In the far flung future, there is a demand for exotic aliens. If there's some crazy bright pink tentacled monstrosity out there that you want in your zoo, then Space Dandy is the man for the job. Dandy is an alien hunter, someone who is paid to find new, undiscovered alien species. It's an industry where the prize goes to the person who finds aliens the fastest. Dandy and his companions, QT the worn-out robot
, and Meow the cat-like alien from Betelgeuse, fly around space in the ship Aloha Oe
to far-flung planets in search of strange beings. While he's determined to get the job done, at the end of the day, Dandy would rather just spend his time with the lovely waitresses at BooBies
. Meanwhile, they're being chased by minions of the Gogol Empire, for reasons unknown...
From Studio Bones
, the creators who brought you Cowboy Bebop
, Fullmetal Alchemist
, and Soul Eater
, comes this fourth-wall breaking
retro-futuristic Raygun Gothic
sci-fi fantasy adventure comedy. This series made headlines when it was announced that Shinichiro Watanabe
—creator of Cowboy Bebop
and Samurai Champloo
—was heading this project. It didn't take very long for FUNimation
to acquire the rights to dub it, and very shortly after that, it was announced that Toonami
would be airing it.
The news didn't stop just there though. When Toonami picked up the rights to air it, they gained the rights to air it first
. The series debuted both the English dub and Japanese dub at the same time, and continued to air in the US every Saturday night at 11:30 Eastern/10:30 Central. Taking the time zone difference into account, this is a few hours before
Japan aired it on Sunday (the exceptions being the season finales, which were both aired on TV Osaka three days before the English release, as well as the very first episode, which was briefly available with subtitles via Madman Entertainment streaming approximately two days before the official airdate). note In another surprise
, Animax Asia, which is also simulcasting the series in South East Asia at the same time as Japan, aired the show in both Japanese and English, using FUNimation
's English dub instead of a cheaper one produced in SouthEast Asia.
The series' first season ran from January 3, 2014 to March 26, 2014, with a second season announced in mid-March at AnimeJapan and then confirmed for an English broadcast after the finale's credits. The series' second season started on July 5th, 2014 and concluded on September 24th, 2014; as with the first season, it was nearly simultaneously released in English and Japanese.
Now has a character sheet
; feel free to go forth and fill it with tropes.
Note: Due to the comedic nature and setting of this series, IN SPAAAAAAACE!
is going to get a lot
of mileage on this page.
- Cast of Snowflakes: Literally every last alien shown in the series is conceptualized by a different artist. This was Shinichiro Watanabe's intention, in order to ensure that each alien really is alien.
- Cat Girl: Meow's got quite a few action figures and a dakimakura (anime body pillow) of them. Also, Meow himself is one of these in at least one Alternate Universe, though strangely enough still possessing a clearly male voice.
- Cessation of Existence: Being the Butt Monkeys that they are, Dr. Gel and Bea end up getting sucked into a 2-dimension universe in episode 24. Near the end of the universe, their own actions result in them moving to a 1-dimensional universe. At the end of the episode, something causes them to move into a Zero-Dimension universe.
- Cerebus Syndrome: While the show never loses its comedic tone, starting with episode 5 the series begins to alternate between comedy and drama more frequently, essentially making this show a Dramedy as opposed to the Gag Series it was initially billed as. The series stays mainly comedic more often than not. Only a handful of episodes take a more non-comedic approach to the story, such as when Dandy finds himself on a planet for the dead.
- Chekhov's Gag: The food QT buys in episode 3, which is so disgusting it makes Meow pass out after eating it. Luckily, it has the same effect on the ravenous alien chasing them later on in the episode; they're only able to defeat it by feeding it hundreds of boxes of the stuff.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Dandy's surfboard in episode 6.
- Meow's Chwitter addiction leads the Gogol Empire to Dandy's location not once, but twice. The first time is in the 2nd episode. The 2nd time at the end of episode 25: Dandy and crew find themselves surrounded by a LEGION of Gogol Empire commandos after walking out of a courtroom.
- Cliff Hanger: Episode 26 picks up right where episode 25 leaves off, with Dandy's capture by the Gogol Empire.
- The Collector: Ukulele Man in episode 15 likes to collect smiles. This means keeping those who's smiles aren't good enough as statues in his back yard, including Meow and QT.
- Conflict Ball: Played for Laughs when Dandy and Meow end up on opposing sides of a war between an alien who only wears underwear and an alien who only wears a vest. Even though both have the same end goal of getting the two to make peace and come in for registration, they still keep getting caught up in the war and getting in fistfights for no good reason.
- Continuity Nod: In episode 19, Meow references back to episode 4 when they all turned into zombies.
- Contrived Coincidence: A meta example: Episode 10, which focuses heavily on A mobius loop and the number 8, aired on March 8th, and at the end of the episode, it was time for the east coast of the US to lose an hour due to Daylight Savings Time.
- Cool Starship: It might have its problems, but there's no denying that the Aloha Oe is still a very cool-looking ship.
- Cozy Catastrophe: In episode 4, the result the Zombie Apocalypse is that thanks to every living being turning into a zombie, there is complete bliss and peace due to no more wanton destruction and war. There is no more discrimination since all aliens are now zombies and need no more differentiation from each other.
- Crossover Punchline: In episode 8, Meow apparently finds where the fridge ejected from the airlock of the Bebop landed.
- Cypher Language: The show has its own alphabet that is shown on various signs and viewscreens. It can be decyphered into Japanese, English and Engrish. A transliteration can be found here
- A Day in the Limelight: "A Gallant Gentleman In Space, Baby" focuses on Honey. It shows what she does on her days off, and the Hidden Depths therein. She drives a motorcycle, watches live wrestling, she's half-cloudian and has a mean hook.
- Dem Bones: Admiral Perry seems to be only a skull with some bony arms sometimes appearing.
- Denser and Wackier: Than Shinichiro Watanabe's previous directorial works.
- Department of Redundancy Department: During the Opening Narration.
: Space Dandy! He's a dandy guy
...in space. [...]
These are the spectacular adventures of Space Dandy and his brave space crew. In space.
- The preview for season 2 gives us this gem:
Dandy: We're adventuring the continuing adventures of Space Dandy in space!
- Depending on the Artist: As the animators (and the animation directors) were given a fair bit of free reign, and with the animation style changing on a per-episode basis, this is to be expected.
- Deus ex Machina: In true Greek drama fashion, when Dandy and crew are stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop and don't even notice, God clues them in on their situation.
- Didn't Think This Through: Dandy's secret weapon at the end of the first episode is quickly met with his realization of this.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Admiral Perry orders the invasion of Planet Legato because it kept bothering him about an overdue library book.
- Due to the Dead: Dandy builds a rocket coffin to give Pup the send-off she deserved, even though he only knew her for about 10 minutes.
- In Episode 21, Dandy is given funeral rites which he is very much aware of, due to everyone else on Planet Limbo also being dead themselves
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The planet in episode 6 after the doomsday missiles are launched. Dandy and Meow are actually able to get away from that one alive though.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Meow's family likes to call him by the name "Mew," and the moment Dandy hears this he just laughs. Notably, Meow's not embarrassed by it, though, when it's said by an old high school friend of his whom he once had a crush on, and a couple of his other old friends call him by his real name instead of a nickname.
- The Empire: The Gogol Empire, who are hunting down Space Dandy for an as-yet unknown reason.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Dr. Gel appears to be a giant bearded gorilla in a G-shaped monocle (or possibly an eyepatch) and periwig.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: The alien orphan from the fifth episode carries a stuffed penguin to use her abilities. Also, her species are called Gentooans (Gentoo is a species of peguin), and her name is Adelie (also a species of penguin).
- Evil Only Has to Win Once: The universe is doomed as soon as the Gogol empire gets its hands on Dandy. Even though Dr. Gel and Bea die in multiple episodes, the existence of infinite parallel dimensions ensure that Dandy's pursuers will never stay down.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Space Dandy is a dandy guy...in space."
- Explosion Propulsion: Dandy employs this tactic repeatedly during a race. Then at the end after Prince's mouse Squeak rigs Dandy's ship with dynamite and Meow drops food in the fuel tank, Dandy propels out of time into a realm faster than thought and reawakens five billion years later revered as a god.
- In the series finale, Honey uses an explosion destructive enough to destroy a city to propel the Little Aloha up the tower where Dandy is being held captive.
- Expy: Despite naming conventions, the Gogol Empire is clearly a representation of Google, Inc. So much so that Episode 2 has them tracking down the Aloha Oe with an interface named "Gogol Galaxy: Street View". In the finale the true Admiral Perry bears a striking resemblance to Google's CEO, Larry Page.
- Extreme Omnivore: Deathgerians. An alien species known to eat anything it chooses. So terrifying, that Dr. Gel immediately withdraws his entire armada orbiting the planet that Dandy is stuck on and gets the hell outta there.
- Fanservice: Lampshaded outright by Dandy in the episode 3 preview, basically saying "next time on Space Dandy... anime fanservice!" All the while showing scenes of a large breasted woman in a tight outfit (with Gainaxing to boot).
- Shockingly, Dandy ends up providing some himself in episode 6, which he spends the majority of in only his underwear. When him and Meow surf through the cosmos he glistens and his hair falls out of its usual pomp, making him look quite handsome indeed.
- The second half of episode 8 opens up with Dandy taking a shower, features a slow, full body pan up his naked backside, and he spends the rest of the episode only wearing a towel.
- Fanservice with a Smile: Space Dandy likes to hang out at BooBies, which is Hooters IN SPAAAAAAAACE! QT even refers to it as that restaurant with the jiggly waitresses and not-so-hot wings.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Meow's home planet of Betelgeuse is just straight up rural Japan. Everything you've ever seen in every other anime that takes place in Japan, you'll find on Betelgeuse.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel:
- Dandy and QT admit that they never got the warp drive fixed, despite Meow's insistence on using it. As such, initiating a warp in space sends you to weird areas where you can literally pull a chain and possibly result in all of physics breaking down and who knows what else. This may have possibly jump started the plot.
- Dandy later reveals that warping isn't even possible. What people in the 3D universe call "Warping", they're actually just slipping between the boundaries between two universes to appear somewhere else.
- Fattening The Victim: The plant aliens in the southern hemisphere of Planet Planta fatten up Meow and turn him into Fois Gras. Or so they planned, but things were set right at the end of the episode and Meow was none the wiser. He was a Fat Idiot though.
- Female Gaze: Thus far in the series, there's been as much fanservice coming from Dandy in various states of undress as there has from the female characters.
- Four Is Death: Episode 4 has our intrepid heroes encountering a zombie apocalypse, and all becoming zombies themselves. And eventually the entire universe follows suit, and literally every living thing becomes undead.
- Food Porn: Episode 2. Ramen, ramen, ramen.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:
- In episode 4, even the narrator is affected by the Zombie Apocalypse.
- In episode 14, eventually the Aloha Oe crews from Alternate Universes start bringing narrators from other dimensions who argue with each other over things like how much time has changed between scenes.
- Friending Network: Meow is constantly updating his profile and posting pictures (mostly of Food Porn) to the intergalactic version of Twitter or Instagram. The bad guys quickly take notice.
- Gainax Ending: The ending of episode 7 has Dandy's racing ship going at a speed beyond mortal comprehension, where he ends up billions of years later and is greeted by a gold Buddha-ish statue of himself. We never find out who won that race.
- Episode 26 serves as this for the series. Dandy's revealed to be a cosmic constant, The Multiverse implodes, The Narrator turns out to be essentially God and offers Dandy the title, and the entire series is reshaped into a Kudzu Plot.
- Gainaxing: And plenty of it during the Narrator's overview of BooBies, as well as Honey's hologram appearance in episode 3... and pretty much any of Honey's other appearances, at that.
- Gecko Ending: Applied to a series that doesn't even have an adaptation. The whole plot of the series is wrapped up in the final episode.
- Genki Girl:
- 033H is super happy and energetic to meet Dandy (since he's a Human), and is always chipper and peppy.
- Erssime was happy to meet Dandy and immediately help him on his quest to catch a rare alien.
- Genre Throwback: To Raygun Gothic. Everything about this series fits the bill. The space ships, the space stations, the space suits, the space weapons...
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: QT intentionally censors himself after Meow asks the internet for advice and gets nothing.
QT: Bleeping trolls!
- Grand Finale: The preview for the series finale shows QT, Meow, Scarlet, Honey and Johnny venturing into the Gogol Empire's homeworld to rescue Dandy and save the universe.
- Great Offscreen War: It is occasionally mentioned that the Gogol Empire is at war with the Jaicro Empire, but none of the characters ever get directly involved in it. At least, until the last episode...
- Green-Skinned Space Babe:
- BooBies is stacked with any number of booby possessing alien species. Two boobs, four boobs, human boobs, lizard boobs...
- Crusher Girl, one of the contestants in episode 7, is basically a blue-skinned Twi'lek in S&M gear.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: In episode 10, Dandy, Meow, and QT all get stuck in a mobius loop due to a huge release of Pyonium energy. They all remember the repeated days, but are apparently too dumb to notice anything strange, simply assuming that the town is monotonous. QT is the first to become suspicious and finally the crew realizes something is up.. After coming to the completely wrong conclusion about what was happening, the narrator has to finally explain it to them.
Narrator: Get it through your heads and GET ON WITH THE STORY!
- Gun Twirling: Followed by failure to re-holster.
- Halfway Plot Switch:
- The first half of episode 4 is a Zombie Apocalypse horror story. The second half is a bizarre, undead Slice of Life episode.
- The first half of episode 8 is about the crew finding a dog that was abandoned alien world shortly before she dies. The second half is about the crew being menaced by the microscopic aliens that were living on the dog the moved onto Meow.
- High School: Episode 17 takes place in a very American high school IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!
- Hope Spot: In episode 4, Dandy gains some competence and successfully escapes the zombified hospital. Then it turns out his helicopter pilot is a zombie.
- Hula and Luaus: Dandy seems to be a big fan of this, from the name of his ship, the Aloha Oe, to the decorations inside. Even the mecha that his escape pod transforms into wears a Hawaiian shirt.
- Human Shield: Robot, actually. Dandy uses QT to bash all manner of alien zombies with since he's a robot and can't get infected. He turns into a zombie anyway.
QT: What are you doing, Dandy!?
Dandy: Oh, quit your whining! You'll be fine, okay? You're a freakin' robot, you can't catch zombie!
QT: YOU'RE SO MEAN, I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY FRIEND!
- Humongous Mecha:
- The nameless red robot on the alien planet in the first episode.
- Then there's the much smaller, but much more agile Hawaii Yankee.
- The Jaicro Empire's superweapon named A.L.E., that looks like the Ideon.
- Hypocritical Humor: Space Dandy starts the first episode lecturing QT about how men who objectify women because of their boobs are the lowest of the low... He thinks they should be objectified for their butts instead. Made more humorous by episode 2 where he goes on about how great boobs are, only for QT to mention how earlier he was saying butts are better.
- I Always Wanted to Say That: Dandy pulls out a filled punch-card that guarantees a free meal at BooBies.
Dandy: We may be poor as hell, but we still have a free meal as long as we got these sweater puppies.
QT: How long have you been waiting to say that line?
Dandy: Longer than you think!
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming, Baby: Every episode's title ends with "baby."
- If It's You, It's Okay: Prince is one of these, having fallen for Dandy during the final stretch of their race.
- Intentional Engrish for Funny:
- Interactive Narrator:
- When the Aloha Oe crew mistake being stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop for all of them gaining clairvoyance, the narrator directly yells at them for being stupid and explains what's really happening.
- The Narrator is God himself. He's the only one who knows all the completely unrelated things that has happened to Dandy in every episode.
- It Came from the Fridge: Episode 8 has a brief scene with Meow opening up an ancient looking fridge and finding a purple blob that he chases around and attempts to eat. It's implied to be the same fridge from Cowboy Bebop.
- Jive Turkey: The Narrator busts out all the slang when describing Planet Trendy in episode 23:
The Narrator: This is Planet Trendy, a poppin' joint where all the hippest couples in the universe droppin' it like it's hot. If you wanna show your bae that "You da man", then you better turn up here. E'rrbody in da place be swaggin'. Don't matter whether shorty like hangin' outdoors, or getting krunk in da club. If you got the skrilla, then Planet Trendy got yo back.
- Kill 'em All:
- The principal cast is vaporized at the end of the first episode. Played for Laughs as they're just fine come the next episode preview.
- Episode 4 ends with the affirmation that everyone in the universe has become a zombie.
- Kudzu Plot: All the episodes over the whole series are seemingly unrelated to each other, and in a way they are, but The Narrator reveals himself to be God, and explains that he recalls everything that happened in every episode.
- Lame Pun Reaction: The Narrator gives this after explaining what remains of the planet Eden.
Behold, the remains of the planet Eden. It used to be a real garden spot.... Garden spot? Really?
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: THE ENTIRE GALAXY at the end of episode 11. The distribution of mysterious video tapes, cassette tapes, laser discs, and other outdated media formats that had the ability to erase the memory of anyone who played them from knowing that they even exist in the first place. This resulted in a giant galactic war that nobody remember ever happened.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Episode 2 delivers this to Meow. Eating all of Dandy's food and causing them to constantly get found by the Gogol robots comes to bite him in the end when he ends up dropping the ramen bowl Pops' made for him, and Dandy gloats about how great the ramen tasted.
- Laugh Track: Lampshaded by Dandy, who'd been hearing laughter all throughout episode 19. It was revealed it was coming from a pair of invisible aliens known as Ambiancians.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
Bea: Dr. Gel. I found him!
Dr. Gel: Don't you say that every week?
- In Episode 22: Bea laments how tired he is of getting blown up every week. Dr. Gel acknowledges as well.
- Lecture As Exposition: Professor Duran explains what Pyonium, AKA the God Particle, really is.
- Lemony Narrator:
- Let's Get Dangerous: Dandy when Adelie gets captured in episode 5. Even more impressive considering he's stuck in the body of a stuffed penguin the whole time.
- Happens again in Episode 11, when Dandy is surrounded by the Gogol Empire fleet and he activates the Aloha Beam.
- Letting Her Hair Down: Scarlet's hair bun gets undone during her scuffle with the Gogol robots in episode 2.
- And again in 23 while on the ski-slopes, at the beach, etc. while "dating" Dandy.
- Lilliputians: In episode 8 has small people boarding Dandy's ship. They're fleas.
- Limited Animation: Episode 16 is notably, and intentionally low budget. It goes with the Art Shift style that often happens from episode to episode, as each one has a different head artist.
- Living MacGuffin: Dandy himself. What little there is of an ongoing plot in the series finally boils to a head in the final episode, all because of Dandy.
- Loads and Loads of Races: As it's Dandy's job to hunt down undiscovered aliens, there's a lot of them, in addition to unique one-time background characters.
- Lucky Charms Title: Officially it's "Space☆Dandy".
- Macross Missile Massacre: Dr. Gel fires off everything he has in a last ditch attempt to escape a black hole. It doesn't work.
- Male Gaze:
- Episode 2 starts off with Dandy trying to receive payment from Scarlet for the last batch of aliens they captured (including Meow). There's a nice closeup of her crossing from one leg to the other in her chair. Beyond that example is BooBies in general.
- The protagonist's first line of dialogue in the series is "Boobies, boobies, boobies!"
- Balanced out by episode 6, which has so many scenes of Dandy in just his underwear that it earns a Female Gaze star.
- Taken even FARTHER in Episode 8, in which Dandy spends half the episode in a towel... AFTER seeing two gratuitous shots of his bare butt (including a slow pan up his entire back half.) Drool.
- Mars Needs Women: Human babes in bikinis are just as attractive to aliens as they are to Humans.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Meow has six younger siblings living with his parents back home on Betelgeuse.
- Mind Screw: Episode 21, which features a very unique interpretation of the afterlife.
- Episode 26 renders the entire second season, if not the entire series incomprehensible, while at the same time explaining an incredible amount.
- Moment Killer: The Narrator interrupts Scarlet and Gentle Nobra's moment while explaining the Cloudian's ability to reflect his feelings through his cloud. Their reaction is quite priceless.
Narrator: "Oh, did I kill the mood?"
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Many of the alien species, but most prominently, the Deathgerian.
- Most Writers Are Human: For a universe full of countless aliens and alien cultures, the prominence of humans and Earthen culture over alien values is a bit ridiculous. For starters, only 3 written languages, Space, English, and Japanese kanji (apparently no other alphabet was worth taking from Earth) are seen. Even though almost all the actual customers aren't human, most of the employees that work at Boobies are human, a presumptuous assumption that humans would be considered one of the most beautiful species across the universe. The odds that a human, Scarlet, would be the one in charge of fronting alien registration desk are astronomically low. Most other important characters look almost exactly like humans like the space elves and the genotans.
- Mood Whiplash:
- The Pops scene in episode 2. Most of the scene plays out in a more serious tone compared to the rest of the episode, and Pops' flashback even has a bit of whiplash of its own when it uses a little Black Comedy to show how exactly Pops killed someone, only to get serious again after that (including a Tearjerker moment where Dandy asks Pops' if he wants to join his crew, only for Pops to decline and ultimately stay in his private dimension for seemingly eternity). The episode then comes back around to comedy again once Dandy and Meow leave Pops' dimension.
- The entirety of episode 4 manages to have three. The first one, rather minor, turns from the team engaging in awkwardness following Meow's zombification, generally lighthearted in tone up until he causes the outbreak at the hospital and causes a shift into horror-survivial-action. The second shift occurs after Dandy's zombification: the heroes turning into zombies isn't actually bad, and the scenario starts with the narrator giving a slice-of-life monologue about how they have learned to adapt to their new zombie lifestyle (eating yogurt, claiming death insurance, etc.). A third (minor) shift occurs when it is revealed insurance companies have hired zombie hunters to take out zombies that have mooched off said death insurance policies. It's soon reversed again when the zombie hunters and insurance company workers themselves get zombified and the narrator returns to a slice-of-life pace.
- Episode 5, compared to the dense and wacky nature of the series up to that point, is a largely serious tale with very few gags about Dandy catching an alien orphan and bonding with her as he takes her to the alien registration center.
- Episode 8; before the commercial break, the first half is fairly low key with Dandy finding a dog and growing attached before the dog dies, happy at finding Dandy and the last hours of companionship, of old age and is implied to be the lost Russian dog sent up in Sputnik II. Come back from commercial; hijinks, the death of an alien species, and another near death averted by circumstance.
- Episode 21 is a Mind Screw-laden episode in which Dandy dies and wakes up in a bizarre form of afterlife. Much of the episode consists of Dandy vainly trying to deny his fate before ultimately accepting it, with very few gags in between. It's also one of the few episodes in which the destruction of whatever planet Dandy's on isn't Played for Laughs.
- Episode 26 is... special. While most of the episode plays up the Space Opera concept considerably, we have occasional instances of silliness, such as Bea's complete 180 after revealing himself to be a Jaicro spy or Dandy's rejection of Godhood in favor of going to BooBies. But the crowning moment has to be after he obtains Dr. Gel's ship to save the Universe from destruction: After a heart-wrenching scene of Dandy about to accept his fate when his ship is nearly incinerated, he takes one last look at his video feed... and sees a rather prominent view of Honey's ass, giving him a Heroic Second Wind.
- The Deathgerian in episode 3 has a dozen of them all bunched up in a cluster. Naturally (and thankfully), they are censored for the Toonami broadcast. A lesser example is the first episode, which depicts at least one BooBies waitress with three breasts.
- A slightly less squicky one appears in episode 8, during Dandy's montage of babes before his imminent doom.
- The Multiverse: Episode 14: "I Can't Be the Only One Baby!", has Dandy, QT, and Meow jumping from one alternate universe to another, each time meeting themselves from that universe. In one, the three are the most successful alien hunters in the universe. In others, Dandy is a Space Trucker, a ninja, a Mobile Suit pilot, and even a Titan. Each universe even has its own narrator. And as the series finale reveals, both the Narrator and Dandy are the same across all universes.
- Musical Episode: Episode 17 takes place in a school where musical ability determines one's place in the school hierarchy. As such, it soon becomes a parody of High School Musical.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Deathgerians. Even the Gogol Empire is afraid of them.
- Negative Continuity:
- The very first episode ends with everyone being blown up and killed, followed by "THE END" and the Narrator saying that's all there is for this show. The second episode begins with our heroes looking for ramen. Lampshaded by QT in the episode preview after the credits.
- The third episode has the team forgetting about Meow after he's eaten by the Deathgerian.
- Episode 4: the entire universe becomes zombified. Everyone lived in peace and happiness. The End. To Be Continued.
- The seventh episode ends with Dandy getting flung into the far future to the end of the universe, with "THE END" popping up again (and Dr. Gel and Bea possibly get killed again.)
- Episode 8 plays with this, with it looking like the Aloha Oe crew is going to be sucked into a black hole until QT reveals they can warp away. Dr. Gel and Bea aren't so lucky .
- At the end of episode 14 all the alternate Dandys, Meows, and QTs successfully put each other back into each other's universes except for the suicidal Dandy and his crew, who take the places of the main crew and become the new stars of the show.
- Episode 19 finally shows there is some semblance of continuity, when Meow references back when Dandy was a zombie.
- The series finale reveals that Dandy is a universal constant in all alternate universes, the Narrator is God of all universes, and that ALL of the episodes are canon as a result.
- Nested Mouths: Ragians, seen in Episode 3, have a vertical-jawed mouth, out of which comes another, horizontal-jawed mouth on the end of a long tongue.
- New Transfer Student: Dandy somehow manages to pass himself off as one in order to attend Baberly Hills High School in episode 17.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A few times:
- Dandy in the first episode destroys a planet full of unregistered aliens, himself and his crew with one of his "last resort" tactics which typically involve someone or something blowing up.
- Fourth episode, the crew do this by inviting a zombified alien on board and, through Meow, turning the whole universe into zombies.
- Eighth episode has Dandy causing Planet Machinia to turn into a black hole after accidentally killing on the last two Machinians keeping the planet intact.
- Ninth episode gives us Dandy managing to destroy another planet, this time regressing sentient plant life back to their leafy forebears. Though nobody actually predicted such an outcome would happen, as it wasn't intentional. Also, at least one of the plants wanted the regression to happen.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Episode 4 features alien zombies, and robot zombies once QT is infected... somehow.
- No Biochemical Barriers: Exaggerated in episode 4, where the same zombifying disease affects not only every kind of alien it encounters but also robots.
- No Fourth Wall: The series establishes that there isn't a fourth wall at all within mere moments. QT asks why her and Space Dandy are discussing the topic of boobies. QT references the poor fourth wall being abused time and again.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Gogol Empire can't even catch one man. Dr. Gel dies in almost every episode he appears in. The super weapon of the week always fails miserably. Except for the last episode, where they capture Dandy and almost rewrite reality.
- Number of the Beast: The Gentooans can only use their body-switching abilities for 666 seconds a day.
- Oh, Crap: Spoken in rapid succession by Dandy during the climax of episode 6.
- One-Hit Wonder: In-universe. Space Dandy forms a band called the Dropkix, who played one song on loop for two hours at a club and broke up after performing their only major gig. The song was called "Lonely Nights".
- Opening Narration:
- Orphan's Ordeal: In episode 5, Dandy helps a young alien orphan girl find her long lost grandfather.
- Our Worm Holes Are Different: A wormhole our heroes come across has its entrance in the food dispenser of a ramen stand. It leads to another dimension.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Apparently anyone can be affected by zombie bites. Yes, even robots and the narrator. Not that it's a bad thing. They're also capable of intelligent thought just as much as the living, and many of them eventually wean themselves off of raw meat and switch to eating yogurt instead, so that the bacteria will cause them to ferment instead of rot.
- Out of Focus:
- Season 2 sees Meow and QT demoted to Those Two Guys in most episodes in order to focus on Dandy's relationship with the episode's new character. Frequently they don't even leave the Aloha Oe or notice that Dandy is gone.
- The last episode of the first season is similar, except QT holds the star role.
- Perpetual Poverty: Like Watanabe's other show featuring bounty hunters in space, the Aloha Oe crew often strike out in finding rare aliens to bag and tag and are often short on everything from supplies to money. They do manage to collect a several thousand woolong reward on a Deathgerian in episode 3, but given the show's Negative Continuity, it's uncertain if that actually happened.
- Phlebotinum Breakdown: The warp drive on the Aloha Oe is constantly broken. That doesn't mean it won't take them anywhere, one just can't ever predict where it will take them. There's also a small chance of hair-loss during transit. Averted in episode 8, when Dandy asks why they can't escape from a black hole by using their warp. QT explains they can, they just didn't already because she assume Dandy didn't want the warp to mess up his hair.
- Plant Aliens: Planet Planta is inhabited entirely by living plant people. Apparently their society is broken up into 18 main republic states on the northern hemisphere, while a simpler, lower class species inhabits the southern hemisphere of the world.
- Pokémon Speak: The Dr. Gel and Bea from Kid Dandy's universe does this.
- Previously On: Remember the Narrator mentioning that there was an intergalactic war taking place between the two largest empires in space in the first episode? Yeah.. It's sort of a big deal, and episode 10 starts off by actually explaining something plot relevant.
- Product Placement:
- iPhone-like devices show up throughout the series.
- QT's 'battery charging' indicator in episode 13 looks like it came straight off an Apple device.
- In "A Race in Space Is Dangerous, Baby", Bea sits down to watch TV in Dr. Gel's ship with a Family Computer and a MSX2.
- In the Book Ends of "There's Always Tomorrow, Baby," Meow is playing Space Galaga (a soon to be released Space Dandy themed Galaga game) on one of said iPhone like devices.
- The alternate dimension Bearbrick Dandy and crew in episode 14.
- Puppeteer Parasite: QT is temporarily taken over by a tech-savvy alien in episode 8.
- Raygun Gothic: The setting of this series takes this to full effect.
- Reconstruction: Probably one of the few examples in media which isn't a more cynical take on the Zombie Apocalypse trope. In episode 4, the Aloha Oe crew turning into zombies isn't actually a bad thing, since while they initially face existential despair concerning their new undead life, they get used to it through various absurd measures (having yogurt as part of their diet, mooching off of life insurance). Later in the episode, when the entire universe becomes zombified, there is actually no more war or wanton destruction, since everybody as a zombie means an end to discrimination between different species (everyone simply identifies as a zombie) and they all get to live in complete bliss and peace.
- Refusing Paradise: In Episode 21, on Planet Limbo, Dandy is given the choice of being dead but happy in a world without sadness, or resurrecting in a universe where he never died in the first place. Since Dandy believes you can't have happiness without sadness, he decides to be resurrected.
- Retraux: A throwback to the scifi serials of 1930s and 40s, with a style and soundtrack straight out of the 70s.
- Robo Romance: One episode is about QT having a romantic relationship with a sentient female coffee maker machine, though ultimately she chooses another robot over QT.
- Scenery Censor: The nude woman on the magazine Dandy is reading in "Sometimes You Can't Live Without Dying, Baby" is censored by the handle bars of the steering wheel.
- Series Fauxnale: The very first episode ends with Dandy's death. See Negative Continuity.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Dandy spends all of Episode 9 exploring a planet only to find that there is no reward for his findings.
- Shapeshifting: The Chameleonian in episode 12 pulls a number on the crew, from inanimate objects to doppelgangers.
Dandy 1: I'm the real one, obviously.
Dandy 2: Well, I was me before it was cool.
- Shout-Out: Has its own page.
- Schrödinger's Cat: In one alternate universe, Meow is a "Schrodigerian". Every time you open the box he lives in, he could either be dead or alive.
- Silly Reason for War: In episode 6, the crew crash-land on a desolate planet where a war has been fought 10,000 years. Why? Because one species likes to wear underwear, and firmly believes that everyone who wears vests should be killed, and the other species firmly believes the opposite. This war has been going on for so long that the "Undians" and the "Vestians" are each down to the Last Of Their Kind. Dandy and Meow are dragged into this, after the Undian tears off Dandy's pants and sees he wears underwear, and Meow's garment is assumed to be a vest by the Vestian.
- Similar Squad: CCH from "Race in Space Is Dangerous, Baby." Prince, Squeak, and High Spec correspond to Dandy, Meow, and QT, respectively.
- Simple Country Lawyer: The prosecutor in episode 25 has a southern accent and wears a mostly white suit, but he doesn't claim, or appear to claim, that he's a simple country lawyer.
- Single-Biome Planet:
- Planet Machinia, the galaxy's designated dumping spot for junk. The entire planet is one giant junkyard, and QT geeks out at the possibilities of what he can find.
- Planet Legato is a single gigantic library.
- Skewed Priorities: The Narrator says he probably should have mentioned that there's an intergalactic war going on between the two largest superpowers in the galaxy a little sooner in the first episode.
- Sky Surfing: In Episode 6, Dandy uses one of his prized space surfboards to escape from the exploding planet with Meow.
- Snap Back: No matter what destruction Dandy sees or causes, it's reversed in th next episode without explanation. See Negative Continuity. Then the last episode provides an explanation.
- Snot Bubble: The comatose grandma in episode 22 is sporting one while she snores.
- Something Else Also Rises: When Dandy throws a bola and accidentally ties a jellyfish-like alien together with two waitresses, the alien's head turns red and inflates to a tremendous size. And then explodes.
- Something We Forgot: Episode 3 ends with Dandy brushing this off after realizing they forgot to rescue Meow from the Monster of the Week.
- Space Elves: Dandy and QT run into a number of them in the manga. They also happen to be the space elf equivalent of Yakuza.
- Space Opera: There's a few elements, like the war going on in the background, but they're massively downplayed.
- SpaceX: Space Dandy and his Space Crew on Space Adventures! In Space! With Space Facebook!
- Speaks Fluent Animal:
- The Narrator can translate for the aliens. He can also speak zombie.
- Meow reveals he can speak dog when he reacts to Pup complimenting his hat. Not that he's necessarily translating her correctly...
- Spiritual Successor: Of sorts.
- Splash of Color: Used all throughout episode 11 after the box is opened. Only select objects like Dandy's red shirt, QT's face, Honey's hair, and the Aloha-Oe's engines are in color.
- Stable Time Loop: Dandy ends up doing this to himself with the ukelele tune in "There's Music in Darkness, Baby".
- Starfish Aliens: Most of the main and supporting cast are humans (or possibly Human Aliens), Humanoid Aliens, or Rubber-Forehead Aliens, but most of the rest of the aliens come in an amazing variety of shapes and colors, from plants and marine life to giant crystals and floating worms.
- Stealth Pun: Aside from the narrator's obvious garden spot pun, he remarks that Planet Eden was blown all to hell.
- Straight Gay: Meow's childhood friend, the waitress at the bar, reveals that she's gay and is the bar hostess' lover. Considering the tension caused by what Dandy, QT, and Meow had been going through, this caused Meow to snap.
- Tactical Withdrawal: Space Dandy knows when to leave when things become too much to handle.
Space Dandy: OK... new idea. Ready or not, RUN AWAY!!!!
- Teleporters and Transporters:
- The Aloha Oe has a matter transporter. Unfortunately, it's an unreliable older model that works very slowly, and in the first episode it teleports a giant alien monster on to the ship instead of Dandy and Meow.
- QT upgrades the transporters in episode 9. Dandy and Meow are gone instant puff of smoke, but QT fails to mention that the speed comes at the sacrifice of accuracy until after they were gone and already falling from the sky.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Dr. Gel has this reaction in Episode 11 when he discovers a formula that he concludes can only lead to the death of whomever knows it.
- Tidally Locked Planet: Episode 16 gives a rather interesting take on this. The planet "Girlfriend" ended up becoming a satellite to the planet "Pushy Boyfriend". PB is extremely cavernous and contained its own ocean inside the caves. When Girlfriend started to orbit, the entire body of water becomes locked in orbit, so the ocean moves as a giant pillar over the surface of the planet, not quite connected to the other.
- To Be Continued: Most episodes end with つづく ("To be continued"). The Grand Finale ends with the phrase "May Be Continued?"
- Training Montage: Dandy and Freckles prepare for the prom with a montage in episode 17, complete with 80s-style montage music.
- Transforming Mecha: The Aloha Oe's escape pod, Little Aloha, can transform into the Canti-esque mecha Hawaii Yankee.
- Trying Not to Cry: The Narrator gets choked up, trying to hold back his tears over the Tear Jerker moment in episode 8.
- Trolling Translator: Meow intentionally mistranslates the barks of the dog they find on Planet Machinia, because he's a cat and she's a dog... After Dandy activates his Universal Translator, Meow shuts himself up quick as Dandy gives him a Death Glare.
- Universal Translator: Dandy has a translator on his wrist. Turns out the Ragians that chased Dandy in episode 3 only wanted to warn him about something far worse.
- Unknown Rival: Space Dandy has yet to interact with the Gogol Empire, much less be even aware of their existence.
- Unobtanium: The fabled element Pyonium.
- The Unpronounceable: Meow's real name is actually quite a common name for Betelgeusians, but neither Dandy or QT can understand it, so they just call him "Meow" because he looks like a cat. Meow isn't amused by this.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The Galaxy hospital pronounces Meow dead on arrival, even though he's clearly still walking. They admit him, and nobody at the hospital thinks this is all that weird.
- Vagina Dentata: Ragians, the horde of aliens from episode 3, have vertical mouths with another mouth inside that extends out like a Xenomorph.
- Wacky Racing: The premise of episode 7 is a giant space race.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Aloha Oe has the Aloha Beam, and it requires a firing sequence straight out of Space Battleship Yamato to use.
- Weirdness Magnet: Pyonium turns out to be a literal example, as the time-and-space-distorting "god particles" are attracted to each other: the bigger the concentration, the stronger the pull. Dandy has unwittingly been carrying a huge amount of Pyonium within himself the entire time, making him a Weirdness Magnet.
- We Will Use WikiWords In The Future: BooBies.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Episode 13 focuses on QT trying to understand what it is, when he finds himself falling for a clearly feminine-looking coffee maker robot.
- Wham Episode: The Gogol Empire finally captures Dandy at the end of episode 25, setting up the finale
- Widget Series: This show is very random. It has regular plot and genre shifts. Not even the narrator knows what's going on half the time.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Honey takes out Dr. Gel with the flawless execution of a powerslam in episode 19.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: In episode 4 Dandy uses QT as a weapon against the zombies assuming that he won't become a zombie due to being a robot. He's wrong, as QT becomes a zombie less than a minute later.
- X-Ray Sparks: Episode "The Gallant Space Gentleman". While Dandy is on Dr. Gel's ship he's hit by an electrical bolt and you can see his skeleton inside his body.
- Yandere: Scarlett's ex-boyfriend, Dolph, is straight up crazy about her and won't let her go. He's also a mobile suit pilot.
- You Never Asked: QT's explanation for why he didn't mention that they could warp away in episode 8.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Alien zombies. The virus doesn't discriminate against any form of life. Including robots and God. Fortunately, (un)life continues on as normal, even after you become a zombie. In fact, in the long run universal zombification actually turns out to bring about peace between all races because everyone's technically the same kind of creature by that point, and there's nothing to die for anymore.
Stay Dandy, baby