Follow TV Tropes


Series / Strange Hill High

Go To
"This is Strange Hill, where a talking frog can eat yo' face; it's very, very random; you'll get used to these debates."

Strange Hill High follows the misadventures of friends Mitchell, Becky, and Templeton at their strange school.

The series consists of puppets combined with Japanese toys and CGI animation.

Now has a character sheet.

Do not confuse it for the different spooky schools seen in two seperate comics that are also called Strange Hill (one in Whizzer and Chips, the other in The Dandy), both derive their name from being a pun on Grange Hill. Compare with Black Hole High, a show with a similar premise of strange goings-on in a school.

This show contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Academy of Adventure: The story follows the unusual and absurd occurrences that happen at the inner-city school `Strange Hill High'. Students Mitchell, Tanner, Becky Butters and Templeton find themselves in the middle of every event, as they try to unravel the school's secrets and mysteries.
  • Alliterative Name: Becky Butters.
  • Alpha Bitch: Stephanie shows shades of this.
  • Blowing Smoke Rings: After a grizzly bear attacks the classroom in "Health & Safety", it steals Mr. Garden's pipe and starts blowing smoke rings. (It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context)
  • Brain with a Manual Control: In one episode, the kids find a door within the headmaster's office. This door leads inside his head, where they find a control room that resembles the bridge of a ship. Using it, they can control where he walks and what he says.
  • British Brevity: Two seasons of 13 episodes each.
  • The Cameo: In "Strange Hill Christmas" Mr. Balding looks out the classroom window and sees, somewhat randomly, Postman Pat making a threatening gesture toward him, accompanied by a creepy rendition of his theme music.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: A sign in "Health & Safety" reads "OBEY THIS SIGN", and nothing else.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Matthews's "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!"
    • Bishop's "Innit!"
  • Chainsaw Good: Templeton has a tendency to pull chainsaws out of hammerspace when the gang need to carve something. Thankfully, he usually restrains himself to snow sculptures.
  • The Charmer: Mitchell can get Becky to go along any Zany Scheme if he pitches it with enough enthusiasm.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Templeton has a very... unique mindset.
    • Anything slightly out of the ordinary he immediately worships and he actually obeys several villains when they tell him to grovel or bow down to them.
    • He put gerbils in his ears to block Nimrod's constant reminders of the time left on a test.
    • He wears socks with sandals and his socks are mismatched.
  • Counting to Potato: After Mitchell breaks maths in "The 101% Solution", the answer to one square root problem become "banana football". Later, while attempting to score -1% on a maths exam, Mitchell gives the answer to one question as "hamburger".
  • Creepy Doll: In "Mitchell Junior", the kids are given electronic baby dolls to look after for their Egg Sitting assignment. Mitchell gets an older model which turns out to be demonically possessed.
  • Cuteness Proximity: In "Teacher's Pet", Becky starts cooing over all the animals in the science lab. Even the tarantula.
  • Dartboard of Hate: The dartboard in the staff room has Tanner's picture on it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mitchell. Becky does this occasionally.
  • Dean Bitterman: Headmaster Abercrombie has it in for Mitchell and looks for any excuse to give him detention.
  • Deranged Animation: With an odd combination of vinyl puppetry, CGI and completely insane turns of events, it's inevitable.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Mitchell sings the theme song, along with the 10-second ending theme that changes every episode.
  • Egg Sitting: In "Mitchell Junior", Mr. Garden decides to teach the class a lesson in responsibility by getting them to look after electronic babies. Becky's keeps falling to pieces. Mitchell, who was late to class, gets an older model that turns out to be demonically possessed.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Templeton wears mismatched socks.
  • F--:
    • In "End of Terminator", when NIMROD starts malfunctioning, he gives Mitchell a 'G' on his maths test. Tanner protests that 'G' isn't even a real grade but is ignored.
    • In "The 101% Solution", Mitchell gets -1% on his maths exam, despite Templeton telling him this grade is a mathematical impossibility.
  • Gag Censor: In "Teacher's Pet", the chainsaw Templeton uses is blurred out, even though viewers can clearly tell what it is. He even says it's a chainsaw!
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Substitute music teacher Miss Joy from "The Snide Piper" can hypnotize kids into being happy with her singing.
  • The Good Old British Comp: Although many would dispute the 'good', But the school is undeniably old.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: After Templeton has his trousers stolen in "The Lost and Found Boy", he hides in his locker covering his privates with a textbook.
  • High-School Hustler: Mitchell Tanner.
  • I Have This Friend: In "Big Mouth Strikes Again", Becky tells a story about how chocoholism ruined her sister's life. It turns out Becky doesn't have a sister and she was really talking about herself.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Abercrombie and the demonically possesed Baby Doll act like they are on drugs when being addicted to candy. For example, deliriousness, uncontrollable twitching, and acting Ax-Crazy if denied the Choc O Splosion candy bar, though only the Baby Doll goes through this.
  • Immune to Mind Control: The season 2 finale has the villainess of the week (Terpsichore) use hypnosis against the students. During the episode, Mitchell and Becky discover that the only other student (aside from themselves) who has not been hypnotized is Matthews. Since he's always ridiculously happy, Terpsichore's hypnosis did not work on him.
  • Impossible Thief: Peter Dustpan from "The Lost and Found Boy" who, among other things, steals Abercrombie's desk while he is sitting at it and Templeton's trousers while he is wearing them.
  • Indy Escape: In "Health & Safety", Tanner, Becky and Templeton are chased along a corridor by a giant papier-mâché head of Winston Churchill.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Becky does this in "Big Mouth Strikes Again".
  • Insane Troll Logic: Pretty much anything Templeton has to say.
    Mitchell: So what does this mean?
    Templeton: That the world is just a smaller version of the one true cube.
    Templeton: Chainsaws don't kill people, Becky. People do. People with chainsaws.
  • Jerk Jock: Tyson, Bishop, and Lucas all count as this.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: In "Mitchell Who?", Mitchell has his school record erased, which results in everyone forgetting he existed.
  • Loveable Rogue: Mitchell Tanner.
  • Lethal Chef: The school cook. Oddly enough, he manges to create a grand Christmas dinner with Becky's help despite lacking any way to roast food when Mitchell's botched attempt to make Christmas break start early kills the school's furnace and snows in the faculty and students.
  • Made of Explodium: In "Health & Safety", a giant papier-mâché head of Winston Churchill (It Makes Sense in Context) explodes into flames after it collides with aa wall. Lampshaded and justified as they are trapped in a health and safety film where everything is dangerous.
  • Meta Fiction: The show tends to note and exploit tropes for comedic reasons. Becky and Templeton once commented on the Stylistic Suck the show has, describing their universe as people who are "odd-looking puppets with rods coming out of their arms."
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In "Crushing Embarrassment", Tanner agrees to play M. Barrassment's game, on the understanding that if he wins then Barrassment will release "all of my friends. And Tyson".
  • My Little Phony: The 'Pinky the Pony' toyline (spelt 'Pikky the Pony' on a poster in the credits).
  • Now Do It Again, Backwards: In "Health & Safety", Mitchell, Becky and Templeton are trapped in a old safety film. They eventually discover that the way to escape to reenact the events of the film backwards until they arrive at the point where they entered.
  • Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: In "Snoozical", Becky tries to hand Miss Grackle the sheet music for her audition:
    Becky: Can you play this for me, please?
    Grackle: No.
    Becky: Why not?
    Grackle: It's the owner's manual for an electric tin-opener.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Matthews and the Twins are always smiling no matter what happens.
  • Perverse Puppet: In "Mitchell Junior", the robot baby Mitchell gets in his Egg Sitting assignment turns out to be demon possessed. The "perverse" part comes into play when e eats Choc O Splosion bars, and acts really really weird.
  • Peter Pan Parody: In "The Lost and Found Boy", Mitchell, Becky and Templeton encounter an immortal schoolboy named Peter Dustpan who has been living in the school's lost and found room for over a century.
  • Precocious Crush: Becky is implied to have a crush on Mr. Garden, the English teacher.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Bishop.
  • Produce Pelting: When Mitchell is accused of being a thief in "The Lost and Found Boy", he made is made to sit in the corridor with a sign around his neck inviting to the students to pelt him with produce. Naturally they do so.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: This quote from Becky in "Big Mouth Strikes Again":
    Becky: I! Need! NOUGAT!!
  • A Rare Sentence: From "The 101% Solution":
    Becky: 'We can't hold off these concrete-pouring helicopters forever,' she said, saying something no one has ever said before.
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: In "The 101% Solution", Mitchell cheats to get 101% on a test and ends up "breaking mathematics".
  • Reality-Writing Book: In "Read All About It", the magic ink used in the school newspaper causes any story written in it to come true. This is a problem as Mitchell has made up a story about the school collapsing tomorrow.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Mr. Balding has been working at the school for centuries.
  • Scary Librarian: The Librarian Lady who once used a book to suck in all the students so they wouldn't touch the books.
  • School Is Murder: Students are taking a huge gamble just going to school.
  • Shout-Out: The audio-visual room, the most feared room in the school, is located in Room 101.
  • Short-Runners: The series only lasted a year with 2 seasons with 13 episodes each.
  • Stuffed into a Trashcan: This happens to Templeton and Matthews on a regular basis.
  • Stylistic Suck: All the puppet characters have obvious black rods attached to their arms, and all the full CGI shots (not including the mouth movements of characters, which are fairly well done) of characters are blatantly CGI.
  • Sucky School: The headmaster is constantly cutting corners to save money, the teachers are either sadists or idiots, the Scary Librarian does not like children touching the books, the caretaker has been at the school for centuries. Oh, and the entire school is a nexus for weird events.
  • This Is Reality: In "Innercrombie", after Mitchell takes control of Abercrombie's body.
    Becky: Mitchell, you can't just make a person do anything you want. People aren't odd-looking puppets with rods coming out of their arms.
    Templeton: That would be really strange. Really, really, really... (notices the rods on his arms) ...weird.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: In "The Snide Piper", the kids need Matthews' help to get rid of Miss Joy because he's already so inexplicably happy he's immune to her powers.
  • To Serve Man: When aliens that inexplicably resemble Templeton come to Earth to hail him as the creator of the universe, Becky is quick to discover that they go all over the universe doing the same thing for countless Templetons to lure them into grand feasts where they cook them.
  • Totem Pole Trench: In "The Lost and Found Boy", Mitchell, Becky and Templeton do this to pose as Templeton's grandmother in order to gain access to the lost and found.
  • Trapped in TV Land: In "Health & Safety", Mitchell, Becky, and Templeton get trapped inside an old safety film.
  • Troll: Mitchell loves pushing people's buttons. Especially Abercrombie's.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: "A Strange Hill Christmas" is this to The Shining.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Happens to Abercrombie when is electrocuted while trying to unplug the projector at the end of "Health & Safety".