Hello, Spongey here.
It’s always great when you have a good creator that frequently churns out good work with a distant style that they do wonders with. However, as good as that can be, it’s actually hard to keep up the good work.
If a creator has a certain style, it’s very easy for it to get old. What once was refreshing can get stale. Eventually they may start running on fumes if they are a one trick pony who is afraid to do anything new.
Especially if their tricks were hit or miss to begin with.
This is very much true of TV Show creators, be it live action ones such as Dan Schnider (who may as well be the poster boy of my point) or animated people like Seth McFarlane. The ANIMATED poster boy of my point.
Sometimes I can tolerate this if their style still holds up even by show #5, but other times I just get sick of it. And that is why I really like Craig McCraken. Yes, it’s clear what shows he made and what he likes to do, but he actually stands out.
While Power Puff Girls and Foster’s Home feature his basic cartoon-y style, they are differently shows that are written differently, due to have different writers mostly. PPG is a superhero show, while Foster’s is a bit more down to earth, with an emphasis on imagination.
You think his third major show would be the one where his tricks got old, but nope, it’s as strong as ever. Perhaps not as good as PPG, but better than Foster’s. Heck, it’s arguably his most consinent show.
Foster’s was hit or miss and PPG went downhil in later seasons. This was pretty solid for…both of it’s seasons.
That show is of course, Wander Over Yonder. It’s a Sci Fi Space Comedy show about a happy go lucky Nomad name Wander and his badass horse thing Sylvia, who goes around the glaxy helping people while trying to stop/befriend the Evil Lord Hater and his watchdogs, who are walking talking eyeballs.
I’ve talked about this before in my look at Disney Cartoon Halloween and Christmas Specials, but it’s time to go deeper. With this show, Craig jumped ship to Disney which I think was a good thing.
It meant it would be different by default, having to be more Disneyeqsue while still keeping his edge. It did start off a bit rough, as it seemed Wander could get annoying with how he annoys hater ala Spongebob and Squidward.
And the first batch of eps, it just seemed like it would be a good show, but nothing special. Of course, that changed and it become something special. This show is strange in that by the end of the series, it has so much really awesome episodes that blow be away, but also quite a few that are just pretty good.
The shows shifts from pretty good to kind of great. Season 1 especially, as it episodes that will end up high on hear, but is more hit or miss than later.
Things really picked up in Season 2. For one, it got a story arc. Yep, even this show has to be story focused. Thankfully, it’s not a deep story. A new villain named Dominator shows up and the show is all about how their presence shakes things up and makes the characters go through some stuff.
It’s a nice mix of stand alone and storydriven. Aside from the expected stellar animation and voice cast, the shows most notable strength is taking things I’ve seen before and running with them.
Hater is a typical comedy villain with a possible heart of gold, but the extent of how evilly lame he is makes him the best character, especially with how they play with his development. He’s voiced by the same guy who voiced Bloo, which is even. They barely sound alike!
(Insert joke about Bloo being more evil here)
We’re all too familiar with the optimistic annoying protagonist, but Wander works because he’s clearly a good guy who just wants to help. And they really exploring the pro and cons of his nature, and he clearly learns some lessons.
We’ve seen the basic morals about keeping hope and such, but this show manages to go a lot deeper with it, as we’ll see in various episodes. The show does experiments in Season 2 but can still work very well even when it’s normally, meaning it doesn’t rely on gimmicks to be good.
The show truly manages to be something special, which makes it really annoying that Disney gave it the boot. They had tons of plans for Season 3 and had a minor teaser in the finale, but it looks like that won’t happen.
It didn’t have a big cliffhanger like Randy but it’s still annoying. Why do you keep doing this, Disney? You better hope Milo Murphy is good, cuz Future Worm so far is just okay.
Anyway, with this show having more great-ness than expected, I figured I’d count down my favorite episodes. This list was actually harder than expected, because most of the great episodes are on the same level of great, making it hard to rank.
There’s quite a few painful cuts here, which is odd given this isn’t the kind of shows I usually say that about when doing a list. But there you go. With all that, let us got a bit deeper into how this show can.
Which episodes stood out the most to me in terms of comedy, animation, and story? Let us find out as we rock out to the catchiest Disney theme this side of Ducktales!
This, is the Top 11 Wander Over Yonder Episodes
11. The Boy Wander
Writer: Francisco Angones
“Looks like once again the day is saved by…Wander and Slyvia”
Oh boy, we’re starting off with an interesting one. The basic premise is that a villain from Wander’s past appears, so he dons a Superhero peronsa to take him down.
I’ve talked before about how I enjoy Superhero episodes, and while this doesn’t quite go as all out as most, it has those elements I enjoy. Wander acting this super serious hero is really funny, especially with how silly the situation ends up being.
Most of the episode has him going to places to figure out the villains plan, with it all ending in an epic battle. So it’s closer to Batman than Superman in terms of heroes, which does give it an edge in a way.
The heroic music makes this enjoyable too, as it gives the whole thing a fun feel, making the jokes even better. It’s the sense of fun that makes this one as enjoyable as it is. The actual jokes are good (like Emperor Awesome trading in Feather Boas with Actual Boas).
Even story wise, this one works. The villain wants to spread joy like Wander does, but forces people to be happy, which goes against Wander’s code. They don’t take it too seriously, but it’s not only a nice moral, but gives Wander a perfect foil.
It figures his most hated enemy would be someone who directly goes against his beliefs, and thus he would take him more seriously. All of this alone would make the episode an honorable mention, but one things puts it on the list.
You know what it is: Weird Al as Screwball Jones. Oh boy. He seems to be doing more villains roles lately, and this could be his best one. Screw Ball Jones is a pretty silly villain, using silly objects for his plans and constantly using puns.
And Weird Al brings that to life really well. He’s quite fun here and helps make the episode as great as it is. Of course, he gets his son via a battle with Wander that’s just awesome. Not only is the singing good, but the lyrics are clever, and the visuals are awesome with how colorful their battle gets.
And of course, we end with a PPG reference, which I quoted above. The character who says that is voiced by Tom Kenny, by the way.
This one’s at the bottom because like I said, it’s one element that makes it as good as it is. Without him, it would be still be fun and be an honorable mention, but it wouldn’t quite be list worthy. I perfer ones with just a bit more to them sometimes.
But I have no real gripes about this one, really. It’s just a blast. The superhero element is cool, Wander gets a great foil, there’s an underlining moral to it, it’s funny, and Weird Al does a great job and gives us a really fun song.
This is just a fun episode. Nothing crazy completed, but it didn’t need to be. It just needed to be fun and that’s what it is. There…isn’t too much to say. Oh yay, we’re already reached that point.
Yeah, it’s one of those shows but I just had to do this list. Anyway, with a fun superhero style and a great guest star, this episode is a blast from start to finish. It’s a pretty nice way to start our list, I think.
This is gonna be a long list…
10. The Void
Writer: Ben Joseph
While the Season 2 is where the show truly began great, Season 1 still had plenty of gems worth remembering, and this is one of them.
The premise is basic as it gets: Wander and Sylvia end up in a white void that lets you have whatever you want. The possibilities are basically endless. It’s fun until Wander refuses to leave.
This episode really shows the creativity of the show. The concept is just brilliant and they take full advantage of it. Perhaps more could have been done if they didn’t have to worry about that pesky story, but they still do a lot.
It’s hard to mention it all without spoiling it, and a lot if is little amusing moments that add up to a lot of fun, so a lot of what I say wouldn’t be as funny without the full context of the episode. That’s not a bad thing because what’s funny is funny.
My favorite part is this door that Sylvia opens tons of times, and it includes tons of amusing jokes, including one so good I won’t spoil it. And of course, we have the musical number from Wander which features some stellar visuals with the colors, and all the Wanders.
Speaking of the visuals, you think an episode set in a void would look dull but the concept allows them to get really creative. The crew even assumed this would be an easier one to do due to the setting, but they were very wrong.
So we have great greatvity and fun, but we also have a decent story to go with it. This one tests Wanders character, as he finds something that can give him anything he once so he doesn’t want to leave, even then it’s best if he does leave.
And of course, it’s quite sweet when he eventually figures out that Sylvia is right. Since Wander didn’t have a ton of tests like this up to this point, this is very interesting to see.
Sadly, this does have the one drawback to the episode. With how the episode is structured, they can’t leave til the end and Sylvia wanting him to leave happens early on enough for this to take up a lot of the episode.
Which means Wander not listening to hear for this long could make him a bit unlikable. It’s done pretty well, and he learns his lesson ,but it is a minor quibble. And it’s more of a writing problem than a character problem.
Outside of him, this one is just a blast. I don’t want to spoil this one even more than the last one, cuz the fun comes from the crazy things they come up with. The creativity is great, with awesome visuals and even a sweet little story to make it even better.
I know most people would have this higher on their lists, but while that problem isn’t huge, it’s enough to make one less flawed ones more. Just my tastes, I suppose. But still, it’s a great episode that’s fun, funny, and even a bit nice.
And again that’s all I got. Looking over the list, it looks like this will happen a lot. I’m an amazing writer. …The void is very good, moving on!
- The Legend
Writer: Francisco Angones
Hey, remember that episode of Batman TAS where the kids share stories about their interpretation of Batman? This is pretty much that, but possibly even better.
As you can guess from that, this episode is about a group of people whose planet is being Dominator’d, speculating on what the legendary hero they heard of is really like…while said hero happens to be with them.
Let’s give this out of the way: Yes, of the people is voiced by Sabrina Cartperner. I found that amusing, especially since they already had G Hineilious (I know I butchred that) in two episodes. She does well here.
Now onto the important stuff. This episode is mostly just the stories they tell, but there is one minor bit added onto it with the small kid wanting her plush that looks just a bit like Sylvia. She doesn’t speak but she adds a lot, being the one who clearly understands the hero the most, and even seems to figure out that Wander is said hero at the end.
Now this is another one that won’t leave me with a lot to say, but at least it’s in handy sections so I can pad this out. Each story manages to stand out and be really funny and interesting.
The first one has Wander as simply a giant monster that eats his enemies, and it’s stylized like something a kid would make on his own, with him making all the sound effects, and being drawn on notepaper.
This is the least interesting in terms of concept, but the style makes up for it. It’s so minimalist, it’s hilarious.
The 2nd one has Wander an eddy in your face jackass, straight out of the 90’s. This one’s my favorite in terms of execution. Its’ such an accurate parody of this era, and seeing Wander like this is just great contrast. Gets extra points for involving Major Threat too.
The third is my favorite in terms of style. Wander is a little kid who calls on his friendly giant robot to stop bad guys, and it’s done like an old school anime ala Gigantor. Between this and Perry Tronic, I think Disney really likes Gigantor.
The style is just so perfect here, from the black and white to the refused shots, and the catchy song for “Silver 7”. It’s awesome.
As for the final one…well..
“That’s cute for fanfiction, but it’s hardly canon”
…..Yeah. It’s basically like a fan fiction, throwing out insane theories that don’t make a ton of sense and it’s very convoluted. It’s very accurate, trust me. It’s not mean though, mostly due to the moral of the episode.
That’s what brings this over the top. The Batman one was more a celebration of the characters legacy, showing how something can wildly change over time. Both of these don’t show any version are really wrong (Well, except maybe Joel Schumaker’s Batman.).
This one goes as far to have Wander say it doesn’t matter how the view the hero, as long as it gives them hope. You can stretch it to them saying there’s nothing wrong with having a different interpretation of a character, as long as you’re not doing anything wrong, or it has a positive effect on you.
In today’s online culture, where you can get really bashed on certain places for daring to disagree with the popular fan theories, this actually a pretty revealant moral which applies to more than situation.
Having a variety of stories with cool styles that really funny is nice, but the moral makes it extra special. My only complaint is that it does take a tad too long to get to the stories, and in general the are fairly short.
As much as I like the first one, it’s so light story wise you could have cut it to make at least one longer, to give the hole just a bit more to it. It’s not a big deal since the stories are still great as they are, but it is a flaw.
I do have a soft spot for these kind of episodes, with a bunch of different stories, so all the positive elements were even better to me. Thus, it’s slightly low due to that and the flaw.
Otherwise, this is a very creative, unique and funny episode that even has some nice meaning to it that I imagine a lot of people can relate to. It’s another one that’s fun with it’s style and message.
Pardon the lame pun, but this one is fairly legendary. …Sorry.
- The Pet
Writers: Ben Joseph & Greg White
Like most 11 minute shows, Wander has had a few double length specials and they can be slightly mixed. They fare pretty well, but sometimes they can be like stretch out normal episodes. Thankfully, most manage to get past this by being very good, an this is an example of that.
Wander and Slyvia stumble upon an empty ship they think is abondned…which happens to have a killer monster on the loose.
This was the first special they did, and it does show. This was aired in October of 2013, and you can tell Disney made them make it longer so it can be a Monstober thing. (I didn’t count it for the Hallooween since it was clear Gift 2 was made for Halloween while this wasn’t).
This episode does have drawbacks that could hold it back for some, but the stuff that works is just too. Most notably the atmosphere. They really take advtange of this location. The music and animation really make things intense and geuingely creepy.
The monster doesn’t appear for a bit but his presence is felt, and you really feel like he’s a threat. I love his acid spit forms the title card. His design is great too, it’s freaky while still being cartoon-y enough.
This episode is a big Alien(s) homage and it’s done really well, as it stands on it’s own so if you haven’t seen the films, it will make sense. Even if they make this joke-
“Get him away from him you-”
We find out the ship belonged to Captain Tim, and it’s pretty much stated that this monster killed him and the crew. That just makes everything even creepier and more interesting. As for as the story goes, there’s actually a rather depressing part where Slvyia thinks Wander was killed by the monster, so she has the ship blown up to get rid of the monster.
Besides being pretty dang dark and depressing, it’s nice to see how awesome Sylvia can be, especially when Wander is in danger in some way. This could have been too cruel, but since things end happily, and they don’t dwell on it a otn, it works to the story’s advantage.
The most important element in the story is Wander is not only obvlious to the monster wanting to kill him, but he thinks he’s cute and wants him as a pet. As stupid as this makes him, this really works.
The monster does not want to be his pet and tries to kill him, but Wander keeps dragging him all over the place and avoids his attacks. Seeing the monster trying in vain to kill him while he just doesn’t notice is really funny.
This shitck really works best when it’s real villain, so it’s great here. And storywise it works, because Wander isn’t genuinely seems to like him and nothing he does is harmful. Tim, as Wander names him, is only hurt by this because he’s a bad guy and doesnt’ want his affection.
He could like Wander’s affect if he accepted it, but since he doesn’t, it’s torture for him. It’s a nice balance they strike him .Because Wander likes him, this is actually kind of cute. We even get a song out of it. Not the show’s best song, but it’s nice. In the end, Wander wants to keep Tim even when he finds out what he’s like, but know he has to let him go since he’s a monster that wants to kill him.
It’s strangely quite sweet, and manages to work character wise when it could have just been a joke. And of course, Tim goes to Hater who quite likes him, even if the Watchdogs. Since it’s a quick joke, I can let the Watchdog torture slide, since the Hater winning thing works better here than in The Bounty.
All in all, this episode has a lot going for it. Yeah, it is flawed. It can drag due to being longer, and some minor elements can be seen as a bit strange. This most likely belongs at the bottom, but the stuff that works is so good I wanted it a tad higher.
While some specials can be argued as better, this has a place in my heart for being so good, and for being of the earliest great episodes. (Only the 6th segment). Also, Tim becomes a part of the show, and this episode has a sort of sequel called The Search for Captain Tim.
It’s not as good, but it’s still fun, mostly with a Ripley parody called Ripov.
I love this show sometimes.
It might be a forced special, but it’s atmosphere, homage, writing, and odd swet-ness makes it a real winner in my books.
As much as I like The Gift 2, this is my favorite of the horror themed episodes with everything it does right. I really dig it.
- The Fermengcy Fronfract
Writer: Francisco Angones
I did not spell that wrong.
After getting too much laughing gas at the dentist, Hater becomes a drooling happy go lucky go, who thinks Wander is his friend, which Wander sees as a chance to finally change him for good.
Here’s an episode that’s almost as sweet as it is funny. Just the concept of this one is funny: Hater basically gets high on laughing gag and becomes a drooling idiot. Just his expressions are hilarious in this one.
They have a lot of fun with Hater in this one, from his expressions like I said, to the crazy things he said. My favorite joke is when he’s rambling this sweet strange speech in his head. The punchline to that is funny.
The other best part is the song. Don’t worry, this is our last ep with a song for a little while. It’s a fun montage, topped off with a parody of the theme song. Yes. This ep is quite fun with Wander and Hater’s antics.
But of course, there’s more to it that makes it really interesting. Wander knows full well that Hater is only this way because of this gags, yet keeps doing this silly stuff with Hater instead of giving him back to the watch dogs.
This is interesting because Wander sometimes can seem a bit too perfect, and won’t always be tempted to bad things. Here, he faces a moral dilemma, all to get Hater to be his friend. It’s different and is totally in character, because he tries to do the right thing early on.
It’s an interesting change of pace for the character that is very well written. The best part in terms of writing is the ending. I won’t go into a ton of detail, but there’s a heartbreaking moment when they have to resolve all of this.
That moments turn this episode into one worthy of this list. Actually, you know what this is a better version of? Spongebob’s Breath of Fresh Squidward.
Yeah ,that one has a jerky becoming a goofy guy, but in that episode, they don’t milk as much comedy out of as they could have,and instead play it too straight, which doesn’t work because it’s not written well, and misses it’s mark in a few areas, as Mr. Enter pointed out.
This episode takes full advantage of the concept, and the story mixes in well with it, and creates a far better dilemma than just someone being annoyed. This is everything that one should have been.
This episode manages to take a funny concept and not only make it a lot fun, but also makes it into a well written story with a cool dilemma for Wander, and some very sweet moments. It’s an example of an example that just gets it all right.
The only reason it isn’t higher is that the highs of the other entries are a bit better to me. Besides that, I have no complaints about this one. It doesn’t drag, it keeps the gags coming and is well written.
Overall, just another great episode. By the way, this is paired with The Boy Wander. Best half hour of TV Ever!
(Wow, Shortest section yet)
- The Bot
(WARNING: To Discuss the merits of this one, I have to go into the ending. Sorry)
Writer: Noelle Stevenson
Despite being a Comedy, this show has had it’s share of sweet moments, and even a few sad moments. Quite a few at this point, actually. But I wouldn’t say too much of it approaches tearjerker…until thiis one.
When Dominator sends her best bot to get some Chemi-i mean Volcanuim X, he bumps into Wander who of course tries to befriend him.
Before I get into it, I want to talk about Dominator because this episode does show a bit more of her. We had a grasp on her before, but this shows her dark side quite a bit. Unlike Hater, she’s a real villain who is a genuine threat to anyone she meets.
We saw her fun sun side how silly she gets, but she’s still dangerous. She acts silly because she finds all the dangerous things she does to be FUN. We;ll get to her most heinous act in a bit, but that cemented her character as a really good one.
This episode is pretty simply for most of it. Infact, one small thing puts this one on the list at all, and usually that would make it low. But that thing is ….well, we’ll get to it. This premise isn’t too original, as I’ve seen stories where a villain, or their minion ends up befriending the hero or hanging out with them.
They even did this before with a watch dog in The Little Guy, although I like this one better. And that did hold this one back at first.
The interesting thing is that Bot 13, named Beep Boop doesn’t quite go with Wander’s antics. Wander mostly holds him captive as he does fun stuff on the boardwalk, and Bot 13 just wants to some Volcanuim X.
This does set it apart, and makes for some fun stuff. And it is believable when Bot 13 does what he does, as he doesn’t try to hurt Wander, showing he was growing on him in some way during the episode.
Most of the episode is just silly fun. Perhaps nothing special, but enjoyable enough. Then comes the ending .I know I usually say more before the ending, but there isn’t much to the rest of the episode, so I have to get to it already.
Despite what happened, Bot 13 does leave Wander once he get what he needs. Sylvia wants to warn the others on the planet about Dominator possibly coming, but Wander wants to wait for Beep Boop, because he still thinks he may have changed him.
Bot 13 goes to Dominator and is about to show her where to get some of the stuff so she can get it and dominate that planet. But of course, this is where he looks back on his day with Wander and sees how much fun he had..
So he betrays dominator and deletes his memory file thingy with the location of the stuff. So what happens, he ends up going back to Wander and like in the little guy, the guy is free to be good and such?
…No. Dominator gets mad at him and throws him out the airlock, like she did with another bot earlier. Bot 13 looks at a picture of Wander and him as he burns up…completely.
“I am Beep Boop”
…Back with Wander, he is sad Beep Boop isn’t back but since Dominator isn’t here, he knows he wasn’t ratted out, so he thinks Bot 13 is just out there somewhere else. They look at fireworks caused by Bot 13 exploding, which they arne’t aware of.
“Good Luck Beep Boop”
I can safely say I did not see that coming. In most kids shows that do this plot, like the shows previous take on this plot, things end up happily now that the minion is away from the badguy and is friend with the hero.
Speaking of which, where did said little guy go? For someone so important, he never appeared again even though he lived. Did he even make a cameo in the crowd shot in the finale
Anyway, that happy ending doesn’t happen here. No, Bot 13 actually kind of sees that friendship has a price. It’s not always going to end happily. Bot 13 pretty much dies here, and Wander is not aware of it.
It’s not even bittersweet, it’s just straight up sad. This little ending brings the episode to being something really special. Hell, the ending shot is the picture of Beep Boop and Wander, a bit burnt, just floating in space.
Yeesh, just rub it in. And then the credits scene is just a drawing of them in the sand being washed away by the ocean. OH COME ON!
This ending is just great. It takes a pretty simply episode and makes it really complex and sad. The way it’s executed makes it so you do feel something,even though Bot 13 and Wander didn’t exactly bond in the deepest way.
And yeah, I may have cried a tad at this one. Shut up, you did too if you saw it, didn’t lie to me? This episode does conflict me though. The ending alone should make it much higher, but the rest is just so …standard.
It’s fun but not nearly as good as the ending. With other episodes, the reat matches with the big thing that makes it great. While it’s not weak enough to flat out take this off the list, it is enough to dock it a few points.
But damn it, the ending is enough to put it just outside the top 5. It’s not only sad, but rather unexpected. I mean, it may be a bot but he’s still a character and he DIED/ Wander is hardly adult like some other shows, so it makes this moment even more special.
And on a narrative level, it shows the price of friendship and goes against the shows usual formula. It’s even realistic, as usually things go more this way. It’s simple in concept but works so well and makes the episode.
The episode may be mostly standard, but a mature and tear jerking ending makes it really great. Also, it reminds of Iron Giant, which is a big plus. So yeah….it’s great, just some tissues if you wanna watch it.
- The End of the Galaxy
Writer: Francisco Angones
..Yeah, it’s everyone favorite part of a Spongey444 list, where I put the biggest choice lower than most would. But in this case, I’m not sure if everyone has it a favorite, or they are on my side, due to the whole nature of it.
While my usual reasoning is true here, in this case I do think the next are all better episodes, even on a story level. It’s not just a personal thing this time. But anyway, this is the finale and despite the circumstances, it’s great.
Dominator has dominated every planet in the galaxy, except for a small one that everyone is taking refuge on. They have to come up with a plan to stop her for good, before she gets to this planet too.
This season finale was turned into a series finale thanks to Disney so a lot was riding on it, because it now had to be a fitting end for the series as a whole, even though it wasn’t written to be.
As I have said before, that is unfair so all I ask is for it not to have too big of a cliffhanger. And thankfully,this fits the bill. Actually, with how it ends, I wondered what they would even do for Season 3, besides develop a few characters further.
But we’ll get to that in a bit. Story-wise this one is fairly simply. It’s mostly them planning, with Dominator wondering what to do now that she’s destroyed the galaxy, and Wander wanting to find out why she is like this.
It’s simple but effective. It’s a finale that keeps it simple and executes it’s simply stuff very well. Plus, it still puts in the themes of the serious and gives us some awesome things to help cap off the season.
Being more plot and action focused, there’s not quite as many great jokes, but it still has it’s share, like the “past season of our lives running gag”. Which does get a bit forced at some points.
You gotta love the continuity here. Every one shot character appears in this, with some even getting a line or too. It fits in the story, and is nice for those who have stuck with this series from the start.
I like how the first planet we saw in the series was the last to be dominated, nice touch
. In general, it seems like people were fine with this finale, given how it was forced on them, but there’s thing people were mixed on: Dominator. They kind of explain what her deal is, and some find it underwhelming.
I won’t go too much into, but it sort of it is, but I also think it was handled well. For one, I’m sure that would have explored it more in Season 3. And 2nd, she still isn’t turned good. They hint at something of the story, but she still doesn’t change sides. Someone else does though, which strengthens the story. We still get the great “some villaisn are just villains” ,message, while also having the “some can change” lesson, it’s a nice mix.
I was mixed on it on my first viewing, but now I get what they were going for, and it works well enough without a 3rd season to explore this. Speaking of, there is a small thing in the credits hinting at what else Season 3 could explore, and I’m mixed on the idea, but we’ll never know if it panned out.
Unless Change.org actually works for once. I’m sure they’ll get to it once they shut down Rotten Tomatoes.
Anyway, there is one thing that puts this high on the list: HATER. Let me put this in perspective. In Season 1, he did have some badassery to him despite being pretty silly, which is why a lot of people were afraid of him.
But by Season 2, he wasted so much time on Wander he becomes ineffectual,especially when Dominator appeared. He tried to get better, but finding out she’s hot set him back. After she turned out to be truly evil, he got better again, leading to this.
Her finishing the galaxy breaks something in him, turning him into a big badass, actually making plans and going all out.
“Where has this guy been all Season…of our lives?”
It all comes together in the climax, when he gets the support of everyone and really gets at Dominator. After being mostly comedic, it is amazing to see him step in a way that makes sense. He’s great at helping stop a bigger bad guy sometimes.
It’s also awesome to hear the “Hate’s Great, Best Villain” chant become a more serious chant. Everything about Hater is amazing here, including him maybe becoming goodish. With how the series is, this totally fits.
He alone puts this high, as without him being so good, this would be perhaps sligtly lower, I don’t know. But thanks to him, this thing is awesome.
So overall, this finale was forces on them but they still made something pretty great out of it. It executes it’s simple plot well, with tons of callbacks, the best portrayal of Hater, and even a mix of morals with Dominator being mostly done well, even if it’s not all incredibly satisfying.
As far as forced finales go, this one of the better ones. Even with the problems, it’s a fitting enough end to the series, with a near perfect final shot. I wish we had hour 3rd season, but if it was gonna end hre, at least it ended well.
Wish this was higher so I say bye but there’s four more entries so…bye for the next few seconds, Wander.
(Also, in the big crowd shot at the start, if you look really close, you’ll see a blue blob dude who looks an awful lot like Bloo. Hmm…)
- The Epic Quest of Unfathomable Difficulty!!!
Writer: Francisco Angones & Amy Higgins
(This is another one I just have to spoil , and of all the eps on the list, it’s the one that’s the best gone into blind, trust me)
We’ve now reached the point in the list where we have the episodes I knew were going to be on it when I first saw them. The rest were maybes, but they I had to put on here. And it was hard to rank them as I think they are equally amazing for one reason or another to.
To start those episodes, here’s one about Wander trying to find the owner of a lost sock. Yeah, sounds really intense, I know.
With this one, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spoil it because all the best parts are in the end, but there was no way I could explain why this one is go great without going into it. I’ll at least save the ending for last.
As you can tell from the title, this takes something really simple and makes it into something big and epic. And the way they do is just awesome. They do things I was not expecting and get a ton of comedy out of this simple concept.
It just starts with Wander asking around for the owner and it’s fairly simple until someone tells them how to go someone who can answer any question, which is where things back up. It then turns into an actual epic adventure with all the stuff you expect in an actual epic quest.
Except it’s all narrated and it’s treated like a normal montage, making every little bit even funnier. This part can’t be spoiled because it’s just too funny. Even on it’s own, the Comedy is on point.
“Haven’t you ever lost something you wished you could get back?”
“Besides the last ten seconds of this conversation?”
But combine that with a parody of an epic quest, and you get something really funny. But what makes it even better that it manages to work story wise too. As silly as the concept is, it shows how dedicated to helpng people Wander is.
Even if it’s something simple, he wants everyone to be happy even if it’s over something small. There’s even a dramatic moment they manage to find the owner (in a way too funny to spoil here) and he doesn’t seem to really care about the sock.
In a weird way, this shows that even the smallest thing matter. But then they een manage to flip that on it’s head with the ending. Oh boy, you ready for this?
Okay, so this big evil guy gets the sock and then it flashes back to when he as a good kid, and he was playing with the sock when his Dad took it away from him, as a future king can’t play with childish things. He’s so angry about that he turns evil, locks his father up, and rules the whole place with an iron fist.
With the sock back, he turns good, lets everyone free, and Wander and Slyvia are heroes.
“…I was just worried someone’s feet might get cold”
- almost feel bad for having to spoil this because it’s beyond hilarious. I mean, despite all the parody going on, they seemed to have an actual nice moral about how him the smallest things are important.
Then they turn around and reveal that the shock is literally the most important thing ever. It’s a brilliant of turning a sort of cheesy moment n it’s head, that still leaves that moral intact. I know I’m really talking this episode, but it just blows me away every time.
Which is odd, since the next 3 are arguably more clever in some ways, but it’s just insane what this episode does. It keeps topping itself on every point. Starts out like a simple plot that will have a lot fo comedy, then becomes a parody of an epix adventure, using something dumb as a McGuffin.
Then it pulls out interesting character insight, with a good moral…then totally turns that moral on it’s head with comedic exaggeration! It’s actually really brilliant with how many great things that this episode has.
Any of these could have the episode good fun on it’s own, but having them all in here just make it extra awesome. Not only is this just really funny on it’s own, but really clever writing that has many things done well, helps make it kind of amazing.
Some episodes have more depth than expected, or manage to combine elements well, but this takes all that up to 11. Yeah, as you can tell I like a lot. It’s kind of underrated (not the most underrated, we’ll get to that) as no one really talks about it.
But man do I love it. It’s a ton of fun and really clever in a lot of ways. Sorry I had to spoil it to explain but trust me, I left out enough gems for you to enjoy. On a last note, this is paired with The Void.
Yet another great half hour of TV.
Overall, this episode takes something simple and makes it really epic, clever, and hilarious. It’s really good one, is what I’m trying to say.
- The Cartoon
Writer: Ben Joseph’
“Animation is so hard! People who do this thing for a living deserve a lot more credit and respect!”
Remember in the Foster’s post, where I said that Craig said that each show he worked on had one episode he loved working on and had a ton of fun with it? Well, this was was it for Wander Over Yonder, and like with Bloo Supderude, it shows and is awesome. (His post on this ep is where I got that quote from, fitting enough(
The premise is pretty simply: Hater has the Watchdogs make a cartoon to show everyone (especially Dominator) how awesome he is. That’s about it, the whole episode is Hater, Peppers, and two Watchdogs, watching the Cartoon MT3K style.
From that quote, you can already tell this episode is pretty meta. But aside from that, the cartoon itself is just perfect. The whole thing is a parody of old low budget shows, especially He-Man.
I mean, the episode starts with a dead on spoof of the Flimation logo and from there we have someone holding their sword up to power up, and even the logo of the cartoon is very much He-Man, if it starred Skeletor.
The style is captured just perfectly here. Every low budget animation trick is parodied here. Limited animation, reused animation, blatant padding, very redundant dialogue (‘The staff of power is so powerful, it can do the impossible make me even more powerful than I am now”), and covering up action scenes because they blew the budget on other stuff.
“Wow, what an impressive fight. Awesome doesn’t stand any chance.”
“We should stop describing it and watch in silence. “
And that’s the animation side of it. It’s hilariously blatant Pro Hater Propaganda, yet still is true to “life’, with the Watchdogs doing the work for him, Peppers bitching at him, and Wander ruining everything.
Once again, I don’t want to mention everything, because what’s the fun in spoiling all the jokes? This episode works because it’s funny, making it hard to talk about. But in terms of writing, it’s pretty clever.
There have been parodies like this before, but they really went all out here, making fun of everything they can. They even make fun of tacked on morals at the end. I’m not 100 percent sure if we needed the MST3K stuff, because it would have been funnier on it’s owner, but it does add an extra layer, I suppose.
It also gives this more of a reason to exist, putting a reason for the parody to be there and such. It even adds a bit at the end, with how it makes fun of the shows formula. So I can let it slide.
My favorite joke, involving Dominator, is so amazing I won’t spoil it here. Let’s just it references something I did not expect, and I love that they got the actors from that to make it even better.
Speaking of actors, Jon Hamm voices Cartoon Hater. He doesn’t quite add a lot, but love that he’s even here, and he does make of the dialogue even funnier. Oh, and this is all funny. The jokes are on there are really, as even how the characters look can get a laugh.
There’s one part where I laughed so hard I cried. That never happens. Granted, it’s a dumb thing to laugh out in hindsight, but it caught me off guard when I first saw it.
So yeah, I have to be short on this one because what I said is all there is to. It’s just them watching a cartoon, and what they do with is just great. They capture the style of old cartoons perfect, while being really funny and making fun of lots of stuff, including their own show.
It’s perfectly done, and is just a blast from start to finish. I got no real problem with this one. The crazy thing is, this episode is paired with the Bot, and this is the a episode. So the silliest episode ever, is followed up by the saddest episode up to that point.
There’s some mood whiplash for you.
So yeah, this episode is a perfect parody, and has a lot to help make it the funniest episode of the series. It’s just plain fun. Not much else to add that. The Cartoon is funny.
And now for a sad episode!
- The Flower
Writer: Rachael Vine
(This is another one I have to spoil, sorry)
Of the lists I’ve done, this has to be the closests that 2 and 1 have have. Seriously, I had a hell of a time deciding which one is my favorite episode, because they are equally amazing for similar reasons. I could pick either to represent the show/.
So if my number one doesn’t please you, just know that it was REALLY close. As for the episode…damn. I need to set the stage and go into detail here, but I have to examine this to really show how good it is.
This is the next to last episode, and at this point Domintor has almost dominated the whole glaxy. Most of Arc 3 has had our heroes search for ways to stop Dominator, most of which were dead ends or didn’t provide an ultimate answer.
At the start of the episode, Wander and Silvia look all over all the destruction she’s caused, and Slyvia is losing hope. But hey, no worries. Wander is the biggest ray of sunshine there is, clearly he’s got some optimism to spare
…Nope. At this point, even he’s losing hope, with incredibly tearful eyes. Sylvia don’t have this because if Wander loses hope, then it’s all over. In a desperate attempt to life his spirits, Sylvia finds a flower on a dead planet that seems to be going fine.
If that flower can bloom even in these dark times, then maybe there’s still hope, which makes Wander happy. The episode thrives off this set, and it’s brilliant. I’ve said before how much it works when they test Wander’s character, and we get great stories whenever he has doubt.
This is the perfect test for him. If he has trouble having hope, then we’re truly in trouble. Having the big spot of hope be a Flower is genius too. A bit cliché to an extent, but it was the best option. It’s easier to make it small than have it be a whole planet or something, since they kind of did that already and technically right after.
Most of the episode has them trying to take care of the Flower and finding the perfect home for it. While this could have gotten redundant, they manage to mix it up and even make it funny. Yeah, despite how dramatic this one is, they still fit in comedy.
There’s some amusement in them trying to take care of the thing, and even Wander getting sad is funny thanks to some great expressions. And of course there’s actual jokes, like the giant Bee that keeps chasing them,
It also stays engaging because of the situation Wander goes back to sad mode at every failure and Sylvia tries in vain to keep that from happening. There’s some suspense going on, and you don’t want to see him sad either.
It’s also interesting how Sylvia thinks of Wander so highly that she considers everything to be doomed if he’s sad. This episodes works just as well on charterer level, then it does on a general level.
Eventually, Dominator catches wind of this and goes to get rid of their last bit of hope. If I had one compliant about this episode, it’s with Dominator She kind of works themetically, but I’m not sure we need a phsical force.
The plant almost dying due to natrual causes was enough of a conflict, I think. They also really push Dominator here, which might get slightly annoying. But it’s such a petty nitpick I don’t mind it, and it helps the story with what happens next.
The flower puts out some pollen which Dominator is allergic to. She sneezes so much she can’t give her bots any order, as our heroes escapee. Not only are they free, but they found Domiantor’s Weakness. Like Sylvia says, it’s a bit weird but it’s something!
But unfortunately, it’s too late. That last burst was all the flower had left, and it “dies” in front of them. Yeah, it’s another The Bot moment, only even more soul crushing. They spent the entire episode protecting this thing and their efforts turn out to be in vain.
Wander is not only in full on sad moment…but he finally sheds a tear which hits the ground. Well, looks like all hope is lost. …Right?
“Sylvia, you tried you’re hardest to save this flower, and it decided to return the favor by saving us. It’s not bad to be sad”
“I can’t have you be sad, or everything’s hopeless”
‘Just because I’m sad doesn’t mean I’ve given up hope”
They cry a bit more, and the episode ends with small parts of the flower landing places, that help sprout a few more possible flowers.
…I’m at a loss for words here. I know exactly how to explain why this is great but every time I see it or think about it, I have to stop for a sec. First of all yes, I did cry at this. With the message, I kind of had to let myself cry.
First of all, that moral. I don’t know where this trend of teaching that it’s okay to be sad came from, but I welcome it so very much. This one even takes a step further. Like he said, you can be hopeful will still being able to be sad over something.
There’s tons of media about keeping up hope even in the darkest hours, and even this shows has the standard stuff with them never really getting sad while trying to do this. But here comes an episode that shows that it’s not bad to be said.
With how the story it set up, this is even more perfect. While just them saving the flower and such would be very typical, I could see them doing that early on with how simple things are. But at this point, the show knows things are more complicated than that.
Now, at first I wasn’t sure if the Flower sacrificing itself is needed, as having it die naturally would be more effective. It wasn’t a problem, just a minor thing. But in context, it works because it gives Wander a reason to have hope.
If even something dying can help then, then there really always will be hope in the universe. That’s actually just as profound as the alternative. Just because something does, doesn’t mean it’s all bad.
And of course the little ending bit is great too, showing that The Flower’s sacrifice helped quite a bit. Death isn’t as helpful in real life, but it’s story about a guy that sounds like Irving, I can cope with this.
The moment itself is presented perfectly, of course. The episode has a very sour tone with the bleak animation and sad music and it works because they clearly put a ton of emotion into it. They play around with emotion a lot, with how things go from hopeful to sad, and the animation, and music have a big part in that.
I’ve noticed just how great the music in Craig’s shows can be. If you pay attention, it can set the mood really well, especially in this and even some Foster’s episodes. I also have to compliment Jack McBrayer’s voice work.
He’s mostly known just being silly, and annoying in the right ways, and he certainly brought that to this show. But scenes like this show he really can act. Those lines I quoted are said perfectly and make the moment even better.
So…yeah, I like this episode. If it makes me pay attention to small things like that, it did something for me. Man, was it so close to number one. I’ll explain further at number one, why it didn’t quite make it.
But man, is The Flower still amazing. It takes a genius set up and pulls it off brilliantly, making it work on a thematic and character level. It has a great moral that has depth to it, and every element makes it as engaging and emotional as can be.
While it isn’t number one on this list, this episode hits the highest highs in the series and is admirable in every sense of the word. I salute you, unnamed Flower. …Well, they call him Planty but I don’t wanna confuse him with Planty the Potted Plant.
But yeah, The Flower is pretty great.
My Fair Hatey: While it’s fairly simple in terms of what it does for the show, it makes up for it by being a really good musical episode, with every song being well done, espcpecially Dominator’s excellent villain song. This really cemented her as the perfect villain. A fun episode that was an improvement over the previous special.
The Greater Hater: The perfect way to start Season 2. Dominator’s introduction is great, with great atmosphere on her ship, showing how powerful she is without her even really doing anything. It’s interesting to see how this effects the characters, and even if it’s a small element, this somehow does the “not everyone will like you” moral better than any show I’ve seen try it.
The Brainstorm: Another simple premise leading to tons of comedy. The whole episode is just Hater trying to come up with plans to stop Wander, and they don’t even try one until the end. Just like Gumball’s The Plan, there’s tons of creative comedy and it’s all hilarious.
The Breakfast: On it’s own, it’s a fun simple premise, using something basic to show the contrast between Wander and Hater, but what really makes it great is the gimmick of showing both of their days at the same time with a split screen. I can only imagine how hard it was to get this exactly right, and it’s really cool. It even won an Annie, which is impressive given it’s competition include Gravity Falls’ Not What He Seems!
The Eye on the Skullship: Not only is it very funny, with it’s focus on a show starring Watchdogs, but it’;s also kind of sweet as you root for Andy (brilliantly voiced by Andy Daly) who just wants an interview with Hater. The ending is perfect too.
And my personal favorite Wander Over Yonder Episode is..
- The Good Deed
By now, you know that the top choice of my episodes lists tend to be the episode I think represents the show best, on top of all it’s other qualities. And no episode basically represents the show more than this one.
Wander and Sylvia do a good deed for someone…which starts a huge chain of their good deeds having bad effects on other people.
On it’s own, this episodes set up is really interesting and funny. It’s pretty much a lot of cause and effect. They give a hungry guy a carrot…which belonged to a guy using it to ride his weird elephant thing. They promised the guy they’ll buy him a new carrot, and when it hears you can just buy one, it leaves. They get him to a wedding but it turns out he wanted to break up the wedding. You get the point, it’s stuff like that.
With this set up, the episode never gets boring because something is always happening. It’s fun to see what will happen next, and it’s a big example of how sometimes what can go wrong, will go wrong.
It’s just fun to watch for most of it because of that, and it leads to funny moments, like the court scene. I won’t spoil it but it’s really funny, especially with Sylvia’s reaction. Most of the episode of just this, and the simplicity works because they get a lot out of it.
But then comes the ending. Wander believes if you do the right thing, you’ll always end up in the right place. But all day, everything they do just makes things worse, defying his beliefs. It gets to the point where it leads to a missile headed towards something.
At this point, Wander considers giving up, because he has seen for himself that everything he believed in is a lie. Which leads to this:
“If doing a good deed leads to the universe getting destroyed… Partner, that’s not a universe I wanna live in anyway.”
This moment is small but says a whole lot. On it’s own, it’s a nice test of Wander’s character, showing him having doubts about his word view. And Sylvia’s bit shows that you should keep on going because even if it doesn’t seem like it, you will end up in the right place.
So on it’s own, this episode has plenty going for, by using a great premise for good jokes, and testing Wander pretty well with a very sweet ending. But this is all still seems rather simple compared to later episodes.
Here’s the thing: This was the 5th segment. Yes, this was the growing the beard moment for the show. Most growing the beard moments are simply the first time the show shows it’s true colors and that’s it.
But this one is more than that. At the start, I just assumed the show would be simple. Wander’s hopeful nature would get him through any situation, and in darker moiments he’ll just perk up and keep going.
It would be the typical stuff you would see in this kind of show. We had amusing episodes up to this point but nothing crazy groundbreaking. Then this episode happened. The show was already amusing, but this one was really funny by showing they can do a more unique premise with escalation.
Then it showed that the show may end up being deeper than we thought. This shows that even good deeds can go wrong, and it makes Wander question his own world view. In the end, everything will work out, even if things go really wrong.
These are all things that would be expanded on later, in very interesting and complex ways. Everything this episode does would be expand on later, but this was the first to do it. And honestly, that’s even more impressive. Sure, it’s a bit simple but the way it’s done kind of makes you think and gives you a more balanced experience than previous episodes. When they do this kind of thing again later, we’ve gotten used to the show showing more than meets the eye.
This being so early makes it even more special. Most shows won’t have their big moment until at least 10 episodes in. This is episode 3a and we’re already seeing this. And while one came close, this ended up being my favorite episode of Season 1.
The Flower is almost like the grown up version of this. It also has a simple premise leading to a bunch of cause and effect, and has a dramatic moment showing a deeper message than expected.
To parodon the pun, this was the seed for that episode, and the show as a whole. That’s why the episodes were so close together…and why I picked this one. My god, was I close to picking The Flower.
Objectively, it is the best episode, but the one I personally get into the most is that. Plus, that one is a bit recent and it’s unfair to give something that recent the top spot. It’s also unfair to give the nostalgic one the top spot, but I don’t care.
Again, if this doesn’t please you, consider The Flower number one. On it’s own, The Good Deed is a unique and very funny episode that test Wander and gives us a nice moment with a good message.
And it paved the way for the future of the show. It’s nature of being funny, and surprisingly deep in a sense, would later apply to the whole show. A lot of shows have episodes like that, but this one had a bit more of an effect on me.
While you can disagree with me, all of this is why The Good Deed is my favorite episode of Wander Over Yonder.
And those were my Top 11 Wander Over Yonder episodes. This list was harder to make than I thought. Usually a list for a show like this would be hard due to a lack of episodes, not too many!
This show did manage to defy expectations. Sometimes it was exactly what it looked like, and other times it was a lot deeper and could be really great. Don’t think I’m saying it’s amazing, be cause most of it is simply pretty good, but man did it have plenty of great-ness.
It’s a bit like Gumball in that way. Huh, guess the title gimmick isn’t the only thing they stole from the show. It really does show that a show doesn’t need to be as “perfect” as some to be kind of great.
I bet if I went on longer like this, it would be even better, but all well. Let’s hope Disney stops with this. At least Star Vs is getting Season 3, and we also have Penn Zer-
…GOD. DAMN IT. You’ve gotta be kidding, that was our only hope! You are incredibly thin ice now, Disney! If I spoken about this before, whoops, I planned to do it here. I hope Milo Murphy and the next few are good enough to make me want more.
Anyway, even with Disney’s antics, the showing is quite and these episodes alone make it very worthwhile. I can’t wait to see what Craig has up his sleeve, with this current track record.
As for what’s next for me, well you can expect a Season 7 list for Adventure Time and Regular Show. (Speaking of recently announced cancellations..). With how their latest seasons turned out, they deserve it. I also will do Season 4 of Gumball, but I’m not sure on other shows just yet.
Either way, look forward to all that and check out this show or these episodes if you haven’t already. And remember: It never hurts to help!