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Western Animation / Seven Little Monsters

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Seven Little Monsters was a book by Maurice Sendak (of Where the Wild Things Are fame) that got a 3-seasons, 40-episodes Animated Adaptation from the Canadian animation studio Nelvana, with China's Hong Ying Animation and Philippine Animation Studio Inc. helping out with production as well.

The show is about a family of seven monster siblings (five boys and two girls), who despite the title, are actually much larger than the humans they share their neighborhood with. These seven siblings, known simply by their respective numbers going from oldest to youngest, live with a diminutive, Slavic-accented old lady who happens to be their mother. While their sizes and unusual abilities and appearances seem alarming at first glance, they are all Gentle Giants who mean well and do their best to do what's right. And even despite the trouble that their individual quirks and personalities can bring on their various adventures and misadventures, the seven little monsters can always count on the love and support they have from each other and their mother as a family.

Seven Little Monsters was a part of the PBS Kids Bookworm Bunch from 2000-2002 and also aired from 2003-2007 in its home country of Canada on YTV (and later Treehouse TV). While not as successful and recognizable as it's fellow Nelvana-produced Maurice Sendak adaptation Little Bear, it has gained Cult Classic status among those who watched it on PBS as part of Bookworm Bunch and later as part of its dual slot with The Berenstain Bears. Part of this was due to the fact that like Little Bear, Maurice Sendak was involved in the show's production, and thus had more significant influence over the series' development than is typical for a cartoon adaptation of a kids' book. The theme song of the show was performed by Barenaked Ladies.

Interestingly, Nelvana's cartoon is not the first effort to adapt the book in animated form, as it had previously been adapted as an animated segment on Sesame Street that was animated by Fred Calvert.

Nelvana has made episodes available on Youtube through their Treehouse Direct channel. Check them out here!

This cartoon provides examples of:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: The show's tie-in books by Volo for some reason depicted One as wearing no clothes besides her hat.
  • Accidental Truth: In "April Fools", One, Two, Three, Six and Seven have a boy named Maurice help in a prank they pull to get back at Four and Five by having him pretend to be an alien from Jupiter out to get them. The ending reveals he actually is an alien from Jupiter, but fortunately bears no malevolence and only wanted to take a copy of Three's play script so it can be used to entertain his people on his home planet.
  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: In "Nightmare on Chestnut Street", Seven mentions he once dreamed he was made of cheese and then menaced by giant mice, which Three surmises happened because he ate too much cheese before bed.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Two is depicted with dark brown hair, when he was blond in the original book.
  • Adaptational Diversity: In Sendak's original book, none of the monsters were visibly female, and only One, Two, and Seven had distinct gimmicks (unless you count Five's ability to drink entire oceans). In the cartoon, the others are given gimmicks as well, and Six is outright redesigned into a Girly Girl.
  • Adaptational Modesty: One, Three, Four, and Five are depicted wearing clothes, when they went naked in the original book.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The book's monsters were a lot more mischievous (if not outright malevolent), and terrorize the humans for kicks. The story even ends with said humans successfully capturing them. In the animated series, they are significantly friendlier and are more interested in befriending and having fun with humans than scaring them. Even when they do end up doing something wrong, it is rarely deliberate and they are usually quick to apologize for their actions and make restitution.
  • An Aesop: Every episode has a moral, most of which involve family dynamics.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: The episodes "April Fools" and "A Pony Tale" both have Three become a William Shakespeare pastiche named William Three in "April Fools", and both episodes have a part where he holds Seven's detachable head in a manner reminiscent of Hamlet holding Yorick's skull.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Belinda is a cow who sometimes behaves like a dog, most notably her fetching skills and her scent-sniffing nose (like when the monsters thought their mom left them out of anger, and they were looking for her.)
  • Alien Among Us: "April Fools" ends with Maurice turning out to be an alien posing as a human boy.
  • Animation Bump: Season 3. Due to the switch from Hong Ying to Philippine Animation Studio Inc., the animation is much more fluid here.
  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: Three tries to use his finger to block Two's nose when he's about to sneeze as they're measuring the flour to make cupcakes in "High Noon". Two still sneezes anyway, forcing the monsters to start that step over.
  • Artist and the Band: "Gone But Not Four-Gotten" has a car radio mention a band called Tom and the Toenails.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: Occurs in "Seven Monsters and a Baby".
    Four: I promised to help with the laundry, and I promised to let Mom take a nap, but I did not promise to—
    Seven: To take care of a baby?
  • Audience Surrogate: Mary tends to represent normal children reacting to the seven monsters' naivete.
  • Babysitting Episode: "Seven Monsters and a Baby" has the seven monsters look after their neighbor Mrs. Mulligan's baby while their mother is sleeping.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: One, Four, Five, and sometimes Three depending on his persona all go barefoot.
  • Big Little Brother: Five acts like the youngest but he is older than Six and Seven.
  • Bittersweet Ending Bang! Zoom! To the Moon! Four's rocket made of junk doesn't take them to the moon, or even off the ground for obvious reasons, but Astronaut Three tells him that he had a dream, just like the world did when they first wanted to go to the moon... and if he keeps dreaming, one day he might actually achieve his goal.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When the monsters brainstorm ideas for a play in "April Fools", One suggests doing a play about baseball, Six chimes in that they do a ballet and One responds by suggesting a ballet about baseball.
  • Canon Foreigner: Essentially every character aside from the seven monsters themselves didn't exist in the original book and was created for the animated series, with the monster's Mama, Mary and Belinda the cow being the most prominent examples.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: The monsters look completely different to one another, despite being septuplets.
  • Casting Gag: One of Colin Mochrie's favorite things to mock about his Whose Line Is It Anyway? costar Ryan Stiles is his big nose. Here, he plays a character with a big nose.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "What are you supposed to be today, Three?"
    • "Tell me you didn't just say (number)."
    • "One of these days..."
  • Cheesy Moon: In "Bang! Zoom! To the Moon", Seven asks if the moon is made of cheese and is told by Three that it's actually made of dust and rocks.
  • Chirping Crickets: Cricket chirps are heard in "April Fools" when Four suggests that they charge everyone 50 dollars to watch their play.
  • Circling Birdies: "The Nose Knows" has a bit where Belinda gets hit in the head by Two's pop-up book and has miniature versions of herself wearing tutus spin around her head.
  • Competition Coupon Madness:
    • In "Losing Sam", Three's efforts to rescue Sam the turtle from the plumbing releases several of the monster's belongings, with Seven's being a bronze statue of Johannes Stauss the Elder, which he remarks he sent a lot of box tops for.
    • "Voyage to the Bottom of the Cereal Box" has Three mail 50 cereal box tops for a submarine, expecting a real one and being disappointed when what he gets is just a toy submarine.
  • Counting Sheep:
    • In "Good Night", Two advises an insomniac Seven to go to sleep by counting sheep. Seven refuses because he doesn't like sheep, but changes his mind after Four suggests counting crabs and Three suggests counting elephants.
    • "Splitting Hairs" at one point has Three go to sleep by counting three actual sheep, which were in his room because the persona he adopted for the episode was that of an Irish shepherd.
  • Counting to Potato: When trying to count sheep in "Good Night", Seven's counting goes as "5, 7, 99..."
  • Crying Wolf: In the episode, The Two Who Cried Ouch, Two lately is always second in everything (hence his name) and feels unappreciated. When he gets sick, he becomes the center of attention and is treated like a king. But after learning once he recovers that he will not receive this treatment anymore now that he is better, he starts faking injuries to keep getting his way. But after feeling guilty and going to confess, he actually gets hurt. But the others (as Four caught him jumping up and down when he was suppose to be hurt and told the rest of the monsters) don't believe him...
  • Cute Little Fangs: Four is the only Monster with them...but he never uses them to hurt.
  • Dark Reprise: After his siblings drive him crazy one day in "It's a Wonder-Four Life", Four sings a song about what the world would be like if he was an only child and four was the only number that mattered. When a wishing star based on Clarence the angel grants his wish and he finds that he misses his siblings, and four is not the only number that should be taken into consideration, he sings a somber version of said song.
  • Demonic Possession: Star Zero possesses Belinda the cow to talk with Four in "It's a Wonder-Four Life."
  • Descent into Addiction: Five becomes severely addicted to pie as a result of Four's attempt at training him for a pie-eating contest by having him eat nothing but pie in "You Are What You Eat."
  • Disappeared Dad: Their dad is mentioned twice in the first season, but never seen. Likely dead.
  • Dogs Love Fire Hydrants:
    • A dog appears near a fire hydrant only to cling to it when it bursts into the air from water pressure in "Losing Sam".
    • A mother dog and her puppies sniff at a fire hydrant in "Runaway Mom".
  • Dom Com: A younger child version with monsters.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: In "My Fair One", Four and Two get into an argument over whether Two is out or safe, with Four ultimately saying "safe" to trick Two into agreeing that he is out.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first episode, some people seem visibly afraid of the monsters in the grocery store, though this could be more due to their size and clumsiness than their appearance.
  • Edible Treasure: "Ahoy, Me Monsters" ends with the monsters opening the treasure chest to find that it contains snacks.
  • Edutainment Show: Like all of Bookworm Bunches shows, the show is intended to teach children important life lessons as well as entertain them.
  • Exact Words: In "It's a Wonder-Four Life", Four wishes he had no brothers or sisters. In the alternate universe, this leads to, his siblings still exist, he's just not related to them (nor are they related to one another, and they for some reason are also all named Four).
  • Expy: Star Zero in "It's a Wonder-Four Life" is pretty much a female wish star version of Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life in that she visits Four to teach him the folly of his wishing he had no siblings, like how Clarence visited George Bailey to talk him out of suicide by showing how worse off the world would be if he never existed. Her introductory scene is even a recreation of Clarence's first scene in the original film.
  • Face on a Milk Carton: Invoked in "Runaway Mom" during the monsters' efforts to search for Mama when she goes missing. One and Six go to the grocery store and glue their mother's picture to several milk cartons.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: In "It's a Wonder-Four Life", Star Zero is told to appear to Four in a way he'll understand, so she possesses Belinda the cow. Because a talking cow is totally less strange than a magic wishing star.
  • Friend to All Children: The monsters can often be found playing with human kids and offering them fun experiences due to their great sizes (and none of them seem slightly scared of them...)
  • From Bad to Worse: Inverted with One's reasons to tell on her sibling during the campout in the episode I'm Telling! At first, One has good reasons to tell on them, like Four planning to have Seven climb up an incredibly unstable stack of books to reach an ENORMOUS suitcase for Six to pack a bunch of clothes that she does not need at all for one night in the backyard and use Five as a safety landing, and then Four planning to pack everything in the fridge to take to eat on the campout. But then she starts telling on them for smaller and smaller things like Four not sharing the snacks, Seven yelling at her when she tries to help, and Six sticking her tongue out at her. Mom even lampshades this:
    Mom: (sighs) One..maybe these things are not all that serious being.
  • Furry Female Mane: Both One and Six have human-like hair despite being furry (although Six's face isn't). Three also has a mop of human-like hair, however, as do Two and Seven (though they don't look furry).
  • Fun with Homophones: "Losing Sam" has Five point out a manhole labeled "Y" and his brother Four mistaking him for exclaiming "Why".
  • Gentle Giant: All of them quite literally are huge as well as friendly.
  • Getting Eaten Is Harmless:
    • "Good Morning" has Five eat a boy who offers him a lick of his ice cream cone when the monsters are riding a bus. The other monsters get Five to spit the kid out, who is unharmed and even asks to be eaten again due to finding the experience fun.
    • In "Runaway Mom", Four mentions that Five once ate some ducklings and states that they didn't mind, implying that they weren't digested and subsequently got out of Five unharmed.
  • Goo Goo Getup:
    • The monsters get a tour of the firehouse in "A Day at the Firehouse". While Seven becomes paranoid of the possibility of their house catching on fire, his six siblings aren't as worried and even play pretend in a game where One, Two, Three and Four pretend to be firefighters while Six pretends to be a mother being rescued from a fire and Five pretends to be her baby by wearing a diaper and a bonnet.
    • The episode 'And Baby Makes Eight" revolves around Three wanting to be a baby again after being jealous of a neighbor's new baby, so he dresses up and acts like one. However, after his siblings and mother play along, he finds that there are downsides to still being treated like a baby, such as being fed mush while his brothers and sisters get hot dogs and having to go to bed early.
  • Grocery Store Episode: The first episode, "Good Morning", begins with the monsters waking up to find they have no milk and deciding to take a trip to the store to buy some more. One is in charge of the others until they realize Six was left behind on the bus by accident, leading to Four being put in charge so that One and Three can go chase after the bus. While the others are causing chaos in the store, Seven loses his head, which ends up in the shopping kart of an old lady who thinks it's a watermelon.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Three and Four. Three wears an oversized long sleeve while Four sports a yellow t-shirt and purple top hat, and neither of them wear pants.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: The monsters' mother is a human, so presumably their father is a monster - especially since their mother often points out that Two reminds her of him...
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Presumably the monsters' parents fit this description, given that they are giants and their mother is a normal-sized human.
  • The Igor: "The Adventures of Super Three" has Five pretend to be a hunchbacked assistant to Four named Figor (pronounced fye-gore).
  • Impact Silhouette: In "Mystery of the Missing Five", Seven and Five crash through the walls of their house and leave holes shaped like themselves.
  • In Name Only: The monsters share the same names and basic designs from the original picture book by Maurice Sendak, but the series otherwise shares nothing in common with it.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Four's siblings in "It's a Wonder-Four Life." Five keeps him awake by playing loudly, One accidentally destroys his hat while vacuuming, Six wrecks a project he's working on by dancing too close, and Two uses up all the hot water in the tub. That night, he rashly wishes he didn't have any brothers or sisters...
  • Insane Troll Logic: In "Mystery of the Missing Five", Three comes to the conclusion that the hospital is the best place to look for the disappeared Five on the basis that Four stated he wished Five wasn't born before Five's disappearance and the hospital is where babies are born.
  • Is the Answer to This Question "Yes"?: "The Nose Knows" has Three reply "Do crocodiles have teeth?" in response to Two asking if camouflaging his nose will really work.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: Inverted in "It's A Wonder-Four Life". Four wishes he didn't have siblings, and is shown a world where he is an only child and everything is about him (his six siblings still exist, except the monsters are no longer related and have each gone their separate paths, in addition to all being named Four for some reason). After what should have been a perfect day for him, he winds up feeling lonely, which makes him appreciate his siblings more.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: In "You Are What You Eat" Five enters a pie-eating contest, so Four decides to help him prepare. The problem is, he decides that Five should only eat pie until the contest, while he eats all of Five's regular meals in addition to his own. This makes both of them horribly sick, and Five gets so hooked on pie that he can't stop eating it even if he wants to.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: All the monsters are this to some degree, but Four is the most prominent example, being the grouchiest of monsters and yet still being shown to care about his siblings and be capable of doing the right thing.
  • Kaiju: All 7 monsters are pretty large.
  • Karloff Kopy: Seven's voice is very similar to Boris Karloff, which is rather appropriate given that he looks somewhat like a horned version of the Frankenstein monster.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: One gives Seven a disapproving glare in "All's Quiet on the Monster Front" when he proves he can sing "higher" than Six by lifting his head up after screwing it off.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "April Fools," when Two and Seven are building the set for their play, Seven tells Two he will count the pieces of wood they have "for the benefit of anyone who might be watching." Within the context of the story, he means anyone watching the play they will later put on, but the audience could just as easily interpret it as anyone watching the show.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Except they're monsters instead of anthropomorphic animals.
  • Literal-Minded: Several characters have moments of this. Two is especially prone to this- in "The Whole Tooth", he does it twice in the same scene.
  • Long John Shout Out: In "Ahoy, Me Monsters", Three receives a letter instructing him to look for clues leading to a pirate treasure that is signed Long John Shorty, who turns out to actually be the monsters' Mama setting up the treasure hunt to keep them entertained.
  • Loose Tooth Episode: "The Whole Tooth" concerns Six having a loose tooth and worrying about it falling out before her ballet recital.
  • Losing Your Head: Seven is able to survive removing his own head.
  • Lost Voice Plot: "Gone But Not Four-Gotten" has Four lose his voice, with Six feeling responsible because she wished for her brother to be quiet before he became unable to speak. Mama later assures Six that her wishing isn't the cause of Four's predicament and that Four simply strained his vocal cords and will be okay once he's made time to recover.
  • Magic Feather: In "The Winning Streak", Mama gives Six a ring called a Zimplooky and tells her it will help her bowl well. When Six ends up losing the ring after a couple of strikes, Mama then reveals to her that the Zimplooky is just a trinket and that it was really Six believing in herself that made her good at bowling.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The titular seven monsters themselves are brothers and sisters.
  • Meat-O-Vision:
    • "Runaway Mom" has an Imagine Spot where the monsters have no food after their mother has abandoned them (due to believing that their mother being angry at them means she no longer loves them), which ends with Five looking at Four and hallucinating that his head is a roast chicken.
    • In "You Are What You Eat", Five ends up becoming addicted to pie and eventually eats all of Mama's pies that were in the freezer. After Four breaks it to his brother that there are no more pies, Five proceeds to hallucinate Four as a pie and attempt to eat him.
  • Merlin Sickness: In "Dinner for Breakfast", the final straw that makes the monsters reconsider their wish for everything to be opposite is when they discover they are aging backwards and have become little children.
  • Mistaken for Dying: Sam the turtle in "Losing Sam." He falls out the window onto the roof, but the monsters think he was sucked down the tub drain (Five was taking a bath and left the room for a moment).
  • Mock Cousteau: Three's persona of the day in "My Favorite Crustacean" is Jacques Threesteau, who speaks in a French accent and tells his siblings facts about marine life.
  • Mistaken from Behind: "The Big Store" has Six mistake two men in an alligator costume for her brother Four after seeing them from the back.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The show's intro includes a scene of Five drinking the sea, which he did in the original book.
    • The theme song includes the lyric "They cause trouble, there they go", a nod to the original book's closing line "Seven monsters in a row, making trouble. There they go!"
  • Naked Nutter: The alternate version of Five in "It's a Wonder-Four Life" in the reality resulting from Four's wish of having no siblings is depicted as going naked and behaving in a feral manner due to Four not being there to help him learn how to behave properly.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Yes, there's seven of them. They are indeed monsters. Little? Obviously not, unless "little" is intended in the sense that they are young and inexperienced.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: When the monsters go to the toy store in "All the Marbles", they are greeted by a friendly clown who informs them how revolving doors work.
  • Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying Over You: In "Mystery of the Missing Five", Four gets annoyed that he's being repeatedly licked while lamenting the disappearance of his brother Five, but is elated when he sees that Five has come back and is the one licking him.
  • "Number of Objects" Title: Seven Little Monsters.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: This exchange in "Out of Sight":
    Six: (reading a sign) "Dr. See: Eye Care."
    Three: Well, I care too, Six. That's very nice of you.
    Two: No, Three, eye care. See? Eye care!
    Seven: Oh no, Two. The doctor's name is "See", not "Three."
    One: I don't care what his name is.
  • Organ Autonomy: Two brings up in "Nightmare on Chestnut Street" that his worst nightmare has his nose missing from his face and acting as a separate entity.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: They're roughly nine to ten foot monsters who look and sound full grown, but their lives are basically the same as those of normal children in a large family with most of the episodes dealing with family dynamics.
  • Parental Abandonment: The monsters think their mom has abandoned them in "Runaway Mom." She hasn't, of course.
  • Playing Sick: In "The Two Who Cried Ouch", Two ends up getting sick after expressing disappointment at never being first at anything and enjoys the attention and care his siblings and mother provide him during his period of illness so much that after he recovers, he repeatedly fakes getting injured to get his way. He starts to feel bad about it when Four catches him playing fetch with Belinda after he faked a sprained ankle to get out of doing yard work and decides to fess up and apologize to his brothers and sisters after Mama tells him a story of a girl who repeatedly yelled "Sloth" when there weren't any only to be ignored when there actually were sloths. On his way, however, Two gets his nose stuck in a tree and his siblings initially refuse to help him due to thinking he's faking yet again.
  • Powder Gag: In "High Noon", the monsters are measuring the flour to bake cupcakes. Two starts to sneeze but is temporarily stopped by Three putting Anti-Sneeze Finger on his nose. Two does a Sneeze of Doom anyway, dispersing the floor on everyone's faces.
  • Related in the Adaptation: The cartoon establishes that the seven monsters are siblings. While the original book depicted them living in the same house, it wasn't stated there that the monsters were related.
  • Running Gag: The monsters often get stuck in doorways.
  • Serious Business: After a trip to the firehouse, Seven becomes worried that a fire could start at any minute, and doesn't appreciate his siblings making light of it. He even invokes this word for word.
  • Smooth-Talking Talent Agent: The persona Three adopts in "Ear Spy" is that of an insincerely complementary talent agent.
  • Shaking the Rump: Mama shakes her backside at the end of "All's Quiet on the Monster Front" when the family celebrate winning the rutabaga pudding that was first prize for the song contest Two participated in.
  • Shout-Out:
    Seven: You were there... and you... and you, and you were no help at all!
    • In "Bang! Zoom! To the Moon!" the scene where Four tosses his blueprints into the air is very reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    • The monsters "Rutabaga pudding" song in "All's Quiet on the Monster Front" is set to the tune of "Swing low, sweet chariot".
    • "Are You My Family?" has One and Six reference the famous Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ad.
    Six: You got paint on my tutu!
    One: Well, you got tutu on my paint!
    • "Elephant!" features a reference to a particular phrase from The Wizard of Oz when Seven asks what kind of animals are at the zoo.
    One: Lions.
    Two: And tigers.
    Six: And bears.
    Seven: Oh, my!
    • Two's songs about his nose in "The Nose Knows" are both sung to the tune of Scott Joplin's The Entertainer.
  • Sick Episode: In "Doctor, Doctor!", Two gets a cold and can't go see a new movie with his siblings, so the monsters led by Three who is a Groucho Marx/Jerry Lewis-esque doctor, try to cure him...but fail and end up getting sick themselves.
  • Skyward Scream: Five screams in despair while a view from the sky is shown when Sammy the turtle goes missing in "Losing Sam".
  • Slice of Life: The seven monsters spend every episode going through mundane problems and situations.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: In "The Bad Word", they tiptoe around having a character say a swear word in a children's show by censoring the bad word with various sound effects, including a steam whistle, Belinda mooing and a goose honking.
  • Splitting Pants: After becoming fat from eating Five's meals while Five focuses on eating pie in "You Are What You Eat", Four ends up splitting his pants when he bends over to kiss Mama.
  • Super-Strength: All of the monsters possess considerable strength due to their size.
  • Superhero Episode: A game of make-believe revolving around superheroes is the focus of the plot in "The Adventures of Super Three", with Three as the titular superhero, One as his partner One Girl, Two as a news reporter, Four as a Mad Scientist supervillain, Five as Four's assistant Figor and Six and Seven being victims of Four's experiments.
  • Swear Word Plot: "The Bad Word" is about Two learning a curse word and Mama having to teach him that he shouldn't say it.
  • Tempting Fate: In the first episode, Seven accidentally swaps his head with a watermelon. Once he gets it back he declares, "That will never happen again." Spoiler alert: It does.
  • This Is My Side: When Four and Five have a falling out in "These Are Our Lives", Four makes the decision to use tape to divide their bunk beds, then tells Five that he can't touch the floor because it's on his side.
  • Tied-Together-Shoelace Trip: "My Fair One" has a gopher make Two and Seven fall down by tying their shoelaces together.
  • Title Theme Tune: Performed by Barenaked Ladies at that! The only other words in the song besides the title are "They cause trouble, there they go!" and counting to seven.
  • Toilet Humour:
    • When the monsters try to get the hospital receptionist to understand that they want to know where to find the babies in "Mystery of the Missing Five" by acting like babies, Six pretends to be a baby who wet her diaper.
    • "A Monster's Best Friend" has a recurring gag of the seven monsters being annoyed by their new puppy Freddy leaving messes on the floor, with Three frequently being forced to clean up after Freddy and their efforts to paper-train Freddy per their neighbor Mary's advice going awry when Freddy chooses to relieve himself on an area of the floor that isn't covered up by newspaper.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: One and Six respectively.
  • Tooth Fairy: "The Whole Tooth" has Mama try to make Six feel better about her loose tooth by telling her a tale of tooth dwarfs who visit children to take their baby teeth and are represented by Six's siblings.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Four goes through one in "It's a Wonder-Four Life" (his hat gets destroyed, Six ruins his popsicle stick sculpture of a turkey, etc.), leading him to wish he was an only child.
  • Two Girls to a Team: One and Six are the only two females among the seven monsters.
  • Two Shorts: The first two seasons had one half-hour story per episode, while the third season used two 11-minute stories.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: "The Big Store" and "No Place Like Home" have Three pretend to be a secret agent named Double O Three, wearing a suit and speaking with a Sean Connery impression.
  • Unexplained Accent: Their mother is a Funny Foreigner, but the monsters speak clear English... Well, except Five.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody bats an eyelid at a bunch of gigantic monsters running around. Even very young children show absolutely no fear at the sight of the seven monsters. Heck, whenever Seven's detached head finds itself in different places, even complete strangers take the circumstances in stride.
  • Vague Age: The monsters' ages are difficult to determine. They're giants who look and sound like adults, but are frequently shown to lack basic knowledge that an adult is unlikely to be ignorant of prior to their mother or another person informing them about the relevant subject, plus "The Whole Tooth" centers around Six losing a baby tooth when it is impossible for adults to have any baby teeth left. On the other hand, Three's personas tend to have him demonstrate knowledge and skills appropriate to his character that he'd realistically obtain through years of higher education, while the alternate timeline of the monsters not being related in "It's a Wonder-Four Life" shows the timeline's counterparts of One, Two, Three, Six and Seven to be working jobs that they'd only be eligible for hiring if they at least graduated high school (such as Six's counterpart being a dance instructor). Further complicating matters is that they are shown to have been significantly smaller as young children and Mama states in "Seven Monsters and a Baby" that she hasn't had much time to rest in 40 years, but doesn't state where in this time frame her children were born, if they're even her biological children in the first place.
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: Four tries his hardest to get a sheriff's badge from a prize machine in "Good Morning", only for it to keep giving him princess rings.
  • Very Special Episode: "Losing Sam" discusses how we have to accept the inevitable deaths of those we love, whether they're pets or people. In this case, Five's pet turtle Sam wasn't even in danger of dying (unless he fell off the roof), the monsters just thought he was.
  • Villain Song: "How Fabulous it is to Be a Four" in "It's a Wonder-Four Life." Loose definition of "villain" here, but it's still a song about how he wishes his siblings didn't exist.
  • A Weighty Aesop: The importance of eating healthy and not overeating serves as the moral in "You Are What You Eat." Five gets very sick from eating nothing but pie, while Four suffers ill effects from overeating when he opts to eat Five's meals.
  • What's a Henway?: "The Whole Tooth" has the classic joke quoted verbatim.
    Four: What's a henway?
    Three: About six pounds.
    Four: Sorry I asked.
  • Where No Parody Has Gone Before: "Doctor, Doctor" features the seven monsters imagining that they're in a pastiche of Star Trek, with One playing the part of Captain James T. Kirk in addition to Three and Four respectively channeling Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy and Montgomery "Scotty" Scott.
  • Winged Humanoid: One is a humanoid monster with feathered wings.
  • Who's on First?: Because their names are numbers, this happens rather frequently. For instance, the first episode has Two respond to Six exclaiming "Me, too" by correcting her that he is Two.
  • Word, Schmord!: "All the Marbles" has Mama remark "Commercial, schmercial" in response to Seven being enthralled by the commercial for Monster Marbles.
  • World of Chaos: In "Dinner for Breakfast", the monsters aren't happy about having to go to bed instead of staying up late and wish upon the Plooky that everything was the opposite of how it's supposed to be. This leads to the monsters finding themselves in a world where night is day, dinner is eaten at breakfasttime and vice versa, fish fly in the sky and various other weird things happen. The monsters are eventually driven to wish things back to normal when they start aging backwards.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: Subverted. They all have yellow eyes but none of them are particularly sneaky.
  • You Are Number 6: The monsters are named from One to Seven.


Video Example(s):


Monsters in Outer Space

"Doctor, Doctor" begins with the seven monsters imagining that they're in a send-up to Star Trek.

Their spaceship bears some resemblance to the Enterprise, One plays the part of Captain James T. Kirk and it is blatant that Three and Four are imitating Dr. McCoy and Scotty.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhereNoParodyHasGoneBefore

Media sources: