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Series / The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries

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How do we do it? How do we keep getting ourselves in these situations?note 

"It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it."
Joe Hardy

Based on the two famous juvenile book series, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, this 1977–79 mystery show on ABC starred Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy as the amateur detective brothers Frank and Joe Hardy, and Pamela Sue Martin (and later Janet Louise Johnson) as the intrepid girl detective Nancy Drew. Lasting three seasons, it is far and away the most successful filmed adaptation of any of the Stratemeyer Syndicate's properties.

The Hardy Boys are brother amateur detectives, Frank (Parker Stevenson) and Joe (Shaun Cassidy). The two boys live in the fictional city of Bayport, Massachusetts (not New York, as in the books) with their famous father, Fenton Hardy (Ed Gilbert), a private detective who'd spent 20 years with the New York Police Department and who seemingly has connections everywhere. The brothers can't seem to go anywhere without having a mystery drop into their laps; even driving down a road heading for home means they'll get stopped by a young woman running away from an angry mob. In the third season, the focus of the series moved exclusively to them as they become professional police detectives for the Justice Department.

Nancy Drew (usually Pamela Sue Martin, but Janet Louise Johnson in her last few appearances) is the amateur sleuth — she insists on the term "part-time investigator" — daughter of attorney Carson Drew (William Schallert). Nancy lives with her father in the fictional River Heights, New Jersey (not Illinois, as in the books). Her stories feature her close friend George (Georgia) Fayne (Jean Rasey and, later for three episodes, Susan Buckner) and Ned Nickerson (George O'Hanlon Jr., and later Rick Springfield in second season). Another prominent character from the Nancy Drew books, Bess Marvin (Ruth Cox), made only two appearances in two-part episodes.

This show provides examples of:

  • '70s Hair: For young Gen X'ers first introduced to the Hardy Boys through this show with their long, feathered-back hair, seeing the contemporary covers of the books with them with their short hair was a shock.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • In the books, Frank's hair is dark. TV Show, inexplicably blonde.
    • The eye colors of both brothers also fall into this. In the books, Joe is the blue-eyed blonde, Frank dark-eyed. Here, Frank has the blue eyes, Joe's hazel. Not that anyone's complaining, mind...
  • Adaptational Badass: In "The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Meet Dracula," Nancy is depicted as being skilled in judo. She flips Frank to the floor when he attempts to remove her luggage from a hotel room they're fighting over. (Much to Nancy's surprise, however, this fails to intimidate Frank into backing off, because the hotel room was Frank's and Joe's only lead to finding their missing father.) Whatever skills Nancy possessed in the books, a proficiency in any martial art was not one of them, at least not in the books that were published at the time. (Later novels in the series changed this.) There were far too many stories in which Nancy was overpowered, kidnapped, and tied up by the villains for that to be the case.
  • Adaptational Job Change: In the original books, Callie is a school friend of the brothers and Ned is a college student, and each of them occasionally has a part-time job in various novels. Here, Callie and Ned act as assistants to Fenton Hardy and Carson Drew, respectively.
  • Adaptational Personality Change:
    • In the first and second seasons, both of the Hardys are more easily intimidated than their book counterparts, but Joe especially. In the books' Joe tends to be a bit quicker to get into a fight than Frank. Furthermore, Joe is usually portrayed as the bigger Determinator of the two, and Frank is the bigger science geek, while here, those traits are swapped.
    • Ned in the novels, though certainly smart, is also athletic, very handsome, and has perfectly good social skills; in this show, Ned is nerdy, geeky-looking with large nerd-glasses, and somewhat socially awkward. Funny enough, the re-introduced Ned who shows up in one episode of Season 2 is actually closer in personality and appearance to Book!Ned.
    • George in the books is a fearless tomboy who often handles the fighting if she, Nancy, and Bess end up in danger. The show's George is essentially a Composite Character with the book's Bess; she has the original George's name and is closer to her in appearance than to Bess, but takes on Bess's Lovable Cowardly Lion traits.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Conversely, this was applied to the Hardys, though it's downplayed since, even in the books—where Frank and Joe have at least some level of hand-to-hand combat skills and frequently end up in physical skirmishes with the bad guys—they only sometimes win these fights, and other times they're overpowered and captured or just try to run away from the get-go. Here, neither Frank nor Joe have much, if any, fighting abilities, and are usually cowed by much more physically intimidating bad guys without even trying to put up a fight. The few times they do, it's usually for just long enough until they get the chance to run away.
    • George in the books is the most fearless of her friends, and is a tomboy who frequently defends the girls with her fighting skills if needed. This George doesn't have any fighting skills whatsoever, and is a Cowardly Lion.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The show cuts most of The Hardy Boys books' supporting cast. The Hardys' mother, Laura, is dead, and the boys live with their widowed father and Aunt Gertrude; their only friends from the books that appear in this show are Callie Shaw and Chet Morton, and Chet's only in two episodes. The second and third seasons take this even further by dropping Callie and Chet as well and never mentioning them again, and also never having Aunt Gertrude appear onscreen again (though she is mentioned once or twice), leaving the boys and their father Fenton as the only three main characters from the books who still appear.
    • For the Nancy Drew side, it cuts out the Drews' ubiquitous housekeeper Hannah (Nancy just lives alone with her father), and Nancy's two gal pals, George and Bess (who are cousins in the books), are never seen in the same episode together; Bess is adapted out of the first season entirely. While Ned Nickerson is a regular in the first season, the second season almost entirely adapts him out, too; in the one episode where he does appear, he's a brand-new character played by a different actor, who's meeting Nancy for the first time.
  • All Animals Are Domesticated: Averted in "Mystery of Witches Hollow", where a trained panther is guarding a missing man (Callie Shaw's uncle) that the Hardys are trying to find. A very nervous Joe Hardy tries to trap it (the cat decidedly NOT cooperating) by working a broom under its collar, but only succeeds in making it angry and attacking until the uncle distracts it with a piece of meat — and the uncle warns both Frank and Joe the whole time to keep away and that it's not a house cat.
    Joe: (picking up broom) I've got a way with animals...
    Frank: (panicked) Yeah, so did Jonah!
    Joe: Nice kitty...
    Uncle: Careful, son, that's no house pet...
    Joe: No need to tell me.
  • Alternate Continuity: Both the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew sides of the show are considered this in regards to the two book series, due to the many changes the show makes to both book series' canons. Woe betide any Fanfic writers who use these versions of the Hardys and don't flag their tale as such up front!
  • Always Save the Girl: "Last Kiss of Summer". Though the girl in question is dead, Joe Hardy veers straight into this, and only intervention from his brother Frank saves him from totally ruining his life. Joe wrecks a federal undercover sting operation, abandons his father and brother, and nearly gets his brother Frank killed, all to get revenge for his fiance, Jamie, and to bring her killer to justice.
  • Amateur Sleuth:
    • No matter where the Hardy brothers go, they end up involved in a mystery, and at one point, Chief Collig dresses them down for doing such while being "unlicensed and underage". All through first & second seasons, the cops never accepted the Hardys' help without question and often gave them a good deal of scorn over being meddling bystanders, up to and including tossing them in jail.
    • Nancy Drew's amateur status is questionable, as she often implies that she's working for her father as part of his attorney's office. However, she does take on a number of mysteries outside of her father's caseload and without his help.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Referenced in "The Mystery of King Tut's Tomb," when Joe wonders if the pyramids were built by aliens.
  • And Starring: The opening voiceover of "Voodoo Doll": "The Hardy Boys in Voodoo Doll, introducing Janet Louise Johnson as Nancy Drew."
  • Animal Stampede: In "The Mystery of the African Safari," gunshots startle a group of rhinoceroses into stampeding, causing the Hardy Boys' jeep to be attacked by Stock Footage of a charging rhino.
  • Artistic License – Cars: "Silent Scream" has Joe Hardy calling the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for information on a license number, and the BMV tells him that the owners are staying in the same hotel as the Hardys. No BMV in the world could possible know where any license holder is at any given moment, and definitely could not know what hotel someone is staying at while on vacation.
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • "Mystery of King Tut's Tomb" states that the Hardy Boys are driving down to meet their father in Kenya — from Cairo, in Egypt, and the brothers talk as if it's just a small jaunt. That's a trip of over two thousand miles, which is at least an 8-day road trip, in a little beat-up VW microbus, through rather inhospitable terrain, little to no tourist facilities, and through countries that — at the time — were hostile towards the US.
    • "Creatures Who Came On Sunday" has the Hardys driving from Massachusetts to New Mexico, just to help a friend, while supposedly en route to Las Vegas. That's at least a 5 day road trip, but comments from Joe during the episode make it seem as if the Hardys have only been on the road a day or so. Then they start talking as if Las Vegas is just a short distance away, when it's easily a 10-hour drive. And we won't mention that Frank's using a map of Montana to get through New Mexico & that the so-called mountains of New Mexico look a lot like southern California.
    • In "Mystery of the African Safari", Kenya looks a lot like the San Diego Zoo. Its wild monkeys apparently even play on man-made monkey-gyms in the wild. All the so-called "Kenya" scenes were shot at the San Diego Zoo, using the zoo's "safari" section for supposed bush shots.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Many of the bad guys throughout the show are shown carrying guns without holsters and simply tuck the guns into their waistbands. A couple even have the gun tucked into the front of their pants!
  • As Himself:
    • Howard Cosell in "The Mystery of the Solid Gold Kicker."
    • Dennis Weaver shows up in "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom" to pull Nancy out of the way of a runaway tractor on a studio backlot and take her back to the hotel on his horse.
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: in the "Campus Terror" episode — how do we know that Wendy (a.k.a. "Gwen", who turns out to be a multiple personality) is actually a bad girl? She hangs out in pool halls with unwashed biker dudes and women who play pinball.
  • Bat Out of Hell: "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula" has a giant bat materializing in Nancy's room to terrorize her.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Subverted in the third season episode "Game Plan". Joe pretends to be a hotel maintenance man to get into a room where Frank and the Big Bad are talking. Joe puts on a phony redneck accent, pushes right into the room past Frank and shoves his ballcap into Frank's hands, and proceeds to completely confuse the villain with pseudo-technical-babble about the AC being on the fritz and takes the thermostat apart with his screwdriver as he does so...until Frank blows it out of the water by showing the villain the warning note that was in the ballcap and then pulls a gun on Joe. The federal agents eventually find Joe tied up and gagged in the apartment's closet.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension:
    • Frank Hardy and Nancy Drew. The first time the Hardys and Nancy Drew met, Nancy throws Frank to the floor. All episodes featuring the trio inevitably have Nancy and Frank seriously getting on each others' nerves — until they finally share a kiss in "Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom".
      Nancy: ARGH!!! Frank Hardy is the most exasperating... annoying... frustrating...
      Bess: ...cute.
      Nancy: NO! (pause) Well, maybe a little...
    • In the second season episode in which Ned is bizarrely re-introduced as a brand-new character whom Nancy has never met before, the two of them have this as well.
  • Beneath Suspicion: "Campus Terror": Joe Hardy's old flame Wendy calls the brothers in to help solve a series of kidnappings and disappearances taking place in an East Coast women's college, as she's the next targeted victim. She barely escapes an attack as the Hardys rush in moments after the attacker has fled & both the Hardys & the police treat her as just another victim. While suspicion falls on various men around campus (a young man who's stalking one of the female students, a professor with a history of evil experiments, the school's male self-defense teacher), it turns out that Wendy herself is the kidnapper, suffering from delusional split-personality episodes. Her "other personality" faked the attack to throw the police off and was staging the attacks in an attempt to get Joe back with her.
  • Bermuda Triangle: The episode "The Mysterious Fate of Flight 608" initially appears to play it straight, but then subverts it. The Hardys board a plane that will be flying over the infamous area; Joe finds out about the flight path from a scared passenger and freaks out, though Frank scoffs at the idea, saying science has debunked the whole thing. But then the plane runs into trouble: a hurricane hits, the pilots collapse, Frank ends up crash-landing the plane into the ocean, and the passengers take refuge on a deserted island, with the scared passenger saying they're now in another dimension and lost for good. Nothing mysterious about it — the pilots were drugged by a diamond smuggler, and the island is within spitting-distance of Bermuda, with rescue crews heading their way.
  • Big Bad Friend / Evil Former Friend: Happens a few times:
    • "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom": The mastermind turns out to be one of the seven detectives who was supposedly targeted by the Phantom, an old friend of Fenton Hardy's who nevertheless had him, Joe, and two of the other detectives kidnapped, and targeted Nancy; Fenton believes he would have indeed carried out his threats to kill all of them.
    • "Acapulco Spies": The Big Bad is again a former friend of Fenton's who kidnaps him, holds him prisoner throughout the episode, terrorizes his sons, and uses him as a hostage to attempt to get information out of said sons.
    • "Sole Survivor": When a group of foreign spies tricks Joe into believing his brother and father are dead in order to get information out of him, the lone female agent of the group bonds with him the most while comforting him over his "loss". When Joe discovers the ruse, he's clearly upset and hurt by her betrayal (far more than that of any of the other agents), and despite the agent claiming that she was just playing the role she was supposed to play to get him to trust her, she clearly feels some level of remorse about it. At the end, when the woman's been apprehended and Joe shows up to save Frank and Fenton from the other bad guys, she tells him where they are in time for him to rescue them.
    • "Campus Terror": Sort of; the bad guy turns out to be Joe's former girlfriend who called him in on the case to begin with, but it's actually her Split Personality who's really responsible.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Hardys and Nancy are on both the giving and the receiving end of this a few times:
    • In the climax of "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula", the titular "Dracula" has Frank and Joe literally cornered and is advancing on them when The Cavalry, led by Nancy and Fenton, arrive to arrest him, thanks to Nancy coming to the same conclusion (offscreen) as the boys about who the bad guy is.
    • In "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom", Frank gets to return the favor by tackling the Phantom as he's trying to escape with Nancy as a hostage, though a nearby actor one-ups Frank by punching the Phantom out.
    • "The Strange Fate of Flight 608": The Big Bad is about to force the Hardy Boys and his own two accomplices to back off a cliff at gunpoint and fall to their deaths so he can Make It Look Like an Accident when the boys' friend Beverly, who earlier noticed they were missing, fires off her flare gun behind the bad guy to distract him long enough for the boys to overpower him.
    • "Acapulco Spies": The boys show up to rescue their dad and the Girl of the Week just as the Evil Former Friend of Fenton's is about to interrogate them for information, even locking the man in his own cell for good measure.
    • "Sole Survivor": Joe and his Girl of the Week friend Kim escape from where the bad guys left them tied up and get to the rendezvous point in time to stop the assassins from murdering Frank, Fenton, their agent friend, and the scientist they're helping defect, with Joe tackling one who's about to shoot them and Kim stopping another from going for his gun.
    • "Assault on the Tower": Fenton and Frank are attempting to escape, only to be cornered by the mercenaries who kidnapped them, but just as the latter are about to shoot them, Joe and the British agent he's been working with catch up to the bad guys and take them down.
  • The Big Race: "Mystery of the Avalanche Express" has a champion skier trying to defect to Switzerland by running away during a race.
  • Bound and Gagged:
    • "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom" has an extended sequence of Joe Hardy tied hand and foot and gagged in an abandoned backlot of a movie set. Yeah. Exactly.
    • "Game Plan" in third season also has Joe bound and gagged — by Frank, no less — and shoved in a closet.
    • "Campus Terror" has Frank finding all the kidnapped women bound & gagged in an unused building of an amusement park. Not that Frank unties them: he leaves them to get themselves free & runs off to find his brother.
  • Break the Fake: In "The Strange Fate of Flight 608," a diamond smuggler discovers that he has been given pieces of glass and angrily crushes one of them under his foot. Later, Joe smashes another piece with a rock to show that it's fake.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: In "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom," Nancy carries a ransom payment in a briefcase.
  • The Butler Did It: Played with in "Dangerous Waters" — the kidnap victim doesn't recognize her mother's supposed "butler" when he greets Frank and Joe at the door, and said butler turns out to not be a butler at all, but married to a woman pretending to be the victim's mother and the instigator of another plot to get the victim.
  • Call-Back:
    • "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom" references the climax of "Wipe Out."
    Frank: That thing's not gonna go off, is it?
    Joe: What are you talking about?
    Frank: Well, the last time we were in a crowd like this you started to sing on me.
    Joe: Last time, if you recall, we were being marched out of a hotel in Hawaii under extreme duress. This little unit saved our skins. Besides, I might run into a young, beautiful California girl who wants to hear a number.
    Frank: Yeah, on second thought, why don't you turn it on? I'd like to thin out the crowd a bit.
    • "Sole Survivor" has a few:
      • When the villains tell Joe that Fenton's old friend betrayed him, Joe remembers the same thing happening in "Acapulco Spies."
      • Frank mentions that he spent three months teasing Joe over the Real After All ending of "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula." Later, while mourning Joe's "death," his mind plays a Clip Show of scenes from "Wipe Out," "Acapulco Spies," and "The Strange Fate of Flight 608."
  • Captain Obvious:
    • "Voodoo Doll" has one of the cops continually stating what's totally apparent & right in front of the police captain:
      (empty coffin has been open the whole time, in full view of the cops have been in crypt, with Hardys standing nearby)
      Frank: You can't rob a grave if there's nothing in it.
      Obvious Cop: Coffin's empty, captain.
  • Car Fu: In "Oh Say Can You Sing," a member of a drug ring hits a journalist with his car, putting him in a coma for most of the episode.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue
    (the Hardys are about to walk into a mausoleum holding god-knows-what)
    Joe: (gesturing Frank ahead)'re the oldest.
    Frank: Yeah, but you're more agile on your feet, and stronger.
    Joe: Since when?
    Frank: Since right now.

    (as the brothers are about to pry open a coffin containing god-knows-what)
    Joe: Open 'er up, Frank.
    Frank: Somebody's got to hold the light...

    (spooky cursed house has opened up a door all by itself to let the Hardys in)
    Frank: Well, at least the place is hospitable...
  • Catchphrase: See the page quote. Joe said this sarcastically at every opportunity, usually right before the brothers were about to get in some sort of "trouble" that had unexpected benefits.
  • Character Narrator: Frank voices over much of "The Strange Fate of Flight 608" and "Oh Say Can You Sing."
  • Chekhov's Skill: "Acapulco Spies": Joe discovers a technique for planting fingerprints at the scene of the crime. Guess what the Hardys use to trick the Big Bad into revealing where Fenton's being held prisoner?
  • Chickification: This happens to Nancy Drew once Janet Louise Johnson replaces Pamela Sue Martin as her actress. While Martin's Nancy does frequently end up in danger and is sometimes captured by bad guys, she's still just as bold, determined, and brave as the Hardys, and even knows judo. Johnson's Nancy, meanwhile, is near-constantly a Damsel in Distress (see below), doesn't show any kind of martial arts skills, and is just generally much more meek and passive.
  • Christmas Episode: The Nancy Drew episode "Will The Real Santa Claus Please Stand Up?" See the entry under Real After All for details.
  • Convection, Schmonvection:
    • "Mystery of the Flickering Torch" has Frank and Joe trapped inside a small closet while a fire rages outside. They break out and dive through the flames to the outside without breaking a sweat or even a singe to their clothing. They don't even sweat as they're inside that tiny closet, with the flames on the other side!
    • "Arson & Old Lace" has Frank, Joe, and Nancy all trying to escape a burning office building. Both Hardys are shown entering rooms with raging flames to rescue people, with no burns, sweat, or other ill effects beyond a bit of smudge and coughing. On top of that, Frank Hardy & Nancy Drew use an elevator shaft to climb to the roof & escape the fire. The room they're in is full of smoke, the shaft is shown to have flames on the floors below, yet neither Frank nor Nancy have any issues breathing nor do they cook alive while climbing this smoking-hot chimney of an elevator.
  • Crash Course Landing: "The Strange Fate of Flight 608" has all three pilots knocked out by some weird drug...leaving Frank and Joe to fly the plane. In a hurricane. In the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. Without any radio help, and the one semi-conscious pilot falls asleep mid-instruction. Guess who manages to crash-land in the middle of the ocean? Of course, they do make it to a deserted island with an ex-plane full of of young stewardesses, so it wasn't too hard on them.
  • Creepy Doll: the episode "House on Possessed Hill" has Joe Hardy walking into a room of a cursed house...with a creepy-as-hell animated toy doll nodding its head in time to tinkly music box chimes.
  • Crying Wolf: This happened in "The Flickering Torch Mystery" when the Brothers suspect that their client is going to be killed with a bomb on stage. To prevent that, Frank and Joe storm the stage during the concert and rip up the equipment, but find nothing. After that fiasco, the Hardys have a much harder time convincing anyone of a real murder threat on the client's plane, especially since it was already searched and came up clean. Acting on instinct, the Hardy Boys stop the plane and the plane is discovered to be much more subtly sabotaged: with a special radio designed to interfere with the plane's navigational equipment to make sure it goes off course over water and crash when it runs out of fuel with no land in sight...not to mention a missing technician who discovered the plot and tried to warn of the problem is found tied up in the empty spare fuel tank.
  • Damsel in Distress: Nancy Drew gets reduced to this in second season, once Janet Louise Johnson takese over the character, in cross-over episodes with the Hardys. Nancy is constantly being placed in situations that require Frank Hardy to rescue her:
    • "Arson & Old Lace": Nancy gets kidnapped, yet can't figure out how to escape despite a handy unsecured elevator that goes right into a public lobby and an old man who leaves her all alone and un-bound. She still needs Frank to rescue her...and he charges in via that same unguarded elevator.
    • "Voodoo Doll": Nancy wanders into the villain's lair, gets easily caught and starts screaming at the sight of an old man in an obvious mask, even though the man only stands there, not saying a word. Despite not being tied up, the door being locked on her side, the door hinges being on her side, and being held in a huge unguarded warehouse filled with crates and tools, Nancy can't figure out how to escape, and ends up needing Frank and Joe to rescue her.
    • "Mystery on the Avalanche Express": Nancy gets cornered on a train by two men — a passenger train, in a hallway where there's plenty other passengers in compartments — and can't simply push past them until Frank comes to her rescue.
  • Darker and Edgier: The first two seasons had a very light-hearted, humorous tone. Season Three, though...dear GOD. It not only dropped Nancy Drew completely, but started off by killing Joe's fiancée in a car wreck (complete with Joe weeping over her body) and having Joe go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in response ("Last Kiss of Summer"). Season Three ditched almost all the light-hearted humor, showed actual dead bodies, and involved more dangerous situations (including references to selling off Joe and a missing woman to white slavers in China — huhwhat?) and more conflict between the brothers ("Game Plan" had Frank pulling a gun on Joe). The turn confused the show's teen audience, and lost viewers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Frank and Joe continually snark at each other and the villains, but Joe had the majority of the snark — probably due to Shaun Cassidy taking a hand in rewriting the scripts.
    (The brothers have just been tossed in jail for disturbing the peace in a cemetery)
    Joe: How do we do it? How do we keep getting ourselves into these situations?
    Frank: It's a gift.

    (Joe's getting hit on by a much older woman in a bar)
    Woman: So...what's your sign?
    Joe: Yield.

    (Joe's getting hit on by that same woman)
    Woman: You've got beautiful eyes, anyone ever told you that?
    Joe: Not today.

    (The Hardys have just burst in to rescue Nancy Drew; ND's ready to beat the first thing that moves)
    Joe: Hold up, we're the good guys — (points to Frank's face) Blue eyes...

    (Joe's just found a way to fake evidence.)
    Frank: Joe, we're supposed to solve crimes, not find ways to help perpetuate them.
    Joe: Yeah, well, it's been a slow week.

    (Joe's trying to talk Frank into investigating a supposedly cursed house.)
    Joe: Frank, you're not scared of going there at night, are you?
    Frank: Yeah, that about captures the spirit of it.
    Joe: Okay. Okay. I guess I can face the demons of the night alone. See you in the morning.
  • Defector from Commie Land:
    • "Sole Survivor" revolved around East Germans trying to stop the defection of a Chinese scientist, using an over-complicated Mind Screw to get Joe Hardy to spill his guts.
    • "Mystery On The Avalanche Express" had a side plot of a ski champion wanting to defect to the West, and dragging Joe into the matter.
    • "Defection To Paradise" had the daughter of a top Russian Official trying to defect to the US and being chased down by Russian assassins. Ultimately subverted, as the woman wants nothing to do with either side and refuses to cooperate with the US, even though her lover is one of the US agents who helped her. Frank and Joe end up helping her and her boyfriend escape both Russia and the US to flee towards an unnamed neutral country.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • For the Hardy Boys: Chet Morton, the boys' best friend who's pretty much a main character in the original books and shows up prominently in every single one, only appears in two episodes of the show, one of which is practically an extended cameo since he's only in one long scene at the beginning. He's then dropped from the show completely after this.
    • For Nancy Drew: Bess Marvin, one of Nancy's two best friends who also appears in each of the original books after her introduction, doesn't even show up at all in the first season with Ned and George. Her only appearances in the second season are in the crossover episodes with the Hardys, where she doesn't play any kind of significant role, and one of which is a cameo.
  • The Determinator:
    • Frank Hardy. Once he latches onto a mystery, absolutely nothing stops him from pursuing it, not his brother Joe, not their father, not the cops, and especially not the supposed victim:
      • "Mystery of the Flying Courier": Frank spots a woman who looks like a former schoolmate, who had run away and whom his father, Fenton, could not find. The woman denies being the runaway several times, tells Frank to leave her alone and that she neither wants nor needs his help, yet Frank continues to butt into her life and hound her until she finally confesses — in a police station, in front of the chief — that yes, she is that girl, and she still wants nothing to do with the Hardys, especially Frank. It doesn't matter that she's a legal adult, with a job and is shown as being fully self-supported, and is running away from controlling, abusive parents, Frank is going to hunt her down.
      • "Creatures Who Came On Sunday": Everyone is convinced that the missing man just ditched his girlfriend, even Joe, and offers reasonable, likely explanations for what's happened to the Damsel in Distress, Sharon...except Frank, who obsesses on tracking Sharon's boyfriend down despite being warned off by the sheriff, so-called government agents, and even Sharon herself, to the point that Frank's determination is responsible for leading mob killers onto the boyfriend (who is in a witness protection program) and nearly getting himself, Joe, and Sharon killed. Joe has severe doubts and questions Frank's persistence throughout the episode, to the point of dragging Frank away when Frank tries to shout to the missing boyfriend despite being surrounded by armed guards with shoot-to-kill orders.
      Joe: No. No, Frank. I'm not going back to that ranger station.
      Frank: Look, I want to find out what happened to him. I want to find out what happened to Sharon's boyfriend.
      Joe: The answer is not on the top of that mountain!
    • Even Joe becomes The Determinator in the episode "Last Kiss of Summer". He's out for revenge, and he will bring Jocko to justice personally, no matter who or what stands in his way. Joe ruins a federal sting operation, endangers a federal operative, and tramples all over his relationship with his father and brother and nearly gets his brother Frank killed as a result. It takes Frank punching him out to bring Joe back to his senses.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: In "The Lady on Thursday at Ten," an old man suffers a stroke and dies in a stranger's arms. The villains spend much of the episode trying to force him to tell them what the old man's last words were.
  • Disco:
    • "Game Plan": 3rd season episode has Frank Hardy meeting the Big Bad in an Atlantic City disco, complete with trippy flashing floor lights, disco ball, obnoxious muzak (not even real disco music!), and fashion victims that looked like rejects from Saturday Night Fever.
  • Disposable Woman:
    • "Last Kiss of Summer": In the first ten minutes, Jamie is introduced as Joe's fiance and true-love, only to be killed in a brutal car wreck by a drunk driver, fueling Joe's Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Jaime is then completely forgotten and is never mentioned in any other episode, despite supposedly being the love of Joe's life.
    • "Dangerous Waters": Ria Thomas exists only to be kidnapped by pirates and a pair of greedy treasure hunters, then rescued twice by the Hardy Boys.
    • "Arson & Old Lace": Nancy Drew became this. We never see her actually working on the case. She exists only as the pathetic, helpless victim to be rescued by her love interest, Frank Hardy. And after this episode, she disappeared from the series for good, save for a one-line mention in "Campus Terror".
  • Distress Ball: Nancy Drew. Dear GODS, Nancy Drew in 2nd Season, once Janet Louise Johnson takes over playing her.
    • "Arson & Old Lace": Nancy gets kidnapped by the villain's mooks and is held captive for months. By an old man in his 70s. In a penthouse that's publicly-known to be the man's home. With a phone and an intercom to a secretary who's not in on the plot. With an elevator that doesn't require any special code to operate, that leads right down to a very public and open office area. No, she's not tied up. She's not held under lock and key. And somehow the elderly gent is able to force her into an elaborate dress and hairstyle, too. She just passively waits for Frank Hardy to rescue her as the building is burning down.
    • Ditto "Voodoo Doll". Nancy goes off on her own to investigate the villain. Yup, gets caught. Yup, is held captive, still not tied-up, with two other women who are similarly untied, in an open, public, unguarded warehouse with tons of crates and tools. The only door into the warehouse area is locked. On Nancy's side of the door. With the hinges on her side, too. Her one attempt to escape involves her climbing UP crates to go through a window and is promptly caught. It takes the Hardys breaking into the warehouse through said door before Nancy can escape. *sigh*
  • The Dulcinea Effect: the show mostly averted this by having the girls whom the Hardys help be friends from school or former girlfriends instead of complete strangers, but a couple eps stand out:
    • "House on Possessed Hill": Joe champions a supposedly psychic girl who's just flagged him down, jumped into his van, and gets him running for his life from a lynch mob...
    • "Death Surf" — this time Frank falls in love with a girl he's seen for only three or four seconds...and who's supposedly dead for most of the episode.
    • Subverted in "The Mystery of King Tut's Tomb", where the brothers are trying to get out of helping the stranger-girl, but are finally forced into it because the Egyptian police hold their passports. Frank even threatens to kick said girl's teeth in, at one point. Subverted even further when it turns out that the girls don't want the Hardys' help at all, as they're the ones who set up the initial con & purse-snatching to begin with.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male:
    • "Death Surf". An older waitress (Bernie) seriously hits on Joe, despite Joe being visibly and highly uncomfortable with this, and keeps hitting on him even though Joe puts her off several times; though the actor (Shaun Cassidy) is 19 at the time, in the show, Joe is supposed to be underage, which just heightens the creep factor, and Bernie is fully aware of this, making reference at a later point to Joe's "mom" saying it's okay for him to come out and play. The show tops this by having Joe going out with Bernie at the end of the episode! Gender-flip this — if it'd been Nancy Drew getting highly unwanted advances from a male waiter, and we'd be rooting for Nancy to deck the guy.
    • "Life on the Line". Frank gets unwanted attention and harassment by a psychotic motorbike racer, who is insanely jealous of Frank protecting one of her fellow racers. The psychotic woman invades Frank's trailer, spies on him as he's changing clothes, and tries to get him drunk, all of which make Frank very, very uncomfortable. But the show then shows Frank as feeling guilty that he had to turn the woman in for attempting to murder the other racer. Yeah. Right.
  • Evil Poacher: "The Mystery of the African Safari" has poachers that are killing 1,500 elephants a year to sell their tusks, partly for the money, although they're well-off enough that they don't really need it, and partly because they're nostalgic for the colonial era.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: The villain of "A Haunting We Will Go" tries to murder his victims by dropping a chandelier, and later a stage light.
  • Fanservice: Too many incidents to count, but hey, we can try:
    • "Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom" had a half-naked Frank Hardy stepping out of the shower, Joe tied up and writhing around (see entry below), and Frank walking in on a topless Nancy Drew. Woohoo!
    • Any episode showing the brothers in swim trunks. Like "Wipe Out". Dear GOD, especially "Wipe Out".
    • "Death Surf", where Frank spends easily the first 10 minutes of the episode in swim trunks and no shirt.
    • "The Mystery Of The Haunted House" showed Frank in a tight white t-shirt and boxer shorts, riding a motorcycle.
    • "Sole Survivor": the opening shots had a helpless Joe Hardy lying on a hospital gurney and getting his shirt stripped off.
    • "Life on the Line" had Frank stripping his shirt off to show his awesome bare chest.
  • Faked Rip Van Winkle: "Sole Survivor". Joe Hardy comes to in a hospital and is told that he's been in a coma for over a year due to a bad car accident and that his brother and father are dead. The villains are naturally pulling a major Mind Screw, faking Joe's coma with drugs and lying about the deaths, in order to get Joe to spill his guts about a defection attempt.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • In "A Haunting We Will Go", five actors and actresses who starred in a play together 20 years ago killed their director by accident, and panicked and hid the body. They were all then bled dry for those 20 years thanks to someone blackmailing them about the murder; each of them assumed one of the other four was the blackmailer. It turns out that the man didn't actually die, woke up later, and secretly escaped from where they'd hidden his "corpse", and he was the one who blackmailed them all about supposedly "killing" him.
    • In "The Mystery of the Solid Gold Kicker", the villains trick a football kicker into thinking he killed a woman (who is actually working with them) by drugging him and staging a scene to make it look like he drank too much at the party that evening and killed her in self-defense during a drunken argument, even later making a fake grave for her at the cemetery. They then use this to try to blackmail him into throwing the championship football game. The very-alive woman watches the game in disguise from the stands along with her accomplices.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: "Mystery on the Avalanche Express". After Nancy Drew's friend excitedly claims that a makeup compact in a stolen travel bag must contain heroin, Frank uses his fingertip to taste the compact's contents.
    Frank: You're right. It is makeup powder.
  • Fixing the Game:
    • The villains of "The Mystery of the Solid Gold Kicker" try this by making a talented football kicker think he killed someone and blackmailing him with it to get him to throw a major game. He seemingly agrees, and misses a few field goals during the game, but later reveals to Nancy that he just genuinely missed those kicks unintentionally, and would never throw a game. He then makes the game-winning kick, screwing the bad guys over.
    • In "The Mystery of the Silent Scream," bombers threaten to blow up casinos if their accomplice isn't allowed to win hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Flare Gun: 3rd season episode "Dangerous Waters" not only has Frank firing a flare gun to signal the rescue boat to come in, but also fires directly at the bad guys with it to drive them off.
  • Flashback Effects:
    • In "The Lady on Thursday at Ten," Nancy accidentally hits a man with her car. Later, she flashes back to the incident in black and white.
    • "Oh Say Can You Sing" also contains flashbacks to a car accident, but with a wavy screen and a scale playing in the background.
  • Follow That Car: In "Voodoo Doll," Nancy asks a taxi driver to follow a hearse driven by one of the villains.
  • Founding Day: "Oh Say Can You Sing" has Joe singing with a rock group at a Fourth of July concert.
  • Frame-Up: In "The Mystery of the Solid Gold Kicker," a blackmailer roofies a football player, and while he's unconscious, has his accomplice play dead on the floor so the player will think he killed her while drunk.
  • Fruit Cart:
    • In "The Mystery of King Tut's Tomb," a thief Frank and Joe are chasing through a marketplace keeps knocking over displays, like a table full of watermelons and a stack of chairs, to slow them down.
    • "Dangerous Waters". Frank and Joe are driving along a slow, uncrowded, unobstructed city road, discussing the apparent conclusion of their case, when they suddenly figure out who the real villain is. Cue Frank simultaneously gunning the engine while spinning the car around, and even though there was no other car or traffic on the street, Frank still wipes out an innocent fruit cart that had been several car lengths behind him and well out out of the way on the sidewalk. Yes. Frank deliberately steers the car off the road, over the curb, and onto the sidewalk to take out the evil fruit cart.
  • Genius Loci: In The House on Possessed Hill, the titular house is heavily implied to be alive. Stacey describes it as if it can think, and several times the camera shows a statue of a bird on the roof, looking down as if it can see those who come to the house. It's even implied to cause an earthquake, as the statue's face is shown while the ground shakes.
  • Girl of the Week: Most, but not all, of the Hardy Boys episodes have one or more prominent female characters who recruit the Hardys to help her, help them in their investigation, and/or work against them. Sometimes the girls are old friends or former girlfriends, while other times they're new friends that the boys meet in the location they've traveled to, or are the kidnap victims they're searching for. Usually, one or both of the boys will be interested in the girl, or if there are multiple, each brother is attracted to one of them, although sometimes the girls are just platonic friends. Nancy serves this role in the crossover episodes as a more prominent, recurring example.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: The romance subplot of Nancy Drew's first episode, "The Mystery of Pirate's Cove" plays out like this. Said "geek", Ned, has very obvious feelings for Nancy (who is seemingly Oblivious to Love), which he tries to deny and pass off as protectiveness because he works for her father; however, he's clearly jealous when she shows attraction to multiple different good-looking guys in the episode (while Ned himself, while not outright ugly, is pretty nerdy-looking), and George encourages him to admit his feelings. By the end of the episode, Ned has helped and protected her during the case multiple times, even putting himself at risk to do so, and wins Nancy over; subsequent episodes for the rest of the season show that they are dating, and Nancy doesn't really show serious attraction to any other guys besides Ned.
  • Hairpin Lockpick:
    • In "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula," Frank is locked into a cell in Dracula's castle. When Nancy finds him, she picks the lock with her hairpin.
    • Joe also pulls this in "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom." After managing to escape being Bound and Gagged, Joe gets grabbed again and put in a cell with his dad and the other missing detectives, who are sitting around waiting for the villain to kill them. Joe then pulls a hairpin from his socks and tries to pick the cell lock, succeeding just in time for the villain to catch him again.
  • Hair-Trigger Avalanche: A goon in "Mystery on the Avalanche Express" starts an avalanche by firing his gun.
  • Hand Gagging:
    • Frank covers Joe's mouth in "The Flickering Torch Mystery" to stop him from giving away their location when they're hiding in a closet.
    • "Scorpion's Sting". Going undercover to trap a notorious international kidnapper, Frank ambushes the kidnapper's daughter in her apartment by sneaking up behind her, grabbing her arm and putting his hand over her mouth to silence her.
  • Healthcare Motivation: In "The Strange Fate of Flight 608," a stewardess smuggles diamonds because of her brother's rare blood disease, whose treatments can cost thousands of dollars a month.
  • Heroic BSoD: "Last Kiss of Summer". Joe Hardy's fiance is killed in a car wreck; she dies in his arms. Next scene is Joe sitting in a police waiting area, staring into space, fighting not to cry, trying to process what just happened, and not snapping out of it until Frank comes in and gently talks his brother down.
  • Hidden Wire: Nancy wears one while paying ransom in "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom," but the villains immediately find it and pull it off her.
  • Hitchhiker's Leg: In "Sole Survivor," Joe tries and fails to flag down a taxi. His friend Kim lifts up the side of her skirt and gets them a ride in seconds.
  • Hollywood Fire:
    • "Mystery of the Flickering Torch" has Frank & Joe trapped in a small closet while fire rages outside; the only sign they have that the fire even exists is a bit of smoke under the door. When they finally break out, the fire has completely engulfed the office in lots & lots of flames, though not the closet, and the brothers dive heroically through the raging fire engulfing the room and into the next office...where there's absolutely no sign of any fire at all, save for the firefighters coming into the well-lit, smoke-free building.
    • "Arson & Old Lace" has an arsonist setting several raging fires in an office building. Massive amounts of flames rage in an empty office, where the arsonist has been knocked out by an explosion. Yet the flames very carefully don't touch her, nor does the massive fire & intense heat interfere with Frank and Joe dragging the woman out of the room. We're also shown many stock footage scenes of fire fighters battling out-of-control fire all over the walls, ceiling, and floor. On top of that, Joe detours to help a young child trapped in an office; flames come roaring in to cover the ceiling and trigger an explosion, yet Joe ducks behind a half-wall and, aside from a bit of soot-smudge, takes no damage from either fire nor explosion.
  • Hollywood Psych
    • "House on Possessed Hill" features a psychiatrist hypnotizing a young psychic woman so she can wander an old house like she was four years old. Said psychiatrist also hangs out with the patient's mother at their home, in the middle of the night, just because the young woman hasn't come home on time.
    • "Campus Terror" is just full of this, with a multiple personality who is going on a kidnapping spree, but snaps out of it just because Joe yells in her face.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: "Voodoo Doll", an episode that has to be seen to be believed:
    • An old white British professor from Oxford is somehow a Voodoo High Priest in New Orleans, with the Haitian (Black) Voodoo Priest stated to be his "protege".
    • Tarot cards are called "Voodoo cards", though their accuracy is actually a Mind Screw used by the villain to psych the Hardys out. Voodoo-themed Tarot did not exist at that point & no tarot uses the symbology or images shown; modern "Voodoo Tarot" is a Canon Immigrant incorporated from European-based Neo-Paganism.
    • Obvious stage magic presented as proof of "Voodoo powers".
    • The episode does have one point in its favor, in an small aversion: Baron Saturday/Samedi is not mentioned at all, and during a fake Voodoo ceremony, the practitioners summon "Papa Legba" instead. Point taken away, though: Papa Legba is the guardian of the crossroads, and would hardly be the one invoked for the apparent death curse that the villains are trying to lay on the Hardys.
    • The villain owns a Voodoo-themed bar called "Club Damballah". Damballah is a Haitian Voodoo loa whose worship strictly forbids the consumption of alcohol.
    • Voodoo is presented solely as evil magic, not the path of healing & sincere worship that it is.
    • To top everything off, all the Voodoo references in this New-Orleans-based episode are Haitian Voodoo. New Orleans and Haitian Voodoo are two entirely different things. The episode does state that both villains are Haitian Voodoo practitioners, but that doesn't explain their circle of NOLA worshippers, and Haitian-style Voodoo is the only Voodoo presented in the episode.
  • Hologram: In "The Disappearing Floor," government experiments create a holographic flying saucer, a house full of furniture that appears to grow and shrink, a fake floor that Frank almost falls through, and a full-color, 3D image of a woman that is realistic and solid, to the point of fooling both the Hardys and the police.
  • Identity Amnesia: "The Mystery of the Haunted House" has a government agent who went missing for a few days before being found with total amnesia. Turns out he witnessed his commander selling government secrets and lost his memory from the shock.
  • Impairment Shot: In "The Strange Fate of Flight 608," a pilot's view of the controls is blurred after he drinks drugged coffee.
  • Impersonating an Officer:
    • "Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom". The Hardy Boys see Nancy Drew unsuccessfully trying to talk her way out of trouble at an airport, and go over to help. On the spur of the moment, Joe pretends to be undercover airport security, and the brothers "apprehend" Nancy:
    Nancy: (to another traveler) I'm telling you there was another man here trying to get into your suitcase!
    Frank: Excuse me, what seems to be the trouble here?
    Traveler: (suspicious) Is she with you?
    Joe (flipping open his wallet and flashing an ID too quick to see): Airport police. Juvenile Division. I thought we told you to never work this airport, Trixie.
    Frank: We'll take care of this, sir. I'm sorry there's been any inconvenience to you. (grabbing Nancy by the shoulder) Come with me, thank you very much...
    Traveler: You're probably all in this together!
    • "The Creatures Who Came On Sunday" has mob assassins flashing fake ID and impersonating "the government" — literally — to get information out of the Damsel in Distress and to intimidate the Hardys:
    Bad Guy: OK, boys, that's far enough. Hold it right there.
    Frank: Who are you??
    Bad Guy: (flashing open wallet) The Government. This is Agent Thomas. I'm Agent Stone.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom," Joe deduces that one of the suspects is behind the kidnappings partly because when he heard that a room had been "wrecked" and that blood was found on the scene, he said that the blood was probably from the broken glass, even though he'd never been told there was broken glass. When the brothers confront him with the information, he protests, "When you tell me that a room has been wrecked, naturally I assume there might be broken glass lying around. Hardly conclusive evidence."
  • The Infiltration: "Game Plan", in Season 3, has Frank going deep undercover, joining with a criminal organization and romancing the woman in charge. At one point, Frank seems to have gone totally over and sold out the Feds, to the point of pulling a gun on Joe.
  • Instant Sedation: In "Voodoo Doll," the villains chloroform the brothers so quickly, they barely have time to smell the chloroform before they pass out.
  • Insurance Fraud: In "The Mystery of the Fallen Angels," a couple starts selling off their jewelry. After they run out, they report the jewelry as stolen for the insurance money.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration:
    • The hotel burglars in "Wipe Out" pretend to be hotel room service in order to gain access to the rooms and avoid detection.
    • Babbling in a phony hick-accent while wearing greasy coveralls and a backwards ball cap, Joe pretends to be a maintenance guy in "Game Plan", in order to gain access to the the villain's room and warn Frank of an impending federal raid. Subverted when Frank shows Joe's note to the villain: Joe's disguise completely evaporates the moment he turns around and sees Frank pointing a gun at him.
      Joe: Frank, have you lost your mind?!?
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Patrick Macnee guest-starred in "Assault on the Tower" as a secret agent code-named S who wears a bowler hat and carries an umbrella, an obvious nod to his iconic role as John Steed in The Avengers (1960s). His real name isn't given for legal reasons, but the theme music is still heard.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: "Creatures Who Came On Sunday", which aired in 1978, has its whole plot revolve around a secret installation of the Federal Witness Protection Program, where protected folks get plastic surgery to totally change their looks. All the folks in said camp are swathed in bandages while playing baseball with no apparent pain or lack of agility.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The villain of "The Strange Fate of Flight 608" tries to force the brothers and two of his accomplices to jump off a cliff.
  • Match Cut: "The Creatures Who Came on Sunday" has the light from a "flying saucer" dissolve into the setting sun.
  • Moment Killer: "Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom" has Frank Hardy and Nancy Drew finally sharing a kiss and making plans to go see the sights together... only for an Annoying Younger Brother Detective to ruin it:
    Nancy: What I'd like to do is thank you... for saving my life. (kisses Frank)
    Joe: (butting in out of nowhere) Hi there! Where we off to?
  • Mystery Magnet: Frank and Joe just can't seem to stay out of trouble. From diamond-laden jade statues landing on them in the middle of the ocean ("Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin") to accidentally renting a hotel room that the villains are trying to use to poison an ambassador ("Voodoo Doll"), no wonder they joined the Justice Department in Season Three — at least then they're getting paid. Lampshaded in the "Campus Terror" episode:
    (The Hardys are discussing why a mysterious kidnapper mentioned them by name, in an area where they don't know anybody)
    Joe: I think I've got it all figured it out.
    Frank: You do?
    Joe: Trouble follows us wherever we go. New Orleans, Mardi Gras? Trouble. Hawaii, Marianne? Trouble. Los Angeles, burning building? Nearly fatal. And here we are at some college in the middle of the boonies...
  • Mythology Gag: the show itself gets referenced in the book series:
    • "Last Kiss of Summer" gets myth-gagged in spades by the books in the Casefiles debut, "Dead on Target". In "Last Kiss", Joe Hardy's fiance is killed in a car wreck by a drunk driver, and Joe goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to bring the killer to justice. In "Dead on Target", they not only kill off Joe Hardy's longtime girlfriend in the series, Iola Morton, but do so in a car...and Joe subsequently goes on a revenge kick to bring down the Assassins who did it. Though, unlike Jamie, Iola's death is frequently brought up in subsequent books.
    • "The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Meet Dracula" is myth-gagged in the Super Mysteries book series, "Terror on Tour", where Nancy and the Hardys meet at a rock show — and in the episode, the Hardys and Nancy meet while following a rock tour, and join forces to solve a series of art thefts. This is also the episode that started Frank and Nancy's romance in the show, and Frank has a crush on her throughout the Super Mysteries series.
    • On a similar note, this is the first Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew crossover to give Nancy and Frank romantic feelings for each other, as all crossovers that had been published at the time just had her and the boys as platonic friends. Nearly all crossovers published after this series, though—be it in books or comics—at least give Frank one-sided feelings for Nancy, but it's frequently shown to be mutual, to the point that Nancy/Frank is a very popular Crossover Ship across many different iterations of their series.
    • The first season episode "Wipe Out" does this to the books. In the books, Frank is a black belt in karate. In the episode, Frank and Joe are ambushed by a pair of tough hotel thieves; Joe bluffs them by saying that Frank is a "black belt, a master of the martial arts". The thieves believe it and leave, but then we get this exchange:
      Frank: What made you think of that black belt business?
      Joe: I thought it was a pretty good bluff.
      Frank: Some bluff. He would've chewed me up in little pieces.
      Joe: It was a chance I had to take...
  • Never Found the Body: In "The Lady on Thursday at Ten," a boxer supposedly drove off a pier; his car was found, but his body wasn't. Naturally, it turns out that he was actually kidnapped, with his death faked.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • "Creatures Who Came on Sunday". Frank Hardy is so determined to find out what happened to Sharon's missing boyfriend that he not only ignores three back-off warnings from the local sheriff, supposed government agents, and Sharon herself, he then ends up leading mob killers (masquerading as those government agents) onto the boyfriend, who is in the Witness Protection Program and in hiding in a facility up on the mountain. This results in the mob killers taking Frank, Joe, and Sharon hostage, then forcing Joe at gunpoint to lead them back to the facility to point the boyfriend out so they can shoot him.
    • "Death Surf". Once more, Frank Hardy starts asking questions to find out more about a woman who's been killed in a drowning accident while he was wind-surfing nearby. Granted, he's doing so at the behest of the woman's father, but only to find out what the woman was like. Frank receives two back-off speeches that he's going too far, one from the owner of a bar where the woman worked and the second from his brother Joe, but Frank is so obsessed with finding out about the woman that he not only ignores the warnings and finds the woman is still alive...but has led a criminal who is trying to find her to kill her directly to her. Nice job, hero!
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: "Death Surf". The older waitress Bernie seriously hits on Joe, who is highly uncomfortable and not interested, doing his best to get out of the bar — but then the trope gets averted at the end, with Joe and Bernie going out on a date. Also see the Double Standard Rape: Female on Male entry above.
    Joe: (trying to get information on a missing girl) Can I talk to you for a second?
    Bernie: Suuuurrre!!! (sitting down eagerly) You've got beautiful eyes. Has anyone ever told you that?
    Joe: (uncomfortable) Not today.
    Bernie: They're kinda warm and green. You're so nice and handsome...
    Joe: (seriously at a loss for words, visibly backing away in his chair): Ah...
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted for the Hardy Boys in the third season. They become professional Justice Department detectives, with their boss stating, "They've grown up and are ready to take over for us old warhorses."
  • Oblivious to Love: In the first Nancy Drew episode, Nancy appears to be this when it comes to Ned's feelings for her. A major subplot has Ned getting jealous of the attraction Nancy shows to other guys in the episode, and George urging him to confess his feelings. By the end of the episode, though, Ned appears to have won Nancy over, and they're dating for the rest of the season (after which Ned is written out of Season 2).
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In "Acapulco Spies," the Hardys are looking for their father's contact and instead meet two American girls who happen to say the code phrase. Frank wants to "get down to business" and keeps telling the girls to "meet up" with him and Joe; he thinks he's asking for information about Fenton's disappearance, while they think he's aggressively hitting on them.
  • Only One Name: The man claiming to be Santa Claus in "Will The Real Santa Claus..." goes by Griffin. When one of the police officers asks him if that's his first name or his last name, he says, "Just Griffin will do."
  • "Open!" Says Me: In "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula," one of the victims falls unconscious in his office, which is locked from the inside. The brothers smash the door down with their shoulders.
  • Paranormal Episode:
    • "The House On Possessed Hill" deals with a young psychic hunted by her neighbors.
    • "Voodoo Doll" presents stage magic as evidence of the villain's real supernatural powers and is set within the Voodoo-culture of New Orleans.
    • A third episode, "The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Meet Dracula", zig-zags on this: the supernatural aspect is initially met with skepticism and thought to be due to the villain's delusions, and, when shown to be Real After All at the very end, is only seen by Joe Hardy, who isn't believed.
  • Percussive Pickpocket: the episode "Voodoo Doll" has the Hardy Boys wandering the streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. As a fortune teller distracts them, the camera focuses on a passing woman moving through the crowd & deliberately bumping into them, lifting both brothers' wallets and walking away. It takes the Hardys a few seconds to realize their wallets are gone, and when they try to chase the woman, she's vanished into a nearby bar, kicking off the plot & getting the Hardys involved in the villain's plot against a visiting ambassador.
  • Police Are Useless: Not ONE episode on the Hardy Boys' side in season one or two had a single case of the cops ever believing what the brothers' said. At least, not at first. Usually, said cops were just as likely to toss the Hardys in jail for disturbing their peace. Eventually averted in the third season when the Hardy brothers become Justice Dept. police detectives themselves.
    • Still played mostly straight in Season Three, as the Hardys often took on assignments that the regular Justice Department couldn't figure out. "Last Kiss of Summer" is the best example: the Feds have wasted 7 years trying to bust a pair of robbers and stonewall the Hardys with a lazy, pro-forma explanation of "priorities" when Joe asks why they won't bust one of the robbers for the hit-and-run of his fiance. Naturally, Joe and Frank manage to nail the crooks in just a few days.
    • Subverted in Season Three's "Defection to Paradise", with Harry Hammond apparently giving Frank and Joe a stupid-easy assignment to find a missing amplifier and playing up an image of a bumbling, old-fogey Fed who can't manage such a "hip" assignment. Of course, Harry's really set up the whole thing as a smokescreen to hide the defection of a young Russian woman, and the Hardys are his unwitting fall-guys.
    • The episode "Creatures who came on Sunday" subverted this by having the sheriff be in on the whole secret operation. He was stonewalling the Hardys with his useless act to deliberately keep them away from the top secret plot.
    • "Mystery of the Jade Kwan Yin" inverts this: the Hardys find a valuable jade statue that's apparently been dumped in the bay. Rather than turn it in to the police, the brothers investigate it themselves, only for the statue to be stolen from their home. Bayport's police chief promptly chews them out for not turning it in immediately — the police had already been notified of the statue's disappearance by the FBI, that there was a smuggling ring operating in the area, and who the statue's rightful owner was.
  • Pretty Boy: Joe Hardy, aka Shaun Cassidy. Slender and lean, check. Hair feathered back in '70s style, check. Constantly referred to himself as "the cute one" in-universe, check. Actor was a Teen Idol with a huge, squeeing Fangirl base, triple-check.
    Joe: Just because I'm smaller, younger than you are, and more easily intimidated...?
  • Previously on…:
    • "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom, Part 2" opens with "a few scenes from Part 1 of The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom."
    • "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, Part 2" also opens with a recap, but with no voiceover.
  • Punk in the Trunk: After escaping from being Bound and Gagged in "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom," Joe climbs into the kidnappers' trunk so he can find out where the other victims are being held.
  • Reading Lips: In the episode "Silent Scream", a deaf girl finds out about a Las Vegas bomb plot by reading the lips of a man in a phone booth and easily understands Joe by staring into his face as he speaks. Of course, the woman, the Hardys, the villains and the casino owners then spend the rest of the episode passing around the Idiot Ball, but no one's perfect.
  • Real After All: Poor Joe got the brunt of this.
    • "Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula": In the episode, the Hardy Boys suspect a man of being Dracula, but this is apparently dis-proven. At the end, the villain is in handcuffs and standing in front of a mirror, and Joe Hardy notices that the villain has no reflection, while the other characters conveniently not look at the mirror. The villain is taken away by the cops before Joe can get anyone else to notice.
    • "House on Possessed Hill": The Hardy Boys have supposedly dis-proven a haunted house. Final scene is the brothers driving by the house in their van; Frank is giving logical common-sense explanations for all the haunted phenomena. Cue Joe looking towards the house just as they drive away, in time to see a ghostly figure walk out of the house...which disappears when Frank stops the van to look.
    • "The Creatures Who Came on Sunday" features supposed flying saucers that have abducted a woman's boyfriend. When the villains are caught and it turns out that said saucers are just helicopters and part of a Witness Protection Program, the Hardys are trying to joke with the local sheriff and the Feds about the "aliens", and the officials clam up, with serious we're-not-talking-about-this faces, implying heavily that yup, guess what...
    • "Voodoo Doll" has the main villain use "real" voodoo and magic to turn into a snake at the end of the show — naturally, Joe's the only one who sees it, but still somehow manages to convince the cops that he should be taken seriously.
    • Subverted in "Strange Fate of Flight 608". The Hardy Boys are taking a plane home that will be flying directly through the infamous Bermuda Triangle. A new stewardess freaks out over it; naturally, Joe believes in the Triangle and starts to freak as well, while Frank blows it off with his usual "there's scientific explanations" line. Then all the male pilots get sick and fall unconscious, leaving Frank (a private-licensed pilot) to fly the plane through a hurricane, unable to radio-contact any help, and crashing it into the ocean near a deserted island...then it's revealed that nope, nothing to do with the Bermuda Triangle, the pilots were only poisoned by diamond smugglers and the island is within a day's cruise of civilization. Psych!
    • Even Nancy Drew had one: "Will The Real Santa Claus Please Stand Up" has Nancy trying to save an old man accused of theft. Said gentleman claims to be Santa Claus and is assumed to not be playing with a full deck, until the very end...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Joe is red to Frank's blue. In the first two seasons, the brothers even dressed in those colors.
  • Revenge:
    • "Last Kiss of Summer" has Joe Hardy going after the criminals who killed his fiancee' in a drunk-driving accident, stating that he's not going to leave L.A. until he gets them arrested.
    • "Search for Atlantis". Despite being told that once they found a missing undercover agent, their job was over, Joe convinces Frank to stay to revenge the agent when said agent is found dead, as the agent had been close to the Hardy family as the boys were growing up and "was a very important part of our lives."
  • The Runaway: "Mystery of the Fallen Angels" referenced the "Circus Runaway" trope. Nancy tries to get a job at a travelling carnival to investigate a lead on a burglary ring. The carnival's owner exasperatedly says that she has to deal with "runaways" asking for work at every town the carnival visits, and tells Nancy to go home and try to work things out with her family instead.
  • Running Gag: Just TRY to get Frank to stick around to listen to Joe sing. Go on. I dare you. Joe even taped himself and tried to play the tape for Frank, which only resulted in Frank telling him bluntly to turn it off (and a hotel security officer telling him to shut that noise off, too, for that matter. At least the scriptwriters had a sense of humor about their Teen Idol.)
    (Frank and Joe are talking a ragtag group of buskers into letting the brothers travel with them as a cover)
    Busker (aka Bernie Taupin, pointing at Joe): Either you're really desperate to get into show business, or he must be awful.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: Third season episode "Dangerous Waters" features modern day pirates who lure in victims by pretending to be a boat in trouble, then either killing or kidnapping the people who stop to help. The plot kicks off with the Hardys trying to find a woman grabbed by the pirates, as she inadvertently stumbles over evidence of the pirates' identity. The pirates state they not only intend to sell the woman into sex-slavery in China, but will kill Joe, as well.
  • Satchel Switcheroo: A coin smuggler switches bags with Nancy in "Mystery on the Avalanche Express."
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax:
    • In "The Mystery of Pirate's Cove," a man buys an abandoned lighthouse from Ned Nickerson's father, supposedly so he can investigate a local legend about a ghost. It turns out that he was really looking for treasure in a cave under the lighthouse, and only said he was looking for ghosts so he could buy it cheaply. Then it turns out that was a hoax, too. He buried the treasure himself as part of an elaborate money-laundering scheme.
    • "The Mystery of Witches' Hollow" has a convoy of trucks playing recordings of what's supposed to be a witch's scream to keep people from discovering their theft of construction supplies.
  • Screaming Woman:
    • "The Strange Fate of Flight 608" has a plane full of stewardesses who, despite being trained to act quickly and calmly in an emergency, all panic and scream at the first sign of trouble and need the Hardys to tell them what to do.
    • "Voodoo Doll" has Nancy Drew. Dear Gods, it has Nancy Drew, who is reduced to screaming endlessly and the sight of a man in an obvious skull mask who is merely standing there. In a brightly lit room.
  • Secret Underground Passage: In "The Secret of the Whispering Walls," Nancy's elderly aunt hears voices from the walls of her home. Nancy discovers a network of underground passageways connecting her aunts' farm with the neighbor's; the voices are coming from counterfeiters, who have set up their laboratory in one of the passageways.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • Frank Hardy, Manly (Parker Stevenson being the muscled prep-school jock into surfing), aggressive, and likely to get into a fight; at one point, he even threatens to kick someone's teeth in. Younger Brother Joe, Sensitive (Shaun Cassidy, slender teen-idol musician) who tries to avoid trouble at all costs & is more likely to fall for the victim-of-the-week. Though the show occasionally subverted it by having Frank shove Joe out front in dangerous situations.
    • Season Three swapped it around 180-degrees. Joe Hardy went from Sensitive Guy to the guy most likely to chase down the villain and get into a fight, with Frank being the one who gains a target's trust, often getting emotionally involved with the target, & is subsequently shown as upset and conflicted over breaking that trust.
  • Shirtless Scene: Hoo, brother, where to start?
    • "Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom": Frank Hardy walks into the room fresh from the shower, clad only in a towel.
    • "Life on the Line": Frank strips off his shirt inside his trailer.
    • "Sole Survivor": Joe Hardy spends most of the episode in a sweat-jacket unzipped halfway down. Evidently the younger Hardy doesn't believe in wearing shirts when it's cold enough for him to wear his jacket.
    • "Wipe Out": for some odd reason, Frank (the so-called surfing champion who spends most of the ep on the surfboard) is always shown with a shirt on, even in the water. But Joe gets a glorious, shirtless, wet-chest scene, shortly after saving Frank from two feet of water.
    • "Mystery of the Jade Kwan Yin": Ditto on the Joe-Hardy-In-Halfway-Zipped-Sweats.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "House On Possessed Hill", which features a demon-haunted house, uses the house from Psycho, complete with a fast drive-by-glimpse of a boarded-up, one-story building that looks suspiciously like the Bates Motel, and Joe's comment seals it:
      (the Hardys are walking up to the house on a stormy night, to investigate the "ghosts")
      Joe: Wonder if Hitchcock's seen this place?
    • "Mystery on the Avalanche Express": The title is a shout to Agatha Christie's "Mystery on the Orient Express", complete with an avalanche threatening the train.
    • "Mystery of the Haunted House" (which features the above Psycho house as the titular haunted house): the "haunted house" is a restaurant...complete with waiters dressed as Hermann and Lily Munster. And the Hermann Munster also pulls a convincing Lurch imitation, right as the Hardys are entering the restaurant.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Of the good-natured, teasing variety between Frank and Joe Hardy, though all bets tended to be off when both brothers were interested in the same girl...and Frank wasn't above shoving all the heavy physical work off on Joe, either. And don't get Joe started when Nancy Drew and Frank were anywhere in the same room together...
  • Single Tear: Joe sheds one tear while remembering Frank in "Sole Survivor."
  • Slipping a Mickey: The villain of "The Mystery of the Solid Gold Kicker" roofies a football player and tells him it was an alcohol blackout.
  • Soft Reboot: On the Nancy Drew side of things in season two. Most of the River Heights characters were recast (including, later on, Nancy herself) with the exception of Carson Drew, but the only explicit change in continuity is the reintroduction of Ned, now played by Rick Springfield instead of George O'Hanlon Jr., as a hotshot young lawyer that Nancy has supposedly never met before.
  • Special Guest: the show is FULL of these:
    • "Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom", in particular, seemed to be an excuse for ABC to work in as many of their B-list stars as possible: Jaclyn Smith, Casey Kasem, Dennis Weaver, and Robert Wagner are just a few, with Casey Kasem acting like Lieutenant Columbo, instead of just being himself.
    • "The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Meet Dracula" not only had Battlestar Galactica (1978)'s Lorne Greene as the villain, but Bernie Taupin (Elton John's co-writer) and Paul Williams.
    • "Assault on the Tower" had a very cool appearance by Patrick Macnee, recreating his John Steed role to help Joe rescue his father and brother.
  • Spiritual Successor: Nelvana (yep, the animation studio) attempted their own separate TV adaptations of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew in 1995; both shows ran in syndication as an hour-long block and crossed over with each other at least once. This attempt was cancelled after half a season thanks to poor timeslots in syndication.
  • Stalking is Love: "Oh Say Can You Sing" has the female lead singer of a rock band being stalked by her ex-husband and has a court order of protection against him — the Hardys initially think the man is out to hurt the woman, but when he says "I'm her husband" and admits to having the restraining order, the Hardys still treat him as an okay guy and immediately take him off their suspect list, believing his explanation of following her around because he still loves her.
  • Sticky Fingers: Karen Phillips from "Nancy Drew's Love Match" is a wealthy tennis star who compulsively shoplifts from jewelry stores, often without realizing she's doing it. When she's accused of burglary, Nancy defends her partly because the burglar was much more competent than Karen ever was.
  • Stock Footage: The show used stock footage to open many episodes to establish locale, but there were also many painfully obvious uses:
    • "The Strange Fate of Flight 608": stock footage is clearly used to show the evacuation of the jet after it crashes into the ocean. What makes it really painful? In the episode, the male pilots have all been poisoned and knocked out; the Hardy Boys are the only conscious males on board. Yet the stock footage clearly shows wide-awake male pilots helping passengers crawl out over the wing to the waiting rafts.
    • "The Disappearing Floor" uses obvious stock footage of a wolf charging to "attack" the Hardy brothers.
    • "Mystery of the Jade Kwan Yin" also uses stock footage to show a boat explosion in Bayport's harbor...a different make and style of boat, which despite the episode showing it docked, is out at sea in the footage.
    • "Voodoo Doll" fairs better, using stock footage to show New Orleans on Bourbon Street to open the episode...though the subsequent sets in the episode didn't even try to look like the French Quarter.
    • "Mystery of Witches Hollow" also uses painfully obvious stock footage of a panther running through a sunlit field to show said panther attacking Callie, who's in heavy forest, at night.
    • "Mystery of the Flickering Torch" also doubles as a Shout-Out: the opening shots of Emergency! which show Station 51 pulling out are used for Bayport's fire fighters, who arrive to put out the arson that has the Hardys trapped.
    • Throughout the Hardy Boys side of the series, the same 1st-season footage of the brothers' van driving along a back road is used in many episodes, no matter what the actual locale. Shots of the Hardy home were also used for other characters' houses, as well.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: "Last Kiss of Summer". We're introduced to Jamie, the love of Joe's life, the woman he's willing to marry & throw over his entire life and career for — a woman that we haven't met before nor has there been any reference to her throughout the entire series to this point — and 10 minutes into the episode, right after the wedding rehearsal where we're shown Joe & Jamie pledging the vows, Jamie's killed by a random drunk driver, as Joe is driving, followed by Joe weeping over her bloody body in the car. Jamie only existed to die and to fuel Joe's Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the rest of the episode
  • Take My Hand!: In "The Mystery of Witches' Hollow," Joe falls off a cliff and grabs onto some branches a few feet below the top. Frank makes a loop with his belt and hangs it down for Joe to grab onto.
  • Tally Marks on the Prison Wall: In "Acapulco Spies," Fenton is captured and held in a cell with seventeen tally marks on the wall.
  • Techno Babble: "Search for Atlantis" has a really painful example, when the Hardys are introduced to university archeologists on a dig to find Atlantis. At one point, the site manager asks Frank and Joe how much they know about archeology. Frank starts off innocently enough with a reference to "Petrie's system of excavation"note  Then Frank goes on to babble about the lack of "pulse induction readings" and "flux gates", with the site manager commenting that the "volcanic activity" in the area has ruled them out. Considering that "pulse induction" is a metal detector and a "flux gate" a magnetometer (used to measure magnetism on objects), nothing volcanic would prevent the use of that equipment. The site manager also babbles about "plate activity" jumbling the readings...which wouldn't stop any decent archeological team, who would know how to read soil & rock levels. About the only thing Frank gets right is a reference to "Fiorelli's technique", used at Pompeii to make molds of corpses under the volcanic rock.
  • Teen Idol: The gold standard of teen idols back in the '70s, Shaun Cassidy dominated the covers of all teen magazines at the time & had a massive following of teenage girls. Not only did this show launch his career in the US, but he also used it as a vehicle to promote his musical career.
  • Television Geography:
    • The episode "Voodoo Doll" is just painful. Despite having a stock footage opening shot of the real Bourbon Street in New Orleans during Mardi Gras...the Hollywood backlot not only didn't bother to make buildings that looked like New Orleans, but the ep also refers to addresses that don't exist and has the Hardys wandering through a wide, spacious, bury-them-below-ground cemetery...never mind that cemeteries in NOLA in the Quarter are all bury-them-above-ground due to the high water table and jammed-packed. And we won't go into the total lack of any believable accents (What are LAPD doing in NOLA?) and black people in general.
    • "Creatures Who Came On Sunday" has the hills of southern California substituting for the "mountains" of New Mexico. Um...
    • "The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Meet Dracula" shows the correct stock footage shots of Dracula's Castle (there's actually several, but they use Poenari Castle in Romania)...but then show people driving cars right up to the castle entrance for a major rock festival. In reality, the castle is only accessible by climbing a long, narrow, zig-zaggy staircase up the wooded mountain.
    • "Mystery of the African Safari" has Kenya, Africa looking amazingly like the San Diego Zoo; the episode was shot in the zoo, uses the zoo's boat ride, and even uses stock footage of the monkey exhibit as "wild monkeys".
  • This Is Reality: In "The Disappearing Floor," Fenton wonders if a missing scientist defected. Frank says, "I thought that only happened in movies like Casablanca."
  • Threatening Shark: "Last Kiss of Summer" has one of the bad guys trying to kill off Frank Hardy by taking him surfing at a university breeding area for great whites.
  • Thriller on the Express: "Mystery on the Avalanche Express". Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Throwing the Distraction:
    • Joe does this in "The Mystery of the Silent Scream" so he can get a kidnapper out of the room where his victim is being held.
    • In "Sole Survivor," Joe throws the head of a mannequin while hiding from the villains in the backroom of a clothing store.
  • Throwing the Fight: The villains of "The Mystery of the Solid Gold Kicker" trick a football player into thinking he killed a girl while blackout drunk. They force him to throw a game to keep it a secret.
  • Time Bomb: The villains of "The Mystery of the Jade Kwan Yin" plant one on their boat to destroy the evidence of their smuggling operation. Frank finds it while he and Joe are dusting for fingerprints. They jump off the boat with seconds to spare.
  • Title Drop: "The Lady on Thursday at Ten" refers to a code phrase used by the villains.
  • Title In:
    • "The Mystery of the Jade Kwan Yin" begins with one saying "HONG KONG," and then another saying "NEW ENGLAND COAST" a few minutes later.
    • One scene in "The Mystery of the Solid Gold Kicker" opens with an Establishing Shot and the caption "BOSTON."
    • "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula" opens in "Transylvania - June 4th." As the boys travel to Transylvania across Europe, it's followed by "Paris - June 9th," "Munich - June 10th," "Poenari - June 11th," and finally "Dracula Castle - June 12th."
    • "The Creatures Who Came on Sunday" is set in "JUSTICE, NEW MEXICO."
    • "The Strange Fate of Flight 608" opens in "NASSAU."
    • "Acapulco Spies" has "ACAPULCO," unsurprisingly.
    • "The Mystery of the Silent Scream" is set in "LAS VEGAS."
    • The first scene of "Will The Real Santa Claus..." is set in an unnamed town, but the beginning of the second scene is captioned "River Heights."
    • "Oh Say Can You Sing" opens with the caption "Spencer Valley." Kind of redundant, since Frank names the town a minute later.
    • "Sole Survivor" has "Hong Kong."
    • "Voodoo Doll" has "Mardi Gras, New Orleans."
  • To Be Continued: The first parts of "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula," "The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom," and "Voodoo Doll" end this way.
  • Traintop Battle: "Mystery of the Avalanche Express" has one between Joe, an armed thug, and a girl he's trying to murder.
  • Trap Door: At the end of "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula," the villain opens a trap door in front of where the boys are standing, causing them to almost fall in. A moment later, the arrival of Nancy and the police startles him so much that he falls in himself. He grabs onto the ledge until the boys pull him out.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Nancy, George, and Ned in the first season. Unlike many examples, the guy, Ned, does have feelings for one of the girls, Nancy, who later becomes his girlfriend.
  • Two Guys and a Girl:
    • Frank, Joe, and Callie often act as this in the first season. There are hints of romantic ties between Frank and Callie (who date in the books), but it's never made explicitly clear.
    • Frank, Joe, and Nancy in the second season episodes where they cross over. There's Belligerent Sexual Tension between Frank and Nancy, much to Joe's amusement.
  • Überwald: "The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Meet Dracula" had the plucky detectives going into Transylvania for a Halloween music festival — cue the old spooky castle and villagers who still wear medieval peasant folk costumes who give the warnings about the vampire in the castle...
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Frank Hardy and Nancy Drew, in all the eps that feature all three detectives. The show's take on this predates all the current books.
  • Virtual-Reality Interrogation: "Sole Survivor". The villains use the situation detailed below under You Wake Up in a Room to get information from Joe about the meetup location where Frank and Fenton will pick up a defector from China.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • "Last Kiss of Summer": After blowing an undercover federal agent's cover, not only wrecking the government's operation, but putting that agent at risk, since the Big Bads are stated to be ruthless killers, Joe gets three of these: one from the federal agent himself (who runs Joe off the road to deliver it), the second from his brother Frank, and the third from his dad, Fenton.
    • "Game Plan": Deep undercover, Frank has apparently fallen in love with the woman behind a securities scheme and tips the woman off to an impending federal raid after Joe goes in to warn Frank to get out. Frank pulls a gun on Joe, apparently severing ties with the feds, resulting in Joe delivering this.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: "Voodoo Doll": even though the Big Bads have already killed several people who've gotten in the way, they tread very lightly with the Hardy Boys. The villains lure the brothers to a fake Voodoo ceremony and chloroform them, yet the Hardys only wake up the next morning in coffins next to the bayou. Untouched, unhurt, and definitely not dead (though confused and freaked-out). Y'know, Mr. Villains, coffins work so much better if the heroes are dead when you put them in.
  • Witness Protection: "Creatures Who Came On Sunday" revolves around a secret installation of the Federal Witness Protection Program, where protected folks get plastic surgery to totally change their looks. The Hardys and the suspicious girlfriend of one of the witnesses soon blow all that out of the water, endangering quite a few people, and barely get off with a lecture at the end — though in the course of the episode, the Hardys get three "back-off" speeches, including one from the villain trying to track a witness down.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: "Sole Survivor", where Joe wakes up in a hospital room with no clue where he is or how he got there, only to be told that he's not only been in a coma for a year, but that his father and brother are dead. Cue fake newspapers, fake newscasts, and forged letters from all his surviving relatives and friends. Of course, Frank and Fenton are very much alive, and the whole thing is a Mind Screw to get Joe to reveal information on a defection attempt.

Alternative Title(s): Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries