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Western Animation / Scaredy Squirrel

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Warning: Scaredy Squirrel is based on character by Mélanie Watt!

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, specifically Balsa City, where the buildings are made from trees and the roads are rivers that citizens drive on with boats made from logs. The eponymous protagonist, Scaredy Squirrel, is a good-natured but overly cautious and obsessively cleanly squirrel who works as a stacker in the local supermarket, Stash N' Hoard, under his boss, an irritable canary named Nestor (whose super-controlling mother is the store's owner). When not on the job, Scaredy has adventures around town with his best friend, a laidback but 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.

In 2023, Nelvana began uploading episodes of the series to their Treehouse Direct channel on Youtube.

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.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Parodied with the Scaredy's Safety Corner segments, where Scaredy and Dave try to teach safety tips related to the episode, only to get sidetracked by various antics.
  • 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, although he still maintains his extra-cautious personality.
  • Balloon Belly: Happens on numerous occasions:
    • Scaredy gets one as a result of eating a lot of nutbars.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Canon Foreigner: With the exception of Scaredy himself, not a single character in the show was in the original books.
  • City of Canals: Balsa City's roads are riverways, with the cars essentially functioning like boats.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Dave's mind tends to go in weird places and never seems to be quite in touch with what's going on at the moment. Scaredy's neurotic qualities can also make him this sometimes.
  • 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.
  • Crying a River: In the episode "Momma Lisa Smile", Lisa starts crying and flooding the stage. Later, she starts laughing after looking at everyone screaming.
  • 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."
  • 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).
  • Fat and Skinny: Best friends Dave and Scaredy, with Dave being the fat to Scaredy's skinny.
  • 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.
  • 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"
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In-universe, paddleball is a competitive sport.
  • 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.
  • Outlandish Device Setting: The episode "Aisle of the Dead" has the majority of Balsa City's citizens becoming zombies after drinking slushies from the Stash N' Hoard's new slushie machine. When Scaredy believes that everyone is just hot from the ongoing heat wave, he attempts to fix things by hosing all the victims in more of the beverage, only for it to inexplicably fail. It turns out the machine actually and literally has a "zombie" setting that it had accidentally been set to, making Scaredy and Sally the only two unzombified people left in the city and running for their lives from the oncoming hoard (although everything is back to normal by the next episode).
  • Satellite Love Interest: Subverted, maybe, with Sue, the "girl Scaredy". Despite appearing (briefly) in the opening credits, she has only been in one episode, and thanks to theatrical superstitions, she turned into an Abhorrent Admirer.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Paddy to Scaredy. He's always trying to outdo Scaredy at everything, from playing paddleball to throwing parties.
  • Thin-Skinned Bully: One episode revolves around the titular character being bullied by a huge muscular dog. When anyone who is capable of fighting back opposes him, he Screams Like a Little Girl and runs away.
  • Toothy Bird: Nestor, his momma, and most of the other birds in the show are drawn with teeth when they speak or make facial expressions.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The opening theme ends with the angry mob, who got annoyed by Scaredy, chasing after him with said torches and pitchforks.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Scaredy loves nutbars. He brings one with him to work every day and always eats it during his break.
  • Tsundere: Sally acts all sweet around Scaredy, but it barely conceals her unhealthy obsession with him and her habit of getting violent towards anyone else who interacts with Scaredy.
  • World of Funny Animals: All the characters in the series are different species of animals. Asides from the title character obviously being a squirrel, his boss is a canary, his best friend is a skunk, his rival is a ferret, etc.


Video Example(s):


Scaredy Squirrel

Golly, that's sure a lot of fat in one single nut bar!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / NutritionalNightmare

Media sources: