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File:Wild-kratts-300 2219.jpg

 Martin: "Hey Chris, what's the difference between one angry bee and a swarm?"

Chris: "About four thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine stingers."

Martin: *points*

Wild Kratts is an educational TV show produced for PBS Kids which first aired in January 2011. It's an animated cartoon starring Martin and Chris Kratt, of Kratt's Creatures, Zoboomafoo, and Be the Creature fame. They travel around the world in a turtle-shaped, go-wherever transport they call Tortuga HQ along with three techies: Aviva, the head techie who built the creature power suits, Koki, who does a lot of data monitoring and communications work, and Jimmy Z, whose jobs seem to be teleport master, pilot, and eater of pizza. With the creature power suits, Martin and Chris can become any animal in the world, in a rather Mecha-like way. Like its predecessors, the show's focus is on animal education and conservation, but because of the animated environment it's not limited by what the brothers happen to catch on tape. This means that they can show rare, ridiculously cool things like a bull sperm whale and a colossal squid battling it out. This show should be noted for having an EXTREMELY CATCHY Theme Tune.


Tropes:

  • Aesop: Usually green. This is a Kratt brother's show, and a PBS show to boot.
  • AI Is a Crapshoot: Zach's bots often misunderstand his commands, taking his words literally.

  Zach: I must be dreaming! Somebody pinch me! *A Zachbot pinches him* OW! I didn't mean literally!- "Polar Bears Don't Dance"

  • Alliterative Name: Chris Kratt, Donita Donata, and Gaston Gourmand. Justified with Chris since that's his real name. Also to the extent that Donita's henchman's name is Dabio.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: First, mama sperm whale vs. giant squid. Mama is taken out by fishing net, leaving baby sperm whale Bumper at risk. Enter papa sperm whale, who eats the giant squid. Enter colossal squid.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Chris (even though he is fairly dark skinned in real life). Donita would fit, if she weren't a fashionista (it could be argued that she tans).
  • Amusing Injury: Staple of the Kratt Brothers. Also with Zach and Jimmy Z.
  • And I Must Scream: Donita Donata specializes in "living jewelry" i.e. live animals frozen in suspended animation. Not all of them are rescued either. Sure she doesn't kill them (at least not intentionally), but this could arguably be worse.
  • Animorphism
  • Applied Phlebotinum
  • Art Shift: the animation and character designs are slightly different in the episode Polar Bears Don't Dance.
  • As Himself: The Kratt Brothers, obviously. And, adorably, some of their real-life kids.
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: "Whale of a Squid" featured two giant seamonsters duking it out. Then there's an extreme example with Seven in "Octopus Wildkratticus".
  • Backported Development: Octopus Wildkratticus showed two things at the same time: 1) Scenes that never happened, 2) In Creature Power Suits that do not exist either a- in the state they were shown or b- at all (such as Martin's Honey Badger suit- there was never a second disc. Chris was the Honey Badger that episode). The series in general creates Plot Holes because the episodes are out of order.
  • Berserk Button: Martin's is pressed in "Flight of the Draco". See "This! Is! SPARTA!" Also, don't tell Aviva she throws like a gi-

  Aviva: "Don't you say it!" ("Flight of the Draco")

    • On that matter, don't lose the creature power suits, disagree with her on whether or not it's more important to find said suits or a new species… just… just don't make her mad at all.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Aviva. Chris to Martin in "Raptor Roundup"- Martin was standing on top of the Tortuga, slipped and fell and slid down the clothesline, knocking off the sleeping bags Chris had just hung up, and covering his brother in feathers. Chris growls, Martin gives an "Oh Crap" and starts running with Chris on his heels. What would Chris have done if he'd caught Martin? Martin to Donita in "Flight of the Draco" when his Berserk Button was pressed.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Very much in existence, though Chris has got quite the Little Brother Instinct of his own.
  • Big No: Many times, and often. Usually comes after Oh Crap.
  • Big Red Button: The ink defense button in "Octopus Wildkratticus", and pretty much every button on all of Zach's controls. Donita's button are more like big pink buttons. To note, the Octopod also had a big green button.
  • Biological Mashup: Happens to a poor octopus in Octopus Wildkratticus. He had walrus tusks, shark teeth and an anglerfish angler for crying out loud!
  • Blondes Are Evil: Subverted and averted. Dabio is disputably evil (more like he's blindly following Donita's lead, and Donita is evil), but Martin's one of the good guys.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Martin, Chris/Aviva, and Jimmy. (Koki's hair is black, so she doesn't fit this trope.)
  • Catch Phrase: "To the creature rescue!" and "Free and in the wild!" spring to mind.
    • "I'll get you, you Wild Ratts!" Zach, every time.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Any mentioned creature power inevitably gets used to save the day.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome
  • Circling Birdies: Takes the form of whatever animal featured in the episode.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Martin wears blue, Chris wears green. Becomes one of the more obvious hints that something's up in Let the Rhinos Roll. Also happens to be how Zach identifies them, as "Blue Boy" and "Green Guy".
  • Continuity Nod: The episode Little Howler has a flashback involving the episode where Martin used the Creature Power Suit to become a Gazelle. Also in "Let the Rhinos Roll"- the reason Chris Bot was wearing red is because when in certain countries during Kratt's Creatures, Chris would wear a red shirt.
  • Crazy Prepared: Martin thinks he's this.

 Chris: You brought snowshoes to the tropics?

Martin: Hey, you may be more organized, but I'm prepared for anything.

    • Subverted however in Koala Balloon when Martin is rummaging for eucalyptus leaves to feed to Koala Balloon, but only finds various other kinds of leaves.
  • Cruella to Animals: Surprisingly averted for the most part. Most of the villains' mistreatment of animals is out of apathy and indifference to the creatures' well-being than outright sadism. But Gourmand did once say that the thought of cooking endangered animals always picks up his mood. As for Zach, it's only when the Kratts try reasoning with him that Zach goes out of his way to harm animals just to spite them.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to other Kratt shows.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Word of God stated in an interview that this is WHY the villains fail and the heroes succeed. Also, the Kratt brothers make sure they avert this trope, with the animal facts, at least.
  • Doing It for the Art: In-universe example with Chef Gourmand. Besides the fact that food made from rare animals make for especially expensive - and therefore profitable - dishes, this is the reason he specializes in cooking with endangered animals. He even firmly insists that he never, ever makes the same dish twice. "Rare talent deserves rare ingredients!"- Platypus Cafe
  • Doppelganger: Zach makes one of Chris. Martin nearly doesn't figure it out in time.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Martin does a bit of this off-screen in Let the Rhinos Roll, in which he apparently drives their jeep flying over a ravine. Chris good-naturedly chews him out over it while he fixes the poor thing.
  • Dumb Blonde: Played straight and averted. Dabio is an idiot, but Martin is just goofy.
  • Dumb Muscle: Davio, Donita's blond henchman.
  • Edutainment Show
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Zach
  • Eldritch Abomination: Seven in "Octopus Wildkratticus". Even though the Creature Power Suits are ultimately the reason, still…
  • Elephant in the Living Room: A baby elephant in the Tortuga.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Or rhino, or Tazmanian devil, or pigeon...
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Donita finds out that Zach stole the Arctic Pearl, she is less than impressed.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: It's not enough that the Kratts and Zach grew up in the same neighborhood (and presumably went to the same school); Aviva spent a summer in summer camp with him.
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia, bears, platypus, sharks, squirrels, butterflies, squid, otters, killer bees, large cats... ah hell, just go over to Everything's Better with Indexes and scroll down to the animals list.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Attempted subversion in "Stuck on Sharks".
  • Evil Poacher: All the main villains.
  • Evil Tastes Good: "Poached, roasted or barbecued… rare, endanged animals make the best food!" Gourmand singing to himself in "Platypus Café"
  • The Fashionista: Donita. She's very successful with her animal based line, and when frustrated starts sketching out ideas on a sketchpad.
  • Fatal Flaw: The villains all have Ambition Is Evil, but aside from that, display several others. Donita- Greed. Gourmand- Jerkass, Pride. Zach- Has all of them except for Delicious Distraction.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Foil: Zach and Donita. Zach is dark, brooding, pale, excessively cruel to animals (particularly the babies) and literally does not give two cents about learning anything about them and is surrounded by his robot servants/slaves. Donita, on the other hand, is tan, very successful with her fashion line, a bit genre savvy, actually shows interest in knowing about the animals that will be part of her fashion line, has only one henchman (Davio), and despite wanting to use live animals for a fashion show she has an utter dislike of stealing as seen with the Arctic Pearl incident.
  • Free-Range Children: The Wild Kratts Kids, especially in "The Blue and the Gray"- Ronan and his friend were just wandering in the woods with no previous adult supervision. At least in other episodes, the kids were close to home or being monitored by the Wild Kratts themselves. And of all things, there was a bear in those woods! Apparently, Social Services Does Not Exist.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Two rare male examples. To the consternation of their team mates, this is not limited to obviously nice animals.
  • Freudian Excuse: Why is Zach so angry at these brothers? Well apparently they foiled his childhood plans of a security robot--powered by a frog--when they were kids!
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: So far, we've heard talk of cannibalism, seen a Secretary bird kill a snake (complete with minor blood spillage), saw a coyote marking Martin-the-Tree as his territory (although we just saw the wet spot and not the genitals nor the stream), seen animals frozen alive with full consciousness still intact, saw T-Devils eating an ambiguous dead thing… are we sure this is on PBS?
  • Girlish Pigtails: Young Aviva (as shown in "Bass Class"). They were in buns, but still.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Subverted, as Aviva will occasionally exclaim something, but has never really outright code switched. She does it less and less as the show goes on.
  • Hair of Gold: Gavin
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: The titular Kratt bros, naturally.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!!: Athena Karkanis (Aviva) was Agent Lindsay Perez in the Saw movies, not to mention the Kratts themselves.
  • Idiosyncrazy: Donita's live-animal fashion line and Gourmand's endangered-only restaurant. Zach doesn't qualify since his motives and plans change based on the situation.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: The brothers have a shrinking machine that they regularly use to get up close and personal to smaller creatures, though this isn't without its hazards.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Played straight in "Build It Beaver" (where they sought it out), and subverted in "Platypus Café" (when Martin was blindfolded, there was one, but it was a little one).
  • Ink Suit Actor
  • Intergenerational Friendship: The Wild Kratts and the Wild Kratts Kids.
  • Involuntary Transformation: There are a few of these when the creature power suits malfunction.
  • Karma Houdini: None of the villains get hurt (except for Zach, but he does it to himself), none of the villains go to jail, and in fact, most of the time, they don't even get a tongue-lashing or an Aesop. Most of the time, they're sent on their merry way, either flying away, floating away, driving away…
  • Kick the Dog: Zach has taken baby animals captive a few times in order to get what he wants.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Zach. Very minorly, Aviva, at least in "Platypus Café". She assumed she knew enough to figure out the platypus' electrosensory power by herself. In the end, she couldn't do it without the platypus to help her.
  • Lack of Empathy: The main thing that makes the villains the villains.
  • Laughably Evil: Zach to the biggest degree, given his mostly cowardly nature. Gourmand is this when not subjecting viewers to Nightmare Fuel. Donita's funny when her plans go awry, but other than that, she's pretty formidable.
  • Lava Adds Awesome
  • Leitmotif: There's several of them in the show. The transformations have their own theme, as well as most of the villains, plus the typical "DANGER APPROACHES" music.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Given that this is PBS, and the viewers are usually young children.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Thankfully averted, but it could use a few more main characters. (There are only 9 truly main characters, and the rest/majority are the Wild Kratts Kids.)
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Subverted with the Creature Power Suits. Most of the time, they need a disc, DNA, and a button press. On occasion, they've been activated without a disc ("Tazzy Chris", where the activation button was bitten), from the other brother's suit ("Mom of a Croc", where Martin activated his firefly suit off Chris' already activated firefly suit), with the wrong disc ("Mom of a Croc", where they activated their Gharial crocodile discs off an Austrailian alligator; it just didn't last as long), and even vocally ("Octopus Wildkratticus").
  • Mama Bear: Implied in An Elephant in the Room, when the brothers mention their mom calling both of them that morning, and how she's regularly checking up on them. And of course there's all the literal examples.
  • Man Child: Subverted with Martin- he can get serious when he needs to be, but other than that, he acts more like the target audience than the Periphery Demographic. (This troper observed that during the introductory live-action segment of "Tazzy Chris", Chris seemed minorly annoyed by Martin's pretending to be attacked by the Sugar Glider. He smiled, but it looked forced.) Dabio, to a degree.
  • Meaningful Name: Corcovado (Aviva's last name) is a city in South America. Aviva is Spanish. Also, the Tortuga.
  • Mecha: The creature power suits. While dormant they consist of a vest and gloves, but stick in a disc and press a button and they become mecha-like animal suits. The Tortuga itself could also qualify.
  • Mind Control: Both Donita and Zach use this, but Donita's could arguably be considered more "body control" than "mind control". With Zach, it's Unwilling Roboticisation.
  • Mind Control Device: Zach specializes in them to force animals to do his bidding.
  • Mind Control Eyes: When Zach uses the mind control skull caps on his victims.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: The creature power suits sometimes affect how Chris and Martin think, though this seems far more likely if it's malfunctioning.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: "Mystery of the Weird Looking Walrus", when the pearl case snaps shut on Zach's finger: "I cut my finger in half!" When he pulls it off, his "finger cut in half" has what amounts to a paper cut. It didn't even bleed!
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Returning the koala from the desert to the rainforest is the entire point of "Koala Balloon".
  • Motionless Chin: Averted. It's hard to tell, but they move.
  • Mundane Utility: Martin and Chris have been known to use the creature power suits to just goof off instead of saving animals.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Chris in "Build It Beaver", when he removed his kayak paddle from the beaver dam, causing the entire thing to break apart, drain the lake, and strand many animals (both water and land). It doesn't help that this happens nearly 3 other times before the episode's end. They fixed it, though.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted hard in Voyage of the Butterflier XT, which follows the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Having a named animal die in the arms of one of the main characters? Not something you see every day in a kid's show.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Twice in a row! A beaver steals Chris's paddle and puts it in his dam. Chris's attempts to get it back somehow manage to destroy the entire dam. When they finally manage to fix it, Martin leans on a half-chewed-down tree, which manages to set off a domino chain of half-chewed-down trees, which of course breaks the dam again. And then the beavers steal the paddle again, but Chris decides enough is enough.
  • The Nicknamer: Martin names all of their animal friends. All of them. This is justified as this was a staple in the previous shows of the Kratt brothers; it's to help children connect with the animal of the day.
  • No Cartoon Fish: Heavily averted- this IS a nature show. Most notably "Bass Class" & "Stuck on Sharks".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Donita's henchman/male model Dabio.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: All the animals that lend their DNA to the Creature Power Suits.
  • Not a Date: Donita and Zach in "Mystery of the Weird Looking Walrus". Maybe Donita was there for just the pearl (and money making opportunity), but Zach was in a different emotional zone than she was.
  • Odd Couple: Chris and Martin. Also slightly subverted as Red Oni, Blue Oni- with Martin being the Red Oni and Chris being the Blue Oni.
  • Oh Crap: Quite a lot. A notable one was when the brothers got stuck between a fighting squid and sperm whale.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Creature Suits were used as this at least once, in "Mystery of the Weird Looking Walrus".

 Zach: "I'll get those Wild Ratts if it's the last thing I do!"

Donita: "Or the next thing you do."

Zach: "Yeah, or the next thing I- what?"

Donita: "They're the walruses that don't resemble walruses whatsoever!" *spins him around; the Kratts wave sheepishly*

  • People Puppet: Donita uses a "Pose Beam" to physically manipulate Martin to act as her unwilling runway model in Flight of the Draco. Needless to say the posing--and the ridiculous clothes--were great for a laugh from his brother.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: A blue jay pecks Martin's suit while he's holding an acorn. Cue Martin-the-tree, which was definitely not supposed to happen. Also when a T-Devil bites Chris' suit in "Tazzy Chris".
  • Plot Hole: The out-of-air ordering has caused these. This page is full of examples.
  • Pungeon Master: Martin is usually the one making the Incredibly Lame Pun, but Chris has his share.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The episode for the Tazmanian Devils was based on an incident in Australia that a bacteria was causing the T-Devils to drop dead.
  • Retcon: Played straight and justified. Played straight in one episode where they showed scenes from "Honey Seekers" that supposedly happened in canon that the audience didn't see. Justified for the rest of the series because the episodes were initially aired out-of-order (for instance, we saw Donita dating Zach in one episode, then in a later episode, she had him confirm his identity).
  • Rich Bastard / Spoiled Brat: Zach. Big time.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The baby animals that the brothers find. Most notably we have Thornsly (an elephant), Spot Swat (a cheetah cub) and Little Howler (a wolf cub).
  • Rogues Gallery: Zach Varmitech, Donita Donata, and Gourmand round this out.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: In Platypus Cafe, a miniaturized Chris comes up with one utilizing all the messiness of Gourmand's kitchen involving, among other things, shuriken waffles.
  • Rule 63: Amusingly enough, an in-series example! Chris falls victim to this through Fridge Logic in "Kickin' It With the Roos", as only female kangaroos have pouches (and he had one). One Youtube user also pointed out that Martin is the "blue" brother, and female roos are also blue (but he didn't have a pouch, so YMMV on that one).
  • Screwed by the Network: Everyone that gets the SCETV stations 29.1 and 49.1 were screwed out of seeing the first airing of Ker-Honk after the Riverbanks Zoo obtained the 5:00PM time slot to show an episode of Riverbanks Round-Up. What's even more ironic is that the zoo, when the show first started, had rented that slot every last Friday of the month, then dropped it for a while. This was the first time in at least 4 months that Riverbanks Round-Up had been shown. The episode "Ker-Honk" was not shown until 2:00PM the following Sunday. (What makes this even more ironic is that Riverbanks Round-Up is shown EVERY. DANG. SUNDAY, at 3:00PM on the point-1 channels, whereas Sunday cartoon reruns are shown on the point-2 channels.) Another airing of Ker-Honk is scheduled for January 30th, 2012.[1] All others stations seem to be airing it on the 31st instead.
    • The Other Wiki says they did it again with another episode- same station, same shows, same day of the week.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: All the villains to a minor extent, but Zach by far.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The colossal squid.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Chris once descended into severe Techno Babble ("Mystery of the Squirmy Wormy", as they were setting up the miniturizer) and has spouted words like "monotremes" ("Platypus Café").
  • Shout-Out: The Arctic Pearl belongs in the museum!
  • Sibling Team
  • Spot the Impostor: A Zachbot disguises itself as Chris in order to convince Martin that everything's okay, as opposed to, say, locked in a cell and glaring at his impostor from off-screen. Martin gets it in the end though.
  • Stock Footage: Some of the animal clips are from Kratt's Creatures, Zoboomafoo, and Be The Creature.
  • T-Devil Man: After a Tazmanian devil bites Chris's creature power suit, it starts to malfunction and he spends the rest of the episode flipping back and forth.
  • Talking to Himself: Whenever Gourmand and Zach are conversing, notably in "Honey Seekers". Both voiced by Zachary Bennett.
  • Talking to Themself: Somewhat justified when a character has to expound so that the audience will understand, since the Kratts (or an alternative writer) don't seem to want to Break the Fourth Wall. However, Gourmand talks to himself just for the heck of it, and even sings little jingles he makes up about eating endangered animals to himself. Potentially Nightmare Fuel, and for this troper especially.
  • Tech Marches On: The show seems to be set in present day, but they have access to technologies we don't have, rendering the time setting indecipherable.
  • Techno Babble: Aviva is often the culprit of this, though Martin and Chris have their own special biobabble.
  • Telescoping Robot: Most of the phlebotinum is guilty of this, including the creature power suits, the shrink ray, and the Tortuga's feet.
  • Tempting Fate: This is pretty much Chris's shtick.

 Chris: "No worries Bro! I'm getting this roo kickboxing thing down better than I thought-" *WHAMTHUD* "...Scratch that."

  • This! Is! SPARTA!: "You've GOT! To LET! Them GO!"- Martin, "Flight of the Draco" (upon finding out Donita's plans for the draco lizards)
  • Turtle Power: Tortuga HQ is shaped like a large, flying blue turtle. Even its name is significant. [2]
  • Unholy Matrimony: Some older fans sense a bit of Belligerent Sexual Tension between Zach and Donita; they even go out on a date once in canon. Although, if there is any actual attraction between them, it seems one-sided on Zach's part.
  • Vague Age: Everyone, really, but especially the Kratt brothers. In real life, they're 47 (Martin) and 42 (Chris). They have stated in an interview only that they're in the best shape of their lives, but did not explicitly say their cartoon counterparts are younger. Given Gourmand's aged look, you can sort of assume there's an age discrepancy regarding the brothers, but we don't know for sure.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The entire point of the creature power suits. See above for a signficant one.
  • Watch Out for That Tree: If there's a tree around, there's a good chance one of the boys will smack into it; heck, one on the part of Chris even made it into the opening. Note this isn't limited to trees either (Martin running down a lion twice in the same episode, also in the opening, is a noteworthy example).
  • Water Is Dry: Varies from episode to episode.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: "Mom of a Croc" and "Bat in the Brownies" played this trope straight before trying to subvert it to teach the target audience that sometimes humans get animals all wrong.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Played straight with the Zachbots, but slightly subverted with the animals Donita and Zach capture, since no true harm ever comes of them. But that's debatable.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: In "Polar Bears Don't Dance".

 Jimmy: If Chris and Martin made a comedy show, I'd watch it!

Koki: *laughing* I think we just did!

  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Chris, literally, in The Food Chain Game. Martin pulled a Wounded Pigeon Gambit in Falcon City.
  • Wrench Wench: Aviva, the inventor the creature power suits, as well as several other gadgets.
  • You Get Me Coffee: Essentially, Gourmand is the only character who has to get his own coffee- Dabio to Donita; the rest of the crew (Chris, Martin, Koki, and Jimmy) play minor roles of this to Aviva; and the Zachbots to Zach.

Notes

  1. Please leave this bit of information up until after the episode is aired for any viewers who may have missed it.
  2. Turtle in Portuguese or Spanish.
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