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"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?"
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Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (also known as Misterogers and Misterogers' Neighborhood in early seasons) was a syndicated children's program that ran for over thirty years, making it one of the longest-running programs on PBS. In the show, Fred Rogers spoke directly to you the viewer as his "television neighbor," gently imparting wisdom about how to deal with the challenges and experiences of childhood and develop healthy emotional understanding. He also took his viewers on virtual tours with him to demonstrate interesting facts such as seeing how things are made, learning how musical instruments are played, and doing exciting activities like going to the museum or circus, interacting with his friends on the show along the way. Each half-hour segment included a puppet show called the "Neighborhood of Make-Believe," and usually a song or two.

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To understand the show's appeal, you simply have to recognize one thing: Mr. Rogers was a genuine honest-to-goodness Nice Guy, practically to the level of All-Loving Hero, whose real care, kindness, and empathy for his neighbors exuded off the screen straight at you, and who was eager to tell you such positive messages as "I'm proud of you" and "People can like you exactly the way you are." Watching any episode is pretty much a surefire cure for the blues.

Rogers' show had its earliest incarnation in 1954 as The Children's Corner, a local program airing on station WQED in his native Pittsburgh. Rogers then took his talents to Canada in 1963 with a CBC TV program called Misterogers, with Ernie Coombs as Rogers' understudy. After three years, Rogers decided to return to the U.S. while Coombs stayed to eventually became his boss' Canadian TV icon counterpart, Mr. Dressup. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, once again produced by WQED, debuted on National Educational Television (NET) on February 19, 1968; two years later, NET became PBS and Rogers' show continued until August 31, 2001.

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The show would inspire an entire generation of children, and, alongside Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow, anchored PBS' children's programming throughout the '80s and '90s. Reruns of the show are still broadcast occasionally, even after Rogers' death in 2003. It's also often been compared with The Joy of Painting, another beloved PBS show from the same era which featured a similarly good-natured host, Bob Ross, noted like Rogers for his kind interactions with the viewer in a peaceful speaking voice.

An animated spin-off called Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood began airing as part of PBS Kids on September 3, 2012, based on the son of the character Daniel Tiger.

The company that produced the show, Family Communications Inc., was renamed The Fred Rogers Company after Rogers's 2003 death. The company went on to produce shows in the 2010s such as the previously-mentioned Daniel, Peg + Cat, and most recently, Odd Squad.

In 2017, Twitch was given the rights to do a marathon stream of the show. From May 15 to June 3, the stream showed every NET/PBS episode except the "Conflict" week arc (although certain early episodes were also skipped over). This was also the first time the show was legally available to those outside the US, as the stream is not region-locked.

In 2018, a documentary about the Neighborhood, entitled Won't You Be My Neighbor, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and a general release scheduled for the summer of 2018. Meanwhile, a Hollywood film entitled You Are My Friend has been announced by TriStar, with the role of Fred Rogers to be played by none other than Tom Hanks, set to delve into Rogers' impact on reporter Tom Junod's life. Furthermore, an hour-long special named Mister Rogers: It's You I Like, aired on PBS on March 6.

A 90-episode marathon was started on March 20, 2018 at 10AM PST, to commemorate what would be Fred's 90th birthday. This was followed a few days later with a repeat of the 2017 marathon, which lasted about 20 days just like the last time.

Now has a character sheet.


Mister Rogers' Neighborhood provides examples of:

