Storm Hawks (2007–2009) is a Canadian animated action/adventure series made by Nerd Corps Entertainment and involving giant flying motorcycles, powerful crystals, and a gang of plucky teens out to save the day. Like a lot of the shows Nerd Corps has done, it's a Troperiffic piece styling itself in the vein of classic Saturday Morning Cartoons and running almost entirely on Rule of Fun and Rule of Cool.
The show is set in a fictional world called Atmos, a largely mountainous world consisting of scattered landmasses known as terras. Because of the geography, travel is largely dependent on flight. The technology of Atmos is based around energy-generating crystals, used to power the various devices in the series. Patrolling the skies of Atmos are the Sky Knights, groups of warriors who pilot motorcycle-like vehicles that can semi-transform into flying machines. These warriors are loosely managed by the Sky Council.
In the Backstory of the series, an Evil Overlord named Master Cyclonis and her people threatened Atmos. The original Storm Hawks led the Sky Knights in a war against them, but were betrayed by one of their own, the Dark Ace. Despite this, the attack was apparently successful, though the Storm Hawks did not survive the war. Ten years later, a group of teens (some human, some not) discover the wreckage of the Storm Hawks' carrier, the Condor, and unofficially take on the Storm Hawks name in the hopes of becoming Sky Knights themselves, despite most of them not even being old enough to legally fly the vehicle. Their youth defeats their ambition, however, as neither friend nor foe take them seriously because of it.
This changes when they are brought into conflict with a new Master Cyclonis, one no older than they are but still just as dangerous. Among her followers are the Dark Ace, now famous for his betrayal and unmatched skill; Snipe, a mace-wielding strong man with a fondness for smashing things; Ravess, an archer who brings a violin-playing henchman into battle for theme music; and Repton, a mercenary lizard man who leads his people under Cyclonia for the riches. By managing to foil Cyclonis' plan, they are recognized by their peers.
The rest of the series focuses on the Storm Hawks' continuing mission to protect Atmos from the Cyclonian threat, in turn putting themselves in extreme danger by doing so. Of course, they have plenty of unrelated adventures along the way.
As the second production of Nerd Corps following Dragon Booster, Storm Hawks was instead produced in association with YTV. However, Cartoon Network in the United States also helped out a little with production and would also air the series stateside, becoming among the first in a slew of Canadian imports that would rise to prominence on the channel during the late 2000s and early 2010snote . It ultimately ran for 2 seasons and a total of 52 episodes, ending on a mild Cliffhanger, with the story not completely over. With no further seasons being commissioned by the networks, the studio soon moved onto its next project, League of Super Evil, which also aired on both YTV and Cartoon Network.
Also, giant flying motorcycles. Oh yeah.
- Accidental Unfortunate Gesture: When the Storm Hawks visit Terra Wallop, they accidentally discover that extending both hands palms outward towards someone - the typical 'calm down' gesture - means "I am challenging you to a duel".
- Acquired Poison Immunity: The Colonel has trained himself to eat things that would be deadly to normal people through repeated exposure. Junko still beats him in an eating contest.
- Adults Are Useless: With some exceptions. Subverted in that, at the end of the pilot, the man telling Aerrow and company that he can't officially make them Sky Knights by way of being too young subtly (or rather not so subtly) indicates that rules aside he thinks they're Sky Knights already.
- Aerial Canyon Chase: Aerrow tries this to defeat the Dark Ace. As demonstrated earlier in the episode, the very end of the canyon is so narrow, one must turn their fliers to motorcycle mode to get through, and then back again as to not plummet to the ground. The trick here is that, earlier in the fight, Aerrow had stuck a wrench into the Dark Ace's wing mechanism, preventing him from retracting them.
- Age of Titles: "Age of Heroes"
- Air Hugging: Massively averted. Refreshingly, all of the main male characters are completely comfortable with touching one another, and no one makes a big deal of it.
- Air Jousting: While characters sometimes go for the Old-School Dogfight using vehicle-mounted weapons (mostly mooks), there's plenty of high-altitude sword-fighting to go around. Bonus points for "The Code" featuring a literal mid-air jousting duel, complete with Laser Blade lances.
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: They sell them like cars (complete with sleezy used car salesmen). And apparently, they don't mind selling them to teenagers.
- The Alcatraz: The Cyclonian prison on Terra Zartacla (which is "Alcatraz" spelled backwards) is described as inescapable, and is surrounded by a Hungry Jungle even after you get past the vigilant Cyclonian warden, Mr. Moss, and his guards. Mr. Moss states that the whole Terra is the prison due to how treacherous the jungle is.
- All-Natural Gem Polish: Every single Power Crystal in the series, even freshly mined ones, appear to be cut and polished.
- All There in the Manual: The Storm Hawks website has a few details that don't get mentioned in the show, although some of it may be a case of Characterization Marches On.
- Always a Bigger Fish: In "The Black Gorge," Stork describes the Gorge Sloths as being one of the most terrifying and dangerous creatures that resides in the titular Black Gorge. By the end of the episode, though, it's revealed that they're actually pretty near the bottom of the Black Gorge's food chain; the reason the "safe" route through the Gorge goes through every other hazard in the place and avoids shortcuts is because all of them are more deadly to the sloths than any would-be explorers, and the shortcuts are there for the sloths' benefit.
- Ambiguously Brown: Piper has a much darker skin tone than most other human characters, but because this is a fantasy world with heavily stylized artwork her actual race is unclear.
- Ambiguously Bi: Besides the series long Ship Tease with Aerrow, Piper appears to get rather giddy whenever she meets an attractive woman who matches her interests, particularly Starling. Then there's whatever she and Master Cyclonis have going on together...
- Ambiguously Gay: Cyclonis appears to have a questionable interest in Piper that goes beyond just wanting her as an asset...
- AM/FM Characterization: Finn is a fan of rock, reflecting his unserious attitude, while the responsible Piper, in contrast to him, enjoys much lighter fare. It is a point of conflict between them in "Absolute Power" when Finn keeps changing Piper's music.
- Amplifier Artifact: Enhancer stones, which according to the Dark Ace can boost a person's abilities a hundredfold.
- And I Must Scream: Implied for the Sky Knights thrown in the Crystal Prison that Master Cyclonis acquires from the Far Side. Don't worry, they all get better. Though possibly subverted since Cyclonis basically says that they're frozen in time and thus are not aware of what's going on outside.
- And the Adventure Continues: The series ends with the Storm Hawks journeying into the Far Side in pursuit of Master Cyclonis.
- Animal Theme Naming: There's loads of avian theme naming. With the exception of Radarr, Master Cyclonis (though her "Lark" cover-name plays it straight) and the Dark Ace, the main cast all have names that reference bird species. (Aerrow was originally named "Sparrow," Finn was "Finch", Junko is a corruption of Junco, etc. Also, Piper was originally "Oriole", so she's had two bird names.) Even the characters who aren't directly named after birds still reference flight in some way. Radarr is obvious, while Cyclonis is named after a weather phenomenon. Additionally, Piper is also the name of an airplane company. It would be simpler to list the aversions to this trope. The show's creators took the idea and ran with it.
- Anime Hair: Almost all the characters have spiky hair that defies gravity.
- Anti-Magic: Blocking crystals temporarily nullify the effects of other crystals.
- Applied Phlebotinum: Crystals power nearly everything in the setting.
- Arch-Enemy: Though it's not played in the way you might expect. Action Girl Piper is more often paired off (in more ways than one) with Big Bad Master Cyclonis and The Hero Aerrow fights her dragon, the Dark Ace. Completing the circle, The Lancer Finn is the Arch-Enemy of Dark Chick Ravess.
- Artistic License – Physics: A majority of the flying machines (mostly airships) are not very aerodynamic at all, yet they can fly just fine, to say nothing of the few instances of skimmers being able to hover in place despite not being equipped with anything that looks like it would allow such behavior. Then again, in this series Applied Phlebotinum and Rule of Cool team up to tell the laws of physics to take a hike.
- Asskicking Leads to Leadership:
- The Wallops. Their entire culture is based on strength.
- Cyclonia follows this precept too, given that its ruler is one of a grand total of two residents of the planet to have a Type 3 Super Weight before Piper gets her own power-up.
- Every squadron save for the Cyclonians is led by a Sky Knight, an elite rider that every citizen recognizes as a badass.
- Bad Boss: Every major villain in the series have abused their underlings in one form or another, from Master Cyclonis threatening her underlings to Repton yelling at his 3 underlings/brothers. The only exception to this is the leader of the Murk raiders Captain Scabulous, who acts like A Father to His Men.
- Bag of Holding: Piper's crystal bag. It's about the size of her fist, but it can somehow hold several crystals, most as big or larger than the bag. "The Key" is an episode that displays it's Hammerspace capabilities well.
- Barehanded Blade Block: In "The Key" a super empowered Aerrow grabs the Dark Ace's sword with one hand and twists it into a useless piece of scrap metal. The Dark Ace's expression makes this particularly memorable.
- Batman Gambit: Aerrow allows himself to be captured and placed Cyclonian prison so he can escape and cause a diversion so that his team can free the other prisoners.
- Battle Aura: Those who cast or are affected by The Binding have this.
- The Battlestar: The Condor seems to have very powerful guns, and also acts as a carrier for the Storm Hawks.
- Bear Hug: Junko picks up Piper and Aerrow in one at the end of "Storm Warning".
- Beast Man: Wallops are rhino-themed beastfolk with Super Strength. They're generally considered the Dumb Muscle of Atmos.
- Beginner's Luck: The Dark Ace, the most powerful warrior of Cyclonia, and the man responsible for the destruction of the original Storm Hawks, meets his match against a plucky 14 year old boy. And it won't be the last time. To be perfectly fair, though, Aerrow got his ass handed to him the first round. The Dark Ace was kind enough to give pointers on how to fix his technique.
- Two episodes later the Dark Ace curbstomps an entire Sky Knight squadron in less than a minute.
