Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Tuca & Bertie

Go To

  • Acceptable Targets: Chauvinist men are almost always on the receiving end of some well-deserved pain.
  • Accidental Aesop: Growing Up Sucks largely because you never stop growing up. Every stage of your life will have ups and downs and you need to take them as they come.
  • Adaptation Displacement: The show is based on a short-lived webcomic (NSFW for similar nudity to the show itself) called "Tuca the Tucan" which Lisa Hanawalt drew between 2013 and 2014. Tuca was the only major character, though this strip contains what may be a proto-Deli Guy and one painting contains what may be a proto-Bertie. The gag of Tuca cooking and eating her own egg was a Running Gag in the comic.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The Reveal that Bertie was molested by a lifeguard as a child and has some psychosexual issues as a result raises a few questions.
      • Bertie masturbating in Pastry Pete's bathroom after he puts her through some sort of hazing ritual. Was she trying to regain some control over her psyche after receiving unwanted attention from creepy men all day, legitimately turned on by this very attractive man she has a crush on manhandling her without her permission, or some tangled up combination of the two?
      • It's left ambiguous as to whether or not she knows Pete's actions were inappropriate and she's excusing it because she has a crush on him or doesn't and was just overwhelmed by him giving her what she otherwise considered to be innocuous physical attention. Muddying the waters even further, her Erotic Dream about him doesn't happen until after he does this. Is she trying to rationalize what she knows to be sexual harassment by writing it off as a crush? or did she really enjoy it as this is just a (relatively) normal reaction? There's a third possibility that she simply doesn't know what to make of the situation at all, hence why she doesn't warn Dakota, who saw it as nothing but predatory, and why Bertie has to be pushed by Tuca to so much as see Pete as the bad guy, let alone stand up to him, later on: her feelings about it were so complicated that she didn't know what the appropriate response would be.
    • Advertisement:
    • Tangentially related, why isn't Bertie bothered by Bruce's creepy come-ons? Is it because he's so pathetic that she doesn't actually see him as a legitimate threat? or is he a Chivalrous Pervert who makes a lot of flirty comments, but doesn't act without consent? Despite the fact that he lives in her apartment building, Bertie is significantly less afraid of him than she is of the men who give her unwanted attention out of her home and appears to trust him enough to invite him into her apartment in "SweetBeak." Even Tuca's fling with him, which Bertie finds morbidly fascinating, is implied to have been an embarrassing-but-consensual act of desperation on Tuca's part.note 
    • Advertisement:
    • While the creepy plumber was definitely violating Bertie's privacy, did he have predatory intentions or does he just have No Social Skills and was really just there to do his job, not caring whether or not Bertie was there?
  • Awesome Art: The show is filled to the brim with wacky designs, cool colors, and crazy-fluid animation which really pushes the limits of Adobe Flash. The more simplified version of Lisa Hanawalt's characters also make it significantly easier on the eyes than Bojack arguably does.
  • Awesome Music: "I'm Losing My Shit," a hilariously spot-on musical interpretation of having an anxiety attack. Who knew Ali Wong and Steven Yeun could carry a tune?
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Speckle having to eat a cake with his grandmother's spirit in it (because her cremated ashes were baked into it by accident) crosses the line about a billion times.
    • The HR woman at Bertie's office, who's already as unhelpful as possible, giving her a pamphlet about landing the man of your dreams with "appropriate" workplace flirting.
    • The sounds of Bertie's boob as she has a flashback about popping out at the water park, which it edited to sound like a Vietnam War flashback as she sits back back with bemused expression on her face.
    • Tuca's friend appears on a Judge Judy-esque show claiming a car hit him. As it turns out, he hit the car first!
    • The "I'm Losing My Shit" musical number. Bertie has an anxiety attack... IN SONG!
  • Cult Classic
  • Evil Is Sexy: Invoked with Pastry Pete. He's an absolute dreamboat with buff arms and a nice voice, which makes it difficult for Bertie to want to stand up to him once he shows his uglier side.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The "I'm Losing My Shit" song. Traditionally, Broadway musicals only have characters sing when their emotions become too over-the-top to be properly conveyed through dialogue. What's more appropriate for that technique than a literal mental breakdown?
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Shortly after it's debut, it immediately sparked one with Rocko's Modern Life, another show which depicts the everyday struggles of contemporary young adulthood with funny animals, Deranged Animation and Surreal Humor. It helps that T&B is largely inspired by wacky '90s cartoons like Rocko.
    • After the show was canceled, many fans migrated over to Netflix's next new animated show Twelve Forever, which coincidentally is also a show about growing up created by a largely female creative staff (and ironically was also short-lived).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Tuca's love of wacky car crash videos later turns out to be a coping mechanism for dealing with her mother's own fatal car accident.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • "A canary in a coal mine" is a term for something that acts as a premonition for something bad, or something that points towards it when another can't notice itnote . Dakota, a yellow canary, is the one who makes Bertie realize that something is up with Pastry Pete when he does something to her that she points out is obviously harassment, but Bertie took as him just doing his job.
    • The architect company Speckle works for is called "Bower & Bower"; bowerbirds are known for making amazingly complex nests.
    • When HR Lady talks about giving a condom demonstration she holds up a condom and a corkscrew. Guess what duck penises are shaped like.
    • After excusing herself to the bathroom to vent about Dirk, Bertie randomly screams "CLOACA!" The cloaca is the part of bird anatomy which serves as both a reproductive organ and waste disposal, and resembles a human anus. Basically, it's a really convoluted way for Bertie to call Dirk an asshole.
  • He Really Can Act: As mentioned on the trivia page, this is the first time Reggie Watts has ever played a fictional character, let alone one who wasn't just his standup persona, and he is unrecognizable as Pastry Pete.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The show is considered to be the Spiritual Successor to Rocko's Modern Life. Two months after it premiered, Netflix picked up the distribution rights to the Rocko revival special Static Cling.
  • Memetic Mutation: The "Speckle face" is frequently circulated among the fandom.
  • Misaimed Marketing: The restrictions COPPA placed on YouTube "kids' videos" applied to clips of this colorful talking animal show, even the most profane clips.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • Both In-Universe and for the audience in "The Deli Guy," Tuca accidentally turning on the light at the glowworm exhibit, revealing that all those beautiful blue lights were coming from slimy, repulsive insects. From the same episode, the subway train that's a giant slug.
    • Tuca's shelled egg being extracted on-screen in "Yeast Week".
  • Nightmare Fuel: The ending of "Plumage" where, after a long day of feeling objectified by every man she encounters, Bertie almost loses it after being manhandled during her baking lesson with Pastry Pete and only gets through it by furiously masturbating in the restroom of his bakery. It's not erotic, more an act of desperation, and it's the first hint there's more going on with Bertie than we initially suspected. Most disturbingly, the episode just ends on her doing this.
  • One True Threesome: Tuca/Bertie/Speckle is gaining some traction, due in no small part to Tuca blushing when Bertie kisses her on the beak and Speckle being part of her imaginary harem of "weird crushes," as well as him and Tuca getting along like a house on fire in "Plumage."
  • Spiritual Adaptation: This is probably the closest we're ever going to get to a Nicktoon made for adults.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The nameless pop song Tuca and Bertie sing along to in "The Jelly Lakes" sounds like "Lovefool" by The Cardigans.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Dealing with sexual harassment is a lot easier said than done. It's not as simple as pointing to a bad person who did a bad thing or having difficulty getting someone in power (male or female) to believe your side of the story, just as often, you simply don't know what it is you're supposed to do, either because you don't like confrontation or you, yourself, don't consider it that big a deal. Nevertheless, it has to be dealt with in any way possible.
    • Related to the above, women need to look out for one another, even if you can't always trust your gut feeling on right and wrong.
    • Misconduct and abuse from someone you like is no more excusable than when it's from someone you dislike.
    • Mental health is as important is brushing your teeth.
    • Don't take the support of your loved ones for granted. They need to take care of themselves as much as you need to take care of yourself, so help them help you.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: A common criticism of non-fans is that the show has too many similarities to Broad City.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: BoJack Horseman meets The Busy World of Richard Scarry ON LSD!
  • Too Good to Last: Widely considered to be one of the funniest, most clever animated shows of The New '10s and one of Western Animation's few genuinely feminist works, yet Netflix canceled it after only ten episodes.
  • Ugly Cute: Being a monkey, The Deli Guy's design is somewhere between Lisa Hanawalt's more wonky human designs and the more appealing animal characters. However, he's charming enough that his appearance becomes more appealing as a result.
  • Win the Crowd: The first trailer was met with almost unanimous praise and nary a criticism, especially from fans of BoJack Horseman, with many calling it one of the absolute funniest animated shows of the decade.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: