What does Scooby do that we neglect?
We be puttin' all our foes in check,
but me and my friends get no respect!"
In 1976, Hanna-Barbera created this show for ABC as a response to the popularity of the film Jaws. Frank Welker based the lead character's voice on Curly Howard from The Three Stooges, along with Rodney Dangerfield's Catchphrase, "I don't get no respect." note
Jabberjaw, an amphibious shark, is the drummer in a rock band called the Neptunes. His human friends are guitarist Biff, bassist Clamhead, keyboardist Bubbles and tambourinist Shelly; the last appeared to be allergic to Jabberjaw's displays of affection. When they're not making music, Jabberjaw and his friends solve mysteries Under the Sea, in yet another variation on the Scooby-Doo formula. They live in a future when the ocean floor has been extensively colonized, with domed cities and the like.
Cartoon Network made a music video in the 1990s that revisioned the Neptunes as a ska band. The video aired regularly as filler on the Boomerang network until 2014 when Boomerang became ad-supported. Most recently, a Gender Flipped version of Jabberjaw is part of the cast of Jellystone!, working in Magilla Gorilla's accessories store.
This series provides examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Jabberjaw to Shelly, if her reaction when he tries to kiss her in the opening is anything to go by.
- Adaptation Distillation: The aforementioned music video.
- Alpha Bitch: Shelly is this in general, but it's usually directed at Jabberjaw.
- Artistic License – Physics: Plentiful, not to mention how Jabber walks.
- Band Toon: The show is built around a band called the Neptunes touring the colonized ocean floor.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Used in the first episode, where the main characters plummet to Earth from a rocket.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Jabberjaw threatened to sue Shelly for plagiarism when she borrowed his.
- Butt-Monkey: Jabberjaw... even his catchphrase lampshades it!
- Catchphrase: Jabber's "No Respect! No Respect!", Biff's "Hoppin' Halibut!" and "Jumpin' Jellyfish!", and Clamhead's "Wowwy-wow-wow!"
- Cloudcuckoolander/ Dumb Blonde: Bubbles, whose personality was allegedly based on Gracie Allen.
- Deadpan Snarker: Shelly, being an Expy of Alexandria Cabot, has a snarky remark for nearly everything that goes on around her.
- Domed Hometown: Pretty much every underwater city has to be domed.
- Expy: Design-wise, Clamhead heavily resembles Shaggy.
- Fake Band: The Neptunes.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Pretty much every city the Neptunes visit view sharks as mindless maneaters, and have systems to throw them out. And they view Jabberjaw as such, leading to his catchphrase. In the crossover comic with Aquaman, this extends to all sea creatures.
- Subverted in "Claim-Jumped Jabber," where Jabberjaw tries to avoid this by pretending to be a walrus. When he got into the hotel he saw a sign claiming sharks were welcome. However, as the clerk then informed him, they don't allow walruses though.
- Five-Man Band Concert: The cartoon's premise is that a band called "The Neptunes" has an amphibious shark for a drummer. Besides the titular character, who is The Big Guy, the band has Standardized Leader Biff on the electric guitar, Only Sane Woman Shelly on the tambourine, Mellow Fellow Clamhead on the bass (and, occasionally, the trumpet), and Cloudcuckoolander Bubbles on the keyboard. Their instruments are appropriately ocean biology-themed.
- Flintstone Theming: Most places in the show are parody names but with an underwater theme.
- Forced Transformation: In one episode Shelly and Clamhead are turned into sharks and, along with Jabberjaw, 'trained' to become remorseless destroyers. It works about as well as you'd think.
- Furry Confusion: Or fishy confusion, at least. Most fish portrayed in the show—including most other sharks—are drawn realistically and can't move about on land. And then there's Jabberjaw...
- The Future: Press materials and one song indicate that this show takes place in the year 2062.
- Gone Horribly Right: In "No Helpin' the Sculpin", Clamhead is mistaken for a scientist by the villainous Sculpin. The others show up to try to help him 'fix' the Time Machine the Sculpin has him working on. They, of course, are just trying to scam him to let Clamhead go. But it turns out they actually fix it to work.
- Hey, That's My Line!: Shelly once used Jabberjaw's catchphrase. Jabber threatened to sue her for that.
- Jerkass: Shelly, although sometimes she is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Laugh Track: Of course. This is 70s Hanna-Barbera we're talking about.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Lo, The Octopus and The Phantom of the Kelp, among others.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jabber's voice is patterned after Curly of the Three Stooges, even with some of the same verbal tics.
- Only Sane Woman: Despite her vanity, Shelly is sane enough to see the flaws in Biff's or Bubbles' idiotic ideas and is mainly the one who keeps Jabberjaw in line.
- Secret Circle of Secrets: The Brotherhood of Evil is one in "Hang On To Your Hat Jabber". The main leader keeps a mask over his face while everyone else only reveals their faces under a hood.
- Secret Identity: Some villains in this show have these, but that being said most of these are to disguise Mad Scientist agendas instead of a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax.
- Sir Cameos-a-Lot: Jabberjaw in particular appears in a lot of crossovers (especially with Scooby-Doo) despite only having one cartoon to his name.
- Shout-Out: In one episode, the group of villains are designed to look like Zorak but follow the orders of a different alien named Domax.
- Spoofy-Doo: The protagonists are basically Mystery Inc. from Scooby-Doo, but they solve underwater cases and have a shark as their mascot.
- Standardized Leader: Biff fills the role of the group leader on this show.
- Tailfin Walking: How Jabberjaw gets around. One-shot character Francine Lafinn can walk on her tailfin, too. Commander Shark's army of shark-human hybrids are apparently supposed to be able to do this by design, but only Shelly and Clamhead (transformed into sharks themselves) are actually shown walking on land.
- Threatening Shark:
- Inverted, as Jabberjaw is harmless to humans, though it doesn't stop them from freaking out when the presence of a live shark sinks in. Shelly has her own reasons.
- Played with by a Villain of the Week who turned his Mooks into sharks, and by shark woman Francine Lafinn who tried to seduce Jabberjaw in "Claim-Jumped Jabber".
- Totally Radical: Seriously, who in real life actually says "Wowwy-wow-wow!"?!
- Underwater Base: If a villain has a base on this show, it is underwater.
- Unexpected Inheritance: In "Claim-Jumped Jabber", Jabberjaw inherits a gold mine for having saved an old prospector. But in the end, this is a clerical error, as the proper recipient was a Mr. Jabberclaw (who is human).
- Wacky Racing: "The Fast Paced Chase Race" has most of its plot take place during a underwater race with many shenanigans throughout.
Who's gonna chase down villains and then turn around and run in fear?
Who's gonna stand for justice, when bad guys break the law?
You know who I'm talkin' about, we're Clamhead, Shelly, Bubbles, and Biff,
but if you're catchin' a whiff of fish, it's Jabberjaw!