Of the many Disney Channel animated series from over the years, Kim Possible is one that many people of a certain age have fond memories of. The show's unique blend of fast-paced character-centric humor and genuinely thrilling action created something unique for the Mouse House. Kim herself being a well-rounded, competent action heroine probably played a part in its reception as well. Even today, the blend of old-school spy movie adventure, comic book villainy, and down to earth teen drama is fondly regarded by the show's fans. Few of those fans probably know some of the wilder behind-the-scenes facts about Kim Possible though.
For one thing, the show was conceived of in an elevator. Tasked with creating an original series by the Disney Channel, writers Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle went to get lunch. On their descent, McCorkle turned to Schooley and said, "Kim Possible. She can do anything." Schooley responded, "Ron Stoppable. He can't." The rest of the series premise unfolded from there.
That's just one of the incredible bits of trivia behind this classic kid's show. Most of them stem from that elevator ride though, as there were many other changes between there and our afternoon television screens. But once Kim Possible was on the air, more changes and more notoriety, and more weird factoids, continued to gather around it. In our research, we've been able to find the most fascinating or just the most entertaining of these.
Here are 25 Things Only Super Fans Knew About Kim Possible
25 Disney Forced Them To Add An Animal Sidekick
When working for a massive conglomeration like Disney, notes from the executives are to be expected. We've all heard plenty of stories about some stuffed shirt interfering in a creative project and demanding often arbitrary changes. Kim Possible was no different. During the show's development, executives requested an animal sidekick be added to the show. Schooley and McCorkle obliged but decided to do so with a twist. Instead of something conventional they made the animal sidekick a Naked Mole-Rat. This was done deliberately so a main character would always be described as "naked" on a Disney show. Take that execs!
24 The Writers Never Meant To Make Kim & Ron A Couple
Kim and Ron's platonic friendship turned romance is one of the more fondly remembered parts of the show. When the two got together in the movie So the Drama, it felt earned. And if the writers had their way, it would have ended there. While they always intended for Kim and Ron to get together in the end, they never expected to actually write them as a couple. So the Drama was supposed to be the series finale and answer the "will they/won't they" question. But then the series got a surprise renewal and the writers embraced the unexpected challenge.
23 Kim Originally Looked Like Lara Croft
From the beginning, Kim Possible was meant to be a show with a strong female lead. She was adventurous and athletic, but what exactly that meant could be interpreted several ways. Kim's original design was more reflective of the times. She was a blonde bombshell with a look reminiscent of Lara Croft.
It made sense with Tomb Raider's then popularity.
But Disney felt the design was wrong for a show aimed at the 9-14 age group and the creators soon agreed. They redesigned Kim to be a more average, realistic teenage girl. By doing so, they created an iconic character for a generation.
22 It Might Have Inspired A Taco Bell Item
Among the hallmarks of Kim's sidekick Ron Stoppable's character traits was his love of Mexican food. So much so that he invented his own menu item at his favorite fast food place. The naco, a combination of nacho chips and a taco. Though brushed off by Kim as disgusting, enough fans tried making a naco themselves. And Taco Bell might have gotten ideas. In 2013, the fast food chain released the Beefy Nacho Burrito and the Grilled Stuffed Nacho, both featuring tortilla chips and nacho cheese inside a traditional burrito and a quesadilla respectively. Not quite the naco, but close enough.
21 One Of The Scariest Episodes Was Made To Get Back At The Executives
Nobody, especially kids, likes having their entertainment feel preachy. Television executives do not seem to understand this. In Kim Possible's fourth season, the Disney higher-ups ordered the writers to do a healthy eating episode. They did so, but not like you'd expect. In a parody of the documentary Super Size Me, Ron decides to eat fast food for every meal and also accidentally ingests some dangerous chemicals that turns him into a rampaging giant. It was one of the series' most intense episodes. The writers also put a sarcastic PSA at the end just to mock the executives even more.
20 Kim's Outfit Was Popular In The Real World
Kim's original mission outfit was an iconic part of the show. Her black crop top and grey cargo pants were stylish but also practical from an action heroine standpoint. It's not too hard to picture someone like Lara Croft wearing it. Plenty of people on the other side of the TV screen certainly did. Fashion writers have identified Kim as a trendsetter of the early 2000s and the components of her outfit were popular at the time. The character's commitment to function over form without sacrificing style was commented on by writers at Bustle. Classics never go out of fashion.
19 Kim & Ron Deliberately Inverted Gender Roles
In action-adventure stories like Kim Possible, it usually goes that that the guys are the competent, take-charge types while the girls end up as damsels in distress. Schooled and McCorkle inverted this dynamic for Kim & Ron. While the show was made for everyone, the writers really wanted to appeal young girls and give them a strong role model. They thought the colorful action and comedy would bring the boy audience in. It worked and even carried over into the show's main villains. Shego and Darken have the same take-charge butt kicking woman and overly emotional man dynamic as Kim & Ron.
18 Kim & Ron Only Dated One Other Person Besides Each Other
Oddly enough for the high-school setting, romance played a smaller part in Kim Possible than some remember. Though there was her and Ron's consistent "Will they/won't they" thing going on, and a few other potential love interests, there was very little actual dating going on between the characters. Both Kim and Ron were only shown dating one other person before getting together. Kim with her first crush Josh Mankey and Ron with fellow gamer Zita. This was likely by design, as the writers always intended the two to end up together. Though Ron never said, "I love you" to Kim.
17 Kim's Exact Age Is Unclear
Besides the generic description of "High School" age, no one is exactly sure how old Kim is supposed to be. Fans have taken what little scraps of info they could to find the answer. It's established that Kim starts the series as a high school sophomore, probably putting her around 15 or 16 years old. Her not having a driver's license is also established, so 15 is more likely. Making things harder is that the amount of time that passes over the course of the series is also unclear. The series finale ends with Kim's high school graduation, making her 17 or 18 by that point.
16 It Was Disney Channel's Longest Running Show
At four seasons and 87 episodes, Kim Possible was the longest running show in the Disney Channel's history. And it broke network policy to do it. Back then, the Disney Channel had a rule that no show would run past 65 episodes, no matter how popular.
This was more about schedules than the shows themselves.
With 65 episodes, the network could show one episode every weekday for 13 weeks, a quarter of the year. Cable TV and streaming helped end the rule, but Kim Possible overcame it first thanks to fans demanding a fourth season. It remained Disney Channel's longest-running show until Phineas & Ferb in 2012.
15 Kim Has The Same Ringtone As The Power Rangers
This has long been a matter of debate. People have been confused for years whether the ringtone of Kim's "Kimmunicator" is the same ringtone the original Mighty Morphing Power Rangers used for their teleporting watches.
Well they are the same. Sort of.
They are the same ringtone, the Power Rangers version is just longer. The reason for the confusion comes from Kim's ringtone dropping the last two notes. So Kim's ringtone is just cut off at the end. Ironically, Disney never noticed this or did any kind of crossover back when they owned the Power Rangers rights.
14 One Villain Was Created As A Joke
John DiMaggio, who voiced Dr. Drakken on the series, is a legendary voice actor. He's probably best known for Bender on Futurama and Jake the Dog on Adventure Time among many more. So when he starts to improvise, it's no surprise it will be hilarious.
Hilarious enough to create an entire character.
The story goes that DiMaggio was goofing off in the break room, doing an exaggerated motorhead voice. Kim Possible's writers thought it was so funny they created the character of Motor Ed for him to use the voice on the show. As a nod their shared voice actor, they made Motor Ed and Drakken cousins.
13 One Episode Is A Full-Length Batman Homage
Though she's not a superhero, Kim Possible took a lot of inspiration from them. Nowhere is this clearer than in the episode "The Fearless Ferret". The entire thing is a love letter to Batman. Not only does it have Adam West as a guest star, it features a pitch-perfect parody of the 60s Batman TV show's opening credits.
It's actually a double homage.
The plot, which concerns Ron Stoppable taking over the costumed identity of a retired superhero, is pulled directly from the Batman Beyond animated series. A series that's main character was voiced by Will Friedle, Ron's voice actor.
12 The Episode Banned Overseas
Being banned overseas is nothing new. Cultural differences are bound to pop up. But sometimes what gets things censored or banned is rather curious. Such was the case with the episode "Ron the Man", which was banned in the Middle East and North Africa.
The reason for the ban? Because it revealed Ron was Jewish.
This has kept it from being dubbed into Arabic as well. A character's religious affiliation seems a strange reason for such harsh measures, especially when it doesn't heavily play into Ron's characterization or actions. It remains the only banned episode of Kim Possible.
11 Standards & Practices Accidentally Created A Running Joke
For those of you unaware, Standards & Practices is the part of the TV network responsible for policing content. They make sure language is acceptable, and things aren't too violent, offensive, or provocative. Reasonable enough, but sometimes their notes to creators are bizarre. In Kim Possible's case, the crew were told that Dr. Drakken couldn't be shown making coffee. Why is anyone's guess. As an alternative, they suggested chocolate milk. Unlike many S & P notes, the writers actually liked this idea as Drakken's love of chocolate milk fit his childish personality. They made the villain's "Choco Moo" into a running joke.
10 The Show Has Never Been Fully Released On DVD
Disney's home video release strategy has never made any sense. Using the so-called Disney Vault to create artificial scarcity is bad enough, they also never seem to release things people want. Such is the case with Kim Possible. As of 2018, only the first two seasons have been fully released on DVD in the United States. No plans have been announced for the other two seasons or the feature length TV movie. For Disney, a company built on nostalgia, to not be offering a complete series set Gen Y fans would happily buy is just leaving money on the table.
9 Shego's Voice Actress Changed The Character's Personality
Shego was many viewers' favorite character from Kim Possible. Her snarky attitude and that she was the show's second best butt-kicker after Kim explained her popularity. But originally Shego was going to be a much flatter character. She was more of a traditional sidekick to Dr. Drakken in the early scripts. It wasn't until voice actress Nicole Sullivan came in to perform the character that things changed. She gave Shego her trademark sarcasm and the writers loved it so much that it affected how they wrote the character going forward. Without Sullivan, Shego might have actually had respect for Drakken.
8 John Cena Auditioned For Ron
There have always been great "what if" castings for iconic characters. What if Tom Select had been Indiana Jones, or what if Eric Stoltz had been Marty McFly? Well, there was an interesting what if concerning one person who auditioned for Ron Stoppable.
And his name is John Cena.
Yes, WWE Superstar John Cena. Before becoming a professional wrestler in the early 2000s, Cena tried his hand at an acting career. It was actually failing to get the part that convinced him to focus on wrestling. That decision worked out well for Cena, but can't we can't help wondering what if.
7 The Show Had An Epcot Attraction
A Disney Channel show getting an attraction at one of Disney's theme park is actually rather rare. Kim Possible was one of the few popular enough to do so. In 2009, two years after the series ended, Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure was launched at Epcot in Florida. Guests were given special cell phones, called "Kimmunicators" like the show, to help Kim and Ron on a mission. By visiting certain areas at the World Showcase, the "Kimmunicators" would activate special events and give players clues to solve the case. The attraction lasted until 2102 when it was refurbished with Phineas & Ferb theming.
6 Marvel Comics Influenced The Show
Creators Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle have made no secret of how Marvel Comics inspired certain parts of Kim Possible. They've even cited Spider-Man as an influence. But more Marvel has seeped into the show if you know where to look. The costumes for Team Impossible, Kim's rivals as do-gooders, were based on the original blue and gold X-men uniforms. But the biggest Marvel connection is the relationship between Dr. Drakken and Kim's Dad James. The story of them being college roommates, and James' ego-bruising of Drakken leading him to super villainy, is taken directly from Dr. Doom and Mr. Fantastic.
5 The First Animated Disney Channel Movie
The Disney Channel Original Movies were an event back in the day. A new movie would premiere on the channel every one or two months a year. While they would occasional adapt one of their live-action series, they'd never adapt one of their animated shows. Until Kim Possible. Chalk it up again to the series popularity as the reason, but the timing also played a part. The series was coming up on the end of its 65 episode run, the standard for kid's shows, and the writers had planned a blow-up series finale. Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama premiered on April 8, 2005.
4 German Popularity Saved It From Cancellation
Kim Possible was a huge hit for the Disney Channel, both in the US and internationally. So when the series ended is 65 episode run, which was the standard for kid's shows, there was a huge fan campaign to get it another season. The fans succeeded, but the German fans may have pushed it over the edge. The TV movie So the Drama had increased the show's popularity in the country, but unlike in the west, 65 episodes wasn't enough for syndication. The fan response, and the lucrative German syndication deal, inspired Disney to greenlight a fourth season.
3 The Episode Made To Promote Pirates of the Caribbean
One of the odder episodes of Kim Possible's fourth season was "Cap'n Drakken." In the episode's plot, Kim's nemesis Dr. Drakken discovers sunken treasure and is possessed by the ghost of an infamous pirate. If you find that curious, it's because the episode was partly made to promote Disney's biggest franchise, Pirates of the Carribbean. The episode aired in 2007, the same year the third Pirates movie was opening in theaters and the original ride was re-opened. The writers had been wanting to do a "Pirate Drakken" episode for a while, so the timing was perfect.
2 Kim's Character Was Inspired By James Bond & Captain Kirk
During development of the show, Schooley and McCorkle were invested in creating a strong female protagonist. Animated shows with strong female leads were rare at the time. They really wanted Kim to be a character young girls like their daughters could look up to.
So they drew inspiration from characters they loved as kids.
Deliberately, Kim was based on idealized wish-fulfillment characters like James Bond & Star Trek's Captain Kirk. Characters more known for their bravery and competence than anything about their gender. Kim was written to provide the same sort of escapism that kids, especially girls, watching could be inspired by.
1 Many Of The Animators Worked On Clerks: The Animated Series
The world of Kevin Smith's Clerks is about as far from Kim Possible as you could get. After all, one is a raunchy slacker comedy and the other is a family-friendly Disney show. But, surprisingly, there is a connection between them. Many of the animators and storyboard artists who worked on the cult classic Clerks: The Animated Series later moved to Kim Possible after the former finished its short run. This isn't as odd as it may sound though. Both Clerks and Kim Possible were produced by Disney TV Animation, albeit under a different name for Clerks. Small world, huh?