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Western Animation / Alphablocks

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An Edutainment Show currently running on CBeebies which aims to teach children how to read and write using anthropomorphic letters called the Alphablocks. The Alphablocks live in a blank white world note , but when they hold hands to spell a word, that word comes to life, allowing them to fill it with colour and fun. The show aired between 2010 and 2013, but reruns are currently airing.

The show was created by Joe Elliot, who also created a simular concept, Numberblocks.

See also The Letter People, a puppet show based on the same concept.


This show provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Alphablocks usually use words which start with their own letter whenever possible, which can lead to this. See T's catchphrases:
    T: "Anyone for tea?"// "Total tomfoolery!"// "Time for you-know-what!"
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: the bats, rats, and cat from "The Cat Sat on the Mat" wear hats.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In "Little Red N", N learns to say 'yes' sometimes, and to not be so negative. However, by the next episode, he goes back to saying 'no' to everything.
  • Alien Episode: In one episode, the Alphablocks meet an alien named Fred.
  • Alliterative List: A result of the Alphablocks liking alliteration, and listing things:
    T: Let's see. Ticket, toothbrush, teapot, teacup, ten teabags, tip-top!
  • Amnesia Episode: In one episode, A cannot remember her name except when she's spelling a word with Y, I, or a silent E.
  • Art Initiates Life: In "Pen", the Alphablocks create a pen which draws things that come to life.
  • Bag of Holding:
    • In "Plusman", an enormous pile of food somehow fits into a tiny lunchbox.
    • In "Box", a box appears which contains a tower which is at least five times as big as it.
  • Balloonacy: In "Up", all the letters fly into the sky with balloons.
  • Balloon-Bursting Bird: In "Up", P, O, and another P create birds who pop the letters' balloons making everyone fall down.
  • Battle of the Bands: In "Band", B and A want to play pop, but N and D want to play rock, so they split up their band and form two new bands, called 'Fab' and 'Din'. They then have a battle of the bands to see which band is better.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies:
    • A giant fly carries the Alphablocks to the top of a giant plant in "Wish".
    • U also rides on a big fly in "Win".
  • Big Eater: M has only been not hungry once in the entire series.
  • Birthday Episode: One episode is about T's birthday.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": N does not like saying 'yes', so he says 'no' in a lot of situations where he clearly means 'yes'.
    B: Do you want to join my-
    D: Our band?
    N: No! *Nods frantically* No!
    D: Is that a yes?
    N: Yes!
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Whenever it gets dark, the letters' eyes are always still visible.
  • Cargo Ship: In universe. In "Wig", O falls in love with a wig.
  • Cassandra Truth: In "Ants", N gets the power to click his fingers and make a picnic appear, but when he tells the others, nobody believes him.
  • Catching Some Z's:
    • Whenever Z falls asleep, little Zs float out of his mouth. In "Zap", he zaps all of his Zs and has to get them back.
    • When X is asleep, there are little floating Xs instead.
  • Catchphrase:
    • P: "I just popped in!"
    • B: "B on bass!"
    • D: "D on drums!"
    • T: "Anyone for tea?"/ "Total tomfoolery!"/ "Time for you-know-what!"
    • J: "I'm a jolly jaybird!" / "I can fly!" / "Jumping jellyblocks!"
    • Z: "Alphablocks! Attention!"
    • Y: "Why?"/"Yikes!"
    • I: "I know! note 
    • H: "Hooray!"
    • W: "Wow!" / "Whoops!"
    • G: "Good grief!" / "Gosh!"
    • K: "OK!"
  • Circling Birdies:
    • In "Plusman", X hits his head on the ceiling, and little Xs float around his head.
    • In "Lips", when each of the letters fall off the bed, they get a halo of stars around their head.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: J actually thinks she's a bird.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In "Sing", B, A, N and D all form a band. The band shows up again in some later episodes, such as "Four".
    • In "Band", D, I and N form another band, called 'Din'. Din appears again briefly in "Win" and in "Magic".
  • Dream Sequence: Most of "Zzzzz" is about Z's dreams.
  • Dressed to Plunder: R wears a pirate hat and an eye patch.
  • Emoticon: When Fred is happy, the symbol above his head changes to a smiley emoticon with three eyes.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: In "Rainbow", the Alphablocks create a rainbow which leads to a magical land.
  • Extreme Omnivore:
    • M eats many things, including the moon.
    • The toad in "Toad" also eats a lot of things, including a watering can, a teapot and a magnifying glass.
  • Eyepatch of Power: R can see perfectly fine with her eye patch.
  • Flight: F, S, and X can all fly. F and S use air, but with X it just seems to be a natural ability.
  • Forgot About His Powers: P could have used her Teleportation powers to escape from the trap in "Trap" just like she escaped from the top of a mountain in "Top".
  • Fractured Fairy Tale:
    • In "Book", a book appears which tells the Alphablocks the story of Little Red Cool Riding Hood, and the Big Good Woof.
    • In "Box", a performance of Sleeping Beauty briefly turns into Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
    • "Little Red N" is a parody of The Little Red Hen.
    • One episode is a parody of The Gingerbread Man.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: In the space episode, the gorilla wears a spacesuit.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: There are thirteen boys and thirteen girls.
  • Getting Ready For Bed: One episode is a parody of Five Little Monkeys about L putting the vowels to bed.
  • Green Around the Gills: In "Fair", O goes green after riding the helter-skelter too many times.
  • Hammerspace: T often pulls out a teapot and teacups from behind his back, though the teapot doesn't always have tea in it. E does the same with his megaphone, and I with her mirror.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: In "Name", A gets the hiccups and can't say her own name.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • I is mostly just prissy, but she also likes rock music and is part of the 'Din' band.
    • The cat from "The Cat Sat on the Mat" seems like a normal cat, until it puts on clothes and starts dancing.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Downplayed. J usually sings really badly when she tries making her sound to sing, but when she sings with actual lyrics, she has a good singing voice.
  • "I Am" Song: E gets two songs— one about his being the "busiest" letter and another about how he can do "magic" by changing vowel sounds.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Nearly every episode's title, is a One-Word Title.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible:
  • Invisibility Ink: I, N, and K make one in "Ink", and use their newfound Invisibility to prank others.
  • Job Song: In one episode, X sings about how he's a superhero.
  • The Klutz: A tends to fall over and apples fall on her head.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: I boasts about being intelligent, but she seems to be just average in terms of intelligence. Likewise, she often claims she knows, when she doesn't.
  • Large Ham: E and I are both very dramatic and loud.
  • Left the Background Music On: At one point in "Cowboy", T and H walk up and stereotypical western music starts playing. The next shot reveals that it's caused by N playing the harmonica.
  • Leitmotif: Whenever X appears, superhero music plays. Similarly, R's appearance is often signalled by pirate-esque music.
  • Little Green Men: Fred the alien is a little green Alphablock.
  • Magic Carpet:
    • One appears briefly in "Wish", but it dematerialises before it can do anything.
    • Another one appears in "Man", and M, A and T use it to chase a gingerbread man until M eats it.
  • Meaningful Name: Plusman is a superhero who adds words together to form compounds and his name is a compound.
  • Musical Episode: Many episodes have songs, which are usually based around one letter or phonic.
    • "Bee" is about E and how he's the most most common letter in the alphabet.
    • "Magic" is about Magic E.
    • "The Cat Sat on the Mat" is about words with the 'at' sound in them.
    • "Song" is about the 'ng' combination.
    • "Four" is about how you can make more complex words with four letters as opposed to three.
    • "Home", "Sleep", "Blue", "Name" and "Mine" are about different ways of making o, e, u, a and i sounds, respectively.
  • Senior Sleep Cycle: Though the Alphablocks don't have definite ages, Z has a white beard and generally looks like an old man. He also constantly falls asleep, usually while talking about how everyone must stay alert.
  • Shaped Like Itself: In "Thing", a thing appears. I asks what it is, and T and H say that it's a thing.
  • Shoddy Shindig: In "Superhero X", a group of letters try to throw a party but find it boring as there is nothing to do. However, X livens it up.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A pen draws hare ears on T. Seeing as T likes tea parties, this may be a reference to the March Hare and Mad Hatter's tea party from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
    • In "Fred", F grows a shark fin, and Jaws-like music plays.
    • In "Dots", O paints a parody of The Mona Lisa, with himself replacing the lady in the painting.
  • Signature Instrument: B and N both have guitars: a bass guitar for B and an invisible guitar (which he calls his no-guitar) for N. They're often seen playing their instruments while Scatting with their letter sounds to the point of it being a Character Tic.
  • Space Episode:
    • In one episode, S, P, A, C, and E all go to space and are driven home by a gorilla.
    • In another episode, some characters go to the moon.
  • Spaghetti Kiss: In "Toad". M and the toad drink the water in a moat and end up kissing.
  • Spiritual Successor: Numberblocks, which is the same concept but with numbers instead of letters.
  • Spot of Tea: T drinks tea and he gives off the vibe of a fancy British dude.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Letters often rearrange sentences or even miss out words entirely so the sentence starts with a word which begins with their letter.
  • Strong Ants: In "Ants", a single ant walks off with a whole stack of apples.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: X is a superhero and wears the typical red cape.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: R says, "Rrr" a lot and calls her friends "shipmates".
  • Teleportation: P has the power to teleport, and makes a popping sound whenever she appears or disappears.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: All the girls have eyelashes and lips, and most of them have Tsurime Eyes while most of the boys have smaller round or oval eyes. Q and G are also the only characters to have hair, and are both female.
  • Tired After The Song:
    • At the end of E's song about who he is, he falls asleep, the implication being that he's tired from being in so many words.
    • In "Quick", Q's song keeps getting quicker and quicker until U can't take it anymore and quits which makes everyone fall down from exhaustion.
  • Trademark Favorite Food / Drink: P likes peas, and T likes to drink tea.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Most of the girls have these. N also gets them from Series 2 onward.
  • Two Beings, One Body: The letters can merge to create di- and trigraphs.
  • The Unintelligible: Fred speaks gibberish, but can communicate by altering the symbol on his head.
  • Vague Age: Nobody's age is stated. We only have some vague clues:
    • Everyone lives independently, they're all the same size, and no one goes to daycare or school, suggesting they're adults.
    • On the other hand, L has tucked the vowels, plus B and D, into bed, suggesting that they're children but she's an adult.
    • Z is explicitly elderly and he's said to be the oldest on the official website. T also appears old since his moustache is white.
    • X calls himself Plusman once, suggesting he's an adult.
    • Y is said to be the youngest.
    • O once sleeps in a cot, but he can't be a baby since he can walk, live independently, doesn't wear a diaper, and Y is younger than him and all the above applies to her, too plus she can talk. It's possible O is three and Y is two (since three is the oldest age for sleeping in cots), but it would be odd having a two-year-old and a three-year-old living independently, plus they're no smaller than the other.
    • F and M, (unless his chef's hat is just for show) have jobs, suggesting they're adults.
  • Visible Odor: In "Ink", a pile of socks appears which gives off a green mist.
  • The Voiceless: Zigzagged. Magic E doesn't speak at all in some episodes, reflecting how the 'e' at the end of a word such as 'cake' isn't pronounced, but changes the sound the vowel makes. However, he does speak in other episodes, and in "Magic" he sings a whole song.
  • Who's on First?: Many letters sound the same as words, which often leads to jokes like this:
    S: Let's see. Seven... Plus one...
    M: Eight!
    U: I didn't eat it, M ate it!
    S: Silly M! Now we'll never know the answer!
    M: Eight!
    S: I know you ate it!
    U: No I didn't! It was M!
    M: Eight!
    S and U: WE KNOW!
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks:
    • In "Rainbow", G, O, L and D find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. They tip out all the gold and keep the pot.
    • In "Champ", S and H win a case of money. They turn it down, because they don't need a box of paper.

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