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The Fairly OddParents: How Important Were Da Rules Really?

"The Fairly OddParents" remains one of the most beloved shows to come out of Nickelodeon. It was a staple of the channel for well over a decade and even received a spinoff in the form of "The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder" on Paramount+. While the show went through numerous episodes and a ton of changes, one thing remained constant — the presence of Da Rules.

A basic episode of "The Fairly OddParents" involved Timmy asking Cosmo and Wanda to grant a wish, something goes wrong, and by the end of the episode, everything is back to the status quo. Every so often, Timmy's wish would run afoul of Da Rules, which was a guideline book telling fairies what they can and can't grant. That meant Timmy would sometimes have to use loopholes to get what he wanted or even outright go against what Da Rules said, which never made a ton of sense, given the significance of this book.

As outlined by The Film Theorists, it's established that for every wish granted that goes against Da Rules, the fabric of the universe is placed in jeopardy. These clearly aren't suggestions, as the book keeps the universe intact. Therefore, it's a little strange how often Timmy and others break the rules, and it's treated as a mild inconvenience as opposed to an existential threat. 

Why can fairies break rules at whim though?

There's obviously a fail-safe for ensuring as few rules get broken as possible. Numerous times throughout "The Fairly OddParents," when Timmy tries to make a rule-breaking wish, Cosmo and Wanda's wands go limp and make a fart noise. They're unable to make certain wishes, meaning Timmy has to get creative. 

But sometimes, they somehow can erase or change certain rules. Arguably, the most egregious example is in "Movie Magic," where Timmy and his godparents break the rules so that Timmy can win a movie competition. There's a rule against using magic to win competitions, but Cosmo simply rips that page out of the book, allowing them to do whatever they want. It seems like a pretty simple fail-safe to disregard if anyone can merely rip rules out of the book. In another instance, Timmy writes in Da Rules allowing him to make wishes that break said rules, and Cosmo can grant as many as he wants. People do this willy-nilly without any regard for the safety of the universe.

It begs the question of what good is a rulebook that protects the sanctity of the universe if the rulebook can be altered by anyone. Ultimately, the answer is that "The Fairly OddParents" is a children's show, and when bringing an adult perspective into it, it causes some clashes. Da Rules exist to create tension, but if there's an opportunity for a joke or to move the plot along more rapidly, it can easily be amended. Still, it'd probably be good to amend Da Rules a bit to prevent another World War.