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Recap / Miraculous Ladybug S01 E22 "Simon Says"

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Simon Says it's over!

"I am Hawk Moth. You are now Simon Says. I will help you be the most powerful hypnotist ever. You will help me in return when the time is right, so do we have a deal, Simon Says?"
Hawk Moth

When Simon Girmault, a stage magician, is humiliated by Gabriel Agreste on live television, he is transformed into the supervillain Simon Says, who takes control of a zombie army to exact revenge.


  • Actually Quite Catchy: Nino participates in a challenge-based game-show. Since he's an aspiring DJ, his challenge is to get the mayor of Paris, who in his own words despises dancing, to dance. When after a minute or so, the mayor start to bob along with the beat, the host declares a victory for Nino because "moving your head to the beat counts as dancing."
  • Adult Fear:
    • For Adrien, hearing that the akuma is targeting his father, and compelling the latter to jump off a TV studio roof.
    • Gabriel has an akuma attacking his house, threatening him and his son, because he humiliated a man on live television. He doesn't fear for his safety, but at the end of the episode he gives Adrien a hug. He then proceeds to ruin the moment by asking about Adrien's ring, which leads to Adrien remarking on Gabriel's Parental Neglect. Gabriel doesn't even argue with that point, but it's clear that he's relieved that Adrien is safe.
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  • Always Save the Girl: Subverted. When a hypnotized Gabriel heads for the roof of the TV studio, under the impression he's a plane, Cat Noir prepares to go after him. Ladybug stops him, since she needs his help to beat Simon Says and Gabriel will be saved if they do so. Cat reluctantly agrees, and Ladybug's World-Healing Wave stops Gabriel just before he jumps.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After Marinette is grounded by her parents and sulks in her room, the scene cuts to Hawk Moth, making it look like she's his next victim. Then he reveals that he actually intends to target someone from the show she's watching, because he believes one of them will probably come away with hurt feelings.
  • Bathroom Break-Out: Adrien claims he needs to use the shower so he can transform into Cat Noir and join Ladybug. Then he has to break back in to go back to being Adrien when Ladybug comes looking for him.
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  • Batman Gambit: Possible one for Gabriel Agreste in allowing Simon Says's plans to progress, If he is — as is heavily implied by this episode — Hawk Moth.
  • Blatant Lies: Adrien tells Nino he needs to take a shower because it's a "modeling thing". Nino seems to buy it, given that he confidently repeats the excuse to Ladybug.
  • Breaking Old Trends: This is the first episode to end without the typical Hawk Moth rant.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Adrien as Cat Noir calls out his father for not considering his own safety. As Adrien he snarks that there's a lot that Gabriel hasn't noticed about him, ring aside.
  • Cat Up a Tree: Marinette has a quick flashback of rescuing a cat when her parents are questioning her absences.
  • Chair Reveal: How Gabriel makes his appearance on "The Challenge".
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Ladybug, given she'll miss class to save a helicopter or a Cat Up a Tree.
  • Combat Pragmatist: To incapacitate his brainwashed bodyguard, Cat Noir shoves his bodyguard into an elevator shaft and then uses Cataclysm to send him to the bottom.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Nino's DJ skills, previously seen in "The Bubbler," make a reappearance and earn him a spot.
    • One of the reasons Marinette missed her classes due to being Ladybug involved a helicopter, likely the same one she was hanging onto in the beginning of "Pharaoh".
    • Ladybug notices portraits of Adrien from his modeling, and of his mother.
  • Cutting the Knot: Because the akuma is in one of the cards, the simplest solution is to destroy the entire deck at once. This is obtained through Cat Noir's Cataclysm, the first time he ever uses it to destroy the akumatised item.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For once, Cat Noir gets more focus than Ladybug. He even has a hand in destroying the akumatized object. Amusingly, his second Day in the Limelight episode also has him destroy the akumatized object.
  • Death Glare: Cat Noir gives one to Gabriel for saying You Remind Me of X with an amused smile instead of considering the danger.
  • Depower: Lucky Charm grants Ladybug a more mundane yo-yo. Good thing too, as Simon Says disables her standard one soon after the summon occurs.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Hawk Moth commenting on Simon going after Gabriel Agreste says that it adds a new risk.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Ladybug becomes very flustered when she thinks she's talking to a naked Adrien (who is simply sticking his head around the shower's corner to stop her from coming any deeper into the bathroom because he's already dressed).
  • Distressed Dude: Gabriel Agreste, who is captured by a Brainwashed and Crazy army and then hypnotized by an akuma.
  • Evil Is Petty: Simon Says's revenge on Gabriel is to make him act like a butterfly and then an airplane on live television, though the latter did lead to him nearly jumping off the roof.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Gabriel doesn't lose his composure as Simon Says's army brings him to the TV studio and he gets hypnotized.
  • Foreshadowing: To Hawk Moth's true identity as Gabriel Agreste:
    • Hawk Moth has much less screen time than usual, not even throwing his last threat at the end of episode, because Gabriel is himself for most of the episode.
    • Gabriel shows great interest in both heroes' miraculouses.
    • Hawk Moth says that whole thing with Simon targeting Gabriel is "risky" and tries to discourage Simon Says from attacking Agreste's mansion. During that scene he's seen walking (first time in series) as if he just returned from somewhere.
    • And most blatant of them all, when Simon Says hypnotizes Gabriel he literally says "You're a butterfly" (Hawk Moth's french name) and as he does so his card with butterfly picture lands on Gabriel's chest, mimicking Hawk Moth's brooch.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Gabriel sees Adrien's ring, he has a minor Oh, Crap! expression.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: If Gabriel is indeed Hawk Moth, then this episode features him falling victim to an akuma that he himself manifested.
  • Honor Before Reason: Gabriel would rather not let an akuma bully him into dictating his behavior than protect himself and his son. Ladybug and Cat Noir have to yell at him to take his safety seriously.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: After hypnotizing Gabriel, Simon Says he'll undo the spell if Ladybug and Cat Noir surrender their Miraculous. Ladybug tells him that will never happen.
  • Hypno Fool:
    • Averted. Despite what Alec keeps telling the audience, Simon keeps saying he can't actually force people to do anything under hypnosis.
    • Played straight with Simon Says, who forces people into whatever roles he gives them (such as a duck, a gorilla, living battering rams and a butterfly).
  • Impossible Task: Simon was asked to hypnotize a celebrity to come to the studio. The celebrity turns out to be a Jerkass who, angry about Alec lying to him about the call being an interview, cuts off the call before Simon can even try. He lampshades this as unfair shortly before Hawk Moth corrupts him.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Adrien's dialogue accompanying his Bathroom Break-Out comes off as this to a degree.
  • Jerkass: When he's called up for "The Challenge", Gabriel insults Simon and abruptly ends the call. Of course, Alec did mislead him about why he was calling, which certainly wouldn't help his already sour disposition. If Gabriel is Hawk Moth (who already stated his intent to akumatize a loser of "The Challenge") this could've been intentional in order to maximize Simon's anger by making his defeat as unfair as possible.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Cat Noir, worried about Gabriel, makes only one pun in this episode, and it's after his father has been rescued. For most of it he's no-nonsense about stopping the akuma.
  • Lockdown: The Agreste mansion is able to seal all the windows, turning it into a virtual fortress, but doesn't secure the doors anymore than they already are.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The crowd that Simon encounters. They run screaming before he hypnotizes them into becoming his army.
  • Meaningful Name: Both the English and French versions of Simon's name are a pun of the game Simon Says ("Jacques a dit" in France).
  • Moment Killer: After giving Adrien a hug, which surprises the latter, his father then remarks on Adrien's ring. Adrien then pulls back and snarks about Gabriel's Parental Neglect.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: At least that's what Adrien's karate teacher told him. His bodyguard still easily overpowers him, causing Cat Noir to comment that he's quitting karate.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: This time the akuma is hidden in one of Simon's cards. The heroes spend most of episode tearing card after card, before finally going after the deck.
  • Never Say "Die": "Simon Says: It's over!" says Simon Says as he throws what's implied to be One-Hit Kill cards.
  • Not So Above It All: The Mayor is moving his head to Nino’s beatboxing, despite claiming that he hasn’t danced since Madonna (who was 58 when the episode first aired) was in kindergarten.
  • Not Worth Killing: Nathalie to Simon Says. She's knocked down by the Brainwashed and Crazy army but evades capture and hypnosis.
  • Oblivious to Love: Neither Ladybug nor Adrien realize that they are being adorably awkward around each other because of their crushes.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Plagg, normally lazy and comical, is sad and somber as he watches Adrien reminisce about his Missing Mom and emotionally absent father.
    • For once Hawk Moth doesn't rage about his defeat after the akuma is purified. It's implied to be because he was standing right there in front of Ladybug and Cat Noir in his civilian identity.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Adrien when Simon declares he'll go after Gabriel, and when he compels the latter to "fly like an airplane".
    • Ladybug when Simon nullifies her magical yo-yo.
    • Gabriel when he finds himself unhypnotized and about to jump off a roof.
    • Marinette when Nino wants Ladybug and Cat Noir to dance to his music, right when she's sat down to watch TV with her parents.
    • Gabriel has this expression when he sees Adrien's ring.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: Marinette offers several when her parents list her absences, and she recalls what she was doing — saving a helicopter and a cat respectively.
  • Pet the Dog: Subverted; Gabriel tries to do this when he hugs Adrien at the end, but he ruins the moment by commenting on Adrien's ring. This causes Adrien to remark on his father's Parental Neglect, leaving them both morose at the end after Gabriel leaves.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Marinette's parents; they only ground her so that they know where she is, and after a week of no absences they let her off the hook.
  • Revealing Hug: Gabriel notices Adrien's ring when he surprisingly hugs him at the end of the episode and seems to show a particular interest in it. To what it may amount to is yet to be seen.
  • Saying Too Much: Adrien nearly breaks cover as Cat Noir when he implores Gabriel to activate the mansion's security system. When asked how he knew about the security system, he Hand Waves it by claiming that it's self-evident that a house like this would have one.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The painting of Adrien's mother is an exact recreation of Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, better known as The Woman in Gold.
    • Simon himself bears a uncanny resemblance to Harry Houdini.
  • Shown Their Work: Simon says that he can't force anyone to do anything with hypnosis. This is true, as hypnosis can't cause people to do anything that they wouldn't do under their own free will.
  • Sleeping Dummy: Marinette constructs one to leave the house to chase after Simon Says. Unlike most versions of this trope, she doesn't get discovered by the end.
  • So Proud of You: Gabriel tells Ladybug that he thinks that Adrien is the epitome of perfection, while Adrien is out of hearing.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Marinette has accrued a lot of absences from her superheroing, which gets reported to her parents.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Gabriel says he has nothing to worry about if Ladybug is there to protect him. When the hypnotized army breaks through the gates, Ladybug doesn't have time to rescue Gabriel because she's too busy protecting Adrien.
    • During the ending, Marinette declines to go to the TV station to support Nino, opting instead to watch the show with her parents. Cue Nino calling on Ladybug and Cat Noir to join him on-camera, and Marinette's panicked reaction.
  • Twice Shy: The interaction between Ladybug and Adrien gives off this vibe, in contrast to every other combination of their personas we've seen up to this point - Marinette is only slightly less awkward around Adrien than usual when she meets him as Ladybug, while Adrien is no less awkward than her when meeting Ladybug while he's out of costume.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Simon Says takes Gabriel hostage, Nathalie isn't seen for the rest of the episode, even though she was in the atrium with him at the time. While Nino also disappears after he and Nathalie get to Gabriel's location, he reappears during the ending scene.
  • You Remind Me of X: When Cat Noir gets snappy at Gabriel for thinking himself above other people's suggestions, Gabriel says that his temper reminds him of someone, before gazing at a portrait of his missing wife.


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