The Oblongs



Mature, in-toxic-atingly hilarious cartoon.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Aside from her addictions to sex, cigarettes, and alcohol, the mom is a devoted wife who loves her kids and thinks the world of her husband, despite his extreme deformities. The dad always puts his family first and is clearly in love with his wife. Characters with disabilities never poke fun at each other's issues, but the snobby residents of The Hills can be cruel.

Not applicable

The main characters have sex nearly every night, and though the act isn't shown, the noises come through loud and clear. Sexual banter between the husband and wife is a series mainstay. One character has a phallus-shaped growth on her head.


"Ass," and "oh, God" (mostly during sex) are common.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The mom chills out at the neighborhood bar and often drinks at home. She smokes cigarettes constantly, and the dad uses a pipe at home.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this cartoon is filled with sexual innuendoes and humor. Although the characters' various deformities are exaggerated for comedy, the underlying implication of the effects of toxic waste on our lives is slightly disturbing. Good lessons are scattered throughout the show, as the characters exhibit amazingly indomitable spirits despite their limitations.

What's the story?

Created by Angus Oblong, whose book Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children inspired the show's very unique characters, THE OBLONGS is the story of a deformed (and slightly dysfunctional) family living on land polluted by the careless lifestyle of the wealthy and snobbish residents up in The Hills. The Oblongs and all of the other unfortunate residents of The Valley are victims of various disabilities because of the toxic state of their resources. Bob Oblong (voiced by Will Ferrell) works at a poison factory and manages to navigate the world despite lacking both arms and legs. A lifelong resident of The Valley, Bob managed to catch the eye of beautiful Hills native Pickles (Jean Smart), and, in true forbidden-love fashion, the unlikely couple married. The Oblongs have four children -- conjoined twins Biff (Randy Sklar) and Chip (Jason Sklar); Milo (Pamela Adlon), who's riddled with mental and social issues and an unidentified eye affliction; and Beth (Jeannie Elias), who appears normal except for the phallus-shaped growth atop her head. Bob and Pickles trudge through familiar mid-life relationship issues like decreasing self-esteem and fear of losing a partner's affection, but their passion for each other is undeniable and is consistently renewed (often rather noisily) in each episode.

Is it any good?


Although the show garnered lots of criticism when it debuted on the WB in 2001 for its extremely disabled characters, the overall mood is a positive one, and adults and mature teens who can put the humor in perspective are bound to enjoy the show. No character seems bothered by his or her limitations, and Bob in particular is never less than blissfully chipper. And, in the end, it's hard not to chuckle as he undresses himself with his teeth.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the daily challenges faced by real people with disabilities. What types of situations (driving, eating, working) pose the most difficulties for them? How do they find ways to deal with these challenges? Parents can also use the show to jump-start a discussion about the environment. How can we change our lifestyles to better maintain the health of the earth? What might the result be if we don't take care of it now?

TV details

Cast:Jean Smart, Pamela Adlon, Will Ferrell
Networks:Cartoon Network, TBS
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Oblongs was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 10 and 15 year old Written byALunarLight April 28, 2011

Down in the valley where the chemical spill

Came from the people living up on the hill. It a division of the low class and the upper-class. a rift that just keeps getting bigger. if only one of the people up on the hill actual cared they could fix all the problems in the valley. It a them that also stands true in real life, to the wealthy don't seem to care about the poor. The exaggeration of these gaps is what makes the show comical going on even to the characters physical forms. It also up lifting that the characters some how seem to come off as a normal family "in there happy glowing home."
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byhamstergurl09 January 8, 2012

The Most Underrated Cartoon In History

Okay, so first off, the premise of the show is quite creative. The show is about a deformed family living in a town called HillValley. HillValley is separated into two sections: The Hills and The Valley; the Hill people are rich and pollute the Valley with toxic waste, while the Valley people are poor and everybody has complete disregard for their safety. The Oblongs, of course, live in the Valley, hence their poverty and deformities. Kind of a funny satire on social classes. What's cool about it is even though they're practically the definition of a dysfunctional family, they seem actually pretty content with their lives; except for son/protagonist Milo, who wishes he could live in the Hills. Each of the characters is funny in their own unique way. Speaking of being funny, this is one of the funniest cartoons I've ever seen. It's extremely witty and clever. The humor is dark, and the characters look somewhat creepy, which some people may not like. There were only 13 episodes made of this show, but I have no idea why, because this is one of the best cartoons ever. I believe that this and "Pelswick" are the two most underrated cartoons ever. I urge every mature person to check this show out. I'd also like to mention that CSM said a character had a "phallus-shaped growth on her head" but it is not mentioned even once in the show that her growth resembles a phallus, so I wouldn't have put that under the "sex" section of this review.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byHTFMime March 26, 2011

Weird show but was cool anyway.

I remember watching this show when I was 6th grade and the characters looks were kinda creepy but I thought this show was okay though. I think you should be 12 and up to watch this show but just look out for some of the sex scenes. The language isn't really bad also.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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