LazyTown is a 2004 children's show produced in Iceland, the brain child of former athlete Magn˙s Scheving (who also plays the hero, Sportacus). Its primary focus is promoting healthy eating and exercise. It's notable for being both educational and freaking hilarious, and shows some awesome stunts each episode.Stephanie, our main character, is a new arrival in LazyTown. She quickly befriends the other kids (all puppets), after which they proceed to dance, play, bake cakes, pretend to be pirates and generally make a lot of noise to catchy kiddie Euro-techno music. This pisses off Robbie Rotten, LazyTown's resident Dastardly Whiplash, who can't sleep with all the noise going on. You see, being active is good for kids, and wanting to sleep all the time is bad, so Robbie is the bad guy. So Once an Episode, Robbie kidnaps/captures/tricks the kids, usually by dressing up in ridiculous outfits, until Sportacus does a billion backflips and saves them all! After which there is more dancing from Stephanie.Although the original audio of each episode is in English, the show is filmed in GarabŠr, Iceland, and the creator and the majority of the crew are Icelandic, resulting in some cross-cultural weirdness, such as the frequent Stephanie Panty Shots in the earliest episodes.The current television show is not the first version of the story, though it is the first to be known outside Iceland. The previous versions were books and musicals both on stage and CD, and were all in Icelandic and set in the village of LatibŠr, meaning LazyTown. While the basics of each character remained similar between the last LatibŠr production and LazyTown, several characters were dropped along the way, and those remaining were given more English names for LazyTown. The child characters in the LatibŠr musicals were all played by Caucasian adult humans.LazyTown's distribution rights were once owned by Nickelodeon in the US, and it was originally commissioned by them, but it is a LazyTown Entertainment production. The 'magazine format' LazyTown Extra (2008) is a co-production with The BBC. On April 18, 2011 PBS Kids Sproutannounced that it had acquired the rights to U.S. broadcasts of LazyTown, including the full first and second seasons and LazyTown Extra, which had never previously been broadcast in the United States. The network is also airing exclusive content as interstitials as part of its "Super Sproutlet Show" programming block, and it became the first show to air on Sprout's new Saturday morning block on sister station NBC. These airings present the show for the first time in the United States in widescreen HD where available, though this had long been available in other markets. The show's name is officially spelled in CamelCase. Which, yes, requires extra formatting to display properly on this wiki, but it's important to be correct.After a long hiatus, new installments of the program began airing in the U.S. on Sprout on May 27, 2013, with Chloe Lang taking over the role of Stephanie from Julianna Rose Mauriello.
This series provides examples of:
Adorkable: While Sportacus is conventionally attractive, well-muscled and very fitness-oriented, many fans consider him adorkable due to his constant optimism, boyish over-excitement, hopeless naivetÚ and awkward English. His baby-blue eyes and cheesy grin only help the matter.
Aesop Amnesia: It's no wonder the town needs a superhero; No matter how many times Sportacus teaches the kids the importance of eating healthy, exercising often and being kind to each other, they always revert back to their unhealthy, lazy, greedy and generally unpleasant ways. You know, like normal kids.
Ambiguously Gay: Robbie Rotten. Despite claiming to hate Sportacus and wanting him to leave the town, Robbie sure spends a lot of time talking about Sportacus, touching Sportacus and jumping into his arms whenever the slightly-above-average hero shows up.
To be fair, Magnus Scheving really does those stunts. Besides the constant flipping, we're talking one-handed, one-legged pushups.
While nothing has been confirmed on the American show, it's worth mentioning he's an Elf in the Iceland dub and in the original plays. In the U.S. version, Robbie sometimes refers to him as the "blue sports elf," though this is used as an insult.
And The Rest: In the episode Defeeted, Sportacus says, "I'd better go practice my move! I don't want to disappoint Stephanie...or anyone else."
Animesque: Between Stephanie's male fans and pink hair, and the cartoony world, non-fans have mistakenly assumed LazyTown is Japanese or influenced by anime.
Be Careful What You Wish For: This happens to Robbie Rotten in "The First Day of Summer." He wishes that everyone else in LazyTown would just disappear and seemingly gets his wish when they all head off to play at the beach. He quickly realizes, however, that all of the things that he enjoys about being a villain— the setting of traps, hatching evil schemes, etc., just aren't much fun without anyone there to actually scheme against. He ends up falling into one of his own traps, and when Sportacus comes to rescue him, everyone else follows. He's so happy to see them that he even joins them for the singing and dancing of the episode-ending "Bing Bang Song."
