Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Aqua Teen or ATHF) (also known by various alternative titles) is an American animated television series on Cartoon Network's late night programing block, Adult Swim. The series made its official debut on September 9, 2001 on Adult swim; after the pilot episode was aired as a special sneak peek on Cartoon Network on December 30, 2000. The show is about the surreal adventures of three anthropomorphic fast food items, Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad, and their human nextdoor neighbor, Carl Brutananadilewski.
Each episode is written and directed by series creators Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, a film adaption of the series was released in theaters in April 2007, marking the first time an Adult Swim series has been adapted into a movie. As of 2011 each season is given a different alternative title, as a new running gag. It is one of the spin-offs of the show Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and as of 2013, the longest running original series on Adult Swim, as well as one of the top 10 longest-running American animated television series of all time.
There have been a total of 120 episodes during the show's nine seasons. An episode titled "Boston" was scheduled to air during the fifth season, but was pulled to avoid further controversy surrounding the 2007 Boston bomb scare, and has never aired or been released to the public in any format. Since its release, the series has developed a cult following, and its popularity resulted in three different spin-offs: Spacecataz, Carl's Stone Cold Lock of the Century of the Week, and Soul Quest Overdrive. The tenth season is scheduled for August 2013. The series also airs in syndication in other countries, and has been released on various DVDs and other forms of home media.
Setting and premise 
The series revolves around the surreal adventures and antics of three anthropomorphic fast food items: Master Shake, Frylock, and Meatwad, who live together as roommates next door to a human, Carl Brutananadilewski. The main protagonists often interact with various villains or other individuals in each episode, these interactions are often restricted to one episode, as minor characters rarely reappear in following episodes. Some episodes feature the main protagonists interacting with celebrities (such as pornstar Tera Patrick) and occassionally encounter historical figures. The Mooninites are two pixelated aliens from the Moon, who frequently appear and serve as main antagonists of the main characters by wreaking havoc though a series of illegal or destructive actions, and appear more than most others outside of the main cast. Other recurring characters have made several appearances including: Oglethorpe and Emory, MC Pee Pants, Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future, and Dr. Wongburger. Each episode often ends with the non canon deaths or injures of major characters or destruction to their property (both Carl's and the Aqua Teen's homes have been damaged or destroyed in multiple episodes), often times restored with no explanation or mention in the following episode.
In the shows first seven seasons the protagonists homes were located in a suburban neighborhood in South New Jersey. In 2011 during the eight season the location was changed to Seattle, Washington. The Seattle neighborhood was completely identical to their former home used in the first seven seasons, however, each episode began with the caption "Seattle" written on the bottom middle of the screen. During the ninth season the same neighborhood was located in the fictional location Seattle, New Jersey.
History See also: Cartoon Network, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and 2007 Boston bomb scare
It is the only remaining original series continuously airing since the program block launched in 2001. It originally premiered in a block with three other original Williams Street series in December 2000, before Adult Swim officially debuted; the others were Sealab 2021, The Brak Show, and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force was cause of controversy during the 2007 Boston bomb scare. On January 31, 2007, as part of a national guerrilla marketing campaign, Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28, installed LED displays depicting the Mooninites in eleven different cities: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. In Boston, the authorities considered the LEDs suspicious, prompting the closure of major roads and waterways for investigation. Turner Broadcasting System later admitted placing the LEDs and apologized for the misunderstanding. In spite of the uproar, Berdovsky and Stevens mocked the media and critics in interviews while facing charges for "placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct". Subsequently, all criminal charges were dropped in exchange for Berdovsky and Stevens apologizing during their court date and accepting a plea bargain which consisted of community service at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center. Turner Broadcasting has paid the Boston Police Department one million dollars to cover the investigation's cost and an additional million for good will. This action was designed to settle criminal and civil claims, while the general manager of Cartoon Network stepped down because of the incident. Of the 10 cities in which the Lite-Brite-like LED displays were placed, only Boston saw them as a matter of concern. The installations had been up for weeks prior to the panic.
Every episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force is written and directed by series creators Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro, and animated by Radical Axis and produced by Williams Street. Much of the dialogue is supplemented with ad libs and improvisation by the voice talent. The show is fully scripted but ad libs are included in the final voice recordings and the shows are animated to include this improvisation. Many, if not all, of the crew and cast members formerly worked on Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Rapper Schoolly D performed the theme song for the first seven seasons, and in early episodes also provided periodic commentary. As of season eight, the theme song was performed by Josh Homme.
The series was originally pitched as a parody of detective series that would have found the "Hunger Force" fighting crime and solving mysteries. Once the series was established, the creators quickly dropped the idea and instead turned the show into a surreal sitcom, with humor derived from intentionally incoherent plots and absurd visual gags. The show has little continuity, and episodes often end with one or more of the main characters dying. Situations often involve the Aqua Teens being visited by strange monsters and extraterrestrial beings, most of whom are of little power or consequence. An initially structured plot is often abandoned as characters' actions take the story far afield.
The three main characters—Master Shake, Frylock, and Meatwad—were originally created for an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast called "Baffler Meal", where they were the corporate mascots for a fictional fast-food chain called "Burger Trench". The original versions of the trio were prototypes which resembled the future characters, but both Master Shake and Frylock differed in appearance, personality, and voice from their ultimate design. The original name "Teen Hunger Force" refers to the squad's mission to conquer hunger in teens.
"Baffler Meal" did not air for several years, and was not even animated or produced until after the series became popular. Instead, the Space Ghost episode was rewritten as "Kentucky Nightmare", while the trio, along with Carl Brutananadilewski, debuted in "Rabbot", the pilot episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. A full season consisting of sixteen episodes, including "Rabbot", was put into production shortly thereafter. The series is now one of Adult Swim's most popular shows, and is the only show from the original Adult Swim line-up to still be in production.
In early episodes, the trio were identified by Master Shake as the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force", which solved crimes for money. After a few episodes, this premise and the use of the name by the characters were dropped. The premise was a trick that had been added to appease Cartoon Network executives, who "didn't want to air a show about food just going around and doing random things." In the show itself, Frylock mentions that they stopped fighting crime because "that wasn't making us a whole lot of money".
A full length episode satirizing the 2007 Boston bomb scare entitled "Boston" was produced and finished in its entirety. The episode was intended to be aired in 2008 as part of the fifth season, however, Adult Swim was forced by Turner Legal to pull the episode to avoid further controversy surrounding the incident. As a result "Boston" has never aired on television and has never been released to the public in any format. When asked Dave Willis has stated three alternative versions do exist but indirectly stated that there is no chance of a release at any time in the foreseeable future. This marks the first time an episode of the series was pulled no other episodes have been pulled since.
The show has been rated TV-PG, TV-14 and TV-MA in the United States. In Canada, some episodes of the first four seasons were rated 14+ and the rest 18+.
Alternative titles 
In 2011 for the eighth season the series' official title was changed from Aqua Teen Hunger Force to Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1. Matt Maiellaro later explained that he and Dave Willis were getting bored with the former title and wanted to "come up with a new fresh open and a whole new show, just to try it out".
In 2012, the series' title was officially changed once again to Aqua Something You Know Whatever for the ninth season. Matt Maiellaro announced that each season from now on will have a different series title, making it a running gag. The series will return with new episodes in August 2013, this time under the new series name Aqua Tivo Avoidance Plan.
Opening sequences 
During the first two seasons, which were released on DVD in three volumes, episodes cold-opened with a glimpse into the laboratory of Dr. Weird. He and his assistant Steve use the first several seconds of the show to create monsters, disasters, and various other things. In earlier episodes of the first season, the monsters or creations usually formed the basis for the plot, but as the crime-fighting element of the program disappeared, the Dr. Weird segment became a non sequitur opening gag.
In the third season, Dr. Weird was dropped in favor of segments from the pilot episode of Spacecataz, an unaired spin-off created by Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro. Six episodes were planned for production, but Adult Swim felt that there was little, if anything, that could be made into five more episodes, since all of the characters were destroyed at the end of the pilot. These segments featured the Mooninites and Plutonians trading insults, gestures, and practical jokes. The full Spacecataz pilot is available as a special feature on the Volume Four DVD box-set. The Mooninites appear to outsmart the Plutonians for much of the series including tagging the Plutonians' ship and reversing a prank that involved 50 million large pizzas.
The openings were dropped starting in the fourth season. With the exception of his picture being visible in Frylock's room, Dr. Weird did not appear again until Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters in 2007. After his appearance in the movie, he made a cameo in "One Hundred", and later made his final appearance in "Allen Part 1" in 2011.
Closing credits 
During the Aqua Teen Hunger Force era, the show ended with an apparent history of the "Aqua Teens", showing what appear to be the three characters in Egyptian murals, then being abducted by Abraham Lincoln and sent to the moon in a wooden rocket ship, where they are shown sitting around a campfire when an Apollo astronaut arrives. During this sequence, a soundbite from "Rabbot", Master Shake saying "dancing is forbidden", is played repeatedly to a beat. In 2011, each episode of Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 closed with a reprise of the intro music with skip frame animations of the characters.
Cast and characters 
The main cast of the series consists of Dana Snyder as Master Shake, Carey Means as Frylock and series co-creator Dave Willis as both Meatwad and Carl. In addition to the main cast series co-creator Matt Maiellaro voices Err and Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future. Members of the main cast and Matt Maiellaro also voice several minor and one-time characters.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force also has a larger recurring cast as well. Series animator C. Martin Croker provides the voice of supporting characters Dr. Weird and Steve. Andy Merrill provides the voice of Oglethorpe, and Mike Schatz provides the voice of Emory. mc chris, who has a history of voicing characters on Adult Swim shows, provides the voice of MC Pee Pants. Comedy writer Tommy Blacha provides the voice of Dr. Wongburger. In addition to their main recurring roles, many recurring voice actors also play different minor roles as well.
George Lowe, who is best known for providing the voice of Space Ghost on Space Ghost Coast to Coast, plays several bit roles on Aqua Teen Hunger Force; oftentimes the role of himself with different occupations. In addition to the main and recurring cast several comedians and other voice actors oftentimes play minor or one-time bit roles, as either villains or everyday bystanders.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters 
A feature film based on the show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, was released on April 13, 2007. The movie follows the origins of the Aqua Teens, which includes an exercise machine, Neil Peart of the band Rush, a watermelon slice named "Walter Melon", and an appearance by heavy metal band Mastodon in the opening sequence. The film also introduces a fourth Aqua Teen, a chicken nugget named "Chicken Bittle" (voiced by Bruce Campbell). The Plutonians and the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future, recurring characters, both make appearances in the movie, as well as the Mooninites, Dr. Weird, and MC Pee Pants.
For April Fools' Day 2007, Cartoon Network aired for free Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters during the Adult Swim programming block even though it had not yet been released. However, it was aired shrunken and in the bottom corner of the normal programming that was being aired at the time, and the audio was broadcast on the seldom-used SAP.
Death Fighter 
A possible sequel to Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters called Death Fighter was planned for release in summer 2012, but a release date has yet to be announced. Unlike the first film, the sequel may be released straight to DVD rather than theatrically. An Adult Swim bump addressed the status of the film, referencing the online encyclopedia Wikipedia's claim that it is "totally happening", followed by a statement from Adult Swim that it is not.
In a 2010 interview staff members of Radical Axis confirmed that a sequel was indeed in production, and mentioned the possibility that the film might be made in 3-D. When asked if the film was designed for a theatrical release, a Radical Axis staff member responded yes, but stated "We're not sure if we have a distributor yet". This was then followed by the statement "Adult Swim will never make another movie ever again".
International broadcast 
In the United States Aqua Teen Hunger Force airs exclusively on Adult Swim. In Canada it aired on Teletoon's Teletoon at Night block and later G4 Canada's ADd block. It began airing in Australia on SBS2 starting April 2013.
Home releases 
The first eight seasons have been released and distributed on DVD by Adult Swim and Warner Home Video. In addition to being available on DVD, episodes of the series are also available on iTunes, Zune, and Amazon Instant Video, the enitre first season was released on Netflix in 2013. The season five episode, "Boston", has never released to the public in any format.
Aside from being released on DVD, other merchandise for the show has been made, including T-shirts, hats/caps, socks, and pants. In 2007, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters Colon the Soundtrack, a sound track for the movie was released, and in 2009, Have Yourself a Meaty Little Christmas, a Christmas album, sung by characters from the show was released. Video games based on the series have also been released including Destruct-O-Thon in 2004, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am in 2007, and an online flash game titled "The Worst Games Ever" is available for free play on the Adult Swim website.
Adult Swim Shop also has merchandise available on their website including iPod covers, an actual "Visible Frylock Poster" as seen in Frylock's room, a movie poster, a throw pillow, dog collars, a bean bag chair in the likeness of Meatwad, an actual drinking cup in the likeness of Master Shake, flash drives, and a matryoshka doll in the likeness of Carl.
In September 2010, Adult Swim Shop introduced a full scale, functioning hot air balloon in the likeness of Meatwad at a cost of $70,000. The purchase includes a piloted, one-hour ride anywhere in the continental United States, and the buyer gets to keep it (though they would need a pilot's license to actually fly it). Due to the high cost, few people have actually purchased the balloon, but it has received fairly positive reviews. The balloon is the most expensive item on Adult Swim Shop since the Metalocalypse "Dethklok Fountain" fountain, which was released early in 2010 for $40,000.
Awards and honors 
In January 2009, IGN listed the series as the 39th best in the Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows. The series was nominated for two Teen Choice Awards in 2007 and 2008. In 2011 Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro received Annie Award nominations for writing in the season eight episode, "The Creditor".