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 Focus Group Guy: "How many of you kids would like Itchy & Scratchy to deal with real-life problems, like the ones you face every day?"

The Kids: "Oh, yeah! I would! Great idea! Yeah, that's it!"

Focus Group Guy: "And who would like to see them do just the opposite -- getting into far-out situations involving robots and magic powers?"

The Kids: "Me! Yeah! Oh, cool! Yeah, that's what I want!"

Focus Group Guy: "So... you want a realistic, down-to-earth show... that's completely off-the-wall and swarming with magic robots?"

The Kids: "That's right. Oh yeah, good."

Milhouse: "And also, you should win things by watching."

The Simpsons, The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show (Not a quote from this show, but it fits.)


Long-running (1984-1993) children's musical show which started life in syndication, and ended up on the Disney Channel.

The series revolved around a literal Five-Man Band (the number did inflate to six for two seasons) of children and teenagers who encountered a very random assortment of plots. Most of these were standard After-School Teen Drama stories. Every so often, however, they'd face a more outlandish adventure involving Time Travel, magic robots, Leprechauns and other, crazier things. Whatever the story involved, it'd always be punctuated by often-Bowdlerized covers of popular songs.

The show was formulaic in nature: with only a few exceptions (a few all-musical "concert episodes", and once featuring kid breakdancers competing for a Karaoke Machine), each episode began with the band performing a number on-stage at "The P*lace", a local hangout with an illustrious history. (It had once been called "The Palace", and was renamed after the 'a' in the marquee had burned out.) After this, a short scene would set up the plot before the band returned to the stage to perform a second number. As the plot unfolded, two more songs would be performed off-stage, usually one solo number by whichever member of the cast was spotlighted that week (which in almost all cases is a slow ballad or love song), and one song worked into a Dream Sequence or Imagine Spot. In the final minutes, the plot would be resolved, and the band would perform a closing number on-stage, sometimes accompanied by a Montage Out of the guest characters. The third and fourth songs were always directly relevant to the plot (for example, a cover of "As Time Goes By" during a Casablanca-themed Dream Sequence), the second and fifth songs were usually linked no more than thematically, while the first number was generally unrelated to the action of the story (The final season dropped the second song for three extra minutes of dialog).

The show's longevity (it predated the Disney Channel's policy of imposing a 65-episode limit), despite being aired during a period when the Disney Channel was a commercial-free premium station, is taken by fans as evidence of the quality of writing and acting, in spite of the crazier episodes being prime Snark Bait. The show launched the careers of Stacy Ferguson (aka Fergie, of the Black Eyed Peas), Mario Lopez (of Saved by the Bell), Scott Wolf (of Party of Five), and (Jennifer) Love Hewitt. Note that the cast swapped people in and out nearly every season. So by the time the show ended, the titular fictional band was an entirely different group of people from where they started!

Two platinum-selling albums of cover tracks by the cast were released.

Tropes used in Kids Incorporated include:
  • Ambiguously Gay - The Kid, though this is mostly due to the actor, who is now openly gay.
    • Also, it was The Eighties. Popular standards of masculinity were very different.
  • Ambition Is Evil - It gets especially awkward when it dawns on you that the writers never really state how successful Kids Inc. is as a band.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling - Stacy seems to be portrayed as this in some early episodes.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead - This seemed to be the case with the girls in the band during the 1988 and 1989 seasons.
    • 1988 lineup: Stacy (blonde), Connie (brunette), Devyn (redhead)
    • 1989 lineup: same with the exception of Robin (brunette; Jennifer Love Hewitt's character)
  • Book Dumb - The Kid, as inferred in the 1984 "School's For Fools" episode (with Germany's favorite singer in a guest role).
  • Bowdlerise - As mentioned in the section referencing the show on the trope page, this tended to be done with surprising inconsistency.
  • Cloudcuckoolander - Stacy
  • Continuity Nod - After the kids narrowly prevent the demolition of The P*lace, a historic landmark plaque is visible on the facade of the building in the Title Sequence for the rest of the series.
  • The Danza - Only three or four of the actors did not use their own first names.
  • Deadpan Snarker - Renee is the most prolific example, with Ryan, Kid and to a lesser degree Devyn not far behind.
  • Directed by Cast Member - Moosie Drier (who played Riley) directed the 1988 episode "Kahuna Kids".
  • Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune - With Martika, Rahsaan Patterson, Stacy Ferguson, and Jennifer Love Hewitt providing the lead vocal for Seasons 1-7. By Season 9, the whole cast had a verse.
  • Dream Sequence - Often mixed with an "I Want" Song.
  • Embarrassing First Name - Rahsaan.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" - Rahsaan Patterson as "The Kid".
  • Executive Meddling - For whatever reason, the producers decided to remix Stacy's voice as the 1989 season went to broadcast. The result was that most songs had her sounding quite squeaky at times, as this video of the season-opening cover of "Edge Of A Broken Heart" demonstrates: with meddling and without meddling.
  • Expository Theme Tune

  "Kids In-co-por-ated/K! I! D! S, yes!..."