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Western Animation / Making Fiends

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"Once there was a little girl, a girl who could make fiends,
She kept the whole town terrified, the girl who could make fiends,
Then there came another girl who wanted to be friends,
Vendetta can not stand her, so she plots her end!"

Making Fiends is an animated web series originally created by Amy Winfrey, which had its main run from July 14, 2003 to October 15, 2005, with several special episodes being occasionally aired afterwards up to April 1, 2015. In 2007, it was picked up for production of a televised adaptation, which aired on Nicktoons Network from October 4, 2008 to November 1, 2008. Despite the TV series' status as a Short-Runner, little to nothing was talked about why that happened.

The show revolves around the life of Charlotte, a sweet, innocent little girl who is the new girl in the town of Clamburg (she used to live in Vermont, according to the first webisode). Charlotte is also incredibly naïve, and is unable to think badly of anyone around her. Charlotte quickly makes "friends" (or so she thinks) with Vendetta, a horrid little girl who makes monsters, or fiends, through baking. Vendetta cannot stand Charlotte's happy go lucky nature, and will often go to great lengths to destroy Charlotte (or at least get her out of the way for a little bit). These attempts inevitably backfire, usually resulting in Vendetta doing great damage to herself. When they do succeed, Charlotte can only see the bright side of her situation and will become more annoying than usual, usually turning the episode's featured fiend into a friend. Everything is back to normal by the end of the episode.

Vendetta, due to her fiend-making abilities, appears to have the entire town at her control. As such, Clamburg is a bleak, dark and forbidding place.

The show seems to be cancelled at this point, as it has been more than 10 years since a new episode was aired, and even reruns of the show have stopped airing, aside from short marathons on the Halloweens of 2014, 2015, and 2016. Winfrey has stated that there are 7 more episode scripts on the FAQ of her website for the show (which hasn't been updated since 2009), but it looks like Nick has no plans to make them.

Making Fiends provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The TV series expanded the scope of the series beyond the school and into the town, allowing for greater exploration on how Vendetta's rule works out for Clamburg. It also fleshes out Charlotte and Vendetta's home lives and provides deeper characterization for many of the side characters.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Marion, Marvin and Mr. Milk in "New Best Friend," "Marvin The Middle Manager," and "Toupee," respectively.
  • Affably Evil: Charlotte in "Making Friends". Even when she's unknowingly attacked by Vendetta, she's still as cheerful as ever.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming:
    • Charlotte and Vendetta's named relatives have names starting in "C" (Charlene) and "V" (Viktor and Violeta), respectively.
    • Meanwhile, most of the rest of the human characters have names that start with "M" (Marvin, Marion, Malachi, Mr. Milk, Mrs. Minty, Mrs. Millet, etc.).
  • And Then What?: In "Shrinking Charlotte", Mr. Milk mentions how he could have put (shrunken) Charlotte in a jar, but he had no idea what would happen afterwards.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Every human character is basically a stick figure filled in with one color, usually blue, grey or purple. The same kind of scheme applies to most of the fiends.
  • April Fools' Day:
  • Art Evolution: From the web series to the TV series. Houses and backgrounds are heavily detailed, and the characters are smoother and cleaner rather than crude and scribbly.
  • Ascended Extra: Maggie, who sits in the back of the room, has exactly one line in the original web series. On the TV show, she's gloomy and depressed. Sure, she only gets one episode, but by comparison it's a lot.
  • Big "NO!": Vendetta's usual reaction when her plans go awry.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • In the TV episode "No Singing," when Charlotte hears a sad poem from Maggie and falls into a depression. Being Charlotte, though, she does get better rather quickly.
    • In "New Best Friend," where Vendetta befriends Marion, leaving Charlotte a sobbing wreck. It takes a while for this one.
  • Butt-Monkey: Marvin is always having his property forcibly taken from him by Charlotte or Vendetta, and according to his bio on the Nickelodeon Making Fiends page, he's also tormented by eight younger siblings.
