YMMV / Superfriends

  • Audience-Coloring Adaptation: Aquaman... poor, poor Aquaman...
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome:
    • Meta example: DC Comics hired Jack Kirby to redesign his characters, leading to an unprecedented deal where he finally got royalties for his characters, as well as publishing the last major Kirby comics work in the "Super Powers" comics.
    • The opening theme of Challenge of the Superfriends has the Superfriends and the Legion of Doom facing each other, and ends with each group running towards one other. The last one is about two or three seconds of pure, unadultered win.
    • How awesome is it? X-Men copied the same effect with X-Men vs. the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Genius Bonus: El Dorado, a particularly subtle example. El Dorado's best known power is the ability to teleport in a cloud of golden sparkles. The original El Dorado of legend was not a city, but a man, el hombre dorado, who would be ritually coated with gold dust in a regular ceremony.
  • Growing the Beard: The franchise started to do this by replacing Wendy and Marvin with the Wonder Twins and by having more serious stories (for the time period anyway). Grew the full beard with Challenge of the Superfriends.
    • Did it again toward the end with the additions of Firestorm, Cyborg, and Darkseid, making a rare Long Runner whose final season is widely regarded as one of its best.
  • He Really Can Act: "The Fear" has Adam West giving one of his best performances as Batman as the episode, especially at the time it was made, shows Batman struggling with his origins and past once the Scarecrow triggers flashbacks to his parents' murder.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Thirty years later, the utterly goofball plotnote  of the episode "The Man in the Moon" was reused (presumably unknowingly) as the Doctor Who episode "Kill the Moon".
    • One would even wonder if Geoff Johns' inclusion of Cyborg in New 52 version of Justice League of America was inspired by The Super Powers Team.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • NONE of the Super Friends is particularly cool in hindsight, not even the ones based on agreed upon badasses like Batman, even if they were all busy saving the world Once an Episode. It's common in parodies for the Super Friends to be portrayed as overly friendly, old-fashioned, cheesy heroes that wouldn't be able to hold a candle to the Darker and Edgier later interpretations of the Justice League and what they go up against.
    • As noted in his page, Aquaman gets this a lot because of his Super Friends version. Unlike the other heroes on the show though, for a long time it tainted the public's perception of him in other media as well (hence why he also gets his own mention in his own page).
    • The Wonder Twins are often mocked and parodied for having a cheesy power set. Zan, the one that could take the form of water, gets this twice as hard because of how his power looks next to Jayna's ability to turn into any animal. As pointed in a Cartoon Network spoof commercial, he could be beaten by a sponge...and not even an evil sponge.
    • The original wonder duo, the powerless kid sidekicks Wendy and Marvin (and Wonder Dog!) also get this often because of their percieved uselessness and unexplained presence (the powerless kids get to hang out with the all-powerful grown-up heroes, why exactly? The comics explain it, but not the show itself). In one comic they show up only to later get mauled (and to death, in Marvin's case — Wendy survived by being paralyzed, then became an Adaptational Badass by the codename of "Proxy") by Wonder Dog, deconstructing their presence in a superhuman setting.
    • The Super Friends versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl are often mocked for having the ability to fly... on a team with an overfilled Flying Brick quota that already has that covered and then some. In a Fairly OddParents spoof, the Hawkgirl parody had "all the powers of a hawk and a gal!" And was the the last to arrive at a fight each time because how slowly she flew in comparison to the others...and then had her butt handed to to her once she actually got there.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice!" and the scene-switching "whooshing" sound.
    • Superman's Catch-Phrase ("Fight for justiiiiice") was this in Latin America, due to the very hammy delivery by the late Mexican voice actor Maynardo Zavala.
    • "Solomon Grundy want pants too!"
  • Narm Charm: There's something oddly sweet with in regards to the PSA featuring the Friends. As a kid, you'd feel that they were sorta looking out for you despite not being "real".
  • Never Live It Down: Again, poor Aquaman!
  • Nightmare Fuel: Yes, even this show managed to churn some up:
    • "The Planet of Oz":
    Mxyzptlk: What do I have up my sleeve? [Pushes his sleeve back, leaving his glove floating unsupported in midair] Why, nothing, of course! [Evil Laugh]
    • The evil algae in "Terror on the Titanic", as dumb as the episode was, especially the way that it possessed the scuba divers.
    • "The Fear" had Scarecrow using his gas to Mind Rape Batman into reliving his parents' deaths. It's both heartbreaking and terrifying.
    • The twist in "The Krypton Syndrome" where after Superman prevents Krypton from being destroyed, he returns to Earth to find it a burning ruin. Robin doesn't recognize him and says that he's the only surviving member of the Super Friends (this was the only episode where Robin appeared without Batman). A world without Superman...
    • Some viewers might see "The Ghost" as this due to the appearance of Gentleman Ghost (called "Gentleman Jim") and his plan for revenge involves turning world leaders, Superman, and Wonder Woman into ghastly looking ghosts.
    • History of Doom in which Luthor and the League inadvertently killed the Earth when the former tries use some solar flares to fired at the latter and the League's shield which tried to block it, ended up merging with it and making a radioactive belt around the Earth. Granted the visiting head alien's reset button prevents this but still...just wow.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Averted with the Wonder Twins for replacing Wendy and Marvin, who are considered to be one of the Scrappies of the show, though they're nowadays considered to be Memetic Losers.
  • Seasonal Rot: Inverted in that the various incarnations of this series got artistically better with each one. For instance, for all the snickering about the Wonder Twins, at least they could meaningfully contribute to the fights with their superpowers, which is more than Wendy and Marvin could ever manage. Later, the producers gradually began to realize that the original DC Comics characters were usually better than anything they could create themselves and began to act accordingly such as including Firestorm, Cyborg and Jack Kirby's New Gods villains.
    • It can't be emphasized enough just how bad that first season was in comparison to all that followed, and not just because of Wendy, Marvin, and the inexplicably anthropomorphic Wonder Dog. The Moral Guardians were at their strictest during that year, so every antagonist the Super Friends encountered was either a Well-Intentioned Extremist that just needed a gentle reprimand, or a Harmless Villain so pathetic that any one of the five adult Super Friends (yes, even this version's Aquaman) should've been able to defeat alone quickly and easily (and yet this would be the only season where every single story was a full-length, hourlong episode!). Starting with the next season, the Super Friends faced villains who 1) were actually evil, 2) the ones who appeared in the shorter stories were opposed by pairs of members so they usually presented a decent challenge on that scale and 3) the villains in the long story usually had enough powers and weapons to pose a serious threat it would take the entire team to defeat. Even Gleek was a distinct improvement since, because he was an alien monkey, there was actually a reason why he was anthropomorphic.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Super cheesy! It really hasn't aged well! And yet you can't stop watching — especially due to the camp!
  • The Scrappy: Marvin, Wendy and Wonderdog, two ordinary teenagers and their pet who dressed in superhero drag and whose roles in the series (especially Marvin's) were to do stupid but plot-enabling things. The characters were so annoying to even the pre-teens who were the primary audience of the show that they were replaced by the only marginally more acceptable Wonder Twins, a pair of teenaged alien superheroes and their pet space monkey Gleek, who filled the "get captured by the Monster of the Week" and "cause trouble through abject stupidity" roles until the series finally dumped them too and redid the format into a more traditional superhero show.
    • In the "Power Hour" of Superfriends comes El Dorado, a one-Spanish-word-a-sentence hero with vaguely defined powers; Samurai — a one-Japanese-word-a-sentence fellow who had a horribly stereotyped personality; and Firestorm, who is considered a Scrappy thanks mainly to his Marty Stu status of always being the fellow to yank the Big Damn Heroes moment from everyone (especially from a badly Chickified Wonder Woman). Like Apache Chief and the Wonder Twins (who are well liked by fans), El Dorado and Samurai would have Captain Ersatz counterparts that fared better with fans in both Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice (as for the latter show, Samurai would get a Gender Flip version in form of Asami Koizumi).
    • Mixed with Never Live It Down and Audience-Coloring Adaptation, Aquaman due to most of the time, his powers are useless owing to the series' extreme Cast Speciation limiting him to aquatic abilities in a land-based series.
    • Hawkman didn't fare much better than Aquaman. On this series, his powers was flight... and that's it. All the situations that made the comic book Hawkman heroic were entirely absent, leaving him basically useless. The all-time low in the Scrappy department probably came in the episode "Secret Origins of the Superfriends", which showed Superman getting erased from history in the middle of a "Superman Day" celebration... and replaced it with "Hawkman Day".
  • Tear Jerker
    • In the "Galactic Guardians" series, there's "The Fear". Egad, "The Fear". It's not the first animated rendition of Batman's backstory for anything. Especially when we see the flashbacks to pre-teen Bruce crying after his parents are killed off-screen, and then his first visit to Martha and Thomas Wayne's graves alongside the faithful Alfred.
    Batman: "And so, I found myself alone in the world. A boy who internally screamed for justice (...) From that day onwards, I vowed to avenge my parents' murder, by devoting my life to fighting crime..."
    • "The Death of Superman" is a very powerful episode. The fact that Superman died, the other heroes (especially Firestorm) seriously mourn the loss of their friend, and the entire world deals with the lack of Superman all happened in a Super Friends episode is still quite the shock to first-time watchers.
    • "The Krypton Syndrome", where Superman painfully realizes that if Krypton's destruction is prevented through time travel, then he would never have been sent to Earth, and the Legion of Doom will win.
    Superman: When Krypton was saved, my father never sent me to Earth. So, to this world, there never was a Superman.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: At the end of "The Universe of Evil," Superman asks his teammates to return with him to the alternate dimension he just escaped from to help liberate it from their evil counterparts. Most kids were tuning in the next week eager to see the battle royale surely to come, but it was never shown (onscreen, anyway).