she is obviously extremely thirsty. A fit of nervous hiccups forces her to take a small sip of water to try and remedy them, but since she's so thirsty, tasting that one sip makes her snap and start drinking all the water she can get her hands on. It's at that point that she finds out why the pill bottle told her not to drink anything: the pills are actually tiny sponges, which absorb all the water she drank and expand inside of her, making her swell up. Even her arms and legs swell up for some reason.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: Every episode started with "This is a true story. It happened to a friend of a friend of mine". (Except for the Musical Episode where, for reasons of rhyme and scansion, it happened "to a friend of a friend of a friend".) Occasionally the relationship between the narrator and the subject is a bit more direct (a barber telling a story about one of their customers, or a teacher telling a story about one of their students), but the stories will still start this way before the narrator clarifies.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Occasionally happens either to the subject of a story or someone else in the story.
  • Lemony Narrator: Some narrators are more snarky than others. Usually, the adult narrators are more prone to this trope (especially if they've interacted with the story's protagonist), while children or teenager narrators tend to speak without sarcasm.
  • Lonely Funeral / Unexpected Inheritance: One episode featured a wealthy man who wasn't on speaking terms with any friend or relative and made a will leaving his fortune to anyone who bothered to attend the funeral. The only person to do it was an old woman who didn't even know him. She simply needed a bathroom and crashing the funeral was the only option.
  • Messy Maggots:
    • One of the hosts of the show is Maurice the maggot. He's constantly dripping slime and is ridiculously gassy.
    • One episode features a new girl taking a shine to the biggest loser in the school, happily trading her candy bars for his disgusting lunches. Eventually, he starts giving her random scraps of garbage instead, which she still accepts for the candy bars. In reality, she has been harvesting the trash to use as a breeding ground for maggots, the main ingredient for her experimental candy bars.
  • Missing Floor: One story has an obsessive man trying to figure out the secret of a building's 13th floor. When he finally gets to it, he finds that the door to the 13th floor locks from the inside, trapping him with everyone else who had discovered it.
  • Musical Episode: Has quite a few, such as "The Hook", "Pirates" and "The Getaway".

  • Never Trust a Hair Tonic: One story involves a boy inventing a hair tonic that, while capable of growing hair on any surface, doesn't seem to work on him. After dousing himself with it in a panic, he realize all to late that it takes longer for the tonic to grow hair on a human, and it turns him into a werewolf.
  • Now Do It Again, Backwards: A kid fond of making silly faces catches a trick wind which causes his face to be stuck like that. The only cure is to dangle him from a helicopter and fly it backwards hoping to catch the same wind in reverse.
  • Once an Episode: "This is a true story. It happened to a friend of a friend of mine."
  • On One Condition: See Lonely Funeral above.
  • Organ Theft: Although they moved it into the future to slightly reduce the Squick factor. Basically, the victim's heads are attached to machines that keep them alive.
  • Potty Emergency: This is what causes the woman attending the Lonely Funeral to be there at all.
  • Potty Failure: One story had a small kid in boy scouts that would wet himself from nearly anything, including making him laugh too hard, scaring him, or hurting his feelings. Which is why his fellow scouts nicknamed him "Puddle".
  • Rules of the Road: One of the episodes involves an incredibly picky police officer, who expects everyone to follow traffic laws EXACTLY. Naturally, once he acquires a Speed Gun, he begins pulling people over for even going 1 Km/h faster/slower than the posted speed limit.
  • Stereo Fibbing: A pair of troublemaking students oversleep and miss their final exam. They make up an excuse about getting a flat tire, so the teacher allows them to take a make-up exam that involves them in separate rooms with only one question to answer: "Which tire was flat?"
  • Sewer Gator: An episode is about a young boy who flushes his pet baby alligator down the toilet because his parents won't let him keep it. As an adult, he encounters the now-grown alligator while he is working in the sewers.
  • The Voice: Rosie the waitress
  • Spared By Adaptation: Tends to happen in the case of adaptations of horror urban legends, where the main characters usually die, while here they survive.
  • Speaking Simlish: Rare for an animated cartoon, often when characters are talking to each other, they aren't actually speaking English, just muttering to each other in gibberish. It's only when the narrator is quoting them directly that they actually speak coherently.
  • Twin Desynch: One story ends with bitter rival twin sisters eventually patching things up and dying their hair different colours.
  • Twin Switch: One story involves twin brothers who use this to live as a single person, combining their completely different interests and talents to come off as the perfect person. On said "perfect person"'s wedding day, the two of them were calmly talking to each other until they remembered at least one of them should show up. When they do, they see their bride marrying their long-lost brother. They were triplets after all.
  • Urban Legends: Forms the entire premise of the show to the point where several shorts are straight up retellings of classic urban legends.
  • Vandalism Backfire: One story featured an overjealous man whose wife was constantly receiving a male visitor who even once took her for a car ride. The husband one day covered the car with concrete. The visitor was a car salesman and the woman had just bought the car for her husband's birthday.
  • Weight Loss Horror: A woman buys a new mysterious diet pill in preparation for a beauty contest, on the condition that she must not drink water for the duration of the diet. The diet pills were actually several tiny sponges, and when she breaks and drinks gallons of water, they cause her to bloat uncontrollably.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Pretty much every featured character is this.


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