After 261 episodes, Regular Show finally came to an end this year. One of the very best original series airing on Cartoon Network, Regular Show was sublime in its lunacy. It was weirdness perfected, an homage to cheesy eras, David Bowie and video games. Simply revolving around two friends who regularly found themselves mixed up in the bizarre, Regular Show wasn’t just fun: It was consistently top quality animation and storytelling, a rare feat in any medium.
And here’s ten prime examples of why this is one cartoon series that’ll live on for many more years to come.
Caffeinated Concert Tickets
How far would you go to score some concert tickets? We’ve all been in that jam, wanting something but not being able to afford it. And we’ve all worked that little bit extra to earn what we want, but when you involve Mordecai and Rigby you just know that such a simple premise is going to take a turn for the weird.
Said weird comes in the form of a gigantic barely-talking Coffee Bean and his Japanese translator, who offer the boys the caffeinated energy needed to get their jobs done in time for a Fist Pump concernt…by pumping liquid hot coffee straight from his nipples into their mouths. Bizarre delivery method aside, Mordecai and Rigby’s drive while done to the tune of a classic Loverboy song is pitch-perfect in its execution, before things get even further out of hand.
Just another day at the park then.
Scary movies of the best kind will stay with you long after the end credits have rolled. A fact that Rigby learns the hard way after he rents what Mordecai deems a “lame” black and white movie about a killer British taxi. But the hilarity continues beyond Rigby’s crippling fear of all things British, as he begins to see the ominous cab everywhere, shrieking “ELLO GOV’NOR” at every turn.
Yet another example of Regular Show taking a concept that would be too weird for any other cartoon and running with it, the episode still finds a way to end with a twist that would make M Night Shymamalan proud. ELLO GOV’NOR!
The Best Burger in the World
Many Regular Show episodes follow a simple plot: Mordecai and Rigby slack off, Benson gets upset and wacky hijinks ensue. This episode however, might have been the cruellest of the lot, as Benson finally gets the upper hand on the two layabouts after a gruelling battle in which the duo find themselves facing off against evil hard-light holograms who are intent on eating the best burger in the world.
On any other show, a synopsis like that would have the writer sent to a mental asylum. But Regular Show somehow makes it work, yet again.
150 Piece Kit
By the time that “150 Piece Kit” had rolled out, most characters had settled into a comfortable niche. Mordecai and Rigby were slackers, Pops was pure of heart and Muscle Man was a gross prankster obsessed with adding “MY MOM” to the end of sentences. But Benson’s more exciting past had only been glimpsed so far. More than just a surly park manager whose very existence seemed to be dedicated to firing the two leads, Benson was a former drummer of unbelievable skill…who had been replaced by a machine and written out of the rock history books.
But a sentient gumball machine can only take so much abuse, and faced with the disbelief that the drum solo that he had pioneered was deemed impossible to play, Benson took not only the stage but the hearts of fans as he hammered out a percussive treat for the ages and became more than just a mere park manager.
Sandwich of Death
Regular Show is no stranger to combat, but the prize for weirdest martial arts ever has to go to Death Kwon Do. A fighting system that somehow harness Superman levels of power through the use of mullets and cut-off jeans, Death Kwon Do had previously been featured in the episode “Death Punchies”. Sandwich of Death however, was a grand epic tale as Mordecai and Rigby had to save Benson from a fate worse than death after he ate the fabled Death-Sandwich incorrectly: Death-death.
Taking on an entire dojo of Death-Kwon Do masters, the episode is essentially The Raid with mullets. And incredibly entertaining from start to death-finish.
Terror Tales of the Park III
At this point in the Regular Show cycle, the series had a few regular shows of its own. Terror Tales of the Park was one such event, as the gang would take turns celebrating Halloween by cranking out one scary tale after another. From killer beds through to haunted houses, this was one episode which nailed the essence of Hallow’s Eve perfectly.
By now, everyone had told their story. Except for Park regular Skips, an immortal yeti who never walked but always skipped. Just what was the deal with Skips? That story was finally answered as fans were introduced to the man who Skips was centuries earlier: Walks. A devastating tale of triumph and heartbreak, Skips’ Story was proof that even after 137 other episodes of weird references to the 1980s and video game contests that went maybe too far, Regular Show was still easily able to pull on the heart-strings of fans.
Rigby’s Graduation Day Special
Throughout Regular Show, Rigby was the archetypal slacker: Selfish, aloof and sporting a ruined buttock, it looked like Rigby was comfortable with his lot in life. But things began to change gradually over the show. Rigby wanted to be better, not only for himself but for the delightful Eileen as well. Deciding to finally graduate from High School, Rigby’s entire seventh season led up to him not only marking a milestone in his life, reminding everyone that he was more than just a one-cheek wonder.
And giving Mordecai the kick up the pants that he needed to also start looking at the larger picture in life. And then everyone went to space.
No train no gain
I’m not joking. Regular Show’s eightth and final season saw the entire gang in space, piloting the park as part of a vast new initiative to save all of reality from the threat of…Anti-Pops. Pure evil to the goodness of Pops, the lovable man-child got a chance to shine as he prepared for a battle that could end all of existence or reset it yet again.
And what better way to do so than with a training montage? “No Train No Gain” however, took absolute delight in skewering that movie trope, as Pops began to master powers while training to possibly the most hectic song ever devised by mortal men: Through The Fire And Flames by DragonForce. But the end result, is one of the snappiest-paced and best episodes of the season that once again took full advantage of a licensed track to maximum effect.
A Regular Epic Final Battle
And what an ending it was for Regular Show. Even though the entire two-parter was magnificent, it’s the ending that gets you. Reality saved (BUT AT WHAT COST), the crew finally goes back to Earth after several years away. Just in time for a well-deserved happy ending, orchestrated to the tune of the late and great David Bowie’s Heroes single.
It’s the kind of ending that hits you right in the heart after investing so much time and emotion in the series, as twenty-five years pass on to reveal a gang that is older, wiser and happier. Or as Pops says at the end:
Good show. Jolly good show.