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"I'm the man who has the ball; I'm the man who can throw it faster than fuck. So that is why I am better than everyone in the world. Kiss my ass and suck. My. Dick. Everyone."
—Kenny Powers

Eastbound and Down tells the story of washout major league baseball pitcher, Kenny Powers. After years of jerkassery towards the media and professional sports, Kenny finds himself back home in North Carolina, living with his brother's family with a sad look on his face and an even sadder pitch. He gets a job at his alma mater, Jefferson Davis Middle School, as a substitute gym teacher, working with spastic principal Terrence Cutler, obsessive music teacher Stevie Janowski, and art teacher (plus teenage-flame) April Buchanon. Kenny is willing to do whatever it takes to get back on top; whether it be the Majors or April. He aspires for both.

The second season of the show sees Kenny making a trip to Mexico to try to play baseball there. The third and final season features Kenny's return to America on a minor-league team in Myrtle Beach.

Tropes in this series include:

  • Acting for Two: Jason Sudekis plays twin brothers in Season 3.
  • Analogy Backfire: "Whenever I look at a Mexican, I will think of you. Whenever you look at that jackass, you think of me."
  • Auto Erotica: Stevie has sex with a girl at a funeral in "Chapter 17" and seems to feel bad about it afterwards.
  • Anti-Hero
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Stevie loves Maria and wants to be with her forever. He eventually brings her back to America with him. Once they actually get there Maria brings a ton of relatives in and Stevie gets the feeling he made a big mistake.
    • Happens to Stevie again in Season 3 where, thanks to the spark having gone out of his marriage with Maria, he desperately wants to have an affair. Then he cheats on Maria and immediately feels incredibly guilty.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Ashley Schaeffer is pretty much the only way you're going to feel sorry for Kenny Powers.
  • Black Comedy
  • The Bus Came Back: Almost all the supporting players from Season 1 (except for Stevie, who remains a regular the whole time). Ashley Schaeffer, Reg Mackworthy, and Kenny's dad all make return appearances as well.
  • Buxom Is Better: Kenny stares at April's rack when he sees her again, and in the second season he compares Vida (less bosomy, but a great butt) to April and decides that he's a tit man.
  • Catch Phrase: "You're fucking out!"
  • Cluster F-Bomb: It's on HBO.
  • Comedic Sociopathy
  • Dead Sidekick: Shane in Season 3.
  • Disappeared Dad
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Reg Mackworthy is bit of an ass to Kenny since they were supposed rivals, so Kenny pitches a ball so fast, it knocks Mackworthy's eye out.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Kenny and his buddy Shane mimic intercourse with the classic finger-and-circle gesture, and then Shane announces, "Because our fingers are dicks! And these look like pussies!".
  • Downer Ending / Cliff Hanger: The Season One finale.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Played surpisingly straight in "Chapter 16", when Shane has a heart attack and dies while he and Kenny are snorting coke together.
  • Drunk Driver: Forms the relationship between Kenny and Stevie.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: "Chapter 21"
  • Fan Disservice: For every shot of April's cleavage and Vida's posterior, there's bound to be an equal and opposite reaction, usually in the form of Kenny or (shudder) Stevie or Stevie and Maria
    • Kenny's skanky topless jetskiing girlfriend from Season 1, who announces "My pussy itches!" at a bar and then scratches it with a fork.
  • Groin Attack: Kenny's dad returns and embraces Kenny's mom in "Chapter 19", 27 years after he left to get cigarettes. She responds with a knee to his groin.
  • Idiot Ball: "Chapter 21". Kenny meant well, but...

  April: Why couldn't you have just stayed in the majors, and Toby and I could have come with you?

  • Important Haircut: Kenny's corn-rows.
    • Stevie cuts off all his hair in "Chapter 18" after breaking up with Maria.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Swear words, "Clegg", and "Dustin".
  • Informed Ability: McBride initially did a very poor job of imitating a baseball pitcher's motion. Later seasons had him work with an actual pitching coach as Kenny was shown pitching more often.
  • It Runs in The Family: Kenny's Dad is a manipulative Jerkass, while his Mom abuses drugs and has a bad temper. Kenny inherits his parents nasty traits without getting his father's cleverness or his mother's common sense. Dustin seems to be the Black Sheep, but comments from Kenny indicate that he was a hellraiser like Kenny before he met his wife.
  • It's All About Me: Kenny is the king of this trope.
  • Jerkass: Eddie (Kenny's Dad).
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kenny is a total asshole, but he's in such a wretched state that you also feel bad for him.
  • Jizzed in My Pants: Well, it IS Katy Mixon.
  • Kavorka Man: Kenny's half-brother Casper says that all of the Powers men have a special touch with the ladies. This would actually make sense, since Dustin is the only Powers man shown to not be a total sleaze while both Kenny and Eddie being able to schmooze up old flames who have no reason to ever want to speak to them again.
  • Kick the Dog: Kenny casually exploits and abuses Stevie and Stevie duly takes it all with the same devoted, sycophantic enthusiasm. But having Stevie to break up with Maria went beyond the standard Jerkassery.
  • Kubrick Stare: Kenny in "Chapter 18" when surveying his failed Independence Day party.
  • Man On Fire: Ashley Schaeffer in "Chapter 20".
  • Metaphorgotten: "If that's what it takes, then a cock and dream it will be sucked upon."
  • Ms. Fanservice: Kenny's girlfriend that likes topless jetskiing in Season 1--but see Fan Disservice above.
  • A Naked Shoulder to Cry On: One of the mourners at Shane's funeral in "Chapter 17".
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The summary for "Chapter 19" implied that the subject of the episode's Twist Ending (see below) would be a much bigger part of the episode.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Inverted with Ashley Schaeffer, who sounds a lot more like a Cajun Will Ferrell than just plain ol' Will Ferrell in his second appearance.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Every season has a radically different status quo to the extent where the show has no status quo:
    • Season 1 had Kenny working as a substitute P.E. teacher in his North Carolina hometown.
    • Season 2 had Kenny living in Mexico with the entire supporting cast save for Stevie absent.
    • Season 3 had Kenny pitching for a Minor League team in Myrtle Beach and being a deadbeat Dad.
  • Not So Different: Papa Powers to Kenny after they meet while on similar missions to win Kenny's mom over.
  • No Title: Episodes are titled only "Chapter 1", "Chapter 2", etc.
  • "On the Next..."
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Kenny is the living embodiment of this trope.
  • "Previously On..."
  • Red Herring: Kenny's experimenting with a knuckleball grip, as seen in "Chapter 19", is never mentioned again.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Kenny in the series finale.
  • Sidekick: Stevie is this trope personified, actively identifying himself as such and taking pride in it. It's simultaneously hilarious, creepy and a little depressing.
  • Slow Clap: Stevie in "Chapter 12"
  • Spoof Aesop: Dustin explains to Kenny that he needs to realize he isn't amazing anymore and is back down to the level of normal people. Kenny DOES realize this... but won't accept it, as he's "better than everyone else," and plans to get back into major league baseball.
    • Lampshaded in "Chapter 5": after Kenny accepts the Aesop, Dustin tells him to get back into baseball, since it's better than working on home repair.
    • Most of season 2 feels like a spoof of a Redemption Quest.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Mexican grandma of the family Kenny's staying with in Season 2.
  • Throw It In: A sizable portion of Ashley Schaeffer's and Clegg's dialogue is improvised. The actors also made a couple goofs (such as referring to the Denali as an Escalade, because it was an Escalade in the script) that the producers found too funny to cut.
  • Trust-Building Blunder: Catching your falling coworker--with the usual result--in "Chapter 15".
  • Twist Ending: "Chapter 6". If the show hadn't been renewed, it would've just ended with Kenny and April leaving for Tampa, but the extension led to the call from Anderson and April getting ditched instead.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Kenny Powers seems determined to take this to the extreme.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot
  • What Does She See in Him?: Seriously, April, WTF?
  • Your Cheating Heart: Stevie in Season 3.
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