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Just a normal day in the life of the main characters.note 
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Zig & Sharko is a French animated television series produced by animation studios Xilam, known for their animated series Space Goofs and Oggy and the Cockroaches (in fact, one could say Z&S is O&TC's younger brother/cousin). It is created and directed by Olivier Jean-Marie, who also worked as writer, storyboard artist and director of both series.

It revolves around an animal frequently on a tropical island — Zig the hyena — trying to capture Marina the mermaid, with the help of Bernie the hermit crab, so he can eat her. However, Sharko the shark is there to protect her. And that formula, where Zig is usually using various ways to try and devour Marina, most with the help of Bernie — but Sharko knows how to stop him, is what happens way often... Hilarity Ensues.

Then in the year 2016, a second season was released. Marina ends up moving to the aforementioned island and calls for various sea creatures to come with her. That place becomes a beach-like paradise as a result. As for Zig and Bernie, they unintentionally see an abandoned plane in the forest, and meet its pilot... who can be best described as being rather "loony".

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Further hijinx still ensue in its third season (released in 2019), where various characters decide to get on a cruise ship. With a more "modern" setting the number of troubles Zig and Bernie causes and the ways Sharko has to find to protect Marina increases, and so does the adventures of the mermaid who soon becomes the cruise's Captain.

A fourth season is currently in development. In that season, Zig, Sharko, and Marina return to the island, where Marina finds a magic pair of sandals that give her human legs, which have the ability to stretch and bend in many directions at once. As Marina adjusts to her newfound powers, Zig and Sharko will have a tougher time trying to catch or protect her.

78 shorts of 7-minute length were produced for the first season, which is available on Netflix. Also, selected episodes are free to watch on Rovio's streaming site ToonsTV by agreement with Xilam. See Xilam's website for information.

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In 2021, a spinoff called The Adventures of Bernie, focused on the titular character and consisting of 30 episodes of 3 minutes each, was released on YouTube.


Tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Sharko's dorsal fin. Its so sharp that it can cut through metal with ease.
  • Accordion Man: Or rather, "Accordion Hyena"; at least once, Zig has turned accordion-like, courtesy of Sharko. Similarly in "The Mime" the titular Mime becomes one of these after getting smashed by a stage light during another of Zig and Sharko's spat .
  • Action Prologue: Many episodes already start with Sharko chasing/beating Zig around before the actual theme starts to take effect.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Sharko makes a lot of dog noises (whimpers, growls...).
  • Alliterative Title: Some episode titles have alliteration in them (e.g. "Lightning Love").
  • Amusing Injuries: It wouldn't be a slapstick cartoon without these. And to think this came from the same studio (and director) behind Oggy and the Cockroaches... Actually, yeah, that makes sense.
  • Anachronism Stew: A conquistador shows up on the island. One of the fish takes a picture of him with a smartphone, and the conquistador bites it, thinking it's a gold brick.
  • Angry Animalistic Growl: Sharko is usually the one who does this the most, but the Gorilla and any other sufficiently big, or dangerous character will do the same. Usually happens before someone's going to get beaten.
  • Angry Fist-Shake: Several examples. In "Moby Zig" for example, Sharko shakes one of his fins angrily while it's shaped like a fist.
  • Animation Bump: Not for specific moments, but this is inverted for the later 2 seasons — where the animation style is no longer loose and rubbery.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: When Zig goes to Africa to start a new life, Sharko spends the entire episode sulking on how much he misses chasing and beating up Zig.
  • Antagonist Title: A downplayed case. Zig is the main Villain Antagonist of this series and its title is Zig and Sharko.
  • Ash Face: Traditionally whenever explosives or electricity is involved expect Zig or Sharko to get this. Bonus points if either crumble into ashes soon after.
  • Art Evolution: Used to look like a 90's toon, but in season 2, it's changed a lot. Even if it keeps the silly designs, the mostly-dynamic and wild shapes disappear in exchange for a more rounded, modern look, not to mention switching to puppet-like animation for some episodes. Season 3 switches back to traditional animation, but keeps the rounded look introduced in season 2.
  • Aside Glance: Marina does this in the first season's opening credits.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Averted in "Babysitting", where Marina is completely oblivious to the baby octopus' antics. Zig takes the damage but doesn't particularly care what happens to the baby.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted in "Mermaid Fritter". Bernie gets tired of Zig's constant failures getting in the way of his own hobbies and creates a fake Marina to satisfy Zig. The plan works, but then Zig falls into depression since most of his life consisted in chasing Marina around. Then, while Sharko is trying to cheer him up, the real Marina keeps showing up which is something Bernie has to, somehow, deal with.
    • "Catch You on the Rewind" has Zig succeed in eating Marina when Sharko is delayed by a highly improbable obstacle course on the beach. Fortunately, he finds a time-rewinding remote shortly after that lets him repeat it until he gets it right. Since Sharko fails to save her multiple times, the audience sees Zig succeed at eating her multiple times.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: In "Birthday Party" Zig tricks Marina into having a sack race with him, at the start of the race when she's not looking he shoves her in her sack, ties it shut and runs off with her.
    • Zig also does it to her in "A Generous Mermaid" and "King of the Animal World".
  • Bamboo Technology: Taken to its literal meaning in "Cop Duty" where Zig uses a bazooka made out of bamboo that fires coconuts.
  • Banana Peel: The aptly named "Banana Peel" episode milks the cartoonish slippery effects of the banana peels to its absolutely maximum and is one of the more ridiculous episodes of the show (which is saying something). One floating on the water somehow managed to trip up the entire ship.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: All Zig needs is a Scuba Mask or Glass Bowl on his head and a Snorkel to breathe underwater
    • And sea creatures, like Marina and Sharko, can breathe on dry land.
    • "Turbo Volcano" has Zig survive not only being sent into space but into the Sun.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Oh, for God's sake, to the point of being Once an Episode. ALWAYS involving Zig. The focus place may vary from a shot of the island, a character showing the Curb-Stomp Battle, or a shot of the Earth. This is taken up to eleven with a shot of the Milky Way on the show's pilot.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • In "The Tiny Tyrant" we see the effects of the muscle growth serum on the male characters, but when Marina uses it on herself we only see a bit of her right arm change before it cuts away.
    • In "Space Fruits" Marina is only one who stays untouched by the fruits' mutating juices. Even when the juices pollute the ocean she's already safe in her house calling for a clean-up crew.
    • The end of "The Were-yena" has Marina Hulking Out just like Zig has been doing the whole episode, but all we see is a shadow.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: "Fancy Footwork" has Marina wish that she had legs. When her wish comes true, she finds having legs to be more trouble than when she had a fish tail.
  • Be the Ball: Zig gets used as such when Sharko squishes him in a round shape.
  • Between My Legs: Marina in the episode "Fancy Footwork", to emphasize her new legs.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: You don't want to make Marina or Bernie mad...
  • Big Badass Rig: Poseidon drives a giant-ass truck made of water. Oddly enough, he only uses it to leave the island, he's always introduced sitting on his throne as a tidal wave carries it ashore.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Marina's sandcastle in season 2.
  • Big "YES!": Zig's scream of triumph whenever he gets a shot at Marina, or actively starts abducting/attempting-to-eat her.
  • Birthday Episode: The episode "Birthday Party" with Marina's birthday. Unfortunately for Marina, Sharko forgot about it until he saw it on the calendar.
  • Blowing a Raspberry:
    • Marina blows a strawberry at the audience in the opening credits of season one, followed by her laughing and swimming away.
    • At least a few times Zig has blown raspberries.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Sharko has one on Marina.
  • Born Lucky: Marina sometimes is saved from Zig by sheer dumb luck or doing mundane things often without realizing at all she was in danger.
  • Brainless Beauty: Marina may be attractive, but she can befriend or allow Zig to get near her, overlooking his obvious attempts to eat her.
  • Breath Weapon: The episode "A Sweet Tooth" has a dragon which can breath fire out of their mouth.
  • Brick Joke: In "A Tale of Two Legs", Zig prepared a hole trap to capture Marina, who doesn't work on her. Later, Zig falls on the same hole.
  • Built with LEGO: "Silly Builders" is centered around this.
  • Butt Biter: Sharko does this to Zig at the end of "Lighthouse". And in "Sharko Hunting" Zig returns the favor to a hiding Sharko.
  • Camera Abuse:
    • In at least one episode, Zig hits the camera after failing to capture Marina.
    • The episode "Toys Attack" shows a bouncing ball hitting the camera and cracking the lens.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': One could have a Drinking Game for whenever Zig does something bad (particularly trying to chow down on Marina) and something bad then happens to him.
  • Captain Crash: The captain who wears glasses. It's a guarantee: It will always run aground his ship in the island Zig lives on, no matter what he tries to avoid it.
  • Cartoony Eyes: Sharko's eyes have yellow sclerae.
  • Cats Hate Water: A jaguar in "The Coach" is too scared to even touch water.
  • Cat Up a Tree: Bernie the Hermit Crab in this case.
  • Character in the Logo: Zig's leg is attached the "Z" in his name and Sharko's fin is in the "O" of his name.
  • The Chew Toy: Being a slapstick cartoon, basically everyone will get hit with Amusing Injuries.
  • Christmas Episode: "Santa Zig".
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The Crazy Dolphin and The Astronaut.
    • Marina is also this, given how she never seems to realize that a hyena is always trying to eat her, even after he’s put her in his mouth several times.
  • Cold Snap: In the episode of the same name and in "Frozen Island".
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Almost all the humor revolves around one or more of the characters being in pain.
  • Condescending Compassion: In "The Mime", Zig patronizingly applauds Sharko.
  • Continuity Nod: In the first episode of Season 3, the anchor catches on the rock that Marina sings on in Season 1.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In season 2, every so often a certain cargo plane flies over the island and suffers some sort of unfortunate rear cargo door button malfunction (spilled coffee, etc), invariably causing several crates to be ejected in mid-flight, plummet to earth and land on a certain hyena's house, thus setting up wacky hijinks for the rest of the episode utilizing whatever happened to be in them.
  • Crocodile Tears: A couple times Zig fake cries (e.g. "Tinky Toys") to help him manipulate others.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Sharko often has these whenever he has to deal with Zig's antics. That said this isn't exclusive to him and other characters, including Marina, can get those if sufficiently provoked.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Zig's surprisingly quick on his feet and if given a reasonable chance to fight Sharko back he will and sometimes Zig even wins some brief encounters. Of course when it comes down to actually eating Marina he fails miserably.
  • Cute and Psycho: The penguin in "Frosty Friendship" looks and sometimes acts cute... but is actually unstable.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Zig is permanently hungry despite being repeatedly shown capturing small animals, but only to use their feathers or other useful parts instead of eating them.
    • Subverted in the episode "Castle Life", where Marina mistakes Zig for a visiting house guest and feeds him so many spaghetti dinners that he temporarily loses interest in eating her, much to Bernie's frustration.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Sharko's fuse blows off whenever another guy hits on Marina. Oddly enough, he's perfectly fine with sea life gazing amorously at her, reserving his fury for Zig... who, to be fair, wants to eat her.
    • In one episode a human captain kisses Marina's hand. Sharko-vision shows it as Zig up to his usual antics.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: A boss from an Arcade Game in "Game Over" has One-Hit Kill attacksnote  and loads of health. No wonder he's That One Boss (In-Universe), at least to Sharko.
  • Damsel in Distress: Marina in every episode, even though she’s never aware of it.
  • Deserted Island: The island Zig lives on is devoid of humans, though wildlife is present.
  • Determinator: Zig. Nothing, we seriously mean, NOTHING will stop him trying to eat Marina.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage:
    • In "Cop Duty", Marina is listening to the show's theme while filing her nails. She does the same at the end of "The Master of the Volcano" with the new theme.
    • Sharko's ringtone for Marina is the show's theme song.
    • "Stuffed Animal" and "Castle Life" has Bernie and Sharko singing/whistling to the small themes on the background.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The dance numbers in "Disco in the Dark", which really bend the laws of physics.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The gorilla from the island to Zig. Also, sometimes Sharko's revenges to Zig are taken too far.
  • Distant Reaction Shot: One of the most common gags is a plume of water rising from the surface as violence happens underneath. In one case, it's visible from outside the galaxy.
  • The Ditz: Sharko's Hammerhead Cousin.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Sort of happened in "Bottom's Bottom", where the titular characters fell down into an abyss and encountering a city of weird-looking things.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Hilarious done by Sharko sometimes while he's readying his "guns" to deliver a particularly painful punch to Zig. Sometimes even Zig does this when he's about to use Bernie as some sort of tool.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: An In-Universe one; basically everyone in "Beach Hero" thinks Zig is an Ideal Hero.
  • Dude Magnet: Marina.
  • Easy Amnesia: In "Lightning Love", Zig gets hit by lightning, which causes him to lose his memory, regress to the time when he was a baby, and mistake Sharko for his mother.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Aside from having a different art style Season 1 had several episodes where Zig didn't clash with Sharko even once. Characterization for Marina and Sharko were different as well with Marina being more vain and self-centered and Sharko far more malicious towards Zig.
  • Eats Babies:
    • Defied in "The Tiny Tyrant" by Bernie; despite him becoming a nasty tyrant and being served salad with baby hermit crabs, he refuses to eat any of it.
    • Sorta with Zig. In "Hundreds of Kids and Counting" he tries to eat a hermit crab who was a toddler (even if it was out of desperation). And in "The Cloud" he attempts eating Marina as a toddler. note 
  • Eat the Bomb: Sharko on "The Return of The Crazy Dolphin".
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: "The Invaders" has Marina's ship being infested with rats. Amusingly enough Marina isn't scared of them, but Sharko is. Naturally Zig has a field day with this.
  • Enemy Mine: Zig and Sharko often have to team up when someone new gets too close to Marina. This lasts only as long as the enemy is undefeated, at which point Zig instantly goes back to eating Marina. "Buzzing Around" on the other hand is all about Marina dealing with an annoying mosquito and even Zig joins in because the darn thing keeps indirectly getting him in harm's way (and preventing him from eating Marina).
  • Episode Title Card: Starting from Season 2 the episodes have different title cards depicting the focal theme in said episode.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: Played for Laughs with the endings of "Waterski Hit" and "The Return of the Crazy Dolphin". Both episodes end with the Crazy Dolphin blowing up the entire island and everyone on it, after which the main characters appear in heaven. Zig can't eat Marina since they're all already dead, which causes everyone else to laugh. Of course, everyone's alive again by the next episode.
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes:
    • Marina has been seen playing one.
    • The fisherman in "Fisherman's Catch" also has one.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: a recurring antagonist of the series is Hades, who resembles the homonymous Greek god and carries a light blue flame on his head.
  • Eye Am Watching You: Sharko often does this when he has to make sure Zig behaves on the occasion he can't just pummel him away. Zig also does the same thing a few times, often when someone is trying to bully Bernie or pull a fast one on him.
  • Excuse Me While I Multitask: Of sorts. While "fighting" Sharko, Bionic Zig just takes his attacks without reacting... while reading a newspaper, watching TV whilst knitting, and poking at a spider with a stick.
  • Facepalm: Bernie facepalms in "Foggy Day".
  • Face Plant: For instance, in "Daddy Little Doggy", Zig literally falls flat on his face.
  • Fanservice Pack: Inverted; Marina's bust is noticeably reduced by the second season.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Sharko usually delivers this to Zig and Bernie.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Zig isn't above exploiting either of Marina or Sharko's faults.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In "Me, Myself and I", after a mishap with an electric eel, Zig and Sharko exchange minds. Zig-in-Sharko naturally tries to take advantage of it to eat Marina, while Sharko-in-Zig attempts to stop him. Being now the physical underdog, he quickly opts for aiming at reverting the switch with the electric eel; several more mind exchanges happen before the eel is too drained to keep it on (at which point they're back in their respective bodies).
  • Friend to All Living Things: Marina.
  • Funny Background Event: While Sharko beating the tar out of Zig is usually the central focus, sometimes there are other things watching them, usually Bernie or Marina.
  • Fur Is Clothing: The Polar Bear's fur, which, after being unzipped, reveals his muscular human-like form equipped with a wrestling outfit.
  • Gag Haircut:
    • In "Hair Story", Marina's hair was accidentally cut, so Sharko and Marina's octopus hairdresser are trying to fix it.
    • Zig looks downright absurd after getting one bad haircut in "Daddy Little Doggy".
  • Gaslighting: Played (mostly) for laughs in "Mermaid Fritter". After Bernie fools Zig into thinking he had eaten Marina, due to being fed up with his failures getting in the way of his personal hobbies, Bernie constantly has to get rid of Marina after Zig has seen her leading Zig to believe he's seeing her ghost and going crazy. This is surprisingly deconstructed and ends up giving Zig a literal heart attack.
  • Genki Girl: Marina.
  • Ghost Pirate: One shows up in "The Ghastly Ghost" and crashes at the couple's house. Fortunately, Sharko drives him away using Bernie, as the ghost fears hermit crabs... until the ghost returns with a whole clan of pirate ghosts. Cue Sharko screaming.
  • Gone Horribly Right: "Tourists" has Marina asking Sharko to disguise himself as a cat in order not to frighten the tourists that visits the island, but then Sharko becomes so endearing to the tourists they stop caring about the island and frustrates Marina... And they try to buy and take Sharko away which infuriates the mermaid.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Zig spends an episode as one.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: This happens several times during a fight between Zig and Sharko themselves in "The Fitness Session", like when the former manages to get a six pack in seconds just by doing some sit-ups.
  • Growling Gut:
    • Marina's stomach is constantly growling in "A Mermaid's Feast" thanks to Zig's antics preventing her from eating. The growling gets so intense that it even shakes the cruise ship they're on before she can finally eat.
    • Zig's stomach is prone to growling, which he even gets shushed for several times in "Let's Dance". It also bites him in the tail in "Wide Awake"; when he tries to hide from Sharko, his stomach growling gives his position away.
  • Hammerspace: A staple of slapstick. Often employed by Zig, and sometimes by anyone else whenever it's funnier, to throw absurdly large objects.
  • Hand Rubbing: When devising or about to carry out a scheme, Zig can rub his hands together. A couple times Bernie even joins him, like in "Aqua Golf".
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: No matter how much effort Zig and Bernie put in their plans, it's almost never enough to defeat Sharko. And, even if it does succeed with that, chances are their plot will get ruined by something else.
  • Healing Shiv: Present in "Nurse Marina" (the Season 3 episode) where Sharko tries to bash Zig with a giant bandage, but instead of crushing it only heals Zig instead.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: In "Boo... who".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Zig often gets screwed by the things he created or planned. For example: "Boing! Boing!" has Zig burying trampolines to make Sharko bounce everywhere, but he accidentally steps in one of them which ruins the chance he had of escaping with Marina.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Sharko and Marina, although it's more Huge Shark Tiny Mermaid.
    • Marina will often let out a cute laugh when something amuses her.
  • Humanizing Tears: Calculating villain he may be, but it's both sad and adorable when Zig nearly cries in "Lost in the Jungle" and "The End of the World". He also invokes this several times to control others (e.g. "A Mysterious Guest" when he fake cries to make him come off as more sympathetic to Marina).
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Bernie.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Zig.
  • Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: In "Cold Snap", there are fish inside an ice cube swimming around the cold water.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Despite the former being a hyena and the latter being a hermit crab, Zig and Bernie were adopted by a female gorilla.
  • Interspecies Romance: Between Marina and Sharko and on a side note, Marina's mother was a mermaid and her father was a human sailor. Until it's retconned so her father is Poseidon.
  • Iris Out: Every episode ends by focusing on one character, usually Sharko beating up Zig or Zig being beaten up.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Zig can't last an episode without getting the crap beaten out of him. But no matter how hard he gets injured, he will soon be better like as if nothing happened.
  • Love Potion: Bernie creates a deodorant for Zig that has this effect in the episode "The Scent of The Hyena". The intention was to use it to make Marina reject Sharko, allowing Zig to eat her without resistance. Unfortunately for zig, it wears off quickly, turns Marina into a obsessive stalker, and works on Sharko too.
  • Love Triangle: Sort of an aversion. Marina and Sharko both love each other, though the former has a bit of a crush on Zig. Zig however, couldn't care less, since all he really wants is to eat her.
  • Mad Bomber: The Crazy Dolphin. In the two episodes he stars in, he mistakes the island for a battleship and places a time bomb at the bottom of it, which kills everyone on the island, including himself.
  • Magic Wand: Zig finds a wand that causes anything it touches to disappear and then reappear inside a top hat.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: This is a Running Gag in the episode "Stuffed Animals". When the young dolphin starts crying, it's ridiculously powerful.
  • Matchlight Danger Revelation: "Digging Deep". Zig (using Bernie as a drill) suddenly stops digging because something is blocking his way. He lights a match, only discovering he perforated a gas pipeline. The result? BOOM.
  • Meaningful Name: Sharko, of course.
  • Meat-O-Vision: Just try to count all the times Zig sees Marina as: a fish nugget, a tailfin with just a bone, or accompanied with half a lemon.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: The cartoon has absolutely no spoken dialogue and the most we get is the occasional Speaking Simlish bits.
  • Mouse Trap: In "The Invaders", Marina (and possibly Sharko) set up mouse traps with cheese to try exterminating some rats.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: King Neptune, despite having a muscular physique, would run away or beg for mercy to avoid a fight from an opponent who could take him whenever his Orcas couldn't back him up or if his Trident is taken from him.
  • Name and Name: The titular Zig and Sharko are two of the most central characters.
  • Near-Villain Victory: There are many instances in which Zig gets close to eating Marina, but the attempt gets ruined somehow.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Sometimes Sharko's clumsy and brutish way of dealing with Zig ends up destroying stuff and said stuff usually happens to be Marina's house. Also in "The Clairvoyant" Sharko nearly gets Marina eaten due to his paranoia where he tries to pummel Zig, who for a change isn't trying to eat her, for no reason other than the vision the old seer showed him and Marina.
  • No-Dialogue Episode: The whole series is this.
  • Ocular Gushers: The characters are often seen spraying huge fountains of tears when they cry.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Characters can teleport seemingly at will no matter the distance or situation (in one case, Marina was rolled up inside a sandwich and was outside of it in the next scene. Zig didn't appear particularly fazed, presumably since he regularly does the same kind of thing himself.
  • Organic Technology: Sharko and Marina are often seen using various sea life as household devices, such as using a sea urchin as a ping pong ball, rays as paddles and a small octopus as a walkman. However this trope is severely downplayed from Season 2 onward.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: "Coral Reef Cowboys".
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They apparently evolved from fish. They can also have kids with humans.
  • Pass the Popcorn: An amusing example happens in "The Conquistador" where Zig and Sharko watches the eponymous Conquistador get mauled by the wildlife he skinned in order to (try) impress Marina.
  • Pec Flex: Sharko and the various other muscle bound characters do this frequently.
  • Piranha Problem: Played for Laughs in "Fishing for Hyenas". While pursing Marina, Zig runs through a swamp with violent piranhas which bite him. He doesn't even react to it.
  • Pirate: Zig tried to join some pirates after they kidnap Marina.
  • Pirate Episode: In one episode, Zig tries to become a pirate, and briefly succeeds in doing so.
  • Plot Allergy: The focal point of "Atchoo!". Sharko is extremely allergic to the chick's feathers Marina is taking care of and Zig relentlessly exploits this.
  • P.O.V. Cam: Zig often gets to glance at Sharko while we see his POV before he gets served one huge beatdown.
  • Pressure Point: The shrimp does this to Marina so she falls asleep instantly à la Vulcan Nerve Pinch.
  • Prince Charmless: King Neptune.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Neptune's trident, which acts like a taser. Poseidon's also controls the tides and is able to freeze water.
  • Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: There was no rabbit, but pretty much every other animal ended up coming out of a top hat.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Occasionally Zig gives puppy dog eyes, namely when trying to control other characters or when attempting to get Sharko to show him mercy.
  • Redhead In Green: Marina.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: Possibly Played for Laughs in "The Conquistador" when Zig defies having a Villainous Rescue involving Sharko.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Bernie. Not helped by the fact that he has puppy dog eyes (at least, only in season 1) and the occasional squeaking sound he makes.
    • Humorously, his non-threatening appearance was still enough to greatly frighten the manta ray — who previously had beaten Sharko — albeit through playing dirty, and was effortlessly beating the crap out of Zig, so much that said manta climbed up a coconut tree in terror.
    • In another episode, a Ghost Pirate was afraid of Bernie. Sharko uses this to his advantage.
  • The Rival: Marina gets one in "The Manic Mermaid"
    • Sharko and Bernie get ones in "The Challengers" and "Little Shrimp Buddy"
    • As well Zig in "A Lovesick Survivor"
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: Or Shark vs. Hyena. The series is reminiscent of the Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner and Ralph Wolf/Sam Sheepdog cartoons.
  • Robot Me: Bernie makes an army of robot Zigs in "War of the Clones".
  • Rugby Is Slaughter: Sharko finds a rugby ball. A team of orcas immediately emerge to challenge him, but they all end up as Bandage Mummies in the end.
  • Rule of Three: Zig was attacked by the Killer Gorilla on "A Tale of Two Legs" three times, the third one also double counts as a Brick Joke.
  • Running Gag:
    • Sea lions getting sheared in some way, that leads to them protesting loudly each time.
    • Both sea and land creatures getting exploited in creative ways.
    • A captain piloting his ship right into the island due to his eyesight or other misfortune.
    • In "Stuffed Animals", whenever a young dolphin doesn't get what he wants... he lets out an absurdly loud and booming wail. The same toddler shows up having an equally deafening cry in "Catch you on the Rewind".
    • Sharko's doing robotic noises and detaching his upper body while patrolling an area. Season 3 adds Sharko using his chest as a, well, a chest to store stuff inside it.
    • Zig or Sharko throwing stuff at each other. Often includes a piano for some reason.
    • In Season 2 has a cargo airship dropping stuff on Zig's house always due to a misfortune or mishap.
    • In Season 3 Aldo, the loony former airship captain, does something stupid and steers the ship to the antartic region.
    • A recurring gag in the third season involves Sharko throwing Zig and Bernie off the ship that the main cast spends most of the season traveling on.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: In "The Clairvoyant" episode. Sharko's attempts to prevent all visions to come true only ends up fulfilling them.
  • Self-Harm: While played as Amusing Injuries and generally committed to gain some benefit, Zig occasionally harms himself. In "Red Light, Green Light" for instance, he uses Sharko's own fist to punch himself after the shark thwarts one of his plots. This was clearly done so he'd escape a beating from Sharko himself. This trope is taken to ridiculous levels, even for a slapstick cartoon, in "Freezing Buddies" where both Zig and Sharko uses their own tears to create things to beat one another with.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Sharko very wisely bails when a baby octopus is dropped off for the afternoon, spending his time watching sports on TV.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Quite often, Marina seems to have no immediate awareness that Zig is carrying her off, or slathering her in sauce, that she's actually sitting in Zig's cookpot, or (at least once) that she's rammed halfway down Zig's throat.
  • Serial Escalation: In one episode, the splash of water resulting from Sharko hitting Zig is visible: from the island, from orbit, from OUTSIDE THE GALAXY.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • In the first season, Marina is the daughter of a mermaid and of a stranded sailor man (there are pictures and the hut where her father was living). In the second season, Marina is apparently depicted as the daughter of King Neptune (it is not totally confirmed and he can just be a family member like her uncle or grandpa, though).note 
    • The king of the sea himself is another big one. In the first season, he appears to be a very vain, muscled and narcissistic young merman, with bodyguards, and he is an occasional suitor for Marina. In the second season, he is replaced by Poseidon, the traditionally white bearded king — and he is the protective father-in-law of Marina, also represented as a visual mix of the Disney character and of a macho truck driver.
      • Although Wikipedia explains it as the former being Neptune (hence the giant N on his doors).
    • Also in the first season: there are two different episodes where a kamikaze crazy dolphin is able to blow up the whole crew.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The whole episode "The Island Tour" was one to Mario Kart.
    • As well as Super Mario Bros. in general. They've also done Video Game shout outs to Pitfall! and Pacman.
    • The scream that Zig makes on the episode "Nurse Marina" is the scream Queen Grimhilde, from Disney's Snow White, makes as she falls to her death.
    • In "Goin' Home" Zig runs into a pair of elephants who closely resemble King Babar and Queen Celeste. Later in the same episode, Zig was hanged from a tree by a mandrill who closely resembles Rafiki.
    • In "Blown Up", one of the pool floats looks very familiar...
    • Some of the fish designs seem to have wandered in from the set of Spongebob Squarepants.
    • At one point in "Choice Morsels" due to some portal shenanigans Zig and Sharko become cojoined for a brief moment like CatDog
    • In "Hair Do's and Dont's", Sharko gets turned into a walking hairball and gives the Chewbacca roar. Zig also had a sign forbidding bald people that clearly shows Krillin.
    • "The Invader" has an alien using pictograms looking for new species to collect, one of which is clearly a Xenomorph.
    • When Sharko attempts to attack Zig in A Sweet Tooth, he is constantly repelled by Zig using a dentist drill. One of the attacks he tries to execute is a Hadouken from Street Fighter, complete with similar sound effects.
      • "Boing! Boing!" is another episode that references Street Fighter complete with Sharko performing a Shoryuken and Hadouken and Zig doing a Spinning-Bird Kick.
      • And in the same sequence, sound effects for jumping, fire being thrown and Koopa shells colliding with enemies from Super Mario Bros. are directly sampled.
    • "Garbage Galore" and "Do Not Disturb!" has Marina getting a Battle Aura out of anger/frustration with a faint noise that sounds almost exactly like it does with every major character in Dragon Ball Z.
    • In "Do Not Disturb!", Zig throws a gaming system out of a box, which plays the iconic Game Boy jingle.
    • Zig's pose when Sharko pours concrete on him while he's lying on the ground in A Generous Mermaid is identical to Han Solo's when he's frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back.
    • In Season 3, Aldo, the loony airship captain, is often dancing like Mickey in Steamboat Willie while manning the helm.
    • "Titazig" is one to Titanic (1997). Sharko tries to recreate the movie's signature posing-on-prow pose with Marina, playing a soundalike of My Heart Will Go On on a radio. Upon breaking it, he tries to replace it by badly playing the music himself on a recorder.
  • Signature Sound Effect: Each of the main characters has distinct "voice" tics, like Zig's cackles, Evil Laugh and whimper of pain, Sharko's grunts, dog-noises and panicked screams, and Marina's giggles, her "Hiiii" greeting, the "Yaaaay" or, less often, frustrated scream, and also Bernie's squeaky noises and buzzing.
  • Single Tear: At one point in "Mermaid Fritter", Zig sheds one tear.
  • Smells Sexy: Invoked by Bernie in "The Scent of the Hyena", as he gets Zig to use a Love Potion-like deodorant.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Marina.
  • Soft Water: Played straight for the most part, but averted in "Unicorn Blues" and "Movie Night". Zig fall hard on the water and it's no better than if he had fallen on solid ground.
  • Speaking Simlish: Any dialogue in the series. Most notorious by Marina, Zig and Sharko. Keeping in mind this is a Mime and Music-Only Cartoon, it's justified. Averted in "Marina Superstar", where the backup singer's voice is audible (Marina only has to sing "Lalala").
  • Squashed Flat: Some Amusing Injuries are inflicted by characters getting squashed.
  • Squee: Marina does this often. Most noticeable when she sees Zig disguised as Santa.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Marina (sometimes) has a crush on Zig, the hyena who is constantly kidnapping her because he wants to eat her.
  • Status Quo Is God: Whenever something threatens the dynamic of the main cast, it's usually dealt by the end of the episode. Though such situations create some interesting scenarios like in "Bionic Zig" where Zig is the physical powerhouse instead of Sharko.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The Hindi version of the show dubs over the silence, with voice actors for the characters.
  • Superhero Episode: "Super Zig"
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Inverted. Marina and Sharko can both survive out of water.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Zig
  • Super Serum: Made by Bernie in both "The Tiny Tyrant" and "The Were-Yena."
  • Super Strength: Sharko frequently exhibits Superman-level strength, once moving the entire island.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: "Bosom Buddies" has an infant Zig trying to eat adult animals which goes about as well as one would predict... However the adult animals see this more as mean-spirited pranks and Zig (and later Bernie) gets grounded for this several times.
  • Swallowed Whole: Zig spends an episode inside a whale's stomach.
  • Swapped Roles: Throughout the series, Zig tries countless times to eat Marina. The latter half of "The Mermaid's Feast", however, has a starving Marina trying to eat him.
  • Sweatdrop: A bead of sweat appears on Zig's temple in "Daddy Cool".
  • Tailfin Walking: Marina (and sometimes Sharko) can walk on land using the tips of her tailfin (and in one episode, can go tightrope-walking around the world). Lampshaded in "Fancy Footwork", where she actually has a harder time standing and walking using her magically-granted legs than she normally does on her tailfin.
    • Now that the main cast are on the same tropical island Zig and Bernie usually would be in season 2, Marina and Sharko do this rather often.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: At least in the first season, there's handful of times in which Zig tries to give Marina tampered food/drinks. It gets subverted (at least to Sharko) in "Beach Hero"; when Zig gives out free ice cream to numerous animals, Sharko incorrectly thinks he poisoned it.
  • That One Boss: An In-Universe example in "Game Over". Sharko finds the boss of a Video Game extremely difficult as he has tons of health. Also, his attacks can take up much of the screen and are all One-Hit Kills (unless the Player Character is a One-Hit-Point Wonder).
  • Theme Tune Extended: The opening theme for Seasons 2 and 3 have a longer version with even some lyrics sang in French.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Being a light-hearted Sadist Show reminiscent of the old cartoons like Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry this happens at least once or twice in the episode when a character, usually Zig, is about to get a particularly nasty beating.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: A Pirate ghost overstays his welcome, to Sharko anyway.
  • Threatening Shark: Averted with Sharko, who spends the entire series protecting Marina from Zig and other dangers. He generally leaves people alone unless provoked or if anyone attempts to do harm to Marina.
  • Three-Dimensional Episode: In some episodes Marina will put on 3D glasses during 3D scenes.
  • Tearful Smile: Downplayed in "Mermaid Fritter" when Zig smiles while shedding a Single Tear.
  • Transformation Sequence: Zig and Bernie get one when they go to clean Marina's sand castle.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Marina gets an AWFUL haircut in "Hair Story". An inverted example happens in "Hair Do Hair Don't" where Marina gets her hair cut short and definitely appreciates it.
  • Training Montage: Season 3 in particular has several episodes showing Sharko, and sometimes Marina, working out.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: The main setting of the series in Seasons 1 and 2. This is downplayed in Season 3 where the main cast now live their adventures mostly in a luxurious cruiser.
  • Toothy Bird: Seagulls that show up usually have teeth for some reason.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: "Marina's New Friend". "The Elevator Trip" has one for Zig for a moment when he realizes Marina just stepped in and Sharko is nowhere to be seen... And then the thing shutdowns.
  • Unknown Rival: Marina doesn't know that Zig wants to eat her. Even when he attempts that in front of her very eyes...
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Sharko gloats to Marina in "Game, Set and Match" when he beats her in a ping-pong game and proceeds to do this in the tennis match Zig sets up. Sharko's gloating gets bad to the point Marina openly cheers for Zig and even works alongside him to teach Sharko a lesson.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A lot of people who see Marina don't bat an eye at the fact that she's a mermaid.
    • A Chinese sailor saw Marina and could not be any less interested. He and his crew were much more interested in catching Sharko so they could make shark fin soup.
    • In "Fisherman's Catch" when a fisherman accidentally catches King Neptune along with a bunch of other fish he just dumps the whole batch because he was looking for oysters.
    • In one episode, two tourists with camera-phones are far more interested in taking pictures with Sharko in a cat suit than with Marina. The only times they take pictures of Marina, it's either by accident or they're trying to blind her so she'll let go of their boat.
  • Vampire Dance: The title of "Dance of the Vampire" is clearly referencing this.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Although he's a Villain Protagonist, Zig has his moments of this. "The Clairvoyant" for example has him do his laundry and read a newspaper with no malicious intent at all.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: The song "Marina Superstar" has shades of this. It's especially when the singer tells Zig that Marina (who he wants to eat) isn't his "gig" and to keep his hands off her.
  • Villains Want Mercy: It's subtle since this is a cartoon in which nobody says any coherent words, but still. Zig occasionally tries to get Sharko to spare him (like via giving him Puppy-Dog Eyes or a sheepish grin). You can count in one hand the times this worked out for him. Granted, you'd probably want mercy from a Lightning Bruiser shark with Super Strength too.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: "Magical Jellyfish".
  • Wacky Racing: "The Island Tour"
  • Walk on Water: Zig sometimes runs on water.
  • Water Is Air: More prominent in Season 1 where a lot of Zig's antics take plan undersea, but much less so in the following seasons.
  • The Wild West: "Coral Reef Cowboys"
  • Wimp Fight: A comical one in "Sharko My Hero" in which Bernie and a Sharko fanboy fight… by pathetically trying to slap each other.
  • Wingding Eyes:
    • Keeping in the show's country of origin, Neptune's eyes can turn into Euro signs.
    • Excited about getting to be a nurse, Marina's eyes turn into first aid symbols.
  • Wham Shot: During Desert Island Drought, Bernie reveals a book to Zig. It has images of his several relatives, all of them were really good hunters.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Obviously, as the island's location is unknown. Though it may be somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean as shown during the Battle Discretion Shots showing Earth.

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