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->''"[[OpeningNarration The year: 1994. From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction! Man's civilization is cast in ruin!]]''

->''[[TimeSkip Two thousand years later]], Earth is reborn...''

->''A strange new world rises from the old: a world of savagery, super science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice! With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword against the forces of evil.''

->''He is Thundarr, the Barbarian!"''

In the year 1994, [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the Earth was destroyed in a mighty cataclysm.]] (What? [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture You don't remember that happening?]]) Some 2,000 years later, and [[AfterTheEnd the world is still a pretty big mess]], with many of the survivors having [[HalfHumanHybrid mutated into hideous monsters]]. Those who still remain human live precariously amongst the [[LostTechnology ruins of the old world]], at the mercy of evil sorcerers who've managed to [[SchizoTech combine the technology of yore with ancient mysticism]] and create [[{{Magitek}} magic-fueled weapons of awesome power.]]

Into this broken world rides our muscular hero and his sidekicks, the magic-wielding ActionGirl Princess Ariel and the [[Franchise/StarWars Chewbacca]]-like Ookla the Mok, a catlike, superpowered giant [[TheUnintelligible who communicates largely in growls]]. Together these three heroes ride the length and breadth of the post-cataclysmic world righting wrongs and protecting the shattered remnants of humanity from whatever dangers may threaten.

Created by the production team of Creator/RubySpears with the help of comic artists Creator/JackKirby and Creator/AlexToth, this show was one of the better [[Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian Conan]]-inspired HeroicFantasy shows of the early 1980s. The opening sequence alone (which featured the flashy destruction of Earth) was enough to secure its place in the memory of many a kid from that era, who undoubtedly breathed a sigh of relief when 1994 had peacefully come and gone. A number of 90s kids remember the same opening, as ''Thundarr'' was a staple of the fledgling Creator/CartoonNetwork, alongside shows like ''WesternAnimation/{{Centurions}}''.

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!!This show provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Ariel, whose [[GreenLanternRing versatile magic ability]] sometimes [[DistressBall conveniently failed]] when the time came for her to be [[DistressedDamsel taken hostage or rescued]] (She can't cast spells when [[StandardFemaleGrabArea her hands aren't free]]). She managed to keep from slipping into FauxActionGirl territory, though, by her wit, intelligence and the genuine usefulness of her powers when the script allowed her to use them.
* AfterTheEnd
* Creator/AlexToth: While Creator/JackKirby designed most of the villains and other characters, the three leads were designed by Toth. This is most evident with Ookla, who is clearly a relative of [[WesternAnimation/SpaceGhost Brak]].
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The wizards.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Ariel for Thundarr.
** Well, he does get pretty mad whenever she's endangered or threatened so maybe her love is not completely unrequited.
* ApocalypseDayPlanner
* ApocalypseHow: Planetary Societal Collapse.
* AsLethalAsItNeedsToBe: The [[LaserSword Sun Sword]] could cut through inanimate objects and MechaMooks as if they were tissue paper. But the moment he tried to strike down a living foe, the Sun Sword inexplicably didn't work. (At least the writers lampshaded this by having Thundarr express surprise, dismay or both at this.)
* AuthorAppeal: Toth's character designs for the leads can be easily found online. One of them is of Ariel ''naked'', for sheerly gratuitous reasons.
* BarbarianHero
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Ariel is always immaculately groomed and her outfit is in perfect condition. In fairness, she is a sorceress and can magically keep herself looking good.
* BerserkButton: Do ''not'' threaten or harm Ariel. Thundarr takes it ''extremely'' poorly. He also doesn't hesitate to dive into battle when he sees humans in danger.
* BlandNameProduct: One episode has a scene where Ookla reads a comic book from "Marble Comics".
* BrainInAJar: One of the villains was originally a scientist who was mortally wounded in the apocalypse; he kept his brain alive through a combination of life-support technology and magic.
* CatchPhrase: Thundarr's "Demon Dogs!", "Lords of Light!" and his battle cry, "Aaaaaaaahhhhh--ee!" Plus, the catchy and inspiring, "Ariel! Ookla! RIDE!"
* TheChick: For the era the show hails from, Ariel manages to avoid a ''surprising'' amount of Chickification - she's still "the feminine voice" of the team, sure, and DependingOnTheWriter she can be placed in peril, but by and large she's treated as perfectly competent and a worthy, valuable companion to Thundarr.
** She's also notable for being a ''non-white'' female lead in an era where that wasn't too common.
* ColossusClimb: Thundarr often has to fight giant monsters and does this.
* TheComicallySerious: Thundarr seems to be going for TheStoic, but in the face of Ariel's wisecracks and other comedic events he often comes across as this.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: The PowerTrio could ride their horses over partly submerged rock sticking out of a pool of lava.
* DeadpanSnarker: Ariel, generally in contrast to Thundarr.
* DefectorFromDecadence: Ariel was the stepdaughter of the wizard Sabian, holds the title of "princess" from an undefined source and is herself a quite formidable sorceress. By all the standards of their world, she should be part of the ruling elite, not riding around on a horse with a barbarian and a Mok playing heroine to the unwashed masses.
* DetonationMoon: The Moon literally split in half when the runaway planet passed by. It does appear that it is gradually pulling back together though.
* EmpathicWeapon: Thundarr's ''Sun Sword'', which could be wielded only by him.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Ariel is called one.
* EvilSorcerer: Just about any bad guy who isn't a MadScientist.
* FamilyFriendlyFirearms: Thundarr's ''Sun Sword'', which may have been a ShoutOut to -- or a direct rip-off of -- [[Franchise/StarWars Luke Skywalker's lightsaber]] [[note]]Even though this was 1980, America had yet to hear about [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam robots who could use them...]][[/note]]. More conventional laserlike EnergyWeapons tend to be standard issue for the various Wizards' monstrous mutant {{Mook}}s. Another example: the [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolves turned their victims into werewolves]] by holding their glowy claws kinda near the victim.
** Thundarr made sure never to use his Sun Sword on a living creature. He would not start in with the hack-and-slash until after he discovered that his enemies were robots; just to make sure we in the audience understood, he would then bellow, "They are machines!"
* FeudalFuture: Most people are effectively either serfs or slaves to wizards who rule over fiefdoms surrounding their citadels of sorcery and/or science.
* FunWithAcronyms: An InJoke. Ookla (the Mok) is named after the University of California, Los Angeles → UCLA → "ookla".
* FunctionalMagic: What it is and why it became so prolific after the Cataclysm is unspecified. But in TimeTravel episodes it is shown to work even in the 20th Century, implying that it was really ''re''discovered rather than something which did not exist in the past at all.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Most of the enemies.
* HellishHorse: Ookla's mount (an "equart") is half-horse, half-bug... and 100% awesome.
* HeroicFantasy
* HumanPopsicle: One episode centered on a trio of human scientists, [[ColdSleepColdFuture cryonically frozen]] since the 20th century, who are awakened by our heroes. Of course, one of them [[{{Fainting}} Monster Faints]] upon seeing Ookla.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: Not only did {{mooks}} seem incapable of hitting Thundarr, but they always ran forward while firing, moving into close combat with the barbarian for no apparent reason.
* InsistentTerminology: Thundarr seems to reserve the use of the term "wizard" for the SorcerousOverlord[=s=] that oppress humankind. Ariel is ''not'' a "wizard", she is a "sorceress" (and don't call her a "witch" either).
* KirbyDots: Since Jack Kirby did the storyboarding artwork.
* LandInTheSaddle: OnceAnEpisode, minimum. In one early episode, he does it from the top floor of a ruined skyscraper without injury.
* LaserBlade: The Sun Sword.
* LeotardOfPower: Ariel wears one.
* LightningBruiser: Thundarr is both strong and agile, often pulling off CombatParkour moves, especially when [[DavidVersusGoliath fighting giant monsters]].
* LoinCloth: Thundarr wears one.
* LostTechnology: Often sought after by wizards and those seeking to protect themselves from them alike.
* {{Magitek}}: At times it's hard to tell if something is supposed to be magical or just MagicFromTechnology. Also, Ariel and other wizards have shown that they can repair and power ancient vehicles using magic.
* MagicKnight: Ariel, in a manner of speaking. While she could be a SquishyWizard, she is actually fairly acrobatic and more of a FragileSpeedster who is not to be underestimated.
* TheMagocracy: There is a Council of Wizards, which is never depicted onscreen, but which the young wizard Artemus is very keen to impress. It is implied that there is at least some kind of loose government consisting of powerful wizards, although the overall system would appear to be feudal, with the wizards being akin to allied rulers at best.
* MechaMooks: Thundarr tore into many a goon before discovering that they were "Ma-chiiiiiines!"
* MegaManning: Ariel has the ability to learn an evil wizard's spell simply by watching him cast it.
* MixAndMatchCritters: The non-humanoid monsters are generally of this sort.
* {{Mutants}}: All over the place. Many wizards appear to be mutant humans, although it is not clear whether their mutations are the reason for their ability to wield magic or a side-effect of it.
* [[MrExposition Ms. Exposition]]: Ariel often explains where they are and its historical significance to Thundarr and Ookla (and the audience).
* NeverSayDie: "Destroy" was used in reference to humans and other living beings oftentimes when "kill" was clearly meant.
* NoIndoorVoice: Thundarr speaks in an almost perpetual shout. Ookla's growls aren't exactly quiet either.
* NonHumanSidekick: Subverted quite hard compared to the standards of its contemporaries. He-Man had Orko, the Thundercats had Snarf, and Thundarr had... Ookla, a 9-foot-tall, perpetually enraged sasquatch man whom "cute" and "whimsical" don't quite fit.
** This might be debatable, considering how often Ookla filled the "comic relief" role.
** [[Franchise/StarWars How original!]]
* ObliviousToLove: Thundarr toward Ariel's romantic overtures.
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: Two, one for a trio of super-powered women and another for a teenage gender-flipped version of Thundarr and Ariel (while poor Ookla is represented by their steed, an annoying mutant vulture-lizard with two tails)
* PowerTrio: Ookla -- Id, Ariel -- Superego, Thundarr -- Leader. Also, Thundarr-- TheHero, Ookla-- TheBigGuy, Ariel-- TheChick (she's also something of a RebelliousPrincess, and a WhiteMagicianGirl).
* RagnarokProofing: It's very doubtful that the working machinery and the wrecked cars that everybody tosses around like footballs would be anything but dust in the year 3994, unless the world-ending cataclysm had, as one of its side effects, the stoppage of rust formation.
* ScavengerWorld: Many humans and other beings live in the ruins of ancient structures and even wear oddly well-preserved 20th Century clothes.
* SchizoTech: Because of the lack of cohesive society. Wizards tend to accumulate a lot of advanced technology and live in high-tech fortresses. The average human lives what is at best a Medieval lifestyle.
* ScienceFantasy: In a big way! Wizards whose {{Mooks}} use RayGun[=s=] are just the beginning!
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: It would probably take millions of years -- not the couple of thousand years that it takes in the show -- to create a population of different, apocalypse-adapted species.
** They are mostly modified by magic. So, AWizardDidIt, literally. Only one (non-robot) monster was explicitly non-magical in origin; a genetically engineered relic from the Science Age.
** The "two thousand years" mentioned in the opening -- when most of the ruins look like they're less than two ''hundred'' years old-- probably qualifies for No Sense of Scale too.
*** The runaway planet that passed between the Earth and the Moon appears to have stripped away much of the Earth's atmosphere. The resulting damage to the environment probably arrested the deterioration the ruins would have experienced so we don't get the full ''Series/LifeAfterPeople'' effect.
** Lest we forget, a "runaway planet passed between the Earth and the Moon." The thing that whizzes by is not only going at a ponderous speed for an interstellar body, but also seems to only be about the size of the moon itself. And you thought arguing over Pluto being considered a planet was rough!
*** However, the moon is over five and a half times as massive as Pluto. Anything moon sized pretty easily qualifies as a planet -- in terms of scale, at least.
** The "runaway planet" is shown cracking the moon with its passing, and ripping away Earth's atmosphere. "Man's civilization being cast into ruin!" would be the least of the problems for any lifeform still alive after that.
* ScreamingWarrior: Thundarr is wholly incapable of fighting quietly, and Ookla is not much better. Only Ariel seems capable of subtlety (conveniently her spells do not require any spoken words).
* ShadowDiscretionShot: Pretty pointless one, too. We see the woman turn into a werewolf onscreen, then we see her shadow changing before she turns to attack a helpless human.
* ShoutOut:
** The leader of the werewolves is named "[[Music/WarrenZevon Ze]][[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRHIeblmIws von]]".
** In the ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' episode "One Watson, One Holmes", Watson identifies a suspect by offering him a rare Ookla the Mok lunchbox.
* SolitarySorceress: In the episode "Island of the Body Snatchers" the witch Circe (no relation to the Circe from GreekMythology) lives alone on an island except for some mooks she keeps as soldiers and servants.
* [[TheSmartGuy The Smart Girl]]: Ariel apparently spent most of her childhood studying in her stepfather's extensive library when she wasn't practicing her magical skills. Thus she is often the most educated character barring other wizards.
* SorcerousOverlord: About half the villain stock as befits the muscle bound hero with the epithet "The Barbarian".
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: JackKirby created Gemini, a virtual dead ringer for {{Darkseid}}, particularly after Gemini is...
* SuperStrength: Thundarr definitely has this, although exactly why is unclear since he is supposedly human. Ookla is somewhat more justified.
* TakenForGranite: The ultimate fate of recurring villain Gemini.
* ThudAndBlunder: A good example of the genre. Thundarr is somewhat more articulate and intelligent than many other Thud And Blunder heroes, though.
* TimeTravel: Via some sort of magic portal, which delivers our heroes to the late 20th century. They receive help in their mission from a 10-year-old girl, whom they leave behind at the end, [[FridgeHorror presumably to die in the cataclysm about a decade later]].
* TrueBlueFemininity: Ariel.
* TheUnintelligible: Ookla.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Because most of the enemies are mutants and evil disfigured wizards, our heroes are pretty much free to attack them, although dismemberments and mutilations are usually only reserved for robots.
* JustForFun/XMeetsY:
** Creator/CartoonNetwork once called this "''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' meets ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes''".
** Or, considering the similarity between the Sun Sword and the lightsabers, also between Ookla and Chewbacca, it could be ''Conan the Barbarian'' meets ''Franchise/StarWars''.
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