Western Animation: Wayside

aka: Wayside School

Wayside School (usually billed as just Wayside) is an Animated Adaptation of the novels from Louis Sachar, created by John Derevlany.

While a lot of the original setting and premise from the books is retained in the series (ie the 30 story school building, the students, and the cows), it also differs quite a bit from the original story. For instance, Todd is made a New Transfer Student to the school and stars as the main protagonist for the show with Mrs. Jewls already teaching at Wayside.

Originally premiering on Canada's Teletoon in 2007, it was later moved to Nickelodeon. The series had 25 episodes and an hour long Pilot Movie episode. Despite garnering relatively favorable reviews, the show was cancelled in 2008 and the first season was released later that year. The second season is still on waiting. (Reruns of the show still air in Canada, but have moved to Teletoon's now-sister network, YTV.)

Additionally, the Animated Adaptation contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: In the books, Principal Kidswatter is quite mean and intimidating, to the point where all the students fear him (they don't call him Kidswatter for nothing). Here, he's goofier, more lighthearted, and much, much nicer.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Many of the characters suffer from this:
    • In the books, Todd was one of the happiest kids in the school, but in the show, he's often bored and pessimistic.
    • In the books, Mr. Kidswatter was really intimidating towards the students, but in the show, he's a harmless goofball.
      • Though Kidswatter complaining about his job that he has to deal with kids every day, not knowing how the intercom works, and calling doors Goozacks was kept in.
    • Myron is the biggest example of this: in the books, he was "the nicest, bravest, most normal person on the 30th floor" who would do anything to help others, while in the show, he's incredibly selfish and scatterbrained. However, he usually learns his lesson and does the right thing in the end, and his selfishness could be considered endearing.
    • Maurecia hated Todd in the books but has a crush on him in the TV show.
      • Maurecia having a crush on Todd was actually referenced in the first book. When Mrs. Jewls brings in an ice cream flavor of everyone in the class, it's revealed Maurecia's favorite flavor is Todd.
    • Sammy was a one-shot character from the first book, a dead rat who could walk and talk, and was a complete Jerkass, trying to pass himself off as a student. The show removed all personality from him and made him a more literal dead rat.
  • Adapted Out: Several of the kids from the books, such as Joy, Benjamin, DeeDee and Allison, are nowhere to be seen in the show. A lot of the background characters have been theorized, but not confirmed, to be characters from the books.
  • Almighty Janitor: Louis is the sanest and most competent member of Wayside's faculty, which was kind of the case in the books as well.
  • Audience Surrogate: Todd.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Much much more so than the books. While the Wayside School was simply an insanely tall skyscraper, in the series it looks like it was engineered by M. C. Escher. Concept Art Here
  • Balloon Belly: Maurecia in Slo-Mo Mo, which later results in a Potty Emergency.
  • Butt Monkey: Todd, to an extent.
  • Catch Phrase: Dana's "Enough with the fun!!", usually right after her Signature Laugh. She'll sometimes replace 'fun' with something else.
  • Character Exaggeration:The show took one tiny trait from each of the characters and exaggerated them to extremes. Such as Myron ran for class president in one chapter of the first book, in the show he can't go two minutes without bringing it up, Steven dressed as a goblin once for Halloween, now he dresses as an elf full time. The Mrs. Jewls thinking of students as monkeys was a one-shot joke in the first book, now it is used all the time.
  • Cloudcuckooland: The eponymous school.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Ms. Jewls, Principal Kidswatter, Myron. Basically, everyone except for Todd and maybe Louis.
  • Companion Cube: Sammy the dead rat, normally Ms. Mush's companion, all of the kids tend to like and respect him.
  • Composite Character: Many students qualify, Maurecia and Myron notably. The two take many elements from Joy and Jason, two characters who were in the books but were not in the show, to a point where it may have been more accurate if they just went with those names.
    • Rondi could qualify as the Frankenstein's monster of characters that weren't in the show, since not only does she have the elements seen in the version of Rondi from the books, but she share's D.J.'s trait of smiling most of the time, and Paul's trait of pulling Leslie's pigtails. She also feels more similar to the book version of Maurecia than the actual version that appears in the show, with an obsession of cake rather than ice cream.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Not exactly "cursed", but Todd gets always sent home from school early with the pre-school bus because of his "bad behaviour", and he dislikes it to a high degree. The thing is, a normal kid would love to get sent home early from school. Though, this could slide into Blessed with Suck since "The Elevator" proves that he misses out on assignments when met with such a fate. This is also the reason he wasn't able to go on the "Aquarium Field Trip"
  • Cute Bruiser: Maurecia.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Maurecia towards Todd.
  • Drunk with Power: Myron in "He Is It".
  • Epic Fail: Myron is this personified. He can't even operate a light switch.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Maurecia's pet hedgehog (who is actually named Fluffy). It's possible that his extreme resentment towards Todd might come from jealousy of having the most love and affection from his owner.
  • French Jerk: Le Chef
  • Funny Foreigner: Ms. Mush.
    "I will make millions of money!"
  • Genki Girl: Dana and Maurecia both.
  • G-Rated Drug: Mrs. Mush's mushroom surprise. The effects hit Todd much like a shot of LSD and cause him to become hopelessly smitten with Mrs. Jewels. A teacher, it seems, also took a hit— er, spoonful— and fell in love with a potted cactus. It's possible Mush may have unwittingly (we hope) used psychedelic mushrooms in the recipe.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Done twice in "Daring Love". After Jenny jumps over Todd on her motorcycle, she tells a very concerned Maurecia that there's "No way I could've hit him", to which Maurecia then asks "Why anyone would hit Todd?" Cue flashback montage of Maurecia hitting Todd. Todd then comes over to complain, and Maurecia hits him again.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Principal Kidswatter is very prone to this. This is taken to ridiculously high levels in Todd and Bull Story.
  • Informed Ability: An episode involving a dance-off with another school involved Todd and Maurecia creating a move that simply involved Maurecia punching Todd. This is treated as the hottest thing since sliced bread and even gets the rival team a really high score when they steal the move and use it during the dance-off.
  • In Name Only: Takes a 'lot' of liberties for an adaptation.
  • Irony: In the books, Louis shaving off his supercool mustache was considered (by the kids) to be one of the worst things that ever happened in the entire series. In the show he doesn't have a mustache to begin with.
  • Lawful Stupid: Miss Jewels on a few occasions, most notably at the end of "Age Of Aquarium".
  • Lighter and Softer: In the original books, Mrs. Gorf after being turned into a (sentient) apple was eaten by Louis "I saw so many apples on her desk the other day, I'm sure she won't mind if I eat just one" in the show her fate after being transformed into an apple is left ambiguous.
    • Also, darker and creepier elements from the books like the inside of Ms. Zarves' classroom, the Men in Black, and the substitute teachers make no appearances. It's possible they could have been saved for future seasons, but the show was cancelled before any more could be made. In fact, a list of unmaterialized Season 3 episodes do mention Mr. Gorf.
  • Loving Bully: Maurecia towards Todd.
  • Magic Skirt: Maurecia.
  • Man Child: Mrs. Jewls, who borders on this and Cloud Cuckoolander. She's been known to play pinball in class.
    • Principal Kidswatter is more childlike than most of the actual kids.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Soo...does Todd secretly like Maurecia or is he scared of her?
  • Meganekko: Dana.
  • Ms. Exposition: Dana always has The Official Wayside Rule Book on hand when any school rules or regulations need to be explained.
  • Nerds: Myron, Dana, and the Three Erics.
  • Mythology Gag: An ironic example though likely unintended. In the show, Todd is a normal kid from a normal school sent to the insane school of Wayside. In the third book after Wayside was shut down due to a cow infestation Todd was sent from the insane school of Wayside to a normal school with normal kids. (In fact the writer said that he was sent to the reader's school)
  • New Transfer Student: Todd.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Sammy.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The whole school is like a fun house deathtrap. The doors are improperly placed, the most of the buttons and levers turn on something else and one Todd's classrooms is a trash compactor.
  • Once an Episode: Todd being sent home on the preschool bus instead of the regular bus - at first. They stopped making it an Every Episode Ending after the first few episodes, only bringing it back a few times when it was plot-relevant, mostly when Todd gets in trouble and Ms. Jewls must punish him.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, as it's a Three Eric Rule, no more and no less. Lampshaded and lampooned every way possible.
  • Only Sane Man: Todd, and it's invoked; he was sent to the school from another that was more normal. Also, he gets constantly punished by Ms. Jewls despite being the one who displays the best behaviour of all the classmates.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Principal Kidswatter.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: While the show isn't a complete adaptation of Louis Sachar's books, it is a relatively impressive show in its own right.
  • Race Lift: In the show, Principal Kidswatter, Myron, Eric Ovens, and Bebe are black, while in the books' illustrations, they were white.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Todd.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Todd is the Blue Oni to everyone's Red Oni (although Dana and Louis can sometimes be blue as well).
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Todd and Maurecia.
  • Shout-Out: Papa Jewl's arms are shaped similarly to Popeye's
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Myron.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Maurecia, when she tries to get out of the "stupid smart class". The class was run by Miss Mush, who is Too Dumb to Fool.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Maurecia.
  • Tsundere: Maurecia is Type B towards Todd.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The characters in the show look next to nothing like their illustrations in the books.
    • However, it should be noted that the books' illustrations have changed many times over the years, so there is no definitive/canon version of the characters that the show is bound to.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair:
    • Maurecia, who's changed from originally a Red-Headed Hero to this.
    • Also, admittedly Louis.
    • Mrs. Jewls has pink hair.
    • Dana's is purple.
    • Mr. Kidswatter's is light purple (On the lavender side)

Alternative Title(s):

Wayside School