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Enthalpy (also known as Project Enthalpy) is a multimedia Web Original series created by Nicholas Walstrom, formerly known as Walrus Guy. The site features cartoons, games, and comics, all set in the same universe.
The series follows the bizarre adventures of three young boys (Nicholas, Charles, and Udesky), and the strange events that occur in Fort Ellen, the Crap Saccharine World they live in. They must also frequently deal with Nicholas' "archenemy", the evil pig/human/Pillsbury Doughboy hybrid Piggly Oink (who has yet to actually appear in the series). The series relies heavily on Surreal Humor, as well as some healthy doses of Nightmare Fuel.
The characters were created by Walstrom around 2001, when he made several comics and stories based around them. They debuted on the web in some animations posted on Newgrounds between 2005 and 2008, and Nicholas appeared in a pair of Adventure Games, Nicholas' Weird Adventure and Nicholas' Weird Adventure 2, in 2005 and 2007. The website itself debuted in 2010.
The series as a whole contains examples of:
- Alternate History: The series takes place in the year 2001. In the year 2001, advanced genetic engineering is commonplace and children fly hovercrafts.
- Animesque: Characters will occasionally make anime-derived facial expressions.
- Art Evolution: The art style and quality has varied considerably over the years.
- Author Avatar: Nicholas, as you may have guessed, was originally a fictional version of Walstrom. Exactly how much they still resemble each other is unknown.
- Big Bad: Piggly Oink.
- Black Comedy: You won't have to search too hard to find a death-related gag.
- Cloudcuckooland: Pretty much everyone in the Enthalpy universe is a total weirdo.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Piggly Oink. He's a short pig thing and his name's Piggly Oink.
- Free-Range Children: The protagonists are all around eleven years old.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The titles of every comic storyline and episode are structured as "[Primary title]; Or, [secondary title]", with the primary title being the name of a B-Movie.
- Kid Hero
- Limited Wardrobe
- Meaningful Name: Udesky was first introduced in a dinosaur-related comic and is named after a character from Jurassic Park III.
- Only Sane Man: Nicholas is usually the only one to think rationally, though even he has his moments.
- Reference Overdosed
- Schedule Slip: Several, but most notable is the first episode of the cartoons, "McDarnold's". The first part debuted in 2005, and the second (along with a remake of the first) will be released sometime in 2012.
The cartoons provide examples of:
- Alien Invasion: The reason the characters have to put on an edutainment play in The Consequences of Alexander's Death.
- Author Appeal: The creator really likes use of burgers in fiction.
- BLAM Episode: FAIL!: Of the Couch.
- Bottle Episode: Of the Couch.
- Dissonant Serenity: Charles seems to love McDarnold's despite the restaurant's toxic food and horrible customer service.
- Epic Fail: The narration in FAIL!: Of the Couch insists the original Of the Couch video is full of these.
- Fictional Counterpart: McDarnold's, of... well, take a guess.
- Generic Graffiti: On the McDarnold's building.
- If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: Charles' doctor asks him if he can have his Xbox after his fiery death, though it's actually an X-Men lunchbox.
- Masochist's Meal: Several people have died from eating McDarnold's food.
- Noodle Implements: Nicholas discovers that a McDarnold's burger contains rat feces, rat poison, a dead rat, and "not phosphorous".
- The Other Darrin: Udesky was voiced by Nik Goodrich in "TRANSMOGRIFIERS", but Walstrom lost contact with him and he'll be replaced by a new voice actor/actress in the main series.
- Parody: Transmogrifiers are like Transformers, but made out of modelling clay.
- FAIL! is a parody of Disney Channel's commercial-break show BLAM!, which is really just as stupid and pointless as FAIL! is.
- Show Within a Show: The Ramon Osborn Show.
- Stock Footage: "Charles Simplifies His Life With Windows 7" uses blatantly obvious reused footage from "Of The Couch", parodying the Family Guy Windows 7 ads that pulled the same trick.
- Thick Line Animation: Varies.
- Too Dumb to Live: Despite all of the horrid and dangerous things contained in the burger, Charles still eats it.
- Totally Radical: FAIL!: Of the Couch.
The comics provide examples of:
- Ambiguous Gender: So far it is unclear whether Pat Weldon is male or female.
- Female is the more likely assumption, since the character's name is derived from the female lead in Them: Dr. Pat Medford, played by Joan Weldon.
- Big No: Twice in The Invasion of Piggly Oink. Once as a Star Wars reference.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "If you would like to order a giANT, press 1. For other products, press 2. If you've discovered the horrible truth behind giANTS and wish to protest, press 3."
- Buffy-Speak: Many machines in the Dunlap Pig Industries building are labeled "____Y THINGY".
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: giANTs.
- Evil Knockoff: Nicholas' clone.
- Gratuitous Japanese: At least one of the comics from 2001 included a group of American characters exclaiming "Yana kanji".
- Impostor Exposing Test: Involving a dog, a doughnut, and the Pillsbury Doughboy.
- Kill and Replace: This seems to be Piggly Oink's plan in The Invasion of Piggly Oink.
- Pet Monstrosity: giANTs.
The games provide examples of:
- Anticlimax: Every single game on the site so far has an anticlimactic ending.
- Lampshaded in one of Nicholas' Weird Adventure 2's useless tips.
- Evil Sorcerer: Morth
- Gainax Ending: Nicholas' Weird Adventure 2 ends with Nicholas falling to earth and landing on top of a dog, which sinks into the ground, taking Nicholas with it.
- Guide Dang It: To get to the secret room in Nicholas' Weird Adventure 2, you have to press space on a seemingly insignificant picture several times, then use the paper shredder in a completely different area much later in the game.
- Shout-Out: The giant man-eating plant in the plant shop is clearly supposed to be Audrey II, of Little Shop of Horrors.
- The Maromi doll is a central character in Paranoia Agent.
- The otaku character has a P! shirt, referencing FLCL. The same character requests Totoro Doujinshi and wishes for a DVD set of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
- The giant whale in Nicholas' Weird Adventure 2 is named "Lord Shamu-Shamu".
- Udesky Answers the Door features a miloganda.
- Unwinnable by Design: Activenture, the arcade game in Morth's castle, at least until you activate easy mode.