This is our imagination
Me and my friend Bradley
What we draw is what you see
Stickin' Around is a Canadian children's animated series from Nelvana about a 9-year-old girl named Stacy Stickler and her best friend Bradley. The two kids live adventures through their hyperactive imaginations taking them wherever they might. Their weird and whimsical exploits are really just their way of confronting the various everyday life scenarios that come their way, from dealing with local bullies to putting up with the demands of grown-ups to just playing games with their friends.
Described by the creators as basically being what would happen if kids were allowed to create their own cartoons, Stickin' Around is told entirely from the viewpoint of its young and wildly creative protagonists, whose imaginative and fantastical approaches to navigating the problems that all kids face every day reflects the show's quirky and playful storytelling. More obvious is how the show is intentionally drawn crudely to simulate a young child's drawing, and the results actually look very convincing, with all the childlike whimsy that accompanies such art.
The series started life as a series of one-minute interstitials that aired between longer series during CBS Saturday Morning Cartoon block in 1994, but was developed into a full series in 1996 that debuted on YTV and ran for 3 seasons of 39 episodes. A favorite of many Canadian children (and American ones, as this show had a brief, but memorable run on Fox Kids at the same time) during The '90s, the show is generally seen as one of YTV's best original animated series, becoming an iconic part of their lineup during its time on air and still carrying nostalgic value for many today.
Fun fact: This was the very first show by Nelvana to be animated primarily using computers.
The following tropes appear in the series, for your big fat information:
- Accidental Pervert: As seen in "Hit the Showers", when both the boys and girls see each other after running out of their respective showers.
- Adults Are Useless: Most of the time, especially during the "Imagination Sequence of the Week".
- Alpha Bitch: Ashley, a (thankfully) minor character.
- Amusing Injuries: There's a lot of slapstick in the series, resulting in this happening pretty regularly. Of course, since the characters are just stick figures, there's no repercussions for any of it.
- Art Evolution: The second and third seasons boast sharper detail than the first season, and early use of Flash animation. The show switched back to traditional animation in the third season.
- Assumed Win: "And the Wiener Is..." is centered around this. Also happens at a lesser extent in a few other episodes.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Frank becomes one in....."Jumbo Frank".
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Bradley and Stacy are accused of this in one episode, which is mostly due to the fact that they're frequently with each other throughout the entire series. Despite this, there's no confirmed romantic relationship between them at all.
- Bait-and-Switch: Stacy begins to narrate "The Princess and the Pea" with saying how the princess had to pee real bad, only for Bradley to say "That's not how it goes".
- The Big Guy: William, yet another minor character.
- Black Bead Eyes: Sometimes the characters get normal eyes.
- Bowdlerise: When the show aired on Fox Kids State-side, a lot of scenes had to be cut for time reasons. And oh freaking boy, were there a lot of scenes cut. The intro sequence was also badly edited.
- Sync TV's Kidlet site replaces burp sound effects with silence or white noise.
- Bungling Inventor: Stacy's father.
- Canadian Series: Courtesy of Nelvana.
- Catchphrase: Numerous!Bradley: This looks like a job for... [insert alter-ego]
Bradley: Aliens from...
Stacy: Don't say it, Bradley!
Stacy: [insert said information] for your big fat information.
Stacy: Real mature, Bradley.
Dill: HOLY MACKEREL!!!
Russell: What? [said immediately after the whole cast has shouted; "Whoa, man! What's that funky smell?"]
Russell: Yeah, [insert word that Lance just said]
Mr. Doddler: Course, we couldn't if we wanted to.
Ms. Mobley: Won't that be fun?
- The Chew Toy: You'd be hard-pressed to find a scene where Bradley actually catches a break: not only is he frequently bullied by Lance and Russel but also by his own best friend on a number of occasions. The series even ends with him getting beat up by the two bullies and Stacy happily unveiling a statue of him getting wedgied.
- Chewing the Scenery: DILL.
- Child Prodigy: Polly, given the fact that she's young enough to be in kindergarten and is in the same grade as the two lead characters.
- Christmas Episode: "Christmas of Doom!", which isn't a Christmas celebration so much of a clip show of previous episodes coupled with an attempt to keep the Latchkey Garden Apartments from being torn down.
- Clip Show: "Christmas of Doom!".
- Cloudcuckoolander: Mr. Doddler likes to tell stories about the "old times" and the lack of commodities in the old times (goes up to, and including, the Big Bang). Then again, he might be senile.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Invoked during the Casablanca spoof scene in and the ending of "Casa Blank Stare". Also used in the western film scene in "Madam Know-It-All".
- Deranged Animation: Nothing says "deranged animation" like an 8 year old's stick figure drawings come to life.
- Double Entendre: Because no Canadian kids' show would be complete without them.
- Dream Within a Dream: In "Photo Oops" Stacy has several of these the night before picture day, to the point where the next morning she still thinks she's in the dream.
- E = MC Hammer: "And the cosine is the ratio of the length of the side adjacent to (gibberish)."
- Episode on a Plane: "Return Your Seats To An Uptight Position", where Stacy demonstrates her airplane flying skills with hilarious results.
- Also, be on the look out for Lance and Russell's international terrorist attack.
- Expository Theme Tune: How's this for expository? "For your big fat information, this is our imagination."
- Fan Disservice: Lance and Russell succumb to being this during school picture day when they're shown wearing their more "casual clothing".
- Same goes to Stacy, who shows up in her pajamas, wearing a bird's nest as a hat, with mud covered on her face.
- Feud Episode: "Goodbye, Adios, Sayonara Bradley".
- The '50s / The '60s: Some of this show's background music is similar to that of movies made from these respective time periods.
- Four-Fingered Hands: The characters are drawn with these.
- Gag Boobs: Happens at least twice in the later seasons, once to Bradley and Stacy.
- Genre Savvy: In addition to Lampshade Hanging and Medium Awareness.
- Grand Finale: "Goodbye, Adios, Sayonara Bradley".
- Gratuitous Spanish: Mrs. Salazar, Stacy and Bradley's neighbor.
- Green Aesop: The "Environmentally Frenzied" episode.
- Groin Attack: Bradley endures this once during gym class, in a game of dodge-ball. The episode makes it very clear that it was Stacy that dealt the ball-busting blow.
- Grossout Show: Everything, from vomit, urine, flatulence, hygiene, germs, and even gastronomic implications (feces too). Even comes with sound effects to help emphasize the grossness.
- Halloween Episode: "The Ghost of Mr. Coffin" and "Scared Stupid".
- Hiccup Hijinks: "This is a HICCUP!" is centered around this.
- Hurricane of Visual Puns
- Imagine Spot: Built out of this.
- Improbable Hairstyle: Pretty much every character that HAS hair, this especially goes for Bradley and his purple afro.
- Insistent Terminology: Lance insists on calling Polly his half sister.
- It Tastes Like Feet: The central premise of the "Beware the Lunchwad" episode. Taken a step further when Bradley asks Stacy if she's ever eaten anything gross.
- Jerkass: Stacy, Bradley, Stella, heck, everybody's got a Jerkass moment in this show.
- Lady Land: "It's the Planet of the Girls!"
- La Résistance: Bradley and Stacy do this for a tree, complete with causing a riot, with which Bradley helps out by causing mischief as a Bandito named El Bradliachi.
- Also done in Christmas of Doom in an attempt to prevent Latchkey Garden Apartments from being torn down.
- Limited Animation: Mainly in the second season (which was animated in flash), with more emphasis on keyframes. Season 3 would revert back to traditional animation.
- Limited Wardrobe: Mostly played straight, though the Imagine Spot does attempt to subvert it.
- Line Boil: Inverted where the colors painted within the outlines boil. In the first season, the outlines also boiled.
- Magitek: An enchanted copier and a TV remote, the latter of which somewhat counts as a Reality Warper.
- Making a Splash: Done mainly in a mundane fashion, preferably with squirt guns and water balloons, among other non-supernatural methods.
- Malaproper: Stacey complains that she's not very "Photo-genetic". The same episode has Bradley stating that Lance is wearing some kinda "lawsuit".
- Malicious Misnaming: Lance often calls Bradley "Scradley."
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Sometimes, especially in Season 2 and 3, you have to wonder which of the crazy stuff that happens are part of the kids imagination and which of them are REAL.
- Meganekko: Melody, who comes complete with Opaque Lenses.
- Mind Screw: This little exchange from Madam Know-It-All.Russell: What's a psychic?Bradley: No, who's a psychic?Russell: What?Bradley: Who?Russell: Huh?Bradley: Who is a psychic?
- A lot of the time it's hard to tell what's really happening and what the kids are only imagining.
- Mini Series: Precisely what this series started as.
- It's worth noting that there's a slight difference in both the actors and the animation, and in the Photo Oops-esque episode, Polly asks Stacy if she joined the Navy (due mainly to her sailor outfit).
- Of course, all of them would be made available if the DVD release of this series becomes reality.
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Ms. Mobley, right down to the way she speaks.
- Mouse World: Sea monkeys and mice, the latter of which comes close to taking over the Stickler residence until Stanley decides to stop paying for the cable.
- Mr. Imagination: Stacy and Bradley live off this trope.
- Mummies at the Dinner Table: Polly with her (dead) poodle, Pepperoni.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Especially considering the overall premise, it's hard to imagine that Stacy and Bradley are just going through episode after episode enduring everyday life situations.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Subverted with Pepperoni, who's already dead (with a clear tire track across it). The subversion also happens to a turtle that gets run over, a school pet that Bradley was supposed to take care of, and a baby bird that fell out of its nest.
- No Indoor Voice: "HI, GUYS!" "...hi, Dill."
- Oh, Crap!: The general reaction given everytime Stanley attempts to do some handy work.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Fairy Coat Mother, Fairy Snot Mother, and the Snack Fairy.
- Panty Shot: Stacy in "Photo Oops". Bradley takes two photos of her and the flashes from the camera cause her to be dazed. She staggers before climbing on and bending over a sofa, and when Bradley takes the third pic, it's then her white, lace-trimmed undies are inadvertently exposed.
- Parental Abandonment: Except for Stacy, we hardly see the parents of any of the other kids, especially Bradley.
- Parental Bonus: The movie references count as this.
- Parent ex Machina: Some of Stacy and Bradley's imagination driven hijinks do get them in trouble at times.
- Picture Day: One episode centers around this and Stacey's repeated bad experiences with it. She has a series of nightmares revolving around bad photos and decides to exploit the dream to completely ruin Picture Day. Unfortunately for her, she was awake this time.
- The Pig-Pen: Russell is infamous for his terrible hygiene and disgusting habits.
- The Pollyanna: Ms. Mobley, Stacy and Bradley's ridiculously cheerful teacher.
- Potty Emergency: Bradley suffers this in the episode Hold It.
- Properly Paranoid: When Stacey, Bradley, Dill, Melody and Polly buy their weekly lottery ticket, they start picturing everything around them as Lance and Russell, including the garbageman and a trash can, an old lady and her dog, and the lights on the back of a car. As it turns out, the old lady and her dog really were Lance and Russell in disguise.
- Riding into the Sunset: Done with washing machines. Lampshaded in the same occasion by Mr. Doddler.
- Sadist Show: The series is very often this to Bradley, especially when it comes to bullies Lance and Russel, who frequently wedgie him and beat him up while his "best friend" Stacy shows him little to no sympathy for it.
- Sadist Teacher: Both Mr. Lederhosen and Principal Coffin, though the former counts as more of a bossy drill sergeant.
- Scrabble Babble: Inverted during a game of Squabble, since it requires one to spell out anything that isn't a word.
- Serial Escalation: The "kids making their own cartoon" premise pretty much speaks for itself.
- Share the Male Pain: When Bradley gets hit in the "luggage" with a dodgeball, Lance and Russell observe with their hands over their own junk. Ashley doesn't understand what the big deal is.
- Shout-Out: See Parental Bonus for a good chunk of them.
- In "Beware the Lunchwad", Stacy and Bradley are freaked out when seeing their lunch server, Mrs. Lewis, pulling out some lambchop and pretending to use it as a puppet.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Stacy gets into slapstick situations from time to time.
- Slice of Life: The series follows this format. Most of its happenings are mundane in nature, but due to the fact that they are presented through Stacy and Bradley's overactive imaginations, they quickly become quite outlandish.
- Smooth-Talking Talent Agent: An Imagine Spot in the episode "This Is A Hiccup!" has Bradley being this kind of agent for Stacy, who is supposed to be singing in front of a stadium full of fans, but can't because of her hiccups. Bradley takes it upon himself to cure her, although both of his attempts fail. The first being to push her off a diving board higher than Earth's atmosphere, and the second having Bradley getting Stacy to drink a tanker truck full of water until she becomes a human water balloon with hiccups powerful enough to destroy the stadium. After the second one, Stacy decides enough is enough and fires him.
- Spiritual Successor: To Liquid TV's "Stick Figure Theater", which is noteworthy considering Robin Steele was responsible for both and they share the same art style.
- Squiggle Vision: Subverted. The show was animated using software called Boiler Paint.
- Stick-Figure Comic: This, alongside Stick Figure Theatre, is a rare occurence of a Stick Figure TV Show.
- Stylistic Suck: "Simple" would be a better word, as the animation of the series is meant to mimic that of an eight year-old's drawings.
- Super Hero: The most frequently used alternate persona of Bradley and Stacy. In one episode alone, Bradley takes the form of five superheroes while playing baseball with his friends, including "The Amazing Rubber Guy".
- Suck E. Cheese's: Captain Hook And Slice.
- Take That!: Stacy and Bradley do this to one another a lot.
- Talkative Loon: Dill again. HOLY MACKEREL!!!
- Thanksgiving Episode: "Yams Away".
- Time Abyss: Mr. Doddler more or less says he's been around since time began. Of course he's joking. ...Maybe.
- Toilet Humor: A lot, which makes sense considering this show is basically meant to be from the point of view of two young children.Stacey: "This one is about the Princess and the Pea. There once was a princess named Bradley... and she had to pee real bad!"
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cheese Poopers, Mr. Fizzy, and Mr. Fudgie Bars.
- Two Shorts: The standard formula of the series.
- Two-Teacher School: Mr. Lederhosen and Ms. Mobley are the only teacher in the school.
- Uranus Is Showing: Bradley's favourite joke. Which isn't to say Stacy doesn't get her fair share in regards to using it.Polly: His what?
- Vocal Evolution: Many of the child characters have their voices in a higher pitch in the earlier episodes before becoming deeper later in the show's run (especially noticeable with Stacy, Lance, Russell, Polly and Dill). This makes sense, since their voice actors were actual children.
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Another notable element in Bradley and Stacy's relationship.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Stacey pays homage to Indiana Jones in a scene involving fake snakes by essentially quoting the trope.