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Western Animation / The Impossibles

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Left to right: Fluid Man, Coil Man and Multi Man.

Produced by Hanna-Barbera for CBS in 1966, the same year as Space Ghost, The Impossibles (Coil Man, Fluid Man and Multi Man) were the secret identities of a three-man rock band, also called The Impossibles who took the fight right to evil.

While they had the back half of the title, they themselves had two segments per show while their co-star Frankenstein Jr. only had one.

Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles was one of the last H-B series animated in the classic Ed Benedict style.

This series provides examples of:

  • Accent Adaptation: In the Japanese dub, Fluid has an effeminate voice (known as "onee kotoba"). This was not the case in the original version, where he speaks like a beatnik.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: The Burrower (mole), The Spinner (spider), The Anxious Angler (fish).
  • Antagonist Title: Every episode is named after the villain featured in it.
  • Battle Cry: The Impossibles will certainly shout "Rally ho!" as they go forth to engage the Villain of the Week.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Coil Man, Fluid Man, and Multi Man respectively.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Coil Man sports a "C" on his chest, Fluid Man sports an "F" on his chest, and Multi Man sports an "M" on both his costume and his shield.
  • Captain Ersatz: Hanna-Barbera attempted to develop a cartoon of The Beach Boys, in light of the success of ABC's cartoon of the Beatles. The Impossibles may have been created when the Beach Boys project fell through.note 
  • Clark Kenting: Parodied in that the secret identity of the superhero group The Impossibles is the singing group The Impossibles, and in "Timeatron" (episode 6), it is shown that the civilian names of Coil Man, Fluid Man, and Multi Man are actually just Coil, Fluid, and Multy/Multi (the paper shows both in different shots). Then again, since they seem to have no qualms about transforming wherever they are, even on stage in the middle of a concert, without even attempting to hide, it may just be that their identities just aren't that secret in the first place. In his self-titled episode, the villain Smogula also recognizes them in their civilian identities.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter:
    • Fluid Man could change into regular water or vaporize himself into a cloud or a storm.
    • Similarly, Coil Man once changed himself into a coat hanger to conceal himself in a closet.
  • Expendable Clone: Multi Man often used his clones as a diversion or to absorb the villain's fire while the real one snuck up on the villain with something that took him out.
  • Eyes Out of Sight: Multi Man's bangs completely obscure his eyes.
  • A Foggy Day in London Town: "The Terrible Twister" takes place in foggy London. After he is caught, the Twister is employed to help dispel the thick London Fog, which the Lemony Narrator pokes fun at, saying that Londoners can finally see each other.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Fluid Man wears a diving mask, but it doesn't seem to have any use, considering that in the episode "The Sinister Speck", when the titular villain shrinks down to speck size and flies into our hero's eyes, Fluid Man's goggles did not block the Sinister Speck's path.
  • Groupie Brigade: The Impossibles are often swarmed by crowds of fangirls when they are singers.
  • Harmless Liquefaction: Fluid Man can turn his body into water temporarily.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: "Holy holocaust!" is used as an Unusual Euphemism at least twice. The archaic meaning for 'holocaust' is 'destruction on a mass scale', but today is exclusively associated with that Holocaust. When used in the show, they probably meant it in the archaic sense, but given that it came out in the 1960s, it's hard to tell.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The trio in general show this, with their powers having far more uses than one would expect (such as Multi Man making use of numerous copies working together to perform superhuman feats, or Fluid Man being able to turn himself into a stormcloud).
  • Karloff Kopy: The titular villain of "The Devilish Dragster" speaks with a Boris Karloff impression.
  • Lemony Narrator: In "The Terrible Twister" (himself an Evil Brit), where the boys are in England for the episode and the usual stoic Paul Frees-supplied narration is substituted out with a new over-the-top British-accented narration.
  • Mechanical Horse: Billy the Kidder rides a rocket-powered mechanical horse.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: The Infamous Mr. Instant's whole schtick is he can "instantly" conjure up whatever he needs by spelling it on the rotary dial on the back of his gun, and pulling the trigger.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Impossibles are a rock band who become superheroes.
  • Not Quite Flight: Slightly notable in that none of the heroes really fly. Fluid Man sort of can, by turning his body into a blasting stream. Coil Man's whole power is his spring-loaded super-jumps, of course. Multi Man gets up by forming clones under himself and pushing the real one higher.
  • Power Trio: The Impossibles are a three-man superhero team.
  • The Professor: The Impossibles have helped a few over their adventures.
    • On a villain version, the wretched Professor Stretch.
  • Pungeon Master: All three Impossibles had their moments cracking puns every chance they could, but Fluid Man seemed to rattle them off most often.
  • Reaching Between the Lines: Terrifying Tapper's gun enabled him to travel through telephone lines.
  • Rogues Gallery: Paper Doll Man, The Spinner, Professor Stretch, The Artful Archer, The Anxious Angler, Dr. Futuro, et al.
  • Shoe Phone: The Impossibles receive their assignments from their chief via TV screen inside a guitar neck.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Multi Man's real name is Multy, with a "y". Except when it's shown to be spelled with an "i" instead.
  • Spring Coil: Coil Man has a spring coil in place of legs.
  • Squashed Flat: It happens at least once to Coil Man.
  • Stout Strength: Coil Man is fat, but he's still quite strong, the strongest of the team.
  • Strolling on Jupiter: "Fero the Fiendish Fiddler" featured Jupiter as having a solid surface with a normal atmosphere instead being a gas giant with a toxic-to-humans atmosphere
  • Super Hero: All three of the Impossibles have superpowers, and wield them in the service of law and order.
  • Television Portal: Televisatron used television sets to commit thefts.
  • Three Shorts: The Impossibles had two shorts per episode with a Frankenstein Jr. short between them.
  • Transforming Vehicle: The Impossimobile, that could turn from a stage into a car, plane, boat, or submarine.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Just a few of them include "bouncing barracuda!", "crashing comets!", "crumbling crullers!", and "exasperating ectoplasm!"
  • We Do the Impossible: As many villains have said, "Those Impossibles are impossible!" The Opening Narration states that the Impossibles "do the impossible" in the service of law and order.