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The Grim Reaper has come for a soul -- specifically, a hamster in his dying days -- but he's stopped from taking the hamster to the afterlife by two children: the blissfully idiotic Billy (the hamster's owner) and the cynical, amoral Mandy (Billy's best friend). The pair challenge "Grim" to a limbo contest to save the hamster; when Grim loses, he becomes Billy and Mandy's newest friend -- and by "friend", we mean that he's contractually bound to be the kids' friend and cater to their every whim. Grim begrudgingly serves as something of an underworld version of Mary Poppins, thanklessly placating Billy's demands for cheap entertainment and Mandy's schemes for self-profit with his magical scythe while desperately trying to find a way to be rid of the duo for good. Thus go The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
Rounding out the show's cast are Irwin, Billy's best friend and the Token Minority (who also has a massive crush on Mandy); Sperg The Bully; Mindy the Alpha Bitch; Hoss Delgado, a supernatural bounty hunter with more brawn than brains; Eris, the goddess of chaos and discord; General Skarr (formerly seen in Evil Con Carne), who now wants to garden instead of conquering the world; and Nergal, the Sumerian Death God who lives in Earth's molten core and just wants to be friends with everyone, really.
This show was actually the winner of a contest held by Cartoon Network to determine what cartoon would be their next new show. On an interesting note, Billy and Mandy ended up lasting longer than most of the shows that CN greenlit without fan input; Codename: Kids Next Door, the winner of the contest the following year, did likewise. (Think about this: those two shows, voted to greenlight status by the viewers, ended up lasting at least two more seasons than any other show CN greenlit afterward). Billy and Mandy was originally a much darker Three Shorts show that included another cartoon, Evil Con Carne (and known then as Grim & Evil), but became the more comedic (but still pretty dark) Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy when Con Carne was dropped after the first season in an unsuccessful Spin-Off attempt.
- Actor Allusion: On the two-part episode, "Brown-Evil", Billy mistakes Hoss Delgado for a wussy video game character named Pat the Baker, both of which are voiced by Deiderich Bader.
- Dean Toadblatt is voiced by John Vernon, who is remembered by many as the antagonistic Dean Wormer from Animal House.
- Alpha Bitch: Mindy.
- Alternate Universe: It shares the same universe as Evil Con Carne, a universe where Abraham Lincoln is still President, and the League of Nations still exists. Its also hinted that it shares the same universe as Codename: Kids Next Door and Ed Edd and Eddy, per the crossover. In one episode, due to the collapse of time and space, the universe is rebooted and the characters are reincarnated as the cast of The Powerpuff Girls.
- Animesque: Billy's favorite show, The X-Treme Adventures of Brandon and Mallory. It features ninja fights, high-speed chase scenes, giant robots and wailing guitars and stars two kids with the Grim Reaper.
- Anti-Hero: Billy is a Type I, while Grim and Mandy are Type V.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Billy's dad's lucky pants are immune to lasers, supernatural forces, and mustard.
- Art Evolution: Lampshaded in one episode, where the original episode is played to end the dispute in the character's conflicting origin stories. Grim remarks, "That doesn't even look like us!"
- Likewise, in one episode Fred Freburger (yes!) lampshades Mandy's lack of an apparent nose.
- Art Shift: An episode ended with Billy needing Grim to fix his eyes, and with each attempt, he sees the world rendered in a different animation style.
- An Asskicking Christmas: Billy and Mandy Save Christmas.
- Attack Pattern Alpha
- Attractive Bent Gender: Averted. When Sperg the bully gets ahold of the wish-granting skull, the only thing on his mind is being able to go into the girl's restroom to rob them all of their money. Cue him turning into a girl so he can go in there, but the girls ridicule girl-Sperg for being such an ugly girl that he/she runs out crying. "Girls are so mean!"
- Auto Cannibalism: Billy is turned into chocolate, and finds himself so irresistible that he eventually eats himself down to just his head.
- Awesome McCoolname: Billy's Martian pet, "Admiral Wolverine Lightningbolt".
- Bad Santa: Voiced by Gilbert Gottfried in a Christmas episode/movie. Actually Santa isn't really bad, he is occasionally turned into a vampire by Mrs. Claus, who was a vampire before they married. That's happened quite a few times before.
- Balloon Belly: Billy sometimes does this when he binge-eats.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Billy is often the dumbest one on the show, but he has been shown to have bouts of psychotic rage that scares even Mandy.
- Bigger on the Inside: Grim's trunk. Billy points this out by name in one episode when he, Mandy, and Irwin climb inside it.
- Bilingual Bonus:
- The Dwarven battle cry is "laven sus manos," Spanish for, "wash your hands."
- One of Hoss Delgado's Pre Ass Kicking One Liners is "Piso mojado, dirtbag!", Spanish for "Wet floor, dirtbag!"
- Black and Nerdy: Irwin.
- Black Comedy: The whole genre in the series.
- Blondes Are Evil: Mandy. Eris also counts.
- Breakup Breakout: After breaking off from Evil Con Carne, it became the more successful of the two shows.
- Broken Record: "DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL!" Also counts as a Madness Mantra and an Ear Worm.
- Fred Fredburger, Fred Fredburger, Fred Fredburger, Fred Fredburger, Fred Fredburger, Fred Fredburger, Fred Fredburger, Fred Fredburger, yes!
- Broke the Rating Scale: Billy managed to score himself a NEGATIVE 5 on an IQ test, being outperformed by a shovel and a pair of candy bracelets.
- Call to Agriculture: Skarr, the Canon Immigrant from Evil Con Carne just wants to be left alone and do his gardening.
- Characterization Marches On: In the first episode she appeared in, Eris acted like a typical giddy blond teenage valley girl. Afterwards though she acted more regal and queenly with a British accent. Also a Shout-Out to Madonna.
- By her next appearance, her personality change is lampshaded and Hand Waved away by her going through "a Valley girl stage" as is Grim's crush on her during that episode/stage.
- Mandy used to smile on occasion-- though, usually after doing something horrible to the human race. In a much later episode, Mandy smiling tears apart the fabric of space and time.
- Also, Mandy used to be blatantly evil and abusive but who didn't really do anything with it mostly due to not caring too much. By the end of the show, she's no longer outwardly evil, but mainly just a cold person who's more selfish than actually cruel, and who's perfectly willing to help people if it suits her.
- Christmas Cake: Parodied with the host of Grim's favorite late-night show, Atrocia, whose show was cancelled the moment she turned 30.
"The network said no-one wants to see a worn-out old bag like me on TV anymore."
- City of Adventure: Endsville.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Fred Fredburger.
- Comic Trio: Mandy is the schemer, Billy is the follower, and Grim is the complainer.
- Couch Gag: A message to the viewers, usually from Mandy, at the end of the theme song.
- Crapsack World: Though if the Codename: Kids Next Door Crossover is to be believed, it's confined to Endsville, and the rest of the world is just fine.
- Creator Cameo: Maxwell Atoms appears in one episode, just long enough to poof out of existence after Billy breaks the hourglass representing his lifespan.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Irwin is voiced by Vanessa Marshall, Pud'n is voiced by Jane Carr, and Nergal Jr. is voiced by Debi Derryberry.
- Crossover: Sort of. Numbuh 3 appeared four times in Big Boogey Adventure.
- In "Modern Primitives", Billy finds Fred Flintstone frozen in his backyard.
- Early on in "Here Thar Be Dwarves", Billy's picnic is interrupted by Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo.
- The Codename: Kids Next Door crossover episode, which was not only a crossover of KND and this show, but of every one of CN's original shows. At least one character from each show appears in the episode, even one from Squirrel Boy.
- Mandy even appears in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
- And, of course, there was the presence of the characters in the CN City bumpers.
- Cut Apart: In "Secret Snake Club".
- Dawn Attack: Mandy puts on an army helmet and says "We attack at dawn" in the show intro.
- Day in The Limelight: The finale movie starring the side characters, Underfist. Billy, Mandy, and Grim only made some cameos.
- Dead Baby Comedy: One of few kids shows with it, combined with Gross-Out Show.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mandy, definitely. Grim has his moments, too.
- Death's Hourglass: Parodied when Grim, Billy and Mandy entered a sanctuary filled with the hourglasses of every human being on earth. Not only does Billy flip his and Mandy's hourglass, resulting in their lives instead moving backwards until the point where they don't exist anymore, but he even flipped Grim's hourglass too (odd considering Grim's hourglass was enormous). They also break at least one, causing that person (the show's creator) to blip out of existence.
Irwin: "Whose hourglass was that?"
- Dean Bitterman: Dean Toadblatt, specifically against Weaselthorpe House, and especially against Nigel Planter.
- Derailed Fairy Tale: "Nursery Crimes" starts the kids in the story of Hansel and Gretel, but they wander off and encounter characters from other fairy tales such as Pinocchio, who wants to Become a Real Boy by eating the flesh of a real boy.
- Detonation Moon: In the alien invasion episode.
- Deus Ex Machina: Grim, but more specifically, his scythe which can do anything.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Guess...
- Did Not Do the Research: Jeff The Spider is a black widow. A male black widow. Meaning he's a primordial fear of humanity (and Billy) when all he wants is his "dad", Billy, to love him. Considering male black widows are HARMLESS, this makes sense in the twisted world of Endsville.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Seen in "The Prank Call of Cthulhu".
- Different As Night and Day: Billy and Mandy. Extremes.
- Dhampyr: Irwin, although he's more 1/4 vampire, 1/2 mummy, and 22/7 nerd.
- Genius Bonus: 22/7 is the fractional approximation for pi.
- The Halloween episode where he was bitten by a werewolf.
- Divide by Zero: The very act of Mandy smiling breaks reality.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: This exchange in "Big Boogey Adventure" between Boogey and Creeper, after Boogey fails to scare Creeper.
Boogey: Aw, would it kill you to fake it just once?
- Don't Fear the Reaper: Grim tries his darndest to be scary, but at his most Badass, the guy's still an incompetent wuss. The way he became the Grim Reaper involved a pretty awesome display as revenge for ruining his friendship with his best friend. So he's somewhat weak-willed..Unless you manage to REALLY piss him off.
- Double Entendre: Billy once visited Uncle Chokey the chicken juggler.
- Dumbass Has a Point: In "Billy and Mandy vs. The Martians":
Billy: I know Mandy's so mean, and Irwin's so needy. But that's just who they are. Sometimes our best friends are people we really don't like.
- Also in "The Incredible Shrinking Mandy" After Billy makes Mandy a giant, and she wants him to turn her back to normal
Grim: Billy! Just Change Mandy back!
- Early Installment Weirdness: A Running Gag in later seasons is that Mandy never smiles... except one early episode had her clearly smiling after making everyone on Earth spontaneously vanish.
- It actually goes further back than that. She smiled at the end of the very first short of the very first episode after Grim becomes Billy and Mandy's best friend.
- Also, the earlier episodes were much darker in tone.
- Easter Egg: There was once an actual site online mirroring the Secret Snake Club's 1-page shrine to their god Shnissugah (which consisted of an animation of the deity in question slithering back and forth, "dancing" if clicked on, a message saying they would "pwn the cool kids," and some fake ads).
- Eldritch Abomination: Nergal Jr's true form is apparently horrific. Cthulhu's also showed up, and Yog Sothoth almost did. Also, Mandy. (At least to her antagonists.)
- Elves vs. Dwarves
- Even Evil Has Standards: Mandy may support any and every legitimate attempt at revenge, dreams of ruling the world as a dystopian dictator, and doesn't flinch at any of the hellish Eldritch Abominations we see throughout the show. But she does NOT condone cheating.
- Enfante Terrible: Mandy is the patron deity.
- Evil Is Not a Toy + Be Careful What You Wish For: Thromnambular (voiced by Dwight Schultz, no less)
- Evil Versus Evil
- Expy: The eponymous characters are simply human (and gender-bent, in Mandy's case) forms of Ren And Stimpy. They even copied the nose.
- Extreme Omnivore: Billy.
- Fan Fiction: Grim Tales from Down Below derived from this.
- Eye Scream: In the episode "Complete and Utter Chaos", Billy is poked in the eye by the Apple of Discord (which had sprouted mechanical spider legs) in his sleep.
- Face Your Fears: In order to claim possession of Horror's Hand (which makes people see their worst fears come to life), Billy, Mandy, and Irwin must face their fears to overcome it.
- Fake Brit: Eris. What makes it funny, however, is that she's supposed to be a GREEK goddess. Furthermore, she also speaks like a Valley Girl.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: All too common in the early episodes.
- Fantastic Racism: Hoss Delgado's prejudice against monsters.
- In "Billy & Mandy Save Christmas" Mandy has a prejudice against vampires for some reason.
- Five-Man Band: Underfist.
- Flanderization: Mandy, believe it or not. Earlier in the show, she was very witty and snarky, but by no means intimidating enough to order her own parents (or anyone else other than Grim, Billy and Irwin) around. She also had a rare smirk or two in the early episodes before becoming a complete Perpetual Frowner whose smile could bring about The End of the World as We Know It. She was probably more of a Type IV Anti Hero in some of those earlier episodes rather than the more consistent Type V later on.
- Flat Earth Atheist: Mandy.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Mandy.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: In Nergal Jr.'s origin episode, he paralyzes a boy who was disgusted by his appearance and shapeshifts into his form, doing the same to all other children he meets who refuse to be his friend (as an homage to John Carpenter's The Thing). In future episodes, this boy's form is Nergal Jr.'s "default". The other children were rescued by Billy and Mandy, but Nergal Jr.'s initial victim is never mentioned or seen again... and this episode takes place in bitterly cold weather.
- Four-Fingered Hands: Like most cartoons, the characters have this. However, there was at least one occasion ("Secret Snake Club Vs. P.E.") where the male students (including Billy, Irwin, Nergal Jr., Pud'n, and the titular club's members) grew a fifth finger to recite an oath while doing the famous Spock-hand. It should be noted that only one hand grew an extra finger; the other still had four.
- The Freelance Shame Squad: Grim meets up with his old schoolmate, The Boogeyman, and is not happy about it. When asked why, we flashback to their school days, where Boogey gave Grim a giant wedgie in front of the whole school. Right before they all laugh at him, one monster says "Let's all point and laugh at his humiliation!"
- Future Badass: In the Dune parody in which Future Mandy rules the world, Irwin (or a descendant) is the huge, muscular leader of the La Résistance.
- Gasshole: Billy (very much so) and Mandy (somewhat).
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: A whole page.
- Giant Spider: Jeff, is a partial subversion - he's a giant spider, but he's extremely friendly, kind, and only wants his father (Billy) to love him. Billy's arachnophobia makes things very difficult...
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: When Billy's mom tells you that dinner is ready, you better get your butt to the table. * revs up the chainsaw*
- Goth: So very much; it gets to the point where the seemingly non-goth characters seem a bit gothy. There's a reason a lot of real life goths watch it, after all.
- The Grim Reaper: Obviously.
- Gross Up Close-Up
- Gross-Out Show: Played for Laughs
- Hair-Raising Hare: In Wishbones Pud'n wishes for a pet rabbit. The rabbit repeatedly attempts to kill him, no matter how badly injured it becomes.
- Heroic Sociopath: Mandy and Grim.
- Ho Yay: Irwin and Nergal Jr. were both rejected by Mandy. At the Prom, they decide to dance together without hesitation.
- Humiliation Conga: Boogie gets this to absolutely insane levels after Grim takes Horror's hand from him. A rock falls off the ceiling and lands on him, the ground he's standing on breaks and said rock falls on him again, the ground breaks again and the rock follows, he gets thrown into the ceiling by the giant squid from earlier in the episode, again, along with the rock, he lands (but not before getting attacked by a swarm of bats on the way down) and gets crushed by the rock, which breaks, only for a bus to come out of nowhere and send him flying into his ship, which tilts and sends him hurtling into a cannon, which fires him through his ship and into a wall, sinking it.
- Hypocritical Humor: During the Underfist special.
General Skarr: Wait a minute, I'm not a monster.
- I Ate What?: Grim's cookies. For those who don't know, Aunt Kali's secret ingredients are dung beetles, nightcrawlers, and mashed crickets.
- I Fell for Hours. An episode when Mandy was relating fairy tales and Billy was an egg (I don't remember the details)
- He was Humpty Dumpty.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: During the Christmas Episode, Grim and Mandy are busting into the lair of a vampire, coming to a locked door, which does nothing to deter Grim. Mandy asks how they expect to get through, to which he replies "A skeleton key!" He is then pelted with a snowball.
- Informed Judaism: Billy in the Christmas Episode.
- Interspecies Romance: Nergal and Aunt Sis's marriage is never presented as anything other than a mutually loving relationship. (But they did have a rather Creepy Child together.)
- I Taste Delicious: In one episode, Billy is changed into pure chocolate, and can't stop eating himself.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The series' version of Pinocchio believes that the only way he can become a real boy is if he eats the flesh of a real boy. One episode (Which Came First) has Sperg eat Pud'n's arms and legs after they get stranded in the desert together, though that becomes part of the show's Negative Continuity, while another episode (Tastes Like Chicken) is all about Billy jumping to the conclusion that Mandy is a cannibal who's eaten his friends and family and plans to eat him next, which ends with a played-for-laughs implication that she actually has eaten Irwin.
- Jackass Genie: The wishing skull, Thromnambular.
- Jerkass: Mandy.
- Also a Jerk Sue on many occasions.
- Strangely, this makes her beast transformation in the "Sickly Sweet" episode oddly appropriate. Just listen to the animal sounds she makes whenever she isn't spazzing out. Sound familiar?
- "Kick Me" Prank: When Grim narrates about Jack, you see Jack using this prank on various people in the animated montage.
- Kill'Em All: The episode "Wishbones". 9 characters have their wishes granted. Not many of them survive.
- Lampshade Hanging: In one episode, people are sucked through telephones and into an alternate dimension, leaving behind their shoes. Mandy asks why the shoes were left behind and Grim comments, "Of course they got left behind, shoes can't fit through a telephone, they're way too big."
- In The Movie (the last one):
Mandy: What are you doing?
- Half of the show is one big lampshade hung up like a giant pinata.
- Lightning Can Do Anything
- Little Miss Snarker: Mandy could be the trope namer.
- Limited Wardrobe
- Mid-Battle Tea Break: A subversion. When Grim, Billy, Mandy, and Irwin are racing against Boogie and his crew for possession of Horror's Hand, part of the race itself is a stop for lunch at noon.
- Midlife Crisis Car: Discussed.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: In "Duck!" Grim is seen trying to scare children by showing them his skeleton body while shouting "Look at my body!". He is arrested shortly afterward.
- Mister Seahorse: Jeff.
- Mrs. Claus: Who is a vampire.
- Multi Character Title (if you count "Grim" as being one of three character names in the title)
- Musical Episode: The "evil meteor from outer space" short was a Shout-Out to The Little Shop of Horrors, with original music by Voltaire.
- Name and Name (Grim and Evil, Billy and Mandy)
- Negative Continuity: Although it tends to recall certain events of various episodes.
- Never Say "Die": Obviously averted, what with death itself being a main character and all, and an episode titled Who Killed Who?.
- Never Trust a Hair Tonic: Billy tries some hair tonic and ends up growing hair all over his body looking like a sasquatch. It turns out that all he has to do to get rid of it is wash it off.
- No Fourth Wall: And how!
- Non-Indicative Name: "The Incredible Shrinking Mandy" is actually about Billy attempting to shrink Mandy but accidentally making her giant.
- Non Sequitur Thud: Billy's first appearance in Underfist includes this.
- The Nudifier: General Skarr's "Atomic Hot Pants Raygun". Well, it doesn't cause his clothes to disappear, just change, but, still.
- Oh Crap: Jack O'Lantern displays this expression when the knight who killed him (really Irwin in a knight costume) has returned to finish the job.
- One of Us: Fictional example. In the "Brown Evil" episode, whereas Billy prefers playing a cheesy cooking game named "Pat the Baker", Mandy prefers a much more violent Resident Evil parody featuring Hoss Delgado. At the end of the episode, Hoss states that he never leaves home without the former example and is seen cheerfully playing it alongside Billy.
- One episode, directly after the title song, has Mandy say, "We accept you. We accept you. One of us."
- Opposite Day: A short in the first episode, as reckoned once the Evil Con Carne shorts were removed.
- Overly Long Gag: DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL!...
- I'll take the chicken.
- DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! JUST TO RULE US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL!
- I'll take the chicken.
- Perky Goth: The show's world almost seems to embody this, but if you want specifics...
- There's one-shot character Malaria.
- Nergal and Nergal Jr., so long as they're in a good mood (otherwise, they're either mopey of psycho).
- The more obviously dark monsters and magical beings.
- Oddly, Irwin could be this; he doesn't usually look the part and often panders to mainstream trends in his attempts to be popular. However, there's no doubt that he can seem just as dark or snarky as anyone else, and he appears much more gothic when he's in his mummy-vampire form. Still, he is very dorky and endearing, regardless.
- Mandy seems to be an inversion; she's evil and behaves more like a stereotype goth... But she's dressed as a typical little girl.
- Perpetual Frowner: Mandy.
- So much so, that if she does smile, the very fabric of reality is pulled apart. A Crowning Moment of Funny ensues.
- "YOU FOOLS! YOU'VE DISRUPTED THE NATURAL ORDER!"
- This is actually averted in some earlier episodes and outside media.
- Also a result of Flanderization since in the Grim & Evil shorts and some episodes of earlier seasons did show her smiling more. Not a whole lot more, but not to "must never smile" extremes.
- Bit of Fridge Logic perhaps, but in previous instances of Mandy smiling, she had a reason. In the pageant, her smiling without cause broke the rules.
- Whenever she smiles and nothing bad happens, something bad's already happened, and she was merely pleased with the -- often unsettling -- results.
- So much so, that if she does smile, the very fabric of reality is pulled apart. A Crowning Moment of Funny ensues.
- Physical God: Eris is one of these.
- Playing Pictionary: Dracula's pictionary drawing of Abraham Lincoln is mistaken for successively more absurd things.
- Popular Is Dumb: Mindy, definitely.
Mindy: But as beautiful and popular as I am, I bet there are some people who've never even heard of me: people in countries like Paris or Toronto, or in cities like Africa.
- Portal Pool: One episode featured Grim's sythe reflecting sun light on to Billy's pool. Naturally, everyone jumps in.
- Potty Emergency: The episode "Terror of the Black Knight" is all about this. Billy wants a badass knight costume just like Irwin, so Grim gives him one, but unfortunately, Billy drank too much punch that he has to use the bathroom, and he can't get the knight armor off unless he wins a challenge with someone.
- Power Trio: Mandy (evil), Billy (stupid), Grim (hapless)
- Put on a Bus: Billy's Mom goes away to live with her sister in the first episode of the main series but comes back in the same season. (Which, for strange scheduling reasons, was 11 months later.)
- Raised by Wolves: Pud'n was raised by wolves. Funnily, said wolves are seen watching TV in his backyard after he reveals this.
- Relax-O-Vision: In "Here There Be Dwarves", a Drill Sergeant (voiced by R. Lee Ermey, no less) pops up to explain they'll be showing a cute koala instead of the overly-violent battle between the dwarves and the elves.
- Retraux: One episode had the trio wind up in a world made to homage the black and white cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation. Too bad Mandy puts a stop to it, since she despises retro cartoons.
- Robot Me: Mandroid and Billybot in the first movie.
- RPG Episode: Grim's idea of breaking Billy and Irwin's video game addiction, didn't work as intended.
- Sassy Black Woman: Irwin's Grandmama, Tanya.
- Saving Christmas: "Billy & Mandy Save Christmas"
- Scare Dare: An abandoned house. It's just some old lady living alone. Well, OK, she is also a ghost.
- The Scottish Trope (saying "Lord Moldybutt")
- Hilariously enough, not even Lord Moldybutt himself is immune to this.
- Second-Person Attack:
- "Chicken Ball Z" begins with Mandy repeatedly punching Billy in the face at a karate dojo, portrayed this way.
- Towards the end of the episode "Sister Grim", the giant nun (formed by many regular sized nuns) sends Grim home with a big punch after they find out that he wasn't actually a nun the whole time.
- At the end of the episode "Hoss Delgado: Spectral Exterminator", Hoss fights a werewolf. They jump up, and the camera pans, Matrix-style, to (almost) the POV of the werewolf. Hoss fires his slime gun at the werewolf, filling the screen to a fade-to-black.
- Shape Shifter
- Hoss Delgado is a blatant reference to both Ash from the Evil Dead series and Snake from Escape from New York.
- Their version of Dracula is not only black, but he's based on Redd Foxx.
- One episode was a straight-up parody of God-Emperor of Dune, with Mandy in the Leto II role, Billy in the Duncan Idaho role, and Grim still as Mandy's servant.
- The Father's Day episode includes an appearance by Country Bears lookalikes.
- Dune gets another Shout-Out in the beauty pageant episode, when one of the tests turns out to be gom jabbar.
Mindy: It burns! (removes hand from the box)
- And there's Vampire Santa quoting the Deadites' catchphrase:
Vampire Santa: I'll swallow your soul!
- Several examples involving Dungeons and Dragons. "Wand of Magic Missile -- I'm never gonna use that thing..." said offhandedly by Grim as he rummages through his trunk of magic stuff in the basement. Obviously a reference to 2nd Edition D&D as wands of magic missile in that version of the game really were useless.
- The creators of the show claimed that Big Boogey Adventure special was an indirect shout out to Star Trek: the Wrath of Kahn, since like Wrath of Kahn, a minor, one-time villain makes a comeback in a movie length special.
- Pinface is a blatant reference to Pinhead of Hellraiser fame.
- "You kids ruined half of me bedknobs and all of me broomsticks."
- "Billy and Mandy Begins" had Shout Outs to Indiana Jones, Silence of the Lambs, Airplane!, Star Wars, and Ghostbusters. The title itself might also be a reference to Batman Begins, since that episode aired around the same time that movie came out.
- General Skarr in command of his army of plants: "Bloom and grow! Bloom and grow FOREVER!"
- Later in another episode, Skarr's mutation makes him resemble the eponymous alien minions from Pikmin.
- In "Billy and Mandy Vs. the Martians", Grim casts a spell that gets Billy's nose stuck to an alien space ship. When Billy asks him to cast it again to undo it, Grim says he can't because it has a ten minute cooldown.
- And in the movie, during the race in River Styx, you can actually hear the Monkey Island theme playing, maybe.
- "Dickie! Come out and PLAAAAYY!"
- "This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife! Same as it ever was! Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was! Same as it ever was...
- Skarr gives one in his first Canon Immigrant appearance, getting into a battle mech and shouting "Take my love, my pain, and alllll of my anger!" (Not a direct quote to the series in reference, but still a clear Shout-Out).
- In the episode "Wishbones", Pud'n was being chased by a truck that resembled Optimus Prime.
- An episode revolving around Grim and Dracula driving through the desert entitled Fear and Loathing in Endsville, complete with a title card evoking Ralph Steadman's signature style of illustration.
- Son of Nergal has the kids sent off to "winter camp" - where the axe-wielding counselor is named John Jack Daniel Torrance.
- Billy is admitted to a prestigious dancing academy, whose headmistress is actually a witch who feeds on her students to retain her immortality. This is a Whole-Plot Reference to Dario Argento's Suspiria.
- The name "The Chocolate Sailor" is a nod to the George Bernard Shaw-inspired operetta "The Chocolate Soldier".
- And The Terminator gets one when Billy asks the ghost of Lord Byron for "a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range" (Lord Byron wisely steers him away).
- The episode "Hurter Monkey" contains a lot of them, you've got The Terminator, The Matrix, John Woo (with Disturbed Doves and Dual-Wielding), Grim's Christopher Walken-esque attorney Harvey as mentioned below and Se7en.
Dickie: I admire your simple life, Grim...
- Also Dickie at one point call Grim Skeletor.
- More than one episode shouts out to the famous anime Akira, but in particular Mandy is seen riding Kaneda's Cool Bike.
- In the episode where they went to Japan, Mandy's clothes and her list made it look like she was gonna kill Billy (even the music from Ironside played).
- Also in the same episode, they gave Gamera, Godzilla, and Ultraman a run for their money AT THE SAME FREAKING TIME!
- Nigel Platter and Toadblatt's School of Sorcery? And Lord Moldybutt- * BOOM*
- Grim's attorney talks like Christopher Walken.
- Their version of Pandora looks oddly similar to another certain chara-OH wait Pandora. Har har.
- The first time we meet Baron Von Ghoulish in the Christmas Special (voiced by Malcolm McDowell) he's humming "Singing in the Rain".
- In "The Firebird Sweet", Grim directly references the 1939 movie Drums Along the Mohawk when the group was about to enter a factory via the sewer... then says that he was referring to the director's cut when Mandy questions the authenticity of his claim.
- Mandy (off-camera) smells smoke after Grim and Billy accidentally torch the carpet. Mandy tells them that if she finds a scorch in the carpet that "I'm opening up a can of Powerpuff on you two." Also, in the Kids Next Door crossover, Billy answers the door, sees the Kids and says "You're not the Powerpuff Girls!"
- It's worth noting that The Powerpuff Girls was originally intended to target an older audience. And it was going to be called "The Whoopass Girls". Now take what Mandy said, replace "Powerpuff" with "Whoopass", and it all makes sense.
- "Alas, poor Grim! I knew him Billy!" They get it closer to the real thing than most people, who substitute "I knew him well" for "I knew him Horatio", or some other variant.
- Princess Morbucks was spotted in the background in the beauty pageant episode.
- "Happy Huggy Stuffy Bears" has Billy urging contest-entrant Mandy on with "Big money, no Whammys!"
- Chickenball Z..Here it is.
- The taboo on saying Moldybutt's name references, well, the taboo against saying Voldemort in Harry Potter.
- Sperg tossing Billy's bicycle over a sidewalk cliff, "This is Where the Sidewalk Ends Baby!" The cliff is also a reference to the book's cover.
- In Big Boogey Adventure, the Boogeyman goes into a pipe, complete with the Warp Pipe sound from Super Mario Bros..
- In one episode, Mandy demands that they leave the beach because she's tired of, among other things, an annoying dog that won't stop biting the back of her swimsuit, a la Coppertone (thankfully, Mandy is wearing a one-piece suit).
- In the episode "Crushed," Mandy receives a makeover a la Sandy from Grease, with a heel-crushed lollipop in place of a cigarette.
- In "Grim in Love," Grim and his date recreate that one scene from When Harry Met Sally, except Malaria fakes her death.
- From the same episode: Malaria and Grim dance the twist in a scene almost exactly like Mia and Vincent's in Pulp Fiction.
- Sidekick Ex Machina: Grim.
- Snap Back: With gusto. A good third of the episodes end with characters dead.
- Soap Within a Show: Grim's favorite show My Troubled Pony.
- Speak of the Devil: Lord Moldybutt. If you say his name, something breaks nearby, whether it be a tree falling, or a door knob falling out. It doesn't matter who's affected by it, (because once, a tree falls on him) it will happen.
- Spider People: The title character of the episode "The Wrath of the Spider Queen".
- Spotting the Thread: When Nergal Jr. tries to impersonate Mandy he screws it up by smiling, something she would never do, and Billy picks up on it immediately. No one seems to notice that Mandy suddenly got glasses for no apparent reason, though.
- Sudden Anatomy: In one early episode, Mandy spontaneously grows nostrils when Billy picks her nose. Later on, however, her not having a nose is actually a plot point.
- In "Secret Snake Club Vs. P.E.", pretty much every male student gains an extra finger on one hand while reciting the club's oath. (To clarify, they were doing the "Live Longer and Prosper" hand gesture.)
- Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: In the "Underfist" special, Irwin pleads with Hoss, Skarr, and Jeff that, among other things, Mindy was kidnapped by a marshmallow bunny. However, his hysterical Inelegant Blubbering couldn't be understood by anyone save Jeff, who speaks "crybaby."
- Super Window Jump: Played with.
- Strange Girl: Mandy.
- Swiss Army Appendage: Hoss Delgado's prosthetic hand. It's typically a chainsaw or Arm Cannon.
- Tarot Motifs: During the credits. Not named as such, but Billy is clearly The Fool, Mandy The Hierophant, and Grim... well, let's just say he ain't the Wheel Of Fortune.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: The Happy Huggy Stuffy Bears and Enchanted Forest from "The Crass Unicorn" are In-Universe examples of this trope. They get disgusted reactions from Mandy and Grim.
- Team Pet: One-shot character "Admiral Wolverine Lightningbolt", an alien whom Billy named because "those are the three coolest words in the universe."
- Thick Line Animation
- Third Person Person: Dracula.
- Those Two Guys: Grim and Mandy often play this part in the episodes that revolve around Billy.
- Toilet Humor: Constantly. In "Hog Wild", Billy, fed up with rules, tries to poop on Grim. Instead, he soils his pants.
- Actually, this is at near-Running Gag level with Billy. You'd be hard-pressed to find an episode without at least one occasion of Billy needing to use the toilet or talking about how he soiled himself. Very common random joke for this show.
- Too Dumb to Live: Billy, on a good day.
- He somehow managed to get -5 in a IQ test.
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Two examples act as joint Trope Namer.
- Transplant: General Skarr from Evil Con Carne, who's nobly trying to give up a life of world domination for suburban normalcy. He's fond of garden gnomes and cornbread.
- "Real corn makes it SPECIAL."
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Inverted, both gender- and role-wise: Sperg and his Hot Mom.
- Unexplained Accent: Grim's Jamaican accent.
- His grandmother also has one, and has a Jamaican look to her to boot.
- Not unexplained at all, actually; it's a Shout Out to Meet Joe Black, wherein Death adopts a Jamaican accent to make a dying Caribbean woman more comfortable, and accept him as a True Neutral rather than evil. Or it could just be the fact that the Caribbean has something of an association with Voodoo and magic in general, for which Grim exhibits a propensity.
- He was originally supposed to be British, which would have made a little more sense in comparison.
- Vague Age: None of the main kids' (Billy, Mandy, Irwin, etc.) exact ages are ever mentioned, though they appear to be around 11 or 12. Billy mentions repeating the 2nd grade again, but that might have been just a one-off gag.
- Valley Girl: Eris was portrayed as one in her first appearance. To explain the change regarding her later characterization, Grim mentioned her going through a "Valley Girl phase."
- Verbal Tic: Irwin, yo!
- Fred Fredburger! Yes.
- Villain Song: Mindy gets one in Underfist.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Jeff the Spider endlessly aims to please no matter how many times the arachnophobic and Too Dumb to Live Billy tries to murder him.
Jeff: *while repeatedly jabbed in the eye with a large stick* Why won't you love me, Dad? I'll be whatever you want me to be!
- Weirdness Magnet: Anyone and anything associated with Grim.
- Lampshaded in the crossover with KND, Numbuh 1 states all the weird stuff happening in Endsville is why the KND prefer to stay away from that area.
- What Could Have Been: The Underfist movie was meant as a possible pilot for a new spin-off series (made a bit more obvious due to the new animation style). But didn't click with CN's higher ups.
- Some sources say that the creator, Maxwell Atoms, pitched the idea as a prank.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Jack O'Lantern, although in his case it's less "immortality sucks" than it is "immortality having to wear a pumpkin for a head sucks".
Jack: 364 days a year, and I can't even go to the Ding-Dong grocery store to buy pudding! And do you know why?!
- Who Writes This Crap?: Played for Laughs occasionally, where it cues to a monkey or a baby in front of a typewriter.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Billy has severe arachnophobia, which is bad news for Jeff.
- He also has a fear of clowns and the mailman.
- And spider-clown-mailmen.
- Irwin's greatest fears are stand-up comedy and bears. Cue him getting mauled by them very quickly.
- Mandy's greatest fear is the possibility that she will grow out of being who she is, and actually become nice... and furthermore, marries Irwin. Fortunately, she is able to overcome this fear.
- He also has a fear of clowns and the mailman.
Mandy: "I'm glad that's over with." *Gets mauled by the bears*
- Overcome it? She ran away from it. Failed her worst fear test. Which is sad since Irwin at least attempted to overcome his fear, which was the test.
- Grim and Billy believe that Mandy is afraid of ice skaters, but Mandy denies it, she just "doesn't trust the way they spin".
Grim: Like that ice skating thing?
- Wizarding School: Dean Toadblatt's School of Sorcery.
- Yandere: Nergal Jr. (although a sweet and lonely child) can become so obsessed with making friends that if someone befriends him, he'll do anything to make sure that he is their best friend. Usually, he doesn't realize how angry and jealous he can get.
- His father was a bit like this himself.
- The rabbit from the wishing skull episode.
- Your Brain Won't Be Much of a Meal: The brain-eating meteor doesn't find anything in Billy's head. Human and Martian zombies also find nothing appetizing in Billy's head.
- I'll take the chicken.