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Western Animation / Tuca & Bertie

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A relatable show for modern chicks, and other women too.

Tuca & Bertie is an American adult animated comedy series created by Lisa Hanawalt, the production designer and supervising producer for BoJack Horseman, and executive produced by Noel Bright, Steven A. Cohen, Tiffany Haddish and BoJack creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg. The Tornante Company and ShadowMachine, who also worked on BoJack, produced the animation.

The show follows the friendship between Tuca (Haddish), a cocky, carefree toucan, and Bertie (Ali Wong), an anxious, daydreaming songthrush, two thirty-something bird women who live in the same apartment building. As their lives begin to grow in different directions, they learn about the struggles and sacrifices that come with becoming an adult while holding onto old relationships.

Often described as BoJack's more upbeat, peppy, colorful, and less dysfunctional sibling, tackling some of the same topics like mental health and sexism but with a lighter touch thanks to its zanier humor, off-the-wall cartoon animation and preference for happy endings. It's also been called the Spiritual Successor to Rocko's Modern Life.

The show's first season premiered on Netflix on May 3rd, 2019, with ten episodes. Two months later, Netflix announced its cancellation. A year later, [adult swim] announced on its Twitter that it would be producing a second season, which began airing on June 13, 2021. It is the second series to make the jump from a streaming network to linear television, following One Day at a Time (cancelled by Netflix earlier the same year), and the first animated series to do so. Ahead of the second season finale, a third season was ordered for the network. The third season premiered on July 11, 2022. On November 2, 2022, it was announced that the show had been cancelled again after two seasons on Adult Swim.

Watch the trailer here.

Tropes Associated With Tuca & Bertie:

  • Actor IS the Title Character: The poster for the series, as seen on this page, states that Tiffany Haddish is Tuca and that Ali Wong is Bertie.
  • Actor Allusion: SungWon Cho voicing a computer in love with a lamp would sound familiar to viewers who also watch his one-man harem spoof Chairem Anime, in which at least one of his characters has a mutual crush on a talking lamp (also voiced by SungWon). Both series even have SungWon make a pun about light.
  • Advertising by Association: The trailer states that this show is "from the team that brought you BoJack Horseman".
  • Aerith and Bob: While not quite to the extent of BoJack, normal names like Dirk coexist with more pet-like names like Speckle.
  • Allegorical Character: The moss is one for gentrification. It spreads all through Tuca and Bertie's apartment building as people are being forced to move out, and is used more generally to show corruption affecting the lower-income people of Birdtown, like it lobbying for moving the money that would be used to help the citizens after a flood to revitalization.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Bertie's phone has her own personality, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Art Shift: Usually used for flashbacks and similar imagine spots.
    • A flashback in "The Sex Bugs" is done using sock puppets.
    • "Plumage" uses yarn-like animation to illustrate Tuca's family history.
    • "Yeast Week" changes the style to similarly scratchy black-and-white charcoal slideshows during two brief flashbacks: young Tuca and her aunt waiting in the emergency room after her mother's fatal accident, and Bertie watching Tuca be taken away in an ambulance after drinking too much.
    • In "The New Bird," Tuca has a vision conveyed in claymation.
    • Bertie's younger self in "The Jelly Lakes" is represented in a paper cut-out style, based off Coach Maple's wife's cracked egg art.
    • "The Dance" features a dance sequence to portray Tuca's relationships with Kara and Bertie. Kara, her romantic partner, changes Tuca's dance to match her own. Bertie, her best friend, encourages Tuca to dance with her, not like her. The scene is done in a simplistic, stencil style.
  • Author Appeal:
    • In her New York Times article, "Pride and Pestilence," Lisa Hanawalt revealed that she, like Bertie, is obsessively aroused by chaste romantic movies.
    • Lisa Hanawalt's adoration for horses pops up numerous times throughout the show with Tuca and Bertie acting especially ecstatic towards horseback riding, and becoming extremely emotional when watching commercials involving horses.
  • Author Avatar: Lisa Hanwalt, like Bertie, deals with anxiety, has experienced sexual misconduct, and gets turned on by chaste romantic movies.
  • Bait the Dog:
    • Pastry Pete is pretty reasonable when Tuca and Bertie ask for her boyfriend's sugar bowl back, accepting Tuca's ridiculous croissant cookoff; he's impressed when he tastes Bertie's croissants, asking why she's just a "data controller" and offering her a job on the spot. When she politely declines, he gives her an edible business card in case she changes her mind. Turns out he is a giant jerk that even manhandles Bertie, manipulating her rush on him.
    • Kara initially seems perfect for Tuca, warm and fun and understanding of her issues with her aunt, and gently sings her to sleep while Tuca lays her head in her lap. She later turns out to be extremely controlling and emotionally abusive.
  • Betty and Veronica: Bertie's two Love Interests are her boyfriend Speckle, who is a Nice Guy but a bit bland and boring, and Pastry Pete, who's rich, handsome and charismatic, but also manipulative and disrespectful of boundaries.
  • Bird People: The main cast, including Tuca and Bertie themselves, are birds with humanlike bodies.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The world of the show has some... strangely built buildings, in comparison to the real world, particularly the buildings with bouncing breasts in the Netflix intro.
  • Bowdlerize: Bare breasts did not appear during season 2, in line with the established standards of [adult swim].
  • Brick Joke: In "The Promotion", Tuca shouts "Where the Havarti at?" when a client rejects her idea of a dresser filled with ham and cheese. One of the images on Tuca's dating app profile in "Bird Mechanics" shows her with her beak full of cheese and the caption, "Where the Havarti at?"
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While the show maintains its wacky animation style and still has a sense of humor, after "Plumage" reveals Tuca's Dark and Troubled Past, the show takes a deeper look at the characters' struggle with independence, anxiety, and adult responsibility, and how it affects their relationships.
  • Christmas Episode: The season 1 finale is a Molting Day episode that takes place in the winter (which is interesting for a show released in May).
  • Coming of Age Story: Both the main characters are thirty-something adults still trying to navigate the ins and outs of the responsibilities that come with adulthood.
  • Costume-Test Montage: Played with in one episode. Tuca is trying to figure out what to wear for her date, but she becomes self-conscious when her mirror starts insulting her body.
  • Couch Gag: The first dance that Tuca and Bertie does in the opening title sequence of Season 1 changes from episode to episode. This is particularly noticeable in the gag for "The New Bird", where Tuca and Bertie's dancing is much more subdued, with the two glaring at each other angrily, reflecting the fight they had in the previous episode.
  • Country Matters: Per the names of Pastry Pete's two signature creations, the crunt (a cruller crossed with a bundt cake) and the wildly different crünt (a bundt cake and a croissant).
  • Creative Closing Credits: Starting in season 2, the credits feature an element that matches the theme of the episode.
  • Crying a River: In the episode "The Jelly Lakes", there is a gag where Tuca and Bertie have a post-make-up cry. And they start crying so much that it completely floods their car with tears.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "A Very Speckle Episode" is this for, well, Speckle.
  • Deceptively Silly Title: "The One Where Bertie Gets Eaten by a Snake" features Tuca discovering the extent of Figgy's severe alcoholism and breaking up with him.
  • Denser and Wackier: When compared to BoJack, this series is far more animated and contains zanier scenarios. It also features a greater variety of anthropomorphic creatures, including plants and inanimate objects, with humans being much rarer.
  • Deranged Animation: While largely following the same animation style as BoJack, the show also includes a greater amount of custom poses, smears and wild expressions, as well as generally more fluid character animation, making BoJack look like nothing but still drawings by comparison. Even the dramatic moments are heavily exaggerated for effect.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Speckle is ashamed of the incredibly unkinky porn video he shows Bertie because it stars a bluebird.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The theme is rapped and vocalized by Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first season, the show had a population of both animals, plants, and the occasional human. But starting with the second season, the humans are a lot less prominent, not appearing at all until "Salad Days" in season three (barring a mention in "Corpse Week" as part of a mythical mix-and-match monster).
  • Engineered Public Confession: Tuca is sneaky enough to take a video of Pastry Pete threatening Bertie when she confronts him about stonewalling her in "SweetBeak." After she puts it up on social media, Pete's business is destroyed.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "The One Where Bertie Gets Eaten by a Snake" is indeed an episode where Bertie gets eaten by a snake.
  • Food Porn: The baking scenes are usually detailed and delectable looking.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Both Tuca and Bertie's dark and troubled pasts are hinted at throughout the series before they're revealed.
      • When her boss asks if she went to the beach over the weekend, Bertie says she didn't because she's afraid that a giant crab might have tried grab her butt. As it turns out, she has a history of being afraid of swimming due to having her butt grabbed and giant crabs.
      • At one point, Bertie gets Speckle to spank her and call her a bad girl to spice up their sex life, but she ends up crying in the middle of the play. At another point, when Pastry Pete is inappropriate to her, she later masturbates to the thought. These are hints to some psycho-sexual trouble and her Rape As A Backstory plot revealed near the end of season one.
    • In Season 2, Tuca meets Kara, a laidback nurse whom she instantly hits it off with. While getting to know each other, Kara makes a flippant remark about her ex "always being the victim." We later see that Kara is an incredibly selfish invididual who refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing, which hurts Tuca when they enter a relationship.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Onscreen publications, posters, etc. often have amusing text. For example, when Tuca is watching car crash videos in episode 2, one of the suggested videos is titled "I want to kiss a car."
  • Furry Confusion: There are feral animals (i.e. actual lions and jaguars) included in this anthro animal world.
    • Tuca's Aunt Tallulah has non-anthropomorphic birds in her enclosed garden. Additionally, her butler is an anthropomorphic borzoi (who barks excitedly when her guests arrive) while she has numerous pet Maltese dogs (who Tuca calls her "babies" — whether that's literal or just a pet name isn't quite clear).
    • Draca (an anthropomorphic plant) has a lot of non-anthropomorphic pet turtles.
    • "Kyle" has Tuca guide a small, non-anthropomorphic mother duck and ducklings across the street to a pond... where they're fed by a large anthropomorphic bird.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • Characters, more often the bombastic ones, make animal noises when upset or excited.
    • Tuca's ovaries makes shelled eggs. She becomes egg bound, which is a real condition, and after it's surgically removed she's capable of frying it up.
    • Bertie shouts "CLOACA!" as a curse word at one point. The cloaca functions as a bird's anus and reproductive organ.
  • Girlboss Feminist: Winter Garcia is a successful pastry chef and businesswoman who is known for her line of mass-produced store-bought baked treats. While she does give Bertie the opportunity to work for her, she also sees nothing wrong with collaborating with Pastry Pete, a known predator and abuser. Winter even helps him cover up his past transgressions by helping him with a woman's mentorship program, fully knowing that Pete has no real interest in helping elevate women and is just looking to sweep his accusations under the rug.
  • Grocery Store Episode: "The Sex Bugs".
  • Growing Up Sucks: Explored in the sense that Tuca and Bertie are navigating the hurdles that come with being in their 30's, but we see that they had plenty in childhood and college. A subtle theme of the show is that "growing up" never really ends.
  • Hard Truth Aesop:
    • Navigating sexism in the adult world is not as easy as it looks. Bertie even mentions that it would be easier if guys were brimming with red flags, but most aren't. Dirk gets away with Stealing the Credit and fondling women in the workplace because the HR representative has a crush on him and says that he was "just joking" when Bertie reports him; Bertie has to call a sexual harassment seminar and loudly accuse him for every other woman to reveal he also "goosed" them as well. Then there is Pete, a Villain with Good Publicity that uses his status to take advantage of Bertie.
    • "The Deli Guy": Poor Communication Kills, so you better learn to communicate your wants and desires in a relationship! Tuca ruins her date with the Deli Guy because she can't allow herself to relax and trust someone who has a lot in common with her, especially while sober, and she runs off on him apologizing. Meanwhile, Bertie wants to spice up her sex life with Speckle, at the risk of triggering some trauma. She doesn't have the words, however, to say what she wants, and tries to indulge Speckle's interests first. It takes until the end of the episode for her to admit to Speckle that she just wants to be surprised and add some variety to their routine. Once Speckle realizes that he can surprise her in safe, sane, and sexual ways, the spark in their relationship returns as he transforms their apartment into a British romantic drama roleplay.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Bertie asks to see Speckle's favorite porno movie in the hopes of finding out his deepest, darkest desires so she can spice up their sex life. Turns out it's about a loving couple who move in together and have extremely unkinky and respectful sex with each other. The only reason he feels guilty about being turned on by it is because the woman in it is a bluebird. The two of them end up watching the rest of the video like a regular movie, even commenting that the woman is a good actress.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Pat, Coach Maple's wife, looks like her actress, Isabella Rossellini.
  • Internet Stalking: In "Vibe Check," Tuca spends a long time scrolling through her new crush Kara's social media, and becomes worried when she likes a very old photo. Thankfully Kara seems cool with it and comments on Tuca's photos teasing her about it.
  • Ikea Erotica: How Bertie describes her formulaic sex life with Speckle, complete with an Art Shift illustrating her descriptions like an IKEA instruction manual.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In "Bird Mechanics", Tuca finds a tube of lip balm on the bus. When she points out that she doesn't have lips, a dog character points out that "none of this makes any sense", at which point she calls him the "logic police".
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Pastry Pete's immoral behavior eventually catches up with him when Tuca posts a video of him abusing Bertie, resulting in his bakery getting boycotted. And then he gets shit on by a giant hawk. However, his career resurrects after a phony apology in Season 2.
    • All the drinking Tuca's emotionally abusive aunt does finally catches up to her in the Season 1 finale, where it's revealed that she's now in the hospital for cirrhosis.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the season 2 premiere, the therapist believe that Tuca and Bertie's names sound wrong together and rambles about their names sounding terrible together... cue theme song.
  • Lighter and Softer: While still not afraid to delve into serious topics, Tuca & Bertie is considerably far more idealistic and cartoony when compared to BoJack.
  • Literal-Minded: While trying to spice up their sex life, Speckle starts spanking Bertie and calling her "a bad bird who needs to be punished." Bertie takes it too literally and starts crying.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: The series is mostly populated by Funny Animals (and Funny Plants, and Funny Inanimate Objects...), but humans occasionally pop up (Lisa Hanawalt has admitted that Furries Are Easier to Draw for her).
  • A Lizard Named "Liz":
    • Tuca is a toucan.
    • Could also double as Punny Name, Bertie is a birdie.
    • Draca is a Dracaena plant.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: A Running Gag of "Mean Mirrors," an actual brand of mirrors that throw a person's deepest insecurities back at them.
  • Mooning:
    • In the episode "The Sugar Bowl", Speckle moons Bertie while talking about how great it is to be able to walk around with his butt out. Bertie wonders aloud why everyone she lives with likes going pantsless.
    • An example done by proxy happens in "The Deli Guy", where Speckle and Bertie are making love and Speckle decides to press Bertie's bare ass against the window so that everyone in the city can see it.
  • More Insulting than Intended: In "Sleepovers," Kara playfully teases Tuca about her messy eating habits, snarking, "Who raised you?" This really hurts Tuca's feelings, presumably because, unbeknownst to Kara, Tuca was orphaned at a young age and is still dealing with that trauma. Kara assumes Tuca's just overreacting since it was intended as a joke.
  • Name and Name: Tuca & Bertie.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Dakota is a tongue-in-cheek version of this kind of character, a young woman in her early twenties from the midwest going to the big city for the first time and eager to start a glamorous career in baking. She drops the naïveté and becomes completely assertive the second Pastry Pete tries to make a move on her.
  • No Antagonist: Season 3. Both season 1 and season 2 had unsympathetic characters who helped drive the personal conflicts of the show, such as the familially/finanically abusive Auntie Tallulah, the patriarchally abusive Pastry Pete, and emotional abuser Kara. Season 3 largely does away with overt Hate Sink antagonists (the central cause of conflict in the season are Tuca's own biological issues) and in fact dedicates episodes to rounding out previously two-dimensional abusers such as Kara and Tallulah, giving them shades of sympathy they'd never had before.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Not only do the birds and Plant People have human-like breasts, but are shown to have nipples when topless too. One of Bertie's breasts even comes to life.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: ZigZagged. Owing to Hanawalt's drawing style and the characters' real-world counterparts, neither Tuca nor Bertie have hair. On the other hand, "Sex Bugs" pretty much confirms that Tuca has pubic hair, which goes with the sexual freedom tone of the show. Come season 2, and several more exceptions pop up: Speckle's sister Dottie is a robin with a hair bun, Tuca's twin siblings Tim and Tam both have black moppy hairstyles, Kara has a ponytail, and Bertie used to have a small ponytail herself during flashbacks to when she started dating Speckle. Justified with the family members, who would otherwise look identical to the main cast. It also seems that this "hair" is more highly stylized feathers than actual hair.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Played with. A big reason Bertie can't get Dirk in trouble for sexual misconduct is that the HR woman at her office finds him attractive, making it harder for Bertie or any of the other women she works with to convince her to do something about it. However, when she's manhandled by Pastry Pete, the guy she actually has a crush on, she has to excuse herself to masturbate, and it doesn't hit her just how wrong it is until she sees it happening to Dakota, who absolutely sees it as sexual harassment when it happens to her and is furious that Bertie didn't warn her. Bertie later admits to Tuca that a camp lifeguard took advantage of her when she was twelve, which led to psychosexual habits and made it harder for her to recognize red flags. Even when confronting Pastry Pete about his misconduct and stonewalling, Tuca needs to push Bertie to see him as the bad guy.
  • Ocular Gushers: Used frequently, varying between waterfalls from the eyes to giant, golfball-sized gobs of tears. "The Jelly Lakes" includes a gag where Tuca and Bertie have a post-make-up cry, which floods their entire car with tears.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Lampshaded when Bertie floats by her office during the Birdtown flood.
    Bertie: Oh yeah, I forgot to go to work the past couple of weeks again.
  • Organ Autonomy: After Dirk hits on her in "The Promotion," Bertie's breast literally leaps off her body and spends the next 24 hours getting drunk.
  • Partially Civilized Animal: Tuca's pet jaguar is as wild as can be expected of such an animal but, after being taken in by Draca, is seen reading with glasses. She never speaks, though.
  • Plant Person: There is an anthropomorphic Dracaena named Draca. Other anthropomorphic plants appear as background characters. They have human bodies like the animal characters, but plants for heads and no eyes.
  • Precision F-Strike: Though not to the extent of BoJack, which famously uses exactly one f-bomb per season for 110% drama, the show tends to reserve its use of "fuck" for when it can have the most comedic effect. The first episode of Season 2, however, uses "shit" several times.
  • Promiscuity After Rape: Discussed. When Bertie was a teenager, she was sexually assaulted by a life guard she trusted. As an adult, she has shown and expressed a high sex desire which includes understandable requests like wanting to be more adventurous with her boyfriend Speckle to the disturbed like masturbating after being sexually harrassed by Pastry Pete. During a therapy session, she expressed fear that her sexual assault shaped her sexual preference as she gets aroused fantasizing about predatory men. Though, her therapist does try to comfort her that her sex preference could have developed naturally regardless if she was raped or not.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy: While the show certainly knows when to slow down for drama, it's generally gag after gag after gag. And even the dramatic scenes have some business that, while played for drama, are still meant to be jokes.
  • Ruder and Cruder: When compared to BoJack, there is much more casual use of nudity and swearing, especially the word 'fuck', whereas the latter only uses it once per season.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The porno that Bertie and Speckle watch in "The Deli Guy" is titled Two Birds, One Nest, a reference to the notorious porn video Two Girls, One Cup.
    • The Donut Dive in "Yeast Week" ends in hot oil being splashed over some of the audience members, scalding their heads into fried foods just like Patrick did from SpongeBob SquarePants does in "The Fry Cook Games".
    • The vampire rabbit in "Planteau", with his fangs and white fur with black markings that resemble a cape, is basically Bunnicula.
    • "Nighttime Friend" has Tuca attend a midnight showing of "Vintage Sexy Campy Movie," an interactive musical which is clearly parodying The Rocky Horror Show. Tuca also introduces her sex lecture by parodying He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), shouting "By the power of attorney!" in the same manner as Adam's power-activating catchphrase.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Far on the idealistic side. While not without its more cynical or dramatically-grounded moment, this is a show where The Power of Friendship and The Power of Love prevail more often than not and hope exists to amend personal shortcomings.
  • Species Surname: Bertie's full name is Roberta Songthrush, Tuca's is Tuca Toucan, and their neighbor is a dog named Dapper T. Dog.
  • Stop Copying Me: Occurs in "Bird Mechanics":
    Therapist: To manually reset your socially neurotic brain, repeat whatever it is your conversation partner is saying.
    Bertie: Repeat whatever it is your partner is saying.
    Therapist: Okay, stop repeating me.
    Bertie: Stop repeating me.
    Therapist: are a very handsome therapist?
    Bertie: What?
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • One episode has Bertie pining to get a higher position in her office, but she has to overcome workplace sexism and her own shyness. She finally prevails in the end... only to find out that the higher position leaves her very busy and keeps her in her office, away from everyone else.
    • In that same episode, Bertie hosts a mandatory presentation on sexual harassment at her job under the assumption that all of the women Dirk has hit on will come forward about his inappropriate behavior and he'll be guilt-stricken enough to confess all of his crimes then and there. Not only does Dirk have no remorse for anything he's done, but none of her female co-workers feel any obligation to speak up until Bertie tells them they can.
    • Another episode has Tuca using the boba from a bubble tea as bullet seeds which, from her perspective, shoot out like regular bullets. Cut to reality, where they all land less than a foot away from her.
    • Bertie goes on an impromptu, days-long road trip in the middle of the night to deal with some complicated emotions, ends up facing a childhood fear and rekindling her friendship with both Tuca and a former camp councilor, then returns home feeling invigorated and confident to her loving, supportive boyfriend... whom she didn't contact at all during said trip. This causes an Anger Born of Worry Freak Out from Speckle, who's sick of having to shoulder the burden of every emotional hangup his girlfriend has and doesn't automatically stop being mad when he sees her again. It's what makes Bertie realize that she has to deal with her emotional problems in a way that doesn't hurt her loved ones in the process.
    • Acknowledged when Speckle and Bertie have make-up sex in "SweetBeak." Speckle tells Bertie that their relationship isn't automatically "fixed" with make-up sex and that he needs some time, letting her know that she's still going to have to work on her personal issues from here on out.
    • Earlier, Bertie has to choose between attending an extremely exclusive dinner with Pastry Pete and the rest of the baking world elite or rushing home to Tuca, who's in the hospital having emergency surgery due to ignoring a very clear medical problem. She chooses the latter. While this would typically be a heartwarming moment of Bertie dropping everything to help her friend, it's instead deeply upsetting for Bertie, who's tired of helping Tuca deal with the consequences of her own actions. Her realization that Tuca lives in a chaotic, disgusting mess of an apartment is the last straw that tips them over into a vicious argument.
    • At the end of season 1, Pastry Pete has been outed for being a total creep and for manhandling several women. In season 2, it's revealed that he did a half-assed online "apology" and is back in business, having suffered no apparent long-term consequences for his actions.
    • "The Dance" features Tuca realizing her relationship with Kara isn't healthy, as Kara constantly pressures Tuca into changing herself to Kara's liking. With encouragment with Bertie and some self-reflection, Tuca finally speaks up, and Kara seems to consider her words and acknowledge Tuca's feelings. The conversation ends on a hopeful note. However, come the next episode, Kara has ignored Tuca for two days and continues to do so even when they are face-to-face—ending their relationship by ghosting Tuca. Sadly, one conversation does not guarantee that someone as selfish as Kara will change their ways.
    • In "The One Where Bertie Gets Eaten By a Snake", Bertie pitches some bug shaped cakes to Chef Garcia, who immediately and without ceremony shoots them down. Bertie worked harder on said cakes and believes they're the better idea, and that Garcia would have loved the idea if only she'd pitched it while inside of a snake. She calls Garcia back for a second pitch of the exact same idea, which she fumbles through embarrassingly, and finally gets up the nerve to communicate how much faith she has in her bug concept, to which very annoyed and unimpressed, telling her in essence that she didn't go with the pitch and it's not Bertie's job to figure out why.
  • Surreal Humor: For starters, even inanimate objects are anthropomorphized and/or have distinct personalities.
  • The Stinger: Each episode features one, usually a Brick Joke related to a minor character from earlier.
  • Straw Feminist: Downplayed with Women Taking Up Space, the feminist group Bertie joins, who are disjointed and unfocused, but not irrational. Their leader is well-intentioned, but doesn't teach other women about standing up to misogyny so much as drill them on unwritten laws of feminism which she expects them to already know (not giving into peer pressure, not saying sorry, etc.). The other members, who are either too assertive or not assertive enough, don't make much progress this way. They end up forming an angry mob outside of Pastry Pete's bakery after the discover that he harassed Bertie, showing that they can be effective when dealing on a specific, immediate issue.
  • Trash of the Titans: Tuca's apartment is a filthy mess of discarded food containers, furniture and decorations she's dug out of the garbage and various other bits of junk she refuses to throw out. The season 1 finale sees her taking a major step in maturity by cleaning her place up.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Becomes something of a running gag for Bertie as the series progresses. Over the course of the second season her job at Conde Nest is given increasingly less focus, to the point that the season finale has her lampshading this by commenting she "forgot to go to work for the past couple weeks again". Come season 3 she's seemingly left Conde Nest and become a baker full time under Winter Garcia...until The Stinger of Salad Days reveals she never actually quit her job at Conde Nest and her old boss Holland is still patiently waiting for her to come back from her "sabbatical"
  • Unusual Pets for Unusual People:
    • In one episode, Tuca gets a pet jaguar.
    • Draca is shown to have many, many pet turtles. Then she takes in Tuca's jaguar.
  • Visual Pun: When Bertie goes to confront the biker, Tuca tells her to watch out in case they have a butterfly knife ("The most dangerous, yet adorable type of knife!"). In a later scene, the same biker is seen carrying a shopping bag with a picture of an actual butterfly knife... With butterfly wings.
  • Voice Clip Song:
    • The theme song is Tuca and Bertie saying each other's names over and over to a beat.
    • The musical score in the first episode while Tuca and Bertie are chasing after a turtle uses samples of Tuca saying "Dirty turtle" and Bertie saying "Go!"
    • When Pastry Pete's Engineered Public Confession goes viral, one person turns it into a remix.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: After taking a look at the bulge in Tuca's side in "Yeast Week," Speckle gleefully excuses himself and goes into the hallway to retch.
  • Women Are Wiser: Averted. While plenty of male characters are depicted as being chauvinistic and none-too-bright, female characters are just as accident-prone and arrogant, including the two main characters. One of the running themes of the show is how toxic masculinity often go unpunished not only because of patriarchal societal values or other men who don't want to take responsibility for it but also women who don't recognize it for harassment when it happens or, when they do, aren't sure exactly how to defend themselves from it, if they don't enjoy it enough to permit it. Even active feminists, while fundamentally well-intentioned, are shown to be somewhat unfocused.
  • Written Sound Effect: Pops up all over the place.
  • Wunza Plot: One is a quiet songbird who may be too passive for her own good (and her ambitions). The other is a lively toucan whose histrionic public displays should have gotten her in trouble many years ago. Probably one of the first examples to be animated and to deal with this in a mundane fashion and a surreal setting.
  • You Mean "Xmas": Christmas is replaced with Molting Day, about a bird named St. Oriole who refused to migrate with his family, died, and became a ghost who distributes sweets to remind people to love each other. Other than that, it functions almost identically to Christmas: children sing songs like "Silent Night" with slightly tweaked lyrics, Santa Claus can be seen on a poster, and one woman is implied to not celebrate it because she is Jewish.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Tuca believes this of Bertie in "The Deli Guy." Bertie assures her that she's getting laid, just that her sex life is too formulaic.
    Tuca: Girl, you horny as shit! Speckle not puttin' out?
    Bertie: No, Speckle's puttin' in! Every Tuesday and Thursday, at 7:45 PM.
  • Zany Cartoon: Oh yes! While BoJack Horseman is a dramedy that happens to be animated, this show is a cartoon! Characters bounce around and move quite fluidly, inanimate objects come to life, and the world generally has many colorful quirky details, like the train being a giant snake.


Tuca & Bertie

Beware the Weretoucan!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / MenstrualMenace

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