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Western Animation / The Ripping Friends

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The Ripping Friends (2001-2002) was a very short-lived animated series created by John Kricfalusi of The Ren & Stimpy Show fame. It was about four brothers who are superheroes: Crag (the leader), Rip, Slab and Chunk Nuggett. Their chief is their mother, He-Mom, who is a very masculine woman. Their servant and biggest fan is Jimmy the Idiot Boy from The Goddamn George Liquor Program (and the "Spumco" production card at the end of the John K-produced episodes of Ren and Stimpy): a brain-dead, idiotic 8 year old who can't speak properly. Their Rogues Gallery included Citrocet, a Mad Scientist; the Indigestible Wad, a living wad of gum; Flathead, a sapient tapeworm; and Frictor.

Intended to be Kricfalusi's Spiritual Successor to Ren and Stimpy, its production (much like Ren and Stimpy when it was on Nickelodeon and when it was remade as Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon") was stymied by his usual creative differences with network and studio heads, who dismissed his trademark off-model custom poses for something more conventional, spoiling his vision for the show until he came to outright loathe it, resulting in its short run.


The series aired on Canada's Teletoon and, in America, on Fox Kids in the twilight years of the block (and of Saturday morning cartoons in general) and once aired on Adult Swim (since this show was considered to be too gross and sexual for "children's entertainment") in 2002.

Ripping Tropes:

  • The Ace: Rip. In a twelve episode series where every character has at least one spotlight, Rip is the central character in at least three episodes. He's often shown as the strongest, angriest, and most impulsive in a universe where brute strength and anger are superpowers.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Jimmy, an ordinary moron, is able to fly perfectly while emulating Pooperman. It's possible that the Ripping Friends let a complete moron wear an anti-gravity device, but... yeah. To be fair he is a 8 year old, but looks like a teen.
  • Advertisement:
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Superheroes.
  • Amusing Injuries: Most of the time the Ripping Friends inflict these on each other.
  • Artistic License – Biology: No, there's no such thing as a fart gland.
  • Badass Baritone: Crag as voiced by Mark Dailey.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Citron" is French for "lemon", which is the logo on Citrocet's uniform.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The Ripping Friends stand for Excessive American Vigilantism, which usually means buttloads of destruction, excessive and abusive violence on all beings, and a general pandering to Right-Wing Extremists. Still, they're definitely the heroes compared to their archenemy Citrocet, Yugoslavia's most famous Villain/Torture Expert/Tyrant.
  • Catchphrase: "Five, four, three, two, one, ZERO—It's ripping time!"
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: There are superpowered heroes in the show's universe, but the Ripping Friends themselves got as strong and tough as they are by training. Really hard. Rip in fact dislikes superpowers because he thinks they're a cheap way to fight crime.
  • Child Soldier: Citrocet deploys these to take over Europe. They're better fed and healthier than they claim to be, but that's still a two-year old girl using an assault rifle in a poverty-stricken war-zone. It's about as funny-disturbing as you'd expect.
  • Cool House: RIPCOT, the Really Impressive Prototype City Of (next) Tuesday.
  • Cruel Mercy: He-Mom was once so mad that she punished the Ripping Friends by not punishing them. Their response is that this is a really nasty punishment.
  • Dark Age of Supernames
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each of the Ripping Friends had an episode devoted to them.
  • Destructive Savior: The Friends' usual modus operandi.
  • The Ditz: The Ripping Friends' manservant is none other than Jimmy the Hapless Idiot Boy, one of John K.'s previous characters.
  • Ditzy Genius Bruisers: In-universe, the Ripping Friends are hailed as scientific geniuses in dozens of fields, but are often portrayed as clueless, easily distracted, and having no concept of tactics. They, in their mid-thirties, do not understand the physical differences between men and women.
  • Domino Mask: Slab
  • Expy: Rip is basically just Kirk Douglas, one of the many references John K. makes to his favorite actor.
  • Fartillery: One episode features Citrocet magically gaining flatulence-based powers and calling himself "Stinky Butt the Foul". His farts areall-purpose: not only are they noxious, but he can fly, create monsters, and SKYWRITE with them.
  • Grossout Show: Not as much as Ren & Stimpy, but there were moments of this (and there would have been a lot more if John Kricfalusi had more control of the show).
  • Homosexual Reproduction: Jimmy was created by combining the DNA of the Ripping Friends. That might explain a lot.
  • Humanoid Abomination: In one episode, The Ripping Friends accidentally mutate their foot calluses into Frictor, a malevolent friction elemental who really wants to marry He-Mom.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In one of the post-episode shorts, a pair of manual writers are arrested for "circumlocution" and "convolution".
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Rip turns into various depictions of "Jerkass" when he feels guilty about Jimmy getting kidnapped.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rip is the most violent of the Ripping Friends (which is saying something) but he loves his family a hell of a lot.
  • Kid Sidekick:
    • Parodied with Man Man's sidekick, Boy Boy; Crag notices how Man Man tends to put Boy Boy in ridiculously dangerous situations and goes to stop him, taking Jimmy along as his own Kid Sidekick.
    • Chunk seems to get this treatment from his brothers due to being 35-and-a-half, compared to 36 for Crag, Rip and Slab.
  • Kryptonite Factor:
    • Riptonite, created by bombarding the Ripping Friends' DNA with radiation. It's actually a ruse Crag created when fighting The Man From Next Thursday; the villain was getting all his info from a comic book, so Crag had the comic print the baloney story about their weakness.
    • A more logical weakness for The Ripping Friends is lack of meat. If they're not gorging themselves regularly with meat products, their muscles shrink and they become skinny frail wimps.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Each of the brothers have one.
  • Manchild: All four of The Ripping Friends are like this, though Chunk especially qualifies due to his love of comic books, cartoons, candy, and the carnival.
  • No Fourth Wall: Besides the fan mail segments that end episodes, Crag once set out to complete a mission on his own after pointing out that he didn't have an episode to himself yet.
  • Off-Model: Averted, unlike most of John K's other shows. Executive Meddling caused the animators to keep the characters on-model.
  • Serious Business: Meat
  • Shout-Out:
    • Guess who "Pooperman" is a Captain Ersatz of.
    • In "Jimmy Gets Kidnapped" a talking gorilla dances while singing "Oot Greet" which was a well known Don Martin sound effect.
    • In "The Ovulator" Slab's disembodied head flies past a mustached ranger in a helicopter, who then turns to the audience and says "Some way or another I bet THAT bear is behind this."
  • Stock Scream: The Insane Tantrum Scream is used when the titular villain of the two-part episode "The Man from Next Thursday" zaps Crag with Riptonite.
  • Stout Strength: All of them are super strong, but Slab is a bit bulkier than the others.
  • Stylistic Suck: As with all John K. cartoons. The goal when drawing the characters on this show was to make them "Stiff, but stylish," as a tribute to old fashioned superhero comic art.
  • Super Hero: The Ripping Friends are super-strong crimefighters who battle many powerful foes.
  • Take That!: Pooperman is an obvious dig at Superman. As if the puerile parody name isn't enough, the Ripping Friends also shame him for doing nothing to help when the heroes redirect the course of the asteroid Pooperman sent to Earth while under the influence of Rip's corrupted shorts.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: The tagline for the show is "The World's Most Manly Men". Even their MOM is masculine.
  • Token Minority: The Ripping Friends are brothers, yet Slab is black. Of course, since they're all not very bright, Slab has to remind them of it sometimes. Characteristically, Slab went from doing Mr. T-esque one liners to saying a thing or two that might upset the more politically correct audience.
    Slab: Jimmy's still smooth! Not smooth like James Brown but still smooth! - Frictor
    Slab: Brothers! I have set you free! - To the kidnapped cows in "Ovulator"
    Slab: That's not flesh color, that's some sort of off-pink...THIS is flesh color! - Said while pointing to a chocolate bar in "Man-Man and Boy-Boy"
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Pain resistance is part of their extreme physical training, but Rip seems to enjoy it.
    • Averted in the episode "Jimmy's Kidnapped": Jimmy might be a moron who gets beaten up by his family on a regular basis, but even he knows what torture is, especially when it's performed by Citrocet and his Gorilla Head Examiner. Rip and company feel his pain.
    • In the following episode "The Infernal Wedding" Citrocet writes off torture as a plan to defeat The Ripping friends, because "The Ripping Friends LOVE pain!"
  • Training from Hell: The Ripping Friends dive on live grenades as part of their daily workout. They bathe in cement afterwards. And God forbid they cry about it, or He-Mom will have a FIT.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Parodied by The Man From Next Thursday where next Thursday is depicted as being highly futuristic; the Ripping Friends themselves come from "next Tuesday", another futuristic place that is less advanced than next Thursday.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: While they have some impressive tech back at base, the Ripping Friends rely on brute strength to solve most of their problems.