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 after eating popcorn spiked with mutagen.
  • 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: The citizens of Fission City are sheep, going along with whatever anti-Shark propaganda Paradigm and Guy-in-the-Sky feed them.
  • 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: The Street Sharks have several punny ones, including "Shark Attack!" and "Jawesome!"
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Slash and Slobster disappear in Season 3.
  • Creepy Good: The Street Sharks are anthropomorphic sharks, but are unquestionably on the side of good.
  • Crossover: The Extreme Dinosaurs make appearances in the last season, though with a different name (Dino-Vengers) and backstory.
  • Destructive Saviour: 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, making him a major plot element nevertheless.
  • Evolving Credits: The opening credits change in Episode 4.
  • 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 wears a metal eyepatch on his right eye.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Streex wears them.
  • Hero of Another Story: Doctor Bolton just keeps on pulling Offscreen Moments of Awesome, working behind the scenes to foil Paradigm's plans.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Paradigm could blame the Sharks for anything 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.
  • Horrifying Hero: Granted, the Street Sharks are actually pretty nice, but they still look likes oversized, very threatening sharks on legs who can eat steel and concrete, are superhumanly strong, and have some anger issues, so they tend to scare everyone in sight. Really, it's not that surprising Paradigm has so little trouble convincing people they are a threat.
  • 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 — in particular Streex — 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 has a long, prehensile tongue.
  • Painful Transformation: Every transformation includes a lot of screaming.
  • 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 the villain and his mutant underlings with mutant powers themselves than without.
  • Playing with Syringes: The gene slamming tends to happen through Dr. Paradigm injecting his target with a proto-viral concoction of DNA.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The last EIGHT episodes are taken up by a long one, introducing the Dino Vengers, and the evil raptors, dinosaur like aliens from outer space. The opening sequence was actually changed to call the show: Dino Vengers Featuring Street Sharks. One year later, the "Dino Vengers," heavily re-tooled, and having cut all continuity with this cartoon, got their own show in the form of Extreme Dinosaurs.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: The gene splicing everyone goes through turns them into grotesque anthropomorphic animals.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In one episode, the mutated Doctor Bolton single handedly 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: The Street Sharks and Rox are anthropomorphic sharks.
  • 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" toy 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 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, when during an early episode, the four were disgusted at the idea of eating pizza.
  • Teenage Mutant Samurai Wombats: They're teenagers who were mutated into sharks.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Justified, since the pilot has a part where all four are re-captured, and Slammu is very narrowly forced to undergo "exploratory 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're capable of eating almost anything. In a reference to the Ninja Turtles, though, they all hate pizza.
  • 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.
  • Was Once a Man: The four Street Sharks and a handful of other mutated humans. 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.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Slash and Slobster get electrocuted in one episode, showing their skeletons.