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Series / Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

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The 1997 TV adaptation of the 1989 Disney hit of the same name.

It continued where the first movie left off and follows the misadventures of the Szalinski family, as Wayne's inventions would usually cause some sort of incident that had to be resolved by the family. Later episodes introduced more and more supernatural elements in an attempt to compete with shows like Charmed (1998), much to the annoyance of fans of pure science fiction.

Generally regarded as an Interquel set between the first two films, as Amy is still in high school and Nick is still prepubescent (and in the final episode to be produced, Diane announces that she is pregnant).

Lasted for three seasons with 65 episodes under its belt (as it was a Disney show, that was the allotted number of episodes a show could have back then, despite this show being mostly syndicated). Peter Scolari was also praised for his portrayal of Wayne, the character originally played by the beloved Rick Moranis, to the point that some fans felt he was better.

This show provides examples of:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Wayne, even more so than in the movies.
  • Actor Allusion: A Running Gag is people mentioning the sitcom Bosom Buddies and remembering Tom Hanks was on the show, but nobody remembers who the other male was. He was played by Peter Scolari who is playing Wayne in this series.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: All four actors playing the Szalinskis are considerably more photogenic than their film counterparts, but most obviously Diane who is played by a woman barely old enough to play the mother to a teenager, and is often depicted as the Parent Service "hot mom" (in contrast to in the films, where she is more of a put-upon housewife).
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Happened to F.R.A.N., the home security system Wayne created.
  • Alpha Bitch: Tiara (played by Jewel Staite).
  • Amusing Alien: Ar'Nox and his species.
  • Animated Credits Opening: Only in the first season.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Wayne dismisses the concept of magic in preference to his super science, upsetting a trio of witches. Even after the witches start casting spells on him with no sound scientific explanation to justify the phenomenon, Wayne stands his ground that all magic is automatically fake and proceeds to engage in a magic vs science battle with the witches.
    • By the end, after having to use magic to defeat them after all, he still insists that there must be a perfectly logical explanation, but he no longer cares what it is as long as his family is safe.
  • Artifact Title: The Shrink Ray was rarely ever used, aside from 3 storylines and a few cameo uses.
  • Artistic License Ė Paleontology: "Honey, We're Past Tense" has the family going back to prehistoric times. They encounter not only both cavemen and a Tyrannosaurus rex but an overgrown monitor lizard which gets identified as a Tenontosaurus (a herbivorous ornithopod dinosaur).
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: At the beginning of season 2, Quark, the family dog, eats Wayne's special vegetables and grows into a huge monster. The solution was for the Szalinskis to use the Shrink Ray and bring Quark back down to a smaller size to begin with, making him look more like his movie counterpart.
  • Baseball Episode: "Honey, I'm Rooting for the Home Team". Ironically, Nick is playing the sport, despite the fact that in the movie, Wayne clearly says that Nick doesn't play baseball.
  • Big Bad: Averted, but the closest thing to a Big Bad is Morpheus, the Lord of All Dreams.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Bigfoot nurses Amy's sprained ankle in "Honey, He's Not Abominable". He also has a wife who is a Yeti.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In "Honey, You Drained My Brain", Diane was all nervous about a court case because she fears that she's not smart enough, and used the Thinky Ring to make her seem smarter by sapping intelligence from others. In the end, she loses the case, but everything's back to normal... except that Quark is abducted by super-intelligent ants.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Ar'Nox's species eat food with their butt, predating South Park by a few years.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: Played in one episode.
  • California Doubling: The TV series was set in Colorado even though in reality, it was shot in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • Cats Are Mean: Averted with Bianca's cat Persephone who switches minds with Diane. In Diane's body, Persephone acts playful and naïve, and learns English by watching TV at the Szalinskis' house.
  • Clip Show: "Honey, It's a Blunderful Life". Wayne gets knocked unconscious and finds himself put on trial by Morpheus to decide if he's worthy of ever waking up again.
  • Clothes Make the Maniac: The Thinky-Ring from "Honey, You Drained My Brain", which turned the wearer into a psychic vampire that grows smarter by draining the intelligence of other people, not to mention addictively evil. Diane went so far as to call the ring her "precious", a reference to The Lord of the Rings (the novel; this was years before the movie version), and when Nick wore it he dressed up in a black robe and used the shrink ray to enlarge his cranium.
  • Continuity Nod: To the first movie only. Though it makes sense, seeing as they can't make references to events that haven't happened yet.
    • "Honey, She's Like A Fish Out Of Water" acknowledges Amy's Super Drowning Skills that occurred in the original movie. She fixes that by using an experimental cream Wayne made, unaware that the side effects turn her into a rather fish-like mermaid.
  • Cucumber Facial: Diane and Amy use what they think was facial mask in "Honey, You'll Always be a Princess to Me", but was really a concoction Wayne made for peeling coconuts. As the mask dissolves the wooden spoon used for mixing, they scream in horror as they hurry to rinse it off.
  • Darker and Edgier: Okay, while the original movie had blood in a couple of scenes and one instance of the word "hell" being used, the TV series has a bit more swearing and innuendo.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Amy and Nick have their moments, often as a reaction to the fiascos their dadís inventions cause.
    • Nick in Amyís body: All I can say is I hope we have a good therapist.
  • Denser and Wackier: Compared to the movies, or at least the first movie.
    • Seasons 2 and 3 manage to be even wackier.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Wayne, but he gets better over the course of the series.
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: Wayne's brother Randy is one, with a predilection for fart jokes. Wayne somewhat resents him for presenting science in such a lowbrow fashion.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: The first episode "Honey, We've Been Swallowed By Grandpa" has Wayne, Diane, and Amy shrunken and ending up in Diane's father's body.
    Diane: Where are we?
    Wayne: Your dad's stomach; he drank us.
    Amy: Funny, I don't feel drunk.
  • Fiery Redhead: Amy, in contrast to her blonde counterpart from the movies.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: The premise of one episode is based on Wayne not believing in magic, despite having previously encountered ghosts, a leprechaun, a god of dreams, a philosopher's stone, a magical ancient princess, and various other supernatural beings.
  • Fwuffy the Tewwible: In "Honey, The Bear Is Bad News", when Wayne is coerced into tweaking the Fwuffy Bear toy, he gives him updates such as voice recognition, and finally downloads everything he programmed into Fwuffy, but unfortunately, the Legion virus was downloaded into Fwuffy along with the data, making him evil.
  • Fountain of Youth: An age machine allowed an elderly couple to relive their youth, but the problem is their reverse aging wasn't stopping while Wayne and Diane were rapidly aging at the same time.
  • Fun with Acronyms: F.R.A.N. — Felon Repel-er and Accident Neutralizer
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: Wayne does this to Carter in "Honey, The House is Trying to Kill Us", after F.R.A.N. puts him in a box.
  • Halloween Episode: "Honey, Let's Trick or Treat". Wayne's Szalinski Scan-O-Caster can bring text to life in the form of sophisticated holograms, but a book about urban legends accidentally gets scanned. As a Halloween party approaches, all sorts of urban legends come to life and prey on the townspeople.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Diane is a lawyer in the series, and she's quite attractive.
  • Here We Go Again!: The Series Finale.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Very blatant in The Teaser of "Honey, The Bear is Bad News" where Nick's destroying of the Legion computer virus is treated more like a video game. Then there's the virus itself, which is apparently self-aware and immediately adapts to the architecture and programming of a robotic teddy bear.
  • Homage: Several episodes are obvious homages to famous or recently popular movies — Men in Black, Ghostbusters (1984), and Armageddon (1998) to name a few, as well as the "Fantastic Voyage" Plot in the first episode and the James Bond spoof.
  • Insane Troll Logic: An episode involved a Love Potion being accidentally spilled over a batch of chocolates and causing havoc. What is eventually discovered to be the antidote? Vanilla, or anything with vanilla flavouring, because vanilla is the opposite of chocolate.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: When Nick builds a radio to contact alien civilizations, the aliens respond thusly:
    Alien: Ugh! Not those Earth geeks again! Listen, we know you're out there; we don't CARE!
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Wayne built a home security system with self-aware AI. Why? Because he's Wayne Szalinski.
  • Interspecies Romance: In "Honey, I'm in the Mood for Love", the effect of the pheromone that got spilled on Wayne's hypoallergenic chocolates has this happen in two cases:
    • Gladys, the helper chimp at Jentech, falls for Wayne after tasting some chocolate.
    • Mr. Jennings accidentally steps on a South American Lantern Fly and gets fused with its DNA, and Diane falls for the mutated Jennings after she ingests a piece.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The show was much more meta than the movies it was based on, with characters often complaining about the cliche plotlines they found themselves stuck in. Several times, references to the series Bosom Buddies were made, but nobody could ever remember the name of the actor who played "the other guy" opposite Tom Hanks. Wayne even began vocally complaining when the show began introducing supernatural elements into its plots, as it rankled his sensibilities as a scientist (and not coincidentally, the fans who preferred more traditional sci-fi).
  • Logic Bomb: Mercilessly skewered in "Honey, The House is Trying to Kill Us". Wayne calls F.R.A.N. out for violating her prime directive, resulting in her violently self-destructing, complete with Explosive Instrumentation... and then Wayne calls her on the obvious trick, pointing out that computers sputtering sparks and shutting down after violating their prime directive only happens on cheesy sci-fi shows, before using the opening her fakery offered to shut her down for real.
  • Love Dodecahedron: In "Honey, I'm in the Mood for Love", it's caused by a...
  • Love Potion: A pheromone accidentally got spilled on Wayne's hypoallergenic chocolates (Diane is allergic, and the chocolates tasted like earwax according to Mr. Jennings), causing those who eat them to fall in love with the first person of the opposite sex they see. The antidote happens to be vanilla. Just perfectly ordinary vanilla, in any form. Mints, cream soda, whatever.
