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Series / Student Bodies

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The cast with their animated counterparts.

Student Bodies is a syndicated television comedy program produced in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from 1997 to the end of 1999 that mixed animation with live action.

The show was originally made for the American market and aired briefly in syndication (mainly to get Edutainment Show E/I credit), and also aired in Canada on CBC Television, Global and YTV. It featured an ensemble cast of high school students at Thomas A. Edison High School who run a school newspaper. The official school newspaper, in the words of the protagonist Cody Anthony Miller, sucks. The new girl, Emily Roberts, suggests that she and Cody start up their own, featuring Cody's irreverent cartoons. Other members of the cast include Cody's best friends, Chris Sheppard and Margaret "Mags" Abernathy, Romeo Carter, Grace Vasquez, and the two members of the rival newspaper group, editor Victor Kane and photographer Francesca "Flash" Light. There's also the Vice Principal, Mrs. Morton.

This show provides examples of:

  • Alcoholic Parent: A later episode reveals that Flash has an alcoholic mother.
  • All Love Is Unrequited:
    • Chris had a big crush on Morgan in the first season, and she would sometimes use this to her advantage.
    • Victor had an unrequited crush on Mags, which she usually ignored. In "The Game Show," though, she took advantage of it to get Victor to give her and Chris a ride home.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Whenever Cody uses a psychologist in his cartoons, it's always Freud. Flash explains this rather simply, though, when she sarcastically asks him, "why do you always use Freud? Is it because he's the only one you can draw?"
  • Alpha Bitch: Morgan.
  • Ascended Extra: In the first season, Romeo and Grace were minor, one joke carcicatures (Grace was clumsy and Romeo was The Casanova). Afterwards, they were fleshed out and given more prominent roles.
    • Kim briefly appears in "Babe Magnet" as an unnamed girl who Victor tries (unsuccessfully) to hit on. She showed up again later that season as the best friend of Cody's new girlfriend. Midway through the third season, she was dating Cody and in the opening credits.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The episode "Stand-Up Chris" features an elegant, expensive, and pretentious French restaurant called "La Vielle Chaussette." Viewers who could speak French undoubtedly wondered why anybody would name a restaurant "The Old Sock." (Of course, the creators most likely did this intentionally, as an inside joke. Since the show was marketed to an English-speaking audience, it was probably safe for them to assume that most viewers would have no idea what the phrase actually meant.)
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: In "The Bully," Chris dresses up as a girl to avoid the school bully, with both the bully and Victor developing a crush on him.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: In "The Break-Up," Kim tells Victor, "Cody and I were wondering if you'd like to come over to Cody's place tonight to watch a movie." When Cody asks, "We were?" Kim gives him a nudge, and he then says, "I mean, yeah, come on over."
  • Betty and Veronica: Both Cody and Chris struggle with this, to varying extents.
    • In the first season, Chris is torn between two Veronicas, Morgan and Flash - but he never winds up with either of them for more than one episode at a time, and finds a third alternative in Mags, a Betty, in the second season. They become the longest-lasting couple in the series (one-and-a-half seasons), and the only couple to last through a whole season (the third).
    • Cody is a subversion of the trope in that, when the chips are down, he will always pick the Betty. He starts out interested in a Betty (Emily), and though, after they hook up, he cheats on her with a Veronica (Tanya), that doesn't last and he soon becomes interested in another Betty (Grace). Eventually she leaves and he starts dating a Veronica (Holly), but he's miserable with her and becomes interested in her best friend, another Betty (Kim). The last episode has Cody torn between two Bettys (Kim and Emily).
  • The Bro Code: In "Permission," Romeo says that he won't date Emily unless her ex-boyfriend (and Romeo's friend) Cody says it's okay.
  • Butt-Monkey: Chris
  • Camera Fiend: Flash
  • Camp Straight: Victor. Emily's lesbian friend lampshades it when he tries to hit on her.
    "Are you sure? Maybe it's just a phase."
    "I suppose that's a possibility. Of course, I could say the same thing about you."
    "Excuse me?"
    "You're neat, well dressed, no girlfriend. You fit the profile."
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Morgan vanished from the show after the first season.
    • During the first season, the show had a large number of recurring characters - Mrs. Morton, Mr. Fishbaum, Ms. Phipps, Dino, the trio of football players (Horace, J.J., and T.J.), Stevie Blum, and a few others. Only a few of these characters (Mrs. Morton, Mr. Fishbaum, Dino) appeared in the second and third seasons. The rest disappeared without explanation.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Emily pretended to be one of these to get rid of Steven in "Dating Game."
    • In the final scene of "Babe Magnet," Flash acted a little like one to have some fun at Victor's expense (and to get some money out of him as well).
  • Continuity Nod: The show was pretty good about remembering plot details from prior episodes.
    • In "Victor in Love," Victor has a relationship with a girl named Priscilla. However, it turns out that Priscilla is only interested in Victor for his money. Later, in "Date-a-Rama," a teacher asks the students, "How many of you have been in love before?" and Victor raises his hand, but half-heartedly, and doesn't smile. The subject seems to depress him. Well, the teacher didn't say the love had to be mutual. Victor's feelings were real, even if Priscilla's weren't.
    • In "Flash," Flash asks Cody to persuade Victor to change his mind about firing Flash from the Student Voice. She points out that Cody has gotten Victor to change his mind before. This was most likely a reference to Cody getting Victor to agree to test Priscilla's feelings for him in "Victor in Love."
    • In "Career Day," it was established that Chris and Victor are both very good cooks. This skill later proved useful in "Snowed In" and "Victor Moves In."
    • In "Tutor's Pet," there was a continuity nod that, ironically, also created a continuity error. In one scene, Grace mentions her boyfriend, Patrick. This was almost certainly intended to mean Mags's cousin, Patrick, who Grace went to the Halloween dance with in "All Hallow's Eve." The problem with this is that if Grace and Patrick had been together that whole time, then Grace should not have been making dates with several other guys in the previous episode, "Cody for Prez."
    • In "All Hallow's Eve," Nick Benedetto (previously seen terrorizing the school in "The Bully") attends the Halloween dance, made up as The Incredible Hulk. He is seen walking up to people and roaring. They immediately flee from him, not only because of his Hulk persona, but probably more because he's the school bully and they're afraid of him anyway.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Grace.
  • Dating Catwoman: Chris/Flash.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Flash. Cody had his moments too, but they were usually expressed in cartoon form.
  • Dean Bitterman : Mrs. Morton.
  • Dumb Jock: JJ, TJ and Horace.
  • Establishing Shot: Animated.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: In the final scene of "Mags' Birthday," Mags sings with Romeo's band, Romeo and the Juliets. Later, in "Mags' Secret Admirer," Mags receives a message from somebody called "Secret Admirer 04," that ends with, "When I saw you sing with Romeo and the Juliets, I knew you had won my hart." (Yes, he did misspell the word "heart.") Grace tells Mags, "He must have seen you when the band played at the Station last week." If Grace's time frame is correct, then the events of "Cyrano de Edison," "Goop," "Victor in Love," "Valentine's Day," and "Date-a-Rama" all took place in a single week.
  • Foreshadowing: "The Trial" has a possible example. Cody dreams that he's on trial for cheating on Emily and Chris says that he's obviously feeling guilty otherwise he would having that Baywatch dream again. Enter Grace in a bathing suit, babbling about an emergency.
    Mrs. Morton: Wrong dream, Miss Vasquez!
    • Technically, Cody shows his first sign of interest in future girlfriend Grace in the later episode "The Waitress" but this scene suggests that he's been having sexy dreams about her for awhile and doesn't conciously realize it. Or it could have just been a way to include Grace in the episode.
  • Gamer Chick: Mags turns out to be a former Space Marauders champion in "Dating Game."
  • Guy on Guy Is Hot: "The Break-Up" subtly implies this. Victor accidentally rents a pornographic film called Saving Ryan's Privates for a double date with Cody. Victor and Cody are turned off but their dates, Kim and especially Paula, look very interested. The title suggests that it's gay porn.note 
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Hero might be a bit of a stretch but Victor was interested in Mags and Kim, both redheads. When he admits that he has a crush on Mags in "Mags' Secret Admirer", he gives this as one of the reasons.
    • "Yes, I'm attracted to her! That flaming red hair! Her pale soft skin!"
  • Homage: In "Dead Men Don't Go To Edison," Mags writes her own version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with herself as Buffy, Kim as Willow, Cody as Xander, Emily as Cordelia, Victor and Flash as Spike and Drusilla, and Chris as Angel.
  • Humiliation Conga: "Victor Gets Drunk" was unquestionably Victor's lowest point in the entire series. After getting drunk at Cody's party and waking up with only a vague memory of it, Victor comes to school to find that he's alienated most of his friends, and Flash and Emily won't talk to him at all. By talking to each of his friends in turn (sometimes begging them to talk to him), Victor learns, to his ever-increasing dismay, that he had made a fool of himself dancing, made crude advances on a pretty girl at the party, broken a valuable antique belonging to Cody's father, groped Emily, vomited on Mags, and worst of all, he had hurt Flash by making cruel remarks about her alcoholic mother. In the final scene, Victor pleads with Flash to forgive him, and she wearily says she will, eventually, but she won't be able to trust him as easily as she used to. The episode ends with Flash coldly turning away from Victor, who looks like he's about to cry over what he's done to Flash and their friendship.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Flash, to Victor (and, after the two papers merge, Emily).
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "Cody Presley," Cody walks down the hallway in his Elvis Presley costume, and runs into the school mascot, who points at him and says, "That is a stupid outfit." This, coming from a guy dressed as a giant light bulb with a smiley face on it.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In "Goodbye, Grace," Grace is offered an internship at Cambridge University, in England. Although it's a great opportunity for her, Grace doesn't want to leave behind the people she cares about, especially Cody. Cody is torn over the matter, but in the end, he encourages Grace to go, because he doesn't want to be the one who held Grace back from her dreams.
    • In "The Triangle," Kim asks Cody and Emily to go on one last date, to find out if they still have any feelings for each other. Just before the date, Cody tries to back out, asking Kim, "Tell me not to go." Kim, who had been having second thoughts about the whole thing, wants to call it off, but instead tells Cody, "I think you still have some questions." She then hugs him and says, "Go find the answers." As heartbreaking as it would be for her, Kim seems prepared to let Cody go back to Emily, if that was what he wanted.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Throughout the entire first season (after which she mysteriously disappeared), Morgan was portrayed as the most gorgeous girl at Edison High, the one every guy (especially Chris) desperately wanted. Though the actress who played her was indeed very good-looking, she definitely was not appreciably more attractive than the rest of the young women in the cast. But the most notable examples of this trope:
    • In "Cody for Prez," Stevie Blum seems to have no chance of winning the Student President election, until Morgan decides to endorse him. When she announces that she could never date anyone who didn't vote for Stevie, he wins in a landslide.
    • In "The Christmas Concert," the grand prize for the fundraising raffle is a week of lunches with Morgan. Mags announces the drawing as "the moment your hormones have been waiting for."
    • In "Secret Weapon," Morgan joins the Student Voice, writing a sports column called ''Scoring With Morgan McKnight.'' Flash anticipates that it will send their circulation through the roof, and when she announces that they're giving away autographed pictures of Morgan in a swimsuit, a huge crowd of guys rushes to her table.
    • In "The Waitress," Cody is said to be the cute one and Chris the funny one. However there is no noticeable difference in their levels of attractiveness. Of course, this may also be because Chris acts like a dork a lot of the time.
  • Informed Judaism: Cody mentions in "The Christmas Concert" that he celebrates Hanukkah.
  • In Vino Veritas: In "Victor Gets Drunk", a drunk Victor puts his arm around his rival Cody and calls him "the best friend I've ever had!"
  • KidAnova: Romeo.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Romeo becomes one of these with Emily.
  • Last-Name Basis:
    • Flash calls everyone by their last names, except for Victor and (later) Emily.
    • Ms. Morton, like many teachers in fiction, refers to her students by their last names, although she avoids any cutesy honourifics.
  • Local Hangout: The Station.
  • Love at First Sight: In "Cyrano de Edison," the students perform a scene from Cyrano de Bergerac, with Cody as Cyrano, Emily as Roxanne, and Romeo as Christian. Cody, who is now convinced that Emily doesn't return his feelings for her, half-heartedly delivers Cyrano's line, which everyone quickly realizes is just as much Cody speaking for himself:
    Cody: Roxanne, you cannot know what these moments mean to me. How could you, when I have never really told you how I feel?
    [Cody gazes at Emily]
    Cody: I have loved you from the moment I first saw you, and I will love you until the moment my life ends.
    [Emily's eyes widen and she smiles.]
    Grace: Oh, that is so beautiful.
    Cody: I ask only one thing. A kiss.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In "Victor Gets Drunk," Victor is horrified to learn that while he was intoxicated, he made cruel remarks about Flash's alcoholic mother.
  • New Transfer Student: Emily in the first season.
  • Noir Episode: Technically a noir segment: Flash's story in "Dead Men Don't Go To Edison".
  • Non-Indicative Name: Some fans were alarmed when they saw the title of the episode "Chris' Death." Fortunately, despite what the title implied, Chris did not die. The episode was actually about Chris (who had never experienced losing a loved one) trying to understand the grieving process, after a teacher passes away and Mags' hamster dies. (Most of the show's episode titles, however, were fairly accurate, and in many cases, were Exactly What It Says on the Tin.)
  • Noodle Incident: "Gay Friend" has a subtle, blink and you miss it one when Victor is accused of being gay.
    "What? Me? No no no! There's no way because I'm certainly...there's no way...well there was...but that doesn't count! I gotta go now!"
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Flash. Her real name, Francesca Light, was not revealed until the second-to-last episode of the series.
  • Parental Bonus: Try rewatching the show and [see how many jokes you missed as a kid.
    • A notable example is "The Road Trip", where the four guys have an entire conversation about having been to "been to Wonderland."
  • Punny Name: Flash's last name is Light. Surprisingly, they keep it fairly subtle and never refer to her by her full name.
    • The most prominently displayed issue of the Student Voice has a picture of Victor with the headline "I WON!"
  • Put on a Bus: Grace, in "Goodbye, Grace."
  • Retool: Between the first and second seasons. Many core elements of the first season - including the rivalry between Student Bodies and the Student Voice, and the romance between Cody and Emily - were dropped, which necessitated a change in Theme Song, which also indicated a shift in tone from a typical High School comedy to a dramedy about young adults which just happened to be set in a high school. Also, many recurring characters disappeared without explanation.
  • Retail Therapy: Victor's method of coping with grief is to keep a stiff upper lip and buy something expensive.
  • The Rival: Victor to Cody.
  • Rivals Team Up: Victor and Flash join the Student Bodies staff after the vice principal Mrs. Morton cancels their own paper, the Student Voice. They even become friends with them.
  • Ship Tease: This show must have given the shippers in the fandom fits. Several of its actors and actresses had very strong chemistry with each other, and the creators seldom hesitated to take advantage of this. At one time or another, it seemed like nearly every male-female pairing was teased in some form. Some fans were able to see their favored ships come to fruition; Many were not that lucky. Among the most notable ship teases were :
    • In "Date-a-Rama," Chris and Grace are paired up for a "mock marriage" project. At the end, Grace notes that she hadn't spilled or broken anything all day, because she was having too much fun with Chris to feel nervous. Much to Grace's amusement, Chris knocks over the phone because he's feeling nervous, as he sincerely tells her that there's nobody else he'd rather be married to. However, just as they are about to kiss, Cody walks in. He awkwardly asks, "Was I interrupting something?" and Chris ruefully replies, "Not anymore." But after this episode, the romantic chemistry between Chris and Grace was never seen or spoken of again. (Chris did kiss Grace in "The Waitress," but it seemed to be more to prove to her that he's a good kisser than because of any feelings he had for her.)
    • The Victor/Flash relationship was heavily teased during the series, especially in the first season. They were always best friends, and episodes like "Victor in Love" made it clear that they cared deeply about each other. But there were also many hints of romantic attraction between them. In several episodes, like "Cody for Prez," they seemed to be flirting with each other. They shared a slow dance in "Disco Cody," and Flash seemed to be playing out a fantasy of flying to Bora Bora with Victor in "Date-a-Rama." At midnight in "New Year's Eve," a depressed Victor told Flash there was nothing she could do to cheer him up. In response, Flash grabbed Victor and kissed him passionately. The now smiling Victor said, "Although that's a start," took Flash into his arms, and the two kissed again. But with the next episode, they were acting as if the kiss never happened. After all that teasing, Victor and Flash never became a couple.
    • During the board game in "Kiss and Tell," Flash draws a card that compels her to kiss Cody. They awkwardly lean in and back out a few times, before Flash grabs Cody by the neck and kisses him hard. Everyone, including Cody and even Flash herself, seem startled by what she did. The game required her to kiss Cody, but not as long or as forcefully as she had. Cody quickly recovers and prompts everyone to continue the game. The kiss, and the reaction to it, may have looked like a lead-in to a romantic development, especially since previous episodes seemed to show an undercurrent of sexual tension between Cody and Flash, and episodes like "Cody Moves In" and "Cheer Up, Cody" depicted a strong emotional bond between them as well. However, the kiss was never mentioned again, and Cody and Flash never became anything more than friends.
    • In "A Date With Morgan," Flash persuaded Chris to have dinner with her (simply by taking off her jacket), after his planned date with Morgan fell through. The two shared a passionate kiss in "Mags' Secret Admirer." Finally, "Flash" revealed that they had been in a secret relationship for the previous month. In the end, they pretended to break up so Flash could regain Victor's friendship, and Chris and Flash secretly promised to hook up again after the heat died down. Despite that promise, Chris and Flash were never seen as a couple again, although their brief relationship was mentioned in many subsequent episodes. (In fact, Flash's status as Chris's ex-girlfriend was sometimes implied to be one cause of the friction between Flash and Mags, after the latter started dating Chris.) Also, some episodes, such as "The Boys of Edison" and "Dead Men Don't Go To Edison," indicated Flash still had feelings for Chris, raising the possibility that they might eventually get back together. (They didn't.)
  • Shout-Out: The school's rich, megalomaniacal newspaper boss is named "Victor Kane."
    • In "Snowed In," when Emily and Mags bring the injured Flash into the office, Victor cries out, "Oh, my God, they killed Flash! You bastards!" This was a reference to the South Park catchphrase used whenever the character of Kenny died.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: In the final scene of "Time to Try," Kim sadly tells Cody that they can't be together. When she leaves the office, Cody runs after her :
    Cody: That's it, then?
    Kim: Please, Cody, you promised you wouldn't say anything.
    Cody: Yeah, but -
    Kim: And there really isn't anything to say.
    Cody: But, Kim -
    Kim: As a matter of fact, there is nothing you could say that would make me change my -
    [Cody grabs Kim and kisses her. At first, Kim does nothing, and then slowly responds and kisses him back.]
    • At the end of the scene, Kim remarks that what Cody did was pretty risky, since he had no idea how Kim would react to him kissing her. Cody replies, "You were worth the risk."
  • Smarter Than You Look: During the first half of "The Bully," Nick Benedetto seems like a stereotypical high school bully - all muscle, no brains. Cody seems surprised to learn that Nick can read. However, when Emily tries to persuade Nick not to beat up Chris, Nick looks at her very seriously and explains, "Look, in any high school, you've got your typical types - jocks, geeks, ditzes, bullies. And my job, because of societal pressures, is to spread terror throughout the school. I accomplish this by beating people up." It appears that Nick was largely feigning being dumb to maintain his image, and only momentarily dropped the act with Emily.
  • Spit Take: In "Gay Friend," Flash does one of these when she finds out that Stacey's "boyfriend" is named Sherry.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: Both versions. The version used for the first season was preceded by an Opening Narration which made it double as an Expository Theme Tune.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Cody, Chris, and Mags.
  • Very Special Episode: A few episodes tackled standard "teen issues", such as Season 2's "Gay Friend". Other episodes also included "Victor Gets Drunk" and "Chris' Death."
  • Would Hit a Girl: Apparently, Nick Benedetto would, if the ending of "The Bully" is to be believed. After Nick let Cody and Chris go in exchange for the videotape, it was implied that Nick would beat them all up if they told anybody about his crush on "Trixie," and there was no exception made for Emily or Mags.
  • Zany Scheme: Chris is known for pulling some of these.