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Western Animation / Atomic Puppet

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It's... Atomic Time!

Atomic Puppet is a Canadian-French animated superhero show developed by the acclaimed Canadian animation studio Mercury Filmworks and France's Alphanim for Teletoon and Disney XD. Created by American animated television writers Mark Drop and Jerry Leibowitz, the show debuted in March 2016 on France 4 in France, later arriving that same year to the United States in July and Canada in September.

In this series, Mega City’s greatest superhero and longtime defender Captain Atomic is transformed into a lively but powerless sock puppet named AP by his disgruntled ex-sidekick Sergeant Subatomic (aka Mookie). Now the only way Captain Atomic can protect Mega City in his new form is by teaming up with his biggest fan, 12-year-old Joey Felt, who is able to reactivate Captain Atomic’s superpowers by putting him on his hand, becoming a superhero himself as well — good news for Joey and bad news for AP. Together, the two form an awkward partnership as Mega City’s newest superhero duo, Atomic Puppet, fighting Mookie's attempts to overthrow them as Mega City's protector, as well as a host of villains and monsters eager to take advantage of Captain Atomic's seeming disappearance and seize Mega City. Joey must also keep his superhero identity and Captain Atomic's fate secret from everyone (except his best friend Pauline), including his family. Naturally, Joey and AP get into all sorts of madcap, action-packed shenanigans involving both ordinary life and battling evildoers in their new situations.

Although Atomic Puppet only has a very tiny fanbase, it has been very positively received by critics. In 2017, it was nominated for two Annie Awards, as well as a Reuben Award in 2016 for "Best Animated Series" (alongside Nickelodeon's smash hit The Loud House and the legendary classic that is The Simpsons), while one reviewing journalist called it "a hoot of a superhero show". However, this did not save the series from being cancelled after only a single season due to being Screwed by the Network, although the show still managed to end with a bang in its two-part status quo-shaker "The Big Shift".

Check out the (now-archived) official website here!

Time to throw these tropes into the sun!

  • Accidental Misnaming: In "Atomic Detention", AP can never get Ms. Erlenmeyer's name right, calling her things like "Erlenmerlen" or "Evilmeyer". However, this is dropped in "Erlenmeyer's Revenge".
  • Affectionate Parody: In some ways, the show is a gentle spoofing of the superhero genre, particularly in its depiction of the dynamic between Joey and AP.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • This occurred in "Atomic Android", when the robot duplicate of the duo that was designed to keep Warren Beasley from revealing their identities ends up trying to destroy the real duo instead after a misunderstanding.
    • Occurs again with Lacer, a pair of sentient Tricked-Out Shoes that seek to overthrow the human race. Unfortunately, its A.I. survives Joey and AP's destruction of its body.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Hot-tempered police chief Chief Kevlar is certainly worth a mention. After getting his hand on a meteor that drains Atomic Puppet of their powers, he proceeds to toughen up policing and jails various people for all sorts of reasons from jaywalking to annoying him.
    Pauline: Kevlar's totally power tripping! Just this morning, he arrested Warren for looking shifty!
  • All Part of the Show: Zorp and his minions in "Pizza Planet" take advantage of themed restaurants in order to prevent people suspecting them. Having bad alien costumes helps to sell the bit.
  • All There in the Manual: A bit of what we know about the characters comes from the official website and is never stated in the show. These include:
    • The reason AP can only powerup when he's on Joey's hand is because the two were shaking hands when Mookie transformed him, thus creating a link between the two.
    • The owner of Cosmic Comix (the comic book store Pauline works at) is Pauline's uncle, who taught her everything she knows about superheroes.
    • Princess War Tickle is currently tasked with defending the multiverse from her castle in the Everrealm, while the Justice Alliance protect the galaxy.
    • Chief Kevlar was a special ops commando before being made head of Mega City's police department.
    • Absorbo Lad became a villain because he was shunned by even the superheroes for his Power Parasite abilities, hence his hatred for the Justice Alliance.
  • An Ice Person: The Snow Maniac, a large Inuit woman made of ice and riding a walrus. She later inhabits the body of a snowman when her body melts from being hurled into the sun.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Dr. Beetleman, the villain from "Worm Boy", who possesses various insect-based abilities from his exosuit, can command hordes of insects, and spliced his own DNA with that of insects. Joey also becomes one in the episode after being bitten by a radioactive silkworm that gives him a silkworm's rear and the ability to shoot webbing from his butt.
  • Apes in Space: "Buck Monkey", in which Zorp mind controls an astronaut chimp, who happens to be an old friend of Captain Atomic, to do his bidding on Earth.
  • Art Initiates Life: Mr. Inkwood and Cornelius, his mutant pet octopus, from "Quick Draw", who draw a variety of surreal monsters made entirely out of ink and transform Mega City into a nightmarish wasteland using art.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Atomic Puppet has battled a number of giant monsters throughout the show, and in one episode, even had to subdue Bubbles the family cat when he got turned into a giant monster.
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: Hiking in "Survival of the Feltest" and fishing in "Surf 'N Turf" between Joey and Phil.
  • Baby Morph Episode: A variant occurs in "Lil' AP" when Queen Mindbender reduces the minds of everybody in Mega City except Joey into a childlike state. Joey spends most of the episode having to take care of AP and later his parents.
  • Bad Future: Presented in "Hero's Holiday". In this future, Mookie captures AP after he leaves the Justice Alliance's Christmas party, but his attempt to take AP's powers backfires, resulting in Mookie being sent to an insane asylum with AP and the Felts being forced to move away as Mookie mentions Joey's name, causing a huge media buzz around the family. Soon, Mega City (Joey especially) believes that Atomic Puppet has abandoned the city and Professor Tite-Gripp takes over, ruling over fearful people and ruined buildings with a grown-up Joey fighting in a losing war as Mega City's grim hero.
  • Balloon Belly:
    • Happens to Joey in "Big Blowout" when AP uses him as a human water tank to wash away the Mucus Monster's slime.
    • It's also how Joey and AP defeat Dirtbag in "Down and Out Dyna-Moe". They shove a helium canister into his mouth and let it loose before Dyna-Moe throws his banjo at Dirtbag, bursting a hole in the sack-like villain and sending him flying through the sky.
  • Bat Signal: Absorbo Lad used one to draw the attention of Atomic Puppet.
    Joey: Woah! When did we get our own Atomic Puppet Signal?
    AP: Beats me, but it's about time.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Played straight with most of the heroes and villains, although Mookie is the only one who consistently requires a helmet (and even then, that's all he needs).
  • Beard of Sorrow: AP grew one when he was stuck in an impenetrable pickle jar in "Big Pickle", in the span of two minutes.
  • Bears Are Bad News: In "Atomic Detention", Joey's plan to get rid of Ms. Erlenmeyer involves launching her into the zoo's bear pen while smothered in honey.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Pauline makes her debut as Sword Sister when Professor Tite-Gripp chucks a car at Atomic Puppet by slicing the car neatly in two just before it can slam into Joey and AP.
    • In "Don't Track the Mudman", the title villain grabs a street cleaner and hurls it at a crowd. All flee except for one terrified little boy, but Atomic Puppet grabs the street cleaner and puts it down safely just before it can crush the kid.
    • Mookie often tries to do this, but due to his incompetence, he never pulls it off.
    • "Take a deep breath, geeks. The help has arrived."
  • Bizarro Universe: The villains of the week in "Parallel Puppet" escape from one after Joey and AP toss an unstable portal into the sun. Mookie's counterpart also appears as their world's greatest superhero.
  • Body Horror: Happens when the eponymous clone of "Claude Returns" copies Captain Atomic's superpowers from both Joey and AP. The massive overload of power turns him into a hulking monstrosity with disproportionate limbs, a bony third arm growing from his right shoulder, and a highly unstable body that mutates even more when exposed to further power.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In his first appearance, Mintenberg asks to hunt Atomic Puppet for sport. He proceeds to ask again on each subsequent visit until "Mintenberg's Armor", where he gleefully proclaims that he gets to so at long last.
    • In "Don't Track the Mudman", when AP calls Mudman a dirtbag, Mudman tells them that Dirtbag's his cousin. Cut to Dirtbag's appearance in "Down-and-Out Dyna-Moe", where Joey initially assumes that Dyna-Moe is talking about Mudman, but Dyna-Moe says that's Dirtbag's cousin.
  • Camping Episode: "Survival of the Feltest". Joey and his dad go father-son wilderness trekking while AP stays at the cabin and fights with a raccoon over cheese puffs.
  • Cats Are Mean: AP believes this, but it only comes true in "AP vs Disastro II" when Bubbles is turned into an evil genius by Mintenberg's new cat food brand.
  • Christmas Episode: "Snow Maniac" and "Hero's Holiday". The first sees Abbie befriend a villainous snowman and the second is Yet Another Christmas Carol.
  • The City vs. the Country: The plot of "Down and Out Dyna-Moe", in which a country superhero called Dyna-Moe comes to Mega City and ends up replacing AP as its protector. Things go swimmingly for Moe until his archenemy Dirtbag comes along.
  • City of Adventure: Mega City seems to always have a new evildoer on the loose every week, creating plenty of opportunities for excitement for a superhero like Atomic Puppet.
  • Clone Degeneration: Claude (pronounced "clode"), a powerless clone of Captain Atomic originally intended to do public appearances for Captain Atomic while he was busy. However, Claude's ego was even bigger than Captain Atomic's due to genetic mutation, so Claude was frozen until it could be fixed. Unfortunately, Mookie unfroze Claude and used him to fool the public into thinking Captain Atomic had returned as well as clone Captain Atomic's powers, turning Claude into a hulking monstrosity.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Happens a lot thanks to Rex Bordeaux.
  • Comic Books Are Real: It seems to be implied that in the show's universe, superhero comics are essentially just illustrated retellings of their actual feats.
    • In "Sword Sisters", when Joey and Pauline first encounter the crocodile warrior, Pauline actually consults comic books to try identify the supervillain they're seeing, but is unable to find the story behind the reptile.
    Joey: So who is this guy anyways?
    Pauline (holding a bunch of comic books in her arms): No idea! I can't find him referenced anywhere!
    • Mr. Inkwood makes the first issue of his Atomic Puppet comic about the events of "Quick Draw", complete with him and his mutant octopus as the villains. He also used to be the illustrator for Captain Atomic's comic series.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In "Big Blowout", Mrs. Felt mentions how Mookie visited their place once, which happened in "Sick Day".
    • In "Worm Boy", when Joey falls ill from silkworm goo coursing through his veins, AP assumes that he had either gotten the flu or been bitten by a tick again, which happened in "Sick Day" and "Tick'd Off" respectively.
    • The Private Proton costume Mookie gave to Joey in the episode of the same name is still in Mookie's room in "Parallel Puppet". Mookie can also be seen watching a rerun of the sitcom Monkey Butler, which was mentioned in "Buck Monkey".
    • In "Claude Returns", Claude uses the super sticky glue gun that Joey used to halt Lacer in "These Shoes", which he and Mookie retrieved from Captain Atomic's Invisi-Shed (also seen in "These Shoes"). AP's hatred of the cold (originally seen in "Snow Maniac") returns as well when Claude traps Atomic Puppet in his old cryogenic freezer.
    • AP's biography that first appears in "Don't Track the Mudman" reappears "Lacer Takes Over", where in the latter episode Joey comments that he thought AP stopped writing it a while back. Likewise, Travis (a Ken doll expy owned by Abbie) from "Lacer Takes Over" originally appeared in "Big Blowout" as a quick joke.
    • The villains seen in the Mega City Maximum Security Prison for the Criminally Motivated in "The Big Shift" include a number of generic crooks caught in previous episodes, as well as some lesser Rogues Gallery members like Naughty Kitty, Dirtbag, Von Follicle, Mudman, and Dr. Beetleman.
    • Mintenberg's hang gliding mice from "AP vs. Disastro II" are still with him in "Brawl-For-All". Not to mention Joey and AP scold him for having broken his promise to stop conducting experiments in the former episode, referencing what they told him in "Something Chicken".
  • Cool Sword: The Sword of Enlightenment. Comes with a side of With Great Power Comes Great Insanity over prolonged exposure.
  • Country Mouse: Dyna-Moe, superhero of Bumpkinville. Also Marty from "Tick'd Off", a normal tick who gets turned intelligent by Atomic Puppet powering up and declares himself the third member of the partnership.
  • Covered in Gunge: Mudman, as well as an unnamed slug-like monster that shoots mucus from its body.
  • Create Your Own Hero: Mookie did this by accident, as the transformation of Captain Atomic into a sock puppet that gives its wearer superpowers was intended to be for him, but Joey somehow put AP on first.
  • Create Your Own Villain:
    • Captain Atomic's dismissive attitude towards Mookie is implied to be a major factor behind Mookie's betrayal.
    • Ms. Erlenmeyer became Queen Mindbender due to a misunderstanding from Joey and AP that turned her evil.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Pauline's battle against Professor Tite-Gripp in "Sword Sisters", which is made more impressive by the fact that it's Pauline's first battle as Sword Sister.
    • The Justice Alliance's soccer games against the Tentaclites were always an overwhelming victory for the Justice Alliance, thanks to Captain Atomic.
    • When the villains turn on their promise of a truce at the last second in "Truce or Consequences", the heroes still manage to give them one. The villains' leader, Professor Tite-Gripp, is not impressed.
    Tite-Gripp: What? Did any of you even try?!
    • Joey and AP get this when in "Soft Spot" when facing against Professor Tite-Gripp and a monster spider, but when AP regains his toughness, the villains have the tables turned on them.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Some of the problems the duo face are caused by AP not thinking his actions through:
    • "These Shoes" — AP warns Joey not to put batteries in Lacer because the gadgets produced by the company that made it were always defective. Joey decides to do it anyways when AP is sleeping, so the next day, Joey and AP have a fight an evil A.I. bent on enslaving the human race because Joey didn't heed AP's warning.
    • "Atomic Detention" — If AP had just told Joey that he was the one trying to stop Ms. Erlenmeyer and getting him into further trouble, Joey would have never snapped and tried to get rid of her, thus meaning that Erlenmeyer would have never become Queen Mindbender.
  • Dodgeball Is Hell: Joey and Pauline's gym class only consists of their hulking gym teacher throwing dodgeballs (and unlucky kids) at them.
  • Domed Hometown: The Snow Maniac transforms Mega City into a giant snowglobe to keep herself from melting as a snowman. Captain Atomic also makes mention of a similar incident in a flashback in "Bad Lair Day", but it involved a different villain.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: In "Atomic Hairball", Joey and AP receive an emergency call from the police that takes them to a group of cops positioned around a shop. What were the cops doing? Buying donuts. It's also worth noting the donut shop is right next to the police station.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • The Mayor of Mega City and the mucus-spewing slug monster make cameos in"Bad Lair Day" before their major appearances in "Brawl-For-All" and "Big Blowout" respectively.
    • Dirtbag appears in the intro long before he appears in the show proper.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The pilot has several examples.
      • Rex Bordeaux and Mookie have completely different voices.
      • Mega City is called Model City and Mookie is called Nukey.
      • Joey lacks his Youthful Freckles and a bit of his hair is still visible when he's in costume.
      • The backgrounds use a softer palette.
      • There is a completely different version of the logo title.
      • Joey uses the not-kid-friendly version of "suck" when playing video games with AP.
      Joey: Man, how could you suck so bad at a game with your name on it?
    • In the show proper, the first episode uses a brighter colour palette than the rest of the show, closer to the pilot's. As a result, many of the backgrounds and characters aren't quite as soft in terms of coloration; notably, Joey has more yellowy skin tone.
    • While the show was always an action-comedy hybrid, early episodes tended to focus more on the comedy aspect, with fewer fight scenes and moments of superheroism and more emphasis on the mishaps and gags that came out of Joey and AP's dynamic. While there certainly were action-oriented episodes early on (like "Justice Alliance", "Don't Track the Mudman", and "Sword Sisters"), they only became more common in the second half of the series, with the show also becoming more emotionally driven in a number of later episodes (like "Pinched Nerves", "Worm Boy", and "Hero's Holiday"). However, the show still did some comedy-driven episodes, like "Truce or Consequences", "The Switch", and "Tick'd Out". This may have something to do with how the writers apparently decided to throw away every idea they had out the window about halfway through production and start fresh, with it also having been confirmed that this new direction would have continued if the series had gotten a second season.
  • Eating Contest: Seen in "Bad Lair Day". It's how AP and Mookie determine who gets control of the lair because according to Mookie, eating contests require a warrior's spirit. AP wins, although nobody finishes even one pie.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Master Sensei, Captain Atomic's trainer, who is actually quite skilled and wise, just also very old and no longer as acrobatic as he used to be.
  • Enemy Mine: Joey and AP form one with Professor Tite-Gripp in "Atomic Weakness", where they convince him to help them destroy the power-draining meteorite in Chief Kevlar's hands. However, they fool Tite-Gripp into believing the rock is actually the source of their powers so he'll destroy it and believe he has rendered Atomic Puppet powerless.
  • Energy Absorption: The Sword of Enlightenment's main ability, though it also unleashes the energy in the form of blasts. Absorbo Lad is also capable of doing this with electricity and other non-superhero "power".
  • Engineered Heroics: Mookie constantly tries to pull these off, like releasing mutant virus monsters in "Sick Day" or planting a bomb in a statue in "Hero Hall of Fame". However, his incompetence means Joey and AP usually have to save him along with the rest of Mega City instead.
  • Evil Doppelgänger: Seen in "Parallel Puppet" where Joey and AP meet Commander Atomic and Puppet Boy, versions of themselves from a Mirror Universe. These alternate versions also have their positions reversed, so Joey is the puppet and Captain Atomic is the wielder.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: From "Claude Returns":
    Joey: So what other tech does Mookie have to help Claude become a more convincing Captain Atomic?
    AP: Eh, don't worry about that. I hid all the good stuff in the Invisi-Shed. And you can't get in there unless you have my-
    Joey: Voice?
    AP: Oh boy!
  • Fan Convention: Hero Con.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Mookie naked/in his underwear. Joey and AP freak out when they accidentally stumble upon him watching TV in his underwear in "Parallel Puppet" and are equally revolted by the sight of Mookie after he is hit by his clothes-vaporizing bomb in "Hero Hall of Fame" (thankfully Mookie's Utility Belt covered up his privates).
    AP: My eyes are burning! My puppet eyes!
    • "Truce or Consequences" sees a giant slug-like monster twerking amongst the partying heroes and villains.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: The third act of "Mookie's Got The Power" when Mookie starts to swell to ginormous size from the power crystal he swallowed, so Joey and AP have to enter his body to save him.
  • Fake Memories: Used by Mookie in "Private Proton", where he alters Joey's mind by using an antenna on a gym class helmet so that Joey will be Mookie's biggest fan and be unable to recognize AP.
  • Feud Episode: The plot of "Big Blowout" sees Joey and AP split up as a result of the Hate Plague of the Monster of the Week.
  • Fish People: King Hydronomous and Megalo-Don from "Surf 'N Turf" are less orthodox-looking than most. Hydronomous is a bearded humanoid whose actual head is the salmon that replaces his left arm while Megalo-Don is a shark-lobster hybrid.
  • Fishing Episode: The premise of "Surf 'N Turf".
  • Foe Romance Subtext: In "Truce or Consequences", Commander Cavalier receives a bouquet of flowers from Professor Tite-Gripp as part of a magic trick Tite-Gripp was performing. Cavalier holds the flowers to his chest and nestles up on Tite-Gripp's arm in response to the gift.
  • Forced Transformation: The premise of the show is about a superhero transformed into a sock puppet.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Between Captain Atomic and Princess War Tickle in "The Switch". AP enjoys having a human body back while War Tickle is annoyed by her powerlessness in puppet form.
  • Funny Octopus: Cornelius, the pet octopus of Mr. Inkwood that acts as his ink source, is usually quite comical.
  • Giant Spider: The Monster of the Week in "Soft Spot". It has crab-like claws and horns too.
  • Gladiator Games: Mintenberg sets one up between Atomic Puppet and a mutant chicken in "Something Chicken" (to entertain himself, of course). Then Atomic Puppet toss him into the ring as a taste of his own medicine.
  • Grand Finale: "The Big Shift" sees the Captain Atomic statue in the city square replaced with Atomic Puppet (indicating that "the search for Captain Atomic" has ended), Joey reveal his secret identity to his dad, and Mookie tell Mega City that he killed Captain Atomic, becoming a Not-So-Harmless Villain when he gets sent to jail and teams up with the rest of the villains.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: In some episodes, notably "Sick Day" and "Tick'd Off".
  • Ground Pound: Master Sensei's signature move. Later used by Joey and AP to defeat a smoke monster.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Even AP (who has the very simplistic lair password mentioned below) thought the security at the prison was atrocious. Seriously, the keys to the prisoners' cells are placed under their welcome mats and the laser grid can be turned off with a single convenient switch.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Deconstructed. In "Hero's Holiday", AP tells Joey that "friendships don't last forever". Joey is revealed to have taken this to heart in a Bad Future, which turns him into a gritty anti-hero, bitter that AP has seemingly abandoned the city and having cut off his relationships with his family and Pauline. It results in him getting killed by Professor Tite-Gripp.
  • Harmless Villain: The Flying Squirrel from "Mintenberg's Armour". To a lesser extent, Mookie as well.
  • Hate Plague: The mucus monster's goo in "Big Blowout".
  • Helping Granny Cross the Street: Apparently it's sort of a local holiday in Mega City.
  • Hero Insurance: The Mayor is frequently frustrated by the collateral damage caused by Atomic Puppet since he's the one who's gotta pay for it. However, in "Brawl-For-All", he did make them pay (twice!).
  • Heroic BSoD: The subject of "Pinched Nerves", in which Joey is shaken badly when his dad is almost killed when chasing a crook, so he decides to take a break from superhero stuff for a day, leaving AP to try catch the crook on his own.
  • Hulking Out: Manatee-Man's power.
  • Humongous Mecha: Joey and AP have fought some on several occasions. They also get to pilot some to fight Absorbo Lad.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: AP's usual suggestion on how to deal with stuff. They have used it a few times on giant monsters and dangerous objects.
  • Illness Blanket: In "Sick Day", Joey lies on the sofa under a blanket while sick with the flu.
  • Impossible Pickle Jar: AP gets trapped in one in "Big Pickle", forcing him and Joey to turn to Professor Tite-Gripp for help.
  • In a Single Bound: Dyna-Moe's superpower.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: One episode revealed that when Joey was younger, he was completely obsessed with ninjas instead of superheroes.
  • Instant Costume Change: When Joey puts AP on his hand, he instantly gains the superhero costume as part of the transformation.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: Has a pretty badass tone that goes quite nicely with the sequence of Joey and AP fighting off various villains.
  • Kaiju: On occasion, such as the fire-breathing hydra in "Down-and-Out Dyna-Moe" and the giant mutant spider in "Soft Spot".
  • Kitschy Themed Restaurant: What Zorp used in "Pizza Planet" as a part of his plan To Serve Man.
  • Kryptonite Factor: A green meteor in "Atomic Weakness" towards Atomic Puppet.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Usually from Joey to AP.
    • In "Bucket List", when they encounter a knight in medieval times.
    AP: Don't worry, Joey. We'll be done with this guy at...wait for it...(uppercuts the knight, knocking him out) Knightfall.
    Joey: (sighs) Medieval puns.
    • While chasing after the Flying Squirrel in "Mintenberg's Armour".
    AP: Relax, this guy's clearly nuts! Uh? Uh?
    Joey: Seriously? You actually went there?
    AP: Ah, will you quit being such a critic?!
  • Landmarking the Hidden Base: Captain Atomic's lair is hidden underneath the city park's fountain's statue of himself.
  • Large Ham:
    • AP is quite the drama queen for a tiny sock puppet, as he's still got all the swagger of the mighty Captain Atomic.
    • Since his voice actor is Seán Cullen, King Hydronomous takes this to a whole new level.
    • Dyna-Moe and his "YEEEE-HAAAA"'s could certainly qualify him.
    • Chief Kevlar's lack of indoor voice and frequent "about-to-explode" faces can put him in the list too.
    • A couple of the villains could count as well, like Professor Tite-Gripp when he's not being a Soft-Spoken Sadist.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: A camera used by Captain Atomic to hide his secret base from the pizza boy.
  • Left The Back Ground Music On: During a football game against alien invaders, Joey tries to rally the demoralized team at halftime and melancholic music plays...which turns out to be coming from Robo-Ron's built-in gramophone.
    Joey: Ron, enough with the depressing stuff! (Record Needle Scratch) I need some pep-talk music!
  • Mad Scientist: Most of them are villains (like Professor Tite-Gripp and Dr. Beetleman), but Dr. Momus is an ally of Atomic Puppet.
  • Made of Indestructium: Phil Felt's pickle jar. Seriously. Joey tries to use a steamroller to free a trapped AP from it. The steamroller flips on its back and explodes.
  • Mega-Microbes: The giant dust bunnies created by Mookie in the first episode to get Atomic Puppet sick.
  • Mega Neko: Bubbles gets turned into one in "Atomic Hairball".
  • Mole Men: The villains of the week in the episode of the same name. They're simply anthropomorphic moles who steal the movie theater, the comic book shop, vending machines, food stalls, and the power plant so they can party, though they do kidnap Pauline and try to throw her into lava as well.
  • Multi-Part Episode: "Worm Boy" and "The Big Shift", though since the show uses the Two Shorts format, they're more of half-hour episodes.
  • Mundane Utility: In "Bucket List", Joey and AP power up to clean up the former's room in a flash.
  • My Little Phony: "Super Pretty Pony", complete with a reference to the Brony subculture. AP is secretly a fan.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Played for Laughs in "Mookie's Got the Power" as Mookie randomly develops various superpowers like teleportation and shrink beams from eating an alien Power Crystal.
  • Never Say "Die": Often. The most prominent instance is in "The Big Shift" where Mookie claims to everyone that he "got rid of" Captain Atomic. The reactions from everybody, including AP, make it clear what he really means, and to push the point further, it cements the end of "the search for Captain Atomic".
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: An unnamed recurring villain is an anthropomorphic alligator warrior who frequently contends with Princess War Tickle and Atomic Puppet.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Joey and AP have done this a few times. For example, in "Surf 'N Turf", they save Megalo-Don from being sentenced to "sleep with the surface dwellers" and fight of King Hydronomous' forces for him when he deceives them into believing he needs to be saved from predators (actually King Hydronomous and his subjects), allowing Megalo-Don to escape and drink from an underwater volcano vent to increase his power.
  • Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot: "Bucket List" sees Atomic Puppet fight a pterodactyl-knight-ninja (dubbed "Kninjadactyl") created by a time vortex.
  • Noodle Incident: The exact circumstances of how Captain Atomic was turned into AP by Mookie and how he teamed up with Joey has been left very vague, but apparently some sources say that Captain Atomic was shaking Joey's hand when it happened.
  • Not Himself: In "Soft Spot", the short-tempered Blood Knight AP becomes a peaceful All-Loving Hero as a result of exposure to fabric softener, leaving Joey bewildered and frustrated for most of the episode.
  • The Nudifier: Mookie creates a bomb version that he places in a statue of Captain Atomic in "Hero Hall of Fame".
  • Objectshifting: The premise involves superhero Captain Atomic being transformed into a sock puppet by his former sidekick. He can still walk and talk, but can only use his powers when Joey puts him on his hand.
  • Octopoid Aliens: The Tentaclites and their ruler Queen Tentaclis from "Bend It Like Joey".
  • Once per Episode: Joey and AP transform into superhero form and strike a Victory Pose after defeating the bad guys.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The code to Captain Atomic's secret lair is 1-2-3.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • In "Big Pickle", Joey and AP's disguise to enter prison is "villain inspector", which consists of a trench coat with AP stuck in a pickle jar as the head. The guard only lets them in because he's clearly more interested in watching his soap opera.
    • Tried by Mookie in "Justice Alliance" when he disguises himself as Atomic Puppet to join the Justice Alliance. They don't fall for it.
  • Pest Controller: Dr. Beetleman from "Worm Boy".
  • Pinball Gag: Occurs when Zorp traps Atomic Puppet inside a ball of energy to launch into space.
  • Police Are Useless: Chief Kevlar's men, who try to use a net to catch a meteor hurtling towards Mega City, only to get tangled in it. And that's just the tip of the iceberg...
  • Powered Armor:
    • Mintenberg creates one to become a superhero in "Mintenberg's Armor".
    • Mookie puts on a winged pair with EMP abilities when he becomes a full-blown villain in "The Big Shift".
  • Power Crystal: Mookie uses one to power his utility belt. He accidentally swallows it in one episode and it starts to give him actual superpowers.
  • Prehensile Hair: Harry Von Follicle is a weird example. His own hair isn't prehensile, but he commands an army of animated wigs and toupees using a piano keyboard and can merge with them to form a monster made of hair, which can use its body to form tendrils of hair.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "Brawl-For-All", where Joey and AP run a fundraiser to pay off their collateral damage by wrestling against one of the greatest wrestlers known, the anthropomorphic Manatee-Man. True to pro wrestling, the events of the match were staged.
  • Puppet Permutation: The premise of the show is about a superhero transformed into a sock puppet.
  • Rapid Hair Growth: Captain Atomic's lair has a ray gun that does that, although its effects wears off really quickly.
  • Rascally Raccoon: AP contends with a bunch of them that sneak into the Felts' cabin in "Survival of the Feltest". Hilarity Ensues.
  • Recurring Extra: The show is full of them, such as Joey's principal, Principal Thorpe; Ms. Erlenmeyer's replacement, Mr. McKinnonnote ; Mookie's mother; an unnamed crazy, ugly guy; and countless others. Many are based on the show's artists and animators and a few have gained some fans, as they all have extremely distinct appearances.
  • Recycled Animation: The sequence in the intro of Joey and AP defeating Zorp and his minions is seen at the start of "The Big Shift" in Pauline's video, albeit with the background changed.
  • Red Herring: The eponymous machine of "Atomic Android" was built for this purpose.
  • Robot Me: Atomic Android.
  • Rock Monster: A meteor-like alien that attacks Mookie for his Power Crystal at the start of "Mookie's Got the Power".
  • Rogues Gallery: Mookie, Professor Tite-Gripp, Queen Mindbender, Zorp, Mudman, Naughty Kitty, Lacer, Dirtbag, Von Follicle, and the crocodile-warrior. Mintenberg could also be considered part of it, but he's generally more of a Wild Card.
  • Running Gag:
    • Joey's "spaghetti arms" are often brought up by others (especially AP), much to his chagrin.
    • Joey and AP breaking a hole in the roof of Joey's room whenever they leave to fight crime.
    • "Victory Pose!"
    • AP throwing things into the sun (or suggesting to do so).
  • Savage Wolves: A pack of them chase after Mr. Felt in "Survival of the Feltest".
  • Scenery Porn: There are some very beautiful backgrounds in the show. The sunset seen in "Survival of the Feltest" stands out as a great example.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Seen in Captain Atomic's hideout in "Bad Lair Day". It's disguised as a videotape called "Mookie's Greatest Hits" because, as AP explains, nobody would ever want to watch a video about Mookie. Except...
    Mookie: Hey, guys! Wanna see a compilation of my greatest hits?
  • Sequel Episode:
    • "Erlenmeyer's Revenge" to "Atomic Detention".
    • "Tick'd Off" to "Survival of the Feltest".
    • "Buck Monkey" to "Monster Truck Invasion" to "Pizza Planet".
    • "Lacer Takes Over" to "These Shoes".
  • Sequel Hook:
    • "Monster Truck Invasion" ends with Zorp and his lackey Flert discovering the chimp astronaut who becomes central to the plot of "Buck Monkey".
    • "Mintenberg's Armour" ends with Rudolph Mintenberg asking Sneeri to prepare a new set of Powered Armour after Joey and AP toss his first one into the sun.
    • The ending of "Atomic Android" shows the heads of the destroyed robot are still alive and vengeful, while its hand grabs Warren's broken phone, which contains his evidence that Joey is Atomic Puppet.
    • Von Follicle, Naughty Kitty, and the mole men all warn Atomic Puppet that We Will Meet Again, with the former raving about his plan to use mind-control mustaches.
    • At the end of "Something Chicken", there is a quick scene that shows a Werechicken egg about to hatch before it fades to black.
    • Lacer escaping at the end of "Lacer Takes Over".
    • The ending of "The Big Shift", as described in Wham Shot below.
  • Shout-Out: The show takes heavy inspiration from Silver Age superhero comics. It's probably best seen in the title cards' comic book-esque backgrounds and the Atomic Age theme of the eponymous superhero duo and their predecessor.
    • The plot of "Worm Boy" sees Joey gain the ability to shoot silk after being bitten by a radioactive silkworm, much like a certain webslinger...
    Joey: I'm your kindly community-based silk-slinger!
    • Joey and AP's method of time travel in "Bucket List" is inspired by what Superman did to save Lois Lane in Superman: The Movie.
    • A few episode titles as well, such as "Bend It Like Joey".
    • The fight between AP and Atomic Android's puppet mimics the popular toy, "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots". A giant version of the robots also appears in "Ultimate Collection".
    • Many of the cosplays at Hero Con in "Ultimate Collection" are recognizable as certain characters. See if you can spot Magneto, Princess Leia, Thor, Hellboy, Spock, Legolas, Toothless, Sailor Moon, and Tidehunter.
  • Sick Episode: The first episode, plainly titled "Sick Day".
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • In "Truce or Consequences", the heroes and villains gather for the signing of a truce between Princess War Tickle and Professor Tite-Gripp. Joey believes that Tite-Gripp isn't going to keep his word while AP is horrified and furious that...they didn't invite him to the party.
    • Also appears in "Ultimate Collection", where AP is less terrified about the fact that a giant animate action figure is terrorizing Mega City and more about how it's one of Captain Atomic in a tutu.
  • Smart House: Mintenberg's mansion A.I., Sneeri.
  • Snowlems: The villains of "Snow Maniac".
  • Spectacular Spinning: One of Atomic Puppet's favorite techniques is the Atomic Windmill, in which they rapidly spin themselves to create a torpedo of energy. They can also do Atomic Windstorm, a giant tornado of energy around their foes created by spinning around them.
  • Spider-Man Send-Up: The episode "Worm Boy" sees Joey become a silkworm-themed parody of Spider-Man after an incident with a silkworm at the Mega City Science Center. Rex Bordeaux even lampshades this, describing Worm-Boy as a new twist on a story they've all heard beforenote .
  • Sticky Situation:
    • The plot of "Atomic Goo" sees Joey and AP become permanently powered up as a result of AP accidentally putting superglue on Joey's hand.
    • There's also a super glue gun with a sensitive trigger amongst the defective gadgets stored in Captain Atomic's invisible shed.
  • Super Team: The Justice Alliance.
  • Superhero Trophy Shelf: A small one in Joey's room, mostly consisting of random items in jars.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Although the show's universe is established to be full of superheroes (the Justice Alliance, Princess War Tickle, Dyna-Moe), Joey and AP typically have to deal with all the threats to Mega City by themselves, no matter how potentially world-threatening. However, AP is shown to be very territorial and is very intolerant of other superheroes showing up to fight crime in his city (Dyna-Moe and Joey as Worm Boy). Not to mention that the Justice Alliance and Princess War Tickle deal with protecting the galaxy and the multiverse respectively, so their priorities are much higher.
  • Superpowered Robot Meter Maids: In "Sold Out", Joey and AP fight an enormous robot with built-in homing rockets, laser vision, and the strength to crush a human. What was the robot built to do? Be a theater usher.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: A literal one is used by Princess War Tickle in "Sword Sisters" to pick her weapon against Sword Sister/Pauline.
  • Tailor-Made Prison:
    • Professor Tite-Gripp's jail cell chains him from the ceiling with a pair of massive manacles intended to prevent him from using his mechanical arms to simply smash his way out of the Mega City Maximum Security Prison for the Criminally Motivated.
    • Robo-Ron uses one in "Absorbo Lad" on the eponymous villain. It comes with the special ability to "juice out" the power he steals.
  • Teleport Spam: The Monster of the Week in "Master of Disaster" is a shadowy monster able to teleport in a puff of smoke.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: In "Tick'd Off", we get a hillbilly tick who makes himself at home on Joey's neck and insists he stay so he can enjoy the city. Unfortunately, his parasitic presence has some serious affects on Joey and the tick annoys AP in general.
  • Time Travel Episode: "Bucket List", where Joey and AP decide to fulfill one of Joey's dreams of things to do as a superhero, which is fly around the Earth so fast they travel back in time. They encounter a giant pterosaur, a knight, ninjas, and a younger Joey alongside Captain Atomic before his transformation.
  • To Serve Man:
    • Zorp's goal in his first two appearances, most obviously in "Pizza Planet".
    • Also seen in "Bend It Like Joey". Apparently Earth annually plays against aliens in a soccer game that if the aliens win, they get to eat all of humanity. Fortunately, the Justice Alliance who plays against the invaders always wins.
  • Toilet Humor: Sometimes. A notable instance is in "Surf 'N Turf", where AP goes on a long rant about how fish poop in the very water they swim in.
    AP: And that's not the only thing, they're doing down there...
    Joey: Okay, you're starting to gross me out.
  • Toy Transmutation: Captain Atomic was a world-renowned superhero who lived his life being able to handle situations with his brute strength and endless charm. Blinded by success and fame, he's suddenly transformed into a powerless living sock puppet by his jealous sidekick Mookie.
  • Transformation Sequence: Occasionally seen when Joey and AP become Atomic Puppet.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: Lacer, a pair of artificially intelligent shoes from "These Shoes". Unfortunately, Lacer also wanted to lead a machine revolution against the human race, so naturally Atomic Puppet had to throw him into the sun.
  • Two Shorts: The formula. Half-hour episodes are always divided into a Part 1 and Part 2.
  • Unexplained Recovery:
    • How Lacer's A.I. managed to survive the destruction of its body and hide in Joey's computer is never explained in "Lacer Takes Over".
    • At the end of "Sword Sisters", the crocodilian warrior is reduced to a baby-like form when Pauline drains his power, but he's inexplicably seen in normal form in several later episodes.
    • Both Mudman and the Mucus Monster were destroyed in their first appearances, but return in later episodes alive and well.
  • Victory Pose: Once per Episode.
  • Villain Team-Up: Mookie and Professor Tite-Gripp in "The Big Shift", where they lead a massive breakout of all the generic criminals as well as lesser villains like Naughty Kitty, Dirtbag, and Von Follicle, to take over Mega City.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Von Follicle pulls this off in "Media Darlings" by turning himself into a media celebrity with his new do-it-yourself hair salon.
  • Vocal Evolution: Rex Bordeaux and Mookie have higher-pitched voices in the pilot.
  • Water Is Air: Seen in "Surf 'N Turf" sees Joey and AP spend the majority of the episode underwater in superhero form. They never come up for air even once and are perfectly capable of talking and moving as they could on dry land.
  • We Will Meet Again: What many of Atomic Puppet's villains tell them. Not all of them fulfill it (so far).
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Erlenmeyer's Revenge". After being accidentally banished to another dimension by Joey and AP way back in the show's beginning, Ms. Erlenmeyer comes back changed by an Eldritch Abomination and mind controls the entire school to summon it. Very little of the episode is Played for Laughs.
    • "Hero's Holiday" is a surprisingly serious episode for the show's take on A Christmas Carol, focusing much upon AP's character and featuring some dark moments, such as the fall of Atomic Puppet and the resulting Bad Future.
    • "Pinched Nerves" is also a unexpectedly serious episode, dealing with the fallout of a frighteningly realistic scenario for a such lighthearted cartoon. Helps that the villain is just an ordinary bank robber instead of a supervillain.
  • Wham Shot: The final scene in "The Big Shift" is a smoking crater with one of Tite-Gripp's arms and pieces of Mookie's EMP armor in it with the silhouettes of the two leaving the scene behind.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: AP suffers from this as he occasionally questions his existence due to him being turned into a puppet. "Hero's Holiday" is an excellent showcase of it.
  • Wicked Toymaker: The villain of "Ultimate Collection", though AP is more worried about how the guy is using a scrapped Captain Atomic action figure that wears a tutu than anything else.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
    • What happens to Pauline in "Sword Sisters" as a result of the Sword of Enlightenment.
    • Also happens to comic book artist, Mr. Inkwood from "Quick Draw" as a result of finding out that his pet octopus' ink can now create life.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: Played with in "Media Darlings", where the episode begins with Atomic Puppet defeating a giant robot, but Rex Bordeaux is reporting the opening of a new hair salon instead. Later, the owner of the hair salon, Harry Von Follicle, is the hero of all the big stories that Joey and AP were involved in. It soon turns out the guy was a supervillain blackmailing Rex.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: The plot of "Hero's Holiday", in which AP meets the Hero of Holidays Past, Present, and Future. AP briefly lampshades the it.
    AP (to the Hero): "I’ve heard this story before. Go find a Scrooge and give me some rest."

Victory Pose!


Video Example(s):


Atomic Puppet

Joey's friend Pauline becomes Sword Sister and helps him battle Professor Tite-Gripp, demonstrating how much butt she can kick when she has superpowers.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ActionGirl

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