  • 555: In a week-long Neighborhood of Make Believe arc King Friday and Queen Sara put Prince Tuesday in the care of Lady Aberlin. King Friday gives the phone number for the place they'll be staying as 111-222-3334. Other numbers later in the series use "555" prefixes.
  • Acceptable Break from Reality: The Neighborhood of Make-Believe segments. Rogers would give a very clear distinction by saying the show was moving to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe by traveling there with the Trolley. He also mentions frequently that certain things can only happen there.
  • Aerith and Bob: King Friday and Queen Sarah. Subverted in that Queen Sarah's last name was Saturday.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": Ana Platypus's full name, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, is the scientific name for a duck-billed platypus. Dr. Bill refers to it as an old family name.
  • All-Loving Hero:
    • Mr. Rogers. Pretty much this in real life, too. He was an ordained Presbyterian minister, but he never once mentioned it on his show. He never wore it as a hat or on his sleeve; he just continued to practice his life in that quiet little way he always had. Certain fundamentalist preachers hated him because, apparently not getting the "kindest man who ever lived" memo, they would ask him to denounce homosexuals. Mr. Rogers's response? He'd pat the target on the shoulder and say, "God loves you just as you are." Rogers even belonged to a "More Light" congregation in Pittsburgh, a part of the Presbyterian Church dedicated to welcoming LGBT persons to full participation in the church. He was also a vegetarian, saying "I don't want to eat anything that has a mother."
    • To quote (of all things) Cracked: "A lot of people of a lot of faiths are waiting for the Messiah, but even if one arrives, how are you going to tell the difference between him and Fred Rogers?"
    • Fred gave an interview for the Archive of American Television which pretty much drives the point home; Fred loved talking to people so much that where Bob McGrath's interview has four parts and Carol Spinney's has six, Fred's interview has nine parts, totaling over four hours of footage. note 
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: A 1987 show about making mistakes has Mister Rogers realize he needs to be at a meeting and briefly hands off hosting duties to Mister Aber.
  • And You Were There: In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, but other characters like Mr. McFeely and Chef Brockett are the same in both neighborhoods!
  • Arc Number: Thirteen. In addition to King Friday XIII, early episodes transitioned in and out of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe with 13 blinks of the traffic light, it came up multiple times in Mr. Rogers' drawings, and the number of Neighborhood Operas produced during the show's run? You guessed it, 13. Also, the show's producer, WQED-TV in Pittsburgh, happens to be Channel 13.
    • 143. The documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor mentions the use of 143 on the show to represent I Love You (1 letter, 4 letters and 3 letters respectively). This was due to Fred stating that he was 143 pounds from the late 50s until the end of his life. He had a routine of swimming a mile a day and then checking his weight and it was always 143.
  • The Artifact:
    • The red model building once used to show the NET logo; see the Vanity Plate page.
    • Changing into sneakers originated on The Children's Corner, as Rogers found loafers to be too noisy when walking behind sets for the puppets. Since Children's Corner was filmed live, this was a necessity. Later on it simply became part of the opening ritual to transition viewers from the feel of "professional" to "casual" and was strictly symbolic, but no longer necessary as it originally was.
  • As Himself: Many of the human cast or guest stars, notably Betty Aberlin, François Clemmons, John Reardon, Charles R. Aber, and of course Mr. Rogers himself.
  • Audience Surrogate: Mr. Rogers becomes this any time he goes on one of his field trips.
  • Auteur License: Fred Rogers was basically granted this by PBS because of his pioneering status in children's programming. On the Neighborhood he starred not only as the on-screen host but also as chief puppeteer, composer, lyricist, script writer and executive producer.
  • Author Appeal: The week of episodes about Josephine the Short-Necked Giraffe had Mr. Rogers taking pictures at a wildlife park and taking them to be developed. In real life Fred Rogers was himself an avid photographer and often carried a camera with him so he could take pictures of people he met.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Sarah Saturday's coronation as Queen of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe takes place immediately before the royal wedding in episode 1015.
  • Be Yourself: Mr. Rogers delivered this Aesop very effectively.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Bob Dog, who being a human in a suit is literally this trope in Make-Believe.
  • Brand X: Since the show aired on non-commercial PBS, and Rogers himself was strongly against consumerism on children's TV, any grocery products featured on the show were of the made-up "Neighborhood" brand (for example, Neighborhood Cat Food).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Almost on an inception level; obviously, the show runs on No Fourth Wall, but there were occasions where Mr. Rogers would break the Willing Suspension of Disbelief and show that his "home" was actually just a studio and go behind the scenes. For instance, in one of the "Music" episodes, he walks off-stage to show Johnny Costa and the rest of his band who performs during the show. In another case, he also shows his studio in the fifth "Work" episode to explain that it's his own as well as his crew's work place.
    • In episode 1129 (Cousin Mary Owl's debut in the Neighborhood of Make Believe), Lady Aberlin explains that Mary is much bigger than X because she's a dressed-up-person owl, while he's a puppet owl.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Prince Tuesday does this occasionally, when his father's decisions don't make sense.
  • Catch-Phrase: Robert Troll greets everyone by holding out his index finger and shouting "DOOT!"
    • Lady Aberlin and Daniel Tiger share the phrase "ugga mugga!" with other as their special greeting and goodbye. This falls off later in the series as the cast grows, but it never vanishes entirely.
    • Lady Elaine frequently says "Toot toot!" as her goodbye.
    • King Friday's "[Character], I presume?" and the subsequent response of "Correct as usual, King/Uncle Friday."
    • In both the "real" world and the Neighborhood of Make Believe, Mr. McFeely would both arrive and depart while chanting "Speedy Delivery, Speedy Delivery!"
    • Mr. Rogers himself would very frequently tell the viewer "I like you, just the way you are."
  • Christmas Special: Christmastime with Mister Rogers (1977), produced during the series hiatus.
  • Clip Show: A week of 1976 episodes had Mr. Rogers taking viewers through old props and video tapes from the show.
