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YMMV / Aqua Teen Hunger Force

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  • Adorkable: How innocently naïve Meatwad is and his childlike personality grant him this status.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Even with the show's unrealistic absurdity, character interpretations can still be made from a cynical viewpoint:
    • Master Shake's behavior brings a lot into question. Does he bully Meatwad in an attempt to toughen him up, or just because he's a sociopathic jerk with no life? It can also be inferred that he was raised by Abusive Parents who couldn't have been bothered to raise him right (which he explicitly mentions in "Reedickyoulus"). Lastly, he may be jealous of the affection Meatwad receives in contrast to him, prompting him to take his anger out on Frylock for acting like a father figure towards the former while giving him no affectionate attention. Also, it's stated in some episodes that like the latter, Shake has no brain and thus lacks any form of intellect, making him perpetually idealistic.
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    • Meatwad is implied to either be a neglected child or mentally deficient (or "mentally retarded" as he himself puts it). In "PDA", it's implied that Meatwad doesn't even know whether he has real parents or not.
    • Carl is revealed to have suffered a crappy childhood in that he was raised in abject poverty without a mother and by a cynical alcoholic father who forced him into child poverty at age 8. Considering the fact he lives on his own now, works at home, and very much takes after his father, it's probable that he either wants to become a manchild like Shake and Meatwad but is too embarrassed of his reputation, or he's just too cowardly to learn from his past.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Meatwad's solo in the Movie. Doubles as a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment but damn is it awesome.
    • The song "Cut You with a Linoleum Knife," also in the movie, performed by none other than Mastodon. Behold.
      "Do not crinkle your food wrappers loudly! Be considerate to others, or I will bite your torso and give you a disease!!"
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    • "I Like Your Booty (But I'm Not Gay)," also from the movie.
    • "Meatwad get da money, see..."
    • Can't forget "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary" from the episode of the same name - a prog-metal "alternative" to "Happy Birthday To You," performed by Zakk Wylde and a Geddy Lee sound-alike.
    • The ending theme to Patrol Squad definitely qualifies. Listen to that badass guitar!
    • It's time for Aqua TV Show Show. Aqua TV Show Show. Aqua TV Show Show... (Coincidentally the first time the characters actually sing along with the theme).
    • Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever, going out on a high note. The characters even sing the entirety of the song!
  • Base-Breaking Character:
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Occurs very frequently throughout the series, with many scenes happening for little-to-no reason other than to be bizarre, funny, or both.
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • Pretty much every episode, given the nature of the series, and became increasingly bizarre as the show went on. While some episodes are tame (such as "Rabbot" or "The Dressing"), other episodes (like "Wi-Tri" and "One Hundred") are just straight-up weird.
    • "Party All The Time" is an interesting inversion of this, as the episode is surprisingly slower-paced and lighter-on-the-jokes than usual, playing Frylock's cancer completely seriously and even featuring an unusually altruistic Shake (even if he's still too dumb to actually be of any help).
  • Broken Base:
    • The post-movie seasons. Some fans didn't mind the more vulgar themes and increased violence of those seasons, while others felt that the show fell into Seasonal Rot because of it.
    • Similarly, the renamed seasonsnote . Did they Win Back the Crowd, were they still part of the show's declining quality, or were they the moment when the rot actually started?
    • "Last One Forever and Ever" (The 2009 episode). Many fans have no idea what to think about this episode. Is it a good episode or is it a boring episode? However, most fans can agree that this episode wouldn't have been a fitting conclusion to the show.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Good luck finding an episode that doesn't cross the line in some way.
  • Designated Hero: Meatwad and Frylock have fallen into this during the later seasons. "Sweet C", "Fry Legs" and especially "Bookie" comes to mind.
  • Designated Monkey: Master Shake is both a Designated Monkey and a Karma Houdini. When Shake is actively being a jerk and hurting people, he tends to get away with it. But his biggest Humiliation Congas come from his well-intentioned (for him, anyway) stupidity and/or him being an unrelated victim. This is especially demonstrated in the last season where Shake is largely Out of Focus but will still be brutally hurt before the episode ends.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse
    • The Mooninites are easily the most fondly remembered and quoted villains.
    • The Plutonians are similarly fondly remembered, though not to the Mooninites' exent.
    • The Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future for his utterly nonsensical Exposition Dumps.
    • Jiggle Billy, to the point where his face has reached Memetic Mutation status.
    • Handbanana, for being such a hilariously messed up concept.
    • Shake's Muscles, helps that John DiMaggio voiced him.
  • Faux Symbolism:
    Meatwad: I'm gonna name you Jesus... Ezekiel... Jesus. And that's from the Bible.
    • And again when everyone sees Jesus Gee whiz on the gun shop billboard. But it turned out to just be Ted Nugent.
  • Fountain of Memes: Everything said by Dr. Weird.
  • Genius Bonus: At the end of "The Cloning", after gunning down a cloned George Washington made out of one dollar bills, Frylock remarks, "Man, we should've cloned twenties. Jackson wouldn't have given a shit." He really wouldn't have, since Andrew Jackson didn't believe in paper money.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The 2007 Boston bomb scare became a lot more cringe-inducing when bombs actually did go off during the Boston marathon in 2013.
    • The bomb scare also caused Cartoon Network's general manager to resign and Stuart Snyder to take his place, leading to what many consider the network's Dork Age, including the cancellation of Toonami, the creation of CN Real, and phasing out anime as well as old favorites such as Ed, Edd n Eddy and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. That's right, a single guerrilla marketing campaign for a movie nearly brought the entire Cartoon Network to its knees with the ensuing fallout.
    • Right when it was announced there were no plans to end the series, it was announced months later that its next season would be the last.
    • Any moment when the Aqua Teens' house is destroyed becomes awkward with the knowledge that Carey Means (Frylock's voice actor) had his house decimated by a fallen tree in a thunderstorm and was forced to live off of GoFundMe donations for a time because [adult swim] refused to pay him royalties or residuals.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Interfection", the's conversation with Frylock somewhat resembles the Signature Scene from The Matrix Reloaded which came out months later.
    • In "The Cloning", Master Shake says that Jesus Christ & Santa Claus are the same person, and Meatwad says he doesn't know Santa Christ. Guess who followed up on that idea years later?
    • In "T-Shirt of the Living Dead", Shake protests that the Egyptian exhibit is meaningless because Tom Cruise doesn't have to study any of it before he's booked for a movie. Then 2017 came along.
    • In "The Meat Zone", Meatwad makes a half-hearted prediction that the Giants are #1 after his power to see the future fails him. The Giants were awful in 2003 when the episode aired, but in 2008... They won the Super Bowl.
    • In "Bible Fruit," Mortimer (voiced by H. John Benjamin) says he's "a huge meat fan." Funnier still, not only is Mortimer's friend voiced by the same actress who'd play that character's daughter but the show in question would eventually be reran on [adult swim].
  • Ho Yay: Shake, to Frylock.
    "Why don't you help me SUCK IT? (beat)...Wait a minute, that backfired."
    • Okay, but Shake and Meatwad actually make out in "The Marines".
    • A mild one, but Ignignokt and Err having an argument over the reveal that their check is actually a bill feels a tad bit Like an Old Married Couple bickering.
    • In "Big Bro", Frylock is attracted to a woman that is essentially a female Carl.
  • Idiot Plot: The show practically runs on the characters (most prominently Shake and Meatwad) being complete idiots and making poor choices. Standouts include "Broodwich", "T-Shirt of the Living Dead", and "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary".
  • Jerkass Dissonance: Master Shake and Carl are total jerks, yet that's exactly why they're so popular with most of the fandom.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Sure, Carl's rude, obnoxious, and hygienically challenged, but the sheer amount of shit his neighbors put him through, as well as his abysmal luck, kinda makes one feel sorry for him. His jerkass tendencies also seem to stem from - in addition to the Aqua Teens' persistent harassment and invasion of his property - his abusive childhood: Even as a kid, Carl was a Butt-Monkey; he was still a poor, starving loser who resided in an unkempt home and had little more to eat than carpet squares. What's more though is that he was raised by a negligent, heartless, idiotic jerkass of an Abusive Dad for whom was basically a reflection of what Carl would grow up to be like.
    • It's debatable but Frylock could also qualify. Though he's usually portrayed as a decent guy, he can be pretty bitter but considering that he has to put up with everybody else's stupidity all the time (especially Master Shake's), it's not hard to see why.
    • Mooninites tried to invoke it in "Moonahujana", didn't work on Frylock though.
  • Memetic Molester: Handbanana.
    "Tonight... YOU..."
    • Kinda inevitable, though, considering that he's a rapist In-Universe.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • There has also been popularity in photoshopping or drawing Carl's face and body into anime and cartoon characters, as evidenced here, here and here.
    • "I get it. It ain't making me laugh, but I get it."
    • "Truly, they were a (insert series title here)."
    • ARISE CHICKUN! note 
    • You look at him and tell me there's a God note 
    • "Where you at, dog?"
    • "It don't matter. None'a this matters."
  • Moral Event Horizon: As the show got Darker and Edgier from season 4 onward, characters started crossing the MEH much more often.
    • Master Shake has crossed it a countless amount of times. Special mentions go to killing Meatwad's pets via the microwave,note  traumatizing Meatwad to the point of a Driven to Suicide state in "Zucotti Manicotti", making Carl jump out the window and fall to his death in pursuit of his lasagna in "Lasagna", launching an arson attack on the city in "Super Hero", and causing a nuclear war in "The Granite Family".
    • Frylock committed an unforgivable act in "Fry Legs" by killing a computer repair woman's boyfriend to get with her. This is made especially worse by the fact that he's usually the most rational member of the Aqua Teens.
    • Carl's already an unlikeable jerkass at his best, but there are some episodes that go above and beyond to paint him as an irredeemable bastard. Special mentions go to "Larry Miller Hair System", where he gives another version of himself advice that completely ruins his life and results in him shooting himself, and "Storage Zeebles", where he commits a Sugar Apocalypse, dooming an entire world's inhabitants out of sheer greed.
    • Jet Chicken was already a dick, but killing his doctor after he agreed to perform surgery on him and then forcing Meatwad at gunpoint to perform the surgery instead pushes him over the line.
    • Markula having his vampire minions kill the President and trying to kill all humans.
    • Meatwad letting Frylock get infected with Hypnogerms for almost no reason.
  • MST3K Mantra: The song "Cut You Up With a Linoleum Knife" in the movie's opening states "if you don't understand, you should not be here".
  • Nightmare Fuel: Now has its own page.
  • Older Than They Think: Shake's idea on how to remake "The Granite Family" actually has some backing to it. It's a common theory that The Flintstones actually takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, so Shake may have been using that logic. Of course, since this is Master Shake we're talking about, it's probably just Insane Troll Logic with a side of Did Not Think This Through.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The Movie will always be more remembered for its Viral Marketing campaign that caused the Boston Bomb Scare, as well as being indirectly responsible for Cartoon Network's perceived Network Decay in subsequent years note .
  • Rewatch Bonus: All the numerous hints at Frylock being a lesbian trapped in a man's body as a box of fries become a lot more noticeable once you've seen The Movie.
  • Seasonal Rot: General consensus is that Seasons 3 and 4 started slowly declining in quality, but were still entertaining to watch, with The Movie being the series' last hurrah before fully falling into this trope with Season 5. Common complaints include the series slowly phasing out fan favorites like the Mooninites and Dr. Weird (with season 4 axing Cold Opens altogether,) as well as more heavy reliance on blood and gore and Vulgar Humor, and already Jerkass characters taking further levels in Jerkass so much as to strain their likability as Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists.
  • Shocking Swerve: Invoked. The show absolutely revels in deliberately making as little sense as possible or only making sense in the context of the given episode. "T-Shirt of The Living Dead" (which begins with Meatwad making wishes on a magic t-shirt and ends with the Hunger Force Subbing for Santa after accidentally burning his entire body and melting his skin off) is just one example!
  • So Bad, It's Good: The Limited Animation is so bad (at least in early seasons), that it actually manages to be one of the show's main sources of comedy.
  • Special Effects Failure: The lip-syncing in the first few episodes were pretty bad.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The "Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1" intro sequence sounds like Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law".
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • A forgivable example, but the bees in "Sweet C" are worker bees, and therefore, should've all been female. There go chances of seeing Carl being a Harem Seeker.
    • Another somewhat forgivable example is the Grand Finale. While good, the only characters to appear are the Aqua Teens, Carl, Carl's friend Dominic, and Meatwad's family. Who else wanted to see characters who were Put on a Bus (such as the Mooninites, the Plutonians, the Cybernetic Ghost, and Dr. Weird) come Back for the Finale? Then again, "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (which turned out to be the actual series finale) has a lot of those characters (namely, the Mooninites, Plutonians, Markula, Rabbot, Handbanana, Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future, Mothmonsterman, Zucotti Manicotti, and Romulux) as Shake's 'acolytes'.
  • Ugly Cute: Meatwad, especially when he acts like a little kid.
  • Uncanny Valley: Ever wonder what a cup, box of fries, and meatball would look like in Real Life if they each had human faces? The official poster for the film clears this up.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Shake has become this for many fans in later seasons. He is hurt much more often, many times unjustified, and suffers as much, if not even more non-canon deaths than Carl. Fans began to sympathize from him, especially in the last season where he Took a Level in Kindness (the sole exception being in "Hospice") but is still either brutally hurt or killed in every episodenote .
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: This show is actually rated 12 in the UK. In other words, it's officially a kid's show in that country, never-mind all the graphic violence and strong sexual innuendo...
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: "The Greatest Story Ever Told" as its name implies is filled with religious parodies. It was released on Adult Swim's website 3 days after the show's supposed cancellation, mirroring the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Shouldn't need explaining.
  • The Woobie: Meatwad and Frylock (most of the time).
    Jubilee: I don't wanna do the dog food thing anymore!
    • Woobie Species: The Zeeblonians, a race of friendly munchkins whose home gets ravaged until there's nothing left by a selfish, uncaring Carl.


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