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YMMV / We Bare Bears

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  • Adaptation Displacement: Very few people realize that the show was based on a web-comic. Justified, as it only lasted 9 pages.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Panda of all characters could be seen as a Jerkass Woobie if you think about it hard enough. While nowhere near as mean as Nom Nom, Panda is easily the most self centered of the three bears and the most quick tempered, plus there was his actions in "Panda's Date" and "Brother Up" which pushed him into borderline jerkass territory. However, there's no denying that Panda is a woobie that could use a big hug. The episode "Cellie" especially makes Panda look like a Jerkass Woobie. As a matter of fact, in the subject of "Brother Up", did Panda go too far, or was Grizz such a Jerkass to him, and got his Karma?
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  • Author's Saving Throw: "Chicken and Waffles", well...There wasn't any creepy forced "romantic" subtext from Charlie to Panda, at least. Such as in the previous Charlie episodes. The subtext that is there is sweet, healthy, and mutual enough to make it a favorite among Panda/Charlie shippers.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Charlie. Fans are split on whether his No Social Skills and overwrought attempts to befriend the bears as a lonely nomad who is constantly harassed by cryptozoologist paparazzi makes him The Woobie, or if his annoying and clingy personality (which makes him very hypocritical) and his constant distrust towards humans make him The Scrappy.
    • Nom Nom. Despite the shows painting of him as a Jerkass Woobie, fans are still split on whether he's a fun recurring troublemaker, or just a fun killing asshole with a recurring case of Aesop Amnesia.
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  • Broken Base: The heavy usage of memes and current pop culture references in the show. Is it helping viewers connect with the show's universe or is it crippling the show by dating it heavily?
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • The series usually relies on slice of life genre or even Mundane Made Awesome. "Jean Jacket" is the closest thing of anything supernatural in the show although the situation is left ambiguous enough to pass it off as just the bears' imaginations.
    • "Ranger Tabes" has the bears team up with a badass female park ranger to fight evil delivery drones controlled by a malfunctioning AI. The episode is much more action-packed than anything else in the show so far.
    • Even more action-packed is "Captain Craboo", which features the bears running away with the title character (who had not been seen since his debut in "Emergency"), after Nom Nom tries to have him arrested for attacking him even though it was only because he was being such a jerkass to the Bears once again. And this episode was the first in the series to be twice the length of a regular episode.
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    • "Icy Nights II" is probably the most action-packed episode by far, and the climax features a fight with a large Killer Robot.
    • "Braces" has Panda get the ability to control electronic devices (And later non-electronic objects) from a pair of braces, which is quite out-of-place compared to the other episodes listed here.
  • Cargo Ship:
  • Designated Hero: Not in the show, where the protagonists actually are nice (most of the time), but in the original comics they come across as violent, selfish brats.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Some fans portray Nom Nom as jealous of the bears or a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. There is the fan pairing Grizznom where Grizzly openly has a crush on Nom Nom, while Nom Nom secretly has a crush on Grizz and doesn't want to admit it publicly.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Chloe Park immediately became popular during the sneak peek due to her being Adorkable and her cute appearance. It also helps that her voice actress also voices Ruby from Steven Universe.
    • Background character example: the Muslim girl wearing a hijab in the intro and at the college in "Chloe" has a few fans, despite presently lacking a name. One reason is because her design is considered one of the more unique ones out of all background characters, since it's not common to see Muslim women in traditional garb in cartoons.
    • The Fireman that saved baby Grizzly in "Burrito". Some fanart has already popped up and some people have labeled him "The Most Wonderful Human Being Ever".
    • Lucy is quite well liked as well, due to being very friendly with the bears and being a very level headed person. In spite of this, it wasn't until the third season where she made her second real appearance and became a recurring character.
    • Ranger Tabes. It helps that she's a hilarious cloudcuckoolander and a Large Ham.
    • Karla from "The Island", due to the maternal relationship she had with the bear cubs. Being played by Felicia Day helps.
    • Yuri from "Yuri and the Bear", for the same reasons as Karla, except only with baby Ice Bear. Being a Husky Russkie survivalist who made Ice Bear into who he is alongside his tragic past and paternal relationship with him certainly helps.
    • The three pregnant workout ladies from "Yard Sale", particularly on Deviant ART.
    • Another background character: the young man with brown hair and wears a red shirt, jeans, and sandals. He was one of the campers in "Primal", seen kicking Panda's chair in "Shush Ninjas", on the video on Panda's phone in "My Clique", and high-five'd Grizzly in "Tote Life". Nameless, he's referred to as "Sandal Guy".
  • Fanon: When drawing the bears as humans, it is common for Grizzly to be portrayed as African-American, Ice Bear as a Caucasian with pale hair and eyes, and Panda as East Asian. Considering the three are from America, Russia and China respectively, it falls nicely into Phenotype Stereotype.
  • Foe Yay: Lampshaded in "Icy Nights II", when Yana remarks that Barry's obsession with defeating Ice Bear makes it sound like he has a crush.
  • Fountain of Memes: Ice Bear is a very quotable character.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With the Steven Universe fandom, helped by the fact that the theme is sung by Estelle, who voices Garnet, and that Chloe is voiced by Charlene Yi, who voices Ruby. Numerous comparisons have been made between the three bears and the Crystal Gems as well. In fact, after seeing the ending to "Burrito", everyone jokingly accused Rebecca Sugar of writing the episode.
    • With the fandom of Shirokuma Cafe. See the Hilarious In Hindsight entry for why.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Grizzly getting stuck in a tree in "Everyday Bears" becomes less funny after watching "Burrito." It turns out Grizzly once got stuck in a tall tree during a bad thunderstorm as a cub, and he still has nightmares about it well into adulthood.
  • Genius Bonus: The albino alligator from "Chloe and Ice Bear" eating the jelly sandwich and enjoying it may seem odd for a carnivore, but in real life crocodilians eat fruit for diet supplements.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • If the official Japanese Twitter is anything to go by, there are tons of merchandise American fans wish were available in their own country.
    • The show is also popular in South Korea as there are tons of merchandise, too. The Baskin-Robbins over there has an ice cream cake made for them. This is probably thanks to the show's positive representation of Korean culture.
    • The show has tons of merchandise that's only available in China, even though the show didn't even air there! Apparently, the merchandise was so popular, they've started airing the show in China, as of May 2017.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: While many episodes show that Ice Bear does not mind if his brothers think of him as a boring and uninteresting person, "Losing Ice" shows that he cares about how much Grizzly and Panda appreciate everything he does for them, feeling genuinely hurt when they ignore the meal he spent so hard making for them.
    • Furthermore, it seems that Ice Bear may actually be thinking of himself as nothing more than a Broken Ace, and secretly expects his brothers to think of him like that, for he is implied to be a Death Seeker shown in the cub episodes where he is seen accepting death with dignity twice, possibly over the shameful guilt of hurting others in the past, such as "Yuri and the Bear", where his Innocently Insensitive nature costs him his only parental figure.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The Whole Episode Flashback of "Yuri and the Bear" shows how Ice Bear acquired some of his present-day skills whilst working for the title character. Yuri also refers to himself in the third person, implying that Ice Bear talks like this as a remembrance to the man who raised him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    Grizz: How about "Polar Bear Cafe?"
    Panda: Nah, I think that name's already taken.
    • Inside Out, a film released about a month prior to this show, contains the line "There are no bears in San Francisco" said by Disgust to Fear, after which Anger butts in saying that he saw "a hairy guy [that] looked like a bear". Pixar probably wasn't counting on Cartoon Network to make a show all about bears in San Francisco. Not only that, creator Daniel Chong was a story artist on the film, and both works feature Bobby Moynihan.
    • Even more coincidental is during E3 2015, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes was revealed and one of the main gameplay elements is that three Links can stand on top of each other and form a stack of three, just like the "#bearstack"!
    • A year before the webcomic began, the children's book "Panda and Polar Bear" told the story of a panda cub and a polar cub meeting and becoming friends like how Panda and Ice Bear met as cubs.
    • And way back in 2007, the short "Poles Apart" featured a panda bear fitting into a city of polar bears and Pang Pang's appearance and Adorkable Butt-Monkey character is very similar to Panda's. (And he looked exactly like Ice Bear when he got covered in snow.)
    • As usual for fandoms, various "dirty confession blogs" were created on Tumblr. One person on such a blog suggested that Panda has an anime body pillow. The episode "Hibernation" reveals that Panda has a Dakimakura he calls Miki-chan.
    • In one episode, the bears are playing an obvious parody of the Wii. Then, a couple of commercials with the bears for Nintendo Switch were released. Clearly, these bears are Nintendo fans.
    • In Tropic Thunder, Tugg Speedman regretfully killed a panda. When he called his manager with his mobile phone about what happened, his manager heard wrong and thought that Tugg "killed Amanda" and he wore the Panda's head as a hat. In "Summer Love", Panda returned a phone to a girl named Amanda, who wears a lot of panda-themed accessories including a hat, and she noted how their names sound alike.
    • In "Grizzly: The Movie", there's a mo-cap actor named "Andy" performing Grizzly's stunts, as an obvious reference to Andy Serkis. In the 2018 film Mowgli, Serkis plays a bear, Baloo, via motion capture.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Some people ship the bears with each other. It kind of helps that they're different species of bears and were adopted by each other, meaning that they're not biologically related.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Panda, surprisingly. So far, he locked his brothers in a closet, buried their new phones out of envy, lied about his bamboo diet, yelled and kicked at a pigeon and ruined his date by eating Lucy's salad, but he's just so fragile and insecure and cries so easily that he really deserves a hug in spite of his outbursts. When it all boils down to it, he just wants to be loved by someone, even if it does mean playing a few dirty tricks here and there. Most of the time he doesn't even realise how bad it is.
    • Nom Nom might be on the road to becoming this, since he says in "Nom Nom's Entourage" that he does not know how to make friends.
      • The episode "Kyle" makes it official. It's revealed that Nom Nom was separated from his family at a young age, and the long lost brother he's happily reunited with turns out to be a lying con artist.
    • Dave from "The Island". He was selfish and was fine with letting young bears die just to get Karla all to himself, but he stayed on the island for a long time before Karla did, plus it's implied at the end that he'll never get off the island, since the bears and Karla took the supplies and escaped.
    • Yuri from "Yuri and the Bear" acted aloof and short-tempered at times, but he lost his wife and daughter, causing him to become abrasive and withdrawn. However, once he takes a level in kindness by raising Ice Bear and bonding with him, he becomes a straight-up woobie, especially when he is forced to send Ice Bear away to keep the hunters from pursuing him and go back to being all alone again, regretfully knowing it's his own fault for putting his newest family member in danger and he shouldn't have snapped at him for pushing his Berserk Button and not even having a chance to reconcile with the cub.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Marketing: The bears are also on your feminine hygiene packaging. At least they're only available in China.
  • Moe:
    • The bears as cubs and as adults are this. (Most of the time...)
    • Chloe is very much this as well due to her adorable appearance, voice, and personality.
    • Nom Nom is aware that he's this In-Universe and fully exploits it.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Nom Nom crosses this in "Nom Nom" with his comeback plot, which involves tricking Grizzly and Panda into entering a pool and endangering their lives with his pet sharks, so he could "rescue them". He also traps Ice Bear in a deep pit, leaving him covered and unable to escape. And his behavior and whiteboard notes make it clear that he doesn't care if they might die in the process of reclaiming his fame.
    • "The Island" features Dave, who is deplorable enough by depriving Karla of supplies in an attempt to manipulate her into loving him. But he certainly crosses it when he leaves the young Grizzly, Panda, and Ice Bear into quicksand to drown, when they almost ruin his demented scheme.
    • Although Cory doesn't directly endanger anyone in "$100", he does betray the baby bears and robs them of their hundred-dollar bill which makes it pretty much impossible to sympathize with him.
    • Ralph, in the episode of the same name, finds joy in scaring people and pulling pranks on them. But he crosses it when he attempts to drop a group of tourists off a rope bridge to their death just for laughs. Then, after Charlie steps in to save them, Ralph refuses to help and leaves him to die when he's in danger of slipping off the ledge.
    • Barry in "Icy Nights II" when he kidnaps Yana just to get Ice Bear to give him his vacuum, and when he's got hold of it, he tries to kill both of them, seeing that they are no longer of use to him, and because he doesn't want them to try to stop him. All just so he can gain his father's respect.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • At the beginning of the theme song, Estelle scat-singing.
    • Panda's sneeze is both this in-universe and out.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Believe it or not, when the first season was airing, Charlie was a lot of people's least favorite character for his constant rude and pushy behavior, making the bears feel uncomfortable in many of his appearances. As the series progressed, Charlie's Hidden Depths, his good, loyal heart, and his somewhat tragic nature as the only one of his kind was revealed, causing the fandom's opinion of him to do a full 180. By seasons 3 and 4, Charlie had become a fan favorite recurring character like Ranger Tabes, partly because of shippers pairing him with Panda.
  • Squick:
    • In "Burrito", Grizzly carries the titular burrito around with him, even when it goes bad. At the end of the episode, the three bears splatter each other with the remains of the exploded burrito, which have gone black from the mold growing on it. Some of it probably ended up going in their mouths...
    • In "Charlie", the titular Bigfoot eats cheese puffs straight out of the jar, then realizes that it's rude to take them without permission... so he spits them out into his hand, then resumes digging in after asking. Then he wipes the dust off on the bear's couch. THEN he makes the toilet overflow, uses Panda's pillow to sponge it up, and gives it back to him.
  • Stoic Woobie: Ice Bear in the episode Food Truck considering the fact that no one even wanted to try a free sample of his delicious calzones. Although he does step out for a moment and walk away to throw a tantrum. He gets hit with this especially hard in "Nom Nom", when the titular koala steals his brothers' attention from him and eventually traps him in a hole where he cannot even call for help thanks to his quiet nature. And then there's "Yuri and the Bear", where he has gone through hell in the Arctic continent as a cub before meeting Grizzly and Panda, implied to have lost his mother to poachers, being too young to hunt for food by himself, constantly going into hiding from the hunters, attacked by his soon to be Parental Substitute for trespassing on his property, severely damaged his growing relationship with him, and never seeing him again without having the chance to reconcile. The poor polar bear has been through a lot, and uses his stoicism as a way of hiding the pain from the past and the present.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • The music during the basketball game at the beginning of "Our Stuff" is based on the Brother Bones version of "Sweet Georgia Brown," better known as the theme song for the Harlem Globetrotters.
    • "Raincloud Chill" from the episode "Chloe" sounds a lot like "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra.
    • The stacking battle at the end of "Brother Up" is accompanied by a song that sounds quite a lot like Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger".
    • "Dance Outside Your Window" bears a striking similarity to Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go".
    • "Icy Nights" features two references to famous songs from the movie Drive: "WOLF STREET" which sounds like "Nightcall", and "GREATEST" which references "A Real Human Being".
    • The Bears' Lock-and-Load Montage in "The Kitty" is accompanied by a song that's obviously based on "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins.
    • "Forever On The Dancefloor" from "Dance Lessons" is very similar to "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire.
    • "Bear Lift" features a song suspiciously similar to "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan.
    • The song during the cleaning montage in "I, Butler" is a rather obvious parody of "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters.
    • "Hot Sauce" briefly features a rap tune that sounds almost exactly like "The Next Episode" by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Since around the time the show premiered many people believed that the show was a ripoff or inspired by the manga and anime series Shirokuma Cafe. Daniel Chong admitted later that he was not aware of the series until after We Bare Bears premiered.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: It's noted every now and then how the bears are able to interact with humans without them minding, while the shows seems to imply that the bears (along with Nom Nom and Charlie) are the only non-humans capable of human language and cognition, something which is never brought up as a plot point.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • It's hard for some fans to feel sorry for Charlie in his first appearance, since he annoys the bears, wrecks their house, unsettle them and it was shown that the bears wanted to get away from him. If anything, some fans feel more sorry for the bears. However, future episodes try to make him seem more sympathetic. Unfortunately, Charlie continually being hypocritical about his problems of being harassed by humans makes him more unsympathethic.
    • The other food truck owners as well as customers from "Food Truck". The latter wouldn't even try a single sample.
    • The bears themselves in the original comics, where their quest for adoption is undermined by their deliberate exclusion of people that don't meet their standards.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Wallace from "Poppy Rangers". It's very easy to mistake her for a boy due to her short hair, tomboyish behavior, and her having a male's name, though it could just be her surname as Ranger Tabes was using Last-Name Basis to refer to the other Poppy Rangers.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • A museum night guard sees a polar bear with a human girl in his mouth pretending to be a tiger statue in a tiger exhibit and walks away, thinking everything is normal.
    • The hipster clerk at the beginning of "Tote Life". Not only is badmouthing someone for not having reusable bags and insulting their grocery choices (he called the gang out for buying both vegan cookies and eggs) a Jerkass move, but if you work at the grocery store (and don't own the place), it's a sure-fire way to lose your job.
    • The cupcake shop manager from "Cupcake Job" not even making much of an effort to get a feel for each of the bears and basically mismatching them for the respective jobs: the klutzy and panicky Panda on conveyor duty, the eager to please but simple-minded Grizzly on people helper duty (a couple of them became a little difficult) with touch panel, and the handy but socially awkward Ice Bear as attract mascot. (The latter accidentally succeeds as a panhandler at least.)
    • Tabes during "Creature Mysteries" for setting a flare trap on the bears' cave! She knew perfectly well they lived there and still set a trap atop their house just to catch Charlie. The top of the cave catches fire in the climax of the episode and she becomes trapped inside and almost dies.
    • Grizzly in "Planet Bears" while looking for the bathroom, finds one, but it needs a code. Instead of asking an employee what the password is, he tries to break the door down without much success. Afterwards, Grizzly tries to knock over the door with a forklift, but it spins out of control, so he ends up wetting himself in fear.
  • The Woobie:
    • Panda is treading down this road. Most of the time, he seems to have a look of sadness or worry on his face. This especially applies in "Panda's Date", where his attempts to woo, impress, or otherwise have fun with Lucy end in humiliation, disappointment and a near death experience.
    • Grizzly qualifies too, at times. While he's usually upbeat and carefree, he's also desperate to fit in and make friends. It's revealed in "Burrito" he also suffered a traumatizing experience as a cub by getting stuck in a tree during a thunderstorm, and he still isn't completely over the experience as he still has nightmares about it and clings to a warm, wrapped up burrito because it reminds him of the fireman who saved him. (Coincidentally, Grizzly even resembles the bear that is featured in the trope image.)
    • Ice Bear has his moments, especially in "Yuri and the Bear". In that episode, it's implied he lost his mother to poachers, could not hunt on his own, ended up upsetting his Parental Substitute Yuri because of his unintentionally insensitive actions, and to top it all off had to get separated from Yuri to get to safety. Even worse, he never got to reconcile with him.
    • Most of the protagonists seem to count - all three bears grew up as orphans, with only each other as company, and Chloe has horrible social anxiety due to being a child prodigy going to school with people 10 years her senior ( though she gets over it). A major theme of the show ends up being outcasts trying to find a place where they belong.
    • The more the audience learns about Charlie's background, the more tragic his character starts to seem. Charlie is the mythical bigfoot, a redneck cryptid who's spent most of his life wandering from place to place, looking for a friend. Charlie can never stay in one place for too long, because if the humans discover his existence they usually try to hunt him down and profit off him, and they've only grown more dangerous to the Sasquatch over the years as their technology has advanced. Compounding that, Charlie apparently has a very long lifespan, longer than any other living creature on Earth, so even if he does make a friend, he always inevitably outlives them. Charlie gets on well with the woodland critters that live in San Fransico's forests, but the only sapient friends he has are the bear brothers.
    • Yuri from "Yuri and the Bear", once it's revealed that his loving wife and daughter died. He finally has genuine company for so long in the form of Baby Ice Bear, but then has to go back to living all alone again after being forced to send him away to keep him safe from hunters. During season three, it turns out that his daughter is alive, but whether he knows it or not has yet to be revealed.


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