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Anime: Space Dandy

In the far flung future, there is a demand for exotic aliens. If there's some crazy pink tentacled alien out there that you want in your zoo, then Space Dandy is the man for the job. Space Dandy is an alien hunter, someone who is paid to search for 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 Aloha Oe to unknown planets in order to search for strange beings. While he's determined to get the job done, at the end of the day, Space Dandy would rather just spend his time with the lovely waitresses at BooBies... hey, there's a reason why he's called "Space Dandy". Meanwhile, they're being chased by minions of the Gogol Empire, for reasons that are still a mystery...

From Studio Bones, the studio and creators that 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. In the US, it airs every Saturday night at 11:30 Eastern/ 10:30 Central. Taking the time zone difference into account, this is a few hours before Japan airs it on Sunday. note  In another surprise, Animax Asia, which is also simulcasting the series in South East Asia at the same time as Japan, is airing the show in both Japanese and English, using FUNimation's English dub instead of a cheaper one produced in SouthEast Asia.

It has been renewed for a second season, starting in July 2014; it has yet to be announced if it will continue to be simultaneously released in English and Japanese, but chances are good that it will.

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.

Tropes:

  • The Abridged Series: There are three known abridged shows.
  • A-Team Firing: Used on Dandy himself while he's running away from a horde of Ragians in the 3rd episode.. He's just that bad a shot.
    Dandy: Why isn't my beam working on these things? What's wrong?
    Meow: Usually, you have to hit them first.
  • Accidental Art: Dandy drew a pair of breasts on the Complimentary Ticket to Legato out of boredom while trying to figure it out at BooBies. Later on Dr. Gel sees the booby drawing on the ticket, which coincidentally turned out to be a mathematical figure that he needed to solve the equation he had been working on the whole episode.
  • Acid Trip Dimension: Wormholes. The process of going through one is... chaotic, to say the least. Bonus points for the one that Dandy and Meow get sucked into actually taking them into an alternate dimension.
  • Alien Blood: Played straight throughout. It's especially noticeable in Episode 4 when a Zombie Apocalypse leaves a hospital's walls spattered with blood of every imaginable color.
  • Alien Lunch: Seen throughout the show being enjoyed by aliens, and even Dandy doesn't seem to mind it. Very few of the "ramen" stands in Episode 2 seemed to serve actual ramen and at the stand where Dandy meets Scarlet for the second time, the "ramen" appears to still be alive.
  • The Alleged Car: The Aloha Oe's warp drive is on the fritz and its teleporter takes several minutes to work. And yet it somehow has a self-destruct device capable of destroying a planet.
  • Alternate Calendar: The year it takes place in is Space Century 0014.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song/Replaced the Theme Tune:
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The planet Dandy and his crew find themselves on in the first episode runs on this trope.
  • Animation Bump: Once the action gets going in this series, the animation quality is completely insane... as is the animation itself.
  • Art Shift: Even though every episode is assigned a different Art Director behind it, Episode 9 has a noticeably different feel to it compared to the rest. Aside from the vibrant use of colors for the setting, the character designs for Dandy and Meow are different from other episodes. The episode in general could be compared to the beautifully bizarre alien forests and settings found in Samurai Jack.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Happens to Dandy in episode 7, when he reaches a speed that is incapable of mortal comprehension. He wakes up in an unknown location 5.67 billion years later to be greeted by a buddha-like statue of himself.
  • Assimilation Plot: Episode 4 has one that accidentally kicks itself to a start, to boot. By the end, everyone turns into a zombie. This turns out to be a very good thing, since that means no one is different and everyone is immortal, which means that war become unnecessary and peace reigns everywhere. Things are a bit lethargic, though.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A giant mecha made out of junk vs. A giant QT.
  • Auto-Tune: QT's voice actress is processed through a digital modulator to make her sound more like a robot. It's more apparent in the English dub, but the Japanese version has it, too.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Dandy and Meow apparently have no problem surfing off of an exploding planet and into space in nothing but a pair of underwear and a vest, respectively.
  • Bilingual Bonus/Fun with Acronyms: The 2 giant robots at the start of Episode 10 are named C.O.R.E (コレ/これ) and A.L.E (アレ/あれ), pronounced Ko-ray and Ah-ray. They mean "This" and "That" respectively.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Surrounds Prince during the first half of episode 7, but quickly lost along with his composure once he realizes Dandy is actually getting ahead of him. Regains them once he realizes his feelings for Dandy.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The sweet and innocent QT seems to be a little too willing to abandon Dandy and Meow to a horrible demise to save his own skin.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending of episode 4. The entire universe, including robots and the narrator, have all became zombies, but due to every living being turned into zombies, there are no more wars or no more discrimination, so everybody can live a happy and peaceful (undead) life.
    • The first half of episode 8.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: When Dandy and QT first see Meow at the local BooBies, they wonder what it could possibly be. No knowledge of what species it is or where it comes from... all while QT is looking at a guide book with a detailed drawing of a Betelgeusian's anatomy, inner organs, and bone structure. Elsewhere in the series, there are aliens that are just downright weird everywhere.
  • Black Comedy: The main protagonists have unappealing flaws, there's fanservice for only the males, the aliens range from Ugly Cute to entirely horrific, satire creeps into the show now and then, and the reset button endings for each episode means that Anyone Can Die and be fine the following week... in a comedy!
  • Bland-Name Product: BooBies, which is quite obviously Hooters IN SPAAAAAAACE!. Some branches even have their waitresses wearing T-shirts with a very similar logo, with a koala in place of the owl.
  • Brand X: In "There's Always Tomorrow, Baby", there's a bag of Loys potato chips, which has the same design for Lays potato chip bags.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: It gets demolished within moments of the first episode starting.
  • Button Mashing:
    • Dandy tries this on the warp drive in episode 3. It doesn't end well.
    • In episode 4, he attempts this to get Meow's nurse to come back.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Jaicro Empire's Humongous Mecha A.L.E. is the Ideon.
  • 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: Not Meow himself, but he's got quite a few action figures and a dakimakura (anime body pillow) of them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Ole 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
  • Deconstruction: 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.
  • Denser and Wackier: Than Shinichiro Watanabe's previous directorial works.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: During the Opening Narration.
    Narrator: Space Dandy! He's a dandy guy...in space. [...] These are the spectacular adventures of Space Dandy and his brave space crew. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Space Dandy is a dandy guy...in space."
  • 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.
  • Fan Disservice: In episode 3, the Deathgerian is a literal "booby monster." Episode 4 also has large breasted zombie nurses.
  • 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, showing of some nice muscle tone. It gets even more at the very end when Dandy and Meow surf through the cosomos: Dandy is glistening the entire time and allows for his hair to fall out of its usual ridiculous pompadour, revealing him to be surprisingly good looking.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Genki Girl: 033H is super happy and energetic to meet Dandy (since he's a Human), and is always chipper and peppy.
  • 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 herself after Meow asks the internet for advice and gets nothing.
    QT: Bleeping trolls!
  • 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.
  • 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. QT is the first to become suspicious, but all of them catch on with a serious case of Deja Vu. After coming to the completely wrong conclusion about what is happening, the narrator breaks it to them what is going on.
    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.
  • 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 she's a robot and can't get infected. She turns into a zombie anyway.
    QT: What are you doing!?
    Dandy: Quite your whining, you're a robot, so you can't get infected!
    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\Bi the Way\Camp Gay:
    • Prince is one of these, having fallen for Dandy during the final stretch of their race.
    • All Homosexuals Want Bad Boys: He's been shown nothing but contempt by the object of his affections.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: After activating their translators, the aliens in "The War of the Undies and Vests, Baby!" speak English as if going through a Google translator. Much Engrish and the bad of grammar they speak.
    • It happens again in Episode 9 with the Plant Aliens, though not as severe, mostly just dropping occasional articles.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: The Narrator gives this after explaining what remains of the planet Eden.
    Narrator: 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.
  • Lemony Narrator:
    • The narrator is just as much of a pervert as Space Dandy, and has just as much of a clue of what's going on (as does anyone else watching the series). Anyone who's watched the Funimation dub of Sgt. Frog has a pretty good idea of what they're in for.
      Narrator: [as a picture of a human surrounded by an increasing number of aliens shows up on screen] Humans are but one of a myriad of species. There are countless others. Like that one. And those...and all of them. Far too many to name. No seriously, I'm done.
    • His entire narration of the second half of episode 4 following Dandy's zombification. He starts turning into a zombie too at the end of the episode.
    • He starts crying at Pup/Laika's death in episode 8.
  • 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.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Scarlet's hair bun gets undone during her scuffle with the Gogol robots in episode 2.
  • Lilliputians: In episode 8.
  • 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.
  • Mohs Scale of Sci-Fi Hardness: Very much on the soft end of the scale.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Many of the alien species, but most prominently, the Deathgerian.
  • 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 subverted 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.
  • Multiboobage:
    • 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.
  • 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 manages to subvert 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 however.
  • 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.
  • 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.
      • This happens often enough to have inspired a Memetic Mutation in the form of a "number of times Dandy has committed genocide" counter.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Opening Narration:
    Space Dandy! He's a dandy guy...in space. He combs the galaxy like his pompadour on the hunt for aliens. Planet after planet he searches, discovering new creatures both friendly and not. These are the spectacular adventures of Space Dandy and his brave space crew. In space.
  • 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 though. 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.
  • 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. Subverted 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Retraux: A throwback to the scifi serials of 1930s and 40s, with a style and soundtrack straight out of the 70s.
  • 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. 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.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • 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.
  • 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 she 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: See Negative Continuity.
  • 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. Besides being another of Shinichiro Watanabe's works to air on [adult swim], it's also a successor to Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, and Trigun, three Space Western anime that got much more popular in America when they aired on Toonami and [adult swim]. Space Dandy is already getting to air on Toonami first, and while it isn't quite a western per se, it still has a cool badass cruising around (IN SPAAAAAAACE!) along with his Badass Crew (well, kind of badass anyway). The success of those late 90's anime on the network probably had something to do with it.
    • Taking this one step further; the disco and techno style of the music combined with the setting ends up being rather reminiscent of Daft Punk's Interstella 5555. Which also aired on Toonami long ago.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • To Be Continued: Most episodes end with つづく ("To be continued").
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. And of course he's wrong, as QT becomes a zombie less than a minute later.
  • 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 narrators. 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.

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