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Western Animation / Butterbean's Cafe

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From top to bottom: Dazzle (top left), Poppy (top right), Butterbean (bottom left), and Cricket (bottom right). Not pictured: Jasper.

Butterbean's Cafe is a Nick Jr. animated series created by Jonny Belt and Robert Scull of Bubble Guppies fame.

The main character is a fairy named Butterbean who runs a cafe in the small town of Puddlebrook with her friends Dazzle, Jasper, Poppy, and her little sister Cricket. Across the brook lives a greedy, competitive Card-Carrying Villain named Ms. Marmalady, whose cafe was originally the only one in town until Butterbean opened hers, and is constantly out to steal customers from Butterbean. She always ends up failing due to being a Lethal Chef, and Butterbean and her team's fairy magic and teamwork.

On October 15th, 2018, the episodes "Fluttercakes!" and "The Perfect Picnic!" were released early on the Nick Jr website and app. The series made its television premiere on November 12th, 2018. The first ten episodes of the series have been made available freely on Hoopla, a service available through a number of public libraries. Additionally, Nick Jr. rotates a free episode on their website and app once every week or two.

A second season was commissioned in June 2019 and ended in November 2020. The series moved to the Nick Jr. channel in late August of that year. It was not renewed for a third season and thus, got quietly cancelled.

Butterbean's Cafe provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Butterbean is the best chef in Puddlebrook.
  • Aerith and Bob: There are characters with perfectly normal (if unusual) names like Jasper, Cricket, and Poppy, and then there are names like Butterbean and Dazzle.
  • Affably Evil: Ms. Marmalady can be like this at times. She usually tries to one-up Butterbean, but can actually be pretty personable to her and the rest of the Bean Team as shown in "A Fairy Happy Thanksgiving" and "The Sugar Plum Fairy".
  • Affectionate Nickname: Jasper calls Dazzle "Dazz" and Butterbean calls Poppy "Pops". Jasper calls Cricket "Crix".
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The series is completely CGI.
  • Always Someone Better: Ms. Marmalady's café used to be the only restaurant in Puddlebrook, of which she wanted to retain; that is, until Butterbean opened her café and got loads more attention, which is why Ms. Marmalady is jealous of losing her business to her.
  • An Aesop:
    • One over-arching theme of the series is how you shouldn't take credit for other people's ideas. This is shown in several episode where Ms. Marmalady steals the food that Butterbean and her friends make and tries to pass it off as her own.
    • "Friendship Pretzels" - Friendship is the greatest recipe of all.
    • "Pizza Party" - You can't please everyone.
    • "Fairy Happy Thanksgiving" - Be thankful for the friends and family in your life.
    • "Cricket's the Boss" - Treat your employees with respect.
    • "Switchin' in the Kitchen" - The grass isn't always greener on the other side.
    • "The Breadstick Bicycle" - Keep on trying until you get better.
    • "Cricket the Flower Girl" - If you have a problem, don't hide it. Your friends and family can help you out, and it's likely easier to fix than you think.
    • "Poppy's Lost Cookbook": When making a recipe, follow the directions or else you'll end up with a disaster.
    • "The Splat Spot!" - Whether you run a cafe, or just make food in your own kitchen, it's always good to keep things clean.
    • "Skater Taters" - Don't get so distracted by what someone else is doing that you fail to complete your own job.
  • Art Evolution: The animation is smoother and brighter as of Season 2.
  • Art Shift: 2D Flash animation is used for the screen in the cafe when Butterbean shows ingredients to make the meal of the episode and also for Dazzle's tablet.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Cricket is the youngest of the team.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Ms. Marmalady mistreats her monkey Mooks and blames them for accidents that were her fault.
    • In one episode, Butterbean's Cafe holds a contest that whoever gets a gold star in their muffin is the boss of the cafe for the day. Ms. Marmalady enters the contest and cheats by making a star out of mustard. She gets to be the boss for the day, while the Bean Team are unaware of her dishonesty. Ms. Marmalady proves to be an incompetent boss, making a bunch of unfair and downright silly decisions, all under the excuse of she's the boss for the day. Eventually, her dishonesty is revealed and she gets kicked out. Butterbean gets the actual star muffin.
  • Banana Peel: In "Upside-Down Frown Cake," Ms. Marmlady slips on one left lying around by Spork and Spatch.
  • Benevolent Boss: In contrast to Ms. Marmalady, Butterbean is kind to her friends, who love her for it.
  • Bespectacled Cutie: Like the rest of her friends, Poppy is cute as a button and wears huge blue glasses that emphasize it.
  • Big Bad: Ms. Marmalady is the main antagonist of the series and causes much of the external conflict.
  • Binocular Shot: There are several periscope shots, courtesy of Ms. Marmalady.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Blonde (Cricket), Brunette (Butterbean and Dazzle), and Redhead (Poppy).
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens to the Bean Team in "Hello, Marma Team!".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: If a character is in the Confession Cam, then they will talk to the audience.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: In "The Sugar Plum Fairy!", Ms. Marmalady dresses up as the Sugar Plum Fairy and tries to fool Butterbean and her friends. Cricket almost immediately calls her out as Ms. Marmalady and she replies "Who? Oh, I've never heard of her. But she's probably really cool." Then she takes a fall and admits the truth.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Ms. Marmalady is evil and proud of it too.
  • Caught on Tape: In "Movie Night," Butterbean and her crew decide to host a movie night at Butterbean's Cafe. Ms. Marmalady hatches a plan to ruin it and force everyone to come to her place for movie night. She goes around to the crew of the cafe one-by-one, each suggesting a different type of movie that's supposedly popular in Puddlebrook in order to get them arguing about it so they can't decide on what movie to show. Unfortunately for her, Cricket is onto her and films her interactions with everyone, then plays them back after the arguments begin to reveal that they're only fighting because Ms. Marmalady stoked them to.
  • Cheerful Child: The 5 main characters are very happy to work at Butterbean's Cafe.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the first episode "The Grand Opening", Butterbean first discovers the magic bean box with the words "For the fairy finish". The beans turn out to be a last-minute save when their grand opening is nearly ruined and Butterbean uses the Flutter Bean to bring the customers back to the café and save the day.
    • In "The Perfect Picnic!", Cricket states that ants hate cinnamon. This comes in handy later when ants invade the titular picnic.
  • Chest Insignia: The characters have symbols on their clothing and wings. Butterbean has beans, Dazzle has stars, Poppy has flowers, Jasper has lightning bolts, and Cricket has hearts. In the case of Cricket, a heart is even on the chest of her apron.
  • Child Hater: Ms. Marmalady despises Butterbean and her friends because, and wants to steal business from them.
  • Christmas Episode: “The Sugar Plum Fairy!”.
  • Confession Cam:
    • Episodes frequently feature Butterbean or one of her friends in a confessional where they explain to the viewer what's going on at the moment. "A Fairy Happy Thanksgiving" even has Ms. Marmalady make use of the confession cam.
    • In "The Delivery Game!", Jasper uses the confession cam to note that he was so busy playing a game he let a wedge of cheese roll away, then lampshades that he's sitting around in the confession cam when he should be racing after the cheese.
  • Cooking Duel: In "Fluttercakes!", Butterbean competes against Ms. Marmalady in a pancake-making duel. If Butterbean wins, Ms. Marmalady has to allow Butterbean's garbage to be taken out. If Ms. Marmalady wins, Butterbean has to quit making pancakes forever.
  • Cool Big Sis: Butterbean, towards Cricket.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "Perfectly perfect!"
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Jasper whistles the theme song in "Fluttercakes!".
  • Dull Surprise: Ms. Marmalady's dialogue is incredibly monotonous.
  • Episode Title Card: Every episode has a title card.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the Christmas Episode, Ms. Marmalady was appalled when Spork and Spatch stole Butterbean's cake for the Sugar Plum Fairy.
  • Evil Chef: Ms. Marmalady is a villainous chef, but unlike Butterbean she can't cook at all.
  • Evil Is Petty: To the point that Ms. Marmalady won't let the garbage man empty Butterbean's dumpster unless she beats her in a pancake-making contest.
  • Evil Laugh: Ms. Marmalady has one.
  • Evil Minions: Ms. Marmalady's monkey assistants.
  • Evolving Credits: The theme song was reanimated in Season 2 with new scenes, redone shots, and even having Ms. Marmalady, Spork and Spatch appear as well.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The theme song to this show explains the premise of the show.
  • Expy:
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Ms. Marmalady's schemes to steal business from Butterbean will always fail, no matter what.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: Cricket and her friend Sasha make sure to wear their helmets when riding their bikes. As Sasha is a chipmunk person, she has the requisite holes at the top of her helmet that her ears stick through. Cricket's has holes on the sides to keep her Girlish Pigtails visible.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Butterbean, Dazzle, Cricket, and Poppy are all girly, and are chefs.
  • Feud Episode: In "Cricket's Forever Friend," Cricket and her best friend Dottie Hudson are both highly upset after learning that Dottie is apparently moving away. They decide to have one last big day of fun together. At first, things seem to be going well, but then everything goes wrong when they get into a spat because Cricket doesn't want to share her icing bag. Dottie runs off in a huff and Cricket is sad that she'll never see her again, but Butterbean suggests making her a card to make up with her. She does so and they go to her house to deliver it, only to find that she's apparently already moved away. Luckily, it turns out that she had only moved around the corner of her old house. Dottie returns to the cafe with a card that she had made for Cricket, and they make up.
  • Foreshadowing: In "Boss for the Day!" as Butterbean is giving muffins to the Bean Team, Butterbean can be seen grabbing the muffin that has the starfruit in it long before she realizes.
  • Free-Range Children: Butterbean and her friends go wherever they want without any adult supervision.
  • Funny Animal: The Brookies.
  • Genki Girl: Cricket is loud and energetic.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Cricket wears her hair like this.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: The song itself was sung in "Pizza Party!", when Butterbean uses a magic bean to make pizzas sing. They also sing it to Principal Stoneybrook in "The Big Birthday Hiccup!" when giving him a birthday cake.
  • Happy Dance: In "The Fairy Bean Adventure!", when Ms. Marmalady overhears Butterbean saying that she doesn't have any more fairy beans and without them can't do a fairy finish, she does a happy dance with a song to go with it. "No more fairy finish. No more fairy finish. No more fairy finish. No more fairy finish!"
  • Harmless Villain: Ms. Marmalady tries to be menacing, but she poses no real threat and none of her plans work because she lacks the team spirit that Butterbean and her team have.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: The episode "The Big Birthday Hiccup" follows this. Butterbean decides to make a cake for the principal's birthday. Ms. Marmalady wants to show her cake, so she uses a hiccup bean to give Poppy, Dazzle, and Jasper hiccups so that they can't make the cake. Butterbean does eventually get them to make the cake through teamwork. When Ms. Marmalady attempts to give her the hiccups, she ends up using it on her own cake. This silly incident cures them of their hiccups. There's also a running gag of Spatch and Spork getting hiccups.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The "Ant-y Marmalady" pun from "The Perfect Picnic!".
  • Ironic Echo Cut: One occurs in “The Sugar Plum Fairy!”:
    Butterbean: Oh, I love the holidays.
    Cricket: Everybody loves the holidays!
    (Cut to Ms. Marmalady)
    Ms. Marmalady: Ugh...I don’t like the holidays.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: In "Race to the Fairy Finish!", Ms. Marmalady has Spork and Spatch spy on the Bean Team and discover that they're making a croquembouche (a type of French dessert, which is basically a tower of pastry puffs.) They report back to Ms. Marmalady...
