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PLAYER 1 START!
Travel back in time with us, to the early 1980s, The Golden Age of Video Games. In those days, men were men, women were women, and "high-end graphics" were ones in which the sprites were more than one color.
This is the setting for G4's animated Sitcom Code Monkeys, which revolves around the antics at Gameavision, a fictional video game company. Aside from Jerry, an amiable Joe Average game programmer who's more than a bit of a pushover, Jerry's mischievous, obnoxious friend Dave, and Mary, the put-upon sole female programmer, most of the crew at Gameavision are crazy, stupid, or some combination of the two. There's Mr. Larrity, a hot-headed, money-grubbing, borderline insane Texas millionaire who becomes Gameavision's owner in the premiere episode and shows a fondness for wildly complicated schemes; Mr. Larrity's dimwit jock son Dean; Todd, a fat, narcissistic, and often creepy uber-geek; "Black Steve", the ill-tempered accountant and token black guy; Clarence, the outrageously gay audio designer who always talks in a sing-song voice; Clare, the flirtatious receptionist; and Benny, a mouthy, hyperactive Korean kid who lives in the basement and works as a play tester.
Much of the show's humor comes from spoofing not only the video game industry, but Video Game Tropes as well. The animation style is entirely in 8-bit style pixel art (resembles River City Ransom sprites), complete with status bars at the top and bottom of the screen that display absurd things depending on the action in the show (like a health meter that decreases when someone gets injured or killed, or a "BORING" meter that fills up whenever someone, usually Jerry, makes a needlessly dramatic speech).
Sadly, Code Monkeys only lasted two seasons (2007-2008), with the first season on DVD. Though the theme song lives on as Film Master Adam's Review show.
This series features examples of:
- Anal Probing: Todd and Dean get abducted by aliens in one episode and are anally probed while forced to suck on a strange mechanical appendage.
- Ax Crazy: Mr. Larrity.
- Big Damn Heroes: Dave (Who was presumed dead) and a former Protendo game programmer jump in when Larrity faces Matsui, Protendo's leader, on the company's rooftop when they came to rescue Benny in the Season 1 finale.
- Bilingual Bonus: Takeda's brother (forgot his name) actually speaks perfect Japanese. Subverted with Noshi discussing the "merger" over the phone; he was actually speaking in English. The subtitles are just there for the sake of being there.
- Black Comedy Rape: Both Todd and Dave get raped by KITTY. Also, the episode "Super Prison Breakout" contains numerous rape jokes.
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: most of the cast
- But Not Too Black: Averted. Black Steve's rap group, "Black Steve and the Black Attack Squadron (Honky Killers International), featuring Blackie Blackerson", receives thunderous applause from the all white crowd.
- Content Warnings: Spoofed. The show contained a different gag disclaimer at the beginning of each episode, such as this one from "Super Prison Breakout":
A) Contains content that may not be suitable for all audiences.
B) Might use the word (beep) a lot.
Viewer Discretion is advised.
- There was also an episode of the show which focused on this. "The Story of 420" poked fun at this backfiring with video games. First Lady Nancy Reagan forces Game-a-Vision to put warning labels on all of their games stating "Playing this game increases the likelihood that you will engage in drug use and deviant sex". While Larrity objects at first, he's then extremely happy as the labels cause their game sales to skyrocket to the point where Reagan then has to ban them from having the labels on their games.
- Couch Gag (the Content Warnings)
- Crossing the Burnt Bridge: In the Stonervision episode. Of course, this was seen coming a mile away.
- Dead Baby Comedy: "Its as if someone took one of my babies, except that baby was made of money, not useless baby meat."
- Does This Make Me Look Fat? (in the episode "Third Reich's the Charm")
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The episode "The Story of 420" First Lady Nancy Reagan forces Game-a-Vision to put warning labels on all of their games stating "Playing this game increases the likelihood that you will engage in drug use and deviant sex". While Larrity objects at first, he's then extremely happy as the labels cause their game sales to skyrocket to the point where Reagan then has to ban them from having the labels on their games.
- Drugs Are Bad: The episode "The Story of 420" featured then First Lady Nancy Reagan, infamous for her anti-drug crusades in the 80's, ruining 420 for the Game-a-Vision staff by confiscating a huge supply of marijuana on the Mexican border. Later on when she's at Game-a-Vision, Dave unintentionally gives her the inspiration for her real life "Just Say No" campaign.
- The Eighties
- Expy: A creepy, rapist one of KITT, named KITTY; several based on Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, Sgt. Slaughter, and Randy Savage; there's a lot of these.
- The Gump: The Gameavision staff regularly has oddly profound effects on the world at large. The most dramatic of which is how they basically forced Michael Jackson's transformation from a black young heart throb into an effeminate light skinned weirdo.
- Hey, It's That Voice! Todd sounds a lot like Master Shake, doesn't he?
- Also sounds just like Gazpacho from Chowder.
- It Will Never Catch On
- Mighty Whitey (parodied with Jerry's game White Karate Master)
- Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie (Dave and Jerry's game Ninja Pirate Robots)
- No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-universe. "The Story of 420" poked fun at this being done with video games. First Lady Nancy Reagan forces Game-a-Vision to put warning labels on all of their games stating "Playing this game increases the likelihood that you will engage in drug use and deviant sex". While Larrity objects at first, he's then extremely happy as the labels cause their game sales to skyrocket to the point where Reagan then has to ban them from having the labels on their games.
- Pet the Dog (After Jerry squanders his million dollars from a stock increase and throws himself into huge debt troubles, Dave (who's become an actual millionaire because he actually deposited and saved his money) decides to help his friend out and pay off Jerry's debts.)
- Real Song Theme Tune ("Code Monkey" by Jonathan Coulton)
- Reset Button (Literally: After going (more) insane in the episode "Todd Loses His Mind", Todd successfully blows up the Gameavision building with the staff inside. The screen goes staticy, & the viewer is treated to a live-action scene of somebody resetting their "Code Monkeys" cartridge. The episode ends with a repeat of its first scene.)
- Shout-Out (Grand Theft Auto in the second season finale)
- Lots considering the genre and style of this show. The infamous UR MR GAY meme makes an appearance in The Revenge of Matsui.
- Special Guest
- Since the show is centered around video games, most guest stars come from the video game industry itself. Usually, guests appear as themselves (Such as Dave Jaffe and John Romero); however, some guests have voiced a one-off character (Such as Tommy Chong voicing a stoner and Jason Zumwalt voicing a Eastern European criminal)
- The Stoner / Stoners Are Funny: While Dave is well established as a stoner throughout the series, the episode "The Story of 420" showed that most of the Game-a-Vision staff smokes marijuana.
- Suck E. Cheese's (There was one in "The Great Recession" where Dave, and later Todd, got jobs at Bleakovision when Gameavision was out of business.)
- Sweet Polly Oliver: In "Just One of the Gamers" Mary feels disrespected at work because she's a woman. She disguises herself as a guy named Mitch. This eventually leads too...;
- Sweet on Polly Oliver: In "Just One of the Gamers" Jerry has the hots for Mitch, Mary's male alter-ego. He eventually breaks down and declares himself gay for Mitch but is relieved when she reveals herself as Mary. However, Dave insists that he's still gay.
- Those Two Guys (Dave and Jerry, the show's primary characters)
- Those Wacky Nazis (in the episode "Third Reich's the Charm")
- Work Com
- With Friends Like These... (Dave, towards Jerry)
- You Cloned Hitler: Adolf Hitler apparently has clones. Larrity keeps one in the freezer as "insurance".