[[caption-width-right:300:[[ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs This is your show on magic...]] [[spoiler:Or LSD.]]]]

->''"H.R. Pufnstuf, who's your friend when things get rough?''\\
''H.R. Pufnstuf, can't do a little cause he can't do enough."''

First in a long line of surreal and sometimes disturbing offerings from SidAndMartyKrofftProductions. The show premiered in 1969 and was rerun until 1971. To get an idea as to what you're in for, we turn to VH-1's "I Love the '70s" show, and their description of ''H.R. Pufnstuf'':

->'''Greg Proops''': "So, the deal with H.R. Pufnstuf is, Sid and Marty Krofft did a lot of drugs back in the '70s when they were given a TV show..."

For a more technical description, read on.

Jimmy, a young boy with a [[BritishAccents British accent]] and [[ElmuhFuddSyndwome the world's most annoying speech impediment]], is abducted by the sinister and disturbingly Oedipal witch Witchiepoo in a gambit to snatch his magical talking golden flute. Her plan involves tricking both boy and flute into riding inside a boat that at first looks lovely and inviting, then turns sinister and violent. Yes, really.

''But Pufnstuf was watching too, and knew exactly what to do...''

Jimmy is rescued by H.R. Pufnstuf, a large {{muppet}} who serves as mayor of Living Island, a bizarre place where [[EverythingTalks everything, even the trees, are "alive"]]. (Yes, we know. Here "living" basically means "anthropomorphic" or "sentient".)

The short series (seventeen episodes aired) followed the adventures of Jimmy, Puf and Freddie [the flute], as they made various attempts to smuggle Jimmy off the island while staying clear of Witchiepoo and her henchmen. A [[TheMovie film version]], featuring guest stars Martha Raye and Cass Elliot, appeared in 1970, a year after the show's premiere.

To say that ''H.R. Pufnstuf'' was disturbing is like saying the ocean is wet. There is just something almost seductively creepy about the whole thing, from Jimmy's constant prancing and the [[AmbiguouslyGay vaguely homoerotic relationship]] among boy, flute, and muppet, to the bizarrely twisted maternal figure of the witch, to the generally drug-induced artistic design of the costumes and sets. [[THCTheater This is not a show to watch sober.]]

As a historical note, the basic design and characters of UsefulNotes/McDonalds [="McDonaldland"=] commercials were blatantly plagiarized from ''H.R. Pufnstuf'' in 1971 after the Krofft brothers refused to license the ''Pufnstuf'' characters for use in a [=McDonald's=] commercial campaign. The Kroffts sued in 1973, and won the case in 1977. For more information, see [[http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a990827.html this article]] at Cecil Adams' ''The Straight Dope'', or [[http://www.coolcopyright.com/cases/chp5/kroftmcdonalds.htm this one]] at coolcopyright.com. However, the Kroffts themselves were sued by the singer-songwriter Music/PaulSimon who argued successfully in court that the show's ThemeSong [[SuspiciouslySimilarSong sounded too much like his song]], "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)," and the court settlement included Simon getting a mention in the credits.

* AbortedArc: The gang's mission to help Jimmy get off Living Island and return home seems to have been forgotten by episode twelve.
** Which leads to a case of FridgeHorror. The SeriesFinale doesn't resolve Jimmy's desire to get back home, and is instead presented as a ClipShow. TheMovie doesn't deal with this either, instead it retells the story of how Jimmy got onto the island. The only thing the viewer can assume from this evidence is that [[DownerEnding Jimmy never found his way home]].
** Then again, Jimmy seems pretty happy on Living Island; everyone there loves him except for Witchiepoo and she's hardly a credible threat anyway.
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation
* AnimateInanimateObject: Living Island is populated by talking books, talking buildings, talking clocks and even talking test tubes.
* AscendedExtra: Stupid Bat was the least-used of all of Witchiepoo's henchmen, only appearing in the odd episode, but in TheMovie he's a fairly major character throughout.
** Also, in the later Krofft series, ''Horror Hotel'', Stupid Bat is also an employee of Witchiepoo's inn.
** Both Sid and Marty seem to like mentioning Stupid Bat in their interviews and anecdotes about the series.
* BarefootCartoonAnimals: Cling and Clang.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Jimmy and Pufnstuf do this straight after the EndingTheme.
--> '''Jimmy''': See you next week!\\
'''Pufnstuf''': [[FourthWallMailSlot Keep those cards and letters comin'!]]
* CartoonCreature: It's never been exactly clear to many fans as to just what kind of creatures Cling and Clang are, however, [[WordOfGod one of Marty Krofft's daughters has said]] that they're not creatures at all, but rather, ''bells'' (hence their names). When one considers ''everything'' is alive on Living Island, including a family of clocks, talking candy, among other things, it's not a stretch to believe.
* TheCastShowoff: Jack Wild, having played the Artful Dodger in ''Theatre/{{Oliver}}'', was a good singer and dancer, and so nearly every episode had Jimmy singing a song and/or doing some kind of casual dance. The other characters would sometimes join in for a sung line or two, or as the chorus, but Jimmy got more solo songs than everyone else on the show put together.
** In fact, ''HR. Pufnstuf'' was actually created as a vehicle for Jack Wild due to his rapid ascension to TeenIdol status in the US (he'd already been fairly well-known for a few years in his native England). This explains why so many of the songs centre around Jimmy.
* ClipShow: The SeriesFinale "Jimmy Who?"
* CoolCar: Pufnstuf's fire truck, driven by Cling or Clang.
* CousinOliver: Googy Gopher is a variant of this; he didn't appear in the series proper but showed up out of nowhere in TheMovie to play a fairly important part in the resolution of the plot. The main reason for his inclusion seems to have been to give Creator/BillyBarty a role in the movie.
* CrossOver: Witchiepoo once appeared on ''Series/{{Lidsville}}'' as [=HooDoo=]'s date.
** The 1973 live stage show ''H.R. Pufnstuf & The Brady Kids Live at the Hollywood Bowl''. While the Brady Kids themselves are little more than a glorified opening act, there's a lot of crossover between ''Pufnstuf'' and ''Lidsville'' during the main show.
* CrowdSong: Occurs OnceAnEpisode.
* DemBones: Witchiepoo's guards are armored skeletons. Dr. Blinky also has a talking skull.
* EasyAmnesia: The FramingDevice used for the ClipShow format in "Jimmy Who?" after Jimmy receives a TapOnTheHead from a coconut.
* ElectionDayEpisode: "The Almost Election of Mayor Witchiepoo".
* EndingTheme: A catchy funk-inspired one is sung by a Tina Turner {{expy}} in contrast to the series' opening theme.
* ExpositoryThemeTune: And it's over two minutes long, which gets a little obnoxious by the sixth episode or so.
** And this is probably why the recent re-release of the complete series on DVD cuts the theme straight to the main titles for the last several episodes.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: In getting Jimmy back home. After all, the show is basically just ''GilligansIsland'' on ''even more'' drugs.
* FlyingBroomstick: Witchiepoo's Vroom Broom.
* ForgottenBirthday: "The Birthday Party".
* GiantSpider: Seymour.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Witchiepoo.
* IslandOfMystery: Living Island.
* IWantSong: The "Back Home" song from "The Magic Path" and "If I Could" from the opening to the movie.
* LargeHam: Witchiepoo.
** ''"WHY MEEEEEEE?!"''
* LaughTrack
** Interestingly, this also turns into a case of LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn, as some of the episodes (mostly earlier installments) include the laugh track ''during the closing credits''.
* LeastRhymableWord: Witchiepoo's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDoSl-M5tmM song]] in "Show Biz Witch".
* {{MacGuffin}}: For Witchiepoo, it's Freddie the golden flute. For Jimmy, it's the Golden Key which unlocks the Golden Door (a secret way off Living Island) in the episode "The Golden Key".
* TheMovie: Chiefly memorable for Cass Elliot's song, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZPuISbBZSg Different]]," and for her sitting in a bathtub filled with fruit.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Ludicrous Lion is a thinly veilled stand-in for W. C. Fields, Witchiepoo's guardian trees seem to be imitating Bela Lugosi, and other impersonations abound.
* NonHumanSidekick: Witchiepoo's henchmen. Freddie the Flute also counts as this for Jimmy.
* OnlySaneMan: Pufnstuf arguably has more sense than most of Living Island's inhabitants combined.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: That's what Pufnstuf is supposed to be, believe it or not.
* OvernightAgeUp: Happens in "Dinner For Two" when the Clock Family's plot to send Jimmy back in time [[GoneHorriblyWrong goes horribly wrong]]. Witchiepoo mistakes older Jimmy for an old man, falls in love with him, and HilarityEnsues.
* TheOwlKnowingOne: Dr. Blinky.
* PaperThinDisguise: Both the good and bad guys were fond of using these to their advantage. One particular example stands out: in "Show Biz Witch," Witchie, Orson, and Seymour don orange bedsheets covered with oranges, with Witchiepoo also wearing a pair of large orange sunglasses, and pass themselves off as..."The Three Oranges." Even better is that in "The Birthday Party"--not five episodes later--they pull the ''exact same trick'', only they use yellow sheets instead of orange and call themselves "The Three Lemons."
* ParentalBonus: [[SubvertedTrope With a twist]]: it's not so much a "bonus" as "the show is a whole lot more disturbing if you're an adult."
* PeopleInRubberSuits
* ProductionForeshadowing: TheMovie has a few nods to the Kroffts' then-upcoming series, ''Series/TheBugaloos''. This included Martha Raye (who plays Benita Bizarre in the show) as Boss Witch, a preview of the design for Benita's rat henchman, Funky Rat (in the form of Boss Witch's henchman, Heinrich), and Witchiepoo disguising herself as hippie dance instructor named Betsy Bugaloo.
* {{Retcon}} / AlternateContinuity: Watch series opener "The Magic Path". Now watch TheMovie, which was produced shortly afterwards. Apart from the events thath occurred in the TV show's ExpositoryThemeTune, there is little in common in how Jimmy's first experiences on Living Island are portrayed.
* {{Robinsonade}}
* ShortRunner: The series only had seventeen episodes in total. The only reason most people believe it to be longer was because it had been {{rerun}} for so long.
* SignificantMonogram: Pufnstuf's "H.R" title stands for "Highness Royal". Why? Because Living Island folk don't do things in a typical order. It also implies that the status of "Mayor" on the island is akin to being Head of State.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: And it's a fascinating case indeed given that the only named female character who has a major speaking role in every episode is the villain!
* {{Spinoff}}: The Krofft Supershow featured a segment called "Horror Hotel", with Witchiepoo running the titular hotel along with Seymour, Orson, and Stupid Bat, although for some reason, Dr. Blinky ([[FaceHeelTurn was originally one of the good guys]]), and Hoodoo (the lead villain from ''Series/{{Lidsville}}'') appeared as well.
* StockFootage: The movie features a rather obvious example during the "Living Island" number, where the "world" insert is just the Universal logo cut off just before any text appears.
* StopTrick
* SurroundedByIdiots: Witchiepoo's bungling henchmen, Orson and Seymour.
* TalentShow: Occurs in "Show Biz Witch", when Pufnstuf and Jimmy use it to raise money for a new pogo stick.
* ThoseWackyNazis: Benita Bizarre (from ''Series/TheBugaloos'') {{Expy}} Boss Witch's (she's even played by the same actress in Martha Raye) rat henchman, Heinrich (actually Funky Rat, also from ''The Bugaloos''), who wears a Gestapo-type uniform.
* {{Undercrank}}
* VanillaEdition: The BigDamnMovie of the series has had only one DVD release in 2009 (in succession with the Kroffts' ''[[Film/LandOfTheLost Land of the Lost]]'' [[Film/LandOfTheLost movie]]), and contains nothing other than the feature itself and one theatrical trailer.
* WickedWitch: Witchiepoo, who would take it as a compliment.
* WidgetSeries: Most definitely.
* WigDressAccent: Everyone at some point, but especially Witchiepoo and company as the singing groups "The Three Oranges" and "The Three Lemons".