Western Animation / Timothy Goes to School

"Anything can happen, when Timothy Goes To School
— The show's theme song
Timothy Goes to School main castnote 

Timothy Goes To School is a childrens' animated program that ran from 2000 to 2004. A Nelvana show, it follows the day-to-day life of Timothy, a 5-year-old raccoon who attends Kindergarten, and the rest of his classmates. Once seen on PBS Kids Bookworm Bunch, it later aired on Discovery Kids until sometime before it was replaced by The Hub. Most if not all installments of the series are available on DVD. Some were U.S. releases, others were in Canada, which makes them region 1, but potentially challenging to find. The series was later added to Qubo in the United States.

This is also the first Animated Adaptation by Creator/Nelvana based on Rosemary Well's characters with the second being Max and Ruby which came out two years later.

Needs Wiki Magic

This cartoon provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Personality Change: While Timothy's personality hasn't changed that much. He was seen crying a few times in the original book version mainly in the 1981 version. He even wished something bad would happened with Claude.
    • Nora was mischievous in the books (Mainly in Noisy Nora) but is more of a Bratty Half-Pint in the show.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the series some of Wells characters act alot more nicer than there were in the books that they appeared in.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In the first episode which adapts the original "Timothy Goes To School" book. While not that much changes were made the most notable is the ending. The original ending (At least in the 1981 version) has Violet and Timothy becoming friends and the last page shows Claude and Grace The Bunny laughing at them but both end up ignoring them. The ending in this version shows Timothy and Yoko playing tag after Yoko tells Timothy about Claude's behavior after Timothy gets pushed by Claude since he was trying to catch the football to protect Yoko from getting hit.
    • While not that much changed in the episode "Yoko", the opening in the episode shows Yoko getting ready for school showing her putting on her dress,waking up, and looking out the windows. She also forgets her lunch made by her mother when she is about to get on the bus. The original 1998 opening shows Yoko's mother asking about what she wants for lunch for school and shows her mother making the sushi for her daughter.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Charle's father has brown colored fur while he was grey in the original Shy Charles book.
    • Nora is an odd example, while she is brown in the original books and in the show. She is sometimes depicated with grey fur instead of brown.
      • On the topic of Nora and Charles fur color in the show and books. In some of the Yoko & Friends and a few Timothy books. There ears would sometimes be completely pink or mostly colored grey.
  • All There In The Books: Yoko's mother would sometimes bring up the other family members who are still living in Japan along with mentioning her daughters early memories of living in Japan as a toddler. While we do see a glimpse of Yoko's grandfather in the episode "The Takatombo". We never actually see the other family members of Yoko in the show or even see the rest of Japan in general. In 2001, Wells made a book called "Yoko's Paper Cranes" where you can actually see Yoko as a very young kitten still living with her grandma and grandpa along with seeing cranes. We also see Yoko and her grandmother Obaasan feeding cranes,having tea, and her grandfather Ojisaan showing her how to make paper cranes. This is also the only time Yoko's grandmother and grandfather is actually seen until there reappearance 10 years later in the 2011 book "Yoko's Show-And-Tell" where her grandparents are visiting Yoko's home for Girls Day.
    • While most fans will remember Fritz bringing up The Mess Fairy, his imagination of it is actually seen in the original 1991 book version as a pig. The book also explains how Fritz came up with the mess fairy concept in the first place.
  • Ascended Extra: Some of the characters that were in "Yoko & Friends" and the Yoko series has gotten their own set of episodes compared to their roles in some of the books.
    • While Lilly hasn't been seen the most in some of the books. She has around 4 or 5 episodes where she's the main character of the episode or a secondary character. The most notable would be "Don't Lost It Lilly" and "Lifesaver Lilly" both dealing with her forgetfulness problem. "Lifesaver Lilly" is the best example, which takes that issue more seriously unlike "Don't Lost It Lilly" since she really wants to take care of the school's class pet but some of the students think she wouldn't do well as a pet owner despite the fact that Lilly herself owns a pet goldfish named Treasure. She even talks to herself alone on her bed about admitting that she's too forgetful to take care of the class pet.
