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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. Gandhi 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:
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    • Many people who experienced Sleep Deprivation in high school have said that the half-joking Sleep Aesop in "Sleep of Faith" was more germane 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.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: While it's clearly a joke, is Cleo forcing Abe to wait for the perfect moment to have their first kiss, despite all of her previous sleeping around, just her being a hypocrite, or is it because she values her relationship with Abe more than her previous flings and wants to give it the proper respect it deserves? And if it's the latter, is it because she respects Abe or, more likely, believes that she deserves to start her new relationship on the most perfect of first notes because she's Cleopatra?
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  • Alternative Joke Interpretation: "I'm a Kennedy! I'm not accustomed to tragedy!" While obviously a joke about the infamous "Kennedy Curse," this could also mean that a rich, privileged, popular teenager like JFK (at least this show's version of him) isn't used to dealing with having nice things taken away from him.
  • 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 release (though unfortunately not the streaming ones).
  • Base-Breaking Character: Abe. People either see him as a decent character, or others see him as a bland Vanilla Protagonist.
  • 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:
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    • Blink and you miss it: in their first scene together, Gandhi casually gives JFK finger-guns, and JFK flinches. Wonder why.
    • Normally, a joke involving a guy trying to have sex with a girl by getting her drunk would be rather tasteless, but when JFK tries it on Joan...
      JFK: So, ah, are you, ah, drunk enough yet to sleep with me?
      (Joan roundhouse kicks JFK in the face and knocks him to the ground. He sits up and points at her)
    • 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. Better yet, it's an open top car at that, for a few extra feet past the line.
    • 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 they are with homosexuality."
    • 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 
    • Daniel Feldspar, the stereotypically Australian dragon. That is all.
    • "If there's one thing Mahatma Gandhi stands for, it's revenge."
  • 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.
    • Ponce is a very popular character. Despite being created to mock the Tonight, Someone Dies Trope, his friendly nature, the genuine sadness JFK feels upon his death and the fact that the best Heartwarming and Tear Jerker moments came from his death makes him a surprisingly popular character.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: After their tryst in the last episode, Joan and JFK are more popular than canon ships like Joan and Abe or JFK and Cleo.
  • 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.
  • Fountain of Memes: JFK became one in 2020, with his mannerisms and design being a source of several memes.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Ghandi's Buddy Cop Show in "Film Fest: Tears of A Clone" is called Black and Tan. While obviously meant to parody blaxploitation or Salt and Pepper movies, a "black and tan" was also the name of a kind of cop during the Irish War of Independence.
    • There being twin clones of Elvis isn't just a gag to show him both at his peak and his downward spiral. Elvis had a twin brother named Jesse who was stillborn.
  • He Really Can Act: None of Abe's convoluted, melodramatic mixed metaphors would be anywhere near as funny if Will Forte weren't reading them with total dramatic conviction. The "thinking dock" scene is a prime example.
    "You don't know what you're getting into! And that's out of my friendship!"
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • 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 men rather quickly 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. Butlertron 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. There are also a couple of scenes where they're holding hands and lovingly gazing into one-another's eyes.
    • After thinking about it for a second, Cleo admits that sex with Joan would've been hot.
  • 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.
    • JFK. Just try to not feel bad for him about Ponce's death. His anguish is frighteningly realistic.
  • Magnificent Bastard: "Raisin the Stakes: A Rock Opera in Three Acts": The Pusher, in actuality Larry Hardcore, is a rockstar drug dealer who sells raisins as drugs to teenagers. A loyal fan of the California Raisins who was hired by the raisin council to come up with a plan to sell more raisins to teens, the Pusher takes advantage of the average teenager's rebellious attitude to sell them raisins under the guise of hallucinogenic drugs, having done so to several high schools before doing the same to Clone High. Growing more powerful with each raisin buyer, the Pusher allows Principal Scudworth to create a divide between the students and their parents just to sell the teens more raisins.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • "SAY WHAAAAAAAAAAT?"Explanation 
  • I like your funny words, magic man!Explanation 
  • "Nothing bad ever happens to the Kennedys!"Explanation 
  • "My day be so fine, then boom, [x]"Explanation 
  • Drawing other characters to look like JFK was a minor trend in 2020, sometimes accompanied by his "er, uh" Verbal Tic.


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