Hello, Spongey here.
In late 2015, I did a list of Bad Episodes of Cartoons I otherwise like. It’s probably one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done. I had to do even more research than usual, even if it took me longer than most projects, which is saying something.
I don’t think why, but it is fun to look at when things I like screw up. After all, you can’t love something if you’re not willing to point it it’s flaws. I’m mostly happy with that list, at least given what I had seen at the time.
However, I obviously wasn’t able to see every episode of a good show, and there were some shows I hadn’t even seen at all at the time. In that post, I said I wouldn’t do a follow up to it since I like to stay positive.
…Yeah, I lied. Okay, I had every intention of keeping that promise…but man in that year and a quarter since doing that post, I’ve found so many more duds. Some tame ones that showed me the varying levels of bad, and some so bad that would have been on the list if I did it back then.
And I figured I may as well share some. Don’t worry, I have another project in mind that should make up for this. I plan to hopefully make this a yearly thing and I had a ton more ideas to put here that couldn’t fit due to being bad enough to discuss but not quite urgently bad, you know?
With that said, none of these episodes would quite in bottom 5 of the original list, although some come veeery close. Actually, about one would but we’ll get there.
This list will be a bit different. I’m not counting them down like before. I wanted to rank them but it was a bit hard so I figured I’d make it easier on myself and instead put this in order of when they aired.
We’ll go from 1994 to 2015 on this. Yeah, nothing from 2016, at least nothing list worthy. That’s really my only rule. I tried mostly having notably bad ones on here, nothing just “weak”. Last time a few slipped on like Bird in the Hoof but this time it’s mostly bad ones. There’s one on here that’s simply “Meh” with all the rest being flat out bad, or at least extremely mediocre.
This is gonna be fun. We’ve got bad episodes of all kind this time, and most of time they make you want to pull your hair out. We have characters being unlikable, Non Humor, and stories that hardly count as stories.
We have 10 Episodes to get through, so let’s see what horror some good show can bring us this time. Oh, and nothing I’ve already covered outside of the lists such as Hot Dawg. So let’s get into it.
This, is More Bad Episodes of Cartoons I Like
Fed Up With Antoine/The Odd Couple [Sonic SATAM]
Season 2, Episode 6a/9a
Writer: Len Jansen
That’s right, we’re starting with a tie, this will be a fun list. Sonic SATAM was a solid show, and one of the better Video Game Cartoons out there, being a more serious take on Sonic that still stays true to it’s roots.
But honestly, I don’t love it as much as some others. It had problems. To be fair, most stem from it being canned after 2 Seasons because good shows being screwed over is not a new thing.
But it still had issues, like how this somewhat serious show still has Urkel as Sonic saying slang no one has ever said. But I can forgive that and some minor things, as the show did improve.
Then there’s Antoine. Now, he’s far from the worst character in a good show (We’ll meet a worse one later), and he’s not awul. He is however, weak. He’s a stereotypical cowardly french guy who didn’t develop that much. He’s only annoying sometimes, and he can be amusing due to Rob Paulsen’s performance but he didn’t do much for me. And as I said, he never really grew. This wasn’t the most development heavy show ever, but he still needed more.
He did get slight spotlight, but it was always played for laughs. One episode in Season 1 had him screw up for dumb reasons but that one had it’s moments at least. Then comes TWO Antoine Episodes in Season 2, as part of the few 11 minute episodes they did. They both failed, especially by the standards of the show.
Let’s take a look, starting with the earlier one, the appropriately titled Fed up with Antoine. We start with Antoine having blown a recent mission but claims he has everything under control. Yeah, right off the bat they are clearly trying to make him as annoying as possible.
Then Sonic tells him he has to get back home alone. And now our hero is a jerk too, great start. But he was joking, so that was pointless. Later, he asks Bunny Rabbot to teach him some Martial Arts because …why not. They didn’t write a good enough transition between the opening and this decision.
He starts training and he claims he’s amazing while Sonic treats him like dirty. Yeah, both sides are incredibly unlikable here. That’s more or less the main problem, but they really go to great lengths to show it.
He runs off and runs into some bikers and ruins their bikes trying his Kung Fu and then they make him their king. And that’s our other problem: The pacing. This show doesn’t work as well in 11 minutes, especially not in this episode. The plot moves as faster Sonic himself and it really ruins the story cohesion.
It’s clear they have plans for him with how they act, so at least they aren’t actually this dumb but it’s made too obvious too. Antoine naturally takes advantage of this to be a jerk right away and Sonic finds himself right away.
Antoine won’t go him because the power is already getting to him and wants Sonic thrown in the Dungeon. They really skipped like 50 steps in doing this plot, if they wanted us to find anyone likable. For one, he was a jerk BEFORE getting the crown.
“Come on Sonic, Antoine has his good points”
“Besides his head?”
“Well yeah. He….has good hair!”
Wow, not even the characters can find anything to like about him. That’s really sad. They find out the bikers are cannibals and after they find that out, we cut to them trying to cook him. Not sure why why needed to go through all this, it’s poorly explained.
Also, I shouldn’t be rooting for the villains.
The Freedom Fighters kick their butts and rescue Antoine. Then we cut to him telling the others later on that he got himself out and is still a jerk.
“We should have let them eat him”
The End. Wow, that was a trainwreck. Nothing worked about ti, at all. Everyone’s an asshole, the plot is rushed, and an any attempts to build a story are ruined by the pacing and everyone being a jerk. Also, no one learns anything from this. But more on that after we go through The Odd Couple, which is almost as bad.
Through reasons too contrived to get into, Sonic’s house is destroyed and he must stay with Antoine for awhile. As the title suggests, Sonic is dirty and Antoine is a neat freak. It’s done a well as you can imagine.
Antoine is typical with his neat freak-ness but he switches between being okay with it, as some people just like thing clean. But other times it’s unreasonable for the sake of cheap comedy. He’s also not happy to have Sonic here, because I guess he really hates him. His reaction is that over the top.
While Antoine is uptight, Sonic doesn’t really seem to even attempt to sympathize with him and just makes messes without thinking. Some if it is just normal stuff but other times it’s the kind of thing anyone would be mad at like getting food on his face by accident.
Either way, a lot of it is just too typical to be that funny. All Sonic does is tell him to chill without even really noting his problem. He doesn’t even call Antoine out or anything like that, he seems almost too stupid.
And Sonic sleep runs because why not. This causes Antoine to snap and just go insane and does Sonic (after randomly waking up) help him at all? Nope, he just leaves. What a good friend.
Then a tree crushes Antotine’s house without crushing him somehow. And before that, this is said.
“Not only is he totally out of his tree, he lives like a pig”
Oh screw you. And then it just…ends with a tree having falling on Antoine’s house, with him still going crazy. How…hilarious. That wasn’t even a story, it was just a bunch of stuff happening.
Besides being very cliché, both sides are weirdly written. Sonic, in the end, is an inconsiderate jerk and Antoine is kind of understandable but his one joke gets old fast. Most of the time he is going too far with Sonic is a jerk hear so I can only feel bad for Antoine.
In the end, he’s even punished with Sonic getting off scot free. He did go too far but he just wants Sonic to stop being a dirty jerk, that’s not bad enough to deserve a tree falling on his house!
I imagine his portrayal is not great for those with OCD or the like. I don’t mind it being played for Comedy sometimes, but this goes too far and is just badly written ontop of that.
But back to Fed Up. They try to do way too much in the time span, with him learning martial arts, finding the bikers, then going mad from being King and all that. At least the other one fits into 11 minutes, it’s just the jokes that make it fail.
And yes, Fed up is way worse. Odd Couple is not funny and has odd moral problems, but the other one just does everything wrong on every level. Everyone is a jerk all the way through and both sides sucking don’t make the other better, it gives us no one to root for.
This show better than to have jokes like Sally not knowing of anything good about Antoine. Come on, you’re better than that. There is really is no attempt at a real story here, it all becomes a bunch of nonsense at the end.
There’s chances to make a story, but it’s just a bunch of jokes but the bad writing just ruins them. And again, no one is likable but it’s not even at least funny. The length and the fact that it’s over quickly is the only reason I don’t hate it more, because man is it really poor.
Odd Couple is bad but it’s a hair better than this, because it keeps it simpler and has more almost okay moments at least. Fed Up With Antoine is the kind I mess I did not expect from a show like this. It wasn’t perfect but it was usual smarter than this.
There’s not too much else to say. Odd Couple is cliché and dumb and the other one is a borderline non story with unlikable characters. Both episodes give me really no one to root for and are pretty weak.
I can see someone….maybe liking them if they find the antics funny but I sure don’t. Besides a show like this can do better than episodes too reliant on humor, this isn’t SpongeBob. So yeah, this episodes suck and I think they make for a good way to begin our list.
I’m padding this now so let’s wrap it up and move on to the rest. I swear the other sections are longer.
My Sister,My Sitter [The Simpsons]
Season 8, Episode 17
Writer: Dan Greany
Oh, this one is going to be fun. The Simpsons is a show I’ve always wanted to find a bad episode from the classic seasons anyway. I mean, Pre Spongebob had a dud so this show has to have one to.
I rewatched Seasons 1-8 which are generally considered to be the classic era. I’m of that opinion to, 9 and 10 were okay I guess but not quite on the level as before. So I’m sticking with these Seasons for an episode worthy of this list. While some episodes weren’t that great,i didn’t find one too bad until this one in Season 8. I disliked one or two before but this one…oh boy, it’s bad.
Lisa decides to become a Babysitter after getting in to Discount Babysitter’s Club, At first she gets no takes due to her age, but Ned needs a sitter for Rod and Tod because Maude has been held hostage (…Yeah, this episode has it’s moments), and picks Lisa because he’s desperate.
Act 1 isn’t too bad , and is mostly funny. However, it creates a big problem for later. She’s able to take off them pretty well, so Ned recommends her to others and she gets a decent booming business afer that. So yeah, she’s surprisingly decent at this. Sure, we only see her with Rod, Todd, and then Ralph but she also did sitting for Hibbert and others we only hear about, so who knows how those kids are?
One night, Homer and Marge go out and need a sitter. They put Lisa in charge because she has gotten some decent experience under her belt. It’s safe to say they do have a reason for picking her despite her age.
Keep that in mind, it’s very important. Marge made the decision so you know it’s reasonable.
Bart is upset, which is fine. At the moment it’s in tune with his character, even with him showing anger. But right here is where it gets….bad. As soon as they leave, Bart becomes a real pain.
Some of what he does at first is okay, he’s just acting out due to not liking this situation. Then he starts just annoying her only to piss her off, which in turns pisses me off. Trust me, it gets worse and the way things end do not make up for it.
Bart gives Maggie Cofee Ice Cream (That’s a thing? I want some).
“I guess that’ll make things more interesting”
It does, but not in a good way. This is at least close to amusing, with how Maggie acts while on Coffee. Bart orders food in her name, and also has an AA meeting be hosted at the house. This is where it really goes downhil. It stops being just innocent and funny, and becomes Bart legitimately being a terrible person.
To add on to it, he calls Krusty for an “Emergency Bachelor Party”, and called an ambulence for an Emergency “Sister-ectomy”. THEN someone shows up saying they got a report saying Lisa spotted a UFO. Now it’s just getting old and each one is less funny.
“I didn’t see any UFO
“That’s right miss, you didn’t”
Okay, that’s funny.
But seriously, Bart is beyond obnoxious in this episode. I get it, he’s not happy with Lisa as his babysitter, but it’s no excuse to Flander-ize him THIS badly! He’s very much annoying her on purpose and his antics are supposed to be funny but only get more aggravating.
Eventually he fall down some stairs, which is his fault by the way for trying to run away from Lisa, and gets hurt, twisting his arm. Lisa of course wants to get him to the Hospital….but Bart refuses.
“I’m going to perserve the evidence until Mom and Dad get home. And you’ll never babysit again!”
That’s right, he gets hurt but refuses to get help so to have Lisa be punished for something that was his fault. Then he tries to hurt himself ON PURPOSE to get her even bigger trouble.
I…j…what?! Up to this point, they at least tried to keep it silly and humorous but this is just…bad, even by Bart standards! Someone hurting themselves to get someone in trouble is not funny, at least not how it’s executed.
This is where Bart becomes irredeemable in this episode. Naturally, his attempts to himself get him knocked out, which serves him right. She calls 911 but is denided dut to Bart’s prnak calls from earlier.
Yep,his silly antics from earlier end up screwing them both over. Just….wow. Lisa tries to call Dr. Hibbert directly but doesn’t want her parents to find about this, as she’ll get in trouble. Okay, this is the first time she does anything that she could be blamed for and I understand her fears….but she doesn’t assume they’ll trust Lisa over Bart, who is…you know, bart?
She even thinks Hibbert will blame her, even though she babysat for him so he knows she’s usually good at Babysitting! But to be fair, this needs to happen for the plot and I can see WHY she’s not thinking logically, so I can barely let it slide.
Instead, she decides to take Bart straight to Dr. Nick. She puts him in wheelbarrow and heads out Nick’s. Thankfully, there’s a wheelbarrow line. Sorry, but your sometimes good jokes aren’t distracting from how bad this all is
The line is full so she tries walking all the way to a real hospital. At one point Bart falls out and goes tumbling down and somehow winds up right next to the Peir where Homer and Marge are at for their thing. How (In)convenient.
Lisa’s chain of humiliation is complete and the payoff isn’t worth the set up as it’s as unfunny and cruel as the rest of it. Hibbert even blames here which is dumb for reasons I mentioned. Lisa doesn’t even try to defend herself because…the episode needs to pin the blame on Lisa without actually trying SOMEHOW!
It’s a cheap way for her to make a mistake. She doesn’t even TRY, only to get cut off or something! I’ll give them that they had her make some mistakes but besides not being enough, it’s still all Bart’s fault.
Sometime later, Bart is healing and apparently just let her take the fall during this time because he’s a horrible jerk.
“I’m sorry I was such a jerk last night”
Nope. Way too little, too late. This would mean more if you owned up to it told your parents what really happened! Cute apology but it’s not enough. Not to mention that tiny bit is ALL we get.
Lisa gets calls from Hibbert and Ned, asking her to babysit.
“Aren’t you afraid I’ll take drugs and injury your children?”
“Yes, that is a concern, but it’s hard to find a sitter”
Roll credits after Ned agrees even after Lisa tells him what happened. Wow, this is an Esoteric Happy Ending if I’ve seen one. Or just, really forced. Remember, they think she did all these awful things to bart, but still hire her because…..reasons.
It’s played for laughs but…no, you don’t end an episode like this with a dumb joke. They at least tried to have a happy ending but it’s so forced and makes no sense. What a crappy way to end a crappy episode.
I ranted on Bart but man is he bad. I get, he doesn’t like Lisa as his babysitter for various reasons but it is never fully explored. He gets angry and that’s it. If he has these deeper reasons some people finding, they should hint at it more.
This falls in the trap a lot of later Simpsons episode do by focusing so much on humor that it makes the story worse. They care more about making gags about Brart being awful that they forgot to treat him like a real character. They attempt to combine comedy and realsim due to the situation but man does it fall compare to most Classic Simpsons episodes.
I like it when they explore Bart and Lisa and further but it fails. They try to make this seem like all Lisa’s fault, showing that she’s in over her head. But remember Act 1, and how it showed her as a good babysitter? And Marge picked her due to her inexpert we saw her get. They had a good reason that we saw evidence for!
For once, showing hurt the story! Act 1 completely makes the point of the episode fall flat. If this was her first time as a sitter for kids, this would be better, as she would really be in over her head. Also, make Marge be reluctant and Homer gets her to agree. As it is, Marge is more at fault than Lisa by the episodes own logic!
