Follow TV Tropes


Series / Flipper

Go To

Essentially Lassie with fins.

This 1964 series (based on the 1963 movie) was about a bottlenose dolphin who is adopted by (or adopts, depending on your point of view) the family of a Florida park ranger. Originally airing on NBC until 1967, it had a long run on Nickelodeon in the early '90s leading to increased popularity and a revival.

Flipper was revived both in 1995 as The New Adventures of Flipper, with a new cast of characters unrelated to the original (except for Keith, the grown-up version of Bud, in the first season) and in 1996 as a feature film starring Paul Hogan and Elijah Wood, using the original TV show's characters.

Not to be confused with the Noise Rock band Flipper.



  • Catch Phrase: In season two of the '90s version rarely did an episode go by without at least one cast member (and in at least one case a guest star) going "I love that dolphin!" To the extent that the season two finale, the Clip Show "Reflections," ended thusly:
    Maya (Jessica Alba, in her last episode): I guess that's why we always say... (cue a montage of characters saying "I love that dolphin!")... "I love that dolphin!"
  • Expository Theme Tune: On the '60s version (the '90s version had two different instrumental ones).
  • Friendly, Playful Dolphin: Flipper is a playful, friendly dolphin, apart from being helpful.
  • Heroic Dolphin: Flipper might be the Trope Codifier as far as recent western media go.
  • Noisy Nature: Of the misplaced cry variety: Flipper's famous chatter is a kookaburra.
  • Non-Human Sidekick
  • Advertisement:
  • Retool: Happened to the '90s version twice. The second season dropped the entire cast of the first season, except for Jessica Marie Alba (as she was billed in the first season), and reworked the premise to revolve around search and rescue people with Flipper working for them as a kind of rescue dolphin, essentially turning it into a Cop Show IN THE OCEAN! In the third season, Jessica Alba left and the second-season protagonist married someone who had never appeared on the show before, adding her two cute children to the cast. Thus, the premise became The Brady Bunch WITH A DOLPHIN! for the remaining two seasons.
  • Timmy in a Well
  • Toxic Friend Influence: In the first season of The New Adventures of Flipper, Mike Blondell was this for Maya Graham. He was always talking her into performing harebrained stunts (that she went along with against her better judgement) that got them in trouble with his mother and Dr. Ricks.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: