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Series / Kulderzipken

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Kulderzipken is a Flemish television series, written by Hugo Matthysen and well known for its absurd humor, wordplay and its fairytale atmosphere. It had two seasons and ran from 1995 to 1997, but there are frequent reruns on the Flemish children network Ketnet.

The protagonist is a simple farm boy, named Kulderzipken, who earns a stay in the castle of King Jozef after accidentally winning a competition. The first season focuses on King Jozef's attempts at coming up with "impossible tasks" to kick Kulderzipken out of his castle to prevent his daughter Prieel from falling in love with him.In the second season, the marriage between Prieel and Kulderzipken is being prepared, while King Jozef teaches his son-in-law all there is to know about being a king.

Other recurring characters were Queen Angina and the Brothers Grimm. Usually, each episode included a different set of guest characters visiting the castle.


This show provides examples of:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: The Grimm Brothers.
  • Accidental Misnaming: The Grimm Brothers have a very hard time remembering Kulderzipken's name and call him all sorts of random names. In similar vein, in one episode Kulderzipken teases Princess Prieel by calling her wrong names.
  • All Myths Are True: The three golden hairs on the chin of the Devil's Mother, the pearl in the flower on top of the highest mountain in the world, the Invisible Emperor... Of course, this is a fairy tale.
  • An Ice Person: Aunt Hildegarde is a sorceress who needs ice to be able to perform magic.
  • Berserk Button: Queen Angina's is pushed when her childhood friend Havanna insults her.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The Devil and his Mother disappear after season one and are never mentioned again in season two. Justified, though, as the Devil's Mother tried to kill Princess Prieel
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  • Cloud Cuckoolander: In the second season, the Grimms are obsessed with inventions to make them fly.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The Grimms are told to address everyone with "sir". They adress everyone with "sir". Especially the Princess.
  • Cool Chair: While the King and Queen's thrones are fairly straightforward, Princess Prieeltje has her own suspended swing.
  • Crystal Ball: Originally, the Devil's Mother owns one.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Literally.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Kulderzipken travels into King Jozef's dream so he can obtain the pudding he's been dreaming of for weeks.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: When Queen Angina starts preparing dinner in her pretty dress in front of her childhood friend Havanna, Havanna can't contain her astonishment. Queen Angina reveals that this is simply the only dress she has.
    Havanna: "You're not even wearing an apron!"
    Angina: "I don't HAVE an apron!"
    Havanna: "WHAT? You don't HAVE an apron!?"
  • Every Episode Ending: In the first season, each episode ends with dancing in the throne room, as the camera backs out of the room and the doors slam shut. In the second season, the very final scene is always everyone sitting at the dinner table.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Names like "De Blote Bosmens" (the Naked Bushman) and "de Vervelende Vent" (the Irritating Guy) don't leave much to the imagination.
  • Faux Death: Princess Prieel at the end of the first season.
  • Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: For the first few episodes of the second season, Queen Angina tries her hand at sculpting, painting, carpentry... Until finally setting on the trombone.
  • Heir Club for Men: As King Jozef attempts to find a suitor for his daughter:
    King Jozef: "That girl... she has so much energy. Such a shame... SUCH A SHAME SHE'S NOT A BOY!!"
  • Impossible Task: King Jozef does his very best to think of these to get rid of Kulderzipken, yet somehow Kulderzipken always succeeds...
  • Invisibility: The Invisible Emperor is invisible.
  • Long-Lost Uncle Aesop: While not really providing a valuable life lesson, Kulderzipken's wise Uncle Oom Nonkel (Uncle Unkle) shows up in one episode and provides a lot of philosophical questions and answers.
  • Manly Men Can Hunt: As part of the Kingly Essentials, King Jozef tries to teach Kulderzipken how to hunt. King Jozef is a terrible hunter.
  • Meaningful Name: as this is a kid's show, few children would have recognized that "Angina" (the queen's name), is a pun on a disease sounding a lot like the more traditional name "Aegina". Simpler puns abide, like Alsdanië (Ifthenistan), Vindikooks (the Thinksotoos)...
  • Momma's Boy: The Devil keeps getting bossed around by his mother. He does stand up for himself every once in a while.
  • One-Shot Character: Nearly every episode.
  • Off with His Head!: The only way to save Princess Prieel from dying is by chopping off the head of the person she loves the most.
  • Rags to Royalty: Kulderzipken starts out as "just a simple farm boy". In the final episode, he marries the Princess.
  • Regularly Scheduled Evil: Every seven years the Knoerifast awakens for a day and causes trouble wherever he goes. Luckily, he has been imprisoned in the castle's dungeon for over 400 years.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: a variation, the Knoerifast can be calmed by the "ge-ur van growentensojep" which is "the scent of vegetable soep", but pronounced incorrectly by the brothers Grimm by mistakingly reading out the diphtongs "eu" and "oe" as seperate vowels. It should read "geur van groentensoep". Kulderzipken discovers this at the end of the show, and saves the castle once more from the Knoerifast.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: King Jozef's sister, Saint-Lutgardis, goes around punishing sinners by locking them up... in mustard jars.
  • Sibling Rivalry: King Jozef and his brother Diederik and Saint-Lutgardis aren't on great terms.
  • Spot the Imposter: After Havanna magically clones Queen Angina, there is heavy discussion as to who the real Angina is.
  • Standard Hero Reward: King Jozef is very specific about not mentioning the reward for the contest publicly. Had the winner been a decent candidate, though, the reward would have been his daughter's hand in marriage.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: "The Devil" is a wimpy man, living with his wicked mother, who tries her very best to educate him in her evil ways. The devil does manage to scare some of the more stupid guest characters, but he never really intends any harm.
  • Tempting Apple: In the final episode of the first season, Prieeltje is fed a poisonous candy apple. Then Lampshaded.
    Grimms: "A poisonous apple, a device often used in Fairytales."
  • These Questions Three...: season 2, episode 18, where Kulderzipken has to solve three impossible tasks for the king of Alsdanië, to prevent everyone in the castle being transformed into toddlers.
  • Tomboy Princess: Princess Prieel refuses to do her ballet exercises, but prefers to jump on her father's bed.
  • Villainous Harlequin: The Potsenschouwspelgoochelzanggrapjas is a travelling jester with three legs who intends to rob King Jozef.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The Ghost in the first episode of season two was banished from the land of ghosts because he couldn't remember a hopscotch rhyme.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: sort of - in episode 14, season 2 ("Oom Nonkel"), Kulderzipken has to step inside a dream machine built by the Grimm brothers, to defeat a Viking guarding a pudding in a dream by the sleeping king. However, should the dreamer wake up, the person in the machine dies.