[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1165532321281_3484.jpg]]
->''What's the story, Wishbone?''

A [=PBS=] series from the mid-late 1990's in which Wishbone, a well-read Jack Russell Terrier, would dream and imagine himself as the hero of various stories and novels.

Wishbone was a real dog whose thoughts were expressed as a [[{{Narrator}} running voice-over]], while all of the other characters in the stories being dramatized are humans. For instance, kids would get to see an otherwise dead-serious dramatization of ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'' in which Mr. Darcy is [[FurryConfusion a cute little dog in a suit]] and everyone else is human. And ''everyone'' acts as if the fact that Mr. Darcy [[LionsAndTigersAndHumansOhMy is a talking dog]] is absolutely [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight nothing at all out of the ordinary]]. Then again said dog is the one re-telling the stories and placing himself as certain characters.

In between the story-telling, there was typically a scenario in the real world that would mirror the events of the story, usually involving Wishbone's owner Joe and his friends David and Samantha. Sometimes, Joe's mother Ellen and their next-door neighbor/gardener/historical society member Wanda get involved, as well as other residents of their generic suburban settlement of Oakdale, Texas. Whether it is supposed to be the ''real'' Oakdale is unknown.

In 1998, the TV movie, 'Wishbone's Dog Days of the West' was released.

Several book tie-in series were made, including:

* ''The Adventures of Wishbone'' - a series in the parallel-plots style of the show, including adaptations of some of the actual episodes.
* ''The Super Adventures of Wishbone'' - double-length books in the style of ''The Adventures of Wishbone''.
* ''Wishbone Classics'' - a series which omitted the Joe et. al. plots in favor of less [[CompressedAdaptation compressed]] adaptations. It was the first of the tie-in novels series to be released, noticeably due to not being under the "Big Red Chair Books" label.
* ''Wishbone Mysteries'' - mysteries involving Wishbone, Joe, and his friends, removing the classic story, but including sub-plots in which Joe, and occasionally Sam or David, would read a mystery story related to the plot.
* ''Wishbone Super Mysteries'' - double-length books in the style of ''Wishbone Mysteries''.
* ''Wishbone: The Early Years'' - a SpinOffBabies series about Wishbone as a puppy, in smaller stories such as ''Hansel and Gretel'', ''Jack and the Beanstalk'', etc., and were for younger readers.

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!!Tropes in this series include:

* AcademicAlphaBitch: Sam's rival Amanda. She spends most of one episode gloating over how her team is going to win the class spelling bee.
* AcademicAthlete: Samantha “Sam” Kepler participates in every sport her male friends do and is picked for her class team captain spelling bee because she's always reading.
* TheAce:
** Sam is a skilled athlete and a well-read student.
** Joe's father seemed to be this in life, to the point that a grieving Joe decides he's sick of learning about his dad's story because of the jealousy that mixes in with his pain.
** Sam's rival Amanda is set up as this in the ''Ivanhoe'' episode.
* AcquiredSituationalNarcissism: Sometimes it happens to the main cast, though it never persists:
** Joe when running a grocery-delivery business and using Sam and David as his (unpaid) employees because he believes in TheChainsOfCommanding rather than working as a team. Eventually they leave when Sam gets injured racing with David and Joe yells at her for the waste of groceries that she spills on the pavement. His mother lampshades it when Joe tries to look up "friendship" in business handbooks.
** One aversion was Wishbone winning the part for Mr. [=MacPooch=], but justified in that Wishbone wanted to BeYourself and only did his best at the audition to show off and make Joe happy. He chokes his performance during filming because of [[SelfParody the costume he's wearing and his "voice actor".]]
** Joe has another spell of this when some cool kids see his jump shots and invite him to hang out with them, albeit in the YouGetMeCoffee situation. He ends up ignoring Wishbone, Robin, Sam and Joe.
** David when working with Wanda's cousin, an artist, and adopting her arrogant attitude briefly. He grows out of it when the artist leaves town without building the statue she was commissioned to do, and Wanda does it instead.
** In the mystery novel ''Stage Invader,'' [[spoiler:Crystal, the star of the show,]] reveals that she had attained this, [[spoiler:pulling the potentially dangerous pranks to "liven up rehearsals"]]. [[spoiler:Director Justin replaces her with Amanda and reports Crystal to the principal.]]
* AdaptationalHeroism: Some of Wishbone's fictional avatars, diverting from the original source material:
** Aeneas is more honest with Dido about why he has to leave her in Carthage, in that the Gods have sent him a message to depart and he would stay if he could. [[Literature/TheAeneid Aeneas]] was more of a {{Jerkass}} about it in the original source material, which led to Dido's suicide.
** King Midas begs the gods to take away his [[BlessedWithSuck golden touch]] ''long'' before he accidentally turns his [[AdultFear wife and daughter]] [[KickTheMoralityPet into gold]].
** [[Literature/TheOdyssey Odysseus]] on-screen at least [[DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale doesn't submit to Calypso's forceful advances]], is much less arrogant when [[OhCrap Poseidon confronts him]] and he chases away the suitors with slapstick combat rather than brutally slaughtering them and [[RedShirts the maids]] that betrayed his wife to them.
** [[Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet Romeo]] doesn't kill Juliet's cousin Tybalt on-screen (justified as that killing was) or her fiance Paris.
** [[Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame Quasimodo]] is framed for kidnapping Esmeralda rather than actually doing the deed.
* AdultFear: Let's see. There's the confrontation with that grave digger, the time the main trio got locked in that condemned barn, the incident with the new kid falling in with a local thief and nearly dragging Joe along for the ride, the incidents involving David in the mystery books mentioned below under NightmareFuel...Wow; even in the 90s, [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids PBS was kinda scary]].
* AliensStealCable: {{Invoked}} in a ''Wishbone Mysteries'' book involving a UFO sighting in Oakdale. Trying to unmask a hoaxer pretending to be an alien over IRC, David asks him what his favorite human TV show was in an attempt to catch him violating the speed of light. The hoaxer doesn't fall for it; he responds with ''Series/ILoveLucy''.
* AllGirlsLikePonies: Sam Kepler loves horses. One episode centers on her finding an alleged lucky horseshoe in an abandoned barn. She also has a treasured glass unicorn.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: David's little sister Emily. In some episodes, she has a partner-in-crime named Tina.
* BlackBestFriend: David. Robin is the female version, though she shows up less often.
* BloodlessCarnage: This happens any time the "literature" half of a plot involves combat. Justified in that one, ''Wishbone'' is a kids' show and two, half the time the "person" doing the fighting is a dog.
** Averted slightly with the ''Red Badge of Courage'' episode, wherein Wishbone plays protagonist Henry Fleming. He's said to get grazed with a bullet; what we see is a bandage with a red smear.
** Also somewhat averted in the ''Joan of Arc'' episode when Joan takes an arrow to the shoulder. There's no blood but she is clearly in great pain.
* {{Bowdlerize}}: Generally averted, with the exception of Don Quixote. The show was pretty good about keeping sad endings in books that had them. There were exceptions, though:
** The show's ending to Cyrano de Bergerac was significantly more cheerful than in the original work.
** They sometimes made endings ''seem'' nicer by omission -- that is, ending it at the point of the SnicketWarningLabel. For example, their version of ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'' ends with Dr. Frankenstein ill in bed and the monster promising to go away and never hurt anyone. What they leave out is the part following this in which Frankenstein does indeed die as well as the fact that the monster was planning to kill himself when he went away.
** They didn't show the beheadings in ''Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities'', but they did show [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything a cabbage being cut in half by the guillotine]], with several of the characters in the background staring at it in horror.
** In the Tom Sawyer episode, the character Injun Joe is given the less offensive name "Crazy Joe."
** In the ''Time Machine'' episode, Weena is explicitly SparedByTheAdaptation. But hey, every movie adaptation of the novel does the same anyway. And the ''Wishbone'' version may be the only screen version in which she ''doesn't'' get PromotedToLoveInterest (Weena used to the TropeNamer for that, actually).
** They ended the ''Oliver Twist'' episode right at the point where Mr. Brownlow takes in Oliver, implying Oliver was HappilyAdopted. In the actual book, it's ''much'' more complicated than that.
** For ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo'', Fernand isn't DrivenToSuicide by his reputation being slandered.
** In the ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'' episode, Sun Wukong leaves a paw-print on the Buddha's finger instead of [[ToiletHumor urinating on his finger]], as he did in the original story.
** The ''Literature/{{Aeneid}}'' episode omits Dido's suicide, only showing Aeneas leaving her behind in Carthage.
** In ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', Odysseus and his son expel the suitors with a slapstick fight rather than killing them.
* BurnTheWitch: What happens to Joan of Arc, though the episode leaves out the witchcraft part. They DO say she received an [[KangarooCourt unfair trial]] after the English captured her.
* CatchPhrase: "Hellooo!" and "Whoocha!"
* ClipShow: Wanda brings over a dog to keep Wishbone company, and Wishbone recounts to the dog all his previous imaginary adventures.
* CompressedAdaptation: Obviously, {{Door Stopper}}s are brought down to be half of a thirty-minute show. As such, they are usually reduced to their {{Signature Scene}}s. However, the fact that they do not ''add'' anything, just compress the original plot, hilariously makes the ''Wishbone'' adaptations some of the most faithful ones ''ever''.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgN6w1ckjaI&feature=related This]] review of the ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' episode, by The WebVideo/PhantomReviewer, is mostly negative, but the reviewer can't help but be amazed that it's probably more faithful to the original novel than ''any'' other screen version of the story.
** The ''Literature/OliverTwist'' episode is perhaps the most compressed as a lot more time was spent on the contemporary story than usual. The Artful Dodger becomes a CompositeCharacter of every underworld character in the novel. Nope, not even Fagin gets mentioned. It ends with Mr. Brownlow taking in Oliver, with this portrayed as HappilyEverAfter.
** The episode about ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo'' spends a bit too much time on the story's setup, forcing Danglars and Caderrouse to become a case of WhatHappenedToTheMouse as Dantes' revenge is directed entirely against Fernand. This is even after removing Villefort entirely.
** ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' is reduced to just three events: Odysseus leaving Calypso's island, the storm sent by Poseidon, and the battle with the suitors. At the end, Odysseus does refer to the cyclops as one of the dangers he faced, but that's just a brief in-passing reference.
** The Hercules episode only covers one of the twelve labors, the one with the golden apples. King Eurystheus makes a passing reference to the previous labor (the one with Geryon's cattle), but we see nothing of it.
** ''Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities'' is divided into three "books". The ''Wishbone'' version, naturally, focuses almost entirely on "Book the Third: The Track of a Storm", which contains the most iconic parts of the story. Ernest Defarge and the Vengeance are AdaptedOut, effectively making Madame Defarge a CompositeCharacter of all the revolutionary characters. Well, maybe. After Darnay is sentenced to the guillotine, Madame Defarge is seen sharing a hug with an unnamed male revolutionary, so it's possible he's meant to be Ernest. Dr. Manette is only identified as Lucie's father with no mention made of his imprisonment in the Bastille, leaving him so DemotedToExtra that there appears to be no reason he's still in the story at all.
* CordonBleughChef: Wanda in the Robinson Crusoe adaptation. During a pretty much town wide blackout, she makes do with what she has, resulting in sandwiches that are peanut butter/sardine (which Joe tastes but doesn't finish) and egg salad/mint jelly. No one besides Wishbone is interested, including Wanda but she tries to make the best of things.
* CutenessProximity: In ''Stage Invader,'' everyone's reaction to [[spoiler:Ryan's puppy Jinx.]] Except Wishbone, though justified in that Wishbone is a dog.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Believe it or not, the series sendoff ''Dogs Days of the Wild West'' reveals some pretty seedy parts of Oakdale's past, namely how Wanda Gilmore inherited parts of Oakdale through back alley deals and horsetrading. And also features a decent shootout, despite the dog not being able to hold a gun.
* DeadlyPrank: Averted in the mystery novel ''Stage Invader''; while the pranks that occur during the Theatre/{{Grease}} rehearsals, like David's sign getting up and Robin's skates getting sabotaged, are dangerous, no one gets hurt. [[spoiler:Even so, everyone calls out Crystal when she has to confess to it because while no one ''got'' hurt, only one injury would have gotten the show cancelled.]] Also [[spoiler:Crystal slipping on a scarf was the only genuine accident, since Ryan's puppy Jinx stole the scarf and left it on the stage.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Wishbone, though none of the humans can understand him. Kind of like ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}.
* {{Demythtification}}: The UsefulNotes/JoanOfArc episode pretty much drops the religious aspect entirely in favor of focusing on her desire to bring freedom to France. It does include the scene where she picks the dauphin (referred to in the episode as "the king") out of a crowd, but the episode [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane only vaguely hints at a supernatural explanation for it]].
* DetectiveAnimal: Wishbone has played the role of Franchise/SherlockHolmes in "Literature/TheHoundOfTheBaskervilles" and "A Scandal in Bohemia", and Literature/CAugusteDupin in "Literature/ThePurloinedLetter".
* DisappearedDad: Joe's father died of a rare blood disease when Joe himself was six.
** MissingMom: Sam's parents are divorced, and she lives with her father. It's mentioned she visits her mother, but she's never shown. David's the only one of the main kids with an intact family.
*** And despite this near perfect set up, Joe's mother and Sam's father never actually hook up.
*** Possibly because the writers wanted to throw in some hints that Joe and Sam may like each other, and wanted to avoid the setup so it wouldn't become incest(?).
* {{Disneyfication}}: Noticeably ''averted'' for the most part, though most of the stories are shortened at times, usually only to fit the 30-minute time frame.
* EasterEgg: On the cover of ''The Wishbone Mysteries #3: Riddle of the Wayward Books'', there are two copies of ''Riddle of the Wayward Books'' itself. And one of ''The Adventures of Wishbone #2: Salty Dog''.
* EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether: In the last episode, Joe's Mom, David's parents and Wanda reminisce about their high school years. They mention that Damont's Dad went to high school with them too.
* FadeToBlack: Usually in the middle of an episode, unusual for a PBS series as they don't have commercials in between episodes and the show didn't have any short that aired in between like ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' or ''Literature/CliffordTheBigRedDog''. This could have been made if the show was considered for syndication, which never occurred (or for international broadcasts)
* FlyoverCountry: Averted. The series takes place in Texas, several of the lead characters have noticeable East Texas accents, and there's a gratifying lack of goofy stereotypes.
* FoeRomanceSubtext: Sam and Damont have some of this.
* ForWantOfANail: In one of the mystery books, Joe and Sam become worried when David doesn't turn up for a study group and leaves no message as to why he isn't coming. After they find David [[spoiler:(he was locked in a equipment shed near town; long story)]], they ask why he didn't leave a message and he very confusedly responds that he did. The humans dismiss it as a coincidence but Wishbone realizes that earlier he had knocked over the answering machine at the Talbots' and erased the message by accident. Wishbone at first considers admitting this and apologizing but then realizes that if the message HADN'T been erased, David would have been trapped even longer than he was. [[FridgeHorror And since the story was set as fall changes into winter...]]
* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: Not a cartoon, but only Wishbone's top half is dressed when he appears costumed.
** Averted in "A Tale in Twain" where Wishbone is fully dressed in Tom's clothes and there are probably other examples.
* HeadlessHorseman: "Halloween Hound: The Legend of Creepy Collars" (later renamed simply as, "Wishbone in: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
* HerCodeNameWasMarySue: Wishbone narrating the week's story tends to refer to the character he plays as "dashingly handsome" and such. It helps that he usually plays TheHero.
* HeroicDog: Wishbone.
* HoistByTheirOwnPetard:
** Damont uses David's snow machine to frame him for ruining Wanda's flowers. [[spoiler:Then David returns the favor by filling the machine with food coloring instead of water, so that when Damont takes the VillainBall and tries to frame him ''again,'' he gets covered in dye.]]
** [[spoiler:Crystal's final prank]] during the mystery novel ''Stage Invader'' [[spoiler:involves her taking nails out of the bleachers where her understudy Amanda and Ryan are supposed to dance, which would cause Amanda and Ryan to fall. Wishbone discovers it as Sam discusses her theory that Crystal is the prankster. Sam to trap Crystal relates her suspicions to the play's director, Justin, who agrees that for that dress rehearsal to have Crystal do the dance with Ryan with the cover of seeing if her ankle's healed. Crystal has to admit that she took the nails out when she refuses to dance on the bleachers.]]
* HotForTeacher: In "The Pawloined Paper" Joe develops a crush on his young female history teacher.
* IncrediblyLamePun: The theme song includes the lyric "Let's wag another tale."
* ItsAllMyFault: Sam's thoughts on getting herself, Joe and David trapped in a condemned barn. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome She makes up for it by getting them all out during a fire with minimal injury (apparently only smoke inhalation since they're all fine in the next scene which is implied to be the next day)]].
* ItAmusedMe: [[spoiler:Crystal]] sheepishly admits that this is why in ''Stage Invader'' [[spoiler:she started playing pranks for "livening up the rehearsals" since she was getting bored.]]
* JerkassHasAPoint: In the mystery novel ''Stage Invader,'' Sam says that [[spoiler:she agrees with [[PrimaDonnaDirector Justin]] to take Crystal out of the performance, since Crystal with her pranks showed that she put her entertainment ahead of the play, while Crystal's understudy Amanda showed that for her showing off she put the play ahead of herself.]]
* JerkJock:
** Damont Jones, even when he and Joe are playing for the same team.
** Though averted with Joe who's a jock too (they seem to have a similar amount of talent) but nice.
* KickTheMoralityPet:
** Joe in one episode where he's obsessed with a new bike ties Wishbone to a tree while testing it out since Wishbone can't keep up. Wishbone escapes to play with a Golden Retriever, leaving behind his tags in the process. Joe notably looks regretful while putting up "Lost Dog" signs the next day.
** Wishbone as King Midas does this to his wife and daughter when he accidentally turns them into gold. He immediately goes into MyGodWhatHaveIDone mode.
** In another episode Joe does this to Wishbone, Sam, David and Robin when he hangs out with a bunch of cool kids. His mother even calls him out for this. Said kids make fun of Sam and David for doing homework at a pizza parlor, saying their birdsong recordings are "geek mating calls". Joe doesn't laugh, and the next day he ditches the "cool kids" to chase after Sam and David to apologize.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:
** In the Halloween episode, Sam asks where Wishbone's costume is. "A dog, wear a silly costume? I think not."
** When Amanda gives the WhamLine mentioned below, Wishbone remarks "How's that for a Plot Twist?"
* LiteraryAllusionTitle[=/=]PunBasedTitle: Most episodes use a pun combining a reference to the book of the week and something to do with dogs, e.g. "The Pawloined Paper" for Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's "The Purloined Letter".
* LoopholeAbuse: Subverted in the "Joan of Arc episode." Sam volunteers to play in Joe and David's soccer team since a rule says that as long as she's in the roster submitted a few days earlier she can play. Because she is a girl, and the one who ends up deciding the game, however, the opposing team contests their win and gets it reversed.
* LostInImitation: Mostly averted. For example, the ''Wishbone'' version of ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'' follows the novel in portraying Frankenstein as a naive young student rather than a MadScientist and the [[FrankensteinsMonster monster]] does not have green skin, bolts in his neck, etc. Wishbone as Frankenstein still brings the creature to life by running electricity into a corpse, however.
* LovableAlphaBitch: Amanda, in that she isn't particularly malicious or destructive. In at least two episodes she gets along with Sam, David and Joe.
* LovesMyAlterEgo: Wanda falls for an Elvis impersonator [[spoiler:who happens to be Bob Prewett]].
* MoodWhiplash: In "A Tail in Twain Part 1", the episode ends with Wishbone being discovered by a potentially dangerous man and Joe jumping out while yelling "Don't hurt my dog!"...and then comes the {{Earworm}} of closing credits. The next episode "A Tail in Twain Part 2" inverts this with the theme cutting to Wishbone and the kids running in fright from said potentially dangerous man.
* MoralGuardians: They were even on this show's case. According to IMDB, the episode 'The Canine Cure' was banned from some syndication because it somehow encouraged the {{Aesop}} that kids should challenge authority figures, apparently ignoring the fact that the overprotectiveness of some parents that was portrayed in this episode is, in fact, TruthInTelevision.
* TheMovie: 'Wishbone's Dog Days of the West', the GrandFinale to the series when PBS didn't renew for another season.
* MrFanservice: A good amount of the female fanbase thought of Joe as this in season two.
** Some would say that [[NerdsAreSexy David]] counts as well in the same season.
* NeverWorkWithChildrenOrAnimals: Invoked
** In the show itself, Wishbone shows he's a tough actor to work with, being a house dog who [[SelfParody has never worn an outfit or having a voice actor]]. Joe realizes this more quickly than the director does and takes Wishbone home, though it means Wishbone is no longer the Mister [=MacPooch=] mascot.
** The behind the scenes segments show that Wishbone's stunt dogs are highly trained for their tasks, like pretending to climb down ropes or to dodge arrows, to avoid this trope from happening.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** David taking his mother's new car out for a joyride despite being underage leads to him knocking off the reearview mirror.
** Interestingly there is an episode where this trope is both played straight and averted. Basically Sam insists on going into a condemned barn to look for a special horseshoe and the trio gets trapped inside. [[CaptainObvious That would be the playing it straight.]] Later the barn catches on fire and Sam manages to get herself and the boys out with minimal injuries. She then proceeds to apologize to which the boys respond by pointing out that she saved their lives.
* NiceGuy: The main trio. In fact, if any of them (usually Joe) [[AvertedTrope avert]] this trope as part of a plot, it will ''always'' lead to a MyGodWhatHaveIDone moment in the later half.
* OneOfTheBoys: Sam, natch.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Often in earlier episodes.
** Occasionally done deliberately, as Wishbone will drop whatever accent he's adopted for his character to make a snarky comment.
* OutdoorsyGal: Sam once persuades the boys to help her look for "Blackbeard's Horseshoe" inside a condemned barn.
* PassionateSportsGirl: Sam participates in every sport her male friends do and would much rather be taking karate lessons than dance lessons.
* PlagiarismInFiction: David brings a poem to class that he didn't write, that someone [[spoiler:aka Wanda Gilmore]] left anonymously on his porch. He confesses when Mr. Prewett wants to publish the poem, though his only punishment is to write a new poem because Mr. Prewett is a ReasonableAuthorityFigure not bound by modern school rules.
* PrimaDonnaDirector: In the mystery novel ''Stage Invader'', Justin is this. Sam briefly wonders if he would sabotage the play for it not being perfect enough.
* ProtagonistTitle: Whishbone is the protagonist of the show.
* ReadingIsCoolAesop: Pretty much the point of the show was to get kids to read these classics.
* RealityEnsues:
** In the "Treasure Island" episode, the main trio becomes trapped in a condemned barn. Partway through, David and Joe charge the door with intent to break it down...and bounce off with groans that are equal parts pain and frustration while the door remains unbudged.
** When Wishbone wins the part of Mr. [=MacPooch=], a mascot for a food brand, NeverWorkWithChildrenOrAnimals is invoked in full force. He takes offense at having to wear a dress, and at having a voice actor and thus ignores the stage directions.
* RealWomenDontWearDresses: A mild case with Sam who seems to have this attitude about the ballroom dance lessons that led to the SheCleansUpNicely moment below and the moment itself.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Mr. Prewett. When David confesses that he didn't write the poem that Mr. Prewett wants to publish, he merely says "I'm DisappointedInYou," tells him to write another poem, and allows David to recite it. He also listens to David's story that the latter found the original poem on his porch, and decides to track down the actual writer (Wanda Gilmore).
* TheRival: Damont for Joe, particularly in basketball. One episode indicates that he's jealous of David too (for the attention he gets for his scientific accomplishments).
* RunningGag: Wishbone really wants to get on that chair.
* {{Satan}}: He's depicted in the ''{{Faust}}'' episode, and yes, they did one. He's mostly referred to as "Mephisto", but the InadvertentEntranceCue for his first appearance clearly identifies him as the Devil. Mephisto is portrayed as a man who dresses in Renaissance clothing (contemporary to Faust's time), speaks in a [[VoiceOfTheLegion modulated voice]], and [[PlayingWithFire controls fire]].
* TheSmartGuy: David
* SheCleansUpNicely: Sam gets a bit of this in the contemporary story to the "Oliver Twist" episode. She comes over to David's house after ballroom dance lessons dressed neatly in a white dress, short gloves and with her hair down. The boys are momentarily stunned and Joe tries to compliment her, but she quickly cuts him off.
** She gets this again in a mystery book where the core trio, Ellen, Wishbone and [[RememberTheNewGuy and the son of a friend of Ellen's]] end up on a role-playing mystery train; Sam is cast as a lovely young heiress and as such, spends a good portion of the book in the appropriate garb. She's in much better humor about it than she was about the above incident, likely because it is something she volunteered for and is for acting purposes.
* ShoutOut: ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'' episode has a rather neat nod to the book crumbling scene from [[Film/TheTimeMachine1960 the 1960 film]]. Wishbone as the Time Traveler comes across ''The Collected Works of Creator/WilliamShakespeare'' (making this double as a ShoutOutToShakespeare) and reads the famous "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow" monologue from ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', ending with the line "the way to dusty death." Then he touches the book and it collapses to dust.
* SitcomArchNemesis: Wishbone tended to regard Wanda this way. Wanda was actually pretty friendly though and was just annoyed by having her neighbor's dog constantly wrecking her yard. Wishbone and Wanda came to terms somewhat in an episode where he actually ended up inside her house, but subsequent episodes followed this up with AesopAmnesia since StatusQuoIsGod.
* SleevesAreForWimps: One episode has Joe cutting all the sleeves off his shirts in an ill-considered attempt to join a group of "cool" kids. Wishbone asks "So, why don't we like sleeves anymore?"
* SpitTake: Sam does a rather spectacular one in "Furst Impressions" after it is pointed out to Joe that his dress shirt is both on inside out and on backwards. Wishbone even comments "EW! It went up her nose!"
* TerribleIntervieweesMontage: The musicians auditioning for King Saul, to help cure his headache. They subvert GiftedlyBad, but the horns, flutes and bass instruments are inappropriate for the soothing melody he wants. One duo ''nearly'' wins the audition, but their melody is a BrokenRecord that gets annoying after a while.
* ThreeAmigos: Joe and his two best friends.
* TightsUnderShorts: One of Sam's outfits in some episodes, including at the start of the episode "Salty Dog".
* TitleSequenceReplacement: In the third season, even though the theme song is kept.
* TokenTrio: Joe and his two best friends (again).
* TomboyishName: Sam
* TragicKeepsake:
** Joe has a basketball card from his dad. It gets stolen in one episode.
** Sam has a glass unicorn that was the last gift she received from her parents before their divorce. She's notably (though subduedly) sad talking about it and horrified at the prospect of it being broken.
* TraumaticHaircut: A variant; Joan of Arc starts her episode with long hair, and she seems to carry it with her into battle, under her helmet. When the English capture her and sentence her to death, however, her hair is noticeably shorter. The episode isn't clear as to whether or not the English themselves did the haircut, but the implications are there.
* TravelMontage: In "Frankenbone", the Monster's rampage through Europe and into the Arctic includes shots of the camera panning across a map of eighteenth-century Europe.
* UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar: Two separate episodes have a story based around the Trojan War. One is the episode on ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' and the other an episode on ''Literature/TheAeneid''.
* TwoForOneShow: The episodes are equally split between "real life" in Oakdale, and Wishbone's book-based fantasies.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom:
** [[RedHerring Max]] telling his juvenile delinquent friend Mitch about Joe's valuables leads to the latter getting robbed. Max seems to realize this and tries to take on his friend alone, getting a black eye in the process.
** Subverted when Wanda delivers a poem to David without signing it, which he brings to class as his homework assignment. Although David could have gotten in trouble for PlagiarismInFiction when he confesses the truth, Mr. Prewett's desire to find the real author and the different values of the 90s allow David to only have to write another poem. Mr. Prewett and Wanda subsequently start to date.
* WatchThePaintJob: David's father gives his mother a brand new convertible. David proceeds to test-drive it despite being underage and breaks off the side-view mirror while backing it out of the driveway.
* WhamLine: In "A Doggoned Expose", when the trio confronts Amanda about the [[spoiler: smear campaign against Sam]], her response is one of these: [[spoiler: (while handing Sam a smear flyer against her: Why would I do this to myself?)]]
* WhamShot:
** The singer that Wanda crushes on losing his Elvis wig, revealing him to be [[spoiler:Bob Prewett]].
** A photograph reveals that Wishbone stole an athlete's ring. [[spoiler:The full moon compels him to bury things, apparently.]]
* WhatTheHellHero:
** Sam and David call out Joe for only caring about money when she gets injured working for Joe. Granted, it was partly Sam's fault for racing with a bike-cart full of groceries, but Joe had NoSympathy for her falling down and scraping her knee.
** In the episode where the trio gets trapped in a condemned barn that catches fire, Sam gives herself one of these speeches because [[NiceJobBreakingItHero it was her fault for getting them in there in the first place.]] Joe and David's opinions on the other hand...
-->'''Joe:''' ''(incredulous)'' Sorry? Sam, you rescued us!\\
'''David:''' Yeah, you saved our lives in there!
** Joe to Wishbone for taking an athlete's ring and burying it. Wishbone says, "I feel so guilty. And dirty."
* WholePlotReference: The modern-day portions are this to the story portions. Wishbone almost always manages to pick out the book real-life events will be mirroring before there are sufficient clues.
* WrongInsultOffence: The ''Theatre/{{Cyrano de Bergerac}}'' episode (in keeping with its source material).
* YouAreGrounded: David's parents tell him after he confesses to damaging his mother's new car on an impulse. With that said, they do tell him SoProudOfYou for coming clean about it instead of letting his father blame it on the dealership.
* YouNoTakeCandle: Weena talks this way in the ''Time Machine'' episode: "Morlocks no like light."
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