Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Craig of the Creek

Go To
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, who served as the head writers of Steven Universe for its first five seasons, 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.


Craig of the Creek provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: There's an entire society of kids hanging out in the sewers.
  • Animesque: Anime references and elements tend to be spotted throughout the show. Especially when the Elders, the Ninja Kids or Sparkle Cadet are around.
  • Casting Gag: The Horse Girls are all voiced by members of the improv group "Wild Horses".
  • Creator Cameo: Kid Caricatures of the crew (called Creeksonas) are sometimes seen as background characters
  • Creator Provincialism: The town of Herkleston lies just off one of the auxiliary routes of Maryland's Interstate 295.
  • Crossover: The promotional picture for the Steven Universe episode "Reunited" features Kelsey and JP mocking Steven for tempting fate.
  • Dope Slap: In "Big Pinchy", when J.P. meets a group of sapling trees and tells Kelsey she must be so tall to chill, she punches J.P. in the chest.
  • Advertisement:
  • Free-Range Children: The sheer number of kids able to explore the creek without adult supervision.
  • Fun with Acronyms: In "The Kid From 3030", Craig asks Deltron if the future has anything like the Creek:
    Craig: I can't imagine life without the Creek. It's a beautiful place where we all can do what we want to do.
    Deltron: Hm, I see. After searching my database, it seems like the closest we have to that in the future are what we call Post-Apocalyptic Recreation Centers: "P.A.R.C."s for short.
  • 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.
  • How Is That Even Possible?: In "The Takeout Mission", the trio can't turn the stove to boil brown rice because they've been told not to. The stove suddenly turns on it by itself. Only JP is disturbed by this event.
  • Inner Thoughts, Outsider Puzzlement: Kelsey is prone to doing Inner Monologues and striking heroic poses while doing so. In at least one case, it was shown that this isn't just in her mind and people observe her actions with bemusement.
  • 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.
  • Otaku: Hang out with the Elders and the Ninja Kids for a while to find out, though it seems like the Elders outweighed the Ninja Kids on this because of the amount of screen time.
  • Playing Doctor: In "Jextra Perrestrial" JP is convinced he's an alien so the trio resort to this to determine whether or not he is.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Ship Tease: A few of these happen between Craig and Kit in "The Shortcut", most notably when Kit's Grandma whispers to Kit that she shouldn't trade Craig anything for her heart, causing Kit to be embarrassed.
  • 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.
  • Special Guest:
    • The band Bad Moves appear as themselves in "Vulture's Nest".
    • Del Tha Funkee Homosapien appears in "The Kid from 3030", as a kid who moved from the city to the suburbs and is pretending to be the titular robot from the future.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Craig gets his bean-like head shape from his grandpa.
  • Take That!: In "The Kid from 3030", one of the atrocities parents caused in the future is getting rid of net neutrality.
  • Whole Plot Reference: "The Evolution Of Craig" is one to Pokémon, as it features Craig trying to evolve his frog, much like one would evolve a Pokemon.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: In "Deep Creek Salvage", Craig sees something shiny in the creek, thinking it might be gold, with Craig, Kelsey and J.P. clearing the junk out of the swamp, only to discover that the gold bar is actually an ancient candy bar from a candy factory that went out of business over 50 years ago with an expired sweepstakes wrapper. Nevertheless, the Creek kids learn to appreciate the creek which is now cleared of pollution.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Craig almost did this to a girl on the other side of the creek after overhearing a bad comment she made about his map to the Honeysuckle Rangers. JP, however, stops him from beating her up due to not wanting their cover to be blown since they are on a mission to get the map back from the Honeysuckle Rangers undetected.

Just like I described it.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: