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Things Only Adults Notice In Kim Possible

Through the years, we've enjoyed many excellent Disney shows, but one of the most beloved was the critically-acclaimed animated series "Kim Possible." In fact, it was brought back for a 4th season in 2007 after Disney received overwhelming support from fans practically begging for the show to return. Kim Possible is your average high school student who keeps busy with cheer practice, hanging out with her best friend, Ron Stoppable, and saving the world — you know, typical high school activities. Despite her heroic extracurriculars, Kim is a refreshingly relatable character, with all the insecurities and minor worries that any high school girl can understand.

This is one of the traits that makes her such a fan favorite, even after all these years — plus, she is memorably one of the few cartoon characters who actually wears more than one outfit. Older viewers, however, are likely to note aspects of her show that would be missed by their younger counterparts. From influences rooted in comic books and caped crusaders, to the darker sides of the "Naco" and characters' story arcs, to real-life kung fu and heavy metal head-bangers, here are all the things only seasoned audiences are likely to notice while watching "Kim Possible."

A cell phone, a Kimmunicator ... and a pager?

Like James Bond, Kim Possible is known for wielding a plethora of nifty spy gadgets, including her iconic grappling hook, a laser gadget disguised as a tube of lipstick, and a compact mirror capable of deflecting energy weapons. All of this tech was designed by Kim's friend Wade, a ten year-old genius who has already graduated high school and college. One of Wade's most indispensable inventions is the Kimmunicator, a novel communications and computing device that makes smartphones as obsolete as cuneiform and smoke signals. 

However, those keeping track of the show's theme song lyrics, "Call Me, Beep Me!" by Christina Milian, will also note that Kim carries other, more traditional communication devices in addition to the Kimmunicator: "Call me, beep me if you wanna reach me / When you wanna page me, it's okay / I just can't wait until / I hear my cell phone ring ..." 

Although she's never actually seen using said cell phone or pager, one must assume she possesses them from the lyrics, which raises a host of questions for those old enough to remember using pagers back in the Dark Ages. Like, why would a teenager in high school carry a cell phone and a pager, in addition to a third device that renders them both outdated? Seems a little overkill, doesn't it? And who's paying for all those monthly charges?

Isn't this child exploitation?

Speaking of work-related expenses, you would think that saving the world on the regular would provide a steady paycheck. However, older viewers can't help but notice that Kim doesn't get paid a single cent for all her hard work and sacrifice. It's not like this issue is brushed over or ignored by the show's writers, either, because her lack of funds acts as a driving plot point throughout the series. 

For example, before the timeline of the show, Wade set up a website for Kim so she could offer her world-saving services to prospective paying clients — however, that still only attracted people seeking pro bono work. In keeping with her love of fashion and Mexican fast food, Kim later picks up side jobs at Club Banana, her favorite store in the mall, as well as Bueno Nacho, an obvious parody of Taco Bell. 

Because a busy teen like Kim has time for two side jobs on top of school, homework, extra-curricular activities, and protecting the world from bad guys. Not only is this unfair, it also seems highly illegal, especially with a minor involved. It's surprising Kim's parents are okay with this apparent exploitation of their daughter. They could have at least given her an allowance for all her good deeds!

The Naco existed, and it wasn't as good as it sounds

Kim isn't the only one to work at Bueno Nacho: Her other half, Ron Stoppable, also works there for a brief period of time. In fact, he makes his way up the corporate ladder faster than she does and winds up being her boss for a while. During his time in management, Ron invents a new menu item by mixing nachos with taco ingredients and wrapping it in a soft taco shell. 

Ron dubs his cheesy concoction the "Naco," and it goes on to become such a local hit that it's added to the restaurant's menu. Although it sounds like an incredibly messy calorie bomb that would result in painful consequences within moments of consumption, it also seems like a delicious concept, and fans couldn't help but wonder what the Naco would taste like in real life. Unfortunately, no real-world restaurants have imitated this mad creation, but they've come pretty close, and older Possible-ites took note. 

In 2013, Taco Bell launched a line of new menu items, including the Grilled Stuft Nacho: a flour tortilla stuffed with beef, nacho cheese, sour cream, and red tortilla strips. The whole thing was folded into the shape of a giant tortilla chip, before being grilled and set under a heating lamp to wait for its next victim. The product description alone is enough to give one heartburn, and it did not earn permanent menu status like its "Kim Possible" counterpart.

A phenomenal voice cast made Kim Possible possible

One of the things that makes "Kim Possible" enjoyable for audiences of all ages is how funny it is, and the show's humor is kicked up to 11 by its stellar voice acting cast. Well-seasoned ears may recognize the many talented and humorous names behind the voices, which only adds further to the viewer's appreciation for the show's comedic moments. The squeals and squeaks of Kim's quintessential Disney animal sidekick, Rufus the naked mole rat, are provided by none other than Nancy Cartwright, who is famous for portraying characters like Bart and Ralph from "The Simpsons."

Stand-up comedians John DiMaggio and Patton Oswalt lend their talents to the series as well, with Oswalt playing Professor Dementor and DiMaggio playing multiple characters, including Dr. Drakken, Heinrich, and Motor Ed. Gary Cole and Jean Smart play Kim's parents, Drs. Ann and James Possible, and the legendary Debbie Reynolds plays Shaolin master Nana Possible. The only thing more loaded than this cast is a grande-sized Naco!

Motor Ed echoes Lemmy from Motörhead

Dude, seriously, one of the most fun characters on "Kim Possible" is Dr. Drakken's cousin, Edward Lipsky. Nicknamed "Motor Ed" for his love of all things involving internal combustion and wheels, this hard-rocking gearhead sports a mullet, a tattoo of his own name (in case he forgets), and a penchant for breaking speed limits. Older viewers of the show are likely to recognize Motor Ed's distinctive personality from somewhere, though they may not be able to pin down where at first. 

If you were one of these viewers, your gut instincts were right: Motor Ed has clear similarities to the lead singer and bassist for the English rock band Motörhead. Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister rocked crowds around the world with his bandmates for more than forty years, and he probably would have kept going had he not died of cancer in 2019. 

Kilmister was instantly recognizable for his husky voice, thick "mutton chops"-style sideburns and mustache, and long hair — very similar to Motor Ed's look and sound. Also, there's the obvious pun — "Motor Ed" instead of "Motörhead," get it? "Kim Possible" has no shortage of punny monikers, and we're totally okay with that.

I spy something influenced by Marvel

In addition to influences from real-life heavy metal bands, older viewers are also likely to note a lot of apparent Marvel influences in "Kim Possible." One need look no further than Team Impossible, the group who originally inspired Kim to launch her own heroic career and, ironically, later became her competition for world-saving missions. Their blue and yellow uniforms look nearly identical to the classic garb donned by Marvel's X-Men, complete with red-lettered accents and matching utility belts. 

Likewise, the contact for all of Kim's covert operations, Dr. Betty Director, appears to be a direct homage to Nick Fury. Both characters sport an eyepatch, are the heads of covert espionage organizations, and they both have evil brothers with names inspired by the zodiac (Fury's operates under the codename Gemini, while Dr. Betty's is dubbed Scorpio). Another Marvel theme adults are apt to notice in "Kim Possible" is tied into the backstory between Kim's nemesis, Dr. Drakken, and Kim's father, James Possible. 

As explained in the episode "Attack of the Killer Bebes," the two attended the same college and were colleagues until Possible and two of his friends made fun of Drakken for attempting to build a robot girlfriend (which, one must admit, is hard not to poke fun at). This slight caused Drakken to swear vengeance against Possible and become a supervillain, which is a similar origin story to that of archrivals Doctor Doom and Mr. Fantastic — though unfortunately Doom's backstory, involving the resurrection of his mother, is far more gruesome.

Keep your enemies close

The villainous Dr. Drakken has a complicated relationship with more than one member of the Possible clan. He is Kim's mortal enemy, but despite that fact, she has saved Drakken's life on multiple occasions, as seen in episodes like "Rewriting History" and "Cap'n Drakken." 

The two have even teamed up a handful of times, like in the episode "Bad Boy," when Drakken's attempt to make himself more evil backfires, transforming him into a good guy and Ron Stoppable into a villain (which, ironically, he was better at than being a hero). He's crossed paths with extended Possible family members as well, like Kim's Uncle Slim and her cousin Joss, who own a pretty sweet robotic horse named Old Tornado that helps save scientists from Drakken's mind-controling "silly hats." 

The supervillain has even celebrated Christmas with the Possibles, breaking up a fight between Kim and his sidekick, Shego, in order to maintain a truce he'd called until after the New Year. At this point, Drakken is practically more like a member of the Possible family than one of their enemies — although, as we've seen in some dysfunctional families like the Lannisters or the Bluths, the two can be one and the same.

Why can't we be friends

Another character who has a complex relationship with Kim Possible is Shego, an evil mercenary and Dr. Drakken's second-in-command. Although they are normally at odds with each other, the two young women actually have a lot in common, and they even become close friends at one point. In the episode "Stop Team Go," Shego is accidentally turned into a good person by the same technology that made Ron evil and Drakken good in "Bad Boy." 

As a result of her transformation, Shego radically changes her lifestyle and becomes a teacher at Kim's school: As it turns out, she has a degree in child development. The two probably would have become lifelong BFFs, but Ron accidentally turns Shego into a villain again — right when she's going to reveal some great secret to Kim that she would never divulge as a baddie. 

Not only is it rude to leave the audience on such a cliffhanger, but adult viewers are also likely to be super weirded out by the fact that Shego has a degree in child development, yet pursues a life of crime with a teenage nemesis. That's about as messed up as Dr. Harleen Quinzel falling in love with her patient and transforming into Joker's sidekick, Harley Quinn.

Batman Beyond meets '60s Batman

In the 2nd season of "Kim Possible," older fans are likely to notice a double-homage to Batman in an episode called "The Fearless Ferret." While performing community service for school credits, Ron Stoppable volunteers to help an aging, wealthy recluse named Timothy North. During an unattended moment in Mr. North's library, Rufus the naked mole rat stumbles upon and activates a hidden switch, sweeping himself and Ron to a pair of hidden fire poles — which lead, you guessed it, to a giant cave under the mansion. 

It's loaded with costumes, tech, and trophies of vanquished foes, just like the Batcave under Wayne Manor. Ron deduces that this is the home of the Fearless Ferret, a local hero with a detective noir streak and dark costume reminiscent of DC's own Caped Crusader. Ron begs North to let him be the next Fearless Ferret, with Rufus as the latest iteration of his sidekick, Wonderweasel, to which North consents. Not only do details like the fire poles point to the classic "Batman" TV series, the voice actor for North was the late Adam West, whom more mature viewers are bound to instantly recognize as the original Batman. 

Looking deeper, one will note that the main premise of this episode is similar to that of the animated series "Batman Beyond," which centers around a young apprentice taking up the mantle of a retired superhero. To add even more layers, Will Friedle, who voices Ron Stoppable, also voices Terry McGinnis-slash-Batman in "Batman Beyond"!

Kim Possible made math a superpower

Although a rarely featured character in "Kim Possible," Ron's dad, Mr. Stoppable, caught the attention of adults everywhere, even those who weren't necessarily fans of the series. In the episode "Odds Man In," audiences learn that Mr. Stoppable is an actuary, an obscure career dealing with risk assessment, which he eloquently summated as attaching "a dollar value to human life." He goes on to save the day by vanquishing a numbers-obsessed villain who calls himself "The Mathter," making him Ron's new hero — as long as he doesn't embarrass his son by donning a cape or other superhero accessories. 

Real-life actuaries took notice of their animated counterpart and rejoiced at this rare depiction of their beloved trade in pop culture (other popular depictions of actuaries appear in movies like "Along Came Polly," "About Schmidt," and "Zootopia"). Per a 2007 interview by Anime Superhero with the show's creators, Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle, this made actuaries everywhere laugh, and it was even noted in an industry newsletter. Who said crunching numbers couldn't be cool?

Wade needs to get out more

No hero can properly perform reconnaissance missions without their "guy in the chair," as Ned Leeds so memorably refers to the quintessential superhero sidekick who acts as an omniscient "voice with an internet connection" in "Spider-Man: Homecoming." Kim's "guy in the chair" is Wade, the kid genius who invents all her tech and gadgets, and older viewers can't help but notice how rarely he leaves his house. 

Every moment of every day, Wade is sitting in front of his monitors, ready to help Kim and provide whatever data she needs. His in-home presence is so pervasive, it makes one wonder if he's agoraphobic, or maybe has one of those futuristic Clorox Toilet Chairs featured in "Idiocracy." 

Even the creators took notice of Wade's reclusive behavior and finally got him out of his room more when the show was relaunched for a 4th season, with Mark McCorkle describing to Anime Superhero their plans for him in then-upcoming Season 4: "We figured he's been staring at those monitors too long and we need to get him out. So he's been out taking part in some of the adventures this season." That was nice of them!

The Kim Possible creators make a quick cameo

Cameos are a fun way to pay homage to a fictional world's creator — just think of Stan Lee's numerous appearances in various Marvel films and shows. Sharp-eyed viewers are likely to note another cameo in "Kim Possible," albeit involving artists that fly a bit lower on the pop culture radar. In the episode "Low Budget," Kim crosses paths with a pair of reckless men in a speedboat who nearly run over an endangered manatee. 

Enraged, she sabotages their boat and causes it to sink — which, although it may be justified, sets off a whole chain of events involving a crocodile, a fashion catastrophe, and the world almost coming to an end. All of this could have been avoided if Kim hadn't sought unnecessary retribution — which just goes to show, kids, revenge never pays (unless you're someone like Carrie or Mad Max). 

Those manatee haters in the speedboat strongly resemble "Kim Possible" creators Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle: The former is tall, dark-haired, and wearing glasses, while the latter is squat, balding (with the habit of sporting a plain brown baseball cap), and also wearing spectacles. Kids might not appreciate it, but adults certainly can. And if we had our own cartoon, we'd put ourselves in it, too (though maybe not as manatee haters).

I know kung fu

Grandmothers are all amazing in their own special ways. Kim Possible's Nana is maybe one of the most awesome grandmas of all time, however, because she is a kung fu master with formal training at a Shaolin Temple. While Nana Possible may not be real, the branch of martial arts she mastered, which appears to be called "Pang Lang Quan" kung fu in the show, is likely based on a real Chinese martial art known as Northern Praying Mantis and also called by the romanized name Tang Lang Quan

Ron Stoppable's "Monkey Kung Fu" also takes inspiration from another obscure Chinese martial art, which is comprised of three styles: Tai Shing Pek Kwar, Shaolin Monkey, and Wu Shu Monkey. One cannot help but wonder what Shang-Chi would have made of their martial arts skills — and now we need to see him team-up with the Possibles, stat. Sadly, unlike kung fu itself, Ron's Mystical Monkey Powers remain a work of fiction — but we can always dream.