Professor Dick Hardly is Professor Utonium's old college roommate who leeched off of him instead of studying. It's revealed in flashbacks that Professor Dick is a womanizer. He appears to be around the same age as the Professor. His only appearance was in the episode "Knock It Off", where he was amazed over the girls' powers. He wanted to make a profit off of them, but the Professor angrily refused and kicked him out.
As a result, Dick comes up with a wicked plan: if he couldn't have the girls themselves, he would create his own and make billions. While picking them up from Pokey Oaks, he asks the girls how to create his own little girls. After learning the ingredients, Dick goes into an abandoned factory and creates the Powerpuff Girls Xtreme. However, his versions turn out to be cheap knock-offs and some of them are horribly disfigured.
When the girls learn about Dick's true intentions, they confront him inside his lab and ask for the Chemical X back. However, Dick deliberately swallows it and transforms into a monster. As a monster, Dick's size is increased a hundredfold, his skin turns green, spikes grow out of his shoulders, blue tentacles burst out of his chest, his ponytail turns into a tentacle, his normal glasses are gone, his eyes turn black (while acting similar to normal sunglasses), and the only bit of his clothing left are the remains of his pants.
In this form, he easily defeats the girls as Utonium goes into the lab. Dick drains nearly all the girls' Chemical X and their life force, but the other Powerpuff Girls Xtreme realize that Dick never gave them love or care after witnessing the Professor and the girls confess their deep love for each other one last time. Thus, in their anger, they sacrifice themselves to destroy him, and Utonium gets the girls out in the nick of time as the factory explodes, killing Dick in the process. As Dick dies before the factory is completely destroyed, Utonium bursts into tears at the loss of the girls. However, his fatherly love revives them. Delighted to see them alive again, he says "Old Dick may have gotten the formula right, but the only ingredient he forgot was LOVE. Let's go home girls." Then Dick screams "NO!" in pure despair at one final time as he is ambushed inside his lab just before he dies, and the factory is destroyed.
Dick Hardly lives by pretending to care about people as a way of getting whatever he wants. He always tricked Professor Utonium into finishing his college work for him, while Dick would go hang out with people and flirt with women. Although Utonium always viewed Dick as a friend, his ex-colleague exploited him so that he didn't have to get anything done by himself. After many years, Dick called up Professor Utonium to once again take credit for doing everything for him.
Dick also acts the same way towards the Powerpuff Girls. He pretends to be nice to them, in order to gain a sample of Chemical X and create his Powerpuff Girl Xtreme. Dick makes it appear like he wants to rid the world of all crime. However, inside of the evil factory, he is seen being a completely different person: An evil, irredeemable, cruel, tyrannic, slave-driving, sadistic, vicious sociopath who only wants money and is not above exploiting people.
Role in the episode
He makes a cameo appearance in the Villainous short "The Lost Cases of Boxmore".
- Despite appearing only once in the 1998 series and never in the various spin-offs or the 2016 series, Dick Hardly is among the franchise's most sinister and memorable characters, as he is the only known PPG antagonist with absolutely no redeeming or comedic qualities. Unlike most villains, Dick is willing to cross all lines, thus making even HIM look like a saint in comparison.
References in Popular Culture
- Dick is one of the few characters to die, the others being The Broccoloids, The Pickloid Captain, Bunny, the Gnome, and The Rowdyruff Boys (although the Boys were later revived by HIM).
- As a human, Dick Hardly strongly resembles Dexter's unnamed father from Dexter's Laboratory, down to having the same voice actor.
- He appears similar to Kip Snip, a villain from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends also made by Craig McCracken.
- It is possible that Dick was partially inspired by the Spider-Man supervillain Jackal, due to both characters creating duplicates or clones of their respective enemies.
- Dick Hardly cameos in the Villainous short "The Lost Cases of Boxmore".