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JFK: I'm a Kennedy. I'm not accustomed to tragedy!
Gandhi: If there's one thing Mahatma Gandhi stands for, it's revenge!
The plot is pretty straightforward, being outlined at the beginning of every episode by the Expository Theme Tune. Way, way back in the 1980s, secret government employees dug up famous guys and ladies and made amusing genetic copies. Now the clones are sexy teens, now. They're gonna make it if they try. Loving, learning, sharing, judging. Time to laugh and shiver and cry. A time to watch Clone High.
A Myth Arc is implied, wherein the Secret Board of Shadowy Figures that created the clones check up on the progress toward conditioning them into a super-strong and super-intelligent army. However, little progress is ever made in that, or in Principal Scudworth's plan of creating a clone-based amusement park called "Cloney Island", as the series was canceled in the US after less than a season. The rest of the season aired in Canada (home of the series' lead animation studio), and the out-of-print DVD was only released in the Canadian market.
The large list of historical figure clones includes:
- Abe Lincoln, the clumsy, lanky, nice-guy protagonist who is smitten with Cleopatra and constantly suffers physical abuse as he tries to live up to the original Abraham Lincoln's legacy.
- Gandhi, Abe's best friend, who cracked under the pressure of living up to the original Mahatma Gandhi and devolved into a wild party animal.
- Joan of Arc, an angsty Goth clone of the original Joan of Arc, who is desperately in love with her best friend Abe, and can't seem to ever make him realize said infatuation.
- JFK, the cocky Jerk Jock who macks on all the hot clone girls at school, and has a skewed perspective of the original John F Kennedy as a "macho, womanizing stud who conquered the MOON!" Made even more hilarious by the fact that his foster parents are a male gay couple.
- Cleopatra, the sexy, seductive horndog who fulfills the role of Alpha Bitch. Clone of Cleopatra VII (69-30 BC).
- A plethora of minor characters useful for one-shot jokes and Twenty-Four-Hour Party People scenes, including Gaius Julius Caesar, Nostradamus (1503-1566), Catherine the Great ("Or should I say Catherine the So-So"), Napoleon Bonaparte, the Brontë Sisters (Charlotte, Emily, Anne), Fedor Jeftichew (Jojo the Dogfaced Boy, 1868-1904) , and countless others
- Also includes Mad Scientist Principal Cinnamon J. Scudworth, his mechanical yet sensitive servant Mr. Butlertron, who calls everyone 'Wesley', and The Secret Board of Shadowy Figures.
A lot of the humor comes from off-hand or irreverent historical references (like the scene where the clone of Buddy Holly invites Abe to ride on a broken-down plane along with Richie Valens, The Big Bopper, Jim Croce, and half of Lynyrd Skynyrd... all of whom had their real life counterparts die in plane crashes).
As a show with a premise based on parody, it mocks quite a few tropes:
- Actor Allusion: That janitor named Glenn...Doesn't he sound familiar?
- Word of God even says that the janitor from Scrubs actually is named Glenn Matthews, and confirms that he got the name from the character from Clone High.
- Adults Dressed as Children: Scudworth & Butlertron in the pilot
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer: "The Pusher," who deals... raisins
Abe: Hm. I don't really feel anything... Well, I have a strong constitution, so I don't reallyI CAN TASTE THE SUN!!!
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Cleo, only Cleo. Cleo Cleo Cleo Cleo Cleo.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Especially in the finale
- And Another Thing: JFK in the pilot, as a variant on his trademark explaining the joke
- Animal Athlete Loophole: Lincoln directs a film called It Takes a Hero, based on the fact that "There's no rule that says a giraffe can't play football."
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: JFK does the 1-person variant a lot
- The penultimate episode has this right before its many makeover montages.
Cleo: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Joan (tired) / Cleo (excited): Suicide! / Makeover!
- Also Mr. Butlertron has been programmed to be pondering what Scudworth is pondering.
- Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Gandhi
- And Tom Green
- Attack of the Political Ad: When Abe and JFK are running for student body president, JFK puts out an attack ad against Abe. First the ad claims Abe is a liar because his answer to what his age is was different to what it was a year before and then footage of Abe eating spaghetti is very poorly edited to make it look like he's eating a baby.
- Bare Your Midriff: Joan of Arc. Even in the winter.
- Be a Whore to Get Your Man: Mocked in the finale, along with Unnecessary Makeover
- Beautiful All Along: Joan
- Beta Couple: Gandhi and Marie Curie near the end of the show.
- Betty and Veronica: Joan (Betty) and Cleo (Veronica) for Abe (Archie), in one of the most obvious and evident parodies of this classic love triangle.
- Bittersweet Ending: Abe and Joan confess their love the minute they get frozen along with everyone else. But then Skudsworth does include the board of shadow figures who were going to use them as super soligers.
- Bland-Name Product (possibly Mr. Alt Disney): The "Unspecified Rodent-Themed Amusement Park", where Abe goes to visit the animatronic Lincoln in order to gain some advice.
- Blind Seer: Parodied with Toots, who thinks he's perceptive and insightful despite his blindness.
- Sometimes he shows surprisingly clear insight, but most of the time he stumbles around like Mr. Magoo.
- Bolivian Army Ending: The (more or less, see Cut Short) resolution of the series Love Triangle, with Abe realizing he has feelings for Joan (and the other way around) only to discover she and JFK in bed together, just as the freezer is turned on.
- Bow Chicka Wow Wow: One "On the Next..." clip showed Joan and Cleo fighting and the narrator saying this.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Abe passes by a store selling stoves, pipes, and stovepipe hats famously worn by the real Abraham Lincoln.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Narrator enjoys doing this a lot.
Bus Full of InnocentsBus Full Of Pandas
- But He Sounds Handsome: "John D'Arc", to Abe:
Forget Cleo! She's a skanky ho. You should date... Joan of Arc!
- The Casanova: JFK. Though the Ho Yay may make it Anything That Moves...
- Catch Phrase: "Now I may be blind..."
- Clone Jesus
- Cloning Blues: Several of the clones have adopted wildly different personalities than their clone parent because the pressure to live up to them [or more accurately, The Theme Park Version of them] caused minor breakdowns
- Clumsy Copyright Censorship: Mr. Butlertron was originally named Mr. Belvetron, but they couldn't secure the rights. He still calls everyone Wesley, though.
- Colon Cancer: Every episode title has a colon, leading up to "Changes: The Big Prom: The Sex Romp: The Season Finale."
- Conspicuous CG: Used intentionally during an over-the-top in-show ad.
- Crucified Hero Shot: Twice in "Raisin The stakes"
- Cut Short: Aside from and due to MTV bailing out mid-season, the finale (of the season and the series), in which the Secret Board, having been officially told of Scudworth's plans, attempt to take back the clones at the Winter Prom, leading to the Locked in a Freezer ending was a Cliff Hanger.
- Dead All Along: Parodied with the trucker in episode 5.
- Dead Baby Comedy:
Scudworth: By the way... How is Brian?
Colonel Principal: Delicious!
- Deadpan Snarker: Joan, as per the Goth stereotype.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Larry Hardcore - "I was into everything: weed, grass, ganja, reefer, marijuana, mary jane, I did it all. I even smoked pot once."
- Also, the full name of the school is "Clone High High School".
- Did Not Do the Research: Buddha (that is, Siddartha Gautama) is depicted as a jolly, fat, bald, Chinese-American kid, despite him having been a thin, hair-sporting Indian. Then again, many of the teens in-universe seem to base their understandings of their original figures on popular, erroneous perception.
- We have no idea where Cleopatra is buried, so how did they get her DNA? Cue MST3K Mantra.
- For that matter, what remained of Joan of Arc after the burning was thrown into the Seine River nearly 600 years ago. So that one is also impossible.
- Also, the clones were all made in the 1980s (according to the theme), and were all presumably made from dead historical figures, since making them out of live figures would be pointless. At one point, Abe has a throwaway line about Mother Teresa's clone. Mother Teresa died in 1997. She was dead at the time the show was made, but not when the clones were supposed to have been made.
- Same goes for the clones of Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack who show up in one scene.
- Don't Explain the Joke: JFK. Constantly.
- And by "What I Mean", I mean SEXUAL REFERENCE!
JFK: Hey, let's all go swimming... in my pool! And by pool, I mean bathtub... and by swimming, I mean SEX!
- Other characters are often guilty of this too.
Cleo: Abe, it's sex o'clock. It may have sounded like I said the number six but instead I substituted the more suggestive word...sex!
- Do They Know It's Christmas Time?: Spoofed with Snowflake Day
- "She's lost her Snowflake Day spirit. Sure as shootin', she's lost it."
- Dude, Where's My Reward?
- Efficient Displacement
- Erotic Eating: Cleo attempts to seduce "John Dark" this way, with a banana and a carton of milk. It doesn't work.
- Expository Theme Tune: "Way, way back in the 1980s secret government employees dug up famous guys and ladies and made amusing genetic copies."
- Expy: The PXJTs
- Fake High: Happens twice, with parody Very Special Episodes:
- First, when Abe buys non-alcoholic beer for the Wild Teen Party:
Cleo: This might be the beer talking--
Abe: Probably not.
Cleo: But I think you're hot.
- Also happens in the episode "Raisin the Stakes," which is about teens going wild and hippie after smoking... raisins.
- Fat Idiot: Genghis Khan, so very much.
- Five-Man Band:
- Flawed Prototype: Mr Sheepman.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Ponce De Leon, who is never mentioned after his episode (or before for that matter).
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- Several in "Raisin the Stakes."
- During the PTA scene when Scudworth gets up to talk to the parents, a blink-and-you-miss-it drawing of him surrounded by little hearts flashes onscreen with the words, "Scudworth is your favorite character!"
- During the hippie song, after JFK sings "Sign my cast for me," the words "I BURIED PONCE" flash onscreen.
- At the very end of the episode, the words "FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RAISINS, VISIT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY" appear.
- In the season finale, when Abe enters the freezer to find Joan in bed with JFK. Just before Joan pulls the sheet up over her chest, "Nice try" can be seen written on her breasts, replacing any naughty bits.
- Several in "Raisin the Stakes."
- Freud Was Right: Parodied in-universe when Sigmund Freud's clone is the only one who picks up on the subtext of Joan's film
- Freudian Slip: Subverted Trope with Cleo's "sex o'clock", she points out that it was not a slip of "six o'clock", and that she really did mean to say "sex o'clock".
- Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Cleo's first reaction to finding out John was Joan was to gag at the thought that she was trying to make out with Joan, then she smirked and said "Hot."
- Goofy Print Underwear Pink heart boxers are seen off of Gandhi in the pilot and on a cop during the parody of The Benny Hill Show.
- Happily Adopted: All the clones have foster parents, and they're aware of it. Of course, sometimes it's questionable as to how happy they are.
- Made funnier by the fact that Abe and his father address each other as "Foster Dad" and "Foster Son".
- Hahvahd Yahd In My, er-uh, Cah: JFK, naturally.
- High School AU
- High School Sweethearts: Parodied
- Historical Hilarity
- What's that on the roof of The Grassy Knoll? Oh look, it's the reconstruction of John F. Kennedy's assassination.
- Which seems to be a theme of the restaurant, considering what's inside. When Abe can't figure out what would stop him from wanting to be President, perfectly framed in the shot is a painting depicting a highly exaggerated version of Abraham Lincoln's assassination.
- Before dying, Poncey discusses mortality with JFK, remarking that there is no real Fountain of Youth. The real Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer. Guess what he was searching for.
- Cleopatra's oral fixation in the show mirrors the same some historians claim of her.
- What's that on the roof of The Grassy Knoll? Oh look, it's the reconstruction of John F. Kennedy's assassination.
- Hot Guys Are Bastards: Oh, JFK...
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Raisins
- and even more ludicrous (if that's possible): Sleep deprivation
- I Have No Son
- Gandhi's stereotypically Jewish foster dad says this after Gandhi says he wants to be a trucker.
- I Like My X Like I Like My Y: Gandhi likes his humping like he likes his martinis: dry
- I'm Standing Right Here
- Ink Suit Actor: The guest stars who don't play themselves usually wind up as this (such as Jack Black's character). Joan lampshades this with Mandy Moore's character by constantly asking her if she is really Mandy Moore, although it seems to be purposely inconsistent whether the character is supposed to be Mandy Moore having randomly become a hobo, or a hobo who just is identical to Mandy Moore.
- The credits lampshade this, by giving Mandy Moore a special guest credit as "herself?"
- Insignia Rip Off Ritual: With the insignia on Abe's basketball jacket
- Ironic Echo: JFK during a road race against Abe. His convenient forgetfulness of his family's bad karma finally bites him.
JFK: Nothing bad ever happens to the Kennedys!
- his car crashes and he loses*
- Abe mentioning that he's afraid of running for student body president somehow.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy
- Jerkass and Jerk Jock: JFK.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Possibly JFK near the end of the series, the last episode in particular.
- Jesus Was Way Cool When Jesus appears in episode 3, they try to not let you know that it's a Jesus. And by "not let you know", I mean "shoot himself in the hand with a nail gun in the carpentry room with a halo over his glowing head"!!
- Lady Drunk: Cleo's drunk foster mom
- Lamarck Was Right: Subverting this is the basis for most of the characters.
- Lame Rhyme Dodge
- Larynx Dissonance:
Joan of ArcJohn Dark
- Le Film Artistique: Joan's entry in the film festival. Heavy on the True Art Is Incomprehensible part.
- Literal Minded / Rhetorical Question Blunder:
Mr. Butlertron: What would the real Joan of Arc have done?
Joan: She would have listened to her heart. And then she would've gotten burned at the stake. [nervous laugh] But what are the odds of that happening again?
Mr. Butlertron: 38%.
- Local Hangout: The Grassy Knoll
- Locked in a Freezer: With literally everyone who had appeared beforehand (except Scudworth and Butlertron) in the Season Finale. Although it's not quite an example of this trope...
- Logic Bomb: Parodied and averted in one fell swoop by Mr. Butlertron on Scangrade
Butlertron: Before you kill me, I have one request: can you answer a multiple choice question?
Scangrade: I'm Scangrade. I grade tests for a living. Ask me your question!
Butlertron: Are you a) handsome, b) smart, c) scrap metal, or d) all of the above?
Scangrade: That's easy. I'm a) and b), but not c), so I can't be d). You can't fill in two ovals! (explodes)
Butlertron: The answer was c). You f***wad.
- Long-Lost Uncle Aesop: Ponce de Leon
- Loophole Abuse: Subverted with the rule that "no girls or animals can play on the boys teams".
- Love Triangle: Joan/Abe/Cleo and Abe/Cleo/JFK. The end of the show showed some beginnings to a Abe/Joan/JFK triangle but of course it was canceled before we could find out.
- Make-Out Point: "Teen Sex Cove"
- The Makeover: Parodied to hell and back; see Unnecessary Makeover below)
- Manly Gay: one of JFK's fathers certainly qualifies.
- Makeover Montage: Spoofed, combined with Unnecessary Makeover
- Makeover makeover, makeover makeover, makeover makeover, MAKEOVER.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Abe is the king of this trope, unfortunately for Joan
- Medium Blending
- Mirror Monologue: JFK in the penultimate episode
- Spoofed often by JFK, as they tend to devolve into Mirror Arguments.
- Mixed Metaphor: Abe has a few of these; see the trope page
- Mr. Exposition: Lampshaded relentlessly in episode 6
- Musical Episode: Raisin the Stakes: A Rock Opera in Three Acts
- My Eyes Are Leaking: Parodied. When JFK (seeking guidance) cries in front of Principal Scudworth, Scudworth shrieks and exclaims "Is that water leaking out of your face!?" Could be considered an inversion as well, since Scudworth is the only (naturally born) human among the main characters.
- NameTron: Mr. Butlertron.
- No Dress Code: Cleopatra wears a shirt with deep cleavage and a micromini. Also, Joan of Arc has a belly revealing shirt on.
- No Swastikas: Of course, Played for Laughs. The insignia of Clone High's rival school, Genetically Engineered Students High (GESH), is a parody of the Nazi insignia with a G in the place of the swastika. Nowadays this symbol, thanks to imageboards, is more closely related with Grammar Nazi...
- Also, if you look closely, you can see that Hitler's clone has a peace sign on his armband.
- Not Quite Starring
- Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Gandhi, after releasing Geshy into the wild.
- Also lampshaded in "A.D.D.: The Last 'D' is for Disorder":
Mr. Sheepman: Your innocent whistling doesn't fool me. I'm 70 percent sure that farting noise came from you.
- Oblivious to Love: Abe to Cleo, Joan to Abe
- Opening Narration: "Tonight, on a very special Clone High ..." Also counts as Once an Episode, since it starts every episode.
- Overly Long Gag: JFK does this occasionally. usually overlapped with Don't Explain the Joke. For example:
JFK: [about a party] I'll see you there. And by will, I mean won't! HAHAHA!
- leaves* *comes back*
JFK: Because you're not invited. I, er, uh, wasn't sure if I was clear about that earlier. So, you're not. Invited, that is.
- leaves* *comes back*
JFK: TO MY PARTY!
- leaves* *comes back*
JFK: Forgot to wash my hands...
- Pet Baby Wild Animal: Parodied by Gandhi with Geshy.
- Popular Saying, But...: When life gives you lemons, you CLONE those lemons and make SUPER LEMONS!
- "Previously On..."
- Prison Rape: Subverted
- Product Placement: Parodied three times in the space of five minutes in episode 2.
- Putting on the Reich: GESH
- Race For Your Love: Parodied to the point of Running Gag in one episode
- Rasputinian Death: Ponce de Leon's death.
- Refuge in Audacity: The segments of Plane Crazy with Principal Scudworth and Skunky-Poo, whose interactions are almost as violent as Itchy and Scratchy, and a fair bit more profane (Skunky-Poo's catchphrase is "try and catch me, bitch!").
- What about Geshy?
- Retroactive Wish: Lampshaded, and then it works
- Rhyming with Itself: Parodied with the whole "G-Spot rocks the G-Spot!" thing.
- Rock Bottom: Lampshaded, subverted, combined with Retroactive Wish
- Rock Opera: The episode "Raisin the Stakes: A Rock Opera in Three Acts"
- Salt and Pepper: Parodied with Gandhi's film, Black and Tan
- Say My Name: See the article
- School for Scheming: Parodied
- Screwy Squirrel "WHY SKUNKYPOO WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!"
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Spoofed repeatedly, mostly with Joan, in "Makeover, Makeover, Makeover: The Makeover Episode"
- Shout-Out: All the weapons Scangrade uses are also from Battlebots.
- JFK and Gandhi get into a Benny Hill-style chase with Cleo and Joan.
- And did we mention Mr. Butlertron?
- In the Musical Episode "Raisin the Stakes", most of the music takes inspiration from Tommy, and some visuals seem to be lifted from the movie adaptation, as well as Yellow Submarine and The Wall.
- The segment with Scudworth and Skunky-Poo is a homage to the classic Looney Tunes cartoons.
- Six-Student Clique: Minus the sixth student but they fulfill these roles as well as the the Five-Man Band. Both Cleo and Joan could count as the Wild One.
- The Head: Abe
- The Muscle: JFK
- The Quirk: Gandhi
- The Pretty One: Cleo
- The Smart One: Joan
- Special Guest: Ranging from Tom Green to Marilyn Manson to, of course, STAMOS himself.
- Marylin Manson even gets his own song.. about eating healthy!
Marylin Manson: It's the food pyramid, and it's approved by the USDA.
- Michael J. Fox, in a one-line cameo as Gandhi's remaining kidney. He got full Special Guest Star credit for it.
- Spoof Aesop
- Stylistic Self Parody
- Suspiciously Specific Denial
- Sweet on Polly Oliver: JFK and Cleo, towards "John Dark"
- Sweet Polly Oliver: With a disguise consisting entirely of a fake handlebar mustache. A similar disguise is also used successfully by a dolphin.
- And by Groucho Marx.
- Talking to Themself: JFK, after making fun of Ghandi, starts arguing with his own reflection (and losing badly) and ends up betting to his reflection that he can turn Ghandi into a ladies man of his own caliber.
- Tempting Fate: Many times. Conversed and Inverted in episode 2. Also subverted once: "Don't worry about the storm. I built this house like Noah built his ark. Yep, this house is flood-proof!" Cue lightning strike, setting house on fire
- The Exit Is That Way: Abe, walking off a pier
- The Glasses Gotta Go: JFK while making Gandhi over
- The Khan: "STAMOS!"
- The Power of Love: Used in the musical episode to try and break down the giant fence their parents are building. Though Cleo points out "Love is just an abstract concept, it can't break down stuff!"
- Thick Line Animation: It almost looks like a Genndy Tartakovsky cartoon.
- Thing-O-Meter: The official voting system for Clone High's student counsil elections is an applause-o-meter. This is how a dog became student council president.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch
- This Is My Side
- Tonight Someone Dies: Mocked extensively with Ponce de Leon, so much, in fact, that this doesn't even need to have a spoiler tag
- Oh Ponce, you're such a regular character.
- "Tonight, on a very special Clone High, one of the clones you've grown to love will be horribly killed! This is not some cheap-ass stunt where we lamely introduce a new character just to kill him off! A Clone dies tonight!" As the Narrator talks, the camera cuts to each cast member, but Ponce is cut to more and more often as the speech goes on.
- Extra points for bending over backwards to be the most Very Special Episode on a show parodying those.
- Totem Pole Trench: Napoleon and Taft in "A Shot in D'Arc"
- Trauma Swing: Joan in the first episode
- Unlucky Childhood Friend
- Unlucky Everydude
- Unknown Rival: Principal Scudworth, to STAMOS!
- Unusual Euphemism: "DINGER!"
- Very Special Episode: Literally every single episode
- Viewers Are Geniuses: You had to have some knowledge of history to really get some of the jokes.
- Who Is Driving?: Parodied in "Homecoming: A Shot In D'Arc": The van is then shown using its blinker and braking before turning at an intersection.
- Whoopi Epiphany Speech: Subverted with Toots
- Wild Teen Party
- What Could Have Been: Oddly enough there was a second season planned, but despite the good ratings that it had gotten. MTV cancels it..
- Xtreme Kool Letterz/Totally Radical: X-Stream Blu, an EXTREME new food product which is made of pancake batter and blue paint. Ghandi nearly kills himself with it.
- "Stick it in your face-hole and SLAM IT!"
- You Cloned Hitler: A clone of Hitler himself was one of the attendants of the student film festival in the episode "Tears of a Clone."
- You Go, Girl!
- You Mean "Xmas"
... WEEEEESSSLEEEEY .