Some of my devils up and left me free
To find a quiet place.
I'm not as out of place.
And I'm coming home again.
It's been too long a time
Getting back what's mine,
And I can't remember why I went away,
But it's looking now like maybe I could stay.
(Was that any good?)
Teenage Euthanasia is an adult animated black comedy drama airing on [adult swim], created by Alyson Levy and Alissa Nutting of PFFR - the minds behind Wonder Showzen, Xavier: Renegade Angel, The Heart, She Holler, and At Home With Amy Sedaris. The animation is done by Augenblick Studios, which previously also did the black comedy cult hit cartoon Ugly Americans (and previously worked on Superjail! & The Jellies for [as]). Accordingly, multiple critics have noted that it tonally feels like it has the DNA of all these shows mixed into it.
The series, set 20 Minutes into the Future, focuses on the dysfunctional Fantasy family, who own and operate a small funeral parlor in Florida. Characters include the matriarch Baba, her adult son Pete, daughter Trophy and granddaughter Euthanasia (Annie for short).
Before the start of the series, Trophy abandoned Annie as a baby, leaving her in the care of Baba and Pete while she ran off and lived irresponsibly. Years later, Trophy committed suicide and her corpse was returned to Baba's custody. While the family is preparing Trophy's body during a thunderstorm, a combination of a lightning strike, Baba's embalming fluid, and one of Annie's tears inexplicably brings her back to life. Trophy now is a resurrected zombie blessed with supernatural powers and the same sexual drive she had while alive, all while trying to have the mother-daughter relationship with Annie she didn't before.
On March 31st, 2022, Adult Swim announced the show was renewed for a second season. Season 2 will premiere in 2023.
The show is available on Adult Swim and HBO Max.
This show provides examples of the following tropes:
- 20 Minutes into the Future: The series is set about a decade or two in the future, allowing it to mock exaggerated trends of current technologies (i.e. algorithm-based targeted advertising, holo-projection teleconferences). Overall it presents human civilization as selfish and greedy, but also so stupid and short-sighted that it's incapable of any kind of evil that would require long-term planning.
- Anyone Can Die: At least Once an Episode, a supporting character will die. Consider also that this is a show about an undead woman whose family operates a funeral parlor.
- Arranged Marriage: Because Pete exhibits his first sign of independence (cutting his toenails), Baba takes it upon herself to arrange a marriage between him and a girl from “Old Country” named Svetlana. Pete is against the idea, believing he will meet the love of his life rom-com style, going so far as to enlist Trophy to switch souls with a corpse named Susan. When Baba tasks Pete to let down Svetlana, he finds out that he actually likes her, but not before Baba sets her up with another man who has more arm hair.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Trophy is shown to have multiple warrants out for her arrest, including impersonating a member of the Jackson 5, Grand Hearse theft, and yelling “Yaaasss” at a Denny’s.
- Attractive Zombie: Trophy is a zombie who still resembles the attractive blonde woman she was when she died.
- Bad Impressionists: Averted. A small recurring element is that Annie actually does pretty decent sarcastic impressions, such as of Baba or quotes from Remember the Titans.
- Blame Game: Trophy, Baba and all the other women in the prison blame their bangs for their lives spiraling out of control.
- Body Surf: Minor example: one of Trophy's supernatural powers is that she can transfer her soul into dead bodies - and because her family runs a funeral home, she has easy access to recently deceased ones. The bodies are still dead though, and will eventually decompose, so she has to transfer back to her undead/non-decaying original body eventually. It's also easy to get wrong if the process gets interrupted (i.e. a nearby squirrel's soul ends up inhabiting her original body for a while).
- Cheaters Never Prosper: In the first episode, Trophy tries to sabotage Sophie before the embalming fluid competition, where both funeral homes are tasked with embalming a dead rat, but the spiked fluid backfires and brings Sophie's rat Back from the Dead. Baba then splashes the fluid on Trophy, temporarily turning her into a rat woman.
- Cool Uncle: Zig-zagged. Annie has a genuinely loving relationship with Uncle Pete - a rarity in the cynical setting of the show - but he's a Momma's Boy instead of being "cool" as such. He's more like a supportive but awkward older brother.
- Disappeared Dad: All three generations of the Fantasy family deal with that. Baba's dad left after finding out that his wife cheated on him (though she misattributes it to her bad bangs). Pete believes his dad is dead, although Baba purposefully withholds the fact that he's actually alive and is a gravedigger, Trophy doesn't know who her father is, and neither does Annie, despite playing "Daddy, it's Me! Florida Edition".
- Dramatically Missing the Point: Baba thought that her father left because of her bangs when she was a child. The real reason was that his wife was pregnant with another man's child.
- Driven to Suicide: Before being resurrected as a zombie with supernatural powers, It's implied that Trophy committed suicide by overdosing on drugs.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: When she was alive, Trophy always wore her hair in an Updo like a ponytail or Hairbun. After she died, she usually lets her hair down loose.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Episode 5 underscores that Annie isn't a naive Pollyanna, she knows the world is a cruel and unfair place, she just chooses to believe in the good in people in spite of that. Annie is well aware that Trophy is a cynical, hedonistic skank who abandoned her as a baby - but Annie believes she can be a better person given the second chance of her resurrection.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Pete finds himself trapped in a luxury coffin reliving the morning of his birthday. However each time he wakes up in the dream, something more bizarre happens.
- The Empath: Pete has learned to read people's emotions with incredible ease after years of working at a funeral home, though it works best on grief and sadness.
- Fight Clubbing: In order to get Annie to cry, Pete takes her to "Tear Club", which, according to him, nobody leaves dry.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Complete with female God, perpetually worn pants, and no genitals, to Kenton's disappointment.
- Fun with Acronyms: Annie tells Joey that she is DTF or "Down to Foodcourt"
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Trophy
- I Just Want to Be Free: One of Trophy's crotch beetles finds that she wants to experience life outside of Trophy's vagina, using her experience with Annie as a means to finally leave and start a life of her own piloting a rewired Gymnast Gregory.
- Insistent Terminology: Trophy angrily asserts that the correct name for the swarm of death beetles that live in her vagina, and which she magically commands, is "Crotch Beetles".
- Interspecies Romance: The subplot for "Suddenly Susan", introduces a squirrel that is romantically attracted to a blackbird, only for both to be discouraged by their parents. After accidentally switching souls with Trophy, Squirrel!Trophy is reunited with his soulmate who reveals that he's the father of a new species of squirrel/bird hybrids.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Annie's full name is "Euthanasia" because when Trophy was in labor and the doctor asked "what do you want to name the baby?" she only heard the first part, and was in such pain that she cried out "Euthanasia!"
- Living Toys: Gymnast Gregory is a talking doll/therapy object that allows single men to have heterosexual male companionship. Pete uses his as a companion and an escape from Baba's smothering. Threatened by this, Baba creates her own version, called "Tiny Petey" which fulfills a similar role, but pushes Pete more towards the maternal dependency he's used to.
- Moment Killer: Trophy tries to engage in quick alleyway coitus with the mime she's on a date with, only for her arm to fall off. While she is able to quickly reattach it, the mime is repulsed, and makes his escape (as seen under Your Mime Makes It Real below).
- Momma's Boy: Pete. Despite being an adult, he still lives with his mother and obeys her orders. Even if they run a family business where she is the boss, he's still overly dependent and obedient.
- My Beloved Smother: Pete’s relationship with Baba can be described as this, alternating between him being unable to function outside of the funeral home without her, and him openly resenting her controlling every facet of his life.
- Nature Tinkling: Trophy (actually a squirrel's soul in Trophy's body) takes a dump in the bushes on the school's bird watching trip, to (almost) everyone's shock and disgust.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Lampshaded and Justified, as Annie specifically points out that Trophy herself doesn't know the full extent of her new "death powers". As she gets more experienced with her resurrected nature she figures out new powers and applications.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The Fantasy women all fall into this, with Annie as the Nice, Trophy as the Mean, and Baba as the Inbetween.
- The Nothing After Death: Despite being dead for days before she was resurrected, Trophy didn't see an afterlife: no heaven, no hell, nothing. She was already a hedonistic burnout, but this convinced her even more that there is no God, and on the off chance He does exist He doesn't care about anyone. In the same episode, however, the audience is shown that God indeed exists and heaven is pretty nice even if there is no sex. Just why this happened is not explained.
- Ocular Gushers: Pete's attempts to get Annie to cry finally yields a waterfall of "Old Wounds" tears that turns into a literal hurricane of emotion. The sheer destructive force of Annie's tears forces Pete to tell Annie she must never cry again.
- The Old Country: Baba is from an unspecified Eastern European country, literally known as "Old Country" with absurd traditions. She even dresses like a babushka. Trophy even directly calls out that her mother never told her what country she's from, to which Baba responds that she has told her numerous times: she's from "the Old Country".
- The Oldest Tricks in the Book: Baba warns Annie that her slouching pose makes her easy prey for perverts, and that Fun-Con is rife with them. To prove her point, she utilizes an old country method for outing perverts which is singing the first three bars of "Skip to my Lou". It actually works twice, as a child abductor, and later Lonnie both complete the song. Baba advises Annie that if she wants to sleep at night, she probably doesn’t want to know how that trick works.
- Only in Florida: The show is set in Florida, and it's a little vague whether the cynically absurd depiction of humanity in it is due to the 20 Minutes into the Future setting (see above), or specifically because it's set in Florida (or more probably, a mix of both).
- Parental Substitute: Trophy abandoned her family after leaving the infant Annie at her mother's funeral home, after which Trophy's mother Baba and brother Pete essentially became Annie's substitute parents.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: A one-off comment by the judge suggests that the United States is no longer the free country it once was, as he threatens to punish Trophy by making her spell check "Dear Leader's" social media. Even she thinks that's too much, and agrees to community service.
- Pest Controller: Trophy can control a swarm of beetles living in her vagina. It turns out they are necessary to keeping her together physically, as without them for an extended period, she will fall apart and eventually start to melt.
- Pooping Where You Shouldn't: Trophy admits to Pete that she likes hiding in his closet because it's the only one that has a toilet. Pete angrily tells her that there isn't a toilet in the closet, to Trophy's embarrassment.
- Really Get Around: Trophy had a high sex drive(even after she died and resurrected as a zombie) often flirted and have sex with men. This is implied to be one of the reasons she got pregnant with Annie.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Trophy and Annie who are mother and daughter.
- Riddle for the Ages: Episode 2 has Trophy experience The Nothing After Death while a boy goes to heaven. It is never even hinted as to why Trophy sees nothing in a world where the afterlife exists.
- Sadistic Game Show: Trophy and Baba compete in "Top Felon", a show where arrested Spring Breakers compete to earn their freedom back.
- Scare 'Em Straight: As part of her parole agreement, Trophy is assigned to scare three teenage troublemakers straight. She ultimately does so by showing them how they die, and when one does die exactly as Trophy shows her, the other two decide to change and ultimately become deputized police officers
- Seven Minutes In Heaven: Annie and Kenton play the eponymous game, however instead of making out, Kenton spends seven minutes describing to Annie his experience in Heaven.
- Shout-Out: The outfit Annie wears in the episode "First Date With The Second Coming" is the same outfit Dawn wears in the movie Welcome to the Dollhouse.
- In "Nobody Beats the Baba", the character Succotash had previously appeared in PFFR's prior show Xavier: Renegade Angel.
- Shrinking Violet: Annie. Self-describes her high school category as "meek teenager", though she eventually finds other meek teenagers to hang around with.
- Silver Spoon Troublemaker: Monotony, one of the members of the Killmore Girls, a trio of troublemaking teenage girls, is revealed to be the daughter of United States Senator Casey Anthony (Yes, that Casey Anthony). She is denied the opportunity to become a surrogate mother because of her mother's intervention. She ends up being scared straight by Trophy accurately predicting her friend's death and ultimately becomes deputized as a sexy police officer.
- Single-Season Country: While not explicitly stated to be Russia, Baba comes from a Russia-like country referred to as "Old Country". In a flashback to her youth when her father abandoned her family for his wife's infidelity (which she misattributes to her bangs haircut), it's shown to be snowing outside.
- Single Tear: Before Pete was able to release Annie's emotional hurricane, she only shed one single tear in her lifetime, the one that would revive Trophy from the dead.
- Sucky School: Annie's school mostly consists of absentee teachers who just show the students the film Remember the Titans to pass the time, claiming it to be educational in one way or another. The teachers are literally phoning it in, as they don't physically come to class but use holo-projector teleconference calls for remote teaching - but even then, they don't really try very hard.
- Teen Pregnancy: Trophy had Annie when she was around eighteen, and ultimately abandoned her three days after birth. The pregnancy occurred after her best friend stole her boyfriend, and the betrayal hit her so hard that she went on a sex bender with a dozen men (and thus doesn't know who Annie's father is), and it kept spiraling from there.
- The Three Faces of Eve: Annie is the child, The naive and shy Pollyanna who is the youngest member of the Fantasy Family. Trophy is the Seductress, being a very promiscuous Hard-Drinking Party Girl with a high sex drive. Baba is the Wife, who is a serious and strict matriarch who dressed like a babushka and used to come from literal The Old Country.
- Unusual Petsfor Unusual People: A seemingly normal goat lives in the funeral home. Specifically, its usually seen down in the basement by the embalming equipment. Its presence and purpose has yet to be commented on, aside from Baba referring to it as "the Morgue Goat".
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Trophy and Annie, BIG TIME. Trophy is a reckless, alcoholic, and promiscuous party animal who still acts like an irresponsible teenager after running away from home for fifteen years while Annie is a shy, introverted but reasonable nerd who is more mature than her mom.
- With Friends Like These...: Trophy mentions that Sophie Bennett constantly took things from her when they were friends, specifically highlighting a stuffed maggot doll and her then-boyfriend, who she married and had a son with.
- Womanchild: Despite running away from home for fifteen years and dying in her early 30’s, Trophy still acts like a teenager. She even gets along with three teenaged troublemakers!
- Your Mime Makes It Real: Trophy goes on a date with a mime. They attempt sex in a back alley before the Moment Killer above happens; the mime conjures a box that Trophy can't get in, then when he does, he pedals away on an invisible bike. In the post-credit scene, it's revealed the mime was killed by an invisible drunk driver.