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Stanley (2001-2002) was a show about animals.And that's pretty much what it was about, it was about animals, not that it didn't try to teach lessons just like many other shows of this type.Adventure-ho!Its main character was a first grader named Stanley. His pets are a goldfish named Dennis, a cat named Elsie, and a dog named Harry. He also has an older brother named Lionel. He would use his Great Big Book of Everything to learn about the animals.The series was seen for several years as part of the lineup of the Playhouse Disney block on Disney Channel. Repeats are currently being aired as part of the 24/7 Disney Junior network.
Cassandra Truth: Happens with Stanley on those occasions when he excuses his actions regarding something Great Big Book related by simply telling the truth. "I have to go chase after a snake." (Beat) "Oh, Stanley, don't joke with me like that. You know I hate snakes."
Probably the only preschool series to get away with "stupid" (without it being cited as a "bad word").
In "Whole Lotta Snakin' Goin' On," a python escapes from the Great Big Book and mistakes a vaccuum cleaner for another snake and tries to woo it.
Great Big Book of Everything: Trope Namer. Given to him by his Grandma Griff. A very special book — not only does it contain an A-Z of animals, but it also contains magic properties. Stanley and others can "skidoo" inside it, and the animals can escape from the book. However, even though the book in the show is referred to by its title, we only learn what it contains about animals.
Green Aesop: The Earth Day story "Save the Bluebird," complete with an "Every Day is Earth Day" song peformed by just about the entire cast, including Stanley's pets. Additionally, "The Way of the Buffalo" has a fairly big one about conservation, enough so for Disney Junior to choose it for their Earth Day 2013 airing, despite the Earth Day song in "Save the Bluebird." Occasionally shows up at other times as well, given that it is a show about animals, some of which are threatened or endangered.
Hollywood Chameleons: Defied in "The Color of Stanley"; Stanley becomes a chameleon, thinking it'll be cool to change colors at will. He soon learns that a chameleon's color changes are actually dictated by their moods.
Invisible to Normals / Narnia Time: Either or both may be responsible for why nobody ever seems to notice the absence of Stanley and his friends when they go inside The Great Big Book of Everything.
Once per Episode: Stanley looks something up in the Great Big Book and Harry & Elsie perform their "Great Big Book of Everything" song, much to Dennis's dismay. Except in rare cases that Stanley goes online to look something up, in which case Harry and Elsie have an "online" variation of the song that they perform.
Ostrich Head Hiding: In "Honest Ostrich", Stanley feels he let Marci down when he can't find a soccer ball she let him borrow for a big game, and he wishes that he could hide his head in the sand like an ostrich and forget the whole day. Dennis points out to him that ostriches don't really hide their heads in the sand, and after finding out the truth in the Great Big Book of Everything, he finds out that ostriches really duck their heads in the grass to avoid being spotted by predators. So they tell the kids that one myth is not true, and replace it with a variant on the myth instead? Ostriches don't hide their heads in the grass either to hide from predators. As the description says, they run.
Playground Song: In "Stanley's Dinosaur Round-up," Stanley and his friends perform "The Song That Gets on Everybody's Nerves."
Record Needle Scratch: This is sometimes, but not always, used to introduce "The Great Big Book of Everything" song, or its second verse.
Sanity Slippage: Elsie experiences one when she grows tired of waiting for the butterfly to emerge from its chrysalis in "Caterpillar Countdown."
Shout-Out: In "Horsepower," both when Stanley first looks up horses in The Great Big Book of Everything and when one comes out of it, a bit of the theme from Green Acres is played. Additionally, Harry and Elsie reference the lyrics from the theme of Mister Ed when they perform the "Great Big Book of Everything" song. And in ''Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up," when Stanley asks what kind of animals are at the dude ranch, Mr. Griff states "they have horses, of courses."
Smelly Skunk: The episode "PU Pup" focuses on them. Interestingly in that, while Harry does get skunked, the episode explains that the skunk was just defending itself and they don't stink 24/7.
Status Quo Is God: In "Sheep and a Haircut," Mrs. Griff gets a new hairstyle, which Stanley has to get used to, the aesop being that change can be good. In the next episode, however, her hairstyle is right back to the one seen on her throughout the series.
Tempting Fate: Dennis, every time that he decides that it's okay to say "The Great Big Book of Everything" because Harry and Elsie are A.) sleeping or B.) not around. He seems to wise up a bit as the series continues, but doesn't seem to realize that Harry and Elsie are also clever enough to show up even when someone doesn't say the name out loud, but simply references the book.
That Reminds Me of a Song: In ''Stanley's Great Dinosaur Round-Up," Stanley's Uncle Stew says this word-for-word before performing "Believe in Your Dreams."
Weirdness Censor: On the rare occasions that anyone who is not Stanley, Grandma Griff, or one of Stanley's friends sees any weirdness associated with The Great Big Book (animals that have come out, etc.) or something like Harry & Elsie singing/talking, they will dismiss it as their eyes playing tricks on them or some sort of hallucination.
You Can Say That Again: Stanley says this after Elsie tells him "Boy, do you have a problem" in "Kangaroo Cleanup," so Elsie does so. Harry then enters the room— "Hey, Stanley, did you hear? You have a problem."