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Western Animation / The Telebugs

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The Telebugs is a British cartoon from the 1980s about the adventures of three robots with televisions for heads.

The Telebugs were a hi-tech trio of merry monitored robots created by absent-minded Professor Brainstrain. These robots were, in the professor's own words, 'Pwogwammed to help people in twouble', but more specifically to combat the new threat of computerized villains and advanced adversaries springing up around the country.

The Telebugs' leader was a white-shelled droid called Chip. He was a calculation robot, able to process data and statistics at a phenomenal rate. Yellow-shelled Samantha was a hi-tech monitor and tracking device. Then there was Bug, the red robot programmed to acquire video footage and pictures. Bug came with a sidekick called Mic, a mobile independent camera.

The Telebugs worked for the local tv station run by the ill-tempered Mr McStarch. Their main adversaries were mad Baron Bullybyte and his Dragon Sister Magna. Bullybyte was in possession of an evil computer creation called Angel Brain. This wicked trio cropped up numerous times during the three Telebugs seasons. There was also Arcadia, a juvenile computer criminal who controlled an army of little evil robots.

In the course of the first season, Professor Brainstrain creates a fourth black shelled Telebug called Zudo. Unfortunately, Zudo's wires get crossed and he sets off on a wild rampage through the English countryside.

The Telebugs contains examples of:

  • Big Bad Ensemble: Baron Bullybyte and Arcadia.
  • Catchphrase: Chip's "I calculate" and "All systems - Go Telesonic!"; Samantha's "My scanners detect"; Zudo's "Evil OK!".
  • Cats Are Mean: Averted with Professor Brainstrain's cat Grumble, who is on the whole helpful and good-natured... though he can get impatient if Professor Brainstrain doesn't feed him fast enough.
  • Cute Machines: The Telebugs themselves.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Professor Brainstrain suffers from this.
  • Fiery Redhead: Mr McStarch has bright orange hair and a bit of a temperament.
  • Freudian Trio: Chip is the purely logical leader (Super-Ego), Bug is the most impulsive one and the most likely to get into trouble (Id). Samantha is more emotional than C.H.I.P (and by her own admission, has less processing power) but is more restrained and mature than Bug (Ego).
  • Fun with Acronyms: The names of the Telebugs - C.H.I.P. (Coordinated Hexadecimal Information Processor), S.A.M.A.N.T.H.A. (Solar Activated Micro Automated Non-inTerference Hearing Apparatus), B.U.G. (Binary Unmanned Gamma camera), M.I.C. (Mobile Independent Camera) and Z.U.D.O (Zero-failure Universal Data Optimizer).
  • Limited Animation: The show didn't have a very big budget, and it shows.
  • Literal-Minded: The Telebugs, being robots, tended to not be very good with metaphors or exaggerations, and would take whatever Mr McStarch said literally.
    Mr McStarch: Get out of here in one second, or I —
    Chip: Thanks. Mr McStarch! One second is all we need!
  • Mind Control: Frequent with Baron Myllybyte and Magna, who would hypnotize children into playing their video games. Magna also used her vaguely defined hypnotic powers to make other people see her as a pretty blonde lady.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: It seems there's nothing the Telebugs' sonic beams can't do.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Zudo only turned out evil because Brainstrain's cat, Grumble, interfered during his creation — he got impatient because Brainstrain wouldn't give him his dinner before the robot was assembled and so decided to "help."
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Arcadia is so called because she always gets the high scores in video games.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In the episode "Danger", the Telebugs attempt to infiltrate the Angel Palace disguised as children. Said disguises consist of wigs and hats. Naturally, Bullybyte is immediately suspicious.
  • Reality Warper: Lifo the alien robot.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Zudo's color scheme, with some yellow thrown in.
  • Sixth Ranger: Lifo joins the group later in the series.
  • Shapeshifter: Another one of Lifo's powers.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Samantha is the only female Telebug.
  • Soft Glass: Magna jumps through a window to escape the Telebugs in "Apple Hi" and doesn't recieve even a scratch.
  • Team Pet: Mic the video-pup.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Samantha's bow, although it's actually a spinning radar.

  • You No Take Candle: Zudo has this manner of speaking, although there are a few occasions when he speaks normal English.