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Headscratchers: Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
But now we pick pick
pick pick pick it apart...

Why are Penny's dying words, "Captain Hammer will save us." Is it just Joss pouring salt into the wound?
  • Possibly. He does like to do that. Or it could be that she was disoriented (because of the dying) and said something that flitted across her mind, no matter how little sense it made. Or she was in denial of what had happened and scared and wanted to feel like she did back when she thought Billy was her innocent friend and Captain Hammer was an awesome hero. Also, pretty sure you don't have to spoiler stuff on a Headscratchers page, since they're specifically for discussing plot points of the media in question.
  • I got the impression that that line was part of his original story concept. It's there because the rest of the story was built around it.

If Captain Hammer looks down on anyone showing signs of intelligence or creativity, how in the world would he know how to defuse a bomb? I mean, does he take the Guile approach and just use violence to solve the problem?
  • Yes. That is exactly how he operates! He probably assumed that the blinking thing on top of the van was a bomb, so he hit it until it stopped blinking.
  • Let's just say there's a reason I have taken to calling him Captain "When all you have is a" Hammer, despite its lack of catchyness. The thought of him trying to "defuse" an actual bomb though, it boggles the mind.

  • Why does Billy seem to think that getting into the ELE will let him rule the world? Wouldn't Bad Horse rule if the ELE managed to 'win?'
    • Well, the life expectancy for horses is 25-30 years, and we don't know how old bad horse is.
    • Also, there's no reason he needs to be top lord of the entire world. The plan's probably to divvy it up in some way. Dr.Horrible will probably get part of Europe. Or Australia...
    • Or the ELE doesn't care about world domination, just making everyone miserable
    • Or Doctor Horrible was going to use the League as a stepping stone toward world domination.
  • Standard "supervillain league" stuff. Basically you help each other out when someone's plan calls for it, and if the guy with the best plan actually succeeds in conquering the world, well, obviously he had a better plan than you did. (Of course then you can try and backstab him.) That's just how it's done.
  • Why does Dr. Horrible have two cell phones?
    • Forget cell phones, why has he got two hardcover copies of the 6th and 7th Harry Potter books?
    • Surely the most difficult and significant question the wiki will ever face.
      • Wow, sarcasm, that's original.
      • Specifically, his "remote" is an iPhone, but he actually takes calls on a clamshell that we see only briefly.
      • Maybe the remote is an iPod?
      • An iPod that gets a signal from AT&T?
      • ...a jailbroken iPod with a cosmetic hack. (Considering the App Store probably wouldn't accept the Horrible Van Remote...)
      • That depends entirely on what kind of company Apple is in an alternative reality where the nation's sweetheart savior reviles intelligence and curiosity as precursors to supervillainy. I'd like to think of Horribleverse Apple as evil with flair. (Though, admittedly, putting the Horrible Van Remote out where anyone can use it might be slightly irresponsible. If my argument holds water, that system should be password-protected, at minimum.)
      • When, exactly, did Hammer say that intelligence and curiosity are bad? Sure, he doesn't have either, but we only see him fight Horrible when the latter is intelligently, curiously, committing crimes.
      • It's in the comic series, where he encourages picking on nerds and goths and other different people.
      • It would be deeply tragic if Doctor Horrible stole the Wonderflonium using off-the-shelf electronics from a large company.
      • But it he built it himself, then... does that mean Dr. Horrible is an alternate-universe Steve Jobs?
      • I, for one, welcome the bizarre fanfic that this idea will inspire.
      • You know how some people have a phone for work, and a phone for personal calls?
      • The phone Bad Horse called him on was his old phone. He gave Bad Horse that number instead as a precaution, because Bad Horse isn't the kind of horse you'd want to give your current cell phone number to.
      • The (non-musical) commentary explains that they meant to just have one phone, but the Horrible Van Control was already loaded on a different one than the one they meant to use, so they just had two different phones. In-universe, the "one work, one personal phone" makes sense- plus despite how incompetent as Dr. Horrible can be, odds are he at least has two phones to prevent Horrible-related calls from being traced back to Billy.
      • Except that Bad Horse calls him, as Dr. Horrible, on one phone, and the Horrible Van Remote is used, as Dr. Horrible, on the other phone. He apparently has two work phones, since installing a piece of software branded the "Horrible Van Remote" (copyright Dr. Horrible Corporations) onto his Billy-phone is really going to blow his cover. If, y'know, not wearing any form of disguise hadn't done that already...
      • Bad Horse found Billy was Dr. Horrible, and learned his non-work phone, because he wanted to show Dr. Horrible that he knew he was Billy, and he could find him to kill him if he failed?
    • Just because the prop was a cellphone doesn't mean that Dr. Horrible used a cellphone. Presumably, he has a remote control with a programmable touchscreen that can pass for a text-capable device, and an actual phone of the flip variety. (As for the multiple phone thing in the commentary, what I heard was that both Neil and Nathan had iPhones, and it was all sort of weird that Neil ended up using Nathan's for the remote.)
