You fight til' the end
You are my best friend
Let's be heroes!
OK K.O.! Let's start the show!"
OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes is a Cartoon Network series created by Ian Jones-Quartey, formerly co-executive producer for Steven Universe, also known for his work on Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors. Jones-Quartey even uses this series as the Grand Finale of his infamously abandoned RPG World webcomic in one episode.
Set in the year 201X, in a world populated entirely by the kind of characters you'd find in trading cards and old-school fighting games, a fierce battle rages on two sides of the road on Route 175: the villainous Box More, created by Lord Boxman to sell weapons to ne'er-do-wells, and the righteous Lakewood Plaza, a strip mall of ragtag heroes that combat Box More's petty schemes. Among the residents of Lakewood Plaza are the staff of the hero supply shop/convenience store Gar's Bodega: K.O., an energetic young boy determined to prove himself as the world's greatest hero, Radicles, an apathetic, narcissistic alien, and Enid, a levelheaded big sister-like employee.
Originally Lakewood Plaza Turbo, a short that premiered as one of Cartoon Network's minisodes, it was expanded into a series of shorts and an app game with the name now changed to OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes. The minisodes were animated by various studios, including Science SARU, Studio Yotta, Moi Animation/Mua Film, and Powerhouse Animation. On August 1, 2017, it premiered as a full-length series on the network, with Studio Trigger providing the storyboards for the opening sequence and animation production duties alternating between Digital eMation and Sunmin Animation.
On June 14, 2019, Dana Snyder, the voice of Doctor Greyman, said on Reddit that production on the series has ended, and in an interview Quartney revealed that the show's Grand Finale would air later in the year.
Has a Best Episode Crowner.
The pilot, shorts, and series feature examples of:
- Actor Allusion:
- Aerith and Bob: The character names range from normal (Enid, Carol) to more exotic (Radicles, Drupe) to what might be nicknames (K.O., Red Action). Interestingly, Lord Boxman gives all his robots human names, like Darrell or Shannon.
- Affectionate Parody: The world is a love letter to Beat 'em Up and Fighting Games, as well as Shōnen Fighting Series. K.O. himself was even originally voiced by Stephanie Nadolny, the former English voice for young Goku and Gohan.
- Affably Evil: Lord Boxman and Professor Venomous. Both are like A Father to His Men. In "We're Captured", Boxman even tries to balance having a dinner party with Professor Venomous and keeping K.O, Enid and Rad captured and keeping Shannon and Darrell from messing it up (which Shannon almost does by singing "her song" which happens to be The Diarrhea Song) with disastrous results.
- After the End: If Crinkly Wrinkly's character sheet is to go by, the world of OK K.O.! has gone through two apocalypses and three doomsdays, and Crinkly is 500 years old. It's quite evidenced as shown in "No More POW Cards", the map of the world shows that some areas are altered, such as Australia being divided into three continents and California and Florida being separated from the United States.
- All There in the Manual: Several details about the minor characters and background characters can be found in the official OK K.O.! tumblr account.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: The human[oid] characters have natural skin tones as well as unnatural such as blue, pink, and purple.
- An Aesop: The episodes usually have something good to take away from them. For example, the aesop of "A Hero's Fate" is "it's good to take breaks and have fun once in a while".
- Ambiguous Time Period: It's set in year 201X, so it could be set anywhere between 2010 and 2019.
- The show's creator describes its style as combining decidedly-American character/art designs and Limited Animation with the visuals effects and snappier editing more common in anime, especially the older type. He dubs this mix of styles "Hanna Barb anime", citing Steven Universe (which he previously worked on) as another example, and credits Dexter's Laboratory with inventing the concept.
- The opening sequence is very reminiscent of Hiroyuki Imaishi's work at Studio Gainax and Studio Trigger. It helps that the man himself did the storyboards.
- The cartoon has animesque style character due to the fighting game and shonen anime influences.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "The Power Is Yours" starts with Dr. Blight noting how well Boxman pollutes the area. Cue examples of Jethro sliding through an open oil slick, Ernesto getting melted by radioactive waste spraying out of a pipe, and Darrell leaving the faucet on when brushing his teeth.
- Artistic License Law:
- In "Let's Not Be Skeletons", a single congresswoman is able to make a unilateral decision to ban skeleton remotes on the spur of the moment.
- In "Boxman Crashes", the same congresswoman is able to give Professor Venomous his ransom money.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Quite a bit.
- The Mega Jethro in "Jethro's All Yours".
- The Big Darrells in You're Level 100" and "T.K.O".
- K.O. himself in "Just Be a Pebble".
- Author Avatar: Three of the writers/storyboard artists, Ryann Shannon, Geneva Hodgson, and Stevie Borbolla, are represented by three of K.O. and Dendy's classmates, Nanini, Genesis and Bobo, respectively.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: Certainly applies to a lot of characters in the show, such as "Professor Venomous", "Mad Sam", "Dynamite Watkins", and the list could go on. Tends to overlap with the more exotic names.
- Bad "Bad Acting": Vormulax in the "Boxmore Infomercial" short is obviously reading aloud her lines from a cue card, judging by the poor inflection and random pauses in her dialogue.
- Battle Rapping: In "You Are Rad" - though the purpose was to identify the "real" Rad, not insult each other.
- Beach Episode: The aptly titled "Beach Episode", where the main characters are challenged to the ultimate beach battle.
- Berserk Button: Do not trash Enid's counter or insult/hurt K.O. in front of her or Carol. Nor call T.K.O. "cute", or fail Cosma (Boxman found out the hard way).
- Big Bad: The show's primary villain is Lord Boxman, the owner of a supervillain enterprise geared towards selling robot minions, which he uses to attack the Plaza.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Lord Boxman and Professor Venomous form one in the second season's episode "Boxman Crashes". Venomous is ultimately bored with the investors and just wants to fight heroes again, so buys Boxmore from the board and reinstates Boxman as CEO to combine their resources.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: The third season reveals Shadowy Figure to be an independent antagonist working to bring out T.K.O. As it turns out, Shadowy Figure is, in fact, the turbo form of Professor Venomous, who wasn't aware of it himself. Shadowy's goals are separate from Boxman and Venomous', and once he gains full control in the form of Shadowy Venomous, he ousts Boxman yet again, thus becoming the sole Big Bad.
- Big Sibling Mentor: Rad and Enid serve as this for K.O., as well as his superiors at Gar's Bodega.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Old lady Ginger convinces K.O. to steal a rare piece of candy with her, and openly lampshades the fact that she'll double-cross him at the end, which she does, and enjoys every moment of it.
- Bi the Way: Enid, as confirmed by the creator.
- Bland-Name Product: A few examples of parodies in real life products have been hidden throughout the series. Notable examples include:
- The tumbleweed customer was after a product called Frosty Blaze. That sounds an awful lot like a parody of Icy Hot.
- Enid's manga during the flashback include a Death Note parody called "Debt Note" complete with a character resembling Light Yagami holding a pear instead of an apple, a Bleach parody called BEACH which has a spiky black Anime Hair young man with a blade, a generic Yaoi-Looking cover, and a series called Ninja Love which was pretty much designed to look like a romance between Naruto and Sasuke.
- Blue Is Heroic: K.O., Enid, and Rad wear blue (Enid and Rad have blue shirts while K.O. has a blue vest), and the plot of the show is about being heroes, specifically K.O. trying to become a hero.
- Bragging Theme Tune:
- The second part of the pilot episode's theme song tells how K.O., Rad, and Enid beat up robots."But the heroes of Lakewood Plaza ARE READY TO FIGHT!
K.O., Rad, and Enid are in battle mode
Punch and kick the bad guys 'till they all explode
Power up and fight, let's watch an episode of
LAKEWOOD PLAZA TURBO!"
- The series' theme song compliments K.O.'s determinator and Cheerful Child traits.
- The second part of the pilot episode's theme song tells how K.O., Rad, and Enid beat up robots.
- Breaking the Fellowship: Kwame mentions that infighting was the reason the original Planeteers broke up and pursued real jobs.
- Broken Aesop: The ending of "Let's Not Be Skeletons" has the issue of Skeleton Remotes, the thinly veiled allegory for guns, being solved by banning them all. It comes off as broken since, anybody who's familiar with the real-life history of Methaqualone or the 18th amendment will know that banning anything considered to be a problem won't always have an entirely positive effect.
- Further, the entire episode's context made the characters look hypocritical as they themselves sold weapons, even if they intended to aid the adventurers.
- Bystander Syndrome: Despite there being other heroes at the plaza, none of them bothers to help K.O. and his friends fight off Lord Boxman's robots, and they would usually just flee the scene. Some characters are level 0 heroes just like K.O. himself, so there's not much they can do anyway. This is averted in "You're Level 100".
- The Cameo:
- The Planeteer Alert at the end of "The Power Is Yours" features Wheeler, Gi, Linka, and Ma-ti in nonspeaking roles, as well as Gaia.
- "Crossover Nexus" is a crossover episode where K.O teams up with Ben 10, Garnet, and Raven to take down the villain Strike. The four soon find out that Strike had already eliminated at least one character from almost every single Cartoon Network cartoon ever made in the last 20 years, including but not limited to: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, Sym-Bionic Titan, Megas XLR, Dexter's Laboratory, I Am Weasel, The Powerpuff Girls, Generator Rex, Cow and Chicken, Mighty Magiswords, The Amazing World of Gumball, Uncle Grandpa, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, Regular Show, Adventure Time, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Evil Con Carne, Chowder, Time Squad, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Ed, Edd n Eddy, Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Sheep in the Big City, We Bare Bears, My Gym Partner's a Monkey, Squirrel Boy, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Apple & Onion, Craig of the Creek, Clarence, Over the Garden Wall, Summer Camp Island, Codename: Kids Next Door, Mike, Lu & Og, Out of Jimmy's Head, among others.
- Cast of Snowflakes: This show has a little bit of everything in its cast. Humans, aliens, sentient food, anthropomorphic animals, robots, cyborgs, demons, angels, mutants...
- Casting Gag:
- Stephanie Nadolny, the original voice of K.O., is known for voicing kid Goku and young Gohan in the original dubs of Dragon Ball. All three characters shoot blue energy beams, scream as they power up, and have a righteous sense of justice.
- Lord Boxman is voiced by Jim Cummings, and is partially robotic but fairly incompetent- much like Dr. Robotnik in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog's workprint pilot.
- Steven Ogg is once again a villainous chemist, only this time a more family friendly variant as opposed to an Ax-Crazy, sociopathic meth cook.
- Melissa Fahn provides the voice of Dendy the hacker, who was also the voice of Ed the hacker in the English dub of Cowboy Bebop.
- Jonathan Davis guest stars as an aging headbanger who's dialogue is largely comprised of lyrics to various Nu Metal songs from his prime.
- Michael Patrick Bell voices Principal Claus who happens to be Santa Claus. And this isn't the first time he played Santa.
- Close on Title: The shorts had a habit of doing this.
- Company Cross References: In the episode "Mystery Science Fair 201X", Dendy takes K.O. to her secret lab to figure out how to get him to transform into T.K.O. as part of Dendy's science project. The entire sequence in Dendy's lab contains several references to Dexter's Laboratory (among other things, K.O. and Dendy's footsteps make the same sounds to Dexter and Dee Dee's footsteps and the former characters also walk similarly to the latter characters, and Dendy at one point speaks in Dexter's accent, even saying "Get out of my observatory!"). It gets to the point that there's literally a line of text saying "With apologies to the crew of Dexter's Laboratory :)" in the episode's The End tag.
- Compliment Backfire: From "T.K.O.", when Mr. Gar tries to stop K.O. who has turned to The Dark Side and turned into T.K.O. from destroying the Plaza:Carol: Tell him what all his hard work means to you!
Mr. Gar: Uh, huh? Oh, oh... uh, you're a valuable help at the Bodega, K.O.! Uh, excellent work! You're a very nice, helpful boy!
K.O.: Enough! Your approval's useless to me now!
- Credits Gag: Just like in The Venture Bros., supervising animation director Kimson Albert has a different nickname in the credits of each episode, taken from a line in said episode.
- The episode "The Power Is Yours!" is a crossover with Captain Planet and the Planeteers, with David Coburn and LeVar Burton reprising their respective roles as Captain Planet and Kwame.
- The episode "Crossover Nexus" is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover featuring Garnet, Ben Tennyson, and Raven trying to restore the Cartoon Network multiverse after a villain started eliminating various show protagonists.
- The episode "Monster Party" reveals that Enid used to attend the titular school from Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, and features the monster girls from the film.
- In the other direction, Rad was pulled out the show's universe in order to appear as a Guest-Star Party Member in the final episode of Mighty Magiswords.
- SDCC revealed a crossover between this show and Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Mostly averted, as Lord Boxman runs a successful company producing robotic mooks for other super villains. The problem comes in that he is so obsessed with Mr. Gar and Lakewood Plaza that he often neglects his orders, so his investors threaten to cut him off if he doesn't shape up.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: In this world, training can give you the ability to preform slide kicks, or smash a boulder with your bare fists.K.O. [to his mum]: My whole life is training!!
- Damned by Faint Praise:
- In "T.K.O.", after Enid and Rad helped do a good job defending the Plaza and K.O. has one of those "off days":K.O. [thinking to himself]: I spend all my time with cool heroes at the plaza now, but I'm still getting thrashed by Darrells? Why can't I be strong like Rad and Enid? [spoken] And how could I call myself a hero when I can't even shoot a power fist when I need it?
Enid: Hey, power isn't everything, brush-head. You've got your own heroic qualities, like ... being cute! At least you're cute.
- Later when Mr. Gar commends the heroes for their efforts:Mr. Gar: Good work, employees! I'll now praise your acts of heroism one by one: Enid, very impressive foot-eye coordination, as always; Rad, well done saving that small child with your finger beam. Great improvements from you both!
Mr. Gar: K.O.! [eagerly awaiting what Mr. Gar has to say about him] Ehh, uh... good hustle out there, now get this cleaned up.
K.O.: [disappointed as Mr. Gar hands K.O. a broom]: Oh.
- In "T.K.O.", after Enid and Rad helped do a good job defending the Plaza and K.O. has one of those "off days":
- A Day in the Limelight: A number of the shorts focus on different characters other than the three main characters, such as Carol and Dendy.
- Disappeared Dad: K.O.'s dad isn't there, and all we know about him is that Carol is raising her son alone. According to Carol in "My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad", he was a great hero.
- Doom Magnet: Gar's store in general, considering how frequently it nearly gets destroyed. Gar even lampshades this in "Point to the Plaza".Gar: WHY DO BAD THINGS KEEP HAPPENING TO MY STORE?
- Emotional Powers: Telling Rad that he's beautiful makes him blush so hard that he shoots powerful energy blasts from his cheeks.
- Enemy Mine: K.O. teams up with Darrel and Shannon in "Sibling Rivalry" so K.O. can get the sign back and the bots can prove they're better than their new brother. Double crossing ensues.
- Even Evil Has Standards: When K.O. asks Lord Boxman if he intends to cook and eat him and the others, Boxman simply says "I'm a villain, not a monster."
- Everybody Knew Already: In "Monster Party" Enid spends the entire episode trying to keep her childhood friends from finding out she's a ninja and not a witch. In the end they admit they knew already.
- Evolving Credits: Once Enid gets to POINT Academy, there are more doodles in the closing credits with each episode.
- Expository Theme Tune: The first part of the pilot episode's theme song.
- Fake Crossover: All of them. Aside from the events never being referenced or brought up in their respective series, they are outright ignored as never happening in the first place.
- Falling Into Jail: Parodied; Mr Gar grabs a customer who was only reading magazines in his store for a long period of time and places him in a cannon, which launches him in the air. The next shot pans to a prison, but the customer flies over that and crashes into a library nearby.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Miniature dinosaurs are the main fauna of the show's world. Pterodactyls soar the skies like sparrows or pigeons, while small sauropods and triceratops skitter around like squirrels. Gar's Bodega even has a baby T. rex as a pet.
- Fictional Province: Said to be set in "the midwestern state of Minnexploda", though it's based much more on Maryland.
- Floating Continent: P.O.I.N.T. Prep is built on this.
- Four-Fingered Hands: Every character shown so far has three fingers and a thumb.
- Fully Absorbed Finale: The episode "A Hero's Fate" serves as a finale for Ian Jones-Quarty's webcomic RPG World
- Fun with Acronyms: According to their theme song: "P.O.I.N.T.: We are powerful operatives, and we're super-cooperative; we investigate and neutralize every single trouble..."
- Genre Throwback: To '90s Cartoon Cartoons. When mentioning the show's key influences, Ian said that the main inspiration for the show was Dexter's Lab, and the 'Hanna Barbanime' on the network that would follow it throughout the '90s.
- Green Aesop: Captain Planet admits that neither he nor the Planeteers have been able to hold back the effects of climate change. In traditional Captain Planet and the Planeteers fashion, "The Power Is Yours" ends with a genuine but hilarious Planeteer Alert that gives good tips on how to protect the environment.
- Hartman Hips: A good amount of the female characters on the show have narrow waists and thick lower bodies.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: In "The Power Is Yours", K.O. gets the Power of Heart from Kwame. After Rad, Enid, R.M.S. and Brandon start fighting, K.O uses his power to get them to see the error of their ways and focus on working together.
- HeelFace Turn: Darrell, Shannon, Raymond, Ernesto, and Mikalya become the new defenders of the Plaza in "Dendy's Video Channel".
- Hero of Another Story: When you have a series that takes place in a shopping center for superheroes, it's only natural some of the workers/patrons give off this vibe. One example being Shy Ninja and her battles against Vormulax, which we only see the tail end of.
- Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: An odd example. Since mostly everyone in the show are heroes in some kind of form, some do regular work like normal people.
- Hipster: In "Plaza Prom", Enid is asked to break out DJ Fireball for a prom, and she reluctantly goes along with it. She's visibly uncomfortable when she has to start playing "Mainstream trash", and is later shown hooked up to a respirator with an attending EMT nearby because it hurts her so much. K.O. later tells her to go ahead and play what's in her heart, prompting her to pull out the "GOOD MUSIC".
- Humongous Mecha: Lord Boxman occasionally makes bigger versions of his robots, like Mega Jethro or Big Darrell (which is piloted by a regular Darrell).
- Hypocrite: In "Plaza Prom", when Brandon's alleged date doesn't show up, A Real Magic Skeleton accuses Brandon of lying about his date, only for R.M.S. to confess later on that he didn't have a date, to which Brandon admits as well.
- Introductory Opening Credits: The intro has the main heroes doing cool action poses that take up the screen, with their names filling in the remaining space. K.O. then punches the show's logo (which has his name in it) to pieces.
- In-Series Nickname: Two major examples include...
- Radicles usually being shortened to Rad.
- K.O. being called "Brush-Head" by Rad and Enid.
- Invented Linguistic Distinction: A minor Running Gag is that, despite the non-specific American setting, everyone uses an exaggerated Canadian pronunciation for the word "sorry".
- Instant Costume Change: As per Rule of Funny, OK K.O. characters can do this on a dime. However, the epsiode "Stop Attacking the Plaza" shows a green aura covering Enid and Rad's entire body as they execute this trope, which might imply that it's an ability of sorts.
- Jaw Drop: K.O.'s jaw hits the floor, literally, when he sees Rad's belch in "I Am Rad". He does it again when Boxman Jr. demolishes both Gar and Carol effortlessly.
- Keet: K.O., the titular hero, approaches each day working at Mr. Gar's Bodega with a never-say-die enthusiasm in his quest to achieve higher levels of heroism on his power card.
- Lampshade Hanging: Dendy has a habit of showing up out of weird places when it's convenient. In "We've Got Fleas", Rad uncomfortably wonders what Dendy was doing in his own van. Then she shows up again, still in his van.Rad: Seriously, stay out of my van.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Played for Laughs. In "Know Your Mom", Brandon talks K.O. out of giving a homemade card with macaroni borders to Carol, and he eats the macaroni. Later on, when he gets sick from eating it.Brandon: Why is this happening to me?
A Real Magic Skeleton: Your actions have consequences.
- Lethal Joke Character: Joe Cuppa, a stand-up comic who is able to take down Shannon with his jokes, which manifest themselves as giant boxing gloves connected to coffee streams.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: The show is populated by humans, humanoid creatures, Funny Animals, human-animal hybrids, robots, and at least one alien.
- Living Dinosaurs: Small dinosaurs are seen roaming around the Plaza, apparently filling in the role of small urban pests like squirrels or raccoons. Small pterosaurs also take the place of birds in this world.
- Malaproper: Video games are refereed to as "videos game" by every character.
- Mental World: After K.O. frees T.K.O. permanently, he occupies the inside of K.O.'s head, complete with a house that K.O. made for him.
- Monster Mash: Enid's family is revealed to be one of monsters in "Parents Day", with Enid herself being a witch, her father being a werewolf, her mother being a vampire, and her younger twin brothers being a Frankenstein monster and a Pumpkin Person.
- Mooning: During their epic fight near the end of "You're In Control", Boxman Jr. taunts T.K.O. by mooning him.
- Mythology Gag:
- "Legends of Mr. Gar" starts with Darrell spray painting the Plaza's sign so it reads "Lakewood Plaza Turbo Smells Bad", something he tried to do in the pilot.
- K.O. defeats young Carol by hugging her, which is exactly what he did to get her to snap out of it in "OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo".
- The Neutral Zone: Lakewood Plaza Turbo is located in the Neutral Territory.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It seems whenever there's a Villain Episode starring Boxman, K.O. and friends will unintentionally make things better for him while they make things worse for them.
- In "We're Captured", the Bodega employees could have escaped and allow Boxman to have his dinner with Venomous, because Venomous only agreed to attend Boxman's dinner with plans to sever his business relationship with him, but Enid convinces the others to stay and try to ruin the dinner. They may have ruined the dinner but it drove Boxman into a Let's Get Dangerous! moment and he defeats them with his robots, which convinces Venomous to continue their business relationship.
- In "Stop Attacking the Plaza", when Enid, K.O., and Rad tried to taunt Boxman, he ignores them. Then they think Boxman is really turning over a new leaf, so they decide to forgive him—and that sends Boxman up the wall. Unfortunately the latter happens after 24 hours have passed, so they don't get Boxman fired, they just provoke him to continue the attacks he considered stopping entirely.
- In "Boxman Crashes", defeating Boxman and Venomous ends up reigniting Venomous' passion for villainy so he and Boxman form a permanent alliance and become even more powerful, K.O. even says oops at the end.
- Noodle Incident: Something happened in Carol and Mr. Gar's past that they never talk about. The same flashback is shown each time it's brought up, involving an exploding donut shop and a sandwich falling to the ground. "Face Your Fears" reveals that Gar and Carol used to be part of a superhero team and were best friends until that day, and that the sandwich was his.
- In "Let's Take A Moment", it is revealed in a flashback that Mr. Gar had a hard time forgiving himself when he had an overtalkative moment that involved Laserblast being destroyed and Carol initially blamed him for Laserblast's demise, until he opened up to Carol about the overwhelming guilt and she eventually forgave him.
- Oh My Gods!: Characters will often say "Oh my cob!" when scared or shocked. The closest equivalent to God in their world appears to be a giant corn cob.
- Off-Model: Invoked. While the show does utilize model sheets and reference materials just as much as any other cartoon, it regularly deviates from them for the sake of comedy, with the main inspiration for this approach being Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. The general rule is, the characters are 'on model' as long as they're still recognizable.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: K.O. is a nickname. According to Parking Lot Wars, the Flash game on the Cartoon Network website, his full name is Kaio Kincaid, although this may not be canon for the main series.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They are the size of small birds, according to "Everybody Likes Rad?". Though they can still set whole humans on fire.
- New Content Countdown Clock: Cartoon Network in America did a promo for Season 2, promising a new episode every hour every weekend in May. So on Saturday and Sunday of May 2018 there was a Countdown clock leading to the top of the next hour and the next new episode.
- No Communities Were Harmed: Lakewood is based on the creator's hometown of Columbia, Maryland.
- Percussive Maintenance: "You're Level 100" starts with Rad telling K.O. that the best way to fix the POW card dispenser is to give it a good hit. The resulting hits from the duo makes the machine malfunction even more.
- The Place: The pilot is named after Lakewood Plaza, with an added "Turbo" at the end.
- Please Keep Your Hat On: It is revealed in "Let's Watch the Boxmore Show" that Ernesto wears his top hat to hide that his head is balding.
- Portrait Painting Peephole: Portraits with moving eyes are shown in Enid's house in the episode "Parents' Day".
- Production Throwback: The music used during the CN Studios Vanity Plate, as well as K.O.'s position at the end, is a reference to the Hanna-Barbera "All-Stars" logo used by early Cartoon Network productions, more specifically the mid-90s "Comedy All-Stars" logo.
- The Power of Love: K.O., Rad and Enid used a love beam to defeat Fink. This caused them to be filled with residual emotions after they shot it.
- Purple Is Powerful: Purple is a recurring color choice with some of the major characters. Notable examples include:
- Enid's hair
- Rad's powers
- Mr. Gar's necktie
- Carol's outfit
- T.K.O.'s wristbands, eyelids and aura/energy blasts
- Crinkly Wrinkly's purple fur, if his Power Level and Hidden Depths is anything to go by.
- Reactive Continuous Scream: In "You Are Rad", Mega Football Baby, K.O. (as Rad), and the air hockey hologram all begin yelling at the intensity of the situation.
- Real Men Wear Pink: The male main characters have a bit of pink in their attire, specifically K.O.'s legwarmers and Rad's pants.
- Reality Ensues: Because Boxman spends most of his time sending robots to attack the plaza, he's been neglecting his actual job of creating robot minions, which causes his clients to not receive their robots and puts his production schedule below his company's quota, which angers his investors. When Boxman Jr., his latest creation, reduces Boxmore to rubble, Cosma, his main investor, snaps and fires Boxman...out of a cannon into the sun with the help of Darrell.
- Elodie might have renewed her friendship with Enid and apologized to her but that doesn't means she actually became a better person or that her friendliness extends beyond that, when K.O. suggests that he could enroll in POINT Prep in the future, Elodie cruelly crushes his dreams, likewise Enid immediately steps in to defend him rather aggressively in spite of her friendship.
- Two for Mr. Gar
- His nervousness towards Carol, when he was in POINT, made him unable to properly seek a relationship with her, by the time he thought of finally confessing, Carol/Silver Spark had already started a relationship with Laserblast, which Rippy Roo points out.
- While he wasn't really responsible for the Sandwich Incident, he still was more focused on getting to date Carol (who at the time was in a open relationship with Laserblast) than helping his teammates, adding his neglectfulness to Laserblast's death/disappearance and Greyman's permanent power loss happening in the same day it only makes sense that Foxtail hates him as all the factors coming together made it easier for him to be the center of all blame, it also helps that Carol blamed him for the incident at the time.
- Red Alert: Red lights flash and a klaxon sounds whenever Lord Boxman attacks the plaza.
- Reference Overdosed: The series is an unapologetic love letter to video games and anime, but especially to the history of Cartoon Network, Hanna-Barbera, and western animation in general. The episode "Crossover Nexus" is one of the biggest examples of this, with it paying tribute to many of the channel's past programs and on-air branding from across the globe.
- Role Reprisal:
- David Coburn and LeVar Burton return to play their respective roles as Captain Planet and Kwame in "The Power Is Yours!".
- "Monster Party" has the monster girls from Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School make an appearance, with Susan Blu (Sibella), Pat Musick (Elsa), and Russi Taylor (Phantasma) reprising their roles.
- "Let's Meet Sonic" has Roger Craig Smith and Colleen O'Shaughnessey reprise their respective roles as Sonic and Tails.
- In Latin Spanish, Mario Castañeda returns as the Captain (from seasons 2 and 3), as does Luis Alfonso Mendoza as Kwame (from season 2).
- In Hungarian, Captain Planet (Aladar Lakloth), Kwame (Karoly Kassai) and Dr. Blight (Agnes Csere) keep their voice actors from the original series.
- Running Gag:
- Lord Boxman's obsession with watching events through Venetian blinds, to the point where in "Let's Be Friends!" he has his own set of mini blinds that fly over his desk for when he wants to "watch from the shadows like a creep."
- Kimson Albert rejoins Ian Jones-Quartey from their time working on The Venture Bros. and brings with him that show's running gag of giving him a nickname in the credits relating to a non-sequitur line in the episode (i.e. "Transformation Sequence", "Lord Butthead", etc.)
- Snap Back:
- K.O., Enid and Rad are turned into animals in "We've Got Fleas", and remain so at the end of the episode. They appear completely normal in later episodes, but this is eventually averted as "K.O.'s Video Channel" shows him in is puppy form putting on a perfectly-fitting costume of his human form.
- Rad's turning into a burger wasn't reversed at the end of "Soda Genie", and he is completely normal in the next episode.
- Ship Tease: K.O. and Potato celebrate winning first place by dancing through a field and riding a BFF-shaped rollercoaster at the end of "Plazalympics", after the Tiny Tots team wins the key to the city, with K.O.'s and Potato's photos in a gold heart locket with "Gotta Love" and "My Bud" written on them.
- Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: K.O. pulls full day shifts at Gar's Bodega, despite being shown to attend school. Rad and Enid are also high school students, but were apparently the only employees Mr. Gar needed years earlier. One might assume the show is set during summer, but we still see K.O. in school occasionally and the Time Skip between the first two seasons covered a summer where he, Rad, and Enid took off (even though you'd think they'd be working more then).
- Shout-Out: Has its own page. Lots and lots of video game references.
- Stealth Pun: One of the items for sale in Gar's Bodega is an "updog." As in "what's up dog?" "Nothing, what's up with you?"
- Stock Sound Effects: The show relies heavily on sound effect libraries from Hanna-Barbera and Filmation plus a few other effects like the bionic sound from The Six Million Dollar Man, the TIE fighter sound from Star Wars, and the Red Alert sound from Star Trek.
- Stylistic Suck:
- The "Documentary" that K.O. makes about his mom Carol. It consists of unfocused, glitch-filled footage (he even accidentally obscures a supposedly awesome technique with his thumb!), is poorly edited, and has a couple misspelled words. Carol loves it nonetheless.
- Boxmore's Infomercial features poor video quality, a "customer" who is clearly reading off of a CueCard, and footage that's very awkwardly edited together, with the last bit even cutting off Shannon's jingle for the corporation.
- Teach Him Anger: Shadowy Figure attempts to use K.O. as a pawn in his unclear scheme by giving him power via manipulating him. It fails him the second time when K.O. refuses to let T.K.O. out.
- Theme Tune Cameo: At the end of K.O.'s battle against Boxman Jr. in the Season 1 finale "You're In Control", the instrumental extended version from the short "Let's Do It Together" plays throughout.
- Later in the same episode, Lord Boxman gets fired, not only from his job, but also out of a cannon of Darrells into the sun, where he also flies past the "A Cartoon Network Original" tagline and the suspended OK K.O. letters just after said tagline; The first few seconds of the theme tune plays while Earth is still in view.
- Top-Heavy Guy: Many of the male characters have barrel chests and huge biceps but thin legs, particularly Gar and Radicles. K.O., despite being a little kid, also seems to be developing this way.
- Transformation Is a Free Action: Parodied in "Crossover Nexus". The villain Strike takes so long to power up, that K.O. is able to steal his pen gadget to return the powers to Ben 10, Garnet, and Raven. He doesn't even notice that it happens.
- Transplant: The President of the Universe was a one-shot supporting character on Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, which Ian Jones-Quartey worked on.
- Unexplained Accent: A specifically one word accent, where all the characters use the Canadian pronunciation of the word sorry.
- Unsound Effect: In "Legends of Mr. Gar", Mr. Gar explodes Shannon with a literal atomic elbow, with the explosion accompanied by "BABLOOZE!!"
- Vague Age: The show's tumblr has bios for most of the cast that list "age", but almost none of them are actual numbers. Instead most are broad categories or a variety of more descriptive answers:
- K.O. is "6-11", as apparently are his classmates like Dendy. This even makes it into the actual show, as when K.O. learns that his mother quit being a superhero 6-11 years ago, he exclaims that's exactly how old he is.
- Rad and Enid are "late teen".
- Most of the minor characters of the plaza without any obvious age are categorized as "teen", "young adult", or "adult".
- The robots are listed as "robo-[age group]". Jethro and Mikayla are "robo-kids", Shannon, Darrell and Raymond are "robo-teens", and Ernesto is a "robo-adult". The exception is Mr. Logic, whose age is "???"
- Mr. Gar is "a little past his prime". Carol's age is "rude to ask!".
- Very Special Episode: "Let's Not Be Skeletons" is an episode that talks about gun control. Coincidentally, it was released on the CN app roughly two weeks after the Parkland school shooting.
- We Have Reserves: Lord Boxman doesn't mind that his robots constantly get destroyed as he is always building more. In one instance, he throws Darrell in a furnace as punishment for failing him and a freshly-built Darrell immediately shows up.
- This is averted with Boxman Jr. since he only made one model with the single bio-chip he got from Venomous and when he was destroyed rather than making another one he held a funeral, making it clear that he didn't made any backups or copies of him.
- Wham Line:
- Played with in "Big Reveal", in that the line in question is genuinely huge and changes the story in a big way, but it's casually revealed at the beginning of the episode while K.O. and Carol are eating breakfast.K.O.: (calmly eating oatmeal) So... who's my dad?
(K.O. does a Spit Take)
- However, played completely straight with the bigger reveal later in the episode, when K.O. goes up against Professor Venomous wearing Laserblast's helmet:
- Played with in "Big Reveal", in that the line in question is genuinely huge and changes the story in a big way, but it's casually revealed at the beginning of the episode while K.O. and Carol are eating breakfast.
- World of Badass: More or less everyone in the show is a hero or villain.
- Year X: The show takes place in the year 201X.
- You Have Failed Me: Lord Boxman is constantly berating his robots for being defeated. Ironically, this happens to HIM in "You're In Control" where Cosma (with Darrell's help) has him fired... Out of a cannon, and into the sun.
- Your Mime Makes It Real: In the season two premiere, Enid has taken up mime, but she insists it's a new ninja art she learned over the summer. She's able to do things like pour her teacher an invisible cup of coffee (and accidentally spill real coffee on his crotch) and drive an invisible car. Unfortunately, Enid's new powers prove to not be very effective in a fight with Big Bull Demon.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Enid can swallow people's souls when she's really stressed out. This doesn't kill them, though, and she can give them back. Apparently, it runs in the family and was inherited from her mom (who is a vampire), who was shown to be able to do the same thing to some ghosts that were possessing K.O. and Rad.
The games feature examples of:
- Action RPG: The battles in the game are real-time, one-button Beat Em Ups.
- Card Battle Game: You can buy and collect POW Cards that can be traded with NPCs or used for "Powie Zowies" that summon assist characters in combat.
- Hub Level: Lakewood Plaza, naturally.
- Role Reprisal: The game uses the same voice actors as the television series.
Isn't it amazing when you know,
Every second that you see is
Twenty-four connected pieces
Thank you for coming,
Thank you for staying,
Thank you for watching the show."