Western Animation: Codename: Kids Next Door aka: Kids Next Door
Codename: Kids Next Door (2001-2008) 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. It's much better than it sounds.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 ParanoidConspiracy Theorist who is always seen wearing sunglasses (and has no hair). Numbuh Two, The Smart Guy, is an inventor known for cracking an Incredibly Lame Pun 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, GWAR — 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, andFailure 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 And 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 fewquestions. 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 ZEROThis 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.
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.
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 it immediately topples to the side.
"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.
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".
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.
Black Bead Eyes: What most of the characters have, however there are a few exceptions.
Of the "very long time" and "blink and you'll miss it", variety. In "Operation: F.L.A.V.O.R.", Numbuh Five tastes the "fourth" flavor of ice cream, but is stopped before she can exclaim what it tastes like. Fast forward to Operation ZERO and the title character, shortly after recommissioning briefly says what it is: "I have a hankering for some blurpleberry ice-cream — it's the closest thing to the fourth flavor I've ever tasted!"
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.
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.
Card-Carrying Villain: Nearly all of the villains are this. Supervillain meetings are held regularly. Several lines in the series directly mention this trope, like this gem from "Operation: T.R.I.C.K.Y.":
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 notPlayed for Laughs.
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." had Sector V fighting with practically every villain on the show over the last box in a supermarket.)
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 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.
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 first time this obvious parody of Doctor Who is mentioned negatively. Clearly, the writers were not fans.)
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 K.N.D. 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 K.N.D. operatives. Triple Reverse Mole?
AND they turn back into KND operatives in Operation ZERO 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.)
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.
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 thebest around.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.)
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 all because the villain was making a snowcone (the group didn't know this till the end of the episode and even then found out they were targeting the wrong guy).
"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 tie company.
President Garfield 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. 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.
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.)
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.
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.
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 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: The Delightful Children from Down the Lane 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.
Four-Fingered Hands: Averted. And to a degree that makes it clear why this trope is usually played straight.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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' "enough to make you go on the sauce".)
Genre Savvy: Father isn't one of the toughest villains for nothing. He tries ageing Number One, but Number One still fights against him. This plays into his next big plot: realizing the K.N.D. would probably still fight against him, even as adults, he transforms them into animals instead. He's defeated by Tommy making him a K.N.D. operative and transforming him into an animal with his own device. He uses his involuntary induction into the K.N.D. to become supreme leader. And that's just some of the most notable of his Genre Savvy moments.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Hypocrite: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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; he almost defeated Sector V in their first battle, but was defeated because they were helped by a licensed dentist. Not much ironic considering Knightbrace was expelled from dental school for forcing braces on people who didn't need them. The real irony on a licensed dentist helping Sector V was said dentist being their main suspect. Oh, and Knightbrace being a clerk at 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, the DCFDTL ate it!invoked
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 74.329 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.
Numbuh One has Jet shoes and has 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.
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.
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 NumbuhTwo pass out when he accidentally swallows just a slice.
Little Miss Badass: Played strait 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.
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 a Safety Robot into thinking it accidently hurt his little brother.
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 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.
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.
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 student into were-dogs.
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.".
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.
One by both Gilligan brothers. Early on, Tommy sticks one of Father's boogers in the decommisioning 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.
"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.
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.
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.
Every time Hippie-Hop (a Humongous Mecha piloted by Numbuh Three) appears, it gets smashed to pieces, even the one time it does something useful.
In "Operation: D.O.G.H.O.U.S.E.", Mrs. Thompson would always say "I probably shouldn't have said that" or "I probably shouldn't have told you that" to Numbuh Four after answering a question that he asked, regardless of the current situation.
Safety Worst: Parodies by exaggeration in "Operation: S.A.F.E.T.Y.".
Samus Is a Girl: Hienrich when we finally learn what exactly happened in Guatamala that made him angry with Numbuh Five.
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.
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!"
"Operation: S.I.T.T.E.R." features several tall, long-legged, walking beds similar in design to a certain Little Nemo's.
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.
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.
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 afromentioned epiosode.
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.").
Spot the Imposter: "Operation: P.R.E.S.I.D.E.N.T.", unfortunately, it was all part of Father's Xanatos Gambit, as 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 Eizil 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.)
Stealth Pun: When Father is turning KND operatives into animals Numbuh 86 is turned into a dog. Get it? Because she's a bitch! Or because she was already a "scottie" before being turned into a scottie. Although she looks more like an Irish Setter. Lampshaded by one of the agents who works under her:
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 2 & 3: "Operation: F.U.G.I.T.I.V.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 2, 3, and 5: "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 2, 3, 5, & 6: "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 ZERO
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.
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.
Swiss Cheese Security: Sector V's Treehouse, unfortunately. (Ironically, Numbuh One designed the security system for it, and received a reward 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.)
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.
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.
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 Draculaesque "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.
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.
Chad: Surprised to see me? Numbuh Three: Yeah, surprised to see you wearing a bra! (she, Numbuh 12 and 23 laugh) Chad: It's not a bra! It's a Battle Ready Armor! For disguises and stuff. Numbuh 23: Whatever you say, Chaderella.
"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.
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 find out 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.
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.
In Operation ZERO, 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.
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. Naturally, Numbuh 86 berates Numbuh One for what happened because of said incident.
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.
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 pinkeyeye 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.
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 actually her true goal; to gain access to the Moon Base, but wiping out Sector V would have been good too.
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: A notable example is 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.
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."