Western Animation: Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends
Welcome to Sunny Patch!
Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends (2004-2009) is a CGI-animated series targeted towards preschool audiences that is seen on Nick Jr.. (formerly Noggin) in the United States and Treehouse TV on Canada. The program was briefly removed from Nick Jr. in early 2012, but quickly resurfaced. The series began with the film Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids, which was itself based on a popular series of books by David Kirk. It features the adventures of a spider Mom and Dad and their family of eight children— five spiders and three adopted "buglets" — a dragonfly named Dragon, a jewel beetle named Shimmer and a bedbug named Bounce. Miss Spider is described as being a "fruit spider" and she and her musician husband, Holley, try to teach their children to "Be Good to Bugs."
Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends provides examples of the following tropes:
Adaptation Distillation / Recursive Adaptation: Many stories from the show were released in the numbered series Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Library. Others were released as 8 x 8 paperback books and still others as large picture books in the style of the original books. These are all generally well done, but being picture books, they simplify the plots of the stories.
Backhanded Apology: Squirt and Shimmer do this to each other in "Stumped" after having a fight over a hollyberry. Holley demands that they stop fighting and apologize to each other. "Sorry your ugly scarecrow won't have a head," shouts Squirt and Shimmer retorts "And I'm sorry that you're the world's worst berry thief!" Later, the two apologize to each other for real after they cool off and realize the pettiness of their earlier behavior.
Big Eater: Bounce, though one time was nervous about eating when it came to trying new foods.
Bumbling Dad: Spiderus, once he and Spindella hatch their own little Spiderlings. Spiderus tries to be a perfect parent, but has to learn from Miss Spider and Holley that there are no perfect parents. Additionally, he often tries to show off in misguided attempts to impress his children.
Carnivore Confusion: This is a big one. Miss Spider and her entire family are all vegetarians, either by design or choice. Spiderus often threatens to eat other bugs when he is grumpy or annoyed, though it is unknown if he has actually ever done so. Additionally, an entire special was devoted to a frog named Felix who ate only berries and other plants because he found the taste of bugs awful.
Cartoony Eyes: The page for this trope features an image of several of the characters from this program, and for good reason— there are both characters on this show with life-like insect eyes and ones with cartoon eyes. Some consider it to be rather unsettling.
Cast Herd: Given that there are eight kids, kind of inevitable. Squirt and the three adopted bugs (Shimmer, Dragon, and Bounce) are really the focal characters; the other spiderlings tend to show up as a group.
A Day in the Limelight: Since Squirt and the adopted bugs were really the main characters most of the time, the other kids tended to get side-episodes dedicated to them—such as one revolving around Pansy and Snowdrop's musical aspirations.
Dreadful Musician: Pansy proves to be one of these in one episode... Unless she duets with her twin Snowdrop, in which case, the two of them sound pretty good together.
Halloween Episode: Though as is so often the case with shows like this, they called it something else— Bug-a-Boo Day
Happily Adopted: One of the major points of the series, stemming straight from the original books. Miss Spider herself was adopted and later adopted Bounce (a bedbug), Dragon (a dragonfly) and Shimmer (a jewel beetle.) A later episode features Stinky and Whiffy adopting Grace the ladybug.
Hey, It's That Voice!: Probably the most recognizable is Tony Jay, the voice of Spiderus. In the original film, Miss Spider was voiced by Brooke Shields, but in the TV series, she was replaced by Kristin Davis. Most of the rest of the cast are known almost exclusively in animation, the most well known probably being the voice of Bounce, Julie Lemieux.
Hold Your Hippogriffs: A number of different phrases are used as "bugspeak," including "mayfly-day," "honey-bug," "bugging out" and, wait for it... "hold your horseflies."
I Am Who?: True of Dragon, Bounce and Shimmer, but particularly Shimmer. In The Prince, the Princess and the Bee she goes on a quest to discover if she is, perhaps, a long-lost jewel beetle princess.
Secret Identity: Squirt, who quite accidentally creates himself his own superhero outfit and becomes "Captain Sunny Patch"
Shout-Out to Shakespeare: In one episode where Spiderus plays a king in one of Miss Spider's bedtime stories, he uses lines from Shakespeare.
Single-Minded Twins: Averted with Pansy and Snowdrop, though the whole thing is pretty weird. All of Miss Spider's children were hatched at the same time, so the only way in which these two are really twins is that they look alike. They wear different colored bows to distinguish themselves and have very different personalities and voices. Interestingly, in the original film, they wore purple and pink bows, but in the TV series, Snowdrop's was changed to green to provide greater distinction between them.
The Stinger: In The Prince, the Princess and the Bee, the ants Ned and Ted try to get Miss Spider to bring them home a sweet treat from Mushroom Glen, but aren't successful. The closing credits show them trying Stinky's awful cowpies, but deciding that they don't want them.
Talking Animal: The entire cast. There are no human characters, or even characters with human-like physical features.
That Cloud Looks Like: Squirt and Shimmer do this when they're forced to be together on a tree stump in "Stumped!"
Two-Timer Date: Subverted from the normal way of the trope in "The Thinking Stone." Squirt is scheduled to attend both Lil' Sis's hatchday party and a tuber tuba parade. After finding his own special thinking stone, he solves the problem by inviting Lil' Sis to attend the parade as part of her hatchday celebration.
Yet Another Christmas Carol: Featured in the story "Hum Bug," the title of which is a pun on Scrooge's oft-used phrase. This version focuses on Spiderus, who thinks that the idea that one must do a good deed for someone else or they won't be visited by the dream bug is "Hum Bug."
You Are Grounded: Miss Spider has its own twist on this one— "Stumped!" When Shimmer and Squirt have an argument, they are placed on a tree stump and told that they've been "stumped" and they can't leave until they resolve their argument.