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Series / The Hoobs

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The Hoobs was a British-Canadian children's television show produced by The Jim Henson Company, originally airing on Channel 4 and Nick Jr. UK from 2001-2002. In the United States, the show was available exclusively on Hulu, though has since moved to a service called TubiTV. It also once aired on Sprout and if you have Roku, you can watch the complete series for free through a channel called Henson Family TV. The eponymous Hoobs were a species of alien creature reigning from the fictional Hoobland (in reality these creatures were played by muppets), sent down to Earth by their mentor Hubba Hubba to gather as much information about Earth as possible. Three of these Hoobs — Iver, Tula and Groove — were handed a Hoobmobile that ran on singing motors (yes, really) while they travelled the UK. The fourth, Roma, was sent to other parts of the world, like Oceania, Europe and even Antarctica to report on her findings which the other Hoobs would watch on a large screen.


The show intended to teach children about the very basics of human science and scientific research, as evidenced by the basic plot of every episode:

  • One of the Hoobs would encounter some sort of problem that would help them to formulate a question. They would then consult the other two Hoobs about this.
  • Hubba Hubba would then gather the Hoobs and then formalise the procedure to add to his Great Hoobapaedia. This involved emailing Roma the task so she would be able to report her expertise to the rest of the Hoobs.
  • The Hoob asking the question would start with asking "who", "what", "when", "where", "why" or "how". This lead to the Motorettes' (ie. the singing motors mentioned previously) vocal harmonising of that word.
  • The Hoobs then get firmly stuck into the "action research" method of the plan, using methods such as looking on Hoobnet (which inevitably cut away to an animated story interstitial), asking some children (or "Tiddlypeeps" as they called them) and doing various experiments. Roma would then present her research via Hoobnet.
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  • One other Hoob may participate in the "B" storyline, which was nowhere near as complex as the "A" storyline — possibly to add more narrative elements to the show's structure.
  • After about twenty minutes of trial-and-error, the Hoobs would then present a TV News-style report recapping the procedure before coming to their conclusion.


  • Aliens Speaking English: Downplayed. Though the Hoobs mainly spoke English, they had words and phrases which were exclusive to their home planet, including "Fan-tabby-hooby!" for "fantastic" and "peeps" for human(oid) adults.
  • Amazing Technicolour Population: The Hoobs themselves.
  • Blinding Bangs: Groove has hair that completely covers his eyes.
  • The Comically Serious: Iver and his obsession with "Hoob News" often results in this.
  • Edutainment Show: The show teaches a wide variety of material ranging from pro-social values to general topics, including stuff such as things that make one laugh to the nature of stars.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: In "Laughter," the Hoobs search for something that makes both them and "tiddlypeeps" (children) laugh. It turns out to be this.
  • Humans Are Flawed: That said, the show does not shy away from exploring some of humanity's flaws — it briefly touches upon matters such as criminals (Iver Five-O and Bossy Boots) and the mistreatment of animals (Not A Horse).
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Averted. The Hoobs frequently look to the "peeps" for knowledge and wisdom.
  • Jerkass Ball: While fairly mild examples of this trope, Iver, Groove and/or Tula can pick this up whenever they become either too obsessed with answering the Hoob News question, or couldn't care less about it. Iver is often an example of the former, while Groove is usually the latter.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mark Jefferis's portrayl of Groove seems noticeably cheekier than John Eccleston's, though the character's love for his friends remains fully intact.
  • Meaningful Name: Roma is named because she roams the planet. Groove is so named because he's the Totally Radical one.
  • Sentient Vehicle: Well actually, it's a non-sentient vehicle with sentient motors.
  • Title Theme Tune
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: The Motorettes, all the time.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Hubba Hubba.


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