As indicated on the official site, it is "not recommended for small children". Despite its childish appearance, the show is extremely violent, with every episode featuring blood, pain, and gruesome deaths. The portrayal of death in Happy Tree Friends is usually graphic and anatomically accurate, depicting bloodshed and dismemberment in a vivid manner. The episodes last from between 1 to 7 minutes.
The show is nearly free of dialogue; however, when the characters do speak, their words are severely garbled. According to the website, the idea for Happy Tree Friends was conceived by Rhode Montijo when he drew a yellow rabbit slightly resembling the character Cuddles on a piece of paper and wrote "Resistance is futile" underneath it.
A spin-off called Ka-Pow! premiered on September 2, 2008.