SuperTed (1982-1986, 1989-1990) was a Welsh animated series that is every bit as bonkers as the opening narration would have you believe. Every week, SuperTed, with the Spotty Man (Jon Pertwee) as his sidekick, would save the world from SuperTed's arch nemesis, an evil cowboy named Texas Pete who does rope tricks and nothing else, and his henchmen, a strong but moronic man named Bulk and a talking gay skeleton named, um, Skeleton.
So, to reiterate: A teddy bear is randomly brought to life by a space alien who goes to the spirit of nature to give him powers for some completely inexplicable reason, who then uses said powers to fight an evil cowboy, an idiot and a literal skeleton.
No, we don't know what kind of drugs went into making this thing either.
This show provides examples of:
- Absentee Actor: Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton do not appear in "SuperTed and the Pothole Rescue".
- All Just a Dream: SuperTed once dreamed about what his life would be without Spotty. It wouldn't have ended pleasantly...
- Ambiguous Innocence: Bulk. He generally acts quite docile and pleasant, and doesn't really seem to realize that what he and Texas Pete do is evil. On the other hand, he was in prison before he and Texas Pete met, and even if he didn't seem to realize that prison was a bad place to be in, he had to have done something to get put there. When one considers his implied Super Strength, it can get kind of creepy thinking about how he did end up there...
- Ambiguously Gay: Spotty is not as flamboyant as Skeleton is but Spotty loves hanging out with SuperTed a lot to the point that he spends most of his holidays with him.
- Animal Superheroes: SuperTed is a teddy bear given super powers.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: Played with, as the viewer never hears the word itself, just Ted telling them he's going to use it. It is in fact wholly possible that "I'll just say my secret magic word" is the word. Bulk repeats those words in another episode and it actually works, temporarily giving him superpowers as well...at least until he entirely forgets what they are.
- Camp Gay: Skeleton is very camp as he frequently lisps, is obsessed about his looks, and is exteremley effeminate to the point where he wants to steal items oriented towards women for himself. Word of God confirms Skeleton to be gay.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: SuperTed once saved a young Indian ruler from his Evil Uncle.
- Clothes Make the Superman: SuperTed only has powers when he's in his hero outfit. Little different in that it's not about putting his hero suit on, it's about taking off his bearskin and revealing the hero suit on underneath it.
- Dem Bones: Skeleton, a less than threatening example.
- The Drag-Along: Skeleton, in a very rare villainous example; he's literally only with Texas Pete's group because Pete and Bulk stumbled into his tomb whilst escaping from prison together, woke him up, and Pete decided to drag him along.
- Dub Name Change: In Brazil, Texas Pete is known as "Texas Bala". "Bala" means "Bullet". note
- Dumb Muscle: Bulk has greater than human strength, to the point that when he was in jail, he could pull out the bars in his window at will, but he's... well, a childlike idiot is probably the nicest way to put it.
- Eviler Than Thou: Texas Pete felt the trope when he became Public Enemy Number Two instead of One. He wasn't too pleased to find out his ranking suffered even more because he helped Ted put the other villain in jail.
- Enemy Mine: In the episode where Texas Pete was declared Public Enemy Number One, he lost the title to an intergalactic villain and became Public Enemy Number Two. Wanting to get rid of competition, Pete helped SuperTed to capture him. The result was that Pete became Public Enemy Number Thirty Three.
- Expository Theme Tune: "This is the story of an ordinary teddy bear..."
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: An alien uses space dust to bring a teddy bear to life, who's then given powers by a magic potion from Mother Nature to turn into a superhero and fight a cowboy, a fat idiot and a living skeleton.
- Fat and Skinny: Bulk and Skeleton.
- Fat Idiot: Bulk is even called one word for word by Tex in their origin episode.
- Fur Is Clothing: SuperTed unzips his bear suit to reveal a superhero costume underneath. Well, he is a stuffed toy imbued with a consciousness.
- Idiot Hair: Bulk's cow lick.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: SuperTed is always pitted against the woefully incompetent Texas Pete, Bulk, and Skeleton (who is an actual skeleton woken from his sleep in the first episode). Only Pete is even remotely threatening; the other two appear to be along for the ride.
- Jet Pack: Spotty's favourite means of transport.
- Mad Scientist: SuperTed has crossed paths with these on occasion, like the crazy Dr. Somnia in the revival series, who's a Villain with Good Publicity who seeks to control the world by using a machine to afflict everyone in the world with endless nightmares.
- Manchild: Spotty is a grown man who has a wife and daughter back on his home planet but he chose a teddy bear as a superhero partner and even takes baths while playing with toys in them.
- Mother Nature: A benevolent, if somewhat dotty, mystical figure who lives in a magic cloud in outer space and who gave SuperTed his powers.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
- SuperTed is the manly to Spotty's sensitive dad Superted is a no nonsense hero committed to protecting the universe and Spotty is more aloof and immature
- Texas Pete is the manly man to Bulk and Skeleton's sensitive guys. Texas Pete is the stereotypical villainous cowboy who leads the trio while Bulk is bumbling and idiotic and Skeleton is very camp and flamboyant.
- Sissy Villain: Skeleton is very camp and he is one of the shows main antagonists.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: SuperTed can communicate with any animal, at least in the first series.
- Villain Exclusivity Clause: Texas Pete as the Big Bad in almost every episode.
- Unusual Euphemism: Pulsating Prunes! Bubbling Blancmange!
- Widget Series: It's a weird Welsh thing—the main reason why SuperTed was made was because Mike Young's son had a phobia of the dark.
- To put this in perspective, in the American revival series, SuperTed visited a barbaring-obsessed Space Roman alien world. In the Welsh original series, he repeatedly matches wits with an evil cowboy, a childlike super-strong fat idiot, and a milquetoast skeleton.