Western Animation: Peg + Cat

Peg + Cat (pronounced Peg Plus Cat) features a young girl named Peg along with her feline companion named Cat. Together, they explore numerous colorful settings and introduce children to basic math concepts with music. The show made its PBS Kids debut on October 7, 2013.

Tropes featured in Peg + Cat

  • A Cat Named Cat: And a pig called Pig, little chicken named Littlest Chicken, a group of teens called The Teenagers (or, The Teens, for short) and many other examples.
  • Anachronism Stew: Occasionally, episodes can feature dinosaurs, Beethoven, superheros, outer space, and medieval settings.
  • Ancient Egypt: An occasional locale. Peg and Cat are friends with Queen Cleopatra.
  • An Aesop: Although the show was created to teach kids about math, there are other lessons taught as well, such as not judging others based on their size and sharing and such.
  • Affectionate Parody: "The Highlight Zone Problem" lightly spoofs The Twilight Zone with the titular zone being Deliberately Monochrome, Ramone serving as a Rod Serling-esque narrator, and an Or Was It a Dream? ending.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: In "The Tree Problem," when Cat is stuck in a tree (see Cat Up a Tree below), Peg opens up a present that she received, hoping for something that might save Cat, and finds a giant coloring book and a kaleidoscope. Deciding that she can stack them up to reach Cat, she asks Cat if he's thinking what she's thinking and Cat quickly replies "No."
  • Argument of Contradictions: Ludwig von Beethoven and the Three Bears have one of these in "The Play Date Problem" and then follow it up with another about the best way to argue.
  • Artistic License:
    • Food: "The Ninja Problem" has Cat tell Peg that "sushi is cut-up fish''. Technically, sushi refers to the rice used in making such dishes, or the dish itself, but not to solely (no pun intended) the fish. Justified in that it's a relatively common misconception among non-native Japanese speakers, and the writers were probably going for simplicity rather than all-out accuracy in a math edutainment show aimed at 4-7 year olds.
    • History: Beethoven doesn't seem to have any trouble with his hearing in this series.
  • Babysitting Episode: "The Baby Problem" has Peg and Cat babysitting Baby Fox for Mrs. Sheep. Soon after, the little tyke gets into trouble by building and climbing a very tall contraption.
    • Brainy Baby: The said baby fox had built the contraption tower.
  • Badass Adorable: Peg
  • Big Friendly Dog: This is the resolution of "The Big Dog Problem". The big dog standing in front of the mailbox — that Peg and Cat keep running away from — is just one of these and even helps them to reach the mailbox so that they can mail their really important letters, once they make friends with it.
  • Catch Phrase: Ramone will usually show up, do something to help out, and mention offhandedly, "I do what I can."
  • Cat Up a Tree: In a pair of episodes, the main problem in both is that Cat gets stuck in a tree. Later on, an episode called titled "Yet Another Tree Problem" showcases the same trope. Inverted in a later episode, in which Peg gets stuck up a tree.
  • Christmas Episode: "The Christmas Problem," where Peg and Cat must do Santa's job when he and the reindeer are accidentally sent into space.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In one episode, in order to restore Wise Wizard Ramone's sparkle, everyone who believed in wizards had to count up to twenty by twos. For those that didn't believe in wizards, "There's a wizard right there. What more proof do you need?"
  • Couch Gag: Every episode's intro has Cat doing something related to the episode's topic while Peg sings the theme song. The background often changes a bit to reflect the episode's theme as well.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The Highlight Zone is this. The only way to restore color to it is to recognize the other differences between it and the "real" world.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: Police Chief Toad has them.
  • Edutainment Show
  • The Eeyore: Richard.
  • Evil Laugh: Discussed during the end-tag of "The Straight and Narrow Problem" when Cat comments that "Villains have weird laughs" and Peg says, "I know, right?"
  • Expressive Ears: Cat has them; they can get quite droopy when he's sad about something.
  • Fangirl: Peg becomes this whenever she's around the Teens.
  • A Girl and Her Cat
  • Genki Girl: Peg often announces and solves problems with pep.
  • Gentle Giants: The giant couple who offer to have lunch with practically everyone!
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The fact that the Teens use the OMG! expression as part of their radical speech in a series aimed at preschoolers is definitely this. The series' Facebook page has actually received some parental complaints about it.
  • Good Luck Charm: Peg always keeps a sparkly marble (among other things) in her hat and occasionally gives it a quick toss before solving a difficult problem.
  • Hammer Space: When performing the "Problem Solved" song, Peg pulls her ukelele out of here.
  • Hippie Grandparents: Peg's grandparents are hippies who still love the sixties, both the set of numbers from 60 to 69 and the decade.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: "The _______ Problem".
    • Episode Title Card: One or more characters show up to announce the title of the episode and then comment on it.
  • Inherently Funny Words: The mention of underwear causes laughter, most notably during the in-between episode segments.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: In "The Sleepover Problem" Peg declares that her sleepover is going to be the best sleepover ever.
  • The Klutz: Cat often indirectly helps Peg by tripping over objects. However, his blunders are not always beneficial to the situation.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Much of the show's charm comes from how they're just as likely to play with their own recurring tropes (such as Peg's Once per Episode freakouts) to various degrees as they are to play them straight.
  • Large Ham: Peg is just as boisterous as most young girls. She has at least one moment when she's "totally freaking out!" per episode, whereupon Cat reminds her to calm down by counting backwards from five.
    • The Pig's usually silent, but when he sings he bursts into a rich operatic tenor that wouldn't be out of place in an opera.
  • The Mentor: Peg and Cat often turn to Ramone if they're stuck with an issue at hand. Interestingly, Ramone appears to be just a few years older than the protagonist rather than being an adult.
  • The Musical: The whole show features singing, from a recurring ditty for solving problems to a tune just for the episode.
    • "The Scrap of Map Problem" and "The Magic Uke" are done near-entirely in song. "I Do What I Can: The Musical" also has a literal musical about Ramone.
  • Name and Name: A variant.
  • Nice Hat: Peg has a wool hat that she is rarely seen without. In "The Mega Mall Problem", she is (briefly) willing to let her neighbor dress her up in a pink dress with frills, pink shoes and pink bow, but insists that "The hat stays."
  • Nobody Poops: Averted in "The Potty Problem." Lampshaded in the Cold Open segment, where Peg asks if they can even say what is making that nasty smell.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Cat is always found with Peg but occasionally Richard the alien or the Pig tags along to help.
  • Non-Nude Bathing: The "Bathroom" segments showcase that Peg bathes in her swimsuit.
  • Once per Episode: When whatever problem starts to overwhelm Peg, she starts "totally freaking out!" It takes Cat holding up both hands toward her in a warding-off pose to get Peg to realize that she needs to count backwards from five to calm down.
    • The "Problem Solved" song is typically sung twice an episode, once for a relatively small problem and a second time with the main problem of the episode.
  • The One with...: Almost every episode is titled "The ______ Problem".
  • Or Was It a Dream?: "The Highlight Zone Problem" ends this way.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: This one is red, bipedal, and loves spheres.
  • Rule of Three: The comedic use of this trope is discussed and even made the subject of a song in "The Clown Problem".
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
    • The titular Arch Villain in "The Arch Villain Problem", who's obsessed with arranging everything in arches. He reforms in "The Straight and Narrow Problem", but then he becomes obsessed with arranging everything...straight and narrow.
    • The Pig falls into this category from time to time, usually when triangles are involved.
  • Shout-Out/Parental Bonus: In "The Big Gig Problem", Ramone demonstrates subtracting 1 from 11 (and that this is like counting backwards) on an amplifier that goes up to 11.
    • In "The Mega Mall Problem," when Peg complains about not being able to see to dance because she's wearing a zebra mask, Cat goes Yoda on her: "Your eyes can play tricks on you. Trust them, do not." (Though, technically, "Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them." was actually Ben Kenobi's line in the original film.)
    • "The Arch Villain Problem / The Straight and Narrow Problem" features a scene-changer that's a star (the one on Super Peg + Cat Guy's outfits) zooming forward against a spinning spiral, a la Batman. At the end of the episode, they tell us to watch them again, "Same Peg time, same Cat channel."
    • The Highlight Zone.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In "Another Tree Problem", the reason that Peg wants to borrow Ramone's giraffes is not because Cat is stuck in a tree again. No, absolutely not.
  • Tickle Torture
    • In "The Golden Pyramid Problem", the dragon threatens Peg + Cat with this, but is unable to because they're protected by a magic cylinder. Peg then uses this on him to get him to reveal what he did with the pyramids.
    • In the Wild West-set Bad Jack shorts, Bad Jack (aka The Pig) and his gang use this as their primary means of terrorizing the populace of the town. The first time out Peg and company fight tickling with tickling, but in "Bad Jack Is Back" she realizes that this will just create a vicious cycle and instead comes up with a way to get rid of both sides' weapons.
  • Title Theme Tune: "We're Peg + Cat, na na na na..."
  • Tomboy: Peg doesn't like to wear dresses and is often willing to be part of the action or get dirty.
  • Totally Radical: The Teens, who often sprinkle their language with "totally" and other hip terms.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Although he is prone to crying, Richard often remarks this when he's attempting to prevent waterworks caused by problems.
  • 20% More Awesome: Averted in "The Three Friends Problem" when Cat draws a graph indicating that Peg used to like him to infinity and now she only likes him to "about this much" (very low point on the graph) but likes Big Dog instead to infinity. Peg tells him that while there are lots of things that can be compared on a graph, her feelings for him can't be compared to her feelings for Big Dog or anyone else and that he'll always be totally special to her. Later, they both sing about it.
  • Vague Age: The Pirates are roughly Peg's size, and tend to act like children who don't yet fully grasp concepts like "sharing" or "personal property"... but two of them have visible stubble!
  • The Voice: At first played straight with Peg's mom (her voice just checks in during the bathroom segments), but then "The Birthday Problem" and "The Big Dog Problem" showcase the mother fully.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Ramone regularly changes from one job to another.
  • Wutai: The Japanese countryside is one of the many settings, and home of Aki, the ninja-in-training. It's Deliberately Monochrome except for splashes of pink for the cherry blossom petals, and looks more like a painting than other locales.