troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Series: Teletubbies
aka: The Teletubbies

"Have you seen these things? This planet's amazing. Television in their stomachs. Now that is evolution."

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.

Teletubbies provides examples of:

  • Arcadia
  • Aerith and Bob: Laa-Laa's name is patterned after Nala from The Lion King.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Tinky Winky.
  • 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.
  • Annoying Laugh: Again, The Face of the Sun!
  • Catch Phrase: A lot.
    • They say their own name.
    • "Over the hills and far away, Teletubbies come to play."
    • "Eh-oh!"
    • "Uh-oh!"
    • "Naughty Noo-noo!"
    • "Time for Teletubbies." "Time for Tubby Bye-bye!"
  • Christmas Episode: There are episodes where The Face of the Sun DOESN'T appear, and it snows in Teletubbyland. Some VHS releases dub the episodes with the word "Christmas" in them.
    • 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!
  • Cultural Translation: In some countries, the title has a the added at the beginning of it, such as in France.
  • Death Fic: Elementary-school kids love to kill these things off.
  • The Face of the Sun
  • Five-Man Band
  • 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.
  • The Hyena: Everyone, especially The Face of the Sun, who has such an Annoying Laugh!
  • Iconic Item: Tinky-Winky has his infamous purse, Dipsy has a cow-print hat, Laa-Laa has a big orange ball, and Po has her scooter.
  • I Do Not Speak Nonverbal: Noo-Noo. He doesn't speak and only makes slurping and sucking noises.
  • The Kiddie Ride: There's one fashioned after the Tubbytronic Superdome, and another after Noo-Noo.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Po and Tinky-Winky.
  • Meaningful Name: They all have TVs on their stomachs, hence the "tele". As for "tubbies", well they are pretty fat (and the stomach thing again).
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: Although targeted at pre-schoolers, much older kids seemed to watch this show as well... mostly out of irony, probably.
  • Narrator: Very important, since the Teletubbies themselves can't talk comprehensibly.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The Polish bear and the Funny Lady.
  • 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...
  • Pokémon Speak: All of them. See Catch Phrase.
  • Retro Active Recognition: The Asian lesbian from Metrosexuality and co-host of CBeebies is Po.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: The Nightmare Fuel Bear and Lion.
    • The Chinese Dragons.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Dipsy and Laa-Laa
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Tinky Winky (Sensitive guy) and Dipsy (Manly man)
  • She's a Man in Japan: Thought the Bear was a male? Well, in the Italian, Slovak, Swedish, Chinese and Korean dubs, she isn't.
  • Shout-Out: On the Teletubbies television transmissions, there are TVs inside the kids' houses that show other TV shows, films, and even CARTOONS.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: There's so much to list.
  • Sugar Bowl
  • Title Theme Tune/"Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Honestly, what else can they sing?
  • Token Minority: Word of God is that Dipsy is black (despite not exactly looking like it) and Po is Chinese.
    • 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).
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Po (Tomboy) and Laa-Laa (Girly girl)
  • The Unintelligible: All four of them.
  • 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.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: "Again, again again!"
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The bear and lion. By a studio featuring works without Captain Pugwash-esque animation, it's presence made it scary enough to lead to its censorship.

Time for Tubby Bye-bye
Spot the DogCreator/CBBCWizards Vs Aliens
Charlie Horse Music PizzaCreator/PBS KidsDragon Tales
Small PotatoesCreator/C BeebiesTimmy Time
Sigmund And The Sea MonstersPuppet Shows    
The Sooty ShowThe Kiddie RideThunderbirds
TeachersBritish SeriesTerrahawks

alternative title(s): Teletubbies; The Teletubbies
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
20257
36