  • The Men in Black: Somewhat malevolent, often after Ar'Nox. Actually aliens responsible for a conspiracy that goes all the way back to the all-seeing eye (the pyramid with the eye on the dollar bill).
  • Me's a Crowd: In "Honey, I Got Duped", Wayne accidentally clones himself, and the clones are given names such as Slappy and Scabby.
  • My Brain Is Big: Invoked in "Honey, You Drained My Brain". When Nick absorbs other people's intelligence and becomes an Evil Genius, he also uses the Shrink Ray on reverse to enlarge his brain, reasoning that he needs more "room" to keep stealing brainpower.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Orson Hughes from "Honey, It's a Billion Dollar Brain" is very clearly meant to be Howard Hughes. The plot point of Wayne being named in Hughes' will due to having met him in the desert decades ago is clearly based on the story of Melvin Dummar.
  • Nothing Personal: At the end of "Honey, I'm Dreaming... But Am I?", Morpheus reappears to tell Amy this, saying he was only trying to protect his realm.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: In "Honey, I'm Dreaming... But Am I?", part of Morpheus' test to Amy involves sticking her naked in front of her entire class, with her only cover being a parachute she used to escape the falling dream she was in beforehand.
  • The Nth Doctor: Done strangely with Quark the family dog; in the series he's a different breed from the movie but a plot of for him has him mutate and the side effect of the antidote makes him the same breed he was in the movie.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: In "Honey, the Garbage Is Taking Us Out", Wayne manages a epidemic that makes humans into garbage-consuming zombies. While the bite is infectious, they are not attempting to eat people and are Technically Living Zombie's.
  • Paranormal Episode: Started popping up quite a bit in season two. Apparently magic and science coexist in this universe.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Mr. Jennings.
  • Popular History: The 1976 visited in "Honey, We're Stuck in the 70's" absolutely reeks of The '70s. It looks more like a modern-day '70s-themed party than anything.
  • Put on a Bus: In "Honey, It's the Ghostest with the Mostest", Mr. Jennings is shown replaced by a relative. He's back in "Honey, It's a Billion Dollar Brain".
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "Honey, I'm Wrestling with a Problem... and the Chief"
  • Retcon: Where to start? The Szalinskis originated from Denver rather than Fresno, Amy has red hair, Nick is at least a year younger than in the first movie and plays baseball, Quark is a border collie instead of a terrier (until season 2), and they changed Wayne's brother's name from Gordon to Randy for some reason.
  • Rapid Aging: Happens to Wayne and Diane in the episode "Honey, We're young at heart" when a cellular vitality enhancer gives a bit more of their youth to an elderly couple next door than they had planned and conversely causes said couple to de-age rapidly.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Diane wonders this after Wayne reveals yet another incredible invention.
    Diane: Why aren't we richer?
  • Sequel Episode: "Honey, It's No Fun Being An Illegal Alien". It even starts with a recap of "Honey, They Call Me The Space Cowboy", stating that Ar'Nox will someday come back when Wayne least expects it.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of "Honey, It's No Fun Being An Illegal Alien", the Men in Black want revenge on the Szalinskis, but the writers never got to make an episode as such since.
  • Shout-Out: To South Park, when a boy named Kenny is killed in "From Honey, with Love", and Nick notices before being corrected (it was really a midget assassin). Subverted, since Nick only says Kenny's name and not the actual quote for when Kenny always gets killed.
  • Show Some Leg: In "Honey, It's Doomsday", Diane does this to distract a general planning to blow up an asteroid headed toward earth (which Wayne had discovered was inhabited). In "From Honey, with Love", Wayne develops a fez that hypnotizes any onlooker into thinking the wearer is an attractive woman in a negligee.
  • Spy Fiction: "From Honey, With Love" parodies this. Wayne uses his gadgets to help a Bond-like Canadian spy agency take down a ruthless mastermind, and the family gets roped into being his back-up at the villain's glamorous party.
  • Take That!: The Grim Reaper does not like Meet Joe Black starring Brad Pitt.
  • This Is Going to Be Huge: In "Honey, We're Stuck in the 70's", this is said of Ford Pintos and the U.S. switching to metric.
  • Time Machine: In addition to the shrink ray, Wayne also has a time machine in the attic that has been used in several episodes.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Several characters would have at least one episode where they do this, but Amy is more prone to this in the show than anyone else.
  • Urban Legends: The Halloween Episode features a bunch of ones, including the Hook Hand and the Sewer Gator, being brought to life as Hard Light holograms. The big twist is that Nick's newest friend David Foaf is himself an urban legend, being the friend of a friend alluded to in all the stories. Wayne has to invent a new blaster to disrupt the holograms and send them back where they belong.
  • Vanity License Plate: The family car has one reading "PAT PEND".
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: In "From Honey, with Love", secret agent Dalton Pierce contracts Wayne for this very purpose.
  • Worthy Opponent: In "Honey, I'm Dreaming... But Am I?", Morpheus admits he is impressed with Amy's abilities in the dreamscape and her passing his test.
  • Yandere: F.R.A.N. becomes obsessed with Wayne, who created her, and was jealous of Diane, so much that she tries to kill her!

Alternative Title(s): Honey I Shrunk The Kids The TV Show