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Literature / Origami Yoda

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Origami Yoda is a series of books by author Tom Angleberger about a child named Dwight Tharp who attends McQuarrie Middle School and carries around a Yoda finger puppet named "Origami Yoda" to give advice to the other students.

The books within the series are The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Darth Paper Strikes Back, Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppet, Princess Lablemaker to the Rescue!, and Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (all in chronological order). The usage of the scenarios and characters of Star Wars franchise within the novels was officially granted by LucasFilm.


Provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Kellen Campbell.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Murky, due to how ridiculously happy he is all the time and that he always wears pink shirts.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Murky considers his younger sister Karina to be this. Karina enjoys snitching on her older brother.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the final book, Tommy is upset that the field trip has a No Origami Rule. He writes, "Wug!", "NOOOOOOOO!", "I have a bad feeling about this!", "SAD WHISTLE!", and "I like nuts!".
  • Berserk Button: Do not say that home economics is just for girls when Rhondella's in earshot.
  • Berserker Tears: Mike has a tendency to do this. He calls them "mad tears".
  • Big Eater: Quavondo loves to stuff his face at the cafeteria.
  • Buffy Speak: Murky takes this to a whole new level; his friends even call his way of speaking "Murkyisms".
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  • The Bully: Zack Martin.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kellen. Let's review: Gets in trouble through somebody else's fault? Check. Gets his pants wet from the sink? Check. Lost his girlfriend? Check.
  • Canon Foreigner: Remi makes a Mara Jade origami figure; while the character did appear in the ROTJ radio drama she has yet to appear in a movie, and with the old Expanded Universe being thrown out it's unlikely she ever will.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Dwight has "Purple."
    • Murky has "Stooky!"
    • One of the squirrels has "I like nuts!"
  • The Case Of: The first novel uses this naming pattern.
  • Cliffhanger: The end of the 3rd book. Sara reveals that the Fortune Wookiee that Dwight made was really made by her, and the terrible FunTime program is set to be instated at the beginning of January, so Tommy has no idea what to do.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Parasite Within: Legend of the Vampyre. Originally it wasn't that important, and it began the running gag of the two-page chapters, but in the fifth book Lance uses it to find out about Tevon Riley.
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  • Cloudcuckoolander: Dwight. He lies down in weird places, and once banged on a locker, screaming for the squirrels to save him.
  • Consulting Mister Puppet: Dwight with Origami Yoda. He uses Origami Yoda to give people advice.
  • Cool Loser: Dwight to the other kids. He's an outcast, but his friends admire him.
  • *Cough* Snark *Cough*: In the 2nd book, Kellen writes about an annoying little kid who constantly mocks his skateboarding abilities. Tommy comments, "[The little kid] reminds me of someone. Let's see... a kid who just stands around and complains and insults people all the time? I just can't think who that reminds me of... (cough) Harvey (cough)."
  • Cuddle Bug: The girls at Tippett Academy love to hug Dwight.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Harvey can get pretty snarky.
  • Downer Ending: The end of the 3rd book. The Fortune Wookiee is revealed as a fake made by Sara, and the terrible FunTime program is already set to be instated by Rabbski at the beginning of January.
  • Enemy Mine: At the end of The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppet, it's revealed that Mr. Howell, one of the strictest and most hated teachers in the school, hates Fun-Time as much as the kids do and actually helps sabotage a parent-teacher meeting in an effort to stop it.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Surprisingly Harvey during the 3rd book after reading about his good actions at the end of the 2nd book.
  • Fan Disservice: In the 5th book, Kellen draws Harvey wearing a golden bikini. He also draws Jabba the Hutt being disgusted by it.
  • Gonk: Mr. Howell. He has creepy eyes and fishy lips.
  • Guilt by Association Gag: In the third book, Tommy, Kellen and Harvey are sent to Rabbski's office. Tommy is in trouble for blowing his nose on Harvey's origami, Harvey is in trouble for making the origami in the first place, and Kellen is in trouble for laughing at it, even though he didn't do anything other than that.
  • Hates Being Touched: Dwight doesn't like to be hugged. Unfortunately for him, the girls at Tippett Academy are Cuddle Bugs.
  • Heroic BSoD: Happens to Murky when the other sixth graders make him miss the school pictures by telling him that the pictures are taken in the class, not the cafeteria.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Harvey. He has a Heel–Face Turn at the end of the 2nd book, but has a Face–Heel Turn in the 3rd book. After that, he escapes being a Jerkass, but is still a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Harvey at the end of the 2nd book.
    • Rabbski joins the side of the kids and decides to veto Funtime in the 5th book.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Mike swore at his mom in "Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett", Soapy the monkey calls him out for it, despite swearing a lot himself. The same thing happens when Rabbski refers to "Greenhill Plantation" as "Craphole Plantation", Soapy says "I can't believe she said it either! That is really ***ing inappropriate!"
  • Insistent Terminology: When Sara brings the Fortune Wookiee, a cootie catcher version of Chewbacca, to school, Harvey's comment on the chapter is literally nothing but a remark on how it's a "salt cellar", not a "cootie catcher".
    • In the 4th book, Dwight insists that Cassie call him "Captain Dwight".
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Harvey is the only kid to figure out that the Fortune Wookie is a fake before Tommy reveals it to everyone in the case file, and he gives solid evidence towards that conclusion. He also ends up ripping it in half by accident when announcing this to the library.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Harvey. He's somewhat cynical, but he respects Dwight deep down, and has some good ideas.
  • Keet: Murky.
  • Kid Detective: Dwight when he's trying to figure something out without Origami Yoda's help. Dwight even speaks in a British accent when this happens.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's never explained whether Origami Yoda is actually magic or not. Even the ending doesn't really clarify anything.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe, the kids associate Quavondo with being obsessed with cheetos after the incident at the zoo.
  • No Indoor Voice: Mr. Howell constantly yells at the students.
  • Noodle Incident: In the 3rd book, Lance asks Sara and her Fortune Wookiee how to save himself from humiliation, because Jen had seen him taking dance lessons the night before. She asks him if Jen even knows who he is, and he says that she hasn't forgiven him due to an incident involving a pudding cup in the 5th grade.
    • Also from the third book, it's not explained how Murky got on the roof of the schoolnote . It's also mentioned that Lance and Ben don't believe him.
  • Not So Different: According to Word of God, both Harvey and Dwight have Asperger's Syndrome.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Mr. Howell is almost always shown with an angry expression on his face.
  • Prone to Tears: Whenever Boba and Bossk are shown together, they cry over ridiculous things.
  • Pun: During Harvey's comment on fun stuff.
    • "Ever notice how anything with the word "fun" in it isn't actually fun?" besides Fun Dip
    • And the ideas he comes up with. Star Fun Wars, Lego Fun Bricks, Funcraft, Captain Funderpants......
  • Punny Name: Some of the names of the origami creations, such as Darth Paper and Han Foldo.
    • Ki-Adi-Hungri's Food Court: Corn troopers. Anapkin Skywalkers. Vaderade. Crouton-taun. Obi-Wan Baloney. Salacious Gum. Salacious Crumbs. Cod Bane, Fry-Gon Jinn, and many more.......
  • Running Gag: Alongside Brick Joke, the series loves this trope.
    • Boo-Hoo Tears and Mad Tears
    • The word "Purple"
    • "Stooky!"
    • Soapy the monkey's swearing.
    • Willy the Walking Waffle.
    • Dwight lying down in weird places.
    • Each book has at least one extremely short chapters. In the case of the last, it has three.
    • The squirrels. "I LIKE NUTS"
    • The "Clone Wars Strike Team" guys talking about education.
    • "That's CAPTAIN Dwight!"
    • "Yub Nub"
    • Bossk and Boba crying over small things.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot:
    • Soapy the monkey is seen cursing any time he appears.
    • Quavondo's grandmother swears a lot as well.
  • Shout-Out: The "Tycho Brahe has a wax nose!" line in the first book. note 
  • Stealth Pun: "Fortune Wookiee" is a pun on "fortune cookie".
  • Tagalong Kid: Murky in the most stories he appears in.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • The squirrels.
    • Boba Fett and Bossk.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Quavondo likes meat.
    • One of the squirrels likes nuts.
    • Dwight loves Rib-B-Q's.
  • Tranquil Fury: Rabbski falls into this when Tommy, Kellen and Harvey are sent to her office in "Rise Of The Fortune Wookiee".
    Tommy: The calm tone in her voice was even scarier than Mr. Howell's yelling at us.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The kids replace profanities with names of things from Star Wars, i.e. "What the Fett?" note 
  • Verbal Tic: Harvey will usually say "Uh" right before a sarcastic remark.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Marcie, an 8th grader from the 1st book. She is never mentioned again in the series. Justified, since she's probably in high school by the time the second book starts.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Rabbski's first name is "Lougene".
    Harvey: Can you believe her name is Lougene?


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