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Western Animation / Gravedale High

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Well it's just like any other high school
You've got the same problems in your head
except their lockers are coffins
And the teachers...
Are the undead
Theme song

This short-lived Hanna-Barbera cartoon premiered in 1990 on NBC, with the full title of Rick Moranis in Gravedale High, featuring teacher Max Schneider (as the title suggests, played by Rick Moranis) as the sole human teacher in an All-Ghouls School, teaching a class of misfit students who, according to the headmistress, otherwise would have been booted out from the school (despite none of them showing any outrageously bad or different behavior, aside from maybe being lazy and distracted).

His class includes a greaser vampire, nerdy werewolf, fat mummy, surfer fishboy, valley girl gorgon and other stereotypical teenager versions (and adult, for the teachers) of classic horror movie monsters.

This show provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Frankentyke's brother Big Frankie. The minute he shows up on campus, all the faculty can't stop gushing over what a good student he was, and all the girls can't keep their claws off of him.
  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: Inspector Nitpicker from "Save Our School" has an odd habit of giving abbreviations for every single thing he talks about, subsequently clarifying what each abbreviation stood for. For example, when Max accuses him of being bribed by the Empress, he retorts that the accusation is a B.S.L., or "big stupid lie".
  • The Alleged Steed: In "Frankenjockey", Hoover, a race horse who has never won a single race, escapes his owners and befriends Frankentyke, who is annoyed at first, but warms up to him. However, when Max calls a hotline and reports Hoover's escape, Liverpool (Hoover's trainer)'s, true colors are shown, and the bet is that if Hoover wins the race, he's set free. Unfortunately, Hoover and Frankentyke lose by mugging in the photo finish, but Sid points out that the rival horse illegally switched jockeys, which means Hoover wins in the end.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Duzer is implied to have a crush on Vinnie, but she vehemently denies this.
  • Alpha Bitch: Duzer tends to be the most snooty and obnoxious of the students.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Frankentyke thinks his dad is one, and builds a substitute father in his place. It turns out this is because Frankentyke's "dad" is the mad scientist who made him, and thus is a human, who aren't looked on too highly in the monster community.
  • And a Diet Coke: A fat guy orders a lot of snacks with a diet coke at a movie theater that Duzer works at in "The Dress-Up Mess-Up".
  • Animals Hate Him: Frankentyke feels the same way, but in one episode, an escaped race horse takes a liking to him, largely because his hair is made of horse hair.
  • Attractive Zombie: Blanche, the Goth Southern Belle zombie, is clearly an example. Downplayed, since she retains some of the trademark "monster zombie" traits (such as green skin).
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Reggie, especially during the climax of "Monster on Trial", where he points out how physics play in driving.
  • Badass Finger Snap: Vinnie often snaps both fingers to activate his bat wings so he can fly.
  • Beach Episode: "Do The Rad Thing" has some scenes at the beach, featuring the cast wearing swimsuits. The kids also end up in their suits when they're at Gravedale's pool, in quite a few other episodes.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Cleofatra is attractive enough to land a monster celebrity. Frankentyke's older brother Big Frankie also finds her attractive.
  • Big Eater:
    • Gill, especially when pizza is involved.
    • Cleofatra also has a voracious appetite.
  • Birthday Episode: "The Dress-Up Mess-Up" takes place on Max's birthday, and has the class planning to show their appreciation for their teacher by taking him out for dinner at an expensive French restaurant. Duzer ends up messing things up by wasting the money on a dress she wants to wear for the school fashion show, and intends to return it after winning, but such efforts are ruined because of one of the fashion show's contestants wearing a live mongoose, riling up Duzer's snakes to the point that they destroy the dress.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Frankentyke is the smallest of the students and tends to be a troublesome brat.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Vinnie has occasionally shown that he does have the intelligence and charisma to get good grades like Reggie and do extraordinary things, like rallying Gravedale High against a Corrupt Corporate Executive in "Save Our School". It's just that he dislikes putting in the actual effort.
  • The Bully: Nardo the gargoyle, who sometimes picks on Reggie.
  • Bunny Ears Picture Prank: Gill does the prank to Frankentyke when they are photographed in one scene in "The Grave Intruder".
  • The Burlesque of Venus: "Goodbye, Gravedale" has a scene where Blanche is filmed while wearing a bikini and standing in a clam shell, posing like The Birth of Venus.
  • Butt-Monkey: Busby the fly kid. Most of the time, he says "Help me!" as he gets attacked by someone or something.
  • Character Catchphrase: Duzer often says "Get a life!" or asks a rhetorical question ending with "Or what?"
