Western Animation: Ned's Newt
A Canadian/German animated series by Nelvana
When young Ned Flemkin scraped enough money to buy a pet - a newt (the only animal he could afford) he called Newton, he did not expect that the special "Zippo" newt food he fed it would cause Newton to grow regularly, if temporarily into a humanoid, 6-foot-tall friendly trickster with a penchant for humorous Shapeshifting
The series follows Ned's life in his school (where he deals with his Love Interest
Linda, ditzy best friend Doogle, and local Rich Bitch
Rusty) and in his everyday life, focusing on the zany misadventures he gets through with (and usually because of) Newton to help him.
Tropes exhibited by this series:
- A Boy and His X: Go on, take a wild guess.
- Alliterative Title
- All Just a Dream: Played with at the end of the episode "Jurassic Joyride". When Ned and Newton crash into Gilligan's Island, Newton tries to get Ned to wake up as in The Wizard of Oz, and it works, only for Newton to find out that it wasn't a dream.
- All Trolls Are Different / Mole Men
- Applied Phlebotinum: The Zippo food.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: The Halloween episode, when Ned is home alone and the Frankenstein's monster suddenly shows up at his doorstep (in reality his uncle who's coming by to check on him. He's on his way to a Halloween party, and can't get off his costume on his own).
Ned: It looks like Frankenstein! But he doesn't really exist, does he?
Newton: Hey, you're talking to a six-foot newt that can do this:
(Newton unhinges his upper jaw, causing a weasel in a harlequin costume to pop out of his lower jaw and juggle)
Newton: Face it: The reality level here is a mite thin!
- Beneath the Earth: ...live the malevolent trolls with the ambition to Take Over the World.
- Berserk Button: Don't you ever call Newton a "big blue doofus"; this is what happens:
- Birthday Episode: "New Year's Ned".
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Newton suffers a fate like this after hearing a group of sirens in "The Man Who Would Be Flemking". He then rows the boat from day until night when the boat crashes. Afterwards, this is what happens:
One of the sirens: We just gotta learn a number that makes people applaud instead of rowing to their death.
- Building Swing: One episode had Newton save Ned from a bunch of island natives who were about to throw him into a volcano by swinging across on a vine and grabbing him. One of the natives immediately asks what the vine can possibly be hanging off of, since they are atop a volcano.
- Butt Monkey: Ned, usually.
- Catch Phrase: "Hi, I'm (insert caricature here) and not a newt at all!"
- Closer to Earth: In a rare male example, Mr. Flemkin is usually more down-to-earth than his wife... or at the very least, he's not any more weird than she is.
- Coat Full of Contraband: Episode "Newt York, Newt York": Newton turns into a shady watch dealer (among other things) to try and "blend in with the locals" when visiting New York City.
Newton: Hey buddy, I've got a watch here that's you! Heck, I've even got one that was yours!
- Consolation World Record: Ending of the episode "Broken Record".
- Disappeared Dad: Newton's father never appears in any episodes, unlike his wife/Newton's mother who has appeared in "A Mother Day, A Mother Dollar".
- The Ditz: Ned's friend, Doogle Pluck.
- Emotional Faint: Ned in one episode after realizing that a baby's parents live in another town.
- Exposed Animal Bellybutton: Newton, who even lampshades it once.
- Expository Theme Tune: "There once was a boy who wanted a pet / When he got to the store a newt was all he could get / Brought it home but to his surprise / The newt just laid there, he was barely alive / The pet store owner knew what to do / He gave the boy a can of Zippo Newt Food!"
- Expy: Why, no, the shape-shifting, celebrity-impersonating blue newt is absolutely nothing like a certain shape-shifting, celebrity-impersonating blue genie.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: "Newt's Ned".
- Gainax Ending: In one episode, Ned and his family go on a cruise, and Ned and Newton supposedly get lost at sea, surrounded by icebergs. The episode ends with them turning out to be in the icemaker on the ship.
- Gibberish of Love: Ned, when around Linda.
- Global Ignorance: An episode has Ned trying to lecture a dimwitted schoolmate, and one of the tasks is to place a cutout of Africa on the globe. He puts it on the Moon.
- Granola Girl: Linda occasionally shows signs of this.
- Happily Married: Mr. and Mrs. Flemkin, more or less.
- Impossible Insurance: Plot of "Trouble Indemnity".
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The old guy from the pet store seems to work everywhere else in the city. Sometimes there's more than one of him. His "official" name, in fact, is simply "The Usual Guy".
- "Join the Army," They Said: Newton ended up enlisting Ned into the army without his consent.
- Key Under the Doormat: In one episode, on the doormat is a huge picture of a key and an arrow pointing to one corner of the mat.
- Lampshade Hanging: Frequently.
"If newts are born from eggs, why do I have a belly-button?" (beat)
"Is a poorly-drawn
'x' an inny or an outy?"
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Including set up the "Freaky Friday" Flip in "Newt's Ned".
- Limited Wardrobe: Everyone. One episode lampshades this by having Mrs. Flemkin tell Ned to change his clothes; he proceeds to pull his orange shirt and blue pants inside out, somehow turning them into a blue shirt and orange pants, and wears them for the rest of the episode.
- Literal-Minded: Newton, at times.
- Love Makes You Dumb: A lot of times when Ned is around Linda he turns into a drooling imbecile.
- No Ending: One episode ends this way while Newton is complaining about episodes that end early in favor of more advertising time.
- Noodle Implements: A bicycle pump and a rubber duck can seemingly solve all problems. Newton never got the chance to use the method, though.
- Official Couple: Ned and Linda.
- Only Child Syndrome: All of the kids seem to be only children.
- Only Sane Man: Ned, very much so.
- Orange/Blue Contrast: Ned wears a bright orange shirt; Newton is entirely blue.
- Overly Long Tongue: Newton, when he's a small newt.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: As long as Newton is wearing human clothes, no one seems to notice that he's a 6-foot tall, blue-skinned freak.
- Plot Hole: In the pilot, Ned pays exactly $1.65 (all of the change in his piggy bank) for Newton; the pet store owner actually rips him off, because the price list said $1.49. However, in a later episode, Ned loses his "lucky penny", described as such because it was his change when he bought Newton, even though we were explicitly shown the original transaction.
- Prank Call: Demonstrated in the first episode. After Newton breaks Ned's parents' juicer by accident, Ned attempts to call (presumably) the pet store owner that he has to return Newton, by which the latter overhears and attempts to prank call people while shapeshifting into various characters; however, after he morphs into a refrigerator repairman Ned hangs the phone.
- Quirky Town: Friendly Falls, the show's setting.
- Real Dreams Are Weirder: Newton's dream in "Broken Record" has a bunch of nonsensical elements, such as changing backgrounds and cheering people turning into beavers/squirrels, and then pudding.
- Rich Bitch: Rusty McCabe, a rare male example.
- Rube Goldberg Machine: Ned and Newton do a short one at the start of "Jurassic Joyride".
- Basically, it involves a vehicle on a racetrack, which takes a pair of scissors with it. The vehicle then reaches a rope that the scissors cut, causing a toy dog tied to a balloon to start floating. The balloon then gets popped by a drawing pin, making the dog fall and trigger its parachute, but not before finally landing on a bucket of water.
- Running Gag: These gags span the episodes of all three seasons.
- Mrs. Flemkin finding (and shooing) a crow in the kitchen (or any other room in their house).
- See Unusually Uninteresting Sight, below.
- Newton's solution to various problems involving a rubber duck and bicycle pump (which he never gets to use).
- Quahogs in a barrel (or other container) which sing M-O-T-H-E-R by Howard Johnson. Sometimes Newton will interact with them, saying later or not by the time.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Rusty. The town mayor is his parents' old friend, and is more than eager to bend the rules of the great city scavenger hunt in his favor ("Remote Possibility"). Same happens when he takes Linda for a date to an amusement park owned by his parents, and inexplicably seems to win all the time. ("Carnival Knowledge")
- Sewer Gator: In the episode "Newt York, Newt York", Ned is excited to go to New York City for the weekend because an xylophone note is on sale there, but his parents cancel it after hearing the urban legend that alligators live in the sewers. Ned and Newton go to NYC anyway, and try to "blend in with the locals" (e.g. when Newton turns into a shady watch seller, see Coat Full of Contraband above) until they fall into a manhole by accident that leads to the sewers. Soon they come across the alligators that lived in the sewers ever since their musical on Broadway closed down. They help the alligators find a pipe that leads back to their home in Florida, and one week later Ned finally gets the xylophone note that he wanted.
- Spoof Aesop: Ned and Newton build a gigantic corporation by acquisitions and then let it collapse in on itself when they tire of it. As Ned enters his house:
Dad: I hope you've learned your lesson from this.
Ned: I sure have, Dad. Never buy a company on leveraged credit.
- Straight Man: Ned, to Newton.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Newton, when he's impersonating a human, will often describe himself as "not a newt at all".
- Talking Animal: Newton.
- The End... Or Is It?: The ending of the episode "Happy Blood Altar Ring To You".
- TV Never Lies: Ned's parents believe this.
- As shown in "The Show Must Go Off", the ENTIRE TOWN thinks this.
- Two-Timer Date: One episode has Ned inadvertently find himself on a date to practically every girl in the school (largely because of Newton). Newton is little help, since he just cites the example of the "sea newt" which mates with hundreds of females before they gang up and eat him.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A Running Gag is for Ned's parents to enter his room just as he's talking to Newton, upon which Newton quickly transforms into something supposedly innocuous... like the Venus of Milo, or "the big metal thingy for affixing a ship." Ned's parents comment on this, but never seem to mind.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Newton. Into pretty much anything (often into a pop culture reference).
- Whole Plot Reference: Several episodes take this form, including one to Citizen Kane ("Citizen Ned").
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: The old guy from the pet store, who also seems to work everywhere else in the city.