DC Animated Universe

You may also be looking for the villain Tantrum.

"Tantrum" is the 13th and final episode of the first season of Static Shock. It premiered on May 12, 2001.


Virgil is standing on a hill, before his mother's grave, talking to her about the events of the latest days.

One day, during a field trip to the amusement park, Virgil and Richie are trying to get one of their classmates, overzealous Thomas Kim, to have fun with them. Later on, the park's train is accidentally sent off its proper course and Static promptly saves it. One of the civilians he saves remarks: "Whoever you are, your mother must be proud of you", which makes him feel bad as he remembers his own mother. Later at home, he stumbles onto a box full of video tapes, which his dad and Sharon are choosing from for a memorial service they are setting up in Jean's honor. As much as he misses his mother, Virgil does not want to take part on it because it would hurt him too much to do so.

Distressed, he goes out as Static to freshen up, when a hulking, purple-skinned bang baby goes on a rampage in a restaurant. Static tries to fight him, but nothing he does has any effect and the monster easily knocks him out.

The next day, Virgil is commenting on what had happened the previous night with Richie during class, when their teacher, Mrs. Pettibone, hands out their essay test results. Thomas is upset that he got a 99% mark on the test, even though it was the highest mark in the class. Later in the parking lot, Ms. Pettibone is attacked by the same bang baby of the night before, who keeps saying she is "wrong". Static saves her and tries to fight him, with the same results.

Later on, Sharon comes around asking Virgil to do a speech for his mother's memorial, but he gets upset and leaves her. His father then tries to comfort him, seeing that his son has not completely gotten over Jean's death and saying that he himself did not let it go so easily.

That night, Richie calls him informing that he has a proof of the bang baby's identity: Thomas' essay test. They decide to go to his house to investigate and, after finding out that Thomas is pressured by his father to excel academically, they hand him his test back. Angered, Thomas forces them out of his home and, in his anger, his facial features start changing...

Back home, Richie is watching a tape of when Virgil was a baby with the intent of making fun of him. When Jean appears on the tape calming him down, Richie finally understands why Virgil did not want to see it. Just then, the hulking Thomas bursts in through the door, and Virgil buys just enough time to let Richie escape and change into Static. Remembering what his own mother said about tantrums, Static lures Thomas away to the construction area of the amusement park, where he won't do much damage. As a result, Thomas soon turns back to normal and loses consciousness just as the police arrives.

As Virgil is finishing his story (mentioning also that Thomas' parents are taking better care of him now that they know his condition), Mr. Hawkins honks the horn of the car, calling him so they'll go to the church for the memorial. There, Virgil gives his speech about how, even though his mother is gone physically, her spirit is always there with them.


  • Virgil suggests to Richie that they should take Thomas bowling. It's revealed in "Shebang" that they form a team with Omar and another student.
  • The rescued woman tells Static his mother would be proud. It's later revealed in "Flashback" that she was.
  • Since the riots were said to have been "5 years ago" in "Flashback", this would be the third anniversary of Jean's death.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • When the food fight starts, half of Virgil's face is covered in pie. In the next shot, he's completely clean.
  • Just before Tantrum breaks into Virgil's house there is food on the table but once he breaks in it is gone.


  • Kids' WB's[1] want to kill off Virgil's mom was one of Dwayne McDuffie's biggest gripes with the show in early development. According to him, "it was important to me to present a black hero with a complete nuclear family, in part to combat an easy stereotype we see far too often in fiction, but also because Virgil's family experience was supposed to be similar to my own. To be fair, the show got couple of great stories from the situation, so even that worked out okay."[2]
  • Phil LaMarr has stated that this was his favorite episode of the first season; "I like that episode because, in addition to dealing with the super-hero stuff, he's dealing with personal stuff. Also, in animation so many times, people are orphaned, or their parents are dead and nobody ever feels anything about it. 'If your mother could see you now,' the doting father says. But nobody's ever sad. Nobody ever recognizes that lost parent."[3]
  • According to writer Christopher Simmons, this episode takes place "a few years" after Jean Hawkins death.[4]
  • When the food fight breaks out, Virgil shouts "Of course you realize, this means war!" This is a famous quote of Bugs Bunny.
  • Thomas' transformation into Tantrum is highly reminiscent of the Incredible Hulk: a super-strong monstrous juggernaut who manifests whenever his alter-ego is under intense duress.


Actor Role
Phil LaMarr Static/Virgil Hawkins
Jason Marsden Richie Foley
John Cho Tantrum/Thomas Kim
Kevin Michael Richardson Robert Hawkins
Michele Morgan Sharon Hawkins
Crystal Scales Daisy Watkins
Miriam Flynn Miss Pettibone
Michael Paul Chan Mr. Kim
Haunani Minn Mrs. Kim
Vernee Watson-Johnson Mrs. Watkins
Ambrosia Kelley Young Sharon Hawkins
Marcelo Tubert Young Technician
DeEtta West Singer
Jimmy Fisher
Kaci Jeter
Aladrian Elmore

Uncredited appearances[]


Virgil: And he even had purple skin and orange hair.
Richie: Eww, Bang babies. They have no fashion sense.

Ms. Pettibone: (clears her throat) Perhaps you'd like to share your story with the class, Virgil.
Virgil: Uh, no thanks, Ms. Pettibone.
Ms. Pettibone: I hope I won't have to separate the two of you again.

Ms. Pettibone: Class, I'm handing back your essay tests. Undoubtedly, some of you will be happier with your grades than others.
Virgil: Oh yes, I'm happy. What about you, Rich?
Richie: I'm—one of the others.

  1. DCAU Resource - Dwayne McDuffie Quotes Archive
  2. Series Creator Dwayne McDuffie Interview conducted by Jim Harvey
  3. Question and Answer: Static Shock's Phil LaMarr - Comics Continuum (Dec. 20, 2000)
  4. STATIC SHOCK SEASON FINALE - Comics Continuum (May 7, 2001)