Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
YMMV: Ultimate Spider-Man
This page is for the western animated series. For the comic and video game, see here

Ultimate Spider-Man, the animated series

  • Anti-Climax Boss: For a suit that was designed to take on the Hulk, the Hulkbuster armor went down pretty easily in "The Iron Octopus".
  • Anvilicious:
    • Let's just say the show isn't very subtle about Spider-Man having to learn responsibilities, although a common complaint against the show is that there's no reason for him to learn about responsibility from Nick Fury because he had already learned the importance of responsibility from his own origin. Furthermore, as shown in this list below, Nick Fury is far from the most responsible authority figure.
    • "The Rhino" stands out as an Anvilicious offender. With the "Don't bully your bully, or you'll be the bully" message beaten over the viewers head about every 3 minutes.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The premise of Spider-Man (usually loved for being one of the few teenage heroes to learn things of his own, without mentor or adult support) working for SHIELD as part of teenage team of superheroes, using SHIELD tech and with a bigger focus on the Marvel Universe as a whole rather than the Spider-Man mythos has turned off many fans who would have been more interested in a show actually focusing on Spider-Man himself. Even after the show improved over the course of its second and third seasons, many fans still avoid it because they can't stand the premise to begin with.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Agent Coulson, when compared to his movie counterpart. Movie Coulson, while still comical on occasions, was usually portrayed as competent and rather badass, even getting a Moment Of Awesome in the Avengers movie, where he commits a Heroic Sacrifice and actually shot Loki. In this series, he is reduced to a comical relief and even ends up as the Distressed Dude in "Why I Hate Gym". Thankfully corrected starting in Run Pig Run, where he finally starts acting full Badass, and stays that way in the following episodes.
    • Taskmaster on "Ultimate Deadpool". After not appearing for 35 episodes, his long-awaited return has him utterly annihilated by Deadpool (with next to no help from Spider-Man). Meanwhile, none of the mysteries set up in "Why I Hate Gym" (his being an ex-SHIELD agent, his relationships with Fury and Coulson, his team under Fury, his further plans for Spider-Man, whether he would return to Peter's school) were brought up again, and he seemed to even be captured at the end of the episode, meaning these parts of his character's background are likely to be forgotten entirely.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Harry Osborn. When he was revealed to be Venom in this incarnation, some fans were outraged, arguing the character had been ruined, while other welcomed it as an interesting twist and something original.
    • Sam/Nova. Hated by many fans but seems to be well liked among fangirls. The same seems to go for Ava/White Tiger too.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: the Goblin's Voice Changeling ability, since he only used it once.
  • Broken Base:
    • The humor of the series. For some fans it's funny and clever. For another fans it's just stupid and overdone. Some say it's a little of both, depending on the joke.
    • Drake Bell as Spidey is also rather divisive. Some fans think he's great for the role and some are critical of him. That he starred in a movie with a role that PARODIED Spidey doesn't help.
    • With some Spec fans (though not all), it seems to be case of Misblamed even though Greg Weisman himself pointed out it wasn't Marvel's or this shows fault Spec ended. On the other hand, many Spec fans know that USM didn't get the show cancelled, but the perceived low quality of the series definitely adds more insult to injury as far as they're concerned.
    • Some fans aren't too happy that Venom's backstory is based on his Marvel Adventures counterpart (sentient suit created by one of Spidey's enemies) rather than the alien symbiote from the mainstream Marvel universe. And it got worse when it was revealed Harry Osborn was his host instead of Eddie Brock. And the fact that to date Venom hasn't been using plural pronouns like in the comics has not gone over well with fans.
    • The point of Spider-Man having a team has also been questioned, some fans feeling he is a better hero when alone and that the series shouldn't be called "Spider-Man" if it's about him in a team (despite this not being the first case like this, But even then, that show bothered to acknowledge he was in a team in the title and they at least acted like actual friends instead of jerks to him.)
    • Some fans feel that the show misses the point of Spider-Man completely, with the idea of him being a lone superhero who has no one to guide or train him and as a result being someone who makes constant mistakes in both his superhero and civilian identity completely thrown out the window so that Disney/Marvel could sell a team-up show as a pretense for the many merchandising opportunities that such a show would offer. Even the trailers make it self-evident that show is designed almost purely to sell assorted Spider-Man toys.
    • Similarly, some fans are annoyed it takes the name Ultimate Spider-Man despite having pretty much nothing to do with Brian Michael Bendis' comic of the same name, even when Bendis is a creative producer!
    • Fans are also less than happy about the state of Peter and MJ's relationship in the cartoon. After a flashback sequence revealed that they had tried to be a couple when they were kids but WERE GROSSED OUT BY A KISS and eventually decided just to be friends. This might or might not have something to do with Joe Quesada being the Chief Creative Officer of Marvel, given his own opinion on the marriage. Frankly it's amazing he hasn't tried to force Carlie Cooper into the series (yet).
    • Then there's the recent news of it getting a third season, something The Spectacular Spider-Man never got.
    • Deadpool being voiced by Will Friedle as opposed to Nolan North, considered by many to be the definitive Deadpool. Footage of him speaking is actually causing some people who otherwise decided to stick around for him to consider not watching. The fact that North was already doing voice work on the show didn't help at all.
    • The crossover with Jessie, a live action Disney sitcom.
  • Character Rerailment:
    • Agent Coulson; after suffering Badass Decay for most of the first episodes, he is finally portrayed as an appropriate Badass Normal in "Run Pig Run".
    • Possibly Loki and Taskmaster in the third season, as well. The former suffered a seriously Adaptational Wimp in the first two seasons, and the later suffered Badass Decay in his only second season's appearence, "Ultimate Deadpool"; in "Web Warriors" they return to being characterized as dangerous chessmasters Manipulative Bastards and formidable fighters.
  • Contested Sequel: After the cancellation of The Spectacular Spider Man, this series was doomed from the start to become this. It goes beyond what was expected however; the more comical approach hasn't been really well-received by most fans, and while some fans still like it, the show has become one of the most debated show in all Marvel Animation.
  • Continuity Lockout: The show has many different standalone episodes, so the few episodes which actually connect to each other become difficult to understand if you haven't watched the show from day one or at least seen the arc's beginning. May even apply to episodes that don't seem to contribute to a greater arc, such as "Home Sick Hulk" and "Run Pig Run", which focus on Spider-Man teaming up with Hulk and Thor, respectively, with the events of the episodes they previously teamed up in ("Exclusive" and "Field Trip") being acknowledged. Kind of ironic, if you consider Jeph Loeb mentioning his intention with retooling another MARVEL show because he was afraid viewers wouldn't be able to jump in due to all the plots running alongside each other.
  • Cut Short: Notable for being the first Spider-man cartoon in 15 years to avert this. 52 episodes down the pipeline with more coming. For reference the much maligned Spider-Man Unlimited cartoon only got 13 episodes, The Broken Base MTV's Spider-Man: The New Animated Series only got 13 episode and the well-received The Spectacular Spider Man only got slightly better off with 26 episodes. Despite mixed reception, Ultimate Spider-Man has been the first Spider-Man cartoon since Spider-Man: The Animated Series to break this curse.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Spidey's teammates; Spider-Man gets constantly blamed by them for not trusting them, wanting to work alone and trying to keep his distance from them, while they are arguing that they are his friends and teammates now. However, Spidey's arguments to defend himself are pretty valid: they very forcefully insert themselves in his life without him asking them anything, and his deal with Fury clearly involved him still being allowed to work alone. Yet the show still seems to present this as him being a jerk when, for example, he understandably refuses to tell his team that Harry Osborn is Venom. Get to an extreme when, at the end of "Venomous", he thanks them for actually acting like his friends... and they reply by pulling a prank where he is about to get beat up by S.H.I.E.L.D. training robots.

      That "trust your teammates" thing becomes even more stupid, when you realize that nothing has been revealed about Spidey's teammates except their names and powers. Spidey doesn't know how they got those powers and how they got to be superheroes, he doesn't know where they live, what friends they have aside from themselves and etc, yet they know a lot about Peter: where he lives, what school he attends, who are his friends, they even know about Aunt May. How can Peter trust people who know more about him than he does about them? And yet they allow to call themselves Peter's friends.
    • Nick Fury; sure, the character always was a Anti-Hero in the comic, especially his Ultimate incarnation, but he would usually get called out for his ambiguous actions by most superheroes; this version, on the other hand, is shown to have caused many of the show's villains to become what they are now (Taskmaster, Scorpio/Max Fury and Sandman to be specific) and invades his pupils' privacy (he puts security cameras in their houses, and shows the most compromising parts of Spider-Man's recording to the whole team when Spider-Man complained about it). He never gets called out for this except by Tony Stark and Spidey himself (makes sense), instead being portrayed as a Reasonable Authority Figure while Spider-Man and his teammates are immature brats.
    • The episode "Venomous" shows how bad Fury and Spidey's team can be. To elaborate, Nick Fury orders teammates to actually outright kill Venom, even though he suspects that Spidey knows who Venom is and the person inside there is dear to Peter. Then, we see Spidey's team beating, hurting and attempting to kill Venom. Spidey pleads them to stop hurting Venom, saying that the person inside Venom is innocent and possessed by the symbiote and has no control of his actions, yet teammates ignore Spidey, stating that the person inside Venom is gone and do not care about the fact that they would have murdered an innocent person, not in control of his actions. They know about fact that there is innocent person inside Venom, but do not care about it. Granted, Spidey tells them that Venom is Harry Osborn and then they attempt to rescue Harry, not actually kill Venom, but the fact remains that before they found out about Venom's identity, they had no problems with killing Venom, despite that they knew that there as an innocent person inside, yet they didn't care about that before The Reveal. They should have attempted to save Venom from the start, not after The Reveal.
    • Nova is probably the worst aside from Fury. He spends most of his time when not fighting crime being downright cruel with his insults. And not just towards Spidey either (though he usually endures the worst of it). The episode "Venomous" is a prime example. Like Fury Nova is completely comfortable with killing Venom, unlike Fury, he rubs Spideys nose in the fact when he and the team are off to go and try to kill Venom. Basically Nova appears to represent everything a superhero is not supposed to be.
    • White Tiger and Nova insult and criticize Spider-Man even before they actually meet him in person. When they are watching Spidey fighting against training robots, White Tiger begins to criticize Spidey for his fighting style and even criticizes him for choosing naming himself Spider-Man. She didn't even meet with Spider-Man in person and already criticizes him based only on his fighting style alone, without knowing anything else about him. Nova calls Spidey lame and doesn't want him in the team because Nova wants to be a leader of the team. Basically they dismiss Spidey before they actually get to know him for some petty, and in Nova's case, selfish reasons. Iron Fist and Power Man at least gave Spidey a chance. It is very jarring to see them acting nice to Peter in season 2, especially in "House Arrest", considering their treatment of him during most of the season one.
    • Also, one finds it rather hard to belive that Nick Fury never told the other four about Deadpool going rogue on them, whereas the team describes him to Spidey as a freelance hero his morality is clearly much darker than that and Fury at the very least knew it. They just let him kidnap Spider-Man, though.
    • Hell, Spider-Man himself comes across as this at times, even when he's not around the team. A number of episodes actually show him either being the one who started the problem or just making it worse, so while his friends-in-theory are definitely too harsh at times their criticisms are sometimes deserved.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • Many things done to Peter in the stinger that clearly are supposed to be Rule of Funny fall flat — his teammates siccing the training robots on him for "not trusting them" (he had a good reason, see Designated Hero above), Fury showing an embarrassing picture of him when Spidey complains about the surveillance, the whole team trying to beat him up when he accidentally gives them his cold... the list goes on and on.
    • In season two they let Deadpool kidnap him against his will (though apparently they were under the impression that Deadpool was still good under all that crazy...)
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Iron Fist is notable for being one of the few main characters to not be The Scrappy: he is less a jerk to Spider-Man than the others, he has an actual personality, and his origin actually is mentionned and shown.
    • Doctor Octopus; this version is outright creepy, has a developed and credible Jerkass Woobie backstory, is effective in a fight, has a good design and voice (even more impressive considering he is played by Tom Kenny!) and possessed an actual story arc that has him evolving. Even among some of the people who dislike the show, they cite Doctor Octopus as generally being one of the best elements due to the show taking him more seriously than most of the other villains.
    • Taskmaster and Beetle, being both portrayed as Badass, menacing and truly competent, got quite good reception amongst the fans;
    • And so far, episodes involving other key heroes such as The Incredible Hulk, The Mighty Thor or Iron Man got good reaction as well due to being faithful to their most well-known incarnation, especially Iron Man.
    • Also, for those not mad about the change Harry Osborn is pretty popular since the idea of him being Venom is a different and interesting twist. The fact he also is pretty much possibly the nicest version of Harry Osborn in all animated adaptations may help as well.
    • Even those who dislike the show tend to admit the janitor played by Stan Lee is an enjoyable part in the show.
    • Voice-acting wise, Roger Craig Smith as Captain America.
    • Norman Osborn became one when he turned as the Green Goblin for finally bringing a major Knight of Cerebus beside Octavius in the show.
    • Deadpool was a welcome character. Since fourth wall-breaking and shameless comedy have been major parts of his story and character for years, he was received very well. One common praise was the simple fact that he could actually pull off the style of humor present in this show, which many fans hate, feeling that it's out-of-place in a Spider-Man cartoon.
    • Carnage appeared for only one episode and for a very small time, yet many fans seem to have liked him, and complained he could have used more screen time.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The show had an episode where Spider-Man finds out that, since he joined SHIELD, Fury has been placing cameras all over his house for security measures. Understandably pissed off, he goes to complain to Nick Fury and leaves SHIELD. The episode portrays his whole attitude as immature (even his own teammates reveal they got cameras as well and agreed to it), he ends up being attacked by Octopus because of it, and to add insult to the injury, when he agrees to come back in exchange for a compromise, Fury decides to show the tape of all his humiliating moments to his teammates as a punishment for his immaturity. The way it appears, the episode seems to be about him accepting to have no personal space left for the sake of his security.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In the second episode, Dr. Connors pretends not to have a right arm as a prank and Mythology Gag. And then in the Season One finale, the same arm is crushed thanks to the Green Goblin.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show has gained a large following in several Spanish-speaking countries.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • The season one finale has earned a more glowing reception than expected after previous episodes. After it, season 2 got slightly better compared to the previous one, giving more Character Development and bringing Spider-Man villains, though the quality remains highly contested.
    • Most fans agree that Web Warriors is a great improvement with respect the previous two seasons.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay: This line:
    Spider-Man: I hate you, Deadpool.
    Deadpool: I know you mean "love"!
    • A little between Blade and Werewolf by Night.
  • Hype Backlash:
  • Idiot Plot: a lot of them:
    • "Doomed" would basically never have happened if Spider-Man's team had been acting rationally and if Spidey himself had not been acting like a humongous Troll. This was even pointed inside the story.
    • The whole plot in "Awesome" would have never happened if Spider-Man had not been stupid enough to think stealing one of Dr Connor's inventions in order to use it as a science project was a good idea.
    • None of the things in "Snow Day" would have happened if, when picking up a place for vacations, Nova had not chosen a place specifically mentioned as classified in SHIELD's records, in the Bermuda Triangle. And even then, it could have been avoided if Spidey had listened to his Spider-senses before it was too late.
    • The whole episode about Spider-Man being turned into a pig and chased by the Asguardians would have been avoided if Spider-Man had not ignored his spider-sense's warning to not eat a free hot-dog offered to him for no apparent reason.
  • Internet Backdraft: Spider-Man being turned into Spider-Ham by Loki. As soon as the trailers were revealed, several fans were outraged, stating this was an attack to Spidey's dignity. And things didn't get better when the episode was up.
  • It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars: Man of Action Studios reportedly tends to tell haters that they shouldn't have expected greatness from a children's cartoon airing on Disney XD. Which only raised more Internet Backlash amongst both haters and fans. Several Disney XD Fans also pointed out how much quality shows like Phineas and Ferb and Gravity Falls had compared to USM.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • As revealed in "Me Time", Doctor Octopus, who was going to be laid off by Osborne unless he captured Spider-Man. His Evil Cripple status has taken a toll on his hygiene, appearance, and sanity. And there are signs that he longs for what came before this status, as he laments "I was handsome once.". "The Iron Octopus" takes this even further, with finally showcasing his backstory, showing that Norman actually saved him, but kept him locked away from the outside world rather than fess up to a mistake, and all of his attempts to tell everyone that Norman isn't as perfect as everyone thinks he is falls upon deaf ears (though Spidey does get the nagging feeling Doctor Octopus is right), and eventually, being locked away again.
    • Even though Flint Marco/Sandman is a psychotic, he tends to fall in this trope when you consider the fact he essentially went nuts after Fury had him trapped alone on an island for years in the Bermuda Triangle, to the point he was reduced to create himself an imaginary friend.
    • Rhino; he actually became what he is because he was bullied all the time by Flash Thompson, who was even worse with him than he was with Peter; He wished to be like Spider-Man and consumed Oscorp's mutagene, but this caused him to go psychotic in getting a revenge on Flash. You truly feel sorry for him when he is taken by SHIELD at the end of his episode.
    • Ironically, Flash himself may qualify as this in Rhino's episode. It is revealed that he only has a gas station as his home and that his parents have almost no money. It is also hinted that he acts like a jerk because he wants to hide this and appear cool and confident. His realization that his bullying drove Alex to the path of villainy also makes him quite sympathethic.
    • White Tiger turns out to be this in "Kraven the Hunter", where we learn the reason she is so reckless and disciplined: her father was hunted and killed by Kraven, leaving her alone to take up the Mantle, and she gets her powers by wearing an Amulet that always pushes her to be more animal-like, forcing her to control herself all the time to prevent it from taking over.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The show has many guest characters, some of whom are famous or popular comic book characters, so people may just watch an episode just for one character. Particular examples are Maurice Lamarche as Doctor Doom and Clancy Brown as Taskmaster.
  • Love It or Hate It: This show in a nutshell; just read the other tropes on this page to figure out why.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Doctor Doom. When Spider-Man and his team attempted to capture him by attacking Latveria, he sent a Doombot to fight them, and had said Doombot captured by them so he could have it infiltrating the Helicarrier and destroying it from the inside; and even after they successfully defeated the Doombot, he still gets something by analyzing their weakness in the process, thus preparing for later fights with them.
  • Memetic Mutation: The "monkey screech" sound effect.
  • Misblamed: Too many examples to list. It's safe to say a few of them are unjustified.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Norman Osborn/Green Goblin crosses this when he shocks Harry to turn him into Venom for purpose of having a weapon to destroy Spider-Man and later leaving him to die in collapsing Helicarrier and deeming him unworthy because Harry rejected the Symbiote.
  • Narm:
    • Any scene that could potentially have dramatic tension or be frightening if presented seriously usually is immediately ruined by a cutaway gag that follows.
    • Carnage's birth. The scene apparently is intended to be Nightmare Fuel, but Drake Bell's incredibly bad performance to make a convincing agony scream (seriously, he sounds like he is whining) and the cartoonish expression made by the usually serious and realistic Green Goblin make the scene more laughable than anything else.
  • Padding: The Imagine Spots can come across this way, given that when they're used to give out exposition, the stuff tends to have been explained just a moment ago, and even when Spidey does explain it when it hasn't been explained before, it's sometimes explained afterward in a manner that's much more simple and to the point, making the necessity of the exposition via Imagine Spot questionable. When they're done for humor, they take time away from the episode and in some cases, ruin the pacing due to just how out-of-the-moment they are.
  • Pandering to the Fanbase: "Ultimate Deadpool"
  • Replacement Scrappy: in addition of his already unlikable personnality mentionned before, Sam Alexander is a Canon Immigrant in the Marvel Universe, replacing the popular Richard Rider as Nova and with no explanation of how he even has the Nova force, when Rider's last appearance had him fight Thanos off long enough for a portal to close behind him whilst powered by the entirety of the Nova force.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Our heroes consist of a protagonist whose sense of humor really depends on personal taste and his teammates who regularly mistreat him. Many villains are usually composed of Creepy Awesome characters who have excellent vocalization on the part of their actors, and tend to be the part many people think is worth watching. There's also the fact that some major villains on the show are portrayed in a very sympathethic light. Particularly Venom, who is actually Harry Osborn, who is genuinely a good person, who cannot control the symbiote and is easily the most sympathethic character on the show.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Most of the main cast, with the exception of Iron Fist; Nova and White Tiger are especially criticized for being this, the former for his hot-headed, abrasive personality and the latter for her nagging attitude toward Spider-Man. To an extent, even Spider-Man himself suffers this, mostly because his sense of humor seems closer to Deadpool's than that of the comic Spidey (whose comedy depends more on wit and dialogue more than zaniness).
    • Nova pretty much qualifies as the worst of them; he acts hot-headed and aggressive, has some strong moments of Too Dumb to Live and constantly disagrees with Spider-Man and puts him down even when Spidey does have a point. The worst part was probably his attitude toward Harry Osborn (see Tear Jerker).
    • The Spider-Cycle counts as an object-exemple of this trope; most fans think that the only reason Spider-Man was given a motobike was for merchandise purpose, and feel like it's essentially useless, considering he can web-sling. An excuse is given to justify, but it's generally considered a poor one.
      • It even gets this treatment in-universe from Hawkeye, who even lampshades how stupid it is to have a bike when you can web-sling.
    • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: While people still have problem with Spidey, he starts to get a bit more sympathy due to being the Butt Monkey for his team and actually acting like the Only Sane Man in some episodes.
      • Power Man was criticized as a Flat Character Big Guy, but his nightmare in "Strange" caused some to warm up to him, and his appearance in the next episode, "Awesome", further helped him out.
      • White Tiger, big time. Most fans saw her as the most obnoxious character after Nova for most of the show, but "Kraven the Hunter" gives her a very large Character Development, revealing her origin, and shows her actually expressing affection for Peter.
  • Shipping Goggles: More and more fans seem to be leaning to the pairing of Peter and Ava. Especially after the first episode made it a point that Peter and MJ will only be friends. Doesn't help (or hurt) that she purrs when she hugs him and that so far there is no Black Cat in sight.
  • So Okay, It's Average: While there is a Broken Base regarding Drake Bell as Spider-Man, consensus generally seems to be that he's a workable actor, capturing the youth of the character, with the only real problems being that he sometimes overacts and the show's writing being counter-intuitive to the performance. Some state that he'd probably be pretty good in another Spider-Man product.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Peter is constantly portrayed as wrong when he's talking about how he doesn't want to work on the team he's on, and is portrayed as a jerk for not wanting them to be his friends. As pointed out on Designated Hero, the big issue is that Peter has good reasons, such as having no personal space (Nick Fury even set up security cameras in his house) and his teammates keep finding some way to force themselves into his life without any consent on his part.
    • This comes up again in "The Incredible Spider-Hulk" where Fury acts like Spidey's whining again about his PR problem when it's clear that Jameson constant berating him has begun to affect his ability to fight crime.
  • Squick: The idea that the Green Goblin and Venom are related to Spidey due to the fact that his blood was used to make them can qualify.
    • In "Freaky," when Wolverine, in Peter's body, hit on Mary Jane, when you remember that he's supposed to be over 100-years-old (physically in his 30s), while she's still a teenager.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The more looks people got at the show's sense of humor, the more they worried about the possibility that the show wouldn't prove worth the wait.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Nova finally gets this when Spider-Man discovers in "Nightmares" that he is afraid of rabbits and uses it against him. And is not immediately punished for it.
    • Also, seeing Logan in Peter's body beating the crap out of Flash for attempting to bully him was possibly one of the most satisfying scenes.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: A lot, since the show seems determined to be as different as possible to any previous Spider-Man version made before. A lot of fans still can't handle the changes, and even those who are more open-minded tend to be annoyed by some drastic examples:
    • Spider-Man being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and part of a teenage superheroes team (despite being a loner with occasional honorary membership to the Avengers in the comic) broke the base before the show was even up. Learning two members of said team are adult superheroes in the comic that became teens for the series only made things worse. Some fans did argue this wasn't the first time, but at least Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends actually indicated he was part of a team in its very title.
    • The fact that classic Spider-Man villains are extremely rare, in favor of crossover episodes or villains from other superheroes' Rogues Galleries, such as the Frightful Four, the Juggernaut or Whirldwind (though some of them, such as Taskmaster and Beetle, were considered Badass and fitting enough to get Ensemble Darkhorse status);
    • And when actual Spider-Man villains show up, they will usually be drastically different than their classic well-known incarnation (Venom is a suit made of Spider-Man's DNA and has Harry Osborn as his host, Scorpion is a martial artist and more Iron Fist's enemy, and the list goes on)
    • Mary-Jane being turned into what some fans may see as a Lois Lane Expy with no romantic relationship with Peter so far.
    • The show's humor. Nothing else to say.
    • In a separate case, for fans of Avengers EMH, they might not like the very childlike Hulk in this show compared to the Genius Bruiser of the previous show.
    • The fact that Deadpool is voiced by Will Friedle instead of Nolan North caused many complaints.
  • They Copied It, Now It Sucks:
    • A frequent criticism from fans is that this show is trying way too hard to be a Teen Titans rip-off rather than an actual Spider-Man series. Which is rather ironic considering most opinions about the recent cartoon series.
    • One other criticism is about the show's humor. The random Cutaway Gags are a better fit for Family Guy.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • So far, Spider-Man's teammates are this; all of them are minor superheroes from the comic who had never appeared in an animated adaptation when the series started, two of them (Power Man and Iron Fist) are quite popular in the comic fanbase and one other (Nova) was gaining popularity due to his major role in the expanded Marvel cosmic universe. This could have been a great way to introduce those characters to a younger audience as well as their universe. But the series doesn't bother with exploring their background and origins, instead barely mentioning it, and their Character Development doesn't go beyond serving as Spider-Man's annoying sidekicks. As a result, they end up for most becoming a bunch of Scrappies in the eyes of most fans. It doesn't help that they want unconditional trust and teamwork from Peter when he clearly doesn't know much about them and they know next to everything about him... and they treat his best friend badly... and their "pranks" on him in the stingers are almost always Dude, Not Funny!, they don't respect that his deal with Fury is supposed to leave him with solo time, and the often act like their extra training should trump Spidey's extra experience even when it's usually shown it's the other way around.
    • Agent Coulson. Just look at the Badass Decay part of this list. Even though he improves, it doesn't change that the character doesn't belong in a Spider-Man series.
    • An actor example with J.K. Simmons as Jameson. Yes, you have the Ensemble Darkhorse of the Spider-Man Trilogy in this show... and yet all he's done so far is go "Spider-Man's a menace" without any of the humor that made him a fan favorite to begin with. It gets worse thanks to the fact that this version of Jameson typically bashes Spider-Man any chance he gets, yet goes on to praise any Spider-Man imitators that show up.
    • Taskmaster, in spades; the guy is a serious, menacing villain, Badass as hell, has a connection to S.H.I.E.L.D., want to be an Evil Mentor to Spider-Man, and actually fits in the web-crawler Rogues Gallery despite not being originally part of it. He hasn't shown up since his debut appearance (Episode 6, over thirty episodes have aired since; see They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot below). Taskmaster finally made a second appearance in "Ultimate Deadpool." (About 35 episodes after his debut appearance.) Unfortunately, he doesn't get to do much and gets quickly taken out by Deadpool.
    • Carnage. Despite the episode being titled after him, he is here for around a few minutes before Harry reclaims the symbiot to become Venom again, and is unlikely to come back.
    • Spider-Girl, who will appear in season 3 alongside many other Spider-Men, is already getting this due to her being simply a female version of Spider-Man (named Petra Parker) rather than the well liked May "May Day" Parker version of Spider-Girl.
    • Teen genius Amadeus Cho, well known and liked in the comics for his ability to solve any situation through his quick thinking and for letting the readers get to see the world as he sees it (with calculations on just about everything) is now simply a smart kid whose intellect is not as showcased as in the comics and rather than solving everything through his smarts and quick thinking, has simply become the new Iron Spider.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • "Why I Hate Gym" has a scene where Taskmaster, in an attempt to convince Spider-Man to join him as his apprentice, reveals he used to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. as well, but left after Nick Fury double-crossed him. Having Spider-Man questioning his trust in Fury, and considering quitting because of this, could have been a great plot device that would have brought Character Development to the three characters. But the episode instead focuses on Spidey and White Tiger trying to find a way to defeat Taskmaster, and Fury's double-crossing is never mentioned again.
    • And this isn't an isolated case; so far, Fury has been hinted to be responsible as well for both Scorpio (actually his brother Max) creating Zodiac and Sandman ending up nuts after he trapped him alone on an island for years. He never gets called out for his actions, and neither Spider-Man or his friends seem concerned with it.
    • The entire premise of the show. Spider-Man teaming up with other heroes could have worked great as Marvel's equivalent to Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but it ends up defeating the purpose by having him on a single team of jerkasses almost every episode and sometimes having him act like an annoying, incompetent idiot. If this show had taken place later in Spidey's career when he's a full-grown adult whose faced multiple villains, as well as having him team up with one hero each episode, this could have been the animated equivalent to Marvel Team-Up or The Avenging Spider-Man comics.
    • The episodes Carnage and House Arrest tease us with the possibilities of Harry, Green Goblin and Aunt May finding out Spider-Man's secret identity, only to not follow through with it. Never mind the fact that both Harry and Goblin knowing is a big part of the mythos and while Aunt May only knew for a relatively short period of time in the comics, many considered that to be one of the better decisions Marvel ever made with her character.
    • Norman Osborn's redemption story arc as Iron Patriot actually was pretty well-received and liked by the fans. It lasted around an episode, only to have Norman being turned back into the Goblin for the season finale.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Nick Fury clearly is intended by the writers to be seen as a Big Good and Reasonable Authority Figure, but many fans see him more like a Designated Hero Control Freak who basically blackmailed Peter into joining SHIELD and keeps not holding his side of the bargain.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The all-too-brief segment in the 2099 universe, animated in an ultra-slick full 3D. Makes you kind of wish they'd give Spider-Man 2099 his own series with that kind of animation.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Drake Bell as Spider-Man is one of the big ones. Many feel his voice is too young, cheerful and high pitched for Spidey. Will Friedle as Deadpool also suffers the same problems. Recently, Donald Glover as Miles Morales, who is supposed to be 13 yet sounds older than the 16 year old Peter Parker.
  • What an Idiot: Sadly, the main characters tend to often fall into this:
    • "Doomed": Soooo, they want to impress Fury by defeating a villain. Did they really have to choose Doctor Doom, one specifically known to be a Magnificent Bastard with diplomatic immunity? And by attacking his country first, without considering the fact it could qualify as an act of war? Of course, they pay the consequences at the end and learn their lesson, but still.
      • That's not even getting into how ridiculous it is that 5 rookies could take on Doctor freaking Doom, and, if they weren't grounded into paste, that he's not just playing them.
    • "Back in Black": Pretty much everyone beside Spider-Man and the villains acts like a total moron in this episode. The civilians immediately admire Black Spider-Man without considering the fact it might be the same with a different costume, Spider-Man is the only one to realize it might be Venom, and when he points out the similarities to his teammates, they reply it can't be because "Venom was huge while this is just a guy in a black suit", despite the fact they all know that Venom is a shapeshifter whose size changes according to his host.
    • "Freaky": Villain Mesmero has Mind Control powers, which mean he could have potentially (or at least try) take over Spidey's and Wolverine's mind to send them against each others, or have them commit suicide. All he could think about was sending civilians attack them, then make them switch bodies (proving they weren't immune to his powers, and as such meaning he had no reason to not try controlling them) just to screw with them. Talk about wasted potential...
    • Subverted in "Venomous": the team acts like Peter was this for not telling them Harry was Venom and trusting them to keep it a secret, but when you think about it he had a darn good reason not to. Especially since White Tiger is a massive S.H.I.E.L.D. fangirl — how was he to know she wouldn't go right to Fury or Coulson? Or that the other three wouldn't?
    • "Awesome": Why didn't Peter explain Coulson he couldn't do the science project because he was fighting Juggernaut instead of stealing one of Connor's experiments? Coulson knowns about his superheroing, he would have find a way to have him get away with it.
    • "Snow Day": Nova gets a prize for this one; seriously, how could he even think choosing a vacation place near the frikkin' Bermuda Triangle was a good idea? Even White Tiger points it out. Not to mention Nova mistaking the word "Classified" for... Classy.
      • The Bermuda Triangle part isn't so bad as in Real Life it has no more disappearances than any other well traveled part of the ocean. Hell anyone who's ever vacationed in the Bahamas has been in the Bermuda Triangle. Then again, this IS the Marvel Universe . . .
    • "Not a Toy": Spidey and the group accidentaly send Captain America's shield out of the Helicarrier. You'd think that Nova, the guy who can fly and break the sound barrier could go get it, but then we wouldn't have an episode.
    • Any episode: Even when Spider-Man is not losing his spider-sense for the sake of the humor, he has the bad habit of ignoring it anyway, no matter how strong it's tingling. He doesn't react to it in "Snow Day" until it's too late, and even ate a free hotdog despite his spider-sense clearly told him not to.
    • Harry Osborn is told by his father that Spider-Man is responsible for turning him into the Green Goblin. Does Peter say, "No, Harry, that was actually Doctor Octopus's fault?" Of course he doesn't. To be fair, Harry probably wouldn't have believed him. Interestingly enough, Spider-Man does tell Harry earlier in the episode that his dad got that way due to some nut-job employee.
    • If you think about it, Norman Osborn's treatment of Octavius could count as well. Seriously, if one of your scientists, even a friend, almost died from an lab accident, there are better ways to deal with the problem than taking the guy and keeping him sequestrated while making everybody believe he is dead...
    • Whoever's idea it was to build a security system that recognizes the occupants as intruders.
    • In "Sandman Returns", Andy the Android is now being used as a lab intern. Spider-man calls out the Cages on this, and they tell him that he can be useful if trained. About 1 minute later, he nearly blows up the lab.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • A common reaction to Drake Bell voicing Spider-Man. Though some will admit he's decent at it, it's often agreed that he's still nowhere near as good as Spidey's previous voice actors. It doesn't help that Josh Keaton actually auditioned to play Spider-Man in this series.
    • Not as extreme as Drake Bell, but many have this reaction to Will Friedle as Deadpool as well. It doesn't help that Nolan North, who usually voiced Deadpool, plays a different character in this series.
  • The Woobie:
    • Harry Osborn, becomes Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds as Venom.
    • Peter can be seen as this, due to his status as Butt Monkey and all the things done to him by his teammates, Fury or Flash.
    • Curt Connors, especially from the Season One finale onwards.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy