The Powerpuff Girls: Tropes A to I


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     A-C 
  • Affably Evil: Mojo Jojo and HIM are both very polite whenever they aren't causing any chaos and destruction. However, they can argue over who is the most evil.
  • Absentee Actor: The girls are completely absent in 'Custody Battle' which is A Day in the Limelight for the Rowdyruff Boys.
  • 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.
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • The girls would sometimes encounter people who call them the Powderpuff Girls or something similar.
    • Major Glory in particular not only calls them by that name, but he also uses "Sugarpuffs" twice. He also calls the individual girls "Butterdish", "Caboodles", "Blaze'em", and "Bless'em".
  • Action Girl: Not just the Powerpuff Girls, but some female villains appear in the series.
  • 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.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • Each of the Powerpuff Girls' names starts with a B and contains a double consonant.
      • Temporary fourth Powerpuff Girls Bunny and Bullet also fit the naming scheme.
      • The Rowdyruff Boys (Brick, Boomer, and Butch) have names that start with B, but lack the double consonant.
    • From the episode "I See a Funny Cartoon in Your Future" a newspaper's headline reads "Powerpuffs Powerless to Pinch Pocket-Picking Pin-Pushing Predictor!"
    • Also, from the episode "Powerpuff Bluff":
      Blossom: Put down that priceless porcelain poodle, you punk!
      Criminal: P-P-P-Powerpuffs?
      Blossom: Precisely!
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • If Blossom's vision of a world ruled by her in "The Powerpuff Girls Rule" is any indication, she forgot the moral of "Equal Fights".
    • Lampshaded in "Too Pooped to Puff", where the Mayor (and possibly everyone else in Townsville) has forgotten the point of the episode while it's still airing.
      Mayor: You taught us a valuable lesson today. Although I can't quite remember what that was...anyway, have fun cleaning up the mess.
  • Affectionate Parody: The episode "I See a Funny Cartoon in Your Future" had one of Rocky and Bullwinkle. It even had the voice of June Foray as the episode's villain.
  • Agony Beam: Used by Mojo Jojo on the girls in "Bubblevicious".
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The 2014 special.
  • Alliterative Family: Buttercup was named pretty much to allow for this.
    Professor: "So we have Blossom, Bubbles, and, hmmm, Buttercup because... it also begins with a B."
  • 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).
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The show has two opening themes and ending themes. Most of them were written by Power Puff Soul, a band of singers who joined together for this series, and one of the members includes Megumi Hayashibara!
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Gangreen Gang. They're green, and they're a gang.
  • Ambiguously Human: It's never specified whether The Gangreen Gang are humanoid monsters or just bizarre-looking teenage boys.
  • Animated Series
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • 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 98˘ 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.
  • Artistic License – History: In "Equal Fights" the girls claim that Susan B. Anthony demanded she be sent to prison for voting because she broke the law, but in real life Susan B. Anthony argued that she shouldn't be sent to prison.
  • Art Shift:
    • 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 Herself: "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 drag 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?
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Happens ridiculously often in Townsville.
    • So much so, it's lampshaded at one point in Super Zeroes, where the 50 foot monster of the week actually explains that there is an island right off the coast of Townsville where monsters live.
    • The girls become giants in the episode "What's the Big Idea" by one of Mojo Jojo's inventions.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: "Attack pattern Alpha Omega Atari!"
  • Baby Talk: In the episode "The Boys Are Back In Town", the girls use this as a means of defeating the Rowdyruff Boys.
  • Badass: Mojo Jojo is the defining example following HIM, but Buttercup, Blossom and Bubbles also have their moments.
    • After thoroughly getting their asses handed to them by Princess, Blossom takes her apart, just by keeping a cool head.
  • Badass Family: In the episode "Powerprof", Professor Utonium invents a suit that gives him superpowers so that he can help his daughters fight crime, but the girls convince him to retire from crime-fighting when he proves too embarrassing to work with due to using cheesy slang and giving away humiliating secrets. Not to say that he isn't helpful to the girls in general, as there were several occasions where he was the one who helped the girls save the day.
  • Badass Normal: Mojo Jojo brings down the Powerpuff Girls with Antidote X during their Slumber Party, and the Girls' classmates subdue him with a pillow fight.
  • Bad Future: In "Speed Demon", the girls end up flying 50 years into the future, where everyone in Townsville has become disheveled wrecks who hate the Powerpuff Girls and Him was conquered the world.
  • 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 "SoOnceAgainTheDayIsSaved, thanks to... Mojo, Fuzzy and HIM...?"
  • Balloon Belly: The girls and the Mayor after eating the whole candy jar in "Candy is Dandy".
  • Bath Kick: Him.
  • Bat Signal: The Powerpuff signal, though the only time it was used was in one episode where the girls were too busy playing with their new friend to answer the hotline.
  • 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.
  • Be the Ball:
    • There was a variation of this trope in "The Boys are Back in Town." All three girls are squashed into a hockey puck and smacked around by the Rowdyruff Boys.
    • This trope also occurred in a "Got Milk" promo, when Buttercup throws Lil' Arturo into the rest of the Gangreen Gang like a bowling ball.
  • The Beatles: "Meet the Beat-Alls".
  • 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...
  • Berserk Button:
    • "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.
    • The entirety of "Bubblevicious" is dedicated to Bubbles going on a rampage after her button (being treated like a baby by everyone, even her own family) is pressed one time too many. She calms down at the end, but then Mojo zaps her with a laser (again)...
    • An easy way to tick off all three of the Powerpuff Girls is to endanger the life of the Professor.
    • Fuzzy Lumpkins and "trespassers", a term he defines very broadly. For example: He shot at a leaf that happened to drift onto his lawn.
      • Also if you value your life, do NOT touch Fuzzy's things, even if it is for good intentions of returning it to him.
    • Marianne Smith when anyone tries to disrupt the dinner she is hosting.
  • Berserker Tears: A sign that you have pushed Bubbles too far.
  • The Bet: HIM has the Girls doing a scavenger hunt, with the threat that if they fail, Dr. Utonium WILL PAY... full price for breakfast.
  • Between My Legs: Invoked fairly often. Craig McCracken even discusses the shot in the commentary of The Movie.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As mentioned above, Bubbles is downright vicious when she's pushed too far.
  • 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
  • Big Bad: Mojo Jojo is the most frequently appearing villain and most of his plans focus solely on defeating the Powerpuff Girls or at least making them unable to stop him. It helps that their origins are connected, as Mojo Jojo was mutated by the same explosion that created the girls.
    • Bigger Bad: Dick Hardly was a complete jerk who treated Professor Utonium like dirt long before he created the Powerpuff Girls and also tried to create knockoffs of the girls in his only episode, but was killed off.
  • Big Damn Heroes: All. The. Time.
  • Big Eyes Little Eyes: Lampshaded when characters call the girls "Bug-Eyed".
  • Big "NO!":
    • "Parent teacher conference?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
    • From "Mo'Linguish":
      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.
    • "Get Back Mojo": Mojo Jojo lets out a frustrated "NOOOOOO!" at the end of the episode when the Narrator points out that his trip through time accidentally inspired the creation of the Powerpuff Girls.
    • 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).
  • Bilingual Bonus: In "Super Zeroes" when Bubbles reads manga in translation to us. The bonus is if you understand what the shown original text is; it goes from a parody of Japanese Politeness to "Blind Idiot" Translation.
  • Birthday Episode: There was "Birthday Bash," in which Mojo Jojo, the Amoeba Boys, and Princess Morbucks try to send them booby-trapped gifts while still in jail.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sedusa's Ima Goodlady disguise. She acts like a nice person in front of Professor Utonium, but is a complete bitch to the girls behind his back.
  • Blinding Bangs: Big Billy. Turns out he's a cyclops.
  • Blondes Are Evil/Blond Guys Are Evil:
    • Boomer is just as rude and mean as the other Rowdyruff Boys.
    • Femme Fatale is a criminal who uses feminism as a shield to avoid getting punished until Ms. Bellum and Ms. Keane point out her hypocrisy to the girls.
    • Dick Hardly was a jerk and not only created shoddy imitations of the Powerpuff Girls, but tried to kill the original girls for their Chemical X and laughed at Professor Utonium when he begged him to spare his daughters.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: The ending theme, to be precise.
  • 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.
  • Broken Glass Penalty: One episode plays out like this - the girls throw their ball through the window of their arch-villain, who tries to use it as an excuse to destroy them while pretending to be looking for their ball. After the girls continue to do more damage in the house, he instead just gives them the ball back so that they will leave.
  • 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.
  • The Cameo: Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory makes several cameos over the course of the series, including the episode "Forced Kin".
  • Captain Obvious: Done by Blossom in "Los Dos Mojos"; lampshaded by Mojo.
    Blossom: I think Bubbles thinks she's Mojo Jojo!
    Mojo: (sarcastically) No. Really. You think?
  • Cardboard Prison: Townsville's prison isn't too good at keeping Mojo Jojo and other villains locked up, particularly since they often appear out of jail even when they were incarcerated by the end of their previous appearance.
  • Card Carrying Villains: They frequently have Eviler Than Thou arguments, too.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: The background character designs could be pretty creative.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Catfight: Miss Bellum and Sedusa have one at the end of "Something's a Ms".
  • Cereal Vice Reward: Magnificently parodied in one episode. "Ridiculous Lucky Captain Rabbit King! Lucky Captain Rabbit King Nuggets are for the youth!"
  • Chemistry Can Do Anything: Such as create super-powered little girls, using sugar, spice, and everything nice... And Chemical X.
  • Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs: Lucky Captain Rabbit King Nuggets from "Jewel of the Aisle".
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Both the Powerpuffs and the Rowdyruffs.
  • City of Adventure: The City of Townsville.
  • 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 in that "The City of Clipsville" eventually shows flashbacks to events that never actually happened in any of the previous episodes (like the girls growing into teenagers and the Rowdyruff Boys asking them out) and has everyone barge into the girls' house to reminisce about rather insipid things like mowing the lawn.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Both Bubbles and the mayor.
  • The Collector: Lenny Baxter in "Collect Her".
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod:
    Buttercup: Wow, where did you get that giant match?
    Blossom: Same place I got the giant jar, silly! Episode 2, Season 1, remember?
    • The Christmas special has the girls tell Princess it is obvious that she is naughty by listing things she did in previous episodes, like buying Tonwsville and making crime legal and manipulating their new friend Robin into shoplifting.
  • 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, titled "West in Pieces", is basically a normal episode of the show, but in the Old West. The girls become the Steamypuff Girls.
  • Crapsack World: Citiesville.
    • Townsville itself wasn't a very good place before the girls were born, filled with crime and the citizens had basically lost all hope.
  • Creator Cameo: Craig McCracken and his wife (and series storyboarder) Lauren Faust appear in "The Powerpuff Girls Rule."
  • Creepy Monotone:
    • The citizens in "Speed Demon".
    • The Powerpuff Girls Xtreme from "Knock It Off".
    • The class in Blossom's Nightmare in "Power-noia".
  • Crossover: In 2000, Cartoon Network published a special magazine which featured a story in which the Powerpuff Girls met Scooby-Doo and the gang.
  • Cue the Rain:
    • In "Simian Says", Mojo Jojo kidnaps the narrator and takes his place, leading to this exchange:
      Bubbles: At least it's not raining.
      Mojo Jojo (narrating): That's not a bad idea!
      (it starts to rain)
    • At the end of the episode, "The City of Nutsville", when Blossom and Buttercup are cleaning up the pieces of the statue of the Mayor, this happens after Buttercup says, "At least it isn't raining."
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • Mommy Fearest.
      Blossom: "There's something fishy about that—"
  • Cute Kittens: In the episode "Catastrophe", in which the Powerpuff Girls have to find one of the kittens for a giant monster in order to help him leave Townsville alone.

     D-F 
  • Dark Reprise: a more sinister version of the theme song's origin exposition music plays when Utonium's college roommate Professor Dick creates imitations of the Powerpuff Girls.
  • Darker and Edgier: Buttercup's new identity "Super Zeroes". It's a parody of Spawn that can't step out into sunlight and has "scars that never heal".
    • "Speed Demon" has HIM go from joke villain to Not-So-Harmless Villain, totaling the Earth, turning everyone into shell-shocked, psychotic zombies, and psychologically torturing the girls. Yikes.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Mr. Green. Despite looking like a mish-mash of almost every Obviously Evil trope out there, he's really just a nice guy who wants to teach children. He even gives the girls a lecture about the trope.
  • Deconstruction/Deconstructive Parody: There was an episode that had the girls decide to emulate the superheroes in their comic books (or, in Bubbles' case, manga). Blossom became a pastiche of Captain America, Batman, and Wonder Woman, Bubbles became a crime-fighting, overhyper rabbitgirl that used her pogo stick to get places, and Buttercup became Spaw-, er, Spore. When a monster attacks, the girls try to respond, but Blossom gets stuck in traffic when she tries using her Cool Car, Bubbles took way too long traveling by pogo stick, and Spore could only fight at night. Because she's AN ANTI-HERO AND THE LIGHT HURTS HER. Eventually, the attacking monster gets fed up and says that they don't need capes, costumes, gadgets, and whatnot to be a hero, and then lets them beat him up. (Where he's from, getting your ass kicked by superheroes is a rite of passage for monsters.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In "Knock It Off," the Girls acts as the main characters as usual for the show in the episode, however, after the Big Bad of the episode, Dick Hardly, turns into a One-Winged Angel and tries to kill them to harvest their Chemical X, the Professor arrives and saves them with The Power of Love, while Dick is killed by his own creations. In a way, the Professor is the real protagonist of the said episode, as Dick Hardly was his so-called good roommate from college and the episode follows the Professor's realization that his college friend was Evil All Along from the beginning when Dick announces in front of the Professor to exploit the Girls for profit to the climax when the Professor catches him trying to kill the Girls and comes to their rescue with the help of Dick's defective creations.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • 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.
  • Disney Death:
    • The girls themselves in "The Rowdyruff Boys", where they were revived by the tears of the townspeople.
    • And again in "Knock It Off". They were revived by The Power of Love.
    • Blossom in "Abracadaver".
    • 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.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • 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.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • 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.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In the original "Whoopass Stew" short and the two What a Cartoon! pilots, the Powerpuff Girls lacked distinctive personalities. The series made them more distinguishable by making Blossom the brainy leader, Bubbles the cute and innocent one, and Buttercup the tough and aggressive tomboy.
  • Divided We Fall: The Girls are nigh-unstoppable when they're together. When they're separated? Not so much.
  • The Documentary: Parodied in one episode where a guy tries to interview the Powerpuff girls.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Mojo Jonesin'". "When dealing when Mojo Jojo, just say no-no!"
  • Dope Slap: Ace of the Gangreen Gang often does this to his yesss man Snake, but with a punch rather than a slap.
  • Do with Him 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..."
    Bubbles: "An' a toof for a toof!"
  • Downer Ending: "Twisted Sister" ends with Bunny exploding after she rescues the girls.
    • "A Very Special Blossom" ends with Blossom being sentenced to 200 hours of community service.
  • Dressed to Plunder: In "Mizzen in Action", a crew of predictably-dressed pirates accidentally imbibe some Chemical X to become the Villains of the Week.
  • 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...
  • Edutainment Show: Parodied in "Seed No Evil":
    Museum tour guide: I'm going to show you how prehistoric man used woolly mammoths as dishwashers, and pterodactyls as record players.
    Narrator: Not wanting to overshoot this episode's educational quota, let's fast-forward[.]
  • Either/Or Title: Present in "I See a Funny Cartoon In Your Future", in homage to Rocky and Bullwinkle:
    Narrator: Find out in the next exciting chapter called, "Who Do Voodoo?" or "Don't Scrye for Me, Argentina"!
  • 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".
  • Enemy Mine: The girls have occasionally teamed up with their enemies, such as in "Forced Kin", where they teamed up with Mojo Jojo to defeat the giant alien, and "Aspirations", where the Gangreen Gang sided with them against Sedusa.
  • Episode Title Card
  • Even Evil Has Standards: According to the comic book, Him wouldn't stoop to a low as stealing from a charity.
  • Every Episode Ending: Nearly every episode ended with a shot of the titular protagonists and the narrator exclaiming, "And So Once Again, the Day Is Saved, thanks to... the Powerpuff Girls!" This was subverted more and more as the series went on.
    • 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 Time Travel episode reveals Mojo Jojo's caused the Stable Time Loop that led to the girls' existence: "And So Once Again, the Day Is Saved, thanks to the Powerpuff Girls... but thanks originally to Mojo Jojo who, once again, had a hand in creating the Powerpuff Girls!"
    • 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.
    • In "Telephonies", after the Gangreen Gang continuously harass Mojo Jojo, Fuzzy Lumpkins, and Him by making a string of very convincing crank calls that convinced the girls that the three were terrorizing Townsville, but were instead, enjoying a day off, Mojo Jojo, Him, and Fuzzy; furious over the crank calls; form a temporary Power Trio and proceeding to give the Gangreen Gang the worst No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of their careers, and thus promptly saving the day, making the narrator say the following line in total bewilderment:
      Narrator: So, once again, the day...is saved! Thanks to... (Mojo, Fuzzy, and Him appear on screen while the music skips and slows down) ...Mojo...Fuzzy...and Him...?
    • In the episode where Mojo kidnaps the Narrator; he does the usual bit...then asks them for a ride home.
    • "I See A Funny Cartoon In Your Future": The day is saved, thanks to the Powerpuff grill.
    • "That's Not My Baby": The diaper is changed... Hold the chili.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The girls never act the way they're "supposed to" for HIM's plans.
  • Evil Redhead:
    • Princess Morbucks.
    • Brick, Blossom's Spear Counterpart.
    • Berserk, Blossom's alternate universe counterpart (comic book story Deja View).
    • Big Billy of the Gangreen Gang.
  • Evil Laugh: Just about every villain in the show does this.
  • Evil Sounds Deep:
    • HIM alternates between a syrupy-sweet falsetto and a gargles-with-gravel basso.
    • The Boogie Man plays this more straight.
    • Subverted in both aspects with Mr. Green from the episode Substitute Creature. The "deep" part is subverted when it turns out that Mr. Green was struggling with a cold, and he talks in a normal voice after this is revealed. The "evil" part is subverted because it turns out that despite his appearance, Mr. Green was actually a good guy all along.
  • Eviler Than Thou:
    • Mojo Jojo and HIM attempt to show themselves who is the better father of the Rowdyruff Boys in "Custody Battle".
    • "Forced Kin" had Mojo Jojo going up against an Alien Force, who mimicked Mojo's plans.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Atypically, played during the Closing Credits. The first part serves as a Theme Tune Roll Call.
  • 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.
  • The Faceless: Ms. Sara Bellum always has her face off-camera or hidden by either an object placed in front of her or her own hair. However, her face can be seen for a split-second in the 2009 special The Powerpuff Girls Rule.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Girls failed to notice a tank following them in "The Powerpuff Girls Rule".
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Major Man makes himself come off as being a better crime-fighter than the Powerpuff Girls because he appears to solve crimes as swiftly as they appear. It turns out that he was actually staging the crimes themselves and was only being a superhero for the glory.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Surprisingly averted - in a number of episodes guns wielded by standard criminals have goofy colors, but fire actual bullets.
    • 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.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Taken to ridiculous levels. See Gross-Up Close-Up.
  • Fangs Are Evil:
    • Ace, Sedusa, and a number of monsters of the day.
    • HIM's teeth usually become sharp when he goes into nightmarishly scary evil mode.
  • Fastball Special: Buttercup and Bubbles do this in "Film Flam". Buttercup even CALLS IT the trope name.
  • Fat Bastard:
    • Big Billy of the Gang Green Gang.
    • The maid in the episode "Hot Air Buffon" towards the Mayor. She berates him for not saving the the world like the girls do.
    • Mike Birkowski, a former cop who tries to kill the girls because he thinks they're stealing all the work from other hard-working cops, when all he did was sleep and eat doughnuts.
    • Lenny Baxter, a comic-book geek who obsesses over the Powerpuff girls and keeps them in tight packaging to satisfy his "collection".
  • Femme Fatale: Not exactly an example, but there was a villain named Femme Fatale.
  • Film Felons: One episode had a con man pretending to make a movie about the Powerpuff Girls as a scam to rob Townsville blind.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: The girls will do this every now and then.
  • Flag Drop: Occurs in "Collect Her", when Professor Utonium tells Lenny Baxter to set the girls free.
  • Flying Brick:
    • Cute bricks, to be sure, but the girls' basic powerset is this.
    • The Rowdyruff Boys possess the same basic powerset, and Blossom's male counterpart there is named Brick.
  • F Minus Minus: In the episode "Mo' Linguish", Mojo Jojo mentions that if he had control of the grading system, he would make the lowest grade a "Z" rather than an "F".
  • Flaming Devil: HIM is essentially the series' version of Satan and is also a transvestite with an effeminate voice.
  • Flanderization: Some fans believe that almost everyone suffered this (if they didn't have Chuck Cunningham Syndrome) in the later episodes.
    • Even more in the 2014 Dance-Pantsed special.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Bubbles and Blossom.
  • Forgot Flanders Could Do That: The Mayor of Townsville started out as a kindly man who was slightly dim-witted, but he eventually devolved into being an unbearably moronic manchild. This was rectified in the 2014 special Dance Pantsed. The Mayor encourages Professor Utonium not to give up on his girls when Mojo Jojo takes control of them and also expresses remorse for snapping at Ms. Bellum for not believing her when she told him about a giant robot attacking Townsville, even apologizing to her near the end.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Lenny Baxter and Dick Hardly both wear glasses and have zero redeeming qualities.
  • 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.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: "Criss Cross Crisis", which even gives a Shout-Out to the original movie by showing that "Freakin' Friday" is playing at the movie theater.
  • Friction Burn: In one episode, Buttercup creates a fireball by rubbing her hands together rapidly and throws it at a monster.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: In the episode "Powerprof", the Professor briefly does this to the girls, who then do it to him.
  • Fun with Flushing: The class hamster gets flushed down by Mitch, the schoolyard bully. In the sewer, the hamster gets exposed to chemical waste and comes back a mutated monster out for revenge.

     G-I 
  • Gagging on Your Words: Buttercup has this problem when she tries to apologize.
    • Subverted in "Moral Decay": Buttercup apologizes profusely to Bubbles after accidentally knocking out one of her baby teeth.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: If you've seen the show, you know this is done multiple times, sometimes blatantly, sometimes subtly.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Attempted in "Super Zeroes":
    Bubbles/Harmony Bunny: There! Now you're covered with Happy Stickers! Their good, sweet powers will take hold of you and make you smile!
  • Girls Have Cooties:
    • 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.
  • Given Name Reveal: Averted in "Get Back Jojo" (the episode where Mojo Jojo travels back in time to Professor Utonium's childhood), where Professor Utonium's teacher always calls him "Mr. Utonium".
  • Gone to the Future: The plot of "Speed Demon". The girls' absence hasn't been great for Townsville.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Professor Utonium falls under the Wise and Fatherly exception for this trope. Though we never actually see him smoke his pipe, so he may just have it around to look cool. (And seeing as he's slightly Adorkable this makes that even more believable)
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Parodied in "Bubblevicious".
    Bubbles: *being zapped by a laser at a low level* I'm not... gonna... cry... you... dumb... doo-doo-brain!
    Mojo Jojo: "Doo-doo-brain"? That's it! I've had it with your sassy mouth!
  • Grand Finale: There are two of them:
    • The Musical Episode "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey" though it was never broadcast in the USA.
    • The 10th anniversary special "The Powerpuff Girls Rule".
  • G-Rated Drug: "Candy is Dandy" has the girls acting like they are taking wild drugs when the Mayor rewards them with candy.
    • Chemical X (or something similar) for the normal kids in "Mojo Jonesin'".
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence: The episode "Boogie Frights" has this to go with the Boogieman's disco theme.
  • 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.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Him uses Ace's body as a baseball bat to hit Lil Arturo in one episode.
  • 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.
  • Hates Baths: Buttercup in "Down 'N' Dirty", which causes her to get chased out of town until she finally agrees to just bathe so she can fight monsters again.
  • Helping Granny Cross the Street: It's occasionally mentioned that the girls do this, but it's not usually shown - it's usually listed as another one of their many good deeds.
  • Here We Go Again: The ending of "Mommy Fearest" has the Professor fall in love with a woman again and once again stuttering "I...I...I". Lampshaded by the narrator.
  • Hero Insurance: Available in Townsville, but not in Citiesville.
  • Heroic RROD: Bunny ends up exploding after she saves the girls.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
  • Holding Out for a Hero:
    • 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, overweight Otaku with no powers, there wasn't much he could do to stop them.
  • Hollywood Science: For starters, mixing together sugar, spice, and everything nice, even if Chemical X existed and was added to the mix, would not create a trio of five-year-old girls.
  • Homage: "I See a Funny Cartoon in Your Future" is done in the style of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.
  • 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.
  • Humongous Mecha: The D.Y.N.A.M.O. was a giant mecha resembling an amalgam of the girls.
  • Hurricane of Puns:
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Travel through the fifth dimension.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    Mojo Jojo: 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!
  • I Can See My House from Here: Sometimes stated by the girls as they are flying.
  • Image Song: The "Heroes and Villains" CD.
  • 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.
  • Improbable Age: The girls are supposedly 5 years old, but they often act rather unlike their age. Blossom even managed to somehow get a job in the episode "Not So Awesome Blossom".
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: "I See a Funny Cartoon in Your Future" has several, being an obvious tribute to Rocky and Bullwinkle, but the one that takes the cake is delivered by Blossom, complete with a humorously extended beat for good measure.
    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]
  • Innocent Swearing: In the episode "Curses", the girls overhear Professor Utonium using a naughty word and start using it themselves. Many Sound Effect Bleeps ensue.
  • Institutional Apparel: Strangely, Townsville Jail uses the striped suits version and the orange suits version.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: Bubbles's narration of a Japanese manga in "Super Zeroes", despite being an Omniglot. "I am filled with solutions!".
  • Interactive Narrator: Especially in "Simian Says", where Mojo Jojo kidnaps the narrator and takes his place.
  • 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" after they save him from being hit by a train. It didn’t work out well.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: During the episode "Down 'n' Dirty", where Buttercup tries to give up bathing:
    Buttercup: Don't you know only big, fat sissies take baths?!
    Bubbles: (hurt) I'm not fat.