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"Everybody knows, when they see that glow, it's Rainbow!"
Part of the Title Theme Tune
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In January 2000, an Animated Adaptation TV series of Marcus Pfister's children's book Rainbow Fish, was released. It was produced by Decode Entertainment and EM.TV for Sony Wonder.

The TV series takes the character and setting and puts them into a new story, different from the children's books (as well the 1997 animated short). Here, the fish live in Neptune Bay and attend a school called "The School of Fish". There's also a shipwreck called "Shipwreck Park", which resembles the Titanic.

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Tropes associated with this series are:

  • Adaptation Deviation: Rainbow keeps all of his sparkling scales for the TV series. They are also nothing more than just part of his character design.
  • Alpha Bitch: Ruby can possibly be like this in school, but especially Angel in "Sea Filly Gets Her Groove Back".
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: This is how Ruby seems to view Rainbow, but at times, she does show that she does care about him a lot.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Happens to Blue in "Prince Blue" when he learns his family came from royalty. He starts acting like a snobbish prince and belittles his peers, including Chomper and Stingo much to their anger. Meanwhile, Rainbow and Sea Filly are not angry at Blue as much as worried about him alienating everyone with his ego. However, it turns out Blue's ancestors were not royalty but the servants of royalty.
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  • Artistic License – Law: In "Rainbow Fish Meets Wayne Grunion", Rainbow and Blue have to retrieve the eponymous side character's lucky puck from Sir Sword's safe. When Blue expresses concern that this would be stealing, Rainbow's reply is, "Blue, how can it be stealing? The puck's already stolen."note 
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: "The Vacation" features an undersea equivalent called "Bigfin", who also turns out to be Real After All.
  • The Bully: Chomper and Stingo, who are a shark and a stingray respectively.
  • Butt-Monkey: Rainbow seems to get in many misfortunes in the series, sometimes brought on by himself.
  • Canon Immigrant: Every character besides Rainbow, Blue and Wanda.
  • The Cheerleader: Angel. She's very vain and makes fun of the boys, especially Sea Filly for being a tomboy.
  • Community-Threatening Construction: The premise of "Eviction Notice", in which Sea Filly discovers that her old piano teachers are being evicted from their home a Corrupt Corporate Executive named Phineas T. Graunt, who plans to tear down their neighborhood and replace it with Shopping Mall and has similar plans for almost the entire city in future.
  • Connected All Along: In the climax of “Grandpa’s Fish Tales”, Rainbow discovers the famous clam ball legend known as the Cyclone turns out to be his own grandfather.
  • Dean Bitterman: Principal Gefilte runs a tight shift in his school. He's shown to be a very tough substitute teacher too in one episode, assigning a book report over the weekend due on Monday.
  • Good Parents: Rainbow's parents are very supportive and loving towards their son, and fairly patient with his shenanigans. Blue's parents are a bit more firm, they do love their son at the end of the day.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Blue and Rainbow are very best friends.
  • In Name Only: It features a rainbow fish with sparkled scales and blue fish that are friends and retain the basic designs of their book counterparts. Also, Wanda shares almost the same characterization with the wise octopus from the book (albeit far less mysterious though). That's about all it shares in common with Pfister's original book.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Wanda the Octopus is always there to help Rainbow and his friends when they need it and they hang out at her cafe.
  • Local Hangout: Many young fish go to Wanda's Cafe for Kelp Gushers.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Chomper and Stingo call Rainbow "Rainbow Creep".
  • Pun: It's a cartoon about fish, so this is expected.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Miss Chips does not tolerate impudent or wayward behavior in her class at all, but she is a fair and caring teacher as long as her students do their best. She even has an interest in video games and other childish stuff.
  • Recyled In Space: The series is basically Western Animation/DougWITH UNDERSEA CREATURES!
  • Througha Face Fullof Fur: * Blue in the episode "Sibling Rivalry". In this case, it's more like a through-a- face-full-of-gills-or-scales moment, as his cheeks get rosy when his mom says that both he and his baby sister, Turquoise, are her babies.
    • Sir Swordfish in "One Fish's Treasure". His whole face goes red with anger and annoyance after being startled by Rainbow fish and causing him to spill seaweed out of his wheelbarrow, and his head gets steamy, frying the seaweed.
    • In "Ruby Slips In", Rainbow's cheeks become rosy twice: Once after he was busy bragging while playing sponge ball and he missed his catch; again after he's upset about his sister getting more attention from his friends than he does.
    • In "The In-Crowd", Rainbow's cheeks get rosy with embarrassment when one of the High Tides comments on him being colorful.
    • In "Father's Day", Rainbow's cheeks get rosy again when Blue mentions that his dad must be a spy (which embarrasses Rainbow because he stretched the truth about what his dad really does for a living).
    • In "Blue's Fishy Catch", Principal Gelfite's cheeks get rosy when he accidentally mentions the goal of winning a trophy in a clam-ball game and the students look at him skeptically, as he realizes that he forgot to keep his yearning to win it a secret.
    • Rainbow gets the rosy cheeks once again in "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", when Chomper and Stingo make jokes at his expense about Mrs. Chips coming to visit his home for dinner.
  • Women Are Wiser: Sea Filly is (usually) much more level-headed and responsible than Rainbow or Blue.

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