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An animated series from the creators of Ben 10, premiered on Cartoon Network on April 23, 2010. The plot and characters are based on a two issue comic book, called M. Rex. When Man of Action Studios decided to turn this into an animated series, the title had to be changed to Generator Rex when they found out that M. Rex was already trademarked.The plot focuses on a 15 year old boy named Rex, who gains the ability to produce bio-organic machines from his body due to an accident called "The Event", that spreads nanomachines called Nanites all over the world and causes random mutations in people, animals and plants. The central story is based around the organization called Providence that is tasked with the job of protecting civilization from the mutants called E.V.Os. Rex is used by Providence because of his ability to control his Nanites to produce machines from his body to fight the E.V.Os and cure them of their mutations so they can go back to being regular functioning members of society.Due to Rex's mysterious past involving the initial outbreak of the Nanites he has amnesia and works with providence while trying to uncover what really happened to cause the event and his abilities. Rex is hunted by an evil scientist named Van Kleiss who has connections to The Event and is trying to capture and use Rex for his own means. Rex is assisted by his talking chimp, lazy, wisecracking E.V.O sidekick and a mysterious Providence agent named Agent Six.Like all of Man Of Action's shows Generator Rex normally does not take itself seriously even when dealing with very serious subjects, such as the theme of people not being very fond of Providence, their methods and lack of transparency sometimes taking it to extremes such as creating their own E.V.O hunting groups and outright attacking Rex due to him being an E.V.O and his "messy" way of dealing with E.V.Os. Rex often does not listen to his superiors - especially not to the head of Providence, White Knight. Instead, Rex decides to run away and try to spend as much of his life as he can as a normal teenager but seemingly normal situations often lead to altercations with E.V.Os.The show had a notable Crossover episode with Ben 10: Ultimate Alien in the form of a special titled Ben 10 Generator Rex Heroes United.Has a Character Sheetright this way. And a Recap page here.After three seasons the storyline concludes with the 2-part special "End-Game". An unrelated one-shot, "Rock My World", was released out of order afterwards.The complete series, including the Bonus Episode, is available on iTunes and Netflix.
The before might be the Providence Agents who crashed earlier in the episode, or the people who were evacuated when the city was contained.
Things have continued on from "Written In Sand" as if the episode never happened. Rex isn't wary of Cesar and ZAG-RS isn't seen or mentioned ever again.
ZAG-RS had been around since early in the series; her death/reboot effectively ended her arc. As for Cesar, his questionable actions and motivations have been a plot point since his introduction. (See the notes for "Black and White" under Wham Episode, below — not to mention the episodes right after the time skip).
Quarry showed up with some Providence Tech used to control EV Os (It's unknown how he got them, he may have stolen them, or Providence secretly gave it to him to test out), and caused lots of chaos. After the tech is destroyed, Rex states that it was lucky they stopped the menace. At the end of the episode, a warehouse is shown with hundreds of mind control devices, foreshadowing an entire army under providence, not just domesticated, but under direct control. Nothing ever comes of this revelation, because the series ended.
Accidental Public Confession: During "Black and White" Black Knight tells White she'd betray The Consortium without a second thought. White makes sure to record her saying this, keeping it as a trump card.
Action Girl: This series gives both genders time to shine, even if the men (excluding Bobo) have a better overall record, due to their lion's share of front-line fighters.
Adaptation Expansion: The original comic was only two issues long and never really got off the ground.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: ZAG-RS, a reoccurring computer program villain, is a pre-Nanite Event computer that was created to destroy all escaped Nanites. Naturally, this would kill every living thing on Earth except White Knight.
Alpha, the Big Bad of the Ben 10Crossover "Heroes United", is a Nanite with the same ability to control other Nanites as Rex, and like ZAG-RS also wants to destroy the world.
A House Divided: John Scarecrow attempts to pull this on Rex, Holiday and Six after stealing information from them for New Providence. He actually succeeds.
Alliterative Name: Subverted and lampshaded by Rex. Due to a bit of confusion, Rex briefly assumes Rylander is his father. When Rylander tells him this isn't the case, Rex decides this is probably for the best, as "Rex Rylander" is a silly name.
Apple of Discord: Van Kleiss tries this on Rex in regards to his recently-discovered brother. Seems to have worked, at least a little.
Possibly subverted, as subsequent events made it so that one of the victims could only benefit from the gambit. Van Kleiss sowing suspicion on Rex's part may have prepped him to take Cesar's eventual betrayal in stride.
Biowulf also counts, strangely enough. Whenever he has a run-in with Rex or anyone else from Providence, the first thing he does is resort to violence. Check out how he freaks on Bobo when the Pack comes to New York. At this rate, it actually seems like Skalamander is the most stable member of the pack (if one doesn't count Circe). I mean, at least Skalamander tried to talk things out with Rex by saying "hey, we're on your side" before everything falls apart, in contrast to Breach or Biowulf.
Aside Glance: In "Badlands", when Rex tinkers with the radio and a song by Orange (the band that made the Generator Rex theme song) starts playing, Bobo looks directly at the audience.
As of "Black and White", White Knight has joined the club.
Beach Episode: In episode 3, they head to Cabo Luna, which Bobo describes as the greatest place for spring break... and bikini babes.
Beat: Right after Noah asks Rex if he would rather hide from a giant bunny than go on a date.
Betrayal Insurance: White Knight uses a mechasuit when he is forced to leave his sanctuary in Providence to help Rex with a world wide problem. Rex realizes that the suit was in fact originally designed to take him out if he ever went rogue on Providence.
Big Bad: Van Kleiss in the first and second seasons, Black Knight and the Consortium in the third.
Bigger Bad: The Consortium, who are behind Providence and have their own agenda.
Bilingual Bonus: In Episode 2, "String Theory", the kid who trys to stop Rex is speaking fluent Latin American Spanish while in the season 2 premiere, Rex is seen watching a Mexican soap opera during his downtime.
Blessed with Suck: E.V.Os in general. Those that turn are lucky to be anything more than feral monsters, even luckier not to be Body Horror-incarnate, and before Rex would have just been captured and vaporized for study. After, they may not be curable by Rex. For bonus points, there's a small but noticeable amount of Fantastic Racism that goes with the territory. Even Rex, who has the most stable batch, has frequent memory loss.
Though there are some E.V.Os with complete control over their abilities and subvert this trope.
Big Applesauce: Episodes 2 and 7, the latter focusing on the area around the United Nations building.
The Big Damn Kiss: Between Circe and Rex in "Assault on Abysus". Right before she lets herself get captured in order to save him.
While White Knight has redeeming factors, his hands-off superiors are borderline villains.
Later gets into Grey and Black Morality when Black Knight replaces White Knight. Policy changes from "Cure, Contain, or Kill" to "Cure or Mind Rape into obedience". And that policy goes for any employees who won't get with the program.
Blond Guys Are Evil: Bobo jokingly says this of Noah in "Guy vs. Guy". There is a certian slug girl from "Breach" who tried to kill Rex. Roswell from the Consortium counts too. Weaver from "Frostbite". Braden Moses from "A Family Holiday".
Blood from the Mouth: Briefly seen on White Knight in "Promises, Promises". Also happens to Van Kleiss in "Leader of the Pack", when Rex punches him without using his powers.
Lampshaded and averted in "Payback" by Biowulf. When Rex is Brought Down to Normal and Biowulf is told to get rid of him, Biowulf goes for the nearest airlock. When asked if a more elaborate death trap would be more appropriate, Biowulf simply says "No" and drops him.
Played straight by White Knight in the same episode. He traps Biowulf in an electromagnet, which could rip the Nanites right out of his body if it were set at maximum. When Biowulf asks why he didn't just do that, White Knight, having donned his Powered Armor, more or less kicks him in response. He just wanted a good fight.
Bonus Episode: The last episode of the series aired was "Rock My World", which doesn't really have anything to do with the overall plot. However, it seems that the producers realized it would be the very last episode instead of "End Game" and threw in an Animation Bump, Awesome Music original to that episode, some light Fanservice by bringing back Holiday's little sister, and crafted the plot to be just 22 minutes of Rex being awesome to let the series end on a high note.
Book Ends: The series begins with Rex diving out of a airship to attack a giant EVO. The final scene mirrors this, except against a giant robot.
Boot Camp Episode: In "Basic", Rex and Noah agree to go through Providence basic training to prove they are tough enough to make it.
Bottomless Magazines: The non-energy firearms are shown to spit out an obscene amount of spent shells, but we rarely see anyone reloading. Also, the magazines themselves are ludicrously tiny.
Most of the episodes centering Rex and Noah count as this.
Brought Down to Normal: One of Rex's powers is to do this to other E.V.Os, but subverted since it only works if they are mindless or want to be cured. If they want their mutation, they can resist. Animals are also harder to cure. Some are also simply incurable, and thus can only be killed or contained.
Rex spends most of "Lockdown" with his Psychoactive Powers on the fritz. Happens more literally in "Payback", when Van Kleiss steals his Nanites. Fortunately, all it accomplished was a Discard and Draw.
In "Payback" Van Kleiss figures out a way to cure Rex by taking his Nanites to become an evil opposite to Rex, while Rex is just a teenager now. Naturally it doesn't last.
A completely different case in "A Family Holiday" where Holiday's sister, Beverly, formerly an incurable E.V.O, gets turned back to an average human teenager.
Yet again in "Deadzone", due to a nebbishy fellow who functions as a Power Nullifier.
"End Game" has a World-Healing Wave do this to virtually every EVO on the planet. Bobo, Van Kleiss and the Pack, and the Consortium are likely the only living EVOs, not counting Rex himself.
Bubble Boy: Or rather man. White Knight lives in a hermetically-sealed room to keep him nanite-free, since he's the only trustworthy leader of Providence (no random mutation).
Bullying a Dragon: A large crowd harasses Rex in "The Hunter" because they learned he was an E.V.O from the news. Never mind that said news spot is him fighting a giant monster. Taken to suicidally insane levels when Rex gets tired of their crap and brings out the Power Fists to scare them off, only to accidentally backhand someone when the crowd doesn't back down. Despite this, they just get more violent. It's hinted that it might have been a set-up to make Rex look bad, however, so it may be justified.
Chekhov's Armoury: The first Season Finale. In order to fight off the Pack, we have White Knight's Powered Armor, Dr. Holiday's E.V.O sister, and most importantly, the nanite that Rylander injected into Rex halfway through the season. On the other side, Van Kleiss is able to carry out the attack in part because Rex cured him a few episodes earlier.
Chess Motifs: White Knight being replaced by Black Knight. Lampshaded even by Rex in "Back in Black" when he fights Providence's new elite black pawns. Even more justified in "Endgame" after White Knight took back Providence, while the black pawns still remain loyal to Black Knight
Chick Magnet: Rex has managed to attract his fair share of women. Too bad the only ones he has a chance with are the one he ignores and the one working for the enemy.
Clock Roaches: Van Kleiss believes he's being pursued by one in "A Brief History of Time". It turns out its a formless Breach, who keeps getting pulled to Van Kleiss due to her time travel rig being connected to his nanites. Rex manages to restore her physical form and remove the machine.
Code Emergency: Rex has problems keeping his codes straight. He once tells some friends not to worry as it's "only a Code 2". When a giant EVO crashes through a building, he remembers that "the lower the number, the worse the situation".
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Rex's original weapons (the Boogie Pack, the Smack Hands, etc.) are colored orange, grey, and silver, but his new makes, which are centered around Rylander's control nanite, are blue and black.
Conspicuous CG: The spent shells from Providence's automatic weapons are the most obvious example. Some vehicles may be animated using computer generated imagery, especially in scenes where the plot requires many identical vehicles at once.
Continuity Nod: A couple in "What Lies Beneath", to events from the first and ninth episodes.
"Basic" featured captured E.V.O specimens from all throughout the series, used for practice at Providence's basic training facility. These included Weaver from "Frostbite", and a gluttonous businessman who was captured while attacking a grocery store. Finally explaining what's done with incurables who are too big and/or too dangerous to keep in the Zoo.
Rambaur from "Basic" appears in "Moonlighting", albeit with a few extra pounds.
A big point of "Alliance" is fixing the Force Field around the Bug Jar from "The Forgotten", and at the end, Rex advises Circe to head to Hong Kong, a la "Rabble".
"Grounded" brought back the teenagers from the first episode, as Noah's Jerkass classmates.
In "Enemies Mine" when Gatlocke is interviewing a kid to join his gang he asks "by the way can you fly" because as we found out in "Badlands" that is the major difference between him and Rex.
Contrived Coincidence: Breach, in the episode that bears her name, dropping the smashed ice-cream trucks directly on top of the giant scorpions that were menacing Six and Bobo. What are the odds?
Cool Sword: Never mind Rex's BFS; Six owns a pair of katanas that fold up to store in his sleeves, with a spring-launch for easy access. They can even be snapped together to form a car-lifting electromagnet.
Let us not forget, the things are springloaded to work underwater. Through a wet suit. Yeah.
Crapsack World: As cool and fun as Rex's adventures may appear, the fact that every single living thing on the planet has been infected with Nanites and could potentially mutate into a hideous abomination at any time, without any warning or knowledge of what they could turn into, makes it a rather bleak place to live for your average person. What's worse, while Rex may be able to cure E.V.Os, it doesn't work with all of them, so those who mutate may never turn back. On the bright side, things seem to have improved somewhat from the flashback scenes in "Promises, Promises", since at least now people who turn have a chance of being cured, and it really looked like humanity might just outright go extinct before Rex.
Then there's Kiev, Ukraine. When the event happened, the unlucky bastards living there were hit with the single largest concentration of Nanites (because Earth's magnetic field funneled a huge amount to it). The whole city went E.V.O, and lacking the resources to deal with the problem (Providence didn't even exist), the world decided to do the only rational thing: put a giant spherical containment field around that hell-hole and never speak of it again.
On the bright side, Alpha kills everything there and absorbs their Nanites in "Heroes United". It's "just" a ghost town now.
Really, Holiday? You either had ready, or set up in under 8 minutes, an interrogation room with hand scanners, trapdoor, decending wall-thingy, Breach-sized restraints, and PROBE CANNON?
Creator Cameo: Man of Action Studios' founders had two. The teenagers who teased Rex in the first episode and return in the episode "Grounded" are modeled after and voiced by them. They even lampshade it by calling themselves "The Men of Action".
Creepy Child: One of Breach's "dolls". The fact that she isn't laughing at Rex's jokes is, according to him, a clue that she's an E.V.O. Which she is. Oh so much.
While the vast majority of E.V.Os tend to be slavering monsters that look like they just left a Body Horror pageant, Cricket from "Rabble" manages to mutate into a fairly attractive cricket-hybrid. She easily stands out in comparison to her companions, a squid-faced guy and living mummy bandages.
Darker and Edgier: In the first episode alone, we get to see a small army of dead Red Shirts, and the hero actively try to kill the Big Bad. Rex himself also isn't as squeaky clean as other Man Of Action heroes, demonstrating selfish and utterly reckless behavior.
Add the Russian scientist Volkov to the list in "Gravity".
White Knight as of "Plague".
Determinator: One, the most dangerous man in the world. With nothing more than sheer mental strength and his techniques, he resisted losing himself to his E.V.O transformation for five years.
Diplomatic Impunity: Van Kleiss arrives at the UN as a representative of Abysus in episode 7. It's safe to say he lost it by the end.
Discard and Draw: Rex and Van Kleiss do this to each other. Rex takes Kleiss' powers, so Van Kleiss steals Rex's powers. Rex takes in some unprogrammed Nanites, which are then programmed by Rylander's injection to give him a new powerset, as well as getting the old ones back.
Downer Ending: Combined with Downer Beginning and a Hope Spot for good measure. In "Assault on Abysus", Rex's old crew in Hong Kong appears to be captured wholesale, except for Circe. She goes to Rex, then joins him in a mission to Abysus, which is now under Biowulf's control and serves as a safe haven for Evos who don't want to be controlled by Providence. Providence attacks and they manage to hold their own, then Black Knight corners them anyway. Circe, Biowulf, and Skalamander are all caught, and Rex is the only one to make it out.
Rex's old crew managed to escape, so that at least is a plus.
Drill Sergeant Nasty: Though lacking the actual rank, the drill instructor in "Basic" qualifies. As an example, he randomly throws a flash-bang at Rex and Noah for poor marksmanship.
Evil Only Has to Win Once: Ever since the meta-nanites have been introduced special nanites which can bestow the power over things like matter, antimatter and the like, if the Consortium (Providence's higher ups who intend to use them and become gods) or Black Knight who intends to acquire their power for herself, gets their hands on them it's game-over. However, it is revealed in the finale that the meta-nanites were programmed to work only for Rex, so Black Knight's or the Consortium's efforts to gain their full power were actually futile from the start.
The Bunny E.V.O. Well, considering it's a bunny with a vicious streak and a nearby soldier, when it's first seen, comments that "That is no ordinary rabbit!" in a British accent. Well, it doesn't take a genius to figure it out.
Five is pretty much completely Haruko with a Cockney accent.
Face-Heel Turn: Subverted. In "What Lies Beneath", Van Kleiss blackmails Rex into doing one by threatening to suffocate Six, Holiday, and Circe. Rex agrees... so Van Kleiss will let Rex get close enough to cure him.
The Faceless: The leader of the E.V.Os from the Bug Jar, previously know as Kiev, Ukraine and the main villain of episode "Forgotten". And he's called NoFace.
Fake in the Hole: In "Badlands", Rex throws a can of soda at Gatlocke's gang; pretending it's a cannister of unstable nanites.
False Flag Operation: Hunter Kain buys a batch of cloned E.V.Os, releases them to prove Providence is worthless, then has his men save the day. Except he cloned so many that their special E.V.O-killing ammo ran out, and Kain wrote them off since he was too busy fighting Rex. Rex, of course, saves the day.
The scientist from episode 36 does something similar. He says he's made a device that can cure incurable EVOs. Turns out he did, but he couldn't complete the last step because 1: he wasn't smart enough, and 2: It wasn't cost-effective. So he made the machine supercharge the nanites of incurables instead, and also implanted some sort of conditioning in them so he could sell them as superweapons to the highest bidder. He deserved those punches and slaps Holiday gave him in the episode.
Family-Friendly Firearms: Zig-zagged schizophrenically. On one hand, Providence Soldiers generally use what just about anyone will identify as some sort of machine gun, some of which have what looks like grenade launchers mounted underneath. They have the distinctive muzzle flash, and even eject shell casings most of the time. On the other hand, these guns are referred to as "blasters", and being the Red Shirts they are, Providence Soldiers never accomplish anything with them. The presence of microwave energy weapons that actually do something would seemingly make this show a straight example of this trope, except for the fact that they caused their targets, a bunch of giant insects, to explode into a red splatter. Honestly, Generator Rex could get its own folder on this page regarding the degree to which Family-Friendly Firearms applies, since the above examples covers about half of the zig-zags the series makes on this trope.
Also, in another episode, two cops are shown using generic looking automatics with visible shell casing ejection.
In another, there is a very realistic pump-action shotgun shown being cocked.
And loads of it sprinkled liberally throughout the series, running the gamut from simple fear all the way to all-out hate.
In episode 36, it starts out with the scientist who says he can cure "incurables" averting this trope, insisting that EVOs (or ones that were human at least) have loved ones and deserve to be cured. He also says that Providence's "military solution" is not the answer, because they're essentially killing people who are sick. It's played straight when he reveals that he's actually supercharging the EVO's nanites, making them harder to cure, and also conditioning them to be superweapons he can sell to the highest bidder, treating them like animals.
Fish out of Temporal Water: Garan-Set from "Riddle of the Sphinx". His villainy throughout the episode is nothing more than a twisted attempt to make things the way they were in his time. Rex tries to reach out to Garan-Set when he realizes this and offers to help him adjust. Garan-Set refuses, believing the world has no place for people like him and Rex, and crumbles to dust as his Nanites break down.
The Six: A group of mercenaries comprised of the most dangerous people in the world. note Their badness is ambiguous, being mercenaries and all, though their willingness to kill seems to point to this direction.
Big Bad: One (Though it's debatable how bad he was. Turned E.V.O. Deceased.)
Five Rounds Rapid: Mostly played straight with the Providence Red Shirts. They tend to stick to shooting things with conventional weapons. Subverted in episode 7 during a fight with a giant worm. When the bullets they have on hand don't work, they call in gunships and tear that thing apart.
The concept is subverted in "Basic," where one of the Mooks-in-training realizes that they use Five Rounds Rapid not to kill the E.V.Os, but as a distraction so Rex can deal with them.
A show about a young man who gains superpowers and travels the country/world in a team of three, fighting monsters-hey, wait a minute!
It's made by the same people; looks like they weren't done with making adventures.
The series main character, his powers and the title may seem rather familiar for anyone who's seen Generator Gawl, though the overeaching plots of the two series are wildly different.
And there are many similarities to Cybergeneration - ongoing global nanotech apocalypse, heavy-handed government agencies, and most of the EVOs with human intelligence are teenagers.
Forklift Fu: Noah slams Van Kleiss with one in episode 22.
Freudian Slip: Noah in the episode "Lockdown". When in danger of being killed by a spider E.V.O, he accidentally blurts out his affiliation with White Knight, thus forcing him to spill the beans.
Fun with Acronyms: "E.V.O" is short for Exponentially Variegated Organism; basically, a living creature that can look like and do any number of things - a living wild-card.
Game-Breaking Injury: White Knight suffers these in pretty much every fight he's in. A single hairline fracture in his faceplate is enough to put him out of a fight entirely.
Genius Loci: Van Kleiss's little sanctuary is literally a part of him. The entire place is seeded with his Nanites. This comes back to bite the team when Kleiss dies; without him around, Abysus' Nanites go out of control and threaten to spread everywhere.
Godzilla Threshold: Rex uses a new version of his Humongous Mecha in the finale, despite the fact that it may cause him to lose his memory and Six is supposed to kill him if he does. Thankfully, Rex turns out fine and even White Knight considers the situation so dire than he revokes the termination order.
Good Is Not Nice: Providence may exist to protect people from E.V.Os, but they are very much a big picture organization. Soldiers are expendable and are taught as much, and even Rex, their one method of curing E.V.Os, is at best seen as resource they could do without if necessary. To be more specific, Providence's doctrine is "Cure, Contain, or Kill." Since Rex is currently the only person in the world capable of making E.V.Os revert back to human, the second episode makes it clear just how far they're willing to go if he can't deliver.
This is especially true as of season three, since Black Knight has taken over Providence in Rex's absence and White Knight's Freak Out.
Gotta Find Them All: The Meta-Nanites. Nanites which possess the dominion code. They possess control over things like matter, antimatter, gravity, electromagnetism etc. and would essentially make the people in control of them Gods.
Healing Factor: Rex's Nanites can cure poison and destroy any foreign objects in his body.
Heel-Face Turn: Kinda-sorta. Circe does quit the villainous The Pack and cease following Van Kleiss, but she doesn't join Providence, either. Instead, shes joins the rag-tag bunch Rex used to lead in Hong Kong, who are just out to survive... do we have a trope for going from evil to neutral?
Hidden Eyes: Van Kleiss' four-armed schoolgirl minion Breach has the typical "black hair covering face" look going. But considering what she is, seeing her face might be more frightening than the four-armed thing.
Averted. Her face has been seen multiple times now, and she's definitely a Cute Monster Girl. Insane, but cute.
Hijacked by Ganon: Subverted in the finale. Van Kleiss takes control of the meta-nanite project and combines all of the meta-nanites in himself to become God... but it doesn't work. Turns out the "god nanite" will only work inside Rex.
His Name Is...: Rylander is impaled by Van Kleiss before he can spill Rex's backstory. While this doesn't kill Rylander, the effect is the same.
Horror Hunger: Van Kleiss has to feed on the Nanites of E.V.Os to survive. The victims of this process are petrified and make nice statues in his garden.
Hunter of His Own Kind: Played with and perhaps deconstructed by Rex, whose job it is to stop the very thing he has become. His position as a Providence agent means that other sentient EVOs are distrustful or even openly hostile towards him. He gets called on this several times.
Hypocrite: An old woman, seeking to prove that E.V.Os and humans cannot work together, works with an E.V.O to drive other E.V.Os crazy. She's defeated by Rex, obviously an E.V.O himself, who works with humans. Rex does not hesitate to draw attention to this.
Hunter Cain is also likely this, he says in the episode he debuted in that he created and cloned those E.V.Os near the end of the episode himself, despite the fact that his goal is to rid the world of E.V.Os, he says he was doing it to prove Rex wasn't as good a protector everyone thinks he is, and did that just to kill Rex, which makes it worse.
I Did What I Had to Do: Cesar and the other scientists who were working on the nanite project. When the Consortium tried to take the Meta-Nanites, they caused the Nanite event(yes THAT Nanite Event) in order to scatter them across the globe lest the Consortium use them to become Gods. Still what came after Mass Super-Empowering Event / Body Horror abound wasn't his goal but still....
Identity Amnesia: Rex. His personality has changed in the past between his amnesiac blackouts, such as his self-serving traitorous nature when he was in Hong Kong, as opposed to his current, more heroic personality. It is currently unknown whether Rex's current personality matches with his personality before the amnesia set in.
Idiosyncratic Wipes: Usually done such that if a character moves out of frame, they take the image with them, revealing the next scene behind it.
The giant cog flash and nanite Stock Footage are also part of the scene changing.
I Just Want to Be Normal: Rex, being a teenager forced into fighting monsters for a living, naturally has some shades of this. One of the villains, Circe, also feels this way. Strangely, Circe looks completely human, yet feels her powers (which do make her look like a freak when she uses them... voluntarily) prevent her from doing this even though she could logically fit in anywhere. Instead she works for the Big Bad. She does mention that she's a Weirdness Magnet, however, though it's not clear if it's an active or passive facet of her powers.
Not explained is why Circe didn't just get Rex to cure her. Maybe she's one of the E.V.Os that he can't cure, but it's not even been tried. And she must know he can by know, even if she didn't at the start.
I'm Your Biggest Fan: Sebastian claims to be this to the Trendbenders in "Rock My World". He not only considers himself their biggest fan, but their only genuine fan, as he liked their original stuff, which no on else has ever heard. He ends kidnapping them in an attempt to force them to go back to their roots.
Infodump: A large one comes when Rex meets his brother.
Instant Expert: Briefly averted in End Game Part 1, when the consortium are all fighting Rex. He mentions explicitly that he has had much more practice with his Nanites and kicks some ass. Of course, then they fuse...
Intrepid Reporter: Diane Farrah, the (for a while nameless) reporter who appeared everywhere.
I Resemble That Remark: Stated word-for-word by Bobo in "Gravity" in reference to ZAG-RS destroying all E.V.Os.
Ironic Echo: In Rampage, "Here's where you must be thinking: Did I think this plan through?", first said by Rex to Van Kleiss, then Van Kleiss to Rex after EVOing Noah.
It Tastes Like Feet: Said almost word for word by Bobo in "Badlands" when he drinks an expired can of soda:
"This tastes like feet! And not the clean kind!"
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Agent Six. He may stick to orders to a fault, but even he has his limits. Despite orders to "bleach" NYC, he took the bomb's activation key to prevent it from detonating, giving Rex a chance.
Jesus Taboo: Averted in the second episode where the current E.V.O Rex was fighting was a priest, a rare example of a modern cartoon averting the trope.
The Jinx: Annie, who has the nickname "The Blonde Widow". Her every action precipitates Disaster Dominoes. This is played down in the second appearance.
Noah: Every guy who's ever gone out with her has ended up in the hospital, or worse!
Joker Immunity: Van Kleiss. The show actually kills him off for a fair bit when Rylander throws him into a nanite reactor, but he eventually comes back. Thankfully, Rex was able to find a way to bring him down to normal.
Just Before the End: Five years after its outbreak, the E.V.O plague has devastated the world, reshaped its ecosystem, and even changed its political structure. Without a cure, it'll eventually wipe out the human race.
Kent Brockman News: In "Exposed", a news team doing a story on Providence gets taken on a tour of the entire facility, and witnesses an EVO outbreak, getting every minute of their time there on film. The end result? A cheesy tabloid piece on Agent Six.
Played with for Ceasar. He and his parents unleashed the Nanites, causing millions of deaths, and changing the world forever, but they did so under duress, and under the threat of The consortium or Van Kleiss obtaining the meta-nanites (Considering who they are, the world would be in worse shape). His parents die, but he continues to be mobile. Ceasar does several amoral things, and he does seem to lack empathy, very notable when he tried to mind control Rex. Rex calmly punches him in the face in the finale. His punishment vs. the things he did vs. the reasons in which he did them, make him an unusually case.
Kick Chick: Cricket, who naturally got proportional leg-strength with her namesake mutation.
Kill 'em All: In "The Architect", the AI decides the best way to protect itself from the Nanites to to make them all self-destruct. Naturally, the human race goes with them.
Hunter Kain also takes this view against E.V.Os, denying all logic to the contrary.
It's intro scene in "Operation: Wingman" in particular may have also been a subtle Shout-Out to the originalKiller Rabbit scene, considering the Providence soldier Rex talks to has a Scottish accent.
Knight of Cerebus: Black Knight. It's always been a pretty dark show, but it got significantly darker when she took over Providence. Even the breather episodes are more comedy painted over the conflict than straight-up funny.
White Knight is willing to destroy all of New York City, along with everyone and everything in it, just to stop one E.V.O. Admittedly, it did have the power to zombify regular people by touching them.
Black Knight is much worse.
Large Ham: Gatlocke is this in spades. Loves to hear himself talk, check. Has overblown mood swings, check. Overall flair for the dramatic, check and check.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Rex has no memories of his life a few months before joining Providence. Van Kleiss explains that the two of them were right at the base of the explosion, so that probably has something to do with it.
It's confirmed in "Rabble" that Rex has some kind of condition that gives him amnesia several times throughout his life, and it's not a matter of if, but when it will happen again.
In "Six minus Six", Six loses all of his memories of the last six years; forgetting all of his friends, and turning into a morally dubious, casanova, jerkass.
Lightning Bruiser: The giant E.V.O bunny. Strong, able to take some solid hits and fast enough to run away to come back and hassle Rex latter.
Likes Older Women: 15-year-old Rex really likes hitting on Doc Holiday who's in her late 20s, even after he falls for a girl his own age, though it switches to semi-teasing after that.
Like Parent, Like Spouse: Rex is attracted to Doc Holiday, and according to Van Kleiss, Violetta Salazar was a willful, headstrong but brilliant scientist - sound familiar? It doesn't hurt that Grey DeLisle voices both Holiday and Rex's mom AKA ZAG-RS.
Limited Wardrobe: Most of the characters. Lampshaded right off the bat when Holiday asks Six if he's ever going to buy another suit. Rex actually manages to do this trope through a flashback, wearing the exact same clothes when he was five years younger. Even Six had a different outfit back then.
Actually if you go back and re-watch that episode you will see that Rex's outfit was different: black shirt not white, blue jeans not leather(?), no goggles and no gloves.
In the episode "Operation: Wingman" Rex borrows one of Six's suits for yet another formal occasion (in this instance, prom night). When Six returns to his flat and discovers his closet is ajar, the viewer catches a glimpse within—where there are twelve identical suits. Rex is wearing one and Six was wearing one all day, so that adds up to two green suits for every day of the week!
Rex even lampshades it "There isn't much choice when you're shopping in Six's closet."
Living Battery: There's a whole country that gets its electricity from a single EVO.
Long Lost Sibling: Rex learns from Rylander that he has a brother, and then meets him later.
Luke, I Am Your Father: An interesting example in "Written in Sand". It turns out that ZAG-RS was originally been a decontamination system designed by César, Rex's brother, in order to eliminate stray Nanites during the project. The trope really comes in, whoever, when César reveals that since he wanted the program to give the feeling of protection and safety, he modeled ZAG-RS' voice after that of their mother.
Man Child: Instead of being dark and truly evil, like other villains, Gatlocke seems to act cheery and a little childish.
Magic Pants: Justified for Rex, who can control his Nanites. Averted for Rule of Funny in the first episode. The first person Rex cures of E.V.O infection had grown to a skyscraper-sized monster. He's naked upon being cured, and is quickly covered by a blanket. The old man then hugs Rex in gratitude, just in time for the blanket to fall off. Hilarity Ensues. (It's generally accepted as fanon that he was showering at the time.) Beyond that, most cured E.V.Os revert fully-clothed regardless of the mutation, or at the very least still have pants.
Male Gaze: Doc Holiday's shot in the intro starts with a zoom-away from her chest.
Mama Bear: Holiday shows signs of this in "Breach".
Mass Super-Empowering Event: The nanite explosion five years prior to the start of the series infected every living thing on Earth with Nanites. While they are dormant most of the time, they will occasionally activate. Unfortunately, most things (people or otherwise) are mutated into super-powered monsters as a result. Only the lucky ones get any control over their powers (or indeed, any semblance of intelligence). Worst part is that there's no telling when these powers will emerge, so technically all life on Earth are time bombs waiting to go off.
Meaningful Name: Rex and Cesar's names both mean "king" - makes you wonder what their parents expected of them. Gabriel Rylander and Rafael Salazar, the two leading scientists on the nanite project, share their names with two archangels. Circe was an evil witch in Greek mythology whose voice could seduce and had the power to turn men into animals with her potions.
Providence itself. Providence, Rhode Island was first set up as one of the first refuges for Puritan dissentors; in other words, a home for outcasts, such as Rex.
The name takes on a darker meaning in season 3 when it's true goal is revealed: to deliver the power of gods (in the form of the Meta-nanites) to its financial backers the Consortium.
Mecha-Mooks: Rylander uses these to defend his base in his first appearance. Black Knight's elite Black Pawns are revealed to be this in "End Game, Part 1".
The Men in Black: Agent Six, in all but suit color. But even then, it's still a darker shade of green.
Muggle Best Friend: Noah, although he was hired to pretend to be Rex's friend and spy on him, but became so in truth.
Multitasked Conversation: In "A Brief History of Time", Cesar notices that someone cloaked is following him and the providence agents, he loudly proclaims what they're going to do for the followers benefit
Mundane Utility: The Evos that Providence collars are put to use for such tasks as harvesting wheat and helping little old ladies cross the street.
My Friends... and Zoidberg: In "Enemies Mine", Rex gets called back to base and tries to stay saying, "My four worst enemies are still on the loose. Well, my three worst enemies and Valve." He spends practically the whole episode saying things to similar effect.
Nanomachines: The source of all the powers/mutations in this show.
Never Found the Body: Rylander and Van Kleiss apparently die when Rylander pushes them both into a nanite reactor. They just vanish, much like Breach just an episode earlier.
Van Kleiss and Breach both make a trimphant return in "What Lies Beneath". Kleiss was actually dead, though, so Rylander is no doubt gone.
Not gone, just spread a little thin
Breach and Van Kleiss in "Lions and Lambs". The latter of whom eventually has his own episode of how he returns to the present.
Never Say "Die": Averted. They've said "kill" repeatedly, and actually tried to do just that just as much.
Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer for "Frostbite" implied that Rex would be fighting some monster in a cold climate while at danger of nanite overload. This is technically true, but almost all the voice-clips used are from The Teaser, which also involved Rex being in danger of overload.
New Era Speech: Given by Black Knight during the second part of the Grand Finale. Oddly enough, it appears to have been pre-recorded as the speech starts with Black Knight, in her pre-metananite human form, talking to the camera while seated in the Consortium boardroom.
Not Quite Dead: Occurs with Rex himself in "The Swarm". Remember that huge nano-chunk Rylander injected him with? It can keep him from dying over an extended period.
Not So Different: Gatlocke tries this on Rex in "Badlands", while they're having a swordfight atop an out of control truck heading toward a cliff. Just before the truck reaches the edge, Rex retorts that there is a major difference between them: Gatlocke can't fly.
Garan-Set tries this on Rex as well right before his Nanites break down and he crumbles to dust. He warns Rex that the world will never accept people like them.
Not What It Looks Like: In "Robo Bobo", Holiday walks into Rex's room to find Rex kneeling on the floor with his face seemingly pressed up against Bobo's butt. Her "I'll come back later" is priceless.
Now or Never Kiss: Between Rex and Circe just as they are close to the edge of Van Kleiss' castle while the Black Pawns have them trapped; Circe returns Rex's feelings for her, and the two share a passionate kiss before Rex falls and Circe is captured by Providence.
Nuclear Weapons Taboo: The "Bleach Protocol" isn't actually a nuke, but a "forced plasma cascade". When Six mentions this to Rex in "The Swarm", Rex points out that "Nuke 'em" still makes for a much better Catch Phrase.
Nuke 'em: A proposed solution to the zombie-making E.V.O, but never implemented. Tried on the bugs in "The Swarm", which just made them multiply.
Official Couple: Rex and Circe, basically from her introduction, but more blatantly in "Assault on Abysus" and then post-series
Six and Holiday at the end of "A Family Holiday" until Six loses his memories in "Six Minus Six"
"Mind Games" brings the relationship back into full view, forcing Holiday's feelings for Six to resurface in the worst way
Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: Six and Holiday. They get together finally after two seasons of build-up, and then he immediately loses his memories and forgets everything that happened. Then it's brought up again in "Riddle of the Sphinx", "Heroes United" (slightly), and especially "Mind Games"
One-Winged Angel: During the flashback episode "Promises, Promises", Rex somehow built himself into a giant robot with all his E.V.O powers combined. It gave the military a good fight until Six stabbed it in the shoulder, at which point it exploded just after grabbing Six and ejecting its hand, which contained the amnesiac Rex.
Our Vampires Are Different: Just about everything about Van Kleiss screams "vampire" from his appearance and clothing to his creepy castle in the middle of a dark forest. And of course there's his diet (albeit draining Nanites instead of blood). He differs in his toleranceof sunlight and control over the lands surrounding his home, but needs to be around at least some of his native soil at all times, as in some vampire myths.
With season two and his new power to force Nanites into turning other people into E.V.Os, and leaving behind a visible mark after they change, any possibility of him not being a reference to a vampire is lost.
Out of Order: The crossover episode has several events which place it ahead of "Black and White", at least. It aired near the start of the season.
Panty Shot: Averted with Cricket, who was wearing black shorts under her skirt.
Papa Wolf: Six in "What Lies Beneath". He protected Rex from Biowulf with "Don't even breathe" ...
People Puppets: Peter Meechum, as an E.V.O, can activate the Nanites in anyone he touches, granting him control of their muscles, but not their minds. The one guy Providence captured who had been affected, though, was a remarkably good sport about it. The rest just keep quiet.
Quarry gets access to tech that can allow E.V.O.'s to be controlled remotely through their collars. Providence is mass-producing it.
Phlebotinum Overload: A consistent problem for Rex, who absorbs nanites from E.V.Os. He does have space limits, so he has to be regularly evacuated to remote medical bases to have his surplus nanites offloaded. It's a major plot point in "Frostbite", combining terrors with borderline Cybernetics Will Eat Your Soul.
More conventionally, a man in "Deadzone" constantly projects a field which renders nanites inactive or dormant (Rex describes the feeling as "fuzzy"). This has the effect of making Rex's machines instantly fall apart if he tries to build them under its influence.
Powers as Programs: Rex's constructs are literally a program giving the nanites instructions on what to build.
Power Trio: This is what Rex's old E.V.O. gang back in Hong Kong was once was when he left and before Circe joined them.
Prison Riot: Valve, Gatlocke, Hunter Cain and No-Face use a prison riot as cover for their break-out in "Enemies Mine".
Quote Mine: The news report in "Exposure" does this to Six to make him look even more cool/desirable than he already is.
Race Lift: In the original comic, Rex is blond and blue-eyed, while in the show, he's Latino. Some conceptual art shows that they may at one point planned on using the original design, albeit aged up. There's also some with Rex looking like a humanoid version of the Megawhatt from Ben 10.
Real Song Theme Tune: "Revolution" by the indie-punk band Orange is the show's theme, albeit in severely cut-down form. And yes, it is found on their latest album and can be downloaded on iTunes.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Rex has two Blues in the form of Six and Noah. Possibly a third in Holiday, as well.
Red Shirt Army: Providence's foot soldiers fill this role. While escaping Van Kliess' stronghold, Rex comments that he expected Providence to send an army to rescue him rather than just Six. At that moment they run past the remains of one of Providence's drop ships...
Real Place Background: Greenville, Ohio and New York City get not only major backdrops to the plot but if you ever visit you might recognize a little too much from the show. Also several other locations which get named look like their Real Life counterparts.
Reed Richards Is Useless: The Architect uses nanites to create machines that help an entire village run smoothly, and could as well have divulged these inventions to the world. He doesn't because, as Rex is told, he is a "perfectionist". It turns out there are entirely more sinister reasons.
Running Gag: Trains. So many trains. Pretty much every time Rex gets near a subway or other train line he's pretty much guaranteed to have a near miss with a train. Even Breach seems to be aware of this: in "Hard Target" she sends him through one of her portals and straight onto a train line. Of course, there's a train heading straight for him.
BFS: One of the weapons his arm turns into, the "Big Fat Sword." It can also turn into a giantbuzzsaw.
BFG: The "Slam Cannon". A ridiculously huge gun that creates ammo by trash-compacting debris from Rex's surroundings. Essentially, it's Fallout 3's Rock-It launcher in a somewhat more realistic and practical form. It's interesting to note the tactical limitations of having a gun that requires external ammo- for example, Rex has been in a number of fights set on moving vehicles, where he wouldn't be able to grab anything to put into the Slam Cannon, and thus doesn't really have any ranged attacks.
Goomba Stomp: The "Punk Busters" allow a rare non-videogame example, turning Rex's feet into a pair of giant spiked boots that can be used to stomp, kick, or otherwise teach enemies a lesson in pain. It also grants him In a Single Bound abilities, crossing miles in just a few jumps.
Helicopter Pack: The "Boogie Pack" is basically a pair of turbines that grow from his back. Avoids the problem with most jetpacks as it's not using chemical propulsion and the turbines are well away from his body. It comes with giant bola that can be launched from the turbines.
Power Fist: The "Smack Hands". Two ridiculously huge fists. If that wasn't enough, they can spin for more damage.
Shipper on Deck: After A Family Holiday, Rex occasionally hints that Six and Holiday should get together.
Ship Tease: Between Rex and Circe. And a bit between Six and Holiday. The latter reaches boiling point in 'Family Holiday', resulting in the two sharing an Almost Kiss during the mission and Six asking Holiday out once they're back at base. Quoth Holiday: "It's about time."
The giant explosion in the beginning is an obvious AKIRA reference, and there's several more down the line.
"Breach" is an obvious Shout-Out to Silent Hill. A foggy town filled with monsters, a creepy school, and a possible alternate dimension/reality involved. Check, check, and check. It wouldn't be surprising if "Man of Action" came out and said they're fans of the series.
Breach being shot with a small cannon at Doc Holidy's order is similar to a scene in Elfen Lied.
Also, the whole concept of magically making a town into one's own personal playpen is lifted from The Twilight Zone. There was an episode where a young boy used his psyhcic powers to magically remove his town from the rest of the world because he was mentally unhinged.
One of the alternate worlds that she takes Rex to in "Lions and Lambs" is a reflective surface surrounded by stars, similar to the setting of the dance scene in the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie.
The standard Providence Rifle looks like a white Bolter.
Anyone else think those rat/dog things in "The Architect" looked like the mutated rats from Parasite Eve?
Five, with her pink hair and guitar, seems to be a shout out to Haruhara Haruko. All that's missing is the Vespa.
Speaking of Five and the other mercenaries, anyone else catch a No More Heroes vibe from Six's old crew. They're all ranked by how deadly they are, they look nothing like your traditional assassin/mercenary, and seem to have near superhuman powers without technically being superhuman.
Episode 33, "Written in Sand" has Rex using his whip arm to trip ZAG-RS' massive colossus form, only for the whip to snap. Rex remarks how it "Worked in the movie!"
Towards the beginning of "Heroes United," Rex tries writing a theme song for himself. The brief snippet we hear uses the exact same tune as the original Ben 10 theme.
The Consortium's Meta-nanite powered faceless, multicolored, shiny armors are very similar to Marvel Comics' Celestials.
The Simple Life Is Simple: Both averted and played straight in "Hermanos". Rex thinks running a ranch will be simple and soon discovers that it isn't. However, Claire is able to learn an awful lot about farming just by watching videos on the internet.
Slap Yourself Awake: In "Plague", Holiday uses a series of low-level elecrical shocks directly to her brain to keep herself awake after the eponymous plague causes everyone else in the world to fall asleep.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Considering the dark tone of the series the somewhat random surf music and cheery opening sometimes feel very out of place.
The impact of some darker episodes, like "Breach" and "The Hunter", is somewhat lessened by the stock cartoon sound effects that run in the background during fights.
Spit Take: Rex gets one in "Outpost" upon being told that the drink he is imbibing is made from rice that has passed through the digestive tract of a monkey.
Averted in "Back in Black" too— Providence is not restored to normal by the end of the episode. Rex is not returned to six months earlier. Our core cast of characters have created/joined a secret, smaller organization rivalling Providence. Generally, there is a lot less of this as the episodes go on.
Eventually, the status quo is partially restored by the time of Endgame, with White Knight and his team getting Providence back, Van Kleiss escaping the cure event and being a threat again, and Rex fighting for Providence again (see Book Ends above). However, the major difference is that all the EV Os in the world are cured (except that there are still nanites in the atmosphere) and Providence now deals with other threats, such as the giant robot Rex fights in the end.
Also happens to Rex when Providence is planning to kill him.
Strong as They Need to Be: Rex's strength tends to vary wildly, even within single episodes. Compare "The Day Everything Changed" to "Badlands." In the latter, Rex fights a largely ordinary human in sword to sword combat, and defeats him after quite a bit of struggle, right after tossing aside one of Gatlocke's trucks. No matter how good Gatlocke's own enhancements, he's clearly not that strong. In the former, Rex jumps out of an airplane to take on a giant monster E.V.O... Yeah...
In the episode "Divide by Six", we finally see his eyes for the first time.
Super Human Trafficking: Thanks to the new mind controlling collars Providence is now not only able to capture EVOs, but also use them for various tasks, like collecting crops. They don’t distinguish between sentient and non-sentient ones. Official propaganda says that it’s a method to create “a better future for all EVOs" and help integrate them into the society. Quarry tried to use the same method to create his own personal army.
Super OCD: Breach doesn't like when you mess up her dollhouse-town.
Super Prototype: Rex compared to the rest of the E.V.Os, as revealed in "Dark Passage". Justified, however, in that the batch that caused the Mass Super-Empowering Event weren't fully finished or programmed yet, which causes their deficiencies.
Superpower Russian Roulette: Becoming an EVO usually means turning into a mindless monster. If you belong to this small group that kept their minds, you still remain one mass of a Body Horror. Even EVOs looking relatively normal experience unpleasant side effects. Van Kleiss has Horror Hunger for nanites, Circe became a Weirdness Magnet, and Rex got a chronic condition that periodically gives him Laser-Guided Amnesia, along with a Superpowered Evil Side. The real winners are EVOs like Bobo—that is, animals who gained human-level intelligence. This group seems to be even smaller.
Technopath: In addition to his power over Nanites (both his own and others), Rex can control machines simply by touching them.
As of "Frostbite," this seems to be reaching new boundaries. With enough Nanites in his body, Rex seems to be able to channel some sort of speech pattern from them.
And as of "Payback", he disarms bombs planted all over Providence's main base by shutting down everything in the building at once.
In the same episode, Van Kleiss has a Technopath of his own, in the form of a strange, crustacian E.V.O,
Teleporters and Transporters: Breach can fire portals from her giant hands, using them to wisk people off to god knows where, go wherever she wants, or surround people with portals and attack from every angle. She's essentially an Expy of Marvel's portal-creating character Spot in all but appearance, which is closer to that of Spiral.
Bit of Fridge Horror here is that Breach can send them anywhere. Middle of the desert, over the ocean or into a volcano (probably, but this is on Cartoon Network), straight to Van Kleiss; ANYWHERE. And don't worry about pesky things like "heat" or "air-pressure". In her titular episode, she sends something straight to the bottom of the Atlantic without any noticeable effect on the "in" portal. Not to mention the fact that she 'tore' the town of Greenville from the ground, implying she can move the parts of a target she desires. Now imagine if she tried this on a person....
It's later revealed that she took the entire city of Greenville, Ohio and teleported it to a pocket dimension, where she turned it into a Silent Hill-like "dollhouse."
Teens Are Short: For some reason, Rex, Noah, Circe, and really every teen on the show, most of whom are within the 15-17 range, are noticeably shorter than most human adult characters. It's hard to compare them with the Innocent Bystanders or other normal humans though, and Six does seem to be fairly tall.
That Man Is Dead: Rex pulls this in "Rabble". When Quarry offers to buy him off with the journal he kept before his most recent memory wipe, Rex decides that his past self was such a phenomenalJerkass that he doesn't really care about that part of his past.
Theme Music Powerup: When Rex discovers his new nanite power, the full version of the theme starts playing. And he promptly gives Van Kleiss a much needed ass kicking.
Tortured Monster: Not stated outright, but heavily implied. Most people who've gone EVO seem to become insane, rampaging beasts, and generally seem very happy to be cured.
Toxic Phlebotinum: The Nanites were released with improper coding, hence the craptastic mutations. Rex, by comparison, is infected with an earlier, more stable version. This is why proper beta testing is important, people!
Training from Hell: "Basic" is all about Rex and Noah going through Providence boot camp, on a dare from the pilots from "The Forgotten". It's not as exagerated as such training usually is (aside from the ludicrous number of push-ups and sit-ups they're assigned), though they still had a fairly-standard Drill Sergeant Nasty.
Except the whole "crash-land a real plane" part and fighting fifty-foot E.V.O monsters. That's kinda extreme.
Cesar's self-contained self-propelled lab capsule is lightspeed capable, which kicks things up a notch to extremely advanced space travel. But otherwise, the 'verse has a lot of standard contemporary elements.
True Companions: The episode "Hermanos" reveals that Rex feels this way towards Noah, Annie and Claire
Two Guys and a Girl: This is what Rex's old E.V.O. gang back in Hong Kong was once was when he left and before Circe joined them.
Underside Ride: In "Back in Black", Rex clings to the underside of a Providence transport to learn where Black Knight is having the captured EVOs shipped.
Unfazed Everyman: Noah seems to fulfill all the requirements. Except he's, you know, an agent of Providence hired to be Rex's friend and keep him in line without letting him know. He ends up blowing that last part thanks to a stress-induced Freudian Slip.
Played Straight after Lockdown
The Unfavorite: Rex's main issue in "Breach" in dealing with the title-character's parallel dimension occupant.
Unstoppable Mailman: In "Double Vision", a massive E.V.O. plant is threatening to convert every living thing into copies of itself. While all this chaos is going on, a delivery girl is just driving around, apparently oblivious to the carnage surrounding her.
Utopia Justifies the Means: New Providence has this mindset. To curb the Evo problem, all Evos are getting collared and brainwashed, even the intelligent ones who aren't a danger to anyone.
Villain with Good Publicity: New Providence. Their method for controlling Evos makes them very popular with the world, since said Evos can be put to work doing menial labor, but there's more going on than the public knows.
We Have Reserves: It takes a special kind of Jerkass to tell this to the faces of his own men, and even says that they already knew.
Weirdness Magnet: Circe claims to be this, but it's not clear if it requires her to actually use her powers. It being passive is the likeliest reason, else she could just, y'know, not use her powers. It also has some interesting implications for her relationship with Rex, who is, you'll recall, an E.V.O himself.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Van Kleiss, if he buys his own propaganda. Circe is probably a better example, since she definitely does.
Wham Line: Cesar: "The day everything changed, we never imagined what would happen when we released the nanites."
Episode 15 has a handful of crazy-intense moments.
Episode 19. We learn a heck of a lot about everyone, particularly White Knight, and what most of them were intending to do with Rex.
Episode 33 Cesar reveals he created ZAG-RS and her voice is based of his and Rex's mother.
Episode 36. There's a working cure for the Incurables, and Holiday's sister Beverly is its first successful test subject.
While that's impressive on its own, there's also Rex finally getting over his attraction to Doc Holiday and Six actually asking Holiday out on a date. Someplace very hot just froze over, people.
Episode 40: Long story short, Rex is sent ahead in time six months, where White Knight has tried (and failed) to take over Providence completely, and has been replaced by a woman named Black Knight. And Six, Holiday, and Bobo are all missing, with Cesar the only one having stayed.
"Black and White". Black Knight and the Consortium behind Providence want the meta-nanites, which essentially contain the base code for the universe. Whoever collects them all would have control over the building blocks of the universe. Cesar and his team also deliberately triggered the nanite event, because it was the only way to keep the meta-nanites from the Consortium.
"Assault on Abyssus" Circe comes to Rex when his Hong Kong pals are captured by Providence. The reason Van Kliess wanted Rex was to get to a meta-nanite under his castle, which no one else could do. Rex gets it before Providence, but Circe and the Pack, all of whom were helping him, are put under mind control.
After the Time Skip when Rex got sent six months into the future, the disappearance of the former Van Kleiss minion who pulled a Heel-Face Turn and joined Providence left a lot of fans asking this. A later episode reveals that he's still around, and that he was doing covert ops missions the whole time which is why we never saw him. Rex does Lampshade it, though: when he sees the guy again he's forced to admit that he forgot he even existed.
Also, whatever happened to Beverly Holiday, Dr. Holiday's sister? After she's cured Rex admits that Dr. Holiday is too old for him and becomes a Shipper on Deck for Holiday and Six, and implies that he's interested in Beverly instead... but then we never see her again.
She is seen attending a concert with Rex in one of the last few episodes. It seems she just lives a normal life away from Providence.
This also occurs in the way E.V.Os are dealt with. If it was once human, Rex will go out of his way to cure it. If it wasn't, he'll go out of his way to kill it. Partly justified by animal E.V.Os apparently lacking the mental capacity to be cured, which normally requires the consent of the E.V.O.
White Knight, in fact, sees everyone as either a tool or an enemy, since every single human except himself is either an E.V.O or a potential E.V.O.
Both the original actual Scream, and several times what sounds like someone trying to imitate it.
World-Healing Wave: In the finale, Rex uses the combined Meta-Nanite to initiate one, curing every EVO on the planet. Bobo is exempt thanks to being shielded by his proximity to the reactor, the Consortium may have managed to retain some of their power, and Van Kleiss and the Pack (not including Circe) are rescued by Breach (whose pocket dimension probably protected them). White Knight also points out that nanites are still floating around, though whether or not they can cause mutations isn't made clear.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Van Kleiss has an entire garden of dead E.V.Os that either refused to serve him, or weren't particularly useful. They were probably very filling though.
Kleiss hires a new E.V.O in episode 9 to replace Breach. The fool accidentally messes up Kleiss' nanite dirt suit. He's a statue by the next scene, with barely enough time for an Oh, Crap facial expression before the scene shift.
White Knight implies this will happen to Rex if Six can't keep him in line.
At one point Rex implies that if White Knight goes too far, he might outlive his usefulness, and that a sealed room wouldn't be enough to protect him.
Not to mention Breach's habit of throwing away her broken "toys"...
Quarry says this almost word for word when an E.V.O henchman of his gets cured by Rex.
You Make Me Sic: In "Enemies Mine", Gatlocke complains about Valve misusing the phrase "begging the question", although he immediately claims to be joking and says only a total pedant would get upset about something like that. Being Gatlocke, it's hard to know if he was being serious or not.
Your Other Left: In "Exposed", Holiday is watching an EVO on the monitors and guiding Rex and Bobo as to where it has gone. At one point, she tells them it went "Right" and they take off in the wrong direction. She immediately adds "Camera right!". With embarrassed looks, Rex and Bobo turn around.