Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Hero Elementary

Go To
Sparks Crew to the rescue! note 

Hero Elementary is a PBS Kids show that premiered on June 1, 2020. Created by Christine Ferraro and Carol Lynn Parente (both of whom worked on Sesame Street), Hero Elementary centers around a school for budding superheroes, where kids learn to master their innate powers, like flying and teleportation, while exploring science along the way. Targeted to children aged four to seven, the series features important tools to help them solve problems by encouraging them to think and act like scientists, igniting their natural curiosity. Hero Elementary also showcases character and social-emotional concepts such as kindness, empathy, and commitment to working together to solve problems.

The "Sparks' Crew" includes Lucita Sky, an empathetic natural leader with the power to fly – and a fear of heights; AJ Gadgets, a superhero who is passionate about all things “super” and has the ability of thought projection and making super gadgets – and who also happens to be autistic; Sara Snap, who’s tiny, but mighty, with super strength and the power to teleport; and Benny Bubbles, a loyal and protective animal lover with a heart of gold, who can create amazing bubbles that double as force fields and more. Both Mr. Sparks and Lucita are bilingual Spanish/English speakers. Rounding out the crew is Fur Blur, the class hamster with an epic appetite and super speed. Their teacher is the quirky and enthusiastic Mr. Sparks.

There are episodes available to watch on YouTube [1][2][3][4] [5][6] [7]. The series also has an official website that has games, videos, and tidbits of series lore.

Not to be confused with the Hero Academy trope.

Tropes associated with the show:

  • Adventure Towns: The show takes place in a town called "City Town".
  • Alliterative Name: Sara Snap and Benny Bubbles.
  • Ambiguously Related: Stevie Heat is a teenager with light skin, freckles, red hair, and heat powers. Sounds a lot like Petie Heat, who even has the same surname. The show hasn't confirmed if they're related.
  • An Ice Person:
    • Recurring student Freeze Louise can shoot ice from her fingers.
    • AJ is a fan of a an ice-themed hero named Arctic Chill.
  • Brick Joke: In the beginning of "Monster Hunters", Sara mentions her parents packed her a small snack in case she gets hungry. Then, towards the end of the episode, her stomach lets out a monstrous growl reminding her she's hungry and offers said snack to the rest.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Petie Heat and Freeze Louise are siblings who are in the same team and are always seen together.
  • Bungling Inventor: Dr. Inventorman is a wacky inventor. His inventions often go awry and require the Sparks' Crew to save him.
  • Cartoon Juggling: The shower variant is used when Jodi Juggler juggles balls. She can do it super fast, and it is her superpower.
  • Cast Herd: The school is divided into three teams, similar to Hogwarts houses. The main characters, Lucita, Benny, Sara, and AJ are in the Sparks' Crew. Freeze Louise, Petie Heat, and a couple of unnamed others are in Team Tornado. Amazing Memory Kid, Rubberband Robbie, and Turbo Tina are in the Mighty Brights.
  • Character Catchphrase: When a problem arises, Mr. Sparks will ask, "Who's the crew who knows what to do?" The students will then answer, "Sparks Crew to the rescue!"
  • Chest Insignia: Each student has the symbol of their team located on their chest. Sparks' Crew has a spark of electricity, the Mighty Brights have a lightbulb, and Team Tornado has a tornado.
  • Distress Call: The Sparkinator, a glowing blue light bulb, serves this role when it shows the students trouble happening elsewhere.
  • Droste Image: When Sara and AJ swap powers, it takes her a few tries to use Thought Projecting to display anything other than herself Thought Projecting.
  • Edutainment Show: Naturally, as a PBS Kids show, it fills this trope. The show emphasizes science and critical thinking.
  • Electric Black Guy: Female example. In "Fair Weather", AJ mentions a superhero named Lightning Rod. She's a black woman with lightning powers.
  • Fan Convention: The episode "AJ's Extra Superpower" has Sparks Crew getting ready to go to Citytown Hero Con. The second half of the episode emphasizes this more, with AJ trying to return an envelope to his hero Jetman Jones, which has his new comic book.
  • Fire/Ice Duo: The elemental twins - Petie Heat has pyrokinesis and Freeze Louise has cryokinesis. In "The Lake Mistake", it is mentioned that Petie once had a cold while Louise had a fever.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: The twins Petie Heat and Freeze Louise. Petie has fire powers and Louise has ice powers.
  • Five-Token Band: The show's main human characters are Lucita Sky (who's Latina), AJ Gadgets (who's black and autistic), Sara Snap (Asian American), Benny Bubbles (Caucasian), and Mr. Sparks (also Latino).
  • Forgetful Jones: Amazing Memory Kid seems to forget more than he ever remembers.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The heroes we focus on are two girls (Lucita and Sarah) and two boys (AJ and Benny). If you include Mr. Sparks and Fur Blur, it still balances out.
  • Genki Girl:
    • Sara Snap is definitely a feisty ball of energy whenever she's passionate about something.
    • Turbo Tina also falls into this thanks to her speed and Motor Mouth tendencies when she's excited.
  • The Ghost: Invisi-Girl is mentioned a few times in "The Invisible Force", and is thought to be behind the party decorations flying away. She's seen in a picture, but is otherwise not seen in the episode nor is she involved with what happened.
  • Grouped for Your Convenience: The school is divided into three teams - Sparks' Crew (Lucita, Benny, Sara, and AJ), Team Tornado (Petie, Louise, and three unnamed kids), and the Mighty Brights (Amazing Memory Kid, Tina, and Robbie).
  • Head Pet: Jetman Jones receives a chicken as his new animal sidekick, which prefers to stand on his head rather than ride his shoulder.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • Benny Bubbles' ability to create bubbles is an ability rarely seen in superhero media, but the students primarily do rescue missions, and bubbles are useful for catching people from falls or airlifting people out of danger. Benny is also able to place bubbles on his feet to allow him to jump higher and farther, which allows him to keep up with Lucita's flight, Sara's teleportation, and AJ's jetpack.
    • AJ's "thought projection" is also an ability rarely seen in superhero media, but his thought projection has perfect memory recall and can call attention to details that prove essential in solving the problem at hand.
  • Kid Hero: All the students at Hero Elementary, but the four member of the Sparks Crew in particular.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The episode "Sara Loses Her Snap" reveals that Sara Snap loses her powers for a day when she eats coconuts as shown when accidentally eating a coconut flavored power bar. This becomes a problem when the team has to move a giant hamburger out of the way.
  • Latino Is Brown: Lucita and Mr. Sparks are both Latinos and they have brown skin.
  • Meaningful Name: The last names of the students refer to the power he or she has (for example, Benny Bubbles for his bubble creation powers and Lucita Sky for her ability to fly).
  • Motor Mouth: Turbo Tina is known for talking really fast, particularly when she's excited.
  • Muggles: The students at Hero Elementary all have superpowers, but the civilian kids such as Heidi and Jada don't. Occasionally there are other superpowered children shown such as Jodi Juggler, but Jodi doesn't attend Hero Elementary.
  • Nice Girl:
    • Lucita Sky is an empathetic leader, and is enthusiastic about helping others.
    • Sara Snap is also quick to volunteer to help.
  • Nice Guy: Mr. Sparks, the students' teacher, is always full of positive support and encouragement, and will readily forgive mistakes since the students are still in training. AJ Gadgets and Benny Bubbles both take their superhero duties very seriously.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Occasionally, the students will make a mistake that temporarily makes the problem worse before they solve it. Justified by the heroes still being elementary-school-aged and in training, and they always successfully solve the problem by the end.
  • No Antagonist: There are no antagonists, so the heroes use their abilities on rescue missions to help others, such as returning a baby bird to its mother or saving a little girl's party decorations.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Amazing Memory Kid has two scenes in "With a Little Push." In the first scene, he is paged on the P.A. system because he forgot his lunch bag; in the second, he admits to forgetting his dog's birthday.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: The students of Hero Elementary are like this; each of the classes/teams seems to have a uniform of sorts, but the members each individualize it.
    • For example, the main characters, the Sparks' Crew, have a basic uniform of a blue or white top with the school insignia, red gloves, and blue bottoms, but Lucita wears a skirt with leggings, Benny wears shorts and AJ and Sara wear pants. As for the tops, Sara wears a hoodie and Benny wears a short-sleeved sweater vest, while AJ and Lucita wear long-sleeved shirts. Interestingly enough, these outfits sync up somewhat with their out-of-school clothes.
    • For Team Tornado, Freeze Louise has the team logo on a sweater, while Petie Heat wears it on a shirt underneath a jean jacket.
    • For The Mighty Brights, Amazing Memory Kid and Rubberband Robbie both have shirts with the logo on it and shorts, but Turbo Tina wears a full suit.
  • Not the Nessie: Viral videos of lake monster "Soupie" chasing boaters prompt an investigation by the Sparks Crew, who discover it's actually a sunken and algae-coated swan boat from a defunct water park, which passing lake vessels keep snagging and pulling to the surface.
  • Oireland: Jodi Juggler has a heavy Irish accent. Her voice actress is also Irish.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Amazing Memory Kid's real name is unknown.
  • Picture Day: "Picture Perfect" is about Sparks Crew getting ready for Picture Day. They have to stay clean, but run into a problem when they have to get Mr. Quivers out of a mud puddle.
  • Playing with Fire: Petie Heat can shoot fire from his hands.
  • Power Incontinence: In one episode, Stevie Heat, a former student of Mr. Sparks', has trouble working in a movie theater because whenever he gets nervous, it activates his "heating hands" powers. In another episode, Freeze Louise and Petie Heat have the ability to shoot ice and fire, respectively, but have trouble controlling when their powers go off. All four Sparks Crew students run afoul of this trope when they swap powers via AJ's Switcherooer.
  • Power Stereotype Flip: While Petie has fire powers, he isn't angry and violent. Louise has ice powers, but she isn't cold and distant.
  • Precocious Crush: Jada (a young girl seen in the first episode) seems to be quite fond of AJ (who's 7), and likes to be around him.
  • Radiation-Induced Superpowers: According to the website, Hail Caesar got hail powers after eating a radioactive snow cone.
  • Red Herring: In "The Invisible Force", a student named Invisi-Girl is thought to be behind the party decorations flying away, since she has been known to play tricks on people before. It turns out Invisi-Girl had nothing to do with it; the explanation turns out to be more mundane.
  • Rubber Man: Rubberband Robbie possesses an elastic body, capable of stretching to great lengths and contorting his body; however, if he stretches too far, he will forcibly curl into a ball and bounce around uncontrollably.
  • Share Phrase: When the students need to think very hard about how to solve the problem, they will put their hands together and say, "Super powers of science!"
  • Shout-Out: "The Blob" introduces Sara's idol Athletica, who bears a strong resemblance to Adora.
  • Sick Episode:
    • "An Uphill Task" has Sara getting sick on the day of an invention fair that AJ is taking part in. The invention he presents is a special robot so that she can see what's happening while not actually being there.
    • "Schmubble Trouble" has Benny getting the schmubbles, where he sneezes bubbles when he's sick, and only he can pop them. This becomes a problem when he's sent back to school, but accidentally sneezes bubbles at Lucita, Sara, and AJ in the park.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • It's like a preschool version of DC Super Hero Girls, another show that focuses on a school teaching students how to be heroes and they don't have secret identities. The difference is that this series emphasizes science.
    • It also tends to be called a kids show version of My Hero Academia, which focuses on another school of superheroes.
  • Stock Footage: The "Sparks Crew to the Rescue" and "Superpowers of Science" Lines.
  • Superhero School: The show is about kids learning to be superheroes.
  • Super-Intelligence: Amazing Memory Kid's power is having an amazing memory, but so far, he's shown to be quite the Forgetful Jones.
  • Super-Speed:
    • Fur Blur, the class hamster, has this superpower.
    • Turbo Tina, a member of the Mighty Brights, can run super fast and talk fast as well.
  • Teachers Out of School: In "Secret Lives of Teachers", the Sparks' Crew is quite surprised to see Mr. Sparks and Fur Blur out shopping, and are further astonished to learn that even teachers have families (in this case, Mr. Sparks has his mother) and used to be kids.
  • Team Pet: Each team has one. The Sparks' Crew have their hamster Fur Blur, who has super speed. The Mighty Brights have their frog The Green Leaper, who has jumping agility. Team Tornado has their dog Spotnado, who can become a tornado.
  • Title, Please!: Episode titles are not shown at the beginning of the episode. They instead appear in the end credits.
  • Tongue Twister: The seed-dispersal story features "super purple pop-up plants". Also, a Running Gag of AJ correcting Sara's mispronunciation.
  • Two-Teacher School: Hero Elementary seems to be severely understaffed. Mr. Sparks is the only known teacher. We don't know if the other teams (the Mighty Brights and Team Tornado) even have teachers, and the only other staff member is Mrs. Mangia, the lunch lady.
  • True Companions: The four students always have each other's backs and will work together to solve any problem.
  • Very Special Episode: "AJ's Extra Superpower" is all about AJ's autism.
  • Youthful Freckles: Benny, Petie, and Louise all have freckles on their faces.

We all belong at Hero Elementary!