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Happy Tree Friends is an animated series created and developed by Rhode Montijo, Kenn Navarro, and Warren Graff for Mondo Media. A total of six seasons of the series have been released: five seasons on the internet, and one season on television.
In 1999, the crew began the series with a pilot episode, named "Banjo Frenzy", which featured a blue dinosaur, a sky blue squirrel, a yellow rabbit, and a purple beaver. The first official episode was named "Spin Fun Knowin' Ya!", which aired on Christmas Eve of that same year, and featured later versions of the dinosaur, rabbit, squirrel, and beaver, and – from that point on – the crew began introducing new characters to the show. It quickly became an internet phenomenon featuring millions of visits per episode. In 2006, the Happy Tree Friends television series aired on G4 in the United States. It also aired on G4 and Razer in Canada in 2007.
A prequel spin-off called Ka-Pow! debuted in September 2008. In 2010, after airing fifteen episodes for the third web season, a hiatus began, in which there were only Break shorts airing with a subliminal message at the end of each, reading "Happy Tree Friends is dead!". This situation concerned many fans because they thought that the series were going to end soon. The writers confirmed that they were playing a joke on the fact that the characters die a lot, making a pun phrase with the word "dead". The hiatus ended on December 8, 2011, allowing the series to return once again with the fifteenth episode of the third season, named "Clause for Concern".
In addition to the show's five seasons and a spin-off, there have been some special episodes and shorts. These include eleven "Smoochies", ten "Kringles", thirteen "Break" shorts, five "Love Bites", and sixteen other irregular episodes that are unindexed. The "Smoochie" shorts involve three different items being dropped next to a main character, only for them to be killed in three different ways, each regarding the item. These have been adapted into the Happy Tree Friends website where one can choose an item to drop. The "Kringle" shorts are Christmas-themed shorts that feature the main characters doing various Christmas-related tasks, only to be killed in various ways. The "Love Bites" were Valentine's Day-themed shorts, that went with the basic structure of a Happy Tree Friends episode. The "Break" shorts were produced in 2008, when no new episodes were produced until the following year. A new break short debuted in 2009.