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Western Animation / Sally Bollywood

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A French-Australian animated series following the adventures of Kid Detectives Sally Bollywood and Doowee McAdam, who together form the private detective agency SBI (Sally Bollywood Investigations).

Sally Bollywood provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: In "The Delayed Action Chilli Pepper", everyone except Sally comes down with a stomach illness. It turns out the school lunch contained an extra strong pepper, and Mrs. Apu explains that Sally is immune due to being raised on it her whole life.
  • Adults Are Useless: Usually played straight. Averted with Harry Bollywood; his daughter has to get her talent from somewhere, after all.
  • Aerith and Bob: There are kids with normal names like Jeremy, Sam, Bob, Cassie, Albert, Betty, Ernest, etc. and then you have kids with names like Kevina, Dharshie, Alma, Devindra, Achmed, Erna, Nirmala, Svetlana, Vanille... the list goes on. Then again, Cosmopolis is implied to be a very multicultural place.
  • Aesop Amnesia: No matter how many times the "never jump to conclusions" rule is brought up it never sinks in with Sally.
    • Crossed with Broken Aesop in "the Guardians"; Sally derides Doowee for reading a comic book, but soon reads it herself and likes it, and even uses it to solve the case. Later episodes have her back to dismissing anything nerdy.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Mrs. Apu often addresses Sally with things like "my little mongoose" or "my little papadum".
  • All There in the Manual: The supplementary material provides additional information that wasn't explained in the show.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: The elephant on Sally's top keeps changing direction.
  • Amoral Attorney: In "Call My Lawyer" Bob hires the kid equivalent of this to defend him when he's obviously guilty.
  • An Aesop: Most episodes have Sally spelling out the episode's aesop with a song near the end.
  • Animals Hate Him: Doowee. Especially in "A Bird in the Hand" where it's stated several times that animals don't like him.
  • Animation Bump: The second season is much better animated than the first.
  • Animesque: Glens a bit from anime for its style though it doesn't uses any of the tropes associated with the genre.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: A historical example. In "The White Knight", the titular character was the evil king's daughter.
  • Art Shift: The titular comic book in "the Guardians" is drawn in a much more detailed style than the show itself. Also, some segments where a character describes something that happened are also drawn in a much more detailed style.
  • Better Manhandle the Murder Weapon: In "Caught Red Handed", Sally finds a can of spray paint on the ground and picks it up, not knowing it was used to vandalize a bench.
  • The B Grade: In "Cockroach Capers" Harry bans Sally from doing more detective work just because she got a C+ in a test. Though it was more for arriving late to school that caused her to fail in the first place.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: In "Birthday Surprise" the heroes end up accidentally uncovering a real crime when Doowee, Harry and Mrs. Apu try to distract Sally with a fake case.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: In "Caught Red Handed" Audrey offers to help Sally and Doowee get out of detention in exchange for a snack. Sally looks in Doowee's bag and finds a banana, curry, roast beef and maple syrup sandwich. Luckily that just happens to be Audrey's favorite.
  • Bluffing the Murderer: While obviously not murderers, Sally uses this in "SOS Saris!" & "The Client in the Clouds" to get the guilty parties to expose themselves.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: From "Trapped by the Internet" "I need to have a talk with my client, my suspect, my client suspect, actually."
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: In "Pyjama Party" someone keeps sabotaging Sally's pyjama party and Doowee, who was upset that he wasn't invited, kept talking about how ingenious the saboteur is when examining the sabotage. This makes Sally suspect he's the saboteur. But it turns out this was just a Red Herring.
  • Chekhov's Gun: If Doowee has a new invention for an episode, it will most likely be used in some way to solve the plot.
  • Christmas Episode: "Mrs. Apu's Old Friend" which takes place during the holiday.
  • Clear My Name: Both the aforementioned "Caught Red Handed" & season 2's "Storm Clouds over the SBI" (for both Sally & Doowee) and "Double Trouble" (for just Sally).
  • Clueless Mystery: "Catch Me If You Can" had absolutely no clues pointing toward the culprit. Just Bob thrown in as a Red Herring.
  • Compressed Vice: "Talent Will Out" depicted Sally as being Hollywood Tone-Deaf, despite her singing quite well in nearly every other episode.
  • Conflict Ball: In "Too Many Cooks" Sally and Mrs. Apu have a bit of a falling out when Sally makes Mrs. Apu one of the suspects.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: In "Call My Lawyer", Sally's entry in the class baking contest was a yellow curry and pepper cake. Dowee's was a haggis cake, consisting of sheep's stomach stuffed with Christmas pudding.
  • Costume Copycat: In "Halloween Heist" one of the culprits stole Sally's costume and sari while she was changing in the girls' room to impersonate her and left her own costume so Sally would have no choice but to wear it.
  • Culture Equals Costume: Her name is "Bollywood", and she looks the part.
  • Da Chief: Sally, Harry and Principal Shoebridge take turns at this role.
  • Depending on the Writer: While some traits are constant (i.e. Bob is a bully, Sam is into art, the nerds are into nerd stuff), the personalities, relationships and hobbies of the background kids can be radically different from episode to episode.note 
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A few examples;
    • Bob's reason for destroying the cakes (except for Sally's curry pepper cake) in "Call My Lawyer" was because he wanted to make sauerkraut for the competition and the planning committee wouldn't let him.
    • Bridget Brickhouse changes Nigel Neutron's grades to all F's (except in gym) in "The Killer Curry" because she hated that he did well in every subject (except gym, which she excelled at) and wanted him to get yelled at by his parents for once.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Doowee suffers this at the hands of Sinitta in "Trouble at the Museum". Too bad she turned out to be Evil All Along.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: In the English dub version, the theme is performed by Sarah Aubrey, who voices Sally.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The episode "Muckraking" has literal muckraking with compost and figurative muckraking with Stephanie making up stories for the school newspaper.
  • Dramatic Thunder: In "The White Knight" when Mr. Cubbins hires Sally and Doowee to investigate the suspected ghost, there's a flash of thunder every time someone says "The White Knight", despite it being perfectly sunny outside.
  • Elaborate University High: No kidding, Little Bombay Jr High has many elaborate clubs from the usual Newspaper and Sports to things like Good Manners and Flash Mobs.
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: It's usually pretty easy to figure out who the culprit is before the unmasking.
  • Freudian Excuse: In "Liz's Secret Diary", Liz admits the reason she's mean to everyone is people have always been mean to her so she decided rather than risk getting hurt she would make the first move and push away any possible friends. Sally straightens her out and tells her that's not the right way to go about it.
  • Funny Background Event: Through most of the latter half of "Liz's Secret Diary," Jaya & Melvin can be seen chasing Bob around the school, to exact revenge for him stealing their things.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Doowee can hack into anything within seconds by tapping random keys.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: The most common ones include:
    • A determined looking Sally on a spinning circle surrounded by lotus flowers
    • A background of lotus flowers with Sally & Doowee appearing on it.
    • Blue elephants walking across the screen or sometimes coming in from opposite sides, like a curtain.
    • Sally dancing on the howdah of an elephant, then panning out to show multiple Sallys dancing on multiple elephants.
    • A multi-armed Vishnu clock note 
    • A temple like thing appears, followed by Sally, in a kung-fu stance, appearing in it.
    • A split screen showing Doowee with a Dr. Octopus-like device on one side & Sally with a magnifying glass on the other.
  • Improbable Age: Sally and Doowee are 12-year-old detectives and in "The Fortune Teller" Sally says they've been doing detective work since they were 9.
  • Incestuous Casting: In-Universe. In "From Bombay with Love" it's mentioned that Javed's sister was originally supposed to play his love interest in the film, but their parents objected saying she was too young for the role, so the part was given to Kareena instead.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison:
    • In "The Party", Sally and Doowee are investigating who gatecrashed a party. Whilst interrogating a known-gatecrasher, the gatecrasher points that it couldn't have been him and his buddies, since they don't wear masks when they gatecrash. It's then pointed out that no-one had mentioned that the gatecrashers were wearing masks, and a Chase Scene ensues.
    • Also used in "Talent Will Out" when Devindra says he doesn't know anything about a hamster, Sally points out she never mentioned a hamster.
  • In Medias Res: "Cousin Bouleh" starts as Bouleh is getting ready to leave. After that, only short clips of his visit are shown.
  • I Know Karate: Sally claims to be skilled in Khalariphattyu, an Indian martial art, though she rarely uses it.
  • Insistent Terminology: Sally always calls her outfit a sari, despite it not looking like the traditional example of one.
  • It Amused Me: In "Doowee's Urn" Doowee quits the SBI and when he finds himself implicated in a crime Sally pretends she's seriously considering him a suspect in order to mess with him.
  • It's Personal: Sally is particularly aggressive on cases that personally affect her or Doowee. Likewise with Doowee if anyone messes with Sally or his gadgets.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: In the English dub, characters are given random accents note . This is most jarring in the case of Mr. Cubbings the janitor, who was given an Australian accent, but one episode revealed he's from Canada. His son Stefan has an appropriate Canadian accent. A little justified as in-series Little Bombay, where the series takes place, is meant to be multicultural and out of it, the show is dubbed by an Australian company and they're trying to vary a few of the voices.
  • Justified Criminal: Some of the culprits turn out to have a sympathetic motive. Exceptions include "Trouble in the Museum" & "the White Bear" where the culprits were actual adult criminals.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: In "The Sorceress" Luna turns Svetlana's hair lime green and later does the same to Sally.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Occasionally the heroes will end up going up against more serious criminals, such as the art thieves who hold Sally and Doowee hostage in "Trouble in the Museum".
  • Latex Perfection: The masks Doowee's "photomorpher" creates in "Double Trouble." Unfortunately, that just makes it easier to frame Sally.
  • Like Brother and Sister: There are no hints that Sally and Doowee might become more than friends. Except perhaps for a possible Ship Tease with the Lost Love Montage in "SOS Saris".
    • When Doowee reads Sally's diary at the end of "Liz's Secret Diary," it actually refers to him as being like a brother to her.
  • Literal Metaphor: In "Caught Red Handed" Sally is literally caught red handed when she picks up the can of spray paint.
  • Lotus Position: Sally sometimes does this when she needs to meditate and think.
  • Magic Realism: In one episode Doowee helps Sally reach a window using an Indian rope trick and in another episode Sally hovers in midair while meditating.
  • Massive Multiplayer Scam: In "Fangs A Lot", one of the students, Lee, gets fed up with the pranks of a local bully named Bob. So he stages an elaborate one with other students to make Bob think that Lee's a vampire and is turning the others. Sally and Doowee are brought in to investigate at Bob's behest, Sally eventually finds out herself what Lee is doing and joins in by making it seem Lee had gotten to her sometime before a rendezvous with Doowee and Bob. Doowee catches on to what's happening and instantly helps as well by acting along to Sally "feeding" on him and "turning" into a vampire himself.
  • Missing Mom: What happened to Sally's mother is never explained in the show. All we learn about her mother is she was an Indian dancer.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In "the White Bear," the S.B.I helps out Louis, the son of local rapper Fluff Daddy note . Nuff said.
    • In "Poster Boy" someone is putting up posters for Jeanie Bambini around the school.
  • Not Me This Time: Out of all the kids Bob has been the guilty party the most times, but there are some episodes where he's just a Red Herring.
  • Oh, My Gods!: In the pilot, Sally used stereotypical Indian expressions like "By the many arms of Vishnu!" For the main series this trait was given to Mrs. Apu.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Storm Clouds Over the SBI" Cindy and Melvin disguise themselves badly as Sally and Doowee. No one questions that "Sally and Doowee" suddenly switched skin tones on the security video. They don't even change clothes. They just put on wigs and generic bandit masks.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Sally has one in "Operation Nerd" when going undercover as a nerd. She dons it again in "The New Girl" along with glasses.
  • Pro Bono Barter: Sally and Dowee are still on the level where they're accepting payment in candy (or in one case, in math lessons). All their clients are, after all, kids of their own age or younger.
  • Race Against the Clock: A self-imposed example. The SBI guarantees all cases will be solved within 24 hours. Though there have been a few times where the SBI were on a time limit like "Bus Stop"
  • Reverse Whodunnit: In "Call My Lawyer" the SBI (and the audience) know Bob is the culprit from the start, but the problem is proving it.
  • Sadist Teacher: The titular character of "The Formidable Miss Chicago" who replaces the normal maths teacher Miss Smith and makes the kids do maths exercises while balancing on one leg, or other things. Subverted in that Miss Chicago is Miss Smith in disguise, trying to teach her class a lesson for taking advantage of her kindness, while helping them learn their lessons better.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The White Knight from the episode of the same name turned out to be the daughter of the evil king and the founder of Little Bombay.
  • Sherlock Scan: In the first episode, Harry does one on Sally to determine why she was late to school that morning.
  • Shout-Out: Mr Big, the kid who sets up a rival detective agency in the episode of the same name bears a striking resemblance to the main protagonist of Case Closed.
  • Smoke Out: Played with in "Caught Red Handed". Sally and Doowee fill the detention room with smoke in order for Sally to make a Clothing Switch with Audrey so Sally can get another hall pass.
  • Spanner in the Works: Sally's cousin Bouleh in "Cousin Bouleh" messes up the SBI's plans several times. It gets to the point where they wonder if he's intentionally sabotaging the investigation. He's not, in case you were wondering. He's just clumsy.
  • Stolen Good, Returned Better: This is the M.O. of the 'Midnight Mender' in "The Midnight Stitch-Up".
  • Supreme Chef: Mrs. Apu, but only when it comes to Indian food. In "Bling Bling" she tries her hand at French cuisine and keeps making mistakes.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: Doowee is often a victim of this, with one episode full-on having a Running Gag about him never getting to eat the samosas he kept coming across.
  • Too Clever by Half: Sally has a big ego and often puts her foot in her mouth by falsely accusing a suspect only to be proven wrong. note 
  • Turn in Your Badge: In "Cockroach Capers" Sally's father bans her from detective work, but she disobeys him to work on a case.
  • Twin Switch: One episode features a new kid at school doing this with his brothers to win at sports; they're a set of triplets.
  • TV Telephone Etiquette: In "The Sorceress" when Sally calls Svetlana to confirm something, she just hangs up on her after getting her answer.
  • Underage Casting: In-Universe. In "High School Musical Mystery" Sally is cast as the grandmother in the school play.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Some of the people who hire the S.B.I (i.e. Kevina & Liz) are quite nasty towards the detectives they need to help them out. The latter was so bad in fact, Sally actually considered dropping her case.
  • Unprovoked Pervert Payback: In "Double Trouble" Sally sneaks into school disguised as Mr. Watson and accidentally gets him in trouble when she goes into the girls' room out of habit, he follows her and Mrs. Madurpore catches him.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Cosmopolis is likely in Australia, as in "The Black Sheep" there's a stall at the fair selling fairy floss, the Australian term for cotton candy. According to the supplementary material, Little Bombay is supposed to be in New Jersey. There is a Little Bombay in real life New Jersey.


Video Example(s):


Sally Bollywood [Vampire Prank]

Scene from Sally Bollywood, Fangs A Lot. One of the kids scare the local bully, Bob, by suddenly flashing fangs at him. Bob hires the SBI to look into the matter if the kid really is a vampire. Eventually Sally hits upon a break in the revealing that she's been turned into a vampire herself!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / MassiveMultiplayerScam

Media sources: