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The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange was a show on Cartoon Network that ran for two series. It featured a group of talking fruit who, together with their human friend Nerville, went on many adventures presumably throughout time and space. If not that, then they’d perform their actions during the night when no one else but Nerville was around.
But have you ever wondered why the fruit rarely came to life in front of other humans? Or why everyone else regarded Nerville as “insane” for talking to the fruits? Well that’s just it, Nerville was insane. It’s all from his imagination.
Nerville was an employee at Daneboe’s, where he was commonly seen on the show as the one who worked the night shifts as the janitor. But have you ever noticed that he rarely worked during the episodes? He always interacted with the fruits instead. My theory is Nerville works during the day as well, where he’d be surrounded by other employees. Because of his odd and weird personality, he could be considered an outsider, and no one talked to him. Deep down, he really wanted to be friends with his co-workers, but couldn’t work up the courage to go and talk to them as he believed his personality would put them off. Instead, he observed each employee, taking in every detail of their personality.
Then he’d imagine scenarios where he was friends with all of them. He couldn’t properly do that during the day of course, because it would distract him from his work. But whenever he was alone on night-shift, where no one else would be there to pay attention, he would slip into his fantasy. Much like a kid playing with toys, he projected the personalities of each coworker onto pieces of fruit, perching them on a fruit stand which he referred to as their "home." From there, he’d play out the stories you see in each episode of the show.
Orange’s human counterpart was the most well-known employee at Daneboe’s and had the biggest personality, which is why Nerville commonly placed him as the lead figure in his fantasies. During work, he aimed to make people laugh and smile, which is why he’d constantly tell jokes. However, he was oblivious to the fact that he could sometimes annoy or even insult others with these jokes. Everyone knew he was kind at heart however, so if anyone had an issue, they turned to him to make them feel better.
Pear was the most respected out of the employees, and none more so by Orange, which is why the two of them were best friends. Pear is one of the least affected by Orange’s jokes, because he endured them for the longest. He was very intelligent, often working on accounts for the store, which is why he was often depicted as a nerd in the episodes. Whenever any of the employees had a fight, Pear would rush to the rescue and try to calm them down, often being the voice of reason.
Little Apple had dwarfism, hence why he was so small. Unfortunately this led to Orange often teasing him about his height and calling him a “midget”. Despite his best efforts to get people to refer to him as “little”, nearly everyone kept forgetting and called him “midget”, which led to the running gag present in the show.
His best friend, Marshmallow, was also quite small in height, and so he never insulted Little Apple like everyone else. Marshmallow also had a unique trait: he was transgender. Although he was referred to as "he" by his friends and family, others could sometimes be confused as to whether he was a boy or a girl, due to his high-pitched voice and love of girly things such as unicorns and rainbows. He always had a positive outlook on life, which is why he was never insulted by Orange’s jokes, even going as far as to see him as his best friend after Little Apple. However, if someone insulted him personally about him being transgender, he would adopt a fierce temper, which could result in people being injured. Little Apple was usually the one who has to calm him down if his temper got out of control. Because he was one of the most unique employees, Nerville projected his personality onto a marshmallow instead of a fruit.
Then comes the love-triangle characters. Passion Fruit was one of the few female employees, and had a huge crush on Orange. She wasn’t secretive about it and everyone was aware of her affection towards him. The only one who wasn’t was Orange himself, who was so focused on making everyone laugh and smile (or in Nerville’s stories, being so focused on saving the day) that he never noticed Passion’s crush on him.
Grapefruit had a huge crush on Passion himself. He’d constantly try to win her heart, but Passion dismissed him due to the belief that she and Orange would be together someday. Because of this, Grapefruit hated Orange and constantly tried to pick fights with him during work or get him into trouble. With the belief that he was muscular (when he was actually just obese), he would sometimes threaten to beat Orange up, but Orange would constantly make jokes about his weight, which made Grapefruit self-conscious about himself and he hesitated to hurt Orange. This is why, although he was sometimes the villain in Nerville’s stories, he never physically hurt Orange or his friends.
Grandpa Lemon was a senile old man who was close to retirement, but worked at Daneboe’s to increase his pension sum. Because of his old age, he could be forgetful at times and mix up numbers and statistics during work. He sometimes fell asleep at the checkout, with one of the employees having to always prod him awake.
And finally, Apple was a stuck-up and pessimistic employee who nobody liked. If Orange insulted him, no one would care, and other employees would bully him too. Apple always thought of himself as the best, and was constantly critical of everyone else. But in actuality, he was a coward, who shied away when faced with a dilemma. In Nerville’s stories, Apple feared he would be “bruised” if he took part in the adventures. Nerville himself despised Apple’s human counterpart, and so would often cut the "apple" in half with a knife as an act of revenge. Because of the pleasure he obtained in doing this, he would always bring Apple back to life by getting a new apple every night. And every night that apple would meet a grisly end.
The enemies of the show also had human counterparts. For example, the Broccoli Alien Overlord was actually the manager of a rival store, whose aim was to shut Daneboe’s down so he could make more profit. However it came to a point where the employees from Daneboe’s went from being threatened by him to just getting bored of his constant threats, which is why the fruits get bored with Broccoli’s schemes in the show. Another example is the zombie vegetables, which was actually a gang who broke into the store one night whilst Nerville was playing with the fruits. He was knocked unconscious by the gang and dreamt that the fruits went on to destroy the “zombies” and save the day.
Nerville became so addicted to his fantasies that when his night shift was over, he wouldn’t leave the store, and instead slept on a shelf. This meant he would stay close to the fruits and never have to go back to reality. During the day, he would continue to observe and find out new facts about each of his coworkers, such as Pear being a black belt in karate, or how Marshmallow used to be called “Winky” as a nickname.
Now that the series has been cancelled, that might symbolise the store finally closing down. The question is: What happened to Nerville now that the origin of his fantasies is gone? Did he move on with his life? Did he go completely insane with grief? Or does he still find a way to continue his fantasies…?