Paw Patrol: I need you…but I hate you

Paw Patrol! Paw Patrol! We’ll be there on the double! Whenever there’s a problem, ’round Adventure Bay…Ryder and his team of pups will come and save the day! Marshall! Rubble! Chase! Rocky! Zuma! Skye! Yeah! They’re on the way! 

This is the song that echoes in the quiet of the night as I try to fall asleep. This is the theme that follows my every move, lurking within the corners of my brain, pushing it’s way to my lips as I do some menial activity and find myself singing it only yell out “DAMN IT!” when I’ve realized what I’ve done.

If your kids don’t currently watch Paw Patrol, be happy. Be very happy. Don’t be tempted by this post to “see what it’s all about” like when someone smells something and goes “This smells AWFUL!” and you go “Really? Let me smell!” You will regret it. I have heard nothing but awful things about the show Calliou. And you know what? I am staying the F away from that show.


Here’s my sarcastic two minute synopsis of the show for those that aren’t familiar: a 13-15 year old orphan lives in a large tower with a band of talking puppies. The town, riddled with incompetent adults, has given these dogs an insane amount of technology that then allows them to respond to various “problems” in the fictional world of Adventure Bay. These problems are never too scary and border on asinine, but in Paw Patrol-land they are catastrophic events. There are six pups total that all fill a variety of roles and depending on the type of emergency, Ryder will task a specific dog to do his bidding to solve the problem. Things are resolved very neatly in 12-minutes and ends with the “you’re all good pups!” tagline and everyone laughing in an obnoxious canned laughter sort of way. Riveting, right?

My issue with Paw Patrol is two-fold:

  1. There is NOTHING remotely educational or valuable about it
  2. It is annoying AF

Please note that my bar is not set high for education value. At all. But if you look hard enough, you can find something redeeming in almost any children’s programming that makes you feel slightly better about yourself. Paw Patrol is the exception to this rule. I think it’s sheer existence is only to sell merchandise and put toddlers in a state of such despair and tantrum if you do not put it on NOW.

Oh Nick Jr. tries to fool me into thinking it’s okay to let AJR watch 5 back-to-back episodes with the educational BS they put before every episode. Problem-solving abilities?? Right. Next time my son encounters a penguin that stole someone’s tuna sandwich he will be ready to go. The only thing it has done for my son is imbed annoying tag-lines in his head so that when he’s supposed to be sleeping he’s yelling out”CHASE! USE YOUR WENCH MOTOR! RUFF! WENCH MOTOR!” I don’t know what purpose this will serve him in life but I’m guessing none to very little.


I’m less concerned with the educational aspect, which really speaks to the type of parent that I am. What annoys me more than the show itself is how much time I’ve spent thinking about it and all of the things that seem “off” to me Every children’s show requires a leap of faith to follow along but Paw Patrol has struck a nerve at being so wildly implausible on every count that I just can’t.

If you haven’t seen the show, this is probably the time you want to stop reading and move onto something else. If you are in the same unfortunate boat as me, I would love to hear any PP theories/questions/thoughts/vents you may have.

Ryder: There are so many questions/issues I have with him that I honestly need to list them out because

  • How old is he?
  • Where are his parents? Does anyone seemed concerned that a kid that can’t drive is in charge of a town’s entire law enforcement, search & rescue, and utilities department? How did he get this sort of power? What does he have on Mayor Goodway?
  • His outfit. IT NEVER EVER CHANGES. Even in the episode where it’s a million degrees outside Ryder is wearing jeans and a quilted jacket made out of what I don’t think is a breathable fabric. Give the dude some shorts, please.
  • The actors that voice him. Okay, maybe this is a low blow but there have either been about 3-4 different Ryders or it’s the same kid that’s voiced him from the beginning but now he’s gone through puberty
  • Dude has no friends. He lives with 6 dogs. In a tower. Alone. Maybe if these were cats we would have more of an issue but because they’re dogs no one says a damn word. It’s not healthy. And for all we know he’s inviting Katie over late night to Netflix and chill because there is ZERO adult supervision.

The Pups:

No one questions it, but the dogs talk. Seriously? This is just a normal occurrence? To have a full-blown conversation with a dog? Also, isn’t it strange that there are NO OTHER DOGS in Adventure Bay? What happened to these dogs…is the Paw Patrol secretly picking off any other canine that happens to set foot in town? I feel like I need some sort of creation story on how these dogs got to this point. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t making me blindly accept human-sized, martial arts trained, talking turtles without a little backstory. Give me something, Paw Patrol.

While there are six pups total there is a clear hierarchy in terms of who the “cool” pups are. Marshall, Chase, and Rubble are the top dogs. Followed by Skye (put there to appeal to young girls). Rocky and Zuma don’t serve any useful function whatsoever and simply exist to sell more merchandise. However, I can guarantee that if ANY kid got a Zuma or Rocky for Christmas they would make a face similar to this:notimpressed

While the mom (who would never be stupid enough to make this sort of idiotic mistake) hisses to the rightfully ungrateful child “Say thank you to your Grandmother! Now!”

Chase is probably the most annoying. He’s always referring to Ryder as “sir” and is such a brown-noser that I swear if the pups had school, he would be the one to raise his hand after class and ask the teacher whether there was any homework for that evening. Marshall provides the “comic relief” but I honestly think he must have an inner-ear problem with how much he falls down. Maybe there are kids somewhere else that laugh every single time Marshall crashes into the pups or lands into a bucket, but even my almost-3 year old is over it. Get your shit together, Marshall. Seriously. Rubble (my son’s favorite) is okay in my book. I’ve got no major beef with him and I respect his zeal for food.

These dogs also have access to the most ridiculous technology that’s ever existed anywhere. Where did all of this come from? Is Ryder tinkering late into the night with an erector set?? (that sentence felt semi-dirty) This has to be coming out of tax-payer dollars. Or, Ryder’s parents were super wealthy and passed away leaving him with an enormous fortune to fund these pet projects of his. (pun intended).

We are all in on PP, despite my loathing of it.

We are all in on PP, despite my loathing of it.

Mayor Goodway should be a beacon of inspiration as a woman of color in the highest ranking political position in Adventure Bay. Instead she’s reduced to a bumbling, nervous nellie with a purse chicken. No, purse chicken isn’t a special sort of chicken species, I mean that bird cozies himself up in her purse with corn on the cob on the regular. Chickaletta may be my favorite character. She’s always wearing a “this and everyone around me is dumb AF” look that I can sort of appreciate. She’s intentionally put herself in harms way so many times that I think she is trying to end her life and escape the suffocating walls of Adventure Bay. Chickaletta, I don’t blame you, girl.

Random thoughts:

  • Is Mr. Porter Canadian? He totally says “about” and “again” in a way I’ve never heard it spoken in America
  • Jake is sort of hot in a cartoon-y way. More Jake episodes please! And yes, I realize how unbelievably sad this statement is.
  • Is there an Adventure Bay census that says how many people live there? According to my exhaustive watching of EVERY EPISODE THERE’S EVER BEEN I think the town population is at 12. And that’s being generous.
  • Alex is a f’ing brat. Mr. Porter needs to give a timeout every now and then because he’s responsible for 35% of all Paw Patrol related “emergencies” with his assholery.
  • Lack of real law enforcement. If I was a criminal I would rob all 12 people in that town. Who is going to stop me? Chase has a net. Not that I want dogs toting firearms (and my son watching it) but I think there should be some police presence even if the Paw Patrol does all the work
  • The unspoken sexual tension between Skye and Chase. I actually tweeted about this and someone that used to work behind the scenes on the show responded with a very curt “No” and was clearly not amused. Whatevs. Let’s hope these dogs listened to Bob Barker and got spayed/neutered. skyechase
  • Think the Paw Patrol theme gets stuck in your head? Try PUP PUP BOOGIE!!! You will want to drive an icepick through your eye in 20 minutes.
  • The commercial that comes RIGHT AFTER the theme song. “Oh  let me get your toddler super excited that his favorite show is on and rip it away from him as I cut advertising” Thanks, Nick Jr. Because I haven’t had to field enough tantrums today. TV is supposed to be my sanctuary and you do not F with mommy’s sanctuary.
  • This is not a comment on the show but I just spent 15 minutes googling Paw Patrol theories. I am relieved to know that I am not alone and impressed by some of the stuff that is out there

Every show our children watch is annoying in its own special way. However, I will gladly take the annoyance of the pups troubleshooting how to retrieve a lost backpack as long as it buys me a little peace and quiet. You win, Nick Jr.




6 thoughts on “Paw Patrol: I need you…but I hate you

  1. This is an amazing article and absolutely gave my wife and I laughing and crying. My wife has a particularly difficult time with the Blaze theme song that always follows every episode, waking up to feed our newborn every few hours plauged by it.

    Thank you so much for writing this, much love! XOXO


  2. Funny article. I’ve had many of the exact same thoughts. We definitely need an origin story for this show. I would say since the show is made in Toronto, Canada then Mr. Porter is Canadian and that’s why he says “again” and “about” differently.


  3. 1. Yes, Mr. Porter is Canadian, they all are. It’s a Canadian show. (Sorry)
    2. Two guys have voiced Ryder and I swear both have been wildly inconsistent and probably both just phoned it in for a pay cheque.
    3. I hate Mayor Goodway so much.


  4. I just heard the farmer use “damn” in an episode. My almost 2-year-old watches this. I remember “damn” being a bad word up until middle school. Smh


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