->''"It's Hamtaro time! Kush-kush ticky-ticky ho!"''

An anime series (''Tottoko Hamutaro'' in Japan) [[AdaptationDisplacement based on a series of children's books about hamsters]], Hamtaro and his Ham-Ham buddies lead exciting adventures while his owner Laura is off at school having her own adventures.

It ran from 2000 to 2006 and lasted for nearly 300 episodes, only 104 of which were translated into English and aired on Cartoon Network. It later spawned a spin-off series of five-minute episodes known as "Tottoko Hamutaro: Norisuta Hai!". There were also four movies, [[NoExportForYou none of which made it overseas.]]

It also spawned six handheld video games which, although largely obscure to those not familiar with the series, were considered to be rather good games for licensed media.

Bizarrely enough, it was initially featured on Creator/{{Toonami}}, Creator/CartoonNetwork's block for specifically action-based shows (that can be blamed on [[ExecutiveMeddling Cartoon Network's management]] at the time). It actually received a LampshadeHanging in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMJuFsGiAdY this promo]]. The show also aired on FoxKids in Europe.

A new series named ''Tottoko Hamtaro Dechu'' [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-02-23/tottoko-hamtaro-dechu-tv-anime-to-premiere-in-april has been aired]]; however, it's only a rebroadcast with a handful of new scenes.

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!!'''Series contains examples of:'''

* AccidentalMisnaming:
** Jingle never gets Hamtaro's name right, much to Hamtaro's annoyance.
** Laura's Grandfather also had trouble getting Hamtaro's name right. [[spoiler:He eventually did.]]
* AllJustADream: Several episodes feature Laura in dream-adventures with the hamsters.
* AlphaBitch: Sparkle and her owner Glitter. Both soften up a bit and become type-A {{Tsundere}} in the later seasons.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The English version uses two [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foYKKwteWik opening]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKk-4TSyTdk songs]] different from the Japanese version. However, it does use the tune of the first Japanese [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvP2wVqYGDY ending theme]].
* AnAesop
* AscendedExtra: Mr. Yoshi went from just Laura and Kana's teacher to a character with a small spread out arc about him and Charlotte's relationship. Maria also became Laura's friend after the latter ran away from home.
** A few characters of the day show up now and again for cameo or plot reasons.
* AnimalTalk: The hamsters are mostly seen talking with each other. Other animals can't talk. Usually the hamsters have to keep themselves silent around humans.
** And in one episode, Oxnard suggests that the Ham-Hams should go talk to Kana's friend about looking for Sandy's brother, but Hamtaro tells them that she's a human [[LampshadeHanging and wonders how they can talk to humans.]]
** This is probably averted in "Office Adventures" when Gabriel Black finds the Ham-Hams sitting on his desk and thinks he's dreaming of [[TalkingAnimal them rooting for him to finish his manuscript for Laura's dad.]]
** Also a few times when Laura hears Hamtaro call her, but it must be her imagination.
* ArtEvolution: Very much. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkWkn6TDsEU This is the first Hamtaro opening]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkLyEObCyFE this is the second opening]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7agzs_kdwYg this is the latest opening from the new]] [[NoExportForYou Japan-only shorts]]. The hamsters went from squarish to peanut-shaped before ending up with [[SuperDeformed bodies smaller than their heads]].
* BelligerentSexualTension: Laura's parents when they were younger. Comes off as quite the surprise, considering how they border in SickeninglySweethearts.
* BigEater: Oxnard.
* BigFriendlyDog: Laura's dog Brandy is normal-sized, but he has this role in regards to the Ham-Hams. Hamtaro himself often rides on his back.
* BlushSticker
* CatsAreMean: They are to hamsters, anyway.
** {{Aver|tedTrope}}sion: A lost and injured kitten that Boss took in [[TearJerker and had to let go of when he learned she had an owner.]]
* ChickMagnet: Bijou, her friend Oshare from France, and Sparkle all have crushes on Hamtaro. Unfortunately, [[ChasteHero he's too damn clueless to notice.]]
** And then theres Travis
* ChristmasEpisode:
* DemotedToExtra: Even though they're counted as main characters, Sandy, Stan, Maxwell, Cappy, Panda and even Snoozer shows up once in a blue moon in later seasons. Occasionally they will have episodes and sometimes lines but they're not necessary to the story other than filler.
* EatenAlive: One Japan-only season finale had an episode where the hamsters traveled to Lapis and Lazuli's world of candy and were eaten by a worm that lived there. Boss had to free them.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: Ook-Ook.
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Tux.
* TheFaceless: Due to her shyness, Penelope is only ever seen under cover of a yellow blanket. Subverted in the intro sequence, however, as her blanket flies up to briefly reveal brown and white fur.
** Subverted in the official guide, which includes an illustration of how Penelope really looks like.
* FantasticRacism: In the dub version only it seems like an insult to be compared to or being called a gerbil.
* FestivalEpisode
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: On Travis's birthday, one of his friends goes, "Hey, we gotta get you to the girls' bathroom, man!" but only in the dub...and then there's Stan...
* HappilyMarried: Laura's parents.
* HeavySleeper: Snoozer, duh.
** Also, Brandy. He's almost always seen sleeping in his doggy house, [[LetsGetDangerous until Hamtaro asks him for help]].
* HiddenInPlainSight: The ham-hams usually hide in trees, bushes or high atop of buildings but sometimes they hide in places in where a person should really be easy to spot them such as on Brandy's head or on a jungle gym.
* IconicItem: A majority of Ham-Hams have iconic items or accessories that they are never seen without.
* ImageSong: The original is full of them, mostly Ham-Hams that are major characters. A few such as Panda or Cappy don't really have their own.
** The movies give us Tensai Let's Go! Ayayamu for Ayayamu for her image song and the credits song.
** The dub has their own spin on Kuru Kuru which is Stan and Sandy's song as well as a few of the songs from the Birthday OVA. Strangely enough there's an Italian album that has image songs sung by Cristina D'avena that has songs about several of the Ham-Hams including Panda and Snoozer that never got their own song in the original.
* InterspeciesRomance: Sabu has a pigeon girlfriend named Françoise
** Penelope's first crush is on Kylie's cousin Ethan, later she moved onto a rabbit from Ethan and Mimi's kindergarten. Later in the series she started to get a crush on Jingle's pig, Herbert.
* TheIdiotFromOsaka: Howdy.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Boss at times can be quite temperamental, especially if he's thinking about Bijou. However, don't think for a second that he won't go out of his way to help his friends.
** On the human side, we have Roberto.
* {{Kodomomuke}}: only the hamsters, the humans on the other hand are more for older kids and ect. as what Laura and Kana go through (like Laura's crush with Travis).
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: The main band of hamsters is 13 strong--and plenty more side-hams show up from time to time, not to mention the humans.
* LonelyRichKid: Maria, until Laura befriends her.
* LovableCoward: Oxnard.
* LovableSexManiac: Stan is a G-rated version, always flirting with the girl-hams, much to his sister Sandy's irritation.
* LoveAtFirstPunch: It's implied that [[DarkSkinnedBlond Roberto]] has a crush on Laura, who actually stood up against him for acting like a jerk. She doesn't romantically like him back, however; [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan she still prefers]] [[NiceGuy Travis]].
* LoveDodecahedron: So complicated it has to be broken down into [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hamster_relations_hahaha.gif a chart.]] Talk about SeriousBusiness.
** The fact that they can make a game called "[[HamtaroHamHamHeartbreak Ham-Ham Heartbreak]]", involving fixing 21 stressed relationships among characters from the show, just goes to prove it!
** In addition, the fanbases also love to spam recolors as [=OCs=], which is extremely similar to the situation in Franchise/{{Sonic|TheHedgehog}} fandom.
* MagicRealism
* {{Meganekko}}: Kana.
* {{Mondegreen}}: Likely why Penelope's catchphrase was changed from "Ookyoo!" to "Ookwee!"
* TheMovie: Four of them, in fact. [[NoExportForYou None of them were ever released outside of Japan]].
* TheMovingExperience: Twice. Both instances very close to being averted. [[spoiler:The first time this happens in ''Farewell Bijou!'', it ended with Maria's parents decided to not move after all on the last day. The second time this happened in the Japan-only episode ''Tottoko o Wakare! Chika Hausu'', which it's Hamtaro who's moving away, but averted in the last minute when the Haruna family decided against moving as well. ]]
** Averted unfortunately [[spoiler:with Travis]], who really did move off [[spoiler:in the Japan-only episode ''Tottoko Tabidachi! Haru no Kaze'']]. Poor Laura...
* NerdGlasses: Dexter's fur is in the shape of a pair of glasses.
* NiceCharacterMeanActor: Glitter. Onstage, she's a bubbly J-pop singer with TastesLikeDiabetes lyrics. Offstage, she's a sharp-tongued, egotistical bitch, and tries to drive Travis away from Laura so he can spend time with her.
* NiceHat: Cappy.
* NonStandardCharacterDesign: Arguably Haibi from "Ham-Hams Ahoy!", due to having smaller eyes compared to the others.
** A majority of the new hamsters seen in the movies.
* {{Ojou}}: Both Maria and her hamster Bijou.
* OfficialCouple: Maxwell/Sandy and Oxnard/Pepper. The series finale in Japan ends with the latter couple getting married.
* OncePerEpisode: Laura's journal entry followed by Hamtaro's "Heke!" at the end of every episode.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Yamihamuryuku is the main antagonist in Adventures in Ham-Ham Land and is some bizarre cat-looking hamster that transforms into a dragon.
* OurFairiesAreDifferent: Yosei-san is usually a small fairy that's smaller than baby Penelope but can transform into a doll sized human with hamster ears.
** Crystal from movie 3 is a Snow Fairy and can also transform into a human with hamster ears.
* PandaingToTheAudience: Panda's not a real panda, but he's got the markings of one to earn his name.
* ParentalBonus: Lots, including pretty much everything Stan does, the beach episode if you're into that kind of thing, and many of the human characters interactions, especially Laura and Kana's.
* PungeonMaster: Howdy.
* PunnyName: Most of the Ham-Hams' names were puns in the original Japanese version.
* [[RealMenWearPink Real Ham-Hams Wear Pink]]: Boss is a rather strong and tough ham-ham, but on occasion, he will act disturbingly effeminate. In a later season, he becomes a nurse along with the rest of the girls, ''complete with fake blush and eyeliner!'' [[spoiler:However, from season 5 onward, he becomes Hero-Ham!]]
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter And HOW!
* RhymesOnADime: Jingle.
* ShipTease: On ''several'' occasions.
* SiblingSenioritySquabble: Stan and Sandy.
* SliceOfLife
* TheSmartGuy: Maxwell.
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: Mimi, Panda's owner, is young and innocent enough to be the only human who can talk to the Ham-Hams directly.
** Laura is able to communicate with them, but only in her dreams.
*** She also can be said to telepathically communicate with Hamtaro during the times where she writes in her diary, as sometimes they respond to each other's thoughts.
* SpoiledSweet: Bijou. Her owner is rich thus granting her some luxuries the other ham-hams don't have and she can be somewhat vain on occasion. Most of the time, however, she is very nice and will do her best for her friends even if it means getting her paws and fur dirty.
** Also Bijou's owner Maria, a softspoken LonelyRichKid who becomes friends with Laura.
* SpotlightStealingSquad: Lapis and Lazuli in the Japan-only seasons. They were a duo of hamsters who lived in a magical world called Sweet Paradise and often invited the Ham-Hams over. Lazuli was also a scientist and often took up many an episode with an experiment of some kind.
* StockAnimalDiet: Sunflower seeds. It's also their TrademarkFavoriteFood.
* SugarBowl: What happens in the later, Asia-only seasons. The hamsters travel to Lapis and Lazuli's world of candy and spend several episodes revisiting it.
* SurferDude: Stan in the English dub of the anime.
** Broski, however, he is afraid of water to actually surf and just carries around surfboard to impress the ladies.
* {{Tagline}}: Little hamsters, big adventures!
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: How do you tell Stan and Sandy apart? Sandy has a bow right above her tail.
** Sandy's eyes are shown to be green up close, while Stan's are blue. Her belly is white and Stan's is beige, making them a case of HalfIdenticalTwins.
* ThoseTwoGuys[=/=]VitriolicBestBuds: Howdy and Dexter.
* TitleThemeDrop: In both the original and the dub they use the opening theme a lot.
* TitleThemeTune: And a second credits theme tune too.
** And a third title theme tune, creating for the opening of the second season, but edited out of most of Cartoon Network's airings.
** And various international ones, including a quite catchy Italian one.
* TroubledButCute: Roberto.
* TrueCompanions: The Ham-Ham Club.
* TwiceShy: Sandy and Maxwell.
* TheUnintelligible: Penelope. She can only say "Ookyoo" or "Ookwee."
** Ook-Ook, a monkey type hamster can only speak in monkey language.
* ValleyGirl: Sandy in the English Dub of the anime.
* VerbalTic: The entire ham-ham language is made up of them. For instance, they say "Krmpkrmp" when eating, "Ticky-ticky" while walking, "Heke" in response to something that confuses them...there's a ''lot.''
** In Japanese, Hamtaro ends his sentences "Na no da" while Bijou ends her's with "Dechuwa".
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: Cats may be mean, but you know what's worse? Chickens.
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: Hamtaro obviously takes place in a coastal town in Japan, but the dub takes out any references to Japan and dresses it up to be more like a generic coastal town.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Laura's teacher, Mr. Yoshi, has a crippling fear of chickens, and, of course he's in love with a girl whose father is a chicken farmer...and an OverprotectiveDad, to boot.
** The ham-ham's are also afraid of chickens as well as little chicks, but to their credit, the chickens on the show are pretty damn scary. One of the chickens that belongs to said OverprotectiveDad has an ''eye patch'' for crying out loud.
** A lot of the conflict between Laura and Roberto can be traced to the fact that he's deathly afraid of mice and other small rodents....like hamsters. Hamtaro twigged to it immediately but it took a while for Laura to do so.
* YamatoNadeshiko: Parodied with the teacher's girlfriend, Charlotte, who comes from a traditional family and has been raised as one... but acts like a borderline WildChild cow girl whenever she's out of her BigFancyHouse.

!!The games provide examples of:

* BagOfSpilling: In the beginning of ''Ham-Ham Heartbreak'', Hamtaro trips and falls into a bucket of water while carrying his Ham-Chat dictionary, smudging up most of the words.
* CardCarryingVillain: Spat from ''Ham Ham Heartbreak'' is very much this.
* CopyProtection: The second game prevents you from achieving HundredPercentCompletion and the third game will lock up at the very start if it detects that you're playing them in either an emulator or on a flash cart. And let's just leave it at that.
* EdutainmentGame: ''Hamtaro: Wake Up Snoozer'' for PC/Mac and ''Hi! Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Challenge'' for the DS. Also, the bunch of NoExportForYou games for the ''Sega Pico'' and ''Advanced Pico Beena''.
* FleetingDemographicRule: The second DS game which actually got a quiet US release. Apparently, Nintendo/AlphaDream/Natsume thinks that no one remembers the hamsters anymore, so they threw in a reintroduction of each of the characters in the opening title cinematic. After all, the show has been off the air in the US for over two years by then, and the last game was released in the US market over 4 years prior.
* GenreShift: The first GBC title was a [[WidgetSeries WJT]] title, essentially a fortune teller/love meter program with a virtual pet function threw in as an afterthought. The second GBC and first GBA titles were of the adventure/RPG genre, the second GBA title was a adventure/RPG+minigames genre game, the third GBA title was a sports title made to tie in with the 2004 olympics, the first DS title was a quiz game, and the second DS title as well as the only PC title was an edutainment title. Yeah.
* GottaCatchThemAll: The Ham-Chat words in Hamtaro Ham Hams Unite and Hamtaro Ham Ham Heartbreak.
** The fourth game takes you into the dark and crazy world of sticker and coloring pages collecting.
* HonestJohnsDealership: A Ham-Merchant in ''Ham Ham Heartbreak''.
** There are two in ''Ham Hams Unite'', a merchant and his immature protégé. [[MrFixIt Panda]] even [[LampshadeHanging expresses surprise]] at you for buying a [[FetchQuest required but predictably damaged item]] from them.
* HundredPercentCompletion: The stickers in ''Rainbow Rescue'' can potentially take players to the dark, ''dark'' world of (digital) sticker collecting.
* LicensedGame: Well, duh!
* TheKiddieRide: Bandai/Banpresto made one in Japan using the same base design as one they used for an ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'' ride. It dispensed candies after the ride ended. Also made were about half a dozen knockoff rides from China. Those are, sadly, much more prevalent.
* MinigameGame: Both ''Rainbow Rescue'' and ''Ham-Ham Games'', though the former also has a story similar to ''Ham Ham Heartbreak''.
* ThePowerOfLove: ''Ham Ham Heartbreak'' makes a game out of it!
* ShipTease: '''ESPECIALLY''' in ''Ham-Ham Heartbreak'' and ''Rainbow Rescue''.
* ShoutOut: To ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'', in two places. First, the shady Ham-Merchant says 'Buy somethin', will ya!?' like the original Zelda shopkeepers did. The second is [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments much funnier]]. You collect three marbles throughout the game, one red, one green, and one blue. Then you place them in a pedestal that looks like it has a sword in it. Then you tug on the sword. The 'Opening a Treasure Chest music' from Zelda plays. And... [[spoiler: IT'S A SPOON!]]
* ToiletHumor: The Go-P verb. First time you see it? When you're facing a tree.
* VerbalTic: ''Ham Ham Heartbreak'' villain Spat's "pfpth!" His angelic counterpart, Harmony, has "tee hee".
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: In the right circumstances the player can bite and scratch other hamsters, and even poke them in the face with a stick; this rarely accompishes anything beyond making them distressed. Bodyslamming is the only way to get certain hamsters to pay attention to you, and you have to outright knock some out of trees and off ledges or other great heights to learn their ham-chat words. The game remarks that you feel bad for it, but if you leave the area and come back they'll be right up there again, and you can keep shoving them without any consequences.