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Western Animation / Milo Murphy's Law

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"Never boring even for a minute, it's my world and we're all living in it!" note 

Zack: I just can't handle […] this cyclone of calamity that follows you everywhere you go! How do you live like this?!
Milo: How do you live like that?
Zack: What do you mean?
Milo: I mean, you want to live like those other kids? They took a bus to school today. A bus. Does that seem like more fun to you?
— "Going the Extra Milo"

Sometimes you just have a day where the entire universe seems out to get you. You tripped when getting out of bed, so now you have a big welt on your head. You missed the bus, so now you're late to class. You lost your tickets to that new sci-fi film you wanted to see, so now you have nothing to distract you from the weird plant monsters stalking you. It just seems that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Well, for one teenager, this isn't a pessimistic thought on a single bad day. It's a simple fact of life he's dealt with since birth and that he's more than gotten used to.

Milo Murphy's Law is an animated comedy series created by Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh that follows the life of the titular Milo Murphy (voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic), and takes place in the same town of Danville as the duo's previous show, Phineas and Ferb.


A descendant of the original Murphy of Murphy's Law, Milo was literally Born Unlucky and is doomed to having anything going wrong around him at a moments' notice. Despite this genetic curse, the ever-optimistic Milo takes it all in stride and manages to turn his endless string of misfortunes into exciting adventures for himself and his best friends. Meanwhile, a pair of time travelers are trying to make sure that the pistachio nut doesn't become extinct. This becomes surprisingly important.

The first episode premiered on October 3rd, 2016 on Disney XD. The series moved to Disney Channel for its second season, which began on January 5, 2019 with the crossover episode The Phineas and Ferb Effect. After the events of that episode, some members of the Phineas and Ferb cast (namely Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz) became recurring characters on Milo. The final episode of season two, "Sphere and Loathing in Outer Space", aired on May 18, 2019. Writer Joshua Pruett would confirm the same day that the show had not been greenlit for a third season, with Dan Povenmire later stating that an additional season was highly unlikely.


The production crew would move on to make Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe and Povenmire's next show for the network, Hamster & Gretel.

The opening sequence can be viewed here.

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This series features examples of:

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  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The CG meat dinosaur in "Family Vacation" stands out. Though in general, most cars in this show look a little out of place too.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The town's sewers are a frequent setting, with Milo regularly using them to navigate the city and Scott the Undergrounder more or less living there.
  • Acquainted with Emergency Services:
    • Because Milo is Born Unlucky and a Walking Disaster Area, the firefighters and police know him to the point that he keeps a framed photograph of them in his room.
    • In "Rooting for the Enemy", it's revealed that his family, mainly Milo and his father, Martin, have their own hospital suite called the "Murphy Suite".
    • In "The Note", the government is fully aware of the Murphys' luck and have dubbed their neighborhood as "The Murphy Sector".
    • In "Worked Day", when Milo's class is having a career day, they meet Melissa's father, who's a firefighter, whose squad just put out a fire at a fish hatchery:
      Mr. Chase: Milo, you weren't here at the fish hatchery this morning, were you?
      Melissa: Dad!
      Mr. Chase: Ha! I kid! ... But seriously, you weren't here, right?
      Milo: (cheerfully) Why Mr. Chase, I'm flattered! (suddenly deadpan, visibly irritated) But no.
  • Action Survivor: Milo has to be to survive life. Melissa and Zack to a lesser degree, merely by being in proximity to Milo.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Mr. Drako asks Milo to list five historic disasters. Milo includes Drako's haircut on the list, and after remarking on the cattiness of the remark, Drako accepts it as an answer.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Played with. Milo's dog is named "Diogee." Say it slowly.
  • Advertising by Association: The show was initially advertised as "from the team that brought you Phineas and Ferb". Somewhat justified since it's not only made by the same team but takes place in the same universe.
  • Adults Are Useless: When the class field trip is shipwrecked on an island in "Some Like It Yacht," the faculty immediately go feral and run off, leaving the middle-schoolers to strategize. It's probably worth noting that this field trip is happening in the first place because the school board, after blowing the year's budget on a yacht, have decided they might as well get some practical use out of a vessel that crippled their finances so badly that the students have been forced to bring their own toilet paper to school.
  • Affably Evil: King Pistachion is surprisingly family loving and polite for a sentient pistachio plant out to take over the world.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Zigzagged. The Brulee twins gush about how "dangerous" Milo is, but he remains the polite, optimistic young man we know and love. And they do make enthusiastic note of his sweater vest.
  • Alliterative Name: Tobias Trollhammer.
  • Amusement Park: Lard World is Milo's favorite and shows up sometimes, especially as the setting of "Murphy's Lard". The end of the first season has it turned into an Amusement Park of Doom.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: Averted in "We're Going to the Zoo" where the female ostrich has brown feathers.
  • Animal Motif
    • Primates seem to have a place in the show:
      • An orangutan once tried to steal Milo's pistachios.
      • Melissa recalls a time when an orangutan takes her away during a card game with Milo.
      • A poster in Melissa's room has a primate-like creature (most likely Bigfoot).
      • Of course, the presence of Time Ape, Dr. Zone's sidekick.
      • There's a gorilla in a miniature golf course where Sara and Milo played in.
      • Monkeys are featured in one of the zoetropes.
      • Brigette's vintage t-shirts were stolen by monkeys for Milo, Zack, and Sara to chase.
    • And so do llamas:
      • There's the whole Llama Incident that had been building up in the first half of Season 1.
      • The promotional poster (the current Page Image) features a llama emerging from a manhole getting stepped on by Zack, and a whole bunch of llamas stuck in a tree in the distance.
      • Llamas are seen watching Milo, Melissa and Zack in "Perchance to Sleepwalk".
      • The goal for the charity race in "Pace Makes Waste" is to raise enough money to take care of homeless llamas. Martin and Brigette even made plush llama merchandise for it.
      • The benefit concert Amanda got for Milo, Melissa and Zack in "Managing Murphy's Law" is called "Forget the Llamas, Save the Alpacas". Ironically, Amanda misnames the alpacas "llamas".
  • Arc Symbol: Pistachios in Season 1, as well as the pistachio stand with "Pistachios" written on it. It's the kind of nuts the two time traveling agents Dakota and Cavendish are tasked to protect. Pistachios are also Dr. Zone and Mr. Block's favorite kind of nut. As it turns out, mutated pistachio trees happen to be the Arc Villain for Season 1.
  • Art Evolution: The show's animation tends to be much more dynamic and fairly smooth, compared to its parent series.
    • The character designs tend to be much more detailed and realistically-proportioned than in Phineas and Ferb. This is pretty noticeable in the 2018 crossover episode when the casts of both shows are shown side by side.
  • Artificial Intelligence: "A Clockwork Origin" has the robot C.I.D.D..
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • "Going the Extra Milo" makes the common mistake of portraying wild beehives as resembling a hornet's nest.
    • Pileated woodpeckers are drawn with only three toes, lacking the second backwards-pointing toe in the zygodactyl foot. Also, macaws are drawn with generic anisodactyl feet.
    • Ostriches are shown with three toes rather than two (a mistake also made in Phineas and Ferb).
    • Pelicans are drawn with oversized bill pouches, and their feet are shown as generic bird feet with only three toes and no webbing (another mistake also made in Phineas and Ferb).
    • The female gazelle in "We're Going to the Zoo" is drawn without horns. Plus there's the fact that she's pink.
    • In "The Llama Incident", Milo claims that woodpeckers eat branches. Most woodpeckers feed primarily on insects; they peck at trees to find and uncover them.
    • Spiders are drawn with six legs instead of eight.
    • Hilariously lampshaded in "We're Going to the Zoo" when Sara wonders why Milo's platypus pajamas are teal when platypuses are supposed to be brown.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology:
    • The T. rex model in "The Little Engine That Couldn't" has three fingers on each hand instead of two (again, a mistake also made in Phineas and Ferb).
    • The Velociraptor in "Christmas Peril" is, as usual, oversized and featherless.
  • Awesome Backpack: Due to having to prepare for unfortunate circumstances, Milo has to keep a backpack that contains many things to protect him and his friends.
    • Milo actually was gifted his backpack by his former babysitter, Veronica, who was so awesome, Milo says she was stronger than Murphy's Law.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Murphy's Law Curse itself is ultimatly seen as this if you can get past constantly being in danger. Zack lampshades this in episode 1. Sure it puts your life at risk every day, but every day is an adventure and you get to be around some of the best people in the world.
  • Baby Morph Episode: "Backwards to School Night."
  • Bag of Holding: Milo's bag holds a carburetor, a bicycle tire, an accordion, a generator, a monkey wrench and even an anchor. It does not, however, have a clock in it.
  • The Band Minus the Face: The Lumberzacks minus Zack, now known as "Lumbermax."
    Melissa: Well, now all the good band names are taken.
  • Battle Couple: Averted. Brick and Savanna have all the makings of spy lovers, buy they just don't feel anything romantic or sexual for each other.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. At the end of "Murphy's Lard", Melissa looks like a Shell-Shocked Veteran with wild hair and a Thousand-Yard Stare.
  • Been There, Shaped History: It's indicated that past ancestors of the Murphy family were involved in historical disasters such as the San Francisco Earthquake, the Hindenberg crashing, the sinking of the Titanic, etc.
    • The reason we know the 1803 land deal as "The Louisiana Purchase" as opposed to "The Mississippi Purchase" is because of something Dakota traveled back in time and did. Both him and Cavendish are also the reason the Leap Year exists... Dakota's idiotic misplacement of a time grenade (which can literally erase time) being the reason Halloween wasn't a holiday in the future until he successfully managed to undo his mistake... but not before he accidentally time-shifted himself and Cavendish to Ancient Rome where a run-in with Julius Caesar caused the time grenade to go off and erase February 29th, but not completely since Dakota had the time grenade one-quarter disarmed, so we'll still get one every four years, hence Leap Year.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Parodied and subverted with time agents Brick and Savannah, who try their best to evoke this as part of their Tuxedo and Martini aesthetic but find that they have no chemistry.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Diogee regularly goes out of his way to help Milo in any situation, from crossing the country on foot to skydiving out of an airplane to a deserted island.
    • In the crossover episode Phineas and Ferb show up in the nick of time to save their friends and Milo's from Nut-Jobbers. And at the end, right when Milo, Phineas Ferb, Doofenshmirtz, Cavendish, Dakota and Orton are about to get captured by their mulched friends, Doof's future self, Professor Time, shows up just in time to pick up Orton and defeat Derek in 1955.
  • Birthday Episode: "Party of Peril" is about everyone planning Milo's 13th birthday.
  • Black Comedy Burst:
    • In the closing moments of "The Llama Incident," we see what appears to be our three plucky young protagonists plummeting from a cliff and spattering the rocks below with their blood. The camera lingers lovingly over the shot before pulling away to reveal the kids, who have safely escaped their doom offscreen, approaching Mort to ask him about his new job transporting flesh-colored bags of red paint.
    • "The Island of Lost Dakotas" reveals that Cavendish regularly dies during missions and Dakota has to repeatedly travel back in time prevent these accidents from occurring. A montage of Cavendish's deaths is Played for Laughs, including him being skeletonized after falling into lava and his head blowing up after neglecting to put on a space helmet.
    • In "Fungus Among Us," the typically mild-mannered Milo uncharacteristically starts violently threatening an antagonist with an electric cattle prod.
      Cavendish: Milo! What in the devil was that?!
      Milo: Oh! Um, I thought we were doing Good Cop/Bad Cop.
  • Bloodless Carnage: "The Island of Lost Dakotas" shows Cavendish dying in several gruesome ways, but no gore is shown.
  • Boring, but Practical: A bit of an odd example. Whenever a Murphy man gets sick, the bad luck that constantly follows them lessens. While this is convenient for the non-cursed characters and anything they want to get done, it leads to the realization that an ordinary day without trouble is boring. Zack had to take a bus to school.
  • Born Lucky: Revealed in the crossover episode, half the reason Phineas and Ferb are able to do the things they do is that nothing they try ever goes wrong... or at least nothing did UNTIL they first come across Milo Murphy. When confronted with the way Milo's Extreme Hereditary Murphy’s Law condition affects the world around him, they are at a loss as to how to help.
  • Born Unlucky: Milo, having been born with Extreme Hereditary Murphy’s Law condition (EHML). Though in a twisted way, you could also say he's got a variant of Born Lucky, since he survives everything the world throws at him and he and any companions he has at any given time generally get out of any situation with minimal injury.
    • One episode shows Milo's mother flashing back to "the first time we met Milo." She and young Sara are standing in the kitchen when the wall spontaneously collapses.
    Brigette: Sara, is your father home yet?
    Sara: No.
    Brigette: Hm. Murphy's Law but no Martin. [steps out from behind the counter revealing her pregnancy] Looks like we're having a boy! [winces] Right now!
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: From "Murphy's Lard", Cavendish asks if the pistachio stand is safe from fires or barnyard animals, like pigs. Dakota then asks if it's safe from flaming pigs. Even better, a flaming pig does come by and try to destroy the stand. After being protected once, circumstances have the flaming pig succeed in destroying the stand.
    • Also, since Cavendish and Dakota are time travelers, they most likely KNEW about the flaming pig.
  • Brick Joke:
    • When Zack asks Milo if he's some kind of tough guy, Milo says no one's ever called him tough. Then after he's chased off by the sewer pipe, Melissa calls him tough as the reason she thinks he'll make it to school.
    • From the same episode, a super-strong bungee cord that holds construction equipment and a section of pipe find their way to Milo. Later on, at a construction site, the workers note the absence of these items.
    • At the bus stop, Milo tells Melissa he's got a new scar and texts her a photo of it so that she can see it from a safe distance. Later in the episode, a construction worker asks Milo about the new scar.
    • In "Sunny Side Up", Milo's opening story leads Zack to ask where the zoo is. When the egg pod is bouncing around, it ends up in a polar bear habitat, prompting a comment by Zack that that's where the zoo is. Same episode Milo puts an egg in his pocket and finds it still there and intact the next day which saves their demonstration.
    • In "Party of Peril," there's a Running Gag about ducks attacking people, particularly Elliot. In the next episode, "Smooth Opera-tor," during an Overly Long Gag of things going wrong onstage, Elliot runs out, being chased by a duck again.
    • One that crosses series, the rollercoaster from Phineas and Ferb crashed in Melissa's back yard, as we learn in "Murphy's Lard"
    • In "The Note", The General was overly fond of the disintegration ray, with one of the men finding a way to reverse it. In "Family Vacation", that same general shows up, grabbing the Murphy RV. His subordinate asks if it's time to use the disintegration ray, but The General retorts that "there's more buttons than just that one, you know."
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Milo's gone through so much that he barely reacts to the improbable occurrences life sends his way. Doubles for most of his classmates and the town as a whole.
  • Butt-Monkey: With Murphy's Law as part of the title, you can expect a good bit of characters to be this trope.
    • Notably averted with Milo. In any other show, he would be this. But with his cheerful outlook and his Crazy-Prepared tendencies, Milo is having none of it.
    • Milo may not be this, but Elliot the crossing guard ("Safety Czar!") certainly seems to be exactly this trope every time he appears. Episodes which center on Elliott ("Disaster of My Dreams" and "World Without Milo") definitively confirm him as the show's alpha butt monkey.
    • Dakota and Cavendish, who can never seem to accomplish any mission given to them and are regarded as incompetents because of it. Cavendish is this especially. Not only do his uptight, fuss-bucket ways make him a good victim for pratfalls, but he often dies due to his own careless actions, forcing his partner to go back in time to undo his deaths.
      • Since "Missing Milo" that seems no longer the case when they start being proactive. Brick and Savannah seem to have taken their place instead, not that Dakota and Cavendish are much better off.
    • Minor classmate character Joni often gets injured or in trouble in several scenes she's in, whether her arm gets hit at a football game after the cast just got off, or being the one person that walks off the pier at the school yacht. She's also the only minor character that was taken by the Pistachions on-screen in "Fungus Among Us".
    • To a degree, Bradley Nicholson is the butt of several of Milo's disasters. Bardley is especially so at the end of "The Phineas and Ferb Effect" where he is subject to a paradoxical leftover from the second Pistachion Takeover, as he had been turned into a Pistachion before the takeover had been averted. After which Bradley is left with a Pistachion right arm while the rest of him is made human again.
  • Call-Back: As expected for the successor to Phineas and Ferb, this trope is in full effect. In addition to numerous callbacks to Phineas and Ferb, as the episode count for Milo Murphy's Law increases, so do the callback opportunities within itself.
  • Calvinball: In "Game Night", Milo, Melissa, Zack, Sara and her friend Neal have a game night, playing "Lard World: The Officially Licensed Board Game", which takes on a whole new twist when Mr. Murphy's grill catches fire and scorches the game board. Later, when Cavendish and Vinnie Dakota arrive, Vinnie throws the table into the sky to stop a vortex, with Cavendish & Dakota participating in game night. Afterwards, when the game board is damaged, Milo makes a new game board out of pizza boxes and remnants of the other damaged board games, with a space where Milo lands and puts on a frog mask, a Twister-like treasure map, and a Rube Goldberg Device perpetual motion machine chance card bonus in the style of Mouse Trap.
  • Catapult Nightmare: In "Sunny Side Up", each of the main characters gets their own. Zack worries that their device would be destroyed the next morning, Melissa worries the egg will be cracked, and Milo wakes up with absolutely nothing wrong.
  • The Cavalry: In "The Phineas and Ferb Effect", the alternate Dakotas fly in to save Milo, Phineas and Ferb from getting M.U.L.C.H.ed. The Fireside Girls also show up to free them.
  • Character as Himself: In-Universe, Time Ape is credited as himself in "The Doctor Zone Files".
  • Character Tics: Balthazar is prone to pull a Fascinating Eyebrow. Milo himself typically holds onto the straps of his backpack
  • Chekhov's Gag: Episodes such as "Murphy's Lard" and "Backward to School Night" have jokes where Dakota acts casually at best and indifferent at worst about Cavendish getting injured or nearly getting killed. Later, in "The Island of Lost Dakotas", it's revealed why he's so blasé about these situations: Cavendish dies with such regularity that Dakota has created a system where he goes back in time to prevent his partner's constant deaths, then has the prior version of himself go off to live on a deserted island to minimize temporal irregularities.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: In "The Phineas and Ferb Effect", we discover that Milo is surrounded by an excessive amount of negative probability ions, that Phineas and Ferb harness positive probability ions, and that, if Milo is surrounded by Phineas and Ferb, Murphy's Law can be aimed since positive and negative probability ions cannot occupy the same space. They of course use this knowledge to combat the Pistachions with a Murphy's Law Suit. Much later, in "Managing Murphy's Law", an Octalian spaceship discover Milo and his excessive amount of negative probability ions, which its Commander is very interested in, wanting to take Milo to their home planet (and therefor opening a new story arc).
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Diogee's ability to return home or follow Milo in any circumstance helps the gang get through many situations. Diogee doubles as Chekhov's Gunman.
    • The "llama incident" which gets mentioned all through season 1 and finally comes into play in "The Llama Incident" and "Missing Milo".
    • Woodpeckers turn up being nuisances to Milo and friends more than once, and then become the Guns in "The Llama Incident" and "Missing Milo" as well.
    • In several episodes, instead of the normal ending, it ends with an ominous The End?... Every single one of them features at least one Pistachion. Every one
    • Orton taking notes on everything he sees in "Fungus Among Us" later comes in handy when Cavendish's navigation device breaks and they need to find Professor Time's address. It also reminds Professor Time to come back and save everyone.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Dakota and Cavendish - their roles in early episodes is very small and doesn't influence what is happening with Milo at all. By the end of the first season, their mission as time travelers regularly affects Milo and the main plot.
    • Scott the Undergrounder plays a small role in "The Undergrounders" and keeps showing seemingly as a throwaway gag in several episodes afterwards. Come "Missing Milo", and he is essential in Zack and Melissa's side of the plot.
    • Professor Time is first metioned by Dakota in "Missing Milo" as the creator of time travel. In "Fungus Among Us", after losing both time vehicles they have access to, Dakota and Cavendish remember Professor Time lived during this era and decide to enlist his help in building a new time machine early. Professor Time turns out to be Heinz Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb, beginning the crossover between the two shows.
  • Childhood Friends: Milo and Melissa met on the first day of first grade. Most of their classmates have known each other for at least that long.
  • Christmas Episode: "A Christmas Peril" has Sara, Milo and his friends going around town in order to try and get the whole Murphy family together for Christmas.
  • Cold Opening: The first episode uses one to establish Milo's character as an optimistic Walking Disaster Area.
  • Comically Missing the Point: From the first episode.
    Milo: We are right in the middle of Coyote Woods.
    Zack: Wait, Coyote Woods?! (Nervous Laughter) I've got a thing about coyotes. They're like big dogs that are dangerous to pet!
    Milo: Oh, don't worry. There's no coyotes here.
    Zack: There aren't?
    Milo: No. Actually, the woods were named after actor Peter Coyote.
    Zack: Really?
    Milo: Yeah. He donated all this land to the city as a wolf preserve
    (Wolf Howl)
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: A Literal Cliffhanger occurs in the middle of "Milo Murphy's Halloween Scream-a-Torium".
  • Companion Cube: Milo's physics teacher has an unhealthy attachment to her desk.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Every character in the show eventually becomes unperturbed at best and mildly annoyed at worst towards most situations, due to regularly dealing with Murphy's Law. Compare Zack in the first episode, who displayed shock and terror whenever something went wrong, to his Dull Surprise at seeing Milo, a pair of time-travelers, and a TV producer from the 1960s being hunted by pistachio creatures at the end of season one.
  • Consolation Backfire: From "Time Out":
    Dakota: Look on the bright side -
    Cavendish: My entire career has been one big, inconsequential joke. Where is the bright side?
    Dakota: The pistachio shipment is here and unharmed.
    • Moments later, Milo, his dad, and the Underwoods are trying to steer a fishing boat to safety:
    Dakota: Hey, at least it can't get any worse.
    • Subverted when the fishing boat barely hits the dock and damages a food shack, leaving the pistachio shipment unharmed for the moment; double subverted when one of the scuba tanks hits and ruins the shipping crate full of pistachios.
  • Continuity Nod: Similar to the above "Call Back" trope, there are far too many to count within the first season alone.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Many have happened because of Murphy's Law, such as:
    • In "The Doctor Zone Files", Dakota and Cavendish's pistachio stand made a hole into the theater, letting Milo, Sara, Melissa, and Zack be able to watch "The Dr. Zone Files" Movie.
    • In "The Note", Milo attempting to save Melissa by swinging caused a series of unfortunate events that saved Melissa.
    • In "Party of Peril", a truckload of cake, ice cream, and some dynamite caused an explosion of ice cream cake as a replacement to the one eaten by Diogee.
  • Cosplay: In the opening, we can see someone cosplaying as Dr. Zone, sans the hat.
    • Various Dr. Zone fans; including Milo and Sara, wore this in "The Doctor Zone Files", while some of them even kept wearing them such as in "Wilder West".
  • Cousin Oliver: Adding Doof to the cast was seen to some as a ratings gimmick to keep Phineas fans interested.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: In "Rooting For the Enemy", a father is seen covering his son's eyes from watching Milo's cheering.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Because Milo is aware of his terrible luck, he keeps his backpack stocked with supplies to help him out of any bind. The walls of his bedroom are covered with warning signs, and he even has a full-body hazmat suit hanging up by the door.
    • In "Sunny Side Up", Melissa brings a wagon full of egg cartons of 12 stacked 26 high, 4 long and 2 deep. By the end of the testing phase, they were down to just one egg...which itself gets broken the following day. Milo had a spare though.
    • Milo's older sister is often prepared for any mishaps to a degree that even Milo finds to be unneeded.
    • It turns out that Milo's babysitter, Veronica, was the one who gave him his Bag of Holding, and was so Crazy-Prepared that she could handle any catastrophe that Murphy's Law threw at her while she sat for Milo.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The closing credits are presented over a series of clips from the episode.
  • Creator Career Self-Deprecation: In the episode where Milo and the crew are looking at potential careers, Milo remarks that 'animator' doesn't sound like a real job and thinks it's a typo.
    • In a later episode Milo engages in some acting and comments on watching footage of him that he's not a very good actor.
  • Crossover: The first episode of the second season, "The Phineas and Ferb Effect" was a crossover with, you guessed it, Phineas and Ferb.
  • Crossover Couple: In "The Phineas and Ferb Effect," Baljeet has a crush on Melissa, though he's respectful of the relationship he and Buford believe she has with Zack.
  • Curse: All men of the Murphy family, and anyone in their immediate vicinity, are cursed to experience the worst possible luck in everything they do. An unusual case for this trope, in that the show doesn't center around trying to fix the curse, just making the best out of whatever mess it causes.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Melissa has been looking for one, but not with any success yet. She admits that she eventually realized Milo wouldn't want to be cured and that her interest is more in figuring out how Murphy's Law works.
  • Cutaway Gag: Slightly more frequent than in Phineas and Ferb.
    • Several of these revolve around hypothetical TV show premises.
      Doofenshmirtz: We [himself, Cavendish, Dakota, Orton and Perry] can all live together like a '70s sitcom! In the '50s!
      (Cut to title card:)
      Announcer: Four Men and a Platypus is filmed in front of a live studio audience.
    • In "Fungus Among Us," Dakota announces "We're going back to the 60s!", cuing a cut to him dancing in a speedo and body paint. When the visual cuts back, everyone else expresses confusion.
      Cavendish: What was that?
      Dakota: Never mind, let's just get in the car.
    • In "Now I Am a Murphy," Doofenshmirtz explains that a statue he accidentally brought to life isn't technically alive but "animated...and expertly storyboarded." Cut to a photo of the episode's storyboard artist and a jingle: Jaaaaaaaaames Kim!
      Doofenshmirtz: He just became a daddy!
  • Dare to Be Badass: In the first episode, Zack (who's starting to get fed up with the danger) asks why Milo's okay with being a living Jinx.
    Zack: How do you live like this?!
    Milo: How do you live like that?
    Zack: What do you mean?
    Milo: I mean, you wanna live like those other kids? They took a bus to school today. A bus. Does that seem like more fun to you?
  • Darker and Edgier: "Island of Dakotas" may be Played for Laughs, but Cavendish's deaths make up the highest onscreen death count out of any episode. The nature of his death can get as family unfriendly as seeing him fall into lava and leaving behind his skeleton.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Disaster of my Dreams" follows Elliot.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The Doctor Zone Files Files.
  • Description Cut: In "Time Out" when Cavendish starts to believe that Milo is a counteragent sent to undermine his and Dakota's mission:
    Cavendish: Just look at him over there, plotting our demise.
    (Cut to Milo enjoying some fast food with Zack and their respective dads.)
    Milo: I sure love cheese fries!
    (Cut back to Cavendish and Dakota.)
    Cavendish: Oh, this is not over, Milo Murphy. Not by a long shot.
    (Cut back to Milo.)
    Milo: They're fries with cheese!
  • Deus ex Machina: In "Snow Way Out", Melissa has a wager with Bradley that Milo will make it before the first bell, with the loser shoveling the winner's sidewalk. At first, after Milo and Zack have a series of mishaps with a giant snowball, it looks like Bradley will win the bet... until Milo meets Balthazar and Vinnie, asking if they can take Milo and Zack 5 minutes back in time. Balthazar and Vinnie mention that they can't since they were banished, but there's nothing prohibiting Milo and Zack from time travel, with Milo and Zack going 5 minutes back in time and arriving just before the first bell.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Milo's luck is very notorious in causing these types of situations. Hell, when a show begins with a form of them...
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Poor Mrs. Baxter experiences one after being sucked into a wormhole caused by mistaking Dakota and Cavendish's time device for a cell phone.
  • Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: In "Perchance to Sleepwalk", a bald eagle (usually diurnal) carries off Milo in the middle of the night.
  • Doctor Whomage: Milo and Sara's favorite show is The Doctor Zone Files. The main character is a Human Alien with a British accent, Time Travel motif, and totally bananas fashion sense. He's got one foot in the future / And one foot in the past / He's got one hand in the present / Or at least in a gift-shaped cast.
  • Dogface: Milo briefly appears as one in "Milo's World", as shown through Diogee's eyes.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Not only does Weird Al voice Milo, he also sings the main theme, "It's My World (And We're All Living In It)".
  • Don't Explain the Joke: In "The Note", Melissa tries to make the others laugh by asking whether Milo was carrying osmium (it's actually a stack of doctor's notes). No one gets the joke, so she had to explain that it's the heaviest chemical element.
    • In "Smooth Opera-tor", when Cavendish doesn't react to Dakota's lobster bib joke, Dakota starts awkwardly explaining it, but Cavendish cuts him off.
  • Doom Magnet: Milo being a living one is the premise of the show.
  • Dreamworks Face: Melissa is prone to this as she makes one in the poster and makes one with Zack on the official website.
    • Dr. Zone makes this face in the opening credits of "The Dr. Zone Files".
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Milo has a Dr. Zone and Time Ape poster in his room before the characters debuted on the show.
    • Dakota and Cavendish also appeared in some runs of "The Undergrounders" (they were digitally removed after the premier) and they also have a brief cameo in "The Doctor Zone Files," before they were named and officially introduced 3 episodes later.
  • Easter Egg: In some runs we can see Dakota and Cavendish appearing as cameos.
  • Egg Sitting: A variant for three in "Sunny Side Up"; Zack and Melissa have to partner with Milo on a project which requires them to build a container that will prevent an egg from breaking when dropped from a height. They break a lot of eggs in the planning stages.
    • Notably, due to making the egg proof against, well, Murphy's Law, the final egg is practically invincible while in the container. It also was one Milo himself picked out from the entire supply.
  • Enemies Equals Greatness: For the brief period that he believed Milo Murphy was intentionally trying to prevent him and Vinnie Dakota from fulfilling their assignment, Balthazar Cavendish was happy because he took it as a sign their assignment wasn't meaningless.
  • Engineered Public Confession: One of these proves to be Victor Verliezer's undoing when he confronts his ex-partner Clyde in "A Clockwork Origin":
    Victor Verliezer: You want to talk genius? How about making people believe that they needed my vCo products? I mean, look at this vPhone 6, it's just smaller than the 5 and bigger than the 4. That is literally the only difference and it's flying off the shelves!
    Zack: People have different-sized pockets.
    Victor: People are sheep! People are stupid gullible puppets that I can manipulate at my whim! Who's the genius now?
    'Melissa: Actually, it's still Clyde, because he didn't just say a bunch of horrible things about the public while we were live streaming on our phones.
    Victor [replayed on the big-screen video display]: People are sheep! People are stupid gullible puppets that I can manipulate at my whim!
    • Everyone quickly sells their vCorp stock and he goes out of business soon afterwards.
  • Epileptic Trees: Discussed in-universe as fan theories about "The Dr. Zone Files" emerge when Wally says pistachios being Dr. Zone's favorite nut is just a theory and when Melissa had a theory that Dr. Zone and Time Ape are brothers.
  • Expanded Universe: Same art style as Phineas and Ferb, as it's set in the same universe and a few neighborhoods away from Danville.
  • Expy:
    • Milo, personality-wise, is extremely similar to Phineas. Nothing fazes either of them, they tend to do the impossible daily, and one of the early jokes for both of them is having official documentation.
    • Doctor Zone is an expy of the titular character of Doctor Who, with one alien race being mentioned, Trashcandroids, possibly being a mashup of Cybermen and Daleks from that show.
  • Extinct in the Future:
    • While the series seems to take place in the present day, the time travelling syndicate that operates in the background reveals that pistachios are extinct by the year 2085. Dakota and Cavendish are tasked with trying to remedy this but given what happened when they succeeded, they end up believing that they're better off extinct.
    • The fact that Cavendish doesn't know what a giraffe is and Dakota mentions that they rarely see animals anymore suggests that many wild animal species are extinct by their time.
  • Famous Ancestor:
    • Milo is the descendant of Edward A. Murphy Jr., the namesake of the original Murphy's Law.
    • Jackie from "Wilder West" is the descendant of Calamity Jane.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Cavendish and Dakota are from the future, but their understanding of the past is very limited. For instance, Cavendish thought The '70s referred to the 1870s, and they're unfamiliar with Halloween because it doesn't exist in their time, and they need the holiday explained to them. Thankfully, they were able to save the holiday, which means it will continue exist in their future.
  • Flintstone Theming: In-universe example in "The Dr. Zone Files" where the characters abuse the word "time" a lot. Even Dr. Zone's sidekick is called Time Ape.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: In "Wilder West," Milo is, naturally, assigned to a horse named "Psycho," who proceeds to buck him off repeatedly. It's quickly revealed that the horse is normally the gentlest of the horses and was given that name as a joke.
  • Foil: Cavendish is one to Milo. They are both unlucky and tend to get into dangerous situations, but while Milo is Crazy-Prepared, allowing him to come out none the worse for wear, Cavendish's lack of attention and smarts often results in self-made misery and regular death.
  • Foreshadowing: There's quite a bit, but some of the most notable examples include...
    • In "The Llama Incident", a Freeze-Frame Bonus shows a Pistachion in the football field, indicating that the Pistachions wind up travelling back in time to the day the incident happened.
    • While on their mission at the beginning of "Missing Milo," Cavendish says to Dakota he refuses to be "the butt of some cosmic joke," before a Dr. Zone billboard (which they are unknowingly copying the photo on) collapses behind them. It is revealed later in the episode that Cavendish and Dakota were actually the inspiration for Dr. Zone and Time Ape, respectively.
    • A few episodes depict Dakota reaching for Cavendish and pulling him away from oncoming disaster. "The Island of Lost Dakotas" reveals that he's been regularly traveling back in time to prevent his death.
      Dakota: If you're still alive, can we go home now?
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In "Sunny Side Up", Melissa only reads out a small portion of her egg hazard list.
    • The Dr. Zone Files has some silliness in the closing credits, but they go by way too fast to read normally.
    • Dakota and Cavendish appear in almost every episode. If they don't have speaking lines, you can usually catch them briefly in the background.
    • In "The Llama Incident", there is some Foreshadowing due to it being possible to note a Pistachion in the football field, indicating that the Pistachions wind up traveling back in time to the day the incident happened.
    • The sign in front of the school has a different message each time it appears.
    • In "Love Toboggan", we briefly see the first 13 items on Milo's list of 62 ways things can go wrong with snow. A giant snowman is indeed #12.
  • French Accordion: In the episode "The Undergrounders", Zack is revealed to be claustro-avoidant, and as he, Milo, and Melissa are trapped in a runaway metro wagon, Zack needs to be distracted in order to calm down. Milo's second attempt is to hang up posters of Paris, don a beret and play music on an accordion, leaving Zack too distracted.
  • Fruit Cart: Pistachio carts appear to be getting a raw deal to the point time travelers have to protect them.
  • Funny Background Event: In "Rooting For the Enemy", after Joni mentions she just got the cast off, she walks off a few steps before getting hit by a stray football, right during the middle of a conversation.
    • Continuing Joni's misery, in "Spy Little Sister!", after she made small-talk with Milo, a jealous Amanda attacks when Milo returns to his seat.
    • In "Abducting Murphy's Law" when Doofenshmirtz rips the head off the Milo android, a man who happened to be walking by quickly covers his son's eyes and they run away.
  • Glass Slipper: Milo's missing loafer in "School Dance."
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: "Hey Milo, is that a new scar?" "Yeah. Thanks for noticing."
  • Goofy Print Underwear:
    • Zack seems to have heart-printed underwear in his hamper in "Sunny Side Up".
    • The gecko mascot when he's out of his costume. Also from "Rooting for the Enemy", the quarterback somehow took the underwear from another player.
    • Cavendish tells Doofenshmirtz that he's wearing underwear with his face on it. Doof declines the offer to see them.
  • Got Volunteered: When hearing that the class would be breaking off into teams of 3 for their assignment in "Sunny Side Up", everyone in the class besides Milo, Zack and Melissa hide under their desks.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: As Amanda is a Latina, she is naturally able to speak Spanish, and quite evidently so in "Cake 'Splosion!"
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: In "Managing Murphy's Law", Dakota and Cavendish are tasked with retrieving a piece of alien rubbish located at the Slushy Dawg, assigned to meet Jeremy. Each time Cavendish and Dakota drive through, they pass the radioactive alien rubbish, which causes them to experience temporary amnesia as it warps them into a video game arcade, fills their van with fast food wrappers from 79 hot dogs they didn't recall ordering, warps them into a circus where they're leotard wearing trapeze artists, find themselves jousting on Segway scooters with foam pool noodle floats, turns them into rock-and-roll hippies with a vanful of guitars and amps, and Cavendish finally decides not to use the drive-thru to get the alien device, while Dakota plugs and stops the leak with fast food wrappers.
  • Grumpy Bear: Bradley, as a foil to Milo's optimism.
  • Halloween Episode: "Milo's Halloween Scream-a-Torium!" has Milo building a haunted house and trying to use it to scare Zack. Meanwhile, Cavendish and Dakota take advantage of the last Halloween ever to learn how it's supposed to work and have fun.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Melissa's father has this reaction to Milo before coming to understand his condition better in "The Little Engine That Couldn't."
    Mr. Chase: Does this Murphy's Law thing have an off switch?
    Milo: I haven't found one yet!
  • Headbutt of Love: Between Milo and Brigette at the end of "Worked Day."
  • Hereditary Curse: The entire "Murphy's Law" concept (only following the male heir to the Murphy name, causing mayhem and destruction around the target yet never actually killing them) has all the hallmarks of a family curse. Still, the way Milo views his life, if anything it'd be Cursed with Awesome.
  • Heroic Dog: Diogee, who is responsible for helping Milo out of his more dangerous scrapes.
  • Hero of Another Story: In "The Note", during a scene that is a Shout-Out to a similar moment in Shaun of the Dead, Milo meets a Distaff Counterpart and a pair of Suspiciously Similar Substitutes.
  • Historical Rap Sheet: In a non-villainous example, the bad luck of the Murphy family has caused many infamous historical disasters.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Milo is separated from his backpack for most of "Missing Milo", preventing him from pulling out useful tools at a whim like he usually does. When he finally gets it back at the episode climax, he and his friends use its contents to incapacitate almost all the pistachio people in short order, with only the Big Bad taking slightly more effort to defeat.
  • Hurricane of Puns: You could make a drinking game out of Doctor Zone's time puns.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After the shareholders dump their vCorp stock:
    Teenage girl: How insulting! I'm selling my vCo stock immediately!
    Teenage boy: Yeah, I'm not a sheep. I'm gonna do exactly what she was doing.
  • I Am Not Weasel: In "Milo Murphy's Halloween Scream-a-Torium", Elliot dresses as a dinosaur for Halloween, and Milo guesses he's a T. rex while Zack assumes he's a Velociraptor. Elliot corrects them that he's an Allosaurus.
  • "I Am" Song: The Murphys have a song about what it means when you knock over Disaster Dominoes everywhere you go.
    And the wall falls down,
    And the wall hits a tree,
    And the tree hits a poll,
    And the poll hits a bee.
    That's how you know you're a Murphy.
  • I Got a Rock: Referenced in Dakota's song "Tonight's The Last Halloween":
    We should avoid that house, I hear they're giving fresh fruit
    But right next door they got full-size candy bars!
  • Immediate Sequel: Word of God states that the first episode of the show, "Going the Extra Milo", takes place immediately after the series finale of Phineas and Ferb. The former takes place on the first day of the school year, while the latter takes place on the last day of summer vacation.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The Brulee twins have this reaction to Milo in "Family Vacation".
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Savannah and Brick are basically toon versions of Ming-Na Wen and Brett Dalton.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Milo with Dakota and Cavendish.
  • iPhony: Victor Verliezer's vTech Corp., Inc. manufactures the vPhone and the vTablet in "A Clockwork Origin".
  • It Runs in the Family: Not only the Murphy's Law effect, but Milo's Dad has been shown to have the same laid back, calm approach to calamities that Milo has.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: "World Without Milo," in which Elliot, after wishing for Milo's absence, wakes up in a world where no one's heard of the kid, including his best friends and his sister. Unusually for episodes of this kind, the Butterfly of Doom is averted; the only person deeply affected is Elliot, whose job is meaningless without the conflict Milo brings. Also, squirrels can talk.
  • Just Friends: Brick and Savanna. Even they seem to think it's weird.
  • Kidnapping Bird of Prey: A bald eagle flies off with a sleepwalking Milo in "Perchance to Sleepwalk".
  • Lame Pun Reaction:
    • In "Rooting for the Enemy", Melissa says that the stadium used to sell German sausages, but they were the worst/wurst. Cue Rimshot.
    • In "Sunny Side Up", Milo and Zack both begin making egg puns, only for Melissa to angrily order them to stop.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Happens a couple of time in the crossover episode.
Pistachion Guard: "Stop foreshadowing, Bob."
  • Lethal Chef: Well, it's not so much that the Murphy men can't cook. It's just that when they do things go horribly wrong and the people around them end up maimed or injured or on fire.
  • Magic Skirt: Actually averted, in a Disney show no less. In The Substitute (1x15) when a sentient blob holds Ms. Baxter upside-down she actually has to hold her skirt up to keep it from succumbing to gravity.
  • Metaphorgotten: Milo is prone to this:
    Milo: Well, people have used the "j" word. But you know what they say: "sticks and stones can damage your vital organs, so always wear body armor."
    • Sometimes, these manifest as "My dad always says..."
  • Murphy's Law: Milo and his family are constantly plagued by it. Dealing with their daily disruptions is the whole premise of the show.
  • Misplaced Wildlife:
    • Lampshaded in "Time Out":
      "Swordfish? In freshwater?"
    • Red-billed choughs (from Eurasia and parts of Africa) show up in "Perchance to Sleepwalk", despite the series taking place somewhere in North America.
  • Missing Reflection: Invoked; Chad claims that Mr. Drako has covered all the mirrors in his office due to this. They're actually pictures of his ex-wife.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In "The Math Book", Milo and especially Melissa play up retrieving Melissa's math book after school as a fantastical quest. Though Murphy's Law meant that they did run into several extraordinary circumstances, Zack points out many moments where their supposed quest was perfectly mundane.
     N to Z 
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Pre-release trailers suggest that Milo sees riding the bus as a Mundane Luxury. When the scene actually showed on TV, it's actually him saying that it's boring compared to his death-defying daily life.
  • Newhart Phonecall: The recurring trucker sometimes engages in these:
    Trucker: "...Well I am doing something about it; I'm calling to say you guys didn't strap it on right!"
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Backward to School Night", Milo commands Diogee to drop the de-aging device, with causes it to fall on the ground and break into pieces.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Victor Verliezer from "A Clockwork Origin" appears to be based on Steve Jobs.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Despite the amount of damage the Murphys cause wherever they go,note  the city/school/location visited is never bankrupted by repair bills and nobody is ever killed (and rarely hurt). The place is usually fully repaired by the next time we see it.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Starting in "The Undergrounders", Milo and Melissa make several references to a "llama incident" throughout the first season. In this case, the trope is eventually subverted and played straight in the episode appropriately titled "The Llama Incident". While the episode is spent on them telling Zack exactly what happened, the Framing Device of the story resulted from its own unexplained event that the characters later dub "The Woodpecker Incident".
    • "Sunny Side Up" begins with an elaborate partial story about an orangutan wanting Milo's pistachios. Doubles as a Brick Joke as Zack asks where the nearest zoo is. This gets answered near the end of the episode.
    • Melissa records their misadventures on her phone. She references several incidents we've yet to see in "The Note". Including a kangaroo, a tangerine fight at Mardi Gras, and an asteroid.
    • Due to a series of events that we don't get to hear about, the Mona Lisa in the Louvre is a copy painted by Milo's cousin.
    • The existence of time travel creates plenty of these. Earth apparently used to have two moons until Cavendish and Dakota blew one up in the past, leading to the timeline we have today. They also accidentally created and then prevented at least two other alternate timelines in which the point of divergence was never revealed (one where Milo didn't exist, but balloons resembling him did, and squirrels could talk and another with multiple identical Milos when they tried to prevent the former). Also, Dakota became a time traveler so he could prevent the "Mississippi Purchase."
      Cavendish: You—you mean the Louisiana Purchase?
  • Norse by Norsewest: Tobias Trollhammer, the star of the "Krillhunter" franchise, of Swedish origin, with a possible Finnish heritage, due to his mistaking Milo for a menninkainen, a mythical being of Finnish folklore similar to leprechauns, goblins, or gnomes.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Melissa's room is filled with stalker-esque pictures of Milo, but she insists she doesn't have a crush on him. She started researching the Murphy Effect to see if she could find a way to cure it, and by the time she realized he didn't want to be cured, she was already invested in understanding (and potentially monetizing) it. Milo himself figures this out immediately upon seeing her room.
  • Once an Episode: Milo's dog, Diogee, pops up unexpectedly and is told to go home. Milo often justifies this by explaining "He's not supposed to be ______"
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Dr. Zone says "button" twice in different ways: one with the glottalized T ("Time Ape, press the button.") and one without ("I've got to hit that button."), indicating that his accent is inconsistent.
  • Outdated Outfit: Cavendish and Dakota, nicely summarized in "Time Out".
    Cavendish: It's all the past. We decided to go with the '70s.
    Savannah: Yes, but one of you is from the 1970's and one from the 1870's.
  • Overly Long Gag: The scraping noises of the chart with the Periodic Table of Elements that Dakota and Cavendish use for cover in "The Substitute".
    • In "Party of Peril", the crossing guard ("SAFETY CZAR!") being accosted by an affronted duck. It drags on for a long time, with Milo just watching.
    • In "Smooth Opera-tor", the performer's attempt to begin the song constantly being interrupted by pieces of the set collapsing behind him, to the point where he just stops and waits it out as the set completely falls apart and various other calamities occur backstage, only finally starting the song when several seconds pass without anything breaking.
    • Dakota and Cavendish's attempt to make sense of a Stable Time Loop involving a peach in "Missing Milo."
    • In "Mid-Afternoon Snack Club", the gang has detention by a substitute teacher he leaves and slams a metal door closed. You hear about a dozen different locks being locked. Melissa asks if that door has always been there. All the locks are then unlocked, the door is opened, the sub says he had it installed during lunch. Then the door slams and all the locks are locked. Milo turns to the camera and tells the animators they are welcome.
  • The Perfectionist: Amanda. With her and Milo being Ship Teased, this forms a conflict in her personality.
  • The Pollyanna: Despite the chaos that unfolds around him, Milo has so far been shown smiling through it and looking on the bright side of it all. In fact, he pretty much prefers getting past dangerous scrapes just to get to school while the other kids just ride a bus. It's much more fun.
  • [Popular Saying], But...: Dr. Zone, a time traveler, when he is flying off with the Time Bee-hicle:
    Dr. Zone: Time waits for no man, except for me!
  • Poster Patchup: In "Disaster of my Dreams", Elliot, in his zeal to become the school's safety inspector, follows Milo around all day, even spying on him from the air vents. After falling out of the vents and leaving a hole in the science class ceiling, Elliot covers up the hole with a nearby poster.
  • Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: Referenced in "Worked Day."
  • Ramming Always Works: Subverted in "Fungus Among Us". While the protagonists are navigating through a sewer system, Dakota tries to ram open a grate with their boat, but completely fails.
  • Raptor Attack: Jurassic Park-style dromaeosaurids appear in "A Christmas Peril".
  • Rascally Raccoon: Recurring Raccoon. He has no role in the show other than to appear out of nowhere and make things difficult for the characters.

  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dakota and Cavendish are given a scathing one by their fellow time agents in "Time Out".
  • Ridiculously Successful Future Self: Doofenshmirtz of all people. In the future he's known as Prof. Time and he's known as the genius who invented time travel.
    • This is how the Orton Mahlson of 1965 feels upon finding out that his show is destined to become an enormously successful franchise. He and Doofenshmirtz get a duet about the pressure of living up to their future selves in "The Phineas and Ferb Effect."
  • Refuge in Audacity: In "Rooting for the Enemy", Milo helps his football team, The Jefferson County Middle School Geckos, win by cheering for the opposing team, The Middletown Tigers, which causes his bad luck to rub off on THEM!!! Milo goes the extra mile by dressing himself completely with Middletown Tigers merchandise. He even goes as far as to sing about it to the opposing team and spectators and they happily go along with it, and he even got their cheerleaders to dance to his song.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: The standard rule that anyone who personally changed the timeline can remember the original timeline seems to be in place, but Elliot also demonstrates this in "World Without Milo" due to the fact that he sleeps with his lead-lined stop sign, which shielded his brain from "time waves."
  • Running Gag:
    • A herd of llamas, referenced in several Noodle Incidents, and which literally run through the Title Sequence.
    • The reason that the school is underfunded (the school board bought a yacht).
    • Recurring Raccoon. This animal just shows up, steals something from the characters, and leaves. He's even got a jingle.
  • Seen It All:
    • Milo has been through so much that he barely reacts to anything beyond mild surprise.
    • Most of Milo's peers are fully aware of what happens to him day after day, and just pretty much expect the crazy to occur within his vicinity.
  • Seldom-Seen Species:
    • A pileated woodpecker first appears in "Murphy's Lard".
    • A flock of red-billed choughs appear in "Perchance to Sleepwalk".
    • An olive flounder appears in "Some Like it Yacht".
    • "Love Toboggan" has a family of chukar partridges.
    • "Island of Lost Dakotas" has a catalina macaw (a hybrid of a blue-and-gold macaw and a scarlet macaw).
    • The skeletons of Ambulocetus and Chasmosaurus briefly appear in "Doof's Day Out".
    • "Safety First" has a herd of capybaras.
    • Black veil angelfish and copperband butterflyfish appear in "First Impressions".
  • Self-Deprecation: In "Worked Day", when Milo is looking at a list of possible careers he could choose for Career Day:
    Milo: And some of these don't even sound like real jobs. Animator? I think it's a typo. But what if that is a real job?
  • Self-Parody: The song "Toboggan of Love" is a parody of "Boat of Romance" from Phineas and Ferb.
  • Sequel Series: This show begins with the first day of school after the summer which Phineas and Ferb took place during. From time to time, characters bring up the ways Phineas and Ferb’s actions affected their own summer, like the time the boys’ roller coaster fell out of the sky and nearly crushed Melissa. This affects the second season more than the first, as a major arc is Doofenshmirtz trying to learn how to do good, after formally having a Heel–Face Turn in the Grand Finale of Phineas and Ferb.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The main reason BOTT exists is to fix the past, from World Wars to pistachios going extinct. Sometimes needed because Dakota and Cavendish made things go wrong in the first place when originally they hadn't. Dakota also does it often to save Cavendish after the many times he dies.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In "We're Going to the Zoo", after Milo, Sara, and Zack have gone to all the trouble of retrieving Brigette's T-shirts, which they had accidentally donated, it turns out she had planned on donating them to begin with.
  • Shared Universe: As stated, it's set in Danville, Phineas and Ferb's own hometown, but just a few neighborhoods away from the two stepbrothers.
    • "Rooting For The Enemy" features a reference to Football X-7.
    • In "Worked Day", Balthazar is seen with a Danville map as they try to deliver a pistachio truck to its appropriate warehouse.
    • The Dr. Zone fan with the braces in "Wilder West" was a background character in "Nerds of a Feather" during the "Our Movie's Better Than Yours" song, among the Stumbleberry Finkbat fans.
    • In "Murphy's Lard," Melissa reveals that on the first day of summer, her science project was destroyed by (unknown to her) Phineas and Ferb's falling rollercoaster from the latter's first episode.
    • Milo is seen wearing Perry the Platypus pajamas in "We're Going to the Zoo." Perry's theme is briefly used in the score. In the same episode, one of the rock band T-shirts stolen by the monkeys is for Love Händel and another for Lindana.
    • In "The Substitute" there are two hints. First, one of the zoetropes shows the Klimpaloon dancing. The second is on the mysterious moving periodic table, which has Pzl (for Pizzazium Infinionite) on the 19th column and below the rest of the table.
    • In "The Phineas And Ferb Effect" we get the long awaited crossover between the words, once and for all putting to rest that the two shows share the same world.
    • The song "I'm Lindana and I Want to Have Fun" shows up a few times in season 2.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Buford for Zack and Melissa in "The Phineas and Ferb Effec."
    • Milo also playfully but approvingly teases Zack when Melissa kisses the latter on the cheek at the end of "Sphere and Loathing in Outer Space." Earlier in the episode, Perry also similarly teases him after he and Melissa have a moment.
  • Shoehorned Acronym: In the climax of "The Phineas and Ferb Effect", Derek reveals his M.U.L.C.H. device, standing for "Machine Used for Literally Converting Humans? To Plants". Baljeet and Buford point out that would make the acronym MULCHTP, with Derek shouting at them that the TP is silent.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Played With; while many plots revolve around school, in one episode we find out that with all of the commotion that goes into Milo's everyday life, he can't attend school like any normal person and has a lot of school to make up for, having to bring in a month's worth of doctor's notes to explain his absences.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Show Within a Show: The Dr. Zone Files is a show about a time traveler with the same name and his sidekick Time Ape. Milo and Sara Murphy love this show to the point where they would watch it all night.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • In "Going the Extra Milo", Milo correctly points out that bees are responsible for far more human fatalities than wolves are.
    • In "Murphy's Lard", Milo calls a woodpecker "Picidae", the scientific term for woodpeckers.
    • The giraffes in "We're Going to the Zoo" have blue tongues like real giraffes. In the same episode, there is a female ostrich with brown plumage instead of black and white like the males.
    • "Perchance to Sleepwalk" features "red-beaked crows", a seemingly fictional species of bird. However, when the birds show up, Cavendish's device identifies them as Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, the scientific name of the red-billed chough, which is a real species of corvid with a red beak.
  • Sibling Triangle: A minor example, as both Brulee sisters seem infatuated with Milo in "Family Vacation" (though he doesn't seem to notice).
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Sara, Melissa, and Savannah (averting Beauty Is Never Tarnished) all get treated the same as the men by Murphy's Law
  • Spiritual Successor: To Phineas and Ferb. Instead of making every day awesome with something your parents would clearly disapprove of but never find out about, it's how to find the fun in awesomely bad luck that would send your parents into a frothing panic if they ever found out (assuming they didn't suffer from it themselves).
  • Springtime for Hitler: In "Doof's Day Out", Dr. Doofenshmirtz is experiencing a slump, so he decides to volunteer at a life-size exhibit of the human digestive system where he builds a go-cart out of exhibit pieces that resemble a liver, blood corpuscles, a heart, and a spleen to get Zack out of the body exhibit. Later, he goes to the nature center and volunteers in the raccoon exhibit, where he releases the raccoons and rounds them up by blowing a whistle that also summons a herd of pigs. At Mr. Murphy's workplace, he accidentally pushes the safety button with his butt. As Doof muses on his apparent failures back at the Murphys' house, news reporter Destiny Summers comes to the door to interview him, with the museum curator noting that Doof's go-cart attracted more visitors to the human body exhibit, the nature center received thousands of donations after a video of Doof's incident went viral, and accidentally pressing the button at Mr. Murphy's workplace flooded the generator with coolant, preventing a possible explosion due to the warning system not working properly. The curator, museum supervisor, plant foreman, and the crowd give Doofenschmirtz their congratulations.
  • Spy Satellites: A spy drone crosses Milo's neighborhood to check on one of the agent's brother-in-law in "The Note." His superior admonishes him for crossing "the Murphy Sector."
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • In "Missing Milo." As Milo, Cavendish and Dakota attempt to navigate the Bad Future, a peach hits Cavendish in the back of the head, alerting him to impending disaster. Dakota grabs the peach and puts it in his jacket. Later, Cavendish sees his past self in danger, takes the peach from Dakota and throws it at him to redirect his attention. Cue endless talking in circles as they attempt to figure out where the peach came from in the first place.
    • Later in the episode, Milo's friends give him a letter in his own handwriting which he will eventually, while trapped in the past, place in care of Orton Mahlson to pass on to them. From Milo's perspective this hasn't happened yet, so he decides to hang onto it so he won't have to write it.
    • "Fungus Among Us" confirms that Milo inspired the original run of Doctor Zone by telling its creator all about the show as he knew it from his own time, down to episode summaries.
  • Stalker Shrine: Played with when Zack interprets Melissa's room full of pictures of Milo as this; it's actually serving a more practical purpose.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Zack, Melissa, Cavendish, Dakota, Doofenschmirtz, and Perry have to figure out a way to get an alien carburetor back into place to get a spaceship moving. Unfortunately, touching it temporarily turns your bones into a jelly-like substance. They all set themselves up in a line and toss it to each other so they only have to touch it a few seconds, with the last one getting attaching it. When they're all lying on the floor waiting for their bones to solidify, Zack realizes that they could have just used tongs to move it without touching it.
  • Stealth Sequel: According to hints, Word of God, and the eventual crossover, it's set in the same universe as Phineas and Ferb.
    • "Fungus Among Us" makes this even more evident as it implies the crossover is happening due to Doofenshmirtz being implied to be "Professor Time," previously mentioned as the inventor of time travel.
    • Season 2 outright confirms it by frequently featuring Doofenshmirtz in episodes as well as a few other characters in some like Perry and Monogram, and "The Phineas and Ferb Effect" ends up heavily tying the two shows together. Considering Doofenshmirtz is the future Professor Time, his appearance is more than justified.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The title sequence of The Dr. Zone Files: The Movie Files has an explosion in an empty desert.
    • The show proper has more than its fair share of this trope, naturally.
  • Stylistic Suck: The Doctor Zone Files have Special Effects Failure to rival some of the classic episodes of Doctor Who, possibly as a Shout-Out.
  • Suddenly Bilingual: Both Milo and Diogee are able to speak Spanish according to "The Llama Incident".
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • People tend to adapt to new situations, no matter how unpleasant or hazardous. In the event that a person, let's call him Murphy, should be prone to a city destroying level of bad luck, then the people who survive long enough, who also are too stubborn to move, will eventually adapt ways of protecting themselves from the impending doom that is Murphy's presence. Such behaviors are known to include carrying riot shields, keeping the proper authorities on speed dial, and giving Murphy a ten meter radius at all times.
      • Similarily, instead of having to shield himself from everyone else due to his condition, Milo just learns to adapt to it.
    • Made of Iron is also averted a couple of times in the show, as Milo does get injured frequently due to his status as The Jinx. Examples include him breaking his thumb, and wearing a sling for an entire episode with no explanation.
    • "Athledecamathalon" has Melissa trying to channel her anger into doing a shotput. She does not get it far.
    • Sometimes there just isn't a romantic spark. All the elements might be there, compatibility, chemistry, even sharing high risk lives and depending on each other, but it sometimes just doesn't happen. This is the fully acknowledged situation between Brick and Savannah. While they may seem like a couple straight out of James Bond, they really are Just Friends. Even they seem to think it's weird.
    • Derek (the then-last remaining Pistachion) survives in 1955 to continue his king’s legacy. After finding Milo, Chavendish, and Dakota in 1965, he goes on about how he spent 10 years coming up with his plan, as well as how he was even able to profit it.note 
      Derek: Well, the first seven years were brainstorming, and you know, I had to find an apartment, and I did take one summer off to do some modelling. Yes, I was young and foolish, but I regret nothing!
      • As revealed in "The Phineas and Ferb Effect", Derek was terrible at managing an actual TV show, resulting in Dr. Zone getting cancelled after two episodes.
    • In "Teacher Feature", Mrs. Murawski goes on a date with Scott the Undergrounder. At the end, while she did genuinely enjoy their date admires his kind personality, she was still put off by his... "tendencies" while underground.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In Smooth Opera-Tor: "Yeah, it's not like we tied up the guy who usually does this and stashed him in the basement."
  • Swapped Roles: In "Backwards to School Night," Martin Murphy, Eileen Underwood and Richard Chase are turned into three-year-olds, leaving Milo, Zack and Melissa to parent their own parents. It's harder than they thought it would be.
  • The Swear Jar: "Family Vacation" includes an eye-roll jar, an "unnecessary use of 'grand'" jar, an "anthropomorphizing national monuments" jar, and an "unnecessary wordplay during crisis" jar for the Brulee family. The final scene shows that Milo's family has a "sappy sentiment" jar.
  • Take That!: The episode "A Clockwork Origin" contains a few jabs at Apple.
  • Take That, Audience!: The opening narration of "Milo's Halloween Scream-a-Torium!" addresses the audience as "children and immature adults".
  • Talking Animal: The alternate timeline that occurs in "World Without Milo" somehow gains talking squirrels.
  • Taxonomic Term Confusion: Subverted in "Love Toboggan". A train operator misidentifies a family of partridges as quail, but later realizes his mistake.
  • Temporal Mutability: The show seems to make use of type 4.
  • Tempting Fate: The entire show is a giant example of this one, especially when concerning people who haven't been acquainted with Milo. Melissa even name drops it "The Wilder West".
    Melissa: Isn't it dangerous to tempt fate?
  • The End... Or Is It?: The "Missing Milo" special ends this way, with the last of the Pistachio people ending up in the 1955 Town fair.
  • Those Two Guys: Cavendish and Dakota.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Milo, Melissa, and Zack.
  • Time Machine: Time travelers use car-shaped time vehicles.
    • Doctor Zone and Time Ape use the Time Bee-hicle, a beetle-shaped car shaped like a bee.
    • Agents Cavendish and Dakota use a near-broken time vehicle that looks like a hybrid between a beetle and a jeep.
    • Agents Brick and Savannah use a limo, possibly driven by a man named Lars.
  • Time Police: Savannah and Brick take care of more serious time-related incidents. Vinnie Dakota and Balthazar Cavendish are also from the future, tasked with protecting the world's Pistachio supply, because it's stated pistachio plants will go extinct.
  • Time Travel: It's a plot element in the Doctor Zone Files Show Within a Show, but it's also a recurring plot element in this series involving a Time Agency.
  • Timmy in a Well: At various points in "Missing Milo," Zack and Melissa each wonder how the other is able to understand Diogee's speech.
  • Token Trio: Milo, Zack and Melissa.
  • The Triple: In "The Little Engine That Couldn't" when Melissa's dad describes Milo as being "like whatever the opposite of a rabbit's foot is":
    Milo: A rabbit's head?
    Melissa: A fox's foot?
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Again, Milo, Zack, and Melissa.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Milo is so used to the strange things that happen to him that he barely even reacts. Melissa as well to a certain extent since she has known Milo for a long time to the point that she can accurately predict what will happen and for how long Milo will be held up.
  • Unknown Rival: Initially, Cavendish and Dakota are unaware that Milo triggers all the pistachio-related disasters. As of "Time Out", the roles are reversed, with Milo unaware of their plans towards him.
  • Unluckily Lucky: Given Milo's curse, he's usually rather short on good luck. After a lifetime of dealing with it though, he's a master at turning it to his advantage.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Those who have known Milo for a while tend to be pretty blasé about the weird things that happen to him... as long as they don't get caught up in it.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Milo and Veronica haven't seen each other in 300 fortnights. That's roughly 11.5 years. So, the last time they saw each other, Milo was 3 years old. Since Veronica also recognized Diogee, and said he was bigger than the last time they'd met, we have to assume everyone's favorite stout pooch is also around 12 years old.
  • Villainous Crush: More like Rival crush, as Bradley isn't villainous, per se. But "Sunny Side Up" makes it obvious that he is interested in Melissa, what with >ahem< not naming his team after her, but a different Melissa.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Milo is 13, but due to being voiced by Weird Al, who is in his mid-fifties, sounds much older.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Milo's condition means that his mere presence causes things to go haywire around him.
  • War Is Hell: Parodied. A gigantic pistachio is about to crush Milo and Phineas and Ferb's friends, until he sees the fighting all around him, having an existential crisis by asking "What Have I Become?". And then decides to Walk the Earth. In the middle of the warzone no less.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: King Pistachion's species of pistachio plant is extremely vulnerable to uric acid (which is found in urine).
  • Wealthy Yacht Owner: Milo's school has been underfunded ever since the school board bought that yacht.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "The Island of Lost Dakotas" reveals that Dakota repeatedly goes back in time to avert Cavendish's numerous deaths and sends the previous versions of himself to live on a deserted island as to not disturb the time stream.
    • "Fungus Among Us" ends on a cliffhanger with most of the characters having been captured by pistachions. The ending also features the appearance of Dr. Doofenshmirtz, initiating the crossover with Phineas and Ferb.
    • "Snow Way Out" ends with Cavendish and Dakota getting banned from time travel.
  • Wham Shot: The final shot from the Season 1 finale "Fungus Among Us" is one. Milo and co have arrived at Professor Time's abode as they get trapped, when he gradually walks into the scene, revealing it to be Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb... who set the trap in the first place for the pizza delivery guy.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human? / What Measure Is a Mook?: When the sproutlings, clearly sentient, attack the group, Dakota decides he'd like a snack and chows down on a vast majority of them.
  • What the Heck Is an Aglet?: Milo mentions that shoelace tips are called aglets in "The Island of Lost Dakotas", a Call-Back to Phineas and Ferb in which this fact was the focus of an entire episode.
  • When Trees Attack: The "Missing Milo" special has the mutated pistachio plant from "The Substitute" grow into the sentient King Pistachion and take over the world.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Milo’s best friends are Zack, who he meets for the first time in the pilot, and Melissa, who he’s known since first grade.


Video Example(s):


The Peach Paradox

During their time in the alternate future, a peach is thrown at Cavendish and then picked up by Dakota. Thanks to this, they are able to notice and hide from a nearby army of pistachio monsters. When they travel ten minutes in time, they see their past selves and use the peach to warn them about the army...and then have a confused argument, about where the peach came from before hand.

How well does it match the trope?

4.96 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / StableTimeLoop

Media sources:

Main / StableTimeLoop