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Western Animation / Histeria!

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Father Time: The year, the present day. The place: TV Tropes. Histeria! was given an article made by dedicated fans of the show. Though we did not expect such a thing, it was nice of those people to do so.

Warner Bros' Histeria! was one of several shows created in part as a result of the FCC deciding in 1996 to start enforcing the 1990 Children's Television Act that required a certain percentage of "informative" and "educational" programs; the creators of Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs decided to react to this with a show centered on comedic sketches loosely based on historical events and topics, which premiered on Kids' WB! in September 1998.

One season (52 of the planned 65) of episodes were produced before the show was cancelled over budget concerns (i.e. being $10 million over it), then were repeated numerous times for the next three seasons before being taken off the network in 2001. Unlike its predecessors, Histeria! did not reappear in syndication on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. The show would've disappeared altogether if not for the fact that, in 2006, it reappeared as part of the initial lineup of Time Warner's In2TV channel until they were inexplicably removed in January 2009. After years of Keep Circulating the Tapes status, a MOD DVD set of the complete series was released in July 2016 on and Warner Bros.' online store. Tom Ruegger has expressed an interest in rebooting the show.

Marks the final collaboration of Ruegger with composer Richard Stone, who died the year that the series ended.

This show contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Cleopatra, as played by The World's Oldest Woman.
  • The Abridged History: It's centered on comedic sketches loosely based on historical events and topics.
  • Accidental Misnaming: In the "Music" episode, Miss Information keeps calling Nostradamus "Nosferatu".
  • Adam Westing: "Super Writers" features Ernest Hemingway being voiced by the Trope Namer himself.
  • The Ahnold: Leif Ericsson is a parody of you-know-who in "Attack Of The Vikings".
  • Anachronism Stew: Historical figures from different times tend to appear in other times, usually in crowd shots.
  • Animated Actors: In addition to the characters having to deal with censors and executives and treating the show like something they're acting in, some of the historical figures depicted on the show were portrayed by a member of the main cast. For example, the World's Oldest Woman has portrayed Cleopatra in "Tribute to Tyrants" and Big Fat Baby would sometimes play famous historical figures in their infancy.
  • Artistic License – History: Or what did you expect from an American kids' show helmed by Tom Ruegger? While a certain amount of simplification and bending of facts is to be expected for a sketch-show aimed at kids this show freqeuntly got things so wrong that you wonder that it was ever considered an "educational" program.
    • In the song "The Sound Of Stalin" a long and mostly accurate list of Joseph Stalin's achievements are summarized. Then there is the line "Building a wall down the streets of Berlin". Although his policies arguably led to its eventual creation, Stalin himself had nothing to do with the Berlin Wall. He died in 1953, and the wall was built in 1961.
    • In a segment relating to the Vomitorium, the show presents the popular misconception of the Vomitorium as a place where Romans would purge after a large meal. Unfortunately [or perhaps fortunately], such a facility did not exist - a 'vomitorium' is in fact an underground exit which easily allows large crowds to exit the stadium. [Hence; it vomits out the attendants]
    • The show repeats the popular legend that David Rice Atchison was President for one day.
    • In the last episode, Marie Curie says she won the Nobel Prize with her husband Pierre in 1898. The Nobel Prizes were awarded for the first time in 1901, and Pierre and Marie won in 1903.
    • The "Peace, Land, and Bread" song implies that Lenin seized power directly from Tsar Nicholas when he was actually removed by the advisory parliament and the Petrograd Soviet; Lenin took over six months after this. He wasn't even in the country at the time.
  • Ax-Crazy: Lizzie Borden is portrayed this way. In one episode, she refers to herself as the "O.J. [Simpson] of 1892" (because she was acquitted of murder, even though it's quite possible that she did it).
  • Balloon-Bursting Bird: Happens to Henri Giffard's dirigible in "History Of Flight".
  • Bankruptcy Barrel:
    • In "Attack of the Vikings", Father Time ends up wearing a barrel after vikings run past him. Later, one of the vikings' victims remarks that they took everything but the shirt off his back, which results in the vikings stealing from him again and leaving him in nothing but a barrel.
    • "The Montezuma Show" has the Incan audience of a ball game end up in barrels after the Kid Chorus win the game and take their possessions in accordance with the game's rules.
