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  • Acceptable Targets: Lawyers in Heck.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Bob the Goldfish — depending on the game and version, Jim does everything from simply tip his bowl over and leave him flopping on the ground to eating him.
    • It's also possible to kill Queen Slug-For-A-Butt in one hit with the whip. The HD version even encourages this! And even if you don't, it's still easy to stun-lock her to death with your gun if you have enough bullets (which the level provides more than enough of just before.)
  • Awesome Music:
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Jim's Now A Blind Cave Salamander (a.k.a. The Villi People)! This doubles as a Moment of Awesome and triples with Awesome Music since Moonlight Sonata is playing in the background.
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    • The second act of every episode starts with a short sketch that has nothing whatsoever to do with the plot (such as Professor-Monkey-for-A-Head in therapy or Psycrow trying out a new career after becoming bored with being a villain). After it plays out, the narrator will announce that it's time to get back to the story.
    • Let's face it, most of the second game is an extended Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
  • Broken Base: The quality of the HD remake is hotly debated among fans. On the one hand, it contains many improvements over the 16-bit originals: the graphics are crisper, the game autosaves after each level (the 16 bit versions used password saves), weapon swapping is much easier, and the game has more difficulty settings (although playing on the "Original" difficulty - the hardest of them all - gets you the Golden Ending). On the other hand, it's missing the bonus level "Who Turned Out The Lights?", it uses a new voice actor for Jim, and (as Doug TenNapel himself pointed out) the animation is more rigid.
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  • "Common Knowledge": Contrary to popular belief, Tommy Tallarico didn't compose the music for the first Earthworm Jim game; that was done by Mark Miller of Nu Romantic Productions. However, Tallarico did re-arrange tracks and create a few new ones for the Special Edition re-release on Sega CD and composed nearly all the tracks for the second game.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Whenever they run into Walter, Jim refers to him as his old prison buddy and Walter calls Jim "Floss" with no further explanation, which may confuse viewers who didn't see the episode "Conqueror Worm".
  • Ear Worm:
    • Basically every musical piece in the game, which ranged from creepy Danny Elfman-like weirdness, to classical music, to funk/electronica/pop.
    • The incredibly catchy acapella title screen theme for the second game, especially the uncompressed version in the Sega Saturn port.
    • The animated series' theme song.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Earthworm Jim 3D, Menace 2 the Galaxy and the GBA rereleases are often subject to this.
    • There are also some people who ignore Earthworm Jim HD, or at least the new features, due to said new features being made without the involvement of the original team.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In "Peanut Of The Apes", Jim admits he's worried the show might get cancelled if they don't get the ratings up. There were only 3 more episodes before the show really was cancelled.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Jim's catchphrase: "Groovy!"
    • "WHOOOOOOOOOOA NELLY!"
    • "COW LAUNCHED"
  • Moment of Awesome:
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Jim's screams whenever he gets hurt.
    • The flip sound whenever he gets hurt.
    • The bonk sound when Jim hits the ceiling, impeding your jumps.
  • Nausea Fuel: From "Snot A Problem" to "Intestinal Distress" to Queen Slug-for-a-Butt, the series is notorious for grossing people out, primarily on purpose.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
  • Polished Port: The Sega CD and Windows 95 versions of the game are often considered the definitive versions, with a new CD audio score, extra levels (New Junk City Part 2 and Big Bruty), and some other neat enhancements. The Windows 95 version in particular deserves special mention, with a new save feature that allows you to skip to any level you want at any time and enhanced graphics over the Sega CD one. Either way, both versions provide the definitive and full experience that you won't find on any other versions of the game.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • The first game was on many systems, but with the exception of the Sega CD and PC version, it got worse with each one! It lost a level on the SNES version, and you should expect what happened when they tried to port a game that pushed the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo to the very limit onto the Game Gear and Game Boy. The GBA port of the first game wasn't all that bad as far as recreating the game, but it had a few problems: It lacked a save feature, rendering it near-useless as a portable game; it was missing many frames of animation; and due to collision detection problems and a smaller viewing area, "For Pete's Sake" is near impossible without a lot of luck.
    • Earthworm Jim 2 for GBA, ported by a Russian company, was a disaster.
    • The DSiWare port wasn't too bad either.
    • The "HD" remake for PS3/360 was pretty good; only one problem: They omitted the secret level "Who Turned Out the Lights?" for some unknown reason. So the problem continues to this day.
    • The SNES version also took a lot longer to actually start the levels, almost like it was loading them. The underwater stage was also missing its music, using New Junk City's theme instead.
    • The PC port tends to be remembered fondly, but not many realize there are two ports of the first game, that are made by two teams: one is a Special Edition port for Windows 95, other is a DOS port that came in the Whole Can O'Worms edition. And while first is pretty good, second is not. While graphics are good and music was taken from Sega CD version, the controls are so-so, collision detection is not that good either and they took out not one, but two levels (Intestinal Distress and Who Turned Out The Lights?). The same team made PC port of Earthworm Jim 2, which has identical features to their port of Earthworm Jim 1, but this time they took out only one level (Lorenzen's Soil). The saddest part is the version now available at GOG.com and Steam is the second one.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: At least in the animated series: Earthworm Jim 3D and Menace 2 The Galaxy were rather lackluster attempts to milk the franchise dry.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Jim flipping out when he gets hurt while not moving, which often results in Jim taking even more damage due to being too stunned to sufficiently dodge further attacks.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
  • That One Level:
    • From the first game:
      • Big Bruty. You have to guide yourself through the level while avoiding the eponymous Bruty - who's also invincible - lest you watch Jim getting chewed on big Bruty (which is instant death). The level itself isn't too bad, but some segments will kill a player going through this level for the first time. Thank goodness it’s only on the Sega CD and Windows 95 versions of the game!
      • Down the Tubes. It involves having to avoid bouncers that are impervious to conventional fire in tight spaces, to say nothing of having to navigate in a glass submarine that's fragile and has limited air.
      • For Pete's Sake involves escorting your dog, Pete, out of harm's way, lest you get attacked by him in his berserk state, resetting quite a bit of your progress in the process.
      • Buttville. It starts with you have to helicopter down a branching shaft of thorns.
    • From the second game:
      • Villi People has you slowly flying across the level where walls will damage you and bounce you off. Not bad? Part of the level is in a very narrow corridor, so touching a wall will bounce you into another wall and then to another wall... Not to mention the bumpers which can pinball you everywhere, especially into a wall.
      • The Flyin' King. It's not too difficult but instead tedious, you have to carefully guide a floating bomb to make the boss spawn and finish the level, but since there are tons of enemies to deal with you might shoot the damn thing by accident. Either you go ahead and clear out all enemies and guide the bomb to the end of the level (which requires two trips) or guide the bomb while handling enemies (which is harder than it sounds). In any case the level is nothing short of frustrating.
      • Puppy Love levels of the second game tend to be very annoying and there are three of them with each being progressively more difficult. In these levels you must make Pete's puppies bounce on a pillow Jim is carrying from one side to another and if a number of them splatter on the ground Pete goes effin' ballistic delivering him a beatdown that will take a large portion of his health. On the third level of Puppy Love it's not unusual for one single mistake ending up in said beatdown.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Earthworm Jim HD. The original Earthworm Jim and Earthworm Jim 2 are no slouch either, with artwork so detailed and animations so fluid that they could easily pass for indie games released twenty years later.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Just try to read the story of this game and make sense of it.
  • The Woobie: Peter Puppy. Seriously, watch his backstory episode and then watch "Sidekicked" right after it and just watch his woobiness factor skyrocket.
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