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A Canadian-American preschool-oriented cartoon produced by HBO, Nelvana, and Sesame Workshop, the people who made Sesame Street, Esme & Roy follows our titular main characters—a little girl and a monster—who help take care of all kinds of interesting creatures when their regular guardians need aid.

It began airing on both HBO (in the United States) and Treehouse TV (in Canada) on August 18, 2018.

Over a year later, it began airing on PBS Kids on August 30, 2019 (or August 31, depending on your station)

On October 29, 2019, it was revealed that it would begin airing on HBO Max for future seasons, with delayed PBS airings, much like Sesame Street. Episodes are also made available on PBS's website / video app service. However, it left PBS in July 2021, releasing exclusively on HBO Max and running on Cartoonito.

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This series provides examples of:

  • Birthday Episode: In the episode "Special Delivery", it's Sid's birthday, and Fig is tasked with giving Sid his present. However, Fig wants to keep the present for herself, and Esme and Roy have to find a way to get her to let it go.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    • In "Dark and Stormy Knight," Esme offers to read Snugs a book to distract him from the storm outside. He likes books, so he agrees. She offers to read him a book about worms, a book about space, or a book about worms in space, before he finally agrees to read one called The Brave Knight.
    • In the opening of "Picture Day Predicament," Esme has a present for Roy. Roy suggests that it might be a banana, or a shoe, or a banana shoe.
    • In "The Case of the Missing Cuddles," Roy is having trouble finding his and Esme's pet Dumpling in hide-and-seek. He suggests that she might be on his back, his knee, or the back of his knee.
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    • In the opening of "Two Can Play at That Game," Roy couldn't decide on either spaghetti or a sandwich for a snack and therefore made himself a spaghetti sandwich. This sort of thing later turns out to be the solution to the episode problems - when Roy gets exhausted from run back and forth between Frank and Franny's games of ballet and pirate, it is combined into a ballet pirate game.
    • In "The Hugo Express", when Esme and Roy try to tell Hugo that he needs to stop playing trains and pick up his toys, Hugo tells them that his socks want to ride the train, and so do his puppets, as well as his sock puppets.
  • Chickenpox Episode: In "Swoozlepox", Simon catches the titular disease, which makes him itchy. Esme and Roy try to keep him distracted so he won't scratch himself and will be able to recover in time for a movie he wants to see the next day.
  • Companion Cube: In "The Princess of Play", Grumbles is shown to have a pet rock named Lenny, whom he treats as his best friend.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: A portion of the theme tune is used as the alert signal telling the two that they have a monster child to babysit.
  • Disappeared Dad: Snugs is never seen with his dad, It’s the same with Simon but it’s taken Up to Eleven because his mom is not seen either..
  • Edutainment Show: Not surprising, considering who produced it.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: When Roy (sometimes the monster they are babysitting) gives Esme an idea, Esme get’s an idea and says “Wait a monster minute, that’s it!”
  • Extra-Long Episode: While the series' episodes usually consist of two eleven-minute shorts, "The Princess of Play" is a twenty-two-minute episode.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: Esme & Roy wear their helmets when riding their scooter to the home of the monster or monsters that they're monster-sitting. Roy's has a little holes for his horns to stick through, while Esme's has horns to make her look a monster.
  • Fear of Thunder: In "Dark and Stormy Knight", Snugs is revealed to be afraid of thunder.
  • Forgets to Eat: In "A Dino-Mite Lunch," Tillie is so absorbed in her dino racing car game that she completely ignores Esme and Roy's attempts to get her to eat her lunch, despite her stomach growling in hunger. They finally get her to eat by making it part of the game, creating a pretend diner.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: In "Party Time," instead of monster-sitting anyone, Esme and Roy decide to host a pool party for all of the monster kids that they know. It's Esme who has a meltdown when everything goes wrong with their preparations and Roy who helps her to calm down.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Esme. When one of the little monsters that she and Roy are monster-sitting does something especially funny or cute, she likes to comment to the viewer "Don't you just love monsters?"
  • Goo Goo Getup:
    • In "Baby Hugo," Hugo is tired of his sister Fig never having to do anything for herself because she's a baby, so he dresses up as a baby and reverts to babyhood himself.
    • In "Big Brother Snugs", Esme dresses Roy in a bonnet and bib to help Snugs be a good big brother to Fuzzy, his new baby brother.
  • Greens Precede Sweets: The plot of "Sofishticated Taste" involves Esme and Roy trying to get Snugs to eat a healthy dinner that includes vegetables before he can have his dessert of a slimesicle.
  • Grocery Store Episode: In the episode "Supermarket Match", the two title characters take Tillie to the supermarket. While there, they have to find a way to keep Tillie from grabbing groceries that aren't on their shopping list.
  • Growling Gut: Simon's stomach growled five times in the episode "Lunch Crunch".
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Of course Roy is wearing sneakers.
  • I Can't Hear You: In "The Inside Job," Snugs is getting cold but really wants to keep playing outside. Esme and Roy bundle him up in a bunch of winter gear, so much that it completely covers his mouth. Esme asks what he thinks and he replies that "It's kind of hard to talk with all this stuff on." It comes out completely muffled, so Esme asks "What?" and he says again. She asks Roy if he caught any of that and Roy replies "He said..." and then imitates the muffled speech. Snugs then takes off the clothing and repeats it. "Hard to move too."
  • Injured Limb Episode: In "Tillie's Tough Break", injures her leg when she plays on the playground, and this upsets her because she isn't able to go to the Monster Mountain amusement park like her friends.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: In "Two Can Play That Game", it's Frank, the boy, who loves ballet, and Franny, the girl, who loves to play pirates.
  • Missing Mom: Tillie’s mom is never present in an episode, It’s the same with Simon but it’s taken Up to Eleven because his dad is not seen either..
  • Name and Name
  • New Baby Episode: In "Big Brother Snugs", Snugs gets a new baby brother named Fuzzy. He's worried he won't be a good big brother, so Esme and Roy help train him.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: In "Monster Bash Surprise," Fig is originally dressed up as a star for a costume party, but after seeing other costumes, suddenly can't choose what costume she wants to wear. She eventually ends up combining elements of several costumes, including the original star, a ballerina, a firefighter, a superhero and a witch.
  • No Antagonist: The show does not usually have a Big Bad or Arc Villain, but this is due to the fact that most of the conflict derives from everyday situations where a problem could happen rather than an Evil Plan to Take Over the World. Some characters have been through the Jerkass Ball, but they're not malicious or villainous, but misunderstood. One notable exception to this trope is Grumbles from "The Princess of Play", as he starts out a monster who hates playing and plots to steal Princess Esme's magic wand so that he can use it to make everyone's toys disappear and then lock it away. He does undergo a Heel–Face Turn at the end of the story when Princess Esme teaches him that he doesn't need toys to play and that real friends are what make playtime special.
  • Ocular Gushers: Pretty much any time the young monsters cry on the show, it will be this, but here are a few examples:
    • Fig cries these in "Stroller Derby" after throwing a tantrum about not wanting to go in her stroller because she's a big girl.
    • Snugs cries them in "The Inside Job" because of being upset about having go inside to get out of the cold, instead of being allowed to stay outside and play.
    • Snugs also cries them in "The Case of the Missing Cuddles" because of missing his favorite stuffed toy, Sir Cuddles. Also, because he's inflated to a big size because of being upset, the gushers are correspondingly huge.
    • Snugs is also shown crying them in the show's opening sequence after dropping an ice cream cone. Esme shows him the glitter jar to calm him down.
    • In "Top Dog," Simon cries them because he's upset about not being able to teach his dog a trick. Somehow, they actually pool at the bottom of his glasses before simply disappearing.
  • Once per Episode: The monster that Esme and Roy are monster-sitting has a "monster meltdown" and Esme and Roy have to come up with a creative solution to calm them down.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Monsters in this cartoon are more friendly. And because this is from the creators of Sesame Street, and a few of our favorite characters from Sesame Street are monsters, it's justified.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In "The Princess of Play", Grumbles uses Princess Esme's magic wand to summon giant toy soldiers, giving them direct orders not to let Esme and Roy pass. When Hugo and Fig find out, they make dragon costumes for them to use as disguises. Despite their faces still being visible, it manages to fool the guards.
  • Parental Abandonment: Simon’s parents aren’t seen nor mentioned, no wonder why he only lives with his grandmother.
  • Picky Eater: In "Lunch Crunch", Simon won't eat any sandwich unless it has fish and stinky cheese in it.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Fig is able to pick up Roy, despite Fig being a little monster child who comes up to about Esme's waist and Roy being taller than the average adult human.
  • Power Outage Plot: In "Tillie Unplugged", when the titular characters babysit Tillie, Tillie has a whole night of activities planned when the neighborhood suffers from a blackout. Esme and Roy have to show Tillie the fun things that can be done without electricity until the power comes back on.
  • Record Needle Scratch: In "Hugo, We Have a Problem" "The Monster Shimmy" song is record-needle scratched and ended abruptly when Esme and Roy realize despite their best song and dance efforts in getting Fig to put on her raincoat and hat, she's taken them off.
  • Running Gag: Roy does something overly dramatic. He then asks if it's "too much" and either Esme or the monster that they're monster-sitting agrees "a little."
  • Shout-Out:
  • Status Quo Is God: Between episodes, very few, if any major changes happen to the point where Negative Continuity is in effect. Even if Snugs Muzzywump learns his lesson, by the next episode he forgets it and he goes back to being Constantly Curious with a sense of innocence.
  • That Cloud Looks Like...: Esme and Roy do this in the opening of "Dark and Stormy Knight." Esme sees one that looks to her like a horse, and Roy sees one that reminds him of a meatball. Then another that looks like a meatball, and another that looks like a really big meatball.
  • Third-Person Person: Tillie refers to herself this way. Fig as well.
  • Title Theme Tune: "So all you monster girls, and all you monster boys, get ready for Esme and Roy!"
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Roy absolutely cannot get enough of meatballs, with or without spaghetti.
  • Visible Odor:
    • Tillie gets one in "Monster Trucks" after getting very dirty and needing a bath.
      Roy: Monster Fact 5976: When Plink monsters get dirty, they get really stinky, like majorly monster stinky.
    • The "scratch and stink" stickers that Tillie gets in "Supermarket Match" for winning the game of Supermarket Match have this to show their stinky odor.
  • Vocal Evolution: Esme’s voice changed in Season 2.

 
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Snugs's Fear

Snugs is scared by loud thunder. It causes him to inflate in size.

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