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Recap / Superman The Animated Series S 2 E 8 Mxyzpixilated

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Superman's latest week has been so odd that he wonders if he's going crazy. Things seem to be happening that no one else can see, and mixed up in it is a strange little man. Then the Man of Steel discovers that the bizarre occurrences have been caused by a 5th-dimensional imp, Mr. Mxyzptlk, who unfortunately wants to play games with him. The only way to get rid of him is to force him to say/spell/etc. his name backwards, but this only works for 90 days at a time, and each time Mxy gets angrier and more determined to beat him. Can Superman get rid of this exasperating imp once and for all?


This episode contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Subverted; Clark deliberately calls Mxy "Klytpzyxm" the second time the little guy appears, provoking Mxy to correct him and banish himself after a few seconds.
  • All Myths Are True: Mxy claims to have inspired the stories about imps, genies and leprechauns.
  • Alternative Calendar/Exploding Calendar: As Mxy builds his giant robot, the months of "George" and "Relish" go by, until he's finally ready on the 30th day of "Pants".
  • Batman Gambit: Superman plays Mxy every time after the rules are set, especially in their last battle.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Mxy turns Ma and Pa Kent into chickens, then ducks, then ostriches, and finally, for "the sake of novelty", alien beasts. Later, he turns the Daily Planet staff into a complete menagerie of animals. .
  • Berserk Button: Clark becomes livid after his parents are turned into alien beasts. Mxy is actually scared of him.
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  • Cymbal-Banging Monkey: Mxy turns a Superman statuette into one of these at the conclusion.
  • Dub Name Change: When this episode was dubbed for Brazilian viewers, Mxyzptlk was renamed "Mxyzpixilated". However, he retains his original name in "Little Big Head Man".
  • The End... Or Is It?: Superman meets Mxy's condition and - supposedly - gets rid of him for good, but Mxy vows to find some way to return at the end. (And as a later episode shows, he does.)
  • Epic Fail: After Mxy spends the entire three months of George, Relish, and Pants building a giant robot to fight Superman, he's banished again before Gspy is even able to count to five.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Gsptlsnz says using their powers to torment others is "so three-dimensional."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Mxy tells Rodin's "Thinking Man" sculpture (whom he calls McGurk) to "finish his business". Yes, Mxy just said Thinking Man was taking a shit.
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  • Great Gazoo: Mr. Mxyzptlk.
  • Guile Hero: Unable to use his strength to outwit Mxyzptlk, Superman has to rely on his brains to make the little guy go away.
  • Here We Go Again!: Clark only says "here we go" when the Daily Planet staff gets changed into animals.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": When Clark initially mispronounces his name, Mxyzptlk corrects him and provides the handy mnemonic (which he illustrates using his powers) "Mix", "Yes", "Spit", "Lick".
  • Jerkass: Mxy.
  • Just Ignore It: Before the final confrontation of the episode, Clark puts on a great show of indifference to Mxy transforming the Daily Planet staff into animals and threatening to expose Superman's secret identity. He thus goads Mxy into raising the stakes from a ninety-day reprieve to a permanent departure.
  • Moving the Goalposts: After Superman manages to get rid of him several times by tricking him into saying his name backwards, Mxy promises to leave forever if he does it twice in a row. (Which Superman still manages.)
  • Ms. Fanservice: Gsptlsnz. (Especially when you consider her VA is Sandra Bernhard.)
  • Mundane Utility: Superman uses his heat vision to shave.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The scene at the beginning with Mxy looking for his friend "McGurk" and then "finding" him by bringing the statue to life is from Mxy's original first appearance, way back in Superman #30 from 1941.
    • Mxy turns Jimmy into a turtle. In the comics, a growth ray combined with a turtle turned the hapless kid into a giant turtle boy.
    • Mxy turning Lois into a horse could be a nod to her time as a superfilly.
    • Lois confirms her sister Lucy is in this continuity, and is just as much of a pain.
    • Mxy using his powers to make Streaky the cat fly, a nod to the cat gaining superpowers in the Silver Age comics.
    • The strip "Mr. Mxyzptlk" is said to be written by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Mxy's creators (not to mention Superman's).
    • Mxy's claim of being the source of stories about imps, genies, and leprechauns is a nod to Lois & Clark. It's also a nod to a Superfriends episode where he pretends to be a genie.
    • Clark's initial mispronunciation of Mxy's name (he pronounces it as Mix-ill-plick) is a reference to how it was pronounced in Superfriends
  • No Indoor Voice: Mxy. What do you expect from Gilbert Gottfried?
  • No Ontological Inertia: After Mxy is banished for good, everything returns to the point immediately before he starting turning the staff into animals.
  • Noodle Incident: Mxy spends three months creating a giant robot to fight Superman. We never hear about what happens, but he pops back into the fifth dimension a few seconds after leaving.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Gsp tries to get Mxy's attention with various come-hither outfits, but he remains focused on building his giant robot.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Superman pulls this on Mxy twice. First is when he claims not to know which one of them is supposed to say Mxy's name backwards. Second is when he makes several writing mistakes, getting Mxy to spell-check and mark off the necessary letters.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mxy several times, immediately after realizing that he just triggered another banishment.
    "Aw nuts!"
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Mxy to Gspy after his robot plan fails: "Not. One. Word."
  • Reality Warper: Mxy, unfortunately.
  • Seen It All: Clark doesn't blink an eye when he sees a penguin walking by his computer desk. Afterward, he only says "Here we go" when the Daily Planet staff change into animals.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Mxy turns the staff into animals, Superman just gives up and leaves. That was part of his plan, though.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: According to Lois, her sister does this whenever she visits.
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
    Lois: Was that a penguin?
    Clark: I'm afraid so. [Lois gets turned into a horse] Here we go.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Mxyzptlk and Gsptlsnz.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Clark when he's shaving himself in the privacy of his bathroom before Mxy interrupts.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Gspy sarcastically asks this when Mxys gets tricked the third time, giving Mxy the idea to create a giant robot to kill Superman.
  • Women Are Wiser: Gsptlsnz chastises Mxyzptlk using his powers to torment others. She says he should just destroy Superman outright instead of play games, but she also knew exactly how that would go.


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