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The secret lives of animals revealed!note 

"Do-si-do and don't cha know
that's just the way we animals roll!"
Last lines of the theme tune
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Back at the Barnyard is a Nicktoon from the producers of Jimmy Neutron. It premiered on Nickelodeon on September 29, 2007, and it ended on November 12, 2011. Based off the 2006 movie Barnyard which features the same characters from the film, though the series seems to follow a different continuity than that of the original movie (and replaces at least one of the characters from the movie).

The story centers around Otis, the cow in charge of running the barn, though something of an Ensemble Cast provides enough chaos to keep a steady stream of entertainment flowing through two seasons (with each consisting of 26-episodes). Otis regularly deals with scams gone awry originating from his friends or (more commonly) himself. Other instances have him functioning throughout the human world incognito or dealing with the supposedly psychotic lady who lives next door to the barn who knows they can talk and wants to expose them to the outside world.

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Nickelodeon apparently didn't think the show was doing good enough for their standards, so they dropped it to Nicktoons Network during its run, where the remainder of the episodes were broadcast. While the show was getting good reviews, it never really became that popular, but it's safe to say that this show gave it its best.


Back at the Barnyard provides examples of:

  • 24-Hour Party People: Subverted, since it's a farm they show the same animals.
  • Aborted Arc: In "The Right Cow", Bingo said he was going to come back, but aside from a cameo in the Series Finale, he never appeared on the show again.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: One of the three French Canadian crows wears a red hat, another one of the three crows wears a blue neckerchief, Bessie wears a cow tag on her left ear, and Abby wears earrings and a purple bow in her braided hair.
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  • Actor Allusion: When Freddy was trying to come up with a new catchphrase and he says "Hey, what about narf?", Peck (Rob Paulsen) says "No, that's taken."
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: In "Saving Mrs. Beady", Beady is admitted into a psychiatric hospital where she's treated by Dr. Furtwangler, a short, bespectacled man who speaks in a thick German accent. Of course by the end of the episode, Freddy ends up inadvertently driving the good doctor just as crazy as Mrs. Beady is.
  • Alternate Continuity: As stated above, the TV-series seems to follow a continuity than that of the original movie.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: The "male cow" with an udder, of course, just like the movie. The show takes this Up to Eleven by having Otis lactate.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Otis' udder becomes less jiggly in the series.
    • Pig becomes cleaner and shinier in the series.
    • Freddy becomes less "hairy" in the series.
    • The series' animation quality gets slightly more refined by Season 2.
  • Artistic License – Ornithology: Peck is shown to be as affected by the Fire-Breathing Diner as everyone else (except Pip) after eating hot-sauce spiked pizza bagels from Snotty Boy. Birds in real life typically aren't affected by spiciness.
  • As You Know: Lampshaded when talking about Baxter.
    Otis: "Oh no guys, it's Baxter! You remember Baxter. Baxter was that awful mutt who switched places with Duke at the vet and then tried to steal his life here at the barnyard!"
    Abby: "Otis, we know. It was just a couple weeks ago."
    Pig: "Yeah, who are you, Professor Exposition?"
  • Bare-Bottomed Monkey: Bingo at one point flashes his bare bottom at Freddy and Peck, not just to prove he really is a test animal from Earth — he apparently keeps records of his immunizations tattooed on his butt cheeks — but also to tell them to kiss his ass.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Otis and Abby.
  • Bicolor Cows, Solid Color Bulls: Otis the Cow is black-and-white, Bessy is brown and gray, and Abby is yellow-and-black. Whenever a bull shows up, it's either black or brown.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Bigfoot is a recurring character in the show. He's a celebrity who's recorded a hit single called "No Fear Bigfoot", dated Jessica Allspice, and became mayor with a landslide victory (though he lost the position after going into a rage from flash photography). He can also fly.
  • Blatant Lies: "We are not talking animals." "There's no such things as talking animals."
  • Body Wipe:
    • In the episode "The Tale of Two Snottys" where Otis climbs up a ladder and lands on Snotty Boy.
    • "Pigmalion": at the very end where Pig jumps into to mud. Then the screen fades to black.
    • "Robo Peck": The very end:
      Joey: Smashy, Smashy, Smashy!
    • "Club Otis": Freddy's nose fills the screen.
      Peck: "Head trauma!"
      Pip: "That's it come on in."
      Freddy: "Sweet."
  • Borrowing the Beatles: In the episode "A Barn Day's Night", Otis, Abby, Freddy, Peg, and Pig form a band called "The Weevils".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: They interacted with their narrator in an episode, to name one such example. Pig also addresses the viewers directly in many of his cutaway segments.
  • Bus Crash: Implied with Tony Twocheeks, the former top boss of the Gopher Underground—the new boss, Chubs Malone took him on a fishing trip that he never returned from. Given the fact that the gophers are depicted as a mafia in the story, the obvious implication is that Chubs killed him and assumed his role as top boss.
  • Butt Sticker: In episode "The Good, the Bad, and the Snotty" after all the animals rolled out of the barn all glued together, Bessy complains about Peck being glued to her butt.
  • The Cameo: In "Get Bessy", its revealed that Bessy is the personal shopper of Weird Al Yankovic. He's not particularly bothered by the fact she's a cow, mostly because he's actually a horse in a rubber mask.
  • The Cassandra: Mrs. Beady tries to expose the barnyard animals' ability to talk dozens of times, but everyone thinks she's crazy (which, to be honest, she kind of is).
  • Casting Gag:
  • Catchphrase: Otis' catchphrase is "Milk me." The end of the Cowman special has Freddy try to come up with his own catchphrase. To a minor extent, "Aw, crud monkeys" is this to Pig.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Daisy and her son, Ben, are neither seen nor mentioned at any point in the TV-series—Abby effectively replaces both of them.
  • Circling Birdies: In the episode "Clan of the Cave Cow", a cave cow (mistaken for Otis) whacks Abby on the head with a club. Baby chicks circle around her head as she says "I'm a pretty ballerina" before collapsing to the floor.
  • Circus Episode: In "Big Top Barnyard", after accidentally injuring an entire troupe of circus performers, Otis volunteers to take over with the help of his friends. His circus features him as the ringmaster, Duke as a sheep tamer, Freddy and Peck as clowns, Pig as a sword swallower, Pip as the world's tiniest man, and Abby as an acrobat. Abby, however, is too afraid to do her part due to an accident that happened when she performed in a circus many years ago.
  • Clamshells as Mouths: The episode "Save the Clams" depicts Archie the clam (and his eventual abundant offspring) as opening and closing his shells to act as a mouth, with his insides being shaped and colored like a tongue.
  • Clockwork Prediction: At the beginning of "The Farmer Takes a Woman", after the animals' party is interrupted when the farmer shows up to mourn his (presumably) dead wife.
    Otis: This is the third Saturday night in a row! What gives?
    Pip: Check it out, I won't even peek. First, the picture of his wife...
    (Farmer takes out a framed photo of his wife)
    Pip: Then the whittling stick...
    (Farmer takes out a stick)
    Pip: And cue the sad cowboy music.
    (Farmer turns on the radio and starts whittling and crying)
  • Connected All Along: While the Beadys and Snotty Boy all appeared in the movie, the very first episode of the series reveals that Snotty Boy (whose real name is "Eugene") is Mr. and Mrs. Beady's nephew.
  • Continuity Nod: Despite what's noted above, there are some indications that the show does in fact take place in the same continuity as the Pilot Movie:
    • 1.) "Big Top Barnyard" — Otis mentions how his dad (i.e., Ben) used to take him to the circus when he was younger.
    • 2.) "Wild Mike's Dance Party" — After Abby questions Bessy on who Wild Mike is, Bessy explains that Wild Mike is 'some mutant hairball' that Otis found, which had happened back in the Pilot Movie.
  • Control Freak: Duke.
  • Creepy Physical: Almost every appearance of the Vet in the show involves some form of torture on someone's part. Whether she's performing a prostate exam on unsuspecting animals or "flushing out their brain-holes", the Vet always finds a way to top herself in over-the-top medical horror.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: The plot of the aptly named episode "Doggelganger", wherein a dog named Baxter steals Duke's identity in order to escape from the Vet's office. Despite being shorter, thinner, and having a distinctly different voice from Duke's, he manages to fool the entire farm for a good chunk of the episode. Baxter later becomes a minor antagonist in the series, often concocting plans to get revenge on Duke.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: "Snotty & Snottier" is one to the earlier episode "Dummy & Dummier." Both episodes' title cards even share the same music.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Bessy and Mr. Beady.
    • Pip once referred to himself as a snarky sidekick. Not all that justified, though.
  • Death by Secret Identity: More like death by secret life. Farmer Clem is one of few villainous humans other than Mrs. Beady to find out about the talking animals. He later gets sucked into his own clone machine and all his DNA is transformed into tiny clones, implying a more fatal ending.
  • Denser and Wackier: Compared to the Pilot Movienote , this series relies far more on comedy—and it just got weirder and weirder as it went on, which is actually lampshaded by Otis in one of the later episodes.
    Otis: Is it me or is this barnyard getting weirder?
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Otis (who's established as being a male) is able to produce milk and shoot it out of his udder.
    • The way Freddy admits to his parents that Peck (whom he just saved from becoming their meal) is his best friend, and his parents' reaction from this, obviously parallels word-for-word someone admitting to his parents that he's gay and introducing his partner to them. What makes that one even funnier is the fact that Freddy's voice actor is gay.
    • "Otis Vs. Bigfoot": Otis is initially convinced that Bigfoot's evil and also doesn't truly love Abby—when he confronts the two after they have an Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date, Otis tells Abby that he thinks Bigfoot just wants to eat her and then leave and tell all his friends about it. This basically sounds like Otis claiming that Bigfoot would just love her and leave her.
    • "Four Leaf Otis": A little while after Freddy and Peck got their heads turned into clovers, there's this one instance where Freddy sprinkles Peck with a watering can while the latter is enjoying it. If you listen to the audio while closing your eyes, it will sound more like they're having sex.
    • Same episode: Immediately after the above exchange, we get this gem from Pig whose head was just turned into a corned sandwich. He holds a bottle of mustard and says:
      Pig: Can someone spray this on me? Don't be afraid to really get in there.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Shockingly averted in the episode where Pig goes back to his original home (where his family lives) and meets his fiancée (through an Arranged Marriage)—said betrothed has a Hair-Trigger Temper and frequently screams at and smacks Pig around (Pig is in a love-induced haze so he just pretty much takes it). His friends are rightfully appalled by her treatment of him and plan to get the marriage arrangement dissolved because they know that if Pig marries her and snaps out of his haze afterward, he'll be unhappy and miserable for the rest of his life.
  • Election Day Episode: "Otis For Mayor" involves Otis running for mayor of Oedville against Mrs. Beady. They both end up losing to Bigfoot, who in turn ends up leaving office after going on a rampage from the flashing lights of paparazzi cameras.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Invoked by Bessie towards the end of "War of the Pranks": "Let's all have a nice end-of-the-show laugh!"
  • Expy: Abby looks an awful lot like Daisy, Otis's love interest from the movie—Abby ultimately replaces both Daisy and her son, Ben.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Whenever Pip tries to hit on Bessy.
  • Fat Idiot: Snotty Boy fits this trope to a "T".
    • Pig's one of the more positive examples of this trope.
    • Otis can be quite dumb at times and he's definitely on the larger side.
  • Flanderization: Otis and Bessy are probably the most noticeable examples of this.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Ben, Otis's (adoptive) father.
