Take the robotic idea of a New York Times Bestselling Children's Book author, add the creative juices of some of the geniuses behind Superjail!, and make it fit for primetime. What you get is Robotomy, a show about two teenage robots, Thrasher (voiced by Patton Oswalt) and Blastus (voiced by John Gemberling) and their attempts to get through high school and robo-teenage life. Taking place on a robot planet called Insanus, the cast of characters include a Sadist Teacher, Mr. Dreadnot (Dana Snyder), a homicidal Spoiled Brat, and a bi-polar Lethal Joke Character, Weenus (Michael Sinterniklaas). Something is destroyed every other second, and some of the jokes make you wonder if the series would have been better off on [adult swim].
Only lasted one season of ten eleven minute episodes because of high production costs and a lack of foreign investment to balance it out (no one outside of the United States wanted to even touch it because the show's excessive violence and rude, suggestive humor would subject it to major censorship in other countries). The show now has somewhat of a cult following, and had an unsuccessful Facebook campaign to save the show.
The show did reappear on the short-lived revival of Cartoon Planet between 2012 and 2013 and the entire series was on Netflix until early 2015. On Janaury 9, 2015, the series premiered on the Canadian version of Cartoon Network (not Teletoon; a Cartoon Network feed that's available in Canada).
This show provides examples of:
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council: At the beginning of "El Presidente": "I'm starting to think that giving a student body president unchecked power is a bad idea!"
- Always Save the Girl: In the episode "Bling Thing" Thrasher and Blastus go to Maimy and she is getting attacked by a giant robot that Thrasher tamed, but when losing control of the beast it kills Megawatt.
- Alpha Bitch: Maimy. One of the most popular girls in school and just as violent and hot-tempered as every other robot. She also has an on-and-off relationship with Rich Bastard Megawatt, sees Thrasher and Blastus as "dorks" for the most part and has taken advantage of Thrasher's crush on her on occasions. In "El Presidente", she even started dating Thrasher when he became student body president, only to reveal that she only did it to become vice president and overthrow him.
- Anyone Can Die: ...But it doesn't matter due to death not being much of a consequence on Insanus.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The short cartoon showing how plants are dangerous showed a tulip ripping a robot child apart, one tree attacking four robots, another tree eating a dog that was urinating on him, and then Gore-Ax adding at the end of the film, "That tree stole a dog's identity and ruined his credit!"
- Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The essential part of the show. On Insanus, violence is the norm and robots with malfunctioning psycho-chips are essentially treated as special-ed kids and are disposed of via rocket into the sun due to not being violent enough by the planet's standards. Blastus painting a picture of his mom and him hugging is treated by his mother as filthy pornography.
- Bears Are Bad News: The credits of the penultimate episode show how the robots establishing a new Insanus on a planet inhabited by Care Bears went. It didn't end well.
- Berserk Button:
- While the Sunshine class is known for not liking violence, don't tell them their performance of Mamma Mia! has been canceled.
- From "El Presidente": Don't take Blastus's pudding cup.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: Blastus, Thrasher and Weenus.
- Bloodless Carnage: The whole show. Keep in mind, though, that they are robots that don't bleed (though they do leak coolant), so it's sorta justified.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: On Insanus, violence towards your fellow robots is basically seen as the norm. It's all an inconvenience at worst due to how Death Is Cheap there.
- Brain Bleach: The class's reaction to Dreadnot doing his stretching exercises while the class takes their No Child Left Benign exams.
- Celebrity Paradox: One of the things on Nana's bucket list is "MAKE OUT WITH LIL' JON", despite Lil' Jon playing Chief Suckerpunch.
- Child Hater: The Tickle-Me-Psycho doll, whose Catchphrase is "I can't stand kids!" as said with the screechy, grating voice of Gilbert Gottfried.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Pretty much all the characters with the exception of Thrasher and Blastus are violent and maim each other in every episode.
- Crapsack World: Planet Insanus. It's a grimy, violent planet where violence towards others is treated as an inconvenience at worst.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Weenus.
