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Western Animation / Atomic Betty

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"Call me up, I'm your girl!
Toughest chick in the alien world!
Ain't got time for pink and lace!
This girl's built for outer space!"
Theme Tune

A Canadian cartoon about a middle school girl named Betty Barrett who doubles as a Galactic Guardian, fighting evil on the other side of the universe while no one notices her lengthy absence. The series ran for 78 episodes over 3 seasons, premiering on September 6, 2004 and ending on January 29, 2008.

Season 3 (Subtitle Mission: Earth) mixes things up by having the Galactic Guardian headquarters relocated underneath Betty's hometown.

The show has also reappeared on American airwaves on The Hub (formerly Discovery Kids) before it was taken off of air.

As of 2018, the show now airs on the Starz Network.

Now has a characters page.


This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: This was implied at toward Max Sr. toward Maximus and later on, Max Sr. Sr. toward both of them.
  • Achilles' Heel: Maximus can't swim, and really hates water.
  • Badass Family: Betty and her maternal grandparents are galactic guardians; her uncle from "Rodeo Robots" is a cowboy; and her parents, while almost never seen fighting, have shown Greenbeard's gang what they're made of. And they thought they were fighting against actors.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted in the Season 3 premiere. Galactic Guardian HQ is successfully destroyed, but Maximus is robbed of the satisfaction of being the one to push the button. And they just build a new HQ on Earth anyway.
  • Berserk Button: Max Sr. apparently hates being called "worthless" by his own father and would have nearly beaten up his younger self if Maximus didn't interfere.
    • Also, when Maximus can't sleep due to too much noise, he goes on a destructive rampage.
  • Between My Legs: Odd for a children's show, but this is how we're introduced to Pontifidora, along with the image page for the episode.
  • Big Eater:
    • Sparky and his mom. (His species has four stomachs, apparently.)
    • Penelope's fat friend Megan is often shown eating, though they rarely show her actually pigging out.
  • Big Little Brother: Infantor's little brother is much bigger than him.
  • Brainless Beauty: DeGill's two (or three since Mission: Earth) groupies.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Koreena prefers to build robots to do her work for her and when she was training in the the Galactic Guardian academy she cheated off Betty's notes.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Megan has a big M on her sweater, possibly so viewers don't get her and Sarah's names mixed up.
  • Canada, Eh?: Betty's home town is called Moose Jaw Heights
    • One of the first indicators that this isn't an American cartoon is that Betty's school has a Canadian flag flying from the flagpole.
  • Captivity Harmonica: This was partially seen during one part of "Like Father, Like Scum" with Max Sr. (hidden in the shadows at that point) playing it before the Berillum Boys bust Max Sr. out of his prison.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Maximus.
    • In "The Pre-Teen Queen of Outer Space" when the Drones need a new queen they intentionally seek out the most evil female in the universe.
  • Cats Are Mean: Played straight with Purrsy, Koreena, Maximus and his family, but the episode "Noah's Bark" shows that Maximus's race is not Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Cats Hate Water: Maximus can't swim, and really hates water, almost to the point of it being an Achilles' Heel to him.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Penelope's cat Poopsie appeared in the Season 1 episode "Power Arrangers" and was never seen again. In the Season 2 episode "The Market" Penelope was seen visiting his grave.
    • Paloma (and Juanita) at the beginning of Season 3 (no one exactly knew why she was written out), save for a cameo in "Love Bites".
    • Dylan disappeared near the end of Season 2 and was replaced by Penelope's brother Chaz in Season 3. Since Penelope would no longer have a rival for Dylan's affections, there was no longer a need for him, so the second to last episode before the Season 2 finale has Penelope falling out with Dylan after spending an entire episode getting humiliated in her efforts to get with him while in "No-Hit Wonders", he was last seen in the dance competition and gets disqualified when he loses in the dance.
    • Beatrixo had an unnamed pet cat in her first appearance, but it was never seen again after that.
  • Clark Kenting: Sparky wouldn't recognize The Scribe as "Milton Scrivener" until the scribe took off his mask and put on "Milton"'s glasses.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: The Empress from "Battle of the Bots" is captive by Maximus on the planet of Crushdon, though when she sees her rescuers along with robots, she begins complaining about them along with her allergies. Granted, she goes back with Maximus while the reward is simply a letter stating that her people don't want her because she's a Snobby Empress anyway.
  • Costume Copycat: In "Cosmic Comicon" a bunch of people are dressed like Betty and there's a Running Gag where Sparky keeps mistaking them for her. He even mistakes a coat rack with a costume hanging on it for her.
    • Up to Eleven: When Betty tries to talk to him, he asks her who she is.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • How mean Penelope and her friends are varies from episode to episode.
    • Beatrixo switches between Lethal Chef and Supreme Chef depending on what the plot calls for.
    • Duncan has a crush on Penelope, but her opinion of him changes all the time.
  • Denser and Wackier: Mission Earth has a number of gags that are cartoonier than anything the previous seasons ever did.
  • Diet Episode: "Eternal Elixir" has a subplot where Betty's mom puts Purrsy on a diet after he's gotten fat.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Betty's mother's father. For 30 years.
    • Also, Sparky's Dad was never mentioned even in episodes where Sparky's Mom appears.
  • Disney Death: Paloma nearly dies from having her energy drained to open the forbidden box her father is contained in.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Chameleon stole the Scythian President's brain because the President called Maximus a villain "when everyone knows he's a SUPER-villain".
  • Ditzy Genius: Dr. Cerebral can invent hi-tech gadgets, but he's lacking in common sense.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Paloma, whom was first actually seen in the TV series in Season 2's The New Neighbor was actually first seen in the Gameboy Advanced Game that was released before Season 2 was made.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Much to Betty's dismay.
  • Easy Impersonation: In "The Way of the Weiner" the Betty Clones went around town causing mayhem and framing Betty for it. Everyone fell for it, even though they stayed in their superpowered forms and in those forms only one of them looks even close to her.
  • Embarrassing Slide: In "Lulu on the Loose" when DeGill shows he's already aware of the situation via hidden camera, when he first turns the screen on it briefly shows his groupies dancing in their underwear.
    DeGill: Oops! Wrong channel.
    • There's a non-accidental example in "Captain Sparky" when Sparky records over Penelope's embarrassing recordings of Betty and her friends with a video he somehow recorded of Penelope in Cucumber Facial playing with her cat.
  • Enemy Mine: Betty teamed up with Maximus against a common foe in "Takes One to Know One".
  • Epic Fail: In "Self Sabotage" Noah is so unathletic he's dead last through most of the race, right behind Megan.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: This is mostly seen when Maximus is around either his father or grandfather, the latter which Max Sr. only helps his son due to his own father mocking them both.
  • The Faceless: Noah's mom. Her only on-screen appearance was in "Captain Sparky" and only her arm was shown.
  • Fainting: In "The No-L 9" Betty's mom understandably faints upon seeing her dad for the first time in 30 years.
  • Fat Cat: This is what Max Sr. is. Same to elderly Max Sr. Sr., though it could be due to himself being too old.
  • Flexing Those Non-Biceps: In "Beach Blanket Betty" Noah does the forearms-turn-into-limp-noodles variant.
  • Forgotten Birthday: In "Cat Fight" Betty's mom thinks her husband forgot Purrsy's birthday, though it's played more like a Forgotten Anniversary scenario.
  • Fountain of Youth: The Youthinator in "Bold Age" where Maximus' grandfather, Max Sr. Sr., used it to make people old while elderly like himself (and Penelope's grandmother) are made young.
  • Freudian Excuse: it's heavily implied that parental abuse runs in Maximus's family which explains why they're all evil.
  • Friendly Enemy: Megan and Sarah get along fairly well with Betty when they're not following Penelope's orders.
  • Future Badass: Betty, Noah, and their human friends during the Bad Future episode. Even Penelope, given the right impetus.
  • Gasshole: In "Family Feuds" Betty's mom is an accidental example for one scene. When she demonstrates her leg exercises to Betty a fart slips out just before it cuts to the next scene.
  • Genetic Memory: The first time Queen Penelobee meets Atomic Betty she notices see seems oddly familiar.
  • The Ghost: Betty's mom has a sister we never see; the mother of Betty's bratty cousin Kyle.
  • Girl Posse: Penelope's friends Megan and Sarah.
  • Green Around the Gills: In "Max Land" Betty's mom turns green when she finds out Beatrixo is making them beef tongue for dinner.
    • In "Beach Blanket Betty" Penelope, Megan and Sarah turn green when they get seasick.
  • Green Eyes: The usual match for a Significant Green-Eyed Redhead.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: In "No Business Like Snow Business" when Betty's mom cheers her on as Betty plays ice hockey, she yells "Get another home run!"
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Admiral DeGill and possibly Minimus PU.
    • Parodied when DeGill is in the shower and they blur out his crotch.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Beatrixo and Auntie Matter's father was an alien. This also makes Betty and her mom part alien.
  • Halloween Episode: The episodes "When Worlds Collide", "The Ghost Ship of Aberdeffia", "Night of the Living Mummies", and "Trick or Creep".
  • Hartman Hips: Betty's mom has quite the lovely pair.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At the end of "The Way of the Weiner" X-5 reprograms the Betty Clones to make them good.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Betty about Noah in "No Space Like Home".
  • Hidden Depths: In "The Market" Penelope is shown crying at her cat's grave.
    • In "The No-L 9" Penelope spends the entire episode decorating her house in a ridiculous amount of decorations so she can win a contest, but when Beatrixo wins instead due to light display created by the titular constellation, instead of being mad that she lost she's filled with the Christmas spirit just like everyone else watching, and the first thing she does is hug her father.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Sparky's mother has a terrible habit of dating villains.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Paloma and Pandora's parents are a human size Cat Girl and a demon about 10 times that size.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: DeGill and the Rockettes are members of the same fish-like species, but the Rockettes are much more humanoid than DeGill.
  • Identical Granddaughter: In "Bold Age" when Penelope was aged up and her grandmother was aged down they each ended up looking like the other, except the aged down grandmother has thicker thighs than Penelope.
  • Informed Ability / Informed Flaw: According to the episode "The Pre-Teen Queen of Outer Space" Penelope is the most evil female in the universe.
  • In-Joke / Genius Bonus for anyone not familiar with Canada: There is a real Moose Jaw located in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is Canada's prairieland, very open and very flat. The idea of there being a Moose Jaw Heights is just silly.
  • Interspecies Romance: A one-sided example in "Love Bites" when Betty's dad falls in love with Purrsy after getting bitten by an alien bug.
  • I Was Quite The Looker: Beatrixo in flashbacks to her days as a Galactic Guardian.
  • I Will Wait for You: In "The No-L 9" we learn Beatrixo has been waiting 30 years for her husband Jimmy to return after he went missing in action.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Minimus' two personalities. The book was even mentioned in the episode where he got stuck on "Hyde" mode.
  • Jerkass Realization: X5 when Sparky is hit with a "stupefactor ray". X5 spent all episode mocking Sparky's intelligence, and is upset to see him reduced to an actual idiot.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Penelope can be this at times.
  • Kavorka Woman: Sparky's mother Zulia has managed to score at least three different guys who are genuinely attracted to her... for some reason.
  • Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: In "Power Arrangers" when Betty is staying with Penelope and her friends for the night, they watch a monster movie that scares Penelope and her friends witless while it doesn't faze Betty a bit.
  • Lean and Mean: Whenever Maximus is shown without clothes he appears to be very skinny.
  • Lethal Chef: In "The No-L Nine" Beatrixo's Christmas cake is shown to be so hard it has to be cut with a blow torch, and when Betty's mom asked her if she wanted to stay at her grandmother's place longer she only agreed as long as she didn't have to eat any more of it.
  • LEGO Genetics: How Queen Penelobee was created.
    • Maximus created the Betty clones by combining Betty's DNA with the DNA of three different alien women.
  • Leitmotif: Penelope has a classy orchestral theme that plays every time she appears.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: In "Aarrgh...It Be 'Olidays!" Betty's parents help defeat Greenbeard and his crew, though they think they're just actors.
  • Likable Villain: Incidentally, there are some villains that are portrayed as likable to the fans.
  • Magic Skirt: Betty, in an episode where she swings by her knees on a trapeze.
  • Motive Decay: In her first appearance, Iciclia's main goal was to steal enough montegoberries to keep looking Young and she was foiled. In her next appearances, she's only seen Young-looking and there's no mention of her dependancy anymore.
  • Multiple Head Case: In "Spliced" Penelope and her posse get spliced together, becoming a three-headed mutant.
  • My Beloved Smother: Betty's mom treats Purrsy like a second child. Whether he loves it or hates it depends on the episode.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: This appears to happen with Sparky in "If the Shoe Fits" when he attempts to compliment the leader of an alien race after they lose their Universal Translator, but once they get it back they find Sparky's translation was correct. It's just that these aliens take compliments as insults and vice versa.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Noah after he joins the Galactic Guardians in the third season.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Betty's grandma is a former Galactic Guardian.
  • Never My Fault: Koreena blames Betty for her being kicked out of the academy when it was her cheating off Betty's notes.
  • Never Trust a Title Card: The title card for "Trading Spaces" shows Penelope in a Galactic Guardian uniform. The episode has nothing to do with Penelope joining the Galactic Guardians nor does it have anything to do with Penelope wanting to try on a similar outfit to Betty's.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The voice of Betty's dad is based on Jimmy Stewart.
    • The voice of Penelope's dad is an impression of Mr. Howell, even often dressing like him.
  • No Name Given: Betty and her family's last name is never mentioned. Even in a school assembly, the principal calls her just 'Betty'. The closest we get to learning her last name is when Sparky refers to Betty's mother as 'Mrs. B'
    • Actually in a series of Atomic Betty books, her last name was revealed to be Barret.
    • Betty's parents were never given first names.
  • Non-Action Guy: Noah. Starts to move away from this during Season 3.
  • Note to Self: Future!Penelope tries to do this so she can learn Betty's secret earlier. It doesn't work, as her past self just mistakes it for a prank.
  • Not So Different: She can get pretty mean when she's getting revenge on Penelope. Not to mention thanks to season three, the writers reduced Betty into a Wangst character and made her a bit of a jerk to her friends (excluding the ones from outer space), including to Noah.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Maximus. He loves destroying planets.
  • Pinch Me: In "The Way of the Weiner" when Penelope comes across a mob of angry townspeople who hate Betty, not knowing why they hate her, she can't believe her eyes and cheerfully joins them.
  • Raygun Gothic: The Galactic Guardians technology looks like it was borrowed from The Jetsons.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: In "Night of the DeGilla Monster" DeGill clones himself, but the clone turns out evil because he didn't read the manual.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Not quite a speech, but Maximus and Max Sr. both give out their reasons on why they don't want Max Sr. Sr., after he is snatched by them, to continue running things and why they don't want him around for too long.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Season 3 introduces Penelope's brother Chaz and Principal Peterson's daughter Regeena. Chaz's previous absence is handwaved by saying he was at boarding school.
  • Retcon: Beatrixo was introduced as Betty's dad's mom in her first appearance.
  • Rich Bitch: Penelope and her family (except Chaz)
  • Rise of Zitboy: In "Pimplepalooza" tiny pimple-like aliens that need host bodies to survive infect the faces of everyone in Moose Jaw.
  • Robo Speak: Noah while wearing a robot costume for Halloween. X5 felt offended by the idea of robots speaking like that.
  • Screens Are Cameras: The Comm Links work this way.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: In "The Way of the Wiener" the Betty Clones stay in her superpowered forms for unexplained reasons.
  • Shout-Out: In the segment, Galactic Idol, Maximus tries singing three times and out of two of those times, he is dressed like Slash and Prince.
    • In "Case of the Missing Kanushu", The Lordof The Rings is referenced when De Gill tries to stop the red wasp from passing by, he almost succeeds in breaking the bridge, though due to him small and using a weaker wasp part, it does not go well. However, he is still grabbed by the wasp crashing through the bridge and dragged to the bottom with Sparky shouting for him. Granted he does survive though.
    • Both "Evil Idol" and "Galactic Idol" are also a shout out to another idol show
    • The empress in "Battle of the Bots" has the hairstyle of Leia.
    • The title, "Power Arrangers", is an allusion to the series, Power Rangers.
  • This Is No Time for Knitting: In "Galactic Guardians No More", Betty announces that it is time to start baking while they're under fire from numerous enemy ships in their own ship — which had been previously decommissioned as a military vessel and turned into a traveling pie shop. Of course, Sparky and X-5 question her timing, but this is part of her plan to save the day: she uses the dough as improvised ammunition for the ship's torpedo launcher, then lures the enemies close to the sun to bake the dough into a debilitating mass.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: DeGill is often seen with three fish girl groupies called the Rockettes who are much taller than he is.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Future!Penelope. Though she's mostly just lazy and bratty, and the only evil thing she does is try to expose Betty's secret to her past self.
  • The Un-Favourite: Betty sometimes feels like this, with her mother often treating Purrsy like a second child.
  • The Un-Reveal: The reason why Paloma kept her secret from Betty.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Kind of downplayed, as this is a kids' show, but in "No Business Like Snow Business" Betty gets on the boys' hockey team unbeknownst to Penelope who mistakes her for a guy and starts putting the moves on her until she takes her helmet off.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song "This Cat Is Coming After You" on the album, mainly for the Betty vocals dialogue
  • Vocal Evolution: Compare Penelope's voice in the first season to the later seasons. In the later seasons it's far more annoying.
  • The Voiceless: Penelope's Asian friend Sarah never talks.
    • Or at least she use to in the first two seasons before Mission: Earth decided to make her mute.
    • In the Mission: Earth episode "Girl Power" she had two lines.
    • DeGill's groupies. Most of the time they just giggle like bimbos, though the green-skinned redhead gets a line in "A Hard Day's Fight".
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: Betty to Noah in "Beach Blanket Betty" while they were surfing.
  • Weirdness Censor: In "Wedding Crashers" Auntie Matter kidnaps Grampa Jim right in front of Betty's parents' eyes. But while they are shocked by the kidnapping and start to worry, the fact that an alien did it is completely ignored.
    • "Takes One to Know One" averts this. When Paloma gets beamed into a spaceship, Duncan freaks out.
    • In "The Pre-Teen Queen of Outer Space" Penelope doesn't find it frightening that she was kidnapped by giant alien bees; justified given that she thought it was a dream.
      • In "Queen For a Day" Penelope doesn't find it odd someone looks and acts just like her. Somewhat justified given that she thought it was a video game.
    • In "Spliced" when Penelope and her friends are spliced together into a three-headed mutant they don't seem to notice. Averted with Regeena, who reacts with either confusion or horror at the spliced mutants she sees.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?/Stating the Simple Solution: Maximus IQ once disguised a robot to pose as a long lost galactic guardian and lure Betty to a trap. Since the robot had an explosive device, Minimus suggested they could simply detonate it and finish off Betty but Maximus wanted to make sure Betty knew he's the reason of her demise. Then, as he had her dangling over a pool with deadly fish, Minimus suggested they'd just cut the rope but Maximus wanted to taunt her.
  • With Friends Like These...: In the episode where everyone thinks the end of the world is coming, Megan and Sarah turn on Penelope, stealing her jewerly and knocking her to the ground. At the end of the episode they're back to being practically her servants.
    • In "Girl Power" upon finding out Regeena is the principal's daughter she makes Regeena her new best friend and ditches Megan and Sarah.
  • Younger Than They Look: Sparky is younger than his voice makes out. He's actually a kid.
  • Zonk: Parodied, as the secret "Project Zonk" that the crew has to protect in an episode ends up only being taco sauce. Yes. Taco sauce.