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Western Animation / Wayside

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Wayside School (usually billed as just Wayside) is an Animated Adaptation of the novels from Louis Sachar, created by John Derevlany.

While a lot of the original setting and premise from the books is retained in the series (ie the 30 story school building, the students, and the cows), it also differs quite a bit from the original story. For instance, Todd is made a New Transfer Student to the school and stars as the main protagonist for the show with Mrs. Jewls already teaching at Wayside.

Originally premiering as an hour long Pilot Movie episode on Canada's Teletoon in 2005, it was later picked up for a full, 26-episode series by Nickelodeon in 2006; the show itself premiered the following year. Despite garnering relatively favorable reviews, the show was cancelled in 2008 and Nickelodeon eventually pulled reruns after its ending, while reruns of the show still air in Canada, but have moved to Teletoon's now-sister network, YTV. Every episode can now be seen on Youtube at Nelvana's Keep It Weird channel here.


Additionally, the Animated Adaptation contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Name Change: Sharie's name from the books was rewritten as "Shari" in the cartoon.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the books, Principal Kidswatter is quite mean and intimidating, to the point where all the students fear him (they don't call him Kidswatter for nothing). Here, he's goofier, more lighthearted, and much, much nicer.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Many of the characters suffer from this:
    • In the books, Todd was one of the happiest kids in the school, but in the show, he's often worried and depressed.
    • In the books, Mr. Kidswatter was really intimidating towards the students, but in the show, he's a harmless goofball. Though Kidswatter complaining about his job that he has to deal with kids every day, not knowing how the intercom works, and calling doors "goozacks" was kept in.
    • Myron is the biggest example of this: in the books, he was "the nicest, bravest, most normal person on the 30th floor" who would do anything to help others, while in the show, he's incredibly selfish and scatterbrained. He also pitches a fit when he loses potential power gaining in a way. This YouTube video even lampshades it. However, he usually learns his lesson and does the right thing in the end, and his selfishness could be considered endearing.
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    • Sammy was a one-shot character from the first book, a dead rat who could walk and talk, and was a complete Jerkass, trying to pass himself off as a student. The show removed all personality from him and made him a more literal dead rat.
  • Adapted Out: Several of the kids from the books, such as Joy, Benjamin, DeeDee and Allison, are nowhere to be seen in the show. A lot of the background characters have been theorized, but not confirmed, to be characters from the books.
  • Almighty Janitor: Louis is the sanest and most competent member of Wayside's faculty, which was kind of the case in the books as well.
  • Animation Bump: While the designs and linework are rougher than the actual show, the 2005 Pilot has smoother character animation, and utliizes CGI a lot more than the show.
    • Slightly inverted for the final twelve episodes of the series, when the animation style moved from traditional to flash tweening. Luckily, Mercury Filmworks (who worked on the first season as an animation service.) kept some of the bounciness and expressiveness from the initial episodes.
  • Balloon Belly: Maurecia after drinking all the water from the water fountain in Slo-Mo Mo, which later results in a Potty Emergency.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Much much more so than the books. While the Wayside School was simply an insanely tall skyscraper, in the series it looks like it was engineered by M. C. Escher. Concept Art Here
  • Butt-Monkey: Todd, to an extent.
  • Catchphrase: Dana's "Enough with the fun!!", usually right after her Signature Laugh. She'll sometimes replace 'fun' with something else. Maurecia's romantic greeting: "Hi Todd" and her main catchphrase: "Oh Todd", which she usually swoons while saying the line after Todd says or does something random, which mistakes his random acts as acts of affection for her or when she sees him
  • Character Exaggeration: The show took one tiny trait from each of the characters and exaggerated them to extremes. Such as Myron ran for class president in one chapter of the first book, in the show he can't go two minutes without bringing it up, Steven dressed as a goblin once for Halloween, now he dresses as an elf full time. The Mrs. Jewls thinking of students as monkeys was a one-shot joke in the first book, now it is used all the time.
  • Cloudcuckooland: The eponymous school.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Ms. Jewls, Principal Kidswatter, Myron. Basically, everyone except for Todd and maybe Louis.
  • Companion Cube: Sammy the dead rat, normally Ms. Mush's companion, all of the kids tend to like and respect him.
  • Composite Character: Many students qualify, Maurecia and Myron notably. The two take many elements from Joy and Jason, two characters who were in the books but were not in the show, to a point where it may have been more accurate if they just went with those names.
    • Rondi could qualify as the Frankenstein's monster of characters that weren't in the show, since not only does she have the elements seen in the version of Rondi from the books, but she share's D.J.'s trait of smiling most of the time, and Paul's trait of pulling Leslie's pigtails.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Not exactly "cursed", but Todd gets always sent home from school early with the pre-school bus because of his "bad behaviour", and he dislikes it to a high degree. The thing is, a normal kid would love to get sent home early from school. Though, this could slide into Blessed with Suck since "The Elevator" proves that he misses out on assignments when met with such a fate. This is also the reason he wasn't able to go on the "Aquarium Field Trip".
  • Cute Bruiser: Maurecia.
  • Ditzy Genius: Dana.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Maurecia towards Todd.
  • Drunk with Power: Myron in "He Is It".
  • Epic Fail: Myron is this personified. He can't even operate a light switch, which is the only thing that the class president, the thing that he is obsessed with becoming, is supposed to do.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Most of what Todd does that gets him sent to the kindergarten bus (he doesn’t even misbehave).
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Maurecia's pet hedgehog (who is actually named Fluffy). It's possible that his extreme resentment towards Todd might come from jealousy of having the most love and affection from his owner.
    • He's actually a porcupine.
  • Fat Idiot: Myron.
  • Funny Foreigner: Ms. Mush.
    "I will make millions of money!"
  • Genki Girl: Dana and Maurecia both.
  • A Gift for Themselves: In "Wayside Christmas", the students all participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange amongst each other. Every student receives a gift except Bebe, whose Secret Santa was Myron, who received a crown from Bebe and bought a cheering box for himself, forgetting to get a gift for her. After everyone calls him out on it, and mistakenly believing he is in Yet Another Christmas Carol that inspires him to change his ways, Myron gives the crown back to Bebe, deciding that she deserves it more than him.
  • G-Rated Drug: Mrs. Mush's mushroom surprise. The effects hit Todd much like a shot of LSD and cause him to become hopelessly smitten with Mrs. Jewls. A teacher, it seems, also took a hit— er, spoonful— and fell in love with a potted cactus. It's possible Mush may have unwittingly (we hope) used psychedelic mushrooms in the recipe.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Done twice in "Pull my Pigtail" When Maurecia greets Todd romantically, he covers himself with his arms begging her not to hit him, to which Maurecia replies with "Hit you?! When have I ever hit you?" Cue flashback montage of Maurecia hitting Todd. After the flashback montage ends there was a few seconds of silence before Maurecia hits Todd again. In "Daring Love" After Jenny jumps over Todd with her motorcycle, she tells a very concerned Maurecia that there's "No way I could've hit him", to which Maurecia then asks "Why anyone would hit Todd?" Cue flashback montage of Maurecia hitting Todd which was the same flashback montage used in "Pull my Pigtail". Todd then comes over to complain, and Maurecia hits him again.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Wayside School. The principal is mind-boggling stupid, most of the teachers exhibit bizarre ways of doing things, the sole worker in the cafeteria is a textbook Cordon Bleugh Chef, the list goes on and on... and it's hard to imagine how this school hasn't been shut down yet.
  • Informed Ability: An episode involving a dance-off with another school involved Todd and Maurecia creating a move that simply involved Maurecia punching Todd. This is treated as the hottest thing since sliced bread and even gets the rival team a really high score when they steal the move and use it during the dance-off.
  • In Name Only: Takes a 'lot' of liberties for an adaptation.
  • Irony: In the books, Louis shaving off his mustache was considered (by the kids) to be one of the worst things that ever happened in the entire series. In the show he doesn't have a mustache to begin with.
  • Insistent Terminology: Kidswatter has two of these: "Goozacks" and "344 South Fairview" which most people know as doors and Todd
  • It's All About Me: Myron suffers from this.
  • Jerkass: Much of the characters in general, from Mrs. Jewls to Myron, even Dana for not realizing that rules can change.
  • Lawful Stupid: Miss Jewls on a few occasions, most notably at the end of "Age Of Aquarium".
  • Lighter and Softer: In the original books, Mrs. Gorf after being turned into a (sentient) apple was eaten by Louis. In the show, her fate after being transformed into an apple is left ambiguous.
    • Also, darker and creepier elements from the books like the inside of Ms. Zarves' classroom, the Men in Black, and the substitute teachers make no appearances. It's possible they could have been saved for future seasons, but the show was cancelled before any more could be made. In fact, a list of unmaterialized Season 3 episodes do mention Mr. Gorf.
  • Loving Bully: Maurecia towards Todd.
  • Magic Skirt: Maurecia.
  • Manchild: Mrs. Jewls, who borders on this and Cloud Cuckoolander. She's been known to play pinball in class.
    • Principal Kidswatter is more childlike than most of the actual kids.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Soo...does Todd secretly like Maurecia or is he scared of her?
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever Todd did to get him kicked out of his old school.
    • The pilot says he got kicked out because his plan to help kindergarteners reach their toys backfired when they were shredded out the window.
  • Obsessed with Perfect Attendance: In "Imperfect Attendance", Dana reveals that she has attended school one thousand four hundred and forty-seven days in a row and has never missed a day in her life, not even when she was in preschool or "pre-preschool." The episode revolves around her trying to make it to class on time and beat the Wayside Perfect Attendance Record while trying to help out her friends along the way.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ms. Jewls' expression and the class as a whole when they finally realise that Todd was right about their classroom actually being a trash compactor.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The whole school is like a fun house deathtrap. The doors are improperly placed, the most of the buttons and levers turn on something else and one Todd's classrooms is a trash compactor that turns on whenever the P.A system is used.
  • Once an Episode: Todd being sent home on the preschool bus instead of the regular bus - at first. They stopped making it an Every Episode Ending after the first few episodes, only bringing it back a few times when it was plot-relevant, mostly when Todd gets in trouble and Ms. Jewls must punish him.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, as it's a Three Eric Rule, no more and no less. Lampshaded and lampooned every way possible.
  • Only Sane Man: Todd, and it's invoked; he was sent to the school from another that was more normal. Also, he gets constantly punished by Ms. Jewls despite being the one who displays the best behavior of all the classmates.
  • Potty Emergency: In "The Elevator", Mr. Kidswatter rushes into the titular elevator thinking it's a bathroom, and he ends up getting stuck inside with Todd.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: While the show isn't a complete adaptation of Louis Sachar's books, it is a relatively impressive show in its own right, building off the surrealness of the original books
  • Race Lift: In the show, Principal Kidswatter, Myron, Eric Ovens, and Bebe are black, while in the books' illustrations, they were white.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Todd is the Blue Oni to everyone's Red Oni (although Dana and Louis can sometimes be blue as well).
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Todd and Maurecia.
  • Ship Tease: Todd/Maurecia and Dana/Myron
  • Shipper on Deck: Dana in the pilot movie, Pull My Pigtail, and Todd Falls in Love.
  • Shout-Out: Papa Jewls' arms are shaped similarly to Popeye's.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Maurecia, when she tries to get out of the "stupid smart class". The class was run by Miss Mush, who is Too Dumb to Fool.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Maurecia.
  • Tsundere: Maurecia is Type B towards Todd.
  • Tuneless Song of Madness: Todd does this while suffering Sanity Slippage from being the kindergartners' king; by the time Myron finds him, he's singing "Patty Cake" in a Troubled Fetal Position.
  • Wrong Line of Work: Mr. Kidswatter utterly fails as a principal and has been shown to be much better in virtually every line of work he does outside of his actual job. The only reason he's still principal at all is that he's the only one that knows how to keep the poorly constructed building from falling over.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The characters in the show look next to nothing like their illustrations in the books.
    • However, it should be noted that the books' illustrations have changed many times over the years, so there is no definitive/canon version of the characters that the show is bound to.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair:
    • Maurecia, who's changed from originally a redhead to this.
    • Also, admittedly Louis.
    • Mrs. Jewls has pink hair.
    • Dana's is purple.
    • Mr. Kidswatter's is light purple (On the lavender side)


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Wayside School


Wayside - Miss Fortune

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