  • Celeb Crush: Cleofatra has one on werebeast actor Billy Headstone from the soap opera "Trudy and the Beast".
  • Celebrity Toons: The cartoon gives top billing to Rick Moranis, who voices Max. It so happens that Schneider looks a lot like Moranis.
  • Class Trip: Max takes his students on trips anytime or anywhere when the plot demands.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Max. Headmistress Crone states in "The Grave Intruder" that some female monsters have a thing for human men.
  • Cool Big Bro: Frankentyke certainly thinks that his older brother Big Frankie is the bee's knees. Given Big Frankie's reputation, his little brother's opinion on him isn't unjustified.
  • Cool Teacher: Max, in spite of being a human, has the utmost respect of his class.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In "Save Our School", a hotel owner who calls herself The Empress wants to put a location of her chain where the school is, and even hires a health inspector in order to condemn it so she can have it torn down.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: In "He Ain't Scary, He's My Brother", a punk named Roadkill threatens to tear off Frankentyke's head and spit down his neck. Humorous since as a Frankenstein's monster, this would probably only be a mild inconvenience for him.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Duzer, Blanche, and especially Cleofatra all fit this trope.
  • Dean Bitterman: More or less subverted, as Headmistress Crone is quite lenient and pretty encouraging both to students and teachers.
  • Death by Gluttony: In "Goodbye Gravedale", the students get rid of their substitute teacher Mr. Gross by tricking him into overeating until he explodes.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: In "Frankenjockey", Liverpool at one point calls Frankentyke a "bugger", which is considered a rude term in Britain.
  • Driving Test: One episode has the kids taking theirs, and an old lady taking the occasion to falsely sue Max for supposedly crashing into her car with malicious intent.
  • Elvis Impersonator: Sid spends the entirety of "Night of the Living Dad" impersonating Elvis Presley.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: "Goodbye Gravedale" uses the home movie variant, where the episode begins with the class watching home movies and Max gets embarrassed when he sees one of himself as a baby wandering from the camera with his bare behind visible got into the projector.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas:
    • In "Fear of Flying", Vinnie says to his psychiatrist that he's "batty" over his mother.
    • In "Frankenjockey", Coach Cadaver gets angry at Max when he interrupts his phone call to his mother, which results in Cadaver's mother hanging up after thinking that her son was referring to her when he said "human slime".
  • Extreme Omnivore: Gill isn't above eating dead bugs or basketballs.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The monsters usually refer to non-monsters as "human dweebs", though it could just be due to the fact that non-monsters have their own biases towards them.
    • Coach Cadaver defines this trope, as he constantly has a chip on his shoulder regarding Max being the only human teacher in Gravedale High.
  • Fish out of Water: Averted as Max has little to no trouble fitting in or teaching.
  • Fish People: Gill is basically the Gill-Man as a Surfer Dude.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Frankentyke and his brother Big Frankie are both such monsters.
  • Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire: Vinnie is a vampire who is just as nice as the other monster students.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: "Monster on Trial" has Miss Fresno falsely sue Max for injuring her when all he and Reggie did was lightly bump into her car. She ends up arrested for fraud when she tries to make a similar suit against Judge Killjoy.
  • Fur Against Fang: Averted with vampire Vinnie and werewolf Reggie, who are best friends.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Cleofatra has pigtails in case, it's hard to tell that she's a girl.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Duzer might crack mirrors, but is otherwise depicted as attractive. In "Cleo's Pen Pal", Cleofatra even sends a picture of Duzer to her celebrity crush instead of one of herself, figuring it'll make a better impression.
  • Greaser Delinquents: Vinnie, who is a vampire version of Fonzie.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Three students at Gravedale High happen to be anthropomorphic animals who look human from the neck down; a dog boy named Dog-Faced Boy, an elephant boy named Elephant Boy, and a pig girl named Suey.
  • Head Desk: In "Monster on Trial", Max does this when the judge declares him guilty in favor of old lady Fresno, who faked whiplash after Reggie accidentally bumps into her while taking Driver's Ed.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Vinnie is never seen without his black leather jacket.
  • Heroic BSoD: In "Fear of Flying", Vinnie gets a pretty bad one when he's struck by lightning while retrieving Reggie's science project, and has trouble trying to fly again. Made worse by the fact that he was challenged to a round of "Fly or Splat" against Jerk Jock gargoyle Nardo at 3:00 PM.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Frankentyke and Gill are shown to be very close friends.
