Season 2 makes it clear that he definitely knows more than he lets on and that he's surprisingly manipulative, though he's still a bit of a ditz. Which begs the question: Exactly how intelligent IS Wander?
'The Night Out' and 'The End of the Galaxy' paint one for Dominator. Is she really an irredeemable monster, or does she take her anger out on the universe because she is lonely and doesn't know what friendship is like? Also, did she really deny reforming in the finale, or did Wander get through to her? (at least to an extent) To add on to this, is she evil beause she is lonely, or is she lonely because of her being evil? Was her loneliness the cause of her evil? Or is she conflicted between her love for destruction and her desire for companionship?
Angst? What Angst?: Beeza and her species in "The Ball" had to constantly move from planet to planet to escape from Buster, who practically destroys not only the planet but all the hard work they had done in it. Sure, they treat it as routine, but it gets worse when she mentions that they have no planets left and they will just keep flying until they run out of fuel or food, whichever comes first.
More significantly, Wander is confirmed to be thousands of years old and he has likely outlived most of his past friends and companions. He certainly doesn't show it.
Awesome Ego: Lord Hater definitely, but to a lesser extent, Emperor Awesome fits this by trope and even more so by trope name.
Wander, the lead protagonist, has become this. Many fans love him and find his antics entertaining and fun, but others find him incredibly annoying and uninteresting compared to Lord Hater. (Though this has largely died down as of Season 2.)
Lord Dominator. For half the fanbase she's a breath of fresh air, a Genki GirlOmnicidal Maniac and a competent villain who poses a legitimate threat and remains immune to Wander's attempts at friendship and shipping with Hater. For the other half, she is considered a Villain Sue and a flat character, who has little to no development. Though this changes slightly towards the end of Season 2.
Lord Hater's change in personality between Seasons 1 and 2 is also subject to debate. To elaborate, in season 1, while still a Psychopathic Manchild whose tyranny is being diminished by his obsession with Wander, he is still a badass force to be reckoned with. In season 2, he has been reduced to a Big Bad Wannabe, his Psychopathic Manchild traits have been turned Up to Eleven, and he is incapable of performing the simplest of tasks without Peepers' assistance. (Who himself went through a similar reversed change between seasons, but has been very well-received.)
Bizarro Episode: "The Void", in which Wander and Sylvia visit a white space (think Michael Crichton's Sphere) where anything either of them dream up comes immediately true, and the rules of logic and common sense do not apply. It's pretty much non-stop insanity from start to finish.
"The Bad Neighbors" is essentially "What if this show was a cheesy sitcom starring Hater and Peepers with Emperor Awesome as the Sitcom Arch-Nemesis?"
The plot of The Battle Royale has stirred up the fanbase. Some have vocally expressed disgust of Wander trying to fix Hater up with Dominator after discovering her secret since it feels that Wander is using her as a tool to make Hater good. Others have looked over this problem and have faith that Dominator will still be her own person, and vicious threat to the galaxy, and it will lead up to Wander's own character development. The ending to the episode, too: Some are excited to see what will happen now that Hater has a crush on Dominator, other's are calling it a cop out and are worried the romance will take over the show. It later turns out that the latter is not the case.
Crazy Awesome: Wander, continually saving planets by basically acting like a complete goofball. Highlights include stopping a feud in "The Good Deed" by acting out an elaborate courtroom scene by himself and literally confusing everyone into submission, to saving an entire planet by wining a dance off in "The Party Animal".
In "The Boy Wander", Dr. Screwball Jones gets this with his tickle machine. Subjecting Tickle Torture on unwilling subjects, and then overpowering Hero!Wander in a fight? Deliberate Nightmare Fuel and suspense. Doing it while singing a polka Villain Song? Hilarious.
In "The Black Cube" when everyone where confessing their bad days, one of the gang of teenagers mentioned that he is suffering from a distinct case of ennui... but then he admitted that he use words he doesn't understand to sound important.
Lord Dominator slowly petrifying Emperor Awesome with cooled lava as he looks on in complete and utter fear is actually kind of horrifying. But then...
Awesome (afraid): Don't be like that babe! Come on, what about the good times? Hey... take it easy D!
Lord Dominator: That's Lord Dominator if you're nasty.
Dominator stopping to take a selfie with a crying Wander and Sylvia, who have Puppy-Dog Eyes as she prepares to destroy the last flower they've found.
Dominator performing a continuous fake-out with her drill just to scare the refugees over and over again in 'The End of the Galaxy'. Wander tells her its very emotionally exhausting.
Designated Hero: Wander in a few episodes. Heck, in "The Egg" he spends a good portion of it singing a song to Sylvia on how to nurture babies rather than actually helping her make the dangerous trek to the nest with the large egg, and in "The Showstoppers" he allows Hater to take a planet of bunny aliens hostage so that Hater can impress Dominator with his rock concert.
Peepers too. Although he is The Dragon and quite ruthless, he also earns sympathy for being a cute little eyeball that is good at his job and would have conquered the galaxy earlier if not for Hater's terrible leadership. He also spoke for so-called "nerds" everywhere in his Hannibal Lecture to Emperor Awesome.
The Black Cube was popular in the fandom ever since his episode debut, however after the episode "The Black Cube" he won the hearts of the fans.
Ripov was a one-off parody character who instantly became a fan-favorite.
An odd variant occurs with Giuseppe, the watchdog tailor from "The Eye on the Skullship". After a misspelling of his name on the Wander Over Yonder wiki, a fan character was created by the name of Jacepi the Watchdog, a bizarre, snake-obsessed weirdo who the fandom is absolutely in love with.
While mostly overlooked in favor of Lord Hater, Sylvia seems to be one of the more popular characters among the Furry Fandom.
Evil is Cool: Among the things in Lord Hater's army are catapults that launch flaming stone skulls and a giant robot. Emperor Awesome too.
Wander's backstory is hinted at throughout the second season but never revealed. Where did he come from? What was it that made him feel so helpless that he dedicated his life to helping others? We know that he's lived for a very long time, but what did he do during that time? What is his relationship with Dr. Screwball Jones? (The status of his backstory as Fanfic Fuel is even lampshaded and parodied in "The Legend".)
What happened to Sylvia's dad?
How did Hater and Peepers meet? For that matter, what is Hater's origin story? This was originally planned to be revealed in season 3 but since that is cancelled, it remains shrouded in mystery.
Fanon: Wander is often called a "star nomad". McCracken did call Wander "nomadic" and there's a star on his hat. This also became in-universe Fanon in "The Legend" when a girl talks about her fanfic of his origins.
Firefly Effect: It's rather telling that the show's popularity skyrocketed only when it was announced that it was going to be canceled.
Wanderers and Fallers get along very well, especially since Wander's space and planets motif is often crossed over with Mabel Pines.
The fandoms for Wander Over Yonder and Undertale are also on good terms with each other, thanks to the shared premise of befriending new faces as opposed to battling them, the quirky characters and settings, and off-the-wall humor. You will find no shortage of crossover fanart between the two across the Internet, with the characters from both universe either cosplaying or getting along fine with one another.
An odd inversion. In "Battle Royale" Wander defeats Dr. Screwball with a "Bang!" Flag Gun, prompting the latter to enact an overly dramatic death scene. Hilarious? Yes, only it recalls when the DCAU Joker died due to a Brainwashed and Crazy Robin shooting him with a lethal version of the gun. Bonus points for Wander being in his "grim and gritty" heroic mode.
Emperor Awesome hitting on Sylvia, especially Sylvia's reaction. Then Awesome tries the same on Dominator and gets coated in lava; then in the next episode "My Fair Hatey", being trapped in the dungeons, broken.
Sylvia in "The Egg" stubbornly refuses to be affectionate to the titular egg, which provides for a lot of gags as Wander through banjo tries to convince Sylvia to act more motherly until they return the egg to its nest. Then you learn that Sylvia ran away from home and has issues with her mother, and it can be very hard to watch her lack of affection.
Wander thinking he got Lord Dominator a cactus in "The Sick Day" becomes drastically tragic when in "The Flower" she chases him and Sylvia down just to destroy a flower they've rescued, and to take a selfie of them with Puppy-Dog Eyes and Broken Tears.
In the Wander Over Yonder shorts, Wander at one point does an accurate impression of Lord Hater and while in character ends up listing all the things that he and Hater end up doing together: "We'll have brunch together, throw a raging party, play songs, sing songs, maybe do a whole musical. Or perhaps I'll find love, and Wander will be so happy. And I'll make him my emergency contact-"
Sylvia perking up every time Wander sings "If You Wander Over Yonder" becomes this after learning she named him after capturing him for a bounty.
The Watchdogs clamoring for Andy's show in "Eye on the Skullship" after Hater forcibly cancels it becomes this in light of the fans doing the same thing on hearing the news that Wander Over Yonder was not renewed for a third season.
A magic green hat that gives you what you need, not necessarily what you want. Sounds familiar.
Keith Ferguson in this series plays Lord Hater, whose legitimately dangerous qualities are outdone by the fact he's kind of an insecure loser. He'd later go onto play Reaper, who is legitimately dangerous, but due to his "edgy" design and motivation that boils down to wanting people to pay attention to him, fans treat him like an insecure loser.
While we don't see an owner in "The Ball", Buster does have a dog tag with his name on it. So Beeza and her people have a new home until Buster's owner (or someone else) finds him and decides to give him a bath/flea dip. (Though it's possible Buster may have simply run away from home, and the Ballzarians seem to be alive as of season 2)
Stretching the definition of "inferred", the number of planets that Lord Dominator has destroyed has led to an onslaught of refugees and survivors seeking sanctuary. "The Secret Planet", "The Show Stopper", and "The Legend" actively shows the consequences.
Internet Backdraft: The show being canned after two seasons have enraged people and are going out of their way to convince Disney to resurrect it back, especially considering the reason for the cancellation: The executives felt 80 episodes were enough for the show. This has not gone well for fans.
Lord Hater. He's proven himself to be a very evil and ruthless individual, but he's also a socially awkward Butt Monkey. Certain episodes also imply that he's only evil because he's trying to compensate for his insecurities and really just wants to be popular.
Commander Peepers. Evil bad guy and ruthless second-in-command? Yes. Butt Monkey whose boss is a Man Child and has only recently come to appreciate him? Also yes.
The Black Cube of Darkness may be a soul-stealing Eldritch Abomination, but after the events of "The Black Cube" it is easy to see why he turned out that way. He is staying at a run-down apartment that he can barely afford rent because he has a crappy job at a fast food joint, his girlfriend dumps him, his lack of hands makes even the simplest of tasks a chore, and everyone either hates or fears him because of his power. Even when he saves one of the punks harassing him, a mob forms to attack him. Luckily, things seem to be looking up for him in the end.
Whether Dominator qualifies for this is up for debate. In "The End of the Galaxy", she's revealed to be excessively lonely, and despite the fact that she enjoys torturing others, she's still desperate for companionship. Her Villainous Breakdown at the end of the episode also implies that she has problems with being emotionally vulnerable. However, given all the atrocities she's committed, and the fact that she actually turns down Wander's offer of friendship, there are fans who refuse to sympathize with her.
On the heroic side of things, Sylvia kind of qualifies as a Jerkass Woobie herself. Sure, she's stern and hot-tempered and she used to be a nasty bounty hunter but there's episodes like The Pet, Timebomb and The Hat which will make you feel bad for her despite her temperamental nature.
Janet from "The Lonely Planet". Yes, she's a mentally unstable Yandere who tries to murder Sylvia but she's also extremely lonely and desires companionship.
A lot of Jack McBrayer's fans took an interest in the show in the first place specifically because he voices Wander.
A lot of fans who don't like Wander or Sylvia but love Lord Hater will only watch the Lord Hater episodes.
Lord Dominator's song "I'm the Bad Guy" went viral on Tumblr (at over 50,000 notes), earning her many new fans who had never watched the show, many of whom only intend on watching the episodes with Dominator in them.
Love to Hate: Fans love Lord Hater, with some even saying that he makes a better protagonist than Wander. Craig McCracken eventually confirmed this was his intent.
Dominator gets this more than almost any other character.
From "The Picnic", Wander carefully scooting down the side of the crater.
Lord Hater is a reaction face gold mine.
Wander taking selfies.
It's quite common on Tumblr for fans to take clips from the show (that involve notable movement) and sync them up to popular songs or pieces of music. Usually the first shot of Wander in the opening, where he's walking with changing backgrounds. This meme even resulted in an official Wander over Yonder promo set to Quest to the Hall of the Mountain King
Photoshopping Lord Hater's face onto gifs of other skeleton characters.
A Freeze-Frame Bonus in "The Waste of Time" gave birth to the (surprisingly convincing) theory that Lord Hater was once an astronaut monkey. This spawned a series of "Lord Hater is a monkey" fanart. Even the creators have caught on to this!
Captioning goofy gifs and screencaps of Lord Hater with "The Embodiment of Satan".
Photoshopping Lord Dominator's selfie face from "The Flower" onto tragic or horrifying scenes, usually from Disney movies. These are appropriately known as "Misery selfies".
A misspelling of the name "Giuseppe" on the Wander Over Yonder wiki has led to the creation of the fan-character Jacepi the (snake-obsessed) Watchdog.
In "The Tourist", Trudi crosses it when she pops Wander's bubble and leaves him to die in space.
In "The Bot", we all lose our sympathy for Dominator when she executes Bot 13/Beep Boop after undergoing its Heel–Face Turn. It serves as a reminder that despite her silliness and annoyance with Hater, Dominator is still a serious and threatening villain.
Brad Starlight crosses it in "The Hotshot" when he and his cousin plan to kill Wander and Sylvia for realizing Brad is the Fake Ultimate Hero Hotshot.
Narm: Prince Cashmere from "The Troll" episode is a tough and brave goat warrior... then he opens his mouth and out comes Patrick Star's voice.
The art style and overall tone of the show really takes away the spookiness "The Heebie Jeebies" tries to set up.
The song "The Commander's Last Command" from "The Axe" contains such silly lyrics as "a sandwich took our planets". Does this make the song any less heartwrenching? Hell no.
The episode "The Black Cube" is about a floating black cube's spiraling depression. The episode has a sense of silliness given the main character but the episode's continuous Humiliation Conga and oppressive atmosphere successfully makes it rather sad.
Despite Cashmere's voice actor, as stated above, he remains a relatively popular character in the fandom.
The pink and green alien who appears at around 0:19 in the theme song has quite a bit of fan-art for a character who has never appeared in the show.
The two-headed fruit bartender from 'The Bad Guy' has a ton of fanart, moreso than any of the other characters in that episode.
The drill sergeant and Giuseppe the Watchdog tailor in "Eye on the Skullship".
Ted from Accounting.
The Willhelm Warbler.
Ms. Myrtle the space turtle.
Paranoia Fuel: In "The Lonely Planet", we meet a planet who is not only alive, but can control the weather, plant growth, and plate movement, and use those to harm people. How do we know the other planets in this universe (including ours) aren't like this?
In "The Sky Guy", we see a roughly tennis-ball sized planet full of small people that exists within a small orb. Said small people have no idea of the universe that exists outside of their orb. How do we know that we aren't in that exact same position?
Rooting for the Empire: As of "The Cool Guy" and Peepers' Hannibal Lecture to Emperor Awesome about how "nerds" get things done in the world, at least one viewer is rooting for Commander Peepers to spread evil through the galaxy.
Hater's speech in "The End Of The Galaxy" is so damn epic it's almost IMPOSSIBLE not to root for him!
Despite Wander insisting that Jones' thinks he's in the right, Jones himself acts like a typical villainous clown, excitedly proclaiming his plot as being 'foul.' The only real indication he gives about his skewed worldview comes off as a typical We Can Rule Together speech.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: "The Robomechabotatron" is about the main 4 working together to fight Dominator in a giant robot battle, right? Nope. They can't set aside their differences and end up destroying the titular robot in the end. Lord Dominator is understandably peeved about the lack of a fight. Although seeing as how a third season was planned, this may have been meant to show that the main 4 characters still have a long way to go in terms of character development.
Although almost all the minor characters from past episodes showed up in "The End of the Galaxy", they barely interact with each other, or even get to fight the Dom-Bots onscreen for that matter.
Too Good to Last: The show's cancellation was officially announced after the very well received My Fair Hatey.
The opening sequence, showing off the sheer variety to every character and world introduced in the show, repeatedly cycling through different backdrops and aliens- each of which feels different to the last. It's a real testament to the creativity and imagination behind the show.
Wander and Emperor Awesome's dance off in "The Party Animal" has some very fluid animation.
Wander and Screwball's duel in "The Boy Wander" has amazing lighting usage that lends a sinister air to this otherwise silly fight scene.
Hater's and Dominator's fight in "The Battle Royale" is brilliantly animated and action-packed.
"My Fair Hatey" is full of this. One notable example is "I'm The Bad Guy", Dominator's Villain Song which is animated very smoothly.
Wander at times, especially his helpless persona in "The Wanders" and "The Hole Lotta Nuthing". The reveal that he's almost immortal and has outlived almost all his past friends only adds on to this. Many fans have wondered how he even has the strength to go on.
Sylvia as well; in "The Night Out" she risks her life to save an alien that "D," actually Dominator in disguise, tossed down a pit of doom and learns from Wander who D was, after spending the night with her. Also in "The Sick Day" she bends over backwards to fill in for Wander while he's sick, getting mauled by Captain Tim twice, by Awesome's tigers once, by Dominator's bots in a stampede, and more. All of this while trying to make sure Wander stays in bed and rests, and then has to contend with a lovable space turtle the size of a planet, who threatens to destroy the universe unless Sylvia gets rid of Wander's snickerdoodles. In a less Butt Monkey way, she's also had a pretty bad past. Her father died when she was young and she had a poor relationship with her mother. This led to her running away and becoming a bounty hunter and a galactic criminal. It's clear Sylvia feels ashamed of we past and wishes to move on.
Wander's Hat gives the wearer whatever they truly need, but in "The Bad Hatter", it's revealed that the Hat can be tortured into giving the wearer whatever they WANT. It's also revealed that the Hat has had a history of being tortured for its power before Wander came along.