AQUA INTEGRAL EPISODE PROJECT L/Top 50 Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes (40-31)


For introduction and 50-41 click here.

40. Balloonenstein


“…Do what now?”

This episode is the testbed for further endeavours by Meatwad to get back at Shake. It still remains an incredibly strong episode. After a prolonged stay in the dryer thanks to Shake, Meatwad develops a high amount of dischargeable static electricity, which he uses to remorselessly discipline the Cup.

Such a breath of fresh air this episode is if you start chronologically. I remember when I didn’t really get the show, and wondered if all that Meatwad abuse would get tiring. Thankfully with this episode, it isn’t the case, as it shows the capacity of Meatwad’s vindictiveness when goaded for the first time. Given the consistency of Shake’s character, it ought to be considered a welcome development, as it shows there are characters in this show that will take it out on him if need be. Frylock is always going to be that paper tiger wrapped in a veneer of rational civility, so it falls upon others to pick up the slack.

Meatwad’s demand for popsicles, his regret for the death of Squirrely, Carl’s big hands, Shake’s attempt to pass off wire for spaghetti, and the unexplained phenomenon from Dr. Weird that helps bring the episode full circle, also help to make this a very solid outing and one of my favourites.

39. Escape from Leprechaupolis


“You don't need a machine to make a rainbow, for rainbows are made of happy thoughts, and dreams, and chocolate unicorns, and gumdrops, and licorice sunsets, and fuzzy gumdrop bears, in Sugar-Covered Chocolate Gumdrop Land.”

Oh c’mon, the second episode ever of Aqua Teen Hunger Force deserves a spot on this list by virtue of that non-sequitur moralizing from Meatwad.

While STILL rough around the edges, there’s quite a bit that makes this episode. Carl hasn’t really developed his full on bluster, but his sad sack exclamation that if he doesn’t find a rainbow he’ll “go down to the store and buy me a Hot Rod Magazine cuz it has them chicks with the boobs” is always worth remembering. The villains are great too, given their capacity for two of them to clash with each other. Flargan’s a stereotypical leprechaun with some strange penchant to measure wealth by shoe types, and Merle has that gruff, perpetually upset, blue collar demeanour that drives me into fits of laughter whenever he opens his mouth (“I told you we should’ve went to Antwerp, Flargan! At least they have diamonds!”). It remains memorable even to this day, and I’m still driven to chuckles on that aforementioned quote and Merle’s surliness. Also…


38. Bookie


“Well you’re about to meet the Wizard of Odds! And I don’t even know what that means but I know it’s gonna suck… for you!”

Shake abuse is great abuse, especially when he gets into something he can easily get out of, but his pride so blinds him that he’ll take whatever shit comes his way even if he ends up half-dead. What initially starts as an attempt to condescend to Meatwad’s magic tricks turns into a betting game where a simple bet as to whether Carl can do a trick cascades into what could be said to be pointless violence.

Truly it’s not really pointless. Since such violence is warranted, as Shake being the ‘Drink Cup’ he is spirals further into debt he can’t really repay (nor would he ever want to). The worse he gets it the more he bets on absurd odds like the possibility of Meatwad getting eaten by a pack of bees. Then after another violent beating (sometimes with power tools) he doubles down and gives the bookie another opportunity to continue the fun. The comedic timing of this episode is brilliant as it finds a way for the two unique parts of bet and beatdown to flow quite well. Making this situation even better is the good fortune of Meatwad and Carl, who keep winning big every single time. This episode makes for a nice moment to see those two win for once, and the final bit where they one up Drink Cup allows the episode to come full circle. Who’da thunk this episode with its humble beginnings on magic tricks, would lead to such gory lengths, and then come back again?

…I dunno if anybody was thinking that. I think we were mostly laughing at Shake getting the shit beat out of him and wondering how far it would go. Thankfully it goes very far, and to a very good place.

37. Gee Whiz


“By following the rules you’re guaranteed to make a mediocre product that no one will relate to!”

After visiting a billboard that is said to have the image of Jesus Gee Whiz, Meatwad is miraculously impregnated (or as he puts it ‘raped with joy’). If that isn’t enough for this to make the list, there is also the big sense of self-awareness this episode has of Standards and Practices.

In fact, it makes this episode all the more memorable. Had the show gone the usual route and directly alluded to the censored deity in question (Hint: Looks like Ted Nugent), it would’ve probably just been a mostly average tale. However, thanks to the magic of George Lowe’s PSA on the concept, the right amount of absurdity is injected into the story. The characters, along with the entire episode, dance around the true nature of Gee Whiz, while Meatwad hurls F-bombs and goes through pregnancy troubles. In essence, that allows for nothing to get done at all, as time is spent figuring out whether or not Gee Whiz is on the butt of a billboard rifle, and on the finer points of illegal downloading be it ultrasound programs or the Lord of the Rings.

Then there is the anticlimax with no new villain or creature that comes out of Meatwad, but spiders. If you ever become a wad of raw meat, watch out and don’t roll up spiders into your body. More importantly, make sure whoever you kill explodes into rainbows instead of blood, or else I’ll be motherfx offended. I’ll laugh, but I’ll be motherfx offended.

36. Chicken and Beans


“Chicken and Beans/Chicken and Beans/The best lookin' dinner that I ever seen/You better go get you some/Chicken and Beans”

By far the best “Power corrupts Meatwad? Absolutely!” episode in the entire series. Thanks to the nature of viral videos, a failed gig of Meatwad involving the above lyrics in a maudlin acoustic guitar riff and copious vomit gets him noticed. With somebody as impressionable as him given the reins of fame and fortune, he immediately loses it just minutes after his first television performance.

Let’s get this out of the way, the song is amazing. It is peak Meatwad in its banality; and his ability to put all his simple-minded heart and soul into it makes the episode. Then when he immediately grows arrogant with power, his sudden veer off of the rails is as outrageous as it is hilarious. His defiance against Frylock is nothing like when he became intelligent in “Dumber Days”, for it is mired in such psychotic arrogance. Then when the episode hits the climax of an actual live concert, it’s capped off with an amazing dismissal from Meatwad to a live audience about not wanting to do the song. This is AFTER he asks two of his beautiful arm candy (seriouslyto blow him so he can lose enough ounces to fit into an outfit. Then in a fitting end that is as sudden as it began, Meatwad capitulates to Frylock when he grounds him. Perfect and less lame than when Frylock just takes away Meatwad’s brain at the end of “Dumber Days”.

 Also we can’t end talking about this episode without talking about Shake, who was golden throughout. If it isn’t his caustic insults to Meatwad on his first venue, it’s his attempt to make famous his strangely familiar “Bruschetta Nights” and recapture that viral phenomenon (“I mean we’re already talking 27 hits here. And that’s from this computer alone!”).

35. The Shaving


“You know you’re like the A-Bomb. Everybody’s laughin’ and havin’ a good time then you show up? Boom, everything’s dead!”

Ah, this episode. This one introduces us to who is possibly the second (probably third if Emory is counted) nicest character in the show: Willie Nelson. This mild-mannered monster that looks like an onion with spider legs comes out of nowhere to give the Aqua Teens a spook on Halloween. However… he’s not much of one as his attempts to scare don’t really go very far.

The interesting character dynamic that puts this episode on the list is between Willie Nelson and Shake. Unlike his usual animosity to any weird creature, Shake takes a ‘shine’ to Willie, and puts him on a path to become a better monster. There’s something markedly amusing about their interaction, Shake is eager to make Willie the best monster possible, but Willie is so… nice and awkward that it infuriates the Cup. Carl ain’t scared of him, Meatwad ain’t scared of him, and Frylock for some reason thinks a sailor hat on Willie looks terrifying.  Shake takes the training very seriously, and despite all his efforts (note how I don’t use quotations), Willie can’t for the life of him strike fear into the hearts of men. Either way, Shake’s failures eventually become all electric, and provide a nice bookend to what was really just a humourous low-stakes scare fest that results in Meatwad being tossed at people.

Then we have that obvious twist ending, and well… Willie still keeps his pleasant, mild-mannered, self there. It’s a perfect way to end a Halloween episode. Can’t ask for anything more.

34. Bus of the Undead


“Look, all I know is that this cord here was plugged into my house, and your house was glowin’ like the FRICKIN’ sun. So I put two and two together there heheh… and decided that you’re pissin’ me off.”

The third episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force still remains a memorable venture even today. It bears the marks of a show improving episode by episode, and also includes a very young, very supple, H. Jon Benjamin. The man now headlining TWO popular cartoons these days plays a Mothmonsterman. Despite his khaki pants and hideous demeanour, all he wants to do is enjoy the Shake’s Shake Signal. Unfortunately, he freaks Shake out enough that he falls under the delusion that he’s under attack by Dracula. Said Dracula is apparently in the form of a School Bus idling across the street.

Shake’s paranoia makes the episode, coming from its combination of irrational fear and a desire not to ever be wrong. He goes off to exceptional lengths to further his story (“See the wheels? Those are the markings…)” and as a result, inconvenience Mothmonsterman. To the episode’s credit, they keep the creature du jour mellow and the back and forth phone conversation between him and a paranoid Shake is a ball. Then the episode gets campier (in a great way) when Frylock proposes they go to Memphis to prove Dracula is dead and buried. The scene at Dracula’s grave is one of many great scenes in the series where Shake denies the obvious even when it is in front of him, and his flippant admittance the bus is just a bus after a pissed Frylock insists is an enjoyable volte-face.

Plus this episode has the best live-action show within a show by way of Assisted Living Dracula. It’s a darn shame though, that these bits became few and far inbetween as the series continued, instead replaced with puppets. However, we’ll always have “Bus of the Undead”, with its show within a show that starts out slow but gets going much later.

33. Fry Legs


“You don’t tell me to go, I tell YOU to go! And what to cram and where to cram it, and at what force it should be crammed!”

Love turns people into goddamn fucking stupid morons. It’s for the most part true, but when such applied to Aqua Teen Hunger Force, it always leads to disaster. Frylock trades his usual self for a pair of crude, mechanized, legs. Who’s the apple of his eyes? A rather plain computer repair woman who keeps being called on to fix Frylock’s computer. Problems include maladies like an unplugged cable or pressing the power button… ten times.

It’s great to see Frylock unhinged again (since “Super Birthday Snake” and “The Cloning” I believe). However, unlike those two titles, the actions the Fry Man does ain’t a dream sequence. To watch his malfunctioning legs work the way they do always brings a laugh, as his woefully inadequate attempts to woo are made even more so with him trying to manipulate them properly. These awkward developments are also improved as Frylock has no shame in doing so. The utter conviction he displays at maintaining such depravity, never mind his psychotic calmness and denial of reality makes for a shocking episode. You think the guy would take a hint or return to sanity, but he just keeps going. Who is this Frylock? Why is he there? Where is the old Frylock?

Like Shake and Meatwad throughout the episode, I don’t really give two shits about it. I’m enjoying myself, even if Officer George Lowe won’t let the two (or me) fire a gun or ride his police car. It’s a great break from standard Frylock formula, and to see him fail (like… Shake level fail) is welcome anytime.

32. Remooned


“Quiet, Err. I’m transmitting rage.”

The third episode in the Mooninites Saga still makes for humourous moments as it focuses on the mundane. Ignignokt and Err steal what appears to be a ‘check from the government’, and proceed in a futile quest to cash it. How futile? Their first recourse is to visit the Aqua Teens and enlist their aid. But, if such aid is only Meatwad and Shake well… Um…

Anyway, unlike the previous two episodes, this episode does something different that’s welcome. It utilizes the Mooninites not so much as antagonists but reluctant allies, revealing how their incompetence doubles with the right kind of people. A good part of the episode is seen from the first person perspective of a reluctant convenience store clerk, forced to keep reminding the quartet that the store does not take checks. In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, that is a terrible move for like a creeper making unwanted sexual advances, they’ll never take no for an answer. Such actions lead to having them “lay into” him with misplaced racial stereotyping and the loss of facial hair. It isn’t as laugh out loud funny, but the subdued atmosphere is improved by the great interactions between those five, as well as the abandonment of the plan once food enters into the fray.

Shame about the food though, as the episode comes full circle with Frylock’s peculiar way of stopping Shake from microwaving Meatwad. Oh well, at least Ignignokt shoots him a nice bird, and was kind enough to super size it for .59 cents more. The unfortunate part is that’s the last time we’ll ever see Ignignokt flip off the Fry Man. At least it occurred in a pretty darn good episode all things considered.

31. Dickesode


“Finally tonight I will have enough dicks to complete the Dickship and return to Dick Planet.”

C’mon… Why not? Indulge a little. It’s okay to have the humour of a 12 year old boy.

While trying to see if he won something at the local Wong Burger (which involves ripping the bottom of a cup, something that people do while there’s STILL liquid being held), Carl gets the cryptic message that “Tonight you will get your dick ripped off.” What follows is essentially a great juvenile ride where ‘dick’ is mentioned between every other word whether it’s our heroes, Carl, or these strange Chinese racial stereotype gonads (?) who need it to help their boss Wong Burger to fulfill his plans as noted above.

It works on a much better level than say… South Park’s “It Hits the Fan”, a pretty good episode itself. There’s no presence of any moral tale, just a 10 minute ride upon this vehicle that was made to distill as much dicks as possible in that timeframe. It isn’t enough to mention the word ‘dick’, there has to be plenty of visual representations of it, making this perhaps the biggest sausage fest ever aired on cable television (Where’s Guinness?). This is okay, since the concept is patently absurd and delightfully falls flat on its face. Then it adds Frylock’s completely messed up plan to save Carl’s dick through transition surgery. You can’t unsee what you will see with Carlita Jenner up above (who strangely went further through the process unlike another Jenner, but that’s neither here nor dick), but hey all’s dick in love and dick. Then there is easily resolved climax, the baffled newscaster, and that painful final minute where Shake engages with inadvertent dickphagia. It’s dicktastic.

And now until 30-21, we cut to commercial again. I hope you like hamburgers.



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