Scott Pilgrim Takes Off took a big leap of faith and lo and behold, it came out on top for hardcore fans and new viewers. Taking inspiration from Bryan Lee O’Malley‘s original comics, BenDavid Grabinski and Science SARU’s adaptation was both faithful towards the Scott Pilgrim lore while also adding emotional emphasis at its core. Despite dropping its titular character, voiced by his live-action actor Michael Cera, this show’s focus on Ramona, and her relationship process, successfully worked.
Throughout Ramona’s (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) journey, the show takes its time to also dynamically expand its characters, particularly with the League of Evil Exes as well as Scott’s merry band of rockstars, Sex Bomb-Omb. With such a diverse range of characters, Scott Pilgrim is able to build on the rich history that the comics nor Edgar Wright’s live-action film could come close to covering through heartfelt moments. Such moments have resonated deeply with fans thanks to intricate writing and beautiful animation, which continually push boundaries.
10. Lucas Lee and Gideon Graves’ Bro-Out Montage
While Scott Pilgrim Takes Off has a more tonally mature perspective on things, that doesn’t mean it can’t have fun with itself too! In the beginning of episode 6, Lucas Lee decides to call up Gideon Graves (real name Gordon Goose) and move in with him at Julie Powers’ house.
Together, the two develop this bro bond through some fun activities like making a cake, playing some Guitar Hero, building a half-pipe ramp for Lucas. Through this montage, both Gideon and Lucas grow this empathetic side to them that’s sweet to watch expand, even if Gideon’s evil tendencies come back at the end of the show.
9. Wallace and Todd Find Their “Spark”
In one of the “real” moments of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, the show surprisingly puts Wallace Wells and Todd Ingram together, making for quite the ship for fans. While it’s not as real as fans might’ve expected, with Todd obsessing over Wallace similarly to the Knives-Scott dynamic, it’s somewhat touching to see Todd have strong emotions for someone other than Envy Adams.
This moment in episode 5 overexaggerates that ‘love’ between Wallace and Todd in a way that’s both funny, with all the fireworks, and somewhat sweet as this could potentially be real. Sadly, this wouldn’t continue for long, but luckily the two would find their sparks elsewhere.
8. Old Scott Vents To Young Scott
In a more serious moment between the characters of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, seeing Young Scott be confronted with his older self in episode 7 adds a bit more scare to this happy, go-lucky show. It provides the show, and the franchise itself, with a bit of reflection as Old Scott is the culmination of all the wrong moves Young Scott could potentially make with Ramona.
After realizing that Old Scott (who influences Even Older Scott) kidnapped him to make sure his relationship with Ramona could never happen, it pushes Young Scott to take things into his own hands rather than letting the world make it for him.
7. Scott Reviews His Precious Little Life
In another reflective moment within the Scott Pilgrim franchise in episode 7, Scott taking a look back at the life he would’ve had before being whisked away by Old Scott is very touching. Scott realizing that Ramona was still looking for him in the past despite him being gone for long allows him to develop this sense of renewed confidence that Old Scott could barely get with Old Ramona.
It drives him to understand that both of their plans and their overall divorce, were wrong because deep down, both Scott and Ramona truly love each other. Thanks to Young Scott’s new understanding, he’s able to convince Old Ramona that things between him and Young Ramona can still work if he makes the right decisions.
6. Ramona and Lucas Lee Forgive Each Other
The climax of episode 4 saw Ramona and Lucas Lee finally forgiving each other after all those high school years. In a moment of selflessness, Lucas decided to protect Ramona from the hordes of ninja paparazzi, showing Ramona that not only is he not Scott’s kidnapper, but also much more than the arrogant skateboarder she’s known him to be.
In doing so, Lucas is repaying the favor for all those times Ramona has helped him out of a bump, which was presented in such an empathetic way. Not only does this give Lucas a more emotional touch that was expanded later on in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, but also leaves a satisfying end between the two in this episode.
5. Gideon Graves Reunites With Julie
Taking a villain and making him sympathetic is one of the things that makes Scott Pilgrim Takes Off stand out from other adaptations. After losing everything, including the League of Evil Exes, to Matthew Patel, Gideon Graves is relegated to actually being a deuteragonist with a basic character foundation.
At the end of episode 2, his rainy reunion with Julie was sweet to watch as Julie is surprisingly revealed to be the only one he can rely on to support him. Through this pivotal moment, the show gives us some great moments between the two, eventually pairing up Gideon and Lucas Lee with a fun and chill chemistry.
4. Ramona And Roxie’s Heartbreaking Truth
Ramona and Roxie’s apology-sharing in episode 3 was one of the most saddest moments that Scott Pilgrim has ever explored to date. Though the two had an epic battle through multiple “movie worlds”, it’s near the end that holds the most impact as Roxie lets out all her rage due to Ramona’s abandonment.
It’s a beautifully colorful mash of color, spectacle, and emotion as Ramona rescues Roxie from being alone (both literally and metaphorically.) From the sad flashbacks showcasing the two’s time together in college to Ramona finally apologizing for leaving Roxie in a bad place, this sequence definitely is one of the show’s more amazing character sequences.
3. Scott Pilgrim Admits His Faults To Knives
In the penultimate episode of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, we finally get to see Scott grow by admitting his dating relationship with Knives was morally wrong. In the comics and live-action film, Scott and Knives’ relationship was comically over-the-top. However, watching Scott forgive Knives for letting both of them down shows that he’s willing to change for good.
Surprisingly, Knives is okay with this as the show has given her much time to reflect through her own journey alongside Steven Stills. Watching their relationship end off on a high note on such a tonally serious and mature level was what the previous Scott Pilgrim comics and adaptations felt like they were missing.
2. Knives and Kim’s Jam Session
The relationship between Knives and Kim is really interesting as they both form a platonic relationship through a fun little jamming session in episode 3. This moment doesn’t just leave a positive vibe, but it also lays the foundation for Knives to grow out of her obsession with Scott and mature.
By using Sex Bomb-Omb as an outlet for her emotions alongside Kim, Knives is able to grow closer, more friendly bonds, especially with Steven. Thanks to this moment, we were able to get some even more fun moments between Steven and Knives as they embraced the musical side of things. Knives even gets to join the band at the end of the show thanks to her bonding with Kim, which is awesome!
1. Ramona Comes To Terms With Her Inner Self
The ultimate “best moment” of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off has to be Ramona’s inner realization of avoiding the past and coming to terms with her character. After merging with her future self and stopping Old Scott in episode 8, she’s able to have this emotional ultimatum that beautifully encapsulates what it means to grow.
It’s a heartfelt culmination of Ramona’s personal journey throughout this show as she sought to forgive her exes, which drove her to this moment. In the end, it’s happily topped off with the one thing fans have been wanting: Ramona to admit her love for Scott Pilgrim and to ultimately forgive herself.
All episodes of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off are streaming on Netflix. The series comes from award-winning animation house Science SARU (Devilman Crybaby, Japan Sinks, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken) and UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, produce for Netflix.