That's So Raven
was a Disney Channel
show that ran from 2003 to 2007, aimed at the tween audience. The plot revolves around precognitive teenager Raven Baxter (Raven-Symoné
) as she gets herself, her friends Eddie and Chelsea, and her family out of various situations, usually by using her Psychic Powers
and skills as a "Master of Disguise
", neither of which help. It was the chronologically first series in the DCLAU
. It was also one of the first live-action series on Disney Channel to participate in a Massive Cross Over
Event: That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana
the Shared Universe
in the first place).
It became the first Disney show to buck the 65-episode trend, the first to run four seasons, and the first to reach 100 episodes.
The show contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: One episode had a girl on the school newspaper coming very close to discovering Raven's secret (and exposing it to the school). She's foiled in the end, but remains suspicious that Raven is hiding something, and vows to discover what it is. Though this hints that she'll be a recurring antagonist, the character is never seen again.
- Ben the psychic. He becomes Chelsea's boyfriend at the end of the episode he debuts in, and is then never seen again.
- Adorkable: Cory's friend, William.
- Air-Vent Passageway: Raven enters an air vent in "Clothes Minded" to find some cheese.
- All Just a Dream: The show has the Fever Dream Episode "Soup to Nuts", as well the Halloween episode, which turns out to be one of Raven's visions. (She quickly corrects the error.)
- All Women Love Shoes: Raven even makes a poem about it.
- Alpha Bitch: Alana in Season 2, then Bianca in the third season; alternately, Nikki. Also, Jasmine in the Musical Episode, and in Season 4, both Tiffany and Muffy were this.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Cory.
- Aside Glance: Raven does this after she and Chelsea dismiss the idea of a TV show about psychic teenager. See Who Would Want to Watch Us? below.
- A Weighty Aesop: The episode called "Food for Thought", in which Raven's school becomes a food court full of junk food (which is at least partly Truth in Television, sadly) and Raven and Chelsea try to stop it.
Raven: Put down the pies! Do not maximize! You got to exercise, or the scale will rise and so will your thighs!
Eddie: Now who wants some fries?
- Back Door Pilot: There's an episode where Cory goes to Hollywood but it mainly focuses on actress character Ally Parker. It was supposed to set up a show called Better Dayz, which was later scrapped and Retooled into Hannah Montana.
- Beautiful All Along: Miss Romano from "The Big Buzz", and generally everyone that Raven, Eddie and Chelsea makeover.
- Big Fat Future: An interesting case. In "Food for Thought," Raven has two visions that reveal that unless she and Chelsea can stop Trans-Infinity Farm's food court program, everyone at their school will develop an enormous behind, and the company will get to put its foods in every school in the country. Thankfully, they stop this and prevent the Big Fat Future from ever occurring.
- Black Best Friend: Inverted. Cory and Raven both have Token White best friends.
- Boy Band: The Boys in Motion.
- Butt Biter: Donna Cabonna's dog gets poor Raven this way twice in one scene. Ouch!
- Childhood Memory Demolition Team: The plot of the episode "On Top of Old Oaky".
- Christmas Episode: "Escape Claus".
- Clip Show: In the last episode of Season 3 "Vision Impossible", the gang looks at Raven's memories on a large TV screen.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Chelsea.
- Country Mouse: Raven's country cousins.
- Crossover: That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana.
- Cue the Rain: Turned up an extra notch. Raven got stuck in a limo's moon roof when going to prom. Then it started raining on her. "Well at least It Can't Get Any Worse"...cue the gale force winds.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Chelsea.
- Cymbal-Banging Monkey: Cory steals one. It haunts his dreams.
- A Day in the Limelight: There is an episode where Cory goes to Hollywood and meets a child actress who wants a normal life. The episode mostly focuses on her. It was a Back Door Pilot for a show that never got picked up. However, because the actress is played by Alyson Stoner, the fans didn't seem to mind.
- Deep South: In "Country Cousins", Raven travels down the south to visit her country cousins.
- Deus Angst Machina: All of Raven's visions have to be misleading and end up getting her in trouble. Some of them don't even come true at all.
- Distracted by the Sexy: In one episode, Cory's band holds auditions for a singer. Cory picks a girl who is severely Hollywood Tone-Deaf, but he is so smitten with her that her singing comes across as angelic to him. His bandmates have to record her and play him the tape in order for him to realize what she actually sounds like.
- The Ditz: Chelsea and Sierra.
- D.I.Y. Disaster: In one episode, a very prominent business man is to visit Victor's restaurant. Victor creates a Foreman grill-type device that both "grills and chills". He demonstrated his creation by having it grill a steak and chill some jumbo shrimp. However, he crossed a few wires and instead, the grill flash freezes the steak, and the chiller turns the shrimp into charred lump with tails.
- Doting Grandparent: Raven's Viv. Don't call her Grandma.
- Downer Ending: "There Goes the Bride".
- Election Day Episode: Chelsea runs for class president because the school is literally falling apart and she wants to make a difference. Raven has a vision Chelsea won't win, and does everything she can to prevent her vision from becoming true.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Juicer may be a bully who likes to try and squeeze the juice out of other kids' heads, but the penultimate episode revealed that he hates cigarettes and he's even called in to tell Cory that smoking is wrong.
- Extranormal Institute: The Psychic Institute in "Saving Psychic Raven".
- Fantastic Racism: The teens at the Psychic Institute look down on "normies".
- Raven is afraid of becoming a victim of Fantastic Racism herself if her secret ever gets out.
- The Fashionista: Raven of course.
- Five-Finger Discount: Episode about Cory of the same name.
- Five-Temperament Ensemble: Tanya and Eddie (choleric), Chelsea (melancholic), Victor (phlegmatic), Raven (sanguine), and Cory (leukine).
- Flanderization: Chelsea's ditziness later becomes extreme idiocy.
- In early episodes, she was even smarter (or at least more sensible) than Raven.
- Fully Absorbed Finale: The Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode "That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana" takes place sometime after "Checkin' Out", the canon last episode of That's So Ravennote , in which Raven plays a large part. She has a vision of Cody getting into trouble at Carey's party, which is the driving force behind the main plot, and is pivotal to the subplot, where, with Maddie's help, she ends up selling her dresses to London Tipton and Hannah Montana.
- Fundraiser Carnival: Near the end of the episode in which Eddie is hiding an embarrassing pimple from Krystal, a girl he likes. Raven forcibly volunteers stinky boy Ben Sturky for the water dunking tank... and she fills it with soap.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: A golden example from when Victor and Tanya were in Cory's room during "Psychics Wanted."
Victor: Uh-oh, I found a magazine!
Tanya: I blame you, Victor! (looks at the magazine) Retire at 12?
- In "Food for Thought" Raven and Eddie are discussing the huge cafeteria portions, and Raven spends over a minute trying to get a huge hot dog in her mouth, in an extremely suggestive manner, let alone for a kids' show
Eddie: I think my pants are getting tighter!
- In "Dog By Another Name", Cory manages to say this to Chelsea:
Cory: Girl, if that's what turns you on!
- Also in the same episode, Raven and Chelsea dresses up as guys to spy on Chelsea's love interest. As guys, they are required to play basketball in teams of "shirts" and "skins". Raven gets put on the skins team and after finding out what the skins team does, she immediately backs out.
Raven: What are skins?
(Guys on team take their shirts off)
Raven: I'm a shirt! I'm a shirt! I'm a shirt!
- Girl Posse: Nicki's hairspray girls, Alana's (and then Bianca's) posse.
- Granola Girl: Again, Chelsea.
- Ha Ha Ha No: Raven did this to Chelsea a couple of times.
- Hollywood Pudgy: Invoked in an episode where Raven is told she isn't skinny enough to model the clothes she designed for a fashion show. She and the twig-thing model then team up and both wear the outfit on the runway. Also deconstructed when both of them chew out the magazine owner that's sponsoring the show, saying that no one is as skinny as they look on the magazine.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: When Cory's band holds auditions for a singer, the girl he chooses is Hollywood Tone Deaf. Except not to him, because he is so smitten with her, he hears her singing beautifully. His other bandmates secretly record one of their rehearsals and play it back to him so he can hear how awful she really sounds.
- Human Ladder: Raven, Alana, and Loca perform one in "Clothes Minded", so Alana can put cheese in the air vent.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Raven, but she comes to accept her gift. Eddie's temporary psychic spotlight episode annoyed her with this trope.
- It's Pronounced Tro-PAY: In one episode where Raven buys and then later tries to return the blouse for a trade in the money to buy a calculator, she keeps running into the store manager at the mall and always mispronouncing his name "Frank", but it's actually pronounced "Fronk".
- Jerkass: Stanley.
- Long Runner: The first Disney Live-Action Kid Com to achieve this feat.
- Large Ham: Raven, with her bizarre, outlandish mannerisms and Sassy Black Woman attitude. Even more so when she's in disguise.
- Little Boy Seeks Big Girl: Cory towards Chelsea in early episodes. Later Stanley towards Raven.
- Magic Meteor: Eddie gets powers for one episode by a meteor passing that only happens once in a while.
- Meaningful Name: The raven was the sacred bird of Apollo, the Greek god of prophecy.
- Musical Episode: "The Road To Audition".
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Ben "Stinky" Sturky.
- Nobody Here but Us Statues: Two examples:
- In "Art Breaker," Chelsea makes a statue of Raven for an art show that blends her friend with the actual bird, making her, as Raven puts it, "a freak with a beak." When Raven inadvertently destroys the statue, she covers herself in clay and feathers to pass herself off as the piece. She gets hungry while in disguise, and asks Eddie to help her eat something—so he gives her "a hot and spicy jalapeno pepper popper."
- In "Five-Finger Discount," Raven sneaks into a store to spy on Corey. At one point, she ends up behind a display of dolls. When a security guard sees her, she smiles and pretends to be the head of one of the toys to keep from being caught.
- Only Sane Man: Chelsea of all people plays this role in "Food for Thought"—she's the only person who realizes that a constant diet of junk food will have terrible effects on the body and mind. Nobody pays attention to her...at least until Raven has a vision of everyone at the school developing "a lotta junk in the trunk."
- Out-of-Character Moment: Raven in "Juicer Consequences". She is a complete self-absorbed bastard for most of the episode for no reason other than the fact that the storyline requires her to be.
- Out of Order: The clip show episode 'Vision Impossible' contains the happy ending moment from episode 'The Four Aces', which was broadcasted after.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: She would constantly disguise herself, including sometimes as old men, despite, looking nothing like a man, and sounding exactly like a teenage girl, speaking in a false deep voice.
- Party Scheduling Gambit: Episode 'The Parties', guest starring Zenon as Nicki.
- Prophecy Twist: Once an Episode.
- Put on a Bus: Tanya, the mother who was one of the important supporting characters, suddenly without warning apparently went to England to become a lawyer. She's never seen or heard from again. This was due to the actor who played her not seeing eye to eye with the director and writing staff and left after the third season. Who knows if she even knows that her husband became first chef for the president.
- Along with a boatload of other characters. The most shocking being a boyfriend Chelsea has who is established a psychic, and then never gets mentioned again.
- Put on a Bus to Hell: Alana gets sent to military school for being "so bad" in the third season.
- Psychic Powers: Raven has psychic powers.
- The Rashomon: The episode "The Lying Game", where Raven and Cory share their versions of what happened when Raven went to Cory's class for Job Shadow Day.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Alana, who was played by 3LW and The Cheetah Girls' Adrienne Bailon, took a Long Bus Trip when she was "so bad she went to military school." In real life, Bailon and Raven-Symone had internal disputes while they were in The Cheetah Girls, which caused Bailon to refuse to reprise her role and Raven to leave The Cheetah Girls.
- Rich Bitch: Nikki from "The Parties" episode, although Muffy may also qualify.
- Secret Keepers: Raven's family plus Eddie and Chelsea.
- Sassy Black Woman: Raven, her mom Tanya and probably most females in their family tree could count.
- Seers: What Raven's psychic powers amount to.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Most of them. Usually when Raven tries to prevent a certain vision from coming true, she makes it happen instead.
- Sibling Team: Raven and Cory team up on multiple occasions, usually if it benefits them both.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: The main character, Raven, gets involved in a lot of slapstick, usually on the receiving end.
- Slow Transformation: The Halloween episode had Raven and Chelsea slowly turning into cows due to a spell mishap. Thankfully, it actually happened in Raven's vision, so she was able to prevent them from spending the rest of their lives mooing and milking.
- Spicy Latina: Alana. Bianca, but her ethnicity was never stated.
- Spider-Sense: Raven usually gains this when Ben Sturky is nearby
- Spin-Off: Cory in the House.
- There was also supposed to be a spinoff called Better Dayz starring Alyson Stoner. The show would later be developed into Hannah Montana.
- Stalker with a Crush: Stanley, towards Raven.
- Standardized Sitcom Housing: The interior sets of the Baxter pad are remarkable similar to that of the Winslows of Family Matters and the Tanners of Full House.
- Stand-In Parents: Raven posed as her own mother at a parent-teacher conference to prevent her mother from finding out how bad her grades were. When the mother (ineviatably) found out, she was both angry that Raven had lied to her and offended because of the insulting fat suit Raven had used for the disguise.
- Straw Loser: Chelsea.
- Suck E. Cheese's: The episode in which Raven, Cory, Devon and his 'innocent' sister Nadine go out to a family style pizza restaurant called "Pizza Pals", complete with a malfunctioning mechanical pirate!
- Talking To Herself: In the episode "Coountry Cousins", Raven plays several characters, Nutty Professor style. However, Man of a Thousand Voices she is not.
- Test Kiss: Raven and Eddie share one in the last episode. The results were ambiguous...
- ˇThree Amigos!: Raven, Eddie, and Chelsea.
- Title Theme Tune
- Token White: Chelsea.
- Totem Pole Trench: Stanley and Eddie sneak into a party Raven is throwing by doing this.
- Trope Codifier: Everything the Disney Channel doesn't owe to Lizzie McGuire, it owes to That's So Raven. The Laugh Track, the reliance on cliched plots, all come from here. It was also the first show to break the infamous "65 Episode Policy", running to a full 100, paving the way for future shows to also break 65 (including the Un-Cancelled Kim Possible).
- Two Girls and a Guy: With only a Eddie/Raven Ship Tease and no drama.
- Two-Teacher School: Senorita Rodriguez and Mr. Lawler.
- There were other teachers as well as another principal at the school but they were put on Long Bus Trips.
- Unexpected Positive: Raven and Cory go to the dentist. Cory's scared, so (after having a vision in which one of the pair is shown to need a filling) Raven gets in the chair to show him that it's not so bad. Guess who needs the filling?
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Raven is a fashion designer.
- Verbal Tic: Principal Lawler has a propensity to expectorate when he speaks.
- Very Special Episode: Several, but one of the most notable is "There Goes the Bride". It's a surprisingly serious episode for such a comedic series and actually has a Downer Ending.
- Wild Teen Party: Raven and Cory host one in order to pay for a broken lamp, there's even a mechanical bull.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Usually, the A and B plots were kept mostly separate. However, in one memorable instance, the B plot had Cory addicted to online video games, heading very obviously toward a formulaic "everything-in-moderation" Aesop. Halfway through the episode, a goat from Raven's story chews through the wire of Cory's joystick, and we never hear anything about Cory's subplot ever again.
- Whole Plot Reference: The Wizard of Oz in "Soup to Nuts".
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?: In "He's Got the Power".
- You Can't Fight Fate: Almost half of the show's episodes had this plot. Raven would have a vision of something bad happening, and, in attempting to stop it, cause the vision in the first place. A prime example is "Five-Finger Discount": Raven sees Corey getting caught shoplifting by a security guard. She rushes to the mall to prevent this, but to get close to him, ends up putting on a security guard outfit—thereby catching Corey, just like the vision predicted.