  • Continuity Nod: One episode features a "Neighborhood of Make-Believe" segment in which the characters discuss the area's history by looking at a film of the structures appearing one by one on the set. The order in which they appear, starting with Daniel's clock, reflects the order in which Rogers debuted the characters who live in each structure (Daniel and King Friday first appeared in The Children's Corner in the 1950s, followed by X the Owl, Henrietta Pussycat, Lady Elaine Fairchilde, and Grandpere; the other characters were introduced on MisteRogers in the 1960s).
  • Cool Old Guy: Towards the end of the show's run, Rogers himself.
  • Correspondence Course: X the Owl took one from Owl Correspondence School.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: There was an opera-episode "Windstorm in Bubbleland" where there was a villain named W. I. Norton Donovan who was running the Bubble Chemical Company, which was selling cans of compressed air...not marketing them as computer-cleaning devices, but as invisible spray-on sweaters that protect the citizens' bubbles. These cans of air were actually generating wind, and this wind actually turned W. I. into a supervillain with Blow You Away powers. You can't make this stuff up!
  • Crossover:
  • Darker and Edgier: The Conflict week's Make-Believe segments are significantly darker than most others (though the segments at Mister Rogers' house remain pretty upbeat and standard). Several discussions about topics that are otherwise taboo on the show such as violence, war, and bombings take place, and there's even a scene in the Wednesday episode where Harriet Elizabeth Cow teaches to her children about bomb shelters and how to use them in case of a bombing. King Friday also displays some fairly unusual trigger-happy characteristics as he orders bombs to be built under fear of threat. The whole thing turns out to be a big misunderstanding, but still.
  • Day of the Week Name: King Friday XIII, Queen Sara Saturday, and Prince Tuesday. King Friday's father was named King Thursday and he had another relative named King Monday IX.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lady Elaine Fairchilde is not afraid to speak her mind to anyone, especially King Friday.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": King Friday has two pet birds named Mimus polyglottos and Troglodytes aedon (Mimus and Trog, for short). Those are the actual scientific names of species of birds, namely the mockingbird and the house wren.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Mr. Rogers composed all music for the series, as he held a degree in music composition and began his TV career as a composer.
  • Drop-In Character: Mr. McFeely, the delivery man, comes by (more or less Once an Episode) with a package for Mr. Rogers.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: While the basic premise of the show was static for the entire run of the series, the sheer length of the show's run meant that some of the details changed over time.
    • In the first episode, Mister Rogers' house is completely different (with a different non-blinking traffic light), and Rogers himself changes into a button-up sweater as opposed to a zip-up cardigan sweater.
    • The first three seasons have the title displayed as "MisteRogers' Neighborhood" (the name "Misterogers" (as seen on Picture Picture) was used during those seasons as well). That was also the name of his earlier Canadian series.
    • One difference for "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" was that the line "A beautiful day for a neighbor" went directly to "Would you be mine?" without a pause. This timing also subverted the rhyme of "neighborhood" in the line before it.
    • Early color episodes have the house with yellow interiors as opposed to the more familiar blue (up through Episode 1326 (1974), where painting the house is actually part of the episode's premise). The model neighborhood also got a redesign at the same time, with more intricate buildings and a slight change in layout.
    • Normally, the transitions between Mister Rogers' house and Make-Believe are accompanied with an Iris shot. However, during the NET color era for seasons 2 and 3 only (1969-1970), there was a different dissolve transition to a sky shot of the clouds.
    • Picture Picture was more of a sentient being in its early years, playing films (or even slides) at Mister Rogers' command rather than inserting them in and hitting play. Mister Rogers would even thank it after showing the material, which it would then respond with "You're Welcome" on its screen. In the show's earliest years, it would also show the word "Hello" or "Hi" when not in use, as opposed to a painting, though this stuck around until the '80s at the least.
    • Up until Season 3, the Land of Make-Believe was always treated as if it was real and the human characters traveled between it (though Mr. Rogers himself never enters). Lady Aberlin appears in Mr. Rogers house on several occasions. Starting with the third season, trips to the Land of Make-Believe were explicitly prefaced with "Let's pretend..." and this was reinforced after the return. This lead to the introduction of many more humans in the Neighborhood that had previously only been depicted as characters in Make-Believe. For example, Betty Aberlin and Lady Aberlin became two different characters and Bob Trow was introduced as a neighborhood artist even though his character Robert Troll appeared in Make-Believe near the end of the first season. However, none of the previous continuity of the storylines in Make-Believe were discarded. In the last week of the 1976 broadcast, the episodes attempt to retcon this as the neighbors playing make-believe along with Mr. Rogers.
      • Speaking of which, in the first few black and white episodes, Mister Rogers would pull out the sofa bed to go to Make-Believe. Likely because it was such a hassle to set it up and put it away every time, this was thrown away fairly quickly. He would also often pull out a telescope and look through it to get a "view" into there, which admittedly lasted longer than the sofa gimmick (a few seasons), but was still tossed away after a while. On one of his final uses of the telescope, he hangs a lampshade on it by pointing out how long it had been since he'd used the telescope.
    • Originally, David Newell played Mr. McFeely as a much more frantic, rigid character with white hair and a white mustache. He even got Mr. Rogers visibly angry in Episode 1056
    • Earlier in the show, Robert Troll spoke mostly gibberish with English mixed in and was considered so hard to understand that characters had to work through his feelings to understand what he was saying. Eventually, the gibberish in his speech disappeared after the first few seasons, presumably as he became more fluent in English, and he spoke with only English (but still in his own Troll accent). Later in the '90s during his final appearances, the gibberish returned but he was much easier to understand as it was more of a Verbal Tic and he spoke clear sentences in the middle.
    • Bob Dog's earliest appearances show him as being so prone to bad behavior that he carries a cage around to put on his head when he's thinking of doing something he knows is wrong.
    • Until some point in 1972, the show had a different closing song, "Tomorrow" (no, not the song from Annie).
      • Friday episodes from 1971-72 also had a special closing song called "The Weekend Song"; a slight modification of its first verse would then become the coda of the familiar closing version of "It's Such A Good Feeling".
      • "Good Feeling", in turn, was originally sung at other points in the show, without the "Weekend Song" verse ("I'll be back..."), and with slightly different lyrics ("I think I'll grow 12 inches today!"). Even when it was originally replaced, it was still a bit different from later years; he would sing he'd be back when "tomorrow" is new rather than "the day", he would snap to the rhythm of "a snappy new day" rather than doing two snaps between verses, and would do a small reprise before officially leaving ("It's such a good feeling, a very good felling, to know you're alive/we're friends!").
    • Originally, when Mister Rogers had visitors at his home, he would ask the viewer to look out the window and see who it was. In the second-run episodes, he himself would simply look out the window instead.
    • The first opera (in Episode 0045) is extremely low-key compared to later operas. Most of its songs feel more improvised (some without even having any background music), a good chunk of the ones included are ones that are already sung in the show, and the opera takes a lot longer to actually start. The large bulk of it also takes place on a single set, where other operas had a large number of sets.
    • Originally from 1968-1976, the fundings were announced during the closing credits, which also ended with the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood logo being shown a second time with the copyright info at the bottom. For the 1971 season, there was originally no voice-over (though the fundings were still included in the credits) but it was eventually added beginning with post-1976 reruns of said season. Starting with the post-1979 series, the fundings are announced separately after the closing credits, and the second showing of the Mister Rogers logo at the end of the credits was replaced with the Family Communications logo (of course, with the copyright info still present at the bottom).
  • Edutainment Show: Probably the Trope Maker for the genre.
  • Episode Code Number:
    • The first season had its episodes numbered 1 to 130. When the show started broadcasting in color the next season, the numbering jumped ahead to 1001, and stayed on this track for the rest of the run.
    • When the show went on hiatus in 1976, the numbers were added at the end of older episodes.
    • On later episodes, they were included in the Title Sequence.
  • Ending Theme: "Tomorrow" from the show's start until the early 70s, and then "It's Such a Good Feeling" from there on out.
  • Every Episode Ending: Mister Rogers sang "It's Such A Good Feeling" at the end of every episode (except for some of the operas) from 1972-2001. On earlier episodes, he closed the show with the "Tomorrow" song.
  • Fake Interactivity: A little lighter than usual. Mister Rogers never really required the audience to play along, but he did treat the camera as the viewer and invite them to join him in activities.
  • Fictional Currency: Subverted with the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, in that it has a completely nameless unlabeled currency. The inhabitants will often say things like "I will pay a thousand for that", but never be specific on what they're paying a thousand of.
  • Friend to All Children: Fred Rogers, famously so. His entire show, his career, and even his life embodies this trope in its best and purest form.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: One episode showed a montage of baby animals drinking milk from their mothers, such as kittens, piglets, goats, etc. This is fine and all, but then it switches to footage of mothers breastfeeding their babies, and we get to see a lovely closeup of a bare nipple dripping milk as the baby stops suckling for a moment. And after the montage, Mr. Rogers says that women get a lot of "pleasure" out of breastfeeding, which sounds dirty when taken out of context. Keep in mind that this show is rated TV-Y.
  • House Fire: Episodes 0063-0066 deal with a fire breaking out in Corney's factory, the aftermath of him losing the entire factory, and the neighborhood rallying together to help him rebuild his business.
    • Episodes 1353 and 1354 cover this topic again, with a fire breaking out inside Henrietta's house.
  • Iconic Outfit:
    • The cardigans. His mother made them all. One of them is now on display in the Smithsonian. Rogers chose that one because the color looked bad on camera.
    • His constant changing of shoes. That would become iconic in its own right, with Rogers tossing a shoe from one hand to the other, always in time with the music, and always with a grin.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: In the second run of the show, the episodes that made up a week were referred to as "Mister Rogers Talks About [topic]".
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: He can even flip the bird with both hands with no malicious intent.
  • Internal Homage: Francois Clemmons final appearance in the series opens by recreating a scene from season 2 where Mr. Rogers and then-Officer Clemmons soaked their feet in a swimming pool on a hot day.
    • Particularly tearful given that the original episode was a moment of incredible personal importance to Clemmons in real life due to the unspoken but overt anti-racism message.
  • Iris Out: Used when they go to Neighborhood of Make Believe (via the Neighborhood Trolley).
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Due to the Series Hiatus from 1976 to 1979, the show's filming schedule changed and that caused some subtle changes to the show as a whole.
    • While the first run would normally film 65 episodes a year, the second run tended to only shoot about 10-15. Thus, each week from the 1979 on would have a theme for the week declared at the start of each episode and the shows would all revolve around it. This had little impact on the Neighborhood sequences, but the Make-Believe sequences shifted from having one long continuous story line that could potentially bleed into multiple weeks to having week-long stories based on the theme that started on Monday and ended on Friday.
    • Starting in the second run, the "how people make..." films/videotapes became much more prevalent, to the point that almost every time Mr. McFeely showed up, he had another videotape of such a thing. The general tone of the show also became quite a bit more tranquil and calm due to Mr. Rogers' aging nature.
    • It became more apparent as Mr. Rogers was aging that some of the puppet voices were harder to pull off. Lady Elaine in particular sounds rather ragged as the 90s and 2000s episodes wear on.
    • Mr. Rogers travels a lot more in the second run, visiting many locations in the Pittsburgh area and even flying out to Moscow. This led to the phasing out of many of the common locations in the Neighborhood such as Betty's Little Theater. Even before Bob Trow and Don Brockett passed away, we stopped seeing the actual sets for their businesses sometime in the 90s - Chef Brockett's final appearance is in his own home.
    • Starting in episode 1631, Mr. McFeely always sings the "Speedy Delivery Song" during his appearances.
    • After Johnny Costa passed away in October of 1996, Michael Moricz became the new music directornote  and the soundtrack is noticeably different in style from then on out. The trolley chimes also changed as Costa even performed those live.
    • The Mister Rogers' Neighborhood website was first promoted during the closing credits in 1998.
    • During the later episodes, the residents of Make-Believe would occasionally communicate directly with the viewers. Lady Aberlin would do this frequently during the last week.
  • Leitmotif: The neighborhood trolley has a pretty distinct and recognizable piano riff that always accompanies it whenever it is onscreen.
  • List Song: "Everything Grows Together" is a cumulative form of this (where one verse starts off with one thing, then the next verse adds another thing on top of it).
  • Long-Runners: Ran from 1968 to 2001.
  • Machine Monotone: The residents of the Planet Purple, including Purple Panda, speaks like this.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: The plots of the operas tend to border on the surreal. Of course, that's all part of the fun as they're designed to include elements that will be appealing to a child's imagination.
    "Spoon Mountain Opera, a story told in song, weaves together seat belts, a kitten, spoons and popcorn. Prince Extraordinary and a Park Ranger help Wicked Knife and Fork change his behavior..."
    IMDB episode summary
  • Meaningful Name: Prince Tuesday was named for the day of the week upon which he was born.
  • Medium Awareness: Since he believed that children should know the difference between real and pretend, Mr. Rogers was up front about the fact that his "house" was a TV studio, showing how the puppets worked, and occasionally even letting viewers see behind the scenes.
  • Mickey Mousing: Tiny little piano bits orchestrate Rogers' movements often, especially when he's talking directly to the audience. These were mostly improvised live during taping by pianist/music director Johnny Costa.
    • He even did Mickey Moused the factory footage, providing "sound effects" when appropriate.
  • Morality Chain: If Queen Sarah is around, she'll minimize and help to reverse her husband's periodic lapses in rationality.
  • Musical Episode: The series included thirteen original episode-length operas composed by Mr. Rogers, usually featuring professional opera singers John Reardon and François Clemmons. While of course they're all completely accessible to young viewers, Mr. Rogers clearly didn't believe in underestimating his audience.
  • Never Say "Die":
  • Nice Guy: Try to find a nicer man than Fred Rogers. Just try!
  • No Fourth Wall: Besides the constant interaction with the viewer, the fact that Fred's "TV house" was a mere set in a studio was made obvious. For example, Episode 1546 (1985) had Fred walk out of the living room and into the bare studio to introduce viewers to the live band accompanying the show: music director and pianist Johnny Costa, bassist Carl McVicker, Jr., and drummer-percussionist Bobby Rawsthorne. He even revealed the normally hidden controls for Trolley very early on in the series' run, and later even showing Picture Picture's wired remote control on the show.
  • Numerological Motif: There are subtle references to the number 143, a number Fred Rogers believed was specially significant because 1, 4, and 3 are the numbers of letters in the words "I love you."
  • Opening Theme: "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"
  • Our Trolls Are Different: In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, they're named Robert and speak a playful gibberish "troll-talk."
  • Out-of-Character Moment: There were at least three occasions in the show's run where Mister Rogers, normally the embodiment of friendliness and kindness, gets angry or frustrated at some event:
    • In episode 1056, Mr. McFeely rushes Fred to finish a puzzle in time for delivery. He very bluntly tells McFeely that his case of Motor Mouth and his insistence on rushing him was frustrating him. This makes it a rare time he shows frustration towards somebody else, rather than to something indirect.
    • Episode 1153 has Fred receiving a delivery of nursery rhyme posters, only for him to express frustration when he finds out he has to pay another dollar if he wanted characters on it. "One dollar more nothing!"
    • Episode 1210, also known as the parking ticket episode. When Fred walks in, he has a fairly noticeable agitated look and even spurs the usual routine of changing into a cardigan, opting to stay in his suit instead. After he finishes singing the opening song, he then explains to the viewer about his parking ticket situation (see The Trouble with Tickets).
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: Purple Panda and Little Panda, pandas from the planet Purple who teleport by "pinging".
  • Picked Last: Both Mr. Rogers and King Friday both went through this.
  • The Piano Player: Music director Johnny Costa showed up on camera from time to time to play some of Fred's tunes. Offscreen, he provided the show's underscore, playing sophisticated jazz improvisations live during taping.
  • Playing Gertrude: Betsy Nadas Seamans (Mrs. McFeely) was only 24 years old when she began working on the show. Slightly justified, since David Newell (aka Mr. McFeely) was also only 28 years old when he started working on the show.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Happens near literally in the Conflict week. Due to Corny delivering the information of his part orders in probably the worst possible waynote , King Friday is very quick to assume they're under a large threat. The parts turn out to for a bridge in another neighborhood, which a few of the Make-Believe inhabitants pretty quickly discover when they visit it.
  • Punny Name:
    • Donkey Hodie. Get it?
    • Also, King Friday XIII. (Think about it.) This doubles as a Meaningful Name, since the character was originally created to amuse a child who had been disturbed by superstitions about a certain calendar date.
    • Cornflake S. Pecially?! (corny especially)
    • Dr. Bill Platypus, playing on both "doctor bill" and "platypus bill".
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • According to Dear Mister Rogers (a book that features a collection of letters and responses written to and from the man himself), Mister Rogers would often write scenarios in Make-Believe based on what was happening in his real life. The example he gave was that the "No and Yes" week was written as one of his sons was getting married; as it just so happens, the episode series features a wedding between Betty Okonak Templeton and James Michael Jones in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
    • Francois Clemmons' real-life acceptance into the Metropolitan Opera was written into the show and he occasionally returned to make appearances with references to his actual career.
