The Almighty Johnsons

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The Almighty Johnsons is a 2011 New Zealand Urban Fantasy Dramedy about a family of four Kiwi brothers and their Cloudcuckoolander cousin who all happen to be incarnations of Norse gods.

The story revolves around Axl Johnson (Emmett Couling Skilton), a typical university student who has just turned 21 years old--an event which triggers weird signs all over Auckland. Upon turning 21, his brothers tell him that he and his brothers are reincarnated Norse Gods, although their powers have diminished over the years. It took a lightning bolt to make him realize the truth about his godhood, and he discovers that he is the physical incarnation of the god Odin. After a rival goddess shoots an arrow which nearly pierces his heart, fulfilling the prophecy that proves he is Odin, his older brother Mike (Timothy Balme) tells him about his quest: In order to get all their powers back, Axl (Odin) has to find his soulmate, Frigg, and seal the deal. If he doesn't find her before he dies, his whole family dies with him. However, several goddesses have united to prevent him from finding Frigg, including the one who tried to kill him earlier.

The quest involves several Red Herrings, including a netballer, a librarian, a homely daughter to a god, and even a goddess. Although the show centers around Axl's quest, it also gives character development to the other brothers, especially Ty and Mike, who refuses to use his god powers because of an incident which left his best friend in a coma.

Created by the makers of the long-running hit show Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons is the latest[when?] product of star writers like James Griffin and Rachel Lang. Originally intended for one season, the first season's success led to the airing of a second season. Many established Kiwi actors have participated in the show, most notably Keisha Castle-Hughes as Axl's flatmate and Ship Tease Gaia, and Timothy Balme (Mike).

Tropes used in The Almighty Johnsons include:
  • A God Am I: Thor seems to have this attitude.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Anders mocks Axl for being a virgin in the second episode as he tries to hook him up with a sexy netballer, even though it's not for lack of effort. (A montage shows him trying to have sex with various girlfriends, but Mike and Valerie interrupt him each time as he's lived in their house.) This invariably leads to Sex as Rite-of-Passage when he ends up sleeping with her, but not without consequences.
  • An Ice Person: Ty/Hod. He even works as a refrigerator repairman.
  • The Atoner: Mike/Ullr caused his best friend to enter a coma during a barfight years before the show began.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Anders/Bragi and Michele/Sjöfn.
  • The Berserker: Derrick/Thor. Olaf describes Thor as being "barking mad." It shows.
    • Berserk Button: Do NOT call him Derrick or tell him that he's mad. He doesn't take it very well.
  • Big Bad: Agnetha/Frejya
    • Clearly overruled in the late first season/second season by Colin/Loki
  • Bi the Way: Michele/Sjöfn. Can be expected from a goddess of love.
  • Casanova: Anders to a T.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the first episode, the boys mother was revealed to be the incarnation of Frejya. At the beginning on the last episode, the Big Bad Agnetha is revealed to be Frejya.
    • Far and away the biggest Chekhov's Gun has to be Tyr. Mentioned in passing by Thor, who met him in jail. When we find out that Gaia is Tyr's daughter, it's revealed that Tyr and Gaia's mother were drug dealers/makers, hence why he spent time in jail.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Axl, Zeb, and Olaf show tendencies of this.
  • Compelling Voice: Anders/Bragi usually uses it for seduction.
  • The Danza: Michelle Langstone, who plays the goddess Michele/Sjöfn.
  • Dawson Casting: A slight inversion occurs as well with Olivia Tennet who was 19 when she played 21-year-old Delphine--and who looks younger than her actual age.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: after the God of Love Anders/Bragi sleeps around, ruining the lives of three girls in ways that range from "Not that bad" to "Jerkass", said girls decide to preform a vasectomy operation on him while he's knocked out from tranquilizers. In his bedroom. With a stolen set of surgical instuments from a vetinarian. The one preforming the operation isn't even a liscened practinoner! She's just a receptionist!
    • Not that disproportionate really, considering that he mind controlled and effectively raped a woman at her Hen's night, and has done the same to dozens if not hundreds of other woman. That said the girls were planning on neutering him (literally like a dog, not a vasectomy) while he was paralysed but fully aware...
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ty is this in spades.
  • Do Not Call Me Derrick: It's Thor, thank you very much!
  • Double Entendre: Just look at the title. C'mon, you were thinking about it, too.
  • Fragile Flower: Delphine. She cries after Axl gets annoyed at her for calling him "my lord" and again after Axl mentions that he has a problem with hooking up with someone who is already six weeks pregnant.
  • Gender Bender: Axl, in one episode from season 2.
  • The Heart: Gaia, to Axl and Zeb.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Gaia had to point this out to her father several times about Axl.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ty, in the last episode of Season 1, who ends up marrying Eva/Hel, thus fulfilling his destiny as a god so that Mike can remain alive.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode is named after a quote from that episode.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Ty.
  • Immune to Drugs: Axl. For about the span of one episode...
  • Insistent Terminology: It's not a coma! Referring to "Coma Rob", who is actually in a persistent vegetative state. But they still call him "Coma Rob."
  • Instant Expert: Mike. Whenever he plays a game, he wins.
  • Loophole Abuse: From both sides the marriage contract never states that Eva is the Frigg, but it also does not state which brother has to get married.
  • Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: Michele, who is a practicing physician at a local hospital, but whose mission is to stop Odin from finding Frigg, even if that means killing him off.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Thor, again.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Michele attempts to kill Axl by shooting an arrow to his heart, but the tip ends up lodged next to it, thus helping fulfill a prophecy of him becoming Odin.
  • Not Wearing Pants: Happens every so often on this show. In fact, how Axl got his powers as Odin involved not wearing any clothes. It's even lampshaded at one point.
  • Older Than They Look: Olaf/Baldr. He's the main casts' Grandfather, but you couldn't tell by looking.
  • Overprotective Dad: Derrick, both played straight and inverted. He wants Delphine to hook up with Axl (or, rather any god), but he gets rather offended when he tells him about her attraction to Ross, whom he considers "a simpleton."
  • Physical God: the basic premise.
  • Promotion to Parent: Mike, after the boys' mother runs off into the forest and becomes a tree. He assumes responsibility for raising his fellow brothers, even though Olaf is actually older than all of them.
  • Playing with Fire: Loki, Eva/Hel's father.
  • Red Herring: Several, given that the story revolves around Axl's quest to find Frigg.
  • Ret-Gone / Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Kind of - time travel isn't involved, but after Ty loses his godhood and becomes mortal, his existence is erased from mortal memory; only the other gods remember who he is.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Hand-waved by the historians getting it wrong.
  • Secret Keeper: Because they had to run away from Scandinavia to escape from Christians with torches the Norse gods trust few people with the knowledge they are gods. Although Zeb finds out eventually
  • Seers: Olaf and Ingrid. Oracles, to be more exact.
  • Ship Tease: Quite a few. Among them, we have Axl/Gaia, Anders/Michele, Olaf/Ingrid, and Ty/Dawn.
  • Stock Kiwi Phrases: Phrases like "sweet-as" are peppered into everyday conversation to really hammer down the "typical Kiwi bloke" feel of the show.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Although the gods' powers have diminished over the years, they sometimes come back in major ways. Axl is a perfect example of this trope.
  • Super Strength: Axl and Thor, though Axl more so.
  • The Danza: Michele/Sjöfn is played by the actress Michelle Langstone
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Poetry, Anyway?: Anders often gets ridiculed for his god powers, most notably by Michele and Ty.
    • Not that it stops him from building a very successful marketing business, partying away every night and sleeping with any woman he feels like.
  • Wham! Episode: "The House of Jerome" (S02E11), in which our heroes learn that the Maori gods are real too.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mike typically warns his fellow brothers of the consequences of using their god powers. One night, however, he decides to go out gambling, the perfect time for his powers to slip through the cracks. Of course, this causes some complications.
    • Almost crosses into too dumb to live. The guy walks into a casino, sits down at the Blackjack table and proceeds to win every single hand for the duration of the night, turning $800 into $90,000 before they finally throw him out for suspected cheating.