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Western Animation: The Secret Saturdays

A Cartoon Network action/comedy original series created by Jay Stephens, an underground comic book artist whose work led to the Emmy-winning program Tutenstein, as well as Annie-nominee Jetcat

The Secret Saturdays is about a family of cryptozoologists who are but one sector of a globe-spanning network of "Secret Scientists" that work to protect mankind from the hidden horrors of our world and beyond. Often traveling the world, not only must Doc, Drew and Zak Saturday deal with the problems caused by various cryptids, but they must also deal with the threat of V.V. Argost. Under the guise of his popular series WeirdWorld, Argost wishes to use the power of Kur to lead a large cryptid army to Take Over the World. Think Jonny Quest crossed with The Herculoids.

An under-appreciated animated series, The Secret Saturdays quickly became the Network Red Headed Stepchild in a matter of months. It wrapped up its second and final season on Cartoon Network, then showed up on Boomerang at the end of 2011, pretty much putting the lid on whether the show was going to be continued. However, in 2013, they make an appearance in the Ben 10: Omniverse episode "T.G.I.S." (Thank Goodness It's Saturday).


Tropes:

  • Abandoned Mine: Much of "Into the Mouth of Darkness" takes place in an abandoned silver mine.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Present in "Kur Part 2", when the Nagas attack New York through the sewers.
  • Ace Pilot: Drew. She is frustrated when a plan relies upon her being shot down, as she has a reputation to uphold.
  • Action Mom: Drew Saturday.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Zak is the frequent victim of hair-tousling by Doyle and others.
  • Agony of the Feet: Zak, being a precocious kid star, gets to whack the villain in the shin with his weapon, and the villain hops around muttering.
  • All Animals Are Domesticated: The Saturdays have a pet komodo dragon. Though in all fairness, it is not a garden variety breed; he's genetically engineered for Amplified Animal Aptitude; he's an Extreme Omnivore, able to turn completely invisible at will, and at one point he's flying a jet. He's also quite big, but that part isn't unusual for an adult Komodo monitor lizard; 8 feet and 200 pounds are considered "average".
  • All There in the Manual: Jay Stephens hangs around the Cartoon Network forms in Toonzone answering fans' questions as well as giving insights into the show.
  • Ambiguously Human: V.V. Argost, who turns out to be a super-intelligent cryptid himself.
  • An Aesop
  • Animal Talk: Komodo, Fiskerton and Zon seem able to understand each other. And the Saturdays, even without Zak's gift.
  • Anti Anti Christ: Zak, once it's revealed that he's the reincarnation of Kur. He wants nothing to do with the civilization destroying thing. Could also apply with Zak Monday, who is the Anti-Kur and thus should be good but uses his powers for evil.
    • Since Zak Monday is Zak Saturday's Mirror Universe counterpart, wouldn't that make him more of an Anti Anti Anti Christ?
    • In ancient mythology, Kur was the pretty decent guardian of the underworld at first, so he sort of started out as an Anti-Anti Christ. Zak seems to fall more in the personality range of Kur at that time, which makes him an Anti-Anti Christ by default.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In "Paris is Melting," the assembled Secret Scientists and Grey Men express disbelief that a Mirror Universe and Evil Counterparts could possibly exist - despite all the other fantastic things encountered and experienced. Doc and Drew know better from experience, but Doyle (who wasn't around for "Black Monday") not only doesn't question the possibility but finds the persistent disbelief ridiculous.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Kur Stone.
  • Assimilation Backfire: In the last episode, V.V. Argost has assimilated the Kur powers from Zak's Evil Twin from an anti-matter Mirror Universe, and then does the same to Zak himself to become even more powerful. But what Argost didn't realize (but Zak did) was what happens when matter and anti-matter combine, and Argost obliterates himself instead.
  • Atlantis: Not quite. Although one episode did mention the Atlantean civilization.
    Zak: I thought Kumari Kandam was destroyed...that it sunk under the sea after a big earthquake?
    Doc: What? Who's been feeding you that garbage?
  • Automatic Crossbows: Tsul 'Kalu wields a crossbow that fires three bolts at once.
  • Averted Trope: Several of the ones normally seen in animation:
    • Discretion Shot: We get to actually see Argost's henchman Munya change from human to Man-Spider without the camera pulling away and showing us the horrified Saturdays.
    • Expressive Mask: Van Rook's mask does not show his emotions. Played straight with Argost.
    • Parental Obliviousness: The team is the entire family so they're pretty much aware of Zak and his high-spirited hijinks.
  • Back from the Dead The aforementioned crossover with Ben 10: Omniverse sees Argost revived by Dr. Animo.
  • Back Story:
    • We know that Drew has some with Van Rook.
    • We saw some with how Drew grew up to be an Action Girl, and how her Long-Lost Relative became long lost.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Zak - tiny and cute with that star shaped mop of hair, but he gets badass right as the first season comes to a close.
    • Fiskerton - fluffy and cuddly and comical, but do not get between him and the family unless you want a world of hurt.
  • Badass Bookworm: Abby
  • Badass Family: the titular Saturdays, and even moreso after the Long-Lost Relative shows up and increases their number.
  • Bad Future: In "The Return of Tsul 'Kalu", Tsun 'Kalu gives Zak visions of a future where he has completely embraced his Kur nature and uses his control of cryptids to wipe out humanity.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: There are several signs in the second season that Zak's power is in and of itself evil, such as in the episode "Kur: Part 2", where it guided the Saturdays to the exact opposite end of the world from where they needed to go to stop the Nagas' attack on mankind, and how it briefly made the attacking cryptids act even MORE violent than they already were.
    • He's certainly trying to make his powers a force for good, despite the entire cryptid world being scared to death of him.
  • Batman Gambit: Argost's cryptid fighting ring. The Saturdays find out too late that the building holding the ring was actually Kur's tomb, & Argost started these fights knowing that they would come and rescue all of the cryptids, including the guardian beast preventing him from venturing deeper into the tomb.
  • Battle in the Rain: As seen in "The Return of Tsun 'Kalu", the showdown between Doc and Tsun 'Kalu that cost Doc his eye took place atop the Saturdays' Cool Airship during a downpour.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: The Saturdays break up an underground cryptid fighting ring in "Cryptid vs. Cryptid".
  • Berserk Button: DON'T. TAKE. WATER. FROM. THE. CURSED. LAKE!
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Baron Finster, half-man/half-mechanical scorpion.
  • Big Applesauce: The nagas attack Manhattan when the Saturdays are expecting them to attack Hong Kong instead.
  • Big "NO!": By the entire family.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending: The Season Two finale. Sure, Argost is finally defeated and the Cryptid War ends as quickly as it began, but Zak lost his powers in the process, forcing him to be a normal boy (not that he minds) and Van Rook performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Drew whom he loved. Heck, the episode ends with a funeral.
  • Body-Count Competition: Reverse example. Done with a count of saved people.
  • Body Swap
  • A Boy and His X: Zak and Fiskerton appear to be an inseparable pair.
  • Breather Episode: "Curse of the Stolen Tiger" is a lighthearted episode about Zak's powers interacting with a cryptid's ability and causing him bad luck. It falls between the action-heavy and emotionally charged "Once More the Nightmare Factory" and the dramatic revelations of "The Kur Guardian".
  • Bridge Logic: Drew does this to provide an escape route in "Food of the Giants", although the trunk ultimately ends up sliding into the chasm.
  • Broken Record: Doc Saturday's Evil Twin. "Bad copy bad copy bad copy bad copy bad copy!"
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the final episode, this happens to Zak. He's not choked up about it, though. He regains his powers in the Ben 10: Omniverse crossover, T.G.I.S. Though they're weakened from their original form, since Kur has been destroyed. Unfortunately, this also means that the resurrected Argost still has his Anti Kur powers.
  • Brown Note: The Flute of Gilgamesh, capable of playing a sound that kills anyone with Kur powers.
  • Building Swing: Zak can and does do this with the Claw on multiple occasions.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Drew and Doyle got V.V. Argost confront Argost about the murder of their parents, he, perhaps feigning ignorance given his expression, claims that he can't remember the screams of every family he's killed.
  • Came Back Strong: When Dr. Animo brings Argost back to life in the crossover, he's been turned into a Cryptid chimera capable of taking Zak, Ben, Rook, and an army of Plumbers in a fight.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Drew: "My baby boy!"
    • Doc: "Be smart."
    • Argost: "Greetings and bienvenue."
  • Cat Suit: Drew Saturday's normal outfit.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Doc's strength and Drew's fencing abilities.
  • Charm Person: Zak can control cryptids, but only to do things that at least a small part of them already wanted to do.
  • The Chosen One: Zak was born, his parents theorize, to counter the Kur Stone, so he can save the world if need arises.
    • It ends up subverted later when it turns out that Zak is actually Kur..
      • Then again, it is Kur's destiny to lead a cryptid army against the human race, overthrowing our civilization and installing a new world order. He is still the Chosen One...just a possibly evil one.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Wadi.
  • Clear My Name: Fiskerton is framed by the Mondays for a bunch of attacks on the Secret Scientists. Though technically, he really was guilty, just Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Cloning Blues: Francis is revealed to be one in a long of clones taken from a perfect spy years ago. As he gets older, he will eventually become Epsilon and have his own "Francis". This is a situation that he already knew and accepted, but it's clear he does not enjoy it. That is, until Zak tells him he has the choice to be an individual person.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Doc has a glove that has Power Glows, and some combat use.
  • Conspicuous CG: The CoolShips tend to be animated thusly.
  • Cool Ship: Both sides have one.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Displayed throughout the episode "Twelve Hundred Degrees Fahrenheit". Taken to a ridiculous extent when both Argost and Drew swim through the volcano (wearing fireproof lizard-skin and a heatproof suit, respectively, but still!). Particularly egregious in Argost's case, as the lava should have seeped in through the openings in the skin (eyes, mouth).
    • Maybe there is a glass or plastic layering over his eyes (or even an organic transparent layer of skin over the Cherufe's eyes), but that still doesn't explain the mouth bit.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The eponymous pin in "The Atlas Pin", which was created by the Atlanteans to lock key tectonic plates. Tampering with it causes devastating worldwide earthquakes. Removing it will destroy the planet.
  • The Cruella: In "The Return of Tsul 'Kalu", Doyle has to protect a black market cryptid dealer who eats panda dumplings.
  • Cunning Linguist: Drew can speak 37 different languages.
  • Cut Argost A Check: Argost was already fairly wealthy due to the fame from his show and the money brought in by the marketing of toys connected to Weird World.
  • Dating Catwoman: Zak and Wadi early on. Also Doyle and Abby.
  • Deal with the Devil: Zak's deal with Argost.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Doyle. Everyone usually has a turn, but he does it the most and to hilarious effect.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: Argost, though he's pretty much the same on-camera...
  • Diner Brawl: Zak and Fisk cause one at the start of "Cryptid vs. Cryptid".
  • A Dog Named Dog: A Komodo dragon called Komodo.
  • Dramatic Chase Opening: "Guess Who's Going to be Dinner?" starts with Fiskerton running through a forest while being threatened by dangerous plants.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Van Rook was appalled when he discovered Argost killed Drew's family For the Evulz.
  • Even the Rats Won't Touch It: Even Komodo spits out the hair sandwich Drew makes Doc in "The Vengeance of Hibagon".
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The holograms studied by the Saturdays spin in one plane.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: V.V. Argost's home, Weirdworld.
  • Evil Chef: Piecemeal (technically a criminally insane chef)
  • Evil Twin: The team accidentally gets duplicated by a magic mirror, sorta. The duplicates were actually alternate reality versions of them.
  • Exact Words
  • Extreme Omnivore: In addition to his other bits of Amplified Animal Aptitude, Komodo can (and frequently does) eat anything. Mostly Played for Laughs, but comes in very handy in "Van Rook's Apprentice" when he leaps out of hiding to swallow an entire swarm of Argost's flesh-eating insects, saving Zak.
  • Exotic Entree: Piecemeal only wants to eat cryptids.
    • And in "The Return of Tsul 'Kalu", Doyle has to protect a black market cryptid dealer who eats panda dumplings.
  • Eyeless Face: The victims of Ahuizotl "The Thousand Eyes of Ahuizotl".
  • Face-Heel Turn: Doyle's girlfriend (and Zak's former babysitter) Abbey Gray, now working as Van Rook's new apprentice. She later kicked Van Rook out, and took over his operations.
  • Faux Affably Evil: V.V. Argost.
  • Fight Clubbing: The cryptid fighting ring in "Cryptid. vs. Cryptid". Overlaps with Beastly Bloodsports.
  • Fish People: The people of Kumari Kandam.
  • Flaming Sword: Drew's sword is a solar powered fire sword.
  • Flash Back: Flashbacks to some of Doc and Drew's earlier adventures.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Flying Electric Jellyfish plague the family in one episode.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: In pursuit of a mere thrown ball, Komodo clears a hallway of dangerous airborne jellyfish cryptids when the family had been having a hard time just holding them at bay.
  • Foreshadowing: Argost tells Zak that he has "a weakness for the classic monster cliches." Argost turns out to be a Yeti, meaning that he is a "classic monster".
  • Friend to All Living Things: Subverted. Zak is an 11 year old boy, so he is a straight portrayal of the innocent bit, but the animals that all snuggle and cozy up to him are cryptids that would give ordinary virgin girls pause. Darkly subverted when it turns out that this is because Zak is the reincarnation of their civilization-destroying god Kur.
  • Future Me Scares Me: This is Zak's reaction to the visions of the Bad Future Tsul 'Kalu shows him in "The Return of Tsun 'Kalu".
  • GASP!
  • Genre Savvy: Zak faithfully watches V.V. Argost's TV show, and thus knows a lot of the moves and weapons Argost uses in combat, to the surprise of his parents.
    • This also comes in handy when The Saturdays break into Weird World to rescue Fiskerton. Since Zak actually has a model of it, he knows the general layout of the place.
  • Genius Bruiser: Doc Saturday.
  • Genre Throwback: Just look at the shows it's compared to above.
  • Ghost Town: In "Where Lies the Engulfer", Doyle takes Zak on training mission in an abandoned Canadian resort town. It turns out there was a very good reason why it had been abandoned.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Zak's eyes glow when he uses his powers.
    • This is also true for Munya, Argost's henchman.
  • God of Evil: Implied with Kur.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Doc has a scar over one eye. Argost's henchman has scars on his face.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Van Rook.
    Van Rook: Ah, Drew. You were the only thing I liked almost as much as money.
  • Gotta Get Your Head Together: Zak and Argost reacting to the deadly music from the flute of Gilgamesh.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Claw
  • Hair Colors:
    • Drew is white-haired. So is Argost, though that might be age. Turns out that he's actually a fricking Yeti!
    • Doc and Zak both have a variation on Skunk Stripe.
    • Doyle is a Fiery Redhead.
  • A Handful for an Eye: Zak flings a handful of mud into Munya's face during their fight in the Amazon in "The Kur Stone, Part 2".
  • Happily Married: Drew and Doc, and for once the parents aren't dead or oblivious!
  • Hates Being Touched: Francis, to the point that he has a forcefield that delivers an electric shock to anyone that invades his personal space.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Doyle the apprentice on realizing he has a Long-Lost Relative on the good guys' team.
    • Van Rook does this as well in the second season, as he can't earn a living if there is no one around to earn a living from.
  • Heroic Albino: Drew is this, with literally snow white skin and hair.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Of all people, Leonidas Van Rook does this for Drew when Rani Naga attempts to attack her with her own sword blast.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: Doyle and Van Rook do this to Finster in "Into the Mouth of Darkness".
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: This is the entire point of the Kur Stone. Zak has this as a power.
  • Hot Librarian: Abby.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Argost learns the hard way that matter and anti-matter DO NOT get along.
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't.": Happens in "Black Monday" when Drew attempts to shoot her Mirror Universe counterpart in the face with the Claw, only to have her doppelganger parry it with her prehensile tongue.
    Zak: How did you she could do that?
    Drew: I didn't. I just wanted to hit in her in the face.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Owlman.
  • Humiliation Conga: Argost suffers one of these in the second season finale; First he gets overpowered by Zak, beat up so bad his mask breaks, then dog piled by the cryptids living in the Antartic Cryptid, then his own Dragon Munya webs him up and carries him off, if only to protect him from his own Villainous Breakdown.
  • I Ate What?: In "The Vengeance of Hibagon", Drew attempts to snap Doc out of his distracted by feeding him a sandwich made from Fiskerton's hair. Doc doesn't notice.
  • Impairment Shot: The eye shaped "about to lose consciousness" variation.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Epsilon's agents could stand to spend a lot more time on the range, given the number of shots they fire without hitting anyone in "Paris is Melting". Maybe they've come to rely on their sonic screams a little too much.
  • Impossible Thief: Wadi. Watch her in action, and you'll understand (starts around 4:36).
  • Improvised Zipline: In "Curse of the Stolen Tiger", the entire family (plus Wadi) use their belts to slide down a hoist rope from the warlord's mountain fortress.
  • Infant Immortality: Both played straight and subverted in one of the most horrible ways imaginable. While Zak seems to live through every disaster that can possibly befall him, Argost uses the Flute of Gilgamesh on Zak Monday, and it's over for the little guy. Sure, he may have been evil, but still... Zak proper almost shared the same fate, and did actually die, but got better thanks to quick medical care.
  • Ironic Echo: In the first episode, Van Rook chastises Doyle for using several concussion grenades on Doc, claiming that "two is plenty." In the last episode at his funeral, Doyle places several roses on his grave then takes back almost all of them, saying "two is plenty."
  • Jerk Ass: Depending on how you view him, Doc is a serious ass especially to his wife's own BROTHER.
    • But then said brother is no prize either.
      • And who really gets along with the in-laws?
    • Also Dr. Beeman, who seems to operate in perpetual Sarcasm Mode, and has no problem with the idea of killing an eleven year old boy in cold blood.
  • Jet Pack: Doyle and Van Rook's preferred mode of travel in combat.
  • Jumping on a Grenade: In "Where Lies the Engulfer", Zak jumps on one of Doyle's grenade (presumably a stun grenade) and uses the resulting blast to propel him through a skylight.
  • Kid Hero: Zak.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Owlman, Eterno, Van Rook, Zak Monday, and V.V. Argost himself.
  • Killer Yoyo: Wadi wields one she calls "The Thieves Yoyo" in later episodes.
  • Large Ham: A few of the villains are like this, but Argost is the largest and hammiest of them all.
  • Last of His Kind: Fiskerton.
  • Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: In "Twelve Hundred Degrees Fahrenheit", not only do Argost and Drew swim through lava, Drew actually dives into it.
  • Little Black Dress: Worn by Drew Saturday in "Guess Who's Going To Be Dinner" when she and Doc go on an anniversary date.
  • Living Shadow: The Owlman looks like one.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Drew discovers her long lost brother is working with the bad guys.
  • MacGuffin: The opening episode's Kur Stone.
  • Mama Bear: Drew. Also an occasion of when this overlaps with Action Mom. So harming any of her "boys" will result in an epic beatdown.
  • Meaningful Echo: All the way from the start of the first season to the end of the second (and last): "two is plenty". In the pilot, Van Rook admonishes Doyle for using more than two grenades, as he's a cheapskate. When Van Rook dies, Doyle puts three flowers on the grave then takes one back, echoing that line.
  • Meaningful Name: Zak names the Monday family such because everyone hates Mondays.
  • Mind Control: There are cryptids whose properties cause this.
  • Mirror Universe: What the Smoke Mirror of Tezcatlipoca opens a portal to.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Fiskerton, the cat-gorilla.
    • Also Argost's henchman Munya who has characteristics of spider and gorilla along with human attributes.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Into The Mouth Of Darkness", when a light-hearted filler episode does a 180 when Argost shows up and gives a Not So Different speech.
  • Most Common Superpower: Drew has this in spades.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Doyle (and doesn't he know it?)
  • Multipurpose Tongue: Drew Monday has prehensile tongue she uses as a whip.
  • Murder Water
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: In "Into the Mouth of Darkness", Drew is less than impressed by Doc's grasp of Arabic:
    Drew: "You do realise that you just promised to buy him new butter?"
  • Myth Arc: The hunt for the Kur Stones which later develops into the true main story, keeping Zak out of Argost's hands when it turns out that he's Kur.
  • Never Say "Die" / Killed Off for Real: Mostly adhered to, but Drew's Back Story makes it clear they don't shy away from it when it enriches the story to say so.
    • This rule is still adhered to, but with Ulraj's dad, you can tell he's obviously been killed.
    • And, after a few seconds, you remember that the Flute of Gilgamesh kills the Kur it drains. Argost used it on Zak Monday. You do the math.
    • Completely subverted with Leonidas Van Rook, who actually died on screen, showing us his hand falling lifelessly to the floor to drive the point home. Zak, too, but only for a few minutes. And just in case anybody's still not sure about Van Rook, the episode ends with his funeral.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Really, Zak, you didn't see Argost's betrayal coming a mile away? Thanks to that now he has Kur powers and the means to take over the world.
    • As a matter of fact, he did. When they made their "deal", both Zak and Argost were entirely up-front about their intentions of betraying each other.
  • The Nicknamer: Dr. Beeman.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Fiskerton and Komodo. Zon is noticeably absent for most of the episodes, either off doing her own thing or with Doyle during the third season.
  • Not Even Human: V.V. Argost is actually a Yeti, and not just any one. He's the one that killed Doyle and Drew's parents. This was foreshadowed the entire series by his inhuman abilities.
  • Oh Crap: Doyle (even going so far as to utter "Oh crud!") as he notices the time has run out on his emergency air supply in "Where Lies the Engulfer".
  • Old-School Dogfighting: The airship, despite its size, is capable of this, but tends to be at a disadvantage against smaller, faster aircraft. They get a small fighter plane, the Griffin, to improve their odds.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Doc Saturday's real name is Solomon.
  • Open Says Me: How do you get to the cortex disruptors when your parents have the computer combination? Get your Fiskerton Phantom to smash the touchpad, et voila!
  • Overly-Long Tongue: Drew Monday has a prehensile tongue.
  • Papa Wolf: Doc is dedicated to protecting his son Zak at all costs, so much that he lost the use of an eye saving Zak.
  • Parental Abandonment: Although Zak's parents are alive and well, Drew's parents die in her Back Story.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: Van Rook's password is '$'.
  • Pepper Sneeze: Fisk experiences one during the Diner Brawl in "Cryptid vs. Cryptid".
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Zak claims 'beautifulous' is a word in British.
  • Phlebotinum Overload: Mixing Zak's powers with those of his antimatter double did not turn out well for Argost. Argost thought he'd end up with the power of two Kurs. He forgot what happens when matter and antimatter mix.
  • Pivotal Wake-up: Argost does this in "The Thousand Eyes of Ahuizotl".
  • Playing with Fire: Drew and her sword.
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: According to Drew, Doc always picks rock when playing rock-paper-scissors. After beating him, she proceeds to playfully mock him about it.
  • Power Glows: Lots and lots of this. Doc's eye and glove. Drew's sword. Zak's eyes and the Claw.
  • The Power of the Sun: Drew's Flaming Sword runs on sunlight. Or moonlight, but that's just reflected sunlight anyway.
  • Precocious Crush: The 11-year old Zak has a crush on Abbey Grey who used to be his babysitter. This causes some serious jealousy issues when she starts dating his uncle Doyle.
  • Public Secret Message: In the second season, Argost starts sending Zak secret messages regarding cryptids hidden in his Weird World TV show.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Francis's little speech to Zak about how great the Grey Men are in "The Swarm At The Edge Of Space". Subverted when Zak shows him up.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Saturdays encounter several reptilian nasties the Saturdays, while Minus the Mirror Komodo is the Affably Evil leader of the Mondays. Komodo is mostly an exception.
  • Revenge:
    • Drew and Doyle both want it from Argost, when they find out he killed their parents and separated them.
    • Also Prince Ulraj when he attempts to strike down Argost for murdering his father.
  • Right Behind Me: Played with in "Once More To the Nightmare Factory"
    Doc: It's over. We won.
    [Drew, Doyle and Zak motion to warn Doc of the large seagoing cryptid behind him]
    Doc: No. We won. I'm not turning around and looking at it. We won.
  • Rocket Jump: In "Where Lies the Engulfer", Zak uses the blast from one of Doyle's grenades to propel himself through a skylight.
  • Rollercoaster Mine: Zak and Drew chase Argost through a rollercoaster mine in "Into the Mouth of Darkness".
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Prince Ulraj.
  • Rule of Cool: The Komodo Dragon can FLY A JET. Tell me that doesn't qualify.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Kur's soul was sealed inside the Kur Stone and unleashed when the stone was unearthed, reincarnating in the unborn Zak.
  • Seldom Seen Species: Of the cryptid variety. A lot of the cryptids featured in the series don't even show up in other works about cryptozoology.
    • Komodo and Zon also qualify. Especially the latter, who is an Ornithocheirus (a pterosaur that isn't a Pteranodon).
  • Send in the Clones: Played with: The Monday family.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Zak towards Wadi throughout "Curse of the Stolen Tiger".
  • Shield Surf: In "Twelve Hundred Degrees Fahrenheit", Drew cuts a shield-shaped slab from a tree and uses it as a makeshift snowboard. Doyle uses his jetpack for the same purpose.
  • Shipper on Deck:Zak's entire family seems to ship him with Wadi. Fisk also at one point shipped Zon with the Duah.
  • Shout-Out: The show's animation style is a Shout-Out to 1960s and 1970s animation. It visually hearkens to Jonny Quest, The Herculoids, and Thundarr the Barbarian, as well as a lot of the action shows that came out of the Hanna-Barbera stable. Argost's henchman is a visible Shout-Out to the Frankenstein monster.
    • Anyone else get a Goblet of Fire vibe near the end of "And Your Enemies Closer"?
    • Van Rook's mask and jet pack make him look very similar to another famous character.
    • Munya's transformation is very similar to another famous character.
    • Several to the Western Animation/Ben10 Franchise. These include images of Animo, Enoch and Hex in the Saturday criminal database, Beeman referring to Galvan Prime in Episode 5, and of course, the Crossover between the two shows.
  • Show Within a Show: V.V. Argost's Weird World.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Drew delivers a very nice one in the Season 2 finale to Argost when he attempts to call a truce.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The Fang wielded by Zak Monday gives off evil green light and likewise any cryptid affected by it gets Glowing Eyes of Doom to match.
  • Soul Jar: It turns out the Kur stone actually holds Kur. When that broke, it jumped to Zak.
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: Fiskerton, whose grunts are more-or-less recognizable as English.
  • Spot the Imposter: Played with, when Zack immediately starts looking for any subtle differences between his mom and her Evil Twin. And fails. The sword-toting Drew grabs the Claw and shoots it at the other Drew, only to have the second Drew deflect it with her really long tongue. The real Drew just wanted her to shut up.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Rani Nagi
  • Stern Chase: The second season starts with this due to the Tomato in the Mirror reveal (Zak Saturday is Kur, who is believed to be the ultimate evil) of the previous season.
  • Stock Footage: The Transformation Sequence of Argost's henchman.
  • Stock Superpowers:
  • Stylish Protection Gear: The Saturdays have matching arctic survival outfits. What really makes it an example of this trope, however, is that this includes one for their pet Komodo dragon. With a furry bobble on the tail.
  • Team Pet: Fiskerton, Komodo, and Zon.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Doyle's attack of choice is usually a shower of grenades.
  • Title In: For every time the location changes.
  • Time Skip: Six months take place between seasons one and two. In that time: the Saturdays have become fugitives, with the Secret Scientists wanting to freeze Zak for eternity and the world blaming them for Argost's disappearance.
    • Other things include Van Rook becoming broke and homeless, Zak's powers going haywire, and Doyle becoming a James Bond-like spy for the Saturday family.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Drew with her fire sword in "The King of Kumari Kandam".
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Subverted to the Saturday family's surprise when the Nagas attack Manhattan instead.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Zak is Kur.
  • Tomato Surprise: Argost is actually a cryptid. And not just any cryptid, but the yeti that killed Drew's parents and separated her from her brother. Naturally, Zak learns this about 5 seconds after Argost becomes immune to his powers. A fact which Argost wastes no time taunting him about.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: "The Kur Guardian", a flashback showing how Fisk joined the Saturdays shows him being hunted by a mob wielding torches and pitchforks.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Sanctuary 2, a seemingly Utopian scientist colony which is using a captured giant electric catfish as a power source. Also, the town from the Owl Man episode.
  • Transformation Sequence: But not of the Magical Girl type. Argost's henchman turns into a ... er... man spider... gorilla... man who spits webbing out of his mouth.
  • Train Stopping: Fiskerton has to stop a runaway train before it smashes into the end of an unfinished tunnel in "Target: Fiskerton". He grabs hold of the rear of the train and digs his feet in, snapping sleepers as he goes.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: According to the flashback in "Van Rook's Apprentice", Drew and Doyle look almost exactly the same as, respectively, their mother and father. Drew comments on Doyle's resemblance to her father the first time she sees his unmasked face.
  • Unhand Them, Villain!: In "The Vengeance of Hibagon", Professor Mizuki is holding a crimelord over the edge of a building when Drew orders "Let him go, Mizuki!". Mizuki comments on the poor choice of words before dropping him.
  • The Unintelligible: Fiskerton. Word of God says that his voice actor does have a real script of what he would be saying in English, but he translates it to 'Fisk-speak'. Sometimes it's possible to make out a word or two of what Fisk is saying (usually an astonished "Say what!?"; this amounts to his Catch Phrase), but for the most part it's unintelligible.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Zak does one in the first episode; entering a room after the combat had ended. Of course, he is only eleven.
  • Vapor Trail: Happens to Doyle when his jet pack springs a leak in "Cryptid vs. Cryptid".
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Argost has his own TV show. Apparently it's intended for children, and has a massive worldwide following. Argost has disappeared, and almost everywhere has "Argost Lives!" painted on it, this is even in foreign languages.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Argost had one of these in his fight against Zak in the first season finale.
  • Visible Invisibility: The family's pet komodo dragon can turn invisible. We get the all white line art with a shimmery blue-white transparent fill.
  • We Have The Keys: Argost does this to his own door in "Once More the Nightmare Factory" even as Munya is approaching with the keys and a long-suffering look on his face. Of course, this might just have been showmanship.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: After Zak is revealed as Kur, the Secret Scientists decide they need to cryogenically freeze Zak until they can come up with a better solution. The Saturdays disagree, hence much of the conflict of season 2. Interestingly, one episode features another Well-Intentioned Extremist who thinks killing Zak is the only way to be sure the world is safe. When the Secret Scientists learn about this, they reassert that they never intended to kill Zak, and team up with the Saturdays to stop the guy.
  • Wham Episode: "And Your Enemies Closer". Argost is revealed to be a Crytid himself, manages to kidnap Zak, summon his evil alternate counterpart Zak Monday, then steal his powers, effectively killing him. Not good.
    • And a Secret Scientists example: Miranda Grey calls Beeman out for going beyond the Secret Scientists promise and weaponizing the Flute of Gilgamesh and turning it Up to Eleven, even knowing that it will kill Zak. She actually uses her own weapons on him to get him away from the controls.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It wasn't revealed what happened to Dr. Beeman after Miranda betrayed him and knocked him out. Nor what became of Rani Nagi or what her reaction was if she learned Kur is gone.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Subverted. Cryptids are treated with respect and protecting them is the Secret Saturday's main mission.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: To Zak from Argost, of all people.
    Argost: You've lied to your parents, betrayed your own mother, and you're about to let the villain walk out of here so that Mummy and Daddy don't learn the truth about our business relationship.
    • Drew was so obsessed with revenge on Argost for killing her parents that she ignored her son's advice of not letting her emotions get in the way. This led to Van Rook's death and almost losing her son.
  • Wicked Cultured: Argost, who has impeccable manners, an appreciation of the French language, and even orders his henchman, Munya, to dogfight with restraint, on the grounds that "[They're] not savages!"
  • Window Pain: Lots, starting with the first episode.
  • Wiper Start: In "The Atlas Pin", Fiskerton attempts to pilot the airship by randomly mashing buttons. He succeeds in turning on the seat massager and launching a missile.
  • You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Van Rook is never called anything but Van Rook — by anyone — until he is mortally wounded taking a shot meant for Drew. Drew then calls him by his first name: Leonidas.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Epsilon's son Francis has green hair.
  • Yowies and Bunyips and Drop Bears, Oh My: Bunyips feature in "Into the Mouth of Darkness".

Tropes in the crossover episode:

  • Back from the Dead: Argost. Oh, don't act surprised.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Turns out Zak isn't much of a match for an intelligent, superpowered hybrid monster.
  • Flanderization: In the show, Doc and Drew's disagreements about science and magic are generally civil. Doc is fully aware the existence and effectiveness of magic; he mostly takes issue with jumping to mystic conclusions before the scientific explanations have been ruled out. Here he scoffs as Drew for even trying a magical solution to a problem he hasn't been able to solve with science.
  • Genius Bruiser: Fiskerton demonstrates an understanding of quantum physics and then trounces Munya in a fight, all in the span of one scene.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Zak briefly laments that his world-saving goes unnoticed since cryptids must remain a secret, but recognizes that it's better they stay that way given how people like Dr. Animo would exploit them.
  • Idiot Ball: In the series proper, Argost is highly cautious, and spent six months recovering and preparing himself after being beaten the first time. Here, the first thing he does after being revived is to randomly attack Undertown, immediately drawing attention to himself. Even Animo points out that was a bad idea.
  • Hand Wave: Animo and Argost's Villain Team-Up is said to have happened due to the latter being prepared for his death, and hiring the former to resurrect him.
  • Hybrid Monster: Dr. Animo blends a bunch of cryptids into dragon-esque cyborgs. Argost is likewise given a few improvements.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ben straight up kills Argost, which is odd for a kid's show that usually adheres to Thou Shalt Not Kill. Guess it's okay if they were dead at the beginning of the episode.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Hope you finished season 2, or you're in for some surprises.
  • Latex Perfection: Averted hard. Argost's mask is so obviously fake, it's baffling that anyone could have ever thought that it was his actual face.
  • Mistaken Identity: The Saturdays briefly confuse Shocksquatch for an actual sasquatch.
  • Mythology Gag: Ben's remarks about Zak's telepathy might be a reference to the fact that Ben has two aliens that have a natural capacity for telepathy (Ghostfreak and AM Phibian) that Ben hasn't bothered to learn how to use.
    • Argost says that his resurrection was supposed to take six months, the same length of time as the time span between season one and two.
  • Power Echoes: Zak's telepathy.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Fiskerton pounds Munya back and forth on one of his webs like a paddle-ball.
  • Retcon/Revision: Turns out Zak's powers weren't really gone in the series finale; thanks to "residual energy" they came back a few months later, although much weaker.
  • Role Reprisal: The only actor to return is Corey Burton, the VA for Argost.
  • Taken for Granite: The victims of the life-draining cyborg chupacabras are turned to stone, though it's only skin deep and they are alive beneath that.
  • Technobabble: The explanation for how Zak retained his powers and Argost was susceptible to resurrection.
  • Time Skip: It's mentioned that three years have passed since the last episode, just like in real-life.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The transition from this show to Ben 10 Omniverse came with a rather noticeable change in style, far too much to excuse it as being merely a timeskip.
    • Special mention goes to Drew's fire sword. It looks and behaves like a piece of technology mimicking the effects of Doc's power glove, rather than a mystical Tibetan artifact that produces fire.

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alternative title(s): The Secret Saturdays
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