    • Grace also shown up more often than in the books similar to Claude. Due to her being a ballet dancer and two episodes shown her in ballet class with Doris and Yoko. One of Grace's more notable appearances in the books is the Yoko & Friends book "The Secret Birthday" and "Timothy's Tales From Hilltop School
  • Adult Fear: In "Shy Charles" where Timothy gets locked behind a door. He starts calling out for help with only Charles to notify the entire school by ringing the bell when he hears his voice. It's currently recess and the other students and Miss Jenkins are outside and the Janitor walks off. Now imagine that happening to your child at a store or school and nobody is around except you left all alone for a very long time.
  • Adapted Out: Hazel was one of the students in the "Yoko & Series" but she doesn't appear in the show at all. Nora's sister is also absent even though she was in the original Noisy Nora book.
    • Violet (Timothy's original first friend) from the 1981 version of Timothy Goes To School is absent in the show and Yoko & Friends series due to Yoko replacing her as Timothy's best friend since her debut in 1998.
  • Absentee Actor: Lilly is curiously absent in "The Treefort and the Sandcastle." In this story, the boys split into one club in a treefort, while the girls take over the sandbox and build a sandcastle, but Lilly is not part of the group of girls, nor is she even mentioned, despite the events of the story taking place over at least two days.
    • It also happens in "Paint by Numbers" in which Fritz doesn't appear at all, nor is he mentioned either but he appears in the episode afterward.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Generally averted. When the kids learned a lesson on the show, it tended to stick. For example, in "Fritz in the Mess Fairy," Fritz realized that there was no mess fairy and he needed to clean up after himself. Him being messy was never shown as an issue again in the series, despite the story's Here We Go Again ending with Fritz having made another mess with the cleaning supplies in the process of cleaning Timothy's seashells. In "Small Change," Nora learns to accept and even like change and she is never shown having an issue with it again. And if Lilly still sometimes forgets things, it can be forgiven, as it's difficult for her, and she does try very hard, sometimes succeeding.
  • Alpha Bitch: Grace can be this sometimes but she means well.
  • Alternate Continuity: The Yoko and Friends beginning reader books have many of the same characters, but cast Yoko in central role and eliminate at least a couple of the characters. Certain stories are versions of the TV episodes, but cast different characters in the main roles and have other variations. The Yoko picture books go even further. Mrs. Jenkins is still the teacher, but most of the other major characters from the TV series are absent and Yoko's mother is depicted differently. For example, in the TV show, she reluctantly allows Yoko to bring special toys to school, only for bad stuff to happen to them. In the Yoko's Show-and-Tell picture book, her mother disallows her to bring a special toy to school, but she disobeys and it gets wrecked and has to go to a doll hospital.
    • The 1981 book "Timothy Goes To School" takes this further. In it Claude makes fun of what Timothy wears on the first few days of school, like in the series, but to the point that Timothy cries and wants bad things to happen to him. Yoko and many of the other kids also aren't at the school (Timothy makes friends with a bunny named Violet at the end of the story, though), and Mrs. Jenkins is unnamed (in the original version).
  • An Aesop: Pretty much every episode has one. But the show is rarely Anvilicious.
  • Anachronic Order: The show jumps from one season to another almost at random, but at least can be said that it's not always spring. A special note, though, goes to the fact that "The Big Snowfall," which featured Lilly having her first snow day was aired after "Lifesaver Lilly," in which Lilly rescued Goldie from the cold school building with no power after school was canceled due to a big snowfall.
  • Aside Glance: In the end of the episode "Frankless Frank" Timothy looks at the audience and says "Here We Go Again" when one of the Franks get sick after the other is now better.
    • In the end of the episode "Shy Charles", Charles look at the audience after he received a medal after rescuing Timothy from getting locked behind a door.
  • Animated Adaptation: Of Rosemary Wells's Timothy Goes to School, and Yoko & Friends books, which cast Yoko as the main character. Additionally, two other stories, 1991's "Fritz and The Mess Fairy" and "Shy Charles," inspired some of the episodes.
  • Argument of Contradictions: In "Rocky Friendship," Fritz and Charles have an argument that eventually descends into this when they each find a rock at the same time and are unsuccessful in sharing it.
    • Timothy and Fritz have one in "Abracadabra" after Fritz accuses Timothy of teaching Grace his magic trick, until Grace puts a stop to it by revealing that she peeked at Fritz's book.
  • Artistic License Paleontology: In "Scary Monsters," when Nora is afraid of dinosaurs because she thinks they're big and scary monsters, Timothy shows her a fossil of Megazostrodon at the museum, which, while having a big-sounding name is actually very small. It was a nice lesson, but Megazostrodon wasn't actually a type of dinosaur and basically resembled a modern-day shrew. However, given that the characters are children, this can be forgiven; also Nora was generalizing "dinosaur" herself so if Timothy (and Yoko, who found the creature in question in a book) knew she was wrong, he was using her own logic to prove her wrong.
  • Birds of a Feather: Timothy & Yoko, Charles & Lilly, and Claude & Grace tend to hang around each other a lot.
  • The Bully: Claude is a much Lighter and Softer variant, especially in the first episode.
  • Canon Immigrant/Canon Foreigner: Juanita was exclusive to Animated Adaptation of Timothy Goes to School only showing up in the final two episodes. After the show ended in 2004, Juanita showed up in more of the Yoko & Friends books such as "Make New Friends" and "Timothy's Tales At Hilltop School", which features Juanita making a cameo in one page.
  • Cute Kitten: Yoko, Juanita, and oddly Grace.
  • Call Back: When Fritz moves away, two of the characters give him artwork that match their art style displayed in "Paint by Numbers."
  • Character Development: A class-wide example. In "Yoko", the majority of the class outright rejected Yoko's Japanese foods but in "Tea for Two", the entire class is eager for the Japanese tea ceremony Yoko and her mother host and all of them happily taste the green tea served.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "Red Thunder," Henry sets up a biking exercise in which the kids have to navigate through orange cones while also being graded on speed, accuracy, safety skills and overall bikemanship. When the Franks finish their turn, they tell him, "We're done, and we got them all," and Henry can only chuckle as he looks over and sees that they did indeed "get them all" - all of the cones have been knocked over.
    Henry: I-I think you missed the point of the exercise, boys.
  • Culture Clash: Mild case between Yoko and Nora in "Tea for Two" where Nora assumes a Japanese tea ceremony will be just like her tea parties. They end up combining ideas slightly when Yoko's mother forgets the traditional sweets and Yoko suggests they serve Nora's treats instead.
  • Disappeared Dad: Yoko and Lilly.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the first episode Timothy is getting ready for his first day of school. When he goes on the bus for the first time, he sees a female cat who kindly says "Hello" to him while the others are mostly quiet. This character is Yoko who would later become Timothy's best friend and is very friendly. In the same scene, before Timothy sees Yoko, he sees Doris who is viewed by Timothy to be quite annoying and loudmouthed. In the same episode, when the class introduced themselves, Charles said his name before quickly sitting down in silence, due to his shyness. Lilly was also shown, having to think about her own name for a moment before she responded.
  • Edutainment Show
  • Expository Theme Tune:
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's about a raccoon named Timothy who goes to school. Averted, though, to the degree that at times it was about the activities of Timothy's friends/classmates, with Timothy only barely appearing in certain stories and said activities not always taking place at school either.
  • Expressive Ears: Certainly Timothy; his ears can go as far as pinning all the way down when he's really sad about something. Yoko exhibits them too, as well as both of the Franks, Lilly and possibly most of the others as well.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement
  • First Snow: In "The Big Snowfall" Lilly experiences the joys of her first snow day, having moved from a climate where it was warm and never snowed.
  • Foreign Queasine: All of Yoko's Japanese dishes, but especially her sushi, are treated this way by her classmates. Timothy subverts it in the end, finding the sushi at the very least quite tasty. Later, in another episode, the entire class is willing to have the tea Yoko's mother serves.
  • Food Porn: In the episode "Yoko" just about every food shown during the day when the class allowed any student to try out different foods from different cultures, including Yoko's sushi, despite what the rest of the class had to say. You don't blame Timothy for getting distracted by different smells during that day.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: The Franks are both male dogs while the rest of the female students (Yoko,Grace, and Juanita) are all cats. Most of the cat characters seen in the series are mostly female minus Juanita's father and Yoko's Grandfather seen briefly in one episode.
  • Free Prize at the Bottom: In one episode, Nora decided to forego her normal breakfast cereal in favor of something called "Weeds and Seeds" so that she could get the prize of emerald slippers at the bottom as a birthday present for Yoko. And she was such a good little girl that she actually ate the stuff, only to find that to her disappointment, there was only one slipper, and it was some dinky little thing. Her mother suggested making a necklace out of it and she did, but thought her gift was lame and didn't want to give it to Yoko at first. When she finally did, Yoko was delighted, as the slipper was the mate to one that she already had.
  • Furry Confusion: In some episodes, there is a drawing of a non anthropomorphic cat in the classroom. It can be strange to look at the drawings and seeing Yoko, Grace, or Juanita near the drawing.
  • Funny Animals
  • Furry Reminder: These are pretty rare, the cast generally behaves like humans. Frank and Frank, who are anthropomorphic dogs, are the only characters where this is treated a bit more loosely. They tend to be rather messy in eating their food, and in "Get Well, Soon," they try to drink water directly out of the faucet at school. When Mrs. Appleberry tells them not to, they tell her that "Mrs. Jenkins lets us do it", only for her to pull out a letter from Mrs. Jenkins— "Dear Frank and Frank, Please listen to Mrs. Appleberry and no drinking from the faucet. Signed, Mrs. Jenkins."
    • Doris will sometimes slap her tail against the ground when she's annoyed or excited.
    • Yoko loves sushi; in the original 1998 version of "Yoko", one of the foods contained inside her sushi is tuna which cats really love eating.
    • In the episode where the Franks have a sleepover with Timothy. There is a scene before all of them go to bed where Timothy is seen brushing his teeth. He later makes a growling noise pretending he's a monster with foam from his toothpaste in his mouth. While this is Played for Laughs, it's also a reminder that raccoon's also carry rabies.
  • Half Dressed Cartoon Animals: The male cast, except Charles and Timothy when he wore suspenders in the first episode note .
    • In the original books version of "Timothy Goes To School", and "Yoko & Friends". Timothy's mother is seen wearing slippers while Yoko's mother is seen wearing Getas which is part of her Kimono. This is absent in the show.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the book "The Halloween Parade", Doris' Fifth-Grade brother is dressed as "Snells Angels", complete with a fake motorcycle.
  • Good Parents: Every parent of each student of Hilltop School is this. But especially the mothers such as Timothy's mom, Yoko's mother, and later Juanita's mother.
  • Here We Go Again: In "Fritz in the Mess Fairy", the episode has this kind of ending after Fritz realizes there is no Mess Fairy and learns to clean up after himself, the episode ends with him making another mess with the sink while cleaning up Timothy's seashells. Also, in the episode "Frankless Frank" when Frank 1 is sick for the whole episode and Frank 2 has to spend a few days in school without him and after he returns to school, Frank 2 gets sick with the same thing. It's even lampshaded by Timothy at the very end.
  • Huge Girl Tiny Guy: Doris and Charles in "Paint By Numbers" and "Measuring Up".
  • It Runs in the Family: As seen in the first episode starring Doris. It appears that Doris's tendenc to talk loud and get annoyed easily appears to run in her family. As seen by Doris's mother who yells for her brothers to get downstairs but requests Doris to do it for her since she's the loudest.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: How the other kids felt about Yoko's oriental cuisine, such as sushi and red bean ice-cream. In the end, Timothy discovers this doesn't apply to him, as he finds sushi delicious.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Juanita, a Spanish cat, is introduced in the last two episodes.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: "Get Well Soon" opens with Timothy, Nora, Frank, and Frank all telling their parents that "Mrs. Jenkins is the best!"
  • Limited Wardrobe: With the exception of the stuff in the first episode with Claude and Timothy wearing special clothes for the first two days of school, and winter clothing / special events, the characters are always shown wearing the same clothes to school. In the "Yoko & Friends" books most of the characters are seen wearing different outfits. Most notable is Lilly whose dress is completely different than how her outfit in the show.
  • Missing Mom: Frank & Frank, and Claude.
  • Meaningful Name: Nora talks very loud which is reference to the book she debuted called Noisy Nora.
  • Mythology Gag: In the episode "The Music Tree" Nora can be seen wearing a pot on her heard. This is a reference to one of the ways of getting her mother's attention in the original book "Noisy Nora".
    • Fritz once refers to Nora as "Noisy Nora".
    • In the episode "Mama Don't Go" after Juanita's mother leaves the class to get more orange juice. Juanita get's sad and Yoko is the first student to comfort her and tells her to don't feel sad and tells her that her mother will be back. This is a reference to the Yoko & Friends book called "Mama Don't Go!" where Yoko is thrown in the same situation as Juanita.
  • No Cartoon Fish
  • Never Say "Die": In "Lifesaver Lilly", Doris begins to suggest that Goldie the goldfish might be dead, but is interrupted by Lilly coming in with Goldie before she says it.
    • In one episode, Timothy actually says "They died a long time ago" referring to the extinction of dinosaurs to his friends due to Nora's fear of dinosaurs.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted: The Franks have the same name, as does their father.
  • The One Who Wears Shoes: Lilly and Mrs. Jenkins.
  • Petting Zoo People: Pretty much. The characters really don't display much of anything in the way of animal traits other than having Expressive Ears, the only concession being that as mice, Charles and Nora are both rather smaller than the other characters. In "Taking the Plunge," Timothy is even reminded to put on sunscreen, but how does a raccoon covered in fur wear sunscreen? Rule of Funny?
  • Puppy Love: It's been hinted that Yoko and Timothy have a crush on each other in the series; Charles and Lilly are hinted to also have crushes on each other. Claude and Grace are a downplayed but present example.
  • Put on a Bus: Fritz, but the bus comes back.
  • The Rival: Claude can be this to Timothy until after "Taking the Plunge."
  • Recap Episode: "Many Happy Returns". The second story of the episode also has some flashbacks.
  • The Runt at the End: Charles in class; Doris at home.
  • School Play: The name of an episode and a "Yoko and Friends" book where Mrs. Jenkins' class did one about dental hygiene. Parts were assigned randomly— Yoko was chosen to a be a cavity, but didn't want to be. In the end, she found a way to enjoy the part when she used her violin to create a sound effect suitable for a cavity.
    • Playing a Tree: Almost all of the characters play fictionalized, anthropomorphized versions of things like toothbrushes, toothpaste and teeth.
  • Slice of Life
  • Suddenly Voiced: Charles never talked in the original Shy Charles story, and some of the Yoko and Friends books. He's more vocal in the show compared to his debut appearance.
  • Slumber Party: Timothy and the Franks have one in "The Sleepover" because Big Frank had to use the bulldozer.
  • Short Runner: Since it was a weekend show, it only had 2 seasons with 13 episodes.
  • Start My Own: "The Treefort and the Sandcastle".
  • Stock Animal Name: The pet goldfish given to Mrs. Jenkins's class in "Lifesaver Lilly" is named Goldie. Averted though with Lilly's own pet fish, Treasure.
  • Surprise Party: In "Mama, Don't Go," new girl Juanita at Hilltop School doesn't want her mama to leave. The surprise party is how Juanita is eventually convinced to let her mother leave; it's her mother's birthday and the class needs her to leave so that they can put together a surprise party for her. Juanita actually tells her mother straight-up that she needs to leave for a while and then come back so that they can surprise her.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Happens when Frank and Frank try to avoid telling their father that they broke one of Yoko's toys.
  • The Artifact: The logo for the animated series features Timothy carrying a book in his hand without a backpack. In the show, Timothy is actually seen wearing a backpack along with the other students. The logo could also be a reference to the original 1981 version of "Timothy Goes To School" where Timothy is seen carrying a book and isn't seen wearing a backpack. However since the series was created in 2000, at this point in time this hasn't been in use in school since the mid 70's and early 80's when backpacks were easier for children to carry instead of a pile of books.
  • Retro Universe: The show ran from 2000 - 2001 and seems to take place in that time, but the characters are dressed in clothes that would come straight out of something from the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Take a Third Option: Fritz and Charles find a strange rock at the same time; Fritz wants it for his collection, whilst Charles wants to build a castle with it. They spend most of the episode bickering about it, but they eventually decide to use it together.
  • Talent Contest: One is held in "Talent Show." Timothy is assigned to be the Master of Ceremonies and when Grace gets hurt, she becomes his assistant.
  • Talking Animal
  • That Cloud Looks Like: Timothy and Charles to do this in "Taking the Plunge" while relaxing in the swimming pool. They see one that reminds them of a cowboy hat, another of apple pie and one that looks like the school bus driver, Henry. Another sudden "cloud" actually turns out to be Doris doing a cannonball into the pool. It's reprised at the end of the episode.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The show's theme tune is used for the "Welcome Song" performed in the show's premiere episode.
  • Title Character: Yoko of the second episode.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Anything can happen when Timothy goes to school!"
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Doris and Grace, when they go to dancing classes together.
  • Unmanly Secret: When Timothy has a sleepover with the Franks in "The Sleepover," he hides his stuffed penguin toy, Pengy under his bed. Frank 2 tries to get something under the bed at one point almost sees it only to be interrupted before he can. At the end of the story, Timothy sneaks out of bed and tries to get it back after lights out, only to find that Frank 2 had hidden his own stuffed bulldog toy, Bully, under the bed in their bag near the beginning of the episode which was what he was trying to get. Frank 1 complains that everyone at school is going to laugh at them, but Timothy brings out Pengy and they promise each other that they won't tell anyone. Both Timothy and Frank 2 are then shown sleeping soundly, but Frank 1 looks around, scared, apparently missing his own stuffed toy, whatever it might be.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: "Be My Valentine".
  • Vocal Evolution: In the episode where the school is having a day where two team members race, both Claude and Grace's voices sound deep and a little older.
    • Lilly's voice in "Lifesaver Lilly" when she gets very upset or depressed sounds more monotone and serious. Most notable in the scene where she admits she's too forgetful to take care of their class pet. Her voice also starts cracking when she cries in that episode.
  • World of Funny Animals
  • Welcome Episode: Happens twice in the show. Most notable in the last two episodes where Juanita just moved and later becomes a new student.
  • You, Get Me Coffee
    • When Timothy decides to work with Claude for a team project on the television series involving making a model space shuttle, Claude asks him to do the sweeping up and doesn't let him do any of the work on the project. The space shuttle turns out great and wins a star for the best class project, but Timothy doesn't take any joy from it, finding comfort instead in talking with his friend Yoko.
    • In Timothy Takes the Cake, a story from the book Timothy's Tales from Hilltop School, Claude pulls the same thing on Timothy, this time having him clean up muffin tins during a baking project. This time, however, Claude's attempt at baking alone fails and he wonders what he did wrong; what thing he left out of the recipe. Timothy tells him "Me!" and together they manage to do some good baking.

Alternative Title(s): Timothy Goes To School