The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy Wiki
The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy Wiki

Trepanation of the Skull and You was a short film and animated pilot that The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy creator Maxwell Atoms made in college back in 1995, years before the show was made.

Once thought lost, Maxwell Atoms eventually found it and first showed it on April 30th, 2016 at TROMAnimation Festival, uploading the short to YouTube the next day.

Trepanation of the Skull and You
Writer Maxwell Atoms (credited as Adam M. Burton)
Broadcast information
Cartoon Network US Premiere 1995 (Unaired in Television)
2016 (TROMAnimation Film Festival)
Chronological information
Meet the Reaper


The short is a parody of educational films of the past, beginning with Billy greeting Mandy, who is vastly different from and far more cheerful than the intimidating grouch we know her as today. Billy is shocked to realize that Mandy has a bandage on her head. She explains to Billy that she's simply been trepanned.

Billy is confused by the concept of trepanation, so Mandy proceeds to explain. She tells him that it all started when their prehistoric ancestors pounded spikes into each other's heads, unfortunately having the side effect of killing each other. She then states that thanks to the advent of modern technology, this is no longer a problem, holding up a power drill while doing so. After that, she goes on to claim that because of a flaw in evolution, people's skulls are too confining for their brains and that the brain's full potential can only be unlocked through trepanation.

Billy is convinced that he'd like to be trepanned and Mandy obliges. After Billy bleeds excessively from the hole drilled in his head, states that he feels great, and then passes out from blood loss, Mandy informs the kids watching to get help from their parents when using electrical appliances.


  • Animation - Maxwell Adams (credited as Adam M. Burton)
  • Mandy - Nicole C. Burton
  • Billy - Maxwell Adams (again, credited as Adam Burton)

Differences From Meet The Reaper

  • The entire short was in black and white, which was very odd, considering colour television was the norm around its original release date.
  • Billy and Mandy both appear and move more akin to 1930s cartoon characters.
  • Billy appears to be significantly older, based on his size and voice (provided by Maxwell Adams himself instead of Richard Horvitz). He also behaves more inquisitively, rather than just being plain dumb.
  • Mandy's appearance in the short is fairly different from her final incarnation, possessing a different hairstyle consiting of pigtails and a completely bald scalp, as well as small black dots for eyes. She's voiced my Adams' sister, Nicole Burton. Her personality is still sociopathic, like in the normal series, but to a much different degree, believing in trepanation and actively drilling a hole in Billy's head on his request.
  • The short features explicit graphic violence near the end, with Billy's head bleeding from the injury and him passing out from said blood loss.


  • Trepanation is a dangerous and primitive medical procedure that has largely been phased out due the a lack of evidence towards it actually being true. Mandy referring to it as an advancement is rather ironic in that regard.
  • Maxwell Adams and his sister voice Billy and Mandy in the short. While Adams would appear and play other characters in the final series, Nicole wouldn't return.
    • The cartoon is similar to some John K. and Spumco cartoons, as they usually have an educational vibe, talk about disturbing subject matter, and have the creator (John Kricfalusi and Maxwell Adams), voicing the main character.
  • The cartoon also resembled a cross between American PSA cartoons and British PIF cartoons, which are unnerving for both intentional and unintentional reasons.

Link to video