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Once again - no, 90s kids, this wasn't some weird fever dream you had.

"Imagine a monster girl anime, only instead of being high school girls, it's about pre-school aged goblins, trolls, dragons, and birds. The premise of Wimzie's House is a little bizarre - why are these vastly different, mostly imaginary species all living together? How did a bird and a dragon manage to reproduce and why are they all the same size?"
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Wimzie's House is a Canadian preschool puppet series that ran for 65 episodesnote  from 1995-1996 on YTV, and aired on PBS stations through distribution by Maryland Public Television in the US from September 1, 1997 until January 3, 2003.

The show was about a 5 year old dragon-bird girl named Wimzie whose parents worked all day, so her grandma Yaya ran a mini daycare center. The charges of the daycare are Wimzie, her 18 month old brother Bo, a 5 year old goblin named Jonas who loves science, his 3 year old sister Loulou who loves to be with the bigger kids, and a 4 year old ogre named Horace who isn't very bright.

In each episode they learn lessons and flip over to semi-related songs out of the blue twice an episode. As a bonus, the songs are presented in letterbox widescreen; the show is presented in 4:3 full-screen. (Though not always.)

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In 1999 The Jim Henson company issued a lawsuit against the company, claiming the characters looked too much like Muppets (despite the fact that a number of Henson people, including puppet builder Jim Kroupa, worked on this series), though an Urban Legend has surrounded the lawsuit for years that the real reason behind the lawsuit was because they didn't want to be connected to what they considered to be an inferior show.


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Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Rousso and Graziella were often absent from episodes, though this can be explained by both of them having demanding jobs that require them to spend a lot of time away from home (Rousso even explained this in a show bumper that being a fireman, he works all kinds of crazy hours). Graziella was absent a lot more frequently, but it wasn't uncommon to at least see her leaving for work at the beginning of an episode, or returning home from work at the end.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Inverted and played straight in "I'm Scared for Daddy": After Rousso breaks his arm while rescuing a family from a fire, Wimzie doesn't want him to go back to work because he might get hurt again. Graziella tells her that she worries about Rousso's safety too, but that he needs to go to work to keep others safe.
    • In the subplot of "I Dare You!" Yaya has hiccups that won't go away. Loulou tries to scare them out of her with masks and costumes, without success. But near the end, when Yaya sees Horace climbing a dangerous ladder on a dare from Jonas, she's so scared that her hiccups finally stop.
  • Aesop: This series was full of them.
  • Awkward First Sleepover: In "Wimzie and the Scaredy Cats," all the daycare kids have their first sleepover together, and at various points Loulou and Horace struggle with fear of the dark and of the scary stories being told. But with Yaya's help they work through their fears and everyone has a good time in the end.
  • Bannister Slide: Wimzie does this in the intro.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Wimzie's Three Wishes," Wimzie wishes her parents didn't have to work. Right away, her mother is laid off from her job, and her father comes home early because the firehouse doesn't need him that day. Wimzie assumes her wishes have caused this and worries that they won't have enough money for food anymore.
  • Be Yourself: One of the show's episodes is called this and is about this.
  • Big Eater: Horace. So much, an episode was made in which the other kids tease him about his eating habits, saying he'll become as big as a dinosaur... after he breaks a chair, he goes on a non-stop exercise kick and tries to stop eating altogether.
  • Big Storm Episode: "The Storm" has Wimzie and the other kids learning to deal with a Fear of Thunder.
  • Birthday Episode: "Happy Birthday Yaya!" has the gang preparing a special surprise party for Yaya.
  • Cartoon Animal: While it's established that Wimzie is half-dragon/half-bird (Rousso is supposed to be a dragon, Graziella is supposed to be a bird), it's never said what kind of creatures Jonas and Loulou or Horace are supposed to be, though some has assumed they're frogs or something with a similar appearance. (Wikipedia says Jonas and Loulou are goblins and Horace is an ogre.)
  • Christmas Episode: "The Perfect Christmas," where a snowstorm forces all the daycare kids to stay overnight at Wimzie's house on Christmas Eve.
  • Cross-Cast Role: In the episode "The Play's the Thing," when the kids put on a play of Cinderella, Horace ends up playing Cinderella, Loulou plays the prince and Jonas plays the wicked stepmother.
  • Crossdressing Voices: Bo was voiced by Liz MacRae.
  • Crying Wolf: In the episode "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", Horace pranks his friends by pretending to see various giant animals outside. When he eventually does see a "wolf" in the house (actually Bo wearing Rousso's big bad wolf costume), no one believes him.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Bo.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Despite her feisty nature, Wimzie actually can let a few zingers rip from time to time.
  • Death Is a Sad Thing: In the episode "Bye Bye Birdie," Wimzie and friends find a bird that was killed by a neighbor's cat. They hold a funeral for it and even give it a posthumous name, "Twinkle." Soon afterward, they find Twinkle's nest and two orphaned babies, which they feed and guard until they're strong enough to fly away.
  • Doesn't Trust Those Guys: One episode dealt with the issue of trust (and lack thereof).
  • Dream Intro: "Am I Dreaming?" starts with Wimzie running from Jonas, both in silhouette, as Jonas continues to grow larger and larger, taunting Wimzie by saying he was never her friend and he never liked her, which turns out to be a dream, that causes Wimzie to spend the rest of the episode holding a grudge against Jonas, much to his confusion.
  • Easy Amnesia: Rousso came down with this after a Tap on the Head. For the duration of the episode, he called himself "Cecil Muttonchop," and declared himself to be five years old. (Turns out that he had a pet of that name when he was five.) Wimzie kept calling it "Malaysia" until Yaya corrected her.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: An episode deals with Wimzie's disdain for her father's nickname for her - "Whizzy".
  • Endangered Soufflé: Yaya tries to bake a soufflé at a time when Wimzie is sick. Unfortunately, Wimzie has to use a loud blowhorn to get attention and that causes Yaya's soufflé to collapse.note 
  • Fear of Thunder: Wimzie, as seen in "The Storm" with the reason given being that it is very loud and happens very suddenly. The other kids also carry a fear of it for the same reason but all to a different extent. Wimzie ends up overcoming her own fear by helping Bo through his.
  • Feud Episode: In "You're Not My Friend!" all the kids have arguments about various things, in "Friendship Day" Wimzie gets mad at Jonas for not naming her the winner of the kids' poetry contest, and in "Am I Dreaming?" she spends the episode mad at Jonas for being mean to her in a dream.
  • Furry Confusion: Graziella and Yaya are supposed to be birds, yet small, chirping birds in trees also exist in their world.
  • Imagine Spot
