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Western Animation / Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat

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Amy Tan with Sagwa, Dongwa, and Sheegwa

A 40-Episode Cartoon PBS Kids series set in 19th century China. As the title says, it's about a cat named Sagwa. It is based on a children's book called The Chinese Siamese Cat by Amy Tan. Sagwa and her family live in the palace of an unnamed magistrate, where her parents serve as his scribes; the calligraphy they write with their tails is much better-looking than the Magistrate's sloppy handwriting, and the kittens are learning the art as well. When they're not practicing their calligraphy (or their friend Fu-Fu the bat isn't cleaning his cave), they enjoy exploring, playing games, and hanging out in the palace's attic (which they nickname "the clubhouse").

The show gained a decently-sized demographic during its original run, and teaches children quite a bit about Chinese culture, legends, and even language. The fact that it aired on PBS made it especially popular in households without cable. Sadly for the fans, it was Cut Short after one season which aired from September 2001 to October 5, 2002. However, that hasn't stopping it from continuing to have a cult following, especially among furries. Now has a recap page in the works.


Produced in a collaboration between CinéGroupe and Sesame Workshop, which brought us Sesame Street. According to some sources, CinéGroupe has confirmed that they are planning a reboot of the series.

Don't forget your tropes!:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • One could say this about any one-off character who has potential to be a recurring character. A good example would be Fam, who is introduced early on in the series in "Sagwa's Good Deed" as a part of Sagwa's circle of friends, only to disapear afterwards and being Demoted to Extra, not getting another cameo until late in the show's run.
    • Jun fares slightly better. She's introduced late in the series and set up to be a new reoccurring character, but due to it ending after one season, she only gets two appearances.
  • The Ace:
    • Sagwa is considered by far the best of the kittens when it comes to calligraphy, and frequently receives praise for her natural skill at it.
    • Advertisement:
    • In the episode where the Magistrate enters Sagwa into a calligraphers' contest, the reigning champion has won the prize for sixty-three consecutive years before finally retiring.
  • An Aesop:
    • In "Sagwa the Stray", Dongwa nearly learns the hard way that there's more to being a leader than ordering everybody on what to do. A good leader needs to lend an ear to what others have to say, or they may miss out on potential ideas.
    • "Cats of a Different Class" teaches that sometimes it's the simple things in life that are best. Just because something looks good or fancy doesn't necessarily mean it's comfortable or enjoyable.
    • "The Competition" teaches how playing pranks can have serious consequences that affect not only the victim but other folks, too.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Sagwa herself, although, as a kitten in a human world, she has to prove herself even more than most children would.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The book is 32 pages long and summed up in one episode (or rather, a two-part episode). Everything else is new material.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted big time with Mama and Baba Miao, who help their children a lot, while also letting them figure things out for themselves.
    • Sir Richard!
    • Baba Miao is this as a young adult, as well.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • "Cool Fu-Fu" has Fu-Fu being given sunglasses to wear by the other rebel bat flyers... even though the show takes place in Qing Dynasty China.
    • "Catsitter" has the three daughters learning to ride a very modern-looking bike.
  • Animal Athlete Loophole: In the Lost Episode "The Competition", the Foolish Magistrate tries to enter his cats into a caligraphy contest. The judge admits there's no rule against cats entering the contest, but the rule limiting the number of entrants to one per province forces him to pick one of the cats.
  • Animated Actors: Sagwa and Fu-Fu break character and provide information about various cultures during "What About You?".
  • Animated Adaptation: Based on the original book by Amy Tan.
  • Art Initiates Life:
    • In the episode "The Cat and the Wind", Mama tells a story to the kittens about Ming-Miao, an ancestor who can actually draw things that can come to life. Mama actually has this sort of power as revealed at the end of the episode.
    • Art Attacker: In that same episode, the evil emperor wanted Ming-Miao to draw ferocious storms so he can destroy his enemies. Ming-Miao, however, didn't really like this at all.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The Foolish Magistrate and Tai-Tai.
  • Balloon Belly: Fu-Fu gets this in "Luck Be a Bat" after eating too many dumplings.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • In another Lost Episode, "The Master of Nothing", a teacher hired for the Magistrate's daughters. All three of them are upset at how they've constantly messed up at each of their courses (learning how to cook, play music, and make pots). The Master teaches them by deliberately doing each lesson wrong, such as trying to play a lute with his feet. This prompts the daughters to show him the correct way to do it, and therefore teach themselves in the process, just as the Master of Nothing planned.
    • When, in a moment of impulsiveness, the Foolish Magistrate tells the Italian ambassador that he can take one of his cats home with him, the cats try to get the Italian to renege by behaving as terribly as possible. This includes coating themselves in pepper so that he'll think he's allergic, digging their claws in him, and making a mess. None of it works, but Tai-Tai eventually convinces him not to take any of them by pointing out a cat who can write Chinese but not Italian would be useless to him.
    • In the episode where Dongwa pretends to be hurt longer than he is, Sagwa comes up with one to prove to Mama that he's faking. It works.
  • Be Yourself: A pretty common theme in the series, being present in "All Grown Up", "My Fair Kitty", "Cool Fufu" and "Sister Act".
  • Bleached Underpants: Kamiko Taka, who voiced Ling in "Dongwa's Best Friend", has a IMDB page mostly comprised of adult videos.
  • Blush Sticker: Sheegwa has these most of the time.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: The Reader of the Rules, and occasionally the Cook. While Reader is a beleaguered assistant to the Foolish Magistrate, the Magistrate's wife has the real power in the household. (See Politically Correct History below.)
  • Blind Without 'Em: Fu-Fu and the Reader of the Rules.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • The theme song is mostly sung in Chinese. However, when translated, the words basically have the same meaning as the only English phrase in the song. Most of the characters' names are examples of this, but due to the various dialects out there, My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels may result if you're familiar in a dialect that is not Mandarin Chinese.
    • Most of the time, when the kittens are practicing their calligraphy, they're writing their names, something the target audience also has to practice a lot.
    • In the show's funding credits from the original PBS airings, Thanking the Viewer is done both in English and Chinese — after the initial "Thank You", a set of Chinese characters are then displayed followed by Sagwa saying "Xie xie", which translates to "Thank you" in Chinese, in a voice over.
  • Birthmark of Destiny: Subverted in an episode where Sagwa's younger sister Sheegwa is thought to be a princess because of a star-shaped birthmark on her body, but at the end of the episode the "birthmark" is accidentally washed off and is revealed to be just a stain of mud.
  • Bottle Episode: "The Tortoise and The Cat" is very much this, with mixed results, as it makes Sagwa come across as a little too naive and ignorant.
  • Briefer Than They Think: Despite its success, the show only ran for just over a year with 40 episodes (and 79 stories). The show was probably thought to have gone on for a lot longer because it was rerun for so many years afterwards.
  • Brutal Honesty: In the episode-long retelling of The Emperor's New Clothes, Sagwa is told to make a painting of the Magistrate's "new outfit" when she sees nothing. Despite worrying that she'll be kicked out for being deemed foolish, she chooses to draw what she sees: that is, him in his underwear. Her honesty pays off, though, since the Magistrate deduces that Sagwa can't be foolish as she's one of his smartest cats, and therefore that these clothes must be a sham.
    • This also happened in "Stinky Tofu", where Sagwa didn't want to hurt Yeh-Yeh's feelings that his breath stinks after he eats tofu. However, after she told her honest truth towards her grandfather, he understands and states he won't tell any stories after he eats said tofu.
  • Cant Get Away With Nothing: Invoked in "Sagwa's Good Deed". Sagwa does something beautiful for Fam and his family and is punished for it just because she was late for dinner. (Admittedly, Mama Miao did forgive Sagwa once she found out why she was late, but she still overreacted to something relatively minor and continued to point out the importance of keeping a promise, as if Sagwa had done something much worse than miss a meal.) Also implied to have been Mama Miao's reaction to Sagwa's honest mistake in "How Sagwa Got Her Colors".
  • Carnivore Confusion: One episode throws a Lampshade on it when Sagwa is called out for being friends with mice. Then, there's an episode where we see that her aunt and uncle have adopted a puppy who has learned how to meow!
  • Cool Shades: Fu-Fu wears these during the episode "Cool Fu-Fu", as part of his "gangster" look after joining the rebel winged flyers.
  • Cute Kitten: Sagwa, Dongwa, and especially Sheegwa
  • Catchphrase:
    • "I've been inspired!" The Foolish Magistrate frequently says this, usually in an adult child frame of mind to the annoyance of all around him.
    • Originally, Fu-Fu's catchphrase was "Jai-jen, my friend!", but this was phased out after the episode "Fu-fu's Full Moon Flight".
  • Continuity Nod: Oogway the tortoise from "The Tortoise and the Cat" makes a cameo in "The Favorite".
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot:
    • In one episode, Sagwa inherits a ceremonial collar passed down to the eldest daughter of each generation, one that is worn out and smells awful due to age. For this, she is mocked by the alley cats and later by the sleeve dogs, who steal the collar just to spite her when she tries to rid herself of it. Coming to realize its value, she takes it back and promises to always wear it, at which point Mama reveals that as an heirloom it's only meant to be worn when the occasion calls for it. As it turns out, if Sagwa had sat still for just a few moments more when Mama tried to explain to her earlier, she could've spared herself a lot of grief.
    • In another episode, Sagwa bails on Dongwa to avoid his bossiness, and doesn't notice when she loses her collar. Naturally, she is mistaken for a stray by a young girl living on a house boat, and is taken in and very nearly taken away from her village. Lucky for Sagwa that a fellow kitten from the pier tipped off the others to what happened to Sagwa or else the young girl's family would never have realized this mistake.
    • In another instance, Sheegwa runs off against Sagwa and Dongwa's advice and runs right into the Magistrate and Tai-Tai while they're hosting some guests, which winds up leading to the highly unlikely scenario of her being mistaken for a princess due to a supposed birthmark.
    • Another episode has Sheegwa getting into an argument with Sagwa over the latter's bossiness when she tries to lecture Sheegwa on the right way to spin her toy top, and threatens to run away. The next day, Sheegwa goes missing during a huge snowstorm and Sagwa, remembering how mad she made Sheegwa, fears the worst and goes out into the storm to find her. As it turns out, Sheegwa was safe in the house taking a nap in her bed, which everyone failed to check right off the bat. Sagwa is also visibly and justifiably miffed that Sheegwa's words forced her to go out into a storm for nothing, but she chooses to brush it off.
  • Covered in Mud:
    • Happens to one of the magistrate's daughters after slipping in it. Also happens later in the same episode to the three daughters and the visiting magistrate's sons during a mud fight.
    • Tai-Tai goes through this in "Tung the Singing Cricket" and "Lord of the Fleas".
  • Darker and Edgier: "On the Run", one of the final episodes of the series, goes straight into this, having not one but two truly dangerous antagonists who go after arguably the two most loveable characters of the series. Despite being played dead serious, it's written off as a dream in the end,, likely due to Executive Meddling, since much of it would scare the younger children watching.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: The theme song is actually sung within the body of the first episode, albeit directed at the magistrate instead of Sagwa.
  • Everything's Cuter with Kittens: And how! Half the cast is comprised of cute cats, after all.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Quite common.
  • Eye Cam: In "Precious Gift", Tai-Tai is sitting at her vanity, and we get a first-person view of Sheegwa walking up to her as she is terrified of her wrath.
  • Face, Nod, Action: Sagwa and Sheegwa do this in "Precious Gift" after they each grab a fish to bait the alley cats with.
  • Fat Idiot: Played straight with The Foolish Magistrate. Averted with Cook (who, granted, is not nearly as large as the Magistrate).
    • The sleeve dogs could count, too.
  • Gender Flip: In the book, Sagwa had two brothers, but one of them was changed to a female kitten for the series.
    • Cook was female in the book, but male in the series; the original design seems to have been reused for Tai-Tai.
  • Good Parents: Mama and Baba Miao. While they have a tendency to be strict at times and even occasionally overly critical, for the most part they are wise, caring, loving and understanding.
  • Gossip Evolution: This happened in "Spreading Rumors".
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Gratuitous Chinese, putting it several years ahead of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan in that the language used was Mandarin. It was in the theme song, "Hao peng you, Hao peng you. Sa Gua shi wo de hao peng you, Sagwa you're my best friend," and also used regularly within episodes. The characters wrote calligraphy, so viewers got to both hear it spoken and see it written.
  • Green Aesop: "The Birds, the Bees, and the Silkworms" is pretty Anvilicious in giving this out. Tai-Tai somehow banishes some of the creatures which she considers pests only to find out later they were important after her banquet was ruined. Fortunately she set things right by undoing the banishment.
  • Happily Married: Mama and Baba Miao.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Tung's singing. The instrument Sir Richard plays at the end of "Treasure Hunters" also makes an awful sound.
  • Henpecked Husband: The Foolish Magistrate.
  • Holiday Episode: A couple of episodes take place during a Chinese New Year festival, specifically one celebrating the start of the Yearear of the Tiger, but they're not consecutive. The New Year's Clean-up" and "Ba-Do and the Lantern Festival" presumably take place at the beginning and end of the same Chinese New Year celebration, respectively.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Tai-Tai. She was also is shown in flashback as a young girl who was pretty for her age. Meanwhile, Mama Miao and her sister, Chi-Chi, have still got it!
  • Incompetence, Inc.: The palace staff and residents. The Foolish Magistrate bumbles a lot, Tai-Tai only cares about being better than the "commoners", the Reader of the Rules is clumsy, and even some of the palace cats show signs of this trope. Even for a preschool show, this trope is heavy.
  • Indy Escape: Sagwa, Fu-Fu, and Shei-Hu (one of Sagwa's mice friends) escaped from a boulder in "Treasure Hunters".
  • Injured Limb Episode: After Dongwa hurts his leg, he can't jump up to his own bed, so he switches with Sagwa until he gets better.
  • Interspecies Adoption: One of the last episodes features a dog named Chia-Siu who's been adopted by the kittens' biological aunt and uncle.
  • Interspecies Friendship: The Miao kittens are friends with mice, birds, and a bat.
  • Interspecies Romance: One episode told a legend about how the catfish came to be — a cat married a fish. It sounds obvious but no less nonsensical.
  • Implied Love Interest: Jun and The Reader of the Rules share some moments together in "Three Graces", hinting at the setting up of a romantic relationship between the two, however the series was Cut Short before anything like that could come about.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Why Dongwa and the Alley Cats are the darkhorses.
    • Tai-Tai also falls into this trope.
    • The Sleeve Dogs fall into this trope on occasions, but not as much as those three.
  • Jerkass Realization: In "Precious Gift", the Alley Cats realized what they did to Sheegwa and the necklace, which broke. Doubles as My God, What Have I Done?.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • This happens to Dongwa in several episodes where he's a Jerkass like "The Favorite", "Not So Purrfect Paitent" and "Fraidy Cats".
    • The Sleeve Dogs had this in "The Collar of Time".
  • The Makeover: Sagwa got this, as shown in the first episode, as a result of falling face-first into a pot of ink. She is shown again with her original look in "Sagwa's Lucky Bat".
  • Meaningful Name: According to Star from The Good Night Show, Fu-Fu's name means "lucky bat" in Chinese.
  • Multi-Character Title: "Sagwa, Fu-Fu and the Whistling Pigeon".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Dongwa after insulting High-O.
    • The Alley Cats had this in "Precious Gift" (where they tricked Sheegwa into giving the necklace to them) and "Shei-Hu's Secret" (where they broke into the mice village)
    • Inverted in the episode where Tai-Tai decides to keep Fu-Fu as her "lucky bat". She has a seemingly has Heel Realization that animals should be allowed to live free (something she'd already learned earlier on) and the moment she sees Fu-Fu again she recaptures him. At the reminder of one of her daughters, she refrains from keeping him; however, now the viewer isn't really able to trust her.
  • Mythology Gag: The original book is framed as a "Just So" Story being told by one of Sagwa's distant descendants, named Ming-Miao. In the series, Ming-Miao is herself the subject of an ancient story, being told by Sagwa's mother.
  • Never Learned to Read: The villagers, hence the reader of rules.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Baba had one after he scolded Dongwa for not practicing his calligraphy.
  • No Ending:
    • The episode "Up, Up, and Away" ends with Fu-Fu carrying Dongwa over a sunset, with no explanation what happened afterwards. Though we assume they made it out okay.
    • "Fur Cut" has both an actual and in-universe examples: In-universe is about the story how Sagwa got the patches on her fur and abruptly ends with her and the dragon planning to stop the forest fire. She ended after she told the truth. The actual episode ends with just Sagwa retelling what exactly happened earlier.
    • "Ba-Do and the Lantern Festival" ends with Ba-Do and Sagwa separated from their family but enjoying the last of the lantern festival... and then the episode just abruptly stops without any explanation as to how Ba-Do got back home. As a result, we're left to assume the Magistrate and Tai-Tai realized one of their daughters and pets were both missing and were able to find them.
  • No Fourth Wall:
    • The "What About You?" segments on the PBS airings of the show.
    • This also happens a few times whenever the characters are retelling a story.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In "Sagwa's Good Deed", Sagwa risks being late for dinner in order to give food to Fam, whose family normally doesn't have enough to eat. For her kind and selfless act of essentially feeding the poor, Sagwa's titular good deed is rewarded. ...with Mama Miao scolding her for being late and saying Sagwa shall have plain rice for dinner tonight. (To be fair, her mother didn't know at the time, and she does make a point that she would be having shrimp if only she was on time for dinner.)
  • No Name Given:
    • The Reader of the Rules remains just that in both versions.
    • The Foolish Magistrate and Cook are only known by their titles, as well.
    • Tai-Tai too. "Tai-Tai" (太太) means "wife" (as a common noun) or "Madam" (as a term of address).
    • Most of the alley cats don't have a name. The ones who do are known to the Miao kittens: Fam, Lik-Lik (who's real name is revealed in "The Name Game" to be Jai-Li, meaning "family strength"), Wing Wing, Jet-Jet, and Hun-Hun.
    • Also Nai-Nai and Yeh-Yeh are this. Mama and Baba Miao's names are revealed in "The Name Game", however.
  • Nonindicative Name: Sagwa is not actually a Siamese cat, as the story explains. She was originally a white kitten but fell into an inkpot, and since that kind of ink isn't easy to remove, she ended up with the markings of a Siamese cat. note 
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In "Fur Cut", Dongwa slips back into Oliver Grainger's native accent when he and Sheegwa are confronting Sagwa while she is telling a story. He ends up pronouncing "You gotta!" as "You gatta!"
  • Only Sane Man: Usually Sagwa for the animal kingdom and Cook for the humans, though the Sanity Ball gets tossed around. Dongwa, of all characters, actually catches it in one episode!
  • Opinion-Changing Dream: In one episode, Dongwa and Baba have a falling out due to Dongwa wanting to practice kung fu more than his scrolls, and even making Sagwa do the work at one point. Baba scolds Dongwa for the deception, but has to come to terms with his own contribution to the conflict when he has a nightmare about his earlier days when he wanted to play outside but had to fix his father's insistence on him practicing his calligraphy. This prompts him to apologize to Dongwa and be less hard on him.
  • Opposites Attract: Tai-Tai and her husband the Magistrate have their share of differences, with the Magistrate being more comical than she is. Unlike the Magistrate, she did not enjoy listening to the cricket Tung and ultimately decided to get rid of him, though she changed her mind when she realized how important he was to him. Fortunately, Tung made his way back.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Used as a Deus ex Machina to save the characters in the episode On The Run.
  • Parental Bonus: One of the things that make the Magistrate and Tai-Tai decide Cook probably has a girlfriend is "strange noises coming from his room".
  • Politically Correct History: Mostly regarding the treatment of and acceptable behaviour for women. The female characters in the series, particularly the Magistrate's wife, Tai-Tai, have much more freedom and influence than they would have had in real 19th century China.
    • Tai-Tai would NEVER think of talking to her husband like that, no matter how immature he was. Chinese women were forbidden to speak until spoken to.
    • The Magistrate doesn't seem bothered by the fact that he has three daughters, when in real life, he would have probably kept trying for a son since daughters could not inherit.
    • Tai-Tai and her three daughters have normal, functioning feet, and walk and run about frequently. Upper-class Chinese women and lower-class girls arranged to marry into a higher-class family were subjected to foot binding.
  • Puppy Love: Dongwa and Hun-Hun are into each other and sometimes do things together.
  • Quarter Hour Short: With the exception of the first episode, the series is comprise of this.
  • Ring Around the Collar: Brutally invoked with Sagwa; an episode showing her without her collar puts her heavily into Uncanny Valley. Averted with Dongwa earlier in an episode showing him without his collar though.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Fu-Fu goes through this twice, in the episodes "Sagwa's Lucky Bat" and "Panda-monium".
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: The Foolish Magistrate is above his own laws, as he demonstrates in the first episode.
  • Series Continuity Error: Sagwa mentions she just discovered the attic in "Sagwa's Lucky Bat", despite it already having appeared in two episodes and being mentioned in the third by this point. It's worth noting that a similar mistake occurred in Dragon Tales, another show from Sesame Workshop. It's likely that the episodes weren't aired in the order they were written, leading to continuity errors.
  • Short-Runner: With one forty-episode season, it was well under the 65-episode minimum.
  • Shout-Out: At least twice in "The Four Dragons" do the characters say that "there are many, many more Dragon Tales".
  • Sick Episode: "Sick Day", which Sheegwa has a cold, and her siblings have to watch her.
  • Slice of Life: Slice of 19th-century Chinese life, through a kitten's eyes.
  • Sequel Episode: The episode "The Return of the Rat" is this to "The New Year's Clean-Up".
    • "Up, Up and Away" marks the return of Sir Richard.
  • Stereotype Gay: Lik-Lik is implied to be this.
  • Three Shorts: The PBS airings will start with one episode, then a segment of Sagwa talking about different cultures, and it ends with another episode.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: One might assume this about Sagwa and Sheegwa (with Sheegwa being the more girly looking because of her pink collar), but neither of them are either tomboys or girly girls.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Sagwa and Sheegwa.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: The Alley Cats are somewhat giving to delinquent behavior, but their presence provides the meow kittens with other kittens to play with. The flip side to it is that while the Miaos have their parents and the people living in the palace to keep them in line most of the time, they're especially likely to get into trouble or danger in the course of hanging out with said Alley Cats. This is especially true of Dongwa, who has to go outside the palace to find more mature playmates and the company of other male kittens, while his sisters are usually pretty content to find company in each other.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • The Foolish Magistrate loves noodles.
    • Sagwa likes mooncakes.
  • Treasure Map: Used twice, first in "Treasure Hunters", where the Magistrate found an old map indicating the location of his ancestor's poems, and in "All Grown Up", where Baba turns out to have drawn a map that leads to where he hid his old collar.
  • Tsundere: Tai-Tai is a rare (socially) mature Tsun Tsun, almost Stepford Smiler variety. Hun-Hun, a female alley cat, is a Dere Dere. Given their positions - pampered wife of luxury versus cat of the streets - one would assume it would be the other way around.
  • Truth in Television: The concept of face (that is, the concept of important figures looking good in the eyes of others) is a big deal in certain Eastern societies, so when The Foolish Magistrate is concerned about humiliating himself, it comes up.
  • Vague Age: Everybody except for the youngest generation, though the pilot mentions that the Magistrate and Tai-Tai have been married for thirty years, which would mean they must be at least in their upper forties.
  • Viewers Like You: The "thank you" for the "viewers like you" message was presented in both English and Chinese. "Thank you. Xie xie." Unfortunately for old fans, these aren't included on the DVD and are hard to find online.
  • Wedding Episode: The episode "Wedding Day Mess", where Tai-Tai's niece is getting married.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In "Snagged by a Thread", Sagwa sees Gongji being blamed for destroying the rooster pillow his owner Tai-Yi-Po made for him. Tai-Yi-Po punishes that Gongji shall have no supper tonight. Now Sagwa didn't have to tell anyone she had a part in destroying the pillow, and could've let Gongji take the blame, given he treated her rudely during their entire visit. But feeling sympathy for him, Sagwa willingly gives herself away when she reveals the tell-tale thread tangled on her foot.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The show never gives clues as to where the Foolish Magistrate's village is. The Other Wiki guesses it's in the modern-day Fujian provinces of China and Taiwan respectively, as hinted by the scenery.
  • White Void Room:
    • In the "What About You?" segments.
    • Dongwa imagines Sheegwa in this at the beginning of the story in "Sick Day" (she tells him to think up something more clever).
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Sagwa, Dongwa, and Sheegwa question their parents' name choices in one episode. Their names mean "melon head" or "silly", "winter melon", and "watermelon", respectively, in Chinese. Then their grandmother tells them why they were given those names (they refer to an incident that got their parents together), and the kittens accept them.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The show has a few of these:
    • "How Sagwa Got Her Colors", which explained how Sagwa got her facial markings. In the original book, it's told by a descendant of the Miao family; however, in the show, it' told by Mama Miao, as Sheegwa wants to hear it.
    • "Sagwa's Lucky Bat", which tells how Sagwa and Fu-Fu first met.
    • "The Name Game", which Nai-Nai explains how both Mama and Baba met, as well as the origins of the kittens' names.
  • You Didn't Ask: In one episode Sagwa goes on a boat ride with a couple of friendly fish-catching birds, only to realize she hasn't written up the rules for a boat race being held in town, and that the boat won't be returning to port for hours. Sagwa gets this response when she asks why the birds didn't let her know this.


Video Example(s):


Sagwa [Dragon Tales Reference]

Nai-Nai mentions that there are other "Dragon Tales", a pretty obvious reference to another Sesame Workshop/PBS show.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

Example of:

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