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Recap / The Powerpuff Girls S 4 EP 6

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Dick Hardly, a college friend of Professor Utonium, discovers the Powerpuff Girls and tricks them into telling him how they were made. He then starts mass producing Powerpuff Girlz X-Treme, cheap knock-offs of the girls.

Knock It Off provides examples of:

  • A Dick in Name: Dick Hardly is not a nice man.
    Blossom: That-that...Professor Dick!
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Professor Utonium literally begs Dick to let his girls go. Dick won’t listen to it.
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  • Asshole Victim: Dick gets destroyed along with the factory in the end.
  • Big "NO!": Dick Hardly's last words are a no.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Dick Hardly pretends to be friends with Utonium solely so he can leech off him. Later Hardly makes it seem like to the Powerpuff girls he wants to help the world when he's only interested in creating superheroes to exploit for money.
  • Body Horror: Dick’s transformation after swallowing the Chemical X is pretty freaky, along with some of the more deformed Powerpuff Girlz X-Treme.
  • Broken Pedestal: At first, Professor Utonium is thrilled to see his old college buddy Dick again since he still fondly remembers him (having failed to notice Dick's true nature back then), but his image of his 'friend' is quickly shattered when he hears Dick talk about making money off the Powerpuff Girls. Soon, Utonium gets so fed up he orders Dick to leave. It gets worse once Utonium sees what he's done to the girls and the Girlz Xtreme.
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  • The Cameo: Wally Gator has a cameo in this episode as a giant monster that trips over a bridge in New York, but is steadied by the first 3 Powerpuff Knock Offs before he falls onto any buildings.
  • Character Death: Dick Hardly.
  • Collapsing Lair: Dick Hardly's factory ends up collapsing in the fight between him and the Girlz X-Treme.
  • Cutting Corners: To make more money, Dick gradually cuts back on the ingredients for the Powerpuff Girlz X-Treme, resulting in the later knock offs being more and more deformed and malfunctioning.
  • Creepy Monotone: The Girlz Xtreme do this at the end during their Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is by far one of the darkest episodes of the series due to the production of mass produced sentient clones that are abused and killed, as well as the fact that Dick Hardly is killed at the end by his creations (thus making his death one of the only permanent villain death in the series). Not to mention the horrifying imagery.
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  • Decoy Protagonist: The Girls acts as the main characters as usual for the show in the episode, however, after Dick Hardly turns into a One-Winged Angel and tries to kill them to harvest their Chemical X, the Professor arrives and saves them with The Power of Love, while Dick is killed by his own creations. In a way, the Professor is the real protagonist of this episode, as Dick Hardly was his so-called good roommate from college and the episode follows the Professor's realization that his college friend was Evil All Along from the beginning when Dick announces in front of the Professor to exploit the Girls for profit to the climax when the Professor catches him trying to kill the Girls and comes to their rescue with the help of Dick's defective creations.
  • Emotional Powers: The episode shows that the girls possess them in a sense. After having their Chemical X drained, and being left functionally dead, when Professor Utonium embraces and weeps over his children, absorbing his love for them resurrects them. As opposed to Dick's knock-offs who he shows no love for whatsoever, each of which melts down and falls apart after a few hours.
  • End of an Era: This was the last episode of the show produced with traditional cel animation.
  • Establishing Character Moment: During the Professor's flashback, he and Dick are both using telescopes at night. The Professor uses his to stargaze while Dick uses his to spy on some women at a nearby pool. From the moment we meet him, we know Dick is a shallow sleezeball.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: While Utonium loves and treasures his three creations, Dick saw the Powerpuff Girls X-treme as money-making objects. As lampshaded by Utonium himself at the end of the episode: "Old Dick may have gotten the formula right, but the one ingredient he forgot was love."
  • Expy: In India, some of the Powerpuff Knock Offs fight a human expy of Mojo Jojo named Rajah JahJah. Likewise, in Japan, Expies of Mazinger Z and Ultraman can be seen mourning when the Powerpuff Knock Offs take away their job.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Dick Harldy was originally just a sleazy jerk who took advantage of Professor Utonium, but by the end of the episode, he's a total monster.
  • Greed: Dick Hardly is a capitalist through and through despite wearing hippie attire in his teen years. He's willing to enslave his old friend, kill his friend's daughters, and even have his own personal creations/daughters die so he can sell more.
  • Horrible Judge of Character:
    • The girls fail to realize Dick Hardly is up to no good when he convinces them to help him create more Powerpuffs, despite the fact that they clearly heard him call them “things” earlier, and where there when he tried to convince the professor to turn them into a gold mine.
    • Professor Utonium was also like this back in college, never noticing what a douchebag Dick really was. He quickly comes to realize Dick's true colors when the two meet again in present day though.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Dick Hardly calls the Powerpuff Girls things angering Utonium.
  • Jerkass: Dick Hardly was A Dick in Name back in the college days. He goes beyond this in the present.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Dick Hardly makes it seem like he makes to his own Powerpuff girls to sincerely help the world when all he actually wants is cash.
  • Karmic Death: Dick Hardly is one of the most vile and repulsive villains in the show and one of the few to explicitly die once the creations he's been mass-producing for his own gain turn on him and save Utonium and the real Powerpuff Girls.
  • Killed Off for Real: Dick Hardly and all his Powerpuff Knock Offs that were still at the factory. The remainder likely died to their hour lifespan.
  • Loony Fan: Dick Hardly is even worse than Lenny from "Collect Her".
  • Losing Your Head: As a PPG knockoff (who resembles Bubbles with Buttercup's hairstyle) living in Egypt says "I think they're asking for a hiney-whooping!", her head comes loose from her body and rolls away.
  • Millionaire Playboy: Dick Hardly uses a lot of his money on women.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Seeing how Professor Utonium loves his girls and realizing that Dick never loved or even cared about them is what makes the Powerpuff Knock Offs turn on their creator.
  • Mundane Utility: Dick first sees the Powerpuff Girls in action when they use their superpowers to help clean up the laboratory.
  • Nightmare Face: Many of the Powerpuff Girlz X-Treme have this such as the one Utonium mistook for Blossom which has yellow hamster like teeth. The artists must've really had fun designing these mutant knock-off Powerpuff Girls.
  • Offing the Offspring: Dick Hardly having his too-perfect Buttercup knock-off can qualify as this.
  • One-Winged Angel: Dick Hardly becomes a monster once he swallows the Chemical X. It's even Lampshaded by Dick himself.
    Dick Hardly: You know, for a second there, I thought I was gonna turn into a monster or something.
  • Papa Wolf: Utonium was willing to let Dick Hardly push him around even in the present, but drew the line and kicked Dick out when he started about merchandising the Powerpuff Girls.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite Dick revealing his true colors to Utonium a few minutes later, he does tell him to pay one of his bills sooner or later.
  • The Power of Love: What allows professor Utonium to revive his girls.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Dick Hardly was using the Powerpuff Girlz X-Treme to fight villains only so he could make a fortune.
  • Redemption Equals Death: The Powerpuff Girls' Knock Offs help the professor free the girls and escape the building, but are then killed off in the explosion that follows.
  • Super Prototype: The original Powerpuff Girls are clearly better than the mass produced knock offs Dick Hardly makes with minimum material to make money.
  • Shadow Archetype: Hardly is this to Utonium. While the Professor loves and treasures his three creations, Dick regards the Powerpuff Girls Xtreme as expendable and only good for making money, even ordering his workers to melt down one of the clones for its Chemical X when he sees that she turned out to be a perfect copy of Buttercup.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: The Powerpuff Girlz X-Treme are a living version of this. Being made with minimum material resulting in them falling apart within hours.
  • Tranquil Fury: Utonium enters this once Dick starts talking about profiting off the Girls and calling them "things." While he's clearly furious, he keeps his cool and throws Dick out of the house without even raising his voice.
    Utonium: You just keep clear of me and my kids, pal. Consider our little visit over. [slams the door in Dick's face]
  • Unreliable Narrator: Everything Utonium tells us about Dick is nothing but contradictory information when we see what he was really like.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Despite the Girlz X-treme being his "children" Dick Hardly is willing to make them so shoddy they'll literally fall apart and even have perfect knock-offs killed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It’s never revealed what became of the Powerpuff Knock Offs that were not at the factory when it blew up. They are never seen again after this episode. Then again, it was stated they each only lasted for a couple of hours..
  • Wingding Eyes: Dick Hardley gets the classic dollar sign-eyes when he sees the Powerpuff Girls and realizes the fortune he could make with them.
  • You Fool!: Dick says this at one point.
  • You Have Failed Me: Dick Hardly has one of the Girlz X-treme killed for being too perfect as he wants to keep customers buying with unstable "products."
  • Your Days Are Numbered: The Powerpuff Girlz Xtreme are said to last for only 3-4 hours which Hardly uses to sell more.

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