Western Animation: Codename: Kids Next Door
Codename: Kids Next Door
(2002-2008) is an original animated series
from Cartoon Network
about a team of five ten-year-olds who are members of a secret organization that fights adult tyranny.
The idea grew out of side characters for Mr. Warburton's failed series Kenny and the Chimp
. The show featured five kids who lived next door to Kenny with no parental supervision. The five were simply troublemakers who enjoyed terrorizing the neighborhood. When the show fell through, they were retooled into the stars of their own show. The pilot was submitted for Cartoon Network "Big Pick Weekend", where viewers were allowed to vote on the next cartoon series. Kids Next Door
reached the final three and was ultimately the winner.
The five kids became Sector V, a Five-Man Band
in the worldwide organization known as the Kids Next Door. Numbuh One, The Leader
, is a Properly Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist
who is always seen wearing sunglasses (and has no hair). Numbuh Two, The Smart Guy
, is an inventor known for cracking puns
at inappropriate times. Numbuh Three, The Chick
, is The Ditz
of the team, constantly happy and serving as the team doctor. Numbuh Four, The Big Guy
, is a Book Dumb
kid who holds an invaluable amount of street smarts. Numbuh Five, The Lancer
, is the only sane girl
trying desperately to keep the team together.
Together, the KND of Sector V fight alongside their compatriots-in-childhood against numerous villains — including The Delightful Children from Down the Lane
(and their creepy father, Father), Numbuh Five's traitorous teenage sister
Cree, and the Corrupt Corporate Executive
Mr. Boss — who hates children and wants them enslaved.
The show was known for its consistent continuity and its use of the Story Arc
, as well as several Parental Bonus
moments — including an Affectionate Parody
of The Animatrix
short "The Second Renaissance" and a Musical Episode
starring, of all bands
— that attracted fans outside its intended audience
. Another one of the show's big draws was the aversion of the Spotlight-Stealing Squad
, Invincible Hero
, and Failure Hero
tropes; a new episode can actually have suspense
over who's going to win or lose, and it's hilarious and/or awesome either way.
Episodes followed a specific naming pattern: the episode title is always "Operation: [X]" — where [X] is an acronym (as an example: "T.E.E.T.H.") — and both the acronym itself and
the phrase it stood for (using the prior example: "Tooth Extracting Enemy Terrorizes Headquarters") served to give viewers a general idea of the episode's plot.Kids Next Door
ended after six seasons, one movie (Operation: Z.E.R.O.
), and a crossover with The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
("The Grim Adventures of the KND"). The Grand Finale
, "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S." ("It's Now The Extra Really Very Interesting End Wrap-Up Story"), answered a few questions.
There are no DVD box sets, but various episodes have been released on compilation sets.
This show now has a character sheet
and its movie
now has its own page: Operation: Z.E.R.O.
, as well as its original pilot, No P in the OOL
This series has nothing to do with Girl Next Door
Codename: Kids Next Door provides examples of the following tropes:
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- Abnormal Ammo / Edible Ammunition: Goes hand-in-hand with the 2×4 technology used by the KND, but used by other organizations and villains as well. The Six Gum Gang uses revolvers loaded with already-chewed gum, a sea coffee-drilling rig is equipped with coffee-bean turrets and one episode even has the U.S. government using giant robots that shoot bubblewrap.
- Aborted Arc: The Clam Cannon, no wonder it was a one-shot weapon.
- Adorably Precocious Child: Most, if not all male KND operatives fit the description to perfection.
- Adult Fear: "Operation: W.H.I.T.E.H.O.U.S.E.". A young idealistic rebel wakes up one day and discovers that he has grown old and respectable and abandoned his ideals. His old comrades have become corrupt supporters of The Man, he is married to a shrew who used to be his girlfriend (though she was a shrew when she was his girlfriend so nothing changed there), his son despises him, his best friend has been driven insane by his betrayal and he is faced with the choice of crossing the Moral Event Horizon or be destroyed.
- Adults Are Useless: Adults in the series tend to be evil or clueless. Exceptions include Moosk, Dr. Sigmund Teef, and possibly Lasso Lass. Some of the episodes that feature the kids' parents also prove to be exceptions as well, especially in the Operation: Z.E.R.O. movie.
- Affectionate Parody: Let's see, we got...
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
- All According to Plan: A plot twist so common that it's also a Running Gag for one character for a time.
- All Just a Dream: A few episodes end this way, most of the time with an Or Was It a Dream? vibe.
- Ambiguous Clone Ending: The ending of "Operation: P.R.E.S.I.D.E.N.T.".
- Angels Pose: The series' logo.
- Annoying Younger Sibling:
- Numbuh Two's little brother Tommy.
- Numbuh 86's little brothers. No wonder she hates boys. (Though this in her own words. When shown, its revealed they're not as bad as she made them out to be.)
- Numbuh Three's sister, Mushi. Which is ironic as they actually started out getting along with each other.
- Numbuh 362's little brother Harvey, Numbuh 363, who constantly antagonizes Numbuh One.
- Numbuh Four's baby brother Joey. (But Numbuh Four quickly turns into a Papa Wolf if someone messes with Joey.)
- Cree considers Numbuh Five to be this to her.
- Anthropomorphic Food: Grandmother Stuffem creates this to force itself into kids' mouths.
- Count Spankulot makes it a point to only spank children who deserve it.
- Professor XXX-L. His actual goal is really nothing sinister (he is trying to perfect the snowcone) but he does tend to violently oppose anyone who tries to stop him. His goal in the "Kenny and the Chimp" segment in the pilot was to fight the PTA; exactly why, he didn't say, but apparently, he got his ass handed to him by them.
- Art Evolution: Over the course of the series, the animation became more consistent and the colors became richer.
- Art Shift: "Operation: R.E.P.O.R.T."
- Ascended Fangirl: Numbuh Three grows up to become the president of the Rainbow Monkey Corporation in "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.".
- Asian Airhead: Kuki Sanban (a.k.a. Numbuh Three) is effectively like a younger, prepubescent Hay Lin. An adorable, girly, kindhearted, rather prissy girl who is personified as being extremely scatterbrained. That Other Wiki says that she is only acting stupid so she doesn't feel sad.
- Assumed Win / Crack Defeat: "Operation: E.L.E.C.T.I.O.N.S."
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: There are lots of episodes that involve a Humongous Mecha (or even more than one) but one that doesn't, but still fits the Trope, is "Operation: F.O.O.D.F.I.T.E.", where Grandma Stuffum uses a "Slamwitch" (a giant, demonic, carnivorous, sandwich) to fight Sector V; they respond by calling their pet hamster Joaquin, who uses some device to grow to giant size to fight it (and then eat it).
- Attack Pattern Alpha: "Kids Next Door: Battle Stations!"
- Author Appeal: Humongous Mechas.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: If you're Supreme Leader, it's common knowledge you're a great fighter. I.e.: Numbuh Zero, 100, 274 and 362. Especially 362.
- Authority in Name Only: King Sandy really isn't king of anything. In fact, it's possible he and his three cousins simply Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality.
- Cree Lincoln
- Moosk; he's the only adult beside Monty Uno who has Numbuh One's full respect, for very good reasons.
- Bad Humor Truck: Ice cream men are bad guys in this series, or at least one group of them; both Father and Mr. Boss have them as Mooks.
- Badass Adorable Army: The entire Kids Next Door, though the "adorable" part may depend on certain operatives.
- Badass Beard: Captain Stickybeard, of course. (Might also count as a Captain Colorbeard, technically.)
- Badass Boast: There are quite a few, in particular Negative Numbuh 86's epic line in "Operation: P.O.O.L.":
"In the name of the One Supreme Ultra DNK Leader, Welcome... to the worst day of your lives."
- Badass Santa: In "Operation: N.A.U.G.H.T.Y.", Santa is a clear satire of Professor Charles Xavier, complete with a team of elves that are satires of the X-Men.
- Badass Family / Big Screwed-Up Family: The Unos, so very much. On one side, we have Nigel's father, the original Numbuh Zero, who in his youth started a new age of KND. The last episode also reveals his mother was the first female operative. On the other side, though, Father is Numbuh Zero's brother and thus Nigel's uncle, and their father is the aptly-named Grandfather, who is ten times worse than Father. Add in the Delightfuls (missing KND operatives turned permanently evil) as Father's adopted children... and there you go.
- Badass Normal: The whole premiss of the KND is pretty much set up like this considering more than half of the things they can do, and end up pulling off. Hell sector V took down Father after he TURNED INTO A FUCKING FIRE-BREATHING DRAGON!!!!
- Bad Future: "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E.", naturally. Fortunately, they are able to Set Right What Once Went Wrong to prevent it from happening.
- Bad-Guy Bar: We see it in "Operation: F.L.U.S.H.", with plenty cameos from minor villains of the show.
- Balloon Belly: All of Sector V after Gramma Stuffum's attack in "Operation: N.O.-P.O.W.U.H." (but not as bad as Numbuh Two).
- Bamboo Technology: Actually, two-by-four technology.
- Banana Peel: In "Operation: S.N.O.W.I.N.G.", Numbuh One throws some banana peels before a quadruped Humongous Mecha (straight out of The Empire Strikes Back). The mecha pilots burst into laughter at this sight, but then their vehicule steps on a peel in the snow... and immediately topples to the side.
- Baseball Episode: "Operation: B.R.E.A.K.U.P."
- Batman Gambit: Double subversion in "Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R." One of the Delightful Children becomes a Reverse Mole, making Sector V think he's helping them destroy the other DCFDTL's coffee supply, when it's actually a trap to steal the teams top-secret plans. As it turns, out, the KND are pulling a Batman Gambit of their own; the briefcase they steal actually has a bomb, and after the Delightful Children spring their trap, the heroes get the last laugh and manage to destroy the coffee supply anyway.
- Bathroom Break-Out: President Uno does this during "Operation: W.H.I.T.E.H.O.U.S.E.".
- Beach Episode: "Operation: B.E.A.C.H."
- Beard of Evil: Negative Numbuh Four in "Operation: P.O.O.L.".
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Short-fused shorty Numbuh Four and Genki Tsundere Numbuh Three. Truly, a destined pair.
- "Be Quiet!" Nudge: Numbuh Five is usually the one to elbow her teammates when they need to shut it, like with Numbuh Four at the end of "Operation: R.O.B.B.E.R.S.", or Numbuh Three in "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-F.I.V.E.". Note that it hardly works on the latter: if you truly want Kuki to shut up, you need to gag her.
- Berserk Button:
- Numbuh Three: "Toys? I don't want toys. I WANT REVENGE!!!"
- DO NOT HARM NUMBUH FOUR's LITTLE BROTHER (OR HIS CRUSH, NUMBUH THREE) IN FRONT OF HIM.
- If you think you're going to overcharge Numbuh 1 at a restaurant, you've got another thing coming, but it was all for the better, as it did snap him out of his love-induced brainwashing once (and just as the Yes Dear 5000 was about to get a complete hold on him).
- You're going to put Numbuh 83 in a dark room!? You fool!
- Saying anything anti-feminist around Numbuh 86 is a big No-No.
- Also, never call Numbuh 86 "Toots", as Numbuh Two learned the hard way.
- Don't ever do anything that drives Laura to her transformation.
- BFG: Including, but not necessarily limited to ones that shoot kangaroos, mattresses, and grizzly bears.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Father and Mr. Boss, depending on the episode.
- Big Eater: Numbuh Two. He not only loves to eat (and has the girth to prove it) but he's far more resistant to Grandma Stuffem's demonic food than the other members of the team.
- Bigger Bad: Grandfather
- Big Good: Numbuh 362 for most of the series. The movie introduces Numbuh Zero as a more mythical Big Good, who is revealed to be Nigel's dad.
- Big Labyrinthine Building: A huge, labyrinthine, treehouse.
- Big "NO!": Numbuh Four, once Number Five becomes a senior citizombie.
- Big "Shut Up!": Lizzie in "Operation: D.A.T.E.".
- Bilingual Bonus:
- Numbuh Three's last name, Sanban, loosely translates to "third" in Japanese.
- Mushi's first name translates to "insect".
- In "Operation: T.R.I.P.", the Interesting Twins from Beneath the Mountain crash into a poster which reads いたい ("itai"), which translates from Japanese to "painful", lampshading their Chew Toy status in the episode.
- Numbuh One's last name, Uno, is Spanish for "one".
- Bittersweet Ending: The series finales ends with Numbuh One being selected to joined the Galactic Kids Next Door. But is forced to leave Earth and it's unlikely that he will ever see his friends and family ever again. ...until we see the absolute final scene, that is. Then we discover, from what Numbuh Five says, that the grown-up Sector V had the last laugh on Father, and Numbuh One is, indeed, coming home.
- Birthday Episode:
- There are plenty of episodes where it is one of The Delightful Children from Down the Lane's birthday and the KND try to take their cake.
- Another episode starring Numbuh Three dealt with celebrating her birthday. (The episode sets it up to make the viewers believe she's a Distressed Damsel; however, as it turns out, she becomes the hero, defeating the villain by herself.)
- Black Bead Eyes: What most of the characters have, however there are a few exceptions.
- Blasting It out of Their Hands: Exaggerated in the episode "Operation: V.I.R.U.S."; Numbuh One is confronted by Cree Lincoln and pulls out a handgun, which she shoots it out of his hand with her Arm Blaster. Then he pulls out seven other guns from various spots on his body which she blasts out one by one. Thus Nigel is left with only... a comb, which Cree also shoots from his hand.
- Blessed Are the Cheesemakers:
- In "Operation: L.I.C.E.", the giant mutated lice are killed by cheddar.
- "Operation: T.H.E.-S.H.O.G.U.N." provides a particularly over-the-top example.
- Bond One-Liner: "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.": "I've always wondered how the Delightful Children from Down the Lane all went to the bathroom together."
- Boisterous Bruiser:
- Numbuh Four, and how.
- Also, Moosk from "Operation: K.N.O.T.".
- Book Dumb: Numbuh Four is this, big time. He also grows out of it big time, graduating from Harvard of all places and becoming a doctor.
- Brains and Brawn: Numbuhs Two and Four.
- Brainwashed: Double Subversion in "Operation: C.A.M.P.".
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The Delightful Children from Down the Lane
- Brats with Slingshots
- Brick Joke:
- Broken Streak:
- In "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-F.O.U.R.", the Gilligans' Tube-A-Thon losing streak is broken by Tommy. Hoagie would've finished the race as well, had there not been a Friend or Idol Decision.
- Speaking of the "C.A.K.E.D." missions, each one that comes up usually has the KND ruining the Delightfuls' Birthday in some form or another. However on the Sixth one (the title which cleverly omitted the "C.A.K.E.D." from it), the Delightfuls manage to get one over on the KND in a delicious irony: they have three of Sector V deliver the cake without them even knowing it till the end.
- Bucket Helmet / Cool Helmet: A lot of operatives have one of these, especially Numbuh 86 and Numbuh 362 who have ones that are made of colanders.
- Burning with Anger: Father is not just Wreathed in Flames, but they increase in intensity when angry.
- But Not Too Foreign: Numbuh Five (and her sister Cree) are half-French, half African-American. Both of their parents are still Black, though. And their father is a parody of Bill Cosby.
- Butt Monkey: Numbuh Four, as well as Tommy.
- Caffeine Bullet Time: "Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R." has a Villain of the Week that has Super Speed from consuming large amounts of coffee regularly. When Numbuh Five gets a coffee overdose of her own, she gets temporary Super Speed as well, but notably crashes pretty quickly and realistically.
- Cain and Abel: Three groups.
- Numbuh Five and Cree.
- Numbuh Three and Mushi, to a lesser extent.
- Not to mention Numbuh Zero and Father.
- The Cake Is a Lie: In "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.", KND scientist Numbuh 74.239 claims he has taken the Delightful Children from Down the Lane's cake and announces a scavenger hunt for it. Numbuh One wins — only to find out that the scavenger hunt was a test to see who will be chosen to be the representative of Earth in the Galactic KND, and the promised cake was actually just a cupcake, which 74.239 happily scarfs down.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Mrs. Thompson. Being unable to lie was a downside of the curse that made her the Were-Dog Queen.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Nearly all of the villains are this. Supervillain meetings are held regularly. They shop at a supermarket which is "for villains only, and even hold a Villains Choice Awards ceremony, which is shown on public television! Several lines in the series directly mention this trope, like this gem from "Operation: T.R.I.C.K.Y.":
- Cereal Vice Reward: The KND stealing the Delightful Childrens' birthday cake and ruining their birthdays in the "C.A.K.E.D." episodes).
- Cerebus Syndrome
- Chained Heat: Numbuh One and Chad as part of a subplot of "Operation: T.R.E.A.T.Y.". Notably, the usual way this plays out is subverted. It worsens their relationship and ends with the two of them fighting to the death in a way that's not Played for Laughs.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: In general, all of the operatives — especially Numbuh One and Numbuh Four — who come out of training seem to have some degree of superhuman power in one way or another; leaping ridiculous distances, surviving explosions and hard blunt trauma, punching out and tossing around grown men and teenagers, and other odd displays of strength are put on display pretty often. Numbuh Four in particular, despite his small stature, is once even seen launching a solid gold dodge-ball several feet into the air hard enough to destroy a stone statue, among other things. All in all, the more normal operatives are usually still strong enough to beat up the average adult or teen thug bare-fisted — such as Numbuh Two and Three from time to time — but the very best operatives can even take down the super-villains, such as Numbuh One.
- Chef of Iron: Granny Stuffem and her creations.
- Chewing the Scenery: Everyone, at least once. The voice actors really held nothing back.
- Child Hater: Although most of the KND's foes are evil adults, only a few of them actually qualify for this trope (others have different reasons for causing them grief). Among the worst are Father, Mr. Boss, Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb, Chester, and a few one-shot villains. Note that Mr. Boss makes an exception for his own children.
- Children Are Innocent: Subverted, as the KND is rebellious. Though played straight because most of them don't know where babies come from. This is subverted with Numbuh Five, who does know, because her father is a doctor. Plus she mentions she has an older brother who has a few kids.
- Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs: Rainbow Munchies, a cereal that everyone, heroes and villains alike (except Knightbrace) love. "Operation: M.U.N.C.H.I.E.S." has Sector V fighting with practically every villain on the show over the last box of the stuff in a supermarket.
- Christmas Episode: "Operation: N.A.U.G.H.T.Y."
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Nigel's girlfriend, Lizzie.
- Closet Geek: Numbuh One towards Rainbow Monkeys.
- Closer Than They Appear: The mirror on one vehicle says "Missiles in mirror may be closer than they appear."
- Color-Coded Characters / Five-Kid Band: Sector V
- Combat Tentacles: The giant turnip's in "Operation: T.U.R.N.I.P.".
- Comedic Spanking: Count Spankulot is built around this trope, as should be apparent from his name. He's pretty much a vampire, except that his powers are based on spanking naughty children rather than sucking blood. (Note that Spankulot is the only villain in the series to get in actual legal trouble for what he does, as he has taken this too far more than once.)
- Competence Zone: Anyone 13 or older is a threat to the Kids Next Door, and must have their memories of the organization erased. In this universe, unlike the real one, many teenagers serve as loyal minions for adults (although there are plenty who just view kids as irritants). The show eventually subverted this in the episode "Operation: M.A.U.R.I.C.E.", which revealed that some teenaged KND agents are retained as undercover operatives. Which may or may not be a subtle Shout-Out to the Steve Miller Band.
- Conspicuous CG: Sector V's treehouse when it turns into a rampaging monster chasing Nigel and Lizzie in "Operation: G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D.".
- Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: This show is practically built on conspiracies (sometimes literally). Not surprisingly, the KND were even responsible for the fake moon landing.
- Continuity Creep
- Continuity Drift: The first season finale, "Operation: G.R.O.W.-U.P.", seems kind of off after viewing later seasons. Instead of getting decommissioned, Nigel just leaves the group and gets a job with his memories intact. It stands to reason that they had no reason to go after him. By the system he was still 10 years and it wouldn't have alerted the decommissioning department. (That, combined with the fact that Numbuh 86 hasn't been introduced yet.) None of his team would report him, either, so as far as anyone outside his team knew, nothing had changed.
- Continuity Nod: Frequently, such as Numbuh One recognizing A Glitch in the Matrix when he remembers that Numbuh Four can't swim.
- Continuity Snarl: The reason that Numbuh five hates the Delightful Children so much is because they apparently caused Numbuh One to go bald, yet in "Operation: T.R.E.A.T.Y.", Numbuh One is seen during his training as already being bald, despite this taking place long before he met the Delightful Children, and possibly before Sector Z had become brainwashed by Father.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: In "Operation: G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D.", the Nerds Force captured members of the team to watch reruns of a show called Dr. Time, Space, and the Continuum. (Not the last time this obvious parody of Doctor Who is mentioned negatively. Clearly, the writers were not fans.)
- Cool Shades: Numbuh One's got 'em.
- Cowboy Episode:
- "Operation: R.O.B.B.E.R.S."
- "Operation: M.E.S.S.A.G.E."
- "Operation: N.U.G.G.E.T."
- Crapsack World:
- The world under Grandfather's rule. Imagine child labor during the Industrial Era and take it Up to Eleven.
- What the world normally is. Let's face it, KND is one of the most screwed-up worlds.
- Crazy Cat Lady: There's a recurring villain on the show with that exact name. She not only has an army of feral cats, but can combine them all to function together like one giant cat.
- Credits Gag: The production team is given military-inspired job titles.
- Creepy Child:
- Creepy children: The Delightful Children from Down the Lane, who all speak and even move in unison. Subverted in one episode where one of the DCFDTL appears to break free from the group to act as a spy for the KND Double Subverted when he turns out to be the Reverse Mole and levitates back to them, and there's even a sickening squelching noise when he reasserts his place. His football helmet actually grew back on his head at the time, too. And that's on top of all five Delightful Children actually being brainwashed KND operatives. Triple Reverse Mole?
AND they turn back into KND operatives in Operation: Z.E.R.O. after being recommissioned. (Quadruple Reverse Mole) This turns out to be a temporary Subversion of the Creepy Child. Unfortunately, this is a Double Subversion, as they turn back into the Delightful Children. (Quintuple Reverse Mole — Let's leave it at that.) Of course they stop talking in unison then too for the most part when they figure out they've been had; the others turn to Lenny and say, "Lenny, you're an idiot", suggesting the whole thing was his idea.
- Their counterparts from Japan, The Interesting Twins from Beneath the Mountain, also fall into this.
- Creepy Monotone: See directly above. The Delightfuls subvert this a few times, though, most notably in "Operation: G.R.O.W.-U.P.", mainly to highlight just how scary an angry Father is.
- Crossover: "The Grim Adventures of the Kids Next Door". Oddly enough, although Numbuh Three made a cameo appearance in Billy & Mandy's Big Boogie Adventure, she didn't acknowledge — or even seem to remember — that in the actual crossover. (Over course, while the crossover was shown after the special was, it was never stated which story happened first, chronologically.)
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Sector V, initially. Being the main characters of the show, it's implied at first that they're the only Kids Next Door operatives; however, when the organization is shown to have teams across the globe, Sector V is shown to be one of, if not the best around.
- Cyborg: Bradley, after getting run over by a car (Which incidentally Cree happens to be driving) and then being healed with cybernetic implants, becoming R.O.B.O.B.R.A.D.L.E.Y.
- Dance Battler: The school musical episode, where the performers (led by the gang) use choreographed dancing to dodge laser blasts fired by the Delightful Children's battlesuit.
- Darkest Hour: The season 1 finale. The Delightful Children have turned Numbuh One into an adult, leaving Sector V leaderless, the treehouse is destroyed, and Numbuh One has been forced to get a job as an ice cream man for the Children. This was before the rest of the KND was introduced properly, so they couldnt even call on any reinforcements. Sector V is reduced to using a cardboard box as a temporary HQ.
- Darkhorse Victory: "Your new fourth grade president is.... EGBERT EGGLESTON!"
- A Day in the Limelight
- Demon Head: Numbuh Three often displays this.
Kuki: Toys? I don't want toys... I WANT REVENGE!!
- Disguised in Drag: Numbuh Four becomes Numbuh 4-30teen-7 for "Operation: S.L.U.M.B.E.R.".
- Disney Villain Death: The Delightful Children and Father both fall victim to this in the Grand Finale, though the latter case is subverted.
- Distant Finale
- Does Not Like Men:
- Numbuh 86. Subverted in a comic where she's accidentally decommissioned, and starts to smooch every boy on Moonbase. Hilarity Ensues. She recovers, though. This subversion carries Unfortunate Implications, as it is implied that whatever made her hate boys happened after she joined the KND.
- The villain in "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E.". She goes so far as to try to wipe out the gender over 75 years, with the help of time travel.
- Dope Slap: Numbuh Five dope-slaps Numbuh Four after the latter eats some Coco Nut Logs despite being allergic to coconut.
- The Dragon / Dragon-in-Chief: The Delightful Children from Down the Lane
- Drinking Contest: The Pirates of the Caribbean parody episode replaces the alcohol with mugs and sacks of pure sugar.
- Driven to Suicide: Both unintentional and subverted with Hotheaded Numbuh Three in "Operation: H.O.T.S.T.U.F.F.". Subverted because while her house is about to blow up due to her messing with the thermometer, she doesn't care, because she has power over the house, though it's not exactly suicide.
- Dude, Where's My Reward?: Tommy Gilligan saves the organization, but doesn't get re-enlisted due to security measures.
- Eleventy Buh-million
- Embarrassing but Empowering Outfit: Battle-Ready Armor in its inactive state.
- Embarrassing First Name: Numbuh 86's real name is Fanny. The joke has some Unfortunate Implications when you realize what the Scottish-accented Fanny's name means in her homeland... Further implications abound when you take into account the fact that she's a complete FemiNazi.
- Enemy Mine:
- In "Operation: I.T.", the Delightful Children sell Father out and help the KND, because even THEY can't stand broccoli.
- Rather large example in "Operation: M.U.N.C.H.I.E.S.". After Sector V spent the whole story fighting nearly ever villain in the series over the last box of cereal in a supermarket, Knightbrace grabs it, but since he's a villainous dentist he intends to destroy it, not eat it. So the heroes call a truce with the other villains to get from him. (And then all of them are able to share it at the end, making it a happy ending for everyone except Knightbrace.)
- The KND and Delightful Children team up to escape the Child Zoo in "Operation: Z.O.O.".
- Epic Fail: In "Operation: D.A.D.D.Y.", Mr. Boss intends to save money by cutting the hair of his own children instead of taking to them to a barber. The resulting haircut on his son is impossibly bad.◊
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Subverted by Black John Licorice; according to Stickybeard's sea shanty, he would even steal candy from his own mother.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Plenty of villains in the series have shown to do this: for example, Stickybeard saves Sector V from the giant white asparagus because while he steals candy from kids, he won't allow anyone to be forced to eat asparagus.
- Everything's Better with Rainbow Monkeys
- Eviler Than Thou: A lighthearted and hilarious example occurs in "Operation: A.W.A.R.D.S." The nominees for best villain of the year are Father (who is favored to win), Mr. Boss, Grandma Stuffum, and Stickybeard. Unfortunately, after Numbuh One (who they intended to use as the reward) is rescued by the rest of Sector V, the four villains get into a fight over who should win, and when Knightbrace actually opens the envelope to announce the winner, a bomb set by the heroes goes off, preventing anyone from knowing who the winner is. (The fight between the four continues into the end credits.)
- Evil Counterpart: "Operation: P.O.O.L." is all about this. Everyone in the alternate reality is an Evil Counterpart of the people in the "real world" (except if they're evil in our world, in which case they are Good Counterparts. The biggest difference is, in this case, a few Evil Counterparts seem to have some capacity for good at the end. Except Evil Numbuh 4
- Evil Teacher: While you would have expected this type of villain to have been common, the team tended to have bigger problems with evil students than with teachers. In fact, the closest they ever came to a villain like this was Mrs. Thompson, the Were-Dog Queen, and she was a subversion, having been inflicted by the curse of lycanthropy by an angry ex-husband. She turned out to actually be a rather decent sort in the end. (Well, not decent enough to bend the rules and excuse Numbuh Four's bad schoolwork, even though he was the one who broke the curse, but still decent compared to most adults on the show.)
- Expy: Moosk in "Operation: K.N.O.T." is obviously an Expy of Baldur's Gate's Minsk, right down to both characters being voiced by Jim Cummings.
- Face-Heel Turn:
- Cree and Chad after they turned 13.
- Also every other decommissioned KND operative (with the exception of the special ops who keep their memories to spy on the teenagers/adults).
- This actually applies to kid characters too; in "Operation: S.L.U.M.B.E.R." one of the operatives betrays the others because her birthday is coming up and she'd rather just get her heel turn over with sooner than later.
- "Operation: A.R.C.T.I.C." has Numbuh 30c sabotaging Sector V's efforts because the villain was just making a snowcone, which Sector V wasn't aware of.
- "Operation: T.I.E." (which, ironically has a grown-up protagonist) has a kid character turn on the others because his father was the head of a big company and wanted Moosk to come back and work for him.
- President McGarfield at the end of "Operation: P.R.E.S.I.D.E.N.T.".
- The Faceless: Played with, for all of Sector V's parents. Numbuh Two and Numbuh Three's parents are Aversions. Numbuh One's dad is played straight and then subverted in his first appearance. Lenny's is played straight then subverted in "Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R." Numbuh Four's parents are subverted and played straight when wanted, and Numbuh Five's parents play it straight.
- Face Palm: Frequent, mostly for Numbuh One and Numbuh Five.
- Fake Defector: The teenager in "Operation: F.U.G.I.T.I.V.E." is often mistaken for one. Maurice and Chad are actual ones.
- Fallen Hero:
- Both Cree and Chad. Cree is also a Broken Pedestal.
- Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb might qualify, possibly. They were members of a group that was similar to the KND before they grew up and turned rotten. (Whether they were any good at it, on the other hand, isn't clear.)
- False Start: Numbuh Four's crush on Numbuh Three. This quickly becomes a Running Gag.
- "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: "Operation: S.P.R.O.U.T."
- Fate Worse Than Death: Eating Broccoli is seen as this. Even so much as the threat of it is one of the few things that can bring the series Big Bad, Father, to his knees. Brussels sprouts as well, as indicated in "Operation: S.P.R.O.U.T.".
- Fat, Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit: Jimmy Nixon McGarfield, the Fourth Grade President-for-Life, is a tween example. He starts out with the typical white suit but gets a black one once he's officially a villain (and Vader parody).
- Felony Misdemeanor:
- Almost all the villains are built on this. Simple things most kids don't like doing such as homework, washing dishes, and eating vegetables are blown to world-destroying proportions. Usually because said villains take it to said proportions.
- One episode features a hardware-store owner who wants to eliminate two aviators who bought their plane parts from him. Why? Because they kept smudging his counter with chili. Disproportionate Retribution much?
- This show as a whole is built on this, to an Animal Farm-esque degree. Anything that is kid-oriented is good! Anything that is adult-oriented or that adults make kids do for their own good is ''vile and evil''! Which makes the existance of smutty KND pictures/fanfic somewhat of a violent whiplash of Fridge Logic...
- This kids = good/adults = bad thing is taken to such a degree that in "Operation: P.O.O.L." it is made to be a bad thing that the adults were doing the things kids do (playing games, getting allowances, etc.) while kids do the things adults do (go to work, taking care of the adults) on a relatively daily basis. How funny that the actions are only awful when they're not being done by their accepted respective age groups.
- It's normally only shown to be bad when the supervillains take it to extremes; the KND are normally shown having really good relationships with their own parents, even when 86's father is Mr. Boss, and they even state in some episodes that they only fight evil adults. The supervillains' plots are normally something most normal adults in the series would likely have a problem with if they knew (in some cases, this is shown actively).
- And at the end of "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.", it's revealed that adulthood is literally a disease. One that's spreading unchecked across the universe.
- Fireball Eyeballs: Numbuh Three's eyes can get this way when she gets angry enough for whatever reason.
- Five-Token Band: One Brit (with a Spanish or Italian name), one American Jew, one Japanese, one Australian, and one half-French African-American. The extended cast is even more varied, though most of the stories take place in the U.S.
- Flanderization: A minor case with The Delightful Children from Down the Lane, who have always spoken and moved in unison, but in later episodes this is taken even further as they are practically considered a single entity, from wearing a single costume large enough for them to all fit in to having all five of them simultaneously date Numbuh Three.
- Flashback: Used to open "Operation: M.A.U.R.I.C.E.", "Operation: H.O.M.E.", "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-F.I.V.E." and "Operation: T.R.E.A.T.Y.".
- Foreshadowing: In "Operation: P.O.O.L.", the Delightful Children's good counterparts are called the "Little Traitor Dudes for Children's Defense", indicating they may have been defectors from the KND's Evil Counterpart, the DNK. In Operation: Z.E.R.O., it's revealed that the Delightful Children are KND operatives turned "traitor", although they were brainwashed, mirroring their Mirror Universe.
- For the Evulz: Negative Numbuh 4.
Numbuh 2: Why are you doing this?
Negative Numbuh 4: A simple reason really. I'm EVIL!
- Four-Fingered Hands: Averted. And to a degree that makes it clear why this trope is usually played straight.
- Fratbro: Numbuh Four finds a whole tribe of them living under his couch.
- Free-Range Children
- Friendly Enemy: "Operation: E.N.G.L.A.N.D." shows us that Sector E and the "Rowdy Hooligans from Across the Square" put aside their differences to relax and tell jokes. Numbuh One questions why they don't fight each other, and they respond that fighting over a Rainbow Monkey library book is something that Americans would do.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Numbuh 13, mainly due to being The Millstone and The Jinx. It's to the point that in "Operation: I.T.", being presented with the possibility of him being Soopreme Leader is enough for many operatives to forgo their dislike of the job and dog pile him just so he wouldn't be it, with one even exclaiming "anybody but him!".
- Friend to All Living Things:
- Numbuh Three. Even the Crazy Cat Lady's cats seem to show affection towards her (much to the villain's dismay).
- Numbuh One seems to have a way with animals too in at least one episode, where he befriends a herd of Rainbow Monkeys (big ones) and at the end of the episode, sics them on the Delightful Children.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Parodied in an episode where root beer is treated like actual beer, complete with references to U.S. Prohibition. In fact, all soda is pretty much treated like alcohol in the KND universe. And then there was the ep where Numbuh Five and Stickybeard had a drinking contest, by downing huge frothy mugs of pure sugar.
- Fun with Acronyms: In spades.
- Goes hand in hand with Idiosyncratic Episode Naming, but the various machines the kids use also have acronym names.
- And in the Mirror Universe episode, the acronyms are even reversed — the counterpart to the Kids Next Door (KND) are the Destructively Nefarious Kids (DNK) and the counterpart to the Delightful Children From Down The Lane (DCFDTL) are the Little Traitor Dudes For Children's Defense (LTDFCD).
- Only the pilot episode didn't have fun with them — "No P in the OOL".
- Garnishing the Story: Candy pirates.
- Gang of Critters: Rainbow Monkeys
- Gender Bender: "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E."
- Genius Ditz: Numbuh Two
- Genki Girl: Numbuh Three. "Genki" is even her mother's name (which is rather a subversion as Genki is anything but). What's more, they're both voiced by the same actress. Also, her sister Mushi is this.
- Genre Savvy: Father isn't one of the toughest villains for nothing. He tries ageing Numbuh One, but Numbuh One still fights against him. This plays into his next big plot: realizing the KND would probably still fight against him, even as adults, he transforms them into animals instead. He's defeated by Tommy making him a KND operative and transforming him into an animal with his own device. He uses his involuntary induction into the KND to become supreme leader. And that's just some of the most notable of his Genre Savvy moments.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Enough to deserve its own subpage.
- Girl Scouts Are Evil
- Girls Have Cooties: "Operation: O.U.T.B.R.E.A.K."; Sector V is sent on a mission to decontaminate the organization's underwater research center from the much-feared Coojatisnal Octo Oogie Terta Infecto Epi Streptacaucus.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: And they absolutely adore Rainbow Monkeys.
- A Glitch in the Matrix: Numbuh One finds one when he notices that Numbuh Four is at a pool party paddling around despite being unable to swim.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry:
- Taken up to eleven with Numbuh Five and her sister, Cree, a teenager and thus a sworn enemy of the Kids Next Door.
- Also, there have been hints of this between Numbuh Three and her younger sister, Mushi, especially in "Operation: C.L.U.E.S.".
- The Good Guys Always Win: Refreshingly averted. The KND fail almost as often as they win, which gives the show a little more tension.
- Good Guy Bar: Lime Ricky's, seen in "Operation: P.O.P." and "Operation: P.R.E.S.I.D.E.N.T.".
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Numbuh Four's constant use of the word crud.
- Grand Finale: "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S."
- G-Rated Drug: The show has a few examples. Soda is treated like alcohol in a few episodes (the main focus of "Operation: P.O.P."). Also, in "Operation: S.P.A.N.K.E.N.S.T.E.I.N.", Numbuh Two reveals that he was once "addicted" to chocolate sauce, but quit. (But at the end of the episode, eats some of it after Mushi runs away with King Sandy, saying that she's "enough to make you go on the sauce".)
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: Frequently used by the KND and the villains.
- Grounded Forever: Mushi by the end of "Operation: C.L.U.E.S.". Mr. and Mrs. Sanban grounded Mushi for life after she "killed" Kuki's Posh Party Rainbow Monkey.
- Growing Up Sucks: Oh so very much, however a fair few could considered to be lucky enough. In "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S." however, the now adult members of Sector V discover it is a lot better than they thought.
- Guns Akimbo
- Half-Identical Twins: The Interesting Twins from Beneath the Mountain.
- Halloween Episode: The episode segments "Operation: T.R.I.C.K.Y." and "Operation: U.N.C.O.O.L."
- Hammer Space: Where the KND store most of their cool gadgets.
- There is an episode where Numbuh One pulls out at least eight weapons one at a time from nowhere, only to be blasted by Cree.
- And in "Operation: E.N.G.L.A.N.D.", Numbuh One gives the airport security a nightmare with the mountain of junk on his person.
- Harmless Villain: The Toilenator. Even at his best, when he actually bypasses the treehouse's security systems and takes control of Sector V, he STILL SCREWS UP a much larger plan that Mr. Boss and the other villains were planning beforehand (leaving him out of ammunition and easily beaten by the real team when they show up). In fact, he does that twice. The Toilenator is so pathetic that he can't even claim the title of "Best Toilet-Based Villain". In "Operation: A.W.A.R.D.S.", he was nominated for that title in an awards ceremony hosted by Mr. Boss, but lost to Potty Mouth.
- Hates Being Touched: The Delightful Children from Down the Lane; Father; Numbuh 363.
- Heel Face Mole: "Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R.", where one of the Delightful Children joins the KND.
- Heel-Face Turn:
- Mr. White, a a pair of underpants hired by the Delightful Children to assassinate Numbuh One. He changes sides when he discovers that Numbuh One folds his underwear.
- The Destructively Nefarious Kids (except for Negative Numbuh Four) decide to stop enslaving other kids and decide to create a perfect world for kids and adults.
- Heinrich (or Henrietta) stops being a greedy and corrupt candy hunter when he/she turns back to normal.
- Hero Academy: The KND's Arctic Base Cadet Training program counts as this.
- Heroes Unlimited: What, you thought the main characters were the only ones?
- Hidden Eyes: Each operative from Sector V has hidden eyes of different varieties. Numbuh One has Cool Shades, Numbuh Two has goggles that do nothing, Numbuh Three has Eyes Always Shut, Numbuh Four has Blinding Bangs, and Numbuh Five has a Nice Hat covering her top face (Never mind the fact that they have Black Bead Eyes anyway).
- High On Catnip: Catnip causes the Cat Lady's cats to have a sudden dance party.
- Hive Mind: The Delightful Children from Down the Lane, who seem to represent conformity personified; although later episodes make it clear that they're not a literal case of one mind shared by five bodies, they always speak and act in unison. It's kind of telling that in "Operation: R.E.P.O.R.T.", Numbuh Two's side of the story is the only one that depicts them with five separate bodies rather than five heads on a single two-armed body.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: A few villains are defeated in this fashion.
- For example, Chester being trapped in his own Lotus-Eater Machine.
- An interesting example of this is the way Father was defeated in "Operation: G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S.". While his plan did fail and it did indeed fit this trope, Father was such a Manipulative Bastard that he was able to use it to his advantage for a later scheme, in "Operation: I.T.". (Unfortunately for him, he was ultimately Hoisted by His Own Petard at the end of that scheme as well.)
- Homage: Many separate occasions.
- Their parodies of Star Wars border on ripping it off and The Matrix homages don't even pretend otherwise.
- "Operation: N.A.U.G.H.T.Y.", the Christmas Episode, is presented in American Comic Format. It includes a group of Santa helpers which Expies the X-Men (they have one Wolverine, one Nightcrawler, one Angel and one Colossus), a group of enemies that Expies the Fantastic Four, a Machine that resembles "the Cerebro" and Numbuh Three turns crazily overpowered and evil, only to be stopped by Numbuh Four, à la X-Men 3.
- Hourglass Plot: "Operation: T.R.E.A.T.Y." between Numbuh One and Chad. To hammer the point home, the dominant color of their clothing in the Flashback (Blue for One, Red for Chad) is the opposite of their clothing in the present (Red for One, Blue for Chad) and Numbuh One beats Chad by using the same technique Chad beat him with in the flashback.
- Humongous Mecha: H.I.P.P.Y.-H.O.P., and many, many others, made of everything from lawn chairs to treehouses to cats.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "Operation: S.A.F.A.R.I."
- Husky Russkie: Moosk
- Hypno Trinket: The Boyfriend Helmet.
- If any villain embodies this trait on the show, it's Mr. Fizz. When adults make soda illegal for kids, he becomes a sort of evil Eliot Ness in charge of enforcing the law, and tells the Operatives that the reason children are such a problem is because of their addiction to the stuff. However, his credibility is ruined by the fact that he is far more addicted to stuff than any of them are, even going so far as to use a caffeine rush to fight them.
- There are also the Vespinaccians; see Straw Hypocrite, below.
- Hypocritical Humor: In one episode Lizzie criticizes Nigel about his weight when she's much fatter than he is.
- I Ate WHAT?: Features in "Operation: P.I.N.K.E.Y.E.", where Numbuh Two is eating Nurse Claiborne's crumbles as he's investigating the mystery epidemic of pinkeye going around the school. Once it gets out that it is Claiborne herself who was the one infecting the students with pinkeye, it also becomes apparent that she was using eye crust for her crumbles, making Numbuh Two gag at the very fact that he was eating them. However, at the very end, he goes back to eating them. However, Numbuh Two may have second thoughts after finding out that the filling of the crumbles is mucus.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin:
- Hoagie (Numbuh Two) was so addicted to chocolate sauce that he used to bathe in it. Eventually he had to sign up to Chocoholics Anonymous.
- In the KND universe, candy is the number one source of happiness. If a child is kept from candy too long or is given a non-candy substitute, they go through an exaggerated form of withdrawal.
- In "Operation: L.I.C.O.R.I.C.E.", Black John Licorice challenges Abigail (Numbuh Five) to gulping down mugs of sugar. Numbuh Five's sugar level becomes so high that her eyes widen and she begins to shake violently.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: "Operation: S.O.M.E.T.H.I.N.G. — String Of Meticulously Encoded Text Handily Includes Naming Gag"
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: Some examples.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The "School-yard bully" in "Operation: Z.O.O.". (Oddly enough, the same character appears later in "Operation: P.O.P., as the bouncer in Lime Ricky's, a Good Guy Bar, and seems harmless.)
- Indy Hat Roll: One of the many trademark Indy moves executed by Numbuh Five. Complete with reaching back for her fallen hat in "Operation: L.I.C.E." — although this time it's a trap from the DCFDTL: this is not her hat.
- In Medias Res: Many an episode.
- Instant Armor: Evil teenagers use Battle Ready Armor (or B.R.A.s) to fight the KND.
- Insulted Awake: Happens to Nigel Uno a lot, including (but not limited to) getting overcharged at a restaurant, while on a date with Lizzie.
- The biggest obstacle to Professor XXX-L's goal to perfect the snowcone is the fact that he suffers from ice cream headaches very easily.
- An even bigger example of irony happened in "Operation: T.E.E.T.H.", the first episode featuring Knightbrace. He had attempted to become a dentist, but flunked out of school for forcing braces on people who didn't need them; he almost defeated Sector V in their first battle, but was defeated because they were helped by a licensed dentist — who was up to then their main suspect. Oh, and Knightbrace being the reluctant owner of a candy shop.
- I Want My Mommy: When Chad detached the Moonbase and sent it towards the sun, Numbuh 86 ordered her subordinates to implement "Plan M-11", which consisted of running around screaming for mommy.
- I Was Told There Would Be Cake: Seven of the episodes feature the KND trying to take the cake from the Delightful Children from Down the Lane, who refuse to share it with anyone. To make it worse, said DCFDTL brag and boast about it, giving the KND justification. The cakes seem to vary, in both appearance and what happens to it (as in destroyed).
- To start, the first one (used in "Operation: C.A.K.E.D." is a normal one. It is destroyed by accident.
- The second one ("Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-T.W.O.") is semi-sentient, and attacks the KND. It is destroyed and split into a ton of drops when Lizzie flew in to save Numbuh One. Everyone but the DCFDTL got a bit.
- The third cake ("Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-T.H.R.E.E.") is a normal one, but bigger than the last one. It isn't destroyed per se, but it is soiled by Numbuh One's pet chicks doing their business, thus ruining the KND's mission. However, it also ruined The Delightful Children's plans, as they ate it!
- The fourth cake ("Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-F.O.U.R.") isn't really made, but it is a good thing, this time, because this year's competition is a trap by Father to mix in the kid competitors into the cake. Ruined by Numbuh Two, however, spilling the cake batter, and ruining his chances at winning the competition this year.
- The fifth one... ("Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-F.I.V.E.") well, three words. Death Star-sized. It functions both as an ice cream cake and as a battle station that would destroy all the ice cream on Earth. It is destroyed when one of the ships is shot down, cutting the cake in half.
- The sixth one ("Operation: S.I.X.") is a doozy, because it pulls a delicious irony — the KND delivers the cake to them. Unknown if the KND retaliates or if the cake is destroyed. Probably not destroyed, because in "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.", Numbuh Two said that they brought the cake back in one piece... once, but that did not stop Numbuh 362 from Pulling Sector V out of the Cake stealing mission and giving the case to Sector W.
- The seventh one ("Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.") is almost taken by Sector V, but the DCFDTL gets away. Unfortunately, it is stolen by another operative, who put up a scavenger hunt to see who gets the cake. Numbuh One wins, but it turns out it is a cupcake. It is destroyed when the operative who stole it ate it. It turns out the scavenger hunt was a test for Numbuh One to see if he was ready to join the Galactic KND.
- In "Operation: E.L.E.C.T.I.O.N.S.", the DCFDTL became President of the Student Council by promising a slice of their cake to the officer in charge of counting the votes. After the election, they imprisoned him instead of keeping their word.
- Numbuh One has Jet shoes, as do most of his teammates of Sector V, and they have very good use throughout the series.
- Likewise, Both Numbuh One and Numbuh Five also have a jetpack.
- Kangaroo Court: Parodied to a dramatic degree in "Operation: E.L.E.C.T.I.O.N.S.", as the DCFDTL are the judges. No witnesses, no jury, and a defense that didn't get a single shot at defending Numbuh One.
- Kent Brockman News: Several episodes that feature public events had Nick and Chip, two pre-teen reporters providing annoying, pointlessly judgmental commentary which even got under the good guys' skin after a while. Their voices were satires of Howard Cosell and Harry Carey.
- Kid Hero All Grown Up: Monty Uno as a child, revolted against the oppressive Grandfather who forced him to work in Grandfather's tapioca factories, and became founder of the Seventh Age of the Kids Next Door, thereby setting the stage for the series' story. In the present day, Monty is an adult (and therefore no longer an official Kid Next Door) and the rarely-appearing father of Nigel Uno, though he does get recommissioned into the KND a couple of times.
- Kids Versus Adults Kids: And how.
- Kryptonite Factor: As seen is "Operation: I.T.", broccoli has a Kryptonite-like effect on kids.
- Lady Land: "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E."
- Large Ham: Grandfather IS one.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: When a KND Operative turns 13, they usually are forced to retire from the Kids Next Door and have their memories erased so they can't give away KND secrets to the enemy.
- Latex Perfection: Pretty much the game plan for The Interesting Twins from Beneath the Mountain. They're able to change disguises when needed, without anyone knowing. They get foiled, however, because the Japanese KND and Sector V know about it and aren't fooled. In the first episode they appear in, it turns out that the KND foil them with a Batman Gambit by disguising as Numbuh Three's grandmother, by playing the very same trope. Same goes to the Japanese KND, who also played this trope to ALSO foil the Interesting Twins' plan.
- Leader Wannabe: Numbuh Four wants to be the leader of Sector V.
- Lethal Chef:
- Villain Grandma Stuffem has this as a literal power.
- Lizzie is a more usual example of the trope. When Nigel is sick, she makes him her special "Chicken banana-fritter soup". With "extra curly fries". Nigel uses the soup as an explosive later on. Her pie in "Operation: H.O.L.I.D.A.Y." is so gross, it makes Numbuh Two pass out when he accidentally swallows just a slice.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Mr. Boss oppresses kids and is an enemy of the KND. His daughter Numbah 86 is against adult tyranny and is a member of KND. Despite this, they care for one another partially thanks to Mr. Boss having a Double Standard to his treatment of kids whether or not they are his own.
- Little Miss Badass: Played straight with Numbuh Three and possible Numbuh 86, but subverted with more or less all the other girls in the Kids Next Door (especially Numbuh Five and Numbuh 362) who for the most part are, well, still badass, but don't seem to be intentionally intended to be cute or especially effeminate in any way. Instead they tend to have some what androgynous dress senses (really especially Numbuh Five and Numbuh 362) and personalities to match.
- Limited Wardrobe: Subverted with further seasons as the team gets a variety of gear in addition to pajamas and swimsuits. Numbuh Three has the most varied wardrobe.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: After Season 3 and 4 start rolling around, there is a lot of minor operatives and villains to keep track of.
- Logic Bomb: How Numbuh Four defeats the robots in "Operation: S.A.F.E.T.Y.", by making the main robot to realize that he and the other robots aren't making the world safe for kids since the robots themselves are potentially dangerous. Since the robots' main directive is making the world safe for children, they self-destruct when recognizing themselves as another threat. That, and Numbuh Four did a perfectly good Wounded Gazelle Gambit on them by tricking said main robot into thinking it accidently hurt his little brother.
- Lost The TV Remote: The plot for "Operation: C.O.U.C.H.".
- Lotus-Eater Machine: Chester's headband. Consistent with the series, it sends Nigel to a fake Destiny Islands, where an Expy of Kairi greets him and shows him around the paradise they have without adults. Nigel grows suspicious, but his "comrades" reassure him that he's just being paranoid, until he remembers that Numbuh Four can't swim, but he's doing the backstroke in a pool of soda. In the end, Nigel puts Chester in his own headband, convincing him he'd defeated him and was being praised by the other villains... that is, until Numbuh Four turns it to its nightmare setting.
- Loved I Not Honor More: Comes up for Nigel and Lizzie in "Operation: G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D.".
- Lovely Angels: Numbuhs Three and Five are a PG-Rated version in "Operation: H.O.M.E.", the first (and unfortunately) only story to exclusively feature the girl members of Sector V.
- Love Makes You Evil: Jimmy McGarfield in "Operation: S.N.O.W.I.N.G.".
- Lower Deck Episode: "Operation: T.R.A.I.N.I.N.G."
- Luke, I Am Your Father:
- Nigel finding out his father, uncle and grandfather are Numbuh Zero, Father, and Grandfather respectively in the movie. Nice hat trick.
- Added bonus reveal from the CN comic book: The Toilenator is Wally's uncle. The story was written by Mr. Warburton, it must be canon.
- Made For Tv Movie: Operation: Z.E.R.O.
- Mad Scientist:
- Mushi Sanban in "Operation: S.P.A.N.K.E.N.S.T.I.N.E.".
- Basically a lot of KND Operatives.
- And several villains too, like Professor XXX-L or Chester.
- Magic Skirt: Kuki's wedding dress in "Operation: B.E.A.C.H.", when King Sandy hangs her upside down by her feet.
- Make-Out Point: Doubly subverted. Although there is implication in another episode that The Point does live up to its name.
- The Man Behind the Man: Father
- Man Child: A good number of the villains, pretty ironically.
- May the Farce Be with You
- Meaningful Name:
- All of Sector V:
- Numbuh One is Nigel Uno — "uno" is Spanish for "one", since he is the leader.
- Numbuh Two is Hoagie P. Gilligan, Jr. — appropriately enough, a twofer reference: Bob Denver's character Gilligan was second-in-command of the S.S. Minnow on Gilligan's Island; the Jr. generational suffix means that Numbuh Two is the second male in the Gilligan family to be named "Hoagie P. Gilligan".
- Numbuh Three is Kuki Sanban — "sanban" is Japanese for "number three", and "Kuki" is a reference to Numbuh Three being a Cloudcuckoolander.
- Numbuh Four is Wallabee Beetles — there were four members of The Beatles, even though Numbuh Four is Australian (as implied by his accent and the name Wallabee [wallaby]), not from Liverpool; plus, the number four is considered bad luck in Chinese and Japanese culture (similar to the number 13 in Western culture), and Numbuh Four has the worst luck of all the Sector V operatives.
- Numbuh Five is Abigail Lincoln — has the same initials as U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who is on the five-dollar bill in American currency.
- Also, Numbuh Three's father is named Kani — Japanese for "crab" — which is pretty much his entire personality, and Numbuh Three has a little sister named Mushi, which is Japanese for "bug" and matches her irritating personality.
- Heck, pretty much all the Operatives' Codenames are a pun on their profession.
- Numbuh 30C, whose name was a clue as to the villain of the episode. It's 86 degrees F.
- Numbuh 86, whose original job in her debut episode was decommissioning — or 86ing — teenaged operatives; plus, her real name is Fanny (short for Frances), seeing as she is an ass (or a cunt, if you want to use the vulgar definition of "fanny" as heard in the United Kingdom).
- Numbuh Change-for-a-20 runs the KND moonbase cafeteria cash register.
- Numbuh Four's brother is named Joey, which is a term for a baby kangaroo, another reference to his family's Australian background.
- Father's real name is Benedict, as in Benedict Arnold... he's not really a traitor, though, so much as a coward who didn't want to stand up to his own father, Grandfather, and ended up siding with him out of fear of retribution.
- Even Tommy Gilligan, who is a parody of Sixth Rangers in the series, shares his first name with the Trope Namer, Tommy Oliver, the Green Mighty Morphin Power Ranger.
- Medium Blending: "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.", where the interviews with the adult Sector V is done in live-action.
- Medium Shift Gag: In "Operation: C.L.U.E.S.", the flashback/Imagine Spot of Mushi stabbing the Rainbow Monkey is a live-action sequence of an overweight man dressed as Mushi.
- Mirror Universe: "Operation: P.O.O.L."
- Misplaced Sorrow: Numbuh Three is about to be married to King Sandy, a kid pretending to be a king. Numbuh Four claims that the only reason he wanted to rescue her isn't because he's jealous, but because she owed him a quarter.
- Mobile-Suit Human: Margie uses one in "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E.".
- Moby Schtick: "Operation: D.U.C.K.Y." is a Whole Plot Reference version, while "Operation: A.F.L.O.A.T." employs it secondhand by way of Jaws.
- The Mole: In "Operation: M.A.U.R.I.C.E.", Maurice — a mole himself — reveals that a few special and loyal operatives still help the KND after their "decommissioning" and into their teen and adult years. Ironically, Chad was also one of these and he doesn't reveal it until the penultimate episode of the series.
- Monster Progenitor: Miss Thompson was the Queen were-dog responsible for turning her students into were-dogs.
- Mood Whiplash: Especially the later episodes.
- Moon Landing Hoax: "Operation: M.O.O.N." starts with Sector V watching footage from the 1969 landing and laughing about how KND had managed to fool the Apollo 11 crew into thinking that they had landed on the moon, to stop them finding their secret moon base. They then learn that for the anniversary, a family is going to be sent to the moon, and it happens to be Numbuh Four's family. They build a huge fake stage and control everything behind the scenes like The Truman Show in order to convince Numbuh Four's family that they actually had flown to the moon, lived there for a while, and came back to Earth.
- The Movie: Operation: Z.E.R.O.
- Musical Episode:
- "Operation: L.O.V.E.", doubling as a spoof of West Side Story.
- "Operation: N.U.G.G.E.T."
- "Operation: F.O.O.D.F.I.T.E."
- "Operation: S.P.I.N.A.C.H."
- My Little Panzer: The Boyfriend Helmet.
- Naked People Are Funny: The "Nude Rocket".
- In-universe example: Numbuh Four busts out laughing in "Operation: F.O.U.N.T.A.I.N." when Leona threatens to kill him and his friends, because of her horrible lisp.
- Otherwise, this becomes egregious in "Operation: M.A.U.R.I.C.E.", with Numbuh Five having chicken pox.
- Naughty Is Good: The perfectly well-behaved Delightful Children from Down the Lane are villains; the heroes are rebellious, mischievous, and disobedient but, well-meaning such that they fight for the rights of kids everywhere. However, they are only well-behaved with good adults—it's the ones that hate kids with sheer malice the heroes have a problem with, so their behavior isn't entirely unjustified.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: The Cyclocannon. Right after Sector V finishes morphing their bikes and counting down from five, Tommy shows up and does what he does best, crashing right through it with his bike and destroying it.
- Never Bare Headed:
- One of the Delighful Children (Lenny) never takes off his football helmet, except in "Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R.".
- It's quite rare to see Numbuh Five (Abigail) without her red cap.
- Nice Hat: Numbuh Five never removes her hat, except occasionally to use it as a weapon or as a tool. She has good reason for this; the original one was given to her by Cree before her Face-Heel Turn. Numbuh Five lost the original hat in "Operation: L.I.C.E." and replaced it with an identical one; this issue was not addressed again, even after the later episode where it was explained how Cree gave her the original one.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- One by both Gilligan brothers. Early on, Tommy sticks one of Father's boogers in the decommissioning machine to count him as a member of the KND and turn his transforming ray on him. Later, during a tag game to decide who will take 362's place, Numbuh Two is rushing to find somebody to tag in the last few seconds, and he tags the first person he finds on the other side of the door he opens. Tag, Father, you're it!
- The end of "No P in the Ool", where Numbuh One tries to hijack Mr. Fink and Mr. Fib's chair machine, only to accidentally activate the drill on it, which subsequently drains the pool, meaning neither side wins.
- Night of the Living Mooks:
- "Operation: U.N.C.O.O.L.", with pasty-white-skinned nerd zombies.
- This is practically Grandfather's modus operandi.
- Noble Shoplifter: This happens when Numbuh Two has to go to the grocery store, but it's already closed. He picks up the items he needs and leaves money behind, but still gets accused of trying to steal.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- Dr. Lincoln is an Expy of Bill Cosby.
- Robin Food's sidekick is pretty much Sammy Davis Jr.
- Count Spankulot is modeled after Bela Lugosi's Dracula.
- Numbuh 10-speed, leader of the KND Central Bike Hub, is a kid version of Lance Armstrong.
- No Dialogue Episode: "Operation: T.H.E.-F.L.Y."
- Non-Lethal Warfare
- Noodle Incident: Numbuh Five refuses to assume leadership of the team until the series finale due to something that happened in the past, and will not say why. Numbuh 86 knows why, and will not mention the reason either, merely stating that she understands. It may have had something to do with her mistake that cost Nigel his hair, but this is only an assumption.
- Not Brainwashed: "Operation: C.O.L.L.E.G.E."
- Not Hyperbole: When Cree says she'd turn the treehouse upside down, she means it.
- Not So Different: Numbuh One says this exact thing to the members of the DNK who revolt against Negative Numbuh Four at the end of "Operation: P.O.O.L.", and in many ways, he's right.
- Ocular Gushers:
- Numbuh Three has broken down crying, complete with Ocular Gushers, more than a few times during the series, usually as a way of working on another character's sympathies.
- And in "Operation: C.L.U.E.S.", it's revealed that this is a trait she shares with her father, Kani Sanban.
- Lizzy sometimes indulges in this too, usually to guilt-trip Numbuh One into going out with her.
- Toiletnator opens the gushers in "Operation: F.L.U.S.H." after being denied by the other villains.
- In "Operation: P.O.O.L.", the Mirror Universe counterpart of Father, the series' Big Bad, also does this on one occasion.
- Oddly Visible Eyebrows
- Official Couple: 3×4, 2×5, and Nigel×Lizzie temporarily. The relationships of the first two are cemented in "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.", where it is revealed that both couples eventually married..
- Older and Wiser: Sector V (except Numbuh One) appears as adults in the Series Finale. (And as the final scene shows, it's not as bad as they formerly thought it would be.)
- One-Letter Name: Numbuh T sort of follows this trope. But T is NOT a number! There is no Numbuh T, only The Tommy!
- Operation: "B.L.A.N.K.": Complete with acronyms. "Bland Lame Acronyms Now Kool"
- Our Vampires Are Different: Count Spankulot is a vampire who spanks "naughty" children and can turn others into "spank-happy" vampires by spanking them gloveless.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: Our Werepoodles Eat Homework.
- Paper-Thin Disguise:
- Numbuh 4-30teen-7. Surprisingly no clear sign of being subverted.
- Then there was the unfortunate incident (which happened off-camera) where Numbuh One bluffed his way past the Toilenator to get into the villains' secret lair with nothing more than a T-shirt with the words "I am not Numbuh One" written on it as a disguise. Told by Mr. Boss to emphasize how stupid the Toilenator is.
- Platonic Life Partners: Numbuhs One and Five. Justified in that the former is Sector V's head and the latter is his second-in-command/right-hand woman. To a lesser extent, the members of Sector V who aren't romantically interlinked to each other.
- Portal Pool: To the Mirror Universe.
- Power Limiter: Count Spankulot can turn others into "spank-happy vampires" by spanking them gloveless.
- Power-Up Food: One episode has a villain named Cuppa Joe, a rig overseer who gains Super Speed from drinking excessive amounts of coffee.
- The Psycho Rangers: The Delightful Children from Down the Lane look eerily similar to Sector V .
- Numbuh Two is the Patron Saint of this trope. A real Pungeon Master.
- Apparently, in one of the Indiana Jones parodies, Numbuh Five is tested about the Ice Cream flavor of the Day. Her answer? Sundae. The Ice Cream Gods must believe puns are a form of logic, because she is allowed access after she answered. Lampshaded by the Delightful Children from Down the Lane, who proceed to complain that it's the stupidest thing they'd ever heard until it actually works.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- In the next scene, Numbuh One sees a lot of eggs in his own room.
Numbuh One: This! Is! STUPID!
- Pungeon Master: Numbuh Two
- Punk Punk: One of the codifiers of Kid Punk.
- Raise Him Right This Time: The one-off villain Mr. B, after being hit by his own "babyfier ray".
- Reality Ensues: The show averts The Good Guys Always Win, and the KND loose almost as often as they succeed.
- Really 700 Years Old: Leaky Leona, who turns out to have been using the Fountain of Youth to maintain her 10-year-old form for the past 300 years.
- Rebus Bubble: 2 + 2 = Pizza
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Two groups.
- Numbuhs One and Five.
- Numbuhs Four and Two.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter:
- Bradley (a.k.a. Numbuh Six).
- The treehouse hamsters.
- Rule of Cool: This show thrives on it. They have a moon base and it looks to be made out of gum.
- Running Gag:
- Safety Worst: Parodies by exaggeration in "Operation: S.A.F.E.T.Y.".
- Samus is a Girl: Heinrich, when we finally learn what exactly happened in Guatemala that made him angry with Numbuh Five.
- Sassy Black Woman: Numbuh Five and her sister, Cree.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Numbuhs 84 ("Tactical Yoyo Specialist") and 83 ("Soda, Snacks, and Treats Officer").
- Scary Librarian: Count Spankulot
- Second Person Attack: At the end of "Operation: S.P.A.C.E.", Numbuh One points his mustard gun toward one of the characters, and his blast fills the entire screen and fades to black.
- Serious Business: Don't get us started... Rainbow Monkeys and cake and card collections....
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E."
- Shared Universe: With The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and by association with them, Evil Con Carne.
- Shout-Out: Loads and loads of these.
- The antagonists, The Delightful Children from Down the Lane, seem to be based on the antagonists in co-creator Mo Willem's 1996 KaBlam!, sketch, The Off-Beats, known as "The Populars".
- Father appears to be based off of J. R. "Bob" Dobbs.
- Numbuh 86 is possibly a Shout-Out to Rosa Klebb, another hot-tempered, red-headed, boy-hating operative with a grating accent and a grudge against a British agent.
- The Tommy's costume (wide-brimmed hat, mask and cape), hammy poses and catch phrase ("I am The Tommy!") reminds of another animated superhero. Probably also a shout-out to The Shadow.
- Two of the England KND members are a Shout-Out to the The Avengers and Doctor Who respectively.
- Numbuh 11-Teen is based off of Jane Goodall.
- Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb are based of of Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint.
- "I was hungry (slap), I was thirsty (slap), I was hungry (slap), I was thirsty (slap),... I was hungry and thirsty."
- The Delightful Children are turned into sheep in one episode. The middle one resembles Sheep from Sheep in the Big City. Also, in "Operation: T.H.E.-F.L.Y.", one of the stuffed animals shown in Numbuh Three's room is Sheep.
- Dexter appears as a balloon in a Zombie Apocalypse episode.
- "Operation: H.O.M.E." gives us the origins of Rainbow Monkey Cereal. "IT'S MADE FROM RAINBOW MONKEYS!"
- "Operation: R.E.P.O.R.T." does five parodies in one episode.
- When the Dodgeball Wizard says that he's not a magician, Numbuh Four's dad says, "All right, you're an illusionist then!"
- In "Operation: E.N.G.L.A.N.D.", one of the British KND operatives (actually one of the Rowdy Hooligans from Across the Square) repeatedly says to Numbuh One "Nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say-no-more, say-no-more!"
- Ash Ketchum makes an appearence for one second in a crowd scene.◊ Yes, that one. Yugi, too.
- Numbuh One: "By your command, Mr. President." The president is a robot duplicate.
- When a baby makes a hole in a locked door to get to Numbuhs One and Five, he yells, "Heeeere's Jackson!"
- "Operation: P.L.A.N.E.T." features a planet of Rainbow Monkeys similar to the first Planet of the Apes.
- One very direct Shout-Out in "Operation: G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D.":
The Splinter cell? I thought they were just a bunch of sci-fi nerds who watch that dumb doctor time-space-continuum show
. Numbuh 362:
Not them... and that show's awesome, by the way.
- Numbuh One's two-colored glasses in "Operation: L.O.V.E." make him look like Spider Jerusalem from Comic BookTransmetropolitan.
- The Christmas special was pretty much a parody of the "Dark Phoenix Saga" from X-Men.
- And how many kids would have realized that the dude who waves from the pear tree at the end of the "Twelve Days of Christmas" attack in the Christmas Episode was Keith Partridge?
- "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E." gives us the line, "More tea, Mrs. Nesbitt?"
- The head of security at the KND Deep Sea Science Lab is Numbuh Twenty Thousand.
- The island in Chester's headband is a subtle reference to the Destiny Islands. The design looks nothing like the Destiny Islands, but the entire island is a playground with no adults, and Nigel is greeted by a Kairi expy.
- The Spinach Inquisition are a direct homage to certain Monty Python's Flying Circus sketches.
- "Operation: S.I.T.T.E.R." features several tall, long-legged, walking beds similar in design to a certain Little Nemo's.
- "Operation: R.A.B.B.I.T." parodies the sacrifice scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
- "Operation: S.A.F.A.R.I." parodies The Most Dangerous Game.
- Sick Episode: Both "Operation: T.O.M.M.Y." and, to a lesser extent, "Operation: S.N.O.W.I.N.G.".
- Slippery Swimsuit: Numbuh One loses his trunks, resulting in an avalanche of jokes about how big his butt is.
- Smelly Skunk: Numbuh Six, otherwise known as Bradley, is a skunk, and the first non-human Operative in the series. His spray is actually a plot device, as it negates Chester's mind control. His real parents also show up and play the trope straight. Bradley later becomes R.O.B.O.B.R.A.D.L.E.Y. in "Operation: H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L." where cybernetics turn his musk into even more potent rocket-propelled stink-bombs which he uses against Cree.
- Special Edition Title: "Operation: N.A.U.G.H.T.Y.", with the normally-white background turned green, snow falling over the titles, and the title decorated by Christmas lights.(see here)◊. That episode also had a teaser. Only "Operation: E.N.D.", "Operation: S.N.O.W.I.N.G.", and "Operation: K.N.O.T." had a Cold Opening before this, and those were much shorter than the one in the aformentioned episode.
- The Speechless / The Voiceless: Numbuh Five was originally going to be one of these (Only fulfilled once in "Operation: T.H.E.-F.L.Y.").
- Spinning out of Here: The Toiletnator spins when he makes an exit... but that's because he's "flushing himself" down a toilet.
- Spot the Imposter:
- "Operation: P.R.E.S.I.D.E.N.T." — Exploited by Father. Both the real President and the robotic duplicate work for him.
- In "Operation: P.O.O.L.", Numbuh Four is clueless that Negative Numbuh One and Eizzil are not who they claim to be... But when Negative Numbuh Three shows up, he can tell she's an imposter just by looking at her. (In fact, Wally and Kuki's relationship seems to take a positive turn in this episode.)
- Stalker with a Crush: King Sandy becomes this to Numbuh Three; fortunately, he forgets about her in favor of Mushi. (Unfortunately, that only makes Mushi worse...)
- Starter Villain: Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb
- Stealth Pun:
- Stepford Smiler:
- The Delightful Children from Down the Lane
- Also Numbuh Three, as revealed in the final episodes.
- Story Arc: Througout the series there's many involved, some interconnect with one another in some seperate seasons, and all contain a good deal of continunity. They are as follows:
- Season 1: "Operation: I.-S.C.R.E.A.M.", "Operation: T.U.R.N.I.P.", "Operation: T.H.E.-F.L.Y.", and "Operation: C.A.B.L.E.-T.V." contain elements that are brought back in the season finale "Operation: G.R.O.W.-U.P.".
- Seasons 1 & 2: "Operation: T.O.M.M.Y", "Operation: C.H.A.D", "Operation: S.U.P.P.O.R.T.", "Operation: O.O.M.P.P.A.H.", "Operation: K.I.S.S.", "Operation: F.U.G.I.T.I.V.E.", and "Operation: S.P.A.C.E." set up a story that is concluded in "Operation: E.N.D.".
- Seasons 1, 2 & 3: "Operation: T.O.M.M.Y.", "Operation: C.H.A.D.", "Operation: S.U.P.P.O.R.T", "Operation: O.O.M.P.P.A.H.", "Operation: K.I.S.S." "Operation: F.U.G.I.T.I.V.E.", "Operation: S.P.A.C.E." "Operation: E.N.D.", "Operation: T.R.A.I.N.I.N.G.", "Operation: S.L.U.M.B.E.R.", and a game in the Cartoon Network website set up "Operation: G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S.".
- Seasons 3, 4, & 5: "Operation: R.O.B.B.E.R.S.", "Operation: P.R.E.S.I.D.E.N.T.", and "Operation: S.N.O.W.I.N.G." set up "Operation: E.L.E.C.T.I.O.N.S.".
- Seasons 1, 2, 3, & 5: "Operation: T.O.M.M.Y.", "Operation: C.H.A.D.", "Operation: S.U.P.P.O.R.T", "Operation: O.O.M.P.P.A.H.", "Operation: K.I.S.S.", "Operation: F.U.G.I.T.I.V.E.", "Operation: S.P.A.C.E." "Operation: E.N.D.", "Operation: T.R.A.I.N.I.N.G.", "Operation: S.L.U.M.B.E.R.", and "Operation: G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S." set up "Operation: I.T.".
- Seasons 1, 2, 3, 5, & 6: "Operation: T.O.M.M.Y.", "Operation: C.H.A.D.", "Operation: S.U.P.P.O.R.T", Operation: O.O.M.P.P.A.H", "Operation: K.I.S.S.", "Operation: F.U.G.I.T.I.V.E.", "Operation: S.P.A.C.E", "Operation: E.N.D." "Operation: T.R.A.I.N.I.N.G.", "Operation: S.L.U.M.B.E.R.", "Operation: G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S.", "Operation: I.T.", and "Operation: E.N.G.L.A.N.D." set up Operation: Z.E.R.O.
- Entire Series: "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.", "Operation: C.A.M.P.", "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-T.W.O.", "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-T.H.R.E.E.", "Operation: H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L.", "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-F.O.U.R.", Operation:C.A.K.E.D.-F.I.V.E., "Operation: W.H.I.T.E.H.O.U.S.E.", "Operation: M.E.S.S.A.G.E.", "Operation: S.I.X.", "Operation: G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D.", "Operation: A.M.I.S.H.", and "Operation: T.R.E.A.T.Y." set up the Grand Finale: "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.".
- Seasons 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6: "Operation: F.L.A.V.O.R.", "Operation: J.E.W.E.L.S.", "Operation: R.A.B.B.I.T.", "Operation: C.H.O.C.O.L.A.T.E.", and "Operation: L.I.C.O.R.I.C.E." set up "Operation: C.A.R.A.M.E.L.", which explains the "Guatemala Incident" in detail. Turns out Heinrich was a girl prior to it.
- Most episodes of Season 6 set up the Splinter Cell plot and the Galactic KND.
- Strange Minds Think Alike:
- A literal example is used with the above Creepy Children.
- Numbuhs One and Two, having no clue what bras are, use a backronym generator on the word, and eventually conclude that it stands for "Battle Ready Armor" and is a secret Teenager armor device. After some embarrassing hijinx, The Stinger shows us that that is indeed what the Teenagers are using bras for (yes, even the boys). They even use the same backronym.
- Straw Feminist: Numbuh 86 again, though her attitude doesn't win her any points with the female members either.
- Straw Hypocrite: The Vespinaccians, whose goal is to spread the glory of spinach. In truth, none of them like spinach at all, and their king only started the idea just so he doesn't have to eat it.
- Stupid Evil: Many of the Delightful Children's plots fall into this trope, either due to their own incompetence or the fact that they grossly underestimate the KND's intelligence. "Operation: F.L.A.V.O.R." and "Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R." are two of the best examples.
- Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: In an episode, the kids are trying to save babies at a hospital. Numbuh Three, The Ditz, reveals that "I speak baby," and indeed she does.
- Sunglasses at Night: Numbuh One mainly, but sometimes other members of the KND as well.
- Swiss Cheese Security: Sector V's Treehouse, unfortunately. (Ironically, Numbuh One designed the security system for it, and received an award from the Moonbase for it, because of how good it supposedly was.)
- Take That: This whole show is a massive Take That towards adulthood. Ironically, this show was made by adults.
- If you look at it, it's a take that to two things. 1) Kids who are over-dramatic about punishments (such as "no candy") and 2) Adults who thinks they they are automatically better than kids because of age, and turn away from things they see as "childish". (Such as the tie episode, where one of the few adult allies still takes himself seriously from time to time when he needs to, but knows how to have fun when he can and it doesn't sacrifice too much.)
- It's also clear from a few episodes that the writers are not big fans of Doctor Who. (See Cool and Unusual Punishment above.)
- Team Rocket Wins: Sometimes, this happens to The Toilenator, but unintentionally.
- Temporal Paradox: Again, "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E.".
- Teens Are Monsters
- Teen Superspy: Although, strictly speaking, they are tween superspies.
- Thanksgiving Episode: "Operation: C.L.U.E.S." (albeit an eleven-minute one).
- Theme Naming
- Thick-Line Animation: Season 1 episodes.
- Third-Person Person: Numbuh Five says she makes referring to herself in the third person cool!
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: Numbuh 13 is very unlucky, so unlucky that he's spent his entire career being foisted from one team to another because misfortune always befalls his new comrades.
- This Cannot Be!: "But that's un-possible!"
- This Is a Drill: The ending of "No P in the Ool".
- Threatening Sharks: Especially when they can get a literal kid burger via fast food drive-thrus.
- Time Passes Montage:
- "Operation: A.W.A.R.D.S." spoofs the Spinning Clock Hands version, where the spinning clock hands turns out to be just Numbuh Four playing with his watch.
- Numbuh Four suffers through this previously during "bring your daughter to work day" in "Operation: O.F.F.I.C.E." He waits and waits and waits... and the hands on his dad's clock move backwards.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb, parodies of James Bond's Mr. Wynt and Mr. Kidd.
- Three Shorts: "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.", "Kenny and the Chimp in Diseasey Does it! or Chimp 'n Pox", and "No P in the OOL" the 9th aired episode (or the series premiere depending on where you look) of the series.
- Tomato Surprise:
- "Operation: H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L.": the KND guard an operative... who turns out to be a skunk.
- The movie had the Delightful Children turn out to be Sector Z, a sector of KND that went missing. Father had tested a machine on them that overloaded and turn them into their current state.
- And of course the real kicker — Nigel's father being the original Numbuh Zero, and the brother of KND's sworn nemesis, Father, thus making Father Nigel's uncle.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Numbuhs Five and Three.
- Too Dumb to Live: Numbuh Four loves eating Coco Nut Logs even though he's allergic to coconut.
- Totally Radical: The "Little Traitor Dudes for Children's Defense" native language.
- Tranquillizer Dart: Used in "Operation: Z.O.O." by Mrs. Goodwall against Sector V, to put them in a "Kids Zoo".
- Travel Montage: "Operation: R.A.I.N.B.O.W.S."
- Traumatic Haircut: More often than not, at least one Kid ends up getting their hair chopped, shaved, pulled, or burned off during a mission.
- Memorable example is Abigail in "Operation: L.I.C.E.", where her hair is eaten by giant chubby, shrieking mutant lice.
- It's implied that Numbuh One is permanently bald as a result of being tortured by the DCFDTL.
- In "Operation: D.A.D.D.Y.", parents giving their own children horrible haircuts is treated like this.
- Treehouse of Fun: The KND operate from them all over the world and on the moon, and they're usually the largest landmark for miles.
- Troubled Fetal Position: In "Operation: I.T.", Father enters this position after being threatened at broccoli-point by Rachel, a.k.a. Numbuh 362, complete with an implied hallucination of his father making him eat broccoli during his childhood. Although given what his father is like, this was probably a truly traumatic experience.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: The aformentioned Creepy Children.
- True Companions: A very central theme of the series, especially applies to Nigel as no matter how busy he is he always puts his friends first.
- Unknown Rival: The Toilenator is this to Numbuh Four after the events of "Operation: M.O.V.I.E.". Well, maybe Numbuh Four knows; he just doesn't care.
- Unnamed Parent: Subverted. To the Kids Next Door, adults are the enemy, and so they don't really care what the adults are named beyond "Mom" or "Dad". All adults are either "Mr. ______" or some variation on the gimmick they use to fight the KND. The biggest villain for the majority of the series is the demonic figure known only as "Father". The one who eventually tops him is the Dracula-esque "Grandfather". Three guesses as to the nature of their relationship. In addition, quite a few of the kids' parents are named as the series goes on.
- Unreliable Expositor:
- Possibly the case in "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.". It is revealed at the end that the adult KND were deliberately misleading Father during the interview, so it stands to reason that the parts of the story that he did not actually witness could have been untrue.
- In "Operation: R.E.P.O.R.T.", all five members of Sector V seem to be this. If one had to guess, Numbuh Five's version of the story was probably closest to the facts, but they were all rather farfetched.
- Unstoppable Rage: Numbuh Three. Usually, she's sweeter than sugar, but make her angry enough, and she develops Scary Teeth, Fireball Eyeballs, her teammates run for cover, and she becomes strong enough to beat up Mr. Boss, by herself. (As she did in "Operation: M.A.C.A.R.R.O.N.I.")
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Sometimes averted, other times played straight.
- If the Kids Next Door are doing a Humongous Mecha battle in town square for example, you will see civilians running away in terror. However, if the children are jumping into trap doors to escape class, pulling out crazy 2×4 technology in public or participating in other related craziness, expect the people around them to be either indifferent, or to bounce back quickly.
- For example, in "Operation: E.L.E.C.T.I.O.N.S.", Chad and his friend are in class, wearing their Battle Ready Armor and doing some Evil Gloating complete with dramatic laughter. Neither the teacher nor their classmates seem very interested in the two hamtastic teenagers in lingerie-powered ninja gear. The teacher tells them to wait until after his class to talk about attacking an elementary school, but otherwise doesn't care.
- Unwilling Suspension: The villains have a fondness for tying up the heroes and dangling them upside-down, usually by their feet.
- Valley Girl: In "Operation: P.O.O.L.", we have the opposites of the Delightful Children from Down the Lane, the Little Traitor Dudes for Children's Defense.
- Vetinari Job Security: In "Operation: I.T.", it turns out that Numbuh 362 is the Soopreme Leader because nobody else wants the job. She is genuinely good at it, though.
- Villainous Crossdresser:
- Chad Dickson in "Operation: S.L.U.M.B.E.R.":
Surprised to see me? Numbuh Three:
Yeah, surprised to see you wearing a bra! (she, Numbuh 12 and 23 laugh
It's not a bra! It's a Battle Ready Armor
! For disguises and stuff. Numbuh 23:
Whatever you say, Chaderella.
- This is actually also a Running Gag: the kids mistake bras for a new kind of weapon in "Operation: S.U.P.P.O.R.T.", which they turn out to be in fact at the end of the episode and in later ones.
- Villains Out Shopping: A literal example. There is a supermarket specifically for villains only. One episode features the majority of the Rogues Gallery and the heroes fighting over a box of cereal.
- Villainy-Free Villain: Professor XXX-L
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Not in that particular order.
- Walk Into Camera Obstruction:
- "Operation: O.U.T.B.R.E.A.K.": A girl jumps towards Numbuh Four.
- "Operation: M.O.V.I.E.": An usher taking Numbuh Four away for sneaking into an R-rated movie.
- "Operation: T.H.E S.H.O.G.U.N.": When the cheese ninjas take away Numbuhs Two and Four, one of them obscure the camera.
- "Operation: B.R.I.E.F.": When Numbuh One first encounters Mr. White, he obscures the screen when he attacks Numbuh One.
- "Operarion: U.T.O.P.I.A.": Before Katie shows Numbuh One her home, she obscures the screen with her pink skirt.
- "Operation: H.U.G.S.": Rainbow Monkey Kong tries to grab Numbuh Four inside Sector V; his hand obscures the screen when he finally does.
- "Operation: H.O.U.N.D.": When Valerie shows her true form, Numbuh Five's hair fills the screen as she is backing away from her.
- "Operation: S.A.F.E.T.Y.": With some fat kid filling the screen after going up the sky and into the air. And twice in a row with the senator and Numbuh Four while they and Numbuh Two travel through an air vent.
- Walk the Plank: With Stickybeard and his pirates.
- Walk Through The Camera:
- "Operation: U.T.O.P.I.A.": Numbuh One runs away from Katie.
- "The Grim Adventures of the KND" with Billy's dad. "I wear the pants around here! ME! me, me, me!"
- "Operation: C.O.L.L.E.G.E.": The very beginning with Numbuh One drinking a shake.
- Weaksauce Weakness:
- As previously stated, Were-Dogs eat homework; however, badly done homework by poor students (like Numbuh Four) makes them sick. Mrs. Thompson herself doesn't have this weakness, however, being their leader and significantly stronger. However, there is another weakness that applies only to her: she can't lie. Numbuh Four quickly finds out that the best way to learn the easiest way to fight her and the other were-dogs is to simply ask her, and it works like a charm.
- For Knightbrace, it's taffy, which he loves so much, he can easily be tempted and subdued with it. Very ironic, seeing as he's a would-be dentist who otherwise tries to force children to adhere to dental hygiene.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Played for Laughs with Numbuh 20,000, who tends to go quite a little bit overboard.
- We Will Have Euthanasia in the Future: A G-rated version: All KND Operatives have to be decommissioned at the age of 13, and their memories of being in the KND will erased. There are teenage operative double agents though, and evil teenagers who escaped decommissioning.
- Wham Episode:
- In Operation: Z.E.R.O., we find out that Numbuh Zero is Numbuh One's dad, Father is Nigel's uncle and Grandfather, the Big Bad of the film, is actually his GRANDFATHER!!! Not to mention that the DCFDTL are actually the missing Sector Z, and (quite possibly) his adopted cousins.
- In "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.", we find out that Numbuh One has been chosen as the best operative on the planet and is going to join the Galatic KND.
- Also, "Operation: G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D.", which results in the destruction of Sector V's treehouse and Lizzie breaking up with Nigel. Wow.
- Wham Line:
- What the Hell, Hero?: This happens to Numbuh Four in two separate episodes.
- The first time is in "Operation: M.A.T.A.D.O.R." when the rest of the team is angry at him for fighting in the Bully Fights. (The KND isn't fond of adults, but what the bullies do them — trap them and give them Klatchian Coffee until they fly into a rage, and then fight them in a bullfight-like setting — that crosses the line.) Numbuh Four has a Heel Realization when his own father is a victim of this cruel sport, and when he ultimately saves the day, he's forgiven.
- He isn't the second time, however, in "Operation: M.I.S.S.I.O.N." In this one, he tricks the authorities at the KND base in Antarctica into letting four dangerous villains go free — Mr. Boss, Count Spankulot, Stickybeard, and Soccer Mom — and then threatens them so they can compete against his dad's bowling team. All because he's sick of polishing his dad's trophy's. After everything that happened, the rest of Sector V actually sided with the four villains here, and he was punished in the end.
- Whole Episode Flashback: "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S."
- Whole Plot Reference: "Operation: A.R.C.H.I.V.E." is, surprisingly, basically the "Second Renaissance" short in The Animatrix with the serial numbers filed off.
- Who's Laughing Now?: When The Toiletnator sinks an ENTIRE GRAND CANYON'S worth of milk and cereal using his flushing powers. Unfortunately, he did it when the Operatives were about to eat said milk and cereal, and when the adults were actually planning an ambush on them. He unwittingly ruined both the adult's plans and the kid's cereal at once. Naturally, Numbuh 86 berates Numbuh One for what happened, especially letting the Toilenator get by security, because of said incident. In short, neither side wins.
- Wild Teen Party: The Delightful Children accidentally start a TV-Y7 version of this trope by trying to kiss up to teenagers. They're forced to ask the Kids Next Door to help them stop the party before Father finds out; the KND are honor-bound to agree.
- The Worf Effect:
- Poor, poor H.I.P.P.I.E.-H.O.P.
- Numbuh Four would also count, as he would be the first to charge in and is often the first to go down in battle.
- World Gone Mad: It's a world where adults live to make the younger generations lives a living hell. And people get away with turning stuffed animals and pinkeye crust into food. And there's candy pirates who wreck the suburbs pretty damn often, and Father, and Grandfather, and all the villains, and... hell, and some horrible plan about to ruin the lives of children forever and yet their parents always think they're just playing... And then there's "Operation: F.U.T.U.R.E.". My God.
- World of Ham: You'd be hard-pressed to find a line in this show spoken at normal speed and volume.
- World's Best Warrior: Chad Dickson, f.k.a. Numbuh 274, Soopreme Leader of the KND, was considered to be THE best operative on the planet, and possibly in all of the history of the KND. After his defection, the title eventually went to Numbuh 1, Leader of Sector V and the primary protagonist of the show. Chad despises Nigel so much because even as a Fake Defector, Nigel was still believed to have surpassed — a fact that, much to the misfortune of Chad, is proven to be true.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Part of the reason how Numbuh Four defeated the robots in "Operation: S.A.F.E.T.Y.".
- Xanatos Gambit:
- There's an episode where Cree's carrying out an Evil Plan to destroy Sector V but is defeated and sent to jail at the KND Moon Base. That was her true goal; to gain access to the Moon Base, but wiping out Sector V would have been good too. (She aborted The Plan when Chad told her he already tried it and he might have been trying to convince her not to try, seeing as he was a Fake Defector, but it likely would have failed anyway; the access code that she believed she got from her sister she actually got from a dummy that Numbuh Five left as a decoy.)
- And then there's "Operation: P.R.E.S.I.D.E.N.T.". Both the president and his robotic duplicate work for Father so it doesn't matter which one of them reaches City Hall.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: When Sector V had to improvise an attack on a "Villains Awards Show" without Numbuh One's help. It involved a lot of disguises, a chunk of sneaking around, and lots of snot. Worked out, until it was revealed that Numbuh One was Kid-napped and set up as an award, causing the plan to backfire. Thankfully, they managed to rescue him in time for the plan to work out. By simply rushing the stage and carting him away. The adults had no clue what was going on.
- X-Ray Sparks
- You Are Numbuh Six:
- Given additional meaning with their, uh, Meaningful Names (see its entry above).
- The actual Numbuh Six is a skunk. No hidden meaning there, he's just a skunk. But Numbuh Six was introduced before it was revealed that Numbuh's One through Five were just a sector of a much larger KND operation. Also, Bradley the skunk isn't an official Numbuh. Numbuh One granted him honorary status after the events of "Operation: C.A.M.P." They treat the honorary designation as official, however, even coming to Bradley's aid in "Operation: H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L.".
- You Know What You Did: "Operation: D.O.G.F.I.G.H.T."
- You Meddling Kids: "Operation: C.A.M.P."; a angry camp counselor yells at a skunk, the one later used in the Tomato Surprise, after the KND freed a bunch of brainwashed campers.
- You Monster!: Numbuh 86 to Father, in "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-F.I.V.E.", after the destruction of the KND ice cream storage.
- Zombie Apocalypse:
- Or rather a Senior Citizombie Apocalypse in The Movie.
- An earlier episode also dealt with nerd zombies. In that case, though, it was due to a collectible card getting stolen. Once it was returned, they changed back.