  • Infant Sibling Jealousy: Wimzie sometimes feels this way toward Bo: for example, in "Babies Have It Made," where she wishes she were a baby so she could be cared for the way Bo is, and in "I Want My Mommy!" when Bo gets sick and takes away Graziella's attention from Wimzie on one of her rare days off from work.
  • Injured Limb Episode:
    • In "The Accident," Loulou has a broken leg, so everyone spends the day taking care of her. Meanwhile, Jonas is in a bad mood, and the adults think he's jealous of all the attention his sister is getting, but it turns out he actually feels guilty because it was by tripping over his roller skates that Loulou got hurt.
    • In "I'm Scared for Daddy," Rousso has only just recovered from having broken his arm during a fire rescue, and Wimzie is afraid that he'll get hurt again if he goes back to work.
  • Irony: Rousso is a dragon who works as a firefighter.
  • Inter Species Romance: When you consider that Wimzie and Bo's father is (supposed to be) a dragon, while their mother is (supposedly) a bird.
  • Mad at a Dream: Deconstructed in the episode, "Am I Dreaming?" in which Wimzie has a nightmare that Jonas was never her friend, and never liked her, and the next day during daycare, Wimzie is very hostile and abrasive towards Jonas, leaving him very confused and rather sad, since he's unaware that she's getting back at him for hurting her feelings in her dream. In the end, when he does finally learn about it, he tells her it was All Just a Dream.
  • Meaningful Name: Yaya (alternatively spelled Yia Yia) actually does mean "grandmother", it's Greek.
  • Meganekko: Loulou
  • Muppet: In fact, the puppets were actually designed and built by one of the Muppets' regular builders.
  • Minimalist Cast: There are only eight characters and one location in the entire show. We never see anything else besides them.
  • Nerd Glasses: Jonas and Loulou.
  • No Fourth Wall: Usually the main storyline of the episode does (with rare occasions), however, there are other little inserts in the episodes where the characters speak directly to the audience.
  • Noir Episode: Not an actual episode of the show, however PBS frequently featured a promo for the series that was done in film noir style.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Wimzie uses "Fantabulous" an awful lot.
    • One episode had Wimzie and Loulou coming up with their own foreign language that only they can understand.
  • Playing Sick:
    • In the episode "I Want My Mommy!" Graziella has a day off from work and promises to spend it playing with Wimzie, but then Bo gets sick, so she has to spend her time taking care of him instead. Wimzie pretends to be sick to get attention too. She eventually comes clean when she sees how overwhelmed her mother is taking care of two sick kids, and when Yaya (who sees through her trick) tries to "cure" her with a mustard and broccoli concoction.
    • In the episode "Jonas the Actor," when the kids plan to perform a play for the neighbors, Jonas has Stage Fright, so he pretends to have a broken tonsil and a sore big toe.
  • Plot Allergy: In the episode "Achoo!" Wimzie thinks she's allergic first to her grandmother, then to her father, but in the end it turns out that she's really allergic to bell peppers.
  • Puppet Shows
  • Shown Their Work: As noted, a few people who were previously associated with The Jim Henson Company worked on this show including puppet builder Jim Kroupa, writer Norman Stiles, and songwriter Christopher Cerf; some people who worked on Canadian Sesame Street / Sesame Park (originally an import of the original Sesame Street but with some inserts replaced with locally-produced Canadian inserts, but later a full-on co-production) worked on this show also.
  • Sick Episode:
    • Wimzie gets the flu in "Queen for a Day" and becomes an Annoying Patient, constantly blowing on the horn Yaya gave her to ask for things.
    • In "Doctor Wimzie," Graziella gets the stomach flu and Wimzie becomes too enthusiastic trying to taking care of her.
    • Bo gets an ear infection in "I Want My Mommy!"
  • Sibling Seniority Squabble: Not necessarily seniority, but Jonas and Loulou are prone to squabbling over things that are rightfully theirs (ala their own mother).
  • Signature Laugh: Just about each of the characters have their own.
  • Six Man Band:
  • The Swear Jar: In "Don't Say That Word," Yaya institutes this with the word "stupid" with one cent going into a "charity cup" each time it's said. Only Wimzie's little brother Bo is exempt because A.) He's only 1 1/2 and B.) He doesn't have any money.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Naturally, as one of the main thrusts of the show is teaching kids to recognize and express feelings.
  • They Who Must Not Be Seen: As part of the show’s Minimalist Cast, there are a number of characters that are mentioned the entire series, none of whom are ever seen on screen, including next-door neighbor Mrs. Ferris, and Wimzie's other-other best friend Mitzi Moonstar (who lives down the street).
  • Title Drop: For some reason, Yaya answers the phone with "Hello, this is Wimzie's House."
  • Title Theme Tune: "We're laughing and we're learning / We're singing a song / When you learn to trust your feelings / You can never go wrong / At Wimzie's House!"
  • Tom Boy And Girly Girl: This could apply to Wimzie and Loulou.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: In one episode, Wimzie and the gang are visited by Horace's identical cousin, Morris, who was a bit more abrasive than Horace, causing him to feel slighted when Morris kept playing with his friends.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Rousso and Graziella are Good Parents, both both often have to work long hours, leaving Wimzie and Bo with their grandma for most of the day, and a few episodes deal with Wimzie wanting them to spend more time with her.

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