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Happy Tree Friends: Animated Violence

Updated on April 28, 2015


The interesting thing about the Internet was that a lot of its material either parodied subjects like animation, music, video games, and other ideas. Most of the ideas the Internet that were parodied took the nostalgic aspects of older material, and created something new by altering certain perspectives. In the case of the flash cartoon Happy Tree Friends, created in 1999 by Mondo Media, the parody was old slapstick cartoons, like Looney Tunes. Of course, Happy Tree Friends provided its own twist in the slapstick comedy genre that helped individualize this cartoon compared to other cartoons. Mostly because while other cartoons would make all of the injuries certain characters suffer non-fatal and without any lasting effects to the overall story, Happy Tree Friends made sure that all of its characters would die in a wide variety of ways. All while deceptively sounding happy. The visceral thing about Happy Tree Friends was that none of the characters were safe when it came to the possible carnage that each episode contained. In the episode Chip Off the Ol' Block,made it very clear that this series would not spare any of its characters of the carnage, even if they were portrayed as being infantile in age. In the episode Crazy Antics, it showed that the food chain meant nothing in the cartoon world in that even an anteater could get murdered by the things it considered food. In the episode Meat Me For Lunch, the victims of this episode were less sympathetic, so their deaths seemed more karmic in hindsight. Happy Tree Friends was a bloody show, but in a way that was hilarious to watch.

The main logo for the Happy Tree Friends cartoon. Very deceptive.
The main logo for the Happy Tree Friends cartoon. Very deceptive. | Source

Chip Off the Ol' Block

Happy Tree Friends did not spare anyone in getting killed during an episode. Some of the episodes featured the parent and child pair of bears named Pop and Cub. In the episode Chip Off the Ol' Block, the viewer got to see how one of the younger characters of Happy Tree Friends could get murdered in very visceral ways. This episode started out innocently enough, with Pop relaxing outside while Cub was using a lawn mower to mow the lawn. Suddenly, the lawn mower had a brick caught inside the cutting mechanism, forcing Cub to try to remove the brick in a dangerous manner. Fortunately, Pop woke up and put Cub on the hammock he was resting on so that he could remove the brick from the lawn mower. After removing the brick, Pop got to use the lawn mower to mow the lawn. And in typical Happy Tree Friends fashion, Pop accidentally had the lawn mower go past a piece of ground that was covered in broken bottles and syringes. And when Pop had those broken bottles and syringes get inside of the lawn mower, all of those sharp objects exited the lawn mower and flew towards the hammock where Cub was sitting. Which resulted in a scene where Cub's body got pierced by a shard of glass and a syringe, his fingers amputated by more shards of glass, and head head destroyed by a bigger flying bottle shard. And to add insult to injury, this episode ended with the implication that Pop burned Cub's body accidentally.

The only confirmed parent and son combo in this show Things never end well for them.
The only confirmed parent and son combo in this show Things never end well for them. | Source

Crazy Antics

The interesting thing about cartoons was that the roles of predator and prey did not necessarily have to be followed. Sometimes the predator was not smart enough to capture prey that it would normally consider an easy catch. Sometimes, the prey was just too smart. In the episode Crazy Antics, the viewer was introduced to Sniffles, an anteater. By the look of Sniffles, the viewer was under the impression that he was one of the more intelligent characters of the Happy Tree Friends cast. Of course, that did not spare him from some of the violence that the others characters experienced. In this episode, it started with Sniffles thinking about some complex mathematical equation. Suddenly, he discovered a giant anthill. Naturally, Sniffles went to the ant hill and decided that since ant were most likely living there, he would try to get something to eat. One aspect that Sniffles, as an anteater, retained from his real life counterpart was the elongated tongue that could reach deep into anthills and catch any ants it came across. Unlike the real world, Sniffles's tongue only came across a small ant family inside their home. Here was where the gore started. First, the ants impaled Sniffles's tongue on a steak. Next, a cheese shredder and a lemon were used to give Sniffles even more agony. Then, an automated saw was used to cut a part of Sniffles's tongue. Finally, lighter fluid was used to make Sniffles's entire body explode. This episode looked ridiculously painful, but that was what Happy Tree Friends did for entertainment.

You would think an implied smart guy would be safe in this show. No, he was not.
You would think an implied smart guy would be safe in this show. No, he was not. | Source

Meat Me For Lunch

Raccoons were stereotypically portrayed as thieves. Given that they were scavengers in real life, and their markings made the species look like burglars, it makes some sense. So in the episode Meat Me For Lunch, the viewer was introduced to Lifty and Shifty, two raccoon brothers, the viewer knew that something was going to get stolen. Especially since this episode started with the brothers discovering that they had no food left in what was implied to be their fridge, whick meant somebody was going to get robbed. So with the transition to a butcher shop, the viewer got to see Lifth and Shifty steal copious amounts of meat from the butcher. Fortunately, the twins failed once a piece of sausage link got trapped by a closing door, sending the brothers crashing back to the butcher shop. Unfortunately for them, one of the brothers got their tail caught in a meat grinder, which reduced him into green colored sausage links. The other brother arguably had a more severe punishment for his thieving ways in that first parts of his body got stabbed by knives, and then his entire body went through a meat cutter, turning him into little slices of ham. And to add insult to injury, the butcher decided to sell the processed corpses of Lifty and Shifty to the other Happy Tree Friends cast and Meat Me For Lunch ended with one of the Happy Tree Friends cast members discovering one of the deceased's eyeballs hidden inside one of the sausage links.

As the closest thing to villains this series had to offer, it was not easy feeling sorry for these guys. Well, maybe a little.
As the closest thing to villains this series had to offer, it was not easy feeling sorry for these guys. Well, maybe a little. | Source


Happy Tree Friends was a cartoon that took elements from other slapstick comedy cartoons, and included the fatal injuries that might have resulted in the realistic depictions of said slapstick comedy. All of the episodes ended with bloody injuries, deceased protagonists, and potential depictions of child murder. As shown in the videos, Happy Tree Friends was a show where certain events that were mundane in the real world could turn into frighteningly disturbing content depending on certain circumstances. The act of mowing the lawn could mean the next living person could die by glass shrapnel, following the food chain could result in one's body exploding, and minor thefts could have serious consequences. And this was all hilariously bloody.


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