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Recap / Wander Over Yonder S 1 E 9 The Hero The Birthday Boy

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The Hero and The Birthday Boy appeared as two halves of the same episode. They first aired on March 31, 2014.


The Hero

Wander and Sylvia are pressed into the service of a buff and brawny hero in his quest to save a beautiful princess from a dragon. It doesn't quite work out for the hero as he hoped.

  • Actor Allusion: Princess Demurra is voiced by Jennifer Hale, who also voices Cinderella in modern appearances. The fact that she is surrounded by animal helpers like Cinderella only further enforces the connection.
    • Also, Brad Starlight is played by James Marsden, playing a rather similar role as Prince Edward in Enchanted.
  • An Aesop:
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    • Anyone can be a hero, no matter their shape, size, gender. or personality.
    • As Demurra demonstrates, women can fight their own battles, thank you very much.
    • More to the point, no one is entitled to a relationship with anyone else.
    • Most importantly, life isn't a fairytale. Things can't always go your way or according to plan.
  • Ambiguously Human: Brad and Demurra are the closest things to humans appearing in this show.
  • Batman Gambit: There is one safe path through the maze, and one dangerous trap. Demurra and Draykor knew that Brad is so egotistical he would never take what looks like Schmuck Bait. They're surprised that Wander navigated the area with ease
  • Big "NO!": By Brad, when he refuses Demurra's idea for a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Damsel in Distress: Zigzagged. First starts out as enforced for the plot and discussed by all of our "heros". Then it turns out it was a lie, Brad exploited it for the sake of KIDNAPPING Princess Demurra himself! (Played for drama & maybe inverted for Brad?) Then subverted when she kicks his butt.
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  • Death Course: The Labyrinth of Delusion, complete with an alternate route and a patterned series of attacks. Not that either does Brad any good. It turns out Draykor set it up specifically to keep Brad from kidnapping Demurra.
  • Dragons Prefer Princesses: Drakor is in love with Princess Demurra, and, according to Brad Starlight, he keeps her as a prisoner. The truth, however, is that princesses also prefer dragons.
  • Dragons Versus Knights: The setup has a wandering knight questing to slay a fearsome dragon and rescue his captive, although it eventually turns out that the knight is a pompous jerkass who views himself as a hero when he's really a Dirty Coward and his noble quest exists mostly in his own mind.
  • Entitled to Have You: Brad feels this way about Demurra since she’s a princess and he’s a knight (at least that what he thinks he is). And according to Demurra, this isn’t the first time he’s tried to “rescue” her from her fiancé Drakor.
    Demurra: Seriously, Bradley?! This again?! (To Wander and Sylvia) I’m sorry, did he drag you two along on some crazy “rescue mission”?
    (Wander and Sylvia nod. Demurra claps her hands and the guards release them)
    Brad: It’s not a crazy mission! The prophecy foretold!
    Demurra: “Prophecy”?! You mean, like, your diary from when we were what, fifteen?
  • Foreshadowing:
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    • A minor example, but Brad is unable to pull out the Sword of Destiny while Wander can. This hints that Brad is not the hero as his prophecy told him, but Wander is the true hero. But ultimately subverted: while Wander is the protagonist, neither are the hero. Demurra is.
    • The "prophecy" sounds a little too specific, as opposed to the traditional prophecies that are like cryptic riddles. This may hint that Bradley made it all up himself.
  • Good All Along: It turns out Draykor is not evil as Brad predicted; he's very friendly and is engaged to Demurra.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Sylvia shudders at Demurra wearing pink, despite that being the same color as her hair/feathers and saddle blanket.
  • I Meant to Do That: Brad's reaction to accidentally breaking the hilt off the Sword of Destiny after trying to pull it out. "It's better this way!" Either that, or it can be interpreted that he means he'd rather have a sword broken off by him, than have a perfectly good sword pulled out by "the sidekick".
  • Interspecies Romance: Demurra (human) and Drakor (dragon).
  • Ironic Echo: There's a deflated theme song that plays every time Brad fails at something during his "quest". This same theme plays when Wander cheers for Demurra taking down Brad by herself, only in a happier tone, reflecting how Wander's come to term that things don't always go as planned.
  • Last-Second Chance: Demurra gives one to Brad, telling them they can just be friends, but he ignores it and vows to do what his "prophecy" tells him to.
  • Losing Horns: These play as Brad drags himself across the ground after he gets grievously injured by a gauntlet of traps.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Brad Starlight demands Wander add a verse about him fighting a bear into the ballad the latter is making up about him, despite having never done such a thing... or indeed anything remotely heroic whatsoever. He's also a whiny jerk who throws a tantrum when things don't go according to his "prophecy".
  • Mood Whiplash: Every time Brad's dramatic attempts at being a hero are interrupted. Also, Demurra goes from sweetly talking to her fiancee Drakor to snapping "This again?!" at Brad in an annoyed tone.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When Wander and Drakor rush to Princess Demurra's rescue, they find she's managed to escape from and subdue Brad in a matter of minutes.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Brad encounters the Sword of Destiny embedded in a stone. Wander then takes it out no problem and hands it to Brad. Brad demands that he's the one who should remove it, so Wander puts it back and Brad tries to remove it again. Naturally, he can't. Turns out, It's Wander who's the hero, and not Brad.
  • Pink Is for Sissies: For Sylvia. To be fair, Demurra's literally shining pink.
    Wander: She's beautiful.
    Sylvia: And pink. Eugh! *shudders*
  • Plot Twist: Draykor is actually nice, and he and Demurra are in love with each other. Brad is also not the hero as mentioned in the legend; Wander was.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Demurra's dress, much to Sylvia's disgust.
  • Properly Paranoid: Demurra and Draykor set up the Death Trap maze, rightly intuiting that Brad would try to crash their wedding. She tells Wander and Sylvia that Brad has been stalking her for a while.

  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Demurra and Draykor are revealed to be this. After their guards capture Wander, Sylvia and Brad, Demurra finds out that Brad found two more "heroes" as patsy sidekicks. She orders them freed and apologizes to Wander and Sylvia for the waste of time. Demurra also gently lets Brad down, giving him a second chance. Draykor then politely asks Wander and Sylvia for help when Brad tries kidnapping Demurra. Showing no hard feelings, they invite the duo to the wedding.
  • Rocky Roll Call: A variation:
    Brad: Sidekick! Steed! Hero!
    Guard: Prisoner.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Attempted by Brad, averted by Demurra, because "This isn't a fairy tale."
  • Shout-Out:
    • To American Dragon: Jake Long. A jerkass named Brad wants a beautiful blonde girl who turns out to be a badass who's in love with a dragon.
    • The Brazilian dub changes Princess Demurra's name to Adora.note 
    • One of Wander's methods of dodging obstacles in the Labyrinth of Delusion is doing a spinning jump over a lava pit like how Mario does in Super Mario Bros..
  • Shmuck Bait: Subverted; the bright and cheery path through the Labyrinth of Delusion looks like an obvious trap, but it turns out to be perfectly safe.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • The Dragon King's name can be spelt as either "Drakor" or "Draykor", the latter appearing in the closed-captions. Neither of these are mentioned in the credits, as he is simply credited as "Dragon King".
    • The closed-captions also misspell Demurra's name as "Demura".
  • Squee!: Wander, many times. He really enjoys being the hero rescuing the princess.
  • Storybook Opening: What opens and ends the episode.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Basically the premise of the episode. Brad learns the hard way that everything that happens in fairy tales does not apply in real life. The main highlight of this trope is when the episode reveals that Draykor being an evil king who kidnapped Princess Demurra to wed her is just made up by Brad: Draykor is a really nice guy and Demurra genuinely loves and willingly wants to marry him.
    • When Wander concludes at Demurra and Drake's wedding that they lived happily ever after, the pair point out that while that's their intention, real relationships take a lot of work. But before they can get into the finer details of what it takes to make a relationship work (communication, understanding, sensitivity to the other's needs), Wander interrupts them at this point and insists they lived happily ever after.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Sylvia is not happy about working with Brad, who treats her as a dumb steed, only going along with the quest because she's "helping a sister out".
  • This Is Reality: "Real life is not a fairy tale."
  • Title Drop: Several times. Parodied at the beginning when the title appears to finish Brad's sentence.
  • Wedding Finale: The episode ends with Demurra and Draykor's wedding.
  • Wham Line: Princess Demurra referring to Draykor as her "beloved".
  • Wham Shot: Demurra embracing Drakor and comforting him.


The Birthday Boy

It's Lord Hater's birthday. The Watchdogs have gotten him a Doom Arena for his present, and Peepers has brought Wander and Sylvia to face their destruction. Meanwhile, Wander is delighted to be part of the festivities until he realizes that Hater is not having a good time at his own birthday party. The little orange guy makes it his mission to get Hater to smile.

  • An Aesop: Sometimes your birthday party doesn't have to be perfect. Those who come have their own ideas.
  • Aside Glance: Hater does one when Wander tames the pit monster.
  • Audience Participation Song: The Watchdogs eventually join in singing Hater's birthday song.
  • Bait-and-Switch: "I am afraid...I'm afraid you aren't enjoying your birthday party."
  • Big Red Button: One of these releases the pit monster.
  • Big "NO!": Hater screams it after Wander tames the pit monster and plans to stop him himself.
  • Big "YES!": By Hater near the beginning when Wander and Sylvia appear and he gets to see them grovel up in fear (which won't be happening).
  • Birthday Episode: Hater's and the first one in the series.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Hater receives no fatal result when on the receiving end of his own bottle laser.
  • Bottle Episode: The whole episode is set at Hater's Doom Arena.
  • Brick Joke: Three of the buttons Peepers considers at one point activate a giant meat tenderizer, a flame trap, and a pack of flying tigers. At the end of the sequence when Hater falls into the Doom Arena, he gets hit with those same three traps at once.
  • Continuity Nod: Flamethrowers are mentioned again.
  • Eyebrow Waggle: By Wander when Hater is suggesting spin the bottle.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Wander tames the pit monster by giving it dog biscuits.
  • Gladiator Games: The Doom Arena has all the basics. Gladiators, beasts, death traps, the works.
  • Ironic Echo: Whatever Wander wants to do is the complete opposite of Lord Hater's ideas. There's even a scene where Wander explains his goal which is in the same intonation as Hater's, complete with the same close-ups, zooms, and similar background music.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: This part:
    Hater: Peepers, Wander still appears to be enjoying himself.
    (later)
    Wander: Sylvia, Hater's still not enjoying himself!
  • Irony: In spite of wanting Wander to be scared, Hater ends up scared himself.
  • Jaw Drop: Hater's jaw literally detaches from his skull three times throughout the episode.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Wander's birthday song eventually touches upon the subject of growing old and dying, especially Sylvia's verse:
    So try not to be so sad about your impending doom
    Someday we'll light birthday candles on your frigid tomb!
  • Never Say "Die": Hater repeatedly talks about Wander facing his "doom" and so on.
  • Non Fatal Explosion: When Hater gets blasted by the giant bottle laser, he is not killed by its explosion and was only left charred with his jaw hanging.
  • Oh, Crap!: Hater gets a few throughout the episode. His largest one is near the end when Wander explains he actually was afraid he wasn't enjoying the party.
  • Pass the Popcorn: When Hater falls into the arena and is about to be beaten up, Sylvia sits on his throne and asks for popcorn.
  • Poor Communication Kills: After Hater gets blasted by his own bottle laser:
    Sylvia: Did you see the look on Hater's face?!
    Wander: I know. At this rate, we're never gonna get a smile outta that guy.
  • Spin the Bottle: Hater tries to kill Wander with a death ray, but Wander thinks it's spin the bottle, hence the shape of it. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Title Drop: Several times, by Wander.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Being focused on his plan to get Hater to smile, Wander is completely oblivious that all Hater really wants is for him to grovel up in fear. Only Sylvia realizes this.
  • The Unsmile: When Wander and Sylvia finally get Hater to smile.
  • Unsound Effect: The party-hat bazooka Sylvia fires produces the sound effects "HATS" and "MORE HATS"
  • Villain Opening Scene: Hater is even the first character to appear in the episode.
  • Visual Pun: At one point, Wander somehow uses his hands to spin his mouth around from a frown to a smile. He’s literally turning his frown upside down.
  • Wham Line: "I am afraid...I'm afraid you aren't enjoying your birthday party."

 
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"Hater, you sassy man!"

At his birthday party, Lord Hater seeks to destroy Wander and Sylvia with a giant laser cannon disguised as a spin-the-bottle game. Wander ignores the laser and butters up Hater for suggesting spin the bottle.

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