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Western Animation / My Gym Partner's a Monkey

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"You think your school's a zoo? My gym partner's a MONKEY!"

A Cartoon Network animated series created by the husband-and-wife team of Timothy and Julie McNally Cahill (who would later go on to produce Littlest Pet Shop (2012)) that aired from 2005 to 2008. The show lasted four 13-episode seasons that came and went very quickly (hence the short run in years) and got two hour-long specials; a made-for-TV movie, "The Big Field Trip" and a musical special aptly named "Animal School Musical."

Due to a clerical error involving a misspelled last name, a middle-school aged human named Adam Lyon is sent to attend Charles Darwin Middle School: a school for talking zoo animals. Rather than fix this problem, he befriends an animal named Jake Spidermonkey and deals with the obvious problems of being a human in an environment made solely for animals.

Hey Adam, I wonder how many tropes on this list relate to my butt?:

  • #1 Dime: Jake Spidermonkey and his butt.
  • 555: Mr. Mandrill's phone number starts with this, as seen in "That Darn Platypus." This is also what Jake's phone number begins with as seen in "The Cuddlemuffins."
  • '70s Hair: Slips' hairstyle.
  • Aborted Declaration of Love: A running theme with Ingrid's crush on Adam.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Subverted in "Law and Odor," when Mr. Mandrill had to remind The Spiffies (who were the student council at the time), that 12 years hard labor was not an acceptable punishment.
  • Actor Allusion: In the second episode of season 1, Adam asks Jake to spell the word 'nautical', with Jake spelling it correctly surprisingly, as opposed to the other words he's asked to spell; this is possibly referencing how the word is typically associated with SpongeBob SquarePants, a character whom Jake has the same voice actor as.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Rick Platypus went around terrorizing the school with his stupid jokes. In the height of a life or death problem, Adam came around to appreciate and laugh at one of his jokes.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Many animal characters do this with their names, such as Lola Lama, Donna Dorsal, Sammy Snail, or to the biggest extent Principal Poncherello Pegone Pixiefrog.
  • Aerith and Bob: The two main characters are named Adam and Jake, but their friends are Slips, Windsor, Lupe, and Ingrid.
    • Students of CDMS have names ranging from regular first names like "Johnny," "Sally," "Tina," etc. to names like "Phineas," "Aloysius," and "Euripides."
  • Alien Animals: Rick Platypus.
  • All Animals Are Domesticated: Charles Darwin Middle School only allows animals that are trained to act like civilized humans. Ironically, they don't have any dogs, cats, or other animals that are generally domesticated, and only wild animals. To them, the idea of an undomesticated wild animal is even more terrifying than what humans perceive it as, with them being horrified of bunny rabbits that haven't been tamed.
  • All Just a Dream: "Notorious Windsor Gorilla," which also transitions to a Dream Within a Dream in the end.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Every major or recurring female character has a monumental secret crush on a guy. Ingrid to Adam, Lupe to Jake, Mrs. Warthog to Pixiefrog, Latanya, Margaret, and Joanie to Adam etc. Not one girl is innocent.
  • Alternate Reality Episode: Usually done when characters go to different schools. For example: In "The Times, They Are Exchangin'," Adam and Jake went to Adam's old human school and it was basically the exact same school. Even the teachers there were humanized replicas of CDMS's animal teachers. In "Ingrid Through the Out Door," Ingrid had an early graduation to high school, and every student there was just an aged-up clone of the middle school students, and were labeled as the older brothers and sisters of their counterparts.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Jake. He gets jealous when Adam doesn't want to be his partner to the school dance, and he expresses glee when he receives "straight rainbows" on his report card.
  • Amusing Injuries: Ingrid and Slips had funny casts in "She's Koala That," with Ingrid having to wear multiple neckbraces and Slips being put into a cast that locked his entire snake body in place.
  • Animal Jingoism: There was a commercial bumper on Cartoon Network where Adam walked past a lion, whose locker was banging and making noises from within. Adam amiably asks "Whatcha got in there?" The lion replies "Lunch." Adam is understandably creeped out.
  • Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag: Jake generally acts like a human, but when he's overjoyed, infuriated, terrified, or feeling any other strong emotion, he tends to screech and jump around the room like an actual monkey.
  • Anti-Hero: Jake Spidermonkey.
  • Anti-School Uniforms Plot: The episode "Uniformity" has Charles Darwin Middle School instating a prep-school uniform, which causes everyone to act uncharacteristically genteel and proper (read: boring), in stark contrast to the students' usual antics. The uniform was instated in about a week and later revoked in less than a day.
  • Animation Bump: The original pilot had more fluidity in animation, while the series lessened it a tiny bit. Then, by mid-season 2, it became slightly stiffer resembling The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, and Dexter's Laboratory.
  • Animorphism: In "Inoculation Day," Adam is turned into a monkey.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Plenty. Pricipal Pixiefrog and Mrs. Warthog are these, right off the bat. Then from time to time, Mr. Hornbill, Mrs. Tusk, Nurse Gazelle, and Mr. Orangutan act sort of like this.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Ingrid says that "It never hurts to apologize even for things you didn't do."
    Windsor: If I had known it would end so soon, I would have spent my life, eating more butter.
    Ingrid: I would have spent more time apologizing for things I didn't do.
    Slips: I'd have eaten more butter.
    Windsor: Hey! You stole mine!
    Ingrid: I'm sorry!
  • Appropriate Animal Attire: Most animals at the school dress like this. Lupe doesn't wear any clothing, and Jake doesn't wear pants (Though he rarely ever acknowledges that).
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Jake crushed Adam's world in "My Feral Lyon."
    Adam: It's never too early to look for a good college.
    Jake: Adam, you go to a school for all animals. It's already too late.
  • Art Evolution: The characters looked a bit rounder in the first season, then became sharper and UPA-styled by mid-season 2.
  • Artifact Title: As the show progresses onwards, Adam Lyon and Jake Spidermonkey actually spend less time attending Gym Class in Charles Darwin Middle School. Lampshaded by Jake in Season 3 when he admits that they are rarely ever seen in Gym Class.
  • Artistic License Animal Care: Deconstructed in one episode, where Adam adds human food to the school's cafeteria menu. This results in the animals becoming obese, as in real life, animals should never eat processed human foods.
  • Artistic License Biology:
    • Pixie frogs are the second largest species of frog in the world, but not only is Principal Pixiefrog a subject of jokes about how small he is, he's portrayed as significantly smaller than even characters he should realistically be similar in size to or even dwarf, like Dickie Sugarjumper.
    • Jake is a spider monkey, yet looks just like a cartoon-like chimpanzee with a tail in its butt. He even utters the quintessential chimpanzee Stock Sound Effects. Also, real spider monkeys don't have thumbs while Jake does. Even more jarring, one short had him getting his school photo taken with Adam. When both check the album, Jake appears as a realistic capuchin monkey!
    • Ingrid's neck is way too long for a giraffe's. And plus her body is so small!
    • Slips has a face more like a human's with a really large, pointy nose. Not to mention he also has hair.
    • Mr. Blowhole is apparently a killer whale, but he for some reason is missing the white eyespots the cetacean is known for! Not to mention he makes humpback whale-like "singing" noises when he speaks.
    • Subverted in "The Hyena and the Mighty," where Windsor claims hyenas need to laugh as a survival mechanism only to reveal at the end that he made it up (presumably to teach Adam a lesson in making Rufus cry). Though portraying Rufus's laugh as actual laughter is still an example of this, as the laugh of the spotted hyena is actually a form of communication used when in conflict.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Bull's weak point is his nose, the nerdy crocodile is beating him up after he ask a question & Pixiefrog is getting sued.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: When the animals all see Adam's shiny glass doorknobs, they get hypnotized and very distracted when they say "Pretty Pretty! Shiny Shiny!" Jake uses this to his advantage to control the school. Adam fights back using Pixiefrog's hubcaps.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Principal Pixie Frog, believe it or not. While trying to boost Mr. Hornbill's (Who is a rhino) confidence to help him woo Mrs. Tusk, they have him wrestle Pixie Frog. Pixie Frog whoops. His. Ass.
  • Ax-Crazy: Jake in "Amazon Kevin", tried to kill Amazon Kevin with an ax.
    Jake: Oh, Amazon Kevin! I have a question I have to ax you!
    • To a lesser extent, Principal Pixiefrog, though he never wielded an ax in any of the episodes, has a level of psychopathy very similar to Needles Kane.
  • Bad Impressionists: Windsor dressed as a human
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: In "Flesh Fur Fantasy", Adam got a job as a sign twirler for a car dealership, wearing a gorilla costume.
  • Balloon Belly: Subverted. Adam has the food court sell human food and all the animals quickly get addicted. Instead of the usual cartoon result, the animals gained more permanent weight. At the end of the episode they were shown jogging, trying to burn it off.
    • Though played straight in so far that it was gone by the next episode. Still a bit of a subversion, though.
  • Bathroom Control: In the short "Bathroom Break", Adam asks to use the bathroom while he's in class, but Mr. Hornbill tells him to wait until the bell rings. This proves to be difficult when things keep reminding Adam of his urge.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Adam and Jake were able to breathe in outer space in "Cheer Pressure" and "Pants in Space".
  • Bears Are Bad News: An episode was titled "Bad News Bear", giving us a perfect example. This was when a panda bear named Ding Bang went around the school causing chaos and misery to everyone he came in contact with, using the fact his species is endangered as a Karma Houdini license. It turns out he was really a previously expelled student in disguise named Larry the Racoon, which makes him an open target for retaliation.
  • Bedhead-itis: Invoked in "Sick Day", where Adam purposely messes up his hair while Playing Sick.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: Many episodes include jokes like this.
  • Big Fun: Lampshaded in "Animal School Musical", with one of the character archetypes, being "The One Who's Chunky".
  • Birthday Episode: "Supplies Party".
  • Blackmail: Adam and Jake convinced each other to comply with their own crazy plans, with blackmail. Adam told Jake that he'd spread the word about that time a bubblegum factory exploded and he lost his real fur, and Jake threatened to tell everyone that red isn't his natural hair color.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Adam deliberately takes off the Spiffies' (nerds) glasses to avoid detection of a killer mob, as they were killing off the smart people (literally) and were under the assumption that anyone with glasses is smart (despite the fact that there at least two people in the killer mob who wore glasses). In their blind state, the Spiffies' were wondering around helplessly, pretending to be so dumb they can't tell where they're going (well, it worked).
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Windsor made a joke about Jeff Prezenkowski becoming the new CN president in "A Whole Zoo World."
    Windsor: Prezenkowski's in charge?
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Subverted. Bull Sharkowski has to wear headgear that's essentially reverse-SCUBA ear (gill) muffs.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens constantly, yet done so naturally you wouldn't notice until you thought about it.
    Captain Corporate: Maybe you'll get a show on Cartoon Network!
  • But Not Too Foreign: Kerry has Indonesian blood.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Adam!
    Adam: Whoever said humans and monkeys share the same genes is an idiot.
  • Cardboard Pal" "Sick Day"
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Again, Principal Pixiefrog
  • Catchphrase:
  • Chaotic Stupid: Adam attacking Nerdy Crocodile, not letting anyone get his wish & upsetting Windsor
  • Chilly Reception: Adam being new to the school, means he lacks knowledge on important information all other animals need to know. He suffers the consequences of not taking whatever precautions are needed to be taken in order to handle whatever conflict may be headed his way, and the other animals never tell him about it beforehand, because it's such a basic and natural part of their lives, they don't give it enough attention to consider, whether Adam knows it already or not.
  • The Chew Toy: Adam.
  • Cliffhanger: Many episodes end like this. The last episode involves Adam in the middle of passing his initiation test to become an official zoo animal. It's never shown whether he does or doesn't eventually make it.
  • Clingy Aquatic Life: Herman Hermit Crab.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: It's a running gag for Adam to be seen in his underwear, often times, his "Captain Clownies."
    • Why animals wearing no clothes themselves find it funny is unknown.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Comic stories based on this show were featured in Cartoon Network Block Party.
  • Crapsack Only by Comparison: Adam's views on CDMS and Chester Arthur Middle School.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Every episode ends with a short, funny scene, that plays during the credits.
  • Crossover: The show was involved with Cartoon Network Invaded, associating itself with Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Ed, Edd, & Eddy, Camp Lazlo, and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
    • During the credits of "The Grim Adventures of The KND," there were many faux crossovers between other shows in the credits. One of which was "My Gym Partner's a Mandark," involving a crossover with Dexter's Laboratory, where Mandark was swinging around the school, holding on tight to Jake's tail.
  • Crying at Your Birthday Party: In "Supplies Party", it is mentioned that Adam once peed his pants at his sixth birthday party and cried about it. During this episode, he accidentally spills soda on his pants, which Chad mistakes for him peeing his pants again. Adam then begins to bawl like a baby (complete with a baby wailing sound effect).
  • Curse Escape Clause: In "Animal School Musical," Jake earns a wish from David Coppertrout, a magical fish, and transforms the entire school into a musical world. Everyone hates it, so when Jake agrees to ask for a reversal, David reveals that the only way to break the spell is for Jake to successfully make a rhyme—something that he absolutely can't do.
  • Cute and Psycho: Lola Llama in "Save the Drama for Your Llama." Lola befriended Ingrid Giraffe but in truth she had no interest in being her friend. By Windsor's explanation, Lola was attempting an aggressive pack assimilation by targeting the weakest member. As Lola slowly began to steal Ingrid's identity, she became more and more crazed about wanting to keep it.
  • Cute Approaches Camera: Enacted by a nature documentarian's pet kitten.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Ingrid. Having such a really long neck doesn't help.
  • Cute Is Evil: The subject of one episode, when Adam gets hosed by a group of cute miniature animals.
  • Cute Mute: Horace the ferret.
  • Delinquent: Larry Raccoon, a minor character, is the only student in history to be expelled from CDMS.
    • The Mole: As a result, he tries to reenter the school, disguised as a panda.
  • Dean Bitterman: Principal Pixiefrog.
  • Deliberate Under-Performance: Adam Lyon's friends intentionally bomb any tests they take because if they were to achieve good scores, they would be placed with the spiffies, a group of super-nerds led by a particularly egotistical dolphin.
  • Depending on the Writer: Henry Armadillo is either a Jerkass or a sympathetic Butt-Monkey.
  • Deranged Animation: The overarching presence of talking animals (namely Ingrid and Slips) and the complex layout of the school (with things such as the fish tubes, aquatic wing, and arctic wing) is something that can only exist in animation.
  • Detention Episode: "Basic Jake" reveals that Jake deliberately gets himself into detention every Saturday so he can sneak into the old A/V room and host his own TV show.
  • Deus ex Machina: "Robo Frog 3000": Because when any middle school faculty is confronted by the school board with robots ready to destroy them, you always keep a wizard in your trunk just in case. Right?
    • Subverted. The school board had their own robot wizard, so it didn't save them at all. But the robots couldn't leave the school cause they were powered by the school walls, saving Adam and Jake from being chased further.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: "Lie, Cheetah, Steal": Coach Gill keeps gushing over her new assistant, Mr. Cheetah, via internal monologue, and other characters keep overhearing her "voiceover."
  • Did Not Think This Through: In "Animal School Musical," Jake wishes for the entire school to be transformed into a musical world—but Jake himself lacks any musical talent, rhyming ability, or general skill. It's promptly lampshaded when a defensive Jake offers a Suspiciously Specific Denial about being just fine with his wish.
  • Different in Every Episode: The sign outside Charles Darwin Middle School.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Jake shunning Adam for almost an entire episode due to him saying that Bull Sharkowsci had "Gone ape on him." In the monkey world "Going ape" is supposed to be a compliment, unlike in the human world where it means "Go crazy." Adam gets Jake back at the end of the episode when he finds out what Jake was upset about and is very angry at him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: There is the human school and the animal school...and the animal school doesn't really teach much.
  • Dork Horse Candidate: In "Political Animals," it was Adam Lyon vs. Bull Sharkowski.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Adam Lyon, more notable in the episode "Notorious Windsor Gorilla"
  • The Eeyore: Windsor Gorilla.
  • Epiphany Therapy: In "Mellow Fellows," Slips became a psychologist and was able to solve the most internalized life-long problems of everybody in the school in seconds, just by saying one word.
    Adam: So, Slips, you say if I stop whining about being the only human here, I'll be happy?
    Slips: Yeah.
    Adam: I'm cured!
  • Erudite Stoner: Slips Python.
    Slips: Oh, dude! That is some powerful stuff man!
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Guess which class Adam meets Jake for the first time?
  • Expository Theme Tune: The first two lines of the theme song (sung by Adam), illustrate the premise of the show perfectly.
    I used to go to a human school, where everyone was the same,
    ''But now I go to an animal school, cuz "Lyon"s my last name."
  • Expy: Keep a look out for a human version of Mr. Hornbill when Adam temporarily goes back to his old school.
  • Fantastic Racism: Species can often be a stand-in for race in this show, and problems involving race are dealt with in the exact same manner. For example in "Flesh Fur Fantasy," Windsor took offense to Adam dressing up as a gorilla, and in "The Times, They Are Exchangin'," where Jake said that all human beings looked the same. In "Amazon Kevin", the animals hated the episode's titular character for being an alligator wrestler. Lupe even added the phrase, "He's been smacking our kind around for generations."
  • Fat Idiot: Margaret, Joanie, and Latanya.
  • Feathered Fiend: "Glazed and Confused" parodied The Birds, by having a flock of dreaded bird students migrate to the location of CDMS to transfer. The birds behaved as wildly as undomesticated animals, which horrified the teachers and faculty.
  • Film Noir: This format was used during part of "Where in the World Are Adam's Parents?," where everything went back and white, except for the "blood", which was the only red thing in the scene.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: In "Have a Joyous Little Animas," eating a plate of wasabi causes Adam to breathe fire through his nose.
    • Which ends up saving the day, strangely enough.
  • Fish out of Water: Series premise. Seen literately a few times.
  • Flaming Hair: In "Wild Thing," it was a running gag for people to assume Adam's hair was fire, due to him being a redhead.
    Principal Pixiefrog: I'm sorry to say this, Adam, but your hair just isn't as hot as it looks and to be honest, your hair doesn't even look all that hot.
  • Food Chainof Evil: Quite the reverse in this show.
  • Foul Cafeteria Food: Played with. Adam Lyon, the Token Human at Charles Darwin Middle School, finds the cafeteria food appaling since it literally contains things like bugs (hence why he always brings his own lunch to school), but his animals schoolmates enjoy the food. However, Adam eventually finds out the cafeteria food from his old school wasn't much better.
  • Freudian Slip: A perfect example is Principal Pixiefrog, who always says one thing, when he really means his mother.
    • Ingrid also does this a lot, by accidentally admitting her love for Adam.
    Ingrid: I have a crush on a human and tend to speak without thinking.
    • A more maternal-specific example happened with Windsor, in "Mandrill of the House." Windsor was already up in arms about his mom dating his teacher and when his teacher was rolling in the mud, he said "Hey, why don't you roll around in someone else's mudder, uh, I mean mud."
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Principal Pixiefrog's number one fear.
  • Funny Foreigner: Lupe often makes a few "Latino girl" jokes about herself.
    Lupe: It's not gonna kill you like dengue. You'll just want to do the merengue.
  • Furry Reminder: The animal students may be all anthropomorphic and go to school, but still utter their typical sounds and vocalizations and obey their animal instincts.
  • Geeks: The Spiffies.
  • Genius Bruiser: Windsor Gorilla.
  • Genki Girl: Lupe Toucan.
  • Gentle Giant:
    • Windsor and Ingrid, helped by being a gorilla and a giraffe respectively.
    • Soupy Baskington from "Shark Fin Soupy." Truth in Television, as basking sharks are the second-largest living fish and harmless filter-feeders.
  • The Ghost: Adam's parents.
  • Groin Attack: In the "Animal School Musical" special, Adam gets hit in the groin with a dodgeball.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: The show features a lot of these.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Jake gaining a "Mustache" inexplicably gives him 1337 skills with nunchucks, but Adam counters this by challenging him to a round of fisticuffs. Subverted in that neither of them actually knows what comes next.
  • Gratuitous German: Pixiefrog drops a random German phrase in "Making the Grade."
    Principal Pixiefrog: "Achtung studenten! I, uh, I mean, uh, attention students."
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Lupe.
  • Green Gators:
    • A recurring character, the Nerdy Crocodile, is green, though his underside is a slightly lighter shade of it.
    • A cool crocodile seen in "Sidekicked" is also completely green, albeit with some lighter-green freckles.
  • Grossout Show: Surprisingly, one of the better ones.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Jake doesn't wear pants and he doesn't keep it subtle.
  • Hands Go Down
    Mr. Hornbill: (explaining an assignment involving eggs) Any questions?
    [a girl Badger happily raises her hand.]
    Mr. Hornbill: No, Lacey, you may not eat the eggs.
    [Her hand goes down after turning her smile into a frown.]
  • Happy Fun Ball: I'm sure they've done this gag with a cute little kitten student somewhere in the show.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today??: Jake sometimes has to do this, if he ever shows too much affection for Adam. However, this only goes for something generally seen as "romantic," such as hugging or using the word "love." But when it comes to having a shrine to him in his locker, and things that go down the "stalker" route, that's perfectly fine.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Adam and Jake, Windsor and Slips, Ingrid and Lupe...
    Jake: Don't get me wrong, Adam. I like you a lot, [in a deep, masculine voice] but not that way.
  • High School Rocks: Not at all the case for the overall series, but the trope was parodied in "Animal School Musical."
  • Hippie Teacher: Mr. Mandrill.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Principal Pixiefrog.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Henry. OOOOOOOHHHHHHH...(glass cracks) I'M A FRIENDLY ARMADIILLLOOOOO....
  • Hood Ornament Hottie: In "Robo Frog 3000", Mr. Mandrill washes cars like a sexy car wash girl.
  • Huddle Shot: Done in "Lyon of Scrimmage."
  • Humiliation Conga: The events of "Docu-Trauma" for Adam. In the course of a day, he's afflicted with a giant zit, covered in mud and paint and pursued by a documentary maker convinced he's a mutant and determined to make him the subject of her film. Which she does after getting footage of Adam naked, which gets broadcast to millions of people on national TV.
  • The Hyena: Rufus, an actual hyena.
  • Hypno Trinket: In "Shiny Thing," the titular object—a glass doorknob from Adam's house—has the power to completely hypnotize any animal that looks into it. It's revealed that shiny objects are banned writ large from CDMS because of this. Jake uses the doorknob to take over the entire building and turn it into the "Jake Spidermonkey Center for the Study of Monkey Butts," leaving Adam to stop him.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The hall monitor episode mentioned on "Shaggy Dog" Story.
    • In "The Notorious Windsor Gorilla," the school hired an art teacher, who said he didn't care about art, and thinks that it's more important to work on his screen play.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: This show's transitions are what's known as "Leaf Wipes."
  • Idiot Hero: Jake is a complete moron of a monkey but he still manages to save the day ... occasionally.
  • I'm a Humanitarian, a lobster version. 2 lobsters are sitting at a table in a tank in a restaurant.
    Boy lobster: Oh, it is so nice to get out of the house after 97 years.
    Girl lobster: Oh, you take me to the nicest places.
    Boy lobster: Waiter, I'll have the lobster.
    Girl lobster (as she is lifted out of the tank by the waiter): Nathan, how could you?
  • Intellectual Animal: Windsor is a deeply intelligent gorilla.
  • Inept Aptitude Test: Adam, the only human attending a school full of animals, takes a career aptitude test and become depressed when the results indicated his career would be "zoo animal"; the principal later reveals that the tests aren't graded and everyone is given the result of "zoo animal" as that's what they all want anyway.
  • Intelligent Gerbil: Seems to be the case with most animal characters.
  • Interspecies Romance: Ingrid's romantic crush on Adam is seen as weird by many adult fans of the show, who look a bit too far in depth to the show's content.
  • Invisible Parents: Adam's parents are never fully seen on screen. Whenever, they need to appear, either it's only their voice, heard off screen, or an arm is seen coming out from just off screen or behind a wall.
  • It Runs in the Family: Many of the animal characters, have parents and siblings that look exactly like them, just with a few changes to their hair and clothing. You can see this when their families make appearances in "Meet the Spidermonkeys," "Ingrid Through the Out Door," and "Where in the World Are Adam's Parents?"
  • Jive Turkey: In "Grub Drive," Principal Pixiefrog tries to convince students to participate in the Annual School Sales Drive by rapping. The students' reactions are priceless.
  • Joke of the Butt: All the time. Nary an episode goes by without at least one joke about bums.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Adam in "The Hyena and the Mighty." First, he talks behind Rufus Hyena's back, insulting him and making him cry. When Windsor explains that Rufus may die because hyenas need to laugh to live, Adam clearly doesn't give a damn about Rufus saying "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya." Jake convinces Adam to help Rufus stop crying. They try visiting the principal, counselor and nurse with no help. Finally, Adam snaps and threatens Rufus with physical violence if he doesn't stop crying even though Adam himself made Rufus cry in the first place. It's a good thing Adam gets hit with karma in the end.
  • "Jump Off a Bridge" Rebuttal: A variant shows up in "The Big Field Trip", where most of the gang fall off a cliff and Ingrid declares "All my friends jumped off a cliff, so I will too!" before jumping off after them.
  • Junior High: Charles Darwin Middle School and occasionally Chester Arthur Middle School.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: The question of why Adam doesn't just simply transfer back to a normal human school has been lampshaded a few times over the series. The most noteworthy instance of this is when his parents (who turn out to be deadly allergic to animals) are directly asked this in the final season; the other characters do receive a logical answer, but the audience doesn't get to hear it.
    Principal Pixiefrog: By the way, Mr. and Mrs. Lyon, I've always wondered: what made you allow Adam to attend an all-animal school for four television seasons?
    Mr. and Mrs. Lyon: (long, detailed response muffled by hazmat suits)
    Principal Pixiefrog: Well, I'm glad that's cleared up.
  • Kafka Komedy: Most of the show is Adam being used as either a punching bag by the Jerkass animals that make up the students and staff in his school or as a karmic lightning rod for Jake's antics.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude:
    • Euripedes Sharkowski. Yes, despite the mustache and masculine voice. And the way the students talked about her, Jake (and likely the viewers) were shocked to discover that Euripedes was a girl.
    Jake: Euripides is a girl?!
    Windsor: Duh.
    Bull: You got a problem with girls?
    Windsor: Uh, no. Clearly you're with the problem.
    • Slips Python's older sister, complete with deep voice.
      Ingrid: And you must be Slips' brother.
      Slips' Sister: Slips' sister, actually.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Done a few times over the course of the series. One particular example coming from the result of a Deus ex Machina:
  • Large Ham: Jake Spidermonkey, really makes sure he chews the fuck out of the scenery whenever he's on screen.
  • LARP: The Spiffies partake in these kinds of charades, most notably in "Knights of the Multiplication Table."
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Welcome to CDMS, Adam.
  • Little People: Principal Pixiefrog and James Ant.
    James: I'm so tiny no one's noticed I'm in every single scene!
  • Living Crashpad: After Jake Spidermonkey gains a huge amount of weight, he falls through the floor, but later calls up to Adam that "Principal Pixiefrog broke my fall!"
  • Long Neck: Ingrid.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Rick Platypus had the ability to transform into the hideous, tentacled "CN Invaded" alien.
  • Man on Fire: Jake's head in "An Inconvenient Goof."
  • Meaningful Name: Adam's given name, which is also the name of the first man, created by God. And, since he's quite probably the first human to set foot in Charles Darwin Middle School. He was also seen naked in a couple of episodes.
  • Medium Awareness: Several characters, most notably Principal Pixiefrog, seem to know that they are characters in a cartoon. Although it took Slips about four seasons to figure it out, himself.
    Slips: What's a cartoon?
    Windsor: You're sitting in one.
    Slips: WHOA!
  • Memetic Hand Gesture: Adam does this hand motion, where he puts both his arms out in front of him, bends them upward by his face and slowly waves them back and forth in anger. What this is never gets explained, but it's not likely this has been used anywhere else, other than the show itself.
  • Messianic Archetype: In "Glazed and Confused," Adam started bearing resemblance to Moses, wearing cloth around his head, and carrying a tombstone in one hand, and a staff in the other, with the sunlight shining from behind him.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: At the beginning of "Animal School Musical," Adam and Jake take two breaks from their Big Ball of Violence to skip together and play chess.
  • Mind-Control Music: Adam can play his flute, which can lull every animal in the show to sleep in seconds.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: In an episode set in the zoo, the information post for the spider monkey exhibit has a picture of Africa. Spider monkeys, like other New World monkeys, are known only from the American continent. Even worse in that in a previous episode Jake met a female spider monkey from Costa Rica.
  • Mobile Shrubbery: Windsor used this to hide from his crush in "Gorilla My Dreams."
  • Moral Guardians: The B.A.A.A. Activists from "Inoculation Day."
  • The Musical: With the characters getting the idea from an expy of High School Musical, no less.
  • Musical Episode: The aptly titled "Animal School Musical."
  • The Music Meister: The magical fish David Coppertrout casts a spell that transforms the school into a musical in "Animal School Musical."
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: In "The Big Field Trip," Adam played his piccolo, which made the animals fall asleep.
    Adam: Huh, I guess music does soothe the savage beast.
  • The Napoleon: Adam and Pixiefrog.
  • Never Say "Die": Parodied in "Synch or Swim." Jake flushes his live sea simians down the toilet, after hearing Adam did the same thing with his. Adam has trouble explaining to him, the real reason he flushed his sea simians.
    Adam: I didn't flush my sea simians because they were boring. I flushed them because they, ... you know ... [whispering] expired.
    Jake: Zuh?
    Adam: You know, perished, ... departed, ... defunct, ... passed on, ... done in, gone extinct, went stiff, belly up, took a dirt nap, met their maker, pushing up daisies, eternal slumber, worm food, flat lined, like really gone daddy?
    Jake: Oh, you mean dead!
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Mr. Mandrill.
  • Nice Guy: If you're this as CDMS, you'll be subject to prey, no matter how big an animal you are, demonstrated in "Shark Attack," where Bull Sharkowski made himself the underdog, just by not constantly asserting dominance.
    Lupe: Yo, hide your lunches everyone! Bull Sharowski is headed your way! He takes stuff!
    Windsor: Bull is obviously a victim of classic adolescent angst. We could run, but what good would that do? Sharks are creatures of habit. He'll just repeat his aggressive neo-prehistoric behavior tomorrow.
    Lupe: It's your lunch, mi amigo.
    [Out of fear, Windsor (hides his lunch).]
    • Characters who fall into the nice guy trope and suffer the consequences would be Henry, Dickie, James Ant, The Spiffies and at times, Adam and Ingrid and of course, they're always getting stepped on, smacked around, squashed flat, and sucker punched by everyone they meet.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Nerdy Crocodile.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Virgil "Bull" Sharkowski should be renamed into Michael "Bull" Tysonowski. Seriously.
    • There is an episode where Adam and Jake visited the Neverland Ranch because Bubbles, Michael Jackson's pet monkey, is Jake's cousin. Their names are changed to avoid being sued.
  • No Indoor Voice: Principal Pixiefrog.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: Adam's friends tried eating him in "A Very Special Boy."
  • Noir Episode: "Where in the World are Adam's Parents?"
  • Noodle Incident: In the comics, whatever Jake did last year at Bull Sharkowski's birthday party that Bull holds as a reason not to invite Jake for the next parties resulted on the pool having to be steam-cleaned.
  • Nostril Shot: Parodied in Principal Pixiefrog's The Outsiders movie audition tape.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: In "The Hyena and the Mighty," Adam had a dream that he came to school in his underpants. Jake informed him that it wasn't a dream.
  • Oblivious to Love: Adam to Ingrid.
    • However, by "Animal School Musical", it seems Adam may seem to have it all figured out.
  • Oedipus Complex: Principal Pixiefrog and his mother.
  • Only Sane Man: Usually Adam.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In-episode example: Slips accidentally talks normally, before going back to Brit Speak when in uniform.
  • Opening Shout-Out: Happens in "The Notorious Windsor Gorilla" with the credits re-done as My Gym Partner's a Gorilla, featuring Windsor instead of Jake.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Adam Lyon is the middle school version of this.
  • Owls Ask "Who?": In "Don't Noc It 'Til You Try It", Jake and Windsor go into a room, where an owl class is taking place. Windsor explains the scenario to the owl teacher, and he replies, saying "Who?" to everything. This starts up an Abbot and Costello, "Who's on First Base?" bit, which goes on long enough for Jake to get restless. Jake lashes out at the teacher, to which the teacher replies "What?" Annoyed with the situation, Jake leaves.
  • Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females: Jake wears only a shirt and hat, but in "Gorilla My Dreams," his Opposite-Sex Clone was introduced, wearing a dress, skirt, bow, and shoes.
  • Parent with New Paramour: In "Mandrill of the House," Mr. Mandrill started dating Windsor's single mom, and "Plotline #3" began.
  • Parental Abandonment: Adam seems to have parents, but they don't seem to object to him attending middle school with the animal kingdom.
    • And when they DID make an appearance and were asked that question (since they are allergic to animals and were wearing full hazmat suits), the viewer is unable to understand their answer. It's also worthy to note that the same episode had Adam's friends think he lives alone and that he killed his parents.
    • Adam's father also appeared in another episode where they were having a party at a Chuck E Cheese like establishment though you only see him buried in a ball pit with his arm sticking out.
  • Parental Bonus: This show is full of these. Especially, during scenes with Principal Pixiefrog. Every time he goes onto one of his monologues, he basically starts spouting cultural and historical references, left and right.
  • Peacock Girl: A very literal example with a side character named Hazel Peacock.
  • Player Personality Quiz: In "Mellow Fellows," Jake was taking a tabloid magazine personality quiz way too seriously.
  • Potty Emergency: Adam in "Bathroom Break."
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Windsor collects cut-glass animal figurines.
  • Right Behind Me: "Robo Frog 3000," and probably elsewhere.
  • The Rightofa Superior Species: Seems to be a societal rule among the students at CDMS, with predators and "big animals," such as sharks, lions, crocodiles, etc. having authority over smaller students and prey animals.
  • Running Gag: In the episode "The Ivy League" when everybody drops their coffee mugs whenever something even MODERATELY surprising happens.
    • There's also Principal Pixiefrog's ongoing fear that "we could get sued!"
    • And you can expect to hear the word "zuh?" uttered whenever someone is shocked or confused on this show.
  • Sadist Show: Ordinary kid Adam Lyon tries to survive a Sucky School where everyone is a Jerkass or The Ditz or both. He fails constantly.
  • Sanity Slippage: Here and there it's been shown that Adam is slowly losing his mind, one episode starts with him staring blankly at nothing with a goofy look on his face (Never explained) another has him literally go feral acting like a dog, supposedly from spending too much time around animals. Though it's averted, later explained simply "Because he's a boy" with the other human girls at a party asking Kerry how she trained her's to be so well behaved, compared to their dates who were acting even more feral.
  • School of Hard Knocks: The subject of a joke, told by Teddy Truman, a ventriloquist dummy, in "Talking Teddy."
    Mr. Hornbill: So, Teddy, tell us, what school dis you go to before you transferred here?
    Teddy Truman: The School of Hard Knocks. Get it? (knocks on his wooden body) Hark knocks?
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Adam discovers this natural defensive mechanism when the entire school wants to eat him. His high pitched girlish shriek causes everyone to run away.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The episode where Adam and Jake joining the hall monitors. It turns out that the force is TOTALLY corrupt, useless and tries to get rid of Adam when he tries to stop the corruption. So Adam goes and tries to get rid of their Dirtnuts by bribing the truck driver not to get rid of them to stop them from being corrupt. However, the force has Dirtarts and then Adam is blamed for the corruption, since the bribe was caught on video so the force gets away scot free.
  • Shop Class: At CDMS, wood shop is abut beavers building dams.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty.
    • Mr. Hornbill teaches the kids that rubbing mud on yourself will prevent predators from being able to see you. The camera shows a cartoon Predator sitting in a desk, who says, "It's true."
    • Samurai Jack had a cameo once, as a Cloudcuckoolander doctor who wants others to try his delicious blueberry pie.
    • From the same episode, Adam, after been hit on the head by a piece of concrete, became Joey Mack.
    • There's an episode where it ends with a spoof of the intro from "The Love Boat."
    • Miss Loon sounds like Katharine Hepburn, a shout out to On Golden Pond, in which she played a woman who loved to hear the sounds of the loons calling across the lake.
    • During the infamous "I'm A Friendly Armadillo" episode, the judges of the school talent show are positioned in the same order as the ones from American Idol.
      • Cyrus Q Hornbill for Randy Jackson, the neutral one.
      • Miss Chameleon for Paula Abdul, the nice one.
      • Coach Gills as Simon Cowell, the mean and honest one.
    • When Adam temporarily took over Coach Gills' job for the day, he found a very valuable item on her desk, an autographed picture of Brian Doyle-Murray, who voices her.
    • There is one episode where The Spiffies are modeled after The Mafia, with ringleader Phinnius Porpoise doing a very good impression of Don Vito. They even call him "The Finfather."
    • One episode has Bull Sharkowsci dress and dance like Napoleon Dynamite.
    • "The Big Field Trip" contained multiple references to Lord of the Flies and Yogi Bear.
    • In "A Whole Zoo World," when Adam tries to capture Jake while jumping off a waterfall, he shouts, "PREZENKOWSKI!" A reference to executive in charge of production for Cartoon Network, Jeff Prezenkowski.
  • Shrinking Violet: Ingrid often likes to blend into the background and it doesn't help that she's a towering giraffe, who's by far the tallest student in the school.
  • Silent Snarker: Possibly, Vice Coach Horace Ferret.
  • Sit on the Camera:
    • "Chew on This" at the end with Principal Pixiefrog "You've made you're point."
    • "The Butt of the Jake" happens in the beginning and a few more times.
  • Snake Versus Mongoose: There was an episode that lampshaded this trope. Slips the python befriends a mongoose but wonders how they can keep their friendship intact after learning from a documentary that they are supposed to be enemies.
  • The Social Expert: James Ant in "Kerry to Dance?"
  • Species Surname: Used almost constantly.
    • In fact, Adam Lyon was sent to CDMS because his name was misspelled "Lion" in a file.
  • Spit Take: When Jake creates a routine using his bottom and tail (creating a puppet of sorts), he causes the whole student body to laugh resulting in much milk being spurted out, half the time it was in Adam's face.
  • The Spock: Windsor.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Apparently the main cast, consisting of Adam, Jake, Slips, Windsor, Lupe, and Ingrid are the envy of lesser focused on minor characters, who've been boiled down to a gang of six extras, ranging from minor to background characters. In "Animal School Musical," had a number about how they were always waiting in the wings, as understudies, anticipating the day, when one of them were to succumb to injury or get in trouble, so that they may get a brief taste of fame.
    • A different example would be Principal Pixiefrog appears in every episode. In "Butt of the Jake," he forced himself into the story, despite having nothing to do with the plot.
      Pixiefrog: Save your pity, Lyon. I just came here for some screen time.
  • Stalker Shot: In Season 1 "Law and Odor", in order the stop the corruption among the school hall monitors, Adam tries to cut off their "dirtnut" supplies, the food that's used to bribe the hall monitors, by bribing the "dirtnut" delivery man with actual money so that he can't deliver it. Unfortunately, the camera zooms out to reveal Henry catching this on camera and makes an out-of-context news report about.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The Possum Girl from "Wild Thing," and very rarely, Ingrid.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Adam and Jake, respectively.
  • Stranger in a Strange School: The main premise, but taken to self-parody levels for an episode where Jake (whose last name is typo'd as "Spiderplant") is taken to a school for plants for an episode.
  • Students Playing Matchmaker: "In Two Tons Of Fun", Adam and Jake try helping their teacher Mr.ÃÂ Hornbill to get the courage to ask the cafeteria lady Mrs. Tusk out on a date. However, when they are left alone in a closet, Mr. Hornbill discovers that Mrs. Tusk is already married.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: "Bull Shark, Porcupine, I don't know what, going to this school's a pain in the..."
    Jake: ADAM!
    Adam: What? I was gonna say "neck."
    Jake: Oh... that's okay then.
    • And Jake's inability to rhyme becomes a running joke in "Animal School Musical," even getting its own song.
  • Stealth Pun: In the episode Law and Odor, one of the hall monitors is a lizard.
  • Sucky School: Good ol' CDMS, at least, according to Adam.
  • Talking Animal: Nearly everyone on the show except Adam.
  • Take That, Critics!: During its run the biggest problem My Gym Partner's a Monkey got from online critics, was the constant butt jokes revolving around Jake. In season 4, a few one-off jokes were made taking a jab at those critics. Namely "The Butt of the Jake," "A Very Special Boy," "Lonely Lyon," and "Animal School Musical."
    Jake: Have I ever told you how much I love my butt?
    Lupe: Yes, yes. It drives the internet bloggers crazy.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: In one episode, Adam campaigns for human junk food to be added to the school cafeteria menu because there's nothing he can eat. All of the animals get addicted to the food and gradually pack on the pounds until they're all completely enormous.
  • Terrible Trio: The Pretties.
  • The Movie: "The Big Field Trip."
  • Title Drop: A subtle one was done where Jake, a spidermonkey, reminds Adam that he's Adam's gym partner (though he lampshades that they've never been seen in gym together).
  • Toilet Humour: 50% of the jokes revolving around Jake Spidermonkey, almost exclusively about his butt.
  • Token Human: Adam, to his classmates.
  • Toothy Bird: Lupe
  • Torches and Pitchforks: "The Citronella Solution" where it is even Lamp Shaded:
    "But torches and pitchforks are a cartoon riot tradition!"
  • Transformation Trauma: There's an episode where Slips comes to school feeling rather ill which leads everyone to believe that he has a horrible disease called the... "Eccch!" and the students start feeling weird (an ox student's fur starts coming out, a bear student gets really hungry and so on), at the end of the episode Principal Pixie Frog calls an assembly- at this assembly he shows a video called "It's Only Natural" which is about changes animals go through, everyone is relieved to find out that it's not a disease going around, but then Slips shreds his skin and says..."It's only natural? Phew! I'm not a freak!" and throws his old skin off- the old skin lands on Principal Pixiefrog who then states..."No you're not" and then Slips 'sneezes all over him, Principal Pixie Frog exclaims in a very disgusted way "Yuck, that snake's got a cold! Germ alert, germ alert!."
  • Tyop on the Cover: Adam was sent to CDMS when a file misspells his surname Lyon as "Lion".
  • Two Girls to a Team: Ingrid and Lupe to the herd.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Bull, Pixiefrog & Nerdy Crocodile
  • Wild Child: The Possum Girl posed as one to get closer to Adam.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: This show plays with this trope endlessly. The staff includes a warthog, a chameleon, a goldfish, a baboon, a pixie frog and an elephant, all of whom have personalities that vary wildly with their appearances; the snake is friendly, helpful and a member of the main cast (one notable episode had him apparently fighting with a mongoose, only to be revealed that they were just playing tag); the (spider) monkey is the resident Jerkass; and the human, instead of being a bastard, is just trying to survive amongst the insanity. The shark, however, is the school bully, but like most bullies in recent fiction he's a coward who hides his insecurities behind violence.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The overall location of the series has never been revealed. Mostly due to the majority of episodes only taking place in the one school, not really calling for any name dropping of their town or state, but in "Knights of the Multiplication Table," Phineas had an imagination sequence, where he was portrayed as a knight, named "Sir Chauncey of Glendale." This could mean, they live in Glendale, California, but then again, this was all in a fictional Medieval world, portrayed by Phineas' imagination.
  • The White House: Adam visited this in "I Got a New Aptitude."
  • Who Is Driving?: Played straight in "A Mid Semester Life's Dream."
    Adam: Slips, if you're here, then who's flying the plane?
    • Fridge Logic/Horror kicks in when you start to wonder how Slips, who has no limbs, was flying the plane in the first place.
  • Who's on First?: The episode "Pants in Space" had Principal Pixiefrog talk with a Japanese scientist whose name happened to be pronounced "I didn't," which led a brief moment of confusion when Pixiefrog asked what he said his name was again.
    • It was more directly parodied in "Talking Teddy," when Windsor practiced a comedy bit with his puppet and "Don't Noc It 'Til You Try It," when he starting asking questions to an owl.
  • Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: Adam & Jake celebrating Bull's "going away" party.
  • World of Funny Animals: More like a school of Funny Animals.
  • Yandere: Ingrid Giraffe is one towards Adam
  • Yellow Sash of Power: Hall Monitor Sasquatch
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: Animas Carol to be exact.
    • And again, this time full-out, in "Thanksgiving Carol." Though it's an inversion because the ghosts are trying to convince Adam to hate Thanksgiving rather than enjoy it.
  • You Mean "Xmas": In the animal world, it's "Animas." And it's in June. And it's got something to do with excretory functions.
  • Zany Scheme: That's what Adam and his pals are always up to.


Video Example(s):


A Monkey's Best Feature

Jake demonstrates why monkeys don't wear pants, much to Adam's annoyance.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / BareBottomedMonkey

Media sources: