Series / Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure

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Just add water. Again!

A Spinoff of the popular Australian fantasy series H2O: Just Add Water, Mako Mermaids follows the life of three mermaids and teenage boy turned merman. Sirena, Lyla, and Nixie were three young mermaids charged with protecting the small magical island of Mako during the full moon in order for the rest of their mermaid pod to perform their moon rituals. Unfortunately, young Zac falls into a mystical pool on Mako during a full moon and interrupts the sacred ritual, thus granting him merman powers, but causing the three young mermaids to be cast out of their pod. Equal parts comedy and drama, the series starts off with Sirena, Lyla, and Nixie attempting to remove Zac's powers so as they can rejoin their mermaid family while adjusting to life on land.

As of the second season, a few changes have been made to the cast line-up. Lyla and Nixie have left the show, and are replaced by two new mermaids named Mimmi and Ondina. A new merman, named Erik, is introduced as well. The second season follows the girls' continued efforts to remove Zac's powers, Evie's efforts to adjust to the changes in her life, and Zac and Erik's attempts to uncover the secret of the newfound Merman Cave on Mako Island.

The first through fourth seasons are available on Netflix and also premiered on Disney Channel US on January 18, 2016.

Tropes Found in Mako Mermaids.

  • Act of True Love: Rita, the school principal, turns out to be a mermaid herself. She eventually reveals how, as a teen, she fell in love with a human boy, leaving her pod and living as a human herself to be with him but he died before they could be married. Despite that, Rita is clear she never regretted her choice.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: When the other laugh at how Ondina fell on her ass after Sirena used lightning in their game, she reluctantly joins in.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Nixie starts a fight with Evie over the "perfect shoes" in "Lyla Alone".
  • Ambiguously Evil: Erik appears to be plotting something terrible, but he might just be interested in the Merman Cave because of its significance to merman history. He sets forth a series of actions in the chamber after stealing Zac's powers that put all of the mermaids at risk. Granted he was trying to do it for a good reason, to protect the mermaids with the power, but he completely ignored all evidence to the contrary and lied, schemed, and stole to get that far.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The pod doesn't believe Zac could have fallen from the ceiling as the main trio claim because there's no opening up there. Unless, of course, it was opened by magic. Which is a thing. That the mermaids know about. Because they're magic.
  • Artifact of Doom: It's claimed by the mermaids that the trident is a force of ultimate destruction and evil no matter who wields it. Naturally, it has to be destroyed.
  • Attention Deficit....Ooh, Pretty!: Whenever Weilan goes shopping, she gets distracted by wanting to buy pretty clothes. Even when looking for artifacts that can be used to defeat an all-powerful sea monster.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Ondina accidentally ends up turning Erik into a duplicate of Poseidon when practicing Mimni's duplication spell.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Zac gets one in in the season 1 finale when he stops Cam from destroying the moon pool.
  • Bookcase Passage: In the third episode the girls find one in Principal Rita's home that leads to a secret passage to the sea.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Chris enquires about how Mimmi knew a recently rescued dolphin was about to give birth, Mimmi (who speaks dolphin fluently) replies with complete honesty "I asked her". Chris laughs and assumes she's making a joke.
  • Character Development: Cam's jealousy of the Mermaids and Zac, as well as some abuse he took for the latter turns him against everyone in the first season finale where he nearly destroys the Moon Pool. By the second season he eventually makes up with Zac but gets tempted by Erik to again side against the protagonists. But this time, thanks to Zac and Carly, he keeps his moral center and remains an ally.
  • Continuity Cameo: Rikki Chadwick appears in the Season 3 finale.
  • Continuity Nod: Scenes with Zac are similar to scenes from the original series.
    • Zac drinking floating bubbles of water from the air was originally done by Cleo.
    • Like Emma, Zac had a promising watersports career which was brought to an abrupt end by becoming a merperson.
    • When Zac tries to stop the surprise pool party, he starts to boil all the water in the pool away, which was done by Rikki to get revenge on Miriam for being, well, Miriam.
    • Mimmi and Zac's telepathic connection is identical to the one Neri, Mera and Charley shared in Ocean Girl, allowing them to see what the others were looking at. A double reference since in both cases, the connection is used by siblings.
    • Like Rikki, Evie has only a father, their mother simply isn't around.
    • Evie using her moon ring to automate the domestic chores is similar to a scene from Lightning Point where Zoey uses her Luminan powers to do the same thing. In both cases, frustrated with how long it is taking, they decide to use an turboboost and naturally, it goes horribly wrong.
    • Wishful Thinking is an episode-long reference to Lightning Point. They even reuse one of the stock photo props.
    • Like Cleo, Mimmi gets a job at the local water park that involves using a cart to sell merchandise. And whenever they are rostered to feed animals near water pools, the level of waterproofing clothing they wear causes the other employees to wonder if they are mildly eccentric/crazy.
    • Season 3 of both mermaid shows has the local hangout purchased with funds provided by the father of a male character (Zane and Cam) in order to save it from permanent closure with the additional motivation of intending this to give their sons business management experience. And the first decision of the new co-owner is to add a house band.
  • Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: Twice. The trident was supposed to "never be unlocked again", and later, when Lyla hides it, it takes Zac all of an episode and a half to find it again.
  • Dawson Casting: Compared to H2O:Just Add Water all the main characters look older (and much fitter) despite supposed to be the same age as the characters in the original series. When Rikki appears in the season finale, even though it's supposed to happen around 5-10 years after the parent series' season finale, she looks barely older than the current main characters.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Lyla is definitely the harshest of the three leads at first.
    • Ondina qualifies as well.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: When Zac asks Weilan to teach him Turn the Tide, this is how his training session goes. She makes him practice the basic stance 180 times without pausing while she does nothing more then sits on a rock and counts how many times he does it correctly.
  • Elemental Powers: Much like in the original series, Mermaids have a whole host of sea and storm related powers that allow them to control water and wind.
  • First Law Of Thermodynamics: Blown to pieces between the nineteenth episode and the twenty-third. The trident charges up by partially draining one moonring, is used a few times, and yet it still has enough power to charge up three moonrings.
  • Freudian Trio: in the first few episodes it seems that Nixie is the Id, Lyla is the Superego, and Sirena mediates between the two, but the remainder of the series seems to have Lyla and Nixie reverse roles.
  • Great Offscreen War: Sometime before the start of the show, there was a great war between mermaids and mermen, which is why most of them today have considerable animosity for one another.
  • Humanity Ensues: When they first become human, the girls have a hard time figuring out walking and spend their first episodes getting used to human traits from what to eat to going to the bathroom.
  • Humans Are Smelly: One mermaid, after living on land for a while, comments that land people are actually quite bearable...once you get used to the strange smell.
  • Idiot Ball: Everyone gets a turn passing it to each other at times. Literally half the plot problems and conflicts in the first season are misunderstandings that could be solved by the characters stopping the "We can't explain it/It's too complicated" justification and actually explaining things to each other. It gets especially bad when characters refuse to explain the fantasy elements to those who are already aware of the in-series magic to begin with.
  • Jerkass: David's brother, Joe. Just in his first appearance, he sees an unusual blip on sonar (a mermaid) and decides he just has to chase it down and find out what it is despite it obviously doing its level best to get away from him. He also treats David like shit at every opportunity, even callously taking his share of the cafe out, forcing David to close, because he thinks he can make more money buying new equipment for his trawler.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Cam can be a Manipulative Bastard, but when he says he feels thrown under the bus a lot for being a thankless Secret Keeper and his wishes to be let in on on the magic have merit.
  • I Am Who?: It turns out that the reason Zac is able to manipulate the Merman Cave is because he was always a merman, and the trip to the moon pool broke the spell keeping him human.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: At the end of the third season all the mermaids experience this when Erik activates the merman chamber.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Just like the original series, whenever the Mako Mermaids, or Zac, Evie, Erik or Rita get splashed with water, they only have 10-seconds before they sprout their tails.
  • Island Base: The mermaids use Mako Island as their go-to hideout.
  • Island of Mystery: Mako Island is home to a number of weird things, including the Moon Pool, the Merman Cave, and the cave that leads to the trident's storage area.
  • Lady Land: Mermen exist, but are sent to live among humans, leaving only the females in the pod. After helping save the island from Erik's power trip, Zac is admitted into the pod.
  • Lethal Chef: In an attempt to calm Mimmi's hostile mood, Ondina makes crab pancakes for her as a peace offering. Not only are they charcoal burned, they're hard as a rock too. And apparently this is a common occurrence, whenever she prepares food, immediately a vote is cast unanimously to go and eat at the Ocean Cafe.
  • Local Hangout: The Ocean café.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Late in Season 2, Zac and Mimmi learn that they are siblings.
  • Love Triangle: Type 4, at least early on. Carly likes David, but David and Sirena are clearly head over heels for each other.
  • Lunacy: Genuine mermaids (Evie is not one) get the energy for their magic from the Moon Pool, and one can become a mermaid (or in Zac's case, regain his merman powers) by being in the Moon Pool on a full moon. Furthermore, inexperienced merfolk can be overwhelmed by the full moon's power, lapsing into a trance or drugged-like state.
  • Magical Girl: Seven of them, and two magical boys.
  • Magic Pants: During the shift from human to merfolk form not only do clothes disappear until they become human again but any hair decorations and hair spray also disappear, leaving the transformee's hair untied. Only moon rings are shown to carry over during the transformation, likely due to their magical nature.
  • Magnetic Plot Device: For some reason, the mermaids just can't seem to keep people off Mako Island.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Cam becomes this in the final three episodes of the first season.
  • Meaningful Name: By the boatload. Nixie is a Germanic water creature much like a mermaid. Sirena is related to the Greek Sirens, which are sometimes mistaken for mermaids. One origin of the name Lyla is a term to refer to someone who is from an island. "Ondina" is a genus of sea snails.
  • Mermaids Out of Water: The girls' first voyage on land is a literal interpretation of this trope.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Zac falling into the Mako pool certainly isn't the girls' fault, but the other mermaids assume it is and banish them.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Zac and Erik, by virtue of being mermen.
  • Never Say "Die": Even when the crisis at hand is all the mermaids dying, the euphemism "destroyed" is used.
  • Not-So-Forgotten Birthday: Zac plans a secret surprise birthday for Evie, but by pretending he'd forgotten, he actually causes her to become depressed. It gets more complicated when Mimmi is recruited unexpectedly to keep Evie from going to where the party is being set up, given her almost complete ignorance of human customs.
  • One-Gender Race: Averted in Season 2, when it's revealed that mermen are alive and well - they just live separately from mermaids.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: Only a "true" merman can get into the merman cave.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: It is an indication of how bad your personal relationship with Mimmi is when she stops being nice, opting for direct animosity or confrontation.
  • Organic Bra: In mermaid form, the girls have scales in exactly the same pattern as a bra, complete with straps. The merman on the other hand only have scales on their tail.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Like in the original series and films like Splash, a dry mermaid has human legs and a wet mermaid has fins. Mermaids also hold Elemental Powers and magic, and there are different varieties of regional mermaid. At their top speed, they look like torpedoes zipping through the water, and Nixie states that she can swim all day and night without stopping.
  • Power Incontinence: Happens when mermaids get colds, as it turns out.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Cariba Heine returns as Rikki in the fourth season.
  • Running Gag:
    • Carried over from the original series, a merperson falling to the ground if the transformation is unexpected.
    • A mermaid seeing Poseidon (Rita's pet cat) for the first time, reacting with panic, and usually screaming. Subverted with Weilan, who loves cats and immediately starts cuddling him.
  • Scenery Censor: In Season 1 Episode 2 "Getting Legs", when Sirena, Nixie, and Lyla first get their legs, the camera pans away from them and a conveniently placed tree branch hides the fact that the girls are naked.
  • Secret Keeper: Cam is this for Zac. It's particularly hard for him to be so, because Zac initially wants to reveal his powers and be a superhero. Lyla manipulates events so the mermaids also become this for Zac, but they already knew he was a merman.
  • Shirtless Scene: Just scroll through a random episode and you're guaranteed to find at least one of these.
  • Shout-Out: They really like their The Little Mermaid references.
    • Aquata is the name of another mermaid who was also a sister of a main character (Ariel) in the Little Mermaid.
    • Erik also shares a name with a Little Mermaid character.
    • In season 3, they keep using the phrase "little mermaids" when referring to Ondina's students (she was given the job of teaching junior mermaids).
  • Smug Snake: Cam and Zac are this for quite a while.
  • Spoiler Opening: The fact that Erik is a merman might have been a pretty major plot twist if they hadn't shown him with a tail in the opening credits.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Down-to-earth and cautious Nixie, for Emma; naive Sirena, for Cleo (with better non-magic singing skills, actually); and stubborn and impulsive Lyla, for Rikki.
  • The Chosen One: Zac. He is openly called it towards the end of the second season and the last episode of season two is even called The Chosen One.
  • Wham Line: "Do you realise what would happen if the son of Nerrisa controls the power of this place?"
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