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Western Animation / Wander over Yonder

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"Oh, Wander over Yonder
And check out this and that
If you Wander over Yonder
Best be sure to wear your hat
All the things that you will see
And you certainly will be free
If you Wander over Yonder,
Just you and me!"

Wander over Yonder is an animated Disney Channel original series, the third to be created by animation-legend Craig McCracken and his first not to air on Cartoon Network. Lauren Faust was a co-producer and story editor on the first season. A preview aired on August 16th, 2013 following the premiere of Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel. The first season started on September 13th.

The show is about the exploits of Wander (Jack McBrayer), a furry, orange, extremely optimistic hippie-thing and his faithful steed Sylvia (April Winchell) as they travel across the galaxy spreading freedom and happiness, all while under the watch of the evil (yet extremely childish) Lord Hater (Keith Ferguson), his long-suffering henchman Commander Peepers (Tom Kenny), and his army of Watchdogs.

The general feel and look of the series pays much homage to animation and popular culture from The '60s (a pretty standard motif of McCracken's works, really), as well as Ward Kimball's 1950's space projects for Disney. However, in a departure from the flat, rather stylized art normally associated with McCracken, Wander favours a bouncier and more expressive animation style reminiscent of classic Looney Tunes (Eddie Trigueros, one of the show's key directors and storyboard artists, is a modern day master of the style). All in all, it's one heck of a trip.

The series' shift into a more serialized format during the second series, which saw the main cast dealing with the arrival of Lord Dominator, a much more dangerous opponent than Hater, was extremely well-received.

The show is McCracken's first to be ended by network demand rather than by his own decision: despite good ratings, the crew having detailed plans for a third season, and devoted fans Sending Stuff to Save the Show, the series' second season would be its last. The staff was given soon enough notice by Disney to be able to stage a proper Grand Finale, though it ended on a possible Sequel Hook.

Its recap page could use a little love, and a hug.

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This show contains examples of the following tropes:


  • Accidental Hero: Hater twice in a row in the climax of "The Whole...Lotta Nuthin'"; once when he accidentally cheers Wander up and restores his mojo when he brings up his famous "it never hurts to help" motto, and again when he removes his arm to plug up the black hole.
  • Acid-Trip Dimension: The show itself.
    • The Void is a literal example (literal as in it's a dimension, not as in it has actual drugs).
  • Action Girl: Sylvia. She's tough and proud of it.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Peepers is unimpressed by the Watchdog-made propaganda animation in "The Cartoon" until he realizes that they had the nerve to write Wander into it. By the time the cartoon has shown Wander (apparently) successfully befriending Hater and sharing a Good-Times Montage with him while a Friendship Song blares in the background, he's stopped even trying to pretend not to laugh.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "The Eye on the Skullship" focuses on the Watchdogs and their day to day life. In particular it focuses on the Watchdog Andy, who makes an in-house TV show about his fellow coworkers.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: In "The Greatest".
    Lord Hater: I have mangled the minds of millions! I have tempted forth torrential tides of tears! I have reduced the richest republics to rubble and ruin! Because I am the greatest in all the galaxy!!
    • Wander enjoys doing this himself.
    Wander: Gentlemants, please. Might I propose a proposition to your perplexing and ponderous peanut problem?
  • Adobe Flash: The show's primary source of animation, though used via ToonBoom. It becomes more obvious in the second season.
  • Adventure Duo: Wander and Sylvia. Although, Wander, The Hero, is the oddball, while Sylvia, The Lancer, is the serious one.
  • Aerith and Bob: The galaxy has people with names like Sylvia and Marsha, right alongside names like Wander, Bleeblebort and Lord Hater.
    • It was hinted in the show itself and outright stated by the Word of God that 'Wander', 'Hater' and so on are only aliases, so it is probably a Subverted Trope.
  • Affectionate Parody:
    • The commercial for the H.A.T.E.R.V. in "The New Toy" is one to the cheesy, over-the-top toy commercials from the 1990s.
    • The Silver-7 sequence and the theory sequence in "The Legend" were ones to Gigantor and the fanfiction/fan theories of the show.
  • Aliens Speaking English
    • The carnival ride in "The Bounty" has a voiceover in both English and Spanish, like many do in the USA.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Zig-Zagged with Xenomorph Xerox Captain Tim, who Wander and Hater treat like a dog. Wander puts a collar on him and winds up successfully teaching him several tricks, but his Fluffy Tamer tendencies hit their limit when it comes to actually curbing his vicious behavior, and he remains a predatory, acid-spitting monster. Luckily for Tim (and unluckily for the Watchdog Army), these same tendencies actually endear him to Hater.
  • Allegory: Season 2's Myth Arc as a whole serves as one, according to an official blog post. The struggles the gang faces now that Lord Dominator has stepped up to the plate is a story about how cartoons have developed over the years, and how silly, comedic, and formulaic shows (represented by Wander and Hater's adventures and interactions) stack up against the more serious, story driven works cartoons have transformed into (represented by Dominator). And in the end, they're trying to show that, as much as those kinds of works deserve their merit, there is a place for the silliness somewhere.
  • Always a Bigger Fish:
    • The ending of "The Egg"
    • This back and forth discussion from The Brainstorm:
      Lord Hater: What if Wander throws a picnic, and invites the Watchdogs, and because his pie is so gooooood, they all go?
      Commander Peepers: We'll bring giant ants.
      Lord Hater: What if he brings a giant anteater?
      Commander Peepers: We'll bring a giant anteater-eater.
      Lord Hater: What if he brings a...
      Commander Peepers: AND SO ON!
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Wander's hat. When not on his head, the mouth hole seems to be smiling and frowning in appropriate moments. It also apparently makes a few exaggerated movements all by itself occasionally.
  • Animation Bump: Due to the show's animation switching to Boulder Media Season 2 onward, the show's flash-esque animation has become more smooth and fluid and less jerky, most notable on mouth and body movements.
    • Even the animatics in the credits are animated more fluidly than before.
  • Angrish: Lots to go around, particularly on Hater and Peepers' parts.
    • Sylvia does a lot of it, too.
  • Ambiguously Human: Brad Starlight and Princess Demurra in "The Hero". If they are human, they're the only ones we've seen so far.
  • And a Diet Coke: "The Helper" has Lord Hater order 5,075 Frivolity Meals, 689 pies and two diet cokes.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: In "The Date" Lord Hater coerces his date (actually Sylvia in disguise) into accepting his marriage proposal by threatening to destroy every planet in the universe if she refuses.
    Lord Hater: No pressure.
  • Answer Cut: When Hater takes over Bingleborp in the premiere, one of the Binglebops worries, "Oh, whoever will save us now?" Guess who shows up onscreen next!
  • Arc Villain: Season 2 gave us Lord Dominator, which in turn caused the show to undergo Cerebus Syndrome.
  • Arc Words:
    • "The Greatest in the Galaxy".
    • "It never hurts to help."
  • Apocalypse How: Dominator tries to invoke a Class X-3 and effectively SUCCEEDS. She destroys every planet in the Galaxy except for one small planet. However, the destroyed planets do start regrowing back afterwards.
  • Ascended Meme: One fan of Wander talks about a fanfiction where he's referred to as a "Star Nomad", referencing the out-of-universe fans who claim that as a species name for whatever he is. The "Hater is/was part of Wander's species" theory was referenced in that sequence, too.
  • Aside Glance: In "The Prisoner", While dancing and bouncing around on Lord Hater's Water Bed in his room. Wander pushes one of the button that played the Big Bad exercising video and gave this to the viewer.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In "The Prisoner" Wander is distracted by Peepers' laser gunsight, chasing the dot as if he were a cat and seemingly oblivious to the fact that Peepers is trying to capture him.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: In Doomstone in "The Bad Guy." Subverted when it turns out the townspeople aren't "real" bad guys.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: When Lord Hater is playing with Captain Tim he coos "Who's a bad boy? Who's a bad boy?"
    • Zig-Zagged in "The Little Guy." While Westley aspires to be awarded Hater's "Medal of Evil" and Peepers admits that "technically, we are the bad guys," he also describes Wander and Sylvia as "the real bad guys"—something Westley fully believes until he gets to know them better. After he fakes his own death, his former coworkers honor him as "one of the bad ones," with Hater's speech at his funeral being particularly full of examples, stating that "never before had a Watchdog displayed such malice, such contempt, such cruelty."
  • Bag of Holding: Wander's hat. In "The Hat" Wander explains that the hat doesn't give you what you want, it gives you what you need.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Peepers while marrying a disguised Sylvia to Lord Hater in "The Date":
    Peepers: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to marry this stunning vision of loveliness to some broad he met at a restaurant.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Characters can survive in space just by holding their breath, and at times not even that.
    • Though judging by Peepers' brief exposure to space in "The Prisoner", holding one's breath in space can be painful.
  • Befriending the Enemy:
    • Wander constantly believes Hater is his friend, unaware he's the bad guy. Only Sylvia averts this. In fact, he does this to all his enemies, as he believes "an enemy is a friend you haven't made yet." The only ones he failed to do this to are Hater (repeatedly) and the even more dangerous Lord Dominator.
    • Inverted with Hater in "The Buddies" as he was forced to befriend Wander so the thugs wouldn't beat him up.
  • Behind the Black: In "The Good Deed" Wander somehow didn't notice the guy holding the stick he took the carrot from.
  • Behind a Stick: combined with Scooby Stack in more than one episode.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Goofy as he seems, Wander does have his limits at times. This is best exemplified in "The Greater Hater" when he realizes he cannot befriend Dominator nor even redeem her, causing him to angrily call her out.
    • Wander displays much more of it in "The Matchmaker" every time Sylvia tries to stop him from delivering a letter to Dominator; he gets progressively more and more annoyed and determined with each attempt, and by the time he realizes what Sylvia is doing, he's completely livid.
  • Big Bad: Lord Hater for Season 1, then Lord Dominator for Season 2 with Hater falling into a Villain Protagonist role.
  • Big Bad Friend: Wander repeatedly considers Hater a friend, and often appears to have no idea he's evil. As is eventually made clear by Season 2, there's a lot of Obfuscating Stupidity in play, but Befriending the Enemy is an authentic motivator; Wander has more than one successful case of it in his past. It is revealed if he does not have the important aspect of his personality where he was left helpless, he's a daring and heroic individual who vows to vanquish all evildoers, even Hater.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
  • Big Eater: Sylvia. Whether it's thinking about food or gorging herself on sandwiches, Sylvia always wants something in her belly.
    • Wander fits this trope to a tee—see his character profile.
    • Lord Hater is also one in "The Date."
  • Big "NO!":
    • By Sylvia in "The Pet", combined with Skyward Scream and followed by a Big "WHY?!", when she sees what she thinks is Wander's remains but is a teddy bear cut up by the alien and put in a cocoon.
    • In "The Gift II: The Giftening", Lord Hater shouts this as Wander and Sylvia leave and the episode ends.
  • Big Shadow, Little Creature: The troll is presented in this fashion.
  • Bird-Poop Gag: "The Little Guy" has an avian creature poop on Westley.
  • Body Surf: In 'The Fancy Party', Queen Entozoa invites villains from across the cosmos in hopes of finding potential heir for her space armada. However, when Lord Hater triumphs over the competition she grabs him and reveals that she really just wanted a new host as her current body was wearing out. Interference from Wander leaves her spirit trapped in a sandwich.
  • Book Ends:
    • The Title Sequence begins with a far out shot of the galaxy where the show takes place, which zooms in past the various planets and cuts to Wander. The Season 2 finale ends with the same shot reversed.
    • The episodes "The Day" & "The Night" both end where the other starts, making them effectively some sort of endless loop.
    • Season 2 starts with Hater chasing Wander, who has stolen his flag. Peepers, exasperated, states "Nothing. Ever. Changes". This is echoed in the season finale, where Hater once again chases after Wander for stealing his flag and Peepers and Sylvia state "Nothing ever changes".
    • In "The Greater Hater", Wander offers Dominator a fruit basket as a token of friendship. Come "The End of the Galaxy", he once again offers her the same fruit basket, repeating his earlier speech almost word-for-word. Both times, she denies it, and Sylvia has to remind him the second time sometimes an enemy is truly an enemy by heart and won't change their ways.
    • The entire series starts and ends with the theme tune.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    • When Wander is speculating the contents of the titular box in "The Box", he thinks it might have a bat, a hat, a bat with a hat or a hat with a bat.
    • "The Catastrophe" has Sylvia grumble about thingamahoozit, cat videos and thingamahoozit with cat videos.
    • In "The Axe", Lord Hater asks the recently fired Peepers how often he should change the Watchdogs' batteries, believing them to be robots. After Peepers explains that the Watchdogs are not robots, Hater then thinks they are actual dogs. Peepers' clarification that the Watchdogs aren't literal dogs only leads to Hater thinking his soldiers are robot dogs.
  • Break the Cutie: Wander drives himself mad trying to resist opening the box in "The Box".
    • A whole bunch of episodes in the first season seem to be focused on breaking poor Wander's resolve.
    • Wander undergoes this near the end of "The Greater Hater" when he realizes he cannot befriend Lord Dominator and begins to rant about it.
    • What Dominator tries to do to Wander in "The End of the Galaxy".
  • Breather Episode: Because of Season 2's greater focus on defeating Lord Dominator in the second half, "The Sick Day" and "The Sky Guy" are these.
  • Broken Aesop: Several episodes have a reoccurring Aesop of "You can't befriend everyone, so don't hurt yourself trying." Which is a good lesson, except that Wander himself clearly does not believe this. And is constantly trying to befriend people who want him dead. In the end, the moral is effectively defanged by showing that Lord Hater and Lord Dominator may indeed become his friends in the future.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Many people abuse or mistreat the Black Cube of Darkness despite him being a Eldritch Abomination who can suck out your soul just by talking.
  • Call-Back:
    • Hater sings "If You Wander over Yonder" and brings back Wander's "Mustard or Mayo?" question in his attempts to annoy Wander during "The Whole Lotta Nothin'".
  • The Cameo: "The End of the Galaxy" has a small one from Blooregard Q. Kazoo himself in one of the crowd scenes. He can be seen here.
  • Campfire Character Exploration: The campfire scene in "The Little Guy." Westley finally starts warming up to Wander and Sylvia (and stops aiming his blaster at them every two seconds).
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The galaxy is full of these, particularly in Season 2, which establishes the "Galactic Villain Leaderboard" keeping score of their relative conquests. Only a handful of antagonists fail to qualify, such as Sir Brad Starlight, who's convinced he's a hero despite his evil goals.
  • Carnival of Killers: "The Bounty" has Lord Hater sending a trio of bounty hunters after Wander. They consist of a pig woman, a Killer Robot and...a house plant. That ends up being carnivorous.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Wander:
      • "This place is amazing!
      • Later, Hater!
      • Never hurts to help!
    • Lord Hater:
      • Lord Hater, number one superstar!
    • Watchdogs:
      • Hate's great! Best villain!
  • Central Theme: There is always a silver lining in the darkest and most hopeless of moments. Never give up on hope.
  • Cerebus Retcon: In of the sillier moments in "The Battle Royale," the Black Cube of Darkness closes in on the McGuffin all the villains are fighting over but fails to pick it up due to having no hands. "The Black Cube" opens with a replay of this moment and goes on to show that it caused the galaxy to lose its respect for him and pretty much tanked his career as an evildoer, causing him to sink into a deep depression.
  • Character in the Logo: One version of the logo features Wander riding Sylvia near the bottom.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • Wander repeatedly considering Hater as a friend comes in handy in the climax of "My Fair Hatey", since it infuriates him enough into breaking down their cell door so they can escape.
    • A minor one, but in "The Whole... Lotta Nuthin'", as Hater is taunting Wander, he utters his famous "It never hurts to help" phrase, which in turn accidentally cheers him up and starts being peppy again, prompting Hater to rip his arm off and plug the black hole with it.
  • Chirping Crickets: "The Fancy Party" uses the gag of crickets chirping in response to one of Queen Entozoa's guests trying to compliment her by saying she doesn't look a day over 400 as well as Lord Hater's story derailing into a rant about his distaste for the color purple.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Explored in "The Helper". Wander, building his life around his altruism and helpfulness, experiences withdrawal during an off-day.
  • Claiming Via Flag: Whenever Lord Hater conquers a planet, one of the first things he does is plant his flag. This is deconstructed in "The Axe", where Hater learns that he lost all his planets because he didn't back up the flags with a battalion to defend his territory. As shown in "The Greater Hater," Hater thinks that planting the flag is conquering the planet, which results in Wander being able to effectively stop an invasion in its tracks by starting a game of "Capture the Flag" with him.
    Peepers: Sir, the flag is really just symbolic!
  • Close on Title: In "The Liar" the title appears at both the beginning and the end.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Sylvia to Wander and likewise Commander Peepers to Lord Hater. In season 2 this leads to some mutual understanding between the two.
  • Clown-Car Base: Lord Hater's spaceship is barely bigger then a two-storey house on the outside, but has a dungeon, a zoo full of captive animals, and a mall on the inside. It can even talk for Hater.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: In "The Fugitives", Hater's minions attempt to draw out Wander by causing multiple accidents that Wander wants to assist people with, but can't due to promising Sylvia that he wouldn't help anyone else due to it constantly causing their escape plans to fail. Wander caves in.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The Baaaaa-halla warriors punching the troll, he began insulting them saying their punches are like kisses. Their comebacks are based on how kissing is serious and they would never kiss him.
  • Conjoined Twins: There are two pairs of minor characters who happen to be conjoined twin brothers.
    • Jamie and Hank in "The Legend".
    • Wilmur and Orbble Wright in "The Waste of Time", who are identified as the inventors of the orbble juice Wander and Sylvia use to create bubbles in order to travel through space.
  • Continuity Creep: While the show never lacked for continuity in the first season, season two starts becoming more serialized as they build around the arc of Dominator's plan to destroy everything in the galaxy.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Whatever planet Hater tries to conquer, Wander and Sylvia will just happen to be there.
  • Crapsaccharine Galaxy: There's a leaderboard for how many planets are conquered by overlords. Where's Galactic Police when you need them?
  • Crazy-Prepared: By the time Peepers' invasion plan in "The Brainstorm" has weathered several rounds of Hater's objections, it accounts for eventualities ranging from the presence of a giant anteater to Wander exhibiting previously-unseen superpowers. Unfortunately, it still isn't proofed against Wander's banjo.
  • Creator Cameo:
  • Credits Pushback: Unfortunately, even though they have animatics playing during them, they are still shrunken down on Disney XD to show promos.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: Seven episodes use the pattern "The (adjective) Guy".
  • Curse Cut Short: "Get away from him, you—" "SYLVIA!"
    • Again in "The Party Poopers."
      Sylvia: It has been a long time since I've really laughed my—
      Wander: SYLVIA! That's just crude.
  • Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: Used in "The Fancy Party", where Sylvia takes one of the small sandwiches from a plate and then devours the other sandwiches remaining.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The kitten in "The Stray" has this effect on Wander. Invoked.
    • Happens again in "The Catastrophe". By the hand of the exact same cat, who has gone from a bounty hunter to a full blown villain.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 2 completely destroys the Slice of Life premise in favor of a more serialized action-drama, featuring an overarching arc which introduces the even more dangerous Lord Dominator. Dark and emotional moments are also imminent, such as having a character actually die onscreen and a rather long string of nightmares.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The inhabitants of Doomstone look like monsters and thugs, but are actually perfectly nice people... who pretend to be violent villains because they assume everyone else in the town actually is based on its reputation as a Wretched Hive.
    • In "The Hero", the supposedly princess-kidnapping dragon is in a legitimate relationship with said princess. Driven home when the "hero" kidnaps her and it's up to Wander to rally the dragon's demonic forces to go rescue her. Not that it matters, as she rescued herself.
  • Deathbringer the Adorable: Buster, formally known as "The Worldbuster", the giant space puppy in "The Ball".
  • Deconstruction: Season 2's all about this trope. Everything that the crew stands for and does to achieve it is put to the test when they all come across Lord Dominator, a new foe that has taken over most if not all of Hater's territory... as a direct result of his chasing Wander across the galaxy. A good number of Hater's subordinates don't actually respect him, and it looks like Peepers is on his last wits watching his boss hold off conquering the galaxy. Wander's methods of befriending don't actually work on their new foe, and his distracting tendencies don't actually put Dominator off of their goal, and in the end defeats him easily. He also came really close to actually hating someone for the first time in the series. Sylvia just can't blast her way out of the situation like she usually can because Dominator's army is tougher, more powerful, and easily outnumbers them all. In the end, Dominator is revealed to be an extremely childish woman who appears to be spreading terror all over the galaxy for fun, combining elements of both Hater and Wander together.
    • Craig McCracken himself stated that the Season was trying to examine Wander and Hater's interactions in different ways while still getting their basic plot line (Hater wants to destroy Wander, Wander escapes and lives another day) across.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Craig McCracken mentioned in an interview that he feels the show is really about Hater.
    He's the character that has the most to learn over the course of this show and is the one who most needs to grow. [...] I mean, Wander has some flaws. But he's really the guy who's guiding Hater to his future or wherever he's going to end up.
  • Dem Bones: Lord Hater is a living skeleton.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: In the between-seasons short "The Killjoy":
    Hater: You're totally right, Peepers, but I already told everyone in the universe that I was gonna destroy Wander! Now if I listen to you then I'll appear weak and unleaderlike and stupid!
    Peepers: A little late for that now, isn't it? (Hater stands over him ready to shoot lightning.) Was that out loud?
  • Disney Acid Sequence: "What's In The Box?". Also the end of "The Funk." "Take A Step Inside Your Mind" is a musical variant.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Lord Dominator to Lord Hater. A Deconstruction in that, while she appears to borrow heavily from his aesthetic, she's Always Someone Better by a vast amount and doesn't remotely regard him as a competitor, let alone a potential Love Interest. Her Villain Song in "My Fair Hatey" sees her affirming her self-image as stand-alone Bad Guy supreme while declaring, "I'm not your girlfriend."
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: During "The Big Day", Hater interrupts his announcement for "Boomapalozza" in order to announce that he's been trying to stay away from obsessing over Wander (or "the 'W' word, as he puts it) before being dragged right back into him, in exactly the same way an addict would.
    • "The Big Day" in general blatantly shows the relationship between Wander and Hater in a romantic fashion by having Wander set up his ultimate demise as a wedding.
    • "The Axe" has the queen of a planet Hater had previously conquered admitting that they let themselves be conquered by Sourdough in a manner similar to a girlfriend trying to say that she's found someone else.
      Hater: Over? What do you mean it's over? But I conquered you! Your planet belongs to me!
      Alien Queen: Belonged to you. Look, you really haven't been around a lot lately, so we weren't even sure if you were still even ruling us anymore, so we, like, uh, well, we met someone else.
      Hater: Someone else?! Who?! Is it Emperor Awesome? The Black Cube of Darkness? Dominator?!
    • "The Bad Hatter" opens with Peepers disciplining Hater in parental fashion, complete with sending him to his room to "think about what you've done." Hater fumes like a rebellious kid.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Invoked by Sylvia at the end of "The Ball", when Wander explains how he was inspired to save Buster's victims. When they cried "flee", he came up with the idea that they should "flea" - i.e., live like fleas on the surface of Buster himself. Which turns out to be a nice place to live.
  • Dramatic Irony: In "The Pet" the audience sees the alien cut up a teddy bear and put in a cocoon, but when Sylvia finds and opens the cocoon she thinks it's Wander's remains.
  • The Dreaded Toilet Duty: In "The Bounty," Peepers is concerned about his job security when Hater hires bounty hunters, one of whom, Rongruffle, comments that he'll be lucky if Hater keeps him around to clean the zero-gravity toilets. He later has an Imagine Spot about being demoted to "Janitor Peepers" and doing just that.
  • *Drool* Hello: In "The Bounty", Commander Peepers lures one of the bounty hunters into the pen of a dangerous creature. She only notices it when it drools on her.
  • Droste Image: Seen in a dream sequence in "The Box". There's an extended animatic version at the end of the episode.
  • Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: Wander in "The Fugitives", whose compulsion to help anyone in need keeps ruining Sylvia's attempts to escape. The Watchdogs even exploit that to try to draw him out.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the end credits of "The Rider" we see a shadowy silhouette of season 2's Lord Dominator.
    • Word of God says, if the show had continued after Season 2, the monkey in the space suit seen breifly in "The Waste of Time" would've been important.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: At the end of "The Good Deed", we see Wander and Sylvia refusing to help Lord Hater when he's cast adrift in space. It's hard to imagine the Wander we know and love turning down any opportunity to help someone when they ask - especially Lord Hater!
  • Egopolis: Lord Hater tried to do this to the Planet Bingleborp in "The Greatest." Hater's a bit of an egomaniac, as evidenced by all the designs (and theme song) on his ship.
  • Elite Mook: Commander Peepers.
  • Embarrassing Password: The password to Hater's ship's computer, as set by Peepers? H8rnP33prs4evr.
  • Emotion Eater:
    • The annoying troll from "The Troll" feeds on the anger of those who respond to his insults. The more who respond, the bigger he gets. He shrinks when he's ignored.
    • The Phantom Mimes from "The Heebie Jeebies" feed on the fear and anxiety of those who are present. The more scared Wander and Sylvia are, the more mimes appear. They disappear once the two are brave.
  • Empathic Environment:
    • When Sylvia is having a Despair Event Horizon in "The Hat" the water in the raining mushrooms rain down around her.
    • In "The Heebie Jeebies" when Wander and Sylvia are about to enter the dark forest, the area outside the forest is dull dark green just like it. When they leave the forest in the end, it is bright and gold, symbolizing they're not afraid anymore.
  • The Empire: The Hater Empire is a Galactic Superpower in Season 1, but has become a Vestigial Empire by Season 2. Other villains, such as the Evil Sandwich, have rival empires of their own.
  • Enemy Civil War: Hater's blind vendetta towards Wander causes him to lose ALL of his territory to his various rivals due to his negligence, embroiling the universe in a titanic civil war as the villains fight each other for even bigger cuts of his former domain.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Lord Hater does this in "The Picnic" when he appears behind Wander, about to strangle him.
    • In the season 2 premiere, Lord Dominator does this to Commander Peepers after he destroys her control panel.
  • Epic Fail: See Wasteful Wishing below.
  • Episode Title Card: All of the title cards are typically just freeze framed moments in the beginning of the episode, in an interesting version of this trope.
  • Establishing Shot: Episodes generally start with an overview of the planet that the plot takes place on, before zooming in quickly. There are a few exceptions.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Plenty of this is in play, especially among the Affably Evil Watchdogs. Most prominently, Lord Hater and Commander Peepers have a Villainous Friendship that directly parallels the bond between Wander and Sylvia throughout Season 2, with Sylvia and Peepers as the ever-frustrated voices of reason with Undying Loyalty to their more impulsive companions.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Dominator's Omnicidal Maniac tendencies seem a little much for Hater and Peepers, the latter even referring to her as "the badder bad guy."
    Peepers: Man, that's evil!
  • Everyone Is Related: Spoofed in "The Legend" with Melodie's set of theories about Wander's origins: Hater is his father, Dominator is his sister, Emperor Awesome is his half-brother, and the Evil Sandwich is his cousin.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Occasionally Played for Laughs, particularly in "The Gift 2: The Giftening" and "The Gift," companion episodes which offer the same story from two different points of view. What is, from Wander and Sylvia's perspective, a lighthearted Christmas Episode about delivering presents to the Watchdogs becomes a Halloween Episode from the perspective of Lord Hater and Commander Peepers, who regard the resultant happiness spreading among the recipients as The Virus.
  • Evil Is Angular: Whereas Wander is very circular in his design, with his hat, shoes and head, that main villains Lord Hater & Lord Dominator, have a lot of angular patterns.
    • Hater has his triangular hat and the lightning bolts on his head & gloves, an aesthetic that is mirrored in his minions, the Watchdogs.
    • Dominator, also has the lightning bolt horns & gloves, along with spiked shoulder pads and an edged gladiator helmet. These traits are carried over to her battle armor, along with a skull mask and sharp claws. There's also her minions, that often have spikes during battle mode, her use of bladed weapons and her battleship.
  • Evil Overlord: Lord Hater is a parody of this. Lord Dominator is an even worse example, given that she has no interest in conquering the galaxy and would just destroy it for her own benefit.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The show's Rogues Gallery is constantly scrapping for territory and clout, with Hater typically being the Villain Protagonist in relation to rivals such as Emperor Awesome and Lord Dominator. "The Little Guy" additionally implies that the Watchdogs have been taught to see Hater's enmity with Wander and Sylvia in this light, as they're aware of themselves as the "bad guys" but think our heroes are just as bad or worse.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: The reason Hater and Peepers ultimately side with the good guys to save the galaxy from Lord Dominator, "so we can conquer it later."
  • Expy: Something the So and So is obviously patterned after Marvel Comic's similarly-shabby Not Brand Echh mascot Forbush Man.
  • Eye Am Watching You: Lord Hater does this to Commander Peepers in one episode. Notably, he had just teleported out of the room. He teleported back in just for the sake of doing it.
  • Eyed Screen: Wander gets one in "The Matchmaker" when tempted by Sylvia into fighting Something the So-and-So as a diversion. He instantly snaps out seconds later and politely declines the fight.
  • Eye Scream: In "The Prisoner" Peepers gets accidentally teleported into space by Wander and his eye swells to an enormous size and becomes bloodshot. Considering that Peepers is mostly an eyeball to begin with, this can't be very comfortable for him.
    Peepers: (placing a bandage directly on his eye) That's gonna hurt coming off.
    • In "The Day," one of the Watchdogs is shown shaving his eye.
  • The Faceless: The "High Gnees" in "The Party Poopers" are only shown from the neck down. This may be due to censorship restrictions, as it's heavily implied their faces look like buttocks.
  • Faceless Eye: Peepers and the Watchdogs are all these.
  • Facepalm: Done by Peepers, followed by both Hater and Awesome's armies, in response to Hater accidentally wishing for Wander to leave him alone for five seconds.
  • Face Ship: Lord Hater's base is a spaceship shaped like a skull.
  • Face Your Fears: How the Phantom Mimes are defeated in "The Heebie Jeebies". More of them show up the more scared Wander and Sylvia are, and they disappear when the two become brave.
  • Fade Around the Eyes: In the episode "The Greater Hater", Lord Dominator does this when she decides that the heroes are idiots, and defeating them will be easy. For extra awesomeness, she does it while wearing her power suit, which gives her an electronic deep voice and a glowing green visor. The screen fades to black around her visor as she does an Evil Laugh for terrifying effect.
  • Failed Dramatic Exit: After her final defeat, Wander attempts to befriend Dominator with a fruit basket, but she brushes him off saying she doesn't want to be his friend and storms off. The dramatic moment is somewhat ruined when Dominator comes back, takes some of the food saying she was hungry, and leaves again.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: The Balzarians all do this in unison when Wander suggests they defeat Buster with trash.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The two main villains make up this trope. Lord Hater wields lightning, while Lord Dominator wields lava (fire), gaining control over ice after the sabotage/assassination attempt in "My Fair Hatey" fails.
  • Floating in a Bubble: This is how Wander and Sylvia travel from planet to planet.
  • Flock of Wolves: The "ruthless cutthroats" of Doomstone.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The alien in "The Pet" is given the name Captain Tim by Wander. It was the name of the ship's captain, whose dogtag Wander finds inside its gullet. Wander does manage to teach Captain Tim some tricks, but he's still too dangerous for him to keep as a pet. He's perfect for Lord Hater, though.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "The Troll", every time Wander refuses to help Sylvia fight the troll and sit out, she leaves. As it turns out, ignoring is how the troll is defeated.
      • And earlier, when Wander watched the troll attack and feed on the goats’ arguing causing him to grow, he smirks and gives an eyeroll as if he knows what not to do.
    • In "The Hero", Brad’s prophecy states only the hero can pull out the Sword of Destiny; he cannot pull it out while Wander can, which hints that Wander is the hero and not Brad.
    • In "The Fancy Party" Queen Entozoa rejects potential inheritors who she sees as weak. It turns out this is because she is really a parasitic demon who needs a new, strong body to possess. Also she is named after a type of parasite.
    • Though minor, there are several hints that Wander is a vegetarian even before The Reveal in “The Battle Royale”:
      • Several of the foods he ate contain no meat in them (the sandwiches and other snacks he brings in “The Picnic”, the giant hoagie in “The Tourist”, the triple pickle cream pie in “The Helper”).
      • He shows disgust for jellyfish pie in “The Hat”, which has animals in it.
      • The eggs he gets in “The Breakfast” were growing on a tree.
    • "The Party Poopers." Early on, Gluteus accuses an attendee of laughing. The attendee denies it, and gets thrown out. Later, it is revealed that the High Gnee council were hoping for someone to laugh to prove they were being honest.
  • Foul Flower: Potted Plant looks like an ordinary potted flower, but is actually a dangerous bounty hunter. Also, it transforms into a big Man-Eating Plant. (Though it still retains its petals and yellow face.)
    • Janet the Planet manifests herself through a giant flower, which she uses to try and kiss Wander.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "The Void," Sylvia rapidly opens and closes a door that contains, among other things: Wander's original design, a photo of Jack McBrayer, a photo of The Two Man Gentlemen Band, Sylvia's original design, a black and white photo of Craig McCracken, and a personal message from McCracken that reads: "Thanks for watching Wander Over Yonder and for taking the time to still frame this!"
  • Friendly Enemies: Hater and Peepers start to drift into this territory with Wander and Sylvia respectively in Season 2, to the point of needing to clarify "We're not your buddies!" in "My Fair Hatey."
  • Friendship Trinket: The broken-heart necklace Wander attempts to palm off on Hater in "The Buddies," as well as the identical necklace which Commander Peepers himself shares with Hater. Likewise the skull ring which Wander hangs on to after helping a zonked-out Hater win it from a claw machine in "The Fremergency Fronfract."
  • Galactic Conqueror: The vast majority of the shows villains. There's even a leaderboard for how many planets one has conquered.
  • Gambit Roulette: Wander's scheme to set up Hater and Dominator in "The Battle Royale" involves spreading a completely innocuous rumor in the knowledge that by the time it gets to them, it will be about a highly powerful magical artifact to be found in a specific location where they will then meet each other. It works a little too well, pulling in not only them but every other villain in the galaxy. The matchmaking itself is about as successful as could possibly be expected in that it does end with Hater becoming smitten with Dominator, and only fails by failing to account for Dominator's character.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Lord Dominator. It is revealed throughout the second season that ''Lord'' Dominator is actually a bratty teenage alien girl.
  • Ghost Ship: "The Pet" takes place aboard one, naturally containing a monster that wants to eat everything aboard.
  • Giant Spider: The Arachnomorphs are a species of this. Captain Tim, the main example we see in the series, turns out to be a relatively small specimen, being about the size of a dog in relation to his owner Lord Hater, while the arachnomorph "queen" is more typically monster-sized.
  • Gone Behind the Bend: In "The Picnic", Hater chases Wander around a tall narrow rock, until Wander climbs up on it to watch the planets align, leaving Hater to run around the rock until he finds Wander on top and resumes chasing him.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Wander's fur, hat and shoes are light shades of orange, green and blue respectively, while Lord Hater wears a robe of dark red and black.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: In Season 2, Wander (good) and Lord Hater (bad) face Lord Dominator (evil).
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Lord Hater wears red eyeball-print boxers under his cloak.
  • Gossip Evolution: In "The Battle Royale" Wander takes advantage of this with some serious Gambit Roulette, whispering a rumor into the ear of a random civilian ("There's a Fall Flower Fling atop the Alkaloid Trapezoid Station") knowing that by the time it gets to Lord Hater it will have transmuted into "There's an all-powerful Ring of Invincibility at the top of the Blastroid Asteroid Formation."
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: "The Night", which is a continuation of the previous episode, "The Day", ends exactly where "The Day" began, with Sylvia waking up to discover that Wander is asleep and they are on Hater's ship.
  • HA HA HA—No: In "My Fair Hatey", when Dominator shows all the villains she has captured:
    Lord Hater: So, you... don't want to date me?
    Dominator [hysterical laughter]: Oh... that is... You think I... That is too good! I mean, it's sad for you, but... [laughter ends] Let me put this in a way you idiots can understand! [''Dominator begins singing "I'm the Bad Guy"]
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Being set in a World of Ham, this is bound to happen.
    • "The Picnic" plays it straight with Lord Hater vs. Emperor Awesome, and has a one-sided variation with Hater vs. Wander.
    • Heck, Hater and Wander go toe-to-toe in Ham-to-Ham Combat ON A REGULAR BASIS.
    • "The Axe" has Hater facing off against EVIL SANDWIIIIIICH!!!
    • OK, so imagine taking Weird Al and having him play a deranged floating clown banana with a love of puns and pranks. Now have him face off against Wander doing a particularly hammy impression of Adam West's Batman. That's basically the plot of "The Boy Wander". It's as entertaining as it sounds.
    • It seems the writers love putting Hater in ham contests because "The Search For Captain Tim" has Hater working together with Ripov, an over-the-top parody of Ripley from the Alien movies.
  • Hammerspace: Invoked with Wander's hat. It's a magical artifact that won't give you what you want, but rather give you what you need.
    • Later deconstructed in "The Bad Hatter" where it's revealed that the hat's Hammerspace abilities make it a very powerful and dangerous weapon, and that power-hungry individuals once abused its magic.
  • Heart Beats out of Chest:
    • The episode "The Night" has a non-romantic-love example. Sylvia, exhausted from the events of "The Day" has stated that she needs a really quiet night. Wander goes to great lengths to keep the whole planet silent for her. However, once he's done that, he becomes aware of his own heartbeat, which begins hammering through his furry orange chest.
    • The episode "The Fugitives" has Wander's heart beat out his chest as he describes the good feeling he gets from helping others.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": "The Party Poopers" is basically eleven straight minutes of nothing but this. It has to be seen to be believed. And is an Invoked Trope example, as it turns out: far from being masters of Accidental Innuendo, the High Gnee Council know exactly what they're doing.
    "Anyone who doesn't laugh is either lying or not paying attention!"
  • Holding In Laughter: n "The Party Poopers", Sylvia takes Wander to see the High Gnees and informs him that he must never laugh in their presence, or he'll be kicked out. This turns out to be difficult for Wander, as there are loads of references to butts and poop, and Sylvia has to hold Wander out a window so he can privately let out his giggles twice. Ironically, it's Sylvia who ends up losing her composure around the High Gnees.
  • Homeless Hero: Peepers mentions in "The It" that Wander doesn't have a house. He later says in "The Family Reunion" that he lives "wherever the stars take him".
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Not unlike The Amazing World of Gumball every episode is titled "The (Noun)" (which actually leads to them having several episodes with identical names), though Wander doesn't limit all its titles to two words like Gumball does.
  • Imagine Spot: In "The Bounty" when Wander, Sylvia, and Peepers have been eaten by a carnivorous potted plant, Peepers has one in where Lord Hater gives the plant his job and he's demoted to scrub duty.
  • Immortal Immaturity: "The Waste of Time" reveals that Wander is well over a thousand years old, with Word of God suggesting that he won't be dying of old age any time soon. But even after being around for so long, he's still a flighty, naive little goofball.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The lyrics to the Italian dub actually mention Disney, as in "Disney Wander".
  • Instant Wristwatch:
    • Wander in The Little Guy and The Tourist
    • Sylvia in The Stranded
    • Lord Hater in The Good Deed
  • The Internet Is for Cats: In one episode Wander lands on a planet where people become enamored with a Cute Kitten (who even does a Shout-Out to Keyboard Cat). Mechanical toys were being sold in vending machines that had cute kitten videos on them. When Wander arrived, most people weren't hooked. He got hooked and then everyone else does. It turns out to be mind-control and the cat is a villain trying to scam people out of their money.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: In "The Party Poopers," Sylvia about to rush Wander to the balcony to release the gale of laughter he's been holding back.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: In "The Good Deed" Lord Hater screams that he's not emotionally unstable just before flipping the psychic's table over and vowing revenge on the sun because he was upset over his reading.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: When the psychic reads Hater's fortune:
    Psychic: Wait, the skies have shifted. The stars do not say you will be a strong and powerful leader. Now the stars say you are immature, awkward, and emotionally unstable.
    Hater: I am not emotionally unstable!! [Hater overturns the table] You will pay for this, sun!
  • Jabba Table Manners:
    • In "The Fancy Party," Wander looks at the many utensils used for eating and, since not knowing which one to use for his meal, scoops up the food with his hands and eats it; shocking everyone at the table (except Queen Entozoa). And later shows everyone that he can balance a spoon on his nose.
    • Lord Hater eats all the food sloppily in front of "Linn" in "The Date."
  • Joke of the Butt: "The Party Poopers" is essentially 11 minutes of non-stop toilet humor and butt jokes, with the plot revolving around Sylvia instructing Wander to show respect to the High-Nee Council and not laugh, a task which Wander finds hard to oblige due to the Council making several tushy-related puns and heavily implied to have faces that look like buttocks even though we never see them from the neck up.
    High-Nee Butler: We Nees like big buffets, so feel free to take a big juicy bite of our rump roast, pressed ham, hot buttered buns, mooncakes, roasted halibut...
  • Jump Scare: In "The Pet" there's one at the end of the credits.
    • There's another one at the end of "The Heebie Jeebies".
  • Karmic Butt-Monkey: Lord Hater is a Card-Carrying Villain with ambitions to conquer and enslave various planets. He puts on a front as a menacing, tyrannical dictator whose confidence and decorum cannot be shaken. But then Wander enters the picture and foils his plans almost every episode without actually trying to in his efforts to befriend the Big Bad, and Lord Hater loses his cool and reveals himself to be an insecure and immature Manchild and Sore Loser who throws a tantrum like a five-year-old whenever Wander messes things up for him.
  • Kick the Dog:
  • King Koopa Copy: Characteristically, Lord Hater shares a lot of traits with Bowser, more specifically the Bowser of the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi games. Like Bowser, Hater is in control of an army of species-specific minions that are loyal to him and has a tendency to use his power for selfish and petty reasons. Both have a miserable record of failures when it comes to evil plans and tend to be subject to a number of Amusing Injuries and embarrassing situations. They both have bizarre relationships with their arch-enemies that vary from animosity to grudging respect and sometimes even share in recreational activities.
  • Kneel Before Zod: In "My Fair Hatey", when Dominator shows up after Hater was performing his musical number before Dominator's suit of armor, Dominator reveals that the reason she invited Hater wasn't for a date like he believed, but because he was the only villain who hadn't bowed down before her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The basis for "The Fugitives." When Wander helps out a lot of strangers instead of trying to escape, those strangers orchestrate his escape at the end.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise:
    • The final scene of "The Rider" is accompanied by an instrumental version of the theme song.
    • Done again in the last scene of "The End of the Galaxy" as Wander believes Hater is playing "capture the flag" again, and he and Sylvia are being chased once more.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Season 2 has its own First-Episode Twist when it's revealed that newcomer Lord Dominator is a girl. This already was no surprise to anyone who'd seen the ComicCon trailer, but given that Dominator's Green-Skinned Space Babe good looks and viral Villain Song in "My Fair Hatey" quickly made her the show's most popular character among people who hadn't seen the show, it's next to impossible to avoid the spoiler now.
  • Laughably Evil: The entire Card-Carrying Villain Rogues Gallery. Dominator is not exempt.
  • Leitmotif: Lord Hater always seems to be accompanied by heavy metal music.
    • Commander Peepers has his own theme music that is mostly heard in episodes centered on him. It is a march, that often ends with Andy Bean singing, "Commander Pee-peeeeeerrrrrrrs."
    • Wander is usually accompanied by Banjo strings of any sort.
    • The original "Wander Over Yonder" theme song (whose lyrics are quoted at the top of this page) is frequently heard during touching friendship moments between Wander and Sylvia, often played on piano.
    • Lord Dominator has an easily recognisable theme song that sounds much more serious than most of the music in the series, fitting her role as a Knight of Cerebus.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • "The Gift" has Wander and Sylvia decide to give gifts to everyone they've met over the past season...of their lives. This not only refers to a monthly season, but the show's entire first season.
    • Also, in the between season shorts, Hater complains he's been trying to destroy Wander for "like, a year and a half", which is the runtime of the first season.
    • In "The Matchmaker", Wander tells Something the So-and-So he would normally spend 11 minutes on a fight, referencing the length of a regular episode.
    • "My Fair Hatey" takes a jab at the Musical Episode trope and has someone point out the "singing out of nowhere" at least once throughout (except Wander himself, given how he usually is).
    • Time Travel Episode "The Waste of Time" neatly combines this with a Take That! at the typical Clip Show format, which the episode itself thankfully manages to avert.
    Sylvia: Look, buddy, I know you're having fun reminiscing, but we can't just waste our time watching past episodes … of our lives. It could be dangerous! And boring!!
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Sylvia's alias for her date with Lord Hater, "Linguini von Breadstick". Wander and Sylvia happened to be at the same Italian restaurant as Hater at the time.
  • Living Hat: Wander's hat is implied to be sentient. Mostly it acts as a Bag of Holding that gives the owner what they need for a particular situation. This is highlighted in the episode "The Hat", where Wander goes missing and Sylvia has to use the hat to find him, but everything the hat gives her results in her almost being eaten by a giant worm which is what the hat wants, since Wander had been swallowed by the worm. When Sylvia argues with the hat, it appears to smile or frown as a response.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Sylvia goes through several in "The Pet".
  • Love Makes You Stupid: A huge plot point with Hater in the second season. After he figures out that Dominator is a woman, he tries desperately to impress her by giving her gifts, coming up with ridiculous displays of affection, and in general making a fool of himself and his Watchdogs. It takes her finally telling him that it's never going to happen at the end of "My Fair Hatey" to get the message.
  • Made of Explodium: When Lord Hater throws Emperor Awesome's dinosaur into space, it inexplicably explodes.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The troll in "The Troll" gets bigger as it feeds on people's reactions to his insults.
  • Mama Bear: Sylvia and the baby's real mother in "The Egg." Sylvia also seems very protective of Wander.
  • Mayfly–December Friendship: "The Waste of Time" implies that this is the case with Wander and Sylvia, as well as most of Wander's other friendships, as Wander was alive a thousand years ago with no visible aging, making him either immortal or extremely long-lived. Although the episode does seem to depict Wander and Sylvia growing old together, according to writer Frank Angones, the writer's room decided that Wander's beard was a fake beard to make Sylvia feel better, and he hadn't actually aged significantly over that 50-year period.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The titular character Wander likes to travel. He also has a tendency to "wander off" from Sylvia when distracted. In "The Waste of Time", it's revealed he chose his name when Sylvia called him a "wandering weirdo" when they first met.
    • Lord Hater is an evil overlord who is powered by hatred. There's also Commander Peepers and his Watchdogs.
    • The Season 2 Arc Villain Lord Dominator dominates the entire galaxy.
  • Meaningful Rename: In "The Bot," you can tell that the Mook–Face Turn has taken when the titular Mecha-Mook refuses to answer to "Bot 13" and instead insists on Wander's name for him, "Beep Boop."
  • Meet Cute: Wander causes the events of "The Battle Royale" to happen in order to get him and Dominator to meet on the battlefield where the titular Royale happens. He even calls it as much before the first commercial break.
  • Me's a Crowd:
    • The one-off character Trudi Traveler is revealed to have dozens of herself, which reveals how she saw all those planets that fast.
    • Wander himself gets split into hundreds of himself in "The Wanders".
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Buster, an innocent space puppy who doesn't realize that the "balls" he's playing with are whole planets.
  • Mind Rape: In "The Funk," Peepers and Hater get this treatment when they make the mistake of bullying the Mooplexians, a race of extremely powerful psychic beings locked in lethargic, drooling shells.
  • Mischievous Body Language: "The Big Day" has Hater preparing to destroy Wander and Sylvia, until Wander stops him and asks him if he's going to let it end in such a cheap, unfulfilling fashion. Sylvia asks him what he's doing, until he gives her a smile and a knowing wink, at which point Sylvia realizes that they're doing "a thing". By the end of the episode, Wander and Sylvia have tricked Hater into blowing up his own ship as they, well, wander off.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Happens on occasion. For example, in "The Pet" after the scene where the alien wraps the teddy bear Wander gave it in a cocoon, Wander runs away right before Sylvia enters, which leads to her mistaking the teddy bear's remains for Wander being eaten.
  • Mistaken for Romance: In "The Toddler," Sylvia and Wander find a lost child at the mall and are mistaken for his parents more than once as they struggle to find the real ones, much to Sylvia's chagrin.
    Woman: You two are horrible parents! Learn how to control your kid!
    Sylvia: HE'S NOT OUR KID!!!
  • Mistaken for Dog: In "The Pet", Wander comes face to face with a voracious, acid-spewing spider-like monster who has eaten the entire crew of a spaceship... and starts gushing about how cute he is and tries to train it and be his pet.
  • Modesty Towel: In "The Day", Sylvia ends up having to fight some Watchdogs in the Skullship's locker room and is disgusted that the Watchdogs directly in front of her are butt naked. They oblige when she asks them to put towels on, but she has to specify that she meant for them to wear towels around their waists when they initially wrap the towels around their heads and do nothing about their state of indecency.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: In the episode "The Egg", Wander finds a giant egg fallen from a nest and concludes this is the case for the monster attacking Sylvia and him. He's wrong, but the egg's real mother is bigger and meaner than the monster that was trying to kill them, and very grateful that they helped her baby.
  • Mood Motif: There are several throughout the show as a whole; some episodes get their own, but these are the ones most prevalent.
    • The Kazoo of Silliness: Wander
    • The Banjo of Adorable Bumpkin: Wander again.
    • The Epic Riff of Epicness: Hater.
    • 133 Sentimental Piano and Strings, which plays in touching or tragic scenes.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In "The Greatest," we have the scene where an enraged Lord Hater looms over a frightened Wander and Sylvia, proclaiming he's the greatest in the galaxy. Immediately after this tense moment...Wander gives Hater a great big hug with a heart appearing in the background.
    Wander: Well, congratulations! That's amazing!
    • "The Wanders", a high energy goofball episode involving Sylvia trying to chase down Wander's different personality parts, suddenly takes a turn for the somber when Sylvia comes across Wander's personified helplessness.
  • The Most Wanted: The All-Loving Hero Wander is the number one fugitive throughout the galaxy, according to Lord Hater. Lord Hater has obsessively sent Bounty Hunters and his army and to find Wander several different times, and he doesn't seem to be well-liked by other villains in general. In "The Fancy Party," the villainous Queen Entozoa just finds this impressive.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The episode with the longest title, "The Epic Quest of Unfathomable Difficulty!!!", is all about Wander and Sylvia going on an epic return a missing sock to its owner.
  • Musical Episode: Season 2's "My Fair Hatey: a Wander Over Yonder Musical". It turns out to actually be a plot important episode too, since it reveals Dominator's ice powers, sinks the Hater/Dominator ship to the bottom of the ocean, and starts to set up the season 2 finale.
  • Musical World Hypothesis: The show seems to mostly use the Diegetic type, as Wander plays a banjo for most of the songs he sings. Regarding, the Alternate Universe type can be used as well, making Wander's songs half and half.
    • Lord Hater gets one in "The Fancy Party" where he serenades the alien queen, though that could be justified with him just singing with the band.
    • Played With in the Musical Episode, wherein the characters (save, of course, Wander) seem to be pretty confused by the whole setup, although they eventually just roll with it.
    Peepers: Okay, okay, you definitely sang that last part.
    Sylvia: Well, so did you! I was only followin' your lead.
  • Mythology Gag: The first episode, "The Picnic," makes one to the Pilot Movie for Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, another McCracken cartoon specifically, with this line:
    Hater: "Slow down, I just wanna destroy you!" note 
    • In the Disney XD short "The Smile", one of the many faces Wander cycles through before showing a genuine face of fear is the shaggy appearance of McCracken's earlier designs for Wander.
    • The last shot of "The End Of The Galaxy" mirrors the ending of the original theme song.
  • Myth Arc: The show has two: Firstly, there's Lord Hater's gradual Character Development from a Galactic Conqueror into a more heroic figure, and then there's the efforts to stop Lord Dominator from destroying the galaxy.
  • Naked People Are Funny:
    • "The Day" has a bit where Sylvia tries to sneak out of the Skullship's locker room with a sleeping Wander and winds up having to fight all the Watchdogs there. She is disgusted when she sees that the Watchdogs directly in front of her aren't wearing towels. Her demand that they put towels on before the fight continues even has the Watchdogs initially misinterpret the instruction by wearing the towels on their heads and doing nothing about their state of indecency.
    Sylvia: I meant around your waists!
    Watchdog 2: Oh.
    Watchdog 3: My bad.
    Watchdog 4: Yeah, that makes way more sense. (Watchdogs remove towels from their heads and wrap them around their waists)
    • "The Boy Wander" features the chicken-like aliens known as the Cluckons being victims of Dr. Screwball Jones' feather thefts, leaving them embarrassingly trying to cover up their plucked bodies while Lord Hater complains that he can see their "nuggets".
  • Never Trust a Trailer: In the Comic Con Second Season trailer we see Lord Hater and Commander Peepers fighting which seems like a serious and climatic scene, when the episode "The It", where that event took place, It turns out that they are just playing tag.
  • Never Say "Die": Zig-Zagged. Lord Hater is intent on "destroying" Wander, which gives the viewers a hint he wants to kill him. However, he will occasionally just come right out and say he wants Wander to "die." It seems whether they can actually say the word or not is dependant on if a character is directly telling another character what they plan on doing with them.
    • Averted in "The Egg":
      Wander: (to the Egg) Oh, don't you worry! We'll get you back to Mama... even if she wants to kill us! Yes she does! She wants to kill us DEEEAAAAAAD!
    • Also, from the exact same episode:
    • "The Gift" has Sylvia pointing out that if Hater catches her and Wander sneaking around on his ship, "we get to die."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Wander's antics eventually frees the cosmos from Lord Hater's stranglehold. This in turn allows every other galactic rogue a chance to conquer the universe in season 2.
    • In "My Fair Hatey", Commander Peepers and Sylvia team up and throw an ice laser into the molten core of Lord Dominator's ship, freezing her inside, only for it to unfreeze and give Dominator both lava and ice powers.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Hater's attempt to break Wander by talking in "The Hole...Lotta Nuthin'" only works until he mockingly quotes Wander's Catchphrase "it never hurts to help," lifting Wander's spirits by reminding him that he's doing a heroic deed by plugging the black hole. Frustrated by the fact that Wander managed to find a positive side to the situation, Hater yanks him out of the hole, winds up plugging the hole himself, and ultimately loses an arm in the process of escaping.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Wander is an optimist whose mission is to make friends and help them, Lord Hater is an evil overlord who wants to conquer the galaxy, and Sylvia mediates between the two, due to being abrasive but also as kind as Wander.
  • Nobody Can Die:
    • Despite their Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain status as compared to Knight of Cerebus Lord Dominator, Hater, Peepers and the Watchdogs appear to have no compunctions about killing people...they just never get around to it onscreen. "The Rager" sees them rounding up multiple planetary rulers and scheduling them for execution the next day, only for them all to escape the ship before dawn.
    • Based on her planet-destroying actions, Lord Dominator should have a body count in the millions. Officially speaking, her only confirmed kill is Beep Boop. (By that metric, Hater's destruction of her entire bot army gives him a far higher kill count than hers!) "The Legend" shows that some, if not all, planetary populations saw her coming and evacuated in time to escape her drill.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The episode "The Good Deed" is all about this trope. Every time Wander helps out someone, the circumstances just keep getting increasingly worse. At least the chain ends with Lord Hater and Peepers.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Wander and Sylvia to each other, very much.
  • Noodle Implements: In "The Brainstorm," Peepers strives to pitch an invasion plan that's Crazy-Prepared against potential Wander antics that Hater suggests, but hits a wall when he fails to understand how Wander could foil the whole scheme using his banjo ("HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?!") That's exactly what happens.
  • Noodle Incident: We see how Wander and Sylvia first met but not how they became the bosom buddies they are today.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Twice in "The Stray". First, once Little Bits is teleported away from Wander, he is released from his hypnosis. Second, once he snaps out, he remembers nothing throughout the episode when under, aside from first seeing Little Bits in the street.
    Wander: Wait, there was a little kitty, in the street! Did we help her?!
    Sylvia: I like to think we did.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Sylvia and Peepers have a moment like this during "The Battle Royale", where they realize that they're both th Cloud Cuckoo Landers Minder to their respective friends. They even almost reconcile and hug it out before realizing what they were doing and begin pummeling each other again.
  • Oblivious to Hatred: Hater despises Wander full-time, but Wander repeatedly treats him like he's his friend, and rarely does he realize this. It's downplayed with the implication that Wander in fact understands the situation perfectly well and is consciously trying to reform Hater by treating him as a friend, as he puts, "An enemy is a friend you haven't made yet."
  • Oblivious to Love: Wander seems so in "The Lonely Planet," unaware that his new friend Janet the Planet is obsessed with him to disturbing, Sylvia-sabotaging levels.
  • Odd Organ Up Top: While Lord Hater leads the Army of Watchdogs, who have eyeballs as their entire headsnote , Emperor Awesome has the Fist Fighters, who are humanoids with fists for heads. The Knucklehead variant works as a Bouncer for his parties.
  • Oh, Crap!: Plenty of moments in the preview alone. Among them:
    Peepers: Sir? Sir?! SIIIIIR?!
    Peepers: THAT! (points to planets aligning at that very moment) And THAAAAT! (points to Awesome's army just a few meters from them)
    • Wander immediately after Hater lowers his forcefield.
    Wander: .... (hands Peepers his popcorn) Here you go. (runs and dodges Hater's lightning bolts)
    • Hater and Peepers' reaction in "The Good Deed" when they realize that the missile they aimed at the sun has been turned directly around and is about to hit their ship.
    • In "The Bounty" Hater tries to capture Wander and Sylvia by hiring two formidable-looking bounty hunters and a potted plant. Peepers takes out the first two only for the third to sneak up behind him, revealing its true nature as a Man-Eating Plant.
      Peepers: Oooh...zrebdank.
  • Ominous Cube: The Black Cube of Darkness parodies this trope. While introduced as a sentient, terrifying supervillain capable of sucking souls, he is later shown to be rather lackluster at anything that doesn't involve villainy. After his second appearance, he ends up giving up on villainy and tries his hand at a number of odd jobs. However, everyone (besides Wonder) still fears him.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Lord Dominator is revealed as this in the last third of Season 2; she doesn't care of conquering planets and would rather just destroy the galaxy.
  • Once per Episode: The first shot of almost every episode is a quick zoom-in on the planet the episode is taking place on.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Wander himself; in fact, he implies in "The Greater Hater" that "Wander" is not his real name. He quickly changes the subject before he says it.
    • The cat bounty hunter Little Bits; she was given her name by Wander, meaning her real name is unknown. When she became temporarily viral, she went under the nickname "Baby Cakes".
    • There's a good chance many of the bad guys are this, with names like Lord Hater and Emperor Awesome. This is possibly acknowledged in "The Good Bad Guy" with the introduction of an idol of Hater's who gained notoriety under the name "Major Threat," but has since reformed and now goes by "Jeff."
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Wander and Sylvia.
  • Overly-Long Gag: The animatic that plays over the end credits sometimes extends a scene from the episode into one of these (or an even longer one).
  • Pants-Pulling Prank: In "The Brainstorm", one of the ways Wander and Sylvia may thwart Peeper's proposed plans in taking over the planet that Lord Hater brings up is that Sylvia could incapacitate the Watchdogs by pantsing them.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Mostly from Sylvia, who's apparently given to swearing. Her speech includes colorful language like "Flarf!", "Flarpin'!", "Grop!", "Zrebdank!", "Narfin' froods!", "Flip-pickin' lupsork!", and "Flarfnabbit!"
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The password for Lord Hater's self-destruct system is "Lord Hater #1 super star".
  • Pep-Talk Song: In "My Fair Hatey", both the title song and the reprise of "You're the Greatest" are used to reassure characters in the face of the episode's fallout.
  • Pet the Dog: Hater formally loves tormenting Peepers, but ever since season 2 came they get along better to the point that Hater sees Peepers as his best friend. Like in "The Fancy Party" he saves Peepers as they're running away from Queen Entozoa's guards. In the credits animatic you can actually see Hater grabbing Peepers as he runs to his ship.
    • Also at the end of "The Axe" Hater rewards Peepers with an statue of himself (Peepers) next to his.
    • "The Cool Guy" features some Hypocritical Heartwarming when Hater sees Emperor Awesome, with whom he spent the entire episode hanging out, picking on Peepers and proceeds to beat him to a pulp.
  • Piss-Take Rap: In "The Show Stopper" Hater is playing a rock concert to try to get Dominator's attention, and Peepers asks him if he's considered that she might not like rock music. In response, Hater switches to one of these complete with Old School Introductory Rap. Even he's aware that it's bad.
  • Planetary Core Manipulation: Lord Dominator travels the galaxy in search of Volcanium X, which she drains from planetary cores to fuel her spaceship and Doom Troops. She especially loves that this reduces the planet to a barren wasteland.
    Lord Dominator: I'm gonna rock this world! Literally, I'm gonna turn it into a rock about thiiiiis big.
  • Planet of Hats: Seems to describe all the worlds Wander visits.
  • Police Are Useless: A whole leaderboard of Galactic Conquerors gallop around wreaking havoc and subjugating entire star systems with little or no interference, but in "The Prisoner" a lone highway officer pulls the Skullship over for speeding.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: "The Gift" and "The Gift 2: The Giftening" tell the same story, the former being told from Wander and Sylvia's perspective, the latter from Lord Hater and Commander Peepers. Funnily enough, "The Gift 2" was released before "The Gift".
  • The Power of Friendship/The Power of Love: Possibly. McCracken has said this is less about Good Vs. Evil and more about Love Vs. Hate.
    • Wander also mentions the latter in "The Egg", several times.
  • Powering Villain Realization: In "The Troll", a troll attacks the fortress of Baaaaa-halla. As the Baaaaa-hallans attack, Wander just curls up by the fireplace. Sylvia at first thinks he's just being lazy, but as it turns out, the troll is an Emotion Eater; it taunts the Baaaaa-hallans, and their angry reactions make him bigger and stronger. When he gets to Wander and starts taunting him, Wander does nothing... and the troll starts shrinking. Sylvia sees this and realizes what Wander is doing, and convinces the Baaaaa-hallans to also ignore the troll, until it shrinks down to a few inches small.
  • Precision F-Strike: The normally polite Wander in "The Family Reunion," finally driven mad after listening to Sylvia's family argue all day.
    Wander: Flabdrassit, that's enough!
    Dorothy: Language.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: In a couple of episodes, but not all. Wander takes the crown for this trope, but Sylvia has shown these eyes as well ("The Egg").
    • Used as a weapon of intimidation in "The Stray."
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Lord Hater. In "The Greatest" alone, he throws a massive hissy fit over not winning Wander's trophy, and completely forgets that he's conquered the planet they're on.
    Peepers: Please, Sir, just let them go! The planet is ours!
    Hater: Shut up, Peepers! Forget the planet; I want that trophy! I'm the greatest in the galaxy!
    • Lampshaded in "The Good Deed" when Lord Hater gets a psychic reading that tells him that he is this.
    Psychic: Wait, the skies have shifted. The stars do not say you will be a strong and powerful leader. Now the stars say you are immature, awkward, and emotionally unstable.
    Hater: I AM ''NOT'' EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE! *flips table* You will pay for this, sun!
    • As it turns out, Lord Dominator is a bigger case of this. She's at least more focused on destroying the galaxy than Hater is on conquering it, but she does it for no clear reason other than the fact that she can, her only emotional motivation is that she's seeking any form of attention she can get, and she generally acts like a moody, bratty teenage girl otherwise.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Watchdogs are simply following orders from Hater and Peepers, and they easily befriend Wander in various occasions.

  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Wander is the red to Sylvia's blue, and Hater is the red to Peepers' blue.
  • Retool: While the first season was simply Slice of Life and comedic, the second is Darker and Edgier and spawns a long Myth Arc.
  • The Reveal:
    • "The Wanders" reveals why Wander is his happy-go-lucky helpful self, because he knows what it's like to be helpless and at an unknown period, experienced that himself. Said persona was in the form of a frightened child, suggesting he was that when younger.
    • "The Bad Hatter" reveals how Wander got his hat: he stole it from a pair of intergalactic villains using it for their power.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Watch "The Troll" again and you'll know why Wander is sitting out of the fight and ignoring Sylvia.
    • In "The Hat", once you realize Wander was eaten by the worm, everything the hat does to Sylvia takes on an entire new meaning as the audience knows why it is attracting the worm's attention.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The origins of Wander, Hater and Dominator are never elaborated on.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Buster from "The Ball." Not from the perspective of the inhabitants whose planets he keeps destroying, though.
  • Right on Queue: A Running Gag on "The Nice Guy", where Wander finds a long line every time he goes to pay, no matter how empty the store seems to be.
  • Sad Clown: Wander himself, as revealed in "The Wanders".
    Zen Wander: The helper seeks to help, because he knows what it's like to be helpless.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Lord Dominator as revealed at the end of the season 2 trailer.
  • Sanity Slippage: Poor Wander has already gone through two nervous breakdowns, in "The Fugitives" and "The Box". And they are uniformly caused by the same thing: Wander having to repress his natural urges of curiosity and helpfulness.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • Wander and Sylvia use Hater's competitive streak against him in order to defeat him in "The Greatest."
    Wander: Hey, Hater! Final challenge for the win!
    Sylvia: Last one into the town is a rotten egg!
    • Subverted with the happy and peaceful shortcut through the dragon king's Labyrinth of Delusion in "The Hero". Brad refuses to take that path as it appears to be an obvious trap, but it turns out to be completely safe.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: The Friz Freleng variation of this gag is used in "The Void".
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • In "The Box", Sylvia and Wander have to deliver a box without opening it first, which Wander finds hard to resist. When they finally make it, they are informed by Sufficiently Advanced Aliens that they were being tested on their integrity. Even when told this, Wander still obsesses over what's in the box, so Sylvia makes the aliens put something in the empty box to keep him from having a Heroic BSoD. The items they put in the box are completely mundane, but they're good enough for Wander.
    • The Hurricane Of Accidental Puns in "The Party Poopers" is in fact completely intentional, as the "High Gnees" are purposely leaning into their unusual appearances to create a situation in which "anyone who doesn't laugh is either lying or not paying attention." When Sylvia and Wander finally crack, they're thrilled to have found the honesty they were looking for.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism:
    • "The Pet": After thinking Wander was eaten by the alien, Sylvia activates the ship's self-destruct to keep the alien from escaping. When she discovers that Wander is still alive, she has to return and get him out before the ship explodes.
    • "The Prisoner": Wander activates the self-destruct in Lord Hater's ship. Hater waits for Peepers to apologize before deactivating it at literally the last second.
    • "The Loose Screw" uses it twice. Sylvia accidentally activates the self-destruct on Stella Starbella's ship while she's fixing the engine and has to frantically try to guess the password, which Stella herself has forgotten (fortunately it turns out to be just "password"). Later in the episode, Mandrake the Malfeasant is likewise unable to remember his own password after Mittens sets off his self-destruct mechanism and Stella is forced to rescue him before the ship blows up.
  • Seriously Scruffy: Inverted; The titular character suffers stress from being prevented from helping, or from his curiosity being denied but doing so actually clears it up. The stress takes the form of his eyes changing colour, pupils changing size, his fur getting frizzy and brittle, and patches appearing on his hat.
    • Peepers in "The Bad Neighbors" is the Faceless Eye version as his attempts to think of a plan to defeat Dominator grow increasingly desperate. After pulling an all-nighter he has stubble on his lower eyelid.
  • Shaking the Rump: Sylvia shakes her behind to provoke a giant worm in "The Hat".
  • Sheathe Your Sword: In "The Troll", Wander realizes that the only reason the troll gets bigger is because he's powered by people responding to his taunts. To beat him, Wander just curls up by a fireplace and ignores him.
  • Shipper on Deck: Wander for Lord Hater and Lord Dominator in the second quarter of S2; he instantly drops it once he realizes Dominator doesn't have feelings for Hater.
  • Shout-Out: So many, they now have their own page.
  • Show Within a Show: The Mystery Kids' Mysteries, which is best described as a cross between Gravity Falls and Scooby-Doo with a bit of The Jetsons thrown in as well.
  • Side Bet: When Wander's first attempt to lure Buster away from the Balzarian's planet in "The Ball", seems to work, we see one slipping another a dollar. He says he didn't think he'd win.
  • The '60s: The art style—and, thankfully, not the animation—is modeled heavily on the works of Jay Ward and Buck Biggers.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: This show is pretty solidly on the idealistic side. In Season 2, it begins to slot somewhere in the middle with the arrival of Lord Dominator, though it still leans heavily on the idealistic side, seeing as how the idea of the second season seems to be that no matter how bad things get, there's always still hope.
  • Smart Animal, Average Human: Wander, a goofy and optimistic humanoid Cartoon Creature with his faithful and no-nonsense steed Sylvia.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The first season had Lord Hater as the Big Bad. Though he was very powerful, he was still just an incompetent Psychopathic Man Child as Wander often bested him with ease without even engaging him in a fight. By Season 2, he was barely even a threat and had gone from the show's main villain to more of an Anti-Hero.
    • Season 2 introduced Lord Dominator, a sadistic Omnicidal Maniac who was more competent than every other villain in the show combined, is the first villain to kill a sympathetic character onscreen and actually succeeds in destroying most of the galaxy.
    • While Season 3 was never made due to invokedExecutive Meddling, Word of God states that the main threat for the third season would be an even greater threat than Dominator.
  • Space Is Noisy
  • Special Edition Title: "My Fair Hatey" does not start with the theme song; instead it begins with the show title against a curtain before it opens.
  • Spinoff Babies: Parodied in "The Matchmaker", where one of the transformations experienced by Wander and Sylvia in the episode has them appear as infants in baby carriages under the mock title card "The Babies".
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Lord Hater and Commander Peepers were always major characters, but in Season 2 they are given just as much, if not more, focus and screen time as Wander and Sylvia, as opposed to the handful of Villain Episodes they had in Season 1.
    • According to Word of God, that was actually the plan for Season 1 as well, but the company set down a rule that every episode had to involve Wander and Sylvia in some way. In Season 2, the crew behind the show argued that Hater and Peepers had been developed enough as main characters to have episodes all to themselves.
  • Stalker Shrine: Peepers' Hater-based room decorating scheme is…a little over-the-top.
    • Planet Janet creates an entire HOUSE dedicated to Wander. Even Wander is creeped out!
  • Stealth Pun:
    • In "The Box", the postman who Wander and Sylvia deliver the box for (after apparently crashing his truck) is apparently a snail: Snail Mail.
    • The Troll attacks the Baaaaa-hallans by getting their goats.
    • Also, the Bad-Guy Bar in The Bad Guy has a bartender with an Apple for a head. He's a bad Apple.
  • Stock Scream:
    • "The Breakfast" has the Howie Long Scream used when Lord Hater gets bitten in the butt by a bear.
    • "The Heebie Jeebies" features a species of bird called the Wilhelm Warbler, which makes the Wilhelm Scream. Sylvia's description of the creature addresses how overused the Wilhelm Scream is.
  • Story Arc: The entire second season is centered on this - Lord Dominator, a new villain, is set out to destroy the galaxy.
    • Between the second and third half hours is a smaller arc centered on Hater falling for Dominator.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "The Toddler," Wander and Sylvia encounter a lost toddler at the mall, who Wander nicknames "Huckleberry Knucklehead." When they finally track down the kid's relieved parents, it turns out that's his actual name.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: A brain-zapped Lord Hater and Wander go to, according to the song, "Gelatinus Bob's," in "The Fremergency Fronfract."
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Bingleborp in "The Greatest" undergoes this once Lord Hater invades at the beginning of the episode.
    • By the end of the second season, Lord Dominator has destroyed all the colorful, fun planets previously seen in the series, with the sole exception of the secret planet.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: This happens with surprising frequency.
    • In "The Liar", instead of accepting Wander's help without question, the mother bird attacks any time Wander gets too close.
    • In "The Greater Hater" we see what happens when a serious villain in placed into a silly space cartoon. It doesn't go well for the silly characters.
      • We also find out that Lord Hater has been wasting so much time, energy, and resources trying to defeat Wander that his empire has fallen apart. Not only are other villains are seizing his territories, but he has also lost most, if not all credibility as a villain.
    • In "The Axe" Lord Hater "conquers" several planets from other villains. However, he fails to leave behind any troops to secure the planets, so the villains are free to re-conquer their lost planets from Hater.
    • In "The Battle Royale" Wander's plans to set Hater and Dominator up as a couple fail (almost) entirely. 1) Battlefields are not especially romantic, 2) Lord Dominator has no interest in romance, and 3) Lord Hater is not aware that Lord Hater is a lady until the end of the episode. Hater does become obsessed with Dominator for a while, so it wasn't a complete failure.
    • In "The End of the Galaxy" we find that Lord Dominator has destroyed every planet in the galaxy. With nothing left to destroy, and no interests beyond destruction, Dominator suffers an existential breakdown.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Hater and Peepers take this attitude toward the Watchdogs, and Hater toward Peepers as well despite Peepers being his Hypercompetent Sidekick. The trope gets a deconstruction in "The Gift 2: The Giftening" and "The Gift" with the revelation that the Watchdogs can be quite competent and badass if they're given encouragement and positive reinforcement. In other words, it's being treated like idiots that makes them idiots. Unfortunately for Hater, such kindness also tends to make them kind in turn.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: In the climax of "The Time Bomb", Sylvia manages to control her Unstoppable Rage and perform the rest of the Galactic Conjunction 6000 without any trouble. She ends up placing second behind Harvax and Stock, but she doesn't care about the victory anymore because the true gift is staying strong thanks to Wander. But then Harvax and Stock are disqualified for cheating, giving Wander and Sylvia the victory by default.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Wander throughout "The Day".
  • Talking to Themself: Wander has demonstrated on multiple occasions his incredible ability to take on multiple roles at once when needed, once even enacting an entire courtroom scene by himself to stop a feud.
    Sylvia: (Grinning) That made no sense whatever!
  • Take Over the World: Hater's lifelong goal, though limited to just "[this] galaxy". Dominator brings this up to extreme as she doesn't want to take over it, she'd rather destroy it.
  • Tempting Fate: During "The Greater Hater", Peepers watches Hater chase after Wander while Sylvia dispatches the Watchdogs. Disgruntled and tired, he comments that "Nothing. Ever. Changes." Cue the arrival of the new Number One conqueror of the galaxy...
  • Teens Are Monsters: Those three kids from "The Black Cube" who harassed the Cube. They just end up following him everywhere and make fun of him for almost anything he does.
  • Time Travel Episode: "The Waste of Time."
  • Tin-Can Telephone: In "The Hat", Wander and Sylvia use these to communicate while separated. Unlike the traditional versions, these cans have antennae, meaning they really can communicate over long distances.
  • Title-Only Opening: "My Fair Hatey" is the only episode to not play the theme song, instead showing the show's logo on a curtain which opens and cuts right to the episode itself.
  • Title Theme Tune: In fact, the title is pretty much the only words to the song.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sylvia has mentioned jellyfish pie in three episodes.
  • Troll: A literal and personality type at the same time. Like an Internet troll, he gets his strength from people reacting to his insults and offenses and thus Wander reveals the way to defeat him is by not giving in to his hype.
  • Tranquil Fury: In "The Matchmaker", Wander barely raises his voice when he realizes Sylvia is distracting him from delivering a love letter to Dominator.
  • Trash the Set: Happens to the entire galaxy in the last quarter of Season 2, thanks to Dominator.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: When "The Fancy Party" premiered on Disney XD, Wander became a victim of this trope. The shortened theme is slightly faster and after the first chorus, Wander does not look and point ahead. Instead, he looks and points upward in a worried manner and there is different music for Hater's portion and different imagery, then it goes straight to the final chorus.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: The opening does a variation of this.
  • Unexpected Kindness: In "The Party Poopers", Sylvia warns Wander never to laugh at the High Gnees, or they won't give them the secret of stopping Lord Dominator. Wander struggles not to laugh, and eventually, even Sylvia can't hold it back anymore, so they burst out into fits of laughter. The High Gnees don't get angry, however, because the barrage of Toilet Humor and butt jokes was a secret test of how honest Wander and Sylvia were, and they give them words of advice; they have to keep being positive.
  • Unintentionally Karmic: Wander saves the universe from Hater’s wrath without meaning to through his efforts to befriend and cheer up Hater, thinking the Card-Carrying Villain will warm up and have a Heel–Face Turn. Unfortunately for Wander, but fortunately for everyone else, Wander’s lovable, well-meaning attempts at friendship only frustrate Lord Hater and ruin his evil plans.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Flarf", "Grop", "Narblin'", etc.
  • Very Special Episode: "The Troll" on cyberbullying and internet trolls.
    • The episode even includes word-for-word reference to the saying, "Don't feed the troll," which is used online in response to trolls looking for attention.
  • Villain Cred: The Galactic Villain Leaderboard exists to measure this. Hater was at number one at first, but gradually lost his spot due to Wander, though his actual position on it fluctuates as the series goes. When Lord Dominator arrives, she very quickly skyrockets straight to number one and stays there.
  • Villain Decay: Lord Hater's decay was the explicit reason for writing Lord Dominator into the story. It even occurs in-universe. Hater's obsession with destroying Wander is explicitly stated to have caused him to become less threatening. The first third of the second season revolves around Hater trying to reclaim his title as the Greatest in the Galaxy after being overtaken by the even more dangerous Lord Dominator.
  • Villain Opening Scene: Multiple episodes, including the first, tend to open with Lord Hater, Peepers and the Watchdogs. Certain Season 2 episodes also open with Lord Dominator.
  • Villainous Friendship: Peepers and Hater's relationship slowly evolves from Peepers being terrified of Hater to them actually becoming friends— albeit in a Vitriolic Best Buds sort of way. The ending of "The Buddies" takes this to eleven.
  • Villains Out Shopping: In "The Helper", Hater buys pie at a diner, much to Wander's dismay.
    • In "The Cool Guy" we see Hater and Awesome hanging out and partying.
    • "The Night Out" revolves around Dominator getting bored and disguising herself so she can check out a nearby planet.
  • Visual Pun: One of the bad guys has minions shaped like feet, making them literal foot soldiers.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Wander is quite friendly towards Lord Hater (much to his chagrin).
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Wander and Sylvia have one that says "Wanted: For making Lord Hater look totally stupid!!! And other punishable-by-death type stuff."
  • Wants Versus Needs: Wander's hat magically produces anything for him to take; according to "The Hat", the hat does not give what the user wants, but what they need, depending on the situation that they're in at the moment. "The Bad Hatter" reveals if someone demands something from the hat as a want rather than a need as usual, it causes it to suffer mass hysteria and spew out geysers of stuff nonstop.
  • Wasteful Wishing: At the end of "The Picnic", Wander pesters Hater to the point that he completely botches his wish from the "Celestial Being":
    Celestial Being: Yeah, okay, I can swing that.
  • Waxing Lyrical: "The Lonely Planet" uses the chorus to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (most famously sung by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell) as Arc Words when the episode's jealous Genius Loci tests the strength of the vow in question by literally putting a high mountain, a deep valley and a wide river between Wander and Sylvia. It doubles as a lyrical callback to the song from "The Pet," which uses the same reference.
  • Wedgie: In "The Funk", one of the ways Peepers tries to cheer up Lord Hater is by giving the Watchdog known as Greg a wedgie.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The Season 2 premiere "The Greater Hater". After doing the same old same old for who knows how long, the status quo shakes up with a new enemy, calling himself Lord Dominator. None of their usual tactics work on them. Slyvia can't beat him or his army up like she usually can with Hater and his Watchdogs, Lord Hater can't even make himself appear to be a threat (since he's now the 29th greatest conqueror in the galaxy), and Wander just can't seem to befriend the guy and is actually afraid of him. Then they all get captured. Dominator manages to do what Hater never could— defeat and subdue Wander— and even with Hater having enough firepower to subdue the giant weapon chasing him for the entire episode, he couldn't defeat it. Luckily they're all able to escape thanks to Peepers, but a new threat is on the rise, and both parties want to take him— or rather, her— down.
    • To a lesser extent, "The Wanders", which gives us our first peek at Wander's backstory.
    • "The Bot" has the titular bot being straight up murdered by Dominator. It's the first episode that shows just how serious a villain Dominator is, despite her quirks.
    • "My Fair Hatey" brings up the revelation that Dominator just wants to destroy the galaxy rather than conquer it. Oh, and did we mention she's imprisoned every single villain in the galaxy? Plus, she now has ICE powers along with her lava powers. The four main characters now have to team up to stop her.
    • "The Waste of Time" reveals that Wander is over a thousand years old and has been Befriending the Enemy for centuries.
  • Wham Line:
    • From "The Wanders": "The helper seeks to help because he knows what it is to be helpless...."
    • From "The Good Bad Guy": Mustard or mayo? Mustard or mayo?"
    • From "The Bad Hatter", an in-universe wham line as well: "Because this is exactly what happened when I stole it!"
    • From "My Fair Hatey": "She doesn't want to conquer the galaxy so she can rule it...she wants to DESTROY it!"
  • What Does This Button Do?: In "The Prisoner", Wander pushes every button and pulls every lever on Lord Hater's ship.
  • When the Planets Align:
    • The plot of "The Picnic" revolves around a planetary alignment.
    • In "The Time Bomb", another alignment creates the race course for the Galactic Conjunction 6000.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: "The Pet" is basically Alien and Aliens cleaned up for children's programming.
  • World of Ham: YES. It'd be easier to count the characters who AREN'T large hams.
  • Wretched Hive: Doomstone. Except it's a self-perpetuating myth - all of the people in town are just pretending to be ruthless cutthroats because they assume everyone else is.
  • Worthy Opponent: Lord Hater views Wander in this fashion, as he believes his goofball shtick is just Obfuscating Stupidity. And it is, to a certain extent.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: Captain Tim is an "Arachnomorph," which is exactly what it sounds like—this trope by way of Giant Spider.
  • You Didn't Ask: At the end of "The Box", one of the Lords of Illumination tells one of the others that he didn't know he was a grandfather (as one of the items the Lords were coerced by Sylvia to put into the box so that there would be contents present to put an end to Wander's insatiable curiosity is a keychain reading "World's Greatest Grandpa"). The Lord who's a grandfather answers that he never asked him about his personal life.


"Don't Feed the Troll"

Wander and Sylvia tell some victims to a rude troll not to pay his insults any heed in order to weaken him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / JustIgnoreIt

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