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File:As told by ginger-show.jpg

The show focuses mainly on the life of junior-high-school student Ginger Foutley. She, along with her friends Darren Patterson, Dodie Bishop and Macie Lightfoot, all try to rise from the position of school geeks as they solve many conflicts that come their way. Luckily for Ginger, the most popular girl in school, Courtney Gripling, has taken a liking to her and often includes her in her social plans. She is intrigued by her (what Courtney calls them) 'gingerisms'. However, Miranda Killgallen, Courtney's right hand woman, makes sure that she is not bumped down from her position thanks to Ginger. At home, Ginger records her lively adventures in her diary. Her little brother Carl, is often scheming with Hoodsey Bishop in his own side plots; and her mother, Lois, is always there for advice, which Ginger is always open to listen to. The series takes place in the fictional town of Sheltered Shrubs, located in Connecticut. It ran for about 3 years from late 1999 to 2003.

It was among the few animated series in Nickelodeon that was ahead of its time, featuring (relatively) realistic situations and teenage issues which soon set a mark for the future titles to come in the Teen Nick time slot. The most notable among the show pointed out that it didn't follow the Limited Wardrobe trope compared to the other Nick titles. It is also one of the only shows, not just on Nickelodeon, but perhaps in all of children's entertainment, to portray interracial romance in a serious (and positive) light.


Provides examples of

  • A-Cup Angst - Courtney. Justified, as she is a young adolescent, but she is not pleased about her small size. To the point where an episode's plot involves foiling a plan by two High School Alpha Bitches to expose her as a bra-stuffer.
    • Macie has a more subdued version of the trope. In "The Easter Ham" when Dodie was ranting about how Darren's Birthday Party was one of "the most important BFF thing to happen since we got to buy training bras!" Macie then replied "Those were my darker days," and then left it at that.
    • Averted with the other girls who seem comfortable with their bodies.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal - Sheltered Shrubs. Protected Pines. Avalanche Arts Academy. Camp Caprice. Doctor Dave.
  • Affectionate Parody - The titular play of "I Spy A Witch" is essentially a musical of The Crucible.
  • All Girls Like Ponies - Ginger is quite fond of them, as her room would suggest. Along with the song she sings in summer camp involving copper-colored ponies.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys
  • Alpha Bitch - Miranda, even though Courtney fits the stereotype more.
  • Ambiguously Gay - Brandon Higsby
    • Courtney too, to the point where it could be considered Getting Crap Past the Radar.
    • Blake Gripling
    • Dodie, for Ginger. She even has a "Ginger wig."
  • Art Evolution - Contender for Most Triumphant Example--the show very carefully aged the characters as it progressed.
    • Darren is arguably the best example in the show, slowly developing from a scrawny teen with head gear to a really in-shape young man due to him playing football in High School.
    • Although still retaining the Klasky Csupo look, the animation improved drastically from the pilot.
  • Artistic License History - The beginning of "Next Question" has the answer to the trivia question "In what year was Abraham Lincoln first elected into office?" being "1860." Not true—he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846.
  • Back to School
  • Beautiful All Along - The girls at school view Darren this way after his headgear is first removed. May be justified since a good portion of his face was obscured by metal.
  • Becoming the Mask: Thea Mipson. While she was deceiving Ginger (hell she even wears a wig) she admits that she actually did come to like her and to a degree did feel guilty about the deception.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Lois Foutley was this in earlier seasons before she lost weight. That woman sure has sex appeal.
  • Big No - Hoodsey does one accompanied by a Slow Motion Fall in "Sibling Revile-ry."
  • Black Best Friend - Miranda for Courtney, Darren for Ginger.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead - Ginger is redhead, Macie is brunette and Dodie is blonde.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil - Blake Gripling.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played with in a couple of Carl and Hoodsey's situations.
    • In "Blizzard Conditions", they're taking care of a dog named Muffin. The dog chases after a runaway snow blower around a corner. Muffin gets in front of the blower and it catches her leash, but she breaks free as she chases after a snowplow. Carl and Hoodsey come from around the corner and see the blower spitting out the leash. They assume she got mowed down despite no sight of blood, fur, or bones anywhere.
    • In "Fair to Cloudy", Carl sets free a two-headed horse from an oddities exhibit at a fair by riding it out of the tent and across the fairgrounds. He brings it to a tank of water for a drink and one of the heads falls off the horse into the water. Carl and Hoodsey are traumatized at the sight before they realize the head is fake, even though blood would have been pouring out and the water tank would have turned red in seconds.
    • Subverted in "Ten Chairs" when the turkey attacked Mrs Dave.
  • Boobs of Steel- Lois Foutley is one tough cookie
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill - Darren wears these in the first season. It resembles a reverse bear-trap.
  • The Brainless Beauty - Courtney Gripling
  • Camp Gay - Brandon Higsby is implied to be this.
  • Character Development
  • Cloudcuckoolander - Brandon Higsby, Noelle Sussman, Polly Shuster.
    • Carl and Hoodsey. Especially Carl.
  • Cool Loser - The main character and her friends are great people, but not as popular or "successful" at Lucky Jr. High
  • Cross-Dressing Voices - Tress Mac Neille as Hoodsey, Kath Soucie as Blake among others.
  • Continuity Nod - Another thing that made the show unlike other cartoons was the strict linear continuity. Every episode would make some reference to a previous episode.
    • Some good examples are quite subtle. "No Hope For Courtney" featured a loser-girl named Hope who temporarily displaces Courtney as popularity queen, and she shows up in "About Face" where a crowd of popular girls come to Dodie's house to confront her about how her mother, the new Home Ec. teacher, is forcing herself in their in-crowd, and Hope is mentioned by name as Dodie welcomes them like a laundry list. However, in "About Face", Mipsy gets hit in the eye with a rock twice that was aimed for Dodie's window, and she shows up at graduation in "Butterflies are Free" wearing an eye patch.
    • In the first season Ginger had a crush on a popular boy, but the character proved less interesting than the relationship budding between her and Darren, so he quickly became The Artifact and disappeared from the show. In one of the later episodes Ginger saw his name drawn on the back of her locker and comments that "That was ages ago..."
    • One exception, however minor: Ginger went from being right handed to left handed sometime between season one and season two.
    • Also, the episode where Dodie & Macie conspire with Mipsy and Miranda to break up Darren & Ginger. Courtney exposes the plot to Ginger and Darren at the end of the episode. The very next episode, Dodie, Macie, & Ginger act as though nothing happened, as do Courtney & Miranda.
  • Daddy Didn't Show - The episode "Hello Stranger."
  • Darker and Edgier - The show is very noticeably more adult than Klasky Csupo's other shows, like Rugrats and Rocket Power.
  • Deadpan Snarker - Miranda. Macie, at times. Also, Ginger's mom.
  • Disappeared Dad - At the start of the series, Ginger and Carl's father is nowhere to be found, but is referred to as still alive. He first appears in the Christmas Episode, where he and Carl talk about his lackluster parenting. Afterwards, he resolves to be more involved in his family's lives and makes recurring appearances.
  • Distant Finale
  • Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune - Originally, in the unaired pilot, Ginger's voice Melissa Disney sung the theme song, but was replaced by Miranda's voice actress Cree Summer and later R&B singer Macy Gray.
  • Downer Ending - "No Hope For Courtney": Carl's teacher, Ms. Gordon, dies. Made sadder by the fact that she was originally going to get out of retirement, but the voice actor for her passed away during production.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty - George McGrority, the "Big Brother" Ginger assigns Carl in "Sibling Revile-ry" as part of her "Persuasion, Not Punishment" program. A former military school cadet, George constantly carries (and blows) a whistle, makes Carl turn his room into a barracks and even sneaks into his doghouse when he attempts to flout the 8 pm bedtime imposed by George.
  • Easily Forgiven: No other way to explain for Dodie and Macie who tried to break Ginger and Darren up.
  • Enter Stage Window
  • Evil Laugh - Miranda does this in "The Nurses' Strike," when she discovers Ginger's mom is working as a cleaning lady, effectively scaring a nearby family away.
  • Et Tu, Brute? - As Ginger finds out that Dodie and Macie are trying to break up her relationship with Darren.
    • When Ginger sees her friends defecting to the other side in Battle of the Bands:

  Et tu, Dodie?

  • Generation Xerox - Courtney is just like her mother. Same personality, same obsession with fashion, and both are very much Rich in Dollars, Poor In Sense.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar - One episode, "The Right Stuff" involved a minor plot point in which girls from Courtney's and Macie's high-school French class try to expose her as a bra-stuffer at Macie's (unwanted) pool party. This later became pulled from rotation, however this statement was blurted in passing by Courtney's little brother Blake in the unaired pilot, which DID make it to a DVD.
    • In another episode Ginger writes a fake love letter to Dodie from a secret admirer and, when writing, asks how to spell "voluptuous". Dodie is twelve.
  • Girl Next Door - Switched as the lead is female and Darren is the boy-next-door
  • Hair Color Dissonance - Macie's hair is supposed to be brown but is actually a greenish gray.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely - Darren upon getting his braces off.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners - Carl and Hoodsey
  • Hey, It's That Voice! - This show features a number of easily recognizable voices, but one that really sticks out in two episodes, "The Wicked Game" and "Butterflies Are Free" with the inclusion of a minor character, the wacky evil bird-girl Polly Shuster, are instantly made hilarious when one recognizes who Carl's VA is.
  • Iconic Item - Darren only has his headgear in the first season, and they're off for the rest of the series. But they are still one of his most recognized features, and the opening credits stay the same throughout the show's run.
  • Important Haircut - In the special "Foutleys on Ice" Ginger gets her hair straightened and given a blue streak to signify how much she's changed away from home.
  • It's All About Me - Dodie.
  • Jerkass - Miranda.
    • Mipsy manages to be even worse. At least Miranda shows a few occasional moments of compassion. Mipsy shows nothing but cruelty towards her (except for that one time when she and the others needed her help and that was pragmatism.) She masterminded the plan to get Ginger set away (granted it was too a really prestigious boarding school but still.) she also spread nasty rumors during the time away and tried to break up the Darren relationship to make her more vulnerable (and there's the whole "defame the school statue.")
  • Junior High
  • Karma Houdini - Miranda is usually exposed for her crimes (as to let her victims off the hook,) but is rarely otherwise punished. Mipsy is just as bad as her, but is never shown getting what she deserves (in fact, one episode has Ginger accuse Miranda of something Mipsy did to her). Simone also counts.
    • She did get a rock to the eye in one episode. which is something. and she's wearing an eye patch a few episodes later so it definately stuck.
    • In "I Spy A Witch," virtually all the girls in the play (besides Ginger and her friends) know Miranda and Mipsy defamed a statue and presumably framed Ginger for it. Miranda is forced to confess everything during the play, but is never shown being punished and successfully cheated Ginger out of the play. Mipsy gets off the hook, and the girls who knew what was going on should have said something, but get away with it.
    • Made even worse by the fact that her father is the Chief of Police. If anyone was going to bust her, you'd think he would eventually.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes- Only the finale and one multi-episode feature has been released on DVD.
  • Killed Off for Real - Mrs. Gordon And Maude, too, in the second episode no less, and in the middle of dinner! Her death became a apart of "I Spy A Witch" where Carl uses her gallstone to conduct a séance to help him prank his mother and help Ginger.
  • Klasky Csupo
  • Lesbian Jock - The gym teacher in "Gym Class Confidential" is implied to be this way.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Implied with Ginger and her friends when its deals with Dodie and Macie trying to break her and Darren up as by the next episode, no one wants to talk about it.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch - Courtney
  • Limited Wardrobe - Averted, notable because most cartoons don't. The main characters had about 5-6 outfits they rotated through. Even minor characters had at least 2 outfits.
    • Played straight with Carl and Hoodsey, who always wear the same things unless there's a change in weather, with the implication that they don't bathe too often.
  • Little Professor Dialogue - Carl and Blake both indulge in this, bordering occassionally on Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. Blake talks like this because he was raised in the very-proper Gripling family, but Carl talks like this because he's just slightly eccentric.
  • Love Epiphany
  • Manipulative Bitch - Miranda.
    • Polly also counts, having managed to convince Carl, Blake and Brandon to give up their prized petrified eyeball, pickled tonsils and monkey tooth necklace respectively in the school time capsule saying that clinging to them would be childish and immature. She nearly succeeds in taking them all for herself if the three boys weren't so shocked and had second thoughts as they all showed up to exhume the time capsule to retrieve the objects, only to find that Polly was there first squawking "Finder's Keepers!"
  • Meaningful Name - Lucky Junior High
    • Also, Ginger. She's a ginger.
    • Miranda is the daughter of a police officer, after all.
  • Mistaken for Gay - Jonas Foutley, Ginger's Dad. His answering machine mentioned him living with a guy named Ben. Until it is revealed Ben is his dog.
  • Naive Everygirl
  • Noodle Incident

 Ms. Zorski: What you did to that Remedial Math class, that was wrong, Carl.

  • Not Allowed to Grow Up - Notably averted for a cartoon. The characters all age throughout the series, and show subtle signs of physical changes as they grow into their teen years.
  • Official Couple
  • Once an Episode - Hoodsey to Carl: "You wrote it, circa second grade."
  • Parental Hypocrisy - Lois forbids Ginger things like using makeup and shaving her legs, but it's immediately shown that Lois has a whole bathroom full of beauty products that she keeps locked.
  • Pet the Dog - Miranda, just once in "Ginger's Solo"
  • Pigeonholed Voice Actor- Miranda was originally going to be a white chick but was changed to African American due to the casting of Cree Summer as her VA.
  • Playing Against Type - The usually dull and slow speaking Ben Stein as fast-talking realtor Buddy Baker.
  • Plot Hole - Miranda's knowledge of Ginger's feelings for Sasha are an important part of the plot of "Ginger's Solo," when Miranda consoles Ginger in the bathroom after Ginger has a run-in with Sasha's Alpha Bitch girlfriend Clover and Sasha rejects Ginger, leaving her heartbroken. However, Miranda and Courtney left Camp Caprice before the first time Ginger confesses her crush on Sasha, which is even more puzzling given that Miranda knows about the lyrics to Ginger's song:

  Miranda: Wait...Sasha? Camp Caprice Sasha? 'There were copper-colored ponies'-Sasha?

    • Courtney knew she had a crush, it's quite possible she told Miranda. And when Miranda is present in the cabin at night, Ginger giggles while saying "you're so funny Sasha". She also sings the song through a microphone moments after Courtney and Miranda walk from the area, they easily could have heard it.
  • The Pollyanna - Brandon Higsby, especially in relation to his monkey.
  • Power Trio - Dodie is the Id, Macie is the Super-Ego and Ginger is the Ego.
  • Precocious Crush - Carl develops a crush on an eccentric old lady he met at a nursing home, even considering their friendship to be a May-December Romance. Heck, he was about to propose to her with a worm shaped into a ring, but she died suddenly at the dinner table. He keeps her gallstone as a memento of her.
  • Race Lift - Word of God has it that Miranda was originally white, but they redesigned her as black to introduce more diversity to the cast.
    • Can be seen in the pilot.
    • Darren too. Curiously in his original form he had gray hair.
  • Reason You Suck Speech: Darren gives Dodie a minor one in "The Easter Ham."
  • Relationship Upgrade - Ginger and Darren.
  • Redheaded Hero - Ginger and, in a way, Carl.
  • Rich Bitch - Courtney, who's more of a Brainless Beauty so her bitchiness is not really mean spirited.
    • Miranda is a straighter example.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor In Sense: Courtney
  • Screwed by the Network - Only half of Season 3 ever aired. At a 6am timeslot no less.
  • Serenade Your Lover - Ginger confesses her crush on Sasha in the first Camp Caprice special by playing him a song she had written for him on the guitar.
  • Shout-Out- Carl takes a liking to a eccentric old lady named Maude due to her having a lot in common with him. a Shout out to the movie Harold and Maude.
  • Shrinking Violet - Macie fits to a certain degree, although it borders on The Snark Knight and even Little Miss Snarker
  • Sick Episode - When Ginger gets appendicitis.
  • Sickly Neurotic Geek -Macie
  • Slippery Swimsuit
  • Spoiled Sweet - Courtney, she's naive and more than a little vain. But she almost always has good intentions and genuinely seems interested in Ginger's life. And one time she actually helps Ginger avoid a breakup when Courtney's two friends and Ginger's two friends try to do so.
  • Stuck on a Ski Lift - Ginger's brother pays off the operator to stop it in order to break the world record for the longest time stuck on a ski lift.
  • The Talk
  • Those Two Guys: Carl and Hoodsey.
  • Trauma Swing
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup - In one episode the girls try to look glamorous by wearing makeup they made themselves. The fact that they have no prior experience in applying makeup is made very clear. They end up looking like clowns.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Hope. She tries to tell Ginger that she'll be a loser if she hangs out with Courtney. The only reason she's now the most popular girl in school is because Ginger helped her gain confidence and advice on how to improve her image
  • Visit by Divorced Dad - Ginger and Carl's dad shows up in a handfull of episodes. He is shown to be more than a little flakey, and it is probably for the best that he wasn't the one with custody of them, considering he doesn't even remember Carl is deathly allergic to peanuts. But he is shown to genuinely care about them.
  • Walk On the Wild Side Episode: Ginger gets fed up with being called a nice girl and crashes a high school party. This leads to a rumour getting started about her and a bad boy called Jake. Ginger realises she preferred being known as a nice girl.
  • What Could Have Been - The unaired pilot was quite different from the show we know of today. The main difference were the designs and art style. The hair styles were different, Miranda and Darren were white, and the style was similar to the Rugrats (Deranged Animation and all).
    • The pilot's since been uploaded here (though Darren looks more grey than white....).
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic - In-universe. Ginger wrote a poem about a girl who wants to fly and ends up vanishing. Everyone interprets it as a metaphor for suicidal thoughts, and asks her to get counseling for depression.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield? - Averted.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes? - In Macie's case, learning about female reproduction.
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