Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
This Animated Adaptation of The Mask lasted for 55 episodes, from 1995 to 1997. It was definitely a product of the film rather than the comic book and took its cues from the Looney Tunes inspired antics of the Mask to make him a real (sort of) cartoon character. This actually allowed the kids show to be in some ways more adult with more subversive antics.The plot is simple: Stanley Ipkiss, a mild-mannered banker, struggles with the responsibilities of having a mask that transforms the wearer into a nigh-omnipotent trickster. He takes up the superhero thing, but his alter-ego, The Mask, is more interested in simply partying and having fun.Now has a recap page.
Provides Examples Of:
Action Bomb: Cookie BaBoom (the Mayor's exotic dancer ex-girlfriend) in "Flight as a Feather" invokes this trope, but ends up stripped of her suicide belts.
Kablamus, meanwhile, is your garden variety self-detonating man with various "flavors" of explosions.
Adorkable: Stanley is this all over. It actually does get him a few girls over the course of the series.
Adaptational Heroism: As with The Movie, the Mask allows Stanley Ipkiss to be a superpowered prankster instead of a malevolent entity. That said, it's alluded to that previous owners of the Mask were not so benevolent.
Even compared to the movie he's this. See Designated Hero on the YMMV page.
The Ahnold: The Mask himself on occasion, and one-time episode villain Sly Eastenegger.
The Alleged Car: Stanley still has "The Loaner" from the movie and Kellaway and Doyle have a green car that always clatters and backfires when they drive it and was attacked by reanimated dinosaurs with an appetite for metal (as seen in "Jurassic Mask").
Almost Kiss: Happens between The Mask and Chronos in "What Goes Around Comes Around", and ends up squicking The Mask out so much that he has to literally get his head examined.
Alternate Continuity: It doesn't seem to follow the movie which had a definite ending. It seems more like the events of the movie just happened differently with Stanley hanging onto the mask, though a throwaway line from Charlie in "The Mask Is Always Greener On the Other Side" hints that the movie happened but that Stanley either found the Mask again or simply pretended to get rid of it.
Anti-Hero: The Mask is Type II. He's lazy, a troll, and prefers to party and goof off, but he will still do the right thing in the end. Stanley on the other hand is rather weak and timid, so he falls into Type I.
Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The Mask and Milo's Mask form tends to suffer from this, often getting completely sidetracked from the bad guy until they barrel across The Mask's own shenanigans.
Audience? What Audience?: On his first battle against The Mask, Kablamus ranted about children seeing them and Mask said he agreed. He then told the audience he knew about the children watching the cartoon but Kablamus was crazy. (He was right about Kablamus, mind you)
Banana Republic: Mentioned on "Counterfeit Mask" and "Mr. Mask Goes to Washington."
Batman Gambit: Stanley finds a special "Sister Mask" to be placed over the original one, which is said to give the wearer better control over his alter-ego. It turns out Dr. Pretorius created this Sister Mask and planted it in a museum; it's actually a mind-control device.
Bee Bee Gun: The Stinger, who gains the ability to command a large swarm of intelligent monster bees after mutating into a giant bee monster.
Beware My Stinger Tail: When cornered, The Stinger tends to use his large bee tail as a rather versatile weapon, either by knocking people over with it or using the stinger on the end.
Big Eater: In "To Bee or Not To Bee", a side-effect of The Stinger's Metamorphosis into a giant bee is now he needs an insane amount of honey to survive, which drives him to eat the contents of an entire Honey Chews factory in a single night and later enslave the entire city just so the inhabitants can manufacture more honey. Later, in "Convention of Evil", he has to have a pot of honey available at all times.
The Mask will eat enormous amounts of junk food during his nightly escapades, and often run up Stanley's credit card bills in the process. Whether or not this is due to him needing a lot of calories for his powers, or just because he loves food isn't established (though the latter belief seems more believable, as The Mask is supposed to be what Stanley always wants to be in life — wild, unpredictable, able to attract women and disrespect authority).
Just how big of an eater is he? He can eat twenty whole pizzas in one bite.
Bottle Episode: The episode-long Clip Show episode "Convention of Evil" has most of the series' villains in one room and "The Green Marine," which took place inside the courtroom (and only departed from that place during flashback sequences).
Butt Monkey: Stanley Ipkiss (when he's not The Mask); when Stanley becomes The Mask, the usual butt monkeys are Mrs. Peenman (the grouchy landlady), Lieutenant Kellaway and his police partner, Doyle, Mayor Tilton, Eddie when he becomes Fish Guy, and any villain who gets in The Mask's way.
Captain Ersatz: Quite often, usually ranging from lawyer-friendly cameos to shout-outs
Much of the main cast may also count, as happened with The Real Ghostbusters, none of them really look like the actors who played them, with only Charlie, Doyle and Peggy really getting anywhere close. This may have been to avoid paying for likeness rights. It's also possible that since the animated Ace Ventura (whose series ran in the timeslot following the Mask and even crossed over with it in an episode of each) actually was a clear caricature of Jim Carrey they wanted to make them distinct from each other.
Perhaps the funniest part of that is the fact Stanley looks quite a bit like Peter Venkman from The Real Ghostbusters.
Lonnie the Shark's biker gang may be an expy of the Dreadnoks from G.I. Joe. They even have Australian accents and one looks like a fat version of Torch.
Or rather, two of them do. Two members of the gang use the same character model. One is colored just like Torch's original toy, the other colored like Torch's animated appearance.
It's worth noting that this series was animated by Sunbow, the same company that created the G.I. Joe series that came on in 1985.
The concept for Lonnie the Shark and his biker gang is inspired from Biker Mice from Mars; Lonnie's resemblance to BMFM's main antagonist Lawrence Limburger is a real giveaway.
Pretorius resembles Eugene Rapaz, a drug dealer from the original comics.
Walter may be this to the Walter from the comics. They look the same and both never speak, but cartoon Walter is indestructible whereas comic Walter can bleed when injured, and even likes to cut himself just to freak people out. He's also tough but not indestructible as Big Head was able to subdue him with electricity.
Comic Walter worked for Eugene Rapaz and cartoon Walter worked for Pretorius. See the entry above.
Another that crosses the line btween this and a mythology gag, while Lt. Kellaway doesn't even come close to resembling his film counterpart, he's practically a dead ringer for Kellaway from the comics.
Catch Phrase: The Mask happened to have two memorable lines from the movie that gained this status. "Sssssmokin'!" and "Somebody stop me!" or a variation of the two managed to work their way into most of the episodes.
Cassanova Wannabee: The Mask does not actually have a particularly great track record with women, despite the show he puts on. Stanley points this out in one episode.
Chained Heat: In "The Terrible Twos," Kellaway handcuffs himself to Stanley so that way if Stanley turns into The Mask, he'll know about it and have Stanley arrested. Stanley manages to distract him time and again, and eventually is let go so that he can personally handle the villains.
Chess with Death: The Mask has a dance-off with the Devil to get Stanley's soul back.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: A nerdy, white guy named Smedley appeared as the Mayor's assistant in the season two episodes "Going for the Green" and "Flight as a Feather." He hasn't been seen since then (though he may have quit or was fired following the Cookie BaBoom incident, since his final line to Mayor Tilton after Tilton ordered Smedley to disarm Cookie was, "On my salary? I don't even get overtime, ya cheapskate!").
Clip Show: Two of these — a partial one on "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Green Mask" and an episode-long one on "Convention of Evil."
Defeat by Modesty: The Mask defeats Cookie BaBoom in "Flight as a Feather" by yanking her suicide belt bikini off her body so he can make a cocktail out of it. Though considering Cookie is a strip... er "exotic dancer," the word "modesty" in the trope is used very loosely.
Depraved Kids' Show Host: Biker boss and criminal Lonnie the Shark is actually the actor who plays Barnaby the Dinosaur, as seen in "Baby's Wild Ride"
Distracted by the Sexy: "Flight as a Feather," when Kellaway and Doyle go to capture the Mask, the Mask takes Cookie BaBoom — who has been spinning around for at least two to three scenes — and stops her so her naked body faces Kellaway and Doyle. While the Mask gets away, these guys melt right in front of her.
The Mask often does this, particularly in "Love Potion No. 8 1/2" when he falls for the grouchy landlady Mrs. Peenman thanks to a carnival love potion sold to him by a gypsy.
Fingerprinting Air: Pretorius saw The Mask's hand print on the windshield of his van. He sprayed it with some mystery aerosol can and produced a solid 3D copy of his hand from it which was then used to plant evidence at a crime scene.
On this note, this same episode actually established that Stanley and The Mask have separate fingerprints as they did not register as Stanley's when the police database was searched. They DID, however, register as The Mask. Lt Kellaway had once managed to haul him in on a jaywalking charge and got his fingerprints on file. (this was not the case in the movie, as Kellaway got a warrant to arrest Stanley as his fingerprints matched the ones left by The Mask robbing the bank)
Fish People: Fish Guy. He can't swim worth a crap though.
The Mask: Not only are you a lame mutant, you're a lame fish!
Friendly Enemy: Doyle, Lt Kellaways partner, likes The Mask and usually takes his side when Kellaway thinks hes behind a crime.
On "Split Personality," The Mask/Stanley goes to a tough guy bar and orders a red-hot, battery acid piledriver with extra formaldehyde in a dirty glass with a black widow spider riding on the olive. They were out of olives.
On "Flight as a Feather," the Mask poses as a bartender who turns two megatons worth of dynamite into a drink called the Bikini Cocktail.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Frankly, the radar was probably broken when this cartoon was made, and "Flight as a Feather" definitely had a hand in breaking it (though some channels, like the former FOX Family Channel and CBS, didn't air "Flight as a Feather" for the very reason it shattered the radar).
Heroic Willpower: When Stanley puts the mask, he acts as crazy as ever, but still goes up against whatever villain is causing trouble in the episode. When any other (non-villainous) character puts it on, they just go completely bonkers. The implication is Stanley's the only one who can muster enough willpower to somewhat control using the mask. On one occasion in "Shadow of a Skillit" however it's revealed that there have been a few who were able to do the same one of these was Abraham Lincoln.
Hypno Fool: Stanley and The Mask on the season two episode "Power of Suggestion"
Interservice Rivalry/Sibling Rivalry: Kelleway and the Edge City Police Department vs. Kellway's brother and the FBI in "Martian Mask". The FBI belives the Mask is an alien instead of a superhero or criminal.
Jewish Mother: Lt. Kellaway's mother, most certainly, in "The Mother of All Hoods", which seems rather odd as Kellaway himself doesn't even seem to be Jewish. Of course, Lt. Kellaway's mother, from her brief appearances in the comics, was not this type. She was just a kindly old lady in glasses.
Kick the Dog: Literal example in "Sister Mask", when Pretorius had control of the Mask, and made the Mask kick Milo. Stanley wasn't happy about that, and when he got his revenge, he turned the Sister Mask on Pretorius, made him become a soccer ball and then made him kick around his robot body and his own henchmen. He even nearly calls out this trope word-for-word:
Large Ham: The Mask, especially in season three's "To Have and Have Snot." He gets called out on it by Pretorious, who's voiced by Tim Curry, ironically.
Latex Perfection: The Mask disguises himself as Dr. Neuman in "Convention of Evil", to the point of copying his voice, height, and mannerisms perfectly. The only way anyone could figure out his disguise is when the real one called Pretorius and told him he couldn't show up in time.
He also does this in another episode, disguising himself as Stanley to trick Peggy.
This may also be another Mythology Gag, as one of Big Head's abilities in the comics was to wear incredibly realistic masks made of skin to literally resemble anyone he/she wanted to.
Leitmotif: Milo the dog had a little signature ditty when he appeared onscreen.
So do Mrs. Peenman, Kellaway, Doyle, and The Mask himself.
Living Shadow: Skillit is an otherworldly prankster who uses his shadow to absorb others' shadows and steal their youth.
Loud of War: "Flight as a Feather" had a scene in which The Mask uses a large boombox and a cassette entitled "The Mask's Greatest Hits" as a form of torture on Mrs. Peenman - first out loud, then through headphones.
Most Writers Are Male: Subverted with "Flight as a Feather." Would you believe that, in spite of the appearance of (and subsequent Fanservice provided by) Cookie BaBoom (the Mayor's exotic dancer ex-girlfriend), that the episode was written by a woman? Yeah, there may have been some male writers pitching ideas — among other things, but an actual woman — named Julia Lewald — is credited for writing "Flight as a Feather".
Mythology Gag: In "Sister Mask", when Pretorius wears the mask, Peggy refers to him as "Big Head" - the name given to the mask wearer in the original Dark Horse comic series.
In "The Mask is Always Greener on the Other Side," the Mask once again produces a framed (and signed!) photograph of Kellway's wife.
No Matter How Much I Beg: Done in multiple episodes, usually when Stanley instructs Milo to hide The Mask away where he'll never find it.
Not Me This Time: When Dr. Pretorius arrives on a Cruise Ship Stan and the other main characters are on he admits that while he does plan to blow up the ship as a test of his weapon, the fact that they are on the boat is just a coincidence and he didn't invite them.
OOC Is Serious Business: There are a few instances when Doyle doesn't act like his normal, bumbling self, but almost acts like Lt. Kellaway. This is usually a sign that something bad is about to hit.
Rebus Bubble: In "Split Personality," when Stanley is thinking of what would happen if his old high school bully found and wore The Mask. He was mostly right.
Recycled: The Series: A cartoon adaptation of a PG-13 Jim Carrey movie (two similar series that fit this description include "Ace Ventura: The Animated Series" - with which this show had a Crossover - and the short-lived cartoon adaptation of "Dumb And Dumber")
Remember the New Guy: Cookie BaBoom and Smedley, the Mayor's assistant were never shown prior to "Flight as a Feather," yet they've been established as being regular characters (despite that Cookie is a One-Episode Wonder and Smedley only appeared in two episodes: "Flight as a Feather" and the previous episode, "Going for the Green.")
Running Gag: The Mask wedgies his enemies, namely Kellaway, Doyle, and Mrs. Peenman.
Saw a Woman in Half: Done to the title character on the season three premiere episode "Magic". Naturally, he hams it up and pretends he really got sawn in half to mess around with the pretty magician.
Say My Name: Kellaway would shout "DOYYYYLE" whenever Doyle did anything dopey (which was pretty often).
Sequential Symptom Syndrome: In one episode the common cold turns out to be the only thing that can kill the Mask. The symptoms are actually numbered from one to seven, and serve as a sort of countdown to doom.
Serious Business - The founder of Putterware treats her company like a cult dedicated to the destruction of her former employers.
Sexy Coat Flashing: A warped variation done by Cookie BaBoom on "Flight as a Feather." After Smedley tries to stop Cookie from rushing the stage after Mayor Tilton, she supposedly flashes her naked body by opening her trenchcoat. Smedley lecherously growls, "Dy-no-mite!" As the trenchcoat hits the ground, the camera pans up, revealing the two megatons worth of dynamite strapped to Cookie's body - only to have the Mask give her a Shameful Strip.
Shameful Strip: The Mask does this to Cookie Ba Boom in Flight of a Feather to save the Mayor's life but more importantly to himself to get his feather back when he yanks her suicide bombs off her - and then uses her very public nudity to stun Kellaway and Doyle.
Shapeshifter Mode Lock: In "Love Potion No. 8/12", the Mask can't transform into different characters because of Madame Suspiria controlling her magic on The Mask
Shout-Out: Plenty. It would require an entire wiki to catalog everything. If the show can go 5 minutes without a reference, it's a miracle.
The episode "When Pigs Ruled the Earth" has nods and allusions to Planet of the Apes and Soylent Green (as well as the book that inspired the latter, Make Room! Make Room!). The antagonist of the episode is a Pig Man named Dr. Maius (a pun on Planet of the Apes' Dr. Zaius) and it is mentioned in the future the Mask and Peggy Brandt end up in that humans are sent to a country by the pig-people to make Soylent Green, which is assured to Stanley Ipkiss to be a vegetarian dish.
Showy Invincible Hero: The Mask is virtually undefeatable, with only a handful of villains being able to defeat him. A lot of episodes actually revolve around Stanley losing the mask and having to get it back, or having to get away from danger to go get it at home.
Sexier Alter Ego: Subversion. Stanley even points out that The Mask's luck with women is just as bad as his. Stanley is too shy, but The Mask comes on a little too strong.
Something Else Also Rises: Kellaway and Doyle's reaction (of the melting variety, though there was that kinky twang noise prior to Doyle's and Kellaway's reaction) to the now-naked Cookie BaBoom on "Flight as a Feather."
The Mask's reaction to seeing Davida Steelmine perform magic tricks on the season three premiere "Magic."
Song Parody: In "Flight as a Feather," The Mask has a cassette of himself singing a parody of "O, Christmas Tree" which makes fun of Mrs. Peenman and makes her listen to the song on full blast.
The Speechless: Walter doesn't say a single word, which just adds to his scariness.
Superpowered Evil Side: Depending on who wears the Mask, such as Dr Pretorius, Dr Neuman and Stanley's former high school bully Chet Bozak, their Mask side can take on this aspect, either through lacking the miniscule morality center that Stanley's Mask has, or by a genuine evil streak like Chet has.
Verbal Tic: Pretorius constantly pronounces Stanley's last name "Ipp-kiss."
Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Mask's main power is to transform into something appropriate for the situation. He has several favorite forms he reuses, such as Child Mask, Ancient Martial Arts Mask, Terminator Mask, Pirate Mask, Knight Mask and Swimsuit Mask, though he has several other forms he only uses once.
Weaksauce Weakness: Wearing The Mask while ill will screw up Stanley's powers and eventually kill him. So naturally, the city's attacked by a giant mucus monster while he's got a cold.
Pretorius, deadly, evil genius that he is, can easily be disabled by knocking his head off his cyborg body, he seems to have trouble securing it properly. His detached head isnt exactly defenceless, but its much smaller and weaker than his body. His cybernetic body is a rather competent fighter, even minus the head to direct it.
Charlie as well. Having apparently been promoted after the events of the movie, he becomes a severe Pointy-Haired Boss, foisting all of his work onto Stanley, forcing Stanley to run numerous non-work related errands for him on top of that, and invariably threatening to fire him if he refuses or fails any of this. In one episode, Stanley had decided to act like the Mask even when not wearing it, and ends up getting a promotion that Charlie had been vying for. This is the same Charlie who had done all of the aforementioned to Stanley, and he somehow actually has the unmitigated gall to actually try to make Stanley feel guilty about this.