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"Class Act" is the first Christmas episode of the Happy Tree Friends internet series, the tenth of the second season, and thirty-seventh overall. To date, it is the only episode to feature all of the main characters (though half of them only have background cameos).
This is by far one of the most popular episodes of Happy Tree Friends.
This is the first Holiday episode we made and it features the entire cast. You have to admire Lumpy's attitude that the show must go on, but sometimes there is even too much disaster for even the Happy Tree Friends gang to handle. In true holiday spirit, they pull together for a tear-jerk ending. Peace to everyone.
The episode begins on a clear, starlit night at the Happy Tree Friends' school in the middle of the forest. Generic Tree Friends fill the auditorium, where onstage, Nutty lies in a bed in front of a set resembling a bedroom. Offstage, Lumpy, the director of the play motions for Toothy to walk onstage. Holding a candle, Toothy moves to the center of the stage when a spotlight shines several feet to the right of him (his right). Lumpy then tells The Mole, who is operating the spotlight, to move the light onto Toothy. Lumpy then motions up to Lifty and Shifty, who stand above the stage. The two begin shaking an upside down and obviously upset Flaky, her dandruff acting as snow for the background. With everything in place, Lumpy motions for Toothy to start singing.
Toothy begins singing "O Tannenbaum", while Giggles, Sniffles, and Cuddles come onstage dressed in cardboard cutouts of a present, a candy cane, and a Christmas tree, respectively. From Nutty's point of view, however, he can only see the top part of Sniffles' candy cane costume; on top of that, the spotlight made the costume look like a divine treat. Toothy stops singing upon hearing a crunching noise and a scream. Everyone looks over to see Sniffles with a big bite mark on his costume and torso. Everyone looks over to see Nutty lying in bed with blood on his face, giggling happily, unaware that he just consumed cardboard and flesh rather than part of a candy cane. A scared Toothy looks over to Lumpy, who tells him to keep singing, despite Sniffles' screams of pain.
Toothy begins singing again, but he sings a little uneasy. While Toothy continues singing, Sniffles runs offstage and gets the curved part of his candy cane costume caught on a rope, causing a sandbag to drop and knock Giggles' costume off her body. Unfortunately, this also cuts her face off, which lands at Toothy's feet. Horrified, he looks back at Lumpy for guidance. Once more, Lumpy motions Toothy to keep singing.
By now, Toothy can barely sing as he sobs in fear. Giggles runs around the stage in a panic, until she slips on her own face. Giggles' face flies up and hits the Mole in his face, causing him to swing the spotlight over to Lifty and Shifty. They give a cry of shock and throw their hands up to shield their eyes, dropping Flaky in the process. She falls down the chimney in the set, her quills seen poking through as she made her way down. As she emerges out of the fireplace, her skin and quills had been completely ripped off. Toothy and Cuddles become horrified and look over to Lumpy yet again. Lumpy, now realizing the problem of the situation, is seen climbing out the window. Upon Lumpy escaping, Cuddles and Toothy run away offstage in fear, but not before Toothy tosses his candle into the air.
The candle lands right by the curtains, setting them ablaze. Petunia screams in fear while everyone starts panicking and running from their seats. Cuddles is the first to reach the door, but in all the confusion, he forgets to remove his costume. He gets stuck in the doorway, while numerous Generic Tree Friends run against him, trying to get out. Eventually, Cuddles is forced out of the face-hole of his costume, squeezing his head into a red, cylinder-shaped glob of blood resembling a slinky as it bounces down the stairs. Finally, his costume breaks, and the audience comes flooding out of the burning school.
Disco Bear stands next to Lumpy, the entire right side of his face and afro burnt. Lumpy starts clearing his throat and sighs (after one of the Generics run away with fire all around him/her) before looking around at the damage. The Mole's cane has impaled him through his eye, Pop is burnt and bruised, Cub is screaming in pain as a Christmas star is lodged in his head and most of his left fingers have been cut off, and slowly, Cuddles weakly moves his hand. Blood and organs are everywhere.
Nutty appears to have been lightly burned, crying as well, and has some blood on his fur (though it's not clear if it's his or someone else's). Flaky is kneeling on all fours, freezing without any skin. In the background, Mime tries to comfort a burnt Generic Tree Friend while a flipped out Flippy stabs another Generic Tree Friend. Giggles laments the loss of her face, Sniffles looks nervously at the gaping hole in his torso, and Handy stares horrified as he is now missing both of his feet in addition to his hands.
Cro-Marmot stands off in the distance (strangely and seemingly undamaged), and Shifty drags a wailing Lifty (who is missing the bottom half of his body) away. Everywhere, dead and dying Generic Tree Friends litter the ground. Behind Toothy, Splendid lands in the middle of it all, apparently having been alerted by the Tree Friends' screams, yelling, shrieks, and crying.
Toothy starts facing down at the snow, upsettingly thinking about what he had triggered after he accidentally threw the candle moments ago, but as a shooting star flies by in the background, he straightens up, determined and steadfast. Once more he begins singing, and everyone looks up. The cries, shrieking, and whimpers stop and everyone smiles, moved by Toothy's singing (except for Flippy who continues stabbing his victim). Even Lumpy is moved to tears by the sound of Toothy's voice. Suddenly, everyone starts joining hands, hooks, and bones around the burning school, joining Toothy in his song. Giggles joins hands with Russell, as well as Disco Bear with Flaky, and Petunia with Mime. Before long, every known character in Happy Tree Friends is seen singing along with Toothy while holding hands around the now burning school. As the camera pans up into the sky, we see a giant twinkling star shimmering with all its glory. When suddenly, the school explodes and burning bodies are sent flying everywhere. Then the iris closes in on the twinkling star.
"It is better to give than to receive!"
The blurb video of Class Act contains these annotations (note that the blurb uses the remastered Class Act video):
- BlurB!: Just stating at the start it's the blurb version of the episode (the grammatical error is intentional).
- It is proper etiquette to arrive at plays on time: Appears as two GTFs get to their seats, a little late.
- "Real" directors don't wear shirts!: This references Lumpy not wearing a shirt, while still wearing a director's cap, trousers, and scarf.
- Safety tip: Don't eat yellow dandruff!: This references the old phrase "don't eat yellow snow", as it has been urinated on, it could also be because Flaky is being held up high, upside down, and being shaken by Lifty and Shifty, hinting she may have wet herself. Another reference could be that Flakys "flakes" are dandruff.
- The set is an actual replica of writer Warren Graff's house: Stating the set is based off a room in Warren Graff's (whether it is true or not is not known).
- He's still saving up to but the other three walls and a roof!: Follows on from the previous annotation, joking that Warren Graff doesn't have a complete house.
- Candy canes were invented by two pirates on their day off: Explaining the origin of candy canes (whether this is true or not is also unknown).
- They died a few hours later in a laundry related accident: Most likely a joke, which relates to the previous annotation.
- Countdown to carnage!: Appears as Sniffles is running around in terror because Nutty had bitten his arm off, also has a countdown with flashing lights.
- Pizza face!: Appears and flashes when Giggles' face is chopped off, possibly because of the bloody mush (tomato sauce) of a face she has left.
- Face-a-phobia is the irrational fear of severed faces: A joke displayed when Toothy freaks out at Giggles' severed face landing next to him.
- It affects thousands of beavers and turtles every year: A follow-on joke from the previous annotation.
- Someone in the world goes blind every 5 seconds: The number counts down to 1, where Lifty and Shifty are blinded by the stagelight.
- Q: Name another seasonal chimney user?: Appears as Flaky is forced down the chimney.
- A: Mark Twain: The answer to the question (can someone get what this references?).
- Fire is HOT!: Stating the obvious, because the candle sets the stage curtains alight.
- We got nothing...: It is what it is.
- This door was specifically made to keep costumes within school premises: Mocking the fact that Cuddles' costume is what prevents him from getting out through the door.
- Countdown to carnage!: Appears as Cuddles is being pushed against the door by the GTFs, and also has a countdown with flashing lights.
- Slinky face!!!: Appears and blinks because Cuddles' head falls down the steps like a slinky, and is keeping to a trend with Giggles' face earlier.
- Lumpy had just enough time to buy a new hat!: Referencing the goof where Lumpy had somehow got his hat back.
- The skin is the largest organ in the body: Mocking Flaky's loss of her skin with a random fact.
- Safety tip: look up! Shooting star related accidents are real!: Appears as a shooting star flies by, which flies by as Toothy is about to sing.
- Better late than never!: Mocking about how Splendid has arrived after the carnage has taken place.
- Snow is COLD!: See back to Fire is HOT!
- Yup, still nothing...: Follows on from the previous annotation.
- Holding hands with friends is fun!: A random statement when the HTFs begin holding hands, and the characters are also happier than when they were, so it has some relevance.
- Holding hands with hobos... not so much: A gag that follows on from the previous annotation, where a skinned Flaky holds Disco Bear's hand.
- Safety tip: schools are not the ideal place to store explosives: A reference to the confusion about the school blowing up for apparently no reason.
- Pizza Face and Slinky Face later teamed up and now run a detective agency that go around the country solving crime: Appears in the credits, obviously referencing what happened to Giggles and Cuddles earler (If there is another reference, please place it.).
- They also have a successful off-broadway production and a comic book featured at the back of the "Weekly Shopper's Paradise.": A follow-up to the previous annotation.
- All proceeds from their businesses benefit the "Animals without Faces" foundation: Another reference to their severed faces.
- Numerous Generic Tree Friends possibly burned and died in the fire.
- Some Generic Tree Friends die when everyone is trying to get out of the burning school. One example is that one has a big hole in his/her head and his/her brain is exposed.
- Evil Flippy stabs a Generic Tree Friend several times to death.
- When the school explodes, it kills everyone. (debatable, The Reindeer and The Cursed Idol may have survived. The deaths of Evil Flippy, Cro-Marmot, and Splendid were confirmed by Warren Graff)
Before the fire:
- Sniffles has part of his torso bitten and torn by Nutty after the squirrel thinks he is a real candy cane.
- Giggles' face is cut off when her costume is pulled down by a falling bag. The staff likes to call it "Pizza-Face."
- Flaky's quills are ripped off when she falls through a prop chimney.
After the fire:
- Cuddles has his head forced out of the face hole on his costume. Some fans and the crew like to call it the "Head Slinky" or "Slinky-Face."
- The right side of Disco Bear's face and afro is slightly burnt.
- Lumpy inhales some smoke from the fire.
- The Mole somehow has his cane impaled through his left eye and out of the back of his head.
- Pop is burnt and bruised.
- Cub has a Christmas star lodged in his head and is missing the fingers (excluding his thumb) on his left hand.
- Nutty appears to have been lightly burned and has some blood on his fur.
- Mime is seen with light burns over his body.
- Lifty is missing the bottom half of his body, and a slightly burnt Shifty drags him away.
- Handy somehow loses both of his feet while trying to get out of the burning school.
- Petunia loses a part of her hand, since her exposed bone is seen.
- It is assumed that an unknown amount of Generic Tree Friends were trampled, burned, and/or injured in unknown ways in the middle of the panic while trying to get out of the burning school.
Controversy over who started it all
Since the episode aired, there were masses of controversy over whether or not Toothy was to blame for the deaths in Class Act. There are a few key points to consider: though Toothy dropped the candle and caused the fire, he did it out of panic due to the chaos that had occurred up to that point. Fans who identified with said reaction have mostly blamed the whole affair on Nutty since he took a bite out of Sniffles, which led to the sandbag slicing Giggles' face off and so on. However, Lumpy should not be ignored as he was the one who encouraged Toothy to continue with the play even though Sniffles was clearly in pain, and he attempted to run away from the building when the situation finally degraded, thus causing Toothy to panic and throw the candle.
Also, in regards to the ending, while some claim that Toothy gave everyone an excuse to stand near the school before it exploded, others have argued that it the characters' decisions to join in the singing and stand in a circle around the building.
While inevitable in the dangerous world of the Happy Tree Friends, in real life, the candle wouldn't have caused the explosion on its own, though there may have been highly flammable/explosive items inside the building at the time.
As a conclusion, Toothy is definitely to blame for the fire, almost certain to blame for the school explosion, but getting the other characters killed in the explosion comes down to a matter of opinion: do you blame him for telling his friends to walk into a hazard, or do you blame the others for not thinking things through--there are two ways this massacre could have been avoided right at the end.
Despite the fact that Toothy felt bad for the disaster and the arguments mentioned above, until a official source proves it wrong, Nutty is considered the sole culpit for all of the deaths, setting up the chain of events that would later turn deadly.
Toothy - Main Role (singer).
Cuddles - Christmas Tree.
Giggles - Present.
Sniffles - Candy Cane.
Nutty - Unknown Sleeping Role.
Lumpy - Director.
The Mole - Lighting.
- Throughout the episode there are three steps in front of the school. At the end of the episode, however, there are two steps.
- The positions of the ornaments on Cuddles' costume change several times.
- The curve on Sniffles' costume changes places after he is bitten by Nutty.
- The Mole's mole changes places several times, sometimes during continuous shots.
- The cup surrounding the candle that Toothy holds disappears briefly after Flaky falls through the chimney.
- When Giggles' face was sliced off, it was a clear cut and her eye, nose, or mouth holes weren't visible. Her eyelashes are also gone.
- When Nutty bites Sniffles, you can see that he ate his arm. Later, when everyone is outside, he still has both of his arms.
- Flaky's dandruff is falling from above the window, but she fell down in the fireplace which is to the side of the window.
- Toothy has normal buckteeth through most parts of the episode.
- Even though Lumpy's hat fell off when he ran out the window, he has it again when he is outside. (the writers make fun of this in the "BLURBED" version.)
- If one slows down the frame rate, they will see when the shot of Toothy singing outside the school grounds changes to the shot of Flaky, Nutty, Mime, Flippy and Splendid, Splendid and Flaky don't appear at first and Toothy can be seen next to Nutty, without a head.
- Even though most characters had brutal injuries, they appeared fine when they stood around the school (e.g. Handy had his feet back).
- In the shadows near the end, Handy has hands.
- Lifty and Shifty don't have their pac-man shaped pupils, even though they weren't stealing anything.
- When Toothy drops the candle and puts the school in fire, Flaky disappears beneath the chimney.
- Flaky didn't have her normal pupils when she was being shaken upside down. Neither did Toothy while he was frightened and crying.
- When Giggles' face got sliced off, her eyelashes disappeared.
- Lifty and Shifty started shaking Flaky for the snow effect, but after the camera went to Toothy, the "snow" stopped.
- Before Toothy starts singing at the end of the episode, there are three burned Generic Tree Friends in the shot with Giggles, Sniffles and Handy; however, the next time we see the same characters, an additional Generic Tree Friend can suddenly be seen next to Lifty and Shifty.
- When Toothy starts singing and the camera flips to Sniffles and Giggles and other Generic Tree Friends, you can see Giggle's cut face smile looking in Toothy's direction. Since her face was detached, this is impossible.
- Flaky fell through a small prop chimney, lost a few quills, and the result was that she was missing all of her skin. But in Let It Slide, she fell through a really long waterslide, lost many quills, and the result was that she had a little skin on her left. Then again, continuity in Happy Tree Friends is almost nonexistent.
- This episode is the most popular episode of Happy Tree Friends after the episode Eyes Cold Lemonade.
- This is the only episode that features all of the original twenty main characters.
- This is the first episode to have a winter version of the opening. The next Christmas opening would occur in We're Scrooged! Coincidentally, Toothy and Lumpy star in both episodes.
- Russell is the only character whose entire body and face isn't shown. One can only be sure that he was there by seeing his hook holding Giggles' hand near the end of the episode.
- FatKat, Lammy, Mr. Pickels, and Truffles might be with the crowd. However, Lammy and Mr. Pickels weren't officially introduced until April 16th, 2010. They are, in fact, the only main characters to not appear in this episode.
- The Cursed Idol sits on a shelf in the background as Flaky falls.
- Except for Nutty, the characters who act and/or direct the school play are the five most frequent HTF characters: Cuddles, Giggles, Toothy, Lumpy and Sniffles (but Petunia is actually the 5th most frequent, while Sniffles is the 6th most frequent). Flaky, The Mole, Lifty, and Shifty are also crew members of the play.
- This is considered the darkest episode of the internet series due to the high amount of deaths. The darkest TV episode is Who's to Flame?.
- Flaky would later suffer a similar injury in Let it Slide where she would drown after her injury.
- Cuddles' skinned, compressed head moves down the school steps similar to the child's toy the Slinky.
- This is the only time Flippy and Splendid are seen onscreen together at the same time. Splendid flies in at the end while Flippy stabs a Tree Friend.
- Cuddles would later die a similar death in Ipso Fatso, though in this episode his face remained on top of the cylinder.
- Cub's injury is similar to Toothy's death in Star Kringle.
- Cuddles, Giggles, Sniffles, Toothy, Lumpy, Nutty, The Mole, Lifty, Shifty, and Flaky (the tree friends working the play) are the only main characters in this episode to not make background cameos. The other half of the main characters do, however, but not until the fire begins. Petunia is seen screaming during the fire, Disco Bear, Pop, Cub, and Handy (along with some other characters from earlier) are seen injured after the fire, Flippy is seen stabbing a Generic Tree Friend to death while Cro-Marmot is seen standing in the distance, Mime tries to cheer up a Generic Tree Friend with a balloon (it doesn't work though), Splendid is seen flying in when Toothy starts singing (while Flippy still stabs a Generic Tree Friend to death), and Russell is seen joining hands with Giggles at the ends, seconds before the school explodes.
- Some characters are noticeable in the shadows just by shape when they start singing (ex: Lumpy, Handy, Russell, Shifty, Mime, etc).
- When Toothy begins singing outside the school, Giggles' eyes on her severed face move to look at Toothy.
- Cuddles weakly raises his hand in the shot featuring The Mole, Pop, and Cub after the fire.
- This is the first episode where all the four bear characters appear.
- This is also the first time Flippy has "just" an appearance role.
- Cuddles and Giggles both suffer an injury in this episode involving the face hole in their costume.
- The scene where everybody joins hands and sings around the burning school is likely a reference to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
- After the school explodes, Cuddles' costume flies in the air.
- This is the only episode that Splendid has an appearance role.
- This is Splendid's first and only death in the internet series. He also dies in the TV episode Gems the Breaks.
- This is one of the few episodes where Lifty and Shifty do not steal anything.
- Lifty's injury is similar to Petunia's injury from Snow What? That's What!
- This was the last episode where Mark Giambruno provided the voices for Lifty and Shifty.
- This is the only episode where Splendid does not save or kill anybody.
- During December 2009, a remastered "BLURB" version of this was released, featuring remastered animation and pop-up facts, much like the Popcorn version of Spin Fun Knowin' Ya.
- This is one of the few episodes where Lifty and Shifty show concern for each other; Shifty seems to be trying to help or get help for Lifty when part of his body is cut off.
- Nutty is indirectly responsible for every death in this episode (except, perhaps, for those caused by the class explosion). This would later be repeated in Party Animal.
- When Handy is shown outside, his feet are now cut off, thus the irony. The same thing will later occur in By The Seat Of Your Pants.
- This episode has the highest amount of deaths.
- This is debated as the most popular episode.
- This is one of the episodes to be remastered for the Blurb version. The others are Blind Date, Can't Stop Coffin', Just Desert, Stealing the Spotlight, Nuttin' but the Tooth, Eyes Cold Lemonade, and Shard at Work.
- This is the only time Splendid has an appearance role instead of a starring role. Similiarly, this is the only time that Splendid appears but the episode doesn't focus around him mostly (excluding times he appears as merchandise in some episodes).
- This is one of the only two times that Lifty and Shifty interact with Flaky, the other is Happy Trails Pt. 2: Jumping the Shark.
- Usually, blood tastes salty instead of sweet. Nutty probably didn't notice because he was either too busy enjoying the taste or maybe because he also likes salty foods.
- Almost every character in this episode has suffered at least one injury.