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Series / Little Lunch

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Clockwise from top left: Debra Jo, Tamara, Melanie, Battie, Rory, Mrs Gonsha, and Atticus

Hey what you doing, everybody's moving,
It's time for little lunch!

Little Lunch is a 2015 Australian children's comedy TV series, based on a series of books by author Danny Katz. Using the mockumentary format popularised by shows such as The Office, the show follows the adventures a number of primary school students during their 'little lunch' (also known as recess, or snack, or morning tea, depending on where you went to school), as recounted by them. The six main characters are: Atticus, Battie, Debra Jo, Melanie, Rory and Tamara, as well as their teacher, Mrs. Gonsha. The show consists of one series of 26 15-minute episodes, as well as as two specials.

This show provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Kiss: In "The Relationship", Debra Jo agrees to kiss Rory on the hand he is holding against his cheek (It Makes Sense in Context). However, just as Debra Jo is leaning in, a Grade 6 girls runs past and hands him a note. Rory drops his hand to take the note, and Debra Jo kisses him on the cheek, to the shock of both of them.
  • Acting Unnatural: In "The Milk Bar", Debra Jo's attempt to act casual and not blab Rory's whereabouts to Mrs Gonsha results in her babbling incoherently about geography. And then being concerned that she got it wrong.
  • Actually Quite Catchy: During the argument in "The Girls Toilets", Melanie yells that "Boom Boom Pop Pop" is the most popular song on the radio. Listening outside, the boys agree, with Battie adding that he had seen Mr. Haliotis—the school's middle-aged P.E. teacher—singing and dancing to it.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Rory's behavioural issues are reminiscent of ADHD, Battie may be somewhere on the autism spectrum as well as having a tendency toward Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!.
  • Anger Born of Worry: In "The Nightmare Before Graduation", Debra Jo angrily yells at Rory for being late on the day he was scheduled to do the math test that would determine if he would go to high school or not. It's possible that her anger came from her worries about Rory not being able to make it. It turns out Rory was late because he was decorating the hall for graduation day with his parents so his classmates wouldn't have to miss out on a proper graduation.
  • Aside Glance: All the time, as is common in the mockumentary format.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Battie is notoriously distractable. Best demonstrated in "The Lost-And-Found Box":
    Battie: My dad says that I lose stuff because I get distrac... (tails off as as he starts staring at the rope in his hand he has been winding up)
  • Bad Liar: Debra Jo is terrible at lying as she tends to panic. A good example is in "The Milk Bar" where her simple attempt to not answer a question about Rory's whereabouts quickly turns into her babbling incoherently about geography.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Melanie. She's normally a Nice Girl who can be quite shy, but she also snapped from Tamara and Debra Jo's fighting and called them out for it in 'The Girls' Toilets', stood up for herself and told the winning joke in 'The Joke Competition' and strongly argued that Rory's pinecone echidna was a decaying possum's head in 'The Thing in the Sand'.
  • Big Brother Bully: In "The Oval", Melanie reveals that her brother buried her stuffed animals in the garden and he got into serious trouble.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Debra Jo. Most of the plot of "The Lost-And-Found Box" involves her losing her glasses and having to be guided by the rest of the kids to the lost-and-found box to look for them.
  • Building Is Welding: In "The Nightmare Before Graduation", in the absence of any new homework, Debra Jo is redoing all of her old assignments. Mrs Gonsha is walking past the classroom when she is distracted by the flash of arc welding. Looking inside, she ses Debra Jo in a welding mask who explains that she rebuilding her model solar system with a steel frame (although it turns out Mr Haliotis is the one doing the actual welding).
  • Calvinball: In "The Oval", Rory gets all of his friends to invent games to keep him out of trouble. When everyone gets bored and starts drifting away, he desperately attempts to combine all of the games into one game, which becomes a gigantic Calvinball.
    "It's not as confusing as it sounds."
    "No. It's exactly as confusing as it sounds!"
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Atticus thinks he is an excellent joke-teller, and continually attempts to tell his father's golfing jokes, which he doesn't understand.
    • In "The Joke Competition", Melanie's attempts to tell a joke fall apart because of her shyness. At first. She eventually decides to be brave and tells an amazing joke that makes all of her friends laugh (and eventually gets her sent to Rory's spot after she tells it to Mrs. Gonsha.
  • Cheap Costume: In "The Dress Up Day", Melanie's veterinarian 'costume' consists of an apron over her street clothes and her dog Rudy on a lead, because she forgot to tell her mother about dress up day until the morning of dress up day and her mother refused to rush around town looking for a set of surgical scrubs before school. As a result, everyone keeps guessing that she is dressed as a waitress (except for Mrs. Gonsha, who guesses dog-groomer).
  • Class Clown: Rory. He spends so much time in the principal's office that the spot where naughty kids have to sit is known as 'Rory's Spot'. Of course, he has other behavioural issues as well.
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping: In "The Nightmare Before Graduation", Rory is too involved in other events to put any thought into his Secret Santa gift (although he is not too busy to spend a lot of time trying to find out who his Secret Santa is). At the last minute, he wraps up the soap he was given last year and gives that as his present. Unfortunately, he is Secret Santa to Debra Jo, who was the one who gave him the soap originally.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: In "The Cake Stall", Melanie makes a ginger hedgehog slice that contains no milk, flour, eggs, sugar, or nuts. Or seafood. Or ginger. The only person to eat any is Cloudcuckoolander Batty, who likes it, but says it is more of a savoury dessert.
  • Creepy Twins: Max and Elsa, the only other students in the main characters' class given any characterisation. Also Half-Identical Twins.
  • Dark Horse Victory: In "The Beep Test", Debra Jo—the one who hates the beep test the most—is the last one standing after Tamara sprains her ankle, Atticus makes himself sick, Melanie cramps her foot by attempting to force it into a too small cast, and Rory (who decides to run wearing an eyepatch) collides with Battie and takes them both out.
  • Description Cut: Lots. One example:
    Tamara: [to camera] I don't act like I own the monkey bars. I don't know why anyone would say that.
    Tamara: [to Melanie] Get. Off. My. Monkey. Bars.
  • Distant Finale: Enforced. The 2016 specials take place a year after the series proper, with "The Nightmare Before Graduation", as you can possibly guess, taking place just prior to the kids graduating. According to Word of God, this was because by the time of filming the kids had all grown so much they couldn't possibly pretend they were all still in grade 5.
  • The Ditz: Rory.
  • Dreadful Musician: Debra Jo. Her ear-piercing and tuneless recorder recitals can clear the room. Even Mrs. Gonsha has been known to snatch the recorder out of her hands to stop her playing. She falls into the Giftedly Bad category, as she is convinced she is brilliant.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Rory has consumed soap, chewed on a brick and even bitten Mrs. Gonsha's sponge ball and one of Atticus' footballs.
  • Extracurricular Enthusiast: Debra Jo, who has badges for all the extracurricular roles she holds... and ones she doesn't hold, but has made up herself since she got a badge maker for her birthday. To a lesser degree Atticus, who tends to bring up all the clubs he's a member of in a very Small Name, Big Ego manner.
    Atticus: I've been in the choir for two years, and we've played in shopping centres!
  • Exact Words: How Debra Jo justifies giving Mr. Haliotis a fake beep test, where the time between the beeps gets longer rather than shorter, in "The Beep Test."
    Debra Jo: I never told Mr. Haliotis it was the beep test app. I said it was a beep test app.
  • The Faceless: Mr Haliotis, the PE teacher, who is only ever seen from behind and wearing a large hat.
  • Fear of Thunder: In "The Top of the Fireman's Pole", Atticus claims that a friend of his is afraid of thunderstorms even though it can't hurt him, but Rory reveals that Atticus was the one who was afraid of thunder all along, even mentioning how Atticus hid under his bed during a stormy sleepover.
  • Food Fight: "The Cake Stall" ends in a food fight between the girls and the boys that comes to screeching halt when Atticus misses and tosses a sandwich into Mrs Gonsha's face.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Three boys, three girls.
  • Get into Jail Free: In "The Oval", Melanie deliberately kicks a ball into a window so she will get detention, because it is preferable to being stuck in Rory's Calvinball game.
  • Giftedly Bad: Debra Jo. She is convinced that she is very good at ballet, and a virtuoso on the recorder. Neither is true, with her recorder playing landing soundly in Dreadful Musician territory.