Bizarrchitecture: Just try to find a building, door, window, or structure that isn't curved, bent, or warped in some way.
Blithe Spirit: Stephanie is theoretically responsible for helping to get everyone exercising again (at least, according to the theme song). That she's just as likely to have the lazy ball in a given episode is apparently irrelevant.
Also, Sportacus is new to the town at the beginning of the show and wants to inspire the kids to eat healthy and become fit.
Then there's "Sportacus on the move", which is just a bunch of re-used clips from earlier episodes
Brilliant but Lazy: Robbie is the epitome of this trope. He prides himself in being lazy, and even schemes to make the rest of the town as lazy as he is, yet he is easily the most brilliant person in the entire town and is able to create anything out of anything. He even has a microwave that makes inventions for him.
Ironic, seeing that due to Robbie's constant attempts to make Lazy Town lazy via elaborate traps, machines, and costumes, he becomes one of the most active residents.
Can't Argue with Elves: Partially subverted in the original LatibŠr plays. ═■rˇttaßlfurinn (Sportacus) doesn't exactly lecture the humans on how to live better, healthier lives. Instead, he teaches them.
Crying Wolf: In one episode, Ziggy was playing pranks by saying untrue things, such as there being a monkey playing trumpet outside or Trixie having a spider on her shoulder. The other kids get sick of it, and decide to ignore him, then, when he stumbles on Robbie plotting out loud in a cow costume, they refuse to believe he saw a talking, evil cow with a catapult. Kind of a Broken Aesop, in that it would have been a pretty reasonable thing for them to doubt anyway, even without Ziggy losing their trust by telling lies. (Though this is the same town where a Man disguises himself a sports elf...)
Cultural Translation: The BBC partly re-dubbed the show, with British voice actors speaking for puppet characters originally voiced by Americans. However, the human characters' American and Icelandic accents were untouched. Additionally, they seem to have left them all alone for LazyTown Entertainment/BBC co-production LazyTown Extra.
Heck, the entire show underwent a massive overhaul when it hit American shores. For example: the town itself was made brighter and more colorful, most of the live-action characters were turned into cute puppets (and some were gotten rid of alltogether), Sportacus was changed from an Elf to a superhero, and so on. While the show still retains some of its weird/strange foreigness, it's got nothing on the original Icelandic plays.
Dastardly Whiplash: Robbie Rotten may not have the loftiest of goals (he just wants the kids to be lazy so they won't be running back and forth across the roof of his subterranean lair all day - one might suggest he move, but it's probably rent-controlled), but he more than makes up for it with the kind of elaborate costumes and schemes that define this trope.
Dawson Casting: Stephanie is eight years old (nine by the time of LazyTown Extra), while the actress who played her was a young teen.
And if rumors are to be believed, LazyTown is returning in 2011 and might even have Julianna reprise her role as Stephanie...despite the fact that she is now 20 years old and will still be playing an 9 year old.
Turns out the show is filming new episodes now in 2012, with a new young actress playing the part of Stephanie.
Determinator: It's a wonder why Robbie Rotten even bothers with his schemes to get Sportacus to leave LazyTown anymore, since he has failed so many times before. His plans might not be up to scratch, but you can't fault his determination.
You can also see a variety of ladies dresses in Robbie's disguise chambers that he is yet to wear.
Dub Name Change: Both the show and characters names were changed for an English audience:
LatibŠr to LazyTown - Literal translation
Glanni GlŠpur (Reckless Crime) to Robbie Rotten
Solla Stira (Solla Inflexible) to Stephanie
Halla HrekkjusvÝn (Halla Prankster) to Trixie
Siggi SŠti to (Siggi Sweet) Ziggy
Goggi Mega to Pixel
Nenni NÝski (Nenni Cheapskate) to Stingy
═■rˇttaßlfurinn (The Sports Elf) to Sportacus
StÝna SÝmalÝna (StÝna Phoneline) to Bessie Busybody
BŠjarstjˇrinn (The Mayor) to Mayor Milford Meanswell
Edited for Syndication: When aired on NBC Kids in the United States, the verse about Stephanie being new in town is cut from the opening theme and the closing credits are aired compressed at the bottom of the screen during the "Bing Bang" song. The opening theme is also compressed.
Mr. Fanservice: Unexpectedly, this show has gained a rather large fanbase of older women who regard both Sportacus and Robbie Rotten as sex symbols. Magn˙s Scheving has expressed surprise and happiness over the fact.
Expository Theme Tune: Welcome to LazyTown/A place where you'll wanna stay/You'll meet Robbie with his Rotten plan/ And Sportacus saving the day/Stephanie is new in town/And soon she and Ziggy are friends/
Fanservice: One might argue that the outfits worn by Sportacus and Robbie are a little too tight (especially in the crotch area) than particularly necessary on a kids' show. Many female fans would disagree.
Then there's Stephanie's short pink dress, though that might not be intentional considering she is supposed to be eight years old.
Gadgeteer Genius: Robbie Rotten can build anything out of anything he has in his lair. He even has a Microwave which creates the inventions for him.
Pixel is able to build almost anything, from hovering cameras, to a device that transports people into storybooks, to a remote control which can control literally everything, including random electronic things he has in his room to people. In Secret Agent Zero, the 007 parody Episode, he played the role of Q. And he is 9 years old.
Glad I Thought of It: In "Birthday Surprise," Stephanie suggests that they should throw Sportacus the greatest birthday party ever. Stingy says no to this, and then suggests that they throw Sportacus the greatest birthday party ever.
Good Hair, Evil Hair: Oddly, inverted by the hero Sportacus, who wears a pencil mustache so sharp it looks like it could double as a scalpel.
This is further inverted by Harmless Villain Robbie Rotten, who is clean shaven to the point you wonder if the actor isn't wearing a rubber mask (actually, he kind of is). His otherwise meticulous grooming is also a bit off on the evil-dress-o-meter, but being in a dark purple color scheme helps.
High-Class Glass: Robbie Rotten sports it for his "Meansbad" disguise in "Secret Agent Zero."
Hoist by His Own Petard: In "LazyTown's New Superhero," Robbie Rotten creates a robot dog that attacks whenever anyone says the word "trouble." After setting it loose, he pats himself on the back and says that "I think I'll have an ice cream cone. In fact, I think I'll make it a double." The dog, hearing "double," turns to its attention to him and he cries "No! I said, double, not trouble!" at which point the dog starts chasing after him. And this certainly isn't the only time that he's laid low by one of his own plans.
Holding Out for a Hero: Sportacus came to the town with the aim of helping the kids live more healthy and active lives, but he seems to be the only form of law enforcement in the town and ends up spending most of his time rescuing the kids from dangerous situations.
Hypocritical Humor: Robbie may be one of the the most active people in LazyTown due to his schemes, despite supposedly being the laziest.
Idiot Ball: Robbie Rotten has one goal and one goal only: Get rid of Sportacus and return the town to its original lazy state. So when he gets his hands on a genie's lamp, what doesn't he wish for? Sportacus to disappear!
Admittedly, Robbie eventually did use his final wish to get rid of Sportacus, but he's too fast for the genie, and he accidentally makes Robbie Disappear instead.
It's Always Spring: Stephanie is apparently staying for the Summer. So, the show takes place in Summer, right? Well, there's two winter-themed episodes, and an episode where they go to school. Looks like Steph is staying longer than we thought.
Either that, or she's convinced her family to move to LazyTown.
This conceit is dropped entirely in the third season, which includes an episode titled "The First Day of Summer", which is all about the town being excited about it being the start of summer.
Incredibly Lame Pun: There's an episode where Robbie switches Sportacus's shoes with fake shoes that make his feet go crazy. The title? Defeeted.
Invincible Hero: Sportacus. He has no character flaws, never fails at anything he tries and is hero-worshiped by everyone (except Robbie Rotten). The only thing that keeps him from being a Mary Sue is that he's as naive as everyone else in the show (except, again, Robbie) to the point where it becomes Adorkable.
Jackass Genie: In the episode "The Lazy Genie", Robbie acquires a genie (by ordering it), and his first two wishes are for all the fruit and vegetables and all the sports equipment to disappear, but he forgets to specify a duration, and they return not 5 minutes later. Robbie then uses his final wish to get rid of Sportacus - but the Genie gets rid of Robbie instead because he found him "annoying".
Kangaroo Court: One episode featured Robbie Rotten stealing a cake and framing Sportacus. In a trial where Robbie acted as a prosecutor, he asked Sportacus questions like if it was true nobody saw him not eating the cake. In the end, he played the judge (Mayor Meanswell) like a puppet (sure, unlike Sportacus, Stephanie and Robbie, all characters are literal puppets but still).
Kryptonite Factor: Sportacus' is sugar; eating any sugary food renders him immediately comatose, and fresh fruit (which contain quite a bit of sugar.) or vegetables (a classification that includes a handful of "sugary" foods, most prominently the sugar beet) are required to restore him.
Lampshade Hanging: "Secret Agent Zero" is just lousy with this. "That's not real. It's a puppet!"
