Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Bully: I've got some dice. Let's play a game, roll anything from 1 to 5 and I'll beat you up.
Victim: What if I roll a 6?
Bully: Then lucky you, you get to roll again.


Fillmore! was an animated television series, running from September 2002 to January, 2004, for a total of 26 episodes. An animated Homage to 1970s Cop Shows, produced by Disney for ABC Kids and then briefly shown in reruns on Toon Disney, this show features safety officers Cornelius Fillmore and Ingrid Third cracking cases around middle school in the style of, well, 1970s Cop Shows. Many episodes also parodied various films and Television series including The Silence of the Lambs. Cancelled before its time, for one of the very reasons that made it so good: the entire premise rests on smartly parodying a genre that children wouldn't be familiar with, and, like Freakazoid! before it, the watching demographics skewed older than desired, and the rest is history.

Tropes used in Fillmore! include:
  • Aborted Arc: Parnassus is clearly set up as Fillmore and Ingrid's Arch Enemy in "Ingrid Third: Public Enemy #1", but he never shows up again.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Organization: The safety patrol has the power to arrest and punish students.
    • At the same time, somewhat subverted, since the Safety Patrol is inevitably called out on its failures and actions, not to mention the fact that it's almost always in danger of being dissolved by Principal Folsom.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The setting of one of many chase scenes.
  • Adults Are Useless: Rarely will they give Fillmore the benefit of the doubt.
    • Somewhat justified, given his delinquent past and his tendency to cause more property damage than he prevents.
  • Affably Evil / Faux Affably Evil: Arthur Stanley of "Play On, Maestro, Play On." For the most part he's the first trope, but he's the second trope when pretending to side with the Safety Patrol.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The In-Universe reaction to the fall of Robert Chestnut in "Links in a Chain of Honor". "Poor Rombo. Poor, poor Rombo..."
  • Ambiguously Gay: Nelson Kelloch, Checkmatey's opponent in "Of Slain Kings on Checkered Fields", likes a boy band called the Dancey Lads, makes collages of them from magazines in his spare time, and claims he wouldn't give up playing chess for anything "save maybe front-row tickets to Dancey Lads."
    • In the same episode, Checkmatey has a crowd of screaming fangirls who find him cute... and one fanboy.
  • Appeal to Obscurity: "Who's Charles Laskey?" (Also a Genius Bonus)
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: Inverted

Vallejo: Principal Folsom isn't sure whether to give you guys a commendation or to give you detention. On the one hand, you put Stainless away. But on the other hand, you destroyed an entire shipment of brushed steel stalls, you ruined a month's supply of macaroni, and you allowed the most notorious graffiti vandal in the history of the school to escape.

  • Asshole Victim: In "Red Robins Don't Fly", Ingrid is forced to wrap up a boy with his own wallpaper that he's selling since she's undercover as one of the Red Robins. In a much later episode, "This Saviour, a Snitch", this same boy is revealed as a criminal mastermind, so (though Ingrid didn't know it), he deserved what he got before.
    • In "A Dark Score Evened", all of the victims are known bullies, targeted by a Bully Hunter.
  • The Atoner: Fillmore
  • Author Tract: The episode, "Test of the Tested" featured the students taking a standardized exam known as "The S.A.T.T.Y.9". One of the recurring dialogues of the episode is that standardized tests are not only ineffective, but are damaging and counterproductive for more creative children and for others who do not test well. Although the points about "bad test-takers" are actually pretty valid, the constant reiteration of the observation reaches Author Tract levels when pretty much every child who takes the test either gripes about how pointless it is, or, the children who actually want to take the test are depicted as somewhat neurotic overachievers. Granted, towards the end of the episode, Fillmore and Ingrid's sentiments are that although standardized tests are overly-binary, the best ways of pointing out their failures are through "editorials and petitions" and not through rule-breaking.
    • Also one of the girls in the "counseling room", Mallory, didn't actually say she wanted to take the test, but that her mother had stayed up late after work with her for weeks studying for it. With that kind of effort put in (which does happen in Real Life with tests like the SATs) it's no wonder she was upset it had been stolen.
      • Fridge Brilliance about Mallory and a lot of other kids' worries: If a test like the SAT, PSAT, FCAT, or such is invalidated for a class or school (one in Florida had the PSAT interrupted by a gun threat), then the next test is usually a whole different format or version so that it doesn't come off as "__ School had more study time then the others" and the kids are at a disadvantage because it might be a format slightly different then their used to (the PSAT in the example was redone a month later with a different test that required slightly different things then the students had studied for all year). And even a slight variation on a standarized test can be major.
  • Balloon Belly: Joyce in "Of Slain Kings on Checkered Fields".
  • Big Eater: Fillmore
    • Also Joyce from "Of Slain Kings on Checkered Fields".
  • Bully Hunter: An episode had the safety patrol tracking down someone targeting bullies for humiliation, ending with An Aesop about there being better ways to deal with bullies.
  • By-The-Book Cop: In "Ingrid Third: Public Enemy #1", Wayne Ligget, Fillmore's former partner, is said to be this in contrast with Fillmore's Cowboy Cop.

Fillmore: You're always by the book.
Wayne: You threw out my book.

  • The Cameo: Spinelli makes a brief cameo in one episode.
  • Catch Phrase: Fillmore's "Disco" and Third's "Crackers"
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin'': Fillmore always gets chewed out for the collateral damage resulting from a chase, regardless of whether or not it was his fault.
    • Similarly, the Safety Patrol as a whole is constantly getting chewed out by Principal Folsom.
    • A boy who drew his name on toilet stalls is kept in solitary confinement. Crimes such as making false baseball cards will result in Filmore hunting you down.
    • Consider that said boy used a pencil no bigger than 3 centimeters to deface an entire room and it kinda makes sense. Given proper equipment......... the chaos he could cause.
  • Captain Crash: Fillmore
  • Chase Scene: Once an Episode, and always highly spectacular.

Fillmore: Why do they always run?

  • Class Trip: "Masterstroke of Malevolence," to the Modern Contemporary Natural History, Art, Science and Miniature Museum.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: O'Farrell certainly has a unique perspective on life.
  • Cold Cash: Or rather, a Cold Ledger
  • Consulting a Convicted Killer: The episode "To Mar a Stall" is one big Shout-Out to Silence of the Lambs. In it, Fillmore consults with Randall the Vandal, who is kept in a permanent state of detention, in order to gain insight into the mind of the mystery vandal 'Stainless'.
  • Conveyor Belt O' Doom: From "The Shreds Fell Like Snowflakes"
  • Corrupt Hick: "South of Friendship, North of Honor"
  • Cowboy Cop: Or as close to it as a Disney cartoon can go.
  • Crazy People Play Chess: Checkmatey, the X Middle School chess champion, can be considered a mild case of this.
  • Da Chief: Vallejo, with the voice and outfit to match.
  • Deadpan Snarker: TQ from "The Unseen Reflection".
  • Demonic Dummy: A toned-down children's version of the split personality variant happens in "Foes Never Forget."
  • Die Hard on an X: "A Cold Day at X"
  • Diplomatic Impunity: With a Canadian diplomat's son and his counterfeit baseball card ring. Somewhat justified in that X really didn't want a diplomatic incident after the last one.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The culprit of "Field Trip of the Just" gets one of the harsher punishments in the series, despite being one of the more sympathetic culprits.
  • Elaborate University High: Try middle school. And it's HUGE! It has all the industrial capabilities of a small city.
  • Engineered Public Confession: In "South of Friendship, North of Honor", where Fillmore taunts the southern chief commissioner into a full confession, not realizing that Wayne Ligget was holding a microphone that broadcast his confession to the whole school.
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Expy: Randal Julian ("Randal the Vandal") is an obvious kid Expy of Hannibal Lecter ("Hannibal the Cannibal").
  • Even the Guys Want Him: In "Of Slain Kings on Checkered Fields," when Checkmatey's groupies are tearing at his clothes, there is a male groupie there as well.
  • The Family That Bully Around Together: Red Robins, not technically family, but that what's makes them "team".
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: During the hijack of skateboards, bikes, etc. (See below), the duo take the safety gear, too.
  • Fast Roping: Done at the end of "Immune To All But Justice" by the Safety Patrol.
  • Flashed Badge Hijack
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Despite the rest of the body being fairly realistically drawn.
  • Gamer Chick: Ingrid is shown to be one in "Play On Maestro, Play On".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Given all the parental bonuses, this is not a surprise. One major example occurs in the last episode wherein Ingrid and a witness (a boy) swap clothes to decoy the kids chasing them. Thing is, they and Fillmore were hiding in a small closet when the swap was made, so the show got away with two middle school boys seeing a middle school girl in her underwear after shucking clothes in a closet.
    • And in 'Test of the Tested', we get to hear the following quote explaining how to escape a Chinese Fingertrap:

Fillmore: Push and pull out, baby.

  • Girl Scouts Are Evil: "Red Robins Don't Fly"
  • Green Around the Gills: O'Farrell in "Next Stop, Armageddon". When he sees the sight of a model train wreck, a shade of green appears on each of his cheeks, as he gets the urge to throw up and heads for the restroom.
  • Groupie Brigade: Checkmatey has one in "Of Slain Kings on Checkered Fields"
  • Hannibal Lecture: "To Mar a Stall"
    • Whilst we're at it, lets just take a second to think about that. A kid's show, on Disney Channel, has a Hannibal lecture. Yeah, you're damn right this show was a pastiche of something its younger viewers wouldn't recognize.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: And occasionally scooters, rolling chairs, and even a golf cart.
    • Don't forget the pogo sticks.
    • Or the floor waxer.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: The closest thing Fillmore has to a love interest is the redheaded Penny Madrid. Averted when he rejects her.
  • If I Can't Have You: In Nappers never sleep the true culprit has this attitude.
  • Impersonating an Officer
  • Inspector Javert: Truant Officer Langley Turk in "Field Trip of the Just"
  • The Killer Was Left-Handed: In "The Shreds Fell Like Snowflakes", the hall monitors find that someone has been shredding other students' important papers. From the angle of the shreds, they determine which hand the shredder used to place the papers in. Turns out, it was all of the victims, working together to frame a non-existent shredder.
    • Also in "To Mar A Stall" Fillmore and Third figure out that the person who had defaced the bathrooms had to be left-handed because of the way their letters overlapped. The girl who did it was mad that they weren't using the stainless-steel she'd argued for over 50 times.
  • Large Ham: While the major villains in the show avert this, (in contrast to most Disney media) "Mon Ami", spoke in such a manner, and this was even lampshaded.

They said that I overact! Imagine that! ME!


Ingrid: Y'know, you could have done some acting classes instead of this whole revenge-on-the-drama-club trick.

    • Also Checkmatey in "Of Slain Kings on Checkered Fields."
    • Principal Folsom has very hammy dialog.
  • Location Theme Naming: Most of the characters' last names are streets in San Francisco. Given that many of the streets themselves are surnames in the first place, the character's names usually sound quite normal.
    • This is a pun/ShoutOut in its own right, since The Streets Of San Francisco is the archetype of the genre that Fillmore! so lovingly parodies, complete with the Quinn Martin-esque announcements ("Today's Episode: 'Immune To All But Justice'!").
  • Lost in the Maize: "Two Wheels, Full Throttle, No Brakes". Of course X Middle School has its own corn maze. Why wouldn't it?
  • Love Makes You Crazy/Love Makes You Evil: Milder version of the second. Despite the show being mostly No Hugging, No Kissing, a lot of the cases' underlying motives involve one student's crush on another
  • McCloud Speech: Frequently
  • New Old Flame: Penny to Fillmore in "Immune To All But Justice". Turns out to be a Fille Fatale as well.
  • Not So Different: Malika and Ingrid.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Well, not completely. There's plenty of crushes and hugging among the secondary and one-off characters, but not between the main cast and there's no kissing other than a Fillmore's old partner receiving a chaste congratulatory kiss on the cheek from a classmate after he gets promoted to School Patrol Sheriff.
  • No Name Given: Vallejo. In "The Shreds Fell Like Snowflakes", Folsom says his first name, but it's obscured by a microphone feedback squeal.
    • Though not well, because you can still hear her say "Horatio". Plus you can read her lips.
  • No Periods, Period: Subtly averted: in a scene in "To Mar A Stall", you can clearly see a tampon container inside a girl's bathroom stall.
  • Obfuscating Disability: More than once, actually. Appears in both "Play On, Maestro, Play On" and "The Currency of Doubt."
  • Officer O'Hara: O'Farrell is a kilt-wearing ginger security member. Now, make an educated guess.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Ingrid, as you can tell by the picture.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: According to "Two Wheels, Full Throttle, No Brakes", 9 out of 10 kids use their birthday as their bicycle lock combination.
  • Perky Goth: Ingrid
  • Photographic Memory: Ingrid
  • Platonic Life Partners: Throughout the whole series there was never even a single hint that Fillmore and Ingrid wanted to be more than friends.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: O'Farrell
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Checkmatey
  • Rube Goldberg Device: "Play On, Maestro! Play On!"
  • Serious Business: This is really the main trope that fuels the humor for the show. Even though the cast is made up of kids in school clubs, they treat their hobbies as seriously as any character on Law and Order.
  • Scout Out: The Red Robins
  • Ship Tease: Between Fillmore and Penny in "Immune To All But Justice" until the end.
  • Shout-Out: The show often included homages to other stories that probably went over the heads of a lot of the younger audience members. For example, there was a genius art student turned graffiti artist kept in "a permanent state of detention" without access to art supplies, known by the name "Randal the Vandal."
    • Same episode: the plot revolves around toilets being graffitied, and types of art. One pretentious character remarks, when busted;

"Yes! I draw toilets. Beautiful toilets. The perfect marriage of form and function, of style and substance, of water and porcelain."
There's a very famous (and originally very controversial) piece known as the Fountain, a urinal tagged with R Mutt. The original was destroyed, but remains immortalized in a photograph. One wonders how much the writers and animators were making a tribute to their art history classes...

    • There's also a Pokemon reference in the early Season 1 episode Test of the Tested when Fillmore and Ingrid are chasing after Augie Samson and they run through a cheer practice. The cheer director (is that what they're called, I really don't know) remarks that the pyramid the cheerleaders make is "as solid as a Geodude using its Harden attack".
    • In one episode, Fillmore and Ingrid interrogated the son of a Canadian diplomat, who rubbed Fillmore the wrong way. On his way out, Fillmore "accidentally" knocks over a bottle of maple syrup, spilling it over the floor, then said, "Oh, I'm sorry. Did I do that?" In another episode, Fillmore "accidentally" ruins another rude suspect's souffle by popping an inflated paper bag, then stating the same line.
    • If loving Checkmatey is a crime, then I plead guilty in the first degree!
    • Principal Fulsom also says Checkmatey "can make those bishops dance like Britney with a boa."
    • Ingrid says she has an eggplant that looks like FredDurst
  • Soul Brotha: Fillmore
  • Strangers on a Train Plot Murder: "A Dark Score Evened", only without the murder.
  • Straw Fan: "The Unseen Reflection" has three different straw fangirls.
  • Straw Man Has a Point: In the episode "A Dark Score Evened", concerning a group of vigilantes targeting bullies, the head of the fashion department was given her "I'm a jerk" characterization by tearing up her assistant's fashion design and yelling at her. Here's the thing: while she could've been nicer about it, that design really WAS an abomination. pay attention: The outfit was Capri pants and a halter top... FOR MEN. That assistant is completely insane for thinking that was a good idea.
  • Sympathetic Criminal: Some of the culprits
  • The Profiler: Frank Bishop.
  • Third Person Person: Derrick Minna in "Two Wheels, Full Throttle, No Brakes."
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: Elliot in "Test Of The Stressed", light blush appears on his cheeks when Ingrid informs him that his butt cheeks are exposed due to a hole he unwittingly and accidentally made in his boxer shorts.
    • In "A Forgotten Yesterday", flush appears on an angry Peabody's cheeks after he's insulted by Vallejo.
  • Troperiffic: Concerning Cop Shows, at least, to the point that one can predict the entire episode from the basic premise.
  • Turn in Your Badge
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Parnassus in "Ingrid Third: Public Enemy #1".
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome?: The show virtually ran on it.
    • Special mention must go to Check Matey, the hip-hop spouting, fangirl-atracting chess player.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Heinous?: A lot of the "crimes" in the show are pretty overblown. Like virtual pet-napping. Or stealing tartar sauce packets from the cafeteria.
    • To be fair, the whole premise of the cartoon was that is was a parody of cop shows, but instead of a home city, they were in middle school, thus, real life crimes had juvenile counterparts. For instance, counterfeiting baseball cards could be seen as a kiddie version of counterfeiting money. (It was certainly treated that seriously.)
  • Whole-Plot Reference: "A Cold Day at X", "Two Wheels, Full Throttle, No Brakes", "Immune to All But Justice" and "To Mar A Stall" are essentially kid-friendly versions of Die Hard, Gone in Sixty Seconds,Lethal Weapon 2 and The Silence of the Lambs respectively.
  • Wild Mass Guessing: Lilo and Stitch crossed over with Kim Possible, Recess, The Proud Family, and American Dragon: Jake Long. This places them in the same continuity. Now, Ingrid from Fillmore! appeared in the background of an American Dragon: Jake Long episode, placing it in the same continuity as the others. In the Recess movie, the kids single-handedly foil an evil plot to destroy the Earth's orbit. Lilo and Stitch deal with monstrous aliens all the time in their series. Kim Possible handles this crap on a regular basis. The Proud Family has weird stuff happen on a semi-regular basis. In each of these instances, no one really bats an eye. This means that the reason no one thought to call the cops due to the murder attempt in the Checkmatey episode is that the adults of this world expect kids to handle their own life-threatening dangers.
    • Also to note, Spinelli from Recess appears in the background of a pan of the school cafeteria in "Electric Haircut", further supporting this theory of Fillmore! and Recess being in the same continuity.
    • Another possible connection to Recess is that Ingird shares her last name with Thaddeus T. Third, the 3rd; the man whom Third Street Elementary was named after. Since other Recess episodes make reference to an extended Third family, who remain influential citizens of the community Third Street occupies, this may mean that Recess and Filmore actually take place in the same town.
  • Wondrous Ladies' Room: "To Mar a Stall"
    • Additionally in the episode featuring the "bully payback squad."

"It's clean. The girl's bathroom is clean! Why is the boy's room such a pit?! It smells like lavender in here. I love lavender!" Beat "I'll be outside."