In his first comic adventure, Popeye takes 16 gunshot bullets before succumbing to his injuries. Then he rubs the magic whiffle hen enough to where it not only heals him and rejuvenates his strength, it makes him invincible—when his foe tries to shoot him again, Popeye merely walks towards him, completely unfazed by the bullet, and delivers a devastatingly powerful punch right to his face.
Popeye's fight with Bluto. Unlike the cartoons, where Bluto keeps winning up until Popeye munches on some spinach, this fight went on for several strips. And Popeye won not by eating his Trademark Favorite Food, but with his Twisker Punch.
In one sunday, Roughhouse comes up with a great way to get rid of Wimpy, he ties a basket to a dog, puts a hamburger in the basket, and sends the dog running out of town, with Wimpy in hot pursuit. Just as Roughhouse is gloating at his clever, Wimpy walks in, basket under his arm, and eating the hamburger with his free hand. "Gentlemen, I am loathe to exercise, but when there is a hamburger at stake, I am strong of heart and fleet of foot!"
The Bobby London Popeye comics take Popeye's Nigh-InvulnerabilityUp to Eleven in the "Popeye's Apocalypse" story arc, where Popeye survives all of existence being wiped out by the Supreme Jeep. His only explanation for this is "I eats me spinach." Also doubles as a Funny Moment.
Whenever Popeye eats the spinach, awesomeness has got to come out of it. Bonus points if "Yankee Doodle" or "Stars and Stripes Forever" is playing.
Any time someone other than Popeye eats the spinach has got to be awesome.
In the pilot short, Popeye halts an oncoming train by punching it. It's a moment so iconic that the film series would go on to repeatedly homage it - shot for shot - again and again in later shorts, even once using it to directly compare Popeye to Superman in "She-Sick Sailors."
Before that, Bluto tried to stop Popeye from chasing him by cutting down a rope bridge across a large chasm. How does Popeye work around it? He grabs the bridge rope, and lassoes it around a tree on the other side. But that's not the awesome part—he doesn't swing across with it, he pulls the entire cliff all the way over to his side. And this was without his spinach!
The entirety of "Can You Take It?" is one big CMOA. Basically Popeye wants to join Bluto's tough guys club and he decides to try to kill him through various "initiation" tests. Among them is getting shoved into an iron maiden, which Popeye manages to break all the nails on. Oh yeah, did I mention he beats them all WITHOUT dipping into his spinach?
From "Hospitaliky", Popeye's method of getting medical attention from Nurse Olive: force-feeding Bluto the spinach and allowing him to beat him up.
In that same short, the thieves try to feed Popeye to a shark, but Popeye takes it out with two hits that seals its mouth closed with its own fangs. What really puts this above his usual badassery is that he hadnt even eaten his spinach yet!
After taking down the 40 thieves, Hassan charges at him with a spear. Popeye knocks the thieving bastard into a huge trunk which locks him inside. Then, Popeye forces Hassan and his men to drag their ill-gotten riches back to civilization by foot, where Popeye and friends are met with a cheering crowd of the thieves victims.
Popeye: I may be a shorty, but I licked the 40, I'm Popeye the Sailor Man! *toot toot!*
Popeye taking down an entire enemy fleet in "The Mighty Navy".
Props to Bluto for pulling off his plan in that cartoon too. He knew Popeye always beat him up after eating spinach. So, what did he do? He destroyed all of the spinach in the world!
Olive whacking Bluto with an entire log in "Axe Me Another".
In "Seeing Red, White, and Blue"... POPEYE AND BLUTO ACTUALLY FOUGHT JAPANESE SPIES TOGETHER! Bluto may be a big bearded bully, but he's an AMERICAN big bearded bully!
Popeye taking down the entire Japanese navy single-handedly in "You're a Sap, Mr. Jap".
Olive Oyl actually gets one in Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor, when she will have none of Sinbad's sleazy attempts at wooing her, and attempt to smack the beard right off his face. It doesn't do much, due to how strong Sinbad is, but Olive definitely puts up a fight against him.
On that topic, Sinbad himself, because although he is the villain, he lives on an island full of monsters he has subdued with his bare hands, including a two headed giant that acts mean as hell, but cowers in fear just from having Sinbad raise his voice to them.
And of course, Popeye, who takes out both Sinbad's Roc bird and the two headed giant, before even having dipped into his spinach.
Popeye's fight with Sinbad, even before the spinach, like when he hides in a tree and gives Sinbad one hell of a black eye. Of course, eventually he's outmatched and forced to break out the spinach, at which point Sinbad gets a feel of what it's like getting knocked around by a superior foe.
Popeye unknowingly interrupting Sinbad's Villain Song at the start.
Sinbad: Who's the most remarkable, extraordinary sailor-
Popeye: *offscreen* 'I'm Popeye The Sailor Man!
Sinbad/Random Dragon: O_O
Olive gets a moment of awesome in the second episode "I Yam What I Yam"; when an onslaught of savage Indians is attacking her cabin, she's able to hold them off for a bit by blocking both of the doors by propping her legs between them, and when they do break in, she still manages to put up an impressive fight against all of them.
"A Dream Walking" and "Paneless Window Washer" could be considered this for the studio, with their complicated perspective gags and the very precise timing and attention to detail required for the sequences to work.
Sweepea gets his own moment in "Lost and Foundry"; when Popeye and Olive are in danger of being crushed to death, Sweepea, who was indirectly the cause of their situation, eats Popeye's lost can of spinach and pulls a stunning rescue of them from the machine! He then carries them both out of the factory while singing Popeye's song!
Popeye telling Olive Oyl off at the end of "Beware of Barnacle Bill" for her fickle ways;
"I changed me mind so you could wed "Your Barnacle Bill the sailor "You're nothin' but a cabbage head "Ev'ry dame's a selfish cat "They only turn and leave ya flat "Just the way you did to that "Poor Barnacle Bill the sailor. Goodbye!"
"What- No Spinach?" is one for Wimpy, as it's one of the very few times he resembles his comic-counterpart. A waiter at Bluto's Restaurant, Wimpy is unable to mooch meals while under Bluto's watchful eyes. When Popeye comes in for a meal, Wimpy secretly applies some Red Pepper Sauce to create a Fire-Breathing Diner, causing Popeye to try to walk out. Seeing a customer leave without paying prompts Bluto to shake the sailor down for the bill, starting a fight. The ensuing brawl allows Wimpy to get to Bluto's food safe unhindered, and he leaves the remains of the diner with a Balloon Belly, wreathed in edibles, and munching on the burger Bluto confiscated from him earlier.
Wimpy:I adore you, hamburger mine!
Popeye's fist firing out of the water to sock Bluto, after Bluto forcefeeds him raw canned spinach.
Popeye shoving the much-hated tax collector into the ocean is both this and a Funny Moment. The entire town comes out to cheer Popeye on for doing it!
Another example of people undermining the tax-collector also happens earlier in the film where Wimpy, despite being a well-known conman with selfish tendencies, tries to convince a patron at the restaurant, that hes trying to con into paying for a hamburger, to ignore the tax-collectors demands. Granted, the tax-collector got payback by taking his hamburger, but its still pretty nice to see Wimpy, in his own way, stand up for the underclass.
During the Rough House Brawl, Mort throws a punch at Popeye. Popeye catches it in flight, and then proceeds to beat the man's face with his own knuckles. Holy crap.
Bluto was a walking engine of destructive awesome in this flick. He's established as The Dreaded early on, as townspeople, including his prospective bride Olive's family, speak of him in hushed whispers. His first actual appearance shows him initiating a curfew by basically screaming at the whole town to shut off their damn lights and go to bed (which they swiftly do). During Popeye's barroom brawl at Roughhouse's restaurant, while everyone else is running for cover, Bluto merely sits at his private table, calmly finishing his meal completely unfazed and barely interested. And the wedding reception. He terrifies all the guests with his mere menacing presence (including Oxblood Oxheart, who even dwarfs Bluto), and they all fall over themselves kissing his ass with flattery and support during his "She loves me. she loves me not" routine. Then Bluto loses it and friggin' DEMOLISHES the Oyls' home with his bare hands. Bonus points for the special attention he gives Ham Gravy (Olive's ex), literally squishing him and stuffing him into a chair upside down. THEN Popeye and Olive arrive, with an unexplained BABY in tow. The Curb-Stomp Battle of all Curb-Stomp Battle ensues, involving Bluto sending Popeye flying twice (at one point Popeye's doing cartwheels!), and pounding the sailor into the ground at the end like a tent peg. And the final battle. Bluto's handling Popeye easily, and only loses when he snatches the Villain Ball in the form of a can of spinach tossed by Poopdeck Pappy, and force feeds it to Popeye in a last act of cruelty, setting up his own eventual downfall.
Many fans were dismayed by Popeye's eschewing of spinach in this film, but he was undoubtedly badass throughout the course of the story without it. He handily dispatches the Roughhouse toughs in the beginning, defeats the hulking boxing champion Oxblood Oxheart with his famous Twisker Punch, and to the surprise of all, survives the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown administered by an enraged, murderous Bluto, even saying he doesn't blame him at the end.
Popeye speedbags the face of one of the Roughhouse thugs with technique that would put Rocky Balboa to shame.
Dudes, Popeye punches the octopus so hard, it flies into the air so high it probably starved to death before it came back down.