- “Sixteenth birthday, but do I get a Vespa? No. I get a food processor and a killer flying troll!”
Bittersweet Sixteen is the ninth episode of Trollhunters.
Jim's 16th birthday is full of surprises, including the arrival of a terrifying new species of troll that's immune to the effects of sunlight.
Something lands in the tree outside Jim's room.
Jim wakes up with a start. His mother is bringing him breakfast in bed for his birthday. She wants to do something even though he hates his birthday. She tells him she has another surprise for him downstairs when he's done eating. Jim pokes at the pancakes, but is startled when the walkie-talkie plays a message from Toby, calling Jim. Jim looks out his window and sees Toby in his, waving a cardboard birthday cake with a bite out of it. He says it was AAARRRGGHH!!! He thought the cake was real. Toby asks if he's heard from Claire. She isn't returning any of his texts since he destroyed her house. Toby suggests telling Claire the truth, but Jim doesn't think that's a good idea. Toby has to go because AAARRRGGHH!!! has eaten the cat litter again.
Barbara sees Jim coming down the stairs and tells him to wait so she can get his present ready in the garage. Jim thinks he's getting the Vespa he wanted and gets excited. He's disappointed to see she actually got him a blender. She realizes what he really wanted, but he says it's fine. He also wanted the Food Magic 3000. She says they'll get a Vespa someday, but she hates the idea of him on one of them. Just then, Toby comes in saying there's an emergency. When he sees Barbara, he tries to downplay it. Barbara leaves them to it, saying tonight will be a celebration. Toby tells him there's a situation in Trollmarket. They leave quickly on their bikes.
In Trollmarket, Blinky tells Jim to save himself because AAARRRGGHH!!! has lost his mind. AAARRRGGHH!!! comes out and picks up Jim and growls at him. Then Jim notices something bright behind him and quickly realizes it's a birthday surprise. Toby told them about his birthday. Vendel appears and isn't impressed. He orders them to remove the decorations. He doesn't want anything delaying Jim's training. After he leaves, Jim's surprised he didn't mention Enrique. Blinky didn't tell him about Enrique because Vendel wouldn't have believed him anyway.
Jim is continuing his training, trying to catch AAARRRGGHH!!! without his amulet or sword. Blinky is surprised Jim isn't more excited for his birthday. Toby says birthdays aren't really his thing. Birthdays always remind him of the day his dad disappeared. Toby had just moved in across the street and Jim's dad got him a bike kit for his fifth birthday. Then he just took off and the kit laid in the garage for years. Last Toby heard, he ran off with his girlfriend to be a ski bum in Vermont. Just then, Jim jumps and AAARRRGGHH!!! has to catch him.
Strickler walks through the woods and stops. He finds what he thinks is a scale and deduces that Bular summoned a stalkling. Bular says he did it to do what they should have done long ago. Strickler says stallings are dangerous, unpredictable, and uncontrollable. Strickler looks up and sees the stalkling. Strickler says they agreed any attempt on Jim's life would bring too much scrutiny. Bular is tired of waiting. Once the stalkling finds her prey, they'll never see Jim again, unless they find his rotting bones.
The stalkling watches from above as Jim meets Toby. Toby asks for Jim's wallet and takes out a card.
Toby leads Jim to the Vespa dealership. The dealer says they can't do a test drive without a learner's permit. Toby shows the dealer Jim's permit, plus his mother's insurance information. The dealer wishes him a happy birthday, but says he still needs a signature from a parent. Toby bribes him with money and he agrees to let Jim have ten minutes.
Jim rides around on the Vespa. While he's driving, a stalkling dips down near him. As he looks to see what it was, Steve pulls up beside him. Steve tries to start a race, but Jim is only interested in figuring out what was chasing him. He catches a view of the stalkling and uses the amulet to get away.
Blinky and AAARRRGGHH!!! approach Vendel with NotEnrique. Vendel tells them to put him away. NotEnrique says he only agreed to come because they promised him socks, which better be argyle and smelly. Vendel doesn't want to start a panic. AAARRRGGHH!!! notices that there's a hole in the bag and NotEnrique has escaped. Blinky assures Vendel that Jim is up to the challenge just as Jim runs in screaming, begging Blinky to save him. Jim wonders how it was able to fly in daylight. Vendel explains that stalklings are one of the only species of troll immune to the effects of sunlight. He shows Jim the page in a book. Jim says that doesn't look nearly as scary as what attacked him, but that's because people attacked by Stalklings don't live long enough to depict them. He's surprised Jim survived. Vendel says once a stalkling marks its target, it stalks it until death. Blinky says he'll be safe as long as he's not alone.
Toby says the Vespa guy keeps calling about paying for the damage. It'll cost him everything Jim has saved. Jim says the goal is just never to be alone again, so the stalkling won't get him. He figures that the stalkling will lose interest at some point. Claire comes up to them and Toby excuses himself. Jim is surprised because she said she never wanted to see him again. She says that he and Toby trashed her house and her parents blamed her for letting him babysit Enrique. Jim pretends they had a rave and apologizes. Claire says she asked around and couldn't find a single person who was there. She asks him what really happened. They're interrupted when Miss Janeth bursts out, happy to see Jim. She hopes they're ready and says places in five. Steve totaled his Vespa and has a concussion, so Jim's on. He says he just needs to call and see if his mom can pick him up.
Jim and Claire rehearse on stage.
As they leave, Claire and Jim both hear the stalkling. Claire asks what it is and Jim offers to walk Claire home. Her parents would kill her if they saw her with Jim and they're picking her up anyway. He says his mom is picking him up, too, and hopes they can keep each other company until then. Claire asks if he's all right and he says he's just worried about the weather. Claire's parents arrive and she leaves. Jim gets a call from his mother saying he had to stay a little late at the clinic because someone crashed a Vespa and she has to work up the x-rays. She asks Jim is he can get himself home. He quickly flags down Claire's parents and asks if he could catch a ride. They roll the window back up and leave.
Jim gears up and calls Toby.
Toby and AAARRRGGHH!!! are playing their game again and Toby doesn't hear his phone.
Jim sets off on his bike, followed by the stalkling.
The power goes out at Toby's as well as other places and he finally picks up his phone. Toby realizes they need to go.
Jim is looking backward on his bike and doesn't notice until it's too late that the stalkling is approaching him. The stalklking grabs him off his bike and starts to fly away with him.
AAARRRGGHH!!! and Toby track Jim's phone to find him.
Jim uses the amulet, but the stalkling catches him again quickly after dropping him.
Toby finds Jim's bike and realizes he's up in the sky with the stalkling.
The stalkling throws and catches Jim a few more times. As they go higher, Jim struggles to breathe. He remembers what Blinky said about your environment becoming a weapon and uses his sword to draw lightning. He and the stalkling both fall from the sky. AAARRRGGHH!!! races to catch Jim out of the air. They watch as the stalkling shatters on the ground. Jim says that's why he hates birthdays.
Blinky is covering Jim's eyes as Jim says he hopes it's not another surprise. Blinky says no, there are only a few minutes left in his birthday day if his calculations are correct. He uncovers Jim's eyes to reveal the pieces of a 1955 Vespa. Blinky says he thought someday, they could build it together. After his training. Jim says it's the best gift he's ever gotten.
At an airport, Otto Scaarbach gets off a plane and enters the country. He and the agent speak the troll language to each other. He opens a briefcase, revealing The Eye Stone. It's almost complete. And Gunmar will rise again.
- Kelsey Grammer as Blinky
- Anton Yelchin as Jim Lake Jr.
- Charlie Saxton as Toby Domzalski
- Lexi Medrano as Claire Nuñez
- Ron Perlman as Bular
- Jonathan Hyde as Mr. Strickler
- Fred Tatasciore as AAARRRGGHH!!!
- Tom Kenny as Otto Scaarbach/Vespa Dealer
- Amy Landecker as Barbara Lake
- Laraine Newman as Miss Janeth/Nana
- Victor Raider-Wexler as Vendel
- Jimmie Wood as NotEnrique
- Steven Yeun as Steve Palchuk
- Jim turns sixteen in this episode. It is also revealed that his father disappeared on his fifth birthday, which is one of the reasons why birthdays aren't Jim's thing.
- A humorous list of things not allowed by the airline is seen at the end of the episode: roller skates, mustaches, maces, sharks, bombs and poop.
- Steve is seen driving a blue Vespa, unlike the red Vespa in the previous episode.
- Title: It obviously refers to Jim officially turning sixteen, with "bittersweet" describing Jim's biased feelings towards his birthdays and how much misfortune they seem to give him; when his father abandoned him on his fifth birthday, his mother unwilling to trust him with a Vespa he always wanted, and "a killer flying troll" threatening to kill him whenever he's alone.
- The title also likely refers to the book of the same name, co-written by Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman