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Series / Gullah Gullah Island

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So come and let's play together
In the bright, sunny weather.
Let's all go to Gullah Gullah Island.

Gullah Gullah Island was a children's show on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block that aired from 1994 to 1998. The block's first live-action show stars a Gullah family and their tadpole friend Binyah Binyah Polliwog living on an island off the coast of South Carolina.

Tropes featured include:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Shaina is this to her older cousin Vanessa as Annoying Younger Cousin since she sometimes crowds her.
    • Armando sometimes annoys his older sister Marisol.
    • In the Season 2 episode "Look Who's Balking?", Jessica was so jealous of her baby sister Willa until the very end of the episode.
  • Argument of Contradictions: In "The Binyah Binyah Polliwog Show", Armando and Marisol got into a little argument when the former tells James on the latter.
    Marisol: "What do you mean I'm mean to you? You're the one who's picking up on me.
    Armando: "Am not."
    Marisol: "Are too."
    Armando: "Am not!"
    Marisol: "Are too!"
    • Happens again in "Please Don't Eat the Alstons" when James blames on Vanessa for stealing the cookies from the cookie jar (it was actually Binyah Binyah who did it).
    James: "Vanessa, you stole the cookies from the cookie jar!"
    Vanessa: "Did not!"
    James: "Did too!"
    Vanessa: "Did not!"
    James: "Did too!"
    Vanessa: "Forget you! I'm going upstairs to wash this chocolate off my face!"
  • Awkward First Sleepover: Season 4 has "The Big Sleepover" where both girls and boys were fighting and arguing over the space in the living room.
  • Babysitting Episode: "Home Alone With Grandma" has Grandma babysitting James, Vanessa, Shaina and Simeon while Ron and Natalie go away on their trip for the whole day and night.
  • Baseball Episode:
    • Season 2 has "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" where the gang celebrates Spring by playing baseball.
    • Season 4 has "The Mighty Cootas" where Shaina and Binyah Binyah participate in the baseball game.
  • Beach Episode: Season 3's "A Day at the Beach"
  • Birthday Episode:
    • "Ron's Birthday" for Ron
    • "Shaina's Birthday Party" for Shaina
  • Book Ends: Each episode begins with Natalie greeting the viewers, and ends with her bidding the viewers farewell.
    • Some episodes have this with a same song sung at the beginning and end.
      • "Friendship-Just the Perfect Blendship" begins and ends with the song "It's Going to Be Fine".
      • "Who's Friend Are You Anyway?" begins and ends with the song "You Get the Line".
      • "What's Up With Jobs?" begins and ends with the song "Job Jamboree".
      • "Animal See, Animal Do" begins and ends with the song "Hill and Gully Rider".
      • "Food Glorious Food" begins and ends with the song "Potluck Dinner".
      • "Fixing a Hurt" begins and ends with the song "The Gullah 4 Force".
      • "Campout" begins with the song "Campout Boogie" and ends with the song "Sleepyhead Boogie".
      • "The Big Sleepover" begins and ends with the song "The Sleepover Boogie".
    • "Mercy Mercy Me" begins with Binyah Binyah fooling Shaina and Corey with the tree talking, and ends with the other characters fooling Natalie doing the same thing.
    • "Lightning is Frightening" begins and ends with the characters playing Red Light, Green Light.
  • Camping Episode: Season 4's "Campout"
  • Christmas Episode: "A Gullah Gullah Christmas" in Season 4
  • Classically-Trained Extra: Not really "classically trained," but Miss Juana was played by Iris Chacon, a very popular singer and performer in Puerto Rico.
  • Continuity Nod: In the Season 2 episode "Shaina's Birthday Party", Shaina turns 5. Oddly, in the Season 1 episode "Ron's Birthday", she was stated to be 5 years old.
  • Cool Big Bro: James is this to Shaina and Simeon.
  • Cool Big Sis: Marisol is this to Armando.
    • Also, Jessica to her baby sister Willa at the very end of the Season 2 episode "Look Who's Balking?".
  • The Dentist Episode: Season 2 has "Taking Care of Business" where Shaina goes to the Dentist for the very first time.
  • Feud Episode:
    • "The Binyah Binyah Polliwog Show": One-sided, for James and Binyah Binyah. James is only one who's angry, so when he tells Binyah Binyah to leave the house, Binyah Binyah does just that.
    • In "Who's Friend Are You Anyway?", James meets Greg (who moved to Gullah Gullah Island from New York) for the very first time and is the first person to make friends with. But then when the other kids gather around with Greg and hang out with him, James gets jealous. Then later, the two got into a little fight and separate from each other after Greg becomes good friends with Bryan and doesn't pay attention to James. At the end of the episode, they forgave each other and become really good friends again.
    • In "Special Places", Vanessa and Shaina got into a little fight when Shaina keeps crowding Vanessa in their bedroom, so Vanessa decided to move out of their room and move into the garage. At the end of the episode, she decides to move back into her own room and forgive Shaina.
    • In "James' New Buddy", Vanessa and Jessica got into a fight and decided to not speak to each other again after Jessica calls Vanessa her favorite nickname from preschool that she was trying to forget (Boo-Boo). At the end of the episode, the two became friends again after Shaina and Natalie got them back together.
    • In "The Big Sleepover", Vanessa, Shaina, Jessica and Mia fight over the space in Vanessa and Shaina's bedroom. Later, both girls and boys fight and argue over the space in the living room and sharing with Binyah Binyah.
  • First Day of School Episode: Season 1 has "The School Show" where Shaina goes to school for the first time along with Sara.
  • Go-to-Sleep Ending:
    • "Things That Go Bump In the Night" ends with James and Vanessa finally falling asleep after Ron and Natalie sing them to sleep with the song "It's Time for Little Beauties". Binyah Binyah was seen sleeping during the credits.
    • "Campout" ends with the family going back to sleep in their tent.
    • "The Big Sleepover" ends with all boys and girls sleeping.
  • Grand Finale: "Polliwog Day"
  • Halloween Episode: "Gullah Gullah Ghoul-Land" in Season 2
  • Happy Birthday to You!:
    • In "Ron's Birthday", the gang sings to Ron "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow".
    • In "Shaina's Birthday Party", there was a song called "Happy Birthday, Shaina".
  • Hot Drink Cure: In the episode "Natalie's Sick", Ron gives Natalie a cup of tea after she gets sick.
  • I Got Bigger:
    • In first season, Simeon was shown as a baby. In the last season, he was shown as a toddler, speaking complete sentences.
    • In the first season, Armando and Bryan were shown as kids. In the last season, they were shown as teenagers with deep voices.
  • Illness Blanket: In the episode "Natalie's Sick", Natalie lies on the sofa under a blanket after coming down with a cold.
  • Informed Species: Binyah Binyah is supposed to be a polliwog, but looks more like an adult frog that hasn't lost its tail yet.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: James is left feeling guilty in “The Binyah Binyah Pollywog Show” when Binyah Binyah runs away after James yells at him.
    • Shaina felt the same way in "Friendship-Just the Perfect Blendship" after Vanessa angrily yells at her for borrowing her crayons to draw a picture for Cory without asking.
    • Done two times in "Feeling Soup". First, James and Bryan, after they accidentally erased the article for the Gullah Gullah Island newspaper while trying to play "Crab Force 2" on Ron's computer. Later, James after he breaks Bryan's promise for showing off Bryan's awful hair look to the others.
    • Vanessa also felt like this in "Special Places" awhile after she moved out of her room and moved all of her stuff into the garage, beginning to miss her own room.
  • Mystery Episode:
    • Season 2's "The Pet Show" has James, Bryan and Binyah Binyah as "The Lost and Found Detective Agency" trying to search for Petey the rabbit who escaped from his cage.
    • Season 4's "James' Magic Show" has Vanessa, Jessica and Binyah Binyah as "The Secret Agent Agency" searching for Simeon's stuffed animal Mr. Patches.
  • Nephewism: Ron and Natalie are hosting their niece, Vanessa, while her parents are teaching in an African University.
  • Nursery Rhyme: In "Rhythm & Rhyme All the the Time", Ron reads a Mother Goose book to some kids.
  • Parental Bonus: An episode on the theme of dancing ended with the parents appearing in vintage '70s clothes, a mirror ball dropping down from the ceiling, and the cast performing a rousing rendition of "Let's Go to the Disco."
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Yes I Can" is a song about one or more characters encouraging another character to keep on trying to do hard things, (eg. Ron encouraging James to keep on trying to whistle or Natalie, Shaina and Sara encouraging Vanessa to keep on trying to jump rope.)
    • "The Gullah Gullah Games" has the song "Binyah Binyah, You Can Do It" where Ron and Natalie encourage Binyah Binyah to keep on trying to shoot the basketball.
  • Pet Contest Episode: Season 4's "Stray Dog Blues"
  • Pirate Song: "Pirates I Will Be" (sung in "Family Day") is a song about being pirates. In "Polliwog Day", the song uses the tune for "Binyahlumbus".
  • The Place
  • Pokémon Speak: Binyah Binyah Polliwog. Despite this, he's perfectly capable of speaking English.
  • Rain, Rain, Go Away: There was an episode title of it for Season 1. James sings the song in the same episode.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • In "Friendship-Just the Perfect Blendship", Vanessa gives a really huge one to Shaina after the latter borrows the former's crayons to draw a picture for Cory without asking.
    • In "Feeling Soup", Ron gives one to James and Bryan after they accidentally erased the article for the Gullah Gullah Island newspaper on his computer. He even sings about it to them.
  • Rhyming Episode: The Season 1 finale episode "Rhythm & Rhyme All the Time" where the gang has fun rhyming words and reading some Mother Goose Rhymes.
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: Orlando Magic player Dennis Scott appeared in one episode.
  • Sick Episode:
    • Natalie in "Natalie's Sick"
    • Vanessa in "Here Come the Hatchlings!"
  • The Smart Girl: Vanessa, of course.
  • Soup Is Medicine: In the episode "Natalie's Sick", Juana makes vegetable soup for a sick Natalie.
  • Superhero Episode: Season 3 has "Fixing a Hurt" where James, Vanessa, Shaina and Binyah Binyah were playing superheros "The Gullah 4 Force" until Shaina jumps off the porch step and accidentally scapes her knee.
  • To the Tune of...: There are some songs throughout the series that use to the tune of.
    • "Shhh! It's a Secret" was the tune to "Pop! Goes the Weasel"
    • "We're Playing In Our Own/Rain Band" was the tune to "Miss Lucy Had a Baby"
    • "It's Me, It's Me" was the tune to "It's Me, Oh Lord"
    • "Guess An Animal" was the tune to "Pop! Goes the Weasel"
    • "Natalie Says" was the tune to "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush"
    • "Little Simeon, Play On Your Drum" was the tune to "Little David, Play On Your Harp"
    • "Night is Falling All Around" is the tune to "London Bridge is Falling Down"
    • "Busy Got Lot To Do In The Morning" was the tune to "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush"
    • "Macaroni and Cheese" was the tune to "Peanut Butter and Jelly"
    • "Be Polite" was the tune to "If You're Happy"
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Vanessa (Tomboy) and Shaina (Girly Girl)
    • Mia and Jessica
      • In "Please Don't Eat the Alstons", Vanessa was stated to be a Girly Girl.
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • In Season 3, Bryan's voice has gotten low. In Season 4, it has gotten deep.
    • In Season 4, Armando's voice has gotten deep.
  • Wacky Sound Effect: In Season 1, when Binyah Binyah hopped, there was a boinging sound. It ended up being abandoned by Season 2.
  • We Need a Distraction: In "Ron's Birthday", Natalie and the kids were preparing a surprise Birthday Party for Ron. Some kids try to stall Ron by playing "Here We Go Looby Loo", and asking how old he is and stating how old they are.