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Western Animation / Ruby Gloom

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The Bright Side of the Dark Sidenote 

On the outskirts of Gloomsville rests a mysterious, labyrinthine Victorian mansion upon a hill. Residing within its halls lie all sorts of terrifying creatures, including miserable banshees, energetic cyclops, crafty living skeletons, and foggy-minded two-headed men. And trapped among them is but a young, red-headed girl who each day must bravely contend with their horrifying machinations such as... throwing surprise parties and performing musicals. Wait, she's friends with all of them? On second thought, maybe these monsters aren't so scary.

Originally based on a line of melancholic stationery created by American artist Martin Hsu, and a prime example of the Perky Goth mentality, Ruby Gloom is a Canadian animated program produced by Nelvana for YTV. The series focuses on the adventures of eponymous Ruby Gloom, who lives in the aforementioned mansion alongside her circle of eccentric friends, which alongside the aforementioned spooks, include a know-it-all talking raven, a bat too scared to fly, a prankster ghost, and a living toy named Mr. Buns. Oh, and Ruby's pet cat Doom Kitty.

Ruby Gloom ran for 40 episodes over 2 seasons, airing from 2006 to 2008. While the show never saw much exposure outside of Canada (including a complete absence from American airwaves), it developed a significant cult following for its quirky and likable characters and clever but good-natured sense of humor. The entire series can be watched for free on Nelvana's Treehouse Direct channel.

This show contains examples of:

  • Acrophobic Bat: Scaredy Bat
  • Adapted Out: The original books had a character named Jealousy. She never appears in the cartoon.
  • Advertised Extra: Despite appearing in the opening theme and being treated like a main character, Boo Boo only appeared in thirteen episodes.Which? 
  • All Just a Dream: One episode reveals near the end that most of the episode was just Misery dreaming. Some of the beginning and ending skits feature this as well.
  • Alliterative Family: Misery's family all have names starting with "M".
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The ending theme in the Japanese version is called "Siren" by Nana Kitade, who used the alias "Ruby Gloom" for this single.
  • Always Night: Played with. It feels like it's always nighttime in Gloomsville, but the episode "Sunny Daze" establishes that Misery's presence makes the sky perpetually overcast during the day. When she leaves during that episode, the weather is normal... until it gets too sunny.
  • Ambiguously Human: Ruby. She seems to be the only human in the cast, but maybe she is a living doll or a vampire. We will never know.
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • Misery is always hit by lightning, only to say "ouch" and come back ten seconds later in best shape.
    • Inverted in one episode, where Misery isn't hurt at all—the other characters are getting hurt instead.
    • Ruby gets her own taste of pain in "Disaster Becomes You" when she has Misery's bad luck and in "I'll Be Home for Misery" when Misery's cousin Mayhem gives her a strong handshake. Though the "I'll Be Home for Misery" example turns out to be part of a dream.
    • Iris' exuberance sometimes causes her to crash land when doing things such as jumping or cartwheeling around, after which she'll reassure everyone, "I'm good!"
  • Animated Actors: Some of the wraparound sketches ("Ruby's Blooper Reel") portray the characters as these, although unlike many examples of this trope, their personalities don't seem to change much when out-of-character.
  • Animation Bump: The animation became noticeably smoother looking in the second season.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Possibly Misery and her family.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In "Once in a Blue Luna" despite what kind of world she lives in Misery is adamant that monsters don't exist. Until the end.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Ruby has no qualms with feeding her cat muffins that contain chocolate. Then again, maybe it's already dead.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: Ruby starts a scary story with "It was a light and sunny day."
  • Bait-and-Switch: In "Skull in the Family" after Ma sees Iris and yells "Evil eye!" for a second Iris appears to be offended, but then she starts thinking that "Evil Eye" is supposed to be some kind of staring game.
  • Balloon Belly: In "Broken Records" Iris has one when trying to break the record for eating the most of Gloomsville's stinkiest cheese; gorgonlimburgerazola. It disappears as soon as she gives up.
    • Mr. Buns apparently acquired one when he went on vacation to France and stocked up on the local cuisine.
  • Be Yourself: Of course.
  • Big Fancy House: The main cast all live in one. It's also an Old, Dark House, minus any spookiness.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: In "Hair(less): The Musical", when Skelly T starts talking to Skull Boy about getting him into show business, Skull Boy gets distracted by a loose thread on Skelly T's hat and just hears him saying "blah blah blah".
