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Western Animation / Right Now Kapow

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What happens when Warner Bros. and Disney collaborate on a cartoon.

Right Now Kapow is an animated series created by Justin Becker and Marly Halpern-Graser for Warner Bros. that premiered on Disney XD on September 19, 2016. The show is a Sketch Comedy where virtually all of the major characters in each sketch are played by one of six "cast members": Dog, Candy, Ice Cream, Diamond, Plant, and Moon. Each 11 minute segment has three sketches at the beginning, middle, and end that act as part of a larger single sketch, with other, shorter sketches sandwiched in-between.

It was cancelled after one season consisting of 26 episodes.

Right Now Kapow provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Autocannibalism:
    • The Sphinx. It isn't out of insanity, it was the price of having the riddle answered correctly. Had the people she posed the riddle to gotten it wrong, she'd have devoured them instead.
    • The homework eating robo-dog once he finds out he's homework as well.
  • Black Comedy Burst: A lot of sketches employ this to conclude a sketch already built on absurdity, sometimes to the point of being Surreal Horror played for laughs.
  • Body Snatcher: One sketch has a parody of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where Plant and Ice Cream are confronted by his screeching doppelganger, who is green save for his cone. Plant can't tell them apart, and it devolves into Plant trying to convince Ice Cream he tends to sound like a screeching alien, which he denies, completely ignoring the alien. Then a Plant doppelganger shows up, and is confused between the two Ice Creams.
  • Butt-Monkey: Any sketch involving Dog is bound to have him get the short end of the stick, have him fail at what he's trying to accomplish, or get injured, if not all three. Exaggerated in "Radical Mutants" where not only is Dog in constant pain from his skin being extremely sticky, but the ending of said episode reveals that he's a pile of trash that came to life, and he becomes inanimate again after the hospital treats his mutated condition.
  • Camera Abuse: One transition ends with the screen shattering after Dog slams into the camera.
  • Children Are Innocent: Subverted. In one sketch, Earth gets attacked by various monsters including a group of clones with a Hive Mind, giant ants and aliens. Because Candy is a firm believer in this trope, she recruits a child to deal with each respective problem. To deal with the aliens, she recruits Plant, who attempts to negotiate with them. After being bribed and given a blaster, she joins the aliens in their attempted conquest. To deal with ants, Candy recruits Dog, who suggests burning them alive with a magnifying glass. Candy blasts him with a ray to make him slightly bigger and he does indeed burn all of the ants alive... along with everyone else. In the final part of the sketch, Candy claims that a small child told her that the clones (who are also children) were just misunderstood and not evil. The child turns out to be one of the clones and promptly vaporizes Candy with an eye beam.
  • Counting Sheep: Invoked. In one skit, Ice Cream is a farmer who, when counting his sheep herd to make sure he hasn't lost any, goes through an elaborate routine to make himself as alert as possible lest he falls victim to this trope. He barely makes it to ten before zonking out.
  • Cringe Comedy: In one skit, Ice Cream as a criminal quickly delves into this after he is caught by cops Dog and Candy, with him acting like a spoiled toddler to the point they agree to let him ride in the front seat of the squad car, let him go, take him out for milkshakes, and let him keep what he wanted to steal just to get out of the situation.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Every sketch in the show is this to whatever setting the cast are in.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: A running sketch in one episode is about an R&B couple (Moon and Plant) singing a romantic song, only for Moon to get in trouble with Plant for completely misremembering how they met. When he attempts to win her back by learning everything he can about her, he accidentally reveals to the public that she's an international art thief under a false name. And even after they eventually reconcile because Moon proposes to her, they are repeatedly booed by the audience because they keep getting the location of the concert wrong, to the point of wrongly guessing they're in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Dirty Coward: One sketch has Ice Cream running a dojo that teaches such self-defense techniques as pleading for your assailant not to hurt you, showing off pictures of your wife and children to discourage a choke hold, throwing the nearest bystander including your wife and children at an assailant, and ultimately using Inelegant Blubbering to avoid confrontation.
  • Dark Reprise: "The Truth In a Dare" gets one. The sketch features two little girls achieving greatness while singing an inspirational song, only for their friend to do the exact same thing and become a dictator who takes over the entire world. The dark reprise, playing while the credits roll, features the third little girl singing about how great it is to be a ruthless dictator who controls everything.
