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Smiling Friends

Smiling Friends is a 2020 animated pilot created by Zach Hadel and Michael Cusack for [adult swim]. It premiered on April 1st, 2020 during Adult Swim's 2020 April Fools' Day schedule.

Synopsis

Inside the Smiling Friends office, a giant round smiley face between two buildings, Charlie and Pim are watching a CGI alien dancing on TV in the break room. Charlie notices Alan is setting up a mousetrap by the fridge with broccoli as bait. Alan informs him that his precious piece of cheese has gone missing and suspects that a mouse has taken it. Charlie and Pim are then abruptly called into their bosses' office by a loud alarm call that plays out into the street. He greets them and asks if they have a problem with someone eating while he describes their new job. They both find no issue with it. Their boss then exposes the right side of his chest and proceeds to breastfeed his baby. Their new mission entails a mother's son who has been acting "mopey" lately, and she would like the Smiling Friends to cheer him up. As he reads out the address, the baby bites his nipple and he playfully tells his child not to do that.

Charlie and Pim arrive at the given address. Pim expresses his joy to help a kid. They are greeted by a woman who welcomes them into her home. She leads them to the room of her son, Desmond. The two enter the room expecting a young, sad child but are instead faced with an unkempt, ghastly middle-aged man with a pistol aimed directly at his head. Desmond explains that his family has left him and his dog died last Fall. Due to these he events he has become and suicidal intends to ends his life. Charlie privately tells Pim that he thinks Desmond is a lost cause and that the two of them should leave him be. Pim disagrees and guarantees Desmond that by the end of the day, they will give him a reason to live. Desmond decides to give Pim's a chance but warns that if they're unsuccessful, he will kill himself.

Back at the office, Alan is neurotically counting a pile of paper clips. Noticing there's one short from his last inspection, he consults Gleb if he had taken one. Gleb disregards Alan's inquisitions and stays fixated on a video he is watching on an iPad. Suddenly, a shriek is heard by the fridge. Alan rushes over to the trap and discovers the piece of broccoli has been snatched and a trail of blood leading behind the fridge. Alan pushes the fridge to the left to reveal a large hole gnawed into the wall. Alan climbs in and discovers a man on a computer and asks him if he had seen a mouse run by. The man covers the computer screen with his hands and tells him to head down the corridor to the left. Before Alan ventures further, the man in the wall informs that he should make his presence known the next time he enters someone's place. The two briefly argue about whether or not he should be living inside the office walls before. Alan quickly gives up on reasoning with him and resumes his search for the mouse.

Meanwhile, Pim attempts to show Desmond one of the best things life has to offer: family. Unfortunately, Pim has an incredibly dysfunctional family. His sister bluntly expresses her disdain for him, his younger relatives run around the house and cause havoc, his parents get into shouting matches across different rooms. Both Charlie and Desmond comment on how ineffectively Pim's family is persuading him. Pim recognizes this, but thankfully has a backup solution: friends. The three go to a lively house party where Pim tries to demonstrate how easy it is to make friends. Pim approaches a smoker with the hopes of becoming acquainted but instead makes him uncomfortable. The smoker then mocks Pim's age and laughs at him with several other people. Pim is quietly defensive that he's not that old but Charlie nonchalantly points out that he is getting older and that their best years are behind us. Pim realizes that he had never given the subject much thought before. Desmond informs Pim that he has decided to kill himself. Just before Desmond pulls the trigger, Pim urges that there's something that will definitely cheer him up. In a final attempt to brighten up Desmond, Pim takes them to Daveland. An amusement park with a wide variety of attractions themed entirely around a man called Dave.

Still searching for the mouse in walls of the office, Alan discovers that the creature who stole his cheese is not a mouse at all but instead a small pink creature (Later known as a bliblie). It lost its hand in the mousetrap and is now cornered by Alan, frightened and in tears. Alan tries to comfort it and asks for his cheese back, but as he reaches for it, the bliblie stabs Alan in his finger with the stolen paperclip, sharpened into a weapon. The bliblie then mischievously scampers away. Alan chases after it leading him to a nest hanging from the ceiling where the bliblie safely jumps inside. Alan pounds on the nest demanding his cheese back, causing it to rumble and burst open a flood of bliblies that pour out into the office.

After a day at Daveland, Pim asks Desmond if he feels any better. Desmond agrees that he felt better but only momentarily as good thing always end. Pim notes that nothing nice can last forever which prompts Desmond to lecture Pim about the pointlessness of trying to find meaning in existence. That no matter what he can to do to find happiness, the world will eventually end and all his accomplishments would mean nothing. This leaves Pim completely speechless and causes him to have an existential crisis. Charlie, unphased by Desmond's nihilistic remarks, asks Pim if he had anything else to show Desmond. Desmond asks Charlie if he had anything worth showing him. Charlie apathetically scouts his vision and finds an ant on the ground. Desmond states that while it's "kinda cool", it doesn't make feel any better. Charlie tells Desmond that they need him to come back to the office with him to sign paperwork that says that they "failed to make him smile" and then he can be free to do as he pleases.

Upon returning to the building, they discover to their horror that the office has been ransacked and infested with the bliblies. Alan, who has been crucified in the middle of the lobby, exclaims that he just wanted his cheese. The bliblie that stole Alan's cheese notices the others at the door and dashes towards them. Desmond quickly points the gun away from his head to the creature and shoots it, killing it instantly and alerting the immediate attention of the rest of the bliblies. Charlie comforts Desmond telling him he had to kill it. Desmond stares at the barrel of his gun and states that he felt joy in shooting it as a smile appears on his face.

Cut to Desmond now clothed in a blue suit, has a full head of hair and smooth, clean, face, starring in a television ad for his new business as an exterminator, "Desmond's Bliblie Control". The service offers a variety of methods of bliblie execution which Desmond gleefully lists off. Charlie comments that Desmond simply needed a purpose in life in order to be happy and Alan enjoys his piece of cheese. The two share a laugh while Gleb mops the break room, now ravaged and littered with Bliblie corpses. Pim sits miserably in a deteriorated state similar to how Desmond once was. Their laughter is cut short by the CGI alien bursting out of the TV and thanking the audience for watching the show. Charlie and Alan are struck with fear and demand the other gets rid of it.

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