Use & Purpose
Depending on how much caring there is, both in the meter and on Earth, Care-A-Lot's environment will be affected. However, if the meter gets to a point where there's a low (or dangerously low) amount of caring in the world (or Care-A-Lot itself), enviormental disasters such as thunderstorms and rainbows crumbling, and sometimes the colors turning black and white will occur. If the meter were to reach all the way to zero (meaning that there's literally no caring anywhere), then Care-A-Lot will disappear completely.
The meter can lower through various ways, including:
- 1. When someone on Earth is feeling down or troubled
- 2. An evil scheme being plotted (usually by No Heart) to take the caring out of the world.
- 3. A quarrel happens in Care-A-Lot.
Other than its role, not much is known about it, although it is shown to have mechanical inner workings. Dark Heart once attempted to ruin the Care Bears by posing as a "Caring Meter Reader", to which he sabotaged the mechanisms of the Caring Meter.
In The Care Bears Movie, The Caring Meter is shown with 8 hearts, along with 3 colored zones: Red (0-3), Yellow (4-6), And Green (7-8). It has shown to have taken damage as shown by the cracks in some areas due to the cloud-quake that was caused by The Spirit.
In Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation, as well as The Care Bears Family television series, The Caring Meter is shown to have 12 hearts, in an unnumbered clock-like fashion. Unlike the first movie, this meter has a bell inside and the meter acts like a barometer and the platform is larger in size giving it more accessibility. The pointer will move counter-clockwise as the pointer drops. Depending on the number of bells the Caring Meter has tolled, the pointer will move the amount of hearts per toll. (Example: 3 tolls will equal 3 hearts.) In some episodes, some will carry a 'Caring Beeper' which is a small version of the Caring Meter that is carried in one's pocket.
In The Care Bears' Big Wish Movie, It is dubbed "The Care-O-Meter", and has two sides: Raincloud, (Less caring) and the Rainbow. (More Caring) If the meter gets too close to the raincloud side, the Care Bears must try and prevent the meter from going even lower by going on caring missions.
Breakdowns & Malfunctions
The Caring Meter has broken down several times in the series.
In Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation, while the Care Bears are setting up for a party, the pointer is spinning uncontrollably. It is unknown what caused the meter to malfunction this way.
In the television series, the meter has malfunctioned 2 other times:
- In the episode The Factory of Uncaring, the spike from Beastly's helmet stopped the pointer from moving (thinking that the Care Bears won't notice any problems) which caused the mechanics to stop up and smoke began to emit from the meter itself, and once Champ Bear pulled the spike out, the pointer dropped to the 6-o'clock position causing the alarm to sound with bells and whistles.
- In the episode Songfellow Strum and His Magic Train, the Meter suddenly broken after Brave Heart Lion and Hugs & Tugs argued. This time however, the alarm didn't sound. The meter could have possibly malfunctioned due to the arguing Brave Heart and Hugs & Tugs caused.
- "The Caring Meter dropped two whole points!" - Funshine Bear alarming Tender Heart about the Meter.
- "The Caring Meter has fallen to 3. In no time, it'll fall to zero, and that's the end of Care-A-Lot!" - Good Luck Bear noticing the Caring Meter in the dangerous level.
- The Caring Meter has only dropped to zero one time, that being in the first movie.
- In the episode 'Under the Bigtop' of the television series, the pointer moves clockwise rather than counter-clockwise.
- Dark Heart wasn't the only one who tried to sabotage the Caring Meter for one's gain. In the previously mentioned episode 'The Factory Of Uncaring', Beastly tried to chop down the meter with an ax in order for No-Heart's plan to work, but ironically his plan became sabotaged when Bright Heart's remote-controlled airplane began to chase after him, causing a sequence of events that led to what happened in the previously mentioned malfunction.