Tricky People is a 40-minute Pædo Hunt
/ Too Smart for Strangers Public Service Announcement
written/directed by Fred Holmes
and produced/distributed by Nest Family Entertainment
in 1998. The PSA is based on Jan Wagner's book "Raising Safe Kids in an Unsafe World" and features an introduction by Wagner and the PSA's mascot character Yello Dyno. The story of the PSA centers on a girl named Lyric who falls prey to professional tricky person Reginald Charming. The PSA prides itself on its "startling and accurate" portrayal of tricky people and was created to educate its viewers on recognizing the traits of a tricky person.
Tricky People contains examples of:
- Berserk Button: Reginald doesn't like being lied to, as Lyric discovers the hard way.
- Big Bad: Reginald Charming
- Big Damn Heroes: Yello Dyno arrives just in time to rescue Lyric from Reginald's dastardly photo-shoot.
- Broken Aesop: Yellow Dyno's advice is to simply "take three steps back" and "run like the wind", but when Lyric tries it on Reginald Charming, Reality Ensues and he either frightens her into submission or overpowers her physically. She's only saved from a horrible fate by Yellow Dyno himself.
- Children Are Innocent: As is naturally expected in a Pædo Hunt / Too Smart for Strangers PSA. Particularly anvilicious is Carmen's tearful confession to Yello Dyno of "not [being] a little girl anymore".
- Clueless Aesop: The message seems to alternate between the sensationalist "Tricky people are villains who should be fled from and arrested" and the more sensible "Tricky people are human beings who have their own problems and need some counseling to help them deal with their issues".
- The Dragon: Wendell
- Epic Fail: After Reginald tells Wendell not to touch anything in his office while he's away, Wendell not only immediately disobeys the order the second Reginald has left, but he makes a complete mess of Reginald's desk in his attempt to play with a Newton's cradle.
- Face Palm: Carmen when she learns the other kids left Lyric alone with Charming
- Flat "What.": The kids give one after Yello Dyno proclaims to them that Charming is a tricky person.
- Growing Up Sucks: As Carmen implies herself.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Reginald photo shoots with Carmen (in flashback) and Lyric (in the climax) are treated like this.
- Insistent Terminology: They're not pedophiles, but "tricky people".
- Karma Houdini: In the end Reginald Charming gets arrested, but Wendell gets off scot-free despite being a pedo-enabler.
- The Klutz: Wendell
- Large Ham: Yello Dyno
- Minion with an F in Evil: Wendell
- Mood Whiplash: No one would blame you if you came to the conclusion that the scenes with Yello Dyno and the scenes with Reginald Charming were directed by separate people.
- Hell, the scenes with Reginald by himself and the scenes with him and Wendell feel like they were directed by separate people.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Reginald Charming.
- Number Two for Brains: Wendell
- Pædo Hunt
- Papa Wolf: Yellow Dyno is clearly meant to be this toward kids in general, though his mannerisms and speech patterns can make it tricky to take him seriously.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Wendell. To quote an annotated version of the video, "Pedophiles should NOT have comic relief sidekicks."
- Properly Paranoid: Yello Dyno apparently has a habit of patrolling the mall and accosting anyone he even suspects of being a tricky person. The one time we see him doing this in action, he turns out to be right.
- Public Service Announcement
- Rimshot: One of the kids in the band makes one after Edna is complimented for her performance in the "Tricky People" number, to which Yello Dyno responds "What am I? Chopped liver?"
- Super Strength: Yello Dyno can rip locked safes open with little to no effort.
- Title Drop: A grand total of 43 times over the course of the PSA.
- Too Smart for Strangers
- Totally Radical: Yello Dyno. So dated is his radicalness that he makes pop-culture references to Ethel Merman and Al Jolson.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Yellow Dyno and Carmen are not pleased when they find out the kids left Lyric alone with Charming after Yellow Dyno explicitly warned them about "Tricky People"
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Yello Dyno
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Reginald Charming's presence and conduct is all the more jarring in a world inhabited by Yello Dyno and Wendell.