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Western Animation: Cyber Chase

Cyberchasenote  is an Edutainment Show that has so far aired on PBS from 2002 to 2014 for nine seasons.

The series revolves around a trio of kids, Jackie, Inez, and Matt, and their robotic bird friend (known as a "cyboid") Digit, who go Inside The Internet. They have been called upon by Motherboard to help defend and repair Cyberspace from the evil schemes of The Hacker, who is not a playful one, or even human, but an evil cyborg whose goal is to conquer all of Cyberspace and spread chaos. The Hacker used to be Motherboard's assistant; however, he tried to destroy her by downloading a virus into her. Luckily, her firewall was able to stop the damage from being too severe, but still left her in a weakened state, thus forcing her to recruit Jackie, Matt, and Inez from Earth to help defend Cyberspace.

Most episodes involve the children traveling to a unique "Cybersite" (a planet-like body in Cyberspace) to thwart the Hacker's latest scheme. The original general Story Arc involved the kids trying to retrieve a new and rare Encryptor Chip (a device of Motherboard's destroyed by Hacker's virus, that would enable her to completely recover). Recent seasons have shifted focus to Hacker trying to reverse his decayed villain image, and a newer villain, Ledge, trying to usurp Hacker's spot as the top villain in Cyberspace.

On PBS airings, the episodes end with a live-action segment (called "Cyberchase For Real"), where a pair of recurring characters (Harry and Bianca) and their recurring nemeses (Harley and Sleazé) demonstrate how the episode's math lesson can be used in their own lives.

Character sheet currently in construction.

After a 3 year hiatus, the series premiered its ninth season in November 2013. The episodes for this season focused on environmental and ecological themes.


Includes examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Hacker uses this a whole lot.
    Hacker: "I'm a potent powerhouse of perpetual pestilence!"
  • Affectionate Parody / No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dr. Bill
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot
  • All There in the Manual: The crab prince's friends are identified as Stringie and Bow in the captioning and nowhere else.
  • Alphabet Soup Cans
  • Always Chaotic Evil: A bit of a Broken Aesop in that no character is ever seen going from 'evil' to 'good' for real. Justified in that that would complicate the plot and not make it a show about math and science.
  • And Call Him George: Delete wants a bunny he can love, keep, and call George.
  • Art Evolution: The sixth season transitioned to Flash animation.
  • Bad Boss: Hacker
  • Bare Your Midriff: Creech, Bianca on a few occasions.
  • Big Good: Motherboard is essentially the god of cyberspace. Unfortunately, her position has been somewhat compromised.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Inez being called "short" or "tiny".
    • Inez being called "Nezzie," although this usually only applies to Matt.
      Matt: "Okay, okay Nezzie!"
      Inez: "Don't call me Nezzie...Matthew."
    • Matt, whenever Slider shows him up.
  • Bag of Holding: Matt's backpack, Digit himself
  • Batman Gambit: Hacker bids against the kids for the Encryptor Chip at an auction, but the kids manage to take it. Then they find out that Hacker modified the chip to infect Motherboard, replacing her with a copy of himself.
  • Butt Monkey: Harry in the Cyberchase for Real sketches. Toned down in the later seasons.
  • Captain Ersatz: Shari Spotter and Professor Stumblesnore.
  • Catch Phrase: Jackie's "Make room! I gotta pace!" when she needs to think.
    • Not to mention her "Am I having a moment, or...?"
    • And who could forget "Ew! Ew! And double EW!"
    • Inez's "This is not good. This is not good at all!"
    • Also, Hacker's "That's THE Hacker to you!"
    • Buzz and Delete take turns with "The Boss isn't going to be happy about this!"
  • Chekhov's Gun: Matt and his yo-yos. Jackie and her hair scrunchy.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Digit is a cook. Slider is good with tools.
  • Child Prodigy: Inez mostly, but (occasionally) applies to Matt and Jackie as well
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Wicked
  • Continuity Nod: Lots of recurring characters and the story arcs that are actually present always reference earlier ones.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: The bad guys Motherboard invited to Control Central in "The Case of the Missing Memory"
  • Cowardly Lion: Digit acts the most freaked out about everything in general, yet still plows headlong into dangerous situations when needed.
  • Cyberspace: Duh
  • A Day in the Limelight: Delete got to have at least one in the Fairy Borg Father.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Played With in the odds episode, as the Hacker is deceived in this manner. When Matt's yo-yo outside one of two doors, the Hacker believes the cybersquad had been launched into cyberspace and chooses to go through the other door. He winds up getting launched into cyberspace instead as the protagonists watch from a safe distance before admitting they were merely guessing which door would launch the unlucky opener into cyberspace at random.
  • Depending on the Writer: Is Hacker's wig gel used for styling his wig or gluing it to his head? Does it come in cubes or a tube? Considering what Hacker's like, this inconsistency might actually make sense.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina
  • Dilating Door: In the episode where the Cybersquad meets Ava, the very impractical door that they use to get into the factory.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: Part of the design for all the characters and especially evident in the non-humanoid ones.
  • The Ditz: Delete
  • Do-Anything Robot
  • Easily Conquered World
  • Elevator Floor Announcement
  • Elvis Impersonator: Hacker in one episode, when he became the King of Happily-Ever-After.
  • Endangered Soufflé
  • Enemy Mine: The final episode due to the series no longer in production at least according to PBS Kids Go! despite getting a relaunch on their website has the Cybersquad teaming up with Hacker to defeat Ledge.
  • Evil Redhead: Wicked
  • Exposed to the Elements:
    • Inez and Jackie. In certain episodes when they travel to very cold or snowy cybersites, both girls are well protected at least from the waist up, but Inez still wears shorts. And if you thought that was bad, Jackie still wears an even tinier skirt, which leaves the majority of her legs open to freezing temperatures!
    • Even Cyber-citizens have this too sometimes.
  • Expy: Anyone who's watched Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog will notice how similar Hacker is to Robotnik. They're both the Large Ham Big Bads of their respective series, and Hacker's lackeys are also expies of Scratch and Grounder.
  • Eye Glasses: Inez
  • Face-Heel Turn: Before the events of the pilot, Hacker turned against Motherboard.
  • Fake Defector: Almost every (if not all the) time that Digit goes back to Hacker's side.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: The show occasionally refers to distances or lengths in "cybermiles" and "cyberinches", and weights in "cybergrams". However, the occasional mention of "inches", "meters", etc. (without the "cyber-" prefix) is seen.
  • Fat and Skinny: Buzz (short and stout) and Delete (thin)
  • Five-Man Band
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Baskerville
  • Gambit Roulette: A heroic example in the odds episode.
  • Ghost Pirate: Ivanka the Invincible
  • Gilbert Gottfried: as Digit
  • Global Currency: Snelfus.
  • Grim Up North: The Hacker's home is the Northern Frontier.
  • Guest Star Party Member: Happens frequently so. One of the later episodes featured several of the most recent characters teaming up with the regular Cybersquad, effectively tripling the cast. They had to be divided into multiple teams to defeat Hacker's challenges.
  • Harmless Villain
  • Ho Yay:
    • Jules and Matt, one-sided on Jules' part
    • There's some strong tension between Matt and Slider too.
    • Lots of it between Delete and "his Buzzy", especially in "A Perfect Fit" and "Raising the Bar".
  • Home Field Advantage: In one episode, the gang visits Radopolis and compete in a skate-off with the villains, where they find themselves losing at first because the competition rink is different from the practice rink due to Hacker's villainous meddling.
  • Identity Amnesia: Hacker in "Raising the Bar." He gets better.
  • Idiot Hero: Matt, at times, though it's more a result of his recklessness than him actually not being bright.
  • Inside The Internet: The basic setting of the show.
  • Insistent Terminology: "That's THE Hacker to you!"
  • Jackass Genie: Warren the Wayward Genie
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Inverted with the Hacker. Just look at that thing.
  • Large Ham: Hacker. Jackie also has a habit of announcing that they're "DOOMED!" very loudly.
    Jackie: Cyberspace is doomed, doomed I tell you, DOOOOO-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOO-OOMED!
  • Leitmotif: Listen for a soft techno beat when the kids go into educational mode. Familiar to those with dial-up Internet.
    • The victory theme.
    • Crisis Zone.
    • Buzz and Delete's theme.
  • Lots of Luggage: One of the Cyberchase For Real segments had Bianca going camping with her friend. The friend mocks her for taking three bags. Bianca says it's nothing, only for the friend to open one bag and remove a sequined party dress.
  • Lucky Rabbit's Foot: One episode had Hacker attempting to kidnap a rabbit to complete his lucky charm collection.
  • MacGuffin: the Encryptor Chip, at least in the early seasons
  • Magic Skirt: Jackie's small blue skirt/skort.
  • Mass Hypnosis: Part of Wicked's plot in "A Broom of One's Own".
  • Meganekko: Inez and Shari Spotter.
  • Mook-Face Turn: Digit used to work for Hacker, but joins Motherboard's side when he learns of Hacker's evil doings.
  • The Movie: Season 9 featured The Cyberchase Movie, a two-part, hour-long special in which the Cybersquad learn about the importance of living space in animals' habitats. They also re-encounter Dr. Marbles; and yes, they once again get the better of Hacker.
  • Never Say "Die"
    Digit: Excuse me! We're talkin' life and d- you know what here!
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Digit idolized the current champion of "The Fearless Chef" (a cross over between Iron Chef and The Amazing Race) but when Jackie and Inez tried to rescue him after he was kidnapped, he was quickly revealed as a bit of a Jerkass.
  • The Napoleon: Inez does not take kindly to being called small or any of its synonyms.
    • Interestingly in an episode about proportion, she has no problem whatsoever with calling herself the smallest (the kids were comparing footprints).
  • Nelvana
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the very first episode, "Lost your Marbles", we learn that it was the kids' attempt to use a library map that allowed Hacker to breach Motherboard's defenses.
  • No Ending: The last episode ever made of Cyberchase was the good guys and Hacker teaming against a new villain, Ledge.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Hacker often uses transparent disguises to trick the protagonists.
  • Pet the Dog: Anytime Hacker decides to show he has a heart.
  • Pig Latin: In "Codename: Icky" when Matt (attempts) to use a code to talk to Inez and Jackie
  • Planet of Hats: Pretty much every cybersite. Perhaps justified in that they're based off websites.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone
  • Power Crystal:
    • The Crystal of Kalmoor.
    • The Prism of Penguia.
  • The Power of Friendship
  • Power Trio and Token Trio, varied by having two girls.
  • Pull the Thread
  • Putting On My Thinking Cap: Jackie paces, Inez does a headstand, Matt plays with his yo-yo. Occasionally, Digit's little ball floating above his head will flash.
  • Put on a Bus: Dr. Marbles was extremely prominent in the first few seasons, but his last appearance was in the sixth season, and he hasn't appeared at all in the last two.
  • Race Against the Clock: Notice how in nearly every episode the kids had to stop Hacker within a particularly amount of time?
  • Running Gag: Hacker's wig gel, all of the Earth kids' catchphrases, Wicked's jealousy, Sam Vander Rom and Erica Ram
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:
    • Inez is about as sesquipedalian as a nine-year old can get.
    • Creech can get like this too. In fact, it's how they met in the Tikiville race episode. Matt and Jackie decided to make fun of Inez's vocabulary which led to her quitting the Cybersquad temporarily and working with Creech for most of Creech's introduction episode.
    • Buzz and Delete in "Trading Places" when they're made extra-smart.
  • The Shangri-La: The cybersite Shangri-La and Master Pi
  • Shout-Out: Swipe is reported to have stolen the ram from King Ramalamadingdong and the dip from Queen Dipdedipdedip, both references to "Who Put the Bomp" by Barry Mann.
    • Mr. Zero laments that people think he is a nowhere man.
    • In "Hugs and Witches" Digit exclaims that the world he and the Cybersquad are currently on is scary and that he keeps waiting for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to show up.
    Inez: Uh, they were the same person, Didge.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Well, Buzz is shorter and smarter than Delete, but neither of them are smart compared to the other characters. Additionally, Inez is The Smart Guy of the the three main characters and the smallest (but she doesn't like being reminded of that), but in this case, all of them are smart.
  • Sixth Ranger: Slider, who appears occasionally with the others.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Falls firmly on the idealistic side, with occasional forays into cynic territory for about 5 minutes.
  • Speak In Unison: In "A Broom of One's Own", Wicked's brainwashed army says "Wicked is our leader, we do what she says" in unison very often.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": "That's "The Hacker" to you!" Serves as one of the page quotes.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Try as they might, the Cybersquad are never able to get the cure for Motherboard's virus, which is a necessary Plot Device to keep the show going. The debilitating effects of the virus were the reason that Motherboard had to recruit the Cybersquad to help her; and if Motherboard got cured, then she wouldn't need to summon her "Earthlies" to Cyberspace anymore.
    • Immediately after major events (like Hacker taking control from Motherboard for a time), everything goes straight back to the kids foiling Hacker's plans.
    • In addition, Hacker's been the recipient of any number of misfortunes following the destruction of his plans - he's suffered potent viruses, been blasted off into Cyberspace, even bewitched good by Wicked - yet at the beginning of each new episode, he's somehow exactly back to normal.
  • Strawman Political:: Matt tries this when Hacker goes up for election. it doesn't end too well.
  • Summon Everyman Hero: Three Earth kids sent Inside The Internet.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Hacker
  • Team Pet: Digit to a certain extent.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Except in this case, it's made up of two girls and one boy.
  • Totally Radical: Radopolis's hat.
    • More. If you read the kids' profiles Matt's favorite music is "anything by Will Smith". Seriously?
    • Basically, this show is from the early 2000s and it shows.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Donuts for Buzz.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Dr. Marbles built Hacker. Hacker built Digit.
  • Two Girls and a Guy
  • Twofer Token Minority: The entire human cast. We've got a black girl, a Hispanic girl, and — oddly enough for this genre — the sole male human is also white.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Motherboard, Dr. Marbles
  • Unholy Matrimony: Wicked and Hacker are like this
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee
  • Up the Real Rabbit Hole: Cybercitizens will call Earth "the real world" and kind of logical in a way. Since they're generally in the company of or are speaking to Earthlings when they do this, it is the real world to those same Earthlings and they wouldn't want to confuse them. Possibly a case of Pandering To The Audience.
  • Vanishing Village
  • Vetinari Job Security: The reason why Motherboard needs Doctor Marbles so badly? He's the only one that can fix her, providing the Ultimate Job Security. Not that this prevents him being Put on a Bus...
    • In one episode, the drum player from one of the best bands on Mount Olympus was kidnapped and convinced by Hacker that he'd be better appreciated as a solo act. The rest of the team were already thinking of of dumping him, as they didn't think that he added anything to the band. Turned out, he was the most important member, since he seems to be the only one who can keep the proper rhythm pattern (the day's lesson) and without him, the music was awful. The band player is eventually convinced to come back and he reunites with his bandmates, who finally realize how important he is.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In Snelfu Snafu.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: A few times.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger
  • You Mean Xmas: "Starlight Night"

Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese CatCreator/PBS KidsLiberty's Kids
ArthurAdobe FlashDrawn Together
Curious GeorgeTurnOfTheMillennium/Western AnimationDanger Rangers
A Cosmic ChristmasCreator/NelvanaDanny Phantom
C.O.P.S.Science Fiction Western AnimationDex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist
Crash CourseEdutainment ShowDanger Rangers
Curious GeorgeWestern AnimationCybersix

alternative title(s): Cyberchase
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