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Western Animation / The Itsy Bitsy Spider

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Leslie and Itsy.

A 1992 animated short named for the nursery rhyme of the same name, originally shown in theaters preceding Bébé's Kids. In 1994 it was picked up as a TV series, which aired on the USA Network.

The short subject dealt with the titular spider befriending a shy little girl but invoking the fearful wrath of the girl's teacher, who sends an exterminator over. The exterminator deploys any means possible to get rid of the spider, only (like Wile E. Coyote) to fail miserably. The TV series resumes the premise, with the girl now named Leslie McRoraty and the teacher Miss Adrienne.


Tropes covered by the short and the series:

  • Determinator: The Exterminator. Santayana would be proud of him.
  • Dumb Muscle: The Exterminator is truly no Mensa candidate. His focus—to get rid of Itsy—clouds his ability to think of the best way to do it.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of the Exterminator's tools is a flamethrower.
  • Meganekko: Leslie. She's sweet in both the short and first season, then undergoes a rather radical change in demeanor in season two.
  • Stern Teacher: Adrianne, Leslie's stern teacher. Even when utterly defeated, she gets no sympathy.


Tropes exclusive to the short:

  • The Ahnold: The Exterminator after the Robotic Reveal.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Subverted Up to Eleven with Adrienne's cat being the one to suffer the lion's share of Wile E.-style misfortunes, while Itsy snarks all throughout at the Exterminator's efforts.
  • More Dakka: Turned Up to Eleven when the Exterminator pulls out a pair of Gatling guns in his arms after trapping Itsy in a cabinet (with the cat) Adrienne, not knowing her pet is in there, pulls out a bunch of guns to get some shots in too. Naturally, Itsy escapes before the first shot is fired.
  • No Name Given: Leslie and Adrienne are never identified by name in the short.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: As the Exterminator works, Leslie clears out from the room and out of the house and watches the action from outside, and soon gets on her bike and hightails it far away when he announces he's about to literally bomb the place. She knows Itsy will be just fine against everything the Exterminator tries.
  • Techno Babble:
    Music Teacher: What is that?
    The Exterminator: It's a high-tech microchip thermonuclear light-sensitive radioactive blue-screen laptop computer generator triple decker arachnid detector and Etch-a-Sketch. Any more questions?

Tropes exclusive to the series: