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Series / Bunk'd

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Bunk'd is a live-action sitcom that premiered on Disney Channel on July 31, 2015. It is a spin-off of the series Jessie starring three of its characters: Emma Ross (Peyton List), Ravi Ross (Karan Brar), and Zuri Ross (Skai Jackson). The premiere of the series was announced alongside the news that Jessie would end with its fourth season.

The show centers around the Ross kids (minus Luke, as his actor Cameron Boyce went to star in Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything, with the In-Universe explanation being that he is attending summer school) being forced by their parents to attend Camp Kikiwakka in Maine for the summer, the same camp where their parents met as counselors. While there, they will learn valuable life skills and make new friends outside of their posh Manhattan comfort zone.

The series' premiere followed that of Descendants, and occurred about a few months before the finale of Jessie, meaning that the two shows ran concurrently for a few months even though Bunk'd was supposed to take place after Jessie. As such, the first half-season of Bunk'd was careful not to reveal any potential Jessie spoilers.

Supposedly, the series was meant to have ended in its third season, as Skai Jackson seemed to confirm on social media. However, the season was picked up for a fourth season in November 2018; what Jackson had meant was that she wasn't returning to the series. It was later revealed that List and Brar would likewise be leaving as well, leaving the show with an entirely new cast come the next season, and effectively moving the series out from its spin-off roots and turning it into its own series from this point onward.

On February 24, 2020, the show was renewed for a fifth season, being the first live-action Disney Channel show to reach that milestone, and was renewed in December 2021 for an unprecedented sixth, under the title of Bunk'd: Learning the Ropes, making it the longest-running series on the network thus far. This season moves the action to Wyoming with the campers now attending a dude ranch. It's since been renewed for a seventh season, becoming the longest-running live-action comedy on Disney Channel.

As of 2023 this, along with Raven's Home, is the last show on Disney Channel with ties to the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe.

Tropes seen in Bunk'd:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Hazel is this for Xander.
  • Aborted Arc: The ending of the episode “Friending With The Enemy” has Tiffany and Ravi witnessing the Kikiwaka monster and get proof of such in the next episode, “Waka, Waka, Waka!”, yet Tiffany left the camera in selfie mode and they lost the proof. After that episode, the Kikiwaka was never seen nor mentioned again, and Tiffany and Ravi have never resumed their quest. However, the Kikiwaka and her son do appear in the season 3 finale.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In "Toilets and Tiaras", Otis, a robot that Matteo got, started going after Finn for not being nice to Matteo, eventually trapping both Finn and Ravi in the bathroom and overheating the toilet seat to try to kill them. To be fair, this only happened after Finn accidentally hit Otis with a soccer ball which caused a short circuit on Otis.
  • All Just a Dream: The whole plot of "Fog'd In" is revealed in the final scene to be a story told by Jorge.
    • The plot of Destiny, Finn, and Matteo being transported into a action board game in "Bungle in the Jungle" is revealed to be a dream Destiny is having.
  • Alpha Bitch: Hazel, who is The Dragon to her aunt, seems to fit this trope. Barb takes over as of Season 4.
  • Ambiguous Ending: In "My Fairy Lady", it is left ambiguous who (or what) lit up the fairy houses that Matteo put up as an apology for being so adamant to prove Gwen and Willow wrong about fairies.
  • Animal Theme Naming: The cabins are all named after animals.
  • Animation Bump: A rare live-action version, specifically of the intro variety. The intro is filmed in a very slick, very high-quality way with high quality (at least for television) CGI and in single-camera format in contrast to the actual show's tightly budgeted multi-camera setup.
  • Artistic License – Physics: In "Town and Clown Relations", as part of a prank war, Finn pretends to levitate a box with his mind, but later reveals there was a drone in the box. However, a drone inside an enclosed box will not be able to cause the box to fly.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: An in-universe version in "Finder's Keepers, Lou's a Weeper" with the story Babyface Munson tells. He and two accomplices robbed a bank decades earlier but he was caught while the other two not only escaped, but kept the money and, as Lou stated, became known as the richest people in Mooserump.
  • Bad Vibrations: At the beginning of "Rise of the Machine", ripples in a cup of water herald the arrival of the Peewee-wakas, a day camp program for younger campers.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Subverted in "We Can't Bear It!". When Lou tearfully takes off with the gang in the bus except Finn, Matteo and Destiny who are lost at the moment, she abruptly stops the bus and realizes she left something behind, leading the audience to think she forgot the kids, only to forget it and go on. Then later on when she mentions Finn's name, that is when she realizes she forgot them.
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: In "Lone Wolf", Noah wakes up to make sure everything is fine in his cabin and aims his flashlight at each person in his cabin:
    Finn, Matteo, wolf, Jasper...Wolf!
  • Big Bad: Gladys has this role, as she makes it her purpose to make the Ross Kids' lives miserable because she hates their mom, Christina.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the season 3 premiere, Finn, Matteo, and Destiny are about to be attacked by a bear, but Lou, Emma, Ravi, and Zuri arrive in time to tell them how to best get away from the bear and then they scare it away.
  • Big "NO!":
    • In "Take the Cake", Ravi delivers one as he runs to stop Inspector Dinnsmore from eating a cake with expired frosting on it.
    • Two of them delivered by Otis the robot in "Toilets and Tiaras" when Matteo is turning him off.
    • In "Snow Cups and Fisticuffs", after Matteo sees the snow cone machine destroyed, he delivers one of these.
  • Big "YES!": In "Snow Cups and Fisticuffs", Finn delivers this upon seeing the snow cone machine.
  • Birthday Buddies: Apparently, Tiffany and Hazel share the same birth date.
  • Birthday Episode:
    • "Boo Boos and Birthdays" for Tiffany, and surprisingly, Hazel.
    • "Party Pooper" for Finn [[spoiler not really]] and Ava.
  • Blatant Lies: In "Zuri Has a Little Lamb", after informing Zuri that a farming app has charged her $100, she at first complains that it should only have been $50 before correcting herself "I've been hacked."
  • Book Ends: Season 3 begins with the Ross kids purchasing the camp and becoming the new bosses. The season ends with them selling the camp to Lou when they get once-in-a-lifetime opportunities from their parents.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In the Season 2 finale when Hazel is demoted to CIT after being responsible for the cabin fires, Ravi and Emma utter her Signature Laugh, "Ha-ha!"
  • Brats with Slingshots: This is what Lou thinks of any kid with a slingshot, although averted with Gwen.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    Gwen: I thought that was a myth, like redheads and electric toothbrushes.
    Destiny: Actually, there are redheads and electric toothbrushes, there's even redheads who use electric toothbrushes.
  • Brick Joke: In the first episode, little Timmy is sent to the entrance of the camp to be picked up by his parents because their check bounced. A few episodes later... he's still there, still waiting to be picked up.
    • He's still waiting there in the Season 2 Halloween episode, where he recruits campers to play a prank on Gladys.
    • And still there when the season 3 campers arrive.
    • He eventually leaves with the Kikiwaka and her son in the season 3 finale.
  • Broken Pedestal: Throughout the series, Lou gushes over Jedediah Swearengen, the founder of Camp Kikiwaka who she still holds as one of the greatest directors ever. In season 4, Lou is stunned when his diary reveals that not only was Jedediah a horrible director who the campers hated but he ended up faking his death and changing his name to found Camp Champion.
  • Broken Smile: In "Party Pooper", Ava gives one when she finds out the birthday party Noah threw is for Finn instead of herself.
  • Cassandra Truth: In “Waka, Waka, Waka!”, only Ravi and Tiffany witness the Kikiwaka monster and no one would believe them. When they get footage for proof, it turns out they left the camera in selfie mode the whole time and are humiliated.
  • Catapult Nightmare: In the Halloween episode "In Your Wildest Screams", the girls and boys as a group each do this after waking from their Shared Dreams.
  • The Chains of Commanding: A somewhat downplayed version happened in the fourth season premiere. Lou had a problem going from Counselor of the Woodchuck cabin to owner. While she was very competent, it took her a while to actually take over the owner's cabin.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In "Between a Raccoon and a Hard Place", instead of going on a hike earlier in the episode, Destiny and the Extreme Team are making extra long belts. At the end when Gwen falls into a rock crevice, Destiny's long belt comes in handy to save her.
  • Child Prodigy: Matteo is shown teaching a college level chemistry class in season five's "Raucous Science" episode.
  • Childhood Brain Damage: Implied to have happened to Finn in "Three Stars and a Baby". Apparently, when Finn was a baby, a 12-year-old (or so) Lou was holding him and accidentally hit his head against a refrigerator door.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • Season 1 had "Secret Santa"
    • Season 2 had "How the Griff Stole Christmas"
    • Season 4 had "Summer Winter Wonderland"
  • Circling Birdies: In "Whatever Floats Your Goat Boat", after Ava accidentally hits Matteo in the face with the binoculars they were using for bird watching (a favorite activity of Matteo), he states he is seeing birdies above his head.
  • Continuity Nod: In "Party Pooper", Destiny mentions that others campers recently had to be saved from a bouncy house about to go over the waterfall, mentioning it was strangely common, a reference to this happening to her, Finn, and Matteo in the second episode of the previous season, "Let's Bounce!"
    • In "In Your Wildest Screams", Gwen mentions that her pine cone doll effigy Cuddles had its head knocked off by Finn's tennis ball launcher, which happened a few episodes earlier in "An Udder Disaster".
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: The food at the camp is always said to be barely edible. However, Ravi gets acclaim for this trope in the third season for not being a real chef and just trying his best. Went over the top in "No Bones About It" when he tired and failed to make vegetarian food.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Invoked in "Yes, Lies and Tower Escape". After Destiny and Gwen accidentally break a window, they blame it on a girl with blue hair and green glasses. Soon, they see a girl matching their description and, knowing Lou wants to kick her out, try to protect her until Lou finally told the girls that the girl is an actress she hired to mess with them.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: the fourth season premiere called "Who da Boss? Lou da Boss!" the fifth season premiere was called "Lou's Still the Boss, But Now There's a Ross"
  • Crossover: With Raven's Home in the hour-long episode "Raven About Bunk’d".
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 2 has some moments of this. "Camp Kiki-Slasher" and "Fog'd In" had warnings at the beginning, and even "Luke Out Below" and "Queen of Screams" are a little disturbing. In Season 4, "In Your Wildest Screams" takes this a little further.
