Follow TV Tropes


Radar / Odd Squad

Go To

Even a show about kid agents kicking odd butt on PBS Kids still has its inappropriate moments that makes one wonder, "Why is this show rated TV-Y?"

NOTE: Examples are sorted by episode in their respective folders. All spoilers are unmarked, so proceed with caution.

    open/close all folders 
    Season 1 
  • The season in general has implications of abuse, violence, PTSD/trauma, and death. And that's not even scratching the surface.
  • "My Better Half": When the Jacket-inator is used on Olive and Otto, they begin to have what looks like mild Convulsive Seizures. It doesn't help that they're also glowing in rapidly flashing, multi-colored lights.
  • "The Confalones" has Gino's disappearance be treated like his death. It's also alluded to as such by the other Confalones.
  • "Party of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" has Olive telling Otto at the end of the Cold Open that he's got a guy named Bob living inside of his head. While that may have very literal connotations in the world of the show, it's also possible that she is referring to Otto having auditory hallucinations. Bonus points go to the fact that one cause of auditory hallucinations is PTSD, a mental illness which is strongly implied to be something that Olive is suffering from.
  • In "Reindeer Games", Santa's present to Ms. O is an eggnog-flavored juice box. Eggnog is known to be made with liquor in many instances, which makes this a literal case of her getting Drunk on Milk.
  • "Oscar and the Oscarbots" introduces Club 24, which has the typical feel and look of your average adult-oriented nightclub, complete with a Bouncer whom Olive is friendly with. The line seen in the episode is full of adults, with no kids in sight save for Olive and Otto, who pull out Oscarbot 24 out of the Club in a similar manner as someone who would take an overserved or unruly patron out.
  • "Skip Day" has one of the more darker moments in the series, with Olive — who is suffering from an illness known as the Skips — going skydiving without a parachute as a result of the illness making her skip steps on her to-do list. To make matters worse, she's blissfully unaware that she has the Skips up until she begins free-falling. Had Otto not saved her in time, she would have died a very gruesome death.
  • While retrieving Ms. O's briefcase in "The Briefcase", Olive and Otto find Ms. O herself approaching them, who takes the briefcase from them and sweetly thanks them for getting it for her. She treats the pair as though they are her blood children, with her giving Otto a tickle under his arm while she pinches Olive's cheeks. While these can be initially construed as Ship Tease moments or an Out-of-Character Alert note , it's eventually revealed that "Ms. O" is really a villainess known as the Shapeshifter, who shapeshifted into Ms. O in order to steal the briefcase. An adult woman touched two children inappropriately, and she doesn't even know them. Never mind the fact that this all takes place at a playground, of all places!
  • The episode "Whatever Happened to Agent Oz?" tackles the very real issue of workplace safety in a G-rated way, as Olive tells Otto the story of Agent Oz, Octavia's partner. While Otto believes that Oz left Odd Squad because he suffered from an accident, Olive tells him that Oz is still working for the organization, despite the fact that he is invisible (something he caused by accidentally hitting himself with the Invisible-inator). Later episodes would show that Odd Squad headquarters are very dangerous places to work at, and one wrong misfire of a gadget or one step into the wrong room could easily result in serious injury or death.
  • The Cold Open of "The Odd Antidote" features a woman with two literal left feet. Olive and Otto fix the issue by turning a pair of the shoes she wished to buy into two left-foot shoes, leading her to remark that wasn't the route she thought they'd take, which has strong implications of her believing the partner pair would perform an amputation of her foot just to fix the issue.
  • "The One That Got Away" firmly cements Ms. O's status as The Alcoholic by her telling O'Donahue that she can quit drinking whenever she wants when he remarks that she's still drinking juice. The episode even reveals that Ms. O drinks up to 1,000 juice boxes on the daily.
  • "Odd Outbreak" has a scene where Dr. O and Odell perform surgery on a patient. The scene is played out as though they are actually cutting an agent open and looking at their insides, before it's revealed that all they were doing is putting tape over a fully-clothed agent's mouth, just like they did with a few other agents.
    • There's also O'Callaghan throwing a No, You insult at Dr. O and referring to her as a "medical emergency". And as anyone, especially those who have a disability, will tell you, that insult can cut rather deep.
  • "Dance Like Nobody's Watching" has Otto averting the usual Never Say "Die" trope, telling Oscar that "we can die here" when faced with his booby traps. It's the only time the show has averted the trope to date, as normally, allusions to death are seen, or choice words like "destroy" are used to describe it.
  • In "Recipe for Disaster", Otto takes the Lord's name in vain while laughing at his own joke.
  • "Training Day". Good God. Where to begin?
    • The fact that Odd Todd has been confirmed to be an Expy of The Joker. And it shows.
    • Odd Todd mistreating Olive has very striking parallels to abuse, both verbal and physical.
    • He attempts to assassinate Ms. O, and in addition, he goes on a murderous rampage, attempting to kill his former co-workers with pie — which, while serving as family-friendly ammo, still has devastating effects on those hit by it. Some fans have speculated that the pies might even be diseased in some manner, which, considering it's Odd Todd, might be a distinct possibility.
    • Olive manages to close the vault containing the pienado, but it's heavily implied that she is the Sole Survivor of the entire attack. (Although, since she, Oscar and Ms. O are alive, it's more of a Did You Die? situation.)
  • "Bad Lemonade" brings about another Odd Todd moment that slipped past the censors, as he tells Olive and Otto — who are looking for Polly Graph — that he ate her. He then explains that he's talking about his sandwich that he previously named Polly, but considering that The Joker has actively engaged in cannibalism, this can come off as incredibly disturbing.
  • "Game Time" introduces one-time character Karla, a worker at the Shmumbercade who isn't above conning child government agents out of money even when real lives are at stake. When Otto becomes trapped in one of the arcade games, he becomes at risk of dying permanently if Olive (the player) gets a Game Over. However, Karla couldn't care less about Olive getting her partner out so long as she pays up. It gets to such a point that when she begins to count the agent's money to see if she has a dollar, she tells her off with very few words and enough Tranquil Fury to effectively scare her into handing over a token.
  • During "The O Games", there is a ring competition where competitors must throw 10 rings around one robot princess, who have the ability to shoot rainbow-colored lasers that destroy anything they hit. And it's not just one — there are multiple robot princesses!
    • Aside from Dr. O admitting to Otto during the ring competition that she's not as skilled in the Medical field as she appears to be, there's also a brief exchange with her and Olive after she becomes eliminated from the competition, with her telling the agent that "it's like I always tell my patients: I tried my best." Bonus points go to the fact that she presumably went through 8 years of medical school just to become an Odd Squad Doctor.
  • "By the Book" has one of the biggest things slipped past the censors to date, with Otto mentioning Global Warming when Ms. O tells him that she's more serious than anything he could ever seriously think of. She rightfully calls a Touché. It made waves in the fandom when the episode first aired, and is still talked about by many fans who are shocked that a comment on Global Warming from a show that didn't feature any environmental messages was allowed on PBS Kids, of all networks.
  • When Ms. O dives into the sea of plastic balls in "O vs. the Ballcano", the way Olive and Otto react in sheer worry and call out her name repeatedly draws some striking parallels to drowning, or a potential suicide attempt by way of intentional drowning. The impact is lessened, however, since the Director has a life jacket on.
  • "Assistant's Creed" as a title, which is a reference to the Assassin's Creed franchise. Ironically enough, there has been one other instance of PBS turning down a title suggestion for an episode due to it being too mature...and yet they let this slide.
  • One of Obfusco's laments about his stolen mustache in "Moustache Confidential" involves him attempting to buy a new one off the Black Market. Olive and Otto's reactions definitely don't help matters.
  • "Oscar the Couch" has numerous dark moments, all of which involve Oscar as a couch.
    • Owen gets food stains all over Oscar and manages to tear a hole in him, which reveals some stuffing.
    • Oksana not only sticks jewels all over him, she uses the hideaway bed he has and sleeps on him.
    • When Ms. O finds out there's a couch inside of Headquarters, she seeks to get rid of it. How does she do it? By beginning to take a saw to Oscar so she can cut him into pieces.
    • After Oscar is turned back to his normal human form, Oksana asks Ms. O in dead-earnest if he's still going to be split into equal pieces. Oscar has a very rightful reaction, complete with Olive's What the Hell, Hero? expression in the background.
