Hello, Spongey here.
In my review of Wizards Only, Fools, I discussed the theory that every good show has a bad episode. At the time, I only half agreed. But as time has gone on, I now very much agree.
While not every show has a horrible episode, every show you like will have a weak episode at some point. It’s just going to happen. And that’s not counting shows that went to shit, like Family Guy. I’ve talked about a couple in the past, most notably Candace Gets Busted, Cave Party, and of course, Wizards Only, Fools.
Plenty of people have bitched about bad episodes of their favorite shows, and I used to be against that, even when I did that Wizards Only review. But since then I’ve gotten more critical, and now I’ve seen many weak episodes of shows, good and bad. I’ve even reviewed a few.
So you know what? I’ll rip off the Cartoon Hero and do a list! I didn’t want to fully review all of these as some don’t need much of an explanation. I’ll do a list counting down the episodes of good shows that just didn’t work out too well.
But, I have a big rule:
I Must flat out like the show in question. No filler entries from shows that I just tolerate.
Before I start, I should mention that the order shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I tried to balance it by seeing how much I dislike the episode vs how much I like the show. I tried to order by episode quality, since there are shows that come close to “filler” ones on here.
Also, this is isn’t a hugely concrete list, since I haven’t seen every dud episode ever, and there are shows I like that I haven’t found a dud for yet. Some simply didn’t make the list, for various reasons.
I doubt these episodes are popular but if you like any of them, don’t throw a fit. It’s cool if you like them, I just….don’t. Without further ado, let’s start.
This, is the Top 13 Bad Episodes of Cartoons I Like
Why Top 13? There were more than I thought there would be. But Before we start, we have some DISHONORABLE MENTIONS:
Now, there were plenty of duds that didn’t make it on the list for just not being THAT bad. Or they come from the shows I like a little bit less than the ones on this list.
However, I have two…interesting ones I want to go into detail on. See, there’s a kind of Dud I like to call a “Meh” dud. In this case, it’s a dud, not because it’s terrible, but because it happens to the best weakest by default, by simply having a problem that drags it down. Some of the ones on the list come close to being like this, but typically Meh Duds aren’t bad enough to make it on a list like this.
Candace Gets Busted is a good example. But I have two duds that aren’t very good, but aren’t bad enough for the list. First up is..
Keep Beach City Weird [Steven Universe]:
I’ll have a lot to say about this show some day so I’ll skip the introduction. I’ll just say that this is the kind of show that will hopefully never have a dud as bad as the turds I’m discussing today. It’s like Gravity Falls in that it’s so amazing that a true dud would crush my soul.
However, this episode comes dangerously close. It is overall…tolerable despite its problems. Let’s go over the plot. One day Steven bumps into Ronaldo, this guy who works at Beach Citywalk Fries, who is the brother of Peedee. He previously had cameos and minor appearances in other episodes. So this is his day in the limelight. Yay.
To put it bluntly, he’s a conspiracy theorist. He runs a blog talking about the weird stuff he sees in Beach City. The blog has been Defictionalized and you can find it on Tumblr. That’s cool, I guess. But yeah, he’s one of those guys, always going crazy about some conspiracy that makes no sense and isn’t real.
He thinks snake people are controlling the government. Yes.
“They pit us mammals against each other with elections, sports and Anime message boards. We spend so much time fighting over “Dubs” or “Subs” that we miss the big picture!”
…Okay, that’s an amazing line, you get a point.
Less amazing is this line:
“Take my brother for instance, He’s always getting on my case, telling me to work more. He’ll never understand.”
Keep that part in mind, it’s gonna be important later.
Long story short, he gets Seven into all this, but Steven finds out all the “proof” is actually just caused by him and the gems.
“Oh, it’s the flowers from Rose’s moss.”
Please don’t reference episodes 1000000 times better than this one.
Steven tells Ronaldo about this, and he doesn’t take this very well.
“Don’t get hung up on these minor “facts”. Truth is about more than that, truth is a feeling in your gut that you know is true! Truth is searching for anything that proves you’re right no matter how small, and holding on to that, no matter what.”
“That kinda sounds like the opposite of truth.”
Keep this is mind too.
Ronaldo is crushed about there being no “truth”, so Steven disguises himself as a snake person to make him happy. Well, at least Steven is still awesome. However, Ronaldo buys this, knocks him out and takes him to the lighthouse. Yes, he’s so sure about all his insane theories that’s willingly to do all this. Yeah.
The gems show up and kick his ass. Steven then reveals that he was the snake person and that there is no truth. While he’s having a freakout, PeeDee assures him that Steven is just “another piece in the puzzle”. He shows him some pictures and Ronaldo goes weird again, sure that Polymorphic sentient rocks are behind everything.
Well, he saw Apollo 18.
“Are you sure he’ll be happy like that?”
“Yeah, he’s happy”
Thus, they leave with him shouting about pointless crap once again. The end.
…You see the problem with this right? This episode is pretty much saying that paranoid conspiracy blogger stuff is okay. It’s not. It’s a pretty unhealthily lifestyle, really. While it’s okay to have some odd theories and crap like that, people like this tend be nutcases who are well…not well.
What makes it worse, is that up to this point he acted exactly like the worst cases of this.
Everything he said and did was insane and not good at all. They show that he’s willingly to just cling onto lies in order to prove his crazy theories as true.
Plus, they show that he doesn’t work more due to this stuff. How the hell is this okay?! The worst part is they pretty much lie to him to keep like this. Sorry, but Gumball did the whole “lies can be okay” thing way better than this episode did. In this context, they lie to make sure a guy stays crazy just cuz it makes him happy.
Yeah. Actually, while We’re on the subject of Gumball, They did a plot very similar to this, and did it RIGHT. In the episode “The Colossus”, Gumball and Darwin find out Hector’s Mom shelters him, censor comic books and preventing him from accepting friend request on Discount Facebook. They stand up for him and get him to stand up for himself, but his grief causes him to turn into a rampaging monster.
As it turns out, his Mom was only sheltering him because excitement like this makes him do…that. For his health and safety this is better. Thus, they learn a lesson about respect other peoples life choices, even if they personally disagree with it.
See, this one also advocates a seemingly bad life choices, but here’s the big difference: In both this episode and others, we see that Hector is a very nice and normal guy without needing Comic books or any of that stuff. They show us the benefits of him being like this, so thus it teaches a nice moral.
Which is better than this thing. The fact that they SHOW exactly what this does to you makes it even worse. At least in other episodes that teach bad morals, they usually don’t show what happens if you follow it. Usually, this kind of crap would get the episode on the list, no question.
But honestly, it’s not really that bad. I kind of see what they were trying to do and it’s very easy to get through. There’s some good Comedy (mostly coming from Steven) and it doesn’t become anger inducing until the end.
And even then, it’s mostly the concept of that what they are doing that pisses me off more than what is happening on screen. Its way easier to watch than any episode I’m discussing, our next honorable mention included.
And if this is your worst episode, than you have a pretty great show on your hands. Overall, it’s got some rather crappy morals and implications, but it’s somewhat tolerable. But did it really have to go and references some of the most popular episodes, and be written by the writers of said episodes?
Our next one is…uh…well…let’s just get this over with.
I can explain.
If you call, in my list of the Top 11 Spongebob Episodes I like that everyone hates, I said there were no Pre Movie episodes I disliked. Just ones I don’t like as much as others. While in a way that’s still true, that was before I watched this one again.
I really should have been more specific. I had heard mixed things about this one, but nothing stood out as terrible in my memory, so I just forgot about it. Then on a whim, I watched it again. It’s… weak.
While it is my least favorite Pre Movie Spongebob episode, it’s really not that bad, hence why it’s not on the list. The plot is that Gary leaves Spongebob for Patrick, and Spongebob gets depressed over it. Drama ensues.
For the most part, it’s fine. It sets a depressing tone that was interesting to see and while it isn’t joke heavy, the jokes they do tell are pretty good. It has flaws that come from the tone, but they can be forgiven….if it wasn’t for one element:
A lot of people hate “I’m With Stupid” because of Patrick being a jerk, and while I can’t deny he’s a jerk in that, he’s way worse here. How does he act in this episode? Well…
When Gary starts hanging with him, Patrick likes it and when Spongebob tries to pry him away, he gets all defensive. Gary chooses Patrick and he just leaves Spongebob in tears.
Then later on, he drops by SB’s house to do laundry (for some reason) and Spongebob finally breaks down in tears, and pleads with Gary to come back. How does Patrick react?
“I’m sorry, SpongeBob. But Gary’s with me now. You had your chance and you failed. You have to stop living in the past.”
Are you sure this isn’t a Modern episode?! What the hell, writers?! His best friend is litterly in tears over Gary and he’s not sympathetic at all! Usually in this kind of plot, this would happen because Patrick like’s having a nice pet of his own, and he wouldn’t want to let go of Gary.
But no, that’s not what’s happening. He is mocking Spongebob and calling him pathetic! If he just liked Gary, He wouldn’t talk like this!
He’s way worse than he was in I’m with Stupid. In that episode, Spongebob pretends to be stupid to impress his “parents” and Patrick forgets it was an act and mocks Spongebob for being stupid. While that could be arguably worse, as it shows how he responds to people dumber than him, there’s still some humor to it. It’s mean but the way he talks about him some attempts of humor in there, and the episode has a comedic tone to make up for his actions. Plus, you can say he’s just acting dick-ish to his parents and in a normal situation, he wouldn’t be a dick to morons.
Not to mention there’s SOME kind of catalyst: He wants to impress his parents. Here? Nothing. There’s even less of transition and the reasoning is weak at best. It’s not even funny, as he never cracks jokes. He’s just a jerk.
There’s no justification, it subtracts from the plot, and it’s not funny.
And that ruins the episode. The heavy depressing tone is fine and the 2nd act is full of jokes (“Larry and Gary are really different from…Jerry!”) but if you are watching knowing this is happening because Patrick is being a jerk, it becomes hard to watch. Then there’s the ending.
As it turns out, Gary only hung out with Patrick because he had a cookie in his pocket.
“He only liked me for my shorts!”
The episode ends with our hero’s reuniting and Patrick being left alone.
“I thought what we had was special!”
Oh boy, where do I begin? First, this took place over a couple days. Why did it take so long for Gary to get the cookie? Also, shouldn’t it be all moldy and gross by now? I don’t even know if I should be mad.
On one hand, it makes Gary really dick-ish, as he left his owner for a cookie and didn’t care that it depressed him. But on the other hand…that’s what a pet would do. The shows can’t seem to decide if he’s just a slightly smart pet, or the smartest character on the show.
He’s the latter more often than not, but due to his nature I can’t decide if this is “out of character” or not. You could argue the writers use this as an excuse to make him be OOC. The only other example where this is a problem is…Pet or Pests.
As if I needed more reason to hate that one.
The real problem here is that the episode’s depressing nature makes it hard to watch if you know the pay off. You watch someone get really depressed over their pet leaving, simply because they wanted a cookie and their friend was a jerk.
It’s not even depressing in a compelling way once this happens. It’s just…depressing. Watchable and kind of interesting but the payoff and Patrick ruin it. It’s…meh. And you know what the worst part is?
This episode was done by better…by two POST MOVIE EPISODES. There’s Gary New Toy, where Gary pays more attention to a new toy he gets more than Spongebob. But there it become an actual struggle for Gary as his addiction, for lack of a better word, drives them apart. It isn’t overly dramatic until the end, where it needs be, and there’s a lot jokes too.
Also, Patrick only has a cameo and he’s nice.
And the bigger one is Have you Seen this Snail. Gary leaves over food, but he has a damn good reason to do so. That one is depressing but the writing makes it work and it’s broken up with Comedy and Gary’s little story.
And on top of that, Patrick is sympathetic to Spongebob! Both those episodes are great and do this episode a lot better. Yes, really.
Overall, this episode is weak. Tolerable but its flaws drag it down. It’s easily one of the tamest “duds” out there but man, is it disappointing. By the way, if you’re interested, it was written by Paul Tibbit, Walt Dohrn, and…Merriweather Williams.
Let’s just move on to the actual list.
13. The China Problem [South Park]
SEASON 12, EPISODE 8
Writer: Trey Parker
We’re starting off with an odd one. It’s at the bottom because this episode isn’t THAT bad on it’s own. Hell, it actually isn’t bad if you look at it a certain way.
South Park’s very nature of being crass, and satirical meant it would have some episodes fans hate. There’s Ass Burgers, Stanley’s Cup, A Million Little Fibers, the list goes on. I don’t remember the first one being that bad, I haven’t seen the last one and Stanley’s Cup….might belong on this list, but I found this one worse.
I picked this one because if you find out the real reason it was written, you will find it hard to watch.
In this episode, Cartman thinks China is trying to take over the world or something, so he tries to stop it. The main plot is just boring, going in the directions you expect. Cartman thinks Chinese are one thing, and they are not. It’s been done, and it’s just not funny. Though there’s a joke with Butters that I thought was funny.
If that was the only problem I would be easy on it. But nope, the subplot had to be…icky. Stan and the gang see Indian Jones and the Kindgdom of the Crystal Skull. They don’t like it.
How much so? They treat it like a big deal. How big? They have flashbacks where George Lucas and Steven Spielberg rape Indian Jones. The joke is that they are treating it like how someone treats a friend/family member’s rape.
Yeah, it’s…awkward. But they are two ways to see it. Most people, including James Rolfe, see it as a Take That to the films critics, who mostly rag on the little scenes that don’t matter, and treat it like a horrible thing when it isn’t. If you view that way, it’s actually a great episode. I hate the attitude of focusing on the little things, and I really hate the phrase “raped my childhood”.
So why don’t I like it? I listened to the Creator Commentary. They were serious. They hated the film, and they put the rape there because, they were forced to watch the movie and so they force us to watch that in return.
“What were saying is that you were gonna have to sit there and watch this rapeing, in the same way you made us sit there and watch that”
That’s word for word. It was not a joke, they seriously meant that.
What the actual fuck.
I don’t know what’s worse. The fact that they play into the same mindset it looks they are mocking, or that they are in that mindset at all! Like, what the hell what they were thinking?
When they ended an episode with a cancer kid dying, I didn’t flinch. But when I heard this commentary, I got pretty angry. It’s rather…wrong to say a bad movie is like being raped, and then force us to watch rape. It’s awful on both levels
The rape scenes aren’t even funny. South Park does dramatic scenes for comedy all the time but this time, it wasn’t funny at all. This could have been an amazing lesson about not taking movies so seriously, or compare them to rape, but nope.
Spoilers, Lucas and Speilberg are arrested at the end, and no one learns a lesson. What the hell?! Yes, Butters says he likes it, but that’s not good enough! This whole subplot is just awful.
It’s mean spirited, it’s not funny, and it plays until a horrible mindset in the wost possible way. Why isn’t it higher? Because it’s only bad if you know the real story. Otherwise, you can view it as a satire, despite the ending. I wish it was more obvious in the episode itself, and if it was, It would be number one. No joke. But since what is there isn’t the worst, I’ll give it a pass.
But this is a still a crappy episode that made me lose respect for Trey and Matt. There isn’t much else to say. The main plot is boring, and the subplot is mean and off putting.
Don’t get used to their anger, you won’t see this type of anger until like, number 3. Either way, this episode fails on every level and it’s by far, the worst episode of the series. That’s not a popular opinion, but I don’t care.
Insert joke about the real problem not being China here.
12. A Bird in the Hood [My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic]
SEASON 1, EPISODE 21
Writer: Charlotte Fullerton
…Yeah, this time has come. In one of my MLP lists, I talked about how my attitude has changed towards the analysis community for this show. I’ve gotten into review the show, and I can side with people who dislike certain episodes.
I still think it’s silly when people so super angry on some episodes of a show like this, but I can understand where they are coming from. If I didn’t, I’d be very hypocrite given what list we’re doing here.
And I happened to find a couple episodes I didn’t’ care for. However, there is only one I can say I just don’t like, and it’s this episode.
Yeah, I wasn’t crazy about this one. I figured i would find it Meh, but it wouldn’t be my least favorite episode. Yet, here I am saying it’s my least favorite episode. It’s not like it has the worst moral or anything, but I just didn’t like it that much.
It’s close to being one of those Meh duds I’ve talked about it, but it just barely got itself on the list. It’s not the worst, but it’s fairly flawed
Celestia is in Ponyville was a little get together and while she is there, she shows off her pet bird, Philomina. However, it looks very sickly and Fluttershy is worried. With no one doing anything about the bird, she takes the bird when no one is looking, and tries to nurse it back to health Hilarity ensues.
…Or not. This is a heavy Comedy episode, so it’s not fair to bash it not much. I don’t like it, it’s really more due to my tastes than anything. But it doesn’t stop me from explaining why I didn’t enjoy that much.
Now, I will say there are funny parts. Everything up to when the plot starts is pretty funny, from the opening with Angel to Celestia being a troll to the cakes. Oh yeah, this episode helped started Trollestia.
And even in the actual plot, it has amusing moments. To their credit, they tried but it didn’t work out for me. See, most of the episode has Fluttershy trying to take care of the sickly bird but he won’t work with her.
This leads to two one problems. The big one is that the bird is sickly, which leads to…gross out humor. Now, this isn’t THAT gross, nor is it the grossest thing on this list. But it doesn’t work for the simple reason that it doesn’t fit.
The show can do harsh stuff sometimes, but it’s not fit for this kind of stuff. The animation is too clean so it can’t handle this. It just feels out of place. It’s not funny, it’s just gross. We’re mostly treated to watched a dying bird for 22 minutes, and it’s not all that.
The worst part is the gross up close up of his eyes. Ugh, never do that again. Now, the Comedy with the bird is clearly going for a Looney Tunes vibe, with jokes like him heating up to extreme degrees, only to completely freeze over when Flutters tries to tend to that.
It’s going for some fast paced antics, and another example is when the bird runs away and they do that damn Discount Yakkety Sax thing…which they already in The Ticket Master. Seriously?
However, it simply does not work. I can’t pin down why. Usually this works but it just doesn’t. I think the problem is that it’s a bit too repetitive. We send a lot of time doing weird and gross jokes like that with little variant in the plot. Due the problems with the timing and animation, it becomes kind of boring.
Not painful but a bit dull which is a sin given the tone. It does pick a bit when Twilight is dumped into the plot as per Season 1 Tradition. But even that runs into an issue when the bird tries to escape. In other words, the bird is a little shit who refuses to cooperate. If he’s trying to get back to his owner, then he sure took his sweet time making his escape attempt.
During the Yakkety Sax stuff, they do that gag where someone hides themselves with a newspaper, and then has a mustache on to trick them. It’s a classic gold but it feels kind of lame.
That’s how I would sum up the bulk of the episode: It tries good gags but it come across as weak. Not it’s nothing painful and I totally get through and enjoy minor bits. If the episodes biggest crime was being a bit, I wouldn’t be talking it.
Which means it has a bad ending.
Basically, Philomena kind of dies. But it turns out that this whole time, it was …a Phoenix. That means it just needed to shin its skin and be reborn or whatever. And then there’s a moral about how Fluttershy should have just asked about the bird before doing anything and it’s a big happy ending.
Rant time! Okay, this ending is pretty insulting and it’s pretty obvious one. For one, it makes the bird out to be a piece of shit, as it mostly just screwed around with Fluttershy and made a big show out of “dying”. Even Celestia says it’s “melodramatic”.
I guess this explains why he wasn’t really working with Fluttershy since he was fine and didn’t need treatment. But he was going to be okay regardless so why would messing with Fluttershy and escaping be a problem?
I suppose this thing being a jerk was a joke, but it was more mean than funny. Then there’s the story based problem with this. Okay, Fluttershy should have talked to Celestia but let’s think about this:
First off, I suppose you could argue that Celestia got the pet after Twilight was sent to Ponyville and that’s why she didn’t know about, since maybe she got the pet yesterday or something. But you know some…pony like Twilight would know what a Phoenix is and how they work.
Celestia brought out this really sick looking bird…and expected no one to ask about it? Actually, how come no one did? Fluttershy is shy but nopony else seemed phase by this. Either everypony somehow what a Phoenix is (making Twilight’s deal worse) or they were as nervous as Fluttershy. If that is so, it brings us back to the problem of Celestia just expecting no one to care.
Besides the obvious problems of the jerkass bird and making Celestia into an idiot, it’s also the only time I felt the moral existed purely due to contrivance. I’ve heard that complaint from some about Testing, Testing, 1 2, 3 and other episodes but in that one it felt somewhat natural due to the nature of the moral and other minor aspects.
From the start, I can buy that Dash would be unfocused and need to learn, and since she seems to be more into how cool the Wonderbolts are than anything, I can buy that she didn’t need to learn about them. In short, it felt fine.
Here, Fluttershy learns to just be up front with someone if you’re worried to avoid any stupid stuff. …Except she only did it because she saw a horribly sick bird no one was doing anything about.
She did it because the writers made the usual smart Celestia to dumb enough to do all this, and the twist makes everything confusing and contrived. The moral is only learned because they dumbed things down.
If it’s all Celestia just being a troll, than that really derails her. I can buy her making jokes and MAYBE you can excuse her decisions in Keep Calm and Flutter on, but her doing all this crap with Fluttershy is just dumb.
It took a while for her to be Best Princess.
But above all else, it’s just contrived and dumb. I think the real problem with the episode is the choice of writer. I have nothing against her, and she has had amusing moments in other episodes, but she clearly can’t do over the top zany Comedy like this. The gags either go on too long, are gross, or simply don’t land. The animation plays a part too but the writer makes the choice to add in these parts.
I think Dave Polsky should have written this episode. He was able to fill an episode was weak as Feeling Pinkie Keen with great cartoon Comedy, and make it watchable, so I have no doubt he could do it here. I’m not sure why they gave a heavy Comedy ep with Looney Tunes style humor to someone not well versed in that.
Her other issues of building the story on minor contrivances is really present here as well. So overall, this episode is watchable enough and it’s not a pain to watch, but I do not look back at it fondly when I think about it.
The jokes don’t work as well as they should, the bird is a dick, and the ending is incredibly contrived and kind of insulting. Maybe if the jokes were a lot funnier, and the bulk of it was better, the ending wouldn’t be a big issue (given other episodes have similar plot issues), but sadly, that is not the case.
It’s pretty tame given its issues are rather minor, but since it failed to really give me anything substantial besides a decent moral and portrayal of Fluttershy, I sadly must call it a dud.
It’s pretty mild and I came close to taking it off the least, but the ending just bugged me too much. It’s tame but still weak. And hey, if this is my least favorite episode, they I must have great respect for this show.
I guess you could say A Bird in the Hoof….wasn’t worth anything.
11. Dan Vs Dancing
SEASON 2, EPISODE 4
Writer: Chris Pearson
…Yeah, I have some more explaining to do. But for your pleasure, let me start this off right…
DAN VS DANCIIIIIING!
Spongey Vs Dan Vs Dancing
I did a whole tribute to Dan Vs, so it may seem odd for me to say one episode didn’t work, as I didn’t mention it in that post. Well, I re-watched it after and…It’s weak.
The thing about Dan Vs is that it could have failed. They could have made Dan too much of a dick, or made it so he SHOULDN’T win when he does. This episode…doesn’t quite do that, but it comes close.
He isn’t more of a dick than usual …until the ending. No, another character is the problem. But we’ll get to that.
Elise is making Chris be her partner in a Dance contest, making him train all the time. Of course, Dan doesn’t like this, as he wants Chris for himself. He learns that Dancing is the reason and..
Yeah. It starts off fine, I suppose. But then it gets muddled. See, the problem with this episode is ELISE. I love Elise as much as any other character, and I even think she wasn’t pointless/overexposed in Season 2 (except Wild West Town for some reason) but she is…kind of Out of Character here.
Sort of. It’s one of those “It’s in character, so it’s okay” things…to an extent. See, Elise is doing this Dancing thing because she’s always wanted to do but of course, her parents made her do other things. Yep, it’s that cliché. It works in the moment, but instead of doing anything with it, they use as an excuse to make Elise do awful things.
Dan, being Dan, does some dirty things to stop the dance contest from happening so he can get Chris. I’ll touch on Chris’ role in a bit. Eventually, Elise has Dan mailed to a deserted town full of dance fighting zombies.
…Okay, let me explain before we move on. We find out this town was a Dance Hub before it got turned into Dance Family-….I mean a ghost town. Something happened that I forgot, and now most of the people are gone, and the people that are left, turned feral, and are not just dance fighting zombies.
First off, this should have been amazing. Dan must learns dance fighting from an old master dude to escape the town. That’s an awesome idea and it almost works. But it’s ruined a bit by how this happened.
I mean…seriously Else? Even for you that’s a bit drastic. What makes it worse is her attitude. What she did was bad but she acts like a crazy person about it, and not in the fun way. I can almost buy her doing this but the way she acts is just…yeah.
I mean, she doesn’t even think about what Mr. Mumbles will do with Dan gone. Chris says he went to Dan’s house and Mr. Mumbles was looking thin. ….Okay, typically Elsie would give the cat a better home or something, not let it starve to death!
That’s where it crosses the line. Does Elise feel bad when Chris points this out? Nope, she doesn’t even comment on Mr. Mumbles. I get the Dan is a problem and he is bothering you, but this is just going overboard.
And I can’t even exactly like Dan in this situation. He and Elise were fighting over him like a piece of meat and Dan didn’t really seem to care at all about what he wanted to do. Usually this would be fine but with both parties being bad…yeah.
Anyway, the middle part of the episode is the best with Dan learning how to fight dance under an old mentor so he can escape. It’s very enjoyable and takes advantage of the concept.
But the issues keep popping up. Chris knows about all of this and doesn’t even try to go there or something, simple because Elise says he’s fine. He has no reason to believe her.
The other problem is that the good part ends too early. Before the 3rd act, Dan successfully leaves the town. It’s cool but it would make more sense to be the climax. Instead, it involves Elsie and it’s where the episode falls apart.
Oh, and Dan leaves his mentor in the town despite promising to take him with him. Lovely.
The rest of the episode takes place at the dance contest, and Elise finds out she must have an alternate.
“You will win me this trophy, or I will have you swing dancing every other Wednesday until the penultimate Wednesday of your life!”
…Yikes. To make it worse, Chris gets hurt while they dance and she doesn’t care at all. If you think they will make up for this, given how it’s going…you forgot what list this is.
Dan arrives for revenge but of course he just ends up Dancing with her. He plans to fight with her but because Dan is now good at dancing, she wants him as his partner so she can win.
“If you help me win, you can have Chris for 3 solid weeks”
….She sent you to a town of feral dance fighters, and you are going to help her win a contest that got you into this mess in the first place? Now I really can’t like either of them because they both treat Chris like garbage!
“This is the worst pain I ever felt”
And guess what? She wins! She wins and keeps her trophy. ….This is a problem. Elise treated her husband badly, sent someone to a feral town, and not only got away with it, but was REWARDED for it. To make it worse, she won as a result of what she did.
Just…wow. When Dan wins, there’s usually a reason. Typically he’s winning against a greater threat and in most episodes what he does isn’t THAT bad. His attitude makes him a jerk more than anything, and in most episodes he doesn’t cross the line into being fully unlikable.
Here, Elise did stuff worse than what Dan does yet she wins anyway. But it’s not over yet. Dan refuses to call an Ambulance for Chris and we cut to later as they hang out at Dan’s place.
“Where’s Mr. Mumbles?’
Oh good question, the episode kind of forgot about him. On the news, they mention that Dan’s tunnels (don’t ask) were found under the Dance place and the place ends up falling apart. So Dan’s revenge didn’t even really happen in the actual climax.
“That reminds me, you did allow her to Shanghai me so…fight dance!”
He kicks Chris in the dance, and with a freaking frame freeze, the episode ends. …Okay, first off….what happened to Mr. Mumbles? They bring it up but…don’t say anything. A plot hole is one thing but if you bring it up, I expect you to explain it!
And that just makes it all worse. With that ending “joke”, they pretty much made it so there’s no one to like here. Dan is even more of a prick then usually, fighting his friend who is already injured. When Dan does this kind of stuff, he usually loses or gets hurt or something. Here, he wins because…reasons.
I’ve gone on about Elise but just…wow. I could forgive her if she lost in the end but nope. She does horrible things and wins…as a result of what she did. I know this isn’t exactly the most morally sound, but usually there’s something to like about someone.
Did I mention most of it isn’t funny? Some of Chris’s reactions are amusing early on, but not so much later because hearing someone in pain is not funny in this context. Elise is way too horrible to be funny so only Dan’s plot is funny here for the most part.
I’m fine with Dan being unlikable since it was bound to happen eventually but having Elise be bad is another issue. She’s almost always at least tolerable, even in episodes where she really hates Dan. Because she doesn’t flat out win in those episodes and it’s still funny.
This is just depressing. I mean, I figured something like this would happen eventually, but with Dan being the worst, not Elise. It’s mildly enjoyable but the ending killed any chances of me watching this episode again.
It’s …not good. But it’s the only one that sucked in a pile of 40 something episodes. That’s not bad.
10. Pinch Sitter [Kick Buttowski]
SEASON 2, EPISODE 27b
Writer: Jenifer Keane
Remember how I’ve showered praise on Disney 😄 for their live action lineup? Well their animated lineup is nothing to scoff at either. Besides being the home for Gravity Falls and Star Vs the Forces of Evil, their original cartoons tend to be pretty solid, and their first attempt was no exception.
Kick Buttowski was a fun show with it’s extreme nature (that wasn’t annoying about it), awesome stunts and likable characters. In it’s 2 Season run, it actually didn’t screw up too much, even in Season 1. …But in Season 2, they did screw up, which is why I’m here.
The episode’s first big problem comes in at the start. It starts with Mrs. Buttowski arriving home from work only to see that the Cul De Sac is in shambles thanks to Kick’s latest stunt. This happened because Brad didn’t keep an eye on him when he was supposed to be babysitting him.
Okay, a few problems right off the bat. The main issue is that Kick is incedibly unlikable in this episode for a few reason. I mean, he tore up the street doing a stunt and does he feel bad? Nope, he thinks it’s awesome.
He even goes as far to blame Brad for this since he “let him destroy the cul de sac”. If he just crashed into a few things, it would be fine but he did some serious property damage and he doesn’t’ feel bad at all. This has happened before but never to this extent!
And no, him blaming Brad isn’t fine because Brad is a dick. Would Brad even care if Kick tore things up either way? No, cuz he’s a dick. To make it worse, Mom blames Brad too. Dude, the fact that your son can even do that and feels no regret is worse than Brad letting it him!
Mom tells us that she can’t get a real babysitter because Brad and Kick always drive them away. We then get a montage of them driving away innocent babysitters.
“The one time we get along”
….Let’s ignore the fact that they do bond on other occains because this show has no real continuity. Let’s focus on the actual problem with this: The only time they get along is when they drive away innocent people. That’s…bad. Especially for Kick who usually would only drive away jerks like Chiceralli, who is the only jerk in that flashback.
This little bit is going to bit this episode in the ass if it hasn’t already.
“While you were flash backing, I found a solution”
Okay, this one actually has some good jokes. Doesn’t make up for the plot.
Naturally, her solution is only character left that could be a babysitter: Kick’s Rival/sometimes love interest, Kendall. Kendall is mostly a flat out villain in this which is the only thing keeping this episode from being even higher on this list.
Kendall is a master babysitter and proud herself on the fact that she can tame anyone. This pushes Brad and Kick to want to get her out even more, and that’s our main plot. This may be one of the few episodes on here where the very plot is wrong.
Forgetting that Kendall is a jerk for now, the premise is that they must get rid of a babysitter so they can be free to be jerks to each other. If that other stuff wasn’t there and they just wanted to get rid of her because she’s Kendall ,that would be fine.
But we are flat out told that they want to get rid of her out of habit, and we see what they do on their own. That montage alone tells us that we have no reason to root for them even with how Kendall is portrayed.