  • Dark Secret: One of the plots of "A Tale of Two Stackers" revolves around Destiny and Ava discovering Jedediah's Secret Diary and discovering a big secret — Jed quit Kikiwaka in terms of failure and started Camp Champion, which Lou hates. The two struggle to keep the secret from Lou throughout the episode.
  • Description Cut: Nearly subverted in "We Can't Bear It!". When Finn tells Matteo to calm down, and hopes the others realize they're missing, cut to Lou who abruptly stops the bus to say she did forget something...her toothbrush. She decides to just buy a new one.
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: In the climax of "Sore Lou-ser", Matteo sacrifices his victory at the egg toss to rescue a baby bird egg from falling out of its nest, leaving Camp Kikiwaka to lose to Camp Champion again. However, when Barb throws their egg down as a taunting victory, it does not break due to being hard-boiled, revealing they cheated; thus Camp Champion is disqualified, leaving Camp Kikiwaka to win by default.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The theme song is sung by the actor who plays Xander for the first two seasons.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": In "Lava at First Sight", the cat Destiny finds is revealed to have the name Mrs. Kitty. Lampshaded by Matteo who sarcastically asked the cat's owner if she took two seconds to name her cat.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The Director, Gladys has signs of this.
    • Barb, the director of Camp Champion definitely fits this description.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Lou accidentally reveals her middle name is Dorcas.
  • The End... Or Is It?: "In Your Wildest Screams" ends with Cuddles' arm rising out of the ground, implying her power still lives on, probably because the others couldn't get the last part of the ritual correctly.
  • Enemy Mine: In some circumstances, Hazel will help the Ross kids and their friends, but only does so out of self interest.
  • Epic Fail: The entire episode "A Whole Lotta Lobsta" revolves around this.
  • Evil Wears Black: As evil as they get on this show at least. All of the campers (not counselors such as Hazel) in Weasel Cabin wear black. All but Lydia also have black lipstick.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In "Snow Cups and Fisticuffs", while searching the Grizzly cabin to see if they can find clues as to who destroyed the snow cup machine, Gwen and Matteo fail to find the bottle of snow cup syrup that Finn quickly finds near Noah's bunk. Duly lampshaded by Matteo.
    We've been searching in here for an hour. How could we have missed it?
  • Faint in Shock: In "Zuri Had A Little Lamb", Emma first faints when Lou's sheep is in labor. She wakes up right after the lamb is born, but faints again at the sight of the afterbirth.
  • Feud Episode:
    • "Camp Rules" has Lou trying to stop the argument between Emma and Zuri.
    • "An Udder Disaster" has Destiny and Gwen trying to stop an argument between Ava and her mom.
  • Fish out of Water: The premise in relation to the Ross kids.
    • Season 3 had Matteo, who was very uncomfortable in the wild and brought with him three first aid kits for bites.
    • Season 4 had Ava, who like the Ross kids, was a City Mouse and unfamiliar with the outdoorsy life. Gwen, who had grown up in the woods only with her parents and brother, had an issue with being around so many people and had to learn how to handle friendships.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Ravi mentions these word per word in the Season 3 finale as Lou begins to get saddened over the Rosses not coming back next summer and having to sell the camp, though he messes up the last three (fear, bargaining and acceptance, when it should be bargaining, depression and acceptance).
  • Formally-Named Pet: A strange variant happens a the season 3 finale, "Up, Up, and Away". After the boys shaved a young kikiwaka to look like a normal human boy, Destiny squeals about how cute he looked and tried to call him Sir Cuddles Mc Cutie. However, subverted in that he chose Finn's suggestion of Doug.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble:
    • In season, there's the girls living in Woodchuck Cabin: Lou (the tomboyish one), Emma (the glamorous one), Zuri (sassy one) and Tiffany (the smart one).
    • In season 4, there's Lou (the camp runner and usually the Team Mom), Destiny (the glamorous pageant-loving Girly Girl), Ava (the snarky cynical one) and Gwen (the naïve one)
  • Freudian Trio:
    • The Ross Kids: Zuri (Id), Ravi (Superego) and Emma (Ego)
    • When paired up with Jorge and Tiffany, Jorge is the Id, Zuri is the Ego and Tiffany is the Superego.
    • The three new additions in season 3: Matteo (Superego), Finn (Id) and Destiny (Ego).
  • Friendship Moment: In "Mo-Squito Mo Problems", Noah and Finn bond when Finn tries to cheer him up after learning Noah's parents are divorcing, something Finn's parents did the previous year.
  • Gainax Ending: The ending of "A Whole Lotta Lobsta" has Emma decide to start new food traditions over the next two years which also become a disaster.
  • Gender-Blender Name: In "Cramped Champions", the boys are one the only cabins not to host a Camp Champion camper, so they try to get one by sending out a questionnaire to see who best matches them. They finally pick a Taylor who is perfect for all three, that is until they realize the one question they forgot was to ask male or female.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: For the Grizzly and Woodchuck cabins, it was tilted by one girl in the first season, balanced in season two with Griff, tilted again by one girl in season three and balanced again in season four.
  • Gilligan Cut: A common bit:
    • It's hard to count how many times someone will say "I'm sure there's nothing to worry about" and the camera cuts to the campers about to cause a mess.
    • The season 3 premiere opens with Lou driving the bus of new campers and gushing on how great the rebuilt Kikiwaka looks. Cut to the rest of the gang standing in horror amid a still burned-out camp.
  • Gleeful and Grumpy Pairing: Whenever Ava and Noah team up, Noah is the extroverted, social, excitable try-new-things type of guy where as Ava is the less social Deadpan Snarker who loves ragging on others.
  • Gone Horribly Right and Gone Horribly Wrong: Ravi's attempts to help Finn and Matteo with their rockets in "It's a Blast!" are these tropes respectively especially regrading Matteo's reaction. With Finn, he tried to help his rocket get a little better lift, but put him in first place in altitude. The second round, he tried to give Matteo's rocket more power with more black powder, but it just blew up at launch, leaving Matteo in both cases feeling like a failure.
  • G-Rated Drug: Candy, and later on, Video Games
  • Greater-Scope Villain: As of the eighth episode, the Kikiwaka seems to become the show's more prevalent Big Bad.
  • The Grinch: In season 2's "How the Griff Stole Christmas", Griff causes mayhem and mischief whenever he was tasked with helping to make toys for children for Christmas and was generally acting up. He finally revealed that in juvie, one special Christmas privilege for the kids was an extra visit from family, of which he had none.
    • In season 4's "Summer Winter Wonderland", Destiny came to hate Christmas as her grandfather died after the previous Christmas and she couldn't imagine having another one without him.
  • Halloween Episode:
    • Season 2 had "Camp Kiki-Slasher".
    • Season 4 had "In Your Wildest Screams".
    • Season 5 had "Camp Creepy-Waka"
  • Happy Birthday to You!: Sung at Finn's (late) birthday party (really Ava's birthday).
  • Happy Ending Override: In the last episode of season two, Hazel finally suffers Karma Houdini Warranty and gets demoted, meaning her bully victims get to laugh about bossing her around next summer. Flash forward to season three (next summer), and Hazel is among the characters to have gotten Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, making that plot point null.
  • Hard-to-Light Fire: In "Squatters' Fights" Gwen feels she is losing her survival skills when she can't light a campfire by rubbing sticks together.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: An in-universe version occurs at the end of "Snow Cups and Fisticuffs". Noah's plot was him trying to create a demo reel of his own acting. The outtakes showed Noah trying to do a single scene and either messing up his lines or the set falling over.
  • History Repeats: This is the case with Emma, Hazel, and Xander. Back when Gladys, Morgan, and Christina were all campers, Gladys had a crush on Morgan but Christina "stole" him from her. Hazel is Gladys' niece, who has an obsessive crush on Xander, a good looking and all around nice guy. Xander, however, has a crush on Emma, who also has a crush on him.
  • Hot Wind: Happens the first time Xander sees Emma. Lampshaded by Lou, standing right behind Emma and annoyed Emma's hair is blowing on her. "Where did that wind come from?"
    • In "Lava at First Sight", when Lou and Ava's brother first see each other, a wind starts to blow Lou's hair. Lampshaded immediately by Lou who complains to the groundskeeper to keep the leaf blower facing the ground.
  • House Amnesia: Summer Camp version happens in one episode when Gwen is angry with Matteo and, after talking in Grizzly Cabin, Gwen tells Matteo to leave. Matteo tells her that Grizzly is his cabin, but Gewn gets into her scary mode and yells at him, making him run out.
  • Idiot Ball: Tiffany and Ravi suffer hints of these in “Waka, Waka, Waka!”, while trying to capture proof that the Kikiwaka monster is real. First, Tiffany accidentally leaves the camera in selfie mode, thus losing the proof; also, they never bother to lure the Kikiwaka back to the campsite, instead they guide it to them and let it go off scot-free.
  • Insistent Terminology: Ava doesn't have a diary, she has a feelings book.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: When Emma returns in season 5 and offers to spend the summer at the camp, Lou is happy she cares enough to join them again. Destiny then reveals Emma is actually hiding out as her first fashion show had her tripping, falling off the runway, and landing right on Beyonce.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Gwen and the senior dancing student Edna bonded over various things such as Edna's time as a forest ranger while Gwen lived in the woods and both enjoying squirrel meat.
  • Invisible Parents: The main or major characters whose parents were never shown:
    • Jorge, Griff (he was in the foster care system and thus had no actual parents), Hazel, Gwen, Finn (though his future step-father did appear), Destiny, and Noah.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: One occurs in "We Can't Bear It!".
    Lou: I can't wait to see our rebuilt cabins!
    (Cuts to the camp where the Ross kids are looking at their still-burnt cabins.)
    Emma: Oh, my gosh. Gladys didn't rebuild our cabins.
  • The Ketchup Test: In "Inn Trouble", after seeing Finn licking the "dirt" off of his arm, Gwen reaches over and puts her finger into the "blood" on his elbow, recognizing it as brambleberry jam. Lampshaded by Destiny who asked her what if it had been blood.
  • Kick the Dog: A camper named Timmy is repeatedly shunned whenever he tries to get into the camp and left out. The last time he is seen, he has given up all hope to get in, just as Lou is considering it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After everything Hazel did to the Rosses over two seasons, Gladys punishes her for accidentally burning down the cabins with a scented candle by demoting her to CIT.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: The Season 2 finale ends with Xander and the gang singing the theme song as they leave camp.
    • The season 5 finale ends with everyone singing the theme song. Notable as this was the first time the theme song was sung in its entirety since the above example.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    Hazel: You know, Emma, you and Eric kind of look alike.
    Emma and Eric: We do not!
    • Eric is played by Peyton's twin brother Spencer.
    • In "Live from Camp Kikiwaka", Lou mentions that if the camp closed, she will miss Xander and his guitar, calling it the soundtrack of her summers. Xander's actor sings the theme for the series (for the seasons he appeared).
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: When Gwen accidentally breaks a window, Destiny blames the accident on a girl with blue hair (blue chair) and green glasses (green grass). Lou actually turns around to check Destiny's line of sight, lampshading the fact she knows exactly what is happening.
  • Love Triangle: In "Crushin' It" Matteo gets jealous of Gwen talking about a new friend she had back home naked Kevin. However, Gwen eventually admits that Kevin is a dog.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: In season 3, Ravi is part owner, camp cook, and Grizzly cabin counselor. This is an issue in one episode when he realizes Finn and Matteo need constant supervision (as you would expect in a kids' camp), but has issues dealing with them when he is in the kitchen.
  • Maintain the Lie: When Tiffany's mother comes for a visit, Tiffany freaks out as she's been telling her mother she's been attending a camp for the intelligent and gifted. The gang try to keep it up by pretending they're geniuses but it doesn't take long for Tiff's mom to see through that.
    • In Season 4, Destiny and Gwen invent a fictious girl to take the blame for their misdemeanors. Lou isn't fooled for a second and hires a local actress to pretend to be the non-existent girl, just to teach a morality lesson.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Ava, who grew up with older brothers and had to be able to fight to keep up with them compared to Noah, who is more sensitive and whose passion is acting.
  • Meaningful Name: Discussed and subverted by Gwen's brother Jasper in "Lone Wolf". While in the city, he explained he came across three boys named Hunter and was disappointed that none of them was one.
  • Meet My Good Friends Lefty and Righty: In "Snow Cups and Fisticuffs", Finn revealed that his fists Tina and Racecar thinking another camper wanted to fight him.
  • Mood Whiplash: In "Summer Winter Wonderland", in one scene, Destiny is shown hilariously lampooning "Jingle Bells" to match that she doesn't like the holiday. In the next scene, she is crying on Ava's shoulder as she admits her grandfather died and she can't imagine having Christmas without him.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: Gwen, the girl who grew up in the forest and Matteo, the scientist. Interestingly, they are the closest boy/girl friendship in season 4, flirting with a preteen "romance" and confirmed in season 5 that they became a couple over the summer.
  • Mouthful of Pi: In "A Tale of Two Stackers", Matteo rolls off the numbers of pi to explain what it was to Finn. Interestingly, the actor missed the second 1 in the number.
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes:
    • Lou experiences this in “Queen of Screams” when Stephanie Queen first appears.
    • Luke experiences this in “Luke out Below” when he, Zuri and Griff are trapped on a mountain.
  • My Nayme Is: In "Manic Moose Day", Lou's friend, a blogger named Sean tells her that she changed her name from Sean to S3an.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Noah's brother is named Guion after Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. the first black astronaut. Guion also wanted to follow in his namesake's footsteps.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: In "Let's Bounce", when Destiny was being overly selfish regarding the suggestions for the cabin with Zuri pretending to write everything down, Zuri gave up and left, giving the clipboard to Destiny.
    Destiny: You didn't write down anything I said. And that is a very bad word."
  • Nice Mean And In Between:
    • The counselors from Season 1-2 has: Xander the nice and laid-back one, Hazel the mean and snobby one, and Lou the in-between and well-behaved one who’s friends with the Rosses.
    • For the new campers from Season 3, we have: Matteo the Nervous Wreck, Destiny the brassy pageant girl, and Finn The Pigpen who stays in-between most of the time.
  • Nightmare Sequence: We get three in "In Your Wildest Screams".
  • No OSHA Compliance: Camp Kikiwaka has so many health code and safety violations it's a wonder the place is still open.
    • This becomes a plot point in season 3's "Take the Cake" where a worker from the city threatens to shut down the camp due to its many, many violations.
  • Noodle Incident: In "Lava at First Sight", Noah remarks, after Gwen and Finn tricked him to touch the ground in their game, that he was tricked by kids in bathrobes while on stools...again.
  • Not in Front of the Parrot!: In "Look Who's Squawking" Miss Tilly's parrot keeps talking about murder and poisoning scones. However, it is revealed she loaned the parrot to the boys because she was hosting a murder mystery and the parrot would give everything away.
  • Off the Grid: Gwen spent her whole life with this lifestyle.
  • Omniglot: Downplayed, but Matteo can speak English, French, Portuguese, as well as Sign Language. As for the first three, his actor is fluent in them.
  • Only Sane Man: As of Season 3, the only characters who know of the Kikiwaka's existence are Ravi, Tiffany, Finn, Destiny and Matteo.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "Reversal of Fortune", Destiny and Matteo know something is wrong with Finn when he first takes a shower and then isn't playing with his food at lunch.
  • One-Steve Limit: Season one had a single episode guy named Noah who was Lou's temporary love interest. Another very different Noah becomes a main character starting in season four.
    • In "My Fairy Lady", due to her laziness and not caring to learn the names of the other counselors, Ava was excited to learn that there were three counselors named Jen, realizing she had a good chance of being right.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Destiny hatched a platonic version of this plot in "The S'more, The S'merrier" after learning that Matteo invited Finn to Thanksgiving the previous year. To make them jealous, she found two boys that somewhat resembled Finn and Matteo to hang out with. The boys played this game as well and found a girl who looked like Destiny to hang out with. It worked on both sides leading them all to talk out their issues.
  • Our Founder: Jedediah Swearingen, Hazel and Gladys' ancestor. Turns out he's also this for Camp Champion. After so many accidents, casualties and a poltergeist being released in the camp director's cabin, he realized Camp Kikiwaka was a mistake so he faked his death and started anew.
  • P.O.V. Cam: Occasionally, we see things from the bug's point of view in Woodchuck cabin from "Dancing Up a Storm"
  • Parachute in a Tree: Happened twice:
    • In the Season 1 episode "Love Is for the Birds", Ravi is parachuting trying to prove he is a risk taker to be with a girl, but immediately regrets it. He is later found tangled in a tree in his parachute.
    • In the final episode of season 5, after realizing he wants to be at Camp Kikiwaka rather than going back home, Parker jumps out of his plane, landing in a tree.
  • Parental Abandonment: Griff's parents abandoned him years earlier, which led him in and out of foster homes, leading him to start to steal food and eventually larger things such as bikes, which got him arrested and placed into a juvenile delinquent facility.
    • Poor Timmy. His parents never picked him up after their check first bounced and they were still missing more than three years later.
  • Parent with New Paramour: While not exactly new, in "My Fairy Lady" Finn is upset that his mother's boyfriend is coming to visit. Finn already has had issues with wanting to like him, even though he easily fits with Finn's personality, but it gets worse when he reveals to Finn that he wants to marry Finn's mother and wants Finn to be fine with it.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Gwen. In one episode after Matteo made her upset, she was shown taking her anger out by chopping logs with her hand.
    Gwen: I'm just woodsy strong.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Intentionally Defied by Lou in "Serf's Up-Rising". She gave each main character a role for Renaissance Week that was completely opposite who they were. The confident beauty queen Destiny was a chamber maid. Finn, the follower, was made king. Matteo, the scared was made a knight. Gwen, the girl who was reluctant with her reading and writing was made a bard. Noah, someone who was not good with girls was given a romantic role. Ava, the sardonic and sarcastic counselor was made court jester.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: Gwen has some of this, having been raised Off the Grid but averted with her knowledge of Beyonce.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Almost happens in the Season 6 premiere as Lou goes ahead to move the camp to a Wyoming dude ranch even though she technically hasn't bought it yet. She assures a worried Parker that it's okay as she and the owner have been exchanging e-mails for months and it's a "done deal." It's when they meet in person that Lou realizes the man has been sending her e-mails assuming she's a totally different person, laughing about "the weirdo who wants to turn this place into a kid's camp." She and Parker briefly do some wacky hijinks but the deal is about to be called off...until the guy realizes the other would-be owners will turn it into a day spa so figures keeping it closer to a ranch works better.
  • Pressure Point: Both Gwen and her brother Jasper can basically do the Vulcan nerve pinch to knock out others. Jasper does it to Noah to get him to sleep while Gwen does it to Jasper to prevent him from leaving.
  • Prophetic Fallacy: In "Dreams Come True", it's revealed that whenever Lou has dreams that are as clear as day, they're easy to remember, and they will come true. Sometimes though, the end result seen in said dreams are not what will happen, but rather what Lou subconsciously makes of them. In this episode, Lou's dream was that Emma gets stained with punch, walks on broken glass, runs through the forest dressed as a court jester wearing an argyle sweater being chased by a groaning shadowy figure, and ends with a bright light and Emma disappearing. All of it came to fruition true to Lou's dream, but when the final part came, Emma didn't disappear, and the shadowy figure was the County Services official erroneously thinking Emma was Griff.
    • Lou seems able to predict the overall events to come, but is wrong on the final outcome. Her next dream shows her accurately predict who Zuri's next package is from, as well as the contents and the reason they were sent. However, she incorrectly predicts that Zuri would give her the contents of the package.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Season 3 drops Xander, Jorge, Tiffany, Griff, Gladys, and Hazel, with Gladys being said to have taken the camp's insurance money and run off.
      • Hazel comes back in the fourth season episode "Inn Trouble" where she and Lou, in a way, reconcile and are no longer foes.
    • Season 4 drops the Ross kids due to them going their separate ways in the Season 3 finale.
      • Mrs. Kipling appeared in the season 4 episode "Serfs Up-rising". No reason given why she was in the woods of the camp or how she got there.
    • Season 5 drops Gwen.
      • She appeared in Season five episode "Crushin It".
    • Emma comes back to be a guest star in the Season 5 premiere "Lou's Still the Boss, But Now There's a Ross".
  • Quicksand Sucks: In "Bungle in the Jungle", Destiny and Finn, while in the board game, encounter quicksand.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Finn, who is the free-spirited wild-child is the red to blue Matteo, who is far more hesitant, preferred indoor activities, and preferred to follow the rules.
  • Retool:
    • Season 3 features the core four main characters that are left (Ravi, Zuri, Emma, and Lou) becoming owners of Kikiwaka after their parents bought out the camp after Gladys ran off, and features three new kids as main characters.
    • Season 6 moves the action to a dude ranch in Wyoming.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: In the episode "Inn Trouble", while in quarantine, Ava and Destiny created one of these, however, while in the bathroom finding one more object to use, Gwen comes in to tell them they are free, unintentionally triggering it, While Gwen was entertained watching it, Ava and Destiny were aghast at not being able to watch their work come to fruition.
  • Same Clothes, Different Year: Played Straight. In the flashback scenes of the episode "Luke Out Below," all of Xander, Hazel, and Lou's younger selves are blatantly seen wearing the same type of clothes they would usually wear as their older canon selves.
    • Hazel's younger self in the flashbacks wears her usual, distinct denim or corduroy overall shorts and button-down plaid shirt.
    • Xander's younger self usually wears his usual Camp Kikiwaka uniform shirt and khaki shorts.
    • Lou's younger self also wears her usual plaid button-down shirt and khaki shorts.
    • Even their hairstyles are pretty much the exact same.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: In the first episode of the fourth season, Gwen tracks down Noah after he tries to leave camp by following his footprints at night. She stated she learned to track animals when she was a baby.
  • Security Blanket: Destiny loses her stuffed horse while Woodchuck Cabin is exploring a cave in "Cave'd In". She even went back in the middle of the night with Zuri to search for it again, causing them to get lost in the cave.
  • Series Fauxnale: The show was originally set to end after the third season with "Up, Up and Away", given that the Rosses are leaving for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and Camp Kikiwaka is sold to Lou. However, due to extreme popularity, the show was given another season and continues without the Rosses from there.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In addition to the events below in Shared Dream, in "Gruel and Unusual Punishment" Destiny, Finn, and Matteo knew of the upcoming storm that would cause a flood that killed a number of citizens of Moose Rump. As much as to help save themselves, the kids tricked the citizens into fleeing the town.
  • Signature Laugh: Hazel's "Ha-ha!"
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Hazel for the first two seasons, and Barb from the fourth season onward.
  • Shared Dream: The events of "Gruel and Unusual Punishment" where Destiny, Finn, and Matteo are transported back to 17th century Moose Rump after inhaling some kind of powder in a box from that time. They are told they just hallucinated what they were seeing, however, the three discover that they may have made changes to history such as allowing for more colors in their dress to making others realize animals may be more than just for food.
    • The season 4 Halloween episode "In Your Wildest Screams" had three shared dreams. The first was the Woodchucks (as well as Lou) sharing a dream. The next had the Grizzlies sharing a dream. The final was all seven characters in the same dream. Destiny even calls this trope out by name.
  • Shipper on Deck: Lou when it comes to Emma and Xander.
    • Due to jealousy and a misunderstanding, in one episode Emma becomes this to Xander and Lou. They promptly sink that ship (after a glorious Ship Tease wherein the two almost kiss) and emphasize that they are Just Friends.
  • Shouldn't We Be In School Right Now?: Averted as this series is supposed to take place during summer vacation, but the summer camp setting ends up taking the place of a High School / Boarding School anyway. It is further established that each season takes place during another summer.
    • Could be somewhat played straight for a summer camp. Most overnight camps are very regimented with the campers doing specific activities at specific times with only certain times of free play. However, most of the time both the campers and counselors are just messing around.
  • Shout-Out: Zuri getting Tiffany to play volleyball better involves inciting rage, also done by Maddie to motivate London to win the volleyball tournament.
    This is not the phone you're looking for. Go about your business. Move along.
    • In the Crossover "Raven About Bunk’d", they go into the Forbidden Forest
    • "Bungle in the Jungle" was basically a variation of Jumanji with Destiny, Matteo, and Finn getting sucked into a board game.
  • Shown Their Work: Matteo mentions a previous time the weather in Maine was very cold in the Summertime was in 1816. This event actually happened in the "Year of No Summer", which Matteo even referred to it as. There was even June snow in Maine, where the series takes place.
  • Smelly Skunk: "Camp Stinky Waka" where the Grizzly cabin hunts Big Stinky, the camp's skunk nemesis.
    • At the end of "Game of Totems", when Emma gets left behind, she ran into a skunk that ended up spraying her offscreen where we hear her scream and say "Oh, right in my mouth!"
    • Big Stinky makes its third appearance in "Rise of the Machine" where Nadine, a part of the Peewee Wakas tries to go after it.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Gwen showed she "dabbled" in cricket language in "Yes, Lies and Tower Escape" after telling crickets to get back into a jar by chirping at them.
  • Spin-Off: Of Jessie
  • Special Guest: Cameron Boyce makes his appearance as Luke in "Luke's Back", and appears again in "Luke Out Below".
  • Spontaneous Choreography: At the end of "Party Pooper", the whole of the camp starts to dance for Ava, much to her initial confusion and ultimately her surprise. However, this was given a justification as they had been planning the dance for Ava's birthday for the past few weeks.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: The third season premiere has the gang rocked to find the camp still burned down and Gladys fleeing with the insurance money. They're sadly talking on how it will be shut down when Mateo says to Emma "Too bad you guys don't have a rich friend who can buy the place." The very next scene is Emma announcing her mother just bought the entire camp and gave it to her children to run.
  • Stepford Smiler: When Destiny is in her Pageant Mode, she becomes this, especially seen in "Toilets and Tiaras". She showed that she can be super polite and smiling while also being ruthless toward her competition.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That:
    • When Lou confiscates Tiffany's mobile phone during a conversation with her mother, the sound of loud rapid talking in Chinese can be heard. Lou asks if what she's hearing is affectionate and Tiffany responds with the appropriate line. Most likely, it was really angry yelling at Lou for interrupting the phone call.
    Lou: So, Emma, what'd you think of your gift?
    Emma: I'm speechless.
    Lou: Because you loved it so much?
    Emma: Yeah, let's go with that.
  • Take That!: In a written interview, Cameron Boyce pokes fun at Luke's explained absence from Bunk'd (see Written In Absence in YMMV) with, "and by the way, it's spelled s-u-m-m-e-r s-c-h-o-o-l".
    • In "A Tale of Two Stackers", as seen below in Tempting Fate, Gwen has to be honest with Noah about why she hates Star Battles (an Expy of Star Wars), she lists many of the issues from Star Wars, including how the Luke/Leia relationship was beginning to be potentially romantic. Made even funnier as Disney owns both.
  • Taking the Heat: In "Cramped Champions", Lou decides to take the blame for the flooding of Camp Champion so Barb doesn't get fired.
  • Tempting Fate: After Gwen watches Noah's favorite movie and finds it horribly awful
    Gwen: The only good thing about that movie is that it's over and I'll never have to watch it again.
    Ava smirks and snickers.
    Gwen: Why are you laughing?
    Noah: After we take a break, let's watch the next 8 movies.
    Ava: That's why.
  • There's No Place Like Home: There is a Season 1 episode "There's No Place Like Camp".
    • In the Season 4 "Lone Wolf", Gwen's brother Jasper feels this about his time living in the woods, where he feels more at home unlike the city where his family recently moved. He was planning to run away back to the woods.
  • Toilet Humour: The Matteo/Gwen plot in "Party Pooper" is all about this. Gwen leaves their picnic at night (he wanted to show her his telescope) after he makes a comment that Gwen thinks is him reacting to her just farting while Matteo thinks she left because she thought the chocolate he accidentally sat on was something else.
    • In "Breaking Barb", Noah tries to tell Barb, who has traded with Lou for running each other's camp, that he'd be proud to be her assistant. After she declines, he tries to convince her, but phrasing it unfortunately, "You've never had a solid number two." Lampshaded immediately when she gives him a Flat "What" stare, to which he abashedly says, "I just heard it. I'm sitting down now."
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • In Seasons 1-3, Emma is the girly girl to Lou's tomboy.
    • In Seasons 1-2, Zuri is slightly tomboyish to Tiffany's girly girl.
    • In Season 4, Gwen, the outdoors girl who was raised to be independent is the tomboy to Destiny's pageant contestant girly girl.
  • Trash the Set: At the end of season two, the Woodchuck and Grizzly cabins were burned to the ground.
  • Treasure Map: The episode "Inn Trouble" had Hazel coming back with what Lou and Gwen believed was a map to a treasure. However, the map was actually to a time capsule from hers and Lou's first year at the camp.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: The theme song was shortened to the final chorus in the third season onwards.
  • Truth Serums: After breaking a bottle that Matteo had labeled truth vapor, Lou and Parker fear they have released a truth serum and start being honest with each other. However, it was subverted when Matteo told them it was simply the name of a cologne he was working on.
  • Voice for the Voiceless: The deaf camper Willow (aka Gwen's "fairy") in "My Fairy Lady" has Matteo translate her sign language.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In the season three opener, Matteo is shown throwing up out of the window of the moving bus.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: This happens in the Escape Room in "Queen of Screams" when the group fails to put in the right code to get out.
    • In "Crushin It", while trying to pull Destiny and Noah out of a trash compactor, Gwen falls in and accidentally hits the crushing lever on her way in.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gwen got really angry with Matteo in "Mo-Squito Mo Problems" for turning her mosquito repellent cream into a spray and then taking all the credit for it.
  • Wire Dilemma: A non-bomb version in "A Star Is Torn" when Finn and Matteo get locked in a bomb shelter. When they open the fuse box, they see a large bunch of wires and Matteo just gives up trying to figure out which wire to pull. At the end however, Finn just pulls out a bunch of wires and unlocks the hatch.
  • Worthy Opponent: At the end of "I Won't Let You Clown", after Parker tricks Barb into letting go of the boat so Noah would win, he tries to apologize, but she stops him saying she respected him fir using underhanded tactics and is looking forward to dealing with him in the future.
  • Written-In Absence:
    • In the first episode, Luke's absence is explained by having him need to attend summer school instead of camp (allowing Cameron Boyce to star in Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything). Since Season 2 premiered, and takes place during the next summer, and Luke actually has been doing well in Summer School during the first season, there's no real explanation as to why he isn't with his siblings this time around. Of course, he returns every once in a while, visiting once in Season 1, and again in Season 2.
    • Due to the Ross children leaving to do their dream jobs in the Season 3 finale, they won't be returning in Season 4 and Lou takes over as the boss when she buys the camp from them.
  • Yellow Snow: In "Lake Rancid", while eating ice cream for the first time, Gwen reveals she only ever ate snow before, though her mother wouldn't let her eat the lemon flavored.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Ravi and Tiffany's problem for "Waka, Waka, Waka!".


Video Example(s):


Emma falls in mud.

While Emma is doing a tightrope over a mud pit, Hazel throws a dodgeball at her, causing Emma to lose her balance and fall face first into the mud.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / CoveredInMud

Media sources: