The Powerpuff Girls: Tropes R to Z

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  • Race Against the Clock/You Have 48 Hours: One episode had the girls forced to solve a series of riddles set by "Him" within the time limit set for each riddle. They had to succeed or, otherwise, the Professor would have to pay... for the pancakes he ate at "Him"'s restaurant "Otto Time". It was all a bet between "Him" and the Professor.
  • Rain, Rain, Go Away: "The Powerpuff Girls' Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever". Also the title of a story in issue #66 of the comic book.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: In one episode, the Mayor is kidnapped by Mojo Jojo and blindfolded. The girls save the Mayor and beat Mojo Jojo, but can't stop laughing after. The Mayor asks why. The girls each tell the story of how they saved the day today differently, accompanied by Art Shifts. What they neglect to mention? The Mayor was naked all along.
  • Reality Ensues: Everything related to the town of Citiesville, most notably the girls' destruction of the bridge leading in to town to stop some robbers. The bridge was both the only way for workers to commute to Citiesville and a historical landmark, costing over three million dollars. Reality Ensues, and hard.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Blossom gives one to Buttercup after Buttercups acts ungrateful after getting a bath:
    Blossom: You know Buttercup, you may be clean but your attitude still stinks.
    • She's pretty good at giving these. One of her best examples is after the first time she defeats Princess.
    Blossom: You're just a spoiled brat. And being a Powerpuff Girl isn't about getting your way, or having the best stuff, or being popular or powerful. It's about using your own unique abilities to help people and the world we all live in. And you, little girl, have done nothing worthy of the name "Powerpuff".
    • The Professor gives a big one to the Mayor on Toast Of The Town, calling him out on his childish behavior:
    Professor Utonium: Wowie zowie indeed! Have you no shame? A grown man your age gallivanting around like a little child, not doing what you're told! "Mayor wanna this! Mayor wanna that!" You, Mr. Mayor, are nothing but a baby! A big, big, big baby!
    • The Zen master from "Makes Zen To Me" gives one to Mojo Jojo when he wants to take over as the master.
    Master: You came seeking only violence. You were impatient. You would not look inside yourself. I could only guide you; the journey was yours to make. I did not fail you nor the teachings. You failed yourself. And another thing: You're not a monkey, you're a chimp. There's a difference.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Buttercup and Blossom. Their personal colors may not match this trope, but their personalities sure do.
  • Red Scare: We are given one of these in the musical episode "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey".
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation
  • Retool: At one point, CN did try marketing a line of the series with an overstyled grown up versions of the girls. It sank just as quickly as it begin.
  • Reunion Show: 2008's "Powerpuff Girls Rule", a PPG special made five years after the show ended, featuring nearly every main character within the series, as well as all the original voice actors.
  • Rhyming with Itself: In "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey", this trope is rather egregious when the PPG join in Professor Utonium's "Freedom Beef" song, as they rhyme "peace" with itself rather forcefully, directly after rhyming "powers" with itself.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Bullet, the superpowered baby squirrel.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Subverted in "Cat Man Do", where the cat was the mastermind.
  • Rock Opera: "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey".
  • Rogues Gallery: Mojo Jojo, Fuzzy Lumpkins, The Gangreen Gang, Him, Princess Morbucks, Sedusa, The Rowdyruff Boys to a lesser extent and The Amoeba Boys if you consider irritation to be roguish. Mister Mime (the alternate personality of Rainbow the Clown) has also appeared in the background
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: HIM
  • Rule of Three: The episode "Super Zeroes" with the line, "Better heroes, huh?" (Said by Utonium, the Mayor, and even the Monster of the Week itself!)
  • Rule 63: The Rowdyruff Boys.
  • Saving The World With Art: The nefarious Mr. Mime is restored to a happy-go-lucky clown after the girls put on a concert of how "Love Makes the World Go Round". And then they beat the crap out of him anyway just for the heck of it.
  • Scantron Picture: Him once gives the girls such a test in a challenge, and although Blossom and Buttercup take the test seriously, they fail as a result. Bubbles passes, and it turns out she filled in the bubbles in the shape of a flower.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Mojo Jojo after Moko Jono is revealed to be a chimp from the zoo.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Princess Morbucks.
    Princess: I have the most powerful power there is! Cold! Hard! Cash!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Mojo Jojo in The Powerpuff Girls Rule after having victory literally swept from under his nose.
  • Second Person Attack: Used and abused; in certain cases, the viewer can suffer the virtual effects of getting punched and kicked DOZENS OF TIMES IN A ROW.
  • Security Blanket:
    • Bubbles' doll Octi.
    • Buttercup's blankie in "Cover Up".
    • Blossom's hairbow in the comic book story "Bow Jest" (issue #20). It's Bubbles, of all people, to light a fire under Blossom's butt about it.
  • Series Continuity Error: In the 2014 special, Bubbles has Blossom's Ice Breath and the Professor's motivations for getting into science are altered.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Mojo Jojo. In one episode, he's left in charge of an adult education English course, and the whole town starts talking like this. Society comes to a screeching halt.
  • Sexy Secretary: Sara Bellum.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: Parodied in "Collect Her" — we see shadows of children ripping open the comic book guy's collectors items.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: "Him Diddle Riddle."
  • Shout-Out: So many, it has its own page! See ShoutOut.The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Professor Utonium and Miss Keane in "Keen on Keane".
  • Signing Off Catch Phrase: So, once again, the day is saved, thanks to The Powerpuff Girls!"
  • Single Specimen Species: Apparently most kaiju in the series, and possibly some villains.
  • Sissy Villain: HIM.
  • Sixth Ranger: The girls try to create one with Bunny. It doesn't really work out.
  • Skyward Scream: Bubbles performs a great Big "NO!" in "Mime For A Change".
    • 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.
    • Four words: ''WHO ELSE WANTS SOME??!!!''
  • Sleepwalking
  • Smart Ball: Done for laughs when out of nowhere the Mayor determines that the riddle about where freezing and boiling meet is a set of coordinates for where HIM has the Professor, or there's an ice cream truck on fire.
  • Snake Charmer: A small-time villain, Salami Swami, used his flute in the episode "Slave the Day" to control long sausages.
  • Snap Back:
    • Towards the end of "Slumbering with the Enemy", Mojo Jojo douses the Powerpuffs with the Antidote X to remove their powers. They're back to normal without explaination in the next episode.
    • Mojo Jojo is turned into a dog twice. No explanation is given as to how he turned himself back into an ape.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: "Go to a place where it is freezing and boiling at the same time! You have 45 seconds!". And who, of all people, solves it? The Mayor!
  • Soap Punishment: "Curses"
  • So Once Again, the Day Is Saved: Trope Namer. Frequently played with.
  • Space Is Noisy: The few times the girls go into space, they can communicate with each other just fine.
  • Spear Counterpart: The Rowdyruff Boys, Brick (red color scheme), Boomer (blue color scheme), and Butch (dark green color scheme) to the Powerpuff Girls, Blossom (pink color scheme), Bubbles (cyan color scheme), and Buttercup (green color scheme).
  • Spoiled Brat: Princess Morbucks
  • Squashed Flat: In the episode "Down 'n Dirty" Buttercup gets slapped between the hands of a cyclops. When he opens his hands, Buttercup is flattened by them.
    • Also in the episode "Mask Scara", the aforementioned villain slaps Bubbles and Buttercup into a face press, flattening them together so that Blossom has to unstick them.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Snake of the Gangreen Gang, appropriately enough.
  • Stable Time Loop: "Get Back Jojo".
  • Start of Darkness: Mojo Jojo's origin, as revealed in "Mr. Mojo's Rising" and The Movie.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The episode "Members Only" is about the girls trying to get into a superhero guild that only allows men. Let that sink in a bit.
    • Two words: "Forced Kin".
