One of the most shameful parts of my childhood comes from the fact that I used to watch Thundercats and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe all the time. I didn’t believe that television rotted the brain until I caught some reruns of Thundercats a few years ago and realized how bad my favorite TV shows really were. But rather than hide from this past, I have chosen to embrace it by having these cartoon heroes fight to the death, killing each other off one by one until there are none left. First up: Lion-O from Thundercats and his pal Snarf. Snarf is a cowardly cat-like creature who says “Snarf” all the time, whose race is known as the snarfs, and whose name is Snarf. Seriously. Taking them on will be He-Man and his companion Orko, whose origin I can’t remember. I’m pretty sure my brain edited him out of all the cartoons I saw so I could more properly focus on my man crush enjoyment of my favorite character, Man At Arms.
Let’s get the jobbers out of the way right early. The first round is a matchup between Snarf and Orko. I don’t know what on bloody Earth these characters do that is at all useful. Snarf starts cringing at the first sign of danger and runs off to Lion-O. Lion-O, however, is sitting on the couch and eating a bunch of hash brownies. He kicks Snarf out of the Thundercat lair to keep the red-furred critter from messing with his buzz. Orko, meanwhile, casts a series of powerful spells to banish Snarf to another dimension, but all of those spells backfire, either xdoing nothing but creating posies everywhere or creating a comical blast that scorches Orko’s clothes black. After several painful minutes of this incompetent fighting, both Snarf and Orko realize how pathetic they are. Snarf cuts his belly open with one of his claws and commits ritual suicide, while Orko casts a spell that doesn’t backfire, wishing himself out of existence. Round One is a draw.
Lion-O comes to on his couch with He-Man sitting next to him. The pair look at each other and immediately start talking about the bad trips they had while eating their hash brownies. Lion-O imagiend that there was this annoying cat-creature saying, “Snarf!” all the time, and He-Man talks about this goofy robed creature that was always following him around. Convinced that Snarf and Orko were just side effects of the drugs, the two heroes start going their separate ways. They stop after a few paces, realizing that Snarf and Orko were not hallucinations but were in fact their friends and sidekicks. Lion-O and He-Man turn to fight one another, He-Man with his mighty muscles and Lion-O with the Sword of Omens. As He-Man should have learned by now, a magical sword is greater in power than bare fists. With a series of mystical blasts and a few well-placed swings of the Sword of Omens, Lion-O has He-Man nearly dead to rights. Round Two goes to Lion-O and Snarf (even though Snarf is already dead).
After taking all the punishment he can endure, He-Man suddenly realizes that he has a sword, too. He-Man draws his sword and re-enters the conflict. Shocked to see that He-Man’s sword is bigger than his own, Lion-O decides to go the route of overcompensation. He stands back and starts going into his climactic war cry, “Thunder…thunder…Thundercats…ho!” With every cry of “Thunder” and “Ho,” Lion-O’s sword grows larger. (Yeah…that’s safe programming for our kids.) He-Man misinterprets the call to battle, however, thinking that it’s an endorsement for prostitution instead. Personally, I’m inclined to agree with him, but then I cynically believe that a lot of children’s programming in the 1980s was a direct result of the writers trying to slip in as much innuendo as possible. Enraged at the thought of Lion-O walking around pimping poor ladies who could do better for themselves in life, He-Man decides to go upside the Thundercat’s head, smacking him repeatedly with the butt of his sword. Lion-O stumbles and waves his sword around uselessly, realizing that he doesn’t really know how to use it outside of yelling for more hookers. Finally, the effects of the multiple concussions He-Man has given him catches up to him, and Lion-O drops unconscious. Round Three and the fight go to He-Man and Orko (even though Orko is already dead).