Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Titan Maximum

Go To
Left to right: Palmer, Jodi, Sasha, Willie, and Leon

Palmer: Jodi! Check your watch!
Jodi: Huh?
Palmer: What time is it?
Jodi: Um, it's about three-forty—

What would happen if the cast of Voltron started drinking, went on a binge, and pretty much threw up acid all over the place? Well, that depends on who caught it all on tape — and in the case of Titan Maximum, the fine folks who gave us Robot Chicken ended up doing just that.

In the future, mankind has colonized the entire solar system, including Saturn. Saturn's moon, Titan, needed protection during its war against Mars — and to that end, it created Titan Maximum, a Combining Mecha which serves as its last, best line of defense for Titan's capital. While Titan Maximum's pilots (egocentric and narcissistic Palmer; Parody Sue Jodi; stuck up Sasha; plan man Gibbs; and The Big Guy, Spuds) never saw eye-to-eye with each other, they always managed to get the job done. After budget cuts, the team — who all but hated each other by the end — went their separate ways.

Years later, most of Titan Force Five find themselves failing at civilian life: Palmer hangs out at bars trying to pick up chicks; Jodi fights just a little too hard while juggling charity work; Sasha spends most of her time at dance clubs trying to become a popstar (between bouts of binge drinking and lots of meaningless sex); and Spuds fell off a balcony during a party and died.

What happened to Gibbs? During a televised interview, Gibbs reveals what he plans to do: "conquer the Solar System, crush all who oppose [him], and name [himself] 'Super King Big Nuts'."

The three remaining members of Titan Force Five reassemble to fight Gibbs and his new evil compatriots — and since they need to replace Spuds and Gibbs, they round out the team with Willie, Palmer's rather overeager yet technically-brilliant younger brother (who graduated as an engineer — from DeVry), and Leon, the surly monkey who worked as janitor of the team's abandoned base. Once the new Titan Force Five manages to get Titan Maximum working again, they become the solar system's best hope of stopping Gibbs — but their dysfunctional teamwork and clashing personalities also make them a danger to pretty much everyone else, including their commanding officer, Admiral Bitchface.

Despite powerhouse ratings when it first aired (it often beat out new episodes of The Venture Bros., [adult swim]'s most popular original series), Seth Green halted all production on the show to focus on his self-admitted Cash-Cow Franchise, Robot Chicken — even though he wasn't a creator or producer, and Matthew Senreich said he had enough material for "maybe ten seasons" of the show in an interview.

Titan Maximum provides examples of the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

  • Affectionate Parody: They say the Humongous Mecha genre, but Voltron is the obvious target.
  • All Gravity Is the Same: People from Titan have no problem walking when they visit Neptune or Mercury. They also walk normally when they visit Eris and Dione, which are both significantly smaller than Titan.
  • All There in the Manual: Gibbs's full name is Gibson Giberstein, avoiding the Last-Name Basis problem Palmer has. There is ZERO mention of this throughout any of the 9 episodes of the entire first season, and he goes by Gibbs anyway...or Super King Big Nuts, whichever you prefer.
    • Also that the Earth has gone through "troubles".
  • Animated Shock Comedy: Graphic violence, check. Sex jokes, check. Swearing, and, to a lesser extent, Toilet Humor? Checkaroni.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Willie.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Willie.
  • Attention Whore: Sasha.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: Titan Maximum itself. In theory it's a decent idea, albeit one that's ridiculously expensive. In practice your pilots end up being a team of morons who if not for their skill as pilots would likely have brought death upon Titan faster than Mars ever could have. They are an absolute pain in the ass to deal with for both the President and Bitchface, in both iterations.
    • As if that weren't enough, Titan Maximum has extremely advanced weapons systems, but what does every fight come down to? Punching the bad guy. Preferably in the crotch.
  • Ax-Crazy: At least in the hillbilly episode, Sasha. Specifically when she's shooting a guy in the leg over and over while she laughs.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The first season ends with Gibbs succeeding in bringing down the solar shield around Mercury, with the team able to do nothing but stand there looking shocked.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Troy and Sasha. Clearly shown where they are dancing romantically, all while insulting each other.
  • Berserk Button: Sasha may not like Jodi, but she will defend her right to sleep with whoever she wants, whenever she wants.
  • Betty and Veronica: Jodi and Sasha, big time.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jodi, to put it charitably, goes absolutely ape-shit on Gibbs after he releases the sex tape he made in "To Eris, Human!". Even Sasha is surprised.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Leon pulls one of these in the pilot to save Jodi, otherwise Titan Maximum is great at subverting it.
  • Big Fun: Spud really loved to party - which, unfortunately, is why he fell off a 400-story building and died.
  • Bond One-Liner: Palmer is a big fan of "Hey, you've got something in your teeth...MY FIST!" but it takes him a long time in between saying the line and throwing the punch.
    • And then he usually just kicks the target.
  • Book Ends: Last line in the pilot and the finale: "Look what you did, Jodi."
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • In the pilot, after Jodi brutally takes apart the students in her martial arts class, one of says he smells pee. She confirms that, if done properly, one of the moves she performed will cause involuntary urination.
      • In the same episode, the captain of the martian gunship after they realize that Titan Force Five has spotted them.
    • In the second to last episode, Palmer throws a mechanic on his head, causing him to piss his pants.
    • In the same episode, the Homeowners Association President gives us this:
      General: There's no way he or the bomb could survive those temperatures.
      Gibbs: [sarcastic] Yes, no way at all. Unless of course he had a robot specifically designed to survive those temperatures, and a bomb outfitted with an insulated coil... [does a dramatic gasp for effect] Oh, wait! He does! You may now commence the utter and total crapping of your drawers.
      President: He wasn't kidding about those drawers.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jodi and Willie.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Palmer's "Time to punch the fuck out of it!"
    • Gibbs' flipping the bird each episode could be considered a non-verbal version of this. There's also his less-widely used actual catch phrase, "Moooooooooo!", which he uses to grab attention.
    • Sasha says "bitch" a lot. Also, she has "Look what you did Jodi".
    • Palmer also has "There's something in your teeth... my fist!" Followed by him using an attack which isn't a punch.
  • The Chessmaster: Gibbs.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Sasha. Here's an example:
    Sasha: Gibbs, you motherfucking traitor! When I find you, I'm gonna fuck you in both your eye sockets with your own dick! Do you hear me? I'm gonna make sure your buried with your dick hanging out of your left eye! Do you hear me? Your mom's gonna see it!
    Gibbs: Don't forget to stab me in the ears, too, darling, so I won't have to listen to another one of your albums.
    Sasha: You motherfucking cocksucker... [Palmer cuts her mic off, disturbing hand motions continue.]
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Gibbs is able to do this without even his partner Jodi noticing that he's given instructions to his assistant Clare, who's video taping it, and even using Authentication by Newspaper to prove the date.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Jodi and Sasha manage to beat Clare by resorting to cheating.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After Jodi and Gibbs' sex tape has been released:
    Palmer: [making beeping noises while aiming some random device] Uh oh, I'm picking up a massive whore approaching, Willie. Set our whore shields to full power!
    Jodi: Palmer—
    Palmer: I was talking about you, Jodi; you're the whore! [throws device to Willie]
    Willie: This isn't even on!
  • Creepy Child: Clare.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: As mentioned above, the Titan crews over-reliance on punching their opponent in the groin ended up kicking them in their own groin in one episode when one opponent doesn't have a crotch.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Palmer and (especially) Sasha are both idiots, but can definitely hand you your ass in a fight.
  • Da Chief: Admiral Bitchface.
  • Daddy's Girl: Sasha. Subverted somewhat in that the President has no patience for Sasha's bullshit and sees how Awesome, yet Impractical Titan Maximum is.
  • Dating Catwoman: Inverted with Gibbs as the bad guy and Jodi as the good guy. Turned out to be a plot to get Jodi arrested and Titan Maximum decommissioned.
  • Deconstructive Parody of the Five-Man Band Super Robot genre as typified by Voltron.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The promos made it look like that Spud and Gibbs were part of the cast.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud??: Sasha does this in front of Jodi and her grandmother while remembering how she gave a teacher a blow job for a good grade.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Willie by Sasha.
  • Downer Ending: In the season/series finale, Mercury gets to experience kissing its sister, which is the fucking sun!
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Jodi had one while she was in the running to be the right arm of Titan Maximum. The word "scum" is somewhere in all but one of his lines.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Despite her being a constant annoyance, Gibbs will not let Clare kill his grandmother. Averted at another point, since his grandmother is still on Mercury when he destroys the heat shield.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Sasha is by no means a saint, but she is the most furious at Gibbs for his betrayal, going into a curse-riddled rant when she sees him.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Gibbs. Lampshaded by Jodi, who says the eyepatch is sexy.
  • Expy: The Peeper is a clear parody of Marvel's The Watcher.
    • Titan Maximus is an expy of Voltron, and the main crew are expies of the Voltron Force. Palmer is Keith, Gibbs was Lance, Spud is Hunk, Willie is Pidge, and the two girls are each half of Princess Allura (Sasha is the royalty, while Jodi is the purity)
  • Face–Heel Turn: Gibbs, though with teammates like his you can't blame him. Palmer actually abandoned him in the middle of a battle rather than miss a date with a hot chick. Later Troy, who's angry that his father left his younger (more competent) sister in charge of their family's megacorporation instead of him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Gibbs.
    Gibbs: Oh, ok. Well I guess I lose then. Oh, wait... [presses robot control button with middle finger]

  • Glad I Thought of It: Palmer - Inverted when he comes up with a bad idea and Willie starts to suggest a better one, he tells him that he better not steal his idea; but then played straight immediately afterwards as he immediately starts claiming he thought of the better idea first.
  • Goshdang It To Heck: Jodi. "Holy crow!"
  • Groin Attack:
    • Sasha's preferred (and only) method of attack. Subverted in the third episode, where the monster does not have genitals. It only works after they hit it there so hard their arm goes all the way up into its chest and then they rip its heart out. In the following episode, she laments the monster not having a crotch. She also laments Titan Megamum's crotch being shielded. Exaggerated in the following episode, where she fights four guys using nothing but groin attacks.
    • Jodi gets on the action, too, especially when fighting Gibbs in the first season finale.
    • Practically happens to Gibbs every time he takes a "Dramatic Pose"
      • When piloting Titan Megamum, he lifts up the atomic bomb in a dramatic pose for the newspapers. Cue Titan Maximum kicking it in the groin from behind, the sound of a photographic flashbulb showing a newspaper of that precise moment.
  • Harmless Freezing: Completely averted when a scientist is hit by a freeze ray, and even after getting some of the ice off of himself with steam he still suffers from horribly debilitating frostbite (to which he is almost indifferent).
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Titan Force Five, at least after Gibbs became evil. Before that, they were rather well liked despite some embarrassing public displays of drunkenness.
    • Actually, they were still well liked afterwards, because they were directly opposing Gibbs. It was only when their incompetence became apparent that people started to turn against them, but even then...
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Sasha seems to be approaching this, showing signs of being Ax-Crazy and an über-Alpha Bitch. An good example would her being able to defeat a robot by punching through its crotch to reach its heart. Perhaps best summarized in her establishing character moment in her introduction in the first episode, where she saves a man's life from falling debris by kicking him in the crotch to get him out of the way. Palmer could also be seen as this. Their only saving grace is opposing Gibbs plans.
  • Hidden Depths: Believe it or not Gibbs, despite his dislike for his teammates, he was willing to go Spud funeral and was outraged when Palmer gives his eulogy mostly about his own sexual conquests, and in Gibbs own eulogy he was willing to admit that Spud had courage.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Sasha.
    "Hey, Sasha? is there any connection between your poor album sales and the fact that it sucks?"
    Eden Espinosa: But we had to do several takes because they [Seth Green, Tom Root and Matt Senreich] were like, "Yeah, Eden, it still sounds too good. It sounds like you're singing good."
  • Home Porn Movie: Gibbs makes one of himself and Jodi during their tryst on Diode, then releases it while Jodi is visiting her grandmother.
    Gibbs on tape: Look at me; I'm a newspaper-face! Does this turn you on?
  • Humongous Mecha: It's time to form...
    Titan Force Five: Titan Maximum!
  • Hypocritical Humor: Many, many examples:
    • After President Caylo insists that Titan Force Five is a team to Gibbs:
      Palmer: [knocks his teammates aside] Make way for the awesome train. Chuga chuga, chuga chuga, awesome!
      Willie: Its armor is too strong.
      Palmer: [after being repelled by the monster] Damnit, people, start acting like a team!
    • Sasha tries to call Troy on his robot's name:
      Sasha: Titan Megamum? "Megamum" isn't even a word.
      Troy: Neither is "vaginacillin", but that didn't stop you from using it as the title for your third album. [shudders] Or your fragrance line.
    • Moments later, when the question of Mars breaking its treaty with Titan comes up:
      Willie: Wait wait wait, Hammerschmiddtt Motors was barred from building war machines after the Mars/Titan peace treaty.
      Palmer: Ah ha, you're breaking interplanetary law, ya buttplug.
      Mercury General: So are you!
  • Idiot Hero: Palmer and Sasha both.
    • The whole team really, if only because Palmer and Sasha drag them down.
  • I Lied:
    Prime Minister: [After giving up codes Gibbs needs and those at the party find out] What?! We voted, show of hands. [whispers] It was this or the volcano, you fools.
    Gibbs: Ooo, yeah, about that... it's actually gonna be this and the volcano, I'm afraid, so... double cross, enjoy. [Presses a button to have the bot drop them in.]
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: "Bunny, horsey, ducky, ten speed bike, Eddie Van Halen, Titanic, Titanic sinking, scene from Titanic where Leo drew Kate."
  • Insult Backfire: Sasha gives a self-satisfied grin when Palmer calls her a "huge raging bitch" right after noting that "the only person who could hump the starch out of [Jodi's] shorts is a murderous psychopath." This leads Jodi to have an only sane woman moment.
  • Jerkass: pretty much everyone except Willie, Jodi, Leon, and Spud. Palmer occasionally shifts to being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but it's fairly rare.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Palmer has shown himself to be this on two occasions where it appears that he shows his caring side only for his selfishness to show.
    • During his fight with Gibbs, he tells Gibbs that he cannot believe they were friends. Gibbs yells that they were never friends, but Palmer sadly says he was a true friend. Gibbs points out the time Palmer purposely stranded Gibbs in space because Palmer was trying to get to a date. Gibbs says that it took him two months to get home. He arrived on his birthday, which Palmer completely forgot. All Palmer says is "Wow, I said we were buddies, I never said we were married".
    • At his friend Spud's funeral, he at first talks about how Spud was a great wingman, but then brags about his own sexual conquests, to the shock and disgust of Gibbs and Jodi. When Gibbs gives his own eulogy, Palmer interrupts Gibbs to generally brag about how cool he is.
  • Jerk Jock: Palmer.
  • Jumped at the Call: Willie
  • Kaiju
  • Last-Name Basis: Everybody calls Palmer by his last name, even his grandparents. Willie even called his grandpa on it, which is handwaved as Palmer "making the name his own."
  • Little Miss Badass: Clare.

  • Metaphorgotten: "It'll be like kissing your sister! If your sister was the fucking sun!"
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: Happens a few times, particularly in the season finale. Interestingly, it tends to happen much more often when Titan Force Five has to fight off bad guys outside of their cockpits.
  • Monster of the Week
  • Mook Chivalry: Subverted and lampshaded. Palmer complains that he can't hit more than one mook at a time when they decide to surround him and Sasha from all sides.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sasha, and she knows it.
    • Jodi to a fair extent, having been the victim of sexual harassment far more than she'd care to admit.
  • Never My Fault: "Look what you did, Jodi."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Possible variant - nice job breaking your lancer, hero! Titan Maximum also appears to play this straight on a small scale fairly often.
    • The first season ends with them failing to stop Gibbs from completely frying Mercury.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In the first season finale, Willie goes on about how Clare's sword is made of "Aggregated diamond nanorods; hyperdiamond! The hardest substance there is!" Cue the freeze frame and the disclaimer informing that ADNR's are a real substance, and are every bit as hard as advertised. We don't yet know of anything harder.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Willie's grandparents try this when the sex tape of Gibbs and Jodi.
    Grandmother Palmer: They...they're just wrestling, Willie.
    Grandfather Palmer: Why don't we wrestle like that?
    Willie: If they're wrestling, he's really, really trying to tap out.
    Palmer: ...with his balls.
  • Older Than They Look: The Adult Swim website says that Willie is 19, but he sure doesn't look it. There's also Clare, who looks to be about 8 or so, but according to Gibbs is actually 21.
    • This likely an intentional Take That! to Anime in general, where 15 can mean you look 24, or 10 means having the figure of an 18 year old school girl.
  • Only One Name: Palmer.
  • Only Sane Man: Admiral Bitchface. Gibbs has this to some extent as well.
  • Only Six Faces: There's a number of generic head sculpts for minor characters — most obviously, Spud's head, which is shared by the Jester Corpsman and the Prime Minister of Mars among others.
  • Overly-Long Gag: Spud's 50-seconds-long death-fall in the pilot.
    • It was 400 stories; it takes a while to fall that far.
  • Pet the Dog: Palmer has many MANY failings and is a total ass to his team, past and present. However, he refuses to hand over his brother to be sodomized by some rednecks to save his own skin. Nice to know the guy has a shred of brotherly love. He also tried and largely failed to hide being upset about Jodi being arrested by the authorities on Titan for treason.
  • Planet of Hats:
    • Eris is a redneck planet.
    • Mercury is essentially Planet Florida, and as such is entirely populated by old people.
    • Neptune is a gigantic winter resort, with a lone steam-in-a-can production facility
  • Precocious Crush: Willie has one on Sasha.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Gender-flipped. Jodi used to date Gibbs back when he was The Lancer and not Super King Big-Nuts. And kind of still is.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Subverted and invoked with the Jester Corpsman.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: After Willie makes a bad try at bantering.
    Palmer: Don't. Banter. Ever. No!
  • Really Gets Around: Sasha, to put it lightly.
  • Rebellious Princess: Sasha.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Palmer and Gibbs.
    • Also Palmer and Sasha (hot-blooded) to Jodi and Willie (cool and collected), according to the lampshading in the third episode. "I have no opinion on the monkey."
  • Rich Bitch: Sasha.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Does Jodi get a slap on the wrist for her "meeting" with Gibbs? Nope she is arrested for treason.
    • Entire premise of the show's dysfunctional team was the result of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, which they happily went their way once they were disbanded and unable to perform properly in their second iteration with new teammates like Willie and Leon.

  • Shout-Out: The entire series is an obvious Shout Out to Voltron, but there are a few other less obvious ones as well.
    • When Sasha first enters the garage, her theme music is clearly inspired by Justin Timberlake's song "Sexy Back".
    • Palmer's bike resembles that of Kaneda in AKIRA.
    • When the space marines are attacked by Clare in the hangar, the camera switches to a first-person perspective almost exactly like that of Doom.
      • All while she's running in and out of shadows like the creatures from Aliens.
    • Episode 7 is entitled "Megamum Overdrive."
      • The same episode features Military Mavericks Bingo and Buzzard, based on Maverick and Goose from Top Gun. A previous episode also had a Top Gun-inspired montage featuring Palmer riding his motorcycle, drunkenly singing in a nightclub, and playing volleyball.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Palmer and Willie.
  • Silent Bob: Leon.
  • Silly Simian: Albeit an extremely creepy one. Word of God on the DVD Commentary admits this is the reason he's there.
    • If anything, the silence makes him even funnier.
  • Smug Snake: Gibbs, after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Gibbs' shtick. He attempts to be suave and magnificent, but this is sharply contrasted by his cruder tendencies and love of flipping people off.
  • Sorry, I Left the BGM On: Sasha's entrance at the Titan Force Five hangar.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Cute assassin Clare (not Claire), likely named after Seth Green's wife, actress Clare Grant.
  • Stepford Smiler: Jodi's showing symptoms of being the "hidden sadness" variety. And the "hidden homicidal madness" variety.
  • Stylistic Suck: Sasha's miserable excuse of a music career.
  • Take Our Word for It: "Oh my God! Titan Maximum is raping the Statue of Unity!"
    • "Sir, your daughter is mimicking fellatio on ..."
      • Later: "Sir, you daughter is mimicking fellatio on two ..."
  • Talk to the Fist: Played with. Gibbs is trying to make his ransom demands and Palmer smashes the robot transmitting his signal. Gibbs just keeps taking over more robots until he finishes.
  • Teeth Clenched Team Work: The original team didn't get along very well yet able to perform their duties. This gets to be dissected as the second team turned out to be significantly worse than their original without Gibbs' air of authority and Spud's sense of humor.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Palmer and Sasha.
  • The Stoic: Leon.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: All over the place:
    • The Martian carrier commander has two in the span of two minutes: "Fuck me in the ass." when Titan Force Five shows up and "Aw, mom's gonna get some bad news..." right before the carrier is destroyed by Titan Maximum.
    • Another one from a rather unfortunate victim of Gibbs' robot, who was cleaning a statue in front of an "Aviation Disaster Museum" as a damaged Redshirt Air Force plane augers in: "Oh this is ironic as hell!"
    • In the last episode of the first season, Sasha says, "In retrospect, we really dropped the ball on this one."
      • Followed by "Look what you DID, Jodi."
  • Token Evil Teammate: Before he turned on Titan Force Five, Gibbs obviously loathed most of his team.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sasha. When Willie brings out a Ray Gun to fire at the Monster of the Week, her first instinct is to throw it at said monster. She misses and asks Willie for another ("But I only made one!"). When the monster picks the gun up later, she assumes it's going to do the same thing. It doesn't. Massive damage ensues.
  • Too Much Information: President Caylo does not want to know about all the weird sexual stuff his daughter Sasha is up to in the public spotlight.
  • Transformation Sequence: Done three times in the first two episodes, then lampshaded later on by onlookers ("Well, this transformation sequence always takes about 30 seconds.") without actually showing it.
  • The Unfavorite: Willie.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Palmer occasionally, though "Shrinky Dinks!" stands out a bit. As well as "Ass crackers!"
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Troy Hammerschmidtt
  • Violation of Common Sense: After Titan Maximum kicks Titan Megamum while it's holding a bomb.
    Gibbs: You idiotic shitbuckets! I was holding a freaking nuke!
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: All weapons are offline... Palmer's response? "Then we'll do what we always do: PUNCH THE FUCK OUT OF IT!"

Look what you did, Jodi…
Oh shut up Sasha.