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Adaptational Badass: Pac-Man himself, actually. This version can actually chomp ghosts without the use of power-ups (Though he does need them to keep it up for too long). Of course, this being the franchise that invented power-ups, he gets even more badass by eating Power Berries, each with wildly different abilities.
Adaptational Heroism: The four ghosts that always caused trouble for Pac in the games? Yeah, they're on his side now.
The Ahnold: The Pacinator, he even has the shades.
Apocalypse How: Dr. Buttocks nearly causes a Class 6 for Pac-World in "Planet Pac vs The Ghosteroid", due to a slight miscalculation. Luckily for all, the Tree of Life happens to also grow planetary form Power Berries.
Ambiguously Human / Non-Standard Character Design: While every character of the dominant sentient race in the show so far is either a circle shaped Pac-Worlder or was once one before becoming a ghost, Ghoulasha the witch in "Jinxed" stands out from everyone else due to being more human-like in body structure.
The same can also be said for Jean from Mean Genie and Cap'n Banshee from "Cap'n Banshee and his Interstellar Buccaneers".
Animesque: Not surprising, considering Pac-Man's origins. The show is an American/Japanese/Canadian co-production, and going by the credits, at least 60% of it is produced in Japan.
Amusement Parkof Doom: The Dingaling Bros. Carnival in "Ride the Wild Pac-Topus", after Dr. Buttocks manipulates the rides.
Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Some of the Pac-Worlders have astonishingly appropriately shapes that reflect the sport they are into. A football helmet-wearing Pac-Worlder has a body in the shape of a football; some tennis-playing Pac-Worlders are green and tennis-ball shaped; a tall Pac-Worlder dressed to play basketball is basketball shaped.
Bad Bad Acting: The Ghost Gang tries to delivers news to Spheria from Betrayus results in this in "Pac-Pong Fever".
Badass Bookworm: Pac qualifies, with all those books on ghosts that he had.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Meanie Genie; what with the giant sandwich which that if landed on a normal Pac-Worlder, would have crushed them, and when Pac wishes that the ghosts were gone from the Underworld, they're just sent up to Pac-World. Though Jean doesn't even give Pac the chance to elaborate.
Beware the Silly Ones: Betrayus. He may act like a brat but he was still the cause of Pac-World War 1, and almost took care of all the yellow ones.
Dr. Buttocks, in spades. While he may be a Butt Monkey (insert groaning at the Incredibly Lame Pun) and stereotypical mad scientist, he also nearly wiped out all life on the planet via Ghosteroid, which he was able to summon through a scheme no more difficult than any other he's ever prepared.
There's also Count Pacula, the Pac-Man Universe version of a vampirenote A possibly unintentional shout out to "Pacula" from the Hanna-Barbera Pac-Man series, although that one was more like Frankenstein's Monster., residing in the Netherworld, who has the ability to hypnotize both Pac-Worlders and ghosts and upon the hypnosis, he tells them to silly things: having Skeebo act like an ape, Spiral hop on one leg, and at the request of Buttler, make Dr. Buttocks swim like a blowfish and squeal like a pig.
Bigger on the Inside: The repository that holds all of the ghosts' bodies are held is a large rainbow colored cylinder that can be carried around.
It is mentioned that the same effect occurs naturally in Pac's stomach.
Bittersweet Ending: "Happy Holidays and a Merry Berry Day" ends with what appeared to be Pac's parents revealed to actually be hard light holograms used by Dr. Buttocks to trick Pac into revealing the location of the Tree of Life, but Pac closely looks at the photograph of his parents and is given a lead on where they might be.
Black Hole Belly: Pac can suck up ghosts several times larger than he is, and eat an entire cafeteria's worth of food and still be hungry!
Body Surf: Specter's prime tactic, and he's very good at it.
Bottle Episode: "Rip Van Packle." There's some slightly modified character models for the elderly versions of Cyli, Spiral, etc but there isn't a lot of complex animation in the episode and the lighting is much duller than usual. It's pretty obviously filler, especially since it turns out to be All Just a Dream and therefore completely pointless in the end anyway.
Blue with Shock: The normal ghosts that look like the original designs from the games shrink and turn blue when scared.
Bragging Theme Tune: "The Pac is Baaack / Ghosts chompin' at his feet / Pac's our hero / The Pac just can't be beat!"
Bring My Brown Pants: Skeebo ends up wetting himself in fear after seeing the ghosts in "Meanie Genie".
The Ghost Gang are also sometimes this for a variety of reasons.
The President doesn't have an easy time with the ghost attacks and what-not happening around him.
Arguably, Skeebo and Spiral count as well since the former usually has his food accidentally stolen by Pac Man and Spiral usually has some trouble controlling his powers when he eats Pac's power berries (like the wind berry from Paclantis).
Happens again in Cosmic Contest, though this time Betrayus makes sure to do the backstabbing first. The fact they cooperated at all is what saves their groups from banishment.
Clingy Jealous Girl / Violently Protective Girlfriend: While the relationship is one-sided for the most part, Pinky gets really jealous when Cyli butts in between her and Pac-Man, even going so far as to eat her while in monster form. Pinky also gets rather aggressive if anyone dares harm Pac-Man, even if that someone is Betrayus.
Conflicting Loyalty: The Ghost Gang often have this when deciding whether they should follow Betrayus especially when he asks them to personally do one of his schemes, or help Pac-Man and his friends to thwart said scheme. They usually side with Pac-Man but will sometimes do Betrayus' scheme either because they find that it'll not hurt anyone or is impossible to do, or because they were tricked into doing it in first place due to Betrayus not divulging enough details.
Continuity Nod: In "Heebo Skeebo", Skeebo remembers that he was given some of Pac's Power Berries from the first episode.
Continuity Reboot: Or not. Namco has stated that Pac's parents are the "original" Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, so it could be either or.
Death Is Cheap: When Pac eats the ghosts, their eyes escape and can reconstitute themselves in a chamber in the Netherworld.
Demonic Possession: The ghosts are to be able to do this but only for a few minutes unless aided like in "President Possessed!".
Specter, on the other hand, has trained himself to the point he can stay in a body for quite a while, and his frequent use of the Body Surf tactic makes him very dangerous.
Dirty Coward: Betrayus, apparently. He is terrified of getting his eyeballs spat out by Pac-Man after being eaten, and both times Pac-Man has met him with intent to battle, he runs off and lets his minions take the fall.
The Disembodied: The ghosts were stripped of their corporal bodies for trying to take over Pac-World.
The native inhabitants of Pac-World qualify to an extent as well. In the first animated adaptation and many of the games, the Pac-Worlders looked like a case of Only Six Faces since they all looked like Pac-Man but with a few distinguishing physical characteristics and pieces of clothing. Here in this adaptation, not only do all of the Pac-Worlders have various different body shapes but they also vary in color, as they also did in the aforementioned Hanna-Barbera series.
The Dreaded: Yellow Pac-Worlders like Pac to ghosts. When the ghosts first see Pac in a strong light and realize that he's yellow, they completely freak out, and run scared back to the Netherworld.
In "Heebo Skeebo" it's evidenced that when Pac-Worlders that aren't yellow eat ghosts they spit them back out instead of spiting out only the eyes like Pac does.
Dreadful Musician: Spiral playing his harmonica in the first episode and Robo Woes shows that Pac's singing is so bad he destroyed an alien robot and saved the day.
The Dog Bites Back: In "Mission ImPacable!", the microchip that was controlling Pac-Man gets stuck on Betrayus and its remote falls into Butt-ler's hands. Seeing that Betrayus will still torment him regardless if he gives the remote or not, Butt-ler takes the opportunity for some much needed payback for all the abuse, such as Betrayus forcing Butt-ler to let Pac eat him to get Pac to eat the chip in the first place.
In "Betrayus Turns Up The Heat", Dr. Buttocks enslaves a group of dragons, forcing them to stoke the furnace that is heating up Pac World. When Pac-Man arrives, not only do the dragons refuse to protect Buttocks from him, one even breathes fire on his eyes after he was eaten.
Engineered Public Confession: Pac and the Ghost Gang trick Specter into admitting he plans to overthrow Betrayus, and broadcast the recording in front of the whole Netherworld.
Even Evil Has Standards: While Fluffy's three heads will all maul you, the middle head will at least send you a get-well card.
Also, Pac's zits were so nasty, a cyclops ghost actually said he'd rather have his eyeball spat out than touch them.
Evil Versus Oblivion: Betrayus and his cronies reluctantly aid Pac-Man in contending with the Ghosteroid when they discover that it'll wipe out the Netherworld as well.
Exact Words: When Jean tells Pac that she can grant him anything he wants on Pac-World, Pac wishes for his parents to return. Jean refuses to grant it because she said anything on Pac-World and pointed out that Pac's parents are not on Pac-World.
Extreme Omnivore: Pac-Man will sometimes eat stuff outside of ghosts and normal food such as an entire statue and food only the ghosts would eat.
Fangirl: Cylindria for most of the episode Pac-Pong Fever to Pac's Aunt Spheria comes to visit; the reason being the latter revealed to be a famous Pac-Pong (Pacworld's version of Ping-Pong) player.
Fire-Breathing Diner: Pacster does this when he tries Sir Cumference's chili. Also a lesser example is when he ingests the berries that give him fire breath.
Fisher Kingdom: The Netherworld gradually shrinks/weakens Pac-Worlders unless they constantly eat Power berries. Cosmic Contest attributes this to the atmosphere being filled with toxic smog.
Flat Earth Atheist: Many of the Pac-Worlders initially don't believe in ghosts despite the Ghost Wars/Pac-World War One being only one generation old.
Dr Buttocks doesn't believe in witches or curses, but learns the hard way he might be wrong bout that.
Flight: While the Power Berries all bestow different powers depending on type, flight is usually a secondary power also given if it's not a main one.
Former Girlfriend of Jerk Jock: Cylindra was Skeebo's girlfriend, until he broke up with her because he was too scared to save her from a ghost. Though he occasionally tries to "win" her back, otherwise he now sees her as much of a loser as Pac and Spiral.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: In quite a few episodes, mainly "All You Can Eat" if the viewer pays attention, they can see several puns such as "Pac-ger King" (Burger King).
Friendly Enemy: In Cosmic Contest, Pac-Man develops a rapport with a strong-armed Pointyhead named Tip, especially when Apex and Betrayus's team-up results in their being thrown out of their vehicles. This team-up spares their groups from banishment, and they part as "frienemies."
In "All You Can Eat" Pinky says she loves a good eater after seeing Pac eat Netherworld dog food (makes sense in context).
At times it seems anything Pinky says to Pac can be this.
In "Betrayus Turns The Heat Up", the President wishes to address the public about the S-word... slime.
In "Pac-Pong Fever", Aunt Spheria replies to Betrayus' request for a rematch with some words that are muffled due to her mouth being covered by Pac. He explains that what she's saying isn't appropriate.
In "Jinxed", Pac was hit by bird poop.
There seems to be a contest in how many butt-cracks this series can get away with.
"Mean Genie" contains a reference to racism when Jean makes fun of Pac for being yellow and Cylindria calls Jean out on it by calling her politically incorrect.
Giant Mook: The Cyclops Ghosts, the Japanese thunder god-like Ghosts, and the gargoyle-like monsters that work for Betrayus.
Identical Twin ID Tag: Butt-ler is purple, wears a hat, has a small mustache, and has a very butler-like haircut. Dr. Buttocks, Butt-ler's twin, is blue, wears glasses, has a clawed glove, a bigger mustache, and Dr. Wily-like hair.
If I Can't Have You: In "The Adventure Begins Part II", Pinky briefly entertains the idea that it's okay to kill Pac when she thinks he doesn't have a crush on her.
Interactive Narrator: Kinda for "Spooka-Bazooka", the one arguing is Dr Buttocks, and at times it feels one-sided.
Narrator: Once upon a time, there lived a king and queen who hosted a feast for their new baby girl. An evil fairy that was not invented cursed the infant princess so that someday, she would prick her finger on a spinning wheel and fall into a deep, deep sleep.
Dr. Buttocks: Look, who ever's out there, knock it off! This is a story about Lord Betrayus, not Sleeping Beauty!
Jerk Jock: Skeebo in the first episode leaves Cylindria, his girlfriend at the time, to be eaten by a Netherworld monster. When Spiral points this out, he says they broke up and continues running.
As of "Heebo Skeebo" it only increased due to Pac being a hero.
Knight of Cerebus: ThePacinator—a mercenary for hire who specializes in cryogenetic weaponry, and single-handedly iced over every single yellow Pac-Worlder known to exist, save for our title character—and possibly his parents. We would like to remind you he did this simply as a hired job.
Large Ham: Betrayus, highlight from the second episode:
Betrayus: WHAT?! I just paid my cable bill!
Betrayus: OKAY, THAT'S IT! I'm switching to satellite!
Lovable Jock: Spiral has shades of this due to being friendly and his attire.
Love Triangle: At least for Pinky, there is one between her, Pac-Man, and Cylindria.
MacGuffin: The Repository, which holds the bodies of all the ghosts. If Betrayus ever got his body back, he'd start the war all over again, so President Spheros and Sir C are always switching its hiding place around.
Made a Slave: Betrayus and the ghosts enslaved the monsters of the Netherworld.
The Mole: The Ghost Gang serve this after becoming friends with Pac-Man. In "Jinxed", Dr. Buttock almost learned the truth.
Butt-ler was one working for Betrayus before he became a ghost.
Mordor: The Netherworld. It's hot, rocky, the food is horrible, and it smells like feet.
Miles Gloriosus / Small Name, Big Ego: Skeebo often spouts that he is better than Pac-Man at everything every chance he gets. However when push comes to shove, Skeebo always either fails or runs away screaming like a girl.
Never Say "Die": Subverted and parodied constantly, as the writers are clearly having fun with this trope. Often results in hilarious Unusual Euphemisms such as in episode 2:
Betrayus: Make them not exist... FOREVER!
Also parodied in President Possessed!; the wanted posters have the "Dead" in the "Dead or Alive" tagline crossed out.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It WAS Pac's fault the ghosts returned from the Netherworld, even though it was all purely by accident (though the fact that the Jerk Jock chased him in there and left him there should be mentioned).
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Dr. Buttocks created a device that would send pacworlders to sleep for 100 minutes, and got them spread by showing the effectiveness against ghost. And when they invaded, pac was able to fight back with lots of Buttocks own Spooka-Bazooka. (Which means once Sir C removes the sleep option, they have a new effective weapons against ghost.
Noodle Incident: In "Happy Holidays and a Merry Berry Day", Cyli mentions that Pac-Man had to save Santa Pac from the Netherworld last Berry Day, but we never see it since this is the first episode where Berry Day is celebrated.
The Noseless: Betrayus and his minions became this after they were turned into ghosts.
No Sell: Most weapons have no effect on the ghosts unless modified by Sir C.
Also, non-yellow Pac-Worlders can't eat ghosts like Pac-Man. Whenever they try, they just spit them out shortly afterwards instead of just spitting out their eyeballs.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: Mr. Strickler from "Driver's Pac" is an extremelyLawful Stupid driving instructor who penalizes driving students for every single little mistake regardless of the situation. His own daughter is not even exempt from his style of grading.
Orcus on His Throne: Betrayus actually states in "President Possessed!" that as the ruler of the Netherworld, he should stay behind in his castle while he lets his minions do the dirty work.
Our Ghosts Are Different: In addition of the Ghost Gang, there are more various types of ghosts present. Some look like the old designs of the original four and even turn blue when frightened. Others however look vastly different such as the red four-eyed black jellyfish-like ones and the large cyclops-like brutes.
Let's not forget the gigantic "Ghosteroid", a ghostly asteroid from outer space that can spit out smaller ghosts (that bear a resemblance to The Greys) to protect itself.
When looking for Paclantis, there is a jellyfish like creature implied to be a ghost, as well as ghostly sharks guarding a special berry bush.
Overly Long Tongue: Pac-Man has one in this adaptation and it gets transformed into a range of useful tools depending on the berries he eats.
Paper-Thin Disguise: In "The Adventure Begins Part II", the Ghost Gang try to disguise Pac-Man and his friends as ghosts by pouring sewage over them. Subverted though by the fact a guard isn't fooled by all this due to them not being see through.
In "Nobody Knows", Pac-Man, Spiral, and Cylindria pretend to be Inky, Cylde, and Pinky respectively after they've regained their bodies. The thing is all they do is adapt the ghost's mannerisms without any actual piece of disguise other than just their word. It completely works even with some ghost minions who should know better.
Parental Abandonment: Pac-Man's parents are nowhere to be seen in the present time and he's an orphan. It's implied that Betrayus may have killed them but not outright stated.
It turns out Betrayus himself doesn't even know what happened to the last yellow ones, Only the Pacinator (and his much more dangerous client) does.
Betrayus has similar abilities, only his seem to be significantly stronger.
Power-Up Food: The iconic power pellets from the games are now berries and come in many colors and surface designs in this adaptation. Incidentally, Pac-Man here doesn't need to eat one beforehand in order to eat ghosts. However, he does need to eat them in order to access a wide range of powers which differ with each berry type.
The Punishment: For trying to take over the world, Betrayus and his followers were turned into unkillable ghosts that only rare yellow Pac-Worlders like Pac-Man can defeat... wait, what?
Cursed with Awesome: The ghosts have cool powers and are immortal but they still want their bodies back. The fact that they don't have fingers (and/or toes) or actual taste buds is apparently a factor (though considering how nasty the Netherworld's food is, that last one might not be so bad).
Punny Name: Many of the characters have very punny names. The majority of regular Pac-Worlders for example, are all named after geometry related terms.
In one episode Pac did some sort of spiral attack with his legs, yet during The Great Chase, he needed a Power Berry to do it. Although that berry might be a case of increasing a natural ability (Not all berry show a form change, take for example the kung fu berry, or that berry that uses the pac-worlder retractable limbs and increase bouncing to the point of ricochet ball.)
Could just be a case of the episodes being aired chronologically Out of Order, but in Pac-Pong Fever! Cylindria is surprised to learned Pac's "Aunt S." is Spheria Suprema, when she should already know that having met her in Pac to the Future.
Sharing a Body: In "Nobody Knows", the Ghost Gang accidentally inhabit the same body when they try to acquire theirs from the repository. The experience is not only uncomfortable but so weird that they have to pretend that they are not sharing a body when confronting other ghosts.
The poodle cerberus called Fluffy seems to be one referencing Harry Potter.
In "No Pets Allowed...Especially Monsters! Part I", Cylindria mentions while dancing in the air thanks to a Power Berry, that she should start a show called "Dancing in the Stars".
In "No Pets Allowed...Especially Monsters! Part II", Pac-Man grows large and calls himself Paczilla
The above is also a shout out to both the original video game and Super Pac-Man, which both feature a "big" Pac-Man spritenote although in the former, it's only during the first intermission sequence, one of MANY in the series.
Another one is in how Pac freed the President from Dr. Buttocks is by use of a flashlight.
In "Is Zit You Or Is Zit Me?", when Pinky and Cylindria compete to see who can give Pac-Man a better makeover to cover his face, they give him one resembling The Joker, one resembling Groucho Marx and one resembling Lady Gaga.
The title of The Spy Who Slimed Me is a reference to The Spy Who Loved Me and the episode itself has an obvious one to James Bond in the form of Specter (a pun on the name of the recurring criminal organization SPECTRE).
As if the show weren't enough of a love letter to classic arcade games, The Pointy Heads being Expies of one of the alien types from Space Invadersnote Which was made by Taito, and whose game paved the way for Namco's own Galaxian in 1979, one year after Space Invaders was released. They have the same silver (white) coloring, tentacles, and uh, pointy heads, as the aliens that appear on the top row.◊
Namco has stated that "Pac" (the character in this show) is the son of the original Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, which would make him... Jr. Pac-Man.
One of the episodes in season two is titled "Pac Mania"
Possibly unintentional, but one week before the premiere, Pac-Man was announced for Super Smash Bros. 4 with the song "Pac Man's Park", which also came from Pac Mania
The Password Is Always Swordfish: The Event of That Smarts occured due to Grinder picking I heart Grinder as the new password for Sir C lab (Buttocks even lampshades this by saying it's a bad password.)
Sibling Rivalry: Butt-ler and Dr. Buttocks often don't get along very well.
Sigil Spam: Pac-Man's game sprite is everywhere. It even appears in the geographical formations of Pac-World!
Hope you're feeling better fast. Sorry I bit you on the...
Summon Bigger Fish: Accidentally done when a battle between ghost, pointy head and pac worlder accidentally awoke the Cosmic Overlords.
Super Power Lottery: Power Berries. Each type does something different, and no one's completely sure which does what.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: Clyde and Pinky would like people to know that the Ghost Gang do not know Pac-Man personally and are not friends with him (though technically, they're not so much friends as much as they have an uneasy truce with each other).
Take Over the World: A failed attempt to do so by the not-yet ghosts occurs before the series starts, now Betrayus is trying again.
Temple of Doom: In "Indiana Pac and the Temple of Slime", Pac and his friends went through one and judging by the hidden map, they are about to enter a second one.
Thememobile: Various vehicles in the series are themed after the fruits present in the games.
Theme Music Power-Up: Whenever the "Pac-Man Park" theme from Pac-Mania starts to play, you know everyone's favorite yellow fella's about to kick some ghostly behinds.
Time Machine: The zucchini themed vehicle that Sir C made has some time traveling functions that he apparently put in unintentionally.
Too Powerful to Live: A non-lethal example; In "The Spy Who Slimed Me", Pac realises that Specter's ability to possess others indefinitely means he cannot simply eat him like any other ghost, as he would just regenerate and come back. With the help of the Ghost Gang, he sets events in motion so that Betrayus locks Specter up in the Netherworld, ensuring he won't be back to cause more trouble.
Trademark Favorite Food: Betrayus is often seen eating fried fire slugs like popcorn while lounging and watching his plans unfold.
True Companions: Pac's companions include his friends Spiral and Cylindria, Sir Cumference, Fuzbits, the President, his aunt Spheria and (eventually) The Ghost Gang.
Apart from this, The Ghost Gang are extremely close to each other, even if they don't get along at times.
Undying Loyalty: Fuzbits cares deeply about Sir C., and was willing to return to the Netherworld, which he hated, to rescue him.
Ungrateful Bastard: Despite him and the Pac-World being constantly saved by Pac-Man, Skeebo is extremely ungrateful to Pac-Man especially in "Heebo Skeebo".
Unskilled, but Strong: Pac when he eats a kong berry. His size and strength are multiplied greatly but his intelligence takes a rather severe drop.
Victory Is Boring: Betrayus experiences this in "Rip Pac Winkle." Pac disappeared into a wormhole and appeared 70 years later. Betrayus finally won, but after seeing Pac, he admitted to having missed Pac, having no one to battle or sling insults at.
Villain Song: "Cap'n Banshee and his Interstellar Buccaneers" has Cap'n Banshee sing an a cappella one.
Voodoo Doll: One is used by the witch in "Jinxed" to torture a disbelieving Dr. Buttocks.
Voices Are Mental: Averted with ghostly possessions, particularly in the episode "The Great Chase!" where Betrayus possesses his mother. It basically leads to TabithaSt.Germain playing Betrayus for an entire episode.
Weapons That Suck: Spiral and Cylindria use specialized cannons that suck in ghosts to aid Pac-Man. The cannons however only trap ghosts and not reduce them to eyeballs like when Pac eats them. Should the cannons get broken, the ghosts trapped within can escape fully intact.
Wham Episode: "Stand By Your Pac-Man". A single question throws one of the longest-believed notions into disarray. Betrayus didn't wipe out the yellow Pac-Worlders. In fact, he doesn't even know who did.
Betrayus: Say—who originally hired you to take care of the yellow ones, anyway?
Pacinator: THE PACINATOR NEVER DIVULGES HIS CLIENTS! Especially when they're far more dangerous than you.
"Invasion of the Pointy Heads" is another. When Apex and his troops are at the eve of victory, we have him saying this bombshell:
Apex: Oh little Lordy Betrayus, you were just a distraction to help us break down Pac-Worlder's resistance. So we can capture the last of the yellow orbs and imprison him with the last of his kind, usurping their powers for own unsavory purposes. You get all of that at home?
Wham Line: With the reveal in Invasion of the Pointy Heads, we have Apex's final words to Pac before escaping:
Apex: Any messages for your parents before I return?
Pac is too stunned to say anything and Apex escapes.
Who Even Needs a Brain?: One of the bad guys' plan was to steal Pac-Man's brain leaving him as brainless vegetable.