- Berserk Button:
- Do not mess with the Condor, or Stork will go Kill Bill on you.
- Calling Junko a "gleep" might not be the best idea either...
- Radarr doesn't appreciate being referred to as a "pet".
- Bifurcated Weapon: Aerrow's daggers can be joined at the hilt to form a Double Weapon.
- Big Bad: Master Cyclonis is the Evil Overlord commanding Cyclonia, and therefore the the main threat to Atmos throughout the series.
- Big Entrance: Aerrow in "Tranquility Now" when arriving to bail out the others. He crashes through the face of the clock tower with his skimmer, somersaults off of it while it slides across the floor and crashes into Snipe and Ravess, and lands in a crouch in front of his team.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: All the human characters.
- Blade Lock: Basically any fight scene between two named characters will have at least one of these. Can happen with other weapons too, such as in the case of Starling's nunchucks versus Ravess's violin bow.
- Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Skyside Shanty's signature extra potent, quadruple malt vinegar.Junko: Kinda sour, but I like it.
Finn: What a shock.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three human members of the Storm Hawks: Finn is a blonde, Aerrow is a redhead, and Piper has dark hair (drawn as a deep blue, but can be interpreted as stylized black).
- Blow You Away: Windstone crystals when used as weapons.
- Booby Trap: The Forbidden City has them in abundance, and Stork has rigged the Condor with them in case of intruders.
- Boot Camp Episode: "Talon Academy". Although, in this case, it's more of a "going undercover in the enemy's boot camp episode".
- Brains and Brawn: Ravess and Snipe, respectively, although later episodes don't involve them working together as much.
- Brainwashed and Crazy:
- Junko in "The Masked Masher", after a mishap involving hypnosis.
- Carver returns and pretends that his betrayal in the pilot had been due to this.
- Brawler Lock: In "Gale Force Winds", Aerrow and the Dark Ace wrestle with interlocked hands on top of the Dark Ace's sky ride while lightning cracks dramatically around them.
- Brief Accent Imitation: In "Escape!", Aerrow briefly imitates Mr. Moss' accent to mock him.
- Broken Pedestal:
- Domiwick to Piper. Finding out that your hero is an amoral bastard that has no qualms about working with the bad guys tends to have that effect.
- The BARHF Wallops to Junko once he tires of their rudeness and taking breaks when they should be working.
- The Brute: Snipe fills the role of "big, burly, none-too-bright villainous henchman" for the Cyclonians.
- Bubble Pipe: Stork has one, and uses it extensively in "Leviathan", but it's commonly seen when the crew is digging through piles of junk.
- Buffy Speak: Junko in the pilot: "The beacon tower! It's stopped... beaconing!"
- "Atmos' Most Wanted" has numerous callbacks to episode 1. Piper saying "Freeze!" just before using a freeze attack, Finn kissing an arrow before loading it into his ride's crossbow, and Junko remarking "Ooh, that looked like it hurt!"
- Starling saying "Too easy" before firing from her skimmer in "Cyclonia Rising", which she'd done previously in "Storm Hawks Seven".
- The last line of the series, spoken by Aerrow as the Storm Hawks marvel at the Far Side, mirrors his words from the intro of episode 2: "This is gonna be fun."
- In "Origins", Finn does his signature crotch-land after having his ride destroyed, and vows that it will be the "last time that happens".
- At the end of "Origins," we see Master Cyclonis working on the storm-making machine she uses in the pilot episodes.
- Camera Obscurer: In "Stratosphere", Aerrow passes over the unseen Far Side and takes some photos. One is a selfie, one is the reflection of the camera flash in the window, and one has his finger blocking the photo.Aerrow: [sheepish] Guess I'm a lousy photographer.
- Canada, Eh?: The Blizzarians are pretty much a race of Canadian stereotypes (minus perhaps the "crashing into giant ice pillars with snowmobiles" part).
- Captured on Purpose: In "Absolute Power", Starling's part of the plan involved letting herself get captured; she hid her weapon up her sleeve and waited until the right time to use it to break out of her shackles.
- Cardboard Prison: Terra Gale's idea of a prison is basically a metal cage with no top that goes up to the Storm Hawks' waists. They seem more amused by it than anything, and Junko knocks the whole thing down with one finger.
- Cargo Cult: The natives from "Shipwrecked", who start worshipping the Condor, but don't take too kindly to Stork (who's been stranded with it).
- Car Radio Dispute: At the beginning of "Absolute Power", the team is in the bridge of the Condor, working to the sound of record music selected by Piper. Finn keeps swapping it out for one of his own records instead, and Piper ends up blowing up at him and throwing his record across the room.
- Cast from Hit Points: The Super Empowering abilities Piper gains in the last few episodes takes a cost on her health.
- Character Narrator: Aerrow narrates the opening sequence.
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted. Dove and her peers are tough, brave warriors and defended their Terra until the very end. Though they DO like eating cheese.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Oracle Stone from season one turned out to be the key to a door that leads to the Farside of Atmos. and again when Piper enlarges it so the Condor can fly through.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Gundstaff, who later aids Piper, and Arygyn, who's actually a Guardian of Atmos.
- Child Mage: Master Cyclonis and Piper are both young teenagers with an encyclopedic knowledge of the world's magical crystals and how to wield them.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Master Cyclonis is 14 and rules The Empire. She appears to be very good at being an Evil Overlord. Being a powerful dark witch probably helps.
- The Chosen One: Subverted with Finn in "King for a Day", as he's expected to perform a Heroic Sacrifice; however, he abuses a technicality to become a Chosen One for real. Played straight with the Storm Hawks as a group, Aerrow and especially Piper in particular.
- Chronically Crashed Car: With the amount of dogfighting in the series, it should be no surprise that the characters' rides will occasionally show up no worse for wear after being totaled. Finn's skimmer, which gets sliced in half on a regular basis, is probably the worst offender.
- Clear My Name: The premise of "Atmos' Most Wanted": someone is framing the Storm Hawks for stealing valuable artifacts, and it's up to them to find out who while all of Atmos thinks they're to blame.
- Clock Discrepancy: In the episode "Five Days", when Aerrow breaks nearly every bone in his body and has to remain motionless for five days for a repair crystal to heal him, he starts noticing some small minor problems with the ship, including a clock running three ticks too slow. Then Master Cyclonis attacks their ship to take back the repair crystal (that Piper stole). She looks at the clock thinking the crystal needs ten more minutes to completely heal him so she removes the crystal from Aerrow's cast. Just when she's about to finish him off, Aerrow points out that the clock was slow and that he was healed two minutes ago and fights back.Aerrow: Those ticks add up.
- Clock Punk: Terra Glockenchime is an enormous clocktower that powers a timing beacon used by pilots for navigation. It's full of gears and pendulums.
- Clock Tower: The Timepulse tower on Terra Glockenchime.
- Cloning Blues: "InFinnity" has Finn get cloned. A lot.
- Collapsing Lair: Due to the storm it summoned, once Cyclonis' storm-making machine is broken, Cyclonia suffers massive damage.
- Comedic Underwear Exposure: At the end of "The Lesson", Finn picks up a whip that had gotten stuck to the Storkmobile and gives it a flick, making Stork's pants fall down.
- Convection, Schmonvection: "Fire and Ice" and just about any time the cast's in the Wastelands. "Fire and Ice" is particularly egregious about this, as the episode has most of the Storm Hawks and Absolute Zeroes stranded on a tiny rock, surrounded by lava, and the Zeroes start cooking hot dogs using the heat from the lava, yet somehow the characters themselves are perfectly fine. Yet, a bit of reality does creep into the show to an extent. A vehicle touched by lava will heat up in seconds, forcing the rider to abandon it immediately, and if the lava is less than 2 meters away, you will start to catch fire.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Word of God says the Storm Hawks are all orphans, and "Origins" hints at this.
- Cool Gate: The door in the tropical temple that Stork finds actually leads to the Far Side.
- Cool Ship:
- That super ship they built in "Velocity", from all the discarded parts and weapons.
- Crazy-Prepared: Piper knows all Crystal related trivia, and Stork knows just about every possible natural (and imaginary) danger they might face.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Finn and Stork. While their antics may be amusing, and they're not always reliable, there's a reason the team counts on them as their sniper and mechanic, respectively.
- Crystal Prison: Captured sky knights get thrown into one of these in "Cyclonia Rising".
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The Colonel single-handedly defeats the Storm Hawks with surprising ease in "A Colonel of Truth".
- Curious as a Monkey: The Merb kids from "Scout's Honor". Especially Owlsley, who's always taking things apart.
- Cypher Language: The written text within the show. Word of God says you can make out the text if you look hard enough.
- A Day in the Limelight:
- "Calling All Domos" revolves around Finn and Stork as they answer a summons from Vapos; the rest of the cast are tied up in an unrelated subplot that involves taking Junko to the dentist.
- Radarr gets this in the aptly named "Radarr Love". The others come into the plot later on, but their path mostly remains separate from Radarr's until the end.
- "Power Grab" is one for Cyclonia as a whole, focusing on the shenanigans that ensue when Cyclonis puts Ravess in charge temporarily with no mention of the Storm Hawks at all (see Villain Episode below).
- In "The Ultra Dudes", Finn is sent off on an errand, with the adventure that ensues being the focus of the episode. Radarr accompanies him, but his role in the episode is minimal. Ironically, the errand being assigned to him was just an excuse to keep him out of trouble.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Death from Above: The orbital cannon in Stratosphere.
- Deflector Shields: The Condor had them...until they were permanently destroyed halfway through the Pilot.
- Depraved Dentist: Junko makes a point that normal dentists aren't like this. Wallop dentists, on the other hand, play this very straight, complete with various power tools that look more like some sort of torture chamber. They don't always pull the right tooth on the first try either.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the episode "Royal Twist," Piper gets a REALLY good massage...
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: Stork: "We're doomed!", "Our next stop will be the Cyclonian battle platform... of DOOM." Not to mention the "doom-deploying weather balloons of doom", or "Doom, doom, suffering and doom."
- Doppelganger Link: The Cloning Crystal can make duplicates of a person when exposed to sunlight. The clones and the original all feel pain when one of them is hurt, as Snipe discovers when he hurts one Finn clone and all of them react in pain.
- Double-Meaning Title: The first episode, "Age of Heroes", refers both to an era of heroes and to the main characters being too young to be an official squadron.
- The Dragon: Dark Ace to Cyclonis. There's also Eyeball, the second-in-command to Captain Scabulous.
- Dressing as the Enemy: The team has done this a couple of times, with Aerrow and Finn typically dressing as maintenance workers and Piper and Junko as guards.
- Drunk with Power: Finn's guilty of this in a number of episodes, as are most of Cyclonis' generals and lackeys (the latter is especially prominent in "Power Grab").
- Drunk on the Dark Side: Both Master Cyclonis and the Dark Ace suffer this in the finale. In the midst of both villains' Villainous Breakdown, Cyclonis attempts further empowering the Dark Ace by drawing on and redirecting Far Side energy through herself into him. It isn't enough for the Dark Ace to challenge the heroes, and he's reduced to ranting and raving at Cyclonis to give him "MORE!" She complies, but seemingly herself gets carried away by the power, and doesn't notice she's overloading the Dark Ace with too much energy until he implodes.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Harrier, Suzy Lu and several Sky Knight squadrons who'd have more significant parts in later episodes appear in "Age of Heroes" in this capacity.
- Easy Impersonation: In "Atmos' Most Wanted", the Raptors are able to pass themselves off as the Storm Hawks to frame them for a bunch of crimes. The citizens of the Atmos must have been blind or stupid (possibly both) not to notice that the 'Storm Hawks' had tails and, in the case of two of them, had suddenly become overweight.
- Embarrassing Initials: In "Home Movie Night", Piper's health-and-safety mantra acronym is "Use Plenty of Caution Handling Unstable Crystals", much to her friends' amusement and her exasperation.
- Emerald Power: The Far Side, implied to have highly advanced crystal technology if the stuff Cyclonis gets her hands on is any indication, is illuminated by an eerie green glow.
- Enemy Mine: Subverted in "The Ultra Dudes." Ravess doesn't offer any help other than a cryptic hint when Cyclonis becomes their common enemy.
- Etiquette Nazi: The Rex Guardians are introduced as old-fashioned, stuffy rule-sticklers.
- Evil Counter Part: The main Cyclonians all seem to be these to the Storm Hawks: Dark Ace and Aerrow are the ace warriors, Cyclonis and Piper are the brains of the crew and master crystal mages, Snipe and Junko are the muscle, Ravess and Finn are the sharpshooters, and Repton and Radarr take the role of Non-Human Sidekick.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Radarr can tell the character of the week in "Best Friends Forever" and "The Black Gorge" are up to no good. However, he gets ignored until they show their true colors.
- Evil Is Easy: In "The Black Gorge", it's revealed towards the climax that the Spiny gorge sloths use their short-cuts through the gorge because they don't want to go through the trouble of facing the gorge's other monsters. In comparison, Stork insists on taking the longer (if more perilous) routes because he knows the sloths will take the short cuts and are actually unaccustomed to facing the gorge's dangers.
- Evil Laugh:
- Talons tend to chuckle menacingly a lot. Each of the main Cyclonian characters also have their moments, and even the Raptors have their raspy-sounding cackles.
- Cyclonis does an evil cackle in the finale.
- Evil Overlord:
- Master Cyclonis of Terra Cyclonia and the Cyclonian Empire as a whole, who else?
- Repton, to a far lesser extent, as he's the ruler of Terra Bogaton, but still considered a lackey to Cyclonis.
- Evil Versus Evil: The Storm Hawks use this as their plan to avoid certain doom in "Terra Deep", where they lure the Murk Raiders towards the Cyclonians so they can fight while they make their escape.
- Exit, Pursued by a Bear:
- When a Phoenix Crystal is put in danger, the phoenix bonded to it is summoned to relentlessly attack whoever's responsible - and in this universe, they're birds with a twenty-foot wingspan that are usually on fire. As such, the Dark Ace hooking one up to his sword goes exactly as well as you'd expect, and despite his efforts to shake it off he's ultimately forced to throw the crystal away and let the phoenix have it before it can quite literally melt his ride.
- Mr. Moss and Hamish are last seen being accosted by the Fire Scorpions they brought in to sic on the Storm Hawks. The problem is, they just ran out of scorpion feed.
- Expecting Someone Taller: When Aerrow and Cyclonis first meet in "Age of Heroes", both remark on the other's young age.Aerrow: [pointing] Shut down the machine and give me back what you stole! [confused, lowering hand] Master…Cyclonis?
Cyclonis: Let me guess. You're that pesky Sky Knight. Aren't you a little young?
Aerrow: I was gonna say the same thing about you.
- Expressive Mask: The goggles worn by Talons.
- Extreme Omnivore: Junko and the Colonel are both able to eat all kinds of foods, up to and including many things that would be poisonous or at the very least unappetizing to most. Junko's stomach proves to be just a hair tougher, though.
- Fallen Hero: The Dark Ace and Carver, both of whom were Sky Knights before betraying their fellows to Cyclonia for glory and power. The difference is that the Dark Ace was successful, while Carver was foiled.
- False Friend: Lark in "Best Friends Forever" (actually Cyclonis in disguise) to Piper, though perhaps not as false as she herself believed.
- Family Theme Naming: Repton's brothers (Hoerk, Luegey and Spitz) have the lovely distinction of names that all deal with expulsion of mucus.
- Fanservice: Stork and Finn get quite a few shirtless scenes throughout the series that show they're quite toned. Aerrow doesn't get as many, but he makes up for it in length by going the latter half of "Escape!" shirtless.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Wallops have elements of Scotland in their culture. Dove's home Terra is based off France. Terra Vapos is something like Atlantis. There's another Terra based on Australia.
- Fight Unscene: Always that exact same impact star animation. If you're lucky, it might be a different colour!
- Final Battle: The series finale, somewhat subverted in that the villain escapes.
- Finishing Move: Every Sky Knight is supposed to have a "special move", which usually ends a fight if it connects. We see ones from Repton, Aerrow, the Dark Ace, and Starling at various points.
- Aerrow's, the Lightning Claw, makes a pair of blue energy wings appear behind him as he swings his blades together, unleashing a large energy blast.
- The Dark Ace does a backflip, as if winding up, before swinging his sword down, unleashing a large energy blast.
- Repton jumps up while spinning, his boomerang trailing flames, before unleashing it in a throw.
- Starling handsprings into the air, where she whirls her nunchuck above her before swinging it and unleashing a wave of energy.
- Finn attempts to create his own in "The Ultra Dudes", which he calls the "Finnito", and manages to pull it off by the end. He tosses his crossbow into the air while doing a combat roll, then catches it and fires off a shot.
- Flaming Sword: The effect of using a phoenix crystal, though it's generally not a good idea to do so unless you like being chased by giant fiery birds.
- Flying Seafood Special: With sky sharks being the most prominent example. "Leviathan" even brought in a flying Moby-Dick.
- Four-Fingered Hands: All the non-human characters have these.
- Fridge Logic: In-universe. Noob points out that Aerrow sometimes deploys his skimmer wings manually and sometimes automatically. Aerrow, more concerned with the fact that they're free-falling at the time, brushes this off with "We got upgrades."
- Fumbling the Gauntlet: In "A Wallop For All Seasons", the Sky Knights travel to Junko's home, where Piper accidentally bumps into someone. She raises her hands placatingly - and Junko hastens to intervene, because this is how his people challenge each other to a fight.
- Fugitive Arc: In "Atmos' Most Wanted", the Storm Hawks discover that they've become wanted criminals and have to work to clear their names while evading their fellow Sky Knight squadrons. The crimes they're wanted for turn out to have been a series of Frame Ups by the Raptors wearing Paper Thin Disguises.
- Fun with Acronyms:
- "Energy Crisis" and the Suit of Untold Vengeance, or S.U.V.
- In "Home Movie Night", Piper advises to Use Plenty of Caution Handling Unstable Crystals, or U.P.C.H.U.C.Piper: [sincerely] I always U.P.C.H.U.C. Do you?
- Gadgeteer Genius: Especially in "Statosphere" where Stork and Piper are able to analyze how the enemy has built an aircraft that can fly in the Stratosphere (which has never been done before) and then get the Condor to do the same.
- Gentle Giant: Junko. Easily the strongest among the main cast, and nary a mean bone in his body.
- Gilligan Cut: In "Velocity:Finn: Relax! Aerrow's a Storm Hawk, there's no way he can lose!
(cut to Stork)
Stork: There's no way he can win.
- Girls with Moustaches:
- In one episode, the characters, including Piper, eat some "Beard Berries".
- Piper is seen disguising herself with a fake mustache and glasses in "The Masked Masher".
- The Glomp: Piper did this to Stork in "The Black Gorge," and Junko loves these.
- God Save Us from the Queen!:
- Master Cyclonis's grandmother, who was the previous ruler of Cyclonia.
- Anarchis, the preproduction version of Cyclonis, was an adult.
- Goggles Do Nothing: The Talons wear goggles which could ostensibly keep the wind out of their eyes, but considering that other characters don't seem terribly bothered by it...
- Gondor Calls for Aid: The Murk Raiders arrive just in time to tip the balance of the final battle.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: The Storm Hawks emblem is blue, and many good guys have blue weapons. Cyclonians use red weapons and have a red and black color scheme. Yellow is also a common weapon color, but is used by good and bad guys alike (such as the Rex Guardians and Raptors respectively).
- A Good, Old-Fashioned Paint Watching: In "Royal Twist", Piper (involuntarily) swaps places with Princess Peregrine in a Prince and Pauper plot. She discovers that the Princess's duties consist of a never ending stream of mindless activities designed to keep her busy and out of affairs of state. One of these activities is judging a paint drying competition.
- Goofy Print Underwear: In "The Lesson", Stork's pants split, revealing underwear with skulls and crossbones on it.
- Graceful Landing, Clumsy Landing: Happens three times in "Forbidden City".
- When the team falls through a trap door, only Aerrow and Piper, the most agile of the physical fighters, manage to land on their feet. All the others, who are more prone to slapstick or comic relief, crash bodily to the ground.
- When the team dismounts from the ceiling, everyone lands easily enough except for Radarr, who crashes and stands up stunned with his eyes spinning.
- When the team is leaping through a hole to escape a rolling boulder, everyone makes it through the hole fine except for Finn, who smacks his head on the top of the hole as he passes through.
- Great Escape: "Escape!" revolves around Aerrow and Radarr busting out of a Cyclonian prison.
- Hand Wave: In "Number One Fan", Aerrow gives a couple of these. Why did he sometimes need Radarr to transform his skimmer when other times he didn't? He got upgrades. What does Finn do when his skimmer gets wrecked? "He's got a spare."
- Heal Thyself: "Five Days" When Aerrow becomes badly injured, Piper comes to the rescue with a Crystal that can heal him perfectly. The problem is that the name of the episode is how long it takes for the crystal to heal.
- Heel–Face Turn:
- Junko joined the Storm Hawks by pulling one of these.
- Gundstaff, initially antagonistic, grows tired of working under Cyclonis and eventually aids Piper.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Helmets in this series are primarily worn by Mooks.
- Here There Were Dragons: Literally. Dragons used to be common in Atmos, but they were hunted to extinction thousands of years ago when people first took to the skies. Well, almost to extinction...
- Here We Go Again!: "Thunder Run" has the Storm Hawks accidentally getting on the Colonel's bad side and being dispatched on a quest for "Rozen-Yoga" (actually frozen yogurt, but heard as such due to the Colonel's thick accent) to appease him. By the end of the episode, Piper loses her temper and snaps at him, forcing them to run another errand for displeasing him again.
- Heroic BSoD: In "Leviathan", Stork goes into Sky Shock after they lose the Condor.
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker: In "Radarr Love", Aerrow and Piper do this as a joint attack to take down a pair of guards.
- High-Altitude Battle: Specifically, high-altitude swordfighting on motorcycles. What's not to like?
- Hitchhiker Heroes: A partial example, at least. Junko and Stork joined separately, and in that order, after Aerrow received the quest to find the Condor. The others were already with him, but seeing as they didn't all grow up on the same terra, they might or might not have followed the same pattern. All we really know is that, according to Word of God, Radarr is about 7 or 8 years in age and was a pup when he met Aerrow.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- Starling defeats Repton by deflecting his boomerang back at him — it misses him but cuts down his wall of shields, which then falls on him and leaves him at her mercy.
- Repton falls off the edge of his terra when he's struck by his own boomerang, thrown by his own hand.
- Ravess tries to off the Storm Hawks in "Storm Warning" by tricking them into stealing a crate of Leech Crystals. Later, Ravess picks up Finn's crossbow and tries to shoot Aerrow with it, realizing too late that it was loaded with a Leech Crystal. Kaboom.
- Ravess again in "The Lesson", where she gets shot down by her own homing arrows thanks to some Deadly Dodging by Junko.
- Snipe was tricked into destroying his own ride in "Age of Heroes".
- Ravess suffers this again in "Stratosphere". First she uses Master Cyclonis's new battle platform to attack the Storm Hawks from the stratosphere which results in them knowing about the platform in the first place. When the Storm Hawks attack the platform to bring it down, Ravess launches the Exopod, a new Cyclonian weapon that can destroy targets from the exosphere. Aerrow and Radarr knock the Exopod off its projection just as Ravess is about to use it on the Condor, causing her ship to get hit instead.
- It's a common theme for the Storm Hawks to trick the Cyclonians into attacking each other, or even themselves.
- Hollow World: Sort of. ''Dark Waters" reveals that there are underwater caverns that extend straight through to the other side of the Atmos, and there seems to be life in them. Domiwick gets to the far side using these tunnels. The Deeps go far down enough that the increase in atmospheric pressure can crush an airship.
- Homage: "What Got Into Finn" has an entire sequence where Stork plays one to Wile E. Coyote.
- Hostile Terraforming: The Blizzarians' Terraforming of a desert terra in "Fire and Ice". The desert terra was actually (unbeknownst to them) Repton's personal leisure retreat, and the Raptors are irate at the new arctic climate. Unfortunately, the Blizzarians also didn't bother to properly check there weren't any heat-adapted animals living on the terra (which there are) before they froze it over.
- Hot Wings:
- Phoenixes. As Piper puts it, "It's a very big bird and it's usually on fire."
- One of the spells that Cyclonis uses to empower the Dark Ace gives him fire powers, which he uses to create a pair of flaming wings.
- Huge Holographic Head: Cyclonis uses one in "Cyclonia Rising".
- Humongous Mecha: Stork builds one in "What Got Into Finn?" using pieces of the Storkmobile and other stuff lying around on the Condor... He names it Storkasaurus.
- The Suit of Untold Vengeance from "Energy Crisis".
- Hypno Fool: "The Masked Masher" has Piper entrusting Finn with a Hypnosis Crystal to help Junko masquerade as the titular wrestler (long story). Needless to say, he overdoes it, with disastrous results. On the plus side, Colin Murdock was clearly having a blast as hypnotized Junko.
- Identical Stranger:
- Perry, to Piper. She uses this to force a Prince and Pauper on the latter (or rather "Princess and Piper").
- One of the Rex Guardian extras looks like an adult version of Finn. He even had his skimmer cut in half the same way that Finn is known for.
- If My Calculations Are Correct: Piper has said this.
- If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: Stork more or less sang this in "King for a Day" after Aerrow flies off to rescue Finn. He sounds disturbingly eager about it, too."We'll never see Finn again, and that part is sad enough,
But now that Aerrow is history too..." (sudden look of realization) "... I get to have all their stuff."
- Implied Love Interest: Aerrow and Piper. They're shown to be very close by the end, but whether it's platonic or a potential romance is up in the air, and never addressed in-series.
- Improbable Infant Survival: Tynki in "A Little Trouble" crawls through a Cyclonis battleship and precarious situations, oblivious to the danger, luck conspiring to see him through. For example, as he crawls on a beam and reaches the end, another beam happens to line up with it right at that moment and he proceeds along the path, none the wiser.
- Improvised Armor:
- Wren and Dove's pots and pans. Strangely, they're still using them in later episodes, when they would have had access to better stuff.
- The armour that Stork made in "The Black Gorge" out of random junk. It even has its own page on the official website.
- Improvised Weapon: Ravess versus Starling starts with Ravess throwing her violin at her.
- In a Single Bound: Characters are seen performing some truly gravity-defying leaps, Aerrow being foremost among them. Given what the series is like, it fits perfectly.
- Indy Escape: In "Forbidden City", one of the traps the Storm Hawks face is a giant boulder that rolls at them while they're in a tunnel, forcing them to run.
- Instrumental Weapon: In the first episode, Ravess invokes the appearance of this trope, using an arrow to mime playing on her bowstring as if it were a violin while the actual music comes from her violin-playing henchman. She does it again in "The Lesson", just before hitting the Absolute Zeroes with a Multishot.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Stork is a twenty-something-year-old Merb hanging out with a bunch of 14-year-olds, though he seems to have the mentality of a teenager, rather than that of someone older.
- Interspecies Romance: The Chicken keeps trying to achieve this with Radarr, but with little success.
- Invisibility Cloak: In crystal form, of course. Cloaking crystals turn whatever uses them mostly invisible, but shimmery outlines are faintly visible and it doesn't completely hide the glow from skimmer thrusters.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Finn in "What Got Into Finn?" keeps transforming into a monster after he's affected by a crystal.
- Ironic Echo: In "Gale Force Winds", the Dark Ace knocks down Aerrow and points his sword at him, declaring: "Checkmate." Aerrow manages to get away with the Dark Ace in pursuit. As the Dark Ace is closing in on Aerrow, he suddenly finds himself surrounded by Aerrow's allies, including the massive Condor. Turning to face the Dark Ace, Aerrow throws his earlier words back at him: "Now that... would be checkmate."
- Irony: In "The Lesson", Aerrow attempts to catch a roller coaster by running on the track in front of it, leaping as it passes under him, and grabbing onto the back. He succeeds, but soon loses his grip and goes flying, tumbling head over heels and landing on his feet on the ride platform. This incredible display of agility is directly followed by taking a step backwards and slipping on a Banana Peel.
- It Belongs in a Museum: Used as an insult by the Dark Ace while fighting the Rex Guardians:"Where'd you find your rides? A museum?"
- It's Personal with the Dragon: The Big Bad of the series is Master Cyclonis, leader of Cyclonia. But the one Aerrow really dislikes personally is her right-hand Dark Ace, who betrayed the previous Storm Hawks team and possibly killed his father. The feeling is mutual. This trope is also inverted with Master Cyclonis herself, as she personally has a vendetta against Piper, both being top-notch crystal users who had a brief friendship. Though Cyclonis would rather see Piper join her team than kill her.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While it's easy to brush off Chief Thragg's statements that "Cyclonia is strong, Sky Knights are weak," as typical Proud Warrior Race Guy, "fighting is awesome, anyone who espouses peace is a coward or weak," tripe, it's hard to refute his words entirely. Cyclonia has been winning the war fairly consistently up until the series began, and even after the Storm Hawks get involved, Cyclonians are still taking over more and more Terras. Sky Knights are shown again and again to screw up or get wiped out, or are shown barely holding the line, protecting what territory they hold on to. Meanwhile, Cyclonia continues to produce more warships, more Talon soldiers, and expands its industrial and military might every day. Many episodes have the good guys purely on a defensive stance, with far fewer showing them taking the fight to Cyclonian bases.
- Snipe claims that the Storm Hawks "May want you to think that they're the good guys, but they're nothing but renegade hooligans who want to mess up Master Cyclonis' Plan!" Given that they were never officially endorsed back on Terra Atmosia, they're all children, and they do want to mess up Cyclonis' plans, he's absolutely correct From a Certain Point of View.
- Just a Kid: The initial reaction to the current generation of Storm Hawks. It even prevented them from being officially registered. Fortunately, all their hard work pays off and they get unofficially recognized as worthy successors and heroes in their own right.
- Keep Away: The Storm Hawks play this game as practice, much to Starling's frustration.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": The Storm Hawks look up to many older heroes.
- Kraken and Leviathan: The Leviathan appears in the episode of the same name. Leviathan is usually a seas monster, but since Atmos is a world where The Sky Is an Ocean, this beast flies in the clouds.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: Both Master Cyclonis and Piper are crystal mages (essentially the equivalent of wizards in this setting) and are both shown to be equally skilled with using staffs and hand-to-hand combat. Piper's fighting style is even referred to as "Sky Fu."
- La Résistance: The Sky Knights of Terra Gale until Cyclonia destroys the Terra completely are this, with most of their Terra conquered and occupied. They continue to strike back from the last bit of Terra Gale not under occupation. Fittingly, they have french accents, referencing the French Resistance against Nazi Germany (of which there are parallels in Cyclonia).
- Large Ham: Most villains not named Master Cyclonis have a healthy amount of pork in their diet (and even then, she gets her share of cold cuts), but the big three are Snipe, Captain Scabulous, and Repton. For ham of the non-villainous variety, there's always Stork's rants about the eleven million dangerous things in Atmos.
- Laser Blade: Standard weapons throughout Atmos. Deactivated, they look similar to regular swords, except for their blunt and often impractically shaped blades. Upon activation, the blade lights up with energy, which forms the cutting edges.
- Lawful Stupid: The Rex Guardians follow a very antiquated code and believes in strictly. It's shown that their strict rules are useless in the real world as both the Storm Hawks and the Dark Ace prove repeatedly in the first episode to feature them closely.
- Ravess' theme is very distinct, and most of the time, she (or her minions) are actually playing it on a violin as she enters.
- Some other characters also have leitmotifs. Junko's is strong and trumpeting, Cyclonis's is suitably creepy, Starling's (when played in full) has a low, action-y drum beat, and Arygyn's is a whimsical flutey sound. note
- Lethal Chef: Junko. Because when you have a cast-iron stomach, everything is edible... to the chagrin of his teammates with regular stomachs.Junko: You guys are gonna be so glad you let me cook!
(Stork pulls out a piece of paper)
Stork: My will.
- Lethal Lava Land: The Wastelands between terras is ridden with lava floes and fractured earth, explaining why Atmosian people prefer staying in the sky or on mountaintops.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Though the Storm Hawks are heroes, they're still mostly just young people who like to play. But when they get serious, watch out.
- Let's Split Up, Gang!:
- In "Radarr Love", Aerrow decides to split the team up for some reason after they've just escaped from a cell. The two groups soon run into each other again, almost attacking each other.
- Happens again in "Payback", after the Condor gets destroyed.
- Little Miss Badass: Master Cyclonis is only in her teens but is already a powerful sorceress and Evil Overlord. Also Piper, who's the same age and has mostly the same skill set (minus the Evil Overlord bit).
- Lizard Folk: Raptors and Terradons are both species of anthropomorphic lizards.
- Load-Bearing Hero: Junko caught an entire airship with his hands in "Tranquility Now" to save it from crashing.
- Loony Fan: Noob, the self-declared number one fan of the Storm Hawks.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: The episode of Siren's song, where all the protagonists are trapped by their deepest wishes. Aerrow, to fight and beat his archenemy, Finn, to meet hot girls flirting with him, Junko, to get to eat a special brand of hamburgers he loves, Piper, to find an extremely rare and powerful crystal, and Stork, to acquire a new model of helmet that safeguards from mind control. Radarr is able to get them all out, because his wish was to simply to be allowed to drive the Condor.
- Lotus Position: In "Siren's Song", we see Junko sitting like this in the memory he recounts of an interrupted meditation session.
- Magic Feather: In "Tranquility Now", after Junko loses his Knuckle Busters, Finn picks up a pair of raggedy old gloves and gives them to him, claiming that they're Cyclonian Knuckle Busters that are much more powerful than his own ones, and predictably Junko starts uncontrollably flailing around and breaking things. Naturally, the jig is eventually up and Junko loses the will to fight back... until Snipe calls him a gleep.
- Mana Drain: Leech crystals drain all the power from nearby crystals before exploding.
- Master of Illusion: The sky siren creates illusions of people's greatest desires to lure them into her territory and then trap them there. This ultimately comes back to bite her when Radarr just wants to pilot the ship and she doesn't have anything to manipulate such an easily-granted desire, especially since Radarr just drives without trying to navigate to a specific location.
- Match Cut: In "Storm Warning", Piper is shown sleeping with a leecher crystal next to her. It zooms in on the crystal as it absorbs power, then fades to another leecher under a glass cover onboard Ravess' ship.
- Megaton Punch: When Snipe has Piper at his mercy in "The Lesson", he gets a bit overconfident and offers to let her strike the first blow because she's a girl. Unknown to him, Piper has just undergone strength training with Arygyn, and proceeds to hit him with an uppercut that sends him soaring over the treetops.
- Mermaid Arc Emergence: In "Dark Waters", when Aerrow escapes from underwater riding on a creature's back, they rise into the sky dramatically; at the peak, the crouching Aerrow raises his head to take in a gasp of air, his hair flipping back.
- Me's a Crowd: "Infinity" has Finn making a clone of himself to do his chores for him. Unfortunately, the clone is just as lazy as the original Finn and makes more clones to dump his responsibilities on.
- Mind-Control Eyes: In "The Masked Masher", Junko has swirly green eyes while under the influence of a Hypno Crystal.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: The Council on Terra Atmosia are all shorter than Aerrow. Likewise, other seniors in the series tend to be waist-height compared to the main characters.
- Mistaken for Misogynist: The Blizzarians have a special course that the girls don't normally run. Aerrow gets upset and insists that, cultural norms or no, Piper ought to be allowed to join them. It turns out the reason they told her to stay behind with the girls is that the course isn't quite as intense, so it's just for "squaddies"; they assumed Piper was the Sky Knight because all theirs are likewise girls, and that she'd be running the harder course with them.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Radarr is part rabbit, part lemur, and part kangaroo.
- Moby Schtick: "Leviathan" is basically Moby-Dick but in the sky, on a fantasy world, with its plot revolving around a sky-whale-thing that eats airships and Stork becoming a crazy Captain Ahab caricature in pursuit of it after it eats the Condor.
- Mooks: The Talons are Cyclonia's rank and file. There are a lot of them, but they're almost always easily dispatched if they don't run first. They also have Only Six Faces.
- Mook Chivalry: Averted in the pilot. Aerrow comes across three guards, only for the wall to open up and reveal around thirty more. Starling then takes them out with a stun grenade.
- More Dakka:
- Snipe's battleship in "A Little Trouble" is outfitted with a ludicrously large number of guns per his demands. He is warned earlier that the guns would make the ship too heavy to stay afloat which ends up being an issue when the heroes cut the power to the engines.
- He never learns his lesson, by the way, and a battleship just like the one he lost shows up later. It doesn't fare much better.
- Backfired on Finn, when he tried to put too many cannons on his ride. The added weight kept throwing off his aim.
- The super-ship created by the crews in "Velocity". It's basically just a flying gun battery.
- Snipe's battleship in "A Little Trouble" is outfitted with a ludicrously large number of guns per his demands. He is warned earlier that the guns would make the ship too heavy to stay afloat which ends up being an issue when the heroes cut the power to the engines.
- Mr. Fanservice: Stork at times in season 2, which often finds ways to show him shirtless.
- Musical Assassin: Ravess. So much so that she had a Talon fly while playing a violin just so she would have live music while she fought. She frequently forced Talons to practice different instruments with her, and punished anyone who interrupted. Not to mention building a Energy Cannon that was powered by music.
- My Defense Need Not Protect Me Forever: After Aerrow and Piper instigate a rebellion among the recruits in "Talon Academy," a squadron of Talons is called in to take them down, and they're forced to fight back with a small handful of scavenged supplies. Naturally, they eventually get overwhelmed by the Talons' numbers, but the plan was never to beat them all in the first place - they were buying time for the Condor to arrive, and when it does, it swats the Talons down like flies.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Junko's allergy to Murk Raiders and Sky Sharks has come in handy.
- My Rule Fu Is Stronger than Yours: In one episode, the Storm Hawks compete with the Rex Guardians for a powerful crystal. The competition was made up of several challenges that tested a member of each squadron, and while the Storm Hawks won every challenge, the Rex Guardians used various absurd technicalities to claim victories (save in Piper's, who used those very same technicalities to rule in her favor as payback) and ultimately win the competition. When the Dark Ace shows up, however, the Rex Guardians discover that their laws do very little good against someone who doesn't follow them, and it's up to the Storm Hawks to beat him their way.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Subverted. Junko grew disappointed not that his people were obsessed with being strong, but that the leader of his people sided with the evil Cyclonians because he interpreted their mantra of "the strongest rule because strength brings power" into one that the Wallops should ally with the strongest faction out there rather than fight its evil. Junko then proceeds to beat his superior strength and win leadership of his Terra... or would have, if he'd "finished him". Nonetheless, he calls him on it twice, accusing him of being afraid of Cyclonia, and later denouncing that strength without the will to use it for good is worthless. In a more straight example, his actions do create a cell of resistance fighters that also disagree with collaborating with Cyclonia.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The fact that Cyclonia is named after a natural disaster should be a sign that it's not a nice place.
- Never Say "Die": The show usually strays from saying it, such as with Dark Ace's remark in "The Code" about retrieving a crystal from Aerrow and Piper's "charred remains", along with Stork's Doomy Dooms of Doom. However, in "Gale Force Winds", Finn and Junko both scream they're gonna die when it looks like they're about to crash into the Wastelands. And Stork isn't afraid to flat-out say it during his various rants about impending doom.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The villains have done this to themselves and each-other a few times. Cyclonis banishing Ravess led to the latter supplying the Storm Hawks with vital information on Cyclonis' endgame out of spite in the second season, and in the Series Finale, Cyclonis attempting to empower the Dark Ace with Far Side energy both takes out her right-hand and disables the shields that were preventing her terra from being shot out of the sky.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Stork, oddly enough. He'll gladly gush about how deadly places his home Terra and the Black Gorge are and thinks Terra Cyclonia is homey.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: High altitude sword fighting on motorcycle-plane hybrids! Hell yeah!!
- No Name Given: What is the Dark Ace's real name, anyway? Is his title job related, or was it a Meaningful Rename, or...? Given the sort of names that populate Atmos, his name might actually be "Ace."
- Non-Human Sidekick: Radarr, who acts as Aerrow's co-pilot.
- Nonverbal Miscommunication:
- Oddly enough, considering their closeness, Aerrow is hopeless at figuring out what Radarr is trying to tell him, no matter how obvious it is to the viewers. Of course, the rest of the team is usually no better at it, and most of Radarr's desperate attempts to tell them anything end with him giving up in frustration.
- Happened in the episode "A Wallop For All Seasons", and Piper nearly got into a fight with a female Wallop because of it.
- No One Could Survive That!: "Escape!" has Aerrow leaping over a waterfall at one point to evade Mr. Moss, and all that they initially recover is a single sleeve. While his lackey Hamish clearly thinks Aerrow couldn't have survived, Mr. Moss is smart enough to not call off the search until they turn up something more substantial.
- Nostalgic Music Box: A music box plays in a rare vulnerable moment for Cyclonis, as she fixes the photo-crystal in "Five Days". Slowly changes to an Ominous Music Box Tune as the camera focuses on the face of the previous Master.
- Not So Above It All: When the Storm Hawks visit Junko's family store, most of them are amused at the fact that it's a ladies' underwear store. Piper tells them, "Oh, grow up, guys. Everybody needs underwear." Then she picks a giant pair of underpants off a rack and starts dancing around with them.
- "Not So Different" Remark: Master Cyclonis uses this as part of a We Can Rule Together offer to Piper.Cyclonis: See, we're a lot alike, you and me. More than you'd like to admit.
- Oh, Crap!:
- In "Age of Heroes", when Aerrow and Radarr first see Cyclonis using her powers, summoning her staff and floating ominously toward them, they both get worried, wide-eyed looks, with Radarr whimpering and shrinking behind Aerrow.
- In "The Key," The Dark Ace makes this expression at Aerrow's Barehanded Blade Block.
- Ominous Floating Castle: Cyclonia, once adapted with 'far side' technology. Thankfully it crashed in the wastelands instead of on top of anything important.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: The music heard when The Door to the Farside is on screen. It's not Latin, but it's still ominous.
- Once an Episode: If you look closely, there is a chicken somewhere in every episode.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Aerrow and the Dark Ace might not mind if somebody else tries to defeat the other outside of their control, but when they both start fighting they tend to get pretty serious about being the one to crush the other. Master Cyclonis has a pretty similar mentality towards Piper, often aiming for her specifically in group brawls.
- Only Six Faces:
- The same character models tend to be recycled throughout the show, but granted, it's probably expensive to create new models for every episode with the art style.
- It's not limited to the human characters either. Mr. Moss's trackbeasts look like palette-swapped verions of Radarr, albeit modified.
- Paper-Thin Disguise:
- The Storm Hawks end up using these on occasion as well. Such as everyone (including Piper!) wearing fake mustaches.
- The Chroma crystals allowed Piper, Aerrow, and Radarr to pass themselves off as non-Storm Hawks, by virtue of palette swap (and the place they're infiltrating being run by Snipe). At least they changed up their hairstyles.
- Parental Abandonment: Possibly parental death at the hands of the Cyclonians.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Aerrow and Piper's respective disguises in "Talon Academy" have blue and pink hair. Ironically, their regular hair colors are an inversion: Aerrow is a redhead while Piper has dark blue hair.
- Plot Allergy: Junko and his Murk Raider allergy (which actually comes in handy as it lets him sneeze Murk Raiders across the room). Also his Sky Shark allergy.
- Power Crystal: As noted, they're the basis of Atmosian technology.
- Power Glows: Crystals glow, as do most weapons that draw from their power, such as swords.
- The Power of Rock: Done in "The Storm Hawks Seven". Finn uses his powered up guitar to take on Ravess's powered up violin.
- The Power of the Sun:
- Solaris Crystals absorb and store solar energy, making it essentially an Atmosian photovoltaic cell, and due to it not being the same type of energy generated by other power crystals, it isn't sapped by the Black Gorge. Which would've been extremely helpful for the Storm Hawks after they got stranded there, if Junko and Finn hadn't wasted the charge of Piper's Solaris Crystal on a barbecue.
- The Cloning Crystal's ability to make clones of people is triggered by exposure to sunlight.
- Precursors: Remnants of their civilization are seen in "Forbidden City" and "Shipwrecked". The Precursors are later revealed to have some connection with the far side of Atmos.
- Prince and Pauper: The episode "Royal Twist" featured a "Princess and Pauper" story. Oh, and the pauper didn't exactly agree to the switch beforehand; rather, Princess Peregrine beaned Piper in the head with a book, dressed her up, and split town before she could wake up.
- Properly Paranoid:
- Stork. He's always in a constant state of fear of everything that could harm him, his ship, and his teammates. He's usually right.
- This is apparently standard-issue in Merbians. Merbians are convinced that anything that can go wrong, will, because Terra Merb is a place where it does.
- Leads to a moment of awesome when the murk raiders get onboard and he gets to use his various booby traps and anti-theft devices.Stork: (mockingly) That'll never come in handy, Stork. You're wasting your time, Stork. Hmph. (smirks) I was right, the rest were wrong.
- Leads to an even more impressive moment when he launches MASTER CYCLONIS OUT OF THE BRIDGE!Master Cyclonis: Hello Storm Hawks.
Stork: Goodbye Master Cyclonis! (ejects her from the Condor)
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: "Talon Academy," has Piper and Aerrow angrily denouncing the Talons, because they're recruiting children into their forces and using propaganda. Not only are Piper and Aerrow fourteen years old, they look to be about the same age as some of the kids recruited. Furthermore, we learn later on that Aerrow, Piper, and Finn were recruited by the sages. So the moral is that it's not okay for Cyclonians to allow children to join their military of their own free will to protect and expand their homeland, but it is okay to tell children that they have no choice but to become soldiers in a war against a military juggernaut "Because Destiny Says So." note
- Ram by Braking:
- In "Age of Heroes", when the Raptors are chasing the Condor through the pipes, Stork brakes and lets them collide with the back of the ship.Stork: I hate tailgaters.
- In "Life with Lugey", Aerrow is chased by Hoerk at one point. He brakes, clipping Hoerk's skimmer with his own and sending him spinning out of control.
- In "Payback", when Finn is on Marge's ship and they're being attacked by Talons, Marge pulls on the brake once the Talons are behind them, causing their skimmers to collide with the much larger airship.
- In "Age of Heroes", when the Raptors are chasing the Condor through the pipes, Stork brakes and lets them collide with the back of the ship.
- Recap Episode: "Home Movie Night" might count. It doesn't really explain what has happened throughout the series, but it's basically a filler episode with clips from previous episodes.
- Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: Double subversion. Despite having the paperwork together, the Storm Hawks are initially barred from being registered as Sky Knights due to their youth (Stork technically being the only exception being in his twenties), and their age gets lampshaded with varying degrees of disbelief for the first couple of episodes by other Sky Knights. However, their skills and successes against Cyclonia due result in them getting recognized regardless.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: The colour theme of Cyclonia. Granted, they use a lot more dark green than black, but the visual effect is similar.
- Red Baron: The Dark Ace has quite the appropriate nickname for the most skilled fighter of Cyclonia.
- Red Sky, Take Warning:
- Terra Cyclonia's sky is red. That's how you know it's evil...
- The crystals used by the Cyclonians also seem to change the color of the sky to a degree, which would explain Cyclonia's unique horizon.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Played straight with the Raptors, a squadron of bandits working with Cyclonia; averted with Terradons, who are a harmless species of scientists.
- La Résistance: In their first appearance, Terra Gale's Sky Knight squadron has been captured and the terra is under Cyclonian occupation with only a small resistance movement standing against them.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Inverted with the Dark Ace, who was well rewarded for his betrayal. But in the end this trope is played straight when he pretty much disintegrates when Master Cyclonis pumps too much energy into him during the Binding.
- Rhino Rampage: Wallops are basically anthropomorphic rhinos.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Stork, in "Payback," after Repton blows up the Condor. He single handedly liberates all of Terra Bogaton.
- Rousing Speech: Attempted by Aerrow in "Age of Heroes", but he ends up trailing off and ending weakly. He does a successful speech in "Cyclonia Rising".
- Rule of Cool: Rides and flies on it.
- Rummage Sale Reject:
- While not impossibly outlandish, the clothes worn by almost all of the characters looks to be stitched together from different pieces of fabric. This is most likely for the punk feel, and Rule of Cool. The pieces of metal that they place randomly on their bodies, however, appears to be completely useless.
- A better example would be the armor worn by Wren and Dove, which consists mostly of kitchen appliances.
- One character mentions how real fabric is hard to come by anymore. This might imply that the Cyclonians took over whatever Terra was specialized in cloth production. Or that they destroyed it.
- Running Gag:
- Finn's motorcycle being destroyed mid-air. Bonus points if he falls crotch-first onto the hood of a teammate's cycle.
- Also, there's a chicken in almost every episode. Sometimes they fly across the screen, sometimes they play a part in the episode, and sometimes they just hang around.
- Ravess's violin player getting shot down. Bonus points if it was by one of Ravess's arrows.
- Saw It in a Movie Once: In the pilot episode, Aerrow performs a dangerous stunt that he claims to have seen in a cartoon.
- Scenery Censor: In "Stratosphere", when Stork is naked in the background, there's always a convenient foreground object covering his butt.
- Scenery Porn: Atmos is a pretty place.
- Shapeshifting: The Gorge Sloths in "The Black Gorge". Their default form appears to be a Ridiculously Cute Critter, but when exposed to sunlight, they become giant Yeti-like monsters.
- Sheathe Your Sword: In "Forbidden City", as the stone guardians advance on the Storm Hawks. Finn fires on one, only for it to reform itself. Aerrow orders the team to stand down, putting his own weapons away and holding up his hands in a gesture of peaceful surrender. Once the guardians walk up to them and deem them not a threat, they crumble to pieces.
- Shirtless Scene:
- Aerrow in "Escape!", after he rips up his shirt to turn into a bandana.
- Played with hilariously in "Stratosphere" where Stork makes his first appearance in that episode wearing nothing but a towel and losing it not one minute later. Cue screaming and drooling fangirls/boys.
- Most of the cast in "Shipwrecked", for the entire episode.
- Finn has the most in number, if not in total screentime. Besides "Shipwrecked", there's "Siren's Song" (lounging on the roof sunning himself in his flashback), "Stratosphere" (randomly lounging around barbecuing when they're supposed to be preparing for a mission), "What Got Into Finn" (his shirt is lost due to Clothing Damage from his transformations), and "Royal Twist" (during Sky Surfing).
- Ship Tease: Aerrow and Piper have this to an extent, as shown at the ending of "Stratosphere," the moment Aerrow manages to land after his Skimmer nearly crashes in "Second Chances," and the final episodes.
- One of the background extras in "Dark Waters" highly resembles a one binomial.
- Staldorf and Watler, from "Terra Neon", are an obvious reference to Statler and Waldorf.
- "Terra Deep" recreates the cloud scene from the finale of Serenity, with the Condor as the Serenity, the Cyclonians as the Alliance and the Murk Raiders as the Reavers.
- A lot of the style of the show seems to be mirroring that of the Mad Max movies. Especially the clothing and apparent combinations of modern and old technologies. They have ships that fly, but they still use record players.
- Zartacla being Alcatraz spelled backwards.
- In "Home Movie Night" Junko mentions his "experimental film" which is just a six-hour footage of him sleeping — exactly what Andy Warhol did in his film "Sleep".
- "The Storm Hawks Seven" is essentially an extended homage to the Death Star assaults in A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, as it's about the small band of heroes taking on the evil Empire's giant laser superweapon. Like the first Death Star, the superweapon is destroyed by plugging a missile into its weak spot, and it takes two runs to make the shot. Additionally, the weapon is protected by a force field that needs to be disabled on foot to make it vulnerable while it's opening fire on the heroes' ship, much like the second Death Star.
- Sibling Yin-Yang:
- Ravess is a cultured perfectionist and Snipe is a gluttonous slob.
- Repton and Lugey could count too. Repton is a cunning, brutal and vicious ringleader whilst Lugey is a dim-witted, oafish and Affably Evil subordinate.
- A Simple Plan: Piper makes all kinds of plans that the other Storm Hawks tend to deviate from.
- Usually because Piper's plans go into so much detail that they fail to account for things going wrong, new situations arising, or are just so elaborate and complex that they succumb to Occam's Razor.
- Not necessarily. Her plans are actually fairly simple. In the episode "Storm Warning", the whole team pranks a group of Cyclonians and steals their crate of crystals, even though it was originally just a recon mission. Finn states in the same episode that he thought Piper's plans were 'kinda lame', which suggests that her plans don't always succeed because her teammates are opportunistic and don't find her plans very entertaining. Piper's plan to retrieve the Aurora Stone in the pilot episode fails in a similar fashion.
- Single Phlebotinum Limit: Crystals do everything. Even food preparation is left to crystal power. Nobody ever just rubs two sticks together to make fire, you have to have a fire crystal. Piper actually attempts that with rocks in "Shipwrecked", with some success. But not very much.
- The Sky Is an Ocean: Some episodes, like "Leviathan", make more use of this than others. Wildlife includes flying sky sharks, and "Leviathan" brings in a, well, leviathan.
- Sky Pirate: The Murk Raiders are a pirate crew that raids airships and plunders their supplies and crew.
- Sky Surfing:
- The boys were doing this in the beginning of "Royal Twist" (instead of working). They'd fastened Finn's surfboard to a rope and were taking turns towing it with their skimmers while someone got to ride.
- Aerrow does this with a skimmer engine in "Escape!"
- Slasher Smile: Most if not all of the villains are fond of making wide, malevolent grins.
- Smelly Feet Gag: In "Life With Leugey", Leugey's foot odor is so bad that it prevents Aerrow from showing him "The Storm Hawks' secret foot rub technique", since he didn't want to touch Leugey's fetid feet.
- Smoking Barrel Blowout: In "The Lesson", after Finn shoots down the carnival duck, he blows on the tip of his crossbow.
- The Smurfette Principle: Piper is the only girl on the team (so far); one older and more experienced female sky knight was offered to join, and she promised to "think about it". If there was a third season, that could have happened.
- Snake Oil Salesman: Finn plays this role in "Velocity", talking various squadrons into trading their skimmer parts for scrap metal. This skill of his comes up again later, when he talks the Murk Raiders into taking their side in the final battle.
- Sour Supporter: Stork. He'll always go along with the Storm Hawks' schemes; just expect him to go on about how doomed they are the whole time.
- Spell My Name with an S:
- Leugey/Luegy/Lugey gets this a lot. The first spelling is from the official website. The second is the way it's usually spelled in the credits. The third is how it's spelled in "Life with Lugey", both the episode title and the credits.
- Suzy Lu/Suzi-Lu. The former is from the website, the latter is from the credits of "Fire and Ice" and "Five Days".
- Walder/Watler. The first spelling is from the credits of "Terra Neon", the second from the website.
- Arygyn/Ayrgyn. The episode credits use "Ayrgyn", and the website uses both. The characters say "Arygyn".
- Splitting Pants: In "The Lesson", when Stork leaps down from the mechanical bull, there's a splitting noise. He stands and twists around, and sees that the back of his pants have split open to reveal his Goofy Print Underwear.
- Sssssnaketalk: Spitz and, to some degree, Repton can be heard drawing out their "S" sounds when speaking. They're Lizard Folk rather than snakes, but the same idea is there.
- Stealth Pun: Several of the terras exert this in relation to their inhabitants.
- Terra Gale's inhabitants mostly use wind crystals- which cause "gales". Taking it just a little farther, inhabitants of Terra Gale speak with French accents. Gale sounds like Gaul, the ancient name for France.
- The Rex Guardians, the Sky Knights of Terra Rex (which means "king"), speak with high-and-mighty British accents and act like aristocracy.
- In a show where most people have avian Theme Naming, you'd think the Raptors are an exception. Then you remember that raptor is another name for the group of birds of prey.
- "Age of Heroes". The episode title refers mostly to the beginning of an era of heroes, but it also refers to the Storm Hawks' youth.
- Story Arc: The later part of the second season had much stronger inter-episode continuity, revolving around a place known as the "Far Side of the Atmos." In the series finale, the Storm Hawks actually go there.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Sky's End", Radarr uses charades to communicate to the others, "Eyeball saw the dragons." Finn guesses "seesaw" multiple times, and Stork guesses "the death throes of a three-armed swamp gobbler" for Radarr's sawing motion. This is followed by a scene with the Murk Raiders in which Eyeball is using charades to communicate his find to Scabulous, apparently just for fun. Scabulous' guesses include "seesaw" for a sawing motion, and "swamp gobbler" for something meant to indicate "dragons".
- Street Musician: Aerrow and Stork pretend to be these in "Infinnity". Stork plays a keyboard, and Aerrow is an accordian player with Radarr as his dancing monkey.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Aerrow and Lightning Strike, with the only real differences being their eye color and hair style.
- Supernatural Martial Arts: Sky Knights have Sky Fu.
- Super Window Jump: In "Tranquility Now", Aerrow comes to the rescue of his team by crashing his bike through the window of the clock tower.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
- Technically speaking, there isn't anything wrong with the Rex Guardians having ancient traditions and following them, nor with having a chivalric code or rituals. Plenty of militaries in the real world have their own traditions, exercises, and rites that date back to when these had actual purposes, such as an honor guard (meant to show the strength of your own military to ward off potential enemies and advertise your strength for potential allies), marching in formation (which was a part of warfare for millenia), and military drummers (drums used to be used to send messages on the battlefield). However, when the Rex Guardians take their ancient, storied traditions and try to take on a modern force with them, they get knocked out of the sky in about thirty seconds tops.
- Cool! A race that hasn't been run in ten years is going on, in the middle of the war with the Cyclonians, and it involves most of the Sky Knights of Atmos! Turns out that such a thing is not well hidden, and the Cyclonians nearly wipe out all the Sky Knights had it not been for some quick thinking and luck.
- Junko's answer to the frozen pies in the Blizzarians' pie-eating contest that he can't sink his teeth into? Smash one and scoop the pieces into his mouth. Aerrow then counts down three seconds, and right on cue, Junko collapses from massive brain freeze.
- Surrounded by Idiots:
- The majority of Cyclonis' minions are rather incompetent.
- All of Repton's Raptors prove to be very incompetent.
- Take My Hand!: Done in "Payback" between Stork and Repton. Repton refuses and ends up knocking himself off when he tries to attack Stork.
- Take Over the World: Master Cyclonis' end goal, and it's apparently a family business.
- Team Pet: Radarr, although he prefers the term "Mission Specialist".
- Team Rocket Wins: One episode had the main Cyclonian villains get special Enhancer stones that amplified their abilities from Master Cyclonis, which they use to capture every other Sky Knight in the Atmos. They were then beaten by tricks learned from carnival games and rides.
- Technologically Advanced Foe: Master Cyclonis when armed with technology from the other side of the Atmos.
- Tempting Fate: In "Payback", after the Condor has been blown up:Finn: How could we be any worse?!
Finn: Sorry I asked!
- Terraform: In "Fire and Ice", the Blizzarians have used a blizzard crystal to turn a desert terra into a tundra more suited for themselves after colonizing it. Turns out to also be a case of Hostile Terraforming, as there were desert animals living there. The Raptors try to reverse this and eventually leave Leugey to the task (the results are spectacular). It's likely the terra's icy state won't last after the Blizzarians have left it at the episode's end and the blizzard crystal has been permanently lost, since it was still suffering geothermal heat-induced geysers and Suzy Lu suggests they "haven't quite tamed [the terra] yet".
- "Test Your Strength" Game: When Arygyn is training the Storm Hawks with carnival games, Piper gets the test-your-strength game.
- That's No Moon: One episode has the Storm Hawks find an uncharted terra. It turns out to be a Leviathan.
- This Is Gonna Suck:
- Memorably done by Aerrow in "Cyclonia Rising Part 2." "Gawww, man!"
- Pretty much Stork's default mental state."We're doomed."
- Those Magnificent Flying Machines: Played with. Influence from this can be seen in some of the vehicle designs, like Piper's heliscooter. Later on, we do see some more traditional pedal-and-propeller-powered machines, but they're not very impressive compared to Atmos' usual technology standards.
- Three Plus Two: Aerrow, Piper, and Finn (and Radarr) started out living on a tiny terra together. Then, during their first adventure as the Storm Hawks, they joined up with Junko and Stork.
- Three-Point Landing:
- Aerrow does one in the opening when he lands in front of his team.
- In "Tranquility Now", after crashing through the window, Aerrow jumps off his bike and lands in this pose in front of his team.
- Timm Style: A textbook example aside from characters' eyes.
- Title Drop: In "Storm Hawks Seven", as the team prepares to fly out:Aerrow: We'll be gone before Ravess even knows she was hit by the Storm Hawks Seven.
- Title-Only Opening: The pilot episode, to avert a Spoiler Opening.
- Tongue on the Flagpole: In "Fire and Ice", Leugey gets his tongue stuck to a wall of ice.
- Took a Level in Badass: When Piper ends up with Gundstaff who gives her access to his storehouse of crystals, she starts doing some of the same things Cyclonis is capable of.
- Transforming Mecha: "Energy Crisis" has the Suit of Untold Vengeance, a massive suit of Powered Armor which can take the form of a vehicle resembling a car. Appropriately, it's initials are S.U.V.
- Transforming Vehicle: Vehicles with both land and air modes are standard for the setting. The most common are skimmers, motorcycles that turn into biplanes. There are also heliscooters, scooters that sprout helicopter blades.
- True Companions: Aerrow even refers to the team as a family in "Home Movie Night".
- A Twinkle in the Sky: The Condor turns into this when Radarr gets behind the wheel.
- Uniformity Exception: In "The Black Gorge", Mr. Jeepers stands out from the rest of his brethren in their initial "cute" forms by his orange colors, whereas the rest have yellow colors. The visual distinction goes away when they all transform.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: Finn attempts one of these in "The Last Stand". He rolls face-first into a rock.
- The Unreveal: The nature of the Far Side is never revealed. Aerrow loses contact with the team upon orbiting to the Far Side in Stratosphere and his photos of it consist of nothing but lens flare, I. J. Domiwick is seen emerging on what is implied to be the Far Side but we don't get to see any of it, and the only definitive thing we see is a single image from the season finale.
- Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: The Dark Ace killed Lightning Strike using the latter's own sword and kept the weapon for himself.
- Vaudeville Hook: In "Terra Neon", Radarr puts on a dancing performance and is yanked off stage at the end by a tentacle that reaches in from the side to wrap around his waist like a hook.
- Villain Decay:
- The Dark Ace goes from a credible threat and rival to Aerrow on his own in the first few episodes to being unable to defeat him with an Amplifier Artifact boosting his abilities to 100x normal halfway through the series (although Aerrow did use an "unconventional" method to win). He does manage to reverse it a bit in the second season, but he needs to don a Humongous Mecha to give Aerrow and the Storm Hawks an uphill battle, and by the end of the series he needs Super Empowering from Master Cyclonis to give himself consistent dominating victories against Aerrow. However, he still manages to be the most threatening fighter in the Empire aside from Cyclonis herself, and it should be noted he can take out most other Sky Knight teams with almost contemptuous ease even late into the series. It's just when faced with the Storm Hawks that his performance suffers.
- The only villains to not decay over the course of the series are Master Cyclonis (who just started taking them more seriously in fights), and the ones who started out as jokes anyway.
- Villain Episode: Season 2 Episode "Power Grab." Master Cyclonis leaves Cyclonia for a mission, putting Ravess in charge. Things go downhill from there.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: A regular occurrence with the villains, particularly the Cyclonians, at the end of each episode.
- In "Best Friends Forever" when Cyclonis' attempt to turn Piper to the dark side and destroy the other Storm Hawks fails, she teleports away.
- In the series finale, after Cyclonis accidentally kills the Dark Ace and indirectly aids her empire's destruction, she retreats through the door to the Far Side.
- Villainous Breakdown: Repton is prone to these due to his temper when things aren't going his way near the end of each episode. Cyclonis loses her cool at the end of the pilot and tries to shoot Aerrow with a crystal out of spite. But towards the end of the series, both Cyclonis and the Dark Ace seem to be going through a gradual one: their relationship is notably more strained in the penultimate episode than it was at the start of the series, Cyclonis in particular has begun showing signs of losing it, and they only get worse in the final episode after they've conquered the Atmos and found they still can't fully stamp out the thorns in their sides that are the Storm Hawks.
- Villainous Friendship: Between Cyclonis and the Dark Ace. It starts to fray in the final episodes of the series, however, and doesn't save him from death at her hands (albeit potentially accidental) in the finale.
- Vocal Dissonance: Blister, the Sky Knight of the Third Degree Burners, has a surprisingly high voice.
- Voice of the Legion: In the earlier episodes, Cyclonis's voice would sometimes have a second, deeper voice accompanying it during particularly ominous statements.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: All four of the Raptors are never seen with anything covering their chests, only wearing shoulder pads and some armor.
- Walking the Earth: The Storm Hawks' way of life.
- The life of anyone on the planet who doesn't want to live on a single terra. The sky itself is often more habitable than the ground.
- Wardens Are Evil: Mr. Moss is the Cyclonian warden of a high-security prison located on Terra Zartacla. He wields an energy whip and takes sadistic glee in hunting escaped prisoners.
- Wax On, Wax Off:
- Arygyn's way of preparing the Storm Hawks to fight the Cyclonians involves carnival games. None of them see the point until later, after the skills they've practiced come in handy.
- The Storm Hawks' training exercises; Starling is annoyed that the Hawks "hone their skills" using unstructured children' games, but wouldn't you know it, every last one of those games turns out to be invaluable to saving the day in that episode.
- We Are Not Going Through That Again: At the end of "The Lesson", after a long session of Wax On, Wax Off training at Terra Neon followed by fighting the Cyclonians, Finn fails at trying out a whip and sheepishly admits he could use more training. Aerrow suggests, "Terra Neon, anyone?" Everyone immediately cringes and responds in the negative.
- Wire Dilemma: At one point, Crystals have to be removed from the engine before it overheats and explodes. And removing them out of order would also cause it to explode. The Crystals in the engine are even mostly blue and red ones.
- Wham Episode: In "Payback," the Condor is blown to smithereens and Repton suffers a Disney Villain Death. In "The Key," The Bad Guy Wins.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Mr. Moss and Hamish are nowhere to be seen in the season finale, which is strange as you'd think Master Cyclonis would've gathered everyone she could get, having fired Ravess, Snipe and the Raptors.
- Whole Episode Flashback: "Origins", which is just that, an origins episode.
- The Wild West: The terra from "The Ultra Dudes" is based on this.
- Wingdinglish: The Atmosian writing system. If you look closely, sometimes it's possible to read it.
- Worth It: In "Talon Academy", Aerrow and Radarr get into a montage of screwing Snipe over in front of the cadets and being assigned to various cleaning duties as punishment, each time admitting the punishment was worth it.
- Wronski Feint: In one episode, Aerrow tries this to defeat the Dark Ace by flying through a hole in a canyon. As demonstrated earlier in the episode, the very end of the canyon is so narrow, one must turn their fliers to motorcycle mode to get through, and then back again as to not plummet to the ground. The trick here is that earlier in the battle, Aerrow stuck a wrench into the Dark Ace's wing mechanism earlier in the fight, preventing him from retracting them. The results are explosive...
- You Have Failed Me: Master Cyclonis finally has enough of Snipe screwing up; she doesn't kill him outright, instead she throws him into the wastelands where he will surely die anyhow!
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: A non-lethal example. Once the Cyclonians have done their work, Snipe abandons Domiwick in the collapsing temple and tells him to find his own way out. This being a kids' series, Domiwick manages to do that.
- You Killed My Father: Never explicitly said, per se, but see Fanon.
- You Taste Delicious: Aerrow and Piper were eavesdropping on the Big Bad, Master Cyclonis, when she sensed them outside and threw a catering cart at the door, knocking the two of them down. Cyclonis then went over to Piper, who had some cream on her face. She ate it and then said that it was "not bad, except for the sour Storm Hawk aftertaste".
- You Will Be Spared:
- Repton does this to Stork in the episode "Fire and Ice".
- Done in the episode "The Masked Masher", with Cyclonis saying something of the sort to Piper.