Toad Patrol is a Canadian television series which first aired in 1999 on Teletoon. It was created by George and his wife, Peggy Sarson.Although it is primarily aimed at young children, it has found popularity with pre-teens to young adults because despite the fairly young and lighthearted appearance of the show, it had some rather dark undertones beneath the surface. Its cult appreciation has also stemmed from the fact that Toad Patrol had so much time and effort put into it.This series has a very distinct beginning, middle, and end to each season it airs. The story was in the works since 1985 and was in the development stage as the creators started selling Mistle Toad chocolates to raise money. The show eventually managed to get animated overseas in both Korea, AKOM (First Season) and India, UTV Toons (Second Season). Although, a lot of the in-betweening and other works were done in America at Helix studios.A show sponsor page once stated that 13 episodes of the series are currently in production. Several fans had assumed that with the passing of Long John Baldry, the series had been halted however. After discovering that Mistle Toad had two voice actors (Long John Baldry and Tatyana Loeffler-Vulpe), fans are now sure that if a third season were to appear then that voice actor would take his place. Given, however, that the news of the third season was first announced in the early 2000s, the prospect of a new season at this point seems abysmal at best.Tropes used:
Animal Talk: A strange variant in Toad Patrol since the Toad Patrol speaks with the Common Tongue. There are many others who speak this way such as frogs, otters and various other animals.
Interestingly enough, dogs are portrayed as being unable to communicate... only able to bark. This has been a confusing subject for members of the Toad Patrol. Possibly justified by the fact that the Toad Patrol members can't appear to understand humans either. (And the dogs they meet are always under human ownership.)
Another point of confusion is that eagles (ie. Medea) and ducks are shown to be unable to communicate. Instead, they screech or quack accordingly. But in second season, when Panther Cap mistakes a character for a duck, he starts talking and says that instead of being a duck, he is in fact a goose. So geese can apparently talk while eagles and ducks cannot.
Berserk Button: Puff Ball, whenever someone who is close to him or whom he respects ends up in danger. Mostly, although not exclusively limited to Mistle Toad.
Mistle Toad and Panther Cap seem to share the same Berserk Button which really just boils down to their friends being in danger.
Do not insult Erebus' singing... or trap him in a log... or torment him in any way, shape or form.
Elf Cup whenever others disobey/insult her. Hypocrisy also counts as one of her buttons. (Although that hasn't stopped her from being a hypocrite now and then. Case and point, watch the episodes, "Trojan Duck" and "Night Fright" respectively.)
Oyster, along with Slippery Jack, hates being called 'twins' and hates being told that she's too little to do something. She also hates not being listened to and being bossed around.
Slippery Jack has several including but not limited to being called, "SJ" and along with his sister, being referred to as 'twins'.
Puff Ball: Pretty smart plan, SJ! Slippery Jack: Stop. Calling. Me. S! J! Puff Ball: Uh-oh! (Cheekily aside to Shaggy Mane) I've upset half a twin. Oyster: Don't! Call! Us! Twins! Puff Ball:(Beat) Think I'll go with the other group!
Occasionally, Earth Star or Fur Foot will fill this role as well.
Big Friendly Dog: The dog from the episode "Lost And Found," complete with slobber. He is actually a smaller breed of dog in comparison to humans but considering that the main characters are toads, this trope still suits. Of course, the dog does lose his friendly side when Erebus becomes cross with him.
Carnivore Confusion: Normally subverted to quite an extreme. The Toad Patrol is often under the impression that anyone bigger than them will either eat them, crush them or both.
Although this is played straight with certain animals in the show who would normally eat toads in real life such as herons and turtles who do not eat them in the show.
Also played straight when Panther Cap meets a goose who doesn't eat toads and is confused about whether or not toads are supposed to be a part of his diet or not. The young goose becomes scared to introduce his new friend to his mother just in case. (Although it's worth noting that geese do not - in fact - eat toads in real life.)
Panther Cap: A-Are you gonna... (Gulp) Eat me?
Artie: Am I supposed to? You look like you'd taste awful!
Fur Foot says, "Hop to it!" at least once per episode.
Mistle Toad says "Mighty Thunder!" every time he's surprised.
Puff Ball says, "Down the hill, up the hill. It never ends." once in the episode, "Scooped" and then in the second season, he revives that phrase and begins saying it almost once per episode. Although he reverses it, making it into, "Up the hill, down the hill. It never ends."
Cloudcuckoolander: Rosencratz and Guildenstern are energetic, twin rats who rhyme together and break into song... Just because. And when one of them comes up with a plan, the other proudly exclaims that there's no explanation necessary and just to go along with it. Again, just because.
Slippery Jack: What're we going to do? Rosencratz: Hang tight, tots! (Rosencratz begins to pace.) Oyster: But wha — Guildenstern: Shhh! Don't interrupt him! He's thinking of a plan! Rosencratz:(Off-screen) Got it! Guildenstern:(With enthusiasm) Brilliant! Slippery Jack and Oyster:What?! What?! What?! Rosencratz(Joins the group on-screen and says matter-of-factly) You don't need to know. Guildenstern: I don't even need to know!
Hotspur is always paranoid that others are going to steal from him. But at the same time, he seems thrilled by the idea of being stolen from. As a result, he asks the potential thieves to tell him stories of their adventures
Coming of Age: The main cast of the Toad Patrol has to mature pretty quickly and keep it together in order to survive, even though a few charactes mature slower than others.
Common Sense: Fur Foot, Elf Cup and Oyster all have common sense... seemingly on a level that the remaining Toad Patrol members lack.
As a leader, Fur Foot always has to make quick decisions. His common sense tends to be the most clear when he makes decisions on the behalves of others. In "Lost And Found", Fur Foot made an instant association between dogs (one in particular) and humans. After a dog ends up in his care, he makes the decision to take it to the 'stomper place' so it could be properly cared for.
While Elf Cup has a bit of a temper, she is probably the best example of Toad Patrol common sense. This is shown in many episodes including "The Cure," "The Healer," "Winter Woes," "Castaway," and so on.
As Slippery Jack is hypercompetent when it comes to complex things, Oyster appears to balance him out by being hypercompetent when it comes to basic things. Unfortunately, her common sense prowess goes largely unnoticed due to it being... well... common sense. Anyone can do it, right? Oyster even expresses her annoyance at this in the episode, "Choices".
Companion Cube: Surprisingly subverted. Panther Cap treats his 'pointer' as a sort of Companion Cube although he never speaks to it. However, he does become distraught without it.
He needs his 'pointer' to find the Thunder Trees. He then speaks to the trees.
Double subversion because he usually only speaks to the trees inside of his mind. He has however spoken out loud to the Thunder Trees before.
Continuity Nod: There are quite a few if you pay attention. One such example is Elf Cup talking about 'Green Eyes' in second season.
Elf Cup: We're here because Green Eyes chased us here! Beauty Stem: Green Eyes?! Elf Cup: I recognized him. He chased me that night I got lost!
Cool Big Sis: Beauty Stem, being the second oldest, played this role consistently.
Elf Cup sometimes falls under this. A notable example is during the episode, "Winter Woes" when she ends up looking out for the younger members of her group.
Cursed with Awesome: Panther Cap's ability to hear the Thunder Trees. Among other things. He's able to find his way around by using the voices and guide the Toad Patrol in the right direction. Although there are times where these abilities border on Blessed with Suck.
(After Panther Cap runs off in a huff, Beauty Stem tries to go after him but is stopped by Mistle Toad.)
Mistle Toad: Let him be.
Beauty Stem: But... He needs —
Mistle Toad: To be alone! It is the terrible price he must pay for his gift.
Disproportionate Retribution: Orpheus wanted to kill the Toad Patrol because Earth Star accidentally fell through the ground and ruined his living quarters.
Ditzy Genius: Slippery Jack while very intelligent when it comes to solving complicated problems, he becomes completely incompetent when presented with anything that requires basic common sense.
In one episode, Slippery Jack was in a Toad Tunnel with Beauty Stem and Panther Cap. He witnessed one side completely cave in and began to have a panic attack, thinking that he was trapped. Beauty Stem had to remind him that they were in a tunnel and that they could simply walk out the other end any time they like.
Shaggy Mane also falls under this trope. He is very intelligent when it comes to language but otherwise, he is rather clumsy and often, others will find him with his head in the clouds instead of on his shoulders.
Pretty much every episode's title tells you exactly what the episode is going to be about... or at the very least... where it's going to take place. Some direct examples include, "The Giver Of Names," "The Fire," "Crystal Caverns," "The Stay Away Place," "Trapped," "The Cure," "The Temple Of Bufonidae," "The Fairy Ring," "The Healer," "Castle Of The Ancients," and "The Sacrifice."
"Good Day" may be considered a subversion of this trope.
Fantastic Racism: Elf Cup and Puff Ball's opinion of frogs was severely distorted.
The Farmer And The Viper: After Beauty Stem, Earth Star and Orpheus fell over the side of a cliff, Shaggy Mane, Slippery Jack and Mistle Toad worked right away to assist Beauty Stem and Earth Star. Despite Orpheus having antagonized them previously, they showed mercy and decided to help Orpheus too. Once Orpheus was saved, he repaid the Toad Patrol by leading them into a trap.
Especially on his promotional chocolate tin that was originally sold to raise money for the show. The tin features quotes of Mistle Toad's philosophy regarding youngsters (ok, others in general but moreso aimed at youngsters) and a short story about him helping a group of youngsters out.
"Mistle-Toad sees the innocence in our mistakes and teaches us to realize the strength and dignity we all possess within ourselves."
In the episode, "The Castle of the Ancients," Slippery Jack is trying to come up with a plan to get up a large mountain beyond the reach of Shaggy Mane's coil. After thinking for some time, this dialogue ensues.
Slippery Jack: Forget it! My plan doesn't work! Puff Ball: That's a first. (Elf Cup giggles) Slippery Jack:(With annoyance) Yeah? Well, I don't see your Thunderstick doing anything to help out! Puff Ball:Maybe my Thunderstick doesn't want to go UP the big climb. Oyster: Puff Ball's just joking, Slippery Jack!
Green Aesop: "The Cure" features a small waterfall being polluted by an old oil can and then Beauty Stem drinking it.
Green Eyes: 'Green Eyes' the fox. (It's worth noting that when 'Green Eyes' was introduced, his eyes were yellow. Not green. One can assume that there were two different foxes who looked similar enough that Elf Cup thought they were the same and named him based on seeing him a second time.)
Insistent Terminology: Toad Patrol plays with this trope somewhat in second season when Shaggy Mane and Slippery Jack start having an argument over the proper use of the term, 'Falling Wet.' The exchange goes somewhat like this.
Shaggy Mane:(Walks under a leaf with water on it. The water drips off and lands on his head.) Umph! I hate the... falling wet.
Slippery Jack: That's not 'falling wet', Shaggy. Falling wet falls from the big, big blue!
Shaggy Mane:(Beat.) If it falls... and it's wet... it's falling wet!
Instant Expert: Fur Foot, Shaggy Mane and Puff Ball upon receiving their special items.
Oyster may also fall under this as she found and created her own special item with no prior knowledge as to what it was or what it did exactly.
Slippery Jack does not fall under this because even though he was able to use his items right away, he still received a basic explanation beforehand.
Instrumental Theme Tune: The opening theme songs from season one and two. Ending themes are always instrumentals as well.
Barnaby:(Overly enthusiastic) My-My-My! (Chuckles then looks into the water) Just look at ME! What a frog! Shaggy Mane:(Walks into the water and blocks out Barnaby's reflection) Excuse me? Barnaby: Eh — Do you mind? You're ruining the view! Then later... Barnaby:(After the Toad Patrol leaves) Now, what should I do? I know! (Hovers over the water) Look at me!
The Klutz: Shaggy Mane sometimes falls under this... In fact, it's pretty much the entire focus of the episode, "The Giver of Names".
Often, Shaggy Mane's clumsiness is used more as a plot point instead of a fatal character flaw. (In other words, we need the Toad Patrol to end up here. What better way to make them get there than to have Shaggy Mane fall down a hole?)
It is also worth noting that it's rarely done with the intention of being comedic.
Barnaby:(Greeting the Toad Patrol for the first time) Well-Well-Well! What have we here? Do I see a troop of tiny - eh - Toadlets? The name is BAR-naby! (Bows playfully) And the pleasure is... all yours, of course! Then later... Shaggy Mane: Have you seen any other Toadlets? Barnaby: You mean... on purpose?
He also gets a ham-appropiate musical number in both of his appearances.
Shaggy Mane also has his Large Ham moments... Particularly in Barnaby's second appearance.
Lighter and Softer: When looking at original concept art for Toad Patrol, you realize that the show may have originally been designed to not be for children.
On the website www.toadpatrol.com, the creators stated explicitly that Puff Ball and Fur Foot would never use their tools as weapons. They would only use their tools to indirectly hinder their foes. (With the intent of keeping the show more kid-friendly.) However, in one concept image, the Toad Patrol is shown in a large scale battle against a snake (who we can safely assume is Erebus) and a giant brown rat. Fur Foot and Puff Ball are prepared to use their tools as weapons on both sides. Shaggy Mane is swinging overhead in preparation for a kick and Beauty Stem is blinding the snake with her 'shine'
Although with all due fairness, Beauty Stem has blinded Erebus in the series as well.
Magic Music: Pretty much the entire focus of season two.
Magical Realism: A lot of things in this show don't make sense. Talking toads don't make sense anymore than toads turning into toadstools. However, with all that's said and done, the dangers that these characters face are very real. Some examples of this are: being crushed under the feet of those much bigger (like 'stompers' AKA. humans) or being eaten by predators. There is an element of magic but living in the forest, it's mostly environment and relationship based.
Also Earth Star who splashed Erebus by redirecting his boat.
Mama Bear: Averted with Beauty Stem in the episode Invasion. She was intending to attack a weasel so Panther Cap and Oyster could get away but instead of getting a chance to, the group fell down a hole. This was likely done to avoid having to portray the characters in a violent manner... After all, Toad Patrolis for kids!
Mascot: Believe it or not, Mistle Toad is the mascot of the Toad Patrol franchise.
He was used when the Sarsons were initially raising money for the show. (They sold Mistle-Toad chocolates.)
He has also been used as the main character to show up on every brochure showcasing the yearly Run For The Toad event.
Other characters have appeared on various pages for different things like the menu but Mistle Toad is still always seen on the front page. (Characters showing up on other pages usually happens when the page is character appropriate. Ex. Slippery Jack on the Directions page. However, there is also a character on the menu that has never been identified in the series. This is quite likely because none of the identified characters have ever been identified as chefs.)
The Messiah: Mistle Toad has never been shown to dislike anyone. Ever.
This is made especially apparent on the Mistle-Toad chocolate tin.
"At the tunnel we see Mistle-Toad helping others hop up a natural stone stairway, as he offers each Toadlet his hand. Consumed by a brilliant light as if passing into a new dimension or beginning a new life Mistle-Toad, the Tunnel-Toad and the Toadlets take on very distinctive apparel and appear to have gained dignity and bearing. So herein lies the basis for a toad tale to end all and in the process a celebration of world peace."
Methuselah Syndrome: Anyone want to guess how old Juno is? Or the ages of the Ancients? Despite all that, it's a well known fact that turtles can live a very long time.
Although ironically, while Mistle Toad seems to fill the role of a name to be trusted by the youngsters, it has been shown that those who have known him - quite possibly before the events of Toad Patrol - regard him to be a rebel and show strong dislike for him.
Elf Cup: Who says?! Puff Ball: He does. He thinks he's terrific. Then later... Barnaby:(Picking off the petals of a flower) I love me. I love me not. I love me. I love me not. (Discards the flower) Oh, who am I kidding? I love me!
Never Say "Die": Belisarius suspects the Toad Patrol of being Ancients and blames them for the appearance of the 'ghosts' in their cavern. Elf Cup says that he's lying and that ghosts don't exist. Belisarius responds by saying something to the effect of, "We'll see about that," and then attempts to drown them in sand.
They also have occasional work-arounds with Erebus.
The Toad Patrol also uses words to imply the word... but never the actual word. (Toad Splat, Toad Toast and Boiled Toad just to name a few.)
Earth Star seems to be immune this this trope. Although in all fairness, he says, 'dead'. Not 'die'.
Put on a Bus: Many characters from the first season. This is justified by the fact that most of the characters the Toad Patrol met in the first season were creatures that either hibernated or flew south during the winter.
The Quiet One: Panther Cap. He does, however, become more talkative in the second season.
The best example of Mistle Toad being a reasonable authority figure is during, "Temple of Bufonidae" when Puff Ball started destroying the temple. At first he asked if Puff Ball could go without destroying it but Puff Ball asked if he had a better idea. With that, Mistle Toad relented and let Puff Ball destroy to his heart's content.
Interestingly enough, he even found something to help Puff Ball with.
The Reveal: The significance behind certain locations in the show.
Rhymes on a Dime: Shaggy Mane likes to make up poems on the spot and has shown himself to be excellent at free-verse poetry. Although not all of his poems are amazing, some of his poems are made simply to express his own ideas and feelings.
Rosencratz and Guildenstern also fit this trope. Guildenstern moreso than Rosencratz as during their introduction, Rosencratz in fact does not rhyme and instead expects his brother to do so. When Guildenstern breaks their string of rhymes, Rosencratz tells him to cut it. Rosencratz then shares a song with Guildenstern in which they both rhyme.
Slippery Jack has also been shown to be able to rhyme as he is able to playfully banter with Shaggy Mane.
Secret Identity: Members of the Toad Patrol adopt second identities with the interest of keeping Hotspur on their side.
Seldom Seen Species: So here we have a series about toads and you only ever see two frogs throughout the course of the whole series... And they're related!
Shipper on Deck: Elf Cup shows signs of this occasionally for - believe it or not - Beauty Stem and Earth Star. In one episode, the group goes to meet up with Earth Star. They are greeted by his singing in the distance and Puff Ball figures that he's written Beauty Stem a new song. Elf Cup puts her hands together and remarks that Beauty Stem will love it but upon finally seeing Earth Star and finding out that he's singing to another girl, Elf Cup gets ridiculously angry to the point where Fur Foot has to stop her from giving Earth Star a piece of her mind. She nearly ends up taking her anger out on Puff Ball. She also enjoys teasing Fur Foot and Calypso.
Ship Sinking: Toad Patrol has instances of this. Particularly in season two.
Ship Tease: Outsider and Mistle Toad. Also Fur Foot and Calypso.
The Short Guy with Glasses: Slippery Jack. He's the second youngest of the group with Oyster and is only slightly older than Panther Cap. Also considered by the group members to be the smartest and the go-to guy for plans. The only thing missing are the back-up plans and green that go with this trope.
Stout Strength: Yes, Puff Ball is noticeably bigger than the rest of the members of his group. Yes, he tends to be more lazy and he often wishes he could be left behind just once... but the fact is that he's no less athletic than the rest of his group and is in fact stronger than they are.
Talking Animal: The entire Toad Patrol main cast as well as some of the villains (Erebus and Orpheus) and extras. (Cleo and Penny Bun)
Team Mom: Beauty Stem. Despite being the mother figure for the group, she is still seen more as an older sister than anything else.
Her affection becomes the most apparent when she interacts with the youngest member of the Toad Patrol, Panther Cap. With that said, Panther Cap has happily introduced Beauty Stem as his sister on at least one occasion.
She has also shown Oyster a great deal of affection.
The Team Normal: With the exception of Panther Cap, the other Toad Patrol members don't really have any powers per se.
However, while Puff Ball has more strength than your average Toadlet and Slippery Jack is hyper-intelligent, there are other members who feel they have no real abilities or anything to really offer the group. This has lead to characters (specifically Oyster and Shaggy Mane) worrying about becoming The Load.
Temporary Blindness: Inverted, in regards to the hero and villain. Beauty Stem blinds Erebus temporarily in "Trapped."
Theme Naming: The entire main cast is named after different types of toadstools.
Characters who are not part of the main cast are named after important figures in mythology and history.
The only exception to these rules are Mistle Toad and Digger.
Snout and Ollie also have one in the episode, "Invasion".
The Villain Sucks Song: Earth Star improvises one of these... to explain why Orpheus sucks in the episode, "The Sacrifice".
Welcome to the Real World: Subverted because they don't actually travel between dimensions. (Unless you count Toad Hollow.) However, it is revealed at the beginning of the series that the main cast of Toad Patrol is disoriented. They left the safety of the water (as tadpoles) to go onto land and discover that in the real world, they are very small.
They also receive another wake-up call in season two since the cast is completely unaware that their world changed. Winter.
We Need a Distraction: While it's rarely - if ever - said outright, there are often points where characters have to pose as distractions.
Beauty Stem, Elf Cup, Slippery Jack and Shaggy Mane distracting Erebus in "Trapped." Then later, Fur Foot being a distraction in the same episode.