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Series / My Hero (2000)

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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.

Originally starred Ardal O'Hanlon from Father Ted, who left the show in the last season and was replaced by James Dreyfus.

Not to be confused with the Nintendo Hard Sega Master System game of the same name and the song by Foo Fighters. Also, it shouldn't be confused with My Hero Academia nor its similarly named predecessor one-shot, even if they feature super heroes.

This series provides examples of:

  • 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.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: In 4x10, George and Arnie accidentally travel from the present year of 2003 to the year 2010 of an alternate future where they have been absent for seven years. As a result, Janet has lived without George while Ollie has taken up his superhero duties. John Prescott is Prime Minister now, and Ollie is teaching him English.
  • Abnormal Allergy: 1x05 has George's remember that his father Seamus was allergic to F-words. That is, any word beginning in F causes him to wince in pain and grasp his ear. By the time Seamus meets Janet, he is fine with F-words but now allergic to words beginning with J, leading George to introduce his girlfriend as "Ganet".
  • Accidental Time Travel: In 4x10, George and Arnie use the Time Tunnels of Tartarus to travel back to Earth from Ultron, but end up being temporally displaced from 2003 to 2010.
  • 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 in Cardiff: In 1x03, "Mission Impossible", Thermoman stops an abandoned Russian space station from crashing into the center of Grimsby.
  • Aliens of London: Averted mostly. The show is set in England but the two most prominently featured aliens have Irish and American accents respectively, and George performs superheroics all over the world.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Ultronians and other aliens on Earth speak English. It is pretty easy for Ultronians to learn languages as shown in 2x03, where Xil, who previously just spoke Ultronian, learned English by reading Tyler's mind.
  • Alternate Timeline: 4x10 features three of these.
    • As a result of getting lost in the Time Tunnels of Tartarus after leaving Earth to visit Ultron on April 1st 2003, George and Arnie re-emerge in 2010, where Janet has lived alone without George ever since while a seven-year old Ollie has taken over his superhero duties.
    • When George changes the past by preventing Janet from falling out of a tree on her 9th birthday, he does not factor in that the young Janet was found to have a chronic scalp condition after being taken to hospital as a result of the fall, resulting in her having lost all her hair by the present day.
      George: "You looked like Tyler!"
      Tyler: "That's a relief. You could have looked awful."
    • George then goes back and prevents the fall but makes sure to leave an anonymous note at the bedside of 18 year old Janet, advising her to see a doctor about her scalp. This leads her to meeting with Dr. Crispin, which results in a new timeline where Janet and Piers are happily married with ten children by the present day. Furthermore, Janet's parents and Mrs. Raven are happy people while Tyler is in a relationship with Miranda, a woman who lives in what would have been George and Janet's flat. Though George is tempted to leave the new time continuum be, he learns that Piers and Mrs. Raven are having an affair and so goes back to restore the timeline.
  • 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.
  • Analogy Backfire: When Arnie is asking for his powers back, George informs Arnie "I trust you as far as I could throw you!" and has to clarify that he meant how far he could throw Arnie if he wasn't a superhero.
  • April Fools' Plot: 4x10 takes place partly on April 1st 2003 and so characters become victims of April Fool's Day pranks.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Ella and Stanley's relationship is tempestuous, getting off on a bad start from literally day one, as they argued on their honeymoon and spent the night apart.
  • 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.
  • Balloon Belly: In 2x07, George purposefully inflates his belly to simulate pregnancy so as to better empathize with his pregnant wife. This only does more to annoy Janet if anything and so he drops it at her request, deflating like a balloon in a matter of seconds.
    Janet: "I wish birth was like that."
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: George/Thermoman may be the first public superhero on Earth, but over the course of the series he reveals that various other historical figures have ties to his planet; Einstein and Mozart are explicitly identified as human-Ultron hybrids, Joan Collins is stated to be another Ultronian, and Leonardo da Vinci is a full Ultronian (As Arnie puts it: "He was designing helicopters and tanks in the 15th century. Does that sound like normal human behaviour?").
  • Berate and Switch: Inverted; when George (trying to get Janet to marry him) asks Mrs Raven why she said 'Yes' to her husband, Mrs Raven replies "Because before he proposed he said those three little words... have another gin."
  • Big Little Man: In 4x03, 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, and George and the Ultron Council are all amazed that they didn't think of doing that to get rid of him before.
  • Birthday Episode: 1x06 has the celebration of Janet hitting the big 30.
  • 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.
    • They got a lot of mileage out of this one... George needing to have his body deaged or replaced, being pregnant with an alien gorilla child, having periodic attacks of temporary death...
    • 4x03 reveals that video games can give Ultronians literal square eyes.
    • That's nothing. See Gender Bender below.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind:
    George: Tyler, do you know how to run a washing machine?
    Tyler: (enthusiastic) Do I know how to run a washing machine?!?
    (Gilligan Cut to Tyler and George, up to their knees in suds)
    Tyler: No, I don't.
  • Brought Down to Normal / De-power : The Ultron Council is capable of stripping individual Ultronian superheroes of their powers.
    • Having abused his powers for personal gain, this happened to Arnie (formerly Polarman) before the series. He becomes Polarman again in 2x04, but he ends up getting powers taken away again by the end of the episode.
    • Briefly happens to George when his double Hillary frames Thermoman for kleptomania. His powers are returned when Hillary is exposed as the culprit.
  • Call-Back: 6x03 has George making use of the Interspecies Interpreter which he acquired and used first in 3x03.
  • The Cameo: Mr. Blobby appears at the end of the Comic Relief special.
  • Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: A big part of Tyler's Cloud Cuckoolander gimmick is this. His most common delusion is that Gandalf is a close personal friend of his.
    • In 1x05, he introduces himself to George's father as Tyler-Wan Kenobi, the great-grandson of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    • In 3x01, he claims to newborn Ollie Sunday that Earth is part of a solar system of seven planets in orbit a star called the Death Star which include Mars, Venus, Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, Middle-Earth and Skaro, home of the Daleks, adding that Earth has a moon inhabited by people called Clangers. He later reiterates to George that the Clangers and the Daleks really exist.
    • 3x02 potentially sheds some light on this, as Tyler reveals to George and Arnie that for the first ten years of boarding school he was bullied and beaten, humilated so much he retreated into a dreamworld where he couldn't tell fantasy from reality. However, he claims to be past that, knowing that Luke Skywalker and Dan Dare Pilot of the Future is fantasy. Then again, he maintains that Lara Croft and the Wombles are real.
    • In 3x06, he recalled introducing himself to George W. Bush as "Obi-Wan Kenobi, master of the Jedi". Perhaps he became his own grampa.
    • In 3x09, he recalls giving Han Solo a fruit mixer as gift for his wedding to Princess Leia.
    • In 3x10, he tells an amnesiac George that Thermoman is busy mates with Luke Skywalker and the Ewoks. He later channels Obi-Wan when he urges Thermoman to "feel the Force".
    • As of 4x05, Tyler has six people living in his head: E.T., the Warlord of Solos, Andromeda, Mr Spock, the Siren of Titan, and Mrs Mc Pherson (someone has to clean up after them).
    • In 5x06, he tells a health inspector that he studied medicine on the planet Gallifrey.
    • In 5x07, he presents the "lucky teaspoon of Gandor" which "Dr. Who" supposedly once used to jam up the wheels of a Dalek.
    • In 5x09, a mishap in his medication causes Tyler to switch from believing he is friends with Gandalf to believing that he is Gandalf. Donning the robes and staff of Gandalf the White, complete with fake beard, Tyler rallies non-existent hobbies on a journey to Mordor, asks Janet if Thermoman will join the Fellowship, and calls Mrs. Raven an Orc.
  • Captain Superhero: 6x07 mentions Captain Omnipresent and Captain Crap.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Dr. Crispin gives the impression that he's had loads of women, but admits in "A Day to Remember" that he's actually a virgin, and while he apparently lost his virginity later, considering that it was to a woman at least the age of Janet's mother who had false teeth while he was utterly drunk, it's questionable if he would be able to or want to remember it.
  • Catchphrase: Parodied with Dr. Crispin's repeated use of "I am always here" in an attempt to establish a catch phrase.
    • Ella: "Come along, Stanley."
  • Celebrity Superhero: Though his identity as George must remain secret, Thermoman is unavoidably a public figure on Earth, with his activities regularly appearing on the news. His home planet of Ultron is also known, as well as the fact that other superheroes operate throughout the universe. Infact, the very first episode opens with George watching an Irish news broadcast reporting on him as Thermoman having saved Janet from falling into the Grand Canyon, showing that he is infatuated with her. Fun is had in 3x06, where a nosy journalist catches Thermoman in Janet's flat while remaining unaware of his secret identity, resulting in several fake news stories being printed as George desperately tries to minimise the damage
  • 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.
  • Christmas Episode: "Christmas" was broadcast following Series 1 and is officially counted as the first episode of Series 2.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: George's shop assistant Avril (Moya Brady) completely disappears after Series 1, her position being filled by Tyler and Arnie.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: 4x10 ends with George and Arnie mostly fixing the timeline after messing it up. However, as a result of an encounter between a younger Ella and a time-travelling Arnie in 1978, Janet now has a never-seen-before younger brother named Arnold, who looks an awful lot like Arnie.
  • Closer to Earth: Arnie has spent longer living on Earth than George, so he has a better grasp of things that continually leave George confused.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Basically the reason George has to employ Tyler as his shop assistant; Tyler's a complete idiot who may be legitimately insane (if harmless), but his knowledge of George's identity as Thermoman means that George doesn't have to worry about coming up with excuses for why he has to run off during business hours to save people.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Just... Tyler. For God's sake, the man has tea parties with Frodo Baggins.
  • Colony Drop: In "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.
  • Compliment Backfire: When George is introduced to his buxom bethrothed in 2x03, he sincerely tells Janet "I don't need breasts and legs, I've got you."
  • Continuity Nod: 4x10 explicitly states that Janet celebrated her 9th birthday in 1978, thus she was born in 1969. She had celebrated her 30th birthday back in Series 1, which is set in 1999, the year it was filmed rather than the year it was broadcast (2000), by the sign of George's Health Shop.
  • Continuity Snarl: As the show operates on the Rule of Funny first and foremost, what passes for its lore is subject to this.
    • In 1x02, George tells Ella and Stanley that his parents are named Patrick and Siobhan. 1x05 establishes that the Earth name of George's father is in fact Seamus. While this can be attributed to George making up a fake lifestory on the spot, 6x01 complicates matters by claiming that the name Siobhan is impossible to pronounce for Ultronians.
    • In 2x01, George gives his age as 842. However, 3x04 features the celebration of George's 327th. A possible explanation is that the latter is merely the age of George's old body which later expires in that episode, though why they would celebrate that rather than his true age is anyone's guess.
    • 2x02 has George and Janet confronted by Xil, a female Ultronian with superpowers matching Thermoman. However, when Cassie is born in 5x01, George reveals to Janet that Ultron females' quirk is telling the future, with none of the superpowers that men have.
      • It may be that George just meant that Cassie would only develop the full range of powers when she is an adult where Ollie had the full set from birth.
    • In series 2, Janet is made aware that Ultronian prgenancies last six days, indeed that is how long it takes for her to give birth to Ollie. Come Series 5, however, her second pregnancy lasts only a day as part of a gag during Cassie's birth scene, where George recalls that he can remember Janet saying she wanted another baby like it was yesterday because it was yesterday. Furthermore, he notes that they could make a little sister for Cassie by tomorrow. However, in 5x08, it is reiterated that Janet was pregnant with Ollie for six days.
      • It may be that second pregnancies are just faster.
  • Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: As established in 3x08, Rule 9 of the Superhero Code states that "No superhero shall ever lend his name, image or reputation for commercial endorsement of any kind, even Kentucky Fried Chicken". As such, George is irate to see Arnie use the image of Thermoman (via George's double Hillary) to promote the Health Shop, which indicates that Hillary is up to no good.
  • Cousin Oliver: Thermo Baby.
  • Crossover: The Comic Relief special ends with Thermoman meeting Mr. Blobby.
  • 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.
    • In 5x05, Janet (and the audience) are surprised to learn that Tyler is infact a good friend of the actually Ultronian Leonardo da Vinci.
  • "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.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In 1x05, George's father Seamus recalls being able to have his own children imprisoned for petty misbehavior "but you can't imprison children like you used to".
    • In 3x07, George becomes uncontrollably jealous when he sees Arnie absent-mindedly sharing a cake with Janet, which the Protocols of Thalithos equates to as if he slept with her. However, an Ultronian counselor who George terms as "modern" considers it to be an archaic code of morality.
    • 4x10 establishes that Ultronian men who have children out of wedlock are subjected to a forced vasectomy which is performed with no anaesthetic and no knives, just bricks, essentially they get their bits bashed.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: In "Space Virus", George notes that he can't erase Piers' memory this time around (as Piers plans to send Tyler to a medical research facility and interview Ella and Stanley about their new superpowers) because he's done it so many times by now that doing it again might cause Piers brain damage. He is, however, able to erase Ella and Stanley's memories, thus they have no idea what Piers is talking about when they show up to the interview, making him the object of ridicule overnight.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness
    • As Thermoman, George initially spoke in a deep voice not unlike Batman. This was dropped after the first two series.
    • While George typically performs memory wipes by placing his finger to the target's forehead, 1x04 sees him erase Piers' memory by merely staring into his eyes.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: In 3x10, Arnie claims that the destruction of Earth could spell serious trouble for the whole galaxy.
  • Election Day Episode: "The Mayor of Northolt": George runs for Mayor so he can get a streetlight outside Stanley and Ella's house fixed. He wins the election despite Piers' attempt to sabotage him, gets the streetlight fixed, and promptly resigns, having accomplished the one thing he wanted to do. He then admits to Janet that he was surprised by how much the voters seemed to care about the streetlight.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Regardless of what Mrs Raven does to other people, she has never harmed or endangered Janet through her actions beyond joining everyone else in considering George an idiot, and was genuinely touched when Janet asked her to be a bridesmaid (on the understanding that she wouldn't be expected to smile or anything like that).
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Mrs Raven's reaction to seeing Xil in 2x03.
    Mrs Raven: Janet, I'm straight and I think I fancy her!
  • 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.
  • Expy:
    • George is basically what Dougal would be like if he was a super hero instead of a priest.
    • Being a funny alien whose wife has to guide him through Earth culture, he's basically Mork is he were a superhero.
    • Mrs. Raven is a cynical, sarcastic woman with a brusque, abrasive personality when dealing with customers and has an unruly family. Basically, she's like a British Carla Tortelli.
  • Fake Better Alternate Timeline: In "Time and Time Again", George changes the past to make Janet's life happier. The eventual timeline created as a result seems to be perfect — Janet and Piers are happily married with ten children, Janet's parents and Mrs. Raven are happy, and Tyler is both in a relationship with a girl called Miranda (Hannah Waddingham) and is living where George and Janet usually live. George is tempted to live in this new timeline be... until he learns that Mrs. Raven is having an affair with Piers, at which point he resets the timeline.
  • Faint in Shock: A common gag for this show.
    • 2x07 has Piers fainting when, whilst preparing to deliver Janet's firstborn, he receives an answer after he rhetorically asks if the baby is ready to come out.
    • 3x02 has Piers and Mrs. Raven faint after seeing George disarm an armed robber who shot him without flinching.
    • 3x04 sees Ella faint when Janet, in an attempt to explain herself after being seen kissing a rapidly aged George, claim that she is having an affair with George's grandfather. The episode ends with Janet fainting after seeing George's tongue stick out of his ear.
    • 3x08 ends with Ella, who dropped a new diet after being convinced that sightings of George's double were a hallucination, faint after seeing two pairs of George and Janet at the Health Center. This faint is unique in that we see only her legs rising and dropping.
  • 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 2x04, 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, a German remake 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.
  • Forgot About His Powers: In "Mission Impossible" it takes a comment by Janet to remind George that he has the ability to erase memories. which subsequently becomes a relatively regular power.
  • Forgotten Anniversary: 5x09 opens with Janet giving George a present commemorating five years to the day they met only to find that George has forgotten. He makes up for this by using his various superpowers to give Janet a perfect day.
  • Forgotten Trope: Parodied. Instead of changing into his costume in phone booths like Superman, Thermoman always does it in the restroom.
  • 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.
  • 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)
    Vicar: Two...
    Stanley: That is my gift, that is my curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man!
    Vicar: Three...
    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).
  • Gender Bender. This can apparently happen to Ultronians who contract certain illnesses (4x07 has Ollie suffer from this when his half-human physiology causes him to experience an Overnight Age-Up, turning him into the 20-something Olivia). Arnie apparently once had this happen to him, becoming Annie, 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: In 4x09
    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', but it turned out they were asleep.
  • Groin Attack: In 3x03, as a result of George's teaching Malcolm (Ella and Stanley's dog) to be more assertive, Malcolm threatens in dogspeak to bite Stanley's "goolies" off if he attempts to take him home with them. When Stanley doesn't heed George's warning, he is subjected to this trope, forcing George to take the dog off him. Arnie later recalls the dog chewing on Stanley's "nut cluster".
  • 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: Lampshaded in 2x04.
    Mrs. Raven: I hate Americans.
    George: You hate everyone, Mrs. Raven. You're very fair that way.
  • Henpecked Husband: Stanley.
  • Hidden Depths: Tyler might come across as semi-deluded, but aside from his surprisingly genuine friendship with the Ultronian Leonardo da Vinci, on a few occasions he has been able to calm George and Janet down during periods of particular emotional distress, encouraging George to fight for Janet when Piers apparently gained superpowers and seduced her and assured a pregnant Janet that George must have a good reason for wanting to marry her, Janet observing that the aforementioned speech may be "the single wisest thing [Tyler] ever said".
  • 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".
  • Hypothetical Fight Debate: A meta example. Ardal O'Hanlon was once asked who would win in a fight between Thermoman and Father Dougal. He responded that it would be a tough call, with both characters being good-natured pacifists, but ultimately backed Dougal to win since he has God on his side.
  • 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.
  • Immoral Journalist: 3x06 has Kevin Trench, who barges into Janet's flat under the lie that he is a meter reader, allowing him to take a picture of Thermoman entering. The only reason George's secret identity is preserved is that Trench assumes that Janet is cheating on George with Thermoman; as Janet explains to George "marital sex doesn't sell newspapers, extra-marital sex does." Trench is very much pleased when George's attempts to diffuse the situation result in even more juicier stories, such as Thermoman fathering Janet's child, and Thermoman having a gay affair with George Sunday. Ultimately, Thermoman deals with Trench by fabricating evidence of him being a supervillain, then leaving him hanging to the Eiffel Tower.
  • Immune to Bullets: 3x02 sees George shot in the chest by an armed robber. He doesn't feel a thing and proceeds to disarm said robber, only realising he has been shot when pointed out by Mrs. Raven and seeing the smoke coming out of his chest.
    George: Oh, you're right, he did shoot me. One of me best shots as well.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Piers, who constantly brags about his reputation and career when in reality he is a very poor doctor who once stated to Janet that he's only cured around half a dozen people.
  • In My Language, That Sounds Like...: This hampers Ollie's baby-naming in 3x01. George's choice is Pontius, as in Pontius Pilate, which means "great warrior" on Ultron but, as Janet notes, "great bastard" on Earth. Janet's choice is her late grandfather's name, Benjamin, which in Ultronian means "man who prefers sheep". She next suggests Stephen, which means "man who prefers sheep (but wouldn't say no to a pig). When George reveals that his own name means "The One And Only", Janet suggests naming the baby George after him, but George points out that it would be silly to have two people called The Only And Only. She adds George Junior, which Arnie says means "the one and only but with a penchant for poodles".
  • 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 at seven and leaves her a note to get her scalp checked in her teens, 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.
  • 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!"
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: An Ultronian superpower which is performed by placing a finger to the forehead and giving a good "Thermoblast" (though merely staring worked initially). Comes in handy when someone guesses that George is Thermoman. On multiple occasions throughout the show, Piers, Mrs. Raven, Ella and Stanley learn the truth only for George to erase their memory and thus restore the status quo. George even erases his own memory by accident once, in 3x10, thus forgetting he is Thermoman and believing himself an ordinary human. As the Cloud Cuckoolander, Tyler is immune to the memory wipe.
  • Last-Minute Baby Naming: Somewhat justified as Janet's first pregnancy lasted only six days while her second was only a single day. After their first baby is born, George and Janet spend the first few days arguing over what to call him. Ultimately, the boy himself rejects their choices and wants a name that "symbolises the link between two heavenly bodies", offering a choice of either Apollo 11 or Battlestar Galactica. George suggests calling him Apollo, which Janet shortens to Ollie.
    • In 5x01, newborn Cassie essentially names herself by predicting what name she will be given.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: In Series 6, George's eyes suddenly glow red whenever he uses X-ray vision.
  • Let's Have Another Baby: In the opening of 5x01, George reminds Janet as she is giving birth to their second child that she had said she wanted another baby, remebering like it was yesterday (it was yesterday). Then after Cassie is born, George suggests giving her a little sister, noting that they could have one by tomorrow. Janet quickly shuts this idea down.
  • Literal-Minded: George
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Generally, Thermoman is universally adored whilst most people who meet George dismiss him as an idiot. In particular, both Ella and Mrs. Raven have the hots for Thermoman but don't care for George at all.
  • Magical Boyfriend: George for Janet.
  • Meaningful Name
    • Ollie is not short for Oliver but Apollo, as in Apollo 11, one of two names the Ultronian-human boy offered to symbolise the link between two heavenly bodies.
    • Cassandra "Cassie" Sunday names herself by forseeing that her parents will name her after "that old prophetess lady".
  • Meet the In-Laws
    • 1x02, "Guess Who's Coming to Lunch", has Janet introducing George to her parents.
    • 1x05, "Old Man Riverdance", has George introducing Janet to his father.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Inverted in 3x06, where George's eyes change to a strikingly light blue as he compels Kevin Trench to "confess" that he is a supervillain.
  • Missing Mom: George's mother Ulrich, who apparently died in an explosion, leaving behind only a finger.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In 3x06, George, in an attempt to diffuse the situation caused when a journalist caught him as Thermoman in Janet's flat, makes a public appearance as Thermoman in which he claims that he had come to visit George Sunday. As the press are unaware that the two are the same man, it is essentially reported that George is having a gay affair with himself.
  • Mr. Seahorse
    • Subverted in 2x07, where George appears to be pregnant, but has actually given himself a Balloon Belly to share in Janet's experience.
    • Played straight in 4x09, where George carries the child of an Ultronian couple who appear on Earth as apes, resulting in him giving birth to a chimpanzee.
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: Piers in "A Day to Remember". When a meteor threatens to destroy the Earth within 24 hours, Piers calls Janet into his office to ask her to sleep with him. He is so desperate that, when Janet refuses, he asks her to send Mrs. Raven in. When Janet reveals what Piers confided in her to Mrs. Raven, they both burst into laughter behind his back, with Mrs. Raven making a call to expose it to the press.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: George has this reaction in a Children in Need special when he finds out that thanks to solving all problems in the world he's destroyed reality TV and the news, leaving the only show left on TV Mr. Blobby.
  • Narcissist: Piers.
  • New Baby Episode: Following his birth at the end of 2x07, Ollie is introduced to the family in 3x01 ("Baby Talk"). 5x01 ("The Foresight Saga") sees the birth and introduction of Cassie.
  • Noodle Incident: In 4x03, it is recalled that one Christmas, George bought a mink which ate the turkey.
  • 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.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Janet's parents, Ella and Stanley Dawkins. From the start, they believe George to be an idiot, with Ella in particular wishing that Janet had gotten together with Piers. They tend to drop by unannounced at the most incovenient moments.
  • Odd Friendship: Mrs. Raven is rarely overly mean to Janet, however, and the two women have oddly managed to form a genuine friendship.
  • Older Than They Think: Ironically for a show with glaring Continuity Snarls (see above), several throwaway gags become important later on.
    • After becoming pregnant in 2x06, Janet gives birth to her first child, an Ultronian-human hybrid and a talking baby, in 2x07. In the pilot, George absent-mindedly tells Janet that he spoke to his mother when he was a week older.
    • Later, in 1x05, George and Janet discuss their potential children, George speculating they would be a bit of both species and brilliant by human standards.
    • 3x04 establishes that George's external human form can be traded for another, providing a rationale for the Series 6 recast.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe: In 5x05, Leonardo da Vinci describes his original The Mona Lisa as "old cliched crap".
  • Only Sane Man: Janet.
  • Overly Long Name: 2x03 features George's betrothed from Ultron, Xilialadonnamashamaliafigonanamununu or Xil to her friends.
  • Pacifist: Ardal O'Hanlon believes that George / Thermoman is one and, going over the series, he is mostly right. Thermoman's job consists of little more than saving people from natural disasters with nary a supervillain in sight. One incident where George confronts an armed thug ends with him peacefully disarming him (quite easy when one is Immune to Bullets). Then again, he is not 100% non-violent; incidents include endangering the structural integrity of the Moon by stomping on it (2x05), threatening to punch Arnie for supposedly having an affair with Janet (3x07), and pushing a fellow Ultronian who attempted to seduce Janet into a wall (5x09). There is also his Chang-Ching contest with Rovi (2x05), a duel frought with danger despite appearing to be rock-paper-scissors.
  • Parent-Preferred Suitor: Ella would like nothing more than for Janet to dump George and get together with Piers, solely because of Piers' wealth and fame. In one episode, she takes a picture of Piers with Janet and her kids, so she can pretend they're together.
  • Part-Time Hero: George.
  • Pilot: A 2013 interview with Ardal O'Hanlon revealed that there was a pilot where George, evidently played by a different actor, had an English Jewish persona. This was changed with the casting of O'Hanlon, who was more comfortable with portraying George with his natural Irish accent. The pilot remains unaired and indeed, unreleased to this day.
  • Politicians Kiss Babies: 4x04 has Piers Crispin kissing small children during his attempt to campaign for Mayor, 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).
  • The Present Day: Numerous references place the show as taking place roughly the same time it was produced rather than aired.
    • All of Series 1, including the Christmas special, takes place in 1999, when it was filmed, rather than 2000, when it was broadcast. This is established by George's Health Shop, which has a sign stating its establishment in 1999 and "Christmas" explicitly introduces him to the holiday, with 3x03 confirming that he had only just arrived on Earth by Series 1. In addition, Janet's 30th birthday is celebrated in 1x06, and 4x10 explicitly states that she was born in 1969.
    • Speaking of, 4x10 explicitly places itself around April Fools' Day (April 1st) 2003, six months prior to its airdate.
  • Prone to Tears: Just look at poor Tyler when he feels rejected by George or Janet. Aww.
  • Really 700 Years Old: In 2x01, George gives his age as 842, while 3x04 features his 327th birthday celebration, of his Earthly body which expires and has to be replaced soon after. His peers, most notably Arnie, are presumably about the same age, while his father Seamus would be even older than that. From what is seen of Ollie's 7 year old self in 4x10, Ultronians go through childhood at roughly the same rate as us. That said, 4x07 features the Ultronian adolescent Dr. Chelsea Williams, who is actually aged 72 (and a quarter).
    • 5x05 establishes that Leonardo da Vinci is actually an Ultronian who is still alive and well and living on Ultron, 500 years after he was recorded to have died on Earth.
  • Refuge in Audacity: When Janet's first pregnancy sees her half-Ultronian baby grow to an extent where she'd be ready to give birth in a week, she claims that she's just late showing to hide George's secret identity.
  • Repeated for Emphasis: When Janet realises that a re-powered Arnie has stolen the Crown Jewels, she keeps saying variations of “Of course [insert relevant phrase], you’ve stolen the Crown Jewels” at an increasing volume, incredulous that Arnie could be such an idiot.
  • Rescue Romance: Thermoman saves Janet from falling into the Grand Canyon, and they fall in love at first sight.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Demonstrated in 4x10: Due to the nature of Time Travel in the My Hero universe, those who go through the Time Tunnels of Tartarus retain their memory if their actions cause changes to time.
  • Santa's Existence Clause: In "Christmas", George brings in who he presents as Santa Claus to give one gift to Janet's friends and family. Everyone takes him for an old bum until they receive their gifts, no matter how extravagant their request. At the end of it, Janet assumes that George got the gifts while taking the old man along for the ride, but gets reason to believe otherwise when George points out how generous Santa was, noting that "he's usually asleep on Christmas Day".
  • 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.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: 6x08, the final episode of the series, establishes that the speed of light is the speed limit for superheroes, that is, a legal speed limit rather than a biological limitation, and George infact receives a penalty for breaking it. In any case, this is problematic as Ultronian civilization is established as having a pan-galactic influence; indeed, there have been episodes before in which Thermoman has travelled from Earth to Ultron and across the galaxy in a matter of hours at most. However, if this speed limit is to believed, it would take him no less than four years to get to the nearest star system. Simply put, the notion that star-hopping superheroes can be expected to restrict themselves to sublight speed is ridiculous as they are essentially equivalent to the spacecraft of interstellar civilisations. Then again in 5x06, George does casually mention traveling through wormholes, suggesting that short cuts are permitted.
  • Secret Identity: Required by Ultronian law. While not saving the world, Thermoman lives under the human alias George Sunday, initially in Ireland before moving to Northolt when he falls in love with Janet. Janet is made aware that George is Thermoman but swears secrecy, since his exposure would force him to return to Ultron and this end their relationship. Tyler also knows George's identity but that is of no concern since he is the Cloud Cuckoolander.
  • Shooting Superman: Justified. In 3x02, a thug shoots George in the chest, unaware that he is actually an indestructible Ultronian. George does not feel a thing and proceeds to apprehend the gunman, only noticing he has been shot after Mrs Raven points it out and he sees smoke coming out of his chest. As this incident was witnessed by Mrs Raven and Piers, George erases their memories.
  • Shout-Out: Believing that various fictional universes are real, Tyler is a king of this:
    • In 2x05, George and Janet attend the former's school reunion, which is disguised on Earth as a sci-fi convention. The pair wear Star Trek: The Original Series Starfleet uniforms, with George in Command gold and Janet in Operations red. Finding a hole in her tights, Janet brushes it off as a phaser burn.
    • 5x06: While in Janet's body, Tyler claims to have studied medicine on the planet Gallifrey.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Piers towards Janet.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Piers Crispin
  • Something Person: Most superheroes in this universe following this naming convention, most notably Thermoman himself.
    • Arnie was formerly known as Polarman.
    • In 2x05 Rovi!Piers names himself Miracleman.
    • In 4x05, Stanley temporarily gains superpowers and names himself Faldoman.
    • In 4x06, Thermoman is temporarily replaced as protector of Earth by a quick succession of superheroes, namely Localman, Tempman and Work Experience Boy.
    • In 4x08, Arnie mentions Megaman, presumably not the same as the Mega Man we know.
    • In 6x04, Thermoman is temporarily demoted to Sticky-Tape Boy after being replaced by his Distaff Counterpart.
    • In 6x06, Thermoman renames himself Whateverman after adopting the personality of a hormonal teenager.
    • 6x07's superhero rankings mentions Unbeatableman, Superman, Superish Man, So-so Boy, He'll Do If You're Desperate Man and Uselessman.
  • 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."
  • Snap Back: A Running Gag for this show. Most confusingly, Piers remains at least a semi-popular local doctor and television personality (though some of his popularity is exaggerated) despite every other episode having some incident obliterate his reputation and public image overnight.
    • 4x10 creates a Close-Enough Timeline in which Arnie fathered a child with Ella named Arnold, who looks an awful lot like him.
    • In 6x01, George Monday's attempts to create a clone of his original body only to create a clone of his new one. Thus, there is a second George played by James Dreyfus.
  • 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 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 a homage to Superman, Thermoman has "Thermo-breath" which can add or remove heat with his breath, as well as simply exhaling powerful gusts.
  • Superhero School: In 5x06, George recalls attending Superhero Academy.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes
  • Superheroes Wear Tights: Thermoman plays this trope straight to the point that Janet comments that George spends more on tights than she does.
  • Superman Substitute: Thermoman functions as this in the My Hero universe. However, 6x07 establishes that Superman himself does exist. Rather than hailing from DC Comics' planet Krypton, this "Superman" is presumably an Ultronian like Thermoman.
  • 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.
  • Super-Speed: An Ultronian superpower.
  • Super Zeroes: Work Experience Boy is shown to be this, as is Thermoman after being demoted to Sticky-Tape Boy. By implication, So-so Boy, He'll Do If You're Desperate Man, Uselessman and Captain Crap count as well.
  • 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.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Mrs Raven basically becomes this for Doctor Crispin in "Pet Rescue" when her attitude finally drives him to fire her. Not only does she delay the arrival of her replacement, but she keeps coming in to the health centre every day, feigning illness and driving other patients away. Since Piers can't take her to court to make her leave as she knows too many details about his history for him to be sure she wouldn't ruin his career if he tried to sue her, he's eventually forced to re-hire her.
  • Time Travel: The My Hero universe has a peculiar method in the Time Tunnel of Tartarus. In 4x10, George and Arnie go through this tunnel to travel back through time. They can use this to experience certain events over and over again and even change the past. As time travellers, there does not seem to be any risk of them overwritting or even meeting their past selves.
  • Time Travel Episode: 4x10, "Time and Time Again".
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: As demonstrated in 4x10, somehow Arnie is able to prevent himself from being subjected to a forced vasectomy by simply travelling back to a point before the vasectomy took place, with George confirming that he's "got his bits back".
  • Title Drop:
    • In Series 4 #10, "Time and Time Again", Janet calls Piers "my hero" in an alternate timeline where she married him instead of George.
    • 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.
  • Too Many Babies: In the opening of 2x07, Janet is horrified to learn that she has given birth to twelve babies, then she wakes from her nightmare.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Lineage: One episode featured Mrs. Raven's evil(er) mother who kidnapped her for a ransom.
  • Wasteful Wishing: In "Christmas", when George tries to cheer up the others by bringing Santa to the flat and offers them all one present, with Piers jokingly asking for a jigsaw puzzle in the belief that George won't actually get them anything... before George and Santa return with such elaborate presents for the others as a set of golf clubs with a bag signed by Tiger Woods (Stanley Dawkins), two tickets to the Caribbean (Tyler), and a lifetime supply of gin (Mrs Raven).
  • Wedding Episode: "Wedding" sees George and Janet getting married, with Janet giving birth to Ollie in church.
  • What Year Is This?: After accidentally going 20 Minutes into the Future, George and Arnie decide to return to one day before they left (April 1st 2003), thus preventing Arnie from getting a forced vasectomy. Arriving in the Sunday living room where Janet has her parents over, George asks for the date and is most pleased and Stanley confirms it is March 31st.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: "Taking the Credit" has a powerful villain built up, only to be revealed to be tiny and eventually squashed by Janet, just like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Fear Itself".
  • X Meets Y: Being about an Amusing Alien who has to be taught about Earth culture by his wife, this show is basically Mork & Mindy if Mork were Superman

Alternative Title(s): My Hero