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Series / Donkey Hodie

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Donkey Hodie is a puppet Preschool Show. This is the second show inspired by Mister Rogers' Neighborhood after Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. This time around, it's inspired by the funny, quirky side of Fred Rogers. It premiered on PBS Kids on May 3, 2021 and is produced by creator and performer David Rudman's production company Spiffy Pictures (Nature Cat, Jack's Big Music Show, and Bunnytown) and Fred Rogers Productions (formerly Family Communications Inc. and The Fred Rogers Company).

The original Donkey Hodie character appeared in 59 episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood from 1968-1993. He founded the land of Someplace Else when King Friday ordered him to leave the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and build his windmill “someplace else.” He is now known as Grampy Hodie and is the grandfather to the all-new Donkey Hodie, a vivacious young donkey with a magenta mohawk. She's a curious, sincere, resilient, and charming young go-getter who is beloved by her neighbors in Someplace Else because she is something else. She often bursts out of her windmill with a fresh goal for the day and a hee-haw!

The show has Donkey and her friends Bob Dog, Purple Panda, and Duck Duck encounter everyday childhood problems, and use perseverance, hard work, and good old silliness to overcome these obstacles. The show features re-imagined versions of Fred Rogers' songs as well as new ones.

In April 2022, the series was renewed for a second season, which was initially set to premiere in the spring of 2023. This date was eventually changed to August 14th of the same year.

Donkey Hodie contains examples of:

  • Absurd Phobia: In "The Masked Veggies," when Purple Panda goes on The Masked Veggies game show, he has a fear that he might suddenly put on a Santa beard and sing Jingle Bells, though this stems from a deeper stage fright. Wackily enough, it turns out his fear is actually justified, as he ends up doing just this while Donkey is trying to help him.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: More like accessory wearing puppet cloud. Clyde the Cloud only wears a bowler hat.
  • Adaptational Job Change: Harriett Elizabeth Cow in Mister Rogers was a schoolteacher, while she's an artsy inventor here.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Grampy Hodie is blue, unlike in the original show where he was grey.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": A donkey named Donkey, a duck named Duck Duck, and Purple Panda is simply known as Panda. Interestingly, Bob Dog actually averts this, having his species as his surname.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Bob Dog learns how to wait in "The Waiting Game". Then he has has to learn it again in "Chili Jamboree".
  • Alliterative Name: Purple Panda, Clyde the Cloud, and Duck Duck because of her repetitive name.
  • All There in the Script: Two of the three yodel birds are named Carol and Mike. The third one was not named. This can only be seen in the closed captions.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming:
    • The Tater Buddies all have names beginning with the letter P.
    • The Mooing Moon Moths' names all begin with the letter M.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Donkey is yellow with a bright pink mohawk. While Grampy was grey in Mister Rogers, he's more of a steel blue here. Grampy Hodie has a pet green elephant named Gregory. And of course, Purple Panda.
  • An Aesop: The show's main objective is to teach lessons on perseverance and resilience.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Clyde the Cloud is a talking cloud.
  • Are We There Yet?: Purple Panda asks this in "Mountain Climb Time" during their hike to Mount Really High Up. Donkey Hodie responds that they aren't there, but are closer to getting there. This causes Panda to tell her that he agrees with what Grampy told them about the hike being really difficult.
  • Art Shift: The scene where the box of Golden Crunchdoodles opens in "The Golden Crunchdoodles Return" is animated.
  • Ascended Extra: Two background puppets became recurring characters later on in the series: a possum puppet, first seen in "Spooky Shadow Swamp", became Polly the mailcarrier, and a skunk puppet, first seen in "The Cow and Potato Bug Opera", became Doctor Skunk.
  • Babysitting Episode: "Yodel Bird Sitting" revolves around Donkey babysitting a baby yodel bird. Everything is going well until nap time, when the baby refuses to go to sleep. Donkey and her pals try several methods that got them to nap when they were young, but they eventually realize that they need to try what works for the baby instead of what worked for them in order to make the baby sleep.
  • Barbershop Quartets Are Funny: While Panda sings in "Hey-O, Purple Moon", a barbershop quartet made up of purple pandas can be seen harmonizing in the background.
  • Be Yourself: In "Uniquely Panda', Panda learns that he should embrace his uniqueness and not change himself to be like other pandas.
    • In "Big Nest Bird Party", Donkey wants to fit in at the titular event, but all the activities are catered towards birds and she thinks that she must act like one in order to enjoy herself. She learns that she can still have fun and act like her donkey self.
    • In "Fashion Donkey", Donkey wants to have a passion and decides to copy the titular celebrity and make fashion her passion. She later realizes that her true passion is to be herself.
    • "Snow Day": Panda thinks that his snow day customs from Planet Purple are too weird and that he has to do the exact things that his friends do. They teach him that he is free to be himself, with a song:
    Donkey and Duck Duck: It's okay to do things your way, don't have to be like all the rest.
    Panda: Be who I am, do what I like.
    Donkey and Duck Duck: Just be yourself 'cause you're the best!
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: The Abominable Snow Penguin.
  • Birthday Episode:
    • "Flying Flapjacks" takes place on Grampy Hodie's birthday, and revolves around Donkey trying to make the titular breakfast as a present for him.
    • In "Planet Purple Party", it's Mama Panda's birthday. Donkey and Panda travel to Planet Purple to celebrate, but Panda keeps forgetting the party supplies. Donkey helps him make a list of what to bring so he doesn't forget anything.
    • In "Being Bob Dog", it's Bob Dog's birthday, but Donkey and Panda don't know what gift to get him.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Mountain Climb Time: Donkey and Panda don't make it up Mount Really High Up, but they learn that if they practice and take it one step at a time, they will make it eventually.
    • The Golden Crunchdoodles: While Donkey and Panda do not find the Golden Crunchdoodles at the end of the rainbow, they do reminisce on the fun they had looking for them and decide to do it again while heading back home. They end up finding the box and successfully opening it in another episode.
    • Walking Stick Blues: Donkey is unable to fix Grampy's walking stick. She does create a new one for him, but not without realizing that the new stick will never be as special to Grampy as his old one was.
  • Book Ends: "A Donkey Hodie Halloween" opens and ends with the camera focusing on a blue owl.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: The show's theme song is all about how great Donkey is and how her friends adore her.
  • Bravado Song: In "Spooky Shadow Swamp", Purple Panda and Donkey have to get Bob Dog's ball back from the titular dark swamp, though they're both rather nervous about it. Panda sings a short song about how they can think of times where they've faced their fears and that can help.
  • Call-Back:
    • The episode "Walking Stick Blues" has Donkey and Panda trying to fix the walking stick with bubble gum. A similar event was mentioned in "A Big Favor For Grampy", when it's revealed Donkey once fixed Panda's spaceship with bubble gum. The scene that follows this has them using purple bamboo, which was the subject of a joke in "A Fair Way To Bounce", as a substitute for the stick.
    • In "The Cow And Potato Bug Opera", Purple Panda wears a curly pink wig and a pearl necklace. Donkey wore these items during the musical montage in "Super Duper Sleepover".
    • In "Dodie Hodie", there is a scene in which Dodie and Donkey disagree over what kind of music they should dance to. Donkey's choice is an instrumental of "My Groovy Guitar" from the episode "Groovy Guitar".
  • Camping Episode: Donkey and Panda camp out in the woods near Grampy's home in "Hey-O, Purple Moon" in order to see the moon moths that arrive due to the titular phenomenon.
    • They camp in the woods again in "Bright Bright Bugs", this time to see the titular bugs.
  • Canon Foreigner: Duck Duck is not based on any character from the original show. The same goes for Clyde the Cloud, Game Show Gator, and a slew of other characters.
  • Casting Gag: Peter Linz plays the perpetually serene and cool Clyde the Cloud, who offers sage advice to Donkey. He previously played Snook the Sloth, who fulfills that same archetype.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Hee-haw" and other variations, "Think, Donkey Hodie, think!" and "I, Donkey Hodie..." for Donkey Hodie.
    • "Heyo!" and "Hiii!" for Purple Panda.
    • "Bow-wow!" and other variations for Bob Dog.
    • "Kay kay!" and "Yep yep!" for Duck Duck.
    • Super Porcupine has "Ho ho, hey ha!".
  • Cheerful Child: All the kids can count, but especially Donkey and Bob Dog because of their sheer amount of energy.
  • Clashing Cousins: Downplayed with Donkey and Dodie. Although they get along well for the most part, they did struggle when Dodie no longer liked the same things that Donkey did.
  • Clip Show:
    • The last few minutes of "Donkey's Bad Day" involve clips from previous episodes playing when Donkey is making a happy memories box and remembers a time when she used each item.
    • The song "Are We Still Friends?" from "Superhero Squabble" has clips of friendship moments that Donkey and Panda shared together play as the song is sung.
    • The song "Passion To Be Me" from "Fashion Donkey" has clips of things that Donkey loves to do play during the part where Donkey realizes that she's perfect the way she is and doesn't need to be exactly like another person to be happy.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: In the episode "The Fastest Fetcher", Bob Dog gives up fetching after losing one of Game Show Gator's game shows. When Donkey suggests different activities that he can be good at, he keeps seeing things that remind him of the balls he loves fetching. For instance, he tries to fetch the bowling ball and worries about a ball of yarn that's being used for knitting.
  • Company Cross References:
    • In the episode Good Dog School, Purple Panda holds up a picture that he drew of Bob Dog in order to remind him of how good he was at staying still for a picture and therefore he can stay still for good dog school. The picture he holds up is in the same art style as Nature Cat, which is also by Spiffy Pictures. It actually looks a lot like the design of the dog Hal from that series, albeit with Bob's features instead.
    • The main conflict of "Cheesy Con" is spurred by Donkey spraining her left foot on a toy vehicle. This exact thing happened to Daniel in the Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood episode "Daniel Feels Better", which was also made by Fred Rogers Productions.
    • In "A Donkey Hodie Halloween", an owl that resembles O the Owl from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, albeit with a purple stomach and yellow eyes, appears at the beginning and end of the episode.
  • Continuity Snarl: In the episode "Panda's Purple Break", Panda says he has never had any other ice cream flavor before besides purple-colored ice cream. In the earlier episode "A Lot Of Hot", he is shown with a giant ice cream cone with multiple, mostly non-purple, flavors of ice cream.
  • Cool House: Donkey lives in the windmill that Grampy built when he founded Someplace Else. Bob Dog lives in a giant tennis ball.
  • Cool Old Guy: Grampy Hodie. He encourages his "Donkaroo" to take risks and be brave and inspires her to forge ahead even when things get tough.
  • Dance Party Ending: Stop and Think ends with Donkey, Panda, and Bob Dog dancing happily after Bob Dog recovers his boogie bone.
    • Snow Surprise Challenge ends with Donkey, Bob Dog, Game Show Gator, and the Abominable Snow Penguin dancing to an instrumental version of the Boney Schmoeny Shimmy Shake.
  • Debating Names: In "Squibbit", Donkey Hodie and Purple Panda can't agree on their new band's name because they cannot decide whose name should come first. After not knowing if they should call it "Donkey Panda" or "Panda Donkey", Donkey suggests that "Danda Ponkey" should be the name, but there's somewhat of a disagreement on this until Panda notices how good it sounds.
  • Determinator: Donkey Hodie. She's not about to let some problem get in the way of something she wants or something she/she and her friends are doing, at least not for long. It's pretty much the whole point of the show.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: "Dancing Under The Golden Rainbow" from "The Golden Crunchdoodles" takes place on a yellow background for the entire duration of the song, rather than the backgrounds that are usually seen in the show. Not helping matters is that this sequence occurs right after a scene depicting Donkey and Panda with tired eyes.
    • "Too Many Pandas" from "Panda Panda" features a purple background featuring silhouettes and puppets of many Pandas.
  • Dub Name Change: In Castilian Spanish, Donkey is renamed to Burrita Rita.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A drawing of Dodie Hodie drinking a cup of juice can be seen during the "Little Steps" song in "Purple Peg Problem" before her actual debut in "Dodie Hodie".
  • Easily Forgiven: The whole reason why Someplace Else even exists is that King Friday kicked out Grampy Hodie from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and told him to build his windmill 'someplace else'. Despite this, Friday is a recurring character in the series and he and Grampy get along with no hard feelings, indicating that Grampy easily forgave him. He did attend the Royal Wedding, which happened in the following season of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, so it's not like he was completely Exiled.
  • Edutainment Show: The show's focus is teaching life lessons on friendship, resilience, and perseverance.
  • Episode Title Card: The show uses the same shot of Someplace Else, and the same music cue, with the episode title appearing over it, while Donkey reads the title.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: An odd example of this happened on the PBS Kids upload of the "The Masked Veggies; The Royal Hosts". The only line of Panda's to get subtitled during the "Jingle Bells" scene is "Hmm, it's happening! Help! Quickly!", but as "Oh, it's happening! Help! Quickly!", combining the word Donkey said before the line started with Panda's line. For the rest of the scene, Panda's lines are unsubtitled, despite him saying some dialogue in between his singing of the song ("Oh, hurry!" and "What is it?").
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows:
    • Donkey's bedroom has multiple rainbow-themed items in it, including a rainbow rosette ribbon, a rainbow-shaped pillow and a drawing of a rainbow. This may be a reference to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, where the original Donkey Hodie was given a piece of a rainbow for learning to use his teeth properly.
    • There are two episodes that focus on a golden rainbow, which is seen as a wonderful thing by the characters because it is said to have a mythical cereal at the end of it.
  • Expendable Clone: In "Panda Panda," Harriet Elizabeth Cow's machine creates several duplicates of Purple Panda. These are treated entirely as a burden that is spoiling Donkey Hodie and Purple Panda's playtime. When Donkey discovers an "undo" button, the duplicates walk themselves back through the machine into oblivion without complaint.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In "The Cow and Potato Bug Opera", Donkey is so busy with the production of the show that she forgets to cast someone as the Potato Bug. The others decide she should play the Potato Bug, so she forfeits the director role yet still wants to be in charge.
  • Fan Convention: "Cheesy Con" focuses around Donkey Hodie and Purple Panda being excited about visiting said convention. However, a wrench is thrown into the plan when Donkey injures her hoof and can't walk. When Purple Panda asks what he can do to help, she asks him to help her get there without her having to walk. After this fails, they do the activities that would have been done at the convention inside Donkey's house.
  • Fantastic Flora:
    • "Growing the Ungrowdenia" involves a flower called the Ungrowdenia which will grow to a huge size if watered repeatedly, but can be "ungrown" if needed.
    • In "A Lot of Hot!", Donkey obtains a massive lemon for the purposes of making lemonade, even though Duck Duck's plan calls for only one regular-sized lemon. It quickly becomes clear that there's no way she can use it - it's bigger than herself.
  • Feud Episode "Superhero Squabble" revolves around Donkey and Panda ending their friendship over an argument they had while playing superheroes. They make up by the end of the episode.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: As of Season 1, "Walking Stick Blues" is the only episode to not feature a song in any way.
  • Friendship Song: The episode "Best Friends Day" has a song called "Friends Care" in it, about what friends do for one another.
  • Furry Confusion:
    • Clyde is a living cloud, yet the other clouds we see in the sky aren't sentient.
    • In "Mountain Climb Time", Panda mentions his thumb and toes hurting, when he's a panda that doesn't appear to have said features. Donkey also comments that her toes hurt, and she doesn't have toes either. This could be a case of Early-Installment Weirdness, as a later episode, "Hoof Dancing Is Hard", properly refers to Donkey's feet as hooves.
    • In "The Lavender Lights", Donkey claims she's giving Duck Duck a donkey ride...while she's standing on her two feet rather than standing on all four hooves.
    • In "Squibbit", Donkey Hodie and Panda meet a penguin who only communicates by using the eponymous word. A few episodes later in "Bobski Bounce", there is a penguin coach who speaks English.
    • In "Art Show Today", Harriett Elizabeth Cow claims that she made her piece of art, "The Cow Jumped Over The Prune", out of a plastic milk bottle. Milk comes from cows, so the thought that Harriett might have drank that milk is a little bit unnerving. In "Flying Flapjacks", a milk carton is shown with Harriett's face on it, implying that Harriett not only produces Someplace Else's milk supply herself, she also drinks it.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • One of Donkey's catchphrases is "Hee-haw!", the sound donkeys make. Interestingly, this was her grandfather's Verbal Tic in the series the show is based on.
    • In "A Fair Way To Bounce", Purple Panda suggests a contest where everyone eats purple bamboo. Bamboo is a stock favorite food of pandas.
    • Duck Duck quacks several times in the show.
    • Bob Dog will occasionally howl. Like Donkey's "hee haw", this was a trait of his Mister Rogers' Neighborhood counterpart. He also sometimes is seen with bones and mentions making kibble spaghetti once, both which are a stock favorite food of dogs.
    • In "Chili Jamboree", Bob Dog eats out of a dog food bowl.
    • Bob Dog attends Good Dog School, which is a dog obedience school.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The show's four main characters: two girls (Donkey and Duck Duck), and two boys (Panda and Bob Dog).
  • Genki Girl: Donkey is energetic, cheerful, and full of life, always coming up with crazy schemes to rope her friends into.
  • Gentle Giant: Purple Panda is the biggest of the team, but is also the gentlest and kindest.
  • Getting the Baby to Sleep: In the episode "Yodel Bird Sitting", Donkey Hodie, Purple Panda and Duck Duck use several unusual methods to try to get the Baby Yodel Bird to sleep, all of which helped them sleep when they were younger.
    • Donkey Hodie plays a game called Quiet Peek-A-Boo, which Grampy played with her, to help the baby sleep.
    • Purple Panda uses a slow dance called "The Dance Of The Nap Nap", which his mom used, to get the baby yodel bird to sleep.
    • Duck Duck reads a poem about naps to the baby yodel bird.
  • Good-Times Montage: The musical number "Sleepover" in "Super Duper Sleepover" is a montage comprised of Donkey and Panda doing fun activities at their sleepover, from eating noodles to wearing silly costumes.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Grampy Hodie only wears a sweater.
  • Halloween Episode:
    • Not an actual episode, but this web-exclusive clip features Donkey Hodie and Bob Dog wishing the viewer a happy Halloween.
    • An actual Halloween episode, "A Donkey Hodie Halloween," released in 2022. It focuses on Donkey and the others helping Purple Panda to overcome his fear of Halloween, which he's never experienced before, as they don't celebreate Halloween on Planet Purple.
  • Happy Birthday to You!:
    • In the episode "Purple Planet Party", an original birthday song is sung to Purple Panda's mother about Purple Panda's favorite things about her.
    • "Being Bob Dog" has the Donkey Panda Birthday Cheer, sung to the tune of the birthday song from The Emperor's New Groove.
    Happy, happy birthday, yay!
    Happy day, woo-hoo!
    We're really happy and we say
    We hope you're happy, too!
  • Holding the Floor: In "Groovy Guitar", Donkey can't go to the talent show yet because she lost her guitar. In order to stall, Grampy Hodie tells jokes, but he eventually runs out of jokes.
  • In Name Only: The series has an episode called "The Cow And Potato Bug Opera", where Donkey writes an opera that's supposed to be a reference to the opera of the same name from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. All it has in common is the fact that it is a play starring a cow and a potato bug.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: In the episode "The Lavender Lights", Duck Duck does this when she's about to board Purple Panda's spaceship:
Purple Panda: Yeah, we gotta ride my spaceship into space. It's the only way to see the Lavender Lights.
Duck Duck: Yes, yes, of course.'s the thing. I gotta go home now.
Donkey Hodie: Wait, now? What?
Duck Duck: Yes, yes, now...uh, you see, something very important came books! My books need a nap and I gotta tuck them in. They like a lullaby.
  • Injured Limb Episode: Donkey sprains her hoof after tripping on a toy truck in "Cheesy Con".
  • Inspired by…: It's "inspired by the work of Fred Rogers" like its predecessor.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: In the opening of "Bobski Bounce," Donkey Hodie greets Bob Dog at his place, excitedly telling him that "Today is the day!" He tells her that he's so glad that today is the day, and that it's exciting, but he just has one little question: "Um, today is the day for what?"
  • Keet: Bob Dog is very lively and eager.
  • "Knock Knock" Joke: In "The Yodel Birds Are Coming", the yodel birds teach the kids how to yodel using the "little old lady" joke.
    Yodel Birds: Knock knock
    Kids: Who's there?
    Yodel Birds: A little old lady
    Kids: A little old lady who?
  • Legacy Character: The original Donkey Hodie is now a grandfather known as Grampy Hodie. The current Donkey Hodie is a young girl.
  • Medium Blending: In "A Big Favor For Grampy" and "Pet Elephant Camp", Gregory the Elephant's eyes appear to be digitally animated rather than normal puppet eyes.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: In "The Fastest Fetcher," Bob Dog claims that "Fetching" is his middle name, then admits that it's actually "Jim."
  • Minor Character, Major Song: In the episode "The Golden Crunchdoodles Return", Penguin Referee, a character who only appears occasionally in the show, is the lead singer in the episode's song, "The Golden Crunchdoodles".
  • Minor Living Alone: Donkey, Bob Dog, Panda, and Duck Duck are all children who live by themselves. However, Donkey lives adjacent to her Grampy, and Panda's parents live on Planet Purple.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Donkey has a moment of this in "The Cow and Potato Bug Opera" when she realizes that she hurt Panda's feelings by not listening to his ideas.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Someplace Else has a few nods to the original Mister Rogers' Neighborhood set sprinkled about:
      • Donkey Hodie's windmill has both a fish tank and stoplight like Rogers' had.
      • Grampy Hodie's house has the same porch swing.
      • The pathways around Someplace Else are patterned after the Neighborhood of Make Believe's.
    • In "The Lavender Lights", Purple Panda claims he used to be afraid of rocking chairs. This is a reference to a plot in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood where we learn that Planet Purple, where Purple Panda comes from, has no rocking chairs because rocking in chairs isn't allowed.
    • A flashback in "Spooky Shadow Swamp" shows Donkey and Panda riding a potato-themed rollercoaster. The original Donkey Hodie was a potato farmer.
    • One episode is called "The Cow and Potato Bug Opera". In the original Mister Rogers series, there was an opera called "Cows and Potato Bugs".
    • In "Walking Stick Blues", Grampy says he and his walking stick trudged across the white sand of North Southwood beach. Southwood was a region on the original show, where Betty Okonak Templeton-Jones lived.
    • In "The Cow and Potato Bug Opera", Stanley is shown to have a friend named Mr. Anybuggy. This is a reference to Mr. Anybody, a highly obscure character from the black-and-white era played by Don Francks.
    • In "Being Bob Dog", Donkey remarks that it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
    • In "Yodel Bird Sitting", Donkey mentions that Grampy would play silent peek-a-boo with her to get her to sleep. This is a reference to the Babysitter Opera from the original Mister Rogers' Neighborhood series, which had a scene where the grandfather and babysitter of the son in the opera, who is played by the original Donkey Hodie, play peek-a-boo together.
    • In "Dodie Hodie", Donkey plays part of the original "Mister Rogers" theme song on her xylophone.
    • In "Me, Myself and Donkey", Donkey's goldfish is named Rogers, after Fred Rogers.
  • New Year Has Come: In 2022, the show had an online-exclusive "Noon-Years-Eve" countdown, featuring characters from the series leading a countdown into the New Year. Oddly enough, the full version of Duck Duck's countdown was never posted, and Donkey herself was nowhere to be seen in any of the videos note 
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Chili Jamboree", Bob Dog forgets about the chili for a bit and Purple Panda reminds him about it. This causes Bob Dog to become impatient for the chili again, right after Panda and Donkey helped him get his mind off it.
  • Not My Lucky Day: The episode "Donkey's Bad Day" is about Donkey thinking that her day has gone awry after an alarm clock falls on her hoof and she spills her favorite cereal. She is so upset over these two events that nothing can cheer her up until Purple Panda suggests making a happy memories box.
  • Novelization: The series has picture book adaptations of "Pickle Penguin Problem", "Planet Purple Party" and "Flying Flapjacks" (the latter of which uses a lift-the-flap format) and Ready to Read titles based on "A Big Favor For Grampy" and "Good Dog School".
  • Odd Friendship: In "Best Friends Day", it is revealed that Duck Duck is best friends with Bob Dog, despite their differences (Duck Duck is studious and calm, while Bob Dog is athletic and energetic).
  • Opening Shout-Out: In "Growing the Ungrowdenia", Donkey climbs up the titular flower just like she does with the flower in the theme song to the show.
  • Panda Ing To The Audience: Purple Panda is big, lovable panda from Planet Purple.
  • Parental Bonus: Kids are not likely to immediately appreciate the humorous reference of a character named Donkey Hodie who lives in a windmill.
  • Patience Plot: The show loves doing these.
    • "The Waiting Game" revolves around Donkey Hodie having to wait to open a present she recieved from Harriet Elizabeth Cow until all of her friends arrive.
    • "Chili Jamboree" involves Donkey Hodie and Purple Panda teaching Bob Dog to have patience while he waits for Grampy's slow-cook chili to cook.
    • Yet another episode, "Acornball", revolves around Donkey and Panda struggling to wait, this time for Game Show Gator's new game to open. To pass the time, they create the titular game and add several rules to make it more enjoyable.
  • Plot Allergy:
    • In the episode "Growing the Ungrowdenia'', we learn that Clyde can't be by flowers because he is allergic to them. This, among other problems, causes Donkey to try to ungrow the titular flower.
    • The "On Top Of Spaghetti" parody in "Cheesy Con" mentions Donkey Hodie is allergic to parmersan cheese.
    • In "Dodie Hodie", Dodie says she has developed an allergy to her former favorite food, nutterfluff souffle, and can't eat it anymore. Panda symphasizes with her by telling her he's allergic to cashew noomies.
  • Plucky Girl: Donkey is an optimistic firecracker. The theme song notes that "if she fails, she'll bounce right back."
  • Prima Donna Director: Downplayed with Donkey in "The Cow and Potato Bug Opera". She starts off as the director and enjoys leading the others, but she hands the role of director to Panda after she gets cast as the Potato Bug. Although she's not the director anymore, she still wants everyone to listen to her ideas and bosses Panda around, not accepting his ideas.
  • Primal Fear: In "Super Duper Sleepover," both Donkey Hodie and Purple Panda have trouble enjoying their sleepover due to what they believe to be a monster that seems to show up every time they turn off the lights. They eventually realize that said "monster" is nothing more than a pile of stuffed animals and have a good laugh about it.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: In "The Masked Veggies", Purple Panda sings "Jingle Bells" while wearing a Santa Claus beard.
  • Punny Name: Try saying "Donkey Hodie" to yourself a few times.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Donkey is raised by her grandfather, Grampy Hodie.
  • Recurring Element: Potatoes. This makes sense, as the original Donkey Hodie was a potato farmer. There's an episode where the gang sails on a ship shaped like a potato. They also performed an opera about cows and potato bugs. "Tater Buddies" are Companion Cubes made from potatoes.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Donkey is impulsive while Duck Duck is more thoughtful.
  • Repetitive Name: Duck Duck's name is just "duck" twice.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: King Friday is a recurring character from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
  • Retro Rocket: Purple Panda lives in a typical pointy-nosed rocket.
  • Scout-Out:
    • Donkey and Panda are members of the Everything Explorers.
    • Donkey and Panda also joined the Try Scouts in one episode.
    • In "Snow Surprise Challenge", it is mentioned that Donkey is a member of the Veggie Scouts.
  • Sequel Episode: "The Golden Crunchdoodles Return" is this to "The Golden Crunchdoodles".
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: Taylor Iman Jones, a Broadway actress, performs the theme song according to the credits.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "The Masked Veggies" has a game show spoofing The Masked Singer.
    • In "Super Duper Sleepover", Purple Panda turns the lights on and off by clapping his paws. This alludes to The Clapper, a sound-activated electrical switch.
    • "Wiz-Kazizz-Kazaam":
    • In "Being Bob Dog", Panda calls Bob Dog "the dog who has everything". In addition, the Donkey Panda Birthday Cheer uses the tune of the birthday song from The Emperor's New Groove.
    • The song in the episode "Panda Panda" features a scene where Donkey and eight clones of Purple Panda stand on a nine-box grid, referencing the opening to The Brady Bunch.
  • Show Within a Show: The Amazing Radish and Super Porcupine appear to be this, as Donkey and Panda both own toys and lunchboxes depicting the characters, possibly implying that these characters come from an in-universe book or TV show which got spin-off merchandise.
    • "The Masked Veggies" counts as this.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Purple Panda speaks in an Ernie-esque voice when talking, but has a deeper voice when singing.
  • Slumber Party:
    • In "Super Duper Sleepover", Donkey has a sleepover with Purple Panda, and when the lights go out, Donkey thinks she sees a monster.
    • In "A Night Out", Donkey, Panda, and Duck Duck have a sleepover under the stars, but Donkey is nervous about sleeping outside.
  • The Smart Girl: Duck Duck is the brains of the team. She is a bookworm who provides a thoughtful contrast to Donkey's impulsivity.
  • So Proud of You: In "Bobbly Ball," when Purple Panda catches the ball for the first time, his surprise is it summoning his Uncle Panda, who sings a song about how he's proud of him, and he hopes he's proud of himself too.
  • Speak in Unison: A Running Gag in "Dodie Hodie" revolves around Donkey trying to say her and Dodie's favorite things at the same time, but Dodie always says something completely different, except for when they say the name of their favorite dance.
  • Species Surname: Bob Dog.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Harriett Elizabeth Cow's name is officially spelled with two T's, though some sources (like the book Meet Donkey Hodie!) spell it with one T like her Mister Rogers' Neighborhood counterpart.
  • Spoiler Title:
    • "Bye Bye, Book" is about Duck Duck not wanting to give away her book of facts to other people because she cherishes it. By the end of the episode, she gives it to Purple Panda.
    • The episode "Donkey's Bad Day" is about Donkey trying to have a perfect day. The title makes it clear what's going to happen to her. Downplayed with the book adaptation, which is instead titled "Donkey's Awesome, Very Good, Extra Fun Day".
    • The title of "Donkey and Panda Cheer Up" spoils that at the end of the episode, Donkey Hodie gets upset when she learns she lost a contest and needs Panda's help to feel better again.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Although Donkey Hodie is the main character, Purple Panda gets many plots focused on him, being that he's Donkey's best friend.
  • Stock Animal Diet:
    • In "A Big Favor For Grampy", Duck Duck suggests that peanuts will help Gregory, Grampy's pet elephant, walk. Donkey Hodie tries to use a giant peanut to help Gregory walk, but it fails. Earlier in the episode, we see a pet dish with peanuts that is decorated with an image of a peanut, and this same dish also appears towards the end of the episode.
    • In order to determine who gets to bounce on the Bounce-a-rino in "A Fair Way To Bounce", Purple Panda suggests a purple bamboo-eating contest. This is odd because Panda has mentioned liking pizza and cereal in some episodes, and has eaten foods like vegetables, spaghetti, and pancakes in others.
    • Although Bob Dog has been seen eating other foods, he is sometimes seen with bones. One episode, "Stop and Think", focuses on him trying to find a special bone he burried.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Not an episode, but the social media accounts for the show did several special Thanksgiving videos where the characters say what they're thankful for. The main child characters (except for Duck Duck for unknown reasons) and Grampy Hodie (with his pet elephant Gregory) each got a video like this.
  • Tears of Joy: Purple Panda sobs happily when the yodel birds arrive in "The Yodel Birds Are Coming".
    • Bob Dog tears up after listening to Purple Panda’s poem in “Being Bob Dog”.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: You can tell that Donkey and Duck Duck are girls because they have eyelashes.
  • Thanking the Viewer: The book adaptation of the episode "Flying Flapjacks" ends with the line "Donkey was able to make a delicious batch of flying flapjacks with a little help from her friends...including you!". This is because the book utilized interactive pull tabs to help Donkey perform certain activities (like pouring milk and making the flapjacks fly).
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: The theme song mentions all four of the child characters.
    Let's go Donkey Hodie!
    And if she fails, she'll bounce right back. Come on Duck Duck, give a quack!
    When she plays with Bob Dog, they have a ball. It's fun for them, it's fun for all
    Just for fun, she'll take a trip with Purple Panda in his spaceship
  • There Is Only One Bed: In "Super Duper Sleepover", Donkey and Panda sleep in the same bed.
  • Tin-Can Telephone: In some episodes such as "Panda Hodie", "Poetry Problem" and "Cheesy Con", the characters communicate using this method, as a reference to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
  • Token Human: King Friday is the only human character on the show. Everyone else is a Funny Animal.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • According to "Panda Hodie", Purple Panda loves eating tuna fish sandwiches.
    • In "Dodie Hodie", the epynomous character loves jelly jam flapjacks. She used to feel this way about nutterfluff souffle, but she developed an allergy to it.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The social media account for the series occasionally spoiled plot points from future episodes:
    • To announce the week of new episodes beginning August 9, 2021, they posted an image of Purple Panda with a megaphone. This seems to be okay at first, but then you realize that in the first episode of that week's premieres, "The Cow and Potato Bug Opera", Donkey has to become an actor in the play and let someone else direct, and this spoils who gets to become the director.
    • In the "Get To Know" profile for Stanley the Dragon in July of 2021, the post mentioned that he becomes a substitute walking stick for Grampy in "Walking Stick Blues".
    • When the social media posted their "Get To Know" post about Bob Dog in May of 2021, it mentioned that he loves to tap dance, which isn't revealed until "Good Dog School".
  • Trash of the Titans: In "Poetry Problem", Donkey's windmill is a huge mess and she doesn't really want to clean it up.
  • Treasure Hunt Episode: In "Treasure Nest", Donkey, Panda, and Duck Duck search for the treasure nest, which Duck Duck's ancestor hid a long time ago.
    • "Potato Pirates" acts as this and a Pirate Episode. It focuses on Donkey, Panda and Duck Duck playing pirates and searching for the Ruby Red Tater Treasure.
  • Treasure Map: In "Treasure Nest", Duck Duck finds a treasure map that leads to her family's treasure nest.
  • Two Shorts: The show's episodes are two 11-minute episodes aired together to fill a 30-minute timeslot.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Whenever a relative of Purple Panda's is shown, it appears to be the Purple Panda puppet (or an extra Purple Panda puppet) wearing a different outfit.
  • Undying Loyalty: Panda's main trait is his unwavering loyalty and support to Donkey, who he thinks is the best person in the whole universe.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: The characters in the show usually wear a variety of outfits when the occasion calls for them to be wearing one. Sometimes they are full outfits, but more often than not, it's just a hat and maybe an accessory for the body.
  • Vague Age: Donkey and her friends often behave like kids (and are commonly thought to be kids), but they all live by themselves. Word of God says that they're supposed to be "ageless" like Winnie the Pooh or SpongeBob SquarePants, in that they are children at heart.
  • Verbal Tic: Duck Duck has a habit of repeating words twice. Such as "Love, love it!" or "What what?"
  • Vocal Evolution: Purple Panda's voice was deep at first, but it becomes more and more high-pitched over the course of Season 1.
  • Weird Moon: The purple moon seen in "Hey-o, Purple Moon," turns from crescent to full in the course of one evening, only appears very rarely in the sky of Somewhere Else, and is purple.
  • Wham Line: In-universe example: in the episode "The Royal Hosts", Grampy Hodie asks Donkey Hodie and Purple Panda for a favor while he runs an errand:
    Grampy: A friend of mine is visiting today from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe!
    Donkey & Purple: Ooh!
    Grampy: It's King Friday!
    (Donkey and Purple gasp in shock)
  • Wham Shot: In "Cheesy Con", there's a scene where Donkey and Panda decide to leave after discussing their plans for the titular convention. All of a sudden, the camera pans to a shot of a toy dump truck, which Donkey steps in, causing her to roll away on it and sprain her foot. This incident causes her to miss Cheesy Con.
  • Who's on First?: A flashback in "The Swoop-a-Rino" shows that Duck Duck had a hard time playing Duck Duck Goose because she thought someone was saying her name.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Donkey Hodie has a fear of shellfish. She once tried to face this fear by going into a museum dedicated to shellfish and dressing up as a crab.
    • In the "Lavender Lights", she was revealed to have once been afraid of flying in Grampy's hot air balloon. Grampy helped her get over this fear by having her climb up the slide at the local park and seeing how high she'd be up.
    • Donkey mentions sleeping with a night light in "A Night Out", implying that she is afraid of the dark.
    • Duck Duck was scared of spaceships because of the loud noise they make when they take off. Her fear of them sets up the plot of the episode "The Lavender Lights".
    • Purple Panda was afraid of rocking chairs when he was younger. This is a nod to an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood where we learn that rocking chairs don't exist on Planet Purple and rocking in chairs is not allowed there.
    • Bob Dog used to have a fear of the dentist until he learned to deal with it by bringing a fuzzy ball named Howard.
  • "YEAH!" Shot: After Panda completes his training for the Bongolymics in the titular episode, he and Donkey jump in the air in celebration.


Video Example(s):


Friends Care

Donkey and Panda sing a song about how friends always care and share with one another, and how they can work out disagreements by compromising.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / FriendshipSong

Media sources: