YMMV / Monica's Gang

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: More of an Alas, Poor Base Breaker case, but even though Jim brought Monica leaving him for Nick Nope upon himself in the manga, you can't help but feel sorry for the guy once the realization of what he had done hit him full force with a Wham Line from Maggy. It's even such in universe, where Maggy, as soon as she sees Jim's regret, goes from scolding to comforting him.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Is Monica a Tsundere Jerk with a Heart of Gold heroine that is only brute in response to someone else being a jerk to her? Or is she a selfish, jealous Control Freak bully that the boys have good reason to want to overthrow? The Time Skip manga edges her heavily into the latter and even as a child, she has shown a lot of the latter interpretation.
    • Jimmy. Power-hungry kid who just wants everything for himself and enjoys trolling everyone for kicks, or Anti-Hero that wants to bring down Monica because she's pretty much terrorizing everyone in the block and trolls everyone as retribution for being picked on by the other kids?
    • Maggy. Loveable Big Eater with Incorruptible Pure Pureness or a spoiled self-centered food-obsessed meanie? Made even more ambigous with her manga self taking a level in jerkass.
    • Rosie Lee. Jerk with a Heart of Gold Tsundere Spoiled Sweet girlfriend or controlling, moody, domineering Bastard Girlfriend that wants everything her way despite of Chucky's reasons and ditches Chucky for Gene when she sees fit? The latter has been more prominent in recent comics. Her reuniting chapter with Chucky in the manga raised questions about whether or not Rosie Lee is a good girlfriend for Chucky.
    • Junior's dislike of eating is normally played as being part of his usual brattiness, but one story hints it might be a psychological rejection because Maggy just doesn't shut up about food.
  • Base Breaker: Monica and Jim as a couple, since Manga#34. There are those who still want them to be together and those who think they don't work as a couple anymore because of their own personal matters that interfere with the relationship, and thus causing many to Abandon Ship. However, whichever side it is, everyone agrees on one thing: Monica and Jim's romantic subplot became a Romantic Plot Tumor, coupled with Relationship Writing Fumble, because they become absurdly obnoxious because of the Belligerent Sexual Tension between them.
    • On the other end of the scope, the current billing the MonicaXNick Nope pairing, particularly after a recent story that pulled a Cosmic Retcon on #50's Distant Future plot of Jim and Monica being married, even going as far as putting the cover image for the aforementioned issue and replacing Jim for Nick, angers long-time fans of MonicaXJim that wanted to see them reconcile and MonicaXNick Nope supporters that feel their pairing is being overly hyped and hurting the overall plot as a result. On the other side of the spectrum, MonicaXNick Nope shippers and Monica/Jim detractors welcome this development.
    • Jim himself. Sometimes he is justified in some of his actions, such as being angry at Monica acting moody for the remainder of their date at one point simple because Jim glanced at other girl (proven further by Maggy) or her ever irritating hatred of Irene, but sometimes, the "Jerk" in his Jerk with a Heart of Gold can be way past tolerance. Needless do say, this can be quite a divider among readers.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: At one point in the first movie, when Franklin is about to explain his invention, a duck randomly flies in and starts dancing, quickly getting shooed out by Franklin. Twice, even. The third time Franklin tries to explain his invention, a worm comes out of a fruit and performs a magic trick, only to leave after getting stared at by Jimmy Five and Franklin.
  • Broken Base: In a series where the characters' personalities depend on the writer, it was inevitable.
  • Cliché Storm: The initial arc, covering the first four issues of the manga series, stacked every single manga cliché you can think of. Because of this, So Okay, It's Average art (especially considering how the characters are looking now) and bad writing, this arc is edging ever closer to Canon Discontinuity.
  • Designated Hero: Marina got hit with this hard in one particular comic. Said comic's plot involved her doing drawings of Smudge bathing, a nude drawing, mind you, and freely handing out copies of them to everyone in the block, and when Smudge got understandably offended by it and Marina countered with "It's just a drawing" and brought up the Freedom of Expression issue and Smudge stole her art instruments as revenge, Marina then proceeded to fill the walls of the streets with the very same drawing as payback. So Marina got away with not only violating policies of consent regarding Smudge, but also got away scot-free with vandalizing public property, and we're apparently supposed to side with her.
    • Monica. Dear lord, there's Monica. She's supposed to be treated as the hero and the boys as the villains, but then there are the moments where Monica forces the boys to do her bidding when they're just minding their own business note  it's really hard to see her as the hero.
  • Die for Our Ship: Dustine (Smudge's girlfriend) and Toddy (Maggy's boyfriend). Refer to Ship Tease at the main page.
    • Hilariously, a recent plot in the Manga had a misunderstanding caused by Denise leading to Todd and Dustine breaking up with Maggy and Smudge and as a result, they try going out for a while. It doesn't change anything because they still have the same problems they had before. It might as well have been a Take That to the Die for Our Ship.
    • Still doesn't stop shippers. Even the writing team appears to have shippers: in a story in Maggy's montly ongoing, she and Smudge get embroiled in a series of misunderstandings that cause everyone who sees them to think they're dating. To make things worse, the story even pulls a Ron the Death Eater on Dustine, making her appear with a new boyfriend (an incredibly cocky little bastard, at that) out of the blue, even going so far as to outright say that, as soon as she found out about this, she dumped Smudge for the first guy she found just because she's shallow and vindictive. And that's right after the poor boy said he trusted her not to listen to this kind of rumors.
    • The JimXMonicaXNick Nope triangle both subverts and zigzags this. All of the reasons that led Monica to Abandon Shipping in regards to her and Jim are in character for Jim because of him thinking him and Monica are set in stone and taking her for granted as a result, as well as acting patronizing to her, plus him dragging making things official between them on and on because of his inferiority complex, which doesn't help matters. The subversion of the trope lies in the fact that Nick Nope isn't portrayed as a fully perfect boyfriend for Monica as his Commander Contrarian tendencies wear her out considerably, but she still enjoys being with him regardless. And what makes this a zigzagging of this trope is that Monica's own flaws such as her temper, her selfishness and her irrational jealousy of Irene which was the cause of more than one falling out between her and Jim and the aesop that Irene isn't nowhere as bad as Monica thinks she is becomes an Ignored Epiphany every single time, and also the fact that Jim dating Penha is treated as him deliberatedly breaking Monica's trust in him, when he was actually doing so because he was being blackmailed with a footage of Monica destroying Penha's house made as part of a cleverly put together plan by the latter, which she would have exposed to news stations and opinion formers and Jim needed to reluctantly date Penha to stop her plan from the inside. Jim's befriending of Irene, or any other girl for that matter is treated as him fooling around (Except Amanda, where he was actually acting like a total dork.), all of the good things Jim ever did for Monica are ignored and the situation is treated like Monica has no good recordations whatsoever of their time together. And then we get to his Character Development in the chapter he's trying to get over Monica and he decides he's had enough of making plans and won't give up on Monica...and that becomes and Ignored Epiphany as well as he's back to making more plans for his own fame and to make himself look good to Monica in following stories.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: It's hard to care for anyone in the manga, in which every character (except, maybe, Smudge) is a massive egocentric, hypocritical jerk.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Fridge Horror: One story that centers around Maggy carving for persimmons ends with Jimmy and Smudge covered in squashed persimmons courtesy of Monica and calming Jimmy's mother after she screams in horror as, out of context, it seems like they're bleeding. While it is Played for Laughs, Jimmy's ending line which translates to "It's just persimmon this time around" leaves some heavy implications that Monica sometimes beats them up so violently that they actually bleed...Y'know...for kids!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Manga Issue #72 is about Monica and Maria Mello winning a contest where the prize is a whole day with Teen Idol Julinho Baby, and finding out he's a complete douchebag that only cares for success and has no regard whatsoever for people, no matter how much they appreciate and admire him. And then they both discuss how the fangirls will always find things to justify his actions, no matter how ridiculous. And this came out after Justin Bieber's show in Brazil, where he behaved pretty much in the same was as Julinho Baby did in the comic. Take That, much?
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Captain Fray in the manga manipulated everyone into thinking he's a good guy as Kid Clean and that Smudge, who had his powers at the time, was a bad guy despite trying his hardest to make good use of his powers so Smudge would give up his powers allowing Fray to regain them, meaning he had a chance to start clean but ignored it. He also had an excellent point in how easily Monica, Jim and Maggy turned against Smudge to the point of avoiding him and keeping him in the dark because of the nature of his powers alone.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: After the Teen Gang issue #34 where Jim reveals that he feels absolutely worthless in comparison to Monica and that becoming Monica's equal is the reason he tries so hard to do achieve a position of superiority, every instance in the manga where Jim's plans to achieve superiority and his friends put him down or make fun of him, or do things to strike down his ego before and after issue #34 becomes this.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Every time Monica beats up Toni in the manga.
  • Mary Sue: Marina was accused of being one. Later, accusing her of being "too perfect" became a Berserk Button for her.
    • Monica in the manga, going between Mary Sue and Jerk Sue, depending of the story. To elaborate, she can act as bitchy as moody as she wants towards her friends, she has an Irrational Hate for Irene just because she thinks Irene is a threat for her, she won't accept people disagreeing with her, and yet she has lots of boys fawning over her, she always gets her way, is Easily Forgiven within a matter of seconds, if she's called out on her attitude she dismisses it instantly, and when she acknowledges her flaws, the writers seem to hit the Reset Button and she goes back to square one.
  • Memetic Mutation: Porra, Maurício! (something like "WTF, Maurício!"), a Tumblr which takes panels and sees malice in them (though sometimes even out of context it's weird enough). Maurício (and his daughter, who posted "WTF, dad!" on her twitter) approved it.
  • Misaimed Fandom: An example In-Universe where Jimmy and Smudge decide to participate in a Nativity scene contest, in which they're required to set an original maquette of Jesus's birth. They make one where toys are stands-in for Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the other figures (much Shout-Out ensues, including Pokémon, X-Men and Barbie). They reassure themselves that despite the tough competition, theirs is the only one that represents Christmas by pure children's vision. Cut to the competition's announcer saying that they won, because their Nativity scene "criticized the unrestrained consumerism which Christmas has become in the last years", leaving them completely bewildered.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Jim in the "Flying Donkey" arc of the manga. He knew of the ghosts and curses surrounding the gang in the town they were staying at, he kept that a secret from the other 3 and risked all of their lives, and actually got them temporarily killed and under the Big Bad's People Puppets spell, just to uncover the truth behind the story of the Flying Donkey and become famous from it. It was so bad that, when Denise inevitably spilled the beans after everyone was revived, Monica, Smudge and Maggy, who were mourning him after his Heroic Sacrifice, switch instantly to beating the shit out of him, and Monica wants to talk to him even less.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Yikes.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • The whole Bug-a-Booo (Penadinho) branch. It takes place in a graveyard, and the characters are ghosts and monsters, but given Mauricio's art style...
    • Lampshaded in one comic when they were forced to adapt a scarier style. However, by the end of the story they switch to a cuter, babyish style because the scary one was creeping out children.
    • In another story, they find a Flat-Earth Atheist that refuses to believe them to be real (a parody of a famous Brazilian skeptic named Padre Quevedo). In the end of the story, they confront him and demand to know why he doesn't believe in them. He answers that he's Dead All Along and always wished to turn into a ghost, but after he died, he turned into a zombie, scary enough to make them freak out and run away.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Junior. A Bratty Half-Pint that rarely gets any negative feedback from his actions and 90% of the time he shows up, he's going to be annoying other characters (mostly Jimmy).
      • Those in any Geek/Nerd culture circle also are not pleased with his grown-up self since he basically said that grown up people aren't allowed to like that sort of thing and when Smudge points out he's a Naruto fanboy, he says "But I'm allowed! I'm a kid!". And from that point on, the one thing that changed from his child self to his pre-teen self, is that he eats more now.
    • From Chuck Billy'n' Folks, there's Genesinho, The Rival to Chuck for Rosie Lee's affections.
    • Monica herself is making way to become one of these in the manga, due to Taking A Level In Jerkass. See her Mary Sue entry for details.
    • Bucky, since his Flanderization into a Straw Misogynist.
    • Toni, for being a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk with no redeeming qualities.
  • Narm: The "Shadows of the Past" climax. It tries too much to be a climatic romantic scene to be taken seriously, and Monica's speech about trust borders on Wangst because Jimmy had a good reason to lie to Monica.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Genesinho in Chucky Billy's teen manga. Not only he gets brutally owned verbally by Chuck at the first chapter, but he wastes the opportunity his father gave him by blowing it all on a playboy partying life and gets his girlfriend pregnant, pretty much becoming the disgrace of the family. VERY fitting given how much of an asshole he's been over the series.
    • Every time Monica beats the crap out of Toni.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The original comic and the manga had quite a few aesops dropped over the years:
    • The manga issue #45 drops awesomely one about bullying. Tolerating it and being conniving towards it if you're an authority figure with the power to stop it is NOT the right thing to do.
    • Being prideful will end up very badly for you if you don't realize the harm it causes to the people around you, a lesson that is made very clear with Monica and Jimmy's characters, especially in the manga where their pride has more often than not caused a bad situation for those around them and for themselves as well.
    • Don't waste the opportunities that are given to you. This is made clear by Genesinho's actions in the Chucky Billy manga, where he blows the opportunity his father gave to him to study abroad in a partying life and ended up not only losing that opportunity, but also leaving a girl pregnant and losing all the trust and respect his father had for him.
    • Nothing is set in stone. If you want something, you HAVE to work for it. Jim believed he and Monica were destined to be together and at one point he began to take her for granted and believed that Monica was only trying to get him to chase her again when Monica kissed Nick Nope and started debating who she truly loved. It wasn't until Maggy gave him a Breaking Speech that he realized how much of a tool he was and how he's lost Monica forever.
    • Ambition will lead to evil if carried for the wrong reasons. Jimmy's ambition to be the king of the block and later change the world was revealed to be a product of a need to prove his worth to Monica rather than a desire to make things better. In the manga, Jim's ambition resulted in not one Bad Future, but TWO, along with an Alternate Universe where Jim is a bully that has dirt on everyone. And in the manga present proper, his ambition actually results in Monica, Smudge and Maggy being killed.
    • Don't toy with people's hearts. Bucky did this with Isabel for too long and it ultimately resulted in him losing her forever. This was also the case with Jim and Monica.
    • Manga-only character Maria Mello brings two: while you need to work hard for your dreams and make sacrifices for them, doing so at the expense of your own health will not end well for you, and there is a difference between going on a diet and forgoing eating.
    • If you need to use strength to get your way, don't be surprised if people don't like you. Monica does that a lot and as a result, while she is generally well-liked by people, she is also very feared by pretty much everyone and it carried on to her teen self despite her insisting otherwise.
    • The entirety of the romantic sub-plot with monica and Jim shows that despite how much you love someone, if you end with more grief and stress than actual good feelings, it's not worth to keep pining for that person and while moving on is difficult, it will ultimately end well for you.
    • It's ok to be different, but it shouldn't be something or you to force on yourself just because you want to be unique. This is pretty much the core of Nick Nope's character and Denise eventually tells him that hating something because everyone likes or does it is as bad as liking or doing something just because everyone else likes or does it. Like and dislike what you will based on YOUR individual opinion.
    • One for the parents: While you generally mean well, it pays to listen to your children as well. Viviane kept trying to force her daughter Ramona to be a witch and to "be like everyone" and it ultimately backfired when Ramona decided enough was enough.
    • And in direct response to the above, be respectful of your parents and listen to what they have to say. They were in your shoes before too. In one manga issue where Jim made a bet with Toni that he could survive being in a dangerous forest area for a night, Jim paid no heed to his father when he tried to enroll him in the Boy Scouts for survival lessons because he thought Boy Scouts were for wimps and took it as an insult and tried to go to the forest by himself and his lack of survival knowledge got him lost and he would have been stranded there for a good time had his father not come to save his hide with the knowledge HE picked up from his time with the scouts.
  • Uncanny Valley: A recent charity event had 3D versions of Monica and Jimmy as "co-hosts". It didn't work so well. And the less said about the song he danced to, the better.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: In one specific comic, Maggy cuts ties with the rest of the gang because she overhears them having a picnic on their own without inviting her (and they had lied to her saying they were going to do laundry, which she finds suspicious enough to spy on them in the first place). The story clearly wants you to know that it was very selfish and mean of them to do that (and they do have to be the ones to apologize in the end). Except that during said picnic they actually explain that it’s simply the kind of outing they couldn't invite Maggy to, since she would eat it all without giving them chance, and they all recall times where they were justifiably embarrassed and/or upset by her gluttony. In Smudge's case, it was the time when Maggy ate his entire birthday cake during his own birthday party. Granted, lying to her face about it wasn't the nicest thing to do, but you can't blame the kids for wanting to enjoy their snacks for once without having them all gobbled up in seconds.
    • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Taking from the above example, we're supposed to side with Maggy here, but considering she never seems to acknowledge her gluttony as a problem, which many stories show to be a problem not only to her friends, but a heavy financial burden on her family as well and just compares everyone else's flaws to hers before cutting ties with the gang, she just comes across as a Spoiled Brat.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Nutty Ned stories are a prime example of this.
  • Wheelchair Woobie: Subverted with Luca, who is treated like a perfectly normal kid to the point that the girls (Monica in particular) constantly swoon over him. And eventually Jimmy and Smudge have Franklin modify Luca's wheelchair with things like turbo boosters, spring jumps and other gadgets.
  • The Woobie: All 4 main characters have their moments of this.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/MonicasGang