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  • Acceptable Targets: Used frequently in many sketches, but Lindsay Lohan in particular has almost constantly been the subject of parody on the show, and is depicted as a drunken idiot whose speech is made entirely out of a slurred screech.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Done several times in-universe, making some sketches funnier or scarier.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The "Piano God" number, although short is indeed quite awesome.
    • Le Wrath di Khan. Taking the best classic Trek movie and turning it into 60 odd seconds of righteous opera.
    • The music playing when the chicken storms the scientist's castle, Tales of the Electric Romeo by Immediate Music.
    • Seth Green's original version of "Work It Out" from the "Voltron Gets Served" sketch. It's not aired anymore and it's not on the DVD, but you can find it easily if you know where to look...
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Technically all of them are this, but skits like J.R.R. Tolkien Jr. Jr. stands out; see why. This is actually invoked in-universe, as the narrator has no idea what he just watched.
  • Crazy Awesome: George W. Bush as he appears in this series is completely out of touch with reality. Hence sketches like "Jedi Master George W." and "Captain Texas is Coming", proving this version of him would have been the best President ever.
    George W. Bush: I'm the motherfuckin' President of this planet! (notices the lizard-alien corpses) Uh, did I miss something?
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Gary the Stormtrooper, from... quite a few of the Star Wars shorts.
    • Bitch Pudding has a sizable following despite only appearing in 3 shorts. So much so that she got her own special.
    • Ted Turner as Captain Planet.
    • Yarael Poof went from background alien to many people's favorite member of the Jedi Council.
    • Fumbles from "Our Newest Member, Calvin."
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The skit where a pegasus is tortured and enslaved by a little girl shares many uncanny similarities to the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fic Cupcakes. Even more uncannily, one of her previous victims was a griffon.
    • The Lance Armstrong sketch is this now that he has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs.
    • The second season Highlander parody involving Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan is less funny now in light of their recent breakdowns.
    • A season 1 skit Citizen Spears, had Jamie Lynn Spears as a highly successful actress while her older sister went into obscurity. A couple of years afterwards, Jamie Lynn found herself at the center of a teenage pregnancy scandal that caused Nick to torch her show.
    • The "Forgotten 90s Cartoon Characters" skit includes a poster that says "Flint, Michigan: We'll try harder". This came out years before the massive water contamination crisis there.
    • Dr. Ball M.D.'s mockery of the consensus of Padme "losing the will to live" (2008) can come off as mean-spirited after the passing of Debbie Reynolds, who was indeed distressed over the passing of her daughter, Carrie Fisher just one day prior.
    • A 2011 sketch has Discman and "Zuneman" fighting over who gets to kill Steve Jobs as revenge for making their music formats obsolete. Less than a year later, the real Steve Jobs died of cancer.
    • In the 2012 sketch where the Sarlaac pit spits out Boba Fett, Fett ends the sketch by pointing at the screen and telling Han Solo to watch his ass in Episode VII. What was originally a lighthearted joke becomes less so after Han Solo dies at the hands of his own son in The Force Awakens.
    • The iCarly sketch in which Carly accidentally films herself in the shower can be uncomfortable in light of accusations of ephebophillia against Dan Schneider.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The already-dark joke about the murder-suicide of Huey, Dewey, and Louie's mother-turned-hooker in "Duck Duck Party" was given new life when the reboot is actually going to be dealing with that very plot thread - It didn't end quite as badly, but came pretty close.
    • In a somewhat-similar vein, the revelation of Skeeter being the Muppet murderer as revenge for the other Muppets supposedly killing her as Muppet Babies looks a bit bleaker after both she and her brother have apparently been dropped from the reboot. Then again...see Hilarious below.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A season 4 sketch featured Dakota Fanning challenging Triple H to a wrestling match in John Cena's place, claiming she was only at the event to promote her new movie. The sketch debuted on a episode of WWE Raw, where Seth Green had placed himself into a tag team match with Cena & Triple as his partners, when he was only at the show to promote Robot Chicken as one of Raw's first Guest Hosts (Celebrities appearing on the show in order to promote their latest works, or because they were Local Sporting Heroes).
    • The "Transporter 3" sketch, released a few years before the actual Transporter 3 came out.
    • That sketch on board games becoming movies. Guess what got a movie in the Summer of 2012? In said sketch, one of the board games being made into a movie was Hungry Hungry Hippos. Looks like Hollywood thought that was a good idea.
