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Web Original / Growing Around

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It all started when The Mysterious Mr. Enter reviewed Shorty McShorts' Shorts, particularly the short "Flip-Flopped". Disappointed with how it went, Mr. Enter decided to make his own version that takes the concept and runs with it.

Sally Dunn and her brother Max are two kids living in a world where children are in charge of society while the adults are expected to follow their rules. A world where structures resemble toys and candy, pets range from puppies to ponies to kangaroos, and playground games are taken Up to Eleven. However, the Dunn siblings are faced with challenges life throws at them, as are their parents and their friends. Everyone gets a chance to grow and develop as people.

A crowdfunding campaign failed to meet its goal for a pilot, and the future of the project is uncertain.


This series provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Most characters have normal names (e.g. Sally, Max, Avery, etc.), while some have uncommon names like Neven or Paslow.
  • Birthday Episode: The second and now official pilot "Max's Many Birthdays".
    • "Gift of Gumdrops" focuses on the family pony Gumdrops seeking to earn enough trading cards (in-universe currency) to get Sally a birthday present.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "Sally and Delilah" ends with Sally's imaginary friend Delilah parting ways with her in the past, followed by Delilah sadly looking on at a happy Sally and her friends in the present.
    • "Eternity Forever 4Ever" ends with Sally, April, and Molly mending their nearly-broken friendship as they cope with the controversy around the titular boy band.
  • Bizarchitecture: Houses resemble play-sets while various other buildings resemble random objects and toys.
  • Broken Pedestal: In "Eternity Forever 4Ever", Sally and Molly react this way when April leaks footage of lead singer Lucas acting like an ungrateful jerk. While Sally ends up losing the admiration she had for him, Molly was in denial over his behavior.
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  • Camping Episode/Horrible Camping Trip: "Wild Child" has the Dunns on a camping trip. However, Max and Autumn go through a lot such as the wildlife harassing them and Sally forgetting to bring chocolate for smores.
  • Chain of Deals: Tom goes through this in "One Good Deed" after the events of "Turnabout Tiana".
  • Cool House: The Dunn residence, which even has a built-in tube slide. Many other characters live in unique abodes as well.
  • A Day in the Limelight: April in "Big Sister April" and "Out of April's Mind", Molly in "Jinxed", Shelly in "The 'B' Word", Autumn in "Picture Day", Anna in "Wish Washing", Neven in "Hard Time Out", Riley in "Turnabout Tiana", Tom in "One Good Deed", Gumdrops in "Gift of Gumdrops"...
  • Detention Episode: "Detention Prevention" combines this with Great Escape as most of the adults in Kimiko's class try to break out of school.
  • Generation Xerox: As revealed in "How I Spent My Summerway Vacation", Robert and Autumn's personalities were a lot like those of Max and Sally respectively.
  • Halloween Episode: "Ryker's Revenge" takes place on Spooks & Kooks Day, a holiday that strikes fear in Sally.
  • How Dad Met Mom: "How I Spent My Summerway Vacation" is about how Robert and Autumn met as children.
  • Informed Obscenity: "The 'B' Word" reveals that "brat" is a derogatory word.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Sally often tends to be this.
  • Just the Introduction to the Opposites: Children are in charge of society while the adults do less contribution and go to school. Of course, they still act their age.
  • Literal-Minded: Sally in the first web comic.
  • Nearly Normal Animal: Gumdrops is in the Largely Normal category. Despite being a pony, he has several moments that an average pony wouldn't be caught doing in real life.
  • Nintendo Hard: Quest for Eternity is an in-universe example. Since it was originally a video game from Robert's childhood, it fits.
  • Official Couple: Max and Anna by the end of season 2.
  • Post-Stress Overeating: Sally occasionally does this after an upsetting event. The most notable example is in "Panic Flip Pinball" after she calls out Max for actually cheating at pinball to save his reputation.
  • Prison Episode: "Hard Time Out" is about the usually reserved Neven going to Time Out for road rage.
  • Protected by a Child: The reason children have dominance goes as far back as how they were able to trick a dinosaur that attacked some of the adults.
  • Pushover Parents: Downplayed as Autumn can be defiant or reluctant to what Sally or Max want with her, while Robert doesn't seem to care.
    • Shane is a zig-zagged case. While he is often disciplined into wearing a bunny suit, he constantly tires of punishment from children to the point of revenge.
  • Shout-Out: The eponymous toy from "Pixelotchi" is a reference to Tamagotchi. The toy letting the player raise a mix-and-match animal of their making may be a nod to the then-recent Tamagotchi m!x, which allows the player to breed patchwork kid Tamagotchis as its main gimmick.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Boy or girl (and kid or adult), comedic misery is equal opportunity. If Gumdrops is any indication, ponies aren't immune, either.
  • Something Completely Different: "Sally and Delilah" not only occurs when Sally was 4 years old, but it is also from the POV of her imaginary friend Delilah. It is a rather unique narrative.
  • Superhero Episode: "Attack of the Chameleon!" plays with this as the scenarios occur via imagination.
  • Sweet Tooth: Quite common in a world run by children. For specific characters, Sally with chocolate and Bunny with soda. In addition, if a kid doesn't ingest the necessary amount of sugar they need, they will lose energy and/or sanity as they will resort to biting anything in sight.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: "Pixelotchi" is about Autumn giving Sally a virtual pet created by Shane so that she won't be forced to do what her daughter demands. However, the events of the story have a terrifying implication that Sally (and possibly several other children) would likely die from lack of sleep or hunger if she kept playing.
    • In "You Snooze, You Lose", the current mayor Talula Heartly acted more cruelly towards Sally than usual at the former's slumber party.
    • In "Eternity Forever 4Ever", the girls' friendship is put through the wringer after Lucas is exposed for his bad attitude.
  • Very Special Episode:
    • "Pinks and Blues" has Max being ridiculed for liking something girly and learning to accept it.
    • "The 'B' Word" has Shelly learn why kids shouldn't use the word "brat", which is a derogatory in-universe.
    • "Panic Flip Pinball" has an anti-cheating moral that goes further than other stories with this plot, and it is Serious Business if any kid tries to cheat at a game. Also has a moral on how apologizing doesn't always solve everything.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Shane cements himself as this by the time of "Pixelotchi".
  • Weird Currency: Trading cards are used for money.
  • Wham Episode: "It Girl" involves Sally ending up in a town ruined by an ongoing game of tag as other children try to keep her trapped to avoid being "it". For extra wham points, it concludes with Sally deciding to run against Talula for mayor.
    • Season 2's "Childhood's End" trilogy finale hits even harder. The plot has Sally (and Max to an extent) trying to cope with going to a strict and ignorant school while living in a world run by adults... or at least by Shane. It turns out the Dunns were only in a virtual world for a week (2 hours in real world time).


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