    • Betsy Ross (portrayed by the World's Oldest Woman) is shown wearing a barrel after her bloomers are used to make the first American flag in "The Thomas Jefferson Program".
    • The musical number "People Wanted Pepper on Their Food" from the episode "Histeria Around the World I" depicted Adam and Eve (portrayed by Father Time and the World's Oldest Woman) wearing barrels.
    • Miss Information, Bill Straitman, and a recurring background character resembling the farmer from the painting American Gothic are seen wearing barrels during the sketch about the Great Depression in "Big Fat Baby Theater".
  • Beach Episode: "The Dawn of Time" ends with the cast hanging out at the beach.
  • Been There, Shaped History: This happens a lot to the kids, such as unintentionally inspiring Thomas Edison to invent the light bulb in "Inventors Hall of Fame, Part 1" and giving Rene Descartes the idea for his quote "I think, therefore I am" in "The Know-It-Alls".
  • Big Eater: In a sketch about the Romans' vomitorium, Froggo states he was so hungry he could throw up twice, implying he's a stickler for food.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: As expected from a WB comedy cartoon, and not just with Lydia Karaoke's harsh treatment whenever she complains about the show content.
    • A couple of episodes ended with the cast singing about how if they don't get enough viewers, Kids' WB will cut their pay out of spite.
    • At the end of the episode "Histeria Around the World II", Toast is unhappy about being a human sacrifice, but ends up accepting it when he is informed that the only other job available for him is to be a network executive for Kids' WB.
  • Bowdlerise: The retelling of the lives of Romulus and Remus in "A Blast from the Past" completely glosses over the fact that Romulus killed Remus. As a result, Remus just disappears from the story after Romulus becomes ruler of Rome.
  • Brainless Beauty: Miss Information is quite a looker, but, true to her name, often gets her facts about history wrong.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In "The Writers Of The Purple Prose", Samuel Johnson (played by Froggo) tries to sell his dictionary to a publisher. The publisher says, "People don't want words! They want sword fights, they want horses, they want giants, they want... giant horses having sword fights!".
  • Butt-Monkey: Pule Houser is frequently subjected to slapstick injuries. Lydia Karaoke on some occasions has abuse inflicted on her for trying to censor the show (justified in that she's a network censor).
  • Canada, Eh?: The episode "North America" began with a song about Canadian stereotypes sung to the tune of "O Canada".
  • Catch Phrases:
    • Charity Bazaar frequently states, "I'm not happy."
    • Loud Kiddington constantly describes someone by saying, "WHAT A _________!" (usually "grouch").
    • Lucky Bob frequently shouts out Ed McMahon's catch phrases.
    • Nostradamus would randomly insert "Shut up!" into his sentences.
  • Censor Box: Apparently LBJ has one heck of a hernia scar, but the network censor puts her clipboard in front of him at the right moment.
    Lydia Karaoke: Yes well, thank you, Mr. President, but let's see if we can do without your more, ahem, personal views, shall we?
    • This is in reference to LBJ's habit of whipping it out in front of the press corp.
  • Cephalothorax: Big Fat Baby, due to being egg-shaped and having no neck.
  • Character Narrator: Father Time and, on occasion, Miss Information.
  • The Chew Toy: Pule Houser, as mentioned in Butt-Monkey, faces multiple slapstick injuries.
  • Chummy Commies: Lenin and Trotsky oddly enough have a pretty favorable portrayal.
  • Credits Gag:
    • Much like its predecessors, the end credits often had hidden messages. For instance, "Really Oldies but Goodies" had "No cats were mummified in the making of this episode."
    • The episode "Super Writers" ended with credits that consisted solely of two group photos each of the writers, animators, voice actors, etc (one normal, and one where everyone made funny faces). These end credits also turned up at the end of "Big Fat Baby Theater", but were followed by normal credits.
  • Cut Short: Unlike with its Spielberg-produced predecessors, Histeria! had no Grand Finale other than the cast and crew singing "Auld Lang Syne" while pictures of them appear over the end credits of the last episode produced/aired ("Big Fat Baby Theater").
  • Dartboard of Hate: In the "Peace, Land and Bread" song, Lenin has a dartboard with a photo of the Tsar on it.
  • Depending on the Artist: Happens quite a bit with the kids, especially Froggo. The artists couldn't decide whether he was supposed to be chubby or thin or somewhere in between.
  • Dirty Commies: Stalin up to eleven.
  • Dirty Old Woman: World's Oldest Woman often hits on every man she meets.
  • The Ditz: Lucky Bob is a complete moron.
  • Does Not Like Men: Sappho loathes males.
  • Dumb Blonde: Miss Information has blonde hair and, true to her name, often gets her facts wrong, like claiming that George Washington was named after the Washington Monument when it's actually the other way around.
  • Educational Song: Many of the songs are meant to teach about historical events, people and/or places.
  • Emo Teen: Charity's younger than that, but she has the pessimistic attitude.
  • Everyone Hates Fruit Cakes: The "World War II" episode had a segment where the main cast helped Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin decide what to do after ending the war using foods to represent the other nations of the world and the defeated enemies. Fruit cake is used by Charity Bazaar to represent the Nazis, who does so because she claims no one likes fruit cake.
  • Fan Disservice: The World's Oldest Woman as Lady Godiva and Cleopatra in "A Tribute to Tyrants". When portraying the former, she is seen following the famous legend of Lady Godiva riding on horseback naked, while her portrayal of Cleopatra depicts her in the tub a couple of times while wanting Julius Caesar or Mark Antony to scrub her back.
    Loud Kiddington: See it. See it. DON'T SEE IT! DON'T SEE IT! And I don't wanna see it!
  • Fate Worse than Death: In "A Tribute to Tyrants", Julius Caesar and Mark Antony are both so horrified by Cleopatra's affections towards them that they find being faced with their historic deaths to be more pleasant than Cleopatra flirting with them. Unfortunately, Cleopatra reunites with them in heaven after she dies.
  • Fictional Video Game: Froggo and Toast are shown playing a fighting game starring two Big Fat Babies in "Better Living Through Science".
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Joan of Arc's fate after she gets burned at the stake.
  • French Jerk: Most of the French characters in this show are portrayed in a negative light, which led to a poor reception in French-speaking countries. Joan of Arc is the biggest exception.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: George Washington briefly does this to Martha Washington at the end of the first sketch in "The American Revolution".
  • Gender Flip: One promo proposed 'Hers'teria,' where Pepper Mills swaps various male-sounding suffixes with female ones, such as Thomas JefferDAUGHTER, the fronteersWOmen and viQUEENS.note 
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Toast decides to name his band Nasty Head Wound after Daniel Boone suffers an actual head wound.
  • Got Volunteered: The Mountie sketch has a mission where whoever takes it must get some Cree Indians blocking a railroad to leave the land. Everyone backs off with Loud being left as the only one who didn't, causing the mission briefer to choose Loud for that mission, against the lad's will.
  • Gross-Out Show: Big Fat Baby's flatulence provides most of the show's disgusting aspects.
  • Guttural Growler: Froggo possesses a very deep voice and sounds like he's growling whenever he talks. Still, he's overall very friendly.
  • Historical Downgrade: The French involvement in the American Revolution is mentioned, but ultimately glossed over. And in "World War II," there are no mentions whatsoever of La Résistance in any country the Axis occupied, let alone France.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: The Protestant Reformation, the American, French, and Russian Revolutions are oversimplified. For example, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trostky's negative traits and personal failures are usually ignored, with Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong being portrayed the "bad" Communists instead.
  • Historical Ugliness Update:
    • Napoléon Bonaparte's supposed short stature is exaggerated to the point that he's barely the height of a small child, complete with child-like proportions, making him immature both figuratively and literally.
    • Adolf Hitler in the "World War II" is given a Big Red Devil makeover, complete with horns, sharp teeth and a demonic voice, likely to make up for the fact the show can't really dive into details of why Hitler was evil.
    • Hideki Tojo in the aforementioned episode is given a racist Japanese caricature that was prevalent in Wartime Cartoons back in the day,note  with the addition of a pointy, thin mustache that the real Tojo did not have.
    • Cleopatra, of all people, is portrayed by World's Oldest Woman. Desconstructed, however, because it makes her out to be an (inacurrate) Abhorrent Admirer to Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade:
    • Napoleon is run through a ringer in this one, to almost impossibly inaccurate levels.
