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Series / Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn

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A Nickelodeon show about the eponymous set of 10-year-old quadruplets. They have nothing in common but their birthday.

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This series provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Aidan Gallagher (Nicky) was missing from all but the final few minutes of "This Little Piggy Went to the Harpers". The reason in-universe was that Nicky went to a cooking camp.
    • Mace Coronel (Dicky) was missing from "Quadcodile Dundee" with the character first just in another room but eventually sent to Australia as a foreign exchange student. The actor left the show with five episodes left to film, so his character was gone for those episodes.
  • Accidental Truth: "In Not-So-Sweet Charity", the boys were trying to convince some girls that a hot guitarist/singer their age was dating someone, and upon seeing Dawn appearing, claimed it was her. The truth actually led to problems because the parents hated each other and forbade them from even being on each other's property.
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  • Acting for Two: Lizzie Greene played both Dawn and Debra in "House Crushing for Dummies"
  • Affectionate Parody: Guess what "The Wonderful Wizard of Quads" is based upon?
  • Air Vent Escape: More like sneaking to spy on their siblings. The air vent system was large enough for the father to erect his toy train set. It could also fit the four kids nicely in the same place. Of course, the ceiling also failed when they were together.
    • In "Tween Wolf", Dawn and Dicky have to use the very roomy air vent to escape the locked office. It leads outside where they fall into a dumpster.
  • Always Identical Twins: Averted even though in many cases of quadruplets, there will usually be a set of identical twins.
    • The Kramden quads are two sets of identical twins (played by two sets of identical twins).
    • Nicky's cooking teacher and Chef Andre from "Quadentity Crisis" are identical twins (also played by identical twins).
  • Amateur Sleuth: In "Dude, Where's My School?", after the quads accidentally bust a sewage pipe that ultimately causes a sinkhole to swallow up part of their school, they transfer to another where their friends stated they have joined the Mystery Solvers Club and they intend to investigate what happened at their former school. However, this is a subversion as the point of the group was to convince the quads into confessing.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: The worst they were was in "Quad for Teacher". Tom, subbing for their injured gym teacher, has the quads show off a game called "Meow Meow" they played when they were much younger. Even worse is when he had their classmates play it as well.
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    • In "Quad with a Blog", one of the reasons the quads' friends stopped hanging out at Get Sporty Cafe was because their parents were too intrusive and wouldn't just leave the kids alone.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Played with by Dawn, who is the oldest (by four seconds, as she bragged) and finds her brothers annoying at times.
    Dawn: I learned a lot in those four seconds.
  • Apologetic Attacker: In "I Want Candace", the boys offer for Dawn to break the things they love most in return for them ruining her chance to win a chance to see Candace Parker. Dawn has Mae ruin the things, though Mae apologizes to the boys as she does it.
  • Artificial Gravity: The space simulator in "A Space Quadyssey" has artificial gravity that the quads accidentally trigger, thinking they were in space.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Played for laughs in "What's the Worst That Quad Happen?" when the drone in a box flew away. Justified as it was just Ricky's story.
  • As Himself: Internet sensation Science Bob has appeared in three episodes, "The Quad Test" with US Women's star Alex Morgan, "No Ifs Ands or But-ers", as well as his own named episode "She Blinded Him with Science (Bob)". Candace Parker from the WNBA also appeared in an episode named after her "I Want Candace". Alex and Maia Shibutani appear in episode "The Great Mullet Caper".
    • In the hour long "Go Holywood" episode, Jack Griffo of The Thundermans, Daniella Monet of Victorious and Alex Guarnaschelli, from Food Network all appeared as themselves. This could also qualify as In-Universe due to the "Truman Show" Plot described below.
    • Isaiah Thomas (as well as his two young sons Jaden and James) appeared in "Quadcodile Dundee".
  • Ascended Extra: Mae got promoted from a Recurring Extra to a main character since Season 3.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: While looking for reasons their parents don't celebrate Valentine's Day in "Valentime's Day", Dicky finds a large roll of bubble wrap and the quads immediately stop their quest in order to pop all the bubbles. Two hours later...
    • Happens in "Sweet Foot Rides" when the quads go to the hotel room to get their father's prototype shoes back from the man they thought stole them. Instead, they go immediately to the bed and jump up and down on it, taking so long that the man comes back.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: For all their sibling rivalry, the quads do care about each other.
  • Bad Vibrations: In "I Want Candace", after the boys ruin Dawn's chance to meet her idol Candace Parker, Dawn comes stomping down the stairs with the boys looking at a cup of water that was vibrating to he =r stomps.
  • Bedtime Brainwashing: The boys try to give Dawn more confidence in "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Bey Dawncé" when Dawn fails her first audition for the glee club. However, they go overboard and make her arrogantly sure of herself.
  • Big "NO!": Combined with Skyward Scream, how the father reacted when he discovered his autographed jersey had been washed in the Pilot episode.
    • In "I Want Candace", it happens twice in a row with the Harper Quads yelling "No" as they have been mistaken for the dancers who were being taken on Candace Parker's bus to the site of her dance video while the real dancers, four Russian kids, are yelling from the outside of the bus as it leaves "Nyet!"
  • Big Sister Bully/Cool Big Sis: Dawn goes back and forth between these depending on the episode's situation.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tess Dynamite. She's cheerful, bubbly, and friendly and is able to get along with all three Harper boys in order to dig up dirt about Get Sporty and put them out of business. Good thing Dawn suspected something was wrong with Tess.
  • Box of Holding: In "Abraquadabra", After the magician The Wondrous Androoni made Ricky disappear and couldn't find him, Nicky and Dicky searched in a box that held a lot more than it should have, Dicky included
  • Broken Aesop: While most episodes end with the quads learning An Aesop, mostly about being truthful, they tend to make the same mistakes repeatedly.
  • Bumbling Dad: Though not as bad as others. He is mostly competent as a father, if a bit goofy.
  • The Butler Did It: Doubly subverted in "To Be Invited or Not to Be". The quads are worried that Simone's butler is trying to steal her inventions, but ultimately, not only is the man not trying to steal her inventions, but he is her father, not her butler.
    • Played straight in-universe in the series of books Dicky is reading: The Butler Did It series.
    • Played for laughs and straight "The Sad Tail of Gary-Chip-Tiny-Elvis-Squishy-Paws" when the quads return home after kidnapping the dog only to see his owner at their home. Dicky claims he thinks the butler did it, which the woman's butler states is correct, he drove her over to the Harper house.
  • Butt-Monkey: Nicky. He gets punished alongside the other despite usually being the victim of the sibling rivalry fight.
  • Catchphrase: Mae asks questions in a form of "I have to ask, Is X happening? Is it not happening?" Some examples "Is Breakfast happening? Is it not happening?" "Am I coming in? Am I not coming in?"
  • Cheaters Never Prosper/Laser-Guided Karma: Tom's old ice skating rival, Rod Dynamite, used a compact mirror to reflect some lights into Tom's and Anne's eyes so they would be temporarily blinded and mess up their skating routine, ensuring his victory with his wife and causing Tom to go bald. In the present day, the Harpers are trying a promo to attract customers to Get Sporty. Rod once again uses a mirror to shine some light into Tom's eyes, causing him to fall and knock out his two front teeth, and also takes some socks without paying. Finally, he airs a commercial taking some footage of the Harper kids out of context to insult their own store (filmed by his own daughter Tess, no less). At the end, the Harper kids sabatoge Rod's store with the store's heating system and defective tennis balls that were supposed to be recalled, and it's revealed that Rod's hair is only a wig and, unlike Tom, he is completely bald. The excessive heat caused by the Harper kids' tampering also caused Tiffany's [Rod's wife] makeup to melt, revealing that she has horrible skin and an ugly face.
  • Christmas Episode: "Santa's Little Harpers"
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: A minor version in "Unhappy Campers". The cards the quads received for their cabin assignments were the same color as the background in the opening credits for each character.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: At least the quads thougt so in the first episode. The parents promised them a puppy if they could go without fighting. After accidentally ruining their father's autographed jersey, they try to wash it and put it back without their parents finding out. Even though the parents discover what happened, the mother still allows them to keep the puppy because they worked together in the cover-up.
