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A Canadian/German animated series by Nelvana and TMO Film GmbH.
When young Ned Flemkin scraped enough money to buy a pet - a newt (the only animal he could afford) he called Newton, he did not expect that the special "Zippo" newt food he fed it would cause Newton to grow regularly, if temporarily into a humanoid, 6-foot-tall friendly trickster with a penchant for humorous Shapeshifting.
The series follows Ned's life in his school (where he deals with his Love Interest Linda, ditzy best friend Doogle, and local Rich Bitch Rusty) and in his everyday life, focusing on the zany misadventures he gets through with (and usually because of) Newton to help him.
Tropes exhibited by this series:
- All Trolls Are Different / Mole Men
- Applied Phlebotinum: The Zippo food.
- A Boy and His X: Go on, take a wild guess.
- Beneath the Earth: ...live the malevolent trolls with the ambition to Take Over the World.
- Black Bead Eyes: Everyone have black/colored eyes except for someone.
- Brainy Brunette: Linda
- Catch Phrase: "Hi, I'm (insert caricature here) and not a newt at all!"
- Closer to Earth: In a rare male example, Mr. Flemkin is usually more down-to-earth than his wife... or at the very least, he's not any more weird than she is.
- Consolation World Record: Ending of the episode "Broken Record".
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Tracey Moore as Ned. Oddly, most of the other boys are played by (adult) male actors.
- The Ditz: Ned's friend, Doogle Pluck.
- Exposed Animal Bellybutton: Newton, who even lampshades it once.
- Expository Theme Tune: "There once was a boy who wanted a pet / When he got to the store a newt was all he could get / Brought it home but to his surprise / The newt just laid there, he was barely alive / The pet store owner knew what to do / He gave the boy a can of Zippo Newt Food!"
- Expy: Why, no, the shape-shifting, celebrity-impersonating blue newt is absolutely nothing like a certain shape-shifting, celebrity-impersonating blue genie.
- Freaky Friday Flip: "Newt's Ned".
- Gainax Ending: In one episode, Ned and his family go on a cruise, and Ned and Newton supposedly get lost at sea, surrounded by icebergs. The episode ends with them turning out to be in the icemaker on the ship.
- Gibberish of Love: Ned, when around Linda.
- Granola Girl: Linda occasionally shows signs of this.
- Happily Married: Mr. and Mrs. Flemkin, more or less.
- Impossible Insurance: Plot of "Trouble Indemnity".
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The old guy from the pet store seems to work everywhere else in the city. Sometimes there's more than one of him. His "official" name, in fact, is simply "The Usual Guy".
- Join the Army They Said: Newton ended up enlisting Ned into the army without his consent.
- Lampshade Hanging: Frequently.
"If newts are born from eggs, why do I have a belly-button?" (beat) "Is a poorly-drawn 'x' an inny or an outy?"
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Including set up the Freaky Friday Flip in "Newt's Ned".
- Limited Wardrobe: Everyone. One episode lampshades this by having Mrs. Flemkin tell Ned to change his clothes; he proceeds to pull his orange shirt and blue pants inside out, somehow turning them into a blue shirt and orange pants, and wears them for the rest of the episode.
- Literal Minded: Newton, at times.
- Love Makes You Dumb: A lot of times when Ned is around Linda he turns into a drooling imbecile.
- Noodle Implements: A bicycle pump and a rubber duck can seemingly solve all problems. Newton never got the chance to use the method, though.
- Official Couple: Ned and Linda.
- Only Child Syndrome: All of the kids seem to be only children.
- Only Sane Man: Ned, very much so.
- The Other Darrin: Harland Williams was replaced as Newton for the last few episodes, for undisclosed reasons.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: As long as Newton is wearing human clothes, no one seems to notice that he's a 6-foot tall, blue-skinned freak.
- Plot Hole: In the pilot, Ned pays exactly $1.65 (all of the change in his piggy bank) for Newton; the pet store owner actually rips him off, because the price list said $1.49.(*Cough* 11% sales tax *cough*.) However, in a later episode, Ned loses his "lucky penny", described as such because it was his change when he bought Newton, even though we were explicitly shown the original transaction.
- Quirky Town: Friendly Falls, the show's setting.
- Rich Bitch: Rusty McCabe, a rare male example.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Rusty. The town mayor is his parents' old friend, and is more than eager to bend the rules of the great city scavenger hunt in his favor ("Remote Possibility"). Same happens when he takes Linda for a date to an amusement park owned by his parents, and inexplicably seems to win all the time. ("Carnival Knowledge")
- Straight Man: Ned, to Newton.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Newton, when he's impersonating a human, will often describe himself as "not a newt at all".
- Talking Animal: Newton.
- TV Never Lies: Ned's parents believe this.
- As shown in "The Show Must Go Off", the ENTIRE TOWN thinks this.
- Two-Timer Date: One episode has Ned inadvertently find himself on a date to practically every girl in the school (largely because of Newton). Newton is little help, since he just cites the example of the "sea newt" which mates with hundreds of females before they gang up and eat him.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A Running Gag is for Ned's parents to enter his room just as he's talking to Newton, upon which Newton quickly transforms into something supposedly innocuous... like the Venus of Milo, or "the big metal thingy for affixing a ship." Ned's parents comment on this, but never seem to mind.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Newton. Into pretty much anything (often into a pop culture reference).
- Whole-Plot Reference: Several episodes take this form, including one to Citizen Kane ("Citizen Ned").
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: The old guy from the pet store, who also seems to work everywhere else in the city.