The Fairly OddParents is one of the longest running cartoons on TV, and if you were born in the 90’s, you almost certainly have fond memories of Timmy Turner and his fairy cohorts, Cosmo and Wanda. In its 16-year runtime, little has changed in the plot formula. Aside from new cast additions such as baby Poof, fairy dog Sparky, and new neighbour Chloe Carmichael, Timmy still encounters trouble, makes wishes, and finds all them backfiring horribly. It’s a blueprint that has worked like magic since the beginning, and has found an audience with children and adults alike.
Much of the series success can be attributed to creator Butch Hartman, whose talents as a cartoon writer are well known, and whose comedic sensibilities appeal to all ages. His strong social media presence and relentless determination also help keep his projects afloat, and Fairly OddParents is the crown jewel of his career.
A great deal of thought goes into creating a show as consistent as The Fairly OddParents. Casting choices are meticulous, characters evolve and grow, and humour reaches as far as its boundaries will allow it. The show’s history is enmeshed with countless anecdotes, trivia, and relationships that created what we know today, and we at The Gamer have dug deep to bring these Fairly Odd facts to the forefront. There is so much to know about the Universe and creation of The Fairly OddParents, that some of these truths will undoubtedly astonish. Forget what Da Rules have to say, let's dive in!
25 Timmy’s Dad Regrets Ever Having Him
Timmy’s father, like most cartoon dads, is one lovable idiot. He is obnoxious, clumsy, and neglectful, but always shows heart when it matters most… or at least he pretends to. It seems that Timmy’s dad truly regrets having his son, and hides his frustration behind a façade of eccentricity.
In season 5 episode 31, Timmy and his father are going through family memorabilia in the attic and throwing them at Dinkleberg when Timmy drops a box of his father's “dreams,” and shatters it. Mr. Turner remarks that his dreams were shattered years ago, and when Timmy asks how many, he nonchalantly inquires for his sons age. This would also explain his illogical hate (or more likely, jealousy) for the Dinkleburgs, who are the embodiment D.I.N.K.: a couple that has Dual Income, and No Kids.
24 The Show Is Full Of Not-So-Subtle Humour
Every kids show is written by adults, and these adults know that parents may sometimes be watching cartoons with their children. Thus the art of subtle adult humour was born, where a joke is just enough to go over a child’s head, but will resonate with any grown-up in the room.
Fairly OddParents has its share of jokes that are as immature as you’d imagine them to be. Countless nut jokes are told, the comedic implications of our seventh planet are used liberally, and Cosmo even gets his chest done in one episode. But the joke that takes the cake is in the episode “Poof’s Playdate,” where Timmy's parents are watching a TV feature on bad parenting, stating that if you let your children spend lots of time alone with paper towels, you're a bad parent. Then Timmy comes down and asks for just those things...
23 There Are Tons Of Celebrity Cameos
Voice acting is a popular gig in the acting world, and many celebrities love showing up in cartoons when you least expect them. Fairly OddParents is no different, and the show is absolutely littered with cameos and guest appearances.
The list is varied, and the actors are perfectly chosen for their cartoon counterparts. Gilbert Gottfried plays the maniacal Dr. Bender and his son. Chris Kirkpatrick of N’Sync fame plays the teen heartthrob Chip Skylark. Jason Bateman plays Tommy Turner, Timmy’s wished up older brother. KISS play themselves, as does Adam West and Jay Leno. They managed to get Alec Baldwin to play the older version of Timmy in Channel Chasers. Simon Cowell shows up as the judge of Fairy Idol, naturally, and Brendan Fraser comes out of hiding to play Turbo Thunder, the superhero that slept through his call to action. The list goes on and on!
22 Chester Could Have Been Timmy
Chester McBadbat is one of Timmy’s best friends, and his socio-economic status is made very clear in the show. Chester and his family are dirt poor, living in a run down trailer park, and Chester eats garbage and street chocolate at every chance he gets. Why doesn't Timmy wish a better life for him? That's anyone’s guess.
Chester is so unfortunate that he could have fairies of his own, and those fairies would have been Cosmo and Wanda. In “It's a Wishful Life,” Timmy wishes he was never born, and true to the classic film it parodies, Jorgen Von Strangle appears to show Timmy how his absence would affect everyone he knows. In the Timmy-less reality, Chester was given his fairies instead, and performs many selfless acts with his wishes, unlike Timmy.
21 The Failed Crash Nebula Spinoff
Butch Hartman is full of ideas. When working on one cartoon he is usually thinking to the future, and once upon a time he hoped a new project would revolve around Crash Nebula, the star of season 5 episode 1.
This episode is markedly different from any that preceded it. Instead of a tale of Timmy’s wish mishaps, we are thrown into the show that he is watching, which tells of Sprig Speevak, who leaves Earths to join the Celestial Academy and eventually become the hero known as Crash Nebula. This episode has its own theme music and markedly different animation style, and was intended to be the pilot for a Crash Nebula spinoff helmed by Hartman. Sadly, the concept fell through due to over similarities to other Disney IPs. Hartman still hopes one day to bring his idea to life.
20 The Flintstones Inspired Wanda
No work of art exists within a vacuum. All creative enterprises are informed by those that came before, whether the artist is aware of this fact or not. In the case of Wanda’s design, her influences are intentional and strong, and come from a classic cartoon that influenced an entire generation: The Flintstones.
Upon close inspection, it’s clear to see where the inspiration comes from. Wilma Flintstone, the matriarch of the Flintstone clan, has a swirl of hair that was placed directly on Wanda’s head, with only a slight pallet change to differentiate. Their personalities also coincide, for both Wanda and Wilma are the level-headed halves of their marriages, and often help their husbands out of the idiotic situations they find themselves in. And their names and strikingly similar as well!
19 That One Time Cosmo Got Pregnant
In Fairy World, babies are extremely rare things, as their magic is unstable and can be used for insidious ends by the wrong cohorts. In “FairlyOdd Baby,” Timmy notices that his Godparents are pining for a child of their own, and decides to break Da Rules and wishes for them to have a child. Thus, an important detail about fairy procreation is revealed: apparently, it's the male fairies that get pregnant, not the female!
How this works physiologically is never explained. We are watching a children’s show, after all. But there are so many questions. What sort of… bits… do fairies have? Are they androgynous? Are the genders of fairies predetermined, or do they choose as they develop? We may never know, as these questions are glossed over to make room for jokes about a pregnant Cosmo and his mood swings.
18 Butch Hartman Is Dr. Rip Studwell
Directors and creators of shows are proud individuals. They want their visions to be precise, and occasionally implement their own likeness in their work. Butch Hartman is just as guilty of this as any content creator, and his persona appears as Dr. Rip Studwell.
Rip Studwell is a caricature, and a boisterous one at that. He is overly handsome and arrogant, with the hairstyle and voice talents of Hartman himself. He often puts his own looks above the needs of his patients, and wears glasses simply for the dramatic effect of taking them off to deliver bad news. But have no fear. If his Twitter feed is any indication, Hartman’s true character is nothing like his cartoon persona, and thank goodness for that!
17 Allusions Throughout “Channel Chasers”
“Channel Chaser” is a unique entry in the Fairly OddParents continuity, and the second television movie the series has produced. In the special, Timmy wishes himself into a world of television to escape the frustrations of his daily life, and thus we are thrown into a stream of hilarious references and allusions to shows we know and love.
The references are so numerous, that it’s easy to miss some. Many are overt, such as when Timmy writes, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” on the chalkboard like Bart Simpson, and when they enter the various channels, which parody classics that range from Tom and Jerry (which becomes “Ted and Jimmy”) to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which, hilariously, becomes “Adolescent Genetically Modified Karate Cows”). The allusions are plentiful, and the special is a fantastic episode for TV lovers of any kind.
16 The Show Has Worldwide Appeal
We often take the way our shows sound for granted. We are used to the way our favourite characters speak, and come to know them by their timbre and by the language they speak. But for countless children around the world, Cosmo, Wanda and Timmy sound very different and have their own unique personalities. That’s because Fairly OddParents is popular around the world, and has been shown in 113 countries in 27 different languages!
These languages include Spanish, German, Swedish, French, Arabic, and Korean. To get an idea of what the character’s voices are like, you can listen to this amalgamation of the intros. Its fascinating to hear, and makes you wonder what the rest of the cast sounds like, and what our other favourite shows sound like after the global treatment.
15 Mom And Dad Were Originally Headless
Characterization can be a difficult thing, especially in cartoons. An artist must design a model for the character, give them a personality and voice, and make them come to life in a way that is consistent with the rest of the show. Originally, Butch Hartman intended to do away with the chore of two extra characters, and opted to make Timmy’s Mom and Dad simply legs and bodies that towered above him, much like they do in Charlie Brown.
This concept was introduced in the pilot, but changed when it became apparent that Mom and Dad would have more significant roles in the show. This makes sense, as it’s not easy to gives sets of legs personality. With a little extra work, the neglectful and distracted parents that we know and love were born.
14 Those Live Action Films That Happened
Rarely does the transition from cartoon to live action film go over smoothly. It’s very difficult to capture the essence of a cartoon with actors and overlaid CGI, and only rare outliers have achieved the feat. Fairly OddParents tried their hand at the live action three times, and though the movies garnered respectable views, they are certainly strange entities to behold.
Timmy Turner is played by none other then Nickelodeon poster child Drake Bell, who wears all pink and refuses to grow up even though he’s turning 23. The fairies are blockily CGI’d into the action, with Cosmo voiced by Jason Alexander and Poof by Randy Jackson (you read that right). The sound effects and slapstick nature of the cartoon can be found in all three films, which include a Christmas special. The films are surreal and ultimately ineffectual, and should be approached with due caution.
13 The Show Has Won Nearly A Dozen Awards
It goes without saying that The Fairly OddParents is a phenomenal show, and continues its incredible run without any signs of slowing down. Much of its success can be attributed to its universal humour that appeals to all age groups, its sharp, consistent animation style, and its pitch perfect sound editing.
Many guilds and film associations agree, and The Fairly OddParents has been the recipient of several awards, and nominated for countless more. The first was in 2002, when the show earned the BMI Cable Award for its outstanding music. From there it won awards right up to 2006, including the Annie Award for Outstanding Storyboarding and an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement In Animation. 2010 was the most prolific year for awards, as the show earned three: for music, sound mixing, and animation.
12 Crocker’s Shocking Origins
Denzel Crocker is one of the most hilarious characters in The Fairly OddParents. His twitchy mannerisms and obsession with uncovering FAIRY GODPARENTS made him an entertaining and formidable villain from the beginning. According to Hartman, his persona was inspired by the zany antics of Eugene Levy’s character in the 1984 film Splash.
Within the show, Crocker’s life is a tragic one. He had a childhood as miserable as Timmy’s, and was given Cosmo and Wanda as Godparents. He was very philanthropic with his wishes, but everything goes south when past Cosmo and time travelling Timmy reveal Crocker’s fairies to the whole town, and he has his mind erased. The mind erase magic was too strong, and this disfigured Crocker’s body and mind. He left a reminder for himself that fairies exist before the mind wipe, and has been obsessed with finding them ever since.
11 Timmy’s Middle Name
Choosing a name for character is no easy task. Whatever you choose defines who they are, and can influence the direction their character goes, even subconsciously. Timmy was named after Hartman’s younger brother, which certainly shapes his character. He behaves as a younger brother might, though Hartman ensures that he finds a way to come out on top, as any older brother should.
As it turns out, Timmy also has a name that puts him amongst the stars, and well as in line with royalty. His middle name is Tiberius, which is a direct reference to one Tiberius Kirk, and the show has numerous Star Trek references to legitimize this inclusion. Tiberius could also be related to the Roman emperor, who was one of the most successful emperors ever. Timmy has an awful lot to live up to!
10 Butch Hartman Founded A Charity Thanks To The Show's Success
It’s always wonderful when good people come into some money, and use their wealth to better the world. Butch Hartman is one such person. The Fairly OddParents took off in 2001 and quickly became one of the most popular cartoons on television. In 2005, Hartman and his wife decided to give back, and founded Hartman House.
Hartman House is a non-profit organization that provides funding and volunteer support to other organizations, and through those organizations helps those in need. Hartman House has provided the means to build homes and schools in Haiti and Africa. They have also given those countries infrastructure for education and agriculture, and provide liberally to impoverished parts of the United States. Hartman himself is the face of his organization, and encourages fans to give back to their global community as much as they can.
9 Butch Hartman Worked On Most Of Your Favourite Cartoons
Contrary to popular belief, very few artists are successful right out of the gate. They have to work hard to get to a place of comfort, and Butch Hartman’s story is no different. He began his professional cartooning career working on Dink the Little Dinosaur, a moral-laden cartoon about a brontosaurus, produced by Ruby-Spears Enterprises. From there he continued to work, until he got jobs at Hanna-Barbera and the Cartoon Network.
Hartman worked on dozens of shows, such as Tom And Jerry Kids, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, and Cow And Chicken. Many of these shows would have respectable runs, and are fondly remembered by those of us who grew up in the 90’s. Eventually, Hartman got tired of working for others, and decided to start of show of his own. Thus The Fairly OddParents was born, and the rest is history.
8 Timmy Was Originally Voiced By Mary Kay Bergman
Cartoon characters often go through several voice actors before their personas are set, and Timmy Turner was no different. In the pilot episode of the series, Timmy is voiced by none other then Mary Kay Bergman.
Bergman was a prolific voice actress throughout the 90s and early 2000s. She lent her unique voice to many cartoon films, including characters in Hercules, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, and Beauty And The Beast. She also played several female characters in South Park’s early seasons, which was her most notable contribution to the medium. Sadly, Bergman lived with bipolar and generalized anxiety disorder, and ended her own life just before The Fairly OddParents was about to take off. Tara Strong replaced her, and has encapsulated Timmy’s high pitched drawl ever since.
7 “Fairly OddBaby” Almost Got As Many Views As The Superbowl
“Fairly OddBaby” was a milestone for the series. It was the episode where we discovered the curious nature of fairy procreation (who could forget preggers Cosmo?), and introduced us to rotund and adorable baby Poof. Furthermore, it was the single most viewed episode of the entire show so far, and one of the most viewed pieces of television for the year. Only one event outpaced it in children viewers: the Superbowl itself.
“Fairly Oddbaby” raked in a whopping 9.1 million viewers when it first aired. The average viewership for the Superbowl was 9.8 million, so it wasn’t too far behind! It’s hard to imagine what Hartman and co. would have to do to top that feat… perhaps end a main character, George R.R. Martin style? Lets hope it doesn’t come to that.
6 The Original Character Designs Were Very Different
Very few characters come out an artists minds fully formed, and must go through several drafts and iterations before they are solidified. The original characters drafted for Fairly OddParents were markedly different from the ones we have come to know and love, and all changes have been for the better.
Originally, the show was simply called Fairy Godparents, but this was switched for something more unique. Wanda was once called Venus, but her new name has a much nicer ring to it. Cosmo was more slovenly then he already is, emulating a more Homer Simpson-esque persona. Apparently, Timmy went through 41 iterations during his design process. Most shocking of is that Wanda used to have blue hair, and Timmy used to have a blue hat! Legend tells that the colours were switched to pink when Hartman ran out of blue ink during a drawing session.
5 It's the 2nd Longest Running Nickelodeon Show Ever
Most successful shows only last for about 5 years before running out of steam or concluding their plot lines. It’s hard to believe that The Fairly OddParents has been around for 16 years, with only a short break between 2006 and 2008. This feat is admirable, considering the show has outlasted another Nickelodeon darling that we all remember fondly, Rugrats, which aired for thirteen years.
The Fairly OddParents however, has not been able to topple Nickelodeon's crown jewel, which is, of course, SpongeBob SquarePants. A cash cow of epic proportions, SpongeBob has been going strong since 1999, a staggering 19 years, and shows no sign of slowing down. It will be an incredible day if The Fairly OddParents ever surpasses it, but both shows seem to have plenty of life left in them yet.
4 Jay Leno Is The Crimson Chin
The Crimson Chin is the fearless vigilante of Chincinnati. He is heroic, hilarious, totally ripped, and has a jawline that could shatter stone. And did you know that he is voiced by none other then Jay Leno, who is famous for his own chintastic facial features?
The idea to get Jay Leno to voice the hero was floated past Butch Hartman as a joke, but he decided to reach out to Leno’s agents all the same, and was pleasantly surprised when the former Tonight Show star agreed to take the part. Leno has appeared as the Crimson Chin in every episode that features him, and the hero even has a backstory as a late night talk show host, before everything changed when his chin was bitten by a radioactive celebrity.
3 Timmy Is Named After Hartman’s Brother
Family and friends affect us in countless ways, especially when writing characters. Very few fictional characters are pulled from the void, and most are direct references to people the writers have encountered in real life. Butch Hartman follows this trend, and named his protagonist after his younger brother, Tim Hartman.
Butch is the oldest of four brothers, and decided to use the name of his youngest sibling for Timmy. He has two other brothers, Mike and Keith, who may one day appear in cartoons as well. Originally, Hartman wanted to name the character Timmy Taylor, but a Tim Taylor already existed in the sitcom Home Improvement, played by Tim Allen (my goodness, so many Tims out there). Thus with a little tweaking, the name was changed to Turner, and a famous cartoon character was born.
2 Butch Hartman And Seth McFarlane Are Bros
The animation world is a tight knit community, and friends can appear in unlikely places. Butch Hartman and Seth McFarlane first met when working together at Hanna-Barbera. Though they eventually moved onto different projects and found success within their own shows, the two have stayed close friends. So much so that Butch cameos in Family Guy as Dr. Elmer Hartman, and was the voice of Mr. Weed in the pilot.
The two have also worked together on a short cartoon. Created by McFarlane and animated by Hartman, Zoo Mates is a wonderful relic, and tells the story of a polar bear, ostrich and crocodile trying to fit in to human society in order to save their zoo. It’s full of slapstick humour and one-liners, and shows how well the two animators work together. A show of their own could be something special.
1 Timmy Can Never Find Happiness, Or The Show Will End
In the world of Fairly OddParents, fairy godparents are given exclusively to miserable children. When we first meet Timmy in season 1, he fits this description perfectly, being constantly subjected to the torment of Vicky and to the sting of unrequited parental love. Now, 17 years later, Timmy is still in the same rut, and doesn't seem any closer to being free of it.
The mere presence of Cosmo and Wanda is enough to prove this. No matter what he experiences or how much stuff he gets, Timmy holds onto an unspoken core of dissatisfaction, and requires more help from his fairies. He makes wishes that backfire constantly, but never learns the final lesson: that you can’t just wish your troubles away. Finding true happiness requires hard work, and the day Timmy decides to pull up his bootstraps is the day The Fairly OddParents will end.