  • Crying Wolf: In the episode "Crying Wolf", Dicky's parents and teachers do not believe Dicky didn't call a tow truck for their teacher's car because he has lied before, including once where he actually lied about a wolf being somewhere.
  • Daydream Surprise: In "What's the Worst That Quad Happen?", While contemplating peeking at a present their grandmother brought them, things go From Bad to Worse, resulting in the arrest of Dicky, Nicky, and Dawn for bike theft. as well as allowing someone to steal everything from their parents;s store. The end reveals that the whole story from where Ricky accidentally tears the wrapping was Ricky telling a story apropos to the title.
  • Dead Pet Sketch: The father was caught switching goldfish by the kids in "The Secret". This was the seventh fish to be replaced. Dawn, however, is more upset that the boys have known about it since the third goldfish died than the fact that it did die (apart from accidentally being hit in the face by the dead fish when they were trying to get him to show what was in his hands).
  • Description Cut: In "I Want Candace", Anne is at the store where Candace Parker is about to do a workout video and states that Dawn, who is a huge fan of Candace's will freak out upon seeing her. Cut to the Candace bus where the quads have been mistaken for Russian dancers and are now just outside their father's store. Dawn says in a panic, "I'm freaking out!"
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Elementary School version. In "Quaddy-Shack, Madison distracts Dicky while playing mini-golf by tossing her hair. Subverted when Dicky tries to do it back to madison but she isn't fazed.
  • Do Not Call Me Natalie: It's Natlee. The "a" is silent.
  • Dramatic Unmask: At the end of "What's the Worst That Quad Happen?", while at the store, Dooley takes off his mask to reveal he is actually the quads' grandmother.
  • Dumb Blonde: Inverted with Ricky, who's the smartest Harper kid, and subverted with Dawn, who is smarter than Dicky and Nicky.
  • Ear Worm: Happens In-Universe in "Mall in the Family", the quads loved to sing an annoying song from a children's movie. Eventually, at the mall, two employees, a mall security woman and a teenage girl who worked at the lost and found area were heard reluctantly singing it.
  • Election Day Episode: "Harpers For President" was all about the quads all running for class president.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Anne's first name is actually Chantal. She prefers her middle name.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Tom's middle name is Louise.
  • Exact Words: In "A Space Quadyssey", the Harper quads and the Kramden quads are competing to get into a space program. One of the contests is to see who can get from one point to another. The rules are they cannot put their feet on the balance beam and they have certain materials. The Harpers use all the materials and scoot along the balance beam. The Kramdens realize that nothing was said about using any of the materials or crossing on the balance beam, so they just walk across the floor to victory.
  • Expy: Ricky to Cody Martin. Both are blond, highly intelligent boys, and Ricky even wears sweater vests as Cody did in the original Suite Life show.
    • Dicky to Zack Martin. Both are very lazy with their school work and try to be ladies' men.
    • Tom to Arwin Hawkhauser. Both are bumbling man-children, but can be quite handy with building things. They're even played by the same actor.
  • Extracurricular Enthusiast: Both Ricky and Dawn. Ricky is in a number of clubs at school including the Japanese club and he was elected his grade's student body president, which he took very seriously. Dawn is as competitive and plays soccer as well as playing the tuba.
  • Family Theme Naming: At least for the boys.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: The plot of "This Little Piggy Went to the Harpers" involves Dawn, Ricky, and Dicky and Mae stealing the pig mascot of Dawn's rival soccer team. They keep the pig in the Harper house, but have to continually lie to keep the pig a secret. After it escapes the closet and their parents see it, they have to convince them they got it got their mother's birthday, which they forgot about. After the real owner comes by to ask if they have seen the pig, they decide to try to get another pig just like that one, but instead, are given a monkey. Things fimally fall apart when the real owner of the pig sees it with Anne.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Dicky dressed as himself for the Halloween dance.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Sanguine: Dicky
    • Choleric: Dawn
    • Melancholic: Ricky
    • Phlegmatic: Nicky
  • Freudian Excuse: In "Three Men and a Mae B" this is the ultimate reason given for why the three boys all got crushes on Mae. They missed their mother and unknowingly, Mae was treating them like their mother does.
  • Freudian Trio: The boys are this. Dicky is the id. Nicky is the ego. Ricky is the superego.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Moses gets one by his mother in "The Quad-Plex" after his mother calls by his full name Derek Norman Moses.
    • Played for laughs in "Rock 'n' Rules" when Tom is upset with the dog and calls him Squishy Paws Tiberius Harper.
  • Gender-Blender Name: In "Sweet Foot Rides", the quads go to a hotel where there is a male maid with long hair named Leslie. They, of course, find it humorous while Leslie is proud of his name.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Dicky's name and behavior.
    • In "Dawn's New Room", Anne tries to persuade Tom to give up his train room so Dawn could have her own room, with the first reason she stated was that Dawn was a "young lady and her body would be changing". Dawn immediately covers her ears and goes "LALALALALA". Later, she says the same thing to the boys who have the same reaction Dawn did.
    • Anne pulls off a murder example in "Get Sporty-er". She wants to resolve their conflict with Rod and his family peacefully and immediately wonders where she can get some "dina-mi-tae" (that's how she was pronouncing the Dynamites' last name).
    • An upcoming episode revolves around the Harper family trying to solve a mystery of who forgot to flush the toilet when they were done using it.
    • In "Unhappy Campers", Dicky pretends to be Dawn's boyfriend at her request to connect with her bunkmates, who think she is an only child. Ricky then tries to convince Dawn to be his pretend boyfriend to impress his friends. Nicky also pretends that Dawn is his former girlfriend to try and bond with a counselor who is trying to get over his lovesicknesss.
    • At one point in I Got Your Back, one of the kids sound like they're saying 'shit'.
    • In "A Space Quadyssey", Dicky throws an exercise ball at Ricky while yelling "Catch Uranus!". In the same episode, Ricky is nicknamed "No. 2" and the Kramdens find it funny, saying it means poop and Vinny agrees.
    • In "Quadpendence Day", Dicky frequently over-stressed the 's' sound whenever he talked about their snake, Christopher. After Ricky tells him to stop with the 's's sound so much, Dicky responds ,"Get off my 's'"
  • Gone Horribly Right In "She Blinded Him with Science (Bob)", Dawn, Nicky, and Ricky try to show Nicky that he's not always right and make him believe in superstitions. When the first two attempts backfire on the other boys with the final attempt working very well on Ricky, they all start to believe that Dawn is cursed, including Dawn herself.
    • The success of the Quad Court in the episode of the same name was this for the quads. They set it up in order to get more sweets from their friends, but their court led to everyone getting along so well that their court was unnecessary.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Subverted in "New Kid on the Block: when Dawn goes into their neighbor's treehouse without permission and Syd (the neighbor) enters with a crowbar. A red splash can be seen on the window, but it was revealed to be red paint.
  • Growing Up Sucks: In "Tween Wolf", After the girls notice Dicky smelled badly, Natlee, Dawn's friend, told her that her older brother also started to smell and had an incredible appetite amongst other negative changes when he went through puberty.
  • Halloween Episode: "Scaredy Dance"
  • Hard-Work Montage: Played with in "Take the Money and Run" when Dawn and Mae have to make thirty bracelets. They are shown working hard only to reveal that they made only one in two hours.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Happens twice in "Urban Legend Outfitters" where the principal talks to Dicky and Ricky about the "duty" of a hall monitor. The first time, the principal laughs with Dicky, enjoying his sense of humor. The second time, the principal is already upset and tells Dicky that it isn't the time to laugh.
  • Hollywood Law: In "Rock and Rules", trying to think of ways to make money, the quads decide to rent out the garage to a teen band. After trying to evict them due to their loud and obnoxious behaviour, the band claims that they signed a lease contract with them. However, this contract should have been easily voided considering they were minors and unable to enter into a contract not to mention that they were not the owner of the property which also procluded them from renting out any space without their parents' permission.
  • Hot Teacher: Happens in "Quad for Teacher" with the other boys in the quads' PE class finding sub teacher Mrs Harper attractive. The quads are disgusted with this.
  • Hyperventilation Bag: In "Three Men and a Mae B", Mae gives Ricky a paper bag when he starts to hyperventilate while thinking about teaching a math lesson in his class.
