A series of novels written by Gordon Korman about Crazy Awesome Bruno and his best friend Boots.Bruno and Boots attend a boarding school called Macdonald Hall. Generally, the books feature Bruno trying to achieve some goal using some crazy plan, often getting the entire student body involved as well. Boots will usually try to keep his friend in check, but it rarely has much of an effect. Hilarity Ensues.Books written in this series are as follows. The first is the original title (published in the late seventies/early eighties), the second is the republished title (published in the 2000s):
This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall/This Can't Be Happening!: The Headmaster declares that Bruno is a bad influence on Boots and therefore they can't be roommates any more. Bruno tries to convince the Headmaster to let them room together again.
Go Jump In the Pool!: Bruno is irritated that Macdonald Hall has no pool, unlike its rival York Academy. Even worse, some of the students' parents are thinking of pulling their kids from the Hall due to the poor athletic program. Bruno decides to solve this by raising money to buy a pool.
Beware the Fish!: Due to budget problems, Macdonald Hall is in danger of closing down. Bruno's plan is to do something that will gain the Hall publicity.
The War With Mr.Wizzle/The Wizzle War: An obnoxious man, Mr. Wizzle, takes charge at Macdonald Hall, instituting a dress code and generally annoying everybody. Even the Headmaster doesn't like the guy. Naturally, Bruno tries to find a way to get rid of him.
The Zucchini Warriors: Macdonald Hall acquires a football stadium and starts a football team.
Macdonald Hall Goes Hollywood/Lights! Camera! Disaster!: A film is being shot at Macdonald Hall, and Bruno is determined to be in it.
Something Fishy at Macdonald Hall/The Joke's On Us: There's a practical joker, but it's not Bruno and Boots. They try to find the real joker before they end up expelled.
Despite the similar sounding name, there's no connection between this and Mac Hall the webcomic.
This series provides examples of:
Action Girl: Cathy Burton. "The riot squad is afraid to come back here! We're SOMEBODY!"
Berserk Button: Mr. Wizzle from The Wizzle War seem to be good at pushing these.
Don't shorten Wilbur's last name or take away his food.
Leave Elmer's science experiments alone if you know what's good for you.
It's not a good idea to switch Chris out of his art courses.
Mark is the only one that touches the printing press.
It's also a bad idea to force Bruno Walton to put on a tie, make him get up before 9am, and insult the school in his hearing. Also, York Academy. And don't make fun of his lucky penny or you'll be sorry.
One Gender School: Macdonald Hall for the boys and one across the street called Miss Scrimmage's Finishing School for girls.
Brick Joke: In the first chapter of the first book, Bruno and Boots replace the school's Canadian flag with the flag of Malbonia, which is confiscated by Mr. Sturgeon. Towards the end of the book, the Malbonian ambassador arrives at Macdonald Hall after Bruno and Boots rescue his son from a runaway hot air balloon. He wants to have a ceremony to reward them, but he's forgotten to bring a Malbonian flag. Fortunately, Mr. Sturgeon just happens to have one in his desk.
Canada, Eh?: The books are proudly set near the (fictional) town of Chutney, Ontario, just a relatively short distance from Toronto.
Can't Get Away With Nuthin': At the end of the day, after all the madness is said and done, Bruno and Boots usually get in trouble for their actions.
Cannot Keep a Secret: Myron "The Blabbermouth" Blankenship in The Zucchini Warriors. If he's not revealing embarrassing personal information about his fellow students, he's telling Mr. Sturgeon the details of whatever zany scheme is going on at the time. He eventually promises to stop being a blabbermouth. Then he gets hold of the scoreboard controls at a football game and starts using them to tell more secrets.
Boots: We made him promise not to blab stuff; but we never said he couldn't spell it out in lights!
Chekhov's Gunman: George Wexford-Smyth III plays a some-what important rule in the first book, but only appears in the second to comment on how 'vulgar' their events are (not knowing what is going on) He manages to invest all the money Bruno and Boots made beforehand into one of the richest Canadian mining companies, Lorelei Mining, giving them more than enough (around 2 million in the old copy of the book or around 65 thousand in the 2003 version) to build a pool)
Induced Hypochondria: Boots does this to George in the first book. (Note that George is already a hypochondriac; Boots just takes advantage of it.)
Intoxication Ensues: In the first book, there's a description of Miss Scrimmage accidentally drinking spiked punch at a dance, which caused her to drag Mr. Sturgeon onto the dance floor and dance the funky chicken with him. In Beware The Fish!, Elmer invents a cure for the common cold. Bruno and Boots slip it into Coach Flynn's sports drink when he has a cold; unfortunately, the combination of ingredients has an intoxicating effect. Hilarity Ensues.
Invented Individual - In The War with Mr. Wizzle, the protagonists create a fictitious student named Gavin Gunhold to mess with the school's new administration. The name becomes a running gag in many of Korman's later books. Gavin Gunhold (sometimes G. Gavin Gunhold) is mentioned, usually in passing, always as an incidental character who never actually appears (unless you count imposters posing as him).
Loophole Abuse: After Cathy is discovered moonlighting in the football team in The Zucchini Warriors, they attempt to argue that there Ain't No Rule saying girls can't play. The referee points out that there is a rule saying that all the players in the school team have to be students at the school.
Meaningful Name: Miss Scrimmage. Comes in handy in The Zucchini Warriors when the cheerleaders use the name "The Line Of Scrimmage."
Mistaken Identity: Bruno and Boots try to force this by pretending to be George Wexford-Smyth III and Elmer Drimsdale in order to frame them for a panty-raid at Scrimmage's, in a ploy to get back together as roommates in This Can't Be Happening At Macdonald Hall! Mr. Sturgeon is not fooled.
Played completely straight in Go Jump In the Pool when Wilbur sells Miss Scrimmage's shotgun at the garage sale, and she gets arrested for armed robbery later than night.
Panty Thief: Bruno and Boots try to frame Elmer and George as this.
Pride Before a Fall: This is a Running Gag in the series. Bruno confidently assures Boots that they won't get caught sneaking out of school, or that Mr. Sturgeon has no idea what mischief they've been up to. This practically guarantees that in the next few pages, Bruno and Boots will be caught sneaking out of school, or Mr. Sturgeon will summon them to his office because he knows exactly what mischief they've been up to.
Pushover Parents: Miss Scrimmage is a non-biological example of this. Whenever there's a riot or some other kind of disturbance involving students from both schools, she always insists (despite all evidence to the contrary) that her girls are totally blameless and that the boys have been "terrorizing" them.
Rich Bitch: George Wexford-Smyth is a male version of this, occasionally developing more depth and then going back to being mostly a jerk.
Save Our Team: Subverted: Coach Hank doesn't work miracles on a bunch of sports-apathetic Canadian boys, the girl from the school next door does.
Arguably, Kevin Klapper plays this trope straight.
School For Scheming: Local law enforcement suspects Macdonald Hall of being this in Beware The Fish.
Serious Business: The war games Miss Scrimmages' held in The Wizzle War had fortresses, traps, (water) guns, and (water) balloons. Even the pouring rain and fog didn't keep these games from being played.
Signs of Disrepair: In This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall!, Miss Scrimmage accidentally shoots the sign outside her school that reads, "Miss Scrimmage's Finishing School for Young Ladies", changing the word "Finishing" to "Fishing".
Sleep Learning: In The War With Mr. Wizzle, the girl students try to change the behaviour of teacher Gloria Peabody by playing tapes telling her to be nice while she sleeps. Unfortunately they just make Peabody even crankier because she's not sleeping properly.
Sweet Polly Oliver: Cathy does this in order to join the football team in The Zucchini Warriors.
A Taste Of Their Own Medicine: As noted above, Myron Blankenship is constantly spreading gossip about his fellow students, such as who has dandruff and who writes love poems to a teacher at Miss Scrimmage's. Bruno gets revenge by announcing over the PA system that Myron sleeps with a stuffed hyena named Arnold.
Trademark Favorite Food: Zucchini sticks in The Zucchini Warriors, but only for the Manchurian bush hamsters. Everyone else, including Hank the guy who owns the zucchini stick company, hates to eat them.
Unsportsmanlike Gloating: The York Academy swim team at the beginning of Go Jump In The Pool! They win the tournament by a wide margin and then refuse to shake hands with the Mac Donald Hall team as sports etiquette dictates they should.
Work Off The Debt: Happens to Bruno and Boots when their schemes to be reunited in This Can't be Happening! start costing the school money. It also happens many times in the subsequent novels. In Something Fishy At Macdonald Hall, a kitchen employee says that he loves when Bruno and Boots get dish-washing duty because they're highly skilled at it thanks to all their experience.
Writing Lines: In The War With Mr. Wizzle, the new Pointy-Haired Boss of an assistant principal introduces lines as a standardized universal punishment. The students retaliate by picking a handful to write everybody's lines for them, giving the other students time to sabotage Wizzle's computer, make an Invented Individual, and so on. (The kids who get picked to do lines soon begin to resent the ones who got assigned to the fun stuff, but they prevail anyway.) By contrast, the Headmaster, Mr. Sturgeon, whose power the students respect, disapproves of lines and prefers to impose lengthy essays as punishment.
You Are Grounded: Happens to Bruno and Boots a lot. It's not a terribly effective form of discipline, though; Bruno and Boots usually manage to sneak out of school while they're grounded.