Another one of those British comedies that's apparently considered bad in its home country yet gets a lot of airtime in America, mainly due to PBS thinking "British = good".
Thermoman, a superhero from the planet Ultron (a planet whose major industry seems to be superheroes), currently works to protect the planet Earth. After saving a nurse named Janet from falling into the Grand Canyon, he falls in love with her and moves to Northolt (her home town), where he adopts the secret identity of George Sunday. As George, he opens a health food shop that seems destined for perpetual failure... but this stab at a normal life is enough to cause Janet to fall for him.
The series focuses primarily on the troubles involved in the day-to-day life of an alien superhero. Major recurring characters include Janet's parents, who disapprove of George mainly on grounds of taste; her employer, Dr. Piers Crispin, who's desperate for media attention; Piers' secretary, Mrs. Raven, a bitter, undisguised sadist; George's cousin Arnie, who used to be a superhero but was fired by the Ultron Council for using his job in the name of profit; and George and Janet's neighbor, Tyler, who knows George is Thermoman... but doesn't risk breaking the superhero's Masquerade because he's also completely insane. The latest series includes George's children with Janet, who are voiced by adult actors.
This series provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: In episode 2 of season 5, Tyler chains himself to a fence in protest, a call back to Ardal O'Hanlon in Father Ted. Down with this sort of thing!
- Aliens of London (averted mostly; the show is set in England but the two most prominently featured aliens "are" Irish and American respectively; George performs superheroics all over the world)
- Aliens in Cardiff: In 1x03, "Mission Impossible", Thermoman stops an abandoned Russian space station from crashing into the center of Grimsby.
- Aliens Speaking English: Ultronians and other aliens on Earth speak English. It is pretty easy for Ultronians to learn languages as shown in Series 2 Episode 3, where Xil, who previously just spoke Ultronian, learned English by reading Tyler's mind.
- Amnesia Danger: In 3x10, "A Day to Remember". Thermoman, whose powers include erasing people's memories, inadvertently erases his own memory of being Thermoman. This, of course, conincides with the discovery of a giant meteor hurtling towards the Earth.
- Amusing Alien
- Back from the Dead: It is revealed in Series 6 Episode 5, Not for Prophet, that George is capable of bringing peope back to life. He does this to Ollie's pet spider, which he then accidentally kills, he does it to Piers (also resurrecting a squirrel that was made into a fur coat) which results in him being regarded as a chosen one.
- Big Little Man: In one episode, the main characters spend a while worrying about the dreaded (*glances around* *whispers*) Grand High Arbiter of Misuse of Power coming from Ultron to punish George for cheating in a lottery. The arbiter eventually arrives, and we see a figure in a black robe, seen from below, filling the screen and taking menacingly. Then we see that he's several inches tall and standing on a table. Janet squashes him.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Ultronians have a laundry list of unusual reactions to Earth substances, from bourbon to biological laundry detergent.Janet: Polyester trousers?
George: We just think they're naff.
- The Blind Leading the Blind:
- Catch-Phrase: Parodied with Dr. Crispin's repeated use of "I am always here" in an attempt to establish a catch phrase.
- Chest Insignia: Several superheroes, including Thermoman, have these:
- Thermoman: An explosion.
- Polarman: A snowflake
- Miracleman: A lightning bolt through a cloud.
- Faldoman: A man playing golf.
- Work Experience Boy: A cup of tea.
- Closer to Earth: Arnie.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Just... Tyler. For God's sake, the man has tea parties with Frodo Baggins.
- Colony Drop: In 6x08, "Believe", Thermoman accidentally drops a village in Bavaria on another village, causing them to both catch fire and set alight to a third one. However, no-one actually gets hurt as Thermoman manages to rescue them all (including Ella and Stanley) from his blunder, though they weren't overly grateful about it.
- Cousin Oliver: Thermo Baby.
- Crossover: The Comic Relief special ends with Thermoman meeting Mr. Blobby.
- Day of the Week Name: Thermoman's Clark Kenting name is George Sunday. When James Dreyfus takes the role, Thermoman uses his imagination really hard and goes with the Alter Ego of George Monday.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mrs. Raven and to some extent Janet.
- Early Installment Weirdness: As Thermoman, George initially spoke in a deep voice not unlike Batman. This was dropped after the first two series.
- Evolving Credits: Throughout the series, clips from the show are used with Ardal O'Hanlon (George) and Emily Joyce (Janet) are the only two to be credited in the opening though the other main characters are featured as well. Whereas Janet's shot was changed for nearly each series, except for Series 1-2, George's uses the same clip of him from the first ever episode until James Dreyfus takes the role in Series 6.
- Fake Twin Gambit: When a rare Ultronian heart condition causes George to 'die' in public and be cremated (he and Janet were intending to discredit Piers as a doctor during the funeral but the condition kicked in again), they get around it by having George simply walk into the health centre and pretend that the person who died was his identical twin brother, Seamus, who was pretending to be George for a week as a joke.
- Fish out of Water: George. (Kept up for too long, a man who has lived on earth for five years should understand what prostitution is.)
- Flying Car: In S 2 E 04, Janet and George make a deal with Piers which results in him giving them his car which George makes fly.
- Janet: "Now slow down, there's some traffic up ahead."George: "Traffic? No problem, baby."
- Foreign Remake: According to an interview with the late John Stroud[http://www.downthetubes.net/tv/my_hero/john_stroud_int_110105.html], a German remake of My Hero was planned, a pilot was made and John said it was really funny. But apparently the project didn't get further because there was another sitcom airing about a wife who's secretly a witch, that they felt might be too similar.
- Forgotten Trope: Parodied. Instead of changing into his costume in phone booths like Superman, Thermoman always does it in the restroom.
- Fragile Flower: Just look at poor Tyler when he feels rejected by George or Janet. Aww.
- Freudian Excuse: Despite a wealthy and well-educated upbringing, Piers' selfish and narcissistic behaviour is revealed in the episodes "Cassie Come Home" and "Believe" to stem from multiple childhood traumas including school bullies, a mother who clearly liked his brother more and a father that makes Hitler look like a saint.
- Gender Bender. This can apparently happen to Ultronians who contract certain illnesses (one episode has Ollie suffer from this and Overnight Age-Up, turning him into the 20-something Olivia). Arnie apparently once had this happen to him... but didn't bother shaving his/her moustache.
- There are also gender-changing pills that Ultronians can take. After George temporarily becomes a woman (James Dreyfus in drag) they accidentally slip into the water supply, affect Mrs. Raven.
- Gilligan Cut: season 1 episode 3 when George is trying to wash his super hero outfit.George Tyler! Do you know how to work washing machines?Tyler Do I know how to work washing machines?(cut to kitchen filled with bubbles)Tyler No
- Godwin's Law:Patient: This is worse than Hitler's Germany!Mrs. Raven: Oh, thank you!
- Goo Goo Godlike: The Genius Ditz superhero Thermoman had a son, Ollie, who is just as powerful as his father - but also twice as intelligent.
- Also, Cassie, while having only just the power to tell the future, has intelligence equal to Ollie.
- Cassie trying to actually tell people about what she sees in the future goes about as well as you'd expect when she's trying to interpret what she sees with only a few hours experience to work with. (She starts out by accidentally causing everyone to think something was about to kill everyone in the hemisphere because she saw everyone on one side of the planet 'dead'. It turned out they were asleep.
- Also, Cassie, while having only just the power to tell the future, has intelligence equal to Ollie.
- Half-Human Hybrid (George and Janet's children)
- The idea of George and Janet having kids is first pondered in Series 1 Episode 5, Old Man Riverdance. Janet asks George if they had children would they be human or Ultronian, he tells her they'd probably be a bit of both, "in Earth terms: brilliant, in Ultron terms: seriously retarded". He also reveals that Ultronians have been breeding with humans for centuries. Ultronian-Human hybrids include: Mozart, Einstein and loads of sportsmen: Pete Sampras, Nick Faldo and Stephen Hendry, as he says "all brilliant, but something not quite human about them."
- Aside from the children, George and Janet's wedding features an appearance by George's cousins from planet Zargon, who are part human, but are also part fish.
- Also, in the last episode of Series 4, Arnie conceives a child with Ella in the past.
- Ultronian-humans are said to sometimes lose their Ultronian talents as they grow, with the "inferior gene" kicking in. Arnie says this is what happened to Macauley Culkin: "Great until he was ten, and then kaput."
- Hates Everyone Equally: LampshadedMrs. Raven: I hate Americans.
George: You hate everyone, Mrs. Raven. You're very fair that way.
- Henpecked Husband: Stanley.
- Human Outside, Alien Inside: A fair number of jokes revolve around the quirks of Ultronian anatomy, ranging from "unpleasant reactions to everyday chemicals" to "blue urine" to "unpredictable bouts of coma".
- Identity Impersonator: In 1x04, "Thermoman's Greatest Challenge", Thermoman was scheduled to give a public appearance in Northolt and Janet's father threatened to cut off all ties with George if he didn't personally thank Thermoman for having saved Janet's life (his and Janet's first meeting). George made Tyler wear the costume then erased his memory.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: The episode "Time and Time and Time Again" sees George learn how to travel in time, using it to prevent an incident where Janet broke her arm as a child and retains a twinge of pain into adulthood, but he learns later that this accident also lead to the discovery that she had a medical condition that would have caused her to go bald in her teens. As a result, George goes back to stop her arm being broken and leave her a note to get her scalp checked, but this creates a world where Janet is happily married to Piers after he treated her condition, with Janet's parents and Mrs Raven now far happier people, and Tyler is now in a relationship with the gorgeous blonde who lives in what would have been Janet and George's flat. Witnessing this, George initially plans to leave forever now that everyone appears to be happier without him, but when he sees that Piers and Mrs Raven are having an affair, he goes back in time once again to restore the original course of events.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Piers, who constantly brags about his reputation and career when in reality he is a very poor doctor who once stated that he's only cured around half a dozen people.
- In the Blood: One episode featured Mrs. Raven's evil(er) mother who kidnapped her for a ransom.
- It's Been Done: The episode where George runs for mayor. "We can't both be mayor! Ooh, I've got an idea, we could have some sort of vote. And someone could count them. And then—wait for it—the one with the most votes wins!"
- Literal-Minded: George
- Magical Boyfriend: George for Janet.
- Meddling Parents (Janet's parents)
- Must Not Die a Virgin: Piers in "A Day to Remember".
- Narcissist: Piers.
- The Nth Doctor: The sixth season sees Ardal O'Hanlon replaced by James Dreyfus, explained as George having lost his body while gambling and requiring a new one.
- Only Sane Man: Janet.
- Part-Time Hero: George.
- Politicians Kiss Babies: The series has Piers Crispin kissing small children during his attempt to campaign for Mayor in one episode, though it backfires when he tries to kiss Ollie and gets punched in the face (Ollie being the son of George Sunday/Thermoman, and thus a superbaby).
- Rescue Romance: Thermoman saves Janet from falling into the Grand Canyon, and they fall in love at the first sight.
- Sarcastic Confession: Janet does this several times, which leaves the Literal-Minded George confused at best or distraught at worse.
- She'll also tell her parents or anyone else who asks that George is an alien and/or Thermoman. She'll just say it in a sarcastic tone of voice.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Piers towards Janet.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Piers Crispin
- Smug Super: Despite the fact George rarely fits this trope, it is lampshaded in 3x07, "Little Green Man".
- Janet: "You seem very pleased with yourself."George: "Well I am, it's great being super."
- Speaks Fluent Animal: George uses a device called the Interspecies Interpreter in Series 3 #3 which allows him to talk to animals (except dung beetles, as George says "why would you want to, they live in dung"), specifically Ella and Stanley's dog.
