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  • Accidental Innuendo: Lance Falk, writer of "Destructive Nature", learned that his script had planted an unusual interpretation in one viewer's mind.
    Lance Falk: "Somebody told me after the show was on, ‘Man, that show was so dirty! You have this big, tall building, like this phallic symbol, and then this big thing that’s going to explode on top of it and spread seed all over the city.’ When I was writing it, it never occurred to me, but now I can’t not see it like that."
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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Despite her competence (compared to Manx, anyway) Callie sometimes seems to exist just to be the SWAT Kats' cheerleader and remind everyone how awesome they are. She ignores all their (admittedly mostly unintentional) screwups and constantly obstructs (or tries to obstruct) Commander Feral, who—for all his bluster—really does have the city's best interests at heart.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • The Metallikats adjust quite well to dying and being brought back to life as robots.
    • At the end of "A Bright And Shiny Future", the SWAT Kats don't seem to be bothered by the fact that they're going to get killed in the future.
  • Awesome Music: The theme song. Make that radical music!!
  • Better on DVD: The Warner Archive began offering "made on demand" DVD sets in December 2010. While most of the episodes were not remastered or restored in any way, two episodes did receive a small boost: "The Giant Bacteria" had a deleted scene featuring a farmer being eaten by the titular monster reinserted, and "The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice" finally got its Episode Title Card back after it was absent from practically every rerun.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Chopshop. In a world populated by nothing but anthropomorphic felines, Chopshop is a... laughing hyena?note  In true BLAM fashion, he shows up for about five minutes at the start of the episode "SWAT Kats Unplugged" until he's captured, and is never heard from or spoken of again in the run of the series.
    • Just because T-Bone called him "a laughin' hyena" doesn't make it literally true. It could have been meant in a metaphorical sense, as is the case with the trope of the same name.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Dark Kat is one of the Swat Kats' most recurring, and wicked, villains. A complete madman obsessed with the death of the SWAT Kats and the destruction of Megakat City, Dark Kat is introduced trying to use a nuclear weapon to annihilate Megakat City and its thousands of residents, attempting to force Lieutenant Feral to watch the carnage as it unfolds. Later attempting to turn the Swat Kats into ground meat while using their jet to frame them for opening fire on civilians and blowing up entire buildings, Dark Kat follows this up by convincing Razer he severely wounded innocents to throw him off his game while Dark Kat uses a robotic arachnid to attack and hopefully tear Megakat City to shreds. In his arguably worst outing, Dark Kat makes an alliance with the below-mentioned Dr. Viper, using him to rebuild the Metallikats then install chips in them that allow Dark Kat to torture them at his leisure. Using the Metallikats and Viper, Dark Kat lures the Swat Kats, Feral, and assistant mayor Callie Briggs into a trap to kill them all, ordering the Metallikats to kill Viper when he outlives his usefulness, and ultimately attempts to blow up the entire base as a last ditch effort to kill the Swat Kats, their friends, and all of Dark Kat's own allies in one fell swoop.
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    • Dr. Viper was once Elrod Purvis, a greedy scientist whose plan to sell the Viper Mutagen to the highest bidder ended with his supposed death and subsequent mutation into the evil Viper. In his schemes to destroy Megakat City and replace it with a festering "Megaswamp City", Viper regularly attempts to mutate and murder all he can through his chemical weapons and monsters; painfully transforms one-shot villain Morbulus into a mindless bacteria creature that he sets loose on Megakat City, leading to dozens of deaths, including that of Viper's former colleague Zyme; attempts to drown the entire city in toxic spores; teams up with the aforementioned Dark Kat; and finally floods the city with mutative chemicals in a bid to mutate everyone within the city. Regularly murdering innocents in his attempted conquest and seeing beauty only in the fetid and festering, Dr. Viper was about as remorselessly evil as his sinister appearance would suggest.
    • Mutilor, from "When Strikes Mutilor", is a brutal mercenary who takes over a ship from a peaceful race called the Aquians and attacks the SWAT Kats' planet, planning to drain every drop of water from the world to sell it off, saying that if earth dies as a result, then that's just business. When the heroic SWAT Kats interfere, Mutilor tries to torture them to death with electricity, and when the ship is taken, Mutilor attempts to destroy it out of spite so that it crashes into Earth and causes a devastating catastrophe that could easily kill every cat on the planet.
  • The Firefly Effect: A rare inversion. The effect usually takes hold in three stages: the show suffers from Executive Meddling, which results in low ratings, which results in getting Screwed by the Network. SWAT Kats got the aforementioned meddling, but maintained its high ratings. Then it got canceled.
  • Foe Yay: T-Bone and Turmoil have this going on big time.
  • Follow the Leader: You could argue this was Hanna-Barbera's attempt to compete with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) and that series' profusion of copycats. Though in comparison, this series is much darker, and doesn't have any humans or other humanoid animals besides cats. It also takes a bit of influence from H-B's Sky Commanders tech-wise, and both Charlie Adler and Paul Eiding worked on that show too.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: This show has a very vocal fan following in India, where it was one of the first few shows that appeared in 1996, when Cartoon Network was launched there. Plenty of Indian fans discuss this on forums, social networks and upload videos on YouTube.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The SWAT Kats flying the Turbokat into a building to save Callie. Doesn't help that said building immediately after explodes.
    • Only because the villain threw explosive chemicals. A better example are the Megakat Trade Towers, which are featured prominently in "Metal Urgency" and are seen briefly in "SWAT Kats Unplugged". Both times, they're at least partially damaged—and in the latter case, they appeared to be the deliberate target of the evil helicopter pilot the SWAT Kats are chasing at the episode's start.
      • "A Bright and Shiny Future" had Swat Kats journeying to a future where the Metallikats conquered Megakat City. In this future, the Swat Kats died when the Turbokat was shot down and they crashed into a building.
  • Informed Wrongness: Commander. Feral. He is almost always presented as completely wrong, even though he often makes very good points.
  • Memetic Mutation: "BINGO!" "AHOY!" "YEAH!"
    • "This is Feral! Bring me chopper backup!"
    • "Back off SWAT Kats! The Enforcers can/will handle this!"
  • Misblamed: Ted Turner was not responsible for killing the show; the decision was made well below his level. Sadly, the blame still falls on Ted Turner, due to the misquoted segment of his interview. To clarify: around the same time the show was cancelled, Turner said that he was proud of having "cartoons that don't encourage kids to shoot each other." Many took this as proof that he hated SWAT Kats and wanted it cancelled. However, this was not the case; he was actually talking about Beavis and Butt-Head.
  • Narm:
    • One of Razor's Catchphrases—"(Name of missile), deploy!"—has been accused of this.
    • Also, the phrase "Radical" was used as slang a few times in the second season. Thank goodness it didn't catch on.
  • Older Than They Think: While it certainly is true SWAT Kats has an awesome fanbase, some are not exactly big fans of the series' production company, Hanna-Barbera. Which sometimes takes the form of people describing things that make SWAT Kats different, which was also often found in their 60s output. Mostly because the Tremblays were big fans of the super hero and funny animal super heroes of the day. As a result SWAT Kats shares a lot of tropes with some of those older action series.
  • The Woobie: Cybertron, the SWAT Kats' brave and ultimately doomed Robot Buddy from "The Deadly Pyramid".


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