Western Animation: Street Sharks


"They fight, they bite, they kick some serious fin!"

Street Sharks (1994-1995) was an animated series about four teenage boys whose father is kidnapped by a rival scientist named Dr. Paradigm and transformed into a monster. When they attempt to rescue him, Dr. Paradigm transforms them into anthropomorphic sharks. In their first battle, Dr. Paradigm is injected with the same chemical mixture intended for the sharks' kooky-but-genius sidekick, giving him the ability to transform into a piranha monster when angry. It causes severe drama, because the sharks are then painted as the villains and the villain made the city hero, whose dream it is to mutate everyone into fish people.

Think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles minus the actual ninjas and the turtles replaced by sharks.

The Street Sharks are:

Their allies:
  • Lena and Bends: Their friends from college
  • Moby Lick (former name Jets Taylor): a friend from high school who was turned into an orca whale
  • Rox (former name Melvin Kresnik): a rock musician who was turned into a mako shark
  • Mantaman (former name Dr. Terrence Morton): a scientist who was turned into a manta ray

Street Sharks has examples of:

  • Adult Fear: As goofy as it was, there's the pretty freaky premise that at some point, your co-worker could turn on you, steal everything you've ever done, perform an extremely painful procedure on you, and turn the entire town against you, completely ruining your life. And when he's done with that, he'll do it to your kids.
  • Animal Stereotypes
  • Apathetic Citizens: The residents of Fission City seem weirdly...undisturbed, considering that they've got multiple large mutants (and later, dinosaur-shaped aliens) running around their city. On the other hand, very few seem smart to begin with...
  • Artistic License Biology: There's a reason why they are called whale sharks. Whale Sharks are shrimp-eating, filter-feeding, peaceful creatures that do not have giant sharp teeth and are not dangerous to anything larger than a tiny fish.
    • The stereotype that sharks can eat anything is taken to its logical extreme, with the Street Sharks being capable of chowing down on just about anything.
  • Artistic License Physics: How in the world can the sharks swim through concrete? They eat it.
  • Bald of Evil: Dr. Paradigm is bald, bad, and has a temper to match.
  • Body Horror: The consequences of gene-slamming, especially on Dr. Bolton. He's never seen on-screen after his transformation, but from the looks of his shadow and the gurgling noises made whenever he appeared, Dr. Bolton became something truly grotesque.
  • Catch Phrase: "Shark Attack!"
    • "Jaw-some!"
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Slash and Slopster disappear in Season 3.
  • Cross Over: The Extreme Dinosaurs make appearances in the last season, though with a different name (Dino-Vengers) and backstory.
  • Destructive Saviours: It's not uncommon for the Street Sharks to cause some severe property damage whenever they save the day, such as destroying the eponymous streets by swimming through the solid concrete. On the other hand, when they level buildings and such, it's usually in an effort to prevent worse disasters, like sinking a parking garage to avoid flooding the city with nuclear fallout.
  • Disappeared Dad: After showing up once in the pilot and being turned into a monster offscreen, the Sharks' dad is never seen again. His absence is the main concern of the heroes and finding him is usually their first priority.
    • He sometimes appears in shadows, or as a 'just missed' character. He is still a major plot element, actually.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Street Sharks can and do eat just about everything from hamburgers to steel girders and concrete without indigestion. Just don't offer them pizza.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Dr Piranoid.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Streex wears them.
  • Follow the Leader: One of several humanoid animal hero groups in the wake of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Hero of Another Story: Doctor Bolton just keeps on pulling Offscreen Moments of Awesome.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Paradigm could blame the Sharks for anything he did and the citizens of Fission City would accept without question. It's taken to such extremes that one of their friends has to explicitly tell the police that, if they really were guilty of one of the crimes they were accused of, they'd have to be in two places at once.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The word "shark" is in every title.
  • Idiot Ball: Yes Doctor Bolton, we're sure you're a brilliant man. Perhaps confronting a Mad Scientist in an abandoned laboratory over illegal experiments at night, without telling anyone else about this wasn't the best idea though.
  • Interspecies Romance: At least once it was shown that there were girls who found the sharks attractive.
  • Karmic Transformation: Dr. Paradigm to Dr. Piranoid.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The toys and toy commercials debuted before the actual show.
  • Missing Mom: Their mom is virtually nonexistent and is only mentioned once in the pilot, when it is revealed that she once gave their dad a watch and it was implied that she was dead.
  • Obviously Evil: Dr. Paradigm. True, giant shark-men aren't exactly going to inspire confidence, but does that really mean that you should trust a man who has an eyepatch and an indeterminately European accent who goes around town in a giant, heavily armed diving suit? Of course he'd still set off villain alarms in civilian garb. Paradigm tries to subvert it by claiming that the suit's main purpose is a life-support system, after a run-in with the Street Sharks.
  • Open Secret: Theoretically the Street Sharks are fugitives from justice...they very rarely make any effort at all to hide themselves, and walk around openly in public...
  • Overly Long Tongue: Moby Lick's prehensile tongue.
  • Painful Transformation: Every transformation includes a lot of pain as the transforming characters nearly always scream in pain.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: One of the main goals of the protagonists is to get turned back to humans, though this tends to take backseat, since they're better-equipped to fight a villain and his mutant underlings with mutant powers themselves than without.
  • Playing with Syringes: How the gene slamming works.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: The gene splicing everyone goes through.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In one episode, the mutated Doctor Bolton singlehandedly defeats Dr. Paradigm's forces to rescue a mutant. He tears off Paradigm's suit, revealing his grotesque Piranoid form, and mocks the cowering villain, claiming that he has become something far less than human.
  • Shark Man: Guess who...
  • Stealth Pun: Fission City. Fish-ion City?
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Happens to the heroes in the pilot when they are being turned into sharks.
  • Take That: Quite blatant "Take That" to the Jurassic Park toys on the back of the "Big Hand Puppet" toys' box. There was a small picture of one of said puppets smacking one of the T-Rex toys from said rival toy line.
    • Also a blatant shot at the TMNT when during an early episode the four were disgusted at the idea of eating pizza.
  • Teenage Mutant Samurai Wombats
  • They Would Cut You Up: Justified, since the pilot has a part where all four are recaptured and Slammu is very narrowly forced to undergo "explorative surgery". He's saved and the others are tempted to try the same surgery on the doctor.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Hot dogs and hamburgers, though they seemed to eat anything. In a reference to the Ninja Turtles, though, they all hated pizza.
    • A case of Fridge Brilliance as Sharks are generally predatory animals and would prefer eating meat.
  • Unscaled Merfolk
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Paradigm, to the point at which he's able to blame the sharks for virtually everything.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The Street Sharks never wear a shirt. Moby Lick, Mantaman and Killamari also go shirtless.
  • Were Once Men: The four Street Sharks. Until they underwent a genetic experiment, that is.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Literal example: Ripster had a pet mouse when he was still human. After the pilot, she is never seen again.
  • Xray Sparks: Slash and Slobster get electrocuted in one episode.