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Western Animation / Jonny Quest

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Front: Dr. Quest and Race (at the controls); back: Jonny, and Hadji; Bandit is in Hadji's lap.

Doug Wildey created this beloved 1964 animated Adventure Series, the first produced by Hanna-Barbera and the first Animated Series made for television to use realistically drawn human characters in Science Fiction or adventure settings.

The young hero Jonny Quest (voiced by future Animal House star Tim Matheson) travels the world with his Science Hero father, Dr. Benton Quest; Action Hero Roger "Race" Bannon, a friend and bodyguard of Dr. Quest; Hadji, Jonny's adopted brother from India; and Team Pet Bandit, the family dog. (The first episode establishes that Jonny's mother, Rachel, died before the series began.) Along the way, they save humanity from a variety of high-tech and supernatural menaces, including Dr. Quest's recurring Arch-Enemy, Mad Scientist Dr. Zin.

The series originally aired in prime time on ABC, which incidentally made it the first primetime animated drama in the world. Due to the expense of its (relatively) detailed designs and animation, as well as the network deciding to pit it against The Munsters so that it could salvage network darling The Flintstones, it was canceled after only one season. However, it became enduringly popular enough that all three networks reran it on Saturday mornings for well over a decade. It has also spawned several Sequel Series and Reboots.


A second Jonny Quest series was syndicated in 1986-87 as part of the second season of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera, The New Adventures of Jonny Quest, with two new characters: Jessie Bradshaw, whose father was a colleague of Dr. Quest, and Hardrock, a man made of living stone. (It was accompanied by a Comic-Book Adaptation from Comico which was based on the original series and did not feature the new characters.) This series culminated in two made-for-TV movies - Jonny's Golden Quest and Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects - which introduced Race Bannon's daughter, Jessie, (not the same character as Jessie Bradshaw), who would become a recurring character in subsequent incarnations.

Cartoon Network made some changes to the format when it debuted Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures (also known as The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest) in 1996. New characters included the recurring villains Jeremiah Surd and Ezekiel Rage, and the twin daughters of Dr. Zin. Also, the characters had access to Questworld, a virtual reality realm represented in most episodes by 3-D computer animation. According to this Wikipedia article, development began in 1992, but the series went through three production teams over the next four years.


Warner Bros. announced a Live-Action Adaptation of Jonny Quest was announced in August 2007, with recent news placing Zac Efron as Jonny and The Rock as Race Bannon. However, that project lingered in Development Hell for years and was eventually canceled. In 2015 Warner announced they would be trying again with Robert Rodriguez directing and co-writing with Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriter Terry Rossio. In the meantime, 2015 saw the classic characters return in a DTV movie crossover with Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest. Jonny and his friends also became regulars in DC Comics's Future Quest, which put the stars of almost all of H-B's action cartoons from The '60s in the same Shared Universe. Also in 2015, the Quest team crossed over with the Scooby gang in the Scooby-Doo! Team-Up issue "Quest for Mystery!"

A major influence on The Venture Bros., to the point where a Writing Around Trademarks version of an adult Jonny is included in the series. See also "Toby Danger," an episode of Freakazoid! that was an elaborate Affectionate Parody.

Not to be confused with Johnny Test (though that show's title is certainly intended a play on this one).

"What do you make of it, troper?":

  • The Ace: Race is a master pilot, driver, helmsman, marksman, and combatant. If Race does it, he likely does it better than anyone the show portrays.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: In the episode "Mystery of the Lizard Men," Jonny crawls though an air duct in a submarine to escape from the title opponents.
  • All Animals Are Dogs
    • "Turu The Terrible" had the Quests encounter a trained attack Pteranodon. It responded to verbal commands like a dog.
    • "Dragons of Ashida," where the eponymous genetically engineered killer lizards obey Sumi emphatically, even though they are explicitly stated to be savage killers that willingly devour each other, and kill Ashida himself off-screen. Granted, Ashida flat-out states that Sumi is their keeper and has presumably "disciplined" them since they were young, so it might simply be ingrained behavior to obey him.
  • All There in the Script: The names of Emil and Sven, Ivar's two submarine pilots in "The House of Seven Gargoyles."
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version has this.
  • Androcles' Lion
    • "A Small Matter of Pygmies." A pygmy is being punished by the other pygmies by being tied to a stake so he can be eaten by a panther. Race, Jonny, and Hadji save him by shooting the panther and releasing him. When they're captured by the other pygmies, he returns the favor by releasing them.
    • "Treasure of the Temple." The Quest team releases an Indian who had been staked out to die by the Big Bad and his mooks. When the team is captured by the Big Bad, the Indian gets them out of their cell to freedom.
  • Animal Assassin: Snakes in "The Curse of Anubis," a tarantula in "The Fraudulent Volcano" (a la Dr. No) and a tiger in "Riddle of the Gold."
  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: "Monster in the Monastery." Jonny does it to himself so he doesn't sneeze and alert the "yeti." He doesn't sneeze afterwards, but Bandit does.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • In "The Invisible Monster" the Quests find Isaiah Norman's notebook, which tells Doctor Quest how Norman accidentally created the title monster.
    • In "The Sea Haunt," the ship captain's log tells of how the title monster was captured, escaped and attacked the crew, causing panic and disaster.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism
    • In "Werewolf of the Timberland," Dr. Quest tells the boys there's no such thing as werewolves (and the one in the episode turns out to be a hoax anyways), despite the team having previously encountered monsters such as a mummy.
    • "Turu the Terrible". Dr. Quest dismisses claims of a bird big enough to take away humans. Directly encountering Turu disabuses him of his skepticism.
  • Argentina Is Nazi Land: Played with in regards to Baron von Fleulich in “Shadow of the Condor” as a German ex-military noble with hiding out in a chateau in the Andes. However, in this case, the war he fought in was World War I.
  • Artistic License – Ornithology:
    • Toucans cannot mimic human speech, unlike the one from "Treasure of the Temple."
    • The condors in "Shadow of the Condor" are depicted as predators, when in reality they are scavengers which the Baron in the episode actually notes they usually feed on carrion.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: The titular Pteranodon of "Turu the Terrible" has a serrated bill and birdlike talons, walks on his hind legs, can carry a human being in his talons, and survives multiple direct hits by bazooka rounds.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Hadji's name, and any instances of foreign languages spoken in the series.
  • Aside Comment: "Monster in the Monastery." Jonny turns and looks right into the camera, then tells the viewers "I hope Hadji and Bandit made it."
  • Aside Glance: Multiple episodes, usually by Bandit.
  • Assurance Backfire: In "The Sea Haunt," the Quest team is trapped on a ship with a terrible monster, and Team Pet Bandit is frightened.
    Hadji: Don't worry, Bandit. Nothing will happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.
  • Bad Boss
    • Dr. Ashida continuously abuses his bodyguard Sumi for the slightest of failures. In the end, Sumi gets sick of it and throws Ashida into the dragon pit.
    • General Fong in “The Quetong Missile Mystery” shoots his own man for failing to stop the Quests from escaping.
    • Ivar in “House of the Seven Gargoyles” responds to Dietrich’s request for his money after retrieving the anti-gravity bar by shooting him off the parapet with a rifle.
  • Badass Bookworm: While Race is clearly the most physically capable of the adults, Benton is no slouch either, often in the thick of action as much as Race is.
  • Badass Family: Dr. Quest and son, Race and daughter — and let's not forget Hadji.
  • The Bait: In "The Invisible Monster" Dr. Quest takes this role to lure the creature into a trap.
  • Banister Slide:
    • "Monster in the Monastery." Jonny and Hadji slide down a bannister to escape from some yetis and the yetis follow in pursuit of them.
    • "House of the Seven Gargoyles." Dietrich (Norway's greatest acrobatic dwarf, who's dressed as a gargoyle) does this while following the others to Professor Ericson's demonstration.
  • Batman Gambit: Dr. Zin pulls one in “The Robot Spy,” sending the eponymous spy in a flying saucer to the outskirts of a military base Dr. Quest is staying at to build “the Para-Power Ray,” knowing that Dr. Quest will likely be too curious of what could be an alien device to not bring it on base. The plan works and the spy manages to get information on Quest’s invention. The plan only falls apart when Quest uses the ray to bring down the saucer.
  • Being Watched: "The Fraudulent Volcano." While taking Jonny and Hadji to rescue Dr. Quest and Race Bannon, the sergeant says that he has a feeling they're being watched. He's right - they're being spied upon by Dr. Zin's men.
  • Big Bad: In the original series (1964-1965) the arch villain named Dr. Zin appeared in four episodes ("Riddle of the Gold," "The Robot Spy," "Double Danger" and "The Fraudulent Volcano"). All of the other episodes' villains only appeared once.
  • Big Bad Friend: Benton notes that both Dr. Kareem in “The Curse of Anubis” and Dr. Ashida in “Dragons of Ashida” were colleagues of his. He specifically notes Ashida was nowhere near as sinister in their past relationship as he is now as a crackling lunatic.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In "Werewolf of the Timberlands," Jonny and Hadji get captured by gold-smugglers and are tied to a pole in a sawmill. As the smuggler guarding them gloats to them that they will never escape, White Feather suddenly appears knocking him out from behind and then cutting the boys loose.
  • Big Electric Switch:
    • "The Invisible Monster." Race Bannon throws a large electric switch to activate the machine to destroy the title creature.
    • "The Sea Haunt." A large electric switch is used to turn on a floodlight that's used to blind and drive back the title monster.
  • Big "NO!": Von Dueffel in "The Devil's Tower," just before his Karmic Death.
  • Big Red Button: Used to signal the Red Scramble in "The Robot Spy."
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: "Monster in the Monastery" had enemy agents posing as yetis to terrorize a village. Their actions end up disturbing a real yeti, who kills them all.
  • Blow Gun: In "The Dreadful Doll," the villain Korbay uses a blowgun to fire darts that have a poison that causes its victims to enter a coma.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: In "Dragons of Ashida," Sumi throws Ashida to his own dragons as a Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Hadji, even before the stereotype was around.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Many times, including 70+ shots from an automatic pistol.
  • Brainwashed: In "Pirates from Below," Hadji hypnotizes a guard with a flashing ruby.
  • Broad Strokes: The idea that there is a redheaded love interest for Jonny crept its way into each incarnation. In the first the episode "The Deadly Doll" has a redhead thankful for Dr Quest's help in saving her life kisses both Jonny and Hadji who both run off like typical young boys. This of course would not be the only time a redhead filled this role.
  • Captain Ethnic: Hadji, as his main contributions to the team were snake-charming, rope-tricking, and other stereotypically Indian activities. The 1990s update gave him advanced computer skills, which in present day can be seen as unintentionally stereotypical. What's especially odd is he's described as a Hindu Indian, he wears a turban like a Sikh and "Hadji" is a Muslim title for someone who has made the pilgrimage (haj) to Mecca. The 1990s tried to also explain this away in A Day in the Limelight episode as an Orphan's Plot Trinket.
  • Cargo Cult: In the episode "A Small Matter of Pygmies," a tribe of pygmies worships airplanes. They have have small statuettes of airplanes in the place where they perform human sacrifices.
  • Cassandra Truth
    • Despite having dealt with plenty of both deadly animals and dangerous men before, Dr. Quest turns Wrong Genre Savvy and very smugly scoffs at an escapee's warnings about "Dragons of Ashida." Just spending a few minutes with Ashida shows Quest how very wrong he was to dismiss those warnings.
    • In “House of the Seven Gargoyles”, Jonny catches sight of submarine’s periscope in the fjord and notes one of the gargoyles moves to shoo a bird away. The others dismiss it as Jonny just seeing things but he’s absolutely right.
  • Caught in a Snare: "Treasure of the Temple." While the Quest team is traveling to the temple, one of the native bearers is hauled into the air by the ankle.
  • The Cavalry: "A Small Matter of Pygmies." Dr. Quest and a group of helicopters arrive just in time.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: "The Quetong Missile Mystery." After the Quests have destroyed the missile and escaped from General Fong's forces, Commissioner Wah and a boatload of Quetong police show up (and presumably take the remaining mooks into custody). Lampshaded when Dr. Quest says "Too bad they missed the party."
  • Character Celebrity Endorsement: Jonny hawked PF Flyers tennis shoes.
  • Character in the Logo: The series logo has Jonny's face inside the oversized "Q" in "Quest."
  • Chased by Angry Natives: In the Title Sequence, no less, as well as "Pursuit of the Po-Ho."
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: In “Shadow of the Condor”, Baron von Freulich looks to up his wartime record of 99 kills into an even 100 by engaging in an impromptu dogfight with a Worthy Opponent in Race Bannon. However, he cheats by loading his plane with ammunition while leaving Race’s plane defenseless. Nonetheless, a condor attacks the baron’s plane and he loses anyway.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • "Mystery of the Lizard Men." The hydrofoil is used to escape the title opponents and the mirror Dr. Quest brings along saves the ship from a laser beam.
    • "The Robot Spy." The Parapower Ray Gun Dr. Quest is working on is used to destroy the title device.
    • "Arctic Splashdown." The snow skimmer the Quest team brings along is used by Hadji in an escape attempt.
    • "Calcutta Adventure." Dr. Quest's ultrasonic amplifier is used to destroy the bad guys by causing an avalanche.
    • "Pirates from Below." Jonny and Hadji's communication devices are used by them to communicate after Jonny is kidnapped. Dr. Quest uses the underwater probe's waldo arms to defend it against attack by the bad guys.
    • "The House of Seven Gargoyles." Strontium Glacier is noted as being dangerous, and a Hoist by His Own Petard causes it to destroy the villains. Professor Ericson's helicopter is used by Dr. Quest and Race Bannon to pursue the bad guys.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In the TOS episode "The Mystery of the Lizard Men," Jonny learns a judo throw from Race Bannon that he later uses on one of the title opponents.
  • Chiaroscuro: The animation style used very heavy blacks. (This is especially obvious when a character's face is in shadow, eliminating the need to animate their mouth.)
  • Choke Holds: In "The Quetong Missile Mystery," Race Bannon uses a sleeper hold on a Mook guard.
  • Coffin Contraband: "The Sea Haunt." A deserted freighter has a cargo hold full of coffins, each of which contains gold bars.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: "Attack of the Tree People." Topper turns on the radio just in time to hear about Jonny and Hadji being shipwrecked.
  • Complexity Addiction: Dr. Zin suffers from this in “The Robot Spy.” His plan involves sending a UFO with his spy aboard and tricking the Quests into bringing it back on base where it can steal information on Dr. Quest’s Para-Power Ray. Unfortunately, this plan means that, once it has the data, the robot has to walk all the way back to the UFO to escape, giving Dr. Quest enough time to bring out the Ray to stop the robot. Had the robot simply landed on base, forced its way into the lab and then took off before the Quests could even mount a defense, Zin would have succeeded.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: In "The Robot Spy," Dr. Quest's Para-Power Raygun stops the robot spy, but considering it was designed to drain the power of the machine, not destroy it as it did, he notes that there is no point to the gun as a glorified artillery piece until he can perfect it for its true purpose.
  • Contrived Coincidence
    • "The Mystery of the Lizard Men." Out of all of the wrecked ships in the Sargasso Sea, the one that Jonny wants to explore is the one the villain is using as his base.
    • In “The Devil’s Tower,” Benton Quest just so happened to work on a war crimes commission after World War II that allows him to identify the episode’s villain as a Nazi war criminal that they just so happen to find stuck on the plateau their hot air balloon got stuck on.
  • Dating Catwoman: Jezebel and Race have a very flirty and semi-romantic connection despite Jezebel pretty obviously making a living on not entirely legal means.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Kassim, Dr. Zin’s henchman in “Riddle of the Gold” kills the local Maharajah who was working with them and replaces him when the Quests coming investigating the local mine producing fake gold.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Race and Hadji.
  • Death by Transceiver: The episode "The Invisible Monster." Dr. Quest receives a frantic ham radio message.
    Norman: Benton! This is Isaiah Norman. I desperately need your help. You know of my experiments in attempting to harness energy and my theory of controlling it. Well, I'm afraid my efforts have resulted in the creation of something too terrible to contemplate.
    Dr. Quest: But Isaiah...
    Norman: No! Believe me, Benton. It is monstrous beyond imagination. [We see the monster's footsteps as it returns] And what is worse, uncontrollable. Can you come at once?
    Dr. Quest: Of course, Isaiah.
    Norman: Something must be done to stop this thing. [Monster's weird noise is heard] No. No! It's come back! [Monster consumes Dr. Norman]
    Dr. Quest: Isaiah! Isaiah!
  • Defeat Means Friendship: "Calcutta Adventure." When Jonny and Hadji first meet, Jonny thinks Hadji is threatening Dr. Quest (he actually just saved Dr. Quest's life). Jonny attacks Hadji, but Hadji uses a judo move to throw Jonny away and Jonny lands in a heap. After the misunderstanding is explained, Jonny praises Hadji's judo skill and they become friends.
  • Deliberately Jumping the Gun: The episode "Dragons of Ashida." When Dr. Ashida and Race Bannon have a judo match, they bow to each other. Ashida hits Race with a judo chop while he's still bowing.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Dr. Zin. He has at least two major bases, a castle and an Elaborate Underground Base inside a volcano, plus an army of mooks. He's also a technological genius, who developed a robot spy and a beam that can shoot down airplanes.
  • Dirty Communists: Being set at the height of the Cold War, this is more or less inevitable. While never directly stated, several episodes have villains who are almost certainly working for either the USSR or China:
    • “The Mystery of the Lizard Men” show the eponymous villains’ plot as sabotaging the US’ efforts in the Space Race.
    • The villains in “Arctic Splashdown” are a submarine crew looking to steal Dr. Quest’s new guidance system technology from a downed missile. The crew is all but stated to be Soviet Navy.
    • “The Quetong Missile Mystery” features what is clearly a Chinese Communist general building missiles off the shoreline of the fictional city of Quetong, a clear stand in for Hong Kong.
    • “Terror Island” sees Chu Sing Ling’s island manned by Chinese Communist troops, showing that he’s at least working with the Communists if not an official part of them.
  • Disappeared Dad: In the original 1960s series, Hadji is an orphan whose parents are never mentioned.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • "Monster in the Monastery." Jonny bursts some bags of oil with a bow and arrows. A villain wearing a yeti costume slips on the oil, rolls down some stairs, and then over the edge of a cliff to his death.
    • "Dragons of Ashida." One of the dragons chases Race Bannon out of a cave mouth. Race jumps up and grabs a tree branch and the dragon falls to its death at the base of a cliff.
    • Played with in “The Quentong Missile Mystery” when Lt Singh is being chased in his car via a helicopter manned by Race and Dr. Quest. His car flies off a cliff and crashes but Singh survives long enough to tell Benton that the boys and Bandit are being held captive in a base in the swamps. It’s noted he might die from the fall and, even if he doesn’t, he’ll be executed as a traitor to the police.
  • Distress Call: In the episodes "The Invisible Monster" and "Pursuit of the Po-Ho" Dr. Benton Quest gets a radio call for help from an old friend and springs into action to try to save them.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "Dragons of Ashida," Dr. Ashida's abuse of his servant Sumi leads to a Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal.
  • Double Don't Know: In "The Robot Spy," Doctor Quest is puzzled by the appearance of the title device in its hidden form.
    Jonny: What is it, Dad?
    Dr. Quest: I don't know, Jonny, I really don't know!
  • Double Tap: "A Small Matter of Pygmies." After downing a black leopard, Race Bannon shoots it again to make sure it's dead.
  • The Dragon: "Dragons of Ashida." Sumi is the bodyguard of his master Dr. Ashida. Interestingly enough, Race fights Ashida first before fighting Sumi (Race vs. Ashida was supposed to be a "friendly" bout, but the later was Ashida explicitly wanting Sumi to kill Race for embarrassing him in the first fight).
  • Dragon Lady: "Jezebel" Jade is an exceptionally rare Good variant, combined with mild Action Girl — mysterious, sexy, aggressive, untrustworthy and vaguely Asiatic. She appears in "Double Danger" and wears a qipao in "Terror Island."
  • Dramatic Chase Opening: Usually natives running away from the bad guys.
  • The Dreaded: Turu is shown to strike fear in the local population and even the jungle animals.
  • Dressing as the Enemy
    • "The Fraudulent Volcano." After Jonny and Hadji knock out a couple of guards, Dr. Quest and Race don their uniforms while attempting to escape the enemy base.
    • A mask from a downed mook in “The Quetong Missile Mystery” is used to trick another mook into letting his guard down.
  • Elaborate Underground Base:
    • "The Dreadful Doll" has an arms and submarine base being built under the surface of the island.
    • "Pirates From Below" has a base in an underwater cave system equipped with submarines and hovercraft.
    • "The Fraudulent Volcano." A large base was built under/in the title volcano.
  • Energy Beings: "The Invisible Monster." The title creature is "a mass of energy that somehow came alive." It uses Vampiric Draining to obtain all kinds of energy, including Life Energy.
  • Episode Title Card: Each episode had a different one, but see Title Sequence Replacement below.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones
    • The human villain of “Turu the Terrible” seems to hold genuine affection for Turu, comforting it multiple times when it fails to kill the intruders and even sacrifices his own life in a vain attempt to save Turu from the tar pits. Compare this to how he viciously enslaved and abused the local population to work in his mine.
    • "Shadow of the Condor." As psychotic as he is, it’s clear the villainous Baron von Freulich genuinely loves his dog, Willie.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Usually at Bandit, e.g. in "The Robot Spy."
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: After Singh's car is wrecked in "The Quetong Missile Mystery."
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: One of Bandit's specialties.
    • "Skull and Double Crossbones." When Jose asks Bandit if he wants to be friends, Bandit growls at him. Later we learn that Jose is The Mole, a spy for the Chief of a crew of pirates.
    • "The Invisible Monster." A random dog in a village on the island senses the title character approaching and begins angrily barking, only to retreat in fear as the monster draws nearer. His owner comes out of his hut to see what's going on, with predictable if disastrous results.
    • "Shadow of the Condor." When Bandit first meets Baron von Freulich he growls at him. Later von Freulich tries to murder Race Bannon.
    • Weirdly averted in “Double Trouble” where Bandit actually sits in the lap of Race’s imposter on the way back to camp without any issues. It’s Koko the monkey that notices something wrong.
  • Evil Laugh: Pierre (the "werewolf") in "The Werewolf of the Timberlands," Dr. Zin in "The Robot Spy" and von Dueffel in "The Devil's Tower" all have chilling laughs when they're gloating and thinking about the nastiness they're planning.
  • Evil Minions: As a Diabolical Mastermind Dr. Zin has many of these useful tools. In "The Fruadulent Volcano" some of them run his Elaborate Underground Base inside a volcano.
  • Evil Poacher: In "Attack of the Tree People," a pair of ivory poachers named Silky and Chopper plan to hold Jonny and Hadji for ransom.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Basically happens in any episode where the bad guys end up sharing screentime with a carnivore, monster, or other dangerous wildlife that they don't have complete control over.
    • In "Treasure of the Temple," the Big Bad and his goons end up devoured by crocodiles (offscreen), after Race sinks their canoe with a well-placed rifle shot.
    • "Riddle of the Gold"
      • Cassim arranges for Dr. Quest to be killed in a rigged tiger hunt, either by the tiger itself or by Dr. Quest's guide who would "accidentally" shoot Quest while trying to save him from said tiger.
      • Cassim, the assassin Dr. Zin hires to pull a Kill and Replace on a maharajah partner of his who has lived beyond his usefulness, meets his end when the maharajah's beloved pet leopard, having witnessed the killing, gets loose and goes looking for revenge.
The tiger ends up targeting and killing the guide instead.
  • The titular "Werewolf of Timberland" (really a gold poacher in disguise), gets badly mauled and forced off of a cliff by a real grey wolf.
  • The baron in "Shadow of the Condor" gets his plane attacked by a giant Andean condor while trying to shoot down Race Bannon in a WWI-style dogfight and crashes to his death.
  • The fake yetis in "Monster in the Monastery" are all curb-stomped by a real yeti who took issue with their antics.
  • The poachers/illegal gun runners turned hostage-takers in "Attack of the Tree People" end up being the only ones that the apelike tree people actually attack. Unlike the other examples, they aren't killed, just subdued until the authorities can arrest them.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Nobody in “Double Trouble” seems to notice that the imposter Race is wearing a simple t-shirt where Race is wearing a collared double breasted shirt.
  • False Flag Operation: In “The Curse of Anubis,” Dr. Kareem steals the statue of Anubis and attempts to frame Benton and Race for the theft to spark anti-Western resentment and push the Arab world towards a unified nationalist empire.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: What set it apart from other cartoons in its time. Or other cartoons today, for that matter. At least one villain dies in nearly every episode. Some of the deaths inflicted on the bad guys are a massive ship explosion, a collision into the side of a mountain, a feasting on by his own lizards, electrocution by a high-voltage fence, a burial in a cave-in, a drop over a creaky bridge, and that's just a few. None of the deaths are ever shown on-screen, of course.
  • Famous-Named Foreigner: Hadji Singh. Hadji is an obviously Muslim title, and Singh is obviously Hindu or Sikh.
  • Fish Person: The sea monster in "The Sea Haunt." It is humanoid in shape and walks like a man, makes noises like a mammal (not a fish), and is clearly at least somewhat intelligent.
  • Flare Gun: "The Sea Haunt." Dr. Quest and Race Bannon use Very pistols against the title monster. The writer apparently thought that because they were "pistols" they could fire multiple times without reloading like a revolver: they're actually single shot.
  • Flying Saucer: The eponymous foe in “The Robot Spy” flies in one, giving the impression that it’s a being from another world which helps convince the Quests to bring it onto the base for study as Dr. Zin had planned.
  • For the Evulz
    • Seems to be the raison d'etre for some of the villains.
    • Even animals will fall into this trope like the condor that tries to snatch Bandit in “Shadow of the Condor” (condors are scavengers) or the crocodiles that attack the swamp boat en masse in “Turu the Terrible” for no real reason. Even Race notes how bizarre the latter example is.
  • For Science!
    • In "The Dragons of Ashida" and "Terror Island" the Mad Scientists create giant monsters without any concern for the consequences of their actions. In the former case, Dr. Ashida did come to realize the implications of breeding giant bloodthirsty lizards and kept right on breeding them precisely because of this.
    • A more benign example would be Dr. Quest himself, who always puts himself and his family in danger to investigate the strange, the odd, and the incredible.
  • Friendly, Playful Dolphin: One befriends Bandit in "Skull and Double Crossbones."
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Dr. Quest is an accomplished scientist who is well-mannered and polite.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: ''Terror Island" had a car-sized crab, a mutation caused by bacteria.
  • Giant Spider:
    • In the episode "Terror Island," a Mad Scientist turns several animals (including a spider) into giant monsters using a mutagenic drug.
    • The long legs and giant body of "The Robot Spy," well-known from JQ's opening credits, qualify it for this trope as well.
    • In "Treasure of the Temple," Race Bannon is caught in the web of a giant cave spider and saved by the accurate shooting of Doctor Quest.
  • A God Am I: Ashida in "Dragons of Ashida" states that the natives used to worship a Dragon God before he came along and took over, upon which he gave them a "new god": himself.
  • God Guise: "Pusuit of the Po-Ho":
    • Dr. Quest uses a loudspeaker in a plane to make the natives think he's Aerio, god of the air.
    • A berry-dyed Race Bannon rises from the water and shouts at the Po-Ho in English, causing them to think that he's their water god Akesio.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: "The Invisible Monster." Dr. Isaiah Norman's experiment gets away from him and creates a mass of energy that exists only to feed on other energy - including living things.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: Intelligence One, the U.S. Government agency Race Bannon works for and Dr. Quest occasionally helps.
  • The Grand Hunt: In "Riddle of the Gold," the fake maharajah sets up a tiger hunt in honor of Dr. Quest's visit. He plans to use have Dr. Quest assassinated during the hunt by having him "accidentally" shot.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Any time a random animal befriends the team, Bandit will get defensive.
  • A Handful for an Eye: Jonny does it to a guard in "Arctic Splashdown."
  • Hand Signals: "Pirates from Below." When Colonel Svedry is up on the underwater prober and about to enter it, he makes a beckoning gesture to his subordinate who is standing on the sand below.
  • Heroic Dolphin:
    • In "Skull and Double Crossbones," the dolphin Bandit befriended helps him get to the authorities by offering him a ride on its back.
    • An orca in "Arctic Splashdown" inadvertently saves Dr. Quest's life when it breaches underneath the walkway he's slipped off of, throwing him to safety on the opposite shore and out of the blast zone of the self-destructing missile he was trying to get away from when he slipped.
  • He's a Friend:
    • "Werewolf of the Timberland." The wolf Gray One has just saved Dr. Quest and Race Bannon from being attacked by the "werewolf" (a man in a werewolf suit), but they don't realize this and Race Bannon prepares to shoot the wolf. Jonny and Hadji arrive and call out to them, telling them that the wolf is a friend.
    • "Calcutta Adventure." Pasha Peddler shows up in his helicopter right after the team has been attacked by a mook in a plane. Race thinks he might be an enemy, but Hadji tells them he's a friend.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard
    • "Mystery of the Lizard Men." The Big Bad fires a laser at the Quests' ship, Dr. Quest reflects it back with a mirror and blows him up.
    • "Arctic Splashdown." An enemy Mook tries to blow up the Quest's ship with a bomb. It ends up falling off the ship (thanks to Bandit), lands in the Mook's raft and blows him up.
    • "The Curse of Anubis." The Big Bad is killed by a cave-in while trying to trap the Quests inside a burial chamber. To be fair, the walking undead mummy who'd been after him for the whole episode and had finally caught him would most likely have killed him anyway.
    • "Dragons of Ashida." Dr. Ashida breeds huge carnivorous lizards that he uses to hunt down escaped servants (and eventually the Quests). At the end of the episode his servant Sumi finally has had enough of the doctor's abuse and throws him into the dragons' pit, where he's eaten alive.
    • "Pirates from Below." Villains try to blow up the Quests' underwater vehicle with a mine. Race Bannon removes it and releases it, whereupon it floats up to the bottom of the Big Bad's boat and goes "Boom."
    • "The Devil's Tower." Von Dueffel blows off his biplane's wing with a hand grenade he was attempting to throw at Dr. Quest and crashes.
    • "The Quetong Missile Mystery." General Fong shoots a guard out of pure frustration at the Quests escaping him. The dead guard then falls on a Plunger Detonator and blows Fong up with one of his own planted mines.
    • "House of Seven Gargoyles." The Big Bad kills his henchman dressed as a gargoyle for daring to want his payment after succeeding in his mission which tips the heroes off to the Big Bad’s location. Enemy Mooks shooting at Dr. Quest while they're under a glacier cause an ice collapse, killing them and the Big Bad as well.
    • "Terror Island." Dr. Chu Sing Ling is blown up by a power plant explosion caused by one of the giant monsters he created. What’s especially notable is that the creature is implied to be the result of Chu Sing Ling’s experiment’s runoff washing into the nearby beach, something Dr. Quest notes was reckless and dangerous and while Chu Sing Ling acknowledges this, he doesn’t care enough to actually stop production.
    • "The Riddle of the Gold." Ali plans to use a tiger to kill Dr. Quest, but the tiger ends up killing him instead.
  • Hollywood Torches: "The House of Seven Gargoyles." There are a number of torches on the walls of Professor Ericson's castle. No one is ever seen tending them and they never go out.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Pasha Peddler in "Calcutta Adventure." He might charge a lot for his goods, but he delivers great service for the money. For instance, when Benton Quest and Race Bannon are being pursued by Mooks in a mountain range, they suddenly find some skis and poles waiting for them to make their escape courtesy of Pasha Peddler, along with the bill. Obviously, they don't argue with such salesmanship.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: A variation happens in “Shadow of the Condor” when the baron of the story uses Race as an opportunity to engage in one last dogfight to up his wartime kill count of 99 to an even 100. Because the baron decides to load his guns and *not* Race’s, it becomes less a dogfight and more an aerial hunt. The baron had also been seen earlier in the episode hunting condors which comes back to bite him in the end.
  • I Like Those Odds: "Monster in the Monastery." After Jonny and Hadji tell Dr. Quest and Race that there are nine enemies left in the monastery, Race says to Dr. Quest "That makes the odds about right, sir." Two men, two kids and the Raj Guru (who's basically a non-combatant) against 9 armed men, and the odds are "just about right"? Sure, Race takes out eight of the guys while Benton and the boys take the last one. Or they would have if the yeti hadn't beat them to it.
  • Immune to Bullets:
    • Episode "The Curse of Anubis." When Dr. Kareem is attacked by the mummy, he fires multiple gunshots into it but it is completely unaffected.
    • "The Sea Haunt" creature is unharmed by bullets.
    • The Robot Spy shrugs off machine gun fire and bazooka rounds.
    • The Pteranodon in "Turu, the Terrible" tanks several bazooka rounds fired at it by Race, and shooting it in the head only makes it dizzy—enough for it to fly right into a nearby tar pit and sink to its doom.
  • Indy Hat Roll: "The Fraudulent Volcano." Jonny and Hadji crawled on their hands and knees under a closing security door — Hadji just made it by throwing himself forward.
  • Invincible Incompetent: Jonny is pretty powerless through the show's whole run, and is constantly being plucked from danger by his father and Race.
  • Invisible Monsters: The title creature in the episode "The Invisible Monster," strangely enough. At least, it's invisible until the heroes cover it with paint, allowing them to see it—and then destroy it.
  • Irony: In “The Robot Spy,” Benton uses a laser beam to take down Zin’s aerial drone. In “The Fradulent Volcano”, Zin repays the favor by shooting down Benton’s plane with his own beam.
  • Isle of Giant Horrors: Several appeared, with the beasts that inhabited them usually the result of a Mad Scientist.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: "Terror Island." Race Bannon holds up his hands and pretends to surrender to a jeep full of Mook guards. He then tosses a grenade into the jeep and dodges behind a building as the grenade explodes, killing them.
  • It's All About Me: Dr. Ashida names both his genetically engineered dragons (who already had a pre established name) and his island home after himself, noting to Race that the greatest honor he could bestow on the island is to name it after himself.
  • It's Raining Men: "The Fraudulent Volcano." Dr. Quest and Race Bannon must bail out and parachute down when the plane they're in is shot down by an invisible beam.
  • Jagged Mouth: Turu has one.
  • Jet Pack
    • "The Invisible Monster." The Quest team uses jet packs to fly around the island and find the title creature, then to escape it when it pursues them.
    • "Turu The Terrible." Dr. Quest and Race Bannon use jet packs to ascend to the top of the plateau and face the title monster, who can fly himself because he's a Pteranodon.
  • Juggernaut: Dr. Zin's robot spy that is big, spidery and unstoppable!
  • Jungle Drums: "Pursuit of the Po-Ho." Used by the title tribe.
  • Just Between You and Me: Dr. Zin in "The Robot Spy" and "The Fraudulent Volcano."
  • Karmic Death: Multiple episodes.
    • All of the examples in Hoist by His Own Petard except "Arctic Splashdown," "Mystery of the Lizard Men," and "Pirates from Below."
    • "Arctic Splashdown." While trying to murder Dr. Quest, the Big Bad is blown up by the Self-Destruct Mechanism of the rocket whose guidance control he was trying to steal.
    • "Riddle of the Gold":
      • An assassin named Ali is killed by a tiger released by the villains while trying to assassinate Dr. Quest.
      • The villain working for Dr. Zin is killed by the leopard pet of the man he murdered earlier.
    • "Calcutta Adventure." The enemy Mook pilot strafing the Quests is killed when his plane runs into some trees, has its wings ripped off and crashes.
    • "Shadow of the Condor." The Big Bad likes to shoot condors who live near his castle in the Andes. As he's trying to shoot down and kill Race Bannon in an aerial duel, a condor attacks his plane in revenge and causes him to crash into a mountainside.
    • "Turu the Terrible." The Big Bad is killed while trying to save the titular Pteranodon he used to terrorize and enslave native workers.
    • "Monster in the Monastery." A group of mooks masquerading as yeti (who tried to murder Jonny and Hadji) are killed by a real yeti who's angry about the impersonation.
    • "The Fraudulent Volcano." A group of enemy mooks flying in hover platforms ram into a cliff and blow up while trying to kill the Quests.
    • "House of the Seven Gargoyles." Dietrich (the dwarf masquerading as a gargoyle) is murdered by his boss Ivar.
    • “Terror Island”. Chu Sing Ling’s experiments involve the waste from production flowing into the nearby beach water. He’s aware but doesn’t care enough to stop now. This creates a huge lizard that causes Chu Sing Ling’s death.
  • Knockout Gas: In the episode "The Quetong Missile Mystery." Sleep gas knocks out General Fong in a couple of seconds.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Subverted in "The Devil's Tower." While Jonny, Race and Hadji are searching for Dr. Quest, Hadji suggests splitting up but Race says that they should stick together.
  • Life Energy: In "The Invisible Monster," this is one of the forms of energy the eponymous creature can devour.
  • Light Is Good: The yeti from "Monster in the Monastery" has brightly-colored fur in contrast with the dark-furred fake yetis.
  • Limited Animation: The show’s visual appeal is less based in the actual animation and more on the sleek set and character designs.
  • Little Stowaway: Lampshaded in "Terror Island." When Race Bannon arrives at the island by boat, he says that the boys (Jonny and Hadji) can come out now. When they ask how he knew they were there, Race says that they've pulled the "stowaway bit" so often that he's come to expect it.
  • Living Dinosaurs: The eponymous Monster of the Week in "Turu the Terrible" is a living pterosaur.
  • Mad Scientist
    • Dr. Ashida in "Dragons of Ashida," who used genetic engineering on lizards to increase their size and also had a Maniacal Laugh.
    • In "Terror Island," Dr. Chu Sing Ling used a chemical to grow gigantic versions of normal creatures.
    • Of course, Big Bad Dr. Zin is a scientific genius who uses his expertise in fields like robotics, metallurgy, and armaments for criminal gain.
  • Magical Native American: White Feather in "Werewolf of the Timberland."
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Villains order this for the Quest team in "Double Danger" and "Werewolf of the Timberland."
  • Matchlight Danger Revelation: In "The Fraudulent Volcano," this is how Jonny and Hadji discover they're hiding in a room full of explosives. Jonny blows the match out before anything happens.
  • Meaningful Name: In "The Devil's Tower" the villain is named "Von Deufel," very similar to "Teufel" ("devil" in German).
  • The Meddling Kids Are Useless: Played straight at the start by Jonny and Hadji. They do get better, though.
  • Mighty Glacier: The slow-moving mummy in the opening credits. Bye-bye, walls.
  • Missing Mom: Jonny's and Hadji's moms don't appear. Jonny's mother is absent because she's dead (the first episode "The Mystery of the Lizard Men" states that Jonny's mom died — from what is unknown). Hadji's mother isn't mentioned at all.
  • The Mole
    • "The Quetong Missile Mystery." Lieutenant Singh of the Quetong Police has sold out to General Fong.
    • "Skull and Double Crossbones." Jose the cook is secretly a member of the pirate crew stalking the Quest team.
    • "Treasure of the Temple." The Indian guide Montoya is in league with a ruthless treasure hunter.
    • “Double Trouble”. Race is replaced with an imposter working for Dr. Zin.
    • "The Curse of Anubis." Dr. Quest's old friend Dr. Ahmed Kareem is actually the villain.
  • Mystical India: Hadji could perform snake charming with his flute, had the fakir style powers of self-levitation and hypnosis. Amusingly, in "Calcutta Adventure" he says "and all that jazz" after saying "sim sim salabim," implying the words have no real power and are just for show.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: In "Turu the Terrible" and "Treasure of the Temple," the cast get attacked by crocodiles.
  • Noble Wolf: "Werewolf of the Timberland." The First Nations member White Feather had a wolf companion named Grey One. Grey One could understand English and obeyed White Feather like a loyal dog.
  • Non-Human Sidekick
    • Bandit is the Quests' Team Pet dog. He gets Jonny into trouble as often as he gets him out of trouble.
    • Dr. Zin has a pet raven in his last appearance.
  • Noodle Incident
    • The pilot episode reveals that Jonny’s mother is dead and that Race was assigned to be his bodyguard as a result. It’s implied her death was at the hands of Benton’s enemies, but the conversation never explicitly says how she died and the original series never brings it up again. The circumstances of her death are later retconned by the later reboots.
    • In “Riddle of the Gold,” Benton sarcastically refers to Dr. Zin (who debuts in the episode) as an “old friend” to imply they’ve been enemies for a while but it’s never established in the series when or how they first crossed paths.
  • Notzilla: In “Terror Island”, the Big Bad is subject to face a giant sea lizard as a piece of Karmic Death.
  • Now Do It Again, Backwards: "The Invisible Monster." Dr. Quest plans to destroy the title creature by reversing the process by which it was created.
  • Obviously Evil: Most Jonny Quest villains are really unsubtle in their constant dog kicking, their blatantly selfish, malevolent motives, and their choices of wardrobe and lighting. For instance, Dr. Ashida in "The Dragons of Ashida" is such an arrogantly megalomanical cackling Yellow Peril Mad Scientist that he makes the series' Big Bad, Dr. Zin, seem Affably Evil and restrained by comparison.
  • Oculothorax:
    • Dr. Zin's Robot Spy is a Spider Tank composed of a giant eye in a ball, set on spider legs.
    • The title creature in "The Invisible Monster." It's a tear-drop shaped mass of energy with one large eye in the center of its "forehead."
  • Offscreen Villainy:
    • "Calcutta Adventure": Kronick's nerve gas was said to have caused some sheep herders to get sick, but we never get to see any of the victims of this ailment.
    • "Devil's Tower": Klaus, a.k.a. Von Dueffel, was said to have been a Nazi who participated in concentration camps, but we do not see any of the camps he participated in.
    • "The Quetong Missile Mystery": General Fong's pollution of the swamp was said to have resulted in people dying from eating fish poisoned by the missile fuel. However, no victims have been shown.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Dr. Benton Quest. His known areas of expertise are:
    • Archeology: "Treasure of the Temple" (conducting research), "The Curse of Anubis" (called in as an expert)
    • Biology: "The Quetong Missile Mystery" (analyzing cause of fish death), ''Monster in the Monastery" (identifying a fake yeti scalp as antelope hide)
    • Chemistry: "Riddle of the Gold" (identifying the gold as fake)
    • Engineering: "The Fraudulent Volcano" (created an extinguisher bomb), "Pirates from Below" (designed the underwater prober), "Shadow of the Condor" (created a mining filter)
    • Geology/Volcanology: "The Fraudulent Volcano" (called in as an expert)
    • Nuclear Energy/Physics: "The Invisible Monster" (studying and destroying the creature), "The Robot Spy" (creating the Para Power Ray Gun), "Mystery of the Lizard Men" (working on laser research)
    • Marine biology: "Skull and Double Crossbones" (conducting research), "The Dreadful Doll" (conducting research)
    • Medicine: "Calcutta Adventure" (sent to analyze illness cause), "The Dreadful Doll" (developing a poison cure), "Turu the Terrible" (healing a wounded Indian)
    • Metallurgy: "Turu the Terrible" (knowledge of trinoxite)
    • Meteorology: "The Devil's Tower" (conducting research)
    • Paleontology: "Turu the Terrible" (identifying Turu as a Pteranodon by sight), "Werewolf of the Timberlands" (searching for petrified wood)
  • Out of Focus: As the original show progresses, the kids become less and less intrinsic to the plot of the week. This is especially notable in “Turu the Terrible” where Jonny and Hadji spend almost the whole episode on a swamp boat while Benton and Race take on Turu.
  • Palate Propping: "Treasure of the Temple." While engaged in underwater combat with a crocodile, Race Bannon sticks part of a broken canoe paddle into its mouth to prevent it from biting him.
  • Panthera Awesome:
    • "Riddle of the Gold" had a tiger hunt, where the hunters became the hunted. It also had a pet leopard who witnessed its owner being murdered and avenged him in the end.
    • "Pursuit of the Po-Ho" had a magnificent black panther snarling as Dr. Quest performed his God Guise act. It was also featured in the Title Sequence.
  • The Paralyzer: "The Robot Spy." The title device had two antennae that could render anyone they touched unconscious.
  • Pistol-Whipping:
    • Race Bannon uses the butt of a rifle to knock out an enemy Mook guard in "The Quetong Missile Mystery" and "The Fraudulent Volcano."
    • A Mook knocks out Race Bannon with a pistol butt in "Mystery of the Lizard Men."
    • "Terror Island." Jade knocks out a guard with the butt of her pistol.
  • Plunger Detonator: General Fong's guards use them to detonate mines in "The Quetong Missile Mystery."
  • Powder Trail: "Riddle of the Gold." After a villain ties up the Quest team and lays a trail of gunpowder to a barrel full of the stuff, Bandit saves the day by putting out the flame with his...err, tail. Race hangs a lampshade on it even then: "Isn't that a bit of an old routine?"
  • Pragmatic Evil: Several villains will tell their henchmen not to outright kill the heroes because it will alert the authorities to their schemes. This is why the villains prefer for their assassination attempts to Make It Look Like an Accident.
  • The Precarious Ledge: This trope appears in the episode "The Devil's Tower." During their escape the Quest team must ease their way along a narrow trail in a cliff with the mad war criminal Von Duffel bombing them with grenades from the air.
  • Prohibited Hero Saves the Day: In the episode "Terror Island'' after Dr. Quest is kidnapped and taken to the title island Race Bannon forbids Jonny and Hadji from going along on the rescue attempt. They act as little stowaways and come along anyway. Once on the island they steal a tractor and use it to ram the building where Dr. Quest is being held prisoner, killing the Giant Spider that was about to kill him.
  • Protagonist Title: The show is named for one of the main characters, Jonny Quest.
  • Ptero Soarer: "Turu the Terrible." Turu the trained (and toothed) Pteranodon. (To be fair, the "teeth" are presented as a serrated bill — but that is hardly accurate, either.) Turu is depicted as gigantic, and is shown grabbing Dr. Quest with his feet and carrying him away through the air.
  • Puppy Love:
    • In the two movies based on the 80's series, Race's daughter Jesse and Jonny appear to be about 10 to 12 years old. She kisses him in both movies.
    • The governor's daughter in "The Dreadful Doll" gives Jonny and Hadji each a peck on the cheek at the end of the episode, then offers to let them both kiss her. They decline.
  • Put Their Heads Together: "Terror Island." Race kicks a guard in the butt and causes his head to collide with that of another guard, knocking them both out.
  • Real After All: In "Monster in the Monastery," a group of Communists dress up as yeti to scare a group of monks. They're eventually discovered dead, ripped to pieces by an unknown force. At the end of the episode, a real yeti, the one that killed them, is seen walking into the mountains.
  • Red Alert:
    • Episode "The Sea Haunt." As the title creature climbs onto the deck of the ship the captain tells a crewman to "Sound the alarm! All hands on deck!," and an alarm bell starts ringing.
    • In both "Arctic Splashdown" and "The Robot Spy" there are "scramble alerts" at Air Force bases, with jets taking off. In "The Robot Spy" the Duty Officer actually says he's going to call a "Red Scramble" and pushes a Big Red Button with the label "Red Alert."
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning
    • "Monster in the Monastery." The fake yeti (who are malicious enemy agents) have red eyes.
    • "The Robot Spy." The eponymous opponent - which was sent by the Diabolical Mastermind Doctor Zin - has one large red eye.
    • "The Invisible Monster." The eponymous monster, which drains the very life energy of its victims, has one large red eye. Though in its case, that's only because of the paint that hit it in the eye was red.
  • Red Scare: Three episodes ("Arctic Splashdown," "Pirates From Below" and "The House of Seven Gargoyles") involved Russian or Eastern European Communist villains and three had Chinese Communist villains ("The Quetong Missile Mystery," "Terror Island" and "Monster in the Monastery"). “The Mystery of the Lizard Men” sees the villains trying to sabotage a US moon mission, implying they’re working for a Communist power.
  • Reflective Eyes: "Pirates from Below." A guard's eyes reflect glints from Hadji's ruby.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Hadji at first, until a 1960s episode where they talk about how they all first met.note 
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: "Dragons of Ashida." The title character has large lizards similar to Komodo dragons that he considers his pets. He uses them for hunting human beings and as security for his island.
  • Rope Bridge: "The Devil's Tower." While making their escape from the title place, our heroes have to cross a rope bridge while an insane World War II Nazi Germany war criminal is throwing grenades at them from a biplane. One of the grenades hits the bridge and breaks it while Dr. Quest is crossing it, requiring him to be pulled to safety.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: "Skull And Double Crossbones." Modern day pirates force the Quests to help them obtain sunken treasure.
  • Scary Scorpions: "The Curse of Anubis." A desert scorpion menaces the Quest team, but Race Bannon kills it with a whip.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Done in at least one episode with Johnny on a motorbike being chased by villains in a jeep.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax:
    • "The Mystery of the Lizard Men." The title characters are agents of a villain planning to destroy a U.S. space shot with a laser. They wear wetsuits and appear to be reptilian.
    • "Werewolf of the Timberland." One member of a gang of gold smugglers masquerades as a werewolf to frighten off investigators.
    • "Monster in the Monastery." A group of Chinese agents wear yeti costumes in order to frighten villagers. Subverted in the end, when a real yeti shows up and takes care of them.
  • Second Person Attack
    • "Dragons of Ashida." When one of the dragons starts up a hill after Race Bannon, Race rolls down a boulder at it. We see the boulder approaching from the dragon's point of view, just before it hits.
    • "A Small Matter of Pygmies." When Race, Jonny and Hadji roll boulders and logs down the hill at the pygmies climbing up it, we see the boulders and logs approaching from the pygmies' point of view.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: "Arctic Splashdown." The missile has a self destruct device so it can be destroyed in mid-flight if it goes off course.
  • Sensory Tentacles: Doctor Zin from the episode "The Robot Spy" constructed his stealth robot with two sensor plates on long tendrils, meant to analyze Doctor Quest's Ray Gun. These sensor tendrils also mind-wipe Red Shirts that discover the robot skulking about.
  • Sensor Suspense: "The Robot Spy" starts with a scene at a U.S. Air Force base. Radar operators watch the approach of the title device on a radar screen before calling a Red Alert.
  • Shield Surf: "Monster in the Monastery." Jonny and Hadji uses a large shield-like gong to slide down a hill and escape the villains.
  • Shirtless Scene: All 4 of the main characters in various episodes. The Quest home, Palm Key, has a beach that the characters use in multiple episodes.
  • Shout-Out: "That's a horse of a different color!" in "Attack of the Tree People."
  • Siege Engines: Catapults flinging flaming missiles in "Monster in the Monastery."
  • Silicon-Based Life: Not quite. Hard Rock, the man of living stone, was an ancient human whose body had been changed by radiation into solid carbon.
  • Slippery Skid: "Monster in the Monastery." Jonny shoots arrows to break oil bags hanging from the ceiling, and the chief yeti slips in the oil, rolls down some stairs and falls to his death.
  • Slow Laser: In the episode "Mystery of the Lizard Men'' the villain had one that was visible, moving at a VERY slow speed. It was so slow that the ship's captain could see and report it coming, and likewise Dr. Quest could order his crew to move a mirror to intercept it in order to reflect it back and destroy the enemy ship.
  • Smelly Skunk: Bandit has an encounter with a skunk in "Werewolf in the Timberland," with unfortunate results. Even White Feather and Gray One run away from the skunked Bandit, and Jonny is left giving his dog a bath.
  • Smug Snake: Dr. Ashida fits pretty well. Despite boasting of his skills and claiming Sumi calls him "his finest pupil," the only direct hits he lands on Race in their "friendly" sparring match are cheap shots and he's rather easily dealt with once Race starts fighting back. Sumi puts up a far more intimidating fight. Also, he might have bred the eponymous dragons, but it is Sumi who truly commands them as their trainer, a fact made abundantly clear when Sumi, tired of Ashida's shit, throws him to them to be devoured while Ashida can only flail and scream.
  • Snake Charmer: Hadji. When the Quests first meet Hadji in India in the episode "Calcutta Adventure" he is charming a cobra while playing a recorder-like instrument. In the episode "The Curse of Anubis" Hadji uses his flute to control deadly snakes and send them away.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: "Werewolf of the Timberland." The First Nations character named White Feather could speak to wolves and owls (and presumably other forest creatures).
  • The Speechless: Julio, the Baron’s servant from “Shadow of the Condor” is said to have been born mute. Turns out he can talk just fine and the Baron is furious to learn Julio has tried to warn the heroes that the Baron plans to kill Race.
  • Spider Tank: "The Robot Spy." The title device was a globe with a single large eye set in it, with four long legs sticking out of the top. It was invulnerable to firearms up to and including a tank's main gun.
  • Stab the Scorpion: "A Small Matter of Pygmies." The pygmy who cuts Hadji's bonds.
  • Standard Hollywood Strafing Procedure: "Calcutta Adventure." An enemy Mook makes multiple strafing runs against the Quests, who are riding in a vehicle at the time.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: "Werewolf of the Timberland." White Feather disappeared repeatedly while talking to Johnny and Hadji.
  • Stock Phrases
  • Submarine Pirates: "Pirates from Below." They arrive in a submarine and steal the Underwater Prober. Later they attack the Prober in torpedo-firing one man subs.
  • Tap on the Head
    • "Mystery of the Lizard Men." The title opponents are knocked out as follows: Race Bannon (1 punch, 1 judo chop), Jonny (1 by air vent grill, 1 by swinging pulley, 2 by oar, 1 by facemask).
    • "Werewolf of the Timberland." White Feather hits Blackie over the head with a club and puts him down.
    • "The Fraudulent Volcano." Hadji takes out a guard with a swung lantern and Race drops a guard using an elbow to the solar plexus.
    • "The Dreadful Doll." Race nails Korbai with a plank and Alverjo brains Harden with a scuba tank.
    • "Monster in the Monastery." Hadji thwacks one yeti with a club and crowns another with a crate, Jonny takes out two yetis with thrown pots and a yeti puts himself to sleep with a thrown rock.
    • "The Devil's Tower." Race knocks out a sleepy caveman with his own club.
  • Team Pet: Bandit regularly provides comic relief, as well as getting the team into trouble (and out again) and going for help.
  • Tempting Fate
    • "Pirates from Below." The enemy leader is waiting for a mine attached to the Quest's underwater probe to detonate. Unfortunately for him, Race Bannon has removed the mine and let it drift up to the leader's ship.
      Enemy leader: Their time is almost up. It is just a matter of seconds. (BOOM!)
    • "Turu the Terrible." Dr. Quest and Race Bannon are sitting in front of a campfire.
      Race Bannon: Well, so far so good, eh doctor?
      Dr. Quest: And surprisingly peaceful.
      Turu the Terrible: (detects them and starts making its warning call, then attacks)
    • "The Devil's Tower." Klaus is dive-bombing the Quests with grenades but repeatedly misses. He then yells "This time I cannot miss!" His next grenade ends up in the wing of the biplane he's flying, blowing up the wing and sending him spiraling down to his doom.
  • That Was the Last Entry: "The Sea Haunt." The Apocalyptic Log of a ship's captain describes how he and his crew were threatened by a monster.
  • Throw a Barrel at It
    • In "The Sea Haunt," the monster throws a barrel at Race Bannon while he's in the ship's paint room.
    • Race knocks a couple of barrels at a henchman in “The Calcutta Adventure.”
  • Throwing the Distraction
    • "The Dreadful Doll." Hadji throws a rock to distract Korbay so Jonny can free Race Bannon.
    • "Terror Island." Race Bannon throws a coin to distract some guards.
  • Timmy in a Well: Bandit and Superintendent Owens in "Skull and Double Crossbones."
  • Title Sequence Replacement: Much like what had been done with The Jetsons a year before, when the original series and the 1986 revival were syndicated together on The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera, the original show's Title Sequence was replaced with the revival's. Even the Episode Title Cards were redone in the new series' style, with the writers' names added.
  • Tranquilizer Dart: "The Quetong Missile Mystery" and "Pirates from Below"
  • Toxic Friend Influence: In the original series Jonny was sometimes this to Hadji. Jonny would come up with crazy ideas that got them into danger (often against the wishes of his father and Race Bannon) and Hadji would reluctantly go along with him.
  • Trap Door: The title Villain uses one in "Dragons of Ashida."
  • Tribal Face Paint: "Pursuit of the Po-Ho." The title opponents have a variety of white markings on their faces to indicate their tribal nature.
  • Trojan Horse: In "The Robot Spy" Dr. Zin tricks Dr. Quest into taking the title device inside a military base. Race calls the trope out by name.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Possibly. The date is never explicitly stated, and aside from the sci-fi gadgetry the series looks like it's set in the era it was made in.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: "The Robot Spy." The title opponent is escaping. Dr. Quest decides to use his latest (untested) invention, the Parapower Ray Gun, to try to take the robot down. As it turns out, the gun is Cool, but Inefficient; it stops the robot, but not the way it was supposed to.
    Race Bannon: What if they can't stop it, Doctor?
    Benton Quest: Then we'll use my Parapower Ray Gun.
    Race: But you don't even know if it works! You haven't tested it yet!
    Benton: We don't have a choice. We have to test it now. We've got to stop the robot!
  • Vampiric Draining: "The Invisible Monster." The title creature can drain the energy from a human body by touch, thus "consuming" the person.
  • Van in Black: One is keeping an eye on the Quests in "The Quetong Missile Mystery."
  • Villain Ball
    • The villain of “The Devil’s Tower” decides to steal the Quest clan’s plane and strand them on the plateau even after Benton straight up offers to help him off the plateau. He also decides after getting the plane off the ground to stay and try to murder the heroes rather than just fly to freedom. He dies as a result.
    • "The Quetong Missile Mystery." General Fong’s decision to kill his own man for failure bites him when the dying man lands on a detonator and blows a mine under Fong’s boat.
  • Visible Invisibility: "The Invisible Monster." It left burning... er... blob-prints where it "stepped" and blew up anything it touched, so there was a clear delineation of where it had been. How Dr. Quest and Race were able to make it visible by dropping paint balloons onto it is never explained.
  • A Way Out of a Cave-In: In "Treasure of the Temple," the Quest team is canoeing along an underground river, trying to find a way out. Doctor Quest notices crocodiles on the shore of the river, from which he deduces that the river must lead to an aboveground jungle stream. When the team reaches a fork in the river, Doctor Quest decides to let the current decide which way they'll go. He believes that it will be strongest in the main channel — that is, the one that leads to the surface.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: "The Fraudulent Volcano"
    • In the opening sequence, an old man manages to escape from the underground base. He doesn't appear at any subsequent point in the episode, and there's nothing to indicate that he contacted the authorities in any way.
    • When Johnny, Hadji, and a police sergeant go off to rescue Dr. Quest and Race Bannon, the sergeant is attacked by two enemy guards and left in a heap. Jonny and Hadji take off and leave the sergeant behind and he doesn't appear again in the episode. It's not even made clear if the guards killed him or just rendered him unconscious.
  • Win Your Freedom: In "Dragons of Ashida" the Mad Scientist Dr. Ashida refuses to let the Quest team leave his island, but he promises to let them go if Race Bannon defeats his servant Sumi in a judo match. Of course, he never said when he would let them leave.
  • Wild Wilderness: Any episode from old to new has this trope to a T.
  • Would Hurt a Child: None of the villains have any qualms trying to harm or kill Johnny and Hadji.
  • Yellow Peril: Dr. Zin... and Dr. Ashida, and General Fong, and Chu Sing Ling — heck, the series lived on this trope.
  • You Have Failed Me:
  • You Shall Not Pass!: In "Dragons of Ashida," Race Bannon volunteers to stay behind and distract the title dragons (sort of like huge monitor lizards) so the Quests can escape. He manages to take out both dragons through clever actions and escapes.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
    • In the opening scene of "Riddle of the Gold," a Maharajah is shown working with Dr. Zin’s organization to produce fake gold. After he crows that he and Zin will now be the two richest and most powerful people in the world, Zin’s agent assassinates the Maharajah with a cigarette lighter fitted with a trick poisoned spike, stating only Dr. Zin will become rich and powerful from this operation.
    • "House of the Seven Gargoyles." After Dietrich steals the MacGuffin of the episode, he demands payment for his work. His superior, Ivar, responds by shooting him off a parapet with a rifle.


Video Example(s):


The Robot Spy

A short video featuring highlights of the most iconic machine in the "Jonny Quest" franchise.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpyBot

Media sources: