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YMMV / The Tick (2016)

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Superion. Is he really the Big Good or a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing? While delirious and ill, he said all he wanted to be was to be a good person as a reason why he's a superhero, and is suggested to have gotten caught up in the fame of having "defeated" The Terror, even though he didn't fully believe he'd won, and regrets not having been more diligent. On the other hand, he arrived on earth encased in big bismuth, which is shown to make him weak and in season 2 he goes through increasing Sanity Slippage over no longer being unanimously loved by the public any more; while his actions in attempting to redeem himself don't seem to have any overt hostility to them, it's clear that Superion looks down on humanity. It's also confirmed that he's a fugitive from his planet in the final scene.
    • Exactly how much of The Tick's stupidity is for real and how much is really just a front?
    • The show made sure to Joss the possibility of The Tick just being in Arthur's head early on, but some fans still suspect Arthur actually has a superpower of creating another person to be a superhero, aided by The Tick's own confusion about his backstory and how he appeared out of nowhere.
    • Did Bakkup the android turn on the Tick because he was reminded that he had a job to do, or because his partner forced an override? If the latter is true, Tick's furious beheading of him becomes a lot sadder.
      • Furthermore, it's an obviously outdated machine. It's possible that rather than befriending him, the Tick's strange behaviour merely confused it, causing him not to register as a threat.
  • Cargo Ship: Dangerboat really wants to talk to Arthur about that time they were in the shower together. Arthur wants to remind Dangerboat that Dangerboat was the shower.
    • The Tick and Justice. Lady Justice. Notably, he's referred to her as his lady love in the comics.
  • Complete Monster:
    • The Terror, season 1's Big Bad, is an elderly, childish supervillain who serves as the driving force behind all villainy in the series. An abominable psychopath who is introduced massacring the Flag Five—sparing Straight Shooter only to cripple him—then laughing in the face of young Arthur Everest after getting his father killed, the Terror is later shown to have annihilated entire cities and lead brutal attacks on others throughout his extensive career. After controlling all crime in the City for many years from the shadows, the Terror returns to the spotlight by having Ms. Lint murder his minion Ramses and slashing a man's throat in front of an audience. The Terror's master plan is to turn the Very Large Man into a living bomb to blow up his Arch-Enemy Superian, an act that will wipe out a huge chunk of the City and its thousands of innocents in the process, and, when Arthur and the Tick foil this plan, the Terror stoops to attempting to murder Arthur's parents as revenge, torturing a disgusted Ms. Lint into compliance the whole way. Despite his hilarious and zany personality, the Terror is treated as the shockingly vile monster he is, committing his atrocities for no other reason than his own amusement and an insane desire to make life itself into a theater production.
    • The Duke/Agent Doctor Hobbes, season 2's Big Bad, is a treacherous A.E.G.I.S. scientist who is secretly a Super Tech black market Arms Dealer. Angered at Commander Rathbone for allowing Overkill, a Category, into what he saw as a "proud human organization", the Duke engineered the extermination of the entire Phoenix Squadron of A.E.G.I.S. agents and framed Overkill as a traitor. Resurfacing years later, the Duke began a new trade of human furniture, kidnapping dozens of innocent people and leaving them conscious but unable to move or speak, all to test his mind control chips. Upon her capture he ordered Lobstercules transferred to his lab for experimentation refusing to believe she isn't an animal. Kidnapping Overkill, he painfully inserts a chip into his brain then has him assassinate Commander Rathbone, allowing him to assume control of A.E.G.I.S.. He then attempts to kill Lobstercules babies, and everyone who could know his secret. Implanting another Chip into Lobstercules he orders her and Overkill to kill their friends, planning to insert chips into every Category on Earth, allowing him to control them all. Seemingly an affable and somewhat eccentric individual, beneath his claims of helping humanity, the Duke proved to be nothing more than a bigoted, paranoid, hypocritical Control Freak.
  • Crazy Is Cool: After multiple characters comment on how stupid or strange The Terror's plans seem, Superion reveals their secret: They don't make sense. The Terror himself thinks of them in abstract terms, like the rhythm of a good song, rather than the careful fulfilment of outlined goals. Arthur foils his scheme by planning constructively with others and thinking ahead, and The Tick beats him in single combat by proving even crazier than him.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Overkill and Ms Lint.
  • Ho Yay: Between Arthur and The Tick, though largely Played for Laughs.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Ms. Lint is probably the most sympathetic villain on the show.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ms. Lint is a powerful super villain in The City who served as The Dragon to The Terror before abandoning him once his plans falls apart. Striking out on her own in Season 2, Ms. Lint would become the superhero Joan of Arc and work for A.E.G.I.S. to eliminate her competition in the criminal underworld and gain The City's trust, even attacking her own henchmen to deter suspicion away from her true identity and exploit the 28th amendment to prevent Tick and Arthur from doing such either. She would ally herself with The Duke, Agent Doctor Hobbes, in the latter's efforts to take over A.E.G.I.S. only to steal all of his gear before leaving him at the heroes' mercy.
  • Memetic Molester: Dangerboat has a crush on Arthur, and gets a little too hands-on when Arthur decides to have a shower inside of him.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The Terror is no longer a senile old man past his prime, but a sadistic monster who is responsible for numerous on-screen deaths and delights in all of them. He haunts Arthur's dreams, and with good reason.
      • One such nightmare has Overkill stab Arthur's father in the back, only to remove his helmet and reveal The Terror.
    • Human Furniture. Thankfully less gorey than one might expect, but the former lamp we meet describes his experience as having his brain forced to focus only on 'be a lamp' for months on end.
    • Though it's meant to be funny, Dangerboat helping Arthur to shower inside himself instead comes off rather unsettling.
    • What's behind the cap on Rathbone's chest? A black hole. What's inside of that? A mass of tentacles belonging to Thrakkorzog.
    • Overkill is Nightmare Fuel for all Mooks. Like the Punisher, he shows no mercy and is extremely brutal, using very sharp weapons. He also has cybernetic enhancements, allowing him to overpower regular people with no problem.
    • Arthur witnessing his father die and the Terror's murder of the Flag Five in the same day. To elaborate: the Terror has sprayed the Five with the syphilis right in their faces, effectively burning through their eyes. This causes them to crash their ship, which crushes Thomas Everest, killing him instantly.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The singing of Lobstercules' babies, basically a whole new kind of ASMR.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Superian is about to cross it when he decides to risk killing everyone on Earth to try reversing time just because he's upset that people don't like him anymore.
  • Narm Charm: The Tick has a rather... interesting way of speaking, especially when he's giving a speech to Arthur. And yet, Peter Serafinowicz manages to make it all sound genuinely charming (and intentionally hilarious).
    • The budget for the special effects is clearly rather subpar compared to other superhero TV shows, but the resulting Special Effect Failure actually works in this show's favor.
    • Hardened, bloodthirsty vigilante Overkill has enormous blue eyes under his helmet. Because The Terror melted his real ones out of his head.
    • The show will make you think lobsters are adorable.
  • Older Than They Think: Fans of the cartoon might be disappointed at the lack of colourful heroes and villains on display. The City didn't have many heroes in the original comics, either, but that was due to a relative lack of crime and villainy.
  • Squick: The secret ingredient of Brown Tingle Cola? The Terror's urine. One drop in every batch.
    • The Tick's costume change for season 2 is explained by him moulting the body-armour segments off like a real insect. Arthur finds a few around the apartment.
    • Rathbone opening the cap on his chest to feed it mice.
  • The Woobie: Arthur. As a child, he had to see both his father and his favorite superheroes die right in front of him at the hands of The Terror (who then proceeds to eat his ice cream). This tragedy scars him into adulthood (no thanks to a picture of him and The Terror making the cover of Time Magazine, forever associating Arthur with it) to the point of needing meds. Worse is that this leads him to try to find some way, any way, to prove that said villain is still alive in order to bring him to justice and achieve closure. Even though meeting the Tick makes things somewhat better, Arthur still winds up targeted by heroes and villains alike. And even Episode 6 implies things are about to get worse in spite of his new status as a hero, since the final shot has him face-to-face with The Terror.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Despite being a major part of the pilot, there was clearly no real plans for the Tick possibly being all in Arthur's head, and the plot point is quickly resolved in the second episode. While some feel the Tick being Real After All was obvious, it does leave most of the pilot feeling rather pointless.
    • The shift to a lighter tone overall. While still the darkest incarnation of the series by far, the idea of a gritty, crueller world needing to bend around someone as single-mindedly heroic as The Tick is an interesting idea that is just barely scratched.
  • Too Good to Last: The series debuted as an innovative superhero-comedy with a 90% approval rating on rotten tomatoes. The second season introduced some great new characters and plot lines and landed a perfect 100% on rotten tomatoes. And as for the third season, for some reason Amazon Video decided there shouldn't be one.
  • Unexpected Character: After two seasons of mostly original characters, the last episode of season 2 hints at a familiar face: Thrakkorzog.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Arthur, for most of the first season. He lies freely, complains about everything, acts intellectually superior and treats everyone around him as an annoyance and an imposition, even when they're bailing him out, saving his life or otherwise trying to be nice to him. It doesn't help that he's a walking-talking Golden Mean Fallacy, refusing to commit to either trying to be normal or to make a serious attempt at heroism, while looking down his nose at people who pick one or the other.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Arthur is the Only Sane Man in a world of eccentric superheroes. It doesn't help that he spends much of the show with The Tick.