Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Pet Alien

Go To
Pet Alien (2005-2007) is an All-CGI Cartoon. As shown in the theme song, young teenager Tommy Cadle lived a peaceful life in his lighthouse until an alien spaceship crash-landed on his roof. Five aliens emerged from the wreckage: Dinko, Gumpers, Swanky, Flip, and Scruffy, who all immediately befriended him and moved in. From there, the series follows Tommy and his new alien houseguests as they get into various wacky misadventures around Tommy's hometown of DeSpray Bay.

The show is an Animated Adaptation of Jeff Muncy's 1990s Pet Alien toyline. However, the show has very little in common with the toyline beyond the five aliens themselves, the go-getter spaceship and the rough concept of aliens living with humans. 52 half-hour episodes were produced for a total of 104 segments.

The series got a tie-in game, Pet Alien: An Intergalactic Puzzlepalooza, for the Nintendo DS in 2007.

This show provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Gabby frequently obsesses over and stalks Tommy, who doesn't return her feelings and is terrified of her.
    • Granville repeatedly tries to win over Melba, who is repulsed by him.
    • Tommy himself falls head-over-heels for Gabby's identical cousin Jabby in "The Lookalike Cousin of Evil", who finds him "Ca-Dull".
  • Abnormal Allergy: "Terror in my Nose" has Tommy becoming allergic to Dinko, his alien best friend, to the point of sneezing whenever he gets too close. It's Hand Waved as Dinko's natural scent being blocked by the hair gel Dinko puts on every day; the one day he didn't apply any, Tommy's allergies acted in response to it.
  • Aborted Arc: The aliens' rivalry with Emperor Breet was the focus of the early episode "Evil Emperor", with Breet vowing to take over the Earth and get revenge upon his initial defeat. However, when Breet returned in "The Day of Judgement", his intended revenge was dialed down to simply screwing with Swanky by sending him away to be an ambassador for a hostile alien planet, with his original goal of taking over the Earth not even being mentioned. In Season 2, Breet is absent altogether and his rivalry with the aliens was never followed up on again.
  • Accidental Misnaming: While suffering from Easy Amnesia in "They Took Tommy's Brain", Tommy repeatedly calls Dinko names like "Danko" and "Tinko". Dinko tries to correct him throughout the episode, but eventually loses his temper after being misnamed one time too many.
    Dinko: Binko? BINKO?! I am not Binko, or Tango, or Blinky or Pooky-Piggy-Winky! I am Dinko! D-I-N-K-O! You are Tommy of Earth, and I am your best friend! YOUR BEST FRIEND!
  • Achievements in Ignorance: In "She Comes for Your Heart", Dinko and Gumpers try to trap Gabby in a box, but when they open it later, they somehow manage to capture Swanky instead despite him being nowhere near them. Swanky calls the two nincompoops for it.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: In "I Was a Teenage Bearded Boy", Tommy becomes popular in school after Dinko gives him a green beard. The beard makes him feel like a grown-up and grants him a major confidence boost but also causes him to abandon the aliens to hang with Gabby, Melba, and Clinton instead. Tommy eventually comes to his senses, but it's all for naught when he accidentally loses his beard, and with it, his confidence and popularity.
  • Actor Allusion: Dinko really loves cows, as shown a couple times in episodes like "Scare Affair" and "When TV Ruled the World". Charlie Adler, Dinko's voice actor, once voiced a cow.
  • Adaptational Location Change: In the toyline shorts, Tommy lived in a normal suburban house, with the aliens moving into his nearby treehouse. In the show, Tommy and the aliens live in a lighthouse instead.
  • Adapted Out: One of the aliens from the original toyline shorts, Zuffy, is completely absent from the series.
  • The Ahnold: The titular celebrity of "Night of the Walking Cannonball" is an Arnold Schwarzenegger parody, being an ultra-macho celebrity with an Austrian accent.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The robot mom Dinko orders to replace Tommy's mom in "She Came From Conforma" starts off genial, but quickly malfunctions. She goes Laughing Mad, constantly babies Tommy, force-feeds him soup and cookies, keeps him up at night and eventually tries to kill Tommy's real mom.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: In "The Lookalike Girl of Evil", Tommy falls in love with Gabby's twin cousin Jabby, who doesn't return his feelings. Dinko actually suggests that Tommy instead go out with Gabby, who has a crush on him, but Tommy rejects the idea. Meanwhile, Granville tries to win over Melba, but Melba is repulsed by his advances.
  • All There in the Manual: Several details about the show were only revealed through the now-defunct Pet Alien website. In particular: Tommy is 13 years old, Dinko and Flip have lived in the Conforma dimension for at least 300 years, Swanky has multiple spines, and Scruffy's tongue is both sapient and smarter than its owner.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The French dub of the show uses different themes for both openings.
  • Always Identical Twins:
    • "Bad Blood from Beyond" has Dinko's identical cousin Danko coming to visit, who looks exactly like him in every way. Apparently, he's always beat Dinko whenever they fight over something.
    • "The Lookalike Girl of Evil" features Gabby's cousin Jabby, who looks identical to her but lacks her glasses and Mexican accent.
    • "Belch of Destruction": Gumpers had an identical cousin named Bumpers who died when he couldn't belch anymore and blew up. Bumpers looked just like Gumpers, but with a handlebar mustache.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Swanky's parents are grotesque, overweight rednecks who are nowhere near as cultured as their son.
  • Amnesia Episode: "They Took Tommy's Brain" has Tommy getting amnesia after Gumpers kicks him in the head with a soccer ball. Dinko tries to jog Tommy's memory, Gumpers takes the opportunity to screw with Tommy, and Swanky steals Tommy's bed for himself.
  • And the Rest: In "The Day Time Stood Still" when Tommy is calling for the other aliens to answer the door so he doesn't have to.
    Tommy: Dinko, door! Gumpers? Scruffy? The other two?
  • Animal Sweet on Object: In "The Beast who Stole my Heart", the parrot-like alien Flip falls in love with Granville's stuffed bird.
  • Anti-Climax: "The Time That Time Ended" has the aliens fearing the "end of time" (in actuality the New Year). During the last 30 seconds, the aliens cower in fear of what's to come... and then nothing happens. Tommy blandly announces the new year and then goes to bed. Lampshaded by Swanky.
    Swanky: Even the end of time is boring on this planet.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The first few episodes of Season 1 have fairly stiff, robotic animation and inconsistent lighting. Halfway through the season, the animation became more refined and expressive across the board, and the lighting became more consistent.
    • The second season has even more expressive animation and more consistent, less saturated lighting.
  • Artifact Title: None of the aliens are Tommy's pets. The title is a holdover from the original 1990s Pet Alien toyline, where the aliens were taken in by human children and adopted as pets.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • The aptly-named "Attack of the 50 Foot Boy" involves the aliens making Tommy taller so he can ride a fairground ride. Unfortunately for Tommy, he won't stop growing and eventually becomes taller than his own lighthouse.
    • "Planet of the Granvilles" features a colossal primitive Melba who roars like a monster and apparently eats the primitive Granvilles.
  • Baby Morph Episode: "The Boy Who Cried "Waaah!"" has Dinko accidentally turning Tommy into a baby while attempting to stop him from aging. Gumpers has to look after the baby while Dinko tries to figure out how to undo the effects.
  • Bad Future: "When Clinton Ruled the World!" features a dystopian future ruled by Clinton, whose ancestors founded DeSpray Bay after Tommy and Dinko went back in time to delay its official founding. The town is obsessed with sports and health to the point of banning things like video games and taffy, Tommy and Dinko don't exist and the other aliens now work for Clinton instead.
  • Bankruptcy Barrel: At the end of "Day of the Naked Aliens", the entire population of DeSpray Bay are forced to cover themselves up with barrels after Dinko steals and destroys all of their clothing.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: None of the human characters have nipples or navels. It's especially noticeable when Tommy goes shirtless in "The Night My Brain Froze" and "Day of the Naked Aliens".
