LazyTown is a 2004 children's show produced in Iceland, the brain child of former athlete Magnús Scheving, who also plays the hero, Sportacus. Its focus is promoting healthy eating and exercise. While the franchise began as books, then a series of plays, it was with the show where it became a worldwide phenomenon, so the majority of this page covers the show.
Stephanie, our main character, is a new arrival in LazyTown. She quickly befriends the other kids (all puppets), but learns that nobody in LazyTown plays outside or does sports. Which is just fine by Robbie Rotten, the town's resident Harmless Villain, who likes nothing more than to spend every day in his lair under LazyTown eating cake, sleeping and generally doing nothing at all. Enter Sportacus, an incredibly athletic superhero, who encourages all the kids to eat healthily and play outside, disturbing poor Robbie's sleep. So Once an Episode, Robbie comes up with a scheme to make LazyTown lazy again, usually by getting rid of Sportacus or somehow tricking the kids, or sometimes just kidnapping them, usually by dressing up in ridiculous outfits. Then Sportacus does a billion backflips and saves them all! After which there is more dancing from Stephanie and a coda with Robbie Rotten.
Although the original audio of each episode is in English, the show is filmed in Garðabær, Iceland, and the creator and the majority of the crew are Icelandic, resulting in cross-cultural weirdness.
The television show is not the first version of the story, though it is the first to be shown outside Iceland. The previous versions were books and musicals both on stage and CD, and were all in Icelandic and set in the village of Latibær, meaning LazyTown. The child characters in the Latibær musicals were all played by Caucasian adult humans. While the basics of each character remained similar between the last Latibær production and LazyTown, several characters were dropped along the way, and those remaining were given more English names for LazyTown. The show's success led to additional stage plays performed around the world with varying storylines.
LazyTown was commissioned by Nickelodeon and aired on the Nick family of channels in the US, the UK, Australia, and some Asian territories. Exclusive content such as interviews and behind-the-scenes shorts were aired on Nick Jr. during broadcasts of the show. The 'magazine format' LazyTown Extra (2008) is a co-production with The BBC.
After a long hiatus, new installments of the program began airing in 2013, with Chloe Lang taking over the role of Stephanie from Julianna Rose Mauriello. The show wrapped up for good in 2014. In August 2018, actor Stefan Karl, who played Robbie Rotten, passed away after a two-year battle with cancer.
LazyTown provides examples of:
- 555: In "Chef Rottenfood", this is combined with Ridiculously Long Phone Number with a phone number that's nothing but 5s that seems to keep going and going.
- Absentee Actor: "Robbie's Dream Team" is notable for being the only LazyTown episode to completely omit Ziggy.
- Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Robbie often schemes to give games ridiculously high stakes, like Sportacus leaving town forever if he loses.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: In "The First Day of Summer", Robbie falls in his own trap, leading to what looks like a sewer that is so large that his voice echoes inside.
- Achievements in Ignorance: Pixel invents an automatic tooth-brushing machine, apparently without knowing what a toothbrush is.
- Actionized Adaptation: The books and plays had a lot of exercise but relatively little in the way of action, while LazyTown has quite a few action-packed episodes and situations where characters are in peril.
- Adaptation Distillation: The Latibaer plays greatly streamlined the story compared to the books, taking out plot-irrelevant characters and narration, focusing more on the main cast and their personalities, and foreshadowing events more.
- Adaptation Personality Change: Sportacus was more manipulative and aggressive in the first play compared to later versions, though he was still on the side of good.
- Adapted Out: Some characters didn't migrate from the stage plays.
- Penny, a money-wasting beggar who was never seen after the first play.
- Jives, another kid in town. His house can still be seen in several episodes.
- Officer Obtuse, the actual lawman, who had his role taken by Sportacus.
- Hannin, the grumpy rooster who served as a narrator in the second play was phased out entirely.
- Debbie, the woman Miss Busybody gossips with over the phone. She may still exists though, just not mentioned by name.
- A Day in the Limelight: Robbie Rotten has one in "The First Day of Summer", where after the townspeople head to the beach he sees he's the only person left in LazyTown, to his delight. However, he quickly gets lonely. Fortunately, he actually gets a bone thrown for him at the end. It's a heartwarming episode.
- Adorkable: While Sportacus is conventionally attractive, well-muscled and very fitness-oriented, many fans consider him adorkable due to his constant optimism, boyish over-excitement, hopeless naiveté and awkward English. His baby-blue eyes and cheesy grin only help the matter.
- Aesop Amnesia: In the early seasons, Sportacus teaches the kids the importance of eating healthy, exercising often and being kind to each other, but by the next episode they're back to their bad habits.
- All Is Well That Ends Well: Sometimes Robbie's schemes are legitimately dangerous or affect the entire town, but by the end everyone wraps it up with the happy "Bing Bang" song.
- Ambiguously Gay: Robbie Rotten. Despite claiming to hate Sportacus and wanting him to leave the town, Robbie sure spends a lot of time talking about Sportacus, touching Sportacus and jumping into his arms whenever the slightly-above-average hero shows up.
- Ambiguously Human: Sportacus is faster and more agile than any of the human characters and can pull off stunts that most people could only dream of. He also keeps his ears conspicuously hidden under his hat at all times. While nothing has been confirmed on the American show, he's an Elf in the Iceland dub and in the original plays. In the U.S. version, Robbie sometimes refers to him as the "blue sports elf," though this is used as an insult.
- And I Must Scream:
- Robbie turning into a music box at the end of one episode. He gets better.
- Robbie freezing Sportacus, the mayor, Stephanie and Ziggy in place with a remote control in the appropriately named episode "Remote Control". It's implied that they can still feel the passage of time while frozen.
- And Then What?: When Robbie finally manages to capture Sportacus in "Robbie's Dream Team," he is at a loss on what to do next and starts pacing around town trying to figure it out. Ultimately subverted when he's more than satisfied to shoot Sportacus out of a cannon.
