Series: Bear in the Big Blue House
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Welcome to the page for Bear in the Big Blue House
, the program that proves that maybe, just maybe, everything isn't worse with bears
, at TV Tropes! We think that you smell good!
First seen in 1997, Bear in the Big Blue House
was part of a group of programs that ushered in a new era for Playhouse Disney
. In each episode, the titular character would invite viewers into his home, the cozy Big Blue House, for a day of fun and learning with his young characters Tutter, Ojo, Treelo and Pip & Pop. Together, they would learn about life and the world, everything from how to share with others to toilet-training. As they grew and learned, the series opened up, taking viewers into the wider Woodland Valley in which the characters lived.Bear in the Big Blue House
was a Muppet
show, a production of the Jim Henson
Company. It aired for four seasons on Playhouse Disney; the final season featuring a vastly expanded set and an additional cast of characters. The program's final episodes were not aired in the United States until 2006
, well over three years after the previous original airings, though they had long been airing in non-U.S. markets. Though no longer seen on Playhouse Disney in the United States, numerous DVD and videocassette releases are available for the program. Wiki-wise, Bear in the Big Blue House
is covered at the Muppet Wiki
, which features detailed information about the series and a detailed episode guide. The program is also covered in a number of articles at the wiki's sister site, Tough Pigs, including My Week with Bear
, My Week with More Christmas
and the Tough Pigs Maturity Test
, a supposed test to gauge one's maturity using two potty-training books released by the series.
This series provides examples of:
- Adaptation Distillation: A number of tie-in books were released for the series and many of them were watered-down versions of television episodes. A couple even combined elements from two separate episodes.
- Adults Are Useless: Generally subverted - Bear is far from useless, in fact, he's so on the ball, it's fantastic.
- Alliterative Name: Tutter's Great-Grandpa Tutterly T. Tutter (all his names begin with Ts!)
- Aside Glance: Bear frequently does this by bunching his eyebrows and staring directly at the camera with a look that clearly says, "Can you BELIEVE this crap?"
- Oftentimes these are the funniest parts of the episode. In fact Bear's expressions in general can be treated as hilarious more often than not.
- Baths Are Fun: There was a song called "Everybody in the Tub" in which all of the main characters sang about how great bathtime was, used in several episodes.
- Be Yourself: The entire episode "I've Gotta Be Me," to name just one example.
- Big Eater: Tutter's relatives are shown to be big eaters.
- Bindle Stick: In the song "What If (There Was No Big Blue House)," Tutter the mouse imagines being homeless and carrying his possessions in one of these.
- Character Title
- Christmas Episode: And Hannukkah, and Kwanzaa and other non-denominational holidays. They still called it a "A Beary Bear Christmas," though, and it's a two parter.
- Christmas Special: Take the above two-parter episode, edit the parts together, and you have the same special which is available on VHS.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Treelo has been known to exhibit tendencies of this.
Bear: (regarding a tomato) But, Treelo, I have to put in the basket along with the other foods we're going to eat.
Treelo: Eat! Eat?! Bear, no! Shhh! Be careful, tomato hear you. Tomato Treelo's friend.
Bear: The tomato is your friend?
- Cross Over: Bear made an appearance on The Hollywood Squares. Wait, what? He also appeared a couple of times on Donny & Marie, a talk show hosted by Donny and Marie Osmond.
- Dance Sensation: In an episode in the fourth season, the mice at Tutter's school all do the "Mumble Mambo," but Tutter is uncomfortable with it and can't seem to get into it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Despite his generally kind and caring nature, Bear can be surprisingly capable of this, especially in his nonvocal mannerisms. Tutter is very good at it too.
- Disappeared Dad & Missing Mom: Most, if not all of the main kid characters. Treelo certainly, all of the rest almost certainly. It is never, ever talked about.
- A Dog Named Dog: A bear named Bear and a shadow named Shadow. Everybody else gets a proper name, except perhaps, Doc Hogg.
- Face Palm: Treelo does it in "It's All In Your Head" when Bear is helping him to retrace his steps to find his backpack. Treelo says that he went the bathroom to take a bath, and Bear asks "You took a bath with your backpack on?," causing Treelo to facepalm.
- Fake Interactivity: Using a method in which Bear asks a question related to the topic of the episode and a video of real kids answering it is shown. This was dropped in the fourth season. Other than that, there is No Fourth Wall and Bear talks to the viewers in a manner similar to Mister Rogers.
- Fantasy Helmet Enforcement
- Feather Fingers: For Lois, a blue-footed booby.
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Bear and Luna are close.
- Forgiveness: In one installment, Ojo and Tutter have a great big fight. In the end, they forgive each other because, in Ojo's words, "It's okay, 'cause in the end, I really can't stay angry at a friend, and you're my friend!"
- Friend to All Children: Bear.
- Furry Confusion: While most of the animal characters speak perfect English, Harry the Duck (who's a bit younger than the others) often quacks loudly, especially when excited. There are also other animals within the series that are much less anthropomorphic.
- Gentle Giant: Bear.
- Glad I Thought of It: Tutter does this to Bear, regularly, but Bear's always so calm and mild-mannered, he never minds. Doc Hogg has also been known to do this.
- Halloween Episode
- Happy Birthday to You: For Tutter's birthday, there was an original song titled "Happy, Happy Birthday."
- I Can't Dance: Tutter, in one of the Playhouse Disney stage shows. Bear tells him that everyone can dance.
- In Case You Forgot Who Created it: The show's two music albums were "Songs from Jim Henson's Bear in the Big Blue House" and "More Songs from Jim Henson's Bear in the Big Blue House."
- Kid-Appeal Character: Treelo. In fact, in one of the songs, Bear sings that Treelo is "faster than a bumblebee."
- The Kiddie Ride: A Bear on a boat ride was made in the early 2000s. It played a running commentary made by Bear through the ride.
- Licensed Games/Edutainment Games: UbiSoft released one for the Playstation and the Game Boy Color back in the early 2000s. There was also a few PC Edutaiment titles.
- Living Shadow: One of Bear's friends is named Shadow, she appears in most episodes to relate a story told as a shadow play, though the stories are often bizarre in nature.
- Logo Joke: The logo for the company Shadow Projects shown at the end of each episode featured a dog barking, but sometimes it would make other noises, such as quacking like a duck or meowing like a cat.
- The Man in the Moon: The moon on the show is Bear's good friend, Luna, voice by the late Lynne Thigpen. He talks to her every night, talking about what happened that day and performs the "Goodbye Song" with her while clips of what happened on the episode play. Occasionally, other characters, and once, the full cast, would join in singing the song.
- The Musical: The first season episode "Mouse Party" was turned into a stage musical, which was later released on DVD.
- Neat Freak: Tutter is well known for this. He always seeks to tidy up anything he can and even has his own song about it: "Why Won't the Dirt Just Leave Me Alone?"
- Never Work with Children or Animals: When Bear went out to visit real children at their homes for Breakfast with Bear, their reactions ranged from delight, to saying no more than a few words, to hogging the spotlight and barely giving him time to talk.
- Nice Guy: Bear, he never gets angry and just so warm and friendly he's incapable saying no to anybody. And yet he's not an Extreme Doormat.
- No Antagonist: It's a slice-of-life type show targeted at toddlers, so this is expected.
- Parental Abandonment: The Big Blue House seems to serve a sort of combination of daycare and orphanage. Most of the characters have grandparents shown, but not any actual parents. The unspoken rule, though, seems to be that they just don't talk about it.
- Parental Bonus: Tons of it. There's much humor of the Pop Culture type in the series that would hit home with the parents and older viewers but fly over the toddler viewers' head. Additionally, some of the episodes talk about things that few other TV shows for the same target demographic dare to tread. This also explains the huge Periphery Demographic following.
- In the camping episode, Pip (or Pop) asks "yeah, what does a bear do anyway?" They're in the woods.
- Pig Man: Doc Hogg.
- Playful Otter: Pip and Pop.
- Playing Sick: Tutter does this once to try to avoid going to Mouse School.
- Potty Dance: Tutter does in the book version of "When You've Gotta Go." The book even describes him as "dancing from side to side."
- Potty Failure: Justified in "When You've Gotta Go" - Ojo, who is still learning, doesn't make it in time and Bear tells her that it's okay, accidents happen.
- Reading Is Cool Aesop: There was Bear's Book Club in "Read My Book" and also a two-parter in which Bear and the kids pitch in to fix up a library that was damaged in a storm.
- Running Gag: Tutter tells Bear that he can't do something because "You're too big, Bear! Too big!" and then chuckles.
- Santa Claus: Not actually seen, but the kids get to visit "Santa Hogg" (Doc Hogg), whom Bear says is one of Santa's helpers.
- Selfless Wish: In the Christmas Special, the group invites a homeless dog named Jack to stay with them for the holidays. Later, when Pip and Pop find the magic Winter Berry (which grants a single wish), they use it to wish for a home for Jack.
- Ship Tease: The relationship between Bear and Ursa was as close as this trope could get in a children's show.
- Shout-Out: In "I've Gotta Be Me," Bear dons a grayish sweater and tells us that "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." Some familiar music plays and he suggests that maybe he should get a pair of sneakers. Also, at one point in the episode "Let's Get Interactive," Bear is looking for dirt, water and seeds to help solve a puzzle. He says "You know, these things would be a lot easier to find if we had a couple of guides to help us" and then Pip and Pop show up. When he says this, closed-captioning reads "You know, these things would be a lot easier to find if we had a little blue dog to help us." Additionally, at the end of "I've Got Your Number," Luna states that "numbers go on and on forever, to infinity and beyond!"
- Single-Minded Twins: Pip and Pop, to the point where the first time they disagree is treated as Serious Business.
- Slice of Life: The basic nature of the show, though they try to work themes into it as well. Lamp Shaded - "For some reason, everyone was talking about using the potty today."
- The Smurfette Principle: Ojo as the only main female character
- Stock Animal Diet: Tutter is a connoisseur of everything cheese and enjoys trying any type of cheese he can, including gouda and feta.
- Surprise Party: "Mouse Party," about a surprise party being held for Tutter's birthday. This was later adapted for theater as "Bear in the Big Blue House Live!: Surprise Party."
- That Reminds Me of a Song: Almost every episode, often more than one per episode. Every episode features the "Goodbye Song" when Bear sings with Luna the moon and there is almost always at least one other song. "A Plant Grows in Bear's House" has no original song for the episode, but it's uncertain if there are any other episodes without one.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Around the beginning of "A Beary Bear Christmas," Bear sings a line from the theme song in order to get the kids to notice him when they're arguing over how to help out to get ready for the holidays.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Type 2. Harry the Duck insists on calling Bear "Mr. Bear," despite his repeated assurances that "Oh, and Harry? It's just Bear."
- Third-Person Person: Treelo.
- Title Drop: Bear sometimes refers to himself as "Bear in the Big Blue House" when answering the telephone.
- Toilet Humour: When not teaching serious lessons about potty training, the episode "Potty Time With Bear" pretty much operates on this, with a "Potty Train" song, "The Toileteers" and more. It's therefore unsurprising that the installment won a Video Magic award with its video release, is probably easily the most well known installment of the show, and continues to be a top seller and readily in stock on Amazon, at a higher price than any other DVD release for the show (and even VHS copies still sell.) Much of it is also retained in the picture book adaptation of the story.
- Totally Radical: In the episode "I've Gotta Be Me," Bear donned a "hip"-looking hat and said "Hey there, hi there, ho there, Daddio? What is up?" He then asked us what we thought and admitted that look wasn't him.
- The Unintelligible: Arguably Treelo. While he could talk normally (though even this could be hard to understand), he sometimes descended into a rapid-fire and definitely unintelligible babble that closed-captioning sometimes transcribed as being "Treelo-ese."
- Weird Sun: The sun, Ray, was another friend of Bear's, voiced by another late great, Geoffrey Holder. Though he wasn't seen on every episode, like Luna, Bear would sometimes sing the "Good Morning" song with him. He became much more prominent in the show's final season.
- Welcome Titles