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YMMV / Horrid Henry

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  • Adaption Displacement: In comparison to the cartoon’s popularity, the book series (which was released long before the cartoon) appears to be little known.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The way that Henry is treated by his father could be a case of the latter actually hating his younger self, given that the father is revealed to have been a troublemaker in his youth, and sometimes either agrees with or helps out the title character.
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    • It's rather common to see people believe that Henry’s horrid behavior might have originated from a mental health disorder. After all, with him being angry and reckless, this statement does come to mind.
    • Most people think Perfect Peter is gay, due to his fashion sense, girly interests, sensitivity, aversion of violent rock music, stronger sense of morality (but that part varies a lot) and how easily frightened and defensive he gets.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The cartoon was considered ground-breaking in its native United Kingdom, still getting formidable ratings with its target audience and airing simultaneously on two UK and Ireland channels. However, outside the British Isles but especially the United States (where it's was a Netflix exclusive), it's universally beaten to death for reasons that include the voice acting, the way the characters act, disturbing scenes you wouldn't expect to see in your average kids' cartoon, and utterly ridiculous episode ideas (with one centred on hashtags).
  • Awesome Music:
    • The theme song is pretty epic to listen to, and very memorable.
    • The background music that plays through a whole episode definitely earns a mention here, as it manages to vary in terms of the mood of the characters and scene. The way the instruments are played and switched around are done rather well.
  • Base-Breaking Character
    • Horrid Henry himself. Some like him for his over-the-top mischief and see him a Jerkass Woobie at certain points, while others find him a bad influence due to how he treats everyone, including Perfect Peter.
    • Perfect Peter. Either you'll feel bad for him for what Henry puts him through or find him an annoying tattletale and goody-two-shoes who likes to see Henry get punished, even when Henry does nothing to deserve it.
    • Henry's parents also count. On one side they're considered relatable people due to having an extremely misbehaved son. One the other hand, they're seen as Abusive Parents who give all the credit to Peter and neglect Henry when he hasn't even done anything wrong yet. The fact that this exchange in "Perfect Peter's Horrid Day" doesn't help when Peter purposely sprays water at Henry in order to get into trouble, and how Dad seemed to try and make it sound like Peter didn't do anything wrong:
      Henry: Peter sprayed me!
      Dad: Don't tell lies Henry...
      Peter: It's true; I sprayed him!
      Dad: Well then... you should of gotten out of the way when Peter was watering the flowers!
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    • Moody Margaret is this to some too. Whilst there are a lot of fans who hate her for being an insufferable spoiled brat who gets away with mischievous behaviour significantly more often than Henry, some like her for being somewhat of a female equivalent to Henry who can give him a run for his money.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In the cartoon, the scenes where Henry suddenly morphs into a creature whenever someone does something to him can become jarring in a show that’s mostly down to earth. Then again, this is usually seen as him attempting to do get revenge on the person who bothered him, and this is how he visualises it.
    • Henry's Dad's brief appearance in the episode "Perfect Peter's Pen Pal", where he suddenly announces and brings in a cream cake, and then he falls for Henry's trap, making him land face first into the cake.
    • One of the scenes in the beginning scene of "Happy Birthday Peter!" had Henry and Ralph jumping on a seesaw with Peter on the other end, flinging him up to the sky in high speeds. And it wasn't even implied that it was an Imagine Spot!
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • "Horrid Henry's Dinosaur Day", the episode where Henry turns into a dinosaur for the whole of the episode.
    • "Who's Who?", where Henry switches all the kids' nicknames and this somehow causes them to switch their personality traits too.
    • "Horrid Henry, This Is Your Fault!", a Musical Episode with original songs.
  • Creator's Pet: In the TV series (and some of the books), Moody Margaret seems to get away with thing more often than any other character in the show. Whilst this rarely happens in early series, it seemed to have increased significantly in later episodes. Examples include "Horrid Henry and the Birthday Present", "Horrid Henry's Unhappy Day", "Moody Margaret, Superstar" and "Moody Margaret for President" which either have her come off as petty, just as horrid as her nemesis, a spoiled brat or all of the above and is still able to walk away scott-free. Her increase in screen time during later episodes to the point of appearing in just about nearly every episode does make it seem like the writers are really fond of the character, not helped that the book's author, Francesca Simon has admitted that Margaret was her favourite character.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • There are several moments in the book series where Henry punches and slaps Peter, and this was used as a Running Gag.
    • In Don't Be Horrid, Henry!, many of the things the titular character does has him attempting to kill Peter as a toddler in various ways, such as pushing him down a very steep hill in a pram.
    • Some of the songs Henry sang in "Horrid Henry Rocks" had a lyric involving shoving a grandma down the stairs. During a child friendly performance in front of his parents and hundreds of families.
    • There is a recurring moment in the book series where Henry tells his parents he genuinely hates them.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Considering that Henry is a selfish brat with a screwed-up family and the fact that they live in a Crapsack World where everyone is either a Jerkass or an undeserving butt-monkey, both the book and the cartoon series are not exactly the best to enjoy.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Henry treats his family, his teachers and his friends rudely and carelessly, as his alliterative name implies.
    • Henry’s family tends to act this way whenever they blame Henry and unfairly punish him for something he clearly doesn’t do.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Peter on occasion. He does tell tales a lot, true, but he's sometimes treated as the bad guy even when he has a good reason for ratting out Henry.
    • Miss Battle-Axe can be seen as one despite her doing her job as a teacher.
    • While one can argue that Henry's Mum and Dad aren't exactly parent of the year material, there are times where they're treated as evil even when they have a good reason for punishing Henry.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Both Horrid Henry and Perfect Peter get this treatment.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Fans of the Horrid Henry and Dennis the Menace often butt heads, with Dennis fans accusing Horrid Henry of being a "rip off", even though Dennis can be more of an intentional troll than Henry.
  • Ho Yay:
    • In the episode "Horrid Henry's Favourite Day", Henry enters himself into a "best brothers" contest to win a new computer game. Instead of being nice to his brother Peter, Henry dresses Rude Ralph up as Peter and they stage pictures of Henry being nice to Peter. In one of the pictures, Henry kisses Ralph on the cheek. And in the final picture after the kiss Henry is shown smiling implying he might have liked kissing Ralph. Sadly Ralph is shown being freaked out in the final picture and after they finish taking pictures for the contest, Ralph wipes Henry's kiss off. Henry, happy to have kissed Ralph on the cheek in addition to getting the pictures he needed for the contest, is oblivious to Ralph's feelings.
    • In “Good Morning Henry”, Henry and Ralph are singing together and when they get close to one another, they make shy, blushing faces at each other.
    • In “Horrid Henry: Untouchable”, they were paired up in dancing class together, but they didn’t seem to mind that.
    • At the end of “Horrid Henry and the Strict Teacher”, Henry and Ralph are holding hands and don’t seem to mind doing it in front of their whole class.
    • In “Horrid Henry Says Goodbye”, Ralph is the only guest to come back and say goodbye after Henry’s ungrateful outburst at the farewell party. They both seem reluctant to let each other go. Henry is struggling to say something very important to Ralph, but then stops himself and just bids him farewell. They both look at each other with sad smiles, as if they’re going to cry.
    • Anxious Andrew and Weepy William’s relationship also comes into play since they’re rarely seen apart and have similar personalities.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Horrid Henry. He may be horrid, rude and careless, but he is clearly The Un-Favourite amongst his family, his brother is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who likes getting him in trouble, his other relatives are no better, and he has to deal with the annoying Moody Margaret. It becomes worse when in later seasons, everyone makes him their scapegoat.
    • Perfect Peter. He may be smug, spoiled, and self-centred, but he is frequently bullied by Henry on a daily basis and he’s just so pathetic that you sometimes can’t help but feel bad for him.
    • Sour Susan. You will feel bad for her since Margaret treats her like a slave instead of a friend. She even literally said this to Susan’s face.
    • Pimply Paul may seem like a grouchy jerk, but he is actually a very honest and hardworking guy, but he never gets the respect or thanks he deserves from anyone (not even from his own wife, who is a whiny nag, no less), leaving him in bitter contempt.
    • Miss. Battle Axe has her moments when Henry goes too far with his recklessness.
    • Mum and Dad are neglectful towards Henry and tend to make him a scapegoat, but with a son like him, who could blame them for being suspicious? It doesn’t help that they always end up having to pay for Henry’s actions and are held responsible for them. Their relationships with their siblings also comes into mind.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: You would be amazed at all the characters Henry is paired up with.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some people don't realise the song "Girls Rule" is supposed to be ironic, as the girls singing it don't possess the qualities they're bragging about.
  • Moe:
    • Perfect Peter, whenever he's not being a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing or seen as The Scrappy.
    • Horrid Henry when he is not being gross or mean.
    • Vomiting Vera when she’s not, well, vomiting.
    • Anxious Andrew and Weepy William's shyness and cowardice make them just plain adorable to watch.
    • The resident twin sisters, Gorgeous Gurinder and Singing Sonya.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Henry usually always falls into this whenever he genuinely deserves to be punished for naughty behaviour, even when he's unprovoked.
      • An example would be in "Horrid Henry and the Wedding" where he decides to ruin Prissy Polly's wedding simply because he doesn't want to go by eating the wedding cake and inadvertently dropping the wedding ring down a drain. Whilst they could've forbade him from going to the wedding, it's still no excuse for his behaviour.
      • In "Horrid Henry's Hike", he bullies Peter throughout the whole episode just because Peter wanted to go hiking for his nature project and even goes as far as endangering him by telling him to go near a wasp nest. He ruins his hike overall simply so he can watch a six hour marathon of his favourite TV show.
    • Moody Margret crossed it in "Horrid Henry's Unhappy Day". In this episode, Henry wasn't being that horrid and simply wanted to buy a comic book in a department store, but is stopped by the security guards when trying to retrieve his comic book back after Margaret snatches it from him. After that, Margaret forces him to be her slave in exchange for the comic. After he has done everything she’s told him to do, she posts a humiliating photo of him on the Internet and never gives the comic to him. Talk about a real Downer Ending.
    • Nasty Nicola crossed it in her debut episode. She pretends to return Henry’s feelings for her and then frames him for various crimes across the school, almost resulting in him being expelled. Had Peter and Brian not intervened, she would've won for sure.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Prissy Polly. Her shrilly voice and overly jolly personality tends to annoy viewers as well as her habit of wanting things to be exactly her way, even to the discomfort of others. It doesn’t help that she treats her husband (who is constantly oppressed to begin with) like dirt. To some, she can be viewed as a female equivalent of Perfect Peter.
    • Moody Margaret also qualifies to those who don't consider her a Base-Breaking Character. Though her behaviour in the earlier seasons were somewhat justified when it came to Henry, she became noticeably more vile in later seasons as she constantly treats her friends badly and will bully those around her, even when she's unprovoked just because she can and usually gets away with it. Her tendency to act like an ungrateful brat towards her parents who constantly spoil her also doesn't help.
    • Nasty Nicola. Just look at the comments on her profile page on the show’s wiki.
  • Seasonal Rot: By the time the cartoon went onto Series 3, many viewers believed the quality worsened and how Henry was beginning to lose his character, changing from a brat to a complete scapegoat. In one episode, where Henry turns into a dinosaur (for nearly the entire episode), after saving a woman's pet from a tree, Henry has decided to become the opposite of what his name implies, which is him watching "Happy Hippos" with his brother.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: 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” serves as an honest reminder of why we 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 Mr. 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. 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 it’s never too late to change, especially for the sake of their kids. Mum however, contradicts herself immediately when Ruby pops by.
    • 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 Ralph will always be there for him, showing that sometimes a friend is better than a lover.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The song Henry and his band members "play" in "Horrid Henry's Horrid Heroes" sounds rather similar to the Kaiser Chiefs song "I Predict a Riot".
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Really, whenever Henry manages to attack or humiliate any one of his enemies in some way or another, but especially Margaret in light of "Horrid Henry's Unhappy Day".
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • For the most part, Henry does deserve to be punished for his behaviour in a lot of episodes. However, there are instances where Henry either commits a very harmless act or does nothing to deserve punishment and yet still suffers the consequences.
    • Margaret in "Horrid Henry, Bogus Babysitter". Whilst she and Susan were rather neglectful towards Vicky, she didn't really do anything wrong and yet she ends up getting into trouble for the mischievous things Vicky did.
    • Peter, at least whenever Henry genuinely deserves to be punished (most of the time, he does).
    • Prissy Polly towards the end of the episode "Horrid Henry and the Wedding", in which she breaks down into tears saying that her wedding was not "the best day" of her life because of Henry's antics. Despite fans hating the character and not showing any remorse to her, you do feel rather sorry for Polly as her wedding ended up being a disaster considering that she didn't do anything wrong to Henry.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: The entire episode all about hashtags.
  • The Woobie:
    • Anxious Andrew and Weepy William, who are the biggest victims of Henry’s abuse and torment.
    • Moody Margret’s parents try to please their daughter, but she’s an ungrateful brat who treats them like her slaves.
  • What an Idiot!: Henry falls into this many times. His lack of common sense in episodes like "Horrid Henry Makes Some Money" and "Horrid Henry and the Scary Scooter" are why he loses in the end. In fact, the series now has its own page.


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