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Western Animation / WordGirl

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WordGirl and her sidekick, Captain Huggyface

"From the planet Lexicon; watch out, villains, HERE SHE COMES!"

WordGirl is an animated television show on PBS. The title character is a superhero who fights crime with her powers of literacy as well as her powers as a Flying Brick. The show is an Affectionate Parody of the superhero genre, and uses writers from sketch comedy shows like Saturday Night Live, plus actors known for ad-libbing ability, in hopes of making a show as entertaining for adults as it is educational for kids.

WordGirl uses her great vocabulary to fend off villains such as The Butcher, Dr. Two Brains, Granny May, Tobey, and Chuck The Evil Sandwich Making Guy. She never reveals her alter-ego to anyone, including her own family. She and Huggy use their crashed spaceship as a secret hideout.

The series ended with the two-part episode "Rhyme and Reason", which was released online on August 7, 2015. A Comic-Book Adaptation was published by KaBOOM! Comics.


The show provides examples of:

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    Tropes A-L 
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Prof. Boxleitner. It's what changed him into Dr. Two-Brains!
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Many characters have mistaken Captain HuggyFace's name for something like "Captain Hoozywinks" or "Colonel HairyFace".
    • The Whammer could never get Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy's name right.
  • Adorkable: Tobey fits the description perfectly. So does Becky's dad.
  • Adults Are Useless: It's a kids' show. Surprised? Averted, though, with some of the villains. Becky's parents also seem to be getting smarter and more useful as both have shown off the ability to outwit villains when needed.
    • Becky's Grandpa Bampy can defeat a giant robot with just a screwdriver!
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Inverted, Tobey's Mecha-Mooks occasionally refuse to obey him, sometimes even turning against him. Notable in particular with his WordBot in the episode by the same name, which he programmed to be "devoted" (one of the words of the day) to him, only for it to turn against him when he kept paying too much attention to WordGirl and decide to be devoted to destruction instead.
  • Alien Among Us: Though her intentions are good!
  • All Girls Like Ponies: WordGirl's favorite show is The Pretty Princess and Magic Pony Power Hour, she has a collection of porcelain unicorns, and even a unicorn poster on her bedroom wall.
    • Violet, as well, is a fan of Pretty Princess and is fond of pegasi.
    • Leslie also likes this show.
    • Lady Redundant Woman can be seen watching this at her apartment.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Becky Botsford, Bampy Botsford, Beatrice Bixby, Seymour Smooth, Hal Hardbargain, and Shelley Smalls are all examples of this.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The two main romances of the show both fit: Tobey crushes on WordGirl, who doesn't like him, while she crushes on Scoops, who doesn't seem to notice.
  • All Your Powers Combined: When Victoria Best steals most of the other villains' powers in "Don't Mess With The Best".
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Violet Heaslip, she has tenuous grasp on reality around her.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Justified for WordGirl, since that's what the creator of the show was really shooting for. Appropriately enough, her adoptive family are a different shade of ambiguous brown.
  • And Call Him "George"!: Eileen's enthusiastic tea party and dressing-up of Captain Huggyface.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: TJ
  • Art Initiates Life: Lady Redundant Woman can bring pictures to life.
  • A Simple Plan: In fact, one of the show's episodes is titled "A Simple Plan."
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Eileen in pretty much all of her episodes (first seen in "The Birthday Girl").
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: WordGirl's "Emergency Plans".
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Violet can be very easily distracted.
  • Baby Morph Episode: "Big Baby" has Mr. Big accidentally transforming himself into a baby using his new invention, forcing Leslie to watch over him.
  • Badass Mustache: Steve McClean in "The Ballad of Steve McClean" had a mustache so impressive that various other characters tried to be as snazzy as him with fake mustaches of their own. It even got to the point where Dr. Two-Brains, in an attempt to reclaim his title as number one villain, redubbed himself as Dr. Cool-Brains and had two mustaches, with one attached to his exposed brain.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: No, you're reading this right. In WordGirl and Bobbleboy TJ's success in his WordGirl bobblehead dolls business distract our hero so much, that she gets smashed to the ground by Chuck's Crusher!! Luckily she gets better, but the villain featured for the rest of the episode was Dr. Two-Brains and NOT Chuck!
  • Banana Peel: Captain Huggyface uses one to defeat The Whammer in "Crime in the Key of V."
  • Basement-Dweller: This is Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy's secret villain lair.
    • He tried to move into his own lair once, but got too homesick and ended up moving back.
  • Being Good Sucks: Becky frequently misses fun events in her life because of her crime fighting. It even leads to to wish that WordGirl didn't exist in "A World Without WordGirl".
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Becky and Tobey's "rivalry".
    • Though it is just one sided.
  • Berserk Button: Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy has been shown to be extremely offended by negative comments about sandwiches. The best example of this is in the episode, "Chuck The Nice Pencil-Selling Guy".
    • Leslie gets enraged when someone gets the facts of The Pretty Princess and Magic Pony Power Hour wrong.
    • Lady Redundant Woman will make anyone who messes with her copy machine pay. When Royal Dandy made the mistake of doing this, she erased him from existence!
    • Ms. Question hates the phrase "No questions asked."
    • WordGirl gets enraged every time someone breaks her favorite unicorn, Angel Face.
      • Or anything interrupts her watching PPMPPH.
    • Eileen wants things her way, if you don't let her, you will be sorry.
    • Even some of Tobey's robots are seen to go berserk because of things other characters say or do.
  • Big Red Button: In "Mecha Mouse", Two-Brains is defeated by one of the self-destruct variety. It's made frustrating by the fact that it was on well-designed power armor. Also, the button was on the exterior, which Two-Brains couldn't touch anyway.
    • Then there's the "Holy Cow! Don't Press This Button!" button.
    • And the "Merge With Copier" button.
  • Big Eater: Captain Huggyface/Bob, who nullifies the Butcher's meat attacks by eating them. He sometimes takes his eating to the Extreme Omnivore level.
    • A recent episode has the good Captain eating "an entire dimension's worth" of meat.
  • Big Word Shout:
  • Bilingual Bonus: In "The Fill-In", the fictional ancient city Santa Palabra literally means "Saint Word" in English.
  • Big "NO!": Employed quite a few times in the series.
  • Black Comedy:
    Mayor: "Whoa - a dog from the old days! That dog is probably dead now." — "Two Brains Quartet"
  • Blatant Lies: Becky's many excuses whenever she must change into her superhero identity.
  • Book-Ends: The final scene of "Rhyme and Reason" has WordGirl going up against the original five villains from the shorts.note 
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens VERY often, with characters talking to/arguing with the narrator. In "Lunch Lady Chuck", Chuck reaches up out of frame to give the narrator a sandwich.
  • Buffy Speak: Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy. The name speaks for itself.
    • Not to mention his brother, Brent the Handsome, Successful, Everybody Loves Him Sandwich-Making Guy. Yes that's his full name.
  • Bumbling Dad: Becky's dad...but her mom's just as bad.
  • The Butcher: The name of one of the main villains. Lampshaded when "The Baker" and "The Candlestick Maker" are added to the mix.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Amazing Rope Guy.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Used by the Butcher and occasionally Tobey, and Lampshaded by WordGirl in "Book Ends".
