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"Meanwhile, on the other side of the universe..."
Bounty Hamster (2003-2004) is a British animated science fiction comedy series.
Teenaged girl Cassie and her father were separated when their space ship was attacked by space pirates; she made it to an escape pod, he didn't. Now, she's off to find him again, with the assistance of the biggest, meanest bounty hunter money can hire -- but the biggest, meanest bounty hunter her money can hire is a small, blue-grey, hamster-like critter called Marion, who has enough attitude for several regular-sized bounty hunters but not a lot to back it up with. He does, however, have two special advantages: he has all kinds of useful stuff stashed in his cheek pouches (now, if only he could find what he needed when he needed it...), and he goes into an Unstoppable Rage whenever someone calls him "cute".
Each episode is packed with homages and shout outs to earlier works of animation, science fiction, and comedy (the episode where Applied Phlebotinum creates seven Marions -- one happy, one bashful, one grumpy, and so on -- is classic).
This series contains examples of:
- Aliens of London
- Applied Phlebotinum
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "You stand accused of breaking the Prime Directive, 5000 speed limits, and a really nice vase!"
- Auto Cannibalism: In one episode, Marion discovers his Bag of Holding cheeks are actually a portal between dimensions so, in order escape the dimension they're trapped in, he eats Cassie then himself.
- Badly-Battered Babysitter: "Bringing Up Baby"
- Bag of Holding: Marion's cheeks.
- Balloon Belly: Cassie gains one for a short time in "Chin Raiders" after eating lots of pancakes.
- Bar Brawl: "Bringing Up Baby"
- Berserk Button: "Don't...call...me...CUTE!"
- Bluff the Impostor: In "Twin Cheeks" Cassie realises Alt!Marion isn't the real one when she calls him cute and he doesn't flip out.
- Bouncer: "Fashion Victim"
- Bounty Hunter
- Brick Joke: Lampshaded in "The Good, the Bad, and the Adorable". A group of cute critters accidently take off on a huge rocket engine and fly all around the planet returning just in time to run over the Big Bad at the crucial moment, whereupon Marion pops up and says, "Bet you forgot about those guys, huh?"
- Bungling Inventor: Professor Notgerman
- Captain Ersatz: A silver C-3PO sometimes shows up out of nowhere to point out their odds of surviving, with Marion beating him up in response. On at least one occasion Cassie wonders who he is.
- Clip Show: "The Trial"
- Conspicuous CG
- Crowd Song: "The Good, the Bad, and the Adorable" is set on a planet of crowd-singing creatures.
- Cuckoo Nest: "School's Out"
- Disguised in Drag: "Fashion Victim"
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Cassie, occasionally.
- Energy Weapons
- Evil Twin: Alt!Marion in "Twin Cheeks". Alt!Cassie looks evil, but she's more of a Jerkass.
- Eyepatch of Power: Marion, one of several shout-outs to True Grit
- Alt!Cassie from "Twin Cheeks" also has one.
- Fartillery: In "Somewhere That's Green" when they're eaten by a man-eating plant, Cassie gets Marion to pull her finger, causing her to fart and the plant to spit them out.
Cassie: If we ever do find my dad, don't you dare tell him that I did that!
- She tries it again later without Marion's help, but it doesn't work.
Cassie: Why doesn't it work when you pull your own finger?
- Freaky Friday Flip: "Trading Spaces" is an entire episode full of body-swaps. A criminal steals a body-swapping device and uses it to go joy riding in other people's bodies. Highlights of the episode are Cassie stuck in the body of a humanoid rhino, a body-swap conga line with over half a dozen body-swaps in a row and the criminal, Cassie and Marion all being stuck together in the same body, where they try to beat each other up. The insanity ends with the criminal's mind trapped inside of a cactus.
- The Future
- Grand Theft Me: "Trading Spaces"
- Hates Being Touched: Alt!Cassie.
- Herr Doktor: Parodied with Professor Notgerman, who isn't.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes
- Intelligent Gerbil
- Interspecies Romance: Marion once got married to a Space Whale, who broke it off and hooked up with a defrosted, eloquent saber-tooth cat, and he once gambled Cassie away while trying to flirt with an alien like a multi-eyed, four-legged bird-woman.
- Limited Wardrobe: It seems that there weren't any extra outfits in that escape pod.
- Lost Him in a Card Game
- Lotus Eater Machine: "Wish You Were Here"
- Mad Scientist Laboratory
- Meaningful Name: Marion is a homage to the character played in the 1969 film True Grit by John Wayne, whose real name was Marion Michael Morrison.
- Cassie is short for Cassiopeia, named after the constellation. Her surname is Harrison, after Harrison Ford.
- Mirror Universe: "Twin Cheeks"
- The Napoleon: Marion.
- No Export for You: Inverted, as the show was shown in several countries before it was seen in the UK, and has been shown in its entirety and been rerun (and had DVD release in Australia) whereas in the UK there are several unaired episodes and has not been seen since it was originally shown.
- Opening Narration
- Opening Shout-Out: In "Twin Cheeks" when Alt!Cassie gives her backstory.
- Parental Bonus
- Parents for a Day: "Bringing Up Baby"
- The Professor: Professor Notgerman
- Recap by Audit: "The Trial"
- Rummage Fail
- Raised by Wolves: In Marion's case, literally.
- Screwed by the Network: The show was treated really badly by ITV, with the show being left on the shelf for months after being made, then after half the episodes were shown, it was taken off. Over a year later it returned, for only a handful of episodes to be shown, with several being unaired. None of the unaired episodes have been seen in the UK, and the episodes that have been shown have never been repeated.
- Shout-Out: Tons, especially in "Lonely Planet".
- Space Is an Ocean: Complete with Space Whales, in some episodes.
- Space Is Noisy
- Space Western: Several episodes.
- Starfish Character: Did we mention the episode where Applied Phlebotinum creates seven Marions?
- Temporary Bulk Change: Cassie in "Fashion Victim".
- Theme Song Assonance
- This Ain't Rocket Surgery: "Actually sir, it is!"
- This Banana Is Armed: "Hah! You didn't think that banana was loaded!"
- Training the Peaceful Villagers: Parodied in "The Good, the Bad, and the Adorable".
- Up to Eleven: During the Body Swap episode, when the villain (in Cassie's body) complains about Marion's ship going too slow, he takes out a marker and writes "12" on the speed controls. It actually works.
- Unstoppable Rage
- Used Future
- Turned Against Their Masters: "Mutiny on the Bounty Hamster"
- Wig, Dress, Accent