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The Mumm-Ra Berbil
The Mumm-Ra Berbil - Title Card.png
Episode 1.47
Original Airdate November 26, 1985
Writer(s) Jeri Craden
Previous Episode Lion-O's Anointment Third Day: Trial of Cunning
Next Episode Mechanical Plague
All Episodes Episode Guide

The Mumm-Ra Berbil is an episode from the original series of ThunderCats. Written by Jeri Craden, it originally aired on November 26, 1985.

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Official Summary[]

Angry at the Mutants' failure to destroy the ThunderCats, Mumm-Ra transforms into a meek Berbil and tricks Snarf into bringing him inside the Cats' Lair. Mumm-Ra overpowers Panthro, turning him into a Zombie/Slave. Mumm-Ra enslaves WilyKat and WilyKit as they play, enslaves Cheetara as she investigates their cries of terror, and enslaves Tygra, but not before the latter realizes who is behind it all and warns Snarf. Snarf escapes to tell Lion-O, who is away camping. They split up to search the Lair. Snarf is enslaved. Under Mumm-Ra's power, all the ThunderCats attack Lion-O together. Lion-O flees the Lair, chased by Mumm-Ra, who wears a mirror mask to protect himself from the Sword's reflection. Lion-O uses the Sword to break Mumm-Ra's spell on the ThunderCats. Together, they defeat Mumm-Ra.

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Official Moral[]

Mumm-Ra disguises himself as an innocent Berbil to try and defeat the ThunderCats. He plays upon their altruism to gain entrance into the Lair. Once inside, he casts a spell on them and, seizing them with slave bracelets, he transforms them under his command. Mumm-Ra's plan almost succeeds, when only Lion-O is left unaffected by the spell. Lion-O chooses not to use the Sword's powers against his fellow ThunderCats, because he believes in their ability to remain true to their real identities. Instead, he flees in order to fight Mumm-Ra alone with the Sword of Omens. In battling him, Lion-O calls forth the Sword's power. His faith in the ThunderCats proves well-founded, because their response to the Sword's emblem is stronger that Mumm-Ra's spell, and they free themselves from the spell. Returning to Lion-O's aid, they help him defeat Mumm-Ra.

What a person is really like is based on his personalities, which are his characteristic patterns of behavior and modes of thinking in reacting to the environment. Lion-O was tested when the other ThunderCats turned against him. But because his friendship was based on his knowledge of his friends' true personalities and not on superficial characteristics, he did not lose faith in them. If we choose our friends in this way, we can believe in them in times of crisis or when we hear misleading things about them, because we will know what they are really like. And because personality tends to be consistent over time, if we choose friends carefully, we can expect our friendships to last and be rewarding over a long time.

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Story[]

Mumm-Ra has the Mutants come to the pyramid yet again to show them how worthless they are when it comes to fighting the ThunderCats. Mumm-Ra says that he'll destroy the ThunderCats by himself and has the Ancient Spirits Of Evil change him into a Berbil, the one disguise that no ThunderCat would expect. While Snarf is out walking in the woods, Mumm-Ra (now disquised as a Berbil) falls out of a tree and complains to Snarf that his arm is hurt. Snarf then takes the Berbil back to the Lair to get fixed up. That night at the Lair, the Berbil is bandaged up by the ThunderCats (except for Lion-O, who's out camping in the forest).

The ThunderCats offer to let the Berbil sleep in the guest bedroom and that they'll take him back to the Berbil village in the morning. After the ThunderCats are asleep, Mumm-Ra sheds his Berbil disguise and changes into a fire bat. The fire bat then goes to attack Panthro, who's on guard duty in the control room. Panthro tries to fight the fire bat, but is beaten quickly. Mumm-Ra then changes from a fire bat to his Ever-Living form and puts a metal bracelet on Panthro, which turns him into a mindless slave, and gives him some pretty glowing red eyes to boot. With Panthro's help, Mumm-Ra is able to put WilyKat, WilyKit, and Cheetara under the same spell, each with their own metal bracelet and glowing red eyes.

Meanwhile, Snarf is awake and goes to check on the injured Berbil, when he comes across Tygra in the hallway. After they discover that the Berbil's room is empty and that Panthro, Cheetara, and the ThunderKittens have disappeared, they figure out that Mumm-Ra must have been the Berbil all along. As soon as they realize this, they are attacked by Mumm-Ra and the possessed ThunderCats. Snarf runs out a window to find Lion-O and warn him of what's happened. In the Lair, Mumm-Ra and the possessed ThunderCats have beaten Tygra and made him into one of them, complete with the same metal bracelet and glowing red eyes.

That morning, Snarf has found Lion-O and has told him what Mumm-Ra has done to the ThunderCats. Lion-O and Snarf then set out to the Lair to rescue their friends. When they get to the Lair, they can't find anybody. They then decide to split up to cover more ground faster. While Lion-O is looking on the monitors in the control room, Snarf was found by Mumm-Ra and the others and a metal bracelet was put on his tail. He then attacks Lion-O from behind in the control room. The other possessed ThunderCats show up in the control room and they blast Lion-O with their glowing red eyes. Lion-O then escapes the Lair and runs to the forest. Mumm-Ra gives chase and a fight between the 2 ensues.

Before Lion-O can pull the old "Mumm-Ra sees his reflection and turns back into a mummy" bit, Mumm-Ra puts sunglasses of some kind over his eyes to protect himself. Lion-O then uses the sword to call to the other ThunderCats, who come to his aid after Mumm-Ra's spell over them is broken. The ThunderCats then hold Mumm-Ra to the ground, remove his sunglasses, and Lion-O makes Mumm-Ra see his reflection in the sword. Mumm-Ra then returns to his mummy form and retreats back to the pyramid. Back at the Lair, the ThunderCats are attacked by Snarf, who didn't see the Cats Signal, and thus didn't return to his old self. However, Lion-O lifts Snarf up and Panthro removes the metal bracelet from Snarf, turning him back into his normal self.

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ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Notes of Interest[]

  • Mumm-Ra transforms into a Berbil in this episode.
  • When Lion-O summons the ThunderCats, all of them are able to break free of Mumm-Ra's control except for Snarf.
  • When Mumm-Ra is talking to the Mutants inside his pyramid, the images that appear in his cauldron are from the episodes "The Doomgaze" and "The Wolfrat".

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Animation Errors[]

  • When Lion-O is fighting Mumm-Ra in the final battle scene, the Sword of Omens is in its short form. In the next scene it appears fully grown. Then again it appears short again.

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Notable Quotes[]

Mumm-Ra: (talking about the Sword of Omens) That piece of tin won't harm me.
Lion-O: But the horror of your own reflection will.
Mumm-Ra: Oh! Unlike those miserable Mutants, Lion-O, I learn from my mistakes. (puts shades over his eyes) There is no reflection. Nothing can save you now.

Lion-O: I will not use the Sword of Omens against you. You are my friends, and nothing Mumm-Ra can do will change that. I must help you, not destroy you.

Lion-O: We'll meet back at the hangar in thirty minutes. And if you find anything, shout.
Snarf: You can count on that, Lion-O. I'll shout.

Lion-O: Oh, hi, Snarf. I guess you didn't find them either.
Snarf: (under Mumm-Ra's spell) Oh, I found them all right. And we'll all do Mumm-Ra's bidding.

Lion-O: It's almost daylight. Let's go rescue them.
Snarf: Last time I saw them, Lion-O, they sure didn't look like they wanted to be rescued.
Lion-O: That's only Mumm-Ra's spell, Snarf. Those guys are ThunderCats, and nothing Mumm-Ra can do will change that.

Mumm-Ra: Ancient spirits of evil, transform this feeble Berbil into the one creature on Third Earth which the ThunderCat Panthro fears, the energy bat!

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Media[]

This episode was released on the following media:


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ThunderCats Bullet Point.png External Links[]

ThunderCats 1980s - Episode Guide - Season 1
Exodus | The Unholy Alliance | Berbils | The Slaves of Castle Plun-Darr | Pumm-Ra | The Terror of Hammerhand | Trouble with Time | The Tower of Traps | The Garden of Delights | Mandora - The Evil Chaser | The Ghost Warrior | The Doomgaze | Lord of the Snows | The Spaceship Beneath the Sands | The Time Capsule | The Fireballs of Plun-Darr | All That Glitters | Spitting Image | Mongor | Return to Thundera | Dr. Dometone | The Astral Prison | The Crystal Queen | Safari Joe | Snarf Takes Up The Challenge | Sixth Sense | The Thunder-Cutter | The Wolfrat | Feliner - Part I | Feliner - Part II | Mandora and the Pirates | Return of the Driller | Dimension Doom | Queen of 8 Legs | Sword in a Hole | The Evil Harp of Charr-Nin | Trial of Strength | The Demolisher | Monkian's Bargain | Tight Squeeze | The Micrits | Trial of Speed | The Rock Giant | Jackalman's Rebellion | Turmagar the Tuska | The Trial of Cunning | The Mumm-Ra Berbil | Mechanical Plague | Trapped | Trial of Mind Power | Excalibur | Secret of the Ice King | Good and Ugly | The Transfer | Divide and Conquer | Dream Master | Out of Sight | The Mountain | The Superpower Potion | Eye of the Beholder | Trial of Evil | The Trouble with ThunderKittens | Mumm-Rana | The Shifter | Fond Memories Wilykat Nav2.png
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