  • Friendship Favoritism: In the episode, "The Haunting," Pig gets possessed by the ghost of Winky, a rabbit who lived on the farm 150 years ago, who also captures the rest of Otis' friends. When Bessy orders Otis to suck out Winky's spirit with an ecto-vacuum, Otis objects, worrying he might suck out Pig's spirit by mistake, leading to this exchange:
    Bessy: What are you waiting for? Get him!
    Otis: I can't! I can't risk hurting my best friend!
    Pip: I thought I was your best friend!
    Otis: Right, I mean second best friend.
    Abby: I thought I was your second best friend!
    Otis: Uh, no, you're my best friend on the girl list.
    Abby: You can't have a different list for girls!
    Otis: Well, I do. It's pink and all the I's are dotted with puffy hearts.
    Pip: Best friend coming through!
    Abby: Best male friend.
    Pip: Whatever.
  • Furry Female Mane: Abby has blonde human-like head hair and Bessie has shades of this trope. Otis has no human-like head hair of any sort.
  • Funny Background Event: "Cop Cow" briefly features Bigfoot scaling an alley wall as the Moose Shark watches during the gang's chase with Snotty Boy.
  • Ghostly Animals: In the episode, "The Haunting", Otis builds a fun shack over a pet burial ground, disturbing the grave of Winky, a rabbit who lived on the farm over 100 years ago. As retribution, Winky's ghost possesses Pig's body, then Winky summons the ghosts of his animal friends to take over the farm. Otis and Bessy have to team up to save their friends and capture the ghostly animals.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: There's so many things wrong with football game in "Fumblebums" that even someone who's never even seen a football game could easily find at least three things wrong with it.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Otis becomes this as Cowman in "Cowman: The Uddered Avenger" when a mad scientist deceives the public into thinking he is trying to steal the Jurassic Corn Kernel. Even his friends (with the exception of Pip and Abby) turn against him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Otis managed to (accidentallty) hypnotize himself in "Hypno-A-Go-Go."
  • Horror Hunger: Freddy has a constant craving to eat Peck.
  • Hugh Mann: Many of the animals assume the surname "Nota[animal name]" when going out in public.
  • Idiot Hero: Otis falls into this, in contrast to how he was in the movie.
  • Infection Scene: In "It's An Udderful Life" (the show's Christmas Special), Otis grabs a visiting Santa Claus a cup of cinnamon eggnog...as the camera lingers on a sign behind the cup saying "Freddy's Cup - DO NOT TOUCH!" Freddy, who is very sick with "ferret fever," comes in asking for the cup, and Santa notices that the cup has Freddy's name on it. Santa's not worried, as he's healthy as they come...then we take a glimpse inside his bloodstream, where Freddy-shaped germs beat up Santa-shaped white blood cells, and suddenly Santa's too sick to work.
  • Info Dump: Often provided by Otis, and just as often Lampshaded by the others.
  • Kick the Dog: The part in "The Sun Cow" where Pip runs back to the barn to warn the others that Otis is in danger of being eaten. Bessie's response?
    Bessy: Who cares? He deserves whatever he's gotten into. Plus more for being ugly!
    • Of all of Bessie's insults, this one was definitely the most mean-spirited.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Eugene (aka, "Snotty Boy") and his friends.
  • Killer Robot: One of the Donk E. Cheez animatronics turns into one at the end of "Arcade of Doom" thanks to Pig's mirror.
  • Lactating Male: Otis has been shown to be able to make milk in several episodes.
    • In "Aliens!!!", when the animals find out that milk causes the aliens to dissolve, all the cows including Otis attach squirt guns to their udders and start blasting milk at the aliens.
    • Implied in "Animal Farmers". After the farmer is injured, the animals have to do the farming themselves and Abby and Bessy do not want to attach the milking machine to their udders. Otis comes in and attaches it to his udder to demonstrate, saying that he's "seen the farmer do it, like, a hundred times".
    • In "Brave Udders", Otis has a flashback to his childhood bully, Krauser Krebs, poking his udder and causing him to squirt milk on himself.
  • Latex Perfection: The jewel robbers in "Chain Gang" disguise themselves this way wearing full-head rubber farm animal masks that happen to resemble Otis, Pig, Freddy and Peck (and thus cause said main characters to be falsely arrested), though at the end the imposters are unmasked by Otis to reveal four old ladies.
    • An inverse of the previous example happens in "Get Bessy", wherein Weird Al wears a mask to hide the fact that he's a talking horse disguised as a human.
  • Lighter and Softer: The original movie could get rather dark at certain points—this show...doesn't. Although some episodes subvert their lighthearted laughs with dark plots though, like "Snotty's New Pet," where Snotty Boy tries to feed Pip to his snake, or "Hypno-A-Go-Go," where Otis is accidentally hypnotized to kill the farmer at the sound of the bell, and more than half of his attempts almost got Abby killed as well trying to save him.
  • The Ludovico Technique: Demonstrated in the episode "A Tale of Two Snottys". According to the animals, there is no worse form of torture than to be strapped to a table and forced to watch something about kids in high school making a musical.
  • Made of Explodium:
    • Happens to the hens' eggs in "Animal Farmers" thanks to Freddy adding TNT powder to the energy drink the others made.
    • In "Too Good to Be Glue", the animals discover and start selling a powerful adhesive gel, which they have to recall once they find out it explodes after a certain period of time.
    • Almost everything in this show seems to run on this, Even Pig explodes at one point.
  • Maniac Monkeys: "The Right Cow" dealt with Bingo, a space test monkey who pretended to be friendly for awhile before revealing his true colors by somehow intending to take over the entire farm in front of the horrified animals due to his opposable thumbs.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Anyone hypnotized by Otis in "Hypno a Go-Go" gets these.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: "Hello, animals of the farm. And Bessy."
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Jessica Allspice (Jessica Alba).
    • Also, a Geraldo Rivera lookalike appears in "The Big Barnyard Broadcast".
    • "Ryan Earcrust" appears, alongside a mention of hosting 26 shows that day.
    • Hilly Burford the newscaster is an Expy of baseball announcer Harry Carey, specifically Will Ferrell's impersonation, crazy hair and all.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: In the episode "Mr. Wiggleplix", Pig is distraught over the fact that Otis supposedly killed his imaginary friend of the same name by dropping an anvil on his head. Otis reluctantly dresses up as Wiggleplix to cheer him up, only for the real Wiggleplix to show up at the end of the episode, much to Otis's disbelief. Pig explains that "he can only be seen and heard by those who truly believe, or when flour is poured on him".
  • Oblivious to Love: Otis doesn't seem to be aware that Abby likes him. Or won't admit that he likes her too.
  • Old Friend: "It's an Udderful Life" reveals that Donner and Blitzen (two of Santa's reindeer) had gone to high school with Otis and are shown to be close friends with him.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting:
    • In "Hypno-A-Go-Go", when showing a montage of Otis trying to kill the farmer.
    • Also invoked by Otis when they try to contact ghosts via Canis Latinicus.
  • Only One Finds It Fun: In "The Good, the Bad, and the Snotty", Snotty Boy feeds the animals pizza with hot sauce. While everyone else finds it too spicy, Pip thinks it's OK because he was raised in Mexico where eating spicy food is more common and calls the others lightweights.
  • Only Sane Man: Among the animals, this usually falls to Pip, Peck and/or Duke—especially since they usually offer up simpler and more cautious/mundane plans and solutions.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Often, sometimes with names equally on the nose with how obvious they are.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In "Fumblebums", the way football is played in that episode seems to break a few rules. When Otis becomes the team mascot for the Cows Football Team, he does things like 1) tell the audience to throw garbage at the field to make the opposing team trip and fall. 2) spray milk from his utters onto the field to make the opposing team slip like on a banana peel. 3) shoot Freddy out of a cannon to deflect the football in midair. Nobody minds this at all, and even news reporter Hilly Burford responds with "These guys take mascoting to the next level!".
  • Rule of Drama: Overlaps with Rule of Funny, and is acknowledged in-universe.
  • Rule of Funny: The whole show seems to revolve around this trope.
  • Running Gag: For some reason, pickles seem to be a running gag throughout the show. In fact, one episode had both the main plot and climax caused because of pickles.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl:
    • Otis often screams in high-pitched tones.
    • Chef Big Bones Mignon does this in "Iron Otis" when Otis rips his mustache off.
    • Mr. Beady does this in "Beady and the Beasts" when Otis steps on his foot to force him to eat.
    • Freddy also screams like a girl in a few instances.
  • Secret Ingredient: At the end of "Chez Pig", all of the barnyard animals ask Pig for the secret ingredient of his grandma's Truffle Pies, Pig finally gives in but when he reveals the secret ingredient, a duck shows up and quacks, completely drowning out what Pig said. However, the other animals are heard exclaiming in disgust, implying that the secret ingredient was actually disgusting.
  • Shout-Out: The news reporter Hilly Burford, played by John Dimaggio, is a very clear Expy of Will Ferrell's Harry Caray impersonation on Saturday Night Live.
  • Smelly Skunk: Pig has a pet skunk (named "Skunky") who frequently stinks up the joint.
  • Something We Forgot: One episode closed with Duke getting carted off to the pound in the same kennel that Freddy tricked him into earlier in the episode.
  • Space Jews: The French Canadian crows.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The "Rumble!" chant is reused from the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "True Colors",
  • Suck E. Cheese's: "Donk E. Cheez."
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In one episode, Pig falls in love with a human woman and decides to propose to her, which makes Otis immediately point out the main problem with their relationship...HE’S A PIG!!!
    • In the same episode, Otis types a personal ad for the farmer on a dating site. The result:
    Fhenxhfndkdiej#blarg...Man, I wish we had fingers.
    • One episode has Otis (who isn’t exactly book smart) need to use a math equation to figure out the speed to travel to save his friends...he gets the solution wrong.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Abby for Daisy, Otis's Love Interest in the original movie and only female cow besides Bessy. Daisy is not mentioned in this series, nor was Abby present in the movie.
  • That Didn't Happen: In "Dream Birthday", the Farmer confesses his love for the Vet, a feeling which she seems to reciprocate. Not only have these two characters never expressed any romantic interest towards each other up until now, they only ever interacted with each other in one previous episode.
  • Title Drop: An unusual example due to the context it comes up in, but still an example. In "Otis Season":
    Otis: Oh, calm down. We can saw them off Back at the Barnyard.
  • Twice Shy: Otis and Abby are confirmed to have feelings for each other, but neither of them is willing to make the first move.
  • Two Girls to a Team: While there's plenty of female animals at the barnyard, Abby and Bessie are the only major female characters.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: Snotty Boy once had a pet snake who talked just like him, which Pip lampshades and considers cute. Justified because the snake mentions that Snotty Boy raised him since he hatched.
  • Unconventional Food Usage: In the episode "A Tale of Two Snottys", the animals make Pig a wig out of spaghetti to disguise him as Snotty Boy.
  • Whole Plot Reference: There were episodes parodying the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Amok Time", Caddyshack, The Exorcist, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
    • There was a special called "Cowman", which stuck fairly true to and even stole some shots from Batman (1989).
  • Unreliable Narrator: The Interractive Narrator sometimes likes to go off into his own little world.
    Narrator: Don't worry! He's fine and will soon star in my amazing go kart episode!
    Pip: I think we need a new narrator.
    Narrator: Too late, the end!
  • Verbal Tic: Snotty calls everyone "stupid", "stinky", etc., even when there's no reason to.
    • "Aliens"- the screen closes in on Otis' udder twice
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Mrs. Beady often tries to expose the animals' secret to the world to prove she's not a lunatic. Which she is, just for different reasons.

 
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