  • Big "NO!": In "The Beast That's Stuck in My Foot", Dinko lets loose a big "NOOOOOOO!" when he learns that, due to Conforma laws, Gumpers is obligated to become Tommy's best friend after the latter pulled a needle from Gumpers' foot.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio:
    • The three main aliens: Gumpers is Big, Swanky is Thin and Dinko is Short.
    • Tommy, Dinko and Gumpers: Gumpers is Big, Tommy is Thin and Dinko is Short.
  • Binomium ridiculus:
    • In "It Came From the Closet", Gumpers' living tooth is referred to as "Gumpers' Tooth (gassius est maximus enamilonius)".
    • Gumpers' rubber duck floater is called "GUMPERS' RUBBER DUCKY FLOATY TOY (GUMPIUS RUBBER-DUCKIUS)" in "The Creature of DeSpray Bay".
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • Dinko and Gabby bond over their mutual love and admiration for Tommy.
    • In "The Creature Who Left", Swanky and Granville immediately hit it off over their shared highbrow tastes.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: A Running Gag throughout the show is how bizarre the aliens' reactions to different things are:
    • "The Night My Brain Froze" shows that when Dinko gets Brain Freeze, he randomly shifts between multiple Split Personalities until his brain warms up again.
    • "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Swanky", Swanky becomes much nicer and more cheerful whenever he eats a potato chip, but reverts to his usual personality whenever he eats caviar.
    • "Night of the Werescruffy" shows that Scruffy can temporarily transform into a vicious werewolf-like creature called a Werescruffy under a set of highly specific, improbable conditions. He also has seven stomachs.
    • As "The Day That Flip Stood Still" shows, if Flip doesn't move for at least one hour, he involuntarily goes into a hibernation-like state where he cannot move at all. If his body doesn't accelerate to 912.7 miles per hour in 24 hours, he'll be stuck in this state forever.
  • Blessed with Suck: Several of Dinko's attempts to help Tommy end up doing more harm than good:
    • "The Earth Boy who Needed Protection" has Dinko putting a halo on Tommy that summons an energy shield to protect him from danger. Unfortunately for Tommy, it has several flaws that make it horribly impractical: the halo can't be turned off or removed, the shield can't tell violent contact from non-violent contact (preventing Dinko from hugging Tommy), and it considers sugary snacks (like taffy) a threat and so destroys them on sight. Tommy is distraught over only being able to drink vegetable smoothies.
    • "Curse of the Invisible Boy": Tommy initially loves being invisible, as it lets him get one over on Clinton and scam taffy logs from Cap'n Spangley. However, he quickly grows to dislike this new ability when he fails all his classes due to the teacher being unable to see him. Also, Gumpers accidentally sits on him.
  • Brain Freeze: In "The Night My Brain Froze", Tommy and Dinko get brain freeze from drinking their frozen shakes too fast. Tommy remains himself, but Dinko randomly shifts between Split Personalities until his brain can warm up again.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: In "The Guest Who Wouldn't Leave... Ever", Granville pees himself after almost being fried by the black hole warlord Bob. He reappears at the end of the episode to ask if Bob has left, complaining about his "knickers" being soggy.
  • Butt-Monkey: Tommy, Granville, and Swanky, the latter of whom easily gets it the most thanks to the other aliens' antics.
  • Camera Abuse: "Scare Affair" and "They Took Tommy's Brain" both have a seagull directly smash into the camera.
  • Can't Live with Them, Can't Live without Them: Swanky and the rest of the aliens. Swanky is annoyed by the aliens' crude nature, but when he moves in with Granville in "The Creature Who Left", he ends up bored without them making life exciting. On the other aliens' end, they (and Tommy) find Swanky overly stuck-up, but are so accustomed to his complaining that the lighthouse becomes overly quiet whenever he isn't around.
    Swanky: They may be nincompoops, but they're my nincompoops.
  • The Cat Came Back: It's impossible to get rid of Gabby. One time Dinko and Gumpers clearly locked Gabby in a box but later when the box was opened Swanky was somehow in there instead even though he was nowhere in sight when Gabby was put in the box.
  • Cats Are Mean: "Night of the Cat People" has Tommy adopting a Cute Kitten that acts sweet around him, but viciously attacks the aliens whenever he isn't present.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Swanky has "Nincompoops.", which he even says in the opening theme song.
    • Granville has "This is all your fault, Tommy Cadle."
    • Tommy has multiple:
      • He yells "DINKO!" whenever he's had enough of Dinko's antics.
      • He sometimes says "I'm doomed." when he's stuck in a bad situation. Lampshaded by Swanky in "They Came From Outer Space":
        Swanky: What's that silly phrase you always say? Oh, yes, "I'm doomed".
      • Whenever one of the aliens says something nonsensical, Tommy will say "Right..." extending the I sound.
  • Christmas Episode: "It Comes When You Sleep" has the aliens experiencing their first Christmas, which Tommy explains to be a celebration of... the guy who invented shopping malls. Eventually, the aliens kidnap Santa Claus himself!
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Gumpers' living tooth appeared a few times in Season 1, but is completely absent in Season 2. A tooth still appears in Gumpers' mouth, but it doesn't appear to be sapient like the one in the first season.
  • Clone Degeneration: The Tommy clones Dinko creates in "The Night of Two Tommys +1" look identical to Tommy, but lack his personality and are much dumber than he is. One of them also has a blue face for some reason.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: "When Clinton Ruled the World!" ends with Tommy and Dinko undoing their time travel and restoring the timeline to normal... only now Granville is a buff jock and Clinton is a wimpy nerd. Considering Clinton took over the world the last time Tommy and Dinko went back in time, Tommy sees nothing wrong with leaving him and Granville as they are.
  • Cloudcuckooland: From what we hear of it, the aliens' home planet, Conforma, is a very bizarre place. Money literally grows from trees, the population engages in synchronized burps, and vacuum cleaner monsters roam the planet.
  • Comic Trio: Dinko, Gumpers, and - depending on the episode - either Tommy or Swanky. Dinko is the leader, constantly conducting half-thought-out schemes to help Tommy out or learn about Earth culture. Gumpers is the follower who helps Dinko in his schemes, being too dumb to know any better. Tommy and Swanky frequently trade off the Only Sane Man role depending on the episode, as one will get dragged into the aliens' antics while the other sits on the sidelines and acts as the Straight Man.
  • Companion Cube:
    • The closest thing Granville has to a friend is a statue called Admiral Puff. He constantly treats it as if it were alive and has tea parties with it.
    • "The Thing on the Corner" revolves around Dinko befriending a mailbox, which he believes to be one of Tommy's friends. He eventually steals the mailbox in a misguided attempt to save it from the mailman.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Crossed with Medium Awareness: in "The Boy Who Ate Too Much Taffy", Dinko is called by a blackmailer who says to meet him at "the old Crab Shack from episode six", referencing when Tommy visited the old man's shack in "Box of Doom", the first half of the sixth episode pair of season one.
    • In "The Floating Head", one of Dinko and Gumpers' plans to save Tommy from building Melba's parade float involves enlisting the "suction beast" they were scared of in "It Came From the Closet".
    • In "I Voted for an Alien", Swanky tries to get Tommy to get Dinko to vote him Alien of the Year by reminding him of all the good he's done. Tommy then flashes back to when Swanky ate the Thanksgiving turkey in "Return of the Ghastly Gobber", Swanky told Gumpers to do something nice for Tommy in "Unleashed Beast of Fury", Swanky tried to get Gumpers and Flip to be his best friend in "Bad Blood From Beyond" and Swanky ordering products and insulting Tommy in "Shipping and Handling Not Included".
    • Santa Claus is kidnapped by the aliens during his Christmas deliveries in "It Comes When You Sleep". He apparently never made it back to the North Pole, as he makes cameos in "The Beast That's Stuck in My Foot" and "The Thing with the Ugly Face".
    • It's pointed out a couple times in "The Time That Time Ended" that Swanky doesn't know how to drive the go-getter spaceship, to the point where he eventually blows it up by flying into a firework. In "The Horrible Workout of Evil", Dinko teaches Swanky how to drive the go-getter.
  • Cool Starship: The aliens' go-getter spaceship is extremely cool, being capable of light-speed flight and space travel. It can also travel through time.
  • Couch Gag: Every episode in the first season opens with a completely random one-off gag before switching to the actual plot of the episode.
  • Cowboy Episode: "The Sheriff Was an Alien" revolves around Dinko and Gumpers playing cowboys, with Gumpers as the sheriff. When Gumpers starts abusing his power to lock Dinko away for 3 million years (for cheating at cards), Tommy has to beat him in a showdown.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": In "The Horrible Workout of Evil", Tommy accidentally breaks his back when he tries to join in on Dinko's game of "spitball"; since he's only 13 years old, it's attributed to his lack of exercise (which Dinko tries to correct) rather than old age.
  • Cursed with Awesome: After touching an irradiated asteroid in "Big Hand of Fate", Tommy's hand becomes extremely large. Tommy initially wants to cure it, but after seeing all the upsides it brings (particularly catching baseballs; a boon when Tommy wants to join the baseball team), he grows to enjoy his new hand.
  • Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: In "Bad Blood From Beyond", Swanky has Flip bring him a pie. Flip, being Flip, cuts a slice out of the pie... and then throws the rest in Swanky's face.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Flip gets the most focus in "Beast Who Stole my Heart" and "The Day Flip Stood Still".
    • "Attack of the Werescruffy" and "A Pirate and his Dog" both focus extensively on Scruffy, who is otherwise a background character.
    • "Island of Doom" focuses primarily on Swanky being trapped on an island, with Tommy and the other aliens playing secondary roles.
    • "Night of the Norwegian Boy" focuses on Granville DeSpray and his efforts to win over Melba. Tommy doesn't play a major role until about halfway through the episode, while Dinko remains minor throughout.
  • Death by De-aging: Discussed in "The Boy Who Cried "Waaah!"". When Dinko tries to stop Tommy from aging, he accidentally turns him into a baby and fears that, since he became younger, Tommy may further regress and eventually disappear altogether.
    Dinko: I must find a way to correct Tommy of Earth, Only Much Smaller's aging process. If his reverse aging continues, he may disappear completely!
  • Demonic Possession: In "Evil That Pinched My Feet", Tommy gets possessed by his own shoes after Dinko mutated them with radiation. This is signified by his eyes glowing green.
  • Despair Speech: Played for Laughs in "Crater of Doom", when Tommy gives a melodramatic speech after he gets a pimple on School Picture Day and all of his attempts to get rid of it have failed. It's so depressing that the pimple itself starts crying for a moment.
    Tommy: All I ask is to take one good school picture. That's all. That too much to ask? This year... this year was going to be my year. But now, everything's worse than ever... because of this stupid pimple! My life is RUINED!
  • Detention Episode: "Escape from Detention X" revolves around Tommy being stuck in detention and the aliens attempting to break him out.
  • Disintegrator Ray: In "The Boy Who Cried "Waaah!"", Gumpers thinks it's a good idea to give a disintegrator ray to the de-aged Tommy, who proceeds to have fun blasting the entire neighborhood to ashes.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "The Sheriff was an Alien", Gumpers, playing the role of a sheriff, locks Dinko in jail for 3 million years for the crime of cheating at cards.
  • Distaff Counterpart: The titular character of "The Bride of Gumpers" turns out to be a female version of Gumpers who's even more gross and crude than he is.
  • A Dog Ate My Homework: "When TV Ruled the World" has Tommy get an F after Gumpers ate his homework. Apparently, the teacher didn't take "aliens ate my homework" as a valid excuse.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • After the aliens spent the bulk of "The Little Monster Ball" ruining Granville's party, smashing his statues and pestering Tommy despite the latter's repeated pleas for them to just go home, Tommy and Granville both get their revenge when Tommy forces the aliens to act as Granville's new statues until said statues are rebuilt.
    • In "Uranus Awaits", after escaping the simulation Dinko put him in, Tommy gets his revenge by trapping Dinko in the very same simulation.
    • In "The Boy Who Cried "Waaah!"", after getting turned into a baby but having his normal mind restored, Tommy is so angry about Dinko's poorly thought-out attempts to help that he repeatedly electrocutes the alien using Dinko's own invention: a button that electrocutes Dinko every time it's pressed.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: The show really loves the word "doom".
    • One of Tommy's Catch Phrases is "I'm doomed".
    • Several episodes are called some variation of "of Doom", such as "Crater of Doom" or "Box of Doom". The compilation DVD "Lighter Side of Doom" features several of said episodes.
  • The Door Slams You:
    • In "Crater of Doom", Swanky just wants to go to the bathroom, but his efforts are thwarted when Gumpers slams the door in his face. Flip then does the same, then Swanky accidentally slams himself into the wall trying to let Tommy in, then Flip slams the door on him a few more times.
    • At the end of "The Black Eye of Doom", Dinko inadvertently slams the door on Tommy's face, giving the latter a black eye.
  • Dropped in the Toilet: In "They Took the Toilet to Outer Space", Dinko tosses his favorite ball and it lands in the toilet. He tries to "shake hands" with the toilet as a peace offering by pulling on its handle and flushes his ball by mistake. Dinko is distraught about this and decides to banish the toilet to space, not wanting to admit that it was his own mistake that led to this.
  • Dwindling Party: The horror movie pastiche "Night of the Werescruffy" has Scruffy, after becoming the titular monster, eating all the other aliens before finally consuming Tommy.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The first season had a different theme song detailing the aliens' first meeting with Tommy, which alternated between an Instrumental Theme Tune and one with opera-style vocals. The second season would instead go with a jazzy Expository Theme Tune explaining the aliens' personalities and why they're living with Tommy, which would later be used for episodes from the first season.
    • The animation was much rougher, with brighter, inconsistent lighting and choppier animation. The aliens also frequently showed their teeth whenever they opened their mouths. This element of their designs was quickly done away with, and they're toothless in later episodes unless an expression specifically requires them to show teeth.
    • "It Came From the Closet" has a couple moments that don't align with the rest of the show:
      • Granville lacks his dog statue, Admiral Puff. He instead has a red bird statue called Duchess.
      • It's implied either Melba or Gabby has a dog, as Dinko mentions making a drink out of "dog potatoes" found around the house of the "Next Door Neighbor of Tommy of Earth". Neither character is shown to have a dog in subsequent episodes, though Melba briefly mentions getting rid of her dog in "Unleashed Beast of Fury".
    • In general, Tommy's mom plays a much larger role in the first few episodes before mostly being phased out altogether. In season 2, she only appears in one episode.
    • Several episodes in the first season show that Gumpers' tooth is alive. This was quietly dropped in Season 2.
    • Every episode of the first season started with a short skit that was completely unrelated to the actual plot of the episode. In the second season, this was completely phased out and every episode immediately starts with the plot.
  • Eating Shoes: Gumpers eats everything, including shoes.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: "Assault of a Rodent" has a mouse invading Tommy's lighthouse, with the aliens being terrified of it.
  • Enfante Terrible: Emperor Breet from "Evil Emperor" is a small alien who resembles a six-year-old child and wants to enslave the Earth. Discussed by Tommy and Dinko:
    Tommy: You're afraid of a little kid?
    Dinko: Oh, that's no kid, Tommy of Earth. That's Emperor Breet, the vilest, meaniest, stinkiest alien in the whole galaxy! You can tell by the horns! The horns hidden in... his... head!
    Tommy: Oh, puh-lease! He's six years old!
    Dinko: Evil comes in many colors, shapes and sizes, Tommy of Earth.
  • Expository Theme Song: The second theme song introduces all five of Tommy Cadle's pet alien pals and explains why they're living on Earth with Tommy.
    The aliens were cruising in their rocket one day!
    Go go-getter, go!
    But Tommy Cadle's lighthouse got in the way!
    Woah, spaceship, woah!
    Planet Earth should suffice, the aliens shall lay tight!
    They moved in with Tommy and they're planning to stay for a while!
    There's Dinko, Tommy's friend to the end!
    Gumpers, got the strength of ten men!
    Swanky, with his nose in the air!
    Scruffy and Flip, the crazy wild pair!
    On Pet Alien... PET ALIEN!
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: None of the main aliens wear clothes except for Swanky, who sometimes wears a bathrobe. "Day of the Naked Aliens" revolves around this, with Tommy teaching Dinko that humans wear clothes to hide their "naked stuff"; Dinko freaks out upon realizing he's been naked the whole time, while Gumpers doesn't care and even happily sings about being naked.
  • Expy: Swanky is practically identical to Squidward in every way, while Dinko bears a passing resemblance to Yoshi.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • Swanky will never get to sleep in Tommy's bed. Even when he does get it, he'll eventually lose it somehow (such as in "They Took Tommy's Brain", when the bed gets destroyed).
    • No matter how hard they try, Granville will never win over Melba, and Gabby will never win over Tommy.
  • Fear of Thunder: Dinko is revealed to be afraid of thunder in "Hammy of Earth!". To combat this fear, he uses a smoked ham as a Security Blanket.
  • Forced Transformation: In "The Boy with Six Legs", a series of Contrived Coincidences involving Tommy being locked out of the lighthouse and a crab sitting on the answering machine when he tries to call for help lead the aliens to believe Tommy has transformed into a crab.
  • Fountain of Youth: In "The Boy Who Cried "Waaah!"", Dinko becomes terrified of the idea of Tommy growing old and tries to halt his aging process, only to accidentally turn him into a baby instead.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Bizarrely, the human characters have four fingers on their hands, but five toes on their feet.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: Not in the show itself, but the now-defunct official website had a section where viewers could write emails to Tommy, Dinko, Gumpers, or Swanky and receive in-character responses.
  • Frame-Up: "The Day Time Stood Still" ends with Dinko framing Granville for the clock thefts around DeSpray Bay to spare Tommy from Melba's wrath.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip:
    • In "The Evil that Thumbs do", Tommy and Swanky swap bodies after Dinko's weather control machine causes them to get struck by lightning. Though they initially enjoy their new bodies (Tommy takes advantage of not having to attend school while Swanky shows off his new thumbs), they eventually grow to dislike being each other. Eventually, the swap is undone... only now Tommy has swapped with Flip while Swanky, Gumpers and Scruffy have swapped with each other.
    • In "Terror TV", Dinko mentions having a Conforma noggin-scrambler that apparently switches minds. Gumpers once used it to switch with a pony (and apparently never switched back).
  • Free-Range Children: Despite only being 13, Tommy essentially lives by himself and has very little parental supervision (his mom only appears off-screen). A couple episodes even have the aliens taking him into space.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "The Boy Who Became Something", when Swanky steals a pile of Tommy's magazines, one of them depicts a bikini-clad woman.
  • Friend Versus Lover: "The Lookalike Girl of Evil" has Tommy bailing on Dinko to instead court Gabby's cousin, Jabby. Naturally, Dinko doesn't take kindly to this and conspires to break Tommy's attraction to her.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Dinko's entire species hat is based around this. He's often able to make amazing things just by digging around Tommy's lifehouse.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Tommy's been repeatedly fired from Cap'n Spangley's taffy shop as a result of the aliens screwing things up for him. These instances never last, and he's usually back at the shop a few episodes later.
  • Genius Ditz: Gumpers can have great ideas, he just has to think hard enough.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Gabby and Melba Manners, the two most recurring girls in the cast, both have their hair done up in pigtails.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: In "The Land That Size Forgot", Dinko is confronted by his shoulder angels when he's trying to decide whether to shake Gumpers' snow globe or not. The angel, Gumpers, says not to while the devil, Swanky, happily encourages him to. Later in the episode, Gumpers consults his own shoulder angel... who takes the form of Granville, for some reason.
  • Grossout Show: The show has a lot of gross humor, primarily from Gumpers and his love of farting and burping. There are also a lot of Gross Up Close Ups.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: "The Day that Wouldn't End" had Tommy and the aliens repeating a day where Tommy went through a Humiliation Conga and always ended with Dinko blowing up the lighthouse, the first few times with a self-destruct button, then a self-destruct lever, and then the lighthouse exploded on its own. The loop ended when Tommy tried to avoid repeating his actions and another location exploded when Dinko pressed the button.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Discussed in "The Boy Who Cried "Waaah!"" when Dinko finds Tommy's old baby pictures. Dinko is terrified of the idea of Tommy growing old, while Tommy himself isn't thrilled either but recognizes it as an important part of life.
    Tommy: People are babies when they're born, Dinko. We're small and shriveled, then we grow bigger and stronger, before eventually growing small and shriveled again, only with a lot more nose and ear hair.
    Dinko: [horrified Jaw Drop] You will grow old and hairy?! Oh... oh, we must prevent this at all costs!
  • Grows on Trees: Apparently, money in the Conforma dimension actually does grow on trees.
  • Halloween Episode: "Attack of the Werescruffy" is a horror movie parody where Scruffy transforms into a werewolf-like creature called a Werescruffy and Tommy and the aliens have to figure out how to stop him before he eats all of DeSpray Bay.
  • Height Angst: After being humiliated for being too short to ride a fairground ride in "Attack of the 50 Foot Boy", Tommy is appropriately upset about his short height to the point of having nightmares about it a minute later.
    Dinko: Oh, that was fun! Now, I understand why you enjoy it so much!
    Tommy: That wasn't the ride, and I'm not that short! No way... Nah, that machine is wrong! I hate this place, and I hate rides! I... (sadly walks off as a baby cries)
    Dinko: Oh, poor tiny Tommy of Earth.
  • Here We Go Again!:
    • "Attack of the 50 Foot Boy" ends with Tommy being shrunk down to normal after being turned into a giant... only now he won't stop shrinking.
    • In "They Took Tommy's Brain", Tommy gets Easy Amnesia after Gumpers kicks a ball into his head. At the end of the episode, Dinko hits him again and restores his memory... only for a squirrel to drop an acorn on Tommy's head a minute later, causing Tommy to believe he's actually Granville.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Tommy spends the bulk of "Stage Fright" in a depressive, miserable state upon realizing he doesn't have any special talents.
    • In "Uranus Awaits" Dinko is conflicted about whether to uphold his promise to Tommy and stay with him for the weekend (which Tommy was grounded for) or bail on him to attend the upcoming Uranus Festival with the other aliens, and eventually tries to Take a Third Option by trapping Tommy in a simulation with copies of the aliens. When Tommy finds out, he's so angry over Dinko breaking his promise, lying to him and wasting his time that he bluntly calls Dinko out for it and refuses to forgive him; Dinko's left so guilt-ridden that he's reduced to babbling incoherently.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: "Scare Affair" involves Tommy getting hiccups and the aliens trying to scare them out of him before his upcoming video game tournament.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: "Scout's Horror" has Tommy and Gumpers trying to join the Seagull Scouts. Unfortunately, the ensuing camping trip goes wrong thanks to Gumpers' antics; he eats all the food, keeps the other scouts awake with his snoring, repeatedly injures Granville and destroys Cap'n Spangley's compass.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: Downplayed. The original Pet Alien toyline focused exclusively on the aliens, with the human boy Tommy being a secondary character who adopted some of them in the toyline shorts. In the animated series, while the aliens are still prominent characters, Tommy is now the central focus character, most of the supporting cast are humans who weren't in the original toyline and many of the aliens from the original toyline are absent altogether.
  • Hypno Fool: In "The Day Time Stood Still", Tommy questions why Scruffy is eating flies, to which Dinko responds that Flip used a magician's watch to hypnotize Scruffy into believing he's a frog.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: In "Stage Fright", Tommy is left depressed over the realization that everyone has a special talent except him. Fortunately, Dinko eventually manages to find something he can do: juggling!
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: While this doesn't happen much in the show's original version, each episode's title in French dub begins with "Le jour..." ("The Day...").
  • Impossible Pickle Jar: In "Hammy of Earth!", Tommy suggests that Dinko eat pickles to sleep better, but Dinko can't open the pickle jar. Dinko later uses the titular ham to just break the jar open.
  • Interspecies Friendship: The show revolves around Tommy, a human, and his friendships with the titular aliens.
  • Invisible Jerkass: In "Curse of the Invisible Boy", Tommy gets turned invisible thanks to one of Dinko's inventions and uses his new powers to screw with DeSpray Bay by pretending to be a ghost. By the end of the episode, the situation is reversed with everyone else in DeSpray Bay turning invisible and screwing with the now-visible Tommy instead.
  • Invisible Parents: Despite most of the cast being kids, none of their parents ever appear on-screen. Tommy's mom is only heard through a speaker, while Granville and Melba are only confirmed to have parents through offhand mentions. Swanky is the only character whose parents actually appear in person at any point in the show.
  • Kafka Komedy: A large part of the show's comedy revolves around Tommy suffering comedic abuse because of the aliens' antics, which he also gets blamed for while the aliens get off scot-free.
  • Laugh Track: Some episodes feature canned laughter after particularly lame jokes, as if to lampshade how lame said jokes are.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Tommy in "The Earth Boy Who Needed Protection", when the shield Dinko put around him ends up making his life miserable:
    Tommy: Okay, so let me get this straight: your invention prevents me from playing with my best friend, and it keeps me from eating my favorite junk food?
    Dinko: Exactly.
  • Lighthouse Point: Tommy and the aliens live in a giant lighthouse. Oddly, it isn't used for the usual lighthouse functions, as Tommy's bedroom is located where the light would normally be.
  • Loud of War: In "Stage Fright", Melba and Gabby's musical duel boils down to them playing their instruments (a violin and a trombone) as loud as possible.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Played With: Granville dislikes Tommy because he thinks the latter has a crush on Melba, who Granville is also trying to win over. In actuality, Tommy and Melba despise each other and Melba in turn dislikes Granville.
    • "The Lookalike Girl of Evil" features a love triangle between Tommy, Gabby and Gabby's identical cousin Jabby. Gabby is head-over-heels for Tommy as usual, while Tommy falls in love with Jabby at first sight; Jabby, on the other hand, finds him annoying. Dinko is confused as to why Tommy doesn't try to win over Gabby instead, considering she and Jabby look identical and Gabby actually loves him back.
  • Mandatory Line:
    • Tommy and Dinko are the only characters to appear in every episode. However, Dinko's sole appearance in "Scout's Horror" boils down to him seeing Tommy and Gumpers off on their trip, at which point he vanishes from the episode altogether. Similarly, in "Master Bakers!", Dinko doesn't appear until the last scene of the episode, as the bulk of it is focused on Gumpers.
    • There are several episodes where Swanky only appears to deliver a snarky one-liner or suffer comedic abuse before vanishing for the rest of the episode. It's especially notable in Season 2, where Swanky fell Out of Focus and is outright absent from multiple episodes altogether.
    • There are also multiple episodes where either Melba or Gabby will show up, speak once and then vanish altogether, which seems be primarily for the sake of giving Candi Milo something to say for the episode. "Horror Scope" is a prime example of this, with Melba's only line being off-screen.
  • Medium Awareness: In "Attack of the Werescruffy", the titular transformation only lasts fifteen minutes. When Tommy questions why, Dinko and Gumpers point out that fifteen minutes is how long each episode is:
    Tommy: I mean, why only fifteen minutes?
    Dinko: That is just how long it takes to finish.
    Gumpers: Although, technically it's eleven minutes plus four minutes of commercials.
  • Militaries Are Useless: The few times the military show up, they are comically inept. They fail to recognise Dinko as an alien despite him not wearing a disguise, and Gumpers is apparently on good enough terms with a general to borrow a tank.
  • Minor Living Alone: 13-year-old Tommy Cadle lives in his lighthouse with the titular aliens, but very little parental supervision. His mom occasionally communicates with him through a speaker, but makes no on-screen appearance (though Gumpers confirms she lives in the nearby house in "They Took Tommy's Brain") and is otherwise out of the picture.
  • Mistaken for Superpowered: "The Amazing Atomic Tommy" revolves around the aliens believing Tommy has superpowers after he performs a magic trick involving pulling a coin out of Dinko's nose, and subjecting him to several near-death experiences under the belief they're training him.
  • Mistaken Nationality: Despite being obviously English, Granville is often mistaken for being Norwegian.
  • Money Dumb: None of the aliens are particularly bright regarding money, to the point where they've forced Tommy into crippling debt numerous times by buying things he can't afford. "Shipping and Handling Not Included" highlights this aspect of their characters: when they mistakenly believe they've won a million dollars through junk mail, they immediately spend all of Tommy's money on random items from a shopping channel. Swanky in particular tries to buy thousands of faberge eggs.
  • Mythology Gag: Although the show has very little in common with the toyline, it still referenced a couple minor elements:
    • "Duet From Another Dimension" features Shank and Dank, a two-headed alien. Much like the main five, Shank and Dank were also part of the toyline.
    • In "The Beast That's Stuck in My Foot", Gumpers reminds Tommy that Dinko can bounce when the latter jumps off the lighthouse. In the toyline, Dinko's most well-known ability was his bouncing, which he frequently used to escape the humans out to capture him.
    • "Shipping and Handling Not Included" mentions that Swanky's favorite color is indigo. In the original Pet Alien toyline, he was indigo instead of blue.
  • Naked People Are Funny: In "Day of the Naked Aliens", Dinko realizes the importance of clothing to humans and panics after realizing he's been naked the whole time, causing him to conclude that the clothes are mind-controlling the humans and go on a war against all clothing that culminates in him destroying all the clothing in DeSpray Bay.
    Dinko: You are free, Tommy of Earth. Free to be naked! Everyone is free to be naked and happy, just like me! I have destroyed all of the clothing in DeSpray Bay! Are you feeling the happiness yet?
    Tommy: No! I'm not feeling the happiness. I'm naked! I can't go to school naked! I-I-I can't go anywhere naked! I want my clothes, Dinko! I like my clothes. Clothes are not evil. I like to wear them!
    Dinko: You... you like clothes?
    Tommy: Yes! I like pants, I like shirts, I like underwear, I don't like to be naked!
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: In "The Boy with Six Legs", Tommy accidentally locks himself out of the lighthouse while wearing Swanky's bathrobe, which he's very embarrassed about. Things don't get any better for him from there, as his pleas for the aliens to bring him clothes result in them mistaking a crab for him, Gabby stalks him, and Melba laughs at him.
  • The Napoleon: Literally. One Recurring Extra is a short boy dressed as Napoleon who speaks in a French accent. As "Attack of the 50 Foot Boy" shows, he's rather touchy about his height.
  • Negative Continuity: Several episodes end with the lighthouse being destroyed, only for it to be miraculously back to normal by the next episode. "This Phone. This Insanity!" Hand Waves it away by showing Dinko and Gumpers rebuilding the lighthouse after one of their escapades goes awry, implying they simply rebuild it every time it gets destroyed.
  • Never Trust a Title: Ironically, none of the aliens are actually Tommy's pets, but act more like roommates or houseguests. Scruffy is the closest thing to a "pet alien", but he's Dinko's pet, not Tommy's.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A lot of the episode plots only come about because of Dinko's poorly thought-out decisions, such as trying to make Tommy bigger only to turn him into a giant, or stealing all the clocks in town so Tommy could have more time.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Dinko, Swanky and Gumpers. Dinko (nice) is friendly and often tries to help Tommy out, Swanky (mean) is a self-centered, pretentious jerk, and Gumpers (in-between) is buffoonish and clumsy but generally well-meaning. Sometimes, Dinko and Gumpers can swap places in that Dinko tends to be short-sighted and insensitive in his efforts to help Tommy, while Gumpers is a Kindhearted Simpleton who genuinely doesn't know any better.
  • No Animals Allowed: In "The Evil that Thumbs Do", Tommy tries to visit the taffy shop while stuck in Swanky's body. Unfortunately, Cap'n Spangley just implemented a ban on animals, resulting in the now bird-like Tommy being kicked out.
  • Non-Residential Residence: Tommy and the aliens live in a lighthouse that's been converted into a living space with a kitchen, living room, bathroom and basement. Tommy's bedroom is located where the light would normally be.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Several unexplained incidents are partially mentioned as for why Tommy won't bring the aliens on errands anymore in "The Day the Food Expired", which apparently involved: Dinko setting something free, Gumpers eating something he had to burp up again and something that required firemen to intervene.
    • Apparently, at some point before "The Little Monster Ball", Swanky became depressed to learn that leather was supposedly made from "TURKEY CARCASS!"
    • In "Evil That Pinched My Feet", when Dinko offers to help Tommy get new shoes, Tommy asks if this is going to be like the other times Dinko used his "alien knowledge and knowhow", which then cuts to Tommy falling through space while screaming. Exactly how he ended up in that situation goes completely unexplained.
    • "They Had an Aluminium Ticket" reveals that Dinko disintegrated Tommy's parents once. Exactly how that happened, as well as how he brought them back is unclear.
    • In "Scout's Horror", Dinko apparently doesn't go into the woods anymore because of an unexplained "misunderstanding".
  • Nutritional Nightmare: Captain Spangley's Tasty Chicken Cookies from "The World Without Hamburgers" are ridiculously greasy (to the point where Gumpers makes one explode from a light squeeze) and apparently made from leftover chicken parts that are then mashed together, boiled in oil and fried extensively.
  • One-Episode Fear: "Darkness" revolves around the aliens trying to help Tommy face his fear of the dark after discovering he sleeps with a nightlight, despite a few episodes previously showing him sleeping perfectly fine without one.
  • Only Sane Man: Tommy seems to be the only person with his head on straight, often trying to rein in the aliens' antics and teach them about human culture. He also appears to be the only person who knows the aliens are actually, well, aliens.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: If fed anchovy pizza while the full moons of Conforma are aligned and the global population of Conforma engages in a synchronized belch at the same time, Scruffy becomes a large, werewolf-like creature called a Werescruffy. While in this state, he's inclined to eat anyone in sight and eating sugar makes him grow 400 times in size. However, the transformation only lasts fifteen minutes, at which point he reverts back to normal and vomits out everything he swallowed.
  • Picture Day: "Crater of Doom" revolves around Tommy's efforts to get a good picture for School Picture Day, which becomes difficult when he develops a giant crater on his forehead.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Next to Gumpers, Dinko is the most powerful alien in the group and as shown in the cast picture he's the second smallest. He can also kick soccer balls hard enough to give Easy Amnesia, throw boulders several times his size and weight, and carry Tommy around while running if he has to.
  • Playing Cyrano: In "Night of the Norwegian Boy", Granville enlists Gumpers to help him win over Melba, as the latter is attracted to Gumpers' poetry.
  • Plot Allergy: In "Terror in my Nose", Tommy suddenly becomes allergic to Dinko to the point where simply getting close sends him into a sneezing fit. It turns out that this is because Dinko forgot to put on hair gel that day; the scent of the gel blocks Dinko's own scent and allows Tommy to be around him without his allergies acting up.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: Flip is an alien that looks like a bird and can talk, though it's difficult to decipher what he's saying.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A lot of conflicts only happen because the aliens have misinterpreted an Earth concept and won't ask Tommy to clarify it. Hilarity Ensues as they try to figure it out on their own, with chaotic results.
  • Potty Emergency: "They Took the Toilet to Outer Space" has the aliens banishing the lighthouse toilet to space under the belief that it ate their ball. Tommy, who just drank a gigantic soda, has to prove the toilet's innocence before he urinates. He succeeds in getting the toilet brought back, but fails to make it in time. And to make matters worse, the aliens just banished the bath to space.
  • Real After All: Some episodes ended like this. Like the one where the aliens thought balloons were other aliens.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Tommy Cadle is the calm, reasonable Blue Oni to his alien best friend Dinko's manic, hyperactive Red Oni.
    • The two main girls, Melba Manners and Gabby. Melba is the spoilt, hot-tempered Red Oni to Gabby's demure, quieter Blue Oni.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked:
    • In "Evil Emperor", Melba ends up taking Emperor Breet home shortly after he's revealed to be a vicious tyrant who wants to enslave the Earth. Tommy wants to save her, but can't come up with a decent justification as to why. The aliens, meanwhile, aren't particularly interested in saving her, considering how bossy she is to them and Tommy, but eventually come around upon figuring out how to defeat Breet for good.
    • In "The Incredible Floating Boy", all of DeSpray Bay ends up weightless and at risk of floating away after one of Dinko's inventions goes awry. When Melba floats by him, Tommy immediately tries to save her, but after she berates him for doing a terrible job of rescuing her, he decides to save everyone else first and then go back for her.
  • Replaced with Replica: In "She Comes for Your Heart", the aliens switch Tommy's gift for Gabby with Granville's gift for Melba in a bid to stop Tommy from giving his heart to Gabby. When Gabby receives Granville's disgusting gift of liver and onions, she's disgusted to the point of throwing Tommy out of her house.
  • Rescue Introduction: As shown in the intro, Tommy and Dinko's friendship started when Tommy, scared of the aliens, fell off the lighthouse and Dinko saved him from plummeting to his death.
  • Rich Bitch: Granville DeSpray, being descended from DeSpray Bay's founders, is extremely rich. He lives in a giant mansion and frequently abuses his fortune to win over Melba or one-up Tommy, such as buying hundreds of taffy bars for an aluminium ticket or getting an extremely rare TaffiMon card to beat Tommy.
  • Right Hand of Doom: In "Big Hand of Fate", Tommy's right hand becomes comically large (right before his baseball tryouts) after he touches an irradiated meteorite. Though Tommy initially hates his new hand, he grows to enjoy it when he realizes how useful a big hand is for catching baseballs.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: In "When Clinton Ruled the World!", the statue of DeSpray Bay's founder, Lisol DeSpray is replaced with another statue of Clinton after Tommy and Dinko alter history to delay the founding. When Tommy and Dinko set things back to normal, the Lisol statue returns.
  • Running Gag:
    • Tommy's lighthouse repeatedly gets blown up or destroyed. It's back to normal by the next episode.
    • Granville blames Tommy whenever something goes wrong, even when Tommy couldn't feasibly have anything to do with it.
    • The banjo-playing frogs, who often play music at inappropriate times.
    • Several episodes open with a mime trying to get into the lighthouse, only for Flip to screw with him and drive him off.
    • Sometimes when Tommy is in trouble, Gabby will sniff him out and note that he is "doomed".
    • Tommy repeatedly gets Shockingly Expensive Bills from Cap'n Spangley whenever the aliens eat large amounts of taffy he can't afford.
    • Whenever someone comes to the lighthouse's door, the aliens will, without fail, loudly yell "DOOR!" and race to open it ridiculously fast.
    • Sometimes, when Granville talks to Admiral Puff and expects a response, the inanimate statue will just fall over.
    • In "The Day the Food Expired", Gumpers repeatedly sits on Flip without realizing it.
    • "The Little Monster Ball" has two: Tommy telling the aliens to go home and Clinton throwing scones at Granville.
    • In "Scout's Horror", Gumpers repeatedly picks up and shakes Granville, believing him to be a leprechaun with cookies in his pants.
    • In "Him", Dinko repeatedly describes himself as "a dog with [emotion]", with the last word changing each time he does so.
  • The Scapegoat: Characters would always blame Tommy for things that obviously weren't his fault.
  • Scary Scarecrow: In "Him", Dinko believes Melba's scarecrow is a monster out to harm Tommy.
  • Scout-Out: "Scout's Horror" features the Seagull Cadets, a boy scout group led by Cap'n Spangley and consisting of Granville, Clinton, Frenchy, Tommy, and Gumpers.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: In "Scare Affair", Tommy screams like a little girl upon being greeted with an angry Melba. Melba ultimately realizes she can't punch someone as pathetic as him and leaves.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Tommy believes the titular object in "Box of Doom" holds the jumping beans Cap'n Spangley is waiting for, despite the aliens being terrified of it. He turns out to be wrong (and the aliens right) when the box instead turns out to contain a giant tentacle monster that promptly drags him in.
  • Secret Test of Character: In "The Boy Who Ate Too Much Taffy", Dinko is called by a mysterious blackmailer who wants Cap'n Spangley's secret taffy wad in exchange for Tommy's safety. However, when Dinko meets the blackmailer, he refuses to give the wad away on account of his promise to Spangley. The blackmailer is then revealed to be Cap'n Spangley himself, who was checking to make sure his crew was trustworthy; Dinko, Tommy and Gumpers passed with flying colors.
  • Self-Deprecation: In "Horror Scope", Dinko comments how terrible Earth programs are. Dinko and Tommy then do an Aside Glance as a Laugh Track plays.
  • Sequel Episode: "The Day of Judgement" is a sequel to "Evil Emperor", as it entails Emperor Breet returning to get revenge against the aliens by tricking Swanky into moving out of the lighthouse. His defeat in "Evil Emperor" is even explicitly referenced.
  • Series Fauxnale: The final episodes of Season 1, "The Time that Time Ended" and "The Day of Judgement", both feel like potential series finales in case the show didn't get another season. "The Time that Time Ended" features the aliens thinking the world will end and dealing with their last day left on Earth, while "The Day of Judgement" has Swanky moving out of the lighthouse and getting a surprisingly emotional farewell as Tommy and the remaining aliens realise how much they miss him. Neither lasts, of course — the former ended with a New Year celebration while the latter had Swanky moving back in by the end — and the show continued for another season.
  • Shell Game: "Sounds of Doom" opens with Swanky trying to guess which clam has a pearl in it. He guesses wrong and gets a boxing glove to the face.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Looney Tunes:
      • "The World Without Hamburgers" has Dinko briefly channel Bugs Bunny while eating a carrot.
        Dinko: Eh, what is up, doc?
      • "Scare Affair" implies the aliens lived with (and accidentally killed) Marvin the Martian before they met Tommy. When Dinko ruminates on what happened to "[their] martian", a disheveled skeleton wearing Marvin's helmet can be seen for a second.
    • In "Horror Scope", Dinko and Gumpers vow to protect Tommy from his horoscope. They then cut to the lighthouse in the style of the Batman (1966) series, with the Batman logo replaced with a picture of Flip.
    • Gumpers' suggestion when Tommy gets taken over by his own shoes in "Evil That Pinched My Feet" is to click his heels three times and say "there's no place like home", akin to The Wizard of Oz.
    • Several episodes (such as "The Creature of DeSpray Bay", "The Bride of Gumpers" and "Attack of the Werescruffy") feature an appearance from Geppetto, who's searching for "a boy with a wooden nose".
    • The Couch Gag for "The Day of Judgement" has Dinko wearing a wizard's hat and performing magic in a way directly referencing the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of Fantasia.
  • Sibling Triangle: "The Lookalike Girl of Evil" features a Love Triangle between Tommy, Gabby, and Gabby's twin cousin Jabby. Gabby is in love with Tommy, while Tommy only has eyes for Jabby (who doesn't return his feelings either).
  • Sick Episode: "The Alien Who Invaded the Taffy Shoppe" has Tommy becoming ill on one of the days he's supposed to be working at Cap'n Spangley's taffy shop. Dinko and Gumpers have to fill in for him.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
    • Tommy and Melba frequently antagonize each other and have very few positive interactions.
    • Swanky and Flip despise each other. Swanky is a Jerkass to all of the aliens (and Tommy), but Flip's the only one to return Swanky's hatred and and frequently attacks him in comedic ways. Lampshaded in "Stage Fright":
      Swanky: Must you make it your sole ambition in life to constantly annoy me?
      Flip: [babbles incoherently] Oh, that's my talent!
  • Skyward Scream: Melba doesn't take her clocks being stolen very well in "The Day Time Stood Still", letting off a scream so loud all of DeSpray Bay hears it.
  • Smelly Feet Gag: Halfway through "Evil That Pinched My Feet", Tommy's radiation-enhanced shoes become sentient and want revenge on him for wearing them on his "stinky, stinky feet".
    Shoes: I have suffered on the boy's stinky, stinky feet, and now I shall force him to live a smelly life of humiliation!
  • Split Personality:
    • "Mr. Jekyll and Mr. Swanky" has Swanky consuming a potato chip and becoming an obnoxiously peppy Cloudcuckoolander who loves eating potato chips. He's reverted back after being tricked into eating caviar.
    • "The Night My Brain Froze" has Dinko randomly switching between different personalities after getting brain freeze, such as a monkey, an old man, a baby, a butler and a pirate.
  • Spoof Aesop: Some episodes try to teach morals, only to break them by the end of the episode. This is Played for Laughs.
    • "Shipping and Handling Not Included" has Tommy successfully teaching the aliens about scam letters and to say "no" instead of accepting every deal that comes their way. Unfortunately, they also say no to Cap'n Spangley when he offers them a million dollars; his sweepstakes, unlike the other scams shown in the episode, were actually real.
    • "The Thing With the Ugly Face" has Dinko adopting a True Beauty Is on the Inside philosophy after his face gets frozen from riding a rollercoaster too much. It's clear he's only doing so as a means of coping with his newfound ugliness, and, once he reverts to normal, he immediately says that said beliefs were only for "ugly people".
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In general, Dinko and Gumpers tend to get the most screentime of all the aliens, with Dinko frequently instigating the conflict of the episode and Gumpers tagging along as his sidekick. Swanky is either an active participant or a side character who only shows up to snark or get hurt and then vanish for the rest of the episode. Flip only occasionally shows up to make Non Sequitur comments while Scruffy is a silent background character; both aliens are frequently absent and get less focus than the side characters like Melba, Granville and Captain Spangley. Notably, Dinko is the only main character besides Tommy himself to appear in every episode, while Gumpers appears in every episode except "The Lookalike Girl of Evil".
  • Square-Cube Law: In an episode where Tommy becomes giant size, he's much slower and tires out much more quickly.
  • Stalker Shrine: As shown in "She Comes for Your Heart", Gabby's bedroom is covered in pictures of Tommy. Tommy is very uncomfortable when he's forced to visit her.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Granville frequently spies on Melba using security cameras planted around her house in a bid to learn how to win her love.
    • Gabby has an obvious crush on Tommy, to the point where her bedroom is covered in pictures of him and she can smell his emotions.
  • Staring Contest: Tommy and Melba get into a staring contest in "The Floating Head" to determine if Tommy should help Melba build her parade float. Tommy loses in seconds.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: At one point in "The Beast who Stole my Heart", Flip starts hitting a trash can with a spatula, which Gumpers notes "sounds much better with a wooden spoon". A minute later, Gabby then comments that it sounds like if Tommy's heart was hit with a spatula; she too comments that it "would sound better with a wooden spoon".
  • Super-Strength: Gumpers is this, it's even listed in the theme song. The other one surprisingly is Dinko, who can lift up a massive boulder and throw it with enough strength to crush Granville's mansion which is far away up on a hill!
  • Superhero Episode: "The Amazing Atomic Tommy" revolves around the aliens believing Tommy is a superhero and putting him in life-threatening situations to train him. Dinko, Gumpers, Flip, and Scruffy all embrace the idea of becoming Tommy's sidekicks and don superhero identities (complete with theme songs, super-weaknesses and a willingness to be taken hostage), while Swanky plays the role of an over-the-top supervillain to fight Tommy.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Swanky, the most pretentious and refined of the aliens, often snarks at his comrades' idiocy. He even has a Catchphrase for it: "Nincompoops."
  • Take That!: "The Great Movie Massacre" has a couple blatant jabs at the movie industry:
    Tommy: Don't worry, Dinko, most people who make movies, they don't know what a script is either. (cue Laugh Track)
    Tommy: Forget the script, we'll make it up as we go. Just like Hollywood!
  • Talent Contest: "Stage Fright" revolves around Tommy's school holding a talent show that he and all his classmates have to participate in. Tommy angsts over not having a talent like everyone else.
  • Teens Are Short: Most of the main humans (Tommy, Melba, Gabby, Granville, and Clinton) are around 13, but are much shorter than the adults.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: In "The Guest Who Wouldn't Leave... Ever", a black-hole warlord called Bob moves into the lighthouse and refuses to leave no matter what. When Tommy politely asks him to leave, Bob simply kicks him and the aliens out instead and tries to summon a black hole to kill them when they fight back.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Tommy suffers a lot throughout the show, but occasionally gets a happy ending.
    • In "It Landed on the Porch", Tommy wins the game console thanks to Dinko and Gumpers' antics.
    • Dinko's clock theft in "The Day Time Stood Still" caused enough chaos around DeSpray Bay that Tommy actually got the day off from school.
    • In "Scout's Horror", he gets to join the Seagull Cadets and wear the badge without having it taken away by the end.
    • In "She Came from Conforma!", after Tommy successfully returns the malfunctioning robot mom to Conforma, his actual mom takes him to the amusement park as a reward for attending his cousin Norbert's piano recital.
  • Tied-Together-Shoelace Trip: In "Evil That Pinched My Feet", Tommy's shoes, which Dinko enhanced with radiation, eventually become sentient and take over Tommy himself. In a bid to save Tommy, Dinko ties his laces together, which somehow defeats the evil shoes and allows Tommy to regain control of himself.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • Gumpers loves farting and burping, to the point where an episode rarely goes by without him expelling gas. He gets especially gassy whenever he eats cheese, to the point where he fumigates Tommy's entire lighthouse in "Assault of a Rodent".
    • Early on in "It Came from the Closet", Dinko serves Tommy a brown drink, which he apparently made from "dog potatoes". Tommy is appropriately disgusted and slides the drink back to Dinko without consuming it.
    • In "Horror Scope", Tommy drinks expired milk, causing him to repeatedly burp and fart.
    • "They Took the Toilet to Outer Space": Apparently, the aliens never used Tommy's toilet for its intended purpose. When prompted as to where they went, the scene cuts to Granville's garden, which is absolutely covered in plants. Tommy eventually suffers Potty Failure by the end of the episode.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Gumpers has a huge, muscular upper body, but tiny legs.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Tommy loves Cap'n Spangley's saltwater taffy.
  • "Truman Show" Plot: "When TV Ruled the World" has Dinko streaming everything Tommy does as a TV show for him and the other aliens to enjoy. Things get worse for Tommy when Dinko accidentally broadcasts the show to all of DeSpray Bay.
  • Twin Switch: "The Lookalike Girl of Evil" features a Love Triangle between Tommy, Gabby and the latter's cousin Jabby. To break the triangle, Dinko convinces Jabby to wear Gabby's glasses, causing Tommy to mistake the two for each other. When "Jabby" starts speaking like "Gabby" and vice versa, Tommy undergoes Sanity Slippage out of sheer confusion.
  • Unconventional Food Usage: In "Master Bakers!", Gumpers becomes convinced that the baker's been turning people into gingerbread men (he hasn't), so he nabs several gingerbread men and becomes friends with them. He struggles to fight the urge to eat them, thinking that protecting them is his "special purpose".
  • Unflattering ID Photo: "Crater of Doom" has Tommy desperately trying to get a good picture for School Picture Day, as all of his previous pictures have been terrible (as the aliens' repulsed reactions indicate). Even at the end, his picture is ruined when one of Swanky's feathers flies up his nose.
    Tommy: Every year, I take the worst school photos. Even the kids at school call me Monster Face Von Franken-Photo!
  • Universal Remote Control: In "Remote Control of Doom", Dinko accidentally grants Tommy's TV remote reality-warping capabilities. Tommy abuses his newfound rewind, fast-forward, pause and mute abilities to screw with the rest of DeSpray Bay.
  • The Unreveal: Exactly what Tommy got Gabby for Valentine's day in "She Comes for Your Heart" is never shown, as Dinko and Gumpers switched the box with another containing Granville's liver and onions.
  • Unwanted Rescue: "Invasion of the Balloon People" has the aliens driving the go-getter ship in an attempt to rescue Tommy and the other kids from the hot-air balloons, which they believe to be living creatures out to kidnap them. Tommy and the kids aren't happy about this, since several of them are left clinging for dear life off the sides of the ship.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: "She Comes for Your Heart" revolves around the aliens discovering Valentine's Day. Dinko desperately tries to stop Tommy from giving his heart to Gabby, and Granville tries to win over Melba to no avail.
  • Vicious Vac: "It Came from the Closet" features the aliens being terrified of a vacuum cleaner, which they believe to be a vicious monster out to eat them. Naturally, things go wrong and their efforts to fight it cause trouble for Tommy.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: When Swanky becomes extremely cheerful, energetic and nice in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Swanky", Tommy and the aliens are unsettled by the new Swanky's constant enthusiasm and plot to revert him back.
    Dinko: There is only one thing more annoying than old Swanky.
    Tommy: Let me guess: new Swanky.
  • Weirdness Censor: No one realises Tommy's friends are aliens even though they don't wear disguises. They just call them his friends or his "things".
  • With a Foot on the Bus: "The Day of Judgement" has Swanky tiring of the other aliens constantly mistreating him and moving out of the lighthouse to become, at Emperor Breet's urging, an ambassador for a hostile alien planet. As Tommy and Dinko watch Swanky get imprisoned and beaten by the planet's aliens, Tommy speculates that Swanky will likely be back in a few days, and sure enough, he's back in the lighthouse as if nothing happened by the next episode.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: "Planet of the Granvilles" is an elaborate Planet of the Apes parody, but with the apes replaced with primitive Granvilles.
  • Wild Take: A lot of the comedy comes from over-the-top facial expressions. Tommy gets a particularly epic Oh, Crap! moment in "The Land that Size Forgot" when he realizes the aliens have taken the junk he worked so hard to remove back into the lighthouse.
  • World of Ham: Practically everyone in the show is prone to going over-the-top at complete random. Dinko, Gumpers, and Melba in particular are in full ham mode almost every time they're on-screen.
  • World of Jerkass: In general, most of the main and recurring cast (particularly Swanky, Flip, Melba, and Clinton) are jerks who go out of their way to be mean to each other for the sake of Rule of Funny. The only consistently nice characters are Tommy and Dinko, and even then Tommy's held the Jerkass Ball a couple times while Dinko often makes things worse by accident.
  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: "Attack of the 50 Foot Boy" has a fairground ride that Tommy is slightly too short to ride, which the measuring machine even mocks him for. When the aliens make Tommy taller, Tommy gets his revenge by stomping the machine to pieces.


Granville's Stuffed Bird

The parrot-like alien Flip falls in love with Granville's stuffed bird. His feelings are sadly unrequited.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnimalSweetOnObject

Media sources: