These four freaky alien-looking children live in an astroturf paradise, guarded by shower-head looking tannoy systems which rise from the ground, are surrounded by rabbits, and live with a sentient vacuum cleaner called 'Noo Noo'. Their only sustenance is toast and pink custard, and they all speak in baby talk. They have televisions in their stomachs, which receive signals from real children via their windmill transmitter when one of them picks up a broadcast via the antennae on their heads. And the sun is a baby's head.Teletubbies originated on The BBC in 1997, but quickly became popular in the United States after being shown on PBS. The show ended in 2001 with 365 episodes.
Animals Not to Scale: Because the Teletubby costumes were huge (ten feet tall), and the setting had to be built to scale, the rabbits that were brought into populate Teletubby land were Flemish Giants, so as not emphasize the size of the costumes.
There were some actual broadcast episodes that were Christmas-themed: in these episodes, there is a fully decorated Christmas tree in Teletubby Land, and each of the Teletubbies, in separate episodes, find a present under the tree; likewise, the footage they watch on their tummy telies is of kids doing fun things for the holidays.
Conspicuous CG: The Animal Parade, the Magic Tree, the Three Boats, the Tea Party, the Dancing Bear, the Dancing Mushrooms, and the Marching Soldiers were all animated in CGI... and the show was just broadcast two years after Toy Story came out!
Death Fic: Elementary-school kids love to kill these things off.
Edited for Syndication: Episodes are pretty much tailor-made for international exports - you can have an episode on a certain educational subject (jumping, for example), but the episode's content as far as inserts go will differ from country to country.
Free-Range Children: They're supposed to be babies (just like the Target Audience), yet they live on their own with no parental care or supervision. May be justified, as they seem to be some kind of aliens; whatever species they are apparently has very precocious offspring (and a lot of help from technology), and therefore little to no need for parental involvement.
Fleeting Demographic Rule: Variant. 365 episodes were made with no defined Pilot and Grand Finale; this meant that either children would outgrow the show before they started to notice reruns between 1997 and 2001, or stop watching because the vignettes made kids crap themselves.
Gag Dub: The Bear and the Lion - the Slovak Lion is a chatterbox, the Finnish Lion is a crazy lunatic, the Finnish bear is Carribean, the Flemish Bear is a nerd, the Flemish Lion has a sore throat, and the Polish bear is an old woman.
No Fourth Wall: The Teletubbies often times greet the audience and interact with the narrator, sometimes refusing to do what the Narrator tells them to do. During one episode, the narrator said, "One day, in Teletubby Land, Laa-Laa uses the watering can." Laa-Laa giggled, and then said the exact same thing, including the "One day" part.
Parrot Exposition: This is all the Teletubbies are capable of in terms of exposition.
Perpetual Smiler: Everyone - the Teletubbies, the dragons, the baby in the sun...
It was a stunt actor allusion as well: Dipsy and Po's actors are black and Chinese in Real Life as well.
Po actually speaks Cantonese, a dialect of the Chinese language, at least in the original BBC broadcasts. This is most noticeable when she's riding her scooter (fai-ti and mun means fast and slow in Cantonese respectively). She has also been heard to count to three in Cantonese (yap, yi and sahm means one, two and three in Cantonese respectively).
Trash the Set: Teletubby Land was built on the spot of a farmer's field, who only allowed them to use the spot for a certain amount of time, so when that time was up, the producers had to tear down the set quick, fast, and in a hurry. This may, or may not, explain why in later episodes, newly created footage simply featured the Teletubbies in blank, solid-colored screens.