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|“||You know I've been reading about you guys, and I think it's really great what you do here in Townsville. But you know, I've been all over the world, and there sure is a lot of evil out there. It's too bad there aren't more of you girls out there to help save everybody. Gee, if... there was only a way to make more of you, we could help save people all over the world, and that would be good, huh?||„|
|~ Dick Hardly tricking the girls into helping him.|
Professor Richard "Dick" Hardly is a one-shot character in The Powerpuff Girls, and the main antagonist in the episode "Knock it Off".
He was a greedy, corrupt and manipulative businessman who tried to make more of the Powerpuff Girls and sell them to the people to get money and fame, and was Professor Utonium's former friend until he revealed his true intentions. He managed to kill the Powerpuff Girls by draining all of their life energy, which is Chemical X, but they were brought back to life by the Professor's love. Despite being a one-shot antagonist, he is often considered the most evil character in the entire franchise.
As a human, Dick is a man who wears glasses, a white coat with a pink shirt under it and wears moccasins for footwear. He also has blonde hair, which has a ponytail.
As a monster, Dick's appearance has changed drastically, his skin has turned green, four tentacles are on his chest while a 5th one used to be his ponytail, his glasses are gone and his eyes has turned black, which looks similar to sunglasses. All of his clothes are gone and the only clothing left he has are his pants.
Dick Hardly was an old college roommate of Professor Utonium. Though Utonium initially considered him a friend, Dick always took advantage of him and unlike the former, he only sought financial profit in science. Dick's bad deeds towards Utonium was to cheat him and always steal his projects, making him do his works for him while Dick had time to go with friends and women and never listening to Utonium when he wanted Dick to be more interested in the science. However, whether or not Utonium always saw him as otherwise is beyond anybody's guess.
Knock It Off
One day, Professor received a call from Dick, who was planning to pay a visit to the Utonium residence (likely, to steal yet another one of his old friend's projects). Once he came, Utonium welcomed Dick and gave him a tour to the interior of the house. However, when Dick saw Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup and their unbelievable powers, he believed that the girls were worth a great deal of money. When Dick ignored Utonium's warnings many times who tried to say something about his ideas with his daughters, Utonium demanded Hardly to leave when he realized how greedy he was since they were young, and still is. Utonium then demands Dick to keep away from him and the girls for good, stating that his visit is officially over. However, Dick was still interested to find out more about the Powerpuff Girls. The next day, he offered the girls a ride home from school, and slightly asks for the ingredients. Unaware of what he was planning, the girls then takes a flask of Chemical X from Utonium's laboratory and gave it to Dick.
He proceeded to go to an abandoned factory and make his clones of the girls, which he named "The Powerpuff Girls with Chemical Xtreme", starting a business and selling them to all the people in their respective countries around the world and obtaining fame and money in the process. He gradually gets more and more avaricious as a result and treated the clones as nothing more than selling products, using minimum materials and Chemical X so that they would fall apart and he could continue selling more copies. At one point, his employees mistakenly created a seemingly perfect version of Buttercup, and he had her melted down for her Chemical X, which resulted in the clone being killed in the process. With the pass of the time, Dick's factory also started to grow to the point of being turned into a dark and twisted place.
Eventually, although Dick gained more wealth and fame as he swore, the original girls realized that Dick cheated them when they saw one of the commercials of "The Powerpuff Girls with Chemical Xtreme" on TV, realizing that he was willing to sell his false Powerpuff Girls to anyone willing to pay him for them, even criminals. The three girls went to his factory, where they confronted him for lying to them and stealing the Chemical X, but despite being exposed to his lies, Dick (almost psychotically) refuses to back down, stating that he was planning to steal more of the chemical. The girls ordered him to return the Chemical X they gave to him, but Dick greedily refuses and instead ingested the vial containing the chemical, leaving the girls confused and horrified. At first, Dick seems fine, but then the Chemical starts to take effect on his body, first causing a spasm attack in which he foams from the mouth. He gets up all well and good, but then suddenly transforms into a giant yellowish-green mutant with tentacles. Dick then used his new powers to attack the girls, who then fight back. Unfortunately, Dick has proven to be too strong for the girls and locks them in a dome, hoping to drain them of their Chemical X for his purposes. In the meantime, Utonium, having caught wind of Dick's plans, heads over to the factory.
Utonium finally enters the factory and finds out what happened after he saw all of the deformed clones, the dying girls, and the monstrous Dick. Utonium angrily demanded Dick to stop draining the Chemical X from the girls, but Dick refuses and threatens to crush Utonium if he tries to stop him. Utonium offers to take the girls' place so that he can make more of the Chemical X for Dick, but the latter still refuses and instead orders the deformed clones to capture Utonium. As Utonium struggles to get free, he tearfully tells the girls that he loves them. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup reply, "We love you, too!" to Utonium just as they finally succumb to their deaths.
These tragic words touch the deformed clones, finally seeing how much the Professor loves the three girls while Dick had only used them for his greed. Having had enough of this, the deformed clones free Utonium and rebelled against Dick, confronting him on the fact that he never gave them love. Seeing the clones confront him, Dick angrily demanded them to obey him as he was their master, but one of the clones stated he is only a master of evil. Determined to put him down for good, the angry clones surround the screaming Dick and restrain him to the ground. Afterward, they sacrifice themselves to destroy Dick with their powers, causing a fire that engulfs the entire factory. The remaining clones allowed Utonium to escape with his daughters before they perished. As the factory burns, Utonium cries over the loss of his daughters, but his love was enough to revive them back to life, much to his delight. When Bubbles asks what happened to Dick and the clones, Utonium replied that "Dick may have gotten the formula right, but the one ingredient that he forgot was love.", which the clones wanted all along. Utonium and the girls then head home while Dick makes one more scream of agony before he finally dies.
Professor Dick was defined as a greedy, malicious, and manipulative cheater. Since he was young, Dick always wanted other people to do his work for him, while he had time to do and go whatever or wherever he wanted. In the present, Dick had the interest of visiting his old friend, Utonium, in the hopes of mooching off of his work, although he then completely forgot about that when he was much more interested in using the Powerpuff Girls to achieve money and fame. Dick's greed and malice started to grow when his creation "The Powerpuff Girls with Chemical Xtreme" achieved to get every attention of the whole world, as he even turned more psychotic when The Powerpuff Girls denied to give him more of the Chemical X. Dick is also uncaring and apathetic for the clones as he was perfectly fine with them falling apart in order to get more sales, and had one killed because she was perfectly made.
When Dick was turned into a giant and mutant monster after he swallowed the Chemical X, he proved to be even more ruthless than ever when he killed The Powerpuff Girls even knowing that they are just children. Dick was uncaring and unsympathetic when Utonium begged Dick to stop killing the girls nor for his feelings towards his daughters, as he even made fun about it. In addition, Dick warned Utonium to not interfere in his plan or else he would feel his wrath (which means he would kill him) while he was draining the Chemical X out of the girls. This could mean that Dick's monstrous form is a symbol of his own sadistic personality deep inside his heart. Despite his vile nature, Dick is a cowardly man since he gets scared when the girls confront him and tell him to give back the Chemical X. When the clones turn on him for not loving them, he gets angry and tells them to get back and reminding them that he is their master. Only for one of the Bubbles clones to retort that he's a master of evil. He screams, "NO!" as the clones kill him.
It should also be noted that unlike other villains from The Powerpuff Girls, who have some level of morality and humor, Dick's role as a monster was taken completely seriously, and he never showed any sense of morality to The Powerpuff Girls, Professor Utonium and neither of his own creations.
His greed and lovelessness also proved to be his downfall, as when he almost managed to kill the Powerpuff Girls, the disgusted clones turn against him and use their powers to destroy him, much to his horror. These actions are what have made him one of the most evil of Hanna Barbara's villains.
- Despite being a one-shot villain with no official appearances outside of the original show, Dick Hardly is easily the most evil antagonist of The Powerpuff Girls franchise, as he had no moral limits or comedic traits before becoming a monster, both of which are present in even HIM (an embodiment of all evil) and Mojo Jojo (the Powerpuff Girls' arch-nemesis).
- He visually resembles Dexter's unnamed father from Dexter's Laboratory, and even shares his voice actor.
- Dick is the third villain in the series who got very close to killing the Powerpuff Girls, the first being the Rowdyruff Boys and the second being the ordinary children who were tricked by Mojo Jojo. All three times the Girls were revived before it was too late.
- In "The Rowdyruff Boys", they are resurrected by the cries and tears of the people of Townsville.
- The children used their powers to resurrect them upon realizing Mojo Jojo's trickery.
- Utonium's fatherly love resurrected the Girls.
- He is also one of the few characters in the series to actually die, the others being The Broccoloids, Bunny (although she wasn't a villain), The Gnome (although he did accept his death after realizing the errors of his ways), The Pickloids, and The Rowdyruff Boys (although they were later resurrected by HIM).
- Dick makes a cameo appearance in the Villainous short "The Lost Cases of Boxmore".
- A recurring innuendo joke is that sometimes when someone mentions his name, they are also unintentionally calling him a "dick". Most likely, this may have been the reason to why in the Latin American dub his name was translated as "Dick Maña".
- Dick can be considered as a dark parallel to Professor Utonium (which is pretty fitting). Both are scientists who went to the same college, the difference being that Utonium was diligent, honest and caring towards even artificially created beings (such as the Powerpuff Girls themselves) whereas Dick was lazy, and dishonest to the point of viewing the Powerpuff Girls Xtreme clones as nothing more than just a source of financial profit.