What's the best way to teach Christian values to children? Through semi-anthropomorphizedGod-loving vegetables. Obviously. A cast the size of a produce department, silly songs, and plots taken from The Bible make for much better entertainment than you might expect. Why vegetables? Well, they're good for you, and what child wouldn't want to munch on versions of their favorite characters? But mostly because they didn't originally have the budget for CGI that could handle complex characters. After all, if you make a green sphere and call it a grape, who's to argue?Early videos used the format: Introduction by Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber talking about some issue (e.g. anger at siblings, materialism, not learning to share, not telling the truth, wouldn't help others, won't be patient or confident, etc.), sometimes prompted by a viewer letter; short story which illustrates the issue; silly Intermission, usually in the form of "Silly Songs With Larry"; another short story; discussion of the moral and relevant verse, the latter provided by QWERTY the computer. Later installments began using one long story with "Silly Songs" at the intermission. Currently, a given video could be either of these formats or simply be a single long story with no introduction, intermission, or theme song. Usually longer now than the Theme Song's claim of "half an hour" (which a recent updating of the opening removed).References and parodies plots from The Bible, The Grapes of Wrath (literally), Gilligan's Island, Star Trek, Batman (Larry Boy), Madame Bovary (Madame Blueberry), Gilbert and Sullivan, Indiana Jones, Hamlet, The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, Sherlock Holmes, and all kinds of others.Two movies: Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie, a TV series, a few video games, and a Flash-animated series for Larry-Boy have been produced.
An Easter Carol has an underlying theme of loss of various sorts. Ebeneezer's grandmother died and he doesn't know how to move on from it. Early on, Cavis and Millward lose their job. There's also the whole thing with the threat of tearing down St. Bart's Church, which would negatively affect the orphanage that the church runs. And the Gilbert family has to struggle with the fact that Edmund is very sick and might not live to see another Easter.
Early in Pistachio, the eleopardmous wooden puppet runs off and gets into all sorts of trouble. The episode takes a good amount of time showing his father's desperate searching when he realizes Pistachio's missing.
An Aesop: Shamelessly, but that's kind of the point.
Ageless Birthday Episode: Downplayed in "The Gourds Must Be Crazy", where a birthday party for Junior is mentioned but not given focus. It had already been established in an earlier episode that Junior was five. Did he turn six in this one, or was about to? No clue.
All-Cheering All the Time: "Tomato Sawyer And Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue" had a trio of female pea cheerleaders who showed up at random times during the story.
The Toy That Saved Christmas has Wally P. Nezzer, who is Nebby K. Nezzer's brother. It's never outright stated they're twins,but they look and dress so similarly (the only real physical difference being that Wally has a bigger nose) that it's some ridiculously Strong Family Resemblance at the very least.
In Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella, the Big Bad is Professor Rattan's twin brother Wicker. While there are a few differences, they look close enough that if one wasn't paying too much attention they could get mixed up, which Wicker uses to his advantage frequently.
Pa Grape: I'm a viking, and I've come to take your land — oh, yes — I've come to take your land; and I've come to burn your crops and steal your horses! And I've come to step on your chickens, and soil your quilts!... oy.
Anthropomorphic Personification: Most of the Larry-Boy villians; for instance, the Fib is a representation of a lie who grows with it, and the Rumor Weed represents a spreading rumor in the form of a weed that infests yards as it travels.
Archibald: Does the hippo see them? Is the poor mute cebu successful in communicating the imminent danger to the other passengers? Is the boy injured? Why is the sad cebu sad? Is the canoe wood or aluminum?
In the first episode, when the wise men are trying to think of ways to get rid of Daniel, one of the suggestions is to give him donuts, and then take them away from him.
In Lord of the Beans, the four beans made could change your appearance, create nice clothing, all the food you could ever want, and... small kitchen appliances.
Art Evolution: The early episodes looked very crude; as technology increases for later episodes, the episodes get better lighting, softer textures, and smoother animation.
Which of course makes sense, given that Larry-Boy is a fairly obvious Captain Ersatz for Batman.
Bears Are Bad News: In the Silly Song "The Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps", the veterinarian's yodeling did not actually work; the nurse would have to give people the real cures to their pets' various ailments. By the time someone brought in their pet bear, the nurse had given up because the veterinarian wouldn't give him a raise, and the bear got angry and started chasing the veterinarian.
Big Eaters: Jimmy and Jerry Gourd. In fact, when they made their debut in the Affectionate Parody of Star Trek, they managed to save the starship from crashing into a meteor made of popcorn by eating the entire meteor.
Big "NO!": By Larry during "Is this the End of Silliness?", when Archibald Asparagus explains why Larry lost his silly songs.
Also by Larry in the silly song "Sippy Cup" combined with Eat The Camera.
Many of the stories taken from The Bible are toned down; for example, in the original story of Daniel and the Lion's Den, the king puts the evil advisors and their families to death by tossing them in said den. With lions that went to bed without supper. The VeggieTales version of it instead ends in a more cartoonish way, with the advisors running off while the king chases after them.
They Bowdlerized one of their own cartoons. In Rack, Shack, and Benny, "The Bunny Song" is a song that the protagonists refuse to sing. The song originally had some genuinely troubling lyrics—which resulted in letters from parents because despite it being condemned onscreen, children were singing it anyway. It was then completely rewritten as "The New And Improved Bunny Song" for the sing-along video, as a good version of the song, but some parents were still bothered by the original, so when Big Idea started rereleasing all their videos, Rack, Shack, and Benny got its version's lyrics replaced with refusals to eat healthy food.
"King George and the Duckie" is an adaptation of the story of David and Bathsheba; while the Biblical story centers around adultery, the VeggieTales version substitutes rubber duckie theft, the king gets a chance at reconciliation (the guy survived and won the war single-handedly in this version), and David was changed to George, because David had been the hero in an earlier episode.
In the Biblical account of Jonah, Nineveh was a city of adulterers and thieves. No mention of adultery in the Veggie version; the bad thing the Ninevites do that gets mentioned most often in their version is slapping each other with fishes.
"Moe and the Big Exit" is an adaption of The Exodus From Egypt. They tone down most of the plagues for children, people receive a plague of gophers instead of frogs, and acne instead of skin disease.
There are some notable aversions though: "Daniel in the Lion's Den" doesn't cover up the fact that the wise men want to kill Daniel, the "first born" plague isn't taken out of Moe and the Big Exit, Rack, Shack and Benny doesn't Bowdlerize getting thrown into a furnace, and they keep the Downer Ending of Jonah intact.
VeggieTales as a whole itself was bowdlerized during the Qubo years; all Christianity-related content before and after the story (although the stories themselves somehow remained largely untouched) was removed and replaced. Phil Vischer was not happy.
Brick Joke: One of the first Silly Songs With Larry, The Hairbrush Song ended with Bob confessing to Larry that he gave his hairbrush to The Peach, and Larry decides to let him keep it. After the song, The Peach made only a handful of other appearances, and never even got a name. Fast forward to the Indiana Jones parody, one of the most recent productions. When Larry/Minnesota Cuke consult an illustrated Bible manuscript in search of Samson's Hairbrush, the character standing in for Samson is The Peach!
In one of the earliest episodes' songs, Jerry mentions that 'Aunt Ruth has a beard.' In the I Love My Lips Silly Song, Larry had to kiss his great-Aunt Ruth. 'She had a beard, and it felt weird.' She also appears in The Song of the Zebu, during Larry's Embarrassing Slide.
In The Toy That Saves Christmas, there is a sled wreck, and then Bob says: "You roll your dice, you move your mice. Nobody gets hurt." Guess what happens in The Tale of St. Nicholas....
Bubble Pipe: In its Sherlock Holmes parody, the Sherlock character has a bubble pipe, and at one point he inhales by accident and chokes on the soap.
Butt Monkey: Mr. Lunt, who is frequently the worthless sidekick, appears insufferably lazy, cross-dresses at least twice, and laments that his life has only included one half hour of happiness. That one day. Between two and two-thirty.
Call Back: At one point during Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush, Minnesota (played by Larry) starts humming the hairbrush song.
Really, the whole episode can be considered a Call Back to the song.
Another example is in "The Song of the Cebu;" after struggling to get his slide show back on track, Larry points out that he's found another picture of a cebu, only to correct himself that it's a water buffalo, providing a call back to the first Silly Song, "The Water Buffalo Song."
In the episode based on Jonah, when Moses and the Israelites take a shortcut to the Promised Land, they find that it is populated by giants, who all look like the giant pickle from "Dave and the Giant Pickle".
"And remember, kids, God made you special, and he loves you very much."
"Perhaps I can be of assistance!"
"I'm Bob, I'm a tomato, and I'm here to help you!" "I'm Larry, I'm a cucumber, and I'm here to make you giggle!"
Chain of People: In The Toy that Saved Christmas, Louie and a bunch of penguins do this to save Mr. Nezzer from falling off a cliff. And then George has to go save them all from dangling off the edge of a bridge forever.
Combined with Viewers Are Goldfish in The Toy that Saved Christmas. The bridge to Puggslyville is out... clearly it's important because it's mentioned at least three times.
In a scene very early on in An Easter Carol, Reverend Gilbert and Edmund are talking about Mr. Nezzer, and the reverend mentions offhand that Nezzer's family owns a lot of land, even the land St. Bart's Church sits on. This becomes critical to the episode's plot.
In Lord of the Beans, Randalf comments on the jewel Lord Falaminion Tereglith is wearing. Lord Falaminion Tereglith was bribed with it to send Toto into a trap.
In The Star of Christmas, Seymour promises Millward he can drive his rocket-powered car at some point. It happens towards the end of the episode.
Christmas Episode: Five so far: "The Toy That Saved Christmas", "The Star of Christmas", "Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving", "The Little Drummer Boy", and "Christmas Sing-Along Songs!".
Comes Great Responsibility: A major theme in Lord of the Beans. Billboy (Archibald) and Ahem (Mr. Lunt) both used the bean irresponsibly and Scaryman (Scallion 1) wanted the bean for selfish reasons, but when Toto (Junior) is given it he refuses to use it for frivolous things, and instead searches for a way to use it that would be meaningful.
Pa Grape and Mr. Lunt's reaction to Larry's lyrics in The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: "I've never plucked a rooster and I am not too good at ping-pong and I've never thrown my mashed potatoes up against the wall and I've never kissed a chipmunk, and I've never gotten head lice and I have never been to Boston in the fall!"
Pa Grape: Huh?!? What are you talking about? What's a rooster and mashed potatoes have to do with being a pirate?
Mr. Lunt: Hey, that's right! We're supposed to sing about pirate-y things!
Pa Grape: And who ever kissed a chipmunk? That's just nonsense! Why even bring it up?
Of course, Larry goes on to sing, "And I've never licked a spark-plug and I've never sniffed a stink bug and I've never painted Daisies on a big red rubber ball and I've never bathed in yogurt and I don't look good in leggings and I've never been to Boston in the fall."
Pa Grape: You just don't get it.
Composite Character: Mr. Nezzer is sort of one. "The Toy That Saved Christmas" introduced Nebby K. Nezzer's brother Wally, who had the exact same character model and voice. Eventually they started casting "Mr. Nezzer" in other roles. Although we've never seen this out of character in the "real world", it can probably be assumed that he is a single character.
Scallions: We could give him jelly donuts, take 'em all away, we could fill his ears with cheese balls and his nostrils with sorbet. We could use him as a footstool or a table to play Scrabble on, then tie him up and beat him up and throw him out of Babylon! (from the song "What We Gonna Do?")
From "Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie":
Guard: ...The slap of no return! Everyone: [laughs]
But then you see it's a giant metal fish that swings down on you, turning you into a paste.
From "Gideon — Tuba Warrior":
Gideon:We will defeat the Midianites with our horns and flashlights!
Then there's the Hebrews marching around Jericho getting slushies dropped on their heads.
The Corrupter: The villains in the Larry-Boy films tend to be this:
The Fib in Larry-Boy! And the Fib from Outer Space! convinces Junior to tell lies to cover up the fact he broke a plate belonging to his dad. It turns out Junior's lies make the Fib more powerful, and before long Fib has kidnapped Junior and is destroying the city.
The Rumor Weed in Larryboy and the Rumor Weed takes what she hears from Junior and Laura about Larry-Boy's butler and spreads it across the whole city, and eventually everyone is convinced Alfred is a robot and views him with fear and hatred.
The Cover Changes The Gender: "The Rumor Weed Song" is sung by the female Rumor Weed, and other characters in the song say "she's a rumor weed!" The lead singer of The W's is male, so when The W's covered the song, the backup singers say "he's a rumor weed!" instead.
Critical Research Failure: In-Universe example—in Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry Bob/Tomato Sawyer wants to open a Tax Firm on the land that they're trying to own... but little does he know, the income tax hasn't even been started in America yet.
Darker and Edgier: The first two Larry-Boy episodes are noticeably darker in tone than most VeggieTales. Both feature manipulative villains who trick innocent people into telling lies or spreading rumors. The Fib from Outer Space has a lot of city destruction and a child's life being in constant danger for about half the episode, and The Rumor Weed has an entire city turned against an innocent man to the point that they don't care if he dies. And in both of these episodes, the villain dies at the end.
In Rack, Shack and Benny. What else do you call burning people alive because they won't sing a song about chocolate bunnies?
Happens again in The Toy that Saved Christmas. While Nezzer's understandably angry at the group for sneaking on his property and using his tv studio without his knowledge or consent, responding by planning to send them off a cliff to their deaths is rather over the top.
Downer Ending: To the Silly Song "Pizza Angel". Larry waited for hours for a pizza delivery... The delivery boy couldn't find his house and then ate his pizza.
Early-Installment Weirdness: The show definitely took a while to find its niche. The first three episodes used the Two Shorts formula as opposed to the later episodes where one long story is used. Larry's voice is also far different in the early episodes, using a deep dumb sounding one with a lisp (the lisp did stay for a while, until Mike Nawrocki got tired of it and stopped). Where's God When I'm S-Scared?, being the first episode, shows the most of this — it is the only one to use title cards for each segment, an actual child reads the letter that opens the episode as opposed to Bob or Larry paraphrasing it, and a female voice narrates the second segment instead of a character from the show (this wouldn't happen again until Esther). God Wants Me to Forgive Them!? also lacks a Silly Song, as it was originally intended to be a one-off skit and not a recurring thing, until parents complained about it.
This happens in The Toy That Saved Christmas too. On Christmas Eve, Mr. Nezzer tries to kill Bob, Larry, Junior and Louie (and gets caught red-handed by the entire population of Dinkletown, including Junior's parents.) On Christmas Day, he gets invited to their Christmas party anyway.
Elvish Presley: Literally, in Lord of the Beans. Larry wears a sequined jumpsuit and fake elf ears for his Silly Song. Jimmy Gourd even invokes the trope by calling him "an Elvish impersonator."
Embarrassing Slide: A version of this occurs in one of the silly songs (The Song of the Zebu): the song is sung along with a slideshow... which eventually stops showing relevant pictures and starts showing vacation pictures instead. The song quickly ends, to the consternation of Archibald, who wonders just what the ending of the song was supposed to be.
Enhanced on DVD: Later releases of The Toy That Saved Christmas have had several scenes reanimated to be more fluid, George's car was given a different design, details are added such as shadows in the windows on the houses at the end, and at one point the camera moves to show what's going on on the television when in the earlier version the camera stayed on the faces of the family watching.
Exact Words: When Pistachio realizes he's been tricked, this exchange happens:
Pistachio: But you said you wouldn't steer me wrong!
The Fox: No, we said "why would we steer you wrong?" And the answer is, five. Gold. Coins.
Excited Show Title!: God Wants Me to Forgive Them!?!, Very Silly Songs!, Larry-Boy! And the Fib From Outer Space!, Josh and the Big Wall!, Jonah Sing-Along Songs and More!, The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment!, Bob and Larry's How to Draw!, Heroes of the Bible! Lions, Shepherds and Queens, Oh My!, Heroes of the Bible! Stand Up, Stand Tall, Stand Strong!, Heroes of the Bible! A Baby, A Quest and the Wild, Wild West!, and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything Sing-Along Songs and More!
Expository Theme Tune: Whether this is played straight or averted is rather iffy. The theme song says the show's name an awful lot, addresses the show's demographics (It's for the kids who like to talk to tomatoes), and even states how long an episode is. (Cauliflower, sweet and sour, half an hour, Veggie Tales) However, it speaks very little of the show's premise, aside from the mention of the lack of the characters' dexterity, a common point the show makes, and doesn't even speak of the religious aspect, confusing a lot of first-time viewers.
Everything's Better with Penguins: The Toy that Saved Christmas introduces a bunch of penguins. Since then, penguins occasionally have cameos, such as a penguin dressed as a parrot in the Silly Song "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" or as Junior's poor sick penguin in "The Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps."
Evil Makes You Ugly: Used in "Sweetpea Beauty"; the queen's obsession with becoming beautiful coupled with the evil mirror's manipulation leads her to do increasingly horrible things, which gradually makes her more and more hideous. The mirror hides this fact by showing her false reflections of herself.
Food Fight: "The Great Pie War", which plays a role in both King George and the Ducky and Duke and the Great Pie War.
Forbidden Chekhov's Gun: Towards the end of The Star of Christmas, Seymour warns Millward not to use the eleventh rocket on the rocket-powered car as it has not been tested yet. Millward ends up using it.
Foreshadowing: After Larry, Mr. Lunt and Pa Grape successfully host an entire episode (Gideon: Tuba Warrior) as The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, Pa makes a mock poster with a suggestion to star in their own pirate movie." A year later and guess what happens?
At the end of the episode (Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler), Larryboy (Larry the Cucumber) states his dress rehearsal for the next show (Larry Boy and The Bad Apple) starts in two minutes.
And Buzzsaw Louie from The Toy that Saved Christmas has fingerless hands.
Framing Device: Most episodes are framed by scenes of the characters on the countertop, who tell the stories. A few don't use the countertop scenes, but still have the main episodes' plots put in the context of a character telling a story. It's averted in Esther: The Girl Who Became Queen, though.
Which means that everyone was shocked, and slightly embarrassed, per The Hairbrush Song.
In a Larry Boy Cartoon Adventures episode, this exchange happens:
Larry (to Master Bok Choy): Master, what do you do if your hometown is invaded by an overgrown seedless grape? Dark Crow: Who are you calling seedless??
Good Shepherd: Reverend Gilbert (Dad Asparagus) in The Star of Christmas and An Easter Carol. He is seen teaching his son Edmund moral lessons, extending goodwill to people like Mr. Nezzer, and going out of his way to help those in need. He keeps this general attitude even when he's under a lot of pressure, such as the possibility of the church he works at being knocked down or his son becoming deathly ill.
Goofy Print Underwear: When the van crashes into a clothesline in Jonah, a pair is plastered against the windshield.
Graceful Loser: While not exactly a loss in the technical sense, the effect is still the same. In Sumo of the Opera, Apollo Gourd and The Italian Scallion (Larry) have a sumo match. The result of the match is a draw. Since no one had ever gotten that far against Apollo Gourd, all the praise gets showered on The Italian Scallion anyway. Apollo is a good sport about it.
Grandpa God: During both Snoodle poems and the Pirates movie, although these portrayals are allegorical.
Guilty Pleasures: Larry likes his soap operas, and owns a plush of Barbara Manatee that he dances with.
Hand Wave: Done in-universe in The Toy that Saved Christmas. When Annie questions the fact that a toy just came to life in the story George is telling her, George waves it off with, "Maybe he was wired different! Who knows?"
Heel-Face Revolving Door: According to audio commentary they came up with Wally P. Nezzer in The Toy that Saved Christmas in an attempt to avert this; they'd just had Mr. Nezzer Heel-Face Turn in Rack, Shack, and Benny so having him come back as a villain seemed odd, hence giving him a brother. They gave up on the idea after that.
Phil Vischer: Rather than just keeping expanding his family we installed a little morality switch in his back. Good Nezzer, bad Nezzer, good Nezzer, bad Nezzer...
Herbivore Confusion: In a world populated by talking vegetables and fruits, there are pies and popcorn balls as food, and apparently "apple choppers". It was confirmed in the commentary for Duke and the Great Pie War (and demonstrated in Jonah) that there are non-sentient fruits and vegetables in their world as well.
In their version of Daniel and the Lion's Den, a cucumber is tossed to lions.
I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Laura uses this to excuse herself when Junior breaks his dad's plate in Larry-Boy! And the Fib From Outer Space!
I Take Offense to That Last One: In the first story of God Wants Me to Forgive Them!?!, Rosie unleashes a long string of insults on her brother Tom, ending with the word "boy"; Pa tells her to apologize since Tom just turned 18 and is now should be called a "man."
Insane Troll Logic: "The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill And Came Down With All The Bananas" : The Englishman takes all the bananas from a hill, but doesn't eat them because "You can't eat bananas without strawberries!" And then a Swedish man takes all the strawberries from another hill, but "can't eat strawberries without bananas!" And then they refuse to share with each other.
Invisible Anatomy: Averted with feet (the characters move around by hopping), but the characters' lack of hands is constantly Lampshaded.
Right from the start, before the theme song:
Bob: I know! You play the guitar! Larry: Bob, I don't have any hands.
Josh and the Big Wall had Tom Grape and Pa Grape lampshade how they and other characters were applauding a giant rocket.
Tom: How are we clapping? Pa: I have no idea.
"Lyle the Kindly Viking" has a reference.
Bjorn (Lunt): I would clap if I could.
Dr. Jiggle and Mr. Sly repeatedly shows close-ups of a character's hands and feet, who is then shocked when he doesn't have limbs in the long shots. It's kind of weird, really.
Invisible hair as well - in Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush, Martin notices Minnesota's haircut even though he never had any hair to begin with. Though a few scenes later, Minnesota can't use the power of the hairbrush since he has no hair (a reference to The Hairbrush Song). Go figure.
From the personalized show:
Larry: I think we should give our good friend a hand! Bob: But, Larry, we can't. We don't have hands. Larry: I was speaking metaphorically, Bob.
It Was with You All Along: In Larry-Boy! And the Fib from Outer Space!, Larry-Boy and Alfred get a bit frantic trying to figure out how the monster can be stopped, especially after the Fib catches Larry-Boy. As it turns out, the only one who can stop the Fib is Junior Asparagus, who has been about five feet away from Larry-Boy for the past several minutes.
It's the Only Way: In The Toy that Saved Christmas, Junior uses this to justify sneaking into Mr. Nezzer's factory when Bob and Louie question the wisdom of doing so.
Jesus Taboo: The show's theological consultant forbade them from portraying Jesus as a vegetable, which is one reason most of the Bible stories are from the Old Testament. Jesus of course is discussed in many of the segments, so still somewhat averted.
In "The Story of Flibber-O-Loo", the crooks (the Scallions) who mug the Flibbian (Larry) simply run off with his money and are never seen again.
In Madame Blueberry, the Stuff-Mart people wind up destroying Madame Blueberry's house. No one sues them.
In Lord of the Beans, the Elders of the Razzberry Forest were bribed by Scaryman to betray the Fellowship. Nothing happens to them.
In Pistachio, a puppeteer tries to kidnap Pistachio, and when Pistachio flees in terror he encounters three con men who trick him out of his money and then toss him into the sea. These guys all quietly drop out of the story after their scenes are over.
Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: "Where's God When I'm S-scared?" starts with Junior Asparagus watching "Frankencelery," and becoming frightened by everything in the house after that. However, the point of the episode is that Junior doesn't need to be scared because God is taking care of him, not that he shouldn't have watched the movie.
In Larry-Boy! And the Fib from Outer Space!, the Fib carries Junior to the top of a water tower. Then Larry-Boy flies up there after them in his Larry-Plane.
Played with in the next Larry-Boy movie, when the Weed is wrapped around a building and reaches out a vine to grab Alfred.
Large Ham: Archibald, Larry as Larry-Boy, occasionally Bob
Lighter and Softer: The League of Incredible Vegetables in comparison to the earlier Larry-Boy episodes. The villain is a Large Ham who is not nearly as calculatingly manipulative as the villains in the earlier Larry-Boys, many of the characters' fears are Played for Laughs, and even the lighting and the music is much lighter and more cheery.
In The Toy that Saved Christmas, Louie and the penguins form a Chain of People to save Mr. Nezzer...and it leads to all of them stuck dangling off a cliff. Thankfully George comes to save them.
In Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella, at one point Cuke and his friends are captured by their enemies and left locked in a cage dangling over a cliff. Cuke comments that he hates cliffhangers. Cue "Silly Songs with Larry".
Littlest Cancer Patient: Edmund Gilbert (played by Junior Asparagus) is apparently perfectly fine in The Star of Christmas, but he becomes dangerously ill by An Easter Carol. What sets Ebeneezer Nezzer towards his change of heart is Hope informing him that Edmund has less than a year to live if nothing changes.
The Toy that Saved Christmas: A Buzzsaw Louie doll mysteriously comes to life, realizes that he doesn't like the sound of whatever he was originally programmed to say, and sets off to find the true meaning of Christmas.
Pistachio: Pistachio (played by Junior Asparagus) is a wooden toy carved from a "very special" log.
Lotus-Eater Machine: How Bad Apple plans to conquer Bumblyburg just like her great-uncle almost did, starting with the mayor, the reporter, and Larry-Boy.
Lured Into a Trap: In Lord of the Beans, Scaryman bribed the Elders of the Razzberry Forest to send Toto to the Land of Woe where Scaryman could ambush him and take the bean.
Medium Awareness: In The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's, Larry tells Bob that they can't let the show be too short, since they have a whole DVD to fill.
Also in The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's when asking why Pa Grape/The Lion didn't eat the rabbits and animals in the forest if he was so hungry he responds with "It's a kid show, they won't let me do that."
In Jonah, Dad Asparagus isn't satisfied until there's a big musical number to close the film.
In Larry-Boy! And the Fib from Outer Space!, Larry-Boy must find the mysterious object that fell from space. The object in question is Fib, who is out with Junior. Larry-Boy says "hello" to them one time and another time passes by without even seeing them. He gives up and goes home...only to have to head out again because Fib is destroying Bumblyburg.
In The Penniless Princess, Mr. Carrisford and Sara run into each other while Sara is running errands. After they have a friendly chat, Mr. Carrisford leaves, having no idea that he just spoke to the girl he's been searching for for a long time.
Archibald: You can't just start a song and leave it hanging like that!
Also parodied in "St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving". Bob stops the story at a seemingly random point (hesitant to tell his audience of very young vegetables that Nick's parents die) and they can't believe it's over already. Larry explains to them that it's one of those "Russian endings" meant to raise "more questions than answers."
No Flow in CGI: The whole reason why the series stars vegetables was to deliberately avert this. While other CG cartoons at the time tended to look stiff and choppy, the simple designs of the VeggieTales characters left the creators free to put a lot more work into making sure they animated fluidly.
No Fourth Wall: The intro and outro segments, some of the Silly Songs, and less frequently the stories themselves.
A rather memorable example was during a segment modeled after a Shakespeare play. As the gourd, Mr. Lunt was pushed onto the "stage" in full drag:
"I think we're going to get letters about this."
Jimmy Gourd's reaction is endlessly hilarious to this "fair Ophelia".
No Indoor Voice: As the creators have pointed out in commentary, it wasn't really until "Lyle the Kindly Viking" that Junior's voice actress stopped screaming all of her lines.
Once per Episode: Bob hates the song that precedes the final Aesop; Larry loves it. Turned on its head in Lord of the Beans, when the evil sporks steal the record — and Bob admits he misses the song.
One Steve Limit: Played straight with the real names of main characters, but averted with names belonging to characters who appear less often, or characters they play. The name Louie appears very frequently—Junior invites someone named Louie to his birthday party in Are You My Neighbor, Bob says he danced at Uncle Louie's polka party in the Silly Song "Dance of the Cucumber", the toy in The Toy that Saved Christmas is named Louie (and Laura Carrot's youngest brother, who also appears in that episode, is named Baby Lou). Also the fact they have a character named George did not stop them from having Larry play a George in King George and the Ducky.
One of Larry's brothers is named Bob the Cucumber (which Bob the Tomato is shocked to learn)
There's both a Steven and a Steve (Steve being another of Larry's brothers)
Parental Abandonment: In The Penniless Princess, Sara's mother is never shown and is implied to have died. (In the book it's based on, this is indeed the case.) Her father is in the opening scene, but dies later on (which is also accurate to the book).
Monty Python references, the most explicit being the French Peas as the people of Jericho taunting the Israelites from atop their wall. Oddly enough, they started out playing Philistines in a less explicit reference to the same scene.
The Fish Slappers in Jonah are explicitly explained as being inspired by Monty Python, in the audio commentary (the Larry and Mr. Lunt one).
In Lyle, the Kindly Viking, the episode starts off with Larry mentioning various viewer questions about sharing, such as "When do I have to share?", "Why do I have to share?", "Whatever happened to Sonny & Cher?".
On that note, in the Silly Song with Larry "I Love My Lips", when Larry sings "It's a lip, it's a lip, it's a lip lip lip" to the tune of the William Tell Overture during a Rorschach test, one of the cards is a non-animated photo of Sonny Bono.
"What are the Philippines?" "The Philippines are a group of islands off the coast of Asia, but that's not important now. The Philistines...."
Perverse Sexual Lust: An in-universe example; in "Barbara Manatee," one of the Silly Songs With Larry segments, Larry appears to be crushing on a manatee from a TV show. He even has a plush of her, which he sings to and dances with.
Piano Drop: Once on a cake in Esther, and several times down a flight of stairs in Sumo of the Opera.
In-universe example: the episode Pistachio has Junior, the kind, lovable asparagus, playing a rebellious, talkative puppet.
Mr. Nezzer is usually cast as a villain, and when he's not playing a villain he's playing a rather goofy fellow. And then in Lord of the Beans he plays Randalf, and while he still is occasionally goofy, for the most part he comes across as a wise leader and the Only Sane Man.
Remembered I Could Fly: In The Toy that Saved Christmas, at one point the protagonists are tied up on a sled hurtling to their doom. It doesn't even occur to Louie to use his built-in buzz saw to get them out of this predicament—and then Larry accidentally bumps his arm.
Louie: Watch it! You bumped into my...(realizes)...buzz saw...
Running Gag: Bob hating the "What We Have Learned" song and trying to turn it off in the middle. Some shows don't contain that song.
Cavis and Millward's "Princess and the Plumber" in Star of Christmas.
Marlee's "Up with Bunnies" in 'Twas the Night Before Easter.
Small Town Rivalry: In "The Story of Flibber-O-Loo" (a re-telling of the Good Samaritan story), the towns of Flibber-O-Loo and Jibberty-Lot have a heated rivalry, where they launch shoes and pots at each other with catapults and other devices.
Snowball Lie: Happens in Larry-Boy! And the Fib from Outer Space! Junior lies to avoid getting in trouble for breaking a plate, the lie keeps getting bigger as the people around Junior figure out he's not telling the truth....and then the lie has gotten so big that it is literally destroying Bumblyburg.
Space Whale Aesop: Don't lie, or an extra-terrestrial beast will feed off of your lies and hold you hostage.
Species Surname: Most of the characters' last names are the type of vegetable they are. Sometimes this leads to characters who don't seem to be relatives having the same last name, like Junior Asparagus and Archibald Asparagus. Some of the characters, like Mr. Nezzer or Mr. Lunt, avert this.
Spell My Name with an S: Larry-Boy/Larryboy/LarryBoy. The first was used in Fib from Outer Space & Rumor Weed, the second was used in the Flash-animated spinoff series, and the third was used in Bad Apple.
Edmund/Edmond Gilbert (played by Junior Asparagus) in The Star of Christmas and An Easter Carol. He is credited as "Edmond" but in subtitles and on the back of the box for The Star of Christmas it is spelled "Edmund".
Spit Take: When Dave announces his plan to fight Goliath, King Saul spits out his drink.
Spoof Aesop: One of the Silly Songs gives us the following;
Quartet: The moral of our story it's the point we hope we've made...when you go a little loopy better keep your nurse well paid!
Staircase Tumble: In The Toy that Saved Christmas, Louie's first step out of the factory leads to him falling down the stairs, which then leads to him getting stuck in snow. Junior pulls him out later.
Story Arc: In Josh and the Big Wall, technical difficulties prevented Larry from properly ending The Song of the Zebu, that video's "Silly Songs With Larry" segment. Archibald became so disappointed with Larry's lack of preparation, he announced the cancellation of "Silly Songs" in the next video (Madame Blueberry)'s segment. The Framing Device of the video after that (The End of Silliness?) showed Larry desperately trying to recover from the loss, until Archibald announces that a fan petition prompted him to uncancel "Silly Songs."
Super Cell Reception: Subverted in Larry-Boy! And the Rumor Weed, where Larry-Boy and Alfred try to keep communicating after Larry-Boy goes into the sewer system to find the Mother Weed...and find that the sewer walls are too thick and reception is shot.
And Jimmy and Jerry Gourd. And maybe the French Peas.
Too Dumb to Live: Larry in The Toy that Saved Christmas. He probably shouldn't have mentioned Puggslyville's bridge being out to Mr. Nezzer.
Took a Level in Kindness: Ebeneezer Nezzer in An Easter Carol when he starts changing for the better. Hope does this too; in her early interactions with Ebeneezer she is rather snarky and occasionally harsh, but around the point where Ebeneezer is very upset when he learns Edmund is probably going to die, Hope softens up considerably and is a lot more careful in how she interacts with him.
Unhand Them, Villain!: Towards the end of Sweetpea Beauty, the mirror grabs Sweetpea and carries her to the top of a tower. When the queen demands he let her go, he obliges.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Louie in The Toy that Saved Christmas. The first people he comes across after he escapes the factory don't even blink at the fact that they're talking to a living toy, and later on Mr. Nezzer is a lot more concerned about there being intruders in his studio than he is about the fact that one of his own toys came to life.
Uriah Gambit: In King George and the Ducky (a retelling of the trope-namingbible story), King George has Thomas sent to the front lines of the Pie War because he wants his ducky. It causes Thomas to temporarily go insane.
Valley Girl: Only Big Idea would go so far as to turn the Princess of Egypt in their retelling of the story of Moses in the Bulrushes into this - hilariously.
Scallion #1 (the tall one), Archibald, and the narrator for "Silly Songs with Larry" used to sound different. Archibald's delivery was more hammy, and Scallion's lacked the faux British accent the others had. This gradually blended together until it's pretty much all the same voice. Larry eventually hung a lampshade on this at the end of The Biscuit of Zazzamarandabo by acting surprised that Archibald and the narrator were not the same character. Archibald was surprised, too. In fact, now the creators attempt to place Scallion #1 and Archibald in the same scenes at times, just to prove that they're not the same character.
Just as noticeable is Jerry Gourd, who started out sounding like an impression of Jimmy Gourd's voice (enough to mark them as a matched pair of characters but with a subtle enough difference to be clearly a different actor — Phil and Mike use this approach extensively) but now sounds almost exactly like Larry.
Water Hose Rodeo: In Larry Boy and the Bad Apple, one character attempts to hose off a statue that's been covered in cobwebs. It turns out that the fire hose is too strong for him, and he gets flung all over.
Waxing Lyrical: Mr. Lunt's character in "St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving" slips into this several times.
Wax On, Wax Off: Mikey, in "Sumo of the Opera," teaches sumo to the Italian Scallion by mopping the floor and climbing the down escalator.
Wham Line: In Lord of the Beans, Toto thinks he's figured out why he was sent to the Land of Woe...until Scaryman comes out and reveals the real reason:
Scaryman: The elders sent you here because I told them to.
What the Hell, Hero?: King George sees someone bathing on a roof and he wanted his duck, despite having tons of his own, which leads to a Uriah Gambit (it's based on the original). Then he gets called out on it by the castle's wise man.