Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Elliott from Earth

Go To

"We're not from Earth..."
Elliott: "Uh...we are!"

Elliott from Earth is a British animated sci-fi adventure series, brought to you by much of the same creative team from The Amazing World of Gumball. It debuted on Cartoon Network (UK) on March 6, 2021 with a four-part series premiere, and received its US debut on March 29 of the same year.

Young Elliott has spent his life constantly on the move with his mother Frankie, a geologist who has been fruitlessly trying to convince her superiors a mysterious rock she found years ago is of extraterrestrial origin. One day, the pair unwittingly expose the rock to microwave radiation, activating its powers and summoning them on a one-way vessel to the Centrium, a gigantic Space Station host to all walks of life from across the galaxy.

There, Elliott and Frankie befriend a talking stegosaurus called Mo, the Last of His Kind and only other creature there to have lived on Earth, and thus the trio begins their new life on the Centrium, settling into their strange new surroundings and getting to know its inhabitants, all the while seeking answers on who brought them there and why.


  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Most vehicles and some backgrounds are 3D rendered, and while it is noticeable, they fit in rather well with the "alien" nature of the show's sci-fi setting.
  • All There in the Script: Many names of recurring or notable alien characters are never mentioned in dialogue (nor listed in the credits, which only include the names of the main trio), only showing up in closed captions or even material and tie-in games from the Cartoon Network website.
  • Alliterative Name: Every episode except for the four parts of "Wednesday" has a two word title starting with the same letter.
  • Artifact Name: In-Universe. Mo's name is based on a nickname for "Maureen", a name Elliott almost got according to Frankie which was based on his aunt's name if he had been born a girl.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Mo is revealed to have bad vision early on, requiring him to wear Frankie's glasses. Downplayed a bit, as even then he could see shapes, but were often blurry.
  • Bigger on the Inside: It's explained that habitation pods expand or contract on the inside to the owner's needs and calibrate themselves to the owner's preferred environments. Mo's pod takes on the vast forest that he lived in for all his life, while Frankie and Elliott's pod takes on the form of their own RV back on Earth, right down to the broken shelves and dirty dishes left in the sink.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Everywhere. From talking electric frogs, to aliens who age backwards and sneeze out floating sparkling dust, to a classmate who is only visible in low light, to a pet that gets larger the more negative comments it hears.
  • Book Ends: The series seems to be getting structured this way. Wednesday (The first four episodes) doubles as the first chapter.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: After being physically merged together and believing that it made them twice as smart, Elliott and Mo argue over who should get an A and who should get an F when only one of them is allowed to take credit for a test they took together.
    Elliott: Well, you're the one who said this would work.
    Mo: Exactly, so I deserve the A!
  • Bullet Time: Preston's necklace causes the wearer to invert this trope. Preston lives his life in slow-motion because normal speed causes his species to age rapidly. Thankfully, when he reaches the end of his life, he is immediately born again.
  • Call-Back: Some jokes rely on context from earlier episodes, usually involving a prior piece of information about certain alien species or the worldbuilding of the Centrium.
  • Cheated Angle: Elliott's bangs always face the direction furthest from the camera.
  • Couch Gag: At the end of every intro, there is a huge crowd of aliens that all say, "We're not from Earth," and Elliott, Frankie, and Mo are in the crowd where Elliott says: "Uh... we are," and the aliens look at them approvingly. However, the position where the trio is in the crowd changes every episode.
  • Cliffhanger: Chapter Two ends with the rock reactivating and sending Frankie and Mo to parts unknown, leaving Elliott behind in the Centrium.
  • Curse of Babel: "Diminishing Discourse" has a breakdown in the translation provided by the babbledrogs, caused by the rock that brought Elliott and Frankie to the Centrium using the babbledrogs to charge itself; everyone reverts to their native languages and are unable to understand each other, grinding everything to a halt.
  • Darker and Edgier: Is both this and Lighter and Softer than The Amazing World of Gumball. While it mostly lacks its spiritual predecessor's propensity for Black Comedy, Nightmare Faces, and Body Horror, and has an overall less cynical and more adventurous tone, it also never shies away from the fact the majority of the aliens on the Centrium are the Sole Survivors of destroyed planets, and Elliott's Friendless Background (along with other aspects of the show's tone and plot) is Played for Drama to a much greater extent than Anais' ever was.
  • Emotion Eater: At one point Elliott finds a pet that grows bigger when exposed to negativity.
  • Episode Title Card: After the first three parts of Wednesday, each episode's name is recited by a babbledrog.
  • Expy: Principal Kallous, of Skeletor. His nemesis from "Melancholic Megalomaniac" looks like a He-Man expy, reinforcing the comparisons.
  • Face of a Thug: In "Wednesday, Part 4" Frankie is wary of an offer of a place to live from a skeletal looking alien in a cloak, with a raspy voice and slinking movements. Turns out his species is the most generous in the galaxy, but to his confusion don't have the reputation to match.
  • Fake-Out Opening: Some episodes start with a seemingly unrelated segment with an alien or futuristic technology, only for it to turn out completely different from what the audience would expect.
  • Family of Choice: After spending as long as he can remember living alone in the biosphere, Mo quickly becomes part of Elliott and Frankie's family unit as the three of them venture into the Centrium together.
  • Fancy Toilet Awe: The first time Elliott, Frankie, and Mo enter an alien bathroom they're utterly amazed and play around in it as if it was a water park before Kane arrives to explain to them what it really is.
  • Friendless Background: Before ending up on the Centrium, Elliott found it difficult to fit in and make friends due to his nomadic lifestyle meaning he never stuck around in one state's school system for too long.
  • Fun with Acronyms: In the first episode, Frankie thinks she is expecting a meeting from the FBI to discuss her research, only to receive a visit from Feline Burials and Interments instead.
  • FTL Travel Sickness: Frankie vomits after the initial hyperspace jump to the Centrium.
  • Gilligan Cut: Frankie tells Elliott and Mo to stop watching their VR devices and get ready for school.
    Elliott: Don't worry, we've got plenty of [Smash Cut to them running down the street] How are we so late?
  • Glass Smack and Slide: Discussed in "Memory Mayhem". The Head Aliens find "Earth" to be a funny name for a planet because it rhymes with "glerth". What's glerth? It's the common word for the imprint you leave after doing this trope, which Frankie naturally ends up doing a few times later in the episode.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Frankie gives her blue glasses to Mo to help him see better, but when she and Elliott move into their room on the Centrium, she gets a red pair to replace them.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: According to the Head, all of the Centrium's inhabitants came there for a reason—and seeking refuge from warfare or disaster (or outright planetary destruction) appears to be a major one for many.
  • How We Got Here: "Temporal Tedium" begins with Elliott and Mo mourning the death of Preston. The episode then cuts to a few days earlier when they first met Preston, recounting the events that led to the opening.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Elliott and Frankie are not just the only humans on the Centrium, but also came all the way from "the other side of the universe", so their species is completely new to the Centrium's inhabitants. In such a diverse setting, though, they're mostly considered just another type of alien.
  • Knee Fold Fall of Defeat: Literally falling to your knees in despair hurts like hell, as Elliott and Mo point out.
  • Literal-Minded: Mo is occasionally guilty of this along with confusing a few simple tasks. This can be played for humor or turn out to be successful depending on the situation; for example, "throwing away" a stick that was meant for a game of fetch into the trash, or thinking a "gym class" is ran by someone named "Jim" which Elliott corrects him going for what that tends to mean back on Earth...only for them both to learn in space this particular gym class was actually a cooking education class ran by an alien named Gymnasium called "Gym" for short.
  • Loophole Abuse: At a store where items from memories can be turned into reality, Elliott racks up an enormous bill. The store owner could clearly recall one other time he saw a sum of money that large, so Elliott has him recreate that much money from the memory.
  • Meet Cute: Subverted. After seeing a movie leads them to think that romance is a necessity, Elliott tries to engineer one for both him and Mo in "Companion Confusion" using tropes he'd seen in media. None of it works like expected when they just don't feel it in any of their attempts, and soon reality ensues enough for them to realize they shouldn't take the movies so seriously in the first place.
  • Merlin Sickness: The Hive Director and her husband are part of a species that ages backwards. The Hive Director states that the birthing process requires lots of counseling for all parties.
  • Missing Mom: Elliott has two mothers but only Frankie is present in his life.
  • Multiple Head Case: Some of the aliens on the Centrium are species with this particular trait.
    • Kane and Brett are a two-headed alien, with the incoherently speaking compassionate Brett at the top, and the other coherently speaking no-nonsense Kane on the chest. They also have three legs, with one being conjoined at the middle. Other maintenance aliens are designed similarly.
    • Elliott and Frankie live next door to Mrs. Argolis, a three-headed alien woman whose heads tend to argue and make comments to one another.
  • My Little Panzer: The Operations Manager's tools all look like toys, befitting his status as a backwards-aging species. What looks like a Bop-It Extreme changes the orientation of the structure it's in when tilted.
  • No Sense of Direction: The droid who cannot for the life of them find the droid convention within the Centrium, no matter the directions given to them, because their intelligence-granting mutualite is dead.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Played with in "Parallel Paradox." Elliott, volunteering himself to be in two places at once, finds himself forced to give a speech for both events simultaneously. By some miracle, he manages to give a speech that would somehow apply to both situations through a lot of double meanings and some careful pronunciations.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted in the first episode. Elliott introduces himself to an apathetic teenage employee in a convenience store with the same name as him.
  • Our Product Sucks: Frankie is somewhat alarmed upon reading the bag of Kretzels.
    Frankie: "Now banned in four galaxies." That's their slogan?
  • Overly Long Gag: During the climax of "Problematic Prophecies", Elliott and Mo try to hash out how to get to the top of a large mall to where Nara is in time before she gets crushed by a falling clock. There are no less than ten different unsuccessful scenarios (from swimming up pipes, to floating up with balloons Up-style, to floating up in a giant bubble (twice)) that they mull over before they discover they can just instantly teleport to the floor she is on just by selecting her floor on the mall's directory.
  • Prescience Is Predictable: Nara can see the future, but finds it absolutely boring because there's never any surprises.
  • Punny Name: Some aliens have this aspect in their name and traits.
    • Bill, who is transparent except in dim light. All the other students call him Invisibill, but he can't see why.
    • Ash is naturally flammable to the point anything he touches burns to a crisp.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The Transport Sphere that summoned the heroes to The Centrium is purple whenever its powers are active.
  • Rhymes on a Dime:
    • In "Wednesday, Part 4", the old lady mostly speaks in rhyme. She invokes this trope to make people think she's less dangerous than she actually is.
    • One of the droids has a Mutualite that forces it to rhyme whenever it speaks.
  • Seers: Nara is one, but she considers her power to be boring and dull since nothing surprises her in the least. When she lends it to Elliott and Mo in exchange for the latter's flexibility, they quickly find out that she was right. Meanwhile, Nara is ecstatic about living in the moment, which makes her blissfully oblivious to hazards.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When the Hive Director informs Elliott on the subjects one can learn through song one room she shows him is dedicated to "Splatology" which only shows a room with multicolored splats of paint staining the walls. This could be a reference to the Splatoon video game series.
    • When trying to converse with Dugg in "Parallel Paradox" Elliott makes the same exact facial expression that Gumball would in his many awkward moments with the Hot Dog Guy in the Gumball episode "The Awkwardness".
  • Silence, You Fool!: Parodied.
    Kallous: Silence, you fools!
    Student: But no one was talking...
    Kallous: I said silence!
  • Spell My Name With An S: The fact the titular Elliott is a variation of the name with two Ls and Ts. Also somewhat of a case in the episode Parallel Paradox as watching it with closed captioning reveals a character name as being spelled "Dugg".
  • The Symbiote: Mutualites, tiny creatures that live inside droids. They love the heat of their circuits, while the specific mutualite provides a droid with a unique ability.
  • Synchronized Swarming: The governing body on the Centrium is a senate of various residents, each an expert in specific fields, all riding on hovercrafts organized into a giant face together.
  • Synchronous Episodes: "Idiosyncratic Induction" and "Memory Mayhem" take place at the same time, with minor background details connecting the two.
  • Taken for Granite: The old woman whom Elliott, Frankie, and Mo briefly attempt to bunk with in "Wednesday" has the ability to turn living beings into ice statues with Eye Beams, which she then plans to eat. This fate nearly befalls Elliott and Frankie, but Mo ends up saving them and everyone else after he ends up accidentally using the helmet off one of the statues to to reflect her eye beams back onto her while stumbling around with his eyes shut (due to malapropering "look, but don't touch" into "touch, but don't look"), and she decides that she likes the group's Kretzel's better than frozen people.
  • Teleporter Accident: Elliott and Mo get into the same teleporter together and come out conjoined. Or so they thought; they actually only got stuck in the same clothes.
  • That Was Not a Dream: The first episode after the four-part opener, "Idiosyncratic Induction", opens with Elliott seemingly waking up back in he and his mom's RV, thinking that he and Frankie going to space was All Just a Dream, and telling Frankie about it. Frankie then says she remembers the same experience, except she hadn't gotten an ounce of sleep last night. Elliott looks outside and is ecstatic to realize the dream was real after all.
  • Translator Microbes: All of the alien species are able to communicate with each other thanks to translation gas produced by the babbledrogs, frog-like creatures with croaks that sound like random words.
  • Two-Timer Date: Elliott is roped into hosting a farewell party for an alien named Dugg at the same time he had promised to attend the reopening of a hot dog stand. He tries to solve it by broadcasting a hologram at the party while he's at the hot dog stand. It gets tricky when he's asked to make a speech at both events at once, forcing him to talk about "hot Dugg".
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: Some of the more plot-focused episodes have a much more serious and cinematic feel to them without as much focus on comedy or slice-of-life elements, though the exact extent varies. Especially applies to the season finale with its more angsty premise, more dramatic and dangerous events throughout, and its jarringly dark cliffhanger ending.
  • Universal Eyeglasses: Frankie notices that Mo Has eye problems when he mistakes a tree with talking frogs in it for a talking hole. She gives him her glasses to wear and they work well for him despite him being a dinosaur.
  • Vague Age: Averted. In the second episode, when Frankie holds her son's hand, Elliott protests that he's an 11-year-old boy; "we don't need to hold hands in public". Frankie replies she's a 36-year-old woman on an alien planet; this is for her benefit.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Frankie throws up in a bush from space sickness when they arrive at the Centrium. Elliott thinks it was because she didn't take her motion sickness medicine beforehand, but Frankie points out that the trip was so chaotic it probably wouldn't have helped.
  • Who's on First?: Kallous' manservant is named You (that's what Kallous calls him, at any rate), leading to much confusion when Elliott and Mo (and even Kallous himself) talk to him.
  • Wham Episode: "Diminishing Discourse" has Mo find out that he's the Last of His Kind, but that's not the big twist; that would be Frankie rediscovering the space rock, accidentally reactivating it and getting blasted across the universe again with Mo but without Elliott, leaving him all alone on the Centrium. On top of that, during the activation Mo also learns that he might not actually be from Earth after all—right after telling Elliott and Frankie that being with other earthlings means to him that he's not truly the last of his kind.


Video Example(s):


Alien bathroom

Elliott, Frankie, and MO play around in an alien bathroom as if it was some sort of advanced water park before Kane arrives to explain what it really is.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / FancyToiletAwe

Media sources: