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YMMV / He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983)

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  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Lou Scheimer recounted through interviews that the major networks passed on the show. When CBS, NBC, and ABC turned down the Masters of the Universe cartoon, he decided to have it air in first-run syndication through various independent TV networks across the USA - a move unheard of at the time. When the show turned out to be a smash hit, Scheimer recalled that the major networks became angry and wouldn't speak to him.
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  • Base-Breaking Character: Orko. Some fans compare him to Jar-Jar Binks and similar characters, but others adore him and find his antics comical and cute. And for what it's worth Orko was somewhat useful when he actually got his powers to work right, unlike some other sidekicks of that time period. We're looking at YOU, Snarf.
  • Fridge Horror: Cringer is a sentient being and unashamed coward who hates being transformed into Battle Cat and yet his alleged best friend regularly does so without permission or apology to use him as a riding mount. That's an abusive relationship if ever there was one.
  • Gateway Series: Set the pace for both Merchandise-Driven cartoons and the daily syndication market for animation in The '80s.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • While the show is often only remembered for its campiness in the United States, it was extremely popular in India to the point where it was the most popular cartoon on Doordarshan.
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    • It's fondly recalled in some Spanish-speaking Latin-American countries as well.
    • And in the United Kingdom. Though the cheesiness does certainly play a part in that too.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "Trouble in Trolla" had Cringer saying "Oh, joy", before a certain other cat (although Cringer was being sarcastic when he said itnote ).
  • LGBT Fanbase: By the Ancients, where to begin?
    • It's a World of Muscle Men where standard attire includes Underwear of Power (often made of fur) for men or a Leotard of Power for women. Among the regularly appearing characters, only Happily Married King Randor and Queen Marlena wear clothes providing at least a reasonable amount of coverage. Orko is also an exception, being a small unseen alien.
    • Prince Adam is at best a Camp Straight, wearing a pink vest and lilac colored pantyhose, which was pushing it even for the early-80'snote . Upon transforming into He-Man he basically butched-up but stripped down — to just the fur underwear and a harness. He also gains fabulous secret powers.
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    • Male characters greatly outnumber female characters. Yet despite their rarity, and the fact that they are often smoking hot Action Girl types, they do not seem to attract much attention. In real life try putting a woman who looks and dresses like Teela in charge of a platoon of (heterosexual) soldiers. The Royal Guard are either very well-disciplined or else very gay!
    • Most male characters are single. Man-At-Arms in particular is a long-time bachelor who raised an adopted daughter.
    • "Fisto"? Seriously?
    • Queen Marlena, an astronaut from Earth, comes to Eternia in a spacecraft named the Rainbow Explorer!
    • Basically the Homoerotic Subtext is so strong that it remains a source of jokes to this day.note 
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Narm Charm: Skeletor's Took a Level in Kindness in the Christmas Special. Cheesy as it is, there's nevertheless something Crazy Awesome about a Grim Reaper-like supervillain becoming a champion of Christmas (and it doesn't hurt that he Took a Level in Badass during said special).
    "I children!"
  • Rooting for the Empire: Many fans of the show wanted Skeletor to win due to being Laughably Evil, Surrounded by Idiots, and losing constantly.
  • Signature Scene: Every time Prince Adam transforms into He-Man. BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL! I HAVE THE POWER!
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Skeletor. The poor guy lost so much and had such terrible employees that the fans and the writers both felt bad for him, even though he was the villain. In fact, fans felt so bad that they would actually send in letters asking if the writers could let Skeletor win just once in a while, and after a while the show's writers did a few Enemy Mine episodes because censorship at the time meant that the only way Skeletor was allowed to have any victories was if he helped He-Man defeat a mutual threat. Later versions of Skeletor do not have this problem.


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