Banjo Frenzy is the pilot episode of Happy Tree Friends, created in 1999. The animation and writing are fairly primitive and poorly designed compared to what the series would later become.
Before there was Cuddles, Giggles, Toothy, and Lumpy, three cute creatures sat around a campfire with a banjo playing dinosaur that doesn't take well to criticism, notably his banjo skills. Watch Banjo Frenzy, the seed that blossomed into the bloody good time we all come to know and love!
The episode begins with Lumpy, who is a dinosaur in this episode, playing a song on his banjo for Cuddles, Giggles, and Toothy. Suddenly, one of the strings on the his banjo breaks, saddening him, and making the three animals laugh at and mock him.
Infuriated by the response, Lumpy swings the banjo at Giggles, slicing her head off, and causing her head to fall in the nearby fire pit and burn to the bare skull. As the other two animals look on in horror, he slices Cuddles in half, slices off Toothy's head, and then begins bashing at the beaver's remains with a crazed and manic look.
- Giggles is decapitated and thrown into a fire.
- Cuddles is sliced vertically in half.
- Toothy is decapitated, but his head is somehow still "alive" because it bites Lumpy soon after (Debatable since this might be cartoon logic).
- Amount of surviving main characters: 2 (1 including Debatable death of Toothy)
- Amount of dead main characters: 2 (3 including Debatable deaths)
- Total Rate: 25% (50% including Debatable deaths)
- Several strings break on Lumpy's banjo: one while playing the song to the three animals at the start of the episode, and then two more when he is killing them.
- Giggles' bow burns in a fire.
- There's a cut on the log after Lumpy slices Cuddles in half, then another after he cuts off Toothy's arm.
- The dinosaur's nostrils disappears several times, including when he slices Cuddles' body in half, before he smashes Giggles' head off, after decapitating Toothy, and when he cuts off Toothy's right arm.
- When Cuddles is sliced in half, his eyes face inward.
- Cuddles' left half falls behind Toothy, but not above him.
- Cuddles' right half falls in front of Giggles' corpse, but not above her.
- The green oval on Lumpy's stomach disappears while he is smashing Toothy into bits. It is also absent when he laughs maniacally.
- When Lumpy smashes Toothy to bits with the banjo, both of Toothy's legs fly behind Lumpy, but when Toothy's head bites Lumpy's foot, the camera shows one of the legs behind the log he was sitting on.
- When Toothy is being smashed to scraps by Lumpy, his brain and both of his eyes fly behind Lumpy. However, his head is seen with both eyes in and his brain inside it when he attacks Lumpy.
- When Lumpy decapitates Toothy, his head flies behind the dinosaur. However, when he laughs crazily, Toothy's head is right next to him.