Faster than a scooter, stronger than metal?
Who's the little girl and her domesticated rodent?
Who's still standing when you see the dust settle?!
It's Hamster! (Hamster, Hamster) Hamster & Gretel!
(If they can't do it, then nobody can!)
Hamster! (Hamster, Hamster) Hamster & Gretel!
(There's also Kevin in the minivan!)"
Hamster & Gretel is an American musical animated superhero comedy television series created by Dan Povenmire (Phineas and Ferb, Milo Murphy's Law) and produced by Disney Television Animation that premiered on August 12, 2022, on Disney Channel, immediately after the cable premiere of Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 3, while also being simulcast on Disney XD.
The series follows a 16-year-old boy named Kevin who must work with his younger sister Gretel when she and her pet hamster (named "Hamster") are given superpowers by aliens and become a superhero duo dedicated to protecting their city.
TROPE LIST PUNCH!
- Advertised Extra: The Rogues Gallery poster includes a handful of villains among many of the villains who've had major roles and focal episodes, making it seem like these would have a big role as well, only to have made small appearances so far:
- Three of them (a scarlet-clad woman with purple goggles and a lilac ponytail, a buff man with a mechanical animal motif, and a skull-faced woman wearing a hood) only made appearances in the beginning of "Superhero Sibling Rivalry", with Kevin and Gretel arguing while trying to thwart their villainy. Only one of them gets named in the credits (the man with the animal motif, being Animus Machina).
- The Amplifier (a buff man in blue with dark goggles) similarly only appears in the beginning of "Cutie and the Beast", with his terrorizing only being used to set up the actual plot involving an otter being made huge by accident.
- Like the others, Record Scratch only appears in the beginning of "Hamnesia", but this appearance is made all the more tragic because it turns out she's a disguise from The Imposter, another villain (one in a yellow suit) that appears on the same poster who made an elaborate plan involving Hamster getting amnesia to steal a flying tank; so despite both Record Scratch and The Imposter appearing simultaneously on the poster, it's currently unknown if Record Scratch even exists or not.
- The robot army of Professor Exclamation have so far only appeared in "Empower Failure" and were used to distract Hamster and Gretel to the professor could easily trap them in an unbreakable cage. Their only other appearances were in a couple of Chibi Tiny Tales shorts, which recolored them white and purple.
- Another poster (and a part of the theme song) of Hamster and Gretel standing on a pile of beat up villains is the inverse of the predicament of the Rogues Gallery poster: instead of only a handful of villains being extras, none of them have actually appeared in the show yet... except for Professor Exclamation, a prominent villain that has appeared in the first episode, and then a couple more. One could look closely to recognize CopyCat's claw tail, The Neighslayer's hoof, La Cebolla's hat, and what could be a recolor of The Nightmarionette's face, but it's especially Professor Exclamation that sticks out among this pile of no-shows.
- All for Nothing: In “Recipe For Disaster”, Kevin and Gretel accidentally burn their mother’s special ropa vieja that she made for family dinner night, so then they spend the whole episode working to make another one… only to find out that the “ropa vieja” they burned was actually just their grandma’s dirt cake.
- Artistic License – Physics: Used for Rule of Funny and lampshaded in "Cheer Cheer Bang Bang" when Fred needs to prove that she's acrobatic enough to be on the cheerleading squad; she executes an absurd routine that requires her to be airborne for an impossible amount of time - long enough for Kevin to consult a Physics textbook and a professor of Astrophysics about it.
- Badass Normal: Kevin and Fred.
- Bait-and-Switch: When hit with a ray from the aliens that gives superpowers to the two of them in the first episode, Kevin assumes he has gained superpowers with Gretel, only for him to find out Hamster got them instead of him.
- Battle Rapping: Gretel is forced to do this to defeat The Neighslayer after she makes a Pinky Swear not to punch anything while she hangs out with Bailey as her superhero alter ego, lest Bailey get hurt in the process.
- Be Yourself: Kevin and Copycat each get one of these in "Comic Shop Copycat".
- Played with in "Saturday Homecoming Fever" when Kevin tries to shed his nickname "minivan kid" by giving himself a new look and learning to dance. The nickname (and the minivan) stick, but he ends up feeling better about it.Kevin: It means something different now.
- Played with in "Saturday Homecoming Fever" when Kevin tries to shed his nickname "minivan kid" by giving himself a new look and learning to dance. The nickname (and the minivan) stick, but he ends up feeling better about it.
- Big Brother Instinct: Kevin acts as Gretel's support through the series, often giving her and Hamster advice. He also shows some shades of Overprotectiveness
- Calling Your Attacks: Gretel's Catchphrase is "[Object] Punch!"
- The Cameo:
- Heinz Doofenshmirtz appears on the background of one shot in "Strawberry Fest Forever", standing behind an old lady using a flamethrower. Doof also appears in "Shush Hour" in a YouTube video, where it is revealed that he owned the Shushinator that the librarian took.
- Candace and Stacy appear on Hamster's phone during an Idiosyncratic Wipe in "Finding Professor Ex".
- Chest Insignia: Both Hamster and Gretel have these on their super suits, consisting of the first letter of their names ("H" and "G"), though Hamster's is overlaid over a shield shape.
- Chewing the Scenery: La Cebolla. She climbed up a stepladder in the middle of a grocery store just to hit the high note in her own theme song.
- Comic-Book Time: Hilariously invoked in "Saturday Homecoming Fever":
- Creative Closing Credits: The credits are presented over brightened stills from the featured episode segments, the same vein as Milo Murphy's Law.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Kevin and Gretel's hamster, who is simply named Hamster. Also, Tina has a gerbil named Gerbil
- Enigmatic Empowering Entity: A UFO appears over Kevin, Gretel and Hamster after their minivan breaks down. It shines a beam on them, announcing that they're being granted unimaginable powers to do good. It takes a moment for both to realize that Hamster was empowered instead of Kevin. Later, at the end of the episode, the same UFO also empowers two other people, but instead implores them to use their powers specifically for evil.
- Evil Luddite: Rodney Thunderpants, a technology-hating cowboy, who uses lightning to render smartphones and handheld technology devices useless. In his tragic backstory, a cellphone tower falls on him, and he gets struck by lightning once, and three more times afterwards.
- Failed a Spot Check: Bailey in general for Gretel's Clark Kenting, at least until the end of "My Invisible Friend", but she gets a particularly egregious one in "Empower Failure" that sets the tone for everyone else:Bailey: My best friend looks just like you! And her name is Gretel, just like you! And she has a pet hamster called Hamster, juuust like you! So I was wondering... would you sign this T-shirt for her?
- Hidden Agenda Villain: The aliens. "Oakey Dokey" ends on the implication that they have ulterior motives for giving Hamster and Gretel superpowers to use for good, as they similarly bestow powers upon Lauren and Lyle for the purposes of evil instead. They're also the ones who gave La Cebolla superpowers for evil in "La Ballad of La Cebolla", noting her case as Experiment 622H-108 and calling its status a Failure after its completion (i.e. after Hamster and Gretel defeated her). The ending of "U.F. UH-OH!" also has the male alien compliment the female alien for finding some weird rock that saps away superpowers, and proclaim that everything is coming together as they laugh maniacally.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: Headshots of Hamster and Gretel flying up to the camera and back against a spinning backdrop, much like Batman (1966).
- Ignored Aesop: In "Oakey Dokey", Gretel's inability to follow Kevin's directions and just punch stuff backfires when punching a meteor causes a piece of it to destroy Oakey, her favorite tree. Kevin gives an impassioned speech about how Gretel's actions have repercussions and she can't just solve everything with superpowers... but while he was speaking, Gretel and Hamster just glued Oakey together again using their strength and super-speed and weren't listening at all.
- Incredibly Long Note: La Cebollaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
- Latino Is Brown: Averted with the Grant-Gomez kids—they are all actually fairly pale-skinned. Especially noticeable in the blue-eyed, blonde-haired Gretel.
- Played straight with Abuela, whose skin tone is a darker brown tone than any of the main cast.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Gretel's go-to strategy for dealing with a superhero problem is just to punch it. This leads to some of Gretel's more reckless decisions, and can often make the problem worse.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Gretel's friend Bailey is somehow unaware that both "normal" Gretel and "superhero" Gretel are the same person, even in the first episode telling "superhero" Gretel she has a best friend who's also named Gretel. This changes at the end of "My Invisible Friend", as Gretel is forced to save Bailey from getting crushed by scaffolding in the midst of an argument between the two.
- Mad Libs Catchphrase: Gretel's "[Noun] PUNCH".
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: The theme song, which is all about the titular duo, ends with "There's also Kevin in the minivan."
- Non-Standard Character Design: Gretel's appearance stands out the most from all the other humans given that she has a more round face, wider smile, and bigger eyes with visible pupils.
- Ninja Prop: Downplayed. When Gretel calls out her Catchphrase, girly colored block letters suddenly appear, with which Gretel can interact with.
- Once per Episode: Hamster's cheesy one-liners, Gretel's "[NOUN] PUNCH!!!", Veronica Hill's news reports, and of course, a song montage every episode.
- Pinky Swear: Kevin and Gretel, and later Gretel and Bailey, each with their own musical jingle.It's the Kevin-Gretel Pinky Pro-mise!
- The Pollyanna: Gretel is this, continuing the trend of Pollyanna protagonists in Povenmire's shows and other Disney Channel cartoons; she always manages to keep a smile on her face in any situation, such as the car breaking down, and meeting aliens.
- Powers in the First Episode: Hamster and Gretel receive their superpowers from the aliens in the first episode.
- Punny Name: Pretty standard for most of the villains, to the point where Gretel mocks Rodney Thunderpants, whose tragic backstory involves being struck multiple times by lightning, for not choosing the name "LightningRod" instead.
- Reactive Continuous Scream: Subverted in "Recipe for Disaster". When Gretel burns their mother's ropa vieja, first she screams, then Kevin screams, and then Hamster... just sits there eating a leaf. The gag is then repeated when Carolina comes home early to pick up her grocery list.
- Secret-Keeper: Fred is the only character other than Kevin who knows of Hamster and Gretel's superhero identities and that they are one and the same, knowing she would never tell anyone because of her "disdain for human society." She's joined by Kevin and Gretel's abuelita at the end of "Abuelita's World", and later by Bailey at the end of "My Invisible Friend" and "The Bitter Sitter".
- Sherlock Scan: Fred gives one at the end of "The Bottle Episode".
- In the song "It's My Best Friend Bailey's Birthday" from the episode "Birthday Besties" Gretel dances like how 3 & 4 did in The Peanuts Christmas Special.
- Gretel, Kevin, and Fred are watching a show called "England But With Dragons"
- At one point in the episode Friday Night Fight, Fred has to guide the lunchlady and Hiromi individually while looking at security cameras to avoid hostile animatronics in a sequence similar to the gameplay of Five Nights at Freddy's. Both instances also included a jumpscare from said animatronics.
- Show Within a Show: Yuko Cheerleading Warrior Attack 7.
- The Stoic: Not unlike Perry the Platypus, Hamster is almost always constantly depicted with an emotionless frown on his face.
- Stomach of Holding: In "Empower Failure", Hamster manages to drink all of the water from a burst water main - at least enough to fill the minivan - while remaining exactly the same size.
- Take That!: In "Birthday Besties", Kevin flies through the air, hitting the lever on the ride to its highest level, "Only Legal in Florida".
- Theme Tune Extended: The theme song ends at the line "There's also Kevin in the minivan"; however, there's a 30-second instrumental part afterward followed by a dramatic rousing finish, which is used as the Ending Theme. Both parts are spliced together on the soundtrack.
- To Be Continued: "Oakey Dokey" ends on this caption as Lauren and Lyle are bestowed evil superpowers from the same aliens who gave Hamster and Gretel their powers, coming to be known as The Destructess and Fist Puncher.
- Train Problem: In "Math Punch", Gretel hates doing math, and the episode begins with Kevin trying to have her do a train problem; she just claims that since she's a superhero now, she won't need math. Later, when Kevin and Rodney Thunderpants are on a runaway train, Gretel has to do the math to figure out how to get there in time to save them.Gretel: Why is there always a train?!
- The Voice: The mysterious aliens have never been seen onscreen and we only get to hear their voices.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Kevin & Gretel's initial reaction to La Cebolla's power of talking to onions.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Gretel's preferred solution to problems is simply to use her super-strength to punch it and solve the problem, which has the risk of making things worse if she's too reckless with it. Notably, Kevin usually tries to offer an alternative solution to the situation, but gets ignored when Gretel goes straight ahead with hitting it anyway.
- You Can Talk?: Gretel's bewildered reaction to Hamster at the end of the first episode when he speaks his first words.
- Weaksauce Weakness: It is revealed in "The Bitter Sitter" that Fist Puncher loses his powers when under below zero temperature (It is unknown if The Destructress and by extension, Hamster and Gretel share this weakness).