It’s Time To Revisit The Best Late Night Comedy Show Of All Time, Stream Now On Max

By Robert Scucci | Published

aqua teen hunger force

There are two kinds of television viewers in this world: those who have exceptional taste, and fans of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I’m not saying that those who watch Adult Swim on a regular basis can’t appreciate more conventional cartoons, but their brains definitely operate on a different frequency for reasons that will soon become apparent. If you’re a fan of esoteric humor, and you’re curious about how engaging a show about talking fast-food items who occasionally fight crime could possibly be, then it’s a safe bet that you’ll plow through all 139 episodes before the end of next week. 

The Edible Cast

aqua teen hunger force

Aqua Teen Hunger Force places its primary focus on four central characters living in a South Jersey suburb: Frylock, Master Shake, Meatwad, and Carl.

While it’s clear that Frylock (a floating box of french-fries) is academically gifted, he’s held back by the antics of Master Shake, a wise-cracking, narcissistic milkshake. Meatwad is an adorable yet clumsy shape-shifting meatball who sleeps on a grill and occasionally transforms into a hotdog, an igloo, and sometimes, a statue bearing the likeness of Abraham Lincoln. 

Carl The Neighbor

aqua teen hunger force

Carl is the gang’s neighbor in Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and he’s typically found in a profound state of frustration because the three roommates get into a number of hare-brained schemes that more often than not destroy his personal property beyond repair, or hurt him physically. A prime example of his kind of behavior can be found in “Total Re-Carl,” in which Frylock installs a futuristic toilet bowl on Carl’s front lawn against his wishes. Upon flushing the toilet, Carl’s body gets sucked into the turbine, forcing Frylock to construct a new body made entirely out of eyeballs from a medical waste wholesaler to bring him back to life. 

No Continuity… Except When There’s Continuity

The reason Aqua Teen Hunger Force is so appealing to me is because I am not able or willing to take in any more expansive fictional universes, and this series is entirely episodic. Throughout its 12-season run, every single principal character gets killed off at some point, only for them to return as if nothing happened in the next episode. Without re-watching the series’ entire run for the sake of this review, I’m going to estimate that the Aqua Teen’s house has been completely destroyed at least 50 times. 

Despite Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s non-serialized delivery, there is a very loose sense of continuity in the sense that everybody vaguely remembers past incidents–especially Carl who is on the receiving end of a startling amount of inadvertent abuse. There are also recurring antagonist figures like The Mooninites, Ignignokt and Err– two 8-bit moon creatures with superiority complexes. In the universe that Aqua Teen Hunger Force establishes, absolute chaos is the modus operandi.

No Time To Waste

Boasting a maximum run-time of 11 minutes, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is surprisingly clever because in order to escalate the plot, the viewer needs to know what’s at stake within the first 30 seconds of any given episode. When you find out what’s at stake, you’ll wonder if the brownies your roommate left on the kitchen counter are store-bought or made with a specific special ingredient. 

Not Always Low-Brow

aqua teen hunger force

The best time to watch Aqua Teen Hunger Force is late at night as twilight takes over, only to rewatch the same episode the following day to make sure you weren’t just having a vivid fever dream about anthropomorphized fast food. I spent many of my college days laughing myself to sleep after screaming at classic literature to prepare for my midterms, and I’m a better person for it. By the same token, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is surprisingly high-brow at times, and you need to have a boatload of useless knowledge and trivia packed into your skull to understand some of the references that are made throughout the series’ run. 

So Dumb It’s Brilliant


Simply put, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is so stupid that it’s genius. And if you’re like me, you’ll think it’s a perfect show because there’s really not much at stake after all is said and done. Sometimes, all you need to get through the day is senseless escapism beamed into your eyeballs, and you can get a healthy dose of nonsense by streaming the Adult Swim series on Max.