Villains Month: The Mooninites

Okay, I am breaking my own rules here somewhat, since the Mooninites are not exactly serious villains. Still, based on the fact that I love them as much as I do, and that they are such colossal jerks, I am giving them a pass and letting them in.

The Mooninites are perhaps the closest things to arch-villains in the absurd series Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Their names are Ignignokt (the bigger green one) and Err (the little pink one). They appear to be two-dimensional beings rendered in 4-bit graphics. It was rumored that they were originally supposed to be the ghosts of old Atari characters, but the idea was considered too convoluted, so the writers changed them as to be from space. They travel in a similarly rendered spaceship, wield very slow-moving laser guns, and can perform an ultimate finishing move by combining and firing the Quad Laser, an even slower-moving weapon. They can also turn sideways and not be seen, and spin around brightly. In truth, their alien abilities are quite ineffectual. What makes the Mooninites a threat is their abhorrent personalities. They spend most of their time talking about how much better the moon is than Earth, how much more advanced their ways are, and how they can do whatever they want to whomever they want, at all times. Most of these claims turn out to be inaccurate. Far from being master villains, the Mooninites are much more like idiotic high school bullies. They steal and smoke, drink beer and do drugs, spray graffiti and start fires. They commit crimes in a manner that is often sure to give them away. Most of their schemes to make money or cause chaos are rather obvious to see through, and they succeed only because Master Shake likes that they steal things for him, and Meatwad is incredibly gullible.

Ignignokt is the apparent leader of the pair. He is extremely smug and condescending, always announcing his actions as though they are the most intelligent things ever done, and acting as though everyone else is extremely stupid and primitive. Err seems to be his obnoxious little tagalong and the muscle of the group, even though he is not particularly tough. He shouts at people a lot, speaks in insane non-sequitors, and occasionally lapses into science fictiony gibberish (such as confusanormiton or deceptinominon). For the most part, the motivations of the pair seem to be as simple as causing mayhem to alleviate their boredom, or just messing with the Aqua Teens and Carl because they have no clue there are more people on Earth to mess with. It’s hinted later on that they may have become delinquents as a result of their lack of father figures, but as ATHF is an absurd comedy, most of this must be taken with a grain of salt and is as likely as not to be forgotten by their next appearance.

Ironically, the Mooninites have probably caused more chaos in the real world than any other villains on this list. Back in 2007, during a guerilla marketing campaign for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, light-up images of Err were placed in various cities throughout the country. In Boston, these were confused with explosives, and the signs were thought to be part of some terrorist threat. Two people were arrested before the outing was revealed to be a misunderstanding, and the city of Boston suffered a great deal of embarrassment. I can’t help but think that if they were real, Ignignokt and Err would be getting high and laughing at the pain they caused everyone involved.

Ultimately, the Mooninites are some of the most obnoxious bastards in all of television. While far too ridiculous and ineffectual to count as evil, it is hard to imagine two characters more detestable, or who would make me want to beat their faces in more. Not only are they the sort of immature vandals who inconvenience everyone they meet for no reason whatsoever, they do so while proudly proclaiming how much better they are than everyone else, regardless of how often they are proven wrong. Even worse, they always manage to escape, flipping off the Aqua Teens and learning no lessons all the while. I think most of us have met people in real life the Mooninites remind us of, and if nothing else, it’s nice to see them get at least a tiny bit of comeuppance from time to time.