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"Down in the Valley where a chemical spill

Came from the people living up on the Hill

There's a family by the landfill with hazardous foam

In their happy, glowing home"

So the gist of The Oblongs is this: There's the eponymous family living in the extremely poor half of the town - in this case, the Valley portion of Hill Valley - where the air is toxic and the land befouled. There's Bob, the father, who has no arms or legs yet somehow hops his limbless torso around from place to place, handle things with his mouth, and drives a car; Marie Kay "Pickles" Oblong, the alcoholic, chain-smoking mother with a huge beehive wig who used to live in the Hills; Biff and Chip, the oldest and Siamese twin brothers; Milo, their heavily medicated little brother with a myriad of mental and social illnesses; and Beth, the youngest and only daughter, who is possibly the most "normal" of the family despite the large pinkish tumor growing out of her head.

The series covers the family's day to day lives, e.g. Bob working at Globocide, Milo, Biff and Chip getting mocked by the popular people, and Pickles stumbling in and out of intoxication and the occasional lusting over of her husband. The show pops up from time to time on Adult Swim, and is also available on DVD.

Apparently, series creator Angus Oblong hated the final version and claims show runner Jace Richdale and the rest of the writers froze him out of his own show. Despite this, he agreed to appear on the DVD release, albeit with his face obscured and his voice digitally altered for reasons known only to Oblong himself. On said DVD, Oblong claimed that while he actually thought the finished show was Ok, he had such little involvement that he would prefer people say that it was "based on his work" than "his show." Whether this is true or he was just being nice was anyone's guess.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Helga on "Milo, Interrupted" [1]
  • Actor Allusion: In one episode, Milo states that he's "not quite right." Milo was voiced by Pamela Segall Adlon, who also voiced Bobby Hill (whom Hank Hill always labeled as being "not right" whenever Bobby had a hobby that was considered unmanly or totally stupid).
  • Ambiguously Gay: Biff, until Milo just went ahead and pointed it out: "You're a latent homosexual!"
    • Ditto for bullies Jared and Blaine. Again, it's Milo who says what everyone's thinking: "Everyone says you have sex with each other!"
  • Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Used with Milo when his father asks him if he has really gotten over his ADHD.
  • Audience Murmurs: Subverted in "Heroine Addict": Pickles keeps saying things that cause the audience to gasp. However, it's revealed that the gasps are actually coming from Milo's friend, Mikey, who has asthma.
  • A Boy and His X: A boy and his narcoleptic Scottie dog.
  • Balls of Steel: Painfully subverted when Mayor Bledsoe, whilst doing a number of macho exercises, dares Mr. Klimer to hit him in the testicles with his golf club. Once the blow is made, the mayor stands perfectly still before saying, in an even voice, "That hurts more than I thought it would."
  • Big Screwed-Up Family
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Beth in "The Golden Child" and "Father of The Bribe".
  • Black Humor: So much so that the show has a Broken Base
  • Bloodless Carnage: In one episode, a man gets his head cut off with a jump rope, but there is absolutely no blood.
  • Brain Bleach: Seems to be what people need when they witness Bob's method of playing the piano or organ, considering that he has no arms or legs.
    • Also when the Hill kids saw Helga naked ("Please, God! Someone poke my eyes out!").
  • Butt Monkey: Mikey Cheeks for one, but really all the Valley people.
  • Cats Are Mean: "Father of The Bribe" had the city unleash a shipment of cats in heat when Biff and Chip refused to give back the bribe money.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Wonderfully subverted.

 Bob: How could I have been such a fiddly-faddly fool? [aside to Pickles] Excuse the string of F-words.


 Pickles: Beth, honey, nobody likes a tattletale.

Bob: I do. They're an essential part of any family. You keep right on tattling, sweetie pie.

Beth: Daddy has a magazine with naked ladies hugging.

Bob: Ehh, criminy.

  • I'm a Humanitarian: Helga's parents were forced to eat the other passengers of their plane after it crashed and the food ran out. Her mom even made Helga a necklace from their teeth. Helga gets noticeably freaked out when her dad mentions she "looks good enough to eat".
  • Informed Attractiveness:

 Helga: "I'm here to have tea with my friends, the Debbies." [beat] "I'm beautiful and popular."

Mrs. Klimer: "Come in, come in!"

  • Jerkass: Pretty much everyone from the Hills, except for Pickles.
  • Jerk Jock: Jared Klimer, and his little friend Blaine.
  • Karma Houdini: Due to the show's short run, we never really see those stuck-up Hill people get what they deserve, which may have been the point.
    • Though, in "Disfigured Debbie," one of the Debbies got shredded up in the thresher after beating Milo in student council elections. She did get what she deserved (even though she later got plastic surgery to fix her face, returned to her circle of friends, and learned nothing from the experience).
    • Another episode has a Debbie mauled by a bear during a nature hike through the city.
  • Lady Drunk: Pickles.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Beth is this on occasion.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Billy West (of course).
  • Maurice LaMarche: Recurring guest voice.
  • May Contain Evil: Milo's Manic energy drink was popular because it contained morphine from discarded medicine bottles found outside a hospital.
    • Actually The morphine kept the evil in check. It was only after it was removed from the formula that the drink made people riot.
      • Because they were addicted to the morphine.
  • Meaningful Name: Hill Valley, which has the "hills" section and the "valley" section.
  • Mobile Suit Human: Bob for the Beach Episode "My Name Is Robbie", then a shark.
  • The Napoleon: Sometimes Beth.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Creepy Susie.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Willy the exercise instructor in "Heroine Addict" is an obvious stand-in for Billy Blanks, founder of the then-trendy Tae Bo.
  • No Mouth: Beth has no visible mouth, except when she's talking.
  • Noodle Incident: Milo was suspended from school for doing something "unspeakable" with a fish stick. Pickles was about to spank him, but somehow it turned into a Hawaiian lu'au.
    • Milo's story involving panda bears getting into a Dairy Queen and Milo needing a lawyer.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with all six of the Debbies.
  • Only Sane Man: Beth is the most normal of the Oblongs, both in personality and appearance.
  • Opening Theme: By They Might Be Giants.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: All you need to do to infiltrate the Debbies is dress exactly like them. Helga is short, fat and ugly and she had them fooled completely — until Helga scarfed down a platter of tea cakes and belched her wig clean off her head.
    • Same with Yvette, the alien girl, who was able to completely hide the fact that she was a Grey by wearing sunglasses.
  • Parental Abandonment: Helga's parents went on vacation and were stranded on an ice floe for a year (until Milo rescued them to save Helga from being adopted by Mrs. Hubbard).
  • Punny Name: Anita Bidet
  • Quirky Family
  • Revival: It may actually happen.
  • Running Gag: At least Once an Episode Milo's friend Mikey ends up getting into a horrible accident.
  • Sadist Teacher: Principal Davis
  • Screwed by the Network: Canceled in its original run after five episodes on the WB. Attempts to keep it alive failed, though all 13 episodes eventually aired on Adult Swim, and a revival is said to be in the works.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: The credo of everyone living in the Hills.
  • Shout-Out: The Debbies
  • Show Within a Show: Velva The Warrior, a very Merchandise-Driven parody of Xena: Warrior Princess. With very... interesting names. ("Placentor, no!")
  • Stepford Smiler: Pristine Klimer.
  • Tag-Team Twins: Biff and Chip compete in the same sports at school.
    • Although one episode had one of them competing in a wrestling tournament one-armed while another was bandaged up from injuries he incurred earlier in the episode (remember, they're conjoined...)
  • Take That: Mayor Johnny "The Mayor" Bledsoe, a dig at pro-wrestlers-turned-elected-officials.
    • A few subtle ones are done toward The Simpsons (the scene in "Heroine Addict" with the family getting their picture taken at the mall has them dressed as The Simpsons [with Pickles as Marge, Biff and Chip as Homer, Bob as Maggie, Milo as Bart, and Beth as Lisa) and the WB frog (the scene in "Flush, Flush Sweet Helga" where Helga sees a spider advancing on a frog in a top hat that's trapped in a spider web).
  • Thick Line Animation
  • Urban Segregation: Enforced at just about every corner.
  • Valley Girl: The Debbies. All six of them.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Beth.
  • Word of Gay: In an interview with the voice actors, they confirmed that Biff is gay while Chip is straight.
  • Workaholic: Bob Oblong.
  • You Are the New Trend: The family's lack of funds force Milo to go to school on a rainy day wearing a bucket on his head and a trash bag as a raincoat. The hill kids make fun of him, until the Fonzie stand in says he likes his bucket. Milo shows up at school the next day to find all of the hill kids wearing buckets and accusing him of copying them. The rest of the plot focuses on his mother helping him stay one step ahead of them.
  1. The episode where Milo secretly takes care of Helga after Helga reveals that she's been abandoned by her parents and Hill Valley hires a Bible-thumping old lady named Mrs. Hubbard to act as the town's Moral Guardian following a minor act of vandalism