In the first game, Shantae needs to get help from her friends and other NPCs to unlock the dungeons. The methods they choose to do so can be pretty silly:
For the Dribble Fountain, Bolo flings his weapon which bounces around everywhere before hitting the eye above the door.
For the Golem Mines, Sky's bird Wrench literally acts as a wrench, screwing in two gems along the wall to unlock the door.
For the Cackle Mound, Rottytops detaches her leg and uses it as a makeshift lockpick.
And finally for the Twinkle Palace, the Bandit Town Genie just smacks the gate with her hip, which unlocks it.
The Cackle Mound has a set of puzzles where you must knock eyes into a robot to make it open its mouth to drop a key. One of the later robots doesn't immediately drop a key, as you need to redirect where it's staring until it's looking at a specific thing. What will make it drop the key from its mouth? The statue of a half-naked girl.
During the ending, when the mayor learns that Shantae is only a half-genie, what is his first thought?
Mayor: Could I get you for half price?
Risky's ship is called the 'Steam-Powered Oceanic Tinker Tub'... which abbreviates to 'S.P.O.T.T.', one letter off from a hilariously common dog name.
Shantae thanking Barracuda Joe for his generosity in Risky's Revenge.
Shantae: Thanks Barracuda Joe! You're a lifesaver! (Kiss!) Barracuda Joe: Don't say "kiss" to me unless you're actually givin' me a kiss. Otherwise it's just words. Okay? Shantae: Ok. (Kiss!) Barracuda Joe: Ok, yer doing it again. Get going.
The increasingly grandiose rant of the chef girl in the Forest if you refuse to give Wobble Bell back.
Chef Girl: You're right. That's probably not my pup. Oh, Wobble Bell! If only I knew where he went! He probably felt that I took him for granted and left to find some other chef to inspire! And now, they are making wondrous dishes together and traveling the world. And let's be honest. I was taking him for granted. I rarely even fed him. And when he wanted attention I'd just push him aside and focus on my culinary arts. But now he's moved on, and my fate is sealed. Sure, I'll cook, at first out of habit. But eventually I'll become a heartless automaton, marrying the first man that takes interest and I'll cook and I'll cook. People will come for miles to try my recipes, I'll be famous, and the world will become reliant on my food. Then Wobble Bell and I will meet at random and it will be awkward. I'll bury my feelings until one day I crack. And that will be it. I'll give up cooking and the world will have nothing to eat, and every living thing will starve and die out. The land will grow cold and life as we know it will cease. Oh Wobble Bell, please come back.
Shantae's Mermaid form is unsurprisingly awkward on land, only able to clumsily flop her way along on her belly. To make things even more hilarious though it the fact that there's an actual achievement obtained by crossing an entire level, on land, as a mermaid, which is incredibly ridiculous as Shantae can only move at less than half her normal walk speed and the jumping controls are very difficult. It's bound to be a very slow journey indeed...
After defeating the Ammo Baron in the intro mission, Shantae is arrested by the Royal Guards and has her "Scuttle Town Guardian" status revoked. They serve her a Court Summons, which she holds up cheerfully like any other key item (complete with Item Get! jingle), even though she knows she's about to be placed on house arrest.
After the first boss battle, Shantae has been through quite a day and decides to take a nice bath to relax and unwind.
In Saliva Island, the path to the first Den of Evil opens up by helping a man get a Petrify Spell to bring back his wife turned into stone. Using the spell ends up turning the man into a stone as well, and the sheer weight of both of them causes a hole to open to the dungeon. Shantae can only mutter an embarrassed murmur—
It gets even better when Sky's dad brings a mummy coffin and has Joe read what it says there. Joe ends up being cursed to the bone by turning into stone, which makes Sky say this:
Sky: You want me to stay single forever!
Which is immediately followed by this, implying that something this bad has happened before:
Sky's Mom: Oh dear. Another boyfriend down the drain...
Later on, when Shantae helps Barracuda Joe out of his problem (while also doing a Brick Joke of the other incident she caused much earlier) and Sky voices her eternal gratitude to Shantae...Joe blankly dumps her and walks out of her house, much to her annoyance.
Sky:COME BACK AND MARRY ME, YOU SCUMBAG!!!
In the credits of the game, Sky seems to have found a new crush in Brandon, complete with Bolo looking annoyed and her parents spying on them from behind a house.
Piecing together the three mummy drawings has Shantae comment that they seem to be in a 'very specific pattern'... which may be at odds if the randomly-generated combination is "FISH FISH FISH"
The Squid Baron spends the first half of the game depressed due to "post-boss syndrome" and you have to keep cheering him up until you eventually fight him at the end of the Lost Catacombs dungeon. The battle begins with him giving an impassioned speech about how he's finally embraced his destiny as a filler boss, and he gets his own frantic music as well as an armored second phase announced with "SQUID BARON 2.0" scrolling across the screen and him holding up sparklers. The battle ends up completely invigorating his fighting spirit and he becomes excited at the prospect of becoming a palette swap or a Degraded Boss.
Squid Baron: Answer me this. How much map have you traveled? How full are your pockets? About half, right? Halfway full? Filler boss. It's my destiny. I see that now. I won't try to escape it.
Shantae: You're scaring me...
Squid Baron: You and me both. But I won't hide from fate! I'm going to be the best filler boss of all time! Old hat! Recycled moves! All of it! Bring it on, sister! Let's boogie down!
After beating him, he insists that there's no hard feelings between himself and Shantae. Then he gives her a map to the next island, which notably contains a gateway to Sequin Land's version of Hell. Mixed messages, much?
Shantae feeling jealous and depressed about Brandon's epic adventures. She defines herself as being a bad influence for having a bad temper and dressing inappropriately.
Obtaining Risky's... Boots?
When Risky gets taken by the Pirate Master late in the game, Shantae immediately raids Risky's closet again, complete with hilariously bad pirate-speak when commanding the Tinkertub!
You fix the light puzzle on Saliva Island by getting two extremely white girls to take their clothes off, so that the light reflects off of them brightly enough to activate the machinery. Tell me that's something you read everyday.
Triggering this means finding a large supply of water they can relax in. The solution? Going to the giant lizard above them and making it drool in a never-ending stream as large as a waterfall!
They will also comment on how weird the "water" feels. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view) you never get the chance to tell them why...
The Tan Line Temple stage sets the stage for a hilarious joke. When Shantae enters, the temple's residents mistake her for their missing princess, and forced into a Chainmail Bikini for her upcoming coronation (Which she calls being "dressed like a Space Princess", in a Shout-Out to the Slave Leia scene from Return of the Jedi.). During her escape, she learns that Risky Boots, Sky, and Rottytops have all ended up in the same situation. After reaching the end, they find a giant statue of the princess...and she looks nothing like our girls. However, the High Priest still insists that the girls are exact doubles for his TITANIC, CORPULENT princess, leading Risky to wanting to throttle him. Then the princess appears! With a bag of groceries! She'd just went shopping, half an hour ago!
What's also good is the dialogue when you speak to the High Priest afterward-
High Priest: Our princess has retur-
Shantae: [Angrily] Ah, shut yer yap!
Shantae, Risky, and Sky are all rather irritated by the whole experience. Rottytops, on the other hand, seems to be loving every second of it, even asking if she can keep the outfit afterward.
The game itself begins with Shantae being woken and finding a strange entity beneath Uncle Mimic's workshop who tells her of an impending threat. When she wakes up she dismisses it as a dream fueled by reading comics and eating an entire tubof cookie dough ice cream before bed.
Talking to a little boy NPC at the very beginning of the game gives us this gem:
Going on long, involved rants seems to have a become a Running Gag for the little Chef. Just watch what happens when you don't give her the health permit for her restaurant!
Chef Girl: No permit for me? Fine. Just because I scrimped and saved for years in order to pay for culinary school after being rejected from every cooking college, fast food restaurant, and greasy spoon this side of Sequin Land, why not withhold it? Forget that I had to travel to lands unknown, trading travel fare for an acting job cracking oversized plastic walnuts in some smelly squirrel costume on stage in front of a bunch of snobby dinner theatre patrons all so that I could find a teacher who would allow me to enroll despite my bad habit of eating the ingredients before the lesson, even when the ingredients were priceless eggs of endangered animals. Besides, how was I to know the difference between a culinary school and a nature preserve anyway, unless someone teaches me, which was, of course, the theme of my entire thesis! And even then no one understood. Not even my culinary instructors, who always wore gorilla suits with no discernible zippers, swinging from their tires and throwing filth. But somehow, between the cradling and hair-grooming sessions, those culinary masters who might just as well have been apes taught me that the true art of cooking is experienced by going to the store and buying stuff that already exists, such as frozen pizzas and fish sticks which come in colorful boxes with awesome artwork on them! So sure, DENY ME that HEALTH PERMIT and shut me down. Obviously I don't deserve to work hard and serve others in the noble profession of food prep.
Shantae thinking Uncle Mimic's come down with a case of "the olds" during the part of the game where everyone in town loses their memory.
This dialogue if you talk to the lady who carries a jar on her head during said part
Woman: There's something on my head! I can't remember what it is! Get it off! GET IT OFF!!
The Ammo Baron wants airborne troops, and decides to get magic silk from the Flying Carpet race because the Magic Silkworm is endangered... and also very cute.
The game takes the Court Summons joke from Pirate's Curse a step further when an archaeologist sneezes on Shantae.
When you finally reach the Hypno Baron, he's seconds away from releasing the eldritch evil. Turns out it's the Squid Baron. And he's so excited to be the fifth boss, he starts musing the idea of getting his own spinoff game. Even Shantae herself gets in on the Medium Awareness.
Shantae: A Squid Baron spin-off game would only appeal to a subset of the same audience, so it's gonna sell like buns!
He also offers Shantae a "cameo" in the form of a Mythology GagPalette Swap like some fighting games do... until she points out he's always been red and purple so wearing her colors would make no difference.
And when Hypno Baron reveals his true plans...
Shantae: What ever happened to ripping open the fabric of space-time and washing away human-kind in a sea of eternal woe?
Hypno Baron: Who told you that? No, it's "gracing the fabric of leisure-time and blowing away human-kind in a sea of heavy weave 100% cotton comfort"!
Immediately after the above, Shantae is... nonplussed.
Shantae: I'm going home to take a very long, very hot bath.
The fact that Abner and Poe have the ability to summon Squid Baron, for some reason.
To learn the Mermaid Bubble skill, you need to find the elderly Grandma Blobfish a new, more modern hat to wear. The one you end up finding is a trucker hat that reads Foxy Grandma.
Grandma Blobfish: Foxy Grandma. Words to live by. This hat is giving this ol' gal thoughts of spring time if you know what 'm getting at... In fact, I think I feel a romantic song comin' on. Now I hope this ain't too hot 'n steamy for general audiences.
*Grandma Blobfish vomits up the Mermaid Bubble*
Grandma Blobfish: Oh dear now that didn't go to plan.
Shantae can find Abner in a room in Hypno Baron's Castle, and he probes her on if Shantae has something for him.
If you wait around long enough in the Mermaid Factory, eventually you'll see Bolo getting carried through the factory by his foot. And yes, a fish will jump up and chomp over his head.
During the opening segment of Mermaid Falls, Shantae explains to Bolo that innocent, beautiful maidens are being abducted from all the nearby villages. Horrified, Bolo fears that means he'll become the next victim...until Shantae points out that "maidens" applies to girls only. He then goess off on a tangent about how Shantae always leaves him out of everything and sees him as too ineffectual to do anything on his own before angrily storming off to try and be the hero for once. As described in the above example, it doesn't work out.
When Shantae takes down the Ammo Baron's prized airship, he's distraught, lamenting that it cost 'billions of crowd-funded dollars!'
The fact that the entirety of Pirate Queen's Quest is essentially Risky desperately trying to convince the player that Shantae most certainly did not beat her and the only reason she lost was the incompetence of her Tinkerbats.
When Shantae gets corrupted by the Dynamo in Risky's retelling, her friends say the following.
When Risky confronts Holly Lingerbean during Pirate Queen's Quest, Holly refuses to cooperate and let Risky move on with her plan because she wants to live forever, and as long as Risky keeps her in mind, she will. A Tinkerbat solves this by walking up behind Risky with a gigantic hammer and WALLOPING her in the back of the head for some Easy Amnesia.
At the start of Friends To The End when the portal to Shantae's mind initially appears, Bolo, Sky and Rottytops all argue over who's best suited to rescuing her before all jumping in... and leaving Uncle Mimic behind in the process.
Uncle Mimic: Blast it all! Now I'm stuck out here by myself! What am I gonna do if she wakes up? Fend her off with a broom handle?
In the first few levels of Friends To The End, whenever a boss's pre-battle dialogue changes, it's usually to be appropriately threatening to Bolo, Sky, and Rottytops. When the crew reaches Ammo Baron, however, his speech is completely off-the-wall and full of Aladdin references. It seems Nega-Shantae's got a sense of humor!
Thanks to Holly Lingerbean tampering with their memories in the main game, Sky and Bolo have trouble remembering the events of her story arc when they revisit it in Friends to the End. Rotty takes advantage and "helps" them remember.
Sky: That was AWFUL!
Bolo: Yeah, my body is aching all over. Why'd we have to swap clothes and beat each other senseless with river trout?
Rotty: I TOLD you, we had to reenact the memory EXACTLY like it happened. Are you both still sucking on those ghost peppers I gave you?
Bolo: Sigh. Yeth.
When Nega-Shantae first appears in Friends To The End, she gives an over-the-top, hammy speech about how she's going to destroy everyone, lets out a battle cry, and... promptly collapses to the floor of Uncle Mimic's workshop.
In the Mighty Switch Force!-based DLC, Shantae's motives for facing the various bosses are very different.
Her initial reason for going after Risky Boots is because the Tinkerslug is illegally parked. She asks to see both a driver's and pet license. Risky acts like she's going to grab them, but then pulls a hilariously obvious Look Behind You to distract Shantae. And it works.
She inquires Techno Baron about suspicious activity. Techno Baron describes Shantae's previous interference with his counterfeit mermaid facility and his dumping of waste into the sea, all of which Shantae reacts to with complete nonchalance. Then he makes mention of mackerel... which Shantae recalls are out-of-season fish, for which she prepares to arrest Techno Baron.
Just because Shantae's Anachronism Stew wasn't rich enough, Mimic has a centuries-old computer file on Holly "Law-Breaking Space Hooligan" Lingerbean. Who apparently has tens of thousands of criminal violations. Cue her reappearance.
Shantae: Where were you on the night of... the last several centuries?
Afterwards, Holly asks Shantae to arrest her, record everything, plaster her face on wanted posters, and tell the whole world about her. Shantae... observes that all her crimes occurred many life sentences ago, and therefore her sentence is served. And deletes the files. No one will ever know about what she's done.
Ammo Baron is apparently a member of the Galactic Penal Squad, investigating the carpet races at the same time as Shantae. They both claim their orders are "from the top"; Shantae's from HQ, Ammo Baron's from 60,000 feet. Shantae elects to shut him down and then call in HQ to see if he's telling the truth. (He is)
She enters Hypno Baron's castle because she hears noises that suggest there could be Space Hooligans inside. Or worse, teenagers! When she gets to the boss fight, she discovers the barons' diabolical plan... to stay up past curfew watching PG movies with no parents around to provide guidance!
In Bikini Mode, the opening encourages Shantae to slather sunscreen all over her bod. Maybe get a friend or two to help, and make fanart of it!
Shantae's response? "Ugh."
In Jammies mode, it turns out there's an explanation for why Shantae's pillow is such a dangerous weapon. After beating Ammo Baron, he complains that it feels a lot heavier than just feathers, so Shantae opens it to find... Rottytops stuck herself in the pillow case.