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Western Animation / Mr. Bogus

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Mr. Bogus was an animated Saturday morning series that aired in the US in 1991. It is based on a series of Belgian Claymation-animated shorts featuring the titular character. These shorts serve as tie-ins to commercial breaks or returns from commercial breaks.

The series followed the adventures and misadventures of the eponymous character, Bogus, a tiny yellow-skinned gremlin who lives in the house of Tommy Anybody, a young boy who lives in a suburban neighborhood. Besides his adventures in Tommy's house, Bogus also went on various adventures in his native homeland called Bogusland, in which he came from by use of a bathroom mirror. During these adventures, Bogus was also occasionally joined up by his bratty younger cousin, appropriately named Brattus. Throughout the series, Bogus is best known for his clumsiness, his humongous appetite, and his penchant for doing good deeds.

The series was created by Calico Entertainment and Zodiac Entertainment, the same two companies that created Widget the World Watcher and Twinkle The Dream Being.

Recap page here.

This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Besides the fact that Bogus and his relatives, Brattus, Bogunda, and Bogetta, all have yellow skin, other denizens of Bogusland also have different radiant skin colors, ranging from red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. This also does not exclude Baddus, who may not look like all the other Bogusland citizens, but would certainly qualify, with his emerald green skin.
  • Amusing Injuries: Bogus suffers these all the time. Naturally, this is a comedic cartoon.
  • Angrish: Bogus will very often indulge in this when really angry.
  • Balloon Belly: Happened several times to Bogus, whenever he ate a lot:
    • Bogus gains one after eating all of the food in the vending machine in the second act of the episode "A Day at the Office".
    • Happens to Brattus after eating a Dagwood Sandwich in the kitchen in the second act of the episode "Et Tu, Brattus?"
    • Happens twice to Brattus in the second act of the episode "Beach Blanket Bogus". The first time when Bogus allows him to eat the sausage link that they acquired from the dog. The second time was when he eats a cake.
    • The third act of the episode "Bogus In Bogus Land" had this happen to Bogus again. He hides at the bottom of an ice cream that a girl is about to have, when the girl wants 5 scoops of ice cream. Before the girl can eat the ice cream, however, all 5 scoops suddenly disappear into the cone (thanks to Bogus), which causes the girl to scream and drop the cone. Afterwards, Bogus then lifts up the cone while laying on the ground with an enlarged belly from eating the ice cream.
    • The second claymation short shown before the episode "Computer Intruder" had this happen to Bogus again after eating a container of Food Pills and drinking the vial of water used for the rehydration process. This causes Bogus to become massively bloated, making him look like a big fat blimp.
    • Happens three times to Bogus in the episode "Babysitting Bogus". The first time in the first act, where Bogus dreams that he's eating ice cream cones that he's juggling, the second time at the end of the second act where he devours a cheeseburger, and the third time in the third act where he drinks a pitcher of fruit punch to cool off his mouth after inadvertently sucking up a bowlful of chili peppers, though it goes away after that's over.
    • This happened twice in the episode "Bad Luck Bogus", the first time near the end of the first act when Bogus inflates himself like a balloon as a tactic to get rid of the ugly clone who was menacing him, and the second time in the second act, while he was eating a huge Dagwood Sandwich, to which swallowing one layer of the sandwich (which was a single slice of cheese) caused Bogus's belly to become briefly bloated.
    • A claymation short used near the end of the episode "Totally Bogus Video" had Bogus wind up getting inflated like a balloon when trying to plug up a leaky tube with his finger.
    • Another episode had Bogus and Brattus gorge themselves on a submarine sandwich after taking care of Ratty and Mole and a group of tough biker rats in the first act, which results in Bogus and Brattus both gaining full, big bellies, due to their overindulgence.
    • Bogus gains another one after slurping up a strand of spaghetti that was dangling from Tommy's fork in front of him in the second act of the episode "Nightmare On Bogus Street".
    • The beginning of the episode "The Bogus Invasion" had Bogus gain another Balloon Belly, though he only gains it after he hiccup-burps after eating some food.
  • Big Eater: Despite his diminutive size, Bogus can actually pack away foodstuffs that are bigger than he is.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Brattus
  • Butt-Monkey: Bogus very often falls victim to this, despite being the main character of the show.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Bogus very often ran afoul of living dust bunnies, which he called "Dirt Dudes".
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Bogus grinned this way a lot.
  • Chest Insignia: The letter 'B' that Brattus has on the front of his shirt.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Bogus is a prime example of this trope, so it's pretty much unavoidable.
  • Cobweb Trampoline: Bogus bounces on one of these in the opening intro of the show.
  • Couch Gag: This show, of all others, actually does not avoid this! During the opening credits, after it gets through the part with Bogus eating the ice cream, it will then segue into a different claymation vignette before being followed by another one after the first one has played out. And after the second vignette has played, it then cuts to Bogus doing his trademark dance, before the "Mr. Bogus" logo comes up at the end.
  • Cowardly Lion / Lovable Coward: Bogus isn't exactly the bravest one around, but when the chips are down, he will do whatever he can to make everything right again.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Even in spite of his bungling, Bogus will use any kind of unorthodox method to solve a problem.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Believe it or not, Bogus, of all people, actually falls victim to this in the episode "Bogus Private Eye", with a female rat who enters his office to tell him about the crime organization that had arisen in the city.
  • Expository Theme Tune
  • The Fool: Who do you think?
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Bogus, Brattus, along with every other denizen of Bogusland, have these.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: In one of the rare cases that Bogus and Brattus get paired up with Ratty and Mole (usually in an Enemy Mine moment), it goes like this: Bogus is Melancholic, Brattus is Sanguine, Ratty is Choleric, and Mole is Phlegmatic.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Bogus: Ego
    • Brattus: Id
    • Tommy: Superego
  • Generic Name: The Anybody family.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: This has happened very often to Bogus.
  • Griping About Gremlins: Averted with Bogus.
  • Growling Gut: The title character's stomach growls in 2 episodes.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: A rare non-animal example as the only article of clothing that Bogus wears is a pair of blue pants.
  • Hammerspace: Bogus seems to keep an astonishing amount of various items in his pockets, if the occasion happens to present itself.
  • "Home Alone" Antics: Two notable examples:
    • In the first act of the episode "Shop Around The Clock", Bogus sets up a series of tactics and scenarios in order to stop Jake and Butch from stealing a priceless crown from the department store. These include controlling a pair of fishing pants, dressing himself up as a conductor to use music instruments to attack Butch, and controlling a fisherman dummy to chase away the two baddies.
    • Used again in the first act of the episode "Bogunda, Bogetta & Bogus", this time in the Anybody residence when Jake and Butch return. This time, Bogus is able to keep them deterred by firing light bulbs from a lamp, using a toy mouse to grab them on the nose, and using his shadow projected on the wall to scare them out of the house.
  • Human Knot:
    • This happens in the second act of the episode "Meet Mr. Bogus" during a wrestling match on TV that Bogus has engaged in. The behemoth that Bogus is fighting against just easily grabs him by the arms and ties him up before using a belly flop on him.
    • This was also used in the first act of the episode "Museum Madness". Bogus finds himself facing off against the pharaoh's pet cobra, before fighting the cobra in a Big Ball of Violence. After the fight ends, Bogus is victorious, with the cobra all tied up in knots.
    • In the first act of the episode "Babysitting Bogus", the baby does this to Bogus at the start of the match when Bogus tries to pull off some karate moves against the baby. This leads to Bogus getting tied up to one of the crib's bars.
  • The Hyena: Bogus will occasionally laugh maniacally when giddy or otherwise embarrassed.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Brattus occasionally fills this role whenever he joins Bogus on his adventures.
  • Hyperaffixation: Due to the fact that he often speaks with a slight Speech Impediment (Not unlike that of a 5-year-old), Bogus will often use the word "mondo" before adding the letter 'o' at the end of a word used after it in his sentences. Examples include, "Mondo coolo", "Mondo safe-o", etc.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Nearly all of the episode titles have the word "Bogus" or "Bogie" in them.
  • Informed Species: A rare non-animal example; given his yellow skin, Bogus does not look very much like an actual Gremlin, and neither does Brattus.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Bogus and Brattus, who are both gremlins, are best friends with Tommy, who is a human boy.
  • Jack of All Trades: Bogus is a pretty versatile character.
  • The Klutz: This is often the bane of Bogus's life, due to his tiny size.
  • Meaningful Name: Bogus and Brattus.
  • Mouse World: The inside of Tommy's house, from Bogus's perspective.
  • Namedworld and Namedland: Bogusland, the place Bogus comes from.
  • Nice Guy: Bogus again
  • Off-Model: At the end of the opening credits, Bogus looks rather fat while he is doing his trademark dance. In fact, this has even showed up in a few episodes.
  • The One Who Wears Shoes: Brattus
  • Overly-Nervous Flop Sweat: Frequently.
  • Piggy Bank: Third act of "Bogus Private Eye". After Bogus has set up a Rube Goldberg Contraption to trap a thief that stole Mr. Anybody's watch, the thief (who later turns out to be Ratty) manages to elude the trap by getting Bogus caught in it instead, which leads to the thief being free to smash open Tommy's piggy bank with a hammer so that he can get at the money inside.
  • Protagonist Title
  • "Risky Business" Dance: Part of Bogus's shtick.
  • Rummage Fail: Sometimes happens when Bogus reaches into his pockets for an item that he needs for the situation he's in.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Bogus screams this way almost all the time.
  • Sewer Gator: One episode had Bogus and Brattus get eaten by an alligator while they are in the sewer, but escape, before calling on the help of this gator in order to help them stop Ratty, Mole, and a trio of biker rats.
  • Shameful Shrinking: Believe it or not, this actually happened to the already-tiny Bogus once.
  • Spell My Name with an S: When referring to himself in the third person, Bogus will alternate between calling himself either "Bogus" or "Bogie".
  • Stock Sound Effects: The series will very often use Hanna-Barbera sound effects, despite the fact that the show isn't created by the company itself.
  • Sycophantic Servant: Mole, to Ratty.
  • Third-Person Person: Bogus very often referred to himself in the third person, calling himself 'Bogie' almost all the time. Brattus did this as well too.
  • Totally Radical: The show pretty much revels in this.
  • Trivial Title:
    • The episode "No Snooze Is Good News" had very little to do with actual sleeping, as Bogus's fantasy life while asleep is only acknowledged in the second act.
    • Likewise, the episode "Hipster Tripster" has absolutely nothing to do with actual hipsters.
    • While the episode "Bogus In Bogus Land" references the fact that we see Bogusland for the first time, this only happens in the first act of the episode.
  • Umbrellas Are Lightning Rods: In the Hipster Tripster episode, Bogus is given an umbrella to keep him dry in the rain, but lightning destroys it.
  • Verbal Tic: Being that the show was created in the early 90s, Bogus often used words such as "mondo" as well as mispronouncing some words on occasion.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Ratty
  • You No Take Candle: Bogus almost always talked this way. His Aunt occasionally berated him for that.