  • Gotta Pass the Class: The Grand Finale "The Nightmare Before Graduation" has the class banding together during the last week of school to help Rory complete all of the assignments and tests he did not do during the year. If he does not complete them, he will have to repeat Grade 6 and won't move on to high school with his friends. He manages to pass and graduate.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Nobody knows which of Max and Elsa is which, even though they know one is male and one is female. The fact they both use the boys' toilets makes it more confusing, as does their tendency to speak simultaneously.
  • Halloween Episode: In "The Halloween Horror Story", the kids stage a play Melanie wrote about the true meaning of Halloween (which Melanie doesn't actually know), and Rory struggles with his fears about Atticus moving overseas.
  • Held Back in School: In "The Nightmare Before Graduation", Mrs. Gonsha tells Rory that he is going to have to repeat Grade 6 for failing to complete most of his assignments. His classmates band together in attempt to help him complete all of his assignments before the end of school.
  • Hidden Depths: Played for Laughs in "The Old Climbing Tree":
    Melanie: How do you know how to knit?
    Rory: [knitting] ...I don't. [Melanie takes her knitting back]
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: The episode "The Ya Ya" revolves around Atticus desperately trying to avoid eating the strange food his ya ya (grandmother) has made for him while his parents are away. Of course, once he gives in and actually eats it, he finds it absolutely delicious. He is saddened when he realises that he'd wasted his time avoiding his ya-ya's food, but is overjoyed when the others remind him that his ya-ya brought his lunch.
  • I Have This Friend: Atticus has a fear of thunderstorms, although he continually denies it. His attempts to tell stories about 'this kid I know who is afraid of thunderstorms' are usually interrupted by Rory going "That's you!".
  • Insistent Terminology: In "Dress-Up Day", Melanie keeps insisting that she is a vet, despite everyone else thinking she is a waitress. Mrs Gonsha guesses dog groomer, which is a least somewhat closer.
  • Irony:
    • In "The Beep Test", Tamara, the only person who enjoys the Beep Test and hasn't tried to get out of it, sprains her ankle and can't compete.
    • In "The Old Climbing Tree", Debra Jo wants to have the titular tree cut down so she can use the space to set up an eco-recycling megastation, and win the Green Ambassador's Award. Lampshaded by Melanie:
    Melanie: She wants to cut down a tree to win an environmental award?
  • I Resemble That Remark!:
    Melanie: My mum says I can be overly dramatic, but I was pretty sure both my shoulders were broken and my arms would never work again.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: In "The Pavlova", Rory says that Mrs Gonsha's disgusting pavlova tasted like soap. Debra Jo says she wouldn't know because she has never eaten soap.
  • I Was Told There Would Be Cake: Mrs. Gonsha's typical reward to the class, or contribution to any celebration, is a pavlova.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rory is this, although the "Jerk" part is usually from how dim-witted he is.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: In "The Lost and Found Box", Rory confesses to stealing school property and bringing them back home.
  • "Last Day of School" Plot: The Grand Finale "The Nightmare Before Graduation" is set during the last week of school, and culminates on the last, with Rory having to take a makeup test to see if he passes Grade 6, and the others being too worried to really enjoy the moment.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: In "The Kiss Chasey Oval", Atticus keeps making bad Olympics puns, much to Melanie's consternation:
    Atticus: And everyone went 'Ohhhh!' Because it was the 'ohhhh'-lympics!
    Melanie: Please stop.
    Atticus: I don't think I can.
  • Late to the Punchline: In "The Joke Competition", Rory doesn't get Melanie's joke until he is doing his direct-to-camera piece several days later. When he says the joke out loud, it finally sinks in.
  • Least Rhymable Word: In "The Top of the Fireman's Pole", Melanie attempts to improvise a song to keep Mrs. Gonsha calm. It is going well until she discovers she doesn't have a rhyme for 'Gonsha'.
  • Literal Metaphor: In "The Milk Bar", the kids are complaining about Rory continually trying to cadge food from them. Tamara says something needed to be done, and continues:
    "So yesterday, I put my foot down. On my lunchbox. Which Rory was trying to open."
  • Loners Are Freaks: Averted. Battie might be a bit of a Cloud Cuckoolander, but he's still very much one of the group even if he's the most introverted member of them. He's also often the Only Sane Man.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Tamara has elements of this, although given her athleticism she may be more of a female Jerk Jock. She has the bossiness and tendency to dictate other people's social status of the traditional alpha bitch, but she's not really a bully, and she inevitably comes around and proves herself a good friend in the end.
  • Mistaken for Profound: In "The Band", everyone else in class thinks Rory is meditating and starts emulating him. He is actually suffering a Potty Emergency and is muttering "You canít pee your pants" to himself over and over under his breath.
  • NaÔve Everygirl: Melanie.
  • Nerd Glasses: Debra Jo.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: Debra Jo, hoo boy. In "The Election" one of her campaign promises is an extra hour's homework. In the Grand Finale, she even redoes her old assignments so she would have something to do!
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: While Rory isn't a villain, per se, in "The Girls' Toilets", he locks Melanie in the girls' toilets (unintentionally locking in Debra Jo and Tamara simultaneously) so he could be Atticus' partner instead of her. However, he gave the peaceful and shy Melanie an opportunity to call out the other girls for their fighting and end the conflict. When Rory eventually let them out, they were angry at first but were later thankful that he indirectly resolved their fight.
  • Not So Above It All: Debra Jo. Frequently.
  • Opposites Attract: Discussed in "The Relationship", when Rory's been asked out by a girl in grade 6. Atticus, who's watched a lot of romantic comedies with his sister, claims that if he and the girl are complete opposites that means the relationship is likely to work out. He's proven right at the end, as it turns out Debra Jo and Rory both have crushes on each other.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Tamara.
  • Puppy Love: The episode "The Kiss-Chasey Oval" deals with Tamara having a crush on Battie, although he's less than reciprocating - until she kisses him at the end of the episode, which he seems to suprisingly enjoy. The episode "The Relationship" deals with Rory being asked out by a girl in grade 6, who we never actually meet, but eventually it turns out the girl he really likes is Debra Jo.
  • A Rare Sentence: In "The Top of the Fireman's Pole", Debra Jo is explaining Rory's plan to get Mrs Gonsha down from the top of the pole:
    "Rory was a genius, and that's a sentence I thought I'd never say."
  • Rule #1: In "The Joke Competition", Atticus announces that the first rule of the joke competition is that everyone must tell a joke. This is also the second and third rules.
  • Running Gag: A few:
    • Rory's use of the word 'minkle', which he believes is a swear word.
    • Stretcho, the superhero Battie invented and often dresses as.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "The Old Climbing Tree" Debra Jo gives monologues to the camera inside the flashbacks that highly resemble Frank Underwood's monologues to camera from House of Cards. Rory keeps asking if she's talking to him.
    • The shot of Max and Elsa when Debra Jo sees them in the titular corridor in "The Corridor Outside 6E" heavily resembles the famous shot of Creepy Twins from The Shining.
    • In "The Relationship" Melanie and Tamara have two mice they claim are in love, named Ross and Rachel.
    • At the end of "The Nightmare Before Graduation", Rory makes the same punching-the-air gesture as at the end of The Breakfast Club.
  • Slasher Smile: At the end of "The Corridor Outside 6E", Rory asks Max and Elsa if they're sure they're not killers, to which they respond by grinning to reveal their new braces (the kids having convinced themselves that Max and Elsa were missing from school because Max had killed Elsa and been arrested, when actually they had just gone to the dentist to get braces). The kids all scream in terror.
  • Sore Loser:
    • Atticus in "The Beep Test", who desperately tries to avoid the test purely so Tamara can't beat him. Once she sprains her ankle, he's totally enthusiastic for it.
    • Debra Jo's also a pretty bad loser, as seen when she calls her mother to get her out of school when Mrs. Gonsha holds a spelling test on words she doesn't know.
  • Sucks at Dancing: Debra-Jo is firmly convinced that she is very good at ballet. She really isn't.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: In "The Relationship", the boys try to identify which of the grade 6 girls sent Rory the note. They are told she is the one with the ponytail. Needless to say, all of the grade 6 girls have ponytails.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Rory.
  • Town Girls: NaÔve Everygirl Melanie (femme); The Smart Guy Debra-Jo (neither); and Lovable Jock Tamara (butch).
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Mrs. Gonsha really loves pavlova. So much so that the kids wonder if she doesn't love it a little too much in the episode "The Pavlova".
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Batty is afraid of dogs, Mrs Gonsha is afraid of heights and Atticus is afraid of thunder.