->''"Tottoko! Hashiru yo Hamutaro! Sumikko! Hashiru yo Hamutaro!..."''(original theme song)
->''"It's Hamtaro time! Kush-kush ticky-ticky ho!"'' (dub theme)
[[quoteright:313:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gan_6367.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:313:[[{{Tagline}} We are the ham-hams!]] ]]

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 (Hiroko / Roko-chan in the original version) 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.[[note]]And even, one episode, revolving around a Japanese bean throwing festival was removed completely.[[/note]] It later spawned a spin-off series of five-minute episodes known as "Tottoko Hamutaro: Norisuta Hai!".[[note]]Which aired as part of the Japanese variety series Norisuta.[[/note]] 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 specifically created for 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]]. If you're not sure why this was bizarre, imagine a children's show similar in nature to something like ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales'' or ''Literature/CliffordTheBigRedDog'' but with hamsters and nods to certain anime conventions and you'll have a pretty good idea of the show's premise, at least in how it was presented in its English-language dub. The show also aired on FoxKids in Europe.

A new series named ''Tottoko Hamtaro Dechu'' [[note]]Roughly equivalent to "It's Hamtaro" in English.[[/note]] [[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.

There's also a fansite called [[http://hhp.icy-mint.net/m/media/epsindex.php The Ham-Ham Paradise]] where you can watch almost all of the English episodes[[note]]It should be noted however, that Viz Media still owns the rights to those episodes.[[/note]] as well as the Japanese version, foreign dubs, [[NoExportForYou Japanese exclusive movies, and OVAs.]]
----
!! The series contains examples of:

* AccidentalMisnaming:
** Tongari / 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]].
* UsefulNotes/AmericanAccents: Pepper has a southern accent in the English dub.
* AnAesop
* AllJustADream: There a two episodes where Laura and Hamtaro are dreaming where Laura and the Ham-Hams would play a character depending on the story. Such as the episode where Laura is a princess and Hamtaro and the other Ham-Hams are the guards and Taisho / Boss plays a villain. Another episode is based on ''Literature/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'', where Laura is Snow White and some of the Ham-Hams are the seven dwarfs. Also Laura can communicate with the other Ham-Hams including Hamtaro himself.
* 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, Koushi / Oxnard suggests that the Ham-Hams should go talk to Kana's friend about looking for Torahamu-chan / 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: It is very noticeable, when you compare the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkWkn6TDsEU first opening]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkLyEObCyFE the second opening]] of the anime series, with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7agzs_kdwYg the opening]] used for the [[NoExportForYou Japan-only shorts]] produced after the original anime ended. The hamsters went from squarish designs to peanut-shaped ones 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.
* BerserkButton: Don't ever make Mafura / Pashmina's scarf get dirty! She doesn't take it very well, as seen in her debut episode.
* BigFriendlyDog: Laura's dog Brandy[[note]]Brandon / "Don-chan" in the original version.[[/note]] is normal-sized, but he has this role in regards to the Ham-Hams. Hamtaro himself often rides on his back.
* BlushSticker
* CasanovaWannabe: Torahamu-kun / Stan.
* 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.]]
* ConspicuousCG: In the [[NoExportForYou Japan only OVA's]] all of the Ham-Hams are animated in CGI.
* ChickMagnet: Ribbon / Bijou, her friend Oshare from France, and Sparkle all have crushes on Hamtaro. Unfortunately, [[ChasteHero he's far too clueless to notice.]] And then there is Travis on the humans' side.
* ChristmasEpisode.
* DeadpanSnarker: Megane / Dexter would always leave comments when ever Maido / Howdy would make a joke or gives his own ideas to the other Ham-Hams.
* DemotedToExtra: Even though they're counted as main characters, Sandy, Stan, Noppo / Maxwell, Kaburu / Cappy, Panda and even Neteru / Snoozer shows up once in a blue moon in later seasons. Occasionally, they will have episodes and sometimes spoken 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.
* [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench Everything Sounds Sweeter In French]]: Bijou is given a french accent in the English dub provided by the lovely actress ChantalStrand
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: Ook-Ook.
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Tux.
* TheFaceless: Due to her shyness, Chibimaru / 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. However, it gets subverted in the [[AllThereInTheManual official guide]], which includes an illustration of how she really looks like.
* FantasticRacism: In the dub version only it seems like an insult to be compared to or being called a gerbil.
* FestivalEpisode
* GenkiGirl: [[AlphaBitch Sparkle off all characters!]] Was turned into this in her second appearance in one of the Japan only OVA's where she has a crush on Hamtaro and Bijou is Jealous of her.
* GratuitousFrench: In the English dub, Bijou would sometimes add various french words to her sentences such as "Oh là là" or "Bonjour".
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: On Travis's birthday, one of his friends goes, "Hey, we gotta get you to the girls' bathroom, man!" but this is only suggested in the dub... and then there's Stan, of course...
* [[HandyMan HandyHam]]: Panda[[note]]One of the few characters to retain their original name in the dub.[[/note]] serves this role and is usually seen repairing or fixing things in the clubhouse
* HeelFaceTurn: Sparkle started out very mean and a little bossy in her debut episode. In the later Japan-only episodes, she's a lot less mean, [[GenkiGirl more optimistic and a little bit silly.]]
* HappilyMarried: Laura's parents.
* HappyBirthdayToYou: They used an original song titled "Happy Ham-Ham Birthday."
* HeavySleeper: There's Snoozer, whose name obviously lampshades it. And Laura's dog, Brandy who is 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 Japanese version is full of them, mostly sung by Ham-Hams that are major characters and that are featured as such in promotional material and or events.
** The movies give us "Tensai Let's Go! Ayayamu" for Ayayamu as an image song that gets also featured in the credits.
** The dub has its own spin on "Kuru Kuru" (a 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 features songs about several of the Ham-Hams including Panda and Snoozer that never got their own songs in the Japanese version.
* InterspeciesRomance:
** Sabu has a pigeon girlfriend named Françoise
** Penelope's first crush is Kylie's cousin, Ethan. She later 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.
* {{Keet}}: Cappy gets excited very easily.
* {{Kodomomuke}}: Only the hamsters, the humans on the other hand are more for older kids, 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.
* LoveTriangle: Howdy and Dexter both have a crush on Pashmina. Whenever one of them get's a chance to impress her, they always compete with each other to see who gets to her first. But they would mostly get interrupted by Penelope. Boss is in love with Bijou, who later falls for Hamtaro, who is completely ObliviousToLove.
* LonelyRichKid: Maria, until Laura befriends her.
* LovableCoward: Oxnard.
* LovableSexManiac: Stan is a G-rated version, always flirting with the female hamsters, 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:
** It's so complicated that it had to be broken down into [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hamster_relations_hahaha.gif a chart.]] Talk about SeriousBusiness.
** This is also built in the "''[[VideoGame/HamtaroHamHamHeartbreak Ham-Ham Heartbreak]]''" game's plot that involves in fixing 21 stressed relationships among characters from the show!
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Oxnard and Hamtaro to Boss's Manly Man.
** Hamtaro is also a Manly Man to Oxnard's Sensitive Guy
* MagicRealism
* {{Meganekko}}: Kana. Also, Dexter (well, they're marks on his fur that look like glasses, anyway...)
* {{Mondegreen}}: Likely why Penelope's catchphrase was changed from "Ookyoo!" to "Ookwee!"
* TheMovie: There are 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!", ended with Maria's parents deciding to not move after all. The second time is in the Japan-only episode "Tottoko o Wakare! Chika Hausu", which it has ''Hamtaro'' as the one who is moving away, but, again, the Haruna family decided against moving at last minute, as well]].
** However, it is unfortunately averted [[spoiler:with Travis]], who really ended up moving [[spoiler:in the Japan-only episode "Tottoko Tabidachi! Haru no Kaze". Poor Laura...]]
* NonMammalianHair:
** Jingle has hair that resembles a tiny Mohawk.
** Pepper has long pigtails .
** Both Lapis and Lazuli have blond hair, while Lapis's hair is mostly covered by a hood
* NerdGlasses: Dexter's fur is in the shape of a pair of glasses. This is also the reason why he is called "Megane" (Glasses) in the Japanese version.
* 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. Same can be said for her pet Sparkle, who also isn't fond of the Ham-Hams style or the clubhouse.
* NiceHat: Cappy, he really loves his hat
* NonStandardCharacterDesign: Arguably Haibi from "Ham-Hams Ahoy!", due to having smaller eyes compared to the others. And the lots of the new hamsters that appear in the movies. Also Spat from "Ham-Ham Heartbreak" looks very different compared to the other Ham-Hams that appear in the game.
* ObliviousToLove: Hamtaro is oblivious to Bijou's feelings for him... and [[ChasteHero romance in general]], for that matter.
* {{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.
* PerpetualSmiler: Howdy is always smiling, ALWAYS!
* PromotionToParent: Pashmina is viewed as a mother figure to Penelope. She once said "Come on, Penelope dear, the play is starting!" in the episode where Sandy and the other female Ham-Hams are doing a ribbon show.
* PunnyName: Most of the Ham-Hams' names are 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
* {{Tsundere}}: In the Japan only OVA, Sparkle has a huge crush on Hamtaro but sometimes would call him an idiot or stupid.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Bijou and Pashmina's GirlyGirl to Sandy's Tomboy.
** Compared to the other female Ham-Hams, Pepper take this UpToEleven when she doesn't mind getting herself dirty and is a lot more outgoing compared to Sandy.
* 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 could "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.
* 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, Japan-only seasons. The hamsters travel to Lapis and Lazuli's world of candy and spend several episodes revisiting it.
* SurferDude:
** Stan's radical form of speech used make him look as such in the English dub of the anime.
** Broski, however, is too afraid of water to actually surf and just carries around a surfboard to impress the ladies.
* {{Tagline}}: Little hamsters, big adventures!
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: How do you tell Stan and Sandy apart? At simple sight, Sandy has a bow right above her tail. But, but if you look at them clearly on a close up, Sandy's eyes are shown to be green, while Stan's are blue; and her belly is white while 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 can only say "Ookyoo" or "Ookwee."
** Ook-Ook, a monkey type hamster can only speak in monkey language.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: One episode involved a Floppy Disc.
* ValleyGirl: Sandy in the English dub of the anime.
* VocalEvolution: Pashmina's voice started getting more deeper and started sounding more monotone in later episodes of the English dub
* 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''. Especially in the games.
** 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 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.
* 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 had 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!]]
* ThinlyVeiledDubCountryChange: ''Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!'' follows the English dub of the anime by relocating the series to America, but despite this, the first area in the game is still a Shinto shrine. Since the entire game is a MacroZone, it's not exactly easily missed, either.
* ToiletHumor: The Go-P verb. First time you see it? When you're facing a tree.
* VerbalTic: ''Ham Ham Heartbreak'' villain Deviham / Spat's "pfpth!" His angelic counterpart, Angel-chan / 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.