Headscratchers / ThunderCats (1985)
aka: Thundercats

Just what is Third Earth anyway? Is it our Earth in some point in the future? Or is it an alternate Earth-like planet? Support for the former includes Mumm-Ra's obvious Ancient Egyptian origins and Hachiman being summoned from Feudal Japan, as well as an episode involving the King Arthur legend, where Mumm-Ra disguises himself as King Arthur. Support for the latter is that there is no evidence of human civilization in ruins on Third Earth, and the only sign of a human settlement is the kingdom of the Warrior Maidens.
  • If Hachiman was summoned from Feudal Japan (ie, and not a Fantasy Counterpart Culture thereof), there's no reason to believe that he couldn't have been taken from a different planet as well as a different point in time.
  • Mumm-Ra does mention in an episode that the planet was once known as "First Earth" a long time in the past, and that he was around during that time. The implication was that it was our Earth, civilization had ended at some point, began anew, fell again, and once again rose. So, Thundercats would be a post-post-apocalyptic setting!

If they're all members of the same alien species, why does each individual resemble a different species of Earth cat?
  • Ethnic diversity. Housecats are one species, and look at all the variety. Now, why the names match so wonderfully with the big cats of Earth they resemble is a whole 'nother question.

One thing that always bugged me is the pilot. For about ten minutes or so, there is actual FULL NUDITY! I'm serious, watch it! Where were the censors? Oh, and why is it when we go back in time in subsequent episodes, the inhabitants are actually clothed despite the fact that Jaga implies that the first time they are donning clothes when he hands them clothes?
  • The nudity wasn't full and barely there at all. Not only was Barbie Doll Anatomy in full force, but they're all wearing trunks. Trunks the same color as their skin/fur, but they're there. Now why the Thundarians are suddenly wearing clothes in the flashback is anyone's guess.
    • The creators' assumption was probably that they had short fur, and could therefore be shown without clothes (or nearly so), but if they do have fur, it's so understated you really can't tell.
  • When Lion-O travels back in time, he meets lion-men on Thundera who look a lot more like actual lions than he does. Since the Thundercats were nobles, does this mean that they were a more evolved species of Thunderans?
  • Also, why is Lion-O the only one who ages during cryogenesis? Wily-Kit and Wily-Kat were also children when they went into cryogenesis and they don't age.
    • I think the idea was that Lion-O's cryo pod was damaged when the mutants attacked.
      • Which is kind of a Fridge Horror moment when you think about it. Not only does Lion-O have the mind of a child in the body of a grown man, depending on how much he aged inside the cryo pod he's been cheated out of, what, a good 10-20 years of his life?
        • If I recall right, bumpers on Toonami said he was 24, but mentally 12 due to a stasis malfunction. More importantly, how exactly did he gain that much muscle when there's not even room to stretch his arms inside that pod?
    • I looked for that part when the DVDs came out. They never mention his pod malfunctioning, just that it was a really long time in stasis. I'll have to recheck. The only other option is that Wily Kit and Wily Kat are really small, immature adults. I lean towards malfunction given how everyone treats Wily Kit and Kat.
      • There was one bit between Jaga's death and the crash on Third Earth where it shows a panel of numbered indicator meters (shaped like video game health meters), and one of them is flashing red. This might have been left over from a discarded attempt to say "Lion-O's pod malfunctioned," but that's little more than Wild Mass Guessing on this troper's part and I admit it.
        • Those indicators were for the ship's landing tractor beams, the fourth one of which failed causing the ship to crash-land.
      • I've read (I don't remember where or from whom) a theory that Jaga purposedly programmed Lion-O's pod to age him up a little faster than the others, as the son of Claud-Us was destined to be the Thundercats' leader� and it would be easier and more practical if he weren't a child without the physical strenght needed to lift the Sword of Omens, and if the others didn't have to wait him grow up naturally in a completely unknown planet.
        • For some reason the same idea ocurred to me yesterday. If it's true, it would be Fridge Brilliance.
        • The problem with the above theory is that it would be *wildly* out of character for Jaga to have even contemplated doing anything which risked harming Lion-O, or indeed any of the surviving Thundercats. The ship was badly damaged enough without adding tampering with the suspension capsules into the mix!
          • It is only a problem under the assumption that Jaga damaged or tampered the pod in any way. Since this is running fully into WMG territoy, then the logical extention would be that the pod simply had different stasis options, he chose one below the "full freeze" that allowed Lion-O to age slowly.
    • Ultimately, we're talking about a kid's animated serial here, intended to sell toys (albeit one of the better put-together examples of the era) - there are bound to be plot holes large enough to drive a Mack truck (or indeed a Thundertank) through. I think we've just got to take it as read that Lion-O's capsule didn't work as well as the Thunderkittens', plus the fact that having lion-like traits, the kid was always going to grow up to be huge.
What's a samoflange?

Why did Mumm-Ra and Tashi (or Ta-She or whatever is her name's spelling) seem so surprised when the latter's Hypnotic Eyes didn't work on Cheetara? This didn't seem to be a new power to the villainess, so why that surprise? Had Ta-She/Tashi/whatever never tried it on women before and just (wrongly) assumed it would work on everyone? Had she tried it on a woman before and it worked, possibly because the target was naturally susceptible to female charms (what's not Cheetara's case)?

As strong as Amok is, why don't the other Lunatacs just, y'know, blast him when trying to overthrow Luna instead of stupidly trying the physical approach?

Lynx-O, Pumyra and Bengali's rescue from Thundera & arrival on Third Earth: when exactly was this happening? In the first episode Lion-O and the others had to go into stasis capsules for the trip from Thundera to Third Earth because of the length of the journey. But when Lynx-O, Pumyra and Bengali get picked up randomly by some Ro-Bears, nothing is mentioned about having to go into stasis. Is this just an oversight? Or were they moving at relativistic speeds compared to the others? Yeah, I know I'm overthinking this, but it just bugs me...it would have made more sense if they had reached a Thunderian ship before Thundera exploded and it just got separated from the rest of the convoy right after launch.

Probably the stupid question of the hour, but what exactly was Mumm-Ra's beef with the Thundercats? Was there ever an explicit reason spelled out, or was he just in it For the Evulz?
  • If I recall correctly, at first Mumm-Ra sim´ly wanted the Eye of Thundera for himself, but quickly things escalated into a full hostile feud against the Thundercats, as they were the only people on the Third Planet which actively opposed him.

Alternative Title(s): Thundercats