Their spaceship broke and they fell into this place
They've gotta get out but they don't know how
So they're waitin' and waitin' in a creepy, creepy house..."
Space Goofs (Les Zinzins de l'espace in French, and originally Home to Rent in Britain) is a French animated series produced by Gaumont Film Company, Gunther-Waul Productions and Xilam for France 3 that first aired in 1997.
It tells the story of five aliens; the intelligent Etno, couch potato Bud, clean freak Candy, gluttonous Gorgious, and two-headed Stereo, who have crashed on Earth and have taken residence in the attic of an old house. Their main tasks are to chase away anybody who takes residence in the old house and try to get back home.
Most might remember this played on Fox Kids during the late 90's; as such, it was part of the first batch of programming seen on the newly-formed Fox Family Channel. The show's main theme was written and performed by Iggy Pop, of all people.
The series was renewed for a second season that premiered on May 20, 2005, and it also aired on Nicktoons in the UK under the show's official English title in November of that year. Stereo was also Put on a Bus in this season (save for two episodes), and their existence was retconned. The show ended with 104 episodes on May 12, 2006.
Stupid Invaders, a video game based on the series was released in 2000.
Lalalala, lalalalala, we like monster tropes!
- Aliens Speaking English: The aliens have no problem talking to humans, even when they're not disguising themselves.
- All Just a Dream: "Rip Van Etno" is revealed at the end to be Etno's dream.
- Amusing Alien: The premise of the show - watch five silly aliens get into all sorts of hijinks on Earth.
- Art Evolution: Between the first season in 1997 and the second in 2005, the increase in quality is really obvious. The main cast were given slight redesigns to appear somewhat more rounded, and human designs were overhauled entirely to better match the updated visuals. They did reuse characters from the first season as background characters, some were given a different voice and personality. (For example, the bespectacled wart-ridden British-accented TV gardening show host became a professional-sounding news anchorman.)
- Additionally, the animation for season 1 changed within production. The earlier episodes are much more loose and "cartoony" and have a similar style to Bob Clampett, whereas by the second half, the animation becomes a bit tighter.
- The Artifact: The show's Expository Theme Tune still retains the "Five little monsters were riding through space..." part in the Season 2 intro even though Stereo no longer appears in the show, to the point that he's not even in the intro where they're shown crashing into Earth.
- Bad Future: The future in "Rip Van Etno" is this. Candy, Gorgious and Stereo are all dead, cockroaches have become the dominant species and humans have regressed to cockroach-like lifeforms. Bud and Etno are forced to be the golf caddies for a group of angry cockroach men.
- Big Eater/Extreme Omnivore: Gorgious. Candy's flower from "Flora and Feast" had an appetite that outdid Gorgious, even eating the house and part of the screen.
- Bittersweet Ending: The ending to Stupid Invaders: The aliens finally get to go home, but all life on Earth is destroyed via the planet exploding. Oh, and Candy doesn't get the sex change operation.
- Bowdlerise: While the Latin American Spanish dub for season 2 reverted Candy's gender back from female to male, the dub also went out of its way to remove most, if not all, of Candy's Camp Gay moments. This is particularly noticeable in the episode "Other World Champs", where Candy's initial fear, followed by intrigue of showering with "big, sweaty thugs", as well as him flirting with the basketball team's manager, and his comment near the end of the episode of how he's "always been attracted to bad guys" are all cut from the Latin American Spanish dub of the episode.
- Butt-Monkey: Poor Candy! If you count Bud, Gorgious, and Stereo as well, Etno might be the only character who isn't a Butt Monkey.
- The Cameo: In the episode where Etno becomes a Phony Psychic, the antagonists from the video game make an appearance in the line to get their reading.
- The show also isn't shy about characters from Xilam's other shows getting cameos. A show that Bud watches on TV in an episode is clearly Oggy and the Cockroaches, right down to using the theme music, and Joey, Marky and Dee-Dee make a quick cameo at the start of "Space Sailors". Bud also briefly transforms into Razmo from Ratz near the start of "Buffalo Blues".
- Christmas Episode: "Holiday Heave Ho" is set on Christmas Eve.
- Contrived Coincidence: In the second season, whenever they needed Stereo in the plot, he would happen to crash-land back on Earth again.
- Darker and Edgier: The Stupid Invaders game produced by Ubisoft is noticeably a lot more serious on top of being Ruder and Cruder compared to the show it was based on, despite still retaining its wackiness. The five aliens are constantly hunted by an assassin hired by an Area 52 Mad Scientist that wants to dissect them for his twisted experiments. There's also numerous ways to die in the game as well.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: At the start of "Buffalo Blues", Candy describes a sudden protrusion on some sheets that he's hung up as "big, throbbing and wet". He thinks it's Gorgious, blowing his nose on the sheets in question, but it's quickly revealed to be a buffalo instead, kickstarting the episode's plot.
- Don't Try This at Home: In the Christmas Episode, the aliens are trying to drive Santa Claus away. He tries to slide down the chimney but they shock him with electricity. Before they do, they all (including Santa) urge the viewer not to try this at home.
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Several episodes end with this, especially during season 1. Examples include "Short Changed", "Maybe Baby", "Rebel Without a Brain", "Neighborhood Watch", and "Party Time in Hell", among others.
- Exposed Extraterrestrials: None of the aliens wear any clothes unless they are wearing a disguise. Candy wears an apron, but that's about it.
- Expository Theme Tune: By none other than Iggy Pop. It's titled "Monster Men".
- Theme Tune Extended: There's an extended version of "Monster Men" that runs just under four minutes.
- Failure Is the Only Option: In "Our Ancestors the Humans", the aliens encounter a tax collector who threatens to take the house's furniture, saying that they owe 23 years of back taxes. They use Etno's time machine to teleport to certain time periods, only for the tax collector to follow them every time. The episode ends with the tax collectors from all four depicted time periods showing up at the aliens' door, much to their chagrin.
- Similarly, in "Time for a Change", in an attempt to escape their latest tenants (a group of bikers), the aliens (except for Bud) use a time machine to escape to the past. However, they find that the humans in that era are no better than the ones in the present, so they end up traveling back to their own era. The episode ends with them looking out the window in despair while the bikers prepare to move in, as they reluctantly sing "No Place Like Home".
- Flanderization: The characters went through this to some degree in season 2. In the French dub, this is especially noticeable with the change of voice actors (except for Gorgious).
- Etno becomes more self-absorbed and manipulative in season 2. In the French dub, he also loses his English accent (due to changing voice actors).
- Bud becomes more dumber and addicted to TV than he was in season 1.
- Candy has gone through this the most, becoming more of an exuberantly moody and panicky Butt-Monkey (compared to season 1, where he tries to keep the peace amongst the group). Also, his effeminate traits are dialed up to the maximum.
- Gorgious mostly remains the same, although his greedy Big Eater behaviors are slightly toned down, depending on the episode writer. He also becomes a bit more of a Jerkass compared to the first season, arguably being more fully aware of his actions.
- Also, in the two episodes he does appear in, Stereo's only character trait seems to be arguing with his other head (a trait established in only a few episodes of season 1).
- Four-Fingered Hands: Because of the characters being aliens. Even lampshaded in the school episode:Teacher: How much is 5+5?
(Candy is nervous)
Random Girl: Use your fingers.
Candy: Hmmmm. EIGHT!
- Also lampshaded near the end of the episode "Don't Monkey With Me!", where all of the aliens, sans Gorgious, panic and freak out over humans potentially touching them with their five-fingered hands.
- Hairy Girl: In "Bollywood Aliens" an Indian woman stays in the house and in one scene she can be seen shaving her legs in the bath.
- Have a Gay Old Time: Poopy The Bear's catchy little ditty.
- Heart Beats out of Chest: Happens to Bud after falling in love with the broken-up lady from the episode "First Love".
- High-Pressure Emotion: Including having set up during the moment Candy becomes Driven to Madness from "Bats in the Belfry.
- Humans Are Bastards: Just about every human that comes to the house is either stupid, a jerk or both. Not that the aliens are much better.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Candy often does this whenever he's upset, especially during season 2. In "The Thing from Beyond", he dissolves into less than a minute of this when the aliens get lost in the woods.
- Kubrick Stare: "The Flyling" has Stereo, Candy, Gorgious and Etno pull off these twice: the first time is when Bud struggles to turn off his TV, and the second time occurs when they see Bud and his fly friend (who had been causing trouble for them) breaking down in tears when the fly has to leave.
- The Last Straw:
- In "Bats in the Belfry", Candy snaps after being bullied enough by bats. When he chases them away, he chews out the other aliens as well. This moment also counts as a Berserk Button, Unstoppable Rage or a Driven to Madness example.
- In "Buy Now, Pay Later", Etno snaps near the end of the episode, after constantly paying the salesman to get rid of several pests in the house.
- From the Prison Episode, the aliens attempt to get out of the prison built around their house. One attempt involves the aliens making a bridge. When Ernie comes, he is holding an anvil, which is enough for the alien-bridge to collapse and fall.
- Market-Based Title: The 1997 season was retitled Home to Rent in the UK. When the show was revived and aired on Nicktoons, they retained the original title.
- Multi-Part Episode: The episodes "Once Upon a Time" and "Toon In, Drop Out" are split into two parts.
- Negative Continuity: Not much seems to stick with this shows in terms of what continues or not. Several episodes end with the aliens house being severely trashed or destroyed while other episodes end with the aliens being permanently changed into a different form like gnomes or vampire dust only to be inexplicably fine in the next episode. Then there is the issue with Stereo, who was with the other aliens in season one but his involvement was retconned and only makes two appearances in season 2.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- A bat talks like John Travolta.
- When a rock band invades their house, Etno disguises as Slick Stagger.
- No OSHA Compliance: The video game adaptation features very few stairs and ledges that have actual railings. Most notable is the second act, which takes place in a huge factory and has plenty of unsecured platforms over huge drops.
- No Shirt, Long Jacket: Bud's biker disguise from the episode "First Love". Here he wears shorts, a green hat and a black small jacket, but no shirt.
- Non-Standard Character Design: The episode "Doodle" features a boy in a different art style. Considering he was drawn by someone else In-Universe, it's Justified.
- Now Which One Was That Voice?: The show uses a combination of a list of names (season 1) and listing the main characters to their actor (season 2). Any and all one-off characters that appear are simply uncredited for their role.
- The video game, Stupid Invaders, zig-zags around this trope, as the in-game credits is a simple list of names, but the credits in the instruction manual lists most of the main characters roles with their actor, with the exception of Stereo, who is strangely uncredited, despite Jeff Bennett being credited for Bud.
- Precision F-Strike: At the end of "Doodle", Gorgious flat-out says, "This is such a retarded idea!" after getting roped into cheering up Bud.
- Also, in "Time for a Change", when Bud tries to warn his friends that using a time machine to escape tenants will "juggle the eggs of fate", they all just laugh at him, with Gorgious adding, "That Bud always says the funniest crap in his sleep!"
- In "Once Upon a Time", Candy exclaims "Intergalactic damnation!" in response to learning that the group has landed on the human-populated Earth. Not long after, Etno refers to Earth as a "God-forsaken planet".
- Put on a Bus: Stereo in the second season, although he then came back in 2 episodes.
- Retcon: The opening for the second season shows the aliens crashlanding sans Stereo, even though he comes back in other episodes.
- Running Gag: When one or more of the main characters use the transforming machine to become humans or whatever, they always pass three different forms before the final transformation—with the third usually being something outrageously over-the-top. In an episode they remain aliens, but Candy becomes huge and muscular with the others looking in awe, in another, Gorgious becomes an egg laid by a chicken who came out of nowhere, in another, the whole group becomes a color coded set of vacuum cleaners and in another they become four stereotypical Chinese men stacked on each other... the list goes on.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Candy is essentially the Sensitive Guy to Gorgious's Manly Man. Candy acts like a hammy house-wife, while Gorgious is usually the Jerkass.
- Similarly, Bud tends to fall into the Sensitive Guy to Etno's Manly Man.
- Slapstick: The show is full of this.
- The Song Remains the Same:
- Literally every single version of the show keeps the opening theme song in English. Although the show had first premiered in French and English, Iggy Pop (the artist) never recorded a French cover. Only the original Italian dub featured an Alternative Foreign Theme Song for the first season.
- Foreign dubs of season 2 combine this with Non-Dubbed Grunts.
- Springtime for Hitler: The aliens try making the house look as much a dump as possible to dissuade people from moving in. A farmer and his animals then take interest.
- Status Quo Is God:
- The aliens never manage to return home. Except in the adventure game, where they manage to escape Earth. But that one's dubiously canon, so take it with a grain of salt.
- "Get Off My Couch!" has the aliens seeing a therapist who manages to get them to drop their obsessive quirks: Candy stops cleaning and decides to write a novel, Gorgious becomes a healthy eater and sheds a lot of weight, and Bud stops watching TV and becomes a musician. Eventually, Etno drives the therapist out of the house and manipulates the other three into going back to the way they were before.
- Both episodes where Stereo came back in the second season ended with him accidentally being launched off the planet while testing a ship.
- Team Mom and Team Dad: Candy and Etno, respectively. To top it off, whenever the aliens go into disguise as humans, Candy and Etno literally disguise themselves as a couple in their respective roles.
- Teens Are Monsters: In one episode, Bud befriends a rather obnoxious human teenager.
- Temporal Duplication: In "Who's Who?" Etno attempts to teleport back home and accidentally sends himself back in time just before he used the teleporter, resulting in two Etnos being there at the same time.
- Theme Tune Roll Call: Not the normal theme tune played on the show, but the extended version of "Monster Men" has lyrics naming the aliens and quickly summing up their personalities.
Etno is intelligent he's quite a super-head
Gorgious is a great big guy but he's fat from too much pie
Bud is cool of course it's true but he's a TV fool
Candy is the sweetest one cleans and cooks and acts like Mom
- They Look Like Us Now: The gang have a machine that makes them look like humans, Earth animals, or even inanimate objects.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: A common plot is that there's a new tenant in the house that the aliens need to somehow drive away.
- What Does This Button Do?: In "Arctic Intelligence", when aliens are just about to leave Earth, Bud presses a button on their spaceship that releases a disco ball and more disastrously, another one that freezes everything, preventing the aliens from going home once again.
- Wife Husbandry: In "Time Traveler", Candy begins to treat the evolved caveman Ug as his own son. When Etno evolves Ug further into a knight, Ug mistakes Candy for a woman and asks for his hand in marriage. When Etno informs him that Candy is his parent and not a fair maiden, Ug gets mad at Candy for his "deceptions" and declares war on the aliens.Candy: Is it illegal to... marry your own son?
[Everyone but Candy laughs.]
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: In "Short Changed", a family of robbers make the aliens' home their hideout, stashing their stolen cash there. Not knowing what it's for, the aliens try to find uses for it: Gorgious eats it, Candy uses it as wallpaper, Bud uses it for kindling, Stereo makes paper airplanes out of it and Etno ends up transmogrifying it into toilet paper.
- You Can't Get Ye Flask: Happens in the episode "We Robot", where all of the other aliens want Etno's robot, even though at first he says it is programmed only for him. To get out of this trope, Etno's robot does what they wanted.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Part of the trope's name is used for an episode title. Averted at the end of Stupid Invaders, but played straight at the end of "Welcome!", where it's revealed that all of the humans that the aliens have inadvertently or intentionally sent away using one of Etno's "failed" spaceships ended up sending them to their home planet. Needless to say, the humans are not amused, prompting the aliens to return to earth, instead.