Yeah, how come no one is mad at the parents that allowed this to happen?! Sure, she’s over her head due to it being Bart but he’s the one to chose to be a little pain. That would be an issue no matter who was babysitting. Heck, given his nature I bet he is a pain to sitters In general and I think it’s been mentioned at some point.
There’s some good jokes and the little subplot with Homer and Marge is fine but it’s not enough. They barely explore Bart’s side, making him a little terror, and Lisa ends up being blamed for something that’s his fault, with the most insulting happy ending ever.
I can see where this could have worked, it’s a good set up. But man, they botched it and the fact that it came from Classic Simpsons is…sad. This comes close to being like a later episodes, just with slightly better jokes.
Of course, some people do like this one, and I guess that’s fine. But for me, Bart was more annoying than funny, the cruelty was too much and the writing is really weak, with some scenes destroying the point they are making.
It just doesn’t work. Like everything on here, you can like it, I just could not stand it. It proves even the best shows can mess up sometimes. These all do but this more so, of course. Between this and Pinch Sitter, I’m thinking Babysitters don’t always bring out the best in shows…
(Wasn’t even the first lackluster Babysitter episode for this show either)
Arnold Betrays Iggy [Hey Arnold]
Season 3, Episode 10a
Writer: Steve Viksten
This was on the original list for a little while before I found new ones that knocked it down. My other reason at the time was that Mr Enter had covered this one pretty well and I thought I didn’t have much to say, so I put it off, even though it is a tad worse than something like A Bird in the Hoof.
In hindsight, the other excuse was a bit weak. I did some other things to say, mostly due to how the show usually is. So I’m here to correct it and add a few more things. The better or nicer the show is, the more devastating the Dud is and while there’s far worse, this falls under that category.
Everyone has gone into how good and important Hey Arnold was. It told great stories and was great not just for a Nicktoon, but for any kids show in general. But of course nothing is perfect and I figured it’s Dud wouldn’t but this bad, but here we are.
I won’t say as much as with these others since Enter did cover most of it’s flaws, but I’ll still say plenty. One day Arnold finds out that a “cool” kid named Iggy wears bunny pajama’s. Why is he wearing them?
Never explained. I suppose it’s not the biggest deal as some people just like doing silly things like this and don’t have a real reason but they really could have gotten that across better. Arnold, being who he is, promises not to tell.
And he doesn’t…but Sid and Stinky pry enough to find out. Sort of. When they mention Iggy, Arnold laughs and mentions it relates to what happened at Iggy’s house. Yeah, Arnold, maybe it’s not a good idea to mention that part.
“It was just something he was wearing”
…You’re an idiot.
“It wasn’t like he was wearing bunny pajamas or something”
…How oddly specific of a guess, Sid. This is beyond contrived. Because of Arnold’s reaction, they figure that out but Arnold still didn’t quite say that. You know, Arnold does have himself to blame for saying too much, like that was wearing something that was funny but I can forgive that vs what happens next.
Because they are assholes, Sid and Stinky tell everyone Iggy’s secret. Iggy is naturally mad, even when Arnold swears he didn’t actually say anything. The small part of this that Arnold did was clearly to make it so he wasn’t totally innocent but they never address this so it’s kind of pointless.
Iggy stops talking to Arnold tries to make it up to him by apologizing and giving him chocolates. It doesn’t work. Then it transitions to months later as he is still mad. Okay, this is getting silly. Look, I get why he’s mad but he looks like an asshole when he refuses to hear Arnold out at all.
Arnold offers to do his chores for a whole week to earn his forgive-ness and he does so. Yeah, this doesn’t look like Iggy is taking advantage of him at all. Especially since even after that, he doesn’t forgive him.
They do finally strike a deal: Arnold shall wear Bunny Pajamas’s,…in public….with a red carpet and news people….Wow, SLOWEST NEWS DAY EVER. Also, Grandpa says he’s gonna take pictures of this because he’s an asshole now.
Oh, and by the wearing, Bunny Pajama’s isn’t as funny as they keep thinking it is. I get the kids finding it funny, not so much the adult. It’s at this point where Sid and Stink FINALLY realize this is mostly their fault and mention this to each other in front of Iggy. Even this part is contrived!
….And the two still say they are taking pictures and aren’t doing anything to fix their mistake. Wow, you guys are assholes.
It’s too late anything as Arnold comes out and is embarrassed. This scene would be a lot more effective if you know, everything else wasn’t so botched. Iggy feels bad at the whole situation….but Arnold is giving him the cold shoulder.
The end. …Wait, what? That’s right, it ends on a Downer note, with Arnold being embarrassed, Iggy realizing his mistake but Arnold being an asshole about it because….irony. I can almost see what they were going for, it’s a “ha ha, the roles are reversed” ending but it fails because how they screwed up everything else.
It would be refreshing to have Arnold get mad at someone, but not with how it’s done. The main issue with this episode is that characters go to extremes too quickly. Sid and Stinky are assholes who pry and even when they realize their mistake,do nothing, the kids mock him for waaaaaay too long and Iggy refuses to forgive Arnold for too long and so on.
Plus, Sid and Stinky get no punishment, but Iggy does. Sure, Iggy was a jerk but at least he had a reason, those two not so much. And the ending is just insulting and a poor attempt at some dumb downer ending.
It’s not the worst, but due to the focus on the plot, nothing really interesting or funny happens. The only time I laughed was a scene with Grandpa earlier, maybe. This is clearly a “serious’ episode but the story sucks so that fails.
I do find it odd that Gerald wasn’t in this one, by the way.
Speaking of odd, the writer of this episode is mostly known for writing well…a ton of episodes, since he wrote more than any other writer on the show. This includes classics like Arnold’s Christmas and Helga on the Couch!
To be fair, when you write 65 episodes, you’re gonna screw up. But still, I don’t see how this episode could waste any more great people I like.
- stand corrected. ..Really?!
But yeah, this one’s bad. Far from the worst on this list, but everyone is unlikable, the story is very contrived and the ending is stupid. This is the kind of episode that just looks bad on the list of episodes, with it’s insulting nature.
So there, I covered it. It wouldn’t be on the list now with all the new additions but at the time, it should have been there. Sorry.
By the way, this episode, with it’s character derailment and insulting ending, is easily the best episode on here. Yeah
Operation L.I.Z.Z.I.E. [Codename Kids Next Door]
Season 1, Episode 7b
Writers: Mr Warburton, and Mo Willaims
I was surprised at how well this show held upon re-watch. It used it’s creative premise very well and managed to work for adults despite being about fighting adults. I’ll go into more detail on this show in a more positive way (hint hint) but in short, it was pretty good.
Some flaws held it back though. Sometimes they would ruin a plot with a dumb joke, and Numbah 4 could be too much of a butt monkey. But then there’s my biggest problem with this show…Lizzie.
If I don’t care for Ronaldo that much then I full on dislike Lizzie. At least he improved and hasn’t been bad in awhile. (Yes, this was written after Rocknaldo aired. I stand by what i said). I’d explain why I dislike Lizzie but reviewing this episode will show why….as it was her debut.
It’s a bad first impression. Let’s dig it!
At a Carnival, the other operatives see Nigel with a girl named Lizzie and being kids, they mock him for having a girlfriend. Yes, they establish that they were flat out together already but we never see really why he liked her to begin with. Trust me,this is a problem.
I can let the mocking slide since they are kids, as well as Nigel being embarrassed for the same reason. I get why Lizzie may be upset over Nigel denying that they are going out in front of his friends but she immediately starts to lose me when she gets mad and pushes him to the ground.
For the moment I see why she’s mad and such but as you can see, it’ll go too far. The next day, Lizzie claims she’s over it and gives him a gift: A strange looking helmet that doesn’t look suspicious at all. He puts it on and turns to leave…but she takes out a remote and fiddles with it, and suddenly Nigel wants to go with Lizzie rather than the comic shop with 2 and 4.
