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, 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.
The show ran for 40 episodes over three seasons, airing from 2006 to 2008. The entire series can be watched for free here.
This show contains examples of:
- Absentee Actor:
- There are several episodes where one of the main characters is absent without explanation.
- Scaredy Bat is mysteriously absent in the episode where Boo-Boo needs to scare someone to become a full-fledged ghost, because of course if he was there the story would be over in a few minutes.
- It's implied Frank and Len's absence in "Time Flies" is because they went shopping for guitar picks.
- Often, a character who is absent from the main story of an episode will appear in one of the skits before and after that episode.
- 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 about ten episodes.
- 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.
- 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 allthe 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.
- Bee Afraid: Misery and Malady both get attacked by bees and, despite the swelling, don't seem too bothered.
- Big Fancy House: The main cast all live in one. It's also an Old, Dark House, minus any spookiness.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Catch-Phrase: Ruby has "Look on the bright side" and to a lesser extent "I hate to say this, but..."
- Up to Eleven in "Hair(less) The Musical", there's a whole musical number dedicated to this catchphrase and it's repeated several times. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Xp6l7TK8rE
- Iris has "I'm good."
- Misery has "Ow."
- Mad Libs Catchphrase: Skull Boy has "I think I might come from a long line of _________s"
- 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
- Companion Cube: Mr. Buns
- Conditioned to Accept Horror: Misery, due to her Chew Toy status.
Scaredy: Um, excuse me, but at Disaster Camp, everything could go horribly awry!Poe: If we got to Disaster Camp, we might get caught in a terrible storm?Misery: I know.Iris: Or we could walk across the lawn, trip on nothing, get critically injured, and be rushed to the hospital!Misery:...What's your point?
- 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:
- Cool Pet: Doom Kitty.
- 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.
- 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.Len: Great! So, uh, did you say the house is flooding?[Beat]
- Dem Bones: Skullboy, and the Skele-tunes.
- Depending on the Writer: Misery switches back and forth between hating her bad luck and tolerating it. In "Disaster Becomes You" she even likes it.
- 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.
- 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.
Skull Boy: For a baby seahorse.
Skull Boy: A baby miniature seahorse.
Ruby: How about this one, Iris? The record for balancing cantaloupes.
- Ruby and Iris have this exchange in "Broken Records":
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.
- Feud Episode: There are two of these; "Broken Records" and "Frank and Len Unplugged".
- Five-Man Band:
- Food Porn: That chocolate cake in "Poe-ranoia".
- 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.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- 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.
- 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 episode "Ubergloom" a visiting brother and sister have locked themselves in a room to develop their photographs.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mistaken for Dying/No Longer with Us: Parodied with Frank and Len in "Gloomer Rumor" when they think Ruby is dying.
- 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 everyone is under the mistaken belief that Ruby is dead.
- Nice Hat: Misery's lumberjack hat in "Misery Loves Company".
- The hat Skull Boy finds in "Ruby Cubed" which turns him into a Shakespearean thespian. And Chick Magnet.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Misery could be this sometimes, depending on the writer.
- 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 who falsely presented themselves as Skull Boy's family in hopes of getting a reward and or stealing from them. But they get a FaceHeel 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.
- Also, in one episode Skull Boy asks for everyone to give him whatever is in their pockets; Scaredy contributes a plastic flamingo.
- 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]
- 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.
- 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.
- One We Prepared Earlier
- 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?
- 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."
- 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.
- Ravens named Edgar, Allan and Poe. These names are partially justified when they are revealed to be descended from Paco the pet bird of Poe himself.
- Misery's family, a family of Anthropomorphic Personifications of abstract concepts that all begin with the same letter.
- Len had a both literal and figurative Shout-Out when he quoted Ringo Starr: "I GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!!"
- The Sunlight Sphere.
- The Layabout's Guide to the Universe in Gloommates
- In Skullboys Don't Cry: "First rule of Fright Club is 'We don't talk about Fright Club'."
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare: In "Ruby Cubed" not only are they making a play based on Romeo & Juliet, there are also references to other Shakespeare plays throughout the episode.
- In "Übergloom", Gunther says to Uta, "Look at these photos and tell me. Is it safe?"
- Migrain is a parody of the girl from "Titanic", constantly screaming "I'M QUEEN OF THE WORLD!"...and also she showed up ON the Titanic.
- 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.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Poor Misery.
- Sometimes Iris.
- Slice of Life: Kind of.
- 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 Voiced: Venus, as of "Venus de Gloomsville".
- Suddenly SHOUTING: Misery and Scaredy Bat have a tendency to do this when panicking.
Misery: Oops. I think I pressed the thingamaWARNING!!
- "Iris Springs Eternal":
Scaredy: (clears throat) Um, a strange winged creature sneaks into one's room under the cover of darkness to steal one's teeth...[Beat]Scaredy: AND EVERYONE IS OKAY WITH THIS?!?!
- "Tooth Or Dare":
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!?
- "Out Of This World":
- 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.
- Up to Eleven: In the episode "Out of This World", after they get the house back from orbiting the moon, Frank and Len crank the volume of their music up to eleven. Cue fireworks and an explosion that sends Poe, Frank, and Len into space. And orbiting the moon.
- Vague Age: It is unclear how old Doom Kitty is.
- 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 peak 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.
Frank: Does anything about this seem strange to you?
- 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: 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.