R.I.P ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force’ Colon Maybe Colon Probably R.I.P ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force’ Colon Maybe Colon Probably
Aqua Teen Hunger Force (aka Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, aka Aqua Something You Know Whatever, aka Aqua TV Show Show, aka Aqua Teen... R.I.P ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force’ Colon Maybe Colon Probably

Aqua Teen Hunger Force (aka Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, aka Aqua Something You Know Whatever, aka Aqua TV Show Show, aka Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever) apparently died this past Sunday after 15 years of battling absurdity and surrealism.

The show’s pilot episode debuted on December 30, 2000 (completely unannounced) on the Cartoon Network and made its official series debut on September 9, 2001. After 138 episodes, spanning 13 seasons and a feature length film (Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters) the show seems to be calling it quits – but if you’ve watched the show over the years you probably are like me and have no idea if the show is actually ending or if it will be back next season with a brand new title (you know, like they did with Season 6’s finale “Last Last One Forever and Ever”).

But let’s assume it is done for the sake of, you know, this obituary.

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There is so much to say about this series. In the early 2000s it was arguably the funniest cartoon out there and possibly one of the funniest things on TV. The Avant-garde style mixed with the most bizarre storylines made ATHF something to be discussed, laughed at, and also genuinely loved. The misadventures of Meatwad, Frylock and Master Shake along with their neighbor Carl and numerous guests such as the Mooninites was Seinfeld-esque in that nothing ever really happened, but a lot of stuff always happened.

The premise (of sorts) is that these anthropomorphic, fast food items were crime fighters. The show’s opening credits (accompanied by an insanely catchy tune) seemed to depict the team fighting all sorts of baddies. But when you get to the show itself, it was just Meatwad, Frylock and Master Shake living in their house in South Jersey (then Seattle, Washington and then Seattle, New Jersey) doing random things like hanging out with cardboard boxes, or taking in a mold growth named Ol’ Drippy as a new roommate, listening to the latest MC Pee Pants song “I Want Candy” nonstop, or hanging out in Carl’s pool as he talks about his love of the band Foreigner and Frylock gets a case of “Double Vision.” You get the idea.

The show is not for everyone. Hell, I even stopped watching it over the past few years (mostly because it was on way too late, I always forgot to DVR it and I can never find the Cartoon Network on my cable box). However, I recently rediscovered it on Netflix and started watching those earlier episodes. Pure magic.

Finding out that it was ending, I was compelled to watch the finale. And I’m glad I did. I hadn’t realized how much I missed the silliness of this show. The last episode centers around the crystal in Frylock’s back only having a 15-year capacity and the team needing to get a new crystal from the Mother Clam on the distant planet of Chlamydia. Frylock builds a simulator that he disguises as a videogame so that he and Master Shake can practice getting a new crystal. Master Shake, of course, wants nothing to do with the actual adventure until he finds out that he too has a crystal that is dying. As Master Shake writes out his bucket list (Sex – 50 times), Meatwad plays the simulator and easily beats it, becoming the team’s only hope for survival.

The final episode is called “The Last One Forever and Ever (For Real This Time, We Fucking Mean It)” so could they actually kill off the team? Yes. Yes they can. Master Shake is the first to go as he is eaten by clams while trying to help Meatwad get some crystals. Frylock is the next to go as Meatwad, successful in getting a new crystal, accidentally forgot to bring the crystal back from the planet. As for Meatwad, he survives. Gets married. Has some kids. Comes back to visit his old home to find it much different. Carl is no longer there. His pool is gone. And as Meatwad drives away, the credits roll and Patti Smith sings this haunting song…

The final episode felt as if the show hasn’t missed a beat in 15 years. It’s kind of sad to see it go but considering I haven’t watched it in like 8 years, I have plenty to catch up on and lots more hours of ATHF left. Sometimes it takes a show ending to see how much you actually miss it. Not Heroes though. That can still go fuck itself.

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Dan Milcz

Dan is a co-host of the Movies and Stuff podcast found here on this great site. He's a father, husband, and lover of beer. His favorite film is Dr. Strangelove and favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. Contact me via email: production@moviesandstuffshow.com

  • KilliK

    I hope it didnt end. I accidentally came across this video in the Adult Swim YT channel, and I have been hooked since then. and Carl is a legend.

  • ErnestRister

    Loved this show…also a big fan of SeaLab….

  • Jack Randomm

    Sealab 2021 was before it’s time.

  • Loved the homage that Archer did for it a few seasons back. Sealab was a great show and yeah, way before its time.

  • I really enjoyed the episodes I have seen, but I cannot stomach to much of it. The movie was a trip.

  • Haven’t watched a second of this show but I’ve always been meaning to someday, along with a bunch of other [as] shows.

  • JAGUART

    I always loved the Mooninites, Ignignokt and Err

  • lil’ monkey

    Woe! Has it really been 15 years? My God. It seems like only yesterday I was scraping resin tokes from the “community” cobrahead bong, scratching out every last potential hit (the Swiss army knife I got for my 12th birthday finally living up to it’s expectations) before the anchor of my weekend kicked in with it’s booming’ “MY NAME IS….” ( I agree with Mr. Milcz on the catchy, yet somewhat unintelligible [at firs] ) prowess of the opening theme song ), by the time Meatwad shape-shifted into an igloo, my smile could barely keep back the fumes of years worth of Escambia county dirt weed. I was transfixed As far as I was concerned the most original, creative and downright hilarious 15 minutes of entertainment was upon me.
    ATHF was the show I made a point to tell everyone about. Yet, describing it’s subverted and off-center genius was no easy task. Many people just couldn’t grasp it. Countless unanswerable questions would undoubtedly come my way at every viewing: “So these things are space detectives?” “What’s their origin story,” “Whose that spider in the diaper?” And on and on. Some folks just didn’t get it. Others, turned on by the acerbic wit and relatable dialogue amidst a frenetic plot of undisciplined charm, were hooked for life
    I remember season one, and its attempt to fashion the styrofoam Frankenstein’s (as it were) into a ragtag team of less-than -successful private eyes. The characters (especially Frylock) seemed a bit stiff, the plotlines’ a tad slow. But by the 7th episode you feel the “re-tool” like a palm to the nuts. “What if we just make the show about the guys conniving and concocting different schemes to sneak a dip in the neighbor’s (enter the statue of all stereotypes “Carl.) pool?” I could almost transcendentally hear the writers giggle through my Magnavox Pure Genius.
    Master Shake’s self indulgence, unapologetic egotism and childish insecurities somehow endeared him even closer to the audience; he was still lovable despite his litany of undesirable character traits. The sign of a well designed “Heel.” Frylock eventually shown through as the often ignored and indirect “voice of reason.” And toddler-eaque Meatwad was wonderful as the naive patsy who could turn “gangsta” at the drop of a sandwich.
    .Once the character’s dispositions (including Carl) were firmly established and ingrained in the audience’s mind, the formula of a new villain for a new week hit the Jersey blacktop running. Like so many other fans, “The Mooninites” and their “far superior two dimensional world” were definitely my favorite pair of nemesis antagonist, being the epitome of the neurotic incompetence shared by all the shows trouble making foodies and purveyors of Carl Crushing visitors from the ATHF universe
    ATHF was a breath of fresh air in a TV landscape awash in annoying “Friends” and poorly planned “reality” programming of bikini clad skanks choking down grub-worms and Star trek re-toils without a testicle between them.
    Ive been off “the pot” for years. But the still have that porcelain cobrahead, if ATHF dies return for one last jab into nothingness, I just might dust that fucker off, scribble nonsensical graffiti in crayon all over the living room walls, and cannonball over the fence and into the deep end of the golf course hot tub.

    AQUA TEENS ARE DEAD: LONG LIVE AQUA TEENS!

  • lil’ monkey

    It’s great

  • Dr. Geiszler, Kaijuologist

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!