My Gym Partner's a Monkey
My Gym Partner's a Monkey is a Cartoon Network animated television series that aired from 2005-2008.
The series revolves around a human kid named Adam Lyon who gets transferred to a school of anthropomorphic zoo animals because of a clerical error making his last name "lion". There, he meets up with an anthropomorphic Geoffroy's spider monkey named Jacob P. "Jake" Spidermonkey, who he becomes friends and gym partners with, thus earning the show's title.
- The title is misleading, because Jake isn't Adam's gym partner in most of the episodes. But it was called "My Classmate is a Monkey" in a few countries such as Mexico (Where it was called "Mi compañero de clase es un mono") and Japan (Where it was called "クラスメイトはモンキー"). On Spain the show was named "A Monkey in My Classroom" ("Un mono en mi clase").
- The show’s premise, as mentioned in the beginning of the theme song, is a nonsensical and indolent idea for a kids show.
- Barely any originality, as there are several similarities to other shows such as:
- Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?, due to its similar premise where a character enrolls in a school where everyone is a different species.
- Wayside, also due to its similar premise and the main character/protagonist being the buttmonkey; though, it surprisingly can't be a rip-off unless you count the book series that came before, as it was released only a month after the TV movie adaptation was released two years before the actual TV show adaptation, so it was probably in production around the time that the movie was.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show, due to its frequent usage of gross-out, toilet humor, surreality, and gross-out close-up shots and the two main characters being a polar opposite duo, with the goofy dumb one frequently irritating the more rational one.
- Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, which came out a year before this show, with Adam and Jake basically being Mac and Bloo, Mac and Adam going to a foster home/middle school for animals/imaginary friends, and having the same feel as one another.
- Johnny Test, which came out the same year as this show, with Adam and Jake basically being Johnny and Dukey, but the roles are swapped, as the animal is the obnoxious one and the human boy is the rational one unlike in Johnny Test where the human boy is the obnoxious one and the animal is the rational one. The art-style is also very similar to Johnny Test's art-style for its first season.
- Overuse of stereotyping, specifically of the nerds and the bullies.
- Lots of nonsensical episodes. For example:
- The episode "The Butt of The Jake" was centered around Jake turning his butt into a face and making it talk. What'd you expect? And later, he inflates his butt with helium and blocks out the Sun.
- In "The A Word", Jake breaks off his friendship with Adam because the latter said the A word (ape, which is set up to be a slur against monkeys, but then subverted when Jake says he was upset that Adam didn't use the A word on him, since it's a compliment to monkeys). How confusing is that?
- Mean-spirited and sadistic nature, mostly targeted toward Adam, the main protagonist.
- Speaking of Adam, almost every episode in this show is an Adam torture scenario, since most of the abuse he suffers is undeserved and mean spirited.
- Unfunny attempts at humor as all the jokes on offer are nothing but fart jokes, toilet humor, animal puns, and butt jokes, especially in the episode "The Butt of The Jake".
- The theme song, while okay, just repeats the title over and over again like six times and the lyrics don't even make sense. The word "Monkey" is even repeated at the end of the song, which is annoying and obnoxious.
- Some plot holes. For example:
- How has Adam not been eaten by any of the animals yet? As he's very clearly Human, as mentioned few times by himself in the earlier seasons, including the first episode.
- Why would he get transferred to an animal school just because his last name is similar to the name of an animal (Lyon =/= Lion), couldn't you tell he's not one by his appearance (as mentioned above) and his usage of English?
- In one episode, the school starts serving human food in the cafeteria, but some of the food is made of animals.
- Adam gets flanderized in the fourth season; his venting about his personal problems and personal life were cranked up to where he not only can't go a nanosecond without yammering about his personal life, but becomes a narcissist; making him less likable than is seasons 1-3. Though it at least makes his butt-monkey role more justified (depending on your opinion).
- Jake Spidermonkey is unlikable, as he constantly abuses Adam for no explained reason at all, and his voice is grating just like in seasons four to eight of SpongeBob SquarePants. It's didn't help that Jake was voiced by Tom Kenny.
- This show is extremely hyper active, and it’s can get really annoying.
- The episode "Shiny Thing" is the most painfully atrocious episode because of a few reasons: Jake brings a glass doorknob to school which is against the rules of the school, which mesmerizes everyone in the school except for Adam, Jake uses it to control the entire school, everyone in the school under Jake's control is studying about "Monkey Butts" (which is considered toilet humor), and since Adam stated that the glass doorknobs belong to his mother and if they all break, she'll punish him, all of the glass doorknobs break at the end when Principal Pixiefrog shouts out Adam's name (referring "to him as "Mr. Lyon") for bringing shiny things to school.
- The idea of a school full of animals is kind of interesting, but doesn't work here since it's similar to Wayside and Whatever Happened to Robot Jones? and the fact that anthropomorphic animals is a cliche.
- The character designs are great.
- There were some good episodes such as “Animal School Musical”, “Le Switcheroo”, “A Thanksgiving Carol”, “Nice Mouscathe”, “A Whole Zoo World” and "That Darn Platypus" (depending on your view).
- The TV movie, The Big Field Trip was pretty okay.
- The theme song, while repetitive, is pretty catchy. Plus when Jake cuts Adam off assuming that he's going to say "butt" when he really intended to say "neck", that was actually pretty funny.
- The twist endings are superb.
- Adam Lyon, Ingrid, Slips Python and Lupe Toucan are all likable characters.
- The show did improve a bit in later seasons.
- The voice acting isn't that bad, when there is no screaming.
- The animation is great.
- Somehow, this show is actually self-aware on how bad it is, especially due to the fourth wall gags seen in episodes like "Animal School Musical", "A Very Special Boy", and "Lonely Lyon" actively responding to the actual criticism the show got online.
- A lot of the stock music cues are awesome (and most of them weren't even used in SpongeBob); from the funky and fresh "Frisco Nights" to the moving pieces "Forgiveness" and "Starting Again".
- One episode, "The Butt of the Jake", was banned due to the fact that it was deemed too vulgar and "butt-filled" for younger audiences.
- Another episode, "Amazon Kevin", was banned in Australia in the wake of Steve Irwin's death.
The show has a 5.9/10 on IMDb and a 6.5/10 on TV.com, and, despite its positive reviews from the critics (according to Wikipedia), is mainly disliked/criticized for its gross-out/toilet humor, mean-spirited nature, the premise, and unlikable characters.
In his review for the series, Mr. Enter named Jake (who is a character) as the 4th worst cartoon of the 2000's.