Now, there have been times where Kick has to get rid of a bad guy mostly so he can go back to doing stuff that isn’t the best, like in “Detained”. The main difference is that Kick is just likable enough for the plot to work and the villain is so desipable that you root for Kick just to see her go down. Plus, in that episode the villain is a jerk to everyone and that’s the big conflict, to stop her because she’s bad.
Not so much here, Kick is just a prick because of bad writing .Is it obvious this writer hasn’t done any other episode? Thankfully, she moved on do better work on Phineas and Ferb.
The bulk of the episode has them trying to get rid of Kendall but to no avail, because she’s so smart. If you forget everything else and see this as just a good vs evil story, than this is actually not too bad because of the usual humor and energy.
Eventually, Kendall reveals she and her sister were babysitter ousters, and it was the only time they got along. One day they failed to oust one and they’ve been apart ever since. Ah yes, an interesting parallel…that will add to the problem in a bit.
I can kind of look past the fact that getting rid of innocent people is the only time they bond because not all cartoons need perfect morality, especially a show like this. If it’s funny and the characters stay charming, I don’t care.
And if that was the only problem, I wouldn’t be here. Kick and Brad pull out all the stops on their plan but they still fail despite their best efforts. Eventually, they hear Mom’s car and they have still failed.
You really are the queen of babysitters, and now I know how you and your sister must have felt. We didn’t oust our babysitters…the Buttoski brothers failed, nothing will ever be the same between us…”
Since this is on the list, you know this isn’t going to end well despite this. Besides, it’s a bit too overblown to work on it’s own even forgetting the morality issue with this. Kendall takes pity on them and ruins the place and pretends that she lost so Mom will put Brad back as Babysitter.
Huh, that’s nice of her. …Yeah, they ruin it.
“She fell for the cry baby act, hook, line, and emotional sinker!”
“Wait, what?! That was all an act?”!
Yep, and it ends with them being happy they got rid of Kendall. And this is other huge problem that made this episode ….not so good. This ending is really insulting. As if everything else wasn’t bad enough, our hero (and Brad) basically play with someone’s emotions just so they can go back to being jerks to each other.
If they played a trick that was actually clever in some way, this could work but the way it’s done is….bad. Kendall did what she did out of nice-ness and it showed her human side. Kick is like “Nope” and just does this and doesn’t’ feel bad at all.
And the moment back there was over dramatic, showing that he didn’t believe when doing it. Even if somehow you found Kick tolerable before this, this part will me you wonder what the writers were even thinking.
Kendall was a villain here but this trick played with her human side where she does something because she really doesn’t want to see two brothers split up. After that, Kick shouldn’t have been such a dick to her, but nope.
So we have an episode where our main character tries to get rid of a babysitter so he can wreck stuff and fight with his brother, and it’s the only way he bonds with his brother, and he plays with someone’s emotions so he can do all this. Yeah, I have no idea what they were thinking with this, even with some good jokes here and there.
This is especially sad since the show in general is usually way better than this and can handle stuff like this way better, and be really funny and energetic. Ah well, just gives me fodder for this list.
I have no ending pun so I’ll just wonder what the pinch part of the title is all about…
9. Honk/Nature Clarence [Clarence]
Writer: Mark Banker (Honk), and Spencer Rothbell (Nature Clarence)
Yep, we got a tie. I would like to discuss both so I don’t have to review the other later, and i had hard time picking which one is worse. Clarence is a semi-recent show on Cartoon Network about a kid named Clarence….and that’s about it.
It’s a small scale series about this kid and his friends. It has a lot of charm due to the simple premises, and so far, it’s really good.
But even this early in the series, we’ve had a few duds. Yes they are others but they are not as bad as these two. We’ll talk about Nature Clarence first, because it’s easier. Clarence and his friends are supposed to go on a Nature Hike lead by a chick called Nature Kate. But she bows out to do something.
It looks like there will be no hike, until her deadbeat boyfriend, Josh, hears that Kate doesn’t think that highly of him. To prove himself, he sets out on a hike to a dangerous place with the kids.
Since this is on the list, you know it ends badly. You think this would lead to Josh proving himself to Kate, leading to a very sweet, and even funny, episode. But nope. It’s a Josh torture episode.
It’s not so bad at first, with Josh dealing with the kids as they drive. Wait, doesn’t driving there defeat the propose of a hike? Anyway, it’s a tad annoying but I can tolerate it. Infact, I was only kind of bored of the torment until the end.
There are some sold jokes, and it’s enjoyable in some parts. Heck I even like the way Clarence was written in this one. He shows himself to be a good leader, giving us something to admire about it. That’s more than I can say for the other dud we have to talk about.
However, some of the Josh Torture takes from it a tad. He gets pissed that Clarence is a better leader, and when they get to a good campground, he goes crazy and almost falls off a cliff. Kate shows up to save him and then we get the part that made the episode a stinker.
Josh breaks up with her for reasons I don’t remember, and she says it’s okay because she’s been dating this over guy for a few days now. The episode ends with a goat biting Josh’s ear.
Yeah, this is pointless, cruel torture.
Did he deserve anything to get this torment? No, Yeah, they say he’s a deadbeat, but we didn’t SEE any proof of it. Yes, he does put kids in danger to prove a point but a lot the bad stuff that happens is not his fault and everything he does is understandable.
There was no point to giving him a bad ending, and the goat thing pushes it to a bad level. Also, it’s okay to cheat on your boyfriend if you don’t like him? Great lesson for the kids guys.
So yeah, it has it’s moments, but it’s a cruel episode that I did not care for. But it’s miles above Honk, at least.
Honk is Ripped Pants from Spongebob, and Slide Whistle Stooges, also from Spongebob. Except it’s not as good as the former, and not as annoying as the latter. Like Nature Clarence, it’s the ending that ruins this one.
Claence wants to improve his communication skills, so he gets a squeeze horn and uses it as a gimmick to make people laugh. For the most part, they learn a lesson from Slide Whistle Stooges and put other jokes besides the one noise. The noise isn’t that bad, and the story seems solid, until the end.
Jeff warns him that overusing a gimmick can be a bad thing, but he doesn’t listen since things are going fine. But soon, it starts annoying people, like when the noise prevents them from hearing something on the PA that they wanted to hear.
See why I compared it to Ripped Pants? In this episode, SB also uses a gimmick to make people laugh, but soon it gets on their nerves. His friends left him, and through a song, learns not to do crap like that. It was a good episode, but clearly Mark Banker, the writer of this episode, did not watch it.
Clarence gets so annoying with the horn, that they actually hold an intervention. This bit is funny but this is where things get kind of awkward. Clarence leaves before he can have a breakthrough, and eventually he does get rid of the horn…but at the last minute he takes it back. He shows no sign of wanting to change at all. Yeah, this isn’t even the worst part. Bits like that make this episode awkward to re-watch, and now we’re at the bad part.
Everyone gets horns to annoy Clarence…but it just makes things “better” for him. Then there’s a big horn band….thing, where everyone just says “Screw it” and joins Clarence in this big….thing. Everyone is happy, at least until their horns are confiscated.
‘Don’t cry for Hornsby, he’s in a better place now. So am I, because I learned my daily moral lesson”
“That being true to yourself and not letting anyone else tell you who you are or what you should do is the only way to forge true friendship?”
“Nope, I learned that when you lose your horn, you buy the whistle”
He pulls a slide whistle, (which doesn’t help my Slide Whistle Stooges comment) and the episode ends.
….Llet’s get my first thought out of the way:
Someone acts like a dick, and not only gets away with it, The episode teaches a moral that says they were in the right to do so.
Dang it, it’s Freaky Fido all over again. Seriously, this is Freaky Fido again, only a tad less insulting since the moral isn’t as horrible. But it’s still not good. And trust me, there’s a worse Freaky Fido copy out there. We’ll get to it.
I mean, Clarence overusing the horn is shown in a negative light, and eventually it has no positive impact on anyone. It’s shown to be even bad for him, like a weird drug addiction. Yet he gets away with it, and they just tell us he didn’t need to change.
And worst of all, he learns nothing. He doesn’t even learn the bad moral! He keeps doing what he did early. Also, the teacher takes it away at the end, supposedly to prevent Slide Whistle Stooges 2.
Everything about this ending sucks. Not only does it make the whole episode pointless, but it derails Clarence and gives us a bad lesson that he doesn’t even learn! Sorry, but then you show it having a negative effect on him, you can’t turn around and say it was a good thing.
Again, you shouldn’t change yourself for others, but like in Freaky Fido, this is a case where the thing you are doing is bad. The message itself isn’t bad, but the execution makes it bad.
It’s just a really dumb ending. The episode was almost good until the ending. It’s a tad annoying, but I like the Ripped Pants-ish story they were going for but nope. If you want this story done right, just watch Ripped Pants.
Now, what about other duds? Well there’s one called Straight Illin that’s…actually just as bad as these, but I didn’t want a three way tie. Basically, it’s what would happen if bad Sanjay and Craig writers got a hold of the show.
There’s also a House Fancy episode I want to go over while I’m here. It is called Neighborhood Grill. The main plot, despite some flaws is pretty good. However…Josh pops up again. And he’s missing his ear. Then when he sees Clarence, we are treated to clips from Nature Clarence.
This episode was on my bad side early on. But then Josh vanishes from the plot cuz he’s pointless. Seriously, you can cut him from the episode and it would be the same. Only better. How does he play into the ending?
When things are wrapped up, he randomly trips a fork stabs him in the eye. Then it ends …What the hell, writers? I’m really starting to get tired of badly written Butt Monkeys. A poor guy getting his eye taken out is not funny. At all.
Especially when it comes out of nowhere! But whatever, the gay couple distracted people from that….Wait, what?
….Otherwise, there’s no reason to watch any of these episodes. One is pointlessly cruel, and the other has a crappy ending with a dumb message.
For a show that’s so innocent and good, it’s sad to see it do stuff like this. But eh, we all make mistakes, as this list proves. Check out the show, but avoid these episodes. Neither of them are worthy honking for.
8. Mastermind of Diastermind [Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja]
SEASON 2, EPISODE 13a
Writers: Jed Ellinoff, Scott Thomas, Jim Martin, and Russ McGarry
Before I get too deep, I’d like to mention I added this episode after I planned out the list. Yeah. It aired after i did so. Now, it doesn’t mean it’s really bad, but it is so poorly thought out I needed to put it here. It fails in ways few episodes on this list do.
For those who need the exposition, Randy Cunningham 9th Grade Ninja is another cartoon from our old friend Disney XD. It was created by people who wrote episodes of The Haunting Hour.
Of course I had to point that out.
Due to it being on a less popular channel, it’s rather underrated but it is pretty good.
I may talk about it at length someday, and in case I do I won’t get too deep into the premise. All you need to know is that it centers on this kid who holds the responsibility of being this super Ninja guy who protects his hometown of Norrisvile. It is a bit cliché but it does have fun with these clichés.
On top of that, it has nice animation, cool action, and a decent story. Yeah, it’s one of those shows with a mythology and a minor story arc. It’s not as story heavy as I would like but it does its story well enough, and it’s lead has even developed enough,.
But like any decent show, it has problems and some duds. It’s got some problem episodes but none quite as bad as this. The show has a couple minor issues, and one of them is Howard.
He’s Randy best friend, and he’s the kind who is a bit of a dick. Sometimes he’s tolerable, by either being good or his dick side being tolerable, and sometimes…he’s just a dick. It depends on the episode, and despite the show growing as it goes on, Howard continues to be an issue.
I figured if there was a dud, he would be the reason it’s bad. But oddly enough…that’s not the case. Well, okay he is a huge dick but the main reason is actually different. But he doesn’t help at all. This is going to take a while to explain so strap in.,
The episode starts with Randy as the Ninja fighting a particularly easy enemy. He boasts about it to Howard, to the point where he starts to seem a bit dick-ish. Howard calls him out on this and says that the robot guy was just simply easy and this isn’t a showcase of how amazing The Ninja is. Keep that in mind.
Randy naturally disagrees, and Howard bets that if he were his nemesis, he could give those lame enemies a run for their money. Now, from this you might be expect a story where Howard becomes a worthy foe (most likely through being Stank’d, don’t ask) and Randy learns not to be so boastful. Almost kind of like…Mare do Well, expect less over hated.
But instead it turns into something completely different. As the title implies, it turns into a Mastermind completion. Howard says he is a Mastermind and he can outsmart Randy. …That has nothing to do with proving that his current enemies are too easy.
I mean, I’m fine with a Mastermind competition plot but it kind of needs to make sense with your set up. You set up a bragging moral but then switch to something different!
But whatever, let’s see how much of a Mastermind Howard is. They are at lunch and Howard says they are having Chili Fries, so Randy gives him his normal fries so he can get the Chili ones.
But of course Howard is lying, and to make it worse, Howard now has the last of the fries. That’s…kind of mastermind-ish but it’s also dick-ish.
“Swapping my fries does not make you a mastermind”
Next, Howard swaps their science projects so that Howard gets a good one that gets an A. …That’s definitely not being a mastermind. That’s being a dick. I’m stupid and I could have done that.
Okay, so next Howard tricks Randy into giving flowers to Flute Girl who rejects him. Now that is slightly tricky but not really smart…and it’s still dick-ish. Howard, there’s a difference between proving oyu can face the Ninja and being a dick to your best friend.
Then Howard tells Randy to watch out for the gym door, which Randy ignores to be one step ahead but cuz he doesn’t listen to him, he gets hit when the doors open. …Eh, that’s kind of Mastermind-y I suppose.
“Admit I’m a mastermind, and if you faced me in battle, you would lose”
How does playing dumb pranks make you worthy of defeating the freaking Ninja?
Freaked out, Randy consults his magic book of Ninja wisedom for the moral of the week:
“The unexpected is Never expected”
Hm…yeah I don’t know what that means. The Nomicon should be cryptic to Randy, not us.
“Howard masterminds me cuz he expects what I expect him to do so I have to do what I expect to do and not what Howard expects me to do…what does Howard expect me to do?”
Yeah, I didn’t catch any of that. But I’ll say more about that at the end.
As for what happens next…it requires some backstory. In the episode “Julian’s Birthday Surprise”, a McGuffin power ball ends up in the hands of local Goth kid Julian and it turns him evil. At the end, his evil side is banished the Shadow Realm but in “Snow-klahoma”, it escapes and takes over Julian, leaving him in the Shadow World place.
Told you this show does story arcs, and this was going pretty well….and they picked a bad episode to continue it in. Evil! Julian is looking for the McGuffin ball again and figures out Randy is the Ninja so he asks him for it, point blank. Randy doesn’t know he’s evil by the way,.
Evil Julian claims Howard told him about him having the ball, and due to what is going on, Randy does what Howard does not expect him to do…give him the ball. ….Okay if this was a Howard trick he would expect you to give him the ball as part of the prank.
Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that Randy has given a bad guy a powerful weapon…because he was freaked out by Howard. In other words, this is all Howard’s fault!
Actually, I blame the Nomicon. How the hell was randy supposed to interrupt this wisdom?
Proud of himself, Randy brags about this to Howard, just as he has his latest scheme ready. He made a bench out of butter and he tells Randy to sit on it. …Really? You’re other plans were…somewhat smart but this isn’t smart in the slightest. Randy has eyes, he can see its butter. Why did Howard take a step in dumbass just as Randy catches onto him?
Howard reveals it wasn’t him and it hits Randy that he shoob’d this up. Randy Ninja’s out and faces Evil Julian who reveals that he is indeed evil Julian. It’s worth pointing out that Evil Julian wears all white while Julian is all purple. Randy didn’t notice it because plot.
“How has no one noticed this?!’
Pointing out your plot holes does make this them go away.
Julian uses the power ball to turn into a big robot thing which leads to a fight scene. The Nomicom’s wisdom comes back as usual.
“Evil Julian expects me to fight him so doesn’t expect me to….Ninja run away!”
Okay, but how the hell was that supposed to be helpful earlier, Nomicon!
Anyway, Howard sets up a bunch of wrap…stuff on some trees and…tells Randy/Ninja to walk towards it. Wait, your best friend is in the middle of a fight and you still want to play cruel pranks? What the hell, dude?!
Of course the wrap stops Julian and Howard questions how Randy knew he would do the wrap thing. Uh, cuz you could latterly see it from Randy was standing, dumbass.
“I masterminded your mastermind”
“Then I have nothing left to teach you”
…No, it was really easy to spot.
Ninja then flings evil Julian away, which blows him up and destroys the power ball. Don’t worry, the balls are the kind of McGuffin that needs to be blown up.
Then the episode just…abruptly ends with Evil Jullian landing and then revealing himself to alive while laughing evilly. …Okay then. And yes, this comes back a few episodes later and Evil Jullian even becomes the main foe in the Season finale, mostly due to the robot suit.
…Which makes this episode important to the story. Ugh. Where do I begin? Well first, the nitpicks: Julian has been in the shadow world for a bit now (in production order, it was the very previous episode, but that one takes place in winter while this has no snow, so we’ll assume it’s been awhile), with the bag Randy has the ball in and he only just noticed it says “property of Randy Cunningham” on the bottom?
Also, McFist can be pretty stupid but a robot that litterly says it’s weak point on the front? Come on, he’s not THAT obvious…most of the time.
Now the slightly bigger issues. This episode breaks from the formula is all the wrong ways. Usually Randy is doing something wrong, is about to do something wrong and the Nomicom gives him advice, that if followed, will fix the problem.
Here, it’s advice is only useful LATER in a different context. It’s not worded very well so how the hell is Randy supposed to interpret it? It kind of ties the current situation into the later one but not in a way Randy could have possibly known. Again, the Nomicon is cryptic sometimes but its’ SUPPOSED to be obvious to Randy at this point. His idiocy shouldn’t be understandable by mid-Season 2.
And here’s the obvious one: Howard is a huge dick. At first, you can argue he’s doing this to prove a point but as it goes on, you can tell he just wants to be a dick and prove he’s superior. The first couple pranks could be excused but eventually they just got more mean than funny, and that butter thing is just lazy. The worst has to be the wrap thing.
How does screwing up a major fight prove anything? If he loses, bad shit will go down. Now is not the time to make your stupid point, Howard! And of course, he learns nothing and gets no comeuppance.
This episode is lazily written too. One second it’s about Randy being boastful, the next it’s about a Mastermind competition. Then it’s about evil Julian! It can’t decide what it’s about or what direction it once to take the plot. As a result, it’s cluttered and it took me a few viewings to really take everything in. It’s not that complex of a plot but some things were not well established enough for me to care on the first viewing.
At first I thought the whole Mastermind plot wasn’t even resolved but it…kind of was. Randy is able to trick Julian using one of Howard’s tricks…..but a monkey could see Howard’s trick coming and the episode just kind of…stops before you can tell what the hell Randy learned.
The episode has a point then it lost it in all the action. I really like Evil Jullian and the action was cool but the road to it was very contrived. An episode about Randy learning to be humble would have been fine, even if they kind of did it with Lucis o Thunderpunch.
An episode about Randy and Howard matching wits would have been great…if they were on an even playing field at all. An episode about Evil Jullian coming back is a fine idea….if he got the orb in a natural manner.
What was the point of the opening scene if it would have no bearing on the actual plot? How did the writers think any of this worked? This is why having FOUR writers on an 11 minute episode like this is typically a bad idea.
Overall, this is easily one of the worst written episodes on the list, and it almost got its own review. But as a viewing experience, it wasn’t too painful and it had its moments. However, it’s still mediocre thanks to some messy writing and a lot of small problems.
You’ll see me discuss the show at a late date, and why it’s still decent, but for now it’s safe to say they Shoob’d this episode up.
7. Your Ed Here [Ed, Edd, N Eddy]
SEASON 4, EPISODE 7a
Writers: Danny Antonucci, Jono Howard
Ed, Edd, N Eddy is a show where most of its humor comes from slapstick and torture. Of course there would be episodes where that goes too far and becomes mean spirited.
While this episode is better than Sorry, Wrong Ed, other people have torn that one apart, so I decided to attack this one. I know people hate If it smells like an Ed more, but I don’t really hate that one, sorry. This one is almost as infamous, so I’m picking on it.
This one won’t take too long to explain compared to the others. Kevin discovers that Eddy’s middle name is Skipper and proceeds to mock him for it. The whole plot basically has Eddy doing embarrassing things to keep Kevin from telling.
Yep, it’s a big Eddy torture episode. The problem here is small, but important. The episode started with another scam from the Ed’s that tortured Jimmy. So Eddy deserves it right?
Well…maybe but here’s the thing: Kevin didn’t care about what he did. He’s like “meh” about it. So he’s doing this is just to be a dick! The whole episode is basically someone being tortured by someone doing it for the lulz.
Even if you forget that and just consider it Karma, is is overly cruel and not too fun to watch. It’s kind of ufnny in some parts but Eddy getting worried is not funny once you put the flaws in. Natrually, Ed gets some of the best lines like when he and Double Dee are playing “X’s and O’s”
As the episode goes on, it gets way worse with his torture. It gets less funny they more they do this, and it gets kind of boring too. Eventually you start to think this is going too far, even if he deserves it. It’s just….yeesh.
Oh, and at one point he’s forced to kiss Double D. No comment. Other bad things include having Eddy bark like a seal and eat raw fish, and it’s way less funny than it sounds.
Eventually Kevin blabs anyway because he’s an asshole. Everyone starts mocking him and Christ almighty. Eddy was a dick at the start but does he deserve all of this? The answer is on. Admittedly, Rolf’s weird way of mocking is kind of funny. Even if Kevin disagrees.
“That wasn’t even remotely funny”
The irony is stunning. Everyone leaves once they get bored, and Double D tries to confront Eddy. He doesn’t mock him because he feels it’s nothing to get worked up over. Now that’s a good friend.
He even reveals his own lame middle name, Marion. And…then Ed and Eddy procde to mock him, big time.
“Listen, Double D’s middle name is Marion!”
Goddammit. This episode is bad enough with it’s cruel torture, and poorly thought out catalyst but this ending is incredibly insulting. You spend the whole episode having Kevin torture Eddy because he’s a dick, in a very cruel way.
Then suddenly, the guy being tortured fails to learn anything nad becomes a huge dick to someone else? Seriously? That’s basically covering your ass for being cruel. If it started like this and the main bulk was deserved torture, this could work if you do it right.
But instead, it’s like if you stitched the ending to Little Yellow Book on insert Squidward Torture episode here. This doesn’t make up for torturing Eddy, it just makes everything worse!
Now that is the most insulting ending on the list, even more so than Pinch Sitter and even our Number 5 pick. It just makes me angry I even had to sit through that. It has it’s moments and it has a good start, but the cruelty is turned up too much, they got an important factor wrong, and the ending is insulting all heck.
You know what, this is worse than Sorry, Wrong Ed. That one may derail Double D a ton but at least it doesn’t basically have Eddy be a dick after all that torture. There’s a way that can be done right but you have to be really careful with that, and obviously this did not do that.
I know this show is one where bad episodes were gonna happen, but not to this extent. Ah well, let’s just move on. Not much to say about this one, just a torture episode with a crappy ending. Not much more than that.
6. White Elephant Gift Exchange [Regular Show]
SEASON 6, EPISODE 9
Writers: Benton Conner, Madeline Queripel
Man, I have a lot of Cartoon Network shows on this list, and it’s not even our last one. Their shows tend to be great but they produce some of the biggest duds. Regular Show, following the weird adventures of a Blue Jay and Raccoon is weirdly amazing in a lot of ways.
It reels you in with a somewhat odd but mundane set up and gives you an insane pay off. The humor can be lead back and off the wall and it’s not only really funny but also has a solid story. Yeah, there are a couple story arcs and they can give some complex and interesting stories. That’s what keeps the show afloat to this day despite how formulaic it can be.
However, it was going to have a dud someday, since our “heroes” are slackers and the humor can be a bit mean sometimes. Usually, it works but in some cases, it doesn’t. Someone suggested The Best Burgers in the World for this list and while that one is flawed, it wasn’t that bad. But two eps are.
One is Do Me a solid, which almost made the list…until I watched this one, which was so bad it knocked that one off. And it aired after I started the list and set DMIS in place! (Yes, I had the basic idea back in December)
I’ve given it some time to grow on me and I’ve watched it a few times and I still dislike it. Allow me to explain why. It was one of two Christmas shorts they aired last year, making it one of the worst Christmas Episodes on top of being the worst Regular Show episode!
The other one, Merry Christmas Mordecai was a lot better due to the story arc I just mentioned…and most people disliked it and liked this one. …What.
Enough stalling, let’s get into it. Every year, the gang has the titular Exchange and Muscleman always gets everyone cruel prank gifts, and everyone is getting sick of it. Our first problem pops up here. Muscleman is interesting, because he can be a jerk but most of the time he’s at least kind of funny.
Then sometimes they make him likable. He can still be a prick but they’ve shown that he can be fine. But then comes this episode, which undoes all of that. He’s had prick moments in recent episodes (most notably in End of Muscleman, of the same season) but then comes this.
He gets worse at the end but even early on we have a problem: He plays an especially cruel prank on Pops. …In “Prankless” he plays a dangerous prank on Pops and swears off pranks, showing that he does care for Pops enough to fall bad when he’s hurt.
Screw that, he’s being cruel to him with no remorse. What the hell? Anyway, they fight back by getting him some prank gifts back. But before the big one goes off, Muscleman takes the time to …apologizes. He says he realizes that what he did was wrong and he’s willingly to give them a good gift to make up for it.
Then in true Regular Show fashion, they are taken to an actual White Elephant. He scolds them for what they did and plans to keep in his realm forever. I’d like to point out that he’s scolding them for being mad at Muscleman in the first place. He says that misses the point of the White Elephant.
“You’re not supposed to get gifts you like, you give gifts you hate!”
So…they are supposed to just take an assholes abuse? Huh? The way he words that is bad, but if they just kept it to that, I’d have no problem.
He takes them back after they just ask which is hilariously anti climatic. They are about to stop Muscleman from opening their gift…but they find out that his gift is fake. He was just pretending to apologize and he was giving them a crappy gift once again.
Then they unleashes their prank gift, which involves an elf dude (it’s never explained where he came from) beating him up, among other stuff. All while “Have a holly jolly Christmas” plays. Cut to the White Elephant watching this as he winks. The end.
Where do I even begin? I mean…wow, this ending is terrible. For one, this ending is really mean spirited and cruel. The cheery music is bad enough but that could have worked if it wasn’t so hard to watch. Seeing everyone laugh as Muscleman is beaten up is just…cruel. One of those people is Hi Five Ghost. You know, his best friend.
“I love the guy but he doesn’t know when to stop”
Yeah, I’m feeling the love here.
But that’s not even the problem. No, it’s the moral. They seemed to be setting up the moral that petty revenge is bad, or that stooping yourself to someone’s level is stupid. They are even punished a bit for planning this to begin with.
But nope, they throw that away for a cruel ending. So petty revenge and cruelty is fine? Yes, he did something bad but since they were earlier punished for getting back at cruel acts, this comes across as incredibly stupid and hypocritical.
Then there’s the real problem: What it does to Muscleman. Now, some people like this episode because it finally punishes Muscleman for being a jerk. Here’s the problem with that: They clearly had the chance to redeem him. They almost have him apologize for being a jerk. They almost fixed a minor problem with the character.
Instead they made be a huge jerk in a way that feels cruel, even by his standards. Then they throw a good moral story to just be cruel for no reason. So tell me, what’s better: A jerk being punished or a jerk making up for being a jerk?
So instead of fixing a problem, they just punished him for no reason. The way they do it is so cruel it wouldn’t have worked anyway. Not to mention that their chance to fix him right in the same story, so it feels like a huge tonal shift for no reason.
I just really can’t see why people like this one. Yes, seeing a jerk be punished is cool but they clearly screwed it up! But eh, I guess we all can’t hate the same things.
So yeah, this episode sucks. It’s not only cruel but it throws away a nice moral to just go against that moral and it helps ruin a character. Thank god he got Married and Broke later on which more than made up for what he did here.
If you want an okay episode that finally punishes a jerk, go for The Cent of Money, which I discussed a bit ago. That one has its problem but it least sticks to the story it’s telling.
This episode, is just a mess. Needless to say, this is as nasty as the gift Muscleman got. But ah well, at least we’ll never hear about it again. I mean, it’s not like it got nominated for emmy or something.
I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.
5. I Only Have Surprise For You[Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends]
SEASON, 4 EPISODE 6
Writer: Tim McKeon
Yeah, you all saw this coming. No list like this is complete without a Foster’s episode. This show was pretty solid with its creative premise, solid cast and great animation but somehow it screwed up enough to become infamous.
I do feel bad for the show because I feel like it’s duds have tainted its reputation. People think lesser of it as a whole simple due to 4 or so notably bad episodes. Yes, it wasn’t as good as the creators’ previous show (or his next one) but it wasn’t bad ALL the time.
As I said, there at least 4 big infamous episodes I could have talked about it. Of course there’s Everybody Knows It’s Bendy, which screwed up a pretty easy plot with an insulting ending. But that’s been done so why even talk about it? There’s Fosters Goes to Europe which had a really insulting ending but a somewhat decent concept and was almost tolerable for most of it. So it didn’t bother me quite enough to put it on here.
So that leaves us with the big two, Imposters Home for Um Make Em’ Up Pals, and I Only Have Surprise for you. I…actually had a tie with them but I decided to kick it after putting a tie lower on this list.
I thought about which one to feature since they are equally bad but I eventually went with this one. Yes, Imposters is a Frankie Torture porn with confusing message, but I can think of a few defenses for that one, which is more than I can say for this. Plus it just barely pisses me off more.
So while everyone has ranted on this one, I have enough passion to move on. Basically the premise is that Mac is paranoid about Bloo throwing him a surprise party. He always spring parties on him even when it’s not his birthday. The problem is that Bloo humiliate him every time he does so.
We get a montage of examples, such as doing it while Mac is in the shower, or doing it in the bathrooms while he’s drinking toilet water to get hot sauce bloo made him drinking of his house.
…Okay, this one just has done big problem: Bloo. Much like Howard, he’s hit or miss, nad here he’s HORRIBLE. He’s usually a jerk but here he goes waaay too far. Right at the start we see how paranoid mac is and this montage shows him going out of his way to a sadistic asshole for no reason.
This is all in the first 4 minutes, by the way. And that’s the whole episode. Bloo being worse than 10 Mastermind of Disaster mind Howard’s. Speaking of which, this one is kind of like that with Mac being worried about how he will strike next.
Yes, this is a giant Mac torture episode, and none of it is funny. Most of it has Mac ruining stuff for everyone in an attempt to stop Bloo, while Bloo giggle as he says nothing is going on.
Him going crazy is amusing in spots, but knowing that Bloo can do something horrible, makes it less funny. The fact that it’s 22 minutes instead of 11 makes it worse. It gets tiring after only like 8 minutes.
There’s at least 5 straight minutes of Mac being an accidental dick because of his paranoia. Because it’s founded to an extent, it basically makes you feel really sorry for him.
Mac gets more suspicious when Goo shows him saying there’s a party then takes it back, saying she’s here to see a friend named Artie. Yeah, I couldn’t decide if she was funny or annoying either.
We find out in a scene with Bloo and the other friends that there is indeed a party. Spoilers, it’s not what it seems. Mac spies on them and upon finding this out, he’s determined to stop it.
“It’s party time!”
Don’t remind me of worse animation.
Long story short, Mac goes insane and manages to stop the party in a big way. But…it turns out to be for Artie, who is a little kid by the way. Yep, Mac makes a little boy cry due to paranoia that his best friend will embrass him, because he often does.
….How is this funny, again? …At least everyone shunning Mac feels more justifed this time. Wait, this is the same writer? …He’s got problems. What else has this hack worked on?
If this was the end, that would be bad enough….but there’s more. Mac feels really bad, so he has Bloo help him plan a better party for Artie. Bloo Mac dress up a clown even though he hates them, at the big party.
It actually goes well, despite Mac’s embarrassment. Mac really wanted to make up for basically ruining a kid’s day. Then….it turns out to be one huuuuuge prank by Bloo and the whole house.
“You planned 2 parties all along, knowing i’d destroy them both, and feel so bad I throw my own surprise party and completely embrass myself. And everyone in the house was in on it”
Never mind, this is the most insulting ending on here….although our next entry provides stiff competition. This is just…..wow. Where do I even begin? Let’s start with FUCK YOU BLOO.
He constantly springs parties on his creator to embrass him, and then he makes Mac go so crazy he basically goes to drastic measures to stop a party, then makes him think he made a little kid cry, all as a huge plan to embrass him.
….This is some of the worst character derailment i’ve ever seen. I’m almost as bad as Yours Mine and Mine and One Coarse Meal. …Well at least the former. The icing on the cake is that everyone was on it.
Including Madame Foster who played the part of Artie, and presumably Wilt, the nice one. Everyone in the entire house (except Eduardo, he just does what people tell him to…okay that’s funny) basically was in on a plan to make Mac miserable because….reasons?
At least in Fosters Goes to Europe, they thought Mac forgot the tickets, so them being angry mad sense. Madame Foster…was worst there but still bad there. Although at least this credits scene was almost funny.
This episode basically made every single character except Mac and Eduardo unlikable, just with the concept of that ending. This isn’t just some dumb prank like the stuff in the montage, this is horrible!
Even Megan would think this is overkilll!
Since it’s 22 minutes of this, it makes even more painful. There are some amusing visuals in the middle, and a few funny gags but the ending is just…wow. If it was 11 minutes I could just let it slide as a dumb little thing with Bloo just having fun.
But you can’t make us sit through this crap for this long without being funny about it. It’s insulting and makes one of our heroes one of the most unlikable pieces of crap ever put to animation. He’s usually fine, I swear!
The only reason this isn’t higher is because …the next 4 are just that insulting and unwatchable. Be very afraid. But seriously this was a good show. Now that i’ve vented, we can focus on how good it really was, and discuss it’s gems. I suggest Bloo Superude, it’s really good.
This one is just a horrible surprise.
4. The Promise [The Amazing World of Gumball]
SEASON 2, EPISODE 32
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Jon Brittain, Tom Crowley, Jon Foster, James Lamont, Tobi Wilson
Yes, almost every episode has like 50 writers. Don’t worry, this is our last CN show, and it’s a doozy. Gumball is a fairly underrated show in the CN Family, as it’s pretty creative and is usually rather good. It’s no Steven Universe but it is fun despite its flaws.
It’s one of those shows that sometimes dabbles in mean spirited humor but it usually pulls it off okay. It knows when to mix it up and how to do it right. …Sometimes they get it wrong, resulting in some Foster’s level failures.
One example is The Laziest, where Darwin and Gumball ruin a guy’s life just to get to compete against their Dad…and it ends up being completely pointless, and then it has a slap in the face ending with Richard being a dick.
Then there’s The Limit where the kids are little brats to Nicole and pretty much get away with it. Both are bad, but nothing quit matches the horrors of this episode. The Promise is really…depressing. Above all else.
I will say that this one has its moments, like the opening where Gumball and Darwin try to get a seat on the bus despite most of them being taken. There’s some jokes here and there, but the bad parts…whoa.
The only empty seat is next to Banana Joe but he isn’t happy with them. Why? Well..
‘”Is it because We didn’t defend you when Tobias said your Mom is so overripe she’s got fruit flies?”
“Is it because we left you at the gas station on the way to daisy land on your birthday but because we were almost there, we deiced to pick you up on the way home?”
“Is it because we forgot about you on that camping trip and you had to sleep under a tent of your own skin and had to eat a bit of yourself to survive?”
….We’re off to a good start. Just…wow. Right off the bat, we find out that these two are horrible to poor Joe, and he every reason to hate them. At least it got it out of the way quickly. Keep all of this in mind.
Thankfully, Darwin wants to make it up for him while Gumball couldn’t care less. They have a special weekend planned, playing a new video game and he doesn’t want Joe to ruin it. Yeah, Gumball is kind of horrible in this episode. Sometimes he’s a dick, and sometimes it’s funny.
Spoilers, this isn’t one of those times.
“We’re gonna buy this game and play it til we’re purple”
PATRICK: I love being purple!
Darwin tries to guilt trip him via a Star Wars reference. Okay, this is the best part of the episode. They bump into Joe later on and Darwin tries to hang out with him in secret. Joe reveals that he’s been thinking about their friendship and he wants to stop being so distant.
Notice how they seem to be trying their hardest to make you feel bad for Joe. Yes, this will bite them in the ass. Anyway, Darwin makes a deal with Joe to meet up with him and help him make a video that night.
Darwin tries to sneak out of their little video game thing to meet with Joe, but Gumball catches him. Darwin tries to convince him to let Joe play them but Gumball wants it to be just the two of them. We cut to a scene with Joe but I’ll save it for later because…it’s something.
After a few of bits of nothing really happening, Gumball finally breaks down.
“It’s not about the game! It’s about us. I just wanted to spend some time together. I guess you don’t feel the same.”
Darwin says he does care about him and they hug. Darwin even decides to ditch Joe to play video games.
“I’m sure he’s getting on just fine without us”
A few problems before we get to what Joe is up to. Unlike a few other episodes on this list, this tries to get some kind of emotion out of me…and it’s kind of insulting. For one, Gumball’s motivation feels forced. You guys spend time together all the time, can’t you just table it for once? He says he feels like Joe becoming more a friend to Darwin but that’s bullshit because that only happened today.
And I must remind you that it’s like this because they have been neglecting joe and he has real problems going on. He feels like they mistreat him and they are distant. Gumball…just wants to play video games. Yes, them being distant could be an issue but Joe has a bigger problem.
We’re just supposed to find this sweet even though they are ditching their friend to play video games. I don’t get it. This could have worked on its own but with the Joe stuff it’s…problematic.
Darwin breaks a promise and apparently that’s fine? If it’s Comedy, it isn’t funny. Now, what has Joe been up to in the scenes I skipped, and the scene after this?
Well, he’s filming some workout video in the school gym (guess they just let you film random videos after hours). He tries to life some weights…and well he’s a banana so you guess that it goes wrong. It crushes him and when he tries to push it off…it crushes him even further.
It causes his Banana-y insides to come out a bit, and he stumbles around only to cause a ton of weights to crush him, and he gets caught in a treadmill.
“They’ll be here any minute now”
What the actual fuck. Just…wow…the…why…the…huh?! We’ve seen pretty horrible torture on this list but…this is a whole other level. I mean, we just watched a banana get horrifically crushed in an incredibly brutal fashion.
He INSIDES came out. He’s a banana but the real life version would be your blood or guts spewing all over the place. Yeah. I mean, if he were just hit that would be fine, but they go out of their way to make this is as brutal a possible.
This is a family show, right? I know this show isnt’ actually radar friendly, but usually when it’s messed up (The Recipe, The Joy) it’s for a reason, not just for cheap comedy. It also goes just far enough so that they don’t overdo it. Keep in mind, The Recipe is more or less a kid friendly version of Kenny from South Park, yet this is the one that goes too far.
This is the kind of crap that belongs on Family Guy. It’s that screwed up. How is this funny? Look, torture can be funny but not when it goes as far as this episode did.
And if you’re wondering, it ends where it all began: On the Bus with Joe pissed, only this time he’s in a cast. But cuz he can’t talk, they don’t know he still hates them. The end!
…Ugh. This episode is bad on a level I never expected. This show isn’t perfect but it’s screws ups are never this bad. I expect this level of bad-ness from a less show like Breadwinners or something. It puts Darwin in the right for ditching a friend, who hated them for real reasons and treats it like a sweet moment.
Then it brutally tortures someone and expects us to find it funny. This is just messed up. If it’s trying to tell a story, it fails for reasons already explained, and I certainly don’t find it funny because it’s so messed up.
Really, It doesn’t even piss me off. It’s just…depressing. Given what Banana Joe talked about it, it’s really depressing to see Darwin ditch him and have all this crap happen to him. This is one of the most depressing episodes ever and it’s not even supposed to be.
…It’s bad. It has a few funny moments, but not enough to make it worth while. Trust me, the show is usually way better, so like every other show here, check it out and avoid this episode. I’d like to say our top 3 is less painful, but that would be a lie…
3. Bully for Steve [American Dad]
SEASON 5, EPISODE 16
Writers: Matt Fusfeld and Alex Cuthbertson
Of the three Seth MacFarlane shows, American Dad might be my favorite by default. It didn’t turn to crap like Family guy and it wasn’t mediocre like The Cleveland Show.
Plus, it’s actually a good show in generally that is genuinely funny and has a lot of creativity, and even some decent satire. In some ways, I prefer it to Classic Family Guy….for the most part.
See, this is still a Seth show so it’s had a ton of duds I could spotlight. Most notably Dope and Faith, more proof these shows should never touch religion. And while I haven’t seen every episode yet, I am sure no episode will sink lower than Bully for Steve.
Stan gets worried that Steve is way too weak and backs down from challenges too easy. This is told through a bunch of hit or miss jokes that revolve around how darn wimp-y he is, and we see how bad this issue even, even if Stan might be too focused on it.
So how does he decided to solve this problem? By becoming his bully! ….Yeah, he basically takes the persona of a bully and basically torments him and acts like nothing is odd while at home, and even threatens him when he thinks of telling Francine.
You see the obvious problem with this, right? I mean, this is pretty much child abuse played for laughs. But it’s a persona, so it’s okay. Oh wait it’s not, it’s horrible! And to what, toughen him up?
Stan’s a jerk but this is going waaay too far. The concept alone takes away any humor this may have had. I have no idea why they thought this would be funny. To get it out of the way, there are some good jokes but they can’t make up for …everything else. Well okay, that one joke with the principal that became a meme is great.
If that was the only problem, I wouldn’t be here. Also, there’s a subplot in this episode. …Okay, let’s move on.
This takes up most of the episode with Steve trying to look for ways to deal with his bully but they don’t work because Stan wants him to actually stand up for himself.
Eventually Francine does find out that Stan is the bully and rightfully calls him out on it. Instead of doing something reasonable like calling the authorities or something, she trains Steve to take out Stan.
“I know I say violence is never the answer, but it has just become the answer”
That seems bad now but the actual moral is far worse. Francine fails to train him because Steve is just that weak. Yeesh, I know they tend to change certain traits based on what’s funny, but this is some bad Flanderization here.
Eventually, they finally decided to duke it out on the playground at 3 o clock because it’s always 3 o clock for some reason. However, Steve calls on Stan’s old bully, Stelio Kantos to fight him.
Okay, the actual fight is cool because of the song that plays here. He kicks Stan’s ass and eventually he gives up and says Steven has won.
“I gotta hand it to you, Steve. You handled your bully in your own way. It’s not my way, but I respect it”
And then it basically abruptly ends there on a really confusing joke with Roger. So the moral is that it’s completely okay to have someone fight your own battles when it comes to a bully. It’s fine to be a complete wimp that can’t do anything because you did it your way!
….Yeah, this is why this episode sucks so much. The only good thing I can say is that Stan is put in the wrong and he gets his comeuppance, but it doesn’t make up for everything else.
The episode spends a lot of time establishing how weak Steve is and shows it as a real problem. However, Stan is badly written and shown in a bad light just so he can be shown as in the wrong for wanting Stan to stand up for yourself.
The episode seems to think Steve’s problem is that he’s too weak to fight, but he’ shown to be too weak to even want to do anything. He doesn’t need to fight his bully, he just needs to stand up to him. There’s a difference.
People have given One Bad Apple crap for it’s bullying moral, and the only reason this isn’t worse is that this is an adult show, no the people bullied the most can’t even watch it. I mean it says it’s okay to be a wimp and have people fight your battles.
You all know why this doesn’t work out all the time in the long run, and while there’s nothing wrong with being a bit weak, Steve is way too weak for his own good here. Them miking it for jokes really bit them in the ass.
Why is this so high up even though others might be a bit worse? Because it basically shows a form of child abuse for laughs, and think it’s okay just because of how they do it. No, it’s funny and not even this show could ever make it funny.
The crappy moral and poor writing just makes it worse. Some episodes feature worse jokes and stuff like that, but the issues make this my least favorite American Dad episode at the moment, and a pretty bad stain on a decent show.
With it’s portrayal of abuse and bullying, this one certainly earns a spot this high up. The only question is, how can it get worse? Well….i just happen to have a bigger bone to pick with our top 2.
Either way, this episode sucks.
2. Face Freeze [Spongebob]
SEASON 8, EPISODE 20a
Writers: Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, and Mr Lawrence.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t I already have Spongebob as an honorable mention? Well, yes but that was Pre Movie Spongebob. This is Modern Spongeob. They are two different shows, so it counts.
I suppose I should have established rules on shows that went downhill,. I mostly allowed shows that just had a couple weak seasons like The Powerpuff girls. If it went the Spongebob route, I have to personally have enough tolerance for for those later seasons for my least favorite episode to hurt.
I debated putting Crocker Shocker here but I just reviewed it instead. But back to Spongebob. As bad as the Modern Era gets, I have enough of a connection to the show for a bad modern episode to get here, but it has to be my least favorite episode, and not just an episode you’ve seen rants on before like A pal for Gary or whatever.
Remember my crappy worst SB episodes list from forever ago? Yeah, this wasn’t on here because it had not aired at the time. Yep, a new one came out to dethrone Pet or Pests. Although in general my hate for that one has gone down.
This section will be short because there’s pretty much nothing to work with here. Let’s just get into it. The premise is that Spongebob and Patrick are making weird faces and Mr Krabs tells them not to do that or their faces will freeze that way.
They try to take his advice but fail and their faces are frozen. Let’s go over the big problems here. My biggest problem is that there’s pretty much no substance at all. It’s 11 minutes of horrifying faces. That is it.
The whole episode shows you nightmare faces instead of actually telling jokes. If they mixed it up, that would be fine but that’s all there is. The fact that the faces are all horrible makes it even worse.
As for the story, there is none. It’s basically just a rip off of Hooky, so theres pretty much nothing there. Usually the Comedy could hold it up, but there is none. Just a bunch of faces and eventually they just get boring.
While other episodes might be objectively worse, this is my least favorite. At least stuff like One Coarse Meal has some level of substance, and it felt like there was some effort somewhere.
Not so much here. Not having a heavy plot is fine, but if you are going to rely on one joke…make sure it’s actually a joke. A bunch of faces is not a joke. It’s just a bunch of faces and it gets very boring.
What little enjoyment you might get from the plot is taken away by the fact that we’ve seen this before. To just in Hooky, but in Sailor Mouth, The Main Drain and a few others. It is an accepted formula, but it’s abused here to give us nightmares.
Oh, and to make it all worse, it ends with nothing being resolved and everyone getting freaky faces, even Squidward. Because of course Squidward. If by any chance you find the faces funny, you might like it because there is some variety.
However, it still gets too boring and humorless to even stay that way. Now, on the positive aside, a few faces are amusing and I do like the “impression of a burrito” gag…but that’s bout it.
The rest is either too freaky or just boring. A one “joke” premise is bound to be risky and I can’t fault them for really trying but even in the modern era that can mix it up. As bad as The Splinter is, there’s at least variety in what happens so if you find it funny, it won’t get boring.
Again, no so much here. The only saving grace is that SB and Pat are more slightly annoying than flat out horrible, and MR Krabs is kind of in character. However the main problem keep those things from meaning anything.
Why s this higher than a lot of these? Because it kind of bothers me more. This show has plenty of bad episodes but I usually see some kind of effort. This crap is just lazy and even scary. It’s way harder to watch because of those faces, and it’s like that most of the way through.
If you like it, that’s fine but I really didn’t it. It relies on one joke, the story is ripped off, and it gets very boring and creepy. It’s just a waste of the animator’s talents. I hate that Casey and Zeus have my least favorite episodes, because they are good writers.
Casey is currently on Uncle Grandpa doing decent work while Zeus has done some stellar work on Star Vs the Forces of Evil and Harvey Beaks. I’m glad they’ve moved on to better things and we can just forget some of their lesser moments, like this thing.
Weill, here we are. The big one. After 12 + steaming turds, we’ve reached the big one. What could possibly be worse in my eyes than B torture, child abuse, jerk-y birds, and more?
The worst episode of a cartoon I happen to like is…
1. Unbarfable [Sanjay and Craig]
SEASON 1, EPISODE 8a
Writers: Sean Charmatz & Chris Viscardi
….I have some explaining to do. If you don’t follow me on Deviant Art than you probably don’t know this but…Yes, I like Sanjay and Craig. Now, read this VERY closely and do not misunderstand me. I am not in that group that likes the gross out stuff or whatever.
Infact, I dislike the gross out in the show. So why do I like it? Well, I’ll have time to go into detail at some point but I will say this: It’s actually more than it seems like. If you’ve only seen the first couple episodes, or the one Mr Enter reviewed, then you may think that is all it has. But in actuality, it can be rather innocent and have a decently surreal sense of humor. The show sucks at gross out, it just does. But it is good at showing kids being kids and telling rather good stories.
Why didn’t you know this? Because Nick made the mistake of showing the bad ones first, and Season 1 was mixed. Half of it was all the gross crap, while the other half was very good.
Season 2 is just flat out good and more people are realizing this. Yes, other shows do it better but that doesn’t make it worthless. I blame both the writers and Nick for the reputation the show got.
And that adds to why this one got the number one slot. Let’s just get into…Unbarfable. The concept is that Sanjay and Craig find out Hector has never barfed before, and this baffles them so they try to get him to barf.
The concept is the least of the problems with this. First off, them having an issue with this is dumb. If they just thought it was odd for him to not react to gross things, that would be fine but they think it’s horrible he has never barfed at all because barfing is good, I guess?
I don’t know, it’s mostly an excuse for …really bad stuff. Here’s one example: Craig turns inside out and they have him watch a video of a giraffe giving birth. WE don’t see the latter we but we hear it and we see the former.
….Yeah, you get the point. We are forced to see and hear some horribly disgusting things. The problem is pretty easy to spot. It’s way to gross. It’s not cartoon-y at all, it is horrifically disgusting.
There is no wit to in the slightest, it’s just the sickest things the writers could think of. We get to see a lot of it in detail and it’s just….wow. And here’s the thing: I don’t really hate gross out as much as most people.
It bugs me but usually just because it gets boring and overused. I won’t go EWWWW at the slightest gross thing like a pussy or something. I do get bothered by it in the typical way but not a ton.
So in a way, i’m a tiny bit like Hector, except it does effect me. This stuff is supposed to bother someone who rarely barfs or is grossed out. It’s aimed at someone like me, so I feel especially offended by all this. I can only imagine how you normal people feel!
The main problem is that there’s no humor to this. The only humor comes from Hector reacting normally, like he’s having fun with this. But that gets repetitive very quickly. Not to mention to see you it coming nad once you realize that, it’s just a bunch of gross stuff being thrown at the screen for no reason.
So if you don’t find it gross, you’ll just find it boring. Naturally, they fail to make him Barf and since they made a bet, Hector makes them do embarrassing stuff. Okay, now he’s just being a dick. I know S&C aren’t innocent but Hector wasn’t bothered at all by this, so it just seems very odd here.
Megan gives them a “science-y barf’ potion and they give it Hector, but in the only funny gag in the episode, it fails. Yes, Hector’s Stomach talking and looking cute is actually funny.
They give up and just go to Hector’s house, and find out why he’s “Unbarfable”. His house is rather gross with his grandma having shit tons of bags and winkles and kissing him a lot, and a bunch of other minor gross things.
Unfortunate implications aside, wouldn’t he have barfed once at least when he first faced these things? By staying here often, our heroes become Unbarfable but they find ou Hector has never seen his own butt.
Just roll with it.
He looks at his butt and he barfs onto the screen, Yep, this started with the boys barfing other gross taco things, and it ends with barf. ….Ugh, this episode sucks.
So if this is indicative of a problem with a flawed show, why is it on the list at number one? Because more than any other episode on this list, it taints the show.
Yes, other gross and dumb episodes exist but not to this extent. This show is really a solid and creative one, but crap like this makes it worse just for having it in it. It also makes people hate it when it’s actually not bad. If it isn’t the first episode, it’s either this or Fart Baby.
That one is just as bad, but it didn’t piss me off as much as this one did. This what people think he whole show is like. Horrible gross out with no wit to it with unlikable characters and just plain bad writing.
A lot of these episodes taint their shows by existing, but this represents the bad aspects of the show that made it seem worse than it is. I also happen to hate it more on it’s own then everything else on this list.
And that’s why it’s number one. I swear to diety, this show isn’t too bad and if you watch episodes such as The Giving G or Game On you might see that. As long as you avoid this turd. The show is nothing amazing but it is typically better than this episode.
No matter how you feel about the show, there’s no doubt that this episode is a disgusting unfunny mess. This show is better than this, and that’s why it is the worst episode of a cartoon like.
And that’s my list. I started planning at least around November of 2014. I’m so freaking glad it’s finally done! I’m sure more shows I like have bad episodes, and more will come out. But I think this represents how most duds can be, so I’m never doing a follow up.
That and I like to focus on the positive. Yeah, it’s fun to discuss how our favorite shows fail, but I just wanted to vent. I still like these shows even if these episodes exist in them. The staff clearly tried hard to make a good product, no matter how bad the results were.
So despite my bitching, I do prefer focusing on the positive. I just think it’s important to point out that even the best can screw up sometimes.
With that, I’m finally done here.