Staines Down Drains is an animated series created in New Zealand. It was produced together by Flying Bark Productions (formerly known as Yoram Gross Productions) in Australia and Flux Animation in New Zealand.
Life just got far more interesting for Stanley and Mary-Jane Staines. They've just moved to a new town, into a new house, and started going to a new school. Oh, did we mention the portal in the basement sink's plughole that shrinks them down to three-inches high and sends them down into the local drain system? Suddenly Stanly and Mary-Jane find themselves in a whole new world, one that's wracked with conflict. The drains are home to tiny mutant creatures called Drainlanders who manage a pond of special purifying plants that absorb toxins and produce clean water. This doesn't sit well with a group of mutant creatures called Gobblers, who thrive on toxins.
Unfortunately, the Gobblers have just gained an advantage. A mysterious human named Dr. Drain who's also found his way into the drains. Dr. Drain will stop at nothing to fill the drains with toxins and grow a giant mutant army he can use to take revenge on the town. Suddenly Stanly and Mary-Jane find themselves as reluctant heroes in a desperate struggle to save two worlds.
Tropes Down Drains:
- Action Girl: Mary-Jane tries to be this, but it usually gets her into trouble.
- Adobe Flash: The second series switched to this to be animated entirely at Flux Animation.
- Alpha Bitch: Gretel lives this.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The Drainlanders. Being mutant life forms living in a drain system, they tend to come in a lot of shapes, sizes and colors.
- Balloon Belly: Stanley and Mary-Jane both get one in the first episode after eating a giant, mutant, teddy-bear cookie.
- Building of Adventure: Well, 'Drainage System of Adventure'. Almost the entire series takes place inside the town's drains.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Betty Staines. Stand-up comedy was probably a poor career choice for her...
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Stanley and Mary-Jane's mom can be a bit flighty sometimes. But she pales in comparison to Beef, who takes this to a whole new level.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Betty Staines. She starts a new job at the beginning of every episode.
- Expository Theme Tune: The theme song details Stanley and Mary-Jane finding the Drainlanders' world in their sink's drain and having to deal with Dr. Drain.
- Expressive Mask: Dr. Drain's gas mask.
- Expy: Vegety-Bill is essentially John Wayne, if John Wayne was a four-inch tall talking carrot man.
- The Faceless: Until the last two episodes, Dr. Drain is only ever seen wearing a full hazmat suit and gas mask.
- "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: "Inner Space"
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Literally. The show is set in a town's drain system and it isn't shy about toilet humor. In various episodes we've seen Stanley and Mary-Jane imagining coming out of a drain into a toilet, which is blocked by a giant butt. A baby getting changed, with the dirty diaper clearly being shown. Various forms of slime and sludge in the drainlands. But the biggest example comes in the last episode of the season, titled "The Final Flush". In a last ditch effort to destroy the purifying plants, Dr. Drain breaks open a pipe and releases something he calls the brown tide. Even worse, Stanly has to wade through the stuff to reach the switch for an emergency drainage valve.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: A shrunken Stanley and Mary-Jane have had to face full-sized foe a few times. And there's also an episode titled "Land of Giants".
- Lethal Chef: The lunch lady at Stanley and Mary-Jane's school. She's called Typhoid Mary for a reason.
- Quirky Mini Boss Squad: The Gobblers.
- Running Gag: Stanley has a slight phobia about dirt and germs. And so, of course, he is routinely forced to travel into the town's drain system.
- Shout-Out: To The Twilight Zone (1959) classic "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", of all things. In one episode, Beans uses one of Dr. Drains inventions and accidentily gets teleported onto the wing of a passenger plane. A man sitting in the plane, dressed as Captain Kirk, looks out the window, sees her, freaks out and parachutes out of the plane.
- One episode had Stanley and Mary-Jane trying out for a stage musical knock-off of Harry Potter to get out of doing homework.
- Two Shorts: The second series switched to this.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Beans definitely has an accent, but whether it's French or Mexican or something else entirely is hard to say.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Stanley is Terrified of Germs.