Franchise / Pumuckl
This is the proof that reversing Munich's main church tower clock can actually make it onto the front page.

Pumuckl is a German children's series, as well as the name of its kobold protagonist. Started as a radio series in 1961, and in the following decades, it got a book series, 33 records (for kids: what people had before CDs), three movies, three TV series, a kids magazine... and even a musical. It's about the kobold [a kind of mischievous brownie] Pumuckl, who lives in Munich in the workshop of Eder, an old joiner.

Some sites on the web about him are at and

Recurring Characters, besides the protagonist:

  • Meister Eder, the old, good-natured joiner in his pretty old workshop in a silent backyard in the middle of Munich.
  • Stürzlinger, the jerky, but docile concierge with a heavy dialect and deep voice, who believes the "backyarders" (including Eder) to be nuts.
  • Frau Eichinger, the fussy hausfrau, in her 60s and a superstitious christian.
  • Frau Hartl, the busybody, gossiping and enquiring neighbour of Eder. She is irritated by everything, and furthermore is the arch nemesis of Frau Eichinger.
  • Schwertfeger, an old friend of Eder; likes to walk his dog and owns an allotment.
  • Wimmer, an antiquary and restorer.
  • Eder's companions at the Stammisch, naturally all craftsmen, with dialect and appropriate names:
    • Bernbacher, Eder's best friend and a locksmith; believes Eder to be crazy. Has a wife who wears a wig and is bothersome.
    • Schmitt, a mechanic.
    • An old guy, who is asleep most of the time. Has to be woken by the waitress with the words, "Wake up, Grandpa. Your soup gets cold.", upon which he wakes up and nudges his benchmate with the words, "Hey, that's my spot!", even when there isn't anyone sitting next to him. Crappily dubbed over by Gustl Bayrhammer (Meister Eder himself).
  • The shrewd waitress in the local Wirtshaus (pub).

The Pumuckl series and franchise provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Whenever Pumuckl is in trouble. For example, in one TV episode, he gets sick to his stomach after drinking a bottle of medicine. His histrionics are quite funny - until Eder walks in, picks up the little guy in one hand, and completely panics at not knowing what to do.
  • Accidental Misnaming: It's a Running Gag that Eder's friend Bernbacher never gets the name of Pumuckl right.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Most lessons Pumuckl learns are forgotten by the beginning of the next episode.
  • Berserk Button: Try to bathe him, and he'll throw a temper tantrum. Also, don't confuse him with other small people from mythology - he's a kobold.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall - once he stole all the i's from a page.
  • Catch Phrase: "Oh, das reimt sich! Und was sich reimt, ist gut, haha!" (Oh, that rhymes! And anything that rhymes is good, haha!)
  • Cats Are Mean: Pumuckl hates and fears them, probably because he is small enough to be their ideal prey. For Eder, though, Everything's Cuter with Kittens, which makes for trouble when he takes one in out of the street in episode 21.
  • Celibate Hero: Eder has zero interest in romance, probably due to his age.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Some people think Eder was this, when he talks with/about his Kobold. Of course, in this case The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Pumuckl is always barefoot.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Pumuckl hates cheese (which he calls "foul milk").
  • Friend to All Children: Pumuckl sympathizes with children, being much like one himself, while they are naturally more likely to believe in him (and enjoy his pranks) than adults are.
  • German Dialects: There are translations into Swiss German and Rhenish German. In the latter, Pumuckl is renamed Fizzibitz.
  • Get Out: In episode 16, Eder evicts Pumuckl for stealing a customer's bracelet and then lying about it. Pumuckl leaves the house in tears and chooses Bernbacher as his new "target", but in the end, they miss each other too much to hold a grudge.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The TV series contains several cases of people saying sh*t and at least two of a**hole... did I mention the show is rated suitable for all ages? It should be mentioned though that rules on cursing in media are a lot more lax in Germany.
  • The Ghost: Herr Wimmer is often mentioned but never personally appears aside being conversed with on the phone (where he still remains unheard).
  • Gilligan Cut: Done very often when Eder says he is not going along with Pumuckl's requests and then does so in the next scene.
  • I Am Not Weasel: He is a kobold, but definitely not a Heinzelmännchen (little people from German fairy tales who come out at night and do household work).
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Eder's response when Pumuckl confuses the story of Hansel and Gretel for real life and demands that the children be rescued. "I'm a carpenter, not a policeman!"
  • Invisibility: Pumuckl is invisible, unless he gets caught by a human (which includes him getting stuck to a glue pot). The kobold laws state that Pumuckl has to stay with said human if this happens, which is how the series starts. Many stories are about Pumuckl being in danger of being seen by someone else but Eder, which would mean that he had to leave Eder.
  • Invisible Jerkass: Pumuckl routinely uses his invisibility to play pranks and pester people, his reasoning being that petty mischief is a kobold's natural calling.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pumuckl can be quite obnoxious and selfish at times, but his heart is ultimately in the right place.
  • Kindly Housekeeper: Frau Eichinger. Even though her superstitions combined with Pumuckl's pranks strain her nerves to the limit, she takes care of Eder to the best of her ability.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Pumuckl always wears a yellow shirt and green trousers.
  • The Movie: Several of them.
  • Name and Name: The correct title is "Meister Eder und sein Pumuckl", strictly speaking.
  • Never My Fault: Pumuckl often denies his pranks at first, much to Eder's exasperation.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Only Eder can see Pumuckl (the only exception being when Pumuckl gets stuck somewhere).
  • Oktoberfest: Set in Munich. Therefore it is well received among natives, as it loves to parody the various "backyard stereotypes" who reside in the old town of Munich.
  • The Prankster: Pumuckl, of course.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: All the time!
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: In the movies and series, except for the fully animated. Everything else is live action; Pumuckl is animated. While the live action parts were filmed in Germany, the animation was done in Hungary by Pannonia Film Studio.
  • Shout-Out: In the TV series.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Once he gets angry and decides to make a poem that doesn't rhyme at all. He succeeds, but the trope almost gets subverted when not once, not twice, but three times the first word that comes to mind is something that does rhyme.
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Sometimes when they argue, Pumuckl and Eder get so angry that they sarcastically address each other by the formal "Sie" pronoun. When they make up, they revert to the more familiar "du".
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate! (OK, who doesn't?)
  • Whale Egg: While in the zoo (TV series only), Pumuckl found an ostrich's egg and thought it was an elephant's egg.
  • You Are Grounded: Standard punishment for Pumuckl: He's confined to a drawer. (Like those in a cupboard or so.)

The 1994 movie Pumuckl und der blaue Klabauter provides examples of:

  • Being Evil Sucks: The titular Blue Klabauter, living invisibly on a cruise ship, has gotten sick of his own brooding company and wants a servant on whom to let out his moods.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Pumuckl has to choose between learning magic from a talented, if nasty, member of his own species and going back to his human guardian.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Karl-Heinz Bradtke, one of the cruise passengers carries a notebook to write down complaints about everything in sight, but he clearly loves his daughter, and he mellows considerably under the influence of Frau Riedinger.
  • Love Triangle: Martin the steward and Odessi the cook compete over the beautiful Carolin Bradtke.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Pumuckl, if the antagonist in this movie is anything to go by. The Blue Klabauter plays tricks on humans not for the joy of it, but because he genuinely hates them.
  • Not So Different: "Klabauter" are said to love the ocean, but neither Pumuckl nor the Blue Klabauter fit that image. Pumuckl is afraid of water in any form, and the Blue Klabauter (despite living on a ship and wearing an elaborate navy uniform) hides in a chest because he suffers from seasickness.
  • Opposites Attract: Herr Bradtke and Blithe Spirit Frau Riedinger.
  • The Power of Love: Explicitly evoked by the little bed that Eder carved for Pumuckl in episode 2 of the TV series. Eder sends it to Pumuckl via a friend's grandchildren, who stow away on board the ship. Pumuckl hides in the bed while running from the Blue Klabauter, who is furious to find that he cannot touch it.
  • Retcon: While it had always been firmly established that Pumuckl could not leave Eder even if he had wanted to (due to "Kobold Law"), the 1994 movie ignored this so that Pumuckl could run away to make a river cruise on the Danube. Also, he leaves Odessi, his new "master", to go back to Eder in the end.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Kobolds can apparently talk to seagulls.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Pumuckl's fear of the water is severely tested by the Blue Klabauter, who demands to see him jump in the ocean, to prove himself worthy of learning magic. He nearly drowns, but Odessi saves him, and he (Pumuckl) comes back to give the Blue Klabauter a piece of his mind.