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YMMV / Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters

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  • Awesome Music: The show's theme song — written by all three of the show's developers — is a very heroic tune, and you will be humming it to yourself all day.
  • Bizarro Episode: "Biomass" pits the Flex Fighters against talking plants, who have no connection to Stretch Monster. Chris "Doc" Wyatt has explained that this episode exists mainly to give Walter Koenig, the voice of the kids' botany teacher and the titular plant monster, more to do.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Riya being revealed as Blindstrike. She openly expressed dislike for the Flex Fighters when Jake tried asking her out, she was a pretty flat despite how much focus was given to her, and her talk to Jake about balancing her social life with her private life was practically Five-Second Foreshadowing. Now that the Flex Fighters know this secret, everyone at Hasbro seems to have pretty much given up trying to hide it, including Victor Cook; the figure also has an un-advertised unmasking feature.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Considering the creators previously worked on three different Spiderman shows , comparisons to the characters and settings were rather inevitable. Even then, they are reminiscent of other projects. For example:
    • Jake himself is an obvious one to Spiderman, being an adorkable teenage boy who tries to balance his personal life with his superhero life, and has powers that allow him to swing around pretty much anywhere. He's also reminiscent of Robin from Teen Titans , mainly due to sharing the same voice actor .
    • Ricardo is like a more fleshed out version of Luke Cage, being the snarky, big guy of the group with his own personal issues. Ogie Banks even voices both of them.
    • Nathan has a personality like Spiderman, while his wing stretching powers are reminiscent of the Vulture (only Nathan is a hero).
    • Jonathan Rook is like Max Modell, being a reasonable authority figure in a high position of power who's encouraging of his young protégés. However, with the reveal that he's Stretch Monster, he's more like Norman Osborn, someone who maintains a good public image but is actually a villain. His Stretch Monster form even looks quite a bit the Green Goblin. His publicly slandering the heroes gives him some shades of J. Jonah Jameson.
    • The Freak Sisters having long, stretchy hair that they can weaponize is not too far off from how Doctor Octopus' powers operate. Them also being professional thieves who are young and playful is reminiscent of the Double Dare twins .
    • Quick Charge is like a gender flipped Electro, having electricity powers and having once been a normal person who worked for a prominent corporation.
    • Jake's father Mark Armstrong is much like Gary Cole's own Mayor Jones , being a stern, but loving and single father to a blond haired protagonist. They do differ a bit in that Mark has genuine affection for his son while Mayor Jones became corrupted due to the Planispheric Disk, though he eventually turned around via Cosmic Retcon. In addition, Mark doesn't know Jake is a Flex Fighter while Mayor Jones knows about Fred's mystery solving team.
    • Smokestack has a visual resemblance to the Rhino due to being grey and heavyweight , while having a crime boss background and personality more in line with Yakone . It's no coincidence that Clancy Brown voices all three of them.
    • Nathan's crush Erika visually resembles fellow redhead Mary Jane Watson (albeit with glasses), while having a more adorkable personality in line with Gwen Stacy. Much like the Ultimate Spider-Man incarnation of MJ, she's also exposed to a substance that gives her powers.
    • Concept wise, the Charter City School Of Leadership And Success is a lot like Horizon High, being science oriented schools for young prodigies reaching their greatest potential.
    • Riya is similar to GoGo , being a snarky, sarcastic girl of an ethnic background. With the reveal that she's Blindstrike, who's been trying to expose Rook's corruption, and the fact that her weapon is also bladed, she plays this much straighter.
    • As of season 2, Officer Reynolds has mannerisms similar to Yuri Watanabe, being a higher up authority figure who secretly helps out the heroes. Given how Kane and Rook turned out, it's pretty much guaranteed that he'll play this role.
    • Kane is like Harvey Bullock, a jerk with a heart of gold type authority figure who does what he can to do good. However, with the reveal that he's Number One, the leader of the Tech Men, he's more like a child friendly version of the Batman: Gotham by Gaslight version of James Gordon, aka Jack The Ripper, someone who wants to bring order to the city, but does so through immoral means.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Brick and Mortar earned some popularity, due to completely inverting the trope idea that two silly dudes can't also be capable of delivering an immediate Curb-Stomp Battle to the protagonists, their likable banter and close friendship, and their endearing goal of wanting to help people with the very device they're inventing. Certainly helps that they're voiced by Wayne Knight and Troy Baker.
    • Similarly, Mechanica is pretty popular as well among the season two antagonists, due to her cool design, the implementation of a formerly used background character, and her devotion to Rook.
    • Outside of the villains, Malouf is pretty popular despite his minimal lines, simply for his ability to completely destroy two armored robots on his own despite having no superpowers.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Blindstrike's Origins Episode leaves some holes that the viewers could fill, unless season three fills them.note 
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In "The Gangs of Old Town", Kane teaches that it takes courage to change for the better, while only cowards settle for disorder. This sounds less inspirational in season two, when Kane leads the Tech Men in a scheme to mind-control everyone in Charter City into fulfilling their standards for peace.
      Kane: ...sometimes the most frightening path is the one that's best.
    • In "Lie Sandwich", Jake wishes aloud that Rook were his father, shortly before he and his friends get a call from him. When Nathan picks up his phone, he comments, "Speak of the devil..." After "The Age of Flexarium", Rook/Stretch Monster seems more like a devil than someone who'd make a cool dad. Additionally, season two reveals that this story has Jake both tell lies, and fall for one.note 
    • In "Endgame", Riya explains to Jake that "school stuff mixed in with mom stuff" stresses her out. Season two elaborates that Stretch Monster killed Riya's parents, so Riya became Blindstrike in order to avenge them. In between those two episodes, a fan theory interpreted "mom" to refer to Dr. C, who does seem like a rather tough commander and trainer for Riya/Blindstrike as the viewers learn more about their relationship.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • Nathan's and Erika's discussion in "The Endgame" about her adjusting to transferring to the Academy gains some poignancy with all the curveballs they endure in the next season:
      Nathan: Change is tough.
      Erika: But sometimes, it's necessary.
    • "The New Normal" has a line that also takes on new meaning with those curveballs, originally referring to the unpredictability of Erika's cat circus:
      Erika: Sometimes the best things in life are unplanned.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Stretch guessing that Mr. Savic is Blindstrike gains one level of hilarity in episode #12, which reveals Blindstrike as a young woman, not an old man, and another one in episode #18, when Mr. Savic becomes the Monster of the Week.
  • It Was His Sled: The first season finale reveals that Rook is Stretch Monster . Go to any forum or video on the internet, and it'll be a major point of discussion. Despite this, the description for his figure hides this more effectively than the description for Blindstrike's figure does that character's secret.note 
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Some of the villains with more sympathetic motives can be seen this way. One good example is Multi Farious aka Don Robertson. Yeah, he's impulsive and has anger issues, but he's also had to put up with the poor treatment Rook gave him both before and after his transformation.
    • Believe it or not, Rook is also this, as of season 2, even with the moral event horizon mentioned below. While a corrupt figure, he also had to deal with the death of his terminally mother, and was rejected by the Episicon society that could've helped him become more successful.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Rook gradually gains control of almost all the parts of Charter City, a city that he essentially rebuilt from the ground up to begin with.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Stretch Monster crosses it in "Age of Flexarium" After the Flex Fighters assume he was destroyed in the explosion, Rook offers them gourmet snow cones to celebrate. After revealing he's Stretch Monster, he also reveals he poisoned their snacks so that they'd be unable to interfere any longer.
      • He crosses it again in the season 2 finale. Despite the Jerkass woobie entry above, he, just as Rook and without transforming, erases the Flex Fighters' footage of him confessing that he's Stretch Monster, and blames the Flex Fighters for working with the Tech Men. He also knocks out Dr. C.
    • The last few episodes of season 2 do this for Kane. He's revealed to be the leader of the Tech Men, whose goal is to bring order and discipline to the city even resulting in using the Smart Marks, aka mind control , to keep people in line.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • People familiar with Stretch Armstrong from the 90's are surprised to not see Vac-Man as the Big Bad instead of Stretch Monster, who was Stretch's original Arch-Enemy from the 70's.
    • A countdown of the best cartoons to watch on Netflix listed Stretch Armstrong as the first one with an interactive episode, even though Puss in Boots and Buddy Thunderstruck already showed off this technology.
  • Padding: The 44-minute, non-interactive version of "The Breakout", shown on devices unable to let viewers choose the directions, picks some of the obviously stupid-sounding choices (e.g., fighting Multi-Farious without putting gear on first), so that the viewer could see both scenarios.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Any hints the show planted about who leads the Tech Mennote  seem very subtle. For instance, "Rise of the Tech Men" features the Tech Men breaking into and hacking Rook Unlimited rather easily, as if they had a guy on the inside, and Kane focusing more on catching Stretch than on stopping the Tech Men.
  • Spiritual Successor:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Reveal of who exactly leads the Tech Men frustrated viewers who wished that the show either never turned this character evil, or tried harder to make the reveal feel less abrupt.
  • Win the Crowd: Victor Cook becoming the Executive Producer and Supervising Director helped generate interest.
  • The Woobie:
    • All the main characters fall into this. For Jake, he has the struggle with trying to be a hero and maintain his social and personal life. For Nathan, there's him trying to stand out in his family, and his confidence issues. Ricardo suffers from abandonment issues. Season two reveals that Riya still grieves her parents dying while she was just a little girl, because Stretch Monster/Rook took down the plane transferring the couple and Dr. C to another lab.
    • Brick and Mortar are a rare villainous example that doesn't fall under Jerkass Woobie. The reason they robbed banks was because they needed money to fund a teleporter . The fact that they have an engaging dynamic like that of friends, and they intended to return the money, helps their case out.