  • Ignoring by Singing: In response to Duzer planning to use the dress she wants to get the money needed for the class's plan to take Max to an expensive French restaurant for his birthday in "The Dress-Up Mess-Up", Cleofatra covers her ears and sings that she can't hear Duzer.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Gill makes this mistake in "Night of the Living Dad" after he lets it slip that Marty isn't Frankentyke's real dad.
    Gill: I'm not telling you about the monster dad Frankentyke made because he was ashamed of his real dad.
  • Impossible Insurance: In "Monster by Trial", Max is denied insurance because his policy doesn't cover his car being driven by werewolves.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Max is basically Rick Moranis, but with red hair.
  • Invisibility: Sid is an invisible teenager.
  • Invisible Streaker: Sid is invisible and wears everything except pants.
  • Ironic Fear: After he's struck by lightning while flying in "Fear of Flying", Vinnie develops a fear of heights.
  • It Runs in the Family: In "Night of the Living Dad", Sid takes after both of his parents, and not just in invisibility. Subverted with Frankentyke, who was created by a human scientist.
  • It's All My Fault: Reggie keeps saying this throughout "Monster on Trial".
  • Jerk Jock:
    • Nardo the gargoyle follows the character archetype of the jock who's mean to the other students.
    • Gravedale's entire football team may qualify as jerk jocks, too.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most of the monsters are a bit rude, but they are capable of doing nice things for others. Frankentyke and Duzer are the most prominent examples.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: In "Monster on Trial", Miss Fresno has apparently gotten away with suing people who bumped their cars into hers by embellishing the damages and lying about getting hurt for an undetermined amount of time. While she wins the case brought towards Max, Reggie and Frankentyke pursue her and she ends up crashing her car into that of the judge of her suit, resulting in her getting arrested for fraud when her attempt at claiming to be the injured party backfires upon the revelation of exactly whose car she bumped into.
  • Late for School: Vinnie flies in late for class in most episodes.
  • Lethal Chef: The school chef is named Sal Monella. At the very least, Max doesn't find his food appetizing.
  • Lightbulb Joke: A Freeze-Frame Bonus in the episode "Frankenjockey" shows that one of the questions on Frankentyke's math quiz is "How many monsters does it take to change a lightbulb?"
  • Loophole Abuse: Used in "Monster on Trial", where Frankentyke and Reggie try to clear their teacher's name by spying on Miss Fresno after the trial where she falsely sued Max for injuring her in traffic. Neither of them can drive because Frankentyke can't reach the pedals without Max's platform shoes and Reggie is the only student in class who hasn't earned his driver's license yet. When Reggie points out to Frankentyke that they need a licensed driver in the car, Frankentyke approaches a random man and asks if he has a license. After the man answers that he does, he is shocked that he is talking to a miniature Frankenstein monster and bumps his head. Frankentyke simply carries the unconscious man and puts him in the backseat, believing that having Reggie drive the car while taking a licensed driver for a ride is good enough.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Miss Dirge's name is based on the word "dirge", which is a sad and mournful song.
    • Cleofatra, considering she's an overweight mummy.
    • Often borders on Punny Name since most things (and people) in Gravedale have macabre and death-based names, like Coach Cadaver (a dead body).
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: In "Monster on Trial", Miss Fresno is approached by a lawyer claiming that whiplash is his middle name.
  • Mirror-Cracking Ugly: Duzer manages to break her mirror just by looking at it in "Long Day's Gurney Into Night" since she's a gorgon, but to the audience, she isn't drawn to look really ugly aesthetically.
  • Monster Mash: The very premise of the show is that it's about a human teacher who works at a school for monsters, his own class consisting of a vampire, a werewolf, a mummy, a zombie, a gorgon, an invisible kid, a Frankenstein monster, a Surfer Dude gill-man, and a Lorre Lookalike boy.
  • No Yay: In-universe; in "The Grave Intruder", Headmistress Crone reveals that she has a crush on Max, who is understandably disturbed by the prospect of them being a couple.
  • Odd Friendship: Vinnie and Reggie (see Fur Against Fang), as well as Frankentyke and Gill.
  • Onion Tears: "Monster Gumbo" has Duzer and her snakes shedding tears when she has to cut up onions to make Blanche's monster gumbo.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Reggie appears to be the kind of werewolf who doesn't have a human form, as he stays hairy and fanged in broad daylight.
  • Palette Swap: In "Monster Gumbo", at the front of the long line of monsters waiting to buy gumbo are Dracula and his wife. They reuse the models of Dracula and Vanna Pira from Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf.
  • Perky Goth: Blanche is dressed in all black, but is also a romantic Southern Belle.
  • Playing Cyrano: A variation in "Cleo's Pen Pal", where Cleofatra asks Duzer to pose as her on a date with werebeast actor Billy Headstone, who Cleo has a crush on.
