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Western Animation / SuperTed

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"This is a story about an ordinary teddy bear. When he was made, they found something wrong with him, and threw him away like a piece of rubbish—into an old dark storeroom. Then, from Outer Space—a Spotty Man brought him to life with his Cosmic Dust! He took him to a magic cloud, where Mother Nature gave him special powers! That bear became... SuperTed!"
— The series' Opening Narration

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 (Derek Griffiths), with the Spotty Man (Jon Pertwee) as his sidekick, would save the world from SuperTed's arch nemesis, an evil cowboy named Texas Pete (Victor Spinetti) who does rope tricks and nothing else, and his henchmen, a strong but moronic man named Bulk (Roy Kinnear) and a talking gay skeleton named, um, Skeleton (Melvyn Hayes).

An American version was made by Hanna-Barbera as part of their Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera block which also featured Fantastic Max, another show from creator Mike Young.

This show provides examples of:

  • 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 in prison...
  • 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.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: It's kind of noticeable how episodes like "City of the Dead" and "Creepy Castle" laugh at the idea of things like curses and haunted castles, considering at the very least that one of the main villain's gang is a walking, talking skeleton.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Played with, as the viewers never hear 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 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.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Texas Pete in "Super Ted on Planet Spot". As he's hanging on the edge of a cliff, Bulk is clinging to him, grabbing his waist. This causes the former's pants to slip off, revealing yellow undershorts with red spots.
  • 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.
  • Harmless Electrocution: This happens to Texas Pete in "Super Ted and The Stolen Rocket", after Super Ted grabs him and tosses him to the spaceship's control panel, giving him a quite an electrical shock once he makes contact with it in the process.
  • 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 mother and little sister 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.
  • Pun: When Texas Pete and Bulk first met Skeleton, he was wearing a nightcap and nightgown. In other words, they woke him from his eternal slumber.
  • 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.
  • Stealth Pun: Skeleton is portrayed as being Camp Gay, but is never outright stated to be in the show (obviously, since it's an 80s kids' cartoon). Which makes him... a skeleton in the closet.
  • Through A Face Fullof Fur: In "Super Ted in Texas", the titular teddy bear's cheeks get rosy with modesty as Judy hugs him and thanks him for helping break her fall by catching her after she, and Texas Pete, are launched into the air by a bull.
  • Villain Exclusivity Clause: Texas Pete as the Big Bad in almost every episode. They tried to change it up a little with new villains when the show was brought back in the late 80's, but Tex and the gang were still in an awful lot of them.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Pulsating Prunes! Bubbling Blancmange! Rocketing Raspberries!