What happens when an arrogant sports-fanatic, a socially-clueless but intelligent dork, an anti-social, sarcastic emo and a food-obsessed popular kid find themselves lost together in a world where no one knows who they are? Worse, that world is their own hometown, but everything is just slightly different, including the fact that there's no record they exist?
That's Nowhere Boys, a 2013 show about what happens when four schoolkids with nothing in common are thrown together, after an accident on a school excursion in the Australian bush. When Jake, Andy, Felix and Sam find their way back into town, they are forced to solve the weird mystery about their seeming erasure from existence. Like a fun version of The Breakfast Club with a distinct sci-fi flavour, it is a show distinguished by great character development and clever dialogue pulled-off by strong young actors.
The first season was accompanied by an online game Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy. In it, you play as a boy separated from his father while lost in the bush, who wakes up and finds himself in a mysterious realm with some similarities to the location of the series. He is attacked by a mysterious entity called The Darkness, who seeks to destroy him because "order must be restored", and guided by a voice claiming also to be trapped there.
In 2016, a film taking place a year after season two titled Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows was released. A Sequel Series with a new cast called Nowhere Boys: Two Moons Rising premiered in November 2016, with a follow-up called Nowhere Boys: Battle For Negative Space released in December 2018 as the final series.
Nowhere Boys provides examples of:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: As opined by Ellen: "Why do I always fall for Bad Boys?" Played for Laughs, as the boy she's talking about, Andy, is nothing of the sort.
- Alternate Self: The recurring cast all have alternate counterparts in the Alternate World, often different to the versions of themselves that the boys are familiar with.
- Alternate Universe: The primary setting of the first season.
- Asian Rudeness: Andy's nainai.
- Big Eater: Sam is always thinking about food and if there's any food at hand he's on it. In the first episode he's so hungry he eats cream for itchy crotch by accident (it's fruit flavored).
- In a second-season episode Sam is hypnotized by the school counselor. He's asked if he can recall the two weeks he was lost (in the other universe, which the boys are all desperate to keep secret). He says he can... then, hilariously, he proceeds to list under hypnosis everything we saw him eat in the other universe.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Viv in the alternate universe. She's much nicer in the original one.
- Chaos Is Evil: Tegan is an example of this.
- Chekhov's Gun: Plenty, most obvious being the song Felix composes in his first scene.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Felix and Ellen.
- Cliffhanger: the last episode, in a big way.
- Deadpan Snarker: Basically everyone, but particularly Felix, Ellen and Phoebe.
- Demonic Possession: a restoring demon (ie. a demon trying to 'restore' the natural order of things) is responsible for the hoards of animals that keep attacking the boys. It later starts possessing people.
- Fanservice: Felix spends some time in an episode with no pants on, and all others share a a shirtless scene in an early episode bathing in the river (with an additional flashback showing Sam in trunks swimming in the river before climbing into a rowboat with Mia).
- Fan Disservice: In episode 2.05, Jake twice lifts his shirt and shows his abs. Unfortunately, he's also showing how he's turning into a rock.
- Fiery Stoic: The fire user and The Leader of the Boys, Felix Ferne, is an Emo Kid that's considered the most center-focused of the crew and the series.
- Forgotten Anniversary: Downplayed. In the first episode, Sam initially fails to realise it's his and Mia's one year anniversary. She doesn't get angry, but she's clearly not thrilled.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: Late in the second season, Sam and Roland swap bodies.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom/Red Eyes, Take Warning: The dogs under Demonic Possession. People the demon possesses also show this, but only at first, for a couple of seconds.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: everything turns out to be the result of a spell Felix cast to 'unmake' his brother's paralysis, which also unmade all their existences.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: The boys find themselves in a universe where they never existed. Played straight in Andy's case, as he finds his family get along much worse without him. Inverted in Felix's and Jake's cases, as their families are happier/better off in the alternate universe (Sam's is more or less the same).
- Jerk Jock: Jake at first. Trent Long, who replaces him as school athletic hero, through and through. Also arguably Sam, but he's more air-headed and self-obsessed than actually malicious.
- Personal Raincloud: Ellen has her own in the second season when she is stressed. It returns in the film.
- Replacement Goldfish: Played with. Sam's parents had another child shortly after the time of his birth, called the same name. However, they don't know he exists to be replaced.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Episode 9. The excursion that brought them into an alternate universe is being held again, and the boys go to see if they can get home again by following the same path they took last time. They massively debate this, arguing over whether they really want to go home and whether they're better off trying to help Phoebe find her sister and her sister's magic to get home, and eventually decide to stay the night in the park. only for Roland, the man who lives in the park, to tell Mr. Bates where they are and them to be dragged back.
- Shout-Out: Two brothers named Felix and Oscar.
- Possibly a coincidence, but the "witch-lady" (or at least they think she's a witch) the boys meet is named Phoebe.
- Those Two Guys: Sam's brothers Vince and Pete, although they are occasionally seen apart.
- Triang Relations: Depending on your perspective, the Andy/Ellen/Felix triangle can be considered a type 7 (Andy and Felix both have feelings for Ellen, she has feelings for both of them) or two type 4's (they both have feelings for her, she only has feelings for one of them - but who she has feelings for is different in each universe).
- Wham Shot: the Unmaking Spell being in both Phoebe's (or rather, Alice's) book of shadows, and Felix's.
- What Would X Do?: How Jake uses Andy's Bear Grylls obsession to talk him into searching a dumpster for food, despite his germphobia.
- World of Snark
Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: This game explains why Roland lives in the forest. He is the 5th Boy's father, and has been searching for him there since he disappeared.
- Evil All Along: the voice guiding our protagonist, aka. Alice, takes the talisman from the 5th Boy and uses it to get home, but refuses to help him get home, just so no-one can have as much power as her.
- The Faceless: In the in-game graphics, the protagonist's face is obscured by the shadow of his hoodie. In the live-action segments, they're either shot from his point of view, or only feature him from behind.
- For Want of a Nail: In the universe where the Nowhere Boys do exist, the 5th Boy asked Andy for directions which got him and his father out of the forest unharmed. In the universe where they don't, he and his father make a wrong turn without Andy's advice, run out of petrol, and the 5th Boy can't get a signal while trying to call for road assistance. While looking for one, he falls down the same cliff the boys did, and disappears into the space between dimensions.
Nowhere Boys: Two Moons Rising and Nowhere Boys: Battle For Negative Space provides exampes of:
- Apocalypse How: Class X-5; by the finale of Battle For Negative Space, the Entity has destroyed all universes in the Multiverse. Of course, when the Entity is defeated, the Multiverse is restored.
- Call-Back: The gang defeat the Entity with the original unmaking spell that Felix cast in season 1.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Brooklyn is absent in Battle For Negative Space, and is never mentioned.
- Demonic Possession: While not as direct as the Restoring Demon in the first series, the Atridax beetles control Luke, Heath, Jesse and Nicco to further their goal of destruction.
- In Battle For Negative Space, a new creature called the Entity takes control of Ellen, Zeb and briefly Jesse.
- Demoted to Extra: Ellen returns, now a teacher at Bremin High. However, she has only appeared in the first two episodes so far, one of which was just a flashback. She does get a slightly larger role later in the series once she finds out the new kids have magic. She has much more screen time in Battle For Negative Space.
- Elemental Powers: The main characters, as expected, and Ellen briefly shows off that she still has hers but also the Atridax.
- Gilligan Cut: When the gang confront the Other Jesse intending to have their Jesse take his place, the Other Jesse says theres no way hell switch clothes with the real Jesse. Cut to the Other Jesse wearing the real Jesses clothes, looking defeated.
- The Bus Came Back: In Battle For Negative Space, Jake (or at least a version of him) and Roland return for a few episodes.
- Voice of the Legion: The Entity.