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YMMV: G.I. Joe
  • Adaptation Displacement: Most Joe media after the original cartoon tend to portray Duke as either the team leader (when Hawk doesn't appear) or a central figure right from the start, even though the original toys and comics did not initially feature him for a bit.
  • Awesome Music: Especially the opening theme of the 1987 movie.
  • Broken Base: Comic fans vs cartoon fans.
  • Complete Monster: The original G.I. Joe comic, first under Marvel, now with IDW, has Doctor Venom. Where Cobra Commander at least had one or two humanizing moments, Venom was pure evil incarnate distilled into paint thinner. Invented a machine whose sole purpose was mind-raping prisoners, which was then adapted into brainwashing them. Had to team up with Kwinn and Snake Eyes for their mutual survival, yet never missed a chance to back-stab one or both of them and would repeatedly end up begging for his miserable life if cornered. If that's not enough, when Destro went into a Heroic BSOD at the sight of Baroness making an apparent Heroic Sacrifice to save him, Venom commented to Cobra Commander, "Doesn't he realize love is just the overestimation of one woman's value over another?" within earshot of Destro! Not only did he never show remorse, he never showed anything but child-like glee when inflicting suffering on others and anger if they survived.
  • Dork Age: The DiC Entertainment-produced cartoons in the early 90s likely count, being a Lighter and Softer version than the 80s series. One episode even features Cobra plotting in taking over a school with bogus history books, and end up getting defeated by school-children.
    • G.I. Joe Extreme anyone? This thing was so bad and riddled with so much 90's cheese it more or less killed the entire franchise up until 2001-2002.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Due to Loads and Loads of Characters, this trope is inevitable. Snake-Eyes, for example, is extremely popular among fans. For a later part of the Marvel Comics run, the cover title actually included "Featuring Snake-Eyes."
  • Evil Is Cool: Loads of Cobra members. Cobra Commander himself frequently qualifies.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Baroness
  • Fair for Its Day: The original animated series is often mocked for its lack of a body count and has been deemed "The A-Team of animation"; however it was actually one of the edgier American animated kids shows of the '80s. For starters, characters were able to actually hit each other and they showed that plenty of times in the show. And while characters weren't killed they did acknowledge the concept of casualties in war, so Never Say "Die" was averted— heck, there was an episode where they talked to ghosts, and another where some Joes found the decayed skeletal remains of themselves (in a parallel Earth).
    • There was an episode where they went to Southeast Asia and encountered Amerasian street kids acknowledged to have been fathered by American soldiers during the Vietnam War.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Metal facemask, Absolute Pec-Cleavage, and a big old disco collar. Destro almost makes it work, somehow. Besides, his Iron Grenadier outfit compensates for the original one.
    • Not to mention Serpentor's costume. Hoo boy...
  • Fridge Logic: So, if they're supposed to be the Real American Heroes, why is their flamethrower-guy Irish? Related to Unfortunate Implications below.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Transformers which was inevitable given that the two are basically set in the same universe and crossover on a regular basis.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The episode Cobra Quake. While the plot of the episode focuses on G.I. Joe stopping Cobra from making an artificially created earthquake to destroy Tokyo, on March 11, 2011, Japan actually got hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. Now, The Hub no longer airs this episode on its channel.
  • God-Mode Sue: Helix. She can "calculate all near-future possibilities", meaning she essentially sees few seconds into future AND she's pretty AND she's fast AND she's an excellent fighter AND everything about her is super-secret. So far she's been shown to out-fight Snake-Eyes and out-wit Hawk. For her next appearance, Chuck Dixon will probably make her out-mean Beach Head, out-glamour Cover Girl and out-perform everyone else.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The episode Cobra Quake, which focuses on G.I. Joe trying to stop Cobra from causing an artificially created earthquake to destroy Tokyo. Then, in 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake actually hit Japan. As a result, The Hub suspended airing this episode on its channel until further notice.
    • In part 4 of "The MASS Device," when Cobra Commander learns that the G.I. Joe team's surrender is a bluff, he orders the Device to fire on New York City, thanks to a targeting device the Baroness secretly planted on the Empire State Building. At one point, when the beam it fires is shown on a monitor the way it's drawn it makes it look like it's heading straight for the World Trade Center instead.
    • In the original animated movie, Duke's death was retconned away at the last minute. For G.I. Joe: Retaliation, they refilmed a bunch of scenes to include Duke's death. It's too bad they didn't retcon away his death at the last minute, despite not padding out Channing Tatum's role.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Hama's original proposal involved Nick Fury's son assembling a team to take on Hydra. This is almost exactly what's happening with Marcus Fury/Nick Fury Jr. in recent Marvel comics.
    • Seal Team 6 and the mission to kill Osama bin Laden (as recounted in Zero Dark Thirty) feels a lot like a real-life version of GI Joe, including bringing a dog along and wacky hijinks with the EOD guy.
  • I Am Not Shazam: G.I. Joe is the name of the organization, not the name of any one character.
    • There is actually a character named G.I. Joe in the series, Joseph B. Colton, the legendary soldier for whom the organization was named—his name was Joe, and he was a GI (traditionally, from WW2). For the record, he's implied to be the very same gentleman from the 12-inch line famed for his full beard and kung fu grip.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Scarlett, as the main female Joe, has this: Official Couple status either with Duke in the cartoon or with Snake-Eyes in the comics, Clutch tried to hit on her in the comics, just like Tunnel Rat in the Sigma 6 cartoon and Ripcord in the live-action movie. Her interaction with Zartan in the TV episode "The Gamemaster" looks almost flirtatious. And there's even people who pair her with Bumblebee due to them teaming-up in the many crossovers.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Cobra Commander on his good days.
  • Memetic Badass: Joe Colton, the first G.I. Joe, is treated as this both in and out of universe.
  • Memetic Mutation: Fenslerfilm's dubbed-over PSAs.
    • Cobra Commander's lament of "Was once a man!" after being transformed into a snake-thing.
  • Moment Of Awesome: Snake-Eyes is one of these personified, including breaking into Destro's castle to save Scarlett and actually taking on Storm Shadow and his ninjas with little weapons, and breaking free during a Cobra torture session, and going upstairs to rescue the people who were supposed to rescue him. In Snake-Eyes-Land, prisoner saves you!
  • Moral Event Horizon: In World War III, Cobra Commander definitely crosses the line.
    • In the opening of Resolute, he kills ten million innocent Russian civilians, just to prove he should be taken seriously.
    • When Overkill was a SAW-Viper, killed many Joes (Breaker, Doc, etc) without any remorse. In fact, he VOLUNTEERED to do the deed.
  • My Real Daddy: Larry Hama for the comic and Snake Eyes.
  • Narm Charm: Yeah it's cheesy and hammy, but that's part of what makes it so damn fun!
  • Nightmare Fuel: The episode "There's No Place Like Springfield" will give anyone nightmares for a week. As will the one with the giant shrieking underwater worms.
    • The episode where a rich, old woman wanted a younger woman's face transplanted onto her through some crazy machine. In the end the Joes manage to stop it, but the old woman is left as The Blank.
    • The two-part episode "Worlds Without End", in which some of the Joes are transported to an alternate dimension where Cobra has conquered the world. The characters end up stumbling over the skeletal remains of the Joes of that world, including their own counterparts.
    • In the episode with Mindbender's dream-projector, "Nightmare Assault", Lowlight's own nightmare about the junkyard rats is much scarier than anything the villain devises, the moreso in that it enacts an actual childhood trauma. Mainframe's dream that he's turning into an android is nasty too, albeit very brief. Then there's Hawk's nightmare where all his friends' vehicles blow up and they don't parachute out. Hawk parachutes out... then finds that he's falling into the mouth of a cobra the size of a building.
    • And then there's Cobra Commander's spore-induced degeneration into a snake in the movie. Before it's over, all he can say is "Onssssssse a man..." And Cobra-La plans to do that to the entire human race.
  • Older Than They Think: This started out as a 12'' action figure for decades before the cartoon.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: According to Sigma 6, Scarlett hasn't worn a dress since her prom.
    • Not so. She wore a very slinky dress when she went undercover in DDP's ARAH #17 and #18. If that's not enough, she has worn the dress greens during the Marvel-era, which means a knee-length skirt, most notably at General Flagg's funeral. OTOH, that leaves her wearing her combat uniform or jeans only 99% of the time and she doesn't really follow any feminine stereotypes otherwise, it's kinda moot point.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Serpentor isn't an unpopular character on his own, but if he replaces Cobra Commander than he becomes this partly because he's widely seen as lacking all the qualities that make Cobra Commander likable and cool.
  • Rooting for the Empire: C'mon who hasn't rooted for Cobra at least once. In the cartoon Cobra Commander is such a lovable bumbler that a lot of fans wanted him win at least once, if only to Throw the Dog a Bone.
  • The Scrappy: Shipwreck's parrot Polly in the cartoon due to being widely seen as annoying.
    • Helix in the IDW comics due to being a God-Mode Sue. Your doomed for Scrappydom when you're written as not only canonically beating Snake-Eyes in a straight-up fight, but doing so with ease.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Blowtorch, the Joes' fire-based weapons expert, had an Irish accent in the TV show.
    • In the Twenty Questions episode that introduced Hector Ramirez, we see the Joes relaxing in their off time; Alpine, who appears to be of some African American/Hispanic ancestry, makes a nasty comment when he sees Native American Indian teammate Spirit feeding his pet eagle Freedom from the mouth. Alpine says "Disgusting, probably gonna get a disease." Spirit tells Alpine not to fear for his health, and Alpine shoots back "I'm not. I'm worried about Freedom." Seeing as how the insult is aimed at a Native American it comes across as more than a little racist.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Cobra Commander, like most villains of 80s cartoons, is just so hapless and clumsy and riddled with bad luck and loses so often in a humiliating fashion that sometimes you just can't help feeling bad for him. His comic book counterpart, however, was very much a Magnificent Bastard.

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