Lazy Bum: Subverted with Robbie, whose efforts to get everyone else to stop doing things (or just ruin their day), actually take a lot of work; this was lampshaded at least once.
Limited Social Circle: LazyTown proper had four episodes with characters besides the nine above, and those characters are a genie, a Robot Dog, a wind-up dancing marionette, and four foreign kids who are on-screen barely 2 seconds.
Not to mention the fact that the mayor also doubles as the town's librarian, school principal, postmaster, banker, shopkeeper, etc. Presumably because the rest of the town's citizens are too lazy to do their jobs.
Sportacus also seems be the only form of law enforcement in the town, though the only people who ever seem to get into trouble are the other eight main characters.
The third season introduces Chef Pablo Fantastico.
Limited Wardrobe: It is not totally unexpected that this applies to a show where 2/3 of the characters are puppets, but all the puppet characters have had other costumes, while except for disguises Robbie never wears anything but his suit or his pyjamas and robe, and Sportacus has only ever worn something else (even to bed) when he changed shoes, or added a scarf on a cold day. Well, and that time Robbie de-aged him, and he had to borrow Pixel's clothes because his were too big. (strangely, said clothes were not Pixel's usual ones, but fairly generic pre-teen boy's clothes, and also too big for Pixel if we're taking puppet size literally.)
Literal Genie: In one episode, Robbie acquires a genie, and his first two wishes are for all the fruit and vegetables and all the sports equipment to disappear, but he forgets to specify a duration, and they return not 5 minutes later. He fails to wish away Sportacus.
Meaningful Name: The only two of LazyTown's nine recurring characters this doesn't apply to in some form are Stephanie and Ziggy.
Mythology Gag: References back to the Icelandic plays in the television show.
No Export for You: Despite having been available in other markets since 2007, a number of episodes have never been broadcast in the United States. On April 18, 2011, PBSKids Sprout announced that it had acquired the U.S. broadcast rights to both seasons of the program.
Noodle Incident: In the first episode, the Mayor is lamenting how awful the town is, and notes that when the town was previously in trouble, they would call for help from a guy with a big number 9 on his shirt. He manages to reactivate the signal-machine and Sportacus shows up soon after. "Are you Number Nine?" the Mayor asks. "No," says Sportacus, pointing at the back of his jersey, "I'm Number Ten." There is no explanation for what any of this means.
Of course it could just be that by this time Sportacus is the tenth elf to be the town's hero, with the Mayor recalling the previous one.
Not Allowed to Grow Up: In season 2 Stephanie, despite very visible growth in the season break, is still played as a young girl.
Sometimes? Sportacus doesn't even seem to be trying to hide his accent...though this is most likely because he hails from "an island in the North Sea."
The Other Darrin: When the series returned in 2013 after a long, long Series Hiatus, Chloe Lang assumed the role of Stephanie in place of Julianna Rose Mauriello.
Our Elves Are Better: Sportacus was a traditional Icelandic Elf named ═■rˇttaßlfurinn ("The Sports Elf") in the original LatibŠr plays. In addition to being amazingly fit and agile, he also had magical powers. To make the character more universal, he was changed into a superhero for the TV series.
Although it hasn't been confirmed, it's possible he is still an Elf in the TV series. His ears are always covered, he owns a magical crystal and can apparently grant wishes, he leads a very hidden life and it would certainly explain why he is able to perform such amazing feats in every episode.
It's worth mentioning that he's still an Elf in the TV Series dub in Iceland.
Subverted in the episode "Defeeted" where the mayor recognises Robbie straight away, even though the villain is wearing one of his better disguises: a superhero outfit. The characters have fallen for lesser disguises in the past.
Perverse Sexual Lust: Just ask 4chan about Stephanie. On second thought, don't ask 4chan about that. In fact, probably not a good idea to ask 4chan about anything.
Pimp Duds: Robbie Rotten isn't a pimp, but his standard outfit looks somewhere between a pimp outfit, a spandex catsuit and that of a refined 1890s gentleman. Then there's the origianal Icelandic stage play, where he wore the full pimp outfit, complete with cane.
Save the Villain: Sportacus will usually do it for Robbie Rotten. In at least one episode, "LazyTown's New Superhero," Robbie then betrays that help by trying to leave Sportacus stranded on top of the billboard hiding the entrance to his lair, the same one that he was trapped on top of.
Left the Background Music On: In the episode "Rockin' Robbie", when Robbie is moaning about how the others are listening to a music we hear his signature theme playing in the background. He then yells stop the music, which then stops and we cut to the speakers shaking (as though they have just stopped).
Spin-Off: The show received one for British viewers only called LazyTown Extra in 2008. The show changed into an assortment of sketches, each one starring a different character. Sportacus' sketch was exercise-themed, Stephanie's sketch choreographed a dance, Ziggy's sketch showed him interacting with real people, and so on. The big difference was that there were new voice actors.
Spot the Imposter: Partially subverted amusingly when Robbie Rotten impersonates Sportacus. The other characters can't tell the difference despite Robbie being, among other things, 4-5 inches taller and a lot less muscular. Stephanie suggests a race to tell them who is the real Sportacus, and Robbie wins because Sportacus is forced to forfeit the race halfway through to rescue Bessie. Stephanie realises that the one who forfeited to rescue Bessie must be the real one, says so, and unmasks Robbie by pulling his false moustache off. The tag would be a very touching Aesop on friendship if it wasn't for the simple fact that Robbie and Sportacus look nothing alike, and theyshouldhave been able to tell them apart by looking at them.
Then there's the episode 'Double Trouble' where Robbie impersonates the mayor, and once again everyone falls for it, despite the fact that Robbie looks nothing like the mayor. It only sort of works, though - Stephanie never really buys into it, and neither does Bessie.
The third season presents "Little Pink Riding Hood" in which Robbie again dresses up as Sportacus, but it's even more obvious that something's well, rotten, in Denmark and in a parody of what happens in Little Red Riding Hood with Stephanie asking questions of Robbie.
Steampunk: Elements of the genre can be seen in the mixing of 19th century visuals such as Robbie and Stingy's clothing, Sportacus' Dirigible, and the look of Robbie's lair, with modern europop music and high tech gadgets (Everything from pixel's house/inventions to Sportacus' high tech airship)
Stealth Pun: Robbie Rotten makes one during the You Are A Pirate song. After the first chorus he turns to his parrot and repeats the line "You are a pirate!" but his pronunciation of "pirate" sounds an awful lot like "parrot".
Sugar Bowl: Come on, who wouldn't want to live in LazyTown?
Suppressed Mammaries: Julianna Rose Mauriello has had to have her breasts taped down since puberty, as Stephanie is supposed to be 8 years old (or 9 now, since one year's passing has been acknowledged). She was 17 during the last filming.
That said, 'Stephanie' (Solla Stira) was played by actual adult women in all the original Icelandic plays from before the TV show, and one of them was quite busty with no attempt to do anything about it; while Julianna definitely had grown between seasons and doesn't really look any bigger in out-of-character shots from the same era.
Team Spirit: While many of LazyTown's episodes revolve around the values of working together, there is one in particular that focuses on teamwork, complete with a song:
"Teamwork, do it together / Teamwork, friends forever, We're all for one and one for all / We'll help each other stand tall, With teamwork!"//
The Cast Showoff: Sportacus showcases Scheving's amazing stunts and talent as a gymnast, to the point where the character won't simply walk anywhere - instead he'll flip, somersault, walk on his hands, cartwheel, etc. just to get to wherever he needs to be. Granted, the show was created by Scheving himself, but still...
This troper remembers a particularly hilarious scene in which Sportacus made the simple act of writing a letter look like an exhausting gymnastic workout.
The Fair Folk: Although he got downright cuddly in later adaptations, the forerunner of the character who became Sportacus is damn scary, though technically good, in the first play. There are times this troper finds herself wondering if ┴fram LatibŠr's moral isn't actually supposed to be "behave, or the big bad scary Sports Elf will get you".
This Is My Side: Happens in "Birthday Surprise" after an argument between Stingy and Trixie
Token Human: Stephanie is the only human child, and the only female human, even though her uncle and every other townsperson is a puppet. The other two humans are the hero and the villain. Extra points for being the new kid, totally unfamiliar with the puppets' weird ways.
Training Montage: Played with when Sportacus was training Ziggy to be a hero like him. The music even vaguely sounded like the Rocky music.
We got us a map That leads us to a hidden box That's all locked up with locks And buried deep away We'll dig up the box We know it's full of precious booty Burst open the locks And then we'll say "Hurray"!
Uncanceled: The final episode of the second season aired in October 2007; the third season premiered in the U.K. in April 2013 and the U.S. in May 2013.
Between this and Bjork, many in the US are convinced that Iceland is an absolute cradle of lunacy.
What Are Records?: This comes up in the episode "Purple Panther, Part 1" when the kids start a LazyTown Museum. Stingy brings in the mayor's old record player that he found lying around and none of the kids have any idea what it is, asking where you put the CD or connect the USB.