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Western Animation / The Emperor's New School

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K, U, Z, C, O! Kuzco, Kuzco! GO-GO!

The Emperor's New School (2006-2008) is a Disney Channel show based on the Disney Film The Emperor's New Groove.

Kuzco, the main character, is still an obnoxious self-centered emperor (in spite of how the movie ended) who has been temporarily dethroned and must attend The Kuzco Academy and pass all his classes to become Emperor, as you can't become one without finishing school. The Kuzco Academy is run by Principal Amzy, a Paper-Thin Disguise for Yzma, the series villain, which fools no-one except her handsome but dim lackey Kronk.

Yzma wants to usurp Kuzco's throne which, given her controlling personality, wouldn't be good and thus schemes to prevent Kuzco from passing his classes—at first by transforming him into all sorts of different animals. In Season 2, she finds an evil hall of evil machinery. Luckily for Kuzco, he has Malina — straight-A student, cheerleader, and "Hottie-Hot-Hottie" — as well as his foster family of Pacha, Chicha, and the kids to help him out. Occasionally Kronk, too.

Usually the episodes center around teaching Kuzco some sort of Aesop, though it started to get away from that later in the run. The show has also been known for recycling gags from the movie.

It has the honor of being one of the last Disney animated shows for ABC before they switched to educational blocks. This was also one of the last works of Eartha Kitt, who, sadly, passed away just over a month after the show ended.

The Emperor's New School provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Long Stairway: In the episode "Yzmopolis", the Temple of the Sky God has one of these. Kuzco, lazy bum that he is, naturally complains about this.
  • The Ace: Ramon.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • "The Mystery of Micchu Pachu" features a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax perpetrated by a character voiced by Frank Welker (Fred and Scooby).
    • The Couch Gag right before "Kuzcogarten" has Kuzco pitch new titles to reflect other Disney shows on at the time, including a riff on Phil of the Future. J.P. Manoux portrayed both Curtis the Caveman and Vice Principal Neil Hackett on that series.
    • "Last Ditch Effort": Mr. Purutu (voiced by Ben Stein) calls class attendance, so he keeps asking, "Kuzco? Kuzco? Kuzco?"
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • By the time of the show, Kuzco has completely forgotten the lesson he learned in the movie, that it's not all about him, and relearns the same lesson in the series at least Once an Episode. To be fair, it's shown in flashbacks during the film that Kuzco has been spoiled rotten since he was in diapers; eighteen years of self-absorption and Jerkassery don't just go away overnight. That being said, while he is still incredibly self-absorbed and narcissistic here, he is also more solidly a Jerk with a Heart of Gold rather than a completely unlikable Hate Sink like he was in the early movie, and his selfish antics tend to be more dorky than truly mean.
    • In the movie, Kronk finally worked up the courage to quit going along with Yzma's evil schemes after she told him she never liked his spinach puffs. In the series, he's back to being her minion.
  • All-Loving Hero: Kronk. He's always putting others before himself, does various charitable acts around the village, and participates in a number of clubs solely to make the school better for everyone. Helping Yzma is the only bad thing he ever does and sometimes he even refuses to help if the plan is too nasty.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Kronk. Remember what series you're trying to make sense of before you attempt to make sense of it.
  • Anachronism Stew: Even more so than the movie, and that's saying something! The series gets away with this by utilizing Bamboo Technology at its fullest.
  • Animation Bump: For the first season the credits gags just consisted of animation recycled from the episode with new dialogue recorded over it. For the second season the animation budget was raised, so they were able to make credits gags with original animation.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Mr. Moleguaco becomes this over time. He's usually pretty reasonable and good with students, but he's often exasperated by Kuzco's antics and eventually worn down. By Season 2, he acknowledges how he encourages Kuzco to skip class and welcomes the idea of being fired.
    Mr. Moleguaco: [to class] Wake me when I have to do something.
  • Arranged Marriage: Kuzco and Princess Lalala, right after Kuzco and Malina planned for a date.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The Moon Beast episode—there are magic potions that can change people into animals and objects, there are gods that grant wishes, but there are no man-eating monsters.
  • Art Shift: Kuzco's doodles. Occasionally other characters join in.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: "Don't worry sir. I won't rest until I— HEY! There's that monkey with the funny hat! Here, monkey-onkey-onkey!"
  • Averted Trope: One episode has the Running Gag of Yzma telling Kronk to "pull the lever". Usually the lever is pulled and something comical regarding Yzma happens. In one episode nothing happens (as in literally nothing) and they take the stairs instead—and in another episode, rather than physical harm to Yzma, the fire alarm gets set off.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: In the Series Finale, a machine is lowering the crown on Yzma's head when Kuzco shows up, pushes Yzma out of the way and finally reclaims his rightful position as the Emperor.
  • Bad Future: In the season 1 finale, Kuzco wishes that he'd never been Emperor, causing one of these where Yzma was always Empress.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • "The Emperor's New Home School" features two both aimed getting Kuzco back into regular school. Yzma arranges a field trip and pairs Malina with Ramon to make him insanely jealous. Meanwhile, since Kuzco's just lazing about the house, Chicha deliberately becomes an overbearing Education Mama to make him want to leave.
    • "Graduation Groove": With Kuzco guaranteed to finally graduate, Yzma aims to get him to abdicate the throne instead. She poses as the Royal Record Keeper and goes on at length to Kuzco about all the boring tasks and responsibilities that come with being emperor. As herself, she then offers Kuzco a potion that will turn him into a chicken with no responsibilities. It almost works, but Malina and Kronk manage to find Kuzco and help him set things right.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Double subverted in "Too Many Malinas." There's a gassy Malina, but we only hear her, never see her.
  • Benevolent Genie: Every Giftmas, Papa Santos grants one wish to each person in the "nice" list. Kuzco wishes to become the Emperor again but he's at the top of the "naughty" list.
  • The B Grade: Deconstructed in "Girls Behaving Oddly" when Malina gets an A-. She's deeply unhappy about her perfect GPA being ruined (to the point Kuzco and Kronk get scared). She's almost talked down from this, but then she gets kicked off the cheerleading squad and turned away by her other friends, which shatters her self-confidence and leaves her struggling to find a place to fit in. She ends up falling in with the school's bad girls group and nearly commits some vandalism to earn their approval.
  • Big "NO!": Kronk in "Eco Kuzco" when he fears that he'll never receive his Patch Patch.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Princess Lalala turns out to be this,
  • Brainless Beauty: Subverted—Malina's considered to be the prettiest girl in school and is also cheerleader, but she's also probably the smartest kid in school and has a 4.0-GPA. The rest of her fellow cheerleaders are also straight-A students and don't want to coast by on their looks.
    Cheerleader: C'mon, girls, let's go read.
  • Broken Aesop: In-universe—after his students complain over their hard (easy) work (mostly Kuzco, Kronk just wanted a piñata). Mr. Moleguaco summons his Sadist Teacher cousin to teach them that you can't skip work. After successfully teaching the lesson he throws a vacation. When Malina points out the lack of education value, he handwaves it blatantly.
  • Buffy Speak: See "hottie-hot-hottie" for one example. Plenty more (usually from Kuzco) where that came from.
  • Burping Contest: Between Kuzco and a manatee.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Painfully and sometimes Anvilicious.
  • Caps Lock, Num Lock, Missiles Lock: A Running Gag with Yzma's switches.
  • Character Exaggeration: Kuzco's intelligence, big time. In the movie, he's sheltered and spoiled, but savvy enough to know that Yzma is trying to do his job behind his back and that she has a secret lab, in addition to being manipulative enough to play Pacha for a sap twice. In the series, he's often Book Dumb or a straight-up Idiot Hero, but he's at least smart enough to know when Kronk is trying to potion him.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: A Couch Gag has Kuzco telling the viwers that but changes his statement to "9 out of 10 don't but, if you're that one in 10, more power to you" and adds "kidding".
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Kuzco in "The Emperor's New School Spirit", when he gets thrown into a wastebasket head first and his skirt flips up, revealing light blue under-shorts with rainbow-colored hearts that Guaka got for him as a birthday present.
  • Couch Gag: Basically how the episodes opens with Kuzco calling for "Theme Music." One point Guaca tried to sub for Kuzco who was in the shower. Before he got the chance, Kuzco runs in still wrapped in a towel just to do the call.
  • Cowardly Sidekick: Guaca.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Kuzco usually, and Malina when it comes to Kuzco.
    • Kronk all the time when he and Yzma are scheming together.
  • Dean Bitterman: Surprisingly subverted with Principal Amzy (Yzma in disguise)—aside from plotting against Kuzco, Yzma proves to be a decent principal.
  • Death Glare: The "Malina Stare."
  • Depending on the Writer: Again, Malina can sometimes be a reasonable or even flawed character in episodes, while in others she's near perfect.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: There are plenty of assignments that Kuzco would have been doomed to fail without Yzma interfering, yet Yzma still feels the need to scheme on getting him to fail said assignment, which results in him passing because of her plan.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Kuzco wants nothing more than to graduate and be emperor—but in the series finale, after living as a peasant for so long and learning to enjoy the simpler things in life (as well as learning about the pressure and responsibilities that come with being the Emperor), he starts having second thoughts.
  • Different in Every Episode: Something different happens every time Kronk is asked to pull the lever to the secret lab. Hilariously lampshaded in one episode:
    Yzma: Okay, let's see. "To the secret lab." "Pull the lever, Kronk." Something goes wrong. Then the wall spins."
    • Overlapping with Every Episode Ending: While every episode of season 1 ended with an instrumental version of the Expository Theme Tune playing over the end logos, season 2 switched to using a 6-second music cue from earlier in the episode.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Whenever Kronk points out a very obvious flaw in the first Zany Scheme Yzma comes up with.
  • Ear Worm: The 'Kuzco Allegiance Day' ringtone on Kuzco's alarm clock, to the theme of the Ride of the Valkyries, from Peasant For A Day
    Clock: Kuzco Allegiance, Kuzco Allegiance, Kuzco Allegiance Day is Today!
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Kuzco and all the other characters from this show previously appeared in House of Mouse (due to The Emperor's New Groove being released before it) before making their official televised debuts here.
  • Egopolis: Everything is named after Kuzco.
    • There was also an episode where everything was named after Yzma, and another where everything was named after Guaca.
  • Expository Theme Tune
  • Every Year They Fizzle Out: Inverted. The team is really good...until Kuzco joins in.
  • F--: In "Kuzclone," Kuzco's clone does so poorly that he gets a G-.
  • Fly in the Soup: In "Working Girl."
    Mr. Moleguaco: Excuse me, there a fly in that man's soup.
    Malina: (acting rude) Oh, and I suppose you want one too?
    Ipi: (to Topo) That joke is older than you.
  • First Kiss: Malina and Kuzco in "The Emperor's New Musical."
  • Forced Transformation: It is (initially) Yzma's intention to use this trope to turn Kuzco into something useless in order to get him to fail school (and thus, lose the kingdom). It never works out, no matter how often she tries.
  • Fountain of Youth
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Several episodes end up justifying why Kuzco's ego and entitlement are so massive. Flashbacks show him consistently being spoiled and getting his way with nothing in the way of good influences. Various occasions and locations are also named after him.
    • Kuzco spends much of "Clash of the Families" grousing about family fun since he never got to participate in the competition before (both due to being emperor and because his own parents are gone). While Pacha's family tries to include him in the fun, he misinterprets the boat not being big enough for him as proof they don't actually want him there.
  • Giftmas Episode
    • You Mean X Mas: Giftmas (and Kuzcoween and whatever other holiday they feel like parodying). The most painful is that in the Christmas episode a kid's wish is to see snow...and Kuzco freezes to near-death in the same episode.
  • Gender Bender: Kuzco and Kronk turned into girls in "Girls Behaving Oddly."
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Parodied lots of times. In the first season, ALL THE CHARACTERS had small Kronks on their shoulders.
    • Inverted in one episode, where Kuzco's angel/devil decide to switch it around for once.
    • In another episode, Kronk's devil appears as usual, but Malina's angel appears instead because Kronk gave his angel the week off. Things get extra wacky when Kuzco's devil pops up to hit on Malina's angel.
    • "The Good, the Bad and the Kronk" makes it a plot-point, as Yzma captures the angel and leaves the devil free in order to influence Kronk into committing acts of evil. It works until the angel gets free.
  • Grand Finale: "Graduation Groove".
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Given the geographical region this show takes place in is Peru, it’s not uncommon for characters to drop Spanish words or interjections, even though people would’ve spoken Quechua at the time.
  • Growling Gut: Happens twice to Kuzco throughout the series.
  • Held Back in School: An extreme example has him forced back into "Kuzcogarten."
  • High School: Kuzco has to graduate high school before becoming the emperor.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Yzma. Would you believe it?. Likely a reference to Kingdom Of The Sun where Yzma's primary motivation was to retain her youthful good looks.
  • Idiot Hero / Book Dumb: Kuzco, intermittently. It comes and goes, depending on the episode.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Malina, to a certain extent—while she's certainly very pretty as far as physical appearance goes (as well as the art style), but that still doesn't change the fact that they feel the need to mention she's a "hottie" in the show's theme song. As well as most episodes.
  • Inventional Wisdom: Carried over from the movie.
  • Iris Out: Nearly every episode ends this way.
  • Irony: Yzma's potions accidentally get into the local drinking water, transforming various characters into animals. Kuzco, of all people, is spared this because he refuses to drink "peasant water" and drinks his own brand. When Yzma is confronted, he appears to find this all somewhat amusing.
  • It Amused Me: In one Episode, Yzma admits this is why they need to take a Roller Coaster to get to her Secret Lab.
    Kronk: Hey, What's the point of this Roller Coaster, exactly?
    Yzma: Eh, It's just for fun...
  • It Only Works Once: In one episode, Guaca is declared emperor and therefore, the one Yzma must get rid of in order to become empress. When she tries to get rid of him the same way she tried with Kuzco in the movie, Guaca sees through the trick because he knows about the previous attempt.
  • It's All About Me: Kuzco, of course. As noted above, the show really tries to have it both ways. Heck, it's in the theme song. Verbatim. Delivered by Kuzco.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: The "Yzmopolis" episode, in which Kuzco wishes not to have been emperor so he can fit in. Unfortunately, his wish causes him to never have been born, period.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Depending on the episode, Kuzco might or might not learn his life lesson.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • No one seems interested in bringing Yzma to justice for the various crimes she's committed. Since the show is set after the first movie, no one considers trying to arrest her after her conspiracy to assassinate the Emperor. Even if Kuzco's royal title is currently suspended until his graduation, she is still guilty enough for everything from fraud to theft and attempted murder. Not only that, but it becomes an Open Secret that the school's Principal is just Yzma in disguise, yet no one seems to care.
    • In "The Emperor's New Tuber", Malina cheats to win a largest potato contest and gets away with it because the foot of Yzma's giant stone robot crushed it into mashed potato, and she instead gets 1st place for the best tasting category and doesn't confess to cheating.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Nicely toyed with. Kuzco was a nasty kid, but the other kids are just defending themselves.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: So much so. Kuzco even has a remote that he uses to affect the show as if it were DVD content.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Changed in season 2, in which Kuzco had three or four sets of clothes. In the first season, all he wore was the school uniform.
    • Season 1 would also fit in the School Uniforms are the New Black trope.
    • The family picnic episode, it's interesting to note that his earrings are gold instead of his usual blue, only for that one episode though.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: Parodied when Kuzco claims his best friend's name is "Brad Bowllama"... and Malina immediately calls his bluff. (It could have been worse. He considered "Bananastaircasehat".)
  • Literal Split Personality: Kuzco decides to use one of Yzma's machines to remove all of Malina's undesirable personality traits, i.e. all of them except for being attracted to him. Since the machine removes them one at a time, there are dozens of Malinas running around causing havoc, while Kuzco finds himself creeped out by the lengths "Loves Kuzco Malina" goes to show her affection since she has no other personality traits to balance it out.
  • Misplaced Wildlife:
    • Red-eyed tree frogs are native to Central America and thus out of place in a series set in what is now Peru. Of course, the series isn't really concerned with accuracy, so it's forgivable. Plus it makes for a catchy song.
    • Alligators are often shown in this series (the alligator that ate Kuzco’s homework, Yzma’s pet alligator) but alligators are only found either in North America or China, and not in South America. The only crocodilians you’d find in what is now Peru are caimans.
  • Mood Dissonance: The "Kuzco Mambo," a cheery sing-a-long with flashy colors and praise about how awesome Kuzco is. Right after Kuzco was bemoaning how few friends he had and got captured by Yzma.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Kuzco, believe it or not, is capable of feeling remorse whenever he realizes that his Jerkass attitude has gone too far.
    • In "Evil and Eviler," Yzma saves Kuzco at the last minute from an emperor exterminator.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • One of the subplots of the episode "Project Poncho" involves Yzma being tricked into believing that she got a poncho that only the intelligent could see, culminating with Tipo pointing out, from the middle of the crowd for the fashion show, that "the Empress is in her underwear". This side of the story was all referring to The Emperor's New Clothes, the story that loosely inspired the original movie. (Well, the title, if nothing else.)
    • Malina bears a slight resemblance to Mata, Kuzco's love interest in the originally planned Kingdom of the Sun.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: The main trio of Kuzco, Malina and Kronk —
    • Kronk serves as the nice and goofiest of the trio.
    • Kuzco is the mean, as he's the brattiest and selfish out of them.
    • This leaves Malina as the in-between, she is the Only Sane Woman of the trio, she always has her kindness, but can be a little unstable at times.
  • No Fourth Wall: Well of course, it wouldn't be a spin-off show without Kuzco stopping a frame.
  • Noodle Incident: Mr. Moleguaco references an occasion where Kuzco attempted to make the world's largest water balloon, which caused a drought and flooded Moleguaco's basement.
  • Not a Date: This was a running gag. Whenever Kuzco and Malina would end up doing something together, Kuzco would call it a date, and Malina would tell him "it's not a date." Notable in the episode "Working Girl". In the series finale, they finally go on an actual date and become an official couple.
  • Once an Episode: "Pull the lever, Kronk!" "Wrong lever!"
    • Also Kronk forgetting Amzy and Yzma are the same person. The concept is, of course, lampshaded in "Yzma Be Gone."
    • "It's time for Kuzco's Doodles! That's the part of the show where I [insert some "explanation" about the situation at hand]." As the show went on, this got played with more and more—Malina sometimes took it over, and a whole episode was centered around it once where almost everyone got a turn.
  • Only One Name: Everybody.
    Pacha: I'd be more surprised if you did.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: After a season and a half of denials, Malina finally says it to Kuzco in "Auction Action" when badgering him about his ego.
    Malina: Too busy acting like the world's in love with ya. Y'know, it makes it really hard when someone actually does like you.
    [Kuzco gasps]
    Malina: [embarrassed] I can't believe I just said that.
  • Open Secret: Everyone knows that Yzma and Principal Amzy are the same person, despite her (very bad) attempts at hiding it. And Malina reveals to Kronk in the series finale that everyone already knows that he works for Yzma, but he's such a likeable guy that no one cares about that and is friends with him anyway.
  • Operation: Jealousy: "Auction Action" opens with a bachelor auction headlining the male students. Malina was actually going to bid on Kuzco, until he offended her with another egotistical fit, so she bids on Kronk out of spite. Kuzco pleads with Yata to bid on him in order to save face, as well as make Malina jealous. Both couples end up going to the same restaurant (because Kuzco asked Kronk where he was taking Malina), so passive aggressive sniping ensues. Eventually, Kronk and Yata get so sick of it that they leave and go out on their own date.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Yzma as Principal Amzy. Kronk is the only one that can't figure it out and she has to repeatedly remind him. Kuzco is not fooled and sees right through most of the time.
  • Parental Abandonment: Kuzco, just like in the movie. One episode even deals with a sort of "family Olympics," and he immediately goes to join Pacha's family. He himself claims he was "birthed from a glorious union between the Moon and the Stars." It's even painted Renaissance-style on the school's ceiling. It's implied in another episode that Yzma is behind the disappearance of Kuzco's parents (or at least his dad).
  • Pet the Dog: Yzma has a few moments.
    • In "Evil and Eviler," she hires an emperor exterminator to get rid of Kuzco, but saves his life at the last minute.
    • In "The Prisoner of Kuzcoban," she tells Kronk that his favorite superhero, Pajama Llama, is not real, which leads to Kronk breaking down in tears and becoming depressed. At the end of the episode, Yzma dresses up like Pajama Llama and sings the theme song to make Kronk happy again.
    • In "Cornivale," Yzma disguises herself as a relative of Pacha's to get to Kuzco, and it turns out she enjoys playing with the kids. When Kuzco does show up, he gives Yzma a big hug and so she can't bring herself to carry out her plan. Her disguise wears off, but Pacha's family lets her stay as a guest.
      • During that episode's end credits, though, Kuzco has to remind the audience that Yzma's not really that nice.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Yzma is Kuzco's head royal advisor but doesn't actually give him any advice—she's initially under the impression that, since Kuzco has to graduate high school in order to officially become the Emperor, she doesn't have to do her job until then. She's told otherwise by a board of people in charge of reviewing her work in "Take My Advice."
  • Playing a Tree: Yzma used to play a tree at school plays back when she was a student.
  • Popular Is Dumb: Averted—Malina's one of the most popular kids in school but is said to be a straight-A student. Also, it would seem that the cheerleaders at Kuzco Academy are required to maintain straight-A averages.
  • Power Trio: Kuzco (Id), Kronk (Ego), Malina (Superego).
  • Punny Name: Mr. Moleguaco and Guaka, both named for guacamole.
    • Also several one-shot characters, such as Mr. Moleguaco's cousin Mr. Nadaempa (empanada) and Tillator (tortilla).
  • Poor Man's Substitute: It's pretty obvious that J. P. Manoux sounds like David Spade doing a very bad impersonation of David Spade doing get the idea.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The Kuzco Allegiance Day song from "Peasant for a Day" is sung to the tune of "Ride of the Valkyries".
  • Put Me In, Coach!: Even when Kuzco learns how to play the game...he never actually scores.
  • Rage Against the Author: Rage Against The Animators, really. As per the absence of the fourth wall in this series, when Kuzco becomes The Caligula and starts abusing his power in one episode, he fires the colorists (leaving the show penciled in black and white until he rehires them).
  • Randomized Transformation: Yzma doesn't label her potions, so when the characters want to turn somebody into a certain animal, they often turn them into a completely different animal for various episodes.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: "Oops All Doodles".
  • Real After All: Yzma used fake aliens on a failed attempt to become Empress and she constantly told Kronk aliens didn't exist. In the end, Kronk met real aliens but didn't believe them.
  • Reality Warper: Kuzco is basically an animated Zack Morris for the mid/late-2000's.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: "Unfit to Print"
    Malina: Look, when I ran the Scroll, I had a motto: "News that's real, is our ideal."
    Kuzco: Yeah, yeah, mine is "Mottos that rhyme should be a crime."
  • Retool: Parodied in "The Emperor's New Show" when fan letters convince Kuzco to change the show. They do a cop show, a game show, anime, and wrestling. It turns out Yzma is behind the letters as part of a plan to get destroy Kuzco. Kronk's cooking show pitch is rejected, so he decides to interfere during the wrestling one and spills the beans in the process. Ultimately, Kuzco writes his own fan letter just to put everything back to normal.
  • Running Gag: Most of them are gags continued from the movie.
  • The Rival: Ramon.
  • Rule of Three: When Papa Santos shows his naughty list, the viewers only get to see the three top names: Kuzco, Yzma and Amzy.
  • Self-Deprecation: A supposed fan letter in "The Emperor's New Show" acknowledges how Kuzco keeps falling for Yzma's potions week after week, which he insists isn't true, only to accept a strangely colored drink from Kronk. Also, the bag of real fan mail only contains a handful of letters and none of them are for Kuzco.
  • Series Goal: Kuzco has to graduate high school in order to officially take the throne as emperor, with Yzma schemes and his own laziness standing in the way. He finally succeeds in the last episode.
  • Small Reference Pools: The "Kuzco Dance" segment of the Musical Episode includes a Shout-Out to the The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Yzma/Amzy, and Kronk/Knork.
  • So Last Season: Season 2's premiere opens with Yzma trying to think up a new plan. Kronk proposes trying yet another potion, but Yzma says that's this. Kronk suggests making use of the Secret's Lab hall of machinery, which Yzma somehow never knew about.
  • Springtime for Hitler: In the finale, Kuzco worries about being emperor and tries to deliberately fail the final exam in order to stay in school. He somehow passes with flying colors instead.
  • Straw Character: Kuzco is the living embodiment of this trope.
  • Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: Kronk.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: Yzma's lab.
    Kuzco: To the not-so-secret lab!" (effortlessly sneaks in) "They really need to put a lock on this place."
  • Trauma Button: The backstory of "The Mystery of Micchu Pachu" involves an old emperor being usurped by a royal adviser by being turned into an animal (an anteater in this case). The emperor never returned to normal, so was left alone, insane, and friendless until he died. Kuzco is, of course, terrified. Mr. Moleguaco lampshades how this story hits close to home for him and tells him it's okay to admit he's scared rather than put up a brave front.
  • Tsundere: Malina. Especially Towards Kuzco.
  • The Unintelligible: Yzma's mother, Azma, who communicates through a series of coughs and wheezes that Yzma seems to be able to understand perfectly.
    Kronk: I think your mother's getting impatient. She keeps saying (wheezes).
    Yzma: Watch your language!
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Kuzco being transformed into various members of the Animal Kingdom is often treated with passing indifference.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Kuzco.
  • Villain Decay: Yzma's plots usually involve Kuzco failing a class instead of trying to kill him with a few exceptions and she even has a few moments where she will team up with Kuzco or save his life.
  • Villain Song: Yzma gets Yzmopolis in the Bad Future episode, explaining what she's done with the kingdom...rename literally everything after herself.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Yzma tries to distract Kuzco from school work by secretly feeding him a potion that makes every girl that sees him fall head over heels in love. Kuzco initially enjoys this newfound attention and hopes to exploit it with Malina, but he quickly sees she's not remotely in control of her actions and so resists her advances. He spends the rest of the episode running away from her and every other girl until the potion finally wears off.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The last episode has Kuzco providing this over the end credits:
    • Kuzco invites Pacha, Chicha and their kids to live in the palace with him, which they gladly accept.
    • Guaka's his lead publicist, telling the public about what Kuzco's doing as emperor.
    • He and Malina are (presumably) still a couple, with Malina also now working as a reporter for the Kuzconian Times.
    • Kronk is Kuzco's lead royal advisor.
    • In a nice bit of karma (and revenge), Kuzco forces Yzma to work as Kronk's assistant.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: One episode is a trilogy of The Twilight Zone-like tales.
  • Wild Teen Party: Kuzco tries to persuade Malina to throw one while her parents are out of town. She refuses. In the end, he ends up throwing one. At her house. For a bunch of manatees (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Averted. The show's title was originally going to be spelled The Emperor's New Skool; perhaps Jhonen Vasquez threatened to sue.
  • Zany Scheme: Just about any plot Yzma comes up with to get rid of Kuzco.


Video Example(s):


"Amzy's Yzma"

One of the many running gags of the series is Kronk always acting surprised that Principal Amzy is Yzma in disguise.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / RunningGag

Media sources: