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All right, so you got these two 23-year-olds who are best friends. Regular enough. They work as groundskeepers of a public city park. Pretty normal so far. They are a giant blue jay and a raccoon named Mordecai and Rigby respectively, who work for a gumball machine named Benson and live near a giant lollipop named Pops. As you can tell, Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here. Everything is regular. Regular Show is the brainchild of J.G. Quintel, who was the creative director of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, which should explain some things.
For example, one episode has the main characters eating cereal, playing Rock-Paper-Scissors over a chair, summoning an inter-dimensional monster after getting one hundred ties in a row, and then having everything turn back to normal. And this was on Mordecai and Rigby's first day at work, no less.
Just a note, most of the main characters' designs come from J.G. Quintel's previous animated student films. Mordecai and Benson were featured in a Mushroom Samba in 2 in the AM PM and Pops as a lollipop ambassador in The Naive Man From Lolliland. They're both well worth checking out, but definitely not for kids.
In an attempt to "age up" Cartoon Network, this show aired from September of 2010 to January 2017. New episodes used to air on Monday nights at 8:15 (7:15 central), but as of 2012 they air at 8:00 (7:00 central) on Cartoon Network. Getting Crap Past The Radar page here. Also check out the Character Sheet here.
- 555: All of the phone numbers seen in "Cruisin'" start with this.
- Absentee Actor: Benson doesn't appear in a handful of episodes.
- Absurdly High Stakes Game: "Skips Strikes" has Rigby making a bet with Death: If Death's Team wins he'll get the team's(which is everyone working at the park except Muscle Man and High-Five Ghost) souls and if Rigby's Team wins he gets... a bowling ball filled with souls. Mordecai and Benson aren't happy about this in the slightest.
- "Over the Top" has Skips arm wrestling Death for Rigby's soul.
- In "Slam Dunk", Mordecai eventually bets his computer privileges for life on a basketball game just so he can help Margaret make a website in hopes of impressing her.
- The Ace: Rigby's brother Don, apparently.
- Skips most of the time.
- Actor Allusion:
- Tim Curry literally is a hot dog who gets covered in mustard in "Meat your Maker".
- While this is more of a Creator Allusion, J.G. Quintel was born in 1982, the year that Mordecai and Rigby travel back to in "Prank Callers." Plus, the title card of Ello Gov'nor (the movie, not the episode) has "©MCMLXXXII" written on it.
- And the World Dishwashing Championship 1982 video in "Peeps".
- James Hong basically plays Lo Pan during the episode "Fortune Cookie".
- Adrenaline Makeover: Well, somewhat, in that Mordecai and Rigby give themselves mullets while learning Death-Kwon-Do.
- An Aesop: From the episode "Mordecai and the Rigbys", Mordecai and Rigby noticed at the end of the show that their future selves stayed famous through lip-syncing. Mordecai makes a speech about the issue.
- Also, in "Cool Bikes", Mordecai told Benson (after countless hours trying to impress him) "We don't care what you think."
- Affectionate Parody: Ostrich Thing With The Balls.
- "Grave Sights" manages to make references to Dead Rising, Evil Dead 2, and Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare.
- "Video Game Wizard" where Rigby gets jealous that Mordecai chose Skips as his partner for the video game tournament is an affectionate parody of The Wizard. It even has a crappy power glove knockoff as the grand prize.
- Alien Geometries: In "Brain Eraser", the world of Mordecai's memories is a strange place.
Skips: Memory isn't logical.
- Aloof Big Brother: Don who is taller and more mature than Rigby actually subverts this, since he is actually younger than Rigby, as well as extremely affectionate towards his sibling. Rigby was jealous and angry that his friends liked Don more and that they think he is the older brother, so he rejected Don's affection and hated having to see him. Which makes Rigby the Aloof Big Brother!
- Ambiguously Gay: The guys from the TV store warehouse ad.
- And I Must Scream: Apparently viral videos have their stars trapped inside of them. They're forced to repeat their injuries and mistakes over and over again. Until our heroes come to their rescue, of course.
- Angst Nuke: When Benson finally releases all his pent up anger in "Think Positive" the results are explosive.
- Animals Not to Scale: Played straight with Mordecai and Margaret, but averted with Rigby.
- Anthropomorphic Food: The evil hotdogs. Arguably Pops.
- Anthropomorphic Objects: Benson is a gumball machine. Don't question it... Also, Pops is a giant lollipop, although this is obscured by his human skin tone.
- Anyone Can Die: In the stories in the Halloween Special, this is in full effect. Rigby's takes this to it's logical conclusion.
- All Your Powers Combined: See image.
- The video game character they summoned.
- Also their combined efforts in defeating the physical manifestation of "Summertime Lovin'."
- In "A Bunch of Baby Ducks", the baby ducks fuse into a giant duck person to defeat the creepy guy with the van.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Dead at Eight", Death's refrigerator is populated by such abominable foodstuffs as eyes, Death Nuggets, Soul Juice, and almond milk.
- Artistic License Physics: In "Go Viral", somehow, jumping on a trampoline at the same time a refrigerator is dropped onto said trampoline will cause you to bounce thousands of feet into the air.
- Art Shift: The episode "First Day" consists mostly of animation from the unaired pilot, with subtle but noticeable differences in animation style.
- The more action-oriented sequences are animated in a redder color palette.
- Artifact of Doom: For some reason, a public park is littered with these. Destroyer of Worlds is a good example.
- Attack Its Weak Point:
- "You have to break the tie!"
- Susan's heels
- "KICK HIM IN THE JUNK! KICK HIM IN THE JUNK!"
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: The real Susan.
- Author Avatar: Mordecai is basically J.G. Quintel in blue jay form.
- Eileen is basically Minty Lewis in mole form (which makes sense, since she cowrote most of the episodes Eileen has a decent-sized part in).
- Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: The members of the park staff may treat each other crappy on a daily basis, but when there's serious trouble, they will not hesitate to help each other out.
- Babies Make Everything Better: Not in Skips's place.
- Badass Adorable: The ducks from "A Bunch Of Baby Ducks"
- Badly-Battered Babysitter: In "Dead at Eight", Mordecai and Rigby has to babysit Death's kid or he will take Muscle Man's soul.
- Balloonacy: Happens to Pops in "Just Set Up the Chairs"
- Balloon Belly: Party Pete after drinking several Radicolas which gave him strange powers. After finding out Benson was going to return to the park to see what all the commotion was about (They were having a party without Benson's say so), The gang had to keep giving Party Pete Radicolas so he'll burn out in order to get rid of him before Benson showed up, thus ending Mordecai and Rigby's party with a bang.
- Bar Brawl: in "Karaoke Video" in the karaoke bar. While Pops sings Footloose.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Seen when naked Pops is falling down the cliff in "Brain Eraser".
- Bare Your Midriff: Margaret, in "Mordecai and the Rigbys" and "Caffinated Concert Tickets".
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: In "The Power", the cast is shown to have no problem with breathing while they're on the moon.
- Berserk Button:
- The zombie slayer.
- Don't even DARE cheat to win a game of arm wrestling with Skips.
- Benson has a lot of these. Though his main one is slacking off at work.
- Don't talk crap about Muscle Man's mom.
- Big Damn Heroes: Benson at the end of "This Is My Jam".
- Also gets one in "Benson Be Gone".
- And again in "Stick Hockey".
- Big Eater: Rigby, to the point that his body literally quits on him.
- Bilingual Bonus: In the opening of "Fortune Cookie", when everyone is at the Chinese restaurant, we get a couple of shots of the Dim Sum receipt. It has four rows, labeled with the Pinyin characters for "small", "medium", "large", and "king".
- Big No: The Death Kwon Do teacher lets out three of them in the course of one episode.
- The Master Prank Caller gets two.
- GBF gets one.
- Susan gets one after going One-Winged Angel and Benson gets everyone to stop working.
- The Night Owl gets one after the guys make it back to the time machine and escape him. The present Night Owl gets one when they come out of the portal crashing down on his billboard and car, ruining his plan.
- Big "Shut Up!": Rigby, very often. A variation of this that he also uses very often is, "STOP TALKING!!!"
- Bishie Sparkle: Starla sees Mordecai with these when she falls for him.
- Black Comedy Rape: One of the unicorns eats Benson's gumballs.
- Bland-Name Product: Dudetime appears to be a parody of Axe body spray.
- Bleached Underpants: The shorts the character designs originate in are definitely not for children.
- Blondes Are Evil: Susan
- And the "Blonde Club"
- Body Horror: What happens when you work under Susan for too long.
- A good example of this trope is when Rigby physically turns into a house. The slow transformation doesn't look comfortable either.
- Bowling for Ratings: "Skips Strikes"
- Breather Episode:
- Compared to the rest of the series, "My Mom" seems to be the most Regular Show of the bunch. Short of Muscleman's brother riding his truck out of hell, it's a pretty quiet day all things taken equally.
- "Ello Gov'nor" also is pretty normal, short of a video rental store employee dressing up as a haunted taxi.
- "Muscle Woman"'s only seriously weird aspect is how much of a bitch Starla is.
- "Temp Check" doesn't have much weirdness, except for the temp worker being a shapeshifting doppelganger.
- Aside from Mordecai and Rigby being turned into ghosts by High Five Ghost's brother, "See You There" is a relatively straightforward episode.
- Another comes from "A Bunch of Baby Ducks". Aside from The baby ducks transforming to a giant duck and destroying the duck collector after he hurt their mom, it seems like a normal day.
- "More Smarter" is pretty normal too. There's no monsters or vortices, they solve their problem on their own, and no one was in any real danger.
- "Karaoke Video" is probably the most normal episode of Regular Show as of Season 2. Nothing strange at all happens, unless you count the short scene where everyone appears to be fighting in some abstract void thing.
- It's safe to say that the second season cut back a fair bit on the weirdness... or at least made it more of an everyday occurance that doesn't expect as much fanfare.
- Brain Bleach: Mordecai is in need of some in "Brain Eraser," after seeing Pops in the nude.
- Breath Weapon: Benson unleashes a torrent of pure, pent up rage at Mordecai and Rigby during "Think Positive" in the form of a mouth laser.
- Brick Joke:
- From the pilot: "Rock-paper-scissors is an evil game!"
- Mordecai seems to really like chick flicks.
- Brilliant but Lazy: The only reason Mordecai and Rigby haven't been fired yet is because when they actually get around to working, they're pretty efficient.
- Broke Episode: Both "Free Cake" and "Caffeinated Concert Tickets" qualify.
- To a lesser extent "The Power", which involves asking for raises to... hire someone else to fix a hole in a wall.
- Butt Monkey: Rigby. Considering he's been killed three times in the series, he fits this trope perfectly.
- Call Back: In "Grave Sights", Benson asks Skips to set up the chairs, making an obvious callback to "Just Set Up the Chairs".
- In "Benson Be Gone", Maellard complains to Benson about snacks disappearing from the snack bar, holes in the walls, and five hundred dollars worth of prank phone calls, which are all references to the episodes "Rigby's Body", "The Power", and "Prank Callers" respectively.
- In "Camping Can Be Cool" Mordecai and Rigby bring the Super Extra Premium Hot Dogs from "Meat Your Maker" to eat on the camping trip.
- "Stick Hockey" seems to be a whole episode callback to a scene in "Benson Be Gone", in which Benson starts warming up to the Mordecai and Rigby over the Stick Hockey game.
- The Unicorns are back in "House Rules", prank calls are also referenced.
- Mordecai also threatens to ruin No Rules Man's only good eye with a laser pointer. Everybody knows they aren't regulation.
- Subtly, when payday is first shown in "High Score", Mordecai complains about how they're essentially receiving doggy bags full of change, and ask to at least get an envelope. Later, in "Temp Check" they receive their pay in an envelope.
- In "The Power", one of the things Rigby sends to the moon during the Cutaway Gag is "a bunch of baby ducks". There's a later episode with that exact name.
- The Ferguson Convention Center from "Video Game Wizard" is named after Garret Bobby Ferguson, from the episode "High Score". A bust of him is even seen outside the building.
- In "The Best Burger in the World", the burger truck crashes into the Crash Pit from "Terror Tales of the Park".
- Camera Spoofing:
- Tried by Mordecai in "Peeps" with a crude drawing on lined paper.
- They do a much better job with a tape of the 1982 World Dishwashing Championship
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': The entire plot of Regular Show is made up of this. The show starts out with something normal. Set up these chairs, go buy me a grilled cheese sandwich, learn to play guitar by the end of the episode, etc. However, just due to the world they live in, this somehow turns into a video game almost destroying the world, having to stop a black hole, and your future selves destroying your concert, just to name the outcomes of these examples. And of course, by the end of the episode (excluding "Prank Callers") everything is back to normal.
- Captain Obvious:
Rigby: Looks like you've learned the ways of Death Kwon Do.
- Casting Gag:
- Aside from Skips, Mark Hamill also voiced an implied drunk clown - which might be a reference to The Joker, one of Hamill's most famous roles.
- They also got Hamill to voice a Commissioner Gordon reference in "Temp Check".
- Catch Phrase:
- Mordecai and Rigby: The double grunt, and a triumphant, simultaneous "OOOHHHHHHH!!!" or "WHOOOOOOOHHHH"
Their in-unison "YEEEAYUHHH!" seems to have become Cartoon Network's new catch phrase.
- Skips: "I've seen this before."
- Pops: "Good show!" and conversely "Bad show!"
- Benson: "YOU'RE FIRED!", and to a lesser extent, "UNBELIEVABLE!"
- Muscle Man: "MY MOM!"
- Rigby will often yell "STOP TALKING!!!" when another character reminds him of something he'd rather forget.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: After being fired in "Benson Be Gone", Benson shouts a particularly long "OOOHHHHHH!!!".
- Mordecai and Rigby: The double grunt, and a triumphant, simultaneous "OOOHHHHHHH!!!" or "WHOOOOOOOHHHH"
- Chainsaw Good: Coffee's interpreter wields a chainsaw.
Mordecai: A chainsaw!? Are you serious!?
- The Probo-bears in "But I Have a Receipt".
- Character Development: "Benson Be Gone" has Benson come to understand Mordecai and Rigby more. And it sticks, afterwards, he's shown to be noticeably more tolerant of them and doesn't fly into a rage over them as often. In "Jinx" he actually accepts an apology from them, where before he'd not have given them the time of day.
Especially since earlier, Rigby sent him in a moment of Unstoppable Rage, which Benson didn't take out on Rigby himself. Newer episodes also have him leading the group in "down time" activities such as game night or paying for drinks for everyone at a bar, showing he's lightened up more.
- Rigby has grown much closer to Eileen; in "Yes, Dude, Yes" he eagerly suggests going to the movies with her, while in "Do Me a Solid" he only accepted a date as a solid, and did everything possible to sabotage it.
- Characterization Marches On:
- Margaret was a Flat Character compared to the other recurring cast, that is until "Do Me a Solid" where she's revealed to be a down-to-earth character (the unusual circumstances don't faze her nearly as much as one would expect).
- Benson, Skips, and even Muscle Man and High-Five Ghost have had a good bit of character growth over the series as well, the group becoming kinder and more friendly with Rigby and Mordecai, making some of their early scenes a bit strange to how they are now. This is especially clear with Benson, who doesn't go into a rage as often. Recent episodes even have him doing things like organizing game nights for everyone and taking everyone out to a bar with the drinks on him, showing he's lightened up considerably.
- Chekhov's Gun: Hamboning will save your life.
- Button Mashing really works in video games, but only for shooting, not for leg control... normally.
- The grilled cheese.
- "Laser pointers?! That's not regulation!"
- The celebratory hug, or lack thereof.
- Two Words: "PLAYCO ARMBOY."
- Muscle Man's sporting equipment in "Grave Sights".
- Chess with Death: Arm Wrestling with Death, in Skips' case. He challenged Death to restore Rigby back to life, whom Skips had killed in the first place. If he lost, Death would've claimed his immortal soul.
- A blinking contest with Peeps, a floating eyeball monster to get him to leave in "Peeps". If they'd lost, he'd have taken all their eyes.
- Moredecai and Rigby had to babysit Death's son in order to save Muscleman from having his soul reaped. The specific condition was to have him sleeping by 8 PM when Death and his wife got home from their anniversary date.
- The Chew Toy: Rigby
- Chunky Updraft: Benson's pent-up rage starts sucking the ground up in the surrounding area, leaving a crater in the ground by the time he unleashes.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Anyone can become a Death-Kwon-Do master; just wear a mullet and disturbingly short cut-offs.
- Compelling Voice: The Power seemed to grant its users this, but it was actually much more than that.
- Comically Missing the Point: Muscle Man's signature "MY MOM" joke.
- Continuity Nod: A very small one. In "Just Set Up the Chairs", Benson screams that he will never trust Mordecai and Rigby to do something as simple as setting up the chairs ever again. In "Grave Sights", he has Skips set up the chairs instead.
- In "Bet to Be Blonde," a pair of "Mordecai and the Rigbys" t-shirts can be seen in Mordecai and Rigby's closet, calling back to their fake band in the episode of that name.
- In "Yes, Dude, Yes" we see Mordecai finish telling CJ about the events of "High Score".
- Convenient Weakness Placement: The Warden of the Internet is a giant video screen. The power button is right next to the imprisonment beam. Apparently, nobody ever noticed that before Rigby.
- Converse with the Unconscious: In "Eggcellent", Mordecai briefly talked to Rigby, who was in a coma.
- Cool Old Guy: Skips (and maybe Pops)
- Cool Shades: A relatively common occurrence in the series, but especially notable in "Cool Bikes".
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Pops proves to be one in "Really Real Wrestling".
- Also, in the karaoke episode, Pops punches a guy while singing without even being fazed.
- Cutaway Gag: "A bunch of baby ducks, send 'em to the moon..."
- Cyberspace: Mordecai, Rigby and Pops end up there in "Go Viral".
- As does Techmo in "Skips vs Technology".
- Cyberpunk: In "Skips vs Technology", Techmo has some shades of this.
- Death Glare: Mordecai gives one to Skips in "Over the Top" along with a What the Hell, Hero?.
- Defeat Means Friendship: With the defeat of the Prank Master the episode ends with Mordecai, Rigby and the Prank Call Master making more crank calls.
- Department of Redundancy Department:
- "It's supposed to say Rigby but they misspelled my name wrong."
- There's also the 'Death Punch of Death' in "Death Punchies".
- Rigby rents a movie from "Movie Shack Hut".
- From "This is My Jam", the song Rigby gets stuck in his head is called "Summertime Lovin', Lovin' in the Summer (Time)".
- "You Jerks are jerks! You don't know anything about comedy!"- Muscle Man bombing at open mic night.
- In "But I Have A Receipt", Mordecai and Rigby attempt to get a refund from "Comics Plus And More Etc."
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Mordecai and Rigby have defeated enough Eldritch Abominations that it should be in their job description by now. Though it's normally in a Mundane Made Awesome fashion.
- And they themselves summon about 90% of them.
- Disney Villain Death: Susan in "Benson Be Gone" falls into a pit to Hell after Utopia takes out her heels in a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Disproportionate Retribution:
- Muscle Man hosts a fake party, gets Mordecai and Rigby turned into ghosts, and fakes a heart attack after Rigby accidentally spilled soda on him. After almost choking to death.
- "Over the Top". Skips isn't too pleased about Rigby beating him in arm wrestling, especially after finding out he used an arm brace. So he forces him into a rematch, yanks out the brace, then instead of leaving it there, smashes him through the table, killing him. Skips realizes this though, and puts his own soul on the line to bring him back to life.
- The Warden of the Internet imprisoning people in their videos forever for making viral videos.
- The Wizard from the Halloween Special turns Rigby into a house and brutally murders the entire cast just because Rigby egged his house.
- The Ditz: Pops.
- Do Not Call Me Paul: "GBF" is "Garrett Bobby Ferguson," not "Giant Bearded Face."
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: "Death Punchies" is all over the "of death" variant.
- Doppelganger Spin: Used by Chong in "Stick Hockey" as one of several methods to gain the upper hand in the final round of stick hockey.
- Dramatic Irony: In "Cool Bikes" Benson admits that Mordecai and Rigby are the coolest guys he knows. In any other context this would be sweet, but the viewer knows that Benson just unknowingly secured them a guilty verdict.
- Dreamworks Face: Mordecai strikes one in "Cruisin'".
- Drunk on Milk: Every time there's a bunch of soda cans around, they mean beer.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Utopia performing a Heroic Sacrifice in "Benson Be Gone" to take out Susan and Wedgie Ninja's sacrifice in "Go Viral" to save Mordecai, Rigby, and Pops from the Warden of the Internet, destroying her in the process.
- Ear Worm: In-Universe example: in "This Is My Jam" Rigby gets "Summertime Loving, Loving in the Summer (Time)" stuck in his head, to the point that the song sings itself whenever he opens his mouth. Not singing it, but playing on its own. Eventually the song manifests itself into a physical form and starts driving everyone nuts.
And then the gang decides to come up with an even catchier song to rid of it... "Aw snap! Aw snap! Come to our macaroni party then we'll take a nap!"
- Which then gets stuck in Rigby's head just like the last song, causing everyone to groan.
- The Eeyore: Skips.
- Eldritch Abomination: These are so commonplace in the series, it puts H.P. Lovecraft to shame.
- When you tie in rock paper scissors 100 times, it summons a black hole that apparently leads to a monster's dimension. The glimpse of the monster is…disconcerting.
- In the name of all that is holy, do not play with the wires of the Destroyer of Worlds arcade game.
- Father Time from "It's Time" is one. He is a being made entirely of clocks who lives at the end of time, and was actually a rather nice guy and was willing to let Mordecai off with a warning and press the Reset Button for him.
- The Snow Monster. He's made of snow, breathes fire from a jawless mouth, and creates one of the scariest moments of the show.
- Actually, the "Book of Park Records" could qualify too, as it gave a Necronomicon vibe when they touched it, and can alter reality (at least within the park).
- Peeps from the self-titled episode. He's a giant floating eyeball that can summon a huge number of smaller eyeballs from his body and threatened to watch everyone till they died. When they made a deal to get rid of him, he wanted all their eyes if he won.
- SUSAN. The worst part is how normal she seems before turning her head 180 degrees and going One-Winged Angel.
- The mirror monster in "Jinx" could qualify too.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: The golf cart in "Grave Sights"; usually averted, however.
- Everything Makes a Mushroom: The slam dunk Mordecai makes from outer space causes a mushroom cloud explosion upon impact.
- Everything's Worse with Bears: The internet video bear who lands on people, plays its instrument and farts on his victims after.
- Also the above mentioned Probo-Bears.
- Dig Champs is clearly a parody to Dig Dug.
- In "Grave Sights", Zombocalypse 3D stars Ash from Evil Dead and Army of Darkness.
- Garrett Bobby Ferguson from "High Score" is pretty much Pac-Man champion Billy Mitchell... as a giant head.
- In "Rage Against the TV", The Hammer is pastiche of games like Double Dragon. Also the console Mordecai and Riby play on looks like a Sega Master System with NES style controllers.
- Eye Scream:
- The eye creature in "Peeps" grows several extra eyeballs, which Rigby then scorches with a laser pointer.
- The last of which BURSTS INTO FLAME.
- Also, the bet Peeps makes where if he wins, he get everyone's eyes. At which point, he produces an ice pick and ice cream scoop.
- In a subtler example from the same episode, Mordecai loses the ability to blink and his eyes become so irritated that the eyedrops he uses evaporate before even touching them.
- Face Doodling: Rigby does this to Pops when he passes out in "Dizzy".
- It's also the main thing the Creepy Doll in the Halloween special does.
- Faceless Masses: Averted, in almost every crowd shot the background characters are drawn about as detailed as full on screen ones, although they are often duplicated, mirrored and huge crowds are usually not animated.
- Fail O'Suckyname: In "Trash Boat", Rigby decides to change his name to two random words after seeing a news report on a rock star who did the same thing. The name he comes up with, Trash Boat, is... less than inspiring, and he spends the rest of the episode trying to get it changed back.
- Fake Brit: Future Mordecai and Future Rigby, in "Mordecai and the Rigbys". They lose the accents right before the two of them are destroyed by Present Mordecai.
- Fat Bastard: Muscle Man (and proud of it).
- Fawlty Towers Plot: Most episodes start off with a problem that's bound to escalate into supernatural chaos.
- Five-Man Band:
- Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: "More Smarter." Be sure to look at Rigby's crossword.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Snowballs the Ice Monster.
- Flying Car: Pops' car, Carmenita.
- Freudian Excuse: "Think Positive" implies that Benson is so quick to raise his voice because his father told him, "You'll never get anything you want in this world if you don't yell for it."
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Basically invoked in "Over the Top"; when the gang head out for "drinks", Mordecai and Rigby anticipate, respectively, ordering a Watertini and an Ice on the Rocks.
- Funny Background Event: In "First Day", the other want ads in the newspaper are largely humorous. "...and dancing ONLY. Must be over age 75, and no dyed hair or wigs allowed."
- Fun with Acronyms: GBF is Garret Bobby Ferguson, not Giant Bearded Face.
Though he's a giant bearded face as well.
- Furry Confusion: Subverted in "A Bunch of Baby Ducks." The titular ducks seem to be non-anthropomorphic at first, but quickly pick up humanlike behaviors (like karate chopping) from Rigby, and their mother speaks English.
- Played straight in "Skunked," with Mordecai and Rigby picking up roadkill in the park and even PLAYING A BINGO GAME USING THE DEAD ANIMALS, though technically it was created by Benson to motivate them to work; they can't stop working until they get Bingo.
- Gainaxing: Muscleman and Starla in "Muscle Woman". It was a pretty disturbing episode.
- Gargle Blaster: Non-alcoholic varieties in this series.
- Rigby's homemade Rig-Juice.
- "The Mississippi Queen". A concoction so absurdly spicy that Mordecai, Rigby, and Benson spent the rest of the party they were attending experiencing a Disney Acid Sequence played to the tune of "Mississippi Queen" by 70's rockband Mountain. It even came with a little umbrella.
- Gasshole: Gloken Bear from "Go Viral".
- And the unicorns from "The Unicorns Have Got to Go," who trap Rigby in a circle of their hindquarters and repeatedly fart directly in his face.
- Gem-Encrusted: The concert tickets.
- George Jetson Job Security: Although as demonstrated in "Replaced", no one would be stupid enough to actually replace Mordecai and Rigby.
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: "Give us a raise, loser!"
- Gone Horribly Right: In "Cool Bikes", Mordecai and Rigby spend most of the episode trying to convince Benson that they're cool. When he finally does admit that they're the coolest guys he knows, it's most definitely a bad thing, since they're on trial for being so cool that it threatens to destroy the universe, and Benson's admission is literally a death sentence for them.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Mordecai suggests "Mustache Cash Stash" for their band and read off a whole list of them. They eventually just go with their names.
- Grand Theft Me: An overachieving bodybuilder('s consciousness) steals Rigby's body in "Rigby's Body".
- The Grim Reaper: In "Over The Top" and "Skips Strikes"
- Groin Attack:
- Mordecai has a flashback of doing this to Rigby in "Death Punchies."
- Rigby's favorite internet video is of an ostrich kicking an old man in the balls.
- Mordecai does this to GBF. But since said champ is basically a head with arms and legs, the champ reacts with "my chin!" (though "chin" is "penis" in Japanese...
- Subverted and played straight in "Rage Against the TV". In Mordecai and Rigby's video game, the duo are punching one of the games' bosses in the junk. As in the miscellaneous things he is carrying. Later, Skips gives one to The Hammer with a chair.
- Skips perform one on a zombie. It doesn't work.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Rigby started walking around naked one day. His brother thought that was so cool, he hasn't worn clothes since.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The stag-man in "Camping Can Be Cool".
- Halloween Episode: Season three features a 22 minute Halloween episode, with three creepy stories.
- There's a second one in the works for season 4.
- Hangover Sensitivity: The special entertainment in "Just Set Up the Chairs".
- Haunted Technology
- Head Turned Backwards: When things get real in a rap battle, a rapper tells Mordecai to put his face in reverse, resulting in his head facing the other way.
- Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Muscle Man eats spoonfuls of protein supplement in the fashion in "Muscle Woman".
- Heroic Sacrifice: In "Benson Be Gone", Leon barrel-rolls Mr. Maelard's limousine and knocks off Susan's heels, sending Susan back to hell and the limo careening into a wall where it explodes.
- In "Go Viral", Wedgie Ninja stays behind to stop the Warden of the Internet, allowing the other viral videos to go free. He keeps it up until she explodes, killing himself in the process.
- In "Appreciation Day", Rigby manages to get the cover of the Book of Park Records back to Mordecai, but he gets eaten for his trouble.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Muscle Man.
- Hipster: In "Cool Bikes" Mordecai and Rigby dress in this style to be cool. The stack of Brain Explosion records they swear upon in court is even a Call Back to Mordecai's own infamous hipster moment in "This Is My Jam".
- Hobos: Leon
- Horrible Camping Trip: "Camping Can Be Cool."
- How We Got Here: "Over the Top" begins with the death of Rigby.
- Human Mom, Nonhuman Dad: It's implied that the deer-man had a human mother and therefore a... deer dad.
- Hypocritical Humor:
Benson: Rule #47: NO YELLING!
- A rather... odd case in this one: In the episode "Karaoke Video", Benson tells Mordecai this:
Benson: I want to... you know, boost morale around here.
- 14 episodes later, in "Think Positive", we get this:
Pops: Stop yelling! It's bad for morale around here.
- I Call It Vera: Rigby lets Mordecai name a keyboard he stole. He calls it 'The Power'.
Mordecai: I always wanted to date a girl named The Power.
- Pops named his car "Carmenita".
- I Thought That Was: Lampshaded by the tagline, shown above.
- I'll Kill You!: Rigby on occasion, with varying degrees of seriousness.
- Mordecai says this in "It's Time" right before accidentally killing Rigby.
- Imagine the Audience Naked: Mordecai suggests this to Pops so he won't be so nervous over his speech. It doesn't work.
- Improbably Cool Car: Pops' "Carmenita" is already a cool old car, but it has special gears that allow it to fly and have bat wings, among other things.
- Informed Ability: In "Slam Dunk", Mordecai apparently has enough knowledge in HTML coding for Margaret to ask him to help make her website.
- Initiation Ceremony: There's one to become an official member of the Blonds. Unfortunately, it's the horrific kind.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Wedgie Ninja.
- Insufferable Genius: Chad and Jeremy in "Replaced".
- Interspecies Romance:
- Margaret with her boyfriends. Also Mordecai's crush on her, if you count the fact that he's a blue jay and she's a red robin/cardinal/whatever the hell she is.
- In the episode "It's Time", Rigby/Margaret is CANON.
The writer implied that Rigby was going out with Margaret pretty much just to get under Mordecai's skin, but the point still stands.
- Ironic Echo:
- "I can fix this" from the hot dogs episode. First, it's Rigby trying to fix everything that he's messed up but only messing it up worse. Then it's Rigby trying to keep Mordecai from dying. Then when Rigby brings up who bought the premium hot dogs...
- There's also "I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise" from Future Mordecai in the episode "Mordecai and the Rigbys" when the regular Mordecai asks if he ends up with Margaret in the future. Mordecai throws it back at him in his Shut UP, Hannibal speech when he breaks up the band.
- "Don't blink!" in "Peeps". First said by Peeps to Mordecai when Peeps starts growing extra eyes to tease Mordecai into blinking, and then by Mordecai to Peeps when it finally looks like Peeps is going to give in and blink.
- "The finder's fee" when Rigby hires the temp.
- "STEP OFF!"
- Inverted psychology in "See You There".
- Is This a Joke?: Lollipops as currency. Also, "he can't make a major speech facing away from the audience!"
- Jerkass: Benson, by far and Muscle Man. Rigby and Mordecai can act like this a lot to each other, if they get on each other's nerves too much.
- The Unicorns.
- In "The Best Burger in the World", Benson makes Mordecai and Rigby work on all their extra jobs that they slacked off on. Despite there being a time limit to get said burgers. So he gives them the most work, and honestly expects them to not try to get burgers. Finally at the end of the episode, he eats both which they bought as punishment. Uh Benson... you could have had them gotten the burgers before and then have them do the work. Instead of being a jerkass...
- Karma Houdini:
- Mordecai and Rigby in "Caffeinated Concert Tickets". They not only broke a contract with the Coffee Bean man, but they also added insult to injury with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech!
- In their defense, the contract consisted solely of the word "Coffee" written over and over, and the interpreter refused to translate it until it was too late. Not to mention they came at Mordecai and Rigby with a chainsaw.
- Also, near the end of the episode, Mordecai and Rigby fell asleep anyway. Though they actually got into the concert, they fell asleep through the whole performance.
- Karmic Transformation: Egg a wizard's house, be cursed to turn INTO a house. Poor Rigby learned this the hard way in the Halloween special.
- Kill'Em All: According to Benson, the only way to get rid of unicorns.
- The Destroyer of Worlds too.
Skips: You fools! Destroyer of Worlds will kill us all!
- The final story in the Halloween Special has this happen with the entire cast.
- Knight Templar: The Warden of the Internet. Ok, wanting the internet to be used responsibly, that's an alright motive. Confining anyone who makes a viral video to a Fate Worse Than Death? Yeah, that's insane...
- Konami Code: Used to dodge bottles being thrown at Rigby's character in a Rock Band style video game.
- Lampshade Hanging: The episode "High Score" is practically made of this. 
- At the beginning of "Butt Dial", Mordecai and Rigby mention how their 'game night' with Eileen and Margret was successful, without anything supernatural or park destroying happening.
- Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Rigby made Pops follow him out the room so Mordecai and Margaret can have a moment alone near the end of "Butt Dial".
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to "2 In The AM PM", which involves LSD-laced candy and contains foul language.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Downed power lines can animate snow, apparently.
- Line-of-Sight Name: In "Trash Boat", Rigby decides to change his name to two completely random words. He looks over at the overflowing trash can, then at the painting of a sailboat on the wall, and hence the title of the episode.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans, Oh My!: And lollipops and gumball machines and giant coffee beans...
- Literal Minded: Inverted by Pops.
Mordecai: That taxi's yellow!
- Locked in a Freezer: Complete with Mordecai almost dying.
- Logic Bomb: In "House Rules": "There's no rule against rules."
- Losing Your Head: Happened to Dave, Benson's stick hockey apprentice and he even spoke briefly before passing.
- Also happened to Mordecai in Rigby's story in "Terror Tales of the Park", he also talked briefly.
- Madness Mantra: All day, every day, all day, every day, all day, every day...
- Magic Feather: The magic guitar picks in "Mordecai and the Rigbys" are a subversion, as their point was to trick Mordecai and Rigby into lip-syncing.
- Man Child: Pops, save the fact that he's the opposite of Literal Minded.
- Marshmallow Hell: Rigby runs into Starla's boobs in "Muscle Woman".
- Matrix Raining Code: In "Don", the whole park is engulfed by this when Rigby messes up the audit that Don hadn't stopped. Accounting never looked so cool.
- Meaningful Name: Skips. And Pops, who has what looks like a giant lollipop for a head.
- Meganekko: Eileen.
- Megaton Punch: The Death Punch of Death.
- Mirror Monster: Ybgir, from the episode "Jinx".
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The monster on the moon had Rigby's body, Mordecai's tail and the wrestling doll's head.
- Monster of the Week: Every other week at least, usually summoned or created inadvertently. Most are Eldritch Abominations to boot.
- Montage: The show likes to use them often:
- There's a Hard Work Montage to the tune of Loverboy's "Working For The Weekend" while trying to save up enough money to go to a concert.
- In "Death Punchies", Rigby learns to Death Punch to "You're the Best" by Joe Esposito.
- There's also Mordecai's, Rigby's, and Benson's slack off sequence, all done to the tune of an instrumental song based off of Boston's "More than a Feeling".
- Mordecai and Rigby end up starting a bar fight over possession of a karaoke tape with the owners of the bar while Pops sings "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins.
- When Mordecai, Rigby, and Benson attend a party, they drink a spicy concoction called the "Mississippi Queen", named after the song by the rockband "Mountain". They spend the rest of the party in a Mushroom Samba while the song plays.
- The Most Dangerous Video Game: "Destroyer of Worlds".
- Moral Myopia: "Under The Hood", Rigby is painting Park Avenue’s tv room:
- Mr. Exposition: Skips, when he gets involved in the current trouble of the episode, usually knows exactly what's going on and explains it further and how to solve it. Being a few thousand years old may have something to do with this.
- Ms. Fanservice: Margaret.
- Mundane Made Awesome: The show's formula is basically "Mordecai and Rigby take some perfectly normal situation way too far until something supernatural and absolutely ridiculous happens".
- Must Have Caffeine: Exaggerated in "Caffeinated Concert Tickets".
- Mushroom Samba: "Weekend at Benson's" has one as the result of Mordecai, Rigby, and Benson drinking a concoction known as "Mississippi Queen", the song of the same name by Mountain plays during it.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Skips gets this after he kills Rigby in arm wrestling, prompting him to bet his soul against Death to get Rigby back.
- Rigby gets this after he reverted back from being a monster in "Skunked" and saw he'd hurt someone. The delivery was done so well you really feel bad for him.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: "Hey Giant Beardo Face!"
- "Mad Man Mordo? More like Bland Man Boredo!"
- Mythology Gag: Young(er) Pops in "Prank Callers" has his voice from the original sketch.
- Naked People Are Funny: Pops.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Rigby is usually the one who causes the crazy bleedly-blah to happen in the show. By this point it should be obvious that Rigby ruins everything he touches, though he does make up for it by fixing most of the mistakes and problems he creates such as giving up the chocolate cake to save Skips' life and using mustard to defeat cannibal hotdogs. Examples include...
- sending Skips to the moon, which almost got him and the rest of the cast killed by a giant monster in "The Power."
- letting the Destroyer of Worlds loose (despite Skips and Mordecai's warnings) in "Just Set Up The Chairs".
- signing the contract that almost made them lose their concert tickets, though it technically wasn't his fault since he couldn't even read it, in "Caffeinated Concert Tickets."
- interrupting Skips' spirit dance in "Free Cake."
- nearly making Mordecai freeze to death in "Meat your Maker."
- breaking the audit machine nearly getting the park deleted in "Don"
- alluding a bodybuilder without his body that his own body was still available in "Rigby's Body".
- Mordecai kicks off his share of weird events as well, though it's usually due to pettiness instead of outright idiocy. In both "Death Punchies" and "It's Time", it's his pride that goes before the fall. Rigby's, that is.
- Benson gets one in "Peeps", when he keeps improving his security system to stop Mordecai and Rigby from slacking off (justified though) and ultimately doesn't read the fine print and invites an Eldritch Abomination to spy on the park's workers for the rest of their natural lives. Ironically, the very thing he tried to stop them from doing is what got rid of it.
- Skips in "Over the Top", when he literally kills Rigby, thus forcing him into an arm wrestling match with Death himself to bring Rigby back from the beyond.
- Night of the Living Mooks: What our duo ends up having to deal with in the episode, "Grave Sights".
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Pops' character in Realm of Darthon is a cyborg cowboy armed with an electronic keyboard that fires lasers. (Yes, you read that right.) Skips plays a pirate samurai.
If one pauses during Mordecai's anti-Darthon rant, this seems to be the case for every class: Surfer with a Gun, She-Cop, Space Colon/Clown, Tank-Tread Wizard, Vampire Archer, Dancing Ghost, Scorpion Lawyer...
- No Ontological Inertia: Depending on the Writer
- No Theme Tune/Title-Only Opening: The opening is just a short synth sting over the title card.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Margaret's "lady pecs".
- And Coffee.
- Noodle Incident:
- The cart, the shoes, the party, the other party...
- Dr. Asinoskovich doesn't like to talk about that conference.
- "Appreciation Day" has this as they're reading the Park Records:
Mordecai: Destruction of park property?!
- The solid worth ten solids that Rigby made Mordecai do. All we know is that all who witnessed it were shocked and repulsed, and it involved Mordecai squatting down and making car sounds. Fan speculation says that it was either him laying an egg or LITERALLY "doing a solid" (taking a dump)
- Oculothorax: Peeps.
- Of Corpse He's Alive: The episode "Weekend at Benson's" has Mordecai and Rigby having to "escort" an unconcious Benson to a party after accidentally knocking him out cold at work.
- Off-Model: The pilot episode showed up again later with some added parts to lengthen it to fit with a standard episode. Between the new scenes and the old scenes, characters change appearances pretty noticeably, due to the pilot having a looser animation style.
- Older Than They Look: As of "The Night Owl", Mordecai, Rigby, Muscle Man, and High-Five Ghost have aged another 2200 years, having been frozen with liquid nitrogen, unfrozen in the year 4224, and then time-traveled back into the past. Potentially subverted if the show followed the other group from the end on.
- Techmo. Considering that Skips fixed his arm back in 1783, that would make him well over 200 years old.
- Omnicidal Maniac: The Destroyer of Worlds.
- Once Per Episode: Something weird and other-worldly happens, and there's an awesome music montage.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. Ybgir can either refer to a being from a dimension which has outlawed speeches, or to a were-creature who lives in the mirror.
- One-Winged Angel: After Benson returns and turns everyone back to normal, Susan summons a giant version of herself from Hell that proceeds to eat the smaller version and try to kill everyone.
- Oral Fixation Fixation: The main rapper in "Rap It Up" always has a lollipop in his mouth.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: They are hipsters/caricatures of pop culture characters.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: Rigby is attacked by a Were-skunk.
- Pac-Man Fever:
- Subverted; although every video game shown so far has had retro graphics, this seems to be a stylistic choice, befitting the show's Retraux style and suggesting that maybe everyone in this world is just a retro gamer.
- Lampshaded in Sarcasm Mode when Mordecai and Rigby comment on the graphics and how the title screen looks just like the box.
- In "Over the Top", they're even seen playing what appears to be an 8-bit version of Guitar Hero.
- This is all especially subverted by the fact that Mordecai and Rigby very clearly have a Sega Master System Mark 1, which is most certainly an obscure version of a games console to have.
- Parental Abandonment: The stag-man in "Camping Can Be Cool" with the throwaway line:
"Like when mother told me not to follow her back to the city?"
- Parental Bonus: The use of music from The Eighties. Now what kid from today would know of "Working For The Weekend" before watching "Caffeinated Concert Tickets"?
- A Party - Also Known as an Orgy:
Benson: It's almost 8 o'clock. Kill the lights!
- It's the semi-disturbing zipper sounds right before Muscle Man's quip that really drive the joke home.
- The way Benson says his second line in that scene, like this is a regular occurrence and he's really just getting sick of dealing with it, is fairly priceless as well.
- Pec Flex:
- Twice in "Rigby's Body", once by the bodybuilder and again by Skips. His nipples light up.
- Mordecai gets one too when he daydreams in "Meat Your Maker".
- Percussive Maintenance: Skips' main method of fixing things is to hit it with a hammer. To be more specific, he carries a hammer that he's able to use as a universal tool to fix almost anything, regardless of how big or small it is, including computers.
- Petting Zoo People: Mordecai is the most obvious example, but Margaret and several background characters also qualify.
- Pilot: "First Day" is the Pilot with some added bits, a montage at the begining and a scene before they go down for breakfast, to make it a Whole-Episode Flashback.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Mordecai is bright blue. Margaret, his love interest, is bright red, which isn't exactly pink per se, but close enough.
- The Plan: Of all people, Muscle Man surprisingly shows up with more than one of these
- Playful Otter: Doug, the temp. Until it turns out that he's a Doppelganger.
- Pokémon-Speak: The giant coffee bean can only say his name. And his name is Coffee. Possibly lampshaded by the fact that his translator is Japanese.
- Power Fist: The "Fists of Justice", in the episode of the same name.
- The Power of Friendship: That seems to be the theme in "Eggcellent". Even when Rigby was in a coma, possibly never to wake up and even may die, Mordecai still keep his promise to get that hat for him. Then the other Groundkeepers came around for Mordecai when he couldn't do it alone and helped him practiced to win the hat. When Mordecai won the hat, he put it on his friend's head, which woke him up! It wasn't just because of the hat, it was also because of Mordecai's loyal Friendship for Rigby!
- The Power of Rock: The battle between Mordecai's band and the Summertime Song is manifested as two ethereal rockers using their guitars as swords.
- Pops' Realms of Darthon character, a cybernetic cowboy, utilizes a keytar as a weapon which shoots Frickin' Laser Beams when played.
- Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Rigby is good with these.
The names FISTS!
- Pro Wrestling Episode: "Really Real Wrestling"
- Puzzle Boss: The Hammer. His weakness is furniture.
- Quarter Hour Short
- The Quiet One:
- High-Five Ghost doesn't talk very much, only having two lines in his first 5 or so appearances. However, he spoke more in "Muscle Woman" than in all of his previous appearances combined.
- Justified in that he was jinxed.
- The Quincy Punk: Appear from time to time, but the four known as Trash, Scabatha, Manslaughter, and Bloodshed in "Cruisin'" are particularly notable.
- Reactive Continuous Scream: Mordecai walking in on Pops in "Brain Eraser".
- Read the Fine Print:
- Coffee and his friend ask Mordecai and Rigby to sign a contract which asked that Mordecai and Rigby buy tickets to a concert for all four of them in exchange for Coffee's coffee. Rigby signs it after barely even looking at it, but it doesn't matter whether or not he read it because the contract was unable to be understood. It was the word "coffee" written over and over again, and a line at the bottom.
- In "Peeps", Benson asks for the most powerful security system Peeps will offer and is told to sign a binding contract. He's so angry he doesn't read it first and ends up summoning Peeps himself (a flying eye monster). Peeps later reveals the contract states he can watch them till the day they die.
- In "But I Have a Receipt", Mordecai and Rigby try to return The Realm of Darthon but they didn't read the fine print. They already opened the game.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: There really was a billboard-sitting contest at one point, but it was to win a motor home, not a car.
- Reality Warper: The Power grants people... the power to do anything they want. Also, the Master Prank Caller, who should not be riled.
- Reality Writing Book: Forging the park records has this effect. Mordecai and Rigby do it to trick Benson into giving them a raise, but Rigby overdoes it, resulting in the park being attacked by a snow monster.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Skips is mostly like this when he's in charge, Benson COULD and WOULD be this if Mordecai and Rigby quit slacking off and control his (justifiable) Hair-Trigger Temper.
- Recurring Character: Other than Margaret, Elieen and Mr. Mallard, there's also Pa (the man who was kicked by the ostrich in "Grilled Cheese Deluxe") and one of TV Store Warehouse spokesman (the bald one)
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Rigby and Mordecai.
- Red Shirt:
- The "special entertainment" and Jimmy.
- Also, the news guy in the helicopter in "Muscle Woman". This show actually uses this trope quite a bit.
- Reset Button: Used at the end of "It's Time".
- Resistance Is Futile: Parodied in "Skips VS Technology.
Doom-A-Geddon Virus: Resistance. Is. Dumb!
- Relationship Upgrade: "Butt Dial" marks the first time Margaret actually acknowledges Mordecai's crush on her, as a result of hearing an accidentally recorded voicemail where he sings about it.
- Retraux: Everything has a very '80s feel--any video games that show up are extremely retro and/or arcade-based, and if a licensed song shows up it's guaranteed to be an '80s hit--but it's set in the present. "Prank Callers" places it after 2004 somewhere.
- Rhymes on a Dime: The rock paper scissors Eldritch Abomination's only dialogue is spoken in rhyme.
- Rousing Speech: In "Rage Against the TV", when all seems hopeless:
Mordecai: We can't just give up. I want to beat this thing. We may never get this far in the game again. Now come on, will you please just help us. Please. Help us.
- Rigby gives one in "Skips Strikes," much to the awe of his teammates. Of course, he had bet their souls on the game and couldn't afford to have them giving up...
- Rule of Cool: This is practically the fuel that this show runs on!
- Rule of Three: You can break a jinx by getting someone to say your name three times. Well, you can do it yourself with a mirror but it summons a werewolf-like monster from inside.
- Running Gag: Whenever someone goes somewhere in the golf cart, it'll generally spin in a circle several times before finally leaving.
- Mordecai usually wins at Punchies (except when he threw the game in "Death Punchies"), Rigby usually wins at rock-paper-scissors. (Although he lost twice in "A Bunch of Baby Ducks")
- Running on All Fours: Rigby does this from time to time.
- Schmuck Bait: Mordecai and especially Rigby.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Chad and Jeremy do this at the end of Replaced.
- Sdrawkcab Name:
- In "Dizzy", Pops travels to another dimension and meets non-humanoid counterparts to Mordecai and Rigby, named Iacedrom and Ybgir.
- Also used in "Jinx" to send the Monster of the Week back to where he came from.
- Seashell Bra: Margaret is wearing one in a brief dream sequence that Mordecai has in "Meat Your Maker".
- Sealed Evil in a Can:
- The Destroyer of Worlds.
- The mirror monster Rigby summoned in "Jinx" was banished back into the mirror at the end.
- Self-Induced Allergic Reaction: In "Eggscellent", Rigby literally does this just to win a trucker hat.
- Seen It All: Skips response to the insanity in any given episode usually amounts to "I've seen this before..."
- He's probably seen a lot, considering he's immortal.
- Self-Deprecation: Muscle Man's "my mom" jokes.
- Serial Escalation:
- In "Cool Bikes", Mordecai and Rigby become so cool that it threatens to create a coolness singularity which will collapse Earth into a coolness black hole and destroy the universe.
- In "Fortune Cookie" Benson has such bad luck that he loses the park to a sorcerer who then immediately grows over fifty feet tall and begins to literally suck up the entire park into his fanny pack. Yeah...
- Serious Business:
- Rock, Paper, Scissors makes demons appear from other dimensions to eat your stuff.
- Choreographed dancing sends your co-workers to the moon.
- Crossing a red wire with a blue wire on a secret arcade machine unleashes a pixelated demon to the world.
- Wearing a mullet and cutoff jeans gives you fists of ultimate destruction.
- Underground stick hockey tournaments to the death, complete with fire shooting out of the ground and decapitations, have been going on for at least a decade.
- Shallow Love Interest: In the entire first season not much is known about Margaret, except she's nice and has a good set of lady pecs. Justified in that Mordecai himself can't seem to get past his shyness and learn more about her besides how attracted he is to her. (Note that he's always completely surprised about her boyfriends and entertainment preferences.)
- Margaret has been shown to be pretty shallow too. In "Brain Eraser" she becomes more attracted to him, believing he's been "working out" after he ignores her in a brainless stupor.
- In "Yes Dude Yes", she only shows interest in Mordecai when she thought he was seeing CJ... how much more Shallow can you get?
- Shopping Montage: "Cool Bikes"
- Shout-Out: Now with its own page.
- Shower of Angst: Muscle Man in "Muscle Woman", after Starla dumped him.
- Sideboob: Margaret's aforementioned concert attire. Covered by a bra, though.
- Similar Squad: Chad and Jeremy for Mordecai and Rigby in "Replaced".
- A Simple Plan: Every episode.
- Six-Student Clique: A rather odd all-male adult version, but it works:
- The Head — Rigby
- The Muscle — Skips
- The Quirk — Pops
- The Pretty One — Mordecai (He's got quite a few fangirls)
- The Smart One — Benson
- The Wild One(s) — Muscle Man and High Five Ghost.
- Oddly enough, Muscle Man is not The Muscle.
- Skewed Priorities: Dude, you kill the Destroyer of Worlds! I'm gonna go get the chairs!
- Slice of Life: The show is basically about the lives of two best friends who are groundskeepers.
Simultaneously a Work Com, as they live where they work. Every episode so far has had something to do with their job, although it's usually not what Mordecai and Rigby are interested in.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Park Avenue, graffiti artist from "Under the Hood".
Park Avenue: Yes, I am the one who did it! I am the graffiti artist! I fill the world with knowledge! I paint the truth! I paint rebellion! I...
- Smart People Know Latin: Mordecai and Rigby arguing in "More Smarter".
- Smelly Skunk: A Jerkass one tries to turn Rigby into a skunk. Well sort of, he's a Wereskunk whose spray transfers his curse in addition to smelling terrible. He's cured along with Rigby in the end, but it's implied he died in the process.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: A bar brawl back by an excitable old man singing a karaoke version of Footloose.
- Space Whale Aesop: Eat healthy or your body will quit on you as in your body will rip your soul out and run away. Also happens if you exercise too much.
- Spinning Out of Here: In the episode "Dizzy", when the characters spin around until they fall over, they are sent to a bizarre otherworld.
- Starts with Their Funeral: "Over The Top" begins with Rigby's death
- Stealth Pun: In "Really Real Wrestling," one of the wrestlers Mordecai, Rigby, and Pops fight is a wrestler who's dressed in a fireman's hat and can breathe fire. He's called the Fire Fighter.
- More than that, Pops beats him using a wrestling move called a Fireman's Carry.
- In the Halloween ep, the final story has Muscle Man flayed alive without any skin left. He really was a Muscle Man.
- Stuff Blowing Up: In "A Bunch of Baby Ducks", a man explodes after being karate-chopped. With a mushroom cloud and everything. The show is usually much less egregious about this.
- Subverted Catchphrase:
Benson: Muscle Man, have you seen Pops at all today?
- Surreal Horror
- Suspiciously Similar Song: They get the actual music surprisingly often, but still resort to these quite a lot as well.
- In "Free Cake" of the theme from The Big O. Which in and of itself is suspiciously similar of the theme from Flash Gordon...
- During the montage in the first episode, there's a similar song to "Tom Sawyer" by Rush.
- One of Boston's "More Than a Feeling" in "Benson Be Gone".
- One of "Sexyback" is used in "Muscle Woman".
- One of "Can't Touch This" in "See You There".
- One of "I Won't Do What You Tell Me" (Stone Cold Steve Austin's most popular theme song) is used as background music in "Really Real Wrestling".
- One of Holst's "Mars, the Bringer of War" in "More Smarter".
- One of the Halloween theme in "Creepy Doll".
- One of Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" in "Camping Can Be Cool".
- Of Throbbing Gristle's 20 Jazz Funk Greats (not kidding) in "This Is My Jam."
- "Video Game Wizard" features a knockoff of Rush's "Subdivisions" on the car-ride to the tournament.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: In "Peeps", when Mordecai list responsible things Benson can't trust them to do, Rigby "helps" by mentioning that they also can't be trusted to not fart in Benson's coffee when he's not looking.
- Sword Cane: The poacher in "A Bunch of Baby Ducks" uses one to threaten the duo after they crash his truck.
- Take Our Word for It: Mordecai's 10th solid.
- Take That: Dudetime Cologne from "The Unicorns Have Got to Go" is a pretty clear parody of the advertising for AXE body spray. It's probably not a coincidence that it attracts Jerkass unicorns instead of hot ladies.
- In "Video Game Wizard", when Rigby tries out the new power glove they won at a video game tournament, he notices how it doesn't work... just like the actual Power Glove. "Dude, this glove sucks!"
- Take the Wheel: This is often said by Skips when the characters are being chased by the Monster of the Week, usually when they are driving a golf cart.
- Talking to the Dead: Rigby when he thinks Mordecai is dead.
Rigby: How am I doing? Huh, Mordecai? Am I doing all right? "Yeah, Rigby, you're doing good!"
- Temporal Paradox: This happens when Mordecai and Rigby refuse to lip sync a song that Future!Mordecai and Future!Rigby claim is not only the reason for their success, but entire existence. The two future beings then disappear after Mordecai breaks up the band.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: A subtle one. Mordecai's beak is straight, while Margaret's is slightly curved.
- That's No Moon: The moon is hiding a huge Medieval castle-styled basketball stadium in the sky.
- There's No B in Movie: Ello, Gov'nor...
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: "Busted Cart" features Highway 13, the most dangerous in the country.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Skips, having Seen It All, frequently lampshades whatever catastrophe is going to happen before it happens. His warnings are generally ignored, of course.
- Through a Face Full of Fur: Benson regularly goes red in the face. Have we mentioned that Benson is a gumball machine?
- Throwing the Fight: Skips does this during a video game tournament when Mordecai tries to switch him out for Rigby on the excuse that Skips' hand was hurt.
Referee: "His hand doesn't look injured to me."
- To Serve Man: The intent of the strange, Tim Curry-led hot dog cult.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Hungry Hungry Soul-Sucking Deathworm in "Dead at Eight".
- Too Dumb to Live: Rigby in "Eggsellent". He has an allergy to eggs and knows it, but still tries to eat a twelve-egg omelette for a net hat, believing if he ate fast enough he wouldn't notice.
- Took a Level In Badass:
- Rigby, to the point of going Drunk with Power until Mordecai does it too.
- Arguably Benson in his Day in The Limelight episode "Benson Be Gone", especially when he takes a limo and tries to run down the One-Winged Angel version of Susan. Leon takes his place at the last minute, but still!
- Benson takes another level in badass in "Stick Hockey", where the titular game is apparently an underground bloodsport complete with rampant death, burning pits, and lots of spikes.
- Pops in "Really Real Wrestling".
- Took a Level In Jerkass: Rigby in "Do me a Solid"
- Benson goes up quite a level in dickishness during "The Best Burger In The World". Even eating the burgers Mordecai and Rigby bought.
- Trailers Always Spoil: A promo for "Night Owl" depicts the very last scene of the episode.
- True Companions: There are moments when the group seems to be close to or evolving into this. While they don't always get along, they are shown to really care for one another at certain moments, such as Benson facing off against Susan to save them all and nearly making a Heroic Sacrifice to do so (Utopia took his place, but its clear) and the climax of "This Is My Jam" when Skips and the others come to help defeat the living Ear Worm without even being asked.
- T-Word Euphemism: "How in the H are we gonna get rid of this S?" in the first episode. H is also used in later episodes.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Rigby, after being saved by his friends from Doug 'The Doppelganger' Sheblowski, manages to be a Beyond the Impossible Ungrateful Bastard at Temp Check"
Doug: ...A guy like me, doesn’t have a lot to be thankful, but you, you got friends, a job, a nice work and a warm bed. You’ve got a good thing going here, never forget that.
- Unicorn: "The Unicorns Have Got to Go." They're punky/gothy Ambiguously Gay party animals who substitute periods with "bro" and are attracted by the scent of DudeTime cologne. They also never say no to drag racing.
- The Un-Reveal: The setting of the show. In "Prank Callers", after traveling back in time to 1982, the gang gets back to their own time by looking at which door holds their time period. Theirs is simply named "Present Day".
- Unstoppable Rage: Benson in "Jinx" has an outburst that's much like this, as seen here.
- Also Skips in "Over the Top", to the point where he even accidentally kills Rigby while arm wrestling.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Lady pecs", "junk mail".
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Rigby's reaction to the physical manifestation of an Ear Worm appearing in "This Is My Jam" is, while surprised, not nearly as shocked as one would expect him to be.
- Well, going by the stuff he has seen before, said manifestation is downright mundane.
- Unusual User Interface: In "Skips vs Technology", Techmo literally plugs himself into the house computer with a USB cable.
- He also has a security system in his DeLorean set up to recognize his fingerprint.
- Urban Legends: The Monster of the Week, Ybgir from "Jinx" seems to be inspired by the legend of Bloody Mary.
- Vague Age: Averted in the first episode, where it's revealed Mordecai and Rigby are both 23 years old. The other characters, however, have no set age. The closest we know are from the storyboard artist's Formspring pages. Pops is over 100, Skips is hundreds of years old, and Benson is anywhere from 25-35.
- Verbal Tic:
- Mordecai and Rigby's "Hmm hmm hmm hmm".
- The Death Kwon Do teacher has a verbal tic... of death.
- Villain Team-Up: In "Skips Strikes", the bowling team Mordecai, Rigby, Skips, and Benson have to beat is made up of Death, the leader of the Guardians of Youth, Gary, and the wizard Rigby stole The Power from.
- The Virus: The fate of anyone attacked by the monster in "Jinx".
- Visual Pun:
- The monster from Rock Paper Scissors seems to be wearing a tie.
- Rigby also has two Fist Pump toy guns that control figurative arm guns that fist pump.
- Weirdness Magnet: Mordecai and Rigby. No matter how mundane their assigned task, no matter how minor their everyday, humdrum problem...they somehow find a way to transform it into a beautifully strange epic adventure.
- Wham! Line: In "House Rules", When Future Mordecai tells his present self "...You know what else you're gonna miss? That guy (Rigby). Enjoy him, while you got him. You know what I'm saying?"
- Two in "Eggscellent"; When Rigby falls into an allergy induced coma, Benson says that this should teach the others to not slack off their jobs and do something stupid. Mordecai decks him for this and tells him that the rest of the workers are just friends with him because he's their boss.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Lots of episodes. "Appreciation Day" is a particularly strong example.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: "Karaoke Video" starts out like this. Mordacai and Rigby don't remember saying any of the mean things to their co-workers while they sang "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister. They only find out when they replay the tape of their performance the next day.
- Mordecai didn't remember ordering fake band t-shirts in "Mordecai & The Rigbys," either.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: Muscle Man rams a table into the wall and rolls on the floor screaming when Rigby accidentally splashes soda in his face.
- Skips quits the park bowling team and leaves his job altogether because he didn't want his friends to know that his name used to be "Walks" until he changed it due to the fact that he was tired of being asked "Why are you called Walks when you always skip?"
- You can be sentenced to death for being too cool.
- In "Butt Dial", exceeding your log-in attempts can get you erased from existance. It turns into An Aesop about phone hacking (which actually is heinous) though.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Father Time gives one to Mordecai after Mordecai kills Rigby by thowing him into the time stream.
- Mordecai himself gives one to Skips after Skips kills Rigby in a bought of rage.
- Mordecai, Rigby and Skips all give Benson this treatment after he gets rid of Mordecai and Rigby's stick hockey table, even after he gave them his word he wouldn't get rid of it if they did their work and didn't wait to see if they would.
- Benson gets another one in "Eggcelent" after he claims that Rigby being put into a life threatening coma is his own fault. Mordecai actually punches him and tells him that the only reason anybody puts up with him is because he signs their paychecks.
- Mordecai gets this from Skips in "Video Game Wizard" when he jeopardize his friendship with Rigby to win the Maximum Glove.
- Whole-Episode Flashback: "First Day"
- Widget Series
- A Winner Is You: "Rage Against the TV".
- Woman Scorned: Mordecai dumps Starla. She goes on a mass rampage until Muscle Man manages to hook up with her again.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: After losing at Punchies one too many times, Rigby forces everyone to be his slave by learning Death Punch Of Death and owning everyone with it. All because he wanted to win against Mordecai for once.
- Word Salad Title: An in-show anime called Planet Chaser Starlight Excellent.
- The Worf Effect:
- Villainous Breakdown: In "Go Viral", The Warden of the Internet goes berserk after seeing that Mordecai and Rigby had freed all her prisoners.
- Xanatos Gambit: Muscle Man's seemingly innocent "My Mom!" catchphrase is actually a setup to prank anyone who tries to correct him and tell him the joke is normally ended with "Your Mom!". The prank involves calling his brother, who drives his truck out of the pits of hell, and making the prank victim apologize and kiss a picture of their mom... which is really just a picture of Muscle Man's ass. If they don't take the bait, he gets to annoy them.
- X Meets Y: Like Beavis and Butthead meets Aqua Teen Hunger Force on acid, only Lighter and Softer. But not by much.
- X Called. They Want Their Y Back.: A Running Gag in the prank calling episode: "The [decade] called. They want their [object] back." This being the show that it is, saying that literally sends the object in question back to the decade.
- Your Head Asplode: GBF explodes when he loses at Broken Bonez. Benson's Rant-Inducing Slight in that episode is triggered solely by being covered in brain goo.
- Your Mom: Mordecai and Rigby prank Pops by asking him to stay on hold for a call from Joe Mama. Of course, this being Pops, he stays on hold willingly.
- Rigby uses the "your face" variant in "Rigby's Body".
- Inverted Trope with Muscle Man, who is fond of making "my mom" jokes.
- Invoked Trope in the episode "My Mom" when Mordecai tries to convince Muscle Man that he should be saying "your mom" instead, and then he and Rigby then give several "your mom" jokes as examples.
- You're Insane!: Rigby to the Warden of the Internet in "Go Viral" after finding out that she'd been imprisoning anyone who'd made viral videos in a Fate Worse Than Death.
- Zombie Apocalypse: The premise of Zombacalypse, the movie our duo borrow, and the localized mass resurrection of the graveyard that occurs soon after.
- Margaret: "I can't believe we were so fascinated by a video game, but we were!"