    • Sometime after the episode aired, a fan posted a video on YouTube of the episode in its entirety, with captions overlaid describing what Oscar would say if he could say (or what he at least thought) while turned into a couch. While the video has since been taken down by PBS Kids, it was pretty disturbing to see what Oscar might have said or thought if he were able to.
  • "Olive and Otto in Shmumberland" revolves around Olive and Otto being sucked into a comic book, with Shmumberman entering the real world in exchange. However, due to his juice levels reaching low levels, he ends up on the brink of death, with Ms. O and Orzack working together to revive him. The episode has numerous allusions to death, and is the closest the show will likely ever get to having a character nearly die for good.
  • "O is Not For Over", the season finale, brings us this gem:
    Otto: You mean we get to work together as Mr. and Ms. O?! [beat] Wait...does this mean we have to be married?
    Olive: WHAT?! NO!! Don't make this weird.

    Season 2 
  • "Back to the Past" manages to slip in a confidentiality/HIPAA joke, with Otis asking Ms. O if she can speak up while on camera after she whispers her answers to Dr. O, only for her to tell Otis, "Sorry, that's between me and my doctor."
    • There is also Olympia hinting at cannibalism — when Otis first agrees to help film the commercial, he remarks that if he can handle celery, then he can handle Ms. O. Olympia agrees, but not about the celery.
    • Oscar and Oona treat the filming of the commercial as though the world is set to end, and as a result, they hide in the former's bunker, where only beans are stocked. The scenes with them are played out as though they are the few remaining survivors of an apocalypse in progress.
  • Olympia's Sanity Slippage in "Olympia's Day" is a frighteningly realistic portrayal of the ordeal, going a step above episodes such as "Agent Obfusco", which did show Sanity Slippage, but were rather tame compared to this episode. The climax has her suffering from hallucinations and eventually blacking out, waking up some time later in Dr. O's office. Losing one's sanity is also a rather common occurrence in the world of the show, known as "slipping into mathness".
  • "Happy Halfiversary" contains scenes of Oona, and later Ms. O, staring at Otis. Normally this would be fine...if it weren't for the rather sensual, romantic-sounding music in the background, which wouldn't sound too out of place in a romance movie scene.
  • "Extreme Cakeover" has Olympia actually die on-screen, by way of being turned into a cake. While the usual Never Say "Die" trope is played straight and her death is quite obviously a Disney Death, this marks the first (and possibly only) time the show has shown a character die onscreen and have other characters refer to the death as just that: a death. In addition, Ms. O, who is also turned into a cake, is treated as though she is dead by Olympia and Otis, who comment on how they miss her voice and the sound of her little feet as she walked.
    • At the end of the episode, Owen engages in some Black Comedy Cannibalism by eating himself while he's still half-cake, remarking on how he tastes good.
  • In "Oona and the Oonabots", Oona introduces one of her new Oonabots to Ocean. However, at one point, one of the robot's arms falls off and begins to spark. Since the Oonabot looks like an identical clone of Olivia Presti, it can be jarring to some kids to see what appears to be Olivia Presti's arm actually falling off (though the sparks lessen the impact a little).
    • There's also something incredibly morbid about a recycling bin for unicorns being stored in a recycling room, considering that Odd Squad agents have been known to eat unicorns (and parts of them as well, like their tears).
  • As if the surgery scene in "Odd Outbreak" wasn't enough, "The Breakfast Club" has a surgeon on house call coming to the Shmumbers Hotel in order to open up Delivery Debbie's head and plant a microphone inside of it so Olympia and Otis can hear the deliverywoman interacting with the eponymous villains. Luckily, Debbie decides to have the microphone placed in her hat instead of her head, so the surgery never takes place.
  • "Xs and O's" expands further on Ms. O's The Alcoholic status, and deconstructs it. The episode has her going through severe withdrawal due to having to give up her juice to save money for Precinct 13579, and exhibits some common symptoms of it, like agitation and restlessness.
  • The beginning of "Ocean and the Fly" has Owen attempting to kill Oona, who is in a fly's body.
  • "It Takes Goo to Make a Feud Go Right" is easily the most innuendo-filled episode of the show. While there are a lot of radar moments throughout the episode, the most notable thing that somehow managed to make it past the censors is the ending, which has the Goo people shoot out goo when they're happy...straight at Olympia, Otis, and Ms. O. Right after they get slimed, it cuts to a shot of Gooey Randall laughing before it cuts back to the agents. Naturally, this scene did not evade fans' detection, many of whom are in collective agreement that the entire scene is a little too sexual for a PBS Kids show.
  • Otis' Backstory, revealed in "Who is Agent Otis?", is quite dark. While not to the extent of Olive's Backstory involving Odd Todd, which had implications of abuse, violence and death (among other things), Otis has no memory of his real parents and is worried that his duck family will come to enact revenge on him after his betrayal, which happened to save their lives — hence, why he has an Absurd Phobia of ducks.
    • Brother Quack's plan involves committing an act of what is essentially a worldwide genocide, as he wanted to bring the Earth closer to the sun so he and the other ducks could have the ponds to themselves all year long, but didn't realize that doing such a thing would kill all life on the planet, including him and the other ducks. Luckily, Otis and Ms. O manage to put a stop to it before any damage can be done.
  • The second part of the season finale, "Odds and Ends", features the Tropaholics Anonymous trope being played straight with Odd Todd's Home for Villains, which is a villain rehab center where villains perform Heel-Face Turns and turn good by engaging in other hobbies they love instead of doing evil.
    • Ohlm attempts to murder his co-workers by sucking them into a black hole, which would essentially kill them. It's stated that he wants to do it to every Odd Squad agent as revenge for not being made the Big O right after he graduated from the Odd Squad Academy, but only the Main 4 are targeted.
    • Ohlm scratching and sniffing the banana sticker that traps the Main 4 has a few disturbing implications as well.

    Season 3 
  • The first 5 minutes of "Odd Beginnings: Part 1" has Opal and Omar causing a cave-in, as well as an avalanche. Of course, since Status Quo Is God, they survive both incidents without sustaining any injuries, but as a result, the odd snowflake they were planning to bring back to their Headquarters melts.
  • "Odd Beginnings: Part 2" doesn't stop with the casualties — Opal and Omar, along with Oswald and Orla, all manage to survive the destruction of the latter agent's old Headquarters as it falls to pieces around them. This is due to them all taking hold of the 44-leaf clover, which grants them luck. However, one Sister Sally's fate is ultimately left unknown (the other Sally appeared in "Villain Networking").
    • When the Main 4 are heading to the location of the clover, Orla fights back an octopus creature that attacks them. However, instead of using gadgets, she punches and kicks it, which is very surprising for a show, and a network, that has little to no physical violence.
  • In "Raising the Bar", when Opal tells the rest of the Main 4 that the Mobile Unit has come in last in the Odd Squad rankings, Orla remarks that they should bury themselves in a hole. While it may just be a take on the phrase "dig a hole and hide in it", it can also have some dark connotations — essentially, it's possible that she could be referring to the Main 4 committing suicide just for getting last place.
  • Orla refers to blood as a "vital fluid leaving your body" in "Overdue!", which can also describe another vital fluid that leaves your body.
  • In "Into the Odd Woods", the Guardian of the Rocks asks Opal and Oswald how long they've been together. Oswald, believing that he's referring to him and Opal, tells him that they've been partners for a few months. The Guardian then clarifies that he meant Opal and the Van Computer, to which Oswald's face falls as his partner responds with a breathy "Well!" It makes for some questionable Ship Tease between Opal and Oswald.
  • "Slow Your Roll" has one of the darkest things in the entire season, if not in the entirety of the show's run: The Shadow attempting to drown the Main 4 and their car into a lake of goo. It draws parallels to people who might do the same thing intentionally to kill themselves or someone else in the car, and while the episode itself doesn't go too much into detail on the consequences the agents face if they don't escape in time, the implications are still very much there. Furthermore, Opal in particular has a strong attachment to the van, similar to those who have an attachment to their car or people in the car, and wish to drown with them.
  • The closed-captions on PBS Kids' version of "Villain Networking" has Jamie saying "damn" when attacking Sister Sally. In the episode proper, she says "jam", although it's hard to hear over the sound of the villain battle. This isn't the first time PBS Kids has done this, either — most instances of a character in a show saying "dam" will be captioned as them saying "damn" instead.
  • In "Sample of New York", Orla and Omar go and see Hamilton — a play which has mentions of sex, violence and swearing, among other things, and isn't intended for kids their age to see.
  • Just like in "Extreme Cakeover" with Owen in a half-cake form eating himself and Otis and Olympia warning everyone not to eat any agents-turned-cakes, "The Sandwich Project" dips its hands in the well of Black Comedy Cannibalism once again with a Security agent eating a sandwich, which causes the Big O and everyone else to freak out (seeing as how the Main 4 are turned into sandwiches). After he assures the group that he's eating a sandwich he brought from home, the Big O imposes a new rule: no eating sandwiches until the Mobile Unit is turned back to normal. Unlike "Extreme Cakeover", however, it's more Played for Horror than it is Played for Laughs.
  • In one of the What If? scenarios shown in "The B Team", Arctic Mr. O nearly kills himself, Orla, and Oswald after he ends up activating the van's Self-Destruct Mechanism. Luckily, the Main 4 all take off their What-It-Would-Have-Been-Like-inator helmets before things can get gory.
    • Another scenario has Bouldy, Orla's rock replacement, suddenly produce 16 rocks offscreen. Arctic Mr. O and Oceana both theorize about whether Bouldy just gave birth to 16 children, or if he produced fingers. The latter theory was likely an attempt to avert the Toilet Humor trope, as it does seem like Bouldy also pooped out rocks.
  • In "Follow the Leader", a new villainess named Star Wipe is introduced, who likes food that moves. While Orla, disguised as Star Wipe, is served alive worms as part of her and her disguised partners' Impostor-Exposing Test, the villainess's food preferences can also extend to other living things that move, such as chicken and fish — quite morbid, if one thinks about it.
  • In "Double O Trouble", Osmerelda asks a woman who states that she's unhappy if said unhappiness is like a dark cloud hanging over her head. While it's taken literally and the woman actually does have a Personal Raincloud over her head, the exchange is a direct reference to someone asking their doctor or therapist about depression, which is often described by many as feeling like a dark cloud hanging over the head. Osmerelda, holding a pencil and notepad, even starts to ask the client a few more questions (presumably about her life) before Omar interrupts.
    • When the two lead Osmerelda and Omar clones are set to be zapped by the real deals using the Multiply-inator, they're shown with terrified looks on their faces and try to stall, first by exchanging some parting words, then by attacking their creators — almost as if they don't want to be killed. It's made even worse by the fact that "Total Zeroes" had Sister Zero and Brother Zero zap everything with his gloves and multiply everything by zero to remove it all from existence, which very well might have included living beings.
  • In "Welcome to Odd Squad", a clip of Oscar as an Odd Squad concessions worker selling roasted nuts from "Oscar of All Trades" plays when the Little O states that Odd Squad agents need to have strong stomachs to work at the organization. One would think that the scene is misplaced since roasted nuts aren't usually nausea-inducing, but it's always possible that the scene being there could imply the other kind of "roasted nut".
  • The climax of "Set Lasers to Profit" has the Mobile Unit attempting to tell Tommy Twosie, Threesie Louise-ie and High-Five that they are being scammed out of money, that Bonnie Blaster is a Con Artist, and that they'll just keep wasting their money trying to get what they want — a clear reference to someone becoming a victim of fraud and being scammed out of their money, or someone striking a deal with a drug dealer and continuing to buy drugs in the hopes that it will better themselves. It doesn't help that the majority of the episode takes place in an old dark Abandoned Warehouse, where con artists and drug dealers might hang out.
  • "Why Did the Chicken Cross the Dimension?" has the Mobile Unit agents (and Logan the Ogre) willingly using a baby laser chicken as a weapon to fulfill their own goal, putting it through some pretty sadistic Sensory Abuse and exposing it to the very loud noises it hates so it can shoot Eye Beams at the yodeling pretzels — living beings that are essentially murdered. It's one of the darkest things that Season 3 brings to the table, and the act almost makes the agents come off as Abusive Parents, seeing as how Orla previously mentioned raising the chick as their own child.


  • Most of Soundcheck's songs are primarily focused on love—and not the best friend kind. This is PBS Kids, right?
  • Ms. O's addiction to juice is often portrayed as her being an alcoholic, and is even explored in a few episodes. What's even more impressive than the censors not capturing this is that she's had the trait for over 5 years and no one has cried foul on it.