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Bad Dog!
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Bad Dog is a Canadian animated series that debuted on Fox Kids in 1998. The show itself is, interestingly enough, based on a screensaver from the After Dark software.

The show followed the Potanski Family, composed of Psychologist Mother Madeline, Bungling Inventor Father Victor, Nerdy older son with a multitude of allergies Trevor, Prima Donna daughter Penelope, elderly former astronaut grandfather, excitable toddler son Vic Jr., and their dog, Berkeley. Berkeley, the titular dog of the show, isn't a bad dog per say. Rather, he tries his hardest to be the best dog he can be. As a result, he seems to have a kind of obsessive need to obey every order he hears, including orders that weren't directed at him, or even things like suggestions, or even sarcastic comments. As a result, he tends to cause a lot of damage and chaos in everything he does. The end result is usually him being called a Bad Dog, which upsets him so badly that he goes completely catatonic until he's called a good dog.

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The show lasted until 2000, and had two seasons.


Bad Dog contains the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original screensavers, Berkeley did a lot of pretty bad things on purpose. In this cartoon, he causes chaos trying to be a good dog.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Little Vic.
  • Adult Fear: In "Disobedience School Part 2", Little Vic almost has a table lamp fall on him. Madeline immediately starts running towards him, while Victor can only watch in horror, rooted to where he's standing. Thankfully, this is what causes Berkeley to break his hypnosis and save Little Vic from the lamp.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Victor would often say "Sorry. Really Sorry" or "Sorry. Sorry about that".
  • Birthday Episode: The series had two episodes set during a family member's birthday.
    • Berkeley Takes The Cake. Penelope spends the episode trying to keep Berkeley from eating her cake, which, apparently is something Berkeley does at EVERY Potanski birthday.
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    • There's also "Bad Dad", which is set during Little Vic's birthday, and Berkeley ends up stealing things to get everything on Little Vic's birthday list.
  • Bungling Inventor: Victor Potanski. Pretty much everything he makes fails in some way.
  • Christmas Episode: A very Berkeley Christmas.
  • Circus Episode: The Flying Potanskis.
  • Cloning Blues: In "101 Berkeleys", Trevor ends up creating multiple clones of Berkeley with his cloning goop, which end up causing massive damage to the house. Thankfully, it's All Just a Dream.
  • Courtroom Episode: The series has two.
    • In "Burden Of The Woof", Berkeley is put on trial by Lester Johnson for supposedly harassing him and his cat.
    • "Dog House Arrest" has Berkeley placed under house arrest for injuring a woman at a supermarket who was really faking it to bilk the Potanskis for as much money as she could.
  • A Dog Ate My Homework: In "Bad Dog Ate My Homework", Penelope spent much of the episode trying to keep Berkeley from eating a hybrid plant she grew before she can show it off to her class.
  • LEGO Genetics: Penelope, and everyone in her class, are able to splice two different kinds of seeds together in "Bad Dog Ate My Homework".
  • Literal-Minded: Berkeley has a habit of interpreting orders that he hears quite literally.
  • Nerd: Trevor, big time.
  • Noodle Incident: There's plenty of stuff Berkeley does that ISN'T seen in the show.
  • Once per Episode: Berkeley being called a bad dog, causing him to go into a coma.
  • Playing Sick: Penelope and several of her friends do this in "Nurse Barky" to get out of school and go to The Hair Scrunchie Barn. However, Little Vic and Berkeley believe she really IS sick and try to cure her with every remedy they know, ultimately resulting in Berkeley infecting her with poison ivy.
  • The Prima Donna: Penelope is very theatrical, and very high maintenance.
  • Raiders of the Lost Parody: In "Bad Dog To The Bone", the Potanskis find out they live above the ruins of an ancient temple.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Grandpa Potanski. Getting everyone's names wrong is just ONE thing that makes him this.
  • Senior Sleep Cycle: Grandpa Potanski is regularly seen asleep.
  • The Shrink: Madeline. She often psychoanalyzed people around her.
  • Verbal Tic: A number of characters on the show have these.
    • The dude ranch owner in "Buckaroo Berkeley" seemed fond of the word "dang".
    • The court judge in "Burden Of The Woof" called anyone or anything that interrupted the trial "silly".
  • Vocal Evolution: Little Vic's voice changed at some point in the series.

I'm sorry, Berkeley. You're a good dog.
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