YMMV / The Thundermans

  • Character Shilling: We will never know what made Link such a great guy, but we will take Phoebe's word for it that he was.
  • Crossover Ship: Max has been shipped with Taylor Hathaway ever since the crossover.
  • Designated Hero: For all of the doting that the family does on Phoebe, her track record for staying out of trouble isn't that much better than Max's. Out of all of the characters, Phoebe is second only to Max in showing a willingness to break rules and cut ethical corners to get what she wants.
    • In "Date Expectations," Allison calls out both of them, telling Max, "You and Phoebe make me sick. You're both selfish. You don't care what you do, or who you hurt, as long as you get what you want," and it is absolutely beautiful to behold.
    • In "The Amazing Rat Race," it is implied that Phoebe would never lie to Nora ... despite the fact that she did exactly that in the earlier episode, "Max's Minions."
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Considering that Max is an aspiring supervillain, he's this by default.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Max/Phoebe, more commonly known as "Thundercest", is shaping up to be this, judging from the Fan Fiction.
  • Hidden Badass: Max was always the show's "designated loser." The writers sometimes took advantage of this to cross up the audience's expectations, by having Max display impressive ability in situations where viewers were likely expecting him to fall flat on his face.
    • "Report Card" : When Phoebe dismissively says that the underachieving Max (who actually sleeps through some of his classes) couldn't possibly keep up with the advanced material in her honors math class, he responds to her challenge. In the class Math Bowl, Max not only excels, but outperforms Phoebe, and he only loses the competition because he deliberately answers the final question incorrectly (after learning how much academics mean to his sister).
    • "You Stole My Thunder, Man" : This episode used a "formula" sitcom plot - An overachieving girl runs for Class President, and loses to an underachieving boy who comes in at the last minute to capture the students' interest. The "standard" ending for this plotline is for the boy to fall flat on his face (to the smug satisfaction of the girl he beat for the office) when he finds that the responsibilities of being Class President are more than he bargained for. Instead, Max's performance as Class President impresses the principal and students. Admittedly, Max did steal Phoebe's ideas to accomplish this, but he also improved on her ideas, and in the end, Phoebe admits that Max is a great Class President.
    • "Going Wonkers" : After being rejected by a girl he asks to the school dance, Max is challenged to a "dance off" by the boy she does go to the dance with. The audience was likely expecting Max to either make a fool of himself on the dance floor, or cheat his way to victory with his telekinetic powers. Instead, Max shows himself to be an extremely talented dancer, and completely shows up his overconfident opponent. In the end, he even gets the better of the girl who rejected him, when she tries to ditch her date in favor of Max, only to get rejected by him.
    • "Haunted Thundermans" : Max battles the Green Ghoul, who has possessed Phoebe. Although he proves to be completely outmatched by his far more powerful opponent, Max gives an impressive showing, managing to fight the Ghoul to a standstill at one point.
    • The writers tried to do this with Phoebe in "It's Not What You Link." When Max tries to stop his minions from attacking Phoebe, and Max and Link are seen cringing to the sounds of an offscreen battle, the audience is supposed to think that the minions are beating up Phoebe. The next shot, revealing Phoebe standing victorious over the battered minions, is intended to come as a surprising twist. This simply doesn't work, because (1) Phoebe has superpowers and there was no indication that the minions were anything other than normal humans, (2) the episode "Haunted Thundermans" had already established that the Thundermans are skilled in hand-to-hand combat, (3) sitcom violence is only "funny" when the victim is male, and (4) Phoebe is the show's "designated winner," in contrast to Max being the "designated loser." Ultimately, it is highly unlikely that the viewers ever believed that Phoebe was in any danger from the minions.
  • Love It or Hate It: Even more than The Haunted Hathaways. Though the show has an audience, it's clearly got a very vocal group of people who outright despise it as well as evident by the comments on all The Thundermans videos on YouTube. It doesn't help Nickelodeon disabled all comments on several of it's videos promoting the show to avoid the hate from being apparent.
  • Moe: In "Phoebe's A Clone Now," after taking a bump on the head, the cloned Phoebe turns dumb, and also displays a sweet, childlike personality that is quite endearing. In the final scene, Phoebe's clone is adorably fawning over the cuteness of a rabbit, which she thinks is a donkey, which she thinks makes sounds like a cow.
  • The Reason You Suck: In "Date Expectations," Allison delivers a ripping one to Max, calling both him and Phoebe out for their self-absorption.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Inverted with Phoebe and Link's relationship, but played straight with Max and Allison's.
    • In "Meet the Evilmans," whatever emotional connection that Phoebe formed with Link occurred entirely offscreen. In the opening scene, the two meet each other for the first time, and in the very next scene in which Link appears, he is giving Phoebe a gift, the ketchup bottle "that brought us together." Apparently, Phoebe and Link fell in love while the opening credits were rolling. The audience was never given a chance to become emotionally invested in Phoebe and Link's relationship. The episode went directly to Phoebe and Link being a couple, and trying to be together over their families' disapproval. In fact, most of the episodes about their relationship were about them overcoming obstacles to spending time together. The writers didn't seem to understand that they'd never given the viewers a reason to care whether Phoebe and Link could be together or not.
    • The show did a much better job with Max and Allison's relationship, however. Over two episodes (as opposed to a single scene change), they established both Allison as a character and her strong, mutual dislike of Max. In the climax of "Date Expectations," after a disastrously failed attempt to work together, Max and Allison have a confrontation, during which they discover some common ground - They are each driven to do something that their parents won't support them on, and instead dismiss as "a phase." Recognizing Allison as a kindred spirit, despite all of their differences, Max humbles himself to her and also encourages her to pursue what she is so passionate about. In contrast to Phoebe and Link in "Meet the Evilmans," the audience is given a chance to become emotionally invested in Max and Allison's relationship in "Date Expectations," because the viewers are shown the couple forming an emotional bond, rather than merely being told that they did.
  • Squick : Phoebe and Max really do not like hearing about, let alone seeing, their parents kissing.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks:
    • Many people find the show to be the poor man's Wizards of Waverly Place, with superheroes instead of wizards...and even then is also seen as a copy of Lab Rats. The theme song, "What You See is Not What You Get," is eerily similar to "Everything is Not What it Seems."
    • And the rabbit is a poor man's Salem.
    • Many view it as a poor man's Haunted Hathaways which they also view as a poor man's Wizards of Waverly Place, which certainly doesn't help either show.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • The audience is expected to laugh and cheer when Max winds up the Butt Monkey, especially since he, admittedly, brings most of it on himself. However, in some episodes, like "You've Got Fail," "Doubles Trouble," and "Cape Fear," Max would make such a fool of himself that viewers were more apt to feel embarrassed for him than anything else.
    • Max more or less counts as this overall. While he can be a jerk, the fact he more or less gets ignored by his entire family in favour of Phoebe (even on occasions when he does something genuinely impressive), fails more often then not, and always comes through for his friends and family when the need him, means that despite his claims of being a villain, more often than not the audiences sympathy lies with him.
    • A small plot point in "Doubles Trouble" wound up pairing this with its counter-trope. The audience is supposed to laugh and cheer (like Phoebe does) when Link gives Max a wedgie, and then glare at Max disapprovingly (like Phoebe does) when he later gives Link a wedgie in revenge. The reactions of many viewers, however, were the exact opposite.
    • Gideon. As obnoxious as he can be, you can only see a guy get shot down so many times before you start to feel bad for him.
  • What an Idiot: In "Doppel-Gamers," Cherry assures the Thundermans that she can prevent Oyster from catching on to their superhero secret. To demonstrate, she calls out, "Hey, Oyster! Ever thought about the Thundermans' last name? Well, don't!" (The irony is that Oyster seems to be even dumber than Cherry, so it might actually work.)
  • The Woobie: Max. Even if he is a bit of a jerk, the fact that almost nothing goes his way no matter what more than justifies this.
    • Over half of the show's viewers feel sorry for him and think that his life sucks.