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Western Animation / Glitch Techs

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"Who knows what really happens when a video-game starts to glitch..."
Opening narration

Hinobi Games is the most successful video game company in the world, with their products spreading joy to generations of gaming fans across the planet. There's just one problem: their game consoles have some issues. And we aren't talking hardware failure like the Red Ring of Death or Joy-Con drift. No, we're talking on the level of their consoles and arcade machines occasionally causing video game creatures to manifest in the real world. Good thing they have such great tech support.

Glitch Techs is an animated action/adventure series produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studios and created by Eric Robles (Fanboy and Chum Chum) & Dan Milano (Greg the Bunny). The show follows the adventures of Miko Kubota (Monica Ray) and Hector "Five" Nieves (Ricardo Hurtado), two teenagers who gain tech support jobs at their city's Hinobi Store after they discover the location is actually a front for a local chapter of the gaming giant's covert ops division dedicated to stopping and containing the various monstrous "glitches" that have a tendency to exit the company's games.

Originally slated to air on Nickelodeon in 2019, the series became the second Nicktoon to be rebranded as a Netflix original following Pinky Malinky. Season 1 debuted February 21, 2020, while Season 2 premiered on August 17. Due to the dissolution of the crew behind the show before its premiere, the status of the show is currently unknown as of 2023.

This show contains examples of the following tropes:

  • 20 Bear Asses: In the season two finale "BITT Prime" a hidden subroutine in BITT activates and causes him to seek out ingredients for cake. This involves sucking up thousands of pounds of ingredients which turn out to simply be keys to access a hidden cartridge in Phil's house.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Hinobi consoles (both home and portable) featuring built-in projectors and holographic displays in additional to their usual TV output are the only signs that the show doesn't quite take place in the early 2020s. Even the very first home game console, a Pong pastiche, has the core unit with the capability of glitching game elements into reality.
  • Abnormal Ammo: As said in episode seven, the gems in Fictional Video Game Crystal Crush are ammunition against being crushed by what are presumably crystal tetrominos.
  • Actor Allusion: Ashly Burch voices pint-sized, energetic tech genius.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Glitches the Glitch Techs fight are almost all evil and incredibly destructive computer programs. The only saving grace is that they still behave like video game characters so their intelligence and actions is quite limited, only following videogame logic.
  • Alliterative Title: From episode seven, Fictional Video Game Crystal Crush.
  • All There in the Manual: Dan Milano released pages of the Glitch Techs Manual in Twitter which include character information not present in the show such as biographies, ages, type of gear and rank alongside other material such as concept art of unreleased episodes.
  • Animesque: The series features dynamic action scenes, chibis, and expressive facial features reminiscent of 2000s boom of similarly-styled Western cartoons of the trend. It helps that one of the animation studios involved is Flying Bark Productions, which also animated Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the same fashion prior.
  • Artificial Stupidity: In-Universe, Glitch intelligence is usually related to their base programming, so they tend to act as if they're still in their game. While this is why most Glitches are dangerous, since they run by video-game logic and don't comprehend the dangerous consequences of their actions, or see real-life creatures and objects as things from their game, it also means that they tend to still fall into the patterns that they followed in said games, like periodically exposing a weak point.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Five and Miko get one when they're trying the win the tournament in the first episode.
  • Bigger on the Inside: In Castle Crawl, a Mapper Glitch converts the interior of a suburban home into the entirety of the giant castle from a video game named Castlestein.
  • Big Red Button: From episode one, when Miko finds a helmet with a red button on it, although it's not that big. She's very enthusiastic about it.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The level 2 power upgrade that gets Miko's attention in episode 3 is a sword that's mounted to the Tech Gauntlet.
  • Bland-Name Product: In the first episode, Miko's mother references buying a T-shirt from "Bullseye", the world's equivalent to Target.
  • Broken Pedestal: Five towards Mitch, who was his favorite Let's Player. Especially when he gets his memories back after the latter not only erased his memory of the tournament glitch, but that he even participated and won the event.
  • Burning Rubber: In the first episode, the tire tracks of the food truck that shouldn't have moved is what leads Five to believe Miko about it going to a tournament he doesn't remember.
  • The Cameo: Matt "McMuscles" Kowalewski and Pat Boivin, the founding duo of Two Best Friends Play, show up as background characters.
  • Catchphrase: The characters, especially Five, use "Oh, nerds" as a G-rated curse.
    • Mitch will frequently say, "Thanks for the distraction, noobs," after catching a Glitch Five and Miko can't handle.
  • Chainsaw-Grip BFG: Zahra pulls one out in the season 2 trailer.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Subverted in Castle Crawl with the unreachable chest in Castlestein which, after becoming reachable by flipping the world upside down, is revealed to only contain a spork. Becomes double subverted when it's revealed to be the weapon needed to defeat the True Final Boss.
  • The Chosen One: Discussed in the first episode. Miko jokes that her immunity to being mindwiped might be a sign that she's this trope, but quickly decides that it could just as easily be some fluke. The following episode plays this straight, at least so far as Hinobi's execs being very interested in her abilities and her development as a Glitch Tech.
  • Clip Show: "Find the Glitch", with the reveal that the gauntlets record all of the techs' actions. It then begins to parody the concept with the Techs having BITT edit clips together into Voice Clip Songs, YouTube Poop homages, and a cheesy sitcom opening. It also counts as a Bottle Episode, being contained to one room.
  • Connected All Along: Prior to meeting in the first episode Five had a history of repeated defeats by Miko in online games. She doesn't recognize his gamer tag, while he recognizes hers.
    • Going further back, Miko once attended a birthday party at Joystick Jr. where she decapitated the animatronic Ralphie Bear. Five had his own birthday party there shortly after and spent the ensuing ten years hating the anonymous "Birthday Ruiner" who prevented Ralphie Bear from making an appearance.
  • Crapola Tech: Hinobi produces a wide range of high tech devices you question how any of it was greenlit when literally anything down to just staring at one funny will cause it to spit out very dangerous monsters. The second episode even drops the revelation that there are games the company refuses to release because they're somehow more prone to glitching than their usual offerings.
    The Hinobi central processor is a highly advanced, but extremely delicate piece of equipment, so a glitch may occur as a result of: corrupt software, overheating, underheating, sudden loud noises, sudden soft noises, poor ventilation, good ventilation, spillage...
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: During the Hinobi tournament, Mitch turns around to attack Five and Miko instead of pressing on while he's in the lead.
  • Evil Laugh: In episode six, the subtitles directly say that Mitch is "laughing evilly" when he's leaving after giving Five advice.
  • Exact Words: In episode three, Miko's gauntlet is smashed up during the fight, so she turns in the pieces to Phil and is willing to accept the consequences. But Phil reminds her that he said not to lose the gauntlet, the job doesn't forbid breaking it, and Phil is able to repair the gauntlet very quickly, since it happens all the time.
  • Expositing the Masquerade: When looking for a way out of Mitch's truck in the pilot episode, Miko and Five end up activating BITT, who is tricked into assuming they're new trainees and attempts to give them on-the-job training when it detects the nearby glitch Mitch is fighting.
  • Expy:
    • The Hinobi gaming company seems to be a combination of Nintendo, Microsoft Studios and Apple. It has the long legacy of Nintendo, the slick white aesthetic of Apple and the emphasis of the first letter like Microsoft's Xbox. Season 2 Episode 2, "Ping" brings in Atari with the titular Bland-Name Product being based off of Pong.
    • The literal Garbage Wrestler Garbile from "Tutorial Mode" is a parody of Hulk Hogan, wearing a similar mustache/sideburns combo and repeatedly saying "brother".
  • Fictional Counterpart: "Ping" brings in Bee++ Coding, a.k.a a counterpart of C++ Coding.
  • Fictional Video Game: Several, as the premise has the characters fight various video game entities, with Hinobi having been publishing games since at least 1993, the release year of their game Chomp Kitty. Most of these are shout-outs to existing titles, as noted on the Shout Out page.
    • Flunky Quest in episode three.
    • Castlestein in episode five.
  • Forced Tutorial: Miko and Five have to deal with a particularly repetitive and annoying one in "Tutorial Mode" as part of their Glitch Tech training. According to Phil, it actually lasts several hours.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: Discussed Miko's older sister Nica is really paranoid about public appearances because every teenager is constantly looking for embarrassing moments from their peers to post on social media.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: In "Collection Quest," Five is forced to choose between collecting gems that will earn him the XP to purchase the shoes he wants or using them as projectiles to fight the hidden boss. He obviously chooses the latter.
  • The Game Come to Life: The characters from various video games "glitch out" of consoles, arcade cabinets, and mobile devices and cause all sorts of trouble. The Glitch Techs exist to capture these glitched characters.
  • Genre Savvy: The main characters and the rest of the Glitch Techs are gamers themselves, so even in situations where they aren't 100% sure on how to beat a glitch due to never playing or completing its game of origin, they're still able to make educated guesses based on its genre.
  • Hearts Are Health: In episode eight, Ally's Life Meter is her three tail feathers, and when she loses one, a minus sign next to a pixellated Heart Symbol is created. Reversed when she eats a power-up berry.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: Glitches are essentially this. Hinobi consoles run on a central unit that is very volatile, leading to glitches when it cracks and unleashes game elements as autonomous hard light constructs.
  • Holographic Terminal: Hinobi consoles have the capability to project their games on holographic screens.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Parodied in the episode "Karate Trainer". When Miko tries to help her little sister become better at karate, she uses an over-the-top fighting game that naturally has nothing to do with real martial arts. Lexi spends much of the training session pointing this out, and while she does improve at playing the game, she learned nothing that could be used in an actual match.
    The Master: Your karate is weak!
    Lexi: I assure you, chicken man, this is not karate!
  • Irony: In episode six, despite disliking Mitch, Five assumes that Mitch's team respects him greatly, and thus follows his advice to act just like him if he wants them to listen. Naturally, they arguably hate him even more than Five and Miko, so his jerkish behavior only serves to irritate them more and more as the mission goes on.
    If you want Haneesh and Zahra to respect you they way they respect me, you can't show any weakness. You give the orders. They follow them. Make sure that when they're looking at you, they're seeing me.
  • Is the Answer to This Question "Yes"?: When Five asks if she's ready to go, Miko responds "Do salamanders love seaweed?" His confused response serves to further illustrate how isolated Miko feels because everyone considers her weird. When she meets fellow weirdo Ridley and gives the same question, Ridley answers with "Only when it's raining!" which makes Miko feel accepted. However, Five later looks it up and learns that salamanders are carnivores and therefore don't like seaweed.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The store 'You've Got Bail' that is set up in the same strip mall as the Hinobi store.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: As part of a "system restore", a blinding light causes a person's memories of the glitch and whatever happened during that time to be erased. It works similar to the neuralizer in that length of time is adjustable while post-wipe suggestions can be given. Miko passing out before the mind-wiping process could be completed in the pilot episode results in her being permanently immune. In addition, it's possible to regain wiped memories under certain circumstances, such as Five remembering the tournament after retrieving his wristband.
  • Laser Hallway: As seen in episode one, when Miko turns it on and off, one of Mitch's truck's security abilities, whose lasers burn.
  • Leet Lingo: Miko's house is number 1337.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Miko has 4 siblings, two brothers and two sisters.
  • The Masquerade: Part of the job of the Glitch Techs is to keep the Glitch-based issues with Hinobi's game technology under wraps, erasing memories and resetting physical damage.
  • The Men in Black: The Glitch Techs act a lot like this, being a secretive group of highly skilled operatives with futuristic technology who battle monsters while also keeping it all under wraps and even using tech to erase peoples' memories.
  • Mission Briefing: Done in the ninth episode during a parody of a codec call.
  • Monster of the Week: The series revolves around Five and Miko fighting different glitch monsters in each episode.
  • Mutually Unequal Relation: Mitch Williams believes that his teammates Zahra and Haneesh respect him as their team leader. In truth, while they do follow his orders as the leader, and are civil with him battling glitches and off the clock, nether of them can stand his jerkish behavior and don't respect him like he thinks they do, and while they are content to follow his lead, they only follow his orders because he's the team leader.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The season 2 trailer puts a lot of focus on the new character, Ridley. In season 2 proper, she's a major character in only two episodes. Granted, the send off she receives in her second appearance makes it pretty clear that we haven't seen the last of her.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Comes up frequently. In "Tutorial Mode," BITT tries desperately to alert Phil to a safety inspection while he's talking to the safety inspector, only for Phil to blow him off while disparaging Hinobi corporate.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: No pun intended, but Glitches tend to do this, revealing their pixelized nature.
  • On Three: In episode four, the timing for pulling the lever is this, but they just use "Three" as the number, no counting down.
  • Pac Man Fever: Zig Zagging. The first game that the main characters are seen playing in the series is a VR action title, and the creatures they face as Glitch Techs run the gamut across all generations of gaming, from 8-bit sprites to 3D models. The soundtrack and various sound effects wouldn't be out of place in an arcade, however.
  • The Paralyzer: As seen in episode four, one of the possible functions of the Glitch Tech gauntlets, used by Mitch on Miko.
  • Parody Episode:
    • "Castle Crawl" is a homage to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, right down to the infamously cheesy English translation and how the duo must turn the castle upside down in order to reach the True Final Boss.
    • "Ralphie Bear is Back" serves as one big reference to Five Nights at Freddy's, with the backstory for the episode's setup involving animatronics in a kids' pizza place, and the plot involving murderous animatronics (Or rather a hostile robot princess), even having a segment emulating the game's security cameras as Five looks through the CCTV footage, only to be caught off guard by a Jumpscare.
  • Puzzle Boss: Some of the boss glitches seem nigh invulnerable until one figures out their specific weaknesses or patterns.
  • Rage Quit: When Mitch leaves the tournament after Five and Miko win, Miko says:
    I think the all-star just rage quit!
  • Recurring Extra: A lot of the same background and extra characters pop up in every episode.
  • Reference Overdosed: With its nature as a video game inspired series, Glitch Techs is FILLED with references to all sorts of video games, to the point where a Shout Out page is full of them!
  • RPG Mechanics 'Verse: Glitch Techs get experience points for capturing Glitches, resulting in achievements, loot, and upgrades as they level up. When Phil explains all this, Miko directly compares it to an RPG In-Universe.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Miko's younger sister Lexi serves as this, having witnessed their parents get system restored in the first episode and keeping records some of her sister's Glitch Tech activity since then. Miko regularly allowing Ally to wander their shared bedroom and Miko being a terrible liar who keeps alluding to her real job probably didn't help. Becomes a regular Secret-Keeper in episode nine.
  • Ship Tease:
    • The season 2 episode "BUDS" throws one between Five and Zahra, revealing that Zahra has apparently been harboring a crush on him.
    • There's also the general affectionate chumminess between Five and Miko, which in-universe is apparently obvious enough that in the above mentioned episode Zahra attempts to probe Miko about whether they're more than just partners or not. Miko was too distracted with her suspicions about Mitch's behavior in that episode to notice or answer, though.
    • In "Settling the Score" Bergy and Blake, the Spaghetti In A Bucket drive-thru counter girl, are shown to be flirting.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Nica mentions the turbulence of being a high school student, however there’s no mention of Five or Miko going to school.
  • Sinister Geometry: From "Ping", a floating green cube that No Sells attacks. It is perhaps one of the most dangerous faced because it's so simple. It basically hits a surface and bounces off of it, always gaining more power, momentum and speed, until it basically becomes an indestructible, unstoppable object destroying everything in its path. And even worse, since it's from the In-Universe equivalent of Pong, the gauntlet emitters don't work on it because it's been obsolete for so long, forcing the heroes to think outside the box to try and stop it.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening (which was properly shown in the second episode) features Miko summoning Ally, who doesn't show up until the third episode.
  • Start Screen: The second episode starts with Fictional Video Game Chomp Kitty's start screen, showing its title, the head of the main character, a high score indicator, a Press Start prompt, and a copyright text for 1993 HINOBI LTD.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: Joystick Jr. is actually popular with the main characters for its supply of video games, but it's also home to cheap prizes, unaccompanied toddlers, and creepy animatronics (though Five, at least, doesn't consider them creepy).
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Season 2 episode "Find the Glitch" reveals that the Glitch Tech's gauntlets have 360° recording capability and have been recording everyone's activity as an excuse for a Clip Show episode (though some fridge logic comes in when clips of before Five and Miko were hired are shown). No one takes as much note of this as they probably should, especially when it's shown that the times they broke the rules have been recorded.
  • Team Pet: Multiple, all from Fictional Video Game, Bravestone XII:
    • In the third episode, Miko gets Ally, a Chocobo-like creature that she and Five refused to debug.
    • In episode eight, Five gets his own companion in the form of a mech named Alpha.
  • Technobabble: When Haneesh is hacking a glitch, he gives his status as "just adding some techno to the babble."
  • Thinking Up Portals: Glitch Techs regularly use them. The Hinobi Store has a portal to the Glitch Techs HQ hidden in its employee locker room, and Techs are able to create portals using their gauntlets or special portal guns mounted to their vans.
  • This Page Will Self-Destruct: Parodied by Five, in which he stomps his phone instead.
  • Title-Only Opening: The first episode utilizes this after the Cold Open rather than the usual opening sequence, as Miko and Five don't actually become Glitch Techs until the end of the episode.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: In episode four, Miko goes into one at the prospect of becoming Taken for Granite, but in a Forced Sleep for eternity.
  • Turns Red: From episode seven, the Narwhalrus boss turns red and really speeds up his throwing of projectiles.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In "Karate Trainer" Miko's parents hear Ally crashing around in Miko and Lexi's room but ignore it.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Mike Simms does this after beating Miko in Rock'em Sock'em,however he nervously ask her if they can play again someday.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Castlestein apparently has this in spades in-universe, partly explaining why Miko never actually beat it. The game is apparently infamous for playing mind games with players and has a number of seemingly useless unique items that can be discarded as trash, but are actually key to progression and even has some rare drops and well-hidden items that could be missed but are also seemingly needed for completion.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: In episode five, a "Garlic Hammer" is one of the weapons that are No-Sell-ed by the vampire-Medusa hybrid boss.
  • Vaporware: In-Universe with the Gross Out game, which as Five (who explicitly calls it vaporware) points out, was supposed to be released but mysteriously disappeared. It's later discovered that the reason it was never released was because it's so glitchy that merely selecting a character immediately causes said character to get released into the world as a glitch.
  • We All Die Someday: When Mitch is infected by a nanoflu, Phil casually claims he's dying. When Mitch sputters out a terrified "Dying?!", BITT cheerfully responds, "Technically, all humans are."
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Bailey, the town, is not given a defined location in show, but its geography leads fans to suspect it may be located in the Northwestern United States. As this is where many real life video game companies are based, it would be another video game reference.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: When they come across turtle glitches, Five says "Turtles. Why did it have to be- Just kidding. I love turtles." Toward the end of the episode, when the turtles have become the enemy, Bergy shouts "Why did it have to be turtles!"
  • The X of Y: The first episode is called "Age of Hinobi.”


Video Example(s):


Collection Quest

While Bergy tries to come up with a last-minute plan, he, Miko and Nica are depicted as super-deformed for comedic effect.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / SuperDeformed

Media sources: