The Tick (live-action)

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The Tick is a character created by Ben Edlund and had previously appeared in comics and an animated cartoon. The live-action series ran on the Fox network in 2001. Nine episodes were made; one of them was never aired, but appears on the DVD.

For quotes from the animated series, see The Tick.
"I am the wild blue yonder. The front line in a never-ending battle between good and not-so-good. Together with my stalwart sidekick Arthur, and the magnanimous help of some other folks I know, we form the yin to villainy's malevolent yang. Destiny has chosen us. Wicked men — you face the Tick!"
~ voice-over from opening credits

Cast[edit]

Patrick Warburton - the Tick
David Burke - Arthur
Nestor Carbonell - Batmanuel
Liz Vassey - Captain Liberty

Pilot[edit]

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Written by Ben Edlund.

The Tick: The life of a superhero is a lonely one, filled with hardship and danger. The few who answer the call must leave comfort, safety, and often sanity behind. But someone's gotta stand the heat and stay in the kitchen. Someone's gotta don the oven mitts of all that's right and strangle the red-hot throat of all that's wrong. This is that someone's story.
...
Tick: He stands in silence — stoic, godlike — the mysterious blue avenger who has become legend to the simple folk of this bus station. But glory will not distract him from his vigil.
...
(A vending machine has taken a commuter's money and failed to deliver a cup of coffee)"

"Tick": Metal fiend. "(the Tick bounds into action.)

Tick: Stand back, citizen! So, vending menace, we meet again. (to commuter, while flipping coin return lever) Did ya jiggle the thingie? (he heaves machine off the ground, shaking it and pounding it against the wall) Armless bandit! Empty your bladder of that bitter black urine men call coffee! It has its price and that price has been paid! (he slams machine back onto the ground; it delivers a cup of coffee) Java devil, you are now my bitch. Well, here you are, weary traveler, one steaming hot cup of justice. No need to thank me, it's my sworn duty to defend this bus station from the ravages of evil.
...
Tick: Well, Destiny honks the horn of Gotta Go. To the City!
Bus station manager: Who was that blue stranger?
Tick: He was — the Tick!

(Arthur is in an office, working, in his superhero suit; his boss sits beside Arthur's desk and clears his throat.)
Arthur: Mister-Mister Fishladder!
Mr. Fishladder: Arthur... it is still "Arthur", isn't it? Arthur, my time is worth seventeen dollars a second. I want an explanation, and I want it to cost less than fifteen hundred dollars. Go!
Arthur: Oh. Uh, well, it's a little hard to explain —
Fishladder: Fifty-one dollars.
Arthur: Mr. Fishladder, I have been living a lie. I am more than just a mild-mannered accountant. Now, I do good work for this firm and I value my job. It's just... my entire life has become nothing but numbers and deductions and IRA's.
Fishladder: Two hundred fifty-five dollars.
Arthur: Granted, I have been doing my parents' tax returns since I was six — but even then I knew I had a higher calling. I can't hide from it any longer. I —
Fishladder: Don't say it!
Arthur: I am going to become a superhero! You know... part-time, at first...
Fishladder: Christ in heaven, look at yourself! You're built like a sensible shoe! You shouldn't be jumping around in a body-sock fighting crime!
Arthur: Well, I haven't actually fought any crime yet.
Fishladder: Good! Keep it that way! Crime fights back! Remember the lesson of Metcalf.
Arthur: Metcalf?
Fishladder: METCALF! Head of Shipping and Receiving, third floor. Metcalf! He lost all his game pieces just like you, cashed in his 401k, and bought a jetpack. Now the poor bastard needs a machine — to POOP!
Arthur: Mr. Fishladder, I know that sort of thing can happen, but —
Fishladder: But you're gonna ride this thing out to the bloody, gruesome end, aren't you?
Arthur: Well, maybe not all the way to the end but... you know, for a while. Mr. Fishladder, I have to try.
Fishladder: Time's up. Here's the way I see it: you're either a man with a job or an idiot in a bunny suit. You can't be both - not at Worldwide Fishladder & Sons. So what's it gonna be, huh?
...
Arthur: They may call us an accountant, but we can't deny our true nature... even if all our friends and relatives tell us we're good at math. The hero's life - our destiny!

Panda Bartender: [About Arthur trying to fly] I think he going to fall down a lot and die.

Captain Liberty: I'm working on having him deported.
Batmanuel: She fears the demons I have awoken in her... womanly places.

Arthur: I'm not moth-man, I'm not a superhero... I'm not even an accountant anymore! I'm just Arthur.
Tick: Arthur, listen to me carefully. I believe in you! I always have! That's why I'm here. Destiny dressed you this morning my friend, and now Fear is trying to pull off your pants. If you give up, if you give in, you're gonna end up naked with Fear just standing there laughing at your dangling unmentionables!

Jimmy Carter: Help! Circus freaks! Help! Help! Men in wrestling outfits!

Tick: Yes, it's too late, we've learned that Communism does not pay. So, don't have a snappy Soviet comeback for that one, do we? (to the Red Scare)
...
Tick: Gravity... is a harsh mistress.

Tick: ...and that's how we defeated our first supervillain, and how Arthur learned to fly, and how we gave Jimmy Carter a mild concussion.
Arthur: We saved an ex-president!
Tick: Yet the evening's greatest victory is the partnership forged between this heroic duo! Friends to the end — bonded together by the Krazy-Glue of justice! Til death to they part!

Tick: Fight fire with Arthur!

The Terror[edit]

Directed by Boris Damast. Written by Ben Edlund.

[Arthur is on a gurney, while the Tick runs alongside with hospital personnel.]
Tick: Arthur is broken! Gimme two hundred cc's of tender loving care, stat!
...
Tick: Say, you think you could soup him up a bit?
Doctor: Excuse me?
Tick: Maybe give him a metal arm with a laser in it, or something.

Arthur: Yes. I'm anal retentive. Fine. Believe me, I would change that if I could.
Tick: Good Lord, man, retain that anus! One day its fruit may be the only thing that stands between us and total oblivion!

Tick: [holding up crossed fingers] We've been like this ever since — thick as thieves! Well... without all the stealin' and maraudin' and so forth.

[The Tick is on the phone with the Terror, a legendary supervillain.]
The Terror: Aw, leave me alone. I'm a hundred and twelve years old, I'm done.
Tick: Don't be an Adolf Quitler!
...
Terror: You think you can take me, do ya?
Tick: You got that right, you big weenie.
Terror: Bah! I'll fold you into my wallet and spend you on a whore!
...
Terror: That tears it! I'm gonna tuck you in for a dirt nap, you Betty!

Arthur: Giving the Tick the Terror's phone number was like giving a, a child a loaded gun — pointing at me!

Arthur: We are not triumphant! All we did was crank-call an old man and-and give him a heart attack.
Tick: Wasn't Plan A, but it did the trick.

Tick: When you get in bed with evil incarnate, it always steals the covers.

Arthur: I almost get killed a lot.

Batmanuel: [With a scorpion on his chest.] Hello...I got the poison lobster here.

Arthur, Interrupted[edit]

Directed by Dean Parsot. Written by Richard Lehmann-Smith.

Captain Liberty: You haven't told your mother that you're... super?

Tick: We mustn't let our guard down chum, we've got a devilishly clever commode here, he's already taken the bathtub as an ally in his porcelain war against us.

[The Tick meets Arthur's mother and sister.]
Tick: So you're the mother. What a pleasure it is to shake hands with the womb that spilled Arthur into the world. And let's not forget the womb-mate, Dot! Arthur's words do no justice to your nervous, white-knuckled beauty.

Bea [Arthur's mom]: Play safe with your new friends, dear.

Batmanuel: I must say, I find your sister strangely compelling. Do you think she'd care to go —
Arthur: What? NO! She's married. She's got two kids.
Batmanuel: Oh — yes, I thought I knew that scent! A soccer mommy! It's my only weakness.

Arthur: Toilets... don't... talk. They DON'T!
Tick: Well, that's a "maybe" in my book.

[Tick pours some drain cleaner into the toilet]
Tick: Not so talky with a belly full of HELL are we?

Arthur: How did you find me?
Tick: I just walked around and yelled a lot.

Tick: Wow. That is icky to infinity.

The License[edit]

Directed by Craig Zisk. Written by Larry Charles.

Policeman: Cap'n Liberty, what do we got?
Captain Liberty: What do we got? What are you, blind? What does it look like we got? We got a guy stuck halfway up a robot's ass. That's what we got.

[Captain Liberty discusses dating problems with fellow superheroine Medusa.]
Captain Liberty: I mean, what are our choices? On the one hand, you've got a bunch of musclebound mutants who think that just because they can bend steel, we're supposed to bend over... and the civilians, well, they're afraid we're gonna zap 'em with a ray and shrink their johnson!

License Clerk: I haven't got all day
Tick: Well we do Thelma, you can have half of ours! We'll share!

[At the police station, Tick meets a woman who claims he's her husband.]
Mrs. Glick: Oh, Ted... Ted!
Tick: You hear that, Arthur? Ted!
Mrs. Glick: I've been worried to death!
Tick: Oh, you poor zombie... that's no way to die.

Mrs. Glick: [showing a photo] Here we are at the Grand Canyon. Do you remember being at the Grand Canyon?
Tick/Ted: I remember vaguely making the Grand Canyon.

Mrs. Glick: And here we are at the Eiffel Tower.
Tick/Ted: I fell...
Mrs. Glick: No, "Eiffel"
Tick/Ted: You fell?

Batmanuel: So, Arthur, how is your life post-Tick? And be prepared — if your answer is not scintillating, my interest will rapidly wane.

Batmanuel: In my experience, there's only one guaranteed way to ever really know the truth - you must create it yourself.
Captain Liberty: And how do you do that?
Batmanuel: Lie.

Arthur Needs Space[edit]

Directed by Bo Welch. Written by David Sacks.

[Arthur, in costume, has bumped into a girl he had a crush on in high school.]
Stacy Waxman: Do you want to go to dinner tomight?
Arthur: Very badly. But I'll have to —
Stacy: Change? Don't you dare!
Arthur: You... want me to wear the suit?
Stacy: Definitely! Dinner with a superhero — who wouldn't wanna be me tonight?
Tick: Well, Zordox, for one... Kid Psycho... the A-Hole...

Batmanuel: Herein you see the power of the suit. Women cannot resist the suit. Men cannot resist the suit. Dogs
Arthur: Yeah, I get it. So you think she's only talking to me because of the suit?
Batmanuel: I am only talking to you because of the suit.

Batmanuel: Batmanuel is a jealous ex-lover. If he cannot see you naked, then nobody can.
Captain Liberty: Wow. I'm not sure if that's romantic or just extra creepy.

Judge: Make it fast!
Batmanuel: Batmanuel never makes it fast. That is, unless the husband is in the other room.

[The Tick, looking at a girlie magazine, bursts out laughing.]
Tick: Well, that poor fella's got bosoms!

Couples[edit]

Directed by Danny Leiner. Written by Ross Vendkur.

Tick: Well, not so runny anymore, are we, Mister Takin'-Stuff? (after fleeing burglar bounces off him.)

The Fiery Blaze: Guttersnipe! Halt now or face the combustible justice of... the Fiery Blaze!
Friendly Fire: And his sideKICK [kicks the burglar] Friendly Fire!
Tick: Lordy, gents, your banter is immaculate! A pleasure to witness.

Captain Liberty: Manuel, we're not lonely, are we?
Batmanuel: We? No. No, no, no, no. We're too attractive to be lonely.
Capt. Liberty: Yeah, but we are alone.
Batmanuel: I'm not alone. Uh, spinsters, shut-ins, toll booth attendants — these are alone people. Batmanuel is lone — as in Lone Ranger, or, uh, lone wolf. Alone is an unfortunate predicament. Lone is an aesthetic choice.

[Captain Liberty tries to buy a puppy.]
Capt. Liberty: How much?
Randolph [pet store clerk]: Well, I suggest you spend some time with Lilith in the back, make sure you like her personality, and then we can talk price.
Capt. Liberty: Personality? He's a dog. He sits, he rolls over, he plays dead. How much?
Randolph: I don't think I'm gonna be able to help you, ma'am. Why don't you go rent a videotape or something, instead of ruining some poor puppy's life with your single-woman hormone clock-is-ticking impulse-buying nonsense?
Capt. Liberty: Just sell me the damn dog.
Randolph: She's not for sale — not to you. What you need is a singles chat-room, ma'am, not some living creature. Good day.

Arthur: So, Tick, you know, I've been thinking. We have it pretty good. We fill in each other's weak spots. You're bulletproof, for instance, while I'm not.
Tick: True — but it's your firm grip on reality that keeps our ship on course.
Arthur: Well... yeah, I guess you're right...
Tick: Guess, nothin'! You're on a first-name basis with lucidity, little friend. I have to call it Mister Lucidity... and that's no good in a pinch.
Arthur: I just don't wanna turn into Blaze and Fire, okay?
Tick: Good heavens, man, what kind of crazy Frankenscience could make that possible?

Tick: I smell sweaty, drinky, uncle-person...
[The Fiery Blaze appears and falls down drunk.]

The Funeral[edit]

Directed by Andrew Tsao. Written by Christopher McCullough.

[The Tick delivers an unscheduled eulogy at the funeral of the Immortal, a world-famous superhero.]
Tick: Death: the eternal blink. The capricious dance of now-you-stopped moving-forever. Well, contrary to popular belief, death is not just for dead people. It can happen to anybody. I know... it's news to me too.

Batmanuel: I'm sorry, but it's just not cool.
Arthur: Well, who made you the arbiter of cool?
Batmanuel: It is Batmanuel's divine mission. He can do nothing about it.

Liberty: My God, Tick! What planet are you living on?
Tick: Plant Me.
Liberty: Planet Stupid!
Batmanuel: Hey, don't take this out on the Tick! HE is not the one who took a national treasure to bed and then killed him with his pink secrets!

The Tick: Life is your chance, Arthur! Grab it! Squeeze the milk of life into your dirty glass and drink it warm.

Batmanuel: If you had asked out that girl at the Panda when I told you, you would be on a date right now instead of riding around in the makeshift hearse of your childhood hero! Just something to think about for next time.

[The Tick's funeral oration continues.]
Tick: Well, just for kicks, let's look at the word "funeral". Starts with the word "fun", doesn't it? All I see out there are a bunch of sad faces. Now the Grim Reaper is an ugly customer, I'll grant you that — but you know who's worse? Mister Mope!

[After a (possibly imaginary) pep-talk from the dead Immortal, Arthur approaches the girl he was too shy to ask out at the Panda earlier.]
Arthur: Look, I'll probably be arrested soon... and after that, of course, I'll be dead. But before all that happens, I just wanted to say... hi.

[Government personnel at the Immortal's funeral have realized that the Tick isn't a scheduled speaker.]
Military Aide: the MP's are ready to tackle him off the stage, sir.
General: Belay that for the moment. I'm starting to like the cut of this man's gibberish.

The Tick vs. Justice[edit]

Directed by Mel Damski. Written by Ben Edlund and Larry Charles.

[The Tick talks to reporters outside the courtroom.]
Tick: This is nothing more than a salty slab of justice jerky — cut and dried!

Tick: Why is that fella wearing a dress?
Arthur: [whispering] Because he's the judge.
Tick: Well, I judge him and find him funny!

[In a flashback, the heroes encounter the armored supervillain Destroyo.]
Tick: Could be nothin'... could be the stench of unfathomable evil.
...
[Destroyo is bullying Batmanuel.]
Tick: Hey, Bossy! Why don't you try that on somebody my size?
Destroyo: Do you know who I am?
Tick: Yeah, I know who you are, Destinko. Why don't you curl up your metal mitts into fists — 'cause you face the Tick!
Destroyo: I will destroy you!
Tick: Bring it on, crap-lobster!

Tick: Aaaaah... my head feels like-like it's gonna have a baby!
Arthur: It's called a headache.
Tick: It has a NAME?!?
[Arthur pours some Asprin into Tick's hand. Tick pops them into his mouth and chews them.]
Tick: Ewwww! This is the worst tasting candy, ever!

[From his cell, Destroyo plays mind games with Captain Liberty.]
Captain Liberty: Shut up. You don't know a thing about me.
Destroyo: On the contrary, Janet, I know all about you. You're a Barbie doll trying to fit into a world of G.I. Joes. Dressed in your special little outfit by the fevered hands of your sweaty Uncle Sam — the only man who ever stayed in your life — who taught you how to fight, but not how to love. And all those boys... all they care about is peeling off that costume to find out if the doll inside is anatomically correct.

Tick: Gimme that ! (snatches the judge's gavel) Who died and made you the cross-dressing king of justice?
...
Arthur: Contempt of COURT?!?
Tick: Well, "contempt" is a strong word. I certainly didn't like court very much...

Batmanuel: Another urban myth dispelled. Ninjas don't bounce.

Arthur: [on witness stand] Dance, fat-boy, DANCE!

The Big Leagues[edit]

Directed by Bo Welch. Written by Lon Diamond.

Batmanuel: This guy is great. He handles all my legal affairs.
Captain Liberty: What kind of legal affairs do you have?
Batmanuel: Batmanuel is mired in much litigation. For instance, I'm suing the makers of my codpiece. It was not properly fitted, causing severe shooting pains in my groin.
Capt. Liberty: Ouch.
Batmanuel: Yes — an "ouch" that will now cost them seven figures. Not that you can place a dollar amount on Batmanuel's groin area...

Tick: That petty criminal needs a good swift kick in his bad-pants!

Captain Liberty: If you two were really my friends, you'd be supporting me instead of betraying me.
Tick: Captain Liberty, we are your friends... even though we're betraying you.

[In the League of Superheroes smoking lounge, Tick contiues obsessing over one criminal's escape.]
Tick: Somewhere, that petty criminal is laughing at us, rolling in his ill-gotten booty. And he should laugh — 'cause we stink. Smells like everybody's smoking feet.

The Champion: We are the cream of the crop.
Tick: And the cream is white!