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Series / Born to Spy

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L to R: Dutch, Yu Na, Min, Allegra, Raph
Born to Spy is an Australian children’s television show. It follows siblings Yu Na and Min Park who wake up one day to find their parents missing. They discover their parents are spies who have left on an important mission, and soon Yu Na and Min are caught up in the fight to save the world.

With the help of their friends, they must figure out who they can trust and stop the bad guys, all while covering for the disappearance of their parents.

The first and so far only series of Born to Spy premiered on ABCMe on 10 December 2021, consisting of ten episodes.

This show provides examples of:

  • Accents Aren't Hereditary: The parents Joon and Soo-jin both have Australian accents, as does older sister Yu Na, whereas younger brother Min has a Korean accent.
  • Animal Espionage: While Min’s dog Ludwig doesn’t get up to much spy work himself, his collar is used to send secret messages.
  • Classified Information: Yu Na and Min discover their grandmother is also a spy.
Halmeoni: This is classified information. I’ve been a spy for over 50 years.
  • Cloak and Dagger: Or in this case, Tenacity and Turmoil, neither which are shown to have any links to government.
  • Code Name: Turmoil refer to Yu Na and Min’s parents as ‘the chicken and the egg’.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Talgat, who has been working for Turmoil, switches sides to work with Tenacity after Turmoil kidnap his brother and don’t give him his puffer. His heart wasn’t really it in anyway, he was mainly there for the good pay.
  • High-School Dance: Dutch is determined that she and Yu Na will have a proper experience at the school formal. It is, however, interrupted by all the spy goings-on.
  • Literal Surveillance Bug: Yu Na and Min plant a bug that is disguised to look like a fly.
  • Never Mess with Granny: When a Turmoil agent tries to steal Yu Na and Min’s Halmeoni’s bag, she takes him out.
Yu Na: What just happened?
Halmeoni: I kicked his butt is what just happened.
  • Not-So-Forgotten Birthday: Yu Na is upset that everyone has forgotten her 16th birthday, but at the end of the episode it is revealed they knew all along and were planning a surprise birthday.
  • Parent Produced Project: It’s unclear exactly who made the SmileMaker, but it is a device Min takes from their parents’ spy room to hand in as his science project.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Used often for comedic purposes, such as when Yu Na interrupts Dutch’s gloating dance.
  • School Play: Min stars in the school play as a chick. All we see is his last lines.
Min: [as the chick] So I look towards the horizon, free of my egg, knowing my wings have to spread, my feathers unfurled, and my heart awhirl, thankful that I’m not an omelette!
The audience can be seen crying, and he says later he got three encores.
  • Secret Legacy: Yu Na and Min discover their parents are spies, and have secretly been training them to be spies as well.
  • Sequel Hook: The last episode ends with Yu Na accepting an unknown mission on behalf of the whole family.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Yu Na and Min. Yu Na is into wrestling and punk rock, and often seems to be in a bad mood. Min is much more cheerful, and is into costumes and theatre.
  • Spy Versus Spy: The (good) spies of Tenacity vs. the (bad) spies of Turmoil.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When a younger Yu Na questions why her father is teaching her to dismantle an electrical "clock", he says "it's not like we're secretly teaching you to disarm a bomb in the future." Which of course he is.
  • Teen Superspy: Basically the plot of the show, with Yu Na being 15, and Min being 12.
  • Truth Serum: While trying to find out who the Turmoil agent is, Yu Na and Min give Ms Waters, Mr Turei, and Allegra’s dad George truth serum in cupcakes baked by Ralph (Talgat ends up eating some as well.)
  • What Does This Button Do?: Yu Na and Min struggle at first to figure out what all the buttons in their parents secret spy bunker do, and during their experimenting find a button that reveals a gumball machine, and another that drops a net.
  • Wire Dilemma: Yu Na plans to cut the red wire and then the blue wire. However, there is no blue wire; only black and green ones!