  • Dead Pet Sketch: In one sketch, Dog lets a goldfish die while in his care and says that he needs to find a replacement that looks exactly the same. As it turns out he was talking about himself, and leaves a duplicate of himself to take over his life.
  • Epic Fail: Dog and Diamond's skydiving excursion somehow ends with them missing the Earth entirely (twice) and falling into space.
  • End-of-Series Awareness: The last line of the series, in the stinger, is Ice Cream saying "Aaand we're cancelled."
  • Enfant Terrible: In one sketch, Plant plays a school bus driver while her grade school-aged passengers sing "The Wheels On the Bus." The bus suddenly breaks down and the children sing "and we don't have to go to school." Plant tries to call dispatch only for the children to repeat the line with visibly angry faces. She asks if they had something to do with the bus breaking down. They respond by approaching her and singing "The driver on the bus will ask no questions, ask no questions, ask no questions. The driver on the bus will ask no questions" by this time they've all surrounded her seat and they look just plain evil, which makes Plant finish the rest of the song with "and you don't have to go to school."
  • Follow the Bouncing Ball: Attempted by the child protagonists of "Flat Basketball Song", who try to sing about their basketball going flat. The problem is that the bouncing ball is said flat basketball, which naturally doesn't bounce and gets stuck on the first note. The kids dutifully sing the single note for as long as possible before passing out from asphyxiation.
  • Gainax Ending: The ending of the final episode, which concludes with a prank school sketch. At the graduation ceremony, the headmistress (Candy) reveals that the school wasn't real and the building was a cardboard cutout, then everyone present spontaneously turns into a cardboard cutout themselves, followed by the gates to the school, followed by the show itself.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The show features a cast of six that's equal parts man (Dog, Ice Cream and Moon) and woman (Diamond, Plant and Candy).
  • Gingerbread House: Deconstructed in one sketch, which points out the sanitary and structural issues that would occur with the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel. In response, the witch (Diamond) builds the duo (Dog and Plant) a normal house, but when they complain that it's not edible she makes them a house that's a mix of both.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Candy, by virtue of the wrapper that is her hair.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Near the end of "Five Second Rule", we get a close-up of Plant's now disgusting pizza.
  • Hourglass Plot:
    • "Order Number Nine" has Candy working at a restaurant, where she gets an order for a chicken sandwich. Plant is the only customer there, but when Candy tries to call Plant's number, the latter doesn't respond, so Plant sits there for over a day until Candy realizes the number isn't a 9 but a 6. Of course by then the sandwich has long gone cold, and when Plant tries to get Candy's attention, the latter doesn't notice her over the sound of her MP3 player.
    • At the beginning of "Ponce de Leon", Moon starts off as a man with a baby hand, which he explains is because he stuck his hand in the Fountain of Youth and turned only his hand young. At the end of the skit, he's now a baby with a man hand because his other hand was the only part of him that he didn't get wet.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Used in a deconstruction of the "kid is given ultimate power and uses it to fight evil" cliche. When Diamond's ship crashes on the child's (Moon's) doorstep and talks about the orb of power that her enemy is after, the kid insists on getting an adult and mentions that it certainly isn't something a kid should have. She keeps stopping him, telling Moon that he's the only person she can trust and that adults are untrustworth.. In response, Moon starts naming the trustworthy adults he knows. Diamond gives him the orb anyhow and it turns into a high tech mecha-suit. He accidentally vaporizes Diamond with it, lending credence to his point that it isn't something a kid should have. When the villain arrives, Moon gives him the orb (which had become the center of the suit), only to be intercepted by a dog who catches it and gains its power. The villain decides to fight the dog instead.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: The show's opening sequence is a moderate tempo instrumental with no words. A shortened version plays when the show comes back from commercial break, and a slower version is used for the end credits (though it's sometimes replaced with different songs that can have lyrics).
  • Irony: One sketch involves Dog saying he hates the blues and complaining about the things he dislikes about it. A passing blues musician (Ice Cream) adds music to Dog's words, thus turning Ice Cream into a famous blues musician. It's extra ironic that one of Dog's complaints against blues music is that it's an entire genre based on complaining.
    • Another sketch features Dracula going to the blood bank to give blood. The volunteer in charge of collecting the blood remarks on how suspiciously ironic that scenario is.
  • Jackass Genie: In one sketch, Diamond plays an unpopular girl who finds a lamp in a trash can. She wishes for a jacket like the one a popular girl wears. The genie uses his magic to steal one, and Hilarity Ensues from there. Turns into Villain Has a Point when Diamond wishes to know all the answers to a test rather than cheat.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: One sketch involves the group getting shipwrecked, and one of the survivors (Moon) constantly causes problems for those who managed to survive with him. He keeps throwing things they need into the water, complaining about an ex-girlfriend, and trying to guilt trip the others into giving him their scant amount of supplies. He will only do anything useful if bribed (and even then, he will only cause bigger problems), and even tries to guilt trip the others into staying stranded on the island with him when the coast guard (his ex) arrives. Finally, Plant just socks him in the face.
  • Lima Syndrome: One sketch has a bank robber (Ice Cream) who tries to befriend two of the hostages.
  • Minimalist Cast: Due to the Sketch Comedy nature of the show, the main six always fill any speaking roles called for the latest sketch. On the rare occasions that non-speaking roles are required (such as in a crowd shot), the roles are filled by background extras.
  • Nails on a Chalkboard: One sketch parodies the Film/Jaws town meeting scene, exaggerating the trope so that everyone scratches a nearby chalkboard with their fingernails to say anything, eventually doing it just because it's fun to do. After getting nowhere with the shark issue, the Mayor moves on to the next subject of discussion: replacing all the chalkboards with whiteboards. The notion is unanimously denied.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Due to being a sketch show, there's no overarching plot, just sketches that feature a variety of characters, locations, and situations.
  • Overly Preprepared Gag: Some of the sketches, like the one with the crash test dummies, are just one long set-up to a punchline.
  • Riddle of the Sphinx: One sketch is centered around this. Each time the riddle is posed, the characters only get the question right due to a technicality (such as claiming that the answer to the famous "what has four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening" riddle is their friend Dave, which is technically correct since Dave is a human being).
  • Rule of Glamorous: Averted and deconstructed. One sketch involves a king who commissioned a palace made entirely of gold. The woman who built the palace demands pay, only for the king to respond that he has no money because he used it all to make the palace. She promptly takes a piece of the palace and leaves. Then it turns out that the king hasn't paid ANYONE in the village because of this commission, and they all take pieces too. In the end, he's left with nothing.
  • Short-Runner: The show ran for only one season before being unceremoniously cancelled.
  • Sketch Comedy: A rare animated example, featuring six "cast members" who act out various sketches per episode.
  • Smell Phone: In one segment, a football coach suffers from terrible breath. The team asks him to eat a mint, which only makes it smell like "hot, winter-green garbage." Grossed out, the team makes him go all the way to the other side of the field while he gives instructions through the quarterback's wireless headset, only for his breath to wind up being transmitted through the headset and choke the quarterback. The team desperately tries to get the quarterback's helmet off, only for them and the other team to get knocked out by the coach's pungent breath.
  • The Stinger: A soundbite from the episode plays over the WB logo.
  • Time Machine: In one sketch, a genius inventor (Ice Cream) spends so much time working on a time machine that his wife (Plant) leaves him. Rather than going back in time to prevent himself from ever building it, he goes further back to prevent himself from marrying Plant by kicking his past self's engagement ring out of his hand.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The entire premise of "The Bulkbodies" is a scrawny wimp marrying into a family of bodybuilders.
  • Toilet Humor: The "Deborah Hammond Butt Snail" sketch, which features a snail that is made entirely of butts.
  • Transformation Sequence: Exaggerated in one sketch where Candy goes through one and puts on a Sailor Moon-style outfit, adds wings, then puts on a suit of Powered Armor, which disappears when she puts on a princess outfit.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: If it wasn't clear from the page image, the cast is one. Best illustrated by the opening sequence, which depicts them as heads flying around, landing on different bodies and acting out different roles.
  • Warts and All: In the R&B sketch, AJ makes it clear that he does not mind the fact that Alicia is an art thief. In fact, he says he loves that about her and even proposes to her at the end of the sketch.
  • Youthful Freckles: Candy has multicolored freckles that, along with her Girlish Pigtails, makes her look like a young person.