Literature / Horrid Henry

"Nah nah nee nah nah!"

Horrid Henry is a long-running book series by the American-born British author Francesca Simon that began in 1994 and still continues to this day. (As of 2014, it's waiting for its 21st issue.)

Each book contains four stories that gave the reader an insight into the life of a mischievous and rowdy primary school student called Henry and his antics in school and at home. There are occasional Day in the Limelight chapters in which a story is told about another character; this was usually about Henry's younger brother Perfect Peter, who is the complete opposite of him and implied to be the favourite child of their parents.

The book series became really popular in the Turn of the Millennium and spawned an animated TV series in 2006 (which continues today) that mostly adapted some of the short stories into ten-minute episodes, before making episodes of its own in The New Tens after they ran out of stories to adapt.

This was then followed by a live-action 2011 movie adaption named Horrid Henry: The Movie in which it was up to Henry and his friends to save the school from being in the hands of a cruel private school principal.

You can catch up on the new Horrid Henry projects on the official website.

    Current Books 
  • Horrid Henry (1994)
  • Horrid Henry and the Secret Club (1995)
  • Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy (1996)
  • Horrid Henry's Nits (1997)
  • Horrid Henry Gets Rich Quick (1998)
  • Horrid Henry's Haunted House (1999)
  • Horrid Henry and the Mummy's Curse (2000)
  • Horrid Henry's Revenge (2001)
  • Horrid Henry and the Bogey Babysitter (2002)
  • Horrid Henry's Stinkbomb (2002)
  • Horrid Henry's Underpants (2003)
  • Horrid Henry Meets The Queen (2004)
  • Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine (2005)
  • Horrid Henry and the Football Fiend (2006)
  • Horrid Henry's Christmas Cracker (2006)
  • Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman (2007)
  • Horrid Henry Robs The Bank (2008)
  • Horrid Henry Wakes the Dead (2009)
  • Horrid Henry Rocks (2010)
  • Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampire (2011)
  • Horrid Henry's Monster Movie (2012)

Horrid Henry contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: In a way, Henry's parents are this towards Henry, showing obvious favoritism with Peter.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Henry's Great Aunt Greta calls him Henrietta, as she thinks he's a girl due to her senility.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Margaret's hair colour changed from brown in the books to pink in the animated series.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Everyone's nickname; Horrid Henry, Sour Susan, Perfect Peter, etc.
  • Adults Are Useless
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Subverted in Horrid Henry, Horrid Headmaster, when he becomes the headmaster of Ashton Primary.
  • Always Someone Better: In Horrid Henry and the Dinner Guest, Mum's boss, Mr. Mossy, reveals to Henry that he was a lot like him in his childhood and discovered that sooner or later you'll find someone better than yourself.
  • An Aesop: Don't know if this is considered a Family-Unfriendly Aesop, but in Horrid Henry's Hobby from the Haunted House book, he knocked down an entire box of "Sweet Treats" after opening them to find the Golden Gizmo for a competition. His family were forced to buy every packet in the supermarket and banned from the store for life. So the basic aesop is "Don't open cereal packets in shops" — an odd aesop if there was one...
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Perfect Peter.
  • Anti-Hero/Anti Rolemodel: Horrid Henry.
    • Perfect Peter is a bit of an Anti Rolemodel himself. He's well behaved, but is so obnoxious about it that in real life very few people would want to interact with him.
  • Babysitter from Hell: Rabid Rebecca.
  • Big Eater:
    • Greedy Graham for definite.
    • Greasy Greta: the Demon Dinner Lady, who eats food that isn't considered healthy from kids' lunchboxes.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Perfect Peter enjoys seeing Henry get into trouble, and tries to provoke him into bullying him when Henry's trying to behave himself.
  • Book Dumb: Henry.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Horrid Henry and Moody Margaret.
  • Big Brother Bully: Henry, to Peter.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Henry has his moments of this towards Peter, despite the above. He once saved him from a falling bookcase, and has taken the blame for him at times.
  • Brick Joke: In one episode where Henry fakes illness to stay home from school, his mother gets sick too. Since someone arrives to say the water is being shut off, his mother tells him to fill up the bathtub and pots with water before it's all shut off entirely. As Henry is trying to fill up the bathtub with water, the water is shut off. (But he didn't turn the tap off!) At the end of the episode when his dad arrives, it proceeds to get flooded.
  • Cain and Abel: Henry is the Cain to Peter's Abel but is the Abel to Steve's Cain.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Beefy Bert's "I dunno."
    • From the Happy Hippos TV show, there was, "We're happy, we're clappy, we're the Happy Hippos."
    • Gross Class Zero TV show had, "Snot, bogies, fart, poo! We're all sick and so are you!"
    • Horrid Henry's "It's not fair!" or "Nah nah nee nah nah!"
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Rabid Rebecca. Henry's warned by all his friends about her horrible antics before she even sets foot on his street.
  • Eyes Always Shut: In "Horrid Henry Reads a Book", Henry decides to make up various "Happy Nappy" stories for the competition to write the most book reports, saying that Miss Battle-Axe can't have read all the books in the world. He makes up stories about Happy Nappies in various places around the world such as Happy Nappies in Germany, Paris, New York, Japan, Australia, and Canada. The Japanese Happy Nappy just happens to have closed eyes.
  • Fragile Flower: Weeping William, who sobs at the drop of a hat.
  • Game Show Appearance: Fake game show 2Cool4School features in the film version.
    • It also appears in two episodes of Series 3 of the TV series. Strangely, only the opening sequence is shown on both occasions.
  • Gasshole: Rude Ralph, in some cases, who is implied to sometimes do it on purpose
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Henry and his friends collected Gizmos once, with the Gold Gizmo being the most prized. The Gizmo is the focus of a book story, a TV episode, and an online game, Horrid Henry 2, where Henry has to take all 30 of Peter's Gizmos.
  • Go to Your Room: Henry often gets this punishment.
  • Gray and Grey Morality
  • Imagine Spot: Henry often gets one, usually involving him turning into a predatory animal and harassing Peter.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Gorgeous Gurinder.
  • Jerkass: Several, including Horrid Henry and Rabid Rebecca.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Henry has his moments.
  • Karma Houdini: Henry usually receives his comeuppance, but there are plenty of times when he doesn't.
    • There are also some others who don't get any comeuppance.
  • Kid Com
  • Kids Are Cruel: Don't mess with most of the kids in Henry's class. It mightn't end well.
  • Lovable Rogue/Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Henry is perhaps the king of these tropes.
  • Meaningful Name: Hear a character's nickname and you know what they're about.
  • Momma's Boy: Perfect Peter.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Miss Battle-Axe.
  • Naughty Is Good: Occasionally plays in Henry's favor.
  • No Fourth Wall: The animated series just completely throws the fourth wall away, with Henry and the other characters constantly addressing and explaining things to the audience. Also broken in the movie, but not as much as the series.
  • Nosy Neighbour: Moody Margaret can't keep her big nose out of other people's business. Especially Henry's.
  • Parental Favoritism: Perfect Peter, especially to his mother.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: Played for Laughs when it comes to Henry's parents, who sometimes aren't above their own little immature feuds with their siblings, as well as their own parents.
  • Parrot Exposition: Sometimes, Sour Susan repeats every deadpan snark that Moody Margaret gives to Henry and his friends. It's more so in the TV series, though.
  • Phrase Catcher/Title Drop: His parents commonly use, "Don't be Horrid, Henry!"
  • Protagonist Title
  • Long-Running Book Series: Been running since 1994, currently 20 books with a 21st coming soon.
  • Remake Cameo: Elizabeth Waterworth-Santo, who voices Henry in the animated series, has a non-speaking cameo in the movie as Nitty Nora the nit nurse.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Whenever Henry doubts himself, he reminds himself of all his other adventures from the other stories in which he was victorious. This also doubles as a Call Back.
  • Rich Bitch:
    • Henry's cousin Stuck-Up Steve, who is also a male Alpha Bitch.
    • Moody Margaret can be this too, even though she lives in the same working-class house as Henry.
    • Dad's manager's son, Bossy Bill, who Henry meets on Take Your Child to Work Day at Dad's office job.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang
  • Speech Impediment: Lisping Lily.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Rabid Rebecca.
  • The Unfavorite: Horrid Henry can be seen as this sometimes.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Vomiting Vera's whole gimmick.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/HorridHenry