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Once more we travel to the Land of Nightmares to discover, there beneath the black mountain of Viltheed, the loathsome ZORDRAK, Lord of Nightmares, hatching his monstrous plots to thwart the Dreammaker so that nightmares might rule!
Far from Viltheed to the Forest of the Wuts, where Pildit, leader of the Wuts, and his companions guard the Land of Dreams. The Noops live in the Land of Dreams; these are two of them, Rufus and Amberley, assisting the Dreammaker and his watchdogfish Albert in the sending of tonight's dreams through the most precious and powerful object in the land - The Dreamstone!
Cult CITV children's Animated Series from the early 1990s. Noted both for the quality of its animation and its Mike Batt soundtrack, including cameos from such unlikely people as Ozzy Osborne and Billy Connolly.
Almost every episode has basically the same plot: Zordrak, the Evil Overlord, sends three of his sympathetic Mooks, the Urpneys, across the dangerous zone between the Land of Dreams and the Land of Nightmares with the assistance of Mad Scientist Urpgor and his inventions, which tend to be pedal-powered. The Urpneys' task is to steal the Dreamstone, the mystical object through which the mysterious Dreammaker sends his dreams every night to the people of the Land of Dreams, and protects them from Zordrak's nightmares. They are thwarted every week by Rufus and Amberley, the Dreammaker's Noop assistants, occasionally with Pildit and the Wuts.
Despite this, the series also played with story arcs and guest stars to shake up the basic plot. Four seasons were made, after which the same team made a Spiritual Successor, the less-well known Bimbles Bucket.
Refer to the character sheet for more details.
Tropes employed include:
- Accidental Hero: Rufus and Amberley fall into this a large amount of times. While they aren't completely incompetent, it's much easier to count the times they genuinely defeated the villains through skill and bravado than the many via some Contrived Coincidence or the Urpneys' own bumbling.
- Acrofatic: Both Rufus and Sgt Blob are somewhat portly individuals, but get in on the action as much as the others in their team.
- Affably Evil: Sgt Blob is far more scheming and willingly devoted to Zordrak than most of the other Urpneys, though that's still not saying very much.
- And That's Terrible: The heroes do this a lot concerning Zordrak and the Urpneys (granted Frizz and Nug often need this to be viewed as villains).
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: Any time it seems Zordrak has finally bitten the dust. Even some of the Urpneys (especially Urpgor) don't seem that bummed about it.
- Animation Bump: The pilot, like for many cartoons, has noticably more fluid animation than most of the rest of the first season. Animator duties for later seasons were traded from Fil Cartoons to Moving Images Animation, who used a refined animation style and altered the character designs slightly (see below).
- Art Evolution: The animation and character designs are refined slightly between the first and second season due to a different animation studio taking over.
- Bad Boss: Zordrak has three primary punishments for his minions. 1: Turning them into stone. 2: As before, then throwing them into the watery pit filled with Extreme Omnivore crocodile/wasp/crab/things. 3: Throwing them to the aforementioned carnivorous horrors while still alive. We actually see him do method three in the pilot, though of course there's a Gory Discretion Shot. Even when he doesn't kill them, Zordrak is not a kind master to labor under.
- Badass: The Noop Protagonists, Rufus in particular. Pildit can mage with the best of them when push comes to shove, and Zordrak is 90's fantasy Evil Overlord at its best.
- Granted Rufus and the Noops are usually badass of the Hidden variety.
- Beat Them At Their Own Game: More or less any point the Urpneys manage to steal the stone, leading the heroes to have to steal it back from Viltheed. Also the premise of the Nightmare Stone, which reverses the roles around with the heroes having to steal a magical stone from the villains. Naturally they have far more success in doing so than the Urpneys.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Though usually blundering idiots, the Urpneys on many occasions prove able to act out devices and mission plans in a plausible manner and frequently managed to steal the Dreamstone. In some later episodes, the number of hinderances against them sometimes became overblown, due to sometimes acting more competent then Rufus and Amberley.
- The Blind Leading the Blind: Pretty much sums up Sgt Blob's leadership over his squad.
- Bound and Gagged: Happens to Amberley a couple of times. Also part of a gag in "Too Hot To Handle" when the Urpneys try to ambush and restrain a Noop inside their Mobile Shrubbery, they take turns bounding each other by mistake before finally getting the right guy.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Spildit and, to a lesser extent, Amberley both have moments of this.
- Urpip is essentially a pint sized version of her Uncle Urpgor.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Urpneys issue Aside Glances and snarky remarks to the screen more than a few times. Zordrak of all people gives us a cheesy wink in "Return Of The Nightmare Stone".
- Breakout Character: In the first season, Urpgor's role was somewhat minor and more as a Satellite Character for the Urpneys. Later on he gains a more active role and is often as much a Villain Protagonist as Blob, Frizz and Nug (naturally this also begins his ascention as The Chew Toy).
- Cartoon Creature: All of the races in the series look like strange "not-quite mashups" of different species. The Noops, for example, look like teddy bears with little goat horns and bunny ears, and the Urpneys look like squatty humans with lizard tails.
- With thagomizers.
- Even more prevalant in "The Dreamthief" pilot where the Noops have additional beaver like aspects along with a long shovel-like tail.
- Cheerful Child: Rufus and Amberley, it would seem anyway.
- The Chew Toy: Would almost certainly be coined "The Urpney" in the Land Of Dreams. Rufus is the nearest to a protagonist example.
- Closer to Earth: Played with. Amberley for the large part has her head in the clouds far less often than Rufus or even the Dream Maker, however she also has a more temperamental and and rambunctious streak that sometimes makes her an easy target for the Urpneys (whether they want her or not).
- Co-Dragons: Sgt Blob and Urpgor, a consistant power one has over the other is never made and they both frequently rival each other for Zordrak's approval.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Urpgor to extremes, with Blob occasionally getting in on it as well. Rufus is established as such in the pilot, though this trait is toned down for him in most later episodes.
- The Comically Serious: Zordrak looks the part for a rather creepy and sinister villain, however his neurotics towards his minions and sheer hamminess prevents him from being a deathly serious character.
- Cowardly Sidekick: Frizz and Nug to Sgt Blob.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Rufus. Hapless klutz, check. HORRIBLE attention span, check. Skills to ward off a giant lizard and his army's plots to steal the Dreamstone and attack his village, check.
- Compelling Voice: "The Voice of Zordrak", in the episode of the same name, is a little Zordrak pendant that hypnotizes whoever looks at it, apparently using nothing more than a recording of Zordrak's voice saying "deep sleep" over and over.
- Cut Song: "Into The Sunset" is a bittersweet duet between Mike Batt and Bonnie Tyler that's just perfect for a Grand Finale. Sadly, it only appears on the soundtrack.
- Deadpan Snarker: Many of varying qualities.
- Delusions of Eloquence: Blob's Malaproper tendencies are most obvious when he's trying to sound intellectual and/or authoritative.
- Depending on the Writer: Are Rufus and Amberley rambunctious Kid Heroes who get in near equally on the story (and it's slapstick) as the Urpneys, or are they heavily whitewashed Hero Antagonists?
- The Urpneys are consistantly bumbling but it can range anywhere from being complete laughing stocks or merely "victims of circumstance" that can actually strive to be competent and feared threats when fate isn't against them.
- Despite the Plan: Rufus and Amberley's attempts to stop the Urpneys often failed or led to their capture, they always ended up with the Dreamstone back however, usually due to the Urpneys screwing things up without them anyway.
- Determinator: For less-than-willing villains, the Urpneys sure are persistant little buggers. Rufus has moments of this too, especially in the pilot.
- Disaster Dominoes: Frequently the undoing of the villains.
- Disney Death: Pildit and Amberley (sort of) in the pilot episode.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Frizz and Nug started off as two interchangable Cowardly Sidekicks for Sgt Blob. Further on in the first season, Frizz became increasingly cynical and neurotic, while Nug became more dopey and upbeat.
- Reversed for Rufus and Amberley, who started off with rather contrasting personalities in the pilot (Cloudcuckoolander Hidden Badass and Plucky Innocent Prodigy respectively) but were downplayed to almost interchangable Kid Sidekicks for the Dream Maker for the majority of the series afterwards (albeit with Amberley remaining the slightly more competent of the two).
- Distressed Damsel: Though often an Action Girl, Amberley was the most frequent hostage bait for the Urpneys.
- The Dog Bites Back: Urpgor usually cowers before Zordrak's abuse as much as the other Urpneys, however, whenever his master begins to view him as expendable, he has no problem making an enemy of himself. Not to mention his own occasional ambitious streak.
Urpgor: He'll be begging me to come back! Begging!!!
- Dork Knight: Rufus starts off as one in the first handful of episodes, where he is a goofier more focused Hero, complete with sword slapstick. While he still has Adorkable moments, this is toned down in later episodes where he leans more as The Everyman. He imagines himself as a literal Dork Knight a couple of times as well.
- Dream Weaver: The Dreammaker is a positive example; a flashback reveals that Zordrak was formerly one as well before his Start of Darkness.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sgt Blob plays with this, for the large part he has all the key traits of one and frequently drives the other Urpneys mad as a result, but it is presented in a harmless slapstick manner and he does frequently convey a genuine camaraderie towards his cadets.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first season has a noticably different feel from the others, the animation is much looser, and several characters are slightly different both in terms of design and personality and role (see Art Evolution and Flanderization). Rather easy to compare since the opening titles (which use Season One's animation style and designs) are used unaltered throughout the entire series.
- The Eeyore: Mr Blossom is about the one resident of the Land Of Dreams with a noticable hint of cynism, so much he seems to hold the entire village's worth.
- Enemy Mine: Rejected in "The Statue Collection". When a sea monster goes after Blob and Albert, Frizz and Nug construct a mechanism to attack it with garbage projectiles. Rufus and Amberley, deciding the method is doing more harm than good, knock the two out, leaving Albert to deal with the monster himself.
- Played more straight in "The Dark Side", after the Urpneys capture the heroes, they are attacked by another monster. The Dream Maker negotiates with it in return for the Urpneys releasing them.
- The Everyman: Rufus and Amberley, for the line of work they had, were portrayed as rather normal acting kids who usually handle their jobs in a rather uneventful and conflictless manner until the Urpneys break the normality of things.
- Characterization Marches On: In the opening special at least, Rufus and Amberley were noticably goofier, more problematic characters. Rufus had in fact failed to take the role of Everyman due to losing three normal jobs beforehand (and almost a fourth). Amberley was still more well adjusted, though this changed dramatically when the Urpneys entered the scene.
- Everythings Better With Bunnies: Played with. The Noops are more or less green anthropomorphic rabbits with tiny deer horns and act as the heroic alliance of the series (albeit occasionally underplayed ones). While they are more cutesy than funny (the humanoid Urpneys provide most of the show's slapstick) they have their moments, especially Amberley.
- Evil Counterpart: the Nightmare Stone, which can overpower the Dreamstone's ability to ward off nightmares. In a role reversal of show's usual formula, Rufus and Amberley try to steal it a few times over. Likely also counts as Evil Knockoff, though when and why it was created isn't specified.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Zordrak. His voice actor once appeared on the British version of Win Lose or Draw and terrified everyone.
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Done frequently, from the heroes' point of view anyway. Episodes more frequently end on a Cool and Unusual Punishment for the Urpneys (and a snarky one liner from Frizz).
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Dream Maker.
- Exact Eavesdropping: Done a few times concerning the heroes discovering the Urpneys' plans. Perhaps most intricately in "Albert's Ailment" after heading to Viltheed in search of a rare medicinal mushroom, just in time to see Blob and his men arrive, gloating to Urpgor about snagging the Dreamstone while they were gone.
- Face Palm: Any frustration Zordrak can't convey in terrifying rage, he demonstrates with this.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Played with. While played straight for the most part, the Urpneys actually did succeed in capturing the Dreamstone and giving it to Zordrak in several episodes, though never really possessed it long enough to do anything very constructive with it.
- Faux Action Girl / Non-Action Guy: Rufus and Amberley, a rare case that are also the main heroes. The Dream Maker constantly entrusts them in retrieving the stone from Zordrak, despite the fact they are powerless Muggles who usually get kidnapped whenever the Urpneys don't destroy their own schemes for them. Granted Amberley usually doesn't go down without a fight, but it never prevents this her capture, and Rufus was briefly competent.
- Fearless Fool: Rufus has moments of this. Amberley, despite sometimes calling him out on this, is even worse at times.
- Blob plays with this, while he does have a cowardly streak, he seems to Know When to Fold'Em a lot less often than Frizz and Nug.
- Fiery Redhead: Amberley, though usually rather level headed and cheerful, has intense moments of this at times. She is noticably moodier in some earlier episodes.
- Flanderization: While Rufus and Amberley were always cutesy protagonists, they at least had some boisterous and obnoxious qualities in the pilot (as well as similar Butt Monkey tendencies as the villains). In later episodes they are softened immensely, bordering as a mix between The Fool and The Everyman. Their original wackier personas do reappear on sparse occasions however.
- Zordrak, while always an iconic Bad Boss, was at least somewhat reserved and calculating early on. As seasons progressed his temper and hamminess increased, leading him to act as something of a demonic Pointy-Haired Boss.
- In contrast, the Urpneys actually became slightly more laid back and competent.
- Flying Seafood Special: Albert
- The Fool: While a lot of times Rufus and Amberley manage to retrieve the Dreamstone in skillful bouts of heroism, other times they seem to be assisted by accidental blundering (on theirs or the Urpney's part) or sheer dumb luck.
- Forbidden Fruit: Rufus for the large part is well behaved and loyal to the Dream Maker, however almost any time he is given a strict order against a certain action, he can't resist disobeying it. Almost always leads to the Dreamstone getting stolen somehow.
- Funetik Aksent: In the second part of the first episode, Blob and the other two stranded Urpneys get the bright idea to write the word "HELP" on the ground using the nearby rubble. Blob's accent causes them to render it as "ELP".
Blob: Something's missin'.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Urpgor. Though no less blundering than the rest of the Urpneys most of the time, the large majority of his devices do seem to work exactly as they should, their downfall owed more to their mishandling by either him or Blob's team.
- Genius Loci: The Dreamstone Planet
- Genre Savvy: Blob's two underlings are completely incompetent, yet have an uncharacteristic grasp of Fridge Logic and tend to hang lampshades on some of the more bizarre and dangerous things they end up involved with.
- They're not entirely incompetent - they've actually had more success at getting their hands on the Dreamstone than any Urpneys in the past, they just have rather a lot of difficulty keeping it once they get it. Also, they can do some extraordinary things under pressure, such as building a complex and serviceable garbage catapault out of junk.
- For the large part, the Urpneys were a Worthy Opponent for the Noops, who were somewhat Genre Blind and (Depending on the Writer at least) almost as klutzy and bumbling in their methods of stealing it back, a fair amount of times completely reliant on a fatal error by the Urpneys to reclaim it. Similarly they were able to steal and dispose of the Nightmare Stone, but only temporarily and via blundering or dumb luck. The Wuts were slightly more competent, but still somewhat wacky and haphazardous.
- They're not entirely incompetent - they've actually had more success at getting their hands on the Dreamstone than any Urpneys in the past, they just have rather a lot of difficulty keeping it once they get it. Also, they can do some extraordinary things under pressure, such as building a complex and serviceable garbage catapault out of junk.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Spildit befriends the Urpneys a couple of times, which is usually mistaken for a kidnapping on the latter's part by the heroes.
- Got Volunteered: Can any Urpney who does not want to take part in a dangerous mission who isn't called Frizz and Nug please take a step back.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Zordrak can switch between reserved and stoic to earth shattering rage at the blink of an eye. Granted neither are particularly welcoming to his minions.
- Harmless Villain: The Urpneys, while making a rare bout of savviness every now and then, usually played this incredibly straight.
- Heel Face Brainwashing: Done accidentally with Blob's squad and even Zordrak on separate occasions. Done more directly by the heroes in the first season finale when the heroes use magic to make invading Urpneys docile. They are shown assisting the Noops with their victory celebrations until Blob and Urpgor evacuate them back to Viltheed the following episode.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Played with. Both Rufus and the Urpneys wear a sword on their belts, which are rarely, if ever, used in actual conflicts.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: One of the Urpneys is voiced by the actor who played "Gloria" Beaumont on It Ain't Half Hot Mum, and is essentially the same character minus crossdressing
- Hostage for Macguffin: The Urpneys capture Amberley and Albert on separate occasions to get the Dreamstone. It never works since the heroes know they are harmless and can just as easily beat them into handing them back.
- Humongous Mecha: "The Monster" is all about the hijinks that ensue when Blob, Frizz and Nug inadvertently resurrect a pile of scrap into a giant robot.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Pretty much the premise of the Nightmare Stone episodes, where the heroes must snoop around Viltheed to steal the villain's MacGuffin instead.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Averted in "The Monster", where Amberley's polite request that the giant robot stop scaring everyone is interpreted as a command to shut itself down.
- Imagine Spot: Rufus has a few of these, usually conveying himself as some fictional protagonist.
- Incendiary Exponent: The Viper Van from episode 5 sets fire to the landscape when it first sets off from Viltheed.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: The Urpneys take this trope to a new level. Sometimes even Zordrak gets on it too.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Amberley, one of the few characters to have visible irises, has blue eyes and a (usually) sweet natured personality. She temporarily lost these as the cast underwent slight redesigns in the second season.
- Invincible Incompetent: Rufus and Amberley for the most part. Then again they do have the Urpneys as their enemies.
- Jaw Drop: Done epically by all the Urpneys after a temporarily reformed Zordrak politely asks Urpgor to return the Dreamstone with "an apology and flowers" in "Spildit".
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: The series to this day has never had a DVD release.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: Rufus leans into this on occasion, at least until Urpneys arrive into the scene, that is.
- The Klutz: Seems to be a common trait for Urpneys. Rufus is also a softer example.
- Knight of Cerebus: Zordrak, though not without his own comical moments, is a far more sinister and intimidating villain than his minions by miles, usually the odd occasion he has active involvement in a plan is indication things are going to get a bit more serious.
- Large Ham: Zordrak to an extreme, with Sgt Blob and Urpgor not far behind. Wildit has a habit of it as well.
- Lighter and Softer/Denser and Wackier: Subtle yet visible changes are made between the pilot and the rest of the series. The first episode (and a handful of others from the first season) convey a greater sense of dread from Zordrak, who is willing to kill both foes and allies alike to get the stone, while the heroes are slightly more cynical and actionized and some of the humor is slightly darker (for kids' show standards anyway). Following this, the stories become zanier and focused primarily on the Urpneys' bumbling, Zordrak's wrath becomes more harmless and cartoony and the heroes become more innocent and less violent (wars between the heroes and villains seem to be portrayed as something along the line of custard pie fights). The change is even more noticable compared to Mike Jupp's original story concepts and "The Dreamthief" promo.
- Lovable Coward: Frizz, and to a lesser extent Nug (the fact they are villains doesn't alter this much).
- MacGuffin: The Dreamstone of course, in nearly every episode. The Nightmare Stone in a couple of exceptions.
- Made of Iron: From what is shown, only being fed to the Frazznats or turned to stone can truly kill an Urpney.
- Magic Versus Science: The Noops, Wuts and the Dream Maker himself have magic on their side; while the Urpneys rely frequently on ill-explained Applied Phlebotinum, in the end it's a Mad Scientist making it all, so it counts enough as technology.
- It's interesting to note, though, that half the time the Dream Maker discusses the making of dreams with anyone else in the know, it sounds very much like Star Trek-style technobabble.
- Malaproper: In addition to his 'eavily haccented speech, Blob's dialogue is rife with malapropisms.
- The Meddling Kids Are Useless: Rufus and Amberley. Either the Wuts save them, the Urpneys screw things up or sheer fate helps them Despite the Plan. In the earliest episodes they are slightly more competant.
- Middle Management Mook: Urpgor, who seems to have a higher position than most of the other Urpneys and is constantly shown bullying or ranting at fellow mooks for screwing things up, being "the only Urpney with any intelligence" and all. For the large part however he is just as incompetent and the most frequent punching bag for Zordrak's temper.
- Minion with an F In Evil: The Urpneys are portrayed as meek bumblers, usually only victimizing the Land Of Dreams out of fear of Zordrak's wrath. Blob is the only Urpney highly vehement on stealing the Dreamstone and even he is more a loyal and gung-ho soldier than outright malicious for the large part.
- Mobile Shrubbery: used by the Urpneys multiple times
- Mook Lieutenant: Sgt Blob.
- Mordor: Viltheed and the Land of Nightmares; one episode features, as a side effect of an eclipse, sunlight shining on the mountain and causing the land to bloom with greenery, to which its inhabitants react with horror - well, we're told they do but we only really see it having any (hilarious) effect on Zordrak.
- Mr. Imagination: Rufus is this in spades in the pilot. Oddly despite being a dominant trait, and the key reason he gets a job assisting the Dream Maker, it is only refered to in a handful of episodes afterwards.
- Near Villain Victory: Zordrak and the Urpneys actually did have the occasional upper hand in their war, only for it to fall apart from cruel fate. In "Albert's Ailment" they are literally a second from destroying the Dreamstone before Albert snatches it, while in "The Spidermobile" Zordrak almost succeeds in taking it to the Nightmare Planet before Urpgor arrives at exactly the wrong moment.
- Nerves of Steel: Pildit comes off a light example at times, usually being rather passive and mellow, even in the face of danger. His grandmother seems to be the only one capable of exasperating him.
- Nervous Wreck: While all the Urpneys are somewhat cowardly, Frizz takes it to neurotic extremes.
- Never Mess with Granny: Wildit.
- Never Say "Die": Averted. Somewhat unusually for a children's series, Zordrak often explicitly threatens his minions and captives with death.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A few times the Dreamstone was stolen or endangered was due to the mishandling or blundering of one of the heroes (usually Rufus).
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: And an even larger amount of times it is saved because the villains do the same.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Nug is an in-universe supplier of Fridge Horror, often inadvertantly scaring Frizz stiff with his unsettling predictions of the terrible situations they end up in.
Frizz: I'm gonna fall!!!
- No Indoor Voice: Zordrak, especially in later episodes. Urpgor isn't particularly known for being soft spoken either.
- Not Now, Kiddo: The Dreammaker's usual response to Albert's insistent tugging at his robe.
- Not So Harmless: For all their blundering, the Urpneys did succeed in capturing the stone, and even bringing it back to Viltheed a frequent amount of times. It was merely preventing the heroes from stealing it back they had problems with. In many cases they aren't much more incompetent than the heroes, just much much more unlucky.
- Once a Season: At least one episode per season the Urpneys succeeded in stealing the stone and handing it to Zordrak (they did it twice in the second season however).
- Once Per Episode: All but a handful of episodes end with an irritated comment from Frizz.
- One-Gender Race: The Urpneys appeared to qualify, until one episode introduced Urpgor's aunt and later his niece.
- The Smurfette Principle: Still, you hardly ever see their women.
- Orcus on His Throne: Not much explanation is put into why Zordrak rarely leaves his throne, leaving the dirty work (and frequently some of the scheming as well) to his bumbling minions, especially given his far greater competence and power on the rare occasions he decides to deal with things himself.
- The Other Darrin: Urpgor has a different voice over for the final season.
- Panty Shot: Amberley actually has one in "Megattack", though she apparently wears nothing underneath her skirt.
- Pity the Kidnapper: Almost whenever the Urpneys manage to kidnap Amberley.
- Plant Aliens: The Wuts, while not technically alien: in one episode, Pildit is unrecognizable as an aged-looking yellowish Wut until he gets a drink by stepping into a pool of water.
- Well, they certainly don't live on Earth.
- Plucky Girl: While Amberley is usually one of the more level headed heroes, she is often the most gung ho when Urpneys cause trouble, sometimes even trying to take them single handed.
Amberley: Three Urpneys to one Noop, too frightening for you is it?
- Pragmatic Villainy: Surprisingly, Zordrak invokes this in "Too Hot To Handle" when Urpgor asks why he doesn't just kill Blob, Frizz and Nug, as he did their predecessor, having come to view the method as ineffective and "a waste of a perfectly servicable Urpney".
Zordrak: ...and...it has absolutely nothing to do with you.
- His complete indifference to Spildit playing in Viltheed territory in "The Return" may also count.
- Psycho Supporter: Urpgor, whenever he's not trying to usurp the throne of Viltheed.
- Purely Aesthetic Era: The Land Of Dreams resembles something of a Medieval Stasis, with minimal technology (magic aside) and clothing and architechture to match for the most part. However the residents usually don't flicker an eyelid to Urpgor's Clock Punk devices or even the odd rock concert for that matter. Possibly justified since the show takes place in a different world.
- Road Runner vs. Coyote: Sort of. Zordrak and the Urpneys are more often solely after the Dreamstone than chasing the heroes directly, but the setup is very similar in tone.
- The episode "The Dark Side" in particular follows the trope very closely and even seems to recycle a few of it's traditional gags with backfiring booby traps.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Frizz invokes this frequently, with varying degrees of failure.
- Often played more straight with the rest of the Urpneys. The key reason Frizz and Nug are usually the only members of Blob's squad is due to being the only Urpneys too slow to bail out.
- Second Place Is for Winners: In one episode, there is a contest among the villain army with free sandwiches to win... which turn out to be second prize. The first prize is being press-ganged into the new mission.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The Dream Maker has a rather advanced dictionary at times, and unlike Blob, seems to get it right (...we think...).
- Sitcom Arch Nemesis: Blob and his minions frequently butt heads with Urpgor, either for Zordrak's approval or taking turns playing horrible pranks on each other.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Inverted slightly. While Amberley for the large part bumbled her way through missions as much as Rufus, her abuse was generally Lighter and Softer compared to the heavy cartoon violence the Urpneys suffered every episode.
- Slave Mooks: The Urpneys seem to be this, fear of Zordrak usually being the only thing that drives them into villainous acts.
- Snooping Little Kid: Rufus and Amberley, usually when trying to steal back the Dreamstone from the Urpneys.
- Spanner in the Works: Frequently Zordrak's plans are rather plausible and would likely actually work if not for the Urpney's bumbling. Even when they manage to prove competent they usually fall victim to some Diabolus Ex Machina a large number of times.
- Spiritual Successor: Bimble's Bucket.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The Urpneys were only minor characters in Mike Jupp's early story plans and "The Dreamthief" promo. In the pilot they are elevated to main characters and granted distinct personalities, but still given more or less the same amount of spotlight as the heroes. In most later episodes they are promoted to Villain Protagonists, with the heroes being downplayed to accustom this.
- For an example elevated throughout the main series, Urpgor gains even larger roles than Blob and his minions in later episodes.
- The Starscream: Urpgor
- Start of Darkness: Zordrak. Seen in a Dream Sequence Flash Back
- Straw Loser: The Noops are mostly incompetent assistants to the Dream Maker with no real defining abilities, and what Sympathetic POV we get of them is usually them screwing up tasks or getting the stone endangered, especially Rufus. Their foes however are the Urpneys, brainless slovenly idiots who usually end up destroying their own plans, as a result it is hard not to consider the Noops "winners" by comparison.
- Strictly Formula: As mentioned above. A handful of exceptions exist, usually when Zordrak finds a method of sending nightmares without the Dreamstone's hinderance.
- Sugar Bowl: The Land Of Dreams is pretty much this in spades. Few of the heroes are ever particularly antagonistic or jerkish and everything is generally portrayed as cheery and perfectly harmonious until the villains attack. The usually pitiful streak of the Urpneys (plus the heroes' often immense luck) usually prevent them from ever having to get their hands dirty in their heroism as well.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Zordrak. Urpgor at least sees himself as this.
- Swiss Army Tears: Rufus's brings Amberley back to life after she is turned to stone in the pilot.
- Taken for Granite: One of Zordrak's favorite forms of Cool and Unusual Punishment. He even has a statue collection of all the victims he has turned into stone.
- In one episode Zordrak's spirit has to go to a distant world to replenish his power, and when it leaves his body, he turns to stone (and will crumble if his spirit doesn't get back in time, much to Urpgor's delight). Interestingly, Zordrak's spirit looks the same as the Nightmares he sends out in other episodes.
- Team Rocket Wins: In the episode "Argorrible Attack", the Urpneys actually succeed in giving the majority of the Land of Dreams nightmares (a small time victory, but exactly what Zordrak wanted). The heroes try to give Viltheed good dreams in revenge, and it actually proves somewhat ineffective. Though granted after that they decide to just beat the crap out of all of them instead.
- Also in "The Spidermobile" Blob and his gang effortlessly overpower the entire Wut army and capture the Dreamstone (along with Rufus, Amberley and Pildit) using the aforementioned machine. For once they do not screw things up, it is Zordrak and Urpgor instead that lose the stone, something Frizz and Nug find to be Actually Pretty Funny.
- Ted Baxter: No one appreciates the level of Urpgor's genius!
- Terrible Trio: The Urpneys (more specifically Sgt Blob, Frizz and Nug).
- Theme Music Power-Up: Inverted in "Albert's Ailment", where Frizz and Nug are subjected to a brutal Humiliation Conga at the hands of three very angry magic flying leaves...while the full vocal version of the Urpney theme plays in the background.
- In a more straight played example, "Better Than A Dream" (and variations of) is occasionally used whenever the heroes get to business.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Amberley can be heard humming "Better Than A Dream" in "Too Hot To Handle". A polka version is also heard in Zordrak's party in "Zarak".
- This Is Gonna Suck: Frizz delivers a variation of this nearly every time he is forced into one of Zordrak's schemes.
- Vague Age: Rufus and Amberley are apparently old enough to hold down jobs, but often talk like small children.
- The Villain Makes the Plot: Frequently applied. The residents of The Land Of Dreams were usually docile and innocent beings that rarely caused their own personal conflicts or problems, thus events were usually extremely laid back until the Urpneys attacked.
- Wasn't That Fun?: Pildit in "Into Viltheed" after being attacked by the Urpney's Whirleyped, and Spildit in "The Return" after being caught in one of Zordrak's electric bolts.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Light example. While they never directly kill Urpneys, the protagonists are generally apathetic to them being shanghied into missions by Zordrak and have nothing against using Heel Face Brainwashing or leaving them in certain death situations to be done with them. The pilot also sees Rufus and Amberley distracting Frazznats by feeding them stone Urpneys. As later seasons became Lighter and Softer, the heroes often used more harmless punishments for Blob and his men.
- The World Is Just Awesome: In Rufus' dream from the first episode (also used as the outro), but mainly about the Dreamstone Planet rather than the unnamed planet on which the action takes place.
- You Have Failed Me: Used in the first episode, but later subverted when Urpgor asks Zordrak why he hasn't done the same to Blob. Zordrak basically says that all the Urpneys are dumb as bricks anyway, so there's no point in wasting them.
- With All Due Respect: It is implied Blob's predescessor was disposed of due to contradicting Zordrak one too many times, in comparison to the former, who is usually at least smart enough to follow orders without too many questions.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ironically used on Urpgor in "The Nightmare Stone" after the titular MacGuffin renders his machines obsolete. A rare non lethal example by Zordrak however in that he merely tells him to hit the road. He is rehired after the Nightmare Stone is stolen by the Noops (largely due to a botched revenge plan by Urpgor).
- Vile Villain Saccharine Show: Zordrak is a pretty creepy villain, even when not compared to a highly cutesy Noops.