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"It's Hamtaro time! Kushi-kushi ticky-ticky WHOO!"

Hamtaro (Tottoko Hamutaro in Japan) is an anime series based on a series of children's books of the same name by Ritsuko Kawai. The focus is a group of adorable hamsters—Hamtaro and his Ham-Ham buddies lead exciting adventures while his owner Laura is off at school having her own adventures.

It ran from 2000 to 2006 on TV Tokyo and lasted for nearly 300 episodes, only 104 of which were translated into English and aired on Cartoon Network. It later spawned a spin-off series of five-minute episodes known as "Tottoko Hamutaro Hai!", which aired on the various incarnations of TV Tokyo's weekday morning variety show NoriSuta. There were also four movies, none of which made it overseas.

It also spawned six handheld video games which, although largely obscure to those not familiar with the series, were considered to be rather good games for licensed media.

Hamtaro was initially featured on Toonami, Cartoon Network's block specifically created for action-based shows. The show also aired on Fox Kids in Europe.

The Japanese version of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns contains Hamtaro as an unlockable pet, however he was removed in international versions due to licensing issues.

A new series named Tottoko Hamtaro Dechu note  has been aired; however, it's only a rebroadcast with a handful of new scenes.

Hamtaro contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Jingle never gets Hamtaro's name right, much to Hamtaro's annoyance.note  Subverted in one of the Japanese-only episodes where he does get Hamtaro's name right for once. But it's eventually double subverted later on in the same episode.
    • Laura's Grandfather also had trouble getting Hamtaro's name right. He eventually did.
  • Acid-Trip Dimension:
    • The movies usually take place in one of these.
      • The first movie gives us the titular "Ham-Ham Land," an amusement park dimension inhabited by a society of hamsters, a fairy/hamster hybrid, and a shapeshifting wizard hamster who collects seeds.
      • The fourth film's antagonist, Ayayamu, seems to reside in some kind of giant library in space, where she does nothing but write stories with her Magic Quill given to her by the God of Books.
    • Later seasons introduce Sweet Paradise, a land made entirely out of giant magic candy that is completely safe for hamsters to eat.
  • Alpha Bitch: Sparkle and her owner Glitter. Both soften up a bit and become type-A Tsundere in the later seasons.
  • Alternate Continuity: Hai and Dechu don't continue where the main series left off. Oxnard is still living with Kana, and Lapis and Lazuli are not present.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The English version uses two opening songs different from the Japanese version. However, it does use the tune of the first Japanese ending theme.
  • Animal Talk: The hamsters are mostly seen talking with each other. Other animals can't talk. Usually the hamsters have to keep themselves silent around humans.
  • Art Evolution: It is very noticeable, when you compare the first opening and the second opening of the anime series, with the opening used for the later shorts produced after the original anime ended. The hamsters went from squarish designs to peanut-shaped ones before ending up with bodies smaller than their heads and slightly bigger mouse-like ears.
    • The 1999 OVA adaptation "Tottoko Hamutaro: Anime Dechu!" had very different designs for all of the Ham-Hams (notably Penelope, Sandy, and Howdy). A notable difference is that some of the Ham-Hams had different colored fur, different eyes, and some were fully clothes. Their 1999 designs in general were very different from their finalized designs for the 2000s anime.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: While the hamsters themselves wouldn't know this, too many sunflower seeds are very bad for a small animal's liver. And be advised: real-life hamsters behave nothing like the characters in this show. In reality, a lost or escaped hamster will happily live a feral life for as long as it can find food with no thought to returning home. All of them would try to kill or mate with one another upon meeting note  And then of course there's all the little clothes and accessories they wear, which would get in the way on a real hamster.
    • At the end of episode 24, Laura lets Hamtaro sleep on her bed. You can guess why that would be a bad idea.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Mr. Yoshi went from just Laura and Kana's teacher to a character with a small spread out arc about him and Charlotte's relationship. Maria also became Laura's friend after the latter ran away from home.
    • A few characters of the day show up now and again for cameo or plot reasons.
  • Balloon Belly:
    • After finally returning to the clubhouse in "The Precious Letter!", Boss stuffs himself silly with sunflower seeds given to him by Bijou and Pashmina.
    • In Adventures in Ham Land, Hamtaro suspects that Laura has been neglecting him. One of the ways he tries forgetting about her is by pigging out at a sunflower sushi restaurant. He becomes so fat that he can barely walk out the door.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Laura's parents when they were younger. Comes off as quite the surprise, considering how they border in Sickeningly Sweethearts.
  • Big Damn Movie: The early series is a gentle slice-of-life show, while the movies are fantasy quests with high stakes.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Laura's dog Brandy is normal-sized, but he has this role in regards to the Ham-Hams. Hamtaro himself often rides on his back.
  • Butt-Monkey: Usually Boss but sometimes Dexter and Howdy get this treatment. It also often happens to Stan due to his arrogance and/or flirting blowing up in his face. Among the humans, Mr. Yoshi.
  • The Cameo: The members of Mini-moni, who perform the theme songs to the first three movies, also make an appearance in the movies as the In-Universe pop group Mini-Hams. In addition to this, the members of Morning Musume also make an appearance in the second movie.
  • Cats Are Mean: They are to hamsters, anyway. The first theme song even brags about the fact!
  • Chick Magnet: Bijou, her friend Oshare from France, and Sparkle all have crushes on Hamtaro. Unfortunately, he's far too clueless to notice. And then there is Travis on the humans' side.
  • Cloudcuckooland: Djungle-Bell Island, home of the Djungarians. They're all hamsters who dress up as other animals (and sometimes objects). They determine the next "king" of their island by playing games, and the winner gets to be the next king. Said king then gets to choose the next game, and so on and so forth. This leads to multiple characters becoming king within a single episode.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Jingle. While he is a considerably more mellow example, his nonsensical poetry, strange advice, and obliviousness to danger or urgency usually results in the other Ham-Hams viewing him as weird.
  • Crossover: Lady Oscar makes a surprise appearance as the nurse in "The Animal Hospital".
  • Crossdresser : Boss is this occasionally in the Japanese version. Originally he only did it when acting as the "nurse chief" of the Ham-Ham Nurse Team (though none of the other boys were part of it, so it's unknown why Bijou wouldn't have been the nurse chief), but later on he seems more than eager to cross-dress for other reasons, including: pretending to be a girl to attract Flora's presumed fiancé so she wouldn't have to marry him (it turned out that the male monkey Pepe was to marry a female monkey, and Flora wasn't getting married, but still), dressing like a girl for Sparkle's show, and dressing as a female ninja in the final Nin-Ham episode (complete with makeup, which is strange since he always dressed as a male ninja previously).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dexter would always leave comments when ever Howdy would make a joke or gives his own ideas to the other Ham-Hams.
  • Demoted to Extra: Even though they're counted as main characters, Sandy, Stan, Maxwell, Cappy, Panda and even Snoozer shows up once in a blue moon in later seasons. Occasionally, they will have episodes and sometimes spoken lines but they're not necessary to the story other than filler.
  • Denser and Wackier: Later seasons had much more fantastical elements, including the magical hamsters Lapis and Lazuli, their world of candy, and Harmony and Spat, an angel and devil hamster respectively.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: All of the Mini-Hams' musical numbers in the movies. They come out of nowhere, usually don't have anything to do with the plot, and use 3D-animated models for the characters, much like in an idol anime (fitting, as the Mini-Hams are based on the real-life Japanese idol group, Mini-Moni).
    • The fourth film gives us one by Ayayamu, as the Mini-Hams are absent throughout the movie.
  • Dream Episode:
    • There are several episodes where Laura and Hamtaro are dreaming where Laura and the Ham-Hams would play a character depending on the story. One episode in particular ("The Legend of the Courageous Hamtaro!") is where Laura is a princess and Hamtaro and the other Ham-Hams are the guards and Boss plays a villain. Another episode is based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, where Laura is Snow White and some of the Ham-Hams are the seven dwarfs. Also Laura can communicate with the other Ham-Hams including Hamtaro himself.
    • A slightly different variation occurs in Episode 198, which involves Hamtaro and his friends entering Snoozer's dream through Lazuli's portal in order to defeat a dream eating creature known as a Baku.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The 1999 OVA has some key differences, notably, Hamtaro sometimes wears a pink sweater, Maxwell wears overalls, Sandy wears pants, Penelope is a boy and his blanket only covers his head, Dexter doesn't have a bowtie, Cappy's hat is blue, Howdy's apron is purple, Boss and Stan are nowhere to be found, and Hamtaro's owner is a girl named Natsumi who owns a dog named Wanta instead of Laura/Hiroko and Brandy.
  • Eaten Alive: One of the later seasons' finale had an episode named "Sweet Worm Surprise!", where the Ham-Hams traveled to Lapis and Lazuli's world of candy and were eaten by a worm that lived there. In the following episode, Boss had to free them.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Bijou is given a french accent in the English dub provided by the lovely actress Chantal Strand
  • The Faceless: Due to her shyness, Penelope is only ever seen under cover of a yellow blanket. Subverted in the intro sequence, however, as her blanket flies up to briefly reveal brown and white fur. It also gets subverted in the official guide, which includes an illustration of how she really looks like. At least one of the toy releases also allowed you to remove the blanket and see the ham-ham underneath.
  • Fantastic Racism: In the dub version only, it seems like an insult to be compared to or being called a gerbil or a guinea pig.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: Penelope is the naive one, Sandy is the tomboy, Bijou is the pretty one, and Pashmina is the motherly Cool Big Sis.
  • Free-Range Pets: Played with. The very small, prey animal characters do run around willy-nilly, but their owners don't notice. The exception to this is Gelato's owner, who does let his hamster run around on her own.
  • Gag Dub: While not played straight in the English dub, this seems apparent mostly with the Ham-Hams' point of view.
  • Genki Girl: Sparkle became this in later appearances, where she has a crush on Hamtaro and Bijou is jealous of her.
  • Gratuitous French: In the English dub, Bijou would sometimes add various French words to her sentences such as "Ooh là là" or "Bonjour".
  • Handy Man: Panda serves this role and is usually seen repairing or fixing things in the clubhouse
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sparkle started out very mean and a little bossy in her debut episode. In the later Japan-only episodes, she's a lot less mean, more optimistic and a little bit silly.
  • Happily Married: Laura's parents.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: They used an original song titled "Happy Ham-Ham Birthday."
  • Heavy Sleeper: There's Snoozer, whose name obviously lampshades it. And Laura's dog, Brandy who is almost always seen sleeping in his doggy house, until Hamtaro asks him for help.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The ham-hams usually hide in trees, bushes or high atop of buildings but sometimes they hide in places in where a person should really be easy to spot them such as on Brandy's head or on a jungle gym.
  • Iconic Item: A majority of Ham-Hams have iconic items or accessories that they are never seen without.
  • Image Song:
    • The Japanese version is full of them, mostly sung by Ham-Hams that are major characters and that are featured as such in promotional material and or events.
    • The 4th movie give us "Tensai Let's Go! Ayayamu" for Ayayamu as an image song that gets also featured in the credits.
    • The dub has its own spin on "Kuru Kuru" (a Stan and Sandy's song), as well as a few of the songs from the Birthday OVA. Strangely enough, there's an Italian album that has image songs sung by Cristina D'Avena that features songs about several of the Ham-Hams including Panda and Snoozer, both of whom never got their own songs in the Japanese version.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Sabu has a pigeon girlfriend named Françoise
    • Penelope's first crush is Kylie's cousin, Ethan. She later moved onto a rabbit from Ethan and Mimi's kindergarten. Later in the series she started to get a crush on Jingle's pig, Herbert.
  • The Idiot from Osaka: Howdy.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Boss at times can be quite temperamental, especially if he's thinking about Bijou. However, don't think for a second that he won't go out of his way to help his friends.
    • On the human side, we have Roberto.
  • Keet: Cappy gets excited very easily.
  • Kodomomuke: Only the hamsters, the humans on the other hand are more for older kids, as what Laura and Kana go through (like Laura's crush with Travis).
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The series moved from a slice of life series to a kids' fantasy series in later seasons, prompted by the introduction of Lapis and Lazuli and Sweet Paradise, a world made of candy. The final seasons dialed this back, though it had occasional fantastic episodes.
  • Love Triangle: Howdy and Dexter both have a crush on Pashmina. Whenever one of them gets a chance to impress her, they always compete with each other to see who gets to her first. But they would mostly get interrupted by Penelope. Boss is in love with Bijou, who later falls for Hamtaro, who is completely Oblivious to Love.
  • Mascot's Name Goes Unchanged: Despite the English dub taking place in America, the protagonist Hamtaro has the same name as he does in the original.
  • The Movie: There are four of them, in fact. None of them were ever released outside of Japan.
  • The Moving Experience:
    • Twice. Both instances very close to being averted. The first time this happens, in "Farewell Bijou!", ended with Maria's parents deciding to not move after all. The second time is in the Japan-only episode "Tottoko o Wakare! Chika Hausu", which it has Hamtaro as the one who is moving away, but, again, the Haruna family decided against moving at last minute, as well.
    • However, it is unfortunately averted with Travis, who really ended up moving in the Japan-only episode "Tottoko Tabidachi! Haru no Kaze". Poor Laura...
  • Nerd Glasses: Dexter's fur is in the shape of a pair of glasses. This is also the reason why he is called "Megane" (Glasses) in the Japanese version.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Glitter. Onstage, she's a bubbly J-pop singer with sweet lyrics. Offstage, she's a sharp-tongued, egotistical bitch, and tries to drive Travis away from Laura so he can spend time with her. Same can be said for her pet Sparkle, who also isn't fond of the Ham-Hams style or the clubhouse.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the English dub, Don Brown based Elder Ham's voice on some characters voiced by the late great Bill Thompson.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In "Hamtaro and the Space Ship!", Jingle scares the Ham-Hams into thinking Oxnard was abducted by aliens. After Oxnard turns up, the Ham-Hams deliver one to Jingle.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair:
    • Jingle has hair that resembles a tiny Mohawk.
    • Pepper has long pigtails .
    • Both Lapis and Lazuli have blond hair, while Lapis's hair is mostly covered by a hood.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Arguably Haibi from "Ham-Hams Ahoy!", due to having smaller eyes compared to the others. And the lots of the new hamsters that appear in the movies. Also Spat from "Ham-Ham Heartbreak" looks very different compared to the other Ham-Hams that appear in the game.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In "Bijou's Favorite Ribbon", Cappy steals a ribbon from Bijou while she naps so the Ham-Hams can play Blindman's Bluff. When Bijou discovers Hamtaro wearing it as a blindfold, she immediately thinks he's the one who swiped it.
  • Oblivious to Love: Hamtaro is oblivious to Bijou's feelings for him... and romance in general, for that matter.
  • Ojou: Both Maria and her hamster Bijou.
  • Official Couple: Maxwell/Sandy and Oxnard/Pepper. The series finale in Japan ends with the latter couple getting married.
  • Once per Episode: Laura's journal entry followed by Hamtaro's "Heke!" at the end of every episode.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Yamihamuryuku is the main antagonist in "Adventures in Ham-Ham Land" and is some bizarre cat-looking hamster that transforms into a dragon.
  • Our Fairies Are Different:
    • Yosei-san is usually a small fairy that's smaller than baby Penelope but can transform into a doll sized human with hamster ears.
    • Crystal from movie 3 is a Snow Fairy and can also transform into a human with hamster ears.
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • Bijou has a crush on Hamtaro and is prone to jealousy if she thinks or knows another girl likes him. However, in the 2nd movie, she shows no signs of disappointment when Princess Cye-ra announces that she wants to marry Hamtaro.
    • In the 3rd movie Bijou is oddly cold to her friends in the opening. She responds to their friendly greeting with a reluctant hello and then walks away from them with her nose in the air. Vastly different behaviour to her Spoiled Sweet personality from the series.
  • Parental Bonus: Lots, including pretty much everything Stan does, the beach episode if you're into that kind of thing, and many of the human characters interactions, especially Laura and Kana's.
  • Pungeon Master: Howdy.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Howdy is always smiling, ALWAYS!
  • Promotion to Parent: Pashmina is viewed as a mother figure to Penelope. She once said "Come on, Penelope dear, the play is starting!" in "Let's Dance, Sandy".
  • Punny Name: Most of the Ham-Hams' names are puns in the original Japanese version.
  • Real Ham-Hams Wear Pink: Boss is a rather strong and tough ham-ham, but on occasion, he will act disturbingly effeminate. In a later season, he becomes a nurse along with the rest of the girls, complete with fake blush and eyeliner! However, from season 5 onward, he becomes "The Ham"/Hero-Ham!
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter And HOW!
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Jingle.
  • Rhyming with Itself: Happens near the end of the English opening:
    "Hamtaro's here to help you! Hamtaro's team is for you!"
  • Self-Deprecation: Episode 76 of the English dub has Elder Ham talking about "these terrible writers our producer keeps hiring."
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • Oxnard and Hamtaro to Boss's Manly Man.
    • Hamtaro is also a Manly Man to Oxnard's Sensitive Guy.
  • Series Continuity Error: Both "Crossing the Sky, Skyham!" and "I Want to See You, Bijou!" have flashbacks to Bijou leaving her house in "Come Out, Bijou!". However, both episodes completely forget that Cappy and Boss stayed at the clubhouse while Hamtaro was retrieving Bijou.
  • Shared Dream: Whenever a dream episode occurs, it takes place in a dream shared by Hamtaro and Laura. Whether they are shared psychically or just happen to be dreaming the same thing is ambigous.
  • She's a Man in Japan: The female veterinarian that took care of Bijou in the dub was originally a Bishounen male in the Japanese version. He was changed to a female in the dub, presumably due to his feminine appearance.
  • Ship Tease: On several occasions.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sibling Seniority Squabble: Stan and Sandy.
  • Slice of Life: The earlier seasons were mainly this, with fantastical elements being relegated to dreams or movies.
  • The Smart Guy: Maxwell.
  • Solid Clouds: Lazuli can make these by chewing on one of her magic seeds. They appear to be made out of cotton candy.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal:
    • Mimi, Panda's owner, is young and innocent enough to be the only human who can talk to the Ham-Hams directly.
    • Laura is able to communicate with them, but only in her dreams. She also could "telepathically" communicate with Hamtaro during the times where she writes in her diary, as sometimes they respond to each other's thoughts.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Bijou. Her owner is rich thus granting her some luxuries the other ham-hams don't have and she can be somewhat vain on occasion. Most of the time, however, she is very nice and will do her best for her friends even if it means getting her paws and fur dirty.
  • Spoiler Opening: Back when the show was airing, the English dub opening included two shots of Stan, revealing him before he is first mentioned in episode 13.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Lapis and Lazuli in the later seasons. They were a duo of hamsters who lived in their magical world of candy called Sweet Paradise and often invited the Ham-Hams over. Lazuli was also a scientist and often took up many an episode with an experiment of some kind.
  • Stock Animal Diet: Sunflower seeds. It's also their Trademark Favorite Food, especially for Oxnard.
  • Sugar Bowl: What happens in the later, Japan-only seasons. The hamsters travel to Lapis and Lazuli's world of candy called the Sweet Paradise and spend several episodes revisiting it.
  • Surfer Dude:
    • Stan's radical form of speech used make him look as such in the English dub of the anime.
