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YMMV / The Powerpuff Girls (1998)
aka: The Powerpuff Girls

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For YMMV tropes pertaining to the reboot, go here.


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    #-D 
  • Accidental Aesop: The episode "Buttercrush" can be taken as a G-Rated metaphor for child grooming. Buttercup develops a crush on the considerably older Ace and he lets her hang out with the Gangreen Gang, so that they can take advantage of her powers and destroy her sisters.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Mojo utters this little gem in "Los Dos Mojos."
    "I'm wet! I'm naked! Your sister is wearing my clothes!"
  • Adaptation Displacement: Several episodes were directly or indirectly distilled from PPG print material:
    • "Stray Bullet", from comic book story "Squirrely Burly" (issue #1).
    • "All Chalked Up," from Scholastic Book, same title.
    • "PowerProf.," from Scholastic Book "Powerpuff Professor."
    • "Substitute Creature," from Little Golden Book, same title.
    • "Neighbor Hood," from comic book story "Remote Controlled" (issue #7). The episode was originally penned for season 1 but fearing a lawsuit from the producers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, the outline was given to DC Comics for the comic story.
    • "Lying Around The House," indirectly from comic book story "Big Fish Story" (issue #21).
    • "Simian Says," indirectly from comic book story "See You Later, Narrator" (issue #46).
    • "Deja View" (comic issue #50) was intended as a season 5 episode but was shelved due to being overbudget (half of the ep was to be in CGI) and having a tight deadline. Like "Neighbor Hood"/"Remote Controlled," the story outline was given to DC and made into a comic.
  • Adorkable:
    • Blossom is a Cute Bookworm with OCD-like tendencies. Especially when she gets endearingly excited when Dr. Kenzington comes to school. Then there's how she acts when around her crush Jared Shapiro or whenever somebody talks about him.
    • Bubbles' childish attitude and love for stuffed animals qualify her for this.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Him's Camp Gay tendencies are an act to trick his enemies into letting their guard down. He occasionally slips out of the act when angered or excited, before quickly realizing his mistake and going back to acting. Now that's a tactic only the devil or devilish will think of using.
    • Professor Utonium reveals in "Keen On Keane" that he does, in fact, remember how he was once brainwashed by an evil cat, yet he acted like it was All Just a Dream at the end of "Cat Man Do." Did his memories eventually return (not uncommon in post-Brainwashed and Crazy cases)? Did he make the girls fill him on the weeks (days, at the least) he couldn't remember and explain how he ended up outside that building in the middle of the night? Or was he merely pretending he couldn't remember to try to make it easier on the girls?
    • In "A Very Special Blossom", Blossom stole the golf equipment to give to Professor Utonium for Father's day. Was Blossom just a Designated Villain, who felt bad for what she did and only wanted to make Professor Utonium happy, or was she a little brat who was intelligent enough not to steal but did it anyway to get praise, making it sound like it was the Professor's fault ("That's what drove me to crime!") and got what she deserved at the end?
    • Did the Rowdyruff Boys become more dumb for Characterization Marches On, or did HIM make them that way to make them follow his orders without question?
    • At the end of "Moral Decay", the sad face Buttercup makes as she finds out the Professor found her secret stash of money has sparked two theories. Did Buttercup actually feel sorry about her actions in the episode, or was she just disappointed about her money being taken away?
    • Is Bubbles genuinely ditzy, is she faking it, or is she just smarter than she seems? "Him Diddle Riddle" suggests the latter. Another proof that she is not lacking in common sense is when Blossom's brains and Buttercup's brawn failed to topple a lizard beast in "Three Girls And A Monster," and Bubbles succeeds with politeness and beguiling innocence.
    • The Gangreen Gang, depending on which part of the fandom you ask. Either they're no good, criminal thugs and delinquents; or abandoned / orphaned teens that have been left behind by society and they commit these criminal acts in a way to lash out at their predicament in life. Interesting to consider because their crimes for the most part are in very low scale when compared to the likes of Mojo's or HIM's.
    • In "City of Clipsville" was Bubbles the only one who recognized the RRB or did Buttercup and Blossom know as well and Bubbles just didn't known they liked bad boys too.
      • Are the RRB just randomly flirting with what they think are random women or do they remember them too and due to them (most likely) have a Heel–Face Turn, finally acting on their childhood crushes?
      • Speaking of, did Blossom and Buttercup suffer All Girls Want Bad Boys or could it just be they're finally acting on their crushes due to them (most likely) having stopped being evil?
  • Alternate Self Shipping: There's a small number of fans who ship the girls with their Evil Counterparts from an Alternate Universe, the Powerpunk Girls.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: The test screening for the first pilot was an absolute disaster, with children complaining about the unusual character designs and one even going as far as to say that Craig McCracken should be firednote . Craig went to work redesigning the characters with more traditional features, but then-president of Cartoon Network and future Adult Swim founder Mike Lazzo reassured him that a negative reaction was better than a lukewarm reaction, and that they shouldn't change a thing.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Toyed with. The cartoon was originally conceived as "The Whoopass Girls," and the fact that it wasn't exactly originally conceived as a children's show eventually showed...big time. All while not actually making it inappropriate for kids.
  • Ass Pull:
    • In "Insect Inside" Blossom produces a giant jar to contain a mass of cockroaches. Lampshaded by the narrator who talks about Blossom's knowledge of where to get giant jars, and in a later episode where she pulls out a giant match, which she claims to have gotten from the same place.
    • During "HIM Diddle Riddle," the girls are tasked with taking down a giant monster without using their powers. Buttercup runs off and comes back in a helicopter with a gatling gun. Where did that come from, how did she get it, and how does she know how to pilot it?
  • Author's Saving Throw: Many fans did NOT like Rainbow's fate at the end of the Season One episode "Mime For A Change". Perhaps to rectify this, he is seen again at the girls' birthday party (in the season two episode "Birthday Bash") as a free and happy clown. What helps is that the writers never intended to hurt Rainbow at the end of "Mime...".
  • Awesome Music: The end song heard at the end of every episode, both original and extended version, is such a banger for PPG fans old and new to hear.
  • Badass Decay:
    • HIM was introduced as a hellish, almighty being so fearsome that even saying his real name was enough to horrify a person, and was pretty solid Nightmare Fuel. By "Meet the Beat-Alls", he is reduced to as much of a feeble joke as any other villain.
    • The Rowdyruff Boys. When they first appeared, they were taken completely serious by the Powerpuff Girls, due to being the most powerful opponents they've ever faced. After getting revived, they spend much of their times being Dumb Jock villains, and the Girls don't even take them that seriously anymore.
    • There was a time when Mojo Jojo was consistently one of the most badass enemies of The Girls, as he succeeded in taking over the city in the Movie, overpowered all 3 of the Girls when the Professor granted him their superpowers, showed traits both from a Gadgeteer Genius and an experienced martial artist, took out an alien overlord with ease, etc. In later seasons, his plans become much more stupid, such as one episode where his master plan is to pretend to pee on the girls' bed to annoy them, or another where he causes trouble by teaching the citizens to speak with his bizarre speech pattern.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
  • Broken Base:
    • The 2014 re-designs of the girls have solicited reactions raging from "awww how cute!" to "OH GOD Kill It with Fire!". And now that the special itself has aired, opinions are divided on if the special was a fun and fast paced trip down memory lane that should lead to a revival series, or if it was a rushed mess that needs to just stay a one off. There is something of an agreement that the last few minutes of the special felt rushed and that it would have benefited from being longer, but whether or not if a person thought the rest of the special was good or not is, naturally, a matter of opinion.
    • The 2009 special. Some say it is the best episode of Powerpuff Girls while others say it is one of the worst. Still others prefer this episode as the Series Finale.
    • Whether or not the episodes "Equal Fights" and "Members Only" (which revolve around radical feminism and toxic masculinity respectively) fall under Values Dissonance or Values Resonance. Each episode also has an individual broken base:
      • "Equal Fights." Some believe that feminism was too weighty a subject for a lighthearted children's show (even Lauren Faust thinks so, even though she does agree with the episode's message), while others feel that its motives are clear and effective (at the very least, it's the best they could have done with this subject under these circumstances). Others split the difference and say it was a good Aesop but the execution could have been done better.
      • Many fans see "Members Only" as one of the funniest episodes of the series, but there are some who are rather peeved that the episode had Major Glory and the other Dexter's Laboratory superheroes being chauvinistic and condescending to the Powerpuff Girls.
    • "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey" is either a beautifully animated episode with an incredible opera rock soundtrack that showed the writers weren't afraid to make bold choices or a mediocre special dragged down by a nonsensical plot and the poor singing voices from the VAs.
  • Character Rerailment: Many fans despised the Mayor after the later seasons flanderized him into being an idiotic manchild, but the 2014 special has him back to being the kindhearted and only slightly ditzy goof that he was at the start of the show. He even encourages Professor Utonium not to give up on snapping the girls out of Mojo Jojo's mind control and expresses remorse for insulting Ms. Bellum for refusing to open his jar of pickles.
  • "Common Knowledge": Bubbles' special power is her sonic screams. Except it's not. Her special power is her ability to speak many different languages (including animal languages like squirrel). Whilst bubbles has used sonic scream more often then the other girls, it is an ability they all share. Not helping things is that nearly all video games (except Relish Rampage, where she is given a stronger eye beam called "vaporize") give sonic screams as bubbles unique power equivalent to Blossoms ice breath. note 
  • Complete Monster ("Knock it Off"): One-shot villain Dick Hardly is a former colleague of Professor Utonium defined by his greed. Seeing financial profit in Utonium's daughters, Dick manipulates the girls into giving him samples of Chemical X and mass produces crude replicas of the girls that deteriorate easily. Displaying his callousness towards his sapient creations by ordering a perfect replica of Buttercup melted down for its excess Chemical X, Dick traps the real Powerpuff Girls and slowly, painfully drains them while boasting that he could kill the girls and have Utonium as his slave at the same time. With no charm or comedic traits to his name, Dick was a monster even before drinking Chemical X.
  • Crack Pairing:
    • Each girl has her own popular, cracky pairing in the fandom: Bubbles x Him, Blossom x Mojo, and Buttercup x Ace — though the last one was actually canon for one episode. Each of these pairs one of the girls with her Arch-Enemy.
    • Any or all of the Powerpuff Girls with their respective Rowdyruff Boy counterpart is also a popular pairing choice.
    • Pairing the girls with their Rowdyruff counterparts has always been the most preferred pairings as it takes up the lion's share of fanfiction, fanart, and fanvideos. However over time, these pairings have been switched up into similarly cracky pairings where each sister is paired up with another brother. This has gotten so prevalent that there are now ship names (Color-coded for the original pairings, Color-clash for one switch up and, (amusingly) Color-crack for another switch up)
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    E-I 
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Bunny, the fourth Powerpuff Girl that Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup made, has some love from the fan-base, probably due to her episode being an absolute Tear Jerker. She's even mentioned in Bleedman's Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi.
    • Robin Snyder from "Superfriends". She only appeared as a major character in that one episode (though she remained a recurring background extra), but Robin is one of the most popular characters on the show because of how cute she is and especially for her "I was an accident too" line.
    • Dick Hardly only appeared in one episode because he was Killed Off for Real, but is still among the show's most popular villains.
    • Mr. Green's only appearance was "Substitute Creature", yet a lot of fans fell in love with him for being a Cute Monster with a kind, gentle heart.
    • The Rowdyruff Boys were intended to be one-shot villains. However, they garnered such huge fan support with tons of fan art (to even a website built around them which is unfortunately now disabled, which is now the link is to an archive of the site) that the writers eventually caved and brought them back. They also redesigned them and they got more depth than just being evil counterparts to the girls. Boomer is also the most popular one out of the boys due to him being woobified due to his brothers always picking on him. Boomer even gets A Day in the Limelight due to his popularity.
    • The Powerpunk Girls, of a Mirror Universe in the comic exclusive story "Deja View" (that was planned to be on TV), are fairly popular as well.
    • After their leader joined Gorillaz, the Gangreen Gang has since then enjoyed a huge surge in popularity, becoming one of the most beloved characters amongst fans for their distinct designs and personalities. Snake seems to be developing a bigger following of his own too.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Mojo Jojo counts for being such an epic Big Bad, and HIM, who happens to be Satan and extra points for that the Girls are afraid of him. They are both so awesome in all their appearances as main antagonists, that they're the most recurring ones.
    • The Rowdyruff Boys may be loud and rude in general, but they definitely fit into this trope as they actually defeated the Powerpuff Girls in a 3 vs 3 fight.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Don't you ever mispronounce the show's name as "The Powderpuff Girls" in the presence of the fans.
  • Fanon:
    • Professor Utonium as at least half-Asian pops up due to his resemblance to Samurai Jack and the fact it fits a popular stereotype.
    • Quite a few fans think the girls see Ms. Bellum as a maternal figure, though Utonium is still shipped with Keane more than Bellum.
    • There are disproportionate amount of fanfics about the characters as teens, however there's quite a bit of fanon, especially in Dark Fics, that they cannot age due to being Artificial Humans. Other side-effects include being immortal and (especially in Blossom's case) being very precocious to the point of Creepy Child degrees.
    • Fans ignore the fact the Powerpuffs have no fingers, toes, or noses. Then again, Cartoon Network did that once, too.
    • Buttercup is given an individual superpower, much like Blossom's ice breath.
    • Some fans believe "Princess" is a nickname.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
  • Friendly Fandoms:
  • First Installment Wins: The original 1998 series is by far the most beloved part of the franchise, while both the anime adaptation and sequel series are highly contested at best and outright inferior at worst.
  • Genius Bonus: One of the names on the Permanent Naughty List in the Christmas Special is Adolf Schickelgruber, also known as Adolf Hitler (Schickelgruber was his father's original last name).
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Japan absolutely cherished the PPG. So much so that they made their own version of the series. Even a decade after the cartoon finished, the girls were still being used to market things.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: A lot of men mention that as boys they were embarrassed to be seen watching a "girl's show" like The Powerpuff Girls, and treated it as a Guilty Pleasure. This is despite the fact that the show wasn't female-aimed at all; it was an unisex cartoon that had the same aesthetic as other Cartoon Network shows at the time, which wasn't really favoring a specific gender to say the least.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • "Knock It Off" was a parody of misrepresenting the Powerpuff Girls and using them for merchandise. In 2016, many would argue the reboot resembles something Dick Hardly would come up with.
    • "Silent Treatment" features a silent film star out to steal the Professor's voice. In November 2020, the Professor's actor, Tom Kane, would suffer a stroke that left him unable to continue voice acting, meaning the Professor still loses his voice.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: One episode, "Meet The Beat-Alls", has a script composed of song lyrics from The Beatles. This is heartwarming to a fan of both PPG and The Beatles on its own, but even moreso when Ringo Starr himself composed a song for the 2014 CGI special.
  • He Really Can Act:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • After Steve Harvey took over as the host of Family Feud, one question made the resolution of "The Boys are Back in Town" so much better.
      "A wife can really cut her husband down to size by making fun of his what?" His manhood. (Which is the number 1 answer, labeled as Shrinky Dinky)
      Steve: All you women that's out there clapping, listen to me... Don't call it your man's Shrinky Dinky, okay, you'll wind up in a real situation, I can tell you that right now. You got a lot of stuff, but what I ain't 'bout to be is Shrinky Dinky.
    • In "Boogie Frights", Jerome tells the monsters to "chill the frag out". Two years later, his voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson would voice Lobo, who would frequently say "frag".
    • In the episode "Bought and Scold", Princess Morbucks buys Townsville and declares that "crime is now legal". In 2013, The Purge used this idea in a Played for Drama way. Additionally, Princess was Hoist by Her Own Petard when the Powerpuff Girls used her own law against her and rob her, which was similar to how the New Founding Fathers of America were killed when they revoked a rule on Purge Night that protected themselves in the third The Purge movie, The Purge: Election Year.
    • Outside of Townsville, there's an agricultural district called Farmville.
    • "Meet the Beat-Alls" was an episode full of references to The Beatles and contained animated cameos of younger versions of Beatles members. For the 2014 special they actually managed to get Ringo Starr himself to be a guest voice, and prior to the special's airing made a song and music video called Wish I Was A Powerpuff Girl.
    • In the episode "Equal Fights", as the girls fly Femme Fatale to jail and she fills their heads with her Straw Feminism beliefs, she asks them if they have their own movie. Come 2002, they can safely say they do.
    • At least a couple of references to Gorillaz are hidden throughout the series, particularly on newspapers and in The Powerpuff Girls Movie. What was thought to be a Shout-Out years ago turned out to be a Shared Universe when Ace of the Gangreen Gang temporarily took up Murdoc's role as the band's bassist in 2018. It also becomes funny when you remember that some people used to compare Murdoc to Ace, since they look similar.
    • In "Him Diddle Riddle", Bubbles exclaims that she loves ponies. Fast forward a few years, and Tara Strong is a pony.
    • In "Twas the Fight Before Christmas", the Mayor wants a My Little Phony toy for Christmas. 7 years later, Lauren Faust would go on to become the executive producer of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
    • In "Stuck Up, Up and Away", the Girls tell Princess Morbucks that she can't be a Powerpuff Girl because being rich isn't a superpower, to which Princess replies, "Tell that to Batman!" In the 2017 Justice League movie, Barry Allen point blank asks Bruce Wayne what his alter-ego's powers are, to which the Dark Knight bluntly replies, "I'm rich."
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Dance Pantsed's plot hinged on the girls not realizing that they could've picked up the jar of pickles with their Fingerless Hands (though, to be fair, it was lampshaded by the mayor).
    • In "Daylight Savings", both Ms. Keanie and Professor Utonium grab the Idiot Ball HARD by somehow getting the impression that making the girls get some sleep (so that they can be awake enough to do such incredibly important things like answering correctly what is a dog and what is a ball) is somehow more important than lives of thousands of people from Townsville. On top of that, Professor Utonium could have easily fixed the problem by just making some device that makes you instantly awake or something.
    • In "The Rowdyruff Boys", Mojo Jojo learns how the girls were created by calling the Professor on the phone, identifying himself only as a stranger to Bubbles when she's the first to answer before putting the Professor on. The reason he even comes up with his own formula by which to create the boys is because the Professor apparently has no problem telling a total stranger, who should sound a lot like the girls' archnemesis the formula that made them come to life!
    • "Monkey See, Doggie Two" seems to deliberately invoke this trope, as Mojo tries his scam to transform the whole world into dogs yet again, with the exception of the Powerpuff Girls, even though the change had left them at a clear disadvantage as well. Mojo's entire plot was to ensure that the girls could not defeat him the same way they did the last time they were dogs, by arming himself with a shield to prevent them from biting him. It completely flies past him that now he simply opened himself up to one of their usual beatdowns since they're still themselves, and the girls lampshade this idiocy by telling him that they plan on doing exactly that.
    • Both episodes to feature the Dynamo ride on this:
      • In "Uh Oh Dynamo" the entire plot is kicked off by the Professor randomly freaking out about the safety of the girls after just a few punches from the mutant fish creature, even though they've easily faced worse foes before. He then assembles the massive robot Dynamo for the girls to use when the monster returns yet again, threatening to ground them if they refuse. They end up doing a lot more harm than good, destroying the entire city before they've defeated the monster.
      • "Live and Let Dynamo" takes it even further, where we find out that the Professor didn't destroy the Dynamo after its first rampage, a revelation that leaves the girls just as baffled. Even more egregious however is that it is the Mayor who somehow got into Dynamo, activated it, and caused it to go out of control yet again. While the Mayor is known for his stupidity, absolutely no explanation is offered for why he was anywhere near the robot, the same robot that he himself ordered the girls not to use again.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: It's not uncommon within the fandom to pair the girls with one another.
  • Informed Wrongness: "Cover Up" has Blossom and Bubbles pressure Buttercup to get rid of her Security Blanket, claiming it's an emotional crutch, even though A) Buttercup is at an age where it's considered acceptable to have a security blanket, and B) Bubbles has Octi, who is also an emotional crutch.

    J-Z 
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Buttercup full-stop, if you think about it long enough. First of all, the professor had no good reason officially to name her Buttercup other than that it starts with "B". Second, she has no unique power (though she is occasionally implied to have better super strength than her sisters). Finally, nobody really pays her any attention, and when they do, it's usually when she's in trouble. Some episodes have her punished for behavior her sisters have been allowed to get away with. Even some fans never seemed to care much, instead opting to exploit her misery and attitude for kicks and giggles.
    • Mojo Jojo, in episodes like "A Very Special Blossom" when he is not planning to commit crimes and is only just earnestly saluting his dead father, but nearly gets arrested for something Blossom did, and "The Powerpuff Girls Rule!", when he gives up on making the world better.
    • Blossom in "A Very Special Blossom". She may have stolen the golf equipment and was implied to feel not entirely at fault for it but she had good intentions behind it; she had only wanted to make the Professor happy.
    • Boomer of the Rowdyruff Boys could come off as this. Yes, he is part of an evil trio, but he gets bullied by his brothers a lot. The fact that Boomer is more sensitive than his brothers and how cute he is certainly amps up his woobie-ness factor.
  • Karmic Overkill: The Broccoli Aliens' invasion of earth could be justified by humanity constantly consuming his "kin", and the girls respond with a vicious genocide on the invaders. Mojo Jojo frequently attempts to kill the girls for reasons which are far harder to justify, and he gets beat up and jailed.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: The Powerpuff Girls themselves can be guilty of this, but out of the three of them, Blossom takes the cake. Not only has she been shipped with Mojo Jojo, HIM, Brick, Boomer, Butch, Princess, her own sisters, and her evil counterpart Berserk, but she has also been shipped with Dexter, Jack Spicer, and AKU, of all people!
  • LGBT Fanbase: Buttercup's tomboyish nature makes her popular with queer women and trans men.
  • Love to Hate:
    • HIM. He manages to be one of the most popular villains in the series to be incredibly frightening and efficient, especially in the earlier seasons.
    • Mojo Jojo. And Princess. And the Gangrene Gang. And Sedusa. Not so much the less evil Fuzzy Lumpkins or the completely hapless Amoeba boys.
    • Dick Hardly. His sole appearance means it's the primary reason for his popularity, mostly for how good he was at being an absolutely vile villain.
    • Princess Morbucks. She had many appearances where her snooty attitude ruined something, coming to a head when she wanted all kids on the naughty list except for her.
  • Magnificent Bastard: "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey": The Gnome seeks to create a utopia revolving around himself. To this end, he manipulates the Powerpuff Girls into making a deal with him promising to get rid of the town's villains if they gave him their powers in return. Quickly asserting himself as the ruler of Townsville after vanquishing the other villains, the citizens of Townsville worship the Gnome and establish a cult dedicated to him. In his final moments, the Gnome realized the error of his ways, and willed himself to die, concluding that he couldn't exist in his perfect utopia.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • On /co/, the question "Why did the Professor want to create a little girl?" is often brought up.
    • HIM, because of his creepy mannerisms and being a transvestite villain. Not to mention one episode had him licking Professor Utonium.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In the Clip Show spoofing episode, one of the "flashbacks" was of the Powerpuff Girls being bimboish teenagers who have given up crime fighting to hang out at the mall and flirt with the also teenaged Rowdyruff Boys. The whole sequence is rumored to have been a parody of extremely bad PPG fanfiction. A great deal of fans completely missed the point however, and the sequence ironically ended up inspiring even more fanfiction with similar plots.
  • Moe: Bubbles is cuteness personified. This is a literal statement. The ending theme song calls her "the joy and the laughter" and is generally considered to be the "sugar" part of the formula. The other girls have their moments, too.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Bubbles giggling.
    • The sound(s) the girls make when flying.
    • The theme song and outro by Biz, the triumphant voice of the Narrator, the endearing, soft-spoken voice of the loving Professor Utonium and the adorable, collective laughter of the girls after a Heartwarming moment and/or a job well done. Also:
  • Narm: In "Cover Up", the scene where Buttercup gets beat up by a monster not much bigger than her loses all its suspense when Buttercup gives a Little "No". It's just the way she says it that makes it so narmful. And the fact that without context, the whole thing just looks like a rape scene just adds to its narmy factor.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Bubbles's bawling in "All Chalked Up" may sound over-the-top, but the moment building up to it plus the sad music in the background whilst Bubbles is sobbing still makes it a Tear Jerker.
    • In "Cover Up", Buttercup's delivery of her Little "No" might be pretty darn funny, but the horrified yet accepting look on her face that she's about to get pummeled by the monster, doubled by Buttercup's relentless bad luck before that scene is nonetheless emotionally grueling.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • In "Paste Makes Waste" a fly gets hit with toxic waste, mutating it into a disgusting thing about three times its size that can barely fly under its own weight. It falls into Elmer's paste, and, without looking, Elmer eats the mutant fly with a handful of glue.
    • "Sun Scream" focuses almost entirely on the girls suffering sunburn, with even the simplest of movements being cringeworthy to watch. The episode ends with the girls applying Aloe Vera which cracks off their sunburned skin (we even see one of Buttercup's flakes dripping). The con artists they were confronting are so disgusted that they beg to be put in jail.
    • The Rowdyruff Boys doing the most disgusting things ever in "The Boys are Back In Town", including throwing a scab at the Girls, hacking loogies at them, and stuffing a slug down Bubbles' dress.
    • Bubbles (disguised as Boomer) being forced to eat a cockroach in "Bubble Boy". And in that same episode, Bubbles trying to hack up a loogie like the other two Boys, along with her sisters telling her how to do so in graphic detail.
    • The fact that Buttercup once got into a relationship with Ace in "Buttercrush" is pretty gross, especially since he's a teenager and she's only 5. Of course, while he was revealed to only have been using her, it doesn't make it any less creepy.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • While Buttercup is in fact a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and has proven herself to be a decent person despite her violent and rude ways, a few fans refuse to forget about episodes where she is particularly deplorable such as knocking villains' teeth out just so she can get money in "Moral Decay" and making Bubbles cry in "All Chalked Up".
    • Even though Blossom and Bubbles are both kind and friendly people, some fans never let their hypocrisy of making Buttercup give up her blanket in "Cover Up" despite Bubbles having her own security blanket slide.
    • Princess Morbucks will mostly be remembered for starting The Purge. Even the girls brought THAT up in "'Twas the Fight Before Christmas".
    • Mitch Mitchelson abusing and later flushing Twiggy down the toilet in "Gettin' Twiggy with It" is what several fans tend to remember him most for.
    • All three girls are remembered for the scene in “Candy Is Dandy” when they broke into the jail and beat the living daylights out of Mojo Jojo because he took their candy.
  • Older Than They Think: The opening sequence of "Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice" depicted at the start of each episode actually originated from a 19th Century Nursery Rhyme What Are Little Boys Made Of? As the title suggests, the formula for the Rowdyruff Boys (Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails) comes from the same poem, with Mojo even namedropping the poem before beginning his experiment.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The flashback in "City Of Clipsville" showing the Powerpuff Girls and Rowdyruff Boys as teenagers. It's supposed to be a Take That! to fanfic writers who'd make something like that, but it instead became one of the most popular scenes in the series.
    • The one-shot villain Mascumax from "Members Only" left quite an impression due to his extremely hammy and overly masculine dialogue. Bonus points for being voiced by Clancy Brown!
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The series is generally thought to have gone downhill when Craig McCracken and much of the writing crew left the series to work on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, with Seasons 5 and 6 having suffered for it.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The episode "Supper Villain" hammers in that your average, everyday neighbor with an average, everyday family could actually be a sociopathic supervillain wannabe without anyone knowing it.
  • Periphery Demographic:
    • At the peak of popularity, most of the show's fans were boys... not that every guy would admit to watching it in public. Nowadays it seems fine to admit you watched this show. The show was intended for a unisex audience, though most of the merchandise was aimed at girls.
    • The episode "Meet The Beat-Alls", originally conceived as 11 straight minutes of Parental Bonus, was popular amongst children in the intended demographic who were big Beatles fans.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: Craig McCracken originally wanted Jack Black to voice the Gnome in "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey" but by the time they got to production he was too busy and expensive, so they instead got Jess Harnell doing a Jack Black-like voice.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Poor Buttercup. From the way a lot of her haters speak, you'd think she was a Sociopath who cared nothing for her sister's suffering in spite of the fact that she's had a number of kindly moments and her rudeness is implied to stem from feeling unnoticed. Never mind the fact that Bubbles and Blossom have done bad things themselves (In "Bubblevicious" and "A Very Special Blossom", respectively.)
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Of the four seasons that were under Craig McCracken's supervision, Season 2 is often regarded as the weakest. Although it does have some fan favorite episodes such as "Beat Your Greens", "The Powerpuff Girls' Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever" and "Speed Demon", several episodes of it often crossed the line into Sadist Show territory and relied on using an Idiot Plot more than anything else, the worst offenders being "A Very Special Blossom" and "Daylight Savings".
    • Many fans thought Seasons 5 and 6 marked a noticeable decline in quality, making the jokes much more cruder than in previous episodes and putting the characters through very noticeable Flanderization. This is because Craig and most of his crew left to work on Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, leaving the show to the same showrunner and production team that worked on Dexter's Laboratory during Seasonal Rot while Genndy Tartakovsky was with Samurai Jack.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The "Up to Eleven" scene in "Bubblevicious".
    • The narrator lashing out at the girls in "Tough Love".
    • The "Love Makes the World Go Round" song from "Mime for a Change".
  • Special Effect Failure: There are some points in the series where you can clearly tell that characters have been chroma-keyed into the scene.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • "Love Makes the World Go Round" is a generally fine song, though the part sung by Blossom at the end is truly a triumphant example of saccharine lyrics.
      Blossom: Puppy dogs, kitty cats, swimming through love.
    • The Show Within a Show "The Wondrous World of Whimsical Willy" from Neighbor Hood revolves around an absurdly cutesy and saccharine kids show that features horses with happy meters, maids making happy stew, talking squirrels, and all hosted by a clowny man who throws on happy and sad masks.
  • Tear Dryer:
    • In "The Mane Event", Blossom is utterly humiliated and on the verge of tears after Buttercup and Bubbles accidentally give her a Traumatic Haircut. She sits in their room, moping alone. The Professor comes in and consoles her, saying that Townsville still needs her and that no matter how she looks, she should still do what's right. Her confidence restored, she goes back to defeat the giant Faceless Eye that's been terrorizing the city.
    • In "Knock It Off", Dick Hardly saps the Chemical X from the Powerpuff Girls, seemingly killing them in the process. His creations, the Powerpuff Girls Xtreme, turn against him for never showing them affection as the factory bursts into flames. The Professor clings to his fallen daughters, shedding Manly Tears, and this revives them.
      Bubbles: What happened to Professor Dick and the other Powerpuff Girls?
      Professor: Well, old Dick may have gotten the formula right, but the one ingredient he forgot was love.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Cartoon Network managed to get former Beatle Ringo Starr to guest star in the 2014 computer animated special as a math themed celebrity named Fibonacci Sequin, but he doesn't get many speaking lines (though he does drop a hilarious Beatles reference at one point) and never sings (odd when one remembers that dancing played a part in the special's plot). At the very least, though, CN and Ringo did make a song and music video called "Wish I Was a Powerpuff Girl" that aired during commercial breaks leading up to the special.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Who else wanted the villains to sing a Beatles cover in "Meet the Beat-Alls?"
    • Some fans were likely disappointed that the best they could come up with for Buttercup's special power was to curl her tongue, especially as in that episode, the girls exhibited completely new powers they'd never used before. Doubles as an In-Universe example, since even the Narrator though Buttercup's special power was lame.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Buttercup in the episode "Cover Up". The episode tries to show that somehow she's insane for liking a blanket and she put all her strength into it, but remember that she is only 5, that's a perfectly suitable age for somebody who likes a blanket. The fact that she cries her heart out when the blanket is lost doesn't help at all. Also at the end of the episode she is understandably pissed at Blossom for giving her a fake blanket, and she is forced to give up her blanket to match. Not to mention, Bubbles is allowed to keep Octi, but Buttercup isn't allowed a blanket for some reason.
    • Buttercup again in "Moral Decay", for a few viewers. She was being a humongous jerk, but many viewers thought that her sisters leading her to get the shit beaten out of her and later getting her money taken away at the end was too harsh of a punishment.
    • Buttercup once again in the episode "Down and Dirty". We're supposed to believe she deserves being run out of her home and town because she doesn't want to take a bath. As any parent can tell you, that's typical behavior for a small child.
    • The gnome in "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey". Yes, he turned Townsville into a giant Cult, but really think about this. The gnome rids the world of the Powerpuff Girls' Rogues Gallery at a time when they were at their worst, bringing the city into ruins and overpowering the girls. Had the gnome not intervened, it would have stayed that way. In addition, the reason the townspeople became the gnome's followers in the first place—willingly, mind you—was because they were genuinely grateful for how easier he made their lives by getting rid of the villains. As icing on the cake, the gnome was never shown to be hurting or terrorizing the townspeople, which is all the villains have been doing in the beginning of the episode. While the connections to communism aren't exactly subtlenote , is this really any worse than worldwide destruction and chaos?
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Powerpuff Girls Xtreme, especially the ones that aren't completely deformed, may look, act, and sound completely off, but they still have some of the cute charm as the real Powerpuff Girls.
    • Bunny. Despite her grotesque appearance, is often considered adorable due to being a genuine misunderstood and confused Gentle Giant.
    • Some people consider Fuzzy Lumpkins to be this when he's not angry.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • It's hard not to see HIM's effeminate personality and scare tactics as playing at least a little into Gay Panic. Of course, he's terrifying for plenty of other reasons.
    • Lil' Arturo showing off a switchblade-style comb to the Powerpuff Girls' school. These days, it would more or less be justified for the girls to take him down for bringing at first glance what appears to be a weapon to class.
    • Equal Fights operates on a very Nineties understanding of feminism that has not aged well.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • You'd probably be forgiven for mistaking Buttercup for a boy, because of her tomboyish behavior. Being voiced by Elizabeth Daily certainly doesn't help, due to Daily using a raspy and manly voice. In the 2016 reboot, she sounds even more like one!
    • Him is occasionally mistaken for a female because of the way he dresses. However, it's occasionally said in the show that Him doesn't really have a gender.
  • Wangst: Both invoked and Played for Laughs with Bud Smith.
    Bud: Nobody understands me!
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The show itself originally wasn't intended for kids (after all, its working title was The Whoop-Ass Girls), but when it was pitched to Cartoon Network, the executives wanted it to be directed towards the younger audience everyone knows and love today. The original intent becomes more and more obvious later in the series.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: According to Craig McCracken, Chemical X is just a generic super substance and was only named such because they could no longer use the original extra ingredient: "A can of whoopass." However, a subset of the fanbase insists that it's a metaphor for ecstasy and that the whole show is meant to seem like a drug trip as a result (the show was made at the height of rave culture, after all).
  • The Woobie:
    • More often than not, it's Bubbles. She's so good at looking like a kicked puppy when she's sad.
    • All three Girls in the movie, because of how much they were ostracized by the townsfolk.
    • All three Girls fall under this in "Sweet 'N Sour" where the Fluffy Bunch is robbing Townsville blind due to their blatant cuteness. It's hard not to wanna hug all three girls when the whole town turns on them and denounces them as animal haters.
    • All of the Girls in "Little Miss Interprets" after they wrongly think the Professor doesn't want them anymore.
    • Buttercup in "Cover Up", when she cries about her blankie being missing. Plus, it can seem unfair to some, since Bubbles is allowed to keep Octi, but Buttercup ends up getting rid of her blanket by the end of the episode.
    • Mojo Jojo in The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!. His dream had been shattered, and though he wanted to rule the world, it's still sad to see him lose all hope for the first time. Also, after he finds hope again, we learn that he had good intentions all along, which makes him qualify even more.
    • Blossom in "The Mane Event" when she gets embarrassed by her Traumatic Haircut, and in "Not So Awesome Blossom" after her confidence is lost.
    • Robin in "Super Friends" after the trio ditch her repeatedly to do superhero work, especially if you've been abandoned by your friends in real life. Then her next friend Princess Morbucks only uses her and talks her into committing a crime, and turns her in.
    • Bunny from "Twisted Sister". She truly did mean well, but she missed the point of the Girls's instructions and unintentionally made things worse. Even worse, the Girls tell her she's not meant to be one of them (although they did regret it later). The poor girl ends up dying at the end of the episode.

YMMV tropes with their own pages:


Alternative Title(s): The Powerpuff Girls

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