    • WordGirl herself frequently does this as well. "Monkey Throw!"
  • Captain Obvious: Most of the "predictions" made by Seymour Orlando Smooth's obelisk in the episode "Fortune Crookie" are just obvious facts that were inevitably going to happen anyway, such as saying the school cafeteria will serve chocolate milk when they always served chocolate milk, and saying that tomorrow will be Tuesday, even though the day after Monday is always Tuesday.
  • Cardboard Prison: Being caught and sent to jail never seems to get rid of the villains. Somewhat justified by the fact that the Warden is one of the most staggeringly incompetent characters on a show absolutely stuffed with incompetent characters.
  • Cartoon Cheese: Thanks to Two-Brains' cheese addiction, there are more examples of this in the show than you can count.
  • Catchphrase: "Worrrd UP!"
    • Warden Chalmers has one too: "...I'll eat my hat!" Made funny by the fact that he actually WILL eat his hat, and seems to enjoy the taste. He actually started having them made out of meat after his first one didn't taste so good.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Parody: "Who Wants Candy?"
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Exaggerated in the episode "Two Brains' Quartet." Dr. Two Brains doesn't even try to win legitimately despite multiple protests from his henchmen that they could probably win and cheating is likely to backfire. They end up disqualified, but the henchmen plead to perform anyway, and their song is amazing — the mayor outright states that they probably would have won if they hadn't already been disqualified for cheating.
  • Chest Insignia: The star on WordGirl's superhero outfit.
  • Chronic Villainy: "Tobey Goes Good".
  • City of Adventure
  • Clark Kenting: Occasionally lampshaded.
    • In "WordGirl Makes a Mistake," Becky tells both Mr. Botsford and T.J. her origin story. They don't believe her.
      • More than "occasionally" lampshaded. By Jove, You've Wrecked My Robot!; Truth, Revision and the Lexicon Way (newspaper incident), Kid Math...
  • Clear My Name: WordGirl has had to do this in multiple episodes, notably in "The Wrong Side Of The Law".
  • Cliffhanger: The two part stories "The Wrong Side of the Law, "WordGirl Makes a Mistake" and "A Better Mousetrap." It was one of the featured words in the second half of "A Better Mousetrap," with WordGirl providing the definition.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: At the end of part 1 of "WordGirl Makes a Mistake," Mr. Big uses the Lexinite to disable WordGirl by clipping a collar around her neck with a star-shaped chunk of it on. No wait, come part 2 a few minutes later, she's actually been put in a Lexinite cage instead.
  • Clip Show: "A Better Mousetrap." The first half featured WordGirl reminiscing with Scoops about the many times that she's defeated Dr. Two Brains. At the end of the first half, Two Brains took over the show, then in the second half he showed a series of clips designed to humiliate WordGirl.
  • Cloning Blues: In "The Young and the Meatless", one of Lady Redundant Woman's copies falls in love with and starts dating The Butcher, while trying to avoid disappearing.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Violet Heaslip.
  • Comfort Food: Cheese for Dr. Two Brains - most notably in "The Ballad of Steve McClean" and "A Game Of Cat And Mouse".
  • Continuity Cavalcade: "Showdown at the Super Secret Spaceship Hideout". Dr. Two-Brains discovers the room where WordGirl keeps mementos of all of her past adventures, including weapons from all of the other villains and a display that has all of the different ray guns Two-Brains has used in the show. The episode even gives a nod to the fact that Dr. Two-Brains once penned the book Superheroes and You: A Practical Guide.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Very, very often with the themed villains. One episode's plot is even based around lampshading this trope.
  • Cool Old Guy: Bampy, Becky's grandfather, who is the only non-main character to know her secret identity, and can jump and backflip like nobody's business. He took down a giant robot with just a screwdriver! Twice!
  • Cool Old Lady: Is there any argument that Granny May's robotic, jet-propelled, air-conditioned supersuit is not cool?
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Big, more or less
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot:
    • "Have You Seen The Remote?" when it turns out Tobey had a tracking device all along.
    • "Line Lessons With Lady Redundant Woman" when Lady Redundant Woman is told everyone already knows what it's like to be treated rudely.
    • "WordGirl Makes A Mistake: Part 2" both when the handy-man had a dictionary and when it turns out Mr. Big already got his casserole dish back.
    • "Mr. Big's Mini-Golf" when Mr. Big finds out that Guy Rich wasn't really a villain.
    • "Cleanup In Aisle Eleven" when Lady Redundant Woman realizes the Grocery Store Manager just wanted money for the food she was taking.
    • "A Sticky Situation", when Becky realizes that her mom didn't care about the figurine she broke.
  • Crazy-Prepared: WordGirl.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-Universe: Chuck the Evil Sandwich Making Guy, when he decides to reinvent himself as "The Handsome Panther". It quickly becomes clear that he knows pretty much nothing about "real" panthers, such as the fact that they're nocturnal.
  • Cute Kitten: Little Mittens in "Meat with a Side of Cute", and Violet's pet cat. Possibly even Bootsy The Cat in "Mousezilla".
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Lampshaded in "When Life Gives You Potatoes...", when Dr. Two-Brains' henchmen ask him why he doesn't just use the gold he steals to buy things, instead of turning it into potato salad and then into cheese. Dr. Two-Brains instantly rejects this idea because it doesn't fit his cheese theme.
    • The Butcher could've been rich if he just sold the meat at an affordable price. Chuck tries to make a legit life but only to return a life of crime over a small slight.
  • Darker and Edgier: Subverted in "Don't Mess with the Best." Dr. Two-Brains tells Victoria Best that if she 'really' wants to get rid of WordGirl and prove she's the best villain, she should push that red button on the back of his cheese ray. Turns out it just sprays Victoria in the face with gunk, causing her to drop it, and allowing Dr. Two-Brains to pick it back up.
  • Dating Catwoman: Tobey rather obviously has a thing for WordGirl, though she continually rebuffs him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Leslie
  • Deathbringer the Adorable: Lil' Mittens, originally named "Meat Hook".
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Lady Redundant Woman is a villainess whose superpower is making copies of herself, and she first sends them out to steal a sofa, a couch, and a futon. She also speaks in this manner (taunting WordGirl: "You're confused...perplexed...").
    • Warden Chalmers talks like this sometimes.
    Warden Chalmers: Today is a historic day in history, for on this historic day, history will show that we have indeed made history.
    • In fact, many of the characters speak redundantly as a means for the show to indirectly teach kids synonyms.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Miss Power in "The Rise of Miss Power."
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Basically all of Lady Redundant Woman's attacks.
  • Double Entendre:
    WordGirl: "Hold it right there,"
    • In Tobey's very first episode, (back when the series was still comprised of shorts,) we got this fun little exchange:
      Becky: "You're awfully mischievous."
      Tobey: "Mischievous! Are you trying to impress me with your vocabulary?"
      Becky: "I'm not trying to impress anyone."
      Tobey: "Why didn't you just say I'm a naughty boy, hmm?"
    • In the original shorts, Reginald referred to The Butcher as "smelly wiener man", and the Grocery Store Manager told him he'd have to "leave [his] personal meat at home".
  • Do Wrong, Right: The villains have their own Villain Code rulebook and get angry when one of their own breaks said rules.
  • Dramatic Irony: In "The Wrong Side of the Law, Pt. 1," it is made obvious to the viewer immediately that the Birthday Girl is the criminal, but nobody else can figure it out. Even WordGirl doesn't get the answer right away, even though to her it should be obvious.
  • Drunk with Power: As her name suggests - Miss Power. She nearly corrupts WordGirl as well.
    • Leslie has a brief moment of this in "Leslie Makes It Big".
  • Edutainment Show: The main purpose of the show, though it is written and acted cleverly enough to attract a large Periphery Demographic.
  • Einstein Hair: Two-Brains, of course.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Eileen
  • Embarrassing First Name: Possibly an issue for Mr. Big whose real name is revealed to be Shelley Smalls in "Truth, Revision, and the Lexiconian Way".
  • Emotion Eater: This is the secret to Miss Power's strength. As long as there was people in the area who are feeling upset and uncertain, she is unbeatable. She is really good at taunting people to make them feel this way. When WordGirl finds the strength and confidence to stand up to her and ignore her taunting, Miss Power is forced to retreat.
  • Empathic Environment: In "Rhyme and Reason", immediately before Violet confronts Becky about her secret identity as WordGirl and Reason decides to end his partnership with Rhyme, it starts to rain outside to foreshadow the sadness of the situation.
  • Enemy Mine: WordGirl joins forces with Dr. Two-Brains in the episodes "Mouse Army" and "Dr. Three-Brains"
    • In "The Rise of Miss Power", all of the show's villains team-up against Miss Power and help WordGirl defeat her.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Mr. Big in "Mr. Big's Big Plan".
  • Episode Title Card: Every single one of them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Chuck asked WordGirl if she's allergic to peanut butter before shooting her with it, The Butcher tried to be considerate of readers in the library, among other examples.
    • Multiple times the villains have rejected each others' ideas for a crime or for how to commit the crime because they think their way of doing things is better.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: There are quite a few blonde characters.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Captain Huggyface, General Smoochington, and even Colonel Gigglecheeks.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Most of the villains are this way.
  • Evil Laugh: Pretty much all of the show's villains have their own.
  • Evil Minions: Two Brains' henchmen and also Leslie.
  • Evil Genius: Tobey and Victoria Best, not to mention Dr. Two Brains.
  • Evil Redhead: Eileen AKA the Birthday girl
  • Evil Tastes Good
    Dr. Two-Brains: (munching on his own cheese ball) I may be bad, but I sure taste good.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Chuck the Evil Sandwich Making Guy, The Butcher, and Dr. Two Brains are a sandwich chef, a butcher, and a guy with two brains, literally.
    • Big Left Hand Guy is a (minor) villain who's a guy with... a big left hand. Though also has the power to summon instant taxis (with his left hand.)
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: WorldGirl does this to herself at one point. As she's lecturing the Learnerer about why his Verbal Tic of adding suffixes unnecessarily to words is annoying, it suddenly occurs to her that he said that he had been learning her moves!
    • From 'By Jove You've Wrecked My Robot!': "Well, Bob, realize means to figure something out, to understand something. Like how Tobey realizing all those things made him think I'm Wordgirl." (Screen pans to the right, showing a grinning Tobey) "And how I just realized that I probably shouldn't have defined that word."
  • Extracurricular Enthusiast: Victoria Best is a negative example. She's a student forced by her parents to be "the best" at every activity. She's genuinely good at all of them, and flaunts her overachieving, but is a jerk and a Sore Loser.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Dr. Two-Brains was actually the Q to WordGirl's James Bond before his Freak Lab Accident, in the serial two-minute shorts.
  • Face Palm: Dr. Two Brains, WordGirl, and other characters do this from time to time.
    • In one of the episodes of "May I Have a Word?," Phil's prize for winning the initial game is a life-size Beau Handsome cut-out, which he says he doesn't want. When he learns that his prize for winning the bonus round is a larger-than-life Beau Handsome cut-out, he facepalms.
  • Fan Boy: Glen
  • Female Monster Surprise: The Energy Monster is female and is really named Maria.
  • Flanderization: WordGirl's arrogance seems to be at a premium in season 3.
  • Flying Brick
  • Forgot About His Powers: Even WordGirl is not immune to this occasionally.
    • We also see the villains in jail frequently, yet nothing is ever done to stop them from using their superpowers except in "The Return Of The Reprise Of Lady Redundant Woman". It's as if they don't have powers while in jail.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Implied in "Vocab Bee," then subverted in "Tobey's Tricks and Treats"
  • Formally Named Pet: That's Captain Huggyface, to you!
    • Also Granny May's cat "Colonel Mustard", and the other two monkeys in the show - General Smoochington and Colonel Gigglecheecks.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: All human characters - and even the monkey - have four fingers.
  • Freak Lab Accident: Dr. Two-Brains' origin.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: "Dr. WordGirl-Brains" has this happen WordGirl and Dr. Two Brains. It's mixed up a bit by the fact that the mouse brain isn't affected by the mind-swap, meaning that WordGirl in Two-Brains' body becomes an evil cheese-seeker while Two-Brains in WordGirl's body doesn't feel like it anymore and takes on her heroics in the interim.
  • Free-Range Children: Despite Becky's parents showing protective tendencies, she and all her other classmates frequently get to go anywhere and everywhere in the city without an adult around. Even at school or other adult-supervised events, Becky always manages to sneak away without too much trouble. On a few occasions, Becky has even been kept somewhere overnight or very late into the night, and her parents don't seem worried in the slightest.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In one of the original shorts wherein Butcher is attempting to rob the grocery store, you can see the sign above the aisle behind him indicates said aisle has chainsaws, crowbars and zombie-repellent.
  • Friendly Enemy: The Butcher, Dr. Two Brains, and Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy are frequently handled this way, though many of the other villains have their moments — The Butcher even Lampshades it in "Meat My Dad", commenting that except for fighting, he and WordGirl get along pretty well.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: Meant to be a remedy for Becky's hiccups in "Word (Hicc)Up!".
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Tobey. Not much else to say, really.
  • Genius Bruiser: Word Girl
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    Brent: "...and we didn't even have to tie you up."
    Reginald: "Well, you could if you wanted to."
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Victoria and her parents have these several times in the episode "Victoria Best"
  • Gollum Made Me Do It: Also Dr. Two-Brains.
    Dr. Two-Brain's Henchman: "Stop running, stop!"
    Dr. Two-Brains: "I can't help it! Mouse brain makes me run!"
    — "When Life Gives You Potatoes..."
    • The episode where WordGirl and Two-Brains swap minds has the mouse brain do this to WordGirl, while Two-Brains acts more heroically in her body.
  • The Good Captain: Huggyface, to be precise.
  • Grand Finale: "Rhyme and Reason."
  • Granola Girl: Violet, to some degree.
  • G-Rated Drug: Most prominently, Two Brains' apparent cheese addiction. He seems to go through serious withdrawal in "A Simple Plan".
  • Green Aesop: In "Earth Day Girl", especially during the "Cleanup Montage", which is so campy and over-the-top that it may actually be a Stealth Parody.
  • Group Hug: In the episode "Granny's Book Club" all the villains hug Granny May, one even exclaiming "Hugsies!"
  • Girlish Pigtails: Victoria Best
    • Also Violet and Becky, when they were very young.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Scoop's grandpa. He always has the same frown in all of his appearances.
  • Hair Reboot: Seen in "Becky's Birthday."
  • Happily Adopted: While being the only member of her family that seems to remember that she's adopted, Becky shows no inclination to find her birth parents. It's also extremely easy for the viewers to forget she's adopted (aside from the opening theme singing she's "from the planet Lexicon") since it's almost never mentioned and she's very close to her family.
  • Happily Married: The Botsfords are really the only example of this one the show, but they're a perfect example of it. They contrast with all the other seemingly single parents on the show (The Butcher's father, Great Granny May, supposedly Granny May herself since she has grandchildren, Chuck and Brent's mother, Mrs. Heaslip, Clair MacCallister, possibly Eileen's mom is a single parent as a dad has never been mentioned, etc.). Even the two other married couples, the Mings and the Bests, aren't shown having any measurable degree of chemistry between them.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: "Word (Hicc)Up!," with Mr. Botsford being the one to come up with all the crazy cures. Amusingly, it's one of the villains (Chuck the Evil-Sandwich-Making Guy) who comes up with the solution by telling her to simply hold her breath... only for Mr. Botsford to ruin it by scaring her into starting to hiccup again.
  • High-Class Glass: Reginald, the jeweler. Count Cloudy in "The Pretty Princess and Magic Pony Power Hour" also.
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection: In "Tobey Or Consequences", Tobey makes a holographic projection of himself to trick the babysitter, but it always seems to fizz out a little bit when she isn't looking.
  • Hope Spot: In "Rhyme and Reason", Violet tells Becky that she is not mad at her for not telling her she's WordGirl, much to the latter's relief. That is until Violet announced that she has decided to end their friendship.
  • House Husband: Mr. Botsford cooks, cleans, sews, and does most of the shopping.
  • Human Aliens: All the way.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: How WordGirl destroys Mr. Big's Lexonite machine at the end of "WordGirl makes a Mistake."
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Leslie to Mr. Big.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Lampshaded in "Earth Day Girl."
    Birthday Girl: The Earth is trying to steal my birthday! It's giant, green, and spoiled!
    Narrator: Hmmm... you could be describing yourself, Birthday Girl.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: In the rare case where the characters are fully aware of what they're eating and do so purposely, Dr. Two Brains will chew through walls to break out of jail and commit crimes, and Lady Redundant Woman ate paper in "I Think I'm A Clone Now" in order to clone WordGirl and attempt to clone Captain Huggyface.
    • In "Chuck With A Sidekick Of Brent", CHF eats a mud-cake that TJ made before he knew what it was.
    • Beans A La Botsford
  • Idiosyncrazy: The various villains with permanent gimmicks.
    • Discussed in "The Young and the Meatless". Lady Redundant Woman and The Butcher keep trying to steal the same things because they are both meat and matching or redundant sets.
  • Impact Silhouette: Used a few times when the larger villains, especially The Whammer or Nocan, enters a building to steal something. Sometimes it's combined with a There Was a Door.
  • Incest Subtext: Becky/WordGirl and TJ. Averted a bit, because technically she's adopted. She still finds it gross, though. And, to be fair, TJ has no idea that WordGirl is his sister.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: One of the newsmen has the exact same face as another random townsperson (who wears an orange shirt), but there's no indication that they're the same character. Stranger still, both of them have a striking resemblance to Dave, the manager of the copy shop where Beatrice Bixby works.
  • Inkblot Test: Used in "Mobot Knows Best" as a joke rather than to make a statement about any of the characters. Becky's art project appears to be a Rorschach test that bears considerable resemblance to The Butcher.
  • In-Series Nickname: Todd "Scoops" Ming.
  • Insult Backfire:
    WordGirl: You fiend!
    Mr. Big: Yes, well when you've got it, you've got it.
    —"Mr. Big"
  • Interactive Narrator: Often Lamp Shaded or played with. In "Have Snob, Will Travel," WordGirl tries directly asking the narrator where the Butcher went, since after all, she knows that he knows. The narrator refuses because, after all, there are formal (one of the featured words) rules that they're supposed to follow regarding this sort of thing. WordGirl manages to get the one-up on him anyway.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Steven Boxleitner and WordGirl, at the beginning of the series.
    • Possibly Exposition Guy and Eileen in "The Birthday Girl's Monstrous Gift".
  • Interspecies Romance: Whichever shipping you may prefer, any character with WordGirl is this. Even with the most-canon shipping, WordGirl and Scoops, she's still an alien, which might make things slightly... odd, if there's any signs of a serious relationship.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: In "You Can't Crush City Hall," Chuck shouts at WordGirl from his giant sandwich press and then "signs off." He then starts singing and dancing to himself, calling himself "Chucky-boo" and "Mr. Handsome," until WordGirl points out that he left the PA on.
  • Jerkass:
    • The new assistant librarian. He's more obsessed with fining late books.
    • Dr. Two-Brains' ex-number one fan Glen Furlblam. After failing to impress his idol, now he wants to outdo him.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: Bob does this in the episode "Becky's Birthday", and The Butcher does it in "Granny's Book Club".
  • Kid Heroine: Obviously.
    • Deconstructed; see Being Good Sucks above. It's almost lucky that the only time something happens while Becky is at school is when the scheme itself is at the school.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Violet
  • "King Kong" Climb: In "The Birthday Girl", the roles are reversed as the Birthday Girl, in her giant green form, climbs a tower with Bob the monkey in her hand. A witness lampshades this, asking if it should be the monkey holding the girl.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Miss Power. When she is introduced, the action is a little more prominent and she actually tries to kill a few characters.
  • Kryptonite Factor: In "WordGirl Makes a Mistake":
    Mr. Big: I don't get it, Leslie. WordGirl has always dominated me in the past, both in her battle skills as well as her flawless way with words. Something... mmm... fishy is going on around here.
    Leslie: It's the meteorite, sir. It's from her home planet— Lexicon. Whenever a superhero comes into contact with a meteorite from their home planet, it takes away their superpowers. Haven't you ever read a comic book, sir?
  • Lampshade Hanging: The show loves to do this.
  • Large Ham: The Whammer. Wham!
    • Large Ham? No! SMALL HAM! Nocaaaaaaaaan!
    • The Butcher, as well.
    The Butcher: Sausage CYCLOOOOOOOOOOOONE!!
    WordGirl: Change. It. BAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The episode Two-Brains Forgets, used with Master of Delusion.
  • Laughably Evil: All the villains on the show.
    • Most notably, Amazing Rope Guy, who even the other villains think is lame.
    • This is averted with Miss Power.
  • L33t L1ng0: In "Two Brains Highway," the security code for the alarm on the rare cheese exhibit at the museum is 1337.
  • Left the Background Music On : Whenever The Butcher and Dupey interact, romantic music plays. Everyone wonders where it is coming from, then a guy apologizes and turns off his boombox.
  • Leitmotif: Dr. Two Brains organ fugue, or Victoria Best's harpsichord ditty.
    • In fact, many of the characters/villains have their own theme music.
    • Not to mention the word-defining music and the melodramatic sadness music, just to name a few...
  • Light Is Not Good: Miss Power's outfit looks similar to that of DC Comics' Power Girl but in appearance only.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded with both Dr. Two Brains and Becky’s wardrobes.
  • Living Prop: A large number of the townspeople and pretty much all of Becky's classmates who aren't Violet, Tobey, Scoops, Victoria, or Eileen.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: They keep adding new villains every season to keep the show fresh. The shorts originally had five villains, as of Season 4 the show has about two dozen repeat offenders.
  • Loony Fan: A bit of a spin with Glen, who emulates (until he decides to replace) his hero, Dr. Two Brains... who happens to be a villain.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Tobey's threats to destroy the city are usually just out of an attempt to battle (and flirt with) WordGirl.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Inverted, as Tobey is infatuated with WordGirl but usually indifferent toward Becky.
    • TJ as well.
  • Loss of Identity: Steven Boxleitner is this when his mind merges with that of a demonic lab mouse and he becomes the evil Doctor Two-Brains.
    • And played straight with TJ.
    Tropes M-Y 
  • Made-for-TV Movie: "The Rise of Miss Power," which premiered on February 20, 2012.
  • Mad Scientist: Again, Dr. Two Brains.
  • Malaproper: Arguably The Butcher's most notable feature after the meat-based attacks; he butchers words.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Mr. Big to Chuck in "Bongo Rock".
  • Master of Delusion: See Laser-Guided Amnesia, above.
  • Meadow Run: The Butcher and Dupey (a duplicate of Lady Redundant Woman) in "The Young and the Meatless".
  • Medium Awareness: The offscreen narrator often converses with the characters, although it's possible that the narrator is a character (i.e. in their universe an omniscient voice always narrates); at one point, however, Becky gives a thumbs up and winks at the camera. One of her friends then asks her who she's winking at.
  • Memetic Mutation: In-Universe: In "Yes Monkey" Mr. Big calls Captain Huggyface a 'chip monk' which causes WordGirl to later refer to him as a 'chip monkey'.
  • Me's a Crowd: Lady Redundant Woman
  • Meganekko: Leslie
  • Mentor Ship: Could be loosely implied for the WordGirl/Dr. Two Brains ship, due to him teaching WordGirl everything she knows as a hero back when he was Prof. Boxleitner.
  • Mind Control: Mr. Big's primary shtick is using mind control in his evil plans. It's his company's mission statement, actually: "We strive to constantly use mind control."
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Anyone under the influence of either Mr. Big's mind control or Victoria Best's hypnotic recorder will show these (glowing green spiral eyes for the former, purple circles for the latter).
  • Mind-Control Music: One of Victoria Best's many talents is her recorder-playing skills. She can play her recorder so well that anyone who hears it falls into a trance.
  • The Minnesota Fats: Steve McClean.
  • Misleading Package Size: In one episode, Becky receives a Pretty Princess and Magic Pony Power Hour toy in the mail. The toy itself is pretty small, but it comes in a package bigger than even Becky herself.
  • Momma's Boy: Tobey and Chuck.
  • Mood Dissonance: Among other examples, in "The Young And The Meatless" the viewers go from being amused to being sad to being amused again in the ending. Even The Butcher himself temporarily stops being distraught just so he can find out what a word means.
  • The Movie: "The Rise of Miss Power" is a special four-part episode that's marketed as a movie.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: WordGirl is adopted into a fairly normal human family with no superpowers whatsoever.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Tobey's artistically-gifted robot, as well as his minor-do-gooding robot in "Tobey Goes Good".
    • WordGirl uses her super-speed to clean her room in "Super-Grounded".
  • My God, What Have I Done? : Becky has this moment when she wished that WordGirl would never exist, not knowing that the birthday cake was enchanted due to the Energy Monster's overload.
  • Narrating the Obvious: There is a minor character, among the fans he's referred to as "Exposition Guy", who is literally the personification of this trope, showing up wherever Becky is, whenever anything of importance is going on, confused and thinking it's the police station.
    • He does this at the start of "WordGirl Makes a Mistake, Part 2" after WordGirl has already been captured. It gets him tossed into the trap with WordGirl.
  • Never Say "Die": Becky is almost "Done For", "Finished Off", told "Good-Bye" by a villain preparing to crush her with a giant robot, and we're often told it could be "The End" for WordGirl. Since the main character is 10 and the target audience is not quite that age, we're never told she's going to be killed by the few dangerous bad guys.
  • The Nicknamer: Victoria Best
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: Tobey has one of these in the episode "Cherish is the Word" - he draws a Valentine's Day card for WordGirl picturing him holding hands with her and a robot ready to destroy her in the background.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Captain Huggyface is a monkey serving as WordGirl's sidekick.
  • No Sense of Direction: Exposition Guy is the definition of this.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: The Whammer. Ironically, his superpower is repelling objects.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Seymour Orlando Smooth.
  • Not a Date: "Have You Seen the Remote?", is a fine example. (On WordGirl's part, at least.) Because we all know that the most efficient way to search for something is to go to the park and eat ice cream.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: So far none of the characters have seemed to age. Becky herself has had two birthdays in the show so far, yet she still seems to be a 10 year old 5th grader.
  • Not Blood Siblings: See No Yay below.
  • Not Me This Time: In "What A Tangled Knot You Tie, Amazing Rope Guy" many of the other criminals go to jail, despite declaring their innocence, because The Amazing Rope Guy impersonates their identities and crimes.
  • No Smoking: Borderline averted in one episode, where Becky's Muggle dad uses a cigarette lighter to light a candle on a magic cupcake. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but even that's pretty envelope-pushing for PBS.
  • Not So Different: The Grand Finale episode, "Rhyme and Reason", features the Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure between the superpowered girls and their normal friends; and how they reconciled with each other to become friends again.
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Becky's dad does this once, and Hal Hardbargain does it in "Rat Trap".
  • Obfuscating Disability: Granny May regularly pretends to be hard-of-hearing.
  • Oblivious to Love:
    • Scoops is very blind sighted to Becky's affection.
    • WordGirl's awareness of Tobey's crush also fluctuates from time to time.
  • Official Couple: Sally and Tim Botsford - the only two characters who are consistently and mutually romantic on the show itself.
  • Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: In "Yes Monkey," the Mayor does this when he pulls out the wrong note card for a prepared speech in presenting yet another key to the city to WordGirl and Captain Huggyface.
  • Once per Episode: The vocabulary words, which are noted during the Episode Title Card.
  • One Steve Limit: While most of the characters, villains or not, have nicknames, this trope is true for the most part. However, it's subverted in "The Ballad of Steve McClean", most likely for subtle comedic affect in that Steve McClean takes Dr. Two Brains' Number 1 spot on the Top Villains List, and Dr. Two Brains' original human name was Steven Boxleitner. (Fair City isn't big enough for two villains named Steve!) After this episode, there is, quite literally, only one Steve because McClean, while showing up for silent background cameos, is never mentioned again.
  • Onion Tears: It's shown in one episode that Raul Demiglasse, a chef who challenged others' cooking skills on his TV show, used onion flakes to make his opponents cry.
  • Only Sane Man: WordGirl is considered a genius by the other characters - although she is pretty smart, the truth is that everyone else in the show is an idiot (with a few exceptions, like the Narrator) to one degree or another (the less dumb often manipulate the stupider ones.) The fact the populace is so easily tricked often frustrates the heroine. And this becomes a plot-point in the Big Damn Movie.
    • Pretty Princess's magic horse.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: An "in-character" example. Tobey feigns a British accent unless and until he is speaking to his mother.
    • There's also Guy Rich, who spoke with a southern accent until he revealed himself to be an ordinary person, not the affluent man he lead everyone to believe he was.
  • Opposing Sports Team: Dr. Two Brains' soccer team "The Cheese-Eaters" who rival Becky's team "The Butterfly-Unicorn-Laser-Gorrilas" in the episode "Bend It Like Becky".
  • ...Or So I Heard: Becky pulls quite a few of these after accidentally saying something that she'd only know if she was WordGirl, nearly informing others of her secret.
  • Out-of-Character Alert:
    • In "What A Tangled Knot You Tie, Amazing Rope Guy" when The Amazing Rope Guy is impersonating Chuck and accidentally says that he doesn't really like sandwiches that much.
    • Glen Furlblam pretends to be Dr. Two Brains, but he lacks Dr. Two Brains' vocabulary knowledge and doesn't know that melted cheese is called "fondue".
    • Becky frequently says things that only WordGirl would say and vice-versa, nearly revealing her identity.
  • Outlaw Couple: Leslie and Mr. Big can be an example for this at certain points of the series. They are always cooking up schemes and trying to get away with crime together.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Butcher in "Ch-ch-ch-change Day," wearing nothing but an obviously fake mustache. That, and WordGirl herself to a degree.
    • In "Oh What a Tangled Knot You Tie, Amazing Rope Guy", the titular villain uses these combined with his impression skills to pretend to be his fellow villains and commit crimes. Being as stupid as the populus is, they actually believe him to be said villains.
  • Parental Bonus: WordGirl's home planet is called "Lexicon", a linguistics term that basically means "vocabulary".
  • Parental Obliviousness: Even aside from WordGirl's parents missing all the clues about her having superpowers, Tobey's mom rarely seems to notice the clues that he's getting into trouble, and Eileen's mom has never even appeared (though she's been mentioned), despite her daughter frequently rampaging through the city and destroying things. Even Violet's mom, for another example, is never present when Violet gets involved with the crime or danger (as in "Becky And The Bard").
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish":
    • Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy's password was "mustard," and later the name of his childhood pet.
    • In the episode "Lunch Lady Chuck", Chuck threatened to demolish the whole school with a giant sandwich press, and the only way to stop it was with the password... that he forgot. WordGirl literally spends half the episode frantically scouring everywhere Chuck went during the day to try to figure out the password, to no avail... Until Chuck remembers, just in time, the password was "password".
  • Perplexing Plurals: Several characters struggle with the plural of the word "thesaurus" in "I Think I'm A Clone Now".
  • Perpetual Frowner: Scoop's grandpa. Even when he's mind-controlled. And he's not even worried when the villains attack.
  • Photo Booth Montage: From the episode "Theme Park WHAM-page".
  • Picky Eater:
    • In "The Butcher, The Baker and The Candlestick Maker," a subplot involves Becky desperately trying to obtain a very weird type of birthday cake for her father.
    • Chuck's boss in "Chuck the Nice Pencil-Selling Guy" hates all sandwiches except grilled cheese.
  • Plot Device: Exposition Guy is a character who shortly shows up after nearly any crime is committed by one of the super villains. He constantly is showing up wherever Becky happens to be at the time, mistakenly thinking he's at the police station. The show actively acknowledges this character is clearly just a plot device. To quote Word Girl herself after one such encounter with Exposition Guy: "Sometimes we need a little help getting the plot moving."
    • (Lady Redundant Woman has just taken over City Hall)
    Mayor: What do we do now?
    Exposition Guy: I'll take this one. HEEEEEEELLLLLLLP!!! —"Line Lessons with Lady Redundant Woman"
  • Plucky Office Girl: Mr. Big's assistant, Leslie, is this.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: In "Rhyme and Reason", Violet finally figures out that Becky is WordGirl, and is so heartbroken at having repeatedly been lied to that she breaks up her friendship with Becky. After some soul-searching, Becky and Violet start off anew.
  • Police are Useless: Because if they were actually at all useful, then WordGirl wouldn't have nearly as much to do. Lampshaded pretty blatantly in "Ch-ch-ch-change Day." Becky and Bob are trapped by the Butcher in a bank vault surrounded by customers and are unable to transform into WordGirl and Captain Huggyface. Pressed for options, Becky suggests with a tone of hopelessness that maybe the police will solve the problem. Outside the bank, one of the police officers asks the chief for direction and he is forced to admit that he doesn't know what to do because normally WordGirl would have solved the problem by now.
  • Powered Armor: Granny May has a high-tech suit of armor she uses sometimes.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    Dr. Two Brains: I don't know, I mean, I got a whole "mouse" thing going on here. If word got out that I was involved in stealing gold without transforming it into cheese, well, people would think I'm just some ordinary, run-of-the-mill criminal!
  • Preppy Name: Theodore "Tobey" McCalister III
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Nocan the Contrarian. See Large Ham above.
  • Punny Name/Meaningful Name:
    • Ms. Libri and Ms. Dewey, who own a book store and manage a library respectively, among many others.
    • Hunter Throbheart, Hal Hardbargain, Sonny Days, Guy Rich...
  • The Rashomon: "A Hero, a Thief, a Store, and its Owner"
  • Real Men Wear Pink: A large percentage of the men in the city are fans of the Princess Triana book series and/or watch The Pretty Princess And Magic Pony Power Hour cartoon.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Miss Power's speech to WordGirl, and, to a lesser extent, how she talks to everyone.
  • Recap Episode: "A Better Moustrap", Part 1 and 2 are spent showing various clips from many of the previous episodes, mostly centering around WordGirl's dealings with Dr. Two Brains.
  • Red Is Heroic: WordGirl is the main character of the series and wears a red suit.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Tobey by WordGirl, "Tobey Goes Good".
  • Ret Gone: After missing much of her own birthday party due to having to stop crime as WordGirl, Becky wishes that WordGirl never existed. She finds herself in an alternate reality where Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy rules the city due to there being no superhero to stop him. Becky also loses the ability to transform into WordGirl, because WordGirl technically doesn't exist anymore. In the end, she undoes her wish and restores the original reality.
  • Riddle of the Sphinx: In "Ms. Question's Riddle Rampage", Ms. Question forces everyone to answer the "What has four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?" riddle to pass her on the road. Apparently nobody can answer the riddle, as this creates a traffic jam that disrupts the Botsfords' trip to the beach, but WordGirl is eventually able to figure out the answer.
  • The Rivals: The Ming family are apparently rivals to the Botsfords.
  • Rivals Team Up: Two-Brains and WordGirl against Glen in "Dr. Three-Brains".
    • In the comic, WordGirl teams up with Tobey against the Coalition of Malice. She teams up with him again in "The Robot Problem", against the Coach.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Used in this interview with WordGirl.
  • Rogues Gallery
  • Samaritan Syndrome: Causes Becky's frustration in "A World without WordGirl". It really doesn't help that Bob and the narrator are there to railroad her into saving the day.
  • Secret Identity: Becky has to keep her identity as WordGirl a secret to everyone else, even to her family.
  • Secret Keeper: Initially only Captain Huggy Face/Bob, later Bampy Botsford. and as of the latest seasons, Scoops, Rose and Violet.
  • Sampling: In one episode, a BGM track samples the drums from Daft Punk's Da Funk.
  • Self-Duplication: Lady Redundant Woman
    • Two brains has a bit of this kinda art as well.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Rather subverted, since Becky has a great vocabulary, but seems to prefer being understood rather than showing off. One episode even has her telling a villain it's more important to use the "right" word than the biggest.
    • Another episode features a villain inducing this in people in order to sell dictionaries.
    • The Walk And Talk WordGirl doll also uses this, when she's not outright using made-up words or using them incorrectly.
  • Sexy Secretary: Leslie.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    Beatrice Bixby : "He's just lucky that my thirty-minute lunch break is only a half hour long."
  • Shoehorned First Letter: In "Art in the Park", Violet states that the "three P's" needed for her and Becky's performance are paintings, poetry, and..."pmusic".
  • Shout-Out: The names TJ and Becky might ring a bell. A Recess bell.
    • "Book Ends" is named after a Simon & Garfunkel song, "Banned on the Run" is named after a Paul McCartney song, and "Cherish is the Word" is named after a song by The Association.
      • The following quote from "Kids Action News" may also ring a bell for Wrestling fans and San Diego residents alike
    WordGirl: "Huggy, initiate secret plan number 6-1-9!"
  • Show Within a Show: A variation: the WordGirl episodes are followed by a segment featuring a Game Show that stars its own characters (and Captain Huggyface). Like the main segment they're intended to teach the meaning of words to the audience.
    • There's also the Pretty Princess and Magic Pony Power Hour. The special "The Rise of Miss Power" let viewers watch an episode of it during the interstitials.
  • Silent Partner: Charlie, the larger of Dr. Two-Brains' henchmen, never speaks out loud and the smaller of the two henchmen does all of the talking for him.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Though not twins, and inverted by the presence of Dupey in "The Young And The Meatless", Lady Redundant Woman's clones frequently exhibit identical movements as their original, while saying the exact same thing. This is likely just a case of reducing animation and voice acting costs, even though it doesn't make sense for LRW's copies to know exactly what she's going to say, how she's going to say it, and how she's going to move while saying it, when she does. They only have their own personalities (such as Dupey) when it's needed for the plot.
  • Skyward Scream: The Butcher provides a prime example of this in "The Young and the Meatless".
  • Smarmy Host: Both Beau Handsome and Seymour Orlando Smooth.
  • So Last Season: When the series made the jump from 2-minute shorts to a full series.
  • Something Only They Would Say:
    Becky: Why did you write "Robots forever"?
    Tobey: You wouldn't understand.
    —"Mobot Knows Best"
  • Spinoff: WordGirl started as a series of shorts that appeared after Maya & Miguel.
  • Spiritual Successor: The premise is similar to The Electric Company (1971) short segmnent, "Letterman." and the Electric Company comics had yet another hero named Wonder Word.
  • Spit Take: Becky and Violet do this in "Mount Rushhere" after trying coffee for the first time and hating it.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Tobey towards WordGirl.
  • Status Quo Is God: As of "Invasion of The Bunny Lovers", it's been averted. Scoops has learned Wordgirl's secret identity and promised to keep it a secret, defying both his own reporter's instincts and the long running tendency of wiping the memories of anyone who learns Wordgirl's identity. Followed up in "News Girl", where the school paper's new Intrepid Reporter Rose captures Becky's transformation on tape and presents it to Scoops, but he convinces her to keep it a secret.
    • In "Rhyme and Reason" Violet inadvertently takes successive photos of Becky changing into WordGirl and puts two and two together. The fact that Becky has been lying to Violet all that time causes a Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure between them. This is also not reversed at the end of the episode.
  • Stealth Pun: Plenty. For just one example, in "Answer All My Questions and Win Stuff", Captain Huggyface tries to grab Seymour Orlando Smooth, but keeps sliding down his body, as if he were unusually smooth.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Bummertime", Exposition Guy correctly guesses exactly what has gone wrong with Tobey's robot, Chronos, despite having no clues other than the fact that a robot was rampaging through the city.
  • Super Hero
  • Super Strength: WordGirl, Eileen (aka The Birthday Girl), Nocan the Contrarian, the Whammer, and Miss Power all have this superpower.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    The Butcher: Hi! I'm NOT the Butcher!
  • Sweet Tooth: Tobey, to some degree, as he frequently invites WordGirl out for icecream, and wanted all the Halloween candy in "Tobey's Tricks and Treats". He also tried to destroy Zany's candy factory when his dentist found that he had a cavity. Many of the other characters are also shown loving dessert, often eating too much at once (e.g. Mr Botsford, The Whammer, etc.).
  • Take a Third Option: In "Change Day," Becky and Bob are trapped in a bank vault and faced with either letting the Butcher get away with bank robbery or revealing their secret identities as WordGirl and Huggyface to everyone. They take a third option by tricking the Butcher into opening the vault.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: For WordGirl, when she stops to define a word in the middle of a heated battle.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Dr. Two Brains is guilty of this in the episode "Showdown at the Super Secret Spaceship Hideout".
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Captain Tangent with his faked pirate accent.
  • Tangled Family Tree:all 3 instances shown in their family trees for a school project in the final season after it was cancelled.
    • Todd's parents are brother and sister.
    • Violet's dad is also her mother's brother.
    • a "Botsford" ancestor (father Tim's side of family) looking like Sally.
  • The Teaser: Normally not used, but seen before the title theme in "The Rise of Miss Power" to introduce Miss Power.
  • Tech Marches On: Is intentionally averted. The producers want it to look like it could have been made in the 60s, 80s, or today. No Internet, No Home Computers (the only computers seen take up almost half the room), small corner TVs, a few passing references to home video, and the journalist wannabe works at a newspaper a la Jimmy Olsen. Even the family car looks like a station wagon from the 70s. They claim if cell phones are ever used, they'll be bulky devices circa 1995.
  • Techno Babble: Occasionally used by Tobey and Dr. Two Brains.
    Tobey: Like I have the time to explain the intricacies of alarm-block-based quantum mechanics to an aggravating nuisance like you.
  • That Cloud Looks Like...: Done in the end of one of the original shorts - "Living in the Granny's Paradise" (#14).
  • That Was Objectionable: Refer to the episode "The Wrong Side of the Law".
  • Thick-Line Animation: It's the page image. What do you expect?
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Prof. Boxleitner's reaction when Squeaky is about to push the "Holy Cow! Don't Press This Button!" button.
    Prof. Boxleitner: "Oh boy. This is gonna sting."
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: WordGirl doesn't kill or even harm any villain she's up against (Save for Tobey's robots and Lady Redundant Woman's copies).
  • Too Dumb to Live: Also in "WordGirl Makes a Mistake, Part 2." A handyman shows up to demand his money from Mr. Big for designing the trap in which WordGirl, Captain HuggyFace and Exposition Guy are imprisoned. He gets thrown into the trap and doesn't even realize that he too is now a prisoner.
    • Seymour Smooth's brothers are also this, to the point where they did not even know the answer to 1 + 1.
  • Tooth Strip: Every character has undivided strips of teeth.
  • Trademark Favorite Food - Cheese for Dr. Two Brains, possibly ice cream for Tobey, and Snappy Snaps for the Botsfords and the city in general (it seems to be their default cereal).
  • Training Montage : Lampshaded in Monkey-Robot Showdown.
    • And "I Think I'm a Clone Now".
    • And "Earth Day Girl".
    • Quite a few episodes have some type of this.
  • Treehouse of Fun: TJ and Becky have one, usually used to hold the WordGirl Fan Club meetings.
  • Ultimate Authority Mayor
  • Undesirable Prize: The prizes on the May I Have a Word? game show segments are almost inevitably some form of this.
  • The Unintelligible: Huggyface can only be understood by Becky.
    • TJ appears to have an understanding of his "language" in "The Homerun King", and Violet does too in "The Fill-In".
  • Up to Eleven: Quite literally, as in the episode "Mr. Big Words", Mr. Big turns his mind-control device up to eleven.
  • Up, Up and Away!: WordGirl's standard flight pose.
  • Verbal Tic: The Whammer constantly inserts the word "wham" or some variant of it into his sentences. "That is totally WHAMMER!" "Are you whammin' to what the Whammer is whammin'?" "Let's wham this thing!"
  • Verbing Nouny: The episode "Judging Butcher" uses this naming convention.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Mr. Big disguises himself as an elderly woman in episodes "Big Business" and "WordGirl Makes a Mistake".
  • Villainous Crush: And the Fandom won't let you forget it.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Variation - in "Becky's Birthday," WordGirl, while confronting another villain, encounters Dr. Two-Brains, who's just made a trip to the grocery store. He may steal cheese, but he buys the crackers he puts the cheese on.
    • In another episode Becky runs into Tobey when they're both shopping with their parents. Who were taking forever, incidentally!
  • Villain Team-Up: Featured in, "Mousezilla". Tobey and Dr. Two Brains build a giant robotic mouse. Although it definitely starts out well, the team-up breaks down when they argue about what they should do the trapped WordGirl.
    • Also in "Too Loud Crew".
    • In "The Fill-In," The Butcher shows up as a temporary fill-in for Dr. Two Brains's henchman, Charlie. Dr. Two-Brains tells him that he's too good to be just a temporary fill-in and tries to insist on one of these instead, but The Butcher turns him down flat because "they never work" and even tells him "It's Not You, It's Me." He later jets in the middle of a robbery when Charlie returns.
    • Chuck teamed up with Nocan in "Nocan the Ingredient Finding Guy" and it worked out about as well as his team-ups with the Whammer.
    • In the first issue of the comic book tie in, five of Wordgirl's villains form "The Coalition of Malice."
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Granny May and Mr. Big, in particular, tend to gain the blind trust of the citizens, making it harder for WordGirl to take them down.
    • Steve McClean also had swarms of fans in his episode, despite being a known criminal.
  • Visual Innuendo: [From the episode Highway to Havarti.] Dr. Two-Brains crotch-level ‘cactus’ while he’s waiting in the gas station check-out. (This could be an Accidental Innuendo, one may be inclined to think it was intentional.)
  • The Voiceless:
    • Scoop's grandpa hasn't said a single word. If he had, it might not be anything nice due from the look of his perpetual frown.
    • Also, Charlie. Overlaps with the earlier Silent Partner.
  • The War Room: Fair City apparently has one, as shown in "Scary with a Side of Butter". Among them are the Mayor, the Police Commissioner, and Brent the Handsome Successful Everybody-Loves-Him Sandwich Making Guy.
  • We Interrupt This Program/This Just In!: Virtually every time Becky sits down to watch TV. It's used as a plot device for her to find out when and where villains are causing trouble.
  • We'll See About That:
    • Mrs. Botsford says this to Dr. Two-Brains when he says that he and his henchmen will win the soccer game in "Bend it Like Becky."
    • Chuck also uses it on WordGirl in "Chuck With a Side of Brent" when she tells him "It's over!"
    • And T.J. uses it in "Dinner or Consequences" when Becky wants to use a family trial to prove her innocence and get out of being "mega-grounded."
  • We Used to Be Friends: WordGirl and Dr. Boxleitner used to be friends until he transformed into the evil Dr. Two-Brains.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Between Becky and Scoops. We mean, seriously! He once guessed Becky's secret identity as WordGirl, he didn't care about her actual feelings, he just wanted to take his kid-reporter career to the next level. Fortunately, Becky frustrated his desires by losing the Vocab-bee contest on propose, thus keeping her secret safe.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Literally in "Mouse Army", when Dr. Two-Brains creates an army of super-intelligent mice, they are all reverted to normal in the end...except for one, but we never hear of it again.
    • In the episode "Birthday Town", Mr. Botsford is watching TV and the mouse is seen in the news. The mouse seems to further its career in science and is shown that he fused a cat and dog's minds together.
    • Mouse-Zilla is shown to have survived WordGirl throwing it into a lake, but it never returns as well.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Tobey's robots are the only enemies WordGirl is ever seen punching and kicking. Every other villain she usually just finds some way to subdue or tie up.
    • She's even hurled them into the sun as they cry, "Noooooooooooooo.....!"
    • Also Lady Redundant Woman's copies get destroyed right and left, yet in "The Young And The Meatless" and even "Lady Redundant Woman Gets The Blues", it's implied that the copies have separate personalities and even feelings. Dupey doesn't get turned back into paper in "The Young And The Meatless", most likely because she is actually shown to experience love.
  • Where The Hell Is Fair City?
  • Why Did It Have to Be Cats?: Since he has a second mouse brain, Dr. Two Brains is very afraid of cats. This fear comes up in a couple episodes, sometimes even showing cats attacking him because he's part mouse.
  • Wild Hair: Two Brains did say he sported the dry look...
  • Wonderful Life: "A World Without WordGirl" is about Becky wishing WordGirl never existed as her birthday wish and being transported to an alternate universe where Chuck dominates the city as a result of WordGirl not being there to stop him.
  • You Are Grounded: In the two-parter "Dinner or Consequences," Becky gets "mega-grounded" after missing two of her father's special dinners. This means that not only does she get sent to her room, but her room has been wiped of all her favorite things and she's basically not allowed to go anywhere or do anything fun.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: In "Chuck With a Side of Brent," Chuck's brother Brent resurfaces and apologizes for having been such a bad sidekick to Chuck and begging for another chance. Chuck reluctantly agrees and asks him if he promises to do every evil and villainous thing he tells him. Brent agrees and Chuck tells him "You can start by picking up my dry-cleaning. Oh, and I have some ironing I need done too."
  • Your Costume Needs Work: TJ consistently tells his sister that her WordGirl impersonation isn't very good.


The Comic-Book Adaptation provides examples of:

  • Art Shift: Most of the stories are drawn by Steve Young and Andy Price, whose art styles differ greatly from that of the show's.
  • Instant Fan Club: “Super Fans”
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: In "Fashion Disaster", Mr. Big is apparently in possession of so much lexonite that he can put a piece of it in each and every one of his mass-produced fashion clothes.
  • Take That!: At Lady Gaga, in “Fashion Disaster”:
    Fashion Judge 1: Clothes made of meat? Uch! Who would wear something like that?
    Fashion Judge 2: Only someone who's totally desperate for attention. Next!


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