Follow TV Tropes


Shout Out / OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes

Go To

OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes is a love letter to Beat 'em Ups and Fighting Games, manned by people versed in every form of subculture. Expect to see a lot of references.

OK K.O! Let's Be Heroes

    open/close all folders 

  • Street Fighter:
    • One patron looks like a pastiche of Guile.
    • Carol's studio has advertisements for Yoga Fire classes.
    • The name of Lakewood Plaza Turbo itself is named after Capcom's habit of adding random nouns to their titles. One of the earlier titles for the pilot was Super Lakewood Plaza Turbo, a direct parody of Super Street Fighter II Turbo.
    • Enid's design in the pilot takes heavy cues from Chun-Li.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • A couple of One-Star Dragon Balls can be seen on the shelves of the Bodega.
    • Rad's character design is inspired by Piccolo, with greenish-blue skin, pointed ears, and antennae.
    • Characters sometimes show a Battle Aura, including Rad making fun of KO for how long he screamed while powering up in the original pilot episode.
    • At the beginning of the short "Rad," the first thing KO says is "Hey, it's me, KO!" Bonus points for KO's voice actress also being the voice of young Goku.
  • Mega Man:
    • The series itself takes place in 201X.
    • Lord Boxman is influenced by Dr. Wily, specifically his labcoat, grey hair, and love of using robot minions.
    • Box More is designed like Dr. Wily's fortresses, including the giant skull and radar dish.
    • Darrel has a buster cannon for a left arm in his first appearance in the first episode.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Along with the synopsis, many have pointed out the similarities between the main characters.
    • Protagonist K.O and Izuku Midoriya are similar as they are young, prepubescent boys wanting to become heroes in their respective worlds, have a tendency to cry, and a need to help others out.
    • Dendy and Tsuyu Asui are similar as they serve as friends to the protagonists with frog-like features.
  • Steven Universe:
    • The Power Crystal in Shannon's chest is the same size, shape, and color as Peridot's gem.
    • K.O. will frequently gain star eyes when he's excited or in awe, complete with the same sound effect.
    • In one of the stages of the game, you can clearly see some "Missing" signs with Steven's face on them.
    • In "Just Be a Pebble", when giant K.O. is about to eat a cloud like cotton candy, Rad tells him "Do ittt!" in the same way Amethyst says to Steven in "Secret Team."
    • The arcade in the plaza is called Neo-Rama Game Center. Neo-Rama is the online username of Lamar Abrams, a character designer on the Lakewood Plaza Turbo pilot, and a storyboard artist on Steven Universe.
    • In "Everybody Likes Rad?", a script Rad is given for a movie references "meep morp" (which is what Peridot and Lapis call art).
    • In the middle of "No More Pow Cards," when KO and Dendy decide not to get rid of their Pow cards, there's a star shaped Iris Out (again, complete with the exact same sound effect), which gets interrupted when the two decide they're not done yet.
  • Gregg resembles the dodo from Porky in Wackyland and Gogo the Dodo from Tiny Toon Adventures.
  • Mr. Gar is quite reminiscent of Mike Haggar. He even does a piledriver in the pilot, one of Haggar's moves.
  • KO's mom Carol is dressed in the same iconic blue suit that Sarah Bryant wears.
  • A different background character looks like an adult Commander Keen, down to the pale white skin.
  • Punching Judy's long, green hair and black leotard is reminiscent of Morrigan Aensland. Her name is a play on Punch and Judy.
  • Several sound effects are taken from the Hanna-Barbera library and Looney Tunes, especially on the Cartoon Network Studios Vanity Plate in the case of the former.
  • Lord Boxman himself combines elements of both Dr. Wily and Dr. Robotnik/Eggman, even being voiced by Jim Cummings, who voiced Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM).
  • Rad's special attack, the Power Poke, involves pointing his finger like a gun before firing energy, just like Yusuke's Spirit Gun from YuYu Hakusho.
  • A Real Magic Skeleton is basically a reworking of Tom Guycott.
  • Crinkly Wrinkly looks like an older Scratchy.
  • Cosma's design drew inspiration from Star Trek: The Original Series, since she's voiced by Marina Sirtis.
  • The red subtitles that tend to pop up on the screen whenever a new character is introduced is highly reminiscent of, and is a reference to the red subtitles that pop up in Kill la Kill. It helps that Hiroyuki Imaishi himself actually storyboarded the opening.
  • In an interview about the Sonic crossover, it was revealed that the tendency for characters' balled up fists becoming featureless balls is inspired by the opening of Sonic CD.
  • Carol's perfect memory that allows her to copy any move she sees might be a reference to Noboru Takizawa from Blazing Transfer Student, who is able to memorize and copy moves he sees from "MANGA, ANIME, OR TOKUSATSU SHOWS!" -Noboru Takizawa.
  • The K.O. and T.K.O. plot has K.O. rejecting T.K.O., treating him as though they were separate people. The plot ends with K.O. acknowledging the fact that T.K.O. is apart of him, and they perform a Split-Personality Merge. Sounds familiar?

     Season 1 
Pilot/"Lakewood Plaza Turbo"
  • Upon believing Radicles to be the Graffiti Wiener who defaced the Lakewood Plaza sign:
    KO: (To Radicles) A wiener is you!
  • One commercial advertises Itano missles.
  • Gar's carries bottles of Bonk energy drinks.
  • Carol points while telling her son to "Go out and defend our Plaza—to the extreme!", referencing the cover of Sonichu #0. In the original storyboard, K.O. even replies "I will! Thank you Mother!"

"Let's Be Heroes"

"Let's Be Friends"

"You're Level 100!"

  • Action News 52 brings to mind a certain infamous NES multicart. The logo on the side of their van is even shortened to "Action 52".
  • The heroes of Lakewood Plaza Turbo all group together into a giant fist for KO to use to punch out Darrell, the exact same way The Wonderful 101 would. The combined levels of all the heroes even adds up to 100!

Sibling Rivalry

  • Rad and Enid get Pac-Man faces while arguing.
  • KO, Enid, and Rad's weird tranquil faces at the end was based off of the gorilla mascot of the Gorilla Munch cereal.
  • Rad calls his finger ray the Bungee Net, which is most likely a reference to Hisoka's Bungee Gum move. Both of their attacks look and act similar to each other, and both Rad and Hisoka shoot their beams from their pointer fingers.

"My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad"

"You Are Rad"

"We've Got Pests"

  • Rad's cool guy transformation looks an awful lot like Guy Fieri, complete with a flame jacket.
  • A drawing of the Triforce is visible on one of the posters on the bulletin board in the break room.

"Know Your Mom"

  • Every other line said by Succulentus is a lyric from a popular Nu Metal song, such as "Numb" and "Crawling", "Chop Suey!", and "Bring Me to Life". He notably drops at least three Korn lyrics (Blind, Thoughtless and Falling Away from Me), references the famous "grunt singing" from Freak on a Leash, and, rather appropriately, is voiced by Korn lead singer Jonathan Davis. There's a reason one of the boarders called this episode a "love letter to nu-metal".
  • When Succulentus challenges Carol, he sticks his arms out at a 90° angle and flips them back and forth like a Cactuar.

"We're Captured"

  • When KO, Rad and Enid show up to Boxman's dining room in their disguises, Professor Venomous flamboyantly exclaims "Who ARE these people?".

"Face Your Fears"

  • The little video game overworld map segment that accompanies Dendy’s explanation of how the "Face of Fear" game works was a blend of three video games:
    • The map style is based on Magical Drop 3.
    • The background references the Turbo Tunnel stage from Battletoads.
    • And at the end of the map, there's a giant sword with a face on it that references Exor from Super Mario RPG.
  • The design of the room where K.O. confronts Enid's fear resembles the Magus boss fight from Chrono Trigger.
  • One of the Enids in her fear room is dressed like a student of Hogwarts School of Wizardry.

"Everybody Likes Rad?"

  • In addition to the above-mentioned "meep morp", Rad's script has the line "Radicles phone home." Both reference lines used by other fictional aliens with this example being an iconic phrase said by E.T.
  • Rad's replacement talks like Jar Jar Binks, and references both Meep Morps and Glip Glops.

"You Have To Care"

  • Young Enid's outfit resembles that of post-time skip Naruto with Sasuke's colors.

"Plaza Prom"

"Second First Date"

  • Back in middle school, Enid had a charm of Naruto attached to her phone. She's also seen carrying a stack of manga, including parodies of Naruto (which appears to be a yaoi series called "Ninja Love"), Bleach (Beach), and Death Note (Debt Note).
  • The flower duel is entirely based on Revolutionary Girl Utena. Similar to the duels of the manga, it has two opponents dueling with a flower theme, though instead of trying to take the flowers off the opponent, they are trying to put the flowers in them. It's also worth noting that blue and orange flowers were used in the duels of the manga.
    • Some of the movements that Enid and Rad use during their fight are reminiscent of Utena's own movements in her duels, specially Rad's first attack.
    • Even the soundtrack sounded like it came straight out of the anime.
  • Enid's black fighting dress with brown waistband is similar to Chun-Li's black dress with gold waistband from Street Fighter V.

"One Last Score"


"Stop Attacking the Plaza"

  • Darrell, Shannon, Raymond, and Jethro are playing a board game that resembles the Park Brother's board game, "Don't Wake Daddy".

"Legends of Mr. Gar"

  • Crinkly Wrinkly saying "Mr. Gar elbowed him so hard he saw the curvature of the planet.", might be a reference to when Scott Pilgrim said that he kicked a kid in the face so hard that he saw the curvature of the earth.

"No More Pow Cards"

"A Hero's Fate"

  • The entire episode is a parody of the Japanese RPG.
    • The title card for the episode shows "A Hero's Fate" stylized like Final Fantasy VII.
    • "Hero" from RPG World is based off of Cloud Strife, including the yellow, spiky hair, upper-body armor, and BFS.
    • The music throughout the entire episode is a Musical Pastiche of Final Fantasy music, namely the stylings of composer Nobuo Uematsu.

"Let's Have a Stakeout!"

  • In the beginning, where Mr. Gar calls for an employee meeting, Enid replies "What's up, Mistah G?" in a Harley Quinn impression.

"Rad Likes Robots"

  • The front of Mr. Gar's store a large advertisement reads "Got Magma?", a reference to Got Milk?
  • Another sticker is the shape and color of a Pokéball

"The Power is Yours!"

"Glory Days"

  • The title is accompanied by the "Whoosh-ching!" sound effect from the scene transitions on Super Friends.


  • Dynamite Watkins' narration and way the team intros are animated are a reference to Laff-A-Lympics.
  • When Raymond reveals himself from his rose, he does the pose from "The Birth of Venus" painting.
  • When Darrell passes Potato during the Plaza Relay, he says "Meep Meep" like the Road Runner.

"Parents Day"

  • Enid's parents are an obvious homage to The Munsters
  • Rad's mother proclaiming "we just think they're neat" is a reference to a Marge Simpson meme. Her design even resembles Marge.
  • Enid's dad's apron quotes the Duran Duran song "Hungry Like the Wolf".
  • The ghosts are like the Ghostly Trio from Casper the Friendly Ghost

"Back In Red Action"

Villain's Night Out

  • Lord Boxmore's video is a big shout out to Looney Tunes in general, complete with Enid munching a carrot and saying "Eh, what's up Box?" while doing a Bugs Bunny impression.

"Let's Watch The Pilot"

"Mystery Science Fair 201X"

"Action News"

"Hope This Flies"

  • When Red drives up in her tank, she says "Looks better, but it's still just a van." about Rad's van; Rad retorts with "That's pretty big, coming from Tugboat Annie over there", a reference to Tugboat Annie, a 1933 film about a quarrelsome couple who operate a tugboat.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: When Radicles and Red have a race to see whose car is better, one of the characters says "It's a race!", a caricature of Rowan Atkinson's Enrico Pollini character in Rat Race.
  • Route 175 has tracks that resemble Hot Wheels tracks.

"You're in Control"

     Season 2 
"Be A Team"
  • Enid's Ammo Girl outfit is a dead ringer for Lucca.

"My Fair Carol"

  • The title is a reference to My Fair Lady.
  • Mr. Gar's coach shaped like his head resembles the pumpkin coach from Cinderella.

"Let's Watch the Boxmore Show!"

  • The Boxmore surveillance feed becomes a parody of Survivor, complete with an Immunity Idol (or Immunity Bibble) and Confession Cams.

"Point to the Plaza"

  • Gloops are basically Slimes from Dragon Quest.
  • Freezing the Gloop and shattering it to numerous shards directly references The Blob (1958).

"T.K.O.'s House"

  • In the part where K.O. and T.K.O. combine their strengths, they wear suits resembling Creature Power suits from Wild Kratts. The way they activate their powers is also similar.
  • In that same part, K.O. and T.K.O. hook themselves to a device K.O. claims to have seen in a movie.
  • At the end of the episode, K.O. and T.K.O. are seen playing Chip Adventure 2: Battle. Interestingly, the plot of Sonic Adventure 2 shares a few similarities with that of this episode - both develop the relationship between a well known hero and his opposite.

"The So-bad-ical"

  • The Booksmore train song is a parody of "Casey Jr." from Dumbo.
  • When Miss Quantum reveals her supervillain costume, she laughs like Naga the White Serpent.

"Dendy's Power"

  • In a fit of anger, Shannon throws her POW Card at the ground, which realistically explodes on impact.
  • When Shannon becomes more powerful, K.O. and Dendy's battle with her takes cue from Super Mario RPG. The "battle stage" is directionally pointed into the upper right side of the screen, and K.O. mimic's Mario's V sign when they win.

"Bittersweet Rivals"

  • When Enid arrives at P.O.I.N.T. Prep Academy, she meets Miss Pastel and her friend is Koala Princess, which is also the name of a DVD series of which Ronaldo Fryman from Steven Universe is a fan.

"Are You Ready for Some Megafootball?!"

"Crossover Nexus"

  • This episode is jam-packed with constant references to Cartoon Network properties new and old: from the mere fact that the plot revolves around the old CN City getting left in ruins by a villain bent on defeating heroes, to the various characters seen left as stone statues (including old pilots and short-lived shows like Secret Mountain Fort Awesome and Robotomy), to the posters and the graffiti making references to various Cartoon Network blocks and shows, to the soundtrack referencing various on-air jingles, to Ben delivering a punch as various CN heroes.
  • As revealed in a tweet, the background of the scene of Ben's transforming Megaton Punch is inspired by the Speed Racer movie.

"Boxman Crashes"

"Monster Party"

  • The whole episode is a crossover with Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School. Enid's childhood friends are the titular ghouls, and at one point they reminisce about meeting a weird man with a Great Dane.
  • In a flashback, Phantasma is holding a magazine with Grim on the front cover.
  • There’s a brief shot where Elsa, Phantasma and Sibella are respectively drawn to resemble Ed, Edd n Eddy, complete with moving outlines and a trumpet playing in the background.
  • Bernard's transformation into a human is similar to The Beast's transformation into a human at the end of Beauty and the Beast.
  • The characters dance like the zombies in the Thriller video at the end.

"Soda Genie"

  • The courtroom scene plays out much like Ace Attorney, complete with a similar musical style.
  • After both sides give their conflicting sides of the story, the judge namedrops Rashomon. Nobody else gets it.

"Sidekick Scouts"

  • Combo Breaker is an obvious Astro Boy parody, sharing the same haircut and attire and being a cyborg with a wide array of gadgets. When he draws what his "dad" looks like, it's clearly meant to be Professor Ochanomizu/Elefun.

     Season 3 

"K.O. Versus Fink"

"Whatever Happened to... Rippy Roo?"

"Planet X"

"Deep Space Vacation"

  • The music that plays during K.O. and Enid's bike ride through space brings to mind games like Super Mario Galaxy and A Hat in Time. The "space candy" that the two collect for Cosma even looks like the Star Bit collectibles from the former.

"Big Reveal"

"Let's Get Shadowy"

  • For one shot, an angry Fink is drawn to look like Fitz from 12 oz. Mouse.

"Red Action 3: Grudgement Day"

  • The title of the episode itself is a reference to Terminator 2.
  • Red Action's story and character makes a few references to The Terminator.
    • She's a combat cyborg sent from the future.
    • She rides a motorcycle, just like the main character of the movie.

"Let's Fight to the End"

     OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo game 
  • In the city levels, there's a "Regular Shop", complete with a sticker of Mordecai's face on the door.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: