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Series / Thunder in Paradise

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Thunder, in par-a-dise!
Messin' with him is like rollin' the dice.
Thunder, in par-a-dise!
Mess with him an' you're playing with your life...

Ex-Navy SEALS Randolph J. "Hurricane" Spencer (played by Hulk Hogan) and Martin "Bru" Brubaker (played by Chris Lemmon, son of Jack Lemmon) use a super-powered transforming powerboat (the CG was just about cool enough for them to use it on the opening titles) to fight crime at sea, Knight Rider style. It worked surprisingly well, really, possibly due to the catchy theme tune.

If you've seen Knight Boat on The Simpsons, you know the concept already.

Troping! In par-a-dise!

  • Aborted Arc: The movie pilot has a different setup for the show. Due to a clause in her father's will, Megan has to marry within a week or lose the resort to her uncle Edward. Hearing Spencer needs money, Megan offers to pay him for a fake marriage with Edward hanging around determined to prove this is a fraud. When the series was picked up, it was explained the pair fell in love for real only for Megan to die in a car crash.
  • Actor Allusion: Patrick Mac Nee plays a former World War 2 motor torpedo boat commander which is exactly how he served in real life.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The 'Thunder' itself.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Applies to a lot of the one-off villains.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Why recurring villain Hammerhead behaves the way he does. One of the final episodes implies he gets better.
  • Buried Treasure: The MacGuffin of the pilot.
  • Bus Crash: In the third episode, it's revealed that Spencer's new wife Megan died off-screen, forcing him and Bru to raise her daughter Jessica.
  • The Cameo: Several wrestler friends of Hogan appear as background characters, including Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Brutus Beefcake, and Jimmy Hart. The latter two are even 2nd and 3rd Best Men for his wedding in the pilot.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: In "Deadly Lessons", Spencer calls his daughter to wish her luck on her first school day - while he's in a firefight in the middle of South America. He tries to convince her that the gunfight is a fiesta.
  • The Comically Serious: Spencer and Uncle Edward.
  • Cool Boat: The "Thunder".
  • Damsel in Distress: Kelly and Jessica both get captured a lot.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Spencer, Bru, Kelly, and Uncle Edward.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the pilot, Kelly speaks in an odd New Jersey/New York mix. When the regular show began, Carol Alt spoke in her regular voice.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: What Edward considers himself when he's to be honored by the Queen. He confesses to Spencer he's "a fraud" as he's being honored for how, in World War II, he was the one man on a decoy boat to lure away a German sub and hit it. However, Edward confesses that thinking it was a suicide mission, he got "dead drunk" and passed out behind an iron bulkhead which spared him any damage. But subverted at the end of the episode as Spencer reveals the report from the German commander that Edward spent two hours holding off the enemy vessel, running from deck gun and back in an erratic pattern the Germans couldn't understand. Edward is amazed he can't remember any of it but grateful to realize he really did earn the medal.
  • Femme Fatale: Shannon Daring, the main villain of the episode "Queen of Hearts" (which guest-starred Terry Funk).
  • I'm Going to Disney World!: Said word for word in the episode "Blast Off", in response to a reporter who asks Spencer what he's going to do now that he's saved a Senator from assassination. It seems like a throwaway line at first, but a few scenes later Spencer gets a call from Disney, and he actually DOES go there, complete with a montage of Spencer and Jessica on various Magic Kingdom rides. (An easy scene to film, considering most of the series filmed in Disney World anyway.)
  • Latex Perfection: In one episode, Hammerhead uses a mask to impersonate Spencer to frame him for robbing a military base. Later, Bru dons a Hammerhead mask as a prank.
  • Marriage of Convenience: see On One Condition.
  • Military Salute: In a flashback, the protagonists are shown sharing a goofy salute with their commanding officer.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Kelly (stunning former model Carol Alt) is a hardnosed businesswoman who spends the majority of her time walking around in skimpy bikini, as do the endless supply of "beach bunnies" who flock around the resort. When the recurring character of Alison (Playboy Playmate Heidi Mark) first shows up she wears a risque schoolgirl uniform (as she IS a schoolgirl) which she strips off for a swim revealing a pink string micro-bikini.
  • On One Condition: In the Pilot, Megan Whittaker, who has been pining for Spencer, talks him into marrying her, because he needs money to pay off a bank loan and she needs to get married in order to fulfill her father's will's demand.
  • Pool Scene: Repeatedly.
  • Spy Satellites: In the pilot episode, Bru looks for a spy satellite nearby to hack into from his Cool Boat, finds one, and acts as a Mission Control for Spencer.
  • When Elders Attack: A British Earl tries to scam his way to a fortune by claiming Jessica is his daughter and kidnapping her. Edward briefly believes it but ends up realizing the truth just as Spencer and Bru show up to rescue Jessica. The pair are ready to pummel the guy but Edward interrupts them.
    Edward: Regardless of what you think, this man is an English Earl! That's not the way it's done here! The way it's done here is like this! (proceeds to hit the man in the face with his cane, then trip him up)