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YMMV / Clone High

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  • Americans Hate Tingle: The only time the show received any attention in its original broadcast was when it managed to seriously piss off a number of Indian viewers with its depiction of Mahatma Gandhi as a shallow, petty non-stop party animal. Ghandi is still very much beloved in his home country and his followers don't take too kindly to any negative depictions of him. This led to protests outside of MTV India and Viacom's New York headquarters, convincing MTV to swiftly kill the already failing show.
  • Accidental Aesop:
    • Many people who experienced Sleep Deprivation in high school have said that the half-joking Sleep Aesop in "Sleep of Faith" was more relatable and accurate than most of the heavy topics covered in actual teen dramas!
    • "Litter Kills: Literally" is often considered the only episode of the show to play the Very Special Episode straight. Despite how clearly it's intended to be a parody of Tonight, Someone Dies, it's also a straightforward depiction of grief.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist clones of important historical figures acting out a Dawson's Creek-style high school drama is a pretty weird premise to sell. On top of that, it was a serialized comedy airing on basic cable, a decade before streaming made it easier for audiences to watch TV shows in chronological order at the proper pace. Never mind being offensive, who was this show even for??
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  • Awesome Music: The numerous 2000s-era pop punk and emo songs which score every episode. Amazingly, unlike most shows of this nature, all of the licensed music was retained for the DVD and streaming releases.
  • Better on DVD: Being a serialized comedy pre-Netflix may have been a little too ambitious. Watching it on DVD or on a streaming service allows the viewer to keep up with the overarching plots and character arcs.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The way Ponce de Leon dies. It involves lots and lots of litter. And so much blood.
    • The whole episode with Ponce is this, except instead of being funny, it's sad.
    • "Nothing bad ever happens to the Kennedys!" (car flips over)
    • JFK refusing to work Cleo's kissing booth because he doesn't want to kiss fat girls? Not funny. Cleo telling him that at least she doesn't complain about kissing poor people? Now it's funny.
    • The Spoof Aesop of "ADD (The Last D Is For Disorder)": people will only accept neurological disorder if they're less disgusted with it than homosexuality.
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    • At one point, the head of the Board Of Shadowy Figures tells Scudworth that he's "on thin ice. Clone of Karen Carpenter thin!"note 
  • Cult Classic: It is fondly remembered by fans as a hilarious parody of high school melodramas. But it received mediocre ratings during its initial run.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Van Gogh. After the first episode he only ever appeared in cameos, but it's not hard to find fanart of him.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: As of the last episode, Joan and JFK.
  • Fair for Its Day: In an age where teenage romance and sex is seen more negatively, Gandhi and Marie Curie ending up in a celibate romance feels like an Author's Saving Throw to the show’s over-the-top treatment of teen sex. Co-creator and voice of JFK Chris Miller said as much himself.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Thought he wasn't as young when it happened, Luke Perry's sudden passing from a massive stroke in 2019 makes Ponce's sudden death all the more tragic.
  • Genius Bonus: The show is a lot funnier if you have a strong grasp on history.
    • None of the five main characters died of natural causes: Gandhi, JFK and Abraham Lincoln were assassinated by gunshot, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake and Cleopatra was bitten by an asp.
    • In "Plane Crazy; Gate Expectations," Abe tries to get a ride in the alleged plane with Buddy Holly, Richie Vallans, The Big Bopper, Jim Croce, Stevie Ray Vaugn and half of Lynyrd Skynyrd, all of whom died in plane crashes.
    • Ponce muses to Abe and Gandhi that life is short and there's no fountain of youth. Guess what the real Ponce de Leon famously spent his life looking for.
    • Joan dressing up as "John Dark"; dressing in drag was one of the charges that got Jeanne D'arc executed. George Washington Carver also lampshades how "John Dark" is a pun of Jeanne d'Arc, Joan's French name.
    • Though JFK crashing his car after proclaiming "Nothing bad ever happens to the Kennedys!" is obviously a reference to the infamous "Kennedy curse," it may specifically be referencing the Chappaquidick incident.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The caption at the end of the finale: "TO BE CONTINUED...?!"
  • Hollywood Homely: Joan, however some characters do seem to realize she's attractive before her reveal of Beautiful All Along. Inverted with Marie Curie, who is hideous yet no one treats her any differently.
  • Ho Yay
    • JFK takes to the prospect of being attracted to me when he develops a crush on "John Dark" (and his foster parents are a gay couple). And then there's his "best friend forever" Ponce in episode 10, complete with break-up and incessant weeping and crawling into the coffin. Late in that same episode, Abe holds him on the Thinking Dock and kisses his forehead.
    • While Gandhi's kiss with Abe in the episode "A.D.D.: The Last 'D' is for Disorder" is Played for Laughs, Gandhi still pays him for it, implying he liked it. Or he's stupid.
    • Scudworth and Mr. Buttlertron are all but stated to be a couple. They live together, are almost never apart and constantly bicker Like an Old Married Couple. Mr. B even assumes the role of housewife in several episodes that take place in their home. Also, just look at the way they hold each other and gaze happily into one another's eyes at the end of "A Room of One's Clone: The Pie of The Storm."
  • Jerkass Woobie: Cleo. It's implied that her Alpha Bitch personality at least partially stems from being paired with a foster mother who's a chronic alcoholic.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • SAY WHAT?
      • To death, bro.
    • Bite-sized weiners!!
    • Makeover Makeover, Makeover Makeover, Makeover Makeover... MAKEOVER!!
      • *clap clap clap!*
      • "For you and meeeeee."
      • "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
    • Did you see the pool? THEY FLIPPED THE BITCH!
    • ...Wesley.
    • When you eat your sweets/be sure to try/to limit your servings/or you'll DIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!
    • The GESH logo being used as a Grammar Nazi symbol.
  • Misaimed Fandom: "Litter Kills.... Literally," which was intended as a scathing attack on dramas that introduce new characters to be killed off for the sake of cheap drama, plays the faux-drama Up to Eleven and ends up being the saddest episode of the whole show.
  • Nausea Fuel
    • Ghandi grabbing Joan's retainer from out of her mouth and shoving it in his own in "ADD: The Last D Is For Disorder." Especially the sound effect.
    • Abe before forced to eat broken glass in "Snowflake Day." Again, the sound effects elevate it from Bloody Hilarious to viscerally painful.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Pre-Saturday Night Live Will Forte stars as Abe Lincoln.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Will Forte once described the series as "Niche TV before niche TV existed." It arrived a decade too early for the age of binge-watching and streaming services, which are much kinder to quirky, serialized shows.
  • Squick: Invoked whenever Cleo and JFK kiss. Their tongues wrap around one another like snakes and make a loud, slimy sound to be as hilariously gross as possible.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Used for a joke:
    Smoking raisins is like LSD... on acid!
  • Too Good to Last: A fondly remembered Cult Classic that lasted one season of 13 episodes.
  • Unacceptable Targets: The show's portrayal of Gandhi has caused an uproar from Indians.
  • Values Dissonance
  • Vindicated by History: Like every animated series on MTV not called Beavis and Butt-Head, it wasn't seen as anything special during it's initial run and was canceled due to low ratings as soon as the controversy with Gandhi's character came up. Today, it has an impressive cult following and is considered one of the best shows of The Millennium Age of Animation.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The streaming site Flixanity has Clone High listed as a kids show, but it's really not. Keep in mind that even though the show is about famous historical figures, it's actually about the clones of said historical figures who are portrayed as stock high school teen show characters, like the Jerk Jock, the Alpha Bitch, the apathetic Goth girl who hates the popular kids, has a crush on The Everyman protagonist, and dresses in black, the party animal and comic foil to the protagonist, etc. While animated historical series for kids exist (such as Liberty's Kids, Histeria!, Horrible Histories, Time Squad, Sherman and Mr. Peabody's Improbable Histories, etc.), this one is not all that educational and not all that kid-friendly.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: Most fans of the show have never seen a single episode of the shows it set out to parody.


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