Follow TV Tropes


Series / Eureeka's Castle

Go To
Top row: Quagmire, Magellan, Bogge, Middle row: Mr. Knack, Eureeka, Batly, Bottom row: Emma, Cooey, Webster

Eureeka's Castle is a children's show that aired on Nick Jr. from 1989 to 1995 conceived by Debby Beece and Judy Katschke, and developed by R. L. Stine (of Goosebumps fame), who also served as head writer. It followed a similar format to Sesame Street (in fact, all of its main cast were alumni of Sesame and/or other Muppet productions) although more in the spirit of another Nickelodeon series, Pinwheel, in that it was a Puppet Show that also featured animated and live-action segments. In its original run, it was two hours long. Between 1999 and 2002, Noggin picked up the short half-hour version. The half-hour version was later syndicated in Canada, where it aired for several years on TVOntario, the provincial public broadcaster.

The main puppet sketches took place in a castle owned by a wizard named Eureeka (also a music box owned by a giant), and featured characters such as Magellan, the dragon, Batly, the bat, Bogge and Quagmire, twin monsters who lived in the moat, and Mr. Knack, a trader / fix-it man who worked in the courtyard.

The show also aired cartoons, often American dubs of UK or European exports, including Roobarb, The Shoe People, Towser, and James The Cat.

As of April 2021, 26 episodes of the show's half-hour configuration are available to stream on Paramount+.

Now has a Character page!

Eureeka's Castle provides examples of:

  • Ad Bumpers: Just like Pinwheel before it, this show has its own ad bumpers, unlike most of Nick Jr.'s other shows. They involve a castle tower with the winding key, and after winding up three times, it would do something randomnote , followed by showing the title.
  • Argument of Contradictions: A lot of the Moat Twins' arguing consists of this. Sometimes falling into Duck Season, Rabbit Season territory.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Sir Klank only wears a hat, and Kate only wears a bowtie.
  • Ax-Crazy: Emma, in the sketch where Magellan gets a cold. She keeps insisting that they need to operate and ends the sketch chasing Batly around with a saw.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Despite being the largest character (not including the Giant), Magellan is easily the youngest. He's very naïve and impressionable, gets easily upset when things go wrong, and Eureeka usually acts as a surrogate mother for him.
  • Bear Hug: Magellan sometimes does this, especially to Batly. Since he Does Not Know His Own Strength, it's not always welcomed, but the sentiment is appreciated.
  • Big Eater: Emma, who usually has to apologize for eating all of the food.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Batly is even clumsier when he loses his glasses.
  • Bowdlerise: Surprisingly averted in one sketch where the gang was singing the song, "Animal Fair", which contains a lyric about a monkey getting drunk. The lyric is sung unchanged. Not exactly expected for a show aimed at preschoolers. They even acknowledge the lyric with Mr. Knack exclaiming, "Bad boy!" after it's sung.
    • Played straight by their version of "Dem Bones", which secularizes the song be removing all references to The Lord.
  • Brown Bag Mask: In the "Don't Touch That Box!" special, Batly ends up wearing one to hide that the box turned his face invisible. Then he realises that his hands are invisible too, and quickly hides them behind his back.
  • Buffy Speak: Once when Mr. Knack was trying to fix a record player, he couldn't find the screwdriver and asked Magellan to go see if he could borrow one from the Moat Twins. Unfortunately, for Magellan, Mr. Knack couldn't remember what it was called and simply referred to it as a "Twisty-twisty turny-turny all the way down thing." When Magellan goes to the Moat Twins, they quickly realize what he's asking for, but decide to have some fun and mess with him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Batly always finds himself hitting walls and falling over, as well as continually losing to other people even at the things he's supposed to be good at.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Everyone was planning on throwing a surprise party for Mr. Knack, and the first thing that Magellan did is to go over and tell him about it.
  • Captain Crash: If Batly is seen flying anywhere, he will almost inevitably crash. After which, he will usually say, "I Meant to Do That." Sometimes, even if he isn't flying, he'll crash into something or knock something over.
  • Catchphrase: Batly's "I meant to do that" (when he crashes), and Eureeka's "Aw, wand whiskers!" (when one of her spells fails to do what she wanted it to). Mr. Knack had two: "Heavens to bootsy!" and "As my Granny Tusnelda used to say…"
  • Civilized Animal: The mice wear clothes and can communicate with the rest of the cast in English, but unlike Magellan or Batly, generally function like real mice and are regarded by the others as pests instead of peers.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Most of the characters to some extent, but especially Mr. Knack.
    Mr. Knack: Hm... this phone was working until I fixed it.
  • Collector of the Strange: Bogge and Quagmire like to collect anything they can find, sometimes even if they know it belongs to someone else. Mr. Knack's love of trading has also left him with a collection of weird items.
  • Constantly Curious: Bogge and Quagmire, suffering from insomnia, ask Eureeka to tell them a bedtime story, but then pepper her with questions, constantly asking "Why?" to every detail of the story. Finally Eureeka, realizing the twins are just trying to stall for time, reaches her Rage Breaking Point, and finally flips the script on them.
  • Contagious Laughter: One sketch begins with Magellan thinking to himself, but then he starts laughing. Batly comes up, and begins laughing as well, and they’re soon joined by Bogge and Quagmire. Finally Mr. Knack comes up and asks what’s so funny. Everyone just turns to Magellan who explains that he was laughing over how people will laugh at anything. Everyone then resumes laughing, Mr. Knack included.
  • Delightful Dragon: Magellan is a friendly dragon with a child-like personality who is taken care of by Eureeka.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Inverted with Magellan, who is a dragon with an autonomous tail, probably a nod to the old rumor that dinosaurs had a second, smaller 'brain' controlling their back ends.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": One of the running gags involves Mr. Knack insisting on the others calling him Nick, causing them to reply, "Oh… Nick Knack," to which someone else (usually one of the mice) will chime in and sing, "Paddywack, give a dog a bone!"
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!:note  The entire premise for the half-hour special, "Don't Touch That Box!" The gang finds a box that belongs to the Grand Wizard (played by Luther Vandross). Knowing how powerful he is, and unsure of what the box is capable of, Eureeka warns the others not to touch it until she can get a hold of him. When she does, he even warns her that the box has been malfunctioning. While she's away, however, everyone's curiosity ends up getting the better of them. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Eureeka tells the moat twins not to touch her wand while she's away making them some peanut butter sandwiches. Of course, they do, and end up making several items in Eureeka's chambers disappear - including, apparently, Bogge himself. Bogge was only playing a joke, though.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Bogge and Quagmire will never successfully con Magellan out of his peanut butter sandwich. Ever. Bogge did succeed on his own in eating Magellan's sandwich once, and commented on how full he was, only to find out that Magellan was about to give him the two peanut butter sandwiches Eureeka made for his lunch, but since Bogge said he wasn't hungry anymore, he took them for himself.
  • Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal. Batly. And while Magellan is never shown from the waist down on the show itself, merchandise shows him to be this, too.
  • The Gadfly: Bogge and Quagmire love to play tricks and mess with people. The always naïve Magellan seems to be their favorite target.
  • Gentle Giant: Magellan, and the giant who turns the castle's key. Both tower over the other characters but are very friendly, especially Magellan, who is one of the nicest characters on the show.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Batly buys some cologne designed to attract insects (which naturally, he intends to catch and eat). It ends up working too well when insects begin swarming all over and biting him. In the end, he decides to give the cologne to Bogge and Quagmire as a bit of payback for bothering him earlier.
  • Greek Chorus: The Fish Tones often serve as one, transitioning scenes or punctuating them with a short little ditty.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Emma only wears a jacket and a necklace.
  • Halloween Episode: The 30-minute special "It Came From Beneath the Bed, or A Nightmare On Magellan Street."
  • Hammerspace: Mr. Knack's cart. In at least one episode, you can peer inside and see some items, some relevant and some not, floating in a rainbow-colored void.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: Several times, and always involving Magellan, whose hiccups can shake the whole castle. He can also pass them on to others as Batly, Mr. Knack, and even Eureeka have all learned the hard way.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Batly, although he can sing well too at times depending on the episode.
  • "I Am" Song: A couple.
    • Batly gets one, talking about how much of a Klutz he is (not).
    • One sketch gives one to the entire cast, with each verse focusing on a different character.
  • I Meant to Do That: Well, it is Batly's catchphrase; used especially when he crash-lands (which is often, if not always).
  • "I Want" Song: "Put it on The List" sung by Bogge and Quagmire in the Christmas episode to the tune of "As Someday It May Happen" from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Mikado.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: A variation where it's done between segments instead of between scenes. They involve an animated version of the castle's winding key, which may or may not turn a couple or so times before going to the next segment.note  The half-hour version also features a second one that features one of the castle's towers with the winding key, similar to (but not quite the same as) the show's Ad Bumpers.
  • Induced Hypochondria: In a way. Bogge and Quagmire in one episode convince Magellan that dragons are related to tadpoles and, like tadpoles, lose their tails as they grow older. When Eureeka tells him it was a put-on, Magellan uses his tail to give the moat twins some Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Inept Mage: Eureeka usually ends up failing her spells except in the bumpers. One example: she tried to make an ice cream float with magic and ended up with the ice cream floating in the air. She does admit that she's still learning, however.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Batly, especially when it comes to his friendship with Magellan.
  • The Kirk: Eureeka, often when the Moat Twins fight.
  • The Klutz: Batly, whose Catchphrase is "I Meant to Do That". Magellan, who Does Not Know His Own Strength also qualifies.
  • Leitmotif: If a character has an "I Am" Song, an instrumental version will often play for scenes featuring the character. Batly, the Moat Twins and Mr. Knack are especially known for this.
  • Medium Blending: The show mixes its puppet cast with Stop Motion and traditionally-animated characters and elements. The Slurms are claymation, and scenes with the Moat Twins underwater chroma-key Bogge and Quagmire over traditionally-animated water.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: In one episode, a blue Slurm that Batly catches does this to him.
  • Mr Fix It: Mr. Knack is the castle's resident repairman. His "I Am" Song is about how he is a handyman that likes to fix things.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Quagmire goes into hysterics when she thinks she made Bogge disappear while fooling around with Eureeka's magic wand. Turns out Bogge didn't disappear at all and was playing a joke on his sister.
  • My New Gift Is Lame: On Batly's birthday, everyone, one by one, hands him a gift. As Batly opens them, each one turns out to be underpants. After everyone has a good laugh, Eureeka tells Batly that it just a joke and they actually got him the things that he really wanted.
  • Never Bare Headed: Mr. Knack almost always wears his aviator helmet, and if not, he's either wearing some other kind of hat.
  • No Antagonist: Seeing that one of the main themes of the show is learning to cooperate with others in spite of differences... The Moat Twins sometimes come close as does Batly with some of his more egotistical moments (like in the Christmas special), but even so, the rest of the characters consider them as friends.
  • Non-Specifically Foreign: Mr. Knack has a nondescript European accent. His puppeteer, Brian Muehl, was instructed to perform him as though he came from a country called "Ethnia".
  • Organ Autonomy: Magellan's tail seems to have a mind of its own. He'll even talk to it. Needless to say, this helps contribute to Magellan's clumsiness.
  • Parental Substitute: Eureeka is basically Magellan'snote  mother, but if she isn't available, Mr. Knack will do in a pinch.
  • Pokémon Speak: Cooey is only able to say 'Coo', though Magellan is perfectly capable of understanding him.
  • Punny Name: The names of the moat twins, Bogge and Quagmire are both terms for 'swamp'.
  • Pro Bono Barter: Mr. Knack will "trade anything for anything", so he often trades the other characters things they need for items that are useless or even intangible (like a tickle or a frown).
  • Raincoat of Horror: There was a horror-themed episode that dealt with fear of movies, fear of a real monster, and pranks revolving around fear. Its opening had the mice scurrying around outside in a storm, screaming their heads off, running from a monster, and wearing yellow raincoats.
  • Sibling Rivalry: The moat twins pretty much always annoy each other and fight except for when they team up to try to steal Magellan's sandwiches.
  • Sick Episode: Magellan gets a cold in one sketch, while in another Bogge gets the flu and Batly plays sick to get the same amount of attention. The following three sketches also relate to health; one is a "Dem Bones" music video, one involves a bird getting laryngitis, and one is about one clay guy Playing Sick to get out of building the boat.
  • Sidekick: Superdragon's "Super Tail" (Magellan's tail in a cape). The tail usually qualifies anyway because of its seeming autonomy.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Batly thinks he's this amazing genius, but is really just a klutz who's inept at most things he tries. His "I Am" Song draws special attention to this.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Magellan's sneezes shake the whole room and himself due to his size. It's so powerful, it actually once broke one of Eureeka's spells: she had accidentally turned Magellan into a bat, but his sneeze turned him back into a dragon.
  • Song Parody: "Put It on the List" in the Christmas special is sung to the tune of "As Someday It May Happen" from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Batly wears glasses and crashes into things a lot while flying. A play on the saying "blind as a bat".
    • He also lives in a belfry, which is a play on the saying "bats in the belfry".
  • Stock Animal Diet: Both Batly and Webster, a bat and a spider respectively, love to eat bugs, much to the disgust of everyone else.
  • Stop Copying Me: Bogge ends up copying Quagmire because she told him to copy her dance moves.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: The others seem to feel this way about Batly's singing. In one episode, he caught Magellan's sore throat, rendering him unable to sing. The moment he said that, the whole castle rejoiced.
  • Superhero: Superdragon(dragon-dragon-dragon) and (Fanfare) Batboy, the imaginary superheroes who are almost the same as Superman and Batman.
  • Team Mom: Eureeka is easily the most mature of the main characters, but she's not that mature.
  • Team Pet: Cooey, Magellan's bird... thing and Batly's Webster the Spider.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Peanut butter, for both Magellan and the Moat Twins.
  • Two Men, One Dress: In Christmas at Eureeka's Castle, Batly casts Bogge and Quagmire in the role of a reindeer in a Christmas play he puts on. Quagmire is put in front, while Bogge is put in the rear. The latter is not happy about his position.
    Quagmire: I'm the head, the one with brains! (laughs)
    Bogge: But, but, but...
    Quagmire: Yep, that's what you are! (laughs)
  • Vague Age: The whole cast. Adult enough to live alone and have some kind of occupation; child enough to get into childish mischief. About the only thing that seems established is that Magellan is the 'kid' of the group.
  • Voice of Reason: Generally, when someone in the castle has a problem, be it the Bogge and Quagmire having an argument, or Magellan is upset over something, they usually turn to Eureeka, who has some kind of solution for it.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The Moat Twins are frequently arguing and fighting, but they seem to enjoy it, and they miss each other when separated for too long. Batly and Magellan also do a lot of arguing, but not to the same degree.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: Happened with both Batly and the Moat Twins when a couple of Eureeka's spells accidentally made them nice.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In the Christmas Special, everyone chews Batly out when his kicking Magellan out of the Christmas play drives him to go into the woods to find a Christmas tree.
  • Wind-Up Key: The titular castle is actually a music box that belongs to the giant. The others will sometimes try to get him to turn the key so they can have some music.
  • World of Pun: What causes a lot of Eureeka's Inept Mage-ness is nature interpreting her spells as puns.
  • Worm in an Apple: In one episode, Bogge is about to eat an apple, when he finds a worm in it. He then says that worms make apples even sweeter.