10 Jem Episodes Where The Misfits Should Totally Have Been Thrown in Jail

By Steven Romano in Cartoons, Daily Lists
Friday, November 4, 2011 at 8:05 am
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All right, cards on the table, I enjoy watching Jem and the Holograms for a handful of reasons: it's the absolute epitome of the '80s zeitgeist, the plots of some episodes are so bad that they're good, and already being a fan of Transformers and G.I. Joe, it doesn't hurt to watch another one of Sunbow Productions' more culturally defining series. Having said that, one wouldn't believe that Jem and the Holograms' musical rivals The Misfits -- and their unscrupulous manager Eric Raymond -- have a place among the likes of Cobra Commander and Megatron when on the subject of random acts of evil. While some of their actions to make it the top of the charts were of the run-of-the-mill variety, there were others that were, quite literally truly outrageous. Or more appropriately, truly heinous! Whether The Misfits and Eric were vying to gain market share, scratch a vindictive itch, or sate their own material appetites, their means to an end ran the gamut of every criminal offense imaginable, which collectively creates a rap sheet longer than their arms combined. And the kicker here: good ol' Johnny Law turned a blind eye to it all! A daily list perfect for those double majoring in Criminal Justice and '80s Cartoon Pop Culture, study up on 10 moments when Eric Raymond and The Misfits should've been jailed! Think of them as case studies.

10) The World Hunger Shindig
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Crime: Embezzelement
There are plenty of colorful words to describe The Misfits' manager Eric Raymond: greedy, egomaniacal, tool, all-around scumbag -- I could go on. And of them, charitable and compassionate aren't on the list; Eric would sooner tell off a homeless derelict to get a job than drop a quarter in his filthy coffee cup. So when he agreed to be the promoter behind the "World Hunger Shindig" charity event, it goes without saying that it raised a few eyebrows, and made a stress-induced vein throb on Jem's forehead. With the help of his personal agent saboteur and professional thief-for-hire Zipper, Eric skimmed a few dollars -- a cool $250,000 -- off the event's proceeds, most likely to sate his appetites, which I assume are every bit as disgusting as the man himself. But does becoming the complete antithesis to Bono gnaw away at Eric's black heart? Why should it when the only thing he's concerned about is making it rain?

9) Battle of the Bands
Crime: Battery
Children everywhere learned something about Eric early on in the series: guy's a misogynist. And when Jerrica Benton (Jem's true identity) -- having just wrested back control of her dead father's record label, Starlight Music, from his sinister clutches -- gets in his way, she learns for herself that Eric's the type of guy who doesn't like to leave without giving, for lack of a better word, a going-away present: backhand! Does she call the proper authorities? Nope. Does she -- for a bit of justifiable revenge -- have Synergy create a horrifying, ghostly image of her dead father to haunt Eric until he snaps from the psychological onslaught? Of course not. Jerrica simply has her purple-haired boyfriend Rio force feed him a knuckle sandwich and call it a day. But while Eric wasn't above slapping Jerrica around, he wouldn't dare do the same to Pizzazz no matter how many times the thought has entered his mind. Because you know as well as I do that she could easily break his wrist with all that pent-up anger of hers.

8) Old Meets New
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Crimes: Unlicensed Operation of a Wrecking Ball & Near Negligent Manslaughter
In the episode "Old Meets New," Jem and the Holograms, after having their music practically called auditory diarrhea, befriend a crotchety, washed-up 1950's rocker named Bobby Bailey -- whom of which sounds like he gargles with shards of jagged glass. The Holograms all soon learn that the block Bobby's apartment/erstwhile recording studio is located on is scheduled to be demolished by (surprise, surprise) Eric and The Misfits in order to start building a record manufacturing facility. Always the ones to make a grandiose entrance, the four pull up the street in a massive wrecking crane and start smashing condemned buildings without so much as giving those living in the area a heads-up, or notifying the city that their impromptu demolition will be causing traffic obstruction. As per usual, Pizzazz of The Misfits grows impatient with Eric's progress and takes control of the wrecking ball like a mad woman, nearly tearing up the street and killing everyone living inside Bobby's apartment complex. We all know that being a music mogul, Eric knows next to nothing about operating heavy machinery, so that's already one infraction. But Pizzazz's penchant for inciting disaster almost turned a slap on the wrist into negligent manslaughter granted if someone actually got swiped by the wrecking ball.

7) Colliding Stars
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Crime: Intent for Grievous Bodily Harm
There are many hard lessons to be learned on Jem and the Holograms, with this one particularly imperative to techies everywhere: if you leave state-of-the-art, delicate equipment unattended -- even for a second -- within the vicinity of The Misfits, you can bet that they'll tamper with it, causing untold mayhem and destruction, all the while never truly held culpable for their actions. Such was the case when The Holograms were filming a real winner of a movie that called for Kimber to be in a motorcycle stunt scene (she absolutely screams action hero, yes?). While leaving to let the stuntwoman takeover, Roxy of The Misfits and Misfit-wannabe Clash double team the explosives technician and fiddle around with the console causing the charges to detonate early on Kimber -- pretty much turning the entire movie set into an Eastern European minefield. This is a children's show, so the network censors weren't going to let a Hologram walk away with third degree burns and a missing lower jaw -- you can even say Kimburned -- but it's totally fine to let The Misfits be relieved of responsibility from the whole incident. Hey, just like the real world!

6) Hot Time in Hawaii
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Crimes: Kidnapping & Near Involuntary Manslaughter
It may not be the most well thought out tactic, let alone a little rough around the edges, but kidnapping is an undeniable classic in the Saturday morning villain playbook. In one episode, The Holograms and The Misfits are invited to attend "Battle of the Music Stars": an olympic-like event that pits the two bands against each other through a series of sporting events; because we all know that on top of being popular musicians, they're world-class athletes. A common trope that's been used in practically every episode of Jem is the removal of one of The Holograms to sabotage a performance or event that requires the entire band to be in attendance, and -- more often than not -- Zipper is typically ordered by Eric or The Misfits to do the dirty deed. Removing Kimber the Perennial Victim from the field, Zipper leaves her tied up and gagged in an active volcano -- and on the weakest rock ledge imaginable hanging over a raging river of lava. It was originally his intention to simply leave Kimber out of reach -- and screaming distance -- of her friends, but Zipper never took into account the volatile nature of a volcano, let alone that she'd pass out and die from the blistering heat (he's a henchman, they're not paid to think). Thus this crime would've gone from kidnapping to involuntary manslaughter, had it not been for The Holograms timely derailment of The Misfits' plans.

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