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PB&J Otter (1998-2000) is an American animated series created by Jim Jinkins of Doug fame. The show centralizes on its three otter siblings, Peanut, Butter and Jelly, who live with their parents on Lake Hoohaw, where everyone lives on a houseboat. Each show presents a problem which the otters solve after doing the "Noodle Dance". The show lasted for three seasons on Playhouse Disney. Reruns were aired on the Disney Junior channel in the U.S. from 2012-2014.
Acrophobic Bird: Flick can fly, he's just afraid of heights. He eventually gets over this in order to grant the wish of a new friend during the Hoohaw Hoo.
Peanut: How cool it would be to have central hot chocolate?
Are We There Yet?: The opening of the "When Are We Gonna Get There?" song opens with Flick asking this question and then the group singing a song asking about just when they're going to get where they're going.
Argument of Contradictions: In "Kid Court," Peanut, Jelly, and Baby Butter are having an argument over which of them should get to watch their favorite TV show. They decide to have Pinch solve as a judge in a mock court and Peanut has Flick testify on his behalf. Flick says that Pinch must rule in Peanut's favor because of Peanut's Law, which states "that if your name is Peanut and the ring toss relays are on, then you get to watch them." Jelly protests that Flick is making that up. "Am not!" "Are too!" "Am not a hundred times." "Are too a hundred times infinity!" "Ooh, she's good."
Argumentum Ad Nauseam: In "Kid Court," Baby Butter's side of the case in the Kangaroo Court held to determine which TV show should be watched consists simply of her shouting out the name of her favorite show, Baby Lovey, over and over.
Balloon Belly: Jelly imagines herself with one in "Otter in the Water".
Baseball Episode: "Mama Peanut" has Peanut playing baseball with Munchy and Flick.
Baths Are Fun: "Tub 'O Butter" had Peanut and Jelly in the bath singing about how fun it was. Then, however, their little sister Baby Butter didn't want to take a bath, so they had to find a creative way to make it fun for her. They eventually managed it by getting her to take a bath in a tub that was being used to hold potatoes.
Bindle Stick: When Flick fantasizes about running away in "Ducking Out On Valentine's Day," there is one sitting next to him in the train he's riding on.
Blatant Lies: "How many times have I told you? I'll use my noodle, but I'm not dancing."
Body Pocket: Ernest finds a missing walkie talkie in his "pocket" in the episode "Trading Places."
Bucket Helmet: Johnny Pompalope (the Lake Hoohaw equivalent of Johnny Appleseed) in "The Johnny Pompalope Story".
Busy Beaver: Munchy is a beaver who will eat anything made out of wood. This has both put him into and helped him out of jams, such as the episode where he accidentally ate Pinch's dollhouse, but later rebuilt it.
The Bully: The kids of Lake Hoohaw cast Flick's cousin Billy as this after he told them a story about how once, when he was really young, Billy sat on him for four whole minutes. This was exaggerated in re-tellings to four whole hours and later four whole days. They even made up a song about it - "Big, Bad Billy the Duck." After Billy came to visit, the truth came out - one time Flick insisted on trying to give Billy a piggyback ride over Billy's objections and Billy fell on top of him and Flick was squooshed for something like five seconds. Flick had remembered it all wrong.
Apparenly Mayor Jeff really likes bathroom fixtures because another episode shows his house-boat being full of sinks.
The Cameo: In an episode of Pinky Dinky Doo, Ootsie and Bootsie have cameos in dog cages. Porkchop and Stinky from Doug, and Harry, Dennis and Elsie from Stanley have cameos as well m
Cool Aunt: Aunt Nanner, who is a very cool aunt to Peanut, Baby Butter and Jelly. Around the end of the series, she gets married to Redolfo, who is rather cool in his own right.
Crazy Enough to Work: Jelly's reaction to Peanut's suggestion in "Three's a Crowd" that Mama will have time to pay attention to them if they help her take care of the Muskrat babies.
Crying Wolf: "The Duck Who Cried Wolf." Also, in "Come Back, Little Monster," the other kids accuse Jelly of this because she said there was a monster, but they didn't see it. Jelly was telling the truth, at least about seeing what she thought was a monster, though it turned out to actually be a manatee (an anthropomorphic manatee, like the other anthro characters).
Deadpan Snarker: Connie Crane. She's aware her husband, Cap'n, is an idiot at times, and just has fun with it.
Disappeared Dad: Flick has no father shown on the program. His Dad never even gets a mention.
Additionally, Munchy's father has been mentioned several times but is never seen. It's implied that his parents are divorced (another character comments that Munchy's dad doesn't live with them anymore.)
Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: Straight with all of the Raccoon family members except Mr. Raccoon, who works on the recycling boat at night and sleeps during the day
PB&J and Flick imagine Simon doing this twice in the snow when they come up with ideas of how to make him fly in "The Ice Moose"
In "Thanks For the Giggle Melon" the characters leave imprints of their bodies when they lay in the snow.
Enfant Terrible: A mild example with Flick Duck. Flick generally behaves very sweetly and nicely around adults, with "Yes, sir" and "No, ma'am" and all of that, but often gets up to mischief the second he's out of their sight, or at least he thinks he is. He's not without a conscience, though, and can also sometimes be genuinely friendly and nice.
Everybody Laughs Ending: With a fair bit of regularity, particularly if the story itself was mainly humorous in nature.
Facewing: Connie Crane in "I'll Be Your Best Friend" when her husband falls into the lake after craning to get a look at Bucky Spacebeaver's showboat; Flick later on in the same story after Munchy brings Peanut a chocolate-and-tuna flavored cake and he realizes he's just been outclassed.
Fantastic Flora: Numerous, including babbleberries, pompalopes, pompanuts and giggle melons. Most of these are just fantasy equivalents of real-world plants, but the giggle melons actually make you giggle when you eat them.
Fantastic Racism: In "Follow Your Nose," when Flick is afraid of a family of mole people
Flick: Ah, cheese and quackers. Don't you know about moles?
Flick: They're these strange creatures that make dark tunnels under the earth. They're martial arts experts and they carry these numchucky stick weapon thingies. ... Moles wear these dark glasses. That proves they're hiding something... Moles can't stand ducks. Or otters.
Forgiveness: Seen in the story "Forgive Me Not" in which Jelly learns to forgive her best friend Pinch for ripping her cape
Friendly Tickle Torture: "Butter's First Check-Up" has various characters getting tickled throughout as part of a game, "Tippecanoe and Tickle Me, Too." Any time you trick someone into saying it, you get to tickle them. When Baby Butter has to have a checkup at the dentist, it's how Peanut and Jelly get her to open up her mouth so that her new tooth can be examined, by getting her to giggle.
Furry Confusion: Flick is a talking, anthropomorphic duck but there are plenty of non-sentient birds on the series.
Furry Reminder: The characters behave mostly like humans, but there are reminders such as Munchy having a fondness for wood and the poodles sometimes speaking to each other in their own bark-like language.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Bubbles' Beginnings" the fish (originally belonging to Ootsie and Bootsie) runs away to PB&J. When they're told by their parents that they have to give them back, Peanut responds with a euphemism for the F bomb.
Peanut: Even if Ootsie and Bootsie don't give a flip about Bubbles?
Girly Girl: Pinch. Oh man, Pinch. Pink dresses, playing dolls and tea party...
Glad I Thought of It: Flick in "Soap-Box Derby Day" after Peanut decides that the kids should have a soap box derby race. Almost certainly plenty of other instances as well, for example, this gem from "Gotta Dance:"
Cap'n Crane: Watchbird alert! Watchbird alert! Wanda Raccoon just dropped all the pies into Lake Hoohaw. Hoo hoo. Connie, what are they going to do now?
Connie Crane: I guess they could think of another kind of contest.
Cap'n Crane: I've got it! They could think of another kind of contest! (Connie looks aggrieved.)
Guilty Pleasures: After Peanut and Jelly agree to let Baby Butter watch her favorite show, Baby Lovey, in "Kid Court," Flick falls in love with the show.
Hey, That's My Line!: In "Otter in the Water", Jelly doubles this trope after Peanut suggests a Noodle Dance:
Jelly: Wait a minute. That's my line. What happened to Mr. Don't Want to Dance?
Homeschooled Kids: None of the kids are shown attending school at all, nor is a school ever even mentioned , even though the program depicts a Slice of Life focused mostly on kids that are aged from around 3 to 8. Therefore, it seems likely that they're homeschooled and/or self-taught and the reason it's never mentioned is the media taboo on homeschooling. (The company that created this show would later created a Christian program called HoopDogz for direct-to-DVD, though Otter never featured overtly Christian messages, but still the types of Aesops that many Christians [and many good people in general] would agree with.)
I Can't Dance: Peanut in "Gotta Dance." "I can't dance! I'm gonna look goofy!"
Idea Bulb: Always seen at the end of a "Noodle Dance" when a character gets an idea.
Idle Rich: Possibly both Mr. and Mrs. Snootie, who seem to have no regular jobs. Mr. Snootie likes to bid people good-bye by telling them to "Have a rich day!"
Mr. Snootie works for Mr. Big Dog, who nearly buys up all the properties on Lake Hoohaw in the Grand Finale. Mr. Snootie doesn't see any problem with this because he enthusiastically tells all his friends that they'll be richer if they accept Mr. Big Dog's terms. In the end, Mr. Big Dog comes to appreciate Lake Hoohaw the way it is and doesn't drain the lake or force anyone to move. It's heavily implied in that episode that Mr. Snootie and Mr. Big Dog are both in real estate and/or land development.
I'll Be Your Best Friend: This is the plot of a story on the show by the same name. The story features both Flick Duck and Munchy Beaver using this tactic on Peanut Otter to try to get his extra ticket to a radio show, endlessly trying to do his chores and give him favors to get the ticket in question.
Imaginary Friend: Baby Butter has her "Buddy" in "Sherlock Otter," Jelly had an invisible octopus friend named Bobo when she was about Butter's age.
Jerkass: Flick at times - his mother, a single mother for unknown reasons, is out of her league and has no idea how to handle him.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Flick's conscience will often compel him to apologize for misbehaving. He's also been shown to display random acts of kidness such as rescuing Butter's favorite balloon, congratulating Jelly for winning a singing contest, and trying his hardest to grant a younger child's holiday wishes.
Kangaroo Court: In "Kid Court," one was held to determine whether Peanut or Jelly would get to watch their favorite TV show, with Pinch as the judge. She ruled that their arguing was annoying her so much that she was throwing them both in jail until they could learn how to work out their problems civilly. Also comes complete with Peanut attempting to bribe Judge Pinch.
Just a Kid: Invoked by Peanut, Munchy and Flick in "Mama Peanut" when a baby turtle keeps following Peanut and calling him "mommy." They sing a song about how they're all just kids. Peanut eventually goes off on the little turtle, only to then feel guilty. He apologizes and tells him that though he can't be his mommy, he can be his friend. At the end of the episode, Peanut asks his parents if it's okay for him to keep having fun being a kid as he grows bigger. They agree and a reprise of the song is performed.
Kid-Appeal Character: In a series already for children and featuring mostly children as the characters of Focus, Scootch
Leitmotif: For the Snooties, a pompous theme with a classical feel to it
Less Embarrassing Term: Peanut Otter doesn't have a Bucky Spacebeaver doll "It's an action figure!" And Ootsie and Bootsie don't have "dollies." They're "pillow poodles."
Flick does this at the end of "Flick's Big Fakeout" after he is caught drawing a heart with a picture of himself inside it on Pinch's cast. "It's not a heart. It's a circle. See? It doesn't close in here." "It's a heart!"
Lyrical Dissonance: Jelly singing about friends and family keep her strong and being true to herself at the same time she lets fame go to her head in "The Singin' Kid."
Momma's Boy: Munchy, and Flick, though he would never admit it. It's obvious, though, that his mother has decorated his room.
The Moving Experience: Seen in the premiere episode "Bye Bye, PB&J" with the Otters and then again in the third season with the Raccoons
Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Seen in "It's a Bird, It's a Plane... It's an Elephant?" Scootch gives one after Flick shoots him a dirty look for mocking him. Flick himself also gives one in the premiere episode "Bye Bye, PB&J."
Once per Episode: The Noodle Dance, save for a few rare instances where it is used more than once.
One of the Boys: Baby Butter seems to prefer to hang with her brother and the boys rather more than Jelly and Pinch, and they've more or less come to accept her.
Out-of-Character Alert: After Flick asks "Can't a duck get some peace and quiet?" in "Eye Spy," Jelly comments "Peace and quiet? You? Now I know something's wrong."
Out of Order: Save original broadcasts, holiday or seasonal-themed episodes are aired out of order and this practice has continued on Disney Junior.
In early November 2012, Disney Junior aired episodes of Jake and the Neverland Pirates in the Otter timeslot with no explanation and little advance notice. When airings of Otter resumed, rather than airing the skipped episodes, they picked up exactly in the point of the continuation as if the previous airings hadn't been pre-empted. Fortunately, no major specials such as "Hope Castle" were skipped and the network doesn't show any signs of planning to discontinue airings of the program (the first season is on the schedule once the third ends), so hopefully those skipped installments will be picked up on the back-end.
Picture Day: "Picture Perfect," the thrust of the story is Peanut and Jelly trying to keep Baby Butter from getting Covered in Mud. "We need good clean fun, three dirty little words! Good clean fun - words she's never really heard!"
Precocious Crush: Flick sometimes mentions Mia Lamb a No Celebrities Were Harmed soccer star. She actually visits towards the end of one episode (her former coach had gradually warmed up to the Otter family's hospitality and he gets Mia to come along, too.) Flick faints the instant he recognizes her.
Primal Fear: In "Follow Your Nose," Jelly is afraid of going into dark underground tunnels, but the Moles help her to get over it by showing her how to navigate using senses other than vision.
Quote Mine: The Snootie children pull this in "Invitation to the Snooties" to trick their father into agreeing that they can have a twenty-eight foot ice-cream frog that croaks "Yankee Doodle" for their party.
Eduard: Who ordered that? Huh?
Bootsie: You told us we could have it, Daddy. Don't you remember?
Bootsie (on tape) Can we have a giant 28-foot ice cream frog?
Ootsie: That sings "Yankee Doodle"?
Eduard: (on the tape, but from a conversation he had with someone else over the phone) Absolutely, that's a capital idea. (to Ootsie and Bootsie) Huh, well, so I did.
Reading Is Cool Aesop: Possibly enforced, as if the characters were seen reading anything, it was usually comic books, but an episode late in the show's run had them singing about how great reading adventure books was.
Rhyming with Itself: The "Good Clean Fun" song in "Picture Perfect" has "Some routine that is clean / And our clothes not wrinkled / We can stay all pressed and pure / And we won't get wrinkled."
Rich Bitch: Literally with the female members of the Snootie family, who all happen to be poodles.
Rich Boredom: The Snootie kids so much - despite all of their fancy toys, they're often bored to tears.
Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: The Snootie Poodles, often. The Snootie children are so spoiled that by afternoon they consider new toys they got that morning "old."
Running Gag: After a Noodle Dance, one of the characters makes an impractical suggestion often relying on some sort of technology they don't have:
Jelly: We get us a time machine, and we go back in time...
Peanut: Jelly! You have a time machine, and you didn't tell me about it!?
A character gets hit in the face with food or drink or is splashed. Happens at least twice in the opening sequence, but also happens throughout the series. Scootch is a likely culprit, but anyone could be guilty.
Scare Dare: A dark cave that Peanut and Flick go into after Flick issues a "Double Duck Dare"
Screen Tap: In the "Tippecanoe and Tickle Me Too" song in "Baby Butter's First Checkup," the otters three tickle the screen.
Spoof Aesop: Seen at the end of "Special Delivery" and possibly other stories as well
Invoked by Peanut and Jelly in "The Duck Who Cried Wolf" after their Mom reads them and Flick the tale of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Flick gets the correct aesop, then spends most of the remainder of the episode showing that he didn't actually understand it.
Start My Own: In "You Can't Come In," everyone decides to build their own clubhouse.
Stock Aesops: Any number not already mentioned, including "All that glitters is not gold," "Follow your dreams," "Don't be shy," "The grass is always greener on the other side..." and more.
Stock Ness Monster: In "Come Back, Little Monster," when Jelly is trying to convince her friends that the really is a monster, she takes a blurry picture of Pippin (a manatee, and the supposed "monster") that bears a resemblance to typical photos of the Loch Ness Monster.
Sweet Home Alabama: Although the program is never stated to be anywhere other than "Lake Hoohaw," many of the characters speak with a southern United States sort of accent and advocate a style of life that seems to match very closely with the best ideals of Southern hospitality. Additionally, much the show's music, particularly the instrumental cues, has a southern twang to it.
Tagalong Kid: Baby Butter, sometimes. One of the show's stories is called "Butter Tags Along."
Team Spirit: Often comes up, and one of the stories has a song about it. "With a little bit of teamwork we can make this dream work out / Lots of hands make light work, that's what teamwork's all about."
Tell Him I'm Not Speaking to Him: Jelly and Pinch put Peanut in the middle of this in "The Silent Treatment," to the point where he collapses on the ground from tiredness of running back and forth between them.
Tempting Fate: Peanut in "Mega Melon" right before the pompalope bursts, likely in other installments as well
That Cloud Looks Like: Peanut and Jelly in the opening of "It's a Bird, It's a Plane... It's an Elephant?" and the basis of the song "Imaginings."
That Makes Me Feel Angry: Suggested to Munchy by his mother when he keeps his feelings to himself in "Be Nice to Beavers Day."
Took a Level in Kindness: Flick Duck. He starts out as deliberately mischievous, teasing Jelly about her inability to swim, daring Peanut to go into a spooky cave, and making up stories just because he can. Gradually, Flick learns to treat his friends better and the lesson sticks. He offers sincere congratulations to Jelly in "The Singin' Kid", apologizes when one of his stories scares baby Butter, is more willing to listen to Peanut's suggestions, and even stands up to Mr. Big Dog when the entire community is in danger of being sold and destroyed.
Trope 2000: Ootsie and Bootsies' toys are often named in this manner. Additionally, they sometimes say that they have "Version 2000" of something and that it's "twice as good as version 1000." Mayor Jeff's "Gizmotronictron" is also named in this manner.
Unmanly Secret: Both Peanut and Munchy refer to their Bucky Spacebeaver toys as "action figures" instead of "dolls" to try to preserve their perceived manliness. Additionally, Flick Duck tends to behave very secretively about any behaviors or hobbies of his that would be perceived as girlish or too childlike.
Unwanted Glasses Plot: Inverted with Flick in "Eye Spy"; he's worried everyone will think he looks dumb in his glasses, but nobody cares.
Unwanted Rescue: Peanut, Jelly, and Baby Butter refuse a rescue by "Glasses Boy" in Flick's fantasy sequence in "Eye Spy" - they want to be rescued by a "real superhero."
Very Special Episode: Three in season 2, three in season 3. Easily distinguishable in that it is a half-hour episode and has up to four times more songs than regular episodes.
"Follow Your Nose" was written in part with the consultation of the American Council for the Blind and features comics in Braille and characters learning how to navigate using senses other than vision.
Flick: Peanut Otter? Lake Hoohaw's strongest kid? We'll just see about that!
You, Get Me Coffee: When Flick is appointed "Kid Mayor" of Lake Hoohaw, he appoints Peanut, Baby Butter and Jelly as his assistants and makes his first order to them to get him food.
Youngest Child Wins: Baby Butter gets an entire celebration to herself when she finds a piece of jewelry Mrs. Snootie lost on the beach. Her siblings get grounded on the same day. There's also the fact that Butter rang the bell and helped Mrs. Raccoon avoid a boating accident, and that she befriended the lighting bugs that helped the Otter family get home when it was otherwise too foggy to see. For a 2-year-old, she's very resourceful.