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YMMV / Care Bears

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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • "That's it, Playful Heart! We'll make them laugh so hard their grumPINESS will disappear!"
    • From the first movie, the scene near the beginning where Secret Bear is looking relaxed in a car while Friend Bear looks under the hood. It needs to be seen in order to be believed.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Many fans have noticed that the Care-Bear Stare is much more disturbing when viewed from the opposite side, as it essentially forces you to be happy and nice. And they don't just do it to villains either - at one point, they forced it on Grumpy Bear, even as he was begging them not to. In that light, it almost seems like Mind Rape. picked up on this as well.
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  • Ass Pull: Secret Bear making another key out of nowhere in the first movie.
  • Anvilicious: Due to being a kid's show, it has a good chunk of these.
  • Broken Base:
    • Was Adventures in Care-a-Lot an okay show, or the worst thing to happen to the franchise?
    • On the topic of Adventures in Care-a-Lot, Oopsy Bear. Sure, the fanbase isn't huge, but there's no denying that there is one.
    • Welcome to Care-a-Lot raised some concerns when The Hub's marketing attempt to attract a Periphery Demographic the likes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic complete with fandom nicknames like "Belly Bros" and "Care Bros". Realizing rather early that they were doing it wrong, The Hub completely ditched the effort. Considering the premiere's ratings giving some of The Hub's best ratings amongst all demographics, the incident didn't leave too much of a mark.
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    • Which series was the definitive version, DiC or Nelvana? They both have their share of fans/defenders and individual strengths to back each version (the former tends to show up more in advertising, while the latter included more personality and Character Development, especially in regards to the Care Bear Cousins.)
  • Crack Ship: Some fans pair Beastly and Shreeky together.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Many a girl has admitted to having a crush on Dark Heart from the second movie.
    • Hell, even No Heart has fangirls. Wrap your head around that.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • For the bears, Grumpy Bear, who is basically the most popular bear of the cast, even (hell, especially) amongst people who hate Care Bears.
    • For the cousins, Brave Heart Lion due to his being a more proactive leader than Tenderheart Bear and for providing comic relief.
    • For some, the Care Bear Cousins over the actual Care Bears (in part because the Cousins all had distinct designs and personalities, whereas outside Grumpy Bear, all of the Care Bears were too similar.) The bears are similar only because most people collapse being nice into generic love. Aside from explicit personalities like Grumpy or Secret, the bears are more unique when you realize that romance, friendship, enthusiasm, gaiety, generosity, mediation, hope, and competition are unique traits.
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    • Bright Heart Raccoon pretty much also qualifies. He was actually upgraded to being a part of the main Cast Herd in the Nelvana series' final seasons.
    • Christy and Dark Heart are the most well remembered part of the second film, and have many fanfics about Dark Heart adjusting to his new life.
    • Beastly was pretty popular in his own right, given his goofy Butt-Monkey status and not being nearly as bad as many of the other Care Bears villains.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Dark Heart, lord of all evil, wears.... a red track suit. To be fair, he might be dressed like that in order to approach Christy.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In The Care Bears and the Land Without Feelings, there are some pretty slapsticky moments involving Professor Coldheart and his minions (such as them hanging in midair for a few moments while the Professor peals off in his car, and the classic bowling pins sound effect when he knocks them aside). This is pretty funny, until you realize that his minions are kids like Kevin, and we don't realize this until Coldheart gives Kevin that drink and he's turned into one of them
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • After the film Braveheart came out, jokes between that movie and Brave Heart Lion were inevitable.
    • Christy and Dark Heart's relationship in the second movie gives off some funny Twilight vibes now. Dark Heart even transforms into a wolf at one point so Christy can ride on his back.
    • Also in the second movie, Alyson Court voices one of the young girls fighting a shapeshifting villain. Later on, Alyson Court would voice Claire Redfield, who also fought shapeshifting villains like William Birkin and Alexia Ashford (Darkside Chronicles only).
    • Professor Coldheart looks and acts almost exactly like an ice-themed version of I. M. Meen.
    • Towards the end of the first movie, the possessed Nicholas exhibits spiral eyes much like those of Lord Genome.
    • Not to mention the concept of an evil magic book being beaten with the power of friendship.
    • The Care Bears: Adventure in Wonderland featured a Jafar Expy evil wizard as the Big Bad, who tried to abduct Alice and had Tweedledee and Tweedledum working for him. Years later, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland was made.
    • In 1983, an album titled The Care Bears Adventures In Care-a-Lot was released. In 2007, a cartoon called Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-Lot premiered.
    • In the early book The Witch Down the Street, when the girl who's the main character of the book, Melissa, meets Funshine Bear, who tells her that "Share the fun and you get twice as much; that's what I always say." Melissa quips "You must be a share bear." It wouldn't be long before a character named Share Bear would be added to the series.
    • Beastly muses about how great being a king would be in "The Great Race". Cue Welcome to Care-a-Lot, with his role as King of the Beastlies, complete with a golden crown.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Lotsa Heart Elephant: Even though her body type is identical to all the other Care Bears characters, she still causes earthquakes when she runs.
  • Ho Yay: Professor Coldheart and Frostbite get this in "Runaway." After Frostbite gets sprayed by the warmth and kindness from the machine, he tries to kiss Professor Coldheart and after Professor Coldheart is temporarily turned nice, he dances with Frostbite.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • As with many children's shows, the plots frequently revolve around characters making decisions that would defy common sense. It's more acceptable when it's the younger characters making these mistakes, but it's somewhat jarring when the more mature Bears, as well as the villains, act like idiots. Never mind, the Bears don't seem to physically age, so all of them have been around for at least decades. So that means none of them have an excuse for their stupidity.
    • The album Adventures in Care-a-Lot (no relation to the show) has a pretty stupid plot as well, with the Bears apparently needing a boy to "believe" in them, and then making him fall asleep so he can "dream his way to Care-a-Lot". This never had to be done in any of the shows, specials, or movies.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Beastly. Sure, he's evil, but can you really hate him for all the abuse No Heart puts him through?
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Mr Cherrywood has gotten this treatment thanks to his infamous "creepy pedoface".
    • Dark Heart. "Time for a game of disappearing bears!"
    • Professor Coldheart because of his paedo-looking face and how he captures kids.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Subverted with Grumpy Bear; for a lot of people, Grumpy Bear's anti-social attitude and contempt for his fellow Bears and their at times Stepfordized personalities make him their favorite. Which ironically was mentioned in his original bio, as far as Grumpy's bio stating that his personality wasn't wrong and that it's OK to be grumpy sometimes, as opposed to casting Grumpy Bear in the "The Complainer Is Always Wrong" direction.
  • Padding: The first sequel had a musical number at the end that was pretty much just there to make sure it fulfilled the bare minimum for screentime. The song itself was over six minutes long and over half of it consisted of endlessly-repeated chorus (obstensibly to cover the end credits).
  • Popular with Furries: It's a popular series with bear fans. It's not hard to make Sailor Earths as well, which also helps its popularity.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • For older fans, Oopsy Bear, the chronically clumsy bear, who replaced Good Luck Bear, while Tenderheart Bear's role was usurped by Cheer Bear. Oopsy Bear was then dropped from Welcome to Care-a-Lot, with Tenderheart Bear restored to a prominent role, but Good Luck Bear still a backgrounder. Additionally, Bedtime Bear who usurped Grumpy Bear's position in all 00s merchandise due to TCFC not wanting two blue bears. Grumpy Bear was restored in Adventures in Care-a-Lot, with Bedtime reduced to a minor role and thought to be eliminated in Welcome to Care-a-Lot, though he eventually surfaced as a rarely-appearing character.
    • Actually, Grumpy wasn't shelved between 2000 to 2007 - Instead he was spun off into a clothes line that did poorly and did not receive any publicity or advertising due to the target audience of the line. Thankfully, that line was ended when Grumpy was merged back to the main series.
    • Also, unfortunately, Oopsy does have a small fanbase. Reaction of the fanbase to Oopsy's eradication ranged from a stoic goodbye to They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.
    • After the posting of a preview video in which Wonderheart Bear was upset that Baby Hugs & Tugs had their belly badge powers, but she still didn't, there were posts asking to bring back Oopsy to show her she's not the only one without a belly badge power. (Of course, there's a difference - Oopsy didn't even have a proper badge. Wonderheart does, she just couldn't use its power yet, though she eventually would.)
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: The 2004 Meet the Care Bears CD. It's loaded with songs that are all of a very cheerful nature, especially the last song, "With a Great Big Care Bear Hug."
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Played with. The villains themselves are often far darker than what you'd expect, and the more overt displays of cuteness are often Played for Laughs. Additionally, with a series that spans so long and with so many different incarnations, this is highly variable based on which incarnation you're watching.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: As described at the trope entry, it's often been unclear which bears belong to which gender over the years. The 2007 line is the first to specifically delineate gender.
    • Seriously! When the Star Comics comic adaptation was translated to Norwegian, Cheer was consistently referred to as male in the translation. Nobody noticed.
    • And Love-A-Lot was male in one of the books.
    • And Friend Bear is referred to as male in The Trouble With Timothy, despite being consistently female elsewhere in the franchise.
    • Good Luck Bear has gone all over the place with voice style changes.
    • Lotsa Heart Elephant apparently gets hit with this trope. In the 80s, he's a male, but in the 2000s is referred to as a female.
    • Swift Heart Rabbit's gender seems to vary. She's called the White Rabbit's niece at one point, but her tomboyish behavior suggests otherwise. In another episode, she is referred to as male.
    • Cozy Heart Penguin also has a varying gender. Thankfully, Care Bears And Cousins explicitly refers to her as female, but she's voiced by a male in that series, definitely not helping her case.
    • The Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot series seems to be trying to specifically prevent this by giving the male characters distinctly deep male voices and the female characters ones that definitely sound feminine.
    • This is raised Up to Eleven in the Mexican Spanish dubs of the films, when all the Bears and Cousins are addressed as males, despite most of them were voiced by females. This is especially egregious in the first dub of the second film, when True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse are addressed as males, causing the accidental side effect of turning them into a gay couple. The second dubbed version fixes this oversight though, and the South American dubs of the rest of the franchise outright avoids this trope.
    • Some of the earliest books of the franchise seem to go out of the way to avoid referring to any of the bears by gender, instead using their names whenever possible and using "its" when a pronoun must be used. The Witch Down the Street is an odd example - it features Love-a-Lot Bear, Birthday Bear and Funshine Bear, yet Birthday Bear is the only one referred to using gender pronouns.
  • The Woobie:
    • Grumpy Bear, who is charged with helping grumpy kids with their problems and has done it so much that he's become grumpy himself.
    • Oopsy Bear is supposedly designed to be a woobie judging from his personality traits.
    • Wonderheart Bear from Welcome to Care-a-Lot can be this at times, especially since mean/bully types on the show tend to threaten her through her Companion Cube, Floppy Bunny. And to a kid her age, threatening their stuffed animal is akin to threatening them.


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