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Theodore Tugboat is a children's show about the adventures of Theodore Tugboat and his friends George, Emily, Foduck, and Hank. The Harbourmaster (played by Denny Doherty of The Mamas & the Papas) introduces the stories.
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It was produced by Robert Cardona, co-producer of TUGS, making this a Spiritual Successor of said show. Both are centered on the harbour activities of a fleet of tugboats who wear hats. Unlike TUGS, which was set in The Roaring '20s and were essentially models mounted on trolleys pulled by fishing line, the setting of Theodore is much more modern and the characters are radio-controlled.


This show provides examples of:

  • Awesome, but Impractical: The stuff the tugs get when a ship named Scally comes to visit, who likes to collect lots of weird knick-knacks.
  • Canada, Eh?: The show takes place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with many characters named after places around Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia, the Maritimes, and Atlantic Canada.
  • Feud Episode: In "Theodore in the Middle", George and Emily have a feud when George makes an official complaint of Emily for her constant lateness to the morning work meeting. As the title implies, they use Theodore as a proxy to make their displeasure towards one another known.
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  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Nautilus is clearly meant to be a destroyer escort, but has no visible gun turrets, likely for this reason.
  • Framing Device: Each episode began and ended with the Harbourmaster talking to the the viewers. In the first segment, he would tell them about a problem he's having that's similar to the story he is going to tell, and in the second segment he summed up the story's moral.
  • The Ghost: The Harbormaster's friend Rodney, who often has something to do with whatever is going on but never really shows up, along with any other humans in the show.
  • Ghost Story: George's Ghost starts out with the Harbourmaster telling the story of the Flying Dutchman. It also deals with Theodore and George seeing a ghost ship which turns out to be Digby, who ran aground in a storm.
    • Emily and the Sleep-Over has Emily, Carla, and Dorothy telling spooky stories. A series of coincidences caused them to believe that they were reliving one of the stories.
  • Hate Plague: Guysborough's known for causing everyone to be grouchy that in "Grumpy Garbage Barge" caused everyone in the Big Harbour to be grumpy. Ever since then, Theodore who usually takes Guysborough has to tow him quickly out of everyone's way before his grouchiness affects anyone.
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  • Hates Baths: Guysborough loves garbage and hates being cleaned. When Foduck tried to clean him in "Foduck and the Shy Ship", Guysborough thought he was melting.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: In "Hank's Hiccups", Hank gets a case of the hiccups and accidentally bumps into Jennifer, a cargo ship he and his friends are pulling into the loading dock. Hank decides not to work until his hiccups are cured, so his friends try different ways to cure his hiccups, all of which were met with dead ends. His hiccups disappear when he and Bobby pull a fishing net out of Theodore and Emily's path (which had earlier been knocked off of Fundy the Fishing boat during one of Hank's attempts to get rid of his hiccups).
  • Jerk Ass: Cabot from "Theodore and the Unsafe Ship". Not only was he incredibly careless with his cargo and disobeyed Theodore, but he recklessly sailed around the Big Harbor and endangered the other ships. It takes Theodore tricking him into beaching himself and forcibly towing him from behind to get Cabot to learn his lesson.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: in Theodore In The Middle George puts in an official complaint about Emily being late. While George was most likely motivated by his own pride, Emily's lateness was delaying the morning work meeting.
  • Meaningful Name: The fact that shifty ship from Hank's Funny Feeling is called S.S."Malarkey" should be a clear sign that he's not being entirely truthful.
  • Pokémon Speak: Donald Dock. All he can say is "Uh-huh". The junk dock Jasper can only say "nope". Apparently it's common for docks to only be able to say one word.
  • Shout-Out: In the episode "Bedford's Big Move", the Harbourmaster receives cookies from his mother that are shaped like Sunshine from TUGS. Some of the character names coincide with other characters' names in TUGS, such as Lilly Lighthouse (Lillie Lightship). Theodore himself also resembles Sunshine quite a bit.
  • Sleepy Head: Northumberland Submarine. However, he only does so in the daytime, as he works primarily at night.
  • Super Speed: Hank, you're the fastest Tug in the big harbour!
  • The Magnificent: Emily the Vigorous, George the Valiant, and Foduck The Vigilant.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: An instrumental of the main theme starts blaring as Theodore is doing something heroic/cool.
  • True Companions: The tugs, no matter what conflict comes between them, are loyal to each other to the end.
  • Twin Switch: Phillip and Fillmore the ferry twins do it often as a joke.
  • Vocal Evolution: Phillip and Fillmore initially had nasally voices. By the final season, they sounded more like Barney Gumble, of all people.
  • Welcome Episode: "Theodore and the Big Harbor." Unusually, it was the last episode aired for Season 1.

Thanks for visiting us here at The Big Harbor. We'll see you all again next time!
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