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Western Animation / Fireman Sam

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Fireman Sam (Sam Tân in Welsh) is a 1987 toymation animation series, about the fire service in the fictional Welsh town of Pontypandy. The original series was first broadcast in the Welsh language, then in English as of 1988. Originally narrated by John Alderton. Said series ended by 1995. HiT Entertainment acquired the rights and produced a new series made with Claymation, lasting from 2005 to 2006. An ever newer CGI series debuted in 2008 and is currently broadcast on TV.

Pontypandy Fire Service consists of the title character, his friend and colleague Fireman Elvis Cridlington, their boss Station Officer Steele and the newest recruit, Firefighter Penny Morris. Outside of the fire service, the townspeople include Sam's niece and nephew, Sarah and James (and recently their parents Charlie and Bronwyn), shopkeeper Dilys Price and her prankster son Norman, cafe owner Bella Lasagne, bus driver and part-time firefighter Trevor Evans, mountain rescue worker Tom Thomas, and the Flood family (nurse Helen, handyman Mike and their daughter Mandy).


Series 8 introduces Gareth Griffith, Bronwyn's father and Sarah and James's grandfather who's a retired Newtown train driver who now operates the Pontypandy Express to and from the Pontypandy Mountains, mountaineer Moose Roberts, a Canadian expat who runs Pontypandy Mountain's Mountain Activity Center, and the kids' school teacher Mrs. Chen and her toddler daughter Lily. Series 9 brings in the Sparkes family, Mechanic and inventor Joe and his wife Lizzie, along with their wheelchair-bound daughter Hannah, coastguard Ben Hooper who is the head of the newly opened Ocean Rescue Center, and in the second movie special "Ultimate Heroes", Arnold McKinsley and Ellie Phillips, 2 newly graduated firefighters that are brought to Pontypandy by Chief Fire Officer Boyce (himself introduced in Series 6 as an old friend and superior to Steele) to help round out the firefighters' newly built Fire Station.


There are, apparently, two English dubs of this show, one meant for the UK and one for the US (the US version is actually dubbed in Canada by, of all studios, The Ocean Group), with the strange exception of Tom, Bella, and Moose who have the same voice actor in both dubs, since they're supposed to be foreigners (Australian, Italian, and Canadian, respectively). In addition, Station Officer Steele is addressed as Fire Captain Steele and Chief Fire Officer Boyce is referred to as Fire Department Chief Boyce instead. The biggest differences with the voices is the general lack of assorted "British" accents, and in a couple of cases, less "harsh" sounding characters, notably with Sarah, James, and Norman, though Gareth inverts the trend. The "in-house" vibe of it makes it come off as a bit different from an out-right re-dub, and it would explain Tom and Moose. Note that the US version is not very common, only appearing on the Fireman Sam US YouTube channel and the US Amazon Instant Videos. Beyond that, there's little evidence to suggest the dub even exists at all. Also, the US dub has only been made recently, as PBS Kids Sprout aired the series as late as 2014 with the UK dub.

This show provides examples:

  • The Ace: Fireman Sam himself.
    • In The Movie, Elvis gets his chance to shine, even saving Sam's life! Same goes for the second movie special, "Ultimate Heroes". Sam is off in the old Pontypandy mines to retrieve Penny and the kids, so Elvis is left in charge with guiding the newcomers Arnold and Ellie with preparing for and dealing with the ongoing hurricane. Here, Elvis shows his stuff more than once, even making the correct call on a situation that Arnold ignores before saving his and Mrs. Chen's lives. Elvis himself says he learned from the best, a.k.a. Sam, just as Arnold aspired to do earlier.
    • Generally speaking, as far as competences goes, Tom is shown to have Ace traits, too. At least when it comes to his helicopter skills. Though he is shown to be Not So Above It All when the right people are around him, namely, Moose.
    • Moose Roberts is said to be a famous mountain climber and wilderness expert who even has a book out detailing his adventures. He's usually pretty successful when he's on his own, too. Though since he's not a trained rescue worker, Sam and others still have to be called from time to time, especially when Moose is with someone else.
    • Series 9's recent addition, Ben Hooper, is shown to be this as Pontypandy's new coastguard and head of the Ocean Rescue Center, particularly when in his element at sea on the Titan. He also hasn't accumulated the "Not So Above It All moments" that Tom has (excepting that one time when he makes a poor call and ends up stranding himself, Bronwyn, and Charlie on a capsized boat during a whale watching trip), and is essentially pre-new series Tom, but on water instead of in the air.
  • Advanced Tech 2000:
    • Joe Sparkes tends to name his inventions like this.
    • In "Set For Action", Jupiter is redecorated and named "Jupiter 2000".
  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: Auxiliary Fireman Trevor Evan's satnav system sends his bus over a cliff in one episode.
    • When Tom and Moose take the Pontypandy Pioneers to the top of Pontypandy Mountain, Tom's high-tech GPS ends up leading the group in circles. Not that Moose's natural tracking skills were any better.
    • Both instances seem to be a Take That! against GPS systems often leading users in the wrong direction, or over routes that are either closed or non-existent.
  • Alarm SOS: In one episode, Norman and Dilys see a fox and think it's a wolf, so they ring the fire alarm to get help.
  • Alliterative Name: James Jones, Gareth Griffiths, Tom Thomas (see also Repetitive Name).
  • An Aesop: Manages not to be Anvilicious about it most of the time.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Just how many times does Norman need rescuing by the fire service?
    • Same goes for the Adults who really should know better, like Trevor and especially Mike.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Dilys toward Norman, and by her own personally admission, Hannah feels her dad Joe is this to her.
  • Alien Invasion: That trope is the plot of the special Alien Alert.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Sarah and James can be this to each other from time to time, especially during the CGI series (compared to previous series, where they rarely, if ever, argued at all; the change likely came because their behavior could come off as unrealistic and creepily perfect). Though they are twins, so neither is really younger than each other.
  • Art Evolution: In stages with the different series. Sam and the other firefighters have remained similar in appearance along the way; the twins and Mandy rather less so (in the classic series, due to the crude nature of the models, the twins actually looked older than they should). Dilys has changed in appearance too, becoming much younger-looking.
  • Banister Slide: Sam does this in the opening theme for the original series.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Sam, Elvis, and Penny. Notable for actually being the opposite of their hair colour tropes (Dumb Blonde, Brainy Brunette, Fiery Redhead.) Sam (Redhead) is very even tempered, Penny (Blonde) is very brainy and competent, and Elvis (Brunette) is, well... not.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: "So move aside make way for (Fireman Sam!) 'Cause he's gonna save the day, (Fireman Sam!)...". Overlaps with Expository Theme Tune and Title Theme Tune to an extent.
    • The original version from the stop-motion series was rather less egregious about this.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Norman Price. On occasion, the other kids will get like this, but it's not often nor does it last for long, especially when compared to Norman.
  • Bridal Carry:
    • In "Bentley the Robot", Bentley does this with Firefighter Penny Morris during her near-death experience after Norman Price messes around with Bentley's control cassette, inadvertently spilling paraffin over the garage, starting a fire.
    • In "Rich and Famous", Fireman Sam does this with Dilys Price after she slides into his arms while he saves her when her attic catches fire.
  • British Brevity: The original series comprised of four seasons of only 8 or 9 episodes each. Subverted with most seasons of the revival series. The show currently totals to over 200 episodes.
  • The Bully: Norman. At least when it comes to practical jokes. He has never done anything that could constitute actual bullying.
  • Bungling Inventor: Sam. Moreso earlier on. Recent addition Joe Sparkes pretty much adopts Sam's old trait and then some.
  • Butt Monkeys: Trevor Evans, Mike Flood, and Charlie Jones. Elvis, too, at times. And as of Series 9, Joe Sparkes can be added to the list.
  • Canada, Eh?: Moose Roberts originally hails from Canada and has the accent (or lack-thereof) to prove it. And yes, he does sometimes finish his sentences with "eh?".
  • Captain Obvious: Sarah acted this way in some of the early CGI episodes.
  • Catchphrase: "Great fires of London!", "Call Fireman Sam!" and others.
    • And the ever popular "Oh Mam!"
  • Character Development: James Jones goes through a series of misadventures in the early CGI series, including being lost at sea and trapped by a rock slide. Later episodes show him being much more cautious and safety conscious (as he was in the stop-motion), often making him the voice of reason that tends to be largely ignored with regards to the problem of the day.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In "Alien Alert", Norman picks up what seems to be a piece of alien wreckage when a small UFO he was following crashed. This comes up later when a pizza delivery drone piloted by Joe crashes, and Norman finds an identical piece from the wreckage. His suspicions are confirmed when he takes both pieces to Joe and he identifies them as the same type of batteries, which Norman reveals that the UFO's were actually drones.
  • Chekhov's Skill: One episode had Norman briefly look at a training exercise at the fire station when he wanted to ask Sam if he could borrow his binoculars for a bird-watching trip. Said lesson points out that if a fire is in an enclosed space like a box or under a car hood, opening said space makes the fire worse. Later, Trevor's bus briefly catches fire under the hood, and Norman, of all people, tells him not to do it.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Bella and Rosa in the CGI series. Bella is essentially replaced by Bronwyn; she even runs a Café like Bella. Lion is pretty much a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to Rosa, right on down to appearances. Bella's cafe can still even be seen in the same place across from Dilys's shop, but with no Bella in sight. Bella would eventually return in Series 10, having moved to Newtown and visiting her old friends in Pontypandy every now and then.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Elvis, in his Rock and Roll moments.
  • Cold Open: In The Movies "The Great Fire of Pontypandy" , "Ultimate Heroes" , and Alien Alert.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: No prizes for guessing who Elvis looks like.
  • Companion Cube: Elvis is very protective of Dummy (later Dolly), the fire station training dummy.
    • Trevor Evans and his ukulele Marjorie as well.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A picture of the fire crew in their stop motion guise hangs on the fire station office's wall in the CGI episodes. It's even brought over to the newly built Fire Station in "Ultimate Heroes".
    • The old recipe written by Bella that James used to make pizza has Bella's picture from the puppet show stuck on it.
    • In "Set For Action", Sam finds the toy Jupiter he got for his birthday.
  • Cool Car: Loads of 'em. Pretty much all the Fire Station vehicles, including Fire Engine Jupiter, Venus the rescue tender, Mercury the off road bike, and the most recent being Moose's donated amphibious vehicle, newly named Hydrus.
    • Cool Boat: The CGI series brought with it Neptune, and Series 9 followed it up with Juno and Titan, all three are used for water related rescues.
    • Cool Helicopter: Tom Thomas' helicopter, the Wallaby 1, certainly qualifies. Also something of a Swiss Army Helicopter as it's always carrying the right equipment, despite being a bit on the small side to be carrying everything all the time. It's later upgraded with Wallaby 2.
  • Country Mouse: Inverted with Bronwyn. She was born and raised in the City but feels much more at home in Pontypandy.
  • Crush Filter: Downplayed more so than most examples, but surprisingly happens to Penny when Ben Hooper is introduced, complete with bag slung over his shoulder as he makes a slow walk towards the group while removing his shades. Even Bronwyn takes another breath in a quick 1-second scene.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: From what little we see of the illustrious Newtown at the end of "One-Way Street", Newtown looks like a slightly differently arranged version of Pontypandy with even fewer people (read: none, other than our usual characters).
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Sarah Jones' UK voice can reach an incredibly shrill pitch, especially when her brother James is getting into trouble and she's trying to stop him. Her US voice actress tones this down.
  • Da Chief: Station Officer Steele.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the (sort-of) Big Bad of "Alien Alert" who only wanted footage for his show by deploying drones disguised as UFO's which resulted in purely accidental incidents such as Sarah's broken arm and Pontypandy Island set ablaze, "Set For Action" has a self-absorbed movie star who sets up accidents on purpose and is willing to put the camera crew's lives at risk which gets Sam fired as a result since he was responsible for the safety checks.
    • The as-yet-unnamed scientists (or just one of them) from the upcoming "Norman Price and the Mystery in the Sky" special might have a shade of darkness too...
  • A Day in the Limelight: When Elvis breaks his leg, Station Officer Steele has to take over his duties and makes such a hash of it, Elvis has to save him, earning Steele's respect.
  • Demoted to Extra: Trevor Evans in the newer series, though he still gets a pretty healthy amount of screen time.
  • Disappeared Dad: Norman Price's father is never even mentioned (unless you count that time in the episode "Brass Band" mentioning about his old telescope).
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Auxiliary Fireman Trevor Evans crashes his bus in "Dilys's Forgetful Day", when he drives past Penny, who, in the classic series, was a recurring character based at Newtown, and thus visited every now and then. Elvis even hits on her a little earlier in the episode.
    • Though it only lasts for a couple of seconds, Penny is shown to be quite smitten with Ben Hooper when he's introduced, completed with a bit of Crush Filter. So is Bronwyn in a quick blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot.
  • Drop-In Character: Chief Fire Officer Boyce after his introduction. In later series, his appearances become more frequent. This is despite the fact that he actually lives and is stationed in Newtown, where Penny was stationed in the classic series.
  • Dumb and Drummer: Touched on with Mike Flood, who drums for a hobby. It's not that he's stupid - he's a competent handyman and builds a space rocket in his spare time! - it's just that he tends to drum on breakable things. With his hammers...
  • Easy Amnesia: Dilys had one in the aptly-named episode "Dilys' Forgetful Day". She had one after falling from a ladder (caused by Norman), and recovered after hitting her head on the bus. Also, Norman gave his mother Fake Memories just for the hell of it.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Bella does not like mice.
  • Firehouse Dalmatian:
    • Averted in the season 5 episode, "Bathtime for Dusty", where Dusty, a mutt, is chosen to be the firehouse dog under the condition that he takes a bath, something which he is not fond of.
    • Played straight in the CGI series with Radar the Dalmatian, who is not just the mascot of the team, but also a rescue dog who is very brave, loyal and loveable.
  • First Name Ultimatum: "NOR-MAN!"
  • Friend to All Living Things: Bronwyn, although it comes back to bite her somewhat when she wishes at a well that Lion would stop hunting birds. Norman qualifies as well, especially where Wooly and Lambykins are concerned.
  • Geographic Flexibility: In the CGI series, Pontypandy has somehow acquired a coastline. Most likely as a means of giving newly introduced Charlie Jones something to do, as he is a fisherman, and also to showcase sea-related rescues, emphasized with Series 9's head of the new Ocean Rescue Center and coastguard, Ben Hooper.
  • Genius Ditz: Elvis, who's a very competent firefighter and who's shown to take the lead on the (very, very rare) occasions Sam's not around, but is often very clumsy when it comes to anything outside of an emergency.
  • Granola Girl: Bronwyn has hints of this, including giving Dilys a dream catcher for her birthday and believing in a lucky stone.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Elvis: "Elbow grease...?"
  • Heroic B So D: Sam goes through one after getting fired in Set For Action.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Elvis and Mike Flood play music together and are paired up for a three-legged race, to their evident delight. It's clear that they get on really well - possibly because they're the only ones daft enough to put up with each other.
    • Tom Thomas and Moose Roberts, starting from Series 8 onward. They are the self-proclaimed "Wild Men of Pontypandy" who tend to get into a lot of friendly debates and competitions with each other in regards to their wildlife skills. Notably, before Moose showed up, Tom generally didn't interact with the citizens of Pontypandy outside of a rescue operation. It helps that they're both foreigners, with Tom coming from Australia, and Moose from Canada.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: "Sheepdog Trials" has Elvis suffering from a case of hiccups. His friends try various cures, but nothing works. He's eventually cured when being surprised when meeting Officer Steele. Then he gets hiccups.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: Frequent examples.
  • Hollywood Fire: Almost inevitably. It's more realistic than a lot of portrayals, however, and the firefighters make a point of suiting up appropriately. There's generally a lot of smoke, too.
  • Invisible Parents: Charlie and Bronwyn Jones, until the CGI series.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Norman Price. While keen on pranks and mischief, he is usually just trying to get a good laugh and feels genuine remorse when things went horribly wrong, though he doesn't often seem to learn from his mistakes. He has also had many heroic moments when he is the one to summon help from the Fire Brigade when others are in danger.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Even though his Catchphrase is "Oh Mam!", Norman Price rarely gets punished for the many, many problems he causes. Even starting the Great Fire of Pontypandy, putting the lives of every main character in danger along the way, only results in a telling off from his mum. Presumably he serves his punishments during the one month Time Skip afterwords/after the credits roll... There was actually ONE episode, Floating Cart, where Sam made Norman go around fixing everything that he'd broken.
    • At the end of "Set for Action", Flex gets no comeuppance outside of a telling-off for the deliberate accidents he set up, framing Sam for nearly killing the camera crew and getting him fired and setting the dockside district on fire by making the explosives more powerful. Sam even recommends that he should be the star of the film's spinoff sequel.
  • The Kiddie Ride: Jupiter was made into one featuring Sam, Elvis and Station Officer Steele, courtesy of OMC Electronics (the same team that brought us Postman Pat). There was another version, spawned by Mitchells, but this time features Sam and Penny.
  • The Klutz: Mike Flood, the village handyman, whose main job seems to be mending things that he's previously broken.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: In due part because he didn't trust Elvis' judgement due to his tendency to bungle when not actively doing his job, Arnold goes right ahead in trying to rescue Mrs. Chen and Lily who are stranded on top of their car in the flooded streets of Pontypandy while ignoring Elvis's pleas to wait for Ellie to return with Venus so she could secure the Firefighters and the car with a line. Arnold does manage to save Lily and bring her to Elvis, but ends up losing his footing on his return trip for Mrs. Chen and would have been washed away were it not for her holding on to his hand at the last minute. Brave he may have been, but were it not for Elvis rescuing him (plus Mrs. Chen) after being secured by Venus' tow wench, he may well have been lost on his first big emergency in Pontypandy. To Arnold's credit, however, he does apologize to Elvis afterword.
    Arnold: "I'm here to rescue people, Elvis, not wait around all day!"
  • Lethal Chef: Elvis Cridlington.
  • Limited Social Circle: No-one other than the main characters is ever seen during an ordinary episode, though one of the 1997 tie-in books featured a cameo from an unidentified police constable. Somewhat hammered home when the same character model was used for two unrelated guest characters in frequency. In The Movie The Great Fire of Pontypandy, the entire town is evacuated, and this still just seems to be the main characters. Particularly weird because you've got maybe a dozen people, loaded into a small school bus and a van, but they drive past dozens of houses and shops on the way.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Pretty much everyone only ever wears what they are always seen wearing, with very few exceptions. So seeing Sam wear more casual clothes like a flannel shirt and khakis like in "Turtle Hunt" is definitely a rare sight.
  • Malaproper: Dilys.
  • Making a Spectacle of Yourself: Dilys glammed up somewhat between the original and CGI series, including gaining a pair of outsize pink glasses.
  • Meaningful Name: Bella Lasagne and Mandy Flood.
  • The Movie: "The Great Fire of Pontypandy", and later "Ultimate Heroes", "Alien Alert" and "Set For Action".
  • My Beloved Smother: Dilys. May explain why Mr. Price is mysteriously absent.
  • Nephewism: Sarah and James are Sam's niece and nephew, and until recently, their parents were never seen.
  • No Antagonist: Unless you count fire, Norman, or Buck Douglas. Flex in "Set For Action" plays this straight.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Elvis.
  • No Name Given: Sam is nearly always referred to by his first name only. His full name is Samuel Peyton-Jones
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Especially the actors for the US version, though an occasional affected Jewish accent for the Flood Family not withstanding. Tom averts this trope, though; you'd never mistake him for not being from Australia.
  • Office Golf: Station Officer Basil Steele indulges in this in one episode, causing a minor disaster in the fire station.
  • Only Shop in Town: Dilys Price's shop is this to Pontypandy. Probably justified, given that in the original series Pontypandy is pretty small. Characters are also seen holding carrier bags from a Bland-Name Product version of Tesconote  on occasion.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sarah and James' parents (Sam's brother and sister-in-law) were never seen until the CGI series, when they became regular characters. Norman's dad still hasn't shown up.
  • Portmanteau: Pontypandy takes its name from the real South Wales towns of Pontypridd and Tonypandy.
  • The Prankster: Norman.
  • Pride Before a Fall: Most of the problems that stem from Norman's arrogance.
  • Pyromaniac: There are an awful lot of fires for such a small town. Sam really enjoys being a Hero, doesn't he?
  • Real After All: So far we've had "The Beast of Pontypandy", "The Pontypandyness Monster", and aliens.
  • Reality Ensues: In "Set For Action", Because Sam allegedly botched a safety check which could've resulted in the camera crew's deaths, he's fired as a result.
  • Repetitive Name: Tom Thomas.
  • Retcon: In the original series, Penny was actually stationed in Newtown. She came to Pontypandy to help conduct a series of drills, and later on came by once in a while to visit or when an extra hand was needed (similar to Chief Fire Officer Boyce in the later episodes). The later series change it so that she's a regular member of the Pontypandy Fire Service.
  • Role Called: Happens within the show itself - the locals must have had it drummed into them that the correct response in any emergency is "Call Fireman Sam" to the extent that even his family and co-workers say it.
  • Security Cling: In "Halloween", when a thunderstorm causes a blackout, Fireman Elvis Cridlington is in Trevor the Bus' arms, clinging to him in fear, saying he could "feel the bats flapping!".
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Newcomer Fireman Arnold is shown to have quite the technically-minded vocabulary. His verbose speaking tendencies has Elvis utterly baffled. Sam usually simplifies for him.
  • Ship Tease: Norman and Mandy in one episode, where they hold hands while lost in the smoke from a fire. Realising they're still holding hands several minutes after being rescued, Norman reacts with the appropriate disgust of an eight year old boy...
    • Elvis and Penny in the original series, as well as Dilys and Trevor throughout.
    • In the CGI series, not only does Penny get some with Elvis when she thanks his selflessness in trying to get himself fired so Penny wouldn't in a misunderstanding on his part with a kiss, but when Ben Hooper, the new coastguard, is introduced, she sees him for the first time in a toned-down but still noticeable Crush Filter, and a later episode has the two complimenting and conversing with each other, at the expense of forgetting their work with Sam salvaging buoys.
    • Dilys also has some with Sam, Station Officer Basil Steele, and Chief Fire Officer Boyce.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stock Sound Effect: Gareth's train, the Pontypandy Express, has the same whistle as Spencer from Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • Straw Misogynist: Minor example, but Steele, being the old-fashioned fellow he is, was genuinely shocked by the presence of a woman working in the fire brigade upon meeting Penny, though he tried to be polite about it (he wasn't sure how to address her, since he couldn't call her "Fireman Morris" - he finally settles for addressing her as "Firefighter"). By the end of the episode she's won him over, though. Being made in The '80s, when female firefighters were a recent innovation, this was probably Truth in Television.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Sarah and James, frequently. When taken Up to Eleven as they compete for Sam's attention, they're nearly killed in a forest fire. Averted with Sam and Charlie, who by their own accounts got on well as children.
    • Sarah and James averted it in the non-CGI series, where they got along well (and any signs of rivalry was limited to harmless ribbing) and were always the Only Sane Kids compared to Norman. They played this trope straight in the CGI series, probably because it's more realistic.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Norman.
  • Sixth Ranger: More new characters are added as the series pass, but the most prominent and obvious examples are Ben Hooper, a coastguard who is in charge of the Ocean Rescue Center (a parallel to Tom and the Mountain Rescue Center), and especially "Ultimate Heroes"'s two new firefighters to go with the newer, bigger Fire Station, Arnold McKinsley and Ellie Phillips, both of whom are fresh, top graduates from Newtown's Firefighter Academy.
  • Stiff Upper Lip:
    • Averted constantly with Dilys, who's practically a stampede waiting to happen all on her own. However, in The Movie she plays this trope straight spectacularly as she leads Trevor and all the kids, including her son and nephew, to safety in the midst of the biggest fire in the town's history.
    • Station Officer Steele. Though clearly upset by his notification of retirement in one episode, he remains composed throughout. He is, however, close to tears towards the end of The Great Fire of Pontypandy, when he believes he is leaving the fire station for the last time as the fire approaches.
  • Stock Footage: Largely averted, although a few pieces exist. Station Officer Steele always runs to the printer and reads out the emergency in the same way, for example. And while the animators went to the trouble of using different sequences for the crew preparing to leave the station (each character's helmet has a specific place on the rack, for example, and it's always the correct ones collected), it's always the same few seconds of footage used.
  • Supreme Chef: Penny in the original series, much to the joy of Sam and Steele since they are temporarily relieved of Elvis's cooking.
  • Talkingto Himself: John Alderton voiced all the characters in the original series, even the females.
  • Teacher's Pet: In the second movie special Fireman Sam: Ultimate Heroes, after enthusiastically stating how he's looking forward to "learning from the best" from Sam, fellow newcomer Ellie softly accuses Arnold of this, though of course, it doesn't go further than that.
  • Team Chef: Mainly Fireman Elvis Cridlington, though the original series had Penny take over the role from time to time.
  • Technology Marches On: In-Universe: One episode had the subplot of the Mountain Rescue Centre's computer being updated in the old fashion of using a CD, which gets mixed up with a music playlist. In the end, Norman lampshades the situation after simply grabbing the latest version from the internet.
  • The Ditz: Elvis, who finds mopping the floor difficult, and struggles to count past 'one'. But see also Genius Ditz above, as he's rarely lacking in an emergency.
  • Title Drop: Frequently, often more than once an episode. Whatever the emergency, "Call Fireman Sam!" is always the correct response. Note that this only applies to the CGI series, as in the older series, the more correct term "call the fire service" was used.
  • Title Theme Tune: It's probably a fair bet to say that every Brit aged 40 and under knows the title song.
  • Too Dumb to Live: It's honestly amazing how the people of Pontypandy haven't burnt the town down four times over.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Norman in the CGI series. Whereas in the older seasons, his pranks and plans tended to be better-engineered, they were, for the most part, rather harmless, and he knew when things had gone too far, in the CGI series, his plans are made hastily and irrationally, often goes in over his head, and causes alot of consternation, especially in such episodes as "Runaway Cart".
    • All the same, though, Norman, of all people, was the sensible one in "Stuck in the Mud", in which Trevor was blinded by pride and opened the bonnet of his bus to check the overheated engine, only to let in enough oxygen to set it alight.
  • Trash the Set: In "Ultimate Heroes", the old Fire Station is so old and run down (including destitute drain pipes and a leaky roof) that a new Fire Station is built and finished over the course of the first third of the movie. This makes way for a bigger, more high-tech Station for the Pontypandy Fire and Emergency Service to work out of. The team even gets 2 new firefighters fresh from Newtown's Firefighter Academy in Arnold McKinsley and Ellie Phillips on top of that.
  • Tsundere: Penny Morris towards Norman in the 2003-2005 series.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Norman and Mandy are either thick as thieves, or at one another's throats.
  • Vocal Evolution: Happens during the first episode. In her first scene, Bella's voice does not have the distinct high-pitch John Alderton gave both her and Dilys, merely being Alderton's normal voice with an Italian accent. By her second scene, it's shown up.
  • Weekend Inventor: Sam in the original series. Mike Flood builds an impressive rocket in the CGI series. Mechanic Joe Sparkes takes this role up starting in Series 9.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Elvis can be this with Station Officer Steele and, to a lesser extent, Fireman Sam.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Mike Flood. Need to fix the lighthouse door? Or a broken pipe? Or a misfiring boiler? The solution always begins with a hammer... often at the expense of making the situation worse.
    • Back in Series 1's "Telly Trouble", Elvis tries to fix a tap which won't turn by hitting it with a hammer.
  • Working Through the Cold: Series 6's "Poorly Penny" does this with, well, Penny.
  • Wrench Wench: Penny, more so in the earlier series.


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