Western Animation / Theodore Tugboat

Theodore Tugboat is a children's show about the adventures of Theodore Tugboat and his friends George, Emily, Foduck, and Hank. The Harbourmaster (played by Denny Doherty of The Mamas & the Papas) introduces the stories.

It was produced by Robert Cardona, co-producer of TUGS, making this a Spiritual Successor of said show. Both are centered on the harbour activities of a fleet of tugboats who wear hats. Unlike TUGS, which was set in The Roaring '20s and were essentially models mounted on trolleys pulled by fishing line, the setting of Theodore is much more modern and the characters are radio-controlled.

This show provides examples of:

  • Achilles in His Tent: Two occasions. Once with Hank and once with Guysborough the Garbage Barge.
  • An Aesop
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The stuff the tugs get when a ship named Scally comes to visit, who likes to collect lots of weird knick-knacks.
  • Canada, Eh?: The show takes place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with many characters named after places around Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia, the Maritimes, and Atlantic Canada.
  • The Captain
  • Cool Big Sis: Emily.
  • Cool Boat
  • Expository Theme Tune
  • Fearless Fool: Carla the Cabin Cruiser.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Framing Device: Each episode began and ended with the Harbourmaster talking to the the viewers. In the first segment, he would tell them about a problem he's having that's similar to the story he is going to tell, and in the second segment he summed up the story's moral.
  • Freudian Slip: George's Ghost is full of them.
  • The Ghost: The Harbormaster's friend Rodney, who often has something to do with whatever is going on but never really shows up, along with any other humans in the show.
  • Ghost Story: George's Ghost starts out with the Harbourmaster telling the story of the Flying Dutchman. It also deals with Theodore and George seeing a ghost ship which turns out to be Digby, who ran aground in a storm.
    • Emily and the Sleep-Over has Emily, Carla, and Dorothy telling spooky stories.
  • Hate Plague: Guysborough's first appearance had this effect.
  • Hates Baths: Guysborough loves garbage and hates being cleaned. When Foduck tried to clean him in "Foduck and the Shy Ship", Guysborough thought he was melting.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Northumberland the Submarine.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: In "Hank's Hiccups", Hank gets a case of the hiccups and accidentally bumps into Jennifer, a cargo ship he and his friends are pulling into the loading dock. Hank decides not to work until his hiccups are cured, so his friends try different ways to cure his hiccups, all of which were met with dead ends. His hiccups disappear when he and Bobby pull a fishing net out of Theodore and Emily's path (which had earlier been knocked off of Fundy the Fishing boat during one of Hank's attempts to get rid of his hiccups).
  • Jerk Ass: Guysborough the Garbage Barge.
    • Cabot from "Theodore and the Unsafe Ship". Not only was he incredibly careless with his cargo and disobeyed Theodore, but he recklessly sailed around the Big Harbor and endangered the other ships. It takes Theodore tricking him into beaching himself and forcibly towing him from behind to get Cabot to learn his lesson.
  • Jerkass Fašade: Theodore in episode Bumper Buddies.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: in Theodore In The Middle George puts in an official complaint about Emily being late. While George was most likely motivated by his own pride, Emily's lateness was delaying the morning work meeting.
  • Jerk Jock: One shot character Oliver The Vast.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: George.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Hank.
  • Large Ham: Owan the Oil Rig.
  • Meaningful Name: The fact that shifty ship from Hank's Funny Feeling is called S.S."Malarkey" should be a clear sign that he's not being entirely truthful.
  • Nice Hat: The entire tugboat fleet are identified by them.
  • No Indoor Voice: Owan, though he's already outside.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "Theodore and the Boat Bully", the normally loud and easily excited Owan becomes very quiet and unenthusiastic when he finds out that Oliver the Vast, a visiting Jerk Jock tug, is coming to the big harbor to take him to the ocean to work.
  • The Pig Pen: Guysborough. Though being a garbage barge, it isn't surprising.
  • PokÚmon Speak: Donald Dock. All he can say is "Uh-huh". The junk dock Jasper can only say "nope". Apparently it's common for docks to only be able to say one word.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Theodore.
  • Shout-Out: In the episode "Bedford's Big Move", the Harbourmaster receives cookies from his mother that are shaped like Sunshine from TUGS. Some of the character names coincide with other characters' names in TUGS, such as Lilly Lighthouse (Lillie Lightship). Theodore himself also resembles Sunshine quite a bit.
  • Sleepy Head: Northumberland Submarine. However, he only does so in the daytime, as he works primarily at night.
  • Super Speed: Hank, you're the fastest Tug in the big harbour!
  • The Magnificent: Emily the Vigorous, George the Valiant, and Foduck The Vigilant.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: An instrumental of the main theme starts blaring as Theodore is doing something heroic/cool.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call
  • True Companions
  • Tsundere: Emily is a good example of a Type-B Tsundere.
  • Twin Switch: Phillip and Philmore the ferry twins do it often as a joke.
  • Welcome Episode

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