Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Jacob Two-Two

Go To

"They call me Jacob Two-Two because I'm the smallest, and I always have to say things twice to be heard."
Jacob, "Jacob Two-Two vs. The Hooded Fang"

Jacob Two-Two is a Canadian animated TV series that aired on YTV. It was produced by Nelvana, with 9 Story Media Group handling animation for the final season. It is loosely based on a series of children's books created by the late Jewish-Canadian author Mordecai Richler.

The central character of the show is the eponymous Jacob Two-Two, an elementary-aged boy from Montreal, Quebec whose nickname "Two-Two" derives from how he often says things twice because nobody ever hears him the first time. The reason for this is that Jacob is the youngest in his family, with four older siblings (obnoxious twins Noah and Emma, bratty teenage sister Marfa, and aloof eldest brother Daniel) who frequently push him around. Meanwhile, Jacob's father Morty is an accomplished author while his mother Florence looks after the household.

While Jacob can always count on his parents (and his next-door neighbor and secret international spy X. Barnaby Dinglebat) when he needs help, things are different at school. There, Jacob deals with the antagonistic school staff, including the cruel and gluttonous headmaster Principal I.M. Greedyguts, his bitter-hearted teacher Miss Sour Pickle, and the unscrupulous janitor Leo Louse. Fortunately, Jacob also has his friends by his side, local oddball Buford Pugh and snooty Quebecer Renée Ratelle.

And given how vivid and chaotic his everyday life is, Jacob always finds some form of adventure to be had around Montreal, from meeting famous wrestlers and getting back confiscated items from the school's vault to playing in hockey games and investigating neighborhood conspiracies. And while Jacob might be the runt of his family and rarely taken seriously by most, his big heart and determined attitude means that this little underdog can always find ways for things to work out for him - even if they're not always as he hoped for!

The series debuted in 2003 and ended in 2005 after running for 62 episodes over 5 seasons. In the United States, the show was a staple of Qubo (one of the series the channel launched with, actually) until 2017. Nowadays, Nelvana has all the episodes up at their Keep It Weird channel on Youtube. You can check them out here.

Jacob Two-Two provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Marfa has one in her nerdy classmate Sheldon. She isn't pleased when she gets partnered with him for a science project in "Jacob Two-Two and the Robot Rescue".
  • Accidental Hand-Hold: In one episode, Jacob and Renée hide behind a wall and their hands accidentally brush. They look at their hands, then yank them apart in disgust.
  • Adaptational Nationality: Jacob and his family were British in the books; here, they are Canadian.
  • Adapted Out: In the books, Jacob had friends named Mickey, Robby, and Chris. They were replaced by Buford and Renée.
  • Adults Are Useless: Master Spy X. Barnaby Dinglebat is helpful, at least. Jacob's parents are pretty sharp, and Superintendent Fussbudget keeps Greedyguts's greedy impulses in check. Basically any antagonistic adult is useless.
  • Almighty Janitor: Leo Louse, Principal Greedyguts's omnipresent henchman.
  • Alpha Bitch: Phoebe, who insulted and shoved Daniel after he accidentally knocked her into the lake despite apologizing.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: The main character fits a few Jewish characteristics, such as having brown hair and a big nose and his first name is of Hebrew origin, which said the same as his siblings' names such as Noah, Daniel, and Emma, etc. Also, the author, Mordecai Richler was Jewish in real life.
  • The Ahnold: One-time Terminator parody Mr. D. Fender.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: The Qubo edit adds a segment where Jacob summarizes the episode's moral, then signs off with "...just like me, Jacob Two-Two."
  • Arc Number: 22 is Jacob's lucky number.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Jacob himself grows into a somewhat round, red-skinned humanoid giant in the episode "Jacob Two-Two and the Too Big Tomato".
  • Basement-Dweller: Leo Louse actually lives in the school's basement with his mother.
  • Bathtub Scene: In "...and the Big Bagel Bungle", Florence relaxes in the bath while Morty, Zadie, and the twins make brunch. Oddly enough, she still wears her pearl necklace.
  • Big Brother Bully: Noah and Emma are this to Jacob whenever they are around him.
  • Brother–Sister Team: The Fearless O'Toole and the Intrepid Shapiro (twins Noah and Emma) of "Kid Power".
  • Canada, Eh?: The series takes place in Montreal, Quebec. The Maple Leaf is everywhere (including on Jacob's skateboarding helmet), the (fictional) Prime Minister is a recurring character, and everyone reveres ice hockey. To make this series more Canadian than it already is, you'd have to dress up the entire cast in RCMP uniforms.
  • Canon Foreigner: Buford and Renée were both created for the cartoon.
  • Character Development: In the first few episodes, Jacob and Renee had a mutual disliking for each other, but they became friends over time.
  • Cool Old Lady: Miss Darling Sweetiepie. She's a sweet, yet talkative old lady who bakes cookies... and she's also a secret agent.
  • Digging to China: The tunnel in the school's staff room.
  • Door-to-Door Episode: In "Jacob Two-Two and the Colossal Candy Challenge", the students sell candy bars to raise money to renovate the school's gymnasium.
  • Down to the Last Play: During the big hockey game at the end of "Jacob Two Two and the Purloined Hockey Card", the opposing team gets a penalty shot with one second left on the clock. The puck appears to roll past Jacob, but he uses Super-Reflexes to stop it from passing the goal line.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The first episode is the only one where the opening credits appear during the first scene. Subsequent episodes have the credits appear over a black screen.
    • In the first few episodes, Jacob and Renée were rivals, and they only begrudgingly worked together; this was quickly dropped, and they became best friends.
    • The first season had the characters address the audience at the end of each episode. This was dropped in the second season.
    • Overlapping with Characterization Marches On, in his first appearance, Carl Fester King really lived up to his last name, acting like an ersatz king, and his plan revolved around that. All his other appearances have him as just a regular Con Man.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Principal Greedyguts' first name is Ignatz.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Principal Greedyguts may be a cruel child-hating Jerkass principal, but he can't stand his own identical twin brother Y.B. Greedyguts who is more cruel and sadistic than he is.
      • Even Miss Sour Pickle is also horrified of the latter upon learning the truth to a point that she escaped to tell Jacob, Buford, and Renée.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Several episodes end with Jacob, Renée, and Buford sharing a good laugh, usually at Principal Greedyguts's expense.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: Jacob and Renée are responsible enough to wear helmets whenever they skateboard.
  • Fat Bastard: Principal I.M. Greedyguts and his identical twin brother Y.B. Greedyguts. They can barely squeeze themselves through doorways, and they (especially the latter) are not pleasant men.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: The animation used does this with all of the characters.
  • Finger-Licking Poison: While it wasn't poison, one episode did have a plot based around this trope with newspapers that had brainwashing ink that convinced you to buy the products it advertised after you licked your fingers while turning the pages. Jacob and his friends were immune because they didn't lick their fingers.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In "Jacob Two Two and the Big Brain Exchange", Jacob accidentally switches brains with Principal Greedyguts. He uses his new position to try and make life better at Dreary Meadows School. And yes, their voices switch bodies too.
  • Game Show Appearance: In "Jacob Two-Two and Scholars for Dollars", Jacob is roped into joining the school's quiz bowl team right as they make it into the finals, which are being televised. A big cash prize is on the line, which Greedyguts intends to spend on a doughnut machine. They lose.
  • "Getting My Own Room" Plot: The first episode, "Jacob Two Two vs. the Hooded Fang", has this as a subplot; the family has just moved to their house in Montreal, and Jacob has to share a room here with his annoying brother Noah. He convinces his parents to give him the attic as his room, if he can prove he's able to spend a night there without getting scared. By the end of the episode, he succeeds, and the attic thus becomes his room for the remainder of the series.
  • Gonk: Principal Greedyguts and Miss Sour Pickle. The former resembles a caricature from a turn-of-the-century political cartoon; the latter looks like she can cut things with her nose.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Jacob often wears polka dot boxers.
  • Gratuitous French: As you'd expect, Renée does this all the time.
    • Sometimes qualifies as Poirot Speak, when she uses simple phrases like "oui?" in the place of "right?"
    • Additionally, other French-Canadian characters such as Leduc and the coureur des bois ghosts also use the occasional French phrases in their speech as well.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: "Jacob Two-Two's Time Trials", with the twist that Jacob himself uses a time machine to actively reset time in an attempt to stop himself from breaking his brother's Beatles record, and causing other disasters in the process.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Carl Fester King has a penchant for these kinds of schemes.
  • Hulking Out: While no actual Hulk parody has been featured in the show, the series of growth spurts Jacob went through in "Jacob Two-Two and the Too Big Tomato" do borrow a few aspects to this trope, which include the following:
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Jacob is friends with Gary/The Hooded Fang and X. Barnaby Dinglebat, both of which are adults.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jacob's siblings may treat Jacob as a nuisance (with the twins going as far as to bully Jacob and get him blamed for things he didn't do), but they truly and genuinely love him and wouldn't truly get him in serious trouble. And heaven help you if you try to hurt the kid.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: All the villains are completely irredeemable and unlikable.
  • Judgment of Solomon: In the episode where Noah and Emma were fighting, they fought over a decoder that came in the mail. Jacob's father decided to disassemble the decoder and give them a piece, in hopes they'll co-operate and put it back together. This backfired as they were content with their pieces.
  • New Transfer Student:
    • Jacob attends Dreary Meadows for the first time in the second episode, "Jacob Two-Two and the Staff Room of Doom". Jacob borrows one of Daniel's T-shirts to look cool, but the shirt gets confiscated thanks to the school's draconian dress code. Along the way, Jacob meets Buford and Renée.
    • An awkward girl named Ann transfers to Dreary Meadows in "Jacob Two-Two and Renée's Rival", and she quickly takes Renée's place as the school's best student. She turns out to be an android. Greedyguts and Sour Pickle ordered her so they can claim a large cash prize that is being offered to their best student. At the end of the episode, Jacob and his friends send Ann to another school where she could be safe.
  • Overly Long Name: Buford's full name is Buford Orville Gaylord Pugh.
    Buford: Hi! I'm Buford Orville Gaylord Pugh, which my dad says is a lot of names for a little guy!
  • Performance Anxiety: Jacob Two-Two shows signs of this. So of course he gets stuck with the task of selling chocolate bars to fix the school gymnasium and having to explain The Talk for a school project, twice.
  • Picture Day: In "Jacob Two-Two and the Unlickable Cowlick", Jacob wakes up with a cowlick the day before Picture Day, and his attempts to fix it end up turning his hair green.
  • Police Are Useless: Jacob doesn't even try to call the cops on all the villains he's faced. There were two exceptions however:
    • "Jacob Two-Two and the Fantastic Fountain" featured Carl Fester King getting arrested at the end for drilling underneath Miss Darling Sweetiepie's backyard after her Fountain of Eternal Youth.
    • "Jacob Two-Two and the Pirated Pastry" completely averts this trope when Jacob actually calls the cops on Greedyguts upon learning that he stole Lloyd Sugarloaf's jelly doughnut recipe.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: "Ode to Joy" frequently plays throughout the series. It appears to be Jacob's personal theme song, as he hums it to himself in a couple of episodes.
  • Punny Name: I.M. Greedyguts (and his twin brothers, Y.B. Greedyguts).
  • Putting the "Pal" in Principal: Principal I.M. Greedyguts' twin brother Y.B. Greedyguts looks this way, giving out hot chocolate to students, having heated rooms, and just being an all round nice guy. It's totally subverted when it turns out he's a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and is actually worse than his brother, and the nice facade is to trick students and teachers into applying for his school, which is not a school at all, but actually a place where people are forced to run on hamster wheels to generate energy.
  • Robotic Reveal: Ann from "Jacob Two Two and Renee's Rival", when the trio found her instruction manual in Greedyguts's office.
  • Sadist Teacher: Principal Greedyguts and Miss Sour Pickle, both of whom look and act like they're on loan from a Roald Dahl book. Their science teacher Mr. Moleculus averts this, as he is a pretty decent guy.
  • Sadistic Choice: Jacob is faced with this in one episode, either expose the evidence and risk a sea monster out of its home or delete the evidence and let people think he's a liar and his grandfather's crazy. He chooses the latter.
  • Second Episode Introduction: The second episode, "Jacob Two-Two and the Staff Room of Doom", is about Jacob's first day of school in Montreal. Thus, it introduces Jacob's friends and the school staff.
  • Sleazy Politician: Perry Pleaser, the Prime Minister of Canada is shown to be shifty and doing anything to be re-elected.
  • Stronger Sibling: In a way. Principal Greedyguts' identical twin Y. B. Greedyguts, who, despite his goody-two-shoes introduction, turns out to be even more evil.
  • Super-Sargasso Sea: Jacob discovers an Alternate Dimension that is limited version of this; all the missing socks end up there. The inhabitants use socks as currency, and there's even a black market for them.
  • Trumplica: There's ample evidence that I.M Greedyguts is modelled on Donald Trump, namely his obesity, his dictatorial style and love of fast food, and stealing fundraiser items (much like the real one was accused of), and defrauding the school. Lighter and Softer than many Trump portrayals, but he's close enough to be their version of him, except as a school principal.
  • Ultimate Job Security: I.M. Greedyguts has been caught faking an injury to defraud the school, stealing school funds for his own personal luxury, stealing fundraiser items, ripping off a guys donut recipe, and just generally being a Sadist Teacher yet somehow keeps his job.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Fish and Fowl, a pair of crooks wanting to get rich.
  • Vague Age: The only characters with confirmed ages are Daniel and Marfa, who are 16 and 15, respectively. Jacob was 6 in the first book and 8 in later books; here, he and his friends are around 10-11. Noah and Emma are middle school-aged.
  • Villain Team-Up: "Wooden Nickel Knuckleheads" had Greedyguts, Leo, Carl, Fish and Fowl teaming up to try to steal Jacob's wooden nickel that's valued around $100,000. The alliance doesn't last long though.
  • Vocal Evolution: By the end of the fifth season, Buford's voice actor has aged so much that his voice is pitched up to make him sound younger.
  • Welcomed to the Masquerade: Jacob is admitted into Library Ninjas after he starts doing mundane volunteer work there, partially because he's the only kid left who takes reading seriously.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The majority of the villains would go so far to harm Jacob, as well as other children, to accomplish their schemes.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: At the end of "...and the Pirated Pastry", Principal Greedyguts gets his comeuppance by having all his jelly donuts taken away. He stops crying just long enough to realize that there's still one more donut, in his hand, and tries to take a bite—only to have that one taken away from him too.


Video Example(s):


Jacob Two-Two

Principal Greedyguts gets his comeuppance for his jelly donut crimes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / LaserGuidedKarma

Media sources: