Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Stroker and Hoop

Go To
An animated parody of the Buddy Cop Show, especially Starsky & Hutch. Features two semi-competent yet ineffective Private Detectives, John "Stroker" Strockmeyer, his partner Hoop Schwartz, and their self-aware robotic car, C.A.R.R.

Stroker (Jon Glaser) falls short as a detective mostly due to his own short-sightedness, self-involvement and greed more than bad investigative skills. He has a young son (by his Latina ex-wife), whom he loves, even if he can't quite seem to show it properly.

Hoop (Speed Levitch) is a very touchy-feely, sensitive, pacifistic sort who's dressed like a bad motivational speaker. He prefers to talk problems out rather than skip straight to the gunplay. This never works.

C.A.R.R. (Paul Christie) is essentially the opposite of K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. He's a junky old beater (not quite The Alleged Car, but past his prime), he's not too smart, and lacks any really useful gadgetry other than talking and the ability to drive himself. He listens to a lot of ultra-right-wing talk shows, since he doesn't have an FM radio. He was built by Stroker's mechanic friend "Double-Wide" (who is voiced by Curtis Armstrong), whose odd private life is often helpful.

Finally, they are aided by the jovial, and perhaps most competent, Coroner Rick. He is often played as a Token Black Friend to quite nearly every main character.

Since the two titular characters have detective skills that are mediocre at best and generally lack decent resumes, they have to settle for taking cases for people too poor to afford more competent detectives.

The characters were mostly Genre Blind, as they often failed anyway, and many a Lampshade was hung on various tropes. As far as trope use in parodies goes, this show is a great example.

Canceled only after a season of 13 episodes and with no ending.

The entire series is available for free viewing on the Adult Swim website

This show provides examples of:

  • Anti-Hero: Stroker. By contrast, however, Hoop is very kind and innocent (When not provoked into avenging his fallen comrades).
  • Attack Its Weak Point: With the giant diamond monster, C.A.R.R. suggests Stroker and Hoop aim for the leg containing Lou Diamond Phillips (on the grounds that having "Diamond" for a middle name means he's not a true diamond). It works.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Though Stroker later admits that bringing his son to his own funeral was a crappy idea.
  • Atrocious Alias: It's never revealed exactly what gave Stroker the inspiration for his nickname, but it can't have been anything good.
  • Autopsy Snack Time: Coroner Rick does this.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: "XXX Wife" ends with the tape of Judd Winner's misdeeds destroyed, Stroker and Hoop hypnotised into doing a bestiality movie, and Stroker gaining an Abhorrent Admirer.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In the Christmas Episode, Santa doesn't care much for any of the Christmas Ghosts—not because they're not white, but because he never liked the idea of three creepy ghosts in a Christmas narrative.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Hoop, though this does get played with in a few ways.
  • Bilingual Backfire: During this exchange in "Rube Job".
    Tio: (In Spanish) Then we'll kill you.
    Henchman: (In Spanish) After we cut your balls off and feed them to you.
    Double-Wide: (In Spanish) I sure wish I didn't know Spanish.
  • Black Comedy: Coroner Rick is an in-universe example...if only to himself.
    "Why they always gotta land face-down like that?"
  • Blofeld Ploy: Double Subverted.
    • Further, too much of this causes a villain to run out of henchmen for when Stroker and Hoop appear.
  • Bond/Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Hoop in one episode. They're all pretty bad.
  • Buddy Cop Show
  • Casanova Wannabe: Stroker. And how.
  • Ceiling Cling: Subverted, the guy they're hiding from sees them immediately.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: one episode was set in motion by the duo buying a billboard for "Stroker and Hoop, Detectvies". In a later episode the pair lampshade that they'll have anonymity against a gang who has no idea who they are. The gang leader looks up and sees the billboard still there, still misspelled. Stroker even says he forgot they had it.
  • Chick Magnet: Hoop actually pulls in a fair share of legit tail. Including a short lived girlfriend, Judd Winners wife, and Ninja girl Sukko.
  • Cliffhanger/Left Hanging/No Ending: The final episode see Stroker, Hoop and Double Wide locked in C.A.R.R and dangling over a canyon via a giant magnet by a mysterious caller who gives them three guesses to name who he is. The whole episode is mostly a clip show of the season before its revealed that their captor is a minor background character who had the same voice but kept changing his appearance due to his run ins with Stroker and Hoop and their direct or indirect actions which ruined his life. Coroner Rick manages to find out who he is and shoots him. But the captor ends up landing on the switch to the magnet which drops C.A.R.R into the canyon followed by an explosion. The show ends ambiguous of the protagonists' fate. Though Word of God said if there had been a second season, the protagonists would've ended up in heaven and eventually ended up back on earth with several other people from heaven
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Ron Howard is trying to control his mind.
    • Subverted, in that Ron Howard actually was trying to control his mind.
  • Evil Twin: Hoop suffers from this trope in one episode.
  • Faking the Dead: Stroker and Keith in "Ninja Worrier".
  • Forced Transformation: In "XXX Wife" the villains turn two women into real life furries by splicing them with the DNA of tigers. Their tiger instincts take over and they eat the Japanese investor.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Averted and lampshaded in "The Wrath of Khan'Ja" when Stroker knocks out a guard and steals his clothes to try to get into the FPI headquarters. It turns out the other guard was watching the camera.
  • Head Blast: In the episode "Just Voodoo It (aka, For Whom The Bear Tolls)", before rushing in to face a horde of zombies, Double-Wide wires C.A.R.R.'s AI to a shotgun mounted on a helmet that he wears into the fray. When C.A.R.R. starts firing the gun, however, Double-Wide remembers guns have recoil, and he ends the episode in a neck brace.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Composed of Pun Based Titles
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: One episode has a henchwoman who has the ability to hypnotize people regardless of gender by getting them to stare at her breasts. She also swirls them around, like a hypno-spiral.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Lampshaded. A dying karate instructor entrusts the handle of a magic sword to Stroker's son Keith and warns that reuniting the handle with the pieces of the blade would be disastrous. Stroker asks why, if it's such a big deal, the sword wasn't destroyed completely, even suggesting flushing it down the toilet or something.
    • When the sword is reassembled, it's nothing more than an over sized flashlight. Hoop, who was fighting with the villain using the sword, noted that when the sword was broken and separated centuries ago, that people in ancient China would've seen that as amazing or terrifying.
      • Of course, when you shine the light on the dead...
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Stroker and Hoop have the misfortune to run into these three times in a row.
    • In "Tinfoiled Again" it is revealed Stroker and Hoop's appendixes and coccyxes where stolen by a cult called the Kindhearted Cannibals, who only eat vestigial organ and generally spare their victims. They however make an exception for Stroker as he was snooping in their affairs. They also poison themselves, much to the chagrin of the two junior members who stole Stroker and Hoop's vestigial organs.
    • In "The Rube Job" Hoop's cousin Mumu, a sheriff's deputy, has the disturbing habbit of eating the digits of pageant contestants who where murdered in fashions based the food they where named after. Stroker and Hoop understandably find this horrifying and disgusting. This turns out to be Forshadowing, as he is later revealed to a Serial Killer.
    • As stated above, in "XXX Wife" a pair of college students are turned into cat girls by splicing them with tiger DNA, which result gaining a taste for human flesh. After they are released from their cage, they attack an investor, noting how delicious he tastes.
  • Instant Sedation: Parodied. A camera guy gets hit in the head and falls down unconscious. After Stroker tries to explain to the other crew member that this trope is what's going on, he pretends he's knocked rather than risk brain damage/death.
  • Interrupted Cooldown Hug: In "Ninja Worrier", when Hoop manages to convince Souko not to kill him after he kills her ex-boyfriends avenging Stroker's (fake) death, but Stroker ends up shooting her, causing her to fall into power lines and eventually get run over.
  • Logic Bomb: Stroker notices a particularly devastating flaw in the cannibal cult's logic.
    Cultists: Eat a person, be a person, eat a person, be a person...
    Stroker: So wait, your philosophy is you are what you eat, right?
    Cult Leader: Yes.
    Stroker: So, if I eat a hamburger, then I'm a hamburger, right?
    Cult Leader: Yes.
    Stroker: And then...if you eat me, you're hamburgers too, right?
    Cult Leader: ...
  • Meaningful Name: Khan'Ja = Conned Ya.
  • Most Common Super Power: In 'XXX Wife'. Actually was a superpower, as Areola's areolas could hypnotize almost anyone into doing almost anything.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Stroker and Hoop mug two camera men for a disguise, with Stroker breaking a bottle on one guys head, with the other freaking out, when the first man no longer moves. He convinces them not to knock him out (and possibly give him a concussion), by pretending to be unconscious. The two proceed to waste a lot of time getting the guys out of their clothes (with the conscious guy having to loosen his belt), and Hoop insisting on putting on one's underwear. The guy they're supposed to spy on gets mad when his "Camera Crew" turn up almost an hour late.
  • Narrator All Along: The narrator for the Christmas episode amusingly turns out to be a turkey about to be taken to the slaughter.
    Narrator: And that, my friends, is the story of how Stroker saved Christmas. Now, it took old Stroker a few years to get over losing the lottery, and then figure out this was a happy ending. But that's the funny thing about happy endings. They're not about getting richer. They're about growing older, and getting to share another year with the ones you love. (A man approaches and grabs the poor turkey around the neck) Wait! What the hell? No! No, I want to live! Dear God! Please, don't kill me! (He is dragged offscreen and utters a Big "NO!" before being killed)
    • Dead Star Walking: And he was voiced by a moderately famous character actor (Eli Wallach, no less!)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Pretty much the entire series.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Hoop's mother Rose, when wrongfully imprisoned after being framed for murder, kills an inmate who stabbed her, then fakes her suicide in order to get Coroner Rick help her escape. And when he doesn't comply, threatens to give him a "Colombian jockstrap" by holding a knife to his crotch.
  • Oh, Crap!: After waking up from a night of drunken sex with a blonde bombshell, things go quickly downhill for Stroker.
    Stroker: (wakes up alone) Oh crap. (notices Hoop is actually in the bed with him) Oh crap! (notices he has stitches where his kidney should be) Crapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrap...
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Stroker (John Strockmeyer) and Double Wide (Name Unknown)
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: According to the Ghost of Christmas Future, ghosts can get shot and die like any living person.
  • Parody Names:
    C.A.R.R.: "On Dashiell, on Danzig, on Randolph, on Blitzkrieg, on other non-copyrighted names!"
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Hoop reveals in "Ninja Worrier" that he's actually always aimed up during previous shootouts in order to avoid shooting someone. As Stroker flashes back to some examples, we see the duo firing wildly while riding a roller coaster.
  • Regret Eating Me: When it looks like he's going to be eaten by cannibals, Stroker tells them, "I hope you choke on my assbone bitches."
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Combined with Accidental Aiming Skills at the start of one episode. Stroker and Hoop are held up by a Columbian drug dealer and are forced to drop their guns.. which go off, injuring both the drug dealer and his wife (who was inexplicably not present until just then). Stroker immediately lampshades it by stating he can't shoot that well when he actually aims.
    • The death of Stroker's original partner (Jermaine Washington) subverts this. He was killed in a shootout, and it was thought his gun had jammed due to not being properly cleaned. It turns out Stroker borrowed his gun's magazine without telling him and left him without any ammo.
  • Santa's Existence Clause: In the Christmas Episode, Stroker thought only a Mall Santa had been poisoned, but it's the real deal.
  • Skyward Scream: "KHAAAAAAAAAAAN...ja"
  • Spirit Advisor: The Ghosts of Christmas parody this as they turn out to be the culprits of the episode's crime.
  • Spot the Imposter: Parodied when Stroker has to choose between shooting Hoop or Hoop's lookalike criminal cousin. Stroker kneecaps one of them, which is a relief to the Hoop still standing until he also gets kneecapped. Stroker reasons they can now figure out who's who at their leisure, but an anguished Hoop says he could've just asked questions only the real one would know, which Stroker concedes might've worked. In the end, they still get it wrong, with Hoop on a chain gang and his cousin riding away in C.A.R.R. However, Stroker, Double Wide, and C.A.R.R. notice him sport an evil grin, so they head back to make really sure this time about who's who.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Many examples Played for Laughs:
    • One time, the heroes hide from the suspect on the slanted ceiling, he walks in, sits at his desk, and calls for security to get them out of his office.
    • A Bad Boss keeps killing his ninja mooks for random failures, only to find that he killed all of them by the time the heroes showed up.
    • Hoop and his ninja girlfriend fight, jumping high like the wire-work in Wuxia films, and fighting on the vertical face of a building, right up until Stroker just shoots her in the back from the ground.
    • In one episode Stroker solves the whole "Which is the real one" cliché just like you would expect someone to in Real Life: he just incapacitates both people so that the good guys can figure out which is which at their leisure, without having to worry about making a mistake (and still screwed it up).
    • In one episode, Stroker is attempting to sneak into a facility. He knocks out the guards outside the building, and proceeds to sneak past the security guard who watches the security monitors. The security guard asks who he is, so Stroker disguises his voice (badly) in hopes of fooling him. However, the security guard reveals he was messing with Stroker, and watched him knock out the guys on the security monitors. Stroker was apparently counting on him to be asleep on the job. The security guard responds by saying he just really likes his job (and finds the urine sample chamber hilarious).
    • As mentioned above, Stroker and Hoop mug two camera men for a disguise, with Stroker breaking a bottle on one guy's head, with the other freaking out when the first man no longer moves. He convinces them not to knock him out and risk giving him a concussion by simply pretending to be unconscious. The two proceed to waste a lot of time getting the guys out of their clothes (with the conscious guy having to loosen his belt), and Hoop insisting on putting on one's underwear. The guy they're supposed to spy on gets mad when his "camera crew" turns up almost an hour late.
  • Take That!: The New Hampshire Fuzzy Bear company to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company.
    • Almost every episode has a take that to somebody or some company, from Ronco to Ron Howard.
  • Talking Animal: That poor turkey who gets killed at the end of the Christmas episode.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The Yet Another Christmas Carol episode ends up with Stroker and Hoop going back and forth in time to save Christmas, or at least the secular side of it.
  • Traitor Shot: Hoop's Evil Twin slips into this mode at the worst possible moment. (Or at least worst from his point of view.)
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The Christmas Ghosts conspired to kill Santa after he invited them to his place for dinner (something he had never done before). They thought he was getting suspicious of their lottery scam, but it was simply because Mrs. Claus thought it'd be rude to exclude them.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: The episode "I Saw Stroker Killing Santa Claus".