Frances, a young badger, lives a comfortable life with her friends and family. Her story began with the 1960 book Bedtime for Frances, written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Garth Williams. From there, it spun off into a beloved children's book series about Frances' adventures and misadventures as she tackles the life of a small child.
This series includes examples of the following tropes:
- Hypocrite: When Thelma realizes that Frances put a penny in the sugar bowl of her old tea set as part of a ruse, she criticizes her for playing such a trick on a friend. Frances points out it wasn't a very nice trick Thelma played on her to talk her into buying the tea set.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The books, beginning with the first, follow the formula X for Frances.
- Ironic Echo: When Thelma talks Frances into buying her tea set rather than trying to find one of the china ones she wants, she warns her that there will be "no backsies." Later, while Frances messes with Thelma by suggesting that she left something valuable in the tea set when she sold it to her, she repeats that she doesn't have to tell her what is in the sugar bowl because Thelma declared "no backsies."
- Ode to Food: In Bread and Jam for Frances, Frances sings several little songs about how much she likes bread and jam. This changes when she wearies of it after getting only that every mealtime.
- Picky Eater: Frances initially refuses to eat anything but bread and jam. Her parents' solution is to feed her that and only that until she gets sick of it and finally wants to try other foods.
- Radish Cure: In Bread and Jam for Frances, Frances the badger only wants to eat bread and jam, and is unwilling to try any other foods. Her parents decide to give her bread and jam for every meal, and while she's happy about it at first, she eventually gets tired of it and asks to try some spaghetti at one meal. The story ends with her bringing a lunch to school that consists of a wide variety of foods, with no jam to speak of.
- Scary Shadow Fakeout: In Bedtime for Frances, Frances sees a large, dark shape in the corner and thinks it's a hostile giant. When she asks it what it wants, it turns out to be a robe draped over a chair.
- With Friends Like These...: In A Bargain for Frances, Frances' mother warns her to take care when she says she's going to play with Thelma, because she always winds up worse off for it.