  • Blank Stare: A prominent Running Gag is this being the go-to response to another character saying something weird, most often Misery or Skullboy, accompanied by a Beat and an audible blink or two for added effect.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Scaredy has the right accent, and he's actually rather smart. So he is possibly a rare non-human example of this trope.
  • Book Ends: In the last scene of the final episode, the cast walk in silhouette the same way they do in the opening theme.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Poe's guesses in the murder mystery game in "Bad Hare Day".
    It's the Professor. N-no, the Cook! No! The Professor's cook!
  • Brick Joke: The punchline of "Missing Buns".
    • Also, that comment about Misery's family having a high lead content in their blood? It's the reason they're able to return from outer space in the episode Out Of This World. Though that time she claimed it was iron rather than lead, which actually makes more sense in both cases.
  • Bubble Pipe: Whoever's playing the role of Detective Danger in the Detective Danger game often has one, along with the usual hat.
  • Butt-Monkey: Misery, and her bad luck.
  • Call-Back:
    • The caves and flytrap forest from "Iris Springs Eternal" reappear in "Misery Loves Company." It also has Misery singing the "Train Wreck" song.
  • Calvinball: The quiz show in "Lucky Me".
  • Captain Ersatz: In an inversion, a lot of people consider Ruby the polar opposite of Mandy.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Centipede's Dilemma: Throughout the second half of "Lucky Me" Ruby asks Skull Boy questions that he answers perfectly without thinking when up to that point he'd had trouble with even the simplest questions after losing his lucky charm. Skull Boy falls apart once this is actually pointed out to him.
    • Ruby does something similar for Venus in "Venus de Gloomsville," encouraging her to just relax and have fun with her writing.
    • In the career day skit, Frank and Len were doing guitar riffs corresponding to different careers, but choked when they got to 'guitar player'.
    • Scaredy was doing surprisingly well as Frank and Len's drummer until Ruby and Skull Boy pointed out how confident and unafraid he was behind the kit, which caused him to become timid and nervous all over again.
  • Cheerful Child: The triplets Myopic, Malice and Misbegotten from "I'll Be Home for Misery", which is odd considering they come from a family of Eeyores.
    • Ruby herself as well.
  • The Chew Toy: Misery's bad luck is Played for Laughs.
  • Companion Cube: Mr. Buns, knitted together by Ruby. Also in "Pet Poepulation", Frank & Len get a pet rock.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Misery, due to her Chew Toy status.
    • A prime example occurs when everyone else gets her bad luck in "Disaster Becomes You", and she organizes a "Disaster Camp" to teach them how to deal with it:
    Scaredy: Um, excuse me, but at Disaster Camp, everything could go horribly awry!
    Misery: You bet it will!
    Poe: If we got to Disaster Camp, we might get caught in a terrible storm?
    Misery: I know.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In Last Train To Gloomsville Scaredy Bat packs everything from crayons to spare keys to basically an entire bedroom!
  • Cutaway Gag: In "The Beat Goes On" when Ruby, Misery and Iris are having "fun" playing musical instruments, Misery compares it to a time when she went to the dentist. The scene then cuts to Misery sitting in a dentist's chair about to get her teeth drilled, with a giant drill.
  • Cute Approaches Camera: Done so by Doom Kitty here.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Intentionally exemplifies this trope. Ruby's friends include a two-headed Frankenstein's Monster, an animate skeleton, a banshee, a cyclops, a black cat, a bat, a ghost, a venus flytrap, a doll and three ravens. Despite being traditionally being monstrous or "dark", all are decidedly not evil, and very friendly, if a bit eccentric.
  • Decade Dissonance: The show takes place in an odd timeline in regard to technology. The gang has an old timey radio and no television, yet Frank and Len have modern musical instruments.
    • And, oddly, their amp seems to be coal powered.
    • Ruby has a portable music player... which is a tiny phonograph that she listens to with earbuds.
  • Defanged Horrors: To the max. The show is full of monsters, people getting injured (albeit comically), and references to death and dying, but it’s downplayed because no one ever actually dies or even really gets hurt.
  • Defensive "What?": In the Cold Open to "Yam Ween" Skull Boy gives one in response to either the rest of the characters' mixed reactions to the Yam and Ween story or him getting emotional about it.
  • Delayed "Oh, Crap!": Frank and Len in "Disaster Becomes You".
    Len: What's up, guys?
    Len: Oh, that's all. Thanks, Frank.
    Frank: No problem. Any time.
  • Dem Bones: Skullboy, and the Skele-tunes.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Skull Boy.
  • Disney Death: Ruby in "Last Train to Gloomsville Part 2".
  • Dissonant Serenity: Iris in both "Sunny Daze" and "Disaster Becomes You."
    Iris: (with a cheery voice and a smile) We're doomed!
  • The Ditz: Frank and Len. Len more so than Frank.
  • Dodgy Toupee: During a brief stint as an ultra-courteous gentleman in "Shaken, Not Scared", Skull Boy dons one of these.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Doom Kitty.
  • Doorstop Baby: Bunny in "Bad Hare Day" is introduced in this fashion. Subverted, as it turns out to be a way for him to case the joint.
  • Dramatic Thunder: When Migraine shouts her catchphrase.
  • Duet of Differences: In "Hair(less): The Musical", when the ever-optimistic Ruby is failing to cheer up the gang despite her efforts, she and the gloomy Misery sing a duet about their differences. Misery wishes she could help out with Ruby's efforts, Ruby reassures her that it's just not for her, and both of them express contentment with their roles.
    Ruby: I don't mind to cheer friends up.
    Misery: And I don't mind being in this rut. I'm the dark...
    Ruby: I'm the dawn...
    Ruby/Misery: After all, it's in our job description.
  • Earthquake Machine: Misery is a living one whenever she jumps up and down on the ground, despite her supposedly low weight.
  • The Eeyore: Misery.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Ruby, Misery, and Iris.
  • Escalating Punchline: Skull Boy, when describing his lucky charm in "Lucky Me":
    Skull Boy: A horseshoe.
    Poe: Well that shouldn't be hard to spot.
    Skull Boy: A seahorse horseshoe.
    Others: Ohhhhhh.
    Skull Boy: For a baby seahorse.
    Others: Ohhhh...
    Skull Boy: A baby miniature seahorse.
    Others: Oh.
    • Ruby and Iris have this exchange in "Broken Records":
    Ruby: How about this one, Iris? The record for balancing cantaloupes.
    Iris: That's easy.
    Ruby: While on a unicycle.
    Iris: No problem.
    Ruby: On a tightrope.
    Ruby: And whistling Mozart.
    Ruby: In a tornado.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first episode gives introductory scenes to most of the cast. The best one may be Misery's, where a few sentences into an already gloomy conversation, she puts the always-optimistic Ruby at a temporary loss for words by describing her own genetic predisposition toward being struck by lightning. Two seconds later, Ruby further establishes her own character by changing the subject and managing to lift her spirits a little anyway.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Whenever the characters dance it's always the same animation looped over and over.
  • Everyone Can See It: It's not stated that everyone can see Ruby has a crush on Skull Boy, but if Frank and Len could figure it out...
    • They were only able to figure it out because they were literally inside Ruby's head. And even then, Frank had to clue Len in on what it meant.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: Boo-Boo's bosses/guardians/mentors/whatever, Mr. White and Mr. Whyte.
  • Fantasy Twist: From "Skull Boys Don't Cry":
    Misery: I used to have imaginary friends too. But they blew up.
  • Friendly Skeleton: Skullboy and The Skeletunes definitely qualify on both counts.
  • Feud Episode: There are two of these; "Broken Records" and "Frank and Len Unplugged".
  • Food Porn: That chocolate cake in "Poe-ranoia".
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: Three episodes use "Ruby's Mailbag" as their opening or closing skits: "Unsung Hero", "Name That Toon", and "Out of this World".
  • Funny Afro: Misery gains one in "Skull Boys Don't Cry" in one of the attempts to fix her tangled hair.
    Misery: Iris... So that conditioner you gave me to straighten my hair didn't work. Although... I do feel like "getting my groove on." Whatever that is.
  • Genki Girl: Iris.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: Misery sings beautifully when asleep, but if she tries to sing when awake, this is usually the result. Iris' attempt at breaking the record for "highest-pitched shriek" in "Broken Records" has the same effect.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: The two appear to Boo Boo in "Shaken, Not Scared" (with one of the Mr. Whites playing the role of the "good" angel), but rather than encouraging him to do good or bad, they tell him to "haunt" and "prank", respectively.
  • Gossip Evolution: The ending skit for "Disaster Becomes You" is based around this.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The episode "Deja Vu, Again".
  • Hair-Raising Hare: What Bunny in "Bad Hare Day" turns out to be. He plays the part of an abandoned Ridiculously Cute Critter with a cold so he can infiltrate the mansion and steal everyone's valuables.
  • Halloweentown: Gloomsville, of course.
  • Handcar Pursuit: "Last Train to Gloomsville Part 2"
  • Happy Rain: In keeping with the show's Perky Goth aesthetic, the sky is perpetually overcast and the characters generally enjoy showers and thunderstorms. When Misery takes a trip and the sun comes out, things go downhill very quickly, and everyone's glad to see Misery (and the bad weather) return.
  • Hardboiled Detective: Skull Boy's "Skull Spade" persona in "Missing Buns".
  • The Hat Makes the Man: "Ruby Cubed"
  • Headbutt of Love: When Ruby and Skull Boy reunite at the end of "Hair(less) the Musical", they touch their foreheads together while holding hands.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: Misery's hiccups can create tornadoes.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Ruby and Iris sing in off-key, off-rhythm shouts that, although still not totally realistic, are not as overdone as some examples of this trope. Misery (while awake) does sing in the top-of-her-lungs, randomly-pitched shrieking wail that exemplifies this trope, but it's justified, as she appears to actually be a banshee.
    • Except in "Hair-Less", when Misery drops the shrieking and sings just fine, awake.
  • How We Got Here
  • Hypno Fool: Len in "Grounded in Gloomsville."
  • Identity Amnesia: Skull Boy gets this via the usual method in "Forget Me Not". Frank and Len get the idea to hit him on the head a second time early on, but it's not until the end of the episode that they finally get around to it, by which time Skull Boy has regained most of his memory on his own.
  • I'm Okay!: Iris says this all the time whenever her boundless energy and recklessness gets the better of her. Also, yet again, Misery's deadpan "Ow"s whenever something happens to her.
  • In Another Man's Shoes: The plot of "Quadra Gloomia": Frank and Len inexplicably end up in each of their friends' heads through repeated head trauma and see life through their eyes.
  • Inanimate Competitor: In one episode, Poe is seen fencing against someone who's just offscreen, their swords clashing together. His opponent turns out to be Mr. Buns, the stuffed rabbit. The second Mr. Buns is onscreen, the sword he was apparently wielding clatters to the floor as he just sits there, by all appearances an inanimate toy.
  • Intellectual Animal: Poe is a subversion of this, being a Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: In "Name That Toon" as Poe is complaining about how his counterpart in Skull Boy's cartoon is an oblivious chatterbox he sits on the piano lid, making it collapse on Misery's hand.
  • Ironic Echo: In "Hair-Less", Ruby sings "Look on the Bright Side" to Skull Boy to cheer him up. At the end of Part 1, Skull Boy sings it to Ruby to try to cheer her up.
  • Ironic Fear: There's a bat who's afraid of heights and the dark.
  • Ironic Name: Ruby Gloom herself. Her last name may be Gloom, but she's the opposite of gloomy. Before the cartoon was made, Ruby really was gloomy. Sort of.
  • It's Been Done: Venus struggles with this during "Venus de Gloomsville."
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: Skull Boy trying to introduce the guys to the Skeletunes in "Skull Boys Don't Cry". The first two times they stay hidden to mess with him as a joke, but they do show up the third time.
  • It Was with You All Along: In "Hair-less" Skull Boy leaves to find where he belongs, only to realise at the end he sees Ruby and all their other friends as his family.
  • Jack of All Trades: Skull Boy
  • Jive Turkey: The Skeletunes. On the various occasions when Ruby and company encounter the lead singer, they're left utterly perplexed.
    • Ruby becomes one of these in "Hair(less) the Musical" after soaking up enough of his lingo to replicate it... somewhat.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Poe
  • Large Ham: Misery - of all people - sometimes fits this trope:
    "I'm also the Queen of disasters, by the way. And the Princess. And the Baroness! And the Countess! And the Viscountess! THE EMPRESS!!"
    "BEWARE!!!...of the cupboard!"
    • As well as some of her relatives: Morose ("Why?! Why?!"), Mayhem ("Hah Hah Hah!") and Migraine ("I'm Queen of the world!")
  • Last-Second Word Swap: This poem from Poe:
    Poe: ...The bats will not harm you, I told them, "Let pass!" The ghouls are a problem, best watch your...
    [Edgar and Allen stop playing and give him a surprised look]
    Poe: ...em... bottom...
  • Late to the Punchline: In "Broken Records" when Iris tells a joke and it bombs, Ruby starts laughing after about a minute, saying she just got it. It's not made clear whether she really was late to the punchline or she was just trying to humor Iris.
  • Left the Background Music On: During Skull Boy's monologue in "Missing Buns".
  • Leitmotif: Enter Misery, cue spooky organ music.
    • Iris has an upbeat trumpet piece, while Poe has a classical strings piece.
  • Lethal Chef: Misery
  • Light Is Not Good: In an episode when Misery goes away the dark clouds covering the sky of their home place instantly disappear; while the main characters are delighted at first then the sun's rays increase the temperature drastically and everyone tries to get Misery home.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: When Skull Boy temporarily moved in with Poe they started acting like a couple on the verge of divorce, complete with Ruby acting like a marriage counselor.
  • Limited Animation: Mocked in "Name That Toon"
  • Limited Wardrobe: Outside of costume changes for a few skits or gags, most of the characters have only one outfit.
  • Literal Metaphor: "Science Fair or Foul" has Misery literally catching lightning in a bottle.
  • Living Toys: Mr. Buns is a strange example. The other characters treat him as if he's alive, and he seems to do things when he's not on-screen... but whenever he's on-screen, he's just a lifeless sock-bunny. In the most extreme case, he's fencing with Poe from just off-screen, only for the sword to drop the moment he's visible in the frame.
    • Many people think that Ruby Gloom herself is, in fact, a Living Doll. This is supported by her hobby of sewing, pure white skin, and the stitches around her eyes. As well as being called "Doll Face" by Skull Boy.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Misery, after a fashion. Though she's incredibly gloomy and pessimistic, most of her instances of happiness and laughter come from being with her friends.
  • Madness Mantra: Whenever Misery's relatives visit, she often ends up repeating "Family visits are always fun!" while giving herself some blunt force trauma to the head.
  • Mad Scientist: Mr. Mummbles sure ACTS like one, except he has a few differences from the stereotype: his project is a funpark, and he seems to be Scottish.
    • Skull Boy adopts this persona when building his robot in "Science Fair or Foul", complete with the usual accent and shouting, "IT'S ALIVE!".
  • The Man in the Moon: The moon is alive. Other than singing the theme song, it has no additional dialogue.
    • Although it did giggle in one episode.
  • Meaningful Name: Misery is generally not the perkiest girl in the world.
  • Mickey Mousing: Uses this up to a point, but it is particularly notable for the character Doom Kitty, whose every movement and action is punctuated by an appropriate violin chord. It's adorable.
  • The Millennium Age of Animation
  • Minimalist Cast: The bulk of episodes generally only feature the main cast. The exceptions usually either become recurring characters in their own right or are related to Misery.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Poe, in "Disaster Becomes You".
    Poe: Ow! A papercut?! A PAPERCUT!! OH, WILL THE PAIN NEVER CEASE??
  • Mirror-Cracking Ugly: Misery has cracked mirrors, as well as other things made of glass, just by looking at them.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: In "Science Fair or Foul" Skull Boy builds a robot dad to help him make a science project. If Skull Boy was able to build a working robot he could have just made that his project.
  • Missing Mom: Ruby may have this. We'll never get to see both her birth parents. For some reason, there is no parent or guardian in the mansion. The closest they have to an adult is Poe.
  • Mistaken for Brooding: In "Gloomer Rumor", Ruby is trying to plan a surprise party, but Frank and Len mistakenly think she's going through the Five Stages of Grief because they think she's dying.
  • Mistaken for Dying: Parodied with Frank and Len in "Gloomer Rumor" when they think Ruby is dying.
  • Mistaken for Insane: In "Doom with a View", Doom is the only one who can see Boo Boo the ghost and tries to point him out to everyone else. They wonder if Doom has lost it or is possibly having a nervous breakdown, so Ruby and Doom have to prove that Boo Boo does exist.
  • Mistaken Species: In "I'll Be Home for Misery" Mayhem thinks Scaredy is a bird.
  • Mockumentary: In "Frank and Len Unplugged", Misery films a rockumentary of the two.
  • Multiple Head Case: Frank and Len.
  • Musical Episode: Hair(less): The Musical. And it's actually pretty friggin' good.
  • My God, You Are Serious!: In "I'll Be Home For Misery," when Misery begins to worry that her relatives' arguments will escalate:
    Misery: You have to help me here, Ruby. These guys have never gotten along.
    Ruby: I'm sure they'll be fine. They're family!
    [Misery starts laughing hysterically and stops when Ruby gives her a Blank Stare]
    Misery: Oh, sorry. I thought you were joking.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted, surprisingly or not. The first episode has multiple instances of the word in a comedic context, as Frank and Len are under the mistaken belief that Ruby is dying.
    • The episode Poe-ranioa has Poe straight-up accuse the new neighbor of murder (which of course is false, but still)
    • The show in general has a lot of death references, from characters hanging out in a graveyard for fun to Skull Boy sleeping in a coffin. It actually becomes a plot point in Uber-Gloom.
  • Night and Day Duo: In "Hair(less): The Musical", Misery and Ruby's Duet of Differences has them calling themselves the dark and the dawn, respectively, representing the former's gloominess and the latter's optimism.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Misery shows this sometimes. Of course, Ruby herself is also a Perky Goth, and all of the main characters are this to some degree living in the scary mansion (except Scaredy Bat)
  • No Antagonist: The closest the show ever came to a bad guy was the thieving rabbit in "Bad Hare Day." There was also a pair of con artists in "Skull in the Family" who falsely presented themselves as Skull Boy's family in hopes of getting a reward and or stealing from them. But they get a Heel–Face Turn at the end of the episode.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: While it was clear that Ruby and Skull Boy had feelings for each other, neither of them acted on them and no other characters had feelings for anyone else. The closest was the episode "Ruby Cubed" where Skull Boy obtained a magic hat that made Iris and Misery fall in love with him (and strangely has no effect at all on Ruby).
  • No Romantic Resolution: Ruby and Skull Boy never admit to their mutual crush.
  • Nonverbal Miscommunication: A Running Gag with Doom Kitty.
  • Noodle Incident: Misery, frequently:
    Misery: The last time I was surprised, that pack of wolves was ruthless...
    • Also, in one episode Skull Boy asks for everyone to give him whatever is in their pockets; Scaredy contributes a plastic flamingo.
      (strange looks)
      Scaredy: (sigh) It was a phase...I'm over it now.
  • The Noseless: Ruby looks like this when not in profile.
  • Not Hyperbole: Misery regarding Malady and Malaise in "Misery Loves Company":
    Misery: My cousins are...cold!
    Ruby: Hey, they'll warm up to us in no time!
    [Later, after the house freezes]
    Ruby: I thought you meant cold figuratively, and not literally.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Misery's bed of nails.
  • Oktoberfest: Uta and Gunther - Much to the disappointment of German fans, who thought Ruby Gloom was above such stereotyping.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Misery's leitmotif.
  • The One Guy: Among Misery's relatives in "I'll Be Home for Misery" the only male is the one with a stitched up mouth.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Boo-Boo
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In "Ruby Cubed" Iris and Misery childishly and kind of cruelly tease Skull Boy about being the romantic male lead. While it's arguable if that's out of character for Iris, it's definitely out of character for Misery.
  • Parental Bonus: Poe quips in "Missing Buns", "If the button fits, you must acquits!" How many kids would get that?
    • In the episode "Ubergloom" a visiting brother and sister have locked themselves in a room to develop their photographs.
      Iris: Yeah, but they've spent the last three hours alone in a dark room. How much fun can that be?
      Misery: Actually, a lot.
      [Everyone reacts]
    • Poe's poem:
      Poe: ...The bats will not harm you, I told them, "Let pass!" The ghouls are a problem, best watch your...
      [Edgar and Allen stop playing and give him a surprised look]
      Poe: ...em... bottom...
    • And in another episode:
      Poe: There once was a crow from Nantucket...
    • One of the episodes was called "Skull Boys Don't Cry."
    • From "Broken Records" at the end of the Telecom Tree scene:
      Skull Boy: Misery, we're having a brainstorm session. My room in ten minutes! (hangs up)
      (Misery, Scaredy, Frank and Len exchange awkward looks)
      Skull Boy: (picks up again) Oh, that goes for the rest of you too.
      Others: Oh.
    • In the episode, "Missing Buns", how Ruby acted towards Skullboy after learning that he was the cause of Mr. Buns' strange disappearance. The music that played during the scene didn't help.
    • In the first episode, Doom Kitty tries to stop Iris from reading Ruby’s diary by pretending to hang herself.
  • People Puppets: Iris does this with Ruby, Skull Boy and Scaredy Bat in the Pulling Strings short, making them dance around. They get their own back by making her a puppet and make her do... nothing. For Iris, this is unbearable.
  • Perky Goth: Ruby fits this trope perfectly, being bright, cheerful and friendly in every situation. The only thing that can get her down is bright colors. The strange thing is that the merchandise on which the show was based kind of gave Ruby a very melancholic feel.
    • Everyone in this show is a Perky Goth to an extent.
  • Pie-Eyed: Done as a throwback in "The Adventures of Skull Boy and Doom" at the beginning of "Disaster Becomes You".
  • Plague of Good Fortune: Every Friday the 13th, everyone in Misery's family has extraordinarily good luck and their normally extraordinarily bad luck is spread to those around them. Misery has so much good luck to make up for that she even gains Fertile Feet.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Three have happened over the course of the show. They include Ruby and Iris in "Broken Records", Skull Boy and Poe in "Gloomates", and Frank and Len in "Frank and Len: Unplugged".
  • The Power of Friendship
  • Present Peeking: In the episode "Happy Yam Ween", Iris is shown to be this kind of kid.
    Iris: I'm just going to look at the presents. I'm not going to open them all up and then rewrap them.
  • Rear Window Investigation: "Poe-ranoia"
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: In the first episode, a rumor gets around that Ruby is dying. By the end, everyone thinks she's dead and is mourning her, while she tries to correct them. All Played for Laughs.
  • Reverse Psychology: Ruby attempts this on Scaredy in "The Beat Goes On". It fails.
    Misery: Well, that was a complete success!
    Iris: What? No it wasn't. It was... Oh!
    • And before that Misery successfully used reverse psychology on Ruby to convince her it was a good idea.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Scaredy Bat and Boo Boo.
    • Subverted with Bunny in "Bad Hare Day".
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: Poe in "Time Flies."
  • Roommate Drama: The episode "Gloomates" revolves around Skull Boy moving in with Poe after his room is accidentally destroyed by Iris. Things are fine at first, until Skull Boy finds a book that inspires him to adopt The Slacker personality, which annoys Poe and the two engage in a fight. It takes Ruby talking to both of them one-on-one (even if she just used the same speech for both) for them to reconcile with each other.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Misery and Malady both get attacked by bees and, despite the swelling, don't seem too bothered.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Despite appearing in the intro, Scaredy Bat isn't properly introduced until the second episode, "Grounded in Gloomsville".
  • Secret Santa: The gang does this in "Happy Yam Ween". It's implied that through Contrived Coincidence Frank and Len happen to pick each other every year.
  • Series Continuity Error: In "Forget Me Not" when Skull Boy regains his memory, among the clips from past episodes is one of the ruined Gloomsville World's Fairs from "Deja Vu Again" even though he shouldn't remember that.
  • Ship Tease: Ruby and Skullboy.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: In "Gloomer Rumor" when Frank tries explaining the first stage of dying to Len.
    Frank: Say your amp's not working. What's the first thing you do?
    Len: My amp's not busted.
    Frank: Exactly. You deny it.
    Len: I'm telling you, it's not busted!
    Frank: That's denial.
    Len: Hey! Did you bust my amp?
  • Silent Snarker: Doom Kitty. She is mute, so she communicates through charades.
  • Silly Walk: In "Hair(less): The Musical", while singing "I Tried to Fit In", Skull Boy does an exaggerated walk where he's leaning back while taking large steps, at one point pausing to lean forward on one foot while holding the other behind him and to the side before sweeping it around in a wide circle to the front, shifting his weight toward the back again to resume the gait.
  • Spoof Aesop: From "Shaken not Scared": Pranking is bad, but haunting is okay.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Poe-ranoia" when Poe comes up with a name for the mysterious new neighbor it just happens to be his real name; Mr. Mummbles. Though for all we know Poe could have been one M off.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: In one of the pre-show shorts called "Whilst," where Poe dreams he's a slam poet. One part of his poem goes:
    Poe: The bats will not harm you,
    I told them, "Let pass!!"
    The ghouls are a problem;
    Best watch your....
  • Suddenly Shouting: Misery and Scaredy Bat have a tendency to do this when panicking.
    • "Iris Springs Eternal":
    Misery: Oops. I think I pressed the thingamaWARNING!!
    • "Tooth Or Dare":
    Scaredy: (clears throat) Um, a strange winged creature sneaks into one's room under the cover of darkness to steal one's teeth...
    • "Out Of This World":
    Scaredy: Oh, thank you Skullboy. You know, I am glad you cleared up that nagging baking soda issue. But, you know, one question: WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW!?
  • Tap on the Head: In "Quadrogloomia" and "Forget Me Not".
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In "Disaster Becomes You", everyone has this reaction in response to Misery conscripting them into "Disaster Camp":
    Poe: Oh dear.
    Scaredy: Oh my.
    Skullboy: Uh-oh.
    [Everyone stares at Iris]
  • Three Shorts: Actually uses an unusual format, where one full-length episode is framed by two super-short segments.
  • Toothy Bird: Poe, Edgar and Allen
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Mr. Mummbles, Scaredy, Poe…even Skull Boy gets in on the act at one point.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Much to his horror, Boo Boo gets sent to group therapy in "Shaken, Not Scared" in order to overcome his addiction to pranking. His fellow attendees include a troll who doesn't want to live under bridges, and a Headless Horseman who'd rather use his pumpkin cranium as a basketball.
  • Troperiffic: Misery, as evidenced by this page.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: All shown members of Misery's family are just her design with a few changes.
  • Understatement: Skullboy in "Last Train To Gloomsville" Part 1:
  • The Unsmile: Misery, though she does occasionally smile and laugh sincerely.
  • Vague Age: It is unclear how old Doom Kitty is.
  • Vine Swing: Misery's cavewoman relative Mayhem travels this way, complete with a Tarzan-like call.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Misery, obviously. And everyone on her mother's side of the family.
  • Wandering Minstrel: In "Ruby Cubed" Frank and Len play this part, commenting on everything they're seeing in rhyme.
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: Edgar and Allen in "Poe-ranoia."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In "Last Train to Gloomsville: Part 1" the engineer falls off the train. We never find out what became of him.
    • In "Yam Ween" we see Iris got Misery's name in the draw, but we don't see what she got her.
  • With Catlike Tread: Iris in "Yam Ween" when attempting to peek at the presents and seeing the chime she thought she broke was still broken.
    "AHH! I mean... Ahh... IT'S STILL BROKEN!"
  • Wraparound Background:
    • Parodically lampshaded during the episode "Name that Toon". As Skull Boy leads Scaredy Bat past the backdrop sheets of his cartoon, he says he'll try to avoid Repeat Pans, another name for this trope, and Scaredy Bat agrees that they invariably look cheesy. This entire sequence is shot in front of a Wraparound Background, made particularly obvious as the same two distinctive backdrop sheets are repeated over and over.
    • Lampshaded again in "Last Train to Gloomsville" when Frank and Len admire the scenery outside the train. "Cool house! Nice boulder! Cool rickshaw! Cool house! Nice boulder!...Rickshaw..."
      Frank: Does anything about this seem strange to you?
      Len: No.
      Frank: Me neither.
  • Write Who You Know: Occurs in-universe in "Name That Toon", where Skull Boy makes all the characters in his animated film blatant stand-ins for everyone in the mansion, including himself as an Author Avatar. He also wants everybody to voice their animated counterparts, but ends up with awkward situations like Misery wanting to voice the Captain Ersatz of Iris and vice-versa.
  • You Mean "Xmas": Instead of Christmas (or Halloween) they celebrate Yam Ween.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Just as every member of Misery's family has tears permanently running down their face, Mildew and Morose's makeup is permanently running.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: In one episode Misery thinks she got a cold from a sick bunny and starts experiencing very real symptoms. Once she learns the bunny never had a cold her symptoms immediately vanish.


Misery counts sheep

Ruby tries to help Misery sleep by having her count sheep. This being Misery, it quickly takes a dark turn.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / CountingSheep

Media sources: