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Western Animation: Stormhawks
Storm Hawks (2007-2009) is an animated action/adventure series involving giant flying motorcycles, powerful crystals, and a gang of plucky teens out to save the day. A flurry of clichés thrown together, it is saved from being boring by being just plain fun.

The show is set in a fictional world called Atmos, a largely mountainous world consisting of scattered landmasses known as terras. Because of the geography, travel is largely dependent on flight. The technology of Atmos is based around energy-generating crystals, used to power the various devices in the series. Patrolling the skies of Atmos are the Sky Knights, groups of warriors who pilot motorcycle-like vehicles that can semi-transform into flying machines. These warriors are loosely managed by the Sky Council.

In the backstory of the series, an Evil Overlord named Master Cyclonis and her people threatened Atmos. The original Storm Hawks led the Sky Knights in a war against them, but were betrayed by one of their own, the Dark Ace. Despite this, the attack was apparently successful, though the Storm Hawks did not survive the war. Ten years later, a group of teens (some human, some not) discover the wreckage of the Storm Hawks' carrier, the Condor, and unofficially take on the Storm Hawks name in the hopes of becoming Sky Knights themselves, despite most of them not even being old enough to legally fly the vehicle. Their youth defeats their ambition, however, as neither friend nor foe take them seriously because of it.

This changes when they are brought into conflict with a new Master Cyclonis, one no older than they are but still just as dangerous. Among her followers are the Dark Ace, now famous for his betrayal and unmatched skill; Snipe, a mace-wielding strong man with a fondness for smashing things; and Ravess, an archer who brings a violin-playing henchman into battle for theme music. By managing to foil Cyclonis' plan, they are recognized by their peers.

The rest of the series focuses on the Storm Hawks' continuing mission to protect Atmos from the Cyclonian threat, in turn putting themselves in extreme danger by doing so. Of course, they have plenty of unrelated adventures along the way.

Also, giant flying motorcycles. Oh yeah.

Oh, and it's a Canadian Series. Also oh yeah.


Tropes:

  • Accidental Unfortunate Gesture: When the Storm Hawks visit Terra Wallop, they accidentally discover that extending both hands palms outward towards someone - the typical 'calm down' gesture - means "I am challenging you to a duel".
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: The Colonel has this. Junko still beats him in an eating contest.
  • Adults Are Useless: (with a good amount of exceptions)
    • Slightly subverted in that, at the end of the pilot, the man telling Aerrow and company that he can't officially make them Sky Knights by way of being too young subtly (or rather not so subtly) indicates that rules aside he thinks they're Sky Knights already.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: I.J. Domiwick
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: Aerrow tries this to defeat the Dark Ace. As demonstrated earlier in the episode, the very end of the canyon is so narrow, one must turn their fliers to motorcycle mode to get through, and then back again as to not plummet to the ground. The trick here is that, earlier in the fight, Aerrow had stuck a wrench into the Dark Ace's wing mechanism, preventing him from retracting them.
  • Age of Titles: "Age of Heroes"
  • Air Hugging: Massively averted. Refreshingly, all of the main male characters are completely comfortable with touching one another, and no one makes a big deal of it.
  • Air Jousting
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: They sell them like cars (complete with sleezy used car salesmen). And apparently, they don't mind selling them to teenagers.
  • The Alcatraz: Zartacla (which is "Alcatraz" spelled backwards).
  • Alien Lunch: Junko's cooking.
  • Aliens and Monsters
  • All-Natural Gem Polish
  • All There in the Manual: The Storm Hawks website has a few details that don't get mentioned in the show, although some of it may be a case of Characterization Marches On.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Screaming Queens.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Piper
  • Ambiguously Gay: Arygyn the Skeelur.
    • Piper is a more subtle example. Cyclonis less so.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Enhancer stones.
  • Ancient Grome: Terra Vapos.
  • And I Must Scream: Implied for the Sky Knights thrown in the Crystal Prison that Master Cyclonis acquires from the Far Side. Don't worry, they all get better.
    • Possibly subverted since Cyclonis basically says that they're frozen in time.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The Far Side.
  • Anime Hair: Almost all the characters have spiky hair that defies gravity
  • Animesque
  • Anti-Magic: Blocking crystals temporarily nullify the effects of other crystals.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Junko. "Doh, sorry!"
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Crystals
  • Arch-Enemy: Though it's not played in the way you might expect. Action Girl Piper is more often paired off (in more ways than one) with Big Bad Master Cyclonis and The Hero Aerrow fights her dragon, the Dark Ace.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority:
    • The Wallops. Their entire culture is based on strength.
    • Cyclonia follows this precept too, given that its ruler is one of a grand total of two residents of the planet to have a Type 3 Super Weight.
    • Every squadron save for the Cyclonians is led by a Sky Knight, an elite rider that every citizen recognizes as a badass.
  • Bad Boss: Every major villain in the series have abused their underlings in one form or another, from Master Cyclonis threatening her underlings to Repton yelling at his 3 underlings/brothers. The only exception to this is the leader of the Murk raiders Captain Scabulous, who acts like A Father to His Men.
  • Badass Normal
  • Bag of Holding: Piper's crystal bag. It's about the size of her fist, but it can somehow hold several crystals, most as big or larger than the bag. "The Key" is an episode that displays it's Hammer Space capabilities well..
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Taken Up to Eleven in "The Key" when a super empowered Aerrow grabs the Dark Ace's sword with one hand and twists it into a useless piece of scrap metal. The Dark Ace's expression makes this particularly memorable.
  • Batman Gambit: Aerrow allows himself to be captured and placed Cyclonian prison so he can escape and cause a diversion so that his team can free the other prisoners.
  • Beam-O-War:
    • Finn's guitar versus Ravess's orchestra in "Storm Hawks Seven".
    • Piper versus Cyclonis in "The Key".
  • Beginner's Luck: The Dark Ace, the most powerful warrior of Cyclonia, and the man responsible for the destruction of the original Storm Hawks, meets his match against a plucky 14 year old boy. And it won't be the last time. To be perfectly fair, though, Aerrow got his ass handed to him the first round. The Dark Ace was kind enough to give pointers on how to fix his technique.
    • Two episodes later the Dark Ace curbstomps an entire Sky Knight squadron in less than a minute.
  • Berserk Button: Do not mess with the Condor, or Stork will go Kill Bill on you.
    • Calling Junko a "gleep" might not be the best idea either...
    • Radarr doesn't appreciate being referred to as a "pet".
  • Bifurcated Weapon: Aerrow's daggers can be joined at the hilt to form a Double Weapon.
  • Big Bad: Master Cyclonis
  • Big Eater: Junko
  • Big Entrance: Aerrow in "Tranquility Now" when arriving to bail out the others. He crashes through the face of the clock tower with his skimmer, somersaults off of it while it slides across the floor and crashes into Snipe and Ravess, and lands in a crouch in front of his team.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: All the human characters.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Notably averted by the Wallops. And Finn can't keep his big mouth shut about it.
  • Black Magic: The Binding, at least according to Cyclonis.
  • Blade Lock
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Skyside Shanty's signature extra potent, quadruple malt vinegar.
    Junko: Kinda sour, but I like it.
    Finn: What a shock.
  • Blow You Away: Windstone crystals when used as weapons.
  • Booby Trap: The Forbidden City has them in abundance, and Stork has rigged the Condor with them in case of intruders.
  • Boot Camp Episode: "Talon Academy"
  • Brains and Brawn: Ravess and Snipe, respectively, although later episodes don't involve them working together as much.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Junko in "The Masked Masher", after a mishap involving hypnosis.
    • Carver returns and pretends that his betrayal in the pilot had been due to this.
  • British Stuffiness: The Rex Guardians are the embodiment of this.
  • Broken Pedestal: Domiwick to Piper. Tritonn is a lesser example, but he's able to redeem himself.
  • Brother-Sister Team: Ravess and Snipe, again.
  • The Brute: Snipe
  • Bubble Pipe: Stork has one, and uses it extensively in "Leviathan", but it's commonly seen when the crew is digging through piles of junk.
  • Buffy Speak: Junko in the pilot: "The beacon tower! It's stopped... beaconing!"
  • Callback:
    • "Atmos' Most Wanted" has numerous callbacks to episode 1. Piper saying "Freeze!" just before using a freeze attack, Finn kissing an arrow before loading it into his ride's crossbow, and Junko remarking "Ooh, that looked like it hurt!"
    • The last line of the series, spoken by Aerrow as the Storm Hawks marvel at the Far Side, mirrors his words from the intro of episode 2: "This is gonna be fun."
  • Call Forward: In "Origins", Finn does his signature crotch-land after having his ride destroyed, and vows that it will be the "last time that happens".
  • Calling Your Attacks: The Binding involves this.
  • Canada, Eh?: The Blizzarians
  • Cargo Cult: The natives from "Shipwrecked", who start worshipping the Condor, but don't take too kindly to Stork (who's been stranded with it).
  • Cast from Hit Points The Super Empowering abilities Piper gains in the last few episodes takes a cost on her health.
  • Chained Heat: Done hilariously in "Life with Lugey" between the raptor and Stork.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted. Dove and her peers are tough, brave warriors and defended their Terra until the very end.
    • Though they DO like eating cheese.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Oracle Stone from season one turned out to be the key to a door that leads to the Farside of Atmos. and again when Piper enlarges it so the Condor can fly through.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Gundstaff, who later aids Piper, and Arygyn, who's actually a Guardian of Atmos.
  • Child Mage: Master Cyclonis and Piper are both this.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Master Cyclonis is 14 and rules The Empire. She appears to be very good at being an Evil Overlord.
  • The Chosen One: Subverted with Finn in "King for a Day", as he's expected to perform a Heroic Sacrifice. Played straight with the Storm Hawks as a group, Aerrow and especially Piper in particular.
  • Circus of Fear: Terra Neon in episode 20.
  • Clear My Name: "Atmos' Most Wanted".
  • Clock Discrepancy: In the episode "Five Days", when Aerrow breaks nearly every bone in his body and has to remain motionless for five days for a repair crystal to heal him, he starts noticing some small minor problems with the ship, including a clock running three ticks too slow. Then Master Cyclonis attacks their ship to take back the repair crystal (that Piper stole). She looks at the clock thinking the crystal needs ten more minutes to completely heal him so she removes the crystal from Aerrow's cast. Just when she's about to finish him off, Aerrow points out that the clock was slow and that he was healed two minutes ago and fights back.
    Aerrow: Those ticks add up.
  • Clock Punk: Terra Glockenchime.
  • Cloning Blues: "InFinnity"
  • Collapsing Lair
  • Combat Tentacles: The Producers from "Terra Neon".
  • Conspicuous CGI: Averted for the most part, as the show pulls off the Cel Shaded look pretty well.
  • Convection Schmonvection: "Fire and Ice" and just about any time the cast's in the Wastelands.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Word of God says the Storm Hawks are all orphans, and "Origins" hints at this.
  • Cool Gate: The door in the tropical temple that Stork finds actually leads to the Far Side.
  • Cool Ship: The Condor.
    • Also that super ship they built in "Velocity", from all the discarded parts and weapons.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Stork.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
  • Crystal Prison: Captured sky knights get thrown into one of these in "Cyclonia Rising".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Colonel single-handedly defeats the Storm Hawks with surprising ease in "A Colonel of Truth".
  • Curious as a Monkey: The Merb kids from "Scout's Honor". Especially Owlsley, who's always taking things apart.
  • Cypher Language: The written text within the show. Word of God says you can make out the text if you look hard enough.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Dove in "Gale Force Winds".
  • Dark Action Girl: Ravess
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • "Calling All Domos" revolves around Finn and Stork as they answer a summons from Vapos; the rest of the cast are tied up in an unrelated subplot that involves taking Junko to the dentist.
    • Radarr gets this in the aptly named "Radarr Love". The others come into the plot later on, but their path mostly remains separate from Radarr's until the end.
    • "Power Grab" (see Villain Episode below).
    • In "The Ultra Dudes", Finn is sent off on an errand, with the adventure that ensues being the focus of the episode. Radarr accompanies him, but his role in the episode is minimal. Ironically, the errand being assigned to him was just an excuse to keep him out of trouble.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Stork, sometimes.
    • Staldorf and Watler from "Terra Neon". Unsurprising, when you consider who they're a Shout-Out to.
  • Death from Above: The orbital cannon in Stratosphere.
  • Deflector Shields: The Condor had them...until they were permanently destroyed halfway through the Pilot.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Lightning Strike is seen to have suffered this in "Origins".
    • Repton in "Payback".
  • Doomsday Device: The Storm Engine.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Stork: "We're doomed!", "Our next stop will be the Cyclonian battle platform... of DOOM."
    • Don't forget the "doom-deploying weather balloons of doom".
      • And how about, "Doom, doom, suffering and doom."
  • The Dragon
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The team has done this a couple of times, with Aerrow and Finn typically dressing as maintenance workers and Piper and Junko as guards.
  • Drunk with Power: Finn's guilty of this in a number of episodes.
    • Cyclonis, the Dark Ace, Ravess, Snipe, the list goes on.
  • The Eeyore: Stork.
  • Elite Mooks: The Night Crawlers.
  • The Empire: Cyclonia.
  • Enemy Mine Subverted in "The Ultra Dudes." Ravess doesn't offer any help other than a cryptic hint when Cyclonis becomes their common enemy.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: "Talon Academy"
  • Evil Counter Part
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Radarr in "Best Friends Forever" and "The Black Gorge".
  • Evil Laugh: Talons tend to do this a lot.
  • Evil Overlord: Master Cyclonis, who else?
    • Repton, to a far lesser extent.
  • Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: Master Cyclonis.
  • Expressive Mask: The goggles worn by Talons.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Junko
  • Eyedscreen: Aerrow in "The Key".
  • Fallen Hero: The Dark Ace, Carver
  • False Friend: Lark in "Best Friends Forever" (actually Cyclonis in disguise).
  • Fanservice: Stork
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Colonel.
  • Fight Unscene: Always that exact same impact star animation. If you're lucky, it might be a different colour!
  • Final Battle: The series finale, somewhat subverted in that the villain escapes.
  • Finishing Move: Every Sky Knight is supposed to have one, although we also see one from Repton.
    • Aerrow and the Dark Ace use very similar attacks in this way.
  • Fish People: The Aquans.
  • Five-Bad Band
  • Five-Man Band
  • Five-Temperament Ensemble: Aerrow (choleric), Stork (so very melancholic), Junko (leuquine), Finn (sanguine), and Piper (phlegmatic).
  • Flaming Sword: The effect of using a phoenix crystal, though it's generally not a good idea to do so unless you like being chased by giant fiery birds.
  • Flying Seafood Special
  • Four-Fingered Hands: All the non-human characters have these.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: See Five-Temperament above.
  • Fridge Logic: In-universe. Noob points out that Aerrow sometimes deploys his skimmer wings manually and sometimes automatically. Aerrow, more concerned with the fact that they're free-falling at the time, brushes this off with "We got upgrades."
  • Friendly Sniper: Finn, of course.
  • Fumbling The Gauntlet: In "A Wallop For All Seasons", the Sky Knights travel to Junko's home, where Piper accidentally bumps into someone. She raises her hands placatingly - and Junko hastens to intervene, because this is how his people challenge each other to a fight.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "Energy Crisis" and the Suit of Untold Vengeance, or S.U.V.
    • What about the episode "Home Movie Night"? Use Plenty of Caution Handling Unstable Crystals, or U.P.C.H.U.C.
    Piper: (sincerely) I always U.P.C.H.U.C. Do you?
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Especially in "Statosphere" where Stork and Piper are able to analyze how the enemy has built an aircraft that can fly in the Stratosphere (which has never been done before) and then get the Condor to do the same.
  • Genre Savvy: The Talon Commander from "Radarr Love". Not too much, but he had enough to try and get himself promoted.
  • Gentle Giant: Junko!
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: See Les Yay.
  • Gilligan Cut: In "Velocity:
    Finn: Relax! Aerrow's a Storm Hawk, there's no way he can lose!
    (cut to Stork)
    Stork: There's no way he can win.
  • Girls with Moustaches: In one episode, the characters, including Piper, eat some "Beard Berries".
    • Piper is seen disguising herself with a fake mustache and glasses in "The Masked Masher".
  • The Glomp: Piper did this to Stork in "The Black Gorge," and Junko loves these.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!:
    • Master Cyclonis's grandmother, who was the previous ruler of Cyclonia.
    • Anarchis, the preproduction version of Cyclonis, was an adult.
  • Goggles Do Nothing
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The Murk Raiders arrive just in time to tip the balance of the final battle.
  • A Good, Old-Fashioned Paint Watching: In "Royal Twist", Piper (involuntarily) swaps places with Princess Peregrine in a Prince and Pauper plot. She discovers that the Princess's duties consist of a never ending stream of mindless activities designed to keep her busy and out of affairs of state. One of these activities is judging a paint drying competition.
  • Goth: Stork and Master Cyclonis
  • Great Escape: "Escape!"
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: "Calling All Domos" (possibly), "Radarr Love", "The Ultra Dudes"
  • Hand Wave: In "Number One Fan", Aerrow gives a couple of these. Why did he sometimes need Radarr to transform his skimmer when other times he didn't? He got upgrades. What does Finn do when his skimmer gets wrecked? "He's got a spare."
  • Heal Thyself: "Five Days" When Aerrow becomes badly injured, Piper comes to the rescue with a Crystal that can heal him perfectly. The problem is that the name of the episode is how long it takes for the crystal to heal.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Junko joined the Storm Hawks by pulling one of these.
    • Gundstaff, initially antagonistic, grows tired of working under Cyclonis and eventually aids Piper.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic
  • Here There Were Dragons: Literally. Dragons used to be common in Atmos, but they were hunted to extinction thousands of years ago when people first took to the skies. Well, almost to extinction...
  • Here We Go Again: "Thunder Run"
  • Heroic BSOD: In "Leviathan", Stork goes into Sky Shock after they lose the Condor.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Junko is forced to resort to this in "Payback".
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: In "Radarr Love", Aerrow and Piper do this as a joint attack to take down a pair of guards.
  • High-Altitude Battle
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: A partial example, at least. Junko and Stork joined separately, and in that order, after Aerrow received the quest to find the Condor. The others were already with him, but seeing as they didn't all grow up on the same terra, they might or might not have followed the same pattern. All we really know is that, according to Word of God, Radarr is about 7 or 8 years in age and was a pup when he met Aerrow.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Repton falls off the edge of his terra when he's struck by his own boomerang, thrown by his own hand.
    • Ravess gets hit by her own seeker arrows in "The Lesson".
    • Snipe was tricked into destroying his own ride in "Age of Heroes".
    • It's a common theme for the Storm Hawks to trick the Cyclonians into attacking each other, or even themselves.
  • Hollow World: Sort of. ''Dark Waters" reveals that there are underwater caverns that extend straight through to the other side of the Atmos, and there seems to be life in them. Domiwick gets to the far side using these tunnels.
  • Homage: "What Got Into Finn" has an entire sequence where Stork plays one to Wile E. Coyote.
  • Hot Wings: Phoenixes. As Piper puts it, "It's a very big bird and it's usually on fire."
  • Huge Holographic Head: Cyclonis uses one in "Cyclonia Rising".
  • Humongous Mecha: Stork builds one in "What Got Into Finn?" using pieces of the Storkmobile and other stuff lying around on the Condor... He names it Storkasaurus.
    • The Suit of Untold Vengeance from "Energy Crisis".
  • Identical Stranger: Perry
    • There's a Rex Guardian with an uncanny resemblance to Finn. He even had his skimmer cut in half the same way that Finn is known for. Nothing really came of him, so the connection between the two is unknown.
  • If My Calculations Are Correct: Piper has said this.
  • If You Die I Call Your Stuff: Stork more or less sang this in "King for a Day."
  • Implied Love Interest: Aerrow and Piper. They're shown to be very close by the end, but whether it's platonic or a potential romance is up in the air, and never addressed in-series.
  • Improvised Armor:
    • Wren and Dove's pots and pans. Strangely, they're still using them in later episodes, when they would have had access to better stuff.
    • The armour that Stork made in "The Black Gorge" out of random junk. It even has its own page on the official website.
  • In a Single Bound
  • Infant Immortality: "A Little Trouble"
  • The Infiltration
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Stork is a twenty-something-year-old Merb hanging out with a bunch of 14-year-olds, though he seems to have the mentality of a teenager, rather than that of someone older.
  • Interspecies Romance: The Chicken keeps trying to achieve this with Radarr, but with little success.
  • Invisibility Cloak: In crystal form, of course.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting - "What Got Into Finn?"
  • The Jailer: Mr. Moss
  • Just a Kid: The initial reaction to the current generation of Storm Hawks. It even prevented them from being officially registered. Fortunately, all their hard work pays off and they get unofficially recognized as worthy successors and heroes in their own right.
  • Keep Away: The Storm Hawks play this game as practice, much to Starling's frustration.
  • Keet: Finn.
  • The Knights Who Say Squee: The Storm Hawks look up to many older heroes.
  • Large Ham: The villains. All of them.
  • Laser Blade: Standard weapons throughout Atmos. Deactivated, they look similar to regular swords, except for their blunt and often impractically shaped blades. Upon activation, the blade lights up with energy, which forms the cutting edges.
  • Lawful Stupid: The Rex Guardians follow a very antiquated code and believes in strictly. It's shown that their strict rules are useless in the real world as both the Storm Hawks and the Dark Ace prove repeatedly in the first episode to feature them closely.
  • Leitmotif: Ravess' theme is very distinct, and most of the time, she (or her minions) are actually playing it on a violin as she enters.
    • Some other characters also have leitmotifs. Junko's is strong and trumpeting, Cyclonis's is suitably creepy, Starling's (when played in full) has a low, action-y drum beat, and Arygyn's is a whimsical flutey sound. note 
  • Lethal Chef: Junko. Though with his tastes it's a matter of perspective.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Wastelands between terras.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Though the Storm Hawks are heroes, they're still mostly just young people who like to play. But when they get serious, watch out.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: In "Radarr Love", Aerrow decides to split the team up for some reason after they've just escaped from a cell. The two groups soon run into each other again, almost attacking each other.
    • Happens again in "Payback", after the Condor gets destroyed.
  • Little Miss Badass: Master Cyclonis
  • Lizard Folk: Raptors and Terradons.
  • Load-Bearing Hero: Junko caught an entire airship with his hands in "Tranquility Now" to save it from crashing.
  • Lotus Position: In "Siren's Song", we see Junko sitting like this in the memory he recounts of an interrupted meditation session.
  • Magic Feather: Done in "Tranquility Now" to Junko after he looses his Knuckle Busters.
  • Magic Wand: Arygyn uses one.
  • Mana Drain: Leech crystals drain all the power from nearby crystals before exploding.
  • Master of Illusion: The sky siren.
  • Me's a Crowd: The effect of the cloning crystal when exposed to sunlight.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens
  • Missing Mom: Everyone.
  • Moby Schtick: "Leviathan"
  • Mooks: The Talons
  • Mook Chivalry: Averted in the pilot. Aerrow comes across three guards, only for the wall to open up and reveal around thirty more. Starling then takes them out with a stun grenade.
  • More Dakka: Snipe's battleship in "A Little Trouble."
    • He never learns his lesson, by the way, and a battleship just like the one he lost shows up later. It doesn't fare much better.
    • Backfired on Finn, when he tried to put too many cannons on his ride. The added weight kept throwing off his aim.
    • The super-ship created by the crews in Velocity. It's basically just a flying gun battery.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Stork at times in season 2.
  • Mundane Utility: There are many crystals which are used for simple, everyday tasks.
  • Musical Assassin: Ravess. So much so that she had a Talon fly while playing a violin just so she would have live music while she fought. She frequently forced Talons to practice different instruments with her, and punished anyone who interrupted. Not to mention building a Energy Cannon that was powered by music.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Junko's allergy to Murk Raiders and Sky Sharks has come in handy. Often leads to a Sneeze of Doom.
  • My Rule Fu Is Stronger than Yours: In one episode, the Storm Hawks compete with the Rex Guardians for a powerful crystal. The competition was made up of several challenges that tested a member of each squadron, and while the Storm Hawks won every challenge, the Rex Guardians used various absurd technicalities to win the competition. When the Dark Ace shows up, however, the Rex Guardians discover that their laws do very little good against someone who doesn't follow them, and it's up to the Storm Hawks to beat him their way.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Subverted. Junko grew disappointed not that his people were obsessed with being strong, but that the leader of his people sided with the evil Cyclonians because he interpreted their mantra of "the strongest rule because strength brings power" into one that the Wallops should ally with the strongest faction out there rather than fight its evil. Junko then proceeds to beat his superior strength and win leadership of his Terra... or would have, if he'd "finished him". Nonetheless, he calls him on it twice, accusing him of being afraid of Cyclonia, and later denouncing that strength without the will to use it for good is worthless. In a more straight example, his actions do create a cell of resistance fighters that also disagree with collaborating with Cyclonia.
  • Never Say "Die"
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Stork, oddly enough.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: High altitude sword fighting on motorcycle-plane hybrids! Hell yeah!!
  • No Name Given: What is the Dark Ace's real name, anyway? Is his title job related, or was it a Meaningful Rename, or...?
    • Master Cyclonis might fall into this category, too.
      • Fanon suggests that her real name might be Lark.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Radarr!
  • Nonverbal Miscommunication: Oddly enough, considering their closeness, Aerrow is hopeless at figuring out what Radarr is trying to tell him, no matter how obvious it is to the viewers. Of course, the rest of the team is usually no better at it, and most of Radarr's desperate attempts to tell them anything end with him giving up in frustration.
    • Happened in the episode "A Wallop For All Seasons", and Piper nearly got into a fight with a female Wallop because of it.
  • No One Could Survive That
  • Nostalgic Musicbox: Plays as Cyclonis fixes the photo-crystal in "Five Days". Slowly changes to an Ominous Music Box Tune as the camera focuses on the face of the previous Master.
  • Not So Different
  • Oh Crap: In "The Key," The Dark Ace makes this expression at Aerrow's Barehanded Blade Block.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Cyclonia is a Type 3, once adapted with 'far side' technology. Thankfully it crashed in the wastelands instead of on top of anything important.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The music heard when The Door to the Farside is on screen. It's not Latin, but it's still ominous.
  • Once an Episode: If you look closely, there is a chicken somewhere in every episode.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You
  • Only Six Faces: The same character models tend to be recycled throughout the show, but granted, it's probably expensive to create new models with the art style.
    • It's not limited to the human characters either. Mr. Moss's trackbeasts look like palette-swapped verions of Radarr.
  • Order Reborn: The Storm Hawks themselves.
  • Outside-Context Villain: Master Cyclonis when armed with technology from the other side of the Atmos.
  • Overly-Long Tongue: The Raptors.
  • Palette Swap: Chroma crystals. See Paper-Thin Disguise below.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Atmos' Most Wanted." The citizens of the Atmos must have been blind or stupid (possibly both) not to notice that the 'Storm Hawks' had tails and, in the case of two of them, suddenly overweight.
    • The Storm Hawks end up using these on occasion as well. Such as everyone (including Piper!) wearing fake mustaches.
    • The Chroma crystals allowed Piper, Aerrow, and Radarr to pass themselves off as non-Storm Hawks, by virtue of pallet swap.
  • Parental Abandonment: Possibly parental death at the hands of the Cyclonians.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Most villains.
  • Plot Allergy: Junko and his Murk Raider allergy. Also his Sky Shark allergy.
  • Positive Discrimination: The Blizzarians have a special course that the girls don't normally run. Aerrow gets upset and insists that, cultural norms or no, Piper ought to be allowed to join them. It turns out the reason they told her to stay behind with the girls is that the course isn't quite as intense, so it's just for "squaddies"; they assumed Piper was the Sky Knight because all theirs are likewise girls, and that she'd be running the harder course with them.
  • Power Crystal: As noted, they're the basis of Atmosian technology.
  • The Power of Rock: Done in "The Storm Hawks Seven". Finn uses his powered up guitar to take on Ravess's powered up violin.
  • Precursors: Remnants of their civilization are seen in "Forbidden City" and "Shipwrecked". The Precursors are later revealed to have some connection with the far side of Atmos.
  • Prince and Pauper, or rather Princess and Pauper ("Royal Twist")
    • Nevermind the fact that Perry knocked Piper unconscious with a book. I mean, it wasn't exactly, "Hey, let's both switch places!" This troper was severely freaked by the psycho-ness of Perry.
      • And Perry also took the time to dress Piper in her dress.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Princess Peregrine, aka Perry.
  • Properly Paranoid: Stork. He's always in a constant state of fear of everything that could harm him, his ship, and his teammates. He's usually right.
    • This is apparently standard-issue in Merbians. Merbians are convinced that anything that can go wrong, will, because Terra Merb is a place where it does.
    • Leads to a moment of awesome when the raptors get onboard and he gets to use his various booby traps and anti-theft devices.
    Stork: (mockingly) That'll never come in handy, Stork. You're wasting your time, Stork. Hmph. (smirks) I was right, the rest were wrong.
  • Punk Punk
  • Ram by Braking:
    • In "Age of Heroes", Stork does this to the Raptors when they're chasing the Condor through the pipes.
    • In "Life with Lugey", this is done by Aerrow to Hoerk.
    • In "Payback", Marge uses this tactic to get rid of the Talons attacking her ship.
  • Recap Episode: "Home Movie Night" might count. It doesn't really explain what has happened throughout the series, but it's basically a filler episode with clips from previous episodes.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: Double subversion.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The colour theme of Cyclonia.
  • Red Baron: The Dark Ace
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: Terra Cyclonia's sky is red. That's how you know it's evil...
    • The crystals used by the Cyclonians also seem to change the color of the sky to a degree.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Played straight with the Raptors, a squadron of bandits working with Cyclonia; averted with Terradons, who are a harmless species of scientists.
  • La Résistance
  • Reverse Mole: How Starling was introduced.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Inverted with the Dark Ace, who was well rewarded for his betrayal.
    • But in the end this trope is played straight when he pretty much disintegrates when Master Cyclonis pumps too much energy into him during the binding
  • Rhino Rampage: Wallops are basically anthropomorphic rhinos.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Stork, in Payback, after Repton blows up the Condor. He single handedly liberates all of Terra Bogaton.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: While not impossibly outlandish, the clothes worn by almost all of the characters looks to be stitched together from different pieces of fabric. This is most likely for the punk feel, and Ruleof Cool. The pieces of metal that they place randomly on their bodies, however, appears to be completely useless.
    • A better example would be the armor worn by Wren and Dove, which consists mostly of kitchen appliances.
    • One character mentions how real fabric is hard to come by anymore. This might imply that the Cyclonians took over whatever Terra was specialized in cloth production. Or that they destroyed it.
  • Running Gag: Finn's motorcycle being destroyed mid-air. Bonus points if he falls crotch-first onto the hood of a teammate's cycle.
    • Also, there's a chicken in almost every episode. Sometimes they fly across the screen, sometimes they play a part in the episode, and sometimes they just hang around.
    • Ravess's violin player getting shot down. Bonus points if it was by one of Ravess's arrows.
  • Saw It in a Movie Once: In the pilot episode, Aerrow performs a dangerous stunt that he claims to have seen in a cartoon.
  • Scenery Censor: "Stratosphere"
  • Scenery Porn: Atmos is a pretty place.
  • Shapeshifting: The Gorge Sloths in "The Black Gorge"
  • Shattered World: Atmos has elements of this.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Aerrow in "Escape". Radarr, too.
    • Played with hilariously in "Stratosphere" where Stork makes his first appearance in that episode wearing nothing but a towel and losing it not one minute later. Cue screaming and drooling fangirls/boys.
    • And most of the cast in "Shipwrecked", for the entire episode.
    • Finn has the most in number, if not in total screentime. Besides "Shipwrecked", there's "Siren's Song", "Stratosphere", "What Got Into Finn", and "Royal Twist".
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the background extras in "Dark Waters" highly resembles a one binomial.
    • Staldorf and Watler, from "Terra Neon", are an obvious reference to Statler and Waldorf.
    • "Terra Deep" recreates the cloud scene from the finale of Serenity.
    • A lot of the style of the show seems to be mirroring that of the the Mad Max movies. Especially the clothing and apparent combinations of modern and old technologies. They have ships that fly, but they still use record players.
    • Zartacla being Alcatraz spelled backwards.
    • In "Home Movies Night" Junko mentions his "experimental film" which is just a six-hour footage of him sleeping — exactly what Andy Warhol did in his film "Sleep".
  • Shrine to Self: Snipe
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Ravess is a cultured perfectionist and Snipe is a gluttonous slob.
    • Repton and his brothers could count, too.
  • A Simple Plan: Piper makes all kinds of plans that the other Storm Hawks tend to deviate from.
    • Usually because Piper's plans go into so much detail that they fail to account for things going wrong, new situations arising, or are just so elaborate and complex that they succumb to Occam's Razor.
    • Not necessarily. Her plans are actually fairly simple. In the episode "Storm Warning", the whole team pranks a group of Cyclonians and steals their crate of crystals, even though it was originally just a recon mission. Finn states in the same episode that he thought Piper's plans were 'kinda lame', which suggests that her plans don't always succeed because her teammates are opportunistic and don't find her plans very entertaining. Piper's plan to retrieve the Aurora Stone in the pilot episode fails in a similar fashion.
  • Single Phlebotinum Limit: Crystals do everything. Even food preparation is left to crystal power. Nobody ever just rubs two sticks together to make fire, you have to have a fire crystal.
    • Piper actually attempts that with rocks in "Shipwrecked", with some success. But not very much.
  • The Sky Is an Ocean: Some episodes, like "Leviathan", make more use of this than others.
  • Sky Pirate: The Murk Raiders.
  • Sky Surfing: The boys were doing this in the beginning of "Royal Twist" (instead of working). They'd fastened Finn's surfboard to a rope and were taking turns towing it with their skimmers while someone got to ride.
    • Aerrow does this with a skimmer engine in "Escape!"
  • Smart Ball: Piper knows all Crystal related trivia, and Stork knows just about every possible natural (and imaginary) danger they might face.
  • The Smurfette Principle
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Finn plays this role in "Velocity", talking various squadrons into trading their skimmer parts for scrap metal. This skill of his comes up again later, when he talks the Murk Raiders into taking their side in the final battle.
  • Left the Background Music On: With Ravess and her theme music.
  • Sour Supporter: Stork.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Leugey/Luegy/Lugey gets this a lot. The first spelling is from the official website. The second is the way it's usually spelled in the credits. The third is how it's spelled in "Life with Lugey", both the episode title and the credits.
    • Suzy Lu/Suzi-Lu. The former is from the website, the latter is from the credits of "Fire and Ice" and "Five Days".
  • Spot the Imposter: "Best Friends Forever"
  • Sssssnaketalk: Spitz and to some degree, Repton.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Wren's hen to Radarr.
  • Stealth Pun: Several of the terras exert this in relation to their inhabitants.
    • Terra Gale's inhabitants mostly use wind crystals- which cause "gales". Taking it just a little farther, inhabitants of Terra Gale speak with French accents. Gale sounds like Gaul, the ancient name for France.
    • The Rex Guardians, the Sky Knights of Terra Rex (which means "king"), speak with high-and-mighty British accents and act like aristocracy.
    • In a show where most people have avian Theme Naming, you'd think the Raptors are an exception. Then you remember that raptor is another name for the group of birds of prey.
    • "Age of Heroes". The episode title refers mostly to the beginning of an era of heroes, but it also refers to the Storm Hawks' youth.
  • Story Arc: The later part of the second season had much stronger inter-episode continuity.
  • Street Musician: Aerrow and Stork pretend to be these in "Infinnity". Stork plays a keyboard, and Aerrow is an accordian player with Radarr as his dancing monkey.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: The sky siren.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Aerrow and Lightning Strike. Nuff said.
  • Super Empowering: What the Binding does.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Sky Knights have Sky Fu.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: The majority of Cyclonis' minions are rather incompetent.
  • Sword Fight
  • Take My Hand: Done in "Payback" between Stork and Repton.
  • Take Over the World: Master Cyclonis
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: The Dark Ace.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: The Dark Ace again.
  • Teach Him Anger: What the team try to do with Junko in "The Masked Masher".
  • Team Pet: Radarr, although he prefers the term "Mission Specialist".
  • Team Rocket Wins: One episode had the Cyclonians get special booster crystals that amplified their abilities, they then proceed to capture every other skynight in the Atmos. They were then beaten by tricks learned from carnival games and rides.
  • Ted Baxter: Finn
  • Tempting Fate: In "Payback", after the Condor has been blown up:
    Finn: How could we be any worse?!
    (Cyclonians attack)
    Finn: Sorry I asked!
  • Terraform: The Blizzarians used a blizzard crystal to turn a desert terra into something more suitable for themselves. The Raptors try to reverse this and eventually leave Leugey to the task. The results are spectacular.
  • That's No Moon: One episode has the Storm Hawks find an uncharted terra. It turns out to be a Leviathan.
  • Theme Naming: There's loads of avian theme naming. With the exception of Radarr, Master Cyclonis and the Dark Ace, the main cast all have names that reference bird species. (Aerrow was originally named "Sparrow," Finn was "Finch", Junko is a corruption of Junco, etc. Also, Piper was originally "Oriole", so she's had two bird names.)
    • Repton's brothers (Hoerk, Luegey and Spitz) have the lovely distinction of names that all deal with expulsion of mucus.
    • It would be simpler to list the aversions to this trope. The show's creators took the idea and ran with it.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Memorably done by Aerrow in "Cyclonia Rising Part 2." "Gawww, man!"
  • Those Magnificent Flying Machines: Played with. Influence from this can be seen in some of the vehicle designs, like Piper's heliscooter. Later on, we do see some more traditional pedal-and-propeller-powered machines, but they're not very impressive compared to Atmos' usual technology standards.
  • Timm Style
  • Title-Only Opening: The pilot episode, to avert a Spoiler Opening.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: In "Fire and Ice", Leugey gets his tongue stuck to a wall of ice.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When Piper ends up with Gundstaff who gives her access to his storehouse of crystals, she starts doing some of the same things Cyclonis is capable of.
  • True Companions: Aerrow even refers to the team as a family in "Home Movie Night".
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: The Condor turns into this when Radarr gets behind the wheel.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Finn attempts one of these in "The Last Stand". He rolls face-first into a rock.
  • Villain Episode: Season 2 Episode "Power Grab." Master Cyclonis leaves Cyclonia for a mission, putting Ravess in charge. Things go downhill from there.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: The Dark Ace.
  • Villainous Demotivator
  • Villainous Friendship: Between Cyclonis and the Dark Ace
  • Villainous RROD: The Dark Ace
  • Vocal Dissonance: Blister, the Sky Knight of the Third Degree Burners, has a surprisingly high voice.
  • Voice of the Legion: In the earlier episodes, Cyclonis's voice would sometimes have a second, deeper voice accompanying it during particularly ominous statements.
  • Walking the Earth: The Storm Hawks' way of life.
    • The life of anyone on the planet who doesn't want to live on a single terra. The sky itself is often more habitable than the ground.
  • Wardens Are Evil: Mr. Moss is the Cyclonian warden of a high-security prison located on Terra Zartacla. He wields an energy whip and takes sadistic glee in hunting escaped prisoners.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: Arygyn's way of teaching.
    • The Storm Hawks' training exercises; Starling is annoyed that the Hawks "hone their skills" using unstructured childrens' games, but wouldn't you know it, every last one of those games turns out to be invaluable to saving the day in that episode.
  • Wire Dilemma: At one point, Crystals have to be removed from the engine before it overheats and explodes. And removing them out of order would also cause it to explode. The Crystals in the engine are even mostly blue and red ones.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Unique?
  • Wham Episode: In "Payback," the Condor is blown to smithereens and Repton suffers a Disney Villain Death. In "The Key," The Bad Guy Wins.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: "Origins", which is just that, an origins episode.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?
  • The Wild West: The terra from "The Ultra Dudes" is based on this.
  • Wingdinglish: The Atmosian writing system. If you look closely, sometimes it's possible to read it.
  • Wronski Feint: In one episode, Aerrow tries this to defeat the Dark Ace by flying through a hole in a canyon. As demonstrated earlier in the episode, the very end of the canyon is so narrow, one must turn their fliers to motorcycle mode to get through, and then back again as to not plummet to the ground. The trick here is that earlier in the battle, Aerrow stuck a wrench into the Dark Ace's wing mechanism earlier in the fight, preventing him from retracting them. The results are explosive...
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair
  • You Have Failed Me: Master Cyclonis finally has enough of Snipe screwing up; she doesn't kill him outright, instead she throws him into the wastelands where he will surely die anyhow!
  • You Killed My Father: Never explicitly said, per se, but see Fanon.
  • You Taste Delicious: Aerrow and Piper were eavesdropping on the Big Bad, Master Cyclonis, when she sensed them outside and threw a catering cart at the door, knocking the two of them down. Cyclonis then went over to Piper, who had some cream on her face. She ate it and then said that it was "not bad, except for the sour Storm Hawk aftertaste".
  • You Will Be Spared: Repton does this to Stork in the episode "Fire and Ice".
    • Also done in the episode "The Masked Masher", with Cyclonis saying something of the sort to Piper.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Starling.


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