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Why couldn't Debbie have gone to boarding school?
Yes I know her grandmother (rather harshly if you ask me) dismisses her as "too far gone" in the movie but why not? Maybe I just sympathise with her despite her position as Bratty Teenage Daughter and think there's something wrong with her parents dragging her all over the world when she obviously hates it. Nigel's certainly rich enough to send her to a private boarding school or do they care more about having a babysitter than their daughters feelings? I'm not saying Debbie isn't unduly whiny or anything (even though I really like her) but I can understand why she hates it, animal activism doesn't interest her and she doesn't get to socialise with other teenagers at all.
  • I think there was one episode of the cartoon series where she tried and failed the interview. And despite her complaints maybe Debbie feels being closer to her family is better than being in a boarding school.
    • She actually passed the interview, she chose not to go
  • The latter may actually be true, but I can't help but think there would be a boarding school out there which would waive the interview and just let her in to say they had the daughter of a famous animal expert attending. Actually, surely a lot of private boarding schools will just let the kid in so long as their parents can pay.
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  • She passed the interview in the episode where she decides to go to boarding school but the Aesop is about how families always stick together and you love your sibling deep down no matter how much you fight, so she decided not to go.
  • The episode in question also revealed that she is actually learning quite a lot as they travel around the world. It is mostly about other cultures, the history of the world, geography and so on but she is getting a fairly decent education anyway.
  • I always imagined that they simply decided to homeschool the kids and were extremely tight about it, despite what Nigel's mother said. As time went on, she started presuring them more and more, which is why they were ready to cave with Eliza in The Movie.
    • It's confirmed that they're homeschooled in at least two episodes. In one, Eliza's teacher/tutor shows up and expects her to write a history report rather than go on an adventure; in another, Marianne stops Eliza from traveling with her new Mongolian friend by pointing out that "she has homework to finish."

In the Crossover with the Rugrats
Toward the end the babies sink the submarine and can't surface because they've run out of fuel. Why not just empty the ballast tanks?
  • Because the pressurized air kept to force water out of the ballast tanks is used only for the last bit of distance needed to bring the periscope-depth sub above the water line. Pumping water out of the tanks at deeper depths requires the engines.

Eliza made the stupidest wish imaginable
Shaman: "You have saved my life. I will grant you a wish in gratitude."Eliza: "I wish that I was an omnipotent God-being that could be anywhere and do anything at the speed of my thoughts."

Think of the untold power she had in her hands. She could have wished for a cure for AIDS, or peace in the middle East, or any number of things to benefit all mankind. Instead, she became Dr. Dolittle.

  • It's just a kids' show...
  • Most likely, the Shaman couldn't have granted a wish like that. At first, he couldn't even give her the "gift of gab" without taking away her ability to talk to people. She was only able to talk to both after he gave her the "deluxe spell"—which he wasn't even sure was going to work. Shamans are people too, and they can only do so much.
    • Exactly, he's a shaman, not a god.
  • She's, what, twelve? If you found a genie or something as a preteen, would you have wished for a cure for AIDS? Did you even know what AIDS was? Eliza likes animals. Her wish makes sense from the perspective of someone her age.
    • Twelve nothing. This troper is 23 and would probably wish for the same thing.
  • Haha, this is my line of thinking exactly. Though it has me wondering, if the shaman can cure AIDS, why hasn't he done it already?

Eliza shared her secret from the very first episode.
This doesn't so much bug me as it amuses me, but when Eliza narrates to the audience at the beginning of every episode, she says "and between you and me something amazing happened! Now I can talk to animals! It's really cool, but totally secret." You just shared your secret with us, Eliza. Now you've lost your powers.
  • Perhaps it doesn't count when you break the fourth wall.
  • The weird thing is they never really mention that she can't tell anyone about her powers until they air the episode showing her getting them. I think they added it in afterwards to Hand Wave her not telling anyone.
  • Perhaps she writes in a journal or diary or something? Something that tends to crop up in kids shows is a character writing a journal writes it as a series of letters—Doug being a prime example. So she's not actually telling anyone, we're just hearing her journal entries. Or she has an audio journal. Something like that.
    • Which raises an interesting question on its own—if someone were to find that journal or listen to that audio journal, does that count as telling?

Kip and Biederman
Something struck me as slightly odd while I was watching the Vacant Lot episode. Eliza discovers that Kip and Biederman are ravaging the rainforest and amasses an army of animals to fight against them and destroy their machine. Wouldn't they consider it more than a little odd that she was able to command them in the first place? Biederman has the excuse of being a complete idiot, but Kip should have seen that something was up.
  • We may as well ask why her family never caught wind of the fact that Eliza could talk to animals. There have been plenty of episodes where the animals ran in to save their butts, led by their dear lil' pumpkin where, by using logic, this would never have been possible unless...She somehow managed to communicate with them! So, in a way, they are all being stupid for not seeing it.
  • Why do they always seem to be where the Thornberries are? You'd think either Kip would go: "wtf?! U chasing us or something?" or Mrs. Thornberry would file a restraining order against them?
    • They're poachers. Probably not big into obeying restraining orders or any other laws.

I never really understood Donnie. Was he supposed to be a Shout-Out to The Jungle Book or Tarzan or something? Why didn't Eliza try to talk with him like she would the other creatures? Why and how did the family find him?
  • I'm uncertain as to what the inspiration behind Donnie was, but it's clear he was at least meant to be an archetypal "Wild Child." There was never any evidence shown of Donnie actually knowing animal language, so it's unlikely that Eliza could communicate with him with her powers. As for his origin, there's actually a massive special devoted to just that.

Eliza revealed her secret to an aboriginal in the dingo episode.
  • Wasn't the aboriginal also magic? Maybe it doesn't count when you tell magic people?
    • Probably.
Eliza spoke dolphin in front of her family and told them she did it.

  • This happens in the episode entitled "Only Child" Long story short, the family settles down in the Amazon, Eliza is told that The dolphins of the amazon are Baleful Polymorphs and that during and shortly before a full moon, they transform into humans that they can take back to the river to turn into dolphins. This is done to alleviate their loneliness. Debbie meets a Dolphin turned human in the form of Jao and Eliza sets out to prove that Jao is a dolphin in a number of ways. This includes standing on the dinner table and screaming at Jao in dolphin. Immediately afterwards, Jao says she should leave and Eliza screams that this was what she had just said in dolphin. Why didn't she lose her powers then? She specifically stated "I told her to leave in dolphin and she understood me."
    • It's a bit of a stretch, but humans are somewhat able to "understand" dolphin language (in that they can determine the meaning of particular clicks and whistles). Granted, they couldn't hold a full-fledged conversation with one, but simple phrases like "danger near" or, more appropriately, "go" would be easy to translate. Eliza's a Friend to All Living Things and a bright child, so maybe her parents assumed that she'd learned enough "dolphinese" to say "Go away."
    • It's also worth noting that this episode takes place in the first season; as mentioned above, while the idea of keeping Eliza's communication power a secret was always in the show, the specific consequence of "losing them if you tell anyone about it" wasn't in place yet.
    • Another possibility: the stipulations of the magic state that Eliza can't tell anyone she can talk to animals. Because she was talking to an animal in human form, she technically wasn't speaking to one.

Why exactly will Eliza lose her powers if she tells anyone about them?
Is there any Watsonian reason?

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