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Western Animation / Off the Air

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"We'd like to thank you for watching. And please... Don't... Die... Tonight."note 

Off the Air is a series of Quarter Hour Shorts on [adult swim]. It's essentially a series of animated (and sometimes live-action) shorts centered on a particular theme. That being said, the shorts tend to be very bizarre and/or disturbing.

If you're looking for the SMPTE color bars (which this wiki doesn't have a page for), please consult the other wiki.


  • Amazing Technicolor Population: A few of the animated shorts tend to have people with odd skin-colors, like lavender, blue, red, green, etc.
  • *Bleep*-dammit!: "Sound" censored out a URL for a site called '' (Despite it not being a real URL)... then left the URL uncensored in the next shot.
    • In "Clowns", A man on a bike's face is blurred out. The motion tracking of the blur is very poor, though, and goes off the person's face multiple times. The blur also tries (and fails) to follow the person even after the datamosh rather then simply being put onto the image beforehand, implying that it was a last minute change.
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  • Book-Ends: Every episode usually has footage from an earlier segment (often the first) appear at the end.
  • The Cameo
    • Space Ghost has appeared in every episode, usually as a Funny Background Event. Zorak also appears in several episodes starting with "Falling", and Moltar joins in starting with "Robots". All three at once appear during the credits of "Nightmares".
      • Some of said cameos can be REALLY hard to find. It took 6 years for Moltar's cameo to be spotted in "Death".
    • Gerald appears in, fittingly enough, "Hair".
    • The Slow Mo Guys show up in "Falling", specifically their first giant water balloon video.
  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: Averted. One of the shorts in "Patterns" blatently contains a sound effect from Super Mario 64.
  • Deranged Animation: Pretty much the main staple of the series.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The opening segment of the episode "Body" features a close-up view of the human nasal passages and throat. To say it looks like a certain part of female anatomy would be an understatement.
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  • Do Not Try This at Home: "Food" opens up with a rather unsettling one of these proclaiming "DO NOT try anything you see in this show... EVER. You might die." The video in question is of a man lighting fuse-tipped bananas glued to his face on fire, causing the bananas to pop.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: And for a show like Off the Air, that's saying something. The first few episodes always opened up on old stock-footage from the 60s, accompanied by a mysterious voice whispering something ominous. By "Body" the stock footage was replaced with a regular clip and the voice spoke much less, and by "Falling" the voice disappeared completely.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: And how. A great example of this is this short from "Robots".
    • "Patterns" got so bad during the last video it actually aired with an epilepsy disclaimer during it's premiere, and was the first ever adult swim show to do so outside of toonami.
    • The version of "Animals" on adult swim's website is notably darker then the version on youtube. It was likely made darker sometime after the episode was uploaded onto youtube to prevent seizures for the flashing lights during the title card.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the disclaimer for "Food", text reading "DON'T TRY" flashes on the screen for a frame at a time. One of the flashes reads "DON'T DIE" instead.
    • Some of the space ghost cameos have him appear in the background for just a few frames.
  • Jump Scare: There's one at the very end of "Nightmares" (as in, right before the credits). It's startling, to say the least.
    • "Animals", "Sound", and arguably "Falling" also contain one each, Animals in particular having one at the very beginning of the episode.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The episode "Color" features the music video for "Datamosh" by Yung Jake, which includes footage from a Justin Bieber music video. The edit shown in the episode replaces Bieber's image with a stock photo of a Bieber-ish teen.
    • "Thom Cruise" and "Emmy Rawsome" in "Work".
  • Mind Screw: The series in general. A few shorts have something of a cohesive plot, though.
  • Once an Episode: Pretty much every episode contains at least one "Datamosh" transition, or where the image of the first clip is applied to the movement of the next clip, similar to getting a low signal on broadcast TV. The only exceptions were "Technology" and "Paradise", both of which were the only episodes that were guest curated rather then edited in-house.
  • Recycled Animation: The #disrupt short from "Trash" was originally a short for Adult Swim's "Smalls" series Note , later reused here. Unlike the other shorts, however, it wasn't uploaded to their Youtube.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: The episode “Fashion” originally started off more serious and cynical, but later bent towards being more humorous, with only the opening keeping the more darker, serious tone. The change also caused this disturbing short Note , intended for the credits, to be cut from the episode as it would have clashed with the humorous tone.
  • Shout-Out: "Shoutout to David O Reily", word for word in "Colors"
  • Something Completely Different: Occasionally, The show will suddenly cut without warning to a different clip.
  • Stock Footage: A good number of shorts is pretty much old footage from documentaries and TV shows.
  • Take That!: In "Coping", a news ticker on a TV reads "America First in deaths, President Tweets Nonsense."
    • In general, a lot of the shorts in Off The Air seem to have anti-consumerism messages in them. A good example being this short in "Earth".


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