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Western Animation / Handy Manny

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Handy Manny is a CGI series that ran from 2006 to 2013. It originally aired on the Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney block and was carried over when the block was rebranded as Disney Junior. It is also now being aired on the 24/7 Disney Junior network and is available on Disney+. It is described by many to be Bob the Builder meets Dora the Explorer.

The show stars Manuel "Manny" Garcia, a Hispanic handyman living in the fictional town of Sheet Rock Hills. He's aided in his repairs by his team of talking tools: Dusty the saw, Pat the hammer, Felipe the Phillips head screwdriver, Turner the slotted screwdriver, Rusty the pipe monkey wrench, Stretch the tape measure, Squeeze the pliers, and recent addition Flicker the flashlight. The rest of Sheet Rock Hills is filled out by an ever-growing list of inhabitants, both friends and return customers of Manny's, and several one-off customers appearing in a single given episode.

The show also has a spin-off, Handy Manny's School for Tools.

This show provides examples of:

  • Advanced Tech 2000: In "Wonder Tool," a salesman named Willy talks Manny into trying out a new tool called Wonder Tool 3000 that is supposed to be an all-in-one tool. It turns out to have more than a few kinks.
  • All Just a Dream: A Job From Outer Space is revealed to be this at the end.
  • Art Evolution: As is typical with animation and budget, the earliest episodes are rather rough in appearance compared to later fare.
  • Babysitting Episode: "Uncle Manny" has Manny and the tools babysit his baby nephew Chico and try to stop him from messing up with their work.
  • Baths Are Fun: The tools are seen taking a bath at the end of "Paint Job". They were laughing and having a good time.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Spanish. Although Manny will usually explain what's the meaning afterwards, except if it's something like hello or thank you.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Most often done by Felipe, but the tools and Manny will do it every now and again, especially during any episode's token songs.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mr. Lopart, generally because of his own refusal to be helped for his own good. Of the tools, Turner seems to have a target on his head for anything dropped or flying through the air. Played to extremes in "Have a Handy New Year" when his actions cause the New Year's Ball to be destroyed.
  • Car Ride Games: In one episode, the toys are in the car, bored, and playing "I Spy", but Pat "spies" the toolbox twice in a row.
  • Catchphrase: Several, including:
    • "You break it, we fix it" - the motto of the repair shop, said solely by Manny during calls made to him in the first season, then split between him and the tools in all later episodes.
    • "I'm a hammer" - Pat's explanation for absolutely everything.
    • "We Loparts..." - The way Mr. Lopart begins nearly any explanation of why he doesn't need Manny's help. ("We Loparts are experts at electronics, you know") It's almost always false.
  • Cel Shading: How the CGI for the show was animated.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The piñata Manny and the tools make in "Have a Handy New Year" becomes useful near the end when Mr. Lopart accidentally breaks the crystal ball that was supposed to drop at midnight and Manny remembers the piñata and uses it in the ball's place.
  • The Chessmaster: Mrs. Portillo manipulates Manny into taking a needed day off in one episode.
  • Christmas Episode: "A Very Handy Holiday", as evidenced by the title alone.
  • Comically Missing the Point: As a Running Gag in "Paint Job", Dusty cuts wood whenever Felipe yells "Cut!".
  • Continuity Nod: You can spot jobs from past episodes in the background of later ones (like a skateboard ramp built in the park once).
  • Cool Bike: Manny gets a motorcycle in the episode "Flicker", which has popped up several times since then.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Kelly. She always seems to know and have what Manny needs for his work.
  • Creator Cameo: Rick Gitelson played the role of a police officer in an episode.
  • Crossover: Manny and his tools showed up on an episode of Special Agent Oso to help Oso help a kid who has a broken bike. Pretty easy to do, since not only are they both aired on Disney Channel, but both are also produced in-house by Disney Television Animation.
  • Crossdressing Voices: Stretch and Flicker were voiced by females. Stretch was voiced by Nika Futterman who also does the voice of Squeeze. And Flicker was voiced by Grey DeLisle.
  • Debating Names: In "Julieta's Monster", Manny has gotten a new robot dog and the tools wonder what to name her. Pat suggests "Barky", which Turner rejects because it's too noisy. Rusty thinks of "Slugger", but Stretch rejects because "she's a dog, not a baseball player." Then Philippe suggests naming the dog after him because he's happy to share his name. Then when Manny tells the tools whenever there's a problem that they can fix it, the tools are inspired and agree to name the dog "Fixit".
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: An early episode ends with Manny playing the theme song's melody on a guitar.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: A number of Manny's tools sport eyebrows that float above their heads. This is also standard for other random animal characters that show up.
  • Driven to Suicide: Yes, this preschool cartoon actually features an example of this trope! "Felipe's New Job" has Felipe the screwdriver suggest that Manny could melt him down and use him for scrap metal, effectively consenting to be killed by Manny.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Fixit was seen in the end credits in the early episodes long before her introduction in "Julieta's Monster".
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The tools count from one to seven in Spanish instead of Manny doing this in the first episode.
    • Manny said his slogan completely on his own in the first season. (Instead of him saying “you break it” and having the tools say “we fix it.”)
    • In her first appearance, Mayor Rosa called Manny by his full name, Manuel.
  • Face Palm: Manny does this in "Paint Job" when the tools make a mess of his demo video for his nephew, Pedro.
  • Fake Interactivity: Surprisingly averted, except in some of the newer credits where Kelly's voice-over asks a fairly obvious question to the viewer.
  • Good Samaritan: A "hero" example, in Manny, to the point where in the episode "A Very Handy Holiday" he and the tools missed a Christmas party because he kept stopping to help friends on the way.
  • Growling Gut: Felipe in "Breakfast for Champions" when he was suffering starvation and fatigue. The tools didn't know what that was when they learn it's really his stomach.
  • Halloween Episode: "Halloween".
  • Hard-Work Montage: The repair of the day is often shown like this, set against the once-an-episode song "We Work Together".
  • Hated Item Makeover: In one episode, the tools clean up a man's studio, but accidentally throw away a sculpture he made, mistaking it for garbage. This disappoints and offends him, though downplayed because he did ask them to clean up.
  • Height Angst: Squeeze has this issue in "Tight Squeeze", as she voices her displeasure at not being able to do big repairs that only Rusty can handle. When repairing Mrs. Lee's washing machine and Rusty cannot fit behind it to retrieve a misplaced washer, both Squeeze's shortness, combined with Mrs. Lee's son Nelson, is able to easily reach behind the washing machine, grab the washer, and pull it out.
  • Here We Go Again!: At the end of "Detective Dusty", Mrs. Portillo's chihuahua somehow jumps over the doggy door Manny built to keep him out of the laundry room and steals her socks again. This is noticed by Felipe, who utters, "Dun-dun-dun!"
  • Hiccup Hijinks: "Felipe's Hiccups" is about Felipe having a persistent case of the hiccups.
  • I Can't Hear You: This happens in "Ice Cream Team." Manny's tools are trying to pitch ice cream to people in a local park, to try to get it all sold before it melts due to a malfunctioning freezer. Squeeze hits up a skateboarder resting on a bench who can't hear him because he's listening to music on headphones.
    Squeeze: You know, the yummy stuff you get in a cone!
    Skateboarder: No, I don't have a phone! But I think there might be a pay phone over there. (points and skates away)
  • Identity Amnesia: "Pat the Screwdriver" has Pat getting hit on the head and thinking he's a screwdriver.
  • Injured Limb Episode:
    • "In Tool Dance", Manny has to fill in for Maria's dance partner, Oleg, after he sprains his ankle.
    • In The Best Vacation Ever, Elliot breaks his ankle and has to cancel a vacation he has been planning all year so Manny and the tools build him a beach in his backyard.
    • In Doggie Door, Mrs. Portilo sprains her ankle after slipping on water in her kitchen and has trouble letting her dog Carlos outside.
    • In Firefighter Manny, Chief Eduardo sprains his ankle, so Kelly, Coach Johnson, Manny and the tools have to put out a forest fire on their own.
    • Downplayed in Squeeze in a Pinch. Squeeze accidentally pinches Manny’s thumb, but it get better after he ices it. The focus of the episode is Squeeze feeling bad about what happened.
    • In The Sheetrock Hills Strikers, Mr Kumar sprains his wrist before a bowling tournament, so Manny fills in for him.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: Pat does this a lot. Pat: Yes, of course there’s a logical reason.What’s logical?
  • The Klutz: Mr. Lopart and his cat practically break everything they touch.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • This line from "Flicker":
    Kelly: Oh! It's a flashlight! A talking flashlight!
    Turner: Of course, Kelly! There's nothing unusual about that.
    • Earlier in the same episode, Turner had a lampshade hung on him, which the line above later calls back to.
    Turner: I-It's a talking flashlight! Manny, flashlights don't talk!
    Dusty: We talk.
    Turner: O-oh. Oh yeah.
    • Later in "Art Show" when Carmela met Beamer.
    Carmela: I didn't know you're getting a level laser. And that one talks, too!
  • Limited Wardrobe: With perhaps a handful of exceptions, all the characters outfits remain the same. Manny has never been seen without his hat on. Even in situations in which he changes his hat for a helmet, it happens off screen.
    • Manny was seen without his hat in the wedding episode.
    • Kelly always has her fanny pack on, even when she's away from the store.
  • Loose Tooth Episode: In "Julieta's Loose Tooth", Julieta loses her tooth and it ends up falling down her sink's drain, requiring Manny and the tools to retrieve it.
  • Meaningful Name: Felipe, who is a Phillips screwdriver and is bilingual in English and Spanish ("Felipe" is Spanish for "Phillip").
  • Mystery Episode: "Detective Dusty" deals with Dusty becoming a detective to help Mrs, Portillo solve a mystery over her dryer somehow "eating" her socks. Turns out, her chihuahua is stealing them from the dryer.
  • New Baby Episode: In "Big Sister", Rosita Alverez is going to have a new baby sister but worries her parents won't pay attention to her anymore, so Manny and the tools show her that even though she has a new sibling, her parents will always love her.
  • Once per Episode: Most episodes feature Manny gearing up, the tools jumping into the toolbox singing "Hop Up, Jump In" and the tools helping fix the episode's problem to the song "We Work Together". Mr. Lopart also gets a screw-up every episode thanks to refusing Manny's help.
  • Parental Abandonment: There's almost no complete family shown. In particular, despite having recently gone to a family reunion the most we've ever seen of Manny's parents is an old photograph of his mother.
  • Power Outage Plot: The show had an episode where the whole neighbourhood experienced a blackout and it was winter, so Manny has to keep Cassie’s pet chicks warm.
  • Protagonist Title: That's Manny's name in the title, all right.
  • Pun: The Christmas Episode "Flicker Saves Christmas" has the song "You Can Always Count on Santa Claus," which includes this bit of dialogue between Dusty, Rusty and Pat:
    Dusty: Santa can make it any kind of weather.
    Rusty: Even rain?
    Pat: That's easy. He has reindeer!
    Rusty: I get it.
  • Punny Name:
    • Felipe's name. Felipe is a Philips-head screwdriver. Felipe is Spanish for Philip. Put two and two together.
    • Most of the tools names, actually. Turner the screwdriver, Pat the hammer, Stretch the tape measure...
  • Running Gag:
    • Turner speculating that for once Manny needs something so unusual that Kelly won't have it at her supply shop, only for her to indeed have it.
    • Mr. Lopart refusing help from Handy Manny saying that he can do something himself, only to end up in a pickle because of it.
  • Saving Christmas: Flicker Saves Christmas.
  • Scenery Porn: Some of the backgrounds are ridiculously pretty for the animation style, particularly snow scenes and sunsets.
  • "Setting Off" Song: The tools have “Hop Up, Jump In”, which they sing every episode as they get ready for work and jump into Manny’s toolbox.
  • Showdown at High Noon: The scene in “Gopher Help” where Turner faces off against the gopher is a parody of this, complete with what the closed captions call “Western standoff music”.
  • Sick Episode: "Manny's Sick Day". Manny comes down with a cold and the tools care for him. However, Dusty managed to catch Manny's cold at the end of the episode.
  • Special Guest: Guest stars, some with recurring characters, include Marion Ross, Jim Belushi, Lauren Tom, Giada DeLaurentis, and Lance Bass. Yes, that Lance Bass.
  • Stock Footage: Manny putting on his working gloves and tool belt just before "Hop Up, Jump In", which use different angles and change clothes and locations if needed.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Played with once by Dusty in "Rusty's Second Wind", who used herself to imitate the sound of thunder by sharply warping her body. She did this because she wanted to show Rusty that thunder is nothing to be afraid of.
  • Storm in a Teacup: In "Squeeze Makes A Promise", Squeeze leaves the lid off of Maurice's tank, and he escapes into Manny’s workshop… except it turns out that Maurice never escaped; he was in his tank the whole time, just camouflaged.
  • Strictly Formula: The earlier episodes, particularly in the first season, had Manny being called over by a resident to fix something while the tools learn a lesson. Recent episodes still have shades of the same formula, but they're beginning to break out of it.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: In the opening of "Tool for Sale," Pat mutters "No more cherry pie for me" and "Watch out for those giant porcupines!" in his sleep.
  • Tempting Fate: Done Once per Episode with Mr. Lopart. He refuses Manny's help, claiming he can do it himself, only to mess up. Exaggerated in "Have a Handy New Year" when his refusal for help ends up breaking the ball that is to be used for the party that night.
  • Title Theme Tune: The theme song is just the series' title sung over and over, though interspersed with various characters talking.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Manny has two female tools, Dusty the hand saw and Squeeze the pliers.
  • Two Shorts: Most episodes, especially in the first and second season, consist of a pair of 11-minute segments.
  • Unnamed Parent: Subverted. Manny's grandfather is universally referred to as "Abuelito" (the familiar term for "grandfather" in Spanish), even by characters not related to him. However, the Wedding Episode reveals his name to be "Manuel Estevez Garcia" (A name he passed down to his son, then to Manny).
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: This happens a lot with Spanish words.


Handy Manny

A slightly shortened version of the opening theme.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / EndingTheme

Media sources: