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Western Animation / Yam Roll

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Edamame, Yam Roll, Ebi, and Tamago

"Yam Roll, are you there? You'd better not be using your special powers to have fun!"
Katcho Miso, Yam Roll's mentor

Yam Roll is a little-known Canadian animated series of 3-minute and 11-minute animated shorts chronicling, as the long title suggests, The Very Good Adventures of Yam Roll in Happy Kingdom. It was created by Jono Howard (known for writing/co-writing many episodes of Ed, Edd n Eddy and later developing Numb Chucks) and Jon Izen and produced by March Entertainment, also known for Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist and Chilly Beach.

Happy Kingdom is a generally peaceful place inhabited by anthropomorphic Japanese food, and the titular Yam Roll (voice of Lee Tockar) is a well-meaning but reckless, cowboy-boot and -hat-wearing cab driver. His life can be a bit frustrating: his friends seem to cause more problems than they're worth, and the love of his life, the selfish spicy tuna roll Minamiko, barely knows that he exists. At the same time, he is gifted with seemingly limitless superpowers that permit him to fly and transform himself — which his teacher has strictly forbidden him from using for his own gain. There's also the occasional kingdom-ravaging monster.

The shorts were broadcasted on CBC's Kids Block on Saturday mornings, with a total of 39 shorts being produced throughout 2006. all of the episodes can be watched streaming from and Hulu.

Yam Roll contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Yam Roll becomes rather insufferable in "Moustache Friday" after having a sentient moustache affix itself to his face.
  • All There in the Manual: The official website has lots of interesting tidbits about the characters that are only alluded to in the show.
  • Another Dimension: Yam Roll thinks that he's sent to one after eating too much chocolate and speeding through a tunnel into the aftermath of a pie-eating contest.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: The citizens of Happy Kingdom.
  • Baguette Beatdown: How else do you defend yourself against grocery store ninjas?
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: "What's Wrong With This Picture" has Yam Roll invite the audience to count all of the mistakes in the episode. There's only one mistake, and it's that Yam Roll isn't wearing the right hat.
  • Carpet of Virility: After Ebi successfully shaves off his evil moustache, Yam Roll asks him to shave his back.
  • Crossing the Desert: Tamago and Yam Roll cross the desert of Tempura's lost and found in order to find Tamago's umbrella.
  • Destructive Saviour: Yam Roll, whenever there's a big monster involved.
  • Driven to Villainy: Yam Roll, after being mistreated despite being a decent guy, decides niceness isn't worth it and tries to become a bad boy by wearing black and putting on shades. No one is fooled.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The dispatcher.
  • Eyed Screen: Parodied in "The Sand in Bikini Problem".
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Most character and place names are Japanese foods, phrases, or just Japanese-sounding, keeping with Happy Kingdom's general theme.
    • Parodied a bit; Genki Desu's sister's name is Shmenki Desu.
  • Harmless Freezing: The air conditioning in Phil's spy-cab does this to Minamiko.
  • Kaiju: The main reason Yam Roll fights them is to impress Minamiko.
  • Mistaken for Gay: The monster from "Sand in Bikini Problem" chooses to cuddle with Frank the weiner at Yam Roll's behest.
  • Morphic Resonance: Whatever Yam Roll transforms into is usually orange and wearing a cowboy hat.
  • Mundane Utility: Katcho Miso forbade Yam Roll from using his powers for this, but it doesn't stop him from trying...
  • Oblivious to Love: Genki has a thing for Yam Roll, but he's too obsessed with Minamiko to notice.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Tamago was apparently born with them.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: In "The Short Short", Yam Roll freaks out at a waitress who offers him shortcake in lieu of short ribs.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: The monsters that attack Happy Kingdom don't have a lot of impact on the plot except to introduce opportunities for Yam Roll to impress Minamiko.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: During a game of Jabberwocky street hockey in "More Walkie, Less Talkie".
    Yam Roll: That's it, I quit. Look, it's too rocky to play socky hockey with a stocky cocky jockey knocking Yakotaki's walkie-talkie into Takoyaki's gawky, squawky hawk Butaki. Besides, it's 4 o'clocky, and I gotta go to my dry cleaner's and pick up my smocky.
  • Satiating Sandwich: Yam Roll is often seen with one in hand.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Minamiko acknowledges (and manipulates) all of her suitors except Yam Roll.
  • Signature Headgear: Yam Roll's cowboy hat.
  • The Taxi: Yam Roll works for the Tempura cab company. The dispatcher and his coworkers are recurring characters, especially in the 3-minute shorts.

Alternative Title(s): The Very Good Adventures Of Yam Roll In Happy Kingdom