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Series / Sweet Tooth

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Sweet Tooth is an American fantasy-drama series created by Jim Mickle, based on the comic book series of the same name by Jeff Lemire. It is produced by Warner Bros. and Robert Downey Jr. (through his production company, Team Downey), and streamed on Netflix, making it the first series on the service to be based on a DC Comics property.

Ten years ago "The Great Crumble" wreaked havoc on the world and led to the mysterious emergence of hybrid babies born part human, part animal. Unsure if hybrids are the cause or result of the virus, many humans fear and hunt them. After a decade of living safely in his secluded forest home, a sheltered hybrid deer-boy named Gus unexpectedly befriends a wandering loner named Jepperd. Together they set out on an extraordinary adventure across what is left of America in search of answers—about Gus' origins, Jepperd's past, and the true meaning of home. But their story is full of unexpected allies and enemies, and Gus quickly learns the lush, dangerous world outside the forest is more complex than he ever could have imagined.


The first season premiered on June 4, 2021. Nearly two months later, it was renewed for a second season.

Sweet Tooth provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Shortly after Nancie finds out that Rani has the Sick, she backs into Trixie (Adithya's horse), who promptly kicks her, killing her instantly.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The show toned down the hybrids into human children's bodies with animal features rather than humanoid animals. They look cute (perhaps odd), and not grotesque like in the comic. Word of God states this is to make them easier to root for.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Due to the Lighter and Softer, some morally dubious characters in the comic are portrayed in a better light. Their negative traits and storylines have been toned down or changed.
    • Downplayed with Jepperd, while he's still rough around the edges and his backstory is kept intact, the show did tweak his character. One major change was, in the comic, Jepperd betrays Gus to the Last Men with the promise of seeing his wife again, which would later turn out he specifically wanted to be given his dead wife's body. In the show, he doesn't betray Gus to the Last Men; he gets shot by them instead, allowing them to take Gus as Jepperd is too wounded to intervene. He also warms up to Gus and becomes a father figure to him far quicker compared to the comic.
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    • The Animal Army in the comic was originally a bloodthirsty cult led by the Ax-Crazy Glebhelm, who nearly kills Gus until he was rescued by Jepperd. The show instead depicts them as being more of a ragtag group of teens who are dedicated to protecting Hybrids. They were also led by the far less bloodthirsty Bear (until she was betrayed by Tiger and the army kicked her out), who becomes an ally to Gus and Jepperd.
    • Pubba is a loving father who sheltered Gus out of fear of the outside world harming him, (not unjustified given the Last Men and general bigoted people). Whereas in the comic, he is a religious fanatic doing it because of delusions that Gus is a God.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The series expands on the comic book, giving more time to exploring the emergence of The Great Crumble, and the early parts of Gus's life prior to meeting Jepperd.
  • Adult Fear: In the last episode of the first season, Gus and several hybrid children (including Wendy and Bobby) have been kidnapped by The Last Men, who intend to experiment on them and see them as nothing more than insects.
  • Anger Born of Worry: When Gus steps beyond the fence in the first episode out of simple curiosity, his father drags him back inside and yells at him. Nothing bad happened and Gus never actually left as he got scared and turned back. However, his father is shown to be Properly Paranoid as brutal hybrid poachers exist just outside the fence and most of the world wants to see hybrid children dead and view them as subhuman.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Leans heavily towards bitter with a small dose of hope. Gus, Wendy, Bobby, and the other hybrid children have been captured by The Last Men for experimentation purposes. Jepperd is wounded (alive, but Gus doesn't know that). Adithya and Rani are also in the hands of The Last Men and the former is forced to experiment on the hybrids to keep his Sick wife safe. However, Aimee has found Jepperd and is tending to him as she plans to get the imprisoned children back, Bear has been able to reach Birdie, and the hybrid children share a Group Hug in their prison chamber and find some measure of comfort in each other.
  • Composite Character:
    • Aimee is one between Lucy and Wendy's unnamed mother from the comic (who is only shown in flashbacks).
    • Bear replaces Glebhelm (who is absent from the series) as the founder and (former) leader of the Animal Army and her real name (Becky), is taken from a character who is also absent from the series.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Adithya suggests he and Rani not attend the annual "Survivor's party" due to Rani running the risk of outing herself as Sick by accident. She immediately shuts the idea down with the somber reminder of what happened to their past neighbor who decided not to attend. The community burned his house down.
  • Expressive Ears: Gus' ears rarely stop moving. Which can be a problem.
  • Fatal Fireworks: Aimee uses fireworks in order to distract the Last Men from entering the preserve and allow the hybrids to escape. Unfortunately, it ultimately doesn't work and the Last Men capture the hybrids anyway.
  • Faux Affably Evil: General Abbot comes across as being rather friendly and polite, but as it is quickly revealed, he is a ruthless, merciless and cruel monster who would do what it takes to get what he desires, even if that means killing others.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Adithya dissecting a chameleon hybrid.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The emergence of the part-human part-animal hybrids and the Great Crumble kickstarts the plot of the series. Gus is part deer and is revealed to being the first-ever hybrid child created.
  • Happily Adopted:
    • Aimee has spent almost a decade taking care of a pig hybrid girl she found at her doorstep, even lovingly nicknaming her Pigtail. She would later adopt a groundhog boy named Bobby that said daughter befriended in secret and converted the zoo to a hybrid preserve for hybrid kids seeking refuge.
    • In the season 1 finale, Gus is revealed to have been this. His father, Richard, adopted him when the scientist Birdie broke the infant Gus out of the guarded lab just before the government could seize him for experimentation purposes. Richard was given Gus for safe-keeping by her and he fled into the wilderness to keep the military from obtaining him.
  • Happily Married: Adithya and Rani.
  • Heroic BSoD: Happens to Gus after he finds out his whole life, which his "pubba" told him, was a lie. He was a government experiment as the first of the hybrid children created and his parents aren't his biological parents as his father lead him to believe. Rather, they were random people who adopted him after he was created and about to be taken away by the government for experimentation purposes.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Zip-Zagged. While there are good and kind humans in the show and most of them are simply trying to get by in the Crapsack World, a good amount of characters are cruel and bigoted towards the hybrids and have little issue with killing if it means getting rid of the Sick (no matter who the victim is). Several characters such as Pubba, Bear, Aimee, and Dr. Bell also seem to have this viewpoint regarding humanity; even the latter three feel that the hybrids are ultimately better than the human race.
  • Kick the Dog: Abbot got the book he needed from Dr. Bell. He could've left her alone. Yet he still send a man to kill her. All for faking cancer to stop experimenting on the hybrids to create a cure.
  • Kill It with Fire: Whenever the community finds out someone has the Sick, they restrain the infected person/people, wrap them in cellophane wrap, bind them to a chair, and burn their house down with the infected party inside. They do this to Doug after realizing he's infected while at his house party and nearly do the same to Adithya and Rani when finding out she's Sick as well. However, the Last Men "save" them in order to find important documents in the house and to question them.
  • Lighter and Softer: While still dark, the series takes a more optimistic fairy tale approach to the subject matter, whereas the comic was distinctly dystopian. Several characters are also made to be far more sympathetic and likable compared to the comic and many of the darker aspects of the comic have either been toned down or adapted out entirely.
  • Mama Bear: Aimee is fiercely protective of Wendy and her other adopted hybrid children, even creating the Preserve so all hybrid children have a safe haven to flee to in the otherwise bigoted world. When she realized the Last Men have found them, she sent her adopted children off on their own in order to stay behind and keep the men distracted for as long as she could as they made their escape. In the season 1 finale, after learning Wendy, Bobby, and other hybrid kids were taken, she's more than ready to fight. When the wounded Jepperd wakes up after being shot, the first thing she tells him is "Rest now. Tomorrow, we're going to save our children.”
  • Mood Whiplash: The show in general loves to do this. If a seemingly happy and hopeful scene happens, things usually tend to take a turn for the worst quickly afterward.
  • Morality Pet: Gus is this to both Jeppard and Bear. They may bicker about everything else, but they are willing to put aside their differences for Gus' well-being.
  • Motherly Scientist: The scientist Birdie helped create Gus as the first hybrid child. While the government saw the infant as a mere lab experiment, she grew to love Gus as her own child. (In fact, her Establishing Character Moment was her loudly protesting as government officials took Gus away for scheduled transportation.) When he was on the verge of being seized as government property, she enlisted Richard's help to break him out of the heavily guarded building. After freeing him, she clutched the baby to herself in an emotional embrace and promised he would always be safe. Furthermore, the reason she gave Gus to Richard was because the odds of the government thinking to look for him (a "nobody") were extremely low compared to her.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Rani and Adithya have this reaction when they notice water leaking from the freezer (where they hid Nancie's corpse), because it means that the body they're trying to hide has likely been discovered.
    • Jepperd has this reaction when Gus tells him that he called the preserve... which had just been taken over by Last Men.
    • Wendy has this reaction when Bobby gets caught.
  • Pet the Dog: As they're being taken to the Last Men's location, Johnny assures Adithya that he freed his horse Trixie. Adithya thanks him and Trixie is shown running off into the wilderness.
  • The Plague: "The Great Crumble." No one knows how it got started. Whether the hybrids were created from it, caused it, or simply came into existence during it. If there's a cure that can save the human race as all scientific research has been a dead end.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The only reason why Bear delays Jepperd's execution is because Gus begs her to spare him, and he was also a prisoner of the poachers. She calls it off entirely when Gus tells her that carrying on with the execution would make her Not So Different from the poachers. If only if the army followed suit...
  • Scenery Porn: The shots of an abandoned Yellowstone National Park in Out of The Deep Woods and Sorry About All the Dead People are exceptionally beautiful.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Gus compares his adventure to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, like asking Pubba if they can travel on a raft like Huck or comparing his and Big Man's escape from the Animal Army to Huck and Tom.
    • Bear and the animal army bring to mind the lost boys from Hook.
  • Sole Survivor: Rani is the only one with the Sick who lives. She still has it, but Adithya has been staving off death by alternate means and Rani mostly roughs it out.
  • Token Good Teammate: If you exclude Jeppard, Johnny is shaping up to be this for the Last Men. While initially ominous towards Adithya, he frees his horse and gives him closure on that field. He also seems disturbed by the Chameleon Hybrid getting dissected (compared to Abbott, who isn't bothered at all)
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • The Last Men Poachers don't care that the hybrids are mere children - they view them as no different from animals. They even offer money in exchange for the dismembered animal parts of caught kids as a keepsake.
    • Dr. Bell experimented on hybrids in an attempt to find a cure. This unsettles Adithya greatly and Dr. Bell also admits she's "done things [she's] not proud of" but it was all in the name of humanity's survival.
    • In episode 8, Adithya when the Last Men blackmail him with his wife and force him to experiment on the captured hybrid kids.
  • Wham Episode: In "When Pubba Met Birdie" we - and Gus - learn that not only is Gus essentially a lab experiment, but the couple he believes to be his biological parents aren't even related to him.
  • Wham Shot:
    • When a person's little finger vibrates uncontrollably, it means that they have contracted the Sick
    • A picture on Bear's phone shows that Wendy is her sister.
  • You Can Talk?: All hybrid children are known to the public as mute with no ability to speak. However, it's possible this is due to a simple lack of love and deprivation of a positive learning environment. Both Gus and Wendy can speak thanks to their parents. Even Bobby is able to talk in broken English to Wendy and Aimee after being taken in by them later on. Hence, whenever Gus meets someone who realizes he's a hybrid, they assume he's mute. When he begins to talk, they're stunned and have this reaction.

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