Aqua Teen Hunger Force is a cartoon that airs on The Cartoon Network1 some Sunday nights, in a series of short animated programmes called Adult Swim2. Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis created the cartoon; they also do some of the animations for the show. The show is based on three detectives who live in New Jersey and happen to be made of food. They don't do much in the way of real detective work, but the cartoon does make for an amusing parody.
Like many of the other Adult Swim cartoons, Aqua Teen Hunger Force has developed an almost cult-like fan following. Even the music on the show, created and performed by rapper Schooly D, has attracted fans of its own.
Cast of Characters
Like any show with a cartoon hero, the cast includes bad guys and good guys. In this case, there's also a grumpy old neighbour thrown in just for kicks.
The Bad Guys
Dr Weird is a scientist who shows up only at the beginning of an episode in a castle on the New Jersey shore. He is continually creating inventions, odd beings, and doing a lot of nothing. For some reason he always wears some type of jar on his head and never ever wears shoes.
Steve is nominally Dr Weird's lab assistant, although he doesn't actually do much of anything.
The Aqua Teen Hunger Force - the Good Guys, Of Course
Master Shake considers himself the leader of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force (ATHF) He's a milkshake in a white container with a purple straw. He happens to have a very weak super-ability that consists of saying 'Shake Power!' followed by dripping a glob of green shake that falls to the ground. He only watches out for himself and his cash supply. The Shake doesn't have too many redeeming qualities - he's lazy, rude, egotistical, a slob, and pretty much clueless. He may consider himself the leader of the group, but he has never really done anything.
Frylock - The real leader of the group is actually a large red box of fries with a goatee and braces named Frylock. Frylock has a large unexplainable blue gem on his back, and one of his fries can be used as a sonar/tracking device. His other fries presumably have other uses. In almost every episode there is a poster detailing his internal systems with the title 'Invisible Frylock'; however, you can't get a good look at it to see what he's made of. He is the only character in the show who actually solves a mystery, and is something of a father figure to Meatwad.
Meatwad is, well, a brown wad of meat. He has a very limited shape-shifting ability; he can only change himself into igloos, hotdogs, and a 'meatbridge'. He sleeps on a grill to keep himself together; he also loves dancing and enjoys playing with dolls. His voice is a sort of high-pitched silly voice you would give to your favourite teddy bear when you were five. His brain is running at about a four -year-old's level. In fact, he will take his brain out from time to time to give himself buoyancy for swimming, resulting in a significant decrease in his attention span. Master Shake can't stand Meatwad and will mess with the little meatball whenever possible. Frylock usually finds out, yells at Shake and tries to help Meatwad out whenever possible.
The Grumpy Neighbour
Carl - Carl is the only human on the show and he doesn't enjoy living next to food. He's a little hairy in patches, has a thick Jersey accent, and has a sweet swimming pool that the ATHF doesn't mind using without permission. Carl is generally annoyed with all of the ATHF over this minor trespass, but especially dislikes Master Shake, who can be rather free with his insults.
There were nine episodes during the first year of the show. New episodes began airing in November 2002. Don't worry if the descriptions don't seem coherent - the show is just like that.
'Rabbot' is a giant robot bunny Dr Weird invented specifically to spray perfume in its eyes. The Rabbot goes crazy busts through a wall, crushes Carl’s car, destroys half of the city; then the Rabbot sprays a chemical everywhere that causes everything to become extra-hairy. The ATHF are called on the case by Carl, who wants to know what happened to his car. In the end, Master Shake grows an afro and Meatwad discovers that Rabbot's weakness is music, because he loves to dance.
'Escape From Leprauchpolis'
'Escape From Leprauchpolis' is about leprechauns that have a rainbow teleportation device. They tempt idiots on the Internet, telling people that they need only step on a rainbow to become rich. Instead of bestowing riches, however, the leprechauns just steal whatever is on the victim (such as shoes, roller-skates and a Bannanarama tape). Shake (being an idiot who fell for the scheme) is sucked into the rainbow, so Frylock and Meatwad have to save him and the day.
'Bus of the Undead'
'Bus of the Undead' starts out with a moth-monster flying out of the hole that had been left by the Rabbot. He is attracted to the Shake Signal; the signal is intended for emergencies, but Shake would rather use it as a hat. Carl kills the power to the light and the moth-monster makes phone calls to the ATHF which Shake thinks come from Dracula. Frylock uses his tracking device and finds out the call is coming from a bus across the street. Shake decides that the bus is Dracula, but Frylock proves to him the Dracula is actually buried in Memphis Tennessee. The moth-monster finds the light, lays eggs in Carl, and all is well.
'Mayhem of the Mooninites'
'Mayhem of the Mooninites' is based on two moon creatures who teach Meatwad to smoke, drink, cuss, give the finger and shoplift. Meatwad is arrested, and Shake ends up with a lot of stolen merchandise. Carl is beamed to the moon to be spanked with moon rocks. Frylock saves the day by shooting an electrical beam at the Mooninites, sending them home in fear.
'Balloonenstein' starts out as Frylock and Carl are sucked into a vortex. Shake is left to his own devices, and sticks Meatwad in a dryer for a week. Frylock comes back, lets Meatwad out, and finds out that the meat now has static electrical powers. Frylock convinces Meatwad to rub a balloon all over himself, after which the balloon grows to huge proportions and drifts off toward the sea. To save the day, Frylock removes Meatwad's brain so he can float, has him roll in glass, and tosses him out to sea. At this point, Meatwad forgets what to do (having no brain and all) and he and the balloon are both sucked into the vortex.
'Space Conflict from Beyond Pluto'
'Space Conflict from Beyond Pluto' starts with Frylock contacting an alien race. After Frylock and Shake are beamed aboard, Frylock goes back home and the aliens try to melt Shake. Meatwad gets into trouble when he tries to use fire and gasoline to cut Carl’s lawn.
'Ol' Drippy' is a creature formed from a mess Shake made in the kitchen. He plays dolls with Meatwad and is a very well-mannered thing. Carl finds a new girlfriend - well, kind of. Shake moves out of the house until a storm hits and he catches a head cold. Ol’ Drippy saves the day in a rather odd way.
'Revenge of the Mooninites'
In 'Revenge of the Mooninites' the Mooninites are back for more trouble. They earn a belt with the power of an American '70s rock super group Foreigner by cheating at skee-ball. They steal all of Carl’s porn, after freezing him, and force Meatwad to look at it. Carl being the '70s man that he is saves the day in the end.
MC Pee Pants
'MC Pee Pants' was created by Dr Weird, and mistakenly turned out to be an eight-foot spider with plans to drill a hole into hell, hire some nasty demons, and run a global diet-pill scam. As a ploy, MC Pee Pants disguises himself as a little boy rapper trying to convince everyone to eat candy. Meatwad falls for it in the very beginning and eventually Carl does too. The eat a lot of candy, buff all the paint off of Carl’s car, and go down to face MC Pee Pants himself.