Series / Yo Gabba Gabba!

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Yo Gabba Gabba! is a kids' show on Nick Jr. with a whole lot of content that doesn't exactly seem oriented towards kids. It was co-created and is written by Christian Jacobs, also known as MC Bat Commander of The Aquabats!, and directed by Matt Chapman, co-creator of Homestar Runner.

Each episode focuses on DJ Lance Rock's magical toys; Muno, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee and Plex; playing together and learning new things. Their adventures are loosely connected by a single theme, and are separated by trippy filler segments, including:

  • Jingle: Once an Episode music video related to the episode's theme, usually done in Adobe Flash.
  • Story Time: A Flash-animated or Stop Motion segment where a child reads off a short story, usually leading up to An Aesop. Occasionally done as a comic book featuring a character named Super Martian Robot Girl.
  • Biz's Beat Of The Day: Biz Markie beatboxes to a different rhythm each time.
  • The DJ Lance Dance: DJ Lance makes up a simple dance and tells how to do it.
  • Cool Tricks: Featured kids (and sometimes adults!) show off their talents.
  • Mark's Magic Pictures: Mark Mothersbaugh shows how to draw a simple picture, which comes to life.
  • Other segments have the main cast asking you to join in an activity: Color With Brobee, Listen With Toodee, Learn With Plex, et cetera.

The series is largely music based, with frequent musical numbers and rhythm-driven activities. Once an Episode the characters watch a music video, with guest appearances by popular indie rock acts like The Killers and Taking Back Sunday. This has helped it build up a Periphery Demographic of college kids.

Yo Gabba Gabba has examples of:

  • Acid-Trip Dimension: Especially during the end-of-show dance mix.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each of the Gabbas have had an episode or two that completely revolves around one of them:
    • Muno: "Teeth", "Differences", "Family", "Adventure"
    • Foofa: "Pets"
    • Brobee: "Birthday", "Talent", "Big"
    • Toodee: "Doctor", "Nature"
    • Plex: "Robot"
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: In "Big", Muno and Toodee scruff Brobee's head a bit at the end of the song "Big and Small".
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The names of Muno's parents are not mentioned in the show, but a trading card reveals their names as Bruno (Dad) and Una (Mom).
    • The official Facebook and Twitter accounts name the members of the Yo Dazzlers Riffington (the guitarist), Jean-Pierre (the keyboardist), Chip (the drummer) and Big Bitz (the bassist).
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Most animals in Gabba Land, the birds for instance, are pink and purple.
    • Also the bugs; the mosquitoes are blue, the beetles are turquoise, the wasps are blue and yellow striped, and so on.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Anything in Gabbaland can suddenly sprout a face... flowers, trees, rock formations, even the big white room where it all takes place.
    • The animated characters get even more strange... Talking toast with wings, anyone?
    • Everything Talks
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Big", when Brobee is dejected at still being small, Plex tells him, "Some people are small, some people are tall. And some people are robots!". He then bursts into laughter, only to abruptly stop himself.
  • Big "NO!": In "Scary", Plex screams this when Brobee is about to eat a slice of bread that has fallen on the ground and got dirty as a result.
    • In "Super Spies", the Gabbas scream this in unison (preceded by a Big "WHAT?!") when they see their balloon art has been stolen.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: Brobee has Type 2.
  • Birthday Episode: Brobee turns four years old in "Birthday".
  • Bookends: Every episode starts with DJ Lance arriving with his magic boombox, shouting the magic words "Yo Gabba Gabba!", and one by one takes the characters out of the boombox and shouts their names, which brings them to life. At the end of every episode, DJ Lance says the magic words one more time, the characters de-animate, he puts them back in the boombox, and leaves.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In the "Talent" episode, when the Gabbas are trying to guess Brobee's talent, Muno think's it's doing a handstand, while Foofa suggests it's stacking blocks. Plex, of all the Gabbas, thinks it's flying like a bird.