    Ms. Marmalady: (brightly) Oh, of course, a croquembouche. (flatly) What is that?
  • I Want My Mommy!: In "Cinnamon the Elephant!", the shy little girl Skylar isn't having a good time at the playgroup set up for the kids at Butterbean's Cafe and tells Butterbean unhappily "I want my mommy." Fortunately, her mother is just downstairs. Cricket eventually helps out and brings her out of her shell by sharing her favorite stuffed toy, Cinnamon, the stuffed elephant described in the title.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Ms. Marmalady always gets subject to this. In "Fluttercakes!" she gets covered in garbage for trying to prevent the garbageman from taking trash from Butterbean's dumpster.
  • Laughably Evil: Ms. Marmalady is mainly used for slapstick.
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: Ms. Marmalady laughs at the Incredibly Lame Pun she made in "The Perfect Picnic!".
  • The Leader: Butterbean is the leader of her group.
  • Lethal Chef: Ms. Marmalady is a horrible chef, as shown in "Fluttercakes!".
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: There are only six fairies in Puddlebrook. They co-exist with anthropomorphic animals called "Brookies".
  • Magical Incantation:
    • Whenever Butterbean uses the Fairy Finish, she chants, "With a flick of my wrist and a flutter of wing, this (noun) bean will do its thing!".
    • In "The Legend of the Shadow Bean!," Butterbean and her team use the incantation song "Fairy strong and fairy bright, in the darkness, find your light," which causes their wings and part of their outfits to glow in the dark.
  • Mean Boss: Cricket in "Cricket's the Boss!" to Reuben and Dottie, albeit unintentionally. Cricket keeps bossing them around and not listening to their ideas, resulting in them quitting the lemonade stand. Butterbean teaches Cricket that she was to work together with her friends.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Butterbean is named after a lima bean, Cricket is named after the insect, Poppy is named after the flower, Dazzle is named after light phenomena, and Jasper is named after a rock.
    • Ms. Marmalady's name is a portmanteau of "marmalade" and "lady".
    • Mr. Garbaggio drives the garbage truck.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Ms. Marmalady's monkey assistants are incompetent and secretly root for Butterbean.
  • Mistakes Are Not the End of the World: With a busy cafe and a lot on their plate, Butterbean and her friends do sometimes make mistakes. Handling them with grace and finding ways to fix things are important themes on the show.
  • Mooks: Ms. Marmalady's monkey assistants, Spork and Spatch.
  • The Moving Experience: In "Cricket's Forever Friend," Cricket learns that her friend Dottie Hudson is moving away. Both are very sad about it, and Cricket even more so when they get into a fight because she didn't want to share her icing bag with her and Dottie leaves in a huff. Fortunately, it turns out that she and her family only moved around the corner, and she and Cricket are able to make up.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Several of the 2019 Halloween interstitials show Cricket dressed as a bunny. In the Halloween Episode, she is dressed as a witch, while Butterbean wears the bunny costume.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Most of Ms. Marmalady's schemes end up backfiring on her when they only cause Butterbean to think of a way to get around them.
    • In the first episode, Spork and Spatch take back all the invitations to the grand opening and rip them up. This inspires Butterbean to use her first magic bean, the Flutter Bean, to attract the guests.
    • In "The Perfect Picnic!", the ants unleashed to the Puddle Scouts' picnic inspire Cricket to realize their weekness and use her scout skills to get rid of them.
  • Not This One, That One: In "Poppy's Cooking Class!", Poppy opens up a cooking class, claming that she can teach anyone. Ms. Marmalady comes in and makes her a bet on that, saying that if she can't live up to it, then she has to come and work for her. Poppy agrees and then she reveals...
    Ms. Marmalady: Oh, you won't be teaching me, you'll be teaching them.
    Spork and Spatch: Hello!
    Cricket: Spork and Spatch!
  • Obfuscating Disability: Ms. Marmalady pulls this in "The Queen of Quiche."
  • Obviously Evil: You can tell Ms. Marmalady is evil just from her drab appearance and mainly purple color scheme.
  • Odd Name Out: The teams in the Siblings Day baking contest are named "The Lopez Brothers", "The Marmalady Sisters", and "Butterbean and Cricket".
  • Once an Episode:
    • As the gang is cooking the meal of the day, be it ants on a log or pancakes, a song plays.
    • Any episode with Ms. Marmalady will end with her covered in some sort of mess, usually food-related.
    • Butterbean tops each episode’s featured meal off by using a magic bean known as “the Fairy Finish”.
  • The One Guy: Jasper is the only male in the main cast, and he's not marketed as much as the other characters.
  • Only One Name: Butterbean and the Bean Team have no known last name. Lampshaded in "The Marmalady Sisters!" when Dazzle announces the teams as the "(last name) brothers/sisters", but she simply calls Butterbean and Cricket by just their first names.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The fairies in the show have cookie-like wings and the bodies of human children, except for Ms. Marmalady.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: In "Butterbean's is Closing!", Cricket overhears Butterbean on the phone saying that she's closing the cafe. Butterbean only means to close for the afternoon to surprise her staff with a picnic that afternoon, but Cricket gets it in her head that she means to close forever. She then ends up spreading it around to everyone else, even though Butterbean had asked her to keep the closing a secret.
  • Parental Abandonment: In addition to Butterbean and her friends going wherever they want, there is no trace of their parents as of now. However, we have seen Dazzle's grandmother (Grandma Nana).
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Dazzle is a girl that wears pink, Jasper is a boy that wears blue.
  • Pink Means Feminine: All the main girl characters except Poppy have traces of pink on them.
  • Pointy Ears: Subtle but all the characters have them being fairies and all.
  • Powers in the First Episode: Butterbean and her friends receive their magic kitchen powers in the first episode. Jasper also gets his wings.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: Butterbean, Dazzle, Poppy, and Cricket.
  • Promoted to Opening Titles: Ms. Marmalady, Spork and Spatch are added to the theme song starting in Season 2, as well as Cricket's winged pet cat Cookie.
  • Pun: Butterbean uses "fairy" instead of "very".
  • Scout-Out: Cricket is part of the Puddle Scouts.
  • Sentient Vehicle: In "Cutie Pie's Pizza Pies!," Cricket forms a bond with a pizza truck named Cutie Pie who clearly wants to be with her and actively resists Miss Marmalady.
  • Series Goal: Ms. Marmalady's goal is to steal business from Butterbean and make her restaurant the only one in Puddlebrook once more.
  • Shout-Out: In "Stella Sprinkles!", Cricket invites Stella Sprinkles to a cupcake decorating party, then sets up the party without waiting for her acceptance. When Stella doesn't show up at the scheduled time, she goes outside the cafe and shouts "Stella! Stelllla!"
  • Show Within a Show: Cricket likes to watch Stella Sprinkles on Butterbean's tablet. Later, she invites Stella to the cafe for a cupcake decorating party.
  • Sick Episode: In "Rainbow Noodle Soup", Butterbean gets sick, so the rest of the gang have to run the cafe without her.
  • Significant Double Casting: In "The Sugar Plum Fairy", the Special Guest Giada De Laurentiis plays both Ms. Peartree and the Sugar Plum Fairy. This is significant because Ms. Peartree is the Sugar Plum Fairy.
  • Similar Item Confusion: In "Poppy's Lost Cookbook," Miss Marmalady substitutes salt instead of sugar when making popovers, stating that "It looks like sugar, so what's the difference?"
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Ms. Marmalady is this to Butterbean and the Bean Team.
  • Slow "NO!": Dazzle does it in "Dazzle's Cake-tastrophe" when knocking down the box with the mayor's cake.
  • Stock Animal Diet: In "The Splat Spot!," Butterbean's Cafe serves the Hops family of rabbits a big carrot-themed family dinner and dessert.
  • Stock Footage: The splitscreens during the "Let's Get Cooking" sequence are used every episode, the number of Bean Team members varying depending on whoever is making the meal. This was dropped in Season 2.
  • Superstition Episode: "Bad Luck Jasper!", in which Jasper has bad luck and it threatens his chances of winning the Green Machine.
  • Teachers Out of School: In "The Big Birthday Hiccup!," Cricket is surprised to learn that principals have birthdays.
  • Tempting Fate: In the first episode, Ms. Marmalady says her cafe is the only restaurant in Puddlebrook and plans to keep it that way. Cue Butterbean and the Bean Team opening her cafe, which initiates the show's conflict.
  • Theme Naming: Anything sold by Ms. Marmalady has the word "marma" in it (ie. Marmaloaf).
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "A Fairy Happy Thanksgiving", where Butterbean and her friends celebrate Thanksgiving, with even Ms. Marmalady, Spork, and Spatch getting invited.
  • There Are No Police: Apparently not, because in "Fluttercakes!" Ms. Marmalady and her minions just flat-out steal Mr. Garbaggio's garbage truck and say "finders-keepers," and nobody even thinks of calling the police.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Butterbean's, Butterbean's, Butterbean's Cafe!"
  • Token Human: Butterbean, Cricket, Poppy, Dazzle, Jasper, and Ms. Marmalady are the only humanoids in a universe consisting of mostly anthropomorphic mice and rabbit creatures.
  • Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup: In "Pizza Party", the party guests' repeated request for additional toppings quickly wears Cricket out and makes putting the pizza together a complicated ordeal for the kitchen staff, with one overheard direction being a complete contradiction.
  • Totally Radical: Jasper uses "gnarly" at one point.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cricket loves pancakes.
  • Unknown Rival: In some episodes, "The Perfect Picnic!" for example, Butterbean and her friends are unaware that Ms. Marmalady is out to sabotage them. In a couple of other episodes, only Cricket seems to be savvy enough to understand that Ms. Marmalady has ill intentions.
  • Vague Age: Butterbean and her friends look like they could be 8-10 years old, while Ms. Marmalady looks like she could be between 30-40. Averted with Cricket, who says she's 6 years old in "The Towering Tower of Crepes!".
  • Visible Odor: The stinky smell from "Fluttercakes!" is visible.
  • Vocal Evolution: Jasper's voice gets deeper late into Season 1 because of his voice actor experiencing puberty.
  • Wedding Episode:
    • "Wedding Cake Switcheroo" has the Bean Team cater a wedding.
    • The same is true in "Cricket the Flower Girl."
  • What Is This Feeling?: In "Fairy Happy Thanksgiving!", after Butterbean and her crew cook Thanksgiving dinner for her, Ms. Marmalady says that she's feeling a little strange.
    Ms. Marmalady: I think I... I think I might be feeling... happy? (smiles, cue song number)
  • Winged Humanoid: Butterbean and her friends. Ms. Marmalady also counts, though she rarely ever flies.
  • Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer:
    • In "Cricket's First Menu," Cricket continues to beg for a bit after Butterbean has already agreed to let her make the day's lunch menu.
    • In "Jasper Learns to Bake," the other staff of Butterbean's Cafe have to tell Jasper several times that, yes, they will let him learn to bake before it finally sinks in.
  • World-Healing Wave: In the first episode when Butterbean uses the Flutter Bean to save the grand opening, it causes all of Puddlebrook to become filled with color and even the flowers bloom.
  • You Mean "Xmas": Subverted in "The Sugar Plum Fairy!". The celebrated holiday is Christmas, but the characters call it "the holidays" and nothing else.
  • Youthful Freckles: Poppy and Dazzle both have them.

With a flick of my wrist and a flutter of wing, this Tropes Bean will do its thing!