    • Broski, however, is too afraid of water to actually surf and just carries around a surfboard to impress the ladies.
  • Tagline: Little hamsters, big adventures!
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: How do you tell Stan and Sandy apart? At simple sight, Sandy has a bow tied around her tail, with fur sticking out (basically like a ponytail). But, if you look at them closely, Sandy has green eyes and the fur on her belly is pure white, meanwhile Stan has grey-blue eyes and his belly fur is beige, making them a case of Half-Identical Twins.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call:
    • The second half of the English dub, although neither Stan nor Sandy are mentioned.
    • Both the original Japanese and English ending themes both have a variation. In the original Japanese version the characters' names had the first syllable placed at the end of their names.note  For the English dub version, we have this:
      "Snoozer, Penelope, Panda, Howdy, Oxnard, Bijou, and Boss, let's go! zerSnoo, pePenelo, ssoB, daPan, dyHow, nardOx, jouBi, and Hamtaro!..."
  • Those Two Guys/Vitriolic Best Buds: Howdy and Dexter.
  • Title Theme Drop: In both the original and the dub they use the opening theme a lot.
  • Title Theme Tune: And a second credits theme tune too.
    • And a third title theme tune, creating for the opening of the second season, but edited out of most of Cartoon Network's airings.
    • And various international ones, including a quite catchy Italian one.
  • Town Girls: Sandy is the Butch, Bijou is the Femme and Pashmina is Neither.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Roberto.
  • True Companions: The Ham-Ham Club.
  • Tsundere: In the OVA, Sparkle has a huge crush on Hamtaro but sometimes would call him an idiot or stupid. Compared to the other female Ham-Hams, Pepper takes this up a notch when she doesn't mind getting herself dirty and is a lot more outgoing compared to Sandy.
  • Twice Shy: Sandy and Maxwell.
  • The Unintelligible:
    • Penelope can only say "Ookyoo" or "Ookwee." The video game Ham-Ham Heartbreak! adds "Ookwaa" as a variation although that only pops up while Spat, disguised as Penelope, is jumping all over Pashmina's scarf.
    • Ook-Ook, a monkey type hamster can only speak in monkey language.
  • Valley Girl: Sandy in the English dub of the anime.
  • Vocal Evolution: In the English dub, compare all the Ham-Hams' voices from episode 4 to OVA 4.
    • Bijou's French accent in the dub thinned out as the show progressed.
    • When Sabu debuted in "Hamtaro, Please come Home!", he had some sort of a deep, gruff Bronx accent. When he came back in "Laura's Valentine", his voice sounded whinier and lost the gruff Bronx accent.
    • Pashmina's voice in the dub also started sounding more stern and relaxed in later episodes compared to the earlier episodes.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • The entire ham-ham language is made up of them. For instance, they say "Krmpkrmp" when eating, "Ticky-ticky" while walking, "Heke" in response to something that confuses them... there's a lot. Especially in the games.
    • In Japanese, Hamtaro ends his sentences "Na no da" while Bijou ends her's with "Dechuwa".
      • The English equivalents would be "That's why" and "Maybe".
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Cats may be mean, but you know what's worse? Chickens.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Hamtaro obviously takes place in a coastal town in Japan, but the dub takes out any references to Japan and dresses it up to be more like a generic coastal town.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Laura's teacher, Mr. Yoshi, has a crippling fear of chickens, and, of course he's in love with a girl whose father is a chicken farmer... and a Boyfriend-Blocking Dad, to boot.
    • The ham-ham's are also afraid of chickens as well as little chicks, but to their credit, the chickens on the show are pretty scary. One of the chickens that belongs to said Boyfiend Blocking Dad has an eye patch for crying out loud.
    • A lot of the conflict between Laura and Roberto can be traced to the fact that he's deathly afraid of mice and other small rodents... like hamsters. Hamtaro twigged to it immediately but it took a while for Laura to do so.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Parodied with the teacher's girlfriend, Charlotte, who comes from a traditional family and has been raised as one... but acts like a borderline Wild Child cow girl whenever she's out of her Big Fancy House.

The games provide examples of:

  • Bag of Spilling: In the beginning of Ham-Ham Heartbreak, Hamtaro trips and falls into a bucket of water while carrying his Ham-Chat dictionary, smudging up most of the words.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Spat from Ham Ham Heartbreak is very much this.
  • Catchphrase: "Pfpth" was Spat's catchphrase.
  • Copy Protection: The second game prevents you from achieving 100% Completion and the third game will lock up at the very start if it detects that you're playing them in either an emulator or on a flash cart.
  • Edutainment Game: Hamtaro: Wake Up Snoozer for PC/Mac and Hi! Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Challenge for the DS. Also, two No Export for You games for the Sega Pico.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: The second DS game which actually got a quiet US release. Apparently, AlphaDream/Natsume thinks that no one remembers the hamsters anymore, so they threw in a reintroduction of each of the characters in the opening title cinematic. After all, the show had been off the air in the US for over two years by then, and the last game was released in the US market over 4 years prior.
  • Genre Shift: The first GBC title was a WJT title, essentially a fortune teller/love meter program with a virtual pet function threw in as an afterthought. The second GBC and first GBA titles were of the adventure/RPG genre, the second GBA title was a adventure/RPG+minigames genre game, the third GBA title was a sports title made to tie in with the 2004 olympics, the first DS title was a quiz game, and the second DS title as well as the only PC title was an edutainment title. Yeah.
  • Gotta Catch Them All:
    • The Ham-Chat words in Hamtaro Ham Hams Unite and Hamtaro Ham Ham Heartbreak.
    • The fourth game takes you into the dark and crazy world of sticker and coloring pages collecting.
  • Honest John's Dealership: A Ham-Merchant in Ham Ham Heartbreak.
  • 100% Completion: The stickers in Rainbow Rescue can potentially take players to the dark, dark world of (digital) sticker collecting.
  • Licensed Game: Well, duh!
  • The Kiddie Ride: Bandai/Banpresto made one in Japan using the same base design as one they used for an Ojamajo Doremi ride. It dispensed candies after the ride ended. Also made were about half a dozen knockoff rides from China. Those are, sadly, much more prevalent.
  • Minigame Game: Both Rainbow Rescue and Ham-Ham Games, though the former also has a story similar to Ham Ham Heartbreak.
  • Post-End Game Content:
    • Ham-Hams Unite!: After the celebratory party, twelve stars come falling out of the sky; which are needed for the last Ham-Jam song, and Hamtaro needs to complete the notebook. Once that's done, Boss gives the final Ham-Chat word, resulting in the notebook transforming into a dictionary.
    • Ham-Ham Heartbreak: After Spat runs away for good, there are still a few remaining couples left to completely fill up the love meter, including none other than Hamtaro and Bijou. Then, the duo need to complete all classes of the Hula Contest in order to obtain the final Ham-Chat word from Boss and Harmony.
    • Rainbow Rescue: After Bo makes it back to Rainbow Land, he enlists the help of the Ham-Hams once again by delivering invitations to all of the hamster friends down on Earth in order to put on a show. In addition, normally blocked off areas are now unlocked for exploration and there are brand new minigames to play.
  • Ship Tease: Hamtaro and Bijou ESPECIALLY in Ham-Ham Heartbreak and Rainbow Rescue.
  • Shout-Out: To The Legend of Zelda, in two places. First, the shady Ham-Merchant says 'Buy somethin', will ya!?' like the original Zelda shopkeepers did. The second is much funnier. You collect three marbles throughout the game, one red, one green, and one blue. Then you place them in a pedestal that looks like it has a sword in it. Then you tug on the sword. The 'Opening a Treasure Chest music' from Zelda plays. And... IT'S A SPOON!
  • Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change: Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! follows the English dub of the anime by relocating the series to America, but despite this, the first area in the game is still a Shinto shrine. Since the entire game is a Macro Zone, it's not exactly easily missed, either.
  • Toilet Humor: The Go-P verb. First time you see it? When you're facing a tree.
  • Verbal Tic: Ham Ham Heartbreak villain Spat's "pfpth!" His angelic counterpart, Harmony, has "tee hee".
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In the right circumstances the player can bite and scratch other hamsters, and even poke them in the face with a stick; this rarely accomplishes anything beyond making them distressed. Body-slamming is the only way to get certain hamsters to pay attention to you, and you have to outright knock some out of trees and off ledges or other great heights to learn their ham-chat words. The game remarks that you feel badly for doing it, but if you leave the area and come back they'll be right up there again, and you can keep shoving them without any consequences.
    • A couple of the DS games allow you to try and "Go-P" on other hamsters, much to their disgust.


Video Example(s):


Ham-Hams VS Baku

Through a combination of Howdy's terrible puns and tickling its body, the Ham-Hams were able to rescue Snoozer from the dream-eating Baku, who ate Snoozer's good dream.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ComedyAsAWeapon

Media sources: