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"You may be different, but we're all creatures! All dinosaurs have different features!"
Clockwise from the top 

"People, there is an episode with Therizinosaurs doing Tai-chi. There are Therizinosaurs and they are in a cartoon for kids AND THEY ARE DOING MARTIAL ARTS AND THIS IS AWESOME!!! Also, they have feathers."

Dinosaur Train is a CGI animated Jim Henson Company series that aired on PBS Kids, created by Craig Bartlett (yes, that Craig Bartlett who's also best known for creating the series Hey Arnold! and Ready Jet Go!). It first aired in 2009 and aired its last full episode in 2020.

The show focuses on the adventures of a family of Pteranodon and Buddy, a dinosaur who was adopted by them as an egg. Buddy initially doesn't know what species he is, but is determined to find out. To this end, Buddy and his adoptive family go on adventures in a time-traveling train run by dinosaurs. Turns out early on that Buddy's a Tyrannosaurus rex, and he and his family and friends continue having trips through the Mesozoic to "meet all the species".

Dinosaur Train sports strong educational content with a focus on the basics of paleo-zoology, but also a lot of humor and fun. It is a Henson series after all. And even though the main cast is made up of cartoony creatures, the show goes way the heck out of its way to avert Artistic License – Paleontology. It's gained quite a cult following among older dinosaur fans.

The show aired five seasons of 100 episodes over the span of 11 years. It also has various TV specials: Dinosaur Big City, Dinosaurs A to Z, Dinosaur Train Submarine Adventure, etc, but they are really just multiple episodes strung together to make a one-hour special. A proper 85-minute feature film entitled Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island was announced by Craig Bartlett, and premiered on PBS on April 12, 2021.


  • Adults Are More Anthropomorphic: Inverted with the Tyrannosaurus rex and Daspletosaurus. Adult ones stand more like their real counterparts, but juvenile ones stand more upright and have plantigrade feet. The Troodons show an inversion to a lesser degree and unlike the two aforementioned species, The juvenile ones are as digitigrade as the adult ones.
  • Aerith and Bob: There are dinosaurs that have normal names (Gilbert, Don, Cory, Annie, etc), and then we have characters with names like Tiny and Shiny.
  • Alliterative Name: A lot of the dinosaur characters have one. For example, Tank Triceratops.
  • Alphabet Song: The show has a unique take on the alphabet song with "Dinosaurs A-Z", which lists dinosaurs in alphabetical order.
    "A! Apatosaurus! B! Brachiosaurus! C! Corythosaurus! D! Deinonychus! E! Einiosaurus! F! Fabrosaurus! G! Gal-Limimus! H! Hadrosaurus! I! Iguanodon! J! Jaxartosaurus! Everybody, it's time for the chorus! Hey hey hey, come along with me (Choo Choo, Choo Choo), this is how we memorize dinosaurs A to Z!"
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The Pteranodon are lime green, Buddy is safety orange, and even the more realistic (relatively speaking) animal characters can get downright psychedelic.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • This is inherently justified somewhat by the existence of the titular time-traveling train, but strangeness still occurs. For starters, although both Tyrannosaurus and Pteranodon existed during the Late Cretaceous, the latter's fossils only date back to the early phase of the period, thus indicating they probably didn't exist at the same time..
      • Actually, if references are right about preranodons existing 84.9 to 70.6 and T.rexes 70.6 to 60 million years back, there could be a (geologically) brief co-existence period even without time traveling. Even with geographical co-existence - known fossil finding locations for both species include Wyoming and South Dakota.
    • Another anachronism is some of the plant life on display. Firstly, the gourds are pretty similar to what they are today, and given the expected rate of evolution, gourds should look like their smallest representatives, cucumbers, at most. And secondly, the Conductor once mentions cacti and shows a picture of a tall sanoran cactus, even though the only cacti that existed during the Mesozoic were probably short and barrel-like.
    • Also, perhaps most glaringly: a TRAIN in prehistoric times!?
  • Art Evolution: A mild example, but the lighting and environmental design on the later seasons shows notable improvement.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: The show does a very good job of averting this for the most part, although some liberties are naturally taken with the character designs in order to conform to the cartoony aesthetic. Most notably pterosaur models lack pycnofibers while the dromaeosaurids and troodontids lack feathersnote .
  • Big Word Shout: American broadcasts are bookended by the voiceover shouting "THANK YOU!" at the end of the funding credits.
  • Birthday Episode: On "Surprise Party", the Pteranodon Family plans a surprise birthday party for Buddy on the Dinosaur Train.
  • Black Comedy Burst:
    • In "Zeppelin: Crater," the Pteronodon family and Mr. Conductor visit a crater that may have been created by an asteroid. They discuss the idea of something like that happening again. Mr. Conductor says his mother told him that something like that is very rare and not something to worry about. Buddy comments "I mean, what are the odds an asteroid would ever hit us?"
    • In one episode, there's a scene where Buddy is pretending to be an adult Tyrannosaurus hunting for prey. This includes a scene where he mimes a stick pleading and begging for its life, as he ignores its pleas and pretends to devour it anyways while maniacally laughing. This is presented as a perfectly normal and healthy thing.
  • Canada, Eh?: In the episode where they go to the North Pole, the Northern Troodons behave very much like stereotypical Canadians.
  • Carnivore Confusion:
    • One of the major educational aspects of the show is that as the main characters travel and meet various dinosaurs, they discuss with them whether they're herbivores, carnivores or omnivores. That said, we never see any animals eating other animals.
    • In Migration Vacation there is a scene that multiple T Rex go of a cliff to hunt. Even though it is not shown there are sound effects of eating and then bring back carrion for Buddy. Except when those other animals are fish or insects (most of the time). So the show generally follows the "fish and bugs are okay to eat" rule. Except for the "meat", which is, eerily, large piles of carrion lying around.
    • The occasional anonymous small mammal is also shown being eaten, such as by Travis, the northern Troodon seen in one episode. Another episode has a Tyrannosaurus eat a lizard.
  • Cartoon Creature: Mostly averted, to a point. That said, eh, we'll just take it on good faith what species the Pteranodon family and (to a lesser extent) Buddy are.
  • Casual Time Travel: The series sees the titular train travel through the entire Mesozoic Era for basically tourism purposes.
  • The Catfish: In one episode, the Old Spinosaurus holds a fishing competition to catch an elusive Mawsonia (a kind of coelacanth) that he's named Chester. The other contestants are Mr. Pteranodon and Marco Megaraptor. They all end up catching it at the same time, but their ensuing argument causes them to drop it back into the ocean.
  • Chirping Crickets: In "Hootin' Hadrosaurs", Shiny asks "Ready to do as I say and have a good time?". The others give her deadpan expressions while crickets chirp.
  • Civilized Animal: Most of the animals can talk, and the Troodons in particular have invented Casual Time Travel and all sorts of modern-style vehicles, but they mainly live in the wilderness.
  • Chroma Key: The live-action Dr. Scott the Paleontogist segments take place in front of a green screen; in some episodes, the background is plain white with concept art of the focal animal, while other times it's a photograph of a location such as a forest.
  • Clean, Pretty Childbirth: All kinds of creatures are shown hatching from eggs in this series, and they all come out completely dry.
  • Control Freak: Shiny is incredibly bossy to her siblings at times. She takes her bossiness to the extreme in "Hootin' Hadrosaurs", where she becomes 'mom' and micromanages the others nonstop.
  • Cool Train: The Dinosaur Train featured in the program is a Time Traveling train that utilizes time tunnels to take its dinosaur passengers to various locations throughout the Mesozoic Era.
  • Crystal Landscape: In "What's at the Center of the Earth? Minerals!", the Drill Train's drill breaks when it hits a large topaz crystal. Fortunately, the cave is full of crystals, so the Conductor tells the kids to find an even harder mineral. Shiny loves the cave so much that she suggests making it into an underground station.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Shiny, Don & Mr. Pteranodon receive the focus of a few episodes.
  • Description Cut: In "Best Ever Babysitter," Mr. and Mrs. Pteranodon talk about how their sure everything's fine with their kids because they all get along with the babysitter Kiera so well. Cut to the kids nearly overwhelming Kiera with their arguing about what activity they want to do.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: The characters sometimes sing the show theme tune, at least the part about "We're gonna ride, ride, ride the Dinosaur Train."
  • Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: Played with - the Troodons claim to be nocturnal, like their real-life counterparts and even have a song about it. Yet they are still shown most of the time operating the Dinosaur Train during the day.
  • Double Entendre: In the episode "King Meets Crystal", they talk about King Cryolophosaurus trying to impress Crystal, and the Conductor mentioned that dinosaur crests are for 'impressing other dinosaurs of [King's] species'.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first few episodes of the show, Buddy would get dizzy when in the time tunnel. This was phased out later on.
  • Edutainment Show: An educational show about dinosaurs.
  • Exact Words: In one episode, Larry Lambeosaurus hosts a game where the dinosaur who collects the most leaves wins. Keenan, the local bully, tells the Pteranodon siblings that they can't win because they're not dinosaurs. They ask Larry to clarify, and he says he meant all the creatures in the neighbourhood, so he rephrases the rule.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The theme song tells the story of how Buddy was adopted by the Pteranodons, followed by them deciding to travel the Mesozoic on the Dinosaur Train.
  • Fictional Sport: Dinoball vaguely resembles American football; the players have to whack a gourd into a goal at the edges of the pitch, and there's a lot of tackling involved.
  • Foot Focus: This series usually shows closeups of various dinosaurs' feet.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Dylan and Devlin, the double-crested Dilophosaurus twins, have one of these (although at the end they say they'll try to work together more).
  • Fun with Acronyms: Carla Cretoxyrhina's father is described as a "B.F.I.S." (Big Fish In the Sea).
  • Furry Confusion: The tiny green snake in one episode doesn't talk, but Sana the Sanajeh in the same episode can talk.
    • Even though bugs are regularly seen as snacks for many dinosaurs, one episode revolving around a concert has a band of singing cockroaches.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The main group of kids has two males, Buddy and Don, and two females, Tiny and Shiny.
  • Giant Flyer: The main characters are Pteranodon, after all. Makes sense they'd want to meet other big pterosaurs.
  • Girl's Night Out Episode: "Mom Was a Kid Once?" features the female members of the cast going on an adventure, with Annie filling Buddy's usual role.
  • Go-to-Sleep Ending: "I'm a T-Rex" ends with the family going to sleep, with Buddy assuring Tiny that he will look out for her even when he's big.
  • Green Aesop: In "Crystal and King Benefit Concert," said concert is held as a means of spreading the word that the Big Pond is being overfished, resulting in an over-abundance of small fish, due to the larger fish having been fished too much. Fortunately, there's still enough left to correct the situation, so long as everyone gets the word.
  • Groupie Brigade: King Cryolophosaurus is cornered by an entire group of excited dinosaurs when he goes to the Dinosaur Big City. This forces him to jump on the Dinosaur Train‘s engine and speed off.
  • Growling Gut: In "I'm a T-Rex!", Buddy's stomach rumbles because he's hungry.
  • Halloween Episode: "Haunted Roundhouse" and "Big Pond Pumpkin Patch" are respectively about the kids attending a spooky event at Troodon Town, and carving pumpkins with Larry Lambeosaurus.
  • Headbutting Pachy: Defied in the episode where the kids meet a pair of Pachycephalosaurus siblings who headbutt each-other in the sides.
  • Hey, That's My Line!: The Conductor does it in "Fossil Fred" when Mrs. Pteranadon declares "Next stop, Big Pond!"
  • Huddle Shot: In "Surprise Party", Tiny, Shiny and Don huddle up to discuss plans for the surprise party they are throwing for Buddy.
  • Human Furniture Is a Pain in the Tail: The chairs in the eponymous train don't accommodate the dinosaur's tails, but the issue is never touched upon.
  • "I Am" Song: "I'm a T-Rex" from the episode of the same name is sung by Buddy about how he is a Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Inverted in "Troodon Train Day". King Cryolophosaurus is nervous about performing on-stage, so Buddy tells him to imagine the audience wearing clothes.
  • Inexplicably Tailless: The dinosaurs' tails are sometimes not rendered in at all when they are sitting on the seats in the train cars. This is jarring as dinosaurs' tails are long, thick, and in many species stiff.
  • Introduced Species Calamity: In "Where Have All the Lizards Gone?", the Pteranodon family visit Lizard Island, hoping to see all sorts of lizards there. Instead, they find lots of bugs. The Conductor explains that when they Changyuraptor family moved there years ago, they ate too many of the lizards, throwing the ecosystem out of balance. In the end, the Changyuraptors decide that the best way to fix this is to move back to their homeland.
  • Ladies and Germs: Characters usually address groups as "dinosaurs and pterosaurs" (occasionally with other categories of animals added), and King Cryolophosaurus addresses his audience as "carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores" in "Troodon Train Day".
  • Lampshade Hanging: A somewhat dark example in "Carcharodontosaurus Carrion Station". The family meets Carson Carcharodontosaurus, who works as a chef using the random piles of carrion seen throughout the show. In this case however, he's asked how he obtains the carrion in the first place. His only response is to say that it's a secret.
  • Multiple Reference Pun: Probably unintentional, but Regina Regaliceratops' name. At first it sounds like a regular Alliterative Name, but regina is also Latin for "queen" (which she is depicted as), as well as a city in Canada, the country where Regaliceratops fossils were found in real life.
  • My Beloved Smother: Millie Maiasaura lives up to the "good mother lizard" stereotype of her species a bit too much since she is reluctant to let her kids anything that she considers dangerous. Mrs. Pteranodon tries to help her become a bit more lenient.
  • Naming Conventions:
    • Alliterative Name: This is a strong tendency for characters' names on the show. Some examples include Tiny Pteranodon, Tank Triceratops, King Cryolophosaurus, Erma Eoraptor, and Cindy Cimolestes.
    • The other tendency is to have character names that rhyme. Some examples of this are Morris Stegosaurus, Doris Tyrannosaurus, and Shiny and Tiny Pteranodon. Annie TyrANNosaurus and Jess HESpeornis are more subtle.
    • Notable examples of character names that neither rhyme nor alliterate include Buddy Tyrannosaurus (justified because his adoptive parents didn't know what species he was) and "Sonny Boy" Troodon (aka Mr. Conductor), as well as minor characters like Chester Mawsonia.
  • National Animal Stereotypes: Many animals speak with accents based on countries in which their fossils have been found.
  • Nephewism: During the World Tour series, Mr. Conductor is suddenly assisted by his nephew, Gilbert.
  • No Antagonist: Most of the show is devoid of any villainous characters. Even in the odd episode where there is an antagonist like Keenan Chirostemotes and Remy Ramphorhynchus (or the unnamed T-rex also in their debut episode), they do little in the way of serious harm and are more bullies than anything else.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted in the fittingly-titled episode "Dinosaur Poop", of which it is the entire focus. It is also considered a changing point in the history of PBS Kids shows, as more and more shows on the block aimed at younger viewers began openly discussing using the bathroomnote , when a decade prior to this episode airing, it was rare to find any show on the block that did this.
  • No Cartoon Fish: Ray-finned fish, coelacanths, and some invertebrates are okay to eat (makes sense as the main characters are Pteranodon). Gets a little awkward in the episode where Buddy and company meet a friendly shark.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Everyone is shocked when Buddy doesn't want to go on the train in "Surprise Party", since he usually loves riding the train.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Hadrosaurs are called "duck-billed dinosaurs" like they are in real life, despite the fact that ducks don't exist yet.
    • However, duck-like birds like Vegavis were originally present in the Mesozoic, which may explain this.
    • This actually applies to most of the species names used in the show, as they were given by humans using languagesnote  and concepts only present millions of years after the dinosaurs lived. Examples include Sinovenator (named after a country), Dreadnoughtus (named after a battleship), and Qantassaurus (named after an airline).
  • Palette Swap: In "Dinosaurs A to Z", Hadrosaurus and Rhabdodon use the same model. Pity, then, that rhabdodontids have much larger, stronger snouts than hadrosaurs.
  • Parental Bonus:
  • Pattern-Coded Eggs:
    • This is usually averted; most prominently, the brightly-coloured Pteranodon siblings and Buddy hatch from plain beige and white eggs, respectively, in the opening.
    • However, this is also played straight a few times. For example, in "Valley of the Stygimolochs", Spikey's younger siblings hatch from yellow eggs with red speckles (similar to their kind's red horns); and in another episode, Olivia Oviraptor's eggs are pink like she is.
  • Potty Emergency/Potty Dance: Happens to Tiny in "Dinosaur Poop" a few times. She also experiences one at the end of the episode.
    Tiny: Uh oh. Mom, I gotta go potty.
    Mom: Okay honey, off you go to the restroom.
    (Tiny gets out of her seat and bounces up and down on her way to the bathroom)
  • Predators Are Mean: Typically averted; most carnivorous dinosaurs they meet are just as warm and friendly as any of the other characters, although the occasional antagonistic character are almost always predators.
  • Pseudolympics: The Classic in the Jurassic Games arc is about three teams of reptiles, representing each period of the Mesozoic, competing in sporting events. There's a land race for theropods and turtles, a swimming race for crocodilians, an air race for pterosaurs, and staged wrestling matches between a carnivore and a herbivore.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Nearly everyone on the show is enthusiastic about trains, especially the Dinosaur Train. In particular, Tiny, Buddy, and many of their friends are junior conductors-in-training, and they love learning about how trains work almost as much as they love meeting dinosaurs.
    I can't explain, but I won't complain! I only know that I love trains!
  • Raptor Attack: Averted by the Velociraptor, Archaeopteryx, Saurornitholestes and Microraptor; the Troodon, Utahraptor, and Deinonychus really lack plumage, however. Strangely, the show's website actually says that Deinonychus was a feathered dinosaur and Utahraptor probably had feathers. Also averted with the northern Troodon from Dinosaurs in the Snow.
  • Record Needle Scratch: One can be heard in "Surprise Party" when Mr. Pteranodon says "Good thinking, team! This will be so great! Uh (coughs) hello, son."
  • Rousseau Was Right: Buddy is an All-Loving Hero who is nice to everyone, no matter who they are. Even to Keenan Chirostenotes and Remy Ramphorhynchus, who were jerks and bullies. The predator and prey get along fine, and the ever-boastful Thurston Troodon has a good heart deep down.
  • Running Gag:
    • The Conductor's mother and the doting way in which she treats her son, though sometimes embarrassing him.
    • Don's obsession with holes.
    • At least with all the songs that made it onto the "Dinosaur Jams" album, there's a running gag with every song sung by the Conductor. He says that something reminds him of a song, resulting in the Pteranodon kids/Buddy asking for him to sing it, only for him to insist that they couldn't possibly want to hear him sing. They beg for him to sing it and he immediately launches into song, with everyone else present soon joining in.
  • Running on All Fours: Most of the mammals usually stand on two legs to make them look more anthropomorphic, but walk on all fours.
  • Same Language Dub: There's a UK dub that aired on Nickelodeon. It only aired for two seasons.
  • Shark Tunnel: The Underwater Train Stations have see-through walls.
  • Shout-Out: Several come to mind:
    • The usage of "time tunnels" to travel through time might be a reference to the classic 60s TV show The Time Tunnel.
    • Ned in the episode "Night Train" notes "dinosaurs come and go so quickly here," similar to Dorothy's remark about Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz.
    • King Cryolophosaurus is just one big Elvis reference.
    • The title of "Remember the Alamosaurus" is a reference to the phrase "Remember the Alamo!" from after the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna reclaimed the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar, killing most of the Texians and Tejanos inside. However, the Alamosaurus was not named after the Alamo and was not found in Texas until after its naming.
    • In "Stargazing on the Night Train," Sidney says that there are "billions and billions" of stars.
    • In "Get Into Nature!" Don suggests calling the club "The Outsiders."
    • The episode title "Dry Times At Pteranodon Terrace" is a reference to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It is also a Parental Bonus, since it is an R-rated movie.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Putting aside the fact that there are a few anatomical brain-farts and the main cast is a bit cartoony, let's just paraphrase a sentiment from the page quote: Maniraptors with feathersnote . Heck, the fact that birds are a kind of dinosaur is a given in this series, so the show isn't making ornithologists cry either.
    • In "Dinosaur Block Party", all the animals that attend the party (ironically aside from the main characters and Laura Giganotosaurus) are known contemporaries (in fact, specifically representing the Dinosaur Park Formation) or at least from the same time range.
  • Sliding Scale of Animal Cast: Has dinosaurs and other Mesozoic Era creatures. Although the show features a train, it takes place before humans existed, so the main episodes don't show any humans.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Heavily idealistic. Buddy wants to be friends with every type of creature. The predator and prey get along perfectly fine, and the Conductor's rivalry with Thurston eventually gets resolved.
  • Speak in Unison: The kids speak all at once all the time on the show.
  • Species Surname: Almost everyone has the name of their genus as their surname, making paleontologists in the far future seem to have excellent Namedar.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Played with - Don calls the Conductor "Mr. The Conductor" even though he never asked him to call him this and in return, he has taken to calling him "Mr. The Don."
  • Stargazing Scene: "Stargazing on the Night Train" features various scenes of the characters stargazing and looking at different constellations. At the end of the episode, Don finds a constellation that looks like him, which he calls a "Donstellation."
  • Steam Never Dies: The train is a green steam locomotive shaped like a Triceratops head. "Rocket Train" introduces a high-speed rocket train similar to modern locomotives, with computer technology that manages it. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on one's take), it is plagued with bugs and gets beat in a race by the Dinosaur Train.
  • Sturdy and Steady Turtles: There are a few recurring turtle characters. They all talk slightly slower than the other characters and are proud of their shells. The trope is Played for Laughs in the "Classic in the Jurassic" arc, which includes a footrace between three fast theropods... and three turtles, who spend most of the race talking to each other.
  • Story Arc: Several, including "Dinosaurs A to Z", "Dinosaur Train Submarine", "Adventure Camp", "Classic in the Jurassic", "Zeppelin" and "What's at the Center of the Earth?". A common rule of thumb is that episodes that are part of an arc will be titled "Arc Title: Episode Subject". For example, "Zeppelin: Waterfall".
  • Surprise Party
    • There's an episode called "Surprise Party." In it, Shiny, Tiny and Don throw a surprise party for Buddy on the Dinosaur Train and invite all of their best dinosaur friends to attend.
    • There's another one, "Rocket Train Surprise Party," in which the kids and the others on the Dinosaur Train hold one for the Conductor after the kids learn that it's his birthday and he hasn't had a birthday party since he was a kid.
  • Talking Animal: Basically everything with a brain aside from certain bony fish and insects.
  • Taxonomic Term Confusion: The characters say "species" when "genus" would be more appropriate.
  • Tell Him I'm Not Speaking to Him: In "Date Night," Don does this with the babysitter Keira, using Buddy as his messenger, until he finally warms up to her.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Female dinosaurs tend to have eyelashes, and occasionally makeup of sorts.
  • This Is My Side: Mr. Pteranodon does this in "New Neighbors" when the Lambeosaurs move in start eating all the leaves off the oak trees.
    Mr. Pteranodon: See this line? Ha! Well, these are my trees. You cannot eat them. This side is Pteranodon Terrace! Okay?! Come on, kids.
  • Those Magnificent Flying Machines: "Dinosaur Train: Zeppelin Adventure" is a two-part special featuring the latest innovation from Dinosaur Train Industries: a zeppelin. It doesn't seem to travel through time, but it can take the characters places that the train and the submarine can't. It comes complete with its own catchy theme tune.
  • Three-Month-Old Newborn: Highly exaggerated in the opening sequence, which shows the Pteranodon family hatching exactly as they look on the show itself, with Tiny pointing out that there's one more egg and Buddy hatching and asking "What am I doing in a pteranodon nest?" the second he hatches. Of course, given that this is possibly simply for the purpose of the Expository Theme Tune, it may not be canon, but it's still jarring.
  • Time Paradox: Averted. Despite all the time-traveling, the characters never get out of sync with their own time and thus never meet past or future versions of themselves or return to their own time through a time tunnel that brings them back to a time before they had left. Also, the "present" Cretaceous era seems to be in lockstep with the "past" Triassic and Jurassic eras such that when the Pteranodon family visits a friend in the past, they are never brought to a point in the past that is before the time when they had met their friend. In the "Mom Was a Kid Once" episode, in regards to Tilly, Mom said "[she hasn't] aged one bit" and Tilly replied "Well, that's what the time travel train will do for ya".
  • Turtle Island: In one episode, they look for a Diplodocus. Don finds a "hill" , Buddy rests on some "trees", Shiny meets a "snake" and Tiny finds a "bridge". After meeting, it doesn't take long to figure out the are all parts of a Diplodocus.
  • Two Shorts: Each episode consists of two main stories, each followed by a live-action learning segment, with a clip montage and a song inbetween.
  • Unexplained Accent: Averted; while the German accent of Arlene Archaeopteryx and the British accent of Iggy Iguanodon may seem random and incongruous in-universe, the accents make real-world sense when the corresponding "Dr. Scott the Paleontologist" segments explain that Archaeopteryx fossils were mostly found in Germany and Iguanodon fossils were first discovered in England.
  • Unnamed Parent:
    • The names of the Pteranodon family's parents have never been revealed —- They are called "Mom" and "Dad" by their kids and "Mrs. Pteranodon" and "Mr. Pteranodon" by everybody else.
    • Also unnamed is the Conductor's Mother, whom characters simply call "Mrs. Conductor" or "the Conductor's Mother."
  • Unreliable Illustrator: The official website describes Deinonychus as having feathers on his body, but the show's artwork doesn't show any feathers on his body at all.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Zeppelin: Crater" has both "holy herbivores!" and "leapin' lambeosaurs!"
  • Vagueness Is Coming: It's implied that something really bad will happen if the dinosaurs ever miss the train back home, but just what is never said. However, "Trains, Submarines and Zeppelins" puts paid to this, showing you can always just wait for another train... or other vessel.
  • Vehicle Title: The title Dinosaur Train refers to the train the characters ride often.
  • Virtuous Bees: In "Tiny Loves Flowers", Tiny learns about the important role bees play in pollination and the general natural life cycle.
  • Whale Egg: In one episode, Mr. Pteranodon, Tiny, Buddy, and Cindy Cimolestes met an amphibious mammal called Castorocauda. Cindy (who's a stem-placental mammal) is so shocked to see baby Castorocaudas hatch from eggs that she almost faints.
  • World Tour: Season 1 has an arc where the Pteranodon family spend several nights on the Dinosaur Train as they travel to different continents and meet the dinosaurs who live there. (Their home is located in what is now the east of North America.)
  • You Mean "Xmas": Dinosaurs celebrate Winter Solstice by decorating conifers with ribbons.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: In "T. Rex Teeth", Tiny whispers to Buddy that Dolores' breath smells awful. Buddy thinks it's because she ate carrion, and after he eats some and exhales in Tiny's face, she confesses that his breath smells too. Buddy even eats a mint leaf towards the end of the episode.


Video Example(s):


I Love Trains!

The riders of the Dinosaur Train all love trains, but nobody more than the Conductor who leads a song about just how much he loves them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / RailEnthusiast

Media sources: