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Stanley (2001-2002) was a show about animals. Its main character was a first grader named Stanley. His pets are a goldfish named Dennis, a cat named Elsie, and a dog named Harry. He also has an older brother named Lionel. He would use his Great Big Book of Everything to learn about the animals.
The series was seen for several years as part of the lineup of the Playhouse Disney block on Disney Channel. Repeats are currently being aired as part of the 24/7 Disney Junior network.
Contains examples of the following tropes:
- Animated Adaptation: The TV show is actually based on a property of books and CD-ROM games by Griff, whose name was lent as the family name for Stanley and his family.
- Blind Without Them: Mr. Griff states that he can't see a thing without his glasses.
- Character Title
- Female Feline, Male Mutt: Elsie and Harry respectively.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Probably the only preschool series to get away with "stupid" (without it being cited as a "bad word").
- Great Big Book of Everything: Trope Namer. Given to him by his Grandma Griff. A very special book - not only does it contain an A-Z of animals, but it also contains magic properties. Stanley and others can "skidoo" inside it, and the animals can escape from the book.
- However, even though the book in the show is referred to by its title, we only learn what it contains about animals.
- Green Aesop: The Earth Day story "Save the Bluebird," complete with an "Every Day is Earth Day" song peformed by just about the entire cast, including Stanley's pets. Occasionally shows up at other times as well, given that it is a show about animals, some of which are threatened or endangered.
- Invisible to Normals / Narnia Time: Either or both may be responsible for why nobody ever seems to notice the absence of Stanley and his friends when they go inside The Great Big Book of Everything.
- Non Interactivity: Dennis, as the designated Fourth Wall Observer, uses this to quiz viewers on animal facts and occasionally at other times.
- Once Per Episode: Stanley looks something up in the Great Big Book and Harry & Elsie perform their "Great Big Book of Everything" song, much to Dennis's dismay. Except in rare cases that Stanley goes online to look something up, in which case Harry and Elsie have an "online" variation of the song that they perform.
- Record Needle Scratch: This is sometimes, but not always, used to introduce "The Great Big Book of Everything" song, or its second verse.
- Sanity Slippage: Elsie experiences one when she grows tired of waiting for the butterfly to emerge from its chrysalis in "Caterpillar Countdown."
- Shout-Out: In "Horsepower," both when Stanley first looks up horses in The Great Big Book of Everything and when one comes out of it, a bit of the theme from Green Acres is played. Additionally, Harry and Elsie reference the lyrics from the theme of Mister Ed when they perform the "Great Big Book of Everything" song.
- Status Quo Is God: In "Sheep and a Haircut," Mrs. Griff gets a new hairstyle, which Stanley has to get used to, the aesop being that change can be good. In the next episode, however, her hairstyle is right back to the one seen on her throughout the series.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: When Harry and Elsie are joking around, Elsie often plays the straight cat to Harry's wise dog.
- Talking Animal: But only his pets, who only talk to him, his Grandma Griff and his immediate circle of friends
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That
- Tempting Fate: Dennis, every time that he decides that it's okay to say "The Great Big Book of Everything" because Harry and Elsie are A.) sleeping or B.) not around. He seems to wise up a bit as the series continues, but doesn't seem to realize that Harry and Elsie are also clever enough to show up even when someone doesn't say the name out loud, but simply references the book.
- Title Theme Tune: Performed by the Baha Men, of all groups
- Weirdness Censor: On the rare occasions that anyone who is not Stanley, Grandma Griff, or one of Stanley's friends sees any weirdness associated with The Great Big Book (animals that have come out, etc.) or something like Harry & Elsie singing/talking, they will dismiss it as their eyes playing tricks on them or some sort of hallucination.
- You Can Say That Again: Stanley says this after Elsie tells him "Boy, do you have a problem" in "Kangaroo Cleanup," so Elsie does so. Harry then enters the room-- "Hey, Stanley, did you hear? You have a problem."