    • HIM is dressed as Santa, and has lobster claws. Also, Santa and Satan are pretty obvious anagrams of each other.
  • Stock Scream: The "Howie Long" scream appears in "Paste Makes Waste."
  • Straw Feminist: Femme Fatale in "Equal Fights", who uses feminism as an excuse for her crimes. Along with her usual physical beatdown, the Girls also give her a verbal beatdown as "real" feminists.
  • Straw Hypocrite: See Femme Fatale above.
  • Strong as They Need to Be
  • Stupid Crooks: The Amoeba Boys.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: The episode "Beat Your Green" gets remixed in the track "Broccoli Wars" by German DJ group Noisy Stylus.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Ace of the Gangreen Gang never takes off his Cool Shades. Not even at night, when fighting, or when sleeping.
    • The Boogie Man also does this, although he takes his glasses off from time to time.
  • Super Speed:
    • The girls can fly faster than the speed of light. At top speed, they have been known to bend the time-space continuum and perform Time Travel, thus creating an Alternate Universe where there has been no Power Puff Girls to save the day for fifty years.
    • Gangreen Gang member Lil Arturo temporarily gains this ability in "Power Lunch".
  • Surrogate Soliloquy: Bubbles conversing with her stuffed octopus Octi.
  • Swiss Army Tears: In "The Rowdyruff Boys" and "Knock It Off".
  • Take Over the World:
    • Mojo Jojo's ultimate goal, which he obtains in "The Powerpuff Girls Rule". And then he goes and makes it a better place... only to get bored of it and shoot everything up all over again.
    • Ironically HIM, who never expressed the desire to do this, would be the one to take over the world if the girls ever left. And he wouldn't make it a better place but quite the opposite.
  • Take That: One could consider "City of Clipsville" to be one. Not only to shows that use this episode format, but also to fanfiction writers, especially the shippers.
    • Ironically, the shippers loved it.
    • One of the later criticisms of the series was that the show promoted animal cruelty because of their treatment of Mojo. Episode 57 ("Save Mojo") depicted a group of animal rights activists protecting Mojo from the girls despite their argument that Mojo is an evil animal and therefore others must be protected from him.
  • Talking Animal:
    • Mojo Jojo, who was mutated by Chemical X.
    • The Talking Dog, who... can talk. But he sure can't drive.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: "Three Girls and a Monster" features the girls trying, and failing, to stop a giant dinosaur-like monster who is impervious to all of their attacks. Both Blossom and Buttercup argue over whether physical or strategic attacks are more effective. In the end, Bubbles simply asks nicely for him not to destroy their beloved city. The giant monster promptly leaves, returning to the ocean.
  • Team Rocket Wins
  • Tear Jerker: In-Universe. The only episode with Bunny left even the narrator crying at the end.
  • Teens Are Monsters:
    • Two episodes featured the Smith family, one member of which was their angry teen son Bud. The first episode, Bud's entire appearance consisted of him yelling something typically teenagerish at his father, such as "I hate you!" and "No one understands me!" The second episode, which features the entire family as villains, provides every member of the family with a motivation for why they hate the Powerpuff Girls - and Bud's is "You know what? I hate everything!"
    • Also, the Gangreen Gang. Literally.
  • Teeth Flying: Bad guys' teeth go flying in the opening sequence; also, one episode is pretty much based on this trope - Buttercup learns the Tooth Fairy gives you money for teeth, and starts deliberately knocking villains' teeth out and collecting them to make a huge windfall.
  • That Cloud Looks Like: Bubbles does this, including one that "looked like a cloud".
  • There Was a Door: Lampshaded several times. The girls must have racked up quite a bit of roof damage by now due to their preferred method of exit.
  • Thick-Line Animation: It got thicker as the series went on.
  • The Tokyo Fireball: Usually as the result of a giant monster, although in at least one episode, the girls ended up doing more damage than the monster — and getting harshly reprimanded for it.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Buttercup and Bubbles.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The mayor. In one episode he jumped out a window because Bubbles told him to go save the day... while pretending to be him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bubbles in "Bubblevicious" to prove she's hardcore. She even subverted her apparent chickification when Mojo captured her and gave her the full blunt of his torture device before she broke out and beat him mercilessly all by herself. She only softens from her tough exterior when her sisters finally admit that she's hardcore, only to slide right back into it when Mojo tried to make a cheap shot at all three of them.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: "Collect Her" and "Down And Dirty".
  • Totally Radical: Professor Utonium in "Powerprof".
  • The World Is Always Doomed: Whether it be from a rampant crime spree, super villain attacks or threat of being destroyed by a giant monster, Townsville almost always has a crisis on its hands.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Sedusa gets one at the end of "Something's A Ms".
    • So does Blossom in "The Mane Event." She's unaware of it until she finds out why everyone—including the monster—is laughing at her.
    • In Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins, One of Bubbles' pigtails is turned into a turkey leg by Fuzzy Lumpkin's meat gun, Which pushes her Berserk Button.
  • Truly Single Parent
  • Twist Ending: The episode "HIM Diddle Riddle" revolves around the girls flying around town, trying to solve HIM's insidious riddles in a desperate attempt to save Professor Utonium, only to fail, and now HIM is going to make the professor PAY!... full price for breakfast. The ending is such a big wtf, that the narrator just stumbles, "And once again, the day is... um... yeah..." while the girls just float there staring blankly.

  • Ultimate Authority Mayor: The Mayor of Townsville (though to his credit, he is elected, and even lost once).
  • Unfortunate Implications: Touched upon In-Universe. In the "Members Only" episode, Major Glory talks the girls through several gender roles, asking who does various things ("Who goes to work?", "Who pays the bills?", etc) and receiving "Our Dad" as an answer each time. Then he gets to cooking and cleaning, getting the same answer. 5:12 - 5:45
    Major Glory: So what does your mother do?
    Girls: (in unison) We don't have a mother.
    *cut to Major Glory looking over at Mucho Muchacho and Birdman, all three looking uncomfortable*
    • To drive it in further, Batman was earlier shown sitting next to Birdman, meaning he would've been just off-screen for this.
  • Unhand Them, Villain!: "Get Back Jojo".
  • The Unintelligible: Grubber of the Gangreen Gang usually speaks only in raspberries. The rest of the gang members understand him just fine though. Subverted in one episode, where Grubber is shown to be quite eloquent when he straightens his posture. He's also an expert voice mimicker.
  • Unobtainium: Chemical X.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Bubbles when she gets well and truly angry.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: The 2014 special.
  • Unwilling Suspension: In "Equal Fights," as Femme Fatale falls to the ground, Buttercup grabs her foot and carries her off upside down.
    • "I See A Funny Cartoon In Your Future" has Madame Argentina tying up three voodoo dolls of the Powerpuffs and hanging them from a tree branch, causing the girls themselves to hang in midair over a cliff.
    • The splash page of comic book story "The Devil's Playground" (Block Party #43) has Him using his powers to booby-trap the kindergarten playground. Several kids are wrapped up in jungle vines from the jungle gym, and three monkeys appear on the monkey bars—the first holding a boy up by his hands, the second giving Mitch a wedgie, and the third using its tail to hang a girl upside down by one foot.
  • Up to Eleven: In "Bubblevicious" Bubbles takes the battle simulator and Mojo's laser up to eleven. The dial even shows considerable resistance, like it was never meant to go that high.
  • The Vamp: Sedusa.
  • Victory Is Boring: What Mojo experiences in "The Powerpuff Girls Rule".
  • Villainous Breakdown: Mojo has these occasionally, most notably at the beginning of "The Rowdyruff Boys", when he starts howling and snarling like a real ape over his many defeats.
    • Mojo Jojo has a particularly huge one at the end of "Forced Kin" when he finally snaps after being repeatedly defeated by the alien force's Villain Sue trait of unrealistically predicting every attack. But the one thing the alien force didn't predict was Mojo going berserk and beating the crap out of it.
    • HIM also has these, normally after the girls defeat his plans with their sisterly love. He goes from his normal, creepy voice to screaming about how they didn't act like they were supposed to. He has an especially noteable one at the end of "Power Noia", when the girls have turned the tables on him and got him completely at their mercy, for the first time actually begging them to let him go.
  • Villainous Friendship: Mojo Jojo and HIM. The two often argue over who is the most evil, but at the end of the day, they'll get along.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Often. When the super villains aren't doing anything overtly villainous, they're treated like any other citizen of the town. Even by the girls themselves!
  • Very Special Episode: Even though it's not blantantly stated, "Mojo Jonesin" is obviously a drug episode.
  • Voice Changeling: Grubber uses this ability in the episode "Telephonies" to stir up trouble.
  • Voice of the Legion: HIM.
  • Walk Through The Camera: In the episode "Stray Bullet" in the scene where Mojo is walking very slowly with a confident look on his face.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: One episode had a collector of Powerpuff Girls' merchandise who freaks out and becomes a villain when his collection is complete: there's nothing left for him to collect except the girls themselves.
  • Waxing Lyrical: All over the place in "Meet the Beat-Alls", essentially a long string of Shout-Outs to The Beatles. Example; when Professor Utonium has an idea to defeat the combined forces of Mojo, Him, Princess Morebucks and Fuzzy Lumpkins, he asks, "Listen, do you want to know a secret?" Even the narrator gets into the act at the very end, declaring, "I don't really want to stop the show, but I thought you might like to know...that Once again the day is saved..."
  • Was Too Hard On Her: Bubbles asks this after the sisters scold Bunny for releasing criminals from jail...only for the criminals to show up and yell "Not as hard as we're gonna be on you!"
  • We Will Meet Again: Him in one episode.
  • When Elders Attack: An old lady does this from the roof of an episode to a Godzilla-like monster, who promptly eats her.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Possibly subverted, if the Professor's directions to his college roommate were correct, Townsville fall somewhere in or near Pasadena, CA. Don't mind that there actually exists a City of Townsville.
    • According to Mayor, the town is at latitude 32 degrees north by longitude 212 degrees west. The aforementioned Pasadena is at latitude 34 degrees north, but longitude 212 degrees doesn't exist (it stops at 180).
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: One episode featured a con-artist "director" allegedly making a movie about the girls. The initial broadcast of this episode was suspiciously close to the release of the actual movie.
  • Window Pain: Not only do things get thrown through windows, but driven. And the girls occasionally fly through them!
  • Would Hit a Girl / Would Hurt a Child: None of the villains have any problem attacking three kindergarten-aged girls.

  • X Makes Anything Cool: Chemical X. Does whatever the plot requires that episode.
  • Yes-Man: Snake to Ace.
  • Yoko Oh No: invoked The Powerpuff Girls' plan to break up The Beat-alls. "Moko Jono" is the Yoko to Mojo Jojo's John Lennon.
    • What makes this not necessarily a YMMV, unlike most examples, is that she's literally the Yoko. The entire episode parodies the history and the songs of the Beatles; it's only obvious that the one who divides the Bad Four is a playoff of Yoko Ono.
    • This may be a subversion today as Paul McCartney had gone on record recently saying that Yoko was not the reason the Beatles split up.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Mojo Jojo goes back in time to throw Professor Utonium into a volcano as a child to stop the Powerpuff Girls from ever being created. This instead causes a Stable Time Loop because the incident is what inspires Utonium to go into science in the first place, thus ensuring the girls will be created. It never occurred to him that, if Professor Utonium was thrown into the volcano, then Mojo wouldn't have been the Professor's pet and wouldn't have been affected by Chemical X, giving him his super-smarts.
  • Your Brain Won't Be Much of a Meal: The girls defeat a brain sucker by tricking him into attacking the Mayor.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: HIM.