- Closer to Earth: Thrasher seems to have a little more sense than his best friend Blastus.
- Combat Tentacles: Frenemy had these.
- Darker and Edgier: This was darker and edgier compared to the other shows airing on Cartoon Network at the time. There's a lot of dark humor surrounding the various robots getting dismembered or maimed, and there's no Gory Discretion Shots or anything. During production, the crew had to constantly be reminded that the show was airing in primetime, and warned them not to go too much into [adult swim] content.
- Death Is Cheap: Almost all the robots, including the main characters, get destroyed constantly... but are fixed or rebuilt with no harm done a few minutes later.
- Death World: Insanus, there is robot death and destruction left and right and the planet itself has frequently been destroyed.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Robots seem to have no qualms about mercilessly destroying each other, which is even encouraged due to death having no lasting effect. All of this is Played for Laughs.
- Deranged Animation: The show's director is the co-creator of Superjail! (Christy Karacas), so expect a lot of excessive violence and chaotic sequences that make you wonder if drugs, manic depression, a bad case of attention-deficit disorder, or any combination of the three were involved.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- The Sunshine class are a class of robots with "faulty psycho chips" who "get their own bus" and are exempt from taking standardized tests in school. We don't see any parallels between this and a special-ed class, do you? And it gets worse when Mrs. Crunshine reveals that her mission is to dispose of non-violent robots who burden society with their feelings by shooting them all into the sun.
- The "tonic" note that the janitor gives Thrasher and Blastus so they can be mutilation ball stars is exactly like steroids or any other performance-enhancing drug (though there is no Drugs Are Bad moral to be learned from this, besides a quick one from Tacklebot about how "Real alpha dogs don't need to drink stuff that comes out of a pipe at the playground").
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Apparently, Insanus explodes daily (for one reason or another), to the point that all of the robots merely get on a spaceship and drive to a new one.
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending: In "No Child Left Benign"
- Fat and Skinny: Blastus and Thrasher respectively.
- Happily Married: Thrasher's parents.
- Help Mistaken for Attack: In "Trials of Robocles", the robots are being aided by winged tentacled monsters but the robots just kill them off anyways for looking hideous.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Thrasher and Blastus are very close. Blastus gets jealous when Thrasher and Maimy get together in "El Presidente" and the two apparently share a Friendship Trinket.Blastus: I learned a lot today since I broke into Thrasher's house, had him beaten, brainwashed and then posted a video of it, you only truly hurt the ones you love.
Thrasher: Blastus is right. I think you two just need to admit you belong together. [He takes out one half of a broken heart necklace] Just like me and my buddy. [Blastus arrives with the other half and they connect it together]
- Here We Go Again!: The end of "Frenemy", where after dealing with the titular social network and service, Thrasher and Blastus then try out a dating website. Cut to two days later... and it's implied they go through the same events again on there.
- Hopeless Suitor: Thrasher likes Maimy, but she's uninterested due to being taken by Megawatt. The one time she does show interest in Thrasher, it's to gain his trust so she can betray him for the position of school president.
- Ironic Name: Thrasher and Blastus are not violent or destructive in nature in spite of what their names imply.
- Jerk Jock: Tacklebot, as his name suggests, is a football-themed robot and also a violent bully.
- Love Martyr: Even though Maimy rejects Thrasher and uses weapons on him Thrasher still loves her regardless.
- The Ludovico Technique: After they find Thrasher helping out a plant, his friends and Gore-Ax use this technique to brainwash him into hating plants but since they cannot find the right video (the one they initially used was a Twilight parody that the Gore-Ax called "[the movie] that makes you stupid"), they use one about "talking trains" instead.Thrasher: I'm a steam train and a really useful engine.
- Machine Blood: Coolant is apparently what keeps the bots running. Thrasher and Blastus donate theirs to pay for expensive upgrades in one episode. And in an unusual example relating to other bodily fluids, robots in this show apparently sweat (and cry) nuts and bolts.
- Mind Screwdriver: Word of God is that the show is a metaphor for high school as a battleground.
- Mood-Swinger: Weenus. Justified in that he has a faulty psycho-chip. He was one of the members of the Sunshine Class in "No Child Left Benign," meaning that, by Insanus' standards, he's mentally-challenged.
- My Little Panzer: Tickle Me Psycho. The jingle lampshades this:Oh, Tickle Me Psycho is big and bad
He'll maul your mom and eat your dad
He's not your friend
He's a furry foe
His name is Tickle Me Psycho!
- Practically Different Generations: The teenaged Thrasher and Maimy have a baby sister and a baby brother respectively.
- Punny Name: Maimy is one for "maim" and "Amy".
- Rescue Romance: Thrasher saves Maimy and they have a small moment until the giant monster falls on top of her.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Subverted; the robots act similar to most human teenagers...when they're not destroying each other, getting pummelled into scrap metal, and blowing everything up.
- Robot Hair: Maimy, Megawatt, Mr. Dreadnot and various side and background characters all have "hair".
- Sadist Teacher: Mr. Dreadnot does not live up to his name. He tortures and sometimes destroys his students to make sure they are ultra-violent drones.
- Sickeningly Sweet:
- The song Blastus and Thrasher perform to get out of taking the No Child Left Benign test was so sickeningly sweet, one robot puked oil, another's head exploded, and a third sliced his own head off with an ax to avoid hearing it (everyone else, however, screamed in terror).
- Thrasher's locker, which is filled with bunny drawings and "Thrasher ♥'s Maimy" grafitti.
- Smoke Out: Chief Suckerpunch smokes out after he explains Jockstrap Island but keeps coming back to respond to comments then smoke out again until he only creates a small puff.Suckerpunch : Just great, I ran out of magic smoke!
- Special Guest:
- Episode 1 has Jack McBrayer as Frenemy.
- Episode 3 has Kate McKinnon as Mrs. Crunshine.
- Episode 4 has Gilbert Gottfried as the Tickle Me Psycho dolls.
- Episode 7 has Lewis Black as the Gore-Ax/the Scrap Metal Spirit of Insanus and Lisa Lampanelli as the Green Spirit of Insanus.
- Episode 8 has Lil Jon as Chief Suckerpunch.
- Stuff Blowing Up: All too frequent.
- Sweetie Graffiti: Thrasher's locker.
- Take That!: "Frenemy" is a merciless parody of Facebook, Twitter, and social networking sites in general.
- On "No Child Left Benign," Blastus tells Thrasher that books are dangerous because his grandmother died from reading. The book she read before she died was about teenaged vampires.
- The Twilight Take Thats continue in another episode, where Thrasher is forced to watch a movie that shows the danger of plants. Instead, we get a robot version of Twilight and this line:Gore-Ax: No, no, no, no. This isn't the movie that makes you hate plants; it's the one that makes you stupid!
- Thrasher is forced to watch a video about talking trains. It ends up getting Thrasher thrown into a mental asylum.
- Temporal Paradox: Occurs in the first episode. Thrasher and Blastus end up having to destroy their past selves in order to protect the "space-time contagion".
- The Teaser: Even though an average episode is only 10 to 11 minutes long, this show does have cold openings.
- This Is Wrong on So Many Levels!: A variant on "No Child Left Benign": After Blastus vomits up the books he stuffs in his mouth and eats his own puke, Thrasher says, "Well, this is all kinds of wrong."
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In "No Child Left Benign", Blastus tries cheating on the titular test by consuming the textbooks, only to vomit it and then he tries to eat his vomit.
- World of Jerkass: The inhabitants of Planet Insanus are self-centered at best and sociopaths at worst. Though it makes sense since in Planet Insanus culture, robots are actively encouraged to be Ax-Crazy jerkasses. Any robot that is peaceful and kind is treated as clinically insane and ostracized, if not outright exterminated, as the episode "No Child Left Benign" establishes.