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Kids' Show Mascot Parody

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Not the kind of reaction you'd expect for an Excited Kids' Show Host...

The success of Barney & Friends led to a whole string of similar children's programs being produced. This also affected media produced around this time. These characters are from a Preschool Show and are so sweet, friendly, simple and cloying that they are an annoyance to anyone but the target audience.

Some of these examples are people who aren't as nice in real life.

Sometimes the mascot of a Subverted Kids' Show. May overlap with Depraved Kids' Show Host.


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  • A commercial for Juicy Fruit gum that aired in the early 2000s involved an orange whale and a female conductor on the set of a fictional show called "Happyville Junction", which seemed to be a combination of Barney & Friends, Lamb Chop's Play-Along, and Shining Time Station. After they sing a song about sharing, the whale takes a pack of Juicy Fruit from the conductor's pocket, prompting the conductor to throw a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on him.
  • The commercial for the Rugrats PS1 video game, "Search for Reptar", involves a big purple turtle named Terrence Turtle dancing and singing a sappy song at a children's birthday party. The children there are very bored, and when the guy in the Terrence costume falls over and loses the costume's head, the children go inside to play Search for Reptar while the guy in the Terrence costume gets attacked by a dog.

    Comic Books 
  • Crocky in Robin (1993) #42 is a Barney parody who's a crocodile. Tim finds the character annoying when he has to watch the show for clues, because the actor who was fired from the role has taken to committing crimes in costume.
  • The Hugga-Tugga-Thuggees in Young Justice Nos. 9 and 10 are a parody of the Teletubbies, who also happen to be a Kali death-cult that brainwashes kids.

    Films — Animation 
  • Uncle Mikey from Rock and Rule is an example that predates Barney - in the scene where Zip watches an episode of the show, Uncle Mikey (an animated clown) talks down to the in-universe audience asking them if they know the difference between good and evil, to which we see a clip of cartoon violence against a cow for the in-universe audience to determine if the action is good or evil. Needless to say, Mok utterly despises the show. (For an added bit of irony, the animation studio that made the movie, Nelvana, would later become famous for preschool cartoons.)

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Smoochy from Death to Smoochy. Referenced in the film as the "bastard son of Barney", Smoochy is a purple anthropomorphic rhino in the movie. So despised is Smoochy by the kids' show host (Robin Williams) he replaced that the man is set to ruin Smoochy's career. Unlike most of other examples where the person wearing the costume turn out to be a Jerkass, the man who plays Smoochy (Edward Norton) really is as sweet and nice as the character he portrays.
  • Arnie the Dinosaur, played by Charles Martinet, (yes, that Charles Martinet,) from Nine Months acts similarly to Barney, when he is in a toy store. But when he pushes a little too hard in selling his toys to Marty (Tom Arnold), he tells Arnie that his kids think his show sucks. Arnie then goads Marty and later Samuel (Hugh Grant) into a fight with a bunch of stunned children watching.

  • Captain Underpants has Boomer the Purple Dragon. In the first book, George and Harold manage to switch Mr. Krupp's videotape of them ruining the school football game with a Boomer videotape. Later, Mr. Krupp decides to give to the football team what he thinks is George and Harold's videotape, which leads to the team having so much fun with Boomer's show that they end up renaming themselves from the Knuckleheads to the Purple Dragon Sing-Along Friends. The sudden appearance of bulletin boards with that name is a Running Gag in subsequent books.
  • Scream of the Evil Genie has Wilfred the Purple Dragon, which the protagonist hates and calls a "stupid kid's show stuffed animal".
  • Brenda the Rhinoceros from the book Sweet Valley Kids. The twins featured in that series were stuck in a department store and having to fight off a burglar; part of their Home Alone–style plan was to annoy him into submission with a talking doll of annoying children's show character Brenda the Rhinoceros, prompting the man to scream, "I hate that stupid pink rhino!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • A parody VHS called Blarney - It Ain't No Picnic exists, which is a Subverted Kids' Show spoofing Barney.
  • Dinosaurs has two Barney parodies: Blarney and Georgie. Both are loved by young children like Baby Sinclair, and hated by older children and adults. Georgie in particular is an example of Nice Character, Mean Actor, because on camera, he acts like a friendly and playful Manchild who loves to make children happy, but off-camera, he is really a Manipulative Bastard who only uses children's smiles for his own profits to make money and avoid taxes. Georgie gets his at the end of the episode when Earl knocks him out live on air and he is arrested for tax evasion.
  • Dougie from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an oversized whale who is actually a foul-mouthed alcoholic in a costume. Like the Nine Months example above, Dougie instigates a fight with Will after he refused to go back and perform after some minor technical problems.
  • Full House: In the episode "The Day of the Rhino", Michelle falls in love with a Barney-like orange rhinoceros named Rigby the Rhino. She stands up to him when his company deceives her and other kids by sending them a tiny figurine. Unlike most Barney parodies, Rigby does set things right by giving all the kids plushies instead.
  • On one episode of iCarly, the meddling executives that take over the show introduce a character called Zeebo, a dinosaur. Sam eventually has enough and starts whaling on him.
  • One of the recurring skits on The Late Show (1992) was "Shirty, the Slightly Aggressive Bear", who would inevitably get one of his Berserk Buttons pushed and fly off the handle.
  • The Noddy Shop features a mascot like this named Robbie MacRhino, who is green and is Scottish.
  • One episode of The Sinbad Show features a Barney-like brontosaurus called Buddy, complete with a parody of the "I Love You" song that sneaks in Product Placement for stuffed dolls of his likeness.
  • In one episode of Special Unit 2, the team find themselves dealing with Arnie, a cheerful blue alien mascot who is actually a disguised Piper, a hideous goblin-like Link that uses a magical flute to mind-control children.
  • Filmation's Saturday morning show for ABC, Uncle Croc's Block (1975) was ostensibly a spoof of kids shows with a costumed mascot (here played by Charles Nelson Reilly) but did feature regular cartoon segments. It was such a flop that ABC told Filmation to never sell them another show.

  • A video from one of Doctor Steel's stage shows has a cute Lamb Chop-style puppet pop up in a puppet booth and start talking about how it's so sweet and loves everybody... after about a minute of this treacle, Steel can't take anymore; he reaches under the stool he's sitting on, pulls out a pistol and shoots the puppet, as the crowd cheers.
    • Steel also had a song, ostensibly for a kids' show, called "Smokey the Kid-loving Trout." The mascot is decidedly not the sort of thing one would want on a kids' show: an image on his old website showed "Smokey" as a 6-foot-tall anthropomorphic fish that walked on its tail fin, dressed like a hobo and smoking a big cigar, walking with a pair of children.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street has Booby Bunny, a bunny singer whom Telly and Baby Bear are fans of. In one episode, Booby announces he is coming to Sesame Street, so Telly, Baby Bear, and the kids prepare for his arrival by dressing up as him and singing his songs. Unfortunately, it turns out Booby has laryngitis when he arrives and Benny takes over.

  • Blarney the Rinosaur from an episode of Focus on the Family's radio drama, Adventures in Odyssey. The portrayal was not violent or profane, but this sketch made the Barney show seem incredibly dumb as the parodied character sang "I Hug You" in an uncaring and monotone voice.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: The Mokole (weredinosaurs) splatbook included in its profiles an evil purple Mokole who targets kids, which was a clear set-up of Barney.

    Video Games 
  • One Critical Choice in Let's Build a Zoo: Dinosaur Island is from a purple dinosaur named Bernie, who wants to corrupt your zoo with subliminal marketing by selling merchandise there. Accepting his offer is the evil choice. You can also hire mascots in Bernie costumes.
  • In Power Pete, Hopping Henry, a pudgy purple dinosaur enemy present in Prehistoric Plaza, suspiciously resembles Barney. Word of God says the resemblance is coincidental.
  • In Stay Tooned!, the "The Quick and the Tooned" mini-game in the Western room has a Barney-like dinosaur appear in the saloon. You have to avoid shooting him, because he is not a gun-toting enemy.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The American Dragon: Jake Long episode "Haley Gone Wild" featured Haley getting into a seemingly harmless preschool show called "Pooka Pooka Fun Fun Farm". However, the Pooka puppet on the show is actually a real Pooka who encourages young children, including Haley, to become delinquents and cause trouble by hypnotizing them by singing to them.
  • Baloney the Dinosaur from Animaniacs is a direct parody of Barney. He's good-hearted but incredibly dumb, and is one of the few characters whom the Warners actually fear (because he's so stupid that their pranks don't work on him).
  • Arthur:
    • Mary Moo Cow is a preschool show that D.W. enjoys watching, much to Arthur's discomfort about said show being a "baby show".
    • Also, the episode "That's a Baby Show" centers around Arthur secretly becoming a fan of The Love Ducks (which appears to be a parody of Teletubbies) rather than Dark Bunny (an obvious parody of Batman). In the end it turned out that everyone else was addicted to it too.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold "Inside the Outsiders": One of the things that Black Lightning violently over-reacts to in his nightmare is a cutesy TV show about Uni the Unicorn. Uni has more than a passing resemblance to Barney.
  • Rainbow Monkeys from Codename: Kids Next Door mostly just dance around singing their saccharine theme song and having fun. However, Numbuh 4 is the only one of the 10-year-old cast to hate them. There may be some Truth in Television to this, however, as it's not too uncommon for kids to have a phase where they'll get into a preschool show.
  • In Horrid Henry, Happy Hippos is a toddler show Perfect Peter watches, but Henry calls it a show for "Smelly Nappy Babies."
  • Humphrey the Hippo from The Critic, whose show is in the same timeslot as Jay's and taking some of his ratings. Humphrey turns out to be a woman who is attracted to Jay and peddles cigarettes to children. Jay is then shocked to learn that the performer who plays Humphrey is the woman he had been dating, revealed in a scene spoofing The Crying Game. Humphrey makes various appearances in later episodes as well.
  • Dog City: In "Doggy See, Doggy Do", Bugsy Vile disguises himself as beloved children's TV star Bernie the Big Pink St. Bernard for his latest bank heist. The real Bernie, meanwhile, is trapped and is only let go by his captors after his singing gets to them. Bugsy likewise drops the gig after being unable to continue a sickly sweet duet with Bernie.
  • "The Beast from Beyond," an episode of Garfield and Friends, features a Tyrannosaurus rex who, after surviving the extinction of the dinosaurs, plots to enslave mankind by painting himself pink and passing himself off as a friendly Barney-like character called "Sidney The Pink Dinosaur". He uses an insipid song called "Good Is Better Than Bad" to brainwash everyone who watches his program; Garfield turns out to be the only person immune to it (due to a combination of not looking at the screen and flat-out realizing how stupid the song is) and has to save the day.
  • The Hey Arnold! episode "Ransom" features a Barney parody called Wally the Alligator, whom Gerald's sister Timberly enjoys and owns a plush for (that gets stolen, kicking off the plot of the episode). Wally's theme song encourages children to buy all his merchandise.
  • Johnny Bravo: "Johnny Meets Farrah Fawcett" sees Johnny rob a man of his purple-ish dinosaur costume to pose as Smarmy the Dinosaur. In this guise, Johnny breezes past Farrah's vigilant bodyguard, but is then mobbed by a throng of excited children.
  • The Loud House has Blarney the Dinosaur, an Irish dinosaur whom twins Lana and Lola and their youngest sister Lily love. In "The Price of Admission", 11-year-old Clyde is also revealed to be a huge fan of Blarney, and goes to see his movie. He even sings a few of his songs to warn Lincoln about the consequences of seeing a horror movie called The Harvester against his parents' wishes.
  • Barnaby from The Mask cartoon is clearly supposed to be a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Barney. The man behind the mask, however, is a criminal who has a biker gang for henchmen.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, Candace loves "Ducky Momo", though she's afraid she'll be ridiculed for her love for such a kiddy character. When we finally see the show, we understand why; Ducky Momo would be like if you combined Dora the Explorer and Barney, and made them so stupid they were unable to function.
  • Blarney the Singing Sea Serpent from The Powerpuff Girls (1998). He is a plaid Stock Ness Monster who Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup enjoy. At first, he seems relatively harmless...until he starts encouraging children to act like various animals, including hopping like a bunny, stomping like a rhinoceros, and screaming like a fish. The Girls, whose superpowers make these actions even more annoying (and dangerous) than usual, happily follow Blarney's commands, leaving Badly Battered Babysitter Mojo Jojo in horrible shape.
  • Rugrats:
    • The Dummi Bears, who only ever seem to dance around singing "the happy happy happy happy happy happy song". Somewhat subverted in that the babies tend to prefer Reptar, whilst Stu loves the Dummi Bears.
    • In "The Big Showdown", Dil wakes up crying in the middle of the night due to a storm, and Didi thinks he is frightened of Reptar, due to his and Tommy's bedroom being surrounded with Reptar merchandise, combined with the fact that they saw a Reptar movie before she got home. When Didi calls the Dr. Lipschitz phone number for advice, it recommends Goober the Gopher, an orange gopher whose catchphrase is "Can I have a hug?"
  • Recess: In "Bonky Fever", out of fear of turning ten, Mikey briefly goes through a phase where he develops an obsession with a dragon named Bonky. Unlike most examples on the list, it is not Played for Laughs—the rest of the Gang realizes that Mikey's mental regression is terrifying, and the Freudian Excuse behind it (he knew he was too old for Bonky, but desperately clung to something from his childhood for fear of growing up and losing his bond with his mother) is decidedly sad.
  • Rocko's Modern Life features a spoof called "Bo-Bo the Friendly Bison", whom Rocko claims is loved by everyone, unlike most examples of this trope. Bo-Bo is also depicted as a criminal when he steals Rocko's wallet.
  • On The Simpsons, an unnamed Barney parody has appeared twice: In "Rosebud", Homer catches the show, which is Barney singing "two plus two is four, two plus two is four, two plus two is four" over and over again; Homer can see the appeal. In "Joy of Sect", all of Springfield has been brainwashed by the Church of Happyology Barney, who teaches children to love The Leader.
  • The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat had Fuzzy Bunny, whose saccharine TV program "The Fuzzy Bunny Show" replace Felix's already toned-down show's timeslot. And as if that weren't enough, while Fuzzy Bunny seems like a very nice and friendly character to the children, the person inside the Fuzzy Bunny suit is throughly unpleasant off camera, abusing his co-workers and actually being a huge hulking cigar-chomping thug underneath the costume


Video Example(s):


Mary Moo Cow's FUN Song

D.W. is a big fan of this Barney parody that she invites her to introduce the episode, despite Arthur thinking "Mary Moo Cow" is a baby show.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / KidsShowMascotParody

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