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"Yes, you'd better gasp collectively!"—Stan
"Please don't kill us!""Please don't make it so appealing!"
—Val and Killface, respectively.
Killface is a super-villain with dreams of blasting the planet Earth into the sun. One problem, he wants to announce his intentions to the world and show the masses the doomsday engine ("The Annihilatrix") that will bring about their doom. And since he doesn't have the technology to highjack the airwaves, let alone the money to purchase airtime to announce his scheme, he's pretty much screwed.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is Xander Crews, a spoiled sociopath of a "super-hero" named "Awesome-X" who has just executed his last remaining arch-nemesis and is now being pressured to retire by his advisor Stan, so he can finally get around to running the family business. Needless to say, after getting his hands on a promotional post-card designed to announce Killface's plans, Xander sees the perfect foil for his toy line.
An Adult Swim cartoon series (2006-2008), which is heavy on Continuity Porn and Deconstruction of the super-hero genre, as far as presenting the villainous Killface as the Villain Protagonist against the even worse Crews as the Hero Antagonist. The second season took this even further, retooling the show for a lengthy Presidential Election arc in which Killface and Xander ran against each other for President.
Sadly the show was Too Good to Last.
In the end the production company, 70/30 Studios, shut down some time after and the creative team behind the show moved to the FX Network, where they produced Archer.
This show provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Killface's obsession with his son's weight, to the point of measuring his servings, constantly weighing him, and FORCED SOY SAUCE ENEMAS counts.
- Given his reaction when she shows up, one can imagine Killface's mother was one too. Of course we'll sadly never get any closure on that cliffhanger.
- Affably Evil: Killface is quite charming, unless you piss him off.
- Anyone Can Die: Practically everyone has, at this point. By the end of the series only six characters from the first two episodes are still alive: Xander, Killface, Simon, Stan, Hooker and Val.
- Bald Women: Sinn.
- Body Sushi: There was an episode in which Torpedo Vegas eats sushi this way while interrogating Awesome-X and Killface.
- Brick Jokes/CatchPhrase: The majority of the show's humor derives from this.
- What are we doing?
- Didn't see that one coming...
- Called it!
- I f*ckin' love Chinatown!
- I wanna teabag Chinatown!
- ... The town
- ...made headlines today, but not the good kind like you want.
- Well, not with that attitude!
- Not with any attitude!
- I hate this country.
- I love this country. You people don't care!
- My God a missile we've been hit!
- You don't have to be crappy.
- We'll always have Vegas!
- I like to call it "Lost Wages."
- Doin' really great.
- Son of a Whore!
- Don't you... Don't... That was our last bowl!
- What's this slideshow... everybody's doin?
- What the hell, damn guy?!?
- God... ...dammit!
- We can't ever go back to Arizona!
- Aw! We were supposed to get pickles!
- Apparently it's been here the whole time.
- Wait... damn, I had something.
- Like to have a thought balloon over that guy's head.
- Is that ant poison? No, that's a great plan.
- Oh, they just want to win. Ladybugs.
- (Disappointed penguin sound)
- I ... think that's hydraulic fluid.
- Me too!
- Chain of Corrections
X-tacle #1: So...who's read Flowers for Algernon?
X-tacle #2: Oooh, about the kid with all the chains, and the goggles, and at the end he gets killed with a shotgun?
Xtacles #2, #3, #4: Boosh!
X-tacle #1: That's "Harrison Bergeron."
Xtacles #2, #3, #4: Hollywood Squares!
X-tacle #1: That's Tom Bergeron.
X-tacle #2: Brother of Menelaus!
X-tacle #1: Dammit, that's Agamemnon!
Documentarian:Wow. I assumed you were doing something else here, by the road.
Xander:No, just giving back to these crack-addled skeletons that wander the streets of... [looking away] the Town.
- Cliff Hanger: The series finale has Killface's mother suddenly dropping in via spaceship and demanding to know why the Earth not destroyed...and why Killface has no clothes on. The Xtacles mentions that Xander, for some unknown reason, returned with Killface to his home planet but that the last we hear of it. As the company that made both shows went under, it unlikely we'll get a resolution.
- Crapsack World
- Crimefighting with Cash: Awesome X and the Xtacles; Xander Crews' being unable to pay the Xtacles (and his plan to fire them) sets much of the plot of Season 1 in motion.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: During one of the in-show interviews, Simon starts masturbating just off camera, apparently out of sheer spite.
- Dead Guy Puppet: Killface kidnaps several PR execs to force them to help making his public announcements. When one angers him, he shoots him with a heavy caliber gun, blowing him in half...then picks up the torso-half, thrusts his hand all the way inside him until his hand is behind the corpse's jaw, and starts sarcastically "playing" him literally like a ventriloquist's dummy...for an extended period of time...in front of his twin brother who is begging him to stop.
- Depraved Bisexual: Val
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Killface would just love to do this for real, but his inability to purchase a "media buy" handcuffs him. Sinn pulls it off in Season 2, with it implied that she secretly had the funds all along to buy TV time to announce her plans.
- Do Not Explain the Joke: Mr. Ford has a habit of doing this with his Double Entendres.
- Dude Not Ironic: When Xander winds up homeless, the documentarian says it's ironic how he's now living in cardboard boxes produced by the company he used to own. Xander says that's not what irony means, while the documentarian replies that that's exactly what irony means.
- The Dragon: Sinn to Killface, Stan to Xander
- Egocentric Team Naming: Awesome X and the X-ticles, a team of well-funded badass normals. They Fight Crime.
- Embarrassing First Name: Well, embarrassing real name, for Killface.
Xander: [laughing] Evelyn!?
Killface: It's a man's name!
- Even Evil Has Standards: Stan, on the issue of exploiting Simon's homosexuality as a means to discredit Killface as a presidential candidate
- Evil Chancellor: Stan
- Evil Twin: Nearl, a mentally deficient homeless person picked up by the Xtacles and injected with "brain chemical," turns out to be Xander Crews' long-lost twin brother, who vows revenge...before being shot through the head by Ronnie.
- Exposed Extraterrestrials: Killface doesn't wear any clothes and few people seem to mind. Played With at the last moment of the series, when Killface's family, dressed royally, comes to Earth on their spaceship. His mother gets mad at his lack of clothes.
Torpedo Vegas: Well, he doesn't have a penis! Or, at least, none that I can see.
Xander Crews: Yeah, what's with that?
- The Faceless: The Xtacles
- Gag Penis: MASTER CYLINDER!
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Xander Crews.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Killer Mike as Taqu'il
- Hollywood Cyborg: Sinn
- Hot Scoop: Grace Ryan
- Humiliation Conga: Xander's year of being homeless in between seasons one and two
- I'm Mr. Past Pop Culture Reference: Xander hides his identity from a blinded Killface by calling himself Barnaby Jones. Killface does get the reference, but still believes him.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Killface.
Documentarian: Wow. Well, that's sort of ironic.
Xander: How's that?
Documentarian: 'Cause uhh, that you used to own the company that made the refrigerator that came in the cardboard box that you live in now.
Xander: I'm not real sure that's what irony is.
Documentarian: It's actually kinda exactly what it is.
- Jerkass: Pretty much the entire cast. But especially Xander.
- Kick the Dog: Almost every character is a pretty despicable human being (or whatever Killface is), as noted above.
- Lego Genetics: Watley, Antagone
- Leeroy Jenkins: LET'S DO THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis...
- Monochromatic Eyes: Sinn
- Most Common Superpower: Antagone gains this.
- Motivational Kiss: At one point near the end, Stan and Taqu'il are dangling from a ledge, and Taqu'il uses a grappling hook concealed in his belt to lift them to safety. Before he does, Stan (referencing the use of this trope in Star Wars) gives him a quick kiss and says "For luck." Taqu'il is not amused, and activates the grappling hook with nothing more than a cold look.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Counting Xander as the villain in this example, he activates the Annihilatrix at the end of season one, intent on killing himself and taking the entire world with him. When season two begins, it's revealed that instead of launching the Earth into the Sun like it was supposed to, it instead nudged the Earth three feet away from it, thus curing global warming (which Killface took credit for.)
- Nixon Mask: One of the X-tacles wears one.
- Noodle Incident: The reason why Simon and Killface had to leave Arizona is constantly teased in season one; it's implied that the incident involved illegal bunny-knife fights, which Simon was involved in.
- Not So Harmless: Stan. Val, too.
- The Odd Couple: Xander and Killface, when they team up.
- "On the Next...": One episode ended on a pretty literal Cliff Hanger, with Grace Ryan hanging from the Annihilatrix by a microphone cord.
Next time, on Frisky Dingo: "Oh my God, she fell!"
- The Plot Reaper
- "Previously On..."
- Product Placement: Ruthlessly mocked with the "Scion tC" gag.
- Also, Haggar Pants sponsors the Xander Crews/Killface Presidential Debate at the Haggar Pants Arena...which has a giant pair of pants attached to the roof.
- Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh:
Killface (To Antagone): Well let me tell you this. (Punching her gut) Punch punch punch punch punch...really, nothing?
Xander: "...I would not call that making love. I would call that... the Shame Spear... of... Hurt."
- Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Constantly averted. Characters stutter, talk over each other, and sometimes even lose their train of thought.
- Riches to Rags: Xander at the beginning of season 2; he's gone from the head of a company with billions of dollars to living in a refrigerator box.
- Running Gag: Scores of them, including Killface's ringtone, Killface's lack of insurance, wearing a tallboy as a thong, the Half 'n' Half, people who are supposed to get pickles, being picky about counting to three, establishing boundaries, Xander randomly asking "What are we doing?", Simon pushing bowls of cereal off tables, referring to the city where everything takes place as "town", Darcel Jones of Team Jaguar and how she's always more professional than Grace Ryan...
- Sadist Show
- Sadistic Choice: Adult Swim's treatment of of the show, as far tricking fans into thinking that the show's third season was dependent on their rejecting outright The Xtacles spin-off, all the while having already officially canceled Frisky Dingo with no chance of bringing the show back.
- While the Xtacles are holding Xander Crews ransom for delayed back pay (utterly unaware that he is also their boss), and being refused by Stan who wanted Crews dead anyway:
Xtacle: So, you want it in the face (Jabs Crews in the face with his gun) or...
Crews: No! No! Not my handsome face!
Xtacle: Awww, I'm just playing. You don't get to pick. (Cocks gun)
- Suddenly Sexuality: Subverted; Simon turns out to be gay midway through season two but ultimately it's revealed that he was faking being gay in order to try and derail his father's presidential campaign.
- At least, that's what he claimed. It doesn't really make sense, since it was his coming out that stopped Killface from being a religious fundamentalist, which was alienating all his constituents.
Killface: Oh, you don't even know if you're gay or not.
Xander: Snip snap!
Killface: Snip snap indeed!
- Shaggy Dog Story: The entire Presidential campaign arc. By the end of it, it's revealed that because Killface wasn't born in the US, and Xander is too young, neither of them are eligible for the presidency.
- Shout-Out: Often subtle and used for one-off jokes. A prime example would be the poster of Raquel Welch (with Xander's face poorly Photoshopped on), kept by Ronnie in the X-Calibur's holding cell which hides the escape hole behind it just like The Shawshank Redemption.
- Stupid Sacrifice: Taqu'il.
- Take That / Genius Bonus: At one point Nerl exclaims "Thank you Ronald Reagan! Your legacy is intact." The Reagan Administration's policies regarding funding and privatization of mental institutions are considered by some to have added many mentally-ill and mentally-disabled persons to the homeless population.
- Talking to Himself: Killface and Xander Crews are both voiced by Adam Reed, as is Wendall Stamps and Ronnie.
- Temporary Blindness: Killface and Xander Crews, late in Season 1.
- Too Dumb to Live: The Xtacles are heavily armed, easily manipulated and distracted, are extremely stupid, and die in spades.
- Aww, Fat Mike too?
- Transparent Closet: Xander. His obsession with Fred Dryer and his 1980s TV show "Hunter," complete with mural of him in his bedroom that he stares at rather than screwing his hot girlfriend (who he is constantly avoiding).
- Took a Level In Badass: Val, who went from Killface's hostage who watched Killface savagely murder/desecrate the corpses of her boyfriend AND said boyfriend's twin and being traumatized by Killface striking her/threatening more violence, to a bad-ass manipulator/villainess.
- The Unintelligible:
- Simon. I dare you to be able to tell what he's saying (without Killface's help).
- Stan's clones. HARRUMPH!
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Taken Up to Eleven - not merely are the supposed "hero" and "villain" unsympathetic, but just TRY finding a genuinely sympathetic character in the show. Even the characters who seem innocent ultimately become jerks.
- Except for Baby Lamont. And arguably Watley.
- Upperclass Twit: Xander Crews.
- Villain Protagonist: Killface.
- Villains Out Shopping: Frequently used, sometimes literally.
- Wham! Episode
- What Could Have Been: Originally the show would have been about the Xtacles with Killface as the big bad and Xander and his wife (who ended up becoming Grace Ryan) only making occasional appearances. When the title was changed from "Whisky Tango" to "Frisky Dingo", the plan was to have "Frisky Dingo" be an insulting nickname for the team (who would still be called Whisky Tango).
- Also of note: Had the show not been cruelly cancelled like it was, the first half of season three would have taken Xander and Killface to Killface's homeworld, where we would learn that Killface was the spoiled rotten prince of his people and explored him acting like a grown up spoiled brat towards his people....
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?
- They're probably somewhere near Seattle. When driving to Vegas Killface says "16 hours in the car..." A mile marker with different cities on it seems to indicate they are driving south to Vegas. Assuming a 70-75 mph speed limit you end up somewhere in the vicinity of Washington state/northern Oregon
- Although the freeway map on GPS screens, and certain street names correspond with Atlanta, where the show was produced (and home of Cartoon Network).
- The Haggar Pants Arena is essentially the Georgia Dome with a giant pair of pants attached to its roof.
- Who's Laughing Now?: Stan: "Who's laughing now, Crews? Who's laughing now? Hahaha... Me. I am laughing".
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Mr. Ford. This culminates in him being President of the United States.
Mr. Ford: Yeah, my ass is everywhere.
- Word Salad Title: The title Frisky Dingo was originally supposed to be a mangled insult nickname Killface had for Xander's team (called Whiskey Tango), but the creators eventually handwaved it into the series by making it the launch code for the Annihilatrix.
- The name was originally going to be "Whiskey Tango", military alphabet shorthand for "What The...?" but someone else already had the name.
- "Whiskey Tango" is usually a euphemism for "White Trash."
BOOSH! and/or ka-kow.