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Series / The Littlest Hobo

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Maybe tomorrow, I'll wanna settle down...
But 'till tomorrow, I'll just keep movin' on.
"Maybe Tomorrow", the 1979-1985 show's theme song

The Littlest Hobo (1963-65, 1979-1985) is a Canadian television series that chronicled the journeys of an unnamed heroic German Shepherd who travelled from town to town, helping people in need. It is based on an American film of the same name released in 1958.

In every episode, the dog (simply referred to by most fans as "the Hobo") befriends a person or family who is in need of help (due to various circumstances). The Hobo often performs dangerous feats to save the supporting characters from danger, and helps them solve their current problem. When his job is done at the end of every episode, the Hobo declines to be the pet of the people he has helped, and departs to continue his cross-country drifting.

There have been two separate series made that bear the name The Littlest Hobo: the original (which ran in the 60's) and the more widely-known sequel series that aired on CTV in the 80's. The various dogs featured in both series were all credited as "London".

The Littlest Hobo is considered to be a cultural landmark for Canadian television, and is still remembered fondly by many Canadians who watched the sequel series when it originally aired. To this day, it runs in syndication on Canadian television.

The series includes examples of:

  • Adventure Towns: Almost every town that Hobo visits features some kind of adventure.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version had a different theme song.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Among other feats, the dog has helped rescue a Russian ballerina from mobsters and delivered a shipment of vital medicine to children in need by parachuting from an airplane with the medicine on his back.
  • But Now I Must Go: Almost every episode of the show ended up with Hobo leaving people that he helped.
  • Clear My Name: The goal of Hobo's companion in the two-parter "Manhunt," who killed a man in self-defense... but, well see Inconveniently Vanishing Exonerating Evidence below. and without it he faces a murder charge
  • Clip Show: "The Genesis Tapes."
  • Generic Cop Badges: In "Rookie", a police dog training academy is shown; the officers are wearing uniforms with shoulder flashes that are almost identical to those of the Metropolitan Toronto Police. However, they are also wearing breast badges shaped like six-pointed stars and a different kind of cap badge. Toronto may not be the actual setting of the episode. note 
  • Heroic Dog: Hobo is this.
  • Heroic Pet Story
  • Identity Amnesia: "Forget Me Not" involves an amnesiac woman stumbling into an empty amusement park before its opening day, unsure of who she is and why she's there. Later into the episode, just before Hobo saves her from falling off a mountain, its revealed that she's the owner of the newly-opened Canada's Wonderland, and she had somehow escaped the hospital during an amnesic episode where she was being treated after a car crash.
  • Inconveniently Vanishing Exonerating Evidence: The goal of Hobo's companion in the two-parter "Manhunt," who killed a man in self-defense... but the weapon that he was attacked with is missing, and without it he faces a murder charge. (yes, the weapon is found.)

  • Left Hanging
  • No Name Given: The dog is never named on-screen, and is often given a nickname by the individuals he meets in any given episode.
  • The Parody: The Littlest Hobo has been skewered by several major Canadian comedy programs, including This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Corner Gas had an entire episode that centered around a dog that acted just like the Hobo.
  • Reaction Shot: Plenty of these from the dog, especially when a human character has said or done something stupid.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Where did the dog come from? Where was he going? Who was his original owner? Why was he on the road anyway? None of these questions are answered during either series.
  • Status Quo Is God: Despite the fact that almost every person the dog meets offers to give him a home, food and comfort, the dog either runs off or disappears at the end of every episode.
  • Time-Compression Montage: The end credits, and the beginning of most episodes.
  • Timmy in a Well: A few episodes feature people getting in danger and Hobo trying to save the team.
  • Walking the Earth: As stated before Hobo never stays in one place for long, as soon his job is done, he continues his journey.
  • Wham Episode: The sequel series' two-part Clip Show episode "The Genesis Tapes," which reveals that the dog in the original series and the dog in the sequel are the same dog.