- And the Rest: In the episode Defeeted, Sportacus says, "I'd better go practice my move! I don't want to disappoint Stephanie...or anyone else."
- Animal Disguise: Robbie Rotten disguised himself as a gorilla twice, first in "Play Day" to scare the kids to make them stop playing and then in "Pixel TV" to climb on Pixel's roof in order to disable the satellite dish. He also disguises himself as a dinosaur in "Cry Dinosaur" because he was convinced Sportacus is afraid of them.
- Animesque: Between Stephanie's male fans and pink hair, and the cartoony world, non-fans have mistakenly assumed LazyTown is Japanese or influenced by anime.
- Anti-Role Model: Robbie, and to an extent, everyone else in the town excluding Stephanie and Sportacus.
- Anvil on Head: In one episode, Robbie attempts to knock Sportacus out by putting a small anvil on one side of a seesaw and catapulting it at him, but misjudges it and it hits him on the head.
- Art Evolution: The show received a minor Big Budget Beef-Up starting with season 2. The green screen effects became much more convincing, the sets became larger in scope and more dynamic, and the puppet characters received new puppets, complete with moving eyebrows.
- Art Shift: The second half of the episode "Once Upon A Time" takes place inside a storybook and features the characters in a 2-D animated art style similar to that of Disney.
- The Artifact: The tone for "Master of Disguise" switches from slow and sneaky to happy and upbeat. In the original Icelandic show, Robbie (named Glanni here) sings the song while switching between himself and his disguise identity, Richie Rich; when Robbie sings, the tone is sneaky, but when Richie sings, it's upbeat. When the song was rewritten for the TV show, the concept was omitted, but the arrangement stayed the same.
- Artifact Title: In-universe. LazyTown used to live up to its name. But thanks to Stephanie and Sportacus, it doesn't anymore.
- Ascended Meme:
- Several songs from the show have been turned into memes with people editing them in various ways, with "We Are Number One" being one of the most popular, which coincided with Robbie Rotten's actor Stefan Karl being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This then lead to taking advantage of the meme's popularity to donate to Stefan Karl's cancer fund. Capitalizing on the meme, the official YouTube channel uploaded "We Are Number One but it's the original and it's 1 hour long", with promises to release the instrumental for the song. They did, and later gave out the stems for the song.
- The official channel also uploaded "Mine Song but 'Mine' is replaced with 'Pirate'!, killing two birds with one stone.
- Even before the official YouTube channel started doing it, acknowledging the memes goes back even farther. In "LazyTown's Greatest Hits", Robbie picks "You Are a Pirate" as his favorite LazyTown song.
- Audience Participation: A majority of the live shows are interactive in some way, with the audience cheering and booing when prompted, working out with the cast, and helping save LazyTown from Robbie's machinations.
- Badass Mustache: Sportacus.
- Bad is Good and Good is Bad: Robbie Rotten. Even one of his songs is called "Good to be Bad."
- Banana Peel: In "Robbie's Dream Team," Robbie demonstrates this to the titular dream-team of Robbie look-alikes as a potential plan to defeat Sportacus by dropping several banana peels on the ground. They promptly slip on them on and fall to the ground.Robbie: What are you doing?!
- Be Careful What You Wish For: This happens to Robbie Rotten in "The First Day of Summer." He wishes that everyone else in LazyTown would just disappear and seemingly gets his wish when they all head off to play at the beach. He quickly realizes, however, that all of the things that he enjoys about being a villain— the setting of traps, hatching evil schemes, etc., just aren't much fun without anyone there to actually scheme against. He ends up falling into one of his own traps, and when Sportacus comes to rescue him, everyone else follows. He's so happy to see them that he even joins them for the singing and dancing of the episode-ending "Bing Bang Song."
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Robbie.
- Evil Eyebrows: Robbie
- Bizarrchitecture: Just try to find a building, door, window, or structure that isn't curved, bent, or warped in some way.
- Blithe Spirit: Stephanie is theoretically responsible for helping to get everyone exercising again. Sportacus is also new to the town at the beginning of the show and wants to inspire the kids to eat healthy and become fit.
- Bottle Episode: Pixelspix and LazyTown's Greatest Hits take place in smaller locations than normal.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Done surprisingly often for a kids show, with Robbie Rotten being the character most likely to do so.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Robbie is the epitome of this trope. He prides himself in being lazy, and even schemes to make the rest of the town as lazy as he is, yet he is easily the most brilliant person in the entire town and is able to create anything out of anything. He even has a microwave that makes inventions for him. Ironically, due to Robbie's constant attempts to make Lazy Town lazy via elaborate traps, machines, and costumes, he becomes one of the most active residents.
- Brats with Slingshots: Trixie in the original stage version.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Sportacus refers to fruits and vegetables in general as "sports candy."
- Canon Immigrant: Roboticus originated in a LazyTown stage show in 2011, with the episode of the same name being based on the play.
- Can't Argue with Elves: Partially subverted in the original Latibær plays. Íþróttaálfurinn (Sportacus) doesn't exactly lecture the humans on how to live better, healthier lives. Instead, he teaches them.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Robbie Rotten. His name says it all.
- Catch Phrase:Sportacus: "Someone's in trouble!"
Stephanie: "There's always a way!"
Robbie Rotten: "I Meant to Do That!"
Stingy: "[object that may but usually doesn't belong to him] is mine!"
- Character Development: Stephanie's friends become more active and well-behaved as the series progresses.
- Chest Insignia: Sportacus' '10'.
- The Chew Toy: Robbie.
- Chewbacca Defense: On the rare occasion Robbie Rotten's disguises are doubted he often resorts to saying things like "Have you ever been to [x] school" and other badgering questions that the characters can't refute.
- Clark Kenting: Many of Robbie's disguises are rather flimsy. Yet somehow always fool everyone until his hat, wig, or moustache fall off.
- Taken to the extreme in "Play Day" where his hat falls off and not one person yells "Robbie Rotten!" like they usually do.
- Clip Show: "Pixelspix", "Dear Diary", "LazyTown's Greatest Hits" and "Sportacus on the Move" all use more than one recycled clip from past episodes.
- Cool Airship: Sportacus' airship.
- Couch Gag: Most episodes start with Sportacus doing something in his airship.
- Costume-Test Montage: In "LazyTown's New Superhero", Stephanie tries on new superhero costumes.
- Crying Wolf: In one episode, Ziggy was playing pranks by saying untrue things, such as there being a monkey playing trumpet outside or Trixie having a spider on her shoulder. The other kids get sick of it, and decide to ignore him, then, when he stumbles on Robbie plotting out loud in a cow costume, they refuse to believe he saw a talking, evil cow with a catapult.
- Cryptic Background Reference: The first episode has the Mayor lamenting how awful the town is, and notes that when the town was previously in trouble, they would call for help from a guy with a big number 9 on his shirt. With Sportacus being number 10, the implication is that Number Nine was the town's previous savior who left or disappeared for unknown reasons. This is even more cryptic with the fact that Robbie knows who Number Nine was while the Mayor only read about it.
- Cultural Translation:
- The BBC partly re-dubbed the show, with British voice actors speaking for puppet characters originally voiced by Americans. However, the human characters' American and Icelandic accents were untouched. Additionally, they seem to have left them all alone for LazyTown Entertainment/BBC co-production LazyTown Extra.
- The entire show underwent a massive overhaul when it hit American shores. The town itself was made brighter and more colorful, most of the live-action characters were turned into cute puppets (and some were gotten rid of altogether), Sportacus was changed from an Elf to a superhero, and so on. While the show still retains some of its weird/strange foreignness, it's got nothing on the original Icelandic plays.
- Dark Reprise: Inverted with this live show, which has Mayor Meanswell singing a lighter version of Robbie's "Fun to be the Mayor" song.
- Darker and Edgier: A 2014 stage play called Ævintýri í Latabæ hearkens back to the original plays in terms of dark content, as Robbie takes over LazyTown by force with an army of robots and has a giant robot dog at his command.
- Dastardly Whiplash: Robbie Rotten may not have the loftiest of goals (he just wants the kids to be lazy), but he more than makes up for it with the kind of elaborate costumes and schemes that define this trope. In an inversion of this trope, the good guy Sportacus "sports" the mustache, while the villain Robbie is clean-shaven.
- Deadpan Snarker: You don't think the perpetually cheerful and optimistic Genki Girl Stephanie would be snarky, huh? Well, you're wrong. She mainly was this a lot in the earlier episodes of Season 1, especially in "Lazy Scouts". She also was this when she got angry in several episodes such as "Sportafake", "My Treehouse", "Hero for a Day" and "Prince Stingy", but in later episodes of Season 1, this completely phased out, and she started to become more of The Pollyanna than this.
- Robbie Rotten can be this sometimes, especially in "Prince Stingy".
- Stingy was this a whole lot. Since he is greedy and selfish sometimes, he can snark a lot, especially in the Extra episodes.
- Denser and Wackier: The show is this in relation to the plays which it was based on. Although the original plays were still cartoony in some aspects like the set design, they were much quieter and lacked the slapstick and zany humor LazyTown is known for. Season 4 features many plots that are outlandish and strange, such as going to space ("Let's Go to the Moon"), encountering trolls ("The Baby Troll"), and time travel ("The Last Sportscandy").
- Descriptive Ville
- Determinator: It's a wonder why Robbie Rotten even bothers with his schemes to get Sportacus to leave LazyTown anymore, since he has failed so many times before. His plans might not be up to scratch, but you can't fault his determination.
- Disguised in Drag: Robbie disguised as "The Birthday Fairy" and "Miss Roberta". While Robbie was disguised as the former, Trixie called him even "girlier" than Stephanie. He's also disguised himself as an old lady, and in the unfinished episode "The Lazy Dance" as a female dance instructor.
- Dub Name Change: Both the show and characters names were changed for an English audience:
- Latibær to LazyTown - Literal translation
- Solla Stirða (Solla Inflexible) to Stephanie
- Íþróttaálfurinn (The Sports Elf) to Sportacus
- Glanni Glæpur (Reckless Crime) to Robbie Rotten
- Siggi Sæti (Siggi Sweet) to Ziggy
- Goggi Mega to Pixel
- Halla Hrekkjusvín (Halla Prankster) to Trixie
- Nenni Níski (Nenni Cheapskate) to Stingy
- Bæjarstjórinn (The Mayor) to Mayor Milford Meanswell
- Stína Símalína (Stína Phoneline) to Bessie Busybody
- Also, when the show was exported to other countries, some of the names were changed over there as well:
- Robbie Rotten is Freddie Faulig in Germany, Robbie Rancido in Italy, Robbie Retos in Spain, Rosszver Robi in Hungary, Robbie Reles in Portugal, Робби Злобный in Russia, Robbie Zgniłek in Poland, Robbie Rådden in Denmark, Robbie le Vilain in France, Robbie Putrezitul in Romania, Robbie Rähmä in Finland and Кесірбек Робби/Kesirbek Robbı in Kazakhstan.
- Stingy is Solomè in Italy, Meini in Germany, Sovina in Portugal and Stigu in Finland.
- Ziggy and Trixie have been renamed to Zico and Ticha for the European Portuguese dub.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- The original books the plays were based on are very weird, with many characters appearing there and never again, the Sun being a guardian of LazyTown, a marked lack of Íþróttaálfurinn, a Department of Redundancy Department narrator who constantly switches between tenses, and much less foreshadowing than in the plays that succeeded them.
- The plays are this to the show, as the child characters are played by adults, some characters were cut from the show entirely, characters' personalities were different from the show, and there was a copious amount of Toilet Humour.
- Pixel's voice in the original version of "Defeeted" is by Noel MacNeal as a test for Pixel's voice. The version shown on Nick Jr. features his standard voice instead, along with rewritten lines, also appearing on a Nick Jr. DVD in that form.
- The episode "Sports Day" features more simplistic looking green screen backgrounds and somewhat darker lighting than the standard episode.
- Edutainment Show: Meant to teach viewers the benefits of being active.
- Expository Theme Tune: Welcome to LazyTown/A place where you'll wanna stay/You'll meet Robbie with his Rotten plan/ And Sportacus saving the day/Stephanie is new in town/And soon she and Ziggy are friends/
- Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: Robbie.
- Facepalm: Stephanie does a double facepalm during the "Lazy Scouts" song.
- Failure Is the Only Option: For Robbie Rotten's schemes, natch.
- The Fair Folk: Although he got downright cuddly in later adaptations, the forerunner of the character who became Sportacus is damn scary, though technically good, in the first play. There are times you'll start wondering if Áfram Latibær's moral isn't actually supposed to be "behave, or the big bad scary Sports Elf will get you".
- the outfits worn by Sportacus and Robbie are a little too tight for a kids' show.
- Then there's Stephanie's short pink dress, though that might not be intentional considering she is supposed to be eight years old.
- Felony Misdemeanor: As far as Sportacus and the mayor are concerned, the kids not wanting to play outside is just as serious as a natural disaster:Sportacus: Mr Mayor, what's the trouble?
Mayor: Actually... it's that nobody wants to go outside and play!
Sportacus: What?! That is terrible!
- Fright Beside Them: One episode has Robbie Rotten dressing up as a ghost and scaring everyone around town. Robbie tries to scare Ziggy, however Ziggy assumes the ghost is actually Trixie and does not get scared. However Ziggy then sees Trixie and the rest of the Lazy Town kids are in fact on top of a tower. Now knowing the ghost can't be Trixie, Ziggy gets terrified of the ghost Robbie and flees.
- Funny Background Event: As already mentioned above, Stephanie's double facepalm during the "Lazy Scouts" song. In fact, throughout a good portion of the song, Stephanie is standing in the background, facepalming, rolling her eyes, putting her hands on her hips, shaking her head, or otherwise expressing disgust.
- Gadgeteer Genius:
- Robbie Rotten can build anything out of anything he has in his lair. He even has a Microwave which creates the inventions for him.
- Pixel is able to build almost anything, from hovering cameras, to a device that transports people into storybooks, to a remote control which can control literally everything, including random electronic things he has in his room to people. In Secret Agent Zero, the 007 parody Episode, he played the role of Q. And he is 9 years old.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "The Greatest Gift," Robbie's birthday present for Ziggy is a bag of hard cookies that he says are an old family recipe. He then warns him that they give you a little gas and we can hear a small fart sound in the background.
- The Ghost: Stingy's father is mentioned but never seen. In the plays Jives had a mother who was heard but also never seen.
- Glad I Thought of It: In "Birthday Surprise," Stephanie suggests that they should throw Sportacus the greatest birthday party ever. Stingy says no to this, and then suggests that they throw Sportacus the greatest birthday party ever.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Sportacus has a pair of wide, friendly baby-blues that appear almost photoshopped in their blueness. On the other hand, Robbie not only has pale grey eyes, but also sports highly-arched eyebrows and heavy purple eye-shadow to emphasize the fact that he is indeed the villain.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Oddly, inverted by the hero Sportacus, who wears a pencil mustache so sharp it looks like it could double as a scalpel. This is further inverted by Harmless Villain Robbie Rotten, who is clean shaven. His otherwise meticulous grooming is also a bit off on the evil-dress-o-meter, but being in a dark purple color scheme helps.
- Graceful Loser: When Sportacus loses the first soccer match in "Soccer Sucker," Stephanie is distraught but Sportacus accepts the loss gracefully, saying he did his best.
- Happy Dance: "Bing Bang"
- HeelFace Turn: Robbie's three villains he orders for the infamous "We Are Number One" musical number end up playing football with Sportacus, declaring that playing sports is much more fun than being a villain.
- Helping Granny Cross the Street
- Robbie Rotten, poorly-disguised as a Boys Scouts leader, is asked by the kids whether they'll learn how to earn badges, such as performing this trope. Robbie then decides to do this to Miss Busybody, who's about to cross the road, and makes her do it several times very quickly until she collapses in the street.
- In another installment, "Robbie's Dream Team," Robbie's disguise of the day is a little old lady crossing the street, in order to lure Sportacus into helping him. After Sportacus does so, he "thanks" him by giving him a fake apple that sends Sportacus into a sugar crash, allowing the titular dream-team of Robbie lookalikes to drag him to Robbie's lair.
- Heroes Act, Villains Hinder: Stephanie and Sportacus want the residents of LazyTown to be proactive and healthy. Robbie creates schemes to hinder them.
- High-Class Glass: Robbie Rotten sports it for his "Meansbad" disguise in "Secret Agent Zero."
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In "LazyTown's New Superhero," Robbie Rotten creates a robot dog that attacks whenever anyone says the word "trouble." After setting it loose, he pats himself on the back and says that "I think I'll have an ice cream cone. In fact, I think I'll make it a double." The dog, hearing "double," turns to its attention to him and he cries "No! I said, double, not trouble!" at which point the dog starts chasing after him. And this certainly isn't the only time that he's laid low by one of his own plans.
- Holding Out for a Hero: Sportacus came to the town with the aim of helping the kids live more healthy and active lives, but he seems to be the only form of law enforcement in the town and ends up spending most of his time rescuing the kids from dangerous situations.
- Hypocritical Humor: Robbie may be one of the the most active people in LazyTown due to his schemes, despite supposedly being the laziest.
- I Meant to Do That: Robbie frequently does this. So much so that it's his Catch Phrase
- Incredibly Lame Pun: There's an episode where Robbie switches Sportacus's shoes with fake shoes that make his feet go crazy. The title? Defeeted.
- In-Series Nickname:
- Trixie occasionally refers to Stephanie as "Pinkie."
- Robbie sometimes calls Sportacus, "Sportakook" or "Sportaflop".
- Intergenerational Friendship: Sportacus and Stephanie have this, with the former being an adult and the latter being a tween. They met after she contacted him for help and soon bonded thanks to their mutual athleticism and perkiness.
- Invincible Hero: Sportacus has no character flaws except being naive, rarely fails at anything he tries and is hero-worshiped by everyone except Robbie Rotten.
- Jackass Genie: In the episode "The Lazy Genie", Robbie acquires a genie, and his first two wishes are for all the fruit and vegetables and all the sports equipment to disappear, but he forgets to specify a duration, and they return not 5 minutes later. Robbie then uses his final wish to get rid of Sportacus - but the Genie gets rid of Robbie instead because he found him "annoying".
- Judgment of Solomon: In "Who's Who?", the question of which Stephanie is real and which is the clone Robbie created is settled with a dance-off. The clone and Stephanie do similar routines, but the first ends hers with a jump Stephanie did earlier, and the second doesn't. Judges Robbie, Mayor Meanswell, and Ms. Busybody think that the clone is the actual Stephanie because of her superior skill, but Trixie figures out that the second dancer could have easily done the jump, but deliberately chose not to—and only the real Stephanie would have enough confidence in herself and faith in her friends to do that.
- Kangaroo Court: One episode featured Robbie Rotten stealing a cake and framing Sportacus. In a trial where Robbie acted as a prosecutor, he asked Sportacus questions like if it was true nobody saw him not eating the cake. In the end, he played Mayor Meanswell like a puppet.
- Kill and Replace: A live UK show had the more family-friendly "imprison and replace" trope where Robbie captured Sportacus and replaced him as a fake, albeit with an Implied Death Threat attached since Sportacus is chained up with Cement Shoes.
- Kryptonite Factor: Sportacus' is (refined) sugar; eating any sugar renders him immediately comatose. The exception is the sugar in fruits, which — alongside vegetables — restores him to normal if processed sugar weakens him.
- Lampshade Hanging: "Secret Agent Zero" is just lousy with this. "That's not real. It's a puppet!"
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Robbie has a really big chin that he's quite proud of, but he's not at all 'manly' in other ways... and he's a villain.
- Large Ham: Stefán Karl Stefánsson isn't called "the Icelandic Jim Carrey" for nothing, as Robbie Rotten may be the closest humanity will ever come to a living, breathing cartoon character.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Sportacus gets this courtesy of Robbie in the episode "Sportacus Who?"
- Lazy Bum: Subverted with Robbie, whose efforts to get everyone else to stop doing things or just ruin their day, actually take a lot of work; this was lampshaded at least once.
- Lean and Mean: Robbie's actor is 6 foot 2.5 inches tall, four inches taller than the actor playing the heroic Sportacus, but far less muscular. The vertical stripes on his default costume emphasize his skinnier frame.
- Left the Background Music On: In the episode "Rockin' Robbie", when Robbie is moaning about how the others are listening to a music we hear his signature theme playing in the background. He then yells stop the music, which then stops and we cut to the speakers shaking as though they have just stopped.
- Leitmotif: "Master of Disguise" is Robbie's main theme, as the tune occasionally plays as he is plotting, scheming or otherwise acting on a dastardly deed.
- Limited Social Circle: LazyTown has only nine major characters with occasional guests.
- Limited Wardrobe: All the puppet characters have had other costumes, while except for disguises Robbie never wears anything but his suit or his pyjamas and robe, and Sportacus has only ever worn something else when he changed shoes, or added a scarf on a cold day.
- Literal Genie: In one episode, Robbie acquires a genie, and his first two wishes are for all the fruit and vegetables and all the sports equipment to disappear, but he forgets to specify a duration, and they return not 5 minutes later.
- Local Reference: Episode "The Great Crystal Caper" showed Robbie trying to trade with Stingy a bag of coins from all over the world, "including Iceland." There is also "KR" written on the said bag.
- Logging onto the Fourth Wall. The episode "Pixelspix" had pixelspix.com, which redirected to the show's official website. There's also a Flash game based off the episode.
- Mad Scientist: Robbie Rotten sometimes shows this kind of characterization, complete with a stereotypical Technicolor Science table full of glassware and smoking liquids.
- Magic Countdown: "The Laziest Town" has one of the more extreme examples of this trope, as 15 in-universe seconds take about 2 minutes of runtime and there's about 30 seconds between the clock almost hitting zero and when it actually hits zero.
- Meaningful Name: The only two of LazyTown's nine recurring characters this doesn't apply to in some form are Stephanie and Ziggy.
- Meaningless Villain Victory: Robbie successfully makes off with a trophy in "My Treehouse" only for it to break immediately.
- Mickey Mousing: A lot of actions in the show are synced up to the background music, especially Sportacus's gymnastics.
- Minimalist Cast: There are only nine main characters in total.
- Minion with an F in Evil: Robbie hires three of them in Robbie's Dream Team. Justified, since they're actually performers who happen to play villains.
- Mr. Fanservice: This show has gained a rather large fanbase of older women who regard both Sportacus and Robbie Rotten as sex symbols. Magnús Scheving has expressed surprise and happiness over the fact.
- Mythology Gag:
- In "Sportacus Who?", Robbie calls Sportacus "The Blue Elf", a reference to the original play.
- Robbie's plan in "Dr. Rottenstein" has him put spots everywhere to make everyone think vegetables are poison, a Lighter and Softer version of Glanni Glæpur poisoning all the vegetables in the original plays, which also made people break out in spots.
- Two separate episodes have Robbie fake his way to being Mayor, a reference to the stage play where Glanni was legally elected Mayor. The second episode also has Mayor Meanswell in an Easter Bunny costume, which was also derived from the play.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Robbie Rotten's name speaks for itself. Although once you meet the guy...
- Near-Villain Victory:
- "The Laziest Town" has the closest Robbie ever comes to victory. LazyTown must stay active all day to raise the energy meter to 100 in order to keep from being the laziest town on Earth before 5PM. Robbie believes that if LazyTown gets this title, Sportacus will leave LazyTown for good out of embarrassment. At literally the last second, Sportacus finally loses all his energy and can no longer do tricks to have the meter rise to 100, but Robbie does a victory dance that ends up being active enough to raise the bar to 100, saving LazyTown.
- "Secret Agent Zero" has one of Robbie's most successful plans, as he fakes his way to being elected Mayor, outlaws sportscandy and sports equipment, traps Sportacus, and endangers Mayor Meanswell and his favorite flower with a trap. He's only foiled when Sportacus is able to jostle an apple into the trap and break free.
- In "Roboticus," Robbie mail-orders a robot superhero that takes Sportacus's place as town hero, then starts destroying everyone's sports equipment. When Sportacus and the kids challenge Roboticus to a race, Robbie endangers everyone and successfully traps Sportacus in a pit, blocking it off with his bulldozer. Sportacus wins the race by a very narrow margin.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: In season 2 Stephanie, despite very visible growth in the season break, is still played as a young girl.
- No-Sell: In "School Scam," Robbie disguises himself as a professor at the children's school and tries to replace every lesson with using books as pillows for a nap. This kind of scheme has worked in the past, but this time, the kids absolutely refuse to buy into the idea and repeatedly demand that he teach them instead.
- Ode to Food: "Cooking by the Book" is a song about how it's easy to make cake if you follow the recipe and don't use an unreliable one.
- Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: Parodied in the episode "Rottenbeard" where Robbie Rotten, disguised as a pirate, pulls out his grocery list instead of the treasure map.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Both Sportacus and Robbie sometimes slip into Icelandic accents.
- Our Elves Are Better: Sportacus was a traditional Icelandic Elf named Íþróttaálfurinn ("The Sports Elf") in the original Latibær plays. In addition to being amazingly fit and agile, he also had magical powers. While he was changed into a superhero for the TV series, it's still possible he is still an Elf, as there's several elements still present, such as that his ears are always covered, he owns a magical crystal and can apparently grant wishes, he leads a very hidden life and it would certainly explain why he is able to perform such amazing feats in every episode.
- Pac-Man Fever: Most of Pixel's video games feature retro graphics and sounds, and there's a truly interesting example in the pilot episode — when Robbie tosses him a copy of "Super Power Lizards", the cue that plays is an actual repurposed bit of video game music. Specifically, it's the title theme from Batman: Return of the Joker for Gameboy.
- Panty Shot: Stephanie had frequent ones in the earliest episodes.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: No one ever realises the person causing trouble who looks like Robbie Rotten in a silly outfit IS, in fact, Robbie Rotten in a silly outfit. This is especially hilarious because his cover is blown at the end of EVERY episode, yet the townspeople will still fall for his Paper-Thin Disguise in the next episode.
- Subverted in the episode "Defeeted" where the mayor recognises Robbie straight away, even though the villain is wearing one of his better disguises: a superhero outfit. The Mayor also sees through his fake mustache in "The Laziest Town". Robbie rips it off and explains he forgot to shave.
- Parental Abandonment: None of the characters except Stingy are said to have parents, and seem to live completely alone.
- Parental Bonus: In "Robbie's Greatest Misses" he says "Sportacus, come out and plaaay!" complete with clacking his cow disguise hooves together.
- People Puppets: "Remote Control" has Pixel invent a device that can control time, objects and people. Once Robbie gets the remote he has fun controlling Sportacus before freezing him in midair.
- Pimp Duds: Robbie Rotten isn't a pimp, but his standard outfit looks somewhere between a pimp outfit, a spandex catsuit and that of a refined 1890s gentleman. Then there's the original Icelandic stage play, where he wore the full pimp outfit, complete with cane.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Stephanie and Sportacus.
- Pirate: The episode "Rottenbeard" fits this trope to a tee.
- Pirate Song: In "Rottenbeard", the pirate Rottenbeard who is actually Robbie Rotten in disguise takes the children on a fake treasure hunt and sings "You Are A Pirate" with them. The song talks about adventure, the freedom of a pirate and the treasure hunt.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: According to the "You Are a Pirate" song, nothing much is required of being a pirate. "Do what you want, 'cause a pirate is free... If you love to sail the sea, you are a pirate!"
- Plucky Girl: Stephanie. Sportacus is a male version.
- Power-Up Food: The "sports candy", particularly if eaten by Sportacus, but sometimes characters will also benefit from eating them.
- Race Lift: The English language of the show turned the Icelandic Latibær plays' red-headed hellion Halla and pale computer geek Goggi into Asian (and slightly less wild) Trixie and black (and possibly more computer-obsessed) Pixel. The mayor's skin also darkened several shades, but given he's closely related to a character who stayed white, and not very dark (and a puppet, so actor race gives no clues), it's unclear if he too had his race changed, or if he's just meant to be tanned.
- In the original play, Goggi was a white baldling wearing green glasses and pyjamas!
- And Sportacus was an Elf, so it's a species-lift as well.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Stingy.
- Road Sign Reversal: Robbie Rotten does this in "Little Pink Riding Hood" to trick Stephanie into getting lost in a forest.
- Robot Dog: Robbie built one of these. The dog attacks when the word 'trouble' is uttered. There's even a song about him.I love my purple ball of fluff / I'll flip a switch and turn him off
- Running Gag: Mayor's obsession with the President's visit.
- Santa Claus: One of Robbie's schemes involved dressing up as Santa. He later sang about it in his "Master of Disguise" song.I'm so glad that I'm so tricky, even so Saint Nicky.
- Save the Villain: Sportacus will usually do it for Robbie Rotten. In at least one episode, "LazyTown's New Superhero," Robbie then betrays that help by trying to leave Sportacus stranded on top of the billboard hiding the entrance to his lair, the same one that he was trapped on top of.
- Schemer: Robbie.
- Scooby Stack: In "Robbie's Dream Team", the three clones observe this way as Robbie tricks Sportacus with an old lady disguise.
- Scout-Out: "Lazy Scouts" has the organization by the same name, created by Robbie Rotten. His idea is that they essentially don't do all of the things you would normally associate with scouting groups.Robbie: We'll walk up a mountain, we'll go camping and always play outdoors!
- Screen Tap: Robbie in his Mayor Meanswell disguise takes a mallet and shatters the screen at the end of the "Fun to be the Mayor" song.
- Series Continuity Error: Between the first and second episodes. The former implies Sportacus is a newcomer: the previous hero wore a "9" whereas he wears a "10"; Sportacus says he's heard of LazyTown but still had to research it; Robbie Rotten shouts "Another one?!" when he first sees him; and Sportacus formally introduces himself to the townsfolk at the end. The latter, however, states that Sportacus taught everyone to play baseball the year before.
- Shout Out: In "Defeeted", Pixel's computer screen displays the question "What is 42?"
- Silly Walk: Robbie's trademark walk is to swing his arms from side to side in an overdramatic fashion, even if it's only a few steps.
- Slapstick: Robbie is prone to pratfalls.
- Stingy once got blasted by a taffy machine thrice in his face.
- Sleep Aesop: In "Sleepless in LazyTown, Robbie Rotten learns that people get energy from sleep, so he creates a "noisy ball" to prevent Sportacus from sleeping, so that he would get tired and lose a bet. Sportacus manages to get rid of the noisy ball and get enough sleep anyway. This episode was meant to teach kids about getting enough sleep.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: A children's show about healthy eating and exercise? It stars a cheerful little girl and a superhero? There's a musical montage every episode? It's definitely on the ideal side.
- Snap Back: A lot of episodes will have humorous misfortune befall Robbie at the end, like accidentally making a ton of clones of himself or being ejected to the moon. He's always fine come next episode.
- The Something Song:
- Spandex, Latex, or Leather
- Spin-Off: The show received one for British viewers only called LazyTown Extra in 2008. The show changed into an assortment of sketches, each one starring a different character. Sportacus' sketch was exercise-themed, Stephanie's sketch choreographed a dance, Ziggy's sketch showed him interacting with real people, and so on. The big difference was that there were new voice actors.
- Spoiled Brat: Stingy is obsessed with everything being his, and is the Token Evil Teammate of the kids.
- Spot the Imposter:
- When Robbie Rotten impersonates Sportacus the other characters can't tell the difference despite Robbie being, among other things, 4-5 inches taller and a lot less muscular. Stephanie suggests a race to tell them who is the real Sportacus, and Robbie wins because Sportacus is forced to forfeit the race halfway through to rescue Bessie. Stephanie realizes that the one who forfeited to rescue Bessie must be the real one, says so, and unmasks Robbie by pulling his false moustache off.
- Then there's the episode "Double Trouble" where Robbie impersonates the mayor, and once again everyone falls for it, despite the fact that Robbie looks nothing like the mayor. It only sort of works, though — Stephanie never really buys into it, and neither does Bessie.
- The third season presents "Little Pink Riding Hood" in which Robbie again dresses up as Sportacus, but it's even more obvious that something's well, rotten, in Denmark and in a parody of what happens in Little Red Riding Hood with Stephanie asking questions of Robbie.Stephanie: But why are your teeth so big?
Robbie: Why all these questions?!
- In another episode, Robbie uses a toy figurine of Stephanie to create a perfect replica of her who's much nastier, in the hope that everyone will hate her and thus make the actual Stephanie leave. The cast decides to have a dance-off to determine the truth; see Judgment of Solomon above for more.
- Starring Special Effects: The majority of the main cast are puppets.
- Steampunk: Elements of the genre can be seen in the mixing of 19th century visuals such as Robbie and Stingy's clothing, Sportacus' Dirigible, and the look of Robbie's lair, with modern europop music and high tech gadgets (everything from Pixel's house/inventions to Sportacus' high tech airship).
- Stealth Pun: Robbie Rotten makes one during the You Are A Pirate song. After the first chorus he turns to his parrot and repeats the line "You are a pirate!" but his pronunciation of "pirate" sounds an awful lot like "parrot".
- Also, from the same song, "You ARRRRRe a pirate!"
- Stock Scream: The Wilhelm Scream is heard in "Little Pink Riding Hood".
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: The "Spooky Song" plays this for drama. "Close your eyes, rest your head, time to go to... boo!"
- Sugar Bowl: While too much sugar in LazyTown is obviously a bad thing, the town overall is very sweet with fairly harmless conflict.
- Take That!: Robbie seems to deliver one to the slogan of the Boy Scouts in "Lazy Scouts."Robbie: Be slow and sluggish and slovenly and sleepy. Being ready isn't good... in fact, it's just creepy.
- Talk Like a Pirate: YOU AAAAARE A PIRATE!
- A Taste of Defeat: Sportacus does fail in two episodes, "Soccer Sucker" and "The Laziest Town."
- "Soccer Sucker" has Robbie order a soccer-playing robot that's so good at soccer it beats Sportacus 7 to 1 with a mix of cheating and just being better than him at one-on-one. When it rampages out of control, Sportacus has to team up with all the other kids to beat it in a rematch.
- "The Laziest Town" is about a yearly contest where everyone must do some type of physical activity or the town will be named "The Laziest Town on Earth." When the meter is at 90%, Sportacus tries to fill the last 10% but he tires out too soon. Robbie Rotten fills the gap with a victory dance.
- Team Rocket Wins:
- "Soccer Sucker" has Robbie order a soccer-playing robot that's so good at soccer it beats Sportacus 7 to 1 with a mix of cheating and just being better than him at one-on-one. When it goes out of control, Sportacus is only able to beat it through getting everyone else's help.
- "Robbie's Dream Team" is the only episode where Robbie successfully captures and incapacitates Sportacus, and his plan to shoot him out of town only fails because his henchmen fall asleep on guard duty and the kids are able to get Sportacus an apple.
- Team Spirit: While many of LazyTown's episodes revolve around the values of working together, there is one in particular that focuses on teamwork, complete with a song:Teamwork, do it together / Teamwork, friends forever,
We're all for one and one for all / We'll help each other stand tall,
- Theme Tune Roll Call:You'll meet Robbie with his rotten plan
And Sportacus saving the day
Stephanie is new in town
And soon, she and Ziggy are friends
With Pixel, Stingy and Trixie, too
They're gonna have a blast together!
- Thin Chin of Sin:
- Robbie Rotten has an extended chin aided by prosthetics. While the chin isn't as pointy as other examples on this entry, it's made to look more realistic, but it is still very long and sharp. Robbie is the main villain in the show and he is focused on making the inhabitants of lazy town as gluttonous and lazy as possible.
- Sportacus has a really big and sharp chin, but... he's a main hero in the show and he is focused on making the inhabitants of LazyTown as healthy and active as possible.
- Third-Person Person: Chef Pablo Fantastico sometimes slips into this.
- This Is My Side: Happens in "Birthday Surprise" after an argument between Stingy and Trixie. Robbie exploits this by building a giant wall to literally divide the town.
- Toilet Humour: The original plays had several bathroom jokes, usually revolving around Jives, Trixie, or Glanni.
- Token Human: Stephanie is the only human child, and the only female human, even though her uncle and every other townsperson is a puppet. The other two humans are the hero and the villain. Extra points for being the new kid, totally unfamiliar with the puppets' weird ways.
- Training Montage: Played with when Sportacus was training Ziggy to be a hero like him. The music even vaguely sounded like the Rocky music.
- Treasure Map: YOU ARE A PIRATE!We got us a map
That leads us to a hidden box
That's all locked up with locks
And buried deep away
We'll dig up the box
We know it's full of precious booty
Burst open the locks
And then we'll say "Hurray"!
- T-Word Euphemism: In "LazyTown's New Superhero," Robbie Rotten created a Robot Dog that attacked whenever it heard the word "trouble" because it was traditional on the series for Sportacus to shout "Someone's in trouble!" As such, "trouble" became "the T-word."
- Uncanceled: The final episode of the second season aired in October 2007; the third season premiered in the U.K. in April 2013 and the U.S. in May 2013.
- Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: In one episode Robbie orders Roboticus, a robot who can do everything Sportacus can do but better. In their rematch race Sportacus wins, even though he stopped to save all the kids from trouble along the way.
- Villain Exclusivity Clause: Robbie Rotten is the antagonist in every episode.
- Villain Song: Robbie Rotten gets quite a few of these. Most notable examples include Master of Disguise, Woof Woof Woof, Good To Be Bad, We are Number One and Fun To Be The Mayor.
- The infamous YOU ARE A PIRATE counts, if you consider "do what you want" to mean being lazy.
- Then there's Versti Fantur (Worst Villain) from one of the original LazyTown plays, which is arguably creepier and more sinister than it's remade counterpart "Master of Disguise".
- From the same play, there's Glaumbæjargengið (translated by the uploader as the "Party Town Gang" or the "Sound of Merriment Town Gang"), sung by Robbie's minions.
- For a non-Robbie Villain Song, we have the Greatest Genie of Everlasting Eternity.
- Depending on your views, I Am A Prince qualifies.
- Vocal Dissonance: LazyTown Extra has a fair share of this due to having different voice actors for some characters, and it can be jarring to hear if you already have their voice hard-wired into your mind.
- Wakeup Makeup: All three human characters have been shown waking while looking like they just stepped out of a make up chair.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Sportacus is rendered helpless by sugar, collapsing almost immediately.
- What Are Records?: This comes up in the episode "Purple Panther, Part 1" when the kids start a LazyTown Museum. Stingy brings in the mayor's old record player that he found lying around and none of the kids have any idea what it is, asking where you put the CD or connect the USB.
- What Have I Done: Robbie says this word for word after his scheme causes a chain of events that ends up with Sportacus's airship on a collision course with Pixel's house while Robbie is hanging out of the bottom of it. Sportacus barely averts the disaster in time.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Where LazyTown is located is never specified. Several times it's been shown that its surrounded by a wasteland filled with nothing but farmland and periodic telephone poles, with seasons 3 and 4 adding an oceanic beach and a forest. In addition, Wild Mass Guessing has put it everywhere from Iceland (where the show was made) to Scotland to the mountainous U.S. states.
- Widget Series: Between this and Bjork, many in the US are convinced that Iceland is an absolute cradle of lunacy.
- Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Robbie's plan in "The Laziest Town" hinges on being lazy enough to make LazyTown the official laziest town. While everyone else is moving around at top speed, he stands perfectly still and only moves to stop everyone else from moving. When Sportacus tires out too soon he almost wins, until Robbie's victory dance ends up saving the town.
- With Friends Like These...:
- The other kids can veer into this with regards to Stephanie. For example, in "LazyTown's New Superhero" Trixie says "Oh man if she's protecting us we're in real trouble."
- If his actor's comments are to be believed, Robbie Rotten qualifies as this towards everybody - especially Sportacus - because of how often he belittles, manipulates and endangers them.
- Workaholic: Sportacus literally says he doesn't know how to have a vacation in one episode.
- You Are Not Alone: From one of the original plays, the song Ég á Góðan Vin (I Have A Good Friend) song fits this trope to a tee."You are never alone / Even though someone tossed you aside.
You are never alone / Because you have me."
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
- You Just Ruined the Shot: Sportacus interrupts a game of pirates, thinking Stephanie's screams for help are genuine.
- You Mean "Xmas": The second season had a winter episode with no holiday at all, but featured a relyricked version of a song from the Icelandic forerunner's Christmas album as the episode's song.
- Zany Scheme: Robbie comes up with one nearly every episode.