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Western Animation / WordWorld

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Welcome to our world!

WordWorld is a very odd preschool show that centers on Funny Animals and a non-anthro dog—who are all living words. They can build new things out of letters. If you need a house, just build one out of the appropriate letters.

The series premiered on PBS on September 3, 2007, and was produced by WTTW Chicago. The series received critical acclaim and awards. The show ended on January 24, 2011 and only produced three seasons, but it could still be seen in reruns on PBS Kids affiliates, particularly the 24/7 kids channel, until October 2022. Additionally, as of 2022, it is still available on the PBSKids streaming app and even sometimes featured.


It's time to build a trope, let's build it, let's build it now! T-R-O-P-E (KIDS: Trope!) Yeah, we just built a trope, we built it, we built it!:

  • Action Girl: Sheep can be seen as this when she's playing sports, as seen in the episodes "There's An Ant In Every Giant" and "Play Ball".
  • Alphabet Architecture: Since the series takes place in a world where everything is made out of its own word, that also includes the houses the characters live in.
  • Amicable Ants: Ant is one of the many Word Friends of the titular setting. He is best buddies with Pig and with other insect Word Friends like Bee, Fly and Bug, and is always willing to help out the other Word Friends in a pinch.
  • Artistic License – Arachnids: Spider not only has a mere six legs but also insectoid antennae.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Either there are two main cats, one a blue Siamese cat and one a purple cat with a white muzzle, facial blaze, and white paws, or Cat changes color depending on her job in the episode. Also, why are Sheep's arms and legs purple? Pig's hooves...they sure like purple in this show.
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  • Anthropomorphic Typography: The animals in this show are made of letters.
  • Berserk Button: Pig tends to get upset when his stuff is messed with, as Frog learned in the episode "Waterlogged".
  • Big Eater: Pig loves to eat. Ant has to remind him not to be gluttonous.
  • Big "NO!": Frog does this when Pig eats Dog's birthday cake in the episode "Happy Birthday, Dog".
  • Carnivore Confusion: Shark co-existing with the likes of Pig and Sheep.
  • Catchphrase: "We still have all the letters... so all we have to do is build a word!"
  • Chaste Toons: Pig's three nephews.
  • Christmas Episode: "The Christmas Star / A Christmas Present for Dog".
  • Creation Sequence: The resolution of every episode has the characters sing the "Build a Word" song, creating whatever they need to solve the problem. This also extends to the characters, who are all designed to look like their names.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Duck can be this at times.
  • Depth Deception: Bear's cave for some reason shows a room painted onto a wall for a door rather than an actual entrance containing a room. Makes people wonder how Bear is able to go in and out of her cave in the first place.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: All the characters' eyebrows float above their heads.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": And a sheep, and a bear, and a duck, and a frog... Their bodies are actually made of their name.
  • Episode Title Card: Every episode name is read aloud by the same offscreen children that read aloud the words that are built throught the episode.
  • The Everyman: Sheep is very generic and plain, although she does have a flair for the dramatic. Bear stands out more in this regard.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Averted with Shark, who's very friendly.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The animals themselves.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: Cat is a girl and Dog is a boy.
  • Feud Episode: Pig and Ant have an argument on whose turn it is to make a word and call each other names in "Shuffleword". Sheep suggested that they shouldn't be mad and apologize but they refuse to apologize and think each other should apologize. They decided they should play without each other. Only when they realize that they can't make a word because they don't have all the letters, Sheep does a competition so they can work to make a word and apologize.
  • Forgotten Birthday: In "Happy Birthday, Dog!", Dog believes everyone has forgotten his birthday, but they're planning a surprise party.
  • Four-Legged Insect:
    • Inverted with Cricket and averted with the other insects.
    • Cricket has eight legs like an arachnid and Spider has six legs (and two antennae) like an insect.
  • Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better: Some animals (not counting the birds) walk on two legs and some walk on all fours.
  • Funny Animal: Everyone except Dog and Cow.
  • Furry Confusion:
    • Cow and Dog rarely talk, though it's often that Dog's barks can sound close to words. There are even realistic sea creatures.
    • Dog can't talk, but he actually owns a house, whereas Pig lives in a barn, Bear lives in a cave, Sheep lives in hay, Frog lives in a log, and Duck has a nest.
    • Fish lives in a fishbowl and cannot say much while Shark is capable of walking on his tail outside the water and talks quite a lot.
  • Gluttonous Pig: Pig is a chef who hosts his own cooking show, but he also likes eating everything in sight. He is working on sharing, though.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Pig and Ant, Duck and Frog, and Bear and Sheep.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: Duck gets the hiccups in the episode "Duck's Hiccups".
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In "Dog's Having a Party", Pig is shown eating a hot dog. However, Pig isn't made of actual meat and neither is the hot dog, so this raises a few questions as to what constitutes cannibalism in WordWorld. Both "pig" and "dog" have the letter G in them, so this could easily be cannibalism regardless.
  • Interactive Narrator: He is sometimes heard talking with the characters, usually at the beginning of a story.
  • The Last Straw: In the "Pig's Perfect Pizza" song, Pig makes a pizza with toppings that all start with the letter P. He stacks the pizza up with "toppings" ranging from popcorn to pickles, creating a tower of various foods. Finally, he adds a single peanut, causing the entire tower to fall.
  • Literal Metaphor: Happens in the episode "Snug as a Bug":
    Bug: Hiya frog! What's up?
    Frog: I am! I can't fall asleep.
  • Living Prop: Cow doesn't do much. You'll often just find her in the background.
  • Loose Tooth Episode: In the episode "Shark's First Loose Tooth", Shark looses a tooth for the first time. Duck tries to help him fall asleep so the tooth fairy can come.
  • Loud Sleeper Gag: In "Waterlogged", Frog is forced to move into Pig's house when his log home ends up sinking and needs rebuilding by Ant and his friends. One of the many things that Frog does as a rude houseguest is snoring loudly enough to keep Pig up. Realizing that he won't get any sleep, Pig decides to visit Ant and the others to see how the reconstruction of Frog's home is coming along. Unfortunately, they don't listen to him when he tells them that the letters they pull up (G, O, and L) are the right letters but are in the wrong order, and he is forced to go back home and put up with more of Frog's antics.
  • Medium Awareness: The show follows this. All of the characters can not only hear the Narrator, but they even call him Mr. Narrator when they talk to him. None of them seem to be aware that they are characters in a television show though, and to be fair not much else about their world is exactly normal. They don't also seem to notice the offscreen children that read aloud the built words.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: In the episode "Achoo" where Pig is sneezing, Sheep attempts to take him to the hospital.
  • Namedworld and Namedland: Wordworld, the world where everything is made of words!
  • No Cartoon Fish: Only a few cartoony fish have been seen.
  • Noisy Duck: Duck has No Indoor Voice and quacks in the middle of sentences.
  • Once an Episode: "It's time to build a word! Let's build it, let's build it now!"
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There are apparently two cats. One who is purple, and one who is blue.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Monster, who is a red monster shaped like his name.
  • Partially Civilized Animal: Any four-legged Word World character (Tiger, Elephant, Turtle, Monkey, Dog, Cat, and Goat).
  • Quacking Up: Duck is the youngest of the main cast. He is often naive and careless in his actions, but he loves to have fun and crack jokes. He acts as an Audience Surrogate to the young viewers, as he is still learning his letters.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: Dog usually gets this treatment by the other characters.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Literally.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Ant is unsurprisingly the smallest of his friends, yet he is one of the smartest people in Word World, as said by Pig.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Pig's nephews, who are triplets.
  • The Smart Guy: Frog is usually the brainiac of the friends. Except when his Large Ham qualities turn him into a Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
  • Steam Never Dies: The train is a large blue steam locomotive shaped like the word "TRAIN" that is, for some reason fueled by letters, couldn't decide whether it should have a 2-2-2 or a 4-2-0 wheel arrangement, and doesn't have anyone driving it.
  • Strong Ants: Ant is renowned for his strength.
  • Tagline: "Where words come alive".
  • Tailfin Walking: Shark walks on his tailfin.
  • Title Theme Tune: Welcome to our world! WordWorld!
  • WPUN: The local radio station's call numbers are WORD.