->''"First it's a mouse who talks in rhyme, and then a computer, not to mention the mannequin upstairs with the magic hat running around!"''\\
--'''Sam Crenshaw'''

[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/todays_special_3472.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:330:From left to right: Jodie, Sam, Jeff and Muffy.]]

A [[UsefulNotes/{{Canada}} Canadian]] television show that ran in the 1980s. It ran from 1982 to 1987 and was broadcast on TV Ontario. It is best remembered for being one of the earliest staples of Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} and at times, for being ''really'' freakin' weird.

The setting was a department store in an unspecified city (presumably UsefulNotes/{{Toronto}}, where the show was filmed). The show centered around the people (human and otherwise) who worked there during the overnight shift. The employees of the store included Jodie, who set up the displays in the children's department, Sam Crenshaw the security guard (played by a puppet), and Mrs. Pennypacker (another puppet introduced in one of the later seasons). They were joined by the far stranger nocturnal residents of the store: [[ArtificialHuman Jeff]] the mannequin, Muffy Mouse (another puppet), who [[RhymesOnADime spoke in rhyme]] and had [[MouseWorld a little penthouse within the store]], and [=TXL Series 4=], Sam's [[DoAnythingRobot Do Anything Computer]] and who also plays quizzes and participation games with the viewers in between segments. Another character in the show is the Mime Lady. While she is not an in-store character, she participates in TXL's games.

The aforementioned Jeff is such an unusual character, he deserves his own paragraphs. Every kid's show has an obligatory character meant to be [[AudienceSurrogate the young audience's representative in the show's fictional world]], but Jeff was an especially bizarre example. He is a mannequin, in the shape of an adult man, who was [[HumanityEnsues brought to life]] by wearing a magical hat created by a magician named Waldo The Magnificent. Thing is, his personality and mannerisms were that of a small child. So in other words, this show's [[SesameStreet Big Bird]] equivalent was a ManChild who lived in the store and was taught about everyday things and the world in general (ie, in one episode, the other regulars had to explain to Jeff what brooms were for, and in another, how umbrellas work).

Being a bit of a [[CloudCuckoolander Cuckoolander]], Jeff also had to be reminded not to [[WeaksauceWeakness remove his own hat, as this turns him back into a mannequin]]. Fortunately, saying the magic words "[[EarWorm Hocus Pocus Alamagocus]]" brings him back to life. ''Un''fortunately, Jeff could never leave the store, due to the conditions of the magical hat (it only works inside the store). In some episodes, it is said that if he ever stepped foot off the store grounds, he would stay a mannequin forever (but not always; it should be noted that the "rules" of the hat were fairly inconsistent). Any episodes that took place outdoors had to provide a HandWave to work around this. (Pretty dark for a kids' show, [[CanadaEh eh?]])

For a certain generation of young adults, this show often comes right after ''Series/ZoobileeZoo'' and/or ''TheNoozles'' in conversations that start, "Oh my God, do you remember...?"

More information can be found at [[http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/ this very extensive fansite]].
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This show provides examples of:
* AlienAnimals: [=XL7-Zed=] is the descendant of mice who traveled to the moon in search of green cheese (of course) and later colonized a planet they call Squeakonia.
* AllAnimalsAreDomesticated: To an extreme in Muffy's case. But there was also a strange episode where a police officer is looking for his department's mascot who is lost in the store turns out he's a ''Mountain Lion''...
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Jodie borders on a FlatEarthAtheist at times.
-->'''Jodie:''' There's no way a magical Blue Cow could appear in my store! Isn't that right, rhyming mouse and self-aware statue?
* ArtificialHuman: Jeff, who could also count as an example of why AIIsACrapshoot, depending on your point of view.
* AudienceSurrogate: Jeff.
* {{Adorkable}}: Jeff again.
* [[BaitAndSwitchCredits Bait And Switch Title]]: [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs The episode]] [[http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/todays-special/episode-guide/1983/dinosaurs.php "Dinosaurs"]] is about... a poster contest.
* BarefootCartoonAnimal: Muffy, which she {{lampshades}} in the episode about "Shoes": "I'm the only one without a pair, that's cause my feet would rather be bare!"
* BittersweetEnding: The "[[http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/todays-special/episode-guide/1986/wishes.php Wishes]]" episode, ye gods...
* [[MayflyDecemberRomance Butterfly / December Friendship]]: Between the gang and Hazel the butterfly in [[http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/todays-special/episode-guide/1984/butterflies.php "Butterflies"]]. As you may have guessed, this episode has a DownerEnding.
* CallBack: The lullaby that Jeff sings to the lizard in [[http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/todays-special/episode-guide/1983/adventure.php Adventure]] is the same one that Jodie sings to Jeff in [[http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/todays-special/episode-guide/1981/sleep.php Sleep]], and that he asks her to teach to him in the same episode. Apparently she did.
* CanadaEh: The show was made by the Canadian network TV Ontario, and was filmed in Toronto.
* TheCastShowoff: Jeff Hyslop, who played Jeff the mannequin, is a triple threat entertainer. While he and everyone else sang on the show, he was the only one who danced, and did this on the show frequently. Nerene Virgin danced a little bit and was often paired with Jeff, but for anything more complicated they had to bring in outside talent to keep up with him. It should also be noted that Jeff Hyslop was also the show's choreographer.
* ChristmasEpisode: And it's a two-parter. [[FridgeBrilliance The show takes place at a department store after all.]]
* CluelessAesop: [[http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/todays-special/episode-guide/1986/phils-visit.php "Phil's Visit,"]] mostly for the casting of Gerry Parkes (at the time, best known as the kindly [[FraggleRock Doc]]), and also for... well, for being an episode of "Today's Special," a perfect example of a show that's in way over it's head. Quoth Jodie, "Funny thing is, one hour ago, we all thought [[HarsherInHindsight this was going to be one of the most exciting nights that we'd ever had in the store.]]"
* CoolOldGuy: Sam
* CousinOliver: Muffy's country cousin [[CountryMouse Mortimer]] in Season Three, though he never became a regular. Mrs. Pennypacker later on.
* CrowdSong: Along with DisneyAcidSequence and ThatRemindsMeOfASong, this trope is out in full force thanks to the innate musical theater talents of the human cast.
* CuteMute: The mime lady.
* TheDanza: Jeff Hyslop as Jeff the mannequin.
* FoodAsBribe: In [[http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/todays-special/episode-guide/1981/trains.php Trains]], when Muffy is considering leaving the store, Sam offers her a bag of cheese sandwiches, hoping to convince her to stay.
* FurryConfusion: Mice in the "Today's Special" universe are consistently portrayed as creatures of human-like intelligence who live in little houses, form popular musical acts, and even beat humans to the moon. And yet there are several episodes where Muffy is threatened by humans who "never saw a talking mouse before".
** Things also get a little strange when we learn that ''butterflies'' are intelligent and able to speak.
** Somewhat related: Jeff is occasionally frustrated by the fact that he is the only object in the store that is in any way self-aware.
* GenieInABottle: In the episode "Adventure," where he transports Jodie, Jeff and Sam to Potion Land.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Happens twice in Trash, in a scene where Jeff is frightened and Sam is out of breath.
-->'''Jeff''': Is it a muh-- a muh-- a muh--
-->''Muffy slaps him''
-->'''Jeff''': A monster?!
-->'''Sam''': No, it's a vah-- a vah-- a vah--
-->''Jodie slaps him''
-->'''Sam''': Thank you. It's a [[ItMakesSenseInContext vacuum]].
* HandPuppet: Sam, Muffy, Mrs. Pennypacker and Mort.
* HatDamage: Jeff's hat in the episode "Trash". While it was, thankfully, not permanently damaged, it was very linty.
* HauntedCastle: In the episode "Adventure".
* IKissYourHand: Waldo does this to Jodie in the episode "Adventure".
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: In the aforementioned episode "Wishes", Jeff had the opportunity to be permanently transformed into a human. Unfortunately for him, this came right when he had no choice but to use his wish to save his friends, as per the memorable line:
-->'''Jodie:''' Jeff, I know how much your wish means to you. But really, how much fun could you have with [[ItMakesSenseInContext two sandwiches and an invisible mouse]]?
** There's a subtler example in "Adventure", where Jeff is the only one who won't quit in the effort to rescue Waldo, no matter how dangerous things get. After all, he owes his life to Waldo.
* InnocentInnuendo: And it is ''painfully'' innocent, given that it's from Jeff, in the episode [[http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/todays-special/episode-guide/1986/trash.php "Trash"]].
-->'''Jeff:''' Well now, TXL, how do we turn you on? [[BreakingTheFourthWall I've never done this before]]. What button do you suppose I press?
* KryptoniteFactor: If Jeff loses his hat, he changes back into a mannequin. He also cannot leave the store or he'll stay a mannequin forever.
* LivingStatue: Jeff, if mannequins count as statues.
* MagicalComputer: TXL. Just make sure you press the right buttons or unsuspected chaos could happen.
* MagicalIncantation: Many, the most common being Hocus Pocus Alamagocus.
* MagicalLand: Visited in the episode titled, naturally, "Adventure". The department store, to some degree.
* MasterComputer: TXL is the security computer for the whole store.
* MouseWorld: Planet Squeakonia, which was colonized by the talking mice, is a very literal example.
* NaiveNewcomer: Jeff, due to only being alive during the overnight shifts, but somewhat subverted since he's one of the show's core characters.
* NoFourthWall
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: There seems to be a lot going on in the middle of the night, [[FridgeLogic you wonder what Jodie and Sam's managers have to say]]. Sam's the night watchman, but Jodie supposedly should have a lot more work to do to justify her being there all night.
* PleaseKeepYourHatOn: Jeff is a strange example.
* PortraitPaintingPeephole: These paintings are in the Haunted Castle in "Adventure."
* RhymingWithItself: Muffy, who must have been painful to write dialogue for.
* RunningGag
** Waldo never getting Sam's name right, and his magic always going awry.
** Sam pressing the wrong buttons on TXL, resulting in hilarious havoc.
* ShapedLikeItself: Jeff describes a hairbrush in the most vague way possible in one song. In the same verse, he lampshades it by saying he knows next to nil about hairbrushes since he wears a hat at all times.
* ShipTease: There was a little bit between Jeff and Jodie, and a ''little'' bit between [[InterspeciesRomance Jeff and Muffy]], but given that the target audience really wouldn't be interested in such things it was never really mentioned.
* ShoutOut: Quite a few. One of the best is in "Adventure", where a castle is warned to house "DungeonsAndDragons" (the whole episode plays out like a role-playing game).
** Sam makes some of his own, also from "Adventure":
--->'''Jeff:''' What do you suppose lives in this creepy castle, anyway?
--->'''Sam:''' Oh, {{Dracula}}, {{Frankenstein}}, [[StarWars Darth Vader]], they're all probably roommates.
* SkilledButNaive: Jeff can sing and dance, but has little to no knowledge of the outside world and how things work.
* {{Slurpasaur}}: The "LIZARD" (supersized pet of one of the showrunners) encountered in the aforementioned Magical Land. Jeff has to pet it to proceed.
* StageMagician: Waldo
* SweetTooth: Sam
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: [[CaptainObvious Cheese for Muffy]].
** Jellybeans, doughnuts, and other sweets for Sam.
* {{Trickster}}: Several of the magical characters, but especially the rabbit in [[http://todays-special.schuminweb.com/todays-special/episode-guide/1985/waldos-hat.php "Waldo's Hat."]]
* TrapDoor: There is one in the Haunted Castle in "Adventure."
* VagueAge: Muffy. Her age is never stated, and it's hard to tell by looking. Since she lives on her own, it's possible she's an adult, but she certainly acts like a mischievous child.
* WhamEpisode: The fact that several of them (e.g., "Butterflies", "Wishes" and "Phil's Visit") have already been mentioned means they certainly left an impact.
* WelcomeTitles: They take us through the store to meet all the major characters.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: [[CaptainObvious Muffy is deathly afraid of cats]].
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Jeff.
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