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Western Animation / Teacher's Pet

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Teacher's Pet was a Disney animated television series that ran from 2000 to 2002 and concluded in 2004 with a theatrical movie. Best remembered for Nathan Lane's voice in the starring role and the distinct animation design by famed illustrator Gary Baseman of Cranium fame.

The story follows a nine year old boy named Leonard Helperman and his pet dog Spot. Spot is so interested in Leonard's life as a human that one day he follows him to school, puts on human clothes, and joins his class under the name Scott Leadready II. His disguise amazingly fools everybody, but Leonard eventually discovers the truth. While initially shocked by this, he reluctantly allows Scott to continue the charade. Scott comes up with amazing plans that sometimes inadvertently get Leonard in trouble for it. Other characters include Mrs. Helperman (who is not only Leonard's mother, but his teacher as well), Mr. Jolly (the Helpermans' sensitive cat), Pretty Boy (the Helpermans' abrasive bird), and Leonard's various classmates such as Leslie (his best friend and crush), Ian (the class weirdo) and Younghee (Leonardís nemesis).

In the movie, when Spot finds out that a mad scientist can turn animals into human beings, he sees this as a chance to become a real boy. Joined by Leonard, Mr. Jolly, and Pretty Boy, they are off to see him. Spot becomes a man (his age in dog years), but it's not what he thought after all.

This show and film provides examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: "The Flipper" has Leonard became champion of a game that involves flipping baseball cards and letting his fame go to his head.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Spot gives vibes of being an unusually smart and mature child at times in this Scott persona, given that he brings up subjects that are atypical for a fourth grader to be well-informed about.
  • Affectionate Parody: The movie is from Disney (albeit not part of the Disney Animated Canon due to being produced by Disney Television Animation), and wastes no time in parodying the studio's most beloved early works.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: For example, Leonard is literally white, Ian is yellow, and the Principal is green
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Spot is a blue dog, Tallulah is a pink cat, etc.
  • An Aesop: There's one in every episode. Some of which include:
    • "A Lick Is Still a Kiss": Don't assume things and spread rumors.
    • "The Flipper": To gain someone's respect, you have to be respectful of others. Donít put them down or make them feel small.
    • "Tallulahpalooza": A good deed is its own reward, but it will still pay off in the end.
    • "Fifi": Sometimes, we think that romance is the only way to be happy, but the true key to happiness is to be with the people you care about.
    • "The Grass Seed is Always Greener": The grass may be greener somewhere else, but when you get right down to it, thereís no place like home.
    • "Taint Valentineís Day": You donít need to be loved by everyone, sometimes just one person is good enough. Leonard wants Valentineís cards to feel loved, but the ones Spot gave him were sincere.
  • Animal Goes to School: The premise of the series.
  • Animation Bump: In the Toon City episodes. The Movie, also animated by Toon City, has even better animation than the show.
  • Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag: Spot's entire schtick. He would act like a dog at home, but would dress like a kid and go to school like a human.
  • Antidisestablishmentarianism: "To Bee or Not to Bee" begins with Ian being asked to spell this word and failing spectacularly.
  • Art Evolution: The artwork became sharper and the colors became more vibrant mid-season one.
  • Artistic License Ė Animal Care: In episode one, Leonard feeds Scott a grape as an example of 'some things only humans can do' (with the gag being that Scott can't chew it properly because it's small and round). In real life, grapes and raisins contain a substance that can cause acute kidney failure in dogs, though the exact cause is not well understood.
    • In "Never Take Candy From A Kindergartener." Spot while in his Scott disguise gorges himself on a ton of candy. While the worst thing it does is give him a massive swollen belly, in real life he would most likely be dead from eating that much candy.
  • Artistic License Ė Biology: Pretty Boy is a bird with a belly button. Birds don't have belly buttons, they're not mammals and hatch from eggs.
  • Award-Bait Song: "A Boy Needs a Dog" from The Movie is a grand-scale, emotionally-driven song about how important the bond between boy and dog is.
  • Balloon Belly:
    • "Movin' On Pup' shows Leslie with a huge stomach from her parents forcing her to prepare for the test by consuming a nutrition shake and a granola bar.
    • Both Leonard and Spot get big bellies from eating the candy Emma gives them in "Never Take Candy From a Kindergartener"
    • "Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Green" has Spot/Scott get a big belly from drinking at the water fountain.
    • At the end of "To Bee or Not to Bee", Spot gets a big belly after an off-screen pizza-eating contest.
  • Baseball Episode: "Take Me Out of the Ball Game" has Scott trying to get Leonard to be a good baseball player after Scott has been barred from participating after letting it slip that he's only been a student for eight months.
  • Berserk Button: Leonard really hates being called "tubby" and goes psycho when he's called that and attacks the person who called him that.
    • Do NOT call Ivan Krank "Daddy." Don't call him a "Wacko" either.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mary Lou may act all sweet most of the time, but even she has limits to how nice she can be. Sometimes she'll shift into a Stepford Smiler before she finally has enough, though she doesn't necessarily go berserk.
  • Big Damn Movie: The movie is way more dramatic than the series, with the plot involving Spot turning to a mad scientist named Dr. Ivan Krank to fulfill his dreams of being made human and the strain his obsession puts on his relationship with his owner Leonard.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Leonard reacts this way when he finds out Scott is actually his dog in the first episode.
    • Mrs. Helperman screams "No" in the episode "The Blight Before Christmas" in response to seeing that the delivery truck that was her last chance to get her son Leonard the Mach III Game Command system he wanted has been completely emptied of its contents by the other people who rushed over to get their own systems.
  • Birthday Episode:
    • "Let Sleeping-Over Dogs Lie" has Spot and Leonard invited to Ian's birthday sleepover.
    • "Party Animals" has Spot wanting to throw a surprise party for Leonard's 10th birthday.
    • "All About Eavesdropping" has Scott and Leonard put on a magic act for Leslie's birthday and deals with the two attempting to eavesdrop on her and the other girls to learn what would get them to like the boys more.
  • Body Wipe: The technique of part of a character's body obscuring the camera as a scene transition happens twice in the movie with Jolly and Pretty Boy's petsitter, Mrs. Boogin.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In "Let Sleeping-Over Dogs Lie", Leonard worries on whether Ian's parents will serve cookies with onions, raisins or onions and raisins.
  • The Burlesque of Venus:
    • The title sequence shows a brief scene of Spot in his Scott disguise posing in a clam shell like Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus.
    • At the end of "A Dog for All Seasons", the musical number "Season of Love" shows Spot posing like Venus in an opening clam shell. Unlike the pose that appears in the title sequence, Spot is undisguised and does so as a dog.
  • Butt-Monkey: Leonard is often, but not always, subjected to misfortune.
  • Butter Face: During the song "A Whole Bunch of World" in the movie, a hula girl is seen dancing with her arm in front of her face (except her eyes). Then she takes her arm away from her face to reveal her face is crooked and ugly.
  • Camp Straight: Mr. Jolly is a flamboyant and effeminate cat, but has shown attraction to female cats, such as Principal Strickler's cat Tallulah and Ms. Regina Blubberina Fancypaws in the episode "Bad Fur Day".
  • Captivity Harmonica: "Escaping Dog Trick" at one point has Spot playing a harmonica while depressed that the electric fence installed is preventing him from leaving the house.
  • Cats Are Mean: Mr. Jolly completely averts this by being the most selfless and amiable of the cast besides Spot and Leonard, but Stricklerís cat Tallulah plays this as straight as possible, especially being shown to be malicious in the two episodes that give her a speaking role.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The nickel that Scott receives in exchange for Krank's use of him as a test subject in the movie.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • "A Dog for All Seasons" has Mrs. Helperman try to write a new school play that is more inclusive towards the holidays of other cultures while Spot searches for holiday traditions that are exclusive to dogs.
    • "The Blight Before Christmas" has Spot annoyed that he doesn't get any boy toys for Christmas, so he schemes to find a lost dog in order to get the promised $500 cash reward.
  • Close on Title: The Movie ends with showing the title Teacher's Pet at the end credits.
  • Company Cross References: The Movie is chock-full of references to other Disney films, right off the bat with using "When You Wish Upon a Star" and opening with a recreation of a scene from Pinocchio.
  • Crack Defeat: In the first episode, both Leonard and Scott lose the class election to Ian, the gross kid.
  • Darker and Edgier: The movie crosses into this territory at times. It's not as dark and edgy as other examples, but it can be at times grimmer in tone compared to the TV series, mainly due to the film actually having an antagonist in a deranged scientist obsessed with turning animals into humans named Dr. Ivan Krank and Spot's obsession with becoming human straining his relationship with Leonard.
  • Dark Horse Victory: During the election for class president, Ian, the weird kid that everyone is openly disgusted by, wins, surprising the other two candidates, Leonard and Scott.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Spot/Scott, and Pretty Boy (who is not as much as the former)
  • Demoted to Extra: With the exception of Ian Wazselewski, all of Spot/Scott and Leonard's classmates have significantly reduced roles in the movie, to the point that they each only have one or two lines of dialogue and disappear from the plot after the school year ends.
  • Deranged Animation: The animation can get pretty trippy and weird at times.
  • Disappeared Dad: Leonard's dad. His disappearance is never brought up in the series, leaving fans to question if he died or got divorced from Leonard's mom before the events of the series.
  • Disco Sucks: Near the end of "Costume Pity Party", Dutch Calenza reveals that the reason he picks on kids who dress up on Halloween was because he was once picked on for dressing as his favorite disco star. In response to learning this, Spot remarks that Dutch must've been held back for a long time in reference to disco falling out of fashion.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Several, but one particular one in the movie stands out thanks to the Lampshade Hanging that immediately follows it.
    (song ends, Leonard and Mrs. Helperman are stripped down to their undergarments and left standing in the middle of a parking lot)
    Mrs. Helperman: Well, that was strange.
  • Disney Death: Spot goes through a fakeout death in the movie when his attempt to use Dr. Krank's invention to turn back into a dog instead reduces him to a pile of blue ashes. In a fit of grief, Leonard hits the machine, which causes it to zap Spot's remains and instantly resurrect him.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Swedish dub, Spot's name is changed to "Pax" (While his aliases, "Scott", becomes "Max"), and Jolly's name is changed to "Figaro".
  • Eat the Camera: At the end of the opening song of The Movie, "I Gotta Be a Boy," Spot/Scott runs towards the camera and does this.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: In "Being Mrs. Leadready", Leonard mentions once that his mom showed his naked baby pictures to the class.
  • Embarrassing Relative Teacher: Leonard has his mother as one of his teachers, which of course causes him no end of embarrassment.
  • Ending Fatigue: Parodied/Lampshaded In-Universe in one of the closing songs in the movie.
    A friend needs a friend... (With the characters walking in the rain under an umbrella)
    A road needs a bend... (With a car driving down a bendy road)
    A film needs an end! (With the characters sitting over animation tables, ready to pass out.)
  • End of an Era: This was the last One Saturday Morning show to end and the last to get a feature film.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Ian will eat just about anything, the first episode alone having him eat chalk.
  • Eye Pop: Frequently, characters react to something by having their eyes bug out.
  • Failed Attempt at Scaring: In "Let Sleeping-Over Dogs Lie", when the "sleepover" segment of the birthday party/sleepover starts, Ian starts trying to get a scare out of Leonard and Spot. However, his attempts (dressing up like a jungle native and dancing around, and describing things in a spooky voice) don't yield the desired results.
  • Finale Movie: The movie serves as a conclusion to the series and has Spot consult a Mad Scientist to fulfill his desire to become a boy, although the series was originally going to end on a less final note with Spot giving up trying to literally transform into a human, but still maintaining his "Scott" identity. The finished movie gives no indication that he'll do anything other than be a regular dog.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: In "Costume Pity Party", Spot's intended costume of Ferdinand Magellan unravels after getting stuck on a thorn bush, resulting in him resorting to pretending that he's wearing a dog costume.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • The episode "Movin' On Pup" features a test known as the National Aptitude Scholastic Test Yearly.
    • The Movie has two different things with the same acronym N.E.A.T.O. The first is when Principal Strickler announces that Ms. Helperman has won the NEATO (National Excellent American Teacher's Organization) award, that sets off the plot of the movie. Dr. Ivan Krank's animal transformation machine has the very same acronym, but it stands for something else entirely.
    Dr. Ivan Krank: Let the Neuro Exchange Animal Transformation Operation, or NEATO for short—not to be confused with that stupid teacher award—begin!
  • Gender-Blender Name:
    • Fred Bitters, the new girl and bully introduced in "Attack of the 50 Inch Girl". Scott lampshades this after she clarifies that her name is just Fred and not short for Frederica, saying that it's "a very unusual name for a girl".
    • The school's cafeteria lady is named Clancy.
  • Gilligan Cut: In "Being Mrs. Leadready", Leonard profusely refuses to attend his school while disguised as Scott Leadready II's mother, then is shown in the next shot doing exactly that. Shortly afterwards, he runs into his dog Spot wearing the same disguise, who apparently assumed that Leonard was sincere about his refusal to pretend to be Scott's mom.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: Subverted with Mary Lou—the single mom aspect isn't really touched upon.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel:
    • "Never Take Candy from a Kindergartner" shows Leonard and Spot to have shoulder angels and devils. Leonard's argue over whether he should stick by with Spot or betray him by accepting Emma's offer of candy while Spot's angel and devil argue on whether he should share the jawcracker candy like he promised or crunch it. Pretty Boy is later shown to have two shoulder devils. When asked why he doesn't have an angel, one of the devils tells Pretty Boy that his angel quit because of Pretty Boy being too big a pain.
    • "Don't Make My Brown Eyes Green" features a variant where instead of an angel and a devil, the two sides are a strong version of the character and a weak version of the character. Leonardo's strength and weakness argue over whether he should take the credit for coming up with the game Fetch-It Ball, while Spot's strength and weakness argue over whether Spot should take offense for Leonard stealing credit for creating the game or live and let live. Subsequently, Leonard is faced over whether he should continue lying about making up the game himself or to reveal that the game was actually Spot's idea, with Spot's strength encouraging Spot to let Leonard have the popularity he obtained from his peers by claiming Fetch-It Ball was his idea entirely.
  • Groin Attack: In the first episode, "Muttamorphosis", Scott collides groin-first into a fire hydrant on his way to school for the first time.
  • Gross-Out Show: Most of the gross-out comes from Ian Wazselewski, given his fondness for earwax, boogers and the like.
  • Guess Who I'm Marrying?: In the movie, Spot's plan to stay with Leonard as a human man is to marry Mary Lou. Leonard is not happy with this idea.
  • Halloween Episode:
    • "Costume Pity Party" takes place on Halloween and has a costume party at school where Spot ends up passing himself off as Scott Leadready II in a dog costume.
    • "The Tale of the Tell-Tale Taffy" has Leonard tempted by Spot into disobeying his mom's orders on where to trick-or-treat while Mr. Jolly worries about a black cat named Spooky staying at the house possibly being a vampire.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Happens twice in the movie. The song "I'm Movin' On" ends with Leonard and his mom standing out in the open and covering themselves while in their underwear because of their clothes somehow leaving with the rest of the ensemble participating in the song, while "Proud to be a Dog" has Spot cover his groin and blush to the lyric "With his pants not on".
  • "Harmful to Pets" Reminder: In the movie, Spot the dog becomes human and celebrates the fact that he can finally eat chocolate.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": In "Inspector Leadready II", Ian laughs at Spot saying "touche" because it sounds like "tushy" and later laughs again when he actually says "tushy".
  • Held Back in School: Dutch Calenza in "Costume Pity Party" is implied to be an adult who's been held back for years, given his immense size and how he reveals at the end of the episode that he was picked on in the past for dressing as a disco dancer.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Pretty Boy and Mr. Jolly are both male and close friends.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Leonard frequently bemoans his inability to be a normal kid due to the standards he has to meet being his teacher's son and having a dog who disguises himself as a human in order to attend his class.
  • Insane Troll Logic: In "Attack of the 50-Inch Girl", Leonard, Scott and the other boys want to enter the girls' room to figure out what Fred Bitters and the other girls were laughing about. After Scott asks a girl exiting the girl's bathroom if there are any other girls in there and if there are any baths there, the girl replies no to both questions. Scott then comes to the conclusion that this makes the girls' bathroom just a plain old room and therefore okay for the boys to enter.
  • Intellectual Animal: Scott/Spot obviously, the talking dog who is able to disguise himself as a human and quickly rise to the top of the class both socially and academically.
  • I Want My Mommy!: In "Being Mrs. Leadready", Spot wails that he wants his mommy after he gets overwhelmed from having to alternate between his Scott Leadready II persona and pretending to be Scott's mother.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pretty Boy is grumpy and sarcastic, but does care about Spot, Leonard and Mr. Jolly and does what he can to help them.
  • "Kick Me" Prank: In "Inspector Leadready II", Principal Strickler comments that he's not easily made a fool of, then turns around to reveal someone put a Kick Me sign on his back.
  • Lamarck Was Right: The episode, "Don't Count Your Chickies Before They Hatch" has Leonard and Scott looking after some chicken eggs. When they have to leave, Mr. Jolly decides to warm the eggs like a hen. At the end of the episode, the eggs hatch, and while most of the chicks chirp like normal chicks, one of them meows.
  • Large Ham: Spot/Scott and Mr. Jolly both have a tendency to chew the scenery and talk in a grandiose manner.
  • "Last Day of School" Plot: The film's plot starts with the final day of school at Fala D. Roosevelt Elementary before summer vacation begins.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "Pet Project" (the second episode) opens with Leonard saying he had a horrible dream about Scott disguising himself as a boy to go to school and being better than him at everything. Scott tells him That Was Not a Dream and that it was instead last week.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: Scott sees a Leadready Number Two Pencil to create his last name.
  • Literal Metaphor: In "Costume Pity Party", Leonard states that Dutch Calenza is in a class of his own, which he later clarifies means that there are no other students in Dutch's class.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Leslie's best friend, Younghee Mandlebom. She's usually mean to Leonard but, but even at her meanest, she never does any bodily harm to Leonard and is shown to actually care for him on numerous occasions.
  • Lovable Coward: Mr. Jolly is timid as all get out, but also quite friendly and likeable.
  • Mailman vs. Dog: "Always Knock the Postman Twice" is devoted to the concept of dogs hating postal workers and Spot having to get over his prejudice and understand that members of the postal service are not bad.
  • Malicious Misnaming: The other kids tend to refer to Ian as "Ew-an" because of their disgust with how gross he can get.
  • Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number: "I'm Moving On" from the movie has Leonard, Mrs. Helperman and Spot/Scott sing about Spot/Scott being forced to leave after his falling out with Leonard as well as Leonard regretting how he's driven his dog away, with some parts being about Dr. Ivan Krank and his creations Dennis and Adelle trying to find Spot/Scott as well as Pretty Boy and Mr. Jolly doing the same.
  • Mirror Routine: Leonard and Spot, both dressed up as Mrs. Leadready, mimic each others' movements in "Being Mrs. Leadready".
  • Money Song: "Take the Money and Run" from the movie describes the benefits of having money and plays during a scene where Leonard and Spot/Scott are using the 500 dollars they were rewarded with after reuniting a lost dog and her puppies with the family that owned her to get new clothes and a car.
  • Mood Whiplash: The movie can go from funny to heartwarming and then to tear jerking at the drop of a hat.
  • The Movie: Surprising for a show that lasted only 39 episodes.
  • Mystery Meat: In the comic story "Food for Thought", which was originally published in the October 2000 issue of Disney Adventures and later adapted into the season two episode "The Nose Knows", Leonard accidentally feeds Spot a can of corned beef hash instead of his regular dog food due to being in a hurry. Later, dressed as "Scott" in the School cafeteria, Spot finds out the mystery meat tastes just like his dogfood and concludes that the school is putting dogfood in their recipes, which starts a school riot. During a talk-in with Principal Strickler, the principal demands to know whether Spot has actually eaten dog food before. Fearing this could blow his cover, Spot agrees with Strickler to eat a large plate of their mystery meat and confirm to the students it's dogfood free. Much to the Principal and lunchlady's surprise, Spot ends up enjoying the experience (he's a dog after all). Overall, most of the cafeteria's recipes are made of turkey.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: "Taint Valentine's Day" features Pretty Boy falling for a female bird who has noticeable breasts.
  • Noodle Incident: In the premiere episode "Muttamorphosis", after Principal Strickler recounts how a dog brought to school when he was in the fourth grade bit off half of his thumb, he's reminded that he must check on the fifth grade class next and remarks "Oh, I remember the fifth grade. Don't get me started", which hints at an unpleasant incident happening to him when he was in the fifth grade as well.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: It is mentioned in "Pet Project" that Leonard once dreamed he had no pants on and was being chased by a man in a gorilla suit.
  • Number of the Beast: In the movie, Spot and Leonard search for Dr. Ivan Krank and his address is 666 Acko Way.
  • Only in Florida: From the movie, Dr. Ivan Krank lives in Florida ("Where the coo-coo nuts grow", as Barry Anger puts it).
  • The Pigpen: Ian Wazselewski; the other kids don't call him "Eew-an" for nothing.
  • Precocious Crush: In one episode, a kindergartener gets one of these first for Leonard and later (due to her rather short attention span) for Scott.
  • Preemptive "Shut Up": In "Inspector Leadready II", Spot says to Ian "Not one word" when the latter is about to laugh at him for mentioning Lake Titicaca.
  • Pretending to Be One's Own Relative: In one episode, Spot has to dress up as Scott's mother for a meeting with Scott's teacher. He then has to switch between being the two characters when they are both invited to the teacher's house for dinner.
  • Puddle-Covering Chivalry: In "Fifi", Spot uses himself to cover up a mud puddle in the path of Fifi and her trainer.
  • Prime Time Cartoon: After moving from ABC to Toon Disney, new episodes aired in the evening.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Spot/Scott appeared in the 2000 opening for One Saturday Morning, interacting with live action kids in a live action park (Along with the cast of The Weekenders, Recess, and in 2001, Lloyd in Space).
  • Sanity Slippage: Mary Lou starts to lose it after she proposes creating a new holiday play that will incorporate all the winter holidays alongside Christmas. She gradually becomes cranky and snappish as every idea she comes up with or gets suggested has already been done, and eventually has a Nightmare Sequence where her Christmas ornaments come to life and start mocking her for thinking she could replace "A Christmasy Christmas in Christmastown."
  • Sapient Pet: Spot is able to talk and tries to pass himself off as a human.
  • Saturday-Morning Cartoon: The series initially aired on Saturday mornings during its time on ABC.
  • Second Episode Morning: In the second episode of the show, Leonard awakes from a Catapult Nightmare and tells Spot all about it.
    Leonard: Oh my gosh. Spot! I-I just had the weirdest dream. Y-You came to school dressed like a kid, a-and you were the smartest guy in class and a great athlete and everybody liked you, but you were my dog! And if anyone found out, I'd never live it down!
    Spot: wasn't a dream, Leonard. That was last week.
    Leonard: No way!
    Spot: Way, Leonard.
    Leonard: W-What about the part where I had no pants on and I was being chased by a man in a gorilla suit?
    Spot: All right, that was a dream. Ooo, you're a very complex boy.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Leonard (Sensitive Guy) and Spot/Scott (Manly Man). Also, there's Mr. Jolly (Sensitive Guy) and Pretty Boy (Manly Man).
  • Short-Runner: Unfortunately, as it was a clever show and many critics loved it. It was only cancelled due to Disney retooling One Saturday Morning into ABC Kids.
  • Shout-Out: The Movie features lots of references to other Disney films, specifically Pinocchio.
    • A board game called "Cranium: Disney Edition", on the other hand is actually a Shout Out to this show, as the original version prominently featured characters drawn by Gary Baseman.
  • Slice of Life: Yet another one from the One Saturday Morning lineup.
  • Slumber Party: Ian invites Scott and Leonard to one in "Let Sleeping-Over Dogs Lie". Also, Leonard and Scott infiltrated Leslie's slumber party in "All About Eavesdropping" to get knowledge of what girls like from boys.
  • Smart Animal, Average Human: Spot, the intelligent talking blue dog and his average owner Leonard.
  • Spaghetti Kiss: Referenced, but not actually done in the episode "Fifi". The chef at an Italian restaurant declines to go through with emulating the famous scene from Lady and the Tramp because the health department could shut him down. Leonard later tries to have Younghee's father arrange the spaghetti dinner accompanied by violin music, but Fifi has to leave before the spaghetti kiss can occur.
  • Speech Impediment: Mr. Jolly speaks with a lisp.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Leslie. Even though she is very rich and spoiled, she is really kind and friendly, she treats others nicely especially Leonard by who they are and not by their appearances or looks. She and her parents (who are very doting and wealthy) also live in a regular house, strangely.
  • The Scapegoat: Leonard sometimes gets in trouble for things that are really Spot/Scott's fault. Though to be fair, Spot/Scott never does it intentionally or out of maliciousness and Leonard only accepts the blame to prevent his dog from getting exposed.
  • Shout-Out: The part of the title sequence where Leonard briefly changes into a monster ("Why can't I be a normal boy like any other?") was a reference to the ending of the Betty Boop short Betty Boop, M.D.
  • Sue Donym: Sort of. Spot blurts out his real name, but Mrs. Helperman mishears it as "Scott" and he decides that, yes, that sounds like a perfectly normal name for a human boy (and basically says so in as many words).
  • Surprise Party: The episode "Party Animals" has one being thrown for Leonard on his tenth birthday. However, since he accidentally finds out beforehand, he has to figure out how to convincingly feign being surprised.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In the movie, because Dr. Krank's invention measured Spot's age in dog years, he becomes a grown man, not a boy like he wanted to be.
  • Teachers Out of School: As the title implies, the teacher is Scott's owner and Leonard's mother, which means they see their teacher out of school all the time.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "The Turkey That Came to Dinner" has Grandma Rose visit the Helperman family for Thanksgiving dinner and bringing a live turkey named Lurkey. The pets are forced to spend the holiday away from the table because of Grandma Rose's assumed allergies and try to prevent Lurkey from becoming cooked.
  • That Was Not a Dream: The second episode begins with Leonard waking up and assuming that he only dreamed about Spot disguising himself as a human and attending school. Spot breaks it to Leonard that he didn't dream it and that it actually happened.
  • Thick-Line Animation: In some of the Toon City episodes, there are clear thick, black outlines.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: In the movie, Mr. Jolly doesn't do anything productive in the adventure until Dr. Krank is turned into a mouse.
  • Those Two Guys: Pretty Boy and Mr. Jolly are seen together and frequently remark about what's going on with Leonard and Spot.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: At one point in the movie's song "Small but Mighty", Pretty Boy morphs into a beefy giant with a disproportionately small head.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl : Younghee is the hotheaded tomboy girl and Leslie is the spoiled sweet girly girl.
  • Trans Nature: A dog who wants to be a boy (Mainly in the movie). In the show, he merely just wants to go to school to learn, so he disguises himself as a boy.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The last song before the movie's end credits is "Proud to be a Dog", a reprise of the theme song that is about Spot accepting that he's a dog after having accomplished his goal of becoming human and being returned to normal after his experience.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: "A Breed Apart" has Scott and Leonard witness a dog show where the participating dogs have owners who look like human versions of them.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: "Taint Valentine's Day" has Spot write 15 valentines for Leonard in hopes that it will make him appear popular and get his crush Leslie to like him. Instead, this gets Leonard in trouble when the other kids assume he wrote all the valentines himself. At the end of the episode, after Spot confessed that he was the one who wrote all the valentines, it is revealed that Spot actually wrote 14 and that the 15th is from a secret admirer. Leonard assumes it is from Leslie, but it's actually Younghee.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: Subverted in "The Tale of the Telltale Taffy", where Mr. Jolly believes the black cat Spooky to be a vampire and attempts to get rid of him by wearing garlic around his neck. Spooky actually likes the scent, which at first seems to be a sign that Mr. Jolly's being paranoid, but it later turns out Spooky actually is a vampire, just one without an aversion to garlic.
  • Villain Song: "I, Ivan Krank" from The Movie has Dr. Ivan Krank sing about how he intends to disprove everyone's assertions that he is a madman by turning Spot into a human being.
  • Vocal Evolution: Leonard's voice got a little lower as the show went on, as he was voiced by an actual kid. His voice actor, Shaun Fleming, was twelve when production began in 1999 and was sixteen when production on the movie was completed in 2003.
  • Wham Episode: The Movie could qualify as this for the series, as it has Spot's fondness for masquerading as a human boy escalate to wanting to actually become human, getting into a falling out with Leonard after he becomes human and coming to terms with being a dog after returning to normal.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The town of East Westland, USA, which is 2,000 miles from Okeechobee, Florida according to the movie, putting it either in the western states or somewhere near the Canadian border. (Not helping matters is the film's travel montage which includes the song "A Whole Bunch of World", which lists every state.)
  • Wondrous Ladies Room: In the episode "Attack of the 50-Inch Girl", Leonard, Spot/Scott, Taylor, Tyler, Trevor and Ian enter the girls' bathroom to try and figure out what the girls are laughing about. After being awed by the sight of the girls' room's pink and luxurious interior, they discover that it's an unflattering drawing of Scott getting down on all fours in front of Mrs. Helperman while declaring himself to be the teacher's pet.
  • Word, Schmord!: In "Let Sleeping-Over Dogs Lie", Ian retorts to Spot's statement of how mundane party activities are their culture's accepted way of saying "Happy Birthday" by saying "culture, schmulture".


Video Example(s):



Spot goes through a fakeout death when his attempt to use Dr. Krank's invention to turn back into a dog instead reduces him to a pile of blue ashes. In a fit of grief, Leonard hits the machine, which causes it to zap Spot's remains and instantly resurrect him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / DisneyDeath

Media sources: