Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Horrid Henry

Go To
Clockwise from left: Henry, Dad, Mum, Fluffy, Peter.

"It's not fair when Mum and Dad nag-nag
"Stand up straight! Don't be rude!"
It's so not fair, cos the Killer Boy Rats knows
School stinks — kids rule!
So when they send you to your room,
Sing a little tune... You sing:
"Nah nah nee nah nah!" "
The series' theme song from the first 3 seasons.

Horrid Henry is a British animated television series based on the book series by Francesca Simon produced by Novel Entertainment and Nelvana Limited (series 1 only), broadcast from late 2006 on CITV in the UK. The show has 5 series so far and has at least 220 episodes so far, making one of the most popular CITV shows.

This TV show is about a child named Horrid Henry who is, well, horrid of course. He also has a brother named Perfect Peter, who is just the opposite of Henry. Or maybe not. This show is known as one of CITV's most well known shows. Not to be confused with Horrible Harry.

As of 28 May 2018, it's airing on Nicktoons in the UK and Ireland, and has proved to be a huge success on there as well.

A website for the Show Within a Show Gross Class Zero can currently be found on the Novel Entertainment page, implying a Defictionalization of the show is in development following the special Horrid Henry's Gross Day Out.

This show is an example of:

  • Abusive Parents: Horrid Henry's Mother and Father are like this to Henry and while he can be a 'horrid boy' he's also just a kid. Henry gets punished harshly for accidents and things that are beyond his control. He's the Unfavorite in the household and sad thing is that Henry knows it.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Henry is referred as 'Henrietta' by his great aunt Greta.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: After being spooked by Rude Ralph's shark prank during a swimming lesson as part of a bet, Henry finds out that not only he swam enough meters to earn his badge, he also broke a country record while doing so.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Almost every character has a nickname like 'Sour Susan', 'Brainy Brian', etc.
  • An Aesop: Despite the mean-spirited and cynical tone of the series, it can offer some good lessons every now and then.
    • In “Horrid Henry and the Dinner Guest”, Mum invites Mr. and Mrs. Mossy over for dinner, and Henry tries to be horrid as usual. Throughout the episode, Mr. Mossy seems to know the several tricks Henry keeps on making and manages to outsmart Henry. At the end, Mr. Mossy then talks to Henry about how there are people who have similar traits and habits like yours, and that sooner or later there is always going to be someone who surpasses you in them. Henry however disregards this lesson when he plays a trick on Mr. Mossy that actually works.
    • The episode “Horrid Henry Delivers the Milk” has the message that one shouldn’t be disrespectful towards anyone with a lousy job. This is also where Paul and Henry actually start to realise how much alike they are and Henry decides to be nicer to Paul, after seeing what he has to go through every day, resulting in Paul becoming Henry’s father-figure.
    • In “Horrid Henry Grows Up”, Henry dreams of being a grown up and his parents are his kids. When he sees how reckless they are as kids and what Mum and Dad had to go through, he begins to realise that nobody has it easy.
    • In “Horrid Henry, Rockstar”, Henry decides to drop out of school to fulfil his dream of becoming part of the Killer Boy Rats, a rock band he likes. Even though he nails the auditions, they still won’t let him join them. When he asks why, the band tells him they have two good reasons: He’s too young to join a rock band and despite what they say in their songs about school being bad and dropping out just to be a rockstar, they’re just songs and they don’t really mean it; staying in school helps improve his musical skills and he has to learn important ways to keep up with his career when he becomes a rockstar.
    • In “King Henry the Ninth”, Peter plays a trick on Henry into thinking that he’s royalty, causing Henry to feel special and important. When Dad reveals that Peter tricked him, Henry starts to feel like he doesn’t matter. Dad then tells Henry that everyone matters in one way or another, royalty or not, which makes Henry feel a bit better.
    • In “Horrid Henry’s Protest”, Henry's favorite director comes to school to make a movie. He hires everyone except for Moody Margaret, as she’s somewhat tomboyish and the director doesn’t believe she’s “girly” enough and Wheely Walter because he’s disabled. This is ultimately enough to convince everyone (including Henry) to quit. This is a pretty good lesson about discrimination and how shallow the world of show business can really be.
    • In “Horrid Henry and the Silly Siblings”, Fussy Uncle Francis comes over for a visit, much to Dad’s annoyance. The two are revealed to have a very strained relationship, similar to Henry and Peter’s as they never got on as kids and still don’t get on today. They two act very immature towards each other throughout the whole episode. When Francis leaves, Mum tells Dad that he and Francis don’t have to keep acting like little kids and that just because he and Francis did not get on with each other as children doesn’t mean they can’t get on well now, especially for the sake of their kids. Mum however, contradicts herself immediately when her sister Rich Aunt Ruby calls them.
    • In “Henry the Eternal Schoolboy”, Henry imagines he is in a world where he stays a kid forever and is stuck in the same school forever, because he is afraid of getting old and growing up. When he sees his friends all grown up with well-paying jobs, homes and families, he begins to feel lonely and trapped in a rut. This shows us that staying a kid forever is not all it’s cracked up to be and being an adult is not that bad.
    • In “Horrid Henry’s New Best Friend”, Henry develops a crush on the new girl, who seems to return his feelings. When he finds out that Nicola was just using him, so she could frame him for her numerous offenses. It just goes to show that sometimes your crushes aren’t what they appear to be after all. Also, while Henry is heartbroken and crushed, he knows that his friends will always be there for him.
  • Afraid of Needles: Henry, and his entire class minus Moody Margaret during injection day.
  • Age Lift: While Clever Claire was in Henry's class in the books, for the series she was moved to Peter's class, though she still looks the same.
  • All Up to You: Such is the case for Henry in the episode, Horrid Henry and the Birthday Present. Henry bravely gets a Triple Trouble Blaster toy, takes a well-aimed shot at a thief who was trying to steal a pricey necklace from the store Henry was shopping at with Rich Aunt Ruby and Stuck-Up Steve, and manages to foil the thief's theft and have the thief captured. Henry is later rewarded for his heroics in preventing what would've been a successful theft, had Henry not intervened.
  • Anti-Hero: Guess who!
    • However, Henry inverts this trope in some episodes.
  • Anti-Role Model: Horrid Henry, Rude Ralph and Moody Margaret.
  • Anti-School Uniforms Plot: In one episode, students are made to wear blazers. Henry notices that the blazers look alike and uses it to get away with raiding the confiscation cupboard. The teachers realise this too, abolishing school uniforms to prevent similar events from happening.
  • Art Evolution: The animation seems to improve in series 3.
  • Ascended Fanboy: One episode features Henry joining the Killer Boy Rats, his favourite band.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't ever take Peter's Bunny and tease him with it.
  • Big "NO!": Henry at the start, or end of every episode if something goes wrong. It would show him shouting "No!" and then it would zoom into his mouth, and then the title card appears. Besides Henry, Peter and some of the characters did this as well.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Henry may be horrid, but his family is pretty awful too.
  • Birthday Episode: Four of them; two for Henry, one for Peter, and henry's cousin Steve had one too.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Henry usually addresses the viewers. In one episode, Henry asked the viewers he needed help with the picnic that his father made, he then replied with "What do you mean ''no?'".
    • Peter did this too in some episodes about him.
    • Margaret did this once.
    • Even Henry's Mum does it.
    • In "Horrid Henry's Mighty Mission", it takes about three minutes for Henry's pretend mission to begin, due to the other members of Henry's team joining halfway though his explanation of the mission. He lampshades this by saying that the episode will be over by the time the mission begins.
  • Brick Joke: In Horrid Henry's Sick Day, he was told to leave the taps on in the bathroom. At the end of the episode, his father opened the door for the bathroom, and then the house got flooded.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Don't be horrid, Henry!"
    • "I dunno."
    • "It's not fair!"
  • The Cameo: Roly Mo from The Fimbles, another show produced by Novel Entertainment, makes several appearances. The most blatant being in a snowglobe Henry's friends give him as a going away present in Horrid Henry Says Goodbye.
  • Cats Are Mean: Fluffy the cat in some episodes.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: Most of the titles are like this.
  • Character Tic:
    • Gorgeous Gurinder twirls her hair.
  • Christmas Episode: Horrid Henry's Christmas
  • Comic-Book Time: Not to the extent of The Simpsons or South Park, as the Horrid Henry TV series isn't as much of a Long Runner as them, but although officially its fourth season hasn't ended yet, it has been running since 2006 and none of the characters have aged a day.
  • Companion Cube:
    • For Peter, it's his stuffed 'Bunny'.
    • Henry also has a stuffed animal, a bear named 'Mr. Kill'.
  • Crossdressing Voices: Lizzie Waterworth and Emma Tate as Henry and Peter receptively in the animated series.
  • Eagleland Osmosis: In Horrid Henry Goes to Work, it's Take Your Kid to Work Day and Dad takes Henry with him to his workplace while Mum takes Peter to hers. In real life there's no such thing as Take Your Kid to Work Day in Britain.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Henry in any episode.
    Henry: Eureka! That's it!
    • Even Peter himself has one of these moments. For example, in an episode known as Horrid Henry, Nothing but the Truth Peter says the very phrase that Henry is known for saying after having an idea to expose Henry for his obviously horrid character traits.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In Horrid Henry's House Party when their senile great aunt serves them cat food, Henry pours both his and Peter's into Fluffy's bowl. As mean as he is to Peter sometimes, he's not going to have him eat cat food.
  • Excited Episode Title!: Happy Birthday, Peter!, Happy Birthday, Steve!, Horrid Henry, This Is Your Fault!
  • Faint in Shock: In Horrid Henry and the Injection, Henry faints out of his fear of injections after listening to Peter describing how the injection process works.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: In Horrid Henry, It's All Your Fault Miss Oddbod, a cat lover, ignores Margaret being rude to the dinner lady but gives her detention for using the phrase "like a kitten on a hot tin roof".
  • Foul Cafeteria Food: Henry has been seen complaining about the canteen food from time to time and usually prefers having a packed lunch instead. In one episode, he is made to get school dinner, where he is served a red noodle-like food which he imagines being eaten by. Of course, it doesn't help that the dinner lady there is a sadistic and cruel woman who bans treats when she is told to watch over the packed lunchroom.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: In Moody Margaret Moves In, in addition to putting Peter in a trash can in an attempt to frame Henry, Margaret also gets in trouble for throwing Henry's stuff out of his bedroom window, which he did himself to frame her.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Margaret treats her friends like total crap.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: In "Perfect Peter's Horrid Day" Peter has two shoulder angels, The Devil tells him to be horrid, and the Angel tells him to be Perfect.
  • Go to Your Room!: Henry often gets this punishment.
  • Gray-and-Grey Morality: Henry and Margaret see each other as arch-enemies, though they're probably both as mean and badly-behaved as each other.
  • Imagine Spot: Henry often gets one, usually involving him turning into a predatory animal and harassing Peter.
  • Halloween Episode: Horrid Henry Tricks and Treats.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Clever Claire is the tallest kid in Peter's class.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: At least a couple of episodes have involved Rude Ralph wishing he had a special talent.
  • Irony: In the girls' song "Girls Rule" Gurinder gets the line "Girls can do the toughest maths" when she's actually The Ditz.
  • Leitmotif: The main characters seem to have a recurring theme playing throughout their scenes. Henry's is a rude sounding rock guitar, Peter's is a cheerful sounding flute, Margaret's is a bossy sounding trumpet, and the Mum and Dad is a calm sounding guitar.
  • Long-Runners: How many episodes for a show with 5 series? 220 episodes.
  • Lower-Deck Episode:
    • "Moody Margaret, Superstar" to "Horrid Henry and the Fashion Show", focusing on Margaret and her friends.
    • There's also Horrid Henry and the Special Spa Day to Perfect Peter's Perfect Day, showing where Peter and Dad went to while Henry and Mum were at home.
  • Meaningful Name: All of the characters nicknames describe their personality.
  • Mirror Character: Pimply Paul and Henry don't normally get along, but they are more alike then they think and they even develop a father-son relationship over the course of the show.
    • In “Horrid Henry Goes to the Movies”, neither of them wants to see the kiddie film Polly's taking them to, so they work together to sneak into a horror movie.
    • Then, there is the time that Henry was forced to work alongside Pimply Paul in the episode, Horrid Henry Delivers the Milk. Paul even gives Henry a compliment of all things when Henry encourages Paul to challenge Eddie Edwards, a rival milk delivery man who had been trying to take over Paul's delivery patch. Henry even shows how to beat Eddie Edwards at his own game: go in the opposite direction that Eddie would go.
    Pimply Paul: You're not as horrid as I thought you were. (Henry smiles to that in response, and Paul amends his statement.) Okay, maybe you are, but you're certainly not stupid.
  • Musical Episode: Horrid Henry, This Is Your Fault is like this. It had a few songs by some of the characters.
  • No Ending: Many episodes just end abruptly with little to no conclusion.
  • Ocular Gushers: Weepy William is like this every time.
  • Oh, Crap!: In one episode where Henry tries to watch a football match even though he has to go to Stuck-Up Steve's birthday party, he resorts to listening to it on a portable radio. The match gets so exciting he accidentally knocks the giant birthday cake over Aunt Ruby, when everyone yells "Henry!", the episode ends on Henry: "Oops".
  • Once per Episode: Henry shouting a Big "NO!" in almost every single episode.
  • Overly-Long Gag: Margaret's Big "NO!" in "Horrid Henry Mixes It Up".
  • Partial Transformation: Henry appears to have the ability to transform into different animals.
  • PassionateSportsGirl: Margaret is very good at football, possibly more than Al.
  • Pet the Dog: Sometimes, Henry is shown to not be as bad as he makes himself out to be.
    • When Perfect Peter is having a sleepover, rather than try to sabotage it, Henry actually comes in and decides to have fun with Peter and his guests. Likewise, they legitimately begin to have fun with the sleepover. Until Floorboard Failure happens, thanks to Peter jumping on the bathtub during the "Grand Finale"
    • In "Perfect Peter Pumps Up", Henry helps Peter get the confidence to stand up to Bill, who has been bullying him.
    • See also some other episodes where Henry actually looks out for Perfect Peter.
    • He's also very kind to his best friend, Rude Ralph and helps him win an air guitar competition which gives Ralph confidence in himself.
    • Wheely Walter is paralyzed from the waist down and is one of the few teachers Henry actually gets along with and likes. That’s mainly because he doesn’t make Henry a scapegoat and is actually pretty competent at his job, unlike most of the other teachers.
    • After Henry manages to get all the events cancelled at a sports day, he picks up all the leftover trophies and gives one to Peter.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In "Horrid Henry Tidies Up", Henry and Peter are having a competition to see who has the most cleanest bedroom and whoever wins gets to go to their favourite restaurant (Henry: Gobble and Go & Peter: Virtuous Veggie). Henry does win the competition only find out that Gobble and Go changed hands and is now onwed by Virtuous Veggie, so basically, Peter does win after all.
  • Prone to Vomiting: Baby Vera throws up randomly and often, to the point where her nickname is "Vomiting Vera".
  • Questioning Title?: Horrid Henry, Who's Who?
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: The series had two completely different theme songs. The first song played for the first couple of episodes on television, and then were obviously replaced by the current theme song. The "original" can be found on some of the DVD releases and reruns on Nicktoons.
    • Starting from series 4, the intro looks a lot different.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To David Bowie of all things in one episode of the TV series. Specifically a reference to "Ziggy Stardust".
    • There's also Roly Mo from The Fimbles, who has short appearences through series 2 as a stuffed toy, and in one episode of series 3 and the series 5 premiere, Peter was singing the theme song of The Roly Mo Show.
    • The winning tickets in The School Fair are both 42.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: Henry and Margaret did this in a series 4 episode. They both screamed "No!".
  • Show Within a Show: There is an endless amount of shows which often get mentioned in several episodes, and the two most notable ones are Gross Class Zero and Happy Hippos.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The show and the books are actually pretty mean spirited and cynical, despite being aimed at kids.
    • The protagonist is a disgusting ill-mannered brat who likes to make everyone’s life a living hell. His family and peers are no better either.
    • If you’re sweet and friendly, you’re bound to get tormented by either Henry, Margaret, or some nasty adult.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Fang in "Horrid Henry and the Snotslimer Redemption." Although he's always muttered "yeah, yeah, yeah", in this episode he speaks full sentences when surrounded by other hamsters.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Perfect Peter.
    Horrid Henry: "You don't have to tell on me..."
    Perfect Peter: "Yes I do~ Muuuuuuuuuum!/Daaaaaaaaad!"
  • Those Two Guys: Gorgeous Gurinder and Singing Soraya. Occasionally Gurinder will hang out with Lazy Linda instead.
    • Anxious Andrew and Weepy William too.
  • "Take Your Child to Work Day" Plot: "Henry Goes to Work" revolves around Henry's dad taking him to his work at the toothpaste factory and forcing him to work with his boss' son.
  • Unnamed Parent: All of the parents fall into this category, with the exception of Henry and Peter's father (Simon) and Steve's mother (Ruby).
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Singing Soraya says everything in a sing-songy tone.
    • Aerobic Al says "cool" a lot.
    • Miss Lovely says "lovely" a lot.
  • Vanity is feminine: Gurinder is a vain girl who also is obsessed with her looks and this is mainly what she concentrates on. If she concentrated half as much on her schoolwork she might be just as clever as Brian. Margaret is very vain as well, and wears makeup a lot as well, however she is also quite tomboyish.
  • Vocal Evolution: For Beefy Bert. He had a low voice in the first series. But starting from series 2, his voice is now a lot higher-pitched than before.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Henry did this in Horrid Henry and the Bogey Babysitter before the title card.
    • Again in Horrid Henry's Injection
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: '2Cool4School' is an example.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Happens to Henry at the end of most episodes.


Video Example(s):


Henry and the Roly Mo snowglob

In "Horrid Henry Says Goodbye", Henry's friends give him a snowglobe containing a figure of Roly Mo as a going-away present, he was not impressed. Horrid Henry is produced by Novel Entertainment, which also produced The Fimbles and its spin-off The Roly Mo Show, the latter where Roly Mo originated from.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / CompanyCrossReferences

Media sources: