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Western Animation / Caillou

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"Caillou, Caillou, I'm Caillou. That's me!"

Caillou is a Canadian animated children's series. It was based on a French-language book series from Quebec by author Christine L'Heureux, illustrator Hélène Desputeaux, and published by Chouette Publishing. Produced by CINAR (later known as Cookie Jar Entertainment), the series originally premiered as a set of sixty-five, five minute shorts on Teletoonnote from 1997 to 1998, with four more seasons airing from 2000 to 2010. For it's final season, it moved to Treehouse TV like some other Teletoon-produced preschool shows. In the US, PBS would pick it up in 2000 for their then newly rebranded PBS Kids block where it would air there until late 2020.

The series is about a four-year-old boy named Caillou, learning about the world around him with his friends (including Leo, Clementine, and Sarah), and family (with Mommy, Daddy, his little sister Rosie, and his pet cat Gilbert). The first season had a Framing Device with a grandmother reading stories about Caillou to her grandchildren, which was removed in later seasons. PBS Kids airings of the first three seasons would also have puppet segments staring Gilbert and Caillou's stuffed toys Teddy and Rexy.

In 2016, when WildBrain (the current owners of the TV series), began a YouTube reboot called Caillou's New Adventures, created through their UK-based WildBrain Spark division. While the first episodes were remakes of older episodes, overtime they started making new original episodes. This series uses a different art style as well as a New York based cast unlike the original's Montreal based cast, with Laurie Hymes voicing the titular character and Mike Pollock voicing Caillou's dad.

In September 2021, it was announced that the series was going to get CGI specials based on seasonal events, with them airing on Family Jr. throughout 2022. Later in June 2022, it was announced the specials were also going to premiere on Peacock in the US in the same time frame, alongside a new series that was set for 2023. However because of Schedule Slip, the series premiered on February 15, 2024 instead.

The show provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: In "You're Not Miss Martin!", the substitute teacher at Caillou's playschool, Ms. Shelley, repeatedly calls him "Kyle". Caillou is at first irritated by this and a number of things about her, but Mommy helps him to relate to her by reminding him how he felt on his first day of playschool. The next time she calls him "Kyle", he decides to be patient and politely remind her that his name is "Caillou". The final time she calls him "Kyle", it's just to joke with him.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Caillou often forgets that it's not all about him. Justified as he is 4 years old.
  • Affection-Hating Kid: Subverted. While Caillou likes hugs and kisses from his parents, the episode "Caillou's First Wedding" has him being disgusted twice when he sees his parents kiss and later Jonus and Kristen when they get married.
  • Afraid of Clowns: In "Caillou is a Clown", Caillou's mother decides not to take Caillou and Rosie to the circus because there are clowns and Rosie hates them. Caillou is infuriated until his mother points out that he also used to fear clowns when he was Rosie's age, so he decides to help her get over this fear.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The 2022 reboot is all CGI.
  • Animated Adaptation: Based on the books by Christine L'Heureux and Hélène Desputeaux.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Depending on the Writer, Rosie sometimes plays nice with Caillou; other times she irritates him to no end. Noticeably, she was more annoying in the earlier episodes but slowly mellowed out, probably due to parents complaining. This is justified as she is only 2.
  • April Fools' Plot: "Caillou's April Fool" which features Caillou learning about April Fool's Day and playing jokes on his family.
  • Are We There Yet?: Caillou asks questions like these when he's bored during a trip. First during "Caillou Rides a Plane," where Caillou asks this to Daddy shortly after they've taken off. He also asks Mommy this in "A House in the Sky" three different times as he is bored from the long car ride they are taking.
  • Argument of Contradictions: "Caillou's Quarrel" starts off with the narrator's grandson and granddaughter having one of these.
  • Art Shift: The show switches between Gilbert, Rexy and Teddy in the animated segments and puppets in the other segments.
  • Ascended Meme: The GoAnimate "grounded" videos went full circle when WildBrain released various New Adventures episodes where Caillou actually gets grounded.
  • Award-Bait Song: Every Day from the credits of Caillou's Holiday Movie. It was performed by a Canadian-French artist known as Marilou. While it has every single quality of an Award-Bait Song, it didn't even get nominated (the fact that it was for a direct-to-DVD movie probably has something to do with that). The film's soundtrack album features an extended version. "One Wish" also has qualities of this, but it was only on the film's soundtrack.
  • Baby Talk: Earlier episodes depicted Rosie as speaking this way. However, she grows out of it in later episodes.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: In the WildBrain version of "Caillou Is Sick," after Caillou's rash is diagnosed as poison ivy, she gives him a bath for comfort and Teddy a wash to clean off the poison ivy. Caillou then asks Mommy if they can go see Grandma now since she can't catch it. Mommy tells her that she's afraid not and he asks her why not.
    Mommy: Well, I'm afraid you can't go in your bathrobe, sweetie.
  • Baths Are Fun: There was one episode with Caillou not liking baths, but then Mommy put some bubbles and bath toys in and made it fun. This was later memorialized in a song for one of the show's music albums.
  • Beach Episode: "Try, Try Again", "Caillou Goes to The Beach" and "Rainy Day at The Beach."
  • Because I Said So: Averted. Caillou's parents always have a good answer to Caillou's questions.
  • The Big Guy: Andre, literally, due to his large size and the fact that he's three years older than Caillou.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Rosie, Sarah, Clementine, and their families all have this kind of eyes.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: The Season 5 episode "Raspberry Ruckus" has this as the main plot point. When Rosie learns how to blow raspberries from Caillou, their mother is worried that Rosie will blow a raspberry at the wrong time and place and embarrass people.
  • Border-Occupying Decorations: The show was originally made in 4:3 before making the jump to 16:9 widescreen HD. Individual segments were typically only around 4-6 minutes long, so episodes of the show were typically made of several segments grouped together around a particular theme from a mix of new and old material. Therefore, later episodes presented in HD would show the older segments in letterbox format with colorful, child's wallpaper-type decorations in the borders.
  • Boredom Montage: The episode "Caillou and the World Book Day" from New Adventures had Caillou looking at a space book and imagine himself jumping and playing on the moon, only to get bored and tired as time goes on.
    • "A House in the Sky" has Caillou sitting in the car bored and asking his mommy if they are there yet as they take the long car drive to see Carol and her son Kevin.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Airings of "Caillou Plays Baseball" on Universal Kids (formerly Sprout) edited Caillou's line "I hate baseball!", muting the word "hate". Now, Caillou says "!". Apparently, Sprout considers the word "hate" strong enough to be a swear word. Note that this is the only known instance of this censorship, as several other episodes of the series use the word "hate", and it is unknown if the other episodes were censored this way.
    • Cartoonito's airing of "Big Brother Caillou" cuts out the scene where Caillou pinches Rosie.
    • Cartoonito's airing of "Caillou's Quarrel" cuts out most of Caillou's yelling at Clementine, going straight to Caillou telling her he doesn't want to play anymore after Clementine suggests the tea party.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: Caillou praises himself in the Opening Song.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Zigzagged. At times Caillou acts very bratty. Depending on the Writer, Caillou can be quite the Cheerful Child. Justified as he is only 4.
  • The Bully: Leo started out as one, but was quickly forced through a Heel–Face Turn by Clementine, literally within minutes.
    • Jim from "Caillou Makes a New Friend" started as one by taking Caillou's things and not letting him play on the swings. He also went through a Heel–Face Turn and became Caillou's friend.
  • Call-Back: Caillou's Holiday Movie sees Caillou visiting a lot of people featured in past episodes of the show.
  • Camping Episode: The show has two:
    • "Caillou Goes Camping" where Caillou and his grandpa go camping in the backyard. They set up a tent together, look at animals together, and roast marshmallows over a fire. When bedtime comes, Caillou is scared from the nighttime noises so Grandpa moves the trip inside.
    • "A-Camping We Will Go" where Caillou and his family go camping at a campsite. They set up a trailer, Caillou and Mommy go swimming in the water, they eat some burgers, Caillou goes mountain climbing with Daddy, and Caillou sleeps in the hammock with Daddy. The next morning, they get to see a moose (which Caillou had hoped to see earlier in the episode) that gets scared off by Rosie yelling.
  • Canada Does Not Exist: The series' setting is left ambiguous. It could be anywhere in Canada (where the series is produced) or North America.
  • Character in the Logo: Most versions of the show's logo have Caillou himself in them.
  • Characterization Marches On: In Season 1 , Caillou acts like a spoiled Bratty Half-Pint who whined and complained when he didn't get his way. In Seasons 2 and 3, he still acts like a brat at times but is nicer and more considerate of others. By Season 4, all his flaws are gone and he acts like a Cheerful Child and a Nice Guy with a big imagination and a big heart. Season 5 occasionally makes him Innocently Insensitive, and could sometimes be a bit self-absorbed, and became a Jerk with a Heart of Gold but generally nicer and well-behaved overall compared to Seasons 1-3. Both Caillou's New Adventures and the 2022 reboot also stick closer to Caillou's personality in Season 5.
  • Charlie Brown Baldness: Taken to the next level — Caillou is actually totally bald.
  • Cheerful Child: Zigzagged with Caillou. He is sometimes a very cheerful and happy kid. Depending on the Writer, Caillou can also be quite the Bratty Half-Pint.
    • The other kids are definitely this as well.
  • Chickenpox Episode:
    • In "Caillou Gets Sick", Caillou wakes up with a fever. Later on, chicken pox start to appear on his body and he has to take a few baths throughout the episode. His mother cheers him up by putting red dots on one of his toy dinosaurs.
    • In one episode of Caillou's New Adventures, Caillou gets chicken pox. Much to his disappointment, he gets it on the same day he was going to the park to see Leo. He gets better at the end of the episode, but now Rosie has chicken pox.
  • Christmas Episode: Throughout the series, there have been a few:
    • Season 2's "Holiday Wonders" which features Caillou and his family visiting Santa Claus at the mall and going to get a Christmas tree. Much to Caillou's disappointment, the trees are all sold out but then Boris comes up with the idea to decorate a Christmas tree using one they have outside.
    • Season 4 has three Christmas episodes: "Caillou Goes Caroling" which features Caillou learning about caroling and going with his family to sing Christmas carols, "A Playschool Party" which has Caillou's preschool class having a Christmas party and everybody bringing a gift for a show and tell, and "Caillou's Christmas Eve" which has Caillou and his family celebrating Christmas Eve and trying to stay up late to see Santa.
  • Christmas Special: A direct-to-DVD movie called Caillou's Holiday Movie was released between Seasons 3 and 4. It featured Caillou being excited for Christmas. He counts down the days in December leading up to Christmas, while doing fun festivities with his family and friends to celebrate and learning something new about Christmas around the world each night. He also learns about Hanukkah as Leo celebrates the holiday.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • The puppets, who disappear after Season 3.
    • Julie disappears after Season 3 without any explanation. Grandma and Grandpa take over her duties as a babysitter in Seasons 4 and 5 instead.
    • Mr. Hinkle started appearing less after season 3 before disappearing and being replaced by a new character called Mrs. Howard in season 5.
  • Clock Tampering: Done in "Caillou's April Fool" by Daddy as a practical joke on Mommy, moving the kitchen clock ahead an hour from 8:00 to 9:00 AM, to confuse her when she comes down in the morning for breakfast. After the prank successfully works, this leads to the parents explaining to Caillou what April Fools' Day is and inspires him to play a joke on Mommy as well.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: In the episode "Caillou is Getting Older", Caillou and his dad find a bird who died of old age. Caillou then fears his own mortality, but keeps seeing and hearing things related to age. First his dad says he's getting old because he needs glasses, then his mum says that Rosie's growing up because she can eat on her own, then Sarah has a birthday, and finally his parents tell him he's growing up at bedtime, causing him to yell at them due to Anger Born of Worry but Boris reassures Caillou that he has lots of time to get bigger and older.
  • Depending on the Writer: Caillou can be a tantrum-throwing brat or gentle boy due to this. It also determines whether Rosie is an angel or Bratty Half-Pint to Caillou.
  • Detachable Doorknob: In the Season 2 episode "Lost And Found", when Caillou is looking for his missing sock, he goes down into the basement to look for it. When the basement door shuts, Caillou goes to open it but ends up pulling the doorknob out of the socket. He gets scared and starts banging on the door for help. When his dad deduces what happened, he tells Caillou he has to turn the knob on his side slowly. When both Caillou and his dad are stuck in the basement, mom tries to come to their aid, only for the doorknob to come out on her side as well. Caillou's dad instructs her on how to put it back in, and once they're out, Caillou and his dad finish up the episode fixing the knob.
  • Digital Destruction: Cartoonito prints of the show rather sloppily crop it from 4:3 to 16:9.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The theme song is sung by Caillou himself, courtesy of Bryn McAuley, his first voice actor.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: In "Leo's Hamster," this happens when Leo's hamster, Buddy, whom Caillou is petsitting, gets loose.
    Caillou: Mommy, why are you standing on the chair?
    Mommy: Me? (giggles nervously) Oh, no reason.
  • Episode on a Plane: "Caillou Rides an Airplane" which features Caillou and his family riding on a plane while going on vacation. He gets to have breakfast on a plane, plays with Boris's headset and even gets to watch how the pilot flies the plane.
  • Episode Tagline: The episode "Caillou's Cross Word" is all about the word "stupid" and how it's not a nice way to describe someone.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Both Rosie and Caillou get this in "Caillou's Puppet Show" when they're sick with the flu.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: In both wild-west themed episodes of New Adventures (where Caillou and his friends imagine they're cowboys in the wild-west), Caillou and his friends use waterguns in place of real guns.
  • Feigning Healthiness: In "Caillou's Puppet Show," Caillou pretends to Mommy that he isn't sick after catching the flu from Rosie because he doesn't want to miss the puppet show. It doesn't work, about two seconds after saying he's fine, he starts coughing and Mommy declares that he has the flu and sends him back to bed.
  • Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: The PBS half-hour episodes with the puppet segments all end this way, with the final puppet segment concluding with a CGI Monarch butterfly flying right into the camera.
  • Fooled by the Sound: In "Caillou is Afraid of the Dark", Caillou keeps hearing rustling under his bed and he thinks it's a "scratchy monster". It turns out to be Gilbert messing around with a paper bag.
  • Forced into Their Sunday Best: Caillou is forced into his Sunday best for Christmas Eve dinner with Grandma and Grandpa; he doesn't understand why at first, because Grandpa and Grandma come over to visit all the time.
  • Forgiveness: The lesson in "That's Mine." In the episode, Rosie accidentally knocks over and scratches Caillou's bicycle while trying to help wash it. Despite Rosie apologizing and Boris trying to explain that it was an accident, Caillou is mad and doesn't trust Rosie with his things. He takes back all his toys that he let her borrow and locks them in his toybox so she can't play with them, plus he divides the playroom so they play separately. When he plays with Boris's guitar, he accidentally breaks a string. While Boris asks him about it, Caillou apologizes but Boris isn't mad and explains that accidents happen, including what Rosie did. Caillou apologizes to Rosie for his behavior and she uses her favorite sticker to cover the scratch on the bicycle.
  • Framing Device: The earlier inceptions had Caillou's episodes beginning with a grandmother announcing today's story to her grandchildren, said story being the actual Caillou episode. It was later dropped after Season 1, and it's cut altogether on PBS Kids airings.
    • The puppet segments and real kid segments serve as framing devices for the animated segments. These were later dropped after Season 3.
  • Free Prize at the Bottom: In "No Tradebacks!" in the fifth season, Caillou gets a small toy shovel as a prize in a cereal box, but is upset because it's not the stickers that he wanted — ones like those that Rosie got when it was her turn to get the free prize. He trades it with a friend Jay for a set of the stickers and they agree to "no tradebacks," but then Caillou is upset that he traded it away when he sees that Jay attached it to his dump-truck, this being a feature of the shovel. He cajoles Jay so much that Jay finally agrees to a tradeback anyway, but when Caillou sees how upset Jay gets, he finally honors the original agreement.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: In "Caillou's Leaf Pile," Daddy tells Caillou that "There's always a way to solve a problem. You just have to use your imagination... or your fingers," then tickles him playfully.
    • Also happens at the end of "Caillou's Castle" where Caillou's parents pretend they're monsters who tickle kids and they chase Caillou and Rosie.
  • Glasses of Aging: In "Caillou is Getting Older", Caillou is trying not to think about age after learning that people die from old age, but he keeps being reminded of it. One of the things is that his father worries that he might need glasses and comments he's getting old.
  • Grocery Store Episode: There are two of them, one in Season 1 and another in Season 4; both episodes are titled "Caillou Goes Shopping".
    • In the Season 1 episode, Caillou and Rosie are taken on a shopping trip with their mother during a snowy day. Caillou becomes lost in the store when he forgets where the cookies were, but Rosie and their mother find him quickly.
    • In the Season 4 episode, Caillou creates a song to help him memorize the things his mother wants to pick up at the store. While they're there, Caillou helps Sarah to look for some school supplies.
  • Halloween Episode: Season 1 has "Caillou Loves Halloween" which features Caillou going trick or treating with Leo and Clementine and Season 4 has "Caillou's Halloween Costume" where Caillou is trying to figure out what to be for Halloween.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: In "Caillou's Hiccups" from the fifth season, Caillou gets the hiccups. At first, Caillou's parents tell him to be patient and they'll go away on their own, as patience is the theme of the episode in which this story is featured. But when Caillou keeps hiccuping, his parents start up with the various "cures," only for them to go away on their own, just as his parents first suggested. Then Daddy gets them.
  • Hollywood Genetics: Caillou's parents both have brown hair Rosie has red hair.
  • "I Am" Song: The theme song, which talks about how Caillou is 4 years old but is always growing and learning new things.
  • Importation Expansion: The PBS version has new segments featuring puppets of Caillou's cat Gilbert, as well as his toys Teddy and Rexy, exploring the world around them that frame the actual program.
  • Injured Limb Episode: "Get Well Soon" and "Caillou The Patient." The former involves Leo hurting his foot and the latter involves Caillou hurting his knee.
    • "Caillou's Broken Bone" from the reboot involves Caillou having a broken arm after falling off a bike and wearing a cast.
  • Innocent Swearing: The banned episode "Caillou's Crossword" uses the word "stupid" to teach children about swearing. After Caillou and Leo hear an older boy use the word, they call Clementine stupid not knowing it's not a nice word, and it upsets her. Caillou later uses it around Rosie, and she learns the word. Caillou's mom teaches him that it's not a nice word and he apologizes to Clementine.
  • Intentional Mess Making: In the book version of "Big Brother Caillou", Caillou starts wetting the bed on purpose to get attention when he thinks his parents have been paying too much attention to Rosie.
  • It's All About Me: Caillou. Somewhat justified, since an egocentric phase is a normal developmental stage for very small children. Averted in Season 4 but subverted in Season 5.
    • Rosie occasionally goes into this territory, but not as often as Caillou.
  • "I Want" Song: "Me Me Boy" from Caillou's Holiday Movie.
  • Jerkass Ball: Leo and Clementine hold one of these in "Three's a Crowd" when they yell at Caillou for accidentally destroying their sandcastle, breaking Clementine's bucket, and tell him they don't want to play with him anymore. This is despite them being generally nice kids, and what Caillou did wasn't a big deal.
  • Jump Rope Blunders: In one episode of New Adventures, Caillou practices for the school talent show. He attempts to skip with his jump rope, only to trip and fall over with a thud.
  • Karma Houdini: Caillou often goes without punishment for acting bratty.
    • Leo and Clementine in "Three's a Crowd"; they aren't scolded for yelling at Caillou and telling him they don't want to play with him because he had accidentally knocked over their sandcastle and broke Clementine's bucket. There is however this one Vyond grounded video of Leo and Clementine getting punished for it, and it is extremely satisfying.
    • Only Caillou was talked to for calling Clementine "stupid" in "Caillou's Cross Word"; Leo wasn't shown at all to have gotten the same talk from his mom, nor was the big kid who taught Caillou and Leo the word punished in any way.
  • Keep Away: Mommy does this for demonstration purposes when teaching Caillou to play ringette.
  • Kids Hate Vegetables: In "Caillou Hates Vegetables", a younger Caillou is less than enthused when he's given broccoli and carrots for dinner and would rather have cookies. Later, his grandmother has made peas and carrots (much to Caillou's chagrin), but his grandfather convinces him to eat them by telling him to pretend to be a bear eating berries.
  • Kids Love Dinosaurs: And Caillou is one of them, with his toy Rexi.
  • Kids Prefer Boxes: One episode has Cailou's parents buy him a computer he can play on; he ends up liking the box it came in better.
  • Large Ham: Mostly done by Caillou himself during a tantrum.
    Caillou: I don't want to play families! I want to play DINOSAURS!!!
  • Limited Animation: Seasons 4 and 5 have noticeably more limited animation than the first three seasons, due to the former being animated in Flash, and the latter being animated in ToonBoom. This resulted in the animation becoming very cheap and stilted. New Adventures likewise has a limited animation style.
  • Long-Runner Tech Marches On: One of the early installments showed Caillou learning about the use of a bulky old model desktop computer. Flash-forward to 2020 and he is video-conferencing with his friends with Daddy's help in a book about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic, but is still just a "kid who's 4."
  • Look Behind You: In "Caillou's Quarrel", Clementine suggests she and Caillou have a race, then uses this trope to give herself a head start.
  • Lost Voice Plot: In "A Frog In Caillou's Throat", Caillou loses his voice due to strep throat.
  • Match Cut: Happens in one episode, when Caillou's family needs their luggage onto a train.
  • Meaningful Name: Caillou actually means "pebble" in French. Or rather, the word is a Québécois slang term for bald-head.
    • There's Andre, who is really big compared to the others.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Like many Animated Adaptations, it was originally created to sell the books but quickly spun out of control. Yeah, among tons of merchandise, there is even Caillou branded shampoo out there. For those who don't get it, Caillou is bald. But then again, he's been shown on the program getting a shampooing in the bath, despite his baldness. You can even see it here.
  • Mr. Imagination: Caillou developed into one in the fourth season, though these segments were discontinued in the fifth season. Despite this, these episodes retain the opening sequence that was created for the fourth season, even though it heavily features clips from these segments.
  • New Baby Episode:
    • The book series that the show was based on has a book called "Caillou: Baby Sister". In the book, Rosie is born, and Caillou reverts to infantilism when he becomes jealous of Rosie, doing such things as drinking from a baby bottle and wetting the bed (as well as his pants). Also, what he does to Rosie in the book is even worse than what he does to her in the bowdlerized episode based on the book; he bites Rosie.
    • The episode "Big Brother Caillou" tells the story of Caillou's baby sister Rosie being born, and the following envy felt by Caillou when everyone pays more attention to the baby than him. The episode was infamously pulled from rotation due to Caillou pinching Rosie in his anger at one point, although it did air on Cartoonito years later with the scene cut from the episode.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: In "Caillou's Halloween Costume", Rosie dresses as a princess, clown, and cat all in one.
  • No Antagonist: Well, Leo was an antagonist in the episode that introduced him... for two whole minutes. He's all friendly with Caillou after and for the rest of the series.
    • There was also a boy named Jim who was mean to Caillou, taking his toys and going out of his way to beat him to the swing but he also changed and became Caillou's friend just a few minutes later.
  • No Full Name Given: Caillou's family name is never revealed.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Caillou, if perhaps allowed to grow up a bit, experiences a very dragged-out childhood. In the earliest books from the 1990s, he is a baby. In the very early installments of the television series, he is 3. From then on, he is officially 4, as stated in the theme song, "I'm just a kid who's 4 / Each day I grow some more!" However, in later seasons he takes more steps into school and eventually starts attending playschool and mixing more with older kids although he stays the same age. The reboot also has him at 4 years old.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Caillou and Rosie get this sometimes, especially in the first 3 seasons. The Caillou Wiki has a list of times that Mommy excused not being able to do things with Caillou or Rosie at the moment because she was "too busy".
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted in that Caillou's imaginary friend is named George and he has a skating instructor who is also named George.
  • Picnic Episode: "Caillou's Picnic" and "All You Can Eat."
  • Potty Dance: Rosie does this in Caillou's Holiday Movie.
    Mommy: (trying to sit her in Santa's lap) What is it, sweetie?
    Rosie: Bafroom.
  • Potty Emergency:
    • The episode "Rainy Day" is centered around Caillou having one while his mother waits for him to leave somewhere. Unfortunately, due to many distractions, he keeps forgetting about his urge. He does make it at the end, though.
    • In "Caillou Goes Strawberry Picking'', Caillou has to use the bathroom before leaving to go strawberry picking.
    • In "A-Camping We Will Go", Caillou has one on their way to the campsite, so his mother pulls the car over by a rock for Caillou to relieve himself behind.
    • In "Fall Is In The Air", Caillou has to go during a school assembly.
    • Rosie has one when meeting Santa in Caillou's Holiday Movie.
  • Power Outage Plot: The show has two episodes where the power goes out:
    • "Lights Out!" features a winter storm knocking out the power in Caillou's house. Caillou and his family eat sandwiches together and then roast marshmallows around a fire and they all sleep together in the living room. The power does come back on at the end of the episode, but they decide to sleep in the living room.
    • "A Surprise Sleepover" has Caillou and Sarah playing outside when a storm hits that knocks out the power at Caillou's house. Sarah stays with Caillou's family due to the storm and Doris calls Sarah's mother so Sarah can sleep over. Caillou and Sarah make a tent and have fun with a flashlight before they both fall asleep in the tent. Like the first episode, the power also comes back on at the end of the episode.
  • Protagonist Title: Caillou is the protagonist, and the series is named for him.
  • Punny Name: The boy who bullies Caillou on the playground, refusing to share and wanting to be first to do everything, is named Jim.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Caillou comes by it honestly; his father and grandfather love trains.
  • Recycled Title: The title "Caillou Goes Shopping" is used for two different episodes, one from Season 1 and the other in Season 4.
  • Retool: The second season sees quite a few changes from the first; the stories are no longer introduced by the narrator preparing to read it to her grandkids, Caillou now wears a yellow shirt (instead of a gray one) and he is much more well-behaved and adventurous (most of the time).
    • Season 4 also counts as it removes the puppets and Cailettes segments, has the episodes animated with Flash, Caillou's flaws being removed and his Mr. Imagination side being focused on more to the point where he has an Imagine Spot every episode. It also introduces songs with original animation in between episodes and a minigame hosted by Caillou to teach children after the episodes as well.
  • Santa Claus: In Caillou's Holiday Movie, the song "Where Santa Has a Different Name" provides details on Christmas traditions around the world, including Denmark, Slovakia, and Greece. Lapsitting is also seen in this special, as well as in the story "Holiday Magic." Also, the song "Riding in Santa's Sleigh," which is only on the Caillou's Holiday Movie soundtrack album, features a sequence involving Santa inviting Caillou for a Christmas morning ride on his sleigh.
  • Screen Tap: In Caillou's Holiday Movie, Caillou throws a snowball toward Rosie and it hits the "camera."
  • Series Continuity Error: The episode "Big Brother Caillou" has Gilbert appear as already living with Caillou's family when Rosie is first born but the later episode "A New Member of the Family" has Gilbert being adopted as a kitten after Rosie is already born and a bit older.
  • Shout-Out: In "Where's Gilbert", while Caillou is looking around the animal shelter looking for Gilbert, he finds a red dog who looks similar to Clifford. (Though this red dog is the size of an average dog and is not a Big Friendly Dog like Clifford.) Counts as a Company Cross Reference as both Caillou and Clifford aired on PBS Kids.
    • Caillou's New Adventures has an episode called "Caillou Plays Videogames" where Caillou and Clementine play a Minecraft like game called "Dig And Build". They even imagine themselves being in the game and Gilbert is seen as a mod from the game.
  • Slice of Life: Yes, it's one of these shows.
  • Slumber Party: Caillou and Leo have sleepovers in the episodes "Sleepover at Leo's" and "Sleepover Guest" with the former taking place at Leo's house and Caillou gets homesick while the latter takes place at Caillou's house and Caillou learns to be accommodating towards his guest. Caillou and Sarah also have one in the episode "A Surprise Sleepover" after a storm causes a blackout in the neighborhood.
  • So Proud of You: Caillou gets this from Mommy in "Caillou Goes Bowling" after trying bowling for the first time.
  • Something Person: In the Season 4 episode "Magnet Madness", Caillou imagines himself as a superhero named Magnet Man who can stick to surfaces using magnetic boots.
  • Spoiled Brat: Caillou himself in the earlier seasons. This is averted in Season 4 and subverted in Season 5.
  • Stock Animal Name: Clementine's pet goldfish is called Goldie. Big surprise.
  • Stock Audio Clip: Caillou's vocal effects in the first season, most notably his crying (including a big long "WAAAAAAH!", infamous for accompanying his tantrum in "Caillou Joins the Circus.")
  • Stop Copying Me: Subverted. In the episode "Copycat Clementine", Caillou thinks Clementine is being a copycat and doing it to annoy him. She copies his drum for music circle and Miss Martin gives her all the credit for making it. She also copies the road he makes in the sand when they're outside and nobody will play on his road. Because of this, he refuses to let Clementine sit with him at snack time. When he tells his mother about it, she says that Clementine probably isn't doing it to annoy him. The next day, Clementine copies a bird that Caillou makes and when she gets to talk about her bird, she says she got the idea from Caillou and compliments what he does.
  • Surprise Party
    • In "Blueberry Point" from the fifth season, one is given to Grandpa for his birthday. They put the finishing touches on the surprise party while Caillou is out with Grandpa on a trip to Blueberry Point.
    • In "A Surprise for Miss Martin", Caillou and his friends host a surprise birthday party for their playschool teacher, Miss Martin.
  • Tagalong Kid: Caillou can be this when he goes somewhere with the adults. Rosie can also be this if she plays with Caillou and his friends much to Caillou's annoyance sometimes.
  • Tagline: "Growing up is the greatest adventure of all!", sometimes shortened to simply "Growing up is the greatest adventure!"
  • Teachers Out of School: When Caillou and his family go Christmas caroling, they visit Miss Martin's house, and she gives Caillou and Rosie cookies.
    • Miss Martin also appears outside of Preschool in "Too Many Cooks."
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "Thanksgiving", naturally.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: There was a song segment (featuring a kid group known as the "Caillettes") once in every episode when PBS Kids picked the show up. They were also in season four, but with the Caillettes removed and replaced original animations with Caillou and his friends. The segment was completely removed in season five.
  • The Dreaded Pretend Tea-Party: In "Caillou's Quarrel", Clementine decides to have a tea party with Caillou's teddy bear and bunny. She tries to get Caillou to sit down and play too, but he doesn't want to and instead yells at her.
  • Third-Person Person: Rosie, because she's only 2 years old. Noticeably, this habit was dropped in later seasons, though it seems it zigzagged a bit.
  • This Is My Side: Caillou does this in the fifth season episode, "That's Mine," with his and Rosie's playroom when Rosie accidentally scratches his bike and he decides that she can't be trusted with any of his stuff.
  • Title Theme Tune: Caillou mentions his name six times in the theme tune.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Caillou gets more cheerful and more willing to do things and be friends with others as the series goes on.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 5, Caillou went from being a Nice Guy with a big heart to moving into Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory although he is still nicer than he was in the earlier seasons.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Caillou gets nicer in each season, but it's really brought up in Season 4 where he acts like a complete angel and while a bit of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold at times in Season 5, is generally nicer overall compared to earlier seasons. This is most likely due to viewer parents complaining about Caillou being a whiny brat.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: The majority of banned of the show episodes were banned because of harsh behavior on Caillou's part. He pinches Rosie in one episode, throwing a book at her and shoving her out of his room in another. In a further two episodes, he hurts Clementine with his words, yelling at her loudly in one episode and calling her "stupid" in the other.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Caillou and Rosie sometimes don't want help because they want to show their parents they can do things themselves.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: "Caillou's Secret Valentine" and "Caillou's Valentine."
  • Very Special Episode:
    • "Caillou is Getting Older". He finds a dead birdnote . Daddy tells him that the bird died because it got too old. That turned out to be a bad idea, as Caillou started getting paranoid that he would die at any minute. Unfortunately for him, there was Daddy's eyes getting bad (he told Caillou he might be getting old), and Sarah having a birthday and being one whole year older. A kid being paranoid about death is pretty dark for a kid cartoon.note 
    • One installment focuses on Caillou's friend Emma having diabetes, while another is about him meeting a boy named Alan who has Down's Syndrome. The diabetes episode was also released as a book with a special educational poster. Another installment, released only as a book, also with an educational poster, is called Caillou Meets Sophie and is about Caillou meeting an autistic girl named Sophie. Also, in April 2020, in the wake of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic, a title called Caillou: Everything Will Be Fine was released exclusively as an eBook. In the title, Caillou learns that his day care is being shut down indefinitely and thinks it like a vacation at first, but starts to miss his friends. His parents help him come up with a routine full of fun things to do at home and also help Caillou set up a video chat with Clementine. The title also teaches about the importance of hand-washing.
  • Walk Into Camera Obstruction: With Caillou near the end of the Season 4 and 5 opening themes when he runs to his grandparents.
  • Washy Watchy: The WildBrain version of "Caillou Is Sick" at one points shows Caillou watching his stuffed toy Teddy spinning in the washing machine.
  • Wedding Episode: "Caillou's First Wedding" which features Caillou being the ringbearer in the wedding of Jonus, a family friend.
  • What Have We Ear?: Caillou takes an interest in magic after seeing this trick performed at Leo's birthday party in "Caillou The Great".
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's hard to tell where the show is set. The characters celebrate American holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving, but no clues are given other than that.
  • Work Off the Debt: Joked about in "Caillou Becomes a Waiter." When Caillou and his babysitter Julie make a pretend restaurant, the cost for a macaroni meal is four cents, but Caillou tells her she doesn't have any money. She responds that if he can't pay for his meal, he'll have to do the dishes, but says she guesses she can make an exception. He replies that he wants to do the dishes. Afterwards, both he and Julie are at the sink.
  • Youthful Freckles: Leo has these and he is a cheerful and energetic 4 year old.


Video Example(s):


Caillou's Flu

In one of the least convincing attempts of this ever, Caillou tries this with his Mommy after catching the flu. But his rushed "Good, I feel good" couldn't possibly con anyone and his coughing seals the deal.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / FeigningHealthiness

Media sources: