"We've got the whole wide world in our yard to explore..."
— Opening theme
A Canadian-American 3D CGI-animated series broadcast all over the world, mostly at Nick Jr. The series debuted in 2004 and ended in 2010.The cast are all young Funny Animal friends: Pablo the penguin, Tyrone the moose, Uniqua the... ladybug, we think, Tasha the hippo, and Austin the kangaroo. All five live in what appears to be a suburban cul-de-sac with a large common backyard area.We open on one or more of the characters in the backyard playing "pretend", setting up the scenario for the viewer in a song and dance which also reveals the episode's musical genre. Then things segue into a sort of holodeck-style fantasy — whether in the kids' imaginations or literally isn't quite clear — in which the backyard is transformed into the setting of the story and the characters dressed in appropriate costumes. From here the quest is treated entirely as if it were real...albeit clearly based off a child's logic...and frequently interrupted by musical asides.Many episodes feature typical kiddie fantasy scenarios — cowboys, superheroes, pirates, explorers — but some are more sophisticated, and in later seasons especially several are full-on parodies of adult action-adventure: Bond, Star Trek, Indiana Jones etc. Further blurring the line between reality and imagination, the setting they create doesn't always stay within their control. Characters who weren't seen initiating the fantasy frequently show up within it, occasionally operating completely unbeknownst to the others, and the different plotlines collide in unexpected ways. The only absolute requirement is that a story contain no more than five characters, since no other speaking parts appear (excepting a couple one-offs in specials).There seem to be no space or time limits while the fantasy is in progress, but in reality it never lasts longer than an afternoon, since it's always dispelled by somebody's stomach conveniently rumbling just after the adventure ends. They race home for snacks, giggling, the story setting disappearing behind them as they go. The only indication that anything out of the ordinary just happened is Tyrone's comment: "That was an excellent _________ adventure, don't you think?"Notable for its heavy use of original music (overseen by Lounge Lizards founder Evan Lurie), in a different genre — and usually not the one you're expecting — in each episode. The photorealistic dance moves that have likewise become a series trademark are originated by live-action dancers performing as each character to that show's music; according to the creators, this process also gives the characters much of their individual personality.For some, this general ideasounds familiar. However, the excellent music alone, an expertly affectionate tribute to the genres in question, makes this show a standalone winner. It has also managed to pick up a sizeable Periphery Demographic as one of the few current children's programs to work on multiple demographic levels simultaneously, attracting preschoolers who just love to dance to the fun sounds, elementary-schoolers who want creative storylines and adults who can appreciate the details of the musical scores and genre parodies. Refusing to use Fake Interactivity or otherwise try to hammer home a lesson, the show effectively celebrates intelligence and creativity without preaching about either one.
Thanks to its genre-hopping nature, this show tends to run through a lot of standard Examples, often in a single episode:
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A Boy and His X: Austin and Boy (a dinosaur) in "Caveman's Best Friend", Tyrone and Molasses (a burro) in "Horsing Around", Pablo and Mitty (a bath mit) in "Robin Hood the Clean", and Uniqua with Sea Squirt (a dolphin) in "The Great Dolphin Race".
A particularly ridiculous example is "Break Out!": the story takes place at a tower in a high fantasy world... that happens to have a Laser Hallway, security cameras, an elevator, and guards with radio headsets.
Art Evolution: The character designs were retooled a bit for the second season to up the cuddliness level, especially for Tasha and Austin. Here's a proof.
Aside Glance: A lot. Especially for Uniqua and Tyrone. The most noticeable one is in "Castaways" when Uniqua — realizing that Tyrone and Pablo seriously don't realise that it was Austin who helped them — turns to look straight at the camera and then shrugs her shoulders. Earlier in the same ep, after the coconuts roll in, Uniqua side-glances at the audience for a split second and then says "Maybe we're not alone here after all".
Pablo shoots the camera an "I don't believe this" look after Tasha takes credit for finding the Yellow Lotus Flower in "The Key to the Nile."
Asteroid Thicket: Tyrone, Uniqua, Pablo, and Tasha all drive through one in "Cops and Robots" and sing a song about it.
Bag of Holding: Ohhh boy. The ultimate example would probably be Uniqua and Pablo's trunk in "To the Center of the Earth", which could hold several inventions, a telescope, a hammer, a thermos, a lasso, a ladder, a bucket, a net, an umbrella, a sponge mop, a hat stand, a lamp, a rake, poles, skiis, a feather duster, a bike horn, wooden spoons, a large tuba, string, marshmallows, a spring, helium-filled balloons... do I need to go on?
Barefoot Cartoon Animals: Uniqua and Austin. Uniqua wears pink polka dot overalls an Austin wears a striped T-shirt and blue khaki shorts.
Tyrone and Pablo would also have costumes that apply to this trope 1/3 of the time.
Beach Episode: The whole point of episodes such as "Surf's Up" or "Legend of the Volcano Sisters".
Berserk Button: In "Best Clowns in Town". Don't make Ringmaster Tyrone miss his train. Just don't. Especially if you're a clown.
Big "NO!": Oh yeah. Bad bot Tasha does this in "Cops and Robots", when Uniqua flips Pablo's back switch, which turns him into a good Bot. Also Pablo in "Blazing Paddles" and Tyrone in "Who Goes There?", "The Magic Skateboard" when the eponymous Magic Skateboard falls down the hill and "Monster Detectives" when Uniqua is about to be turned into a soccer monster.
Big Red Button: In "Legend of the Volcano Sisters", the title characters threaten to cause the eruption of the volcano by pressing such a button. The doorbells in various episodes could also count, since they are always red.
The Blind Leading the Blind: In "The Yeti", Tasha claims to be a Frozen North expert, but she, Uniqua, and Tyrone all get lost while searching for Yeti Pablo.
Blow You Away: Pirate Pablo has wind powers in "Super Team Awesome!".
Bokukko: Uniqua, due to her wearing overalls and having manly roles in some episodes.
Bo Diddley Beat: "The Flipper!" has this as its music genre, with the first song set to the tune of "Bo Diddley".
Booby Trap: In "Secret Mission", and "The Snow Fort".
Bookcase Passage: In "It's Great to be a Ghost", "Whodunit?", and "The Masked Retriever".
Catch Phrase: Various, particularly Tyrone's "That certainly is convenient" when a Deus ex Machina appears, and Tasha's "Oh, for goodness' sakes" when...well, pretty much constantly, actually. Also, "Pablo... Pablo?... PABLO!". In addition, each episode has a setting-specific phrase, featured in the opening song, which also doubles as the show's closing...
Christmas Special: "The Secret of Snow" and "The Action Elves Save Christmas Eve" episodes.
Clark Kenting: Parodied in "Front Page News". Also played straight in "Le Master of Disguise", in which the mystery hinges around Great Detective Austin not twigging that his prey is a little blue penguin who never bothers to conceal his face.
Deadpan Snarker: Tyrone, at times audibly and more often visually. Somehow, despite the character wearing no pants, he manages to give the impression he's slouching with his hands stuck in his pockets.
This is particularly helped when he's animated with his hands in nonexistent pockets.
Death World: The locations in "Save the Day". "Shark Bite Bay", "Disaster Reef", "Straits of Despair"... need I go on?
Defeat Means Friendship: Just about any character who plays a villain role is turned good in the end, since this is a little kids' show and the characters can't be killed off or arrested.
Deserted Island: The castaway island variety in "Castaways", the lost world variety in "To the Center of the Earth", and the treasure island variety in "Pirate Treasure" and "Pirate Camp".
Disaster Dominoes: A staple. In "Fly Girl", Uniqua knocks over several pillars; in "Who Goes There?", several mummy sarcophaguses land on each other; and in "To the Center of the Earth", large pillar-like diamonds are knocked over.
Bookshelf Dominoes: In "Attack of the 50 Foot Worman", much to Groundskeeper Tyrone's dismay.
Don't Look Down: Tasha says this several times in "Chichen-Itza Pizza", as she has a fear of heights.
Doomy Dooms of Doom: Shows up quite a lot, surprisingly enough. For instance, from "Tale of the Mighty Knights", during the song "We're Knights":
Tyrone: Next we crossed a river then scaled the cliffs... of doom!
