Bear in the Big Blue House
Welcome to the page for Bear in the Big Blue House, the program that proves that maybe, just maybe, everything isn't worse with bears, at TV Tropes! We think that you smell good!
First seen in 1997, Bear in the Big Blue House was part of a group of programs that ushered in a new era for Playhouse Disney. In each episode, the titular character would invite viewers into his home, the cozy Big Blue House, for a day of fun and learning with his young characters Tutter, Ojo, Treelo and Pip & Pop. Together, they would learn about life and the world, everything from how to share with others to toilet-training. As they grew and learned, the series opened up, taking viewers into the wider Woodland Valley in which the characters lived.
Bear in the Big Blue House was a Muppet show, a production of the Jim Henson Company. It aired for four seasons on Playhouse Disney; the final season featuring a vastly expanded set and an additional cast of characters. The program's final episodes were not aired in the United States until 2006, well over three years after the previous original airings, though they had long been airing in non-U.S. markets. Though no longer seen on Playhouse Disney in the United States, numerous DVD and videocassette releases are available for the program. Wiki-wise, Bear in the Big Blue House is covered at the Muppet Wiki, which features detailed information about the series and a detailed episode guide. The program is also covered in a number of articles at the wiki's sister site, Tough Pigs, including My Week with Bear, My Week with More Christmas and the Tough Pigs Maturity Test, a supposed test to gauge one's maturity using two potty-training books released by the series.
- Adaptation Distillation: A number of tie-in books were released for the series and many of them were watered-down versions of television episodes. A couple even combined elements from two separate episodes.
- Adults Are Useless: Generally subverted - Bear is far from useless, in fact, he's so on the ball, it's fantastic.
- Alliterative Name: Tutter's Great-Grandpa Tutterly T. Tutter (all his names begin with Ts!)
- Aside Glance: Bear frequently does this by bunching his eyebrows and staring directly at the camera with a look that clearly says, "Can you BELIEVE this crap?"
- Be Yourself: The entire episode "I've Gotta Be Me," to name just one example.
- Big Eater: Tutter's relatives are shown to be big eaters.
- Character Title
- Christmas Episode: And Hannukkah, and Kwanzaa and other non-denominational holidays. They still called it a "A Beary Bear Christmas," though, and it's a two parter.
- Christmas Special: Take the above two-parter episode, edit the parts together, and you have the same special which is available on VHS.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Treelo has been known to exhibit tendencies of this.
Bear: (regarding a tomato) But, Treelo, I have to put in the basket along with the other foods we're going to eat.
Treelo: Eat! Eat?! Bear, no! Shhh! Be careful, tomato hear you. Tomato Treelo's friend.
Bear: The tomato is your friend?
- Crossover: Bear made an appearance on The Hollywood Squares. Wait, what? He also appeared a couple of times on Donny & Marie, a talk show hosted by Donny and Marie Osmond.
- Dance Sensation: In an episode in the fourth season, the mice at Tutter's school all do the "Mumble Mambo," but Tutter is uncomfortable with it and can't seem to get into it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Despite his generally kind and caring nature, Bear can be surprisingly capable of this, especially in his nonvocal mannerisms. Tutter is very good at it too.
- Edited for Syndication: Much of the video releases of the specials (i.e. A Beary Bear Christmas) have scenes missing for reasons unknown.
- Fantasy Helmet Enforcement
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Bear and Luna are close.
- Feather Fingers: For Lois, a blue-footed booby
- Friend to All Children: Bear
- Furry Confusion: While most of the animal characters speak perfect English, Harry the Duck (who's a bit younger than the others) often quacks loudly, especially when excited. There are also other animals within the series that are much less anthropomorphic.
- Glad I Thought of It: Tutter does this to Bear, regularly, but Bear's always so calm and mild-mannered, he never minds. Doc Hogg has also been known to do this.
- Halloween Episode
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Luna was once the head of Acme Crimenet.
- Her voice is deeper than usual, but Ursa is Carmen Oshbar.
- I Can't Dance: Tutter, in one of the Playhouse Disney stage shows. Bear tells him that everyone can dance.
- Kid Appeal Character: Treelo. In fact, in one of the songs, Bear sings that Treelo is "faster than a bumblebee."
- The Kiddie Ride: A Bear on a boat ride was made in the early 2000s. It played a running commentary made by Bear through the ride.
- Licensed Games/Edutainment Games: Ubisoft released one for the PlayStation and the Game Boy Color back in the early 2000s. There was also a few PC Edutaiment titles.
- Living Shadow: One of Bear's friends is named Shadow, she appears in most episodes to relate a story told as a shadow play, though the stories are often bizarre in nature.
- Logo Joke: The logo for the company Shadow Projects shown at the end of each episode featured a dog barking, but sometimes it would make other noises, such as quacking like a duck or meowing like a cat.
- The Man in the Moon: At the end of each episode, Bear heads up to his attic and talks about what happened with his good friend Luna, the moon.
- The Musical: The first season episode "Mouse Party" was turned into a stage musical, which was later released on DVD.
- Name's the Same: Luna should never be confused with the winged-unicorn that was banished to sleep on her for a thousand years.
- Neat Freak: Tutter is well known for this. He always seeks to tidy up anything he can and even has his own song about it: "Why Won't the Dirt Just Leave Me Alone?"
- No Antagonist: It's a slice-of-life type show targeted at toddlers, so this is expected.
- Non-Interactivity: Using a method in which Bear asks a question related to the topic of the episode and a video of real kids answering it is shown. This was dropped in the fourth season. Other than that, there is No Fourth Wall and Bear talks to the viewers in a manner similar to Mister Rogers.
- Parental Abandonment: The Big Blue House seems to serve a sort of combination of daycare and orphanage. Most of the characters have grandparents shown, but not any actual parents. The unspoken rule, though, seems to be that they just don't talk about it.
- Parental Bonus: Tons of it. There's much humor of the Pop Culture type in the series that would hit home with the parents and older viewers but fly over the toddler viewers' head. Additionally, some of the episodes talk about things that few other TV shows for the same target demographic dare to tread. This also explains the huge Periphery Demographic following.
- In the camping episode, Pip (or Pop) asks "yeah, what does a bear do anyway?" They're in the woods.
- Pig Man: Doc Hogg.
- Playful Otter: Pip and Pop
- Potty Failure: Justified in "When You've Gotta Go" - Ojo, who is still learning, doesn't make it in time and Bear tells her that it's okay, accidents happen.
- Santa Claus: Not actually seen, but the kids get to visit "Santa Hogg" (Doc Hogg), whom Bear says is one of Santa's helpers.
- Screwed by the Network: When the series was cancelled, fans asked for more despite being a long running show with over a hundred episodes. Instead of giving the series another season, Disney created the ill-thought-out, No Export for You Spin-Off Breakfast With Bear, which was shortly after canceled without a reason. Breakfast With Bear was a more of a programming block than a program. The only character was Bear and there were also segments featuring real kids. These would be shown in-between airings of other Playhouse Disney programming.
- Short Run in Peru: As mentioned before, the final episodes of the show aired in various markets outside the US three years before it was finally aired in the US.
- Shout-Out: In "I've Gotta Be Me," Bear dons a grayish sweater and tells us that "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." Some familiar music plays and he suggests that maybe he should get a pair of sneakers. Also, at one point in the episode "Let's Get Interactive," Bear is looking for dirt, water and seeds to help solve a puzzle. He says "You know, these things would be a lot easier to find if we had a couple of guides to help us" and then Pip and Pop show up. When he says this, closed-captioning reads "You know, these things would be a lot easier to find if we had a little blue dog to help us." Additionally, at the end of "I've Got Your Number," Luna states that "numbers go on and on forever, |to infinity and beyond!"
- Slice of Life: The basic nature of the show, though they try to work themes into it as well. Lampshaded - "For some reason, everyone was talking about using the potty today."
- The Smurfette Principle: Ojo as the only main female character
- Talking to Himself: A number of characters shared puppeteers/voice actors. Tyler Bunch puppeteered/voiced the major characters Treelo, Pop and Doc Hogg. There was also Peter Linz, who pulled double duty on Tutter and Pip, as well as a number of guest characters. The puppeteer/voice actress for Ojo also puppeteered/voiced a number of other less prominent characters on the show. Due to the heavy use of song numbers on the program, this also often resulting in the same performer either singing to another of their characters, or sometimes even singing in harmony with one of them.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: Almost every episode, often more than one per episode. Every episode features the "Goodbye Song" when Bear sings with Luna the moon and there is almost always at least one other song. "A Plant Grows in Bear's House" has no original song for the episode, but it's uncertain if there are any other episodes without one.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Around the beginning of "A Beary Bear Christmas," Bear sings a line frome the theme song in order to get the kids to notice him when they're arguing over how to help out to get ready for the holidays.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Type 2. Harry the Duck insists on calling Bear "Mr. Bear," despite his repeated assurances that "Oh, and Harry? It's just Bear."
- Third Person Person: Treelo.
- Title Drop: Bear sometimes refers to himself as "Bear in the Big Blue House" when answering the telephone.
- Totally Radical: In the episode "I've Gotta Be Me," Bear donned a "hip"-looking hat and said "Hey there, hi there, ho there, Daddio? What is up?" He then asked us what we thought and admitted that look wasn't him.
- The Unintelligible: Did anyone actually understand anything Treelo said?
- Welcome Titles