Fanboy & Chum Chum

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"Buckle up, duckies, cause we got a rocket van!" — Breadwinners intro

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Fanboy & Chum Chum
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"I mean, look at our underwear!" I'd rather not.
Genre: Comedy
Animated Superhero
Adventure
Slapstick
Running Time: 22 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: October 12, 2009 – November 2, 2012

July 13, 2014 ("Brain Freeze")

Network(s): Nickelodeon
Created by: Eric Robles
Starring: David Hornsby
Nika Futterman
Jeff Bennett
Wyatt Cenac
Jamie Kennedy
Josh Duhamel
Candi Milo
Steve Tompkins
Dyana Liu
Estelle Harris
Seasons: 2
Episodes: 52

Fanboy & Chum Chum is an American CGI animated television series created by Eric Robles for Nickelodeon. It is based on Fanboy, an animated short created by Robles for Nicktoons and Frederator Studios, which was broadcast from August 14, 2009 to October 17, 2012 on Random! Cartoons. The series was first broadcast on October 12, 2009 on Nickelodeon as a preview, then officially premiered on November 6, 2009 after SpongeBob's Truth or Square, and officially ended on July 13, 2014.

Plot

Fanboy and Chum Chum are fans of all things science fiction and fantasy, and wear wild superhero costumes with their underwear on the outside. Their lives are filled with adventure, from Fanboy's teacher turning into a zombie to an ice monster operating the Frosty Freezy Freeze machine. Their pal Kyle usually tags along on their escapades. Kyle is a real wizard, but Fanboy and Chum Chum are oblivious to his mystical powers, although they live in a world of fantasy.

Why It Sucks

  1. The show can easily be seen as a rip-off of SpongeBob SquarePants as Fanboy, Chum Chum and Kyle are literal clones of SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward, respectively (though Kyle is likable).
  2. The character designs, while cartoony-looking and Looney Tunes-esque, are pretty ugly. They look better in 2D, as seen with the episodes' title cards.
  3. The animation is pretty rigid and ugly. It got better in the second season, though not by much.
  4. It can be inappropriate at times, like Breadwinners and Sanjay and Craig.
    • It overuses toilet and gross out humor, especially in the episodes "Pick a Nose" and "Fanboy Stinks". Examples:
      • Fanboy sneezing into his surgical mask when he is disguised as a nurse.
      • Chum Chum having a smelly foot rubbed on his face, which disgusts Fanboy.
      • Kyle attempting to pull Fanboy's finger and Fanboy farting on him when he refuses.
      • Fanboy and Chum Chum hiding in a waste container.
      • Mr. Mufflin having smelly feet.
      • Boog saying he likes to poop in his diaper.
      • Fanboy getting his head stuck in a toilet.
    • The episode "Moppy Dearest" has objectophilia jokes in a kids' show.
  5. The use of pop culture references, especially to R-rated movies (eg. A Clockwork Orange and The Shining), are used in a bad way.
    • They even use references to cereal and other cartoons like Lucky Charms, Marvel comics, and even Schoolhouse Rock, which are all just weird.
  6. The names of Fanboy and Chum Chum are downright laughable.
  7. The titular characters, Fanboy and Chum Chum, are immature jerks who always hurt Kyle and Lenny every time they encounter them. On top of that, they never get punished for their actions. They also often do not realize they are bothering Kyle and Lenny. They did improve themselves in the second season, though not by much.
    • On that topic, some other characters can also be annoying with the exception of some characters like Kyle.
    • Yo, who has a crush on Chum Chum, often likes to hurt Fanboy when she encounters him. She even teased him once.
    • One episode has these annoying transitions with Yo sticking out her tongue, as seen in "Prank Master".
  8. Kyle's cliché of being treated like dirt is insulting, turning him into a Butt-Monkey, a character who gets hurt by everyone in the show for little to no (if not any) apparent reason at all.
    • Even Fanboy and Chum Chum are butt-monkeys in some episodes. In "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha", Miss Olive mistakes them as kindergarten students and forces them to attend class for the whole day.
  9. Some characters clearly use the same models, but with slightly different appearances, different names and classifications. For example, Lunch Lady Cram's twin sister, Bus Lady Cram, is basically her but as a bus driver. She has the same appearance as Lunch Lady Cram (the only difference is the hat), same personality of Lunch Lady Cram (only much more hurtful, cruel, and sadistic), and even the voice actress of Lunch Lady Cram, Candi Milo (only her voice is slightly deeper and has a much more evil laugh). In one episode, before her name was revealed, everyone in the show even called her Lunch Lady Cram because of this.
  10. The background music sounds distorted and broken.
  11. There is so much noise that never stops nor ends.
    • The voice acting mostly consists of screaming and squealing. Even from actors such as David Hornsby (Rickety Cricket from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Nika Futterman (Luna Loud from the Loud House and Sticks The Badger from Sonic Boom), Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask), and Jeff Bennett (the eponymous character from Johnny Bravo, Kowalski from Penguins of Madagascar, The Man with The Yellow Hat from Curious George and Raj and Samson from Camp Lazlo), it's still annoying.
    • The theme song is incredibly annoying and loud and the second half of it consists of "bah bah bah's. The composer of the theme song also did the Gravity Falls intro. It is an extremely ear-piercing theme song and apart from the "bah bah bah's, the song consists of loudly screaming the lyrics throughout.
  12. There are painful yet insufferable sound effects.
  13. The majority of the show is painfully nonsensical and doesn't have any logical premise.
  14. Various animation errors like Kyle's braces and teeth disappearing in the episode Wizboy.
  15. Horrible, yet choppy-looking backgrounds the are considered an eyesore.
  16. Much like Breadwinners, the pacing is absolutely insufferable.
  17. This show began the official start of Nickelodeon's decline in quality and the network hasn't recovered since, thanks to it, though Harvey Beaks helped the network bring back its rightful fame.
  18. The title cards, despite looking cool have a very weird choppy looking art style to them which looks can sometimes look pretty uncanny.
  19. The show has plenty of terrible episodes, such as:
    • The Janitor Strikes Back
    • I, Fanbot
    • Fanboy Stinks
    • Moppy Dearest
    • Norse-ing Around
    • Schoolhouse Lock
    • Lucky Chums
    • Excuse Me
    • Power Out
    • Cold War
    • Lice Lice Baby
    • Pick A Nose
    • Chicken Pox
    • Precious Pig
    • Bubble Trouble
    • I'm Man-Arctica! (being the most infamous of them all)

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The show has some moments that are funny.
  2. Kyle, Lenny, Boog, Man-Arctica, Mr. Mufflin and Agent Johnson are tolerable (and somewhat likable) characters.
  3. Most of the title cards look kind of cool, despite the choppy looking art style to them.
  4. Some of the character designs are okay such as Lenny, Boog, and Man-Arctica.
    • Speaking of character designs, despite looking ugly in CGI, they kind of do look cartoony and Looney Tunes-esque.
  5. There are some good/decent episodes like "Fanboy" (the pilot episode), "Stan-Arctica", "Put That Cookie Down", "Gameboy", "HypnotOZed", "Night Morning", "Norse Code", "Present Not Accounted For", "Saving Private Chum Chum", "Back From The Future", "The Winners" "No Toy Story", "Slime Day", "Heroes Vs. Villains", "Super Chums", "There Will Be Shirieks", "A Very Brrr-y Icemas" and "Brain Freeze" (the series finale).
    • "No Toy Story" It would have been a good way to start season 2 but disappointingly the producers decided to put "I'm Man-Arctica" like the season premiere.
  6. Season 2b is a bit of an improvement over Seasons 1-2a since the main protagonists are more likable, the animation receiving a more polished look, and having a few better episodes. But this isn't saying a lot, as many flaws still remain from Seasons 1-2a.
  7. While the voice acting contains a lot of ear-piercing screaming, it can be quite tolerable when it's not meant to be annoying or weird.
  8. Once this show was canceled, Eric Robles would then go on to create Glitch Techs. which is a massive improvement over this one as it has more likable characters, nice episode plots, and smooth animation.

Reception

Fanboy & Chum Chum was critically panned by the majority of critics and audiences alike. It is considered to be one of the worst Nickelodeon shows of all time and was criticized for its unfunny humor and lazy visuals. It sits at a 3.3/10 on IMDb and a 4.9/10 on Rating Graph. The show is also considered not only one the worst Nicktoons, but also one of the worst cartoons of all time. The series is often considered the moment that Nickelodeon's decline began and they still haven't recovered since then (as stated above).

Episodes with their own pages

Trivia

  • In recent years, the show has become a bit more positively received from animation fans, especially due to its "so bad it's good" nature; it spawned several memes; in part due to its creator, Eric Robles making the acclaimed Glitch Techs.
  • It was one of the few Nicktoons to end on its own terms on the main channel.
  • The series finale ("Brain Freeze") was delayed for two years and was to air on July 12, 2014, but ended up airing a day later on the main Nickelodeon channel.
  • As mentioned in Trivia #1, over the years of it's existence, it would later gain a fan base, which is way better than the show itself.* The most common places for these fans to appear would be on platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.
    • It would also receive some projects from fans, such as:
      • Fan art
      • Fan OCs
      • Cosplay
      • Memes
      • Animation Memes

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