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Series / The Big Garage

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At the top: Scrap. At the bottom, from left to right: London, Zigzag, Yorky, Pump, and Mimi

The Big Garage is a Canadian puppet show aimed at preschoolers, which aired from 1995 to 1996 on Family Channel and Global Television Network in Canada.

The setting of this show is Taxitown, where the eponymous Big Garage is. Said garage is home to four taxi cabs, London, Yorky, Zigzag, and Mimi, who are always under the watchful eye of Pump, a gas pump who serves as their mentor. Close to the Big Garage is Scrapland, a scrapyard serving as the home of an anthropomorphic trash compactor named Scrap who wants to destroy the taxis. Scrap's helper, a tow truck named Rusty, alternates back and forth between being an enemy of the taxis and a friend.


Provides examples of the following tropes:

  • An Aesop: There's an aesop in every episode. It is a preschooler-aimed show, after all.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Any character that isn't the taxis or Rusty is still a sentient object in some way. Pump, the taxis' mentor, is an anthropomorphic gas pump. Scrap, the enemy of the taxis, is a trash compactor. Other characters include Tooly, a toolbox, the Spanners, the wrenches that Tooly works with, Flash, a traffic light, Stop, an animated stop sign who stars in her own short segments in the show, and various animated tools who have short segments of their own as well.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Mimi, who even has a pacifier.
  • Bad Boss: Scrap is not particularly kind to Rusty.
  • Berserk Button: Scrap hates singing.
  • Big Applesauce: Yorky, who looks like New York taxicab, speaks with a New York accent, and is even named after New York City.
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  • Catchphrase: Zigzag’s “Zip, zap, zoom! Zigzag’s away!” and Mimi's "Meep meep! Mimi's here!"
  • Chained Heat: In "First Things First", London and Rusty get stuck together after a button activating a magnet Rusty is towing gets stuck, sucking London into the magnet.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Flash, a traffic light that forces other characters to stop for random reasons, and only allows them to go past her once they say or do something ridiculous for her.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Applies to the vehicles. London is blue, Zigzag is purple, Yorky is yellow, Mimi is red and Rusty is green.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In the episode "Welcome to the Big Garage", Rusty tries to teach Scrap how to make friends, and he pretends to be a stranger so that Scrap can have someone to practice with. After Rusty tells him that saying "Go away, I'm busy!" in a mean tone is not a good way to make friends, Scrap proceeds to try again... by saying "Go away, I'm busy!" in a nice tone.
  • The Comically Serious: Tooly is by far the least goofy character, but still finds himself in rather humorous situations despite that.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": A gas pump named Pump. A stop sign named Stop. A set of tools (Hammer, Saw, Oil Can, Ruler, Nuts & Bolts) named after the objects they're supposed to be.
  • Dramatic Irony: In "Welcome to the Big Garage", the other taxis watch for Mimi and are convinced that they'll recognize her the moment they see her. They don't, causing them to ignore her when she does pass by them. It isn't until after she's made it to the Big Garage that the other taxis realize their mistake.
  • Edutainment Show: The standard type that teaches pro-social morals.
  • Every Episode Ending: Every episode ended with Pump saying that things should quiet down now that the taxis are done with their adventure, followed by Scrap calling for Rusty to come home to Scrapland.
  • Exposed Eyeballs as Eyes: In the segments featuring the various animated tools, the hammer and oil can have exposed eyeballs.
  • Floating Limbs: Stop the stop sign has hands that are not connected to her body in any way.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The four taxis, consisting of two males (London and Yorky) and two females (Zigzag and Mimi).
  • The Ghost: "Number 5", the unnamed fifth taxi that Tooly is supposed to build but never gets to.
  • The Great Whodini: In the animated mechanic tools segment of "You Better Believe It", the saw does some magic tricks using the ruler as a volunteer, and Pump refers to the saw by the name "The Great Sawdini".
  • Insistent Terminology: The team of wrenches that assist Tooly and appear in one of the toolbox animated shorts are always referred to as "spanners".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In the episode "An Eensy Weensy Lie", London lies about having a flat tire to enter Scrapland and find a taxi sign to give Rusty. Scrap, who believes the lie, asks for help from the other taxis to aid London despite usually not liking them.
  • Meaningful Name: London and Yorky are respectively based on British and New York taxis and have the appropriate accents to boot.
  • Medium Blending: A minor example. There are two 2D animated segments (the Stop the Stop Sign segments and the segments featuring the tools) in what is otherwise a puppet show.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Rusty is supposed to be Scrap's minion, but he tends to visit the Big Garage anyway and acts completely friendly towards the taxis, much to Scrap's dismay.
  • No Mouth: Stop the sentient stop sign does not have a visible mouth.
  • No Song for the Wicked: Scrap is the only character who doesn't get a song number. Justified as he hates singing.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "An Eensy Weensy Lie", Scrap not only asks the other taxis to help London, but he also doesn't mind London singing in his presence as he waits for them, despite his hatred of singing. Lampshaded by Yorky.
    Yorky: Huh? You're not gonna stop us?
  • Once per Episode: Every episode has a song in it, which gets a reprise near the end of the episode.
  • The Place: Named after the main setting, the Big Garage.
  • Premiseville: Taxitown is so named because it's populated by Sentient Vehicles.
  • Sentient Vehicle: The show's main characters are taxis. There's also Rusty, a tow truck.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: Pump ends every episode with one.
    Pump: Well, that's it for another busy day at the Big Garage. I'm sure things will quiet down now.
    Scrap: RUSTYYYYY!!!
    Pump: ...but not too quiet.
  • Super Speed: Zigzag's gimmick, which London briefly assimilates into his own character in "Lickety Split".
  • Title Theme Tune: "Time to get those wheels a-rollin'! Big, Big, Big Garage! Time to get those horns a-blowin'! Big, Big, Big Garage!"
  • Verbal Tic: London’s “I say”.
  • Welcome Episode: "Welcome to the Big Garage" is the episode that introduces Mimi, and by the end of the episode she is firmly established as a member of the Big Garage.
  • Word, Schmord!: In "You Better Believe It", Scrap retorts with "Fairy schmairy!" and "Zigzag Schmigschmag!" when he tells Rusty that there's no such thing as the Tire Fairy, whom Zigzag believes is real.
  • Wrap-Up Song: Every episode ends with a reprise of the song unique to it.
  • You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: Said word-for-word by Yorky in "Boo! Who?" when he notices the other taxis look scared (which actually is because they saw what they assumed to be a ghost).