Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

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Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends was a animated television series, running from August 2004 to May 2009, for a total of 79 episodes in six seasons. The premise is based on a simple question: In a World where imaginary friends are living, tangible beings, what happens to those friends when the kids grow up?

According to Cartoon Network and Craig McCracken, they go to Foster's, of course! A home for imaginary friends whose kids have outgrown them, Foster's is a place where friends can live together until they are adopted by a child who needs them. The show follows Mac, a shy and creative 8 year old boy, whose imaginary friend Bloo is thrown out of Mac's home and forced to come live at Foster's. Mac doesn't want Bloo to be adopted by another kid, so it's agreed that Bloo will not be put up for adoption, provided that Mac come and play with him every day. Bloo's egotistical, mischievous nature is the complete opposite of Mac's, and together the two cause all manner of chaos throughout the house.

The show averts Not-So-Imaginary Friend in that everyone can see and hear the friends, not just their creators. Since almost all of the characters are imaginary friends dreamed up by children, the show's cast consists of an array of impossible creatures, sometimes bordering on the surreal. There's strong characterization throughout, however, even as the highly comedic plots tend to rely on Bloo causing ever-escalating mayhem. Is known to have loads of Parental Bonuses as well.

Over the course of the series, two Made For TV Movies were released: Good Wilt Hunting in 2006, and Destination Imagination in 2008. Both of them are noticeably Darker and Edgier than the series itself.

Tropes used in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends include:


  • Absentee Actor: Mac doesn't appear in "Pranks for Nothing", even in the beginning. The events right at the beginning took place right after he left, or he was sick and couldn't come to Foster's anyway. It also could have been before he even came, considering that Mr. Herriman said the trip would be 7 hours long.

Bloo: Hey, Mr. Herriman! How long till we get there?
Mr. Herriman: 7 hours.

World: I'm free, Mr. Herriman!
Mr. Herriman: Splendid.
World: And Frankie freed me!
Mr. Herriman: Yes, I saw that.

  • Curse of the Ancients
  • Dark Horse Victory
  • Darker and Edgier: Destination Imagination. It was even rated TV-PG (usually TV-Y7)
    • The entire series may fall under this when compared to the other comedies on Cartoon Network at the time of its premiere. When you consider that Wilt has the darkest backstory out of every character, and that Mac's life is a near living Hell, the show could very well be one of the most depressing shows Cartoon Network produced.
  • Deadly Prank
  • Devil in Plain Sight: "Everyone Knows It's Bendy"
  • Directionless Driver: Gender-flipped; when Frankie gets lost, Mac complains about how she won't ask for directions.
  • Disappeared Dad: Mac and Terrance's dad.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?
  • Don't Think, Feel: Parodied.
  • Dork Horse Candidate
  • Downer Ending: The ending to "Bloo Tube", when the Monsoon Lagoon-obsessed Bloo has to stay at the home, in bandages and a wheelchair, while the rest of the cast gets to go to the aforementioned water park; the final shot shows the house as we hear Bloo crying hysterically.
    • Eh, not exactly, depending on how you look at it. For some, it's a Downer Ending. For others, it's Laser-Guided Karma because Bloo spent the whole day moping, ruining everyone else's fun, threw a tantrum and basically just wanted everyone else to be as miserable as he was just because he couldn't go to a water park.
    • At the end of "Foster's Goes to Europe", Eurotrish finally returns to her owner in Europe. Naturally, she must sing a song to express her happiness—only to be interrupted by her owner shouting out the window, "Stop the singing! Why do you think we sent you away in the first place?" Afterward, Eurotrish dejectedly sulks away, singing, "I'm-a going to America..."
  • Drop-In Character: A rare protagonist Drop-In Character, Mac has to visit the home every day in order to keep Bloo from being adopted.
  • Elevator Floor Announcement
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: "I'm sowwy, Mistuh Hewwiman"
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied: Wilt has trouble saying "No" when someone asks him to do something.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Frankie and World in The Movie. Frankie finally gets what she wanted all along, to be treated fairly and respected for all she does, Mr. Herriman finally fairly splitting the house work among everyone in the House instead of all on her. World, the Big Bad of The Movie and an emotionally unstable Reality Warper whose been sealed in a toy chest by himself for who knows how long, is finally freed from his prison and has the friends he'd wanted the entire movie. But both had to go a long way to get it.
  • Episode Title Card
  • Everyone Knows Morse
  • Evil Twin: Played with, sort of. See the image on the trope page.
  • Expospeak Gag
  • Expy: Mac is based on a one-time Powerpuff Girls character, Mike, who had an imaginary friend of his own. Also, his early design had a lot in common with Linus van Pelt, which is particularly telling when you remember that Bloo's design was based off a child's security blanket. And after the pilot premiered, Craig McCracken's family told him Mac is pretty much what McCracken was like when he was little. His name's even "Mac".
    • Also, Wilt's creator, Jordan Michaels.
    • It's possible Mr. Herriman is one of the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, since he's a white rabbit with a waist coat and a penchant for being on time.
    • Frankie was based on McCracken's wife, Lauren Faust.
  • Extranormal Institute
  • Fake Brit: Kansas native Tom Kane as Mr Herriman. He mostly pulls it off, but certain pronunciations may give the game away.
  • Fantastic Science: Figmentology.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink, as well as Fairy Tale Motifs: Unicorns, giant monsters, superheroes, whatever the heck Coco is supposed to be, and countless other creatures.
    • Coco's been explained, and it's kind of sad. Her creator was a girl who was trapped on a deserted island for a long time, and created an imaginary friend to keep herself sane. Coco is an amalgam of things that the girl could see around her: the crashed plane (Coco's body), the deflated life raft she tried to get off the island with (Coco's beak), a palm tree (Coco's head), and her own sunburned feet (Coco's...feet).
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Wilt.
  • Fawlty Towers Plot: "Bus The Two Of Us"
  • Fiery Redhead: Frankie.
  • First Name Ultimatum: And justified in the cases of some characters, like Mac, who well, don't have a last name
  • Five-Man Band
  • Flat Character: Duchess is incapable of being anything other than a whiny, demanding noblewoman... and she is literally 2-dimensional.
  • Forbidden Fruit: "Secret door, secret door, SECRET DOOR!"
  • Framed Clue: How Mac and Bloo find the map to the Foster's treasure.
  • Genki Girl: Goo. And possibly Madame Foster and Coco.
  • Gentle Giant: Eduardo is a giant purple minotaur who appears frightening to Mac at first, but he turns out to be sweet and (to be honest) a coward - unless his friends are in danger. Wilt is a very, very tall fellow with one arm who is polite to the point of neurosis.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Loads of it.
    • (After trying and failing to glue Madame Foster's stone head back together with toothpaste) Bloo: "A bust this big needs adequate support!"
    • In the episode "Affairweather Friends", the title is just the beginning.
    • In the episode "Squeakerboxx", Bloo is inside of the men's room squeaking an elephant. Granted, it's literally an elephant and made of rubber, but still........
    • Whenever you see inside Terrence's room, if you look carefully, you'll always see a box of tissues and a bottle of lotion.
    • The grandaddy of all comes in the finale, due to a mistaken line reading. Cartoon Network kept it in. See Precision F-Strike below.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: Frankie. "Holy. Guac. Amolie."
  • Grand Finale: Destination: Imagination and Goodbye to Bloo
  • G-Rated Drug: Sugar to Mac.
    • Cookies to Frankie in "Cookie Dough".
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Eduardo.
  • Growing Up Sucks: The premise is that nearly all kids grow out of needing their imaginary friends, so Mac will likely end up leaving Bloo. However, we've seen some creators as adults, and they still care a great deal for their imaginary friends. Madame Foster says that Mac's imagination is the purest she's seen since her own, and she never gave up her imaginary friend...
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Lampshaded in "Adoptcalypse Now".
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Goo's parents.
  • Hanging Judge: "Go Cheese Go".
  • Her Codename Was Mary Sue: "The Bloo Superdude and the Potato of Power".
  • Heroic Sociopath: Bloo.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Mac and Bloo.
  • Hiccup Hijinks
  • High-Class Glass: Mr. Herriman's monocle.
  • Horny Scientist
  • Horrible Camping Trip
  • Hug and Comment: "Mac Daddy" has:

Bloo: I love you, brother! (hugs Cheese)
Cheese: I pooted.

Mr Herriman: Good heavens! What's happening?!
Bloo: You PISSED HIM OFF, that's what happening!!!

    • Though given the situation, it seems to be a perfectly reasonable response.
  • Precocious Crush: Mac and Frankie
  • Properly Paranoid: Madame Foster, about the old folks home.
  • Rickroll: See Crowning Moment Of Awesome, above.
  • Quicksand Sucks
  • Quirky Household
  • Reality Warper: Goo has an overactive imagination, which means that she runs the risk of calling new Imaginary Friends into existence by accident (and somehow, she manages not to be creepy).
    • Frankie's new friend, World, controls an entire dimension inside a toy box.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie
  • Rear Window Investigation
  • Rebel Relaxation
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Bloo and Mac.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: The only reason we know what Coco's saying.
  • Repeat What You Just Said
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Uncle Pockets.
  • Rickroll: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i7B5aHafc0
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Mac and Goo.
  • Schemer: Bloo.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Subverted.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: This is how the parents of the boy who created World viewed him when they locked him in his toy box, and apparently told Foster's such as they kept him in there. However, this is a subversion as World wasn't evil, just misunderstood and just wanted friends.
  • Second-Person Attack: A few examples.
    • In one episode, when Bloo gets punched in the face by a young girl for taking some toy glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth.
    • In another episode, Bloo is spying on who was supposed to be "the best imaginary friend ever", and he knocks out Bloo with a shovel this way.
  • Selective Enforcement: Inverted as a Springtime for Hitler in the episode "Crime After Crime". The episode's B-plot has Frankie cooking something disgusting for dinner, so Bloo causes trouble in an effort to get sent to his room without dinner. Unfortunately the episode's A-plot was Mr. Harriman acting hyper-paranoid over someone discovering his addiction to carrots, leading him to punish everyone else in the house for relatively minor infractions due to thinking they're "on to him" while completely ignoring or even congratulating Bloo.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Many, many, many episodes.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Mac, concerning Goo (in the first episode she was in, anyway).
  • Shout-Out: A LOT
    • Plenty of shout-outs to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as well, though. For instance, the villain from the video game Bloo plays is called "Lord Beeblebrox" and the two nerdy scientists who study Coco are called Douglas and Adam, respectively. Adam wears a blue t-shirt with the number 42 on it.
      • There's also a scene in the episode in which Bloo steals the Foster's bus which has a hitchhiker wearing a bathrobe holding a sign that says "Magrathea." In the same episode, there is a Star Wars shout out when Mac throws money for a toll out the window and misses to which Bloo responds "Negative. It only impacted on the surface."
      • In yet ANOTHER (much more obscure) Hitchhikers reference, the friends unite together to rescue a cat from a tree using what Frankie calls "Plan Z-Z-9-Plural Z-Alpha".
    • In "Blooooo", Bloo's hallucinated reflection looks at him and says "Run, Bloo, run!"
    • The episode Bye Bye Nerdy gives us this exchange between Bloo and Frankie:
    • Frankie's T-shirt (that she wears 99% of the time) has a Stylized image of the Powerpuff Girls.
    • In a Halloween episode, Bloo turns white (he's sick) and everyone believes that he's a ghost. Coco picks up a phone:

Wilt: Who ya gonna call?
Coco: Co Co-co!
Wilt: They've been out of business for years!

    • The card for Mac in the last episode contains the signatures "Yogi Booboo" and "Big Fat Baby".
    • "Challenge of the Superfriends" contained some pretty blatant references to Revenge of the Sith. Bloo is clearly meant to be an expy of Darth Vader in this, with Nemesis an expy of Darth Sidious.
    • In Destination Imagination, the body Frankie creates for World looks very similar to Snap.
    • There's a resturaunt called "Nice Burger".
    • In Go Goo Go, Goo's letter is signed "Your Friend Goo".
    • Someone on the team must really like Nintendo. Let us count the ways...
      • Neighbor Pains has a joke about Frankie being a "mother of 64". That same episode has a boy who looks strangely like Lucas from Mother 3 and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Search "Mother 64".
      • The Buck Swaps Here has two mustached guys wearing red and green. The heights are there, and the mustaches are the same styles. It would be crazy to think of it a coincidence.
      • Affairweather Friends gives Barry a game console whose controller is awfully like the Wii's remote and nunchuk.
      • The pilot episode, House of Bloo's shows a Game Boy Advance in Mac's apartment.
      • In The Bloo Superdude and the Magic Potato of Power, the magic potato (in real life) is... a Nintendo DS--with mirrored button controls.
      • Foster's Home seems to have a Gamecube. It shows up in Fools and Regulations and Crime After Crime, among others.
      • Destination Imagination has a game level suspiciously like in the Mario games. Complete with snails replacing koopas, piranha plants, a growth item that comes out when Mac jumps under a block, and an item that makes Eduardo invincible for a short while (complete with power up music)!
    • A tall basket ball player named Wilt? C'mon guys, that's an easy one.
      • Quite interestingly, this basketball player also claimed to have sex with over 20,000 women...
    • Two of Coco's former owners who adopted her to research her look suspiciously like Dexter and Mandark, though their names are different, the concept and look is there.
    • Another from Destination Imagination is the big gem. It's a lot like the old Sonic games, where you feel accomplished winning the emerald and freeing a cute critter.
    • Peanuts references, galore!
      • An old man in Something Old, Something Bloo crying "Curse you Red Baron!" before promptly falling asleep.
      • The piano intro, as well as the decorated doghouse in A Lost Claus.
      • When Bloo shares his story on how Uncle Pockets arrived in Bloo Done It, he starts with "It was a dark and stormy night..."
      • Probably the most blatant of the examples is when Wilt pulls away Bloo—the football, from getting kicked by Mac in Fools and Regulations. "Good grief" indeed. To Wilt's merit, it isn't done in malice.
    • The show Misplaced on "Let Your Hare Down".
    • A videogame called "Immortal Wombat" in "Affairweather Friends" and a movie called "Astro Slam" (with Golly Gopher on the poster) in "Good Wilt Hunting".
    • In the pilot movie, there's a bit where the now legless Extremasaur is chasing Bloo around the dump. It switches to an overhead view and looks like something out of Pac-Man.
      • Not to mention Bloo's ghost shape. But why is Pac-Man chasing the ghost? Well he's Bloo isn't he?
    • The episode titled Squeakerboxx is a shout out to the Outkast album Speakerboxx/The Love Below.
    • In the episode titled "The Big Lablooski", don't these guys look familar? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50WvebOHjl8&feature=related
    • When Mac has finally been tracked down after running naked through the town on a sugar high, he winces at the spotlights on him, rasping out "It burns us!"
    • In Bloo Tube, we see Bloppy Pants' band, Pizza Party, attempting to film a music video on treadmills. When Bloo distracts them and they fail, Yogi Boo Boo says, "Okay GO... again."
    • There's a telegraph friend called Morsey who talks in either Morse code, or lyrics from The Smiths songs.
    • One of the Bloos in "Bloo's Brothers" resembles Homestar Runner!
    • In the pilot movie, three characters appear based on Ed, Edd, and Eddy.
  • Sibling Rivalry: One-shot friends Imaginary Man and Nemesister were created by a boy and his sister as an extended outlet for their rampaging animosity. Their creators come back at the end of the episode to adopt them for their own kids.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Bloo
  • Soap Within a Show: The Loved and the Loveless.
  • Sorry I Left the BGM On
    • Sometimes people who are good at interpreting context clues and counting syllables can piece together what she's saying.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Subverted.
  • Spotting the Thread: Mac is forced to decide between Bloo and a near perfect impostor, and picks the real one because the impostor's friendship speech is too nice. Mac knows Bloo is a Jerkass.
  • Squishy Wizard: Mac is highly intelligent for an 8-year old, but one drop of sugar and he goes from being the Only Sane Man to making Goo look perfectly sane.
  • Stab the Salad
  • Stalker with a Crush: Berry.
  • Start My Own
  • Stealth Pun: Cheese. Mac created Cheese. You know, "Mac and Cheese?"
    • Cheese has a few of these: Bloo Cheese, Cheese Louise (Louise is his REAL creator.)
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Bloo's the Boss" Bloo finds a cat and names him Chuck. Later when the cat's owner comes to collect him it turns out Chuck just happened to be his real name.
  • Straw Feminist: Subverted with Nemesister, who doesn't really have a political agenda. She just likes to destroy or sabotage anything that guys like.
  • Survival Mantra: "A dog is not in the house presently."
  • Sweet Tooth: Inverted with Mac.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: Invoked by name by Eduardo during the Funny Bunny crisis. Mac tries to hide all evidence of the Funny Bunny video, including the various clothing many people are wearing. Cue Eduardo running through the house, shouting, "Take off your clothes! Take off your clothes!" The only person who unquestioningly complies is Madam Foster.
  • Talkative Loon: Goo and Cheese. Emphasis on "talkative" in Goo's case, and "loon" in Cheese's case.
  • Tandem Parasite: Mr Herriman does it Bloo in "Let Your Hare Down".
  • The Ditz: Cheese.
  • The Faceless: Mac's mom.
  • The Millstone: In "Berry Scary", Berry tries to convince Bloo that Mac is one.
  • The Moving Experience: The focus of the final episode.
  • The Unintelligible: "Coco!"
  • Theme Tune Cameo
  • There's No B in Movie
  • Throw the Dog a Bone
  • Thundering Herd
  • Tomboyish Name: Frankie Foster.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Bloo after the pilot episode
  • Totem Pole Trench: Done by Mac and Bloo to the point of being a Running Gag.
    • Wilt once substituted as a majority of Orlando Bloo.
  • Trash the Set
  • True Companions
  • Tsundere: Frankie Foster.
    • "YES! Please! With Marshmallows!"
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Bloo.
  • Villainous Breakdown: While he's not intentionally a bad guy, World has one at the climax of The Movie when Mr. Herriman threatens to leave him sealed in his toy box alone again, causing him to snap and reduce his world to a white void and go One-Winged Angel. It takes Frankie's kindness to snap him out of it and calm him down.
  • Welcome Titles
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?
  • What Were You Thinking?
  • White Gloves: Mr. Herriman wears a pair.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Mac.
  • With Friends Like These...: Mac and Bloo.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: World from Destination Imagination. Justified since it's his world anyway.
  • Yandere: Berry.
  • Write Who You Know: Mac is based on creator Craig McCracken as a child. Frankie, meanwhile, is based on his wife, Lauren Faust, as she is now.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Subverted It was only a Halloween prank meant to get back at Bloo. Pretty convincing though.