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Molly of Denali is a PBS Kids animated series. It has the honor of being the first kids' show with an Alaska Native as the protagonist.note  It is produced by WGBH Boston, with assistance from CBC Television note  and Atomic Cartoons.

Molly Mabray is a feisty and resourceful 10-year-old girl who lives in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. She assists her parents Walter and Layla in running the Denali Trading Post, which functions as a general store, bunkhouse, and transport hub. Along the way, she goes on adventures with her best friends, Tooey Ookami and Trini Mumford, and her dog Suki. She also has a vlog, where she shares aspects of her life in Alaska with kids in the lower 48 statesnote .

The show aims to teach kids about informational literacy. Molly's life and adventures are enhanced by information resources such as maps, calendars, and satellite tracking; judging the legitimacy of information sources is also addressed. It also teaches traditional Alaska Native values such as sharing what you have and respecting your elders.

On May 30th, 2019, a podcast based on the series was launched. It explains some of the backstory of the show; specifically, on Molly's 10th birthday and how she met her dog, Suki. Listen to it here. The show premiered on television on July 15, 2019. The series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on November 1, 2021, while a third season premiered on November 7, 2022. note 

In addition, the first ten episodes of series of 3-minute online shorts called The Big Gathering premiered on November 7, 2022. The remaining ten episodes premiered on November 21, 2022.


Molly of Denali provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The show in general is animated in 2D animation but it noticeably uses 3D CGI for large mechanical objects like Layla's bush plane, Walter's truck, and (in the episode "King Run") the king salmon-catching fish wheel.
  • Ace Pilot:
    • Molly's mom Layla is a bush pilot, and is complimented on her piloting throughout the podcast. She knows everything that's going on in interior Alaska: what scientists are where and which ones always get into trouble, what the weather will be and if it's dangerous to fly or not.
    • Trini's mom Joy is an Army helicopter pilot and very capably pilots a rescue mission to the top of Mount Denali in "Molly and the Great One."
  • Actor Allusion: In "Mollyball", Trini (voiced by Vienna Leacock) suggests that there may be aliens on another planet playing basketball. Sydney is also voiced by Leacock and she hangs out with an alien (Jet) every day.
  • Air Guitar: In "Midnight Sun Fun Run," Kenji briefly plays the air guitar when at the starting line.
  • Alliterative Name: Molly Mabray.
  • All There in the Manual: The tie-in book "Molly's Awesome Alaska Guide" reveals several bits of information about the characters not mentioned in the series, such as...
    • Nat is fluent in both Gwich'in and Dena'ina, and he grew up without electricity or indoor plumbing.
    • Auntie Midge is Han Gwich'in.
    • Walter's Native name, Yaadekuh, is Koyukon.
  • All There in the Script: The credits to "Grandpa's Drum/Have Canoe, Will Paddle" reveal that the name of Grandpa's childhood friend is Shyahtsoo, which wasn't shown in the episode.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In "It Came From Beyond," after vetch flowers start invading Molly's garden, Trini has a dream about a talking vetch who refuses to leave the garden, while her and her friends chant "YOUR HOME IS OUR HOME NOW."
  • Alpha and Beta Wolves: A realistic example based in fact in "Cry Wolf." Molly learns about how wolf packs are led by the alpha breeding pair. However, there is no such 'beta' because the wolves are like family.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Trini's winter hat has bear ears on it.
  • Animal Motif: The show has a few, including caribou, moose and salmon, but the most notable one is the raven. It kicks off or advances several plots and is closely tied to some of the characters, including Molly's great-uncle Jack and grandmother Catherine.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The writers cannot seem to decide where Qyah is. Or the Kantishna River, for that matter. Season 1 episodes establish that the river that flows past Qyah is the Kantishna, which is a real tributary of the Tanana River and part of the Yukon River basin. And since Qyah is in between the Kantishna and the view of Denali, this means Denali is, by necessity, south of Qyah, as the Kantishna meanders in a generally northeast direction out of Denali National Park. And yet every map of Qyah shown, except the one relative to the Yukon River, is oriented south-north, even online. Fish camp is shown in the series to be downstream of Qyah, but according to the map and the actual flow of the Kantishna, it should be upstream. The only time the Kantishna is shown flowing in the correct direction is in the special "Wise Raven and Old Crow," when the Mabrays follow the Kantishna to the Tanana River and downstream to the Yukon River. Denali is also implied to be north of town as late as season 4.
  • Artistic License – Ornithology: The premise of "Eagle Egg Hunt" is that Molly must re-position a naturalist's webcam so viewers won't miss the hatching of three bald eagle chicks. Actual raptor eggs are laid, and hatch, a day or two apart, ensuring that one chick will be younger and weaker: if there's not enough food for a trio of chicks, the youngest automatically loses out and dies rather than all three starving slowly.
  • Art Shift:
    • "Home Made Heroes": When Molly and Tooey come up with their comic story, the art style changes to that of a Motion Comic.
    • "Mystery in the Night Sky": The art style switches to a crude doodle style when Tooey shows Molly and Trini a UFO drawing.
  • As Himself: Sharon Firth in "Stand Back Up," Kamaka Hepa in "Basketball Blues," and the Kratt Brothers in "Cry Wolf."
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In "Dream Tube", the kids want to buy a tube, but they don't have enough money. Auntie Midge also has her eye on it. Every time she goes into the Denali Trading Post, the kids think that she's gonna buy the tube, but she doesn't.
    • In "Suki's Bone", Molly, Tooey, and Oscar discover what seems to be an ancient washer, but later it turns out to be a piece of metal from a vacuum cleaner, much to their disappointment.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment:
    • "NO! What I want is for you to go home...and get some rest! We have a lot of work to do!"
    • In "Forget-You-Not," Mr. Rowley has a jar of fireweed honey. Trini asks if she can trade something for it, and Mr. Rowley says no...because it's a gift for her!
  • Berserk Button: Trini's is whenever someone or something tries to "mess with Texas".
  • Big Blackout: A blackout happens in Qyah in the episode "The Worm Turns". Because of a spooky story Grandpa Nat told them, the kids think that giant ice worms ate the power lines.
  • Big Brother Bully: Tooey's older brothers, Jay and John, often tease and belittle him. They first showed up on screen in "Puppy Palooza" after being shown in a photograph in the Christmas Episode.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In "Molly and the Great One," Joy Mumford and Atsaq swoop in to rescue Mac during a blizzard on Denali.
  • Big Eater:
    • Suki the Alaskan Malamute, as shown throughout the podcast. She loves to eat everything, even food that isn't supposed to be for dogs. Eventually, she is revealed to have stolen Molly's strawberry birthday cake.
    • Molly's cousin, Randall, is another example; his introduction episode shows him frequently eating and talking about food.
    • In "Wise Raven and Old Crow," Bonky the baby moose is noted by the characters to be super hungry all the time.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The characters all pepper their dialogue with words and phrases from various indigenous languages. Tooey's dad also drops a few Japanese words once in a while. Most of the time translations are provided either directly or by context. The main exceptions to this are during performances of Native songs.
  • Birthday Episode: The podcast focuses on Molly's 10th birthday, and the mystery of who stole her strawberry birthday cake. She finally celebrates her birthday proper in the final episode, "Happy Birthday Molly".
  • Bland-Name Product: In "The Worm Turns", Molly, Tooey, and Trini look up if giant ice worms are real on a fact-checking site called Snoops.com, an obvious parody of Snopes.com. The giant ice worms later turn out to be a hoax.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: As revealed in "Grandpa's Drum", Grandpa Nat was sent away to a boarding school when he was younger, which part of a broader forced assimilation campaign by the United States government. There, he was shamed and bullied by teachers for being an Alaskan Native.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Connie Williams wears her hair in a pixie cut.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: In "Funny Face Competition," Molly finds a book about Alaska Natives that portrays them all dressed in regalia and frowning perpetually. She learns that the photographer didn't want the subjects to smile, and wanted to show them performing both traditional and every day tasks in full regalia, as that was the common public perception of Alaska Natives.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Done in "A Sound Idea." When the kids listen to a recording of the weird sound, they wonder what it might be. Trini think it's a baby, Tooey think it's an alien, and Oscar think it's an alien baby.
  • Broken Bird: Grandpa Nat, in spades. As revealed in "Grandpa's Drum", as a child, he was separated from his family and friends and forced to attend boarding school, where he was subjected to extreme racism and was only allowed to sing English songs. Because of this, he decided to give away his drum to his childhood friend and to not sing anymore. Layla mentions that talking about it makes him very sad. Luckily, Molly and Tooey recover his drum and he starts singing again.
  • Call-Back: In "Hus-keys," one of Molly's props in her dog-training video is the book Best Beasts Ever! And Where to Find Them. That was the book that had convinced the Mabrays' guest Travis that mammoths still exist in the episode "Book of Mammoths." Apparently, he left the book with them after they finally convinced him that it was bogus.
  • Calvinball: In "Mollyball", Molly invents a game called Mollyball, where the players make up rules as they go.
  • Camping Episode: Molly and Walter embark on their yearly camping trip in "Cry Wolf."
  • Canine Companion: Suki the Alaskan Malamute, who accompanies Molly on her adventures.
  • The Cavalry: In "Molly and the Great One", just when Mac McFadden is in danger during a blizzard, Joy and Atsaq arrive in a helicopter to save him.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Trini's lucky rock in "Dream Tube". After Molly and Tooey dismiss the rock as not being an agate, Trini uses it as her lucky rock. It later comes in handy when it's discovered to really be an agate and Auntie Midge buys it for $30, meaning that the kids have enough money to buy a tube.
    • Mr. Patak's canoe in "Have Canoe, Will Paddle". He builds one despite not knowing much about canoes. Later, it comes in handy when the kids use it for the canoe race after they get a hole in their original canoe.
  • Christmas Episode: "Tooey's Hole-i-Day Sweater" takes place at Christmas and is about Tooey accidentally ripping a hole in his Homemade Sweater from Hell.
  • Close-Knit Community: Qyah is a very small town with a population of about 94 people (not including missing moose). As such, everyone knows and cares for each other, and word travels fast.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: In "Midnight Sun Fun Run," the outfits everyone wears for the Fun Run are references to previous episodes. Kenji wears his leather jacket from "Hus-keys," Vera wears her basketball uniform (seen in "Turn on the Northern Lights" among many others), Layla wears her bathrobe from "Porcupine Slippers," Nina wears her crane outfit from "Crane Song," and Oscar and Midge both have their animal masks from "Eagle Tale."
  • Continuity Nod: Two in "Mystery in the Night Sky."
    • Montey Cribbits is the author of Travis Hightower's bogus book about mammoths from "Book of Mammoths," and his name was in the register book in "Puzzled."
    • In the Art Shift segment, there are aliens playing basketball. Trini said that there might be aliens playing basketball in the episode "Mollyball."
  • Cowboy: In "Culture Clash", Molly and Tooey dress like cowboys and talk with Southern accents to make Trini (who moved to Alaska from Texas) feel at home. This backfires.
  • Cool Old Guy: Grandpa Nat is this to Molly, as he provides wisdom and native stories to her throughout the series.
  • Cool Uncle: "Molly of the Yukon" has Uncle Cliff, Nat's little brother. Cliff shares Molly's enthusiasm for fishing.
  • Crossover: Had one with Wild Kratts in "Cry Wolf," where Molly and Walter run into the Kratt Brothers and help them track down a missing wolf pack.
  • Culture Clash: In the aptly titled "Culture Clash," Molly and Tooey meet Trini for the first time, who is from Texas. Wanting to make a good impression with her, both Molly and Tooey watch a movie about Texas and then dress up like cowboys to try and make her happy. Trini then shows them that Texas is not really like that. Later on, Trini assumes that there are polar bears everywhere in Alaska. At the library, she learns that this is not the case.
  • Cutaway Gag: Two in "Cry Wolf" when Molly is retracing the places where the group has been. First, Chris stubs his toe and yells for ten minutes on the cliff. Then, Martin falls backwards into the lake.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: In "Lynx to the Past," when Trini practiced the Lynx Dance at home, she added her own moves. Even after she's told that she can't add her own moves, and she tries to do it properly, she still subconsciously does the extra moves.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Grandpa Nat has one as revealed in "Grandpa's Drum". As a child, he was removed from his family and forced to attend boarding school, where he was openly shamed for being an Alaskan Native. He was also only allowed to sing English songs, causing him to not sing anymore and to give away his drum to his childhood friend.
  • Dark Horse Victory: In "Brand New Flag", Molly holds a town-wide contest to design a flag for the Trading Post. Overwhelmed with all the entries, she laters finds a flag design that she thinks is perfect, even though it has no name. It wins the contest. It turns out that Suki made it.
  • Déjà Vu: Grandpa Nat experiences this in "Grandpa's Drum". When Molly and Tooey sing and drum together, he starts seeing visions of himself and his old friend when they were younger, doing the exact same thing.
  • The Dentist Episode: "Tooth Or Consequences", where the kids are scared to go to the dentist because of a sensational video.
  • Description Cut: In "Have Canoe, Will Paddle", Molly tries to ask Mr. Patak to coach her and the others on how to canoe, saying that he's a perfect fit. Then it cuts to Mr. Patak saying that he is not a perfect fit.
  • Desperate Object Catch: In "Heat Wave," Tooey attempts this when he knocks over the fan. It didn't work, and it gets broken.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Molly's phone ringtone is the show's theme song.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In "A Splash Of Mink", Molly and Trini get sprayed by a mink. In order to figure out how to get the smell off, they consult the internet and find an article by an "expert" who claims that tomato juice gets rid of the smell. They don't bother to check if the article is reliable or not. Luckily, Grandpa Nat teaches them that tomato juice doesn't really get rid of bad smells.
  • A Dog Named "Cat": Tooey has a pet cat named Mouse.
  • Dream Sequence: In "It Came From Beyond," Trini has a pretty surreal dream about a talking bird vetch. She asks to invite some friends. Then the next morning, more vetch plants pop up in Molly's garden. Trini then has a second dream where she asks the flowers to leave, but they respond poorly to her concerns.
  • Edutainment Show: It is a PBS series, after all. Specifically, it is meant to teach kids about Alaska, information-literacy skills, and typical Alaska Native values such as respecting your elders.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Mac McFadden's real name is Aloysius, something only Andie points out in "Molly and the Great One".
  • Episode Title Card: Every episode has one.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Molly, Tooey and Trini all get these in "Turn on the Northern Lights" because they stayed up late the previous night.
  • Extra-Long Episode:
    • "Molly and the Great One" is the show's first 55-minute special. There are two plots, which eventually collide. Molly finds out about Walter Harper's expedition to the top of Denali, and wants Grandpa Nat to climb up there as well. An obnoxious reality TV outdoorsman, Mac McFadden, arrives in Qyah and is keen on climbing Denali as well, so Molly, Tooey, Kenji, Nat, Walter, Mac, and his assistant Andie all climb Denali together. Meanwhile, Trini's mom Joy comes home to Qyah after serving in the military. Trini shows her around and they have fun together until Joy reveals that soon she has to leave. The mountain climbers find out that a storm is approaching and decide not to make it to the summit, but foolish Mac goes it alone and is in danger. Joy uses her helicopter and rescues Mac and the others. Nat and Walter make it all the way to the top of Denali, and are lauded as heroes.
    • "Wise Raven and Old Crow" is the second one. In it, Molly and her family go on a trip to the village of Old Crow so that they can honor the late Grandma Catherine. Meanwhile, Trini and Tooey take care of a baby moose they name Bonky.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • In "Cry Wolf," Molly asks the Kratts if wolves sleep outside when they travel, or if they stay inside caves. The brothers somehow didn't notice the cave right behind them.
    • In "It Came From Beyond," Molly and Trini read online that they can get rid of vetch flowers by using a weed whacker. They failed to notice the part where it says "Weed whack before the vetch flowers or the seeds will spread." Because of this, the vetch flowers spread their seeds and grow new flowers in the process.
  • Fanboy: Oscar is one to Finnegan King, a music legend who is famous for playing the fiddle.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: Whenever the characters do anything that could even remotely concuss them, they're shown wearing helmets. This extends to everything except dogsledding—even outhouse races. And even in the case of a dogsled, Auntie Midge is given a helmet for her new sled chair after she has hip replacement surgery.
  • Fearless Fool: "Molly and the Great One" introduces Mac McFadden, a celebrity outdoorsman who has done multiple dangerous stunts, including diving into an active volcano. In the special, he tries to make it to the top of Denali amidst a blizzard and to make a long story short, it does not go well, and by the end, his leg is in a cast.
  • Fictional Video Game: Boltronoman vs. the Ice Freak, which Tooey brings up in "The Worm Turns".
  • Fictional Sport: Mollyball from the episode "Mollyball".
  • Fishing Episode:
    • The episode "First Fish". Molly tries to catch her first fish, which is an honor in Alaska Native tradition.
    • In "King Run," Molly and Tooey join Kenji and Grandpa Nat at fish camp.
    • In "Molly of the Yukon," Molly, Layla, and Nat head to the town of Beaver to fish for Yukon River king salmon.
  • Fishing for Sole: In "First Fish", Molly can't wait to catch her first fish, but the only thing she catches is Tooey's missing boot.
  • Five-Token Band: Molly (Gwich'in/Koyukon/Dena'ina Athabascan), Tooey (Yup'ik, Koyukon, and Japanese), Trini (African-American), Oscar (Han Gwich'in), Vera (Filipino-Athabascan), and Jake (token white).
  • Free-Range Children: All the kids seem to be able to wander freely about Qyah with no adult supervision. Justified since Qyah is a small village where everybody is acquainted with each other.
  • The Friendly Texan: Trini and her father are both very kind, though this isn't saying much considering Qyah is full of nice people. Trini does have a hair-trigger temper at times, however.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The students at Qyah Village School — three girls (Molly, Trini, and Vera), and three boys (Tooey, Oscar, and Jake).
  • Good Luck Charm: In "Dream Tube", Trini finds a rock, which she adopts as her "lucky rock". It later turns out to be an agate, which the kids sell to Auntie Midge for $30, meaning they now have enough money to buy a tube.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: In "Dream Tube", Auntie Midge wants the tube that the kids also want. When she discovers that Trini has an agate (and that the kids need $30 to buy the tube), she decides that since tubes come around every summer (and agates are rarer), that the kids deserve the tube more, so she buys the agate, meaning the kids now have enough money for the tube.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: In "Culture Clash", Trini gets angry whenever Molly and Tooey unintentionally suggest that she's too short for the basketball team, that she's not tough enough, and that she doesn't know how to play, landing Molly and Tooey on her bad side. They try to get on her good side for the rest of the episode.
  • "Harmful to Pets" Reminder: in the episode "Puppy Sitting," Trini is looking after Khi, one of Tooey's sled dogs. Trini wants to feed Khi pizza crusts like she does with her own pet dog, Four Spots, but Tooey reminds her that while pizza crusts are okay for a house dog like Four Spots, they're not good for sled dogs like Khi.
  • Heat Wave: In "Heat Wave," Qyah is in the midst of a heat wave. It is 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is super hot by Qyah standards. Notably, Trini isn't bothered by the heat since she's from Texas, where it can be up to 95 degrees for a whole month.
  • Heroic Vow: A mundane version in "Heat Wave," where Tooey vows to fix Auntie Midge's fan. He even writes an IOU about it. When Mr. Rowley says the fan is a goner, Tooey is disappointed, but Midge reassures him that he doesn't owe her anything.
  • Hidden Depths: In "Have Canoe, Will Paddle", the kids find out that Connie has won awards for canoeing and has even been in the Olympics.
  • Homemade Sweater from Hell: In "Tooey's Hole-i-Day Sweater", it's revealed that in the Ookami family, you have to wear an ugly Christmas sweater until you outgrow it. Tooey's older brothers Jay and John both had to wear it before handing it down to Tooey. Tooey thought that this year would be the last year that he wears the sweater, but it gets a hole, is fixed, and he has to wear it for years to come.
  • How We Got Here: "Name Game" starts out with Molly covered in feathers and jam. The rest of the episode explains how she got to this point.
  • Human Traffic Jam: In "Heat Wave," while the kids are on their way to the library, Auntie Midge calls out to them, causing Tooey to pause and the others to bump into him.
  • I Can't Hear You: In "First Fish", the message that "salmon are running down by the bridge" gets misheard as "ham and onions down by the ridge" due to being shouted at a distance from a canoe and then misheard again as "yams are drowning the fridge".
  • Idiot Ball: Grabbed by Molly, Tooey, Trini, and Oscar in "Tooth Or Consequences." Granted, Molly and company are young kids, and do have very active imaginations. But even kids should be smart enough to know that no licensed dentist would use a giant drill or even a jackhammer on a kid's teeth, or their butt would lose their medical license big time and most likely be arrested, if not sued for malpractice. Even so, the kids all believe the sensational video Molly's cousin that sent them, and it takes an actual dentist to set them straight.
  • Informed Judaism: In "Tooey's Hole-i-Day Sweater", where we see Connie lighting a menorah for Hanukkah. Prior to that, there were no hints that she was Jewish.
  • Injured Limb Episode: In "Midnight Sun Fun Run," Trini sprains her ankle, so she can't participate in the Fun Run. However, she does get to help Daniel and Atsaq lay out the route and plan a big surprise at the finish line.
  • Innocently Insensitive: In "Culture Clash", Molly and Tooey try to make friends with Trini after accidentally getting on her bad side. After they find out that she's from Texas, they watch an old cowboy movie to get an idea of what Texas is like. Molly and Tooey then wear cowboy outfits and start speaking in stereotypical Southern accents, unaware that these are untrue Texas stereotypes. Trini then shows them that Texas is not really like that. Later, Molly and Tooey get a taste of their own medicine when Trini assumes that there are polar bears everywhere in Alaska. A trip to the library helps clear things up.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong:
    • In "Cry Wolf," Walter says that there is no one except himself, Molly, the birds, and the sky. Just then, the bushes rustle and the Kratts show up.
    • In "Heat Wave," Midge thinks that her fan can still work after falling. She stands corrected when it doesn't.
    • In "Wise Raven and Old Crow," Connie offers to take care of the baby moose. She already has some turkeys, so she figures that the turkeys and moose should get along fine. Cut to the moose scaring the turkeys and them running away from each other.
  • Introduced Species Calamity: In "It Came From Beyond," Trini encounters one bird vetch and thinks it would be perfect for Molly's garden. Soon, more and more of that plant start spreading around the garden. Trini learns that it is an invasive species to Alaska.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: In "Midnight Sun Fun Run," Molly says that the lemonade from the lemonade station is the "best lemonade ever."
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Tooey's parents when they were a bit younger. In particular, Atsaq used to let her hair grow out, before cutting it to a bob in the present day.
  • "Kiss the Cook" Apron: In the season one episode "Picking Cloudberries", Walter wears an apron that says "Kiss me, I'm from Qyah".
  • MacGyvering: In "Heat Wave," Tooey and Mr. Rowley manage to make a solar-powered fan out of the likes of bottle caps and a ballpoint pen.
  • Meaningful Appearance: The kids' pajamas:
    • Molly has a puffin on her shirt, because she loves puffins.
    • Trini has an armadillo on her night-gown, because armadillos are the state animal of Texas, her home state.
    • Tooey has a wolf on his shirt, because his full name, Tookkone, is "wolf" in Koyukon Athabascan.
  • Meaningful Echo: In "Eagle Egg Hunt", Molly and Walter head to the Windsong Wildlife Area to fix an eagle cam. However, there are six cameras there, so they have to find out which one is the eagle cam. Along the way, they come across a bunch of caribou, but Molly is more concerned about the eagle cam. Walter tells her that "Watching nature on a laptop is one thing, but this is the real deal." Later, Molly comes across some cute foxes, but this time Walter is more concerned about the eagle cam, Molly tells him that "Watching nature on a laptop is one thing, but this is the real deal.", showing that she had learned her lesson.
  • Meaningful Name: Qyah means 'village' in the Dena'ina language.
    • Everyone who has a Native name has a significant meaning behind it. Most notable of all is Molly's: Shahnyaa, meaning "one who informs us."
    • Trini rounds out the Power Trio of herself, Molly and Tooey. Her name means "trinity."
  • Missing Mom: It is unknown where Trini and Tooey's mothers are. Averted later in Tooey's case, where his mother, Atsaq, is mentioned in "The Name Game" and "Fiddle of Nowhere" and makes full appearances in "Operation:Sleepover" and "Porcupine Slippers" with an Early-Bird Cameo in "Bye Bye Birdy". Trini's mom is briefly mentioned in "The Shortest Birthday" when Trini is seen talking to her via video chat on her laptop. We finally get to meet Trini's mom, whose name is Joy, in the one-hour special "Molly and the Great One" where it's revealed that she has been serving in the army for quite some time and hasn't had time to spend with her husband and daughter until the special when she takes a temporary leave to visit them in Qyah.
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: A peak shaped like a bear's head and a nose-shaped rock are among the landmarks used for traditional navigation in "Canoe Journey".
  • Mr. Fixit:
    • Mr. Patak, who runs the woodshop in Qyah, can fix anything.
    • Connie, the town mechanic.
  • Multi-Part Episode: "Puppy Palooza" is a two-part, half-hour episode. It involves Tooey's dog Cali giving birth to multiple puppies.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The entertaining storylines and occasionally mature topics help bring in adult viewers. Plus, the show is popular with all races, to the point where non-Native viewers can learn about Alaskan Native culture from the series. The adventurous elements and Molly's tomboy attitude also draw plenty of boys to the show.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Trini tries to shoehorn her way into the theme song.
    "Together with [Molly's] best friend Tooey always by her side"
    "And Trini!"
  • Nature Tinkling: In "Bird in Hand", Molly and Tooey have a Potty Emergency. As Walter is fixing the bathroom and there's another bathroom with a mysterious sound in it, Molly is forced to go in the spider-infested outhouse while Tooey resorts to peeing in the woods.
  • No Antagonist: Generally speaking, there are no antagonists or villains in the series, being that it's an educational Slice of Life series. However, there are some episodes where visitors to Alaska show ignorance about the state and Alaska Natives, but they always learn their lesson at the end.
  • The One Guy: While Tooey isn't the only guy in the show, he's the only one in his friendship group; Molly and Trini are both girls.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted with the name Elizabeth. Several one-time and recurring characters have this name or a variation thereof, including Tooey's grandmother.
  • Potty Emergency: In "Bird in Hand", Molly and Tooey suffer one while Walter is fixing the bathroom. While there's another one available, they're too scared by a mysterious sound (actually an owl) coming from it, forcing Molly to use the (spider-infested) outhouse and Tooey to go in the woods.
  • Power Outage Plot:
    • In "Eenie Eenie Aye Over," the power goes out while the kids are playing video games, so Nat and Walter show them how to play a game outdoors. Towards the end of the episode, the power comes back on, but Molly keeps playing outside anyway.
    • In "Fire, Food, and Family," a blizzard hits Qyah and leaves the Mumford house without power.
  • Power Trio: The main cast of kids are Molly, Tooey, and Trini.
  • Pom-Pom Girl: In "Midnight Sun Fun Run," Trini sets up a cheering station where she uses pom-poms to cheer the runners on.
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • "Turn on the Northern Lights" is a pun on "turn on the lights".
    • "Fiddlesticks" is a pun on how Molly finds herself in a predicament involving fiddles. Also, Oscar plays the fiddle, and Molly plays the drums, the latter of which involves drumsticks.
  • Quirky Town: Qyah, Alaska is a sweet little town where word travels fast, and all the residents are wacky in their own way. Anything and everything happens there.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: Most of the characters (being Alaskan Natives) use native words or phrases from time to time. Sometimes they'll translate them into English, but sometimes a non-Native viewer will only get the general idea from context.
  • Recycled Animation: The jig dance scene in "Fiddlesticks" is slightly recycled from "A Splash Of Mink".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Where Molly is enthusiastic and spontaneous, Tooey is patient and thoughtful. As a testament to this, Molly wears a red hoodie while Tooey wears a blue shirt.
  • Repetitive Name: According to this image from the show's social media, Tooey is short for Tookkone — "wolf" in Koyukon Athabascan. His last name, Ookami, also means wolf, but in Japanese.
  • Self-Serving Memory: In "Molly of the Yukon," this trope is Played for Laughs. Cliff wants to show Molly the place where he caught his first dinjik, but Nat say that's where he caught his first dinjik. The two of them have a good laugh about it.
  • Series Continuity Error: In the first season, it's established that the nearest town to Qyah is Nenana, which is north of Denali National Park. The second season gives us maps of Qyah, showing that it's situated on the Kantishna River, which is indeed north of Denali National Park. Qyah is shown to be in between the Kantishna and Denali, meaning that it's on the south shore, and the river at that point flows west to east past Qyah (it meanders a lot). This contradicts season 1 episodes that showed the Kantishna flowing east to west. This error is not corrected for most of season 2, which still shows the Kantishna flowing the wrong way even after its actual direction has been established by maps.
  • Serious Business: The funny face competition becomes this when Auntie Merna gets involved.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Molly and Tooey are best friends who hang out all the time, to the point where Tooey most likely spends more time with the Mabrays than his own family. However, Molly and Tooey are way closer than best friends probably should be.
    • In "Grandpa's Drum", Molly and Tooey find a picture of Grandpa Nat and an unnamed girl when they were kids. They were shown to be very close, and Nat apparently trusted her enough to give his drum to her. The girl also speaks very fondly of him, recalling how he loved to sing, dance, and joke a lot. When Molly and Tooey sing and drum together, Nat starts seeing visions of himself and the girl when they were younger, doing the exact same thing.
    • In "A Splash Of Mink", Vera and Jake, as well as Nat and Midge, are shown dancing together.
  • Show Within a Show: Mac McFadden's show MacVentures. Also, Wild Kratts is apparently a TV show that Molly watches according to "Cry Wolf."
  • Shown Their Work: The creative team really did their homework on the cultures, history, mythologies and traditions of the Alaska Natives.
  • Sled Dogs Through the Snow: Tooey's father Kenji is a professional musher. Tooey wants to be a musher someday too. Many episodes feature the characters navigating through Alaska using sled dogs. One episode puts particular focus on Balto himself.
  • Slice of Life: The show's primary focus surrounds everyday life in Alaska.
  • Slumber Party: Molly, Tooey, and Trini have a slumber party in "The Worm Turns".
  • Smelly Skunk: Molly and Trini encounter a mink (another animal who sprays a stinky smell when scared, like a skunk) in "A Splash Of Mink". It sprays them, and they're smelly for the rest of the episode.
  • So Proud of You: In "Lynx to the Past," after Grandma Elizabeth tells Trini the Yup'ik origin of the Lynx Dance, Trini understands why she can't change it. She then decides to join the dance at the Spring Fling after previously dropping out, and does it perfectly. After that, Elizabeth says that the kids have made her and her ancestors proud.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal:
    • Tooey is a dog whisperer who helps run his family's kennel, and hopes to become a musher like his father some day.
    • Grandpa Nat can imitate a lonesome wolf howl. This comes in handy in "Cry Wolf."
  • Spoonerism: In "It Came From Beyond," a tired Trini says that "Bolly will have mumblebees......"
  • Sports Hero Backstory: In "Have Canoe, Will Paddle", Connie is revealed to have raced in the Olympics and won a gold medal in the Women's C-1 200 meter race
  • The Stakeout: In "A Sound Idea," Molly drags Tooey, Trini, and Oscar on a midnight stakeout to find the source of a strange noise. It was a porcupine.
  • Story Arc:
    • The podcast is serialized, and it focuses on Molly's 10th birthday, the mystery of who stole her birthday cake, and her family taking over the Denali Trading Post.
    • Season 2 of the podcast follows Molly, Trini, and her family solving a mystery aboard a train to Anchorage.
  • Tagalong Kid: Averted. Trini is three years younger than Molly and Tooey — a huge age difference for children ten years old and under — but they've treated her as an equal since the day she arrived.
  • Title Theme Tune: Molly of Denali, she's Molly of Denali..
  • Team Hand-Stack: Done a few times by the Qyah Northern Lights Basketball team in Snow Jam and Basketball Blues.
  • Token Black Friend: While the rest of the main cast are Alaskan Natives, Trini is African-American, and is also a newcomer to the community, along with her father. She is Molly and Tooey's best friend.
  • Tomato Skunk Stink Cure: In "A Splash Of Mink", Molly and Trini were sprayed by a mink. They find an online article that says that tomato juice gets rid of mink smell, but when Molly and Trini try it, it doesn't work. Nat tells them not to believe everything they read.
  • Totally Radical: In "Dream Tube", tubes are being sold at the Denali Trading Post, and the sign above it says "Totally Tubular."
  • Town Contest Episode: In "The Funny Face Competition," Molly, Tooey and Auntie Midge bring the funny face competition back to Qyah, and most everyone in town competes.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The Kidelee brothers (Nat and Cliff) absolutely love dried king salmon.
  • Training from Hell: In "Have Canoe, Will Paddle", Connie forces Molly, Tooey, and Trini to undergo rigorous training with odd tasks such as balancing water balloons and trying to lift watermelons covered with butter.
  • Trauma Button: For Grandpa Nat, it's talking about the time he was sent off to boarding school.
  • Tropey, Come Home: In "Little Dog Lost", Tooey's newest dog Anka goes missing. The episode involves him and Molly trying to recover Anka.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: The official podcast shortens the theme song and removes some lines.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: The main trio consists of Molly, Trini, and Tooey. Both Molly are Trini are girls and Tooey is a boy.
  • Two Men, One Dress: In "Midnight Sun Fun Run," Molly and Tooey dress up as a moose together. Tooey is the head and Molly is the rear, and unlike most examples, Molly's head sticks out of the costume. However, Tooey can't see where he's going, so they decide to make the costume backwards.
  • Two Shorts: Uses the ABA format, with the 'A' segment being an 11-minute episode of the show, and the 'B' segment being a segment where Molly answers a kid's question.
  • Very Special Episode:
    • "Grandpa's Drum" talks about the racism that Alaskan Natives experienced as part of a boarding school assimilation campaign.
    • "Molly and Elizabeth" is another episode about racism. Molly and Tooey experience discrimination when tourists tell them that they aren't Native enough. They learn about Elizabeth Peratrovich and how she stood up for Alaska Native people.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: In "Have Canoe, Will Paddle", Connie tries to train the kids to use canoes by having them do planks, balance water balloons and lift watermelons covered with butter and the kids find it very strange. After realizing that she's actually an accomplished canoer, they begin to understand her methods more. The planking was for upper body strength, the water balloons were for core muscles, and the watermelon game taught them to balance in the canoe.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Downplayed in "Gold Strikeout." Molly, Tooey, and Trini want to take a lot of gold from the land so they can provide for their families. Molly was hesitant at first, as she knows that Grandpa Nat told her not to take too much stuff from the land, but was pressured into it by Tooey. Eventually, their sluice box ended up blocking the salmon from the creek, interfering with Nina's salmon counting project.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Trini's mother is never around because she's too busy serving the United Nations. Trini laments that she can't always stay and always has to leave.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: "Culture Clash" is a flashback in its entirety, detailing the time when Trini moved to Qyah.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky:
    • In "Turn on the Northern Lights," the gang finally gets to see the northern lights at the end of the episode, and it is the series' greatest demonstration of Scenery Porn.
    • In "Forget-You-Not," Trini wants to send a video of the Northern Lights to Joy. It's too cloudy for the Northern Lights to appear, but Trini decides to send a construction paper version of it instead.
    • At the end of "Fire, Food, and Family," when the blizzard stops, Molly and Nat see the aurora borealis.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Trini is terrified of polar bears. She originally assumed that they were everywhere in Alaska.
  • Women Are Wiser: In "Molly and the Great One", Mac McFadden's producer/possible romantic partner Andie is far more intelligent and sensible than he is.
  • Written by the Winners: In "Gold Strikeout," Grandpa Nat tells the kids that the Alaskan Gold Rush book is a load of revisionist history BS since it left out the important part - that indigenous people were kicked off their land by gold prospectors.


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Molly of Denali

Theme song to the series.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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