Western Animation / Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

The best friends you could imagine. note 
After wrapping up five seasons and a feature film of The Powerpuff Girls, Cartoon Network approached Craig McCracken for a new series. He pitched them this simple premise: where do imaginary friends go when their young creators outgrown them?

Why to Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, of course! A home for imaginary friends whose kids have outgrown them, Foster's is a place where friends can live together until they are adopted by a child who needs them.

Set in a world where imaginary friends are living, tangible beings who can be seen and heard by everyone including their creator, Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends follows Mac, a shy and creative 8 year old boy, who is forced by his mother to give up his imaginary friend Bloo, a walking, talking protection blanket. He and Bloo discover the titular home for Bloo to live, but because they don't want to be separated forever, they strike a deal with the house that, as long as Mac comes to visit him every day, Bloo won't be adopted.

Upon arrival, Bloo makes three new friends: Wilt, a tall, basketball-loving monster who Apologizes a Lot; Eduardo, a luchador bull who's afraid of his own shadow; and Coco, a bird/airplane/palmtree creature only capable of saying her own name. As all of the characters are meant to have been dreamed up by children, the house's other residents are a Cast of Snowflakes made up of an array of wildly surreal creatures. Most of the episodes involve Bloo's egotistical, mischievous personality, in complete contrast to the shy, polite Mac, getting him and his friends into wacky hijinks around the house. As with most Cartoon Network shows, expect plenty of parental bonuses along the way.

Of note, Fosters was Cartoon Network's first original 2D animated show to be produced 100% digitally: the backgrounds were all drawn in Photoshop and the animation was done in Adobe Flash, all with the aide of graphics tablets. This not only brought down the cost and shrank the staff, but allowed for the nuances of Craig McCracken's personal drawing style to come through in the final product rather than the blocky, geometric look Flash had been known for up to that point.

A total of 79 episodes in six seasons were produced, along with two Darker and Edgier Made For TV Movies: Good Wilt Hunting in 2006, and Destination Imagination in 2008. The series ran from 2004 to 2009 and, as a result, is seen as the bridge between Cartoon Network's "classic" and "renaissance" periods (not coincidentally, it ended the same year as the station's longest running series, Ed, Edd n Eddy).

In 2012, the series returned to Cartoon Network as a part of Cartoon Planet, although strictly the 11-minute minisodes, since the block doesn't incorporate any 22-minute episodes of former network series. Also as of 2012, reruns began airing on Boomerang.

Has a Best Episode Crowners page.

Also see the Shout Outs and Memes pages, and go here to vote for best episodes.

Not to be confused with The Fosters.

This show provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Mac doesn't appear in "Pranks for Nothing", even in the beginning. The events right at the beginning took place right after he left, or he was sick and couldn't come to Foster's anyway. It also could have been before he even came, considering that Mr. Herriman said the trip would be 7 hours long.
    Bloo: Hey, Mr. Herriman! How long till we get there?
    Mr. Herriman: 7 hours.
    • Mac similarly does not appear in the comic book story "Block Rockin' Feats" (Cartoon Network Block Party #35).
  • Accent Adaptation: Hispanic imaginary friend Eduardo has a US accent in the Spanish dub.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Bloo constantly forgetting Berry's name in "Berry Scary." He does, however, remember her as "Heather."
    Berry: MY NAME IS BERRY!!!
  • Acquainted with Emergency Services: In Season 2, "My So Called Wife", Mac, Bloo, Coco, Mr. Herriman, and several other people are thrown in jail for a night after a phony benefactor threw a fake gala in someone's mansion without permission and the owner has everyone arrested for trespassing. Everyone was released from jail in the morning leading to Bloo saying goodbye to the police officer.
    Mac: What a crazy night.
    Bloo: Eh. I had worse. (to a police officer) Good seeing you again, Charles. Say hi to the kids for me.
    Charles: Will do, Bloo.
  • Ad-Break Double-Take: In "Foster's Goes to Europe"...
    Wilt: The spark plugs are gone!
    Mac: What does that mean?
    Wilt: Somebody sabotaged the bus.
    *fade to commercial*
    Wilt: Somebody sabotaged the bus!
  • Adorkable: Mac is the biggest example in the series, but Wilt definitely qualifies during his more "awkward" moments.
  • Affectionate Parody: Eurotrish is a spoof of Tanya Mousekewitz.
    • Morsey is a parody of Morissey, fitting in with the 80s allusions.
    • The unleashed Extremeosaur in the movie is a parody of Pac-Man.
  • Alien Geometries: Foster's itself, as proven by the episode "Dinner is Swerved". At one point, Mac even opens a door that leads to an oncoming train, then nonchalantly closes it, with the train never once making contact with the door!
  • Alliterative Name: Francis 'Frankie' Foster.
  • All There in the Manual: The first season DVD feature "Gallery of Friends" reveals some of the names of the one off and background imaginary friends.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Goo has dark skin, but it isn't clear if it's intended to indicate her ethnicity.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: The food friends, who were apparently imagined by hungry children at a weight-loss camp.
    • At one point Mac's brother imagines up a pizza friend. And then promptly ate it.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: Everything Mr. Herriman says is in archaic and old-fashioned terminology.
  • Apologises a Lot: Wilt. "Oh! I'm sorry, is that okay? I'm sorry!"
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Imaginary friends are well-known to be real, and include all kinds of monsters and other weirdness, yet Mr. Herriman seems quite certain in "Bloooo" that there are no such things as ghosts. Also, in the pilot, Bloo is clearly about to say "There's no such thing as monsters" before Wilt cuts him off.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Close but no cigar, Mac: counter to his statement in "Duchess of Wails", Singapore isn't in Malaysia, it is an independent county off of one of Malaysia's coasts. At least he's far closer than Terrence, who thinks Singapore is in Wisconsin.
  • Art Evolution: While relatively minor, there are some color/appearance differences in the earliest episodes, which is seen mostly in Mac and Eduardo. Also notable in season five is that Mac's height increases slightly.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Eurotrish. She's basically a relentless parody of this trope. She says she's from Europe, and seems to mean that literally... in that she wears clothes that combine stereotypes of at least six different European nationalities (Dutch clogs, a french beret, a shirt with the British flag, among other things) her accent keeps changing, and she always says she wants to go home to Europe, not to any specific country. At the end of "Foster's Goes To Europe", we see her "back home in Europe" in a little stereotypical village that could be almost anywhere. The locals promptly get fed up with her singing and throw her out, just as they did when she lived there at an earlier time.
  • Attention Whore: Bloo, who seems to think It's All About Me, and gets visibly annoyed when the others don't share his excitement in various things.
  • Ax-Crazy: Mac is a very Nice Guy, right? But he's completely lunatic if he gets even the smallest amount of sugar.
    • His brother Terrence is a much straighter example since his bullying ways towards Mac goes beyond sociopathic behavior.
  • Baby Talk: Frankie, in "Dinner is Swerved". "I'm sowwy, Mistuh Hewwiman."
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The titular Bendy from "Everyone Knows It's Bendy" gets zero comeuppance for his actions.
  • Balloon Belly:
    • Frankie at the end of "Cookie Dough" after consuming dozens of Madame Foster's cookies.
    • Coco when she rather suddenly put on weight in "The Big Picture".
  • Battle in the Rain: Spoofed in "Duchess of Wails" when Mac and Bloo try to get Duchess back into the house.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: Attempted in "Dinner is Swerved", to get down to the dining hall. Unfortunately, the rope is too short, and Mac and Bloo bounce off the pile of mattresses they dropped and end up right back on the roof.
  • Back Blocking: In the episode "Camp Keep a Good Mac Down". Eduardo does when after he swat all the bees attacking Bloo, and he reveals Bloo covered in bee stings.
  • Big Bad: World in Destination Imagination. He's not actually evil, though, just a scared little kid who's got serious abandonment issues and just wants a friend.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Terrence and Duchess in "House of Bloo's", who team up to get rid of Bloo once and for all.
  • Big Brother Bully: Terrence. "Stop! I just want to punch you!"
  • Big Eater:
    • Bloo tends to eat a lot.
    • Mac almost always averts this, except when he has sugar and goes on a spree of eating anything sweet he can find.
    • Frankie becomes gluttonous when she's near cookies, especially in World's cookie castle he made for her.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Used in the beginning of episode 11. A couple mistakenly brings a stray dog to the house, and when Frankie opens the door she is promptly tackled and licked silly.
  • Bigger on the Inside:
    • The titular building. It's so big you can get lost in it for days.
    • World's toy box, though that's likely due to him being a Reality Warper.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • In the episode One False Movie Coco's subtitles are French for "I do not speak French!".
    • In The Bloo Superdude and the Magic Potato of Power in the part where Bloo accidentally starts telling a sitcom, the guy says "What was it you used to say to me? Usted huele muy mal," which is Spanish for "You smell very bad."
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Coco only says "Coco", but everyone she speaks to seems to understand her.
  • Birthday Episode: There were several such episodes. The birthday celebrated in those episodes were Madame Foster, Mac and Bloo.
  • Birthday Suit Surprise Party: A flashback in "I Only Have Surprise For You" shows that Bloo once pulled a prank on Mac where a surprise party was held after he just got out of the shower.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending to Bloo Tube, when the Monsoon Lagoon-obsessed Bloo has to stay at the home, in bandages and a wheelchair, while the rest of the cast gets to go to the aforementioned water park; the final shot shows the house as we hear Bloo crying hysterically. Sad, yet Bloo spent the entire episode being horrible to everyone else.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The titular Home. It looks odd enough from the outside, but it's full of Alien Geometries and Chaos Architecture inside. Showcased early on in "Dinner is Swerved" (Mac and Bloo arrive on the roof: "But... we went down!") and "Bloooo" (Bloo ascends an impossibly long, spindly, unsupported staircase to get to his room).
  • Black Comedy: In the last episode, Bloo's first idea to prevent Mac from moving away was to kill him.
  • Book Ends: The opening intro to the series starts with the world of Foster's being drawn out in pencil line-art until it changes to color with a calliope theme in the background. At the end of the TV finale, "Goodbye to Bloo," the world of Foster's is essentially un-drawn and the calliope theme plays backwards.
  • Born as an Adult: The show's very premise is that imaginary friends come to life the instant they are created, so of course many imaginary friends have had adult forms for as long as they've been alive.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Bloo.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Happens a lot to Eduardo.
    • Mac also goes through this.
    • Wilt in Where There's a Wilt, There's a Way.
    • Frankie whenever she's punished by Mr. Herriman.
  • Brick Joke: Happens in Nightmare on Wilson way. Oscar (The big green friend) decides to go Trick or Treating as Blossom from The Powerpuff Girls, Frankie decides to go Trick or Treating as Blossom as well, which leads to Oscar walking away muttering "I should have gone as Bubbles..." In all later scenes he appears in, he's dressed as Bubbles.
  • Broken Treasure: Madame Foster's bust. Turns out it happens so often, Mr. Herriman has a closet full of replacements.
  • British Stuffiness: The British-accented Mr. Herriman. He's very prim and proper, is strict, and has a very high regard for rules. He also wears a Waistcoat of Style, High-Class Glass, and a top hat.
  • Bucket Booby-Trap: Bloo falls victim to the prank of opening a door and having a bucket of water fall on him in "Pranks for Nothing".
  • Bullying a Dragon: In Destination Imagination, Mr. Herriman scolds World and threatens to take Bloo and the gang back to the real world, leaving him utterly alone again. World does not take this well
  • The Cameo:
    • Mojo Jojo note  appears in the pilot movie.
    • Frankie's shirt has silhouettes of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup.
    • In one episode, Mandy of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy shows up to return an imaginary friend for being too happy.
    • Also, Dexter and Ed, Edd n Eddy make appearances in "Eddie Monster"
  • Canada, Eh?: John Larry McGee, Goofball John McGee's creator, is a walking Canadian stereotype.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: "The Sweet Stench of Success" has Bloo become the mascot for a brand of deodorant and realizing that show business isn't all it's cracked up to be.
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out:
    • In "Partying is Such Sweet Soiree", Mr. Herriman is warned by Madame Foster not to allow wild parties while she is gone. After Bloo throws a party in spite of Madame Foster's orders to try and get Herriman in trouble, Madame Foster looks like she'll tear into Herriman, but she quickly specifies that the rule was that no wild parties could be thrown without her being there to participate.
    • This kind of gag happens again in "Bloo Tube", where Bloo is forced to let Mac, Wilt, Coco, and Eduardo use a laptop to upload a viral video they made with Frankie's camera, which they used without her permission. Bloo tries to get even by telling Frankie that they are using her camera without her permission, but right when it looks like she'll get mad, she instead commends Mac and the others for deciding to make a viral video and encourages everyone else in the house to make their own viral videos.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Berry takes this Up to Eleven by being psychotically obsessed with eliminating anyone or anything she perceives as interfering with her chances at getting together with Bloo.
  • Cloning Bloos: In "Bloo's Brothers", where several of Mac's classmates are inspired by Bloo to create their own versions of Bloo who all have something wrong with them.
  • Cheated Angle: Frankie's hair and Mr. Herriman's monocle are always in the same direction no matter which side they're facing.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Bendy disappeared after his debut episode and was never mentioned again. This was mostly due to the fans' burning hatred of the character and considers the episode the most unfair abomination they've ever seen on the show. Even the episode's writer, Lauren Faust, apologized for it.
    • This also applies to any of the one-off episode characters that appear. Lil' Lincoln and Moose never make another appearance after Emancipation Complication. Neither does Red after Seeing Red nor Omnizot and the Space Nut Boogies after Make Believe It or Not. None of whom were mentioned ever again afterwards either.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: All the imaginary friends are like this to some extent, but Coco, Cheese, and Eduardo deserve special mention.
  • Colon Cancer: Parodied on One False Movie, with Bloo's movie being called "Trexatron Alienwolf III: A Prequel In Time: The Unrelenting".
  • Continuity Nod: "Bloo Tube" shows that the viral video from "World Wide Wabbit" is still wildly popular.
    • In "Bad Dare Day" a "I *heart* FB (Funny Bunny)" cap can be seen in Madame Foster's room
    • When Bloo and Madame Foster realize that they've lost some movie tickets right as they arrive at the premiere, he compares it to "that stupid trip to Europe that we never took".
    • Some episodes still show the Extremosaur cage.
    • In the last episode, while trying to think up things to do with Mac, Bloo rattles off several suggestions that are things the two did in previous episodes throughout the series. Mac even lampshades it.
    • In Destination Imagination, Mac foils the sleeping powder attempt with a pretty Badass Boast: "You don't know this about me: I. Can't. Eat. Sugar."
  • Control Freak: Mr. Herriman, complete with long lists of obscure rules and regulations on such items as placement of toilet paper and how to properly wipe up spills.
  • Cool Car: Madame Foster's car resembles a 1970's Pontiac Trans Am Firebird, complete with a bird painted on the hood a la Smokey and the Bandit.
  • Cool Old Lady: Madame Foster, especially evident on the bowling episode.
  • Creator Cameo: Craig McCracken makes an appearance in the episode "One False Movie"
  • Crowning Moment of Indifference: In "Frankie My Dear" when Prince Charming is trying to woo Frankie and she just goes on eating her pizza, finishing it off as she stands up Prince Charming's speech.
    • After being freed from the toy box, World has this conversation with Mr. Herriman, who had previously wanted to keep him locked inside:
    World: I'm free, Mr. Herriman!
    Mr. Herriman: Splendid.
    World: And Frankie freed me!
    Mr. Herriman: Yes, I saw that.
  • Dark Horse Victory: In "Hiccy Burp", Bloo and Mac compete at an imaginary friends pageant in hopes of beating an arrogant rival named Richie and his Parody Sue imaginary friend Blake Superior. Neither of them win, the victor instead being Armpit Joe.
  • Darker and Edgier: Destination Imagination. It was even rated TV-PG (usually TV-Y7)
    • The entire series may fall under this when compared to the other comedies on Cartoon Network at the time of its premiere.
    • The Extremosaur fighting episode can get pretty dark, especially when Eduardo's moves are seen as his scaredy-cat antics.
  • Deadly Prank: Subverted in "Nightmare on Wilson Way". Mr. Herriman appears to die of a heart attack from Bloo surprising him with a can of spring-loaded fake snakes and ends up coming back as a zombie, but it turns out in the end that Herriman wasn't dead and that the zombie invasion was all an elaborate prank to get back at Bloo.
  • Demoted to Extra: This hapens to Goo and Terrence in later seasons.
  • Depending On The Episode: Lots. How much of a jerkass is Bloo - is he a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk or is there a heart of gold in there somewhere? How mature is Mac - is he an always do-gooding Only Sane Man or is he a wise and sensible but still generally childlike and rambunctious kid (sometimes this will change mid episode, with Mac doing something childish and then turning sensible to stop it from going too far)? How mature is Frankie - is she a laid-back Cool Big Sis who's always getting dumped on from Mr. Herriman or is she not only very responsible but the only sane adult in the house? Etc, etc - all the different sides of the characters that can be shown at any given time make for a lot of interesting ways plots tend to go.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Bendy from "Everyone Knows It's Bendy" is quite obviously a sketchy-looking person and yet Mr. Herriman and Frankie are completely fooled every time he frames Bloo, Wilt, Coco, and Eduardo for one of his misdeeds.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: An occasional way to end episodes on a gag, used so often that in one episode where he's stuck waiting for Madame Foster to finish shopping Bloo intentionally makes sure to remember a tiny, totally forgotten detail important to the plot (the reason they were there, which the Madame quickly forgot in her shopping) so they won't have to go back and he can avoid a "wah-wah" moment.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Many times. One notable example is "Imposter's Home" where rather than stop Bloo from mixing dangerous chemicals, Frankie makes a bet with Bloo that it'll turn out badly. Immature, yes, but what she was put through afterwards (including being forced to miss a concert that she'd been dreaming about for months, with the final slap in the face being that everyone BUT HER got to go) would have been overkill even if she were the one playing with chemicals in the first place. Goofball was a complete Jerkass to Frankie and Mr. Herriman's treatment of her in this episode bordered on abusive.
  • Disappeared Dad: Mac and Terrence's dad isn't even mentioned. One could get the impression that their mother is either widowed or divorced.
  • The Ditz: Cheese is a complete moron who's always getting into ridiculous trouble.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The argument between Mac and Bloo about Cheese's existence is very similar to a wife finding out her husband had a child with someone else.
  • Downer Ending:
    • At the end of Foster's Goes to Europe, Eurotrish finally returns to her owner in Europe. Naturally, she must sing a song to express her happiness — only to be interrupted by her owner shouting out the window, "Stop the singing! Why do you think we sent you away in the first place?" Afterward, Eurotrish dejectedly sulks away, singing, "I'm-a going to America..." There's also the ending for Mac and everyone else, where it turns out that they end up not going because MADAME FOSTER STOLE THE TICKETS. And everyone blames Mac, who had spent the entire episode trying to get them out the door.
    • The end of "Imposter's Home for Um... Make 'Em Up Pals", when Frankie misses the concert and Goofball turned out to actually be an imaginary friend rather than a teenage slacker lying about being one. Although Frankie apologizes and Goofball thanks her for taking care of him, the ending was still mean-spirited towards Frankie.
    • The episode "Everybody Knows Its Bendy", when Bloo gets in trouble yet again after his elaborate scheme of exposing Bendy for his misbehavior and Bendy gets off completely scot-free for all the misdeeds he framed Bloo, Coco, Wilt, and Eduardo for.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Tired of getting only one present for christmas every year, Bloo tries to scare Herriman with a very poor reenactment of ''A Christmas Carol'', (even forgetting to do the Ghost of Christmas Past), and as the Ghost of Christmas Future, tells Herriman not to buy everyone just one Christmas present a year. Unfortunately, Herriman misinterprets this as don't buy one single Christmas present at all, and proceeds to throw out every Christmas related thing from the house.
  • Drop-In Character:
    • A rare protagonist Drop-In Character, Mac has to visit the home every day in order to keep Bloo from being adopted.
    • Cheese and Goo are also Drop In Characters of the more standard kind.
  • Elevator Floor Announcement: In "Squeeze the Day", Bloo does this on their way upstairs as they stop at every floor(after he pushed all the elevator buttons).
  • DVD Commentary: The first season DVD set includes a commentary on "Store Wars", where Frankie and Mac are trying to sign a treaty after Bloo caused trouble in the events of the episode.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Frankie and World in The Movie. Frankie finally gets what she wanted all along, to be treated fairly and respected for all she does, Mr. Herriman finally fairly splitting the house work among everyone in the House instead of all on her. World, the Big Bad of The Movie and an emotionally unstable Reality Warper whose been sealed in a toy chest by himself for who knows how long, is finally freed from his prison and has the friends he'd wanted the entire movie. But both had to go a long way to get it.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The "House of Bloo's" pilot contains many major differences from the main series. To wit...
    • Bloo was slightly mischievous, but still a very nice guy. In fact, the other characters constantly describe him as "a lovable imaginary friend". This comes as a shock to anyone used to the rude, egotistical, and borderline sociopathic Bloo in the later episodes.
    • Only a select few characters could understand Coco. In fact, Mac somehow being able to understand her, much to Mr. Herriman's surprise, was a major indication of how intelligent he was for his age. In later episodes, anyone could understand her, regardless of how well they knew her.
    • Duchess was an outright villain, willing to kill Bloo, instead of the simple Royal Brat she is in the main series.
    • Madame Foster was depicted as having a hard time going down the stairs and traversing the hallways due to her age, which is why she doesn't even physically appear until the end, with her saying that it took her that whole time to walk down. In the later episodes, she becomes a surprisingly agile Cool Old Lady.
    • Eduardo speaks a lot more Spanish.
  • Election Day Episode: In the episode "Setting a President", Frankie challenges Mr. Herriman for the position of house manager, and they hold an election. Bloo briefly posts himself as a candidate (mostly for the attention), and after coming last on the polls, becomes Herriman's campaign manager.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Turns up in "Infernal Slumber" when Eduardo finds a picture of Mac as a baby bathing in the sink with his butt visible and decides to photograph the picture against Mac's wishes.
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied: Wilt has trouble saying "No" when someone asks him to do something.
  • Episode Title Card: All the episodes have these, typically with a relevant sound effect over it. We only see the episode's title in this, as writing, directing, etc. credits are typically played over the first few minutes of the episode.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: Bloo tap dances Morse code to call for help in "The Sweet Stench of Success".
  • Evil Counterpart: Subverted in an episode Terrence attempts to make his own imaginary friend to deal with Bloo, who constantly manages to humiliate and outsmart him whenever he starts picking on Mac. Not only is he sqaure in contrast to Bloo's round, blob like appearance, he's red and, surprisingly, named Red. It's Subverted though in that, despite being made to be an Evil Counterpart to take on Bloo, Bloo easily outsmarts and humiliates him at every turn, and once he begins to realize Red isn't that bad a guy after he pushes his pranks too far, offers to be friends with him. Red quickly realizes that Good Feels Good and starts going after Terrence for picking on Mac. All in all, he's arguably a nicer imaginary friend than Bloo himself!
  • Expospeak Gag: Mr. Herriman's preferred manner of speaking quite often involves using technical words to describe even the most mundane and simplest of phrases.
  • Expy:
    • Mac is based on a one-time The Powerpuff Girls character, Mike, who had an imaginary friend of his own. Also, his early design had a lot in common with Linus van Pelt, which is particularly telling when you remember that Bloo's design was based off a child's security blanket. And after the pilot premiered, Craig McCracken's family told him Mac is pretty much what McCracken was like when he was little. His name's even "Mac".
    • Mac's mother shares a lot of similarities with Ms. Bellum.
    • Wilt's creator, Jordan Michaels, is an obvious expy of famous basketball player Michael Jordan.
    • Mr. Herriman is based on the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, being a white rabbit with a waist coat and an obsession with being on time, as well as the eponymous character from Harvey, being imaginary and six feet tall.
    • Frankie is based on McCracken's wife, Lauren Faust.
    • Frit and Frat are basically G-Rated versions of Beavis And Butthead.
    • Lil' Lincoln's au pair Moose, from Emancipation Complication, is one of Big Billy.
  • Extranormal Institute: Foster's is a place where human kids adopt imaginary friends.
  • The Faceless: Mac and Terrence's mom. At most, we see the back of her head, if we see her head at all.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink, as well as Fairytale Motifs: Unicorns, giant monsters, superheroes, whatever the heck Coco is supposed to be, and countless other creatures.
    • Coco's been explained, and it's kind of sad. Her creator was a girl who was trapped on a deserted island for a long time, and created an imaginary friend to keep herself sane. Coco is an amalgam of things that the girl could see around her: the crashed plane (Coco's body), the deflated life raft she tried to get off the island with (Coco's beak), a palm tree (Coco's head), and her own sunburned feet (Coco's...feet).
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Wilt, who is missing an arm and has one of his eyes being wonky and on a crooked eyestalk.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: "Bus The Two Of Us," which involves Bloo taking the Foster's Bus on a joyride and Mac, who got dragged along, asking Wilt to keep this fact under wraps, requiring him to lie which, for a Nice Guy like him, is far from an easy task.
  • Fiery Redhead: Frankie, as Mr. Herriman and Bloo learn when they push her too far. Or as Dylan finds out when he threatens her friends.
  • First Name Ultimatum: And justified in the cases of some characters, like Mac, who well, don't have a last name.
  • Flanderization: Bloo wasn't nearly as much of a jerk in the early seasons.
  • Flat Character: Duchess is incapable of being anything other than a whiny, demanding noblewoman... and she is literally 2-dimensional.
  • Forbidden Fruit: In "The Trouble With Scribbles" when Bloo finds the door behind which the titular Scribbles are kept. His curiosity is ignited by Mr. Herriman mentioning "Deep, dark, mysterious secrets" when explaining why the door should remain shut and fueled by everyone else avoiding talking about it whenever he asks. Eventually he can't take it anymore and sneaks off at night to open it.
  • Framed Clue: How Mac and Bloo find the map to the Foster's treasure in "Squeeze the Day" following a failed attempt to use a picture of Madame Foster as an impromptu cookie sheet to slide down the stairs with, breaking it and revealing the map.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: In the episode "Bloo Tube" as one of the videos, Frankie and another imaginary friend do this to an elephant to make him shoot milk out of his nose and ears.
  • Fun with Homophones: In "Affairweather Friends", Berri tries to steal Bloo from Mac by disguising herself as a rich kid named Barry. Because of the similar-sounding names, Mac's unable to explain to Bloo that the two are one and the same until he refers to Berri as "Heather" (which was one of the incorrect names Bloo used to refer to Berri in her debut episode).
  • Genki Girl: Goo, complete with Motor Mouth and Hair Decs. And possibly Madame Foster and Coco.
  • Gentle Giant: Eduardo is a giant purple minotaur who appears frightening to Mac at first, but he turns out to be sweet and (to be honest) a coward - unless his friends are in danger. Wilt is a very, very tall fellow with one arm who is polite to the point of neurosis.
  • Godiva Hair: In "Camp Keep A Good Mac Down", Madame Foster is shown to easily adapt to the wild and it gets to the point that she starts going around naked. Because this is a children's show, her nudity is covered up by her hair being worn down.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Frankie. "Holy. Guac. Amolie."
  • Grand Finale: Destination: Imagination and "Goodbye to Bloo". Depending on your views, you might assign either the last episode or the movie as the true finale. "Goodbye to Bloo" essentially brings up the point that started the series in the first place — Mac having to say goodbye to Bloo for good. Through classic shenanigans, it becomes a huge misunderstanding that Mac and family will move away and leave Bloo up for adoption. In the end, it's strongly disproved... and Cheese ends up being sent to live at Foster's, followed by a thank you note to the viewers in the credits. The movie, on the other hand, ends with all the friends at Foster's jumping into the toy box, Mac and Bloo the last ones in, which gives a nice closing shot that basically says the characters are going away now, back into the toy box like stuffed animals — say your goodbyes.
  • G-Rated Drug:
    • Sugar to Mac. Just a small amount causes him to go into a hyperactive frenzy of devouring anything sweet he can find.
    • In "Cookie Dough" Frankie's obsession with Madame Foster's cookies is blatantly akin to a cocaine addiction.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Eduardo. He often throws in various words and calls Bloo "Azul".
  • Greeting Gesture Confusion: In the episode "I Only Have Surprise for You", when Mr. Herriman's back-up team to set up a birthday party that Mac is trying to prevent succeeds in their mission, the back-up team leader offers Mr. Herriman a high-five but Mr. Herriman shakes his hand while his hand is still in the air for the high-five.
  • Growing Up Sucks: The premise is that nearly all kids grow out of needing their imaginary friends, so Mac will likely end up leaving Bloo. However, we've seen some creators as adults, and they still care a great deal for their imaginary friends. Madame Foster says that Mac's imagination is the purest she's seen since her own, and she never gave up her imaginary friend...
  • Grumpy Old Man: Old Man Rivers from Neighbor Pains and the (appropriately named) Iman Oldcoot from Something Old Something Bloo.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Normally strict and formal with the appearance of a distinguished gentleman, you do NOT want to make Mr. Herriman angry. Even Frankie cowers in fear when Herriman truly has his Berserk Button pressed as seen in "World Wide Wabbit".
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Lampshaded in "Adoptcalypse Now;" while Mac claims to Mr. Herriman that he's bringing Coco in because she's embarrassed about being nude(he's really trying to avoid her being adopted), Herriman points out that most imaginary friends are nude. Mac calls him "Pantsless Joe" in response, prompting Herriman to cover his (offscreen) crotch. He's seen wearing a pair of overalls the rest of the episode.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Goo's unseen parents. They let her chose her own name as a baby and have no qualms about Goo spontaneously creating dozens of imaginary friends on the spot.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": "The Bloo Superdude and the Potato of Power" had Bloo tell a story where he painted himself as an overpowered and muscular badass.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Mac and Bloo, which is particularly funny in "Mac Daddy", when they discuss Mac's creation of Cheese as if Mac cheated on Bloo.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: The premise of "Hiccy-Burp;" Bloo gets the hiccups before an imaginary friends beauty pageant and he and Mac initially think he'll be unable to perform if they can't get rid of them, but they end up finding a way to use it in the "Talent" portion of the contest.
  • High-Class Glass: Mr. Herriman's monocle.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: In "Camp Keep a Good Mac Down," Bloo eats all the food that he and his friends brought while en route to the campsite, everyone else struggles to find food in the wild to last the weekend.
  • Hug and Comment: "Mac Daddy" has:
    Bloo: I love you, brother! (hugs Cheese)
    Cheese: I pooted.
  • Humans Are Ugly: Duchess considers Frankie ugly. Then again, she considers anyone who isn't herself ugly.
  • Human Mail: Bloo tries to send Cheese away through the mail. Cheese gets sent back due to insufficient postage — the message on the package says "Postage insufficient to tolerate smell".
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Bloo once Jackie Khones found Madame Foster's favorite doily in comic book story "Penny Saved".
    Bloo: I wonder how that got shoved under the squeaky top stair?
    Jackie: Hey! How did you know it was under the squeaky top stair?
    Bloo: Lucky guess?
  • Idea Bulb: Spoofed in "Cookie Dough;" When Bloo is thinking of an idea to raise money for Foster's to buy a new roof when their current one is leaking, a light bulb imaginary friend hovers over his head, to Bloo's annoyance.
  • Identical Grandson: Frankie looks exactly like photos of a young Madame Foster, and both wear green hoodies and purple skirts.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Done in "Affairweather Friends" when Mac figures out that the rich kid Barry is actually Berry in disguise and ends up falling into a trap, after which Berry goes on a lengthy speech about anticipating that Mac anticipated her scheme and that she knew what he and Bloo would try to do.
  • Imaginary Friend: Well, obviously. The twist here is that the friends kids imagine actually become real, and come to Foster's when their kids outgrow them.
    • Lampshaded in "My So-called wife" where Mr. Herriman explains this twist to a visitor who thinks imaginary friends are only visible to their creators.
  • In a World...: Parodied in "One False Movie;" this is how Bloo starts the movie he made for Mac's school's film festival
    Bloo: (Voiceover) In a world where chaos reigns like cats and dogs in a hailstorm...
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: From the pilot movie: "Let's Bloo (do) this!". The gang even reacts to this.
    • Done several times in "Mac Daddy": Mac and Cheese, Bloo Cheese, and finally "Cheese Louise". Cue Mac's Face Palm.
  • Insane Proprietor: Madame Foster is a little more than eccentric, but she does keep the house running, despite her quirks and the general craziness around her.
  • Insult Backfire: Duchess keeps on trying to insult the Applebees in "Duchess of Wails", but they all assume that her crass remarks and sarcastic comments are supposed to be jokes.
  • Instant Web Hit: The "Funny Bunny" video in "World Wide Wabbit".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: 22-year-old Frankie and Mac.
  • Interrupted Cooldown Hug: Happens during Destination Imagination. Frankie had just calmed World down and made him friendly towards her friends when Mr. Herriman comes barging in and basically reinforces every one of his fears in one fell swoop before attempting to push everyone out of the toy chest. Cue the Unstoppable Rage that literally tears the entire reality of the toy chest apart.
  • Interspecies Romance: Coco briefly pursues a relationship with a yeti in "Mondo Coco".
  • Intoxication Ensues / Mushroom Samba: Mac on sugar, to the point of tearing off his clothes and running naked through the town.
  • Invisible Celebrity Guest: Mel Gibson and Tom Hanks appeared with buckets on their heads.
  • It's a Small Net After All: Averted in "World Wide Wabbit." After finding out a video of him is popular on the internet, Herriman tries throwing out the computer, but Frankie explains to him that's not how it works.
  • Jumping the Shark: invokedReferenced in a Show Within a Show and was literally attempted by Bloo in the Grand Finale.
  • Kavorka Man: Bloo gets attention from Berry even though he's not exactly handsome and a real jerk. Her being completely insane might have something to do with it.
  • Killer Rabbit: Several of the imaginary friends may look cute, but can be very dangerous.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Imaginary Man may seem tough, but all you have to do to make him lose his powers is to throw flowers at him. Not that his designated Arch-Enemy, Nemesister, has it any easier. She loses her powers once you rough up her perfect hair a little.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: Subverted in "Partying is Such Sweet Soree"
    Bloo: (Describing the party to Mac) ...and on the 6th floor, "Ring Around the Rosie" (suggestively, elbowing Mac) If you know what I mean!
    Mac: (audibly confused) Not really...
    Bloo: Yeah, me neither.
  • Learned From The News: In "World Wide Wabbit", the friends try to keep Mr. Herriman from finding out that Bloo secretly recorded him doing a dance for Madame Foster, released the footage onto the Internet and is now viral. When Frankie sees a picture of Herriman in the newspaper, a game of Keep Away ensues to prevent him from seeing it; eventually, Eduardo eats the paper and Wilt suggests that he watch the news on TV. Unfortunately, the station's news team is in front of the house to do an interview — and they're live!
  • Lessons in Sophistication: In "My So Called Wife", Mr. Herriman has to teach Coco how to behave like a lady when a rich benefactor thought that she was his wife and the two were invited into his mansion for the charity. All the while, Mac teaches Bloo what sarcasm means.
  • Let's Meet the Meat: Food-based imaginary friends are shown in the episode "Dinner is Swerved," usually imagined by kids in diet camps according to the chicken leg friend we see.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The human characters always wear the same clothes, as do the few imaginary friends who actually wear clothes.
  • Massive Multiplayer Scam: "Nightmare on Wilson Way" ended with the revelation that the zombie invasion of Foster's was all an elaborate prank on Bloo that everyone in the house was in on.
  • Mathematician's Answer: The seeing-eye friend they try to help in one episode apparently discards any information not related to "this is a danger from which I must keep my child", because when he loses track of the kid, he can't provide a helpful answer; he was in a place when he lost Stevie, and as for Stevie himself, well, he's got arms, a face...you know, standard-issue human stuff.
  • Mean Boss: Mr. Herriman is always demanding Frankie to tend to everything that needs to be taken care of, even when she's busy taking care of something else.
  • Meat-O-Vision:
    • Exaggerated in "Dinner is Swerved", in which Mac and Bloo are lost in the house for several hours and Bloo nearly eats an anthropomorphic chicken leg imaginary friend.
    • Parodied in "Read 'Em and Weep", where Sam Burger and his adopter Ronald get stranded on an island and Ronald hallucinates Sam as a giant chicken leg when he's already a sentient hamburger.
  • The Millstone: In "Berry Scary", Berry tries to convince Bloo that Mac is the Millstone who is preventing him from getting the world record. Ironically, Bloo himself is generally the Millstone to everyone else at Foster's, to the point where in the very same episode he mentions that being a burden is his 7th favourite thing.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Madame Foster. She's one of the shortest of all the main characters - hair notwithstanding, she's roughly the same height as Bloo - while Frankie, her granddaughter, is of average human height.
  • Missing the Good Stuff: The plot of the episode "Where There's a Wilt, There's a Way" involves Wilt missing a basketball game he'd been looking forward to because he can't say no when people ask him for help.
  • Mock Millionaire: In one episode, several charities compete for the attention of a character pretending to be a millionaire.
  • Motor Mouth: Goo always talks very fast.
  • The Moving Experience: The focus of the final episode is that Mac is believed to be moving, which could jeopardize Bloo's immunity to being adopted by a new kid.
  • Mundane Fantastic: Anything a child imagines can come to life in this world. Despite this, the world is otherwise much the same as ours.
  • Mythology Gag: In "House of Bloo's", Bloo is shown at one point watching a Lassie parody. The boy in the show has the same character design as Mac's prototype appearance.
  • Never My Fault: Bloo refuses to accept it's his own fault Eduardo ran away in that episode.
  • No Name Given: Mac's teacher was never given a name.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In "Bloo's Brothers", Mac's classmates imagine weird clones of Bloo, only to leave them at Foster's; Frankie sees the clones and angrily asks the original if he played with Mac's chemistry set again... he says he did, but "these" clones did not come from it.
    • In "Hiccy Burp", the rest of the house forces Wilt to keep practicing his lines for the pageant, remarking that his act last year was a disaster. We never get the exact details.
    • The beginning of "Duchess of Wails" has Duchess angrily fling off a dress Madame Foster made for her and declare that she'd rather go naked. Madame Foster begs Duchess not to go through with it, one of her exclamations being "Not again", which implies that Duchess chose to go naked out of contempt for a dress not made to her liking before.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Mac is eight when the show starts, and does not age for the duration of the show.
  • Not Quite Human: Any child can imagine up any sort of creature whatsoever, meaning it's completely possible to create a convincing, human-like imaginary friend from thin air. Goofball and Prince Charming come to mind. Luckily, the show never quite crosses into Uncanny Valley territory with this.
  • Not So Different: Mac usually plays The Straight Man to Bloo's antics, and is often exasperated by them, but during some of Mac's wilder moments he acts pretty much EXACTLY like Bloo does.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In "Emancipation Complication", Madame Foster feigns obliviousness to how evil Lil' Lincoln is so he won't realize her plan to take him down.
  • Ocular Gushers: Eduardo often cries an assload of tears whenever he sobs.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Invoked as a subtle gag in "Neighbor Pains."
    Mr. Herriman: "So, you wish to adopt Time-Travelling Tina. We shall sorely miss the many fantastic weekly adventures we took with her through time..." (Beat) "But such is life!"
    • Note that the show, which had a new episode weekly, never featured anything of the sort - the joke there is on the audience.
    • Meta Example: Candy Milo revealed in an interview that Coco's lines were never written a "Coco", she was given dialogue in the script and told to just read it as "coco". Meaning, somewhat out there are written translations of what it is Coco is really saying!
  • One-Shot Character: Uncle Pockets only had one major appearence in Bloo Done It. After this he would only get a few Call Backs.
    • World from Destination Immagination would definitely qualify. This was his one and only appearance in the series. Though it's pretty much justified seeing how it was the series finale.
    • The infamous Bendy from Everyone Knows It's Bendy was written out of the show, after the poor reception received from the said episode.
    • Terrence's imaginary friend Red from Seeing Red.
    • Omnizot and the Space Nut Boogies accidently Imagined by Goo in Make Believe It or Not.
    • Imaginary Man and Nemesis from Challenge of the Super Friends.
    • There's also Ivan from Sight for Sore Eyes. The many clones of Bloo from Bloo's Brothers also qualify.
    • Lil' Lincoln and his au pair Moose from Emancipation Complication.
  • One-Winged Angel: World, an emotional unstable Reality Warper, does this when Herriman threatens to leave him locked in his trunk alone again. He goes absolutely berserk and creates a chimera body for himself to destroy the ones who are trying to take Frankie away from him.
  • Only One Name: Most of the imaginary friends have no last name. Neither does Mac.
    • Averted, however, with Blooreguard Q. Kazoo.
  • Only Sane Employee: It's Frankie's job to keep everything from falling into chaos, much to her annoyance.
  • Only Sane Man: Mac and Frankie most of the time - in situations where one of them is joining in on the craziness, the other will tend to be the sane man. If both are being immature, one of them will probably come to their senses by the end of the episode to fill the role.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Parodied in "Adoptcalypse Now" with "Operation Eight-legged-drop-big-purple-scaredy-cat-run-and-scramble" or, in layman's terms:
    Bloo: We're going to drop this big spider on Edwardo, he'll freak out, and everyone will run away.
  • Our Founder: Elwood P. Dowd, of Harvey fame, appropriately enough. The Home itself also has a bust of its founder, Madame Foster, which Bloo promptly... busts.
  • Out of Focus:
    • Most of the human supporting characters — Goo, Terrance and Mac's mom — are largely absent in seasons 5 and 6.
  • Oven Logic: When Bloo is forced to make cookies alone in "Cookie Dough," his attempt to apply this blows up the kitchen.
  • Perpetual Poverty: It may not look it, but some parts show that, being a nonprofit organization with tons of tenants, finances are relatively low. It's pretty telling that Herriman only allows two sheets of toilet paper when going to the bathroom.
  • Pokémon Speak: Coco can only say her own name.
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: In "Room with a Feud", Bloo at one point spies on Peanut Butter by looking through eyeholes on a poster of a basketball player.
  • Potty Emergency: Mr. Harriman prevents Bloo from going to the bathroom in "Busted" through forcing him to follow a series of increasingly inane rules. Bloo finally interrupts him: "GOTTA GO GOTTA GO GOTTA GO GOTTA GO GOTTA GO GOTTA GO!"
  • P.O.V. Sequel: "The Little Peas" is a follow-up to the episode "The Big Cheese" that shows the events of the episode from the perspective of a really tiny imaginary friend named Peas.
  • Precocious Crush: 8-year-old Mac has a crush on 22-year-old Frankie.
  • Properly Paranoid: In "Something Old, Something Bloo", Madame Foster believes the old folks home brainwashes the senior citizens that are kept there. At the end of the episode, she turns out to be right when one of the orderlies admits that mind-altering drugs are used in the pudding they feed them.
  • Pun-Based Title: Most, if not all, the episode titles are puns of some kind. Examples include:
  • Punny Name: Iman Oldcoot, Myron Giant, Sam Burger, Nemesister, Jimmy Shoes, Belly Bob Norton, plus many others.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Wilt ends up sinking in quicksand in "Camp Keep A Goof Mac Down".
  • Quiet Cry for Help: In "The Sweet Stench of Success", Bloo is tricked into signing himself into indentured servitude after he hits it big as a corporate mascot, and being locked away by his agent. As a last resort, he tap dances "HELP ME MAC" in Morse code during a live performance.
  • Quirky Household: The titular foster home is full of quite a lot of eccentric and bizarre imaginary friends.
  • Reality Ensues: Happens surprisingly often, even as entire episode premises. For example, when Little Lincoln turned out to be a scam artist in a The Farmer and the Viper type of plot, sold the imaginary friends to be used as mascots, planning on turning the home into a casino. The only reason he was stopped is Madame Foster tricked the bodyguard (who always got Little Lincoln back off of whoever captured him) and instead of signing it over, chewed on the pen-based imaginary friend to get him to cooperate in confessing his crimes and getting the friends back one by one.
    • Mr. Herriman having trouble working as a grocery store cashier after losing his job as house president. Many administrators often find themselves struggling with ground level or menial jobs. Of course, Fridge Logic comes in given that he looked for every job BUT an administrator, which he was quite skilled at.
  • Reality Warper: Goo has an overactive imagination, which means that she runs the risk of calling new Imaginary Friends into existence by accident (and somehow, she manages not to be creepy). Frankie's new friend, World, controls an entire dimension inside a toy box.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Uncle Pockets constantly speaks in rhyme.
  • Rick Roll: The show's float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade successfully pulled this off in 2008, with a surprise live performance by Rick Astley in place of the float's planned "Best Friend" song.
  • Sadist Show: The series went from whimsical to mean-spirited in only a few episodes.
  • Sanity Slippage: When Madame Foster makes cookies to sell to the townspeople for money for a new roof, Frankie later eats some cookies and becomes addicted to them to the point where she goes insane without them especially when finding out that Madame Foster only bakes them once a year. She sleeps in a sleeping bag outside next to the cookie stand and screams at Mac for being just two minutes late with the cookies and demands him to give her forty dozen boxes of cookies. It gets to the point where she stock piles the forty dozen boxes of cookies and several jugs of milk and is lying on her back in her bed gobbling the cookies and milk down at a fast pace with her eyes bulging with craziness and loses the will power to stop eating them and Mac tries to intervene with no success.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Mac is intelligent, while his friend Goo is perky and eccentric.
  • Schemer: Bloo is often coming up with schemes to get what he wants.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: This is how the parents of the boy who created World viewed him when they locked him in his toy box, and apparently told Foster's such as they kept him in there. However, this is a subversion as World wasn't evil, just misunderstood and just wanted friends.
  • Second Person Attack:
    • In one episode, when Bloo gets punched in the face by a young girl for taking some toy glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth.
    • In another episode, Bloo is spying on who was supposed to be "the best imaginary friend ever", and he knocks out Bloo with a shovel this way.
  • Selective Enforcement: Inverted as a Springtime for Hitler in the episode "Crime After Crime". The episode's B-plot has Frankie cooking something disgusting for dinner, so Bloo causes trouble in an effort to get sent to his room without dinner. Unfortunately the episode's A-plot was Mr. Harriman acting hyper-paranoid over someone discovering his addiction to carrots, leading him to punish everyone else in the house for relatively minor infractions due to thinking they're "on to him" while completely ignoring or even congratulating Bloo.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Many, many, many episodes.
  • She is Not My Girlfriend: Mac, concerning Goo (in the first episode she was in, anyway).
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Sibling Rivalry: One-shot friends Imaginary Man and Nemesister were created by a boy and his sister as an extended outlet for their rampaging animosity. Their creators come back at the end of the episode to adopt them for their own kids.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Bloo is an arrogant prick who thinks he's better than everyone else.
  • Soap Within a Show: The Loved and the Loveless is an in-universe soap opera.
  • Soul Eating: The guys watch a horror movie about a "cannibal ghost", who "scares you to death and eats your ghost".
  • Spotting the Thread: Mac is forced to decide between Bloo and a near perfect impostor, and picks the real one because the impostor's friendship speech is too nice. Mac knows Bloo is a Jerkass.
  • Squashed Flat: Bloo in "Adoptcalypse Now", when a giant, gorilla-like imaginary friend is launched through the window and lands on him.
  • Squishy Wizard: Mac is highly intelligent for an 8-year old, but one drop of sugar and he goes from being the Only Sane Man to making Goo look perfectly sane.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Cheese has a few of these: Mac created Cheese. You know, "Mac and Cheese?"note  Making Mac's two creations Bloo Cheese.
    • When Bloo tries to get Cheese adopted, he offers a package deal with a Ridiculously Cute Critter named... Crackers.
    • Bloo and Berry. As Berry has a crush on Bloo, this is not accidental.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Bloo's the Boss" Bloo finds a cat and names him Chuck. Later when the cat's owner comes to collect him it turns out Chuck just happened to be his real name. The same thing happens when Bloo decides to name an imaginary friend Wally just because "he looks like a Wally." In the next scene, it's revealed that that was his real name, again because he looks like a Wally.
    • In "Duchess of Wails" when Mac's mom tells him they're moving Terrence tells him they're going to Singapore, which Terrence says is all the way in Wisconsin. Cut to Bloo asking Mac, "So you're saying Singapore is not in Wisconsin?"
  • Straw Feminist: Subverted with Nemesister, who doesn't really have a political agenda. She just likes to destroy or sabotage anything that guys like.
  • Survival Mantra: Mr. Herriman chants "A dog is not in the house presently" several times in "Who Let the Dogs In" to try and get over his fear of dogs.
  • Super OCD: Mr. Herriman, to the point where he once made the entire house alphabetize trash.
  • Sweet Tooth: Inverted with Mac; sugar is his G-Rated Drug, making him tear off his clothes and run around outside.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: In the Halloween episode, Bloo believes that everyone in the house has turned into zombies (it was actually an extremely elaborate practical joke that they all orchestrated due their annoyance at him always playing the Spring Snakes in a Peanut Can gag every Halloween). In order to combat them, he steals the candy from a trio of trick-or-treaters and force feeds it to Mac, knowing that Mac in his sugar-induced rampage state is stronger than any group of zombies. Of course, this works out against him when it's all revealed to be joke, considering he ended up creating a sugar-hungry monster on Halloween of all nights.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: Invoked by name by Eduardo during the Funny Bunny crisis. Mac tries to hide all evidence of the Funny Bunny video, including the various clothing many people are wearing. Cue Eduardo running through the house, shouting, "Take off your clothes! Take off your clothes!" The only person who unquestioningly complies is Madam Foster.
  • Talkative Loon: Goo and Cheese. Emphasis on "talkative" in Goo's case, and "loon" in Cheese's case.
  • The '80s: The series takes place in the mid 2000s but one episode revolves around Mac trying to be cool. At one point he stars acting like a stereotypical 80s bad boy.
  • Those Two Guys: Frit and Frat.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Lil' Lincoln and Moose.
  • Tickle Torture: In the episode "Make Believe it or Not", Bloo and Mac are subjected to this via a Robotic Torture Device called the "Insanolizer".
    • In the episode "Race for Your Life, Mac & Bloo", Mac tries doing this to Bloo to make him lose the race.
    • In "The Bloo Superdude and the Great Creator of Everything's Awesome Ceremony of Fun That He's Not Invited To", one of Bloo's hallucinations involves him receiving this from Frankie to make him eat his soup.
  • Toilet Humor: Done a lot with Cheese (and to a lesser extent, Bloo)
  • Tomboyish Name: Frances "Frankie" Foster.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cookies for Frankie.
  • Tricked Into Signing: A producer entices Bloo into signing an acting contract. However, Bloo didn't Read the Fine Print, and it turned out that he had been tricked into signing an adoption paper. The papers ended up being null and void because it wasn't run through Mr. Herriman first.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Bloo after the pilot episode became an obnoxious and self-centered jerk with very few redeeming qualities.
  • Totem Pole Trench: Standing on each other's shoulders as a disguise was done by Mac and Bloo to the point of being a Running Gag. Wilt once substituted as a majority of Orlando Bloo.
  • Troll: Bloo in spades. About 95% of his screen time is devoted to him finding creative ways to troll people.
    • Bendy from ''Everyone Knows It's Bendy is even worse than Bloo.
  • True Companions: They may get into their squabbles, but Mac and Bloo are always there for each other.
  • Tsundere: Frankie Foster, who is a type B. She's a Cool Big Sis to the Imaginary Friends, though she loses it around Bloo and Mr. Herriman.
  • Tulpa: The imaginary friends are thoughtforms taking on lives independent of their creators.
  • The Unintelligible: Coco. Her only dialogue is sequences of "Coco!". Certain characters seem to be able to understand her, notably Wilt and Eduardo, but to most of the rest of the cast she's as unintelligible as she is to viewers.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Bloo's a selfish jerk to everyone.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Mr. Herriman in "Imagination Destination", when he admonishes World for everything he has done right after Frankie has calmed him down. See Interrupted Cooldown Hug for more.
  • Villainous Breakdown: While he's not intentionally a bad guy, World has one at the climax of The Movie when Mr. Herriman threatens to leave him sealed in his toy box alone again, causing him to snap and reduce his world to a white void and go One-Winged Angel. It takes Frankie's kindness to snap him out of it and calm him down.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The main series has Berry, a sociopathic Stalker With a Crush who's willing to commit murder to get what she wants. Good Wilt Hunting has Foul Larry, a rude, violent friend who caused Wilt to lose both his arm and his eye. Destination Imagination has World, a Reality Warper who's severe emotional problems makes him violently dangerous and selfish.
  • Visual Pun: Duchess. At the start of the series, she's full of herself an generally an Alpha Bitch. At the end of the series, she's still full of herself and an Alpha Bitch. The literary term for a character who does not go through any changes is called a "Flat Character." Duchess is two-dimensional (she is literally a flat character model).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Mac and Bloo sometimes, particularly in episodes where Bloo is especially obnoxious and Mac is especially mature. Other episodes show very well that they have more in common than they seem.
  • Walk Into Camera Obstruction:
    • "House of Bloo's Part 1" at the beginning with Terrence where he chases Mac and Bloo. And again with Eduardo and Bloo when Ed is being chased by Bloo.
    • "House of Bloo's Part 2" with Mr. Herriman as he's walking to his office.
    • "Dinner is Swerved" when Bloo is chasing a giant chicken leg.
    • "Adoptcalypse Now" happens twice in a row when Mac chases Coco
    • "Store Wars" with Bloo when he goes up an escalator.
    • "Bloooo" when Wilt, Coco, and Ed chasing white Bloo, Ed fills the screen.
    • "World Wide Wabbit" with Herriman when he goes to his office looking for a file.
    • "Partying is Such Sweet Soiree" when Ed is riding his bike his face fills the screen.
    • "Sight For Sore Eyes": happens twice in a row two times with Bloo and Mac. Once when Bloo is goes after some kid mistaking him for Stevie. And again when he charges at a birthday party.
    • "Squeakerboxxxx" while Bloo is replacing the new squeak toy with the broken one, Eduardo runs in.
    • "The Land of The Flea" Twice. At the beginning when Eduardo is skipping out of his room to the salon. And again when he runs away from monkeys screaming "WHHHHYY?!"
    • "The Big Cheese" with Mr. Herriman when he tries to demonstrate the security system. And again with Cheese and Bloo while all the friends are chasing Cheese.
    • "A Room With a Feud" while Bloo and the others are chasing Peanut Butter, Mac, looking annoyed, walks into the camera
    • "Nightmare On Wilson Way" Three times. When Eduardo hears Frankie come back in the house, he runs screaming her name; then Bloo and Coco follow him. And then Ed, Bloo, and Coco altogether as they run to the foyer.
  • Walking Away Shot:
    • "Phone Home", twice with Bloo; going out to find a friend to take home, and with him chasing the man in the phone suit
    • "The Big Lablooski" with Eduardo about to bowl and Jerkins scares him.
  • Walking Spoiler: In Affair Weather Friends, has a rich boy Barry Bling wanting to have Bloo for himself. Turns out that Barry Bling was just Berry from Berry Scary in disguise.
  • Walk Through The Camera:
    • House of Bloo's Part 1; Where Bloo opens the gate and walks into Foster's.
    • Adoptcalypse Now; Where Bloo is running away from a group of kids.
    • Phone Home; An imaginary bone being chased by dogs
    • Bloo's Brothers; With Bloo pushing Mac to the front of the classroom
    • Better Off Ed; Where Eduardo is looking for Scrappy and gets interrupted by Jackie Khones.
    • This Little Peas; Peas is running about to jump into an elevator
  • Welcome Titles: The title cards.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Mac often admonishes Bloo for his inane conclusions and plans.
  • Wham Line: A rather quiet one in the pilot. When Mr. Herriman tells Frankie that every child eventually outgrows their imaginary friend, she just gives him a knowing smile and says "Yours didn't," then walks past a portrait of the woman who later turns out to be Madame Foster.
  • White Gloves: Mr. Herriman wears a pair of white gloves.
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: Type II is used in an in-universe movie in the episode "Cheese a Go-Go", where a woman who has had her brains sucked out by aliens shushes her love interest and informs him that she's hiding from the aardvarks.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Mac tends to be more insightful and intelligent than your typical eight-year-old, though he can be as childish as the rest of them at times.
  • With Friends Like These...: Mac and Bloo. More prominent in some episodes than in others.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: World from Destination Imagination. Justified since it's his world anyway.
  • Yandere: Berry for Bloo. She's absolutely nuts for him.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: Bloo tries to pull one of these on Mr. Herriman. It doesn't work. In fact, it makes things worse.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing: "Seeing Red": Terrance says to Mac before beating him up "This will only hurt for a second." The line becomes a Running Gag throughout the episode, and at the end is given an Ironic Echo by Bloo: "Don't worry, it'll only hurt for a week."
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Subverted It was only a Halloween prank meant to get back at Bloo. Pretty convincing though.

Alternative Title(s): Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends