Having gained a cult following, the Tick is a lesser-known superhero that is neither associated with Marvel or DC Comics. Originally the mascot for a comics store newsletter published in Brockton, Massachusetts, during the mid-1980s, this character has gone on to appear in a 90s cartoon series named after him and two live-action series with the current one distributed by Amazon Prime.
After two seasons, Amazon Prime’s The Tick was cancelled despite having critical acclaim for its humorous take on modern superhero movies and TV shows. So in memory of The Tick, let’s examine 10 of its greatest quotes.
10 “Ex-wife shall not molest or electro-molest ex-husband’s property or person.”
Introduced in Amazon Prime’s The Tick, Miss Lint is one of the main super-villains in the show. Capable of manipulating electricity, she worked for the Terror but after his apparent demise she became part of Ramses IV’s Pyramid Gang.
Yet, she still lives with her ex-husband, who gets mad at her for breaking his three-wheeled bike. So he reminds her of a clause in their living agreement as quoted above, which is hilariously great because it relates to her powers.
9 “Did you just call your gun Shakira?”
Of the reoccurring characters in media related to the Tick, Arthur’s sister Dot has arguably undergone the most change. When she was introduced in the 90s cartoon, for instance, she didn’t contribute much to the overall story except to be initially disappointed in her brother’s decision to be a superhero.
But in the Amazon Prime series, Dot not only gained the ability to see into the future but also became a sidekick to hero-turned-vigilante Overkill. Though as Dot is training with Overkill, she learns he’s named his gun Shakira, which is funny in and of itself due to its reference to the pop-star of the same name.
8 “Ooh, dog fight!”
Another major difference between the 90s cartoon and Amazon Prime’s The Tick is the series’ tone. While both are filled with lighthearted comedic moments, the latter has major tragedies that occurred prior to the events of the show which affect the characters’ actions.
For instance, Overkill was originally a sidekick in a superhero group called the Flag Five who were mostly annihilated following their battle with the Terror. One of the surviving heroes was Midnight (shown left) who gets into a semi-humorous fight with Overkill, which is made funnier by this quip by the Tick. It’s clever because it not only refers to the fact that Midnight’s a dog, but also that the situation is like a cat fight with two men fighting instead of women.
7 “Great white tater tots!”
Nearly every superhero out there has a tendency to exclaim something when they’re surprised. Though usually, they’re catered to fit a specific hero such as “Great Krypton” for Superman which refers to his home planet. But this exclamation by the Tick when he first encounters Miss Lint in the Amazon Prime series is one of many different exclamations that he makes which don’t necessarily relate to each other.
This in turn makes the exclamation great because it parodies the kind of exclamations superheroes usually make. Plus, the subject matter is so mundane that it has no bearing on the situation or the Tick’s backstory.
6 “By the way, you’re cleaning up this mess, Mister.”
When superheroes fight, they tend to cause a lot of damage to the location in which they're fighting. Because this usually doesn't affect them, except for in movies like The Incredibles and Captain America: Civil War, where this issue is addressed directly, the hero never brings it up nor feels remorse for the unintentional destruction they cause.
Though in the Amazon Prime show, the Tick does bring up the damage he and Overkill cause during their first battle in the office where Arthur works. But instead of recognizing his own responsibility in the matter, the Tick puts the blame on Overkill by leaving it up to him to clean the office afterwards. As a result, the quip becomes funny for diminishing the damage to being a simple chore and it pokes fun at a hero’s tendency to not address the consequences of their actions.
5 “The key to successful falling lies in realizing you are a falling person.”
In the aftermath of the Tick’s first encounter with Overkill, he gets tossed out a window and falls toward the ground, picking up in the following episode of The Tick. This leads to an opening narration by the Tick himself featuring the above quote.
Now normally, an opening narration is supposed to set the mood for the episode and give the viewer a sense of what they’re in for. Here, though, the Tick’s opening narration is about the nature of falling and how to fall successfully which is great in of itself but also in the way it parodies typical opening narrations.
4 “We fight for vengeance…we fight for blood…we fight for the right…to dance.”
For as brooding as Overkill may seem in Amazon Prime’s The Tick, based on his bitter attitude and tendency to wear black clothing, his edginess is constantly undercut by comedic elements. This is either caused externally by someone like the Tick, whose optimism strongly contrasts Overkill’s pessimism, or by Overkill’s own occasional soft moments.
One such example is the fact that Overkill calls his gun Shakira, as stated previously, and another is this statement which he makes to Dot before they break out into a cringe-worthy dance routine. The statement is not only humorous for the direction it goes but also brilliant in its contrast to Overkill’s persona.
3 “Well, I can’t just summon a maniacal laugh. I need to see something maniacally funny.”
Dating all the way back to the comic books that featured the Tick after his debut in the comics store newsletter, the Terror is one of the Tick’s longest-running nemeses having appeared in the cartoon show and both live-action series including the Amazon Prime version. Apart from being incredibly old and diabolically evil, what makes Amazon’s version of the Terror different is that everyone assumed he died by the hand of a hero called Superian.
But as the first season of Amazon Prime’s The Tick unfolded, it turned out the Terror was very much alive and preparing for a comeback. Yet he went about this in a mundane way by holding a pitch meeting where two marketing executives encourage him to give a maniacal laugh, but as the above quote explains he’ll only do it under the right circumstances. Thus, it brilliantly undermines the menace of this character and makes a cliche super-villain seem plain silly.
2 “Am I never naked…or am I never not naked?”
One of the most endearing things about the Tick is his tendency to say things that sound ridiculous, but are actually profound. In the 90s cartoon show, for instance, the Tick ended each episode by giving a moral lesson to take away from the situation that happened, whether it involved fighting a living sunflower that wanted to take over the world using plants or aiding a group of subterranean Mole Men.
The Amazon Prime series maintains the Tick’s accidental profoundness, as this quote demonstrates when he crashes a birthday party being held for Arthur’s stepfather, who in turn asks the Tick about his costume. Because the Tick doesn’t know anything about his past, this leads him to answer in a way that’s funny but also weirdly thought-provoking.
1 “The world owes you a hug, small soldier, and I am the one that’s gonna give it!”
While Amazon Prime’s The Tick is known for its comedy and action-packed scenes, it can also be capable of heartfelt moments. For instance, in the scene depicted above, Arthur tells the Tick about how his real father died as part of the collateral damage caused by the Terror’s annihilation of the Flag Five.
So the Tick gives Arthur a hug, despite the latter not wanting it. But what’s important here is this quote from the Tick, as it is not only memorable but also heartwarming both in and out of context.