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Video Game / Pajama Sam

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Pajama Sam is a series of point-and-click children's games originally made by Humongous Entertainment, which was later bought by Atari. The series spans four Adventure Games and four Gaiden Games, each starring Pamela Adlon as the titular character.

Sam is a young boy who likes to dress up in his pajamas with a cape and a mask and pretend to be his favorite superhero, Pajama Man. Most of the games each have An Aesop.

The Adventure Games, in order, are:

The Gaiden Games, in order, are:
  • Pajama Sam's SockWorks (1997)
  • Pajama Sam's Lost & Found (1998)
  • Pajama Sam's One-Stop Fun Shop
  • Pajama Sam: Games To Play On Any Day (2001)

The series also spawned multiple children's books (not all of which may have been published), including Pajama Sam: Amazing TV Adventure!, Pajama Sam: Color and Activity Book, Pajama Sam: Food Fight!, Pajama Sam: Mission to the Moon, Pajama Sam: Out To Lunch!, Pajama Sam: The Magic Hat Tree, and Pajama Sam: What's Different?, as well as a Pajama Man Comic-Book Adaptation, including Don't Rain On My Parade (issue #223), and The Milkman Always Burps Twice! (issue #619).

    The premises, by installment 
In Pajama Sam in No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside, the first half of Pajama Sam: Color and Activity Book, and the first third of Pajama Sam: What's Different?, Sam is scared of the dark, and wants to defeat Darkness, who lives in his closet. After entering his closet, Sam falls into the Land of Darkness, an almost Nightmare Fuel-ish forest. He loses his stuff (his mask, his flashlight and his lunchbox) and he has to find them before he can confront Darkness. At the end of the game Sam realizes that Darkness isn't evil and he shouldn't be scared of him.

In Pajama Sam's SockWorks, Sam is tasked with sorting the socks he picked up in his previous adventure. He decides to rest his eyes for a minute, but soon falls asleep, and dreams of the Sock-o-Matic Mark III, a machine to sort his socks for him.

In Pajama Sam 2: Thunder And Lightning Aren't So Frightening, the second half of Pajama Sam: Color and Activity Book, and the second third of Pajama Sam: What's Different?, Sam is watching TV during a storm and is scared by thunder and lightning. He goes up into the clouds and finds World Wide Weather, the people who control the weather, and accidentally presses the Big Red Button that screws everything up. Sam then has to go and find four talking machine components to fix it.

In Pajama Sam's Lost & Found, Sam is tasked with cleaning his messy room, and soon discovers that many of his things have fallen through the space under his bed and into other places. He dives in to find his missing stuff and ends up traveling through the Land of Darkness's river and mines, the North Pole, World Wide Weather's factory, and his own neighborhood.

In Pajama Sam 3: You Are What You Eat From Your Head To Your Feet and the third third of Pajama Sam: What's Different?, Sam becomes ill after eating too many cookies, only for the remainder to somehow come alive and take him to MopTop Island, an island resembling his own body. While there, he learns that there is a lot of conflict between the six factions of food groups. A delegate from each group has been chosen to attend a conference for peace talks, however most have gone missing. Sam must go and find the missing delegates and make it home in time for dinner.

In Pajama Sam's One-Stop Fun Shop, Sam has finished his chores quickly and has lots of time to play with his One-Stop Fun Shop, which includes projects such as toys, cards, and decorations for his room, as well as activities.

In Pajama Sam: Mission to the Moon, Sam and Carrot are having lunch at Pierre's Pickle Palace in the Land of Darkness, but the moonlight is too dim for anybody to read the restaurant's menus. Sam volunteers to be slingshotted to the moon, and must turn the moonlight up then find a way back to Earth.

In Pajama Sam: The Magic Hat Tree, Sam and Carrot discover the Magic Hat Tree in the Land of Darkness and try on the tree's hats, which magically place the two of them in various situations.

In Pajama Sam: Amazing TV Adventure!, Sam is watching TV, but the picture suddenly goes black. In desperation, Sam punches all the buttons on the remote control at the same time, zapping him and the remote into the TV Zone. In each TV program, Sam must find the remote in order to zap into a different TV program.

In Pajama Sam: Out To Lunch!, Sam wakes up trapped in his lunch box, and soon finds himself being stalked by a creepy celery stalk. Sam tries to get out fast in order to avoid being late for school.

In Pajama Sam: Games To Play On Any Day, Sam is stuck indoors due to rain and decides to play some board games. He climbs the shelves of the board games closet in search of his favorite game, but loses his footing and falls down through a pile of board games that had tumbled out of the closet, landing in an area filled with board games to play.

In Pajama Sam: Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!, Sam is watching TV and sees an announcement that "Pajama Man" is signing autographs at the mall. Sam plans to get his copy of Pajama Man issue #1 signed, but it gets pulled down into a pile of clutter. He dives in after it and falls into a land resembling his messy room. He finds out that his comic book has been taken to Grubby Corners Mall for Dr. Grime to sign. Sam must find a shirt, shoes and socks in order to gain entry to Grubby Corners and reclaim his comic book. This game was made after Humongous was bought out by Atari, and was infamous for many big problems. It was plagued with bad voice acting, poor writing, Loads and Loads of Loading, and many others. No more games have been seen since.

The series is now available on Steam.

Tropes in the Pajama Sam series:

  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: The Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: Out To Lunch! turns out to be one of these.
  • Aesop Amnesia: At the end of Lost & Found Sam learns to keep his room clean, but it's messier than ever in Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!, which ends with Sam learning a very similar lesson in cleanliness.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Sam is tasked with finding the Automated Snowflake Inspector to repair the snow machine. On his way he meets the Snowflake Inspector Detector, or SID, who claims that finding the Inspector is his whole job because the Inspector runs away a lot. Once Sam and SID find the Inspector, he adamantly refuses to return to work because no one appreciates what he does.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Sam uses one to reach a room's ceiling near the end of Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: In the Show Within a Show Pajama Man, this is how Clementine the Cow (and by extension Milkman) gained superpowers.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: The second game has a vacuum cleaner that acts like a dog.
  • All Just a Dream: The Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: Out To Lunch! turns out to be an Acid Reflux Nightmare of Sam's.
  • All There in the Manual: The Steam trading cards clarify that Thunder and Lightning are sisters.
  • Alternate Continuity:
    • The Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: Color and Activity Book, a Compressed Adaptation of the games No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside and Thunder And Lightning Aren't So Frightening.
    • The Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: What's Different?, a Compressed Adaptation of the games No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside, Thunder And Lightning Aren't So Frightening, and You Are What You Eat From Your Head To Your Feet.
  • Always Night: Both the first and fourth games take place at night (the first one has the words "dark outside" in the title, after all). Inversely, Thunder and Lightning takes place during the day. The third game is in perpetual twilight, given that it happens just before dinner.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Granted, we only see Sam, but his skin is light blue. Most of the Pajama Man characters have blue skin as well as Sam's rarely seen mom.
  • Anthropomorphic Food:
    • One of the most frequently occurring minor characters is Carrot, who is, as advertised, a living carrot.
    • In You Are What You Eat From Your Head To Your Feet, since the entire game takes place in a land themed after food, nearly all of the non-playable characters are living food items.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • In the first game:
      Wink: His [Sam's] interests include skydiving, channeling ancient spirits, and stamp collecting.
      Sam: I don't collect stamps. You're making that up.
    • During the etiquette lesson in Pajama Sam 3:
      Selma Celery: Silverware should be placed as follows: forks on the left. Salad fork, seafood fork, and steak fork. To the right we have the steak knife, seafood knife, soup spoon. Cocktail weenie poker, swizzle stick, (laying a golf club down on the table) and mashie niblick.
  • Art Evolution: No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside was Humongous's first game to have digitally colored backgrounds. The rest of the series, plus the SPY Fox games, were their only titles not to use hand-painted background at all (though they were still drawn traditionally).
  • Ascended Extra: Rudy Beagle (AKA Mr. Forklift) debuts in Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frightening as a minor character that Sam has to use to break into World Wide Weather. In Lost and Found, the player can play as him in levels 61-80.
  • Balloon Belly: The Cold Open of You Are What You Eat From Your Head to Your Feet has Sam eating nineteen (going on twenty) boxes of cookies in one sitting, resulting in one of these.
  • Banister Slide: In No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside, Sam does this when heading down from where the Doors of Knowledge are, and manages to land on his feet every time. Well, in truth, Sam seems to slide down any banister he can find, although he consistently lands on his butt when sliding into the lobby of World Wide Weather in Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frightening.
  • Berserk Button: In Pajama Sam 3, the sweets at the Welcome S.S.A.M. party go from having a grand old time to absolutely livid when Sam reveals that it's almost dinnertime, and he doesn't want to spoil it, leading to Sam getting locked in jail.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Otto lets one out when he goes down the waterfall.
    • Sam himself drops one after tripping on his cape in the second game. It even happens in slow motion!
  • Blind Without 'Em: Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!'s Grandma Sweater and her contact lenses, according to some unused dialogue. This was going to be a plot point in a game path that didn't make the final cut.
  • Bookends: The first game starts with entering Sam's closet and ends with entering Darkness's closet.
  • Boring Return Journey: In the first game, Sam has to go on an entire adventure after entering his closet that ends in the closet in Darkness' house. In the ending, however, he immediately ends up back in his own room after leaving Darkness' closet.
  • Brain in a Jar: Darkness's Secret Mad Scientist Lab has one. In No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside, it reads a poem if clicked on:
    I float and I think
    And I think and I think
    About walking or driving a car
    Or riding a bike
    And I think and I float
    Because I'm just a Brain in a Jar
  • Broken Aesop:
    • In-Universe. Sam's lesson to Otto the rowboat that he doesn't need to be scared of the water because wood floats gets immediately broken when the plank of wood he uses to demonstrate visibly sinks the moment they leave the screen.
    • In the fourth game, the dirty sock is judged by the other clothes, who are all in pairs. This is meant to be a lesson in accepting others, but the musical number really comes across more as teaching that people who are alone are freaks of nature:
    We’re all pairs! (We’re all pairs!)
    We’ll always be together
    You’re all alone!
    It’s strange to see
    We guess you must deserve to be!
  • Button Mashing: In the first game, this is the easiest way to swing over to the oars on the wall.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Sam creates the stories in One-Stop Fun Shop's storytime coloring book, so the five stories are most likely not canon.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • From the Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: Mission to the Moon, four Pierre's Pickle Palace customers, Pierre's Pickle Palace waiter Marcel the fork, moon person Monterey Jack, five other moon people, and the complimentary mints.
    • From the Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: The Magic Hat Tree, the Sheriff, the rocking horse, the firefighters, Stinky Sock, Stinky's sock guests, and the football helmet octopus with belts for tentacles.
    • From the Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: Amazing TV Adventure!, Pajama Man character Minnie Bubbles, Pajama Man villain Dr. Wrench-It, The Young, The Beautiful and The Really, Really Rich characters Alexis Livingston Weatherspoon Whirlyblender, Cord Colossal and the audience, football teams the Griddle Irons and the Mighty PJs, the comedy show actors and Laugh Track, Who Needs A Gazillion Bucks?' host Dilbert Fillpockets and audience, four alligators, and superstar rapper LLPJ's fans and bodyguards.
    • From the Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: Out To Lunch!, the creepy celery stalk, the groovin' grapes, the banana, the nuts, and the chocolate pudding.
  • Canon Immigrant: Some characters from the Pajama Man Comic Book Adaptations:
    • Clementine the Cow from Don't Rain On My Parade (issue #223) and The Milkman Always Burps Twice! (issue #619) is featured in the One-Stop Fun Shop and has her own Pajama Man trading card in Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!
    • Thunder & Lightning, both from Don't Rain On My Parade (issue #223), and Dr. Scott Bruvvers of the S.H.M.O. (Superhero Health Maintenance Organization) and the Malevolent Milk Molecules, both from The Milkman Always Burps Twice! (issue #619), all have their own Pajama Man trading cards in Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!
  • Captain Superhero: Captain Gelatin from the Pajama Man series.
  • Catchphrase: Sam's "Oh boy!" and "Alright!", as well as "Pajama Sam always helps those in need!"
  • Cheek Copy: Actually attempted by Pajama Sam in the second game if the photocopier is clicked, but it doesn't result in anything (and thankfully, Sam does it fully clothed). He notes that his skin must be non-photocopy blue.
  • Collection Sidequest:
    • Every Adventure Game has an optional one, doubling as a Hidden Object Game: 20 socks in the first game, 16 puzzle pieces in the second, 20 box tops in the third, and 24 trading cards in the fourth.
    • Lost & Found has six bonus puzzle pieces in every level. Collecting all six within a stage will allow the player to play a bonus mini-game for extra points.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: The Pajama Man comic books Don't Rain On My Parade (issue #223) and The Milkman Always Burps Twice! (issue #619), which were included with the second and third games, respectively.
  • Competition Coupon Madness: You Are What You Eat From Your Head To Your Feet begins with Sam trying to collect twenty Choc Amok box tops so he can cash them in for a Pajama Man action figure. The box tops serve as the game's Collection Sidequest; if all twenty are collected, the player gets a slightly different ending where Sam gets his action figure.
  • Compressed Adaptation:
    • The Alternate Continuity Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: Color and Activity Book, based on the games No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside and Thunder And Lightning Aren't So Frightening.
    • The Alternate Continuity Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: What's Different?, based on the games No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside, Thunder And Lightning Aren't So Frightening, and You Are What You Eat From Your Head To Your Feet.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Apparently, one of Chuck Cheddar's favorite extreme sports is lava rafting. Keep in mind that Chuck's body is made of cheese.
  • Creator Cameo: Dr. Scott Bruvvers from the Pajama Man series is based on Humongous animator Scott Brothers.
  • Curse Cut Short: A very mild example at the show Sam is watching at the beginning of Thunder and Lightning aren't so Frightening.
    Dust Devil: I'll send you to the far corners of the Earth, do-gooder!
    Pajama Man: My handy-dandy Pajama Man Super-Powered Vac says different!
    Dust Devil: Pajama Man, you suuuu-! *Gets absorbed*
    Pajama Man: Exactly!
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The fourth game changed the "skip cutscenes" key from Escape to Enter (with Escape now functioning as an additional way to access the Main Menu), leaving many unaware it was possible to skip cut scenes.
  • Dark Is Evil: The opening of the first game has Sam reading a comic where Pajama Man goes up against a villain named Darkness, who plans to thrust the world into eternal night, and gets damaged by Pajama Man's flashlight. This leads into the main story where Sam sets out to conquer his fear of the dark by capturing Darkness himself.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Contrasting with the comic book character, the Darkness that Sam meets at the end of the game is actually a lonely guy who just wants some friends to play with, but doesn't have any because everyone's asleep whenever he comes out at night.
  • Demoted to Extra: Carrot was a recurring character until the fourth game, where he only made cameos (on a poster in Sam's room and on a stone carving during a clickpoint in the Land of Broken Toys).
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • In general, even among Humongous games Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frightening is notable for the large number of instances of this trope, as this video demonstrates; you can give just about every single item in the game to the Snowflake Inspector, and each one has a specific response and cutscene rather than the generic "I don't think that will work" message.
      • In No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside:
      • When Sam finds all three items he has to collect, he'll make a comment on how he can now go upstairs and confront Darkness. If the game has the mask being kept by the talking carrot, Sam will get it back in the kitchen, where just about everything talks or sings in rhyme. If the mask is the last item that needs to be found, the usual comment made when it's collected ("Great! I finally have the mask/[number of items left] and I'll complete my task.") is replaced with a new rhyme about going to see Darkness.
      • After Darkness reveals he feels lonely because everybody is asleep when he comes out Sam offers to play with him. Darkness will ask if he likes to play Cheese & Crackers. Sam's answer depends on if you played with the toaster in the park at the other side of the river or not.
      • Normally Sam gives a generic "I don't think that will work" message if you try to use an item in the wrong spot. However, Sam has a few select lines in this particular game. For example, if you try to use the rope to get into Darkness' house, Sam comments the rope isn't long enough to reach. If Sam tries to use a dangerous item (like a pickaxe) on a character, he says that it wouldn't be very nice. If Sam tries to do this on the snooty trees who block the path to the garden, he'll say "Violence is never a good solution."
      • Normally, when you first meet Otto and ask him to take you across the river, he will tell you he's afraid he'll sink because he's made of wood, and is under the false impression that wood sinks. The solution to the puzzle is to place a piece of wood in the water to prove that wood actually floats. However, if you have the piece of wood when you first meet Otto, you can just place it in the water right away. Since the conversation never happened, Otto will wonder what you're doing. When he sees the wood floating, that is the time he chooses to tell you his story.
      • In You Are What You Eat From Your Head to Your Feet, if you don't talk to Florette before unlocking the jail cell, there will be extra dialogue of Sam and Florette introducing themselves to each other before they escape.
      • In SockWorks, if the game fails to load a level, it instead loads " Bad Level"note  (which can also be accessed by using ScummVM's debugger and typing "room 7" without signing in). The level has no socks, only containing four blue conveyor belts, a red laundry basket, and the message "This Level cannot be read from the CD. Please clean the CD and check for scratches." As soon as the level is loaded, a crash is heard, and Sam says "Uh oh... Something's wrong! The Sock-O-Matic only sets itself up like this when it can't read its instructions from the CD. The CD might be dirty, or even scratched! I think you'd better quit the game and try cleaning the CD."
  • Door to Before: In Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!, the Dresser Scaling mini-game can serve as this, due to a Good Bad Bug.
  • Downloadable Content: Pajama Sam's One-Stop Fun Shop had additional art that could be downloaded from Humongous' website.
  • Dream Sequence: All of SockWorks but the opening and ending cutscenes.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Sam originally wore a mask as part of his superhero alter ego in the first game, a quirk he dropped entirely from the second onward. A line of dialogue in the second game suggests Sam ditched the mask because it was getting itchy. In addition, the first game is the only one that doesn't start with you looking for his cape, rather you actually search for the three items that eventually become the key items you need to retrieve.
    • The original Collection Sidequest in the form of finding the socks is the only one that doesn't consist of completely uniform and identical looking items, and some of them are blended in so well into the scenery that they border on Guide Dang It!. Later games in the series made the items stick out much more against the scenery.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Lost & Found has three secret passcodes: "BONUS" takes you to the bonus games menu, "CRAZY" acts as a Silliness Switch for the main game (even in the demo version), and "ENDIT" skips to the game's ending cutscene.
    • A well-hidden easter egg in No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside requires you to get to the potion laboratory first (whether getting the flower colors, or the water meter number, for the Doors of Knowledge), and then go to Darkness' Kitchen and alternate clicking on the pot and the cutting board. If done right after six or seven times, the Dumbwaiter will interrupt with its own verses to the beat of the background music, open his mouth, take the pot up to Darkness' room, and then come back.
    • There is also a hidden animation in Thunder and Lightning Aren't so Frightening, which makes Pajama Sam takes a dump in the toilet.
  • Exact Words:
    • No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside:
      • This exchange:
        Tree: Hi, how are you?
        Sam: I'm fine, thanks. How are you?
        Tree: I can't complain.
        Sam: That's great!
        Tree: It's against the rules.
        Sam: Oh.
      • Another one with Sam's goal; He wants to "vanquish" Darkness [by putting him in his lunch box/expy Bad Guy Containment Unit like his superhero], he ultimately does vanquish him [by beating Darkness in a game of "Cheese and Crackers"].
  • Excuse Plot: From the fourth game: Oh no! Sam's comic book is gone! Help him find it!
  • Expanded Universe: The Tie-In Novels and Comic Book Adaptations.
  • The Faceless:
    • Sam's mom is only ever heard and not seen, and the only times her face is shown, it's in shadow.
    • The Leavins & Squeezins delivery person from Life is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff! only speaks to Sam through a door, meaning that the player never sees what they look like.
  • Fade to Black: The end of the first game.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: The Pajama Man Comic-Book Adaptation The Milkman Always Burps Twice! (issue #619), mentioned on the Pajama Man trading card of the Malevolent Milk Molecules in Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!
  • Flourish Cape in Front of Face: Sam will do this at least once in Thunder and Lightning Aren’t So Frightning as a traveling animation.
  • Foreshadowing: Early in No Need to Hide, Sam has to help Otto overcome his fear of water by showing him that there's nothing to be afraid of. Sam himself ends up learning a similar lesson once he finally confronts Darkness at the end of the game.
    • At the start of You Are What You Eat, Sam's excuse to leave the sweets's party and not spoil his dinner is that his mom made him brocoli. Guess what vegetable he encounters when the sweets throw him in jail.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: All the characters have these.
  • Furry Confusion: Somewhat. The party in the third game that Sam lands in has a candy cane dancing, but the jail cell Sam ends up in is also made out of candy canes.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In SockWorks, passing a sock through a multi-color paint bucket changes the color of every sock in the level, not just the sock that passed through the bucket. This can make levels with multi-color buckets much harder or easier than intended.
  • Game Within a Game: The Remote Mining Terminal known as Nuggets in the first game, which is a clone of Snake. There's also the Sorry!-esque board game in the second game.
  • The Ghost:
    • All of Sam's family (besides his mom, who's The Faceless), most notably his big brother Mark.
      • Sam's father does appear in the Father's Day promotional art but he is also The Faceless in those.
    • In Life is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!, Dr. Grime (presumably not the one from Pajama Man, as with Darkness in No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside and Thunder & Lightning in Thunder And Lightning Aren't So Frightening) is only seen in a photo.
  • Go-to-Sleep Ending: Sam finally goes to sleep at the end of No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • "No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside":
      • One of the missions to get the flashlight is incredibly complicated. First you need to get a pickaxe that you then use to pick up some gold. Then you use that gold to cross a bridge, where you pick up a sentient pencil. Then you have to find a hammer that you use to break through some boards, and in order to get the hammer, you have to oil the hinges on the door to the area where the hammer is. Then you go into a passage no longer blocked by the boards and use the pencil to blow up a wall. Then you race into another room that is pitch black. Then you flip a switch to turn the lights on. Then you go back into where the dark room was. There's a winch that is used to send you flying towards the flashlight, but you need a certain gear. So then you go back to Darkness' house to talk to a grandfather clock. He says he'll give you one of his gears if you correctly reset his time. So then you go to another room in Darkness' house to check one of the clocks for the correct time. Then you go back to the grandfather clock and input the correct time. Then you collect the gear, head back into the mines, put the gear in place, and use the winch to haul the mine car up to a great hight. Finally you get into the mine car and unhook him from the winch, which sends you flying straight to pick up the flashlight. Going through it the first time, especially for a young kid, would've been incredibly time consuming and confusing. What makes it particularly insane is that, compared to the other location it can be in (the shack), this one is insanely long and drawn-out, where the shack solution is pretty intuitive and only requires a few steps.
      • It's damn near impossible to find all of the socks in No Need to Hide without consulting outside help. Red socks hidden in the mines are particularly beastly to find, especially because sometimes you have to spot them while King is rocketing full-blast down the tracks and you only have a few seconds to look.
      • Once you pass the game-show doors, you enter a hallway full of doors, most of which just trigger bonus animations. If you don't move your mouse to the right of the screen and see it light up, indicating that you can enter a new area, you'll never get the magnet needed to fetch your lunchbox if it's underwater. You'll also never get the invisibility potion from the mad scientist lab, or figure out how to open the one-way door that King points out in the mine. That's where the aforementioned grandfather clock is too. It honestly depends on you moving your mouse over to the right spot, because the way that hallway is drawn, it just looks like one room.
    • "Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frightening":
      • On the "Y stuck in vending machine" path, the solution to finding coins for the machine is to grow a rainbow and then take the money the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow drops.
      • The game's art style can make it hard to tell what objects are clickable and important to beating the game, what will simply play a funny animation, and what is just decorative. As an example, when Wingnut is stuck down a drain, if you happen to not click on the completely non-distinctive looking drain, you will never find out he's down there.
  • Hand Wave: In SockWorks, when making a level, if you face a pusher toward a chute and try to play the level, Sam will say, "If a sock came out of a chute while the pusher was moving, it could jam the machine and the whole Sock-o-Matic might blow up!" It actually just causes the sock to randomly teleport all over the place.
  • Hidden Object Game:
    • Every Adventure Game has a Collection Sidequest where Sam can find certain items, with one hidden in the environment on nearly every screen. He can find socks in the first game, puzzle pieces in the second, box tops in the third, and trading cards in the fourth.
    • Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frightening's has an optional mini-game where Sam can look through a pair of binoculars to look into the Land of Darkness and try to find all of his Pajama Man comic books.
    • The Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: What's Different?
  • Idle Animation: Sam has one for every screen. Some of them are quite humorous, one of them being that if you wait long enough outside of World Wide Weather between the warehouse and the entrance with the hard hat on, Sam will do the YMCA.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Hero Sandwich from the Pajama Man series.
  • Kick the Dog: The pairs of clean clothes in Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!'s Sock Musical sing the following to the lonely Soiled Sock:
    We're all pairs, we're all pairs
    We'll always be together
    The world is fine, the world is fine
    The sun will shine forever in the sky
    You're all alone
    It's strange to see
    We guess you must deserve to be
  • Kid Hero: Sam is six years old, and is the main protagonist of the series.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In Games To Play On Any Day:
    Sam: I always seem to fall into really neat places.
  • Large Ham Title: Chuck Cheddar, CHEESE! OF! ADVENTURE! There is even a reverb when he says it.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading:
    • The fourth game (perhaps due to the newly-introduced autosave feature). There is a five-second wait between every screen. If the player is trying to quickly move across the map, they may spend more time waiting for the game to load than actually clicking on anything.
    • The Play Station version of You Are What You Eat From Your Head To Your Feet, if these three videos on YouTube are anything to go by.
  • Loophole Abuse: Sam's mom tells him to sort his socks in SockWorks before he goes to school. However, since it's snowing like crazy outside, he knows there will be no school tomorrow and he can just go to sleep.
  • Macro Zone: The world of Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff! is sort of this, since it's based on Sam's room.
  • Minecart Madness:
    • The first game provides a rare adventure game example. Sam can ride in King to navigate through the mines. The player has a limited amount of time to click on the direction they want to go in order to change their route.
    • Stages 21-40 of Lost & Found also feature Sam riding in King, this time in a more traditional sidescrolling fashion.
  • Minigame Game: Games To Play On Any Day consists of a series of board games, including variations of Reversi/Othello, Checkers, Mancala, Tic-Tac-Toe, Concentration, and a couple of others.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: SockWorks. It's nothing more than a clone of the Lost Luggage arcade game from Let's Explore The Airport With Buzzy The Knowledge Bug, except with randomized levels each playthrough, a new color changing mechanic, distractions during gameplay, and a Level Editor.
  • Muck Monster: The opening of Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff! has Sam watching an episode of Pajama Man featuring a villain called Dr. Grime, who is essentially a blob of sludge.
  • Mythology Gag: In No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside, Sam can read "A Brief Tragedy" about a pumpkin-headed boy who was advised by his lawyers to lose the pumpkin and then became blue. Come You Are What You Eat, Sam wears a false pumpkin head as a puzzle solution. Both events are in reference to Sam's original design as Pumpkin Head Boy.
  • No Fair Cheating: In Pajama Sam 3, attempting to go to the ending via a Debug Room results in the message "who’se dreamin’ now?"
  • No Ontological Inertia: The Malevolent Milk Molecules from the Pajama Man series.
  • Nobody Poops: There's a hidden animation in Thunder and Lightning Aren't so Frightening that makes Pajama Sam unbutton his pajamas, exposing his butt to the viewers, take a dump and wipe with his cape. Can be seen here. Warning: May ruin both your childhood and your appetite.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Pajama Sam's SockWorks only features Sam, not Pajama Sam (since he doesn't put on his cape).
  • Overly Long Gag: The first game has a scene where Sam can ask Otto about geysers. Otto's explanation lasts for over an entire minute.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Quite obviously. It makes sense for Sam's costume, but his big comic book hero is actually "Pajama Man."
  • Password Save: Lost & Found gives the player a five-digit password after clearing each stage, allowing them to return to the stage they left off on.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Collection Sidequest in No Need to Hide has a chance of placing one of the socks in Sam's bedroom at the very beginning, which you can't go back to once you've left.
  • Photo Montage: The credits of No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside (with comic book pages), You Are What You Eat From Your Head To Your Feet, and Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff! (with the pictures from the Pajama Man trading cards).
  • Point of No Return: In No Need to Hide, you can't leave Darkness' room once you've got in there. (Notably, the last sock may or may not be in there, so you may accidentally render the sock-collecting sidequest unwinnable.)
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: While it's made clear that the games take place within his imagination, a lot of what Sam does comes across as questionable at best; felonies at worst. From Thunder And Lightning Aren't So Frightening alone, he stows away in a box to trespass into World Wide Weather, tampers with machinery without authorization, steals work equipment such as hard hats, and most tellingly, he bribes the Snowflake Inspector with a ribbon under the false pretense that he was named employee of the month, when in reality, the Supplies Manager had accidentally ordered a surplus of ribbons.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Mother Nature tries to look at the monitors in the second game:
    Mother Nature: Let. Me. See. Those. Monitors!
  • Rain of Something Unusual: The One-Stop Fun Shop story "Weather or Not" involves Sam calling up World Wide Weather to ask for some new weather. His options including raining (or snowing, technically) lollipops, socks, gumballs, hot dogs, or cheese and crackers.
  • Rapid Hair Growth:One of the hilarious potion recipes in No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside promised that it would grow out hair. When Sam tries it, he first grows out locks that reach the floor, quickly grow longer than he is, and then escalates until he is completely wrapped in hair, gets angry and chases the resultant giant hairball away.
  • Recycled In Space
    • The mini-game "Nuggets" is Snake WITH GEMS!
    • As Sam points out, "Cheese and Crackers" is just tic-tac-toe, but with... well, you know.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: SockWorks, Lost & Found, One-Stop Fun Shop, and Games To Play On Any Day each reuse music from previous games.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: The Pajama Man Comic Book Adaptations Don't Rain On My Parade (issue #223) gives us this line:
    Hero is right! Earth Quaker is running into the museum!
  • Running Gag: In the second game characters tend to interrupt Sam when he's introducing himself.
  • Save-Game Limits: The other Junior Arcade games had a nice save system where you could save up to 75 names, and it would keep track of score. Lost & Found, however, decided to use Password Saves. While they were stored, scores weren't, and you couldn't have more than one game going on at once. Not to mention that if you want a good score, you have to play the game all the way through without shutting it off.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of SockWorks, Sam tries to go back to sleep, only to get startled by a crack of lightning, setting up the following game, Thunder And Lightning Aren't So Frightening.
  • Scenery Porn: The tree house in "No Need to Hide When Its Dark Outside" is gorgeously done, as well as the paint area.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The Tie-In Novel Pajama Sam: Mission to the Moon. Pajama Sam manages to turn up the moonlight and get back to Earth, only to discover that the menus at Pierre's Pickle Palace are written in French.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Sam."
    • In SockWorks, one of the background music cues is suspiciously similar to the beginning of I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock of Seagulls.
    • There are also countless Shout Outs to many other Humongous games.
    • To a 1970's Alka-Seltzer commercial, of all things.
      Pajama Sam: I can't believe I ate the whole thing.
      Ice Cream: You ate it Sam.
    • One book Sam reads in the first game has the line "Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the frumious Bandersnatch!"
  • Show Within a Show: Sam is a huge fan of a franchise called "Pajama Man", which inspired his Pajama Sam persona. Throughout the series, Pajama Man's franchise is shown to include a comic book line, a television series, toys, and a line of trading cards.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Thunder and Lightning (if they are siblings; it's never confirmed that they are, and surprisingly, Mother Nature is not their mother but their boss). In this case, it's actually twin yin-yang, as their personnel files reveal that they were both born on May 28.
  • Silliness Switch: In Lost & Found (even the demo version), entering the passcode "CRAZY" causes the levels' layers to move up and down—more than just a visual difference, since it even affects the layers that hold items and obstacles. Entering the passcode again returns the layers to normal.
  • Sinister Shades: Pajama Man villain Darkness.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Is it Earth Quaker or Earthquaker? The two-word spelling is used in the Pajama Man Comic Book Adaptations Don't Rain On My Parade (issue #223), while the one-word spelling is used by the cut subtitles in Thunder And Lightning Aren't So Frightening and by the villain's Pajama Man trading card in Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff! (the fourth and final adventure game) is unnumbered, after the previous sequels had numbers.
  • Take Your Time: The cutscene after you've returned the penultimate part of the weather machine in Thunder and Lightning tells you to hurry up as Mother Nature is arriving at World Wide Weather imminently, but there's no time limit.
  • The Pratfall: Sam can suffer from this in one of the ladders from World Wide Weather.
  • Title Drop: The first two games both have Sam repeat each game's subtitle to himself to try and shake his fear of the dark and thunder and lightning respectively, before deciding to set off on his adventure.
  • Trouser Space: Though, since Sam wears footie pajamas, it's more like a dropseat space.
    • If you watch his animations carefully, he stuffs everything he carries in the underside of his cape.
    • In Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!, he refers to it as his pocket.
    • In SockWorks he has a standard pocket that's only visible when he takes things out of it, but since it's part of a Dream Sequence it probably doesn't count.
  • Umpteenth Customer: Sam has to become the 30th customer at Leavins n' Squeezins in the fourth game to get a special pass.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: In Life is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff, there is a jar by the dresser which is necessary to get the fireflies. The jar only shows up after you view the cutscene where the construction worker tells you that she lost the lever for the crane. However, if you skip that cutscene, the jar never shows up and you can't get the cutscene to trigger again, and you can't win the game.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Averted in Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frightening. Two of the games' puzzles are dependent on Sam getting an item out of the cafeteria vending machine, but he can only earn gold coins once. The game has a feature that allows players to choose one of six predetermined puzzle scenarios where all four objects are placed at the same time, and none of the game's predetermined combinations allows the mutually-exclusive puzzles to be played together. The pick-your-puzzle feature returns in You Are What You Eat, but since there are no mutually-exclusive puzzles, each delegate's puzzle path can be chosen separately.
  • Visual Pun: In the second game, there's a board meeting where all the members of the board...are boards. There's also a chair as the chairman.
  • Vocal Evolution: By Games To Play On Any Day, Pamela Adlon's Pajama Sam voice had a very slight Southern drawl to it, due to Pamela being a seasoned voice actor on King of the Hill by that time (voicing Bobby Hill.)
  • Warp Whistle: In Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!, the Dresser Scaling mini-game can serve as this, due to a Good Bad Bug.
  • Who's on First?: Sam invokes this by accident at one point in the second game. Though to his credit, when he called to "make an appointment to see someone" he didn't have any way of knowing that the personnel manager's name actually was George Someone.
  • The Wonderland: Sam's adventures always start out in his house and quickly lead him to some fantastical location. The first game takes place in a strange forest based on his closet, the second has Sam climb into the attic, up into the clouds, and explore the company responsible for the world's weather, the third game takes place on an island based on Sam's body inhabited by talking food, and the fourth takes place in a world based on his cleaned bedroom. Interestingly enough, the various lands that Sam visits seem to be connected implying they all take place in the same world. Such as how Sam can see all the way to the Land of Darkness from the rooftop of Worldwide Weather or how Sam meets up with Carrot, a friend he made in the first game on Moptop Island in the third.
  • Written Sound Effect: Constantly in No Need to Hide, occasionally in Thunder and Lightning, and—bizarrely—only about four times You Are What You Eat.


Video Example(s):


Pajama Sam darkness

The entire game is built up to a final confrontation with Darkness, with Sam ready to seal him away in his lunchbox. Turns out though hes not such a bad guy after all.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / DarkIsNotEvil

Media sources: