For those who watched shows on Cartoon Network in the 2000s, you probably remember the show, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. It was a sequel series to Grim and Evil, but with Evil, who was a bear, being omitted.
The premise centered around a skeleton, Grim, who is good, but firm, an enthusiastic and unintelligent boy, Billy, and a girl with a dark personality, Mandy, who spoke in a dull tone.
Below are my favorite episodes:
1: “Tween Wolf”
Grim hopes to pull a werewolf out of his hat – only for it to fail. Meanwhile, Billy’s friend, Irwin, is bitten by some creature who is like a werewolf… and he transforms into one.
Billy finds him, and is intrigued by this “puppy” he wants as a pet. He takes Irwin in his werewolf form to his house, and asks his parents if he can keep him. His mom says, “no.” But his dad says, “yes,” as long as the dog stays on a leash.
Billy names the “dog” Sprinkles and wants to enter him into a dog show. While Billy is presenting him there, Grim, in the audience with Mandy, shows him a wereflea. It goes to the creature – until it reveals Irwin – except that he is now naked. He covers himself as the crowd takes pictures of him.
There are a good number of parts I enjoyed. One is when Mandy asked Billy why his “pet” wore glasses. And Billy’s answer was that the “dog” was a genius. Another aspect was the idea of a wereflea, which undid the transformation that Irwin had gone through earlier.
One part that I found strange was that Billy’s “dog” had won the contest, despite how he cheated, even though he didn’t know that his “pet” was Irwin. You’d think they would’ve been disqualified.
Still, this episode really pleased me.
2: “My Peeps”
Billy is very focused on his video game – to the point where he places his eyes onto the screen. Mandy warns him that he’ll ruin them that way.
Later, Billy does a sun-staring challenge… which ruins his sight. For example, he thinks a skunk is a cat. Suspecting that Billy’s sight is flawed, Mandy holds up her fingers, and Billy can’t answer it correctly.
At some point, Billy needs to have his eyes checked. Grim and Mandy drag him to the eye doctor against his will. The doctor tells him that he might need glasses – which he doesn’t want.
The doctor gives Billy the reading test – the kind where he has to read letters and numbers from a distance – which he fails to do. The doctor suggests giving him contact lenses and demonstrates how to put them into the eyes… except that he, himself, struggles to do it without pain. Billy resists that idea, too. So, the doctor suggests laser surgery, which scares Billy away and makes him flee from the office.
Using his supernatural scythe, Grim makes giant hands arise from the underworld within Billy’s house, and grasp Billy so that he can fix his eyesight. The magic works – except that Billy sees scary things happen to those around him. It turns out that the sorcery gave Billy the power to see into the future.
Grim continues to fix Billy’s eyesight, which results terribly each time.
What I like about this episode is the moral of how you need to be careful with how you treat your eyes. For example, placing your eyes on a screen while playing a video game can irritate your eyes. Staring into the sun for too long will definitely make you blind.
Despite how Grim tried to fix his eyesight, it always frightened him.
Speaking of which – I found it odd that Mandy and Grim dragged Billy to the eye doctor instead of his parents. I also realized that Billy thinking glasses are nerdy is an inconsistency to considering those who wear them to be geniuses in the episode, “Tween Wolf,” which aired before this one.
I also thought it was bizarre that the doctor suffered through pain when putting in contact lenses. How does he maintain a job like that, especially if he’s an eye doctor?
I guess the answer to those questions is cartoon logic as to why Grim and Mandy take Billy to the doctor, and not his parents.
Yet, this episode engaged me. I especially felt sorry for Billy when his eyesight kept changing. Not surprisingly, he yelled at Grim to stay away from his eyes.
3: “Nursery Crimes”
As Mandy is sleeping, Billy calls her after eating 19 – 20 energetic cupcakes, and has a ton of energy. He asks her to read him a bedtime story… which she dreads – but does anyway.
After she arrives at Billy’s house, Billy sets up the room, makes Mandy look neater, and gives her a book. Grim also joins.
Mandy, however, won’t read from the book. She just says, “Once upon a time… the end,” and throws the book into the flames inside the fireplace. She comes up with her own story, which is a version of Humpty Dumpty. The only difference is that Humpty Dumpty licks a lollipop, and the story ends with everyone eating eggs for every meal.
Unsatisfied with the ending, Billy tells his own story about a village of happy people. But there is a sorcerer who is not welcome due to his lack of cleanliness and that he’s a giant. The warlock tries to hurt the villagers, but they are too happy that he changes his mind, and becomes joyful, too. He then turns their lake into gold, which becomes money where they can afford bigger houses and TV’s.
Grim then teleports a story from the underworld, which alters Billy and Mandy’s physical appearances, and sucks them into the book. He sets a strict rule for both of them that they must follow the story of Hansel and Gretel. And once the story begins, it must be finished properly.
As Mandy follows the story, she notices Billy missing, so she must look for him. He is hanging out with Pinocchio, yet Mandy doesn’t know that.
This is probably my favorite episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. I found it humorous that Billy had an overwhelming amount of energy to have Mandy set up with the storytelling. But one thing he did was spit in his hand to fix her hair, which is gross and unsanitary.
After Mandy’s story, I admired Billy’s line. He says, “Hey, stories are supposed to have happy endings.” Every time I watch this episode, I say out loud, “Tell that to Shakespeare.” We all know that he wrote plays with sad endings, although he also produced those with satisfactory endings.
I also found it funny that Billy’s story had no conflict, which would be boring in real life. Other parts I enjoyed are the brief scene with Snow White, the dwarves, and the witch with the poisoned apple. The witch ate the fruit herself, and died. Then the dwarves beat her up.
Another scene I liked was when Mandy asked a wolf dressed in girly clothing where Billy was. But the wolf said the same things that she said to Little Red Riding Hood in the actual fairytale, ignoring Mandy’s questions.
After Mandy states that she isn’t wearing a red hood, she makes the wolf cry. The wolf mentions some of the past moments, including cookie-baking, and diaper-changes. That made me wonder if Little Red Riding Hood didn’t have her parents around enough.
I know she is not an orphan because the purpose of her going to her grandma’s place is to give her treats while she is sick.
There were also some parts that went a little too far. One is when the grandma came out of the wolf’s mouth and complained about not getting enough bathroom breaks.
Another is when Pinocchio discovers that he has to devour the flesh of a real boy to become a human. And he tried to cook Billy, despite how this show targeted kids.
Yet, I still really love this episode.
Do you have any favorite episodes of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy? Please state it the comments if you want.