- It returns in Series 6 #3 where the new George uses it on the Ella and Stanley's cat to find out why Janet gives it so much attention.
- In Series 4 #6, Tyler talks to a dog about George's campaign for Mayor of Northolt. Although this could be one of his delusions, the dog actually shakes his hand, and hell, Tyler being friends with da Vinci turned out to be true.
- Tyler does speak Ultronian, so he may have an uncanny knack for languages.
- Superpowerful Genetics
- Super Breath: As an homage to Superman, Thermoman from My Hero has "Thermo-breath" which can add or remove heat with his breath, as well as simply exhaling powerful gusts.
- Super Senses:
- X-ray vision, which lets you see people naked.
- Ollie is also mentioned to have Superhearing, when he listens in on Janet and George, George tells her they would have to go past the Falklands for him to not hear them.
- Superheroes can smell natural disasters. Yes, smell natural disaster. Wiping your nose helps find them easier. George's father said that he could sense different disasters for each nostril.
- Tastes Like Chicken: In 5x08, "How Green Was My Ollie", George gets some GM Food from Ultron which allows anything to taste like anything (e.g. something that looks like broccoli but tastes like ice cream). Tyler has a snack in George's house and says that it tastes just like chicken, only for it to be revealed by George that it is chicken.
- 10-Minute Retirement: In 4x08, "The Consultant", George resigns from his superhero duties protecting the Earth after new rules make him so stressed he almost causes the death of his friends by a ICBM. He is replaced by Locum Man, who is soon replaced by Tempman, who is replaced by Work Experience Boy when Tempman decides to take a gap year. When Janet is trapped in the burning Health Centre, Work Experience Boy's attempt to save her goes tits up when he accidentally flies into a bush, but George triumphantly returns as Thermoman and saves her.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Tyler, a Talkative Loon and Conspiracy Theorist who is nonetheless the only person to recognise George Sunday as Thermoman.
- Thermoman does have a much better disguise than Superman, however. Thermoman wears a helmet that covers much of his face, has a radically different voice and accent than he uses as George, and almost never walks anywhere (flying instead) which makes it difficult to recognize him by how he moves.
- Title Drop:
- In Series 5 #5, "Nothing to Hide", George tells a detective that he has, well, nothing to hide.
- In Series 6 #8, "Believe", the final episode of the series, Piers releases a book called Believe.
- The "Fun" in "Funeral": In 4x02, "The Living Dead", Thermoman's Bizarre Alien Biology acting up leads to his secret identity, George Sunday, being thought dead by everyone. The idea was that he'd sit up in the coffin during the ceremony before his cremation and make Dr. Piers Crispin look like an idiot (which isn't particularly difficult). Two things combined to put it under this trope: a sudden attack of that same BAB problem that caused all this in the first place, and a B-plot featuring Mrs. Raven fusing therapeutic and stage hypnosis. Hilarity Ensues:Vicar: One...
Ella: Take me now my stallion Stanley, ravage me you raving beast! (Out of character as all hell)
Stanley: That is my gift, that is my curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man!
Piers: <chicken noises>
Mrs. Raven: Shame he won't get to four!
Vicar: These are the things we will remember this good man for.
Janet's Parents, Arnie, and Piers: (complete with the dance) YMCA... It's fun to stay at the YMCA
(Bizarre Alien Biology is acting up, so George hasn't sat up on schedule, and Janet is trying to stop the coffin from entering the furnace cremation... thing)
Priest: She's got the strength of ten!
The Same Four As Before: (Start doing the Chicken Dance. Mrs. Raven falls out of her seat laughing)
- True Love's Kiss: Subverted in 2x05. George, attempting to break through Rovi's mind control over Janet, announces that he's giving her a True Love's Kiss, but later confesses that what actually broke the mind control was him using the kiss to covertly slip her the antidote to the super-attraction ability that Rovi had been using on her.
- Uncanny Valley Make Up: Mrs Raven, when trying to appear nice because of the supervisor.