  • Hypocrite: The quads mock their parents or using outdated slang while they themselves consistently use slang that ranges from 3 to 30 years out of date.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "Diary of an Angry Quad", The boys are upset at how far Dawn would go to deceive them as they are coming out of their hiding places in her room after eavesdropping on her and Mae.
  • I Am Spartacus: A variation occurs in "The Quad-Plex". The quads spend most of the episode trying to hide the fact that they are at the movies with their parents from the popular guy in their class, Moses. After finally being found out, other friends of theirs stand up in the theater to announce they are also with their parents.
  • I Can't Dance: Dawn reveals this to her friend in "Scaredy Dance".
    • Simone reveals this in "To Be Invited or Not to Be" and has actually created an outfit that can help someone who can't dance do so.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: "The Mighty Quad Squad" reunites Brian Stephanek with his old The Suite Life of Zack and Cody co-star Phill Lewis.
  • Identical Grandson: Played for laughs In "Scaredy Dance" with the dance chaperone. The same actress played the mother in the flashback and the daughter in the present.
  • Identical Stranger: In "House Crushing for Dummies", Britt's girlfriend in Australia is identical to Dawn (Lizzie Greene played both roles). This was a problem as Nicky and Ricky actually thought it was just Dawn in a wig and tried to break them up.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: The locations being drawn in by pencil art before it changes to color.
  • The Insomniac: In "Quadsled", none of the quads can get sleep before their bobsled race due to nerves.
    • First happens in "Dawn Moves Out" when Dawn has trouble sleeping in her new room alone for the first time.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Dr. Colosso from The Thundermans appears in Dawn's dream Oz segment. Fridge Logic in that in the previous special "Go Hollywood", it is revealed the quads watch The Thundermans.
  • It's All About Me: The quads have suffered from this. They were actually called out on it a few times by their friends, especially Mae in "Keeping Up With the Quadashians" after the quads' arrogance and competitiveness during their attempt at a reality show messed up Mae's birthday party so much she left in a fit.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: There's no denying that the Harper quads are jerks to each other, but they are genuinely good kids who care about each other, their parents (best portrayed in "Get Sporty-er"), and their newly adopted dog.
  • The Jinx: In "Valentime's Day", the quads feel like they have jinxed their parents' Valentine's Day after seeing part of a video made when their parents first found out they were having quadruplets. They try to help their parents reconnect with Valentine's Day, but everything they do messes it up wherever they go.
  • Kid-anova: Dicky fashions himself as one, though he is not very successful. In fact, one time a girl said yes to him, he ran away.
  • Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: The point of "Field of Brains" was that the quads wanted to watch the eponymous horror film although their parents said they were too young.
  • Last-Name Basis: Moses, a boy in the kids' school.
  • The Last Straw: In "New Kid on the Block", Syd mentioned her father told her the tree house couldn't hold more than two kids. All four quads plus Syd are in the tree house toward the end of the episode with no problem, until a bird lands on the window sill. It then falls out of the tree. While on the ground, still intact, a feather falls from the ceiling and hits the floor, causing the walls to fall down.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "New Kid on the Block", the quads were discussing whether their lives would make a good TV show and were arguing about what the title would be. Of course, Nicky chose "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn".
    • At the end of "Keeping Up with the Quadashians", the quads decide to quit their attempt at a reality show and tell Dooley to get rid of the cameras. However, Dooley winks at the camera as the episode ends.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Dawn intentionally does this in the video game her brothers were playing in "I Want My Mae B. Back" so she could get them to stop playing their game and help her out.
  • Limited Social Circle: The quads mostly hung out with each other. While Dawn had Mae and a few more occasionally appearing friends, the boys didn't really have any. In fact, it wasn't until the 63rd episode that they finally had a small grouo of friends over just to hang with them.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: In "Quadfather", Josie is trying to come up with band name and Ricky and Dicky offer suggestions of "Dirty Sponge" and "Empty Cup". Josie calls them out on this trope.
  • Meat-O-Vision: In "Quad Court", after being deprived of sweets, the quads see Mac holding a cinnamon bun. They then see him as one as well.
  • Method Acting: In-Universe deconstruction with Dawn in "The Wonderful Wizard of Quads". Dawn wants the role of Dorothy so much, she dresses up like Dorothy and even demands others call her Dorothy. However, the one thing she doesn't do is learn her lines so she bombs in her audition and doesn't get the role.
  • Musical Episode: "The Wonderful Wizard of Quads". Lamp shaded as each time there is a song, the characters make it known they know there will be a song coming. Dawn/Dorothy even stops Ricky/Tin Man when he tries to start singing.
My God, What Have I Done?
In "I Want Candace" this was the boys' reactions when they ruined Dawn's chance to win a radio contest to meet Candace Parker. Nicky even says "What have we done!"
  • Never My Fault: Dawn in the first episode, specifically the science class accident. She poured some liquid into a container resulting in some foam despite Ricky warning her not to do it and to read the instructions first. When she, Ricky, and Dicky start throwing it at each other, Nicky tries to warn them that they'll get rashes. Dawn unzips Nicky's hazmat suit and shoves some foam into his shirt. When Tom and Anne take the kids to Get Sporty, Dawn promptly blames the boys for the accident, even though she started the incident.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Done In-Universe in the episode "Keeping Up with the Quadashians". The quads were filming a reality show, "Hanging with the Harpers" at Mae's cat-themed birthday party. The cats got into the confetti cannons and right before Dooley pushes the button to launch the confetti, Dawn does a Confession Cam statement that no cats were harmed, but Don't Try This at Home.
  • Nobody Here but Us Birds: In "Quadpendence Day", the boys were trying to signal Dooley to come into the garage with the snake and a ear piercer for Dawn. Ricky and Nicky were making loud bird calls while Dicky was just yelling "Bird call, bird call."
  • Not in Front of the Parrot: In "The Secret", Dawn is upset when the school knows about her crush on Mack, a secret she told only to her brothers. She accuses them but they all deny telling, getting mad at each other for breaking Dawn's trust. However, Dawn discovered the parrot had mimicked her brothers teasing her when she first told and the parrot had been brought to the Get Sporty cafe, where their friends hung out.
  • Odd Name Out: Dawn. She has even called her brothers "the Ickys". Lampshaded in "The Sad Tail of Gary-Chip-Tiny-Elvis-Squishy-Paws" when the butler refers to the quads as "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and the one whose name doesn't rhyme."
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In "Diary of an Angry Quad", after catching the boys in her room and playing with her sports bras (they didn't know what they were), Dawn is shown to be cracking her knuckles in one scene and in the next, the boys are all hog tied with those sports bras just outside of her room.
  • One Steve Limit: Possibly Averted since Ricky and Dicky are diminutives of Richard. Why they would possibly have same base name is a completely matter.
  • Only Sane Woman: Anne is more level headed than her husband and kids.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: Dawn, the eldest and only girl of the quads. Ironically enough, she is considered the protagonist of the show.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Dawn delivers one to her brothers in "Diary of an Angry Quad". After realizing her brothers read her diary, she decided to get them back by writing a false entry saying that two of the boys are conspiring to do something to the third. This leads the boys to distrust each other and be nice to Dawn to get information from her.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Zip it Franco!"
  • Precious Puppy/Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Harpers' adopted dog, Gary Chip Tiny Elvis Squishy Paws. Later shortened to Squishy Paws.
  • Punny Name: Mack's name is Mack Albert Damia, or, as Dicky referred to him in "Quad Court", Mack A. Damia. He even Lamp shaded it by also calling him "you little nut."
  • Repeat After Me: Done twice in "Wanted: The Sugar Beet Gang" with the phrase ""Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it". First the quads repeat all but the repeat it part when their father says it, after which he repeats it. Then their class repeatedly repeats the phrase when the quads say it to them after they keep saying repeat it.
  • Reverse Psychology: In "She Blinded Him with Science (Bob)", after accidentally convincing Ricky that superstitions were real and having him question science, Mae enlisted the help of Science Bob to show Ricky and the quads that science works and it si sometimes fine to not be able to explain things by Science Bob pretending to believe in superstitions and question science while Ricky has to prove to him otherwise.
