Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum

Go To

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum is a PBS Kids animated series based on the children's book series Ordinary People Change the World by New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos. It premiered on November 11, 2019.

The series follows the adventures of Xavier Riddle, his sister Yadina and their friend Brad. In every episode, one of them has a problem and turn to the Secret Museum, a hidden room underneath the ordinary museum owned by Xavier and Yadina's parents, to help solve it. The Secret Museum takes them back in time to meet iconic historical figures when they were children, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, and Harriet Tubman. The positive qualities of all of these people help the trio solve their problem.

Produced at Brown Bag Films' Toronto studio, executive producers on the series are Vince Commisso, Brad Meltzer, Christopher Eliopoulos, Fonda Snyder and Rob Weisbach. The series is directed by Cory Bobiak (Peg + Cat), with Meghan Read (Dot., Dino Dan) in the role of executive story editor. The look of the show is based on Christopher Eliopoulos’ illustrations featured in the Ordinary People Change the World series.

On July 8, 2022, eight online one-minute shorts were released talking about virtues such as compassion, gratitude, and more. Watch them here (US residents only). The series was quietly renewed for a second season, which premiered in January 2024.

This show provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Downplayed. Xavier and Brad are normal names; Yadina, not so much.
  • All for Nothing: In "I Am Johann Sebastian Bach", the kids travel miles by foot to see a concert that Bach really wanted to go to, but only see a snippet of it before Bach runs off to work on his song. Yadina points out how dumb this idea was.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Xavier and Yadina have brown skin, but their ethnicity is unknown, though one episode, I Am Tomioka Tessai, implies they have mixed ancestry.
  • Ambiguously Sentient Object: It's implied at times that Dr. Zoom is secretly alive, given how she is briefly seen getting wide eyes in "I Am Mary Shelley."
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: At the end of each episode, the trio addresses the viewers at home and repeat the moral of the story.
  • Animated Adaptation: Of the Ordinary People Change the World books.
  • Arc Number: The numbers 27 and 42 appear frequently throughout the show and the books. Brad Meltzer has stated that 42 is for Jackie Robinson's uniform number, but has explicitly refused to state what the 27 stands for.
  • Artistic License – Education: "I Am Helen Keller" as well as its sister episode, "I Am Alexander Graham Bell" portray clear speech as much easier to learn/achieve for profoundly deaf people than it typically is in real life, and the latter episode also features a deaf student reacting with an answer to Yadina talking to them almost before they've even turned their head to try reading her lips. To some extent this can be forgiven due to the simplification of plots for the episodes; Helen Keller's episode, for instance, omits some aspects of its book version, like Keller's use of home signs (signs deaf children make up to communicate with their families before they are exposed to established sign languages) prior to Anne Sullivan's arrival, likely to keep the pacing steady.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • Although the show does its best to be historically accurate, there are some parts that were clearly made up, like Florence Nightingale having a pet mouse note , Harry Houdini idolizing a tightrope walker named Fearless Jean, etc.
    • Because the story segments don't have enough time for it, the show does not get into the issue of pseudonyms and married names vs. birth names. Therefore, the child Mark Twain is shown as going by the name "Mark Twain" even though he was still using his given name "Samuel Clemens" at that age; and Abigail Adams is addressed as "Abigail Adams" even though she was "Abigail Smith" until she got married.
    • Alexander Graham Bell is portrayed alongside the lesson of listening to everyone, with the implication that different forms of communication are equal. While the moral is fine, it doesn't really mesh with a lot of Bell's beliefs, which heavily valued oralism (speech) over manualism (sign language). (Needless to say, it doesn't get into his related beliefs regarding eugenics and deaf people (where oralism was one means to try to prevent deaf people marrying each other), either, due to the show's tendency to focus on more ostensibly positive aspects that uphold the message.)
  • Author Avatar: Brad is based on Brad Meltzer.
  • Ballet: "I Am Anna Pavlova" is all about ballet, and in the opening sequence, the kids don tutus and ballet slippers and try to be graceful when dancing.
  • Ballet Episode: "I Am Anna Pavlova", which is all about a ballet dancer.
  • Baseball Episode:
    • "I Am Jackie Robinson", which is all about a baseball player.
    • Also, "I Am Lou Gehrig."
  • Been There, Shaped History: Xavier, Yadina, and Brad are all present at famous moments of history, such as Amelia Earhart flying across the Atlantic.
  • Bearded Baby: Despite the historical heroes being kids when the trio meets them, some of them have beards like Charles Dickens and Leonardo da Vinci. This is presumably done to make them more recognizable to the audience in the show's art style.
  • Best Out of Infinity: During the interstitials, Xavier often attempts to beat Berby in a round-the-world portal race. Despite his use of various vehicles and gimmicks (e.g. a chariot, Leonardo da Vinci's wingsuit), he's apparently lost about a hundred such races before, yet is still 100% convinced that this time will be different.
  • Be Yourself: This is the moral of "I Am Ella Fitzgerald". Brad is nervous to go to a dance party because he's self-conscious about his dance moves. Ella Fitzgerald and her unique way of singing show Brad that he should be himself.
  • Big Damn Movie: "I Am Madam President."
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: In "I Am Neil Armstrong", Xavier is seen making different sandwiches with weird food combinations.
  • Black Bead Eyes: All these characters have these type of eyes.
  • Book Ends: The episodes begin and end in the same place.
  • Bowdlerise: In real life, Sacagawea got pregnant at 16, and the I Am Sacagawea book shows her carrying the baby during her expedition with Lewis and Clark. However, the "I Am Sacagawea" episode omits this entirely due to Teen Pregnancy being an extremely taboo topic, especially for a show for elementary schoolers. Plus, the Super-Deformed art style would make said pregnancy look...awkward.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Marie Owens, Amelia Earhart, Wilma Rudolph and Carol Burnett have very short hair, and aren't all that feminine.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In "We Are the Wright Brothers", Brad says Xavier's Character Catchphrase — "To the Secret Museum!"
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the opening and closing sequences, the characters talk to the viewer. Luckily, there's no Fake Interactivity.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Xavier and Yadina.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": The X on Xavier's hoodie stands for Xavier.
  • But Not Too Gay: So far, the show has two LGBT heroes - Sally Ride and Billie Jean King. However, their respective appearances don't talk about their sexuality. It could be because it's not relevant to the plot, or because of the risk of being banned by Moral Guardians in Alabama like Arthur. For what it's worth, Harvey Milk is going to be in an episode according to storyboards posted on someone's website, and since he was a gay rights activist, talking about his sexuality is inevitable.
  • Butt-Monkey: Brad. He always gets dizzy while time traveling, and doesn't want to go back in time yet is always dragged along. Not to mention that in "I Am Susan B. Anthony", Xavier and Yadina wouldn't let him have a say on what should go where in the Secret Museum, and in "I Am Alexander Graham Bell", he loses his voice and Xavier and Yadina do all the talking for him instead of listening to him.
  • The Cameo:
    • Helen Keller made one in "I Am Alexander Graham Bell", as she is a student in his class.
    • George Washington made one in "I Am Alexander Hamilton."
    • Abraham Lincoln made cameos in "I Am Frederick Douglass" and "I Am Kate Warne".
  • Capture the Flag: In "I Am Winston Churchill", the gang travels back in time to meet a young Winston Churchill, who is playing capture the flag with his new schoolmates. It's through this game that Winston teaches Brad the importance of speaking up for yourself.
  • Changed My Jumper: When the kids time travel, they never change their clothes, and the historical figures from the past never comment on it. The only exception was in the Winston Churchill episode, where one of the schoolboys said that Xavier was wearing a "strange hooded shirt."
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: The show's title.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Xavier (Red hoodie), Brad (Green unbuttoned jacket), Yadina (Blue shirt).
  • Companion Cube: Yadina has a stuffed turtle named Dr. Zoom, who she loves very much. Berby also plays with Dr. Zoom like they're buddies.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The Season 1 finale, "I Am Fred Rogers", features clips from the episodes in the past season as the kids sing "It's You I Like".
  • Creator's Culture Carryover: The TV movie has Yadina heartbroken to learn there's never been a female U.S. president, despite the show being produced in Canada, France, and Ireland. All three countries, for better or worse, have had at least one female leader each. Justified in that Yadina specifically wants to be the President of the United States of America, which is why the lack of a female U.S. president upsets her.
  • Crush Blush: In "I Am George Washington", Yadina keeps blushing around Kid!George Washington. Along with the fact that she constantly gushes about how great he is, this hints that she may have a crush on him.
  • The Cutie: Xavier, Yadina, and Brad are all little kids with likable personalities, adorable designs, signature quirks, and great ambitions.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "I Am Madam President" is driven by Yadina's ambition to become the first female President of the United States. Interestingly, this is also the show's first Extra-Long Episode.
  • Determinator: In "I Am Marie Curie", Marie doesn't let sexist rules stop her from following her dream, as she goes to a secret girls' university and starts her own lab to learn more about science.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In the "Race Around the World" segments with Xavier and Berby, Xavier always chooses snazzy-looking modes of transportation without first considering that those modes of transportation might not be practical for a race (like the Wright Flyer) or that they might not work at all (like the Da Vinci Ornithopter).
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Xavier briefly hums the show's theme tune at one point in "I Am Madam President".
  • Different in Every Episode: In every episode, the gang accesses the Secret Museum in a specific way. There are six variants:
    • Through a portrait.
    • Through a tornado.
    • Through an Egyptian wall.
    • Through a grandfather clock.
    • Through a dinosaur exhibit.
    • Through a Chinese throne.
  • Disney Death: In "I Am Madam President", Berby eventually runs out of gas, and when the gang goes to meet Sally Ride, she dies and drifts off into space. Luckily she comes back to life when Yadina saves her.
  • Dreadful Musician: Xavier at first in "I Am Johann Sebastian Bach", as he plays "Hot Cross Buns" on the recorder off-key.
  • Edutainment Show: This show teaches about history and social-emotional concepts.
  • Episode Tagline: Each episode's tagline is the mantra taught by the historical figure encountered in the episode. For example, the Cleopatra episode's tagline is "Ask for things the right way".
  • Every Episode Ending: Every episode ends with the kids back in the white void (like in the episode's cold open), and they thank the viewer for joining their awesome adventure to meet the episode's historical hero. They all say their names, and pledge to exhibit the virtues of the hero.
  • Expy: Brad can be this to Sean Rafferty from Ready Jet Go!.
  • Extra-Long Episode:
    • "I Am Madam President" is 58 minutes long.
    • While most episodes are 11-minutes, "I Am Harriet Tubman" and "I Am Fred Rogers" are both 22-minutes. Rule of thumb: if an episode is 22-minutes, it will be a major turning point for the series.
  • Feud Episode:
    • Xavier and Yadina have a sibling fall-out in both "I Am Maya Angelou" and "I Am Confucius".
    • In "I Am Jigonsaseh", Xavier, Yadina, and Brad fight and briefly break off their friendship over a disagreement on what they should do with boxes. Jigonsaseh helps them.
  • Field Trip to the Past: The show's entire premise runs on our trio time traveling to learn lessons from historical figures.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: In "I Am Jackie Robinson", Jackie's mom says his full name, Jack Roosevelt Robinson.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: The characters only have four fingers on their hands.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Yadina wears her hair like this.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Yadina has a stuffed turtle named Dr. Zoom, who she loves very much.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: "Si, se puede!" is uttered in the Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta episodes.
  • Growling Gut: This happened to Yadina twice in "I Am Neil Armstrong".
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sarah, the racist little girl, undergoes this in "I Am Jackie Robinson", when Jackie (who she was mean to) shows her kindness. This also happens to Brian, the kid who wouldn't let Yadina play on the swings.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Bobby Riggs from "I Am Billie Jean King" is depicted as an overly masculine misogynist bully who thinks he can beat Billie Jean at tennis. He's wrong; she won the Battle of the Sexes.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: The episode "I Am Florence Nightingale" has Yadina get hiccups on the day she plans to give a school report on cookies. Everyone then goes back in time to get help from Florence Nightingale. At the end, she then decides to do her report on hiccups, and she's cured.
  • Historical Domain Character: Xavier, Yadina, and Brad often go back in time and meet famous people of history when they were children, such as Rosa Parks and Leonardo da Vinci, who help them learn important lessons.
  • Honesty Aesop: In "I Am Abraham Lincoln", Yadina accidentally drops her friend Annika's toy down the sewer. The gang visits Abraham Lincoln to learn a lesson in honesty. Abe had borrowed a book from his neighbor, but it gets ruined in the rain. To overcome his guilt, he tells the truth about it, showing Yadina she should do the same.
  • Iconic Item: Each one of the historical heroes has an artifact that belonged to them that is featured.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Much like the books, the episode titles from this series start with "I Am" and the name of the historical figure featured in it, save for the Extra-Long Episode "I Am Madam President" since it features four historical figures.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: In "I Am Neil Armstrong", Yadina thinks she won't like a cheese and marmalade sandwich, but when she tries it, she likes it.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: In "I Am Fred Rogers", Xavier worries that Brad and Yadina won't want to hang out with him if the Secret Museum is closed. Xavier feels that without the Secret Museum, he's nothing. Fortunately, Fred Rogers teaches him that he is special just the way he is.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • In "I Am Susan B. Anthony", Xavier and Yadina are so used to tending to the Secret Museum themselves that they unintentionally leave Brad out and don't let him have a say on what should go where.
    • In "I Am Alexander Graham Bell", Xavier and Yadina keep talking for Brad when he loses his voice instead of listening to him.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Brad loves traditionally feminine things such as butterflies and ballet.
  • Jewish and Nerdy: Brad is Jewish, as revealed in "I Am Tomioka Tessai"note , and is a huge nerd due to his love of comics, knowledge of butterflies, and good math skills (judging by how he always accurately calculates how many years back in time the kids will go).
  • The Leader: "I Am George Washington" is about this trope. Yadina is picked to lead the Nature Troop, but proves to be a bad leader. The kids turn to the Secret Museum for help, and meet George Washington, who shows Yadina how to be a great leader.
  • Laborious Laces: Xavier has a habit of tripping on his untied shoelaces. For example, in the Jackie Robinson episode, he trips on his laces and accidentally sends the baseball into the racist kid's lawn. Brad calls him out on how often this happens in the Jigonsaseh episode.
  • Limited Wardrobe: All the characters wear the same clothes most of the time. In fact, in "I Am Lou Gehrig", it's implied that Xavier has more than one of his signature red alien antennae hoodies.
  • Lost Voice Plot: In "I Am Alexander Graham Bell", Brad loses his voice and tries to make Xavier and Yadina listen to him to tell them what game he wants to play.
  • Luminescent Blush: Characters blush a lot in the show, usually from embarrassment or happiness.
  • Mistakes Are Not the End of the World:
    • A key lesson taught in "We Are the Wright Brothers", and briefly in "I Am Anna Pavlova".
    • "I Am Bob Ross" also teaches this lesson, showing how Bob Ross turned mistakes into happy little accidents.
  • Mundane Utility: The Secret Museum uses its time travel powers to teach Xavier, Yadina, and Brad valuable life lessons, but sometimes the life lesson seems a bit too mundane to warrant time travel. For example, the Museum sends the trio to meet the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong... for the purpose of getting Yadina to try marmalade.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In "I Am Susan B. Anthony", Xavier and Yadina have this reaction when they realize they've been unfair to Brad by not letting him have a vote on what should go where in the Secret Museum.
  • Nerd Glasses: Brad wears these types of glasses.
  • Never Learned to Talk: Helen Keller in "I Am Helen Keller" can't speak due to her deafness, so her teacher Anne Sullivan tries to teach her words via sign language. At the end, she learns to say her dog Belle's name.
  • Nice Girl: Marie Owens stands out in this regard. She doesn't get mad when someone does something wrong and prefers to solve problems in a positive way.
  • No Antagonist: Zig-zagged. While the show doesn't have an overarching main antagonist, there are some antagonists that pop up in the hero's travels through time. Like the slavemaster in "I Am Harriet Tubman", and Bobby Riggs in "I Am Billie Jean King".
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The voice actors for the historical figures generally use appropriate accents, but in "I Am Edmund Hillary," Edmund doesn't have a New Zealand accent at all and instead speaks like a typical American kid.
  • Oh, Crap!: Brad has this reaction every time the kids travel through time.
  • Once an Episode: You can count on these things being a constant:
    • Brad being hesitant to travel back in time.
    • The kids going to the Secret Museum in a weird way, like via a tornado.
    • The kids saying their catchphrases.
    • The time travel sequence, where Yadina makes a meditation pose and Brad spins around.
  • One-Steve Limit: So far, there are 2 Alexanders (Graham Bell and Hamilton), 3 Marys (Shelley, Leakey and Anning), 2 Georges (Washington and Washington Carver), 2 Maries (Curie and Owens), 2 Arthurs (Conan Doyle and Ashe) and 2 Jackies (Robinson and Joyner-Kersee).
  • Pepper Sneeze: In "I Am Zora Neale Hurston", one of Zora's stories is about a pepper shaker who keeps on sneezing and interrupting weddings.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Sarah from "I Am Jackie Robinson", who is racist until she changes her ways. Also, the bus driver from the Rosa Parks episode.
  • The Pollyanna: Lou Gehrig. Even when the going gets tough, he focuses on the good stuff, which he teaches Xavier, Yadina, and Brad.
  • Power Trio: Xavier, Yadina, and Brad.
  • Pretty Butterflies: Brad utterly adores butterflies for this exact reason. In "I Am Marie Curie", as he tells Marie about how much he loves butterflies, he imagines a swarm of butterflies flying around him.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Most of the female historical figures wear buns, and they mean business.
    • Susan B. Anthony takes part in a protest to let people know that everyone should have a vote.
    • Rosa Parks stands her ground when the bus driver tries to demand her to give up a seat for a white man.
    • Kate Warne is a detective and is shown to be pretty sassy too.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: In "I Am Johann Sebastian Bach", a bit of "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" is played.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Some of the heroes the trio meets wear purple. Some of those heroes are:
    • Leonardo da Vinci wears a purple hat and robe.
    • The Bronte Sisters, specifically Emily Bronte, wears a purple dress.
    • Eleanor Roosevelt is dressed head-to-toe in purple.
    • Marie Owens wears a purple tie.
    • Harriet Tubman wears a purple bandana, which doubles as her relic.
    • Ella Fitzgerald wears a purple dress and shoes.
    • Carol Burnett wears a pale purple sweater, pants and shoes.
    • Celia Cruz wears a shirt that has frilly sleeves and one of those frills is purple. Same thing with her frilly skirt and wears purple shoes.
  • Pun: In "I Am Johann Sebastian Bach", Yadina makes a pun based on Bach's name, but Brad and Xavier don't think it's funny. She also has a habit of making terrible puns through the series.
  • Puppy Love: In "I Am George Washington", Yadina gets a crush on Kid!George Washington. Obviously, both of them are kids.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: "I Am Billie Jean King" has Brad worried about being the only boy in the school ballet class, but he learns that it's okay to like traditionally feminine things and that girls and boys can do the same things.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: A lot of rhymes are made in "I Am Mark Twain." For example, "We didn't notice the fence got done/We were having too much fun!"
  • Robot Buddy: Berby, who helps the kids time travel, and is shown in between episodes playing with them.
  • Rousseau Was Right: The show teaches us, among other things, that everyone is good deep down. In fact, the book series that the show was based on, Ordinary People Change the World, did a book about Anne Frank, who reaffirms her belief that people are truly good at heart.
  • Running Gag: Yadina trying to blow her whistle in "I Am George Washington".
  • Scout-Out: Xavier, Yadina, and Brad are part of the Nature Troop, which is seen in a few episodes.
  • Secondary Sexual Characteristics: To make them more recognizable, the child versions of male historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Mark Twain are generally depicted with mustaches and beards similar to those that the actual historical figures had, even though the child versions are way too young to have facial hair.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Brad is the Sensitive Guy to Xavier's Manly Man. Brad is very shy and sensitive, and loves ballet and butterflies, while Xavier is more traditionally masculine and more outgoing.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Aside from a few cases of Artistic License – History, the show does have a lot of research and accuracy put into it. For example, Helen Keller and the water pump, the Bronte Sisters' made up world called Glass Town, George Washington Carver's secret garden, Amelia Earhart's homemade roller coaster, Zora Neale Hurston's characters named Miss Corn Shuck and Mr. Sweet Smell, etc.
    • The crew went out of their way to make Mister Rogers' Neighborhood TV set look 100% accurate in "I Am Fred Rogers". The puppets, the clock tower, the stoplight, everything.
  • Signature Headgear: Some of the historical figures' artifacts are hats. Among these are Amelia Earhart's pilot cap and Abraham Lincoln's top hat.
  • Silence in the Library: A Running Gag in "I Am Helen Keller" is one of the main characters yelling in the library, only to be shushed by the library patrons.
  • Silent Treatment: In "I Am Lou Gehrig", Yadina gives Dr. Zoom the silent treatment because she's mad at her.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Falls heavily on the idealistic side. All of the historical figures provide a positive lesson to learn. The show also promotes the messages that kids can change the world for good.
  • Start My Own: In "I Am Marie Curie", since the girls of Poland aren't allowed to go to university, they start their own university where they can learn more about science. Brad takes inspiration from this idea and starts a butterfly club for people under 10.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Referenced a few times in the show. In "I Am Marie Curie", Marie isn't allowed to go to university because she's a girl. In "I Am Susan B. Anthony", Susan says that at her time, only men could vote.
  • Storefront Television Display: In "I Am Neil Armstrong", the gang gets to see Neil Armstrong land on the moon via televisions displayed in a storefront.
  • Strictly Formula: All the episodes have the same format. One of the characters has a problem, so the gang goes to the Secret Museum for help. Brad always protests against going there, but is made to come along anyways. The kids access the Secret Museum in a certain way (that can differ from episode to episode) such as through a dinosaur mouth or by posing in an Egyptian exhibit, etc. Then, they slide down the pole, in the exact same order: Xavier, Yadina, and Brad.note  The Secret Museum presents them with an artifact from the person they're going to meet, shows a hologram of the person, and shows the location and year. Berby delivers the kids back in time, where they meet the person. The person helps the focus character solve their problem by delivering the Aesop of the episode, multiple times, until the focus character gets it. When they get it, the kids decide to go back home, where they solve their problem.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Helen in "I Am Helen Keller" when she says her dog's name for the first time, Belle.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Since the historical figures are located anywhere in the world, oftentimes some of the figures are in different countries and speak foreign languages that aren't English. When this happens, Xavier has to use a translator in order for the trio to even understand them.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: In "I Am Zora Neale Hurston", the kids travel back in time to Florida, where Zora Neale Hurston is. Everyone there is super polite.
  • Tears of Joy: Brad cries these tears after Xavier gives an amazing performance at the school talent show in "I Am Johann Sebastian Bach"." He does this again at the end of "I Am Madam President" after Yadina thanks Xavier for making her part of their new exhibit on the female heroes they visited. He does it yet again at the end of "I Am Nellie Bly" after Yadina gets bold enough to climb the monkey bars and Xavier congratulates her for it.
  • That Cloud Looks Like...: The kids do this in "I Am Mary Shelley".
  • The Teaser: Before the main story of each episode starts, the episodes open with Xavier, Yadina, and Brad (in a white void) greeting the viewer and introducing the hero that they're going to meet.
  • Thanking the Viewer: Every episode ends with Xavier, Yadina, and Brad thanking the kids watching at home for joining them on their adventures.
  • Time Travel: The show's M.O.
  • Tin-Can Telephone: The crew attempts to use tin can phones in the intro for "I Am Alexander Graham Bell." They can't get the phones to work (clearly, they hadn't been told that the string has to be stretched taut), and they quickly end up getting tangled up as they walk around trying to figure the phones out.
  • Title, Please!: No episode titles are given in the show.
  • Token White: Brad is the only white character of the main cast.
  • To the Tune of...: In "I Am Fred Rogers", the gang and Rogers sing a song called "When I Feel Happy", which is sung to the tune of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home". Note that this song was created specifically for the episode and was never on Rogers' show.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Yadina's is a cheese and jelly sandwich.
  • Tutu Fancy: In the opening sequence to "I Am Anna Pavlova", Yadina wears a tutu.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Xavier and Brad are boys, and Yadina is a girl.
  • Two Words: Added Emphasis: In "I Am Cleopatra", Xavier doesn't know how to ask his parents if he can stay up late to see a supermoon. Yadina suggests telling them that Xavier has two words: "Super. Moon." Xavier points out that it did not work when Dr. Zoom wanted "More. Pie."
  • Very Special Episode: The half-hour special, "I Am Harriet Tubman", tackles slavery. It also first premiered in primetime.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: The characters get these sort of eyes in extreme emotions like fear, anger, etc. This is just one example.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: Owing to Brad's Jewish heritage, he often says "Oy vey" when he's frustrated, exhausted, or worried.
  • You Go, Girl!: The Billie Jean King episode shows Billie Jean working hard at playing tennis and eventually beating Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes, proving to the whole world that girls and boys can do the same things.
  • Young Future Famous People: Xavier, Yadina, and Brad travel back in time to meet famous people of history when they were children like Albert Einstein, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, and Marie Curie. As children, the historical figures possess the attributes that made them famous in adulthood. Even facial hair. The point of the show is to demonstrate that historical figures used to be children and yet changed the world with their positive messages.

Thank you for joining our awesome adventure to read this page. That is made by a troper, just like you and me. So tropers like you can change the world. I am Yadina. I am Brad. I am Xavier, and I know that TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life, just like this page.


Video Example(s):


Xavier and Yadina's Sandwiches

In the episode "I am Neil Armstrong," Xavier Riddle comes up with new and weird sandwich ideas. His sister, Yadina, sticks to the also bizarre cheese and jelly sandwiches.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / BizarreTasteInFood

Media sources: