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Series / Superhjältejul

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Superhjältejul (Superhero Christmas) is the Swedish TV Advent Calendar children's series for 2009. It centers around retired superheroes Stålhenrik (Steel-Henrik) and Supersnällasilversara (Superkindsilversara), telling the story about their first adventure to their grandchildren Vega and Nova.

The story is about supervillain Gjerta who wants to stop the laughter of children, and to this end assumes command over the institution that makes decisions in matters regarding children and gathers a squad of villains to help her.


Since it's a super hero show, it naturally has its fair share of tropes!

Superhjältejul provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Well, more like Adults Are Nonexistent. There seem to be quite a lot of children about, but no parents, and no adults who aren't either kind old people or one of many crazed villains.
  • Berserk Button triggering a Superpowered Evil Side: Calling Supersnällasilversara dumb makes her literally explode and transform into the green and mean Supersurasunksara. Whether or not she's more superpowered in this state is not entirely clear, but she's far more agressive. It was recently revealed she has lost the ability to transform due to age.
  • Big Bad: Gjerta, naturally.* Cannot Spit It Out: Played entirely straight with Stålhenrik's infatuation with Supersnällasilversara. He even got a song about it.
  • Catchphrase: "Vad sa du att jag var, sa du...?" by Supersnällasilversara, right after someone's said the d-word. Translates into something like "What did you say that I was, did you say...?" Or "What did you say that I was, you said...?" If you worry that this isn't completely good grammar, don't worry; it wasn't in Swedish, either.
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  • Chewing the Scenery: Klante Volantes song definitely has elements of this.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Gjerta. In the end, she attempts to steal the core of the artificial retirement planet, which would make it fly into space. To this end, she impersonated the custodian of the planet. Vega and Nova discover this, and she traps them in a cage. They manage to call for their grandparents to come to help them... and Gjerta has tailor-made traps for them, including a remote control with their faces on the buttons: A powerful magnet to trap Stålhenrik, a plush kitten above a sticky mess to trap Supersnällasilversara and a whack-a-mole game (with Gjerta's face on the rising things as well as repeatedly saying "dumb") to trap Supersurasunksara.
  • Creepy Twins: A mild version, but the tone-deaf triplets Tinnitus have elements of this. The three of them sit on the same chair, by having two of them sit on the knees of the third who is holding them up, and their idea of applause is the two sitting on the knees hitting one hand each together.
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  • Don't Think, Feel: It's eventually revealed that superpowers will only really work if you "don't think, just do".
  • Dumb Is Good: None of the heroes or the kind characters are particularly bright (heck, Nova and Vega could be chalked up to be brighter than Supersnällasilversara and Stålhenrik).
    • To wit: Stålhenrik was successfully duped by Gjerta into believing that birthday parties are bad and needs to be wrecked. Whereupon he does exactly that. Including smashing cakes with a mallet.
      • Despite the fact that Supersnällasilversara is a lot more cool-headed than her alter ego and Stålhenrik, Supersurasunksara might be as bright as them. Which is a scary thought.
  • Evil Genius: Gjerta
  • Genre Savvy: Gjerta realizes after her first two villains have been defeated that she has to train her remaining ones from villains to supervillains. After the third, she realizes exactly what triggers Supersnällasilversara's transformation to Supersurasunksara. Of course, every villain manages to drop the d-bomb despite the warnings anyway.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Every villain, apart from Gjerta. It's a children's show, after all.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Frigolit Fragile manages to invoke this (as far as it can be invoked in a children's show) on Supersnällasilversara, prompting her to ask what he said. Too bad he replied, since he had called her dumb in french...
  • Flying Brick: Averted. Stålhenrik is a non-flying brick, and Supersnällasilversara is a flying non-brick.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Supersnällasilversara, Stålhenrik and their grandchildren; Supersnällasilversara (sanguine, until she turns into the super-choleric Supersurasunksara), Stålhenrik (melancholic), Vega (choleric), and Nova (phlegmatic).
    • The villains:
    • Sanguine: Anna Flabet and Flemming Flink
    • Choleric: Gjerta and Ture Tvestjärt
    • Melancholic: Klante Volante and Frigolit Fragile
    • Phlegmatic: The Tinnitus Triplets and Uni Sax
  • Freudian Excuse: Frigolit Fragile dislikes children because he owns a museum of card towers, and the visiting children constantly ruin them for him.
  • Idiot Ball: Thrown around a little, but most notably, Gjerta definitely held it when she sent out Ture Tvestjärt, chronically afraid of germs, to steal the children's pets.
    • Frigolit Fragile also toyed with it on two occasions; replying to Supersnällasilversara when she asked him what he called her in French (knowing what would happen), and dedicating his life to stopping the laughter of the children due to his hatred of them for constantly ruining the exhibits of his museum, when he could have simply, oh, I don't know, closed the museum to children.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The once-populated warehouse taken over by the villains is called the 'Children's Department'. Sounds unpunny at first, but in Swedish, this title was 'Barnverket'. Still sounds unpunny? Well, now you'll hear it was only one letter away from 'Banverket', which was, at the time, the name for the governmental agency responsible for Sweden's railways. (Then again, this was also a bit of a Parental Bonus, considering that, while Superhjältejul is appreciated by some adults, the primary target audience was children, and they would not know a lot about railway companies.)
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: All of the villains, aside from Gjerta. (If you're a sympathetic person, then possibly Gjerta too.) I mean, think about it. If a germophobic pedantic, an extraordinarily cautious house-of-cards-museum owner, an agreeable illiterate, a clumsy tightrope walker, a barber with a Hand Puppet, and three tone-deaf triplets got together under the command of a power-crazy Big Bad to stop the laughter of the children, would you take them seriously? Of course not. Unless that barber once wanted to be a lumberjack, there's really nothing to worry about.
  • Informed Ability: The tone-deaf triplets Tinnitus are apparently supposed to hate music, yet they happily participate in every song the villains sing. And their Heel–Face Turn is the result of a song.
    • Stålhenrik is supposed to have super strength, but he only uses it one time in the whole show.
    • Frigolit Fragile is supposed to be very, very careful — and yet, in everyday life around the base, he acts more or less like a spaz.
  • Invincible Hero: Played straight at first, with the initial two villains sent out to stop the laughter getting easily dispatched by Supersurasunksara, but subverted by the two following who actually manages to outwit her.
  • The Klutz: Villainous version with Klante Volante. His entire reason for villainy is because he doesn't like getting laughed at for being a klutz. His name even contains the Swedish word for klutz: klant.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Flemming Flink frequently points out Gjerta's rather odd definitions of what is evil and what is not, and often seems as confused as the wiewers probably are.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Uni Sax. She wears three identical suits, ties and shirts at the same time. This is also what her life philosophy is: she wants everyone to look exactly the same, with gray and boring clothes and the same haircut.
  • Meaningful Name: All of the villains, most of which cross over into incredibly awesome puns:
    • Anna Flabet; Switch the first letters of that last name, and it becomes pronounced as 'Analfabet'note ; the Swedish word for 'illiterate'. Sure enough, she can't read.
    • Frigolit Fragile; the 'Fragile' is self-explanatory (even though it's pronounced 'Frah-jill'), and 'Frigolit' means 'styrofoam' à Súedo. As fragile as styrofoam.
    • Klante Volante; Volante=volatile, and 'Klant' means 'klutz'.
    • Uni Sax, which should speak for itself.
    • The Tinnitus twins' apparent hatred for music makes sense if they all suffer from the symptom.
    • Meta-wise, we have the actor who plays Stålhenrik. Henrik Ståhl (with silent h).
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Gjerta's nephew Flemming Flink, sent to Gjerta so he can learn to be evil. He doesn't seem to be getting it. His very first scene is walking into the Abandoned Warehouse (well, technically, captured warehouse) where the group of villains operate, and offering the Big Bad a caramel.
  • My Greatest Failure: Stålhenrik was once fooled by Gjerta into helping her. He has never gotten over it, even in his old age he is terribly ashamed. He doesn't want to talk about it, and even gets a My Greatest Failure song.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: While not exactly used for horror purposes, Supersnällasilversara (along with Stålhenrik) somehow managed to get from the back of a pickup into the passenger's seat. While it was moving. What kind of Crowning Moment this is is an exercise left to the viewer.
  • Old Superhero: Stålhenrik and Supersnällasilversara live on an artificial planet, constructed to be a retirement home for superheroes. It's been said it's not the only one.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Gjerta's color scheme, to emphasize her evil.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Literally. Vega and Nova wants to get the hang of their powers so they can become real superheroes and get their capes.
    • Which they, of course, got in the final episode after they were pivotal to ruining the plan of the Big Bad. Their superhero names became Supernova and Megavega.
  • Superpower Lottery: Maybe. Stålhenrik's only superpower seems to be that he's literally made of steel, while Supersnällasilversara doesn't seem to have much past flying. Their daughter can at the very least fly, and is apparently appropriate for joining in stopping a comet. One of their granddaughters also has the power to fly, and is training, while the other one supposedly has the power to move objects with her mind, which she hasn't gotten the hang of yet either. It's possible this power comes from her father, who isn't seen, but superpower genetics seem to be working in strange ways.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Actually Theme Triplet Naming. Nina, Tina and Tuss Tinnitus.
  • Training Montage: Unless they were all turned into supervillains by simply working out for a few minutes, the song Supervillain was this. Though it wasn't much of a montage, and more of a Time Skip.
  • Villain Song: Every episode contains a song. Every villain has gotten at least one, and there was also a song that was about going from being a mere villain to a supervillain.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Stålhenrik is afraid of... house sparrows. The first time he landed on Earth, he was also hesitant to speak to children, and believed that a lamp post looked cocky.

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