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Rose Petal (right) and her friends
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Rose Petal Place was a short-lived franchise created by David Kirschner, with toys by Kenner in 1984. In conjunction with the toys, two TV specials were made to introduce the characters and setting, as were a series of books, cassette tapes, games, and even a vinyl record. The specials were produced by Ruby-Spears, with Marie Osmond voicing Rose Petal.

The resident family of a Victorian-style house moved away, and a little girl took one last stroll through its garden, weeping, before they left. Her tears changed some of the flowers into little maidens, and their living arrangements were similarly transformed toys and gardening implements. Rose Petal's magical singing helps the garden and flowers live forever, but trouble lurks in the form of the hideous spider-woman Nastina, who is always trying to take over the garden with the help of her horsefly assistant Horace.

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The first special, Rose Petal Place, dealt with Rose Petal and her friends thwarting Nastina's attempts to take over the garden, leading Nastina to lure Rose Petal into a trap by pretending to have reformed. The second special, Real Friends, dealt with Rose Petal's friend Sweet Violet attempting to get into showbiz, only for Nastina to exploit her worries and turn everyone against Rose Petal so she could attack when their guards were down.


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These specials contain examples of:

  • The Ace: Rose Petal is the star of the garden thanks to her magical singing, and is often the headline act at Carnation Hall.
  • The Ageless: Rose Petal and her friends won't die of old age, but can still be hurt or killed.
  • All There in the Manual: Most of Rose Petal's friends were only given characterization in the books, and Polly Possum and Pom were only named in an animation cel.
  • And I Must Scream: In the first special, Nastina's potion takes away Rose Petal's singing voice so she can't tend to the garden.
  • Big Bad: Nastina the spider is the main antagonist of the franchise, and is always causing trouble in the garden in her attempts to take it over and get rid of Rose Petal.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the first special, after Rose Petal's been captured all of her friends rally to save her.
  • Big Good:
    • While the protagonist, Rose Petal is the symbol of hope and life for the garden, as it's her voice specifically that causes the flowers to bloom. Many of Nastina's plans focus on taking her out.
    • Elmer the elm tree watches over the residents and introduces the characters and setting to the viewers.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: With a name like Nastina, it's really no surprise. She even gets a song called "I Love to Hate."
  • Compressed Adaptation: The A Garden of Love to Share books are compressed versions of the first special. The full-size storybook omits Nastina's attempt to flood the garden, while the cassette version trims it down further, focusing solely on Nastina making Rose Petal lose her voice.
  • Cool Car: Rose Petal and her friends have their own cars, such as the Rose Petal Roadster, which were originally gardening implements.
  • Cut Short: The second special introduced six new friends for Rose Petal, who were supposed to get toys, but the plug was pulled before they could be released.
  • Damsel in Distress: Rose Petal is captured and nearly killed in the first special, with her friends rescuing her. A tie-in board game is also based around rescuing Rose Petal.
  • Death from Above: In the first special Nastina tries to crush Rose Petal and her friends with a birdbath, and again later on with rocks.
  • Demoted to Extra: Rose Petal's six original friends get much less screen time in the second special in favor of the new characters.
  • Depending on the Writer: Depending on the medium, Nastina is either a mischievous pest as in the toyline, a villain that Rose Petal believes can't be all bad as in the record, or a truly dangerous, remorseless threat as in the cartoon and books.
  • The Dreaded: Nastina is so evil and scary that when Rose Petal is captured her friends are initially too scared to rescue her.
  • Evil Is Petty: In The Fantastic Fashion Show Nastina and Horace try to ruin the show by painting everyone's dresses green.
  • False Innocence Trick: In the first special, Nastina pretends to have reformed to lure Rose Petal into a trap.
  • The Fashionista: Fuchsia is said to be a great fashion designer, and Orchid loves trying on clothes.
  • Forever War: Since Rose Petal and her friends live forever, and so does Nastina, their conflict can never really end.
  • Garden of Evil: Nastina's side of the garden is thorny and nasty, and her castle is a tin can fortress.
  • Good Costume Switch: As part of her fake Heel–Face Turn, Nastina cleans up her castle and wears a pink and white dress with a gold crown.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: In Rose Petal and the Evil Weeds it's hinted that Nastina is behind the weeds' emergence, though she doesn't directly attack and sends Horace to antagonize the cast.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In Lily Fair Learns a Lesson Nastina exploits Lily Fair's jealousy of Rose Petal and goads her into stealing her dress.
  • Heroic Bystander: A butterfly that sees Rose Petal in Nastina's tower tells the others about it, which helps save her.
  • Huddle Shot: Seen as P.D. Centipede, the local coach, thinks up a plan to rescue Rose Petal.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick:
    • Pitterpat the cat is very competent and helps the heroes however she can, saving everyone, especially Rose Petal, numerous times.
    • P.D. Centipede leads the charge to rescue Rose Petal in the cartoon and inspires the others not to give up, and in a tie-in book he inspires them to go and stop Nastina's amplifier and tears out its wires himself.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: In the book Love Makes You Grow Nastina gives the jealous Orchid a potion that shrinks her when she vents her frustrations. Love restores her to normal.
  • Inescapable Net: Nastina uses spider webs to trap Rose Petal on a few occasions.
  • Informed Attribute: Sunny Sunflower is said to be a tomboy, but it's not really shown.
  • Lilliputians: The main characters are plant-sized and live in a relatively giant garden.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: The magic tears made Rose Petal, her friends, and enemies immortal, and they're fine with being alive forever to protect the garden.
  • Loud of War: A Matter of Music has Nastina try and drown out Rose Petal's singing with an amplifier attached to her organ.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Orchid can be spoiled, vain and selfish at times, but she plans terrific parties, loves her friends, and is good with fashion.
  • Magic Music: Rose Petal's singing invigorates the garden and helps it grow.
  • Medium Blending: Both specials used live-action footage of a garden and a young girl to explain the show's backstory, while the rest is animated.
  • Mood Whiplash: The first special starts with Rose Petal singing a song about friends and revitalizing the garden, which gets interrupted by Nastina trying to crush her and her friends with a concrete birdbath.
  • Motif:
    • Flowers and gardens. The characters are humanoid flowers and tend to a garden, and their enemy is a spider.
    • Music helps bring the garden to life and keep it alive, so Rose Petal and her friends do a lot of singing.
    • Tears brought Rose Petal and the others to life, and are seen on every doll and car they have. Rose Petal's Crystal Teardrop also helps her care for the garden.
  • Multi National Team: Rose Petal and her friends, particularly the second set, are all different ethnicities.
  • Narrator: Elmer the elm tree watches over the residents and introduces the characters and setting.
  • Near-Villain Victory: In the first special Nastina has a near-successful plan to kill Rose Petal, which involves taking away her singing voice and locking her in a tower with next to no light. By the time her friends rescue her, Rose Petal is essentially dead and is only revived through her friends' tears.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In the book Rose Petal's Big Decision, Nastina gives Rose Petal a fake letter for a recording contract that will take her away from the garden for weeks, and volunteers to be in charge of the garden while she's gone so she can take it over. Rose Petal agrees to a trial run as she plans her departure, but Nastina mismanages the garden so badly, including locking Tumbles in a cage, that she decides to stay and not leave at all.
  • Obviously Evil: Nastina's name, design, and Card-Carrying Villain status make her extremely, obviously evil.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Nastina keeps a pipe organ in her castle, and plays it when working out a plan.
  • Out of Focus: Iris, Sunny Sunflower, and Daffodil don't get much characterization, and don't have books that showcase them. The second wave of friends has an even worse case of this due to the line being canceled before they could appear more.
  • Performance Anxiety: In the second special Sweet Violet gets stage fright, and when Rose Petal encourages her to go onstage she's completely crushed when Horace laughs at her performance.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Thanks to limited screen time in the second special and the franchise being canceled before dolls and further stories could be released, Cherry Blossom is never seen at her job as an interior decorator, Gladiola is never seen tap-dancing, Fuchsia is never seen designing fashion, and Marigold is never seen planning parties.
  • Plant Person: Rose Petal and her friends are humanoid flowers.
  • The Power of Acting: Sweet Violet gets Horace so into character during an acting session she's able to slip away and warn Rose Petal about Nastina's plan.
  • The Power of Hate: Nastina's love for hatred and evil things helps her think up plans.
  • The Power of Love: A young human girl's tears of love made Rose Petal and her friends live forever, become humanoid, and gave Rose Petal a magical voice that helped the garden live on.
  • Precursors: A young girl used to care for the garden much like Rose Petal does, singing to the flowers to help them thrive.
  • Punny Name: Horace Fly's name is a pun on the word horsefly, and Nastina's name is a portmanteau of "nasty" and "Tina."
  • The Quiet One: Iris is a shy artist whose emotions show more on the canvas.
  • Recycled Premise: The toys are essentially the Strawberry Shortcake franchise (which Kenner had made toys for) with characters themed/named after flowers instead of food.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Pitterpat is Rose Petal's pet cat and helps her frequently.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Rose Petal is gentle and kind to everyone, and has pink hair.
  • Scenery Porn: The garden is lavishly detailed, both in animation and live-action.
  • Slice of Life: The book Fun is All Around You is the only one to not feature Nastina and Horace, focusing on Orchid over-planning an extravagant party and learning how to have fun at a smaller one.
  • Source Music: Rose Petal does her own singing, as music is needed to make the flowers grow, and Nastina plays a pipe organ for background music and for a song.
  • Southern Belle: Orchid and Sweet Violet are both voiced as this.
  • Spider People: Nastina is a humanoid spider with blue skin and four arms and legs, but has a human appearance otherwise.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Since spiders in real life help gardens, this trope is likely why Nastina the spider is the villain.
  • Supreme Chef: Canterbury Belle is a fantastic baker.
  • Swiss Army Tears:
    • This is part of the backstory of the franchise, as a young girl's tears brought Rose Petal to life and helped her tend the garden.
    • When Nastina kills Rose Petal in the first special, the tears of Rose Petal's friends land on her Crystal Teardrop, bringing her back to life.
  • Take Over the World: Nastina plots to take over the garden where Rose Petal and her friends live.
  • Toyless Toyline Character:
    • While Nastina did get a toy, her lackey Horace did not.
    • The second TV special introduced six characters who were supposed to get toys, including Fuchsia, Sweet Violet, Gladiola, Marigold, Cherry Blossom, and Canterbury Belle. Although prototypes and marketing samples were made, the line was discontinued before the dolls could hit shelves.
  • Tutu Fancy: Averted with Lily Fair, whose ballerina skirt is ruffly but waist-length and features little to get in the way of dancing.
  • Villain Ball: In the first special, Nastina plans to use a catapult to bury Rose Petal and her friends under rocks... but doesn't wait until they've left her castle first, and the rocks destroy it.
  • Villain Song: In the first special Nastina gets one called "I Love to Hate," and in the record she gets "Nastina the Beauty Queen" and "Amazing."
  • Villainous Crush: While not apparent in the specials, Horace Fly has a crush on Orchid.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Horace is the laughable lackey to Nastina's vile villain. While not incompetent, his voice and mannerisms make him much less of a threat than she is.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Nastina was a surprisingly ruthless villain for an 80's cartoon, let alone one aimed at little girls. She more than lives up to her name, and tries to kill the heroines at least five times over the course of the specials, interrupting a musical number to try and crush them with a birdbath, trying to flood the garden by breaking a fountain, locking Rose Petal in a room with no light so she'll die, trying to catapult a heavy rock onto everyone, and trying to run everyone over with a lawn mower.
  • Wicked Witch: Nastina brews evil potions in a cauldron, and the record has Horace compare her to a witch.
  • Young Entrepreneur: Daffodil loves finance and runs the Bouquet Boutique, and is never seen without her calculator.

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