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Western Animation / Scaredy Squirrel

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Left to right: Scaredy Squirrel, Paddy, Dave, Sally Fishlips, Momma, and Nestor

Scaredy Squirrel is a Canadian animated series by Nelvana. It is very, very, very loosely based on the children's picture book series of the same name by Quebec author Mélanie Watt, who also helped a bit with work on the series.

The show is set in a World of Funny Animals. The eponymous protagonist, Scaredy Squirrel, is an energetic and Super OCD squirrel who lives in Balsa City and works as a stacker in the local supermarket, Stash N' Hoard under his boss, an ill-tempered canary named Nestor (whose mother is the store's owner). When not on the job, Scaredy has adventures around town with his best friend, a fat, dimwitted slob of a skunk named Dave, while also frequently dealing with a trout named Sally who has a crush on him and an egotistical ferret named Paddy.

To celebrate April Fools' Day on Friday, April 1, 2011, YTV aired a special sneak peek episode of Scaredy Squirrel in Canada. Then on Sunday, April 3, 2011, YTV officially premiered Scaredy Squirrel. The series then premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States on August 9, 2011 (proceeded a mere month earlier by fellow Nelvana creation and YTV cartoon Sidekick, part of a general trend at the time of CN heavily importing Canadian cartoons). Also like Sidekick, Qubo picked up the remainder of the series a couple years after CN had stopped airing new episodes. It ran for for 52 episodes over 3 seasons, coming to an end on August 17, 2013.


Scaredy Tropes:

  • Adipose Rex: Scaredy turns into one of these during the nut bar episode. Even Dave admits Scaredy has got a problem.
  • Aerith and Bob: Dave, Nestor, Sally, Mildred and... Scaredy?
  • Alliterative Name: Scaredy Squirrel and Paddy Padderson.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Dave shows signs of it. He has a somewhat lispy voice and he was totally cool with wearing a pink princess dress in one episode.
  • Apathetic Teacher: The Paddleball Camp Master in the episode "Camp Or Consequences" is one.
  • Arboreal Abode: The buildings of Balsa City are all carved out from giant tree trunks, with Scaredy's house being nestled in a tree.
  • Artifact Title: Scaredy lived up to his name in the original books. In the TV series he's hardly ever scared.
  • Ax-Crazy: Nestor, his mom and Paulie.
  • Balloon Belly: Happens on numerous occasions:
    • Scaredy gets one as a result of eating a lot of nutbars.
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    • Dave's stomach inflates like a balloon due to not spraying in "Where The Stink At".
  • Bamboo Technology: The vehicles in Balsa City are all carved out from logs.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Nearly every character in this series is one! Honestly, it'd be easier to list the characters that aren't barefoot!
    • One episode subverts this. Scaredy puts on 5 layers of socks, finishing with a shoe that makes it look like he's barefoot.
  • Beard of Evil: As revealed in "There Is No "I" In Groceries", the Sorta Fresh grocery store is a parallel store to the Stash N' Hoard, where everyone (except Scaredy) has an evil double with a goatee. Even Dave, who doesn't even work at the Stash N' Hoard.
  • The B Grade: In "Dreamweaver" when Scaredy gets a rating of "BAD" on his performance review.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: This exchange after a Cutaway Gag from "From Rodent With Love".
    Scaredy: That never happened.
    Dave: (pointing to the camera) Ummm, we all just SAW it happen, so...
    • Also routinely in the Safety Corner lessons at the end of the episode.
  • Brick Joke: The "donkey detector" from "From Rodent With Love".
  • Broken Aesop: While the show is usually Aesop-rich, at least one episode (the one with the golden paddle ball) has the characters not learn the lesson obviously set up, with Dave dropping a similar but unrelated aesop, then both lessons forgotten in the next few seconds.
  • Chained Heat: Nestor and Scaredy in "The Tubtastic Tuo"
  • City of Canals: Balsa City's roads are riverways, with the cars essentially functioning like boats.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Dave and sometimes Scaredy.
  • Companion Cube: Scaredy has a plant named Richard whom he talks to. It might even be his pet.
  • Continuity Nod: In "From Rodent With Love", Scaredy says to Mildred, "How can you know how to do all this crazy stuff and still pack eggs at the bottom of a grocery bag?" In an earlier episode, "Suggestion Box Blues", Mildred did indeed pack some eggs at the bottom of a bag.
  • Cool Toy: Parodied in "Snerd Envy", where the toy everyone in town but Scaredy has is completely plain and useless. And then again when Scaredy convinces the rest of the characters that he has an invisible one. They follow him at first until he fesses up... but then wins them back when he has the cool new "Mr. Handy Hand" (just googly eyes placed on his hand). This episode also leads to a subtle Aesop about using your imagination.
  • Couch Gag: Scaredy always says something different to the audience at the end of the Theme Tune.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Sally, repeatedly.
    Sally: "I won't let you talk that way to the man I love! coach. Awkward."
  • The Ditz: Nestor and King Nutbar.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Scaredy
  • The Dragon: Paddy, Paulie and the Paddleball camp master.
  • Dream Deception: In "Cowlicked", Scaredy has a cowlick and wonders what could've caused it. He has an Imagine Spot of a cow licking the top of his head while he's asleep. He wakes up and sees her, but she awkwardly tells him he's dreaming as she backs out of the room. At the end of the episode, that same cow licks Scaredy's new trophy, and she tells Scaredy this is a dream as she backs away again.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The ending of "Stack to School" is one big Homage to The Usual Suspects. After failing multiple times to show that he can be spontaneous, Scaredy passes his spontaneity class by racing to and performing a daring rescue at the Stash n' Hoard. It's only after Scaredy receives his diploma and leaves that his teacher realizes that Scaredy had orchestrated the entire thing (and therefore wasn't spontaneous at all).
  • Evil All Along: Nestor's Mother in "Halloweekend".
  • Fat and Skinny: Dave and Scaredy.
  • Fat Bastard: Chucking Charlie.
  • Feather Fingers
    • Zig-zagged with Sally the fish. Her fins are relatively normal shape and don't suddenly morph into hands, but she still plays Tailfin Walking straight.
    • Nestor's arms are normally very short when at his side. They tend to grow as needed, though.
  • Freudian Excuse: Nestor constantly puts down others in a desperate attempt to hear his mother tell him she's proud of him.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Subverted with SNERD.
  • Furry Confusion: Scaredy has a plant for a pet named Richard, and Dave adopts a cactus he names Jose, then there's Sally, a trout, who has a pet... cat?
  • Furry Reminder: Subverted.
    Scaredy: "How am I going to get to the top of that tree?"
    Dave: "Maybe you could scamper up the side? You know... like a squirrel?"
    Scaredy: "I think you're gonna have to launch me."
  • George Jetson Job Security: Scaredy's gotten fired a few times; but it's more potent among employees such as the donkey and Buck, who get fired by Nestor and his mother on a regular basis, yet show up in the next episodes as if nothing happened.
  • Gonk: Nestor, Paddy and Mildred aren't the most... attractive-looking animals, to put it lightly.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Dave, Nestor and most of the supporting cast.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: The Paddleball Camp Master in the episode "Camp Or Consequences" does this to control the campers and Dave to do what he wants.
  • Inflating Body Gag: Happens to Mildred near the end of "From Rodent With Love" in order to save Balsa City's water supply from being stolen by evil otters.
  • In Name Only: There is literally nothing in common between the books and animated series save for the character being a squirrel with fears. Granted, there was very little they could do if they played the source material straight, so Tropes Are Not Bad. Plus, Mélanie Watt, who wrote the books, is a creative consultant on the show.
  • Jerkass: Nestor. The way he treated Scaredy in "The Madness Of King Nutbar" won't help matters. Also his mom.
  • Keet: Scaredy and Dave.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Particularly in the episode, "Camp Or Consequences".
  • Kissing In A Tree: Dave to Scaredy after he swoons over Sue, in his own special 'Dave' way: "Scaredy and Girl Scaredy sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-S-S...uhhhhh"
  • Lampshade Hanging: Scaredy likes to question some of the insanity that surrounds his life.
  • Manchild: Just about everyone in town.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In-universe, paddle-ball is a competitive sport.
  • No Cartoon Fish: Averted. Sally is very definitely a fish.
  • No Indoor Voice: Nestor.
  • Noodle People: The entire cast, except Dave.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Zigzagged in "Aisle of the Damned". During a heat wave, everyone who drinks the Brain Freezer turns into a zombie. Scaredy deduces that they aren't really zombies, but just hot. Turns out the Brain Freezer machine was set on zombie mode.