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Books in the series:
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972)
- Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (1972)
- Superfudge (1980)
- Fudge-a-mania (1990)
- Double Fudge (2002)
Tropes used in Fudge include:
- Accidental Art: In Fudge-A-Mania, baby Tootsie accidentally walks through spilled paint and makes little footprints across one of Jimmy's father's canvases. He decides to make a series of "Baby Feet" paintings with her as a result. It gets a callback in Double Fudge, where Peter's family gets invited to a showing of Mr. Fargo's work, including the now wildly popular Baby Feet paintings.
- Alpha Bitch: Sheila. In the book that is written from Sheila's point of view, both she and her older sister Libby qualify.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Fudge.
- To a lesser extent, Tootsie. But she isn't the focus.
- Berserk Button: Fudge will only respond to his nickname. His initial kindergarten teacher discovers this when, after she insists on calling him by one of his legal names, he kicks her in the shin and climbs on top of a shelf in protest, resulting in his transfer to the other kindergarten class. Peter sometimes pushes the button.
- Black Best Friend: Jimmy. In the adaptations, at least.
- Butt Monkey: Peter.
- Comic Book Time: Despite decade-long gaps between books, each book is set in the time it was written (although newer editions of some of the books have been revised to update the cultural references), and the characters have only aged a few years.
- Cowardly Lion: Sheila is afraid of quite a bit in the Tarrytown countryside.
- Convenience Store Gift Shopping: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing has Peter being given a picture dictionary, more suitable for a preschooler than the preteen that he is. Ugh. At least he has enough tact to pretend to be enthused. Fudge, on the other hand, brings out their old copy of the same book.
- Dead Guy, Junior: Of a sort. After Fudge eats Dribble, Peter's pet turtle, in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, their parents buy Peter a dog - whom Peter names Turtle.
- December-December Romance: In Fudge-a-mania, Peter's widowed grandmother marries Sheila's widowed grandfather, making the archenemies step-cousins.
- Embarrassing Old Photo: Peter's parents have one of him as a toddler, naked and holding a broom.
- Foe Yay: Peter and Sheila definitely have this type of relationship.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: Peter spends much of the books complaining about Fudge but does not take it well when Fudge's kindergarten teacher claims that there's something wrong with him.
"There's nothing wrong with him!"
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: In Otherwise Known As Sheila The Great, Sheila Tubman has an inferiority complex about her various fears and the fact that she cannot do certain things (such as swimming and working a yo-yo) that other kids her age can do. It causes her to act boastful, which makes even her friends feel uncomfortable around her.
- Jerkass: Daniel in Superfudge.
- Karma Houdini: Fudge eating Dribble, Peter's pet turtle. While everyone is worried about Fudge, no one seems to consider how Peter feels on the subject, and Fudge is never punished in any way.
- The Not-Secret: In Superfudge, Peter is asked by his parents to humor Fudge's belief in Santa, despite never having believed himself. After receiving his coveted red bicycle, Fudge confides to Peter that he's never believed, either, and pretends for their parents' sake.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Fudge, and later, baby Tootsie.
- Only Sane Man: Peter appears this way at least as often as not - though to be fair, the books are almost all from his point of view.
- Parental Favoritism: Fudge gets away with murder (literally, if pets count), while big brother Peter Can't Get Away with Nuthin' and gets repeatedly whacked over the head with An Aesop about loving his brother. However, it's shown that his parents know when to draw the line when Fudge ruins Peter's art project for school and their mother punishes the former with spanking.
- Parents as People: Peter's parents are nice, but often butt heads with their sons over various things (moving temporarily to Princeton, having a third child, etc). Peter's mother in particular is often shown blaming Peter for Fudge's actions, and the way she fawns over Fudge in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing after he's hospitalized for eating Peter's turtle is downright sickening when you consider that the kid did it to himself.
- Race Lift: The race of Peter's best friend Jimmy is never stated in the text but the illustrations in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing seem to show a Caucasian. In the film and subsequent tv show, he's African American.
- The Scapegoat: Peter, often. One example is Fudge falling and knocking out his two front teeth in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. This somehow was Peter's fault, even though Sheila was babysitting Fudge at the time.
- Sympathetic POV: Otherwise Known As Sheila The Great, a side-story featuring Peter's Sitcom Arch Nemesis, Sheila Tubman.
- Ted Baxter: Sheila.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-universe. Fudge-A-Mania has Peter and Fudge's little sister accidentally getting into an artist's paint and wandering over his canvas, leaving behind little blue footprints. The artist thinks it looks stunning and wants her to help him make more paintings.
- The Unfavorite: Peter often feels like this.
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