[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dinosaur_train_1411.jpg]]

->''"People, there is an episode with [[SeldomSeenSpecies Therizinosaurs]] doing Tai-chi. There are Therizinosaurs and they are in a cartoon for kids [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot AND THEY ARE DOING MARTIAL ARTS]] '''AND THIS IS AWESOME!!!''' Also, [[ShownTheirWork they have feathers.]]"''
->-- [[http://babbletrish.blogspot.com/2010/12/never-mind-terra-nova-lets-watch.html Babbletrish]]

''Dinosaur Train'' is a 2009 CGI animated Jim Henson Company series airing on Creator/{{PBSKids}} created by Craig Bartlett, best known for the series ''HeyArnold''.

The show focuses on the adventures of a family of pteranodon and Buddy, a dinosaur who was adopted by them as an egg. Buddy initially doesn't know what species he is, but is determined to find out. To this end, Buddy and his adoptive family go on adventures in - [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer we promise you we are not making this up]] - [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a time-traveling train run by dinosaurs]]. Turns out early on that Buddy's a ''TyrannosaurusRex'', and he and his family and friends continue having trips through the Mesozoic to "meet ''all'' the species".

''Train'' sports strong educational content with a focus on the basics of paleo-zoology, but also a lot of humor and fun. It is a Henson series after all. And even though the main cast is made up of [[FunnyAnimal cartoony creatures]], the show goes way the heck out of its way to avert ArtisticLicensePaleontology. It's gained quite a [[PeripheryDemographic cult following]] among older dinosaur fans.

Not related to [[Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger other]] [[Series/PowerRangersRPM dinosaur trains]] you may have heard of.

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!!'''Tropes''':

* AccessoryWearingCartoonAnimal: The Conductor's mom only wears a collar around her neck and his nephew, Gilbert only wears a conductors' hat. All the other Troodons who operate the [[TitleDrop Dinosaur Train]] or work at the stations wear hats.
* AdorablyPrecociousChild: Buddy and Don. Also Gilbert.
* AmazingTechnicolorWildlife: The ''Pteranodon'' are lime green, Buddy is safety orange, and even the more realistic (relatively speaking) animal characters can get downright psychedelic.
* AnachronismStew: ''Far'' milder than most (it helps to have a time-traveling train) but still present. To start with, although both ''Tyrannosaurus'' and ''Pteranodon'' were from the Late Cretaceous, ''Pteranodon'' is not known from the very end of the Late Cretaceous as ''Tyrannosaurus'' is.
** The Buddy thing is somewhat justified in that dinosaurs time-travel and in one episode Mrs. Pteranodon says that Rexville's flowers are "prettier in this part of the Cretaceous". However, the flowering plant life is pretty anachronistic. One, the gourds are pretty similar to what they are today, and given the expected rate of evolution, gourds should look like their smallest representatives,cucumbers, at most. Two, the Conductor once mentions cacti and shows a picture of a large cactus, when in reality cacti probably didn't exist and at most were very small.
* AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle: "Hi, I'm Dr. Scott, the paleontologist. Do you remember what type of dinosaur Buddy is?"
* ArtEvolution: A mild example, but it's still there.
* BigEater: Tank Triceratops. Also most of the giant herbivores.
* BrokenAesop: The show continually enforces the {{Aesop}} that birds are dinosaurs. In the episode "Dinosaur Camouflage", Buddy explicitly states that a bird is not a dinosaur.
** May qualify as AesopAmnesia, as Laura taught him that birds are theropod dinosaurs in a previous episode.
* CanadaEh: In the episode where they go to the North Pole, the Northern ''Troodons'' behave very much like stereotypical Canadians.
* CarnivoreConfusion: One of the major educational aspects of the show is that as the main characters travel and meet various dinosaurs, they discuss with them whether they're herbivores, carnivores or omnivores. That said, we never see any animals eating other animals. [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute Except when those other animals are fish or insects (most of the time).]] So the show generally follows the "fish and bugs are okay to eat" rule. Except for the "meat", which is, eerily, large piles of carrion lying around.
** The occasional anonymous small mammal is also shown being eaten, such as by Travis, the northern ''Troodon'' seen in one episode. Another episode has a ''Tyrannosaurus'' eat a lizard.
* CartoonCreature: Mostly averted, to a point. That said, eh, we'll just take it on good faith what species the ''Pteranodon'' family and (to a lesser extent) Buddy are.
* CatchPhrase:
** Buddy: "I have a hypothesis!"
** Don: "La-la-LOOO!"
** Mr. Conductor:
*** "Time Tunnel Approaching!"
*** "Tickets Please!"
*** "All aboard!"
*** "Bless my scales and feathers!"
* CharacterSignatureSong: King ''Cryolophosaurus'' apparently wrote the show's theme song.
* ChromaKey: This technique is sometimes used in the Dr. Scott the Paleontogist segments.
* ConstantlyCurious: Buddy.
* CoolTrain: The Dinosaur Train featured in the program is a {{Time Travel}}ing train that utilizes time tunnels to take its dinosaur passengers to various locations throughout the Mesozoic Era.
* ADayInTheLimelight: Shiny, Don & Mr. ''Pteranodon'' receive the focus of a few episodes.
* [[JustForFun.DrinkingGame Drinking Game]]: Take a shot every time you hear the word "hypothesis." Don't plan on driving afterwards.
* EdutainmentShow
* ElvisImpersonator: King ''Cryolophosaurus''.
* EverythingsEvenWorseWithSharks: Averted in one episode when Buddy and friends meet a friendly shark.
* EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods: ''Michelinoceras''.
* ExpositoryThemeTune & TitleThemeTune: "Come on, Buddy, we'll take a vacation. I'll get us a ticket at Pteranodon Station. We'll travel the world in sunshine and rain and meet all the species on the... [[EarWorm Dinosaur Train. Dinosaur Train! Dinosaur Train! Dinosaur Train! We're gonna ri-i-i-de the Dinosaur Train!]]"
* EverythingsWorseWithBees: Averted in "Tiny Loves Flowers."
* FatherNeptune: The old ''Spinosaurus''.
* FictionalSport: Dinoball.
* FriendlyEnemy: Thurston to The Conductor
* FriendlyRivalry: Dylan and Devlin, the double-crested ''Dilophosaurus'' twins, have one of these (although at the end they say they'll try to work together more).
* FrogsAndToads: ''Palaeobatrachus''.
* FunWithAcronyms: Carla ''Cretoxyrhina'''s father is described as a "B.F.I.S." (Big Fish In the Sea).
* FurryConfusion: The tiny green snake in one episode doesn't talk, but Sana the ''Sanajeh'' in the same episode can talk.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Literally. There's an episode that not only talks openly about poop, it actually shows a dino dropping a loaf.
** Also, in the geyser episode, the conductor seems a little [[ADateWithRosiePalms too happy]] in the hot springs.
** "Mr. The Don"
* GiantFlyer: The main characters are ''Pteranodon'', after all. Makes sense they'd want to meet other big pterosaurs.
* HalloweenEpisode: "Haunted Roundhouse" and "Big Pond Pumpkin Patch".
* HappilyAdopted: Despite the fact that Buddy is a completely different species than the rest of his family, they love each other the same.
* IAmWho: The first few episodes of the program focus on Buddy trying to figure out just what type of dinosaur he is. It didn't help, though, that his species was revealed in the general press for the show and was given away in the title of the story where he finds it out.
* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: Just the Conductor and a few other ''Troodons'' on the train.
* [[ImagineTheAudienceNaked Imagine The Audience With Clothes On]]: Buddy says something like this to King ''Cryolophosaurus'' in "''Troodon'' Train Day".
* InterspeciesAdoption: Buddy is a ''T. rex'' raised by ''Pteranodons''.
* InterspeciesRomance: Mr. Conductor and Erma ''Eoraptor''; Shiny and Gilbert
** Also, Shiny and Perry ''Parasaurolophus'' (the dirty two-timer)
* [[LegacyCharacter Legacy Train Conductor]]: The Conductor's mother was the Dinosaur Train's previous conductor. Also, the Conductor's nephew Gilbert is a junior conductor in training.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Most of the major characters have their own specific theme that plays when they talk.
* TheMerch: It exists, but a lot of it is poorly reviewed and said to be shoddily made.
* MundaneUtility: The Conductor, a ''Troodon'', uses his hindclaws for punching tickets.
* NamingConventions:
** AlliterativeName: This is a strong tendency for characters' names on the show. Some examples include Tiny ''Pteranodon'', Tank ''Triceratops'', King ''Cryolophosaurus'', Erma ''Eoraptor'', and Cindy ''Cimolestes''.
** The other tendency is to have character names that rhyme. Some examples of this are Morris ''Stegosaurus'', Doris ''Tyrannosaurus'', and Shiny and Tiny ''Pteranodon.''
** Notable examples of character names that neither rhyme nor alliterate include Buddy ''Tyrannosaurus'' and "Sonny Boy" ''Troodon'' (aka Mr. Conductor), as well as minor characters like Chester ''Mawsonia''.
* {{Nephewism}}: During the World Tour series, Mr. Conductor is suddenly assisted by his nephew, Gilbert.
* NeverSmileAtACrocodile: Subverted. Deanna ''Deinosuchus'' is specifically stated to be a dangerous predator towards the ''Pteranodon'', but ultimately friendly when she's not hungry.
* NoAntagonist
* NobodyPoops: Averted. As noted in the GettingCrapPastTheRadar entry above, there is an entire episode about dinosaur poop. The episode is straightforwardly entitled, "Dinosaur Poop."
* NoCartoonFish: Ray-finned fish, coelacanths, and some invertebrates are okay to eat (makes sense as the main characters are ''Pteranodon''). Gets a little awkward in the episode where Buddy and company meet a friendly shark.
* PaletteSwap: In "Dinosaurs A to Z", ''Hadrosaurus'' and ''Rhabdodon'' use the same model. Pity, then, that rhabdodontids have much larger, stronger snouts than hadrosaurs.
* ParentalBonus: The episodes featuring King ''Cryolophosaurus'' are chock full of references to ElvisPresley. Also, Iggy ''Iguanodon'', who speaks with a British accent, is said to possess [[MontyPythonsFlyingCircus silly walks]].
* PredatorsAreMean: Typically averted.
* PteroSoarer: The ''Pteranodon'' family is... a little more "cartoony" than almost all of the other animal characters. You almost have to take it on good faith what they are.
** For those not well aware of pterosaur anatomy, [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2hK_oCmhqUY/Tlv4RMMNH5I/AAAAAAAABXs/ELw_b5dqNso/s1600/dt.png here's a picture]] to simply it to you (plus more anatomically accurate dinosaur characters).
** Turned UpToEleven in a recent episode. The Conductor claims that they're cold-blooded. Even those who doubt warm-blooded dinosaurs don't contest that pterosaurs had a warm-blooded metabolism.
* RaptorAttack: Averted by the ''Velociraptor'', ''Archaeopteryx'', ''Saurornitholestes'' and ''Microraptor''; the ''Troodon'', ''Utahraptor'', and ''Deinonychus'' really lack plumage, however. Strangely, the show's website actually says that ''Deinonychus'' was a feathered dinosaur and ''Utahraptor'' probably had feathers.
** Also averted with the northern ''Troodon'' from ''Dinosaurs in the Snow''.
* RunningGag: The Conductor's mother.
** Don's obsession with holes.
* [[SeldomSeenSpecies Seldom Seen Genera]]: ''Masiakasaurus'', ''Confuciusornis'', ''Avisaurus'', ''Daspletosaurus'', ''Adocus'', ''Proganochelys'', ''Paramacellodus'', ''Cryolophosaurus'', ''Palaeobatrachus'', ''Zhejiangopterus'', ''Einiosaurus'', ''Oryctodromeus'', ''Chirostenotes'', ''Kosmoceratops'', ''Shonisaurus'', ''Volaticotherium'', ''Raptorex'', ''Sinovenator'', ''Sanajeh'', ''Saurornitholestes'', ''Cimolestes'', ''Jeholornis'', ''Ptilodus'', ''Megaraptor'', ''Hadrosaurus'', ''Fabrosaurus'', ''Lesothosaurus'', ''Jaxartosaurus'', ''Nodosaurus'', ''Qantassaurus'', ''Rhabdodon'', ''Wannanosaurus'', ''Xenotarsosaurus'', ''Yangchuanosaurus'', ''Zigongosaurus'', ''Protopteryx'', ''Haplocheirus'', ''Glyptops'', ''Beelzebufo'', ''Goniopholis'', ''Pterodaustro'', ''Effigia'', ''Fruitafossor'', ''Riojasaurus'', ''Zupaysaurus'', ''Castorocauda'', ''Polycotylus'', and ''Michelinoceras''. Good luck finding these in a normal documentary.
* ShownTheirWork: Putting aside the fact that there are a few [[FeatherFingers anatomical brain-farts]] and the main cast is a bit [[AmbiguousSpecies cartoony]], let's just paraphrase a sentiment from the page quote: Maniraptors with feathers[[note]] Although the plumage of the ''Troodon'' and ''Deinonychus'' are still, shall we say, a bit wanting.[[/note]]. Heck, the fact that birds are a kind of dinosaur is a given in this series, so the show isn't making ornithologists cry either.
** Many of the enantiornithines correctly have a pair of ribbon-shaped tail feathers instead of a modern-style tail fan, and the ''Hesperornis'' has lobed instead of webbed feet.
** In "Dinosaur Block Party", all the animals that attend the party ([[AnachronismStew ironically aside from the main characters]] and Laura ''Giganotosaurus'') are known contemporaries (in fact, specifically representing the Dinosaur Park Formation) or at least from the same time range.
* ShoutOut: Several come to mind:
** The usage of "time tunnels" to travel through time might be a reference to classic 60s TV show ''Series/TheTimeTunnel''.
** Ned in the episode "Night Train" notes "dinosaurs come and go so quickly here," similar to Dorothy's remark about Munchkins in ''{{Film/The Wizard of Oz}}''.
* [[TurtleIsland Spinosaurid Island]]: Happens when the family visits the Misty Sea.
** In one episode, they look for a ''Diplodocus''. Don finds a "hill" , Buddy rests on some "trees", Shiny meets a "snake"., and Tiny finds a "bridge". After meeting, it doesn't take long to figure ot the are all parts of a ''Diplodocus''.
* SpellMyNameWithAThe: Played with - Don calls the Conductor "Mr. The Conductor" even though he never asked him to call him this and in return, he has taken to calling him "Mr. The Don."
* SteamNeverDies: The train is a green steam locomotive shaped like a ''Triceratops'' head.
** "Rocket Train" introduces a high-speed rocket train similar to modern locomotives, with computer technology that manages it. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on one's take), it is plagued with bugs and gets beat in a race by the Dinosaur Train.
* StockDinosaurs: ''Tyrannosaurus'', ''Pteranodon'', ''Brachiosaurus'', ''Triceratops'', ''Velociraptor'', ''Troodon'', ''Deinonychus'', ''Stegosaurus'', ''Allosaurus'', ''Iguanodon'', ''Apatosaurus'', ''Protoceratops'', ''Oviraptor'', ''Dilophosaurus'', ''Archaeopteryx'', ''Ankylosaurus'', ''Elasmosaurus'', ''Spinosaurus'', ''Styracosaurus'', ''Giganotosaurus'', ''Ornithomimus'', ''Gallimimus'', ''Megalosaurus'', ''Parasaurolophus'', ''Corythosaurus'', ''Maiasaura'', ''Utahraptor'', and ''Quetzalcoatlus''.
* StopHavingFunGuys: Point of Fact guy. Of course, he's there to well, make a point. His character is listed as Mr. Disclaimer in the closing credits and he is played by Joe Purdy, a key writer and story editor for the program, whose other work includes episodes of ''HeyArnold'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}''.[[invoked]]
* SurpriseParty: There's an episode called "Surprise Party." In it, Shiny, Tiny and Don throw a surprise party for Buddy on the Dinosaur Train and invite all of their best dinosaur friends to attend.
* SupremeChef: Carson ''Carcharodontosaurus''.
* TalkingAnimal: Basically everything with a brain aside from certain fish and insects.
* TaxonomicTermConfusion: The characters say "species" when "genus" would be more appropriate.
* TellHimImNotSpeakingToHim: In "Date Night," Don does this with the babysitter Keira, using Buddy as his messenger, until he finally warms up to her.
* ThemeTuneCameo: The characters sometimes sing the show theme tune, at least the part about "We're gonna ride, ride, ride the Dinosaur Train."
* TurtlePower: ''Adocus'' and ''Proganochelys''.
* TyrannosaurusRex
* UnexplainedAccent: In universe, the German accent of Arlene ''Archaeopteryx'' and the British accent of Iggy ''Iguanodon'' seem random and incongruous. The accents make real-world sense, however, when the corresponding "Dr. Scott the Paleontologist" segments explain that ''Archaeopteryx'' fossils were mostly found in Germany and ''Iguanodon'' fossils were first discovered in England.
* VaguenessIsComing: It's implied that something really bad will happen if the dinosaurs ever miss the train back home, but just what is never said.
* YouCanSayThatAgain: Tiny in "Rocket Train."
* YouMeanXmas: Dinosaurs celebrate Winter Solstice.
* YoutubePoop: By none other than Creator/JitteryDragon. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K018jlEUZhs Enjoy!]]
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