    • King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are also inaccurately portrayed, as is the French Revolution in general.
    • Zig-Zagged with Adolf Hitler. In "World War II", he's portrayed as a Big Red Devil and a supervillain commanding the other Axis leaders, who are also given supervillain makeovers to counter the Freedom League's superhero aesthetics. However, the episode never goes into details as to why Hitler was portrayed as Satan himself beyond the typical Take Over the World shtick, likely to avoid the family-unfriendly topic of genocide.
  • Historical Hilarity: The entire premise of the show is comedic sketches loosely based on historical events and topics.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Loud Kiddington directly parodies this by asking George H.W. Bush to eat broccoli.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The show's full title is Warner Bros.' Histeria!
  • Idea Bulb: Played with in the sketch about Thomas Edison.
  • If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You: Somewhat parodied because George H. W. Bush was known for banning broccoli in the White House as a rather funny thing he did.
  • Incessant Music Madness: There's a Civil War skit accompanied by violin music - eventually the soldier starts complaining about the music and winds up eating his own head so he won't have to hear it.
  • Karmic Trickster: Loud Kiddington, particularly in the Mounties sketch. Since the Cree Indians hunted buffaloes and didn't leave the Mounties' land, Loud siked some buffaloes to make Chief Piapot and his men leave.
    • Additionally, Bugs Bunny himself made a few cameos.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: One song which lists the plots of Shakespeare's 37 plays spoils the ending of most of them (particularly the ones in which everyone dies).
  • Left the Background Music On: See Incessant Music Madness above.
  • Literal Metaphor: When Father Time mentions that Archimedes, the Greek mathematician, was known as "the father of Geometry", we are shown that he has a son named Geometry. Unfortunately, the poor kid ends up getting constantly beaten up by his classmates.
    Archimedes: It's sad. A lot of kids seem to hate Geometry.
    (Cut to rimshot from World's Oldest Woman)
  • Little Miss Snarker: Charity Bazaar often drops in serious, wry and sometimes hilarious lines, all in a monotonic tone of voice.
  • Long List: In an homage to the Cheese Shop sketch, a segment about the Boston Tea Party has an Englishman appear at the aforementioned "party" and ask for many, many different kinds of tea, only to be informed that they're "fresh out".
  • Monkeys on a Typewriter: In "Super Writers".
  • Moral Guardian: Lydia Karaoke, the network censor, who would often interrupt sketches to point out the objectionable material, such as criticizing the "sassy virgin talk" when Toast asks what a "vestal virgin" was, warning viewers about the gross-out humor in a sketch about a Roman vomitorium, objecting to the use of "damn" and "hell" in the phrases "Damn the torpedoes" and "War is hell," and using her clipboard to cover up Lyndon Baines Johnson about to take off his pants to show his hernia scar.
  • Mythology Gag: References to previous WB cartoons abound.
    • Big Fat Baby's jingle (the one where Father Time's chasing him in the desert) is based on the theme song from The Road Runner Show.
    • Froggo's room is decorated with merchandise for Batman: The Animated Series.
    • Froggo's regular outfit is much like the one of Wakko from Animaniacs. (Unlike Wakko, though, he actually wears pants.)
    • A song introducing a sketch about Alexander the Great is sung to the tune of the Animaniacs theme, and the sketch about Florence Nightingale as a Hospital Hottie ends with the boys shouting "Hello Nurse!" Also, the World's Oldest Woman's jingle is sung to the tune of Slappy Squirrel's theme.
    • Paul Rugg plays Qin Shi Huangdi in the same manner he does as Mr. Director from Animaniacs, even using some of the same nonsense phrases used from the character in "Clown and Out."
    • The Pinky and the Brain theme music can be heard when Chit Chatterson mentions brain removal in a sketch about mummification.
      • As well as part of the background music for the introduction to Nikola Tesla's later life.
    • Clark Kent's appearance as William Clark, of course. Additionally, Superman made two other cameos as himself (one of which had his "S" emblem written as "F", which some have speculated is a nod to Freakazoid!).
    • Fetch intentionally resembles Hunter from Road Rovers, per the creators word. Notably, the last episode contains a brief gag in which Fetch dashes onstage joined by dogs who appear to be of the same breeds as Blitz, Exile, and Shag.
    • Ludwig von Beethoven retains the same design used on Animaniacs (only now vocally impersonating Christopher Lloyd). Similarly, Michelangelo is again voiced by Maurice LaMarche in a Kirk Douglas impression like the "Hook on a Ceiling" short from Animaniacs.
  • Namesake Gag: Miss Information informs us that General George Washington was named after the famous monument.
  • The Napoleon: Napoleon himself, being depicted as short and with a huge immature personality.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Lots of historical figures are portrayed acting like celebrities; for instance, Julius Caesar and his murderers are Frank Sinatra and the other members of the Rat Pack. They also portray Martin Luther as being like William Shatner and Plato as a caricature of Fred Rodgers.
  • No Fourth Wall: It is frequently acknowledged by the characters that this is a cartoon, particularly with Lydia Karaoke's complaints about questionable material and futile pleas that they make things more appropriate for children.
  • No Indoor Voice: Loud Kiddington, who is less "Outdoor Voice" and more like "Halfway across Manhattan Voice."
    • Pepper Mills, to a lesser extent. Nearly everything she says is followed by an enthusiastic scream.
  • No Name Given: We never learn the names of the Crooked Mouth Boy and Bow-Haired Girl. Storyboards for "When America Was Young", recently made available online, reveal that Crooked Mouth Boy's name is actually Chipper, though.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The episode "Great Heroes of France" actually has a segment that's more about two American heroes: Lewis and Clark.
  • Noodle Implements: In "History Of Flight", when the kids try to fix bicycles at the Wright Brothers bike shop, Froggo asks for "a bag of marshmallows and a crate of leeches", followed shortly by him asking for "a tambourine and a vat of Spam".
  • Note to Self: "Never again hire anyone from Cabin Crews R Us."
  • Odessa Steps: Naturally used in the episode "The Russian Revolution", where Big Fat Baby is used in their parody of the making of the movie "Battleship Potemkin".
  • Overly-Long Gag: At the end of "Around The World In A Daze", Big Fat Baby falls off the pier towards the water. Father Time stands there and eventually looks at his watch and pulls out a book to read while the baby is still falling because it takes 10 seconds before he hits the water.
    • The crew at NASA make Neil Armstrong do a dozen takes of his "One small step for man..." line.
  • Opposites Attract: Miss Information and Mr. Smartypants hooked up in a Dating Game parody.
  • Overly Long Name: Sarah Coopersmith-Fitzwarren-Goldenheimer-Stein.
  • Parental Bonus: Quite a few!
  • Parody Commercial: A common sketch, one example being an album parody commercial for the Greatest Hits of the 1860's.
  • Patter Song: "The Story That's Told By The Bard" is sung quickly with most of its melodies in triplets in a 4/4 time song.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: The Vikings capture Kathie Lee and live to regret it.
  • Politically Correct History: Among other things, it reinforces myths about the Middle Ages and was criticized by the Catholic League for its oversimplified depiction of the Spanish Inquisition.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Napoleon is portrayed as so short he's barely the height of a small child, complete with child-like proportions, making him immature both figuratively and literally.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: One of the series' opening themes is based on John Philip Sousa's "Manhattan Beach" march.
  • Punny Names: Pretty much every character on the show.
  • Pyromaniac: William Tecumseh Sherman who orders the burning of Atlanta.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Pamela Anderson is shown on "Baywatch" with Big Fat Baby saying, "Don't worry little fella. I'll take care of you until we find your parents. Hold baby and scene fades to black."
  • ReCut: There are two versions of the "Megalomaniacs!" episode that exist: one has a sketch in which the Histeria! kids think General Custer's Last Stand is a custard shop, another with the game show "Convert or Die," in which victims accused of heresy get to choose between converting to The Catholic Church or getting tortured to death during The Spanish Inquisition. The version that aired on television initially was the one with the "Convert or Die" sketch, but after complaints from The Catholic League rolled in, the reruns instead aired the "General Custard's Last Stand" version. When the short-lived video website In2TV aired the entire series of Histeria!, the "Megalomaniacs!" episode with the "Convert or Die" sketch was released. Conversely, the "General Custer's Last Stand" version is what's on the complete series DVD set.
  • The Real Spoofbusters: A Song Parody of the Ghostbusters theme called "Trust Buster", the nickname Teddy Roosevelt earned for breaking up big businesses (or Trusts) at the turn of the 20th Century. The kids wear jumpsuits; Teddy wears a proton pack and blasts Corrupt Corporate Executives with green lasers.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • Much like Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, this show once again pisses off the censors with as much demographically inappropriate humour as possible (some of which is pointed out by Lydia Karaoke). Added bonus for the fact that the censor character here is often treated like a Butt-Monkey (read: ignored, injured, and overall defied).
    • Some of their sketches have the air of being on a sketch comedy show for adults (i.e., Saturday Night Live, Fridays, Monty Python, or MADtv), but is made all the more shocking by being in a sketch show for kids. Some examples include: "My Buddy Stalin" (a family-sitcom starring Joseph Stalin), "General Sherman's Campsite" (Pee-wee's Playhouse set during the Civil War with General William Temeusch Sherman as Paul Reubens' hyper Manchild character Pee-Wee Herman, who is now obsessed with burning Atlanta, Georgia to the ground), and the banned sketch "Convert or Die" (a game show set during The Spanish Inquisition where contestants have to choose between converting to The Catholic Church or being tortured for being a heretic).
  • A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: In the "Freedom League" sketch, Churchill calls Stalin "A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma... and you need a bath."
    • Parodied when Winston Churchill is shown saying the trope quote, and then we zoom out to reveal that he's behind the counter of a fast food restaurant.
  • Rimshot: Used occasionally, including several after bad jokes in "Return To Rome" about Julius Caesar.
  • Rule of Funny: While it did include more references to history than most edutainment cartoons in general, the writers didn't concern themselves too much with the fact they were billing the show as "informative" and "educational" programming... in, well, any situation where they thought accuracy would get in the way of humor.
    • Averted in the episode involving the Underground Railroad, which took it very seriously, despite the running gag of the kids thinking the Underground Railroad is a real railroad, and the episode that focused on the Civil Rights movement actually treated the subject matter with respect.
  • Running Gag:
    • Pepper constantly mistaking historical celebrities for pop cultural ones, never realizing her mistake until she's gotten their autograph. For instance, mistaking Vladimir Lenin for John Lennon.
    • Loud watching something and alternating between "See it, see it..." and "DON'T SEE IT!! DON'T SEE IT!!" depending on whether he sees it.
    • The last time the Big Fat Baby had his diaper changed. Whenever someone asked, a character would respond by asking, "Remember when [insert historical event here]?" The inquirer would respond affirmatively, the character would respond with "Before that."
    • In sketches where Loud and Fetch are running a business, Loud says that if he can't make a deal, Fetch will eat something disgusting, which said dog will get upset about.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Aka Pella is a preteen version of this. She got the snark and big personality along with being a little tomboyish, but she's still rather friendly overall.
  • "Setting Off" Song: In "Better Living Through Science", Henry Ford and Thomas Edison sing "The Road To Invention" in a spoof of the Hope And Crosby "Road To..." songs.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: The series has its moments, it's an amusing show that is all about bringing a subject that is typically perceived as stuffy and irrelevant to younger people. Their sketch on the New Deal is a fairly well researched snapshot on FDR's programs. In particular the series does a good job on the Second World War, giving a basic (it is a kid's show after all) outline of the lead-up to Nazi Germany and doesn't particularly gloss over the less-mentioned parts of the war (i.e. alliance with the most assuredly non-democratic Soviet Union and the postwar Europe debacle) that often escape mention in other sources, though it does privilege the Western Front over the Eastern Front (where the majority of the war was fought and won by the Soviets).
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Superheroes Yin and Yang.
  • Snowball Fight: How they depicted the Cold War
  • Speech Impediment: Susanna Susquahanna and Lucky Bob both lisp.
  • Spiritual Successor: A decidedly Denser and Wackier version of Il était une fois... l'homme. The show also draws inspiration from the Peabody and Sherman segments of Rocky and Bullwinkle, the history songs on Schoolhouse Rock!, and Stan Freberg’s comedy album The United States Of America, Vol. 1.
  • Take That!:
    • "Attack of the Vikings" features a dig at Regis and Kathie Lee by having Vikings kidnap a woman who is a caricature of Kathie Lee from her husband, who is a caricature of Regis. The Vikings eventually find that they can't stand their hostage, so they send her back to her husband, who promptly swims after the Vikings and begs that they let him come with them.
    • A cat burps up Mickey Mouse's shorts in "Really Really Oldies but Goodies".
    • "Histeria Around the World (Part 2)" opens with Loud, Charity, Aka, and Toast parodying the Teletubbies (much to their chagrin).
    • One episode had a game show where the prize was a trip to the Emptiest Place on Earth, Euro Dizzyland!
  • Talking Animal: Loud's dog, Fetch.
  • Theatre Phantom: One episode featured a "Dating Game"-type skit with composers instead of suitors, and one was Andrew Lloyd Webber (he was just identified as Andrew) wearing the Phantom's costume while standing in the boat from the title number in the middle of a Gothic, subterranean lake.
  • Theme Song: Many, plus themes for segments featuring regulars like Loud or Pepper. The two main themes were a 30 second version and its extended version. Occasionally, a parody of another show's theme song was used, such as The Addams Family, The Simpsons, or Saturday Night Live, as mentioned above.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: Both of the regular theme songs introduce a couple of characters featured in the show.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: "That's Mister Hannibal to you!"
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The World War 2 era "Germans".
  • Token Evil Teammate: The portrayal of Joseph Stalin in the "Freedom League" sketch about World War II:
    Loud Kiddington: What are we gonna do, Mr. Stalin?
    Stalin: Kill all my enemies using secret police and famine?
    Franklin Rooselvelt: [affectionately] Ha, ha, ha, you'll have plenty of time for that later, you murderous thug!
    Stalin: Okay, good.
  • Travel Montage: Hannibal's trip across the Alps.
  • Underwear Flag: The episode "The Thomas Jefferson Program" had a segment where the World's Oldest Woman portrayed Betsy Ross in explaining the origin of the American flag. The explanation given is that Betsy Ross got food stains on her bloomers and ended up having her bloomers run up a flagpole, leaving her wearing a barrel.
  • Urine Trouble: The segment about Richard Nixon in the episode "20th Century Presidents" had a joke where Nixon remarked there was a leak in the White House after being told by the press that they heard Checkers wasn't paper-trained. We cut to inside the White House, where Checkers remarks "You got that right" while hiking his leg near a table.
  • Vague Age: The kids' ages are never given, but it is mentioned in one episode that they attend William Howard Taft Big Around the Middle School. However, Froggo is actually said to be ten in "The U.S. Civil War - Part 2".
  • Villain Song: "The Sound of Stalin" consists of Stalin listing his atrocities as things that make him happy.
  • Weirdness Search and Rescue: Miss Information would guide people through historic events and describe them, usually getting some details hilariously wrong and needing to be corrected.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Shown in one episode as Alexander the Great's relationship with his father Philip of Macedon, as Philip infuriates Alexander by always telling him that his feats are "pretty good but not great". Actually likely Truth in Television of the relationship between the two - there have long been rumors Alexander had something to do with his father's assassination.
  • Who's on First?:
    • This pops up during Father Time's attempt to quiz Lucky Bob and Susanna about the Zhou Dynasty.
    • Also done in the Lewis and Clark sketch when Lewis asks Clark which way to turn on the river.
    • In "History Of Flight", Toast keeps trying to tell Wilbur and Orville Wright that his opinions are right, only to be keep being told by the brothers that they are the only ones who are Wright.
  • With Catlike Tread: At Valley Forge, Miss Information, who is acting as a tour guide, announces through a bullhorn to the tourists that they have to be especially quiet as General Washington is about to launch his sneak attack on the Hessians.
  • Writing Lines: In a parody of the intro to The Simpsons, Loud has to write "I do not need a megaphone!"

Father Time: And so, we can now say "That's a wrap" on this article, so we'll see you all around on... Histeria! However, I have only one request: can we do a little more research before we get this page publicised?!


Video Example(s):


Lewis Costello & Clark Abbott

While going down the river, Lewis is unable to understand Clark's instructions on which way to turn, resulting in them going over a waterfall.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhosOnFirst

Media sources: