Series: The Thundermans

The Thundermans is a live-action comedy based on a suburban family of super humans. The series was created by Jed Spingarn. It debuted on October 14, 2013 on the Nickelodeon network.

The show focuses on a 14 year old set of twins named Phoebe and Max, the former a super heroine (in training) and the latter a super villain (so he says). Together, they learn to get through life with their superhero parents Barb and Hank and two younger siblings Nora and Billy.

It now crosses over with network sister show The Haunted Hathaways.


Tropes found in this series include:

  • Academy of Evil: Max hopes to go to a school for supervillains.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Gender inverted that Max has fallen for a bad girl who happens to be the sister of the boy Phoebe is crushing on.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Barb is known to regularly spend over $400 on a single pair of shoes. Phoebe berates Max when his failed plan to revert the mutant plant to normal ruins her "favorite pair of flats".
  • Bad Future: Glimpsed in Winter Thunderland, when Hank and Barb are Drunk on the Dark Side, Phoebe becomes an Alpha Bitch who literally rules her high school with an iron fist, Billy goes From Nobody to Nightmare (and turns Max into a Talking Animal who he forces to live in a cage and starves, after he takes over his lair), and Nora straddles the fence between being a Crazy Homeless Person and a Homeless Hero (living in the family's old home with only beans to eat, and dolls with her family's faces) because she refused to turn evil like the others.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Dr. Colosso was a notorious supervillain that Thunderman turned into a rabbit.
  • Big Red Button: The Max 10 missile had a nice, big, shiny, red launch button.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family
  • Black Sheep: Max is a supervillain in a family of superheroes.
  • Brand X: Phoebe and Max want to buy the new Me Phone.
  • Breath Weapon: Phoebe and Max have ice and heat breath.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Darcy Wong threatens Nora and would have been on the receiving end of a literal Death Glare if Phoebe hadn't intervened to stop her sister.
  • Call Back: Just before Nora lands on Billy after coming down the slide in Ditch Day, he says "Not again", a reference to this happening priorly in Adventures in Supersitting.
  • Clark Kenting: Played with, in that Hank's hero code-name is 'Thunder Man', and his last name is... Somehow, very few people make the connection.
    • Maybe because in the Thunderman's universe, Thunder Man was so famous that people take his name as a surname, the way people change their names to other famous person's names.
    • Probably averted in The Haunted Thundermans, as Hank and Barb take the kids with them to New Orleans specifically because they fear the Green Ghoul would come to their home (which means that he would know to track the family from Metroberg to Hiddenville).
  • Cutting the Knot: When Phoebe activates the self-destruct in Max's lair, trapping them inside with metal plates impervious to their superpowers and attempting to shutdown the countdown via computer command only decreases the time until detonation, Phoebe's solution is to smash the computer controlling the countdown with a sledgehammer.
  • Deface of the Moon: Max '"babysits" his younger siblings by getting them to help carve his initials in the moon. It is revealed at the end of the episode what was actually written is Nora Rules.
  • Dumb Blonde: Phoebe's best friend Cherry is one of these.
  • Evil Twin: Max is this to Phoebe.
  • Eye Beams: Nora's power.
  • Expy: Dr. Colosso is one of Salem.
  • Extracurricular Enthusiast: Phoebe loves going to school and participating in the big math competition.
    • She also really wanted to become a cheerleader, and didn't take losing out gracefully.
  • Flying Brick: Thunderman's superpower set.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Dr. Colosso is a combination of number eight and nine (and if you go with the Alternate Character Interpretation that Hank took Colosso in to protect him instead of throwing him into jail, one and three apply as well). Seriously, allowing your son to room with a former supervillain who actually has the means to leave at will, if he chooses, but sticks around and actually cares about the boy? Hank and Barb want to keep the rabbit close at hand for some reason...
  • Funny Background Event: "Crime After Crime" is an episode that has many of these as a running gag. The kitchen blackboard has "Welcome to the upside down episode written on it" which you can only read if you rotate the image to be the correct way up. During the episode, many background props are briefly inverted.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Delivered by Dr. Colosso to Max in Max's Minions - along with an Armor-Piercing Slap - when Max whines about his former minions getting the better of him. And it is beautiful to witness.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Happens in the The Haunted Hathaways crossover when the Green Ghoul possesses Chad and then Phoebe.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Dr.Colosso
  • Harmless Freezing: Both siblings posses this power, and is a Running Gag in the series. In both the first and the fourteenth episode its a plot point.
  • Impact Silhouette: When Phoebe tells her younger siblings not to say "science fair" while Max is in the house, they shout it out at the top of their lungs. Upon hearing this, Max comes running only to slip on the freshly washed floor and leave his mark through the wall.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Max's relationship with Phoebe is definitely adversarial, but he genuinely cares about her happiness as he occasionally makes self-sacrificing gestures for her benefit.
    • We also see this in The Haunted Thundermans, when he talks Taylor up to her boyfriend after almost causing their breakup.
  • Large Ham: Hank Thunderman is still hamming it up in retirement.
  • Lethal Chef: Barb is one of these. To the extent that her children come up with ways to pretend they are eating her cuisine when they are really throwing it into the garbage and sometimes secretly destroying the cooking appliances when her culinary skills fail more then is normal for this trope.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Max mutates Phoebe's plant from school into this.
  • The Masquerade: implied (in The Haunted Thundermans) that superheroes are part of keeping the secret of ghosts, which includes policing them in the human (physical?) world. The Hero League is in charge of catching dangerous ghosts, and Phoebe & Max are aware of the numerical system of ranking ghosts' power levels.
  • Mean Boss: Mrs Wong is one of these when Phoebe and Max are hired to work at her pizza parlor.
  • Mundane Utility: The opening of the pilot revolves around all the kids using their powers to set the table for dinner. This is a common theme throughout the series.
  • Mind over Matter: Both Max and Phoebe's most common power.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Max pulls a successful one on Phoebe, following her responding to their escalating prank war. However it ends up backfiring, as Phoebe gets so Paranoid she tries to end the war by pranking herself and ends up causing Max's lab to start the self-destruct countdown and locking them both in it.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: The only traits Phoebe and Max share are their powers.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Pheobe sometimes sees her family's powers as a hindrance and wishes she did not have them.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Max would rather be the world's best super villian than second best superhero to his sister.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Max's evil lair has one.
  • Shock and Awe: Barb's power.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Max and Phoebe's feuding is the most obvious, but all four have some form of rivalry between them.
  • Spandex, Latex, or Leather: The superhero costumes are mainly of the campy spandex variety.
    • Max often wears a leather jacket as part of his regular street clothes.
  • Sticky Situation: Hank and Billy get themselves stuck to the flypaper they laid down to catch their newspaper thief.
  • Superhero School: Phoebe is preparing for Superhero University.
  • Super Speed: Billy's power.
  • Terrible Artist: Phoebe is one of these, but believes she is artistically gifted, in spite of a low grade in art (which came as a shock!) and her friends telling her she is not.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Max.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The previews for "Report Card" show Dr.Colosso as the paper thief, even though finding the thief is an episode long side plot.
  • True Companions: in Blue Detective, we see that Max and Dr. Colosso truly care about one another. The rest of the Thundermans find this deeply disturbing.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Shaping up like this, but as they're technically trainee superheroes, it's more save whatever they've caused to go wrong.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A great deal of Max's insecurities (and probably the reason why he'd doing the whole supervillain phase) is simply to get attention from his parents, who obviously favor Phoebe over him.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: The plot ofr "Winter Thunderland" where the three Christmas spirits show what would happen if he tried to ruin Christmas for Nora.
  • You Are Not Alone: What Max tells Dr. Colosso to cheer him up in Blue Detective, after he confesses to his blue-coloring prank to drive Max and his latest love-interest apart.