Film: The Toxic Avenger

He's a hideously deformed creature of super-human size and strength!
"Hohoho, no ticky, no washy!"
Toxie, after shoving an old lady into a washing machine.

Meet Melvin the Mop Boy, a 98-pound wimp living in Tromaville. When Melvin runs afoul of a local gang of hoodlums, he ends up falling out of a second-storey window at the Tromaville Gym - straight into a vat of toxic waste.

The resulting mutation transforms Melvin into the Toxic Avenger, a Hideously Deformed Creature Of Superhuman Size And Strength. After hooking up with a blind, blonde female accordion player, he proceeds to beat up baddies (and boy, are they bad!) in the most gore-tastic ways possible.

Followed by three (or only one) sequels and an animated series. There's also a musical.

The series includes examples of:

  • Agitated Item Stomping: In the second film, Toxie stomps on one of the Apocalypse Inc's signs after ripping it off.
  • The Alcoholic: Sgt. Kabukiman in Citizen Toxie.
  • Alternate Universe: Amortville in Citizen Toxie.
  • Amusing Injuries: The sequels got way more cartoony, and so did the death scenes. Like a midget being crushed into a ball and used as a basketball in II and a henchmen getting his face erased in a video store with a tape eraser in III.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Toxie rips a guy's arm off in the first film. The actor only had one arm to begin with (you can tell because he never uses his right arm).
  • And Your Little Dog Too: Any time the villains threaten Toxie's girlfriend, it means he's going to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • And You Were There: When Toxie finally makes it back to his own world in IV, he tells Sergeant Kabukiman NYPD that he was there, but he was evil and he kicked Toxie's ass. He notices the two guys next to Kabukiman, and says they weren't there.
  • Animated Adaptation: the kid-friendly Toxic Crusaders.
  • Asshole Victim: Particularly the three robbers at the Mexican restaurant after one of them killed Sara's dog.
  • Ass Shove: Toxie does this to a member of the Diaper Mafia in Citizen Toxie.
  • Attempted Rape: Towards Toxie's girlfriend in the original, and Sweetie Baby in Citizen Toxie.
  • Author Filibuster: The Last Temptation of Toxie is pretty much entirely an anti-corporation Author Filibuster. The head of the Apocalypse Corporation is literally The Devil.
  • Baguette Beatdown: A random goon in part two beats on an old lady with a loaf of bread.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Inverted. Toxie's very badly deformed as a result of the toxic waste, but he's the good guy.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Taken Up to Eleven in Citizen Toxie. Toxie fights Noxie in the Tromaville Hospital while the unborn fetuses of both men duke it out in Sarah's stomach. Toxie rips apart Noxie as his unborn son strangles the Noxie fetus...and then an evil doppleganger of Melvin emerges from Noxie's stomach.
  • Blind and the Beast:
    • Sara is nonplussed after finding out that Melvin is a mutant. Strangely, when she can see again, she thinks Toxie is the sexiest man alive, and that normal people are hideous.
    • In the animated series, she puts on her glasses, and screams in terror... at the awful tie Toxie was wearing!
  • Bloody Hilarious: The film made its name on absurdly-violent fight scenes and deaths that cross over from being disgusting to hilarious because of the cheap effects, a staple of Troma films.
  • Body Horror:
    • Melvin turning into Toxie. He manages to get into a bathtub before boils begin to form on his arms, his hair falls out and his face and chest begin pulsing. Then it's Played for Laughs when Melvin's mother seems pleased to know that her son has "finally reached puberty".
    • Toxie turning back into Melvin in the third film.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: The fourth movie begins with Toxie fighting a band of terrorists calling themselves "The Diaper Mafia". And yes, those diapers do get used for their intended purposes.
  • The Cameo: A ton in Citizen Toxie, including Stan Lee, Ron Jeremy, Corey Feldman and Mark Torgl reprising his role as Melvin.
  • Camp Gay: Several bit characters in the first movie.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • At the beginning of the fourth movie, a formal apology is given for the previous two sequels.
    • In Citizen Toxie, Melvin's last name is still Junko (it was Ferd in the original, and changed to Junko in the sequels out of fear of a possible lawsuit from MAD Magazine, who had used the name Melvin Ferd frequently during the Kurtzman era of the publication), and his mother is completely out of the picture. Melvin may have acquired his last name through Sarah, but this is never confirmed.
    • Somehow The averagely dressed Sarah from the first movie became a very skimply dressed Claire in the second movie. Though the different dress wear could be excused due to the fact she's blind
    • In Citizen Toxie, Toxie's wife is named Sarah, while Noxie's girlfriend is named Claire.
  • Clothing Damage: In the second film, a female ninja attacks Toxie with a kusarigama (which is a sickle and chain). Toxie, after catching the chain, pulls the ninja girl closer, and starts slashing her with the sickle. A good yank afterwards strips all of her clothes off.
  • Comes Great Responsibility:
    • What is the first thing Melvin does when he becomes Toxie? Beat the crap out of criminals (killing most in the process), cleans up, and helps an abused officer on his feet and gives his equipment back. He has been a dedicated crime fighter since.
    • He also has the ability to detect the evil in a person. He questioned his humanity when he believed he killed an innocent old woman uncontrollably, even though she turned out to be a leader of a white slave ring (not that he knew).
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In Citizen Toxie, the leader of the Diaper Mafia orders the students to "drop your tacos or I'll blow your brains out!" This is the exact same line that Leroy says in the original film during the Mexican restaurant holdup scene.
    • The climax of Citizen Toxie has Toxie throw the Melvin doppelganger out of the second-story window of the Tromaville Hospital into a vat of toxic waste, just like the original film. It even uses the same footage!
  • Creator Cameo: Lloyd Kaufman appears as himself in the newsreel at the end of Citizen Toxie.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Toxic Avenger tends to dish this out to his victims, but they always have it coming.
  • Depraved Bisexual: The Noxious Offender is a textbook example of this keeping both a woman and a man at his house which he sexually exploits. He also attempts to rape Toxie during their final fight with each other which is made even creepier by Noxie's very expectant tone of voice.
  • Detect Evil:
  • Deus ex Machina: Near the end of Citizen Toxie, Chester finally finds a way to send Toxie back to Tromaville. That solution? A pair of ruby slippers.
  • Diner Brawl: In the first movie, Toxie takes out of gang in a taco restaurant and even uses the kitchen's appliances to kill two of them.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In Citizen Toxie, both Toxie and Sara go through incredibly traumatic circumstances. Toxie loses his sidekick, gets shot at by cops in Amortville, fails to save a man being lynched by a pair of rednecks, almost gets killed by multiple assailants, discovers that his wife is pregnant, and finally triumphs over an alternate universe version of himself. Sara gets groped by a member of Noxie's posse, raped by Noxie himself, groped and raped by Sgt. Kabukiman, freaked out by a gynecologist and writhes in pain as her unborn fetuses duke it out in her stomach. Luckily, everything works out well at the end.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: A lot of random mooks like to throw karate kicks at Toxie.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto:
    • Lampshaded in Citizen Toxie:
    • Near the end of part 2, two cars slam into each other in a front-end collision. They explode violently. TWICE.
  • Evil Inc.: Apocalypse Inc. Literally.
  • Evil Twin: The Noxious Offender a.k.a. Noxie and Evil Kabukiman from part IV.
  • Excrement Statement: When Toxie has to put out the devil in the "Fire" challenge in the second film, he sees that there's no water he just puts him out by pissing on him.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The theme song for the second and third movie lay out the events of the first.
  • Fallen Hero: Sgt. Kabukiman in Citizen Toxie. Once one of the most renowned heroes, he's since become a pathetic, drunken has-been.
  • Fat Bastard: The corrupt mayor from the first movie. Not only is he disgustingly fat, in several scenes he is shown having a massage at the health club while stuffing his face further.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Toxie having sex with a beautiful (albeit blind) woman, but averted in that this is one of the few of Lloyd Kaufman's movies that doesn't feature the hyper-skinny "women" Lloyd seems to like so much.
    • Citizen Toxie has a very buxom chick with blue hair making out with Toxie's wife while Noxie masturbates to a photograph of a nuclear explosion.
    • Toxie also has a topless member of the Diaper Mafia making out with a special needs student, while Lardass smears peanut butter on a bomb, eats it and farts loudly.
  • Fictional Video Game: "Five Levels of Doom" in the third film. Satan decides to model his and Toxie's fight after it.
  • Fighting with Chucks: Nunchucks show up often through out the series.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Before Melvin was thrown into a barrel of toxic waste, he was a frail, perverted, socially-awkward janitor who wasn't very good at his job. Afterward, he gained super human strength, got more intelligent, becomes a hero to the city for cleaning up criminals and helping the innocent, and even got a beautiful girlfriend who likes him for what he is (even though she's blind, she stays with him). Other than a ugly face, his life has certainly gotten better.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: A doctor examining Sarah shows her two vials of natal fluid, with the green one representing Toxie's baby, and the red one representing Noxie's. He helpfully clarifies that you can tell Noxie's is evil because it's red.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Toxie brutally kills, tortures and cripples a number of bad guys. Highlights include him ramming a milkshake stirrer through a thug's throat, shoving another thug's hands into a deep fryer, crushing a drug dealer's face with a weight-lifting machine, and disemboweling the Big Bad.
  • Gorn: Calling it Gorn doesn't even begin to describe it. Then again, what do you expect from a Troma film?
  • Groin Attack: Happens multiple times throughout the series to various villains (and even Toxie himself).
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted in Citizen Toxie. Lardass eats the bomb in order to save Toxie and the two surviving students, except that there was no real reason to (Toxie and the others escape in time), and his intended sacrifice ends up making things worse when it rips open a dimensional tear and brings Noxie into Tromaville.
  • He's Back: In part III, when Toxie realizes that he's been working for the bad guys, he breaks out of his funk and goes to town on them.
  • Horrifying Hero: Pretty much sums up Toxie.
  • Humiliation Conga: One of these ends with Melvin going out the window and taking a swan dive into the barrel of toxic waste.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The female villains in the first film are sexually excited by blood and carnage by their boyfriend's turning pedestrians into roadkill... and taking photos of it afterward! Yeah, it's that kind of movie.
  • Instant Chucks: In the second film, Toxie counters a mooks nunchucks by grabbing a pair of fish tied together.
  • Instant Convertible: This happens to the Taxi Toxie is using during the chase scene at the end of the second movie. The cabbie is pissed until Toxie points out that he now has a convertable.
  • I Should Have Been Better: Toxie feels a lot of guilt for not being able to stop the center for the blind from being blown up at the start of the second movie.
  • Jerkass:
    • The mayor of Tromaville. He wants to have Toxie killed just because he's a hero to Tromaville. Justified as he happens to lead a drug cartel, and thus, would be considered a criminal (which Toxie holds a record in capturing/killing to that point).
    • At the end of the first movie, the mayor attempts to kill Toxie, despite everyone choosing not to. The crowd cheers when the mayor gets disemboweled for his own selfishness.
    • Tito tries to sell Sweetie Honey off to the alternate universe version of the Diaper Mafia in exchange for drugs, then acts utterly unrepentant when Toxie calls him on it after saving both of them.
  • Joisey
  • Kick the Dog: In the first movie, the villains shoot a blind girl's seeing-eye dog. This remains the most complained-about scene in Troma history.
  • King of All Cosmos: God makes a brief appearance in the fourth film as a hairy midget (played by Howard Stern show regular, the late Henry Nasiff, Jr., aka Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf). We see him deciding how certain people are going to die, and he needs to be informed that Polio now has a cure. When he sends Toxie on his way he asks him for two favors; the first is to keep killing all of the murderers and child rapists. The second is to tell the pope to stop talking about him. He doesn't know him, he's an asshole, and his hat looks fucking stupid.
  • Large Ham: Some of the characters in the series. Bozo in the first movie is probably the most infamous example.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: If any jerk ass makes an appearance, expect Toxie to give him a bad day.
  • Laughably Evil: All the villainous characters.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • II and III were deliberately less graphic than the first film, yet the MPAA still removed a bit of stuff compared to the director's cuts.
    • The animated children's series had this trope in spades.
  • Losing Your Head: Toxie tries (and fails) to rescue a black man who's being dragged behind a pickup truck by his head in Citizen Toxie. However, he befriends the man's (Pompe's) head, and carries it around with him for the rest of the film.
  • Mood Whiplash: The movie moves from a romance scene between Toxie and Sarah straight into a dark horror scene, where Toxie is the one pursuing of maiming one of the gang member's girlfriends.
  • Mook Horror Show: any fight with toxie turns into one of these pretty quickly, complete with ominous background music
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth: When the Devil tries to kill Toxie by having one of his guys run a lawnmower over him, Toxie stops the blade with his teeth. He spits it into the mouth of another good, which makes him lose his teeth.
  • Overly Long Gag: The 5-second bomb in Citizen Toxie. Not only does the bomb announce what second it is at multiple times, but Toxie has enough time to go to the janitor's closet, have a short conversation with Tito, go home, have sex with Sara, speak with her about her pregnancy, get a bagged lunch, run back to the school and pull the surviving students out before the bomb blows.
  • Population: X, and Counting: When Noxie goes on a killing spree when he first arrives in Tromatown, a worker has to keep placing new numbers over the town's sign.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner/Bond One-Liner: Toxie is one of the all time masters of the bon mot.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Toxie's leitmotif in the first film is "Night on Bald Mountain".
  • Put Their Heads Together: Toxie does this so hard to two guys in the second film that their heads explode.
  • Quote-to-Quote Combat: Between the chairman and a homeless woman in the second film.
    Chairman: "Neither a lender nor borrower be." Shakesphere.
    Woman: "Fuck you." David Mamet.
  • Rape as Comedy / Rape as Drama: The series as a whole jumps between these two polar extremes. Sara is almost raped twice in the original film, then it happens for real when Noxie does it to her in Citizen Toxie. In the latter film, Sweetie Baby is nearly raped by the Alternate Universe version of the Diaper Mafia, who invite Toxie to join them, while Sgt. Kabukiman tries to rape a TV reporter and Sara (before falling asleep).
    • Kabukiman, was incredibly drunk and taking a piss in Toxie's laundry basket. In the middle of said piss, he turned his head and saw Sara tied up. This caused him to became aroused, and, forgetting to zip up, he went over to the bed and tried to untie her. In his highly inebriated state, he passed out on top of her, and literally fell inside her. It Makes Sense in Context...kind of.
  • Reaction Shot: Every major fight scene throughout the series has at least one participant (usually a hostage or victim) looking on in shock, screaming, and/or making disgusted faces as Toxie takes down the criminals.
  • Recycled: The Series: The cartoon spinoff, Toxic Crusaders, replaced all the R-rated elements with jokes and ridiculousness. Despite this, the series actually kinda works.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Toxie battles a pair of henchmen in Part 2 dressed up like two Oni, complete with tiger-pattern loin clothes (though one is more green than blue).
  • Rousing Speech: Mad Cowboy gives one when Kabukiman is considering running away. It works, even though it's entirely in moos.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Practically Tito's catchphrase, tho he uses the more colorful variant "Fuck This Shit, Man, I'm Outta Here!".
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: The Toxic Avenger 2 takes place in Japan.
  • Share the Male Pain: When Toxie beats one of Cigar Face's cohort's balls like a speed bag, he covers his own crotch.
  • Shout-Out: Part IV references The Wizard of Oz numerous times.
    Toxie: "I don't think we're in Tromaville anymore, Toto."
    Tito: "Tito! My name is tito!"
    • At one point, the Noxious Offender gets a nosebleed. Cue him muttering "noseblood" and dropping a snowglobe. Then again, since the movie is titled "Citizen Toxie", it would be odd NOT to have a Citizen Kane reference.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: There's not much that harms Toxie, but he's so creative at killing bad guys you don't really mind.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: One of the special needs students and member of the Diaper Gang have a smoke after having sex. This results in tragedy because Lardass had just let out a huge fart after eating a bomb.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Muffled 80's pop plays while the villains run down an innocent young boy for fun and back the car up over his head, crushing it completely. They then proceed to get out of the car and the girls take pictures of the incident for future use.
    • Part II uses an arrangement of Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" during the first fight scene and during the climax.
  • Stealth Pun: A mutated duck-frog shows up in the third film, and Toxie wonders what you would even call it. More likely than not, a fuck.
  • Stylistic Suck: Toxie's voice is so overdubbed and incongruent with his guttural moans that it becomes absolutely hilarious when he speaks.
  • Sudden Name Change: Toxie's girlfriend was named "Sarah" in the first movie, but was changed to "Claire" in the next two. She's back to "Sarah" in the fourth part, but her alternate universe counterpart is named "Claire" (And deaf).
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The corrupt local mayor's chief of police, who speaks with a cornball fake German accent ripped straight out of Hogan'sHeroes, accidentally addressed the mayor as "Mein Fuhrer", has to suppress the urge to give a straight-armed Nazi salute in one scene and does so openly after being instructed by the Mayor to kill the Avenger, and who before said act is about to be carried out, clicks his heels together and solemnly intones "Ze orderss haff been giffen!! Eet ees our destiny to follow-ZE ORDERSSS!!!"
  • Two-Part Trilogy:
    • The second and third films were originally shot together all as one film. It was so freakishly long that they divided the movie in half during post production.
    • Averted with the fourth movie, which was thrown in a decade or so after the previous films.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Claire pulls some bills out from her cleavage at one point.
  • Victory Is Boring: At the start of the second film, Toxie is bored and depressed because there isn't anymore evil to fight in Tromaville. The same thing happens to him in the third film.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Toxie kills a little old lady in the first film who was dropping off some pants at a dry cleaners. It turns out she was the head of an international slavery ring.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Nipples.
  • Weapon Twirling: Toxie loves twirling his mop.
  • William Telling: The chairman makes one of his henchman put on apple on his. Unfortunately for him, the chairman is using a shotgun, and he's pointing straight down.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Toxie is just as brutal to his female opponents as the male ones.

Alternative Title(s):

Toxic Avenger