Western Animation: Jay Jay the Jet Plane

Where imagination takes flight!note 
The sun is rising high up over Tarrytown
Friends taking off and friends touching down
That's where you'll find that one of a kind
Jay Jay
Jay Jay the Jet Plane
"That's me!"

Jay Jay the Jet Plane is an American CGI/live-action children's television series based at the fictional Tarrytown Airport. It has about 60 episodes and it is aimed at ages 2-6. It is centered around a fleet of talking air vehicles that live in the fictional city of Tarrytown. The episodes are commonly distributed in pairs, with one header sequence and one end credits for each pair, and each pair is 25 minutes long. Each episode contains one or more songs; each song tends to occur in one episode. Produced by John Semper, the series is intended to be educational and teach life and sometimes moral lessons to children (and sometimes also to parents).

While it sounds like a generally harmless, Edutainment Show, it has gained periphery hatedom and been accused of Accidental Nightmare Fuel due to its portrayal of the planes: for some reason, they have large, CGI human faces.


Jay Jay the Jet Plane provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: There are a few episodes where the planes are absent:
    • Jay Jay: "The Merit Badge"
    • Snuffy: "Tuffy's Buried Treasure", "Big Jake's Birthday Surprise", "Catch the Buzz", "Super Sonic Jay Jay", "Hero Herky", "Tracy's Tree", "Evan Gets His Wings", "Switch-Around Day", "Tracy's Treasure Hunt", "Big Jake's Team", "I Love Your Funny Face", "The Great Tarrytown Blackout", "Jay Jay's Dinosaur Hunt", "Dough-Nutty", "Dog Gone Doggy", "Herky's Hat Chase", "I'm Swamped", "Revvin' Evan's Day"
    • Tracy: "Herky and the Opposites Game", "Evan Gets His Wings", "Hiccup Havoc", "Snuffy's Favorite Color" (in flashback only), "The Merit Badge", "Revvin' Evan's Day"
    • Herky: "Tuffy's Buried Treasure", "Jay Jay and the Stars at Night", "Wing Wigglin'", "Snuffy Sees the Big Picture", "Jay Jay's New Wheels", "Snuffy's Favorite Color" (in flashback only), "Big Jake's Team", "Snuffy's Rainbow", "Jay Jay Meets the Cloud King", "Are We There, Yet?", "Problem in Pangabula", "Snuffy Discovers the Ocean", "I'm Swamped"
  • Accidental Misnaming: Happens a lot throughout "I'm Swamped"; since Jay Jay isn't familiar with the word "Okefenokee" and often mispronounces it or uses near-sounding words.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The young planes all have two-syllable names and end with the letter y. Half averted when Lina was introduced, whose name ends with a. Jay Jay's name is the only one that has two words, one for each syllable, and the only name that doesn't have an ē sound at the end.
  • An Aesop: Episodes end with the narrator (sometimes a character) announcing the lesson of the episode.
  • Are We There Yet?: The title and premise of an episode.
  • Art Evolution
  • As the Good Book Says: In the Christian dub, the narrator often phrases such as "and the Bible says" or "as what the Bible tells us".
  • Bowdlerise: Since the words "Gosh", "Gee" and "Heck" are euphemisms for the words "God" and "Hell" respectively, the Christian dubs often replace these words with "Hey", "Oh" or "Well", sometimes they are completely edited out.
    • For example, when Oscar says "Well, by golly gosh" in "Picture Day", it is changed to "Well, spin my prop" in the Christian dub.
  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Cheerful Child: The child planes, but mostly Jay Jay.
  • Christmas Episode: The 2-part episode "Jay Jay's Christmas Adventure".
  • Chroma Key: Used for the humans.
  • Comically Missing the Point
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot
  • Creative Closing Credits: The original closing credits featured a background of Jay Jay flying through the air. When the show aired on PBS Kids, the credits now featured still frames of night scenes from certain episodes.
  • Dance Party Ending: Happens at the end of "Herky Jerky".
  • Disney Acid Sequence:
    • Tracy's song "Candy Crazy" in "Tracy's Candy Catastrophe".
    • Slightly varied in "Color Me a Rainbow" from "Snuffy's Rainbow" the sky changes colors depending which is named off. A rainbow also shines behind Jay Jay and Snuffy and follows their direction.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In "The Buddy System" after Jay Jay returns from a delivery freezing cold, he points out if he doesn't get inside, he'll "turn into an icicle". This is probably a kid-friendly meaning to the death from coldness disease, Hypothermia.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: While the theme song to the actual series is sung by Parachute Express, the theme song to the miniseries "Jay Jay's Mysteries" is sung by Jay Jay himself.
  • Dogfaces: One of the planes has a face that looks like that of a dogface.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Believe it or not, there were actually 12 episodes of the series released direct-to-video between 1994-1996. Known as the "pilot episodes", these episodes differed greatly in that rather than using CGI, all characters were models a la Thomas the Tank Engine (but were still in the Uncanny Valley). There were also no live human characters (they, too, were models), none of the planes had moving faces, and all dialogue and narration was done by a narrator, rather than having a narrator and individual voice actors for each character. Also, in the first four model episodes, Jay Jay was red.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Is the case of various episodes.
  • Easily Forgiven
  • Edutainment Show: Designed to teach moral lessons to viewers.
  • Episode Title Card: Each episode begins with a title card with a freeze-frame shot of Jay Jay flying.
  • Eureka Moment
  • Expressive Wings: Jay Jay's wings go up whenever he gets excited, and down whenever he's saddened.
  • Fake Interactivity: Brenda talks to the audience about various topics during the "Think About" moments.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Free-Range Children: The child planes can fly on their own whenever they want, especially when it comes to deliveries.
  • Friendship Song
  • Glasgow Grin: Parodied; in "I Love Your Funny Face", Jay Jay gets polished up and makes a funny face to win the Funny Face game against Tracy and Herky, but due to not listening to Brenda's advice, the polish dries and his face freezes that way for the rest of the episode.
  • Heroic BSOD
  • "I Am" Song
    • Revvin' Evan has his own theme tune, "I'm Revvin', Revvin' Evan", sung whenever he appears.
    • Inverted in the song "Nobody Does Things Better Than Big Jake".
  • "I Am Great!" Song
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The episodes of the "Jay Jay's Mysteries" miniseries all use the title "The Mystery of (noun.)".
  • I Just Want to Be Special:
    • Snuffy in "Picture Day".
    • Jay Jay in the appropriately-titled "Something Special".
    • Tracy in "Plane of a Different Color".
  • "I Want" Song:
    • "I Wanna Be With You" from "Spending Time With Big Jake" expresses the relationship of Jay Jay and Big Jake as well as the feeling of how the former would rater spend quiet time with the latter.
    • "In The Record Book" from "Super Sonic Jay Jay" is a variation, as Jay Jay points out he wants to be in the record book for the "Fastest Flight".
    • Snuffy's song "Bubble Gum Friend" in "Missing You" shows that he wants Big Jake with him after he leaves.
    • Heavily represented with Jay Jay's song "A Special Something" in the episode "Something Special", with Jay Jay hoping that he has something unique to him.
    • Tracy has the song "My Baby Tree" in "Tracy's Tree" as she vows to take care of baby tree "Ficus" and raise it as her own.
  • The Kiddie Ride
  • Medium Blending: The vehicles are CGI-animated, while the humans and most of the backgrounds are live-action.
  • Motion Capture: The vehicles' faces are animated using this; the voice actors had reflective spots on their faces while dialogue was recorded, then their face movement was transitioned to animation.
  • Musical Chores:
    • "Santa's Little Helpers" from part two of "Jay Jay's Christmas Adventure" has Jay Jay and Tracy singing as they help Santa.
    • In "Problem in Pangabula", Jay Jay, Snuffy and Tracy sing "Clean It Up" as they remove the trash from the river to save the Sparkleberry Tree.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: A mixture of the Alternate Universe and Diegetic types. Normally, when the moment is right, the gang breaks out into a song that fits the situation, or for fun. Other episodes have them rehearsing a song, or performing it for someone.
  • Narrator
  • Negative Continuity
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
  • Nightmare Sequence: One episode has Tracy dreaming about a candy-themed version of the setting, but her wheels stick to the ground since the airway pavement was made of candy, ending the sequence
  • Road Trip Plot: The premise of "Are We There Yet?" plays this straight.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: The live-action human characters.
  • No Antagonist
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • Herky sometimes loses his avoler trill during songs.
    • During the song "That's What Makes The World Go Round", Evan almost completely loses his tough, raspy voice.
    • Jay Jay and Herky sometime seem to slip into each other's voices as a flub (which lampshades both are voiced by the same person).
    • Jay Jay almost slips into Revvin' Evan's voice while singing "I'm a Speedy Guy".
  • Once per Episode:
  • Only One Name
  • Only Six Faces: Jay Jay and Tracy have similar facemolds, as do Herky and Revvin' Evan.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Jay Jay and Tracy; the former is blue while the latter is pink, which lampshades their genders. Also, Jay Jay's wheels are black, while Tracy's are white.
  • Pep Talk Song:
    • Big Jake's song "You Are Unique" from "Hide and Seek".
    • "Watch and Listen", by Jay Jay and Tracy, in "Big Jake's Team".
    • "You Can Count On Me" in "Dog Gone Doggy" has Jay Jay singing to Brenda's dog that he promised to watch him and hopes he'll listen to him.
    • "You Can Do It" from the mystery miniseries.
  • Religious Edutainment: Despite not a Christian series, the episodes were later re-dubbed with a special Christian theme on the Tommy Nelson VHS. The story is unchanged, but the dialogue was altered to make mentions to religious nature throughout.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: The live-action human characters.
  • Sentient Vehicle
  • Sick Episode: The episode "Upsy Downosis" has Herky dealing with a cold that causes him to fly upside down.
  • Series Continuity Error: In "Catch the Buzz", Jay Jay states he's never been to Smiling Meadow before. Whereas in previous episodes, he did.
  • Setting Off Song:
    • "Going There With You" from "Tuffy's Trip to Pangabula".
    • "Okefenokee" from "I'm Swamped".
  • Shiptease:
    • Though not specifically stated, it's implied Jay Jay has a crush on Tracy in several ways. Once he floated so close to her he almost touched her wing, but Herky tells him to give her some room.
      • More hints of their relationship are shown through the songs "Together is a Better Way to Be" and "Santa's Little Helpers"; the former is about their friendship for each other, and they sway back and forth throughout, while the latter has them staring lovingly at each other. In addition, they're constantly smiling at each other throughout the course of both songs.
    • The episode "The Great Tarrytown Blackout" may imply Herky is crushing on Tracy as well.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Basically, the entire show seems to be an aerial counterpart to Thomas and Friends.; the vehicles have human faces on their front, making them sentient, and they interact with humans. They also get into problems which are solved through learning moral lessons.
    • In "Super Sonic Jay Jay", Herky does a Catchphrase shout-out to Superman at one point.
    • The "Clean It Up" song in "Problem In Pangabula" is directly to the tune of Bob Marley's "Stir It Up" - the title is even a play on said song.
    • "Goin' To The Ocean" from "Snuffy Discovers The Ocean" is similar to "Under The Sea" from The Little Mermaid.
  • Story Arc:
    • "Tuffy's Trip to Pangabula" and "Tuffy's Adventure In Pangabula".
    • The 2-part episode "Jay Jay's Christmas Adventure".
    • The Musical Episode "Concert Day at Tarrytown Airport" has its events continued in "Snuffy's Favorite Color", where Snuffy is still trying to guess what his favorite color is.
  • Strictly Formula:
    • Episodes generally follow this format.
      • The episode shows one of the planes dealing with something that has to do with the episode's topic.
      • That character tries to do something, but ends up with a problem.
      • The problem is solved later on.
      • Every episode contains a song which focuses on the episode's main subject, or has to do with a major point in the episode.
      • The episodes end with the important character learning their lesson.
    • During television airings, the show follows this format:
      • The episode begins with a Cold Open, where the narrator introduces the two stories that will play (similar to a "Today on" format). After this, the theme song plays.
      • The first story is shown.
      • The first story is often followed by a mid segment, "Favorite Songs from Jay Jay the Jet Plane", where Brenda shows a music video of a song from a separate episode.
      • The second story is shown.
      • Sometimes after the second story, another "Favorite Songs" segment is featured.
      • The episode concludes with a series of educational "Think About" moments, where Brenda shares various topics with the viewer.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song:
    • In "Snuffy's Snowman", when Snuffy doesn't know how to make a snowman, Jay Jay tells him, "Watch closely, and you'll find out." Cue the building-a-snowman song.
    • In "Snuffy's First Day of School", Tracy tells Snuffy "listen" before she and Jay Jay sing about his new school.
    • Jay Jay also tells Snuffy to listen before singing about the seasons in "Snuffy's Seasons".
    • Jay Jay tells Snuffy to listen to him again in "Upside Down Waterfall" before singing about the laws of nature.
    • In "Snuffy Discovers the Ocean", shortly before singing his ocean song, Jay Jay tells Snuffy, "Wait'll ya hear this."
    • For "Snuffy's Rainbow", Jay Jay suggests singing a song about colors would get the rainbow Snuffy's chasing to come to him. It works.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "Snuffy's Thanksgiving"
  • The Musical: Every episode features a song.
  • Three Shorts: Two side-by-side segments, using "Think About It" moments at the end before the credits.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In "Tracy's Sonic Boom", Jay Jay, Snuffy and Herky are not seen again after they report they hadn't found Tracy.
    • In "Evan Gets His Wings", when Jay Jay sees Revvin' Evan, on a balloon, float away uncontrollably, he goes off to get help, but is not seen again for the rest of the episode.
    • A similar role is given to Jay Jay in "The Great Tarrytown Blackout", where his role is somewhat brief. He disappears after the opening scene, and is not even present in the blackout.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jay Jay gives one to Snuffy in "Snuffy and the Colors of Fall" after he realizes he dropped paint all over the hills.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's unspecified where Tarrytown exists.
    • There is an actual "Tarrytown" in New York, but I'm not sure if the writers knew that.
  • Visual Pun: In "Jay Jay's Bad Dream", Jay Jay sings, "Sometimes I hide my feelings and just wing it" while letting his wings flap a bit.
  • Vocal Evolution: After the characters got a second design, their voices changed as well, with Jay Jay's voice becoming slightly more strained with a slight rasp, and Tracy's voice slightly lower in one step.
  • Youthful Freckles: Jay Jay has these.

The Jay Jay's Mysteries miniseries provides examples of:


Alternative Title(s):

Jay Jay The Jet Plane