  • Broken Aesop: In "Differences", Muno gets glasses (or rather, a glass, because he has only one eye) and learns that it's okay to look different. At the end of the episode, he decides to use a contact lens instead because the glasses keep falling off his face, so he looks no different than he did before.
  • Callback / Continuity Nod: Several songs are reused or at least referenced in later episodes, and minor characters such as the Spooky Toast continue to get cameos throughout the series.
  • Captain Ersatz: Plex bears a strong resemblance to the original Getter 3, particularly the design of his head and arms.
  • Color-Coded Characters:
    • DJ Lance = Orange
    • Muno = Red
    • Foofa = Pink
    • Brobee = Green
    • Toodee = Blue
    • Plex = Yellow
  • The Conscience: DJ Lance and Plex both play this role (as well as Foofa every once in a while).
  • Costume Evolution: While the looks retain the same, the noticeable difference from the earlier costumes is when the characters' eyes are closed.
  • Crossover: One with The Fresh Beat Band
  • Cute Little Fangs: Muno and Toodee.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The remix at the end of each show feature the characters dancing in front of various trippy backdrops. The Jingles and most Super Music Friends Show numbers are these, too.
    • Foofa's song "I Love My Pet" has a bunch of these.
    • As well as the "Dreams" song, which keeps changing from the sleeping Gabbas in the real world to their animated dreams.
  • Distant Duet:
    • One occurs in "Birthday" during the song "It's A Party For Brobee"; while Brobee's friends are happily working on getting ready for his surprise party, Brobee himself is sulking and thinking everyone forgot his birthday.
    • There's also the "Making Presents" song from "Christmas", which shows each Gabba making a present for a specific someone in their respective realms.
    • A similar manner occurs with the "Gotta Practice" song from "Band", where the Gabbas are practicing their instruments.
    • "Chasin' Down the Bad Spy" from the "Super Spies" episode has the Gabbas chasing after Bateman the bad spy while singing from three different places - Plex, Muno, and Foofa in their spy car, Brobee flying over them, and Toodee staying in Muno Land in case he comes back.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Plex
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The Gabba characters were a little bigger in proportion to DJ Lance at first. It's particularly evident in the "Greetings" episode, where the characters seem to change size between segments.
    • In the first season, the main plot was split into four parts separated by the various skits as shown above. By Season 2, once the episode recap was added before the end-of-episode remix, the main plot was reduced to three parts which were a few minutes longer than they were back then.
    • Certain Season 1 episodes didn't have the Super Music Friends Show.
    • The Gabbas had their own in-between episode sketches (see above), but were dropped when Season 2 went underway.
    • In Season 1, when the Super Music Friends Show begins, an offscreen announcer would announce the guest band of the day. Season 2 introduced the Music Swami.
  • Eating Contest: During the western play in "Dress Up", Muno (the good cowboy) and Brobee (the bad cowboy) have a banana-eating showdown to see who stays and who leaves.
  • The Eeyore: Gooble, who is always sad or crying.
  • Eureka Moment:
    • Brobee has one in "Car" when he realizes where his pillow socky has been thrown to after recounting what happened.
    • Brobee has another in "Talent" when he happily discovers his talent is playing his drums.
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: DJ Lance Rock is Type 1.
  • Expy: Brobee, Muno, and Gooble are all based on Aquabats villains.
  • Every Episode Ending: The last segment of each episode features DJ Lance remembering what the Gabbas did, followed by everyone dancing, then they say goodbye before DJ Lance de-animates them.
  • Fish out of Water: Jack Black in "New Friends".
    • Are we forgetting that My Chemical Romance performed on this show, of all shows they could perform on?
