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 JetcatThe 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 Questcrossed withThe 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).
Abandoned Mine: Much of "Into the Mouth of Darkness" takes place in an abandoned silver mine.
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.
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.
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.
Bad Future: In "The Return of Tsun '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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rule of Cool: The Komodo Dragon can FLY A JET. Tell me that doesn't qualify.
Screwed by the Network: The show was moved around on the schedule every few months, and new episodes were rarely advertised. As a result, only diehard fans could actually keep track of it. And if you missed an episode you were pretty much out of luck due to lack of reruns.
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).
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.
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.
Zak has Glowing Eyes of Doom and the ability to control cryptids to make them do his bidding. He seems also able to control their special abilities when they have one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Viral Marketing: Early ads for the show were just live action shakycam footage with CGI cryptids that had the URL cryptidsarereal.com at the end. Later ads used the same footage from the previous ads mishmashed together with Argost's voice-over advertising Weird World. They eventually advertised the show itself about a month or two before its premiere.
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.
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 Could Have Been: The show's creator originally pitched it as the adventures of three animal heroes (all of them previously thought to be mythical in Real Life, like the okapi) as they prevented an evil dodo bird from exposing the existence of other cryptids. Nobody wanted the show like that, so he reworked it heavily into what we know today.
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.
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!"
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.
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.