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 tortures all the Girls by nearly draining their Chemical X and 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.
- “Well, old Dick may have gotten the formula right, but the one ingredient he forgot, was Love.”
- ―Utonium on Dick that it was his lovelessness and greed that lead to his downfall after his demise.
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. Despite being a one-shot antagonist, he is often considered the most evil character in the entire franchise. A 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 remarkable symbol of his own sadistic personality deep inside his heart. Despite his truly depraved and 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 darkest and most evil of Hanna Barbara's villains.
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.
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".