or Thundercats [thuhn-der-katz]
Who are the ThunderCats?
Originally released in the 1980s and twice rebooted in the 2010s, ThunderCats is a cartoon featuring a group of humanoid cat aliens and their adventures on a planet called Third Earth. The show was shlocky but beloved during its original run and has since kept up nostalgic value.
- '80s kids
- Sword of Omens
Examples of ThunderCats
Where does ThunderCats come from?
’80s and ’90s kids will remember the ThunderCats. Created by Tobin Wolf, the original series ran from 1985–89. It was animated by a Japanese company but produced, voiced, and distributed in the US.
ThunderCats followed a group of cat-people fending off their mummy antagonist, inventively named Mumm-Ra. Not that the main characters’ names weren’t great: Lion-O, Tygra, Cheetara, and Panthro, and their adorable but nebbish sidekick, Snarf. The feline do-gooders always bested Mumm-Ra episode after episode, which predictably closed with a moral lesson about teamwork and virtue.
After ending, the show enjoyed considerable popularity in the 2000s when Cartoon Network aired reruns. This apparently prompted Carton Newtork to reboot the show in 2011 in an anime style, shortly cancelled in 2012 due to poor ratings.
In 2018, Cartoon Network decided to try again with a reboot called ThunderCats Roar. Its more playful animation style and light-hearted tone, in keeping with the zany zeitgeist of Adventure Time and Gravity Falls, sparked the social-media hashtag “#ThunderCatsNo,” a riff on the rallying cry of ThunderCats, ho! in the show theme. (You know you want to: Thunder…Thunder…Thunder…ThunderCats, hooooo!!!!) As of June, 2018, the trailer for ThunderCats Roar had a whopping 62,000 downvotes on Youtube. Mee-ouch. Nothing can beat an original.
Who uses ThunderCats?
For all the challenges of the reboots (“You’re ruining my childhood!”), ThunderCats maintains a fair bit of nostalgic currency among millennials who grew up watching the original. It also earns quite a lot of real currency, as vintage toys go for hundreds of dollars on eBay. If you have one … post it!
your parents thought the original thundercats was weird and incomprehensible, but they let it rock because it made your six-year-old self happy for 30 minutes
— darrylayo (@darrylayo) June 6, 2018
Even though the nostalgia is real, adult viewers definitely recall the shoddiness of the animation, the blockiness of the dialogue, the obviousness of its messages, the tokenness of Panthro, and their crush on Cheetara. Because that’s what makes it an ’80s show of course.
Ah, Panthro…the token black dude on Thundercats. Surprised no rapper took his name.
— Sean A. Malcolm (@BySeanMalcolm) July 24, 2011
This is not meant to be a formal definition of ThunderCats like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of ThunderCats that will help our users expand their word mastery.