    • Accidentally invoked in "Quadsled" when the father tells his kids not to worry about the upcoming race, which gets them worried about it and are unable to sleep.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: In "One Quadzy Summer", Dawn and Mae's immediate supervisor loves to rhyme while talking with those under her.
  • Secret Test of Character: The mother gives one to Dawn in "Take the Money and Run" by telling Dawn the bracelet she gave Dawn had sentimental value. Dawn had sold it in order to get tickets to a movie fan convention. The mother wanted to see if Dawn would try to get the bracelet back.
    • In "To Be Invited or Not to Be", Simone, a young rich inventor wants to befriend the quads but does not know if she can trust them. Each day, she invites one fewer quad to visit her to test whether they will tell the others her inventions. At the end, the quads call her out on this but still decide that they still want to be friends with her.
  • School Newspaper News Hound: In "Urban Legend Outfitters", Mae and Dawn run the school newspaper, but no one reads it. To increase readers, Dawn chooses to report on a local urban legend, much to the dismay of Mae.
    • In "The Buffa-Lowdown", the quads are a part of a class that produces a morning news TV program shown only at the school. Ricky, as producer, fires Mae to bring in a girl he has a crush on.
  • Scout-Out: In "Ele-Funk in the Room", Dawn, Mae, and some of their friends are in the Sunshine Girls while the boys rejected their father's insistence they join the Honor Scouts which he joined when he was a boy.
  • Shout-Out: The entirety of "The Quad-Test" is basically a G-Rated version of "The Contest". The siblings compete to see who can go the longest without their childhood Security Blanket. Dicky even slams his rubber duck down on the table and declares "I'm out!" exactly the same way Kramer does.
    • In "Quad Court", the quads called themselves as witnesses in their own courtroom to convince the principal that Mac was innocent of what they actually did. In doing so, they said, "We call the Harper Quads—That's us." like the "Ask Ashley" segments from All That.
  • Sibling Rivalry: In spades. The first episode even has them trying to prove they can get along to get a puppy.
  • Sick Episode: "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Sicky" has Dawn trying to go to the museum all-nighter without anyone knowing she is sick. After arriving there, the boys also have to hide their sickness to avoid being sent home.
  • Sleeping Dummy: A variation in "Abraquadabra" happens when Ricky sneaks out to go to the magic themed party. Dawn brings back from the party a life-sized mannequin that looked like Ricky after he disappeared during the magician's trick. The parents come into the room and talk to Ricky with Dawn pushing the speaker button to have him reply with vague answers.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Dawn has trouble controlling her's.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Of the four main quadruplets, Dawn is the only female.
  • Snowball Lie: Happens in "Sympathy for the Squishy". After being late for class and about to get detention, Nicky gets a text from his mother saying Squishy Paws (their dog) had another accident (he peed on the floor because no one took him out). Nicky reads this to his teacher, who assumes the dog was injured and gave allowed Nicky to stay out of detention. After class, girls were crowding around Nicky, so Dicky decided to use this excuse to get a girl he liked to pay attention to him. Ricky's teacher decided to give Ricky a chance to retake his test to get a better grade, so he went with the lie. However, Dawn lost a solo in her music class, and just as the boys are about to tell the truth at her insistence, she is offered a chance at a solo at a fundraising event for Squishy, so she stops them and continues the lie. The aspects of the injuries and sicknesses of Squishy increase as they keep explaining it, but when the parents bring Squishy to the fundraiser, the truth comes out.
  • Spotting the Thread: In The Quadfather", Nicky realized his father is actually the title character (a beaver dressed in a suit) after hearing him sneeze.
  • String Theory: In "Quaddy-Shack", Tom was trying to figure out who was taking his decor from the mini golf course he created so he used a board with strings on it to discover who the thief was.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Dawn and Joey Montagelli in "Not-So-Sweet Charity". Their parents owned stores next door to each other and hated each other to the point of forbidding even their kids from entering the other's store.
  • Supreme Chef: Nicky is shown to be able to bake amazing food. The parents even fought over the last muffin in a batch he made.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: A Running Gag in "New Kid on the Block" where the quads always denied wanting to be Syd's friend just so they could use her tree house.
    • Used again as a Running Gag in "Mission: Un-Quaddable" where they couldn't tell anyone that a famous actor was staying with them for research in being a dad. In order to hint that the actor was with them was to constantly deny it to their friends.
  • Swapped Roles: In "Santa's Little Harpers", Tom and Anne swap roles as Santa and Mrs Claus (who baked the cookies) to shoe each other how hard the other role is. Both agree that they liked their original role and never to swap again.
    • In "Quadentity Crisis", Ricky and Dicky try to take their parents' advice by trying each other's hobby. Problems ensue when two girls see Ricky with Dicky's skateboard and Dicky with Ricky's poetry book. Both boys realize they are out of their leagues with trying to be the other brother. This also ruins their potential with the girls.
  • Talent Contest: "Piggy, Piggy, Piggy, and Dawn" is about the quads arguing over whether or not to change their puppet show that has always landed them into second place.
  • Third-Person Person: Dicky frequently refers to himself this way, which can get on his siblngs' nerves.
    Dicky: Dicky don't do dishes.
    Ricky: Dicky don't do English either.
    Dicky: Dicky don't like your tone.
    Ricky: Can you please argue in first person!?
  • Third Wheel: In "I Want My Mae B. Back", Dawn becomes this to the Mae/Miles relationship while convincing herself that Miles is the third wheel to the Dawn/Mae friendship.
  • Tickle Torture: Played for Laughs in "Quadspiracy Theory", Nicky Ricky, and Dawn tie up Britt, put peanut butter on his feet, and have Squishy Paws lick it off in order to get him to confess his evil intents to take their place. They were very wrong.
  • Toilet Humor: Literally. An entire episode is centered around who didn't flush after going to the bathroom.
    • In "A Space Quadyssey", Ricky was first given the nickname number 2, which everyone, especially the Kramden Quads, joked meant he was poop. Later, Ricky tried to give himself a new nickname of Bee Man. It was then shortened to BM, which is also a slang for Bowel Movement, which the Kramden quads also made sure to point out.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: In "New Kid on the Block", why their new next door neighbor Syd couldn't hang out with them.
  • Trash the Set: In a break with the usual end of season/series aspect of this trope, the Get Sporty Cafe is burned in a fire in the season three premiere "Quad with a Blog". It isn't fixed until the end of the fourth episode "The Great Mullet Caper", which was all about determining what the Cafe's theme would be.
    • In “Dude, Where's My School?”, the quads accidentally destroy their school, Edgewood, and end up going to a new one, Boulder Academy, where they try to fit in.
  • "Truman Show" Plot: The entirety of the "Go Hollywood" plot after the family lands in Hollywood. The people involved give them an adventure, all secretly filmed. The family only learns about it when they crash land a hot air balloon on a red carpet premiere and enter to see the movie is all about their experiences in Hollywood.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: The theme song is shortened as of Season 3.
  • Uranus Is Showing: In "A Space Quadyssey", after finding exercise balls that looked a little like the planets to Ricky, Dicky tosses him one of them, saying "Catch Uranus."
  • Voted Off the Island: Happes In-Universe in "Keeping Up With the Quadashians". The quads decide to add drama to their attempt at a reality show, "Hanging with the Harpers" by voting one of them out of the show. Ricky is the loser.
  • What Are Records?: In "Valentime's Day", Ricky was the only one of his age group who had even heard of a VCR.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "Quad with a Blog", it is revealed that Nicky is the food critic who panned the Get Sport Cafe.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: In "M.D. Day", the quads enter the store disheveled and reeking. Josie asks them what happened and they explain to her it all had to do with their doctor's appointment.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: In "The Quadfather" (eleventh episode), the four quads were stated to be having their tenth birthday. However, it had been previously stated that they were in fifth grade, meaning they should have been in fourth grade or celebrating their eleventh birthday. It would be highly doubtful that quadruplets would have all skipped a grade, especially Dicky and Nicky.
  • Your Head A-Splode: In "Remote Control Control", After being punished by not being able to watch TV, Nicky tells about a boy who stared at a TV to get tit to turn on and immediately his head exploded. They all agreed to take that chance and were scared when their father used his new remote to turn it on.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: In "Field of Brains" after watching a horrror zombie movie, the quads think their parents are zombies, and then think someone at their parents' store is also a zombie.

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