Literature: Max and Ruby

Max and Ruby, Ruby and Max!

Max and Ruby is a series of childrens books, written by Rosemary Wells. It has been adapted into a Canadian children's cartoon (helmed by Wells), which has aired on Nick Jr. from its 2002 debut to the present day. Production of new episodes stopped for a while around 2007, but the continued popularity of the series led to revived production of new episodes, with five official seasons of the program to date and a revived merchandise line.

Max and Ruby are a pair of young sibling rabbits who live in a fairly normal suburb. Their parents are seemingly nonexistent, so it usually falls to older Ruby to look after the younger Max. Young Max, however, is a rambunctious troublemaker with a hugely one-track mind—such to the point that in every episode, his dialogue typically consists of only one word, repeated with a variety of different inflections. In over her head, the somewhat controlling Ruby often tries to bend him to her will. And typically fails. Sometimes, she even goes so far as to drag Max into her Zany Scheme of the day. It typically works out all right in the end, however, and Max's meddling desire to get what he wants is often strangely beneficial to Ruby's scheming.

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Tropes:

  • Art Evolution: The character animation has improved when the show returned in 2009. The characters move less stiff than they did in the previous episodes.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Ruby was a Deadpan Snarker in the original books, but became more of a Cheerful Child in the animated series.
  • Aside Glance: Max would do this mostly when he does his devious smile. He also does this in the original covers of some of the original Max And Ruby stories.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Max makes this his bread and butter. Of course, he considers Ruby to be an annoying older sibling in kind.
  • Appeal to Authority: Ruby to Max in the "Max, Where Are You?" song from the Bunny Party stage show. "I'm the big sister, you're the little brother. You know I'm gonna find you, one way or the other."
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animals
  • British Royal Guard: There's episode in which Max & Ruby visit "Bunningham Palace" and Max attempts to get a smile out of one of these, or their bunny counterpart anyway.
  • Christmas Episode / Halloween Episode: There are at least two Christmas episodes and at least three Halloween episodes.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Ruby to Max in the "Max, Where Are You?" song in Bunny Party. Her tone of voice indicates that it's Serious Business - she's not in the mood for Max's games.
  • Competence Zone: Strangely, only the Bunny Scouts seem to be fully within it! Grandma is allowed a few, though.
  • Control Freak: Ruby has shades of this, as she is sometimes downright obsessed with making Max do things her way.
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping: In one episode, Ruby wants to buy Grandma Bunny a birthday present, and tries to talk Max out of buying her something he would want—like candy vampire fangs. However, it's subverted when we find out that Grandma has a sense of humor and likes candy vampire fangs as well as thoughtfully chosen presents.
  • Death Glare: Max often gives Ruby one when she tries to boss him around.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes Max has those moments in the times where he does talk.
    • Ruby was also like this in the original books. Especially in the original version of "Max's Chocolate Chicken", where Ruby told Max "Max, you'd have trouble finding your own ears if they weren't attached to your head." this line was removed in the animated series but was kept in the 1991 and 1995 Animated Adaptation which was released on VHS. She did become this in the newer episodes when ever Max get's caught doing something.
  • Disappearing Box: With Max as the volunteer and Ruby as the magician.
  • Every Episode Ending: Ruby gets her happy ending because Max ignores her and gets involved. He literally has the last word.
  • Expressive Ears: They are most likely to be seen on Max.
  • Fairy Tale: A few episodes made in the new season did a Lighter and Softer retelling of classic fairy tale stories such as Jack and the Beanstalk,Little Red Riding Hood, and The Frog Prince
  • Furry Reminder: One episode in the newer seasons had Max and Ruby hopping on all fours.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The "Game Bunny"
  • Funny Animal: Max, Ruby, and all of the other rabbits.
  • Happy Dance: Max loves doing this.
  • Historical-Domain Character: In the book version of "Bunny Money". The book would have an In-Universe version of money. Which include bunny versions of famous figures such as MahatmaGandhi and JulieChild.
  • HM The Queen: A bunny version of her shows up brifley in one episode that takes place in Bunningham Palace.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: Happens to Ruby in one episode. After spending the entire time trying her friends' cures while simoultaneously fending off Max's attempts to get her to help him find his monster mask... guess what happens when Max finally finds it?
  • Invisible Parents: If Max and Ruby have any, they go largely unseen. However, their grandmother is a recurring character. Lamp Shaded in a song titled "Where Are The Parents?" featured in a Max & Ruby stage show. Yes, this song is a big Parental Bonus.
    • It appears as though they have parents as family photos in the backdrop reveal this. However they are never present. (According to the song, "They're on the sundeck just to relax / Not too far from Ruby and Max.")
  • I Taste Delicious: Happens in one episode, where Max decides that his guacamole facial mask is tastier than being pretty.
  • Just a Kid: Max. He's about four and constantly outwits or outmaneuvers his sister and others; the impression given is that he's often far more clever than he acts.
  • Karma Houdini: Max in episodes that Ruby did not bother him. Given how he screws up Ruby's plans and gets away with it.
  • Mythology Gag: Ruby's dress in the newer seasons closely resembles her original dress from the original book version of "Max's Chocolate Chicken"
  • Name and Name
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Max gets this from Ruby quite often.
  • Parental Abandonment: Max and Ruby's parents would apparently rather be sunbathing than looking after their own kids.
  • Parental Substitute: Ruby often is this to Max.
  • Pokémon Speak: He doesn't simply say his name, but the way Max talks (often saying nothing but a single word throughout an episode, with multiple inflections to reflect his emotions) is very reminiscent of this.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: While no live-action shots are ever seen in the animated series or the actual books. This was only present in the spin-off books called "Baby Max And Ruby" which combines real life objects with the characters.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Grandma's purchase of a toy train for Max kicks off a four-story train arc.
  • Raised by Grandparents: While never stated, Grandma Bunny does seem to be the only visible adult authority figure in Max and Ruby's lives.
  • Rascally Rabbit: Max is an innocent example. He's a scheming tot who regularly gets into mischief, much to his sister's dismay.
  • Spin-Off Babies: Wells made a couple books titled "Baby Max And Ruby" which shows Max as a newborn baby while Ruby is young child.
  • Scout Out: Ruby and her friends are members of the Bunny Scouts. Yes, they have Merit Badges For Everything.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Word of God is that the show is supposed to be about the universal nature of sibling relationships, good and bad. While Max and Ruby are often at odds, they generally pull through each other in the end.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Ruby being the smarter, if more controlling, one; Max is the wildfire.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: A musical stage show was played in a few states.
  • A Simple Plan: Leave it to Max to muck it up. Especially if he's the target of it!
  • Silent Snarker: Max, Natch, usually toward Ruby depending on the moment.
  • Sliding Scale of Animal Communication: Level 1 - only rabbits can talk.
  • Tagalong Kid: Often Max, though at least half the time he'd actually rather not, as he's not interested in whatever girly activities Ruby and her friends are doing.
  • The Musical: Max And Ruby had a few musical stage shows in the past.
    • Max And Ruby even had their own stage show at Sesame Place a few years ago.
  • Taking the Bullet: By Ruby at a party in "Max Play Catch", when she leaps in front of a cake or flan- whatever it is to save it from a baseball. Extra points for silent Big "NO!"
  • The Quiet One: Max,Roger,Martha,Morris and Baby Huffington
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The theme song often turns up on the in-show radios and speakers.
  • Vocal Evolution: In the earlier episodes, Ruby's voice sounded high pitch compared to newer episodes where she sounded more mature and older due to recasting. This is most notable when she laughs, while in the older episodes she had a cute laugh while in the newer ones she gives a deep chuckle.
    • Max also got a new voice actor, and he sounds more older compared to his previous voice. Since Max was voiced by an actual child.
    • For unknown reasons, Rogers sounds younger in the newer episodes when he sounded older in his earlier apperqnces.
    • Martha sounds more mature and calm compared to her earlier episodes when she actually talked. She previously had a very high pitch voice.
  • Zany Scheme: Ruby has plenty of them, from making fruit-based beauty products to making haunted houses.

Alternative Title(s):

Max And Ruby