  • Five-Man Band
  • Five Stages of Grief: Brobee manages to hit all five stages throughout "Big" — he gives up playing with Toodee and Muno because he is upset at being too small (denial), he expresses his thoughts at wanting to be bigger (anger), he is accidentally beamed to life size by Plex, making his wish come true (bargaining), he is unable to play with his friends because he is too big now (depression), and finally he is beamed back to normal size so he can get a ball out of a log, and accepts being small (acceptance).
  • Free-Range Children: The Gabbas all live on their own, and their family members visit often.
  • Friendship Song: A lot of them, "Find a Friend" and "I Love You", to name a few.
  • Forgot About His Powers:
    • In "Superhero", the Gabbas come across Armand the worm who is stuck in a tree. Muno can't reach him, so the Gabbas use Foofa's cape as a trampoline so Armand can jump into it to safety. Plex, if he knew better, would've used his super long arms to reach Armand, but for some reason he didn't.
    • Plex also forgot about his super long arms in "Big", since he didn't use them to get the ball out of the log. Though it's possible this was done on purpose so Brobee wouldn't feel left out.
  • Forgot I Could Fly: A Running Gag with DJ Lance. Characters will periodically have to remind him that he can fly, which he'll then demonstrate. This has no bearing on the plot.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Sanguine — DJ Lance and Toodee
    • Choleric — Muno and Brobee
    • Melancholic — Plex
    • Phlegmatic — Foofa
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In "Share", right before Toodee swipes Brobee's ball away, Muno and Plex can be seen playing "Miss Mary Mack" in the background.
    • In live shows, right when Muno returns to the magic boombox during the final song, sometimes he kisses Foofa's hand, as opposed to biting it in "Together".
  • Gentle Giant: Muno, a huge fanged cyclops with a friendly and overly enthusiastic personality. Also, DJ Lance, who is quite literally a giant next to the main cast.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In an extremely literal sense. One animated short involving an animated character's newly cleaned car and said character dodging eggs from birds that lay egg in mid-flight or perching.
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence:
    • Jack Black's "Disco Roll" dance.
    • The song "Everything is More Fun" from "Clubhouse", which features a heavy throwback to disco age.
    • Also "Be Yourself", which has a lot of disco moves.
    • "Nice To Meet You" has Plex doing Tony Manero's famous two-step finger point several times.
  • Green Aesop: "Green"
  • Green Hill Zone: Foofa Land.
  • Hammerspace: Apparently, Plex can fit anything inside the little door on his belly.
  • Halfway Plot Switch:
    • The first scene of "Sleep" features the Gabbas playing "Hold Still" to get their wiggles out and settle down. For the rest of the episode, they take a nap and have dreams.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with "Imagine" as each scene has a different plot - In the first, Foofa and Toodee play pretend. In the second, the Gabbas bring Brobee some balloons to cheer him up. In the third, Toodee lies and says she has magic beans and can fly so her friends will think she's cool. In the fourth, Plex shows Muno the things inside his body that help him work. To top it all off, only the first scene alludes to the topic of using your imagination.
    • The first scene of "Mystery" has Muno looking for his missing hat. The rest of the episode has Toodee and Plex searching for Foofa after she disappears.
  • Hospital Hottie: Anthony Bourdain shows up as a doctor on one episode who's supposed to be ideal for a female monster.
  • I Can't Dance: Tony Hawk fudges his Dancey Dance and does a skateboarding demo instead.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Episode titles sum up what the episode is going to be about, almost always in one word.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: They're Shout Outs to 80's video games, with featured kids as the players.
  • Invisible Backup Band: This happens pretty much every time the Gabbas sing.
    • Lampshaded in a few episodes which show the music coming from Plex's speaker.
  • Invisible Parents: Muno is the only Gabba whose parents have been shown. It's clearly unknown whether the other Gabbas have parents or not.
  • "I Am" Song:
    • The "Name Game" song from "Greetings".
    • Plex has "The Robot Song", which is about how he enjoys being a robot and friend to DJ Lance and the Gabbas.
    • The song "We Are the Tiny Ugly Germs", which could classify as a Villain Song. Same goes for "Bad Spy", which was a fake Super Music Friends Show to distract the Gabbas while their balloon art is stolen.
  • "I Want" Song:
    • Brobee's song "Big and Small" is about his frustration at being little and wants to be big.
    • Brobee has another, "Let's Fly", an upbeat song about his desire to fly.
    • The "Adventure" song by Muno, Foofa and Plex, which shows how much the first loves adventure and wants to go on one.
    • The jingle "Hey, Won't Somebody Come and Play".
    • Also the Super Music Friends show song "I Wish I Was a Spy" by Peter Bjorn and John.
  • Keet: Muno
  • Knock-Knock Joke Of The Dayyyyyy....
  • Large Ham: DJ Lance. Being played by Lance Robertson doesn't hurt either.
  • Left the Background Music On: In the "Circus" episode, the ringmaster Al is checking on the Gabbas practicing their acts as calliope music plays in the background...then he gets to Plex and it's revealed to be coming from the calliope he is playing.
  • Let's Meet the Meat: Recurring musical number Party in My Tummy. Would you like to go to the party?
    • In one episode Brobee's birthday cake looks just like him, can walk and talk, and offers guests pieces of itself.
  • Liar Revealed: In the third scene of "Imagine", after Plex asks Toodee if she really has magic beans and can fly, Toodee utters, "No...I don't." Cue shocked reactions from her friends.
  • Lilliputians: The Gabbas are these. Plex has a special laser that shrinks DJ Lance and others to their size and vice versa.
  • Limited Social Circle/Minimalist Cast: Gabbaland does only have 5 citizens.
  • Limited Wardrobe: DJ Lance Rock
  • The Lost Woods: Brobee Land.
  • Magitek: Plex is described as a "magic robot" in the opening. His powers are occasionally attributed to his "magic ray".
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Muno has only one eye. Also, he lives in a desert-like realm that resembles the moon.
    • Brobee looks and acts like a little brother to the Gabbas, and has stripes on his body like a bee.
  • Medium Blending: Live-action characters interact with animated characters on a regular basis.
  • Midword Rhyme: One occurs during "Be Nice To Everyone":
    Dogs and cats
    Birds and bats
    Turtles and rab-
    -bits
    They are your pals
  • Mood-Swinger: Brobee, at least compared to the other main characters, who are almost always in a good mood. Brobee is the one who most often gets upset, and is also the only main character who changes his facial expression. Though this changed when Gooble changed expressions.
  • Mouse World: Averted; Not only are the cast displayed in public, Plex can easily shrink celebrities and DJ Lance down to their size.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    DJ Lance: Listening and dancing to music iiiiisssssss AAAAAAAAWESOOOOOOMMMME!
    • The "Learn With Plex" segments: "It's fun to brush your teeth / wash your hair / put your toys away / etc."
    • In "Restaurant", the Gabbas are waiting for their meals to arrive and are bored. Their situation? Break into song as they think of something awesome they can do while they wait.
  • The Musical: The entire series.
  • Musical Chores:
    • The song "Clean It Up", which the Gabbas sing as they clean up the mess they made with their food.
    • Also the addictive "Throw Us Away" as Toodee and Brobee throw away their trash after they unknowingly leave it on the ground.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: One occurs during the "Nap Time" song in "Sleep"; Plex and the Gabbas sing a repetitive lullaby as he tucks them in one at a time for their naps, but when he gets to Brobee, he stops singing halfway through when he sees Toodee didn't take her sleeping bag. After he convinces her to take a nap, the song continues from where it left off as he tucks her in.
    • In "Games", while the Gabbas are singing and playing Freeze Tag, Brobee is it, but cannot catch up to the others and gives up, which immediately stops the song. After he has a snack and drink of water which gives him more energy to play, the song restarts where it left off as he successfully chases and tags everyone.
    • "Party in My Tummy" abruptly stops when the leftover foods start crying due to not being eaten (the carrots and green beans in the main version, the eggs and fresh fruit in the breakfast version). Once the Gabbas agree to let them go to the party, the song resumes.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: A mixture of the Alternate Universe and Diagetic types. The former is most used, though the Gabbas tend to lampshade such by asking someone to sing with them, showing they're aware they're randomly bursting into song. The Jingles and Super Music Friends Show segments, on the other hand, are full-on Diagetic.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Toodee is an arctic cat dragon.
    • Super Martian Robot Girl!
  • No Antagonist: Played straight, though the germs that appear on anything dirty could come out as a minor version. There's also Bateman the bad spy in "Super Spies", before he underwent a Heel–Face Turn after revealing it was all an act.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Brobee is the only one of the gang who actually changes expression. Everyone else just is perpetually smiling now matter what they're thinking.
  • Ocular Gushers: Gooble cries these in most of his appearances.
  • Our Spirits Are Different: Gooble. He goes between Gabbaland and his land Goobleland.
  • Parental Bonus: The kids probably won't recognize the references to 8-bit video games or the many, many cameos.
    • In "Car", there was a creature on the moon that had a head shaped like that of a xenomorph.
  • People in Rubber Suits
  • Pep Talk Song: The recurring song "Try It, You'll Like It", which encourages another Gabba to try a food they never tasted. Also another, "Keep Trying", which encourages someone to not give up.
    • The "Happy Thoughts" song from "Sleep", in which Muno's rock friends tell him to think of happy things when he can't sleep.
    • Also the song "Let's Try To Remember" from "Car", where the Gabbas help Brobee try to think back to what happened when he cannot find his pillow socky.
    • "You Can Do It" from "Quest".
  • Perpetual Frowner: Gooble.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Toodee (red oni) is hyperactive and cheerful, while Foofa (blue oni) is relaxed and calm most of the time. Ironically, the former is blue, while the latter is pink.
    • Muno (red oni) is comical and often gets into mischief, while Brobee (blue oni) is also funny but very sensitive.
    • DJ Lance (red oni) is the fun-loving DJ host while Plex (blue oni) is the serious robot leader of Gabba Land.
  • Retraux: If the 8-bit sounding Chip Tune incidental music isn't enough, try playing "guess the games this filler section is homaging" with some of the Idiosyncratic Wipes in the show.
  • Robot Buddy: Plex
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Andy Samberg made a cameo once, in a pretty ridiculous outfit.
  • Say My Name:
    • In "Animals", Muno screams Foofa's name when he finds tracks on the ground (and causing glass to break in the distance).
    • Muno does this again in "Bugs" when he yells out Plex's name to make he and his friends small.
    • In "Imagine", When Toodee reveals she lied about having magic beans and flying, her friends shout her name in frustration before singing "Tell The Truth".
  • Scary Flashlight Face: The Gabbas have these in "Scary" as they sing "Don't Be Afraid" when Muno is afraid of the dark. It's downplayed however, since spotlights were used to illuminate their faces because shining their flashlights up them would make it look too scary for young viewers.
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: Among the indie/alternative rock artists that have appeared on the show are Flaming Lips, Low, Mates Of State, The Shins, Jimmy Eat World, The Killers, Taking Back Sunday, Shiny Toy Guns, Ladytron, MGMT, My Chemical Romance, The Faint, Of Montreal, Hot Hot Heat, Devo and Band of Horses.
  • Shaped Like Itself: In "Dress Up", Plex dressed up as a wizard, making him a magical magic robot, and Toodee dressed up as a dragon, making her a cat dragon dragon.
  • Shout-Out: Lots of references to 80's video games.
    • In Adventure, Muno pushes a stone out of the way to unveil a stairway. The Zelda "stairs revealed" music plays, and as they enter the dungeon, a few bars of the original Zelda dungeon theme plays.
      • In the same episode, Muno dresses up like his favorite adventurerer Montana Johnson.
    • The title is one, a variation of The Ramones' chant "Gabba gabba hey" (which itself was adapted from the 1930s horror movie Freaks).
    • The episode "Space" has a Shout-Out to Dr. Seuss: the Story Time is told in rhyme, and there is a photo of an alien with a The Cat In The Hat-esque hat.
    • In "Imagine", Toodee yells "Imagination!" while making a rainbow, which is a reference to a Spongebob Squarepants meme, known as "Imagination" or "Nobody Cares".
    • A vaguely related case, but Former Child Star Abigail Breslin's Twitter account is "yoabbaabba", a reference to the show's name.
    • In "Animals", when Plex is about to beam Lance down, he shouts, "DJ Lance, come on down!".
  • Show Within a Show: The Super Music Friends Show.
  • Sick Episode: Toodee in "Doctor".
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Toodee Land.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The show's setting is often spelled as either "Gabba Land" or "Gabbaland". Same goes for the realms that are part of it.
  • Storybook Episode: "Fairy Tale".
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Every episode ends with a techno remix of lines and songs from that episode.
  • Sugar Bowl
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Has happened often on occasion.
  • Team Dads: Plex and DJ Lance.
  • The Power Of Indie Rock
  • Theme Tune Roll Call:
    Muno! He's tall and friendly!
    Foofa! She's pink and happy!
    Plex! A magic robot!
    Let's all come and play
    With DJ Lance Rock today!
  • Title Scream: What precedes and immediately follows the above.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Toodee (tomboy) and Foofa (girly girl).
  • Totally Radical
  • Train Song: The "Train Ride" song from "Train" - "Chugga chugga, chugga chugga, chugga chugga, choo choo!"
  • Transformation Sequence: The theme song has the Gabbas coming to life from their inanimate stuffed toy forms this way — DJ Lance places them in their respective realms and announces their names one by one, causing them to transform.
    • A similar version occurs at the end of every episode when DJ Lance turns them back into toys.
    • DJ Lance has his own whenever he changes into a costume.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: The theme song is shortened in the fourth season, removing the instrumental bit before Muno is brought to life and a portion of the final cheer at the end.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In the "Shopping" episode, the manager comes upon Muno and Brobee who have accidentally spilled one of the cereals on display and broke the rocket ship toy that came inside. She begins to address them ("Excuse me, young..."), only to take notice that they're monsters and awkwardly finishes her statement ("...men...?").
  • Vague Age: Out of all the Gabbas, the only one whose age was mentioned so far was Brobee's (3 in Season 1, turns 4 in "Birthday"). In "Teeth", Muno and Toodee lost their front teeth, hinting they might be 6-7 years of age since your front teeth fall out around 6-7 years old.
  • Verbal Tic: Brobee speaks with a lateral lisp.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Well, it is a kids' show.
  • Vocal Evolution: Brobee's voice became less raspy and more high pitched when Season 2 went underway. Also, Plex's became slightly louder and a bit nasal, while Foofa's became less babyish and smoother.
  • Watch It Stoned: Stephen Colbert made a passing comparison between small children and stoners in that both drooled and watched Yo Gabba Gabba all the time. Nevertheless...
  • What Is This Feeling?: In the "Fun" episode, Plex (the robot) has trouble comprehending the concept of fun... which leads to the "What what what is fun fun fun" song.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Toodee's friends give her this in the song "Tell The Truth" after she reveals she lied to them:
    Why, why, why,
    Why did you lie?
    We like you better when you tell the truth!
  • White Void Room: Where the show's universe is set in.
  • Wingding Eyes:
    • Muno and Toodee get these in "Eat" when they taste the yogurt.
    • Muno also gets this in "Summer" when he drinks Brobee's lemonade.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The main plot of "Teeth" is told in flashback by DJ Lance as he remembers when Muno lost his baby teeth.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/YoGabbaGabba