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Series / The InBESTigators

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A children’s Kid Com series broadcast on ABC Me and distributed by Netflix outside of Australia and New Zealand. Executive Producers Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope previously wrote the 2015 Australian TV series Little Lunch. Both shows use a mockumentary format.

When Ezra is tasked to look after Maudie, the new kid at school, he discovers her keen observation and puzzle solving skills and proposes forming a detective agency. Together with their fellow 5th grade classmates, athletic Kyle and the always cheerful Ava, the foursome are a pint-sized investigative team who work out of a granny flat (guest house) in Ezra’s backyard.

Season One began airing on June 21, 2019, while its international debut on Netflix happened on August 9, 2019. Season Two began airing on ABC Me on November 11, 2019 and made its international debut on Netflix on January 10, 2020.

This show provides examples of:

  • #1 Dime: Mr McGillick is extremely protective of his "World's Best Principal" mug. It turns out he was given it by his class after a difficult first year of teaching. The $2 shop didn't have a "World's Best Teacher" mug but they told him it was OK since he would be the world's best principal some day.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Maudie quits the team when she feels they’ve replaced her with their intern Elijah, who is able to solve the case of Amelia’s missing bicycle before Maudie. Later, she proves Elijah staged the "crime" he solved and rejoins the team before the episode ends. A more literal example than most as her retirement in-universe lasts 4.5 minutes.
  • Accidental Misnaming: In "The Case of the Distressed Dancer", the egocentric dancer Zac pays so little attention to the dance studio's technician that he thinks her name is 'Trixie'. It's actually Trish.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Maudie's father calls her "Mauds".
  • Alliterative Name: Three of the four detectives have one, with Ezra Banks being the odd man out.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: From "The Case of the Turtle Thief":
    Ava: Anyway, I was away at my cousin's wedding so you need to say what happened.
    Kyle: They got married?
    Ava: Not at the wedding. To you guys!
  • And Your Reward Is Edible: In "The Case of the Pestering Prank Caller", Ezra's neighbour Mrs. Maniaci offers to bake The InBESTigators a rhubarb pie if they put an end to prank calls she has been receiving. Ezra immediately accepts and then explains that if you have ever had one of Mrs. Maniaci's rhubarb pies, then you know what a good deal this is.
  • Aside Glance: Happens quite often, particularly by Ezra, usually after Kyle says something.
  • Bathroom Breakout: In "The Case of Vanishing Koalas", the thief slips out of the bathroom window while Pixie stands outside the stall continuing to talk to her without realizing she has left.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Although he doesn’t want to admit it, Ezra cares deeply for his little sister Poppy. "The Case of the Sad Little Sister" highlights their relationship.
    • Interestingly, we see that Maudie has this for Ezra when she enters Tranquil Fury mode upon discovering he's being bullied on the group's web site.
  • Bland-Name Product: Disc Chockey's instead of Wagon Wheels and Kakow Koalas instead of Caramello Koalas.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Kyle and Ezra
    • Inverted with Ezra and Maudie; Ezra actually notes that he’s not used to being the taller one of the duo
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Kyle doesn't mince words.
      Kyle: Also, I'm having a sleepover at Ezra's and we were really bored.
      Ezra: Thanks.
    • Maudie also has this although she is trying to be more tactful.
      Kyle: Your diorama looks really good Maudie.
      Maudie: Thanks. Yours isn't very good.
  • Butt-Monkey: Amelia frequently seems to get the short end of the stick, whether it's inadvertently flooding Miss Maniaci's rose garden, flubbing her audition for the animal shelter commercial, or getting left out during Ava's sleepover.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Maudie awkwardly attempts to insert jokes while Ezra is recapping "The Case of the Robot Robbery."
  • Completely Off-Topic Report: In "The Case of the Concert Catastrophe", Maudie becomes obsessed with the girl group The January Valentines:
    Maudie: (reading report)...and that's why they are my favourite members of The January Valentines.
    Miss Tan: That was an Interesting report on The January Valentines, Maudie.
    Maudie: Thank you.
    Miss Tan: But your assignment was on the invention of the light bulb.
  • Cool Old Lady: Ezra's nana (grandmother), when she realized that her visit forced Ezra to put the agency on hold while she stayed in the granny flat (a.k.a. their office), crafted an intricate mystery for the team to solve.
  • Covered in Gunge: At one point, Maudie's attempts to fix a printer leave her covered in ink; she ultimately decides to wait for Ezra.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": In "The Case of the Extremely Empty Freezer", Mr. Baker throws his back out while doing the robot dance at his birthday party.
  • Darker and Edgier: For a kids show, several episodes touch on heavier topics including bullying, parents getting divorced, a struggling family business, and Maudie’s mother getting sick. The second season even had an episode where Ezra was cyber-bullied to near-completely-demoralized levels.
  • The Ditz: Ava's best friend Pixie, who thinks the solar system has a planet called Sagittarius, and can hold an entire conversation about her hair without noticing the other person has left.
  • Eat the Evidence: After damaging Esther's painting with a thrown cookie "The Case of the Perplexing Painting", Caitlin joins the search for the missile, picks up the cookie and then eats under a chair while pretending to continue to search.
  • Edible Ammunition: In "The Case of the Perplexing Painting", Maudie deduces that the missile used to damage Esther's painting was a cookie after she finds icing on the damaged painting.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Since Maudie hasn't had many friends before, she assumes that the small cake the Inbestigators share at their office in "The Case of the Baffling Birthday" was her surprise party. Ava is horrified that Maudie thinks she would throw her something so simple, flat out saying "That wasn't a party."
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: In "The Case of the Disappearing Deliveries", Kyle doesn't believe that there is a plant called aloe vera.
  • Even The Rats Won't Touch It: A variation in "The Case of the Fishy Fundraiser", the spoiled lemonade is so bad that even Maudie, whose favorite food is peanut butter/salmon sandwiches, thinks it's revolting.
  • Exact Words: In "The Case of the Concert Catastrophe", Miss Tan gets fed up with Maudie's obsession with the January Valentines and bans talking about the group. When Maudie starts singing the song that got her into the group in the first place and the rest of the girls in class join in, Miss Tan scolds Maudie, who sheepishly points out that she wasn't talking; she was singing.
    • In "The Case of the Burgled Bags", Miss Tan tells her class to stay calm while she tries to figure out who's screaming and why; as the Inbestigators point out in their video, she only said "stay calm", not "stay put" and as such, they rush to the scene.
  • First-Name Basis: Ezra thinks he is on a first-name basis with Principal McGillick.
    Ezra: Luckily, Henry and I are tight.
    Principal McGillick: Don’t call me Henry.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Each episode has one or more of the crew recapping their latest case for their vlog while multitasking on something unrelated, such as cleaning a refrigerator, fixing a printer, or practicing first aid.
    • In “The Case of the Wrecked Rehearsal,” Ava loses it during the rehearsal because Pixie hadn't finished painting the sets. For the rest of the episode, Pixie can be seen frantically painting in the background, even during the actual play.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The team is made up of two boys and two girls.
  • Heroic BSoD: Happens to Maudie when she loses her notebook in “The Case of the Very Lost Notebook.”
    • Ezra ends up in one when he's being bullied during the young business competition.
  • Hero Worship: Poppy completely idolizes Maudie, to Ezra's annoyance.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "The Case of the Copy Cat", the girl accusing Ava of stealing her speech insists that her rough draft proves she wrote the speech herself; however, as Maudie points out, the rough draft has notes for every Monday, including one that was a public holiday and thus the workshop at which the speeches were meant to be written was off for.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode starts with “The Case of the...”
  • I Have This Friend: Kyle mentions needing a grey blankie with elephants on it to fall asleep, quickly followed by saying that he read about it in a book about a boy that wasn’t him. He later does this when he shares about crying over seeing sports players he admired.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison:
    • Maudie uses this on a couple of suspects to get them to unintentionally confess.
      Maudie: Hi, I'm Maudie. I'm the one who answered Ezra's phone on Thursday.
      Luka: Friday.
    • Averted in "The Case of the Robot Robbery". While the Inbestigators never mention that Duncan's costume was a robot costume when interrogating his classmate, it turns out that Duncan bragged about what his costume was going to be to his class so they have to keep investigating.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: In "The Case of the Peculiar Pop Quiz," Ava repeatedly goes out of her way to claim that Kelly wanted to hire both Maudie and Ezra as tutors, because she knew Ezra would see it when he edited the video.
  • Kid Detective: Maudie, Ezra, Ava, and Kyle are all technically this, though it best describes Maudie.
  • Last-Minute Project: Comments from the other characters indicate that most of Kyle's projects fall into this category. This is definitely the case in "The Case of the Missing Solar System". When Kyle comments that his model of the solar system looks crap compared to Maudie's, Maudie says that she likes the way he has used rice bubbles to represent the asteroid belt. Kyle looks down at his model, and then says that's not the asteroid belt. Its just where he spilled his breakfast on the model as he was finishing it that morning. He then eats the rice bubbles.
  • Left the Background Music On: In "The Case of the Wrecked Rehearsal", Kyle makes a dramatic accusation of who had pushed Esther over and caused her to sprain her ankle, which is followed by a dramatic sting. Miss Tan then looks over at Ezra, who is running sound and light for the play, and says "Ezra! I don't think that's very appropriate!"
  • Like Father, Like Son: Although we never meet him, Kyle’s description of his father makes them sound very similar.
    Kyle: My Dad and I don’t talk about puzzles and stuff. Sometimes we try to do the sudoku, but we always get distracted and start reading the comics.
  • Mockumentary: Each 15-minute episode features one (or more) of the team vlogging about a case they had just solved.
  • Never Had a Birthday Party: Maudie, due to her mother dying when she was young and her father attempting to juggle life as a single parent and his career as a doctor. When Ava discovers this, she immediately resolves to remedy this and throw her a Surprise Party.
  • New Transfer Student: While the details of her past aren’t disclosed, Maudie is new to the school and to Ezra, Ava, and Kyle’s fifth grade class. Ezra is tasked by the principal to look after her as his “special project.”
  • Not Me This Time: In the first episode, after a montage of times that Kyle was responsible for Ezra getting hit in the head with a ball, prompting an angry "Kyle!", the present day smack turns out to be someone else's fault and Kyle is quite indignant to be blamed.
    • Happens with Kyle again in "The Case of the Unhappy Camper", when his pranking antics get him fingered for stealing the principal's phone, sticking it in the rice and damaging it; it was someone else entirely.
  • Notable Non Sequitur:
    • Early in "The Case of the Vanishing Koalas", Miss Tan's is complaining about the students littering toilet rolls. Later, Maudie remembers this and has a "Eureka!" Moment about how thief managed to seemingly be in two places at once.
    • In "The Case of the Freaky Frequency", Ezra's elderly neighbour is complaining about her broken doorbell and wants Ezra to fix it. Ezra brushes this off as he and the others are in a hurry to get to the ice cream shop. However, he later realises that the broken doorbell is key to solving the mystery of why cars aren't locking near the ice cream shop.
  • Odd Friendship: Ezra and Kyle; the first episode features Ezra saying that no one understands why they're friends and then admitting that even he isn't sure why. To a lesser extent, Maudie's friendship with Kyle and her and Ezra's friendship with Ava also qualify.
  • The Parent-Produced Project: The motivation behind the theft of Pixie's project in "The Case of the Missing Solar System"; the thief's parents always did his projects for him and his own efforts paled in comparison to everyone else's so he tried to pass Pixie's off as his, though Maudie foils it.
  • Plot Allergy: A cat allergy is a major clue in "The Case of the Pestering Prank Caller" and the Twin Switch in "The Case of the Soccer Saga" unravels when Maudie sees someone she's been told is dreadfully allergic to eggs nonchalantly and eagerly eat one of Ava's cupcakes without asking if they have eggs in them or not.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Ezra’s incredulous reaction when Maudie unexpectedly disappears from the classroom via the window.
    Ezra: What. Just. Happened.
  • Role Swap Plot: When Maudie loses her notebook, she becomes the hapless victim and the usually clueless Kyle is the one who manages to put the clues together to find it.
  • Rubik's Cube: International Genius Symbol: In "The Case of the Extremely Empty Freezer", when asked for ideas for entertainment for Mr. Baker's 1980s themed party, Maudie suggests that people can watch her solve a Rubik's Cube.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Ezra claims his sniffles were due to dust in the shelter shed, not from being upset because his little sister was being bullied.
    • In "The Spoiled Sports Day", Kyle claims his crying is the result of an allergy to books.
  • Short-Distance Phone Call: In "The Case of the Sleepover Secret", Pixie texts the details about her parents getting a divorce to Ava, despite them sitting at the same table. This thoroughly confuses Kyle, but Ava claims it is because she was too upset to actually discuss it.
  • Sore Loser: Kyle after losing the 100-meter race to another student, which sets off an investigation that leads to a cheating conspiracy.
  • Stolen by Staying Still: An accidental version occurs in "The Case of the Misplaced Mug" when it turns out Principal McGillick's 'World's Best Principal' mug never left his office at all. It was accidentally placed in the recycling bin because of his habit of covering it with a folder to keep it warm when he left the office.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: A Running Gag in "The Case of the Robot Robbery" is random, unconnected characters all assuming that Patrick is dressed as the woman from the pilates app.
  • Surprise Party: Ava successfully throws one for Maudie, who Never Had a Birthday Party. She's aided by Ezra, Kyle, and Maudie's father.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: In "The Case of the Robot Robbery," the victim, Patrick, saw a mad professor steal his robot costume. Only problem was, half the school had come dressed as a mad professor, a character from a popular movie.
  • Troll: Ezra falls victim to one when the team takes part in a Young Small Business competition.
  • Twin Switch: "The Case of the Soccer Saga" is driven by this; unlike most examples, the twins in question are mirror twins rather than perfectly identical.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When Pixie nearly catches Amelia on her phone in "The Case of the Sleepover Secret", Amelia apologizes and then not wanting to admit what she was actually doing, says that she's sorry about Pixie's parents getting a divorce. She had no idea that it was a secret until Pixie snaps at Ava about supposedly sharing it.
  • Women Are Wiser: Parodied when Kyle and Ezra don't know how to comfort Ava.
    Kyle: We needed a girl who would know the right thing to say
    Maudie: Why don't you just stop thinking about it?
    Ava: *Screams*
    Kyle: Maudie was not that girl
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When Ezra is demoralized by bullying comments during the young small business competition, his friends all point out that he's the reason the Inbestigators exist and that they would have no reason to be at the competition without him.