In the wild unknown
With the frogs and toads
And I'm far from home
But there's so much here to discover
One leap after another
Hop into the adventure
Gotta ribbit, ribbit
Jump on in it"
The show chronicles the adventures of Anne Boonchuy (Brenda Song), a Thai-American 13-year-old who, after stealing a mysterious musical box at the behest of her friends, is magically transported to the world of Amphibia: a rural marshland populated by frog-people. She is taken in by an excitable young frog named Sprig Planter (Justin Felbinger) and his family, and with Sprig's help, Anne will transform into a hero and discover the first true friendship of her life.
The series premiered on June 17, 2019, with the first two episodes being made available on various online services a few days prior; they can be viewed here or here. A second season is currently in production.
Tropes in this show include:
- Adult Fear:
- A teenager is left fending for herself in the woods for days, starving, and begging for help from anyone.
- In the second episode, Hop Pop realizes he fell asleep all day, and the key to the house is missing. He immediately goes downstairs to search for Anne and Sprig, fearing they sneaked out and got killed.
- The end of "Best Fronds" reveals that Anne's friends were also transported to Amphibia when the box opened, meaning there are actually three human girls who are Trapped in Another World with no known way to get back to Earth. What makes this worse is that Sasha has been captured by the Big Bad, while Marcie's whereabouts are currently unknown.
- Aerith and Bob: As could be expected, Anne's name is rather down to earth, being used commonly in English and French, and also used as a second name after a first, compared to someone named Sprig.
- Alien Lunch: Frog-people have an appetite for bugs, which disgusts Anne.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: The frog people of Amphibia can be anywhere from red, pink, blue, or a natural green color like most frogs.
- Another Dimension: Amphibia is this to Earth, with the music box seen in the opening serving as a sort of warp.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Giant insects seem to be very common in this world.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Anne only stole the music box to make Marcie and Sasha happy so they wouldn't stop being her "friends." It ends up transporting them to another world.
- Catapult Nightmare: At the start of "Best Fronds", Anne has a nightmare about how she ended up in Amphibia and then bolts right up when she wakes up from it.
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: A somewhat more egregious example, since the hapless victim is a young child whom Anne trapped in the first place.
- Death World: Amphibia has a lot of dangerous creatures roaming around, from Big Creepy-Crawlies like giant praying mantises to huge water snakes.
- Easily Forgiven: Despite the fact that they made her shoplift when she didn't want to, Anne sincerely hopes that Sasha and Marcie are okay. Justified, as she still seems to believe that they're actually her friends.
- Fantastic Aesop: Don't steal from shops, kids. Otherwise, the object you steal — in Anne, Sasha, and Marcie's case, a mysterious box— may transport you to another world.
- Fair Weather Friend: Anne's description of friendship makes it pretty clear that Sasha and Marcie weren't good friends to her, making her constantly give her possessions to them and being generally manipulative.
- Feathered Fiend: One of the antagonistic creatures in the intro is a gigantic chicken-monster chasing Anne and Sprig.
- Fire-Breathing Diner: When Hop Pop insists that Anne and Sprig stay home in the second episode, Sprig suggests that they have some fun by tasting his "pain peppers". He starts breathing fire about a second after merely touching his tongue to one. He later uses it against the lake serpent to induce the same effect.
- Forced to Watch: Anne believes her friends saw her disappear into Amphibia and were unable to do a thing about it. We quickly learn that this isn't the case. They were transported with her, with Sasha being imprisoned by the Big Bad and Marcie's whereabouts are completely unknown.
- Foreshadowing: In the flashback at the beginning of Best Fronds, Sasha and Marcie are hit by the same light coming out of the music box that transports Anne to Amphibia. The end of the episode reveals that the two of them were also transported to Amphibia, albeit in different parts of the dimension.
- Frog Men: The inhabitants of Amphibia have Frog-like bodies, general humanoid structure, and they even go through the life cycle of a frog, starting as a tadpole.
- Four-Fingered Hands: The Frog Men of Amphibia, those who have grown past pollywogs anyway, have only four fingers on their hands. Anne and her human friends, however, have five fingers each.
- Humans Are Cthulhu: Besides Anne just looking like a hideous monster to the frog folk, she is also shown to be a lot stronger than them in general. Plus her smart phone is seen as magic to a culture still in medieval times.
- Humans Are Ugly: Anne is at first called "the Beast" by the frog-people. After she saves Sprig from a giant praying mantis, he comes to the conclusion that she's actually "an ugly ugly ugly hero".
- Interspecies Friendship: Anne, a human, befriends Sprig, a frog person, once she arrives in the world of Amphibia.
- Interdimensional Travel Device: The music box, featured in the opening, transports Anne to Amphibia upon her opening it.
- It Only Works Once: Anne at the end of the pilot tries to make the music box take her back to her world. It doesn't work.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The reason why Anne, Sasha, and Marcie wind up being transported to Amphibia is because the latter two peer-pressured the former into stealing the music box. Furthermore, Sasha wound up captured by some villainous native, fitting for being one of the duo who pressured Anne into stealing the musix box. By contrast Anne, who was reluctant to steal the box, is fortunate enough to meet Sprig who is willing to help her.
- Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: When Anne got transported to Amphiba, it apparently knocked one of her shoes off her foot in the transfer. She's forced to go one foot in nothing but her sock and can't get a replacement since the inhabitants are frog people and any shoes they do wear are too small for her.
- Non-Mammalian Hair: Some frogs are "bald," others have humanlike hair.
- Portmanteau Couple Name: Sprig and Anne came up with an In-Universe one for themselves.Sprig and Anne: Spranne against the world!
- Reality Ensues: Anne has no access to any clothes or cleaning products she wasn't already wearing or had in her backpack. As a result, she can't replace much of what she loses.
- Scenery Porn: Just from the intro alone it's pretty clear the titular Amphibia is a beautiful place to look at.
- Second Episode Morning: "Best Fronds" takes place the morning after "Anne or Beast?"Anne: Guys, guys, guys! I just had the craziest dream! I was trapped in a world of frog pe...!(Anne looks over and sees the Plantar family.)
- Shown Their Work: In Lily Pad Thai, Anne tries to open the very first frog-Thai fusion restaurant. In a refreshing aversion to the usual Interchangeable Asian Cultures seen in cartoons, however, their selection really is based on Thai cuisine. Anne also wears a simplified version of a traditional Thai dress, says sawadee ka with a perfect accent, and even teaches a customer how to pronounce larb correctly. This was all done to celebrate Thai culture, as Matt Braly (the show's creator/executive producer) and Brenda Song (Anne's voice actress) are both half Thai, and wanted to bring their experiences into the show.
- Slaying Mantis: Anne saves Sprig from a gigantic, red praying mantis.
- Sticky Fingers: Anne got her hands on the magical music box because Sasha and Marcie peer-pressured her into stealing it from a thrift store. The three of them pay for it, magically.
- That Was Not a Dream: At the end of the second episode, Anne wakes up happily thinking her stay in Amphibia was just a weird dream. Then she sees Sprig and his family next to her.
- Tempting Fate: As Anne looks at a photo of her, Marcie and Sasha, she sincerely says she hopes they are okay because she is. We learn that Sasha's been imprisoned by a mysterious overlord, The Big Bad. Marcie's whereabouts are currently unknown.
- Torches and Pitchforks: Seems to be a frequent pastime among the villagers of Wartwood.Mayor Toadstool: (to the pitchfork-wielding mob) Now, when I say "KILL" you say "IT!" KILL!Mob: IT!Mayor Toadstool: KILL!Mob: IT!Hop Pop: Heh. Another day, another mob!
- Toxic Friend Influence: Sasha and Marcie appear to have had this effect on Anne, as her talk with Sprig in "Best Fronds" about friendships shows that pressuring her into stealing the music box despite her obvious misgivings was just the latest in an escalating series of similar events.Anne: Look, if a friend likes a pencil case, you get it for them. If your friend likes your new shoes, you give them to her! And if a friend wants you to steal a crazy music box from a thrift store, even if you really don't want to... you do it, okay? Because if you don't...they might not want to be your friend anymore
- Trapped in Another World: Thanks to opening a strange music box, Anne gets transported to another dimension known as Amphibia. It turns out that Marcie and Sasha have also been teleported to Amphibia when the box opened; Sasha has been taken prisoner by the Big Bad, and Marcie is MIA.
- Unreliable Expositor: Anne tells Sprig she doesn't know how she got to Amphibia, only that one moment she was on Earth, the next she was here. This is a blatant lie, as she knows very well that the music box in her backpack transported her there.
- Volumetric Mouth: When a frog screams, it's like looking into the mouth of a Muppet.