The Regular Show on Cartoon Network has an extremely misleading title: it is very far away from regular. The show is centered on a neighborhood park with a diverse staff. The two main characters, Mordecai and Rigby are lazy and usually find themselves in trouble with the head of the park, Benson. In "Just Set Up the Chairs", Benson sentences Mordecai and Rigby to set up chairs for a children's party in the park. Upset with their 'lame' role, Mordecai and Rigby make a deal with Benson so that if they set up the chairs without slacking off, they will be entrusted with a cooler job next time. This specific episode of Regular Show does not abide by Tim O'Brien's rules of a true war story.
Tim O'Brien states that, "you can tell a true war story by the way it never seems to end" (72). However, "Just Set Up the Chairs" comes to a definite conclusion. After discovering a magical video game and releasing the "Destroyer of Worlds", Rigby, Mordecai, and their fellow employee Skips must fight to rid the park of the '"Destroyer of Worlds". Ultimately, Rigby defeats the "Destroyer of Worlds" and Bensons scolds Mordecai and Rigby for almost ruining the children's party and tells them that they will never have a job as important as setting up chairs again. Mordecai and Rigby shrug and decide to take a break from working and go inside to play video games.
Additionally, O'Brien claims that a true war story is not moral or virtuous. In contrast, "Just Set Up the Chairs" sends a moral message using counterexample. Mordecai insists that he and Rigby follow instructions and set up the chairs, but when they are distracted, things go awry. Eventually, Mordecai and Rigby learn that following instructions will allow everything to go smoothly.
Similarly, O'Brien holds the belief that if a war story leaves you feeling uplifted, "do not believe it" (65). Once again, 'Just Set Up the Chairs' contrasts O'Brien's definition of a true war story. Although Mordecai, Rigby, Benson, and other all the workers experience several issues in their roles setting up the children's party, the party is ultimately a success. The epic battle between Rigby's virtual hero and the "Destroyer of Worlds" provides a source of entertainment for the children's birthday as they sit (in the chairs Mordecai diligently set up) with their mouths wide open in awe. In the end, Rigby's unlikely hero triumphs over the evil villain and all the children cheer for Rigby.
The Regular Show has many intriguing episodes, and most of them would probably fit O'Brien's definition of a true war story. Instead, "Just Set Up the Chairs" is categorized as a false war story due to its finite plot and its virtuous storybook ending that leaves children smiling with admiration for their unlikely heroes: Mordecai and Rigby.