  • Politicians Kiss Babies: Referenced in a brief visual gag in "Save Our School", where pig-girl Suey hands Max a campaign poster that depicts her kissing a piglet.
  • Puddle-Covering Chivalry: In "Cleo's Pen Pal", Billy Headstone mistakes Duzer for Cleo because Cleo sent him Duzer's picture. In an attempt to be courteous, he uses his cape to cover up a puddle in Duzer's path, but she dismisses his gesture as "corny".
  • Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: J.P. does the classic magic trick of pulling a rabbit from his hat at one point in "Night of the Living Dad", given that his intended act for the school talent show was to perform as a stage magician.
  • Punny Name: Cleofatra the fat mummy girl, Seymour the cyclops, etc...
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel: Vinnie, who (aside from his best friend, Reggie) is probably the nicest and most level-headed of the class.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Gross and Miss Burns in "Goodbye Gravedale" prove to be considerably harsher and meaner than Max. The latter even attempts to make the class take twelve tests in the same day.
  • Saw a Woman in Half: In "Night of the Living Dad", J.P. attempts to do the saw-in-half trick on zombie cat Clawford, only for Clawford to get distracted by the hunchbacked rat who's always pestering him.
  • School Newspaper News Hound: "The Grave Intruder" had Duzer take over the school newspaper and use it to spread fabricated stories that resulted in a lot of trouble at the school, such as Dog-Faced Boy having rabies and Coach Cadaver having a human brain.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In "Night of the Living Dad", after Marty is revealed to not be Frankentyke's real father, but a fake one made to try and hide the fact that his dad was human, he decides to immediately leave before he can face repercussions for impersonating Frankentyke's dad.
  • Seductive Mummy: Averted with Cleofatra: she's a hefty nerdy girl, unlike other female students like Blanch (an Attractive Zombie) and Duzer (a Gorgeous Gorgon). Yet she does manage to seduce a Vincent-like monster celebrity in one episode.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Reggie tends to use big words, being the brainiest of Max's class.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sleepy Head: Vinnie, due to being a vampire, is often sleeping in class.
  • Smooth-Talking Talent Agent: Marty, the stand-in dad Frankentyke creates in an effort to cover up that his father is human in "Night of the Living Dad", is given the brain of an agent, which Frankentyke had to make do with when the genius's brain he intended to use was accidentally dropped. Frankentyke assumes the label means "agent" as in secret agent, but later discovers that his phony dad was actually given the brain of a Hollywood agent, and true to form has a tendency to butter up everyone with insincere praise.
  • Soap Within a Show: "Trudy and the Beast", a parody of Beauty and the Beast (1987). Somewhat amusingly the star's shown to be a heartthrob among both monster and human girls even though that's not a mask, considering some of the things that Ron Perlman's gotten up to since then.
  • Stout Strength: Despite looking out of shape, Cleo has no problem throwing muscular bouncers out of her way if need be.
  • Southern Belle: Blanche speaks in a Southern accent.
  • Spinning Paper: "Monster Gumbo" features a montage of newspapers spinning into view and featuring headlines indicating how well Blanche's Monster Gumbo is selling.
  • Stuck in the Doorway: Cleofatra gets stuck in the school bus's door in "Long Days' Gurney Into Night" before Frankentyke pushes her out.
  • Surfer Dude: Gill has a fondness for surfing and even addresses others as "dude".
  • Token Human: Max is the only human main character in a show that takes place at a school for monsters.
  • The Tonsillitis Episode: Sid the Invisible Kid ends up having his tonsils removed in "Long Days' Gurney Into Night".
  • True Companions: The monster students are all rather close.
  • Valley Girl: Duzer, to the point that "The Dress-Up Mess-Up" had her prioritize buying a new dress over chipping in with the other student's efforts of giving Max a reservation at a fancy French restaurant for his birthday.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Hey yo, Vinnie has one! That's cool.
    • Frankentyke also has one, man!
    • Reggie's "Mr. Schneider, sir". The tic was even written down in one episode.
  • Wacky Homeroom: All the students have different personality traits and quirks that create a comical dynamic.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Gravedale High, as well as Gravedale itself, is supposedly located in an American cemetery, but its exact locations are unknown.
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?:
    • In "The Grave Intruder", Coach Cadaver at one point removes his own brain and is able to function without it.
    • Minor character Iggy is shown to be able to function without his brain in "Do the Rad Thing" and "Save Our School".
  • X-Ray Sparks: "He Ain't Scary, He's My Brother" ended with Frankentyke and his brother Big Frankie having their skeletons made visible after being struck by lightning.


Gravedale High Theme

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / AllGhoulsSchool

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