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Western Animation / Sid the Science Kid

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They're kind of like Muppets, but without the hand inside 'em. (Left to right: May, Gerald, Gabriela, Sid)
Sid the Science Kid is a CGI children's Science Show created and produced by The Jim Henson Company. The show follows young Sid and his friends, May, Gerald, and Gabriela, along with their teacher, Teacher Susie. Sid is a budding scientist who regularly asks why things happen, what causes what, and also sings songs about it.

The show debuted in September 2008, and concluded its run in March 2013 with the release of Sid the Science Kid: The Movie. Although the show itself is off the air, DVD releases are still easily found in stores and as of 2022, the program is still available to stream on the PBS Kids video app service. Books and other merchandise based on the series, such as puzzles and toys, also continue to be released in dollar stores as of 2023.

This show provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In the movie, Dr. Bonabodon builds a whole staff of seemingly sentient robots to maintain the museum. Among them is the tour guide Bobbybot, who goes rogue after a mishap in the electricity pavilion and starts causing assorted mischief by reprogramming all of the exhibits.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: Using the Henson Company's proprietary digital puppetry system.
  • Animal Motifs: For starters, Sid's pajamas are covered in bees.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Just look at them.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Zig-Zagged. Although the kids' actual skin tones are pastel colored, they are implied to be from real ethnic backgrounds; Gabriella is supposed to be Latina, May is described as being Asian (clarified as Chinese-American in the movie), and Sid is mixed-race since, according to the holiday episode, his mom is of African descent and his dad is Jewish as they both celebrate Kwanzaa and Hanukkah respectively.
  • Archive Binge: invoked In "Must See TV," Sid decides that once he gets home from school, he wants to take a TV into his room, camp out, and go straight into a marathon all-weekend watch of his favorite television show, Firedog Brigade, about a team of dogs that seem like ordinary dogs until the bell in their fire station goes off and then they go out and do stuff like fighting crimes and saving the day. Being the show that this is, he learns that it's okay to watch television sometimes, but this sort of binge-watching isn't healthy for a growing young boy.
  • Art Shift: Sid's "Super Duper Schmooper Big Ideas" are presented as animated kids' drawings.
  • Beautiful Void: Sid's neighborhood and school is completely devoid of any people besides the main cast, as is the museum they visit on occasion in later episodes.
  • Because I Said So: Averted. Every adult character, be they Teacher Susie or the parents, happily and straightforwardly answers whatever questions the kids may have.
  • Big Entrance: Gerald usually does a weird entrance when he enters class.
  • Birthday Episode: "I Want Cake" takes place on Sid's birthday and has him learn all about healthy eating when he decides he wants to eat nothing but cake all the time, only for his parents to tell him that having one's diet based entirely around cake wouldn't be very nutritious.
  • Blind Without 'Em: May, apparently.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Sid greets the viewers as "fellow scientists," but none of the other characters seem to recognize the presence of an audience.
    • In the unaired episode"Where Did I Come From?", Sid's parents tell him to walk into the kitchen counter in order to meet the animation team that created him.
  • Camping Episode: Sid, Gerald, and Mort camp out in the backyard in "Sid's Backyard Campout."
  • Changing Chorus: The song "The Journey of a Germ" has two lines, and one is always different but the other one is "_____ on my journey of a germ".
  • Cheesy Moon: In "The Big Cheese," Sid and his mother find a website that says that the moon is made of glowing green cheese. From this, Sid eventually learns a lesson that you can't believe everything you read on the Internet.
  • Child Prodigy: Niuniu and Yangyang in the movie; two students from China comprising the other winning team of the invention contest. They're only a few years older than Sid and Gabriella at most, and yet they built a fully functional extraplanetary rocket.
  • Class Trip: In the movies and later episodes, the class goes to a science museum to learn about their topic.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Gerald. He always provides the most off-the-wall answer in each interview segment.
    • In the movie, Bobbybot becomes this when Niuniu and Yangyang attempt to reprogram him after he's zapped by the lightning exhibit. He proceeds to sabotage all the exhibits in mischievous ways.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The kids' science journals.
  • Company Cross References:
    • In the episode "Sid's Amazing Lungs", Gerald pretends to be a baby and says "I'm the baby, gotta love me!" This is one of the Catch Phrases of Baby Sinclair from Dinosaurs, another Jim Henson series.
    • In the movie, the robotic tyrannosaurus dances along to a scatted version of "Dinosaurs A-Z" from Dinosaur Train (which was running on PBS Kids around the same time) after being reprogrammed.
    • The animatronic dinos themselves also use more realistically retextured character models of Boris Tyrannosaurus and Morris Stegosaurus from the aforementioned series, although this is probably more a case of Recycled Animation than intentional homage.
  • Constantly Curious & Curious as a Monkey: Sid both asks a lot of questions and does experiments to get to the bottom of things. Those are, after all, things that a good scientist does. Still, he could give the original Trope Namer for the latter a run for his money.
  • Cool Old Lady: Sid's grandmother.
  • Cool Teacher: Teacher Susie, who is shown to be a fun and engaging instructor all the kids love.
  • Disease-Prevention Aesop: "Getting a Shot, You Can Do It" teaches the importance of, not only vaccines, but hand-washing as well.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: While not a normal component of the series, random animals seen in the animated portions of songs (which are an Art Shift using a more traditional animation look), such as the frogs in the "Getting Into the Habit" song.
  • Dynamic Entry: Gerald is always the last to enter the classroom, and he's usually doing something related to the plot on the way in.
  • Edutainment Show: It's intended to teach the viewers about science, if the name of the show being Sid the Science Kid didn't already clue you in.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Guess Sid's favorite subject!
  • Expository Theme Tune: The theme song has Sid singing about how he wants to learn about the world around him and how things work.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: When any of the kids is shown leisurely pedaling around the playground on a tricycle, the kid is never without a helmet.
  • Fiery Redhead: Gerald has a mohawk-like tuft of red hair, and is the loudest and most boisterous of the kids.
  • First-Name Basis: Sid and his classmates call their teacher by her first name, but do at least address her as "Teacher Susie." Also, somewhat unusually for a show of this type, Sid's parents, Alice and Mort, address each other by first name when talking to each other.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: "No School Singalong Special" and "Sid's Backyard Campout" break formula by not having the kids in school and otherwise departing from the formula in many ways.
  • Fourth Wall Greeting: This is how the closing segment is presented, in which Sid talks with the viewers in his room at night before going to bed and presents his "Super Duper Big Idea."
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: In Sid's class, there are 2 boys (Sid and Gerald) and 2 girls (Gabriela and May).
  • Girlish Pigtails: Gabriela wears her hair like this.
  • Good, Open Minded Parents: A large portion of what the parents do entails encouraging the children's curiosity, as well as guiding and assisting them in their exploration.
  • Growling Gut: It happens to Sid two times in the beginning of the episode "Special Mom Day Meal". Also, happens to Sid, Gabriela and Gerald in the same episode when May tries to guess what they ate for lunch. Sid's Mom's stomach rumbled in almost to the end of the episode and the characters in "Sid's Big Idea". A Cat's stomach rumbled in the episode "Sid's Pet Project" when Sid's having one of his big ideas.
  • Halloween Episode: Each child is told of their costume's practical applications.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": In "Special Mom Day Meal," Susie explains the digestive system to Sid's class, and that it takes the good stuff from food and uses it. Gerald asks where the other stuff goes and she tells him that your body gets rid of it, that it leaves your body and this is called "poop." Gerald giggles, pointing out that she said "poop."
  • High-Five Left Hanging: In "The Big Sneeze," Sid holds out his hand to his father, Mort, for a high-five. He does not return it, and for good reason: he has a cold and even though he just washed his hands, there's still the risk of spreading germs.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: In "The Whale Episode," the buzz-phrase of the day was "nonstandard measurement." It all got started because Sid wanted to know how someone could measure the length of a blue whale. Teacher Susie taught the kids about the idea of "nonstandard measurement" and also that there were certain rules - like that they could use objects lying around to measure things or even themselves, but the units all had to be the same within a particular measurement. Gerald had the idea that they could use him to measure things and they found out that their classroom was "14 Geralds" long.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: In "The Amazing Computer Science Tool," Sid's mother Alice asks to say and gets to say "Let's all go to the Super Fab Lab" after saying that she always wanted to say it.
  • Imagine Spot: Sid and his classmates are five years old. They can be given a pass.
  • Injection Plot: In the episode "Getting a Shot, You Can Do It!", Sid gets told that he will be getting a shot at school. He asks his friends if they've had shots, and they all say yes (May's cat has also had a shot). The episode as a whole talks about the importance of shots.
  • Is This Thing On?: Prior to the opening theme, Sid starts the show by tapping his microphone and asking "Hey, is thing on?"
  • It's Always Spring: Lampshaded in the Christmas Episode; Sid is about to visit a relative in Minnesota, and wonders why it's never cold and snowy where he lives.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: May is the gentlest of the kids and loves her cat, Mooshu.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: When Sid is horrified after discovering he is a CGI puppet character, his parents erase his memories Men in Black-style
  • Laugh Track: Sid can produce one with his microphone, as well as applause.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Only subverted when Sid goes to bed, but then it's the same pajamas every night. Other than that, he's seen wearing the same clothing every episode, as well as the rest of the cast. He does end up wearing his brown dress shoes in "My Shrinking Shoes" because he's grown too big for his old pair of shoes, but at the end of the episode, his mother brings him home a pair that looks exactly the same, but is one size up.
  • Minimalist Cast: Barring The Movie, the cast is exclusively composed of Sid, his family, his friends, and Teacher Susie (and later Gabriela's mom, Dr. Cordova).
  • The Movie: Released as an hour-long Made-for-TV Movie and overall Grand Finale to the show in 2013, Sid the Science Kid: The Movie follows Sid and Gabriela as they tour a theme park-like science museum as their prize for winning an invention contest. Things go off the rails when one of the robotic tour guides malfunctions, however, and it's up to the kids and their new friends to solve the fiasco. Christopher Lloyd also appears as an eccentric inventor with wild white hair named Dr. Bonabodon.
  • Muppet: Technically, this is a Muppet production. (The phrase "Muppet" was sold to Disney before the series began.) The performers are voice actors in motion capture suits. The process is referred to as "digital puppetry."
  • No Antagonist: It's a simple Science Show that doesn't really warrant a villain. The Movie averts this with Bobbybot going haywire after getting zapped, but even then he's not really a villain as his antagonistic behavior is not his fault.
  • Only One Name: It's obvious that Sid, Alice, Mort, and Zeke are a family, but there's no last name given. Teacher Susie is commonly referred to as Susie.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "How Did My Dog Do That?", when Gerald doesn't make a weird entrance into the classroom, everyone is confused and Teacher Susie points out that he didn't do anything special. So he leaves the room and comes back in to make his special entrance.
  • Paying for Air: In "Clean Air!", Sid pretends to be a slick-talking salesman offering bottles of clean air for one million dollars each. Gerald offers to buy one, Gabriela to buy two, but they are eventually lured away by May, who points out that they can just plant trees.
  • Plot Allergy: In "The Reason Sid's Sneezin',"Sid learns about allergies after discovering that he's allergic to pollen like his father.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Gerald. He often embodies the more juvenile thoughts kids may have about the episode's subject, such as when they are taught about bodily functions.
  • Pluto Is Expendable: When the show covers the planets, Pluto simply isn't mentioned - Teacher Susie teaches the kids about the eight planets, the four terrestrial planets and the four outer planets. Justified as the astronomical community renounced Pluto's classification as a planet not long before the show debuted, and it does its best to keep up with the latest scientific discoveries.
  • Potty Dance: In "Hello Doggie!", Gerald does one while Gabriella is pretending to be a veterinarian and they think he's pretending to be a dog telling her that he needs to go to the bathroom, as they've been learning about animal communication. He's not pretending, though, he really does need to go to the bathroom.
  • Primal Fear: Sid and his friends are all a bit afraid of the dark in "Discovering Darkness" and the book I'm Not Afraid of the Dark. They overcome their fear after doing some scientific experimentation and realizing that the things around them don't change simply because it's dark.
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • "Sid's Pet Project" - "pet project" is a term for a project pursued as a personal favorite, but the episode itself is about a literal pet - Sid learns about pets to better take care of his grandma's dog over the weekend.
    • In "Seed the Science Kid," Sid learns about the importance of seeds after being bothered by the seeds in his apple at breakfast.
  • Punny Name: Go ahead, guess.
  • Recap Episode: "Sid's Healthy Day" is basically one giant recap of stuff about healthy habits seen in previous installments, complete with recycled footage.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Bill Nye the Science Guy FOR YOUNG ELEMENTARY STUDENTS!
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: This is used in the Internet-only short "Where Did I Come From?" to depict Sid meeting the folks involved in the show's production and getting at the technical processes which created him and the show.
  • Running Gag: When Gabriela, Gerald and Sid play house, Gerald is the daddy, Gabriela is the mommy and Sid has to be the crying baby, though he always complains about it. Occasionally, though, they will let him take another role instead.
  • Science Hero: Sid is a kindergarten version.
  • Science Show: The show's title literally has the word "science" in it, after all.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: At the end of "Where Did I Come From?", Sid is so disturbed by learning the explanation of the creation of himself and the show Sid the Science Kid that he declares "Okay. Um, well, good luck with all that stuff you just said and, um, gotta be going now. Bye!" then darts away back home. He returns to his parents, panting in shock, and admits he never wants to think about what he just saw/heard again. They oblige by neuralyzing him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "Sid's Amazing Lungs," when Gerald pretends to a baby, he looks directly at the camera and says "I'm a baby, gotta love me" with the same tone and style as Baby Sinclair from Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs was an early 90s ABC comedy done in part by Jim Henson Productions, and this also counts as a Parental Bonus, since most of today's children would be entirely unfamiliar with the series.
    • Also on the subject of references to Jim Henson shows that star prehistoric reptiles, the robotic dinosaurs in the movie are all retextured versions of various character models used in Dinosaur Train. The reprogrammed T-Rex even dances to a scatted version of "Dinosaurs A-Z".
    • As mentioned above, Dr. Bonabodon is voiced by Christopher Lloyd and features Doc Brown's exact hairdo.
    • At the end of "Where Did I Come From?", Sid's parents neuralyze him.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: Sid reminds viewers, "And remember, keep asking lots and lots of questions."
  • Sick Episode: Sid's father gets a cold in the episode "Germs".
  • Stock Footage: Stock footage sometimes appears in the show's song segments, which teach something about whatever the topic of the episode is, such as animals in nature.
  • Strictly Formula: Sid proposes a hypothesis, has breakfast, and asks his mom or dad about his hypothesis. Then, Sid goes off to school. After that, he interviews his friends before school starts. Rug Time is where Sid tells his friends and teacher about his question before they run off to get their science notebooks and the actual learning takes place. During the Super Fab Lab, they conduct an experiment based on the question posed at the beginning. Next is playtime, where they either play Pretend (in which Gabriela is usually the mom), Good Laughternoon (a joke segment), or just having fun around on the playground. Finally, Teacher Susie sings a song about the topic and Sid goes home. At the end of the episode, Sid tells us his Super-Duper-Ooper-Schmooper Big Idea! and he's off to bed, ready to do it all again the next day.
    • Almost every episode (except for specials) is part of a week-long unit related to a topic. Each Friday, Sid's class has a science lab session outside, and everyone reviews what they learned.
  • The Talk: "Where Did I Come From?" subverts this. Sid asks this question of his parents, which would lead the viewer to expect this. Instead, they tell him to walk through a wall of his home. When he does, he meets the real-life staff of the show who created him.
  • Talking Animal: When Sid's grandmother gets a dog, Sid begins to wonder if they can talk.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: In "Sleep - Who Needs It?", Teacher Susie lets the kids have a nap to demonstrate the importance of sleep. After everyone has already woken up, Gerald continues to sleep and mutters "Hello, pony. I like applesauce too." They leave him too and later spend some time observing him. He eventually wakes up, but pretends to still be asleep and quacking in his sleep.
  • Tastes Like Feet: In "The Perfect Pancake," Sid says that the burnt pancakes typically made by his father Mort taste like chewy rocks. He admits he's never actually eaten a chewy rock, but that he's guessing it doesn't taste good.
  • Title, Please!: None of the episode titles are given on the episodes themselves; they're only available in listings.
  • Title Theme Tune: "I'm Sid, the Science Kid!"
  • Token White: Technically, Gerald could be considered this. As mentioned under Ambiguously Brown, Sid is supposed to be mixed race, and Gabriela and May are implied to be Latina and Asian respectively. This makes Gerald the only (presumably) white kid.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Alice (Sid's mom) is supposed to be black, and Mort (Sid's dad) is Jewish. That makes Sid and Zeke both.
  • Very Special Episode: "Getting a Shot: You Can Do It!" This episode is available for free, and is posted on YouTube as a public service.
  • When I Was Your Age...: Sid's Grandma always tells Sid a story about her as a young girl with the topic that Sid learned about in school that day.
  • You Remind Me of X: In "Sid Wings It!", Sid's Grandma tells him that he reminds her of his father Mort, that they like a lot of the same things.
  • Youthful Freckles: Gerald has these.


Video Example(s):


Measuring in Geralds

In "The Whale Episode," Sid and his friends explore the concept of "non-standard measurement" and one of the ways they do so is by measuring things using their friend Gerald.

How well does it match the trope?

4.2 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / HiroshimaAsAUnitOfMeasure

Media sources: