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Western Animation / Jacob Two-Two

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Jacob Two-Two is an animated TV series produced by the Canadian animation studio Nelvana that aired on Canadian kids' channel YTV. It is loosely based on a series of children's books created by the late 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. This is because 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 Sourpickle, 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.

The series debuted in 2003 and ended in 2005 after running for 62 episodes over 5 seasons. The show can be seen in the United States on Qubo (one of the series the channel launched with, actually). 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:

  • 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.
  • Adults Are Useless: Partly averted. Master Spy X. Barnaby Dinglebat is helpful, at least. And Jacob's parents are pretty sharp. Basically any antagonistic adult is useless.
  • Almighty Janitor: Leo Louse, Principal Greedyguts' omnipresent henchman.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Jacob's oldest brother, Daniel.
  • Alpha Bitch: Phoebe, who insulted and shoved Daniel after he accidentally knocked her into the lake despite apologizing.
  • Alter Kocker: Jacob's grandfather Zadie Saul.
  • The Ahnold: One-time Terminator parody Mr. D. Fender.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Jacob himself grows into this somewhat 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.
  • 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".
  • Butt-Monkey: The titular character.
  • Canada, Eh?: The series takes place in Montreal, Quebec. To make this series more Canadian than it already is, you'd have to dress up the entire cast in RCMP uniforms.
  • Character Development: In the first few episodes, Jacob and Renee had a mutual disliking for each other, but they became friends overtime.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Buford.
  • Cool Old Lady: Mrs. Sweetiepie.
  • Digging to China: The tunnel in the school's staff room.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Principal Greedyguts' first name is Ignatz.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Principal Greedyguts may be a cruel child-hating Jerkass principal, 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.
  • Fat Bastard: Principal Greedyguts. It's even in the name. Also Fish
  • 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.
  • Freudian Trio: Buford is the Id, Jacob is the Ego and Renée is the Superego.
  • "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.
  • Gentle Giant: Gary, the Hooded Fang's alter ego.
  • Gonk: Principal Greedyguts and Ms. Sourpickle.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Jacob often wear polka dot boxers.
  • Gratuitous French: As you'd expect, Renée does this all the time.
    • Sometimes qualify 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Lean and Mean: Miss Sourpickle and Fowl.
  • Mad Scientist: "Old Man Leduc" looks the part (complete with Battle Butler), but he's really a veterinarian.
  • Magic Feather: Gummer Gormley's hockey card.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Jacob is the youngest of five.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Gary is a gentle soul, and a bit of a chicken. However his wrestling persona, The Hooded Fang is scary and intimidating.
  • Meaningful Name: Lots of the adult supporting characters: I.M. Greedyguts, Miss Sour Pickle, Mrs. Darling Sweetiepie, Auntie Goodforyou, Sergeant Law and Corporal Order, Mrs. Bountiful.
  • Meganekko:
    • Renee
    • Jacob's mom.
  • Mundane Fantastic
  • Nice Guy: Jacob Two-Two.
  • 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.
  • Police Are Useless: Jacob doesn't even try to call the cops on Greedyguts or Sour Pickle.
  • 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 Greedygut'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.
    • However their science teacher Mr. Moleculus averts this, as he is a pretty decent guy.
  • Sadistic Choice: Jacob is face 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.
  • 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.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Jacob, Buford, and Renée.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair - Daniel. He's just cool that way.


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