Hey, it's Franklin!Franklin (Franklin the Turtle) is a series of children's books written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Brenda Clark, featuring the adventures of an anthropomorphic young turtle and his group of friends. The first book in the series, Franklin in the Dark, 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 children's series with the same name that appeared on Nick Jr. and CBS in the United States, 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. There were a total of four films released for the original Franklin series: Franklin and the Green Knight: The Movie, Franklin's Magic Christmas, Back to School with Franklin and Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure. Franklin and Friends has two to date: Polar Explorer and Deep Sea Voyage. Both were made with the participation of the theme park SeaWorld, which also hosts a Franklin attraction at its park in Orlando, Florida.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. At this time, most of the details are listed, but more work is needed particularly on the adult characters of the franchise. Please add character-specific tropes to the character sheet when 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.
Coming over to play.
Growing a little
Here he comes with all his friends.
They've got stories, got time to spend with you!
Hey, it's Franklin!
Coming to your house.
Hey, it's Franklin!
Coming to my house.
Hey, it's Franklin!
Coming over to play.
Growing a little
Here he comes with all his friends.
They've got stories, got time to spend with you!
Hey, it's Franklin!
Coming to your house.
Hey, it's Franklin!
Coming to my house.
Hey, it's Franklin!
— Franklin theme song
The various adaptations of Franklin provide examples of the following:
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Tropes A to M
- 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's 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.
- Adult Fear
- In Franklin's Magic Christmas, both Franklin and Harriet try to venture on their own to Woodland from Faraway Farm in order to get Dr. Bear to help their grandpa. True, things work out, but both of their grandparents, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Turtle, are left to worry over what might happen to them in a wooded area on a very cold night following an ice/snowstorm.
- In Franklin and the Green Knight, Franklin and Snail travel through and over woods, cliffs, and mountains, Snail is rescued from drowning and they face off against serious dangers both real and imagined, then make it almost all the way back home before anyone even realizes they're missing.
- 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. Could also be considered a case of Arbitrary Skepticism.
- 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.
- All-CGI Cartoon: Franklin and Friends
- Alliterative Name: Beatrice "Bea" Bear.
- Always Know a Pilot: "Franklin and Snail's Dream". Snail's dream is to fly, but many different attempts by Franklin prove futile, that is until Mr. Turtle calls on a pilot friend of his, who just happens to also be a snail, and flies around in her own snail-sized plane, to make Snail's dream come true.
- Anachronic Order: This is evident in both Franklin 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. And yet, in the third season story "Franklin and the Lost Lost Tooth," Franklin says quite clearly that "Turtles don't have teeth." (Somebody make up their mind!)
- Animals Not to Scale: The woodland animals are more or less their respective sizes and we have the accurately tiny Snail, but then comes Franklin, a turtle, who is as tall as a beaver and more than half the size of a bear. Moose is another one that is a bit more accurate, and his family is even bigger, though he's only seen in one installment of the television series and a smattering of the books. Then there's Eagle from the Franklin and the Green Knight film, who is massive and able to carry Franklin and Snail for a ride on her back.
- 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. In particular, Franklin and the Green Knight adapted some material from Franklin's Baby Sister, while Franklin's Magic Christmas gives Franklin a line that was used as the ending of the narration of Franklin and Harriet.
- 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. In the earlier books, the animals looked more realistic, right down to their sizes - Bear, Fox, and Otter were much bigger than Franklin. Also, many of the characters (including Franklin's parents) walked on all fours. Starting in Franklin Plays the Game, the seventh book in the series, all of the characters are the same size and the designs are more cartoony.
- Rabbit and Fox frequently walked on all fours in the first season of the television series, but in later seasons they always walked on their hind legs.
- Are We There Yet?:
- Harriet gives an exasperated one in the Franklin's Magic Christmas special when she gets bored of the especially long car-ride to her and Franklin's grandparents on Faraway Farm. Later, a "We there yet?" is her way of revealing that she sneaked along on Franklin's secret attempt to ride a horse to Woodland.
- In Franklin and the Green Knight, Snail sighs and asks this after he and Franklin go on a long journey to find a magic cherry tree supposedly contains blossoms that can bring spring. Fortunately, the answer is yes.
- Argument of Contradictions:
- Beaver and Fox have one throughout "Franklin's Halloween" over whether or not there are real ghosts.
- In "Franklin and the Adventure on the Planet Zorb" from Franklin and Friends, Franklin, Bear, Fox and Rabbit have one with Beaver and Goose over whether they should all play astronauts (the boys' chosen game) or pixies (the girls' chosen game.) They go back and forth several times until Snail declares a "red alert," saying that they're making his ears hurt. Franklin agrees that yelling at each other won't solve everything and they're forced to actually come up with a constructive solution to their problem.
- Art Evolution: Thumb through the first Franklin book, then go through each season of the TV series, then the movies, and finally the CGI television series. Yep, they've come a long way.
- Association Football: There are episodes that are entirely dedicated to football/soccer and they enjoy playing it from time to time. Perhaps most notably, the A plot of the special Back to School With Franklin is about Franklin and his friends preparing for a big soccer game.
- Baby Talk: Earlier episodes and specials have Harriet talk like that, however she does grow out of it when the spinoff Franklin and Friends rolls around. Beaver also speaks in baby talk to both her pet hamster Henry (or "Chubby Cheeks, yes, he is a widdle Chubby Cheeks...") on Franklin and to the gecko Gordon on Franklin and Friends.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: In "Franklin the Engineer" from Franklin and Friends, after Franklin and the others accidentally break Mr. Mole's toy locomotive, Mr. Mole, sounding devastated comments "I've had this locomotive since I was seven..." only to then say "...and it's not the first time that it's broke."
- 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.
- Bedsheet Ghost: In the book Franklin's Halloween and the associated television story, it's said that Franklin and his friends know that Bear always wears this as his Halloween costume, so when Franklin gets to the Halloween party, he doesn't have to worry about trying to figure out who Bear is, even underneath all the disguises. He and his friends get tricked, however, because while there is one of these at the party, it's not Bear, who is home sick with a cold. It turns to be their teacher, Mr. Owl, who heard that Bear was at home and decided to play a trick on all of them.
- Be Yourself: "Franklin and His Night Friend," probably other stories as well.
- Big Blackout: This is what kickstarts the climax in Franklin's Magic Christmas. A massive icestorm causes a blackout to Faraway Farm and the surrounding area, causing Franklin and Harriet's parents to leave and go check on the Collies. Grandpa Turtle slips and falls on the ice and with no way to call for help, Franklin decides to try to set off for Woodland on his own to get the help of Dr. Bear, with Harriet secretly playing the Tagalong Kid.
- 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.
- Bigger Is Better: In "Franklin and the Woodland Fuzzies," when everyone stops playing with their Woodland Fuzzies, Franklin thinks that they don't like them anymore and so he creates a mega-sized one, figuring exactly this. As it turned out, his friends liked the Woodland Fuzzies because they were cute and small, they just didn't want to play with them all the time.
- Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...:
For Baby Turtle... To Baby Turtle... Baby Turtle... Beat
- 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:
- 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. Additionally, the Franklin TV storybook Adaptation Distillation of "Franklin Runs Away" has Franklin carrying a bindle stick loaded with cookies in one hand and his stuffed dog Sam in the other.
- Boring Return Journey: In Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure, the characters face various dangers and trials as they search for the talisman that will help them save Franklin's Granny. The return trip is depicted as a cheery canoe ride and a brief walk that is presented in about one minute of screentime, just long enough to play a triumphant instrumental version of one of the film's songs, "Getting There is Half the Fun." Averted in Franklin and the Green Knight: The Movie. Franklin and Snail do encounter some difficulty on their way back and end up calling for their newly friend, Eagle, who flies them to their friend Bear's place, where their friends and family are.
- 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.
- Brutal Honesty: The subject of "Franklin's Homemade Cookies" - Franklin is unflinchingly critically honest of Bear's craft project that he gives to him and then has to deal with the same thing when it turns out his cookies have way too much ginger in them.
- Buffy Speak: In "Super Cluepers' Case of the Missing School Bell," the Super Cluepers discover that the part of the bell that actually causes it to ring is missing. However, even after being told by Owl that this is called the "clapper," it ends up being referred to several times as the "ringy thingy."
- 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.
- In "Who's Who in Woodland, Franklin?", Franklin and Bear are entirely unaware that Mr. Groundhog is the town weather forecaster and has many interesting weather gadgets. But Franklin learned all about the weather from Mr. Groundhog, as well as his gadgets, in the original show.
- In Back to School with Franklin, Harriet was upset that she was losing her daily playmate because Beatrice was a year older than her and was starting preschool. In "Franklin's School" on Franklin and Friends, however, it's indicated that both are the same age and neither has ever been to school before, but both will soon be starting school with Mr. Owl.
- Despite Skunk not being a regular character in Franklin and Friends, a skunk character was a seen a few times in earlier episodes. Then, the 2014 book Franklin and the Case of the New Friend, revealed that the kids were under the impression that there were no skunk families in Woodland and surprised when they found a photo of a skunk family. They dressed up as the Super Cluepers and discovered a shy skunk girl named, well, Skunk, and invited her to play with them and join the Super Cluepers.
- The Case Of: On Franklin and Friends, many of the stories involving the Super Cluepers are titled this way.
- Character Title, or Character Name and the Noun Phrase for Franklin and Friends
- 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.
- The cover artwork of the Franklin and Friends release "Sharing is Caring" shows Franklin presenting a drawing of a heart to Harriet. Again, it's a deliberately cute picture, but there's no scene like this in any of the stories on the DVD and Harriet only appears in one of them. Seems whoever's doing the DVD covers for Kaboom likes the little tike or at least thinks she's quite marketable.
- "Family Day," another of the compilation releases, is even worse by having Harriet prominently on both the front and the back, despite all of the Franklin stories on the DVD being from before the fifth season.
- Crash-Into Hello: In Polar Explorer, Franklin meets the penguin Pip after Pip crashes into him while sledding. Right before this, Franklin had been told that he wouldn't be seeing any penguins on his journey because they all live at the South Pole, not the North Pole.
- 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
- Death Glare: In "Franklin and Beaver's Show-and-Tell" from Franklin and Friends, Beaver has a magnificent one for Franklin after he asks why she didn't tell him a bee was chasing her, even though she had been trying unsuccessfully to communicate this through charades because she lost her voice.Franklin: Oh, a bee was chasing you?! ... Why didn't you say so?Beaver: gives Death GlareFranklin: That was just a joke.
- Decided by One Vote: In "Franklin and the Gecko Games," the vote to decide who gets to pet-sit the gecko Gordon for the summer, either Franklin or Beaver, is decided by one vote... or would be, except that Goose actually votes for both Franklin and Beaver and is told she can make her choice the next day. Still unable to decide, she holds the Gecko Games to decide which one will get this last deciding vote.
- Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: Owl and Badger, though badgers can sometimes be diurnal in certain seasons. Averted, however, with Bat.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Nearly everyone but Franklin and his sister Harriet. Justified by Word of God because Franklin was originally a one-shot book with Franklin being the only character and when the series was being made, she wanted to make Franklin stand out as the most important character by giving him a unique name and not the other characters. Adult characters are generally named using the rule of Species Surname, i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Turtle, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, etc. If a character is given a sibling, a Punny Name is generally used fitting the animal theme, i.e. Bear's little sister Beatrice "Bea" Bear, or Beaver's little brother Kit.
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: Invoked by Beaver in Sir Franklin's Squire with The Obstacle Course Of Doom!
- The Dreaded Pretend Tea Party: Franklin's little sister Harriet loves hosting tea parties with her plush, and sometimes bringing in her best friend Beatrice as well. Franklin often ends up getting roped in, but he's generally actually pretty supportive.
- 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.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- In the earliest books, Franklin had two friends named Duck and Hawk, neither of whom appeared in later installments.
- In the first books, Franklin used to be afraid of going into his shell and dragged it around with him everywhere. Franklin's parents used to walk on all fours, and so did Franklin's friends, who were all much bigger than Franklin until they were all reduced to nearly the same height.
- In the book version of Franklin is Bossy, Mr. Mole is referred to as simply "Mole."
- In the book version of Franklin is Messy, Franklin's friends are okay with Franklin using a stick in place of a toy sword. In the television series, their reaction, indicated to be copied from their parents, is that he'll poke someone's eye out.
- Everybody Laughs Ending: Common.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Almost inevitable, given the limited number of characters
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most of the episode titles.
- 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."
- Feather Fingers: Goose, Mrs. Goose and Mr. Owl
- 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.
- 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.
- The episode "Franklin Says Sorry" also deals with this (but more directly, the importance of apologizing for something.) Bear makes a flag for the group's make believe ship, and reluctantly shows Franklin when he notices him sneaking it there. Bear entrusts Franklin with keeping it a secret. Fox bugs Franklin to tell him the secret, promising not to tell, and Franklin does so. But when he and Bear return, we find Fox showing the flag to the others. The flag ends up getting ripped, leaving Bear furious with Franklin. After a few unsuccessful attempts to make things right, he finally lures Bear to the treehouse, and learns that the word "sorry" is more important than you think.
- 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
"Doing the dinosaur dance and dinosaur wiggle! To make a dinosaur laugh, you gotta go tickle, tickle!"
- Bear does this to Franklin at the end of "Franklin Goes to Day Camp," to get Franklin to give him his friendship bracelet.
- This happens in the stage show Franklin's Big Adventure with "The Dinosaur Song," which is also available on the music album "Hey, It's Franklin!"
- 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. (His realization that a pet dog didn't suit him was how he ended up getting Goldie instead.)
- 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.
- In Franklin's Magic Christmas, Franklin's grandparents own a non-anthro cat named Whsikers, but also receive a visit from their anthro-doggy neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Collie. Also, the reindeer are non-anthro, but nevertheless possessed of magic flying powers.
- Furry Reminder: They're animals that walk and talk like humans, however:
- Franklin eats flies, crickets, and is an herbivore. His sister Harriet has a fondness for eating caterpillars.
- Bear loves honey, blueberries, takes many naps, and can climb tall trees.
- Beaver loves to chew wood and build dams out of trees.
- Rabbit loves to hop, play leapfrog, and is very quick.
- Fox, especially in earlier installments, is often known to be tricky.
- Otter is a natural in the water.
- Mr. Owl: Another Fall molt, where does the time go?
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In “Franklin Has a Sleepover”, Franklin and Bear let their plush toys ride on a train and they are shown in an intimate position. note
- Gilligan Cut:
Mom: Hmm, some fresh air. What a good idea.
- In "Franklin's Bad Day":
Franklin: Mom, I don't want to go outside.
Franklin: (suddenly dressed up and ready to go out to the snow) Okay, but I'm not going to play.
Franklin: I wouldn't miss it for anything. (flipping scene changer to Franklin at home) But, Mom, I can't go to Granny's tomorrow!
- In "Franklin's Granny," Franklin and his friends plan a fun water balloon fight.
- 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.
- Halloween Episode: The book and original series episode "Franklin's Halloween", and the Franklin and Friends episode, "It's Halloween, Franklin!".
- 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.
- Hello!: One of the songs from the Franklin's Big Adventure stage show is titled "Hello" and is about the museum guide, Carbunkel, wanting Franklin's class to give her a big happy "hello" in response whenever she says hello.
- Homoerotic Subtext:
Bear: Hi Franklin. I made this for you.
- Like you wouldn't believe. “Franklin Goes to Day Camp” absolutely reeks with romantic subtext. Franklin and Bear are shown to be inseparable like a couple. At the day camp, they meet Possum and Franklin invites him to join them. (This is the only episode Possum has appeared in, he is never mentioned again.) They all get along until Franklin realizes Possum only wants to play with Bear. He gets angry and jealous because Possum is stealing Bear away from him and he felt cheated on by Bear. Franklin throws a pinecone at Bear to get his attention but he doesn't blame Franklin even though he is an Honor Before Reason fellow. Franklin cries over losing Bear and how he left him for Possum, like someone after a break-up. The coach tells Franklin that even though he let Bear play with Possum, "Bear will always be your best friend." After they all make “friendship bracelets”, Franklin sees the two exchange bracelets and that was the end of his relationship, until Bear appears and says that his bracelet was actually for Franklin. Then, Bear tackles Franklin and begins to tickle him for Franklin's bracelet. Bear also likes to periodically tickle Franklin from behind and while on top of him. Not even subtle.
Franklin: But I saw you and Possum trading your bracelets.
Bear: We were just showing them to each other. He's giving his to his best friend, Squirrel.
Franklin: You sure played with Possum an awful lot.
Bear: I thought you wanted us to be friends with him. It was your idea.
Franklin: Yeah, but he just wanted to play with you.
- "Franklin and the Pinecone Pass" has more thinly veiled subtext. Franklin wants to play with Bear, but runs into Rabbit and Bear enjoying Rabbit's game. Franklin immediately gets jealous and intervenes by trying to get Bear to play his game but they're having too much fun together. Franklin fears and laments that Bear has left him for a a new "best friend". The show likes to have close pairs like Franklin/Bear, Beaver/Goose, Fox/Rabbit, and then Franklin tells Fox his predicament. Fox thinks it's silly because even though Rabbit is playing with Bear, they are still best friends with Fox and Franklin, respectively. Franklin learns that you can still be "best friends" with someone even if they hang out or play with other people or someone else's "best friend". note
- 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 Can See My House from Here: Rabbit does this from inside a barrel in "Franklin the Planner" on Franklin and Friends.
- 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."
- Inevitable Waterfall: Franklin rescues Snail from going over the edge of one just in the nick of time following the "I Wonder" song in Franklin and the Green Knight.
- Innocent Swearing: Used at one point, with the "swear word" stupid.
- 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.
- It's the Best Whatever, Ever!:
- In "Franklin Has a Sleepover," both Franklin and Bear declare it to be the "best sleepover ever".
- Happens every now and then in Franklin and Friends as well.
- Kids Prefer Boxes: In "Franklin's Big Box" from Franklin and Friends, Franklin's Aunt T tries to invoke this by sending Franklin a large decorated box in the mail with nothing in it. At first, Franklin and his friends think maybe she just forgot to put in a gift and decide to go visit her place to ask her about it. Along the way, however, they have fun with the box, and by the time they've reached Aunt T's, Franklin's decided to thank her for just sending the empty box.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Beaver. In fairness, she is smart as a whip, but she's just as often wrong as she is right.
- Laborious Laziness: "Franklin's Day Off" has An Aesop of sorts about this. Franklin spends most of the episode dealing with problems he wouldn't have had if he had just done the work was supposed to do instead of putting it off, such as needing a rake that was holding up the Blanket Fort he didn't take down in order to rake up leaves which have buried a bicycle pump that he wouldn't have had trouble finding if he had put it away properly in the first place.
- Large Ham:
- In the TV version of "Franklin's Valentines," Beaver's Valentine box is plastered with massive photos of herself. Bear jokingly asks her which box is hers.
- Beaver herself is very much this throughout the original TV series. She is considerably less hammy in Franklin and Friends.
- Last-Minute Baby Naming: In Franklin and the Green Knight, when Franklin's baby sister is brought home, Granny Turtle asks if they have a name for her, resulting in a sort of embarrassed mutter from Mr. Turtle about how they "have some ideas." Franklin then brightly says that they should call her Harriet, because Great Aunt Harriet always gives the best presents and the baby is sort of like the perfect present. Everyone agrees.
- Licensed Games: Two Game Boy Advance games, one Nintendo DS game, and one PlayStation 2 game. All of them by The Game Factory.
- 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
- Little Sister Is Watching: In "Franklin's Word," Franklin's thoughtless use of the word "stupid" causes his little sister, Harriet, to start doing it as well. This causes him to realize that his little sister really does see him as a role model and he resolves to start being more thoughtful in his words and behavior when she's around.
- 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 have been released. While at first released only in Canada, they later found their way to the United States.
- 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. The same is also true of Eagle beforehand, which Franklin equates with the monster from the Green Knight story and draws his paper sword as if to fight her. She tells him that she has no interest in fighting him, gives both him and Snail a ride, and later says she has to go because she needs to take care of her eaglets. 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.
Tropes N to Z
- 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.
- Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Franklin tries this in "Franklin's Crystal" when he cheats the spin to determine whether he or Beaver will get to have custody of the crystal they found together first. Beaver isn't fooled for one second.
- Odd Name Out: Let's see, you got Beaver the beaver, Fox the fox, Bear the bear, Rabbit the rabbit, and Franklin...the turtle. Word of God says that "Franklin in the Dark" was intended to be a one-shot story with Franklin being the only character. But when she made more stories, she wanted to emphasize the importance of Franklin and that he is the main character by not giving the other characters names, thus making Franklin unique and important.
- Once an Episode: Each book begins the same way: "Franklin could count by twos and tie his shoes."
- One-Shot Character: Moose (in the TV series), Possum, 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.
- One, Two, Skip a Few: In "The Dinosaur Song" from the stage show Franklin's Class Trip, the Dinosaur tells Franklin that he is 100 million years old.Snail: One hundred million? Is that a very big number, Franklin?Franklin: I'm not sure. Let me see... one, two, three, four, five, six, seven... one hundred million! Yep, it's big.
- 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.
- Our Goblins Are Different: The goblin in the The Quest of the Green Knight story from Franklin and the Green Knight is called a goblin but really doesn't look or behave much like a traditional goblin at all, other than being somewhat on the small side. He is rescued from a traditional-looking griffin by the Green Knight, after which he gives him advice on how to find the object of his search: cherry blossoms that can bring spring. Appearance-wise, if anything, he looks like some sort of buck-toothed, long-tailed anthropomorphic rodent.
- 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.
- Perfect Health: Averted with Bear. On the day of Halloween, Bear came down with a cold with a stuffy nose and sneezes. He couldn’t make it to the Halloween party that night. Considering that his mother is a doctor and some episodes focus on doctors and health care, the show averts Perfect Health by having the doctor treat characters’ illnesses.
- 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.
- Playground Song: Franklin and his friends sing "Down By the Bay" in "Franklin Goes to Day Camp."
- Playing a Tree: Bear plays a tree in the play in "Franklin and the Snow Princess" from Franklin and Friends. Goose plays the glistening snow, Rabbit is the whooshing wind.
- 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.
- Protagonist Title: Only the original TV adaptation was simply named Franklin where the books became the TV episodes and the book titles were the episode titles. Averted with the movies and the CGI series Franklin and Friends, though that one is Protagonist and Friends.
- 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.
- "Reading Is Cool" Aesop: At least a couple of different installments have promoted reading and literacy.
- 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. This doesn't seem to be the case in Franklin and Friends, though, in which Franklin is never seen removing his shell, nor hiding in it. Additionally, he mentions that it grows with him, and it can also get itchy, both of which suggest that it's an integrated part of his body.
- 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.
- Rule #1: In Franklin's Big Adventure, one of the stage shows, Franklin is seriously weirded out by the seeming oddness of the museum-guide, Carbunkel, who presents herself as a "highly respected professional guide person" and among other things presents a list of rules for the museum visit with the help of a group of singers, in the middle of a song she's singing herself.Miss Carbunkel: But before we make our way beyond those doors, there are a few things we must all be aware of.Vocalists: Rrrule number one!Miss Carbunkel: Stay together. We can't have you youngsters running all over the place.Vocalists: Rrrule number two!Miss Carbunkel: Don't touch anything! The museum is filled with old and very delicate objects that haven't felt the warmth of a human hand in thousands of years. And...Vocalists: Rrrule number three!Miss Carbunkel: When I say "hello," I want you to say hello right back at me!
- The Runaway: In "Franklin Runs Away," Franklin and Snail briefly become runaways after a bad day: being scolded by Mr. Owl at school for talking during reading time, chastised for supposedly not playing fair at sports, Bear getting angry at Franklin for having a library book that's almost overdue, and Mrs. Turtle getting upset at them for making a mess after they decide to make their own snack because she was too busy painting the shed to make them one. Their refuge is the treefort, but it doesn't last very long at all, as Snail quickly points out the flaws in the idea. Then, when they go back to Franklin's' place to get some supplies, they get found hiding in the closet after hiding there because Bear knocked on the door. He brought the book back, having renewed it. When Mrs. Turtle finds them in the closet, they blurt out their whole "living in the treefort" plan.
- 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. Also, he and Harriet both have no problem self-righting after falling over on their own to make snow-angels in Franklin's Magic Christmas, suggesting it runs in part on Rule of Funny.
- Russian Reversal: In "Franklin's Backwards Day" from Franklin and Friends, Rabbit puts a chair on his back, saying that in honor of Backwards Day, he thought that his chair should sit on him.
- 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 third 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. The Franklin and Friends story "Franklin Switches it Up" has the final play, a swashbuckling adventure written by Rabbit and Snail called Pirates from Space.
- Scout Out: The Woodland Trailblazers in "Franklin Wants a Badge."
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Franklin has this reaction in the stage Franklin's Class Trip when he and his class visit the science museum and are greeted in song by their "highly respected and professional" but nevertheless somewhat eccentric guideperson, Miss Carbunkel. He's already scared because of an incorrect belief that they're going to see a real live dinosaur there and Miss Carbunkel's oddness doesn't do anything to help. He tries to rope Snail into his plan to leave as well, but Snail is actually the voice of reason who puts the kibosh on the plan, noting that the bus back doesn't come until well after lunchtime and they need to just have courage and "do this."
- 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.
- Seldom-Seen Species: Marten the magician, a pine marten, in "Franklin the Fabulous".
- She's Got Legs: In 'Franklin's Homemade Cookies', Mrs. Turtle emphasized her legs when dancing with Aunt Tortoise's fruit hat, in front of her son, and in particular, her husband.
- In Franklin in the Dark, the monsters that come out of Franklin's shell are generic looking, but in the TV series adaptation of the story, Franklin imagines different monsters emerging from his shell. The monsters are Viras, Jiger, Barugon, and Gyaos, all of which come from another series that "coincidentally" involves a Turtle Protagonist...
- 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.
- Little Red Riding Hood is the play that Franklin, Bear, Beaver and Goose perform in "Franklin and the Puppet Play."
- 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.)
- Show Within a Show: The Quest of the Green Knight
- Sick Episode: Combines this with Halloween Episode where Bear suddenly has a cold and is sneezing on the day of Halloween. Unfortunately, he thought he could make it to the party and the haunted house that night, but he was feeling too sick to go.
- 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.
- Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: The characters on the show generally fall somewhere between Civilized Animal and Funny Animal. They exhibit a lot of human behaviors and in Franklin and the Green Knight, Mrs. Turtle was shown pregnant, rather than Harriet hatching from an egg. However, they also still exhibit a fair few animal behaviors, such as Goose being able to fly (though only in the first film) and the Beaver family building dams. They've also undergone a bit of Anthropomorphic Shift in that they looked much more like animals in the earlier books. Snail is a special case in that he is much smaller than the other characters, whereas most of the characters are pretty much human-sized. Oh, and Franklin has a pet fish and Beaver and Bear both have pet hamsters.
- 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: The show's instrumental soundtrack is often surprisingly melancholic-sounding, 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.
- Stock Animal Name: Franklin's pet goldfish is, unsurprisingly, called Goldie.
- Stock Ness Monster: Michiochi in Franklin's Pond Phantom.
- 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.
- In "Franklin's All Ears," Franklin and Snail both become convinced that Franklin's friends are planning one of these after Snail overhears a snippet of conversation and the two come to an incorrect conclusion. (They only wanted to give Franklin his lost soccer ball that they had found.) In the end, they end up having a party anyway because Franklin and Snail gathered up party supplies.
- "Hurry Up, Franklin!" has Franklin making his way to Bear's surprise party, but he gets distracted by his friends and various things he collects on the way. He helps Snail and him make it to the surprise just in time and gives all of the things he found, including Bear's missing blue cap, to Bear as a birthday gift.
- Tagalong Kid: Harriet is this if she plays with Franklin and his friends, much to Franklin's annoyance.
- Talking in Your Sleep: In "Franklin and the Snoring Situation" from Franklin and Friends, the reason Bear keeps falling asleep is because he's been having to share his room with his little sister, Beatrice, while her room is being painted. Apparently Beatrice not only tosses and turns, but once she does fall asleep, she actually sings in her sleep, loudly.
- 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.
- "Franklin and Snail's Dream" opens with Franklin and Snail doing this. Snail sees a cloud that looks like a bird and then seeing a real bird flying inspires him to share his dream with Franklin, that he wants to fly.
- Some of Franklin's friends also do this in "Franklin's All Ears" on Franklin and Friends.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Not as noticeably, or as heavily used as a show like Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, but it is a children's show, so...
- That Reminds Me Ofa Song: Franklin's Aunt T. likes to make up songs to sing while she's doing her chores and teaches them to Franklin.
- These Questions Three: The "Riddle For You All" song in the "Adventures of the Noble Knights" stage show, with Beaver and the Gargoyles
- Third-Person Person: Little Crow from Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure is this.
- 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.
- T-Word Euphemism: In "Franklin and the Grump," Mr. Groundhog invites Franklin into his home for cocoa after Franklin returns his container of cocoa mix that he had left behind while fleeing from folks that wanted him to either tell him that there's either going to be an early spring or more winter. Franklin promises not to Talk About the Weather, but then notices Mr. Beaver's various meteorological instruments and comments that he "must know a lot about the weather," then covers his mouth and says that he forgot he wasn't supposed to talk about "the W-word." Mr. Beaver, however, says that he loves talking about the weather, it's just that he doesn't like everyone pestering him about Groundhog Day because there are always going to be those who don't like the answer they hear.
- 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.
- Unexpectedly Dark Episode: The episode "Franklin and the Fire" is about fire safety. A hardware store is burned down and fire is played very seriously. Franklin's friends talk about how their houses could burn down and all their stuff burning up.
- 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.
- Unwanted Assistance: Snail's not too fond of people helping him out too much, as he is capable of doing a plethora of things all on his own.
- 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.
- Visual Pun: The "Brothers and Sisters" song has the lyrics "Hey, Franklin, if you get a sister, she'll do the things you do / But when you teach her painting, she'll end up painting you!" and Franklin being covered by the imagined sister in paint. She painted him.
- 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 FoxBeaver: 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.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: On Franklin and Friends, Franklin has no problem with dressing up as his favorite superhero, Dynaroo, despite Dynaroo being a female superhero.
- World of Funny Animals: Humans are never seen nor mentioned in the show. That said, it's apparently an Earth populated by funny animals - both Back to School with Franklin and Polar Explorer depict globes that clearly match the Earth's layout.
- 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 she discovered.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: The third season of Franklin and Friends has Aunt T's Karate Klub.
- 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.