Cartoon In-jokes

When you have CBeebies, Peppa Pig or Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom playing in your house a lot – and I do mean a lot, sorry Modern Brighton Mums but my t.v. is the tertiary caregiver in this household – you can start to feel your grip on sanity loosen. You sing the songs and theme tunes whilst walking to the shops, and often watch episodes on your own at nap time. Other t.v. parents recognise the life lessons you are teaching your kid because they too have relied on Justin’s or Mr Bloom’s words of wisdom. You start to buy things that are branded with the little pink piggy or Mr Tumble’s spots even though the same product is a tenth of the price without the little stamp on it.

The madness is only abated by in-jokes. What makes it palatable to watch that 12th episode of Hey Duggee today are the little nods to the harassed and exhausted parents, those jokes that fly way above the kids’ heads but offer you a little chuckle. I don’t mean the times when these programmes are acidentally funny, like Mr Maker’s recent pen minute-make:

When the grown-up viewers see the innuendo that was probably not intentional. I mean the deliberate jokes for the parents. They keep you from smashing the tv screen with the (now empty) bottle of wine you opened at 3.15…

In honour of these awesome times, the little glimmers of humour in the otherwise screeching monotony, I have compiled a list of my favourites from all the shows the boy adores. Enjoy. In no particular order…

  • Vampire Madame Gazelle (Peppa’s Pumpkin Party) When approached by Suzy Sheep dressed as a vampire, Madame says “that reminds me of the old country” before the narrator notes she has no reflection in the mirror.
  • Big, Bad Wolf (The New House) Daddy Pig builds a house for his new neighbours the Wolves. Whilst visiting for the first time, Mr Wolf comments on how sturdy it is and asks what the Pig’s own house is built from; “Bricks, so don’t even think about it”.
  • State of the Nation (International Day) All the children at playgroup are dressed as different countries and playing outside. Various ‘countries’ are in the sandpit, some are on the roundabout and “the United Kingdom is on the slide”.
  • Hubby particularly likes the Dylan-esque stoned rabbits on Hey Duggee that say things like “awwwww, maaaaaan. You ate our cake, maaaaaan… “
  • I like the gag about Farmer’s Markets also on Hey Duggee; two grumpy old stoats turn up at the Squirrels’ free acorn stand and grumble about prices. “Just because it’s covered in mud, doesn’t mean it’s organic”.
  • And my personal favourite; on Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, Granny Thistle brings the incredibly dangerous twin toddlers new wands that previously belonged to their ancestors; Vlad the Powerful and Sharon the Totally Insane.

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