Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? (usually shortened to Robot Jones) is an American animated television series that aired on Cartoon Network from 2002 to 2003. The show centers on Robot Jones, a robotic teenager attending a suburban middle school. The show came back on Cartoon Network in 2010. It has garnered up a cult following for its unique animation style, with many demanding that the show be revived. As of 2013, it is still unknown if Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? will ever be reran on Cartoon Network's sister network for classic TV series Boomerang and/or the revived block, Cartoon Planet.
The series was created by cartoonist Greg Miller, who made a pilot for the series that aired in 2000 to compete with other pilots to be picked up by the network. While The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy won the contract, Robot Jones still got a run in 2002. After waning support from the network executives, constant time slot changes, and steps to 're-develop' the series, (including re-casting the voice of Robot), Greg Miller left the show out of frustration and Robot Jones was left to air its second, and final season.
In 2005 the series returned to television, albeit in a minor role. Episodes of the series could be seen from time to time on The Cartoon Cartoon Show on Cartoon Network, along with shorts of other series that ended during that time period (Mike, Lu & Og, Cow and Chicken, etc.).
On July 17, 2010, Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? reran once again for the first time in five years. This time, it was not seen in The Cartoon Cartoon Show, but was given a one hour timeslot from 1-2pm (central time). Seeing as how this was aired on a weekend, the show did not acquire a regular timeslot. To date, this is the last time that the show has been reran on Cartoon Network.
The protagonist is Robot Jones, a short automaton who lives in a small city in Delaware during the early 1980s apparently—the animation style, clothing, and soundtrack all seem to indicate that decade; Robot attempts to learn of human nature by attending Polyneux Middle School, where he meets three new friends: Socks (Kyle Sullivan), a taller boy with curly blonde hair; Mitch (Gary Leroi Gray), a headphones-wearing boy whose eyes are hidden by his long hair; and Cubey (Myles Jeffrey), a shorter boy with spiked black hair who wears big, square sunglasses and a Pac-Man T-shirt. He also meets Shannon (Grey DeLisle), a girl whom he likes (unrequitedly) for her large orthodontic appliance and metal prosthetic leg.
In each episode, Robot, usually with the help of his friends, gets himself into a situation brought on by his social ineptitude and others' lack of understanding. In some episodes he would be tormented by genius twin brothers (who look nothing alike) Lenny and Denny Yogman (respectively Josh Peck and Austin Stout). At the end of all but two episodes, Robot makes a data log entry, in which he states conclusions that he has arrived at on humanity.
The opening sequence of the show, in which Robot Jones is assembled in a factory and then inserted into a schoolbus, is a homage to the opening sequence of 1980s children's show You Can't Do That on Television, which starts with a similar animation of children being assembled in a factory and poured into a schoolbus. The animation style is somewhat similar to that of Schoolhouse Rock!; the artistic style is influenced by Paul Coker and Jolly Roger Bradfield. In the fan-made revival of this show, the animation style still remained the same. A direct influence of this animation style can be seen in the series Chowder.
At the end of the intro where the title of the show is spoken, the "...Robot Jones" part is done by a Macintosh Macintalk voice known as Trinoids. Robot Jones is voiced by the Macintosh Macintalk voice Junior in the first season and Bobby Block in the second season.
Robot Jones can been seen in the background on a drawer in the Dexter's Laboratory episode "OH Brother". In the Best of Brandon Brooks Episode "The Visitors", Pig and Arnold were watching the Robot Jones series on TV, though it shows a short clip from the episode "The Garage Band" where Robot Jones and his father were arguing.
- Robot Electro Jones is the title character of the series. He is a bit similar to Charlie Brown. He is a robot who does whatever he can to fit in the human society which can go awry sometimes. Whenever the day ends he adds to his memory called Data Log Entry something he learns through the experience. His brain is a giant light bulb. He was originally voiced by Macintalk Junior. Robot Jones appears in Dexter's Laboratory as a toy. He looks like Mr. K - Kicking from The Letter People. Robot Jones will also make an appearance in two programs Brandon Brooks created.
- Dad Unit is Robot's father. Whenever he says something, he says it three times. One example would be "Listen to your mother! Listen to your mother! Listen to your mother!" as said in the inaugural episode. He has one hand, wears a tie and almost has a no-nonsense attitude. He is voiced by Macintalk's 'Ralph' voice, who in recent years has become famous for 'starring' in WALL-E.
- Mom Unit (voiced by Grey DeLisle) is Robot's mother. She's pink in color and her hands looked like the ends of a gas pump's hose which she uses for giving fuel to her fellow units.
- Timothy "Socks" Morton (voiced by Kyle Sullivan) is the best friend of Robot Jones. He is quite a fanatic to rock music. He has blond curly hair and wears a green jacket.
- Charles "Cubey" Cubinacle (voiced by Myles Jeffrey) is the shorter guy with dark, straight hair, wears sunglasses with window blinds for lenses and roller skates. He is a video game lover. When Robot got jumbled in "Cube Wars," he helped fix the situation.
- Mitch Freeman (voiced by Gary LeRoi Gray) is a lad often seen wearing headphones, a red sweater and sandals. His eyes are obscured by his long hair. He and Cubey made their first appearances in "Electric Boogaloo", the second episode. In "Scantron Love", his last name was Davis.
- Lenny and Denny Yogman are the notorious young genius twins of the show. They wear red hats that resembles the 1980s band Devo's energy dome hats, yellow shirts and black sneakers. Lenny is tall while Denny is short. They do whatever they can to take Robot's brain. Lenny is voiced by Josh Peck and Denny is voiced by Austin Stout.
- Shannon Westerburg is a girl in the school. Robot loves her because she has more mechanical attachments than any human he has ever seen, specifically a large orthodontic appliance and a prosthetic leg. She is unaware that Robot has a crush on her and typically finds him more of an annoyance than anything else. Shannon talks with a lisp. She is voiced by Grey DeLisle.
- Mr. McMcMc is Robot Jones' math teacher. He is voiced by Maurice LaMarche in the pilot and Rip Taylor in the series.
- Clancy Q. Sleepyjeans is the school janitor. He's voiced by David Koechner.
- Principal Madman is the principal of Polyneux Middle School. His mustache resembles that of Adolf Hitler's; as such, he is very tyrannical to his students. He is voiced by Maurice LaMarche in the pilot and Jeff Glen Bennett in the series.
- James is the owner of Nob's Arkaid, where Robot and his friends hang out. In "Hookie 101", it is revealed that he has a discount on game tokens during school. He is voiced by Gedde Watanabe.