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Franklin is a both a series of books and an animated children's series featuring the adventures of anthropomorphic young turtle and his group of friends. The first book in the series was released in 1986 by Kids Can Press and its popularity led to over twenty books in the original series. In 1996, Nelvana adapted the characters for an animated series that appeared on Nick Jr. in the United States, the Family Channel in Canada and has since been seen around the world. In each story, Franklin explores themes and values of importance to kids, including the first day of school, a first sleepover and the importance of perseverance and being true to one's friends.In 2010, Nelvana announced the production of a new CGI series, Franklin and Friends, ordered for 26 episodes, featuring familiar favorites and a new character, Aunt T. The series was previewed on Treehouse TV on February 14, 2011 and began regular broadcasts in March. In the United States, it began airing in Nickelodeon's morning block on February 13, 2012, nearly a year after it was first seen in Canada. In September 2013 it also premiered in the UK. Franklin celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011.Two Franklin CD releases are known to be available. The first, Hey, It's Franklin!, was released in 2000 and includes music from the film Franklin and the Green Knight, as well as two different stage shows. The second is called Franklin & the Adventures of the Noble Knights and features the music from a 2010 stage show by that name.A character sheet is in the works. Only a limited number of characters are listed at this time, but please add character-specific tropes to the character sheet where possible.Franklin also now has a best episode crowner, so if you'd like to make your choice for the best episode of the series known, now's your chance.
Franklin provides examples of the following:
Acrophobic Bird: Mr. Sparrow in "Franklin in the Dark" is afraid of heights, so sometimes, when nobody is looking, he puts on his parachute.
Adaptation Expansion: The stage show adaptation of Franklin' Class Trip, "Franklin's Big Adventure," adds the character of Miss Carbunkel the museum guide and a dinosaur that Franklin and Snail sing a song with. (When asked if he eats trees, he replies "Just the leaves— I'm a ve-ge-tar-i-an!") In the book, Franklin and Snail are worried about the possibility of meeting real, scary dinosaurs at the museum, only to learn that dinosaurs are extinct and the museum only has fossils/skeletons.
An Aesop: Most of the stories are based on teaching one of some sort.
Aesop Amnesia: In Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure, Aunt Lucy mentions a "mystic" who lives at Turtle Lake and Mr. Turtle comments "Can't say I believe in hocus pocus myself." Apparently he has forgotten witnessing his son and daughter traveling on the back of a flying reindeer in Franklin's Magic Christmas.
Agony of the Feet: In "Franklin and the Pinecone Pass" on Franklin and Friends, Franklin gets so frustrated and upset that Bear wants to play Rabbit's new game (Pinecone Pass) instead of playing with him that he kicks a rock, hard. (Too bad he doesn't wear the shoes described in the books' traditional opening.) He hops up and down, clutching his foot, and a just-arriving Beaver reminds him that it's balls that are good for kicking, not rocks.
Anachronic Order: This is evident in bothFranklin and Franklin and Friends. The former did not follow the order of the book series before it overtook it, while the latter shows the origin of the Bumpy Buggy several episodes in.
Anatomy Anomaly: Averted in the original Franklin books and TV show when Franklin can't get a visit from the tooth fairy because turtles don't have teeth. Yet oddly, in "Franklin and the Super Sleepover" in Franklin and Friends, Franklin complains about the Beavers taking much longer to brush their teeth than turtles and the Turtle family is clearly indicated to be waiting to use the bathroom to brush their teeth. Furthermore, in "Franklin's Campout," Mr. Turtle tells Franklin that he'll have to brush his teeth after eating a marshmallow snack, so apparently turtles have teeth on Franklin and Friends.
Animated Adaptation: Like most of Nelvana's shows. Many of the first season stories are based directly on the original books. This was dropped after the first season, though some stories still occasionally incorporated story elements that first appeared in the books.
Animation Bump: There were four movies and each have their own distinctive visual style. Fans vary on which was their favorite. In pure technical terms, however, the final film Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure had the best animation, thanks to a number of former Disney animators being hired on to work on the film. This film also contains a fair amount of Scenery Porn.
Anthropomorphic Shift: From the earlier books to the television series. The characters also have a tendency to walk/run on all fours more often in the earliest installments of the TV show.
Art Evolution: Thumb through the first Franklin book, then go through each season of the TV series, then the movies, and finally the stills for the upcoming CGI special. Yep, they've come a long way.
Beach Episode: Franklin at the Seashore comes into mind. However, there's no Fanservice in this episode due to the show being about anthropomorphic animals.
Be Yourself: "Franklin and His Night Friend," probably other stories as well.
Big Game: The big soccer match at the end of Back to School with Franklin. Unlike most instances of the trope, it ends in a tie.
Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: In "Franklin the Spy," Mr. Turtle does this with several pieces of mail, then gets excited when he finds the new issue of his Gardener's Monthly magazine.
Franklin also goes through a variant of this when he goes through the baby shower gifts in the Green Knight movie:
For Baby Turtle... To Baby Turtle... Baby Turtle... Beat
Bindle Stick: The cover artwork of Kaboom! Back to School compilation DVD (which also features installments of George Shrinks, Elliot Moose, Timothy Goes to School and Pippi Longstocking) has an image of Franklin holding one of these in one hand and a book in the other.
Breakout Character: Mr. Groundhog in Franklin and Friends. This character never appeared in the books and only showed up late in the original Franklin TV series, appearing in just a couple of episodes. The writers of Franklin and Friends, however, seem to have taken a shine to him and have included him in many episodes, often in an at least somewhat central role.
Call Back: Franklin's knight costume is seen in a treasure chest in Back to School With Franklin and that film also references Franklin's distaste for brussels sprouts from "Franklin's Blanket." The sixth season story "Sir Franklin's Squire" also heavily references Franklin and the Green Knight.
Canada, Eh?: Franklin is a Canadian production, and Mr. Marmot invoked the trope in Franklin Plays It Safe. To be specific, Mr. Marmot punctuates the end of every other sentence with an "Eh".
Canon Discontinuity - Beaver got a pet hamster in the third season of the original show, but in "Franklin in the Gecko Games," on Franklin and Friends, it's said that one of the reasons she's excited about the idea of taking home the class gecko for the summer is that she doesn't have any pets of her own. Unless, of course, "doesn't have any pets" is just code for Henry having died and the characters not wanting to talk about it directly, but Franklin has never been afraid to tackle to tough issues before.
Christmas Episode: "Franklin's Christmas Gift" and the movie Franklin's Magic Christmas
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Moose, a character first seen in the original books. He showed up in some future books, but not so for the TV series. Instead, they did an entire story in the first season about how Moose moved to town, joined Franklin's class and the two became friends. He was then never seen again, the most likely explanation being that he was just too awkward to draw, given his large size and antlers. There are any of a number of other characters that have simply come and gone with no explanation. Franklin and Friends has been better about this, at least so far, anyway. Badger is nowhere to be seen in this new series, but otherwise they seem to have pretty much picked a stable cast of characters to stick with.
Comically Missing the Point: Franklin's response upon learning that his family is going to have a baby shower in Franklin and the Green Knight: The Movie. "How can you wash the baby if it isn't even here yet?"
Conspicuous CG: The entire series and pretty much all of the movies were done entirely in traditional animation, though perhaps with some computer assistance in some cases. The turtle talisman in Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure was pretty obviously CGed however.
Cool Teacher: Miss Koala, the replacement teacher in Back to School With Franklin. She rides around a motor-scooter and is decidedly pretty hip.
Covers Always Lie: The cover artwork of Kaboom! Presents Christmas Carols, a compilation volume featuring Franklin and other shows, depicts Franklin holding his little sister Harriet, who is placing a hat on top of a snowman. It's a cute picture, but of the four Franklin stories featured on the release, only one of them is post Franklin and the Green Knight, "Franklin's First Star." It's a story focused on Franklin and his friends and Harriet barely appears in it, if at all.
Darker and Edgier: Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure. Tale of a grandmother's parents who died in a fire? Check. A grandmother who is sick and may be dying? Check. An epic quest with at least one character placed in real physical danger? Check.
Dead Pet Sketch: The "pet goes missing" variant in Franklin and the Two Henrys
Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: Owl and Badger, though badgers can sometimes be diurnal in certain seasons. Averted, however, with Bat
Doomy Dooms of Doom: Invoked by Beaver in Sir Franklin's Squire with The Obstacle Course Of Doom!
Dreaming of Things to Come: In "Franklin Plays it Safe," Franklin has a nightmare about the treehouse being blown down by a stiff gust of wind with him and his friends in it. He manages to stop it by convincing everyone to stop playing in the treehouse, at least temporarily. When they decide to disregard him, the treehouse blows down exactly as in the dream, but it happens before they're able to climb into it.
Dream Within a Dream: In "Franklin the Fearless," Franklin has a nightmare about trying to reprise a daring stunt he only managed before by accident in which he falls and falls. He seems to wake up before he hits the ground, then heads off to perform the trick. He chickens out, then wakes up to find out that was just a nightmare as well.
Duct Tape for Everything: "Franklin's Promise" has a notable subversion. Throughout most of the story, Mr. Turtle tries to fix a malfunctioning sprinkler, becoming increasingly desperate. He finally tries to solve the problem by just slapping a whole bunch of duct tape over the thing, only for the water to burst through and ruin this latest slap-job fix. He finally admits defeat and joins a picnic with Mrs. Turtle, Franklin and his friends.
Face Palm: Franklin does this in "Franklin and the Snoring Situation" on Franklin and Friends after Bear falls asleep again for what seems like the fifty millionth time.
He's done it in the past too; such as in the movie, Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure.
Beaver does one in Back to School with Franklin after Goose handles the ball with her wings in the game against the Bayside Bandits. (This was the reason Goose had become a goalie in the very first episode of the show, but in this story she was determine to try playing out for a change.)
Fantastic Racism: Franklin seemingly gets a bit of this from Goose's grandpa in "Franklin Migrates." "Hmph, turtle humour."
Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: There's at least one character whose ears stick straight up through their helmet. There's no story about someone getting in trouble because they don't think helmets are cool. There is, however, one entirely focused around Franklin getting a fancy new helmet with a flashing light on top because he's outgrown his old one and some of the other kids find the new helmet goofy. When he hears the kids making fun of that type of helmet, he hides it and tries to borrow his friend Bear's to use for a bike safety rally, only to be told that you should never wear a helmet that hasn't been specifically fitted for you. In the end, another friend helps him to see that it doesn't matter if the other kids think the helmet is dorky and the bike safety officer suggests that the flashing light could be a useful safety feature. He is seen wearing this helmet throughout the rest of the series. Fridge Logic; Franklin being a turtle, wouldn't his head be at more risk since the helmet would prevent him from fully retracting his head into his shell? Oh, and Franklin and Harriet are seen wearing seatbelts (and Harriet in an appropriate child safety seat) the few times that they're shown in a car.
Fear of Thunder: "Franklin and the Thunderstorm" deals with this. Franklin is helped by imagining the thunder as "cloud giants."
Flashback... Back... Back...: Sort of happens to Franklin in "Franklin and the Copycat" after he regrets calling Rabbit one. "Look! I can do storm clouds too... clouds too... clouds too... clouds too!" "Rabbit, you're a copycat... copycat... copycat... copycat!" He doesn't slip into an actual flashback, though.
Forgiveness: The episode "Franklin Forgives" in which Franklin's sister Harriet accidentally knocks the bowl of Franklin's goldfish, Goldie, into the water. Franklin is devastated and angry with Harriet. She tries various ways to make it up to him, but he eventually realizes how he would feel if he lost her when she tries to go search for the fish on her own.
Free Prize at the Bottom: In "Franklin's Fossil," Franklin and Bear have been collecting a series of a colored spinning tops that they're using as models of the solar system. The last one that they need is a purple one that's supposed to represent Pluto (this being back when it was still a planet) and when Mr. Mole sees them playing with them, he mentions having found the purple one in his cereal box. Later, when Mr. Mole gives it to them, Bear is thrilled that they can finally start eating some different cereal.
Friendly Tickle Torture: Bear does this to Franklin at the end of "Franklin Goes to Day Camp," to get Franklin to give him his friendship bracelet
Furry Confusion: On one side of the scale, we have Franklin, Beaver, Goose, Bear, Eagle, etc, which are all semi-anthropomorphic: they almost look like their real world counterparts but are capable of speaking a common language and often the four legged animals walk on two. On the other hand, we have the Henry (a hamster - two hamsters actually, both named Henry), Goldie (Franklin's pet goldfish) and a baby duckling, and many other birds who are purely zoomorphic.
In "Franklin Migrates" (also available in book form as "Franklin Celebrates"), Franklin meets Goose's extended family, who all behave much more like regular geese by migrating to the south in the winter. The book version even goes so far as to suggest that Goose doesn't agree with her parents' practice of staying put. As the other geese fly away, Goose whispers "One day I will be with them, Franklin."
Then there was the story of Franklin wanting a pet dog.
The "Wake Up, Spring" song in Franklin and the Green Knight has Rabbit getting pelted by nuts after pestering a squirrel resting a tree while searching for signs of spring. Which is odd, because this series does have fully anthropomorphic squirrels. Non-anthro squirrels were also seen in some installments of the original television show. Franklin and the Green Knight also has what appear to be non-anthro deer, seen in the reprise of that song, performed by the characters.
Going in Circles: In "Franklin is Lost," (originally a book, adapted as a television story) Franklin and Fox get lost in a forest. They try to get out, only to end up circling right back to where they started. They then decide it's best to stay right where they are until someone comes looking for them.
Green Aesop: "Franklin Plants a Tree," in which Franklin loses a small sapling and doesn't think that it's a big deal, until he learns that a tree is a living creature. It's actually probably one of the least Anvilicious examples of this trope that there is.
Have a Gay Old Time: During the song Deck The Halls at the opening of Franklin's Magic Christmas (Don we now our gay apparel). Justified in that the movie was aiming to use the traditional, unaltered lyrics of the featured songs.
Human Ladder: Franklin, Bear, Beaver and Rabbit do this in the "Wake Up, Spring" song in Franklin and the Green Knight' while searching for signs of spring.
Hypocritical Humor: In "Franklin Migrates," Bear and Franklin get a little too loud and excited while in the library, so Mrs. Goose comes to to tell them to use their library voices. She then says that Goose told her that Franklin agreed to come to their Migration Eve Party and tells him in her loud, musical voice, "Bring your dancing shoes!"
I Have This Friend: Franklin uses this in Back to School With Franklin, telling his parents that Bear has reservations about Miss Koala as the replacement teacher for Mr. Owl, when he's really the one who isn't so sure about her.
I Have to Go Iron My Dog: In "Franklin's Advice," Snail uses the excuse that he has to help his father to push a pinecone to get out of sitting on Franklin's shoulder as he jumps rope, so that he won't have to reveal that he cracked his shell and is in pain.
All of Franklin's friends make an excuse of this type when Franklin suggests that they go play baseball in "Franklin is Bossy." (It was a very hot day and all they really wanted to do was go swimming.)
I'll Be Your Best Friend: In "Franklin and the Trading Cards," both Fox and Beaver behave in this manner to try to get Franklin to give them the coveted card, offering favors and such.
Incredibly Lame Pun: In "Franklin Sees the Big Picture," upon seeing Franklin and Bear dressed as superheroes, the librarian Mrs. Goose suggests that maybe they'll have to help her rescue somebody who's "lost in a book."
It's Always Spring: There was enough seasonal material to well avert this. Particularly noteworthy was the fact that there were four films and of them, only one seems like it might have been set in spring, Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure. The first film, Franklin and the Green Knight, was set almost entirely in winter and featured a Spring Is Late situation. The second film, Franklin's Magic Christmas, was a Christmas holiday special. The third film, Back to School with Franklin, opened with a summer sequence and the rest of the film was set in... well, still summer most likely technically, since it was the start of a school year, and summer doesn't end until later in September.
Edutainment Games: A few PC edutainment titles from Vivendi Universal also exists, as does a few educational electronic LCD hand-held games from Tiger Electronics.
iOS Games: Seven of them, all apparently based on the CGI sequel. Ironically, all of them comes from a company called Watch More TV Interactive Inc.note Why so hilarious? TV is not shown to exist in Franklin's world!
Little Red Riding Hood: This is the play that Franklin, Bear, Beaver and Goose perform in "Franklin and the Puppet Play."
Long-Running Book Series: The first book in the series was released in 1986, and had new releases every so often until 2001. The TV series didn't first appear until 1996 and continued releasing new content as late as 2006. With the advent of Franklin and Friends, new books are finally being released in Canada (With no release date confirmed for foreign markets); for the first time in eleven years.
Magic Feather: In one of the stories, Bear believes he's having bad luck, so his friends try to find him a four-leaf clover. Not able to find one, they just give him a fake four-leaf clover that is really a regular clover with an extra-leaf taped on. Bear gains confidence and does stuff well until he finds out that it's not a real four-leaf clover— but then his friends remind him that since it wasn't real, that means he did everything on his own.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Was Granny saved by the power of the Turtle Talisman in Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure, or simply by the return of her old keepsake? Perhaps not so mundane, though, as Franklin feels that maybe what healed her was "something stronger than magic."
Merit Badges For Everything: In "Franklin Wants a Badge," Franklin desperately tries to earn merit badges, but ends up continuously stopping to help out his little sister, Harriet. He eventually earns the "Caring Brother Badge."
Monster Is a Mommy: In Franklin and the Green Knight, Franklin and Snail find the "magic cherry tree" and then start getting pecked like crazy by a seemingly vicious warbler bird. It turns out that she's just protecting her eggs, though once Franklin and Snail state that they don't want her eggs, she becomes positively pleasant. This also happens with a bird dubbed the Wily Winged Beast in the stage show Franklin and the Adventures of the Noble Knights, who is Not Evil, Just Misunderstood and gets her own song about it titled "Misunderstood."
The Movie: Even popular series of this sort are usually lucky to get even one movie. Franklin got four of them— Franklin and the Green Knight: The Movie (the only one to include the phrase "The Movie" in the title), Franklin's Magic Christmas, Back to School With Franklin and Franklin in the Turtle Lake Treasure. The final one was the only one released to theaters. It was seen theatrically in France, as Franklin et le tresor du lac.
Franklin and the Green Knight received theatrical releases in certain markets, most notably in its home country of Canada.
The Moving Experience: In "Franklin's Party Plans," Franklin gets the idea that Skunk is moving away to another town, but she's just moving to another street.
The Narrator: Used Once per Episode at the beginning of each episode to give viewers a brief description of what's about to happen in the story, a format adapted from the original books. The original narrator was replaced later in the series, though both were female. The only time the Narrator got any narration outside of the opening was in the Franklin and the Green Knight: The Movie, but all three of the films that followed didn't contain any narration at all, even at the start. The Narrator has also been done away with in Franklin and Friends.
No Antagonist: Well, no real ones, only imaginary ones, or on occasion perceived ones that turn out to be misunderstood. The only example that could really be said to be straight is the dragon within the storybook The Quest of the Green Knight.
No Ending: In "Franklin Has the Hiccups," we never find out the outcome of the chess match. It just ends with Franklin and Marmot agreeing to each play their best and have fun, then heading inside to have the match.
One-Shot Character: Moose (in the TV series), Bat, Kit, Aunt Lucy, Sam, the Crabs from "Franklin at the Seashore," Franklin's maternal grandparents and the Collies. Ms. Periwinkle, the snail pilot from "Franklin and Snail's Dream" was one until she got more appearances in Franklin and Friends
The One Who Wears Shoes: "Franklin could count by twos and tie his shoes..." except he doesn't wear shoes, most of the time. The cast are generally Barefoot Cartoon Animals and Franklin is usually no exception. Several of the books, however, do depict him sometimes wearing shoes and Franklin is the only character ever seen wearing boots on a cold winter's day.
Opposing Sports Team: The Bayside Bandits in Back to School with Franklin. Curiously, it's a team of all raccoons, so it's not surprising that Raccoon is nowhere to be seen in this film.
Orphan's Plot Trinket: Granny's time capsule, the titular treasure in Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure, along with the talisman and photograph within it.
Overtook the Series: The first season was based almost entirely on material from the original books, but the show then went on to air five seasons of original material, as well as a CGI sequel. The first two movies were also based loosely on elements from the books, the first more so than the second.
Pet Baby, Wild Animal: In "Franklin and the Duckling," Franklin tries to adopt a duckling as a pet. He doesn't get to keep it for very long, though, as he's quickly caught by his parents.
Picky Eater: One of the shows' stories is focused on Franklin and his entire group of friends behaving like picky eaters and not wanting to try any of the new food that each of them is bringing to a picnic. The stalemate ends when Franklin and Bear unwittingly eat some pizza made with spinach and say that they like it.
Prima Donna Director: Beaver in "Franklin and the Puppet Play." Asked to direct a puppet play of Little Red Riding Hood, she assigns herself the starring role and doesn't let anyone else have any input. Things come to a head when Beaver catches the others mocking her bossiness. See also Tyrant Takes the Helm for when Beaver is asked to coach the soccer team.
Primal Fear: The first book of the series, Franklin in the Dark, dealt with Franklin's fear of darkness. It was later adapted as one of the TV stories. Creator Paulette Bourgeois was inspired to create the story by the events of an episode of Mash.
Puppy Love: In-universe example - In "Franklin and Betty," Franklin's friends try to suggest this about Franklin and Beaver's cousin Betty. They manage to get Franklin's goat for a little while, but Bear helps him to see that if he enjoys hanging out with Betty, that's all right, and he shouldn't let it get to him.
Removable Shell: Franklin and all of his family members have shells that are removable. Played with in a fire safety story in which Mr. Turtle found that he could not evacuate his house by the window unless he first removed his shell.
Retcon: A number of the TV Storybooks insert Franklin's sister Harriet into stories in which she didn't appear in the TV version because she wasn't born until after the fourth season of the program.
In "It's Father's Day, Franklin!" in the Franklin and Friends series, Goose reveals that her parents are divorced, which is definitely at least a "Wait, what?!" for long time viewers and possibly a retcon, as this was never mentioned in any of the books, nor six seasons and four movies of the original television show. Mr. Goose was seen before in the original television program (he's Woodland's pharmacist) and Franklin once visited Gooses's house for a party, but this never came up. It's as good an explanation as any though for why Mr. Goose is so rarely seen.
Alternatively, this can be seen as a revision of sorts, as it is heavily implied that the Franklin and Friends series takes place a while after the original Franklin show; with the fact that Goose's parents filed for divorce in between this time frame.
Season 3's "Franklin and the Copycat" has Mr. Mole teaching Mr. Turtle to play golf for the first time, while Season 5's "Franklin Plays Golf" at the very least heavily implies that Mr. Turtle is an accomplished golfer with his own set of clubs who eagerly anticipates each new golf season. No matter how you slice the timeline, or lack of one, on this series, something about that just doesn't quite tally.
In one of the stories from Franklin and Friends, Franklin tries to teach Goose to fly, with it eventually being decided that it's okay for her to wait until she's a bit older. But in Franklin and the Green Knight, Goose flew twice in the "Wake Up, Spring" song (one of these flights is actually shown in the intro when you load the DVD), and there were possibly other instances of flight in the original series as well.
Ret Gone: Kit is nowhere to be seen in Franklin and Friends. One of the stories has what is said to be the entire Beaver family staying over at the Turtles and Kit is nowhere to be seen, so it seems safe to say he doesn't exist in this series.
Riding into the Sunset: Franklin does this with Rabbit's scooter at the end of "Franklin and the Red Scooter" after they agree to a trade.
Right Behind Me: Happens to Franklin, Bear and Goose in "Franklin in the Puppet Play" when they make fun of Beaver's bossiness and then realize that she's standing right behind them.
Running Gag: A bit of a running gag in the original television series and films is that Franklin is unable to self-right if we falls over backwards on his shell. In Franklin and Friends, however, he is able to do so.
Safety Worst: Subverted in "Franklin Plays it Safe." After the village safety inspector, Mr. Marmot, tells them that it's "better to be safe than sorry," Franklin and Bear start becoming militant about safety and, among other things, stop their friends from playing in the treehouse when one of the branches develops a crack. Though their fears are dismissed as silly, they turn out to be justified. When the other kids get tired of being told what to do, they decide to go play in the treehouse, but right before they enter, it gets blown down by a stiff wind. Everyone is immediately repentant to Bear & Franklin and everyone pitches in (with adult help) to build a new treehouse.
Played a bit more straight in the fire-safety story "Franklin and the Fire," in which Franklin tries to remove anything from the Turtle family household that he thinks could be a potential fire hazard, including candles and a toaster.
Schmuck Bait: Franklin and Rabbit fall for an obvious prank involving chocolate tied to a rope in 'Franklin's Funny Business'. To be fair, the prankers used Reverse Psychology on the duo, after being pranked by them.
School Play: The first came in the first season story "Franklin's School Play" (based on the book by the same name) and featured The Nutcracker as the play. In the story, Franklin was the Nutcracker Prince, but had to overcome stage fright to perform the role. The second play was in the third season story "Franklin's Starring Role," a performance of Sleeping Beauty. In this story, Franklin doesn't have stage fright anymore, and is upset when he is assigned the role of stage manager, thinking his teacher Mr. Owl doesn't think he's good enough to have a part. In the end, he learns that Mr. Owl gave him the role of stage manager because he felt he was responsible and he wanted to give others a chance to play roles after Franklin had the lead in the last play. The final play was in the film Franklin and the Green Knight, a performance of a fairy tale picture book popular in Woodland: The Quest of the Green Knight. Franklin again takes the lead role this time, as the Green Knight, though the film is also about him thinking that he could truly become the Green Knight and bring Spring, as the Green Knight in the story does.
Scout Out: The Woodland Trailblazers in "Franklin Wants a Badge."
Security Blanket: Franklin has a favorite blanket that he can't sleep without, though by the third film, he decides his sister's need is greater than his own and gives it to her to comfort her when she's upset. He still hangs on to his stuffed puppy, Sam, though.
The film title Franklin and the Green Knight may be a reference to the Arthurian legend Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. That story also features a test of character.
Shown Their Work - Again, in Franklin's Magic Christmas. Not only did they used the original, unaltered lyrics for the songs (of which most have already been heavily "sanitized" due to the abovementioned Have a Gay Old Time trope), they even performed the complete 5-stanza version of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." (Which is very rare - in most works that feature this song, you'll get up to the second "How I wonder what you are," but no more.)
Slice of Life: The basic format, save the films Franklin's Magic Christmas and Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure. Franklin and Friends retains this, the general feel of the show is the original, just done in high-definition CGI.
The Snack Is More Interesting: A non-food variant. In "Franklin Plays the Game," Skunk, the goalie of the team competing against Franklin's, sits to the side of the goal reading a book. The book is more interesting because goal-keeping isn't needed - Franklin's team never keeps control of the ball long enough for it to matter. "Bear's team ten! Franklin's team zero! Game over!"
Snow Means Cold: Heavily employed in Franklin and the Green Knight - one of the characters even says that she wouldn't mind seeing some rain because that at least would be a sign of spring.
Soundtrack Dissonance: A number of viewers have complained that the show's instrumental soundtrack sounds far too depressing compared with the show's generally cheery nature.
Species Surname: Except in the case of most of the children, it's not just their surname, it's their only name. It's Lamp Shaded in Back to School With Franklin. Miss Koala, calling roll, gets through several of the character names and then refers to Franklin as "Turtle" and everyone laughs. He tells her that she's Franklin, not "Turtle." She apologizes and asks if there are any other surprises. Everyone just sort of shakes their heads. Once the kids started getting siblings, though, they had to start coming up with other names. Franklin's sister was Harriet, but the other character's siblings still fit the theme, such as Beatrice (Bear's sister) and Kit (Beaver's brother.)
Spelling Bee: Miss Koala, the replacement teacher in Back to School with Franklin, decides to hold one on the first day. Beaver wins by remembering that there's an apostrophe in the word "don't," as she had been studying the new year's speller.
Spring Is Late: The biggest theme of Franklin and the Green Knight, other than that Franklin's family is expecting a new member. "Wake up, Spring where are you? Wake up! Come on Spring, let's have some fun! ... Spring, come out, now don't be shy. Oh, Springtime, can't you even try?"
Start My Own: Franklin's "Turtle Trackers" group in "Franklin Wants a Badge," the various characters' secret clubs in "Franklin's Secret Club" and Franklin's "Turtle Point" in "Franklin's Birthday Party"
In "Franklin, the Planner" on Franklin and Friends, the kids all end up doing this, pairing off and starting their own floor plans for a new treefort when it doesn't seem like there's enough room to fit each of their own ideas in the original floor plan. The problem, of course, being that only one treefort can be built and they need something that satisfies everyone. It's Franklin who comes up with the idea for compromise, they can't all have everything they want in the treefort, but each of them can use their best idea and they'll put it all together.
Stealth Pun: Two gargoyles named "Gar" and "Goyle" respectively in the Franklin and the Adventures of the Noble Knights stage show.
Stubborn Mule: Franklin himself in "Franklin in Charge," a story from the sixth season. When Mr. Turtle goes on a trip to see Uncle Snapper, Franklin agrees to do the household work that he would normally do. He tries to do everything and rejects Harriet and Mrs. Turtles' offers of help, eventually leading to madcap situation in which he pours too much powder into the washing machine and ends up upside-down on his shell in a field of bubbles.
Surprise Party: Franklin and his friends throw Skunk a party because of a The Moving Experience situation - they think she's moving out of town and want to give her a good-bye party. It turns out she's only moving out of her old home in Woodland, but she appreciates the party nevertheless, as she was truly sad about moving, despite the fact that she wasn't leaving town.
The entire plot of the game Franklin: A Birthday Surprise is based around the player helping the cast to plan a surprise party for Franklin's best friend, Bear.
Tagalong Kid: Harriet is this if she plays with Franklin and his friends, much to Franklin's annoyance.
Tempting Fate: Franklin's Word has Franklin promising to spend time with Harriet because his bike is broken. Then his bike gets repaired. Then he decides that it's okay as long as he doesn't have to play with Messy Squeakalot, Harriet's doll. Guess what happens next.
Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: It's sometimes hard to tell Harriet apart from Franklin when she's not wearing her purple bow. Additionally, Mrs. Turtle is usually seen wearing a purple neckband with a jewel at the center. Beaver's cousin Betty is also hard to tell apart from Beaver (though there are some definite physical differences, such as that she has no facial whiskers), so Franklin lends her his scarf so that everyone can recognize the two different beavers on the soccer field.
That Cloud Looks Like: In "Franklin's Cellar," when Franklin realizes that his imagination allows him to see shapes in clouds, he realizes that it can also help him to conquer imaginary monsters in the cellar. Some of Franklin's friends also do this in "Franklin's All Ears" on Franklin and Friends.
Time Skip: From the original Franklin animation, to Franklin and Friends. It retains the lighthearted humor, and moral values of the original, but a variable amount of time has passed in between the two series.
Title Montage: The original series used this. Because Skunk moved away a couple of episodes in, the opening was edited for the second season with an entirely new set of clips, none with Skunk. The same set continued to be used for the remainder of the show's six season run, despite significant changes that included the addition of Franklin's sister Harriet.
Title Theme Tune: "Hey, it's Franklin, coming to your house. Hey, it's Franklin, coming to my house." Franklin and Friends features a version of the original tune with new lyrics, written by the original composer, Bruce Cockburn.
Totally Radical: "Coolio" in Franklin and Friends. Most if not all of the kids use it, and even some of the adults. It seems to be an all-purpose replacement for "cool," at least one character even says "coolio-est."
Treasure Map: In Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure, Franklin's Aunt Lucy has one that's supposed to indicate the location of the time capsule that Franklin's Granny buried when she was a kid. Aunt Lucy has been searching for the treasure with no success for years— it turns out it was dug up a long time ago and kept by a packrat who didn't realize its significance.
Two Lines, No Waiting: Usually avoided, but done fairly successfully in Back to School With Franklin. The A story involves Franklin's class and their substitute teacher Miss Koala, while the B story focuses on Franklin's sister Harriet developing a friendship with Beaver's little brother, Kit.
Two-Timer Date: Happens when Franklin accidentally agrees to attend Bear's baseball game and then Beaver's art show, which are both happening at the same time. He does such a good job of being in two places at once that Bear and Beaver are A.) impressed at how well he did and B.) pleased that he cared enough about them to honor his commitment to both.
Tyrant Takes the Helm: In "Franklin the Coach," Beaver becomes the tyranical new coach after Franklin surrenders his substitute coaching role because he's considered to be too wishy-washy and offers the job to Beaver instead. She gets Drill Sergeant Nasty, among other things telling Bear that he can't eat marshmallows because "You are what you eat and I won't have any marshmallows on my team!" The characters all decide Screw This, I'm Outta Here!, but Franklin and Beaver eventually resolve the situation by agreeing to share coaching duties, balancing each other's personalities and skills.
Unmanly Secret: Franklin once tried to hide the fact that he was still sleeping with his stuffed dog, Sam, when having a campout with his friends.
Unusual Euphemism: Beaver uses "Oh, woodchips!" in "Franklin and the Amazing Stupendous Circus Trick" from Franklin and Friends. Additionally, in "Franklin Changes the Rules," also from Franklin and Friends, Rabbit bursts out with "Oh, carrot sticks!" after Beaver comes up with another burdensome rule for her pirate treasure game that nobody is really inclined to follow.
Vacation Episode: With a twist. Franklin and his family visit a pioneer village and Franklin is not pleased at first. The spry young turtle then finds that he likes pioneer life, while his parents struggle to keep up with the hard work routine. Franklin's Magic Christmas might also count, as the Turtle family goes on a trip to Franklin and Harriets' maternal grandparents' farm.
The Voiceless: In "Franklin the Hero," Franklin and snail meet their favorite superhero, Dynaroo, though it's unclear if she's the real Dynaroo or just someone who plays a character. In any case, she doesn't say a word.
Wasn't That Fun?: In "Big Brother Franklin," when Franklin, Fox and Raccoon are spun off the merry-go-round, Squirrel manages to hang on and his comment is "Let's do that again!"
Water Is Dry: After everyone gets caught out in the rain without umbrellas in "Franklin and the Thunderstorm," none of them show even the slightest sign of getting wet. They weren't out in it long, but it was pouring heavily enough that they all should have gotten a good soaking, particularly Franklin and Snail.
We'll See About That: Beaver, in "Franklin and the Trading Cards," regarding an argument over whether Franklin is going to give his Martian Muskrat card to her or Fox
Beaver: We'll just see about that!
Fox: Yeah, I guess we will!
When I Was Your Age: Mr. Turtle had to walk two and a half miles to school and back, even in the rain and the snow. It wasn't uphill both ways, though.
Whole Plot Reference: The stage show Franklin and the Adventures of the Noble Knights seems to be more-or-less a full-plot reference of "Sir Franklin's Squire" from the original Franklin show.
Worthless Treasure Twist: The Franklin and Friends special Polar Explorer features Great Aunt Harriet's special treasure in the Antarctic, which turns out to be an extremely sparkly and picturesque lake that discovered.
You Are Grounded: Franklin and Bear decide to ground themselves after they get poison ivy rashes after taking a disallowed shortcut and then are caught trying to hide them.