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Western Animation / Craig of the Creek

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Clockwise from top: J.P., Kelsey (with Mortimer), Craig.

"The creek is a place where we can all be whatever we want!"
Craig, talking about the titular creek

Created by Matt Burnett and Ben Levin, best known as the former head writers of Steven Universe, Craig of the Creek is an American animated television series created for Cartoon Network. The series follows the adventures of the ever imaginative Craig and his two best friends Kelsey and J.P., as they explore the woods outside their small town of Herkleston and interact with a myriad of eccentric characters: from paintball players that use near-lethal ammunition to a tribe of kids that hoard lost toys in the sewers.

The pilot for the show was released on the Cartoon Network App/VOD in December 2017, while the series proper similarly premiered on these services on February 19, 2018; the show made its television debut on March 30, 2018.

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Craig of the Creek provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: There's an entire society of kids hanging out in the sewers.
  • Creator Cameo: Kid Caricatures of the crew (called Creeksonas) are sometimes seen as background characters
  • Creator Provincialism: The town of Herkleston explicitly lies just off one of the auxiliary routes of Interstate 295, placing it in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, where the creators grew up.
    • In "The Brood", Craig's grandpa Earl mentions that the last cicada brood was in Maryland 17 years ago, which would probably set the show somewhere between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
  • Free-Range Children: The sheer number of kids able to explore the creek without adult supervision.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": In "The Invitation", when J.P. and Boris are playing croquet:
    J.P.: Sorry for getting pushy with your tushy!
    Boris: Tushy.
    J.P.: You said the word that I said.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Squeakers the Infected Rat is this in Bring Out Your Beast. The card deals -3 damage to its owner at the end of every turn, and who wants to use a character that only hurts you? Someone playing against a Beast Snare, tricking the opponent into snaring Squeakers and then the opponent faces the -3 damage penalty.
  • Local Hangout: The titular creek.
  • Mr. Imagination: Craig, Kelsey, and JP, but especially Craig.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Playing in a creek is made into a huge deal for the kids who do.
  • Reality Ensues: The trio are launched high into the air - high enough that they can see the town - and land feet first into Craig's backyard. Then Kelsey falls over and Craig and JP buckle their knees, with Craig saying they jumped really far.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Serious Business: The kids treat everything that involves hanging out at the creek this way. In "You're It", a game of Tag is treated like a curse that has been passed down to the kids in the neighborhood for generations.
  • Shown Their Work: In "Itch to Explore", Craig refers to poison ivy by its scientific name Toxicodendron radicans.
  • Skintone Sclerae: Seems to be a trait of the Paul family, given both JP and his sister have them.
  • Slice of Life: The daily adventures of kids playing in a creek.
  • Take That!: The whole premise of "Bring Out Your Beast" is to make fun of Yu-Gi-Oh! up to "playing with your heart."