The series centers on the adventures of five children who operate from a high-tech tree house fighting against adult tyranny. They use advanced 2x4 technology to battle evil adult super villains. Using their codenames (Numbuh 1, Numbuh 2, Numbuh 3, Numbuh 4 and Numbuh 5) they are Sector V, part of a global organisation called The Kids Next Door.
From left to right: Numbuh 2, Numbuh 4, Numbuh 3, Numbuh 1 and Numbuh 5
The show revolves around the main kid operatives of Sector V - Numbuh One (Nigel Uno), Numbuh Two (Hoagie Gilligan Jr.), Numbuh Three (Kuki Sanban), Numbuh Four (Wallabee Beatles) and Numbuh Five (Abigail Lincoln). Their mission is to fight crimes against kids, such as homework and flossing, committed by adults, senior citizens, teenagers, and other "evil" children. They make up what is known as Sector V of a worldwide organization called the Kids Next Door.
Warburton created a pilot episode for another show, Kenny and the Chimp. Originally, there was a group of children who called themselves "The Kids Next Door" among the recurring characters, and would often get Kenny into trouble. The plot-line was then changed to focus on the group of kids alone, and later, the kids battling adulthood. In 2001, the show's pilot episode, "No P in the OOL", won a Cartoon Network viewer's poll, and as a result, Codename: Kids Next Door was greenlit to become a series.
The episodes are titled as the Kids Next Door's missions, denoted as "Operation:" followed by an acronym which often gives viewers clues as to what the episode is about. The episodes have little continuity, although occasionally missions make a reference to earlier episodes or lead to consequences in another. Season Five's "Operation: O.U.T.B.R.E.A.K." is the only episode that is a direct continuation of another episode ("Operation: V.I.R.U.S.").
Stories in the earlier episodes were often about typical childhood problems, but magnified and exaggerated; as the series progressed, a more complex storyline developed.
The Kids Next Door Organization is a worldwide group comprising thousands of kids joined in mutual struggle against adult tyranny. They fight villains that embody specific menaces to children overall (such as dental hygiene or school lunch). For every member of Kids Next Door, upon following a period of training, they then choose a number or alphanumerical code (deliberately spelled "numbuh") and sent to a "sector", that is a tree house of ludicrous proportions. The main headquarters of the Kids Next Door is a tree house Moon Base. Kids follow their oath of protecting other kids as well as battling adulthood until the age of 13, when they are "decommissioned", a process of wiping their minds of memories of any past KND activity, as they are then teenagers, and a threat to KND. Such a practice has inevitably led to the creation of many KND villains who escaped decommissioning (notably Cree, Numbuh 5's older sister, and Chad, formerly Numbuh 274 and supreme commander of the Kids Next Door).
The practice of strict decommissioning at age 13 was later on revealed to be subject to exceptions: kids who have proved to be exceptional agents are offered the chance to carry on in KND as spies infiltrating the teen organization. Decommissioning has also proved reversible due to a "re-commissioning" module used twice in the series.
KND agents utilize a vast array of mechanical, electronic gadgets and machinery, collectively referred to as 2x4 (two-by-four) technology. The KND 2x4 technology was originally conceived as an assortment of common household objects, being put to use in combat situation; a theme that their weapons continued to adhere to. However, as the series progressed, the complexity of their defensive weaponry and transportation advanced to such absurd levels as to be considered science fiction, despite all of it still being constructed with nothing but household materials. In addition to the technology, many KND operatives also wear helmets similar to kabuto or samurai helmets — an example being Supreme Leader Numbuh 362.
A common theme of the show is the introduction of a new never-before-seen device, complete with its own acronym, in a sidebar screen that temporarily interrupts the storyline. It is interesting to note that many of these devices require military-level driving or piloting skills, in order for them to operate effectively. However, not all of the technology is made of other items.
Kids Next Door
Numbuh 1 / Nigel Uno (voiced by Benjamin Diskin) - A bald English boy who is rarely seen without his trademark sunglasses and does not put complete trust in anyone but his teammates. He wears a red long sleeve shirt, gray shorts, and brown boots with rocket jets. Nigel is a workaholic who consistently puts business before himself. In the movie "Operation Z.E.R.O.", he mentions that Numbuh 2 is his best friend. Throughout the series, his girlfriend is Lizzie Devine, but their relationship came to an end in the final season when she explained that she was tired of him repeatedly putting KND priorities over her. He is the only operative on his team without a sibling, though he shares a sibling-like relationship with his cousin Numbuh 10. He is the first KND operative to be selected for Galactic Kids Next Door from planet Earth. His last name, Uno, is Italian and Spanish for "one".
Numbuh 2 / Hogarth "Hoagie" P. Gilligan, Jr. (voiced by Benjamin Diskin) - An inventor and pilot with a passion for flight, rarely seen without an old fashioned brown aviator hat. Numbuh 2 builds all the technology used by his sector. He is an overweight American boy with light brown hair who wears a light blue collared shirt, brown pants, and black sneakers. In "Operation: F.I.S.H.Y.", he says he is Numbuh Four's "bestest best friend". Hoagie often enjoys cracking puns, though he is the only one who finds them funny. His interests besides flight include Yipper trading cards and being a film-noir detective. His suffix "Jr." refers to being the 2nd person (two) having the name "Hoagie P. Gilligan," also, on the show "Gilligan's Island," Gilligan was one member of a two-man-crew.
Numbuh 3 / Kuki Sanban (voiced by Lauren Tom) - A happy-go-lucky Japanese girl whose love for every creature often interferes with her responsibilities. Kuki has black hair and wears an over-sized green sweater, black leggings, and black sneakers. She is a fan of Rainbow Monkeys, a stuffed monkey toy series, and irrationally defends her love for them, occasionally allowing her aggressive side to show. In contrast with her innocent, gentle, and happy-go-lucky personality, she is the pilot of a giant robotic rabbit named H.I.P.P.I.E.-H.O.P. (Hare Inspired Piston Powered Ingenious Exoskeleton Hops Over Parents), which is thoroughly armed with missiles; however, the robot is destroyed in every episode it appears in, with Numbuh 3 parachuting out afterwards. She has been shown on numerous occasions to scare her teammates with her fierce anger. She is shown to have a crush on Numbuh 4, most evident in "Operation: N.A.U.G.H.T.Y." where she claims to have got the best gift for him and later when she was possessed by the powers of Santa's sleigh, and turned into a greedy creature, she was brought back to normal when Numbuh 4 gave her a Christmas gift (french fries). Unlike the others, the two often call each other Wally and Kuki rather than using their codenames. She also made a cameo in Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure where it is revealed that after Grim was fired from being the Grim Reaper, she was his replacement. Her last name "Sanban" is Japanese for "number three".
Numbuh 4 / Wallabee "Wally" Beatles (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) - A short Australian boy with a blond bowl haircut known for acting impulsively. Wally wears an orange hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers. He is the most capable one of the team when it comes to physical fighting; however, his general lack of intelligence often leads to him being easily fooled and selected for dangerous missions. Numbuh 4 is shown to receive poor grades in school and is often depicted as dim-witted. However, he displayed intelligence in "Operation: S.A.T.U.R.N." where he points out to Numbuh 3 that she cannot follow the Rainbow Monkey scent because there is no air in space and in "Operation: P.O.O.L." he was able to tell his teammates from their Negative counterparts and later defeated his own counterpart Negative Numbuh 4 by making him scared when he told him "Well if you're my opposite, then that makes you a coward." He is shown to sometimes bully kids in school and give them wedgies, but it is implied that he was also bullied by teenagers. In "Operation: B.R.I.E.F.", he says that Numbuh 1 is his best friend. He has an infant brother named Joey Beatles who appears throughout the series. He also has a crush on his teammate, Numbuh 3 (which he often denies). He often makes compromises to please her and does things he does not want to do, such as dressing up as her plush toy and singing on stage with Kuki. He came close to confessing his feelings to her in many episodes "Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R.", "Operation: H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L.", "Operation: L.O.V.E." and "Operation: P.L.A.N.E.T." In "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.", he is shown to be married to Numbuh 3. His last name is a reference to The Beatles, who had four principal members.
Numbuh 5 / Abigail "Abby" Lincoln (voiced by Cree Summer) - An intelligent and laid back girl of African American and French descent. She wears a red cap, blue dress with white stripes on the side, white shoes, and braided black hair. Despite having the highest number, Abby is Sector V's second-in-command, rarely overreacting in their missions, instead opting to calm her friends, and usually assumes leadership whenever Number 1 is absent, including saying "Kids Next Door, Battle Stations!", Number 1's usual line. She talks in third person much of the time, and loves sweets (especially ice cream). In "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S" it is shown that she takes over sector V after Numbuh 1's departure and becomes the supreme leader of KND. She often had episodes focused on her which involved Heinrich Von Marzipan, a candy hunting villain and rival. Abby has a teenage older sister named Cree (formerly known as Numbuh 11 and also voiced by Cree Summer) who betrayed the KND and is a recurring teenage villain. Her last name is a reference to the fact that President Abraham Lincoln is on the five dollar bill.
Numbuh 86 / Fanny Fulbright (voiced by Jennifer Hale) - Head of decommissioning who speaks and yells in a Scottish accent at unnecessary times. She has red hair and often wears a green shirt, an orange skirt, brown boots, and a gray helmet with the number 86 on the front. She is frequently shown to be sexist, believing girls are far superior to boys (often calling boys "stupid"). Due to this, the only character with a positive attitude of Numbuh 86 is the happy-go-lucky Numbuh 3. However, she admits in "Operation: E.N.D." that she finds Numbuh Four to be "kind of cute". In "Operation D.A.D.D.Y", it is revealed her father is the villain Mr. Boss.
Numbuh 274 / Chad Dickson (voiced by Jason Harris) - The so-called "best" Kids Next Door operative, who rose through the ranks after becoming famous for defeating an infamous gang of adult tyrants. However, in the season 2 finale "Operation: E.N.D." he betrayed his fellow operatives by hiding that he turned 13 years old. In the following seasons, he joined the teenagers and became a recurring villain. In the season 6 finale "Operation: T.R.E.A.T.Y.", it is revealed that he was working undercover for the KND. He is the son of villains Mega-Mom and Destructo-Dad.
Numbuh 362 / Rachel McKenzie (voiced by Rachael MacFarlane) - A blond girl who is the Supreme Leader of the Kids Next Door Organization, and one of the major recurring and supporting characters in the show. Numbuh 362 gained a major role beginning with the season two episode "Operation: F.U.G.I.T.I.V.E.", where it is explained that she is the KND's top spy. It is revealed in the season three episode "Operation: G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S." that she had taken the position of supreme leader after Numbuh 274 was decommissioned.
Delightful Children from Down the Lane / Sector Z Operatives (voiced by Benjamin Diskin, Dee Bradley Baker, and Cree Summer) - Five "delightfulized" children who move, talk, even laugh in synchronization. They obey all adults, especially their adoptive father: they and Father are the most recurring villains of the series. Rather than interfere themselves, the Delightful Children usually stand back and let a giant robot or super-powered minion do their work. In "Operation: Z.E.R.O.", it is revealed that they are the lost KND operatives of Sector Z, having been "delightfulized" by Father. Their names are: Bruce (short blonde boy), Lenny (football helmet boy), David (tall boy), Ashley (tall, blonde girl) and Ogie (chubby, brunette girl). In "Operation Z.E.R.O." they were turned back to their original selves for a short while to help Nigel fight. They then reverted to their villain selves, due to the "delightfulization" process being permanent.
Father / Benedict Uno (voiced by Maurice LaMarche in Father mode and Jeff Bennett in Benedict mode) - An adult who constantly wears a suit of shadows, and is the KND's greatest enemy. He first appeared in the season 1 finale: Operation: G.R.O.W.-U.P.. His powers include pyrokinesis, levitation, mind control, and shape-shifting. Father's body is completely black with a red outline along his body and eyebrows, giving him a silhouette-like appearance with few other discernible features, which include his bright yellow eyes. In "Operation: Z.E.R.O", it is revealed that he is Numbuh 1's paternal uncle.
Mr. Boss (voiced by Jeff Bennett) - A child-hating corporate executive, who acts as the de-facto leader of the KND's standard rogue's gallery. He is very physically large, has a bald head, a mustache, an over-sized cigar in his mouth, and a hunched back. He often holds gatherings for the other villains of the series. He also is Numbuh 86 and 85's father, and is the second in command of the villains after Father. In "Operation: D.A.D.D.Y", he explains to his daughter Numbuh 86 that while he loves his own children, he hates everybody else's children.
Numbuh 11 / Cree Lincoln (voiced by Cree Summer) - Numbuh 5's teenage elder sister and Father's apprentice, Cree first appears in the season 2 episode "Operation: S.U.P.P.O.R.T." She is a former KND operative (going by the name Numbuh 11) who served as leader and 2x4 tech officer of Sector V three years prior to the start of the series. She was the one who gave Numbuh 5 her trademark hat. Numbuh 2 has a crush on Cree, and makes advances towards her (which she repeatedly rejects). In "Operation: K.I.S.S." when she comes across him after he accidentally turned himself into a teenager, he gives his name as "Hank". The two go on a date, though Cree is repulsed when she later finds out who "Hank" really is. Despite Numbuh 2's affections for Cree, he is shown to be married to Numbuh 5 in "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S". Cree began working for Father after betraying the KND.
Knightbrace / Mr. Jasper Jelly (voiced by Tom Kenny) - A villain obsessed with dental and oral hygiene and has a weakness for taffy. Mr. Jelly had aspired to become a dentist all his life, but used extreme methods and was kicked out of dental school for trying to put braces on babies. He was then forced to work in his family's candy store, thus damaging children's teeth rather than cleaning them. He then became Knightbrace and sought out to repair the damage he had done. His one weakness is taffy.
Stickybeard (voiced by Mark Hamill) - A candy-hunting pirate who sails the suburbs in his ship, The Sweet Revenge, with his crew of pirates, robbing kids of their candy. his name references the notorious real-life pirate Blackbeard, much like his ship references Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge, as well as the fact that his beard has pieces of candy stuck to it. The candy of Stickybeard and his crew is very prominent to the point that parts of the ship itself is made of candy, and they use weapons made of candy, such as candy cane swords and gumball cannons.
Toiletnator / Lou Pottingsworth III (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) - The weakest villain in the series and an embarrassment to the other villains, to whom he is constantly trying to prove himself. He has control over toilets and toiletries. He is the self-proclaimed nemesis of Numbuh 4, who is revealed to be his nephew in the comic story "Operation: H.I.S.T.O.R.I.E."
Count Spankulot (voiced by Daran Norris) - A spoof of Count Dracula, he is a vampire who spanks naughty children. The count made his brief debut in the episode "Operation: C.A.N.N.O.N" to spank the KND for not returning their library books on time and has become a recurring character ever since. By removing one of his gloves, he can turn people into spank-happy vampires like himself, and they can only change back to normal if they spank him.
Crazy Old Cat Lady (voiced by Grey DeLisle) - A old woman who lives with thousands of black and white cats. She is an exaggeration of the common archetype of an old woman owning cats. Her bond with her cats is so strong that she possesses the power to control them and can order them to attack enemies when threatened. In extreme situations, the cats form together into the shape of a giant cat around her, which she directly controls.
Grandma Stuffum (voiced by Grey DeLisle) - A large German woman who creates gross armies of living food to fatten kids up to obese proportions so they will not cause trouble. She commands an army of living food that aggressively feeds itself to kids. Among these are Grandma Stuffum's constant companions, Liver and Onions. Stuffum has twice also exhibited above-average strength.
Mr. Fizz / Angelo Fizz (voiced by Jeff Bennett) - The head of the Soda Control Board, who has raised the legal soda drinking age to thirteen. He enforces this law strongly, putting him in conflict with the Kids Next Door. Mr. Fizz speaks with a Spanish accent and wears a fancy white suit and purple glasses. He uses weapons based on soda bottles and barrels, and cannot stand the sound of children.
Mr. Wink and Mr. Fibb / John Wink and Timothy Fibb (voiced by Tom Kenny and Dee Bradley Baker) - A pair of villains who use robotic Super Chairs to fight the KND during the early seasons. They are almost always seen sitting next to each other and have an alternating speech pattern, often asking rhetorical questions to each other and addressing the other by name at the end of each sentence. They were inspired by Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd from the James Bond novel and film Diamonds are Forever.
Henrietta "Heinrich" Von Marzipan (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker and Candi Milo) - He is Numbuh 5's chubby German candy-hunting rival with blond hair, blue eyes and a monocle. He loves candy as much as his rival Numbuh 5 does. He is based on the Nazis from Indiana Jones films. In "Operation: C.A.R.A.M.E.L." it is revealed that Heinrich is actually a girl. In the episode, magic caramels can be created by ritual that takes away one's most cherished quality. In turn for this sacrifice, the caramels become the most delicious candies in the world. Henrietta created the caramels using her femininity and ate what she believed to be all of them. Numbuh 5 kept the last remaining caramel that contained Heinrich's femininity and was able to reverse the ritual.
Ice Cream Men (voiced by Tom Kenny, Dee Bradley Baker, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Daran Norris) - The men who operate Ice Cream Trucks. In the KND universe, Ice Cream Men are portrayed as villains who mainly serve as henchmen to The Delightful Children From Down the Lane and Father. They sell ice cream only to "responsible adults", referencing the real life tendency of ice cream trucks to drive by potential customers without stopping, to the point of it appearing intentional.
Senior Citizen Squad (voiced by Candi Milo, Tom Kenny and Dee Bradley Baker) - A group of senior citizens led by Numbuh 2's grandmother (Lydia Gilligan) who use an anti-aging cream that turns them into very physically agile teenagers. Apart from Lydia, the group consists of Sheldon and Maurice. The Senior Citizen Squad first appears in "Operation: T.A.P.I.O.C.A.", where they are first seen hijacking a truck of Tapioca Pudding and being attacked and defeated by the Kids Next Door. Later, when they attack the Sector V Treehouse, the effects of the anti-aging cream wear off and their true identities are revealed.
Numbuh 0 / Monty Uno (voiced by Frank Welker in adult mode and Dave Wittenberg in Numbuh 0 mode) - Father of Nigel Uno, the Elder son of Grandfather. In "Operation: Z.E.R.O.", he is revealed to be Numbuh 0, the founder of the modern age of the KND Organization (the 7th Age of the KND), as well as the older brother of Benedict Uno and the adoptive uncle of the Delightful Children From Down the Lane.
Numbuh 49 / Lizzie Devine (voiced by Grey DeLisle) - She is Numbuh 1's chubby red-haired girlfriend with glasses. Lizzie is very possessive over him and will often go out of her way to try to get him to spend more time with her. She gets angry when he puts his KND work before her and his tendency to jilt her or break off dates just to go on missions. Even though she continues to tolerate it, she eventually breaks up with him after repeatedly being neglected for his missions. The rest of the team find her to be more of an annoyance or a topic to pester Nigel about rather than a helpful ally, though she has been useful in a few instances.
Numbuh T / Thomas "Tommy" Gilligan (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) - Numbuh 2's younger brother, first appearing in "Operation: T.O.M.M.Y." in his first appearance, Tommy was an enemy of the KND because he wanted to be with his older brother and hang out with his friends, but they would not allow it. When he started proving to be more useful, they changed their minds. He originally sought to join the KND as "Numbuh T" (despite being repeatedly told that "T" is not a number), which the others agreed to after his helping them in the season 2 finale "Operation: E.N.D." However, he was forced to quit to save them from Father in "Operation: G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S." and, due to a computer safeguard, was unable to rejoin. As such, he continued to defend kids as a vigilante, "The Tommy".
Mushi Sanban (voiced by Tara Strong) - Numbuh 3's younger sister. Like her sister, Mushi is very childish and overly happy, but beneath her outward personality has a very sinister and conniving personality despite her young age. She is also King Sandy's girlfriend.
Numbuh 6 / Bradley (animal sound effects by Dee Bradley Baker) - A baby skunk who was debuted in "Operation C.A.M.P." He was found by Numbuh 2 and 3. Bradley also appeared in "Operation H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L." as a cyborg after being hit by a truck. He was now named Robo-Bradley. His last appearance was on Operation S.I.X. where he, Numbuh 2, and Numbuh 3 deliver Soda to a birthday party, which was actually a plan from the DCFDTL to get their birthday cake. It is unknown where he was in the Final episode.
There are six seasons, each with 13 episodes (two half-length episodes counting as one), adding up to 78 episodes altogether. There have been two TV movies, the first taking place between the second and third episodes of season 6 (Operation: Z.E.R.O.), and the second at the end of season 6 (Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.).
Awards and nominations
In 2005, The series won The Best Television Series for Children Award at The Ottawa International Animation Festival for "Operation: A.R.C.H.I.V.E.", which was written by Tom Warburton and storyboarded by Guy Moore. The following year, "Operation: L.I.C.O.R.I.C.E." won the Festival's Collideascope Award for Television Animation for Children.
Two DVDs in two volumes were released of Codename: Kids Next Door, totaling 16 episodes.
Includes the episodes "Operation: I.-S.C.R.E.A.M.", "Operation: P.I.R.A.T.E.", "Operation: L.I.C.E.", "Operation: L.I.Z.Z.I.E.", "Operation: T.H.E.-F.L.Y.", "Operation: C.A.T.S.", "Operation: S.P.A.N.K.", "Operation: S.U.P.P.O.R.T.", and "Operation: G.R.O.W.-U.P." as well as a bonus Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends cartoon, 2x4 technology profiles, and game tips for Operation: S.O.D.A.
Toon Foolery — Laugh Your 'Ed Off!—"Operation: C.A.K.E.D"
Cartoon Network Hall of Fame Vol. 2" (4 disc set featuring Sooper Hugest Missions: File One as one of the discs)
In other series or works
On an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy entitled "Sickly Sweet", a scene depicts Grim watching Codename: Kids Next Door. Also, in the MAD episode "Taking Nemo / Once Upon a Toon", Numbuh One cameos as one of the cartoon characters who has forgotten his identity.
Stories featuring the Kids Next Door have been featured in the comic series Cartoon Cartoons, Cartoon Network Block Party, and Cartoon Network Action Pack. The characters are also featured in the books 2x4 Technology Handbook and Sooper Secrets and Boomerang Bloopers, both by Alison Wilgus.
In Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall, Numbuhs One through Five, and villains Father, Toiletnator, and Stickybeard appear as non-playable characters. KNDefense armor and 2x4 Tech weapons are available for players, Sector V's treehouse can be explored, and KND S.C.A.M.P.E.R.s can be used for transport. In Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion, Father and Numbuh 1 are playable, Sector V Treehouse and the C.O.O.L.-B.U.S. are arenas, and Numbuh 2 and Stickybeard are assist characters. In the console versions, Toiletnator is a playable character, Numbuh 4 is an assist character, and KND Moonbase is an arena.