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File:Secretsaturdays.jpg

A Cartoon Network action/comedy original series created by Jay Stephens, an underground comic book artist whose work led to the Emmy-winning program Tutenstein, as well as Annie-nominee Jetcat

The Secret Saturdays is about a family of cryptozoologists who are but one sector of a globe-spanning network of "Secret Scientists" that work to protect mankind from the hidden horrors of our world and beyond. Often traveling the world, not only must Doc, Drew and Zak Saturday deal with the problems caused by various cryptids, but they must also deal with the threat of V.V. Argost. Under the guise of his popular series WeirdWorld, Argost wishes to use the power of Kur to lead a large cryptid army to Take Over the World. Think Jonny Quest crossed with The Herculoids.

An under-appreciated animated series, The Secret Saturdays quickly became the Network Red Headed Stepchild in a matter of months. It wrapped up its second and final season on Cartoon Network, then showed up on Boomerang at the end of 2011, pretty much putting the lid on whether the show was going to be continued.


Tropes:

 Zak: I thought Kumari Kandam was destroyed...that it sunk under the sea after a big earthquake?

Doc: What? Who's been feeding you that garbage?

  • Backstory:
    • We know that Drew has some with Van Rook.
    • We saw some with how Drew grew up to be an Action Girl, and how her Long-Lost Relative became long lost.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Zak - tiny and cute with that star shaped mop of hair, but he gets badass right as the first season comes to a close.
    • Fiskerton - fluffy and cuddly and comical, but do not get between him and the family unless you want a world of hurt.
  • Badass Bookworm: Abby
  • Badass Family: the titular Saturdays, and even moreso after the Long-Lost Relative shows up and increases their number.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: There are several signs in the second season that Zak's power is in and of itself evil, such as in the episode "Kur: Part 2", where it guided the Saturdays to the exact opposite end of the world from where they needed to go to stop the Nagas' attack on mankind, and how it briefly made the attacking cryptids act even MORE violent than they already were.
    • He's certainly trying to make his powers a force for good, despite the entire cryptid world being scared to death of him.
  • Berserk Button: DON'T. TAKE. WATER. FROM. THE. CURSED. LAKE!
  • Big Applesauce: The nagas attack Manhattan when the Saturdays are expecting them to attack Hong Kong instead.
  • Big No: By the entire family.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Season Two finale. Sure, Argost is finally defeated and the Cryptid War ends as quickly as it began, but Zak lost his powers in the process, forcing him to be a normal boy (not that he minds) and Van Rook performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Drew whom he loved. Heck, the episode ends with a funeral.
  • Body Count Competition: Reverse example. Done with a count of saved people.
  • Body Swap
  • A Boy and His X: Zak and Fiskerton appear to be an inseparable pair.
  • Broken Record: Doc Saturday's Evil Twin. "Bad copy bad copy bad copy bad copy bad copy!"
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the final episode, this happens to Zak. He's not choked up about it, though.
  • Brown Note: The Flute of Gilgamesh, capable of playing a sound that kills anyone with Kur powers.
  • Building Swing: Zak can and does do this with the Claw on multiple occasions.
  • But for Me It Was Tuesday: When Drew and Doyle got V.V. Argost confront Argost about the murder of their parents, he, perhaps feigning ignorance given his expression, claims that he can't remember the screams of every family he's killed.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Drew: "My baby boy!"
    • Doc: "Be smart."
    • Argost: "Greetings and bienvenue."
  • Cat Suit: Drew Saturday's normal outfit.
  • Charm Person: Zak can control cryptids, but only to do things that at least a small part of them already wanted to do.
  • The Chosen One: Zak was born, his parents theorize, to counter the Kur Stone, so he can save the world if need arises.
    • It ends up subverted later when it turns out that Zak is actually Kur..
      • Then again, it is Kur's destiny to lead a cryptid army against the human race, overthrowing our civilization and installing a new world order. He is still the Chosen One...just a possibly evil one.
  • Classy Cat Burglar: Wadi.
  • Clear My Name: Fiskerton is framed by the Mondays for a bunch of attacks on the Secret Scientists. Though technically, he really was guilty, just Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Cloning Blues: Francis is revealed to be one in a long of clones taken from a perfect spy years ago. As he gets older, he will eventually become Epsilon and have his own "Francis". This is a situation that he already knew and accepted, but it's clear he does not enjoy it. That is, until Zak tells him he has the choice to be an individual person.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Doc has a glove that has Power Glows, and some combat use.
  • Conspicuous CG: The CoolShips tend to be animated thusly.
  • Cool Ship: Both sides have one.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Displayed throughout the episode "Twelve Hundred Degrees Fahrenheit". Taken to a ridiculous extent when both Argost and Drew swim through the volcano (wearing fireproof lizard-skin and a heatproof suit, respectively, but still!). Particularly Egregious in Argost's case, as the lava should have seeped in through the openings in the skin (eyes, mouth).
  • The Cruella: In "The Return of Tsul 'Kalu", Doyle has to protect a black market cryptid dealer who eats panda dumplings.
  • Cut Argost A Check: Argost was already fairly wealthy due to the fame from his show and the money brought in by the marketing of toys connected to Weird World.
  • Dating Catwoman: Zak and Wadi early on. Also Doyle and Abby.
  • Deal with the Devil: Zak's deal with Argost.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Doyle. Everyone usually has a turn, but he does it the most and to hilarious effect.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: Argost, though he's pretty much the same on-camera...
  • Dramatic Chase Opening: "Guess Who's Going to be Dinner?" starts with Fiskerton running through a forest while being threatened by dangerous plants.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Doyle (and doesn't he know it?)
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Van Rook was appalled when he discovered Argost killed Drew's family For the Evulz.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The holograms studied by the Saturdays spin in one plane.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: V.V. Argost's home, Weirdworld.
  • Evilly Affable: V.V. Argost.
  • Evil Twin: The team accidentally gets duplicated by a magic mirror, sorta. The duplicates were actually alternate reality versions of them.
  • Exact Words
  • Exotic Entree: One villain only wants to eat cryptids.
  • Face Heel Turn: Doyle's girlfriend (and Zak's former babysitter) Abbey Gray, now working as Van Rook's new apprentice. She later kicked Van Rook out, and took over his operations.
  • Fish People: The people of Kumari Kandam.
  • Flaming Sword: Drew's sword is a solar powered fire sword.
  • Flash Back: Flashbacks to some of Doc and Drew's earlier adventures.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Flying Electric Jellyfish plague the family in one episode.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: In pursuit of a mere thrown ball, Komodo clears a hallway of dangerous airborne jellyfish cryptids when the family had been having a hard time just holding them at bay.
  • Foe Yay: Zak and Wadi had this going on when they first met. Also Doyle and his ex-girlfriend Abby Gray after her Face Heel Turn.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Subverted. Zak is an 11 year old boy, so he is a straight portrayal of the innocent bit, but the animals that all snuggle and cozy up to him are cryptids that would give ordinary virgin girls pause. Darkly subverted when it turns out that this is because Zak is the reincarnation of their civilization-destroying god Kur.
  • GASP
  • Genre Savvy: Zak faithfully watches V.V. Argost's TV show, and thus knows a lot of the moves and weapons Argost uses in combat, to the surprise of his parents.
    • This also comes in handy when The Saturdays break into Weird World to rescue Fiskerton. Since Zak actually has a model of it, he knows the general layout of the place.
  • Genius Bruiser: Doc Saturday.
  • George Lucas Throwback: Just look at the shows it's compared to above.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Zak's eyes glow when he uses his powers.
  • God of Evil: Implied with Kur.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Doc has a scar over one eye. Argost's henchman has scars on his face.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Van Rook.

  Van Rook: Ah, Drew. You were the only thing I liked almost as much as money.

  • Gotta Get Your Head Together: Zak and Argost reacting to the deadly music from the flute of Gilgamesh.
  • Grappling Hook Pistol: The Claw
  • Hair Colors:
    • Drew is white-haired. So is Argost, though that might be age. Turns out that he's actually a fricking Yeti!
    • Doc and Zak both have a variation on Skunk Stripe.
    • Doyle is a Fiery Redhead.
  • A Handful for An Eye: Zak flings a handful of mud into Munya's face during their fight in the Amazon in "The Kur Stone, Part 2".
  • Happily Married: Drew and Doc, and for once the parents aren't dead or oblivious!
  • Hartman Hips: Drew Saturday's wide birthin' hips.
  • Heel Face Turn: Doyle the apprentice on realizing he has a Long-Lost Relative on the good guys' team.
    • Van Rook does this as well in the second season, as he can't earn a living if there is no one around to earn a living from.
  • Heroic Albino: Drew is this, with literally snow white skin and hair.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Of all people, Leonidas Van Rook does this for Drew when Rani Naga attempts to attack her with her own sword blast.
  • Hot Librarian: Abby.
  • Hot Shounen Mom: Drew. On the night of the premiere, several /co/ threads on Secret Saturdays had posts that just said "MILF WITH A FLAMING SWORD"
    • Her evil twin is pretty much outright Fetish Fuel, seeing as she has a long, prehensile tongue.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Argost learns the hard way that matter and anti-matter DO NOT get along.
  • Humiliation Conga: Argost suffers one of these in the second season finale; First he gets overpowered by Zak, beat up so bad his mask breaks, then dog piled by the cryptids living in the Antartic Cryptid, then his own Dragon Munya webs him up and carries him off, if only to protect him from his own Villainous Breakdown.
  • Impairment Shot: The eye shaped "about to lose consciousness" variation.
  • Impossible Thief: Wadi. Watch her in action, and you'll understand (starts around 4:36).
  • Infant Immortality: Both played straight and subverted in one of the most horrible ways imaginable. While Zak seems to live through every disaster that can possibly befall him, Argost uses the Flute of Gilgamesh on Zak Monday, and it's over for the little guy. Sure, he may have been evil, but still... Zak proper almost shared the same fate, and did actually die, but got better thanks to quick medical care.
  • Ironic Echo: In the first episode, Van Rook chastises Doyle for using several concussion grenades on Doc, claiming that "two is plenty." In the last episode at his funeral, Doyle places several roses on his grave then takes back almost all of them, saying "two is plenty."
  • Jerkass: Depending on how you view him, Doc is a serious ass especially to his wife's own BROTHER.
    • But then said brother is no prize either.
      • And who really gets along with the in-laws?
    • Also Dr. Beeman, who seems to operate in perpetual Sarcasm Mode, and has no problem with the idea of killing an eleven year old boy in cold blood.
  • Jet Pack: Doyle and Van Rook's preferred mode of travel in combat.
  • Kid Hero: Zak.
  • Killed Off for Real: Van Rook and Zak Monday
  • Killer Yoyo: Wadi wields one she calls "The Thieves Yoyo" in later episodes.
  • Large Ham: A few of the villains are like this, but Argost is the largest and hammiest of them all.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: In "Twelve Hundred Degrees Fahrenheit", not only do Argost and Drew swim through lava, Drew actually dives into it.
  • Little Black Dress: Worn by Drew Saturday in "Guess Who's Going To Be Dinner" when she and Doc go on an anniversary date.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Drew discovers her long lost brother is working with the bad guys.
  • MacGuffin: The opening episode's Kur Stone.
  • Mama Bear: Drew. Also an occasion of when this overlaps with Action Mom. So harming any of her "boys" will result in an epic beatdown.
  • Meaningful Echo: All the way from the start of the first season to the end of the second (and last): "two is plenty". In the pilot, Van Rook admonishes Doyle for using more than two grenades, as he's a cheapskate. When Van Rook dies, Doyle puts three flowers on the grave then takes one back, echoing that line.
  • Meaningful Name: Zak names the Monday family such because everyone hates Mondays.
  • Mind Control: There are cryptids whose properties cause this.
  • Mirror Universe: What the Smoke Mirror of Tezcatlipoca opens a portal to.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Fiskerton, the cat-gorilla.
    • Also Argost's henchman Munya who has characteristics of spider along with human attributes.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Into The Mouth Of Darkness", when a light-hearted filler episode does a 180 when Argost shows up and gives a Not So Different speech.
  • Most Common Superpower: Drew has this in spades.
  • Murder Water
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: In "Into the Mouth of Darkness", Drew is less than impressed by Doc's grasp of Arabic:

 Drew: "You do realise that you just promised to buy him new butter?"

  • Never Say "Die" / Killed Off for Real: Mostly adhered to, but Drew's Backstory makes it clear they don't shy away from it when it enriches the story to say so.
    • This rule is still adhered to, but with Ulraj's dad, you can tell he's obviously been killed.
    • And, after a few seconds, you remember that the Flute of Gilgamesh kills the Kur it drains. Argost used it on Zak Monday. You do the math.
    • Completely subverted with Leonidas Van Rook, who actually died on screen, showing us his hand falling lifelessly to the floor to drive the point home. Zak, too, but only for a few minutes. And just in case anybody's still not sure about Van Rook, the episode ends with his funeral.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Really, Zak, you didn't see Argost's betrayal coming a mile away? Thanks to that now he has Kur powers and the means to take over the world.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Fiskerton and Komodo. Zon is noticeably absent for most of the episodes, either off doing her own thing or with Doyle during the third season.
  • Not Even Human: V.V. Argost is actually a Yeti, and not just anyone. He's the one that killed Doyle and Drew's parents. This was forshadowed the entire series by his inhuman abilities.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Doc Saturday's real name is Solomon.
  • Open Says Me: How do you get to the cortex disruptors when your parents have the computer combination? Get your Fiskerton Phantom to smash the touchpad, et voila!
  • Papa Wolf: Doc is dedicated to protecting his son Zak at all costs, so much that he lost the use of an eye saving Zak.
  • Parental Abandonment: Although Zak's parents are alive and well, Drew's parents die in her Backstory.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: Van Rook's password is '$'.
  • Phlebotinum Overload: Mixing Zak's powers with those of his antimatter double did not turn out well for Argost.
  • Playing with Fire: Drew and her sword.
  • Power Glows: Lots and lots of this. Doc's eye and glove. Drew's sword. Zak's eyes and the Claw.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent:
    • Played straight with some of the reptilian nasties the Saturdays encounter.
    • Subverted by Komodo who is a (mostly) friendly Komodo Dragon. Same with Zon.
      • Minus the Mirror Komodo who's Affably Evil and leader of the Mondays.
  • Revenge: Drew and Doyle both want it from Argost, when they find out he killed their parents and separated them.
    • Also Prince Ulraj when he attempts to strike down Argost for murdering his father.
  • Right Behind Me: Played with in "Once More To the Nightmare Factory"

 Doc: It's over. We won.

[Drew, Doyle and Zak motion to warn Doc of the large seagoing cryptid behind him]

Doc: No. We won. I'm not turning around and looking at it. We won.

  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Prince Ulraj.
  • Rule of Cool: The Komodo Dragon can FLY A JET. Tell me that doesn't qualify.
  • Screwed by the Network: The show was moved around on the schedule every few months, and new episodes were rarely advertised. As a result, only diehard fans could actually keep track of it.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Kur's soul was sealed inside the Kur Stone and unleashed when the stone was unearthed, reincarnating in the unborn Zak.
  • Send in the Clones: Played with: The Monday family.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Drew Saturday was pretty stunning in her formal gown during her anniversary.
  • Shout-Out: The show's animation style is a Shout-Out to 1960s and 1970s animation. It visually hearkens to Jonny Quest, The Herculoids, and Thundarr the Barbarian, as well as a lot of the action shows that came out of the Hanna-Barbera stable. Argost's henchman is a visible Shout-Out to the Frankenstein monster.
  • Show Within a Show: V.V. Argost's Weird World.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Drew delivers a very nice one in the Season 2 finale to Argost when he attempts to call a truce.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The Fang wielded by Zak Monday gives off evil green light and likewise any cryptid affected by it gets Glowing Eyes of Doom to match.
  • Soul Jar: It turns out the Kur stone actually holds Kur. When that broke, it jumped to Zak.
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: Fiskerton, whose grunts are more-or-less recognizable as English.
  • Spot the Imposter: Played with, when Zack immediately starts looking for any subtle differences between his mom and her Evil Twin. And fails. The sword-toting Drew grabs the Claw and shoots it at the other Drew, only to have the second Drew deflect it with her really long tongue. The real Drew just wanted her to shut up.
  • Stern Chase: The second season starts with this due to the Tomato in the Mirror reveal (Zak Saturday is Kur, who is believed to be the ultimate evil) of the previous season.
  • Stock Footage: The Transformation Sequence of Argost's henchman.
  • Stock Super Powers:
    • Doc has super strength.
    • Drew has Implausible Fencing Powers.
    • Zak has Glowing Eyes of Doom and the ability to control cryptids to make them do his bidding. He seems also able to control their special abilities when they have one.
  • Stylish Protection Gear: The Saturdays have matching arctic survival outfits. What really makes it an example of this trope, however, is that this includes one for their pet Komodo dragon. With a furry bobble on the tail.
  • Team Pet: Fiskerton, Komodo, and Zon.
  • The Power of the Sun: Drew's Flaming Sword runs on sunlight. Or moonlight, but that's just reflected sunlight anyway.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Francis's little speech to Zak about how great the Grey Men are in "The Swarm At The Edge Of Space". Subverted when Zak shows him up.
  • Title In: For every time the location changes.
  • Time Skip: Six months take place between seasons one and two. In that time: the Saturdays have become fugitives, with the Secret Scientists wanting to freeze Zak for eternity and the world blaming them for Argost's disappearance.
    • Other things include Van Rook becoming broke and homeless, Zak's powers going haywire, and Doyle becoming a James Bond-like spy for the Saturday family.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Drew with her fire sword in "The King of Kumari Kandam".
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Subverted to the Saturday family's surprise when the Nagas attack Manhattan instead.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Zak is Kur.
  • Tomato Surprise: Argost is actually a cryptid. And not just any cryptid, but the yeti that killed Drew's parents and separated her from her brother. Naturally, Zak learns this about 5 seconds after Argost becomes immune to his powers.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: "The Kur Guardian", a flashback showing how Fisk joined the Saturdays shows him being hunted by a mob wielding torches and pitchforks.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Sanctuary 2, a seemingly Utopian scientist colony which is using a captured giant electric catfish as a power source. Also, the town from the Owl Man episode.
  • Transformation Sequence: But not of the Magical Girl type. Argost's henchman turns into a ... er... man spider... man who spits webbing out of his mouth.
  • The Unintelligible: Fiskerton. Word of God says that his voice actor does have a real script of what he would be saying in English, but he translates it to 'Fisk-speak'. Sometimes it's possible to make out a word or two of what Fisk is saying (usually an astonished "Say what!?"; this amounts to his Catch Phrase), but for the most part it's unintelligible.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Zak does one in the first episode; entering a room after the combat had ended. Of course, he is only eleven.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Argost has his own TV show. Apparently it's intended for children, and has a massive worldwide following. Argost has disappeared, and almost everywhere has "Argost Lives!" painted on it, this is even in foreign languages.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Argost had one of these in his fight against Zak in the first season finale.
  • Visible Invisibility: The family's pet komodo dragon can turn invisible. We get the all white line art with a shimmery blue-white transparent fill.
  • Viral Marketing: Early ads for the show were just live action shakycam footage with CGI cryptids that had the URL cryptidsarereal.com at the end. Later ads used the same footage from the previous ads mishmashed together with Argost's voice-over advertising Weird World. They eventually advertised the show itself about a month or two before its premiere.
  • Wham! Episode: "And Your Enemies Closer". Argost is revealed to be a Crytid himself, manages to kidnap Zak, summon his evil alternate counterpart Zak Monday, then steal his powers, effectively killing him. Not good.
    • And a Secret Scientists example: Miranda Grey calls Beeman out for going beyond the Secret Scientists promise and weaponizing the Flute of Gilgamesh and turning it Up to Eleven, even knowing that it will kill Zak. She actually uses her own weapons on him to get him away from the controls.
  • What Could Have Been: The show's creator originally pitched it as the adventures of three animal heroes (all of them previously thought to be mythical in Real Life, like the okapi) as they prevented an evil dodo bird from exposing the existence of other cryptids. Nobody wanted the show like that, so he reworked it heavily into what we know today.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It wasn't revealed what happened to Dr. Beeman after Miranda betrayed him and knocked him out. Nor what became of Rani Nagi or what her reaction was if she learned Kur is gone.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Subverted. Cryptids are treated with respect and protecting them is the Secret Saturday's main mission.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: To Zak from Argost, of all people.

  Argost: You've lied to your parents, betrayed your own mother, and you're about to let the villain walk out of here so that Mummy and Daddy don't learn the truth about our business relationship.

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