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Tropes for ThunderCats (2011), C-E

  • Caffeine Bullet Time: In "Berbils," the Thunderkittens invoke this by deliberately eating Candyfruit to achieve Super Speed, taunting and baiting a slow-moving Giantor into a tripwire.
  • Cain and Abel: In "Between Brothers" Mumm-Ra hopes to invoke this trope when Lion-O and Tygra travel to the Astral Plane, where they witness a scene from their youth that drives them to Sword Fight, Tygra using an astral copy of the Sword of Omens.
    • If "Native Son" is any indication their relationship is actually closer to Jacob and Esau
  • Call a Rabbit a Smeerp: Wilykat teases his sister for kissing an 8-legged amphibian he calls a "froog".
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Lion-O receives a vision in The Sword of Omens, but avoids telling anyone. He sees his Kingdom destroyed and his father assassinated by the very enemy whose face he saw in the sword.
  • CamelCase/Portmantitle: A carryover from the original series, it's written on the Title Card and in some media as ThunderCats.
  • The Cameo: In the two-minute short "Snarf: Butterfly Blues" Larry Kenney's Claudus pops in to be The Faceless pet owner in the manner of old Warner Brothers shorts.
  • Cannot Spit It Out:
    • Zig-zagged in "Omens," when asked directly, Lion-O doesn't disclose that he saw something frightening in the Sword of Omens, both unaware of its significance, and all too aware of his father's disdain. When Jaga deliberately mentions "Sight Beyond Sight" exists, Lion-O tries to tell him, but receives a gentle Not Now, Kiddo. Too late, Lion-O realizes he saw Mumm-Ra.
    • Zig-zagged with the Sibling Triangle subplot between Lion-O, Tygra and shared Love Interest Cheetara. Rather than explicitly state that they both have feelings for her and asking if she reciprocates, they complicate matters by treating their interactions as (yet another) passive-aggressive competition, hoping she'll give an indication of "choosing" one of them eventually.
    • In "Between Brothers" Cheetara finally understands the extent to which the pair have been feuding over her, and apologizes for playing this trope straight. She admits that she's also harbored unrequieted feelings, confessing her love and kissing Tygra, which is of course the moment Lion-O enters the scene.
  • Canon Welding: As of "Legacy," Mon*Star of Silverhawks appears in Flash Back, along with TigerSharks, a species designed to resemble series' character Mako's aquatic form, making Silverhawks and TigerSharks part of the Thundercats universe.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Deconstructed in "Omens Part 1" with one grovelling Lizard prisoner, who fearfully cautions his compatriot that they'll be killed for their defiance when the latter begins to loudly discuss this trope with him in front of Lion-O, right before launching into a full-blown Screw You, Elves speech. Zig-zagged in that Lion-O actually listens, and later frees them.
  • Captain Morgan Pose:
    • In "Omens Part 1" Grune uses it in his Big Entrance.
    • In "The Duelist and the Drifter" The Duelist is introduced posed this way, watching Lion-O at a sword competition.
  • Cargo Cult: Though its existence is both doubted and fabled, Claudus and Jaga place faith in the stories and prophecies of the Book of Omens, while Lion-O is fascinated by its tales of technology.
  • Carnivore Confusion: We see the Thunderian Cats eating meat, presumably a non-sentient species, but the Fishmen from "Ramlak Rising" have no qualms about eating other sentients. The Cats, unlike the real thing, are depicted not as obligate carnivores, but omnivores like humans.
  • Catfolk: All the Cats. They're even more cat-like than the original series.
  • Cat Scare: Parodied and Double Subverted in "The Forest of Magi Oar" when cat-creature Snarf nervously reacts to noises in a supposedly haunted forest, but its only his tricksy Catfolk friends the Thunderkittens who jump out and yell "Boo!" Later on, the menacing spirits show up for real.
  • Cat Smile:
    • The Thunderkittens do this, as seen here and here.
    • Snarf does it while looking at himself in a reflective geode.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Tygra catches a falling Cheetara with his whip after she loses a battle with a Big Badass Bird of Prey in "The Forest of Magi Oar".
  • Cats Are Magic: They have magic swords with magic jewels, and magic powers!
  • Cats Are Mean: The Thundercats are a race of aggressive, abusive and racist dicks. This is their Fatal Flaw.
  • Cats Are Superior/Master Race/Superior Species: Thundera's Cats genuinely believe themselves to be the rightful rulers of Third Earth, and its great civilizers, a delusion greatly enabled by their genuine aptitude as physical fighters and possession of powerful artifacts. In this series, they really are the Elves of the Animal Kingdom.
  • Cattle Punk: In "The Duelist and the Drifter" the Swordsmans' Town is this, with a Steampunk turbine whirring away alongside creaky wooden buildings with saloon doors, and a Samurai Cowboy Sword Fight culture.
  • The Cavalry: Jaga and his Clerics, superspeedily saving Claudus and Tygra from Grune, Lizards and Walking Tanks.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: During The Siege of Thundera, "trusted" General Grune shows up toting a Flare Gun that seems to bring the Lizard's Walking Tank fleet to a halt, only to perform an Insignia Rip Off Ritual and an Evil Costume Switch while debuting his nasty new weapon. Trusted General Panthro... isn't and Claudus is literally stabbed In the Back.
  • Character Focus: Primarily Lion-O, though Panthro's introduction, "Old Friends," delves into his backstory.
  • Chase Fight: The format of Thundera's Gladiator Games. At the climax of "Omens Part 1" Lion-O challenges Tygra to a match only to suffer a particularly humiliating Ring Out.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In "Omens Part 1", the Sticky Bomb, a suspected piece of Lost Technology Lion-O gets from a Friend in the Black Market, who is also in possession of at least one Ro-bear Berbil arm, hidden among his Cow Tools.
    • In "Sight Beyond Sight", Wilykit's flute ends up a critical asset in defeating the stone monster.
  • Chest Insignia: The Blue Blood, Royal Blood and soldiers of Thundera all sport large red cabochons on their clothing, either chest or belt-mounted, and their shields, meant to evoke their Power Crystal, the Eye of Thundera. It's even present on a Thunderian Sphinx.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Will Friedle is clearly getting very into it whenever he recites the famous, "Thunder! Thunder! Thundercats! HO!" battlecry. In fact, it sounds like he's trying to roar the line more often than not.
  • Chiaroscuro: Used in "The Duelist and the Drifter" while introducing the Duelist, and during the Drifter's Nameless Narrative. The figures are backlit, but their fronts (or their head and shoulders) are near-totally concealed in heavy shadow.
  • Church Militant: The Clerics, Guardians of the Crown.
  • The City Narrows: Lion-O is introduced sneaking cloaked and hooded into the worst part of Thundera's slums, only to catch the eye of a gang of muggers.
  • City of Gold: Wilykat owns a Treasure Map to the City of El Dara, which he has promised his sister Wilykit they will find together. This quest is what leads them to tag along with the other Thundercats when they leave Thundera.
  • Climbing Climax: Inverted In "Omens Part 1" the Chase Fight racing game ends with Lion-O knocked off the treetop and into the water, soundly trounced and publicly humiliated by Tygra as he rings a bell in triumph.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Cheetara in "Journey To the Tower of Omens" when using her Super Speed to get by a Death Course.
  • Con Lang: Used in the Ominous Chanting during Lion-O's Rite of Passage and Mumm-Ra's reveals.
  • Constructed World: Which manages to be A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • Fans will immediately recognize Lynx-O as the tower sentry who alerts Thundera of the Lizard invasion force.
    • In "Legacy," Mon*Star and a race of TigerSharks appear in Flash Back.
    • One of the background figures in the town during "The Duelist and the Drifter" wears a samurai helmet, as a nod to Hachiman. Whether it is Hachiman is a coin toss.
  • Conveniently-Timed Attack From Behind: Cheetara's Dynamic Entry, saving Lion-O from a headlock by rapping his mugger in the back of the head with her staff.
  • Cool Helmet: The Clerics wear gold lioness helms with full hood and veil.
  • Cool Sword:
    • The Sword of Omens
    • "The Duelist and the Drifter" shows off a whole bunch of cool swords, most notably the sword of Hattanzo.
  • Cow Tools: Jorma, Lion-O's Friend in the Black Market, has a shopped stuffed full of these, all Lost Technology.
  • Crap Saccharine World: Thundera is at first glance a Shining City, but it also has extensive slums, homeless street-kids who appear to be treated like crap by the population at large, and Gods help you if you're not a Cat.
  • Credits Pushback: *Squint* Can't see credits. Must consult the manual to learn proper spelling of characters' names.
  • Crouching Meditator, Hidden Badass: In "Between Brothers" the Elephants eventually rise to the occasion when Grune and the Lizard Army invade their village.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: One of the Clerics is chained to a pillar this way, with a stripe on the pillar extending from the feet, in case the viewer missed the symbolism.
  • Crystal Ball: The Sword of Omens is a hybrid of this and a Magic Mirror. Staring Through the Sword prompts the Eye of Thundera in its hilt to send a vision visible in the Blade Reflection.
  • Crystal Prison: Parodied. The Lizard Army uses a giant geode as a Trojan Horse to enter Thundera, and has been stuck waiting in there for two days, not counting the trip to Thundera. One complains to his general about the smell after being freed.
  • Cue the Sun: Inverted. Storm clouds part just as The Duelist claims a sword from another unprepared victim, leaving him crushed and defeated as the sun blazes high above his head.
  • Cultural Posturing: King Claudus styles the Thundercats as the great civilizers of Third Earth, who "brought law and order to a world of warring Animals."
  • Curb Stomp Battle:
    • Things do not go well for the Cats once the Lizards bring out their firepower. Justified since technology was considered a fairy tale and the Cats had nothing beyond medieval weaponry.
    • In "Song of the Petalars" we have, the Thundertank taking down four Lizard-mechs without taking one hit, prompting a full-scare retreat of what remains of the Lizard Army.
  • Cute Little Fangs: They're everywhere! Subverted with the hulking Grune, who has one massive saber fang (two, in Flash Back).
  • Cute Machines: The Ro-Bear Berbils, a race of rainbow-hued robotic teddy bears.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Especially between the Cats and the Lizards. Implicitly General Slithe's motive.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In "Omens Part 1" Deconstructed. As a Lizard prisoner explains to Lion-O, he can hardly be expected to do anything but steal from Thundera's crops since they control the best territories, and habitually oppress and enslave his people.
  • Darker and Edgier: Actively promoted as such, particularly noticeable with the Thundercats' enslavement of their Lizard enemies, and other themes of Fantastic Racism. Moral ambiguity comes to Thundera.
  • Dead All Along: The entirety of the Tiger Clan.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Tiger Clan made one with the Ancient Spirits of Evil to save them from a plague. The Spirits demanded the life of the newborn Tygra. Tygra's father couldn't go through with it, and sent him away. The Ancient Spirits damned the entire Tiger clan to a terrible undead existence as punishment.
  • Death by Childbirth: Lion-O's mother.
  • Death Course: Featured in the Temple of Doom that blocks the way to the Tower of Omens.
  • Death Glare: In "Berbils" Panthro levels one at Wilykat and Kit when they tease him about hugging his new friend Ro-Bear Bill.
  • Death Notification: Grune delivers word of Panthro's loss to Claudus, while handing over his chucks.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Lion-O is banking on this and in "New Alliances" his campaigns have centered around convincing captured Lizard patrols to return home and encouraging mass desertions.
  • Defiant to the End: Inverted. One Lizard in the stocks gives Lion-O an earful with a Screw You, Elves speech.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: It's pretty clear that the Cats are not as incredible and infallible as the Cats themselves believe. In "Omens" Claudus turns a blind eye to a lynch mob going after a stockaded pair of Lizards. When his son Lion-O tries to stop them, he not only actively supports the mob but considers Lion-O weak for showing pity. Lion-O manages to convince Claudus to release them, but later, when the Lizard army attacks, Claudus views it as an example of what comes from altruism. Races like the Lizards, Dogs and Rats similarly take a dim view of the Cats' presumed moral superiority.
  • Descriptively Named Species: In abundance. Cats, Dogs, Lizards, Petalars, Tigersharks, Monkeys, Vultures, Jackals, Ro-Bear Berbils, Trolleks, Giantors, Elephants.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In "The Forest of Magi Oar." Lion-O recognizes and Lampshades this twice. When he uses his Gauntlet's Grappling Hook Pistol to latch onto retreating Giant Flyer Viragor, Lion-O has just enough time to realize "maybe this is a bad idea" before getting dragged along for the ride. Shortly thereafter, he faces down the charging Viragor after tossing his weapons aside. Again, he muses, "probably another bad idea," seconds before he's in Viragor's talons. The latter gamble does pay off, since, on a hunch Lion-O is betting that Dark Is Not Evil.
  • Diegetic Switch/Left the Background Music On:
    • Played for Drama and often employed in tandem, with Wilykit revealed as a provider of previously atmospheric flute music, only for a more orchestral version of her piece to begin immediately after she finishes or the camera cuts away.
    • "Song of the Petalars" Ethereal Choir, by turns is background music, in-universe singing by the Petalars and a more expansive theme after they finish singing.
  • Disguised Hostage Gambit: Inverted: Mumm-Ra disguises himself as a hostage Panthro to get close enough to Claudus to assassinate him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A stockaded Lizard, begging for mercy, tells Lion-O that he and his fellow prisoner were only scavenging Thundera's crops when captured and made slaves of the Cats. When Lion-O points this out to a Powder Keg Crowd harassing them, he's misinterpreted and they quickly become an Angry Mob calling for the Lizards' deaths.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • In "Omens Part One" the first time Lion-O meets Cheetara his voice cracks. Lion-O later feigns this, using the sight of two passing women to avoid mentioning the vision he saw in the Sword of Omens.
    • In "Journey to the Tower of Omens," Lion-O, trying to master Sight Beyond Sight and failing, gets flustered when Cheetara tries a Hands-On Approach, taking him by the shoulders and telling him to relax.
    • In the same episode, Tygra openly gapes at the sight of Cheetara using her Super Speed, which Panthro lampshades with a smirk and a chiding "Close that mouth, you're drooling."
  • Ditch the Bodyguards: Claudus bolts ahead of his Clerics to rescue his friend Panthro who's being held in a Hostage for Macguffin gambit. This proves ill-considered.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Lion-O is having trouble using his Sight Beyond Sight, Cheetara puts her hand on his shoulder and tells him to relax and let it come naturally. It's reminiscent of a woman comforting a man about a very different problem. The placement of Lion-O's sword in the shot is very... suggestive.
  • Dogfaces: One hapless fellow is mugged by some Cats in the Thunderian slums.
  • Domino Revelation: In quick succession, Lion-O learns that his people are bigots, and that Precognition, Technology, Mumm-Ra and the Book of Omens are all real.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Kingdom of Thundera, as of the end of "Omens Part 2."
  • Double Edged Answer: In "Into the Astral Plane", the answer to the location of the MacGuffin generates one:

 Panthro: Is it in the village or not?

Tygra: It is and it isn't.

  • Double Entendre: In "Journey to the Tower of Omens," Cheetara is attempting to help Lion-O focus, to utilize "sight beyond sight" with the Sword of Omens, and holding him by the shoulders to prompt him, only to be interrupted by Wilykat and Wilykit.

 Wilykit: I know what they were doing. *smooching sounds*

Lion-O: No! We were just... trying to get my sword to work.

  • Double-Speak: Lion-O politely claims that his friend Jorma sells "certain hard-to-find collectibles."
  • Dramatic Irony: Lion-O has no idea what his sudden vision of a pair of red eyes could mean, while the audience knows it's Mumm-Ra.
  • Dramatic Thunder: An element of Mumm-Ra's infernal Big Entrance in "Omens Part 2"
  • Dramatic Wind: Also part of Mumm-Ra's entrance, he's something of a showboat in this regard.
  • Driving Question:
    • What and where is the source of Lost Technology? How did it become a myth?
    • From whom and from where did Mumm-Ra get the Eye of Thundera? What does it really do? What is the 'bigger picture' that Mumm-Ra talks about with respect to the Book? How did he mass his respective armies, and where did they come from?
  • Drowning Pit: In "Journey to the Tower of Omens" The Thundercats are trapped in one of these until Panthro manages to find a secret door and free the others via his Super Drowning Skills.
  • Duet Bonding: Wilykit and Wilykat with the Elephants in "Sight Beyond Sight." Their flute and the elephants' natural trumpets turn out to go very well together and before too long, they have the entire village joining in - until they hit a particular frequency and stone sculptures near by shatter. This turns into a Chekhov's Gun when they use the stone-shattering trumpeting against the Rock Biter attacking the village later on.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • Panthro is commemorated at a festival table with a Shrine to the Fallen made of his painted portrait and his nunchucks on an altar, while his friends feast alongside it, toast him, and dedicate some games in his memory.
    • Claudus receives a quiet funeral pyre as Lion-O carves his royal emblem into the base of his destroyed monument.
  • Dungeon Bypass: You are in a room. There is a narrow platform that is suspended over a pit of spikes. On the other side of the platform is a door with a keyhole. Hanging above are hundreds of keys. One will open the door, but choose wrongly and the platform retracts, spilling you into the pit. What do you do? According to the Thunderkittens: Pick the lock.
    • You are in a maze. There is a key in the center. You have to find a way to get it before someone with Super Speed who already knows the way through the maze gets it or you stay dead. What do you do? According to Lion-O: Fly over the maze.
  • Durable Deathtrap: The Temple of Doom guarding the Tower of Omens is so old as to be legendary, and yet the thin strings holding hundreds of keys aloft are still unbroken. Justified. Some wizards did it.
  • During the War: The series is set against a backdrop of a generations-long war between the Cats and the Lizards, newly rekindled thanks to the intervention of Mumm-Ra and his Dragon, the Turncoat Thunderian General Grune.
  • Dying Race/Endangered Species: The Cats, thanks to the carnage of The Siege of Thundera. Lampshaded by the Lizard General Slithe when he gloats at How the Mighty Have Fallen.
  • Dynamic Entry:
  • Dysfunction Junction:
    • Cheetara: orphaned, probably a runaway, lost the only father she had.
    • Tygra: orphaned and adopted, grew up in his little brother's shadow, lost his father.
    • Lion-O: recently orphaned, also grew up in his brother's shadow.
    • Panthro: betrayed by his best friend and left in the desert to die.
    • Kit and Kat: lost their father, ran away from home so their mother would have two less mouths to feed, lived as pickpockets on the streets.
    • Pumyra: Abused and mistreated as a slave, forced to fight to survive as a gladiatrix, and has personally seen more death and horror than any of the cats except maybe Panthro.
  • Easily-Conquered World: Thundera. Uncharacteristically justified. All it takes is a sufficiently highly-placed Turncoat with a Trojan horse, a load of high tech weaponry and one terribly ancient Outside Context Villain to utterly devastate a complacent magical kingdom.
  • Elves Versus Dwarves: In this production, the Elves will be played by Cats and the Dwarves by Lizards.
  • Embarrassing Rescue/Grudging Thank You: Inverted and downplayed: When Lion-O is saved from a mugger's headlock by Cheetara, he responds with "Not that I needed it, but who can I thank for the assist?" Only on saying goodbye does he offer "Maybe next time I can bail you out of trouble."
  • Empathic Weapon: The Sword of Omens chose Lion-O to wield it. It also refuses to harm a force of good. This helps Lion-O realize that Viragor, the forest guardian, and the spirits in "The Forest of Magi Oar" aren't the bad guys. The sword working against Headmaster Zig, along with the his refusal to negotiate with Viragor, convinces Lion-O that the Wood Forgers are just as bad as the guardian claims.
  • The Empire: Thundera. Just ask anyone who isn't a Cat. As it is, the Cats probably consider Thundera an Empire too, they just don't consider it a BAD Empire.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: Jaga quotes from the Book of Omens in his Opening Monologue.
  • End of an Age: On Third Earth, the spaceships went away a long time ago.
  • Epic Hail: Lion-O's Battle Cry/By the Power of Greyskull ◦"Thunder... THUNDER... THUNDERCATS, HOOOOOOO!!!" also serves as a long-distance distress call or summons when paired with the Sword of Omens' ability to project the Thundercats' emblem into the sky.
  • Epic Tracking Shot: Though cheated with stills, this serves as the sweeping introduction to Thundera during Jaga's Opening Monologue, from the lands surrounding the walled city to a close-up of a frieze on the wall of the palace courtyard, containing some prophetic bas-relief.
  • Episode Title Card:
    • Raised gold lettering on a black background, shown during the lion's roar that finishes the Theme Tune.
    • In the two-minute short "Snarf: Butterfly Blues" the title card is illustrated in the fashion of Warner Brothers shorts, with an exasperated Snarf chasing baby Lion-O in silhouette.
  • Establishing Series Moment: "Omens Part One" pulls a neat bait-and-switch, lovingly displaying an Epic Tracking Shot of Thundera over The Obi-Wan Jaga's Opening Monologue speaking of the place as The Kingdom and a Shining City...after a brief Establishing Shot, the camera tilts downward to reveal extensive slums, and a group of Catfolk muggers beating a hapless Dogfaces.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Poor Claudus gets this twice. First his most trusted general helps his enemies destroy his city. Then he's stabbed In the Back, after rescuing his other trusted general Panthro from capture. As soon as Lion-O asks "You, a traitor too, Panthro?!" the second betrayal is subverted, and Panthro is revealed as Mumm-Ra in disguise.
  • Ethereal Choir:
    • Calls out the assonances in the theme tune.
    • Employed heavily throughout "Song of the Petalars." In-story The Petalars become this when they sing their titular song, when one of their number is born, or dies.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep"/No Name Given: The titular characters in "The Duelist and the Drifter". That is, until it's revealed that the Drifter is actually Hattanzo, the Ultimate Blacksmith.
  • Evil Gloating:

 Slithe: How quickly things change for the Cats. From top predator to Endangered Species, in a single day!

Mumm-Ra: Thundera has fallen!

The Duelist: The sword is lost, and victory is still mine!

  • Evil Knockoff: Inverted: Lion-O's weapons, the Sword of Omens and the Claw Gauntlet, are good knockoffs of Mumm-Ra's Sword of Plundarr and gauntlet that were forged from the same enchanted metal.
  • Evil Weapon: The Sword of Plundarr definitely gives off this vibe. Cheetara immediately dismisses the idea of wielding it, saying it's not a weapon meant for Cats.
  • Explosive Leash: The Lizard army uses explosive collars to control its slaves.
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