Yeah, spoilers, turns out this is helmet that can control people. And any small bit of humanity Lizzie has goes right out the window. It’s bad enough she pulls this crap, but the real problem is how the mind control works.
It’s hard to describe but Lizzie does a thing and Nigel does what she wants, as you’d expect, but it’s shown in a really unsettling way. It’s actually quite freaky how he says stuff like “I’m going with Lizzie”. He’s in clear discomfort as he does, and him being controlled is not smooth like in most shows.
It’s not even really played for laughs, and it’s not funny because of that. This is one of those things that becomes worse later. Also, I get why Numbah 4 doesn’t find this odd, but isn’t 2 supposed to be smart?
He at least finds it odd, as he tells the girls about it and it turns out it is a Boyfriend Helmet. A Device that is legally sold which does all that.
“They sell these things?!”
I agree, if it was 2×4 Technology, I’d get it but this is an actually thing that is sold legally? They say it’s not cheap and Lizzie doesn’t really look like the rich type. Oh, and the effects become permanent over time, which I really hope Lizzie didn’t know about.
They figure out where Nigel and Lizzie are at, and while there, we get this
“Before we know it, we’ll be going steady, then we’ll get engaged, and then we’ll get married! And you won’t ever see your stupid friends ever ever again!”
This isn’t her big crossing the line moment, but holy crud. He protests and she uses the helmet again and this scene just got really disturbing and not funny at all. I don’t even think they’re trying to be funny which is fine until the ending, oh boy.
The other operatives show up and Lizzie forces him to fight them. Yeah, this is where she crosses the line. To recap, she uses this creepy helmet to force him to be with her, than forces him to never see his friends again, then makes him fight them!
Gotta say, Lizzie is one of the craziest villains we’ve seen on the show, and that’s saying something.
Long story short, they end up being defeated and then the helmet blows up…after Nigel sees how much the restaurant is charging for their meal. Okay, that’s funny. Finally,an actual joke with the helmet.
“Don’t ever use one of those things on me again, Lizzie”
No no no, you tell her to sod off and then have either arrested or highly punished for the horrible crap she did. Does he do that?
“…Wanna get some ice cream?”
And they leave, with the other operatives still sitting there in defeat. The End. Oh boy, where do I start? Well, first off, even if this ending and how things play out is played for laughs, it’s really not funny.
What Lizzie was kind of horrible. I repeat: she uses this creepy helmet to force him to be with her, than forces him to never see his friends again, then makes him fight them. That’s flat out villainous behavior and yet she’s forgiven for really no reason.
I’m 100 percent sure she was supposed a villain but for some baffling reason, this happened. My main problem here is that what she does is too disturbing to be that enjoyable, especially with the ending. There’s not that many jokes in this episode in general, so it can’t make up for it’s issues with comedy.
But you know what, I could almost forgive this…if this was Lizzie’s only appearances, or if she appeared again and got better. ….Nope. She showed up and while had some good episodes like CAKED 2 (My favorite Caked Episode, if only for her being great for once), she was mostly still bad.
Not only was she kept as his girlfriend, but she was an annoying nagging girlfriend, which could have been funny in small does but they kept going back to this. Episodes like DATE, LEADER, LUNCH, and especially HOLIDAY had her being pretty bad. Doesn’t help that HOLIDAY also has a stupid misunderstanding plot. Honestly, that one’s almost as bad as this one but this is too much worse for them to be tied.
Heck, even her final appearance had her being bad. They tried a better harder to justify her actions but it just didn’t work out. And then she didn’t appear in the finale. You know where Nigel does a certain thing I’d like to see her reaction to?
The fact that she’s the one who broke up with him is really lame. What the hell does he see in her? Yeah, this makes this episode even worse. It has a bad introduction to a mostly bad character. The fact that she had some okay episodes does keep her from going on my list, bad I still dislike her.
And this episode started it all, with her somehow hooking up with Nigel despite doing some horrible things. This would certainly be on the first list if I saw it then. It’d be somewhere around where Your Ed Here was. What it means for the series is both why it would be that high, and why it wouldn’t quite be higher.
Others are slightly harder to watch and it really is they did with her later that bothers me so much. If this was a one off, I would still dislike it, but I forgive it. Not the case sadly. Still, this is a pretty bad one.
It has a character doing something pretty horrible, and is forgiven in an unfunny joke ending, then goes on to be just as bad in other episodes. This episode and Lizzie in general is a blight on an otherwise pretty dang good show.
Big Bug/Cold Sweat [Code Lyoko]
Season 1 Episode 5/Season 4 Episode 27
Writers: Alan Serluppus (Big Bug), Bruno Regeste and Sophie Decroisette
This tie is the oddest entry on the list. Everything else is an American show but here we have a French Cartoon, with this covering the English dub. And yet no anime, sorry. Code Lyoko is a bit complex to explain but in short, it’s a French show I gave a shot and mostly liked.
It’s far from great, though. Season 1 especially had it’s flaws. There’s quite a bit of filler (Yes, I’m using that word correctly), some episodes feel very bland and while the characters are fine, usually the best episodes work on a story level and the characters just work in it, and on their own they can fail.
I’ve gone into deep detail on DA so go there for more info on the show. But yeah, it could pretty good but man, then episodes dragged it down as all the problems with the show can be found.
We’ll start with Big Bug, but won’t spend too much time since I exhausted a lot of thoughts on DA, so go there for more passion. Still, I can sum things up here too.
PieGuyRulz did a video on how the problems with some episodes can be summed in a word “Frustrating/’ or “Problem” and went into how either can be seen as worse. I bring this up because Big Big sums up a Boring Bad episode perfectly.
Code Lyoko had kind of a problem with a formula. Especially in Season 1, Each Episode has the basic formula of “Xana is screwing stuff up so they go into Lyoko to stop it and deal with some other thing back on Earth”. It could work but other times the Earth stuff wasn’t strong enough to hold the episode, thus making it boring or forgettable.
This episode has that problem but takes it up a notch but having it’s Earth Plot be light and bad on a normal level. Because Sissi the Alpha Bitch (Yes, that’s her name, although not her real name, at least) is being a mild annoyance so they play a prank on her involving Odd’s dog.
Odd is not supposed to have a dog on campus which they somehow forgot and expected Sissi not to notice or care. Already this is contrived as all hell. So Odd gets detention for that which prevents him from going to Lyoko with the others.
This is the only interesting concept in the episode and they did it way better in many other episode later on. Did I mention this was only Episode 5? Also yes, they had Sissi get them in trouble for a different reason than they should, just to make her look worse when really, the others are worse than in her in this one.’
After bland Lyoko stuff (I don’t even remember what Xana did in this one, and I don’t want to bother looking it up), they do the return to the past (don’t ask). Do you think they’ve learned their lesson and won’t do that cruel prank again?
Nope, they just do a worse one which involves one of her lackies, who did nothing wrong in this episode, by the way. It’s done in a way where Sissi doesn’t know they did it. She’ll figure it out at this point but I guess that doesn’t matter.
Yeah, this one is those “Protagonist Centered Morality” situations. Sissi might be slightly annoying but she does nothing worse than usual. I can’t remember what she does in this because it’s just that boring.
But what our “heroes” do is way worse. Both pranks are just kind of cruel and the only punishment is slightly forced and then reversed. The whole situation basically makes all the characters into jerks.
I’m not asking for them to be perfect, but perhaps getting away with petty dumb pranks is a bad thing. But like I said, this one’s problem is being boring. It’s problems aren’t even uniquely bad, I’ve seen worse cruel prank type plots before.
And it’s all the plot amounts to, since the Lyoko stuff doesn’t stand at all. Even If the set up of the plot wasn’t bad, it would still fail because barely anything happens. Doesn’t take too long for Odd to break out and by the end, nothing is learned or really accomplished besides the usual.
Boring Bad Episodes don’t usually bother me that much but this went to great lengths. It has morality problems that aren’t even unique on top of that. Without the actual character/moral problems, I could forgive it being boring bad but here we are.
Some boring bad episodes aren’t even worth talking about but this one is, so…that’s something. Yeah, I’m just stalling because I said most of what I could on the notepage. So let’s focus more on Cold Sweat, which is later in the series. So much later that I thought they were past these problems but here we are.
Odd leaks an embarrassing picture of Yumi because he’s an asshole. Seriously, right off the bat there’s a major character problem. When Yumi comes in he asks Ulrich to cover for him and he says yes….for some reason. He agrees before finding out what Ulrich even did, which should have raised alarm bells for him but nope.
Yumi yells at him but Ulrich keeps his promise…even after finding out what he did. We just started and 2 of the main characters are completely unlikable for no reason. Good going.
‘Why did you do?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea”
She doesn’t question further and just leaves. Ugh.
They go to Lyoko to a thing I again don’t care about and Ulrich explains the to the others what happened and they aren’t mad at him…for some reason. After this, the problems slow down as mostly get Lyoko action for a bit, and I will say it’s more interesting and enjoyable than in Big Bug.
It goes on for quite a bit too but at some point Odd and Yumi have downtime and the crappy parts start up again. Yumi wonders why Ulrich did it and he comes up with a bullshit reason rather than telling her the truth. And it’s not the reason that Odd did it, it’s some dumb thing about Ulrich wanting Yumi’s attention.
Oh yeah, pointless ship pandering. The action starts up and we do get a cool climax with a lava monster which spoilers is important to the series kinda. Yep, it’s Mastermind of Disastermind all over again.
Long story short, they do some stuff and go back to Earth, having bumped into a new problem I don’t care about explaining. It’s story arc releated, so it’ll just fly over your head. They head home and Yumi and Ulrich have a “moment” which fails because A, it’s blatant ship pandering and B it’s all based on something false. Not to mention that she should be mad he thought this crap was a good idea. He can get her attention without being an asshole.
“Next time, try talking to me instead of doing something so dumb”
And right after, Odd calls Yumi and admits it was all him. Yeah, the transition to Odd feeling bad is nonexistent. And Yumi is really mad about it despite the moment they had.
The next day, Yumi leaks an embarrassing picture of the two as revenge. The episode ends with Ulrich chasing Odd instead of the person who leaked the picture. Plus, he told Odd to tell her! It was before their moment, but still.
So in the end, most of the characters are assholes for no reason. Odd leaks a picture because reasons, Ulrich covers for him because reasons, and despite a moment, Yumi does something bad as petty revenge and everyone is mad at each other. What great friends.
Both episodes have petty revenge being shown as okay, weird. This has more good things than Big Bug as most of the episode is set on Lyoko and only a couple bad things happen there.
But this episode still sucks because nothing about the human side of the plot works. The characters are jerks for no reason and the ending is so stupid. At least in Big Bug the torture happened to an Alpha Bitch, so you can argue it’s not too bad. Here, it’s just so off what they do to each other.
What more can say I about this one it’s own? It’s pretty simple, everyone is a jerk for no reason, or dumb reasons. As for which is worse…eh. The good stuff happens for a longer time in Cold Sweat but it’s problems are bigger.
Yet Cold Sweat at least has interesting problems while Big Big is boring in every way. However, I can almost see why they though the torture to Sissi was a good idea since she is a bitch. I just don’t approve of how they did it.
It’s a tie, both are equally bad when you compare them. Either way, these episodes were huge screw ups. Every problem the show has is found in these episodes and they are just bad.
I suppose Big Bug can get slack for being early in the series, but Cold Sweat was one of the last few, so there’s no excuse. The show did get better and ended on a nice note. And before you ask, I have seen Evolution. My DA has more details but in short….meh.
These would be on the list now, somehow right below LIZZIE. Fairly close but that pissed me off more and did more damage to it’s series, so there you go. Either way, these episodes suck pretty badly.
Season 6, Episode 20
Writer: J. Stewart Burns
We covered one Matt Greoning show, so here’s the other one. Like most people, I love Futurama and I liked the Comedy Central Era too. Now, I haven’t re-watched the whole series so I can’t this is the worst episode, but it’s bad enough to be here.
While the Comedy Central era was still good, it was more prone to bad episodes, this being a prime example. Let’s get into it.
This one doesn’t start too bad. The Planet Express crew must pay their mortgage to keep the building and it’s 11 million dollars. But it doesn’t take long for the seeds of the problem to start. Amy and Leela blame their financial woes on the Men’s dumb ideas.
“-you should listen to a woman’s idea for once”
Yep, we’re covering this again. This has …different problems form The Intruder though. It gets more leeway for being more self aware since it is an adult cartoon and spoilers, they ATTEMPT to teach the right lesson.
They come with the idea to become a commercial airline, but the men shut it down in favor of a girlie calendar. Yeah, the men gets pretty badly flanderized in this episode. It’s not so bad now but oh boy.
They can’t do this with only two female employees, so they get a third one: Hermes’ wife. Oh he gets more likable by the second. Then they realize 3 isn’t good enough either, and just go back to the airline idea.
Well, that was pointless. Well, sorta, but we’ll get there. Fry and Hermes are made the main pilots, instead of their actual trained pilot because they have to be sexists as possible for the sake of the story.
Because of Fry’s bottomless stupidity, he falls asleep and they run out of fuel, causing them to crash. It doesn’t long for them to decide to from a society to survive on this seemingly barren planet which naturally becomes another excuse for the genders to bicker.
Notice how the men are acting waaaaay worse than the women here. That’s going to a problem in the end.
Then a rock monster creature pops up because why not, who notices their fighting and how it’s based on gender. His species only has one gender so I guess I’m calling him an it or they. Because even it says it has nothing better to do so, they will do a series of tests to see who is the better genre.
This goes as well as you’d expect. Yeah, you see they will attempt to teach the moral about both genders being equal but you can’t do that one the men as protryed as worse all the way through. So far, the women haven’t done anything really bad or dumb, not even Amy. You know, the kinda dumb one. They don’t take full advantage of the differences between the genders….unless it’s to make lame stereotypes jokes, like how the women immediate know the answer to some of it’s questions like “Name any 12 of the Desperate Housewives”.
I’m not sure how this show usually handles gender dynamics but this episode sure as hell doesn’t do it well at all. Besides, it took long to exploit any flaws of the female gender.
The real test will have them trying to get to the “Cave of Harmony” before the sun gets closer as this planet’s sun can get of burn them alive. Later, both Hermes and his wife sneak to the other side to get something and bump into each other. Then they do it because….sure.
By the way, them both getting this same idea is the first time both genders seem equal at all. Too little to late. They oversleep and wake up in time for the sun to start cooking them, but the rock person saves them.
It turns out this test was supposed to teach them to work together, which of course failed. It figures the only way to resolve this conflict is use his space magic to remove their genders and pretty much neutr them all.
It takes 15 minutes into a 22 minute episode to get to the Neutopia. Wow. It leaves and they just randomly jump into working on fixing their ship. By the way, they can survive in the sun now even them it was cooking Hermes back before because screw consistency.
They actually get things done a lot faster and in general are more efficient.
“This place is like a Neutered Utopia, A Neutopia”
Hermes and his wife have a moment ….and then he remembers what sex is like and demands that the rock monster give their genitals back. It agrees to do this because even though they are happier this way, Hermes wife says humanity isn’t about being happy and yada yada.
I get it, they are doing the moral where differences are good and such….but he brings their genders back right away. That’s right, the titular Neutopia lasted for for less than 5 minutes of a 22 minute episode.
Yeah, the other big problem is the pacing. It wastes time on things that aren’t important and rushes through some interesting ideas. I’m not sure what else they could do with this idea but it gets almost no time to develop at all.
And it’s done even done, as they are accidentally given the wrong gender. Oh great, Rule 63. But before the rock person can fix it, Zap Branigan shows up and kills him out of nowhere.
“I got your distress call and came as quickly as I wanted to”
Okay, this episode does have some funny moments.
They go home and the women find it is hard being a man for various reasons I can attest to. But the men are doing pretty well as women.
“Now when I say stupid things, guys all laugh and buy me stuff”
You seriously digging that whole deeper when it comes to the gender stuff. Then they remember the foreclosure plot line, as this episode can’t focus on too much at once. They now have many women on staff so they can ….do the calendar.
We do get to see the process, because fuck you. This includes a Naked Farnssworth. …..Can we just end already?! They sell enough of them to get a profit.
“Thank god most of our fans are huge perverts”
The another rock alien the other mentioned before shows up to fix their genders, because why not pile on more stuff. And with a small bit with Hermes and his wife, the episode just kinda stops.
I went more detail than with the other ones because I figured doing that gave you a better idea of how much of a mess this one is. As a look at genders, it fails because the men are portrayed as stupid as possible, with women always being smarter. It takes too long for them to be equal
I’m okay with stereotypes jokes if they’re funny but here they just feel so lame and the writing is piss poor. It does too much in one episode and in the end nothing is really developed. Oh, and saying that not having anything that defines you as one of the “two genders” makes you a boring slab certainly raises….unfortunate implications.
The characters are all unlikable for most of it and the bickering is just not fun to watch. There is a happy ending at least but honestly, the only positives I have for this are there are some good jokes and I like the idea of what are trying to do.
But they messed it up big time. The Comedy Central Era had problems but it was never THIS bad! This episode is just a mess with tons of unfortunate implications and it’s just not fun. Another bad blight on a great show.
Starter Pack [Regular Show]
Season 4, Episode 3
Writers: Benton Conner and Hilary Florido
And we have our first of two shows that were on the previous list. In this case, I think,episode is objectively…just as bad as the one I picked. I had not re-watched it until after I did it, and I would have consider it tying them if I had seen it that point.
I mean, this has more I can point to as good,but at least that episode had a point to it. This episode is just…confused. You may recall that Thomas had a rocky history in the series, and this his first real episode after being introduced in Exit 9b.
It did not start him on the best foot. Thomas goes through his initiation where the other workers play playful pranks on him via a fun montage, which is the highlight of the episode. But the next day, Muscle Man keeps pranking him because he thinks his initiation has “just begun”.’
Of course, he goes too far which worries Mordecai and Rigby. However, Thomas keeps telling them he’s fine with it because he feels it’s still in good fun. It’s important to keep everything about the first half in mind.
What Muscle Man does of course starts out harmless enough, but his pranks keep getting worse, like giving him an atomic wedgie via driving the cart. Ouch. Thomas claiming he’s okay with it, is clearly a lie he’s telling himself, because he thinks Muscle Man isn’t being a jerk and doesn’t know how far he can go.
That nuance is very important to mention. Thomas is in over his head here, clearly. Oh, and no one else thinks this is a problem at all. Not even Skips, who laughs at that prank I mentioned. Yes, even Skips is out of character here.
They shrug it off simply because Thomas is okay with it. They do know just how bad Muscle Man gets right? Does no one remember Prankless? Benson just shows him a video on how pranking goes wrong, and Muscle Man doesn’t get the point and thinks the cruel even by his standards pranks are a good idea.
Yeah, if you think he was Flanderized in White Elephant, oh boy. Anyway, they just want Thomas to stand up for himself and decide to help him. They do this by pranking him and telling him Thomas did it.
Not the most effective plan but anything to make the characters seem in the wrong when they are actually aren’t, right? The plan almost works. I say almost because they prank him …but after being told Thomas did it he goes berserk and legitimately tries to kill him.
…The hell?! He’s not exactly the most sane guy, but he never goes THIS far. And all because someone played a small prank on him after he did tons of them? He throws a freaking building on Thomas, and while they reveal that it was them, it’s not before the building crushes his car with him in it.
“We just killed Thomas!”
…Something even more anger inducing is about to happen.
“We should have left it alone, and now he’s dead because of us”
In a terrible but predictable twist, it turns out Muscle Man and Thomas faked that. Yes, Thomas was in on that and they both made Mordecai and Rigby think he was dead. Do they explain how the hell they planned all this?
Of course not. Muscle Man even just runs off. The episode ends with the two walking off Mom, followed by a dumb joke with Thomas
…Where do I begin with this? Just, wow, this episode is even worse than I thought before. The first problem is that they never explain how they even set this up. They never imply anything. Was this the plan from the start, or did they come up with it later? How did both of them find out about the plan to come up with their counter plan?
You need to at least attempt to explain this, guys. But that’s a small issue compared to the big one: The moral is basically “If you see someone being abused, then don’t interfere because fuck you, that’s why”.
The episode seemed to be building up a “Fight your own battle” moral…but that doesn’t happen. The situation is “resolved” by Thomas cruelly pranking the two along with Muscle Man.
It’s supposed to some sort of comeuppance but that’s hardly a fitting punishment for not letting Thomas deal with it himself. But here’s the thing, Thomas did show signs of not exactly liking it and he knows what it is like to have cruel pranks played on him. So he decides to do that to them but worse for no reason?
That’s the thing, after a couple scenes of him saying he doesn’t mind it, we never go deeper into how he feels? Does he really think this is fine? Why did he go with Muscle Man’s plan? Never explored, as it’s all from Mordeicai and Rigby’s POV.
If we get some insight into how Thomas feels, perhaps the moral could be more justified. And yes, the reveal with Thomas in The Real Thomas might explain things, but i’m fairly sure they didn’t plan it out when they wrote this, and even if they did, that’s dumb. We shouldn’t have to wait 2 more seasons for this episode to make slightly more sense.
It is worth noting that it seemed to slightly backfire on Thomas as his car got trashed and he clearly doesn’t like that. However, what I said doesn’t’ make up for that, and that means the only person who is happy in the end is the person who did the worst stuff!
If the ending to White Elephant was tacked onto this, I would have enjoyed it so much more.
This episode is just confusing. I can’t tell if I should take this moral seriously given the set up or not. If I do, then it’s…problematic, but if I don’t, then they ruined a possibly okay story with a dumb joke that makes everyone terrible.
The whole thing is just confusing, cruel, and messy. They ignore basic rules of story writing just to pull the rug out from under us and have a big dumb joke ending. I’m not saying you can’t turn a moral into a joke, but you can do that while still writing an okay story.
Going to White Elephant, some found it refreshing that they didn’t’ turn it into a cheesy moral and just let Muscle Man have it. As much as I think they botched it, I see where it could have worked and if you can see that one as a guilty pleasure if you hate him enough.
This, appeals to no one really. Any joy is taken away by how bad the writing is. Even the writing on White Elephant wasn’t this bad. And yes, this is worse and should replace it on the list. I’m just glad Thomas improved after this, and indeed came back after Real Thomas, because this did not start him on a good note.
In short, this episode is confused and doesn’t know how seriously it should be taken and becomes a big mess with bad morals, and everyone being out of character, cruel, or unfairly punished.
Not much works aside from two minor things, the opening and the tape that is kind of amusing. Otherwise, this was a mess, and I’m glad the show didn’t sink this low, or even as low as White Elephant afterwards.
And yes, expect a follow up list for the last couple seasons to discuss it ending and such. After this, I need it.
The New Black [The Boondocks]
Season 4, Episode 10
Writer: Rodney Barnes
When it comes to adult cartoons, The Boondocks was a surprise gem for me. It’s one that mixes vulgar humor, with wacky situations and of course racial/social commentary and good stories. Even when it wasn’t being super deep, it was an enjoyable Adult Cartoon. Give Adult Swim Credit, when they get it right, they get it right.
Then Season 4 happened. It had no involvement with the original creator, confirming this is ALWAYS a bad sign. I swear MLP is the only show to survive without it’s original creator. To be fair, Season 4 was mostly just…okay to me.
Only two episodes were flat out bad and most of it was fine. However, 2 episodes were REALLY good, and the rest is mostly…just eh. They tried an arc for the first time but it didn’t work that well.
The show was once good at doing it’s own thing and not copy thing what other shows are doing, even when it does into the crass jokes. Season 4 changed that and felt like it was trying to be South Park when it comes to the storytelling. Because of that, the spark was just missing. The better episodes felt closer to it’s own thing instead of a copy.
Sometimes it even becomes like Family Guy, down to a having a character (obviously jokingly) saying that they don’t respect the viewers intelligence. Yes, it;s a joke but that’s something Family Guy would pull. The comes the bad episodes. We had Grandpa Dates a Kardashian which basically has one joke and you can guess what it is. It wasn’t funny and the attempt at satire at the end felt forced. But at least it had one in retesting idea and I can see the humor making up for the issues for some.
Not so much for this episode. I don’t hate it as much as some entries on here but it’s still bad. Especially because it ended up being the SEASON/SERIES FINALE. But guess what? It wasn’t the finale in production order, they aired out of order! They did the same with the premiere too. The heck?
But onto the episode. There isn’t quite as much to cover in terms of plot at least. It starts out simply enough. Riley sees a gay kid dancing and he says “That’s Gay” in his usual way. That’s part of his character, so In most cases I’d be fine with it.
Then right away this little bit gets him in hot water to the point where it makes the news. First problem, this is a rehash of a previous episode and it’s done much worse here. This episode is pretty obviously satirizes something…..but what they are satirizing is a different story.
The set up is they take a dumb off hand comment very seriously and turn him into the most hated person in town. There’s a set up for satire but the execution is…confusing.
“But it was gay, why should I have to apologize? I saw gay, and I said gay. That ain’t bully, that’s an astute observation”
Keep that line in mind, I’ll rant on it later. This episode does hit on some good jokes or points, like when Reverend Goodlove points out that you can say the N word on TV but not the other F word or they’ll blip it. That’s funny but….South Park did it, and the DVD’s are uncensored, including for this season, thus killing the joke.
The other problem with this episode is that it’s boring. Most of it is the same: They want Riley to say sorry, but he refuses to do and keeps wanting to call gay things gay. Because it’s not clear what the message here it feels aimless. It’s also not funny because most of the jokes come from the situation, which is not a well written one.
Eventually, Robert says Riley is “Special” to excuse his behavior. And now this episode is about that. Yep, the episode changes gears to be about this. They try to fit in as part of the bigger satire but this is where things go off the rails.
The pro gay people boo because they hate mentally handicapped kids and the cycle begins anew. Then we get jokes at the expense of mentally disabled people, that would not out of place in Family Guy.
Needless to say, awful jokes like that shoot any satire they are going for in the foot. There’s actually a lot of jokes like that, like when Riley is confused as to what LGBT means or when Sweetlove (Yes, that’s the character’s name) says he “needs” Riley and they right away think they want to do him.
Yeah. The President of the Special Abeld Alliance against deformation shows up who is mad since Riley is not really specially abeld. He’s mad because…he’s not in on this and gettng money off of this. The “Yes Homo” people were the same way too. This episode tries to make fun of everyone but it backfires and just insults everyone. Because the family has no family, they’ll have Riley come to the special Olympics.
“You’re literally making me a poster child for retarded kids!”
“Don’t say the R Word. That’s a very bad word!”
Two Weeks later, Riley finds that pretending to be special worked for him as he got away with a lot because of it. Which we don’t see but hey, it would just further remind me of South Park.
At the Special Olympics, Riley quits at the last moment and uses the R word in front of everyone. All of the mentally handicapped people are drawn as stereotypical as possible, by the way.
So they stomp him in the nuts, then chase him. The end! …Wait, what? Yep, an abrurt ending and one of the worst on this list. Not only do they switch gears halfway through, but it gets no true resolution and no one learns anything.
There’s so much wrong here. One problem is there’s no one to root for. People like Robert just kind of exist and Riley is homophobic and ablest and no in any kind of funny way. Heuy is there but says barely anything and just tells Riley to apologize and that’s really it. There’s no one to connect to.
Even in the most over the top satire, you need SOMETHING to connect. If not that, then a clear understanding of what you are trying to say. The only message I can see is in te title. It’s true that things like this just repeat themselves, first people are outraged over use the N word, then it’s all about Homophobic statements.
People can be oversensitive sometimes but what kills this is the context. See, if I were to use the events of the episode to find a moral, it would e “It’s okay to be Homophobic, as long as you use the right wording”.
I’m not kidding, that’s all I can find. Because there’s no one who is in the right (Besides MAYBE Heuy, but again, he does nothing), I can only see that. It tries to advocate free speech I suppose but it just fails.
It tries to be like South Park attacking all sides, but you still need some kind of clear message. Even this show gets it. The Obama episode attacked both sides but it wasn’t the kind of episode that needed a real message, and you got the idea that they saw the pros and cons of both.
If you’re not going to take a side, at least be funny. But as I said, this episode is mostly boring and with only a few amusing moments. And at worst, he have jokes making fun of gay people and the mentally handicapped, which are just not funny above all else.
This really feels like it’s trying to be South Park but it’s more like Modern Family Guy, it’s honestly that bad. There’s good IDEAS for satire, like with the title but the execution is a mess. No one is likable, the plot switches and has an abrupt episode, and it’s not funny.
I can forgive anything if it’s funny but it’s just not. Any point it wants to make is just muddled or doesn’t come through. I’m sure people have pretentious essays about the ‘point’ of this episode and if anyone can calmly explain what they are truly saying, I’d love to hear it, but the episode isn’t even interesting enough for me to want to think about it.
And given what show this is, that’s kind of sad. Would this be on the proper list now? Eh, almost. I don’t hate watching it as much as others but it’s enough of an insult to a once good show to be a runner up.
I’m sure they had a point somewhere, but it got lost along the way. Ah well.
American Fung [American Dad]
Season 12, Episode 14
Writer: Greg Cohen
And we have our 2nd entry from a show that was on the list. This episode had aired when I did the list, but now when I first saw Bully For Steve and decided it would be on the list. I can’t remember if I saw this one after I had posted it, but I didn’t mention it so I guess I hadn’t.
It would go on the list instead of it. Because for all of that episodes problem, I’ll say this: It has a plot.
Well, okay this has a plot but ….oh boy. American Dad was able to step out of the shadow of Family Guy and become it’s own things. Even it’s bad episodes, for the most part, aren’t Family Guy.
The biggest exception is this episode, which feels ripped straight from Family Guy. This is from the first Season the show was on TBS and this is the only TBS Episode I’ve seen. I hear those episodes are still good so I guess this is just a fluke.
This shouldn’t take too long. The episode immediately begins with a sign of what we’re in for. A live action guy named Fung Wah tells us how funny american televsion is.
“Who is funniest?”
Well, I think-
Uh….sure. Long story short, this Chinese business man has bought out American Dad. Not for real, it’s just a joke. Yes, that is the main “joke” of the episode. The idea is a lot funnier than the actual execution.
That crap takes up most of the episode, but there actually is an “attempt” at a “plot” aside from that. Stan forgets his and Francine’s anniversary so he has her put in a mental insituation to give him time to plan it.
That’s the actual plot. We just started and Stan has been derailed beyond all belief. That’s actual impressive. Do I even need to explain the problem here? From what I’ve seen, he would never be this awful, or this stupid for that matter.
3 Days later, he goes to get her out and he has his anniversary gift….a bucket of chicken. This episode is already kinda defying my reviewing style, because do I need to explain why this is horrible? It speaks for itself!
“I Hate You’”
At least she reacts accordingly. Which is kind of amazing, actually. However, her breakdown from this causes her to kept up in the mental hospital.
“Oh god, I totally ruined this,….birthday?”
As you would expect, the scenes with her in there have as many tasteless jokes as you expect. This is where it really becomes like Family Guy. And to be honest, there’s not a lot more to say.
Recapping the whole plot is pointless because I just told you what it all is. The Fung Wah stuff amounts to him popping into the show so the characters can suck his dick and the actual plot has Stan being horrible,a bunch of tasteless jokes.
Let’s just skip to the end. Stan breaks her out but gets caught, and they are taken to have a lobotomy. Only now does Stan attempt to apologize but it’s too little to late, even in universe, as the lobotomy happens.
Then they cut back to Fung Wah who randomly says that things worked for them. Apparently they left and fixed all their problems at one of Fung’s hotels, in a lazy way to tie the two plots together.
And it ends here….after more drawn out shit with Fung to pad this out to 22 minutes. Yeah, that wasn’t too indepth because this is more focused on comedy but god is it not funny. The main problem is the Fung crap drags on for waaaay too long.
I get where this could have been funny but it drags on so long and none of it is funny. Some of the parts with them dropping what they are doing to praise Fung are amusing, not so much it going for so long, especially at the end.
They drop all pretenses of plot for this. The actual plot is not much better. Stan is horrible and the situation is used for lazy bad jokes. I’m not sure how the heck this could have worked, but that’s why this was a big idea.
The Fung thing is funny for a skit it an episode, but outstays it’s welcome when dragged out. This wasn’t exactly “piss me off from offensive-ness” bad, but “this isnt even an episode” bad. There’s more or less no real plot in the end and the jokes drag on too long to be funny.
It’s something different, but in a bad way. Doing “Research’, I found a Reddit post analyzing the purpose and well, it kinda makes a point.
I can’t really dispute it since it is made clear this just all dumb satire, rather than a real story. Although he goes a bit too deep. This is kinda satire just to the that extent. Honestly, my problem is that I don’t find it funny at all.
The jokes go on too long, snuffing out the mildly amusing concept. American Dad and Family Guy for that matter have episodes clearly set aside to be jokes or satire and not be stories. But even the lesser ones try harder than this.
As much as I subjectively really dislike it, I suppose me just not finding it funny puts it above episodes that try to have a plot and become horrible. I was expecting to get all mad in this section but really I’m just…eh.
After a 2nd run through, I just find this one really boring because it drags. Stan is horrible but not in a way I need to explain. And if it is on purpose, it’s just not funny. It relies almost too much on humor, even more so than the funniest episodes on the show.
Sometimes basing your episode one joke can work, sometimes it can’t and it really did not here. Is this the worst American Dad Episode? To me yes, but I will admit some do worse by trying more, somehow.
It’s just an extremely bad and failed experiment I didn’t find funny. But if you did….that’s fine. I was just wanna move on to episodes that actually give me something to talk about. So let’s do so.
And our final entry is..
Hundred Dollar Gus [Uncle Grandpa]
Season 2, Episode 12
Writer: Zac Gorman (Story by like 50 people)
I spoke about Uncle Grandpa in the Weird Al post and yeah, I still like it. It’s certainly flawed but it has gotten better and can be funny. Infact, I wanted to put one ep on the previous list but I wanted to reverse the list for better shows at the time.
But now I like it more and it’s time to take on an episode. I haven’t seen every single episode, at least not many recent ones so I’m not sure if it’s still the worst, but it’s certainly the worst I’ve seen.
Let’s talk about Pizza Steve. He’s on the same level as Bloo and Howard as sometimes his nature is funny, or he is toned down, but other time he’s an annoying jerk which can ruin episodes.
Steve’s case is odd as there exists some episodes where they tease him learning a lesson…but nope, lame comedy ending. Brain Game, Numbskull, and Prank War all fall under this and it’s kinda getting old.
This episode has it at it’s worse, as it’s after all 3. It has other problem so let’s take a look. We start with Steve complaining UG’s been in the bathroom since “The Ice Age” ….Wasn’t his voice actor in Ice age 5 a year later?
Pizza Steve finds a hundred dollar bill and tells Uncle Grandpa it is not his, as not UG’s. Hard to tell from how I constructed that sentence. Instead of thinking of something that made sense, he tells him that the dollar bill is actually Mr. Gus, and that the real Mr Gus is some “weirdo stranger”.
UG doesn’t question anything and calls the cops. I know his intelligence often changes but this is pushing it.
“Don’t taze me bro!”
Really? I thought it was lame when FOP said it, but…wow.
With the “Stranger” taken care of, they go the mall to spend some money. And that’s our incredibly stupid premise. I know this show has no logic, that’s usually okay. But usually the premise makes more sense than THIS!
The entire plot happens because the main character is a flat out gullible idiot, and Steve had the lamest excuse ever. It’s a dumb set up, even for this show. I mean, what’s he gonna do once he spends the money? Tells UG Gus turned into the objects he bought, or what?
Most of the episode is Steve facing close calls, with Uncle Grandpa almost finding out or becoming suspicious and Steve trying to hide the truth. The set up makes this less funny than it could have been, and it’s mostly repetitive.
Steve at least starts feeling guilty but each time he just keeps on doing what he’s doing. At one point his conscience speaks to him in the form of Mr Gus of course, but then he says “I forgot, I don’t have a conscience” and just spends the money.
Yeah, it gets boring and aggregating fairly quickly. To be fair, they do put in a few jokes during all this, some of which are even funny like when Uncle Grandpa gets a Caricature by someone who hates their job. Not enough to save this but eh, it’s not all bad at least.
Eventually, Uncle Grandpa sees Steve spend the money but just thinks the lady took Mr. Gus. They frame it in a such way for this to barely make sense in terms of how it plays out.
He takes “Mr. Gus” and the cops chase after them. Cops who are all 2 weeks from retirement. Like I said, it has it’s moments. By the way, they still have this car thing he spent the money on, so just giving the money back is not an option for Steve.
They get cornered and now Steve considers coming clean to get off the hook. So of course….he doesn’t and they all end up in jail,but Steve tells UG that they are in the RV so it’s all okay. The end!
…Wow, that was a stupid episode. Not even in the funny way, for the most part. There are main problems and we’ve touched on them. 1st is that the premise is stupid, even for this show. There’s no reason for UG to buy anything and that’s the only reason this plot even happens.’
It’s an Idiot Plot and it’s not even a funny one, like some episodes. For all the shows’ weirdness, it’s typically done for Comedy, not as an excuse for bad writing. The actual plot is the same thing over and over again and thanks the ending, there’s no reason to re-watch as you know no one will learn anything. That’s another thing. We get it, Pizza Steve will just be back at Square 1 in the next episode. You don’t need FOUR episodes with insulting endings to remind us!
Especially because there no exist good episodes where he learns something, even if it’s still all silly with him going back to normal in the next episode. It may have been funny at one point due to being surprising, but now it’s not, so it’s just a predictable punchline.
The whole episode hinges on it so just makes the whole thing pointless. I mean, at least Steven uses a lie to make UG happy but after he refused to tell the truth and got in jail, that’s not really enough.
Is Pizza Steve so selfish he would rather go to jail than tell the truth? Come on, he’s not THAT bad! This stretches his character too far, I think. Maybe someone finds this funny but in this episode, it’s just dull and annoying.
But to be fair, I dislike it slightly less than my first viewings. It at least has some good jokes and I’ve sat through worse on this list. Arnold Betrays Iggy is still the “Best” thing on here though.
Even with it being not terrible, it’s just the worst from the show as the premise is not even good, on top of all the usual problems. It’s just a mostly stupid, and and annoying episode. Not the biggest way to the end the list,but a decently fitting one.
And those were 10 more bad episodes of Cartoons I like. This is fun to do, for some reason. I had seen so many more I had to share them. As for the worst of this patch, probably American Fung, followed by Starter Pack than Operation LIZZIE. Those just bothered me the most with their incompetence.
I may do a third someday but I’d have to find at least 5 more worth diciussing, and I only had a couple ideas that got kicked out. May be awhile before the next one. But before I even think of doing another, I have another idea.
I’ve been mostly down on good shows for the sake of these lists. How about something positive? You may wonder if the opposite can happen. You know, Bad Shows having an actually good episode?
Well, you’ll find out with…
Top Good Episodes of Cartoons I DON’T like!