    • In a more tragic and enforced case, one of the things that inspired Fred to resume production on the show was hearing stories in the news of kids trying to imitate Superman by wearing a cape outfit and diving off a building, resulting in serious injury or even death. The very first week of the show's second run is on superheroes as a result, and even addresses this exact scenario in one of the Make-Believe segments where Ana Platypus tries to imitate the stunt.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: Well, not the opening theme, but the closing song was changed from "Tomorrow" to "It's Such a Good Feeling" in the early 70s due to copyright issues (see Suspiciously Similar Song on the YMMV tab).
  • Retool: The show's second run (which started in 1979) made a few changes to the way the show was filmed. Every week now had a specific theme to it, the model neighborhood was modified, the pace of the show slowed somewhat, there were much fewer episodes per season (anywhere from 5 to 15, where the early seasons were consistently 65 per season or a multiple of that), and a few other changes were made that made the second run feel quite distinct from the first.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
  • Rousseau Was Right: The Neighborhood clearly showcased Fred Rogers' deeply positive view of human nature, seen in his constant heartwarming reminders that people can like you exactly the way you are.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Friday may have a small kingdom but he rules with an iron hand. Fortunately, he's usually easily pleased and his subjects seem to know how to get around him pretty easily.
  • Safety Worst: One 1981 story arc has King Friday ban all play as a safety measure.
  • Scenery Porn: The amazingly detailed model town shown at the beginning and the end of every episode.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The Platypus family. Platipi are seldom shown on TV and Mister Rogers Neighborhood has got to be among the first shows to feature them.
  • Sentient Vehicle: The trolley seemed able to converse to some extent with Mr. Rogers and the inhabitants of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, though it only communicated with dings and whistles.
  • Series Fauxnale: Episode 1455, the final show of the 1975 production run, doesn't explicitly state the show is ending production, but the ending of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe segment has the characters mention they will be remembering "all of the things we've done", making general reference to some of the past episodes. The one week produced for 1976 mainly serves as a transition from the later shows to the earlier ones, including several pieces of Lampshade Hanging of Early Installment Weirdness.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:
    • King Friday again. His revised version of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" is particularly impressive:
      "Propel, propel, propel your craft
      Gently down liquid solution,
      Ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically,
      Existence is but an illusion."
    • Though that's nothing compared to his other favorite song:
      "Scintillate, scintillate diminutive stellar orb. How inexplicable to me seems this stupendous problem of your existence. Elevated at such at an immeasurable distance, in an apparently perpendicular direction from this terrestrial planet which we occupy. Resembling in thy dazzling and unapproachable effulgence, a gem of purest carbon, set solitaire in a university of space."
    • And of course, the existence of Troglodytes Aedon.
  • Shout-Out:
    • X and Henrietta, to Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussycat."
    • And, mentioned above, Donkey Hodie to another literary figure. For additional Parental Bonus points, the donkey lives in a windmill.
    • An outer-space visitor to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe was given the name Yo-Yo LaBelle, after two famous musicians.
    • The town seen at the beginning of every episode is modeled after Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where Rogers was born and raised.
    • And this exchange:
      Queen Sara: Robert Troll, where have you been keeping yourself?
      Robert Troll: Under the bridge over troubled waters.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: Mr. Rogers closed each show with these heartwarming words: "You make each day a special day. You know how; by just your being you. There's only one person in this whole world like you. And people can like you exactly as you are."
  • Silent Snarker: If you pay attention to other characters' reactions to Trolley's dings and whistles at the beginning and/or end of Neighborhood of Make-Believe segments, it becomes apparent that Trolley has quite a sharp wit.
  • Significant Monogram: The antagonist in the opera "Windstorm in Bubbleland" is named W. I. Norton Donovan.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Mister Rogers loved everybody for who they were and showed everyone the amazing things and sad things in life all while being his friendly and caring self.
  • So Proud of You: Mr. Rogers would regularly tell his viewers "I'm proud of you, just the way you are," cited by many as one of the show's Heartwarming Moments. This was even set to music in the song, "I'm Proud of You."
  • Special Guest:
    • Several rather big names from the world of art and music made appearances over the show's run. Wynton Marsalis, Yo Yo Ma, Van Cliburn, Ella Jenkins, Ezra Jack Keats, Eric Carle, Andrew Wyeth, Margaret Hamilton, Michael Keaton, Lou Ferrigno, Big Bird...
    • Yo Yo Ma in particular appeared so frequently he could almost be called a recurrer. Ma and Rogers were actually close friends, with Rogers even citing the former as one of his heroes.
    • Notably, the Neighborhood's Special Guests were just as likely to be ordinary people as well-known celebrities.
  • Species Surname: Most of the puppets— Henrietta Pussycat, Daniel Tiger, X the Owl, Dr. Bill Platypus, Harriet Elizabeth Cow, Audrey Duck, and others.
  • Spinoff Babies: In 2012, PBS Kids began airing Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, a series focusing on the pre-school aged offspring of characters from the original series, with the adorable son of Daniel Striped-Tiger as the lead.
  • Spoonerism: Occasionally showed up in the title theme: "It's a neighbourly day in this beautywood..."
  • Story Arc: Every episode is actually part of a five-episode long series (sometimes as many as seven), with the idea being one episode would play for each day of the week (since PBS showed their kid shows on weekdays). Each series was structured around one specific topic (sharing, kindness, play, dance, music, etc.), and there was always a story arc in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe that lasted the whole week.
  • Super-Fun Happy Thing of Doom: From a Neighborhood of Make-Believe segment with an anti-war aesop:
    X the Owl: [has been asked to help assemble a bomb] I don't think we should call them "bombs", though. We should call them "surprise treats" or something like that. Bombs are scary things and hurting things.
  • Syndication Title: Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as Mister Rogers.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Yo-Yo Ma's tape to King Friday, in Episode 1735 (1998), has him respond to Friday and offer to play his cello.
  • Teleportation: Called "The Purple Way" in the show. Using it lets one quickly teleport around the Land of Make-Believe.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Invoked a lot. Justified, as Mr. Rogers was intentionally teaching his viewers that it was OK to deal with their emotions. The concept was even addressed in song, one example being "What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel?"
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs: For all his warmth and friendliness, Mr. Rogers was still Mister Rogers to his young viewers. His grown-up neighbors freely called him "Fred," however.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Occasionally the mistakes Fred Rogers found interesting would stay in the final episode. Examples of this are him once messing up at zipping his cardigan (which causes him to mess up the opening song due to his laughter), and another incident where he accidentally got the zipper stuck to his sleeve while throwing the shoes at the start of the show.
    • Also enforced in other areas; some of those who worked on or appeared in the show have stated mistakes would often get left in so that Rogers could get the point across that you won't always do it perfectly when it's your first time. This would especially occur quite often when Mister Rogers volunteered to play a musical instrument, for example.
  • Time Skip:
    • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood qualifies as this, since it will feature the original Neighborhood of Make Believe characters as the new main characters' parents.
    • There also seems to have been a Time Skip between the 1968-76 and 1979-2001 runs, because Prince Tuesday and Ana Platypus were aged up from toddlers to preschool level. However, Daniel Striped Tiger was also featured as their classmate in spite of not having apparently aged, so it could also be seen as a soft Continuity Reboot.
  • Tin-Can Telephone: Used for many years as the sole method of telephone communication in Make-Believe.
  • Toilet Training Plot: One 1998 episode had Mister Rogers reading a book he wrote about toilet training and showing the audience the difference between a potty and a big toilet. He also remembers about what he did as a little boy when he went through that phase and sings a song called "You Can Never Go Down The Drain" to reassure viewers who have fears about the toilet.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: Mr. Dressup from up north in Canada, although the show was somewhat both broader and more down to earth with the clownish costumes he used and it didn't have the equivalent of the Land of Make-Believe, the puppet characters largely came to him.
  • The Trouble with Tickets: Episode 1210 (1972) features Mr. Rogers having received a parking ticket before the episode opens and deciding to go to traffic court to try and get it waived. After several people go through the process, Mr. Rogers gets his turn to explain the circumstances and the judge lets him off with a warning.
  • Tuckerization:
    • Queen Sara Saturday was named after Rogers' wife, Sara Joanne Rogers, nee Byrd.
    • Miss Paulifficate was named for one of his friends' children, Paul, Elizabeth ("Iffy"), and Kate.
    • Mr. McFeely was Fred Rogers' own middle name and his mother's maiden name. In a Shout-Out of Crowning Moment of Heartwarming proportions, Rogers' grandfather McFeely was the first person to ever tell him that he could make life special just by being himself, and Rogers paid homage to that idea in the name and in his own Catch-Phrase. (Ironically, however, the character was actually supposed to be named Mr. McCurdy, after the show's benefactor. But the Sears-Roebuck Foundation, one of the show's funders, called the producers and told them that they objected to the idea.)
  • Undercrank: "Funny Fast Film", sped-up videos of people doing mundane things.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Henrietta Pussycat had more costumes than some of the human characters.
  • Ursine Aliens: The Purple Panda comes from Planet Purple.
  • Vanity Plate: From 1968 to 1969, When PBS was still called NET, a house featuring its logo was used in the model city in the opening and end credits. It was remodeled twice after that, which explains why the roof has an odd slant to it.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Meow meow Henrietta Pussycat again meow meow meow.
    • Also, Dr. Bill Platypus' usage of the word "bill" in place of "very". For example, "That's bill, bill, bill good".
    • Bob Dog, and how.. hooowww... HOOOWWWWWLLLLL!!!
    • Donkey Hodie had a habit of punctuating everything he said with "hee-haw" or "haw-hee".
    • Sammsummaninasummsummm Robert Troll! DOOT!
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Mister Rogers never underestimated the intellect of his audience, speaking very plain and straightforwardly and even featured full episode-length operas featuring professional opera singers.
  • Viewers Like You: Subverted; rather than using the stock "Viewers Like You" line, the viewer would be indirectly credited as "the people who contribute to this and other Public Television Stations" ("this" referring to whichever station you were watching the show on). Due to the mandate issued in late 1999, Thanking the Viewer came around in 2000 with the addition of the line "We thank you" in the funding credits. May also count as the Ur-Example of standalone funding credits for a PBS show (as early as 1979); although the funders were always credited, they were simply stuck in the opening and closing credits prior to the show's second run, rather than having their own dedicated bumper.
  • What Does This Button Do?: In part 3 of Father and Music when his grandson was about try to control the trolley with the control switch. And Fred tells him it does not work except when the trolley is on the tracks.
  • Wham Line: The Public Service Announcement recorded in 1968, after the death of Robert F. Kennedy, begins with Daniel and Lady Aberlin gently playing and talking about balloons and air, until Daniel works up the courage to ask: "What does assassination mean?"
  • Who's on First?: There is an area in Make Believe that is named Someplace Else.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In the "Spoon Mountain" opera, when the villain Wicked Knife And Fork is thwarted, he begins to cry and explains that all he ever wanted was for someone to give him a spoon, but they only ever gave him a knife and fork because they considered him evil. This gives the heroes sympathy for him and they arrange to get him a spoon of his own. note 
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: "Are you brave and don’t know it? / Are you brave and can’t tell? / Are you brave and just don’t show it / While others know it very well?"


Didn't contain, but was still related to examples of:

  • All-Loving Hero: Probably the closest thing to the archetype we have in real life.
  • Appointment Television: Inverted, Rogers was strongly against having this be the only way of viewing the show. He famously testified in court about how the VCR could be used for good, and how families who wanted to watch the show together didn't have to be deterred by their station airing the show at inconvenient times. Him being such a big supporter of the VCR is heavily credited for part of how Sony ultimately won their case against the studios.
  • Badass Pacifist: If ever a man was this, it was Mr. Rogers.
    • Take a look at this XKCD strip and try to say this is an exaggeration.
    • Mr. Rogers once faced down a hostile U.S. Senate committee that was threatening to cut a $10 million government grant for PBS. He simply gave a six-minute speech describing his TV show. The grant was increased to $20 million.
    • He was also cited as a key witness in the Supreme Court's decision that home recording technology was fair use. Think about that: The man could persuade the U.S. government to change their minds on a controversial policy issue simply by talking to them. Now that's badass.
    • When Burger King had a series of TV commercials featuring a No Celebrities Were Harmed spokesman, "Mister Rodney," promoting their food, Mr. Rogers took issue with his likeness being used for commercialism and politely asked them to cease and desist. Burger King, a massive multi-million dollar corporation, pulled all the ads immediately, and the VP he spoke with later remarked to the press, "Mister Rogers is one guy you don’t want to mess with, as beloved as he is."
  • Badass Preacher: Being an Ordained Minister and facing down the US Senate clearly qualifies Mister Rogers for this.
  • Berserk Button: Making a derogatory comment or a sick joke about Fred Rogers while in the company of certain people can be a very, very bad idea.
    • Certain people being almost anyone who grew up watching the show, for example. Considering that the show was on for nearly half a century, that is a lot of people.
    • Put it this way: 4chan, the imageboard rampant with Rule 34 and infamously known by many as the cesspool of the internet, will fry you if you post any insult directed at Mr. Rogers.
    • Mr. Rogers' own berserk button was engaged in 1990 when the KKK recorded some messages that impersonated his voice to circulate racist and homophobic messages among elementary school children. While Mr. Rogers was usually easygoing about parodies of his style (as with the Eddie Murphy example above), he took this one straight to federal court and sued the heck out of them for copyright infringement. It took no more than one day for the judge to issue a restraining order against the Klan. (Said Rogers, "I am hardly a suing person, and yet that just got my goat.")
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay: Fred Rogers testified to the U. S. Supreme Court in favor of home video recording during a contentious case when the MPAA was arguing that personal recording devices like the VCR should be banned because they would kill the entire industry. Mr. Rogers simply stated the case that it would actually be beneficial to allow people to watch shows whenever was best for them. We all know how that turned out.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Fred McFeely Rogers. Also a bit unfortunate, especially considering that he works with kids.
  • Everyone Has Standards: On the internet, everything and everyone is fair game to be mocked, insulted, or made dirty. Except Mr. Rogers. No one wants to make fun of Mr. Rogers. Those who do will be torn to shreds in milliseconds. Even on 4chan, infamous cesspool of pornography and Holocaust jokes, attacking Mr. Rogers is an instantly bannable offense.
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: Mr. Rogers' gentle and peaceful demeanor made him a notable exception to the norm.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Koko the sign language gorilla loved him.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Averted; a blooper reel has a bleeped "sh—" in a segment where Mr. Rogers attempts to set up a tent in the back yard, only for it to fall over unexpectedly. (The segment never aired on the PBS series, but was featured several times on various Dick Clark Bloopers programs.)
    • A very early episode features Mister Rogers and some neighbors singing the children's song "Where Is Thumbkin?". During the "where is Tall Man?" verse, Rogers responds to that question by extending his middle finger to the camera in the same manner as Flipping the Bird. A still image of this became viral after the episode was released online; technically this was taken out of context, but some have surmised based on the expression on Rogers' face that he knew exactly what he was doing.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Urban Legends notwithstanding, Fred Rogers maintained his reputation as a downright all-around good guy on and off screen, even in the midst of the cutthroat television industry.
  • It Has Been an Honor: This is the sentiment which David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely, described pertaining to his final scene with Mr. Rogers, in which the two shake hands.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Noted actor Tim Robbins, who presented Mr. Rogers his Lifetime Achievement Award at the 24th Daytime Emmy Awards (in 1997), described him as "the best neighbor any of us has ever had".
  • Jaw Drop: Mr. Rogers and Jeff Erlanger were reunited when Rogers was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame in 1999. Rogers was completely surprised.
  • Just Think of the Potential: Fred Rogers felt that it was important that television be used for good.
  • Kayfabe:
    • Averted breaking of the trope when Carroll Spinney and the Children's Television Workshop objected to Rogers' idea to have Spinney remove his Big Bird costume on camera, as a way of Rogers explaining the difference between make-believe and reality. Spinney did agree to appear (as Big Bird) in the "Neighborhood of Make-Believe" segments, and then on the regular show talk about his career and puppetry. Rogers did make a few sly remarks, however, about fantasy creatures.
    • Early in the series' run, Rogers and his supporting cast referred to the "Neighborhood of Make Believe" as a real place, before this was quietly dropped.
  • Lampshade Wearing: An innocent variant in episode 1; Mrs. Russellite shows Rogers' her collection of lampshades she likes to wear.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Lampshaded when he brought on Margaret Hamilton to talk about the differences between fantasy and reality. Also done with Lou Ferrigno.
  • New Media Are Evil: Rogers' initial reaction to television. He sought to make it better.
  • Pie in the Face: The first thing Mr. Rogers saw on television was a whole routine of this. He was repulsed.
  • The Prankster: Several of the crew members were this, as documented in Won't You Be My Neighbor. Their pranks ranged from swapping Rogers' shoes for smaller ones, to mooning any camera they found lying around the set, to (on the last episode) sneaking into the closet to surprise Rogers when he opened it and claiming "This place is quarantined!" Rogers, for his part, had the good humor to go along with it, and once sent one of the crew members a poster of said crew member mooning the camera.
  • Precision F-Strike: The man once said "ass" during a conversation with François Clemmons.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: He was an Ordained Presbyterian Minister, see Badass Preacher.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He forbad François Clemmons, a gay cast member, from visiting any more gay bars upon hearing of one such visit, his tolerance of homosexuality notwithstanding, because he believed it would be bad for business if a member of the show's cast and crew were to be seen as openly gay. Keep in mind that homosexuality was still considered taboo in the mainstream at the time.
  • Sarcasm Failure:
    • Induced this in Cracked, which snarks anything and everything, with no exceptions — but Mister Rogers. When Cracked can't snark at you, and instead writes a tribute to your memory calling you "The Greatest American", well...
    • Rotten.com, a notorious Shock Site that dwelt on the worst of humanity, published a biographical piece on Fred Rogers that took a completely sincere and even reverential tone. The only thing they could find to be snarky about was that George W. Bush once mispronounced the name of the show.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: One was made by PBS themselves to pay tribute to the ideas in the show. Though in this case, more like a wise statement dance mix.
  • Truth in Television: The Mr. Rogers you saw on TV was the real deal. As Randall Munroe put it:
    "Mr. Rogers projected an air of genuine, unwavering, almost saintly pure-hearted decency. But when you look deeper, at the person behind the image ... that's exactly what you find there, too. He's exactly what he appears to be."
  • Voice Clip Song: The Garden Of Your Mind, by the guy who does Symphony of Science, officially sanctioned by PBS no less.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Or rather, too good for Yog Sothoth. It is officially accepted internet canon that Mr. Rogers can talk anyone into a discussion of their feelings, including the Chaos Gods. He reduced Joan Rivers to an adoring, wide-eyed child on several occasions.


You make each day a special day. You know how; by just your being you. There's only one person in this whole world like you. And people can like you exactly as you are.

Alternative Title(s): Mister Rogers

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