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Podcast / Red Panda Adventures

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An online Radio series from Decoder Ring Theatre, homaging the "mystery man" programs of the 1930s.

The Red Panda is "Canada's greatest Super Hero", a mostly non-powered adventurer with a slew of gadgets fighting crime and villainy on the streets of Toronto. His secret identity is "one of the city's wealthiest men", whose chauffeur, Kit Baxter, joins him on his adventures as The Flying Squirrel.

The series can be both silly and serious by turns. It takes place during the Great Depression, and many episodes deal with the poverty of the time, whether it's crimes caused by it, the Red Panda's secret identity trying to use his money to help with it, or Kit's background on the streets growing up with it. It also plays with many Super Hero tropes, especially those of The Golden Age of Comic Books. More recent episodes have gotten generally darker, as the series' timeline moves into World War II.

Several years before the modern Red Panda Adventures, a six-episode series was produced with a very different concept, featuring the Red Panda as a member of Canada's "Panda Squadron" during World War II. It was also much sillier, with characters like Baboon McSmoothie, Man of a Thousand Faces, and German von German's Nazi Ninjas. It can currently be found in the Decoder Ring Theater Vault.


  • 13 Is Unlucky: "Thirteen at Table" opens with the Red Panda demanding to know why, given the fate of the Home Team, the first meeting of its successor organization the Danger Federation has thirteen attendees... only to be told it was because he insisted the Flying Squirrel come.
    Red Panda: Given what happened to the last organized group of masked heroes in this country, who decided there should be thirteen of us!?
    Flying Squirrel: You did.
    Red Panda: When?
    Flying Squirrel: When you said "I'm not going to do this if you don't come with me."
    Red Panda: Ah... touché.
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Doctor Chronopolis is one. Played for Drama when Dr. C is put out of action following "The Wild West" by what appears to be Alzheimer's.
  • Action Girl: Kit, despite being both the Sidekick and the Love Interest, is never the Distressed Damsel, and is capable of both making plans and kicking ass. Even on one occasion when she is a Distressed Damsel, when Barker Whistance-Smith captures her in "The Most Dangerous Game", she actually gets free on her own before the Red Panda finds her. In one episode, O'Mally recognizes that the Squirrel's been inactive because of a noticeable drought of beaten up thugs.
  • Actually a Doombot: This is the The Archangel's entire shtick; using other criminals as his cat's paws. By the fourth or fifth time, our heroes just assume they haven't gotten the right one.
  • Affectionate Nickname: It doesn't take long for the Flying Squirrel's calling the Red Panda "Boss" to become this rather than a reference to the fact that he's her employer. Once the two pass through the Relationship Upgrade, this becomes a slight issue as Kit calling him "Boss" out of costume tends to draw attention. She tries a few nicknames in the early period, the most prominent being "Pappy", which the Panda considers more of a taunt than a nickname. Once the Red Panda's real name is finally revealed, Kit settles on "Gus", a shortening of "August" and occasionally Gusworth when issuing a Full-Name Ultimatum.
  • Alien Invasion: Red Panda has to deal with a magical version in "The Gathering Storm."
  • All Your Powers Combined: The titular character in the episode "The Crimson Death".
  • Alternate Continuity: The original "Panda Squadron" series.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Along with the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel, the powered supervillains often use an Animal Alias. From the Mad Monkey, Jackrabbit, and the Electric Eel. Lampshaded when, upon first hearing about the Eel, Kit asks if he has any eel powers to go with the electric ones. There's also the more heroic Grey Fox and Black Eagle.
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • Kit is one at the beginning of the series. Whether she still is up for debate.
    • Harry Kelly probably counts as well. As late as "All The King's Men", when he's been working for the Red Panda for years, he still practically squeals with excitement when the Flying Squirrel lets him set off a gas grenade. Eventually, he replaces the Red Panda as the city's resident superhero, the Black Eagle.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: "The Missing Link" features a Posthumous Character scientist who had a tendency towards this. The episode describes an airborne method of moving electricity that loses too much power in the transference process, a de-evolution beam that worked only as long as it remained on its target, and a mobile cloud cover that couldn't move as fast as the fighter planes it was intended to cover. The Mad Monkey got hold of these designs and combined them to create a de-evolution ray with a wide area effect contained within his slow moving, monkey-shaped zeppelin, so he could create an army of ape men under his command.
  • Badass in Distress: Red Panda in "Trial by Terror". He can't escape because the hostages would be killed, so instead he cracks jokes and prolongs the trial by applying to the judge's ego.
  • Badass Minds Think Alike: The climax of The Crime Cabal features Constable Andy Parker watching in amazement as the Red Panda and the Flying Squirrel battle a small army of mooks with a coordination that beggars belief. Despite having come into the Crime Cabal's lair to rescue the Squirrel, the moment she arrives on the battlefield, having escaped on her own terms, she and the Red Panda immediately launch into a coordinated maneuver in which he spins her around to take out several opponents at once. They then proceed to fight as Back-to-Back Badasses, watching one anothers' back and always being able to move or dodge at the precise moment the other hits a mook with an attack that would otherwise have hit them. As told from the perspective of Andy Parker:
    Parker was a man of action, and had seen some remarkable displays of courage and teamwork in his time on the force. Nothing in his experience had prepared him for the sight of these two heroes, reunited, routing their enemies with such skill, such determination and most of all, such overwhelming joy at the activity. If he spun with a high kick, she ducked under it, though to Parker’s eyes, she could not possibly have seen it coming. When she turned to throw a punch, he was there to cover her back. They knew which attackers to take, and which to leave for the other, and fought always with perfect trust in the other’s abilities.
    They each read the flow of battle as if it were a dance to which they had long-ago learned the steps, and which their foes were seeing for the very first time.
  • Badass Normal: Both main characters count. Neither have any extra powers beyond their skills as martial artists, investigators, and gadgeteers. The closest thing either has to a true superpower is the Red Panda with his hypnosis.
  • Bank Robbery: This is how the main characters met in "Secret Origins". The Red Panda, not yet in costume, needs to chase after the robbers, hop in the taxi cab Kit was driving, and convinces her to Follow That Car.
  • Berserk Button: Threaten one of the Terrific Twosome in front of the other one. It never ends well.
    • Nick Diablos takes advantage of this "The Devil's Due" by using his powers to trick the Flying Squirrel into thinking he's the Red Panda and vice versa, prompting the Squirrel to immediately attack the Panda.
    • The Red Panda seriously considers forgoing Thou Shalt Not Kill when Nick Diablos keeps attacking the Squirrel in "The Devil's Due". In "The Most Dangerous Game", the Panda pulls out all the stops to find the Squirrel, even putting a serious beatdown on the small time snitch who sent her into a trap.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Mad Monkey is the joker to Panda's Batman, except with control over monkeys instead of a clown gimmick. Despite the inherent silliness, he's managed to go toe-to-to with Panda on more than one occasion.
  • Beware the Superman: The Crimson Death is a man given Combo Platter Powers in a project that experimented on low level supervillains to pass their powers to him. While his creation is stated to be intended as a check against lone wolves like the Red Panda who answer to no one, the Crimson Death himself states his creators really just wanted a superhero they controlled. This backfires as the Crimson Death's debut episode features him killing everyone who knew his identity and is a villain in every appearance after.
  • Big Bad: While The Red Panda Adventures has very few clear-cut Big Bads, and very rarely follows a seasonal formula, many villains have taken a perpetual spotlight for a long period of time.
    • In general, the most recurring and prominent antagonist in the entire series is the Nazi scientist Professor Friedrich von Schlitz, but some of his more recurring arch-enemies, such as Professor Zombie or The Electric Eel, may have fit the bill pre-WWII.
    • Season One: No Big Bad although Commander Varkin, leader of the Syndicate, makes his first villainous appearance in the eighth episode.
    • Season Two: No Big Bad although Professor Friedrich von Schlitz makes his first villainous appearance in the final episode.
    • Season Three: A Big Bad Duumvirate between Friedrich von Schlitz and The Syndicate.
    • Season Four: The Syndicate becomes a larger threat in this season, although Friedrich von Schlitz makes an appearance in one or two episodes.
    • Season Five: The Nazis become the main threat of the entire season, with Friedrich von Schlitz in lead.
    • Season Six: The Archangel, the Nazi's head of Fourth Column activities, becomes the primary antagonist for the season.
    • Season Seven
      • The first half seems to have Deadly Nightshade as the new Fourth Column leader, but the situation fizzles out in two episodes and the last four episodes are general situations of the week.
      • The second half goes back to good old Friedrich von Schlitz making Season Seven his last outing as the Big Bad so far.
    • Season Eight: The Nazis in general are the antagonists for almost every single episode in this season, though the Ubermensch Tevas is The Heavy, albeit only appearing in the final episode.
    • Season Nine
      • The first half of the season has a now-nihilistic Professor Zombie as the main antagonist, until her eventual and semi-tragic death at the Red Panda's hands.
    • Tales of the Red Panda:
      • The Crime Cabal: Professor Zombie and Kid Chaos are recruited by the remnants of the local gangs and promptly take over entirely.
      • The Mind Master: Ajay Shah, a villain mentioned in "The Golden Idol". A master of mental powers superior to the Red Panda's and no compunctions about how to use them, he infiltrates high society to find and kill the Red Panda.
      • The Android Assassins: The primary villain is Captain Clockwork, in what is the heroes' second encounter with the villain. Much of the plot centers around both stopping him and figuring out his identity so he can't slip away again.
    • To be fair, with very few exceptions, being a Big Ham is a prerequisite for being a Red Panda villain.
  • Blood Knight: Kit is quite enthusiastic about getting into fights.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Mr. Amazing completely expends all of his power/life force to weaken Tevas.
  • Buffy Speak:
    Kit: Why, this guy's so slippery he's...
    Red Panda: a very slippery thing that escapes you at the moment?
  • Bullying a Dragon: The mastermind behind the museum heist in "Rabbit Season" attempts to double cross his partner upon completion of the job. A partner he himself trained and augmented with Super-Speed. It costs him his life.
  • Cannot Spit It Out:
    • Pretty much sums up The Red Panda's relationship with The Flying Squirrel, until "The Field Trip". She's completely flabbergasted when Jack Rabbit just out and proclaims her love for the Mad Monkey in "The Terrible Two".
    • Also, Kit completely failing to tell the Red Panda that she's pregnant, until "The Black Heart" after he recovers from amnesia and she's already given birth.
  • Captain Ethnic: Discussed with regards to the Black Eagle. The Red Panda notes that every superhero he knows with "black" in their name actually is black, which the Black Eagle is not. In his case, the name comes from the combination of two childhood nicknames, the "Black Cap" and "Eagle Eyes" Kelly.
  • Captured Super-Entity: In "The Darkness Beyond" the Flying Squirrel is recruited to confirm what happened to a powerful creature known only as "The Destroyer" that has vanished from its realm. She discovers that the Destroyer isn't simply gone, but has been captured by Nazis. The Draxites, the Destroyer's servants freed from its control by its removal, tell the Squirrel that it was the first time they'd ever heard the Destroyer scream in terror. The season seven finale, "The Black Heart", reveals that Friedrich von Schlitz has been using the Destroyer as a power source for the Dark Towers, an imprenetrable Magitek defense system. When the Red Panda confronts the Destroyer, he tries to convince him to leave peacefully, or at least not take his anger out on all of humanity, but the Destroyer does not see the distinction between the lesser creatures that actually captured it and the ones they share a species with. Sending it back to its dimension would simply cause the Draxites to be re-enslaved, so the Red Panda uses a magical item given to him for the confrontation to kill the Destroyer, or at least inflict the closest thing to death it's possible for the Destroyer to experience.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "...will answer to the Red Panda!" "The Red Panda swears it!" Or just generally ending a scene by promising the bad guy will have some sort of negative interaction with "-the Red Panda!"
    • "Kit Baxter, behave yourself..." "Yes, boss." (As well as "Yes, boss" on its own. The Red Panda says it to Kit a lot these days.)
    • A case might also be made for "Do you think ____________?" "I really do."/"I really don't."
    • "Is it ________?" "It is, in fact, ________."
    • Early on it was "Never explain your powers to the bad guys!"
    • "Interesting, you think?"
    • "It's kind of what I do."
    • "An interesting point..." Borders on Verbal Tic for Greg Taylor's characters.
    • "This counts as a plan?" Upgraded to Once an Episode during the Parker's Rangers arc, much to Captain Parker's consternation.
    • "Good Times!" as a sarcastic response to any recap of how outmatched the characters are, also coined during the Parker's Ranger's arc.
    • "I think I hate this!"
  • Ceiling Cling: The Flying Squirrel loves doing this.
  • Centipede's Dilemma: The Red Panda himself in season 7, due to a case of amnesia. He's able to use several elements of his skill set instinctively, such as his fighting skills and hypnosis, but notes several times that he fails when he actively tries or thinks about what he's doing too hard.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The doctored personnel file come back later, when they encounter a corrupt intelligence officer who's seen them.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Fenwick Industries and how Red Panda was able to convince them to help him out in "I Dream of Genies". Fenwick is his last name and he owns the company.
    • The File that Baboon McSmoothie bribed the Red Panda with in "The World Next Door" is used in "A Dish Best Served Cold".
    • The apparent throw-away gag of doctoring the Home Team personnel files to preserve the Terrific Twosome’s secret identities comes back to haunt the Flying Squirrel in “There Will Be Rain Tonight” when someone purges the Home Team, including the fake Red Panda they put in the records, who just happened to be their boss Col. Fitzroy.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • When Baboon McSmoothie appeared in the new series, the question of there being a Baboon McSmoothie in this universe is asked. In "Nightshade" we learn, due to a Mistaken for Spies moment, that there is a Brian McSweenie. It's only a matter of time before The Terrific Twosome meet him. It finally happened in "Eyes of the Idol". Different name, same voice actor, same accent, same powers, definitely same attitude.
    • Fitzroy in "Sins of the Father" and Wentworth James in "I Dream of Genies". Both are introduced in their respective episodes as side characters involved in the actual crimes happening. But once the Red Panda becomes part of the Home Team, both make a return as the Panda's commanding officer and occasional partner respectively.
    • The Red Panda Revenge Squad. First mentioned in "The World Next Door", they show up in "A Dish Best Served Cold" enacting the very plan Baboon McSmoothie warned the Panda would come.
  • Clear My Name: Red Panda has to worry about this in "Red Panda: Dead or Alive!" He later helps out Tom Tomorrow when he's framed in "Murder Wears A Mask"
  • Clockwork Creature: Captain Clockwork's minions of choice. He creates automatons that get stronger in every iteration, fixing the weaknesses exploited whenever the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel thwart his plans.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: The Red Panda's costume, homaging the many early non-powered heroes who used it. Although he breaks from tradition by wearing his oft-mentioned red gauntlets. He also frequently laments the up and coming generations' preference for tights as costumes, especially when his would-be successor, the Black Eagle, goes for tights instead of a suit he was having designed.
  • Color Motif: Both Mr. Amazing and the Black Eagle incorporate the colors yellow and black in their costumes. They each got their powers from experiments with Doctor Bumblebee's Royal Jelly Super Serum.
  • Colonel Badass: Colonel Fitzking (from the original universe), because it's gotta be hard to make it in the army in WWII as a large, genetically augmented, talking Golden Retriever. Also, his main-universe counterpart, Colonel Fitzroy, who is among other things the Red Panda's commanding officer, and is fully willing to shoot a nutjob in the head and call him a traitor and a saboteur later just to help the war effort.
  • Comic-Book Time: Averted/Inverted. The passage of historical events is actually faster than real time, especially in recent seasons. Example: In the eighteen real-world months between the premieres of the episodes “Nightshade” and “There Will Be Rain Tonight”, we have gone from the Hindenburg disaster (May 6, 1937) to the Dieppe raid (August 19, 1942).
  • The Commissioner Gordon: The Red Panda started off being viewed as a criminal by the police, with Chief O'Mally reluctantly accepting help from him when villains or other weirdness targets the city. By the newest season, O'Mally trusts him more than his own men. They even lampshaded the irony of it.
  • Composite Character: Inverted Some of the characters from the Earth 2 Panda Adventures seem to be combinations of the regular universe ones, or vice versa, e.g. Earth 2's Flying Squirrel = RPA's Flying Squirrel + Harry Kelly. This becomes a plot point in "A Dish Best Served Cold", as the idea of such composites had never occurred to the Red Panda. He had focused exclusively on keeping Kit out of imminent danger that he never realized anyone else might be until he's told that Harry Kelly has gone M.I.A.
  • Continuity Snarl: If Harry Kelly is the only junior agent and he was introduced after Officer Parker, who wasn't made an agent until the events of the Crime Cabal novel, which takes place after season 1, then who is the ten year old watching Finger's place in "The Deadliest Game"?
  • Corpsing: In-Universe. In "The World Next Door" the Red Panda attempts to hypnotize Baboon McSmoothie into providing valuable information. It seems to work, only for McSmoothie to reveal he was only pretending when he starts cracking up because he can't keep a straight face.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: The Flying Squirrel once pointed this out to The Red Panda and asked if he ever thought about the money he could make from it. He responded that compared to what he already has it doesn't seem worth it.
  • Crossover: "The World Next Door", crossing over with the original universe. As well, the Decoder Ring Theater 2008 Christmas Special was set around a fictional crossover between Red Panda Adventures and Black Jack Justice, another Decoder Ring Theater series.
  • Cute Bruiser: The Flying Squirrel is both attractive and a badass butt-kicker.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check:
    • The heroes try to convince the bad guys to make money doing things legitimately, or work to help people. But a lot of them are completely nuts. This does not keep the good guys from using their technology whenever possible.
    • And then World War 2 rolls around, and the government starts recruiting supervillains and superheroes to fight Nazi super-science. America even ends up with the guy who ran said super-science program. Between things going right and things going wrong, we get plotlines running through several seasons.
    • The Poet writes beautiful poems that are believed to be the most perfect form in the last hundred years. They're taught in universities. He has them beautifully bound. He uses them to taunt the Red Panda about his next caper. Note that the Poet is one of the few people the heroes were actually able to turn; they suggest he use his powers to help the war effort before Canada even joined.
  • Da Chief: Twisted around by the relationship between the Red Panda and Colonel Fitzroy. Unlike the typical Cowboy Cop, the Red Panda is gives the What the Hell, Hero? speech to his superior rather than the other way around. Likewise, Fitzroy is prone to claiming that I Did What I Had to Do when called on his morally ambiguous or outright reprehensible actions.
  • Dating Catwoman: It's been hinted that the Red Panda and Professor Zombie had this kind of relationship before the start of the series.
  • A Day in the Limelight: This is how the listeners met Harry Kelly in "When Darkness Falls"
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Red Panda and the Flying Squirrel are big on this. Dr. Chronopolis even gets into the act in "Merlin's Tomb".
  • Death by Secret Identity: The mastermind behind the heist in "Rabbit Season" dies of injuries from a beating moments after recognizing the Red Panda's secret identity.
  • Death Is Cheap: Lost in time, buildings dropped on them, blown up and more have happened to Red Panda's Rogues Gallery and they keep coming back. Red Panda once noted that he's stopped thinking they're dead unless he sees the body. And in the case of Kid Chaos, even that wasn't enough.
  • Decoy Leader: The primary gimmick of the Archangel, the leader of the Nazi spy rings in Canada, is to send a stand-in anytime Archangel is expected to be in on the job. Whether it's just practicality or sending the stand-in on a suicide mission as punishment for failure, they are almost all fanatically loyal to the true Archangel and will kill themselves upon capture, some even attempting to blow up or otherwise kill anyone else with them at the time. By about the fourth time, the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel stop assuming they've captured the real one. Archangel uses this trick even among his own inner circle, as in "All the King's Men", Harry Kelly [[spoiler:identifies the true Archangel by noting that, while one man was running the meeting, everyone was deferring to someone else entirely.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: On occasions. The Grey Fox, for example, faces discrimination during World War 2 for being Japanese. Ironically, female villains tend to be more sexist and dismissive toward the Flying Squirrel than the males, who are usually just stunned by her. Her fists or her looks, take your pick.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • The Fatal Flaw of the Man of a Thousand Faces, whether it be Alternate Time traveler Baboon McSmoothie or his main universe counterpart Brian McSweenie. They use their shapeshifting powers to impersonate an individual on the spot, but often without first doing any research about who they're impersonating. They are, however, very good at improvising. In "The World Next Door" McSmoothie is spotted trying to break into a building. He tries to blend in with the group of the Red Panda's agents pursuing him, but he's busted only because Harry Kelly realized he wasn't part of the group that came into the building with him. He later tries impersonating the Red Panda, but does so without realizing the main Red Panda's costume is different from his Red Panda's, which gets him caught quickly. When all else fails, and he realizes how different this universe is from his own, he drops the act and simply asks for help.
    • In "Eyes of the Idol", he impersonates Dr. Chronopolis's daughter Anna to get hold of a gemstone Dr. Chronopolis was studying. However, he knows nothing about Anna or her relationship to the doctor, only that she has access to an area he needs to enter. As the Red Panda later notes, he did very good at playing along. Specifically he did not say much because he didn't know everyone's relationships, did not react to the Red Panda in case they'd already met, and claimed simply to have heard of him if they hadn't, and calls Dr. Chronopolis "Daddy" once he introduces her as his daughter. Unfortunately inconsistencies add up quickly enough for the Red Panda to trick him into revealing himself.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Red Panda to Mrs. Mynack in The Sweet Tooth. Pretty foolish considering the villain is basically a near-immortal vampire magician with the ability to hypnotize young women with chemicals.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Never let the Red Panda behind the wheel of a car. They even point out the reason why he can fly so well is because there's nothing in the air to hit.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Flying Squirrel has one with Jackrabbit in "Trial by Terror." And The Flying Squirrel and Golden Claw in "The Endgame" In more recent episodes, this has happened repeatedly with Mad Monkey. Why? because he didn't want anyone else to kill Panda.
    • This is how it eventually works with the Home Team with The Genie.
  • Evil Gloating: A frequently exploited trope. Multiple episodes, such as "Rocket Science" and "The Doctor is In", open with the Red Panda seemingly at his enemy's mercy, only to eventually reveal that the Red Panda had long since freed himself and was simply egging his captor on to try and learn more information. If the villain isn't obliging on their own, the Red Panda gives them a little nudge with his hypnotic abilities.
  • Evil Laugh: Much like The Shadow, who undoubtedly serves as an inspiration, Red Panda has a pretty creepy laugh.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: In "The Devil's Due", Nick Diablos' voice becomes significantly deeper to indicate he is changing into the form of the devil. In his battle with the Red Panda, when the Panda is forcibly overpowering Diablos' hypnosis with his own, his voice does the same thing.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • For the first three seasons, the opening monologue would describe the pair as "one of the city's wealthiest men" and "his trusty driver, Kit Baxter". Season four changes Kit's description to "his fiancee, Kit Baxter" to note the Relationship Upgrade that occurs in the season three finale. With season four both ending with their wedding and revealing the Red Panda's name, every episode after that describes the pair as "August Fenwick, one of the city's wealthiest men" and "his wife and partner, Kit Baxter-Fenwick".
    • Season seven omits the Red Panda's and Flying Squirrel's real names altogether for the episodes based in Toronto, referring to the Red Panda as that "mysterious, masked marvel" and the Flying Squirrel as that "fearless fighting female" to reflect that, at this time, the Red Panda active in Toronto is humanoid robot John Archer. Meanwhile, the episodes taking place in Europe state that the Red Panda has lost his memory and identity and is aided by a band of his most trusted agents.
  • Fan Fic: Gregg Taylor has a don't ask don't tell stand on these. You can write them, he just doesn't want to hear about it.
  • Functional Magic: In a sense, this exists in-universe, because most magic is simply a large and scientifically unexplored set of waves and energy frequencies with reality-altering effects.
  • Future Imperfect:
    • Tom Tomorrow, Man of the Future, is a time traveler from so far in the future that the secret lair of Depression-era superhero the Red Panda was dug up by archaeologists decades before his own birth. He's come to the 1930s to help in the coming battle with a great darkness. However, as he explains to the Flying Squirrel, his era's information on the era is as Shrouded in Myth as the present day's information regarding the Middle Ages, so he has nothing specific about the coming darkness, i.e. World War II, and the whole reason he's there at all is because he was convinced that one of the figures in the "ancient legends" was, in fact, himself.
    • In "The Chimes at Midnight", a pair of time travelers from far in the future in order to kill a superhero, the Black Eagle, before he gains his powers. The episode ends with the reveal that their information on the Black Eagle was incomplete. Specifically, he already had his powers well beforehand so their assassination could never have succeeded. This isn't entirely their fault; the records were there, but they were inaccurate because this very encounter made the Black Eagle realize he would need to lie about his origins, and the book written from that was the reference the time traveling assassins were using.
  • Genre Throwback: The series is essentially a love letter to The Golden Age of Comic Books. Series creator Gregg Taylor has expressed his disdain for the more angst-driven storylines of post-Dark Age comics and films. Which is not to say that this series doesn't do some heavy lifting from time to time.
  • Girl's Night Out Episode:
    • Flying Squirrel and the Grey Fox in the fittingly titled "Girls' Night Out." The Flying Squirrel visits Vancouver to check if the local Home Team file has hers and the Red Panda's secret identities, while also investigating a shipbuilding sabotage ring as Kit Baxter. In the process she meets Vancouver's local mystery woman, the Japanese-Canadian Grey Fox. Both being Action Girls who can't take other women seriously, the two get along famously and over the course of their night start (and win) a barfight, engage in some Jack Bauer Interrogation, and take out the sabotage ring set up by Nazi agent Archangel.
    • The Flying Squirrel and the Grey Fox join forces again in "The Lost Sheep", where Kit recruits her to help track down Harry Kelly, a boy who enlisted in the army despite Kit's every attempt to stop that from happening.
  • Glasses Are Sexy: In "Barton's Charm", the Red Panda discovers that Kit wears glasses when reading for long periods, such as doing research in the newspaper archives, to avoid getting headaches. Kit, Action Girl that she is, hates wearing them so much that, in her insistence that the Red Panda forget seeing her wear them, she completely ignores the Red Panda's attempts to compliment her and tell her he likes them, something she would otherwise be all for hearing as a part of their relationship is her being clearly attracted to the Red Panda and teasing him.
  • A God Am I:
    • The Electric Eel has this among his declarations as he is absorbing all the electricity at the Niagra Falls power station.
    • The Nazi Übermensch Tevas regularly taunts the Red Panda and Red Ensign during their battle by calling them insects while proclaiming himself a god.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Red Panda uses one from time to time.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Mama gives one near the end of "The Big Top."
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The Mad Monkey, with the power to command baboons. Eventually, however, he discovers that his power is actually a form of mind control that can be used against humans as well. It also gives him immunity to the Red Panda's hypnotic powers. Every time he shows up just proves that that you shouldn't underestimate him because of his powers.
  • Heroism Motive Speech:
    • In "Red Panda: Dead or Alive", the Red Panda explains to Kit that he initially became a crime fighter on a lark, for something to do. As he trained to do so, as he became a beacon of hope for the people of Toronto, the Red Panda discovered that Good Feels Good, and, more and more, became a hero for the sake of others as much as himself and reached a point where he regarded his civilian self as a Secret-Identity Identity.
      When I started this, it was a lark. A thing to do to see if I could. The training, the equipment... then I started to make a real difference. I started doing more real good than I'd have ever done if I lived my other life a thousand times over. It became who I am. The spoiled rich boy became more thin character sketch than a person. I couldn't be him again if I wanted to.
    • "The Rookie" features the Red Panda trying to discover the reasons young Flying Brick Mr. Amazing has been rejected for the Allied Super Services and the home-based Danger Federation when heroes with less reliable powers are actively recruited. He discovers that Mr. Amazing's powers are finite, meaning his superpowers will eventually run out and, when that happens, he will die. When the Red Panda tries to convince Mr. Amazing to give up superheroics Mr. Amazing reveals he's had much the same Good Feels Good epiphany the Red Panda did, and would rather be a hero for a week than not be one and reach old age. The Red Panda respects this decision and makes Mr. Amazing one of the few heroes he'll allow to operate in his city.
      It was in that girl's eyes when she saw daylight again. It was in her mother's tears, and the expression on the face of every man and woman there. They felt their lives touched by a miracle. And every single one of them will have hope in their hearts that they didn't have before. If I can do that for a week, a month, a year... and I choose not to so I can live to be a hundred? No. Not me, buster.
  • Hidden Depths: In "The Third Wave" we learn that Kit is a skilled writer, which leads to her having a job at The Chronicle since sometime before "A Nose For News". In Season 12, we learn that she was keeping diaries for years, which explains her writing skill.
  • Historical In-Joke:
    • According to "Nightshade", the Hindenburg crash was caused by a jetpack.
    • In "The Gadget", the titular device is the first atomic bomb.
  • HULK MASH!-Up: The Ogre, an American superhero and member of the Justice Union, is an 8-foot tall bruiser that is colored a unique shade of grey. The Red Panda notes that, once upon a time, all he could say was "Ogre Smash!". The Red Panda liked him better that way than what he's like by the time he appears in the story—a Genius Bruiser and something of an Obstructive Bureaucrat.
    Flying Squirrel: Do you think you'd get more crime fighting done if you didn't call ahead.
    Ogre (Arranging a witness interview for the Flying Squirrel): Good manners simplify things a great deal, Miss Squirrel.
    Flying Squirrel: And when they don't?
    Ogre: Then... Ogre Smash!
  • Humiliation Conga: In "The Dream Factory", they steal the conmen's equipment, withdraw their money from their account so their checks bounce, steal the real money from their safe, blowup their car, beat them up, and then leave them handcuffed to a safe filled with funny money.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The Red Panda has to deal with this in "The Deadliest Game" at the hands of Colonel Barker Whistance-Smith and his servant, M'Quayquay.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Gender-flopped with The Red Panda when The Flying Squirrel confessed her love for him in "The Field Trip." Subverted when Kit points out that he's The Red Panda and a young handsome millionaire, so he shouldn't be surprised.
  • Identity Impersonator:
    • Tom Tomorrow does this to help out the Red Panda in "Red Panda: Dead or Alive!", posing as the Red Panda's secret identity while the Red Panda himself publicly confronts the man who's been impersonating him to damage the public's trust in their resident superhero.
    • In season finale "Operation: Cold Feet", the Red Panda's agents are doing this for him while he prepares for his and Kit's wedding ceremony. He doesn't tell Kit, who is annoyed at how calm he is about newspapers claiming the Red Panda was appearing when she knew he was doing nothing of the sort. Then she notes articles stating the Flying Squirrel had been sighted as well, which does surprise the Red Panda as he hadn't arranged any impersonators for Kit. It's not until the episode's end that we learn that the fake Squirrel is Kit's descendent, the Red Squirrel, doing for the Flying Squirrel what the Red Panda's agents were doing for him.
    • Red Panda pretends to be the Mad Monkey in "The Hidden Door" to infiltrate the attempted auction of the location of one of the pneumatic tubes that he and the Flying Squirrel use to get around town quickly.
    • In "From The Ashes", John Doe/Archer fills in for the Red Panda while he's missing and believed to be dead. The impersonation works well enough on the run of the mill street thugs in Toronto, but most who know the Red Panda personally aren't fooled for very long. Chief O'Malley and Harry Kelly are fooled only because Kit, acting as Mission Control, is giving instructions on how to act. The Mad Monkey, meanwhile, figures it out just from secondhand hearsay.
  • I Didn't Mean to Kill Him: Flying Squirrel says this about the Electric Eel, when her boomerang causes the Eel to lose control of his power and explode.
  • Idiosyncrazy:
    • Every villain has one. The heroes even point it out it in a few episodes. The Panda says in "Rabbit Season" that committing crimes based on an eponymous theme a common trait among supervillains starting out. In that specific case, speedster Jackrabbit was specifically stealing items whose worth could be measured in karats.
    • The Mad Monkey actively embraces this trope in his first appearance, exclusively stealing monkey-themed items, to better suit his status as the self-proclaimed Arch-Enemy of the Red Panda. He drops this in later appearances, but still maintains a degree of Idiosyncrazy in that, when he Took a Level in Badass by learning martial arts, he focused on the Monkey style.
    • Occasionally an Exploited Trope:
      • The titular villain of "The Puzzle Master" poses as a supervillain who uses games to torture information out of his victims. The Red Panda quickly realizes this is all a ruse, however, when he realizes the Puzzle Master's games are rigged in his favor, and the one thing an Idiosyncrazy game master absolutely would not and could not do is cheat.
      • "The King of Crime's" title character is able to get all of Toronto's organized crime under his control while behaving as a medeival king speaking in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe. This causes said organized criminals to lower their guard, thinking the King of Crime is a run of the mill supervillain taking his shot at taking over the rackets, rather than what he actually is, an agent of the Nazi spy Archangel.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Molecule Max in "Small Wonders". During a brief conversation with the Flying Squirrel, he points out that, as small as they are, their red blood cells shouldn't be able to bond with oxygen, but as a theoretical physicist, he prefers not to think about that.
  • In Spite of a Nail: In "The World Next Door", Baboon McSmoothie secures the Red Panda's aid by offering the full case file on an upcoming Villain Team-Up that, in his Alternate Timeline, killed the Flying Squirrel. How useful the case file would ultimately be was up in the air, as the two universes have vast differences. McSmoothie's Dr. Chronopolis is a supervillain, the Red Pandas' masks are different, and the Flying Squirrel and Professor Zombie Gender Flipped. Despite that, when the day comes and the Red Panda Revenge Squad assembles in "A Dish Best Served Cold", the villains' roster is essentially the same as the case file minus those differences and their plan, right down to the death trap used, goes almost identically to the alternate world's version. So much so that the villains are perplexed when the Red Panda names it before they do, notes the death trap they just created had been thwarting him for four years, and rattles off details on its inner workings he could not possibly know.
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure: Occurs in universe in "The World Next Door". Kit notes the Red Panda's costume and the fact that the Flying Squirrel is a woman are common knowledge. Yet when Baboon McSmoothie tried to impersonate the Red Panda he got the costume wrong while getting the Red Panda's voice correct. He went on to assume the Flying Squirrel would be a teenage boy named Kent, which Kit reveals would have been her name if she'd been born a boy. This strange mix of getting common knowledge wrong while getting right things he couldn't possibly have known help convince the heroes that McSmoothie's telling the truth about being from an Alternate Timeline.
  • I Work Alone:
    • The Red Panda doesn't like other superheroes in his city. However, he does work with a sidekick:
      "I don't play well with others."
      "What about her?"
      "She's not 'others'."
    • The Stranger is the only other Superhero that the Red Panda allows to work in his city.
    • Averted in later seasons, as the Red Panda now reluctantly leads a superhero team and often invites members to assist him in the city. He's even given two other heroes permanent permission to operate there: Mr. Amazing, after the Red Panda learned the younger hero was dying, and the Black Eagle, who lives there anyway, is training to become the Red Panda's successor, and is his former agent, Harry Kelly.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Besides her driving skills this is The Flying Squirrel's biggest asset to the pair. Red Panda has done it a few times, "Deadliest Game" being the best example, but Kit is by far the one that uses this trope the most.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Von Schlitz claimed that the Red Panda and the Red Ensign wouldn't be able to defeat Tevas on their own. And he was absolutely right.
  • Jumping-On Point: The beginning of each season.
  • Kid from the Future: The Red Squirrel is revealed at the end of the titular episode in which she debuted to be the descendant of Kit Baxter who grew up on tales of the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel's exploits. "Operation: Cold Feet" reveals that the Red Panda was great-great grand-daddy.
  • Kiss of Death: Nightshade makes her debut by killing a man with this power.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Relationship Upgrade between Kit Baxter and the Red Panda and the Red Panda's first name. For the first three seasons, the opening monologue would describe the pair as "one of the city's wealthiest men" and "his trusty driver, Kit Baxter". Season four changes Kit's description to "his fiancee, Kit Baxter". From season four's finale revealing the Panda's name, every episode after that describes the pair as "August Fenwick, one of the city's wealthiest men" and "his wife and partner, Kit Baxter-Fenwick".
  • Legacy Character:
    • The original series made mention of a legacy of Red Pandas stretching back to the colonization of Canada; this was parodied in "The World Next Door", when the "main universe" Flying Squirrel complains that it's not even a Canadian animal.
    • The Red Squirrel, a hero from the future, shows up in "The Red Squirrel". The Red Squirrel grew up on stories of the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel's daring do, and was inspired to become a superhero herself as a result. There's more to it, however, as the end of the episode has her reveal to the Red Panda that she is Kit Baxter's descendant. "Operation: Cold Feet" reveals that she is also the Red Panda's descendant.
    • Season seven features the Red Panda missing in action in Europe and presumed dead back home. During this time the role of Toronto's protector is played by Ridiculously Human Robot John Doe. "The Darkness Beyond" discusses the idea further, when the Grey Fox is considered as a stand-in for the Flying Squirrel while Kit's in the tail end of her pregnancy. Unfortunately, the Fox is in a Japanese interment camp and has no interest in hero work for the government that put her there. John then suggests that Kit could become the Red Panda in her own right should the need present itself at a later point.
    • "Thirteen at Table" introduces the second Molecule Max, successor to the original after he was killed in "There Will Be Rain". The Red Panda and Flying Squirrel, who were friends with the original Max, find it hard to be around him at first but he wins them over with his wish to honor his predecessor and by being a bit sharper at the superhero game than the other rookie heroes introduced that episode.
    • "The Sunday Serial" reveals that the Red Ensign was a Propaganda Hero based on the Red Panda created by the Canadian government. After the actor playing the Red Ensign is murdered, the identity is put on a shelf though, if Kit is correct, with heroics still produced for public consumption. Following the Red Panda's return from Europe, John Archer would take up the identity and become part of the Allied Super Services.
  • A Lesson in Defeat: The Red Panda challenges the Smug Super Mr. Amazing to a one-on-one fight in "Thirteen at Table" with this in mind. Amazing had been attacking other rookie heroes to prove himself the best, and the Red Panda needed to take him down a peg both to stop his rampage and to try and get his respect long enough to guide the young would-be hero away from his arrogance and potential descent into villainy.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Villains try to set this up from time to time between Red Panda and the Flying Squirrel, either with mind control or trying to make Kit a zombie.
  • Love Revelation Epiphany: For the first three seasons, the Flying Squirrel has a very obvious interest in the Red Panda. For his part, the Red Panda tends to be flustered and demands the Squirrel behave herself when she gets too flirtatious, but otherwise appears Oblivious to Love. That changes in "The Field Trip", in which the Flying Squirrel is nearly killed and, in response to nearly losing her, the Red Panda kisses her and lets the fact that he reciprocates her feelings comes spilling out. He had hesitated to make a move for fear it would ruin the nearly perfect relationship they had going, though this incident prompted him to finally speak up. The next season follows their engagement and ends on their wedding, and the two superheroes remain Happily Married from then on.
  • Mad Scientist: Many recurring villains, including Professor Zombie, the Genie, and Dr. Von Schlitz, but Dr. Chronopolis is a good guy version, and Doc Rocket is at least a Mad Inventor. In "The Empty Box" it's noted that any supercriminal who uses "Doctor" or "Professor" or some equivalent in their name will often have the credentials to back up the name.
  • Magitek:
    • A recurring theme of the series is what happens when modern (well, 1930s) science gets a chance to study the forces that most of the world knows as "magic". The good Dr. Chronopolis and the evil Dr. von Schlitz both specialize in this.
    • The biggest result so far is the anti-magic alloy Dr. C created. It's woven into our heroes' costumes, making them invisible to magical senses. In "The Gathering Storm", it's revealed that they've been making weapons out of it, including brass knuckles and bullets, which they use to fight off a dimensional incursion of snakemen.
  • Mistaken for Spies: In "Nightshade", though it's really more like Mistaken for Different Spies. Deadly Nightshade mistakes the Red Panda for Brian McSweenie, Man of a Thousand Faces. The Panda plays along to find out what she's up to.
  • More Dakka: In "Monkeyshines", the Mad Monkey's attack on the heroes takes the form of his small army of baboons with pistols surrounding them. The Flying Squirrel ponders if a bunch of monkeys can even shoot straight, only for the Red Panda to note that they don't have to because there's forty of them. The heroes avoid a shootout altogether by sleep gassing the small horde.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Supervillains who call themselves "Doctor" or "Professor" anything are noted to typically have the academic credentials to back up the title, such as Professor Fredrich von Schlitz and his many doctorates. This becomes a plot point in "The Empty Box" when the heroes have to track down a self proclaimed witch doctor, Professor Hex. Between this trope and the fact most magical practitioners consider the term "witch doctor" offensive enough that they'd never use it to describe themselves, they are able to expose Professor Hex as an entomologist who had been poisoning his victims with a specific breed of fly.
  • My Greatest Failure: The World War II Red Panda had the death of his sidekick as this. When Baboon McSmoothie meets our Red Panda, the information on how this happened — and how to prevent it from happening to Kit — are what convince him to help.
  • Noodle Incident: Most episodes have references to cases that happen between episodes, seasons, or before the start of the series.
    • The biggest one might be Tom Tomorrow's sacrifice before the events of "A Nose For News"
    • Another one is when Kit mentioned The Red Panda traveled back in time with a group of other heroes to stop Kid Chaos (who doesn't even show up in the show until somewhere around fourteen episodes later) from rewriting history.
    • Or the case that Red Panda was on when Kit revealed to him that she knew who he was. All we know right now is that he was tied to a chair and Kit had to drive the limo through a wall.
  • No Name Given: Fitzroy's second-in-command, who is only referred to as the Captain. Until she's promoted following Fitzroy's death and becomes the Major.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Lost in time, buildings dropped on them, blown up and more have happened to Red Panda's Rogues Gallery and they keep coming back. Red Panda enough noted that he's stopped thinking they're dead unless he sees the body. And in the case of Kid Chaos, even that wasn't enough.
  • Oblivious to Love: For a master detective, the Red Panda couldn't pick up on any of Kit's hints of romance. Or does he? He sure seems quick to start changing the subject when she starts teasing him or gets jealous.
    "Kit Baxter, behave yourself."
    • One episode involved a judge being struck by a seeming voodoo curse. At the end of the episode, we learn that his secretary is in the same boat as Kit.
    • In Episode 36, "The Field Trip", it turns out Panda knew what she was doing all along...but he thought she was kidding. Kit points out that it went way too far for just a jokenote , and figures he was in denial from self esteem issues. Then they get engaged.
  • Once an Episode:
    • The Red Panda drawing people's attention while Squirrel flanks them.
    • The Red Panda using hypnosis.
      • The Red Panda drawing people's attention with hypnosis while Squirrel flanks them.
    • This was deconstructed on one occasion where the bad guys tell their guards exactly what Panda normally does. If they start noticing the other guards going quiet, they just kill the hostages immediately. This forces the Panda to just...walk up to one, tell him what's really at stake, and ask him for help. It works.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • At no point does anyone refer to the Red Panda by his real name. His secret identity's rich acquaintances tend towards "old friend" and "dear boy", Kit only calls him "Boss", and (before The Reveal noted below) the narration simply referred to him as "one of the city's wealthiest men". This may be tied in with his Secret-Identity Identity, below.
    • The creators said that there was only one situation in which his name would be revealed, and in "Operation: Cold Feet", it happened. As he and Kit get married, his name is revealed: August Fenwick.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: One of Kit's "Baxter's Laws" is that when a supervillain prone to Idiosyncrazy starts behaving out of character, something is up. For example, criminal mastermind the Poet is known for announcing his crimes with poems so good that universities teach by them, so when clues that are ostensibly from the Poet in "The Terrible Two" are ridiculously simplistic limericks, it's a sign that there's more going on. Specifically, the Mad Monkey and Jackrabbit are framing the Poet for their crimes. "The Case of the Missing Muse" features the Poet breaking into high security vaults, leaving behind crumpled up pieces of paper, and leaving without stealing a thing all because he's lost his inspiration.
  • Paranormal Gambling Advantage: Rookie superhero Doctor Improbable is a physicist by trade and gambler by nature. When he gained his power to make events more likely to happen the more improbable they are, he discovered that the longer the odds of the bets he made, the more they were a sure thing. This worked until he realized that the odds were dependent on his own perception of them. Once he had enough confidence in his powers that he knew the bets were guaranteed wins, his "Improbability Factor" worked against him and turned gambling back into a gamble. From there, he took up a profession in which he was certain to fail and die, superheroics, and has done pretty well since. His spotlight episode, "The Doctor Is In", reveals that Doctor Improbable's powers are not, in fact, Winds of Destiny, Change!, but standard Reality Warping that affects his surroundings based on his own fear or confidence levels.
  • Passing the Torch: After coming back from Europe, the Red Panda starts operating with an eye towards retirement once the war is over and things have settled down. Kit notes he's looking at the Danger Federation in general and Mr. Amazing in particular as retirement plans. However the DF is spread out across Canada and Mr. Amazing doesn't survive the war. A successor is eventually found in the form of the Black Eagle, otherwise known as Harry Kelly.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Red Panda and the Flying Squirrel do this in "The Callaghan Mob". They're stuck on the sidelines that time while their agents do the heavy lifting.
    Flying Squirrel (being offered popcorn): You're not serious.
    Red Panda: I'm always serious. Only this time I also have popcorn.
  • Pregnant Badass: She might be dealing with crippling Morning Sickness, but the Flying Squirrel still manages to garotte a man while suspended from the ceiling.
  • Properly Paranoid: By accident. When he ends up on Canada's Home Team of superheroes, Panda and Squirrel alter the files with their secret identities, to prevent blackmail. Much later on, someone tries to kill the entire team. Including the guy they put in the records.
  • A Rare Sentence: In "Trial By Terror", the Flying Squirrel infiltrates an asylum after the Red Panda fails to check in. She remarks to herself that silence might make a girl jealous. "Luckily, you're in an asylum full of supervillains." She then quips that she'd bet a nickel nobody's ever said that before.
  • Reality Warper: Doctor Improbable describes his powers as guaranteeing an event's happening the longer the odds of it against occurring are. This is apparently demonstrated by the Red Panda, the Flying Squirrel, and the Doctor finding fourteen separate death traps in a Nazi labyrinth and discovering all of them non-functional. However, the Red Panda realizes there's more to it when escape is in sight and they hit active traps every few feet. He theorizes Doctor Improbable's powers are more in line with general reality warping, only basing their effects on what he thinks the odds are because he thinks they should. His powers really make things easier or harder depending on his own fear or confidence levels.
  • Real Stitches for Fake Snitches: In "The Red Squirrel", the Flying Squirrel interrupts a heist by the Genie's thugs. She knocks out all but one, ironically nicknamed Fink, and proceeds to question him about the Genie's plans. When he resists, the Squirrel offers to simply let him go while showing she knows perfectly well what the Genie will assume when Fink returns alone and without a mark on him. Indeed, when outside interference allows Fink to escape, the Genie assumes Fink betrayed him and is only dissuaded when Fink's account of how he escaped includes details he believes Fink too stupid to make up.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Subverted with von Schlitz and the Nazis (where superscience has led to such innovations as dinosaur cavalry, magically augmented shock troops, alien dimension warping tech, and magitek ray guns. The Allies, on the other hand, seem to be on about the same technology level that they actually were during WWII. The James Rocket Pack doesn't seem to have made it into the hands of the common soldier, and Fenwick Industries seems to be the only company actually preparing for having to fight superscience. Their President and CEO being a superhero might have something to do with that. That being said, with all the Red Panda and Dr. Chronopolis' inventions (not to mention the aforementioned gear of Doc Rocket), Canada isn't getting much benefit from its gadgeteer heroes initially, though season Seven has an Allied Helicarrier punch through occupied Netherlands airspace.
  • Residual Self-Image: In "The Darkness Beyond", Kit and John Doe enter a spiritual plane in order to find out what's happened to an Eldritch Abomination that's suddenly up and disappeared. While there, their forms, and even the dimension itself, shape themselves based on their own perceptions. Despite being on the tail end of pregnancy, Kit identifies as her superhero persona, the Flying Squirrel, so much that she appears in full costume and a more svelte figure than she ever had in reality. John Doe, meanwhile, appears in his original identity and appearance of "John Archer" even though he has been masquerading as the Red Panda, to the extent of changing his face, for several months by that point.
  • Retired Badass: The Stranger is long retired by the time he's formally introduced into the story. However, when he joins the Flying Squirrel to rescue the Red Panda from Mordriel the Malevolent, he has enough power to send the dark wizard packing, at least for a time. He comes out of retirement when the Nazis begin seeking out supernatural artifacts and becomes a central figure in the Occult Wars, cited by the Council of Mages as one of the reasons they last for as long as they ultimately do. The book The Pyramid of Peril notes that if the Nazis had become active just a few years later, his retirement may well have stuck.
  • Rogues Gallery: The Red Panda has a pretty big one. Some are never directly encountered in the main series, only ever mentioned in passing as a Noodle Incident, such as Ajay Shah, the Red Panda's fellow pupil in hypnotism, or Captain Clockwork, who is frequently mentioned but only seen in-series just before his death. The books help rectify this, as they detail encounters with both supervillains.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: People keep trying to pull this with the Red Panda. It never ends well for them.
  • Secret Identity:
    • The Red Panda goes to great lengths to keep his and the Flying Squirrel's civilian identities a secret. Upon learning the Canadian government has files on them, he and the Squirrel go so far as to fabricate fakes of the files and replace the real ones stashed all over the country. This pays off when people as high as the Prime Minister and even Friedrich von Schlitz try to intimidate the Red Panda by revealing they know his real identity, only to use the name from one of the fakes.
    • In one episode, Tom Tomorrow, Man of the Future is accused of murdering someone to protect his identity. The Flying Squirrel is surprised he even has one, given he's a time traveler, but is told his time traveling is limited to one return trip and he needs a civilian identity like any superhero.
    • In "Thirteen at Table", the second Molecule Max takes keeping a secret identity much more seriously than his predecessor. He notes the reason why is fairly obvious, given the first Max was killed in an attack that targeted him at the college he taught at.
  • Secret-Identity Identity: The Red Panda is scornful of the man he once was, a playboy who was so bored he picked up superheroing for a lark... and realized how empty his life had been. Kit's understanding of this side of the Red Panda is largely why she was accepted as a sidekick rather than hypnotized into forgetting about it.
  • Secret-Keeper:
    • The Red Panda's first chauffeur tried to blackmail his way into being one. He forgot that his boss was a master hypnotist.
    • There's hints that the Fenwicks' butler, Weston, might know more than he lets on; at the very least, he's noted his employers' interest in certain headlines as of "Murder Wears a Mask". This is confirmed in "City of the Dead." He finds Kit Baxter passed out in the mansion, still wearing her Flying Squirrel costume. Oops.
    • And of course Fenwick's commanding officer: Fitzroy.
    • Later Secret Keepers include Dr. Anna Chronopolis and Kit's mother.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: In "The Final Problem", it's revealed that the Mad Monkey has known for years, but kept the secret because he's utterly indifferent to August Fenwick - he only cares about his rivalry with the Red Panda.
  • Shout-Out:
  • "Shut Up" Kiss:
    • The Red Panda does this to Kit in "The Field Trip"; she quickly returns the favor.
    • Andy Parker does this to his soon to be girlfriend/now wife in "The Boy in Blue."
      Andy: Ellen, it's hard for me to kiss you when your mouth won't stop moving.
  • Silent Credits
    • The season six finale, "There Will Be Rain Tonight", is a Wham Episode which features the Red Panda's plane being shot down en route to Europe and all but two members of the Home Team of superheroes working on the Canadian home front being assassinated. The normally bombastic "This concludes another adventure of the Red Panda" ending monologue by Steven Burley is delivered in a much more serious and somber tone.
    • The season nine finale, "The Gadget", ends on the Red Ensign taking Friedrich von Schlitz to his final doom at the A-Bomb testing site in Trinity, New Mexico. In this case, the "this concludes" monologue is omitted entirely, going straight to the reading of the cast list while an explosion is heard in the background.
    • "The Final Problem" is the Red Panda Adventures chronological Grand Finale. It trades the "This concludes" monologue in favor of an announcement by series creator and voice of the Red Panda Gregg Taylor announcing that, while this is the final episode chronologically, they will still be releasing new episodes that take place at varying points in the Red Panda's and Flying Squirrel's careers.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Nikolai "Doctor Bumblebee" Darius, one of the first supervillains the Red Panda ever faced, only appears in person in "Flight of the Bumblebee", but has had a major impact on the Red Panda universe. The Red Panda borrowed some of the technology from his original exoskeleton suit to create gadgets like his trademark static shoes, and his Royal Jelly became the base the Canadian army used for its super soldier experiments. Experiments that went on to create the monster in "Barbarian at the Gates", as well as Mr. Amazing and the Black Eagle.
  • Soldiers at the Rear: The Red Panda's millionaire playboy alter ego was officially given one of these jobs when he enlisted, to cover for the Red Panda's real mission: fighting Nazi agents on Canadian soil.
  • Something Only They Would Say: When another hypnotist convinces the Squirrel that the Red Panda is the bad guy, the Panda uses the phrase "Kit Baxter, behave yourself!" to prove his identity.
  • Stable Time Loop: In "The Honoured Dead", the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel are supposed to recover an artifact that disappeared ten years ago. They decide to go back in time and steal it, on the assumption that this was how it went missing in the first place.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Antonia Zombanistro aka Professor Zombie is a villain version of this. Also Arthur Maestro aka The Maestro.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Almost everything in the original series. In the new one, Dr. von Schlitz, of so-far-pre-WWII Nazi Germany, creates inventions that are fusions of science and magic. As well, the Stranger and his magical colleagues often speak of the occult forces stirring in Europe...
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Zig Zagged in "The Callaghan Mob". The amateur gangsters hassling Kit's neighborhood are getting away with it because they're too disorganized for the police to deal with in more than dribs and drabs. Further, the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel can't watch the neighborhood all the time and will likely get pulled away by their own bigger fish. The Panda's solution is to gather gather his agents and, with the help of the police and his ownership of the newspaper, fake a gang taking over that area; one that has no problem defending its territory and making the risk not worth the reward for the amateurs and run them off, creating the result of the trope without ever actually using it.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: The Electric Eel from "Duality" onward.
  • Super Registration Act: Interestingly, this seems to be being done by the heroes themselves; specifically, New York's Justice Union, who have tried to strongarm the Red Panda into joining before.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Nightshade apparently mistakes the Red Panda for this world's version of Baboon McSmoothie.
  • Terror Hero: The Red Panda makes heavy use of this in his crimefighting, acting as The Cowl in the style of heroes like the Spirit or the Shadow. In the second episode, "Night Patrol" he explains to the still-rookie sidekick Kit that their regular night patrols are done to instill a sense that they could be anywhere, anytime, acting as a deterrent even if they aren't or can't actually be present. This gets further delved into in "The Trojan Horse", in which a now more experienced Kit is mentoring John Archer as he stands in for the Red Panda. When John's attempt to bargain with criminals, offering them a walk so the heroes can concentrate on the people they're actually after, goes disastrously, Kit explains that much of it was precisely because the hoods weren't afraid of him.
    John: They must have known they couldn't win. Why did they fight?
    Kit: 'Cause they weren't scared of you. You walked in the door and made them a reasonable offer. You stood in the light and- and traded logic with them. Scaring the living bejeepers out of a room full of gunzels ain't such a bad superpower, you know.
  • That Man Is Dead:
    • The Electric Eel believes this about his alter ego in "Trial By Terror" He was wrong.
    • In season nine, Professor Zombie says that the old her is dead, which is subverted in that she is quite literally dead- Canadian special ops made her inhale her own formula, turning her into a nihilistic, self-aware super-zombie and buried her, thinking that was that.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Red Panda and Kit have to worry about this when they pose as newlyweds in "Curse of Beaton Hall", much to Kit's delight and the Panda's discomfort.
  • Through the Ceiling, Stealthily: In "The Field Trip", the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel sneak into a museum in New York to locate an item the Nazis are after. They do this by using their static shoes to come in through the roof and walk on the ceiling. The Red Panda notes this mode of entry was picked specifically because there usually aren't alarms on the ceiling, though the Squirrel notes that, New York being a major hotspot of caped crimefighters and supervillains, one would think they would have considered it.
  • Time Skip: Between the end of Season 5 and the start of season 6.
  • Title Drop: In "Murder Wears A Mask" one of the headlines Kit reads is the aforementioned title.
  • Tomato Surprise: John at the end of "Just Like Clockwork." But most Genre Savvy listeners most likely guessed by the first commercial break.
  • Too Clever by Half: Wentworth James is a brilliant inventor, but he is a Horrible Judge of Character and "solves" problems with When All You Have Is a Hammer…, that makes it clear he's Too Dumb to Live.
  • Translator Microbes: In season 7, the Red Panda can apparently do this subconsciously through hypnotic abilities. He has no idea how it works.
  • Triple Shifter: For much of the series, this trope is avoided as the Red Panda's secret identity is a Upper-Class Twit and Kit is the rich idiot's chauffeur. This allows them to be together at nearly any moment without arousing suspicion of superheroics or needing other employment. Early on, when Kit confirms that she still gets paid to be a chauffeur, the Red Panda notes she does because she wouldn't be much use as a sidekick if she had to get a second job. This changes later in the series, when many of the Red Panda's agents enlist in the military during the build up of World War II. Kit takes a job at Daily Chronicle, owned by the Red Panda, to make use of the paper as a source of information. From then on she's generally shown balancing her work life with her hero life, such as worrying about filing a story at the office about recent villain-stomping, or being exhausted at the paper when hero matters keep her busy.
  • Unholy Matrimony: As of "The Terrible Two", Mad Monkey and Jack Rabbit. How quickly they hook up leaves poor Kit rather flummoxed. By the Mad Monkey's next appearance, they've broken up.
  • The Un-Reveal: Who and what the Syndicate really was: A Nazi infiltration group.
  • Unskilled, but Strong:
    • A common problem for Flying Bricks and others with Super-Toughness as one of their powers, and one that, if given the opportunity, the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel take steps to correct. The Squirrel in particular tells such people that being as strong as ten men isn't much good if you run into someone as strong as twenty men and don't have anything else to fall back on. John Doe, Mr. Amazing, and the Black Eagle all benefit from these lessons.
    • The Crimson Death was given Combo Platter Powers by implanting him with the powers of low level supervillains. However, he never shows the same level of proficiency with them as the original owners. For example, the Crimson Death's first defeat was because the heroes could use infrared to detect him even when he used Invisibility. The Vapor, who had the power before him, eventually learned to make himself invisible to the infrared spectrum. In a later encounter, the Crimson Death simply uses his Playing with Fire abilities to mask his heat signature by setting everything around him ablaze.
  • Villain Team-Up:
    • "The Terrible Two" features the Mad Monkey and Jack Rabbit in Unholy Matrimony.
    • Also "Trial By Terror", the Electric Eel frees the inmates of the asylum to put the Red Panda on trial.
    • The Red Panda Revenge Squad in "A Dish Best Served Cold", a group of five of the Panda's foes.note  The problem of "too many egos" is brought up as a common issue with such things and the Genie comments he enjoys them because he gets to meet the most interesting people.
    • Kid Chaos and Professor Zombie with what's left of the mob in "The Crime Cabal" novel.
  • Wall Crawl: The heroes do it with "static shoes".
  • Wedding Smashers: Kid Chaos and a Mook try this at Kit and the Red Panda's wedding, in "Operation: Cold Feet". They have no idea just who they're robbing, so they suspect nothing when the Flying Squirrel, actually the Red Squirrel posing as Kit, comes in and busts up their heist.
  • Wham Episode: The Sixth Season closer "There Will Be Rain Tonight", big time. It begins with the Red Panda being informed that most of his former operatives have vanished behind enemy lines and are either dead or captured. No sooner has our hero flown off with Doc Rocket on a recon/rescue mission than Colonel Fitzroy and almost every other Home Team superhero are assassinated. We have just enough time to recover from that before the plane RP and Doc are on blows up in midair in a cliffhanger that won’t be resolved for another five flipping months! Damn you for being so good, Gregg Taylor!
  • Will They or Won't They?: The Red Panda and The Flying Squirrel...until "The Field Trip."
  • You Already Changed the Past:
    • "Eyes of the Idol" has an emissary from the Council of Mages tell the Flying Squirrel that the Nazis have attempted to travel back in time to the middle ages and conquer the past. However, a known issue with time travel is that a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs and most people who travel back or forward in time quickly die because they have no immunity to the sicknesses of the age and vice versa. This can be accounted for and avoided, but the Nazis never learned how. As a result, the Nazis who went back all died and, in the process, caused the Black Plague; their attempt to establish the Thousand-Year Reich a thousand years ago was always a part of the timeline.
    • In "The Honoured Dead", the Red Panda and Flying Squirrel are supposed to recover an artifact that disappeared ten years ago. They decide to go back in time and steal it, on the assumption that this was how it went missing in the first place. While there, they stop a man from committing a rather explosive suicide. Only after the fact does the Red Panda realize the man they saved is someone they know in the present day.
    • In "The Chimes at Midnight", a pair of would-be assassins come to 1945 Toronto from the future to murder the man who would become the Black Eagle on the day he becomes a superhero. They think that's because it's the day he gets his powers, but all they actually do is confirm that the Black Eagle becomes a name for the history books; much to the Red Panda's and Flying Squirrel's chagrin, since the Black Eagle is Harry Kelly who, thanks to this event, knows to lie about his origin story to ensure it happens.