Painful Rhyme: The next line goes "Then we took a little break and went to the bathroom..."
Door Dumb: "Knights Are Brave and Strong" contains a particularly silly example. Uniqua the Pink's second challenge is getting through the gate the Guardian of the Gate guards, a feat no one has ever done before. Even the Guardian himself is unable to open the gate. Completely impenetrable, right? Nope— it's just that nobody thought of pulling on the Gate's handles instead of pushing.
A minor example later in the same episode calls back to that scene. Upon finally reaching King Austin's castle, Tyrone tries to pull open the door, but fails. Pablo (the aforementioned Guardian) then steps up and pushes it, and it opens easily.
Dragon Rider: The "Dragon Express" episode, which crosses this trope with Flying Postman. Also, technically, the end of "Tale of the Mighty Knights".
Dramatic Drop: Tasha drops some planks in "Ranch Hands From Outer Space" when she finds out that Zablo and Zuniqua (Pablo and Uniqua) made a fence going to the sky. In "Elephant on the Run", Uniqua drops her most prized cookie jar when she sees Tyrone and Pablo jumping off her plane with the elephant.
Evil Laugh: Tasha's in "Scared of You", Pablo's in "Le Master of Disguise", "Blazing Paddles" and "Robot Rampage", and Uniqua's in "International Super Spy". Austin finally gets one in "Flower Power" when he portrays "Gloom Meister," though in a possible bit of Lampshade Hanging, he is forced to admit that it's not his real laugh (he just does it to sound scarier). His real laugh sounds much nerdier.
Evil Plan: In "International Super Spy", and "Cops and Robots".
Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: Tyrone wears a helmet when he rides his bicycle in "Escape From Fairytale Village", Austin and Uniqua have helmets when riding their skateboard and scooter in "Caveman's Best Friend", and all characters in "The Magic Skateboard" wear helmets as well as elbow pads and knee pads.
Fantasy Kitchen Sink: In "Escape from Fairytale Village", "Scared of You", and "The Tale of the Mighty Knights".
Fighting Your Friend: They frequently find themselves battling each other ("The Two Musketeers" being a good example) once they start their adventures. Although official best friends Tyrone & Pablo and Tasha & Uniqua are rarely pitted against one another.
Five-Man Band: Although they switch character type on a regular basis... and not all of them even show up (in some cases, only three cast members are present in the entire episode).
Flashback Effects: Tyrone has one in the form of a thought bubble during "Who Goes There?"
Floating in a Bubble: In "Front Page News", Captain Bubbles (Tyrone) makes a giant bubble which traps the giant robot in it.
From Bad to Worse: A staple. Exemplified by the scene in "Catch that Butterfly" wherein the stagecoach is floating down a river and piece by piece it breaks apart until only the floor is left...
Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Tasha's regular wardrobe applies to this. Some of the other Backyardigans would get full costumes on several adventures.
Funny Background Event: In "Newsflash", during one of Uniqua's reports Pablo is having a panic attack in the background. Also, Pablo screaming his head off while being dragged behind a flying carpet as Uniqua takes a phone call from Sultan Tyrone in "Movers of Arabia".
Furry Confusion: Episodes sometimes feature the kids alongside non-anthropomorphic animals such as horses and even elephants.
G and H
Gainaxing: Before you get any ideas, Tyrone's ears. Particularly noticeable in the first-season opening credits.
Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Whenever Pablo has a panic attack — which was almost once an episode in the first season; much less often in the following three — one of his friends has to calm him down by calling "Pablo...Pablo?...PABLO!"
Green Lantern Ring: In "Flower Power", Flower Girl's titular powers seem to drift into this territory at times. At one point she makes a cage out of flowers. Possibly a necessary evil, though, as otherwise her powers would probably wind up in heart territory.
Green Rocks: The flying rock in "The Quest for the Flying Rock" and the Crystal of Power in "Pablor and the Acorns".
Highly-Visible Ninja: A running gag in "Samurai Pie", wherein Pablo keeps losing his balance, eventually falling on a pie tin and giving himself and Uniqua away.
The High Queen: Tasha in "Knights are Brave and Strong", and Uniqua in "A Giant Problem".
Historical In-Joke: There are a surprising number of them. The art in "Who Goes There?" and Tyrone's combed hair in "To the Center of the Earth" are just a few examples. At one point, Empress Tasha even says "Let us eat cake."
Heroic Sacrifice: Austin - on a kid's-TV level - in "The Secret of Snow". He uses the Ice Lady's (Tasha's) ice machine to save Uniqua, Pablo, and Tyrone, even though he knows that it will get him in big trouble with Tasha.
House Inspection: In "What's Bugging You?", Tasha's house is being inspected by Mr. Spiffy (Pablo) so she can join the Spiffy Club. She calls Uniqua and Tyrone from Best Pest Control to get rid of the solitary worman spoiling the perfection. Unfortunately, everything they do seems to attract even more wormans. And then Mr. Spiffy arrives... cue the Fawlty Towers Plot.
Hula and Luaus: "Legend of the Volcano Sisters". That is all... well, except that a different set of Hawaiian cliches are laid on thick in "Surf's Up", which features the search for legendary Tiki Beach.
Hulking Out: Pablo in the Fourth Season episode "The Flipper". After getting doused in 'space ooze' he transforms into The Flipper whenever he gets overexcited. And this is Pablo we're talking about, so...
Hulk Speak: Pablo when he transforms into The Flipper mentioned in the previous trope, which is itself a parody of the Hulk. Tasha also does this in "Super Team Awesome!".
I Have Your Boss: In "International Super Spy", this was done in the complete 1-7 sequence: 1. Boss (Tasha) is kidnapped. 2. Villain (Uniqua) calls up hero (Pablo) and says "I've got your boss". 3. Tasha yells "Don't worry about me! I can take it!" 4. Uniqua tells Pablo that if he doesn't obey orders, then she will tickle Tasha. 5. Pablo must deliver the secret containers. 6. Pablo succeeds in calling a friend (Austin), who in turn finds out what's going on and swings into action to help... sort of. 7. Eventually, Tasha is released... because Pablo isn't ticklish.
Imagine Spot: In "Elephant on the Run", one of the songs takes place in and out of Uniqua's fantasy of having an elephant for a pet.
Impossible Thief: Austin the "Grabbin' Goblin", in "The Tale of the Mighty Knights", was able to grab Uniqua and Tyrone's helmets, shields, and finally flashlights...while they were still using them!
Incredible Shrinking Man: Austin, and later on, Pablo and Tyrone get shrunk in "Race to the Tower of Power". Tasha gets her turn in "The Big Dipper Diner".
Inevitable Waterfall: Oh yeah. "Polka Palace Party", "Catch that Butterfly", "The Secret of Snow", "Chichen-Itza Pizza", and "The Tale of the Mighty Knights" are just a few examples.
Insane Troll Logic: Standard and unapologetic — this being a show based around little kids playing pretend, after all. From "To the Center of the Earth":
Uniqua: Tyrone, your penny has fallen into your sandbox, here. (Pulls out a diagram of the Earth's inside and points to the Earth's crust.)
Pablo: And has fallen all the way to the center of the Earth, here. (Points to the Earth's core.)
It's Always Spring: In the titular backyard. "The Secret of Snow" and "The Action Elves Save Christmas Eve" don't count, for obvious reasons.
It's A Small World After All: In "Polka Palace Party", Tyrone, Uniqua, Pablo, and Austin meet up and then note how they all happen to be cowboys/cowgirls, they all happen to like the same kind of music, and that they all happen to be on their way to Cheyenne.
"I Want" Song: Uniqua and Pablo have one in "The Great Dolphin Race".
The Jeeves: Tyrone in "Whodunit?", he even has his hair specially combed like Jeeves' for that episode. Also Pablo in "Catch That Train" — so utterly utterly devoted to having everything Czar Tyrone needs three seconds before he wants it.
The Juggernaut: In "Chichen-Itza Pizza", the boulder chasing Tasha and Uniqua.
Jump, I'll Catch You!: In "Pirate Treasure", the other characters say this to Pablo as he hobbles across a log with his peg leg.
Jump Physics: In "Pirate Camp", Uniqua and Pablo are launched into the air using only two planks and some crates.
Jump the Shark:invoked Spoofed in "Save the Day" when Tyrone jumps over a sea of sharks on a jet ski to save Tasha.
Mission Briefing: Tasha gives Pablo one in "International Super Spy", and Tyrone and Tasha give one in "Mission to Mars".
Mission Control: Again, Tyrone and Tasha in "Mission to Mars". Austin provides a unique variation in "Break Out!"— he's a portable magic mirror possessed by Tasha and Uniqua, yet obeys the trope and its associated clichés almost perfectly.
Monster Mash: The monster dance party near the end of "Scared of You".
Morality Dial: In the episode Cops and Robots, all bots have a morality switch that (child logic, gotta love it) can be flipped to 'BAD'.
Moral Guardians / Media Watchdog: The reason why, among other things, the kids have a sword fight using telescopes ("Pirate Treasure"), and balloons ("The Two Musketeers"). And the reason why, in "Pirate Camp", "swashbuckling" means "sliding down a rope with a piece of cloth".
Musicalis Interruptus: In "Super Team Awesome!", Tyrone halts the second song when a boulder comes dangerously close to plugging Old Gushie.
The Napoleon: In "Who Goes There?", Pablo (the shortest of the five), plays a Napoleon-esque statue.
Naughty by Night: "The Masked Retriever", (obviously) in a non-sexual direction.
Never Say "Die": Although they kids have been close to danger, the word has never yet been used.
Nice Hat: Pablo's got a nice propeller beanie. In some their imaginary adventures, the characters wear pretty cool hats as well.
Nobody Here but Us Statues: A recurring theme in "Who Goes There?" with Uniqua, Pablo, and Austin being actual pieces of artwork. It happens again in "What's Bugging You?" with Uniqua and Tyrone as a pest control service trying to hide from house inspector Mr. Spiffy (Pablo).
No Seat Belts: Both space cars in "Cops and Robots", though usually the show is very careful not to do this.
No OSHA Compliance: The ice factory in "The Secret of Snow" and the sock factory in "For the Love of Socks!".
Austin: Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide. Do you not think it's funny?
Ominous Fog: The fog in "Knights are Brave and Strong" and "Whodunit?".
The One Who Wears Shoes: Tasha is always wearing shoes of some kind, usually her red Maryjanes. The other characters don't wear shoes at all until they get a costume change in the fantasy, and even then they sometimes don't have them.
Only One Name: Except for in "Whodunit", with Austin Frothingslosh and Uniqua Underhood, the characters have no surnames.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The Backyardigans drop their fantasy accents when they start singing, likely because their speaking and singing voices are two different people recorded separately.
Outlaw: In "Blazing Paddles", we see a wanted poster of Pablo, the "Ping Pong Bandit", with a reward of $500.
Out of Order: No two networks seem able to agree to an episode sequence. In the US, Nick Jr. used "Knights are Brave and Strong" as the pilot. Sometimes, episodes will be pushed back and worked into a theme. For instance, "Match on Mt. Olympus" was held back in America, and aired during the 2008 Olympics. This does not mess up any of the aforementioned Call Backs, though.
P to R
Paper-Thin Disguise: Pablo, in The Master of Disguise. All he does is change his clothing, but to the other characters his disguise is perfect.
Pilot Episode: "Fly Girl", if you mean literally. The actual pilot is "Pirate Treasure".
Pirate: "Pirate Treasure" and "Pirate Camp". Pablo also played a rather grumpy pirate in "Fly Girl", and a not-so-grumpy superhero pirate in "Super Team Awesome".
Pirate Booty: The diamond in "Pirate Treasure", and Captain Red Boots' boot (plus a pile of gold) in "Pirate Camp".
Planet of Steves: During "Mission to Mars", the Couch Gag phrase is "Boinga", which can mean nearly anything. As does "Ugh" during "Cave Party".
Plot Tailored to the Party: In "For the Love of Socks", every worker gets their moment to shine. It's easy to tell because their turns come in exactly the same order as they do in the assembly line. Except for Foreman Tasha; despite being at the beginning of the line, her moment's at the very end.
Recurring Character: The small martian from "Mission to Mars". One appears at the end of "News Flash", three appear at the end of "Los Galacticos" and two of them are major characters in "The Big Dipper Diner."
Record Needle Scratch: In "Blazing Paddles". The exciting background music suddenly screeches to a halt when Pablo asks "Uh...when is high noon?".
Red Herring: In "Whodunit?", Austin leaves the manor saying that he has to go "feed his cat", looking very guilty indeed.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Inverted with Pablo and Tyrone. Pablo is blue and panicked frequently in the first season. Tyrone is orange, but more level-headed and laidback.
Scout Out: The Acorn Scouts in "Pablor and the Acorns".
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: While on a pizza delivery in "Chichen-Itza Pizza," Tasha decides to quit the job after several Temple of Doom disasters, though she does so in true Backyardigans style - with a flashy college fight song.
Sea Monster: A playful one appears in "The Amazing Splashinis".
Sequel Episode: "Tale of the Not-So-Nice Dragon" is one for the season three special "Tale of the Mighty Knights".
Sesame Street Cred: Alicia Keys, for voicing and singing the mama alien in "Mission to Mars", Cyndi Lauper for singing in "International Super Spy," and Adam Pascal for being a narrator and singer in "Tale of the Mighty Knights". Also, Conan O'Brian as Santa Claus in "The Action Elves Save Christmas Eve"!
Shave and a Haircut: How Uniqua, Tyrone, and Pablo get Austin's attention in "Polka Palace Party". Austin drums out the "two bits" part himself.
The Stoic: Austin in the Star Trek parody episode "Garbage Trek". A clear instance of this is when the U.S.S. Collector is about to be sucked by the black hole; Uniqua and Tasha scream for their lives while he remains silent like he's deep in thought or something.
Storybook Episode: "Knights are Brave and Strong", "A Giant Problem", "Tale of the Mighty Knights", and "Escape from Fairy Tale Village".
Stealth Pun: Austin and Rover (namechecking the Austin Rover car) in "Mission to Mars", and the fact that purple Austin starts out as a Shrinking Violet.
Stout Strength: Tasha, specifically from the second season onwards. An example is in "Swamp Creature", where she pulls Pablo out of the water by his snorkel with one hand. Just look at her arms; she's a muscular little thing.
Straight Man: Usually played by Tyrone with Pablo as his comic foil.
Super Cell Reception: In "Mission to Mars", a martian from Mars is able to phone Tyrone and Tasha using a cellphone.
Superhero Episode: Four: "Race to the Tower of Power", "Front Page News", "Flower Power" and "Super Team Awesome".
Superheroes Wear Capes: Tasha has one as Super Snap in "Front Page News" and Tyrone gets one in "Super Team Awesome!".
Super Speed: Tasha as Super Snap in "Front Page News", Uniqua as The Pink Fury in "Blazing Paddles", and Pablo in "Legend of the Volcano Sisters".
Super Strength: Tyrone in "The Legend of the Volcano Sisters"; Uniqua as Bug Girl in "Front Page News" and as Strong Blossom in "Super Team Awesome"; Pablo as Tarzan the Very Strong in "Heart of the Jungle".
Swiper, No Swiping!: While you can't stop the Grabbin' Goblin from taking your stuff just by asking, he will generally give it back if you ask nicely... most of the time.
Sword Fight: The first episode "Pirate Treasure", had Austin and Tyrone having a sword fight using their telescopes. In "The Two Musketeers", it gets better with Uniqua and Austin against Pablo, Tyrone, and Tasha with cool parring moves like a Blade Lock, and Sword over Head... though their swords are made of balloons.
Take Over the World: Several episodes have characters wanting this, in particular "Race to the Tower of Power".
Take Your Time: In "Sinbad Sails Alone", Tyrone's ship is about to literally fall off the edge of the world within a couple of seconds. Tyrone has gotten his foot caught on a rope, making Pablo their only hope. Pablo just has to turn the wheel which drops the anchor of the ship, but it takes a very long time for him to do this. It seemed like every time the camera cut to show how close the ship was to falling, the ship always seemed be at the same distance, even though it was moving.
Talking Animal: All five of the characters, albeit this is almost never referenced (creating some rather odd visuals, as when Austin the kangaroo is shown running).
Uniqua is a subversion: she wears overalls and also lacks eyelashes. Some viewers even mistook her for a boy. That is, until some of her girlier roles in the later seasons, and until those viewers realized she was pink.
Tyrone: I am so mad! You made me miss my train! I have a circus to lead tonight in Big City, but I can't be there because of... CLOOOOOOOOOWNS!
That's No Moon: In "A Giant Problem", Tyrone and Pablo rest on a large red boulder which happens to be Tasha's giant foot. Tyrone does this again in "Escape from Fairytale Village", this time to Pablo's foot.
Thematic Theme Tune: The theme song gradually climbs an octave in pitch, while the titular characters switch from regular clothes to fantasy gear and back.
This Is No Time to Panic: Pablo's frantic chant during his panic attacks. Subverted to some degree in The Flipper! where, instead of panicking, he's actually excited.
Tickle Torture: In "International Super Spy", this is the Lady in Pink's method of punishment.
Title Drop: Most of the time there's a song where one of the lines (or even the title) is a Title Drop. Also, several episodes have the characters telling each other to stop "Horsing Around", the title of one of the Season 2 episodes.
Traintop Chase: Austin and Pablo do this in "Le Master of Disguise", the chase ending with a train tunnel escape.
The Un Reveal: In "The Masked Retriever", none of the other characters find out about Uniqua's alter ego, with Austin's question of "Have you ever heard of the Masked Retriever?" left unanswered by the end-of-story stomach rumble.
Unusual Euphemism: In "The Great Dolphin Race", the characters exclaim "Jumping jellyfish!", "Leaping lobsters!" and "Holy cowfish!". During "International Super Spy", the Lady in Pink (Uniqua) uses "Oh, for evil's sake!". There's also the episode title "For the Love of Socks!".
Vapor Wear: During the first two-parter, Uniqua, as the Lady in Pink, clearly wears nothing under her jacket. She does wear her overalls at the ski slope, though.
Verbal Tic: Tyrone has a habit of saying "certainly" when stating his opinion or agreeing with another character, though this is reduced a bit after the first season.
The Voice: The mystery voices near the end of the episodes "Secret Mission", and "It's Great to be a Ghost" do not come from any of the main characters. They're rumored to have come from Evan Lurie, one of the show's composers. There are also announcer voices near the beginning of "Newsflash" and throughout "The Tale of the Mighty Knights". The announcer in Mighty Knights, is in fact, the dragon, guest voiced by Adam Pascal, the actor who played Roger in RENT. Total Parent Service.
Santa Claus in "The Action Elves Save Christmas Eve" is heard over the phone, but never seen.
Wasn't That Fun?: In "Scared Of You" Austin, Tyrone, and Uniqua are warned against proceeding with their journey. They do so, and are rewarded with a falling staircase. Uniqua is left hanging on to the top landing for dear life.
Uniqua: Hey! That was fun! Let's do it again!
Tyrone: Or let's not!
Wasteful Wishing: In "Movers of Arabia", Pablo wastes a wish by saying "I wish I knew where we were." Cue Genie Austin, yelling "You're in Arabia! Boy, that was easy!"
Whip Pan: Used in "The Tale of the Mighty Knights", "Le Master of Disguise", "Robin Hood the Clean", and several other episodes.
Wig, Dress, Accent: Austin during "International Super Spy", with a strange mustache instead of the wig.
With Catlike Tread: According to Pablo at the beginning of "Secret Mission", having background music is a necessary part of being a secret agent. Heck, any time someone's on a stealth mission, you can bet they'll break out into a musical when they're trying not to get noticed. And it never blows their cover.
Worst News Judgment Ever: In "News Flash", Reporter Uniqua mistakes Tyrone and Pablo's corn decorations for alien crop circles.