VeggieTales

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"Have we got a show for you!"

What's the best way to teach Christian values to children? Through semi-anthropomorphized God-loving vegetables. Obviously. A cast the size of a produce department, silly songs, and plots taken from The Bible make for much better entertainment than you might expect. Why vegetables? Well, they're good for you, and what child wouldn't want to munch on versions of their favorite characters. But mostly because they didn't originally have the budget for CGI that could handle complex characters, but if you make a green sphere and call it a grape, who's to argue?

Early videos used the format: Introduction by Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber talking about some issue (e.g. anger at siblings, materialism, not learning to share, not telling the truth, wouldn't help others, won't be patient or confident, etc.), sometimes prompted by a viewer letter; short story which illustrates the issue; silly Intermission, usually in the form of "Silly Songs With Larry"; another short story; discussion of the moral and relevant verse, the latter provided by QWERTY the computer. Later installments began using one long story with "Silly Songs" at the intermission. Currently, a given video could be either of these formats or simply be a single long story with no introduction, intermission, or theme song. Usually longer now than the Theme Song's claim of "half an hour" (which a recent updating of the opening removed).

References and parodies plots from The Bible, The Grapes of Wrath (literally), Gilligan's Island, Star Trek, Batman (Larry Boy), Madame Bovary (Madame Blueberry), Gilbert and Sullivan, Indiana Jones, Hamlet, The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, Sherlock Holmes, and all kinds of others.

Two movies, a TV series, a few video games, and a traditionally animated series for Larry-Boy have been produced.


VeggieTales is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes used in VeggieTales include:

"If it were a typical Christian show, I figured, they'd be named Tommy Tomato and Kooky Cucumber. But the last thing in the world I wanted was to make a typical Christian show."

Pa Grape: I'm a viking, and I've come to take your land -- oh, yes -- I've come to take your land; and I've come to burn your crops and steal your horses! And I've come to step on your chickens, and soil your quilts!... oy.

Junior Asparagus: (skeptical) Did [the Israelites] really build a rocket in the middle of the desert and get Slushees dropped on their heads?

Archibald: Does the hippo see them? Is the poor mute cebu successful in communicating the imminent danger to the other passengers? Is the boy injured? Why is the sad cebu sad? Is the canoe wood or aluminum?

  • Art Evolution: The early episodes looked very crude; as technology increases for later episodes, the episodes get better lighting, softer textures, and smoother animation.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Thank you, QWERTY.
  • Bamboo Technology: Played literally and Lampshaded in a Gilligan's Island parody, most extremely when The Professor builds a bamboo-coconut helicopter.
  • Batman Cold Open: Used in "Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed".
    • Which of course makes sense, given that Larry-Boy is a fairly obvious Captain Ersatz for Batman.
  • Big Eaters: Jimmy and Jerry Gourd. In fact, when they made their debut in the Affectionate Parody of Star Trek, they managed to save the starship from crashing into a meteor made of popcorn by eating the entire meteor.
  • Big No: By Larry during "Is this the End of Silliness?", when Archibald Asparagus explains why Larry lost his silly songs.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Larryboy and the Angry Eyebrows has living, flying Big Ol' Eyebrows that are attracted to anger and make whoever they land on angrier.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Usta" really is Polish for lips.
  • BLAM Episode: "The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment" has been called one of the weirdest VeggieTales videos yet. Bob and Larry travel to the future, where they learn entertainment will rely entirely on making characters perform songs and jokes related to subjects picked at random. Some might also find the Aesop randomly tacked on ("Even if your day doesn't go as planned, at least God still loves you!").
    • The episode started out as a compilation of music videos for songs from VeggieTales-themed soundtracks.
  • Bowdlerize:
    • Many of the stories taken from The Bible are toned down; for example, in the original story of Daniel and the Lion's Den, the king puts the evil advisors and their families to death by tossing them in said den. With lions that went to bed without supper. The VeggieTales version of it instead ends in a more cartoonish way, with the advisors running off while the king chases after them.
    • However, they never try to hide the fact that they are trying to kill Daniel. The lyrics to the song in that episode 'What We Gonna Do?' are all different ways they want to kill or seriously injure Daniel, and they finally decide on 'Tie him up, and beat him up, and throw him out of Babylon!'
    • On the other hand, the Jonah movie intentionally includes the ending where the title character is bitterly angry with God and curses his own life. After the scene, Pa Grape (who is telling the story via Flashback) abruptly ends the story and turns his attention elsewhere, much like the Bible story.
    • They also Bowdlerized one of their own cartoons, Rack, Shack, and Benny, for its second release: "The Bunny Song", a song that the protagonists refuse to sing, originally had some genuinely troubling lyrics. It was then completely rewritten for the sing-along video, which was reasonable enough (because, you know, you're not supposed to sing along with the original). But then when they started rereleasing all their videos, Rack, Shack, and Benny got its version's lyrics replaced with refusals to eat healthy food. Even weirder when you realize the song is now essentially condoning cannibalism.
    • They did not, however, bowderlerize the very child unfriendly fate of being thrown into a firey furnace.
    • The issue with the Bunny Song is that despite the fact the song was condemned by the protagonists on screen, the song was still quite catchy, which led to Big Idea getting letters from parents complaining about kids singing about not loving their parents.
    • Possibly one of the strangest examples was their version of Esther. In The Bible account, Haman intended to hang the Jews on gallows he was setting up. The Veggie version: banishment to the Island of Perpetual Tickling. "They never stop! Not even if you say "pretty please!!"
    • "King George and the Duckie" is an adaptation of the story of David and Bathsheba; while the Biblical story centers around adultery, the VeggieTales version substitutes rubber duckie theft. It's particularly clever since both versions are incited by the king seeing someone bathing on the roof.
    • And in the Jonah story of the Bible, Nineveh was a city of adulterers and thieves. It was changed in their version to people who slap others with dead fish. Um, what?
    • "Moe and the Big Exit" is an adaption of The Exodus From Egypt. Although they tone down most of the plagues for children, people receive a plague of gophers instead of frogs, and acne instead of skin disease, they don't ignore that all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians were killed on Passover. And the burning tumbleweed instead of the burning bush!
  • Brick Joke: One of the first Silly Songs With Larry, The Hairbrush Song ended with Bob confessing to Larry that he gave his hairbrush to The Peach, and Larry decides to let him keep it. After the song, The Peach made only a handful of other appearances, and never even got a name. Fast forward to the Indiana Jones parody, one of the most recent productions. When Larry/Minnesota Cuke consult an illustrated Bible manuscript in search of Samson's Hairbrush, the character standing in for Samson is The Peach!
  • Bubble Pipe: In its Sherlock Holmes parody, the Sherlock character has a bubble pipe, and at one point he inhales by accident and chokes on the soap.
  • Butt Monkey: Mr. Lunt, who is frequently the worthless sidekick, appears insufferably lazy, cross-dresses at least twice, and laments that his life has only included one half hour of happiness. That one day. Between two and two-thirty.
  • Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: At the end of "Lyle the Kindly Viking," by (who else) Larry.
  • Captain Ersatz: "The Other Elf" from Lord of the Bean looks suspiciously like the Keebler Elf.
  • Captain Obvious: "And now it's time for 'Silly Songs with Larry': the part of the show where Larry comes out and sings a silly song."
  • Catapult Nightmare: Don Quixote in "The Asparagus of La Mancha" because he ate too much salsa before going to bed.
  • Catch Phrase: Larry-Boy's "I! Am! That! Hero!"
    • "And remember, kids, God made you special, and he loves you very much."
    • "Perhaps I can be of assistance!"
    • "I'm Bob, I'm a tomato, and I'm here to help you!" "I'm Larry, I'm a cucumber, and I'm here to make you giggle!"
  • Christmas Episode: Five so far: "The Toy That Saved Christmas", "The Star of Christmas", "Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving", "The Little Drummer Boy", and "Christmas Sing-Along Songs!".
  • Comically Missing the Point: Larry, all the time, especially with regard to Archibald.
  • Composite Character: Mr. Nezzer is sort of one. "The Toy That Saved Christmas" introduced Nebby K. Nezzer's brother Wally, who had the exact same character model and voice. Eventually they started casting "Mr. Nezzer" in other roles. Although we've never seen this s out of character in the "real world", it can probably be assumed that he is a single character.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment
    • Banishment...to the Island of Perpetual Tickling!

Everyone: GASP!

    • From their version of Daniel in the lions' den:

Scallions: We could give him jelly donuts, take 'em all away, we could fill his ears with cheese balls and his nostrils with sorbet. We could use him as a footstool or a table to play Scrabble on, then tie him up and beat him up and throw him out of Babylon! (from the song "What We Gonna Do?")

    • From "Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie":

Guard: ...The slap of no return!
Everyone: [laughs]

      • But then you see it's a giant metal fish that swings down on you, turning you into a paste.
    • From "Gideon -- Tuba Warrior":

Gideon: We will defeat the Midianites with our horns and flashlights!

    • Then there's the Hebrews marching around Jericho getting slushies dropped on their heads.
  • Cowboy Episode: "The Ballad of Little Joe"
  • Dark Reprise: Mr. Nezzer's Villain Song has the same background music as "The Bunny Song" even if it's mostly spoken (and sounds very intentionally like "The Oogie Boogie Song" from The Nightmare Before Christmas).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Bob, Mr. Lunt
  • I Wanted To Play Mouse Trap: You roll your dice, you move your mice, nobody gets hurt.
  • Did Not Do the Research: An In-Universe example, in Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry Bob wants to open a Tax Firm on the land that they're trying to own, little to his knowledge that income tax hasn't started yet.
  • Disney Villain Death: The mirror in Sweetpea Beauty.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In Rack, Shack and Benny. What else do you call burning people alive because they won't sing a song about chocolate bunnies?
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Where's God When I'm S-Scared? is the only episode to use opening titles in each segment, and Larry's voice is completely different, with a deeper, dumber-sounding voice.
  • Easily Forgiven: Mr. Nezzer tries to kill Rack, Shack and Benny by throwing them into a firey furnace, all because they won't bow down before his giant chocolate bunny and sing "The Bunny Song". When they miraculously survive, he apologizes and they forgive him.
  • Elvish Presley: Literally, in Lord of the Bean. Larry wears a sequined jumpsuit and fake elf ears for his Silly Song. Jimmy the squash even invokes the trope by calling him "an Elvish impersonator."
  • Embarrassing Slide: A version of this occurs in one of the silly songs (The Song of the Cebu): the song is sung along with a slideshow... which eventually stops showing relevant pictures and starts showing vacation pictures instead. The song quickly ends, to the consternation of Archibald, who wonders just what the ending of the song was supposed to be.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Silly Songs with Larry," the part of the show where Larry comes out and sings a silly song.
  • Excited Show Title!: God Wants Me to Forgive Them!?!, Very Silly Songs!, Larry-Boy! And the Fib From Outer Space!, Josh and the Big Wall!, Jonah Sing-Along Songs and More!, The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment!, Bob and Larry's How to Draw!, Heroes of the Bible! Lions, Shepherds and Queens, Oh My!, Heroes of the Bible! Stand Up, Stand Tall, Stand Strong!, Heroes of the Bible! A Baby, A Quest and the Wild, Wild West!, and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything Sing-Along Songs and More!
  • Executive Meddling: The politically-correct kind—NBC made them take the explicit Christian references out of the present-day segments of the TV show. Which, unfortunately, somewhat defeats the purpose of the whole thing.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Whether this is played straight or averted is rather iffy. The theme song says the show's name an awful lot, addresses the show's demographics (It's for the kids who like to talk to tomatoes), and even states how long an episode is. (Cauliflower, sweet and sour, half an hour, Veggie Tales) However, it speaks very little of the show's premise, aside from the mention of the lack of the characters' dexterity, a common point the show makes, and doesn't even speak of the religious aspect, confusing a lot of first-time viewers.
  • Everything's Better with Bob the tomato
  • The Faceless: Rack's, Shack's, and Benny's savior.
  • Flat What
    • King Xerxes (Nebby K. Nezzer) after a piano falls on a cake made by two would-be assassins in Esther: The Girl Who Became Queen.

Xerxes: Why is there a piano on my cake?

    • Another "Esther... The Girl Who Became Queen" example after Ms. Achmetha's "Puppy Song":

Larry: There's me and Bob at Sea World! *click*
Everyone else: Oooooooohhh...
Larry: Whoops, forgot about that one...

  • Guilty Pleasures: Larry likes his soap operas, and owns a plush of Barbra Manatee that he dances with.
  • Grandpa God: During both Snoodle poems and the Pirates movie, although these portrayals are allegorical.
  • Hard Work Montage: The "Sumo of the Opera" parodies the Rocky series.
  • Head Desk: Done by Archibald in The Biscuit of Zazzamarandabo.
  • Heel Face Turn
    • "Rack Shack and Benny": Nebby K. Nezzer
    • "The Toy That Saved Christmas":Wally P. Nezzer
    • "Daniel and the Lion's Den": King Darius
    • "Minnesota Cuke": Prof. Rattan between story arcs.
    • "Saint Nicholas": Gustav
    • "Lord of the Beans": The sporks
    • "The Ballad of Little Joe": Little Joe's brothers
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: The personalized DVD and the two personalized CDs.
  • Herbivore Confusion: A world populated by talking vegetables and fruits, there are pies and popcorn balls as food, and apparently "apple choppers". It was confirmed in the commentary for Duke and the Great Pie War (and demonstrated in Jonah) that there are non-sentient fruits and vegetables in their world as well.
    • In their version of Daniel and the Lion's Den, a cucumber is tossed to lions.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Bob and Larry.
    • "Star of Christmas": Moyer the Destroyer
  • I Am X, Son of Y: In "Lord of the Bean": Randalf, son of Mandalf; the leader of the Razzberry Forest, Lord Falaminion Tereglith, son of Therebil-Elithimon.
  • Identical Ancestor: Nebby K. Nezzer's Victorian-era ancestor Ebeneezer is presumably one.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The show and films thrive on it.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Say it with me now: "CeBUUUUUUU!"
  • Insistent Terminology: Larry sometimes gets mistaken for a pickle.
    • Also, In "Minnesota Cuke"

Larry:It's not a hat, it's a fedora.

  • Invisible Anatomy: Averted with feet (the characters move around by hopping), but the characters' lack of hands is constantly Lampshaded.
    • Right from the start, before the theme song:

Bob: I know! You play the guitar!
Larry: Bob, I don't have any hands.

    • Josh and the Big Wall had Tom Grape and Pa Grape lampshade how they and other characters were applauding a giant rocket.

Tom: How are we clapping?
Pa: I have no idea.

    • "Lyle the Kindly Viking" has a reference.

Bjorn (Lunt): I would clap if I could.

    • Dr. Jiggle and Mr. Sly repeatedly shows close-ups of a character's hands and feet, who is then shocked when he doesn't have limbs in the long shots. It's kind of weird, really.
    • Invisible hair as well - in Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush, Martin notices Minnesota's haircut even though he never had any hair to begin with. Though a few scenes later, Minnesota can't use the power of the hairbrush since he has no hair (a reference to The Hairbrush Song). Go figure.
    • From the personalized show:

Larry: I think we should give our good friend a hand!
Bob: But, Larry, we can't. We don't have hands.
Larry: I was speaking metaphorically, Bob.

  • Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: "Where's God When I'm S-scared" starts with Junior Asparagus watching "Frankencelery," and becoming frightened by everything in the house after that. However, the point of the episode is that Junior doesn't need to be scared because God is taking care of him, not that he shouldn't have watched the movie.
  • Large Ham: Archibald, Larry as Larry-Boy, occasionally Bob
  • Lotus Eater Machine: How Bad Apple plans to conquer Bumblyburg just like her great-uncle almost did, starting with the mayor, the reporter, and Larry-Boy.
  • Major-General Song
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor / Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Frankencelery.
  • Medium Awareness: In The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's Larry tells Bob that they can't let the show be too short, they have a whole DVD to fill.
    • Also in The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's when asking why Pa Grape/The Lion didn't eat the rabbits and animals in the forest if he was so hungry he responeds with "It's a kid show, they won't let me do that."
    • In Jonah, Dad Asparagus isn't satisfied until there's a big musical number to close the film.
    • Also in Jonah, "The Credits Song".
  • A Minor Kidroduction: As a tribute to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, "Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella" starts off with Minnesota, Marten, and the Scallions as kids.
  • The Moral Substitute: A major exception to examples typical of the trope.
  • Motionless Chin: Not to mention, literally, No Knees.
  • The Movie: Several, though only two had theatrical releases -- Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.
  • Mr. Imagination: Larry. They call him LARRYBOY!
  • Murder by Cremation: Almost happens in "Rack, Shack, and Benny", just like in the Bible.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted.
  • Night Hawks: The ice cream parlor in "The End of Silliness?"
  • No Ending: The Song of the Cebu

Archibald: You can't just start a song and leave it hanging like that!

  • No Flow in CGI: The whole reason why the series stars vegetables was to deliberately avert this. While other CG cartoons at the time tended to look stiff and choppy, the simple designs of the VeggieTales characters left the creators free to put a lot more work into making sure they animated fluidly.
  • No Fourth Wall: The intro and outro segments, some of the Silly Songs, and less frequently the stories themselves.
    • A rather memorable example was during a segment modeled after a Shakespeare play. As the gourd, Mr. Lunt was pushed onto the "stage" in full drag:

"Ooooo. We gonna get a lot of letters about this."

    • Jimmy Gourd's reaction is endlessly hilarious to this "fair Ophelia".
  • No Indoor Voice: As the creators have pointed out in commentary, it wasn't really until Lyle the Kindly Viking that Junior's voice actress stopped screaming all of her lines.
  • No Name Given: Given a Lampshade Hanging at one point:

Larry: What's your name?
Scallion: (pushing a broom) They've never given me a name. I've been around since Show One (Where is God When I am Scared?), and I still don't have a name.

Larry/Little Joe: "You people tried to steal from me, and we don't take kindly to stealing around these here parts"

    • Another "The Ballad of Little Joe example:
  • Small Town Rivalry: In "The Story of Flibber-O-Loo" (a re-telling of the Good Samaritan story), the towns of Flibber-O-Loo and Jibberty-Lot have a heated rivalry, where they launch shoes and pots at each other with catapults and other devices.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Larry-Boy/Larryboy/LarryBoy. The first was used in Fib from Outer Space & Rumor Weed, the second was used in the Flash-animated spinoff series, and the third was used in Bad Apple.
  • Sphere Eyes
  • Spit Take: When Dave announces his plan to fight Goliath, King Saul spits out his drink.
  • Stealth Pun: The antagonist in Larry-Boy and the Bad Apple is an apple who dabbles in dealing with temptation. In other words, she's the Forbidden Fruit.
  • Story Arc: In Josh and the Big Wall, technical difficulties prevented Larry from properly ending The Song of the Cebu, that video's "Silly Songs With Larry" segment. Archibald became so disappointed with Larry's lack of preparation, he announced the cancellation of "Silly Songs" in the next video (Madame Blueberry)'s segment. The Framing Device of the video after that (The End of Silliness?) showed Larry desperately trying to recover from the loss, until Archibald announces that a fan petition prompted him to uncancel "Silly Songs."
  • Take That: In the Oh, Santa! Silly Song, Larry gives cookies to both a bank robber and a Viking "because it's Christmas." And then the next person comes to the door.

"I'm from the IRS! And I've come to tax your--" (SLAM)

  • Surveillance Station Slacker: Jimmy and Jerry Gourd, as seen in the episode "Larry-Boy and the Fib from Outer Space!"
  • Those Two Guys: Bob and Larry.
    • And Jimmy and Jerry Gourd. And maybe the French Peas.
  • This Is Sparta: See "Catch Phrase" above.
  • Top Ten List
    • The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown was the result of a viewer poll to determine the silliest of the first ten Silly Songs with Larry (not counting Oh, Santa!). The winner was The Hairbrush Song.
    • Also "Veggie Tales Live: Sing Yourself Silly!"
  • Uriah Gambit King George and the Ducky (which bears more than a passing similarity to the original one)
  • Valley Girl: Only Big Idea would go so far as to turn the Princess of Egypt in their retelling of the story of Moses in the Bulrushes into this - hilariously.
  • Villain Song: Mr. Nezzer's reprise of "The Bunny Song."
    • Played for Laughs with "Oh No!" from "Daniel and the Lions' Den" of "Where's God When I'm S-Scared?".
    • Played for Drama with "Haman's Song" from "Esther".
    • Bad Apple's "The Temptation Song" from Larry-Boy and the Bad Apple.
  • Visual Pun: One of the books Archibald pulls out in the "Modern Major General" song from The Wonderful World of Auto-tainment! has a picture of Larry in a robe and crown. Larry King!
  • Vocal Evolution
    • Scallion #1 (the tall one), Archibald, and the narrator for "Silly Songs with Larry" used to sound different. Archibald's delivery was more hammy, and Scallion's lacked the faux British accent the others had. This gradually blended together until it's pretty much all the same voice. Larry eventually hung a lampshade on this at the end of The Biscuit of Zazzamarandabo by acting surprised that Archibald and the narrator were not the same character. Archibald was surprised, too. In fact, now the creators attempt to place Scallion #1 and Archibald in the same scenes at times, just to prove that they're not the same character.
    • Just as noticeable is Jerry Gourd, who started out sounding like an impression of Jimmy Gourd's voice (enough to mark them as a matched pair of characters but with a subtle enough difference to be clearly a different actor—Phil and Mike use this approach extensively) but now sounds almost exactly like Larry.
  • Water Hose Rodeo: In Larry Boy and the Bad Apple, one character attempts to hose off a statue that's been covered in cobwebs. It turns out that the firehose is too strong for him, and he gets flung all over.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: Mikey, in "Sumo of the Opera," teaches sumo to the Italian Scallion by mopping the floor and climbing the down escalator.
  • We Sell Everything: The Stuff-Mart.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: King George sees someone bathing on a roof and he wanted his duck, despite having tons of his own.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears: Khalil's appearance in the Boyz in the Sink song "BellyButton".
  • World of Funny Animals: A rare plant example.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: Oh so many. One of their collections is called "Lessons From the Sock Drawer: A Collection of Veggie Tales Briefs and Shorts."
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: Though their version was about Easter.
  • Youthful Freckles: Both Tom and Rosie Grape have them, as do many of the pea characters, no matter their age. However, the French Peas' trickster nature is highlighted through these.

The movies provide examples of[edit | hide | hide all]

Twippo: (to Khalil the tow truck driver) Ah... have we met?

  • Animation Bump: Due to the animators having a movie-sized budget, the animation in Jonah is probably the best in the series. Notably, Big Idea was able to get lighting animators who had just finished work on films like Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius and Ice Age. The end result is gorgeous.
    • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything sort of doesn't count, because it wasn't animated by Big Idea. The animation was provided by Starz Animation.
  • Ascended Extra
    • The caterpillar/worm that eats the shade plant near the end of the Jonah story becomes Jonah's traveling buddy and a recurring character. His mother was a caterpillar; his father was a worm. But he's okay with that now.
    • The reason for Ninevah's fish obsession was because in real life, they did indeed worship a fish god.
  • The Call: In the form of the Help-seeker device.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Bob the Tomato is conspicuously absent from Pirates. He does at least have a cameo in the "Rock Monster" video.
  • Completely Missing the Point: Jonah was a prophet, but he never really got it.
  • Cool Sword: Everyone in Monterria recognizes Robert's sword as his trademark.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.
  • Deus Ex Machina / The Cavalry: The King is the one that rescues the heroes from the villain's lair in Pirates. According to the commentary, this is Justified since the film is a Christian parable.
  • Disappeared Dad: The backstory of Pirates.
  • Downer Ending: Of the Jonah tale told by the Pirates, who explain it had to be a downer ending so Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.

Mr. Lunt: The question is not "What did Jonah learn?" The question is - "What did you learn?"

  • Evil Uncle: The Big Bad of Pirates is the King's brother.
  • Fish Out of Water: In the second movie, a trio of layabout waiters freshly fired from a Pirate-themed dinner theatre are thrown back in time to the past.
  • Foreshadowing: In Jonah, the last pair that Khalil has during the game of Go Fish is a whale.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Jonah, the menu items in the seafood restaraunt Bob and the gang stop at goes as follows:

Steak
Shrimp
Steak Shrimp
Scampi on a Skewer
Scampi on a Clean Skewer
Compassion (Market Price)

    • Followed by Mercy (Market Price) later in the film.
  • GASP: Jonah, Khalil, and the Pirates all take turns at dramatic gasping when they see just what "The Slap of No Return" is, before all doing a simultaneous gasp.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Parodied: In-universe, as the commentary for Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (from Larry and Mr. Lunt, self-proclaimed actual producers of the film) points out, the first VeggieTales movie (not Jonah), "Socks with Stripes," according to Mr. Lunt, proved a flop in the US, but highly regarded in France.
  • Gospel Choirs Are Just Better: A highlight of Jonah is the the gospel number "Second Chances."
  • Heroic BSOD: Jonah when God refuses to destroy Ninevah, with a healthy dollop of Wangst.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Jonah keeps mispronouncing Khalil's name—until the end when Khalil abandons him.
  • Metaphorgotten:

Khalil: You see the whale as half-empty. I see the whale as half-full!
Jonah: I have no idea what that means.
Khalil: Neither do I.

  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Jonah constantly calls Khalil a wrong name, like "Carlyle". He finally pronounces it correctly when Khalil abandons him.
  • Non Sequitur Thud: "Is this... Heaven?" "Smells like... Wisconsin!" The alternate takes in the DVD's fake blooper reel are even more random.
  • The Mean Brit: Willory, the Princess's aide, is subtly disapproving of the Pirates when she's around, and openly hostile to them when she's not. Part of the joke being that he's right on with his criticisms.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech
    • Khalil lays a big one on Jonah.

Khalil: Would you look at yourself?!? You care more about that weed than about all the people in Nineveh!!
Jonah: Well... I...
Khalil: Why are you here now? Instead of back in the belly of that whale? Because God is compassionate! He wanted to help you! And because he is merciful! He gave you a second chance!
Jonah: Oh, yes -- and I'm very grateful--
Khalil: Has it ever occurred to you that maybe God loves everybody, not just you?! That maybe he wants to give everyone a second chance! He saw that those people needed help - that they didn't know right from wrong - and he wanted to help them! And that is why he sent you! And when you told them what they were doing wrong they said they were sorry - they put down their mackerels and their halibuts - and they asked God for a second chance. And by golly, he gave them one! Don't you see? God wants to give everyone a second chance! And so should we!
Jonah: Well, if they get a second chance -- those fish-slappers -- well, then... it would be better if I were dead! Oh, I wish I were back in that whale!
Khalil: (stonily) You are pathetic.

    • When Jonah protests Khalil's decision to leave, Khalil then retorts:

Khalil: I wanted to be big and important... just like you! But the world doesn't need more people who are "big and important," the world needs more people who are nice. And compassionate. And merciful. That's what I want to be. You can find yourself a new traveling buddy. Goodbye.
Jonah: You can't just leave!
Khalil: Can and am!

  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Prince Alexander, Princess Eloise, and their father all fit the description.
  • Schizo-Tech: In an era of sailing ships and exploration, the King and Big Bad are apparently master tinkers that have built, respectively, a Time Machine and a sort of Powered Armour.
    • Up to Eleven in Jonah, where the Pirates play ping pong, baby wipes, plush toys with sound chips, tape recorders with motivational tapes and have their own outboard power motor.

Larry: And ALF is on in half-an-hour.

  • Shamu Fu: The Ninevites in the first film are notorious for this.
  • Shaped Like Itself: One of the extras in Jonah is a tour of Big Idea Studios, where at one point the viewer sees a staff member working at his computer on the unreleased DVD... which you watch on your DVD. Phil Vischer directly Lampshades this.
    • The Credits Song. "This is the song that runs under the credits. These are the credits, so this is where it goes. Has nothing to do with the movie so we'll say 'Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!...'"
  • Shout-Out: Fish slapping, anyone?
  • Show Within a Show
    • The Dinner Theatre that the protagonists work at has a Pirate-themed show.
    • Cavis and Millward's "Princess and the Plumber" in Star of Christmas.
    • Marlee's "Up with Bunnies" in 'Twas the Night Before Easter.
  • Shown Their Work: In Jonah, the producers tell the entire story, going beyond what most retellings of Jonah do.
  • Sorry I Left the BGM On: Inside the whale, Jonah and the angels are holding a massive celebration. Cut to the surface as two fisherman hear the music and wonder what on earth is going on.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Trope Namers themselves star, and the trope itself is deconstructed, as the opening of Jonah has their slacking result in them being completely broke, only to later actually "do something" and get in fantastic adventures.
  • Universal Adaptor Cast
  • Walk the Plank:

Jonah: I'm afraid the only thing left is to be thrown into the sea.
Larry: Oh, you don't have to do that! We've got a plank! You can just walk off!

  • What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: Fish slapping. Justified in that it's all a story being told by the modern day Pirates, and saying what the real Assyrians did would be inappropriate for their young audience.