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Western Animation / King Arthur's Disasters

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In a minute or two, something is going to go very wrong, possibly bursting into flames.

King Arthur's Disasters (2005-2006) is a British cartoon about King Arthur but having very little to do with actual Arthurian Legend, it features the voices of Rik "The Young Ones" Mayall, Matt "Little Britain" Lucas, Phil "Saturday Night Live" Cornwell, and Morwenna "Reeves and Mortimer" Banks. It airs on children's channel CITV and Nickelodeon UK.

King Arthur loves Princess Guinevere, unfortunately she's a Rich Bitch and he's a complete moron (in fact no one in this show is very bright). His attempts to woo her (usually by being sent on some deadly Fetch Quest by her) are aided by Merlin, a nervous wizard who tries in vain to stop Arthur from going through with these promises. Arthur is opposed by two wayward Knights, Lancelot and Martyn and eternally cheerful but dim Robin Hood and his ever suffering Merry Men and Women (well, Woman).


Of course even if Arthur gets the item Guinevere requested she never returns his affections. The show is Strictly Formula but the gags are good enough to maintain it anyway.

King Arthur's Disasters provides examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew - Played for humor; for example, in one episode King Arthur and Merlin land on the moon.
  • Artistic License – Biology - In one episode, Petal's sister Tatiana shows a deep concern for her apes, which are drawn with tails. Lampshaded when King Arthur states that whales aren't fish- they're mammals.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign - Arthur speaks fake Japanese to Sir Martin, much to his dismay.
  • Circus Episode: In "Circus Calamity", Guinevere needs a temporary chaperone and King Arthur and Merlin travel to Baden-Baden to fetch Petal's cousin, Tatiana, a trapeze artist at Countess Griselda's International Circus.
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  • Comedic Underwear Exposure - From Merlin as seen here. (Don't worry: it's safe for work.)
  • Curse Cut Short: "With all his troubles in the past/King Arthur sat down on his-"(gets trampled by horses)
  • Estrogen Brigade - An in-universe example: Lancelot has his own little group of fangirls following him around in "Mission: Implausable" and "The Yodeling Dolphin of Kirkwall."
  • Fetch Quest: While having no intentions of actually marrying Arthur, Guinevere uses her hold over him to will him into finding her the things she desires; water from the fountain of youth, a winter palace, a golden bear, and so on.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip - Happens to Arthur and Guinevere in the episode "King Guinevere" when Merlin's magic goes astray.
  • Gonk - Petal, Lady Griselda and one time character Rachel. Morgan Le Fay certainly counts. Also the old lady seen flirting with Lancelot at the beginning of "The Yodeling Dolphin of Kirkwall."
  • Groupie Brigade: Lancelot has his own little group of fangirls following him around in "Mission: Implausible" and "The Yodeling Dolphin of Kirkwall".
  • Hopeless Suitor: Even if Arthur was not a short and rather unpleasant little man, he would have no chance with Guinevere, due to the Lady herself being very self centred and spoiled, and is clearly sending the king on borderline impossible tasks to either get rid of him or just to fufill whatever desire she currently has.
  • Inept Mage - Merlin. Just about every attempt to cast a spell goes humorously astray.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures - Sir Martyn is portrayed as being a Japanese samurai. Then again, his full name is Sir Martyn the May Tin Gong which sounds Chinese. Phonetically at least, it sounds a lot like Sir Martyn's calling himself "Before the Sky's Bright".
  • I See London: Happens with one of the Merlin clones in one episode when he is dancing.
  • Love Potion: In "The Surprise Quest", Arthur's loyal magician, Merlin, has discovered a potion which makes the person you give it to fall head-over-heels in love with you. Arthur plans to catapult the potion at Guinevere so she'll finally marry him, but he accidentally hits her chaperon, Petal.
  • MacGuffin: Usually Arthur has to get Guinevere one of these to woo her.
  • Second Law of Gender-Bending - Shades of this in "King Guinevere". When Arthur and Guinevere swap bodies, Guinevere hates every moment in his body while Arthur doesn't seem to mind being her (though in fairness he clearly got the better deal in that exchange.)
    Merlin: 'Unless we return to Camelot immediately you will have to wear dresses, high heels and makeup FOREVER!'
    Arthur-in-Guinevere: 'And that's a problem?'
  • Secret Identity - 'Sir Margaret', the most capable knight (indeed most capable character generally) is clearly really Lady M, Arthur's sister. Naturally, no one ever realises this.
  • Shout-Out - More than a few. Not least of which, a Donkey seller dressed like Super Mario selling a Donkey named Kong. Rik Mayall actually did a couple of adverts for Nintendo back in the Snes era.
  • William Telling - King Arthur becomes the target for one of these in "The Ice Palace". He has to stand with an apple on his head and be shot at in turn by Robin Hood, William Tell and Sir Maragaret.