Absurdly Long Limousine: This was a recurring element of the show. An enormous white limousine that is several windows long and takes a few seconds to cross the whole screen is always the Mayor's ride of choice in times of leisure. He rides in the back.
A Day in the Limelight: Some episodes aren't particularly centered around the Girls themselves, but more around the quirky side-characters or villains, sometimes pushing the Girls to the sideline. "Custody Battle" in particular doesn't feature the Girls at all, just focusing on HIM and Mojo's attempts to take custody over the Rowdyruff Boys.
Alphabetical Theme Naming: All three girls have names beginning with B. This even extends to temporary members (Bunny, Bullet) as well as both sets of evil counterparts, the Rowdyruff Boys (Brick, Boomer, and Butch), the Powerpunk Girls (Berserk, Brat, and Brute) and the girls in the dream sequence where they were normal (Bertha, Beatrice and Betty).
In the episode, "Equal Fights", Femme Fatale avoids capture by the girls by claiming to be commiting crimes in the name of women's rights. To counter this, Ms. Bellum and Ms. Keane gather several female Townsville residents to talk to the girls:
Bank Teller: Was Femme Fatale looking out for me when she stole from my bank?
Policewoman: Was she looking out for me when she broke my arm?
Teenager: Was she looking out for me when she stole my hairstyle? (everyone glares at her) Well, she did!
Another episode shows Mojo Jojo robbing a bank, a jewelry shop and... a DVD store.
In the episode, "Impeach Fuzz", when the Girls and Ms. Bellum try to convince The Mayor to take back his rightful position, they tell him that Fuzzy won't let the Girls fight crimes, has turned his office into a literal example of a pigsty, is tarnishing the image of what it is to be the Mayor, and is wearing his hat. The Berserk Button section below makes it pretty clear which one of these is The Mayor's.
From the episode, "Just Desserts", when Mrs. Smith shows Mr. Smith the features of the Smith Family Mini-van:
Mrs. Smith: All terrain slash-proof white-wall tires, blinding 3000-watt headlights, five turbo jet engines for optimum speed, six liquid titanium rocket launchers, rotating laser cannon turret, and a spacious leather interior that comfortably seats a family of four.
In the episode, "Not So Awesome Blossom", one of Mojo Jojo's robots destroys the Museum of Fine Arts, the Opera House, and a 98Ę store.
In the episode, "I See a Funny Cartoon in Your Future", Madame Argentina goes to a voodoo shop and buys three voodoo dolls of the Powerpuff Girls, a box of pins, and a box of gumdrops.
In "Get Back, Jojo", while Mojo Jojo is traveling through time, the art becomes pencil sketches.
"Substitute Creature", as noted above.
The Lucky Captain Rabbit King Nuggets commercial in "Jewel of the Aisle" is drawn and animated in a fuller, more cartoony manner so it could realistically mimic the actual Trix Rabbit commercials.
For the Powerpuff Girls Rule special the show switched Adobe Flash, allowing for a lot more quicker paced animation.
The 2014 special went full CGI, giving the show a rather unique paper-mache style look. Not only that, but gives the girls a massive re-design as well.
As Themselves: "The Powerpuff Girls' Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever" simply focuses on them playing in their room, pretending to be... The Powerpuff Girls. Subverted as they all switch roles and even dragoon the very annoyed professor into playing Bubbles. Watching them run around singing their own theme tune turns the adorable Up to Eleven.
Asskicking Equals Authority: So, the Mayor has lost the elections, and Fuzzy is the new mayor? No problem! Win a boxing fight against him, and the mayor is mayor again! Why bother with impeachments or new elections? Who cares about what the people has voted?
Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: A variation — in one episode, the Gangreen Gang occupies city hall while the Mayor's away and use his hotline to sic the Powerpuff Girls at Fuzzy Lumpkins, Mojo Jojo and HIM, who are all having days off. Although the Powerpuff Girls never catch on to the fact that the Mayor's an impostor, the villains quickly do, tracking down the Gangreen Gang and delivering a(n) (un)righteous smackdown onto them. The Narrator is forced to declare that "So Once Again, the Day Is Saved, thanks to... Mojo, Fuzzy and HIM...?"
Balloon Belly: The girls and the Mayor after eating the whole candy jar in "Candy is Dandy".
Bat Signal: The Powerpuff signal, though it's very rarely used.
Batman Can Breathe in Space: Although they wore space suits in "Uh Oh Dynamo" and the beginning of "Helter Shelter", the girls are perfectly capable of breathing, talking and even hearing sounds from Earth while in space.
Becoming the Mask: In one episode, a thief attempts to steal a cereal box from the girls that a priceless diamond managed to find its way into (long story) by dressing up as the cereal's mascot, the Lucky Captain Rabbit King. After many failed attempts, he breaks down, crying out "I ONLY WANTED SOME CEREAL!" The girls finally relent and give him the box and he immediately starts scarfing down the cereal, forgetting about the diamond inside. Three guesses what happens next...
"FUZZY! You can throw away my things, and I don't mind the hay on the floor, and the chicken wire's a nice touch, and I kinda like that beat-up old flivver. But no one, I mean no one, wears my mayorin' hat! Now give it back!"
Bubbles in the pilot, when Fuzzy Lumpkins turns one of her pigtails into a chicken leg. The Narrator goes to great lengths to describe the hours she spends brushing and conditioning it.
Also, under any circumstances, do not come between the girls and their candy. Mojo learned this the hard way and was practically beaten to an inch of his life as a result.
Mojo Jojo does not like having his ideas stolen, as the alien invader in "Forced Kin" learned to his sorrow.
Beware the Superman: All the girls has shown shockingly signs of a possible future Face-Heel Turn. Buttercup is extremely violent and has got a taste for money - and certain boys. Snake has already tried to exploit that flaw with big success. Blossom will do anything to please even if it crosses the line. Bubbles, as mentioned above can be even more violent if she will. The biggest concern is their affection for candy. Poor Mojo indeed
Judge: You, Mojo Jojo, are hereby sentenced to teaching a knowledge extension course at Townsville Community College!
Mojo Jojo: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! By which I mean I cannot do it.
"Fallen Arches": Captain Righteous and Lefty confront the Ministry of Pain. The Captain lets out a big no as he runs towards Lefty who just hurt his hip. However, he hasn't reached his sidekick yet so he shouts it again.
The comic book story "Steal A Meal" (Cartoon Network Block Party #26) has the girls doing a tearful Big "NO!" upon learning that after all the breakfast cereal in town had been stolen the only thing left was oatmeal.
"Mime For A Change": Bubbles performs a great Big "NO!"
Big "Shut Up!": In "Los Dos Mojos", when Bubbles (who, thanks to amnesia, thinks she's Mojo Jojo) rants that she is the real Mojo Jojo, the real real Mojo shouts at her, "Oh, shut up!" before walloping her with an I-beam that caused her to lose her memory in the first place (only this time, she is cured).
Brick Joke: In "Candy is Dandy," the mayor offers to reward the girls by making them a statue or by declaring a Powerpuff Girls Day, to which they decline both. Guess what happens in the very next episode.
Bullying a Dragon: A lot of people seem to feel that they can push these walking titans without consequence; A couple of young, snarky residents of the Town Of Citysville seem to forget entirely that the only thing keeping them alive is the girls' sense of right and wrong—and they push Buttercup worst of all.
City of Weirdos: The citizens of Townsville are so used to having the girls fighting giant monsters, that they simply ignore when one goes on a rampage. An entire episode focuses on a typical day in the life of Mojo Jojo, who does mundane tasks without anybody giving him a second thought.
One of Cartoon Network's Bumpers called "Born and Raised in Townsville" brings attention to this by following a "normal" townsville citizen on his way to work as various bad things happen to him, with it ending with him telling his wife over the phone that nothing interesting happened to him.
The City vs. the Country: In "Town and Out", the Utonium family moves to the metropolis of Citiesville, only to realize that it can't compare to Townsville, their original home.
Clip Show: Subverted and parodied partway through.
Comic Book Adaptation: DC Comics—70 regular issues, plus two issues of Cartoon Network Starring (their first two comic appearances), the movie adaptation, 21 appearances in Cartoon Network Block Party, 3 appearances of Cartoon Network Action Pack (Rowdyruff Boys stories—the boys appeared in four issues) and four volumes of reprinted stories. Series creator Craig McCracken drew and co-wrote the first CN Starring issue. IDW is now rebooting the comic in both new stories and reprints from DC.
Buttercup: Wow, where did you get that giant match? Blossom: Same place I got the giant jar, silly! Episode 2, Season 1, remember?
Contrived Clumsiness: When the girls had to accidentally add Chemical X to their own "perfect little girl" concoction.
Blossom: Oh, look at what I found, girls: Chemical X. Bubbles: Be careful with that Chemical X. Buttercup: Yes, Blossom. Whatever you do, do not drop that Chemical X. Blossom: Don't worry, I wo— (tosses Chemical X into bowl) Whoops. I accidentally dropped the Chemical X, and it fell into the concoction. Girls:' Oh, no.
Cowboy Episode: One episode is basically a normal episode of the show, but in the Old West. The girls become the Steamypuff Girls. Titled "West In Pieces," the episode was hated by virtually all the Powerpuff fan community yet it still won an Emmy (special juried award for Outstanding Achievement in Animation).
Department of Redundancy Department: Mojo Jojo. That is to say, he speaks in a manner that is highly repetitive and frequently says things that he has already said at an earlier point in time and is now redundantly saying again, thus causing the audience to wonder if they are hearing the same thing multiple times, for they are hearing dialogue that they have already been exposed to, for he has already said it. He does go the extra mile to deny it:
Mojo Jojo[after hearing Bubbles speak like him]: I do not talk like that! The way I communicate is much different! I do not reiterate, repeat, reinstate the same thing over and over again! I am clear, concise, to the point!
Destructive Savior: Whenever the girls go "save the day," their fights with the bad guys and monsters often end up leveling quite a few buildings in Townsville. Taken Up to Eleven in the debut episode of the Dynamo Humongous Mecha; they caused such a great deal of damage to the city in the process of stopping the monster that the Mayor and the rest of the citizens ordered them never to use the Dynamo again.
Development Gag: The designs of the Run-of-the-Mill Girls from "Oops, I Did It Again" were based on redesigns Craig McCracken came up with after the early pilot received negative test audience reactions due to the girls' bug-like designs.
Didn't See That Coming: In the episode "Sweet n Sour", three cute animals - a puppy, kitten, and rabbit - are brainwashing the whole city of Townsville, except for the girls, of course, with their obviously cute faces, thus also causing a backlash on the girls due to their doubts on the animals. However, when they walk into a building which they think is a bank, they find it's a school filled with children who love the animals to near-death, thus delivering the message of how too much of something isn't always good. Of course, after the children leave, it is revealed that their receiving too much love was set up by the girls.
In the episode "Bought and Scold", Princess Morbucks takes over as Mayor of Townsville and passes a law legalizing crime, just so she could put the girls out of business. However, she apparently didn't realize that with crime being legal, she herself could be robbed as well, which is obviously one of the reasons why the girls thought of the idea of robbing her blind.
The law by function is useless as well: If the girls saves the day they're committing vigilante which her law clearly specify as a crime.
Also, in the episode "Birthday Bash", the Amoeba Boys send the girls voodoo dolls of the girls themselves without realizing that they were supposed to keep the dolls in order to make them work.
Mojo Jojo's first attack involved turning the world and the girls into dogs. He was beaten when Buttercup ran up the platform bit him in the behind. In another episode, he does almost the same thing, then he plays a video recording of the first event to the girls and explains that he won't turn them into dogs this time, and he installed butt armor to prevent getting bitten again. Mojo got so wrapped up on how he was beaten previously he forgot to disable or weaken the girls this time and they beat him up as usual.
Disappointed By The Motive: In "Just Desserts", a follow-up to the episode, "Supper Villain", Mrs. Smith and her children join her husband in helping him eliminate the Powerpuff Girls, following his release from prison. After the girls defeat them in a showdown, Mrs. Smith explains that her motive for wanting to destroy the girls was not really because they drove her husband insane or sent him to prison, but because they ruined her dinner. As the girls point out, that's not a good reason for wanting revenge on them at all.
Also used in issue #2 of the comic book ("Buttercup's Boyfriend"). HIM gives a boy a belt that sends out a beam that makes whoever it hits hate everyone. It hits Bubbles, but because she's filled with so much love, it short circuits her and knocks her unconscious. Blossom and (reluctantly) Buttercup verbally announce their love for Bubbles to revive her.
Roach Coach falls out of a building. While the Girls were shocked because they believed he was a man and they thought they'd killed him, but it turns out he was actually a cockroach in a mechanical suit, so he survived and was captured.
HIM sent plummeting into a bottomless abyss by Buttercup in "Power Noia". Being a recurring villain who can survive As Long as There Is Evil, this doesn't kill him, but it defeats him for the time being.
During the episode where Mojo is hired to babysit the girls, the girls take a level in jerkass and beat him first with pillows, then just regularly beating him, for telling a bad bedtime story.
The bad bedtime story came last, though, and it was because Mojo gave up his original plan in exasperation: first, Mojo had been planning to use his authority as babysitter to make the girls help him take over Townsville. One presumes the girls were beating him for his failed villainous plan, not for the bedtime story.
Combined with Minor Injury Overreaction, the two-parter episode about a meek husband trying to be a villain and horribly failed for it... the wife was MAD and ANGRY at the Powerpuff Girls and resort to crime along with the whole family because the Powerpuff Girls ruined her dinner to protect Professor Utonium.
The way Blossom and Bubbles get Buttercup to learn her lesson in "Moral Decay" probably also counts. See below for details.
Do With Her As You Will: In "Moral Decay," Buttercup has amassed a tidy fortune from the tooth fairy for teeth she has accumulated from punching the teeth out of all the robbers. When she attacks the show's main villains unprovoked, Blossom somehow gets wind of it and she and Bubbles help the villains set up an ambush on Buttercup to teach her a lesson.
Buttercup: Uh, guys? A little help here?
Blossom: Sorry, Buttercup. You know what they say. "An eye for an eye..."
Drunk with Power: That episode where The Mayor got tired of relying on The Girls and decided to bring his own brand of justice, riding a balloon and stopping bad guys with an extending boxing glove. It goes to his head...
Election Day Episode: Mayor began campaigning for re-election, though Miss Bellum said he was wasting his time since nobody was running against him... that is, until Fuzzy Lumpkins gets elected simply by yelling, "Shut up!" at Mayor for repeatedly proclaiming, "Vote for Mayor for mayor! Vote for Mayor for mayor!" and it catches on to the citizens of Townsville. After Fuzzy literally turns the mayoral office into a pig stye, Miss Bellum and the Powerpuff Girls work to help the disgraced Mayor get his job back.
Enemy Mime: Rainbow The Clown's alternate personality in "Mime for a Change".
Whenever a hero other than the Powerpuff girls are the focus, they're the ones who saved the day, although in the Daylight Savings episode, the Narrator says the day was saved thanks to Benjamin Franklin.
When the day didn't actually need saving: "And so... uh... hmm..."
When the girls get fed up with the people of Townsville's sheep attitude and force them to destroy a monster without the girls' help: "... the day is saved with no thanks to the Powerpuff Girls. Hey, I did it all by myself!"
When the episode centered around a couple of elderly heroes who were out to fight their out-of-retirement, equally elderly foes, and Blossom refused to allow the girls to intervene. The episode ends with all the old men falling over and breaking various limbs. Instead of the narrator, an in-story newscaster says over the end card "In this reporter's opinion, all this could have been averted if the Powerpuff Girls have just saved the day."
When Mojo Jojo and HIM get into an Eviler than Thou contest to decide who is a better father for the Rowdyruff Boys: "The day is doomed, thanks to the Rowdyruff Boys." It also changes the usual pink-and-hot pink heart background for a black-and-white crossbones and skull one.
Many comic book stories end with the standard hearts-and-stars with the girls posing in front, but like in the show, it can be averted and subverted once in awhile. Among them was "Monkey Business" (issue #67), where Mojo's attempt to go straight and open his own restaurant keeps getting sabotaged by the girls, skeptical of his intentions. The last straw was when Blossom mistakes everybody farting (from Mojo's chili) as a gas leak, causing a frantic evacuation. Frustrated, Mojo goes back to crime, and it ends with the narrator chiding the girls in the hearts/stars panel for making Mojo evil again.
Exact Words: In the episode, "Him Diddle Riddle," Him tells the girls that if they cannot solve all of his riddles within the allotted time, "the Professor will pay." They fail, but it is revealed that the Professor just has to "pay" for breakfast at Him's diner. He'd have gotten a free meal if they'd have succeeded.
Expy: Disney's "Teamo Supremo," Fox Family Channel's "Mega-Babies."
Eye Beams: Hilariously in one episode, a very thick pair of glasses upgrades Bubbles' to Wave Motion Gun levels of power.
And in the earlier seasons, they weren't silly at all. The guns were almost always colored gunmetal gray or brown.
Family Theme Naming: Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup all have cutesy names that start with B and contain a double consonant. When they create a temporary fourth Powerpuff girl, she also fits the pattern, being named Bunny.
Freak Lab Accident: Hilariously lampshaded when, in an attempt to create a fourth Powerpuff Girl, the sisters re-create the circumstances of their origin by elaborately pretending that they're adding the Chemical X to the pot by sheer accident, complete with awkward dialogue delivery.
In the episode "Cootie Gras" our kindergartner heroines are terrified of a boy said to have Cooties. A fact Mojo Jojo uses to keep them at bay until they get over it. Once they do, however, they leave the boy Covered in Kisses, then go kick Mojo's butt.
Also, used in the first episode featuring the Rowdyruff Boys — the girls' key to defeat them is to look prettily at them and actually kiss them. It worked so well the guys explode in horror. Lampshaded right after this, when Bubbles and Blossom think kissing isn't that bad, but Buttercup is shown coughing and almost throwing up in disgust.
Great Gazoo: Issue #65 of the comic introduced the Micro-Puffs, tiny sprite versions of the girls from another dimension who show up to merely yank the girls' chains. One story has Blossom actually getting help from Mojo Jojo in defeating them. Considered canon in that all Micro-Puffs stories were written by Amy Rogers, head writer for the show.
Gross-Up Close-Up: Many times, but most commonly Mojo Jojo plopping to the ground, beaten to a pulp with breaks in his helmet exposing his oversized brain, missing teeth, black eyes and obviouly broken fingers.
Hanna-Barbera: Made the pilots and seasons 1 through 4. Cartoon Network Studios took over for the movie, the specials and seasons 5 and 6.
Hartman Hips: Nearly every female in the series. Most notably: Miss Bellum, Miss Keane, Sedusa, Femme Fatale.
Miss Keane might be a reach since she's rather pear-shaped.
Pretty much every townsperson and the highly co-dependent Mayor are Sheep. Explicitly lampshaded in one episode, when the girls get sick of being called on to fix every little problem. They go sit on a cloud and encourage the people to work out a solution to the Monster of the Week, but keep having to beat them over the heads with hints, in what is probably a direct Shout-Out to the "Burn the witch" scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
One episode was devoted to showing how the citizens of Townsville have become so used to the girls taking care of everything from invading monsters to fires to getting cats out trees that every problem is shrugged off with, "Oh, the Powerpuff Girls will take care of it". This causes the girls to go on strike.
Reversed in "Collect Her", which had an obsessive collector of Powerpuff Girl merchandise capture the girls themselves to add to his collection. The people of Townsville paid the girls back for helping them by going to the collector's house and ripping up all his merchandise, freeing the girls in the process. Since he was a fat, bald, overweightOtaku with no powers, there wasn't much he could do to stop them.
Horrible Judge of Character: In one episode in which the Gangreen Gang are forced to attend Pokey Oaks by a truant officer, Ms. Keane accepts them with open arms, and when the Powerpuff Girls counter their antics and attempts to torment the kids, Ms. Keane only sees the Girls assault them and punishes the girls while letting the Gangreen Gang get away with it. It's only when they brutally injure the other kids in a game of dodgeball that Ms. Keane realizes that the PPG were right about the Gangreen Gang all along.
Humiliation Conga: Blossom at the end of "A Made Up Story", after she bragged about not falling victim to Mask Scara's attacks.
Imaginary Friend: In Imaginary Fiend, the PPG had to fight an Imaginary Friend who was causing trouble at school. They defeat him by imagining a friend of their own to beat the snot out of him.
It's said that this episode served as the inspiration foundation for Craig McCracken's Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Mike Believe is the template for the later show's Mac.
Imagine Spot: Keeps coming up in "Live and Let Dynamo", as the girls try to figure out which villain has their Humongous Mecha, the Powerpuff Dynamo, and keep imagining what the recurring villains would really do if they got control of the Dynamo — the Rowdyruff Boys would force her into demeaning acts such as picking her nose, Mojo Jojo would just criticize her cockpit and leave, the Gangreen Gang would just make prank calls from within the Dynamo, the Amoeba Boys wouldn't know what to do, Fuzzy Lumpkins would make Dynamo play a banjo, and HIM would give it an extreme makeover.
Blossom: A tarot card! Girls, this is worse than we imagined! Bubbles: Whatever do you mean, Blossom? Blossom: Not only are we dealing with a petty criminal, we're dealing with... A tarot-ist. [5 second beat]
In Memoriam: The episode The City of Frownsville was dedicated to the memories to the victims that were killed on the collapsed of The World Trade Centre of Manhattan New York on September 11, 2001.
Invisible Means Undodgeable: Him's Magic. The Girls go toe to toe with him whenever he uses projectiles and beams. However, the moment he changes to his invisible Thought-Controlled Power, they're helpless.
I Owe You My Life: Gangreen Gang member Big Billy to the Powerpuff Girls in "Slave The Day". It didnít work out well.