    • Roger Ebert sees "Schindler's List 2: Schindler's Pissed" where Liam Neeson goes on a violent rampage against Nazis. This was well before the movie Taken, and all the other later similar movies Neeson has been in.
    • How about the 3Fast 3Furious sketch? There's now eight movies in the franchise.
    • The "Grand Theft City" sketch, where Mario and Luigi go to Vice City. In late 2016, the Nintendo Switch was announced, and among the games included in the presentation was Super Mario Odyssey, in which Mario explores a big city, among other places.
    • The "Lizzooney Tizzunes" sketch, where Daffy says that he and Bugs are going to appeal to the demographic by being more hip. The following decade after this sketch premiered, The Looney Tunes Show came out, where Bugs and Daffy are roommates living in a suburb and plenty of pop culture references and Getting Crap Past the Radar moments are in there.
    • In the GPS Dating sketch, Scarlett Johansson provides the voice of the navigation system attempting a relationship with her driver. This was seven years before she provided the voice of another A.I. attempting a relationship with a human male.
    • In the season 6 Thomas the Tank Engine sketch "Blow Some Steam", Harold the helicopter flies through a railway tunnel, and his blades hit the side of the tunnel wall, causing him to crash and explode. A year later, a Thomas episode aired where Harold did go through a railway tunnel, and his blades hit the wall (though with less deadly results).
    • All the sketches relating to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles become this when you find out that not only is Seth Green voicing Leonardo, but shortly after it was announced, there was a sketch with Greg Cipes reprising his role as Michelangelo.
    • In a sketch spoofing The Fast and the Furious, there's a moment where Batman threatens to give Robin a "bat bitchslap" when he chastises him for cheating. Later on, an image of Batman slapping Robin became a popular meme.
    • The Lance Armstrong sketch where he dreams of becoming president of France if he wins the latest Tour De France, which ended in him cheating by kicking over a fellow biker. A few years after the sketch, it was revealed that he took steroids.
    • When an Imperial Officer tries to rally his fleet to attack the rebels in retaliation for blowing up the Death Star and killing Emperor Palpatine, one of his peers shoots him down, citing that those two events means the Empire lost and they they all have to throw down their guns and go home. While the original Expanded Universe already turned this into a case of Reality Ensues, this trope hits even harder now that The Force Awakens has come out, where the Empire still exists in some form despite the events of Jedi.
      • Also, Disney recently confirmed that, yes, Boba Fett did survive the Sarlacc pit... somehow.
    • The 1776 Sketch, a parody of 300, becomes funnier with the announcement that Zack Snyder wants to do a film about George Washington.
    • As Palpatine descends to his doom, he decides to make amends with Jar-Jar and apologizes for manipulating him into giving him the emergency powers which did a great deal of paving the way for the Empire. Jar-Jar responds by laughing at the idea that Palpatine manipulated him, and dons a Sith cloak and laughs maniacally. In the days leading up to the release of The Force Awakens, an incredibly detailed theory suggesting that Jar-Jar was the true evil Sith antagonist of the franchise reached huge Memetic Mutation standards.
    • One episode has two meth cooks killing a blue-colored crystal alien and smoking his shattered remains. This aired several months before the premiere of Breaking Bad.
    • The season 8 episode 'Ants on a Hamburger' has a multipart sketch involving Sadako/Samara finally getting around to having The Tape digitally transferred over to DVD and then uploading it to YouTube. The episode came out in November of 2015, about fifteen months before Rings hit cinemas.
    • There is a sketch where Grover of Sesame Street meets up with Hannah Horvath from Girls and it's made clear that their lifestyles don't mesh; the finale of Girls has Hannah giving birth to a baby boy named Grover and having to make some adjustments to function as a mother to him.
    • A spoof of Disney's Beauty and the Beast has the "Be Our Guest" numbernote  get interrupted by a singing chamberpot, who reminds Belle that she'll need him after dinner. Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast (2017) almost added a living toilet, as shown in the deleted scenes.
    • The "Children of Lego Men" skit had a gag with a Lego soldier forgetting to put on his pants. Cut to 2014 and The LEGO Movie... "Honey, where are my paaaaaaaaaants?"
    • Famine Pony from the "Apocalypse Pony" skit strongly resembles Princess Luna.
    • The Harry Potter spoof "Wizards in Heat" has Dumbledore portrayed as African-American, to the initial confusion of Harry. Come Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and an HP character usually portrayed as white — Hermione, in this case — really does become played by someone of African descent.
      • When Harry questions why Dumbledore is suddenly a Jive Turkey, the explanation given before glossing over the question entirely is "I'm a different actor in every movie!" Amusing in light of the later film adaptations, where Michael Gambon remained the current-day Dumbledore's actor for the rest of the series.
    • Seems like "The Muppets Murder Mystery" brought some form of inspiration to Brian Henson, because now he's made his own movie about somebody killing puppets.
    • Mark Hamill voices Chucky in a couple of their sketches. It's a lot more amusing now considering Hamill will serve as the official voice of Chucky in the 2019 reboot. Even more hilarious is that one of those sketches has him vaguely remembering what Chucky's origin is, as the reboot has a different backstory for him.
    • The "Welcome to the Golf Jam" skit has Tiger Woods staring in a Space Jam-style movie with characters from DIC called Golf Jam. Just a couple years later, Space Jam director Joe Pytka revealed plans for a sequel that would've included Woods in a leading role.
    • The "Gary the Stormtrooper" skit has Gary falling prey to Obi-Wan's Jedi Mind Trick because of the stress of his job. In the From a Certain Point of View short story "Bump", it's revealed that the Stormtrooper Gary was standing in for was susceptible to the Mind Trick's influence because of the stress of his job.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • (kick to the nuts) CAPTAAAAAAAAAAAAIN PLANET!!
    • Protect the environment.... OR I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!
      • Oddly enough, they follow this up with something akin to a parody of this phenomenon, with the sketch going into a weird truTV-type commentary show thing where a bunch of D-list "celebrities" take affectionate potshots (and some not so affectionate ones, especially Master Shake's lines) at Robot Chicken itself. The first scene features Hal Sparks basically willing the "CAPTAIN PLANET" shout-nutshot combo to go Memetic.
    • What a TWIST!
    • I'm Lindsay...Luhhhn...
    • DICKS, WITH TIME MACHINES!
    • Boba Fett's "BACK FROM THE DEAD ASSHOLES!" has become a minor one.
    • "THIS! ISN'T! FUNNY!"
    • Bitch Pudding! BLAM!
    • DARKEST SKETCH! DARKEST SKETCH! DARKEST SKETCH!
    • The "changing channels" framing device has been used noticeably more frequently in other rapid-fire skit parodies since.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Jon Arbuckle refusing to pay for Garfield's life-or-death operation.
    • The Great Pumpkin's brutal murder of Linus.
    • The Care Bears massacring the Care Bear Cousins.
    • The Mad Scientist forcing the Robot Chicken to watch the show.
    • Barney Rubble killing Dino and all the living appliances who were witnesses to his Accidental Murder of Fred. Except for the bidet. That was probably a mercy killing.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Whether or not this applies to the second season has inspired many a Flame War.
    • Season 5 is almost universally agreed upon by fans of the show as the absolute low point of the series, since it seemed that the entire focus of that season was to be as blatantly offensive as humanly possible at the expense of actual comedy. Nearly every sketch was horrifically insulting and in poor taste. Thankfully the creators got the hint, and season 6 had seen a massive improvement all around.
    • Season 9 has been accused of this, mainly due to a lack of memorable sketches and an increased amount of Anvilicious political sketches.
  • Shallow Parody:
    • Parodied in a sketch where Seth explained that, due to Robot Chicken's production schedule, they would sometimes spoof movies that would be released by the time the episode was out, but know nothing about while in production. The example was Into the Blue, and the "parody" consisted of Jessica Alba and Paul Walker staring at the camera and saying generic things like "We are in a boat", "I wear a bikini", "I have nice abs", etc.
    • One sketch spoofing Pokémon had Ash wondering what it's like for Pikachu to be inside his Poké Ball. Except that Pikachu never goes inside a Poké Ball because he hates being inside it. They never learned from this, as it shows up in two later sketches, one of which had Pikachu inside his Poké Ball as Ash used it to play tennis with Misty in retaliation for Pikachu urinating on Ash's carpet, and the resulting motion sickness gets Pikachu to throw up. In canon a Poké Ball places the Pokémon in a virtual environment, so the ball being shaken up on the outside would have no effect on the Pokémon inside.
    • Goku carrying a handgun in one Christmas skit. Guns of almost any caliber are inane, insane jokes in the Dragon Ball universe. Goku as a kid kicked missiles and rockets back at the ones who launched them. Buu's puppy and the farmer who greeted Raditz in the pilot are about it for gunfire casualties in almost 300 episodes. This becomes Hilarious in Hindsight as of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, where a mook manages to kill Goku outright with a gun. Granted, it was a laser gun when his guard was down, but still...
    • An episode had the Nerd hanging out with the Doctor, and a lot of the jokes revolved around the show's effects being cheap. It seems like the writers of the sketch only watched the Pre-Revival era of the show, but even that is questionable considering the Doctor in the sketch didn't look like any of the ones in the series (the closest resemblance being Peter Capaldi).
    • The Harry Potter sketch that parodied Breaking Bad took random scenes from the latter without any indication of knowledge of their context. Examples include Dumbledore (who is the stand-in for Walter White) being in his underwear for no explained reason (Walter only did it in one episode because he didn't want his clothes smelling like a meth lab), Ron getting half of his face blown off in a lab accident (when in the scene it was spoofing, the explosion was intentional so Walt could get rid of Gus), the severed-head-turtle bomb, leading to Dumbledore dying from getting shrapnel in his abdomen (which not only wasn't done by Walter, but wasn't the cause of his death either).
    • The Team Fortress 2 parody in season 6, despite the game having been out for 5 years and still extremely popular by the time the episode aired. The skit starts out promising with a recreation of the class selection screen (albeit missing a third of the classes even with the Nerd's presence), then from there it deviates heavily from the source material. The Demoman and Pyro are generic white mercs, when their defining traits is that the Demoman is the Token Minority and the Pyro is The Faceless; the characters all have realistic weapons, some taken from Halo, when the game is well-known for its cartoonish art style; the Soldier and Medic both wield SMGs, a weapon used only by the Sniper; and the Medic shoots the Nerd to death when they're on the same team - friendly fire is possible in-game, but it needs to be turned on by a server admin, and it never is due to the game's griefer population. A minor one is that the camera doesn't switch to third-person when the Nerd is killed.
    • One sketch shows the result of what happens when a Power Ranger falls ill and can't properly form their Megazord. The rangers in question are the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, yet the Megazord seen is from Lightspeed Rescue. In the show itself, should a ranger be out of commission, the other rangers mainly rely on their individual Zords instead of combining them.
      • During another sketch that involves showing where 90's characters are now, they feature Mesogog from Power Rangers Dino Thunder working at a fast food establishment. Only problem though, Dino Thunder came out in 2004. The fact he's shown fighting the original Mighty Morphin' team further rubs salt into the wound of any Power Rangers fan.
    • One G.I. Joe sketch parodied G.I. Joe Extreme, but had them fighting COBRA instead of SKAR. More than likely the writers noticed "Extreme" in the show's name and wanted to make a joke about the 90's being Totally Radical.
    • Whenever a Toy Story sketch is shown, it will invariably take place after Toy Story 3 but ignore its ending and have the toys continue living with Andy. This was excusable during the infamous "Toy Story 4" sketch in season 5 (no relation to the 2019 film) because it was likely written before 3 came out, but the third sketch around season 8 not only has them living with Andy, one character accuses the toys of strapping the Big Bad of 3 to a truck to teach him a lesson, something the toys weren't involved in and would have no knowledge ofnote , indicating a bare knowledge of the source material.
    • The infamous Homestar Runner sketch, which features such oddities and inaccuracies as the King of Town having an Irish accent and Strong Bad repeatedly saying "crap" when the current shorts don't have him say it as often as previous shorts did.
  • Squick:
  • Unexpected Character: Judging by the comments for the SDCC 2017 trailer, nobody anticipated the Homestar Runner cast making an appearance on the show. It probably has to do with the fact that the Brothers Chaps never gave Robot Chicken permission to use their assets.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: The series has become sort of a Weird Al Effect making machine almost on the level of Alice in Wonderland. It doesn't help that a lot of the parodies are based on obscure media.
  • What an Idiot!: The engineer in the Dinosaur Train skit probably would have been able to steer the train if he just moved several feet.
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