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"Riley Wuz Here" is the twelfth episode of the Adult Swim's, The Boondocks. It originally aired on February 19, 2006.


Grandad forces Riley to take art lessons after he is caught painting graffiti on houses.


Riley opens the episode by piecing the side of a neighbor's house. As he paints, an art critic appears and critiques his work. prompting Riley to re-do the tag on a different side of the house with better legibility and color work. Riley is quite pleased with himself, but the actual owner of the house does not think so highly of the work.

As punishment, Granddad forces Riley to take art lessons, reasoning that if Riley learns to draw on paper then he won't go marking up people's houses with spray-paint. The art teacher turns out to be none other than the art critic from the night before. The art teacher denies responsibility for creating the impression of owning the house being tagged, uses what is called "reverse psychology", and has a mild manner, phrasing and speaking his words just so, and among other things, saying that he "doesn't like violent things", preferring "to take people by surprise". The teacher is an obvious parody of Bob Ross, the painter, in the pictures he produces for himself, his hairstyle as well as the way he speaks to Riley.

Meanwhile, Huey is conducting an experiment to see what would happen to a person who watches nothing but "black television" for 14 days. This is a reference to the documentary Super Size Me, in which the filmmaker ate nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days to see if there was a health risk associated with it.

On Riley's third artwork "fallen soldier" he signs it with one of his identities. In the morning when everyone is admiring the work, Riley sees that others have also signed the work. Annoyed by this, Riley tells everyone there that he was the actual creator, Robert Freeman walks into the scene and hears this and beats Riley and tells him "You've been watching too much of that Adult Swim!".

As Riley becomes more determined and sincere, the art teacher thinks "it's time to move to a bigger canvas", sometimes "liking to paint murals" thinking that "they're fun". This ends up as nighttime paint-raids. Riley paints a still-life, and pictures of "someone that we love! Maybe, someone who is not with us anymore", that is, a "fallen soldier". Everyone is moved by the works, but refuses to believe that Riley produced them. In a touching moment, the mural at the end of the episode is either Riley and Huey's parents or Robert and his deceased wife, painted on the side of Granddad's house. After Granddad sheds a tear, he thanks Riley and takes a picture of the mural on his digital camera. He then forces Riley to paint over the side of the house.



Cultural references[]

  • The art teacher is obviously referencing the famous painter Bob Ross. The art teacher imitates him to the letter, from the voice, the hairstyle, and even the fact that that he was a military veteran (Bob Ross served 20 years in the US Air Force).
  • While Granddad is looking at Riley's mural near the end of the episode, the song "Today" by Tom Scott plays in the background.
  • Uncle Ruckus references the popular comic strip Bloom County: "That genius that drawed that comic strip with the talkin' penguin.  The Master Penguin-Drawer."
  • The footage of the priest on Huey's tv was recycled from Return of the King


  • Many fans have concluded that the mural Riley paints at the end of the episode is his parents. This is evidenced by many things:
    • When showing the mural from Robert's perspective, it's mostly focused on the man, which would make sense since the man would be Robert's son. If Robert were looking at his own wedding picture, he would presumably focus on his wife rather than looking at himself.
    • The art teacher told Riley to paint "someone he loves . . . someone who's not around anymore". Given that many believe it's Robert and his wife, it wouldn't make sense for Riley to paint his grandfather as well, unless he was dead.
    • Huey stated in episode 3 that when he was three, he thought Robert was gay due to never seeing him with another woman, possibly because his wife was dead. Given that Riley would still be one at that age, he would not have any memory of his grandmother since she was deceased.
    • The style of dress, hair and makeup worn by the bride would fit much better for a wedding in the 1980s/90s (when Riley and Huey's parents were married) than the 1940s/50s when Robert and his wife got married.