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Western Animation / The Super Globetrotters

The Super Globetrotters is a spinoff of the The Harlem Globetrotters animated cartoon, produced by Hanna-Barbera for NBC. It ran for 13 episodes in 1979.

The premise of the show is that five members of the Harlem Globetrotters are secretly superheroes. When trouble arose, they would enter portable lockers, then transform into their super-powered forms and fly into acton. The team consisted of:

  • Nate Branch/Liquid Man, Fluid Man, and/or Aqua Man - Turns himself into water.
  • Freddie "Curly" Neal/Super Sphere - Has a basketball-shaped head. He could also retract his limbs and grow into a giant ball, then bounce and smash opponents.
  • James "Twiggy" Sanders/Spaghetti Man - His body was turned into ropes, and he could also function as a rope ladder.
  • Louis "Sweet Lou" Dunbar/Gizmo Man - He had an immense afro, where he stores various gadgets for whatever situations arose.
  • Hubert "Geese" Ausbie/Multi Man - Could duplicate himself.

Not surprisingly, the team fought various super-villains, and the confrontations would invariably be settled with a basketball game between the two sides. Some of the powers and costumes were taken directly from Hanna-Barbera's The Impossibles.

The entire show was later parodied in several episodes of Futurama.

Tropes used by the series:

  • Animated Adaptation
  • Animated Tattoo: This was the power of Tattoo Man.
  • Archived Army: In one episode, the Time Lord assemebled "the greatest criminals in history" into a gang.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens multiple times in the Bullmoose episode, mostly the Globies to retort how every room in the hideout gets wackier and wackier. In a way it reminds the audience this episode is weird even for a show like this.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": F is for Fluid Man, and M is for Multi Man.
  • Celebrity Toons
  • Egomaniac Hunter: Bwana Bob
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Fearless Fossils team of Museum Man is pretty good at basketball. By the end of the first half, the score is "99-0" with the Globies being the goose egg.
  • Face Stealer: The Facelift
  • Film Felons: Movie Man, whose gang consisted of a master of disguise, a special effects man, a sound effects expert and a stuntwoman.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Funny Afro: Sweet Lou Dunbar has one.
  • Hairy Hammerspace: Gizmo Man ("better than travelers' checks!").
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "The Super Globetrotters vs. Bwana Bob"
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode title is basically "The Super Globetrotters vs. the Villain of the Week."
  • Making a Splash: Fluid Man.
  • Me's a Crowd: Multi Man.
  • Mirror Match: "Robo and the Globots." At least until the Transformation Sequence.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Pretty much all the bad guys have one. Some are more fleshed out than others.
    • Movie Man actually has TWO! His earlier in the episode henchmen are movie staff themed, then his basketball team is a movie monster themed one.
  • Shout-Out: Surprisingly a lot to other HB shows, with some of design re-use and others on purpose.
    • In one episode, Gizmo Man pulls a white rabbit out of his afro. The rabbit says "Brak" like the Magic Rabbit.
    • Whale Man's pirates use the same designs as from the original Scooby-Doo ghost pirates.
    • Similarly Wolf-Person is drawn the same but colored differently as the werewolf from Scooby Doo.
    • Museum Man's episode takes place in Big City, which is Dynomutt's hometown. When they got to meet the chief of police, he's drawn the same as the one on Dynomutt.
    • The classic Globetrotters bus from the first series returns in some episodes.
    • There's a villain calling himself The Time Lord around the same time HB was interested in doing a animated Doctor Who.
  • Something Person: Most of the heroes and villains were named "<something> Man".
  • Transformation Sequence
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: One of the Villains of the Week was "Bull Moose", who evidently had all the powers of Theodore Roosevelt. Except for the whole Memetic Badass thing.
    • His henchmen are farm-animal themed, and by that it varies. The pig guy is a humanoid pig, while the horse girl just has a super powered "pony"-tail. Joining them is a guy in a rooster mascot outfit, a woman with steel wool for hair, and a mountain guy with goat horns.