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YMMV: Dinosaurs
  • Anvilicious - On at least one occasion, Lampshaded and mocked to death. Played straight many other times, though, especially in later seasons.
    • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The finale, despite being depressing, did make a good point: We have to take care of the environment or we'll end up extinct like everyone on the show.
      • The episode "Baby Talk" makes a lot of good points about what can happen when Moral Guardians protest over every little obscene thing on TV and in real life.
      • "Out of the Frying Pan" delivers a nice Aesop about the perils of child stardom, as well as a nice Take That to stage moms everywhere.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Baby.
  • Genius Bonus: Earl's job is pushing trees. Paper is made from trees, so he's really a paper pusher (a low-level office worker).
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the episode "And the Winner Is..." Earl has a nightmare where the world ends as a result of him being elected as Chief Elder. In the last episode of the series, Earl causes the end of the world.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In one episode where Earl becomes a TV executive in charge of producing new shows, he creates a Diabetes-Flavored mindrot called "Box Full of Puppies". These days "Box Full of Puppies" comes in the form of overly-cute YouTube videos featuring kittens and puppies, as well as the Animal Planet series Too Cute.
  • Ho Yay: Spike and Robbie, in a big way. Apart from their friendship being the only consistent relationship Robbie has outside the family, Robbie "experiments" with being an herbivore (treated as a metaphor for homosexuality, among other things) and later on runs away to live with Spike in the woods, where they plan on eating plants together; on Spike's end, his idea of a plausible explanation for Robbie's sudden (faked) death begins with "He was standing naked in a field".
  • Memetic Mutation: "We're gonna need another Timmy!"
  • Moral Event Horizon: Richfield crosses it in the final episode, when he brushes off the fact that his and his employees' actions have doomed the world because he's making an immense profit from it.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Can you believe that Jessica Walter (the voice of Fran) once played a mom who wasn't a drunken, narcissistic, sexually promiscuous old crone (as seen in Arrested Development and Archer)?
    • If you think Elmo is annoying, then just be glad that he's not like Baby Sinclair (except for the fact that they share a voice actor), though Kevin Clash had already been performing Elmo for seven years when the show premiered.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: It was one of many shows that tried to copy the success of The Simpsons (back in The Simpsons' Golden Age). The Simpsons made note of it on the episode "Black Widower" and Dinosaurs itself called itself out for being the clone of a popular show.
    • Somewhat averted in that the show actually began development before The Simpsons premiered. It was originally intended to be Jim Henson's follow-up to Labyrinth and would have had a more serious slant to it. Then The Land Before Time opened and Henson decided to go in a more comedic direction.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Dinosaurs was a lot like The Simpsons in its early days, in that the show looked like it could be for kids (The Simpsons had childish, crude animation and artnote  while Dinosaurs had puppetry and animatronics), but the writing and subject matter both shows took on was very adult for something that looked like kiddie fare.
    • This was actually lampshaded in one episode. Earl is watching a sock puppet show on TV that noticeably has a lot of adult humor, but Fran dismisses it as just a kid's show. Earl explains to Fran that the sitcom may look like a kids' show because the characters are puppets, but it's actually for adults because of the witty dialogue that has a risque slant to it that older viewers will readily understand.

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