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Staines Down Drains is an animated series created in New Zealand. It was produced together by Flying Bark Productions and Flux Animation.
Life just got far more interesting for Stanly and Mary-Jane Staines. They've just moved to a new town, into a new house, started a new school. Oh, did I mention the portal in the basement sink's plughole that shrinks them down to three-inches high and sends them down into the local drain system? Suddenly Stanly and Mary-Jane find themselves in a whole new world, one that's wracked with conflict. The drains are home to tiny mutant creatures called Drainlanders who manage a pond of special purifying plants that absorb toxins and produce clean water. This doesn't sit well with a group of mutant creatures called Gobblers, who thrive on toxins.
Unfortunately the Gobblers have just gained an advantage. A mysterious human named Dr. Drain who's also found his way into the drains. Dr. Drain will stop at nothing to fill the drains with toxins and grow a giant mutant army he can use to take revenge on the town. Suddenly Stanly and Mary-Jane find themselves as reluctant heroes in a desperate struggle to save two worlds.
The main tropes found in Staines Down Drains are:
- Action Girl: Mary-Jane tries to be this, but it usually gets her into trouble.
- Alpha Bitch: Gretel lives this.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The Drainlanders. Being mutant life forms living in a drain system, they tend to come in a lot of shapes, sizes and colors.
- Balloon Belly: Stanley and Mary-Jane both get one in the first episode after eating a giant, mutant, teddy-bear cookie.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Betty Staines. Stand-up comedy was probably a poor career choice for her...
- Cloudcuckoolander: Stanley and Mary-Janes mom can be a bit flighty sometimes. But she pales in comparison to Beef, whos takes this to a whole new level.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose In Life: Betty Staines. She starts a new job at the beginning of every episode.
- Expy: Vegety-Bill is essentially John Wayne, if John Wayne was a four-inch tall talking carrot man.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Literally. The show is set in a town's drain system and it isn't shy about two humor. In various episodes we've seen Stanley and Mary-Jane imagining coming out of a drain into a toilet, which is blocked by a giant but. A baby getting changed, with the dirty diaper clearly being shown. Various forms of slime and sludge in the drainlands. But the biggest example comes in the last episode of the season, titled the Final Flush. In a last ditch effoert to destroy the purifying plants, Dr. Drain breaks open a pipe and releases something he calls the brown tide. Even worse, Stanly has to wade through the stuff to reach the switch for an emergency drainage valve.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: A shrunken Stanley and Mary-Jane have had to face full-szied a few times. And there's also an episode titled "Land of Giants".
- Lethal Chef: The lunch lady at Stanley and Mary-Jane's school. She's called Typhoid Mary for a reason.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Gobblers.
- Shout-Out: To the Twilight Zone of all things. In one episode Beans uses one of Dr. Drains inventions and accidentily gets teleported onto the wing of a passenger plane. A man sitting in the plane, dressed as Captain Kirk, looks out the window, sees her, freaks out and parachutes out of the plane.
- One episode had Stanley and Mary-Jane trying out for a stage musical knock-off of Harry Potter to get out of doing homework.
- Running Gag: Stanley has a slight phobia about dirt and germs. And so, of course, he is routinely forced to travel into the town's drain system.