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Banjo Frenzy is the pilot episode of Happy Tree Friends, created in 1999. The animation and writing are fairly primitive compared to what the series would later become Happy Tree Friends.
Before there was Cuddles, Giggles, Toothy, and Lumpy, three cute creatures sat around a campfire with a banjo dinosaur that don't take well to criticism. Watch Banjo Frenzy, the seed that blossomed into the bloody good time we all come to love!
Lumpy, a dinosaur, is playing a banjo at a campfire with Giggles, Cuddles, and Toothy. As he plays, one of the strings on the banjo breaks and Giggles, Cuddles, and Toothy laugh, making Lumpy want to kill them out of rage. Lumpy beheads Giggles, and her head falls into the fire. Lumpy then slices Cuddles vertically in half, and decapitates Toothy and violently beats his body to pieces with the banjo. After smashing everyone to bits with the instrument, Lumpy laughs maniacally. However, Toothy's disembodied head, somehow still alive, bites Lumpy's foot. The episode ends with Lumpy screaming in pain.
- Giggles is beheaded and thrown into a fire.
- Cuddles is sliced vertically in half.
- Toothy is beheaded, but his head is somehow still "alive."
- Lumpy's foot is bitten by Toothy's decapitated head.
- Lumpy's nose disappears several times, including when he slices Cuddles' body in half, before he smashes Giggles' head off, after decapitating Toothy, and also when he cuts off Toothy's right arm.
- Cuddles' left half fell behind Toothy but not above him.
- Cuddles' right half fell in front of Giggles' corpse but not above her.
- Lumpy's green oval on his stomach disappears when he is smashing Toothy to bits. It's also absent when he laughs maniacally.
- When Lumpy decapitates Toothy, his head flies behind Lumpy. However, when Lumpy laughs crazily, Toothy's head is fallen in front of him.
- When Lumpy smashes Toothy to bits with the banjo, both of Toothy's legs fly behind Lumpy, but when Toothy's head is biting Lumpy's leg, the camera shows one of the legs behind the log he was sitting on.
- When Lumpy is smashing Toothy to scraps, his brain and both of his eyes fly behind him. However, Toothy's head is seen with both eyes in and his brain inside it when he attacks Lumpy.
- The title card says "The Happy Tree Friends Bonanza". This may suggest that this was the show's working title throughout production of the series.
- This episode makes Giggles the first character to die in the entire series.
- The dinosaur represents an early concept art of both Lumpy (appearance) and Flippy (personality).
- Cub wears a mask resembling Lumpy's original concept art in Wrath of Con.
- It can be said that Giggles looks extremely different in future episodes. In this one, she is a light blue skunk/squirrel.
- When Lumpy kills everyone, a can with the visible label "soup" can be seen flying into the air.
- Giggles' eyes are larger than the other characters.
- Cuddles' death is similar to his death in Aw Shucks! and Mime's in Something Fishy.
- The same characters of this episode appear in Spin Fun Knowin' Ya!.
- As shown from early concept arts of this episode, the dinosaur was originally a bear, which also has a flipped-out form, possibly meaning that the bear was an early version of Flippy.
- The tune that Lumpy plays on his banjo before the string breaks as well as what continues as he enters his rage is the famous "Duel Tune" from the well known 1972 film Deliverence which can be heard here.
- This episode stars the four primary characters (they also appeared in most commercials and advertisements).