A scene from the tv show Smiling Friends on adult swim.

Smiling Friends Subculture

Cartoon Network
A scene from the tv show Smiling Friends on adult swim.

Smiling Friends

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Origin: Cartoon Network
Year: 2020
Type: TV Show

Added Jun 15, 2021 at 01:22PM EDT by Phillip Hamilton.

Updated Jan 19, 2022 at 11:18PM EST by Philipp.

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Smiling Friends is an adult animated television series about a company, Smiling Friends Inc., that aims to make its clients happy. A pilot for the series was aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block on April 1st, 2020, which received massive praise from viewers although it wasn't initially picked up. In May 2021, it was announced that Smiling Friends had been picked up for a full season.



On April 1st, 2020, a pilot episode for a new potential animated adult series titled Smiling Friends, created by Zach Hadel (aka PsychicPebels on YouTube) and Michael Cusack, aired on Cartoon Network (popular scene shown below).[1] The show features voice acting from Hadel and Cusak, as well as Finn Wolfhard and his brother Nick, and Tom Fulp, the creator of Newgrounds. On May 28th, PsychicPebbles spoke about the casting on the Create Unknown podcast (shown below).[12]

In the pilot episode, the Smiling Friends, a yellow humanoid character named Charlie and a short pink humanoid in a suit named Pim answer a call from an elderly woman whose son, Desmond, is depressed. They arrive at Desmond's house to cheer him up and find him with a gun to his head. Charlie, who is a more brutally honest, lazy character, tries to get Pim, who is more optimistic, to let the man kill himself, but Pim convinces him otherwise. They bring Desmond to a number of places to try and cheer him up, including a dinner with Pim's family, and a trip to the amusement park "Daveland." Desmond still wants to kill himself after all this. He is finally convinced to stay alive when he shoots and kills a small purple creature called a bliblie that is infesting the Smiling Friends headquarters. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Desmond starts a bliblie pest control service thanks to this.

On the day it aired, iFunny[2] user Libertatis uploaded the full episode, garnering over 27,000 smiles in a year.

Full Season Announcement

On May 19th, 2021, the Adult Swim Twitter[5] account posted, "Around 378 million of you told us to make Smiling Friends. So we’re making Smiling Friends with @MichaelRCusack and @psychicpebbleand it’s coming this year. Yay!" along with a teaser for the show, garnering over 75,000 likes and 20,000 retweets in a month (shown below). They also announced it on Instagram,[6] garnering over 735,000 views and 93,000 likes in the same span of time.

Season One Premiere

On January 10th, 2022, Adult Swim played all eight episodes of the first season of Smiling Friends in a single, surprise marathon. A number of Twitter users reacted to this by @ing the Adult Swim Twitter page (examples shown below). That night, Adult Swim announced the whole season would be available for streaming on HBO Max on February 9th.[13]

adult swim @adultswim · Jan 10 (as) ... Junk Knuckles @lawnmowerpranks · Jan 10 QUESTION @adultswim MY TV SAYS SQUIDBILLIES BUT I'M WATCHING ANOTHER EPISODE OF #smilingfriends 9 WAS THIS A SURPRISE BECAUSE I LOVE IT 20 27 94 1.9K Font Rectangle adult swim @adultswim · Jan 10 (as) Are we? 3 Karp @clanbomb99 · Jan 10 Replying to @adultswim are you all just dumping the whole season O31 27 36 914 Font

The third episode[14] of the show features the voice of YouTuber Chills, known for his Number 15 Burger King Foot Lettuce meme, as a patron in a restaurant ordering the "number 15," a reference to the meme. The clip was shared on January 10th by Twitter[15] user AdultSwimNoCon, gaining over 39,000 likes and 7,500 retweets in a day (shown below).

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The pilot episode gained significant praise from viewers. The show currently holds a score of 8.9/10 on IMDb[3] with 1,100 votes. On April 1st, 2020, the day Smiling Friends premiered, the Adult Swim Twitter[4] account posted a schedule of their upcoming show release dates for the year. Many commenters noticed Smiling Friends was not listed, expressing outrage. On April 5th, YouTuber Squinto posted a positive review of the show's first episode (shown below).

The Illuminerdi Review

On December 22nd, 2021, Corbin Shanklin of the website The Illuminerdi[16] published a negative review of the show based on the first three episodes. In the review, they compare the show to several other adult cartoons, saying it's worse than shows including Big Mouth, Bojack Horseman and Rick and Morty. The piece takes particular issue with the first episode's use of a suicide joke throughout. The writer criticizes the third episode for what he sees as a critique on social justice, writing, "The gag of the week ends with a long, sick bit on race and racial justice in our country. Smiling Friends want you to believe that the left is comprised of insane, bloodthirsty liberals who would rather burn and kill (what they deem) racial injustice indiscriminately than actually help their country or fellow man. Ha, ha, ha. How original and creative!"

The review was met with criticism on Twitter following the show's season one premiere on January 10th, 2022. On that day, Twitter[16] user @tommytrowsers posted screenshots from the article, sarcastically writing "best article ever made," gaining over 16,000 likes in a day. Commenters took major issue with the writer's high opinion of Big Mouth over Smiling Friends, as Big Mouth is often criticized for being a bad show (examples shown below).

DaftPina ... @DaftPina "Smiling Friends is kinda mid, have you seen Big Mouth?" -This article granite state @tommytrowsers - Jan 10 best article ever made Show this thread ADULT ANIMATION IS NOT UP TO PAR Smiling Friends is no Rick & Morty. It's no Big Mouth, not Inside Job, it's not even up to par with Solar Opposites. What separates this Posted by Corbin Shanklin | Dec 22, 2021|| Reviews, Animation | 38. series from those wonderful shows is how mean-spirited and dismissive Smiling Friends is. This is not a TV program that is going to age well, and to be frank, I'm shocked it's making it to air in 2022, even To give you some idea of what the Smiling Friends find funny, simply look to where it all began. On April Fools Day 2020, an early pilot episode was released by Cartoon Network's sleazy big brother. That episode of Smiling Friends was a 10-15 minute "joke" Of the first three episodes sent to press for making fun of suicide and suicidal review, one attempted commentary on individuals. super-celebrities, one tackled the Font Line Screenshot Material property Upsetti Spaghetti Vulture (commissions closed) ... @DracoPhobos Replying to @tommytrowsers "wonderful shows like Big Mouth" Smile Product Happy Entertainment Font Performing arts

Online Presence

Despite having only a pilot episode, Smiling Friends has gained a significant fanbase since airing, inspiring numerous works of fan art and memes referencing the show (examples shown below, left and right).[7][8]

forgot my mom bought a hell out of me scared the Product Fixture Font Line Rectangle Wheel Smile Tire Car Vehicle Cartoon Window Automotive design Motor vehicle Mammal Pink Art Happy Font Automotive exterior

On May 23rd, 2021, Instagram[9] user @sirsakurai posted an image macro using a clip from the pilot, garnering over 7,600 views and 2,200 likes in a month (shown below). The caption reads, "I genuinely can't wait for smiling friends to come out."


The show gained a significant fanbase on Tumblr,[10][11] where fan art is frequently posted. Many on the site took a particular interest in the character Alan, who features in the pilot's B-story searching for a piece of missing cheese (Tumblr fan art examples of Alan shown below).

Black-and-white Monochrome Illustration 12 Father I crave cheddar Happy Gesture Font Pink Art

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