      • Would you want to worry about having the device controlling a multi-ton vehicle full of unstable, unbouncable Wonderflonium suddenly switching to phone functions because your mother wishes you'd call more? Neither would I.
    • This troper, who works in the security and alarm industry, has personally lost track of the number of people he's had to call who have multiple cell phones. It is actually fairly common.
    • Don't forget not just work and personal, but people often have a cellphone for each local network in order to get the most out of various deals. At least, they do here.
    • Alternatively, it's a cheapo cellphone they give to trial members in order to contact them, dropped off by the Bad Horsemen.
    • Alternately, Captain Hammer broke his iPhone when beating him up at some point so he had to revert back to his flip phone.
    • Another theory is that the flip phone is Dr. Horrible's phone, and the iPhone is for Billy. However, flip-phones don't have remote control capabilities, so he had to make an exception and use his Billy phone.

  • Why didn't Dr. Horrible just try to bring Penny back life? It's not like he'd be the first evil scientist to try out a little necromancy.
    • We don't know if resurrection is possible in this setting. Even if it is, Penny saw him attack and almost kill Captain Hammer, and she died on a piece of shrapnel caused by his gun exploding (okay it was Hammer who actually made it explode, but still). Would she want him?
    • Because fanfiction did it. Surprisingly good fanfiction, too.
      • Not just that one fic. A large number of writers have realized this as well, actually, and have acted. I've seen quite a lot of fics out there with this premise. Take these three, for example, plus a fanart thrown in.
      • Really? Awesome.
    • Who says he won't? The idea of a sequel has been kicked around, I understand...
      • But Joss Whedon would write the sequel, too. There's no way it'd have a happy ending. Dr. Horrible would probably try the resurrection, and have it fail epically, causing further pain. Alternately, it works, but Penny comes back as a mindless zombie that kills people.
      • No no, not awesome enough. As a mindful zombie who becomes the obvious third angle to the hero-villain space — The dark hero, hated by society but working to improve it. And she'll SING!
  • Towards the end, Horrible is there, defenseless, having just threatened and defeated Hammer, (accidentally) killing a woman, and offering violence around the Mayor, and no one even confronts him. No one seems to mind, almost as if all the people present are also audience members watching Horrible's personal drama play out. I suppose there are no police in the city.
    • A lot of people had already run away, and the people that remained were only the bravest of reporters, who were presumably more interested in the story than the morality of the story (a not uncommon trait among reporters). But given that Dr. Horrible, of all people, is enough of a threat to have supervillain status and Captain Hammer, whose powers seem to consist of super strength, super resilience, and being a douchebag, is the resident superhero, it's probably a pretty safe little town. Maybe no police were around because Captain Hammer was assumed to be capable of defeating any threat.
    • Also, Doctor Horrible had just defeated Captain Hammer. If you were a cop, would you want to take on the Doctor at that point? Not to mention we don't see the aftermath of the confrontation; it lasts a grand total of a few minutes, and the bit where Horrible hands over Penny's body to the paramedics is clearly metaphorical. Police might have burst in seconds later, and the Doctor either escaped or drove them off with other gadgets.
      • "Clearly metaphorical"? I took it literally— the civilians (including the reporters) had mostly left at that time, and I would think that police would be needed only to assist Hammer, as the LAPD did in Horrible's heist, but they're clearly not active in taking villains into custody. Remember the second companion comic? All Hammer did was punch Horrible to the ground. Hammer and the crowds left and Horrible got up to nurse his wounds, but there weren't any police in sight.
      • Watch the last scene again. One second, the room is full of cowering people, and members of the press are snapping photos of Dr. Horrible; the next the room is empty, and the chairs are neatly stacked on top of each other. The EMS workers who take Penny away appear suddenly and then disappear, and in the final shot of the homeless shelter, there are no signs blood or shrapnel or anything out of the ordinary having occurred. Not that I'm saying it didn't happen, or anything, but there's a deliberately dreamlike quality to everything that takes place after Penny's death, which makes sense given Billy/Horrible's mindset at the time. I think it's fair to say we don't know exactly what took place at the end of the shelter scene, and that it's possible the police did show up at some point, most likely after Doctor Horrible had already fled the scene.
    • Didn't Horrible start by bashing the crowd for a complete lack of reaction beyond cowering to his actions? It is completely in character for them to be apathetic.
    • I think because Horrible had just established himself as a genuine threat by defeating the Nigh Invulnerable Captain Hammer, thus making everyone else think, "His gadgets are so painful they reduce our glorious hero to a sobbing wreck- what will it do to me?" Watch the scene following- Billy is robbing a bank with basically no effort. He just points his ray gun in the vague direction of the guards and they unload the money for him and Moist. That's how intimidating he's become. "Now that your savior's as still as the grave, you're beginning to fear me."
  • In the penultimate song, after Billy sings "Arise and sing," who is he actually talking to? I can't figure out if he's talking to Penny or Dr Horrible.
    • Given that it follows the line "so hail to the king" it probably addresses the same unnamed masses the previous line does.
    • I should clarify: the lines "So your world's benign/So you think justice has a voice/And we all have a choice/Well now your world is mine." bug me. I doubt he's just singing to people in general, because he sounds like he's singing to someone in particular. Actually, I think I've had a Fridge Brilliance moment over this - perhaps, in light of the 'Billy/Dr Horrible are different people' theory, this is Dr Horrible singing to Billy. Dr Horrible is mocking Billys idealism, and has taken over. Then again, he isn't using the deep voice Neil Patrick Harris gives Horrible. Aargh.
      • He's singing to Penny, who believed that she lived in a 'benign' world in which good things would happen, who had hoped that Captain Hammer could be a voice for justice and change and who thought that people would change their views if she only showed them the plight of people around them. When Horrible's plan went wrong and Penny was killed, it forcibly slammed his world of pain and crime into her sunny and optimistic world, making her world his at the point that his taking over the world itself becomes a possibility.
    • Or perhaps it was that Horrible had taken over Billy completely and was adding insult to injury by singing the darkest song in the movie in Billy's voice. But still, Mind Screw.
    • I figured it was Penny. He's mocking her for her idealism, which ended with her dead. Shows just how broken he just became.
    • One way to look at the song is that it was written in advance, perhaps as a triumphant hymn over the corpse of Captain Hammer with Penny at his side. He proclaims that the world is now at his mercy and he is in control, but when the worst comes to pass he looks around and his prepared speech is cruelly ironic and deeply inappropriate. Lines like "here lies everything/the world I wanted at my feet" could mean "I am in control", or "I have destroyed everything I loved" and be equally meaningful.
  • It bugs be that in the credits it says something to the effect of "Any similarity to any people living or dead is purely coincidental." Doesn't Fake Thomas Jefferson pretty strongly discredit that disclaimer?
    • That's just a standard legal disclaimer attached to, say, every single movie ever made.
    • My personal favorite is to see them in the "based on actual events" movies.
  • Joss's commentary song in the...commentary That is: "Heart (Broken)". It comes across as a bit bitter to me, especially considering he did a whole episode commentary on "Objects in Space" that detailed the thoughts and meaning behind it (and it was awesome). I love the guys work and his sense of humour so I'm probably looking too much into this.
    • Joss has actually stated that it was about making Dollhouse. Fox was getting him to do all that behind the scenes stuff beforehand (Enter the Jossverse etc.) before the actual broadcast to build buzz and I think that he just felt that was a bit much. Some of them seem a little forced, IMO.
    • What bugs me is that the music for "Ninja Ropes" sounds sadder than the music for "Heart (Broken)".
  • Why is everyone in Commentary! The Musical such total jerks? Everyone insults everyone else all the time! Case in point: after "Neil's Turn", the titular character is alone, in complete darkness, and very very afraid. Felicia shows up, and this exchange results:
    Neil: Felicia? (Fearful and panicked.)
    Felicia: You're not alone. You're just kind of a douche!
    • Neil isn't that "fearful and panicked". The situation is meant to be funny, and also sets up for a happy ending.
    • Felicia doesn't say stuff like that. Evidence: in this Twitter post, Felicia said "sowwy". People who say "sowwy" do not call other people douches for no valid reason, when said people are alone and extremely scared.
    • ARGH! Additional contradiction found in Commentary! Just before "Strike", specifically.
    Maurissa Tancharoen (possibly?): Does anyone remember the Writer's Strike of last year?
    Felicia Day (amid much discussion): Uh... what's the writers do? I don't...
    • The problem with this should be fairly obvious: Felicia Day is a writer, yet is apparently unaware of the function of a writer.
    • Are you...are you serious? Really? Or is this just an elaborate con? (It's Rule of Funny, btw ;] ).
    • 3 words: Self deprecating humor.
      • Then why didn't someone else say it? Like, say, Nathan Fillion? It'd still be funny, and we wouldn't be thoroughly confused here.
    • Because they'e not themselves. They're fictionalised versions of themselves. It's a fictional storyline. Hence why it does things like indicate NPH is straight when in real life, he's gay. Because it's not him, it's a character he's playing for the duration, which doesn't have to match up. Rule of Funny.
      • Oh, you mean they're Adam Westing themselves?
      • True. Not to mention the fact that even if they were meant to be themselves, they've all gone on record many times saying Felicia is extremely foul-mouthed, despite how doe-eyed she comes across. In her own words about toning it down in front of the fans: "I try not to say the C-word in public," the C-word being cock. Which apparently is a word she uses pretty often. Just because she comes across as sweet and innocent doesn't mean she's sheltered or naive.
      • Though, being as the phrase "the C-word" generally brings to mind a different C-word, that actually sounds pretty tame. Just saying.
    • Okay, forget "why is everyone jerks". More specifically and confusingly, why would Felicia call NPH a douche with absolutely no justification?
      • Felicia does have justification! Neil's Song begins with him glad to have all his friends out of the picture so that he can run a commentary about how awesome he is, and then goes on to describe the rest of the cast and crew as expendable. If someone said that to me I'd probably use a profanity too.
        Neil (About Felicia Day's Character): But you just had to die, 'cause there's no "team" in "I".
      • Exactly! (As has already been said) The actors are playing fictionalised versions of themselves, and NPH is being a douche for most of the commentary. Come on. One of the verses for Neil's Song is:
        Neil: Welcome to my commentary! / I've got so much talent it's a little scary! / Is my every random thought insightful? Very! / Not just entertaining; I'm a luminary.
      • But that doesn't matter, because nobody else was in the room during "Neil's Turn". They wouldn't have heard him being such a douche, and thus have no justification for calling him one. Unless they have super-hearing.
      • But! Neil also horns in on Stacy's "Ten Dollar Solo," her only shot at glory. Pretty douche-y, yes?

  • Why didn't Dr. Horrible do anything when Penny was mortally wounded? He probably had some sort of healing ray, being against hurting people and all. Even without one, he still had the freeze ray - he could use that to buy Penny time while he builds a healing device, or just while the paramedics arrive.
    • The simple answer is that he panicked. He's not exactly a trained physician or emergency responder. He's never seen death before, and the fact that the girl he loved is the one dying stops his brain from doing anything other than saying "Oh crap oh crap oh crap." Plus, if he had gone to try to get his Freeze Ray going or to try and get help or anything like that, Penny would have died alone. At least this way, she died with someone by her side.
    • Freeze ray: out of power. Healing ray: where's your proof he actually has one?
      • Good villain: brings spare battery. There's no proof of a healing ray, but Billy was a genius before he was a villain - he must have done something to get his Ph.D., for example. Additionally, good villains bring spare death rays. Add Reverse Polarity, and a... life ray is yours for the zapping with. Also, even a bad villain might think to, say, plug their devices of doom into a wall socket.
      • Spare battery? Yes, he's got plenty of time to get up, run all the way over to the freeze ray, change out the rare, difficult to aqcuire yet somehow spare Wonderflonium battery he is supposedly carrying (despite not having any evidence he has one) in the fifteen seconds it takes Penny to bleed out and die. Which in turn, gives the paramedics enough time to arrive, and spend maybe five seconds working on Penny before she dies. Because no paramedic is able to save someone that quickly, when they're suffering such massive trauma that they die almost immediately.
      • I'm forced to point out that there is no evidence of the batteries being made of wonderflonium. There's every chance that they're simply AAs.
      • Reverse Polarity? This is Doctor Horrible, not Star Trek. Where's the evidence that Horrible's Death ray can be "reversed"? Or that he was bringing a second one? Or that even "reversing the polarity" has the healing properties to deal with the damage associated with having a massive shard of hot steel lodged in your chest?
      • I believe you mean, "This is Doctor Horrible, not Doctor Who."
      • Uh... that was a joke. :P I specifically was, jocularly, suggesting that replacing the tape labeled "Death" with another bit of tape labeled "Life" would reverse the entire function of the device.
      • Wall socket: Yes, because as we all know, when your weapon is powered by the rare, difficult to aqcuire substance known as Wonderflonium, you can power it by simply plugging it into a wall socket.
      • Prove that wonderflonium is used to power the freeze ray. Sure, it's "needed" for the freeze ray - that doesn't instantly make it a battery.
      • Finally, what is this nonsense about "a good villain"? Have you been paying attention to the show at all? This is Doctor flipping Horrible. He is NOT a "good villain." He's an incompetent one.
      • Correct. However, it would be awesome if, upon seeing Penny mortally wounded, Dr. Horrible discovered latent competancy and went into an epic rescue operation, singing "Brand New Day (Reprise)" with determination, easily re-enabling the freeze ray with a crazy assortment of batteries from cell phones, flashlights, and watches, pausing Penny, running down an underground passage back to the lab (with Penny on the paramedic bed thingy, freeze ray mounted on the side), working on his whiteboard to develop a healing device, and generally actually being really cool.
      • Fandom has granted your wish.
      • Too bad this is a Joss Whedon production. That ending would be too happy for him. :P
      • Okay, how about this: Dr. Horrible goes all Bad Ass, uses the freeze ray to pause Penny, escorts her back to the lab, and makes the healing thing. However, when unpaused, it's discovered that Penny's now got Laser-Guided Amnesia, and can't remember anything since Act I started - she's never met either Captain Hammer or Dr. Horrible. (she may even greet Billy in the lab with the same lines as in Act I: Hey, I know you, from the laundromat, etc. Billy doesn't manage to estabish a real, audible connection for some reason, however) Dr. Horrible still gets into the Evil League of Evil, because he defeated Captain Hammer (okay, not a murder, but defeating the only superhero around should be worth at least as much credit as killing some random person). For additional awesome, Dr. Horrible gets into the ELE while building the healing device, and enlists the ELE resources to help build the device. ("I need wonderflonium. Lots of wonderflonium.")
      • I've come up with a justification of this ending: as theorised by many people, "Doctor Horrible's gadgets all fail because he knows, deep down, that they could hurt or injure someone." Firstly, I'll defend this theory: most of Horrible's gadgets fail because they'd disable Captain Hammer in some way. Without Captain Hammer, the other villains have free rein over the city, and will hurt people. Obviously, the gadgets in the final scene fail because he was actually about to kill someone. Thus, when Doctor Horrible thoroughly avoids hurting people, his gadgets should work, no? How better can you avoid hurting people than to instead save people's lives? Therefore, Doctor Horrible's competancy reaches its full capacity when Penny needs rescuing, and he has the ability to do all the "good villain" things above.
      • Additionally, I've thought of another "happy ending avoider", instead of Laser-Guided Amnesia. Basically, Doctor Horrible grabs any and all technology in the shelter while repairing the freeze ray, and pretty much destroys all of it. When rescued, Penny discovers that Horrible broke her iPod, and storms out of the lab angrily. Seems insignificant, but was an 80 gig iPod... Alternately, Horrible destroys the entire homeless shelter in his efforts to save Penny, and she gets angry because he apparently hates the homeless.
      • Actually, forget the whole "Joss vs. happiness" thing. Instead, when Penny gets raised, she doesn't realise that Billy = Doctor Horrible. Billy and Penny start dating, but Billy knows that if Penny figures out the whole secret identity bit, she'll dump him. Cue a hilarious episodic program in which Billy's secret veers dangerously close to being revealed every episode, but Deus ex Machina saves the show at the last second.
      • What about that, when Penny gets raised, she remembers that Billy is Dr. Horrible and doesn't want to date (or even befriend) a supervillain? Thus Billy has to choose between his promising career in supervillainy and the girl he loves... and if he chooses Penny, what are the chances she'll actually believe that he reformed?
      • Why does everyone assume the freeze ray was out of power? It's just as likely that something burned out, especially since this was the longest continuous period of time he'd ever used it for and it was practically a prototype and anything that really had three minutes' worth of power would be a pretty cruddy weapon.
      • "That's not a good sound..." Brilliant!
    • Good question, considering he used to be a doctor, for pretend
    • This isn't really that hard to figure out. Right around Act II, Captain Hammer states that he is only dating Penny to annoy Billy/Dr. Horrible. Doing this causes Billy to cast aside his belief to not kill people and decides he is going to kill Hammer. Basically, he has the single minded plan of killing his enemy, and doesn't believe that anything will go wrong. He sets up the Freeze Ray to hold him in place and the Death Ray to kill him, no one else should be hurt. He also wouldn't need any other weapons and he really hasn't shown to use any other weapons (the car control gadget doesn't count as a weapon). He also fired several warning shots of his Death Ray into the air to scare off everyone who might be hurt. When the Freeze Ray shuts down however, it leads to the explosion and Penny is hit by some of the pieces. Ok, so now Penny has about 15 seconds before she dies. The Freeze Ray has been stated as taking a few minutes to warm up (explaining why it was under the sheet) so even if he did manage to turn it on, it would need time before it started working. He also has never shown to be able to make some kind of Healing Ray. I mean let me ask you something, is it easier to break something (kill) or fix something (heal)? And as stated before, Penny died about 15-30 seconds after the thing exploded, not really giving him enough time to do anything. Even someone with a PHD in Medicine wouldn't be able to do anything, and Dr. Horrible's degree is in Horribleness, not exactly something that would "help" anyone.
  • Why doesn't the DVD have a sing-along version? With the lyrics running along the bottom of the screen? It's got two commentaries, and it's a freaking sing-along blog with no sing-along option.
    • If you bought the DVD, you'd probably seen it on the Web already. If you've seen it before, why would you need lyrics to sing along?
      • What about those of us who live outside America?
    • Try activating the subtitles.
    • Because sing-along titles are fun! The subtitles don't have a bouncing circle or colour-changing text. I'm currently working on a sing-along sing-along version of the songs, with a penny, a hammer, numbered fans, cowboy hat... But am unfortunately stuck as to what a recognizable but low-detail icon would be for Doctor Horrible/Billy (it might have been goggles).
      • Maybe just flip white text to red?
      • You could have a hammer hitting the text.
      • No wait, no you can't. After all, the hammer is his penis.....
      • Wow, that's a mental image I didn't need in my head.
      • Troper, worry not. I will come over to your house with an index card and reveal the lyrics while you sing. I even promise not to snicker if you throw in beer and pizza.
  • It's a little thing, but there's a typo in one of the newspaper headlines: "Heroes Girlfriend Murdered." It should be "Hero's", otherwise I always connect it with a certain NBC show...
    • Eh, typos in newspapers happen all the time, but it's not like anyone will murder someone over them....
    • Seems to be a deliberate Running Gag. In the comics, a newspaper spells Dr. Horrible's name as "Horible."
    • Even after he explicitly told that guy it's with two "r"s. Wow.
    • If it makes you feel any better, that's mentioned as something that bother's the makers in the commentary on the DVD.
  • How does Bad Horse sign a phone call? I'm losing sleep here.
    • By having his singing (phantom?) cowboys sing "signed, Bad Horse" at the end.
    • He's Bad Horse, of course.
  • Some of the lyrics don't make sense. Why would a hammer be threatened by a nail? And how is it that you can find every color in the darkness?
    • If Captain Hammer is a literal hammer, what do hammers "beat up"? Nails. His phrasing is characteristically awkward, but he's essentially saying "This victim is tired of his abuse. Now you're the one who's going to be in pain."
      • When nails have death rays, it's hammers that should be concerned.
    • The "hammer, meet nail" line goes along with the whole tongue-in-cheek style of the production (until Penny's death); it makes no sense because Doctor Horrible isn't all that great with words. His metaphors A lot. Maybe. (Like pie!) The hammer/nail one is one of them.
      • Could be that a hammer needs a nail to have a purpose, so the "hammer meet nail" is a formal recognition of nemesis-ness and an invitation to 'try and stop me'. Threatening a hammer with a nail is threatening Hammer with a worthy opponent. Makes sense in my head anyway
      • A hammer bangs nails. And you know "these are not the Hammer..."
    • I didn't get the nail line at first either, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Hammers drive nails. Dr. Horrible is saying that Hammer has essentially created his own enemy and brought his own demise.
    • Also you can find every color in the darkness because black is every color mixed together. Yes I am being too literal.
    • Or even more literally: "darkness" describes conditions of limited light — it need not be taken as the total absence of light. And anywhere even the slightest trace of white light can be found, it can be dispersed by a prism into the colors of the visible spectrum, so Penny's line is true is under most normal conditions of darkness.
    • Compare to Doctor Horrible's goggles. They're black but never pitch black because there's always a little light shining on or even reflecting off them. Darkness, but not total dark. Except for the ending with his new costume, where there seems to be absolutely no light on them-and lets face it, there's no hope of good by that point.
    • I always took it as "even in the darkness, the color's still there. You're just not seeing it."
      • Except that color is the result of light refraction (or something like that),
      • It works better if you interpret color as pigment instead of color as light. It may not be as accurate, but it makes sense.
    • I heard "Hammer me nail" (until I read this and listened a little more closely) which made a little more sense: Capt. Hammer is reduced to a nail, impotent and at Horrible's mercy.

  • Why do people all assume that the Death Ray got damaged from the drop BECAUSE Wonderflonium must not be bounced? As far as we know, the Wonderflonium was only used in the Freeze Ray. It got damaged YES, but no evidence of Wonderflonium is used or suggested anywhere.. Moreover The Death Ray is a modified Stun Ray that Dr.Horrible had beforehand.. as in before his acquiring the hard to find and very unstable substance.
    • Because if that weren't the case, why bother mentioning it must not be bounced? Anyway, it's not really a guess. Take a look at Dr. Horrible's white board where he's calculating how to transform his stun ray into a death ray which can kill even Captain Hammer. There's a word in the lower right hand corner which is underlined twice and seems pretty important. [spoiler: "WONDERFLONIUM"]
      • Re: Mentioning it can't be bounced: Rule of Funny? And, this image on this page shows a clear closeup of part of the whiteboard where you can see "H20 + Wonderflonium = Freeze", so he seems to have blurbed mathematics for both inventions on the board.

  • Wait, so Captain Hammer had a tiny cue card that started with "ness problem"?
    • I can name at least one Ness problem: "PK FIRE!"
      • And it IS a problem, considering he didn't have that attack in his original game...
    • It should be considered that Captain Hammer is an idiot, and considering how unfamiliar he is with his own speech, probably had someone else write it for him.
    • Why not, as long as it leads off of the previous card? The question is why the first card had nothing but "I hate the homeless" on it. Perhaps he had "CAPTAIN HAMMER'S SPEECH" written in large letters at the top of the card.
      • No. "I hate the homeless" was all that would fit on the card. That's why Hammer says "I don't need tiny cue cards!" right before going off script. The cue cards are tiny. That's the whole story.
      • Yet everything else he says before "I don't need tiny cue cards" all fit on the second one. Which was a lot more than nearly three words. This bothered me a bit too - the huge "CAPTAIN HAMMER'S SPEEH" idea makes some sense. Mere cue card size does not.
    • They were index cards anyway.

  • It bugs me how some of the people who think that it's only okay, or only sort of good, think this because they have seen other works by Joss Whedon and thus were able to predict certain events. I saw Dr. Horrible without seeing anything else by Joss Whedon (unless you count Toy Story), and it came as a shocking surprise. I don't think that your knowledge of the author should affect your impression of the quality of the work.
    • Hi, you must be new to the Internet. Some fans are just like that.
    • Sudden pointless love interest death has become a Joss Cliche and thus people who see his other works know that Penny or Billy will either die or have terrible shit piled on them.
      • See your doctor about SPLID.
  • This troper has seen all of Firefly, including the movie, and did NOT see Penny's death coming. CURSE YOU WHEDON!
    • Same here. I wasn't absolutely shocked and stunned - I watched Serenity, after all - but I didn't expect the death, either.
  • The Bad Horse messages basically tell Dr. Horrible that he needs only to pull off a major crime, and when he fails at that, he has to kill at least one person to be in the ELE. Okay, those things are bad on their own, but think about it: if that's all that's required to gain entrance into the Evil League of Evil, why are there only a handful of members? There are tons upon tons of serial killers in the world, and it's implied that one doesn't even have to murder to get in- have none of the world's (or even just the country's) murderer population tried to join the ELE? What Dr. Horrible did was, well, horrible, but there are certainly people who've killed many more people in sickening ways.
    • It's been suggested that the Evil League of Evil is a very regional organization — and besides, entrance requirements =/= anyone who fulfills this WANTS to join.
    • The Evil League of Evil is for supervillains. Not just anybody who happens to kill somebody.
      • Indeed, Dr Horrible was good on a number of counts except that he didn't want to kill people. Bad Horse most likely just picked the requirement he hadn't filled yet, not just the only one.
    • Or it could be what we see it the top level, because Horrible is one of the few to utterly defeat a nemesis.
    • Dr. Horrible had a letter of condemnation from the mayor. That's gotta count for something.
      • Deputy mayor
    • In a world where the only law enforcement you need is Captain Hammer, who's Too Dumb to Live, there probably aren't very many really bad people out there.
    • Dr. Horrible had already sent in his application to the ELE, and it was under review. Bad Horse sent the letter to say he was being monitored, and if he committed a crime, he'd pretty much be accepted. After his Wonderflonium heist was interrupted by Captain Hammer, his application was in jeopardy, and at that point the only way he could bring it back up to scratch was with a murder.
    • So why was the ELE so insistent that Horrible assassinate someone, then settle for "being indirectly responsible for the accidental death of a bystander"? That doesn't take much. And it looks like he ended up not only joining but ending up in the inner circle, if that shot of him walking in to the meeting and closing the door is anything to go by.
      • I always assumed that the ELE didn't know it was an accident. They probably get a lot of their info through the news, and if you listen during the scene where Dr. Horrible is holding Penny's body, there's a voice in the background asking, "Doctor Horrible, why did you kill her?" and other similar statements. They may have assumed the Doctor Horrible was extremely desperate to get into the ELE and when his freeze ray plan failed, he shot an innocent bystander.
      • I take it that Bad Horse is more insightful leader that he seems. He doesn't need just formal characteristics of the future members of ELE, but rather their true evillness. He insisted on murder, 'cause that what would make Billy think there's no way back. That was test made specifically for him, other candidates could have faced other demands. Why Bad Horse was OK with an accidental death? Because it was a death of Horrible's love interest and only Morality Pet. After her death he's left empty inside, slid to darkness and became suitable for ELE.
      • I thought maybe they let him in not because of the death of Penny, but because of the death of Billy. Doctor Horrible had to "kill" Billy's kindness and sympathy in order for him to get over Penny and truly become evil. He murdered the good part of himself. Perhaps that qualifies.
    • The way I see it, there are different levels of the organization. For example, there is mention of a Henchman Union so Henchman may be the bottom level or workers for hire by the ELE. However, villains performing a great crime or killing someone most likely gets you into the ELE along with a good resume, but maybe not in the higher ranks. However, Dr. Horrible didn't just kill anyone, he killed the girlfriend of the city's hero and reduced the hero to a crying mess. You then see him perform a few acts of villainy (like when he robbed the bank), which may have eventually allowed him to join the inner circle, as you never know how much time passes between Penny being killed and him entering the ELE.
    • In a world where Captain Hammer can do whatever he likes and still be hailed as a hero, it takes more guts to commit a public murder than it does in a world with a more "catch and release" crime-and-punishment system. I'm not saying Cap would pop off your skull with his thumbs... but I wouldn't want to be the first one to see whether he would or not.
  • Is this troper the only one bothered by the fact that Captain Hammer, of all people, has a bill for four sweater-vests?
    • Honestly? This troper always thought that Captain Hammer had stolen the bill from Billy, that it was a bill of Billy's that had fallen out of his pocket while he was Dr. Horrible. Or something. Granted, it has been a while since I watched the good Dr., so I am most likely wrong. Unless it's never stated, and I claim to WMG it goes!
      • But if he gets it dry-cleaned, he can't go to the Laundromat to see Penny!
      • Sure he can. Maybe the dry-cleaning place is nearby. And after all, dry-cleaning is expensive and would be gratuitous for most clothes. Using a dry-cleaning service does not eliminate the need for more mundane forms of clothes-cleaning.
  • Does anyone else get the "gay best friend" vibe when Penny and Billy are talking?
    • That's probably due to Neil Patrick Harris. I personally don't get that. I get nice guy vibes.
    • This was the first thing I thought of when I saw it. He just seems like the gay friend, considering he's not making any moves at all.
    • He's just both obviously much too shy and afraid of socializing (even his idea of how to play at being "cool" is pretending to be aloof and uncaring, not bold), and a hopeless romantic (if the Imagine Spot bits of "Freeze Ray" are any indication) to ever make the first move. Especially since if his Beavis-like reaction to seeing her bra in her laundry basket in his prequel comic is any indication, he's probably also been too shy with every other woman he's ever liked to ever have any real experience. The first time she ever makes a move, when she seems to be leaning in to kiss him, he does start to go for it as well... until she ruins the mood by mentioning Hammer, of course.
  • Why is Penny sharing all these details about herself and her love life to some guy she sees at the laundromat?
    • If the Darkhorse Comic is to be believed, during "Freeze-Ray" when he mumbles, she thinks "Did the cute guy just try to talk to me". She even says how weird they've never spoken before, implying she also has been trying to work up the nerve to talk to Billy.
  • Whats up with the Mayor having to be forced to donate the building to the homeless, but spending an obvious amount building a large statue for Captain Hammer there instead of using that money to help them instead?
    • Well it was Captain Hammer himself who persuaded the mayor to donate the building. "Hey, my girlfriend wants to use that building as a homeless shelter. And because I'm a nice guy and want to help and stuff, I thought I might ask you for a favor. Oh, and you know what, maybe you should put a statue of me there, so that everybody remembers who takes care of justice around here." Then he "signs" the deal. With his fist.
  • Dr. Horrible refuses to fight in a park because there might be kids there. But in the comics, he blows up every parking meter in the city. Wouldn't that be a lot more likely to hurt a kid?
    • Hypocrisy, in a villain? INCONCEIVABLE!
    • The situations are different: He didn't think Johnny Snow was worth putting kids in danger and his true nemesis endangers civilians that aren't attractive women all the time, so it's not farfetched to think that Doctor Horrible thought Johnny would be a bit reckless. With the parking meter he probably figured it was either the parents or the kids own faults when he set up the trap. He doesn't think much of humans in general so it wouldn't be much of a stretch.
    • I always figured he'd been planning to wait until parking hours were over, then blow them up. More money will be in them that way, too. But when he was being hunted by Captain Hammer he panicked and hit upon the first solution he could think of, without stopping to think about whether or not now was a safe time.
  • During A Man's Gotta Do, why the hell didn't Penny just move?!] She had time. They're called legs! You move them back and forth to create a RUNNING motion! To be fair, the plot probably wouldn't have even happened if she had.
  • Can Captain Hammer and Penny just not hear Billy singing a death threat literally right in Hammer's face? I mean their standing right next to him you would think they would react.
    • If you're talking during "Brand New Day", the beginning and end bits of that, at least, were pretty clearly Imagine Spots, if not the entire sequence. (I suppose the middle bit with him throwing darts and gloating in the chair might've actually happened.) the answer would be, no, they couldn't hear him.
    • Because it's a musical.
  • Bad Horse doesn't not ride across the nation, he gallops.
    • Bad Horse is too important to gallop across the country like a savage. He has cars for that.
    • I read this and immediately got the mental image of Bad Horse sitting on the back of another horse while it is running. (I would've said "riding another horse", but...
      • That other horse had failed its entry into the Evil League of Evil. So Bad Horse made him his mare.
    • Bad Horse owns the only stretch limo in the world with a water trough and a manger.
  • If we are to presume that the videoes we see of Doctor Horrible talking to the camera are part of his website, shouldn't this movie be called Doctor Horrible's sing-along vlog.
    • A vlog is a video blog.

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