Follow TV Tropes


Series / Even Stevens

Go To

Even Stevens is a Disney Channel series that ran for three seasons from 2000 to 2003 and is best known now for launching the career of Shia LaBeouf, who starred in the series alongside Christy Carlson Romano.

The show focuses on the namesake Stevens family, who live in a suburb in Sacramento, California. Most of the show's plots center on middle child Ren (Romano), the family's resident smartie, principal's pet and perfectionist, and youngest child Louis (LaBeouf), who has an affinity for Zany Schemes, get-rich-quick stunts and practical jokes. The rest of the family consists of their big brother Donnie, a Dumb Jock who obsesses over his hair; Steve, their lawyer father; and Eileen, their state senator mother.

The show ended after reaching the 65-episode limit that was in place for Disney Channel shows at the time, with a feature-length movie titled The Even Stevens Movie serving as its Grand Finale. This would be the last "old school" Disney Channel original series (as in, a show without a Teen Idol as the lead character) before the paradigm shifter Lizzie McGuire premiered in 2001. It was also the only Disney Channel Original Series note  without a High Concept premise until Good Luck Charlie premiered ten years later.

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes in the show 

This series contains examples of:

  • Academic Alpha Bitch: Ren Stevens at her worst.
  • Accidental Athlete: Twitty in "Head Games".
  • The Ace: Donnie Stevens. Ren also qualifies, although she's also dangerously close to being a Broken Ace with how high-strung she is.
  • All-Cheering All the Time: Invoked and Played for Laughs in an episode Ren joins the squad, only to be criticized for not being perky enough; she takes this to heart and begins cheering all the time. This takes a turn for the bizarre where she cheers while doing laundry and suddenly realizes/cheers that a sock is missing...and still manages to make it rhyme and keep the pace.
  • All Just a Dream: "Influenza: The Musical" ends with Ren waking up in bed and her fever broken.
  • Alliterative Name: Steve Stevens.
  • Always Second Best: Larry is constantly frustrated that Ren always manages to outdo him academically. Though not seen onscreen, we're told he was also consistently the silver to Donnie's gold at any sporting events they both competed in.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Steve and Eileen have their moments.
    • "Gutter Queen": Eileen's repeated bowling fails (to the point of somehow getting a limb stuck in the ball return) make Ren mortified to be part of a mother/daughter bowling league.
    • "Boy on a Rock": Lampshaded when Steve becomes a volunteer at school. When Louis asks if he's gonna embarrass him and Ren, Steve admits that's gonna be unavoidable. He ends up working in the cafeteria and puts on a show of holding a cowboy-esque barbecue.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: The Stevens family, until the Hanukkah episode makes it explicit by showing them celebrate Hanukkah.
    • Ren's best friend, Ruby Mandel, can also qualify as this as having a Jewish-sounding last name and accent.
  • Animated Credits Opening: Done in claymation. It shows a, far more rather, outlandish and comical typical day in the life of Ren and Louis with slapstick sound effects. It culminates with a hilarious shout-out to Star Wars (Ren and Louis turn their remote controls turn to lightsabers), which results in the TV blowing up. First time viewers might get caught off-guard by the bizarre opening sequence. The claymation figures of the characters look kind of creepy, especially when Louis's face gets flattened when Ren slams the door on his face.
  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: One episode uses this at the end, when Ren is getting a retake of her school photo. She is about to sneeze, but Louis puts his finger under her nose to stop it and save her from being photographed in mid-sneeze.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: On Louis constantly being a Class Clown, Steve asks one in "The Big Splash" that really gets him thinking.
    Steve: It may be fun now, but where are you gonna be ten years from now?
  • Artistic License: With politics — In the episode "Leavin' Stevens," Eileen announces her intention to move with her entire family to Washington, D.C. after being elected to Congress. In reality, of course, every member of Congress maintains a constituency home, which typically also serves as the family residence. Later on, we find out that Eileen has lost the Congressional seat by just 17 votes and immediately abandons her plans to move to Washington altogether. This, too, is highly unrealistic: such a close margin would be subject to a recount and possibly a months-long court battle initiated by the defeated candidate.
  • Artistic License – Sports: In the episode "Head Games," Alan Twitty enters a baseball game as a relief pitcher. Coming straight from the dugout, he immediately steps on the mound and the game instantly resumes. Regardless of level of play, baseball never works like this. Pitchers always warm up by throwing several practice pitches off to the side before entering the game (in college and professional leagues, this is the bullpen, but many little league and high school teams just use an open field that's out of the way), and are then allowed several more warmup pitches while on the mound. Throwing a baseball hard repeatedly is one of the riskiest and injurious things you can do to your body and should only be done once the arm muscles have been properly exercised and loosened. Not doing so can easily cause you to permanently damage your arm. Obviously, this is also an example of The Law of Conservation of Detail.
  • Batman Gambit: When Louis takes up the drums, his teacher goes all out with the typical stage experience. Just as Steve denounces this as a waste of time and money, the teacher explains this is to give his students a taste of the fun before focusing on the hard work. As expected, Louis does the mundane lessons with more enthusiasm than he would've had otherwise.
  • Better as Friends: Louis and Tawny after "The Kiss," subverted with the series ending in "Leavin' Stevens".
  • Big Sister Instinct: For all the headaches he gives her, mess with Louis, you deal with Ren.
    Ren: (to Larry) Don't, mess with my brother!
  • Black Sheep: Louis Stevens. He's probably the only one out of his two older siblings that has not achieved anything academic, other than swimming and wrestling.
  • Book Dumb: Louis does poorly in school and gets detention regularly (to the point that he plans his after-school time around it). He's shown to be smarter than Donnie (although that's not really saying much) and his schemes require a little intelligence to plan and normally succeed.
  • Brainy Brunette: Ren Stevens.
  • Breakout Character: The early episodes balanced Louis and Ren fairly evenly, perhaps even erring on the side of giving Ren more screen time. But somewhere along the line, the producers obviously came to realize that they had a star on their hands in the person of Shia LaBeouf, and Louis increasingly stole the spotlight.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Louis is always slacking off in school, but his schemes are frequently complex and often involve assorted gadgets that he himself builds.
  • Butt-Monkey: Louis, though he tends to bring it upon himself.
  • California: The show is set in Sacramento, California.
  • Calvin Ball: Sweaty sock ball. Louis and Twitty like to change the rules on the fly and some rules depend on what day it is and what the person is doing.
  • Call-Back: A subtle one: In "Quest For Coolness", Twitty uses the alias "Lars Honeytoast" when meeting the shady shoe salesman. He uses it again in The Movie when he and Tawny get caught by the Family Fakeout staff.
  • Camp Straight: Donnie loves to do very feminine things like shaving his legs. He also once turned the shower into a makeshift sauna. However, he also indulges in masculine activities like sports. See Real Men Wear Pink.
  • Canis Latinicus: Hallus Patrollus, Hallus Passes, Protectus the Masses
  • Chained to a Railway: In "Louis in the Middle", Tawny pretends to be tied to a miniature railroad while Alan attempts to run her over with a train in an effort to shake Louis out of his 'hero syndrome' mindset.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Louis and Tawny.
  • Child Prodigy: Louis learned to walk at six months.
  • Class Clown: Louis constantly, much to the family and school staff's irritation. He insists it's all in good fun, but Steve prodding him about it in "The Big Splash" after a swim meet prompts an Imagine Spot that deconstructs it. At a ten year reunion, Louis behaves the exact same way, but no one is laughing and all his old friends want nothing to do with him. Back in the real world, Louis is horrified by this possibility and resolves to try taking some things more seriously.
  • Code of Honour: Louis and anyone else that gets sent to detention are opposed to squealing and look out for each other. When Ren doesn't rat on one of their shenanigans, Louis and another one of the kids agree to help her sneak into the school so she can finish a big project.
  • Cool Big Bro: Donnie, athletic, popular, kind, and has a good, supportive relationship with both Ren and Louis.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: With the exception of Monique and Ruby, most of Ren's best friends have all disappeared from Season 1 without explanation. The most notable ones were Charlotte and Jewel, who only appeared in a couple of episodes in the first season, disappeared without a trace.
    • Not to mention Carla and Marla, the two girls who idolize Ren, both disappeared mid-way through the second season, also.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: In the episode Short Story, Louis gets Wrongfully Accused for the acts of another student named "Loomis Freeman" from another school who looks exactly like him.
  • Crossing the Burnt Bridge: When it looks like Eileen won a Congressional seat, Steve takes the opportunity to tell off his boss and vents years of frustration. Then they learn Eileen didn't win, and Steve's attempts to smooth things over go poorly. He actually remains fired, and it's a thorny subject for him in The Movie.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of the cast, but Tawny seems to be the most prolific example.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The episode Sibling Rivalry.
    • The episode Short Story.
  • Drench Celebration: An episode has Louis help the star pitcher of the baseball team of the school, Twitty, improve his game. When Twitty strikes out the last hitter of an inning, Louis dumps a bucket of Gatorade on the coach, who angrily points out it's only the top of the sixth.
  • Dumb Muscle: Donnie.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Coach Tugnut is the gym coach variant.
  • Dumb Jock: Eldest brother Donnie. A prime example is the line, "When I look at the sun, I have to squint".
  • Ear Worm: ♫We went to the moon in 1969. Not 1970 but a year sooooooner!♫
  • Embarrassment Plot: Ren's subplot in "The Thomas Gribalski Affair" is about agreeing to take part in a bicycle safety program, despite consistently failing to learn to ride one whenever she tried. Unable to get out of it or learn in time, she ultimately cops to using training wheels and says it's far more important to be safe than to risk hurting oneself by worrying about appearances. Much to Larry's irritation, she ends up winning over the crowd this way.
  • Evil Twin: Loomis Freeman in the episode "Short Story".
  • Expy: The Roaring Dracon card that Louis sells out Ren for might be this of Yugi-Oh's Blue Eye's White Dragon or possibly Charizard from the Pokemon Trading Card Game's base set both were highly sought out in their day.
  • Extracurricular Enthusiast: Ren Stevens.
  • Fake Band: The Twitty/Stevens Connection.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Louis is the foolish sibling to Ren's responsible.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A closer look at the many tabs open on Louis' laptop from "Raiders of the Lost Sausage" reveal tabs for "Pictures of Ren" and "Wexler Signature".
  • Gadgeteer Genius: One of Louis' more underappreciated traits. Over the course of the series and the movie, he has built a wire-fu harness, a motorized easy chair, a robot, and various other unlikely devices.
  • Gainax Ending: The episode "Close Encounters of the Beans Kind", where Louis and Twitty suspect that Beans and his family are aliens, due to a series of unlikely coincidences. In the end of the episode, all of the evidence is explained away as being due to mundane events. Then we cut to Beans returning to his parents, who really are giant alien bugs, and speaking to them in an alien language.
  • Goth: Tawny.
  • Go-to Alias: When buying shoes from a shady salesman Twitty uses Lars Honeytoast. He uses it again In The Movie when he and Tawny are caught on the island.
  • Hate Sink: Larry Beale, mean-spirited Green-Eyed Monster rival of the Stevens, particularly Ren, who would like nothing better to outdo her, and goes to many lows to try.
  • Hanukkah Episode: "Heck of a Hanukkah" involves an It's a Wonderful Plot that takes place during Hanukkah, rather than Christmas.
  • Happily Ever After: Louis and Tawny.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Louis says this before shouting Timber! as he cuts down a tree
  • Incessant Music Madness: In the episode "Secrets and Spies", Twitty is trying to come up with song names, so he repeatedly sings back whatever Louis says to him while playing his guitar, eventually driving Louis crazy.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: In one episode, Louis finds that a burst pipe has wrecked his locker. While trying to work around this, he insists something is now living in there. Principal Wexler scoffs at this claim, only to see the creature for himself and have to use a tennis racquet to keep it at bay.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Louis: Well, Ms. Mason called me a "detriment to the learning process", so I thanked her, and for some reason she sent me to the office.
  • It Came from the Fridge: Louis' sloppiness has resulted in old food coming into vicious, evil life in both his school locker and under his bed. Never in the fridge, though, probably because other family members use it too.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: A Hanukkah special had Louis' great-great-great-grandmother show him what the Stevens household would be like if he were never born. Without him, Donnie and Ren developed inferiority complexes from having a completely Insufferable Genius for a younger brother instead, and the lack of comic relief created misery among the family.
    • This is the only episode available on DVD, included on a compilation of various holiday specials starring Disney Channel characters.
  • Ivy League for Everyone
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Subverted with Twitty as he is rarely referred to by his first name and never by Louis as he seems confused when someone calls him Alan.
    Louis Stevens: Who's Alan?
    Alan Twitty: Dude, I have a first name too, you know.
    • Also, Beans, whose real name is Bernard.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: A Disney Channel tradition. Louis and Tawny.
  • Like a Son to Me: Coach Tugnut regards Donnie, his football MVP, as such.
  • Love at First Sight: Louis fell for Tawny the moment he first saw her.
    • It turns out, she fell for him at that moment too.
  • Love Confession: Louis and Tawny in their tapes in "Leavin' Stevens", after missing the chance to do so on what was supposed to be Louis's last day at school.
  • Makeover Torment: Happens to Louis at the end of the episode "Secret World Of Girls", which is also the current image of this trope. After Beans snitches on Louis and the other guys they run away but Louis gets captured by his sister Ren and the other girls and forced into a makeover.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Donnie had his fair share of shirtless scenes.
    • Ren’s arrival on the Island reality show in a bikini top and cover-up wrap combo could be an (likely unintentional) example of Ms. Fanservice in The Movie but YMMV.
  • Musical Episode: The aptly titled "Influenza: The Musical".
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Averted, the first episode's scheme revolves around Louis setting Ren up with the creepy Ernie, for a rare trading card. After Ren finds out, she believed she was participating in a "Big Brothers, Big Sisters" type program, til Ernie posted their "Date" all over the school, she furiously humiliates both Ernie and Louis. Louis realizes his wrongdoing to both Ren and Ernie.
  • Noodle Incident: Louis's drum teacher recognizes Eileen as a woman who rushed the stage during a Barstow concert in 1981.
  • Obsessed with Perfect Attendance: The premise of "Influenza: The Musical" is that Ren has caught the flu and is told to stay in bed and rest for the day. Ren, being a perfectionist who is unwilling to give up her perfect attendance, has a fever dream in which she sneaks out of bed and goes to school anyway.
  • Official Couple:
    • Louis and Tawny.
    • Ren and Jason in The Movie.
  • Parental Favoritism: Steve and Eileen both favor their older children, Donnie and Ren, more because of their respective athletic and academic success than Louis, but they still love him dearly.
  • Pain-Powered Leap: In the episode "Easy Crier", Ren is repeatedly zapped in the rear end by Louis' Dr. Zapenstein device during a televised debate, eventually leaping off her chair. Louis does not get off easy for it.
  • Power Trio: Louis, Twitty, and Tawny. Also Ren, Ruby, and Monique.
  • Prank Call: Played for Laughs twice. The B-Plot of "Thin Ice" has Louis and Twitty take up this prank, even nearly ruining Ren's date with her then-boyfriend at the time, Bobby. The prank soon goes too far when the boys prank Tawny and her father, saying they won $1 million and supposedly ruining their lives, only for the Deans to reveal to the boys they staged an elaborate ruse that ultimately makes them kick the habit. It didn't mean, however, Louis wouldn't stop pranking Ren, doing so as part of a Halloween prank at the start of "A Very Scary Story".
  • Prank Gone Too Far:
    • Enforced in the B-plot of "Thin Ice", where Louis and Twitty take up prank phone calling, and trick Tawny and her father into thinking they've won $1 million and they supposedly ruined their lives, but it turns out Tawny and her dad staged an elaborate ruse to teach them a lesson, which prompts the boys to kick the habit: they knew it was the boys the whole time, because they have caller ID.
    • What the Stevens family want the prank TV show to believe; That Ren has gone batshit crazy and tries to kill Louis causing the staff to try and stop the siblings all the while a rival show captures them making fools of themselves.
  • Present Peeking: Louis locates where his parents hid the Hanukkah presents and takes a peek. In doing so, he somehow manages to destroy all the presents.
  • Progressive Instrumentation: The one-episode Fake Band planned to play their debut concert on the school roof, but each member dropped out for various reasons and only Lewis (drummer) showed up. Refusing to let the band die, he proceeds to play the beat and sing his vocals until the other members join in one-by-one.
  • Put on a Bus: Virtually all of Ren's friends except for Ruby and Monique, but it's more likely that they've all gotten Brother Chucked out of the show. See Chuck Cunningham Syndrome above.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Donnie is quite masculine, but enjoys getting facials and shaves his legs. In one episode he turns off the safety valve of the hot water heater so he could use the scalding hot water from the shower in order to turn the bathroom into a sauna. Hilarity Ensues when the candy bars that Louis has to sell melt after being too close to the heater.
  • Remote Control Ruckus: Towards the end of the show's claymation intro, Ren and Louis are both fighting over the TV, both of them having a remote that they turn to their channel of choice. Then the two remotes grow a Laser Blade and this turns into a lightsaber duel, until both remotes are pointed at the TV, exploding it into the show's title.
  • Repetitive Name: Steve Stevens.
  • The Rival: Lawrence "Larry" Beale for Ren. Also Mandy Sanchez.
  • Romantic False Lead: Bobby Deaver for Ren.
  • Rooftop Concert: The Twitty/Stevens Connection in Even Stevens plays on the roof of their school in the end of "Band on the Roof".
  • Sad Clown: Louis spends "Snow Job" goofing around because he's the only one in his algebra class that struggles with the material and worries about being perceived as stupid if he admits it.
  • Sadist Teacher: Coach Tugnut, especially in "Influenza: The Musical".
    Tugnut: It has been pointed out that my obstacle course is dangerous, cruel and sadistic. It has also been pointed out that I myself am dangerous, cruel, and sadistic. So I have decided to cancel 6th period.
    *Kids cheer*
    Tugnut: Just Kidding. I'm also funny. I should add that.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slap Stick: Louis with his many stunts and instances of falling down, yet apparently without sustaining serious injuries.
  • Slippery Swimsuit: Louis was trying to show his dad that he could be serious in a swimming contest, only for it to backfire horribly when he still managed to be the brunt of jokes due to his trunks falling off and his not realizing it until after Twitty points it out.
  • Spinning Clock Hands: Gag version is done in one episode where Steve Stevens remarks he has to fix the clock.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: With an intelligent straight-A-student sister and a star high school athlete for an older brother, Louis naturally feels overshadowed. Throw in the fact that his dad is a prominent lawyer and his mom a high-profile state senator and it's no wonder Louis feels inferior to them. The discovery of his talent for comedy can be seen as a result of this.
    • Reversed in the Hanukkah episode, where, in an It's a Wonderful Plot scenario, a Marty Stu-like sibling is born instead of Louis, causing this in his older siblings.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Charlotte and Jewel, who outright disappeared without a trace, were replaced by Monique and Ruby in the second season as replacement best friends for Ren.
    • Parodied in the last episode. Faced with moving away, Ren feels bad about leaving Monique and Ruby behind and puts them in contact with a girl named Denise, who looks and behaves very much like herself. It naturally proves awkward (especially when Ren ends up not leaving), so the solution is to introduce Denise to two girls very similar to Monique and Ruby.
  • Teacher's Pet: Ren, but she's more of a "principal's pet".
  • Teen Genius: Ren, and to a lesser degree Tom Gribalski.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Beans.
  • Tiny Schoolboy: A boy that Ren dates at one point, and she's mocked by her classmates. She doesn't notice the difference until they go on their first date and she finds out that she's head and shoulders taller than him. She tries to avoid him for the rest of the episode, but she has no choice but to face him when the school dance is just around the corner.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Virtually every episode had a main plot and "B" story, with one revolving around Louis and the other involving Ren. The show alternated which character received the A plot and which received the B plot.
  • Villain Song: Coach Tugnut's "Master(s) of the Gym" from "Influenza: The Musical", and in true Villain Song tradition it's one of the best songs in the episode. Although it's also a subversion, as it ends with the dogs biting back. Larry also has one in the form of "Ren Got an F", a Dark Reprise of "We Went to the Moon" where he mocks Ren for failing the assignment.
  • Water Hose Rodeo: Happens to Louis in the claymation intro.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In "Influenza: The Musical", Mr. and Mrs. Stevens appear during the "Sixth Period" number, discovering that Ren sneaked out and saying that they have to find her. They don't appear again until the end of the episode, at which point it was already revealed that the whole episode was just a fever dream.
  • Zany Scheme: Louis lives and breathes this trope.

    Tropes in the movie 

The Movie contains examples of:

  • Artistic License – Geography: Tom is able to take Twitty and Tawny to Catalonia, a fictional island off the coast of California. It's unknown where exactly Catalonia is supposed to be, but even if it were just west of San Francisco (like the Farallon Island), this would have required navigating the Sacramento River over hundred miles out to the Bay.
  • Batman Gambit: After the Stevens family learns the truth, with the help of Gotcha and Tawny and Twitty. When it seems that Ren had become so enraged at Louis that she pushed him off a cliff, it's revealed as a Gotcha and that in reality the rest of the Stevens family had already found Louis chased up a tree by an enraged Ren, revealed the truth and enlisted them to help prank Miles by faking Ren pushing Louis off a cliff.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: How the Stevens get back at Miles McDermott, involving the help of another prank reality TV show.
  • Berserk Button: Ren is aggravated that her dad doesn't even remember her ex-boyfriend Gil, who she's been dating for three months, despite the fact that she broke up with him at the start of the film. It's also Played for Drama towards the beginning when reminding her father the first time prompts her to break down into tears.
  • Big Bad: Miles McDermott, the Jerkass host of Family Fakeout. He attempts to drive the family apart through orchestrated conflict, all in the name of good television.
  • The Cassandra: The reality TV show crew decides to screw with Donnie by having an old classmate of his show up on the island in front of him. Everyone else just writes it off as Donnie hallucinating and going crazy.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Lance LeBow, the host of the Gotcha prank show, whom Miles was the producer of and hired Lance before he Miles fired. Lance helps the Stevens family turn the tables on Miles by making him think Ren has killed Louis.
  • Coconut Meets Cranium: Moments after Tawny arrives on the island, a falling coconut knocks her out.
  • Dance Party Ending: The film ends with the entire cast dancing to the song "Dream Vacation", sung by Christy Carlson Romano. It's intercut with some Hilarious Outtakes.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The Stevens family Dysfunctional Family dynamics are deconstructed with Miles using it to his advantage to push them over the edge and split them apart against each other for his reality show. But it becomes reconstructed with them reconnecting then figuring out what Miles is up to, and working together to get some payback.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Stevens being one of these is deconstructed here. They're unknowingly signed up to be filmed for a Reality TV show and things play out in a way that results in them bitterly breaking apart into two different factions, all for the entertainment of the masses. It's also reconstructed at the end, however, as it's shown that the Stevens do love one another more than anything when the chips are down and won't ever tolerate being screwed with.
  • Fauxtastic Voyage: The family thinks they've won an all-expenses-paid vacation to a tropical island, unaware they're part of a giant reality TV prank show. When Tawny and Twitty show up, the Stevens wonder how they got on the island. They're informed they're actually on the coast of California, less than a hundred miles away from their town and the plane simply flew in wide circles for hours during the night.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Mandelino tribe is entirely multiethnic, with Asian, black, and even white members present. It’s explained that their ancestors were a mix of native islanders and shipwrecked sailors, but in reality, they’re all American actors.
    • Donnie runs into an islander who reminds him of a guy from high school, Patrick Green. The second act reveals that he is Patrick, and he’s an actor working for Miles.
  • Gaslighting: Miles and his TV crew use sleazy tactics to completely drive the family insane. It's later revealed that the Stevenses had been gaslighting him into thinking he was succeeding.
  • Immoral Reality Show: Family Fakeout is this, taking an unsuspecting family out to what they're told is a tropical paradise vacation they won in a contest and then setting events up to where they are forced to survive off the land until help arrives, all the while they are being filmed without their knowledge or consent.
  • Killer Rabbit: Invoked with the "killer squirrel" that attacks Ren, Steve, and Beans; it's an animatronic that the crew uses to frighten them.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After spending the entire movie messing with and gaslighting the Stevens family with one big prank of a show, Miles gets his in the end when not only is he he's gaslighted into thinking his show lead to Louis's "death", but his rival has claimed the show for his own.
  • The Movie: One that serves as the series' Grand Finale at that.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Twitty signed the Stevens family up to be featured in a reality show but regrets it when he sees how humiliating and painful it is for them.
    • Miles has a breakdown when he's made to think that his actions inadvertently led to a teenage boy dying terribly.
  • Sanity Slippage: Convinced that Louis is to blame for everything that's gone wrong, Ren loses it and becomes a bloodthirsty hunter bent on killing her brother. Thankfully, she's only faking it.
  • Throw It In!: In-Universe example: In the opening, during Ren's valedictorian speech, Louis and Beans (after tricking Donny into letting them go backstage) have a beach ball-shaped device bounce around the podium, with Tugnut (who was asleep during the speech) being ordered by Wexler into grabbing the ball and restoring order. Louis intended for the ball, when exploding, to release confetti. However, Beans (who presumably was the one who actually created the ball) misheard his instructions and said that he thought Louis said "spaghetti", right after the ball detonates and sprays the coach with the brunt of spaghetti and meatballs. Louis tells Beans that his mishearing things made the prank even better.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Donnie, naturally. When the family learns that the "tribe" has shunned them:
    Miles: You're going to be shunned.
    Donnie: YES!
    Eileen: No, son. "Shunned" is bad.
  • "Truman Show" Plot: The Stevens (along with Beans) win a vacation to an exotic island in the middle of the Pacific and, due to a series of mishaps with the natives, must live off the land until a rescue boat arrives in a week. In truth, the island's only a few miles off the California coast, and the family are unknowingly being filmed for a Reality TV Show Within a Show called Family Fakeout, a combination of Survivor and The Joe Schmo Show.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Miles undergoes two of them. The first time, he loses his cool when Twitty cuts the show off the air, and furiously storms around the studio firing random crew members. The second time, he cries in agony when Ren pushes Louis to his doom, not knowing that it was all part of an elaborate prank.


Video Example(s):


Even Stevens Theme

The opening to Even Stevens, done in stop-motion.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnimatedCreditsOpening

Media sources: