SO COOL HE ONLY NEEDS ONE SCENE
THE MOST COMPETENTLY UTILIZED CHARACTER IN HISTORY---STEEEEEEEEEVE
Jokes aside, this guy looks more and more like a Columbine shooter wanna-be whenever I see him. I have no idea why Socks, Mitch and Cubey like him so much, or why the episode's plot felt the need to turn them into misogynistic bullies when they'd already established Steve.
I think you laid it on there a tinsey bit thick there, old pal. With that wannabe Columbine shooter thing.
I'm pretty sure Steve is a character that, like Mitch, Cubey, and even Socks, started off as a background character that had little importance or established traits, but who was set up to be referred to again in later episodes. They have a character just like this in a lot of cartoons from this period, the one that comes to mind in particular is Recess's gossip kid, seen here:
The role of the Gossip Kid (that's literally his most official title on the show, if you don't count his actual name), is to slither out of the shadows, scare the main kids with some exaggerated story of something or someone they have to deal with, then slither back and never be seen again for that episode. You know what I mean? That's basically Steve, just in fourth grade. Angelica of Rugrats is also a part-time Gossip Kid. She'll tell the babies more about something they are unsure about, and it'll be exaggeratedly false, but she gets enjoyment out of them panicking about the unknown. Steve here is just a smug 8th grader who acts like he knows more about stuff because he's in 8th grade and these boys and Robot are in 6th and 7th grade. Or he's smug because he's (claimed to have) had more experience with girls. The part that's throwing me off is that he seems to have a legitimate issue with girls from a previous relationship not working out. He's not spinning a yarn about how girls are all evil just to spook the boys and watch them freak out. His ripping his shirt off and throwing it on the ground and stomping on it means he's legitimately angry. So I think that's where his role as the Gossip kid archetype gets blurry. He's got actual experience, but he's still an unreliable source of wisdom in that he is biased.
I'm so glad that Shannon never appears in this episode and that Pam was given the spotlight in this big obligatory boys vs. girls episode instead, because Pam is such a likable character that everyone can relate to.
Yeah, there are definitely positives and negatives for Shannon not existing in this episode. A point for her sake in that I want
her to have been a become a more developed and sympathetic character later on. This would have definitely made things more complicated. It's two bad she became so flanderized. Whereas Pam is slowly being developed in the opposite direction, and that's alright as long as the episode acknowledges her as the villain, and if there's anything you can say here, is that SHE IS CLEARLY THE VILLAIN HERE. (Nobody on tumblr will ever see this, but I thought I should make that said.)
Don't y'all ever tell me that this show doesn't have continuity; Pam farting and blaming it on Robot is so obviously a clever callback to Embarrassment! We're ending the Gender screenshots on a high note, fellas.
Yeah, despite that being a really awkward climax to a really awkward episode, at least there was a callback. And the strange thing about it is that I didn't even realize what the hell just happened the first few times I watched this episode. All I understood was the girls were suddenly grossed out by Robot landing on Pam and left. I honestly thought something dirty was implied by that the first time I saw this episode, because the fart sequence was so fast and random... yeah. This episode...
I'll make a post for more of the minor characters later. In the meantime, here's some more robotic goodness with Robot having buzz saws for hands, getting brain freeze and being blue (though only two of those are overlapping).
From PU To PE, Hookie 101 and The Yogmans Strike Back respectively.
All I got to say is, Robot is damn cute when he is sipping that Slurpee--I mean "Super Cooler."