Quote1 Spoon! Quote2
Tick's catchphrase and battle cry

The Tick is the protagonist of the animated television series The Tick.


There is (or was) a competition held every year at the National Super Institute where superheroes are given suitable cities to protect by a panel of judges. Tick crashed it one year, and his exhibition of power was to survive a death machine. while it had many different sharp and dangerous weapons all over it, the device ultimately only hit him in the head with a little hammer, and set off a bomb that blew up the entire building. But, Tick emerged unscathed, and was assigned with protecting The City.

The City was experiencing a crime wave, perpetrated by the Idea Men. Tick first met his sidekick and best friend Arthur when he fall off a building on his first patrol, and their partnership began immediately. Tick did ultimately stop the Idea Men, cementing himself as The City's greatest superhero, a reputation he only ever lost once, and for a short period of time, when he and Arthur were framed for a crime spree by Venus and Milo.


Tick is an extremely eager hero, often reeling when unable to assist the fight against crime. He goes on both morning and night patrols to search for crime. But he is also a very kind and thoughtful individual, always concerned with the safety of those around him. Although, he is exceptionally oblivious, sometimes not realizing when those such as Arthur are in danger. He also shows compassion for animals, such as refusing to kill a kitten while undercover, sacrificing his cover. And rescuing Speak, a capybara he believed to be a stray dog.

He is also prone to sharing confusing speeches with others, who usually shrug off their ludicrous content. Another example of Tick's odd word choice is battle cry, "Spoon!", which he devised in the episode The Tick vs. Arthur's Bank Account. His favorite food is bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, which he eats in many episodes. Tick is very deliberately portrayed as childlike, with Arthur playing a somewhat parental role in his life. An example being his lack of understanding of romantic or sexual feelings, and blind trust. Though, these qualities are portrayed both positively and negatively. He also believed that Santa Claus was real until informed otherwise by Die Fledermaus (although Santa was revealed to be real by the end of the episode, possibly a positive sentiment on the behalf of innocence and faith. Then again, it could just be Tick discovering Santa. it is still a kids' show).


His costume is the object of much speculation, even within the series. It seems to be a costume, as it has been grabbed by a number of foes. However, Tick has stated that it is not (although within the context it could be that he was saying it in a more existential sense). He has never been seen without it, in any fashion. And his antennae appear to be but accessories, when they were removed in Grandpa Wore Tights, he became disorientated and dizzy.

Powers and Abilities


  • Nigh-Invulnerability: he is able to withstand such blows as falling several stories onto concrete and being knocked into space with a bus with little-to-no damage.
  • Super-Strength: he is strong enough to open the jaws of a Tyranosaurus Rex (or rather a Dinosaur Neil).
    • Enhanced Jumping: due to his extremely muscular legs, Tick can jump across alleyways from rooftop to rooftop.


  • Public Speaking: he has no reservations about pouring out his heart and soul into public, allegorical speeches.
  • Singing: Tick has some singing ability, as seen when he soothed the rapidly-growing 400-Year Bloom.


  • Low Intellect: while strong, Tick's brain is "the size of a cherry pit", causing him to do little more than fight with his fists.
  • Compassion: while it may attract his allies, his compassion can be his downfall when dealing with a villain such as Charles, who is a child.



  • In Ben Edlund's comic book, Tick was more violent and foul-mouthed.
  • He has a powerful fondness for bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwiches.
    • Evidenced strongly by when he put on the Desire-O-Vac, a device that can alter reality based on whatever its wearer desires, and simply conjured up a BLT.
  • Tick has some opera singing ability, and knows all of the words to "La Donna È Mobile".
    • This may mean that Tick can speak some Italian, although it's possible he doesn't know what the words mean.
  • Ben Edlund has compared he and Arthur's relationship to that of famous cartoon characters Rocky and Bullwinkle (Tick obviously being the Bullwinkle, and Arthur the Rocky).