  • Catchphrase:
    • For Charlotte:
      • "Ooh, a puppy!"
      • "[Person Charlotte likes] is THE BEST!"
    • For Vendetta:
      • "So, she wants a [noun]? I think I will make her a [noun], a very special [noun]!"
      • "I will destroy you... destroy you with FIENDS!"
  • Cement Shoes: The aptly-named episode "Concrete Shoes" has Vendetta trick Charlotte into wearing cement shoes and take a dive off the pier. Charlotte's response when she reaches the bottom of the sea? Sing a song about the joys of concrete shoes, of course!
    Charlotte: So much to see, so much to do / You can see it all in concrete shoes! / So why don't you GET concrete shoes!
  • Clown-Car Base: In "Puppies, Puppies, Puppies!", one of the attractions at the circus that Charlotte's clones bring Vendetta to is a small toy car from which a whole line of Charlottes comes out from.
  • Copycat Mockery: In "Super Evil", Vendetta tries to look something "evil" about Charlotte when she finds out that Charlotte got a higher score than her in an Evil Magazine quiz. In one of the various antics she does to do so, Vendetta enters Charlotte's house from her bedroom, wears one of her hairbows and imitates her usual attitude in a mocking way. Charlotte shows up immediately afterwards, having heard what Vendetta said.
    Vendetta: Where does she keep her evil? Is it in this? [puts on Charlotte's bow] Teehee! I would like a stupid puppy!
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": In "Pony", Charlotte's "pony" fiend tosses Marvin off-screen. A second or two later we hear Marvin cry "My spine!"
  • Crapsack World: Clamburg is a pretty crappy place to live, although it is implied that it used to be a nice town before Vendetta showed up.
  • Deal with the Devil: In "Toupee", the Toupee promises to get Mr. Milk the life (and Ms. Minty) he always wanted, so long as Mr. Milk kills Charlotte. Mr. Milk doesn't go through with it and discards the Toupee instead.
  • Diaries Are Girly: A Tomboy and Girly Girl contrast variant happens in the short "Dear Pretty Diary, Dear Stupid Journal" (from the episode "Shorts: Set 1"). Charlotte refers to her personal book as a diary, while Vendetta calls the fiend she uses as such book a journal.
  • Dog Got Sent to a Farm: Implied with Charlotte's parents. Charlotte lives with her grandmother, and both say that the parents are astronauts in space. Some of the wording in the episode where this is mainly focused upon, "Parents", implies that they're actually dead.
  • Dumb Is Good: Charlotte, Charlotte, Charlotte.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: "No Singing", where Charlotte falls into depression and Vendetta tries to cheer her up (only for her to sing so a new fiend can flatten her). Her attempts to cheer her up involve the foods that she enforces upon everyone, magazines about torturing others and the other students being attacked. These don't exactly help.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The Nickelodeon series extends the theme song to include lyrics about how the premise occurred: Vendetta practically rules the town with her fiends, but now that Charlotte is in the picture, she has turned her attention to destroying her.
  • Eye Scream: In the first short from "Shorts: Set 1", one of the scenes seen in the advertisement for Clamburg's onion stand depicts an onion with limbs poking a similarly limbed eye, causing it to drop tears.
  • Faceplanting into Food: Vendetta faints face-first into a tray of lunch food after learning there were vegetables in her food.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Vendetta cannot destroy Charlotte no matter how hard she tries! About halfway in the TV series, Charlotte becomes even more stupid, and even more invincible.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Played with in a bit of dialogue from "No Singing".
    Charlotte: But Vendetta, what can I do if a kitty is stranded up high and I want to get it down?
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Charlotte tends to do this
  • Iris Out: At the end of the TurboNick promo "No. 2 Pencil", Marvin calls out on Charlotte by saying that she's got his pencil, to which an iris centers around Charlotte's now-stunned face... who simply says "Teehee!" followed by the iris closing completely.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Downplayed with Vendetta. While her eating manners aren't outright messy, she always eats in fast, noisy munchs with her bare hands, even when the food she's eating would logically go better with cutlery.
  • Kiddie Kid: Charlotte is a 4th-grader with the mindset of a pre-schooler, showing a considerably egregious imagination, enjoying toys and games most children of her age would have outgrown from, singing childish songs, and being overly optimistic about pretty much everything.
  • Lighter and Softer: To a slight degree. In the first few episodes of the web series, there were posters in the back of the classroom that weren't very kid-friendly, such as a cat being hanged, and a poster that read "A is for Alimony". When Nickelodeon licensed Making Fiends, these were removed in the TV series, where they also changed lines like "hellcat" to "fiend cat" and "your eyeballs will fall out!" to "your eyebrows will fall out!".
  • Living Prop: Charlotte and Vendetta's classmates include Marvin, Marion, Maggie, Malachi, and three other kids whom they don't interact with. The first one is Mort, a dark blue boy with glasses, who is seen very often but doesn't do anything. The second is an unnamed pink girl with clips in her hair who's often seen screaming and waving her arms, and the last one is a blue boy with a baseball cap. "New Best Friend" features several more students (presumably from other classrooms) watching Vendetta and Marion's performance.
  • Maker of Monsters: Being the one who creates the show's titular fiends, it goes without saying for Vendetta.
  • Mega Neko: The Giant Kitty.
  • Me's a Crowd: In "Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!", Vendetta uses a fiend multiplier to make clones out of her guard dog fiends. Charlotte later uses the multiplier to create hundreds of clones of herself.
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Mrs. Minty, who debuted in "Substitute Teacher". She talks to the students like how a kindergarten teacher would, and has no idea of Vendetta's nature. Oddly enough, Mr. Milk seems to have a bit of a thing for her.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • Vendetta almost always says "destroy" instead of "kill". Being that she likes to be vague with her statements and has slightly broken English, she may be invoking this, though this trope was subverted in "A Fiendish Friend", where she says "dead" multiple times.
    • As the theme song states: "Then there came another girl who wanted to be friends, Vendetta can not stand her, so she plots her end!"
  • No Full Name Given: None of the human characters are given full names, instead going by "(first name)" or "Mr./Mrs. (surname)".
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Grudge, Vendetta's giant hamster fiend.
  • Oblivious to Hatred: Crossed with Unknown Rival. Charlotte never discovers or understands that Vendetta despises her.
  • Oculothorax:
    • One of the most common generic fiends seen in both series (mostly in promotional material) are simplistic black circles with a single eye and wings.
    • An eye with limbs is seen in the Onion Stand commercial from the TV series' episode "Shorts: Set 1".
  • Oh, Crap!: Vendetta's reaction in "Mama Vendetta" when the pigeon fiends she tossed off a cliff learn to fly and make a V-line straight for her.
  • Parental Abandonment: Charlotte claims that her parents are on a space station (it is implied that they died); Vendetta keeps her parents in a hamster cage. It's also worth noting that in "Parents," Vendetta and Malachi were the only kids to show up to the parent teacher conference with a full set of parents.
  • Piano Drop: In "Marvin the Middle Manager", Marvin and Charlotte set up a Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts device that would drop a piano on Charlotte while she pretends to be a butterfly, as part of Marvin's task to kill her given to him by Vendetta. Even though the plan initially goes well, it ends up failing when Vendetta shows up to the scene, much to her dismay. Of course, she doesn't blame herself for it, as she has a batch of fiends take Marvin away.
  • The Pollyanna: Exaggerated with Charlotte. Though there's always the possibility that she's not as happy as she seems.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Grudge, who's presumably masculine, once donned a frilly, pink apron while cleaning Vendetta's house, and was shown to be very good at it.
  • Remaster: The web series episodes on Amy Winfrey's YouTube account have been re-rendered in HD widescreen.
  • Running Gag:
    • Marvin has something of his destroyed (or injured) and goes "My ____ !"
    • The President's Day episode builds on this, as every single sentence of his begins "my".
      My fellow students! My plan, if elected, is to...
      (upon being overthrown a class president by Vendetta) ''My short... My swift..."
  • Scantron Picture: In "Super Evil", Charlotte gets a higher score than Vendetta on a Sorting Algorithm of Evil by simply drawing a mundane picture on the answer sheet.
  • Series Goal: For Vendetta: Get rid of Charlotte.
  • Short-Runners: The TV show lasted six episodes.
  • Signature Laugh: Charlotte's "Tee-hee!".
  • Slasher Smile: Vendetta got a very scary one in "Super Evil".
  • Snap Back: Used in many of the web episodes, but subverted in episodes 18-21, where many events lead up to Clamburg being rendered uninhabitable by fiends, forcing everyone in the town to board a large boat and search hopelessly for dry land.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: In "Super Evil", Vendetta and Charlotte both took the quiz in Vendetta's evil magazine. To her horror, Charlotte's score indicated that she was more evil than Vendetta. This led to Vendetta studying Charlotte and attempting to learn from her.
  • Spanner in the Works: Vendetta's birthday party of doom for Charlotte is undone by her sheer stupidity and general niceness.
  • Stealth Pun:
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The clothing of the human characters is barely detailed other than that the girls and women wear dresses/muumuus, the boys wear shorts, and most of the men wear longer pants (sans Mr. Milk and Mr. Gumpit, whose attires resemble that of the females but are vaguely described). Also, for some reason, all the male characters have ears and most of the females don't, even if they're wearing earrings.note 
  • Token Good Teammate: Charlotte is the only truly nice character in Clamburg.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Charlotte when it comes to Vendetta. Even the others admit it:
    Charlotte: I wish Vendetta could be here.
    (happy music stops)
    Maggie: Charlotte's dumb.
    • Subverted for the most part in that Charlotte always seems aware of certain death and avoids it. Her clones in "Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!", on the other hand, play this straight by riding a slide right into the gaping maw of a huge fiend. It takes the very last clone (after HUNDREDS) to realize what's going on, only to have the fiend's jaw snap shut on her.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Vendetta's diet consists exclusively of clams, beef jerky, grape punch, and onions on a stick. Grudge shares these preferences with her for the most part.
  • Two-Teacher School: Mr. Milk and Mrs. Millet are the only known staff at Mu Elementary School, alongside the substitute teacher Mrs. Minty. There are other classrooms and buildings seen in the school alongside the ones where they work at, but we never get to see if they have any staff inside.
  • Unknown Rival: Charlotte is never aware of Vendetta's mean attitude towards her.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Poor Marvin.
  • Vanilla Edition: Nickelodeon was notorious for giving most of its shows the most bare-bones home video releases conceivable, but the Making Fiends TV series got considerably the WORST treatment yet, only featuring its episodes, which add up to around 2 hours of entertainment. It really contrasts the variety of bonus features that the DVDs for the web series have.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Vendetta's favorite word to describe things and people is "stupid".
    • Charlotte has "Tee-hee!", as well as the variant "Hee hee!"
    • Marvin begins almost every sentence he says with "my".
  • Villain Song: Vendetta has had two.
    • In "New Best Friend", "Me And My Best Friend Marion", which is a song based on pretending to be friends with Marion so Charlotte won't play with Vendetta.
    • In the shorts episodes, "If you lived upon the moon...", which is a alternate version of Charlotte's song "If I lived upon the moon", in which she points out the downsides of living on the moon.
  • Vocal Evolution: From the web series to cartoon, the two main characters' voices deepened.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Though it's implied that the birthday cake Vendetta made for Charlotte is poisoned, we never do find out what's in it (besides strawberries and clams).
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Malachi's dialogue consists exclusively of... When asking Marion what Charlotte was doing with a giant hairbrush:
    Malachi: Whither doth yon cheery one go with yon titan implement?
    • Even lampshaded once, where after Malachi is done talking, Charlotte says, "...What?"